A reflection on the election

Here’s something to think on: what if Justin Trudeau were a Jesus Follower?

In Canada, we are mercifully past the latest election. Justin is still prime minister, although his Liberal party actually polled fewer votes than the Conservatives and didn’t win enough seats this time to form a majority government; it was shut out of two provinces and the separatist Bloc Québécois (I know: I’ll get yelled-at for calling them “separatist”, but if it walks like a duck …) has regained its hold on La Belle Province.

I’ve grown to loathe politics, and I try to stay away from them in this blog, but the thought behind that paragraph should tell you why I’m making an exception here. Our country is more divided than ever before, and no leader has emerged who can unify it.

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.

“And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”

Mark 3:24-25

Justin Trudeau talks about working with the governments of the provinces that rejected his party, and he has already picked a member of his own party to be his “advisor” on Alberta. But he’s shown no sign of reaching out to the people those provinces elected, and it leads one to wonder if this national division is reparable.

Let’s get real. There is only One who can unify Canada — or any country — and that’s Jesus Christ. Put aside cultural differences, traditions, identities and political stripes: if this country is to stand, it has to unify under Jesus. Without Him as our focus, the country will fly apart, just as we’re seeing in the United States and United Kingdom.

Jesus Christ is social justice. He is environmental restoration. He is women’s rights and equality for all. He is the rescue of refugees around the world and the provision God brings for our country to support them. He is prosperity, as we rely on God to provide what we need. All we need to do is seek Him above all else and look out for others, even at the expense of our own interests.

Why do I doubt that Justin Trudeau is a Jesus Follower? For one thing, when the Governor General (a former astronaut) publicly ridiculed people of faith, the PM did not distance himself from her remarks or point out that, as the representative of the “Defender of the Faith” – the Queen – she was miles out of line. Instead, he said something about “Canadians believe in the importance of science” (I hate it when politicians begin statements with “Canadians believe” or “Canadians think”).

But beyond that, the PM has shown a propensity for apologizing for things. Significantly, he has apologized profusely to Indigenous Canadians for the treatment they and their ancestors suffered over generations. But it’s one thing to apologize: it’s another to repent. Jesus doesn’t say, “unless you apologize, you will all likewise perish,” does He? So long as the majority of drug addicts in Canada are Indigenous and literally dozens of Reserves have unfit drinking water, apologies are not worth much.

It’s worth pointing out that since the apologies, many millions of dollars have been spent, trying to fix the water problems, improve the lot of Indigenous people and “reduce the harm” of drug use. But that’s the effect of politically expedient apologies: say you’re sorry, make a show of doing something, and get on with what you think is really important.

Repenting, on the other hand, means going through a change in heart. That change leads us to closer to Jesus and closer to God. When that is allowed to happen, finding the way to make things right and move forward follows as the night the day.

That’s just one example. The fact is, our country is severely divided, and there is only one Way to heal that division.

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Romans 10:11-13

Now, while it’s interesting to speculate on how the country would have been run if Justin Trudeau were a Jesus Follower, applying Jesus’ principles and teachings to his policies and statements, we know that’s not a reality of politics, and nor should it be.

Our country is divided; Jesus is the Great Equalizer and Unifier: but leading people to Christ and focusing them on Him is not the job of politicians or governments. It’s far too important. It’s our job to reach out to others, regardless of “identity” or culture or background, and share the good news, whether through word or deed. It’s something we all can do, and it’s something needed now, as never before.

When people bring their gifts wrapped in love …

Early in our project to build The Lord’s Rain, we endured what some might call a setback: we asked a wealthy Christian businessman if he would bankroll the construction. We figured that was a dead-cert., but he turned us down flat. In this excerpt from my book, God At Work: A Testimony of Prophecy, Provision and People Amid Poverty, you can see what happened next.

Chapter 11 (of Part the Second): Collaborative Caring

God’s blessing on The Lord’s Rain, the indications that this was a project He had ordained and was going to see through, came in many forms. You saw it with the tradespeople who stepped up to bring their gifts; like Murray Scott, who said, “My gift is to build and to serve”, or Brodie Collins, who had been baptized at the Mission some twenty years earlier and came back to handle the plumbing, and the people from The Oasis, which “just happened” to have provided a trades-training course the year before.

You saw it with people who brought fresh ideas, like Kathy K., who organized the towel drive and facilitated the “Nokia Toilet”, or Janet, with her dedication to Ladies’ Day. You saw it with newcomers to Christ, like Rachel McKinley, who found a means to serve through The Lord’s Rain and the Mission as a whole, not to mention her sister Abby, who had helped lead Rachel to Christ.

Danilo in the kitchen

You definitely saw it with the dedication of volunteers like John Sharp and Danilo Estrada, Gary Stephenson, Barbara Element, Ken Franklin, Joe (never did know his last name), Diane Brown, Barbara Story, Robert “Herbie” Lowe … I know I’m forgetting someone.

And you could see it in the fruits: the people who found hope and a reason to hold their heads up, rather than grovel under their situations. You’ll meet some of them later. Joanne (whom Rachel mentioned), Shannon and Brannen, Charlotte, Rudy, Ron, Gerald, Lance, Don, Darryl, Richard, Joseph, Jamie, Elly, Kris, Mike, Lesley; not all of them had miraculous turnarounds, but they came closer to realizing that the way they were living was not “as good as it gets”.

But money was a necessity, and God knows that, too. You’ll recall our early letdown when the Wealthy Christian Businessman turned down our request to bankroll the project. His assistant told us at the time that the company Board had prayed about the request and decided against it.

“We prayed about it” sounds like the perfect brush-off, doesn’t it? You can translate that to mean, “I don’t want to do it but I’ll make it sound like I’m obeying God,” but as the project unfolded, it became apparent that the board was definitely following the Lord.

Being turned down meant that we had to rely on a collection of smaller contributions. There were the large donations, like those from The Oasis and Don and Joyce Low; but others kicked-in what they could, as they could. Rather than create “just another service”, paid for by a single entity and built by hired construction workers, The Lord’s Rain was imbued with what I call a spirit of “collaborative caring”.

See, the Downtown East Side is a source of shame for the city of Vancouver, which prides itself on being “The Greenest City” and has wanted to be seen as a world-class city ever since it was founded (20th-Century edifices like the Marine Building and the Dominion Building were deliberately reminiscent of some of San Francisco’s finer buildings). During the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championships, a note taped to the dashboard of the shuttle bus, which carried dignitaries from a downtown hotel to Pacific Coliseum in the east end, instructed drivers not to go via Hastings and Main.

People do care, but the complexity of the issues – the drugs, the poverty, the discrimination, the lingering malaise from the treatment of Indigenous people in the not-too-distant past – makes them wonder what they can do. Many see that “leaving it to the professionals” has not helped the situation; what good, people wonder, would my money do?

But along comes a ministry like The Lord’s Rain, which is providing a basic human need: cleanliness. People consider that and realize the benefits that follow, and they say, “Aha! Here’s a way I can help.” As they bring their gifts to the altar – even if the altar is an 1887 brick pile in the worst part of the city – they bring their love.

One of the regulars, an admitted alcoholic named Bruce, told us, “There’s a spirit here. I love it here, man.”  

God At Work: A Testimony of Prophecy, Provision and People Amid Poverty is now available through online booksellers. Or, you can click on the link and order it straight from Smashwords, where their spring/summer sale is on through July 31.

Faster than the speed of thought …

One of the novels I read in my Canadian Literature class at Concordia University (Class of ’77) had a marvelous expression. I’m wracking my brains, trying to remember the title of the book, but it was set in the Canadian wilderness during the time of the explorers, and described how an Indigenous man climbed a tree “with the speed of thought”.

That turn of phrase came back to me this morning, reading Mark’s Gospel.

It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.

Then a voice came from heaven, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

— Mark 1:9-13

Jesus said to [Simon and Andrew], “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and went after Him.

Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.

— Mark 1:17-21

[And after He had cast out demons from a man], immediately His fame spread throughout all the region of Galilee.

— Mark 1:28

I count about twenty times — according to my online Concordance — that Mark uses the word “immediately”, in the context of Jesus’ actions and world. You’ll see the word a lot in Matthew and Luke, too.

Mark’s Gospel is more action-packed than the others, and he doesn’t refer to prophecy as much as Matthew does, or delve into Jesus’ character the way the John does. But he tells us what Jesus did: some say Mark did that to reach out to Gentiles and show them the unique actions surrounding Jesus’ ministry – casting out demons, healing, bringing people to His truth, for example; and through those actions, draw people to Him. The fact that things happened immediately is something that’s important to us, whether we’re Believers or not.

To begin with, there was no delay on the part of the first disciples that He called. He called – they dropped everything. Later, Mark says that fever, sickness, blindness, leprosy immediately left the people who’d turned to Jesus for healing.

And let’s think about the scene in that synagogue: there were no invitations, no special introductions “Today, I’m pleased to introduce to you a young Man who’s got a lot to share – He has personally ministered to me and it’s an honor to have Him here today. Put your hands together and show some love for …”. Rather, I get this image of Jesus, walking into the synagogue and crying out “Oi! The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”, then laying on them something like the Sermon on the Mount. Then, when He had called out those demons, immediately His fame went throughout all Galilee.

Now, “immediately” doesn’t say to me that people went home and told others, and they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, so that in a couple of weeks people had heard of Jesus.

“Immediately” tells me that something else was at work. That as soon as Jesus started speaking and acting in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit went out and started spreading the fame. After all, how fast does the Holy Spirit work?

With the speed of thought?

I’d say, faster.

At the time of the “Scopes Monkey Trial” – in which it was established that it was perfectly acceptable for a public school to teach the theory of evolution as fact – a book came out about science and faith, the theory of evolution versus Creation. It discussed the various interpretations of the Creation account, including the question of whether “day” in the description of God’s work really referred to six 24-hour periods. (I won’t digress into my own take on it, except to say that questions like this are put there to keep the conversation with God going and to make us walk in faith. We weren’t there: we have to take God’s word on what happened – or not.)

Anyway, the author posed the rhetorical question, If God spoke something out of His mouth into existence, why would that thing be so disobedient as to delay for even a millisecond, its coming into existence?

The fishermen dropped tools and followed Jesus immediately, because His presence brought the Holy Spirit into their lives. Jesus immediately commanded attention in the synagogue because the Holy Spirit was present (and even closed the mouths of the synagogue leaders, who might have been tempted to shut him down and call Security). And I believe the Holy Spirit carried Jesus’ fame immediately throughout Galilee.

It’s the same thing with the Holy Spirit and what happens when we ask Jesus into our lives. The Holy Spirit comes on us immediately. His manifestation in our lives may take a while, but He’s there. The change that comes over us – the salvation and redemption and new life – is immediate; but it takes a while, as we get used to our newfound identity and the power that the Spirit gives us.

Maybe you’re struggling a bit with the concept of “newness” in your life. Maybe you’ve received Christ, said the “sinner’s prayer” or otherwise said “Yes, Lord”, but you – or others around you – are a little skeptical about whether the change is real.

It is. Trust me. You’ve received Jesus in faith: faith needs corresponding action in order to bring results, as James tells us; the action in this case, is patience (Kenneth Copeland has said that faith and patience are the “power twins” in our walk with God). Comfort yourself in knowing that, when you say, “Yes, Lord”, your newness in Christ is a done deal.

It just takes a while; it takes reminding yourself that you’re a “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17), pushing yourself to behave that way, anticipating that your change in actions and attitude will happen, and believing – knowing – that the change is faster than the speed of thought.

Convincing your NBF – part deux

Originally published in March 2019

So … (continuing a thought we started yesterday) you’ve got your NBF (non-believing friend) to a point of “Hmm …” when showing how today’s scene, with its wars, terrorism, climate change, rampant, incurable diseases, and earthquakes in diverse places, was foretold 2,000 years ago by Jesus Christ.

But then, your NBF comes back with, “Yeah? So then what happens? Gotcha!” 

“Well,” you reply, “things get worse. Jesus says those are the beginning of sorrows. But then He comes back.”

“Yeah? When? Does the Bible say that?”

“Nope. In face, Jesus says only God knows when that will be.”

“Hmm …”

“Have you been watching the news? Scientists, saying there’s going to be a big die-off in the oceans?”


“That’s in there, too.” (Revelation 8:9)

At which point, you hand your NBF a copy of the Bible and say, “The thing to remember is, if the Bible called this right, what else is in there that we need to know? And the stuff in here is mainly encouraging — like, no matter what you’ve done wrong in your life, you can turn to Jesus, God will forgive you and Jesus will help you not to keep doing it. But don’t take my word for it. You can read it for yourself. That’s how much God loves us: He wants us to know what’s going to happen, and how to be safe when it does.”

You get the picture: point out the plain-language parts where the Bible foretells what we’re seeing today, and work on your NBF’s intelligence and free will to read the Bible for her- or himself.

We know how close our world is to the greatest Come to Jesus Moment of them all, and Jesus gave us our marching orders: lead others to Him, love others as He loves us, and keep crying out to God: “… when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b)

If we’re doing our job, He will.

Because it works: convincing your NBF.

Originally published March 9, 2019

One of the ongoing discussions in churches — ongoing for several centuries, in fact — is whether the Bible is the Word of God.

But one of the problems we’re facing in this century is the fact that, with worldly concerns like humanism and science becoming more vocal, we’re seeing a generation that has no concept of God. Humanists declare “you can be good without God” and many scientists have become so focused on discovering the secrets of life, the universe and everything, that, as Stephen Hawking reputedly said, they “have made God irrelevant”.

Translation: we can explain everything about life, the universe and everything, and anything we can’t explain is the result of chance.

So the challenge for us, trying to lead people to Jesus Christ, is not the question of whether the Bible is the Word of God, but whether there’s even a God to have a Word.

As with everything else that’s crucial in our walk with Him, God has made this one very simple for us. You can start here:

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

“For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

— Matthew 24:6-7, 12

This was spoken by Jesus 2,000 years ago, and written down not long after, and by more than one witness. Unlike other prophecies, which sometimes require prayer, contemplation and a lot of stretching to interpret, this prophecy is pretty darn direct: you don’t need to be an end-times wonk to figure it out.

Invite your non-believing friends to take a look around. What do we see today?

  • wars
  • terrorism (rumors of war)
  • nation versus nation (think “identity politics”, and how divisive that has become in our society. A “nation” is not simply a country, but a group of people joined by one or more common characteristics.)
  • Kingdom against kingdom (you can look at physical wars, or you can look at the kingdom of God against the kingdom of Satan (which you could also dumb-down to “the battle of good versus evil”))
  • famines (effects of climate change)
  • pestilences (diseases, like AIDS, ebola, zika and resurgence of other diseases thought to have been wiped out)
  • earthquakes in various places
  • lawlessness abounds (in the name of “individuality” and “freedom”, people are writing their own rule books: “if it works for me, then it’s got to be”)
  • the love of many grows cold (look at the way we treat our neighbors)

At some point, your NBF (non-believing friend) will want to say, “Well, that’s been going on for a long time!”, so here’s where you can point out that the frequency, concentration and intensity has grown. If they still waver, ask if they don’t agree that the effects of climate change have become more acute: very few science-minded individuals would argue that one.

Then, point out the growing hatred between people of different “nations”, and the lack of compassion for the homeless, drug-addicted, refugees and under-employed.

And then remind the NBF that Jesus “called it”, at a time when no one would have had any idea what He was talking about. No one else has prophesied with that directness and that accuracy. So if the Bible got that right, isn’t it worth looking to see what else is in there?

A Very Convenient Truth – Judge Not …

The other day, I was driving from my home into downtown Victoria, a distance of about 40 kilometres — 25 miles. Along the way, I passed (and was passed by) several large pickup trucks, some fairly new, some quite elderly.

When you live on the outskirts — or, as we do, in a quasi-wilderness unincorporated area — you pretty much need a private vehicle to get around.

But I couldn’t help thinking that people in the environmental movement would have a field day, pointing at those trucks (and even at me, in our Toyota RAV4, which isn’t exactly stingy on gas) and vilifying the owners for destroying Mother Earth.

And that, friends, is one of the signs that Satan has been stirring the pot when it comes to the controversy over climate change and the environment: judgmentalism.

“Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

— Luke 6:37

“Judge not, that you be not judged.

“For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

— Matthew 7:1-2

In my book, A Very Convenient Truth, or, Jesus warned us there’d be days like these, so stop worrying about the planet and get with His program!*, I point out that there are signs that Satan, and not God, is driving the debate. He has no interest in protecting God’s creation, but if he can keep God’s people at one another’s throats, that’s all he cares about.

The judgment that is poured out by one group of people on another is one of those signs. People in the environmental movement vilify those who don’t follow their prescriptions for combating climate change. They, themselves, get vilified for wanting to force their world view on others. (And they say Christians are bad for that!)

The judgmentalism cuts both ways, and divides cities, communities, neighbourhoods, even families. Generations are set against each other, with the previous generation being accused of ruining things for future generations — a specious accusation that flies in the face of reality. As I’ve said before, the past 70 years have seen concerted action to save humankind from itself: at least three generations have been aware, concerned and working to head off disaster. If that action has failed, it’s not because they’ve “let down future generations”.

Why should I worry about the future? What did the future ever do for me?

— Groucho Marx

Actually, isn’t that “[our generation] has let down future generations” attitude kind of a slimy? (There are other words I could use, but they’re not polite.) It’s like a basketball player who hogs the ball until there are two seconds left on the shot-clock, then passes it to someone else and expects them to make the play. Think about it.

I digress. The division in society that we’re seeing is actually another sign that Satan is running this discussion: a counterfeit (as opposed to an imitation) of Christ.

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

“For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’;

“and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’

— Matthew 10:34-36 (Micah 7:6)

The conflict we’re seeing now is an attempt to replicate that. Yes, Jesus does talk about bringing division and “war”; but the war is the New Covenant against the Old, and the “sword” is the Word of God, Straight, no chaser. This conflict is manufactured, with fingers pointed at any convenient enemy, rather than the real one.

The fact that there is so little understanding, acceptance that circumstances are different from person to person (why does someone live in the outskirts? Why do they need a pickup truck?), and grace tells you one thing: God is not being invited into the discussion.

What if we did bring Him in? Think about it.

*A Very Convenient Truth is currently going through yet another revision, and will be re-uploaded as an e-book in the next couple of months. But the message of the book is too important to delay.

The great mis-direct & the offense of the Cross

The other day, I wrote about the “big news” events in the world, and the possibility — the danger — that we can get so focused on them that we don’t see what’s really going on.

There’s the impeachment investigation in the USA, the election in Canada, Turkey’s invasion of Kurdish areas of Syria, Brexit, storms, fires, and other things too numerous to mention — all commanding our attention. So what are we not seeing through this?

Here’s something to consider: look how quickly the story of Amber Guyger and Brandt Jean, which could have been a game-changer in race relations and especially between African-Americans and police, faded from the public eye. Worse, follow-ups that I saw involved people who were offended by it. The Freedom From Religion Foundation complained that the judge (who, apparently, gave Ms Guyger a Bible and some suggested passages, as her own witness) had over-stepped her bounds, mixing church with state. The New York Times found some people who had been wronged in the judicial system, who complained that they didn’t get a Bible and a hug.

And so it goes. The Apostle Paul referred to “the offense of the Cross” (Galatians 5:11), and gives a clue later as to why the Cross should be offensive.

For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

— Galatians 6:13-14

The world, like the early-church folks Paul is referring to, wants us to live in a certain way and observe certain things; but the world has been crucified by that Cross, and the world doesn’t like it. The world is eager for revenge, and whether that revenge comes in the form of overt acts like complaints against the judge or in subtle ways, like diverting our attention to the signs of Jesus’ return, but not to the meaning of those signs.

The world wants us to focus on the symptoms, but not the source.

The world wants us to focus on anything but Jesus, and to make sure we do, the world takes offense at the Cross, knowing we humans don’t want to offend anyone.

Jesus knows that.

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

— John 15:18-19

So these distractions, these expressions of offense at the Cross, are simply a function of the world hating Jesus, and anyone who follows Him. Knowing what the enemy is up to, we can see past that, and keep loving people and pointing them to that “offense”.

A Very Convenient Truth – The 11th Commandment?

Without question, one of the hallmarks of the concerns over climate change and the general destruction of our environment is fear. It has been for a good twenty years, or so, and if you’ve ever thought that the whole “discussion” — shouting match, really — is un-Godly, consider this.

The continual presence of FEAR is a sign that Satan is pulling the strings.

I don’t mean Godly fear or the wise-as-serpents/keep-your-stick-on-the-ice kind of fear that heightens our awareness of circumstances. I mean the paralyzing, out-of-control kind of fear that makes us dread getting up in the morning and lash out at anyone we think is responsible.

That’s the sort of fear that Satan loves. Here’s another passage from my book, A Very Convenient Truth – or, Jesus Warned Us There’s Be Days Like These, So Stop Worrying About The Planet And Get With His Program!

Another sign that Satan has his hands all over this issue is the amount of fear. The debate is filled with fear of either destruction of the planet or economic collapse.

Fear is not of God. You could say it is the Eleventh Commandment – as Psalm 92 says,

“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,

“Nor of the arrow that flies by day,

“Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness”Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.”

(Psalm 91:5-6)

That being said, look at the number of times in the Bible that people are told “fear not”, just before an amazing move of God takes place:

– God first tells Abram “fear not” (Genesis 15:1) before announcing he will be the father of many generations;

– the angel Gabriel tells Zechariah “fear not”, before announcing that Elizabeth will have a baby (Luke 1:13) ;

– he tells Mary “fear not”, as he tells her she has found favor with God (Luke 1:30); and

– he tells the shepherds “fear not”, as he announces Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:10)

Think of it: a move of God is so awe-inspiring that people can be stricken dumb with fear. Indeed, when Jesus tells us about the events that precede His return — the effects of climate change among them — He tells us so that we will not be afraid, even though those things can — and do — cast fear into our hearts.

The fear we have of environmental calamity is really a sign that we are about to see a tremendous move of God.

Praise God, He has this all figured out and His plan is unfolding as He told us it would. When we let Him take control, we have nothing to worry about.

What’s really sad is, so many children are being shown to be scared of what’s happening and what could happen in their lifetimes. One wonders why their parents aren’t giving them that important message. Well, as we said yesterday, the god of this age has blinded people to the truth.

One more thing for us to pray about.

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation:

Whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the strength of my life:

Of whom shall I be afraid?

— Psalm 27:1


A Very Convenient Truth is currently going through yet another revision, and will be re-uploaded as an e-book in the next couple of months. But the message of the book is too important to delay.

Remember the mis-direct!

Here’s one for you: what do the current impeachment investigation in the US and the current spate of climate change activist actions have in common?

Here’s a clue:

“Keep your eye on the roses, ladies and gentlemen! Never take your eyes off the roses!”

When so much attention is focused on so little, it’s fair to ask, what are we not seeing, and why? Climate change and the actions of the President of the United States are important issues, in their way, but while we’re looking at those roses, we’re supposed to miss the rabbit and doves coming out of the magician’s hat. Why do you suppose that would be?

That’s not really a rhetorical question. Consider this:

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,

whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

— 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

While the world is focusing on flashy things like worldwide protest marches or one country’s politics, the fact that we are looking at the greatest “come to Jesus moment” ever is getting overlooked.

We need to be “woke Christians”, looking past the “magician’s mis-direct”, the arguments over climate change and even our own Schadenfreude at seeing the mighty fall; we need to keep our eyes fixed on the Gospel and remembering that our job is to “unveil” the Gospel to the ones Paul says are perishing. It’s our responsibility. It’s our duty.

“For in those days there will be tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the creation which God created until this time, nor ever shall be.

“And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘Look, He is there!’ do not believe it.

“For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

“But take heed; see, I have told you all things beforehand.”

— Mark 13:19-23

A Very Convenient Truth – a challenge and an opportunity

Another major action is planned for my city today (and others around the world, apparently): environmental activists plan to shut down the Johnson Street Bridge, except for bicycles, pedestrians and transit buses, to demand action on climate change. It’s hard to say whether they will win the hearts and minds of the general public by inconveniencing people, but they will certainly get to show off their eco-righteousness, all the while ignoring a key point.

The universe is unfolding exactly the way God says it will. He warned us 2,000 years ago and He’s been warning us since long before that. The events we’re seeing are the things Jesus said would precede His return … the thing is, He doesn’t say by how much they’re preceding His return … that is, His return is imminent, but there’s nothing to indicate that it will be tomorrow, next year or next century …

Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them, a sign from heaven.

He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’;

“and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.”

— Matthew 16:1-3

The fact is, we need to be awake and aware. This is not a time to roll over and wait for the Rapture: the events we’re seeing are a wakeup call not simply about climate change, but for us to get our act together in all areas of our relationship with Him.

Racism, violence, hatred, tribalism, terrorism, wars, earthquakes and climate change are all related. They’re not about CO2 emissions, fossil fuels or international accords: they are a result of our falling-away from God; our refusal to consider His word, and our preference to “do it our way”.

And so these problems escalate. Is anybody asking, “how’s that working for us?”  

God’s word makes it clear that if we turn to Him, He will heal the physical stuff.

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

— Matthew 6:33

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal the land.”

— 2 Chronicles 7:14

This leaves me wondering something. Why don’t the leaders of the environmental movement point to Scripture and the promises it holds — like 2 Chronicles 7:14, above? It seems like that is the one area that gets ignored by the movement, unless it’s to say, “Well, of course we have to take care of God’s Creation!”, and then run off to make more demands of politicians, businesspeople and ordinary folks.

So here’s the “challenge”. Two of them, in fact:

1 – to those who deny there’s a problem, and tend to be associated with the Religious Right, are you willing to take your head out of the oilsands long enough to see that all the signs Jesus told us would precede His return are happening in front of our eyes, and use this opportunity to share the Gospel far and wide?

2 – to the environmental movement, are you willing to consider the word of God above the words of David Suzuki, Al Gore or even Greta Thunberg and lead the call to general repentance for the sake of the Earth you love?

It’s not about taking care of creation: it’s about restoring our relationship with Him. If we do that, He promises to do the heavy lifting, and everything falls into place.

My book, A Very Convenient Truth, or Jesus Warned Us There’d Be Days Like These, So Stop Worrying About the Planet and Get With His Program!, is going through yet another revision. It will be ready soon. I’ll let you know.