Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Rewards of Obedience, Not Sin -- Exodus 1:18-20


So the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?”  And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and they give birth before the midwife can get to them.”  So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty.

A king gives a direct order and those charged to carry it out disobey.  The king has them brought before him (we assume but can’t verify it is the same two he originally gave the order to) and asks them to explain why they did not do as commanded.  So the midwives start to tell the Pharaoh that they could not kill the male infants as the Hebrew women, due to their ‘vigor’, would give birth before the midwives arrived and thus there was no way to accommodate the king once the child had been passed over to the waiting hands of family and others.

Three issues arise in my mind with this response or interchange between the midwives and the Pharaoh.  The first is that their actual words may well be what gives rise to the thinking of some commentators that the two midwives were indeed Egyptian and not Hebrew, otherwise they would much less likely to have so boldly told the Pharaoh that Hebrew women were superior to the Egyptian ones, unless they themselves were Egyptian.  (However, their names, Shiphrath and Puah, being Hebrew ones, are more likely to place the midwives among the Hebrews.)

The second issue that arises is that while the midwives ‘feared God’ and thus took the action they believed He would have preferred and let the male babies live, they seem to have had no problem in lying to the Pharaoh.  (This assumes that they did lie; one commentator I refer to below indicates this may not have been the case.) Let us for the moment assume that they did lie.  This type of action continues to present difficulty for some readers.  It is especially troublesome when it is immediately followed with the phrase “So God was good to the midwives.”  The question before us is this: Does God condone lying in certain situations?  Such a question is even more relevant today for Christians as we are faced with the knowledge that many Muslims believe and admit that lying “for the sake of Allah’s will” is perfectly acceptable for Muslims.  Christians on the other hand are taught that we should not lie (one of the ten commandments we will encounter later in our study) and that our “yes should be yes, and our no, no”.  So, how then do we deal with such reports of God “blessing” those that lied?  Clearly, this is not the first place in Scripture where we came across this.  You may remember that Abraham lied, Jacob cheated, and so on in Genesis, yet God blessed them.

When I wondered about how I would handle this issue again at this point of our study, some suggested that I simply state that God’s ways are not our ways and this is one of the mysteries of Scripture that we do not understand at this point in time.  Unconvinced, I was not willing to give up that easily.  These midwives appear to have lied and the text says, “So, God was good to” them.  You can’t avoid that, no matter how you try to rationalize it.  It’s a possibility.
In an article entitled, “Did God Reward Midwives for Lying?” Jason Jackson writing in ChristianCourier.com has much to offer us in understanding this dilemma (and also the one about the prostitute Rahab’s lying later in the Old Testament, as well as the lying of Ananias and Sapphira in the New Testament).  He writes:

“First of all, the midwives may have told the truth. It may have been the case that the Hebrew women, fearing the commandment of the king, did not call for the midwives in a timely way.  Second, one is not obligated to tell all he or she knows. Withholding information is not necessarily falsehood (cf. Luke 23:9).  Third, if one believes that the midwives were deceptive, he must understand that they were rewarded for their works, not their words.  They were blessed for refusing to murder the babies.  All who are rewarded by God, in any age, are blessed in spite of their sins, based upon the gracious forgiveness of God.”


Lest we as New Testament Christians get carried away thinking we can lie our way to blessings, Jackson adds, “The Lord, however, is not arbitrary in dealing with sin. As Paul observed, God is just, and the justifier of them that have faith in Jesus, whom he sent to be a propitiation for our sins (Romans 3:23-26).  Bible narratives often relate events without passing a moral judgment on the circumstances.  Similarly, Rahab was justified by her works — not by her words of deception.

“Fourth, one must remember that these individuals, the midwives and Rahab, were not New Testament Christians. God tolerated certain things, like polygamy, in Old Testament times — the times of ignorance. But now, in the light of the gospel, he commands all men everywhere to repent and live according to the high moral standard of Christianity (Acts 17:30; Titus 2:11-12). Additionally, not all is settled in this life. Justice will be equally dispensed on the Judgment Day (2 Corinthians 5:10).

“Fifth, the case of Ananias and Sapphira is not parallel. These individuals were New Testament Christians who lived in the light of the Gospel Age. They lied for the sake of financial gain, pride, and a desire for prominence within the church.  But the midwives, who lived in Old Testament times, may have used deception to save their lives. They refused to murder. The cases simply are not parallel.  It is incorrect to say that God rewarded the midwives for lying. The Bible does not affirm that conclusion.  The Lord blessed them for their refusal to kill baby boys — for their interest in obeying God rather than man.”

I agree with Jackson, but add my own perspective as follows.  I believe God loves us so much that while He hates any sin, he is more concerned with our obedience.  He wants the sin to be recognized, repented for, and stopped.  Then like a great Father, He does not neglect to bless us as we give Him our Heart and obey Him going forward.

Note to readers: Some of you who know have followed some of my writings on social media and elsewhere may well ask me the following question: “Why not apply the thinking you laid out above to homosexuality and homosexuals?”  Here is my response: I do, totally.  God hates the sin of homosexuality and He loves the homosexuals.  He wants them to recognize their sin (as we all have to do), repent for it, and stop repeating it.  And I believe they can do that if they give God their heart and want to obey Him.  Then His blessings are all theirs as they are ours.


[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

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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 favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Instructions to the Hebrew Midwives Exodus 1:15-17


Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one whom was named Shiphrah, and the other was named Puah; and he said, “When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.”  But the midwives feared God, and did not do so as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live.

What is difficult to discern from the text is whether or not there were just two Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, or whether these are the two the “king of Egypt” spoke to.  Perhaps these two worked right in the royal palaces taking care of the Hebrew slaves or servants who served the king and his staff.  Commentator David Guzik suggests they may have been the two head-midwives who oversaw the other Hebrew midwives in the land, although I find it strange that they would have been so organized at that time.

Mayer L. Gruber, writing in “Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia” explains the “birth stool” referred to in this text as follows: The Hebrew term for “birth stool” in Exod 1:16, obnayim, means literally “two stones.” It refers to the primitive form of the birth stool, which was simply two bricks (or stones) placed under each of the buttocks of the woman in labor. Such birth stools are depicted in the later forms of the hieroglyphic symbol for “birth” and are referred to in ancient Egyptian folk sayings, such as “He left me like a woman on the bricks.” Ancient Egyptian pictorial art shows that the two bricks were replaced by a chair with an opening in the middle (like a toilet seat) through which, with the help of gravity, the mother could push out her baby into the deft hands of the midwives.”

Of course, the Egyptian ruler only wanted male babies to be put to death, not female ones.  One is reminded of something similar that goes on in the world today, but perhaps opposite in its target.  I am referring of course to the practice in China and other parts of Asia of preferring male offspring to female ones, and even the infanticide of females some decades ago.  (Later on, for economic reasons, this resulted in China’s still enforced one-child per couple policy.)  In Western societies we currently also experience very high abortion rates.  In addition, there is a pre-occupation with knowing in advance of birth the sex of a child, as well as having a preferred sex of offspring.  That then can relate to what decision one makes about a possible abortion.  At the very root of all of this is man’s (and perhaps more particularly woman’s in this case) desire to play God and interfere with the responsibility of creation that is His and His alone.  And whenever that occurs, the society that is the proponent of such interference ends up collapsing or destroying itself.  We may well be living in the midst of that scenario in North America as we ignore the rights of the unborn.

And then along comes that favorite three-letter word of mine in the Bible – the word “but”.  Usually, as we saw in our study of Genesis, it is accompanied by the word “God” so that the phrase reads “but God” and then goes on to indicate that while man may have had certain plans and ideas, God had His own and He acted accordingly.  It is a great relief to know that all is in God’s hands and He takes the necessary action to work out His plans for both mankind and us individually.  However here in this 17th verse of Exodus chapter one, the word “but” is used in relation to individuals who feared God.  The king of Egypt may have had his plans, but God had in place people who were more in tune with His plans because they “feared” Him.  While that is one definition of the Hebrew word used, other definitions include to stand in awe of, be awed, to reverence, to honor, to respect, to cause astonishment and awe, to be held in awe, and to inspire reverence or awe.  It was this kind of fear that caused the Hebrew midwives to go against the king’s orders and let the male infants live.

So, here’s the question for each of us today.  Would you and I go against the commands of the authorities (president, prime minister, police, etc.) when obeying their orders would be contrary to what you and I believe are God’s laws regarding life or anything else?  Would you and I be willing to take a stand and make a difference in the lives of others, for God?  I do not want to be a herald of bad news, but I strongly believe that in the years to come, maybe as few as twenty or thirty years from now, should some of us live that long, many of us will have to be making just those kinds of decisions.

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

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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 favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Surprising Result of the Egyptian Affliction Exodus 1:12-14


But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel.  And the Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them.

The text says that the harder the Egyptian slave masters worked the Hebrews, the more they multiplied in numbers and caused the Egyptians to fear them.  Now, as far as I understand human biology there is no direct connection between working someone harder and their ability to reproduce.  I suppose that if one is young and hardy as a result of hard work, it may be said that he or she is more likely to reproduce infants that are more strong and hardy and thus can survive birth better, with the result being that the population grows faster.  But short of that, this was clearly a “God-thing”.  It reminds me of how the Church of Jesus Christ today has been growing much stronger and bigger under adverse circumstances in countries were it is disallowed – China being the foremost example that comes to mind.  God has a way of using difficult times for us as individuals and as pockets of the Church for our own good and for His glory.  And today the Church, while it is not dreaded from the standpoint of physical fear, it is feared as an enemy of the state’s ideological goals.

Now, here’s the funny thing.  The Egyptians didn’t change their ways when they saw this extra growth spurt among the children of God.  They kept on addressing their fear in the same manner – by piling on even more work on the Hebrews.  Today we all know that we can’t solve a problem or a concern by doing the same thing day after day, especially if that is the very thing that may well have been the cause of the problem.  The Egyptians had not yet advanced to that level of business management acumen.  But even today some of the world’s strongest regimes seem to be guilty of the same old habit.  Their only approach to fighting believers in Christ is to murder them, burn their churches, and ridicule them.  And the Church keeps on growing worldwide.

The text informs us that the Hebrews were being worked like slaves in both the Egyptian construction, as well as their agricultural, industries.  In short, they supplied the laborers and the farmhands.  Today these two categories of employment, as honorable as they may be before God and those that appreciate the end results of their efforts, are still deemed as menial work by many, primarily because of how physically difficult and mentally undemanding they are.  In Canada, for example, the majority of laborers are immigrants from other lands or those that have not progressed in school beyond the minimal requirement.  When it comes to farmhands, Canada like other countries tends to call on migrant workers from other nations (mostly Mexico in our case) to come and work seasonally for low wages in order to grow and harvest the crops.  Things have not changed that much in the thousands of years that have passed since the time of our text.

Here are the questions for you and I today.  First, how much adversity are we prepared to suffer in this life?  Second, when adversity comes will we collapse or will we see it as part of God’s will for our lives and His Kingdom?  Given what is going on in the world today – the attack on the Church by the State and liberalism; the progress of Islam (which ultimately believes it has the duty to eliminate both Jews and Christians as infidels from the world in its service to Allah); and the progress of secularism – these indeed are very serious and meaningful questions we need to give some heed to now.

And let us not for a moment think by being ‘godly’ we can avert suffering.  On the contrary, the Apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians clearly tells us, in his first letter to them, that suffering is central to being godly.  It’s well worth the read.  I believe we need to accept that fact and when adversity comes we need to be able to apply Philippians 4:6,7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Each of us would do well to start practicing that advice now rather than waiting until real adversity is upon us.

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

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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 favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Friend Asked Me: "Is reading anything but the KJV a sin?" and "Which version is best?"

A social media friend of mine recently sent me a good question about the issue of different Bible translations. She wrote:

"Ken I would be interested in knowing what you think of this... (she provided a link to a site of the supporters of the King James Bible and ultimately a critique of the New King James Version).  I personally get very confused with all this.  What really is the translation we should be using?  Every where I go hardly any one anymore uses the same translation -- in Church, in our small groups..  Is it a SIN to be using any translation other than the original King James Version?  My husband and I personally have several translations, from the King James, to the NIV, to the NAS, which I use in my Kay Arthur Bible studies, to the New King James.  It is to the point where I wonder whether I should even take my Bible to Church any more because any scripture they are using that morning is posted up on the overheads and even than each scripture I notice is a different translation from the one before.  When did buying/reading our Bibles become so difficult?  How does one help new Christians decide which translation they should purchase and study God's Word in?  I am interested on your thoughts on the subject as well as your readers...thanks Linda."


Well, here's the answer I provided Linda.  I'm hoping it will be of assistance to you as well.




Hi Linda:  Once again thank you for posting such a wonderful question on my profile.  As you can see a number of people have responded to date and I wanted to add my own thoughts for your consideration.  Here goes:

Your personal confusion is not uncommon.  I see two sides to its existence.  First, the ‘enemy’ is at work confusing and dividing Christians.  For some reason, he knows we have avoidance to ‘unity’ in the Body – perhaps because of our old sinful nature that still lingers around.  But second, it is possible that God uses or allows this confusion in the case of some of us to spurn us on to more and deeper study of Scripture with particular attention to the original manuscripts and what we know of them.  I am convinced that God in no way is limited by, or made less magnificent and all-powerful because of a diverse rendering of His Holy Word.  Think of it as a song that has been written by one of the greats and then consider some of the great singers of our time performing it – the powerful meaning of the song stays the same, but some of us like to hear it from the Beatles, others from Elvis, and others (and I’m picking wildly here) from Anne Murray.  As I was sharing with my wife when we were driving yesterday, “Ave Maria is Ave Maria” no matter how it is served up.

Yesterday I took my NASB (because I believe it is good for studying the writing as it seems to stick closer to the original texts) to a Baptist church I was visiting that uses the NIV.  No problem.  I also found that in small groups, it is interesting when we are studying a segment of scripture to have the various versions in the room being read by members present so we can see the verse from various angles and perspectives.  That exercise just makes the words that are already “living words” more easily identified with by different people with different experiences.

While some KJV die-hards would have you believe it is a sin to read anything else, I do not read that anywhere in Scripture, even in the KJV.  What the Bible does say is that no one should add or subtract from the Word of God.  As a leader of one Canadian Mission and a director in an African mission, I hear from people who say they will stop donating to our work if I don’t return to using the KJV immediately.  I reply very politely as follows:  “Dear friend, let us assume that your prodigal son calls you up and says, “Dad/mom – I’m trying to find my way; I’m seeking Jesus and I have started reading this Bible a friend gave me.  You know, I understand it – it’s written in clear language that makes sense not like the one you would read us at the family devotions each day that drove me bananas.”  Friend, do you say to them – “stop reading that right this instant” and kill any chance your son has of coming to the Lord and possibly dying without Him or do you say, “I’ll keep praying for you son, keep on reading and praise the Lord”?  If you can honestly answer that question friend and say you would rather them die Christless than read anything but the KJV, then I’ll reconsider my ways.”  Well, as you can imagine Linda I’ve never heard back from a single complainer and God has arranged for our missions to grow and grow in spite of losing them as donors.

By the way, may I suggest that you never stop taking your favorite version of the Bible to church and here’s ‘why’.  Yes, they often have the passage or the reference up on the screen, but you know what – you can’t highlight or write on the screen or in their pew Bibles, whereas you can in your own study Bible.  I often like to put the keys thoughts of the sermon in the margins and refer to them again and again when studying that passage in the future, alone or with others.

Reading our Bibles should not be that difficult even today once we get a good Bible that serves our purposes (and by that I mean the reason for our use – e.g. to study, to meditate, to read, etc. – I do not mean one that serves our own Christian thinking).  But I do agree with you that buying a Bible can be difficult for a young Christian and even some of us older owns.  I have found that there are good Bible comparisons available both in book form and I am sure on the Internet, from unbiased authors who point out the strength and weaknesses of various translations.  If you want to go further, one needs to read some good material on the various original texts – the Alexandrian text vs. the Byzantine text (just about every version relies more on one of those than the other).  It is fascinating reading and helps you come to your conclusion once you better understand the sources.  As for young Christians, I suggest that they get some help from a pastor or a knowledgeable Christian Bookstore Manager – and don’t just ask for their ‘favorite’ version.  Ask them to tell you why, the differences, and the pros and cons.

Now before I stop I do want to warn you about one new thing that going on now that mayt make your life even more difficult.  And that is the whole issue of some new translations or versions that actually try to water down some concepts in the Bible in a believed effort to make them more acceptable to others that we are trying to reach.  I won’t say much about this accept give you two examples – these versions may be changing or completely eliminated the idea of God as a Father, or referring to Jesus as the Son of God, etc.  Just look up the controversy of the latest Wycliffe Bible Translations – but only if you have the stomach for it and you want to be aware of it.

In the meantime, get, read, and use a Bible that helps you love your God more each day.  I think you and your husband are well on track.  God bless you and thanks for the opportunity to address this very important issue.

Please feel free to share this with your friends.  Blessings.   Ken.

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up 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. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.



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 favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

A New Pharaoh Fears the Future Exodus 1:8-11


Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.  And he said to his people, “Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we.  Come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and in the event of war, they also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us, and depart from the land.”  So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor.  And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses.

Once in a while in our reading, we are presented with an unpromising sentence.  The Bible seems to have them as well and for me Exodus 1:8 is one such sentence.  “Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.”  I am reminded of some children’s stories I used to read to my daughters and son when they were younger, or some that we still read to our grandchildren – “Now a new something or other …”.  That’s ominous enough after the great introduction to Exodus telling us how “the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.”  But now add to this the second phrase, “who did not know Joseph” and you can see the troublesome cloud forming and almost upon the Israelites.

Robert Jamieson in his commentary suggests that about sixty years after Joseph died the old dynasty was overthrown and the then two parts of Egypt were united as one.  The new ‘king’ likely reigned in Thebes far from where the Hebrews were, and knew nothing of Joseph and the Israelites.  Thus they regarded them as foreigners who were to be “disliked and scorned”.  This resulted in the the fear that arose in Pharaoh concerning their future role.

As I study this verse and think of the world I live in I wonder if God’s children today are in much the same circumstance as the children of God found themselves in back in the days of Exodus 1?  I think it can well be written about our times, “Now a new order of things arose over all the earth, one which did not know Jesus.”  You don’t have to venture too far physically beyond your own residence to detect it, to see more than church programs on television, or to read much beyond your Bible to be bombarded with it.  If you thought the times were changing quickly when you were a little younger, you know were wrong given the rate of change (and not for the good) that we see today.  And as the old adage goes, “we’ve only just begun”.  I believe our children and grandchildren are in for a major shock in the years ahead.  We haven’t seen anything yet.  Only God can preserve them.

Now here is an interesting take on this new pharaoh, one that is perhaps unlike what our own current global leaders seem to be like.  Based on what he said to his cohorts, this guy actually feared the growth of the Israelites in his land.  In fact, he feared they could gang up against him and the Egyptians and in the event of war, join their enemies (most likely the Hittites from the north) and with them fight the Egyptians.  Worse still they feared they would depart from Egypt taking all the services and products they provided with them.  I don’t detect that same fear of God’s people among global leaders today.  In fact, if anything they see as annoyances to be dealt with slowly but surely.  And they’re doing a good job.

But just like today, the pharaoh of the time wanted to deal “wisely” with the Children of God.  Today, leaders in the Western world want to walk on both sides of the fence when it comes to Christians, but it is mainly because they fear the cost they would have to pay with respect to lost votes if they quickly and obviously totally alienated us.  But as I write this, I am thinking that this too will not be a deterrent for too long.  Either global leaders will take over in a way in which our vote (or anybody else’s for that matter) will not be of consequence or because we are all becoming too compliant with their wishes, too confused by the Enemy, or too apathetic to the importance of standing up for the Truth.  (One just has to post a strong position on the issue of same-sex marriage on Facebook these days and see the outcry that comes from those that call themselves Christians.)

The Bible says the Pharaoh in Exodus 1 appointed taskmasters who gave the Israelites hard labor, forcing them to built entire storage cities for the Pharaoh.

What surprises me about this statement is it’s stark and sudden contrast to “the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them” that we had read about just four verses previous to this one.  What we know very little about is how long it took from verse 4 to verse 11 and what were the methods that Pharaoh used to so debase the Israelites that they went from free men in Egypt to slaves.  Things like this, as we’re learning in our lives today, do not happen over night.  The Enemy has a way of sneaking them in little by little, so that we don’t even feel the increased heat until it’s too late.

David Guzik in his commentary on Exodus reports that the children of Israel (in their period of slavery which lasted from 134 years to 284 years depending on which historical analyst ones follows) built many of the great cities and monuments in Egypt, including as our text says, Ptihom and Raamses.  He believes they did not build the pyraminds that were completed much earlier.  But how did we get that far that fast?

The answer that Robert Jamieson gives is alarmingly similar to what is going on today in America – economic pressure and then total dependency on the government for all services.  He suggests that first they forced the Hebrews to pay enormous rents that they could not afford.  That got them into to trouble with the government that in turn degraded them to serfs and employed them as laborers to carry out their projects.  They added taskmasters with whips to punish those that were not “up to par” as workers.  Jamieson reports that captives built all public or royal buildings in Egypt at the time and inscriptions proudly stated that no “free citizen” had been used.  What ensues on a path such as this is slavery.

You will remember Raamses.  It was first mentioned in Genesis 47:11 as the place in Egypt where Joseph settled his father and his brothers many years earlier.  Pithom, according to the Bible dictionary was probably the Patumos that the Greek historian Herodotus referred to.  As late as 1883, archeologists discovered the ruins of supposed grain-chambers and that it was built from bricks that were made without straw.  The secular name of the city according to some is Succoth that we will hear more about later in Exodus, but its sacred name was Pithom.  The store cities were also deemed to be dwelling cities of the various royals.

Not only were the Hebrews given hard tasks, but also those in charge were instructed, “to afflict them”.  We can only imagine all that this entailed.  Their spirits were likely broken, their health was harmed, their longevity was shortened, and there was an impact on their numbers.  Matthew Henry also suggests they were likely discouraged from marrying and having children as their offspring would be born to “slavery”.  The whole aim was to eliminate the race (the Jews have been used to that ever since) and wipe off the name of Israel from the land of Egypt (that’s happening today as well, just follow the issues of Israel’s fear of the Iranian regime).  When a people have this kind of oppression exercised on them, is there any wonder some fall away from their own beliefs and start getting involved in idolatrous worship?  And are we not seeing just that among some of our Christian brothers and sisters today?  Many of our numbers cannot take the pressure of the squeezes we are feeling as the Church, Christ’s Body on earth, and it is easier to succumb to the practices of the oppressors.  But the story of the Israelites in Egypt does not end there.

What remains is for us to decide how our own personal/individual story will end as we face tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

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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 favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Living on Joseph’s Legacy Exodus 1:1-7






Note To Readers: Welcome back.  Today we are continuing our study of the Old Testament, verse by verse, and where necessary phrase by phrase, and even word by word.  We approach it as ordinary laity who care about the gems that God has hidden in His Word for us.  Please join me on this journey as we begin today, Volume III, commencing with Exodus 1:1-7.   As always, today, and tomorrow, I welcome your thoughts and comments -- they are part of what energizes me.  Please sign up to get updates from my blog Epistoli -- this will include our studies in Exodus as well as some other thought-provoking topics I cover from time to time.  Please share our study with friends and family.   I know you'll enjoy it.  -- Ken Godevenos, Toronto, May 11, 2012.


Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan Naphtali, Gad and Asher.  And all the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt.  And Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.  But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them.

As we start this third volume of our study through scripture, nothing can better describe how I feel more than this first passage in Exodus.  A good word for it may be “over-whelmed”.  In just seven verses the author of Exodus covers life from the time the Israelites went to Egypt during the famine, the death of Jacob, the death of Joseph, the death of all Joseph’s brother and their generation, and the prosperity of those that followed them.  It is a vast amount of history just in this first pages and that causes me to tremble as we embark on this book.  But if we ‘stay the course’, I believe we’ll be blessed with some of God’s greatest gems for life that He hid in this incredible account of the Children of Israel when they were both in the land of Egypt and in the wilderness.  This whole volume covers the first part of Exodus – the redemption from Egypt.

So let’s get right to it.  In these first few verses we are given some interesting facts.  The number of people who came to Egypt originally and counted in Jacob’s family (who were born to him or to his children) numbered seventy.  This number did not include Joseph and his two sons who were already there. 

Daughters are not mentioned in historical accounts at this point in history.  God’s perspective on the equality of woman was still to be revealed to man.  We can see its progression later in the Old Testament.  It was brought to its fullness in the New Testament.  In modern society, there were/are three major issues which got/get the attention of many.  The first was the issue of slavery; the second was/is the issue of female equality; and the third is the issue of homosexuality.  As part of our free will, I believe God allowed us to use our own judgment with respect to both slavery and female equality.  We did not do a good job and so you have, through scripture, a progression of how we as God’s people are to treat both our slaves (servants, employees) and the wonderful female companions, or women in general, God gave to us.  God’s view on these topics evolve and ultimately culminate in the New Testament when God tells us how to deal with our employees, and when God through the epistles of Paul and others, tells us how to lovingly treat and consider our wives.  Where you do not see a progression or evolvement in thinking is on the issue of homosexuality.  God’s position throughout the Bible remains the same – He is against it.  While He loves the homosexual as one of His own, He abhors the lifestyle that the homosexual chooses to follow.  There is no wavering of that position anywhere in the Scriptures.   So, while many liberals may think that Christians are on the wrong side of this issue as they claim we were on the slavery and women’s issues – and admittedly we were at one time – that is certainly not the case when it comes to homosexuality.  That is, it is not the case if our standard is God’s Word on the matter.  An excellent book on this subject is Slaves, Women & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Culture Analysis by William J. Webb, Inter-Varsity Press, 2001.  I strongly recommend it.

Our passage goes on to say that in the period covered by the first seven verses of Exodus chapter one, Joseph dies, and so do all his brothers, and all ‘that’ generation, I would assume, referring to their peers in age.  The story could have ended there.  The Children of Israel could have died off.  But that was not the case.  That was not the purpose for which God led them to Egypt.  There was still a Covenant He had made with them and He intended to keep it.

So, instead, we read that the sons of Israel (in this case the sons of the sons of the sons of Jacob), his grandchildren and the generations that followed them prospered very well.  They multiplied in numbers and they became powerful in many ways.  They had spread out even further than in Joseph’s days and now they were to be found throughout the entire land of Egypt.

The first thing we need to note here is just what was meant by “increased greatly”.  May I suggest, as others do, this was an understatement.  The reality is that they started with 70 and some few hundred (either three or four) years later, subsequent parts of this book will tell us that they had grown to over six hundred thousand males over the age of 21.  Now, that’s more than a mere “great increase”, wouldn’t you say?

We also must note that the family’s “golden son” Joseph had died.  He was their original passport to favor in the sight of the Pharaohs and therefore in the sight of all Egyptians.  Life was good for many years.  But with Joseph’s death came the an element of fear and with it, the question of “what will happen to us now?”  To be fair, the Children of Israel had been concerned with this before, but Joseph had been able to assure them of God’s presence and protection, even after he himself was no longer going to be amongst them.

Will things get worse from here or better for the Children of God?  For now, they were prospering, but how long would that really last?

Thus opens the book of Exodus, also believed to be written by Moses.  It is in Egypt that this small band of seventy turn into a full-fledged nation.   Like all organisms that are destined to live, the nation of Israel had to pass through the birth canal and for them that was Egypt.  And the birth-pains they were about to experience, as the authors of the introduction to the New American Standard Bible, Open Bible, Expanded Edition suggest, were indeed very severe.


[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up 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. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.


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 favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

The Common Thread in “Lust, Fear, & Pride”


During a recent week in Toronto I had the opportunity to follow two significant stories on the news.  One story was from the United States, the other from Canada.  The former was about the trial of former U.S. presidential candidate John Edwards’ with respect to his possible misuse of campaign funds to support his mistress.  The second story was home-grown right here in Toronto and it had to do with the fact that some judges were finding far too many municipal and provincial police officers were lying in their testimonies in a desperate attempt to convict suspects.

In the same week, I attended a Pops Series concert of the Toronto Symphony where the theme was famous Sci-Fi Music and the guest host was none other than George Takei about whom the program said, “known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise.”  Takei took the opportunity, at least for his solo parts of the concert, to tell us that all the good things the producer of Star Trek had in mind when he produced the show many decades ago were indeed coming true and the world is a much more wonderful place to live in now than it was back in the days the first time the good ship Enterprise cruised the universe.

For some crazy reason, perhaps understood only by those that understand how my mind works, I started reconsidering all three of these stories, both individually and as a group, by the end of the week.  I discovered something that all three had in common.  I noticed that each story was really about hiding the truth and furthermore, about propagating a lie.  Let me explain the observation in each case.

The story of the downfall of John Edwards involved lying at the personal level.  Not only did Edwards lie to his wife and others, but also individuals in his employ or circle of friends lied in order to perpetuate the likelihood of his lies being believed.  First, we have the lie that his campaign aide, Andrew Young, told in which he claimed he was the father of the baby that Edwards had with his mistress, Rielle Hunter, in order to protect Edwards.  Then we have the lie that the aide’s wife, Cheri Andrew, agreed to when she let her husband say that.  According to her, Edwards had said that if they didn’t go along with this lie, his campaign would die, and his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth, would find out about his affair.  And of course, the mistress agreed to the lie as well.  You can’t easily come up with this kind of stuff in Hollywood, unless you are Woody Allen or Steve Martin, but in real life, it finds you.  Wonderful.

Before we examine the cause of the various lying, let’s take a look at our second story – the case of too many police officers lying on the stand.  While each police office who lies during a court case does so as an individual, the fact is that there is often solidarity and supporting lies required not only by one’s police partner, but the whole division, and ultimately the entire force, in some cases.  Police officers bond together better than any Bull-Grip glue you can find at Home Depot.  This often occurs for some good reason, but almost always with some very good results, for them.  Not so the case for the poor sucker who is the butt of the lying.  In this particular story, the Toronto Star newspaper had identified at least 100 cases of police deception.  The paper also discovered that while judges may note such findings and even comment on them, they are powerless to do anything about them under current legislation.  Go figure.  For some reason perjury it seems does not apply to law enforcement officers.  The research discovered cases where officers had lied, misled the court, or fabricated evidence.  In many of those cases, the judges tossed out the evidence against the accused, and they walked free.  If they were guilty, certainly justice, any victims, and society as a whole, were not served.  You may want to think that it serves the police right for the dishonest role they may have played, but before we jump to that conclusion, we need to also remember that some of those who ‘walked’ in these cases were possessors of child pornography, a major ecstasy drug manufacturer operating out of a residence, and drug dealers carrying loaded handguns.  To make matters worse, probably because of the solidarity of those in the forces, most officers caught being dishonest are not dealt with at all.  Clearly, there ought to be another approach.

When the paper first gave rise to the issue, the Toronto police spokesperson sent a rather strong letter to the paper criticizing it for not ‘understanding’ certain things or caring enough to help readers ‘understand’ the situation.  Really.  Then a few days later, the president of the Toronto Police Association (read ‘union’) wrote an opinion article in the same paper explaining how the coverage “oversimplified the facts”.  The author claims that the 100 cases the paper identified was nothing compared to the 1.5 million cases heard across Canada in the same period of time.  Mike McCormack had a good point.  We need to be careful that we don’t paint all our men and women in police uniforms as liars and deceivers.  They are not.  However, if my grandchild gets raped by a child molester; murdered by an armed dealer because he got in the way; or hit by a drunken driver, that was released because of just one police officer lying then, for me, that’s one officer too many lying.  And, it is rather odd that of those accused of lying, the number of officers found guilty by their own forces is almost zero.

The furor over this story ended recently when the Attorney General of Ontario agreed to probe the case of police officers “who are found by judges to have lied in court.”  I welcomed this and so did Police Association President McCormack – but perhaps for different reasons.

Sadly enough the controversy of whether or not police lie on the stand was also followed by another form of lying the police may be guilty of as a group.  For years, drivers swore that Toronto police officers worked on a quota when it came to giving out violation tickets to drivers.  The police and their employer denied it.  But lo and behold, in the same week, one leaked memo to officers of a large Toronto Division states they are “expected to write a book a day.”  A book is 25 tickets.  When questioned, the Deputy Police Chef said the memo used “inappropriate language” and “there’s no quota, just an expectation” to do what they are supposed to do, he argued.  Let’s get real for a moment.  In the service, when the ‘expectation’ comes from a superior officer and he also tells you that promotion is based partly on your record which includes doing your job in this area, then I submit to you, this ‘expectation’ is heard and read and obeyed as a ‘quota’.  If it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck, it’s a duck.  Welcome to collective lying – a practice almost as old as the world’s oldest profession if not older, as I read ancient texts.

That now takes me briefly to my third story and its associated lies – the one that George Takei and other liberals promote constantly around the world, using their fame and fortune to do so.  It is what I call lying at the “global” level.  Politicians and activists are very good at this – think Al Gore and the millions he has made on the lie of global warming.  I am sure you can find other examples like the individuals who deny the holocaust ever happened.

According to his write-up, Takei was “unjustly” interned in two U.S. camps during WWII (those awful Americans), is a human rights and community activist, spokesman for the ‘Coming Out Project’ and he “currently lives in Los Angeles with his husband Brad Takei”.  Fine and dandy, Takei is free to be and do what he wants to be and do.  I mention this only to tell you what his philosophy of life and political ideology is like.  And they both affect his thinking as do mine affect my thinking, I admit. But if Takei thinks that mankind is much better off these days than we were half a century ago, I think he must have lost his reading glasses somewhere in outer space when he stepped outside the Enterprise for a stroll.  He is missing the hunger, the exploits, the illiteracy, the illnesses, the racism, and so much more that is not only still with us, but growing in the world.  And then when he and his buddies start to tell us that “man” can solve the world’s problems, you know he is, at best, deceiving himself.  One only needs to look at America, Europe, Africa, the Arab States, the Middle East, and many other places in 2012 to know there is not an iota of truth in that.  But good luck, George.

Okay, that’s three stories – all tied to lying, but at different levels.  Edwards at the personal level; the police at the group level or organizational level; and Takei and friends at the global level.  But what exactly causes these three levels of lying?  Is the cause one and the same for all three?  Are they different?  Well, yes and no.

When I am faced with such difficult questions, I have the privilege (and the blessing) of asking a very reliable source – my wife.  And that’s exactly what I did.

“Honey, when a person gets involved in extra-marital affairs, what, in your opinion, is the key driving cause?” I asked her.  “Lust!” she replied without any hesitation.  The cause of John Edwards’ lying was his affair, which in turn, was caused by lust.  He simply was not satisfied with the beautiful woman he had, who was the girl of his youth, who was the mother of his children, and the woman who right now needed him more than any other person in the world.  Instead, he lusted after another woman.  And now he had to lie about it to salvage a number of things and people – his wife being one of them.

“Honey, when a police officer lies on the stand and the whole force tends to support him afterwards, what causes that?” I continued my research.  “Fear!” she replied, again without any hesitation.  People lie in their work because they are afraid of failure.  Others lie with them because they fear the repercussions of having one in their ranks of failing or in this case, caught lying.

I was on a roll.  “Honey,” I tried once more, “when someone like George Takei lies publicly and globally about the state of the world today and about man’s likelihood of solving his own problems, what causes that?”  Again, no hesitation as she blurted out the answer, “Pride!”  Bingo!  She was right again I realized.  When man lies about the state of the world and the state of man’s future, it is his pride that actually blinds his minds’ eyes so that he cannot see his own shortcomings and thinks he can save himself, to the point where he may not even know he is lying.  He just is.

So, I thought, we lie alone in situations like extra-marital affairs and cheating on our spouses because of lust.  We lie alone and in groups because of fear.  We lie alone, in groups, and in global movements because of pride.  I repeated the findings to her.  She nodded.  Then she asked me a question.  “And dear, what do all these things – lust, fear, and pride, have in common?”  “SIN!” I replied.   “Bingo” she said.


[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up 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. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.
 
 

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 favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Just What Can My “Jesus” T-Shirt Say?


A (May 2012) case in Nova Scotia has given rise to a number of questions with respect to “how then shall we share our faith?”  Let me explain.

William Swinimer, a grade 12 student from Forest Heights Community School in Chester Basin, Nova Scotia got suspended for wearing a T-shirt sporting the words, “LIFE IS WASTED WITHOUT JESUS” on the front.  The South Shore Regional School Board says it took the action because it believed the wording on the piece of clothing was problematic.  The problem arose in the fact that the words were directed at the “beliefs of others”.

The board Superintendent went on to suggest that had the wording simply said, “MY LIFE IS ENHANCED WITH JESUS” there would have been no problem because it would have been understood to be a “student’s own opinion about (his) own belief”.  Apparently at least one student had complained about the wording.

William Swinimer’s pastor who went to bat for him indicated the student felt his religious freedom was being restricted at the school.  According to the pastor, William was being bullied, not by students, but by the school.  The Board for its part said they had tried ‘mediation’ with the student, but it failed.

So what can we make of all this?  For starters, we, as Christians tend to want to criticize all too easily what others do or do not, especially with respect to spiritual or faith matters.  Alternatively, we find it much more difficult to highlight the positive difference Christ has made in our lives when sharing our faith.

Second, there is no doubt that in this day and age of diversity and pluralism, we need to be particularly careful to speak positively about our faith rather than negatively about someone else’s.  We should be doing this not only because of what the world thinks, but also I believe Jesus would rather us be positive – telling our story of what Christ has done for us.  I am reminded of the story of the blind man in the Gospel of John, chapter 9 when the Pharisees, after he had been made to see by Jesus, suggested to him that Christ was a sinner.  The man replied in verse 25, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”  He had the right idea.  He was not going to criticize even the One Who healed him, but he was going to be adamant about how his own life was changed.

Some of us may say “Nevertheless, too many people, especially young people are complaining about everything these days, just wanting to pick a fight.”  Not exactly true.  It is true that some youth (encouraged by their adult role models) are indeed making many complaints against anything Christian.  It seems that our current Western society in response to “political correctness” and the strong egging on (or at least passive support) of small “l” liberals and the mainstream media, is very much aware of its opportunities, to make such complaints.  In fact, many see it as their responsibility and in some cases, their life’s purpose.

Several other thoughts should be pointed out here.  As I read the story carefully, I realize the issue is not one of "not being allowed to give a message of one's religion" as much as it is "not being allowed to criticize the religion of others".  There is a difference.  A communication that implies someone else (who does not follow your religion) is a loser or 'wasted' (a term that the ‘Urban Dictionary’ currently defines as, “To be EXTREMELY intoxicated from the use of alcohol or drugs. See stoned, high . . .” is a negative and critical message.  And while it may be stating the truth from our perspective, cannot be allowed from a societal one.  I think Christians need to understand this and act accordingly.

Yes, we are free to hold our own opinions, and opinions are opinions as many argue.  But even there, there are limitations.  For example, some opinions may be eligible for "slander" and as such should not be allowed, or when made, the person who utters it, can be sued.  We understand that and accept it, for the most part.  Slander is the “spoken act of defamation” whereas libel is the written act of defamation.  Defamation in turn is a malicious and false statement or report about someone or an organization or other entity that brings injury to the reputation involved.  For example, I could have the opinion that you are "bank robber" or something worse.  If I publicize that opinion, you could sue me.  To win, I would have to prove it is true. 

Some would argue, “If people don’t like the shirts we Christians wear to promote our faith, they can simply look away.  After all, there is much that we see on the street that offends us.”  True, but that’s not the issue here.  Looking away does not, in the eyes of society take away the pain the scene has caused, especially when it comes to moral or faith issues.  Otherwise, more of us would simply just “look way from all the abortions that occur.”

And it is not only an issue of being offended; there is often a law that needs to be considered.  For example, someone may be offended by seeing a topless woman on the street, but the law in Canada says she is allowed to walk thus if she chooses with some minor location restrictions.   In fact, if one were to say she was a "slut" (a term applied to an individual who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous) you could be up for slander.  Similarly, if one were to say that she is "Godless" and thus "wasting her life" -- you would be criticizing her choice of being an "atheist" or "non-believer" if that were indeed her chosen set of principles – also a ‘no-no’ in the eyes of the politically correct society we live in.

For all the above, I for one, although I did not like the decision of the particular school board in this case, would not have been prepared to fight.  I think, unlike many other school boards in similar cases who don’t make a reasonable argument for their decision, this school board was trying to help us see their point of view and to many of us, it made sense.  It is not an easy decision.  I agree it is a fine line -- but we never expected to be shown any favoritism as Christians these days, did we now?   

The bigger issue for me as a result of this case is whether or not this now means that for a Christian to say, "Without Christ, you are lost forever" or worse still, "You are condemned to hell", would also be illegal or inappropriate.  Obviously, if this had gone to court it would have had some serious ramifications for preachers and those who witness or openly share their faith.  But they may not all have been bad.  One possible outcome may also have been an attempt to try and curtail the hateful intolerant rhetoric expressed by people of a geopolitical religious force against Christians and Jews who seem to exist for the sole purpose of annihilating the latter.

As of the time of writing, the matter had been resolved in favor of the grade 12 student and his choice of T-shirt.  All T-shirt sayings are now welcome by that Board.  William Swinimer is said to have said, “Some people say you're not supposed to have religion in school.  Well, every other religion is in that school and they constantly put Christianity down."  The young man is not only courageous but a person with astute observation.

Meanwhile the school board is wisely using the opportunity to bring in a facilitator to speak with students about “how to express their beliefs in a way that is respectful to all.”  That’s the better approach – not to squelch the expression of one’s beliefs.  Society could take a lesson from that – including those in charge of the political arena.  And furthermore, parents will be invited to discuss the same topic.

Finally, I think it is important for us to know how different political views land on issues like this.  The leader of Nova Scotia's Progressive Conservative Party indicated that Swinimer has every right to wear the shirt wherever he wants.  The CBC report quoted Jamie Baillie as saying, "This is the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All Canadians, including Mr. Swinimer, are guaranteed certain rights under that charter … He is exercising his right as a Canadian and I think the school board should stand up for that," Baillie said.”  Compare that with the position taken by the ruling party, the New Democratic Party, when the provincial Education Minister Ramona Jennex said she agrees with the school board decision to suspend Swinimer.  And there you have it.  I hope Nova Scotians and other Canadians, as well as small “c” conservatives south of my country’s borders and beyond take note for the next time they’re marking a ballot.

So, yes check your T-shirt.  But more importantly, don’t let them make you take it off.

[Are you looking for a speaker at your church, your club, school, or organization? Ken is available to preach, teach, challenge, and/or motivate. Please contact us.]

Thanks for dropping by. Sign up 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. Ken Godevenos, Church and Management Consultant, Accord Consulting.



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 favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.