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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Christianity is Arrogant

“To believe that only your beliefs are the true beliefs is pure arrogance.”

This is a claim that can rightly be levelled at Christianity, Islam and Atheism. This could not really be made against any other religion. On the other hand, a tone of arrogance does not make someone’s claims automatically wrong. For example, for someone to say that Jesus has told us about a spiritual cure for the human dilemma may sound arrogant but that does not make it untrue.

Well, the fact is, Christianity i.e. the teachings of Jesus the Christ are by definition the least arrogant and least exclusive of all belief systems. Here’s why. Every belief system except Christianity depends on self-fulfilment; the belief that we, through our own work can deliver ourselves, even unto salvation. This kind of self-enhancement leads directly to pride and on to arrogance.

Christianity and only Christianity relies totally and completely on the grace and mercy of God, which is given to us, to provide for our salvation - this is from beginning to end. In fact it's from one eternity to another. "Where then is boasting? There is none!" We were chosen for salvation before the material universe was even brought into being. Christianity clearly teaches that there is nothing upon which we can base personal pride or arrogance for everything we have we have from God.

Now, claims of exclusivity may also make a religion or philosophy sound arrogant. Again however, the initial tone may not be what it seems. Christianity (Jesus' teaching) says that there IS only one way of salvation, just as there is only one way to solve many problems. That sounds exclusive, yet this solution is available to everyone in the whole world. In fact it is very inclusive.

Finally, those who charge Christians with arrogance must face their own charge. Those people who say that it’s arrogant to try to persuade others to think your position is the right one are doing exactly the same thing. And anyone who disagrees with them is pronounced wrong. When you think about it, that sounds pretty arrogant.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


The answer to your last reply takes too much room so here it is as a post.

``Where/when did these imaginary atheists promise this?"

You obviously didn't come of age in the 60's. Atheists and anti-theists wrote books making these claims by the truck load.

"Why not quote what someone has actually said?"

Must I do the work for you? Have you never read Richard Dawkins? Christopher Hitchens?

“Intolerance [the author means aimed at Christianity] toward beliefs and doctrines that serve only to promote hatred, bigotry and discrimination should be lauded, as should extremist points of view toward the eradication of these beliefs and doctrines.

It should come as no surprise that the individuals who abide by fundamentalist Christian doctrines would be the first to cry out that they are being persecuted when their dangerous, damaging and disingenuous beliefs come under attack. Most of these people lack the maturity and intelligence to act in a socially acceptable manner. Many of them are sociopaths and quite a good number of them are psychopaths. All of them are clearly delusional. The fact is that fundamentalist Christians are not interested in coexisting or getting along. They have no desire for peace. They do not want to sit down with us in diplomatic efforts to iron out our differences and come to an agreement on developing an integrated society.

They want us to die.

Their interpretation of the Bible are such that there is no other course of action but to kill the infidel, and if anyone believes otherwise they are only fooling themselves. As long as they are allowed to exist [He means Christians], we will continue to be inundated with accounts of buses, buildings, markets and abortion clinics being blown up, rape victims being murdered for adultery, wives being beaten (sometimes to death), airplanes being flown into buildings, people being tortured and sometimes beheaded for blasphemy, people being burned for witchcraft and sorcery and all the other horrific, inhumane and insane practices that are part of fundamental Christianity and Radical Islam.
Al Stefanelli, Georgia State Director of American Atheists, Inc. - September / 2011


[The Christian God is] “Arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it, a petty, unjust, unforgiving control freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynist, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
Richard Dawkins

“All religions and all churches are equally demented in their belief in the existence of the divine.”2 Christopher Hitchens.

“Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.”3
Richard Dawkins

“Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.”
Sam Harris

Dawkins again, “Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.”

Atheists say that teaching Christianity is harmful, even abusive to children.
Christopher Hitchens writes, “How can we ever know how many children had their psychological and physical lives irreparably maimed by the compulsory inculcation of faith?” The atheist answer? Inculcate all children with atheist beliefs.

Atheists say that Christian Children are not the property of their parents.
Daniel Dennett, “How much do we regard children as being the property of their parents? Should [Christian parents] be free to impose their beliefs on their children?”
Again, the atheist answer is to impose atheist beliefs upon not just their children but upon everyone’s children. This is exactly the tactics used by Stalin et al.

Atheists know best what children need to learn.
Christopher Hitchens suggests that atheists become the defenders of the world’s children, “Parents don’t literally own their children . . . [Christian parents] ought to be held accountable by outsiders (read atheists, perhaps the drunken Hitchens himself) for their guardianship, which does imply that outsiders have a right to interfere.”

Atheists say that Christian parents have no right to teach their children about Jesus.
Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, “ [Christian] Parents, have no god-given license to enculturate their children in whatever way they choose . . . to bring them up in an atmosphere of dogma . . . or to insist they follow the straight and narrow paths of their own faith.” While totally ignoring a Christian’s God-given mandate to raise up our children in the fear of the Lord, I’ve personally experienced this developing atheist dogma from an atheist blogger. His stated hope is that our children will be taken from us to keep them from being taught about Christianity. This of course implies the hope that someone else will raise our children and teach them the tenets of his faith.

I`m sure that you think you`re the exception - right. You`re the nice atheist. You`re not the one, like on one atheist blog who pictures a commercial dumpster with bodies hanging out and a label on it, ``Christians Only.`` You`re not the atheist who shows on his blog a smiling wolf in sheep`s clothing, with blood dripping from his mouth and a half eaten Christian lying on the ground. All of the above as well as the atheists down through the years were quite as confident as you that they were good people - certainly better than Christians who were deluded and dangerous. Well, believe what you want.

Deceitful Beyond Understanding

“The heart is desperately wicked. Who can understand it?”

Both the Old and the New Testament speaks of the complete and hopeless corruption of the human soul. It is the source of all our world’s problems (atheist bigots would like to just pick a group of people and blame them). From the dawn of history, we have seen that if we ignore this fact, all attempts to solve the world’s problems and to bring peace to the world will end in failure. To ignore the fact of our wicked and deceitful heart is only fooling ourselves.

Actually, that is what deceitful means. To say that our problems stem from a lack of wealth, or a lack of education, or a lack of freedom or the lack of clean drinking water or the lack of access to proper birth control or the presence of Christians or the lack of proper medical care or anything else is deceiving ourselves.

Deceitfulness within this context means that we are believing wrong thoughts and behaviours about what contributes to our problem. Therefore any effort to fix the human dilemma with outside influences (leaving the inner man untouched) will also entail wrong efforts, thoughts and behaviours.
"Perhaps it is not after all so difficult for a man to part with his possessions, but it is certainly most difficult for him to part with himself. To renounce what one has is a minor thing; but to renounce what one is, that is asking a lot"
St. Gregory, Homilies on the Gospels

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

“All Religions Are The Same”

This is a statement that is often made in the same breath as “All religions lead to God,” or something similar. Atheists insist that all belief systems, save their own, are wrong. How inclusive and tolerant of them.

At any rate, there is some truth to the statement that all religions teach truths. For example, all belief systems including atheism state that murder is wrong - although atheists have no moral basis for claiming that murder is wrong. And atheist leaders of the 20th century proved that fact roughly 100 million times.

All religions and some atheists believe that greed and self-centeredness are wrong - although most of us live as though that isn’t true. Not to worry - we’re all hypocrites to one degree or another. Regardless, it is true that there are some similarities in all belief systems. On the other hand, there are at least two major problems with this statement.

First: In order to actually believe that all religions are basically the same, you have to ignore their most important and deeply held differences. For example, you can’t have one God (Christianity) and 5,000 gods (Hindu). You can’t have one God, Creator of but separate from His creation (Christian) and god the same as creation (pantheism). You can’t have one Creator God, personally involved in creation (Christian) and no god (Buddhism).

Atheists understand that this type of plurality does not and cannot exist and that is why atheists seek to do away with every belief system except their own.

Second: Where Christianity veers wildly off on its own is when it comes to the nature of a fulfilling life and salvation.

All other religions, including atheism demand that Jesus was not God in human form.
All other religions, including atheism conclude that the way to a fulfilling life and to ultimate salvation is through self-effort.

Jesus insists that we are only saved by grace through faith in the fact that Jesus is God the Son (“If you have seen Me, you have see Father God”) and in what He accomplished for us during His sacrificial death, burial and resurrection.
"One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of a mother, I guess; I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times ... he is beyond human forgiveness."

atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair's reaction to her son's Christianity

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

God is Sovereign

I’d said last Tuesday that roughly once a week (as memory allows) I was going to fill out the post that I’d done on the characteristics of Creator God.

A God of love, such as our Creator would not and does not leave us in the dark, so to speak. He has revealed Himself to us. One of the main things about God is that He does not need anything outside of Himself. He is self-sufficient, self-existent and eternal. Creator God has never not existed.

The first attribute of God that I want to focus on is, Creator God is Sovereign:

This applies to both the creation of the universe and the creation of saved souls.

We ask the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Creation was a sovereign act brought about by nothing outside of the Cause. Our Creator did not need anything outside of Himself to make Himself complete. Our Creator is eminently worthy to be praised and worshipped. There is not and never has been any other Being like Him. God is absolutely and totally perfect. He creates and upholds His creation yet is utterly independent of His creation. In my post “Why I’m Not An Atheist,” I give several levels of evidence that point toward the existence of a Creator. One of those lines is the obvious design and mathematical precision with which our universe was put together. The thing is, the argument of design gives only a mere glimpse of our Creator’s majesty. Even a seemingly infinite universe is inadequate to measure His infinite power and might. The universe is in itself an metaphor of sorts for the greatness of God in comparison to ourselves and the earth. For earth, this mere speck floating in what seems infinity is comparable to the greatness of God and our finite ability to comprehend His greatness.

God’s sovereignty applies not only to salvation of the elect, it also applies to Himself and His death on the cross. It was His will that decided Jesus should die and appease God’s wrath toward our sin. It was the only solution that could demonstrate both His love and His justice while destroying the power of evil and paying the penalty of our choosing evil over and above our Creator.

Think about that! Try to remember the worst sex offender you can think of. And then ask if you would suffer God’s wrath to redeem that person’s soul. In Canada the worst offender might be (there are many other potential candidates) Clifford Olson who, until his dying day tormented the parents of the children he raped and killed with lurid details, sent from prison, of how he tortured and degraded the kids prior to killing them. And God, out of infinite and sovereign love for you and all other humans on their way to hell, sent His one and only Son to offer Clifford Olson forgiveness for his sins. On the other hand, if Olson refused that offer of forgiveness, God’s infinite and sovereign Justice will ensure that the full force of His hatred of evil will be handed out to Olson and all others who side with evil of any degree for eternity.

It was His love for us that sent Jesus to the cross. It was His sovereign authority that God sent Jesus to do this job. The job entailed the following:
God was in Jesus reconciling the world to Himself.
This was done by becoming a human in flesh.
He bore all the sins of all the people in His own body.
He paid the price of our sin in full.
He endured the full wrath of God against our sin.
He endured a physical death and burial.
He defeated the power of sin to cause death and He rose from the dead, coming physically back to life.

Because He took our place, by sovereign decree, those He has chosen now get to share His riches. We get His righteousness and His standing before God. God loves us as much as He loves Jesus (John 17:23). By sovereign decree there is nothing left for us to do to gain salvation. There is no condition left unmet. I don’t have to partake in communion or attend Church. There is no responsibility left to fulfill. I don’t have to pray a certain number of times per day or wash my hands or eat certain foods. My sins have been unconditionally forgiven. This is different than Adam and Eve. Their “good standing with God” was on a conditional footing. If they obeyed, all would have been well. Since they disobeyed, the world continues to groan under the penalty and power of sin until Jesus returns. Those of us who have been elected for salvation have an unconditional base. We have been chosen by sovereign decree for salvation. Jesus did it all. Adam’s standing was based upon what he did. Our standing is based upon what Jesus has done according to God’s sovereign decree. Nothing can be added to it and nothing can be taken away. “I have mercy upon whom I will have mercy and I will harden whom I will harden.”

This is something that we can know about Creator God. He’s not asking you to like it. But He is letting you know well in advance what the ground-rules are. Ignorance will not be an excuse.

Monday, October 17, 2011

He Knows

“You don’t know what it’s like to have your family reject you.”
“Oh yes I do.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to feel extreme pain.”
“Actually ya, I do.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be betrayed by a friend.”
“Now, that’s where you’re wrong.”

"You don't know what it's like to feel all alone."
"If you think that then you don't know Me at all."

“You don’t know what it’s like to feel abandoned by God”
“I know exactly what that’s like.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be heartbroken.”
“Um, actually, I’m described as a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief and suffering.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to give up the opportunity to love someone.”
“Are you kidding Me?”

“You don’t know what it’s like to lose someone close.”
“Of course I do.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be afraid.”
“Are you kidding Me?”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be poor and homeless.”
“Darlin, I was born into poverty and never left it.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be afraid of dying.”
“Do you know what hematidrosis is?”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be sexually frustrated.”
“I can’t imagine how you could be more wrong.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be misunderstood.”
“Pfft! I haven’t met one person yet who gets Me.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be unattractive.”
“Have you read Isaiah 53? There was nothing about My appearance for anyone to be attracted to Me.”

“You don’t know what it’s like to be hated.”
“Honey they hated Me first long before they hated you. One of the main reasons that I Jesus, your Messiah and King stepped down from My throne is to show you that I will go to any lengths to give you the opportunity to avoid hell. I came to earth to show you that I do not exist outside of your life in a fallen world. I came to experience the worst that this life has to offer and to allow you to do your worst to Me. I did that for you. I came to absorb the eternal consequences of your rebellion against your Creator. I’ll do anything and everything except take away your right to choose. In fact it’ll be over my dead body if you want to avoid my offer of salvation. Yes, I do know what it’s like to feel separated from God. And even though it’s kinda cool right now to play the atheist? I wouldn’t recommend it. ”

Try This!

Go to this website.

Type in your annual income and let them do the rest.

We really are living in a global village. The 25,000 children who are dying every day are dying right next door. They're dying not because there aren’t enough medical resources to save them; and it’s not because there isn’t enough food to feed them. Those kids are sitting virtually at our front door with their hands out. All we have to do is reach out and give from our abundance.

Empirical evidence shows that we don’t. If only one person in ten of those in North America who calls h/herself an evangelical Christian adopted one of the kids who need a home in Canada and the U.S., every last child would have a home. Instead we’d rather accumulate stuff to the point that cars are parked on driveways because two and three car garages are filled to overflowing with things. Houses are so full of possessions, that renting storage units is a multi-million dollar business in North America.

Children are dying because we don’t give a rip! We love beached whales more than fellow humans. The latter we throw in bio-hazard bags by the millions.

Atheists blame the God they don’t believe in for all the suffering in the world. Reality shows beyond a doubt that the root of suffering lies with us and us alone.

We’re greedy and corrupt to the core.

God does exist and there is going to be hell to pay for the suffering that we allow and sometimes even cause.
May God have mercy on our souls.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Why Is There Something?

Now atheists, at least the educated ones know that matter has not, does not and cannot exist eternally, infinitely. The existence of matter; the coming into being of matter is time bound. Therefore, educated atheists know that we have two options:
. Either matter is eternal (not) or
. The immaterial Cause of matter is eternal.

All atheists, both the educated and the "brute beasts" as G.K. described, will spend the rest of history trying to prove that there is a third option.

In the meantime, knowing they're down to one option that refutes their blind faith, atheists are forced to say with as straight a face as possible, At one point there was nothing, and then for no reason, nothing magically expanded, and then there was everything, and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason whatsoever into living self-replicating bits and with lots and lots of time plus impossible luck - here we are.” The absurdity is so profound that centuries from now, if humans are still around, I’m certain that they’ll be laughing at the credulity of 21st century secular humans.

Friday, October 14, 2011

“I’ve Never Heard Anything Like This!”

I was talking with a group of friends about the following verse. Here is a verse for which the back-story is the exile to Babylon of the Israelites:

“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile, “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage . . . Seek the peace and prosperity (Shalom) of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers (has Shalom), you too will prosper.”

Did you get that? The Israelites had been taken away into captivity with hooks through their jaws. And God is saying to them, "Make sure that you bring peace to your captors." This in fact is the story of the whole Bible. Jesus, God’s representative came to bring peace to the world and we who are to be representatives of Jesus are to bring peace to our communities.

This is hard to write because we fail so miserably in the goals set before us, but there it is. We are not to retreat from the enemy territory into which God has brought us. Rather we are to engage the enemy and seek its prosperity. We are to feed the hungry, support the poor, do good to those in need. And it was at that point that the guy sitting next to me said, “I’ve been going to Church for 46 years and this is the first time I’ve heard anything like this.”

He didn’t like it one bit.

What I don’t get is why? How can this man or anyone else separate the Salvation Gospel from the Social Gospel. The love that comes to us through the Salvation Gospel should flow naturally into the Social Gospel. Those who can’t seem to live the one without rejecting the other have simply not understood the Kingdom that Jesus brought to earth in person and throughout the Old Testament which Jesus inspired. If you doubt what I say, type "Mercy" into your Bible search window.

In the Gospel message, found in both the Older and the Newer Testament, God’s Kingdom, both the now and the coming Kingdom, the message is one of rescue, deliverance, forgiveness and freedom; for all. We are not only those who receive God’s forgiveness and mercy and grace, but we are also agents who are to dispense God’s forgiveness and mercy and grace.

See you Monday
. If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand him over to his master. Let him live among you wherever he likes and in whatever town he chooses. Do not oppress him.
Deuteronomy 23:15 -

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Love Was Here First

Most people in the west, religious or not, are aware of the Christian concept of original sin. Atheists take great exception to this concept. Ignoring the behaviour of their’s and other people’s children - very, very young children - these people say that we are born good and only do wrong because we’ve been taught to do wrong. Ya, parents teach their toddler to smack the two-year-old sitting next to her to steal his toy. They’ve taught their one year old to shake his head “no” he doesn’t have a cookie behind his back when he clearly does.

As well, atheists make quite a deal out of God knowing in advance that people would decide to disobey Him. They say that knowing something will happen is the same as causing that event to happen. And to make sure that all their bases are covered, besides accusing God of creating evil, atheists also accuse God of being powerless to do anything about the evil that is now in the world - and to top it off, when the topic suits, atheists say that evil does not exist.

Well, when you're done shaking your head and rubbing your eyes at the absurdity of atheist thinking, yes God did know that we would choose to ignore good and seek out after evil. That’s why He provided for a means of forgiveness before any disobedience had ever taken place; before in fact the material universe was even brought into being out of literally nothing.

As the atheist’s pseudo clever ditty goes:
Either God is not all powerful so we still have evil - or
God is not all good so we still have evil
Since we still have evil, obviously God does not exist.

Our Creator provided for a means of salvation before we were ever created.
Nothing was left to chance.
Yes there is evil, but God’s grace is greater.
Yes there is evil, but Love was here first.
Because God is all powerful, He CAN rid the universe of evil.
Because God is all good, He WILL rid the universe of evil.

He’s allowing people to experience evil for eighty or ninety years to help them decide what to do about it. As is perfectly clear, we’re more than willing to allow evil to exist as long as its ill effects only touch the lives of someone else. As long as the slum is across the train tracks. As long as the starving children are on another continent. As long as it's someone else's child who's caught up in sexual slavery. As long as someone else is dying in the war evil is just not that big a deal to most people.

God also allows this short exposure to evil to help us decide what to do about our relationship with our Creator who is willing, at His own expense to save us from the evil that resides within ourselves. God allows us to be exposed to evil for a few decades because He uses the suffering, pain and tragedy that comes with a fallen world as a means of separating those who are for Him from those who are against Him. Those who are in rebellion to their Creator reject His help. The rest of us turn to Him for help.

When this process is completed -
God CAN and WILL rid the universe of evil.
He promised to do that and He showed us the bloodied corpse of His Son as a deposit and guarantee that nothing will stop Him from accomplishing His goal.

Love was here first.

Original Grace put in place the opportunity for you to experience salvation even before you knew you needed it.

Love - not evil - will have the final word.
Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!
1 Peter 4:7-11

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Atheists and The War on Drugs

Always the symptoms. Always the symptoms. Have you noticed that? Have you noticed how in so very many cases of human troubles that we focus on the symptoms instead of the problem? The war on drugs is an example. Of course it can’t be won, not while we’re treating and focussing on the symptom.

There have always been those who found reality to be, well, too real to face without something to dull the intensity. Since the early 1960's however and since our desire to actually do away with any and all reference to or thinking about our relationship with our Creator, the need to self-medicate has become ubiquitous across all lines of race, gender, social status and so on. Our inability to confront life as it presents itself, our deep ennui and emotional inability to experience joy without a chemical refill continues to drive the demand. Lives that atheists promised would become rich and enjoyable if we only were better educated and financially secure, if only we had access to good medical care and had the freedom to screw anyone, anywhere, the joy that was promised has simply not materialised. “Surely,” atheists told us, “If we could just free ourselves from the confines of Christianity, peace of body and mind would quickly follow.”

Instead, in the absence of a healed relationship with our Creator, the higher the education the greater the level of addiction.

Instead, in the absence of a healed relationship with our Creator, the wealthier people are the more likely they are to use mood altering chemicals in an abusive fashion.

The farther from God the less peace they experience.

I can only guess that the reason our government and other leading institutions dare not look at the problem and remain focussed on the symptom is that secular people know that focussing on the problem would cut off their own supply of chemicals with which they medicate their own internal pain. They’re simply not willing to risk focussing on the reality of their own lives. They are not willing to admit that living as though “God is Dead” spells the demise of humanity’s chance to experience soul survival.

Those of us who came of age in the 60's were part of perhaps the dumbest generation ever. We truly believed that drug induced feelings of love was real love. We truly believed that drug enhanced orgasms were better than genuine intimacy. We truly believed lies. “If you can’t be with the one you love baby, love the one you’re with.” Mmm hmm. And now, our children and grandchildren are reaping the whirlwind of consequences of drug induced decisions. And what is their solution?

Stop fighting an unwinnable war.

Legalise drug induced insanity.

Declare drug use good and hope for the best.

Don’t address the problem.

Enjoy the symptom.
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter - when you see the naked, to clothe him, and to not turn away from your own flesh and blood.
Isaiah 58:6

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Can We Know God?

Not too long ago I posted the characteristics of God that He has revealed to us through His Word (“I Am slow to anger and abounding in grace”) and those that we can infer from observing His creation (Omnipotent, Omniscient, Self-existent). I’m going to do a series (every Tuesday or something like that) that fills out some of those characteristics a bit more. The reason for that is a reader said that my list of characteristics (see below) was nothing but negatives ("Kind" just means not cruel) and you cannot prove a negative. I think he was being facetious, but with people like that, you just never know.

In the original post I stated we can know that Creator God is:

Intelligent - Only intelligence can create intelligence
Caring - What He asks of us is for our benefit
Moral - His character makes possible objective morality by which we live
Merciful - At His own expense He made possible the forgiveness of our sins,
Slow to Anger - He has put up with us from the beginning of human kind,
Mind / Logos,
A friend to the poor,
Full of Grace,
Patient - continues to bless those who hate Him,
Triune: Father, Son and Spirit,
Lord of lords,
King of kings,
Sustainer of the universe.
Independent of His creation,
Perfectly Holy,
Elohim - The strong One, mighty Leader, supreme Deity.
Yahweh - Self-existent, Changeless, Provider, Present,
Adonai - Majestic, Master, Owner.
True God,
Supreme Lord.
Perfectly Just
Perfect Love

Atheists of course say that we can’t know God, so how could anyone worship a God they don’t / can’t know? Like most everything concerning God, those apart from Him simply can’t recognise the presence of their Creator even as a whole universe of evidence for His existence surrounds them.

So, next Tuesday - if you like this topic.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
Isaiah 43:1,2 -

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Cost of Forgiveness

. A child was abducted.
. A child was returned alive
. The parents met with and forgave the alleged abductor.
. The story said the parents are Christians.

Comments were as follows:
“I find this story of forgiveness impossible to believe”

“Are they stupied?”

“This family's forgivness is the result of the co-erced protestant christian politic, and most do this type of thing for their own sake... the threat of eternal torturous hell if they don't forgive.”

“I haven't seen anything about **** being convicted of the kidnapping. So - what are these
"deeply religious" people forgiving him for? Did these "deeply religious" people already convict him in their own "deeply religious" minds? I hope the police investigation considered the possibility that the entire thing was a set-up to run **** out of their "deeply religious" backwoods community.”

“Forgive him? It must be hard to be a christian. I'd never forgive him.”

“Who are these people trying to convince of their so-called Christian agenda, and why?”

“vengence is a religous virtue not a human one.”

“As an atheist, I don't typically use terms like "Christ-like" to describe people, but I don't even have to hesitate to apply it to **** and ****. Their three year old child was kidnapped. Most parents would want to murder the person who put them and their kid through that. I know mine would. Instead, these people decided to put aside vengeance and they've forgiven the man for what he did. That's what Jesus would do, and I pity anyone cynical enough to see harm in such an action. I hope they are able to move past this and have an excellent life with their son, because they really deserve it.”

“How incredibly naive of them...”

“Why do so many people think forgiveness is a good thing? I think it just encourages perpetrators of evil to continue doing what they're doing.”

“They must be as nuts as he was.”

“I'm getting a little tired of the whole Opra forgiveness thing”

“Maybe resentment has value. First, it is protective, you will be less likely to put that individual in a position to hurt you again if you resent, rather than forgive them. Secondly, resentment sends a message to the person who has done harm that their actions are not OK, socially acceptable or excusable.”

“I understand the peace and forgiveness of the ***** and I'm sorry it is so unusual in our society that it merits a headline.”

(sigh) Happy Thanksgiving. God willing I'll be back Tuesday.
"Peace for us means the destruction of Israel. We are preparing for an all out war, a war which will last for generations.
Yasser Arafat

Friday, October 7, 2011

Existentialists and Reality

“The existentialist finds it extremely embarrassing that God does not exist, for there disappears with Him all possibility of finding value in an intelligible heaven. Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist, and man is in consequence forlorn, for he cannot find anything to depend on within or without himself.”
Jean-Paul Sartre.

He couldn’t have been more correct.

According to fools:
We are come from nothing and are headed to nothing.

We have no inherent destiny

We have no inherent purpose

We have no inherent reason for our existence

As I've said before, in an atheist universe, if you say you have one unit of value and your neighbour says you have no value, your neighbour is just as correct as you and the one with the most power wins. On atheism, might and only might makes right.

We have no inherent meaning

The universe and everything in it is an accident

With no purpose comes no duty.

With no purpose comes no value

With no future comes no worth

Based on the value system of fools, humankind elevates the body and degrades the soul.

Based on the value system of fools, humankind idolises the outside while polluting the heart.
“If you are a Marxist, what you need are revolutionaries and decent economists. If you are a psychologist, what you need is an army of counsellors. If you think that the root of all breakdown and disorder is medical, what you really need is large numbers of Mayo Clinics. But if our first and most serious need is to be reconciled to God - a God who now stands over against us and pronounces death upon us because of our willfully chosen rebellion - then what we need most, though we may have all of these other derivative needs, is to be reconciled to Him. We need someone to save us.”
Don Carson

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Glory of God

I remember reading about some famous mathematician who tells of how, as a child, he agonised over knowing what a number is. He could not get his head around the concept of a number. He said he failed tests because he'd leave examination papers untouched. While he knew what the answers should be, he couldn't understand why they should be what they were and just sat there in frustration. He quite obviously “got it” at some point but for years it rendered mathematics painful for him because of his lack of understanding.

For me the concept of God’s glory has been similar in nature. The Bible, from front to back speaks of God’s glory. But what does that mean? His glory this. His glory that. What is His glory? For years I couldn’t get it.

At minimum God’s glory means His transcendence over all finite reality. For example, God is
transcendent over life and death. He is not bound by time. God’s glory is everything that makes Him unique. He is perfect. He is self-existent. He is unchanging. He is utterly superior in every aspect. He is the definition of grace and mercy and forgiveness and justice and love. For God IS love. That is the glory of God.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.
Jeremiah 1:5 -

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Free Will?

The idea that there's no free will is an atheist invention. So is the speculation that the “I” does not exist. There is some macabre thrill that comes over an atheist to think that s/he is nothing more than a mass of chemical exchanges and firing neurons. I do believe that atheists would be at their happiest if they could somehow envision themselves as something less than human. An animal driven by animal instincts. Even though their days are filled with examples of free will decisions, atheists choose to believe otherwise.

“Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good.”
“Don’t be like a horse who requires a bit to make it turn this way or that.”
“Don’t reject the council of your mother.”
“Don’t be wise in your own mind.”
“Don’t despise the chastening of the Lord.”
“Always do good to the poor.”
“Give no heed to the invitation of a prostitute.”

These and countless other verses in the Bible, both Old and Newer Testaments point to the free will of humans to choose to do right or to do wrong. Decisions like, “Don’t lay up treasures on earth but instead store up treasures in heaven,” point to our ability to choose between one course of action or another, to serve this master or that, to follow after good or after evil, God or self. “Don’t fear him who can kill the body but fear Him who can throw your soul into hell.”

Rather than being ruled by our instincts like brute beasts, Jesus tells us, “If any of you would like to follow Me, then you must deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow.” This type of recognition of desire and volition allows our Creator to promise “Peace on earth to all those who please God.” We please God when we choose to “Be sober and righteous, and refuse to sin.”
None of us can blame God or our neighbour or anyone or anything but our own choices when we do wrong.
“Grace is a provision for people who are so fallen that they cannot lift the ax of justice, so corrupt that they cannot change their natures, so averse to God that they cannot turn to Him, so blind that they cannot see Him, so deaf that they cannot hear Him and so dead that He Himself must open their graves and lift them into resurrection.
G.S. Bishop

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Well That’s Just Rude!

Jesus said, "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.”
Matthew 7:6

Whoa! On a scale of rude, that's right up there near the top.

Jesus was talking about people who are chronically antagonistic toward His message, His existence and His Father, our Father, Creator God.

Jesus was talking to those who want to pass along His message of salvation to these people.

He was saying, don’t waste your time on those who believe they are good without God. They may as well be in hell already. And since the gates of hell are locked from the inside, forget about em. If those to whom He was speaking had searched His face for any sign that He was joking, they'd have seen nothing. Jesus was a serious as He could be.

Jesus, our role model regularly hid the things of God from those who “were wise in their own eyes.”

To people who are humble, to people who are spiritual seekers, Jesus gives more than they ever ask for.

On the other hand, the self-righteous are deliberately blinded from finding the Truth, they're kept from finding Him. The dogs and pigs of whom Jesus speaks are those who absolutely reject their own or anyone else's hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Gentle Jesus. No wonder people want to kill him.

All You Need Is Love


We can be as vulnerable and open and honest with others as is humanly possible. We can get 100% of the people in the world to try as hard as they can to love others, and there will never be a return to a world without war and hate and bigotry.

There is no going back to the way things were before the fall - not without the intervention of Jesus and our willing acceptance of His solution - dying to self and allowing Him to be Lord of our lives.

We are broken.
We cannot fix ourselves
God can and will fix us if we let Him.

Monday, October 3, 2011

“My Body Is My Temple”

I can’t remember who is was, but some famous ball player, who was being accused of using steroids emphatically stated that he would never do such a thing because, “My body is my temple.”

This was eight or nine months before he confessed that he had in fact used steroids.

If you don’t know the Bible you might not know where his corrupted metaphor came from. You see, when God first chose the Israelites to be His people, (are the Jews hated because they’re God’s chosen people, or did God choose them because they’re hated?) God dwelt in a Temple (an elaborate tent complex) in a visible way so they could know that He had not abandoned them after leading them from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the Promised Land.

Upon our entering into a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus, our Lord, Saviour and Creator, His Spirit comes to dwell within us, making us His temple. Creator God takes us, His elected, predestined and chosen people, whom He has freed from slavery to sin and brought to freedom and He resides within us as He guides, counsels, comforts and corrects us on our journey from His advanced Kingdom here on earth now, to the new Kingdom in heaven. This will take place when Jesus returns to gather His own to Himself.

My body is not My Temple
My body is not A Temple
My body is The Temple of the Spirit of the living God
I had better treat it accordingly in all I think, say and do.

Some People Never Get It :-(

Some who call themselves Christians think the key to salvation is to do the right stuff and avoid the wrong and if a person can pull that off, well then, you’re in.

Not so.

In the Garden of Eden, satan’s temptation was not some simplistic manipulation to get Adam and Eve to break a rule. Breaking a rule was the least of it. What satan was after and what we all struggle with from the moment of conception is outright rebellion to the idea that we are accountable to our Creator.

The motive behind keeping or not keeping of the rule is just a symptom of whether we are or are not in a healed and forgiven relationship with our Creator.

"You who are trying to be saved by doing good works have alienated yourselves from Jesus, you have fallen away from grace." Galatians 5:4

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Man of Few Words

While He lived on earth, one of Jesus’ closest friends was a very young man who we know simply as John. A dedicated follower and disciple of Jesus, as well as an eyewitness to the ministry of Jesus, John was so impressed with God in Christ, or as he describes, “The Word” that he’s certain he doesn’t need to offer very much evidence “so that you might also believe.”

Jesus ministry lasted ~ 1,000 days give or take. Out of that 1,000 days, John’s account covers no more than twenty days. When I think of all the evidence that atheists reject, a priori reject no less, it amazes me how John could say, “I wrote these things so that you might also believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” Of course when you’ve been right there, in the midst of it all. When you’ve been a disciple of the Rabbi for a really intense three years (as Plato said, “A disciple is a vessel so tightly sealed that not one drop of your leader’s teaching leaks out”), it would be hard for John to comprehend how someone WOULDN'T believe what he’s experienced.

I’ve written pages and pages and pages of information. I’ve described it backwards and forwards. I’ve given citations and citations regarding citations. All in an attempt to show atheists that Jesus is not just a historical figure, but His life, death and resurrection are detailed by numerous extra Biblical writers. All to no avail. There is no evidence great enough or clear enough to convince those determined to deny the existence of God. Like those who wish to deny the holocaust, no amount of evidence, nor the quality of the evidence is enough to convince those who wish to deny Jesus. And yet, John, in all seriousness presents seven signs to “prove” that Jesus was and is Creator God. That’s all. Seven signs over twenty days that John believes should be enough to show the reader that Jesus was exactly who He said He was, God in human form.

1) John says Jesus’ first sign was performed in the town of Cana. This is where Jesus turned water into wine. He made the wine in twenty gallon stone containers that were made to hold ceremonial water. I’m sure the provocation was not lost on the Pharisees.

2) Next, John tells about Jesus healing an official’s son. A Roman officer’s son! Again, healing the enemy seems deliberately geared to alienate and offend.

3) Pushing the social envelope further, Jesus heals an invalid - on the Sabbath. It’s like Jesus was trolling for Pharisees.

4) Next, Jesus feeds over 12,000 men, women and children with a little bit of bread and a couple fish. In contrast to assuaging physical hunger, Jesus describes Himself “the bread of life” and states that those who come to Him for spiritual nourishment will never hunger again.

5) Everyone knows about Jesus walking on the water. It seems that John especially wanted to point out that, as only Creator God could, He who created matter out of nothing demonstrated power over the physics of matter. In fact, as many theologians have pointed out, the miracles, especially the healing miracles were not a case of Jesus messing with the norm, but instead He was bringing “reality” back to what was the norm before sin was allowed to enter into space and time.

6) Then, a man born blind from birth is healed, again on the Sabbath. By this time in His ministry Jesus is livid at the lack of compassion that religious leaders of His day, like many religious people of our day display. The desire of people to punish rather than heal is very, very disturbing to Jesus.

7) Finally, Jesus raises Lazarus after he’d been in the grave for four days. Again, He demonstrates not just power over the laws of physics as we understand them, now the One who creates, gives and sustains life demonstrates power over death itself.

Seven signs. That’s all. Seven signs that were enough for the officials of the time to plot to kill not just Jesus but Lazarus as well. None of the leaders were accusing Jesus of being a fraud, a shyster, a clever magician. They were furious because Jesus’ claims to be God were backed up with irrefutable proof by doing things that only the Creator of matter / energy, space, time and life itself could do. Jesus was stealing their thunder and they wanted Him gone baby gone. We have seven signs that John says should be enough to prove to us that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God - Jesus the Christ.

And if that isn’t enough, then comes Jesus' resurrection from the dead. An empty tomb that John himself inspected. Repeated post burial encounters with the risen Jesus are also described by John. He ate with Jesus, walked and talked and was taught by Jesus for about 50 days after His resurrection. So convinced were the disciples that they did a 180 from being hopeless cowards hiding behind locked doors to becoming powerful and almost fearless witnesses. So powerful and compelling was the evidence of the risen Jesus that the Christian Church was born out of Jesus’ resurrection. There is no other reason for these devout Jews to leave the religion of their family and of their community and sacrifice their lives to testify to the resurrection other than the truth of that event.

And then John writes, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of His disciples which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:30.

No amount of evidence is enough for atheists. They mock the people of Jesus’ day as being too primitive to know whether or not a virgin could become pregnant. A young girl, Mary, knew it was not naturally possible but atheists discount what women say. Atheists think the people were too ignorant to know that diseases don’t disappear at someone’s command or that limbs crippled from birth couldn’t be made to heal in an instant. Atheists derisively call these people “stone-age goat herders.” Atheists think that those people were so gullible that it was easy to trick them into believing that people can rise from the dead. Not one of the disciples believed it without empirical evidence. Yet atheists ignore that historical evidence. In fact, so compelling is the historical evidence that we have that, like others on the fringes of society who simply say, “the holocaust never happened,” atheists are now forced to say, “Jesus never existed.” Sad but true.

No amount of evidence is enough for those committed to atheism.
How much is enough for you?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Profound Prayer 2

I didn’t plan this very well. October kinda snuck up on me, making Part One the last post of September. So . . .

Like all of us, atheists are prone to noticing events that confirm what they want to believe and ignoring what contradicts what they want to believe. For example, atheists discount all the times when God brings about change in our lives because of our interaction (prayer) with Him.

Mark 11:24 - “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”

As I stated in yesterdays’s post, when you are in a right relationship with God you will be asking for things that are in God’s will - for example, “Father please protect and strengthen our marriage. Change me into the kind of husband that you want for my wife.” That kind of prayer will be answered with a “yes.”

. Psalm 37:4 - “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desire.”

What our heart desires most is a healed and forgiven relationship with our Creator.

. Matthew 6:6 - “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

As stated in yesterday’s post, prayer is about communication, not a show.

. John 15:7 - “But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!”

Praying in “Jesus name” is not repeating some words. Praying in Jesus name means that the one praying is similar in character to Jesus Himself. I am praying in mercy like Jesus, forgiveness like Jesus, in love like Jesus and in obedience to Jesus.

. 1 John 5:14 - “And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him.”

“Thy will be done,” is no idle comment. A person in close relationship with God will ONLY want to ask for those things that God wants; never will we ask for something contrary to the will of God.

. 1 John 3:21-22 - “Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from Him whatever we ask because we obey Him and do the things that please him.”

This is very similar to praying in the character of Jesus and in the will of Jesus. If we are praying in the name of or character of Jesus we will be living in obedience to the will of God.

In summary:
We are told in the Bible that the prayer of a righteous person is very effective. People that I know who seem to “have God’s ear” are those who are in a right relationship with both God and others. They have a merciful and forgiving heart. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is evident in their lives. They exude the character of Jesus. These people do not out of ignorance purport to know whether or not God wants someone to live or die, to be healed or not healed. These people pray from a humble heart, allowing God to work in their lives and accepting on faith that whatever God wants is what is right and best in that situation.

Which Comes First?

All but one religion of the world tells us that if we are good enough, God will accept us.
The Gospel (good news) of Jesus points out that because God accepts us, we want to do good.

The same is true for repentance:
Anyone who has genuinely repented before God of h/her sins has been forgiven.
Anyone who has been forgiven has genuinely repented or h/her sins.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Profound Prayer

I had thrown out an insensitive and stupid comment about Roman Catholics a couple days back, and I made an even stupider comment about prayer. Again, my apologies. Atheists of course mock and ridicule prayer as much as they mock anything regarding Christianity.

I confess that I don’t understand what is taking place, not exactly, when I attempt to communicate with my Lord and Saviour. This I do know. The deeper my relationship with Jesus becomes the more that discernable patterns emerge regarding prayer. For example, when atheists say that prayer doesn’t work, there’s a good chance that they’re right, at least according to what they perceive as working. In other words, there are good reasons for why they are right in certain cases.

. John 14:6 - “I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

When we pray without a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus we simply do not have unimpeded access to God the Father.

. Matthew 6:7-8 - “And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”

How would your spouse or ANYONE for that matter respond if you spoke to them with rehearsed and rote phrases? It’s ridiculous. Prayer is communication within the context of a personal relationship.

. Psalm 66:18-19 - “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.”

To call God a liar, to say to Him that what He says is wrong is not wrong and then to ask Him to help you out with something doesn’t make any sense. God is love, but He’s not a fool; He will not be mocked.

. James 4:3 - “You wouldn't think of just asking God for it, would you? And why not? Because you know you'd be asking for what you have no right to.”

When you know that you are in a wrong relationship with God, you are right to expect Him to ignore your requests for help.

. Matthew 6:5 - “And when you come before God, don't turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat?”

Whether it’s in a restaurant or at Church or anywhere really, if your motive for prayer is to make a show of praying, well, again, that has nothing to do with a genuine, honest relationship and God is likely to ignore you if not discipline such insulting behaviour.

. James 1:6-8 - “But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

My own experience has been that the longer I live with Jesus, the better that I know Jesus, the more that I become “one” with Jesus the more likely I am to want what He wants, disagree with what He disagrees with, shun what He wants me to shun, go where He wants me to go, and so on. That means that I will be more likely to ask for what He wants me to ask for and therefore I will have faith that I am praying in His will. I will have faith that what He wants for me is what I’m asking for and my faith will be strong and sure that He is hearing me.

. 1st Peter 3:7 - “Be good husbands to your wives. Honour them, delight in them. As women they lack some of your advantages. But in the new life of God's grace, you're equals. Treat your wives, then, as equals so your prayers don't run aground. ”

This pretty much speaks for itself. To think that I can be mistreating anyone that God loves and then ask Him for Him is absurd.

. Mark 11:25-26 - “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

Obviously I can’t be holding bitterness in my heart and expect God to honour my hypocrisy. God promises that we will be forgiven only as we forgive others.

. Proverbs 21:13 - “Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.”

God desires mercy, not ritual, not religion. He will not ignore our selfishness and hoarding.

There are times when God does not answer our prayers and there are good reasons for Him ignoring our plea for help. God willing, I’ll finish this post tomorrow.
“God made everything, and we human beings who have been made in His image find our greatest fulfilment, purpose, happiness and integrity in being rightly related to Him. If I do not see it that way then I am out of line with my Maker. I am out of line with the One who designed me and with what I am designed by God Himself to be. I am fighting against myself. ”
Don Carson

Thursday, September 29, 2011

“They Were Astonished”

That’s a line that was used a lot to describe the people’s reaction to Jesus’ teaching.
“They were amazed.”
“They were astonished.”

Oh, baby were they ever astonished.

Certainly it was kind of cool to have someone teach “as one who had authority.” Unlike the other religious teachers (atheists say that Jesus only copied the teachings of earlier religious leaders - wrong yet again), Jesus didn’t try to impress them with how well read He was and how many sources He could cite. That was a nice change. But the real reason that they were astonished? Nobody had ever talked to them like that before.

For those looking for forgiveness?
Grace and Mercy was offered.

For those who thought they were good people?
Harsh doesn’t half describe how Jesus tore into them.

Jesus could not believe how stupid these “good” people were, how cavalier their attitude was regarding eternity in hell. They were so far from understanding His message that Jesus was relentless in pointing out their need for heaven. He did this by pointing out their sin over and over and over again.

They loved watching His miracles
He reprimanded them for it.

They loved it when He fed them.
He chastised them for it.

He told them, “It will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

They were astonished.

They were amazed.

And then they killed Him.
“God’s wrath is His utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys humanity. He hates inequity as a mother hates that the disease that would take the life of her child.”

God hates evil infinitely more than we do. And, unlike most of us, He did something about it. Jesus came to die and absorb the full force of God’s wrath. The death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ broke the power of evil, undid the effects of the Fall, and opened the door for all time to anyone who will come to Him.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Rolling Stone

There are many weird things about Christianity and the Bible and all that stuff. Two that stand out for me today are these.

At Jesus’ resurrection, we read that the “Stone had been rolled away from the tomb.” In reality, the Greek for the word we translate as “rolled” means “Blown away,” “Cast out,” “Thrown away from.” Jesus didn’t just get up Sunday morning, yawn, stretch and cause the stone to grind its way backward in the trench. Jesus’ tomb was blown open so that witnesses could see in, observe the empty grave clothes still wrapped in cocoon fashion and know personally that Christ had risen. His was a victory appearance, victory over sin and death. Jesus rose from the dead in a manner that humans could see and verify the evidence for themselves.

Which makes the next point all the more strange. Why do Christians wear the symbol of the cross? Yes Jesus’ death is significant, but it was His resurrection that brought us into forgiveness as well as proving that one day He can and will provide for our own resurrection. In fact, the cross wasn’t even recognised as significant until almost 45 years after Jesus’ death. Until that time it was the RESURRECTION that held people’s attention.

“A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, What is this babbler trying to say? Others remarked, He seems to be advocating foreign gods. They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.” Acts 17:18

“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33

“The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” Acts 4:1-2

To stop talking about someone coming alive after having been crucified is one of those things that is a lot easier said than done. I understand completely why they were not willing to stop. It was THE event that divided history into before Jesus the Christ and after Jesus the Christ.

Fifteen years after Jesus’ murder, Paul wrote, “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scriptures said and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive though some have passed away. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles and last of all He appeared to me.”
1st Corinthians 15:3-7.
“Every happening, great or small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.”
Malcolm Muggeridge

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jesus Prays For You

Isn’t that amazing? Roman Catholics go to Mary and a whole host of earthly no-accounts to try to get them to manipulate God on their behalf, and all along the Creator of the universe Himself is working for them and with them. He has committed Himself to our protection.

Of course the “working on their behalf” is not what we might imagine.

For example, as with all of us, satan was out to destroy Peter, who was one of Jesus’ early followers. Jesus told Peter, “satan has asked permission to sift you like wheat,” (remember from the account of Job that nothing happens in your life without God’s permission or will), but I have prayed for you.”

Jesus prayed for Peter before anything had even begun to happen. Jesus knew that Peter would fail Him. Peter didn’t know it. He wouldn’t have believed it if you told him so.
Even in his failure (and by extension ours) Peter was not alone. While Jesus does not protect us from the trials that we need in our lives, He never forsakes us. He never leaves us alone.
When Peter denied Jesus for the third time, Jesus looked at Peter, I think to remind Peter that He was still on Peter’s side and to remind Peter of His words, “And when (not if) you return to Me, you will strengthen your brothers.”

Peter (and by extension you and I as well) are loved with an everlasting love. Whatever the trial, whatever the pain, whatever the doubts that our wrong beliefs about God may engender, we can be certain that Jesus is walking with us, supporting us, encouraging us. Jesus came to earth in part to know what it is like to suffer the pain of living in our fallen world. None of what we go through escapes His experience and compassion and empathy.

Two Errors

I’ve written before that there seems to be two errors that those considering Christianity tend to make.

The first is to believe that if one becomes a follower of Jesus, all of life will become joy and bliss and free from trial and disease.

The second error is that if one becomes a follower of Jesus, all of life will become drudgery and boredom.

J.I. Packer says, “It must be said that of these two extremes of error, the first is the worse, just to the extent that false hopes are a greater evil than false fears. The second error will, in the mercy of God, lead only to the pleasant surprise of finding that Christians have joy as well as sorrow. But the first, which pictures a normal Christian life as trouble-free, is bound to lead to bitter disillusionment sooner or later.”

I’ve seen this countless times. And in every case that I can remember, is that while it’s the person’s beliefs about God that have been wrong, when proven wrong they reject God Himself instead of adjusting their wrong beliefs.

For example, ‘If I’m a Christian, God will protect me from bad things happening to me.’ This is a very common false belief. Then when the person’s parent dies or they fail a test, or lose a competition, they conclude that God must not be real. Sad but true.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Need for Pride

It’s how seculars hold everything together. Finding things to be proud of is how they survive the rigours of life. It might be a talent, or their looks or their education, or intelligence or their wealth or power or position. It may be their possessions or how they’re “greener” than others, but something will be found. Something must be found for a pagan to feel ok about h/herself. Pride is the answer to surviving life.

“God opposes the proud but gives His grace to the humble.”

Hmm. What to do?

Well, for one thing, let atheists and pagans go their own way. They’ve got it all figured out. We however dare not follow. After all, how can we be proud when our Saviour, Lord and character goal, Jesus the Christ was humble? How can we serve ourselves when He served others. How can we be arrogant when we look at Jesus on the cross? As Paul said,

“What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything that you have is from God, why do you act as though it isn’t from God?”

What does humility look like? On the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus, Creator God, The Greatest Conceivable Being, Lord of lords and Kings of kings removed his clothes, wrapped a towel around His waist and washed the feet of His students, including the feet of the one who Jesus knew was just minutes away from betraying Him to death.
“The moral shock suffered by humans through our mighty break with God has left us all with a permanent trauma affecting every part of our nature. There is a disease both in ourselves and in our environment.”
A.W. Tozer

Our Creator has left us with the freedom to do whatever we want; even to reject His Love. No one will be forced to spend eternity with their Creator.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Atheists and Micro vs. Macro

I’ve written often about Atheist Origin of the Universe Mythologies. You know. The twelve or so stories that have been advanced and discarded as to how the universe came to be - specifically without a Creator.

That’s the whole point, you know.

Atheists must have a universe without a definitive space / time boundary (the material infinite) or else, well, or else it proves there had to be a non material Creator. And yes, each and every one of the Atheist Origin of the Universe Mythologies have been discarded precisely because they all break down to a point where they show that a definitive space / time boundary does in fact exist. They simply cannot get away from that reality. Nevertheless, atheists committed to Mythology cling to any one of these stories as true.

AOUM’s are an extension of Oakham’s Razor which says in part that it makes sense to choose the least complicated solution to a problem. Fine. No problem with that. The other part of Oakham however is that as soon as you find a natural explanation that might be usable, you can dispense with the whole Creator God idea.

So each Origin of the Universe Mythology has been hailed as “The One” that sets us completely free of God, only to be set on the shelf when proven unworkable. This leaves atheists to wait for a new natural saviour. Not to worry. There’s no shortage of them. In fact atheists have gone so far as to throw out Oakham and simply declare, “There IS a natural explanation for how the universe came into being. We just don’t know what it is.” Some have even accepted, “If you use imaginary time and imaginary numbers and imaginary space, you don’t need a beginning for the universe.” Thank you Stephen Hawking for that brilliant observation.

Atheists say things like this because if you need a beginning ex nihilo of a natural universe, then you also need a non natural Beginner. That is not allowed in atheism. It causes atheists to twist science something awful. They say things like, “Some things don’t need a cause to begin to exist,” and “Out of nothing doesn’t mean literally nothing.” In the same manner that atheists don't understand the difference between something and nothing, they don't understand the gap between life and non life, nor the difference between adaptation within a species from the huge leap from one species into another species.

Adaptation within a species has been declared, by atheists as proof of macro evolution from one species into another. Evidence for adaptation has taken us to the point that, “We don’t have a natural answer - yet - but we KNOW that we will have an answer some day.” Even though all we should have are transitional stages of animals running around and even though all we should see are transitional fossils, several hundred years is not enough time to find them. And as per Mr. Oakham, we now have atheists saying, “Because evolution is the only natural answer we'll accept, we declare, that’s what happened.”

I wouldn’t worry about this too much. Positing an alternative to God is the life’s work and goal of the atheist. And that’s ok. We all need something to do. Speaking of which. I’ve blown out the lawn sprinklers which means that I’m free until spring. Although I might have to clean off my Dresser sometime in December. And maybe roll coins in January. There’s no way I’m going to force both of those jobs into one month.

Gotta go to the lake - it's 33 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Enjoy!

Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve

“From the moment a creature becomes aware of God as God and of self as self, the terrible alternatives of choosing God or self becomes necessary, for the centre is open to it.”
C.S. Lewis

The gift of freedom that God has given us carries a huge price tag. Free-will implies choice; and choice implies alternatives.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Without Grace - Nothing

There are some people in our congregation who have been caught up in some movement that has led them to think they need to be keeping the Older Testament laws - dietary laws, cleanliness laws etc. This movement (The Bride of Christ is just one name that it goes by) also tells them that to be saved people must leave the physical Church. This is so tragic. For if we add to God's Grace, we lose His Grace.

"You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. Gal. 5:4 (NIV)

"When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace." Gal. 5:4 (Messg)

This is serious stuff that this group is doing.

"So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law. Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because "the righteous will live by faith." Gal. 3:9-11

"I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" Gal. 2:21

know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified. Gal. 2:16

Death’s power is limited:

It cannot eradicate memories
Or slay love
It cannot destroy faith
Or permanently hobble the smallest hope in God
It cannot permeate the soul
And it cannot cripple the spirit
It merely separates us for a while
That is the only power death can claim
No more
Donna Vanliere

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Atheists Are Winning!

“Can churches do anything to maintain their relevancy? Maybe we’ve already won.”

That’s a line from the “Canadian Atheist” blog.

It is always with a sense of relief that atheists read reports of declining Church attendance in the West. They cheer this news as a sign that the world is finally headed toward their utopian dream. And well they should cheer. Their relentless message of “no god” is having an impact. Their message of the Bible being nothing more than “a bronze age book written by a bunch of goat-herders” is sinking in. People are indeed leaving the “Church” in record numbers. The ones leaving were never really in a relationship with Jesus in the first place, so the number of His followers is not being reduced, but that’s not the point. In the West Church attendance is down and dropping fast. Not so much for East Asia with China soon to be the largest Christian nation on earth. At any rate, all may not be as it seems. The truth of “We’ve already won,” depends entirely on one’s perspective.

You ever see those pictures of old bearded men strolling up and down the sidewalk with a sandwich board declaring, “The End Is Near!”

It’s true. I don’t know what that means in view of a definite time-line but reality is, rather than the Bible being hopelessly out of date, it is becoming more relevant by the day. Society is moving steadily towards life as it was in Jesus’ day.

“If they hate you, remember, they hated Me first.”

Jesus described the signs to watch for as we approach the Day as being like the birth pangs of a woman in labour. The labour pains increase not just in intensity but also in frequency. The warning signs that He described for His disciples then are looming with greater force day by day. What atheists are witnessing and celebrating is something prophesied long ago.

I can’t help but find it amusing as atheists cheer their role in fulfilling prophecy. The intimate pairing of rising atheism and homosexuality at the same time in history is just one example.

The spiritual continuum used to have a few atheists at one end and a few evangelical followers of Jesus at the other, with loads of christian pretenders and secular hangers-on in the middle. Today there are fewer and fewer people in the middle with both ends digging in. Most of those who were in the middle, functional atheists to a person, have moved into the atheist camp and, I might add, they are doing so in the delusional belief that it’s their intellectual, individual, free thinking self that is making the choice to move.

Nope - ‘fraid not.

Like someone being evicted from an apartment for not paying the rent, God is driving christian pretenders into the secular camp for not making use of the faith they were given. The rate of this eviction is increasing at a phenomenal pace. While God will welcome all He has chosen regardless of who they are or what they have done, those who wish to live without Jesus will find Him packing their bags for them. As the end draws near fewer and fewer are left in the middle.

Ya, atheists are winning. As long as you don’t count spending eternity in the absence of Love as winning.
Slavery to Jesus is the only avenue down which one may escape slavery to self.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Forgiveness - It’s A God Thing

Hugo said that I don’t know any outspoken atheists. He must mean except for the two that I hired when I was still working. As well as the one that lives next door and the one across the street, as well as my wife's sister and brother-in-law. She's outspoken to the point of - well, they might read this so I'll leave it at that. The fact is, I love atheists - mostly for the humour and Hugo has provided loads of humour.

A couple years ago I read a book called “The Devil in Pew Number Seven,” or maybe it was number three. I can’t remember. Anyhow, it’s worth getting. True Story. One of the villains of the story, now a convicted murderer got out of jail in 1999 and CNN just did a thing on it. The gist of the article is about the woman, who was 6 or 7 when this guy shot her parents right in front of her and her brother. You see, she's now a Christian and she has forgiven the man. She forgave, she says because of the love and mercy and grace that Creator God, through her faith in Jesus, has implanted into her heart.

Hugo said to me this morning, “You don't understand atheists Rod, so it's time for you to stop pretending otherwise.” Ok, let’s let atheists themselves help us understand them. Let me start with comments from two Christian readers of this article. Then I’ll move on to the humour.

“If any of us have a difficult time forgiving someone who has hurt us deeply, please read this story carefully. Read all 4 parts. I pray that just as Rebecca was filled with God's Grace, we too be filled with the same Grace that allows us to let go and forgive.”

“As a Christian, I serve a God of Mercy and Justice. Thanks to God's mercy I have salvation and so can everyone else, even drunken murderers and terrorists who plot to kill innocents

Now to the atheist humour

“You two are so clueless you MUST be Christians Would you still be spewing such nonsense if this were to occur to your children? You geeeezus fanatics really scare me.”

“But don't Christians (and believe me I'm not one of them but I'm guessing your are) believe that if you repent and accept Jesus you are saved and will go to heaven? Then she very well might see him again. And those who live good lives but have never heard of jesus will spend eternity in hell. Religion is funny.”

“Am I supposed to feel sympathy - compassion - empathy for this monster? If it was my child that he killed I'd make sure he wouldn't be around.”

“The sadness of all this is very obvious....could I myself forgive those that destroyed this family?....absolutely not.....prison or no prison, I would have certainly put more effort into making them pay.....Big Time!”

“This story makes me want to throw up. Oh BOO HOO! Feel sorry for him!! He's a CHANGED MAN. Harris Williams has FOUND JESUS, so everyone should forgive him! What a load of BS. He's a convicted murderer. Speaking of that... he was convicted to life in prison, so why was the guy released after little more than 20 years?”

“If someone did that to one of my loved ones I would immediately extinguish their whole gene pool.”

“While forgiveness has some therapeutic value for the victim it is highly overrated by church people.”

“The predilection to forgive the worst of acts is one of the most reprehensible aspects of Christians. Such forgiveness allows evil to live on, and flourish. Forgiveness is the Christian cop-out”

“Right, we're all weak and spineless. If invoking "God" is the only way you can offload responsibility, have at it.”

What do you mean? Those comments don’t strike you as funny? Kind of focussed on vengeance you say? Kind of filled with hate? You think? Hmm. Well, ok. What makes it funny, at least for me, is that after all these functional atheists fantasise about murder and mock Christians for forgiving, this next guy tries to set us straight about how wonderful atheists are. I'm ready to be educated Hugo.

“Some of us don't need a "God" crutch. While it's true that belief in God can give person strength, it is not true that people can only forgive with God's help. People forgive for many reasons, one of which is they simply don't want to live with the bitterness and anger any longer. Atheists and agnostics forgive all the time”

Ya I can see that. We just read about all the desire to forgive that oozes out of atheists. I guess I didn't understand them after all.
“Face to face with reality, and especially the reality of evil, the faith that understands why it has come to trust must rest where it has not come to understand.”

Life is difficult and suffering is a mystery. But faith, knowing that it believes because of Love freely given, can tolerate mystery.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Are We There Yet?

After three years of learning from Jesus about the coming of His Kingdom, after His murder, after His burial, after His resurrection, after His meeting with them for a period of 40+ days, and just before His ascension into the next dimension, Jesus’ disciples asked Him, “Are you now going to restore the land to Israel?

Now wonder the majority of Jews didn’t accept Jesus as Messiah. Even those who were taught most carefully by Him didn’t get it. Their blind-spot for what the Kingdom of God would look like was huge - as is ours.

The health and wealth crowd of today is not so different from the early disciples. The focus was completely on earthly importance. “Are you now going to give us the stuff we want?” Protecting land and possessions. Hating enemies. Gathering more for ourselves. Worrying about losing what we’ve already gained in worldly wealth.

Jesus brought His Kingdom with Him and demonstrated for them and us what we could have - right now - as we join and become members of His Kingdom - right now.

And what did He bring with Him?
. An unworried trust in Creator God
. A refusal to be anxious or fearful
. A generous heart toward those in need
. Faith, hope, compassion and love
. Forgiveness toward those who intentionally harm us
. An intolerance of bad religion

These are signs that God’s Kingdom has arrived in people’s hearts. Jesus said that He came to give us an abundant life, a full life. He came to make us truly alive and complete. This is not done through keeping rules, although that is a result. Instead this fullness, completeness, this abundant life is gained by a transformed persona whose main characteristic is an overflow of love and grace and mercy.

If you sense Jesus calling you, you can be part of God’s coming Kingdom - right now! If you’re not sure how that’s done, just ask.
For over thirty years it’s been my experience that God has not broken even one of His promises - not one - not ever.

Monday, September 19, 2011

“Come and Die”

Have you considered Jesus’ invitation? “Pick up your cross and follow Me.”
Some religious leaders try to appeal to your sense of greed by telling you that “God will give you the desires of your heart,” and then define a person’s desire as “stuff.” You know, lots of health and lots of wealth.

And Jesus? What does He promise?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer describes it best as Jesus saying, Pick up your cross and “Come and die.”
Further Jesus said, “Deny yourself. Lose your life. Give up everything that the world considers essential.”

Jesus has pretty much told us to do the opposite to what those who are wise in their own eyes tell you to do.

You see, atheists and those who are as dull of mind and slow of thought think that we can just set out on a program of self-improvement and that will do just fine. And it feels just fine to those who take part in such a venture because rather than leading to greater humility, it leads to greater pride. It makes them feel better about themselves. The ubiquitous pride of atheists is no accident. But self improvement is no solution to the worlds problems because the self IS the problem.

The self is the sole problem with which Jesus came to deal. The human heart, the habits and desires and lusts can’t just be improved upon. The human heart must be killed and a new heart inserted. The heart of stone must be crushed and a soft heart, a heart of love must be given. No “self-made” heart can be allowed anywhere new God’s kingdom for it is this “self-made” mind-set that made it all wrong in the first place.

The way of Jesus is the way of the cross; of death to the corrupt self. The kingdom that Jesus brought and invites some to enter is not just something that will arrive in the future. The Kingdom that Jesus brought is right here, right now where we can truly pray that His Will will be done right here on earth as it is done in heaven.

Come and die, in order that you might live life to the full!

Why Do Good?

At the heart of all of our service to Jesus stands the cross. Because we stand forgiven, we are set free to find joy in knowing and serving God. Because the Spirit indwells us, we find we have fresh affections for God and a desire to glorify God.

We do not serve God in order to be forgiven or to gain God’s favour. Rather we serve God BECAUSE we have been forgiven and have received God’s favour as a gift. Gratitude and joy provide the fuel for the believer’s service to God and others.’

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Are We The Same?

“Those first Christians of Acts 2 were not devoting themselves to social activities but to a relationship. They understood that they had entered this relationship by faith in Jesus Christ, not by joining an organization. And they realise that their fellowship with God logically brought them into fellowship with one another. Through their union with Christ they were formed into a spiritually organic community. We must grasp the idea that fellowship means belonging to one another in the Body of Christ, with all the privileges and responsibilities that such a relationship entails.”
Jerry Bridges

Throughout the history of redemption, God has been acting to save a people, not a disconnected group of isolated individuals. He has taken separate individuals and joined them together into a single entity. Far from so many of our modern misconceptions, the Biblical picture of the church can best be described as community; a group of people, joined by a common life, united by common values and a common purpose, devoted to living out this life together within the larger society. This is the type of church life to which God calls us - a life that shines as a testimony to His work in us. His intention for our lives together is more than simply attending the same Sunday meeting and believing the same doctrines. Biblical fellowship is not merely “socialising” - it is sharing our common life in Christ; life that is rich, enduring, and eternal.
“The conviction that Christian doctrine matters for Christian living is one of the most important growth points of the Christian life.”
Sinclair Ferguson

The Christian life is not meant to be an aimless wandering; it is not a journey without meaning. God intends for us to understand who He is, how we are to relate to Him, and how we are to understand our lives and the world in which we live.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Climb the Broken Staircase

The Holy Spirit Works In Us
“And we all, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”
2 Cor. 3:18
The only good we do is what He does in us; it is not that we do nothing ourselves, but that we act only when we have been acted upon, in other words, under the direction and influence of the Holy Spirit.”
John Calvin


We Work With the Holy Spirit
“Sanctification is a thing for which every believer is responsible. Whose fault is it if they are not holy, but their own? On whom can they throw the blame if they are not sanctified, but themselves? God, who has given them grace and a new heart, and a new nature, has deprived them of all excuse if they do not live for His praise” -
J. C. Ryle

The intentional pursuit of godliness is a priority here because the Scriptures command it. In taking sanctification seriously, we are taking God’s holiness seriously and the reality of our own sin seriously. It is not uncommon to find some Christians who down play the role of sin in their lives. They think that such talk seems negative or counter-productive. Those in the Word Faith Cult actually treat words like those involved in Voodoo, so they avoid talking about this side of reality.

Few endeavours are more exciting than the pursuit of becoming more like Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Far from making us self-centred or morbidly introspective, our pursuit of holiness intensifies our joy as we become more amazed at God’s forgiveness, and more intimately acquainted with our God. Ultimately, our holiness brings God glory as His character is increasingly displayed in our lives. Such mercy and grace provides powerful motivation to cooperate with God’s sanctifying work in our lives and so to “continue the journey” of the Christian life in the context of the local church.

True Love

True love for Jesus involves the whole person. There is an unmistakable inclusion - if not emphasis - on loving God with our minds - with what we think, our values, our opinions, our reasoning, with our view of God and ourselves and the world. The real question is not, “Do we need sound doctrine?,” but rather, “Is the doctrine I have sound?”

The only way for us to know God is for Him to reveal Himself to us. The only place He does this in such a way that we can have a relationship with Him is in His Word.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hugo and Morality

In comments on my post What is this Evil, Hugo has been trying to tell me that he, an atheist, has a moral base for how he lives that is objective in nature. Of course he is wrong. In fact I believe that in previous comments he's even said that he believes morality to be realitive to the situation. Either Hugo has changed his stance, which atheists can and do regularly, precisely because their morality is not objective or he's forgotten what he's said. Regardless, here's why he's wrong.

. If God does not exist, then objective morals, values and obligations (def. below) do not exist.

. But we know from our interactions with other people that objective morals, values and obligations DO exist. We know, and we know absolutely when someone does something “wrong” to us. We don’t have to wonder for one second what our community or society thinks about what the person did to us. We KNOW that we were wronged. We believe that objective morals exist at the moment that we’ve been wronged. So why does that point to God being the source of objective morals?

Just as physical laws are fully realised in the physical world, objective moral laws (Spiritual laws) are fully realised in Jesus and Father God. As I stated before, our daily interactions with others shows we know beyond doubt that objective moral order is as real and independent of our recognition as is the natural order of things. Our perceptions of natural and moral laws are givens of our experience.

. Objective moral Goodness and Obligations are based on God’s character. God’s commands are not arbitrary, for they are the inescapable expression of His Just and Loving nature. And, since our moral obligations are grounded in the Divine commands that come out of His Divine character, moral values and duties do not exist independent of God.

. What God commands or permits is good and what He forbids is wrong, bad, evil, self-destructive.

This is what it means for morality to be objective vs. subjective, selective or relative to the situation. Objective morality is not based on the individual’s character or personality or level of empathy, or that person’s likes or dislikes, sanity or insanity. Nor is it based on the ebb and flow of the community’s likes / dislikes etc..

Why choose God as opposed to you or me or Hitler?

God by definition is the least arbitrary stopping point, the least arbitrary point of final authority. That's what it means for morals to be objective. They have a grounding in a final and ultimate authority.
God doesn’t just exemplify goodness. He IS goodness.
God doesn't just exemplify justice. He IS Justice.
God doesn't just exemplify love. He IS love.

Almost everyone is willing to recognise an ultimate standard of goodness or at least authority. Atheists might choose the government or the community but it most often boils down to themselves. What do I want? What do I like? What do I think is best for me?

Choosing the individual as the ultimate standard of good and bad, right and wrong sets up obvious and irreconcilable issues of conflict.

Any moral construct (don’t rape, don’t discriminate etc.) that is "invented" or adopted by mankind and that is truly good for society, will BE good for society because it coheres with an objective moral principle that exists independently.

Objective means it is right and true regardless of whether you agree with it or obey it or even know that it exists. Again, “objective” (not arbitrary or relative) because it comes from the Ultimate source of Truth, Goodness, Justice and Love - our Creator.

If man-made moral constructs work across time and culture:
. They will work because they are objectively and ultimately right.
. They will work because they are based upon standards that are objectively and ultimately sound.
. They are objectively and ultimately sound because they originate from the character and command of our Creator who is the ultimate source of Truth, Goodness, Justice and Love.

The Christian base for objective morality is based on Truth. In our interaction with others, when wronged, you and I know in an instant that it's based upon Truth. Because it's based upon Truth it helps in the survival of the collective.

The stated atheist base for morality is based upon it's “perceived” ability to aid survival. In reality, the atheist base for morality is what will allow them to do what they want, get what they want. It may or may not work over time. It is something that will change with the ebb and flow of human desire, likes and dislikes, current ideology and the ability to meet our immediate need. As such, at any given time, it may or may not entail truth and therefore is not objective.