Natalya Shutakova, Another Mother Tormented by the Norwegian “Child Welfare Services” (Barnevernet)

September 20, 2020


Back in May, Natalya Shutakova was interviewed by well-known American author, Erik Metaxas. Four months later Natalya and her husband are still waiting for the return of their children who were taken from them by the Norwegian “Child Welfare Services” (Barnevernet) for no good reason whatsoever.

This request appeared on Natalya’s Facebook page on Sept. 6th:

“Urgent prayer request. Dear friends and family many of you know our fight to get our children back is still on. This week Monday to Friday we ask you to lift up prayers as we go into yet another court. Blessings to all.”

It seems that the latest court decision will be made in a few weeks. The results of that court decision will be noted here as soon as it is made public.

Natalya’s children are American citizens. Like Eric Metaxas, I am shocked and angered at this kind of intrusion into family life in Norway.

Please pray that these children are returned to their loving parents soon.

Chris Reimers



Dr. James Tour and Dr. Stephen Meyer: Origins

August 18, 2020


My favorite contemporary scientist for years has been Dr. Robert Gentry. He went into the presence of the Lord in January. I respect him greatly because of the personal sacrifices he made to follow where the scientific evidence led him.
Now, among living scientists, I would have to put Dr. James Tour as my favorite. His resume far exceeds that of Dr. Gentry which in no way lessens the greatness of Mr. Gentry in my mind.
This is a very interesting discussion between two Scientists who happen to be Christians. (Or should I say “Christians who happen to be scientists?”)

Enjoy.

Chris Reimers


The Rapture – Four Most Common Possibilities in Less than 1 Hour

July 22, 2020


The other day I was talking to a young man about last days issues. It is a subject which is on the minds of many these days. The Rapture is one of the topics that usually comes up in such a discussion. Why spend time on the possibilities when someone with far more knowledge than I has made a concise video that does an excellent job of helping others understand the main four Christian views? Brother Dorgan not only describes the prospects, he does it in a very appropriate manner. He thinks that Christians should not be arguing over the different theories and his goal is to interest and inform those who never hear the topic discussed from their pulpits. He is not trying to convince anyone of his view (which he spends little to no time on in this video.)

I have studied this topic (the Rapture) enough to know that I do not hold a strong view in any direction. This video interested me enough to go on to view Mr. Dorgan’s next two sessions (where his view is spelled out) and I plan to eventually get to the final three sessions to complete the series.

I always appreciate kind, simple, and knowledgeable instruction. It is why I recommended this video to my young friend. If you are interested, I recommend it to you as well.

Chris Reimers

Currently, I hold to the “Pan-Trib” view. It will all pan out just the way God has planned it. In spite of my indecisiveness, I do think it is important to know the possibilities.


Social Justice…Isn’t God’s Word Enough?

June 13, 2020

I have been following the idea of “Social Justice” for some time now. Not too long ago these two words put together had a positive meaning. Today, the term has different meanings in the minds of many. Add other terms like “intersectionality” and “Critical Race Theory” or “Critical Theory,” terms discussed in positive ways even among some leading “Evangelicals” (I don’t even know what THAT word means anymore), and you have a recipe for the continued “Down Grade” controversy of Charles Spurgeon’s day (Link).

The “Down Grade” was a drift away from sound Biblical doctrine, something we are seeing a lot of in our day as well. I think Josh Buice did a good job of discussing the topic as described in the YouTube description:

“Intersectionality as a social concept has revolutionized the entire victimhood culture across the political and educational spectrum.”

This conference talk took place in January of 2019 and could not be more appropriate today. Because I have been spending time studying these issues WITHIN CHURCHES, I will post a few more appropriate videos on similar subjects below. There are thousands of videos on this subject so I’ve thrown in a couple of randoms.

May God bless our understanding of these issues so that we can be salt and light to those in world that seems more lost every day.

Chris Reimers
————————————









China Set to Pass “National Security Law” for Hong Kong Residents

June 3, 2020

Hong Kong
Photo by Ray in Manila/Flickr
(Click on Photo to enlarge)
At the bottom slightly right is Government House, constructed in 1851 and previously the official residence of The Governor during British Rule.

The development of new legislation aimed at the citizens of Hong Kong can be compared to decades of continued “Chinese Water Torture.” The constant and deliberate pace of Chinese intrusions into the freedoms of Hong Kong residents, is similar and more maddening than the torture named after the Chinese people (although, it probably didn’t originate in China…Link). The upcoming unveiling of the “National Security Law” will only make things much more difficult for the freedom loving people in Hong Kong.

Here is a brief history leading to the current state of affairs in Hong Kong:

1842 Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire at the end of the First Opium War.

1898 After the Second Opium War, British influence was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of Hong Kong and New Territories.

1949 The Communist Party took control of mainland China.

1984 British Diplomatic negotiations with China resulted in the Sino-British Joint Declaration, in which the United Kingdom agreed to transfer the colony in 1997 and China would guarantee Hong Kong’s economic and political systems for 50 years after the transfer.

1987-1997 The impending transfer triggered a wave of mass emigration as residents feared an erosion of civil rights, the rule of law, and quality of life. Over half a million people left the territory during the peak migration period, from 1987 to 1996 before Hong Kong was transferred to China.

1997 (July 1) With the end of the 99-year U.K. lease, The whole territory was transferred to China after 156 years of British rule. “One country, two systems” became a constitutional principle of the People’s Republic of China describing the governance of Hong Kong (and other “new” territories).

2003 An attempt to introduce anti-subversion legislation (referred to as Article 23) drew fierce criticism by those in Hong Kong who were concerned about losing freedoms. After 500,000 people protested on July 1 to oppose it, the bill did not have enough support to pass and was suspended indefinitely.

2016 Protests resulted from Beijing’s ruling in August that voters would only be able to vote for their chief executive in 2017 from a list of pre-approved candidates. (Timeline of events…Link)

2019 In April, an extradition bill triggered the first protest of many. It would have allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China under certain circumstances. These protests continued throughout the year possibly becoming the largest-scale political protest movement in Hong Kong history with organizers claiming to have attracted more than one million Hong Kong residents. (The Hong Kong protests explained in 100 and 500 words…Link)

2020, May 21 The Chinese Government proposed a new law on national security regulations that may be enacted in Hong Kong under the provisions of Annex III of its Basic law. It may set up the legal framework to prevent and punish subversion, terrorism, separatism and foreign interference.

Here is a description of the current events in Hong Kong by someone who lives there:

“The Chinese government is ending the ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement in Hong Kong. This idea is guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration. It is a legal agreement submitted to the United Nations. ‘One country, two systems’ means that Hong Kong maintains its autonomy (self-determination) except in diplomatic and military affairs. The Chinese government has NO RIGHT to involve itself in any part of Hong Kong’s self administrating affairs, including the law. (This is clearly stated in the BASIC LAW of Hong Kong…Link) The basic law, is a ‘constitution’ for Hong Kong. It states said that laws in mainland China cannot be applied in Hong Kong directly.

“Now, this new national security regulation legislation will bypass and override the basic law (as well as the legislative council in HK), and will apply mainland China’s law to Hong Kong directly. What does it mean? It means that China breaks its promise that it will not intervene in Hong Kong’s affairs (promised in Sino-British Joint Declaration). It means that the ‘one country, two system’ arrangement will become ‘one country one system.’ It means that the Chinese government will directly rule Hong Kong, in effect, stealing Hong Kong’s sovereignty. It is the same thing that the Chinese government did in Tibet. The Chinese invaded Tibet in 1950 and allowed for an autonomous administration led by the Dalai Lama. The Chinese government broke its promises and the 14th Dalai Lama had to flee the country to escape. What happened in Tibet is happening in HK right now. It is the same thing.”

2020, May 28 China’s legislature has approved a proposal to impose a highly contentious national security law in Hong Kong, in an unprecedented move that critics say threatens fundamental political freedoms and civil liberties in the semi-autonomous territory. The legislative process of writing this law will take some time and only then will it be known what the written specifics are.

2020, June 3 (TODAY)(English starts at 20 seconds.)

Predictably, the people of Hong Kong are back in the streets en masse. In the video above, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (a pawn of Beijing), says that the new law must be passed and states:

“The International community and some of the foreign governments have been adopting blatant double standards…(The U.S. and U.K. are mentioned)…why should they object, resist, or even condemn and take the sanctions against Hong Kong and the People’s Republic of China?”

The U.S. and United Kingdom on Friday urged the U.N. Security Council to take action against China’s crackdown on freedoms in Hong Kong — after China initially stopped the matter being discussed by the body…(Link)

Chief Executive Lam’s statement about “blatant double standards” appears to be directed at the U.S. because of the George Floyd Protests (timeline link). Some might think that the events in the U.S. are tied to some sort of communist takeover like the attempt occurring in Hong Kong. Just like the good protesters in Hong Kong (we are not talking about sinful looters now) most of the protesting occurring in the U.S. is nothing like the socialist effort in Hong Kong. The evidence of communist propaganda is evident for all to see.

The Future of Hong Kong

Apart from a miracle, this legislation will be written. The people of Hong Kong are very resourceful. Many facts about the success of the people of Hong Kong could be stated. One, in particular, summarizes the community there well. The last List of countries by Human Development Index (Link) has Hong Kong as 4th on its list. A country that is in the top ten in several worldwide statistics has the Chinese communist government foaming at the mouth.

So, how much credibility with the world will the Chinese be willing to sacrifice in order to “control” the people of Hong Kong? Hong Kong is not North Korea. We will find out what happens in Hong Kong. If the Chinese show themselves to be as tyrannical with the people of Hong Kong as they have been with people of different religions in their own country (Christians and Muslims in particular) the world will know. Will the world care? I know that Christians will care. Please pray for the people of Hong Kong. Ask God to allow them to keep their beloved freedoms. Ask God to help their leaders to have wisdom. And while you are at it, please pray for the people of China.

I would like to thank my Christian friend in Hong Kong for keeping me up to date on the things happening in his country.

Chris Reimers

According to Open Doors, here is the situation in China:

Region: Asia
Persecution Type: Communist and post-communist oppression
Persecution Level: Very High
Population: 1,420,062,000
Christians: 97,200,000
Main Religion: Atheism
Government: Communist state
Leader: President Xi Jinping

Sources:
Time
NYTimes
Wikipedia “Hong Kong”,“Handover of Hong Kong”“New Territories”
Sky News
ARIRANG NEWS
RFA 自由亞洲粵語 (Mr. Trump’s recent comments on the situation)
Hong Kong Free Press
BBC “Hong Kong protests: Timeline of the occupation,” “The Hong Kong protests explained in 100 and 500 words”
CNN
FOX
South China Morning Post
Open Doors USA


Careless Ease

May 24, 2020

Americans Are Excessively Eating, Drinking, Smoking Pot, Playing Video Games And Watching Porn While Quarantined (Link)

Looking 20 pages deep into a Google search on “Porn watching during the coronavirus” you will still find articles (like the link just above) about the increase in the viewing of pornographic materials during the times in which we are living. The video above was made by a Christian who once had a serious addiction to pornography. He is now the head of a 30+ year old ministry attempting to help those whose lives have been ruined by it. The ministry is called Pure life.

You can find the Pure Life story here (Link). You can find their statement of faith here (Link)(You have to scroll to the bottom).

Any addiction is debilitating, particularly spiritually. Addictions create bondage; they don’t create the freedom the person using such destructive behaviors is seeking.

So, where does someone who gets to the place that they know they are out of control go to start a healing process? The same internet that took you to the places that put you in bondage has many sites that can be very helpful. Here is one that lists several resources for sex addiction issues (link).
There are similar sites for any type of addiction.

“Addiction is when the body or mind badly wants or needs something in order to work right.”

The reason why I think sexual addictions are particularly destructive is that God created sexual relations to be a beautiful thing when the relationship has its foundation on an institution that God created: marriage.

You can find many places on the internet that describe the signs of porn addiction.

If you have the signs, I think you should seek help. The best place, in my opinion, to find help would be from someone who has been there and from someone who is a Christian.

There are many instances in the Bible like this:

“Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” -Psalms 107:19-20

Like all addictions, until a person is willing to admit there is a problem there will not be a solution. I am saddened that many Americans, and many throughout the world for that matter, are turning increasingly to destructive things during this time of uncertainty.

Chris Reimers

This is a good video that describes the true Gospel message as described in scripture. The Gospel message is the most important message. This video has helped many to understand it better:


Landmark Report Exposes the Realities of Norwegian Child Protection

May 10, 2020

Samnanger Fjord
By Aqwis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samnanger#/media/File:Samnanger.jpg
(Click on Photo to see the beautiful Samnanger area)

A report detailing Norwegian Child Welfare Service (Barnevernet) abuses has been published in Norway. Final Report-Investigation of Three Child Protection Cases-Samnanger Municipality, was published by local authorities on the Samnanger Municipality website. Investigators discovered incidents of maltreatment occurring there over several years. An official apology has been issued along with compensation, though the current mayor regrets that it is a very modest amount compared to the devastation to the lives of the families involved. The report is also critical of the County Governor (the state’s head representative in a Norwegian county) for not stopping Barnevernet’s actions. In 2013, he produced a report that identified no problems.

Initially the published report was freely readable and available for downloading. The municipality removed it from its site after a recommendation of confidentiality was made by the County Governor. After a meeting was held by municipality officials, those supporting the investigation results allowed for a few changes in the report and republished it back onto the municipal website. The Governor has written to the mayor of Samnanger, demanding that the report be taken off of the internet again. Apparently, he wants to launch his own investigation into the legality of the investigation and publication done by the Samnanger Municipality.

It seems that the municipality intends to try to litigate the negligent actions of certain employees. More than 20 million crowns (more than 2 million dollars by the current rate) has been paid out for “child protection” of the victim children: to psychologists, foster homes, and home visits. “Advice” was given to the parents before the children were taken and afterwards, in order to “help” the parents improve their “parental skills.”

The 71 page report is only available in the Norwegian language with the exception of the initial thirteen key points listed below:

Main conclusions

“The investigation has revealed that the child welfare service in Samnanger in the investigated cases on a number of points have been in violation of both the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Child Welfare Act and good administrative practice. This includes:

1) “Lack of writing and documentation. There is a pervasive feature in all three cases that the child welfare services’ assessments are to a scant extent documented. This is a violation of good administrative practice and represents a legal security problem for the affected children and parents.

2) “Lack of hearing of children’s views. The child welfare service is obliged to collect and consider taking into account the views of the children when when the children are old or mature enough to have an opinion. It is not likely that the children have taken part or had their views referred to and considered

3) “Lack of options reviews. The child welfare service is obliged to consider gentle alternatives when performing emergency placements. This does not appear to have been done.

4) “Lack of assistance. The Child Welfare Service is obliged to implement adequate relief measures where this is possible, rather than choosing more invasive intervention. This was not done sufficiently.

5) “Lack of reassessments when the situation has changed. The child welfare service is obliged to consider the case again if changes in the family situation have taken place which may be important. It is nowhere stated that this has been done.

6) “Failure to assess foster homes after taking children into care. The obligation first to consider foster homes in the child’s family or close network has not been complied with.

7) “Lack of justification for separating siblings. Siblings’ need and right to grow up together is not considered, and the placement of them in different foster homes is not explained or justified. None of the children in the three cases have been allowed to grow up with one or more siblings.

8) “Lack of culture-sensitive understanding and competence. There is no consideration for children’s right to know their ethnic, cultural and linguistic background.

9) “Inadequate supervision of foster homes. The obligation to follow up children in foster homes has not been complied with in accordance with the requirements of the Child Welfare Act.

10) “Lack of role understanding – confusion of roles. In Samnanger Municipality the roles as social leader and child welfare leader were combined in one position during the period the cases were being handled. These are two different functions with different tasks. In the present cases, it seems that the roles have been confused with each other, with unfortunate results for private parties.

11) “Lack of information to parents. The child welfare service has waited unnecessarily long to inform parents about child detention and emergency placement.

12) “One child has been completely deprived of her childhood through unwise public taking into care.
The child appears significantly injured after the placement.

13) “Extensive use of coercion and medication. Several of the children have been subjected to coercion, medication and disproportionate use of force.”

Final Report-Investigation of Three Child Protection Cases-Samnanger Municipality. (Link)

——————————————————-

EDITORIAL

Dear defenders of the family in Samnanger,

To this point the infamous Barnevernet has received a good amount of its criticism from outside sources. There were the worldwide protests in 2016 that brought thousands of people into streets on six continents. Just two months ago there were unanimous convictions at the European Convention on Human Rights where Norway was found in violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (My article about it is here). As Samnanger residents probably know, there are close to two dozen cases still pending at the ECtHR. I am also aware of many other Norwegian citizens who have been justly critical of your “Child Protection Services.”

I applaud the courageous leadership in Samnanger!!! Your determination encourages similar actions by Norwegians to bring justice and hope to others.

The Barnevernet has weaseled its way into your small population. I can imagine living in a town that has had the same population for the past 50 years (around 2,400). My guess is that a community of that size for that long is a place where people know one another pretty well. Something of this magnitude, in a place your size, must be having a very divisive effect. The County Governor is too late in his attempt to stifle this report. If he can remove it, it will not go away. A quote by Olav Terje Bergo is appropriate here:
“Efforts to make it disappear will be like trying to put the toothpaste back again into a hundred thousand toothpaste tubes.”
I am aware that the report has been sent to at least six different countries. As an official document of the Samnanger Municipality, it is perfectly legal to be copied and quoted.

I hear from your country that the coronavirus shutdown has created a constant drumming of pundits on TV, newspaper, and radio communicating that they are concerned about the “vulnerable” state of children today. The comments are meant to help Norwegians see that home environments are now more unsafe than ever because children are not around their protectors: school teachers, kindergarten teachers, health nurses (in the schools), psychologists, and coaches. I wonder if those responsible for removing children from loving parents have children themselves in Norway? If so, who is watching their efforts as parents?

I am also hearing that several CPS offices complain that they are receiving very few messages of “concern” now. Imagine that. They surmise that children are being treated badly and that nobody can really see what is going on inside the home. Children only have Barnevernet personnel to protect them now and the coronavirus is keeping them at a distance. At least there is one good thing about the virus!

God gifted parents with the abilities, delights, and responsibilities to raise children. Any government that thinks otherwise is foolish and sometimes evil. There are always exceptions but we all know the Barnevernet has gone beyond inhumanity in thousands of cases. There is a spiritual, natural, and moral law that states: “You reap what you have sown.” I pray for the victims and the perpetrators of crimes like the ones in Samnanger. I pray that those who have ears to hear will listen and wake up before it is too late.

Chris Reimers
Edited by Professor Marianne H. Skanland

Recommended:

The importance of freedom of expression, illustrated from “child protection” in Samnanger municipality in Norway (Link)

This post on Professor Skanland’s homepage gives additional details about the Samnanger report and states:

“Those in Samnanger who have fought for truthful publicizing can find support in judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) concerning freedom of expression.”

The article gives examples of ECtHR cases in Norway, Iceland, and Belgium. The ECtHR “makes it clear that not only do people have the right to impart information about important and controversial things, the public has an equal right to receive such information…it is necessary in order to have the kind of society we want to live in.”

America’s founding Fathers would have appreciated this perspective.


Why the Coronavirus and Why Now?

April 30, 2020

Photo by Yuri Samoilov
yuri.samoilov.online/.

In education, “why” is generally the highest level question that one can ask. Teachers are encouraged to use Bloom’s Taxonomy to create high-level questions. For example, instead of asking, “Which U.S. President, authorized by the U.S. Congress, sent the American military into the Iraqi conflict in 2003?” a teacher could ask, “Was President Bush justified in sending U.S. soldiers to Iraq and why do you think that?”

Here are several articles that I have read that relates to the title above and a few of my thoughts on each:

Is This A Judgment? (link)

Whenever someone comes up with 10 reasons to think the coronavirus is a judgment of God, like Peter Leithart does here, I’m curious to see what he thinks. I am not only curious about his thoughts, I always try to find out a bit about him. I have done both.

Mr. Leithart asks the question “Why?” and his 10 reasons represent his thoughts about his home country, the U.S.
Each one of his reasons is a possible answer for “Why?” and “Why now?”

Ask Dr. Land: Did God cause the coronavirus pandemic? If not, why did He allow it? (link)

In answering the first of the two questions in his article, Dr. Land states:

So, when people ask, “Did God cause this to happen?” the answer has to be, “No, He did not.” Why? The Bible tells us that “no one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). The Psalmist tells us that “the works of his hands are faithful and just” (Psalm 111:7) and “God is light and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

I particularly like Dr. Land’s reliance on scripture. I also liked it that he started the article with:

Whenever we seek to answer such questions, we must first express our humility, remembering the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” (Rom. 8:23-24 CSB).

Dr. Land has impressive educational achievements and yet he says we need to remember our position in relation to God.

Did God allow the coronavirus? Dr. Land gives an interesting illustration using the Rose Bowl of 2006 (U.S.C. vs. Texas) to explain how God views human history. (It is an article worth your time.)

Dr. Land’s opinion:

“Did God cause the Coronavirus pandemic?” No. “Did God allow the pandemic to happen?” Yes.

Also, he states this:

Can God ultimately redeem the pandemic for good? That depends entirely on how we as Christians and as a nation respond to this terrible tragedy.

Christianity Offers No Answers About the Coronavirus. It’s Not Supposed To (link)

This is the title of N.T. Wright’s article that appeared in Time magazine.

No doubt the usual silly suspects will tell us why God is doing this to us. A punishment? A warning? A sign? These are knee-jerk would-be Christian reactions in a culture which, generations back, embraced rationalism: everything must have an explanation. But supposing it doesn’t? Supposing real human wisdom doesn’t mean being able to string together some dodgy speculations and say, “So that’s all right then?” What if, after all, there are moments such as T. S. Eliot recognized in the early 1940s, when the only advice is to wait without hope, because we’d be hoping for the wrong thing?

Since Mr. Wright calls certain reactions to the virus silly and “would-be Christian,” what is his view?

Rationalists (including Christian rationalists) want explanations; Romantics (including Christian romantics) want to be given a sigh of relief. But perhaps what we need more than either is to recover the biblical tradition of lament. Lament is what happens when people ask, “Why?” and don’t get an answer.

Is a passionate expression of grief or sorrow what happens when people don’t get an answer? I would agree that the answer is sometimes “yes.” But Christians I know don’t get answers and still call faith “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” I’ve never heard one quote the T.S. Elliot version of hope Mr. Wright uses:

What if, after all, there are moments such as T. S. Eliot recognized in the early 1940s, when the only advice is to wait without hope, because we’d be hoping for the wrong thing?

Christians know the hope that they have. It is a blessed hope.

They are “looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus…”

I’m always concerned when someone thinks they have all of the answers, which is the tone of Mr. Wright here. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. He did use the term “perhaps.”

The article ends with:

As the Spirit laments within us, so we become, even in our self-isolation, small shrines where the presence and healing love of God can dwell. And out of that there can emerge new possibilities, new acts of kindness, new scientific understanding, new hope. New wisdom for our leaders? Now there’s a thought.

We become small shrines? What is that supposed to mean? I’m all for new acts of kindness and I’m all for new scientific understanding, but Mr. Wright seems to clash with himself when he criticizes “Rationalism” at least twice in this endeavor.

I understand lamenting and I verily understand groaning. I don’t understand Mr. Wright.

Where is God in a Coronavirus World? (click on the video link below)

John Lennox has written a book named “Where is God in a Coronavirus World?” Mr. Lennox is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and an Emeritus Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford University. I have not read his book, but I have watched this video:

I have always appreciated the views of Mr. Lennox and had no different experience here. John is asked, “Why have viruses at all?” I’d recommend you watch the video.

I could continue to share opinions and make my own speculations but the truth is, I do not know why the Corona virus has hit our world now and I do not know why. I do think three of the four gentlemen above have given good possibilities for these questions. The fourth view (that of N.T. Wright) is also a possibility.

I do know one thing. If I understand the tribulation as Christ describes it in Matthew 24 (along with other passages in the Bible), COVID-19, at least to this point, is like a mosquito bite compared to what is eventually coming. Many people I talk to think that we are living in the days of “birth pangs” described in Matthew 24:8. I think this is very possible. Whether we are closing in on or are in the last days or not, here is a passage that we all should keep in mind:

1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, 4 but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 At midnight, there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise ones replied, ‘No, for there may not be enough for us and you. Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. 11 Afterwards the other virgins came and said, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us!’ 12 But he said in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

This parable is stated directly after the chapter about the Tribulation. It is found in Matthew 25.

If I see any other interesting views on “Why?” and “Why now?” I may add them as time allows.

Chris Reimers

Related:

Alistair Begg’s Easter Sermon 2020


Thou art my hope in the day of evil

April 29, 2020

Photo by pol sifter

“Thou art my hope in the day of evil.”
Jeremiah 17:17

The path of the Christian is not always bright with sunshine; he has his seasons of darkness and of storm. True, it is written in God’s Word, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;” and it is a great truth, that religion is calculated to give a man happiness below as well as bliss above; but experience tells us that if the course of the just be “As the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” yet sometimes that light is eclipsed. At certain periods clouds cover the believer’s sun, and he walks in darkness and sees no light. There are many who have rejoiced in the presence of God for a season; they have basked in the sunshine in the earlier stages of their Christian career; they have walked along the “green pastures” by the side of the “still waters,” but suddenly they find the glorious sky is clouded; instead of the Land of Goshen they have to tread the sandy desert; in the place of sweet waters, they find troubled streams, bitter to their taste, and they say, “Surely, if I were a child of God, this would not happen.” Oh! say not so, thou who art walking in darkness. The best of God’s saints must drink the wormwood; the dearest of his children must bear the cross. No Christian has enjoyed perpetual prosperity; no believer can always keep his harp from the willows. Perhaps the Lord allotted you at first a smooth and unclouded path, because you were weak and timid. He tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but now that you are stronger in the spiritual life, you must enter upon the riper and rougher experience of God’s full-grown children. We need winds and tempests to exercise our faith, to tear off the rotten bough of self-dependence, and to root us more firmly in Christ. The day of evil reveals to us the value of our glorious hope.

Charles H. Spurgeon

When I read this today, the verse seemed to fit our day in other ways as well. The deity of Christ is under attack perhaps more today than ever. Just this week, I’ve stumbled across several different religious leaders who do not give Jesus his full position as God as the Bible teaches. (30 “I and the Father are one.” – John 10)
Add to that the many false prophets, prosperity teachers, New Apostolic Reformation leaders, New Age thought, Unitarian positions, cults, etc. (I’m not even including other religions here) and we have a time where Bible verses are twisted to make Jesus someone to fit personal wishes instead of the true Jesus found in scripture (Tota Scriptura).
We need to be familiar with the entire Word of God so that we are not fooled by these impostors. I think it’s time for all of us to go back to the basics and study why we believe the things we do believe. I think this because basic Christian Orthodoxy which has spanned the ages is in question (i.e. the diety of Christ).

cr


Radiant With Hope

April 6, 2020


“Amidst chaos and confusion, where can we find hope?”

Just like my church (and yours) Parkside Church is full of empty seats until further notice. Pastor Begg gives a sermon to his congregation through his church’s website. It is relevant to our times. The message starts at 16:45. May God bless you by His Holy Spirit through this recent lesson.

(CLICK HERE TO HEAR PASTOR BEGG’S RECENT TREATISE.)

CR


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