All posts filed under: Opinion

So Much Racism: How Many Ways Can We Hurt Our Neighbor?

Are you a racist? Just answer “no” unless you are. The great sin of our modern world is called racism. We don’t use the word “sin” anymore, and this new name for hatred is a serious thing. Some governments have threatened to cancel the rights of citizens who are openly racist. In politics, people on the political left believe that they are free from racism, and they like to assign the sin of racism to “right wing extremists.” That means, the other side can’t even speak because they have a label that makes them unworthy. This explains a lot of the political bickering in the news. We don’t argue about what we believe, we argue that some people should never speak, and our side should always get the microphone. In these modern times, we have something called “new racism.” This can be many things; systemic, personal, micro-aggressive, environmental, legal and there are many other definitions. Apparently, talk about the Coronavirus is racist against people in China. This complicated and poorly defined racism is popular in …

Imagine a Year Without Addictions

Most of us don’t know how much addictions interfere with our lives. I was raised in a strict family that went to church every week. The rule was, each of us had to attend something at church three times each week. I can complain now, but my strict parents raised me in a bad part of town, and kept me away from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. I don’t feel better than anyone else, but I am healthy now. I went to a high school where parts of the building were controlled by drug dealers. Only a few washrooms were safe and the people sleeping in the stairwells were probably high and unconscious. I’m a high school drop-out because I quit when a university accepted my course record. I was never a user; I lived in the shadow of addiction. There are many of us. Groups like Al-Anon are for those of us who live close to addiction, but don’t experience it directly. In school, I wondered why some of my friends were so thin, and …

Learning Womenese

It pays to be bi-lingual. I was born into a family that spoke both German and English. However, I was only taught to speak English. However, as a man, I think and speak Manian. And believe it or not, I also think and speak Womenese, the international language of women. I can think like a woman, if I have to, and I can understand their language and customs enough to get by and have even translated for other men on several occasions. This is not to say that women are better than men or that men are better than women. This is (political incorrectness warning) to say that men and women are different. We look different, we feel different, we think different, and we even talk different. That is how God made us. This difference is a wonderful thing that human pride and the forces of darkness have exploited and turned into conflict. And this is why we need people who at least understand both the conceptual language of women and the literal language of …

Can You Talk To A Criminal?

One thing we are not ready for, in Christian churches, is criminals. Recently, someone pulled out a gun in a church in Texas and started shooting. We all probably know that someone in the church had a gun and shot the shooter almost immediately. The highly skilled church member, with a gun, saved many lives. In most churches that I know, a criminal shooter could kill many people, and escape from the church. I have never seen a retired law enforcement professional with a loaded gun, in church, except in videos from that church in Texas. I have lived in a small town, and church leaders told me that petty criminals travel from town to town and go to every church they can find. They demand money because they are poor and need help, they claim. Usually they have a story about travelling on the highway, and needing money for gas. They get “gas” money from every church, and move on to the next town, and repeat. Some of them make a good living. Looking …

We’re Fantastic!

I recently did a Google search on fantasy. You probably will not be surprised that the overwhelming majority of web posts have to do with sexual fantasies. There are other fantasies that are way more subtle and way less guilt ridden than these. There are two types of fantasies in which we take part. These are not daydreaming which are usually short-lived imaginations about people or events. The purpose of daydreams is to escape momentarily from our lives and allow ourselves to visit the land of what-if. Fantasies tend to be either forward-looking or backwards reaching. In them we rehearse what could be and what was. They are either negative or positive and often include fulfillment of goals or visions of potential disasters. An example of a negative fantasy is rehearsing past mistakes. When your fantasy has much to do with the phrase, “I should have…”, chances are you are replaying a past event. Your mistake could be real or perceived. This fantasy reminds you that either you were wrong or you were wronged. Emotionally …

I’m Offended!

What do we do when one of our deepest held beliefs offend another person’s deepest held belief? In the world viewpoint we used to just go to war. Some cultures still do. Most just compromise their values in order not to offend. It is easier to give up truth than stand firm. In Canada, we have a government that legislates such things and tells us we are to compromise our faith and beliefs to accommodate others. The second problem is even deeper. When we are forced to compromise our values, we erode our belief system and eventually our world view is taunted as wrong and even criminal. Then what happens is we start believing these lies and the truth of Christianity is no longer perceived as truth. We compromise our faith and allow the world to determine what is right and wrong. Unfortunately, the world is a fallen place infested by sin. Quite simply, the world does not know the truth. How do we then hold to the truth without offending others? We can not. …

Why Does God Let Cars Crash?

If there is a God, why do cars crash? Why do people crash their lives? A few days ago, I saw a nice young couple. In my opinion, they were a good-looking young couple, and very polite. The only problem was, he was in a wheelchair, and I guess that he was injured for life. His young wife worked hard to support him, and I think she is a hero, but I didn’t like what I saw. Some terrible accident ruined their happy life together. So, where was God? I have more than one friend who is close to me, with something very wrong in their lives. It’s painful to watch, and it is not easy for me to trust God for them. I also have a relative in a town where I work some times. People I talk to know my relative, better that I do. She is famous as one of the most messed up people in town. Those conversations are embarrassing. I have this nagging doubt that nothing will happen if I …

‘Impostor Syndrome’: Are You a Total Fake?

Did you know that Albert Einstein was a total fake? I don’t mean any disrespect, he was a fake, if you asked him. Albert Einstein called himself an “involuntary swindler.” Successful people often have feelings that tell them they don’t deserve their success. It’s commonly known as “Impostor Syndrome” and it explains a lot of our bad behavior. We don’t feel worthy, and we have this nagging feeling that we might be faking it, swindling the whole world. I once worked in a university, and one of our senior managers told us she had Impostor Syndrome. I didn’t understand, but I did think she was too much of a self promoter. At her level of senior management, everyone had a doctorate in something, and they seemed to live by boasting. I was one of the worker bees; my job was to make my boss look good, and not to promote myself. I once asked what it would take for me to become a tenured professor. I still remember the disdainful response, “We only hire from …

Should Christians Protest in the Streets?

A few years ago, I was travelling in the southern U.S., and on Sunday I went to church. I found the church at random; they had a sign on a sidewalk because they met in a rented hall. I joined the small group and I enjoyed the service, mostly. When they made the announcements about activities in the next few weeks, they included the plans for a protest. They planned to meet on a street near a busy mall, and protest. I didn’t understand what they were protesting, they just planned to protest. People were told to show up early to get their signs, and to get the event organized. That was something new for me. I didn’t plan to join them, but they talked about it like a pot-luck dinner, or a Boy Scout meeting in the gym. It was just something that they did. So, should we all do that? Should Christians protest in the streets? In Hong Kong, where people have been protesting against the Communist Government, Christians have acted as leaders …

Transgender Versus Binary Thinking

Are you a feminist? [Answer yes or no.] If you answer yes, I can tell you the correct type of feminist you must be. You don’t have a choice. You must think a certain way. If you are on the team, you must be orthodox. If you answer no, you are incorrect, and you are the enemy. That is an example of binary thinking. You have the choice to be correct, and then you must be completely correct and orthodox, or you are on the other side, and they are always wrong. I used the word “feminist” because it gets attention, but any belief fits the conversation. I grew up with Christians who were binary in their beliefs; people who were proud to be called fundamentalists. As a young boy I learned to avoid all discussions in the house and play with my friends outside. When I became an adult, I wanted to be a Christian, but the choice was hard for me. I didn’t want to win the argument, I wanted to know God. …

Those People are So Stupid

We live in interesting times.  With the Internet and communication for everyone, the whole world is communicating, That means we are arguing. Someone has said that we now have smart phones, and stupid people. Someone else told us that we have this amazing Internet where we can discuss any issues without collective intelligence, and we send each other pictures of cats. And you might hear about those other people, and how stupid they are. “Stupid” is one of our favorite words for insulting other people. In the Bible, we read the word “Fool.” Jesus knew this, and He didn’t like it: But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matthew 5:22 Notice that Jesus used the word “racah.” That is important in the Bible. Where I live, someone just used the word ‘stupid’ to …

What is Wrong With Those Radical Demonstrators?

Did you know, we have a new normal? People are demonstrating in the streets, and disrupting our lives; and this gets them into the news. I remember the seventies, when demonstrations were common, but now they seem to be making a comeback. Someone must think this is a good idea. For me, and people from my generation, these kids are amateurs. I remember when every high school assembly was interrupted by radical students. I can’t remember one assembly that worked out according to the plan. One of our classmates liked to shout about “Acheemitka.” We eventually realized that some nuclear devices had been exploded under an island called Amchitka, and our classmate probably had dyslexia. It was all fun, and then we graduated and got jobs. Today, it’s all forgotten, except I can clearly remember someone shouting “Acheemitka, Acheemitka.” It’s like a song I can’t forget. And now we have the new wave of demonstrators: RELATED: Walterdale bridge blocked as part of climate protest: Global News We are used to living our lives without these …

The Cult of Environmental Activism

Yesterday, I was working in a small city that I will call Pleasantville because it’s a nice place, with clean streets, green parks and many tall trees, and where most people are polite. It’s a center for the economy of a large region and it has a university campus. It’s also full of retired people because of the low house prices. I’m sure you get the picture. I was in a car, waiting at a red light at a busy intersection, with another person. Suddenly, on my left, I saw someone walking through the intersection, and not on the sidewalk. That person was followed many others, two or three hundred, including at least one person in a wheel chair, and several babies. This was in a city where everyone waits for a walk light, and crosses carefully at the designated crosswalk, showing respect and courtesy to the neighbors. It’s that kind of place. It was shocking to see a large crowd walk through a busy intersection, even when the light was red for them, in …

Does Anyone Care About Jesus Anymore?

I am a Christian, but lately, I have noticed that no one wants to talk about that. I can talk with other Christians about our beliefs, but people who don’t believe don’t seem to care. When I just mention that I believe in Jesus, I get an awkward silence, and then the other person changes the subject, or leaves. So, does anyone out there care about Jesus anymore? Probably not many, but the question is wrong. Does anyone do anything for more than a week? You might know the name Alvin Toffler, the author who wrote a famous book “Future Shock.” The book was published about fifty years ago, which makes him a futurist from the past. He predicted that the pace of change would accelerate; change would come on us so fast we wouldn’t be able to cope with it. RELATED: Future Shock: Wikipedia  In the Bible, the mark of a successful prophet, or religious futurist, was if the predictions came true: “You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message …

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 …