TWIGG REPORT -- Troubling times seen as some of the worst ever for the world but B.C. still has opportunities to develop more self-sufficiency
By John Twigg
To say that recent times have been unprecedented is an under-statement, with other big words like existential and potentially apocalyptic also in play.
For me, I've gone through my worst case of writer's block in a lifetime of cranking out copy, as I tried vainly to understand all the stress caused by #COVID19 - the pandemic that in recent weeks and months has derailed or least greatly shifted the whole world's economy, society and politics.
Perhaps for many young people it's merely another paradigm shift requiring modifications in lifestyles, but for oldsters (who are probably still the largest demographic bloc) the need to quickly adopt new behaviours was often a challenge and today still is.
The mainstream media's coverage of the Covid story so far has been fine [IMO] but there also is an angle that very few mainstream media nor many other modern outlets of commentaries have adequately discussed and that (as my regular readers will guess) is the connection of all these events to Bible prophecies and Bible teachings about how people should run their societies - and how they should live personally - IF they want to survive and prosper in this universe that God created and soon will re-make.
Yes that old-fashioned book The Bible - the Holy Bible - has lots to say about our most-troubled current affairs, including a remarkably accurate prophecy of it all that appears most obviously in Matthew 24 but also in Mark 13, Luke 21, other New Testament mentions and dozens of prophecies in the Old Testament such as in Ezekiel 5, Daniel 11 and 12:1 ("a time of trouble such as never was..."), Joel 2, Revelation 16 and probably dozens of other warnings about the times the world is now entering - but the key key point for people to realize is that "all these (challenges) are (only) the beginning" of challenges to come - as it is stated most explicitly in Matthew 24:8-13 . . .
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”
4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.
5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.
6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.
7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.
8 All these are the beginning of birth pains.
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
That's from an online Bible (https://www.biblestudytools.com) and other translations may offer better or different twists on these things but the key point is that the gist is fairly clear: Christians (and Jews) will be increasingly persecuted in a mounting time of troubles.
Interestingly, and perhaps tellingly, that translation omits a very key word in verse 7: pestilences! (And "divers(e)" and "various" are not strong synonyms, but that's only a quibble.)
Here's what my old King James Version says:
Matt. 24:7 [note the kharma in those numbers too eh!] - For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in diverse places. 8. All these are the beginning of sorrows. - which version adds (or reinstates) "pestilences" of which #Covid19 obviously is a huge example!
[Which also reminds me of the classic rock song by Chicago called Beginnings that has the line "Only the beginning" - https://genius.com/Chicago-beginnings-lyrics ]
Anyway, the main point is that the times we are now into are not only unprecedented but they also were and are prophesied in The Bible, which one would hope would lead more people to take these new challenges more seriously, especially since there are so many important details in those prophecies.
To be specific, The Bible warns that two-thirds of humanity and 90% of the Israelites (now mainly the Anglophones but also the Jews) who will die in the coming cataclysm of World War 3 aka Armageddon - unless there is some kind of repentance beforehand, which warning is detailed in Isaiah 6:13, Ezekiel 5:12, Zechariah 13:8, Amos 5:3 and 9:10, Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, and Revelation 6:5 and 9:15 (again among others).
That's a rather gloomy political prediction but in light of the Covid pandemic it's appropriate to note it now moreso than ever. At time of writing, the United States had had about 170,000 deaths due to Covid and Canada about 9,000 - so Covid also is a key sign that we're not into the End Times.
Though the world has had other pandemics in the past, e.g. SARS, typhoid etc., this one seems to have had a surprisingly lethal and pervasive impact, not only in the statistics on deaths, hospitalizations and infections but also in the economy and politics, for example coloring the coming U.S. Presidential election, which is arguably one of the most important events on the horizon, but also Canadian and B.C. politics, trade with and by China (the dubious source of the COVID-19 strain), global currency and commodity prices, and the functioning or lack thereof of communities and businesses all over the world - such as British Columbia's imminent back-to-school procedures.
Regrettably, COVID-19 is only one of dozens of crisis issues besieging the world today and which will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Talk about a time of trouble such as never seen before, the hugely disruptive Covid crisis has compounded a long and growing list of other challenges facing western societies and the world at large, such as the Black Lives Matter riots in many American cities (which seem to have been instigated by hostile political sources), the massive explosion in Beirut (which may have been triggered by jihadists but in any case was enabled by corrupt and incompetent governments [allowing explosive fertilizer to sit for years there in a de facto war zone]), the revolts protesting the recent corrupted election in Belarus, various travesties taking place in Asia as the Chinese Communists seek to extend their hegemony, venal politics in Europe, bullying in Europe by Russian President Vladimir Putin and . . . oh by the way, the looming U.S. Presidential election, arguably the most important single event on the horizon and one that is already a huge controversy.
Meanwhile in Canada we have an abundance of our own controversies, albeit lesser, and which I might discuss more of another day, eg the WE thing, but probably not until after the federal Conservatives select a new leader, which is imminent.
Here in B.C. the Legislature just finished a sitting that was relatively civil and productive but it also added focus on some rising problems, particularly the flood of homeless people and drug addicts who are sleeping en-masse in tents in parks and terrorizing residents, pedestrians, transit riders and vehicle owners - which the Horgan New Democrats are trying to solve by putting some of the miscreants up in motels where they quickly harass local businesses and residents because there is inadequate security.
Policy options to better address B.C.'s urban problems is another subject for another day but even so that's among many other challenges facing the province, especially businesses struggling to survive the Covid-caused shutdowns and curtailments but also families sending kids back to schools operating like never before, churches capped at 50 attendees, some grocery stores requiring customers to wear masks and the Canucks trying hard to win a playoff series.
There IS some good news, such as U.S. President Donald Trump apparently abetting a new peace accord between Israel and United Arab Emirates, which also could portend some Biblical ramifications, but there also is lots of bad news, especially China increasingly bullying its neighbours, perhaps some troubling regime change in Germany, Turkey becoming more aggressive, and so on.
Did I forget to mention global warming? No, because its threats are greatly exaggerated, its changing effects are driven largely by natural cycles and the world is already seeing the beginnings of global cooling.
With all that and more going on I'll close with a simple but critical observation:
The best thing British Columbia as a province could do is beef up its self-sufficiency in as many areas as possible, including reviving a provincial police force and launching a provincially-owned bank that could issue a new currency - and other such moves to make the province more resilient and self-sufficient in the increasingly troubled times ahead.
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