Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Truth May Be Lost In Its Delivery


The Real Bible Truth: A Great Deception Has Been Wrought On The World
Author: Ernie Hasler
Published by: self-published, Charleston, S.C., 2016

Author Ernie Hasler has searched for biblical truths in many places and he believes the Bible has been corrupted in some very significant ways. Hasler shows us, to the best of his ability, that our main religions – Judaism and Christianity – have been wrong about the origin of the symbol of the cross, the name of the Creator, and more.
He presents his readers with some interesting statements and positions. A lot of them make sense. He seldom, however, backs up his claims with appropriate sources or research which frustrates any reader that may have different views. For example, how does he know the early versions of The Tanakh (original Hebrew writings of the O.T.) were written in Paleo-Hebrew beginning from the 5th BCE onward? Or that the council of Laodicia passed a law requiring Christians to not become “Judaized by resting on Saturday”? Or that the introduction of the word ‘Lord’ was really a substitute for ‘Ba’al’? He does the same with the dating of the ‘Tetragrammaton’, the Hebrew name of God transliterated in four letters as YHWH or JHVH and articulated as Yahweh or Jehovah. Perhaps all believable claims but certainly not substantiated with any hard evidence.
Where he does give a source of information, it often is one that is questionable as in the Dictionary of Christian Lore and Legend from which he states that the name of Yeshua has been replaced by the names of G-zeus (Jesus), and (Ea-zeus), which are absolutely pagan in origin, according to Hasler. He quotes the Catholic Encyclopedia, volume and page, when he introduces the idea of a great deception we have all been exposed to concerning the existence of Christianity in the time of Constantine as well as his ‘conversion’ and ‘baptism’.
His material is well worth being aware of, but it could benefit from some serious editing and more verification. What may be intuitive to Hasler isn’t necessarily intuitive for others. Perhaps the greatest contribution that Ernie Hasler has made though in this mini-volume (the entire book is only 81 pages from cover to cover) is the last 31 pages in which he lists and numbers all 613 commandments found in the Old Testament books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, complete with description and Scripture chapter and verse.
Hasler has written another book and in its title is the word “Conspiracy” which is missing from this one. There’s no doubt though that he sees much of the corruption he claims is present in Scripture to be just that – a conspiracy. What this book will do for an avid Bible student is allow him/her to take Hasler’s claims (for they are intriguing) and do his/her own more academic study and research in order to ascertain the “truth” in a more convincing manner, be it what Hasler claims or otherwise.

* Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, September 24, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com


Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Examining Jesus’ Humanly Outrageous Statements


A Man Who Told Us The Truth
Author: Will Davis, Jr.
Published by: Sangre de Christo, Austin, Texas, 2016

Will Davis, Jr., an American Pastor takes all of Christ’s seemingly outrageous statements and dissects them one by one for the skeptics. All he asks in return is that we answer his questions on what he proposes. The book is about “ultimate summits” and “wrestles with questions of truth and spiritual realities”.
Davis tackles Christ’s “I am Truth” statement and the more objectionable one which claims “I am the only way to God the Father.” He cautions us that to do justice to the investigation of Jesus’ claim, we cannot in any way dilute them. We must examine them as He stated them, using no substitutes or making any excuses as to what He meant to say.
The author shows us time and again how many of Christ’s statements, not just those about Him and His Father (God), were countercultural, counter theological and counter to everything previously taught about God.
There is an interesting section in the book that deals with how often the reader’s experience with his/her own father (or lack thereof) plays out with respect to their perception of God, as a Father. He pulls no punches here.  Well worth reading the book just for that. Tied to that discourse is Davis’ take on how Jesus Himself may have gotten His own impression about His Father.
Other topics Jesus spoke about and thus ones the author addresses are His views with respect to evil and the devil, love, and heaven. Davis’ logic is most thought-provoking at times, such as when he wonders what’s left with respect to evil and its source, if Jesus were wrong about the devil? Who’s left to blame, he asks? And suggests that it may be “us”. Related to this area, Davis also connects Jesus’ being right or wrong to how well evolutionary theory handles the implications. He writes, “Evolution bets the farm on the material world being all there is.” And then he takes it much further.
Jesus talked a lot about “love” and the author tells us that Christ’s love was intended to be – lopsided. It cannot be ‘expected’ to be returned. He writes, “It is unconditional, unmerited, unearned and unmeasured love. It is unjustified love.” Davis says that’s what Jesus was talking about and that’s what He gave to His disciples and wanted them to give to others. That’s how they’re to be known as His.
Turning his attention to ‘heaven’, Davis gives some compelling arguments that not only are we incomplete without it, but that heaven itself is incomplete without us. His reasoning will surprise you but it does make sense. Here’s a clue. Ask yourself why Jesus wept over His dead friend Lazarus when He knew He was about to raise him from the dead just minutes later? And the answer Davis provides to that question has a significant impact on the very moment of our own deaths.
Interestingly, Davis says Jesus never claimed to be a religious leader nor intend to establish a religion. In fact, he shows us how Jesus hated religion. But Davis goes one step beyond what one normally hears from pastors; he actually deals at great length with the issue of “what about the millions that have died or are dying having never heard about Jesus?” You’ll need to read the book for his answer.  Suffice it to say that while I was surprised by it, I can also buy into it.
The book needs to be read, enjoyed, and appreciated from the perspective of someone searching for the Truth. Believers need to read it and then buy copies to give those they care about sharing the Truth with. Highly recommended.
* Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, September 24, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com


Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Coming to Grips With Our Past

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Chasing Grace: Fooling Yourself Is Easy, Forgiving Yourself Isn’t
Starring Michael Joiner, Rusty Martin, Ashlee Payne & David Temple.
Written & Directed by David Temple.


This movie has an excellent plot that has its origin several decades earlier but gets unraveled quickly when, to the shock of the whole town, a young child is killed at her own birthday party. She is the daughter of a local pastor and his wife who have two older boys.
At the burial scene, the pastor’s brother (Carter) shows up but having been known for his extensive drinking, having to be bailed out of jail regularly, and legally carrying a concealed weapon, is not welcomed. Perceived as the modern-day equivalent of the “Prodigal son”, the family, for the most part, has rejected him. The role is played extremely well by David Temple who also wrote the script and directed the movie.
The movie is filled with great dialogue and irony including the pastor preaching a week earlier about forgiveness and saying “it’s like a hug; can’t give one without getting one in return.” But then off to the police station to bail his brother out again.
Back to the funeral, Carter’s brother (Jonathan the pastor) makes it clear Carter is not wanted at the house any longer but Carter refuses to accept the edict. Subsequently, the local sheriff tells Jonathan he has ways that can teach his brother a real lesson if the pastor wanted him to. Aware of all this animosity, one of the two boys also gets aggressive and that has its own sub-plot which in itself is most engaging. Meanwhile the mother, objects to her husband not forgiving his brother. And the conflict now spreads to several fronts.
Three months later as equilibrium starts to set in the pastor gets into a mysterious car accident with a friend’s car and the older teenage is charged with speeding and DUI – but not until he discovers something that ends up being crucial to the life of the whole family, for in one sense there’s more than one ‘prisoner’ in this story.
As the family starts to fall apart, mother plans a surprise family outing – to a psychologist and there, because she’s on to her husband’s habits, she breaks down and orders her husband to “come clean or else” begging that the negative legacy stop. Ashlee Payne (with many other movie credits to her name) does a great job in that role.
Carter who wants to be forgiven by his brother, remarks, “You’re not sounding very Christian; how can you not forgive me?”  A good question. And the answer lies in Jon’s past. That leads to the revealing of more of the history between the brothers and the family they grew up in. Still no resolve and soon Carter considers taking his own life, holding his gun to his own head.
The truth has a way of coming to the surface, and it is not long before the elders of his church ask Jonathan to take a leave of absence.  The younger son starts to think about his role in his little sister’s death and once again mother comes up with the answers he and perhaps many of us who have had similar question in our own lives, need to hear.
Brother Carter is arrested and roughed up – more than was intended and ultimately is believed to have drowned.
At long last, we are allowed to see what really happened that day at the birthday party as Jonathan starts to reflect on his role in the death of his beautiful little girl.
The rest of the story and all the suspense along the way, I’ll leave for you to watch.  Suffice it to say, that with the exception of a gun being held to one’s head, while no actual shooting or death is seen on camera, this is a great family story with lots to talk about afterward.  Highly recommended.
The movie ends with a gentle reminder as follows: Most people focus on the prodigal son when they hear that story, but we should never forget the importance of the brother.


By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, September 17, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

·      Get the movie here: http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

One of the Most Mind- & Heart-Altering “Churchview” Books I’ve Read This Year


Sustainable Church: Growing Ministry Around the Sheep,
Not Just the Shepherds
Author: Walt Russell
Published by: Quoir, Orange, California, 2016



This is a book from within the Christian, and dare I say “evangelical”, church movement that is bound to cause any serious follower of Jesus Christ to rethink how best he/she can be part of Christ’s Church and help fulfil the Great Commission He left it. Russell’s book may well rock everything you’ve ever worked for in your local church as it deals head on with issues many of us have time and again struggled with, but remained silent about, inside the church. But at the same time, it will confirm your Christian worldview.
Walt Russell has done it all – campus missionary, church planter, university professor, and author. While he has many credentials, including his Ph.D., he also boldly says none of them are necessarily the credentials that the church needs. My wife put it nicely recently when she said, “I would rather listen to bible teacher who has no formal training but is anointed by the Holy Spirit, than to one who has three Ph.D.’s and is not.” And that is precisely one of Russell’s points – it’s all about the God-inspired, Spirit-given “grace gifts” given to believers.
A thread throughout the book that Russell keeps referring us back to is his use of two churches – The First Evangelical Non-Organic Church and The Last Evangelical Organic Church. The former is not sustainable simply because its adherents are shallow (some unknowingly perhaps). And that shallowness to a large extent stems from the fact that they are not “released to minister” and “equipped to use their grace-gifts” in every aspect of their lives including the church.
Russell reports that 63% of those who say they have heard of spiritual gifts have not been able to apply this information to their lives “because they either don’t know their gifts (15%), say they don’t have a spiritual gift (28%) or claim that spiritual gifts are not biblical (20%).”
And then he starts addressing the causes. To begin with, he grasps our attention with this statement: “…the body of Christ is not fundamentally about authority, but relationships.” And sooner or later that leads him to take us through a serious look at the terms “laity” and “pastor” – both the words themselves and their meanings, based on Scripture.  The former he calls “a horrifying misnomer for the vast majority of God’s people” preferring instead ‘disciples’ or ‘saints’ as prescribed in the New Testament. The use of the word ‘laity’ he says introduces an “unbiblical hierarchy” into God’s people.”
Russell believes the Word of God calls for a church where all minister and he unfolds that biblically and clearly, ending with a list of what we lose by ignoring that approach. The cost is dear. He shows us historically how the church came to be run the way it is today (a fascinating account that makes sense) and also takes us very carefully through the meaning of each of the grace-gifts, including discussions on how many there are, and whether some have ceased or not.  You’ll find his take most refreshing. The author is very good at tackling opposing views, as well as treating them fairly.
There’s also a very helpful chapter on how one, along with his/her church, can discover and/or ascertain one’s grace-gifts. But one of the most interesting aspects of his contribution to this field is how we have corrected or rather misunderstood and thus falsely applied the “Jesus Model of Discipleship” by making others “our disciples” or the disciples of Father Brown, etc. Russell’s point, supported by Dallas Willard and others is that, “All Christians are disciples of Messiah Jesus, not of fellow believers.” That very nicely segues into a discussion of “whose name goes on the church sign if we all minister?” and the fact that when looking at leadership we focus on skills and gifts, rather than character, contrary to what the Bible emphasizes. He also takes on the “Moses Model of Leadership” arguing that only Christ can take that on in the New Testament, not us. And Russell believes that “By training pastors to be CEOs, we ironically end up training them to lead in exactly the same way as the ‘Gentiles’ lead.” Finally, he deals with the whole issue of elders, their qualifications, and whether they should be paid or not, and much more.
Now you have to understand that as one who has spent close to four decades of my life as a Human Resources specialist and Church Consultant, some of this was difficult for me to accept – but I could not argue with Russell’s ability to show me, from Scripture, why I may well have been mistaken.  This book will challenge you if you’re a pastor. It will challenge you even more if you’re an elder or simply a disciple of Christ’s – you’ll want to pray about how to approach your pastor with it.
If Russell missed anything in this edition of his book, it is on the topics of actually setting compensation and benefits practices for “elders” and how to deal with discipline within the body. But then, again, that was not what he was trying to get across. His purpose, in his own words, was “to call the church to build her ministry sustainably around the sheep, rather than unsustainably around the shepherds.”  He succeeded with me. Highly recommended.
·       Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, September 18, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Birthers, Conspiracy Theories, Racism & More: Balderdash -- I'm Tired Of the Left Making Up The Rules

Just had to get a few things off my chest today that I've been saving up all week.

First of all, why is it wrong for anyone, let alone Donald Trump, to hold or have held, a position that says "I don't believe Barack Obama was born in the United States because there is too much fog and controversy over his birth certificate."  Why is that so bad?  It's a free country (both the U.S. and Canada) and we can say and think what we want -- especially something like this.

Second, since when does believing Obama was born in place X make one a racist? Just because everyone says Hitler was born in Austria, does it make me a German racist to think he was born in Germany, or the United States for that matter?  Of course not.  That's balderdash. There is absolutely no logical link between stating where you believe someone was born and being a racist. Only the liberal progressive socialist left (read Democrats for short) would have you believe there is.

Third, I'm sick and tired of those who consider everyone who cannot accept the cover-ups of government as idiots.  Or worse still, that shameful designation of "conspiracy theorists".  Again, balderdash.  There were people who back in the 1980's were confident that the Columbian government was responsible for the killing of over 3,000 Patriotic Union member activists.  Of course, they were not believed. Yet just this week, the president of Columbia admitted it was all true. There are many other examples that come to light in time.  So, in the name of sanity, pick your theories carefully, but stop letting those who would destroy "democracy" demean the fact that, on some issues, you are a proud conspiracy theorist.

(As an aside, consider what would have happened if all the God-believing people of America were to deem all the atheists and agnostics as conspiracy theorists claiming that God is dead. While we would never do that, you must admit the claim would be so controversial.  Instead, the atheists have been able, following the same approach they apply to other things, to turn the tables around and call theists the loonies or worse still, the conspiracy theorists.  If that be the case, then I proudly represent both groups.)

Until next time . . . remember it's time to stand up for what you believe.

Ken.

 

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Saving People & Leaving the Saving of Souls to God



Living Hope: Even in the Darkness of Despair
A David Kiern Film, 2014, narrated by Joel Smallbone, and starring real people as themselves.


This movie, at its simplest, appears to be about ‘missions’. More correctly it’s about, in the words of Mother (now Saint) Teresa, Christians going to the poor of South Africa to “love Jesus”. And she implies, when you see the hungry, the naked, the sick, you are seeing Jesus in disguise. So love --  them.
The setting is the Capetown area, including Oceanview where one in three women and one in four men test positive for HIV, the average life expectancy is under 50, and the infection rate is 44%. This is a story of men and women, who with these statistics in their heads were compelled to take their families from the comforts of home to the social battlefield thousands of miles away.
I’ll let you discover the players for yourself, but suffice it to say, that each one had to surrender to God’s will ‘one day at a time’ not knowing what God wanted them to do tomorrow. We share in their agonizing and from that come some memorable thoughts.  When Joey Lankford was concerned about what his wife would think about taking the family to Capetown, his father comments, “If God is calling you to the mission field, you won’t need to sell the idea to your wife.” How true that is and how different from those men (in particular) who wrongly drag their wives and families there only to meet defeat and discouragement. Courtney Lankford needed no selling. She was just waiting for Joey to catch up to her.  Later in the movie, in reference to how her marriage with Joey was strengthened by their ministry in S.A., we hear Courtney observing that “When you take two people and put them through a trial, they will cling together for dear life.”  Joey on the other hand, who was always worried about his wife’s happiness and his responsibility for it, had to hear and accept these words from God: “Her happiness is not found in you anymore; it’s found in Me; I’ll provide.”
The film addresses the age-old dispute about the social gospel (Christian faith practiced as a call to social reform) vs. the salvation gospel (Christian faith practiced in pursuit of helping people make personal conversions). John Thomas clearly answers the question when he says, “I thought Jesus wanted me to save souls; I discovered He wanted me to save people.”
Thomas is the founder of http://www.livinghope.co.za and the rest of the film showcases the four areas of ministry Living Hope focuses on with some gut-wrenching true-life stories that will amaze you.  There is Living Care (focusing on healthcare); Living Grace (focusing on the homeless and those dealing with addiction); Living Right (HIV/AIDS education and prevention); and Living Way (Economic Empowerment).
In the Living Care section we experience the story of a lady dying of AIDS who fought Christianity for a long time until one of the team finally got through to her. She held on and eventually wanted to get baptized but moving her anywhere was out of the question. What happens next, just six days before she dies, will, I believe, impact each viewer immensely and unforgettably.
My favorite part of the movie is that of Dana Perino, currently an American political commentator and author, and the 27th White House Press Secretary, serving under President George W. Bush. She was there when the President selected Living Hope as one of two faith-based organizations eligible for grants under a “stop AIDS in Africa” program he implemented. Dana tells the story and shares her feelings when she and her husband went to serve with Living Hope after her W.H. stint. Her presence, at least for those of us who watch her regularly on television, helps us ‘click’ with the reality of Living Hope in today’s world. She asks, “If you have the means to help people (the pill for AIDS), don’t you have a moral obligation to give it to them?” And that’s exactly what Bush did through so many organizations. When the President met John Thomas, he remarked, “I’ve always wanted to meet the pastor of the one local church that the U.S. government funds.”
Throughout the movie one could feel the dependence on prayer shared by the team and those they were working with. From the seed project in Living Way to the provision of funds for a major surgery of a worker’s wife – another moving story in itself, prayer made the difference.  And then there’s a fourteen-year-old mother with AIDS who named her baby (born with advanced stage of AIDS) “no hope”.  Can you imagine being at such a point in life, that this what you do? Living Hope staff saw this as just an amazing opportunity to minister to this young lady in a way that enabled her, months later to remark, “You people showed me Jesus.” And then asked to be taken down to the registry office to officially change her child’s name to “The Lord Is My Hope”.
Many churches would do well to show this movie one Sunday morning instead of their regular program, warning people that it won’t be a 30-minute sermon that day.
The players have one final piece of advice for us – if you’re going to do this kind of thing, you need to do it properly. You start by spending a lot of time with God.
For most of us, I recommend starting with seeing this movie. If after seeing it, you still feel like pitying those poor missionaries, you’ve missed the point. Being a missionary in this kind of setting, is rather something to be envied – for it is there, one gets to really see God at work.


--  By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, September 11, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Get Over the Freakishness and Take Note of the Message

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Awakened: Hear No Evil
Starring Rob Boltin, Gwendolyn Edwards, Michael Monks and Hannah Hughes;
Directed by Brian R. Reed and Eugene Cuveas
Released by Word Entertainment LLC in 2016


This movie is a Christian version of a Hollywood ‘suspense’ or ‘thriller’, but clearly without the budget. The photography is not bad at all, and the actors certainly do a good job. It’s the writing and the plot line that leaves something to be desired when competing in this field. But the intended message is clear.
For Christians, the demons portrayed aren’t exactly what many may have in mind, but the one selected – a seductive voice from a now-dead singer – gets the message across that demons can ruin a life if you let them. As I watched it, it seemed that two other parallel imprisonments may well have been portrayed by this ‘demon’ – the captivity of pornography, or the haunting of one’s past adulterous relationship. No matter what it is that has one in a debilitating mental grip, this movie shows us there is hope if we really want to be free.
When a recently unemployed husband (Jacob, played by Rob Boltin) stays in their newly rented used house while his wife is at work, he discovers an old ‘reel to reel’ recording of a beautiful singer he is later told died in a car accident during a torrential downpour, just moments after having a fight with her lover. Of course, he is mesmerized by her voice and determines to find out all he can about her. After all, he was an investigative journalist. But when you combine the recording with his passion to investigate the woman behind the voice, somehow an evil spirit emerges that preoccupies his every thought and soon changes him, eventually to the point where he would do whatever it took to gain revenge for the dead singer.
It would be nice if demons just affected those that attract them, but they don’t. They have a way of wreaking havoc on their loved ones as well and it is not long before Jacob’s wife, Haley (played by Gwendolyn Edwards) starts to sense there’s something wrong. Jacob tells her what is going on and she begs him to just get rid of the recording – to destroy it.  But he does not and continues his pursuit.
Eventually Haley freaks out when Jacob starts behaving in very unloving ways and when she herself experiences the demon while alone in the house. The plot includes a close friend of Haley’s who warns her of something unhealthy going on and sensing the darkness present in their home.  Sometimes God uses our good friends to give us a heads up. And then Haley catches Jacob lying to her.  Things go from bad to worse. Her marriage was now to the point of looming self-destruction. Now what? This is the time to turn to the faith in which she had been brought up -- first to save herself, but hopefully also Jacob, and thus their marriage. It was a long-shot. With the help of her local pastor where she starts attending church again, Haley and the movie’s audience are treated to a lesson on the difference between Biblical demons and the ghosts and ghouls portrayed in movies.
The movie however has much more character than that with a most interesting plot that one should not give away in any review. Somehow there’s much more to her death than people were willing to share. For starters, an illegally obtained police report indicates it was an accident, but Jacob is convinced that the report was ‘just another dead end’. The demon comes and convinces him that it was indeed murder -- the singer, Carol (played by Hannah Hughes) had been killed and Jacob was hell-bent on avenging her .
Suffice it to say, the pastor tells Haley that God can “awaken” people in the time of their greatest need when lies are ruining their life, and thus the title of the movie. There’s no doubt, the movie wants to drive home the message that spiritual forces (both good and bad) are out there, but it is those working with and through God that end up victorious.
Running approximately 93 minutes, the DVD rated for all audiences of 12 and over, is available on line and through Christian Book and DVD retailers. It’s a great discussion starter on the topic of spiritual warfare.  Recommended.


--  By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, September 05, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com



Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my two favourite charities, SCA International and/or ICC International, by clicking on their logos below. Ken.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Recognize No Evil; Admit To No Evil; Speak No Evil


Breaking The Veil Of Silence
Author: Jobst Bittner
Published by: TOS Publishing, Tübingen, Germany, 2013


I agreed to review this book because of my high regard for the Jewish people, from Abraham who lived about 3,800 years ago right up to those Jews living around the world today. So I was surprised to find out it had just as much to do with Christians. Silence about the past, the evil past, is a condition of the mind and heart that can prey on all of us. Thus its subject concerns many of us.
Jobst Bittner, the author, is the President of TOS Ministries, a multi-initiative work which is best described through its website. But for purposes of this review, Bittner is a German pastor, theologian, and activist. He tackled Germany’s “veil of silence” which covered the country’s history, the reign of Hitler, and the Holocaust, starting with Tübingen, the university city which gave rise to the “final solution” and its promoters after the Jews were blamed for the Black Plague. And he succeeded.  In this book, Bittner challenges us to tackle our own “veil of silence” in ourselves, in our families, communities, cities, and country, but above all in our churches. If we do it for no other reason, we must do it for the sake of our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, if not more future generations.  The impact on children in each of these generations is discussed at great length. He shows us that unless we break this “silence”, there cannot be the spiritual healing each of these entities (family, city, church, community, and country) needs.  And without the healing, one has a hard time benefitting from the full extent of God’s intended blessings.
With respect to the Church, the author points out what happened to it since the early days after Christ’s crucifixion and ascension each time they moved away (or were taken away) from their Jewishness. He also shows us how, contrary to popular belief, Constantine didn’t do the Church any favors.
I found this book to be a serious treatise of the topic – very methodical, detailed, well-researched, and most informative. He does a great job of integrating psychological and psychiatric models into his explanations which are interesting. I was sharing its contents with some family and friends while still reading it and already a number have asked to borrow it. The topic is certainly still, for one reason or another, a very hot one. He spends time showing us where the veil of silence comes from, what it is, and where it’s found today. And then he moves us, using the parallel of those who experienced the Holocaust and the concentration camps of Hitler Germany, through the various generations of victims and how the silence has impacted each. And don’t think there’s no room in this process for Jewish people to ask forgiveness of the Germans, there is. But I’ll let you discover where for yourself.
As already mentioned, the book is not just about the victims (the Jews of Germany, Ukraine, Slovakia, and many other places), it’s also about the perpetrators – both inside and outside the church – for all the same generations, up to today. We meet the children of SS officers and we cry with those who had to visit the very ground that their parents or grandparents were executed or annihilated. But it’s all worthwhile for them, as it should be or could be for us.   
Bittner addresses the issue of whether or not, and if so, why and how, we can repent for the sins of our forefathers – and he does so with biblical backing. One of his chapters focuses on the fact that any veil of silence can be actually broken, but he warns us that it’s not a piece of cake. He does an excellent job of explaining how Christ “remained silent” on the cross, so we don’t have to be silent today.  Finally, he gives us vibrant example after example of how the “veil of darkness” encompassing the Holocaust has indeed been broken, in Germany, America, and elsewhere.
I love his line, “Most of the time, religious silence resists the power of God, always wanting to retreat to the ‘privacy’ of one’s personal faith.” How true that is and also how much it renders us ineffective.
The problem for many readers will be that we cannot even imagine some of the kind of memories those people he writes about had, let alone actually have them ourselves.
I recommend the book for any pastor who wants to break the silence in his/her church; for any parent who wants to break it in his/her family; for any counsellor who needs to better understand his/her clients; and for anyone who wants to be healed of his/her own silence.
·      By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, August 30, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

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