I’m a bit of a superhero movie nerd. I watch them over and over. I watched Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man so many times that the VHS tape wore out. I own Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the Iron Man trilogy and have watched both several times. With the advent of Netflix, I can binge-watch movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as many times as I want without even leaving my chair to switch from one movie to the next (assuming I can find the remote).
X-Men: Days of Future Past
One of the more prolific movie series based on Marvel comics is the X-Men series. There are currently ten X-Men movies and related spin-offs and there are five other X-Men-related films in development. One of my favourites from the X-Men series is X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Image Credit: Comic Vine
In the movie, Wolverine (pictured in the centre) goes back in time to try to prevent an assassination that will trigger the creation of highly sophisticated robotic weapons that target mutants and humans that carry the mutant gene, eventually leading to the annihilation of both mutants and humans. I don’t think I’m spoiling the movie too much to say that the X-Men are successful in their quest. I’ll let you watch the movie to find out how everything worked out in the end. Read More
Image Credit: Global News
I will not disgrace myself or this website by mentioning the name of the so-called man who was recently convicted of sexually assaulting a woman on Stanford University’s campus in January 2015. I will not mention the name of the judge who handed down an extremely lenient sentence of six months in county jail and three years of probation when the recommended sentence for such a conviction is between eight and twenty years in state prison. I will not mention the names of those who have callously denied the seriousness of the crime by insisting that the attacker should not receive the recommended punishment; they believe the attacker is really a good kid who doesn’t deserve to experience the full consequences of his actions because it would ruin his potential. All of these people are already receiving more than enough attention.
Image Credit: Special Broadcasting Service
I will, however, name and honour the two Swedish men, Carl-Fredrik Arndt and Peter Jonsson (pictured above), who saved the woman from further harm at the hand of her attacker. They are the male heroes of this story. I will also honour the female hero of this story – the woman herself, who continues to bravely face the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual consequences brought about when someone broke the 10th commandment and coveted his neighbour’s body. Read More
Image Source: The Gospel Coalition
At some point, someone in church has likely told you that you should be reading the Bible regularly. When I was a child in Sunday School, we even sang a song about what happens when you read the Bible every day (and what happens when you don’t). So why is it that so many people, whether they are regularly in the pews or not, don’t read the Bible each day?
Why We Don’t Read the Bible
First Things First
When I first volunteered for a children’s summer reading program that our church was offering to the community, a representative from the PEI Literacy Alliance came to explain to the volunteers why literacy is such an important issue on PEI. I was surprised to learn that almost two-thirds of Islanders have limited reading skills. It was then that I realized that when churches ask people to read the Bible, they may be asking them to do something they literally are not equipped to do. Read More
- Canadian Baptists of Western Canada (CBWC) are responding through NorthLife Fellowship Baptist Church & the Salvation Army in Fort McMurray. You can give directly to the CBWC here: https://cbwcdonations.sunergo.net/qry/sd_donate.taf?dsfd=333
- Canadian Baptist Ministries is also accepting donations for the CBWC: https://secure2.convio.net/cbmin/site/Donation2?2480.donation=form1&df_id=2480
- The Canadian Red Cross is also accepting donations which are being matched by the Canadian government: https://donate.redcross.ca/ea-action/action?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=NO-DM&ea.client.id=1951&ea.campaign.id=50639
Here is a post that appeared on the CBWC website today:
The CBWC is working with Canadian Baptist Ministries to provide immediate emergency relief and assistance on the ground in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Together, we are working with the Salvation Army, the local Fellowship Baptist Church in Fort McMurray, and others supporting evacuees.
The unpredictability of the wildfires that began this past Tuesday have led the province of Alberta to call a state of emergency, and all of its 80,000 residents have been forced to flee with the fires having burned through about 85,000 hectares of land already. Mass convoys and airlifts are now getting thousands of evacuees to safety further south.
We continue to pray for the safety of all those impacted by the fire, who have lost their lands, homes and communities, as well as for all the emergency personnel on the ground, including the fire crews, military, RCMP officers, EMS workers, and all those who are working tirelessly to control the fires and keep residents safe.
Make a donation to the Fort McMurray relief effort in Alberta today. Your donations will automatically be designated to help people in need during this crisis. We thank you for your crucial support in caring for those in need in times of emergency.
Image Source: Atlas Obscura
Mother’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the women in our lives and the role they played in making us who we are today. In honour of our spiritual mothers, I would like to share a post from Atlas Obscura entitled The Rebel Virgins and Desert Mothers Who Have Been Written Out of Christianity’s Early History (a 16-minute read at 3,902 words).
We tend to recognize the names of the Desert Fathers who founded early Christianity’s monasteries:
- Athanasius of Alexandria, bishop of Alexandria (328-373), who is known for his defense against Arianism, the heretical assertion that Jesus was created by God and is, therefore, subordinate to God;
- John Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople (398-404), who is known for the influence he wielded through his public speaking abilities (thus, his name Chrysostom, “golden-mouthed”); and
- John Cassian, whose writings provided the basic concepts that Saint Benedict used to organize monasteries in the West.
We aren’t as familiar with the Desert Mothers – women such as: Read More
Image Source: Time Out 4 God
When I attended Crandall University, I took a course called “Suffering” (a biblical studies course). I believe it ranked second in the category of Most Depressingly Titled Course after “Death and Grieving” (a psychology course). Who knows? Perhaps they now have even more dreary course options for those inclined to look at the darker side of life. But I digress.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that there is suffering in this world. We suffer physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We suffer from natural disasters, illness, warfare, and cruelty over which we have no control. We suffer justly as a consequence of our own decisions and unjustly as a consequence of the decisions of those we know and of those we will never meet. We suffer because of decisions made yesterday and hundreds of years ago, we suffer because of decisions made today, and we will suffer because of decisions made tomorrow. Read More
Image Source: Meetings and Conventions PEI
Abegweit, Cradled on the Waves. Million Acre Farm. Garden of the Gulf. Spud Island.
Prince Edward Island is certainly a beautiful, fertile place. Its nicknames reflect the Island’s bounty. Much of the Island’s economy is driven by agriculture, by fishing and aquaculture, and by the one million visitors who flock here every year to enjoy our homegrown food, beautiful surroundings, vibrant culture, and welcoming people. Many Islanders depend on the environment for their livelihood, directly and indirectly.
Islanders realize the importance of taking care of their surroundings. Whether they are maintaining their lawns, planting flower and vegetable gardens, sorting their garbage to separate recyclables and compost from waste, or participating in the annual PEI Women’s Institute Roadside Clean Up Day, every Islander does their part to keep PEI beautiful. Islanders are proud of where they come from and make sure the appearance of their homes and businesses reflects that pride. Read More
In case you weren’t able to get to the CABC Alpha Workshops or join our livestream earlier this month, we recorded one and have it available for you here. The workshops were hosted by hr CABC and Alpha Canada led by Greg Jones (CABC) & Shaila Visser (National Director, Alpha Canada). This workshop was recorded at Bridgewater Baptist Church, Bridgewater, NS on April 5, 2016.
Trouble viewing video? Click here: https://vimeo.com/atlanticbaptist/cabc-alpha
More info on how your church can use Alpha and the new materials being released, go to http://www.alphacanada.org.
Image Source: Shades Mountain Independent Church
We’re now into the second quarter of 2016, which usually means that any New Year’s resolutions we may have set have long been broken by now. That’s okay. When we’re cultivating new habits, we likely won’t be consistent at first. As long as we’re persistent (and, for believers, asking God for help with the changes we’re making is always a good idea), we can get past our faltering first steps and begin to walk more consistently and confidently in our new ways. Read More
Reposted from the CABC website: http://baptist-atlantic.ca/news/physician-assisted-suicide-palliative-care-a-brief-update/
Physician-Assisted Suicide/Death is a watershed issue for Canadian society. But it is also an incredible opportunity for Canadian Christians (and churches) to offer their communities a different perspective on life, death, dignity, suffering, community and worship. How we deal with life – with all of its joys, sorrows, challenges and celebrations – and how we face death, say more to our families and neighbours about our faith than the most well-constructed sermons or evangelistic programs.
Perhaps no other issue so clearly illustrates the difference between a life rooted in Christian faith and one based on secularly-reasoned political correctness. The contrast is stark. Raymond de Souza notes that the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada to legalize Physician-Assisted Suicide signals 3 revolutions in jurisprudence: Abandoning the legal principle that every life is always a good to be protected; Embracing the idea that suicide is a social good; and removing the particular obligation of the law to protect the weak and vulnerable.
“I am a 19-year-old university student with Type 1 Diabetes – a chronic, incurable and serious disease that causes me daily suffering. I do not think doctor assisted suicide should be accessible to anyone. People living with Type 1 Diabetes are at high risk of depression, and can experience diabetes burnout. If I ever got to that place, I would not want to live in a society in which taking my life was both easy and socially acceptable. I am especially worried for the vulnerable in our society, including those with disabilities, the poor, and people with mental illness.” – Rachel McNally
God is at work in the land and He invites us to join Him as He changes Atlantic Canada, one neighbourhood and one community at a time. As we care for the weak and vulnerable, those who suffer and those who mourn, our love will bear witness to our faith in ways that are powerful and transformative!
The CABC is producing resources to help churches grapple with this issue. In the meantime, below is a brief backgrounder to help you begin to have conversations about this very important issue (you can also download this in PDF format: http://baptist-atlantic.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Physician-Assisted-Suicide-Update.pdf).
Dr. Lois Mitchell, Director of CABC’s Public Witness & Social Concern
- February 6, 2015 – the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously ruled that criminal code prohibitions against Physician-Assisted Suicide/Death are unconstitutional and gave Parliament 12 months to write legislation to permit and govern the practice;
- In giving their ruling (Carter vs. Canada), the conditions under which Physician-Assisted Suicide/Death could be sought were:
- When the person clearly consents to the termination of life, and
- Has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.
- Some immediate concerns were raised:
- The wording is quite vague;
- There is no reference to death being “imminent” or even that the illness or condition under which Physician-Assisted Suicide/Death is sought is terminal;
- Rules are likely to be interpreted more and more permissively over time (the slippery slope argument);
- Impact on physicians/health care providers who do not support the legislation;
- To what extent does this decision reflect (or impact) the economics of care?
- In giving their ruling (Carter vs. Canada), the conditions under which Physician-Assisted Suicide/Death could be sought were:
- July 2015 – the Federal Government appointed a three-person panel to consult with Canadians. This included an online consultative process, open to all Canadians, as well as presentations made by interveners to the Panel.
- The final report of the Panel was submitted in December, 2015 – http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/other-autre/pad-amm/pad.pdf
- Meanwhile, with the October Federal election, the Liberal Party (under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau) formed the government and appointed its own committee to make recommendations on the implementation of legislation. The government applied to the Supreme Court for an extension and was granted an additional 4 months (until June 6, 2016). Following its own consultation process, the final report of this Joint Parliamentary Committee was released February, 2016 – http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=8120006&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=42&Ses=1.
- Fall 2015 – The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) prepared a Declaration on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia and circulated it across the country with hopes of getting 10,000 signatures before Feb. 6, 2016. The deadline is extended to July 6, 2016. To date there are over 19,000 individual signatories. The leaders of over 30 Christian denominations and over 20 Jewish and Muslim leaders from across the country have endorsed the Declaration. See http://www.euthanasiadeclaration.ca to add your signature.
- Conversations are ongoing amongst faith-based groups across the country as we attempt to provide reasoned responses to the recommendations of the Panel AND facilitate healthy conversations amongst our own faith communities.
Cultural trends that have contributed to where we find ourselves:
- A focus on individual rights and the accompanying sense that we should be independent & autonomous;
- A sense that a compassionate society is one that protects its citizens from “suffering”;
- A pace of life that suggests that caring for the aged or disabled is a burden.
When one considers the arguments that have been compelling within our society amongst those who favour Physician-Assisted Suicide/Death, they fall into 4 general categories:
- Quality of life is compromised by certain illnesses or conditions. BUT, life is a sacred gift (John 16:33).
- If a person is not mentally competent or physically able to care for him/herself, they no longer have dignity and every effort should be made, even before they get to that state, to allow them to “die with dignity”. BUT our life is not our own (1Cor. 6:19-20).
- No one wants to be a burden to his or her loved ones. BUT, caring for one another is at the heart of the Christian life (Matthew 22:36-40).
- No one should have to die in pain and since pain treatments aren’t always effective, Physician-assisted death allows for an easier (and more compassionate) death. BUT, better pain management is the answer, not a premature death AND, in the context of eternal life, suffering does not necessarily end with death (Hebrews 12:1-3).
What Can You Do?
- Be informed about the issues and what scripture has to say.
- Sign the Declaration – http://www.euthanasiadeclaration.ca
- Contact your MP – let your MP know you’re concerned about the effects this legislation will have on the most vulnerable among us.
- More resources:
- Christian Medical and Dental Society – “The Gift” video, other videos and resources – http://www.cmdscanada.org/PAS.aspx
- April 2015 FOCUS magazine with excellent articles: http://www.cmdscanada.org/my_folders/FOCUS/FOCUS_35.1-web.pdf
- Canadian Virtual Hospice General information about palliative care: http://www.virtualhospice.ca/en_US/Main+Site+Navigation/Home.aspx
- Evangelical Fellowship of Canada –
Original CABC post about Euthanasia & Palliative Care: http://baptist-atlantic.ca/news/euthanasia-palliative-care/