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 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


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


The Norwegian state’s interpretation of the ECtHR judgments about our child protection Barnevernet

March 12, 2020

By Marianne Haslev Skånland
professor emeritus

(This article was published just days before two new decisions condemning the same Norwegian authorities. The new decisions will be the subject of the next post on this blog. – cr)

• • • •
The Norwegian original of this article was published in the newspaper Norge IDAG on 5 March 2020.
This English version is very slightly longer, incorporating some details which are not equally well known or so easily obvious to foreign readers as to Norwegians in the middle of the present debate.
• • • •

It is hard to believe that Norway’s authorities, and Norwegian jurists otherwise prominent in society, can have read the judgments from the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg that they express opinions on. What we are served up especially by experts on human rights law in media interviews, articles and statements seems heavily infested with misinterpretation, trivializing, stubbornness, denial, blaming victims, and attempts to explain away unpleasantness. Actually there are more variants and on several counts. Obviously the judgments have not made official Norway open eyes and ears to any extent. Yet.

Probably the most important issues are: the question of reparation, the question of the child’s best interest and existing evidence in research of what this is, and the question of truth in the description of facts. I hope to return to these issues at another time; in this article I want to go into the question of what the content of the judgments actually says.

A sporty game of win and lose?

When asked a couple of years ago why Norway has met with strong protest against Barnevernet, our authorities were at first used to answer: “We have actually won two cases in the ECtHR.” Then another was added. Then there was one case in which Norway was found guilty of violation of human rights. Then an appeal of one of the first three was admitted to the Court’s Grand Chamber, leading to a conviction instead of acquittal (the Strand Lobben case, cf below). Then the state was convicted in three further cases. Every time the question of number of cases comes up now, defenders of official practice hurry to say “We have lost 5 but have won 2”.

Expressions like ‘win’ may not be the wisest when spokesmen of the authorities use it about serious issues of abuse carried out against individuals by the authorities. I seem to remember that it was commented on by Gro Hillestad Thune, former Norwegian judge in Strasbourg. She said that the authorities present it like a football game. “5 against 2” sounds as if the decisions could go either way. Perhaps in order to suggest that Norwegian child protection is foremost in the world, therefore the result was rather accidental – the ECtHR might in those five cases almost just as soon have exonerated Norway, which was anyway just convicted of trifling offenses of a formal nature?

Norway’s attorney general was the first man out with such an interpretation after the Lobben judgment: He expressed that what Norway had been found guilty of, was that our courts had not explained carefully enough how necessary and correct Barnevernet’s actions had been.

Is it possible, then, to read the judgments in this manner?

A chronology and a report which are circumvented

Something the authorities do not speak of is the existence of a chronology here, one which is highly relevant.

In the three cases in which the applicants to the Court in Strasbourg did not win through with their complaints, judgments were passed in 2017 and in April 2018.

For the last 6-7 years, and especially after the internationally well-known Bodnariu case, several nations have found that European child protection is problematic, especially in the Western countries, and especially visibly in Norwegian practice. The Council of Europe therefore ordered an investigation, which led to a very critical report about European child protection with examples particularly taken from Norway. It was presented and passed with a large majority on 28 June 2018.

In the debate in the Council of Europe, the speech of one of the Norwegian parliamentarians, Morten Wold, was honest and quite courageous, supporting the criticism of Norway. Two other Norwegian MPs tried to undermine the content of the report with many proposals for amendment. They did not succeed in Strasbourg, but back home afterwards one could read a curious article published by the Norwegian parliament Stortinget, claiming the opposite: that Norway’s delegation had turned ‘the balance in the resolution’ into a victory for Norwegian Barnevern.

The European Court of Human Rights is the court of the Council of Europe, passing judgments which are in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). In September 2018 the Court published their unanimous judgment convicting Norway in the Jansen case. The Lobben case appeal came up before the Grand Chamber on 17 October the same autumn and led to conviction of Norway with 13 votes against 4. The judgment was ready in the spring of 2019, but was announced in September. Then followed judgments in three more cases in November and December 2019. In all three Norway was convicted unanimously.

(Blondina) Jansen v. Norway
European Court of Human Rights, 6 September 2018

Grand Chamber judgment (key case):
(Trude) Strand Lobben and others v. Norway
European Court of Human Rights, 10 September 2019

Grand Chamber hearing:
Strand Lobben and Others v. Norway (no. 37283/13)
European Court of Human Rights, 17 October 2018

KO and VM v. Norway (Ken Olsen and Vibeke Morrissey)
European Court of Human Rights, 19 November 2019

A.S. v. Norway
European Court of Human Rights, 17 December 2019

(Mariya) Abdi Ibrahim v. Norway
European Court of Human Rights, 17 December 2019

The 5 judgments coming after the report of the Council of Europe have, therefore, all gone against the Norwegian state. And notably, they are all about issues such as Norway having broken off children’s bonds to their parents, having cut off meaningful communication and the enjoyment of being together of parents and children, having prevented return of the children to their parents, having proceeded to forcibly adopting away the children. These are among actions which the ECHR’s Article 8 is meant to guard people against.

The report of the Council of Europe seems to have inaugurated increased understanding and concern in the ECtHR. The new Norwegian judge in the ECtHR, too, appears to have taken note of the alarm expressed in the report, and is said to have been active in the spring of 2019 in the ECtHR having taken up child protection cases from applicants against Norway – they ended up being over 30 – for so-called ‘communication’, i.e the Court asking Norway for an explanation. This is a step in the direction of a case being taken up for pleading and judgment in the Chamber, if Norway continues to defend the decisions made in the Norwegian judicial system.

More cases in the wake of the Council of Europe’s report

Some more recent cases seem to lend support to the supposition of alarm having been sounded in the Council of Europe and the ECtHR:

Pavlova v. Russia and Kungurov v. Russia 18 February 2020, Y.I. v. Russia 25 February 2020.

In the first two, Russia was convicted of violation of Article 8 because the authorities had, without going into the question of whether it was necessary, refused visit in prison by the jailed person’s wife, respectively the jailed person’s wife and children.

In the third case, the authorities had taken the mother’s three children into care and then deprived her of her parental authority, this also depriving her of e.g her right to visit the children. One child was placed with its father, the other two in a children’s home. The mother had been involved in drug abuse, but is living with her mother, who has also been willing to take care of the children while her daughter is in treatment. The children’s mother has taken active steps to get away from her drug abuse.

The judgment emphasizes that the state’s actions have hurt the children; they have strong feelings for their mother and grandmother. Russia has not tried to give positive help in order to keep the family unit together, such as letting the grandmother help, and has removed the mother’s parental authority from her despite the fact that she has all the time shown great interest in the lives of the children and has actively tried to contact them. The ECtHR also sees it as wrong towards the children to have split the three children up. In the ECtHR, a state has a wider latitude of assessment of the necessity, in particular situations, of taking children into care – a wider so-called ‘margin of appreciation’ – than it has in its further treatment of a case. But under the circumstances that prevailed in this case, Russia is convicted of a violation including that of taking into care the two who were placed in a children’s home – in other words, the state is found guilty not only of its subsequent actions but of the taking into care itself. The state’s action was not proportionate to the legitimate aim pursued.

In Cinta v. Romania, this judgment too from 18 February 2020, Romania is convicted of having, through court judgments, not assisted a separated father in maintaining and developing his relationship to his daughter. The father is schizophrenic but under dependable medication. Romania is also found guilty of discrimination, in this instance of a person suffering from a mental illness. The judgment refers, as one would expect, to the case K. and T. v. Finland from 2001, a case where the children’s mother was schizophrenic. That, too, was an important case, a Grand Chamber judgment, Finland being convicted even of the taking into care of the new-born baby in hospital. As far as I know, this was the first judgment from the ECtHR in which a state was convicted even of the taking into care itself.

In these four new cases, the ECtHR repeatedly emphasises that the right to family life is to be placed much higher than the states have done. The fact that helping the family is problematic, that visits are difficult or onerous to manage, that a parent has problems of drug abuse or illness – none of this is enough to relieve the state of its duty of actively helping to keep the family together, nor does it give the authorities the right to force the family apart. The judgments repeat that the authorities have a margin of appreciation in considering whether taking into care is necessary in concrete situations, but that a taking into care is always a temporary measure. In such cases, the state is obliged to work energetically to help in such a way that children and parents can be reunited as soon as possible.

A revealing past – and the future

In addition to the five cases for which Norway has now been convicted, a sixth case against Norway exists which is extremely revealing. In 1996 Norway was found guilty of a violation of Article 8 in the case of Adele Johansen’s daughter:

(Adele) Johansen v. Norway
European Court of Human Rights, 27 June 1996

There, too, Norway was convicted of having cut off visits so that reunion was at last claimed to be impossible. In the further development, it led to forced adoption away of the daughter, in spite of the judgment in the ECtHR. Since the judgmentdates from 1996, it becomes the most important of all, giving, as it does, a perspective to Norway’s child protection policies and the child protection legislation of today. Norway as not, in the 23 years since 1996, done anything at all to repair the offenses against mother and daughter Johansen and to change legislation and practice. On the contrary, even a superficial examination will show our authorities to have continued in the same manner, with increased energy. Very many families have experienced the same blindness from judicial authorities and legislators, the same resistance against acquiring proper knowledge and understanding of the basis of the reigning ideology, and therefore the same tragedies.

It remains to be seen whether the remaining more than 20 cases against Norway pending in the ECtHR will lead to more convictions of the state. It is of course possible that Barnevernet and our courts have in some of them made better motivated decisions than in the 6 cases for which Norway has been convicted, all of which show a total lack of ignorance of the depth of children’s emotional bonds to their biological parents.

In the meantime, the ECtHR in Strasbourg has notified Norway that it taken up yet another case for communication, and also that it does not accept the answer which Norway has given to their question, after the judgment in the Jansen case in 2019, of what Norway will do to put right the violations in the Jansen case. (Norway does not intend to do anything to give Blondina Jansen back any of her human rights.)

Our state’s preferred interpretation of the judgments against it is that we can continue carrying out child protection in the same manner, just as long as we explain more thoroughly how good it is. Our attorney general has probably fixed on some formulations of the following type:

from the Lobben judgment:
“the City Court’s judgment contained no information on how that vulnerability could have continued despite the fact that he had lived in foster care since the age of three weeks”;

from Y.I. against Russia:
“The domestic authorities failed to demonstrate convincingly that ….”;

or, from a press release about a case:
“the Government had not demonstrated that the use of lethal force had been absolutely necessary”.

My guess is, however, that this way of expressing itself is the ECtHR’s polite way of saying that they do not think the states have proven their allegations and that the ECtHR therefore concludes that such proofs do not exist. It seems doubtful to interpret e.g the last example to mean that the ECtHR grants that lethal violence on the part of the authorities had been necessary, and that Russia just had to be more thorough in explaining that it was. We furthermore know that while the Norwegian government, in the Grand Chamber hearing in Strasbourg in the Lobben case, claimed that Trude Lobben’s son had been in mortal danger in his mother’s care, this claim had been proven to be untrue, among other things on the basis of evidence from the hospital.

To return to the official Norwegian explanation of the judgments: Claiming that all will be well when Norwegian courts write longer judgments based on Barnevernet’s allegations, is hot air. It is the content of what Barnevernet does that is criticised by the Strasbourg judges. One can just read the judgments for oneself. Their contents are no so difficult to understand.

**

See also

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

– : Human rights in Norway – as low as they can go
MHS’s home page, July 2004

Lennart Sjöberg:
Adele Johansen vs. Norway: A mother fighting for her childnkmr, 30 November 2001

Erik Rolfsen:
Child protection and the emperor’s new clothes
MHS’s hjemmeside, 15 September 2015

Johannes Idsø:
Child welfare and the abuse of power
MHS’s home page, 19 March 2019

Jan Simonsen:
A little more humility, please!
MHS’s home page, 20 March 2016

Marianne Haslev Skånland:
The child protection case in Norway about the Czech children of Eva MIchaláková
MHS’s home page, 19 October 2015

– : Professional support for the Bodnariu family and other victims of Barnevernet
MHS’s home page, 29 February 2016

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

– : Dr Mengele & Co in action in Norwegian homes?
MHS’s home page, August 2011

Arne Jarl Hatlem:
Barnevernet – the CPS – equals merciless Norwegians
MHS’s home page, 29 July 2018

*


In Norway, if one of your children tells one lie there is a chance the police will arrive with a “Child Protection” agent, the children will be taken, and the entire family will be broken up indefinitely

January 15, 2020

American children Nikita (10), Elizabeth (7) and Brigita (11) were forcefully removed from their loving parents Natalya Shutakova and Zygys Aleksandavicius on May, 20th 2019. The evil will of the Barnevernet (Norway’s “Child Welfare Service”) has been accomplished. The children are now split between three different foster parents.

My understanding is that Brigita complained about her parents at school. She was unhappy about a disagreement she had with her parents. The authorities were contacted and the children were removed from their parents. Since the incident, Brigita has stated that she lied because she was upset with her parents. Her admission is not good enough to make a difference in Norway. She and her siblings are indefinitely separated from their parents and each other except for a few visits of a few hours each year.

“There was no court proceeding, no investigation, no due process, or assistance given to the family prior to the taking of the children. The children desperately want to come home but the Norwegian authorities won’t release them. Their main concern is the family is perceived to have not a good enough routine. No violence, no abuse, no drugs, just a subjective assessment that the family didn’t reach the standard expected of them.”

This is all standard procedure in Norway.

A fairly recent article asks: “Should your kid be taken away if they don’t like fish-balls? Norway says so” (Click on this title to see the article.)
The article starts with this family’s story and provides additional details of the horrific problem in Norway.
The article also references Marianne Skanland’s (a linguistics professor who has appeared in a few cases as a child language expert) compiled list of 71 reasons that child welfare services have used to make its case. (Click here to see it.)
I believe Marianne to be one of the best educated Norwegians on this subject. I’ve been fortunate to have her comment here from time to time. Here is one grouping of Marianne’s comments which have been translated into English on her website. (Click Here)

Nothing has changed in Norway. Worldwide protests against such behavior have made a difference in only one case that I’m aware of. Foreign government complaints have gone unheeded and some foreign governments haven’t done enough to address the problem. (The U.S. is one of these.) Reprimands of human rights violations at the European Court of Human Rights have been hopeful but have caused no real positive change within the country. The hope is that the number of cases being presented to the ECHR will eventually cause Norwegian officials to see the tragic error of their ways and force them to create an entirely new system built on common sense child rearing instead of “psycho-babble” (as Marianne would call it.)

I have hope for Norway because I know that prayer is powerful. I have hope for Norway because of some of the wonderful people I’ve met through my advocacy.

Chris Reimers


The Strasbourg Offensive…December 7th, 2019

December 3, 2019


Tor Åge Berglid is a man on a mission with a team of other like-minded people making protests all over the world. He is a Norwegian who has been very active in the attempt to publicize the horrible actions of his country’s “Child Protection Service.” Called the Barnevernet, the Norwegian CPS is government funded (like those of most countries), and it can be very cruel. It is not unusual for the Barnevernet to steal children from their parents in Norway.

Tor’s main goal is to unite people and he believes that “the focus is to lift other people up and tell them that their voices are important, to join into this question about what constitutes family life. Is God’s idea of family life better than the state’s attempt to do a better job?”

Recently, Tor and others represented those who are sick and tired of families being destroyed by the Barnevernet. In a national T.V. debate, he went head to head with the Norwegian Minister for Children and two other “important” Norwegian officials. Many, including me, were pleased with his effort.
Here is a short clip in Norwegian where one can get a sense of Tor’s passion:

Unfortunately, too many people in Norway are afraid to speak out. The percentage of those unaware of the problem is hard to figure since the government propaganda machine constantly spews out words of wonder about its child care system among other things. Advertisements encouraging people to become foster parents make the job look easy and lucrative. The propaganda drowns out the voices attempting to share the reality of the situation.

After having the recent privilege of speaking to and messaging Tor, I informed him that I would do my best to share my views on these developments as a Christian. John 1:5 states: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” In this verse, the light is referring to Jesus Christ. According to the Bible (the book of Acts) “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Knowing these truths, and that Christianity once held great influence in Norway, it is sad to “hear” mostly silence from “Christian” leaders and pastors in response to such tragic human rights offences.

God is a righteous entity who loves his creation. He is an advocate for the helpless and hurting. One day, all the cruelty that man has dished out will be exposed. Those who have asked for forgiveness will have been forgiven. Those who “did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind..” (Romans 1:28)

Tor’s statement is evidence that there are people in Norway who know what is happening and still care. They want transparency. I am in contact with others like him. They are still in the fight. They have not given up in spite of the fact that the current against them is strong.

Norway’s recent record at the The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR or ECtHR) is not good. They have been spanked more than once for human rights violations. More cases are currently pending at the court in Strasbourg, France.

What is Norway’s response? It appears that a new batch of laws dealing with “the Welfare of Children” is being worked on. My current understanding (from what I believe to be very good sources) is that the new laws will only make things worse.

I have come to the same conclusion as Steven Bennett, the British writer who published “Stolen Childhood: The truth about Norway’s child welfare system.” Steven, a Christian, believes that the system needs to be completely dismantled and restarted with new founding principles that really stand for the rights of every child.

See book description HERE.

It can be argued that the first institution created by God was the family. Norway, though a recent focus for very good reason, is a reflection of what is happening to the family in much of the world. It appears that evil forces are out to destroy that which God has created. One need look no further than recent laws passed by the Supreme Court of the country where this blog originates, America. The family has been redefined to mean just about whatever someone wants it to be. Sadly, this problem is increasing throughout Europe and the current beachhead there is now in Strasbourg, France at the EHRC, where the cases brought forward will test humanity in the consideration of how much power the state should have in family life.

I agree with Tor and Gro Hillestad Thune (who wrote the forward to Steven Bennett’s book) that the state should let the parents do the parenting unless intervention is absolutely necessary, and even then with caution.

I admire people who are willing to stand up for those suffering at the hands of those with unbridled power. May God bless Tor and those like him who have invested in the lives of families.

Please pray for those who are involved in organizing and raising awareness that the family is in crisis in much of the world. You may not be able to make it to an event but your prayers can be very powerful. We saw evidence of that in the Worldwide protests that took place in 2016.

“…let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” (Amos 5:24)

Chris Reimers

This video is only the tip of the iceberg:


“Drag Queen” in Maryland Library Exposed by MassResistance

July 25, 2019

“Drag Queen” in Maryland library runs lurid sex-oriented businesses

This reality was posted by Laura Tucker today on Facebook. The post stated that “Parents explode as Republicans refuse to defend kids from library drag queens.” The title of the article at Life Site News included information mostly taken from an article at MassResistance Pro-Family Activism.

After reading the article, I can see every reason that parents would “explode” about this issue. After watching the video, I was actually surprised at how calmly most of the parents expressed their opinions. I agreed with every single one of them and I can see myself “losing it” much worse than the parents here did.
I can’t believe this is actually going on in the United States of America. This library should have its funding removed until sanity returns.

YOU CAN READ THE LIFE SITE NEWS ARTICLE HERE.

YOU CAN READ THE MASSRESISTANCE PRO-FAMILY ARTICLE (COMPLETE WITH VIDEO) HERE.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

Chris Reimers


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