Tuesday, 31 December 2013


As 2013 ends, keep in mind that predictions of the end of the world have been wrong all the time. Tons of books have been written and sold about how this or that event marked the beginning of the end, yet we're still here. So why do people keep predicting doomsday? It makes them money, that's why.

Remember back in January of 1974 when the Children of God cult predicted that a comet would destroy the United States? Kohoutek was supposed to be bright and close to the earth, yet it actually looked very faint. I didn't hear about how many people took it seriously but I'm sure some did leave America.

Remember Y2K? Many people were duped into buying a year's supply of dehydrated food because society was supposed to collapse when the computers crashed. Apart from minor glitches, nothing happened.

I certainly remember the false prophecy of a man who calls himself Brother Stair. He predicted, wrongly of course, that fifty percent of Americans would be dead in 2003. Again, I don't know how many folks took him seriously. I certainly didn't.

Jack Van Impe made a lot of money in the past with his sensational prophecies. One of his videos was entitled "2001 Countdown to Eternity." I'm glad that a friend gave me a VHS copy rather than me having to purchase that over-hyped baloney.

Then there was the Mayan calendar fiasco last year. Many false prophets claimed that since it ran out on December twenty-first, the world would end in flames. However, it cycled back to the beginning again.

Whichever way you celebrate the new year, you can relax in the knowledge that the world won't end because some preachers claim it will next year. They were wrong before and they'll be wrong again.

Nobody knows when Christ will return. He'll come when he comes. As long as you belong to him, you'll be safe when he does arrive to make a new heaven and a new earth.

I wrote extensively about a house church minister and his bogus prophecies in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Thursday, 26 December 2013


Have you ever wondered what Scientology was about? Doubtless many of us have been approached by well-dressed people offering us "free" personality tests. The procedure seems all right at first but it leads to bondage.

I was nearly sucked into the bogus beliefs of Scientology in 1987. A friend thought that the pseudo-science of Dianetics would cure me of my depression. It didn't do so. In fact, I found the bulky book by L. Ron. Hubbard to be so tedious that I only read a few pages.

Some folks might argue that I was biased by my bad experience of this false belief system. A woman named Tory Magoo was part of that cult. She suffered horrific persecution when she left the group, as you can hear in her YouTube videos.

More to the point, Lawrence Wright's Going Clear book exposes Scientology for what it truly is. Though I haven't read this book, I'd like to get a Kindle copy soon. From what I heard from Tory, I can well understand why this group pressures members who start asking questions.

Cults have many things in common. One factor is that they seek to control their members. The elders at the house church I belonged to certainly tried to stop me from partaking in supposedly satanic activities such as listening to rock music and talking on the CB radio. My long hair and bell-bottom jeans also offended them.

Another thing cults do is offer some form of empowerment and "secret knowledge" to their new members. That bate appeals to the fleshly nature of people. Once they're hooked, the ugly side of cultic bondage comes out.

Acceptance is another need which cults prey upon. At first, the members are all smiles and hugs. Once the victim is well and truly trapped, the leaders pressure them to devote their lives to the group.

Though I wasn't forced to donate to the cult I was in, I became so captivated by its teacher that I gave the church large donations and many hours of my time. Rarely was I commended for this by the elders. In the end, it was their perennial criticism that drove me out of their congregation.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


One question rarely entertained by Christians is whether or not Jesus could have been conceived out of wedlock. According to John 8:41, the Pharisees appeared to think so. This is what it says. "'All of you do the deeds of your father.' Then said they to him, 'We be not conceived of fornication; we have one Father, even God.'" But can we consider Christ to have been conceived out of wedlock? After all, Mary's husband, Joseph, wasn't yet married to her.

According to Hank Hanegraaff of The Bible Answer Man, the Son of God wasn't conceived out of wedlock. The Holy Spirit came over Mary and created what would become Jesus' body. Therefore it was a supernatural act and had no taint of sin.

I also believe that since God gave humanity the restrictions against sex outside of marriage to protect us, what the third member of the Trinity caused was outside those parameters.

Perhaps the lack of discussion on this point is due to  the topic of children conceived outside of marriage. It has been taboo for many centuries. The poor children were blamed for their "unfortunate" births as well as their mothers for becoming pregnant. Fortunately for us all, people are changing their attitude toward these victims of rape or their parent's sin.

My half-sister, Jentien, is a good example. She was the product of a rape and since my mom wasn't married at the time, she gave up her daughter for adoption. Through the providence of God, she was adopted by a minister and raised with his family as one of them. Even so, society frowned upon people such as her until recently.

However, a few people still consider these children to be wicked. Such critical people should remember the birth of Christ and the ugly rumors which circulated about it.

From my reading of the Bible, I believe that no child is illegitimate. Every human is a body-soul unity. God allows some to be conceived out of wedlock but he still loves them. In fact, he uses situations in their lives to call them to repentance. Jesus died on the cross for all who would surrender to him. He didn't qualify it by excluding any group of people.

The trouble with legalism is that it appeals to our fleshly nature. I was a victim of it and I also participated in this sin in the past. I wrote about how a toxic church misled me and how the Lord straightened me out in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers distribute this wonderful testimony of the Lord's marvelous leading.

Thursday, 19 December 2013


Having survived some ghastly experiences, I feel I have a grasp on what went wrong during Christmas. It's perfectionism that ruins this once-holy day.

The makers of commercials have been successful at raising our expectations on what they call "the perfect Christmas." The toys must be manufactured by Mattel or Fisher-Price. The cell phone has got to be an iPod 5. Nobody, if you read between the lines, gives something cheesy like clothing except if it's in the latest style.

Adults are likewise effected by the holiday hype. Every commercial promotes the idea of family and friends getting together around the dinner table. The turkey absolutely must be a Butterball. And of course the holiday pastry must be from Pillsbury.

Everybody has to be insanely happy too. No arguments or violence should ever happen during the holidays, according to the unstated rule.

Stores hype the holidays by putting up decorations early, sometimes before Halloween. Tacky Christmas carols Blair from the public address systems in a constant attempt to give shoppers that "Christmas feeling." After all, the holiday season is the biggest sales event of the year so they want to milk it for all it's worth.

Santa Clause is everywhere during November and especially December. Stores use him to coax children to beg for lots of toys which they just happen to have in stock.

Worse yet, parents use the threat of no presents to keep their children in line. The lie about Santa eventually unravels , starting the process of cynicism in their minds.

For me, the worst Christmas was 1963. When I cried because I only got a mouth organ while I received plenty of toys the year before, Mom admitted that she and Dad were really the ones who gave me the gifts. The thought of my parents lying to me wounded my soul deeply. The "magic" of the holiday died for me that Christmas Eve.

I mentioned that incident in my Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School memoir. I also wrote about the side-splitting mischief I got into at that institution.  Looking back on those days, it's no wonder that I'm single. :-)

I recently published a new memoir called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013


According to many folks, the holiday season should be the most joyous time of year. But for those who came from broken families or who lost a loved one at this time of year, all the frivolity sets their teeth on edge. "Don't worry - be happy," is no help at all. Neither are the other platitudes people spout off whenever they encounter a wounded individual.

Therefore, some churches, such as South Main Baptist in Houston, Texas, recognize that this time of year is painful for an increasing number of people. This is a welcome change, in my opinion, because not everybody comes from a happy and intact family. With divorce increasing and all the turmoil it causes, children are the ones to suffer most. Saying useless things like "cheer up" just doesn't help.

What many broken people need is what June Hunt from Hope for the Heart teaches. The reason so many folks feel such a tremendous burden is because they're hanging on to their hurts. If they could find somebody who would take them away and recognize that God is the one who repays wickedness, those folks would eventually feel much better. When a person becomes a believer in Christ, the hurts of the past can be handed over to Jesus to bear. After all, God is in a much better position to perfectly punish wrongdoers and to heal wounded hearts.

I'm living proof that this works. Over the years, I've been able to deal with the injustices in my past by handing them, the pain I felt, and my assumed right to prosecute them to the Lord. I still have some residual pain but nothing compared to what I once suffered. I'm grateful to June Hunt for her marvelous biblical counsel.

I wrote extensively about how this gracious lady helped me in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Thursday, 12 December 2013


I'm astonished at governments and individuals who continue to believe in climate change. Every big storm that comes along is touted as proof that the earth is in peril. The media even get into the act by claiming this or that natural disaster is the worst in history.

The truth is that the climate is always changing. Geology shows this quite clearly. My home in Alberta is located in an area which was once tropical. Dinosaur bones have been dug up for decades in the south end of the province. Coal beds show how lush the vegetation once was.

There was another time when a mile-thick layer of ice covered the continent. During that age, carbon dioxide levels were much higher than today. If this gas, needed by plants for growth, causes a greenhouse effect, why didn't the ice melt?

Even in my short lifetime, I've known of dramatic swings in conditions. In 1958, my mom photographed me sitting on a sled amid melting patches of snow. In December of 1965, I saw that very little snow had fallen in our yard while it had been deeper in previous years. I well remember December of 1976 when the news reported that places in Alaska were warmer than those in Florida. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, people predicted that the next year would be a worse one for storms. It was actually a calm hurricane season.

Moreover, scientists at the International Panel on Climate Change fudged their figures to make the data fit their computer model. Michael Mann became infamous with his "hockey stick" graph. He used tree ring data for dates before 1960 but monitoring stations for the years afterward. In light of the revelations of their forgery, how can we believe their dire predictions?

One well-balanced source of climate information is The Cornwall Alliance. They show how the planet can be managed so that its beauty is preserved while letting humanity flourish. The modern environment movement is oriented toward keeping people from using resources while handing governments more power to regulate the stuffing out of businesses. This approach only brings misery to the masses, especially the poorest of the poor.

I have mentioned my desire to reduce my energy consumption, and the problems doing so caused me, in my When a Man Loves a Rabbit book. It, and my second paperback, is available through the Bruce Atchison's books page.

How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is for sale at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishersnce

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


Do you ever feel weary from having to give gifts to all and sundry at this time of year? Christmas has become a season of gift buying, card posting, and feeding the relatives. When charities jangle their collection plates under our noses, we toss in a few coins to sooth our conscience and then carry on partying.

Like millions around the world, I became caught up in the shopping madness. Not only did I give my siblings and mother gifts but I bought each member of a charismatic house church a present. This caused me great hardship, particularly when I went to high school and when I was unemployed in December of 1980.

After I left the church in 1987, I still gave gifts to family and friends. As the years passed, I became increasingly tired of the yearly shopping ritual. Giving inexpensive presents to people and receiving the same seemed crazy. Having thought it over, I dropped out of the Christmas rat race in 1992.

When I resumed my walk with the Lord in 1996, I decided to refrain from giving my rich friends gifts. Instead, I donated to various charities such as The Salvation Army and Hope Mission. Christ taught that when we invite people to a  dinner, we should call the poor to it instead of our comparatively well-off friends. The poor can't pay us back but God will consider our charity as treasure in heaven. Reasoning along that line in regard to Christmas, I gave to the poor. Christ also said that helping the unfortunate was like helping him.  Giving to the destitute makes much more sense in light of his teaching than buying trashy gifts for my friends who can buy those items for themselves.

I wrote extensively about that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.

Thursday, 5 December 2013


"I wish I'd never wasted so many years in a cult." Many former members, myself included, mourn the time lost to pseudo churches and movements which end up controlling us. Thanks to the Lord's providence, these supposedly lost years aren't wasted as we had assumed.

Forty-two years ago, I became captivated with the doctrines of a cultic house church leader. His teachings about aliens, teleportation, the pre-Adamic world, and other unbiblical doctrines appealed to my need to feel significant. Consequently, I didn't think the church was strange or blasphemous, even when Brother Herald (not his real name) said that God became deformed by a nuclear war in heaven. Blinded by pride, my belonging to an "advanced" church seemed like the will of Christ.

As the years passed, I became increasingly frustrated. No matter how much I worked up my faith, my eyes never became healed from my poor vision. Worse yet, elders criticized me for lacking faith, having ancestral sins, lusting for sight, and having unconfessed sin. This perennial criticism built up in me a root of bitterness, another fault which the leaders chided me for. One day, I had heard enough. The elderly woman in whose home the church met criticized me from the pulpit. I stormed out of there and turned my back on God for nine years.

When I came to my senses, I realized that God wasn't at fault. It was the wicked elders of that errant house church who created in me unrealistic expectations. In Fact, I learned from Bible passages such as Exodus 4:11 and John 9:3 that my poor vision wasn't the fault of my parents or myself but that the works of God should be manifest in me. This realization gave me immense joy since I wasn't being punished for supposedly lacking faith.

As I grew in the knowledge of God and his Word, I noticed that I knew my scriptures much better than the average Christian. All those times of Bible reading, misguided as I was by heretical teaching, had planted God's Word in my mind.

Now my passion is to proclaim the truth to other lost lambs who fell for the same sort of lies I once did. I wrote How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity to show that there is hope for recovery from the damage cultists do. It's available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Others have had the victorious experience of being led to the truth. One stirring story is told by Jan Groenveld. Visit Cult Awareness and Information Library to hear a thirty-five minute audio recording of Jan's testimony.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


Today is the day that the United Nations set aside to honour disabled persons around the world. Though I have little respect for the U.N., this declaration is worth noting. I do have some vested interest in this since I have partial sight. Even so, people with disabilities need to be recognized as having intrinsic worth.

Through the millennia of human experience, the blind, lame, deaf, and other afflicted persons have been discriminated against. Even in some cultures today, disabled folks are thought to be suffering some sort of curse. The ninth chapter of Saint John's gospel dramatically shows the bias commonly held by people throughout history. When Christ's disciples asked him whether a blind man or his parents sinned, he replied that neither  of them had. Rather, it was that the work of God could be made manifest in the man so that he was born without sight.

I know first hand how certain religious people have treated those with a disability. Throughout my attendance at a charismatic house church, elders chided me for having hidden sin, a lust for sight, lack of faith to be healed, and ancestral sin that blocked God from healing my eyes. Those heartless people lacked understanding of God and his purposes.

One notable Christian with a disability was Fanny Crosby. She Not only wrote more than eight-thousand hymns and songs but she lost her vision at six weeks old. Furthermore, she believed her sightless condition was a blessing from God, not a curse as some folks would assume.

I could cite many other examples of how the Lord worked through the disabilities of people. Because of societal attitudes, we disabled folks have had to struggle to acquire the status which able-bodied citizens take for granted. Even in the workplace, we have to work harder just to keep abreast with our "normal" counterparts. Legislation against discrimination doesn't always help us either. Employers often have erroneous ideas of our capabilities. One of my blind friends was initially blocked from working in a sheltered workshop because its manager thought he couldn't find his way to the rest room.

I wrote extensively about my treatment at that house church in my newly-published memoir, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Please check it out at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm.