All posts filed under: Opinion

Just What is the Temple of Satan?

There are reports this year, of an emerging new religion “The Temple of Satan.” This group may have existed for years, but recently it has been getting attention, and apparently attracting many new members. One prominent community is in the city if Ottawa, the capital of Canada. Ottawa is usually a quiet city with tourists and politicians, and government workers. The new ‘Temple’ religion is new and different. RELATED: The Rise of the Satanic Temple in Canada: Global News One of the practices of the group is to ‘unbaptize’ people from Christianity, to undo their conversion and remove them from that religion. Christians should know that this is very different from traditional atheism and agnosticism. Those ideas have been at the center of western culture for several generations, and are usually called “liberal” and “modernist.” This modern thinking usually refers to ideas like Darwin’s theory of Evolution. Notice that Darwinian Evolution has a universe with no God, no creator. Darwin was trained to be a Christian minister, and he speculated about a universe like a …

The Universe Is Sending You a Spiritual Message

I have a friend who talks about messages from the Universe. When I think that God is trying to tell me something, he corrects me and says the Universe is speaking to me, and I should listen. I’m a Christian, and I naturally think about God. You might have a friend like this, and maybe you believe in the spiritual power of the Universe. It’s a popular concept, and I have met many people who like the idea. The idea that the Universe sends messages to us, and we can find our way through life if we listen, is popular these days. Oprah is one celebrity, among many, who thinks we need to hear from the Universe; life teaches us how to be successful if we listen. These messages include personal responsibility; they are things we need to do if we want to find our destiny. With my friend who talks about the Universe, that word is another way to say ‘God’ without getting religious and joining a church. Lately, he has started to read …

Pay to Pray: Can We Afford God?

I have just spent some time in an isolated northern city where real estate is too expensive. All the churches are small, and I think there is a mosque and a Sikh temple. I’m not sure about the religious buildings because they are all small, and easy to miss. A big building costs millions. Next to the house where I stayed is a house church. It looks to me like one church operates out of the members houses, and it seems to be doing well. One church petitioned the city to take over some park land and change it to a parking lot. They wanted the land for free, but they promised to invest more than a million dollars. I understand the mayor attends that church, and you can imagine the angry debate in the community. I heard yesterday that the church had withdrawn the request. So, how do we worship God when a parking lot costs a million dollars? And how do we pay the salaries for pastors, so they can support their families? …

Our Favorite Things

“Raindrops and roses and whiskers on kittens, these are a few of my favorite things.” I think that’s the way the song goes. Now I get that we need rain and I don’t even mind roses. And yes I am partial to kittens but I never really thought about their whiskers. I would think they are much more favored by the kitten them by me. As usual when I have too much quiet time sent aside for prayer, my mind wonders to such deep and pressing questions as my favorite things. For me, the list would include cinnamon buns and ice hockey. After I fantasised about eating cinnamon buns (without gaining weight)  while scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal yet again, my mind starting thinking again. This is both dangerous and difficult. You see I have a box brain. That means to actually start thinking about anything different or new takes a lot of effort. My wife will tell you this. “What do you want for dinner?” She’ll ask. “Cinnamon buns.” What do you want …

Do We All Worship The Same God?

When we pray, do prayers from all religions go up to the same place? Yes, no, and this might be a scam. Recently, a famous American politician, U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, made a controversial statement about our prayers. If you know about her, she always makes controversial statements. My belief is that some politicians are controversial to get free attention and publicity, and avoid the high cost of advertising. I don’t believe she was trying to change the world; I think she was being shallow and flippant, but she said that “all of our prayers go to the same place.” This has started a few arguments because she made the statement about Muslims. It sounds like she was saying ‘it doesn’t matter what you believe, all religions are the same’ which means the Muslim religion, and the Christian religion, and anything else that people believe, are really all the same. RELATED: Was AOC correct when she suggested all religions worship the same God? Experts weigh in: Fox News So, where do our prayers go? Are …

Ninja Jesus: Fight the Good Fight

Using the word “Ninja” and the name “Jesus” in the same sentence might seem wrong to some people, but don’t judge too quickly. There is a lesson to learn here. I was talking to a friend today, and I told him how I once had a stressful job, and I got the impression that I should find a new job. I found one, and a few days after I moved, senior management called a meeting and fired my old department. I learned about this months later. My friend was amazed, and he told me that someone must have been watching over me. I realized when he said it, that he was right. Some power kept me from the termination of my career, unlike many of my friends. Some power. Years ago, I read a news article from Belarus, where the government was evicting and closing a Pentecostal church. Someone wrote a comment in Russian, and I put the words in Google Translate, and I read this story; ‘Don’t close that church. When my little boy …

New York City Times Square Photo: Jack Siah/Flickr/Creative Commons

CEO Jesus: Disrupt Everything

Jesus was the head of an organization, the CEO of a corporation. He made a carefully defined organization with a clear business plan. We easily forget today, that Jesus the CEO still has a purpose, and a direction, and a final goal. But first let me tell you why I am not rich. At least one reason can be blamed on other people. My father has told me stories about a manufacturing business owned by some of his old relatives, more than a hundred years ago, the “McIntosh Munro Carriage Company.” These craftsmen made high quality vehicles that were powered by horses, and the owners were related to my father, who is 93 years old, as I write this. If you have one of those carriages in good condition now, it might be worth a fortune. Not far away from my father’s family was another company, owned by a man named Henry Ford, and I am not related to Henry Ford. You would probably never know about the carriage company, if I didn’t tell you, …

Guru Jesus: It’s Not About You

Is it possible to learn from Jesus, without being Christian? Yes. Mahatma Gandhi was a Hindu who admired the teachings of Jesus, but never became a Christian. Gandhi’s ideas about ‘passive resistance’ come directly from the Bible, and that wisdom brought almost a billion people, in South Asia to independence, without a destructive civil war. Today, the nations of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and probably Burma, owe a great debt to Gandhi, the peaceful liberator; and his ideas came from Jesus. Gandhi the Hindu treated Jesus like a guru, and that changed to history of the world, in a good way. In Webster’s dictionary, a “Guru” is “a personal religious teacher and spiritual guide in Hinduism.” Jesus was Jewish and not a Hindu, but we apply the definition to Him, easily. You might have heard of “WWJD” for Protestants and “Imitatio Christi” for Catholics, and similar ideas for Orthodox Churches. “What Would Jesus Do?” dates back to 1896, from a novel by an American writer Charles Sheldon. The Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox …

Is Che Guevara Like Jesus?

When I was in high school, some of my fellow students were radical leftists, or at least they tried to be. We always knew them because they wore army surplus clothes, and raised their fists and shouted words like “Che, Che, Che!” They were referring to Che Guevara, the communist revolutionary who fought in Cuba, as a comrade of Fidel Castro. Che was a doctor, born in Argentina, who joined the communist guerrillas in Cuba, led by Fidel Castro. After the successful Communist take-over in Cuba, he travelled to several countries to promote Communist revolutions. It all ended when he went to Bolivia and formed a guerrilla force to overthrow the government there. The Bolivians did not support him, including the Bolivian Communist Party, and he was betrayed, and then captured and killed by the Bolivian army. RELATED: Che Guevara: Wikipedia The face of Che Guevara as a popular icon, almost a religious symbol, is still popular on t-shirts and posters, and tattoos. It was the great symbol of youthful rebellion among my friends. Recently, …

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Make Yourself Healthy With the Bible

Have you heard of LKM? Me neither, until today. The letters mean “Loving Kindness Meditation” and it’s one of the newest health fads. Apparently it’s right up there with KETO diets and Yoga and fruit smoothies. Who knew? Apparently, this meditation helps with migraines, depression, and possibly aging. LKM is even recommended by the Mayo Clinic: RELATED: Mayo mindfulness: Can sharing kindness help your health? Kindness, or some expression of God’s love, is highly recommended in the Bible. Really, I don’t think it’s recommended; kindness is required. There is no other lifestyle for a Christian. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32) These words are instructions, not one more fad to think about. So does that mean the Bible had LKM first? Can the Bible make us healthy? Yes. And this is important for the Christians I know; kindness is an action, not a feeling. Kindness is not warm and fuzzy, and sentimental. You can be kind when you are not in the mood. The …

Christchurch, New Zealand Jon Sullivan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Guns, Bombs, Muslims and Christians

A few days ago, someone attacked a mosque in New Zealand and killed fifty people, by the most recent count. Now, the entire nation of New Zealand is in shock, and the Prime Minister has vowed to never say the name of the killer. This news moved quickly around the world, and now, a week later, a detailed account is available in Wikipedia: RELATED: Christchurch Mosque Shooting When I heard the news, I waited for the information that we all dreaded. What was the name of the killer? In crude terms ‘One of us or one of them?’ Did a Muslim kill other Muslims, or did the killer have a grudge against that religion? Even worse, what if the killer identified as a Christian and tried to pull the rest of us into the fight? I’m a Christian; is someone dragging me under the bus? Fifty people died in Christchurch New Zealand, including children, and that is very wrong. If this mass killing generates enough payback anger, more wrong will grow from the first incident, …

Church on Lake Bled, Slovenia Credit: Alex Krivec/Flickr/Creative Commons

Spiritual but not Religious? Yes

Have you heard about SBNR or SBNA? That means “Spiritual But Not Religious” and “Spiritual But Not Affiliated.” The Internet is full of blogs and videos about this, and it seems to be most popular with young adults today “Millennials.” RELATED: Spiritual but not religious So is this good for us? Should we run away from it? Is it the enemy of Christianity? Yes, No, and Maybe. I believe, if we want to talk about something, we should invest some intelligent thought. Emotional storms just generate destructive arguments. So let’s be careful and rational. True spirituality is not … 1) Dishonest Manipulation. We all know there are religious cults in the world that are controlling and dangerous. Imagine a person telling you that they are ‘Spiritual’ when they are not. They are lying to make you do what they want. That person is a religious sociopath, and someone we should avoid. 2) Ignorance. We might use a word like “spiritual’ to win an argument with someone, maybe our parents. I have been guilty of that …

Decisions Credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to Die in Prison

There is a news story developing, in Syria, that is very sad. As the last territory controlled by ISIS is overrun, and the militants face defeat, many people are trying to escape with their lives. ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, is described as a terrorist organization and it is accused of many atrocities. The horror stories have shocked the world, and now no-one wants the refugees. People who participated in organized evil against so many innocent victims, are not wanted back in their home countries. One refugee from ISIS is Shamima Begum, a young woman who is now nine months pregnant. Shamima left her home in England when she was fifteen, and travelled to Turkey with two other your girls, and then they crossed the border into ISIS territory to become brides of ISIS fighters. She was legally a child when she left England, and in ISIS territory she had two babies, both dead now, and she is about to have her third baby. She is appealing to the British government to let …

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Life is like a Box of Spaghetti

You want to see a man panic quicker than dog eats a treat? Ask him what he’s thinking. Men hardly ever ask each other this question and for good reason: Most of the time we don’t know what we’re thinking. I see the look on young husbands’ faces when their lovely bride stares at them intently and coos: “What are you thinking?” The right answer is always something like: “I was thinking about how lucky I am that you love me!” The truth is most men think about nothing. A lot. I better explain this before I got the boot out of the Man League! Men think in boxes. Take me for example. I have many interests. I think about one interest at a time. I like sports. I like cars. I like food. I like ministry. So when I am watching sports I am in my sports box. I don’t think about other interests. When I am in ministry mode, I don’t think about sports. Unless I can find a way to combine them, …

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So What is Cisgender?

I heard part of an argument recently, and one angry person accused others of being “cisgender.” I didn’t know the full meaning of the word, but I understood part of the argument, and I knew the words were spoken in anger. I think this word is new, and I know it is often used in anger, to identify people who are wrong and cruel to others. It’s like ‘fascist’ or ‘racist’ or ‘white male’, a description of people who discriminate and are politically incorrect. We should know this word. But first, I have a small detour. A few days ago, an instructor asked several of us an interesting question, referring to “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.” You probably know the pattern, at the bottom are poor or unhealthy people who are fighting for survival, and as we become more secure in life, we focus on higher priorities like love, and self esteem. RELATED: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs This was the question: If you were given a choice by your employer, which one would you choose? a) …

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But I Don’t Like You

So who do you not like? You could answer with a name. I could do the same in my life. If we want to use the word ‘fault’ it probably is their fault, and maybe they started it, that’s even better. Have you noticed how easy it is to dislike, and maybe hate people these days? Internet media gives us pictures and videos of people who need correction, and it’s always their fault, and they started it. We can correct the whole world, and feel good about ourselves. There is a popular video game called “Hatred” where we can act this out in virtual reality, and not liking other people is the basic plot of most movies these days. We can pay money in a theatre to watch the ballet of pay-back. In October of 2018, some protesters with different ideas collided in the same space. It’s not hard to see the dislike: If you watch the video, you will soon start to dislike someone, and it really is their fault, and you didn’t start …

New York City street Credit: Andrea Komodromos/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are Some Races of Humans More Intelligent? The Bible says no!

If you are a dog owner, the following information might make you unhappy, or maybe happy. Brace yourself. What are the most intelligent breeds of Dogs? And what are the least intelligent? Apparently sheep dogs from Scotland, Shelties, are some of the brightest, along with Poodles, and those long haired hounds from central Asia, Afghans, are among the dumbest. I don’t own a dog, so I can’t confirm my answers, but I believe that you are not offended by the question. So what races of humans are the most intelligent? And who are the least intelligent among us? You should be offended by those questions. I am writing this as a Christian, and I believe that God made us all in His own image and since only humans were created in God’s image, we are all equally intelligent. Questions about racial intelligence never come up among Christians, in my experience. “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) and …

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Is Islam Incompatible with Christianity?

Very recently, in a “town hall” meeting, a citizen questioned the Prime Minister of Canada, and stated that Islam is not compatible with Christianity. People in the audience booed, and I have since read comments aimed at the citizen, about Fascists and Nazis and intolerant people. RELATED: Trudeau stands up for immigrants as town hall questioner slams Islam I know the speaker had one big problem. He is an unsophisticated citizen and he was up against a skilled and sophisticated spin-doctor politician. My advice to anyone who disagrees with a professional politician, is to stay away from the microphone. We can’t compete in their arena. In the case of the Canadian Prime Minister, the citizen with a grievance became a foil. In literature, that means a mirror. If the citizen can appear to be bumbling and unsophisticated, the politician can look like a shining star of reasonableness, in contrast. The citizen’s concern will never be heard, and no-one will try to understand. Modern western culture is dominated by sound bites, and insulting put-downs, and bitter …

Credit: Mahmoudreza Shirinsokhan/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are You Lazy, Stupid, Evil, or maybe Anointed?

Español: ¿Eres perezoso, tonto, malvado o quizás ungido? Everyone believes. I am a Christian, there are millions like me, and the world is also full of other religions. Atheists, who don’t believe in God, believe in something. They have some way to make sense of life in this world. I don’t want to single out Atheists for special criticism here, but I am sure that they believe, just like the rest of us. It’s a human condition. The problem is with believers who become “anointed.” That’s a special status, in any belief system, where we become so convinced, we arrive at a stage where can never be criticized. We just know we are correct, and that means every dis-agreer is wrong. We don’t need to discuss it, they are just wrong. Have you heard of the “Vision of the Anointed?” Thomas Sowell presents the concept that we are governed by self-congratulating elites, the “Anointed.” His language is religious but he writes about politics and society. Many of the secular “Anointed” today have a PhD and …

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Fake Christian Conversion and Migration

Sometimes a news organization will report that migrants are converting to Christianity, and it’s obvious that the conversion allows them to make a refugee claim, if they come from a country where Christians are persecuted. As new Christians, they can say they will be punished or even killed if they are deported to their home country, since they have converted away from the approved religion. In Iran, for example, the only religious conversion permitted, is to Islam, and I imagine that means to the approved sect of Shia Islam. Saudi Arabia has a similar policy, and conversion away from Islam, apostasy, can be punished by death. There are many places in the world where conversion away from the religion of the ancestors, and of the government, can bring severe punishment. Many of those countries are Islamic, but I’m sure a Buddhist in Myanmar (Burma) or possibly Thailand would cause an offense if they converted away from the national religion. I don’t know if they would be punished severely, but I’m sure they would be criticized. …

Nativity Scene, New York City Credit: Gary Wong/Flickr/Creative Commons

Christmas Without Jesus

When I was in high school, we had a Christian club called BASIC. That meant “Bothers And Sisters In Christ.” Looking back, our weekly huddle in a classroom, with our dry sandwiches, was the first time I got to be a Christian without supervision. My older generation liked to control the kids, and religion was pushed on me constantly, at home and in church. We knew how to behave, to avoid criticism and discipline, but I think most of my friends dropped out of church as soon as they grew up, and they don’t identify as Christian now. In BASIC, we made our own choices. Maturity had to start somewhere, and I learned about Christianity that was just Jesus. The members of BASIC came from different churches, and some had no family church. I remember two girls from a Plymouth Brethren group, and they seemed to detest Christmas. To them, the season was filled with pagan symbols and idols and shrines, especially those decorated trees. I struggled with their ideas, but I learned that the …

Churches in South Korea often display red crosses. In what is described as Reverse Missionary, South Korean Churches are sending missionaries to the West. Two churches side by side in Suwon, South Korea Credit: donut2D/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have you met a Reverse Missionary?

Recently, a young man named John Allen Chau traveled to a place that belongs to India, North Sentinel Island, where the natives attacked him and probably killed him, although some family members think he might still be alive. The North Sentinelese have a long history of killing anyone who visit their island, and it is likely that Mr. Chau is dead. The government of India bans all travel to the place, and now no one can recover the body, or even identify it. RELATED: Missionary wrote ‘God, I don’t want to die’ right before tribe killed him Mr. Chau was a missionary, he went to the island to tell the natives about Jesus. His las name “Chau” might seem Asian, but he is from the U.S. Apparently his home is Vancouver Washington, on the north side of Portland Oregon, and I think he trained to be a missionary in Kansas. His story, and his probable death, have generated some discussion, like ‘He’s crazy.’ and ‘Those Christians are colonial imperialists.’ and ‘Why do those island people …

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Is Religion Evil?

Is all religion evil? Some people think so. Recently, a large number of devout Muslims met in a wedding hall in Kabul Afghanistan to celebrate the birthday of their Prophet Muhammad. As they were celebrating their holy day, a suicide bomber detonated explosives among them, killing at least fifty and injuring many more. RELATED: Suicide bombing at Kabul religious gathering kills dozens I am not a Muslim, but I sympathize with the victims; they were innocently commemorating something that is sacred to them. The killer was a fellow Muslim, but many extreme Muslim terrorists have condemned the bombing. Some really dangerous people are appalled by what happened. They would never take it that far. Stories like this just boost the argument that religion is an evil force in the world and it should be removed. One famous quote, apparently by Karl Marx is “Religion is the opiate of the peoples” but that might have been a common proverb in his time. My impression of anyone who wants us to quit something, is that they want …

Las Vegas Credit: Mr. Jason Hayes/Flickr/Creative Commons

Vegas and Hollywood: the truth

On the evening of October 1, 2017, a man named Stephen Paddock used a gun to kill and injure spectators at a country music concert in Las Vegas. You probably know something about the story, but have you noticed all the comments and conspiracy theories that have spun off from the incident; the story about the story? It’s interesting because Mr Paddock is such a mystery. We don’t know why he shot those people except that he made a decision. His background story gives us no clues, so we are free to make our own judgments. That’s useful for some people. RELATED: Las Vegas Shooting: Wikipedia A few days later, on October 5, the New York Times published an article about Harvey Weinstein, one of the most powerful men in the Hollywood movie industry. He has been accused of gross misconduct with young women who were trying to make careers in movies and television. At this time, it is fair to say the accusations have been denied, and any accusations are only alleged; but that …

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Show Me The Easy Money

I once met a couple who won a lottery. They were ordinary people in a small town, and no-one would call them especially good-looking or interesting, they were just the neighbors. Before they won, they worked at jobs, and the cost of living was low in the small town. I think they had children and I’m sure their bills were all paid. After they won, they invested their winnings in expensive horses. They did not invest in each other, but they had to travel to the bank together to take out money, so they still had a relationship. I don’t know how anyone can make money on horses, and by now the money is probably gone. My best advice is, ‘Go back to work, that’s where you were successful.’ A woman in Canada won the lottery, one thousand dollars a week, for life. And guess how she is spending her money? She is not into investments, expensive jewellery, or sports cars. I made that up, but she is not doing what we expect. She decided …

Wealth comes to China Credit: Jimmie/Flickr/Creative Commons

Have You Fallen From Your Car?

Recently, a young man in Russia posed for a picture, with him sprawled on the ground. His feet were near the bottom step of a very expensive private jet. This was a joke, pretending to be richer than Solomon, and owning a fabulous private jet. Most of the world would never know about this small joke, except that it went viral and became a meme, in China. Now, China has a fad of ‘falling out of your car.’ Typically, a young woman, in expensive clothes will pose for a picture, sprawled on her face. Around her head will be an arch of expensive things that only rich people have, like high-end phones, make-up, jewellery, and wads of cash. Her feet will be near the open door of a very expensive car, as if she fell while getting out. All the hardware and clothes show that she lives the life of a fabulous movie star. RELATED: China’s ‘flaunt your wealth’ challenge goes viral with people falling out of cars with luxury goods I predict this meme …

St Paul Minnesota Credit: James McLarnan/Flickr/Creative Commons

When Our God Fails Us

I am sure that everyone believes. I am a Christian, and that comes from a choice that I made when I was young. Now I follow and worship Jesus. Many of the people around me, including some friends, do not follow Jesus; but everyone believes. Everyone has a god. Recently a famous journalist in Canada published an article starting with the words “People my age grew up believing the world, led by the West, was becoming more progressive. It wasn’t and isn’t.” The title was “Lose your illusions. It’s an ugly, dystopian world.” If you read Mr MacDonald’s article, you might be offended. He has some strong negative opinions, and he gives out much anger. For example, he describes the United States and Saudi Arabia as “Republic of Dystopia, our southern neighbor, and the Kingdom of Draconia, Canada’s most violent and temperamental weapons customer.” He also describes the President of the U.S. and his American supporters as the “savage, braying president, and guffaws from the simple-minded flying monkeys he commands at his rallies.” RELATED: Lose …

Camel caravan in Saudi Arabia Credit: Linda Polik/Flickr/Creative Commons

Defending Saudi Arabia

Recently, a huge fight erupted between Canada and Saudi Arabia. If you have not heard about this, you are probably saying “What? Who? Why?” I worked in a large university in Canada, and I taught students from Saudi. Thousands of them go to universities in Canada. The female students removed their veils in my classroom and one of them forgot hers on a table one day. That was the only veil in lost-and-found, when I dropped it off. Canada probably trains most Saudi medical doctors in its medical schools. The two countries have a history, but it’s mostly friendly. Until the blow-up happened, most of us could never imagine those two countries disagreeing about anything. RELATED: Gunter: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince is just using the Liberals to look tough Conservative Islam is the religion of Saudi Arabia; there is no doubt. If you ask the what they believe, they will tell you, … and tell you, … and tell you; and they will try to convert you. That was my experience in the classroom. I’m …

Protests in Iran Credit: Javad Saharban/Flickr/Creative Commons

The New Islamic Revolution

Did you know there is a revolution among us? I don’t know if it will succeed, but it is starting, and it is huge. Check out this video to see the brave leaders of the revolution: In Bangladesh, high school students are protesting in large numbers, for bus safety. RELATED: Bangladesh teenagers demanding road safety paralyse Dhaka: BBC In Iran, mass protests are demanding a prosperous western-styled economy, without the restrictions from the Islamic revolution. RELATED: Iran protests spread to 10 cities in widest unrest since January: VOANews And in Sweden, a young woman stood up on a plane to prevent it from taking off because one of the passengers was being deported to Afghanistan. The plane did not leave and the man was removed, to be deported later. The young woman said “It’s not right to send people to hell.” Note that “hell” is a Muslim majority country, Afghanistan. That is strong language from a 21-year-old woman. RELATED: Swedish student stops deportation of Afghan man with protest streamed on Facebook: CNN Bangladesh, Iran, and …

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Migrants, Border Jumpers, Refugees, and Us

I saw something the other day, and it shocked me. This is not new for me, but I don’t like to be reminded that I am correct. We think we are good people, but reality can tell a different story. I have a volunteer contract with a famous Christian charity. I won’t name them and I won’t report what happened inside their building, to keep confidentiality, but they are famous everywhere for helping the poorest and most desperate. My job is to teach their staff how to write administrative reports, which fits some of my skill set. Two days ago, I reported for a tutorial session at a location in the inner city, and I was shocked. Outside, in the alley I saw several African people. Later, when I drove home, I saw more of them wandering the streets in our poorest neighborhood. My impression was that they were desperate and unhappy and they were begging for help from organized charities. The inner city is also called skid row, or the slums, and it is …

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Oh, you are such a loser!

A new buzz word in pop psychology is “vulnerable.” There is some good advice out there, and this idea can be good for us. If I looked at you and said “loser!” I would be rude, and you would take that as an insult. We learned that in elementary school. So, “loser!” I just called you a loser, and you can say the same to me. If we are not losers, we are failures. Every Christian should know the words in the Bible “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) That is the bedrock of our Christian faith. Jesus made it right, after we made it wrong. A few days ago, I had a meeting with an old friend. We talked about business and we also had time to catch up on our personal stories, like old friends. This man is a Christian, my brother in Christ, and he described himself as …

Woman wearing a niqab in Egypt. Credit: MezzoMezzo/Wikipedia/Creative Commons

Burkas, Niqabs, Hijabs, Chadors, Dupattas, and Christians

One of the biggest political arguments in the world today is about Muslim women and what they wear. Some countries, mainly in Europe and Africa, have banned or restricted Islamic female clothing. In Canada, the province of Quebec has introduced a law with some restrictions. There are many variations, but in general, women in conservative Muslim societies cover up, and I don’t think this is voluntary. It’s part of a religious lifestyle. RELATED: Explainer: Why do Muslim women wear a burka, niqab or hijab?: ABC RELATED: Hijab by country: Wikipedia This is not a big issue where I live, I think because we have cold winters and everyone covers up. Also, we have large numbers of Hutterites, German Christians who live on farming colonies, and Hutterite women wear long dresses and cover their heads. Now, large numbers of conservative Mennonites, similar to the Hutterites and with similar clothing styles, are moving into our country districts. Also, I live near an Ethiopian church and the older women often walk in my neighborhood in traditional clothes, and …

Credit: Rennett Stowe/Flickr/Creative Commons

The Fermi Paradox and the Dark Forest Conspiracy

So where are all the aliens? And did you know that science fiction is not really fiction? The Fermi Paradox, a scientific puzzle, was made famous by the Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi. The theory is that the universe must be filled with alien species, extra-terrestrials, and the paradox is that we haven’t made contact yet. Enrico Fermi is considered one of the great minds of the twentieth century, from the era of Einstein, and he is credited with the invention of the nuclear reactor. He also gave us the Fermi Paradox. RELATED: Fermi Paradox Imagine that Darwin’s theory of evolution is true, as it is commonly taught. Many millions of years ago, the universe exploded into being through the Big Bang and stars, planets, and galaxies were spewed across the empty universe. On one planet, among millions or billions, a reaction happened in some primordial ooze, and life emerged; living cells formed and began to reproduce from their own genetic material. Over vast spans of time, multi-celled plants and animals emerged, and then vertebrate animals, …

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Sanctuary Cities and Free Stuff

We went for a walk the other day, and I was amazed. I live in the city that still has American Elm trees, the Dutch Elm Disease hasn’t reached here, and many trees are almost a hundred years old. As a result, a walk in an older neighborhood is like a walk in a park. So, we went for a walk, close to where I grew up, and I was shocked to see that most of the houses were gone. I saw many construction sites and large new “infill” mansions, and some expensive cars. People with money want a piece of the older generation, before it’s all gone. The next day, I read a front-page newspaper article demanding that we become a “sanctuary city.” The details are, we must give free services to people who here illegally, and possibly hiding from the immigration police who want to deport them. This is a huge argument and I don’t want to argue right now, so let’s call them “undocumented migrants.” These people now want driver’s licenses, cheap …

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Jobs for Christians

Are you a Christian? Do you believe that God will provide? Do you know any Christian who is struggling to find a job? I know someone who is struggling right now and I have been there myself. I have worked in places where I never mentioned that I was a Christian and that I didn’t tell people that I went to church on Sunday. That information could have cost me my job, or I would have missed some promotions. A comedian in England, Tracey Ullman, has published a video comedy skit about a Christian in a job interview. The joke isn’t very funny, but sometimes comedians make serious statements behind the laughter. Getting and keeping a job can be a problem for a Christian. Most of my career work has been training people so they can qualify for employment, or getting them into schools where they could train for a job. At the same time, I had to get and keep my own job, and maybe get promoted. I also have good friends who work …