Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How Then Should I Live?

I saw a documentary about some convict who decided to follow Islam as a means of staying out of jail. This was his decision because Christianity was "Too easy. All you have to do in Christianity is go to Church and read your Bible and you’re in.”


. Admitting one’s need for forgiveness and admitting that there is nothing that I can do to warrant forgiveness are the most difficult things that a human being can do. “The road is narrow and the gate is small and only a few will ever find it.”

. Finding and following the Will of God, loving what God loves and hating what God hates bends the intellect almost beyond the breaking point.

. Agreeing with God that what the world has to offer is useless for real life and real living is hardly easy.

. Having a relationship with one’s Creator whereby we mean it when we say, “That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong”
(2nd Corinthians 2:10), is not for the faint of heart.

. Romans 8:29 is God’s goal of each and every Christian but oh my what a goal it is.
Hated without cause, mocked, lied to and lied about. Jesus, our example and character goal, came to earth knowing in advance that He would be abused, misunderstood, mistreated, rejected, insulted, betrayed and ultimately have humanity do our absolute worst to Him. Yet He entered into a covenant relationship with us anyway because He loves us. And then Jesus said, “Pick up your cross and follow Me (be like Me, do what I did, act like I did, relate to others like I did).

. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Col. 3:12,13 Try it and tell me how easy it is.

. Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who persecute you.

. “Doing no harm,” as fools advocate, is not good enough for the path of Christ. The way of Jesus is proactive and encourages doing good to all. Lessening the needs of others whenever and wherever one can is a spiritual fallout of a Christ seized heart.

. “If you think you stand, be careful lest you fall.” A follower of Jesus will never overestimate h/her ability to withstand the power of temptation. Flirting with evil should be anathema to those who love Jesus.

. A follower of Jesus does good, and not just when officers of the world are watching. Rather, a follower of Jesus does good to please Him who is always present. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

. Christian love sees others as worthy of preferential treatment.
“If you have encouragement from being united with Christ, If you have comfort from His love, If you have any fellowship with the Spirit, If you have any tenderness and compassion then . . . in humility consider others better than yourself. . . Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:3,4,10

Romans 12:10 - “Honour one another above yourselves.”

Gal. 5:13 - “Serve one another in love.”

Eph. 5:21 - “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

1Pt. 5:5 - “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because the Lord opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

A Christian is someone who believes and acts upon what Jesus Christ taught about Himself, about life, death, sin, forgiveness and the resurrection (His and ours). Jesus taught that a follower of His is a person who depends upon Jesus alone for salvation. He taught that a Christian is someone who depends upon what Jesus calls His Word (The Bible), and upon His Spirit for guidance and strength in daily living.

According to the convict, washing your hands and praying five times a day is a lot tougher to pull off.

Islam - the end result of a spiritual quest that passes through atheism / humanism on the road to self-salvation, the easiest and default path of all who deny their Creator as Lord of their lives.

Oh, and for what it's worth? One year and eight months later he was back in jail.


  1. ...Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you...
    . . . in humility consider others better than yourself. . .

    Looks like you have some issues with these two Rod.
    The attitude you have toward people who think differently than you is anything but love.
    How will you justify yourself on judgment day?

  2. Hmm, have I said somewhere that I think that I measure up to that standard? In reality, I fall far short on all fronts.

    The belief that one is a good person is a delusion that belongs exclusively to atheists.

  3. You're right, you never said that; and I acknowledge that according to your beliefs none of us are a good person as we all sin.

    My point was that you do not seem to try to be a good person with respect to the two lines I mentioned.

    I understand that you do not pretend to deserve heaven, and are humble about that; but at the same time, you are not humble when it comes to discussing faith issues, not at all.

    Your blog does not show someone who is willing to admit that he might be wrong, quite the contrary...

  4. "you are not humble when it comes to discussing faith issues, not at all."

    Isn't that what I just said? I fail and I fail and I fail and I fail. Sometimes I do a little better than the day before but then I fall back again. As far as explaining myself at judgment day, Jesus is going to do that for me.

  5. Isn't that what I just said? I fail and I fail and I fail and I fail. Sometimes I do a little better than the day before but then I fall back again.

    Well, I write a lot of stupid/funny things here (and I intend to continue ;P), but let me be serious and sincere for 10 minutes...

    I don't think you should be so harsh on yourself. I know that you think it's terrible for anybody to consider themselves good, especially Atheists, but what you seem to miss is that it's possible to feel the complete opposite, and it makes life look a lot more positive. I do not consider myself to be good, I consider EVERYBODY to be fundamentally good.

    Yes, even the most sick rapist murderer can have some good intentions, or a chance to be cured.

    Call me naive but I do think that's it's more a question of education, social construct, and health issues. Unfortunately, I also think that some people cannot be cured and deserve to be internalized for the rest of their life... but it's not because they are morally bad, and certainly not because they have chosen to be be so; to put it simply, it's because they are sick.

    When one does not believe in the concept of a soul, the whole idea of what being good or bad means changes completely. It would be too long to explain the whole thought process I went through over the last 5-10 years, and I am still young, so my impressions will certainly change; but I know I won't ever believe in a soul again.

    Because of that, I now consider that it's all the physical brain's "fault".

    So what's the point behind this? Well I think that when a rational and intelligent person comes to the point of saying "I fail I fail and I fail..." for no good reason, it's a not-so-subtle sign that the religion the person believes in has some negative impacts on his healthy brain.

    I can only wish the best for that person, be it through a change of mentality toward a more positive view of life with the religion; or a rejection of the religion.

    In other words, I mean that you should not feel guilty for thinking or felling proud of your religion!

    Yes I disagree with your beliefs and will probably never be convinced by the arguments you or other Christians present, but I care much more about your own good, your own mental stability, and your actions, than what you actually believe in.

    Therefore I think you should focus more on what you wrote: As far as explaining myself at judgment day, Jesus is going to do that for me.. From what I learned about Jesus, you are absolutely correct, and have no reason to be afraid, and I hope you will stop being afraid.

    Please don't tell me you are not, because guilt and fear are the tools of religion and you clearly show signs of both. Actually, if one needs to be afraid, it's me... ;-)

    Alright, time is up, back to being a douchebag who comment on some of your ridiculous, yet amusing posts!! It takes too much time to write serious comment anyway, and I had told myself I would not do that ever again on your blog... dam it, I can't hold my promises!

  6. Thanks for the effort Hugo, but seriously? You don't have a clue.

  7. Ya I know it was a pointless effort; did not expect you to learn anything from me :)

    But you're the one who does not have a clue, since you are not able to understand both mind sets; the believer's one, and the non-believer's one. You only know the believer's side and accept it dogmatically as being correct.

    The god virus is strong in you, and you are way too late in life to ever be cured from it. I just bought a book on that actually, calleg the God Virus, that's why I just used that term, cannot wait to read it!

    That's why I mentioned that I care more about how you feel than what you believe. It's the only thing you might be able to improve, but I doubt it. You'll always feel guilt and fear as long as you believe in an afterlife, but you are way too arrogant to ever come close to admit it, or even realize it yourself.

    As your Makarios' post states, you think that your relationship with Jesus gives you freedom and peace, but you fail to see that the only reason why you get that comforting feeling is because you felt guilt and fear because of Jesus in the first place...

    Nice vicious circle isn't it?

  8. "You only know the believer's side"

    I wasn't a Christian until I was 30 years old. Prior to that I was a functional atheist, living each and every day as though Creator God did not exist. I had acquired everything the secular world tells us is necessary for the good life. I had all the drugs, all the sex, all the money any hedonistic young man could want. And then one day, at a party, a woman, an atheist actually, said, "Is life ever a bag of shit."

    Funny, but until that comment, I'd never given my life a moments worth of contemplation. Whatever made me happy and made me feel admired by others was good and whatever stood in the way of that was bad. Not too complicated.

    Thankfully my Creator brought an atheist into my life and thus began the long slow but steady dawning awareness of Jesus.

  9. Very interesting; but you did mention recently that you do not belive atheists actually exist, so can you explain what it meant for you to be an atheist at that time?

    If for you being an atheist meant drugs, sex, money... you were just a young man who liked partying, nothing to do with beliefs!

    In other words, before 30, had you even thought of what having a soul or not implies? or what the probability of an afterlife were?

    Plus from my humble point of view, what you describe appears to be just more examples of the guilt cycle. You were living a "bad" life, found Jesus, realized you were bad, asked for forgivness, felt bad again when realizing that no one can really be good, tried to be closer and closer to Jesus, ask for more forgivness, ...

  10. “can you explain what it meant for you to be an atheist at that time?”

    I said, “a functional atheist,” someone who lived as though God doesn’t exist. I hadn’t given His existence any thought.

    “Why am I here?"
    "Is there life after death?"
    "Why does the universe exist?”

    These kinds of questions never arose. I was the centre of the universe and my goal was to acquire those things that made my life more comfortable - period.

    Had I thought about it, had I looked at the issues seriously I would have been forced to deny the existence of God. Not believing in Him, or concluding that a Creator doesn't exist is simply not an option because His existence is the only option for answering questions like, “Why does this universe exist?”

    As to guilt, there wasn’t any guilt. There wasn’t any wrong or right to trigger guilt. All my friends thought and acted like I did so to what standard was I to measure the right and wrong of my behaviours save the standard of my own creation? My first twinge of conscience came when a friend told of being ready to kill a police officer who’d stopped him on the highway. My friend had a bunch of drugs hidden in the lid of the trunk of his car. If the officer had discovered the drugs my friend was prepared to pull out his gun and kill the officer. He wasn’t joking and this bothered me some.

    In hindsight, of course I feel badly for the people I’ve hurt. I wish I had been a different type of man. Jesus is in the process of making that come about, and I'm eternally grateful for that.

    To change the rules just to do away with real guilt seems rather insane to me, but go and do your thing, son. I wish you luck.

  11. Thanks for the answer; if it's honest and sincere, which I think it is, I now completely understand what you wrote about your pre-30 atheism, and it does confirm that the impressions I had about your past were correct.

    Too bad it does not do the other way around, because I doubt that you understand how I think, at least what you write does not show any sign of being the case, not at all actually, but obviously I could be wrong...