Alberta’s New Bill 24 Versus God’s Ancient Law

Alberta’s New Law
According to Bill 24, which is the gateway to introducing the “sexual revolution” agenda, it is school teachers, not parents, who have the responsibility to teach morals, ethics and life principles to children.

God’s Old Law
This is in direct opposition to what God has clearly stated thousands of years ago when He gave His people His Ten Commandments. The fifth one focuses on children, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

The apostle Paul quotes this command with this introduction: “Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you.” Ephesians 6:1 (TLB)

Jo & Jack Teaching Valorie, Cheryl & Leanne, Brazil 1967

Responsibilities of Parents
Parents are the focus of another command, “You must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning.”

Solomon restates this command, “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.” Proverbs 1:8-9 (NIV).

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

The New Testament has dozens of references making it super-clear that God holds parents responsible to teach their children about Him, His standards of morality and ethics, and to train them in life-skills.

The apostle Paul even instructs fathers to be careful how they instruct their children. “Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master.” Ephesians 6:4 (MSG). “Fathers, don’t scold your children so much that they become discouraged and quite trying.” Colossians 3:21 (TLB).

Bill 24 Contradicts the Bible
The Scriptures are clear, God made parents responsible to teach their children. Bill 24, however, contradicts the Bible and says the government, not parents, is responsible to teach their children.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights
For many centuries nations around the world have codified laws similar to God’s Ten Commandments, against adultery, murder, theft, lying, and dishonouring parents.

It is no wonder then that the rights of parents for the education of their children is upheld by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights 14 states in Article 26(3) “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”
Bill 24 takes away this right.

International Covenant
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Canada is a signatory, states in Article 18(4): The States/Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
Bill 24 disrespects this parental liberty.

Alberta Bill of Rights
The Alberta Bill of Rights, establishes “the right of parents to make informed decisions respecting the education of their children” as a human right and a fundamental freedom in Alberta.
Bill 24 takes away this right and freedom.

Alberta Family Law Act
The Alberta Family Law Act Section 21(4) states that “…each guardian/parent is entitled to be informed of and consulted about and to make all significant decisions affecting the child in the exercise of the powers and responsibilities of guardianship…”
Bill 24 takes away this right.

Canadian Charter
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms calls the following freedoms “fundamental” freedom of conscience and religion; freedom of expression; freedom of peaceful assembly’ and freedom of association.

The Purpose of Bill 24
Bill 24, however, applies to all schools—public, and independent— and compels even religious parents and religious schools to create, establish and facilitate gay-straight sex clubs, even though these clubs and activities are profoundly hostile to the religious views of all major world religions and transgress the fundamental freedoms of Canadians.

Bill 24 opens the door to rewriting the school curriculum to promote “progressive education”, a 1950’s term that has become the code word for the “sexual revolution”. The curriculum demonstrates and promotes experimenting with multiple forms of experiencing sex, insisting that sexual activities are merely physical acts, which, when consensual, are completely free of any moral or ethical restraints.

Currently when sex or religion is being taught in public school classrooms, parents have the right to be notified and arrange to have their children opt out of the class.
The Alberta Teachers Association has stated it wants this right scrapped.

Bill 24 allows no child to opt out of any school-based activities where LGBTQ is the subject.

The Court Case
On Friday June 8, a judge will hear arguments concerning the constitutionality of Bill 24.
Please pray that Bill 24 will be identified for what it is, unconstitutional.

Money CAN Buy Happiness

Money can buy happiness after all.
A study done a few years ago appears to indicate that, contrary to the popular saying “Money can’t buy happiness”, spending money can actually make people happier.

The First Experiment
Elizabeth Dunn, an assistant professor with the University of British Columbia’s department of psychology, and Michael Norton, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School, analyzed results from three reports of happiness and spending.

In one experiment, the researchers asked people to report their annual income, then give a detailed description of how they spent their money each month, and, finally, rank their general happiness.

“Regardless of how much income each person made”, Dunn said, “those who spent money on others reported greater happiness, while those who spent more on themselves did not.”

The Second Experiment
In another experiment, researchers tracked how employees of a firm who had received bonuses spent the money and how they felt afterwards. They reported, “Employees who devoted more of their bonus to spending on others experienced greater happiness. The manner in which they spent that bonus was a more important predictor of their happiness than the size of the bonus itself.”

The Third Experiment
A third rather artificial experiment also supported this concept. The researchers gave a group of university students varying amounts of money. Half were instructed to spend the money on themselves, the other half to spend it on others. Then they were rated on their happiness. As in the other experiments, those who spent the money on others reported being happier.

My Comment
After reading about this study on the CBC On Line news, I logged in to the comment section and wrote,

“For two-thousand years Jesus’ followers have been proving the truth of what He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Jesus also said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” Luke 6:38 (NIV).

Generous People Are Happy People
Both the statements from Jesus and this research report excite me since there are so many Kingdom building projects and ministries Christians can give to. Having first given ourselves to God, our gifts of time, energy and money flow naturally. When we give to God’s work of meeting people’s needs, we make deposits in our heavenly investment accounts while His Kingdom grows.

Money, when given away, brings happiness.  Jesus said so, and, for what it is worth, so do the researchers. Givers just can’t lose. It’s a win-win situation.

“I’d Rather be . . .”  

In January of 1966, I loaded my pregnant wife and our two pre-school daughters into an old Volkswagen van and drove 6,600 kilometres (4,000 miles) from Edmonton, Alberta, to a jungle survival training camp for pioneer missionaries near the Mexico-Guatamala border.

The Surprise.
As part of our training, for one week, we recorded everything we did each day on time sheets, marked off in 15 minutes segments. At the end of that week the totals staggered us. The hours we spent in classes, private study, and working on academic projects were minimal. Time for recreation and entertainment was zero. The rest of the time was maxed out with chopping wood, hauling water, preparing food, washing clothes, and keeping the rain out of our makeshift shelter. Work, work, work, just to keep ourselves fed, clean, and minimally rested. I was deeply frustrated.

The Aggravation.
Today, fifty-two years later, I still get aggravated at how much time I need to spend in work activities that are not what I really want to work at. “I’d Rather be Writing” would be a good bumper sticker for my car. No, I don’t have to chop wood or haul water, but I do resent spending time on the mechanics of my blog, the email list, keeping accurate records of our complicated finances, and learning to effectively use computer writing programs.

What’s more, every time I hear of the death of a friend or acquaintance who is close to my age, I get a shot of adrenelin and just want to sit down and write faster. I have so many God-honouring stories to tell, and yet, like in those months in jungle camp, there are so many tasks that interfere. I have talked with many older Christians who confess to the same frustration. It makes me ask this question: What is God’s plan in all this?

1: God-given Abilities
God gives each of us different abilities and talents which we develop through diligent practice. He also gives spiritual gifts like faith, insight, and ministry gifts such as evangelism or service. The gift He gave me is the ability to communicate by telling stories. When we “fan into flame the gift of God which is in you.” 2 Timothy 1:6 (NIV), we enjoy our work, we work at it more, we become very good at it, and we bring praise to God.

2: God-Given Community.
God has made us unique, but He has not made us to live as independents. He designed us to live inter-dependently, as a community, each of us operating in the area of our strengths, not only meeting our own needs but also the needs of others. “Carry each other’s burdens” Galatians 6:2 (NIV) God wants us to use our strengths to help others in our  community. Others, in turn, help us using their giftings and strengths. This biblical concept contradicts our North American culture which glorifies rugged independence. I have always practiced delegation whenever possible. At my age, I increasingly ask myself, “What is that one thing I alone can do?” and then focus on doing that. Lately I have used the finances that God moves people to provide for us to hire others to do some of the things others can do much better than I can.

3: God-Given Power
Sometimes God assigns us to something we must personally do, when no one can help, even though the task is outside our area of strength. That’s when we need to pray, “Holy Spirit, please give me the power and self-discipline to do this task well.” It is the rest of what Paul wrote Timothy, “. . . the Spirit God gave us . . . gives us power . . . and self-discipline” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV).

Work within the area of our native abilities; work inter-dependently within a community; and when neither of these are possible, trust God to give us the power and self-discipline to see us through the task.

I began learning these 3 lessons 52 years ago in jungle camp, and hope to fully learn them soon.

Why Should Christians Need Encouragement?

“Working vacation” and “original copy” are oxymorons:  the words cancel each other out. “Discouraged Christian” should be an oxymoron, but it isn’t. Why?

Nine ‘Ds’ of Discouragement
We human beings are very often dejected, disappointed, depressed, dispirited, disillusioned, downcast, disenchanted, disheartened, and in the dark! No wonder the encouragement theme is so pervasive throughout the thousands of years of biblical history.

But why should Christians need encouragement? Here we are, children of a loving Father-God. We know He is Love, He is Light, He is Just and all-Knowing, all-Powerful, all-Wise, and Present everywhere. The more these truths about God soak into our minds, the more we set ourselves to live right, love others, speak kindly, make biblically sound decisions, and fill our minds with pure, uplifting thoughts.

And what is the result?
We, His children, the ones He says He loves, suffer the same sudden disasters that fall on those who live selfishly without any thought of God. We also experience deep disappointments, car accidents, killer cancers, botched surgeries, and financial failures.

In fact, the more Christians live in obedience to God and His Word, the greater the attacks of Satan. Witness, for instance, the growing antagonism the Alberta government is focusing on Christian parents right now.

Encouragement in the Bible
Before Joshua started his invasion of Canaan, God told him, “Be strong and courageous.” These words were passed on seven times to Joshua, to Moses, to the leaders, and to God’s people. David repeated the theme in the Psalms, saying, “Be of good courage.” Jesus, after telling his followers they would have lots of trouble in this world, encouraged them by saying, “But cheer up, I have overcome the world.” The apostle Paul constantly urges his readers to encourage each other.

Eight Ways to Encourage Ourselves and Others
1) It may be too soon to judge if something that happened is good or bad. We may only be halfway into God’s story of our lives.

2) When we receive comfort and encouragement in hard times, we are better able to sympathize with others and to comfort and encourage them. 1 Corinthians 1:3-4

3) Like a grower who uses a pruning knife on his vines to produce more and better fruit, so God uses persecution to purify His Church, sorting out the lukewarm, easy-believism church goers from those who are willing to pay a high price for following Christ closely. John 15:2

4) Just as Jesus suffered so mankind could be saved, so we need to suffer to bring His salvation to others. Colossians 1:24 (TLB)

5) God wants each of us to live bringing glory to Him. Some will do this by being highly successful in business or in ministry, others by quietly suffering under multiple stresses. Philippians 4:11

6) God has given every person on earth the ability to make choices. Every choice, good or bad, has consequences which affect other people, even Christians, but God works out all things for our good. Romans 8:28

7) Even if the story ends badly in this life, God is no one’s debtor. He is just and will reward suffering for Him in this life with glory in the next. 1 Peter 5:10

8) A well-known poem tells us God answers our prayers, although not always in the way we expect:

I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for patience and God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait.
I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to go through.
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.

Encourage Ourselves in the Lord, Not in the Circumstances
We can’t help but get discouraged at times, but we don’t have to stay discouraged. We can be like David after raiders had kidnapped his own family and the families of his followers, and his own friends wanted to kill him. David “encouraged himself in the Lord” and with God’s help, went on to win a great victory. (1 Sam. 30:6)