Thursday, 30 January 2014


Have you ever experienced something in your life which reminded you of an incident in the Bible? That happened to me in January of 1984 on the way home from a shortwave listeners' club meeting.

The verse which came to mind after the meeding was 2 Kings 9:20 (KJV). It reads, "And the watchman told, saying, 'He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.'" Chris, the man who gave me a lift home, certainly drove that way.

The city of Edmonton had recently received a dump of freezing rain. Consequently, the roads were extremely slippery. In spite of this, Chris sped through the city streets like he was Jehu furiously driving his chariot. When I suggested that he should slow down, he assured me he knew what he was doing.

All the way home, I prayed silently that God would protect us from a crash. At any moment, I expected to see blue and red flashing lights behind us but no police officer witnessed Chris breaking the speed limit.

I thanked the Lord over and over once I was safely in my apartment and my friend was gone. Fortunately for me, Chris never gave me a ride home from the shortwave club's meeting again.

I now know that prayer doesn't guarantee safety. Even so, God is sovereign and uses incidents in our lives to sculpt us into images of his beloved son, Jesus Christ.  If Chris had crashed his car, I'm sure the Lord would have used that for his glory and my good as well.

Perhaps part of that safe ride home was to encourage my trust in the heavenly Father.
I didn't know about his sovereignty back then so any bad incident made me think I was the cause of it happening. Now I know that the Lord works through both good and bad circumstances.

I wrote in my new book regarding the way I came to learn about this marvelous truth in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. You can read more about it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers. Amazon will even let you look inside the book so you can judge for yourself if it's worth buying.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


For most people, the arrival of a faith healer in their city, or one near them, isn't much of an occasion. To those with a permanent disability or serious ailment however, this seems like a golden opportunity to be rid of the burdensome illness.

As I blogged last year, people such as myself wouldn't be brought up onto the stage for healing. Faith healers know that they can't give new eyes to somebody whose vision has been destroyed. Neither can these hucksters re-grow amputated limbs or any other obvious malady.

Instead, they choose folks with psychosomatic complaints. The Fifth Estate, a Canadian investigative journalism TV show, exposed just how the faith healers pick and choose who will be on the stage for healing.

One of the most famous disabled persons to suffer the neglect of faith healers is Joni Ericksen Tada. She spoke at the Strange Fire conference about how she was taken to a Katherine Coolman rally. Instead of being welcomed warmly, she and other wheelchair users were shunted off to one side of the auditorium. Before the show ended, she and the others were moved out of the way so that people could leave the building easier. This sent Joni into a deep depression.

Though my disability is poor eyesight, I've fallen into a deep funk each time my eyes weren't healed. Worse yet, elders at the church I attended accused me of lacking faith, having hidden sin, lusting for sight, and having ancestral sin which blocked God from healing me. This bothered me so much that I turned my back on God for nine long years. I've recovered from much of the pain but I still feel angry at times about what those cruel people said.

Thanks to excellent Bible scholars, I know that what I had been taught was a lie. Miracles aren't normative today because God used them in three crucial periods of history to verify the words of his messengers. Moses and Joshua performed miracles as they  ushered in the law. Elijah and Elisha did the same as they ushered in the prophets. Jesus and his disciples likewise ushered in the new covenant of grace with miracles confirming it. Between the two Old Testament times of miracles, supernatural events wielded by men were rare. As any reader of The Acts of the Apostles can note, the frequency of miracles drops off by the end of Luke's apostolic account.

Though God isn't limited in what he can do, he works far more often through providence. Many people claim to have performed miracles but these are either unverified or unverifiable.

Another point that a casual Bible reader can take note of is that first-century Christians suffered persecution. Even today, being a Christian is dangerous in most countries. Christ never promised his followers prosperity in this evil age, unlike the false prophets who claim to be his messengers.

My How I Was Razed book outlines the false doctrines I was taught in more detail. It's available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Thursday, 23 January 2014


Do you find that the sermons at your church lack depth? Does your minister teach only the nice things about Jesus Christ and not his "hard sayings?" When I returned to church in 1996, I felt that the Sunday service lacked the needful teachings laid out in the letters of Peter, James, Paul, John, and especially Jude.

Why was this so? Certainly Pastor Keith and Pastor Wayne used meaningful scriptures in their sermons.  Even so, I enjoyed the Tuesday evening Bible studies much more. What made me feel something was missing at the churches I attended? A recent post by Zachary Perkins cleared up my ambivalence regarding the discontentment I felt at church.

In his post, Mr. Perkins wrote about the "me" gospel. Basically, it consists of telling people how good they are and to believe in themselves. No warning of sin and repentance is mentioned. Neither is counting the cost of discipleship and taking up one's cross even hinted at. The Jesus they preach is more like a coach or buddy instead of the dynamic character portrayed in the gospels. No wonder I felt uneasy with all this "me" stuff.

I find much more edification and enjoyment in the sermons of John MacArthur and Conrad Mbewe. These men explain the scriptures rather than just telling moral stories. I've learned much from Hank Hanegraaff and June Hunt ne as well. Instead of telling their congregations and audiences what sinful people want to hear, these saints preach the full counsel of God. This is more like what the first-century apostles did. The self-esteem teachings don't correspond to what Scripture teaches, therefore I reject them.

So what can we feel good about? For those of us who have surrendered our lives to Christ, we have a great deal to celebrate. Christ paid for our sin debt that we never could have paid by ourselves. He adopted us, who have given our lives to him, into his family. The Holy Spirit helps sanctify us so that we become more and more like our Lord in character. At the resurrection of the dead, we'll have perfect bodies and live with our heavenly Father forever. If that doesn't build a Christian's self-esteem, that person should check his or her feelings against what the scriptures teach.

I wrote regarding the qualms I felt about the gospel of self esteem in How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Discover the wondrous way the heavenly Father rescued me from errant beliefs and slavery to selfishness at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014


I read a most convicting blog post recently by Jason B. Ladd. He wrote about the spiritual pornography that many Christians are addicted to. Having written a memoir called How I Was Razed, I recognize all too well how the aberrant house church satisfied my lusts rather than teaching me biblical truth.

When I first visited that pseudo-church in 1971, I became captivated by the lay minister's mystical doctrines. He explained mysteries which most preachers I'd heard never even hinted at being knowable. Like most folks, I wanted power over my life and to possess secrets which the rest of the world's people didn't.

Brother Herald (not his real name) taught about spirits and even appeared to have saints of old take over his body and teach us. I sat mesmerized as he spoke, feeling privileged to be one of the advanced Christians. In fact, I looked down on "ordinary" believers as being stupid for not seeking deeper knowledge.

This faker also said it was permissible for us to listen to spirits, provided we tested them with the question regarding Christ coming in the flesh. The bible is filled with warnings about communication with spirits as they masquerade as dead saints or loved ones. Brother Herald ignored those admonishments and taught us to do so as well.

Prophecy was another satanic deception he used to lure us away from the main and plain things of Scripture. In his view of eschatology, we wouldn't be raptured but would have to go through the great tribulation. Brother Herald further encouraged us to hoard food for the coming mark of the beast when nobody without the mark could buy or sell. Because he said so, a store room in the house church was stocked with many boxes of canned vegetables and jam which, so I was told by the elders, would be multiplied by the Lord's power through the three-and-a-half-year period of the mark.

Brother Herald also told us that we could use the power of Jesus' name to do miracles and teleport from place to place. He boasted of doing miraculous healings, such as putting a girl's brain back into her head and sealing it up after she was struck by a car. He also claimed to have walked on water and announced that he raised Joseph,, the one sold into Egyptian slavery and who later became prime minister under Pharaoh, from the dead. The reason we never did do such things was, according to him, our faith was weak.

I now realize that I was like the followers in the sixth chapter of John's gospel. I wanted what I could get from Christ rather than to be his servant. I also recognize that all these supposed healings and new revelations proclaimed by faith healers are fake. Even the gift of tongues they claim to practice is mere gibberish.

To read more about the wondrous way God led me out of that spiritual bondage and into the light of his glorious truth, visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers. You can even use Amazon's "look inside" link to read some of the book for yourself.

Thursday, 16 January 2014


Throughout the Bible, we find warnings of false prophets and bogus apostles who mislead believers in God. These people proclaim "Thus sayeth the Lord," when he hasn't actually said what they claimed. The strongest of these warnings is given in the apostle Paul's letter to Galatia.

I am surprised that you are being so quickly turned away from him whose word came to you in the grace of Christ, to good news of a different sort; Which is not another sort: only there are some who give you trouble, desiring to make changes in the good news of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, were to be a preacher to you of good news other than that which we have given you, let there be a curse on him. As we have said before, so say I now again, If any man is a preacher to you of any good news other than that which has been given to you, let there be a curse on him.

These sort of people are still around today. Whether preaching from pulpits or writing books, they disregard the good news of Christ paying for our sins on the cross. Instead of reading the time-tested Holy Scriptures, these false teachers claim that we twenty-first century believers can hear directly from God.

I highly recommend reading the review of the book Another Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith. It's a refutation of Jesus Calling, a book in which author Sara Young  claims to have written what Christ spoke directly to her. Having read Young's  book, Smith felt compelled to refute  her dangerous writings. In Another Jesus Calling, he warns that demons can masquerade in the guise of angels of light, or even as Christ himself, and deceive many. This is why John, the disciple of Jesus, warned in his first epistle to test the spirits. Unfortunately, many Christians want an experience rather than to study the Bible.

In an interview on the Stand Up For The Truth radio show, Smith refuted the claims of Jesus Calling. The Christ in that book isn't the dynamic character we find in Scripture but a weak and needy man, according to Smith. Instead of being Lord and Saviour, this Jesus is a buddy who wants to help you, the reader, live a better life. As far as I know, no mention of eternal damnation or eternal bliss with God is mentioned in Young's book. Neither are the commands to take up one's cross and follow him apparently noted.

Another Jesus Calling is one book I hope to buy soon. It shows without a doubt the danger of emptying one's mind and listening for a voice to speak from heaven. Satan is the master of deception and he loves it when people want to be deceived rather than reading the Bible. Smith's book is one every sincere Christian should read. It'll immunize its readers against trying to hear seducing spirits who call themselves Christ.

As for How I Was Razed, I wrote about how cultic house church leaders deceived me into believing all sorts of blasphemous doctrines. Check out this wondrous story of God's providence at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014


Though Easter is months away, I feel I must warn folks about the cost of having a house rabbit. Like dogs and cats, rabbits have their own diseases which require veterinary care. Furthermore, neglecting symptoms is a dangerous thing to do since bunnies are prey animals. They hide their ailments from predators until they become extremely ill.

Not only do rabbits require veterinary care but they must be taken to doctors who specialize in exotic animals and are knowledgeable about rabbit ailments. I learned this lesson the hard way when I moved to the hamlet of Radway. The local vet claimed that he knew how to diagnose and treat rabbit illnesses. Like a fool, I trusted him.

But as the years passed, I grew dissatisfied with his callous and rough treatment of my beloved long-eared friends. The worst example of this was when my bunny Mark developed abscesses on his cheeks. Instead of offering to send samples of the abscess liquid to be analyzed, the vet just gave me a few syringes of Baytril and a bill. I kept asking him about why these abscesses reoccurred but he said they were merely filled with saliva.

When I noticed that Mark kept tossing his head up as he ate lettuce or hay, that local vet treated me like a hypochondriac. He even said he couldn't find anything wrong with Mark's teeth.

After one examination, the vet noticed a half-inch-long tusk of a tooth growing in the back of Mark's mouth. "How can you, being blind, figure out that he had that long tooth?" the vet asked when he dropped my bunny off at my door. I felt so stunned at his obtuseness that I couldn't answer him. Anybody could tell that there was something drastically wrong with my rabbit's mouth.

Though I spent a total of thirteen-hundred dollars at a rabbit-savvy vet clinic in Sherwood Park, I felt it was worth it to get the proper prognosis. Mark had developed an infection in his jaw as a result of that local vet's incompetence. My suspicion about my bunny's malady was vindicated.

A year ago, my neighbour gave me a lift to her vet in Fort Saskatchewan. I made the painful decision to have Mark put to sleep so he wouldn't have to suffer anymore. Even with antibiotic beads and other expensive procedures, the Sherwood Park vet assured me that Mark would succumb to his infection in the long run.

If you find yourself tempted to buy a cute little bunny this Easter, think long and hard about the care of your long-eared companion. Visit the House Rabbit Society for all the information you need and more about rabbit care. You won't be misled as the contributors to the site have vast practical experience with bunnies.

I also wrote about the lessons I learned in my best-selling memoir When a Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living With Bunnies. Along with good advice, you'll read about how charming and intelligent rabbits are.

Thursday, 9 January 2014


Most of you folks reading this haven't had the sort of childhood I did so I'll explain. When I was seven years old, the government sent me 500 miles from home to a residential school for deaf and blind students. I was only allowed to return home at Christmas and summer, as well as three Easter holidays. Others who lived nearer could go home more often and the Vancouver students could attend classes like regular school children did.

Though it offended our supervisors and teachers, we called it a prison camp. In many ways, it was like one. Nobody was allowed to leave the grounds except when escorted by a supervisor or teacher. Our parcels from home were confiscated and any treats in them were shared out sparingly to all the kids. Worse yet, some supervisors kept money and treats from our "care packages" from home without telling us.

In January of 1970, a directive came down from the administration building that coffee and tea weren't to be served in the dining hall anymore. No explanation was given to us for this arbitrary decision either.

Naturally, us older boys were incensed by this dictate. One snowy day after school, Geoffrey walked up to me as I sat on my bed and said, "I've got some tea and sugar and cream. Would you like to have some after the night nurse wakes me up to go to the bathroom?"

I heartily agreed with him. Then he went around to the two boys in our bedroom and made the same offer. Nobody refused his generous proposal.

Once the night nurse left our bedroom at midnight and all was quiet, we crept from our beds to the bathroom. After running the hot water tap for a minute, we all filled our cups. Geoffrey then dunked a tea bag in each one a few times, much as we had seen prisoners of war do on TV. As soon as we crept back to our room, we added the sugar and cream.

That tea tasted wonderful to us. Added to the pleasure of its flavour and warmth was the knowledge that we got away with drinking it.

Our clandestine tea party continued night after night for a few weeks. No adult suspected we had engaged in a proscribed activity, making us feel all the more proud of our rule defiance.

Without warning, another edict was handed down from on high allowing us older boys to have tea and coffee with our meals once more. Again, no explanation was given to us by our supervisors or the dining hall staff for this change. Though we stopped having tea after midnight, I never forgot how we bucked the authorities in "Stalag Jericho."

I told this story, and other tales of mischief, in my second memoir called Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School. Read more about it, and my memoir about house rabbits, at the Bruce Atchison's books page.

I also have a new paperback out called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Read more about this astonishing story of God's wondrous providence at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


The word "faith" certainly has a number of connotations. Some people use it as a synonym for a religion or sect of one. Others use it to mean acceptance of unprovable ideas. For true students of Scripture, it has a much deeper meaning.

Lately, a group of charismatic ministers have arbitrarily added a new definition to the biblical doctrine of faith. In their view, faith is a force that Christians can use to cause things to happen, either positively or negatively, to themselves.

They further teach that words are containers of this force. In their distorted view, a Christian 0can become free from the "curse' of poverty by speaking to a wallet and positively confessing that it be filled with money. Similarly, they believe that any disease can be cured by speaking faith-filled words to it.

Forty years ago, I was a member of an aberrant house church. Its minister taught that Christians with enough faith had the power to speak forth healing over people on whom they laid their hands. The leader often quoted James 1:6 (KJV) which says "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed".

Whenever the members laid hands on me and prayed in tongues, as well as rebuking the demon of poor sight in English, nothing happened. Though I seemed to see better after one prayer session, my vision remained as bad as it always was.

To make matters worse, the elders commanded me not to wear my eye glasses lest I lose my healing. Later, out of habit, I put them on and felt extremely depressed at my supposedly weak faith. I've lost track of how many times these Ernest-but-misguided people performed this ritual without any improvement in my vision.

I became so fed up with this cycle of failure, as I believed it was, that I turned my back on God for nine years. Eventually, I realized God wasn't at fault. It was those deluded folks who were to blame for teaching me blasphemous theology and then condemning me for lacking faith. I learned that God is sovereign and what he allows to happen is part of his good plan.

It didn't seem good to me that I was stuck with limited vision but I now see his wisdom in not healing me. God isn't a genie in a bottle or an intergalactic Santa Clause but a loving heavenly Father who gives us what will make us holy.

Because so many well-meaning believers struggle with the charismatic notion of faith, I wrote How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. I show how hard I tried to live up to the wrong standard and how I eventually learned the truth. This marvelous testimony of God's providential guidance is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

Thursday, 2 January 2014


I deeply appreciate your kindness in reading my blog posts. In a world where so many people have blogs of their own, your following mine is quite an honour.

I began blogging in the summer of 2008 on a site called Ning. Those first posts weren't the most brilliant of prose but I did my best. Thanks to clip art and images that I scrounged from old CD-ROMs, I was able to dress up my posts and make them attractive to casual visitors.

A year later, Ning Networks decided to charge for hosting blogs. Since Wordpress and Blogspot offered, and still offer, free blog hosting, I set up accounts with each. My reason for having two blogs was so that I could decide which worked better for me. Since Blogspot was easier to use at the time, I discontinued posting to Wordpress for two years.

In 2012, I stepped up my efforts to promote my books by posting to Wordpress again as well as to Blogspot. At first, the work wasn't too hard. I posted excerpts of my books and only had to write a paragraph at the beginning to introduce the subject.

My folly was inadvertently pointed out to me by a visitor to my blogs who wanted information on Jericho Hill School, the institution where both he and I spent six years of our lives. Over the phone, he told me that he had formed a general idea of what my book was about but he wasn't interested in purchasing it in any format. Since then, I've either commented on topics covered in my three memoirs or wrote about other experiences in my life.

My blogging workload suddenly grew heavier as I needed to write much more than I had done previously. I noticed that I spent much of my writing time composing and editing blog posts. This fact bothered me since I wanted to contact reviewers and radio show hosts about my books.

Last November, I made the decision to publish the same post on both blogs. Having freed up extra time, I used it to find reviewers for my newly-published book, How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Though I did do an interview on December 14 with Marketing U Daily, most of my inquiries met with silence or polite refusals.

As for 2014, I plan on carrying on   with the same blogging schedule. I also hope to spend time writing short fiction stories and entering them into literary contests. This should be good practice for when I write a novel. As with any skill, practice perfects it.

If you haven't yet checked out my new memoir of going from error to truth, please visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Virtual Bookworm Publishers for details. Its story is inspiring as well as edifying.

And last but not least, I wish you a blessed and prosperous new year. May it be all you hoped for and more.