Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Twenty

September 26, 2019
Dear friends,

Last Saturday, I was surprised to see an article about a sect named Mission de l’Esprit-Saint in the Journal de Montréal. Karen and I had heard about this group many years ago, but had not seen anything about it in print. When I became a Christian at the age of seventeen, one of the first books that I read was “So What’s the Difference?” by Fritz Ridenour, in which he examines the beliefs of a number of sects, including Jehovah’s Witnesses. In recent weeks, people have stood on a street corner in Châteauguay, displaying literature promoting their false teachings.

I was glad that I got up early on Saturday to read the newspaper, because Richard Martineau wrote that a television programme that was broadcast on Thursday night was to be re-run at 12:30 pm on Saturday. In the investigative report “J.E” Épisode du 19 septembre 2019 – J.E. | several people who grew up in the sect were interviewed. They told about getting married as young as 14 years old and having many babies. In another article in Saturday’s newspaper, Québec Premier François Legault said that he was shocked to hear the revelations in “J.E” and that he would never allow there to be sects teaching that young girls are only there to have children.

Around the world, Canadians have long had a reputation for being polite. It is said that Canadians will say they’re sorry if a person bumps into them. Being polite does not mean that we should overlook things that are wrong or immoral. In the report about the Québec sect, questions were asked about the education of the children of the group. The Québec Education Minister revoked the permit granted to the group after learning that the curriculum set by his department was not being followed.

One of the sad things about this matter is that non-Christians may lump sects and true Christians in the same basket. Martineau’s report is entitled “Au nom de la foi” (“In the name of faith”) and begins with these words (my translation): “I tell you and I will not stop repeating it in all the mediums that are available: it is crazy what is accepted under the cover of freedom of religion. All you need to do is brandish the word ‘religion’ and suddenly the State will let you do anything.” What Martineau and many others need to realize is that there is a major difference between religion and Christianity: the former is man’s efforts to get to God, while the latter is God coming to man. The Bible clearly teaches that God demonstrated His love for mankind by sending His Son, Jesus, to enable us to have a relationship with Him. According to the newspaper article, the Mission de l’Esprit-Saint believes that if people sin, they will be reincarnated as insects. The Bible teaches that Jesus died on the cross to redeem mankind from their sins and that those who place their faith in Him will live forever with Him in heaven.

In the 7th edition of the extensive prayer guide “Operation World” published in 2010, Jason Mandryk wrote: “The terms ‘born-again’ and ‘evangelical’ tend to carry negative weight, and there is a great gap in the public perception of ‘spirituality’ as opposed to ‘religion’. Overcoming the suspicion and dismissiveness of an unbelieving public and a hostile media will require humility, patience, wisdom and love.” May all believers in Christ be careful to show His love and proclaim His truth in all that we say and do.

Scripture for the weekend: “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.’” Matthew 7:15 (NASB)

Thought for the weekend: “To Christians, the resurrection means many important things. It means that those of us who are united to Jesus by faith will be resurrected just like he was. It means that God fully accepted the sacrifice for sins that Jesus offered on the cross and that it was infinitely more than sufficient to pay our moral debt … And it also means that God ratified, endorsed, vindicated, and confirmed all of Jesus’s claims about who he was and what kind of authority he possessed.” – from “Why Trust the Bible?” by Greg Gilbert

By His grace,