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This is a rushed transcript! Accuracy is not assured.
Documentation and Further Reading:
It's Thursday, April 21 2022. I'm Joshua Claycamp. And this is The Observer, a Kamloops Christians reflection upon the news from a biblical perspective in order to help Christians understand how we need to think and feel about current events.
News out of Ukraine continues to be bad. We received reports early on Wednesday that Marissa pool one of the largest port cities on the coastal plains of the Black Sea stands poised to fall. A Russian ultimatum to Ukrainian troops and marry a pole to surrender or die expired on Wednesday afternoon with no mass surrenders no mass capitulations. But the commander of a unit believed to be holding out in the besieged city said his forces could just survive another few days or hours. Ukraine said it had so far held off an assault by 1000s of Russian troops attempting to advance in what key calls the Battle of the Donbass a new campaign to seize to eastern provinces that Moscow claims on behalf of separatists
In a video, the commander of Ukraine's 36 Marine brigade, one of the last units believed to be holding out and Mariel poll asked for international help to escape the port City's siege, said major sir he Valina This is our appeal to the world, it may be our last, we may have only a few days or a few hours left. The enemy units are dozens of times larger than ours. They have dominance in the air and artillery and ground troops and equipment and in tanks. Now as we hear this news, we wonder as Christians, how are we to think about this and how are we to feel about this? It seems apparent that the Russian forces invading Marielle poll are intent on conquering that strategic City, Russia is nearly eight week long invasion has failed to capture any of the Ukraine's largest cities. In fact, Moscow was forced to retreat from Northern Ukraine after an assault on key was repelled repeatedly in the previous months, but they have now poured troops back into the Donbass region for an assault on the east that began earlier in this week.
And it seems apparent that their desire is to take out Marielle Pol, and establish a connection from Russia's main landmass all the way down to Crimea, a province, which Russia annexed in 2014. This is a war of aggression. This is an attempt at theft of a country in plain and simple terms. And as Christians reading this, we understand that what we are witnessing is a force of aggression, a war of tyranny, not unlike that which was waged by Adolf Hitler in World War Two.
And as we reflect upon these events, I couldn't help but be reminded of statements that were given to Parliament by in the United Kingdom by Winston Churchill. Speaking on June 4 1940, Winston Churchill gave his famous, we shall fight on the beaches speech, there are a number of rather moving and stirring passages. But as we reflect upon these soldiers in this marine Ukraine in this marine unit in Ukraine, I think that the appropriate thing to do is to remind ourselves that these types of long odds have been faced before they've been faced, these dangers have been hazarded, and heroes have emerged. Winston Churchill, speaking to parliament on June 4, said, quote,
There has never been, I suppose, in all the world in all the history of war, such an opportunity as this for youth, the Knights of the Round Table, the Crusaders all fall back into the past not only distant, but prosaic. These young men going forth every morning, to guard their native land and all that we stand for, holding in their hands, these instruments of colossal and shattering power, of whom it may be said that every morning brought forth a noble chance, and every chance brought forth a noble knight. These deserve our gratitude, as do all the brave men who in so many ways and on so many occasions are ready and continue ready to give life and all for their native land.
As we reflect upon these brave Marines fighting and marry a pole, as they are regarding before their very eyes, the destruction and eventual fall of this city for which they have so long fought, and have so long striven to remain free. We cannot help but grieve with them at what is coming at the hands of Russian soldiers the tyranny and the bloodshed and the murder that is about to be inflicted. There are 1000s of citizens right now in Mariel poll attempting to flee. And even though multiple offers were given for surrender, there was no willingness on the part of Ukrainian defenders and Ukrainian citizens to accept those terms of surrender. And so as we regard these events, we see heroes in our midst fighting for what is right because it is right and fighting for it despite the inevitable disaster that awaits their lives hanging in the balance and the parallel seeming to come to the point of bloodshed as they are facing their own death and their own demise.
We remind ourselves again, of Winston Churchill's stirring words to the United Kingdom to fight on to continue to press for what was right and what was good, what was true. And what was just in speaking to parliament on June 4 1940, Winston Churchill in terms of speaking about what would happen in the United Kingdom, if the German army should have invade, said, quote,
I have myself full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island Home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary, alone, at any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the result of His Majesty's government, every man of them, that is the will of Parliament, and the nation, the British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cars, and in their need, will defend to the death, their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous states have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule. We shall not flag or fail, we shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches we shall fight on the landing grounds we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills.
With these words, Winston Churchill stirred his nation to a steeled resolve a willingness and determination to press on, even if it meant their ultimate death and destruction, not because they were seeking to preserve their lives, but because they were standing for something that was larger than even their nation. This point made explicit in the final words of this great speech, in which Winston Churchill concluded by saying, quote,
We shall never surrender. And even if which I do not, for a moment, believe this island were a large part of it, were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet, would carry on the struggle until, in God's good time, the new world with all its power and might steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
As we reflect upon events in Mary a pole in the ruins of Mary a pole, which is the site of the wars heaviest fighting, and it is the worst humanitarian catastrophe we have seen in decades, we see Russia hitting the last main Ukrainian stronghold, the ASVAB style steel plant, with bunker busting bombs. Their intention is clear. There are at this moment an estimated 1000 civilians who are sheltering in that steel plant, and the Russian army's intention is to crush them.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he remained ready to swap Russian prisoners of war and exchange for the safe passage of trapped civilians and Ukrainian soldiers. But these overtures on the part of the Ukrainian president wore ignored and simply sidestepped dozens of silly civilians later boarded a small convoy of buses and Mariupol that then departed to Ukrainian controlled territory. Nevertheless, they came under heavy fire Marissa pol city authorities are reporting that about 6000 evacuees are hoping to leave Mariupol and there is some hope of a preliminary agreement with Russia perhaps the first in weeks on establishing something of a safe corridor, although if any past performance is to predict any future performance, then it seems that Russia's strategy will be to offer a corridor of safe escape into the waiting room. Army of Russian soldier soldiers. We shall have to see whether or not this is the case.
But as we reflect upon these events we are seeing tyranny we are seeing, as Winston Churchill said, the odious apparatus of authoritarian, iron gripped rule that has, as its design has as its purpose, only the subjugation of people, only the quashing of freedom, all for the sake of the vain glory of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. And as we behold these terrible sites, and as we reflect upon what is apparently imminent, the fall of Mariupol we must as Christians remind ourselves, that even in what appears to be the temporary victory of evil, good promises, its ultimate triumph. And that is the case here.
As Winston Churchill said in that great speech that he gave several decades, many decades ago, half a century ago, he says, We shall never surrender. And even if which I do not, for a moment, believe this land, this island or large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the new world with all its power, and might steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
We are reminded that these promises are actually made to us by God Himself. When evil first seized control, when evil first gained its foothold in this world, through the temptation and eventual destruction of Adam and Eve in sinning against God, God made this promise, speaking to the serpent, he said, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring, which was God's poetic way of saying that there would always be good that would fight against evil, that there would be an enduring struggle between what was right and what was wrong between what was true and what was false between what was good, and what was ultimately odious, and tyrannical. The nature of evil itself would always be pressed against would always be fought against mankind has not always been faithful in this pursuit.
Nevertheless, God promised it would continue on that there would be enmity between the offspring of women and the offspring of the serpent, and then following this promise, was the assurance of ultimate victory, in which God said, he, speaking of the offspring of woman shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel, a promise that the head of evil would be crushed, that sin and tyranny and authoritarianism would ultimately be destroyed, and that there would be a king, who, although he would be wounded in the struggle, would ultimately prevail. And we find that King riding forth the new world coming to the rescue of the old, and we read of it in Revelation, chapter 19, the apostle John says that he looked and he saw
"...heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and the one sitting on it is called Faithful and True. And in righteousness, He judges and he makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many Daya dims, and he has a name written that no one knows but Himself, He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called, is the word of God, and the armies of heaven arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, we're following Him on white horses, and from his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron and he will tread the wine press of the fury of the wrath of God, the Almighty on his robe, and on his thigh, he has a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."
And so it is in this spirit that Winston Churchill in the face of almost certain defeat in those early days of World War Two promised his people that even if the British island there, the United Kingdom should fall, he was confident that even in their annihilation, even in their destruction, even though evil would appear for a season to be winning, it would ultimately be good, that would step forth the new world to bring rescue and liberation of the old. We find this promise in Revelation 19. And with the apostle John, we pray come quickly, Lord Jesus.
But next, we turn our attention to financial and economic matters closer to home. An affordability crisis is on the horizon for British Columbia as more than half of those surveyed In a recent Ipsos poll reported that they are already feeling pressure from rising interest rates and the soaring costs of living. The quarterly m n p Consumer Index consumer debt index shows 53% of British Columbians are reporting that interest rate increases have hit their bottom line, which is a jump of six percentage points over the last report in December with further interest rate hikes expected 60% of British Columbians say that they are worried about their ability to pay their debts, and about 50% of British Columbians say that they will not be able to cover their living expenses this year without going further into debt.
Now, let's just step back for a second and look at those numbers 60 or 60% of British Columbians. Six out of 10 of your neighbors are very concerned that they will not be able to pay the debt, the interest rates on their credit cards and on their various mortgages and debts that they owe 60%. Six out of 10 are worried they may not be able to pay those debts. And as many as 50% are concerned that in order to continue to pay those debts, and to cover their living expenses this year, they're going to have to go further into debt, which is to say they're going to be paying off the interest rates on one credit card by putting that bill on another credit card. And all of this leads to the last statistic which is the most worrisome of all 35% Three out of 10 British Columbians say that rising interest rates are going to probably drive them very close if not into bankruptcy. Now as Christians, we need to step back and realize this is a matter of great prayer.
It is apparent that our neighbors here in British Columbia in beautiful British Columbia, one of the most beautiful places and all of the earth are simply living beyond their means they are buying and they are spending more than they are earning. And this debt when compounded by rising interest rates, as introduced by the Federal Bank of Canada. This hits them in their pocketbook to such a degree that they are now worried about simply being able to pay their bills, and they are considering the unfathomable the impossible the option of trying to pay off their debts by taking on even greater debt. This is a compounding problem from which, if we're not careful, there simply will be no escape other than to declare bankruptcy.
There are some protection and bankruptcy. But one of the things that we need to remember is that bankruptcy if it is declared by enough people across enough of society will lead to a recession it will lead to a spike in other interest rates, more scrutiny in terms of lending in terms of banks offering loans to prospective new homebuyers. And all of this is going to lead to an economic recession, the money supply begins to become tightly controlled and tightly restricted. And when the money supply becomes tightly controlled and restricted in the way which it is inevitable if more and more individuals start to declare bankruptcy. And we see that there is overall and an overarching recession that begins to take root within the economy. It leads to fewer opportunities for growth and prosperity for a fewer number of people. And of course, the individuals who tend to come out the winners in this type of a scenario are inevitably those who are already at the top.
Proverbs 22 Verse seven reminds us the rich rules over the poor and the borrower is the slave of the lender. If we find ourselves as Christians in debt, we need to recognize that we are giving too much of our livelihood too much of our hard earned effort, sweat and tears over into the hands of those individuals who loaned us the money in the first place. As Christians, we need to be smart about taking on debt. And we certainly need to be careful about taking on more debt than what we can reasonably pay off. We need to take a hard look at our income. We need to understand what our means of earning actually are. And we need to make sure that when we take out mortgages when we buy homes, we do so carefully. Understanding that economic situation economic conditions can change. We need to be wise and we need to learn how to be wise by first learning to be generous.
In Proverbs 22. In verse seven it says the rich rules over the poor and the borrower is the slave of the lender. We certainly don't want to make anyone a slave. We don't want to enslave anyone with predatory lending practices. is, but we ourselves must learn how to be content, how to live within our means. And this will safeguard us from the predatory practices of wealthy banking institutions lending us money, and then raising interest rates on us when economic conditions change. How do we learn? How can we grow spiritually, to learn to be content with what God has provided us, and in wisdom to judge and discern how to live within our means, within that same passage of Proverbs chapter 22. We learn just one verse later, whoever has a bountiful, I will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor. Proverbs 22 Seven that says that the borrower is the slave of the lender.
And just one verse later in verse nine, it says, Whoever has a bountiful ally is blessed for he shares his bread with the poor. We understand that it is God who sometimes supernaturally directs our finances in ways that we are not even capable of anticipating, and only are we able to perceive it after the fact. We have a father in heaven, who watches after us who takes care of us and who can sometimes steer our finances. But he offers those assurances only when we walk with Him in faith. And the wisdom of Proverbs tells us that if we would learn to live within our means, if we would learn to be content with what God is providing us and not become a slave to the lender, we have to practice generosity, we have to learn how to take some of what we have been given by God, and to share that with the poor. The promise of Proverbs is whoever has a bountiful life will be blessed because he is sharing his bread with the poor. That's what we need to learn. And as we encounter this news regarding the fear and the concern of British Columbians, and the rising interest rates and the affordability crisis that is brewing, and we understand we will weather that storm with God's help. We trust all of ourselves, including our pocketbook into the Lord's hands.
Something else we need to entrust into the Lord's hands are the choices we make with regards to entertainment. The Walt Disney Company has in recent weeks, heaped itself in a pile of controversy, prompted at first by the company's unofficial and then official opposition of a Florida Bill widely denigrated as the quote unquote don't say gay bill. And this has been amplified in recent days by testimony from anonymous employees about the organization's chilling effect on political and social conservatives. There have also been jaw dropping videos that have come out recently of Disney creatives and openly acknowledging their desire to insert queerness and LGBTQ plus values and storylines, wherever they can into upcoming Disney productions and movies that are about to be released.
Of course, in response to all of this, some have called for boycotts. Others seek to pressure the company to step back from tarnishing its own reputation as the world's biggest and most beloved provider of family friendly entertainment, we need to begin thinking about how we are to evaluate all of this. There have been a growing number of companies not just Disney, but a number of companies that have run recent weeks and months aligned publicly, with agendas on the political left, often at the request of diversity or equity or inclusion. Some commentators now label this phenomenon woke capitalism and conservatives worry about the results when both big government and big business unite around new and contested ideologies, about gender and sexuality. But the thing with Disney is that we're not just talking about, say, an Oreo company, producing Oreos, we're not talking about Pepsi and its Pepsi products. We're not talking about these types of businesses such as Starbucks and a cup of coffee that you might buy.
They're declaring themselves to be in favor and supportive of the LGBTQ movement or woke capitalism. Whenever we encounter these types of companies. In these cases, the products that we purchase and consume from those organizations remains largely the same. Consumers may obviously roll their eyes at the leftward virtue signaling, and the various things we see in terms of TV commercials. But the Oreo remains the Oreo. The Starbucks cup of coffee remains the Starbucks cup of coffee.
However, with Disney, it is different. The insertion of an illogical perspective, particularly one is damaging as difficult as something related to gender and sexuality. Well, this simply affects the product, the entertainment piece that is being consumed the creatives On the video that were released in recent days are quite blunt. They want to use the Disney name and its cultural cachet to push views of sexuality into entertainment that is targeted directly at children. Now we're all old enough to recall the often comical claims that Disney artists have long been inserting subliminal messages into their films.
And we're not surprised at these conspiracy theories. After all, Disney is the largest entertainment company in the world. But with the most recent dust up involving the sexual sexualization of Disney movies and the advancing of the LGBTQ agenda, we're looking at something that takes us beyond mere conspiracy theories. The messaging here that we're discussing is overt, it's blatant and there's no conspiracy, because well, the plans are out there for anyone to see. What are we to do with all of this as Christians?
Well, I would suggest that whatever conversations may be happening among the employees internally at Disney, or among the executive leadership at Disney about their business plan moving forward, let's make sure that as Christians, when we turn on the TV, we don't turn off our discernment, and we don't ignore what the Scriptures tell us to be true. We need to evaluate everything we see in life. From the lens of God's word. This is true not only of what we may encounter walking down the street, it is increasingly true of everything we encounter, including what used to be family friendly entertainment programming from the beloved Walt Disney Company. Thanks for listening to the observer.
I'm Joshua Claycamp. And you can follow me on Twitter by going to twitter.com backslash Joshua Claycamp. The observer is a ministry of First Baptist Church where Christians seek to discern the news differently. For more information on First Baptist Church of Kamloops just go to first Baptist Kamloops dot O R G. Or for more information on first Baptist classical Academy, a private school where students are educated according to a Christian worldview. Just go to first Baptist classical dot o RG and I'll see you again tomorrow for more of the observer.