Catching up... and the Boissoin case

I am so far behind, it's almost laughable!
I have been having a fascinating conversation on Facebook about global warming. I hope to post it here sometime in the near future.

As most are aware by now, the ruling against Stephen Boissoin was over-turned a short time ago. Although this is something of a victory for free speech, I wasn't going to post about it due to time constraints.
We all know it was over-turned.
Life goes on.
And then I received the following letter in my email this morning.
Stephen Boissoin challenges Michael Coren to public debate
The text of the letter follows:
Michael Coren has crossed the line and I challenge him to a public debate on the many ways that Christians can and should interact with their post-modern post-church culture (both believer and non) without compromising the ethic as outlined within scripture.
Over the last year I have listened to Michael Coren subtly and now forthrightly discredit me on the air. His recent comments were over the top and outright disrespectful for one Christian to say about another, especially during such a sensitive time for practising Christians within our culture.
Throughout the last seven-plus years I have had amazing opportunities in both Canada and the United States to explain the context of my letter and God’s love for all, including homosexuals. Coren’s comments were attacking and outright arrogant and are a clear abuse of the fact that he has his own show.
I respectfully request an opportunity to defend myself and my opinion in front of Michael Coren perhaps on a show that discusses ways that a Christian can/should interact/communicate with our post-modern/post-church culture. I would love to do so with a respectful host such as Richard Landau. That is unless Coren is too cowardly to do so with the likes of us, and instead chooses to continue his cowardly shots a me while hiding behind his personal pulpit. If you are going to attack a person or their position, then have the integrity to do it face to face.
Listen to his recent comments and ask yourself how you would feel.
I am available for Calgary or Ontario (I am in Ontario from Dec 26 to Jan 4).
My email to Michael reads as follows:
I too have analyzed many of the comments that you have made over the last year in regards to my case and, in general, on your opinion about how a Christian should communicate. Personally, I believe that you come across as an arrogant a** who has very little understanding of what does and does not damage Christianity. Your OVER (key word) intellectualization about how one is to communicate certain biblical truths is inconsistent with biblical teaching, the context of my letter and me as a Christian. I have bit my tongue until now because I had thought we were on the same team but I see now that your version of Christianity is border-lining on being so seeker-sensitive that is does a disservice to Christendom.
It is truly people like you within Christendom who assume they accomplish much for the Lord - strike that - for Christians, but actually contribute to keeping the masses stagnant. Like it or not, you do more to encourage secular humanism than the true faith and life we are called to, brother. Although causing offense is not our mandate, Jesus Himself said many would hate us because of Him (He and what he stood for - all inclusively.) Offense is at times what drives many to consider and investigate "The Why," even while in a state of rebellion. Offense is often the instigator that begins the process that leads to change and repentance. I have seen this over and over while evangelizing to thousands of youth and young adults.
Keeping my letter in context…it was partly in response to a teacher (the actual complainant) bringing a gay minister into my son’s school to teach the pro-homosexual interpretation of the Bible without inviting any other viewpoint for balance. Plus, the Alberta Human Rights Commission was funding an Alberta gay organization that had a youth-focused initiative that had the following as a foundational statement, "Homosexuality is normal, necessary, acceptable and productive and has been for thousands of years."
I have received thousands of emails from Christians (in tune with scripture and the Spirit) who understood the context of my letter and have shared how this situation has educated them and encouraged their faith. I have also had a chance to speak to hundreds of homosexuals who email or call me to discuss the letter. We have even met in person on more occassions than I can recall. In each instance, I have shared the immense love of God for them and His salvation wrought on their behalf. In every situation they have left considering me a new friend.
When one weighs the damage that the gay agenda has contributed to the demise of youth culture against the wording in my letter, only then can the true intent and perspective of my opinion be understood. When were you last involved with youth/young adult ministry in a hyper pro-gay culture Michael or have seen first-hand the damage it causes?
I request that you and I meet in person on a taped show where we can have a real (respectful) debate on this very issue. I think that you will discover that I am a little more in tune with what is going on than the average youth pastor (which I was not) and yourself. Not to do so proves one thing, that you choose to remain a coward behind your personal pulpit while taking shots at a brother in Christ who cannot defend himself.
Stephen Boissoin

Interesting that he calls his request "respectful" while also calling Coren a coward.

I hope there is a debate.
Let me remind you of Boissoin's position on the use of Scripture:
My open letter and comments
The answer Ruth is that not in all cases does a Christian have to, or benefit from, quoting scripture. Though scripture is the basis of our lives as Christians, it is not in every case some magic ingredient that alone convicts or instructs the target audience when spoken or read. ... That letter intentionally did not include scripture.
That's right.
In his own words.
did NOT
include Scripture.

So, for all those who bend over backwards to argue that Boissoin faced some sort of horrible persecution on account of his beliefs as a Christian, I have a question.
How can that possibly be true if he DELIBERATELY excluded the very source and authority for our beliefs?


It's a Boy!

Micah Joel vanHooydonk was born July 18, 2009 at 12:11am. Weighing 9lbs 1oz, measuring 21.5" long, his labour was equal to my previous two combined! Having spent a mere 6 hours in labour with Eden and about 4 hours in labour with Isaac, both I and the midwives expected another quick labour. In fact, we had even made back up plans for a home birth.
How wrong we were! It's almost laughable now!
Instead of a quick delivery, my labour was just over 10 hours long. Already hooked up to an IV full of antibiotics for GBS (my first time with GBS by the way), inefficient contractions produced almost no result after about 6 hours and I was hooked up to an oxytocin drip. At the advice of both the midwife and doctor, I was also given an epidural to help me manage the amplified contractions. Generally speaking, I am not in favour of an epidural. However, as the epidural started to wear off, I began to feel the contractions, and I am glad I followed the advice of the midwife and doctor.
Pushing still hurt.
On the upside, I pushed for less than 3 minutes.
It would seem once he was ready to come, out he flew.
As a result of everything, instead of going home after my usual three hours, I had to stay for a full 12 hours.
I have come to the conclusion that up until Saturday, I have obviously been spoiled.
On the upside, I had virtually no post-partum. Not even a little bit. Given all the stress leading up to the birth, I laughed with my midwife that I must have had my baby blues before Micah was born, instead of after.


Grieving for Saints

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
- Psalm 116:15

The past month or two has given me a great deal to think about. About a month ago, Oma Vyuk passed away. Then last week, a young lady named Katelyn Muir departed, after battling cancer for many years. Despite the great difference in their ages, both of these women were a testimony to the power of God in the lives of believers and I had enormous respect for them. Both left this world glorifying God, and even their funerals bore witness to God's never-ending love and grace.
As I said to my husband, as a Christian that is how you want to go. I long for my own funeral to be just as God-centered, that the words "Repent and believe for the Kingdom of God is at hand. (Mark 1:15)" may be heard by all, just as they have been in recent months. Like many others, "I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." (Phil. 1:20) I long to stand before God and hear those words "Well done, good and faithful servant."(Matt. 25:21)
Still, what about those who are left behind?
Unlike the scene in Pilgrim's Progress, most Christians do not get to journey across the Jordan side by side with their good friend Hopeful. In fact, that experience is exceedingly rare. Instead, Hopeful must stand at the edge of the water, crying out to his friend "Be of good cheer.. the bottom is good... these troubles and distresses that you go through in these waters are no sign that God hath forsaken you but are sent to try you whether you will call to mind that which heretofore you have received of His goodness and live upon Him in your distresses." Furthermore, Hopeful is often the one left behind to comfort those who must also watch Christian depart, and this is not always an easy task. However, we are reminded of the words of Paul who says "...We do not want you to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. (1 Thess. 4:13)"
Notice he does not say we don't grieve at all. We do grieve. We just do it differently.
St. Augustine wrote the following words when he was reflecting on the death of his mother Monica, a woman he considered to be most Godly. I read this passage long before either funeral, and was immediately moved both by the beautiful language employed and by Augustine's frank description of his own sorrow and how he turned to the Lord in his grief. This passage is perhaps one of the most beautiful examples of a Christian grieving in hope that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
I closed her eyes and an overwhelming grief welled into my heart and was about to flow forth in a flood of tears. But at the same time under a powerful act of mental control my eyes held back the flood and it dried up. The inward struggle put me into great agony. Then when she breathed her last [my son] cried out in sorrow... We did not think it right to celebrate the funeral with tearful dirges and lamentations... My mother's dying meant neither that her state was miserable, nor that she was suffering extinction. We were confident of this because of the evidence of her virtuous life, her faith unfeigned, and reasons of which we felt certain.
Why then did I suffer sharp pangs of inward grief? It must have been the fresh wound cause by the break in habit formed by our living together, a very affectionate and precious bond suddenly torn apart. I was glad indeed to have her testimony when in that last sickness she responded to my attentions... And yet, my God our Maker, what comparison can there be between the respect with which I deferred to her and the service she rendered me? Now that I had lost the immense support she gave, my soul was wounded, and my life as it were torn to pieces, since my life and hers had become a single thing.
After [my son's] tears had been checked [a friend] took up the Psalter and began to chant a Psalm. The entire household responded to him "I will sing of your mercy and judgment, Lord..."
I was glad to weep before You about her and for her, about myself and for myself. Now I let flow the tears which I had held back so they ran as freely as they wished. My heart rested upon them, and it reclined upon them because it was Your ears that were there..."

Rest in Peace Katelyn Muir

MUIR, Katelyn - In the early hours of the morning of February 18th, 2009, Katelyn Joyce Jacqueline Muir was called from this life into the hands of her Father in heaven after a long struggle against cancer. She died peacefully surrounded by her family. She will be dearly missed by her loving mother Carolyn Muir (nee Smink) and her father Bill Muir. She leaves behind her devoted brother and sisters, Adam, Bethany and Janelle Muir and her grandparents William and Joyce Muir and Geurt and Florence Smink. She will be mourned by her extended family and many friends. The visitation is scheduled for Thursday, February 19th 2-4 and 7-9 pm at the Trinity Orthodox Reformed Church, 99 Scott St. St. Catharines, with the memorial service to be held at 11:00 am Friday, February 20th at the Trinity church. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Heritage Christian High School (cheques to be made out to the N.R.C.E.A.) and may be done through the offices of HULSE & ENGLISH FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL


Federal Budget Passes

From CTV:
The federal budget introduced late last month by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government passed in the House of Commons on Tuesday night, by a vote of 211 to 91.

Was there ever any doubt?


Rest in Peace Oma Vuyk

On Friday morning, January 16, 2009, Neeltje Vuyk, aged 85 years, passed away peacefully at the St. Catharines General Hospital. The family takes comfort in knowing that she is with her Heavenly Father. Wife of the late Johannes Vuyk. The family received friends at Immanuel Orthodox Reformed Church in Jordan on Monday, January 19th at2-4 and 7-9 pm. Funeral Service was held at the same location on Tuesday, January 20th at 11 am. If desired memorial donations may be made to Heritage Christian School or the charity of choice.


The "Conservative" Budget

Lots of spending.
Is such a massive deficit necessary? My feeling is no, but only time will tell. On the upside, we'll be getting a tax cut this year.
CTV has the full text of Flaherty's budget speech.
From the Globe & Mail
The National Post also has in depth coverage.

A few thoughts:
I expect the Liberals to support the budget. If they don't, then at the very least I expect them to race as far away from the coalition as they possibly can before election day.
I am not at all surprised that Layton vowed to vote against the budget regardless of what it contained.
According to the Globe, Ignatieff will formally announce his decision on whether or not to support the budget tomorrow morning. A media briefing has been scheduled for 5:15PM today in the House of Commons foyer. No doubt there will be much speculation as to what tomorrow will bring. But, as I have previously said, my money is on a support of the budget, or at least a total disavowal of the coalition.
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