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.