Hillary and Bill Clinton – zealous promoters of forced adoptions in the USA

November 29, 2020

By Marianne Haslev Skånland
Oslo, Norway
23 November 2020
Updated 25 November 2020

0.
In their political work, Bill and Hillary Clinton advocated early forced adoption of children having been taken into care by the social services and placed in foster homes. The ‘Adoption and Safe Families Act’ was passed in 1997, under Bill Clinton as president, promoting forced adopting away from their biological parents of foster children after only 15 months separated from their parents, if social workers (the CPS – child protective services) did not consider the parents to have ‘improved’ by then.

1. The attitude of social ‘experts’: Parents are unimportant

Pushing through forced adoptions in this activistic way did not come out of the blue. Propaganda idealizing the power of social workers seems to have been strengthened under Bill Clinton’s presidency. His wife Hillary Clinton was very active with her view that ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’, presented also in a book:
“In it, Clinton presents her vision for the children of America. She focuses on the impact individuals and groups outside the family have, for better or worse, on a child’s well-being, and advocates a society which meets all of a child’s needs. The book was written with uncredited ghostwriter Barbara Feinman.”
It Takes a Village
Wikipedia, last edited 14 May 2020.

Although she is said to have warned against too much interference by social service agencies into family life, I also remember that Hillary Clinton has in some context straight out agitated in favour of every American family being obliged to accept a visit (inspection) by a social worker twice a year.

An American article from 2019 gives an account of the ideology that the ‘professionals’ know best and take best care of children, the aim being to raise them to be the kind of citizens many believe is ideal:
“The ideology of the Clinton bureaucrats who worked on the law might explain its focus.
“What happens to children depends not only on what happens in the homes, but what happens in the outside world,” Mary Jo Bane, who served as the Clinton administration Department of Health and Human Services’ assistant secretary of children and families, said in a 1977 interview.
“We really don’t know how to raise children. If we want to talk about equality of opportunity for children, then the fact that children are raised in families means there’s no equality. It’s a dilemma. In order to raise children with equality, we must take them away from families and communally raise them.””

Clinton-Era Law Has Distorted Child Protective Services, Parents Say. Law Passed by Trump seeks to reform a system in crisis
The Epoch Times, 25 September 2019

2. What to do about the unsuccessful foster home industry

The CPS business of foster homes in America is large, but like elsewhere it is no success. The CPS in the USA is frequently said to be ‘a system in crisis’ or ‘a broken system’ and to have been so for a long time. This is apparent from the outcome of CPS actions, with results far from the ideal imagined by well-meaning psycho-social theorists.

However, the idea under Clinton was that early cutting off of every bond between child and parents through adoption of the child by others would bring to an end the unfortunate sides of foster home existence. Social services in the USA were keen to support the legislative initiative and the number of children forcibly adopted away shot up:

Clinton Hails Illinois For Adoption Record
Chicago Tribune, 24 September 1999

U.S. Rewards State Adoption Efforts
Chicago Tribune, 24 September 1999

Then the adoption train was made to halt for a moment, as the Supreme Court of the State of Illinois found the law to be unconstitutional:
Foster custody law is voided
Chicago Tribune, 21 September 2001

Nevertheless, the adoption-enthusiasts found a way around this:
“DCFS and the courts made sure to have on hand people who could make on-the-spot assessments of parents’ problems and work with “recovery coaches”.
And the adoptions continued:
Heeding the call to adopt
Chicago Tribune, 20 October 2003

The programmatic believers in the 1997 law recognised that foster home arrangements are usually not very good for children, and certainly not in the long run. Whether wiping out the biological family is a cure, is nevertheless quite a question, in the light of the comprehensive evidence available about serious problems for all parties in a considerable number of cases, not only for the biological parents deprived of their children but also of the adopted children and actually of adoptive parents as well – not only in forced adoptions. (The little bibliography here can perhaps be a start for those not familiar with the facts already; it lists a few items out of a rich literature: Is biological kinship irrelevant for the life of human beings?.)

So the question is: Why do the ‘expert’ authorities, the CPS themselves, politicians who support the CPS, shut their eyes to these realities? They seem so firmly one-sided that the answer is probably that the system draws on other sources in addition to a wayward ideology of ‘the child’s best interest’. And indeed there are such additional sources and factors, such as the satisfaction drawn from power over others, that of belonging to a large set of benefactors to society, the security of being approved by leading authorities, and the large number of people involved in the sector financially.

3. Some ideological background

The favoured way of thinking behind the development in the Clinton era is found in other countries too. Trends in social work are rather international (The attitude of social professions involved in the child protection sector). In the area of forced adoption, cf the rather similar conditions in Britain to what has been taking place in the USA:
How social services are paid bonuses to snatch babies for adoption
Mail Online (Daily Mail), 31 January 2008

The child protection systems in Western countries operate on the basis of ideological, would-be scientific, psychological notions claiming that children are really better off when raised by or chiefly influenced by ‘ideal’ caretakers appointed by ‘experts’ and not by their faulty parents. A concomitant is that ousting the parents has supposedly little negative effect for the child.

The belief is essentially that all that matters in life from childhood to adult age, including feelings and ideas as well as behaviour, is formed more or less deterministically by the environment, primarily the social and material environment, and can therefore be modified at will by those in power dictating how a child’s environment is to be formed and restricted. A companion argument holds that assuming biology to be a cause of behaviour and of mental life is unscientific. A lot of evidence exists showing that this idea of biology and of science is untenable. It has, however, been widely held, in several waves of social thinking at least in the last 300 years.

Such a philosophy, simplifying the view (if not the actual understanding) of life and individuals, has of course been prominent in communist and socialist thinking, albeit with fluctuating strength in different periods, as the more extreme consequences turned out to be impracticable. But practically the same ideas are also found in politically quite conservative circles.

The line of reasoning about society has been observed in England and France at least from the Age of Enlightenment, the time before and around the French revolution, cf H.N. Brailsford (1913): Shelley, Godwin and their circle (Oxford University Press) (cf here, here and here). An important new surge in favour of environment at the expense of and even counter to biology can be found around 1900, starting in America particularly in psychology and social anthropology, cf How Norwegian experts came to reject biological kinship as relevant in child welfare policy. It has through the 1900s been, and still is, evident in much of linguistics and language teaching, even from leading linguists who claim to be ‘mentalists’ and ‘innate-ists’.

As clear an exposition as any of the materialistic, environmental-deterministic ideology regarding ‘the best interest of the child’ can be found in a recommendation to the Norwegian parliament in 2012 to demote ‘the biological principle’ in legislation and practice concerning children, especially that relating to the CPS taking children into care and declaring the child-parent relationship permanently nullified:

The Raundalen Committee’s evaluation of the biological principle, Recommendation NOU 2012-5, and the presentation of the Recommendation

This legislative proposal was no bombshell when it came; rather it represented the formalization of trends in social and psychological ideology consciously spread and strengthened through propaganda over a long time. The lack of realization is evident – realization that there is something more, something other than learning and environmental influence at the basis of children’s impulse to be with their own parents. An American friend when reading the explanations of the Raundalen Committee was struck by the deliberate rejection of any belief of biological bonds having a natural cause. He wrote to me: “I read the names and titles of these committee members and I thought, ‘Just who do these people think they are?’” The answer is: They are mostly leading members of the official Norwegian establishment of state authorized ‘child experts’, and with this authorization they believe they are the ones who know best and can diagnose and evaluate everything.

Another authority in Norway is the leader of the state’s professional committee for adoptions. Private adoptions are not allowed in Norway, so this committee holds great powers, and its leader is listened to with respect by makers of legislation. In the 1990s the leader was psychologist Karen Hassel. In a tv interview in 2001 she emphasized that adoptive relationships were very problematic indeed, often with years of rejection of the adoptive parents by the adopted child. About 4 months later she testified in court in a forced adoption case, and managed to say the opposite: that this adoption was no trouble at all and strongly to be recommended, without explaining the relationship between that particular adoption and those she had warned about on tv.

The situation here in Norway, then, is perhaps much the same as I find dominating in the policies of the Clintons in the USA, just more one-sidedly accepted in Norway? No one reading the Raundalen committee’s recommendations needs to be surprised at the impossibility of debating with the members of the Committee or their supporters. Nor is it surprising that the development since 2012 has been characterized by a continued belief within the CPS that their breaking up of families is in children’s best interest, likewise that the county welfare boards (making the initial approvals of taking children into care) and the courts support them, to the despair of the very large majority of parents and children in the hands of the CPS.

4. The result of the Clinton administration’s ‘Adoption and Safe Families Act’

So a factor is money. As the Chicago Tribune articles as well as the one in The Epoch Times show, Clinton’s law created special ‘financial incentives’ to agencies for each child adopted out of foster care. There was apparently no reason then to stop when the children in care had been adopted away. On the contrary, there was reason for the CPS to go ahead and take new children into foster care, to be the next to be adopted away, with a generous government check as a reward.

In other words, the number of children taken into care did not go down as a result of the Clinton initiative, quite the contrary, the 1997 law “sparking a lucrative government-run business of child removal” (Clinton-Era Law Has Distorted …).

Keeping a child away from its parents for 15 months, with the kind of laws and rules the CPS possess, is child’s play. There is evidence in the USA as in other countries that social work establishments’ own actions and what they consider necessary changes in the lives of parents tend to take up a very long time, if demanded changes are even so concrete and sensible that parents can comply with them in the real world. The demands of the CPS can also make a family’s practical life impossible. CPS ‘diagnoses’ on the spot and ‘recovery coaches’ are unlikely to compensate for a child’s loss of its family, especially when surrounded by professionals who have no notion of the loss of family being a fundamental problem.

Let alone that far from every removal of a child from its parents is responsible and necessary from the start. The less real reason there has been for taking a child into care, the more the CPS will make demands that do not really help the child, and will resist letting go, since that would take away their power and tend to expose their actions from the beginning to have been unjustified. So once a child is taken into public care, it tends to stay in the system and be a factor supporting the CPS’s demands for more resources.

The action taken by the Trump administration, as described by The Epoch Times, seems to have hit the CPS effectively by clamping down on the money paid out to the CPS for breaking up families – viz on the very point the CPS is probably most keen to protect: “President Donald Trump’s Family First Prevention Services Act—which he passed by attaching it to a February 2018 spending bill”. With Joe Biden most likely heading for the White House, a real concern for American families targeted by the CPS will probably be whether his administration will revert to the Clintons’ idea of children and their needs. Policies regarding the taking of children into care and what happens to them are not usually a major political concern to the general population in a country, but for those who are hit by destructive CPS actions it is different – being forcibly separated from their family is a fundamental tragedy in the core of their hearts and their lives.

5. A different understanding of the needs of children

Scientific studies show that not foster care, not adoption, but a third option is far superior to them, even when the biological family is far from ideal.

THE EVIDENCE IS IN
Foster Care vs. Keeping Families Together: The Definitive Studies

National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, September 2015

Rethinking foster care: Molly McGrath Tierney at TEDxBaltimore 2014
TEDx Talks, on youtube, 27 February 2014

Literature about it has appeared in most countries. Also well-known: Although adoption as well as foster care are realized to be problematic, there is no will in social service circles to go to the core of what is wrong; instead they want to keep on doing variants of the same, and calling for ‘more research’. Much the same goes for the people researching these topics; they are themselves perhaps close to the ones who would be out of a job or would have to re-train completely if social services for children were re-cast. At the same time the amount of lying, in case work and in the courts, on the part of the social services in countries practicing these ideas of children’s needs, is striking, and is in itself a symptom of a system and an ideology failing deeply.

There have over the years been plenty of studies in the USA as well as in Europe showing most of what we need to know. There have also been many individuals and NGOs in the USA whose information has reached us here in Europe, as they have carried out excellent documentation and have published on the internet and elsewhere about abuses by the social services against families. An example is Fight CPS: Child Protective Services-CPS-False Accusations, which has been running for several decades, under Linda Martin’s well-informed leadership. It cannot be emphasized often enough how important information and the freedom of expression are in the work to combat a CPS system with unwarranted power.

Local, political initiatives to turn things the right way are certainly also found. Nancy Schafer, a senator in Georgia, did not shy away:
Nancy Schafer exposes the EVIL CPS
Constitution Man, on youtube, 14 April 2009

Chris Reimers in Arkansas wrote this about an initiative to reunite children with their parents which had been partly successful (cf comments to Natalya Shutakova, Another Mother Tormented by the Norwegian “Child Welfare Services” (Barnevernet)):
“a local politician has recently been able to get legislation passed in our state assembly that would help situations like Natalya’s to be avoided.”
Here is how:
“….. In the case of the local politician I’ve mentioned, it took three things:
1) People who were not afraid to tell their stories to the man who represented them in Little Rock, and
2) A man (in this case State Senator Alan Clark) who was willing to listen to them, take them seriously, and craft legislation that would uphold parental rights in certain cases. There were two new laws crafted, and only one of the two passed into law. Still, progress was made.
3) It took a group of lawmakers who would pass such a law.
It seems a minority of American representatives are willing to spend so much time on issues like these but there are some. It also seems like Norway would get stopped, in almost all cases, by the second and third requirements listed.”

**

See also

Siv Westerberg:
Foster-children as lucrative business
MHS’s home page, February 2005 / 25 January 2014

– : Child prisons? In Sweden?
MHS’s home page, 1995, 1998, 2006, 28 December 2018

– : Norway and Sweden – where inhuman rights prevail
MHS’s home page, 7 May 2012 / 11 November 2017

Senators want to see Children and Youth Services reform
Fox56, 27 March 2018

Connie Reguli:
Breaking up families in the name of child protection
Sunday Guardian, 13 October 2018

Do criminals have more rights than parents in Tennessee?
News Channel 9 (Fox 17 News), 14 November 2017

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
Separating children from their parents – is Norway better than the USA?
MHS’s home page, 16 July 2018

– : Demonstrations abroad against Norwegian child protection (CPS) – Barnevernet
MHS’s home page, 8 – 10 January 2016

– : Canadian documentary about child protection
MHS’s home page, 11 September 2013

– : The Council of Europe with a critical report on European child protection systems
MHS’s home page, 4 July 2018

Hemming threatens to name social workers in Parliament
Liberal Democrat Voice (UK), 7 January 2007

Jan Simonsen:
Rock hard criticism of Norwegian child protection from the president of the Czech Republic
MHS’s home page, 10 February, 2015

Article series about child protection published in Sunday Guardian in India
Series overview with links
MHS’s home page, 17 December 2017 –

Suranya Aiyar:
Family must come first
MHS’s home page, 14 February 2013 / 17 October 2015

– : Understanding and Responding to Child Confiscation by Social Service Agencies
MHS’s home page, 9 May 2012 / 20 September 2017

Octavian D. Curpas:
With Barnevernet, Norway is going South
MHS’s home page, 1 September 2016

Jan Pedersen:
The children of the state – The Norwegian child protection agency, Barnevernet, has created a society of fear
MHS’s home page, 27 November 2017

familien-er-samlet (the-family-is-together):
Flight, exile and taking chances
MHS’s home page, 11 November 2020


I Hear the Words of Love

November 28, 2020

“My people shall dwell in quiet resting places.”
Isaiah 32:18

Peace and rest belong not to the unregenerate, they are the peculiar possession of the Lord’s people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation. Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that his words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of his word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of his grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter. The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of his people, and when we draw near to him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to him to be the return of peace to our spirits.

“I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood,

I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.

‘Tis everlasting peace, sure as Jehovah’s name,

‘Tis stable as his steadfast throne, for evermore the same:

The clouds may go and come, and storms may sweep my sky,

This blood-sealed friendship changes not, the cross is ever nigh.”

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892)

(Mr. Spurgeon finished this devotion with a portion of the Hymn “I Hear the Words of Love” by Horatius Bonar.)

See the words of the entire Hymn HERE.

HERE is a “cleaner” version with eight of the ten original verses.


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:


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 relate 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


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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