Samsung Has Created My iPad Alternative: Samsung TAB S3 (2017)

Good Things Come To Those That Are Patient, Wait & Steward Their Technology

My MacBook Pro running Android OS.

I have been a tech geek for ages now. I am one of those people people who are now considered “seniors” even though I still feel like I am a rambunctious 17 year old, though now it appears I am trapped in the body of a 59 year old! I have loved technology since I was a kid. My parents took their time in purchasing “gadgets” but when they did, they were all in. That did not mean the latest, or the best, but it usually meant finding a gadget or technology that was capable of doing the tasks required, and also user friendly and affordable. Those three criteria have guided my life when it comes to technology and its use.  Some people would argue that I have forsaken useable technology for the latest and best technology, especially when it comes to “all things Apple.”

From ultimate “fanboy” to sober and discerning buyer

My iPad 3 & MacBook Pro

I became the ultimate Apple fanboy.  I got to play with Apple computers in the late 1980’s. By 1990 we had a Mac in our home. Not cheap by any standard. That Mac was worth over $5000 at the time. RAM cost over $1000 per megabyte. Not cheap. The largest hard drive was 40 megabytes. Not exactly large and not too fast either when it came to computing speed. But that was the nature of the computing world back then. Even IBM PC’s and IBM compatibles were in the same range as the Macs. But I was all in, largely due to the robust manufacturing of the Macs, the OS, and the ease of use of the apps on the Mac platform.

PowerBook 5300c

I went from Mac desktop computers to Mac laptops in the early 2000’s.  My initial Apple PowerBook was the 1995 PowerBook 5300C.  The PowerBook 5300c featured a 100 MHz PowerPC 603e processor, 16 MB of RAM, and a 750 MB hard drive in a portable black case with a 10.4″ color active-matrix display. That was when laptops were between 6 and 9 pounds.  The PowerBook 5300c was 6.2 pounds.  Way too heavy. Battery power did not last that long. Memory was small as was RAM and the clock speed of the CPU would make people today cringe in disbelief. I went higher end PowerBook G4 in 2003 and 2005 and by 2009, I had graduated to the MacBook Pro which had replaced the higher end PowerBook G4 when Apple “rebranded” their higher end laptops.

MacBook Pro, mid 2009 model.

My current MacBook Pro is “old” by most people’s standards. But I am not looking to replace it just yet. It does everything I need. I have expanded the hard drive to a 1 TB size, and added 4 Gigs of RAM to the max of 8 Gigs. I have gone through 1 bad Toshiba hard drive, and had to replace my trackpad on this Mac. That is pretty good for an 8 year old MacBook Pro. I do regular backups and maintenance on the machine. It can over heat but I am OK with that for now. But when it comes to iPads and iOS, I do not have the same gratitude or patience or tolerance for how crappy a user experience it is to use an iOS based iPad.

I have learned to be patient and appreciate my hardware and work with it and keep it functioning until I can afford to replace it. I don’t understand how some people can just keep buying the latest Apple product year after year, and keep upgrading their iPhone every year or other year. I have neither the patience nor the cash to do that kind of thing. Besides it is lousy stewardship (taking care of your wealth and resources responsibly and frugally with discretion and wisdom).  So I will wait for the right time, and the right piece of hardware, at the right price, BEFORE I pay out my hard earned cash on an upgrade for my laptop need or mobile tablet.

When Steve Jobs died, innovation & imagination & good products died with him

Some will argue about the success of Apple under Tim Cook and the huge profits the company has made the last five years, but take note.  If you know anything about Steve Jobs, he always had a five year plan. Do  you think it is coincidence that Tim Cook admitted last fall (2016) that it has been five years and it may be time for Tim Cook to hand the reigns over to someone else to take Apple forward? Do you actually think that this is coincidence? I don’t. Tim Cook may be a money making guru, and he has proven himself to be a great CFO but he is no innovative CEO. Tim Cook is actually a liability to Apple and it future. He has made and continues to make really bad decisions when it comes to the direction of Apple in the laptop, mobile and phone markets. He needs to be replaced by the board of Apple. But those board members like the dividends they are making and don’t want to do what is needed. Unless Tim Cook resigns, it looks like he will go down with the ship and sink right along with those declining Apple products and profits (in my opinion).

Some of us Apple faithful have taken matters into our own hands

I got myself an iPad 3 in 2012, just in time for my trip to Eastern Europe, where I used my iPad heavily over a three week period, taking photos, recording videos, surfing the web with WIFI, uploading photos to my cloud accounts and to Facebook. I was using it every day. That iPad came with iOS 6 and it worked well. But things changed with the death of Jobs and the advent of Tim Cook and iOS 7. Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs.  I never recovered from what Tim Cook unleashed on the world through iOS 7 and beyond.

Oh how I loathe the iPad, let me count the ways.

iOS 7 & iPhone 4

Not only did I not recover from iOS 7, but I plunged ever deeper into mobile OS purgatory with the release of iOS 8 and iOS 9. I was so frustrated with my iPad, that I virtually stopped using it.  Between 2012 to 2014, I used it for creating and presenting presentations at workshops and seminars.  I had used it for creative writing, blogging, surfing the web and social media.  I barely ever used the book app or the music app on iOS.  I hated both the book and music apps, and hate them even more now. I loathed the excessive use of gestures on the iPad, and the transition of gestures on the Mac OS made it ever worse a user experience for me.

I did not go this far or get an Apple tattoo.

I moved from being a “Mac Addict” to a “reluctant user,” be it for the Apple mobile hardware such as the iPad or the iPhone. In fact I have hated the iPhone from the very beginning and hate it to this very day. I will never ever buy or use an iPhone. In fact if the world somehow was reduced to one phone, that being the iPhone, I would give up the phone entirely. That kind of sums up my dislike of the horrific piece of crap that has seduced consumers the world over. The iPhone is NOT the best phone. It is a cash grab from a company that no longer cares about the creations it promotes to sell to consumers. But I digress.

Back to 2017

My iPad at meal time at Princess Margaret Lodge, Toronto, in February 2016.

I ended up using my iPad more in 2016 than I had used from 2014 to 2016.  In a six week period I was using my iPad every day, pretty well steady, five days a week.  I was dealing with my battle with cancer at the time, and I was staying five days a week in Toronto at the Princess Margaret Lodge. Each day I would take my iPad with me as I went to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre for my radiation treatment, and I would surf on my iPad, read news, send emails or write a blog post. It was a useful gadget for me while I was staying in Toronto. If I went to a coffee shop, a restaurant, and there was WIFI, I would pull out my iPad and off I would be surfing the web.

I ended up only using my iPad for Facetime and Skype to connect with relatives and friends, especially those in other countries. WIFI was our best friend.  At the Lodge I used my MacBook Pro to watch movies, documentaries or write.  I used my iPad and MacBook when I got myself ChromeCast, and streamed video on our TV. We don’t use cable so we stream what we watch, and making it wireless through streaming through our WIFI made using Netflix and other video streaming services much each with ChromeCast.  I love being able to use a phone, Android or iPhone, or a tablet or iPad or MacBook Pro to connect to ChromeCast and watch videos on our 42 inch TV.

Upgrade to iOS 10 sealed the deal for me – I am done with Apple iOS

When Apple announced the latest upgrade to iOS 10 and that the iPad 3 would not be able to be upgraded, I decided to finally part ways with the gadget. The nice thing about spending six weeks in Toronto at the lodge was that I met other people there who used laptops, tables and phones.  I got to help out some folks with their gadget issues since I am a bit of a gadget geek.  I got to use some Android tablets and trouble shoot Acer, Asus and Samsung tablets. It was a good experience for me since I had only really used the iOS iPad.

I dabbled with the beta of iOS 10 and discovered just how ugly and useless iOS has become. When you compare iOS to Android there is frankly NO comparison. The user friendly nature of Android is what Apple used to pride itself on. The interface of iOS really is a pain to deal with. With the Apple Kool-Aid mindset and their addiction to their “mantra” of the “Apple ecosystem” it has rendered iOS and largely the Mac OS as a really bloated, cumbersome, obstructive software OS glut that just does not work well, whether you use iOS or Mac OS for home, for play, creativity, or for work, there is not much pleasure left in using either of these, never mind finding something productive that doesn’t irritate.

Moto G 3rd Generation

My exposure to Android phones and tablets made me aware that the gadget planet is full of alternative choices for everyone and that you need not let yourself be hoodwinked or manipulated by fancy advertising or the coercion of family and friends who think they know better than you. You know what you need, and what you can afford, and you might increase the investment if it can be worth your while to do so. With the Internet literally at your finger tips, you can do your own research, you can Google it, look for products and their specs, and demos and reviews, you can watch the product reviews right on Youtube. You can become your own expert by just investing the time and hard work to find out exactly what you want and what you are willing to pay for it.

That is exactly how I approach the purchase of anything I buy nowadays. I research it online, and I look for product reviews and critiques, especially on YouTube. Then, after I am at peace with the options, I make my choice and investment in the new product. And so should you.

The supposed advances of Apple is done at the expense of users and users’ preferences

I want choice. The technology today is such that you don’t have to have all your hardware and software in the same ecosystem. This is a myth. This is a legend. This myth though is as powerful as the myth of evolution.  Everyone believes the myth but there is no proof of its veracity. The same can be said of all the technology ecosystems out there. There are those visionary companies though that see the benefits of creating bridges, and creative work flows that encourages, compliments and assists users in being in multiple ecosystems and platforms at the same time. Such is my own situation.

iPhone 5S & Moto G 3rd Generation

In October of 2015, my wife and I finally jumped in and bought cell phones. By this time I was really done with iOS. I hated it and there was no way I was going to buy an iPhone. My wife however likes the comfort of having everything in the same ecosystem. I won’t fault her on that score. There are millions in the world who feel the same way, just as there are millions who feel the opposite. I guess the myth of opposites attract is not a myth. My wife bought an iPhone, and I bought myself an Android (Moto G). I love my Droid phone. It is a joy to use and so easy to connect it to my MacBook Pro and add my music, ebooks, docs, and transfer a photos and videos.

My wife had issues with her iPhone 5S, from a malfunctioning battery that I got replaced under warranty, to complications with iOS 9 and iOS 10 as well as some functions just driving my wife crazy. Neither of us like Apple Music. I believe Steve Jobs would roll in his grave over Apple Music. It was so contrary to his ideology and belief that users should own their music and not rent it through a streaming service. Tim Cook just created it for the money grab that it is. But I digress.

My wife and I communicated over the last year while I was away through the use of our phones, using Skype and using our iPads.  But iOS 10 was the last straw.  I decided to bid farewell to my iPad 3 and there was no way I was upgrading to another iPad as part of my problem is iOS operating system. So why buy a new iPad when you hate the operating system?

So I sold my iPad last fall and I looked around for an Android alternative

While I miss not having a tablet, I have been waiting patiently for an Android alternative.  I checked out quite a few options, and it always came back to the main factors that I have for a tablet. These are:

  1. Hardware that can use the latest version of Android OS. That OS is Android 7, or Nougat.
  2. Hardware that is the latest in CPU speed & RAM & decent Memory (base 32 Gig with Mini SD card for expansion)
  3. Good for work projects (MS Office), presentations, stylus, streaming video/audio
  4. Keyboard & cover
  5. Enough ports to make it diverse and useable in various environments, on the road, in the car, on the train or plane, on away on work trip or holiday. You can easily connect to printers, WIFI, other hardware like TVs, printers and networks.
  6. Good price
  7. Manufacturer with a good extended warranty and support

Now, most people who are pro iOS, who have an iPhone or an iPad would say that the iPad offers all that and more. What withholds my endorsement of Apple and the iPad are:

  1. No mini SD slot to expand the memory storage of the iPad. This is a good enough reason to NOT buy an iPad. Apple scams people and coerces them to upgrade and buy a whole new iPad. They do not want owners to buy SD cards and add memory. They want to gouge and screw owners. I will not be one of those owners. I am a former iPad owner. I will remain a “former iPad user.”
  2. iOS is just an inferior OS and is not user friendly. I have already vented more than I need to on that score.
  3. Apple security is not the only secure OS. Android has more than levelled the selling point of a secure OS, and many third party companies provide additional security patches and software for both iOS and Android devices.

2016 became a turning point for tablets

Microsoft Surface vs iPad Pro

The last four years Apple dominated the tablet market. It’s only rivals were Microsoft Surface with the Windows OS and Surface has made inroads with major enterprise companies.  There has been a stiff competition for mobile computing with businesses between Microsoft and Apple.  Microsoft has upgraded their Surface tablet and made inroads in sports leagues like the NFL where their tablets are used by coaches of all the NFL franchises.  If you watched the 2016 season, you will recall coach Belichick of the Patriots throwing a tizzy fit and destroying a Microsoft Surface tablet on the side line during an NFL game on national TV. It caused a major uproar after the game.

MacBook Pro & iPad Pro

Apple’s response to the Microsoft Surface was the iPad Pro.  More than just a challenge to the entry of Surface to enterprise, Apple is deliberately trying to revamp the iPad line by making the argument that the iPad can be that mid range all encompassing computer to do what everyone basically needs, and is looking to see those iPads replace the average MacBook.  The MacBook Pro seems to be targeted to the heavier user that needs more memory and more power and more robust CPU speed to do heavy duty tasks, from video, audio creation, graphics, or design or heavy number crunching. But for the not so heavy duty work, Apple is trying to coerce consumers to buy the iPad, and preferably an iPad Pro with a stylus and keyboard/cover, so that this will become the new mobile “home computer.”

Me, as a consumer, I want choice, and I want a laptop to be a laptop and a tablet to be a tablet

This is my mindset when I look at my gadget needs. As I have now written off iOS and Apple for my tablet needs, I am left with one of two choices. I can choose Microsoft Surface and Windows, or I can choose an Android tablet.

I was holding out for Google to create a hybrid OS that includes the best of what Chrome Books have to offer, but it doesn’t look like much is coming down the pike with that.  There was talk of a new OS called Andromeda that would feature the best of Chrome OS along with the best of Android.

Google Pixel & Andromeda

Google Andromeda was supposed to challenge Apple for a higher end hardware software challenge for enterprise clients. But so far it is all but dead in the water. As such, I holding out until there is a new MacBook Pro that is not the deplorable and laughable worst Apple laptop in the last 15 years, the now infamous MacBook Pro 2016 model with that hideous menu bar that replaced the function keys.

MacBook Pro 2016 & the infamous touch bar

I was so angry when that came out. Steve Jobs would never have allowed a piece of crap like that to have the Apple brand on it. I still cringe when I see it.  Like many professionals, I echo their sentiments, that if there was an actual rival to Apple and its former MacBook Pro successful laptops, I would switch in a heart beat.  The rival won’t be Microsoft Surface, or Google Chrome OS.  It will have to be a whole other OS, and the only company that seems to have the cash, the vision and innovation to do what is needed is Google.

Google Pixel C

The success of the Google Pixel C laptop encourages me as does the Google Pixel Phone. Google is setting up its own hardware division and is wanting to create its own brand, supply chain and new products, much the same way that Steve Jobs revitalized Apple on his return in the late 1990’s.  I am waiting for Google to arise on the scene with a new OS and new hardcore laptop in design, functionality that will challenge and threaten Apple and the other competition. I will have to wait and see. I am hoping though. Maybe something happens by US Thanksgiving 2017. Stay tuned.

My choices for an Android table came down to three

Lenovo Yoga Book

My first choice was the Lenovo Yoga Book that was announced in the fall of 2016 and that began to arrive after Christmas and early 2017.  The cost in Canada for the Android (there is a Wind0ws 10 version) tablet with keyboard and stylus/pen is around $550 dollars. It is a ten inch screen. It folds like a tablet or you can use it with the keyboard, and it is great device for video and streaming. So it seemed to fit the bill for me. This was within budget and it was innovative. When I saw it and used it, I liked the feel and what it offered. Android OS on it is 6.0.1.  Lenovo has plans for its Yoga Book line so we will have to see where this goes.  It has placed itself right in the middle of the renewed tablet market.

My second choice was the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 which is a couple of years old, and the 9.7 size rather than the 8 inch size.  The design is beautiful, and the Samsung Android OS works smoothly and gives the user a lot to like. When it came out it was the only real challenger to the iPad, and it was this device that really pushed Apple back into developing and upgrading their entire iPad line, from the iPad Mini to the regular iPad 9.7 as well as the iPad Pro. This device is a top seller, and it was a close second for me in considering my next gadget for my iPad replacement.

Galaxy Tab S3

Then Samsung announced their new produce that can be pre-ordered on 17 March and can be picked up at retailers at the end of March. It is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S3.  This is my 3rd choice. But from what I have learned about it, it has jumped ahead of the line for me, ahead of the Lenovo Yoga Book and the Samsung Galaxy S2.


My nod goes for the new Samsung Tab S3

All Canadian pre-orders will also receive a complimentary Samsung book cover, which is valued at $89.99.

  • Operating System Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Display 9.7-inch Super AMOLED, 2048 x 1536 pixel resolution
  • Processor Snapdragon 820
  • Quad Core 2.15GHz + 1.6GHz
  • Storage 32GB
  • Expandable microSD card
  • RAM 4GB
  • Rear Camera 13MP, Auto-focus, Flash
  • Front Camera 5MP
  • Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, USB Type-C 3.1, GPS
  • LTE (optional)
  • Charging USB-C
  • Battery 6000mAh
  • Fast charging
  • Security One-touch fingerprint sensor
  • Dimensions 237.3mm x 169mm x 6mm
  • Weight 429g (Wi-Fi)
  • 434g (LTE)
  • Colors Silver, black

My journey to this decision has been longer than I imagined, but it will be worth the wait

When you are looking for a new gadget, you need to be practical, economical, and make a choice that will limit your financial investment to the most effective return. You need a gadget that you will find useful, practical, and one that will last you more than a couple of years.  The average upgrade to different hardware is usually every two to three years on the average. My iPad 3 was used for four years. It will be five years ago this June that I bought my iPad for my trip to Eastern Europe.  Now seems to be the time for me to upgrade to a new tablet, and that tablet will be an Android tablet. My tablet of choice if the new Samsung Tab S3.

Don’t be blindsided by Apple marketing and their propaganda. Invest your time and energy through doing your own investigation into what you need, and then spend the time money wisely on a product that you will use and enjoy. 

Grace & Peace.

~ Samuel M. Buick


MWC 2017: Hands On With The Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 and Windows 10 powered Galaxy Book

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Hands On

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Pricing For US, UK, and Canada Revealed

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3 Hands On

Samsung Galaxy Tab S3: Everything You Need To Know

Posted in Personal, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Speech Trumps Hate, Intolerance And Our Personal Biases And Beliefs

freedom-of-speech-rally-afpYou look around the Western democracies over the last decade, and you will see free speech under attack, be it in the European nations, or the former Soviet Union, China, India, the dominions of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and yes, in the United States of America.  Freedom of speech is under attack.

00berkeleyThe culmination of outrage and protest that ended up denying the free speech of others at UC Berkeley in California  a couple of weeks ago, ended up erupting in violence and managed to stop the evening presentation by a controversial speaker from the political right. The leftist anarchists restored to violence, intimidation and verbal and physical assault in order to stifle and deny free speech on the university campus, who legacy in defending free speech went up in the very flames of this violent anti free speech protest. Oh, the irony of it all.  These leftists did not have the desire for public debate, and as such did all they could including the use of force and violence to shut down the right to free and open debate. There is something quite wrong in a democracy when the right to free speech is so blatantly denied by those who protest that is ignited and fueled by hate and anger and leaves no room for face to face dialogue about the issues. Instead they resort to mass riot and violence to tune out the voices that dissent and want to have a dialogue and debate.  The rights of one group of people should not quash or restrict the views and the right of expression of those views who are from the other side. This is supposedly a democracy, except when you oppose their views.

00gettyimages-625288940The three worst scenarios in recent memory (at least since June of 2016) are found in the United Kingdom and the  Brexit referendum and its aftermath that sent shock waves across the globe, and resulted in the vote to leave the EU.

teamclinton-vs-teamtrump-election2016-1-638In the United States, it was the meltdown and fallout from the Democrats being outflanked and outmaneuvered by Donald Trump and the GOP, where the Republicans gained not only the White House, but the House of Representatives and the Senate, essentially wiping out the Democrats. The response of angry Democrats and their supporters resulted in violent protest as the new President moved into the White House at the end of January.  The left wing political agitators and protesters and the social activists seemed to lose their voices of protest and seemed to not know how to intellectually respond to the Right taking over the government of the nation. They could not speak. There was only outrage, riots, vandalism, destruction of public and private property and physical attacks, and especially the verbal attacks in trying to shut down all the free speech of those who do not see the world through their lens, only underscores the reality that “free speech” is under attack.

00quebeccityIn Canada, it is the most recent reactions to the murder of six Muslim men in Quebec City while in attendance at a mosque, and the resulting reactions by provincial and federal politicians, including our very own Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that has made the greatest threat to our right to free speech in Canada.  Their incoherent outrage and ramblings about Islamophobia, which has not been proven, are causing or right to free speech to be under threat. The politicians of the land seem to forget the foundation of country is based on this fundamental right to free speech enshrined in our  our Charter Rights and Freedoms. The Liberal MP who tabled the controversial Motion 103, which includes the inflammatory word “Islamophobia”, refuses to drop the word.  As such our country is divided over language and meaning. The debate unfolding not legally binding, but is up for debate on the floor of the Commons and it is already polarizing the country inciting anxiety, anger and outrage from all sectors of our Canadian multicultural community. Of course those right of centre are opposed to the motion as it threatens the very existence of free speech. The motion centres on Islamophobia and their narrative that it was Islamophobia that drove the gunman to murder six men at a mosque/community centre in Quebec City.  It has galvanized the Muslim community as well as outrage against the violence.  But that doesn’t mean we censure public debate, or that we redefine free speech and give special status to Muslim Canadians. The Charter of Rights applies to all Canadians equally or not at all!

Free speech is all free or not at all

free-speech-card-2I oppose any restriction, change to, or removal of, or redefining of “free speech” as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and our Constitution. I am for the free and open debate on the public square, in print, on digital media, broadcasting, of all and any views, be they considered “hate speech” by those who would otherwise want to control or stop the discussion of any subject of thing that may offend the sensibilities of offended Canadian citizens.

All persons in Canada have a protected right to free speech and to be challenged for their views

freedom_of_speech-300x232I defend the rights of all persons to not only hold but publicly debate, any and all speech on matters they deem important or infantile or what I may consider deplorable.
I defend the right of all Canadians to speak it out their views freely without legal attack or restriction

e3a413605c34e75eb80b4209a23485e3I also will speak out in opposition to those views I deem which are not right, or may even cause others harm. I will stand for the freedom to speak, and I would ask that all Canadians stand for the rights of all people in Canada to speak freely, with good conscience and passion about things that matter to them.

The government should encourage this kind of exchange, and not seek to restrict it in any way, shape of form, or demonize those who speak things they deem to be offensive or “un-Canadian.”

This is what it means to live in a free and open democracy where all citizen’s rights are equally protected in law

talking-philosophy-largeWhen voices rise in the nation that create fear, anger, suspicion, racial, religious, or ethnic disharmony, you don’t shut down those voices. You confront them in a fee and open debate on the public square and you deal with the issues and the emotions around them, and you work toward understanding and resolutions of the conflict.

You do not shut down “free speech” or try to redefine it! Demonizing the free speech of others only empowers it all the more


I defend your right to speak freely about your opinions, even if I don’t agree with them.

Welcome to democracy!

freedom-of-speechI have a right to speak out my disagreement of you and your opinions, or to speak my views on all matters of belief and conscience. I defend your right to do the same.  We do so in a Western democracy, in an atmosphere of mutual respect & accommodation of diverse views and opinions as well as vigorous debate is good for a growing and flourishing democracy.

Long live freedom & the free exchange of ideas!

~ Samuel M. Buick


#FreeSpeech #CharterofRights #CanadianConstitution



Charter of Rights & Freedoms

UN Declaration of Human Rights




Posted in Personal, Politics, Society | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sorry Seems The Hardest Word: Repenting from Delusion, Deception and Making Things Right

247901afb52039bdcd4070344c940aa9Over a span of a couple of months I have yearned and ached for a right sense of standing with God, my Lord Jesus of Nazareth. Over the last several years, while I have remained in the faith, resilient and persevering to what I believe the faith to be, I have been more weak than strong.
img_6844I have allowed my hurts and disappointments to cloud my mind and my understanding. I have wavered in things that have open doors to deception and made me vulnerable to errors of belief. I have let pain and rejection affect me in ways that have removed me from the safety of a deep relationship with God and a knowing that I am secure in Him alone.
aaeaaqaaaaaaaalqaaaajdlloteyzjcwltjkmtctngnmns05zmfiltc4otc5odi4yjnmoqI have allowed my disappointments and hurts from the Body of Christ, to shut and slam the door on the very community I needed to be a part of. Isolation is no answer. Separation from fellow believers cures no ills, it only creates more pain and self-inflicted sorrow.

prodigalTwo months ago I began a “journey home” reconciling myself to the reality that a Christian needs to belong to a group of believers who are on the same life journey with God. Being in community is more than a theory or Bible doctrine. Being grafted into God, regenerated by the Spirit, connects us to other believers. There is nothing more challenging than living life in community with other people, and all the relational and belief and practice issues that surround being a community of faith. Our own internal “stuff” more often than not get in the way, and many of us would rather “cut and run” rather than deal with our own self-interests, insecurities, and fear issues, than remain connected to our faith community.


hankhanegraffI began the “journey home” at that time by recognizing my own failures and inadequacies when it came to remaining in Christian community. I realized that I needed to be connected to people of faith, even if what they believed and practiced was not what I believed. As long as Jesus of Nazareth was central, and the atonement of Christ, and salvation in Christ alone, as well as the authority of the Scriptures for faith and practice, then I could agree to disagree on the “non-essentials.” I decided that it was time that I put into practice one of the maxims of one of my favorite theologians, Augustine of Hippo, who said: “In essentials unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things charity.”

timetowakeupI write this with conviction in my heart, and the weighty responsibility that comes with posting things on social media. I have never been shy about posting what I think, sometimes to my own detriment. I first want to apologize to my wife and family and say that I am sorry that I have not been the kind of husband and father I ought to have been.

 My slippery path was slow, seductive and produced results


new-age-bgI allowed false beliefs to emerge and pull me in into a whirlpool and cesspool of flawed and erroneous beliefs that have nothing to do with New Testament faith or historic Christianity. These things range from hyper-charismatic mysticism, to new age practices that have and continue to infiltrate the Evangelical church and in particular the charismatic movement, through the most experiential based sub movements, from Bethel Church (Redding, California), to IHOP in Kansas City, Morningstar, to Catch the Fire (formerly TACF) in Toronto.


Gnosticism is alive and well within these movements as is the quest for union with God through mystical encounters, which include many Zen Buddhist meditation and mind altering experiences. The upcoming film, The Shack, is just another example of this mystical trap that is there to ensnare Christians and pull them into the full orbit and control of the New Age Movement.  I was sucked in over the last 15 years in doing and participating in things that I simply justified. I was not a good Berean, checking to ensure that the practices I was engaged in were even remotely biblical.

amos-roots2Many of the practices were rooted in Roman Catholicism and what it borrowed from the East and incorporated in their own practices. This continues to be the case for Evangelicals who embrace centering prayer, meditation, alternative consciousness, and entering the heavenly realms. All that stuff has nothing to do with practicing a biblical faith, and opens doors for deception, demon oppression and even demon possession. There are no such things as “Christian Yoga,” or “Christian massage therapy.” All these things are deceptions.
There is so little discernment today.

The whole “wellness” movement is New Age and is filled with Eastern mysticism and occult practices. No matter the physical aspects and positive elements to them, they are essentially at their core religious practices which are anti-Christian. There is nothing beneficial to the Christian engaging in these practices and we should be distancing ourselves from them and their influence on us and our families, friends and churches.


The seduction of Christianity
The Evangelical is being seduced by the spirit of anti-Christ through this New Age mysticism, especially in Charismatic churches and leaders.  I have awakened from a seduced delusional sleep and it is startling to see things with new biblical eyes rather than mystical eyes.
So if I have challenged you to water down the authority of Scripture, forgive me for I have sinned against you and against God.
If I have watered down what you consider essentials to faith, I am sorry, forgive me for I have sinned against you and against God.
If I have judged you or criticized you for your sincere beliefs in Jesus and the Gospel of grace, please forgive me, for I have sinned against you and against God.
If I have been critical of the Body of Christ and how people “do church” and I have offended you by my words and statements, I am sorry, please forgive me, for I have sinned against you and against God.

5b6acf24d2d1badd0e8223570e112268For those “teachers” and “preachers” and “proponents” of “progressive Christianity” I forgive you and I pray for you. The responsibility upon those who hold authority and influence over people is much to bear, and I pray the Lord will be compassionate toward you and guide you to Himself. I am not casting stones. I merely stating that it was an easy slide to embrace the “emerging church” and its proponents and their dogmas and theologies, and embrace a more palatable and easy believism which has no cost to bearing and living. I was wrong, totally wrong to embrace it for myself, and I caution all others tempted by:
• Easy believism with little to no substance and no cost to living it out in this society
• Easy discipleship that does not require transformed character and service to God and to others
• The rejection of traditional beliefs as if they are outdated or not tenable in bearing witness in our post-modern culture and substituting a narrative and belief system that leaves out what is costly grace
• Walking away from all people who disagree with you, which violates the oneness there in and through Christ Jesus, leaving ourselves vulnerable and a prey to anything that sounds vaguely Christian and spiritual but is a denial of the historic faith
• Advocating mystical experience and encounter over and against being rooted and grounded in the Scriptures and the God of the Scriptures
My sincere and deepest apologies to all who claim to be a disciple of Jesus of Nazareth

“Sorry” is a difficult word to say, and so small to try to convey the grief and sorrow I feel at this time. But I am sorry, if I have misled you into an adventure of the spiritual which has little to nothing to do with biblical and historical Christianity. I am sorry. I have been less than an authentic disciple of Jesus. Please forgive me.

051eff89-4662-4e9e-af5f-17358409015b_zpsytunktwjI soldier on and I move forward, not looking backward but forward. I will persevere as God preserves me in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation.  God is not finished with any of us yet. He forgives and restores and enables us to move in grace by His Spirit. So I will not wallow in self-pity. I will acknowledge my failings and my wrongs. I will continue to repent of those things the Lord Jesus convicts me off. I will make right what can be rectified. I will live by Scripture alone, put my trust in salvation in Jesus of Nazareth alone, the finished work of the cross of Christ.  Jesus Christ is building His Church, and the gates and doctrines of hell will not prevail against Jesus or His Church. Many are being deceived but God will do what is necessary to preserve His elect.   I will continue to be motivated to live in Christ, and to walk with Christ, especially in the midst of all this New Age deception that has infiltrated the church, the body of Christ in not only our nation, but the nations of the earth.

Be at peace with God by making peace with God in Jesus Christ, for He loves and cherishes you.
So much so, He continues to rescue people like you and I.
One of the rescued,
In Christ alone,
Samuel M. Buick

* Sorry Seems The Hardest Word are words from a song by the same title by English musician Elton John

Posted in Bible, Church, Ministry, Mystical, Personal, Theology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment