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

Friday, October 29, 2010

Atheist Proofs

Atheists have sooo many proofs that God doesn’t exist. They’re practically beyond refutation.
For example:

- Argument from outrage
. God says sex outside of heterosexual marriage is wrong
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from intellectual superiority
. Atheist are smarter than theists
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from misunderstanding
. The ontological argument is hard to understand
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from comparison
. There are stories with one or two vague similarities to the life of Jesus
. Those stories are myth
. If those stories are myth then accounts of Jesus’ life must be myth as well
. Therefore God does not exist

- Argument from a priori ruling

. Theists only use logical fallacies
. The argument from contingency is a logical argument
. But theists use the argument from contingency
. Therefore, the argument from contingency is a logical fallacy
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from lack of proof
. There are no proofs for God’s existence
. The ontological argument is a proof of God’s existence
. But the ontological argument is also hard to understand
. So there are no proofs of God’s existence
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from narrow evidentialism
. God cannot be measured using the scientific method
. We should not believe anything which cannot be measured
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from burden of proof
. I don’t believe in hell
. I don’t believe in God
. I think that Theology is stupid
. The scientific method is the only way of knowing objective truth
. Atheism is true
. Therefore, as an atheist I don’t need to provide any evidence for anything - ever.

- Argument from fear
. We absolutely do not want a theocracy
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from hypotheses
. If there was a God there would be no pain or suffering
. My dad died when I was a twelve
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from personal experience
. I’ve never experienced God
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from molestation
. Priests have molested young boys
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from lack of knowledge
. If someone has experienced God, thy should know everything
. Christians can’t answer the questions that I have about the Bible
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from athletics
. In highschool I beat the Christian kids in track
. Therefore, God doesn’t exist

- Argument from parenthood
. My parents made me go to Church when I was a child
. I hated it
. Therefore, God does not exist

- Argument from subjective truth
. It is absolutely true to say that there is no absolute truth
. Jesus said that He is Truth
. Jesus said that He is God
. But it’s absolutely true that there is no absolute truth
. Therefore, God does not exist

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It’s Your Move

Through the evidence of the universe we know that Creator God exists.
Through the evidence of Jesus the Christ we know what Creator God is like.

The question becomes - what are we going to do about the existence of a Creator who has made deliberate and purposeful contact with His creation?

Thirteen times in the Gospels Jesus warns people about hell.
One time He tells people about heaven.
The proportion, I believe, tells us something about His mission.
Jesus came to rescue us from the former and bring us safely home to the latter.

Will you let Him?

If you haven’t said “Yes,” to Jesus’ offer of salvation you’re standing in a position of “No” (John 3:18,36). This is serious stuff! If what Jesus taught about eternity is true, then making the decision to accept Him or reject Him as our Saviour has got to be the single most important decision that you and I will ever make. And it’s urgent. Strokes, fires, heart attacks, falling, car accidents, dementia, violent storms; Statistics show that for most of us, our ability to make a decision for Jesus will end suddenly, with little or no warning.

What are you going to do about that?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Extravagant Love!

This series began about three months ago. It gives real life examples of where our Creator shows us how to love extravagantly.

In like manner we are told to give our lives away, to die to self.

The example of Jesus of Nazareth, our Creator, is to love extravagantly.

“We were created by Love to live in love for the sake of love.” Gerald May

In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus gives His well known example of what happens when we focus on technique / works and not intimacy in our relationship with Him. “Get away from Me. I never knew you.”

A relationship with two careers, two kids, two cars, a big house, a big bank account but no intimacy is a relationship that is or soon will be a failed relationship. This life is simply not about getting and doing. This life is about being in a loving relationship, both with our Creator and with those around us.

“Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.” Ephesians 5:2

Micah 6:8 - He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

THIS is love!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Only Those Who Belong

I’ve heard atheists accuse God of being a monster because, “What kind of a Father would offer His kid as a sacrifice for someone else’s sins?” I ask, what kind of Love would volunteer to offer His own life for our sins?

Jesus said, "I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own sheep and My own sheep know Me. In the same way, the Father knows Me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before Myself, sacrificing Myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They'll also recognize My voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves Me: because I freely lay down My life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from Me. I lay it down of My own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from My Father."

"You don't believe because you're not My sheep. My sheep recognize My voice. I know them, and they follow Me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of My hand. The Father who put them under My care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from Him. I and the Father are one heart and mind."

Jesus said, "I'm only quoting your inspired Scriptures, where God said, 'I tell you—you are gods.' If God called your ancestors 'gods'—and Scripture doesn't lie—why do you yell, 'Blasphemer! Blasphemer!' at the unique One the Father consecrated and sent into the world, just because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? If I don't do the things my Father does, well and good; don't believe me. But if I am doing them, put aside for a moment what you hear Me say about Myself and just take the evidence of the actions that are right before your eyes. Then perhaps things will come together for you, and you'll see that not only are We doing the same thing, We are the same—Father and Son. He is in Me; I am in him."
John 10:14-18,25-30,34-38

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Door Is Wide Open

Did you know that the invitation to have peace with Creator God is offered 642 times in the Bible.

Not only is the invitation made but the way of salvation is made clear.

“I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,” Jesus.

In the Greek there is a punctuation mark before the words, Way, Truth, Life that makes it clear that Jesus meant He is absolutely, emphatically, exceptionally and unconditionally the only Way to the only Truth and the only Life that is available.

Some people are offended by the thought that there might only be one way to peace with God. If they gave it even a bit of thought, they should be shocked that there is ANY way back to a healed and forgiven relationship with our Creator.

It's true that Jesus presents an EXCLUSIVE means of salvation.
It’s also true that Jesus presents a means of salvation that is INCLUSIVE to anyone and everyone; “that whosoever is willing to accept it shall be saved.”

"Come for the banquet is ready."

The Door is Wide Open.

The Invitation Has Been Made.

What are you gonna do?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Jesus Shoots Islam and Atheism

Jesus showed His critics that the Old Testament was focussed solely on relationship; the “weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith.” Matthew 23:23.

Unlike Jesus
, Islam and the Pharisees focussed on ceremonial purity. Those who keep the laws regarding washing and avoiding certain foods are to keep strict separation from those who don’t do those things.

“Take not the Jews and Christians for friends ... slay the idolaters [infidels] wherever ye find them. ...Fight against those who believe not in Allah” (Sura 5:51; 9:5,29,41). “Seize them and slay them wherever you find them: and in any case take no friends or helpers from their ranks” (Sura 4:89).

Sin for Islam and Pharisees COMES from the outside and so the focus was and still is on externals. For example, on Islam, if I’m struggling with lust, then forcing women (the external) to completely cover themselves makes sense.

Unlike Jesus, Atheism and the Pharisees worked toward solidarity with the educated elite and showed utter contempt for the rest.

“Thinking is anathema for Christians,” Richard Dawkins.

Those most learned are most revered; the unlearned are most despised.

Unlike Jesus, neither Islam, atheism nor the Pharisees have any gospel for the lost. Jesus relentlessly preached a gospel that eschewed religious busyness and showed that the only way to please God was through proper relationships. In Jesus’ way of seeing things, the human cause is also God’s cause.

"Love God - Love your neighbour."

Unlike Islam, atheism and the Pharisees, Jesus identified with the weak and poor and powerless and sinful. Jesus came to live among those of us who admit that we need saving. Unlike Islam, atheism and the Pharisees, Jesus showed disdain for power while uplifting the powerless.

Some have tried to liken the Levitical code with Islamic law. I for one don’t see it and neither did the author of the Law - Jesus.

Leviticus 19 begins with “You shall be Holy; for I the Lord your God am holy” (v 2). Leviticus 20 ends with, “You shall be Holy to Me; for I the Lord am Holy.” (v26).

And what’s in the middle?
. Revere your parents.
. Do not steal or lie
. Be a good neighbour
. Pay proper wages
. Be reasonable in your relationships
. Do no injustice
. Show no partiality because of poverty or wealth
. Be honest in your business dealings

That is what it means to be Holy; holiness deals with the “weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faith.” In God’s eyes Holiness is lived out in our relationships, in the way we treat other people.

Islam, atheism and the Pharisees concern themselves with externals; either in ceremonial activity or in keeping the law. Blaming the external object for causing my sin is the opposite of Jesus who recognised that sin is an inside job.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Cult of Mary

It’s been said that the Roman Catholic Church has produced more atheists than any other system of thought on earth. I agree and one reason for that is the inane cult of Mary worship.

She was so obviously “just a woman” that to venerate her with attributes that can only belong to God, is so glaringly wrong. For Catholics, Mary and not Jesus is often the central focus of worship. Even though the Bible clearly states that Jesus had step-brothers and sisters, RC teaches that Mary remained a virgin. She is revered as perfect and unbesmirched by original sin and some Catholics even say that she plays a role in redemption. Catholics ignore Jesus, their mediator and Saviour and direct their prayers to Mary!

It is virtually the sole domain of Roman Catholics to see Mary (sometimes Jesus) in tacos and grilled cheese sandwiches and if this was not silly enough, Catholics will even make pilgrimages to see these ridiculous sights. The worship of Mary is not left to only the lowly or uneducated. Pope John Paul II declared a total devotion fo Mary. He even thanked Mary, not Jesus but Mary, for saving his life.

I just finished re-reading “Alive” the story of the rugby players who crashed in the Andean mountains and survived for something like 70 days by feeding on those who had been killed in the crash. One paragraph in the book says that the sixteen survivors came down off the mountain “because of the miraculous powers of the Virgin Mary.”

How can that NOT be offensive to God? I just can’t help but think that this type of idol worship will not go unnoticed by Creator God.

Even when Jesus was still on earth someone tried to venerate Jesus’ mother - “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts at which You nursed.” Jesus rebuked the person and pointed that person in the right direction, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the Word of God, and observe it.” Luke 11:27-28.

Mary appears only three times in the Gospels. On two of those occasions Jesus mildly rebukes her for entering into His spiritual business. In other words, she was in no way to play a role in His role of mediation. There is no hint that Mary ever sought, received or accepted any type of adoration because of her position of Jesus’s mother. Even in The Magnificat Mary does nothing but lower herself and magnify God. She never hints at the absurdity that she was without sin and uplifts instead the glory of God and of His show of grace toward her, someone undeserving as are we all.

Mary was favoured of God - not because of who she was but because of who God is - Period!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coherence of the Bible

An atheist made the claim the other day that the Bible was a cobbled together collection of stories that did not tell a seamless story. This atheist of course was simply failing to attribute his “thought” to Richard Dawkins. That’s too bad because it leads one to think that the atheist himself came up with this stupid statement.

From the time that Eve was told that her offspring would crush the head of evil, the Messiah has been a inexorable and ubiquitous theme from Genesis to Revelation. Even the resurrection, albeit in a shadowy and incomplete form was present in the Old Testament. One of many examples is from Job.

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, who I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-27.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

We Dare Not Speak Sin’s Name

Like a doctor who does not accept the presence of disease, and who therefore cannot heal her dying patient, those in the secular realm are powerless to address the mortal wound that each and every human carries within. They are powerless to help because they ignore the problem; they in fact pretend that it does not exist.

Millions of humans, religious and secular, have killed hundreds of millions of their own kind, and the slaughter continues without slack to this very day. The social sciences remain impotent to effect change in human nature. From the perspective of sin and the desire to inflict evil upon one another we have not evolved one iota since Adam and Eve.

Atheists say that all we need to cure the world’s ills is more education - that, even though some of the most educated have been leaders in the assault on the lives of others. As with the Pharisees of Jesus’ day, it is today’s leaders in education who are blinding generation after generation from ever seeing and accepting their true selves.

Other atheists say that all we need is more wealth - that, even though some of the most wealthy are those who tolerate and even expedite the downfall of the poor and the powerless. It is a statistical fact that the more we have, the smaller the percentage of what we have that is given to the poor. In fact the more that we have the more likely we are to blame the poor for being poor as we turn away from them in disgust.

A growing number of atheists promote the end of religion and the religious as the panacea for our social ills, forgetting, it appears, that killing 100 million faithful in 20th century alone has not brought about the expected utopia.

One of the most ridiculous statements ever made has come from deep within the atheist community. It goes, “I don’t need God in order to be a good person.” The ridiculous nature of this statement is not found in “I don’t need God.” Rather, dull of mind and slow of thought, these people believe that they are in fact, good people. It is said that Diogenes lit a lantern and in broad daylight searched the streets for an honest person. As must be the case, he failed in his search. Human beings are dishonest to the core; dishonest both with others and with themselves. The daily news confirms the fact that we are hopelessly lost. There is not an institution on earth, including the religious, where human corruption isn’t bringing that institution to the point of utter uselessness.

“All have sinned and fall short of God’s expectations.”
That fact alone stands between us and salvation.

“The heart is desperately wicked. Who can understand it?”
Jesus alone carries the cure. His offer of forgiveness and change is open to anyone and everyone.

When G. K. Chesterton was asked the cause of the world’s problems he answered, “Me.” Until each of us is willing to admit that truth for ourselves; until each of us is willing to reject the nonsense about the goodness of humans being promoted by atheists, any hope for improvement is lost.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let The Doctor Kill Her

Too bad she hadn't gone to an abortion doctor a couple hours earlier. If he'd killed the baby everything would be cool.

What a world when a real murder by an abortionist isn't criminal while an attempted murder by the mother is somehow worse.

What a world when an abortionist with a license to kill, in premeditation and with malice aforethought can legally and for financial gain (a true contract killing) can do what literally one second later a mother in panic, confusion and fear cannot do without fear of prosecution.

What a world!

“No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service!”

Stores used to have signs like that in their front windows. Dress right or you don’t get in. A simple concept really. Yet, when the same concept is applied to a different locale, atheists cannot comprehend what’s being said.

God says, as long as you are attached to, or as long as you are wearing your sin nature, you will not be allowed to enter heaven.

An equally simple concept?

Not if you’re an atheist. If you’re an atheist a cloud of confusion washes over you. A blank stare, like a cow watching a train go by comes across your face. A type of conscious snooze settles in.

“You mean I have to be as good as I can be?”

“Nope. How good you are has nothing to do with it.”

“You mean, um - what’s that again?”

“As long as you are still wearing your sin nature, the one you were born with, you will not be allowed to enter heaven. Jesus says that we have to be reborn, or born again with a new nature or else entry into heaven is not allowed.”

“Then God must not be all loving or He would just let me in.”

“It doesn’t have anything to do with love. It’s a spiritual law / reality. It’s the way the universe is set up.
Sin nature removed, you’re in.
Sin nature still present, you’re not in.”

“Then God must not be all powerful or He could let me in.”

“It doesn’t have anything to do with power or the lack thereof. It’s a spiritual law / reality. It’s the way the universe is set up.
Sin nature removed, you’re in.
Sin nature still present, you’re not in.”

“So what do I have to do?”

“You don’t do anything. You simply accept what Jesus has already done for you.”

“So - wait - what? I don’t get it.”

“I know. That’s the problem.”

“Why can’t I just be as good a person as I can and have that be good enough?”

“Because no one can be good enough to be good enough for heaven. By that standard you’d have to be perfect.”

“But nobody’s perfect.”


“So, I have to what? I don’t get it. Why couldn’t a loving God just let me in?”

“It’s a spiritual law / reality. It’s the way the universe is set up.
Sin nature removed, you’re in.
Sin nature still present, you’re not in.”

"I ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing Him personally, your eyes focussed and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life He has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of His work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!"
Paul - in his letter to the Ephesians 1:18

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

New Every Morning

Chesterton once wrote, “Plato has told you a truth; but Plato is dead. Shakespeare has startled you with an image; but Shakespeare will not startle you anymore. But imagine what it would be to live with such men still living, to know that Plato might break out with an original lecture tomorrow, or that at any moment Shakespeare might shatter everything with a simple song.”

That is what it’s like to live with Jesus in your life. Unlike Plato or Shakespeare, Jesus is alive and ready to dazzle on a regular basis with insight and wisdom. Living with Jesus is always expecting, and receiving that which is new to the human psyche.

Imagine! Creator God allows us to discover Him.

“If you search for Me with all your heart, I will be found by you.”

Creator God reveals Himself to us in direct proportion to our obedience to His commands. Morning by morning new mercies and aspects of His love envelop me and guide me through the day.

“He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.”

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Mist of Atheism

Have you noticed that everything of a material nature that exists can, in theory at least, be understood, figured out, explained? That might seem like a “Well duh!” kind of statement but really, when you think about it, that’s pretty amazing. Not that WE can do it, but that our universe can be understood, figured out, explained!

Science, at its heart, is a search for cause. The human intellect in combination with the scientific method of inquiry is a potent mix. And here we are in a universe, a mathematical universe no less, where explanations can be found. More than that, we live in a universe so precise that explanations seem meant to be found. It’s like our Creator has said, “You want evidence for my existence? Here, work on this (the universe).”

Now, atheists say that this abiity to explain how things work has “Pushed the need for God’s existence out of the picture.” In reality, our increasing understanding of life has highlighted not just the reality of His existence, but the absolute necessity of a Creator God for this type of universe to exist. Every natural phenomenon is ruled by laws of physics. These immutable laws did not evolve or settle into their present forms. If that was the case they wouldn’t be laws that could be depended on to form our understanding of the universe, for they might change / evolve even more without notice. Instead the laws of physics were put into place, every single one of them (including the exact number of neutrinos in the universe) by Planck Time (10^-43 seconds of the Singularity). The explanation for any natural phenomenon merely leads us to ask, “Why? Why was the universe created in EXACTLY this manner and not another?”

How? and How? and How? - Science explains how things work over and over and over again until we come to the origin and makeup of the universe and then the question of “How?” must be combined with the question, “Why?”

Why would any universe exist?

Why is it that at one point, nothing material existed and then, literally in less than the blink of an eye, everything material existed?

Why would matter and energy be organised in a mathematically precise manner?

Why would our universe be endowed with constants and quantities whose only relation to each other is that each and every one is needed to be exactly as is in order for intelligent life to exist?


Science is really good with “How?” questions but it sucks big time with “Why?” questions; especially “Why does THIS universe exist?” In fact the metaphysical implications of “Why did THIS universe begin to exist?” is such a huge problem for atheist driven science that many atheists are forced to state the absurdity, “Some things don’t need a reason (cause) to come into being.”

“Oh look, a brand new universe just appeared in my living room!” (Snerk!)

Theoretically, the “How?” of everything in the universe can be explained by science but not the “Why?” God, through His revealed Word has given us both the how and the why.

Atheism can exist right up until the question of Why is raised and then atheism disappears like a morning mist, to be maintained only in the minds of faithful adherents of Scientism.

Wanna Compare?

Islam and women

Christianity and women

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Atheist dreams of utopia

I did a post on the connection between atheism and our society's growing dependence on mood altering chemicals - or if you like, it was a post on the diminishing role of Jesus in people's lives and the growing dependence on mood altering chemicals.

Since the atheist dream is that one day not just science but atheistic science will replace religion as the sole dispenser of important truths in the lives of people (some people actually say that science is the only source of objective truth), you would think that a certain amount of overlap in the transition from one system to the next is a worthwhile objective. What I wonder is this:

. How long must we wait before atheists start to show people how to have a lasting sense of purpose?

. How long until atheists begin to teach people how they can know they are loved?

. When will atheists begin transferring to children the awareness of being secure in a hostile universe?

. Is atheism able or is it not able to provide people with a sense of belonging based on something other than keeping up with the ebb and flow of society’s trends, styles and fashion?

. And if atheism is able to do any of these things, when is it going to begin? Or is atheism blind to the fact that if God is being denied influence in our children’s lives, then a mind numbing void of unimaginable size is growing by the day.

. Will atheists ever recognise the truth that teaching our children to depend on the things of the world, be it education or position or wealth or intelligence or the knowledge of science to reflect back to them their sense of worth is cruel and pointless beyond description?

As we can already see from the atheist experiment in Europe, an experiment that atheists want to transport to North America:

1) It’s a healed and intimate relationship with Jesus that gives people’s lives meaning and context and purpose, regardless of what's going on in their lives.
- Not Science, nor an atheist world-view.

2) It’s a healed and intimate relationship with Jesus that lets every single Christian know that h/she is loved, regardless of what's going on in their lives.
- Not Science, nor an atheist world-view.

3) It’s a healed and intimate relationship with Jesus that brings security and peace to people, regardless of what's going on in their lives.
- Not Science, nor an atheist world-view.

4) It’s a healed and intimate relationship with Jesus and the community of believers that allows people to know that they belong, that they have value and worth and security regardless of what else is going on in their lives.
- Not Science, nor an atheist world-view.

Current leaders of the atheist movement see no such limits. They seem to believe:
- That Christian values and morals can be discarded with no ill effects to society.


- That science and the atheist world-view can fill the void.

Good luck with that.

Yes they do / No they don’t

You know how, when someone says that violence or gratuitous sexuality in movies promotes or leads to violence or unhealthy sex in real life, there comes outrage and mockery at those who could voice something so foolish?

“Movies are just entertainment.”

“Just because someone watches a murder doesn’t mean people are going to go out and kill other people.”

“You think because someone watches casual sex they won’t respect marriage? Don’t be ridiculous.”

And then comes, “Electric cars are gay.”

'scuze me while the switch is flipped.
“Homosexuals pay a price for the attitudes portrayed in the movies.”

“How can you not know that movies shape our attitudes?”

“We take our cues about how to treat others by what we watch in the movies.”

“Real life follows what we see in the movies.”

Such is the schizoid secular pattern of lying.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Atheist / Pot Connection

Legalisation of Pot is the solution to the problem of drug related crime. A high percentage of drug users believe this to be true. Of course, if that was the solution then we would legalise all currently illegal drugs, let people have at it and hope for the best.

For some reason, those in favour of legalising Pot often cite the problems associated with alcohol as though that somehow negates the problems associated with marijuana. Larry King is the master of such obfuscation. King is infamous for asking questions like, “Well surely a loving gay relationship is better than a violent heterosexual relationship!” As above, the question is asked as though it resolves something.

Listen, regardless of any potential solution that decriminalising Pot may bring about:
. It does nothing to reduce the problem of impaired drivers. And if you say that you’re not impaired while driving under the influence of Pot you’re either lying or you’re smoking the worst weed ever grown.

. It does nothing with the increased heath costs of taking into your lungs something that contains ALL of the carcinogens of tobacco PLUS others that are unique to burning marijuana. The tar content alone of one joint equals something like 12 cigarettes. How does it make any sense to tell our children about the dangers of tobacco “but here, have a joint.”?

My generation was dumb enough to believe that drug induced feelings of love were the real thing. We are told in Scripture that one sign of the end is, "The love of many will grow cold." This generation seems to accept that drug induced feelings of love for others is the best that we can do.

So the question needs to be asked, What has changed in society that our young people can no longer handle reality? While the struggles they share are nothing new to human beings, the depth and the breadth of their misery is unheard of. Psychological Dependency on: work (busyness), relationships, mood altering chemicals, appearance, technology, possessions, sex, food, aesthetics, money, and power in order to feel safe, secure and valuable is ubiquitous in our youth. They have:
. Beliefs that fail to translate into action,
. Sex without intimacy,
. Ecstasy from a pill,
. Utilitarian marriages,
. Mechanical manners, and a
. Frail Spirituality that was grown in a base of wealth and ease of living.

It used to be that only a small percentage of the population in North America needed to use drugs / alcohol to cope with social situations. Our society is becoming more like atheist Soviet Russian society - notorious for it’s addiction issues?

The atheist movement which is intent on shattering Christian values, mocking Christian morals and hurling derision at Christian beliefs has brought a deep deep anomie in the next generation. This chronic dysthymia is driving never before seen rates of divorce, physical abuse, child pornography, addictions, sexual compulsions, and unwanted and neglected children. In fact, we are witnessing the first generation of unwanted children in turn neglecting their own offspring in the pursuit of earthly gods. My guess is that as atheist influence gains acceptance, within a few years, as is now the case in Europe, suicide rates will outpace murder rates by a huge margin.

Sadly, more and more people can no longer cope with life without the ingestion of mood altering chemicals. To these people, it makes sense to legalise the use of mood altering.

Living lives of quiet desperation is seen by modern atheists as the goal of atheism. They see it as a courageous and noble attitude toward life. Like the Marlboro Cowboy who is proud to be smoking himself to death, standing and shaking one’s fist at the universe seems to be the end that justifies the atheist’s means of robbing children of hope. Bitter old men who revel in the repulsive doctrine of Social Darwinism want to teach your children and mine that there is nothing to live for except to fulfill the desires of our selfish genes. A life where the end game is the hopelessness of the grave is broadcast enthusiastically.

Whatever it is that used to make us stable and confident and able to function unaided is obviously being drained away to make room for the atheist utopia. This stabilizing influence used to be present in the majority of people and now it is not.

In the atheist dream, the next generation of children will be fed a philosophy of life that entails no ultimate purpose, no ultimate justice, no free will other than the illusion of such. Our children will be driven towards lives of quiet desperation while the self-obsessed atheist leaders use their corrupted self-love for their own financial gain.

Legalise Pot now? We may as well. The greater the influence that atheism has on our society, the more that we reject God's authority over us, the more attractive that mood altering chemicals will become.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Sceptic Described

Atheists often mock the Bible as being a 2,000 year old book, as though truth had a "Best Before Date." Well, parts of the Bible are far older than 2,000 years but that doesn't matter since the Bible is a book about human nature and human nature is as stable as anything in the universe. If you read below you'll see that Jesus could have been talking to any sceptic living today.

Jesus replied, "You're right that you only have My word. But you can depend on it being true. I know where I've come from and where I go next. You don't know where I'm from or where I'm headed.

You decide according to what you can see and touch. I don't make judgments like that. But even if I did, My judgment would be true because I wouldn't make it out of the narrowness of my experience but in the largeness of the One who sent Me, the Father. That fulfills the conditions set down in God's Law: that you can count on the testimony of two witnesses. And that is what you have: You have My word and you have the word of the Father who sent Me."

Jesus said, "You're tied down to the mundane; I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I'm living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You're at a dead end. If you won't believe I Am who I say I Am, you're at the dead end of sins. You're missing God in your lives."

They said to him, "Just who are you anyway?"

Jesus said, "What I've said from the start. I have so many things to say that concern you, judgments to make that affect you, but if you don't accept the trustworthiness of the One who commanded My words and acts, none of it matters. That is who you are questioning—not Me but the One who sent me."
John 8:14-18, 23-26

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jesus and Outcasts

Most people know that during His time on earth, Jesus identified with the outcasts of society. Not everyone knows that this pattern began long before He came to earth. If one looks through His family line as recorded in Matthew we find the following individuals:

Tamar - a Canaanite woman who posed as a prostitute to seduce her father-in-law in order to bear a child.

Rahab - a female prostitute (the spies sent to check out Jericho went straight to the brothel)

Ruth - a Moabite woman - infamous for their purposed seduction of Israelite men.

Bathsheba - the wife of King David who conceived a child with him while still married to another man.

Mary - the mother of Jesus who carried the disgrace of being pregnant while not married.

To have women included in Hebrew genealogies is very unusual. To have women who presented lives desperately in need of love and healing - more astounding still. The lesson here is that God’s grace can and does fall on anyone of His choosing.
"There will be no peace until they will love their children more than they hate us."
Golda Meir

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Now Faith Is . . .

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, it’s the evidence of what we do not yet see.” Hebrews 11:1

I’ve said many times that agnostics are the ones who could call themselves the most scientifically minded. Agnostics are the ones who only go as far as the evidence will take them. Christians and atheists, on the other hand, use inductive reasoning to take them part way, and then bring about a deductive conclusion based upon that evidence in combination with their pre-set world-view.

In that sense Christian faith can be described as “Choosing to believe the conclusion that the Bible and God Himself through the person of Jesus the Christ has presented regarding the evidence that we have before us.”

Faith is not, as those who fear the idea of a Creator say, believing something even in the absence of evidence. At bare minimum we have a whole universe proclaiming the existence of Creator God. When pressed, honest atheists acquiesce that a Deistic God may well exist, “But that doesn’t prove a Theistic God.” Well, no it doesn’t. For that we have the life, death and resurrection of Jesus who said, “If you have seen Me you have seen Creator God.” Proof of His resurrection comes in the form of:
. The empty tomb
. The dramatic change in character of the disciples
. The rise of the Christian Church
. The conversion of the sceptic and Christian killer Paul
. The conversion of the sceptic and brother of Jesus James
all of these confirming the theistic God as seen in Jesus.

The fact is, faith requires evidence. Both atheists and Christians have before them the same amount of evidence, and both atheists and Christians believe what they believe by faith.

“By faith we (Christians) understand (choose to believe the Bible’s claim) that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” Hebrews 11:3

“By an even greater amount of faith (everything came from nothing by nothing) atheists understand (choose to believe the implication of atheism) that the universe came into being by natural means even though nothing natural / material existed UNTIL the universe came into being.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

“Impure and Immoral”

Some head priest in the Mormon Church, Boyd K. Packer, gave a speech in which he said that homosexuals should not be allow to be married.

The uproar that ensued included this statement, “He is telling a group of young people that who they are is impure and immoral.”

Taken at face value this does sound like an awful thing. And it sounds awful right up until one realises that all of us, ALL of us ARE impure and immoral. That IS who we are. Sexual impurity is just one of the many ways our sin nature manifests itself. That is why Jesus came to earth - to save us from our impossibly impure and immoral selves.

It isn't just homosexuals but all of us. I mean, have you never paid attention to your thoughts? Have you never allowed yourself to contemplate your motives? Who we are at a fundamental level is wrong - PERIOD! Like C. S. Lewis said, "No one knows how bad they are until they've tried really hard to be good. A good person knows something of the evil still left in him while a thoroughly bad person thinks that he is good."

Those who were dissing Packer said that God would never create us with something that was wrong. Where did you get THAT idea? Each and every person born has a host of characteristics, fundamental characteristics that need to be denied, repudiated and replaced. The whole process of becoming a Christian is becoming a new creation precisely because the way we are born is not acceptable to our Creator.

Jesus asked a group of people who thought they were pretty good people, “Which of you is without sin?” And beginning with the oldest, the most mature, the most experienced, the most self-aware they, one by one, slipped away.

If what Jesus taught is in fact reality, why would you want to tell anyone, including homosexuals that who they are is ok; that who they are is fundamentally alright? “If we say we are not sinful, we make God out to be a liar.”

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

The person who aligns with Me hungers no more and thirsts no more - ever!

If this is not your experience then all you’ve had is beliefs in beliefs about Jesus.

Monday, October 11, 2010

What Is Christianity?

"Religion is needed where there is a wall of separation between God and man. But Christ who is both God and man has broken down the wall between man and God. He has inaugurated a new life, not a new religion."
Fr. Alexander Schmemann in For the Life of the World

Yesterday there was a blog with the title, “Is Christianity a Religion?” Some say it’s a system of morality. Others say it’s a philosophy. Others still say it’s a means toward self-fulfilment.

In reality Christianity is the Gospel of Jesus the Christ. The Gospel means “Good News.” And what is that good news?

The good news that Jesus the Christ brought to earth involved four components:
. God
. Man
. Jesus
. Our response

God - Creator God is a Being infinitely greater than us in every conceivable area. Sometimes atheists say that God was created in our image, but ask them what that means and the screen goes silent. Creator God is infinitely beyond us and His means of dealing with us is totally unlike anything that mankind would invent.

Grace is a totally foreign concept to the mind of humans.

“I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.” Isaiah 46:9

“I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” Deuteronomy 32:3-4

Man - We were created in the image of God possessing portions and degrees of some of His attributes. For example:
We are creative.
We are able to think and reason.
We are able to love and nurture and care for others.
We are built to be in relationship.

Since the fall, we, all of us are born with a nature that is in rebellion to and rejection of God’s rule. We, all of us, are born with a nature that denies our Creator’s authority over us and our accountability to Him.

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” Romans 5:12.

“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12.

Our relationship with our Creator is broken and there is nothing that we can do to fix it. Positionally, we are under His wrath and judgement. “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him” John 3:18, 36

Jesus - While we were still His enemies, Jesus died for us. “God loved us so much that He gave . . .” John 3:16. Out of love for us, God gave Himself to us as a means of repairing the damage that we caused and cannot fix on our own. Because atheists have such a low opinion of God and such a high opinion of themselves, this sacrifice is practically meaningless to them.

There is no religion, or philosophy, or degree of goodness that can do for us what needs to be done. Only Jesus CAN do what we cannot and Jesus HAS done for us what we cannot.

“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:9,10

Jesus is everything, and the only thing that we need for reconciliation with Creator God

Our Response - This is the good news. Our relationship with our Creator was / is broken. As things stand we are born into that broken relationship the result of which is eternal separation from God. Jesus has provided a means of healing and restoring that relationship. All that remains is for us to make our response to His invitation for wholeness and reconciliation.

Mark 16:16 - Jesus said, “Those who believe and are baptized will be saved but those who refuse to believe will be condemned.”

John 1:12,13 Jesus said, “Unless you are born again, you can never get into the kingdom of heaven.” There is no eternal doom awaiting those who trust Him to save them. But those who don’t trust Him have already been tried and condemned for not believing in the only Son of God.

John 5:24 - Jesus said, “I say emphatically that anyone who listens to My message and believes in God who sent me has eternal life and will NEVER be damned for his sins. He has crossed from death into life.”

John 8:24 - Jesus said, “For unless you believe that I am the Son of God, the Messiah, you will die in your sins.”

Romans 3:27,28 - Our acquittal is not based on our good deeds, it is based on what Christ has done and our faith in Him. So it is we are saved, by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do.

Romans 9:32 - Because they were trying to be saved by keeping the law and being good instead of by depending on faith, they have stumbled over that great stumbling stone, Jesus.

Galatians 2:19 - It was through reading the Scriptures that I came to realize that I could never find God’s favour by trying and failing to obey the law. I came to realize that acceptance with God comes by believing in Christ.

1st Thessalonians 1:8,9 - The Lord Jesus will bring judgement on those who do not wish to know God and those who reject His plan to save them through our Lord Jesus Christ. They will be punished in everlasting hell, forever separated from the Lord, never to see the glory of His power.

All You’ve Done Is . . .

Whenever I’ve spoken with atheists about the fact that there is no natural explanation for the origin of the universe (nor will there be one coming at some point in the future), whether it takes a week or a month, eventually and consistently it comes to a point where I hear, “Well, all you’ve done,” in the words of Richard Dawkins, “is make a pretty good case for the existence of a Deistic God.”

That’s all! That’s ALL!

If a Creator God exists, does it make sense to anyone but atheists to acknowledge that reality and then ask, “So where do you want to eat?”

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Extravagant Love!

This series gives real life examples of where our Creator shows us how to love extravagantly.

In like manner we are told to give our lives away, to die to self.

The example of Jesus of Nazareth, our Creator, is to love extravagantly.

I’ve noticed that many people, somewhat naturally, resent it when their partners act in a less than loving and respectful manner. This becomes a problem when we have our priorities backward. If my goal in life is, as is God’s goal for me, to learn to love others, then I would be able to see my partner’s shortcoming not as an irritation that builds up defensive walls in me, but rather as an opportunity to practise learning to love others. This is in fact how God develops our character, by bringing / allowing difficulties to come into our lives.

For example, in order to break our dependency on money and possessions, God doesn’t give us more than enough. He instead removes this idol so that we’re forced to depend on Him instead.

In like manner in order to help us learn to love, God doesn’t leave us in situations where love is lavished upon us (“Even the pagans love those who love them first”). Instead He allows us to struggle with loving the difficult to love. Little by little loving our enemies becomes second nature; it becomes Jesus’ nature which is now fully developed within us.

As Paul tells us, “It’s wonderful how distress forced us closer to God. You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible.” 2nd Corinthians 8:11

Zephaniah 2:3 - Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD's anger.

THIS is love!
'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel'
Benjamin Netanyahu

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It’s An Obligation

On a Christian Chat thingy a bit ago someone asked, “How can I share the Gospel without being offensive?”

There were a couple responses from people who tried to help out but by far most people told this person not to do any sharing at all.

“It will be offensive no matter how you do it.”

“Religion is meant to be kept to yourself.”

These were a couple of the nicer things said.

Suppose you’re part of a research team working on the cure for cancer and lo and behold you get it. It’s your discovery. You’ve done the seeming impossible. In a life and death case like that, you have an obligation to tell others what you’ve found.

How much more so for the Christian? The Gospel is relevant to every person alive today and to every person who ever will live in the future.

I think a lot of people couldn’t answer, “What is the Gospel?” It’s this:

. God created us in a perfect relationship with Him

. We chose to break that relationship

. There is no way for us to fix it and without it being fixed we will spend eternity separated from our Creator in hell.

. Jesus provided a means for that relationship to be restored whereby we will be saved from hell and spend eternity in heaven with our Creator

. It’s up to us what to do with that offer of salvation.

For thirty days straight in September I described in a series called
“Because . . .” what a relationship with Jesus has done for me and what He will do for you as well. To be in an intimate, healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus is so good that I have an obligation to share it with the world.

Hearing the Gospel is the only means by which we can be made right with God.

I can’t NOT say anything. It’s my obligation.

I hope that I will always fear missing opportunities to tell people about Jesus much, much more than I will fear telling people about Jesus.

Playtime is Over

Jesus said, “I'm speaking to you as dear friends. Don't be bluffed into silence or insincerity by the threats of religious bullies. True, they can kill you, but then what can they do? There's nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

Stand up for me among the people you meet and the Son of Man will stand up for you before all God's angels. But if you pretend you don't know me, do you think I'll defend you before God's angels?”
Luke 12: 4-5,8,9

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gentle Jesus - Pfft!

When Jesus finished that talk, a Pharisee asked Him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn't wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, "I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn't the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.

“I've had it with you! You're hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God's love. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required.

"You're hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You love sitting at the head table at church dinners, love preening yourselves in the radiance of public flattery. Frauds! You're just like unmarked graves: People walk over that nice, grassy surface, never suspecting the rot and corruption that is six feet under."

One of the religion scholars spoke up: "Teacher, do you realize that in saying these things you're insulting us?"

Jesus said, "Well duh! Try this on for size. You're hopeless, you religion scholars! You load people down with rules and regulations, nearly breaking their backs, but never lift even a finger to help.

"You're hopeless! You build tombs for the prophets your ancestors killed. The tombs you build are monuments to your murdering ancestors more than to the murdered prophets. That accounts for God's Wisdom saying, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, but they'll kill them and run them off.' What it means is that every drop of righteous blood ever spilled from the time earth began until now, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who was struck down between altar and sanctuary, is on your heads. Yes, it's on the bill of this generation and this generation will pay.

"You're hopeless, you religion scholars! You took the key of knowledge, but instead of unlocking doors, you locked them. You won't go in yourself, and won't let anyone else in either."

As soon as Jesus left the table, the religion scholars and Pharisees went into a rage. They went over and over everything he said, plotting how they could trap him in something from his own mouth. Luke 11:37-54

I Had A Dream

A friend of mine described a dream she had the other night. In the dream she was standing on a rolling sidewalk (like you find in airports). She was focussed on her goal, Jesus, who was standing at the end of the long hallway. As she moved along, people on this crowed sidewalk kept falling off. Some to the left. Some to the right. Instead of keeping their eyes on Jesus they would get distracted by something, loose their balance and off they’d go.

My friend likened the content of the dream to the Christian walk. So many of our friends get distracted by life, by illness and loss, by new ideas (just google Christianity and you’ll find a plethora of “almost Christian” ideas), by the discovery that they’d had wrong beliefs about God and how He works in our lives, by an unfaithful spouse. They get distracted by things like this and they fall.

Of course Jesus predicted as much in His parable of the sower and the seed but it’s still tragic to see those who seemed so strong, so focussed, so dedicated lose their footing and disappear from the journey.

My friend has been through a lot. Tremendous loss. Deep regrets. Savage hurts. Yet she has come out of it all stronger than ever, more determined than ever, more dedicated than ever - moving ever closer to her goal.

“I’ve fought the good fight. I’ve finished the race. I’ve kept the faith.”

Thursday, October 7, 2010

“You Make Me Puke”

Gentle Jesus said those words. You can find them in Revelation 3:16.

Have you ever had someone you loved deeply lead a life of self-harm?

A wife who binges and purges?
A husband who won’t stop screwing around?
A daughter who cuts herself?
A son addicted to meth?

Have you had someone for whom you wanted so much, who settles for so little? People you love who destroy themselves and those around them in the process? It’s pretty disturbing, disappointing and infuriating to watch someone die when you so desperately want them to live. That’s why Jesus reacts to lukewarm Christians in the manner He describes.

In Revelation Jesus was talking to / about people in the Church who refuse to be totally sold out for Him. He was talking about people who are just going through the motions of Christianity which, in the context of eternity, is the most self-destructive thing a person can do. Jesus was talking to Church goers who might present the following characteristics.

. They go to Church fairly regularly, at least more than just Christmas and Easter. It makes them feel pretty good about their relationship with Jesus.

. They give money to needy causes - if it won’t mean they have to miss a sporting event or a holiday or a meal out after Church.

. These people are very in tune with what the majority of people think on any given topic and they go with that as an indication of what is right. Fitting in and not being noticed is really important to these people. In fact, what the neighbours think is so important that these people aren’t sure anymore if Jesus really is the only avenue through which God has provided reconciliation for us with Him.

. Jesus creating a radically changed character in them is a foreign concept. Jesus is more of an accessory to their lives than the most important thing in their lives.

. They avoid becoming Christian fanatics to the same degree they avoid getting H1N1, i.e., they’ll avoid getting to know Jesus lest He give them something they don’t want. As my mother-in-law once said, regarding her relationship with Jesus, “I don’t want to over do it.”

. They never talk to anyone about their relationship with Jesus because they don’t have a relationship worth sharing. Besides, their co workers or neighbours might think less of them if them if it ever got out that they were Christians.

. “Well, I haven’t killed anybody,” is how they’d answer the question, “Are you a good person?”

. A two or three minute prayer as their fall asleep is considered staying in touch with God. This is often skipped because they’re just too tired. The thought that Jesus ought to have control over one’s life is a way radical, fundy kind of thinking. That is not a good thing.

. If honest with themselves they would agree with, “I know that God is good but for the life of me, I can’t think of what He’s good for.”

. They give others and God the left-overs of their lives. Sacrifice is just not in the play-book. “Dying to self? Oh my goodness. What does THAT mean? You don’t expect me to put my security in jeopardy. Do you?”

. These people always “compare up” to those who have more when deciding if they “love money and possessions too much.”

. They have “catch and release” friendships. A show of love to a needy person must not get too intense or “S/he might think we should to be friends.” These people are always in control of who gets into their lives. As one told me, “You have to be careful with needy people or they’ll just want more of you.”

. “I was baptised, gave my confession and go to Church. I’m set!”

. Living by faith is something that these people make sure they NEVER have to experience. In fact they organise their lives as though God does not exist. Big bank accounts, retirement savings plans, equity. These are very important words in the vocabulary of these people. Very important!

. If they stopped believing in God tomorrow, there would be little change in the life-style of these people, save perhaps sleeping in on Sunday morning.

. These people feel as though their future with Jesus is secure. They are, let me see, how does it go? Ah yes, here it is. Revelation 3:15-18, “I am rich. I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.”

And Jesus said, “You are poor, blind, wretched and naked. You guys make Me wanna puke.”

Unforced Rhythms of Grace

“Levi gave a large dinner at his home for Jesus. Everybody was there, tax men and other disreputable characters as guests at the dinner. The Pharisees and their religion scholars came to His disciples greatly offended. "What is He doing eating and drinking with crooks and 'sinners'?"
Jesus heard about it and spoke up, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I'm here inviting outsiders, not insiders — an invitation to a changed life, changed inside and out. This is God’s Kingdom Come To Earth!” Luke 5:29-30

Jesus is known for not putting up walls to keep people out. Rather He asks everyone on earth to open our door to invite Him in. Jesus will come to feast with anyone and everyone, no matter who they are or what they’re like, and in they process they will be changed by Him.

Those who are self-righteous (“I don’t need God to be a good person), see no need to invite Jesus to come home with them. They’re sufficient in and of themselves. That’s cool with Jesus. He gives everyone the opportunity to reject Him. Jesus will not force a healed and forgiven relationship with Him onto anyone.

To the rest of us Jesus says:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Am So Sorry

As much as I disagree with the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church, they did get one thing right - Confession. I doubt that serious character development can take place in the absence of what Twelve Step Groups call, “A fearless and searching moral inventory.” How much better is that than the atheist’s puerile declaration, “I’m a good person!”

All of our children come from extremely dysfunctional homes. One in particular still has contact with his biological parents. After coming home from a visit he asked my wife, “Do you think someone can go a whole day without sinning?” (He’s ten-years-old). Wendy started to get into how the purity of our thoughts and motives determines the direction of our behaviours. She then stopped and wondered aloud why he was asking. He replied, “I’ll bet my mom can go a whole day without sinning because she sleeps all day.”

Without getting into the right and wrong of sloth and neglect of children, the ability to avoid wrongdoing is something unknown to the human species. For a whole host of possible reasons, some try to deny that fact in their own lives. I’ve often compared atheists to the Pharisees of Jesus’ day and one good comparison is found in Luke chapter eighteen. There we read about a tax collector who, so aware was he of his inner corruption that he could not even bring himself to enter the Temple. He stood at a distance and cried out, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” The atheist on the other hand, I mean, the Pharisee, was thankful that he wasn’t like that tax collector for he, the Pharisee, was faithful to his wife, he paid his taxes and so on. He was, you know, a good person. In his own mind he was better than most.

Christians are not afforded the luxury of such blindness. Saint Francis noted, “God picks the weakest, the smallest, the meanest of men on the face of the earth, and He uses them.” Amen to that brother Frank.

An atheist that goes by the moniker Whateverman accused me of not being a nice person. He’s right. I’m not nice and if I’ve ever made comments to suggest that I think otherwise, please forgive me.

You see, the difference between Christians and atheists is exactly that. Atheists declare themselves “good without God” while Christians admit that we are not good even with God. Jesus didn’t come to earth to make us good. He came to earth to provide for the forgiveness of our sins. A cursory examination of our thoughts and motives reminds us daily that forgiveness is always required. Now, I’m certainly a much better man than I used to be, and that only because of what Jesus has done in me. But good? No, I’m a long, long way from good.

Some nights as I’m saying goodnight to my Father I can’t help but express how sorry I am; for who I am, for what we as a species have done to the planet and to our children - I’m sorry for how we as humans expose our children to corruption and danger for financial reasons (as with the sleazy, exploitive and down right evil entertainment industry).

I’m not advocating a life of constant remorse or some maudlin path of self-recrimination. I am however in favour of clinging tenaciously to reality.

Self-honesty and self-examination is the path of emotional and spiritual health. Self-examination whereby one can:
. Discover wrongs perhaps denied during the course of the day

. Accept that while saved, we’ll never totally avoid our human nature this side of heaven

. Repent for what we’ve had revealed to us about ourselves,

. Discard the wrong thoughts / behaviours and replace them with thoughts and behaviours more in keeping with the character of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ.

Luke of the New Testament

Luke is a most vigorous champion of the outsider. An outsider himself, the only Gentile in an all-Jewish cast of new Testament writers, he shows how Jesus includes those who typically were treated as outsiders by the religious establishment of the day: women, common labourers, sheep-herders, the racially different, the poor. He will not countenance religion as a club. As Luke tells the story, all of us who have found ourselves on the outside looking in on life with no hope of gaining entrance, and who of us hasn’t, now find the doors wide open, found and welcomed by God in Jesus.
From the introduction to the Gospel of Luke by - Eugene Peterson, “The Message.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Extravagant Love!

This series that began more than two months ago gives real life examples of where our Creator shows us how to love extravagantly.

In like manner we are told to give our lives away, to die to self.

The example of Jesus of Nazareth, our Creator, is to love extravagantly.

Our last trip to the lake this summer made a profound impact on our kids. The grandeur of Creation hit home. The knowledge that they are not a bit player but a chosen and important character in this story made them sit up and take note (Ephesians 2:10). They have a significant part to play, and they know it. They have a significant part to play because God has chosen that for them. They are loved by the greatest love in the universe and they have a duty to give that love away.

Creator God, not satan, but Creator God defines who you are. As His child, as an heir to the riches of His glory, you are destined for glory, both now and for eternity. Those who know this in the core of their being are those who are able to love extravagantly.

satan knows the damage you will create for him if you love extravagantly and it terrifies him. he will do everything he can to destroy your effectiveness in life.

“Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” From Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Christians - 4:31,32

Nahum 1:7 - The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.

THIS is love!

Jesus on Suffering

“Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. "Anyone who intends to come with Me has to let Me lead. You're not in the driver's seat; I am. Don't run from suffering; embrace it. Follow Me and I'll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Matthew 16:24-26

Monday, October 4, 2010

Try 4,000 Years!

Atheists and sceptics are forever mocking the possibility that something - anything - could still be true after 2,000 years. Well, the ignorance of atheists is proverbial, however let’s double that # to 4,000 years.

In google blog search, type in Israel. Do that you’ll hear the voices of Ezekiel and Zechariah describing our daily News Broadcasts. What they say is true and relevant right down to the conflict regarding the bulldozing of settlements to make room for all the Jews returning home from around the world.

1948 was the first time since 70 A.D. that the people of Israel have been brought back to control their homeland.

Ezekiel - 37:21 (Written 597 years before the birth of Christ) - For the Lord God says, “I am gathering the people of Israel from among the nations and bringing them home from around the world to their own homeland, to unify them into one nation.”

Ezekiel 38:12 - “I will go to those once desolate cities that are now filled with people again, those who have returned from all the nations, and the whole earth revolves around them. This will happen in the distant future, in the latter years of history.

The new state of Israel now contains people who have come from 100 different countries, speaking 60 different languages and the trek homeward continues to this day.

Zechariah 12:2,3,7, & 9 (Written 520 years before the birth of Christ) - I will make Jerusalem and Judah like a cup of poison to all the nearby nations that send their armies to surround her. Jerusalem will be a heavy stone burdening the world and though all the nations of the world unite in an attempt to move her, they will all be crushed. For my plan is to destroy all nations that come against Jerusalem.

Zechariah 2: 4 & 7 - Jerusalem will some day be so full of people she won’t have room enough for all. I scattered you to the winds, but I will bring you back again.

This is the whole problem with Palestine and Israel right now. There is not enough room for all of the Jews coming home and they are building settlements in Palestinian territory.

I, God, will comfort Zion,
comfort all her mounds of ruins.
I'll transform her dead ground into Eden,
her moonscape into the garden of God,
A place filled with exuberance and laughter,
thankful voices and melodic songs.
Isaiah 51:3

The prophecy of a country coming back into existence 2,000 years after disappearing from the world stage and 4,000 years after these events were foretold means nothing to atheists. They are committed to ignoring and rejecting anything and everything that shows their belief system faulty. I on the other hand find it pretty cool.

Long live Israel!
God bless Israel!

Woman was Best

The height of God’s creation, the pinnacle of God’s creation was when God created woman. Creation itself was not declared to be “very good” until woman was created. The last finishing touch to a universe already glorious was the creation of the female human. While the creation of the human male was something “in the very image of God,” Eve was a refining moment of humanity; the final tweeking to make humanity perfect.

Human existence without woman is simply not complete and the Bible tells us so.
Not until the creation of woman was creation complete - and the Bible tells us so.
Paul, in 1st Corinthians 11:7 says that Eve, the fist woman, was the living embodiment of humanity’s glory.

The height of God’s creation, the pinnacle of God’s creation was when God created woman. Creation itself was not declared to be “very good” until woman was created.

The last finishing touch to a universe already glorious was the creation of the
female human. While the creation of the human male was something “in the very image of God,”

Eve was a refining moment of humanity; the final tweeking to make humanity perfect.

Human existence without woman is simply not complete and the Bible tells us so.

Not until the creation of woman was creation complete - and the Bible tells us so.

Paul, in 1st Corinthians 11:7 says that Eve, the fist woman, was the living embodiment of humanity’s glory.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Revelation of Jesus

We’re studying the book of Revelation in Adult Bible Discovery on Sunday morning. Something interesting came this morning. Regardless of when a person thinks the end is coming, regardless of whether a person believes pre tribulation or post tribulation for the rapture of the Saints, the harvesting of believers will come BEFORE the wrath of God upon those who wish to remain His enemies, but not necessarily before the wrath of satan is unleashed upon those who have come to a believing faith in Jesus.

Ever since the New Testament writings, sceptics have mocked how long it’s taking Jesus to return. The implication being, of course, that He’s never coming back.

. 1st Peter talks about God being patient (“not slow as some understand slow”) so that everyone who is destined to be save will be saved. No one who should be in heaven is going to miss that opportunity.

. Revelation talks about God being patient (“not slow as some understand slow”) so that everyone who is going to be martyred will be martyred. “How long oh Lord before You avenge our blood?” “Wait a little longer until the full number of those who are going to be killed for My sake have come in.”

A couple related facts:

. More people have come to faith in Jesus in the last 200 years, than in all of the previous 1,800 years combined.

. More people have been martyred because of their faith in Jesus in the last 200 years, than in all of the previous 1,800 years combined.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

No Evidence For God

Over at John Loftus blog there are some pretty funny things being said. Well, funny or sad, I guess, depending on your perspective. It reminds me of something that another atheist said a couple years ago. Since it’s in the same vein as what’s being talked about over at JL’s place, I let you read it hear.

It comes from Princeton physicist Freeman Dyson and it’s positively hilarious. In his comment,
- He’s referring to the constants and quantities that hold the cosmos together.
- He’s referring to the relationship between these constants that allow our biosphere to not only exist but to support intelligent life.

During his comedy routine, Mr. Dyson says, “There are many lucky accidents in physics. Without such lucky accidents, life as we know it would be impossible.”

If you can’t see the humour in that, chances are very good that you’re an atheist.

Other atheists look at the following information and say that to conclude that the evolution of "Us" was something other than luck or an amazing coincidence is “Resorting to a god of the gaps.”

Because of clear scientific evidence, we know that:

. Only in a universe so finely tuned as ours, could we expect observers such as ourselves to exist. Note: Fine Tuning is a neutral secular term in that it refers to constants and quantities (atomic weight, gravitational constant, strong & weak force, etc.) being just right for the existence of intelligent life. That’s in comparison with the huge range of possible values. In fact, the natural range of possible values is from 0 > 10 ^53 or from
0 - 1000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000.

If this number was conceptualized as a dartboard, the distance from one side of the dartboard to the other side would extended across the length of our entire Milky Way Galaxy. I’ll return to this comparison a little later. That being the case, let’s look at the ranges upon which our lives, our very existence depend.

It’s important to remember that the values of these constants and quantities were not something that evolved, or something that “settled in” as the universe aged. These constants were “put in” at the Big Bang. As well, you may be interested to note that the constants, quantities and values that are found in our cosmos appear to be unrelated in any way. They seem to be random, even arbitrary. In reality, they are independent of each other except for one thing. The only thing the constants, quantities and values of our universe have in common is that all of them, every single one of them need to be exactly as they are in order for intelligent life to exist on this planet. While there are around 100 constants and qualities, the most fundamental constants are the Fine Structure constant, the Gravitational constant, the Weak Force, the Strong Force and the Ratio between the mass of protons and electrons.

. What scientists, what ATHEIST scientists call an “astonishing coincidence” or “a lucky accident” is the following list of facts.

. At the Big Bang, and I mean before 10^-43 seconds into the event, the ratio of the strong force to electromagnetism had to have been exactly as it was or else at 10 to -17 second after the start of the singularity, the necessary binding of helium -4, beryllium -8 and carbon -12 would not have occurred and life as we know it would not have appeared.

. The exact number and types of neutrinos at 1 second after the beginning of the Big Bang had to be in place or the expansion rate would have prohibited the formation of our universe.

. If the mass of a neutron were slightly increased by 1 part in 1,00000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000,0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000, then stable hydrogen burning stars would cease to exist.

. If the strong force were a long-range force (like electromagnetism or gravity) instead of a short range force that only acts between protons and neutrons in the nucleus, all matter would either instantaneously undergo nuclear fusion and explode or be sucked together forming a black hole.

Pretty lucky for us, huh, that all this just happened by chance? You sure wouldn’t want to think that maybe there was some intelligence behind this “amazing coincidence.” But that’s not all.

. If what we call the Pauli-exclusion principle did not exist, all electrons would occupy the lowest atomic orbit, which would make complex chemical interactions impossible.

. If what we call the quantization principle did not exist, there wouldn’t be any atomic orbits, electrons would be sucked into the nucleus and therefore no complex chemistry would be allowed.

. The gravitational constant must be EXACTLY 10 ^ 40 weaker than the Strong Nuclear Force or again, no us. For those that are interested, that’s ten thousand, billion, billion, billion, billion times weaker than the strong force.

Pretty lucky for us that it just happened to work out that way. I've been told that to suggest that it’s anything more than an amazing coincidence is jumping to conclusions or falling for a god of the gaps scenario.

A change of only 1 part in 10, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000, 0000000000 in the Gravitational constant as well as in the Weak Nuclear Force would prevent life from existing.

If the density of the universe and the speed of expansion had been off by one part in one hundred thousand million million, again, no life.

Remember, these values had to be put in prior to what is known as Planck time; that is, prior to 10 ^ - 43 second after the singularity.

How lucky do you feel so far?

The cosmological constant is what drives the inflation of the universe. It is tuned to 10 ^1,230. Any variation greater than that in EITHER direction and - no universe. Atheists will sometimes scoff at this by throwing out the term, “the magic of large numbers.” The phrase makes them feel secure in their ignorance. Let me however describe the above equation in yet a different manner. Scientists have described it this way. Imagine an aircraft carrier weighing 100,000 tonnes. If the weight of the ship was balanced to 10 ^ 1,230 it could not be off by more than billionth of a trillionth of the mass of an ELECTRON on one side or the other, or the ship would capsize.

Are you getting this? Do you really think it accidental?

Now, I mentioned this galaxy wide dartboard comparison. If the universe was an accident the values of these potential constants and quantities could potentially and theoretically fall anywhere within that area. The equation that I just gave you gives us a target within our galaxy wide dart board (get a picture of that) that is less than 2.5 centimetres in diameter. For us to exist, the values HAD to fall within that range.

Listen up now because here comes what atheists call the really lucky part. The amount of fine-tuning of the cosmological constant, one that we come upon, according to atheists, by accident and not by jumping to the conclusion of an intelligent designer, is like blindfolding yourself, spinning around ten times and then randomly firing a dart at our GALAXY wide dart board and hitting the target exactly in the centre of its 2.5 centimetre disk. Missing that target by any amount and - that’s right, no universe.

What I find sad and absolutely amazing is that if you’re an atheist, none of the above will be enough to convince you to consider Creator God as part of the equation. So let me use a different example.

The distance from one edge of the Milky Way galaxy to the other edge is the potential distance or range for our constants and quantities. Travelling at the speed of light, that’s 100,000 years of travel.
. If the cosmological constant had varied any more than 2.5cms, no us, no life.
. If the entropy per baryon had varied any more than the width of ONE PROTON - no us, no life of any kind - No Universe!

If, by this point your mind isn’t numb with the credulity and gullibility that atheists force themselves to live with, I just don’t know what it would take to get you to throw up your hands and give up. I mean, just how blind does a person have to be before s/he willingly stops demanding the right to drive the car? This is not a joking matter any more. Atheist scientists have discovered this information. They know it, but obviously maintaining their bias against Creator God is worth throwing away their integrity. It’s embarrassing. It’s shameful. It should be a crime for them to teach “The Universe As An Accident” to your children.

Still not impressed? Listen up. Remember, these constants and quantities are independent of and unrelated to each other. There's no natural reason for any one of them to be just as they are. So, as astronomical are the odds of any one of them being just right for a life sustaining universe, to find all of them being as they are in the same universe, by accident is beyond comprehension. To figure out those odds, you would take, say, the Weak Force constant of 1 in 10^100, add to that the constant of gravitational constant 1 in 10^120, which gives you 10 ^ 100 + 120 + . . . and so on for ALL of the 100 + constants and quantities.

Still not impressed? Science states that anything beyond 10 ^ 50 is the same as impossible. On the one hand Stephen Hawking has said “If all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the Earth were possible universes, and only one of those grains of sand was a universe that allowed for the existence of intelligent life, then that one grain of sand is the universe we inhabit.” Yet on the other hand we know that Hawking remains an atheist. In the face of this evidence, why would Hawking or any atheist for that matter continue to search for natural solutions? They have to. In order to maintain their dogmatic, definite, deliberate denial of God’s existence, atheists must believe that the impossible is possible.

And that is why atheists say that we’re really, really lucky to be here.

That is why atheists say all this is just an amazing coincidence.

That is why atheists say there is no evidence for Creator God

That is why atheists say that any one who suggests that Creator God is involved in this miracle of life is just jumping to conclusions.

The Atheist Challenge

“God, I know surely that You do not exist. But if perchance You exist, which I contest, it is not my duty to believe in You; it is Your duty to reveal Yourself to me.”
The then Jewish atheist Richard Wurmbrand
Mr. Wurmbrand went on to become one of the world’s greatest evangelists and founder of Voice of the Martyrs which is currently active in 80 restricted countries. His books promoting Jesus as Messiah have been translated into more than 50 languages.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Are You Good Soil?

Most people who go to Church have heard Jesus’ parable of the Sower and the Seed. This is the one where Jesus predicts that roughly three quarters of those who make a commitment for Jesus will sooner or later fall away, give up, quit the cause. This must be disappointing for guys like John Loftus who think that there is something marvellously independent and rational and courageous about them for quitting Christianity when Jesus knew they would do it all along. In fact, people like Loftus aren’t the exception; they’re the norm! A dull, dreary and tragic norm.

According to Jesus’ story, some seed falls on gravel and dies. Some falls in shallow soil and dies. Some falls among thorns and is choked to death and dies. And some, the one quarter who fall on good soil are the ones who Jesus nurtures and tends and uses to produce a bountiful crop. "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose." Philippians 2:19.

As the apostle Paul said, “I’ve finished the race. I’ve fought the good fight. I’ve kept the faith.” He, as I also hope to be one day, is the exception.

Here’s what I wonder.

What percentage of those of us who attend Church etc. believe that we are the good soil? How many of us believe that we are the one's through whom God "works out everything in conformioty with the purpose of His will" Ephesians 1:11, producing a bountiful crop with the Word that God has given us?

What percentage of us think that there aren’t any thorns choking out our love for Jesus?

Do we recognise busyness as thorns?

Do we recognise “Jesus plus works = salvation” as something depleting our ability for growth?

How about the amount of time we devote to sports or other hobbies?

How about the way we strive for more material “blessings”?

I work with a lot of Christians who don’t even recognise cherished sins as something that is choking out their love for Jesus. One woman, one “Christian” woman said to me last week with a big smirk, “Well, if lust is wrong then I guess there are a lot of us doing stuff wrong.” Are you surprised that she and her husband are separated and she’s living with another man?

Do you assume that you are good soil in which the Word of Jesus flourishes?

Does your relationship with Jesus actually make a difference in how you live?

Or are you like the proverbial frog being slowly boiled to death by the society in which you’re immersed?
“I’ve lived in prison for a long time now. And I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence against women just like me. And without a single exception everyone of them was deeply involved in pornography. Without exception they were deeply influenced and consumed by an addiction to pornography. There is no doubt about it, the FBI’s own study on serial homicide shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornography.”
Ted Bundy, killer of 23 women, the day before he was executed.