The tragic event from a week ago reminds us about the condition of a sinful society. A man performs an evil act purposing punitive murders against innocent women. Alek Minassian in cold-blood slaughtered innocents, targeting mostly women. He is not alone, sad to say. Some subcultures in our hemisphere and religious groups abroad support an ideology ripe with cruelness toward women and continue to openly denigrate and abuse them.   Reports out of Pakistan tell of over a thousand women who have been killed in various manners, some burned alive or disfigured with acid to the their faces and bodies for violating their family or community’s supposed honor by refusing marriage proposals.  Ghandara News and Analysis reports that many Islamist parties in Pakistan have opposed reforms such as a progressive law that granted women greater rights and protection in eastern Punjab Province in February. Instead, they have advocated alternative legal frameworks that have even called for allowing “light beating” of wives. (gandhara.rferl.org/a/pakistan-why-are-women-burned-to-death)  What takes place in Pakistan is reminiscent of what took place in the latest attack on a Toronto street. Ideologies are based on ideals, principles, doctrines upon which subcultures and entire nations form their practises. From reports in some Islamic countries, the torture and killing of women is considered honorable and permissible. The Western world does not condone such ruthless treatment of women or toward anyone else for that matter. The murderous act in Toronto typifies the violence against women in some form or another in other parts of our world where it largely goes unpunished mostly because of a defective and evil ideology, a way of thinking that among other things reduces women as inferior. Islamic scholars say that people read the Koran selectively, taking phrases out of context. They may insist on that saying mostly the same as on other issues, but proper treatment of women is not even debatable since clearly women are subjugated to men in their regime. Thankfully, you will find a safer and more human belief system currently in our world today that has been in place since the beginning of man.

You will find in the Sermon on the Mount a moral code far superior and unmatched by any found anywhere in the world.  Early in Christ ministry, he taught a select compilation of teaching that was superior to the values of the religious elite of that time. We would be fooling ourselves to think that attempts to create our own way in this life can rival what is found in this sermon by Jesus, especially when you weight in the immorality and debauchery that goes on today and how it is taken so lightly, as though values is a choice we make to match our own individual needs. Recently a small gathering of pro-life folk saw their flag taken down outside of city hall in preparation for a March for Life event. It seems that Jim Watson and some counselors decided for us that abortion is a moral right in our country and nothing should detract from that, not even those who wish to witness their beliefs in the sanctity of life. Too bad, flag lowering by our city leaders remonstrates against the ethics of Jesus since He advocates the protection of life too in His Word.

The acceptance of a higher moral code is demanding and not everyone will ascribe to it since it calls for us to follow Christ. Let us be clear here. If you wish for a middle-of-the-road set of morals by hacking away at Jesus teachings to fit into your own set of rules you wish to live by, it cannot be called Christian. When Jesus says that unless your standards exceed that of Pharisees and Sadducees He means it, and we muddy the message when we attempt to modify the clear and unmistakable requirements set for us to live spiritually healthy lives. Let’s be clear on another point. There is no ill intent at any stage of the Lord’s sayings; He means for us to have rewarding and stable lives, no violence toward anyone, and definitely no forced conversions.  Jesus life and mission was about helping people, to make them see their need of forgiveness and lovingly persuade them to come to Him for salvation.  Sometimes that meant displays of healings and miracles, other times simply a gracious appeal to their understanding through teaching them His truths. His sermon marks a distinctive lifestyle that gives direction and purpose in the lives of individuals of every age. It is all about living for something far more elevated than what we can conjure up for ourselves, to set our sights on God’s glory. Our nation’s people need to understand this and their need for Jesus Christ. At the centre of Christian ethics is Jesus. Christ places before us clear directives and grants us the ability to obey Him. Christianity is founded on truths that are both wholesome and fair. Murder is wrong, the act of adultery is wrong, marriage relationships are to be permanent, honesty is demanded, and we are to love our enemies is a strong ethos meant to be carried out without hypocrisy. This is possible when Jesus is in control of our lives.  Jesus says For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Mathew 5:20).

Do not get caught up in this world’s system, eventually it will catch up with you and you will perish along with the world and its lusts (1 John 2:17). Your refusal to trust Christ as Savior and repent of your sins and to follow Him will exact a hefty price. Your soul will be impoverished and you will suffer eternally. Do take the opportunity to consider Christ as Savior and obey His truth to guide you in this life. Pray that God forgives you of your sins through Christ meritorious death on His cross and His resurrection — be saved and start a new life in Him.

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