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Opinion

The Bible’s Relevance in 2011

October 12, 2011 Editor

On October 5, 2011, during the CNN Piers Morgan Show, Piers said to Rev. Joel Osteen, “Don’t you think you should bring the Bible kicking and screaming into the 21st century?” 

Piers question, which may actually be a statement of what he thinks, expresses an all too common perspective in today’s world and sometimes even in the Church. 

The idea seems to be that the Bible’s message is dated; that because it is an ancient document it is a necessary assumption that its message, truth claims and perspective of the world must be reinterpreted apart from the author’s meaning and in light of contemporary norms. (A discussion of the acceptance of homosexuality as normal, and not sinful as the Bible states in Romans 1:24-28, was the context within which Piers stated his question.

The folly in this perspective is made clear when we remember who the author of the Bible is and how contemporary norms are arrived at. We will consider the last first and the first last.

Norms are authoritative standards of conduct or ethical values, in some way binding upon the members of a group and serving to guide that group. Such norms are contemporary when they are arrived at by actual, fabricated or assumed consensus of a current population, and they are considered right because they are said to be what most people within that population do, or at least agree to be acceptable for someone to do. 

 It is assumed in contemporary norms that majority agreement or acceptability, confirms rightness among a given group. 

We quickly recognize that the fact that because most people participate in a given behavior, or agree that it is acceptable, does not confirm the rightness of any behavior since we can easily identify wrong behaviors that most people agree is acceptable or actually do in various groupings; which behaviors may be factually harmful like smoking, eating fast foods, exploiting slave labor, etc. 

Furthermore, if norms are to be arrived at in a contemporary fashion then we confirm them to be temporary and of questionable lasting value, since what is contemporary by definition is continually undergoing change.

As a necessary point of faith, Christians recognize God as the author of the Bible. So for all genuine Christians the Bible is a communication, the quality of which is consistent with the quality of its author. 

This means that those qualities of person necessary to the proposition of actually being God govern the quality of His authorship; qualities such aseternal self-existence, omniscience, omnipotence, absolute cogency and truthfulness, infallibility, impartiality and so on. 

Furthermore, as Creator He understands the creature perfectly, while the creature remains always in a process of self discovery through every contemporary context because he is limited by his finitude. 

Yes, the Bible should be brought into the 21st century, but not kicking and screaming because it was written for the 21st century, and every other contemporary context. 

It should be brought into the 21st century to provide transcendent norms for all societies, norms that are not subject to the frailties of the creature or his tendency toward sinfulness, but are the eternal wisdom of the glory of the Creator.

 

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News

South Dundas Children Inspect Fire Trucks and Find them Fun!

October 12, 2011 Editor

All three fire stations in the South Dundas Fire Department held open houses on Saturday, October 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. complete with tours, free souvenirs and barbecue munchies. Fire Chief Chris McDonough said the open houses were a a great success and that he’s “looking forward to doing it again next year.” At the Williamsburg location the local children were having fun climbing into, out of, and on the fire trucks. From all appearances, they were loving every minute of it. 

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News

Recreation centre devastated by fire

October 12, 2011 Editor

The Williamsburg detachment of the South Dundas Fire Department was called out to the Dunbar Recreation Centre at 2:45 a.m. on Saturday, October 8th only to find that the fire and the hall were too far gone for saving.

According to South Dundas Fire Chief Chris McDonough, “the building is a total loss.”

He told the Leader that the cause appears to be a wayward cigarette butt: “We’re thinking it’s the planter. A cigarette was disposed of in a planter at the front of the hall.”

He says that this was probably done on Thursday night during the election poll as this was the last night the building was in use.

When asked if it made sense for the fire to take so long to ignite, he said that because of the peat moss it probably “smouldered for quite some time” burning down before spreading to the building.

McDonough said that a similar situation recently occurred at the Iroquois Civic Center. A cigarette was discarded in a planter causing ignition. No damage was reported in that instance.

The fire in Dunbar also spread to a neighbouring garage door, but luckily it was spotted and fire fighters were able to extinguish the fire before any substantial damage could be done.

In terms of the Dunbar Recreation Centre, which is owned by the municipality of South Dundas, Manager of Parks and Recreation Don Lewis said nothing was salvageable.

The centre contained a kitchen, stage, dance floor, recently purchased tables, chairs and a storage room filled with supplies.

Lewis said that the building had recently undergone some changes with a new roof in 2008, as well as the addition of a handicap ramp in June 2011.

The centre is used frequently for baby showers, weddings, and even a weekly coffee club.

Lewis says it will be up to South Dundas council as to whether or not the building is replaced. He pointed out that the building was covered by insurance.

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News

Parlow road now open

October 12, 2011 Editor

The October 4th South Dundas council meeting brought news about two roads in the township. 

Parlow Road from County Road 4 to County Road 2 is open to the public as of October 5.

Manager of Public Works, Hugh Garlough proposed to council that the road be designated “an open, Public Highway, maintained year round.”

According to Garlough, the road work for Parlow Road was completed by Willis Kerr Contracting on September 20, 2011.

He put before council a by-law “to insure that the benefitting properties contribute in a like manner to the construction cost of this road extension.” The by-law was approved.

Now that Parlow Road is officially open, Deputy Mayor Jim Locke revealed that he is “glad this controversial matter is finished.”

Councillor Archie Mellan agreed, adding that he’s “glad to see it’s going to be fair.”

In other road news, the Doran Creek Subdivision road’s name is now officially Doran Creek Drive.

The proposal for the name approval came through Garlough who received the request from Henry Swank of Swank Construction.

According to Garlough, “no other township road name is associated with this naming request.” Council unanimously approved the request.

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News

Bill C-292: putting victim rights over criminal rights

October 12, 2011 Editor

On September 28th, Guy Lauzon, Member of Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, tabled a private member’s bill, Bill C-292, An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (victims’ restitution and monetary awards for offenders).

“Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to introduce an amendment to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. This amendment will ensure that any monetary amount awarded to an offender pursuant to a legal action or proceeding be paid to victims and other designated beneficiaries,” said Lauzon in the House of Commons on September 28, 2011.

“This amendment ensures victims of crimes come first and criminals do not profit from their crimes. Just another example, Mr. Speaker, of this Government putting the rights of victims ahead of the rights of criminals.”

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OPP arrests in South Dundas

October 12, 2011 Editor

On October 9th, SD&G OPP officers responded to a report of a family dispute on County Road 31, South Dundas Township.

The investigation revealed that a male threatened other family members that were in the residence.

The 24yr old male was arrested and faces charges of: Utter Threat to Cause Death or Bodily Harm; Utter Threat to Damage Property; Mischief Under $5,000; and, Possession Schedule II Cannabis Marihuana. He was held in custody pending an appearance in Cornwall court.

On October 10th, SD&G OPP officers responded to a report of a domestic incident on Strader Road, South Dundas Township. 

The investigation revealed that a female and her 34yr old common-law husband were involved in a verbal altercation that resulted in the male assaulting the female. 

He was arrested and faces charges of: Assault and Mischief Under $5,000. He was held in custody pending an appearance in Cornwall court.

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Council hit with unexpected costs

October 12, 2011 Editor

Like everyone else, even the township gets hit with unexpected costs now and again.

On October 4th, Don Lewis, Manager of Recreation, informed the South Dundas council that three of their roof top units for two of their buildings had been red-tagged by the gas company, meaning that the gas won’t be turned on until the heaters are replaced or fixed.

The Morrisburg Justice Building has two roof top units needing immediate attention. One, almost 20 years old, will be completely replaced. The other, only ten years old, will require only the heat exchanger to be replaced.

The remaining roof top unit in question is also close to 20 years old and can be found in Iroquois at the Civic Centre. This unit will be completely replaced.

A tender invitation is being advertised in this week’s papers.

In terms of financing the repairs, Treasurer Shannon Geraghty told council that there “are some potential items we’ve saved on this year” as well as “savings we could pull from.”

As Mayor Steven Byvelds pointed out, “things break unexpectedly.” He said that he agreed with Geraghty, “we should find savings out of the existing budget.”

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News

Let’s skate!

October 12, 2011 Editor

It appears that the Morrisburg Shopping Plaza will be getting a skating rink for the Christmas season.

At the October 4th South Dundas council meeting Councillor Jim Graham reported that the Morrisburg Business Improvement Association (BIA) met the previous evening and “agreed there should be a better location.”

Hugh Garlough, Manager of Public Works, said that he’d like to “thank the BIA for accepting my thoughts” and went on to say that  “we will do our best to work with them (and when it) comes time, do whatever we can to cooperate.”

In terms of where the rink will be located, he reported that “the mall location south of the clock tower will not be used as the township has concerns with this location.”

Possible locations were discussed, including the area of the parking lot where the former visitor’s centre was located. However, Garlough informed the Leader that “the location of the BIA’s skating rink has not been decided as of yet.”

“The location will be decided by township staff and the BIA representatives at a later date.”

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Fostering better relations with a cross-border group

October 12, 2011 Editor

Living on the St. Lawrence River, have you ever looked across the water at your neighbours in the United States and wondered, “Are we really that different?”

A press release from Ontario Senator Bob Runciman’s office announced that he has formed a cross-border group with New York State Senators Patty Ritchie and Joseph Griffo.

“This initiative will help open new lines of communication and create a chance to explore new opportunities that can benefit both New York and Canada,” Senator Ritchie said.

The group’s formation came in response to a recent incident in local waters where an American fisherman was arrested for “straying” into Canadian waters.

“The incident reminded Senator Ritchie and I how interdependent the two countries are along the border and how important it is to have a regular dialogue to discuss matters of mutual concern,” Senator Runciman said.

Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MP Guy Lauzon has joined Runciman’s group alongside Leeds-Grenville MP Gord Brown, Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark, and Kingston and the Islands MP Ted Hsu. These members, however, were not present for the founding meeting on October 7.

The Leader was able to speak with Lauzon late last week. He told the Leader that “Runciman is taking the lead.”

While he admitted that his “information is somewhat limited” at this point, he did offer the following information: “I’m on the committee. What we’re trying to do is foster better relations between the two border countries and ridings.”

Lauzon referenced the incident with the fisherman as the catalyst to the formation of the cross-border group saying: “We just think if we can open up better communication with both countries at both levels we can eradicate this problem.”

“Northern New York and Eastern Ontario share not just a common border, but face the same challenges and opportunities. It makes economic sense to look for joint solutions,” Runciman said. “And the people in border communities are not just neighbours, but we’re good friends, too. I see this group as a way to reinforce that message.”

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Enhanced response time for fire departments in South Dundas

October 12, 2011 Editor

Your house is on fire and you’ve just called 911. How would you feel knowing that the dispatcher failed to “page out the call” to the fire department? This is just one of the issues with the current South Dundas township’s dispatch system.

At the October 4th meeting of the South Dundas council, South Dundas Fire Chief Chris McDonough reported on the state of the township’s dispatch system and recommended a solution to council.

According to McDonough, the fire department is “currently being dispatched by Christie Walther also know as Canpage Communications.” He provided a list of issues with the dispatch company that impacted the safety of South Dundas residents, including outdated equipment, unreliable personnel, and failure to follow procedures.

For these reasons, he did “joint research with South Glengarry and South Stormont” and it has been concluded that the city of Brockville is the answer.

He told council that the “cost is a little higher, but service is far better.”

McDonough explained that “the expedient and accurate handling of fire calls is a significant factor in the successful outcome of an incident.”

It was reported that “the Brockville Fire Department currently renovated their dispatch centre and purchased a new Crisys Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD).”

According to Crisys Limited, they were “created for the sole purpose of developing the most advanced decision-support systems possible for responding to urgent requests for assistance.”

McDonough recommended that the township “enter into a five year agreement with the City of Brockville to provide a 24/7 Professional Fire Dispatch system, including voice paging system, 2-way radio communications, computer automated dispatch and the Crisys electronic reporting system.”

The recommended system will cost $42,596.54 the first year, which includes $18,163.54 for dispatch, $13,333 for the wireless internet link, and $11,100 for the Crisys reporting system.

The wireless internet link, which costs a total of $40,000 per year, is being divided among the three townships of South Dundas, South Stormont, and South Glengarry for a total of $13,333 each.

The cost for the second year will be $36,236.54 with a 5 per cent increase for each of the following three years left in the contract.

Councillor Archie Mellan was impressed with how the new system would “greatly enhance response time.”

Councillor Evonne Delegarde commented that it seems like a “far superior system” and that it makes sense to “spend the extra money to have a better system.”

The chief agreed, adding that “they’re on top of everything” and “we’ll be able to predict our boundaries a lot sharper – right to the longitude and latitude – very specific.” 

Mayor Steven Byvelds remarked that “the thing this demonstrates is the cooperation of the municipalities.”

The council agreed with Chief McDonough’s recommendation and the current provider will be given a 90 day notice.

McDonough predicts that the “GPS and fire department data will be entered and the equipment installed and tested by December 1, 2011” and that “the system will go live January 2012.”

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