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

Friday, June 29, 2012

As an atheist, what exactly do I believe?

Like all human communities, atheists form a very curious subgroup. A good example of what makes them curious and at times entertaining is watching them come together to define the term “atheist.” The leaders in the atheist movement have spent literally years holding conventions and meet-ups across North America, debating whether atheism means:
. We do not believe that God exists; OR
. We're non believers in God.

You might blink your eyes and wonder, ‘What’s the difference?' As you’ll see, the wording of what they believe is critical to how atheists try to rationalize in their own minds the odd dichotomy of both:
. Declaring that they won’t believe anything without scientific evidence,
and at the same time,
. Ignoring scientific evidence that doesn't support a world-view of atheism.
The definition of atheists that I use is: 'People who believe that neither Creator God, nor anything Supernatural exists.' Atheists themselves say that there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of Creator God, especially as He is described in the Bible.
When honest atheists allow themselves to consider a whole material universe worth of evidence, that came into existence out of literally nothing material, many atheists have had the integrity to admit that the evidence shows shows that a Deistic God “may very well exist, “But not a theistic God; especially not the God of the Bible.” So determinedly focused are atheists on getting rid of Jesus as God incarnate that Shwoosh! Right over their heads goes the fact that if a supernatural Creator of any faith or no faith exists, One that has set in place the laws of physics and the finely tuned constants and quantities that allow our universe and our very lives to exist, then atheism is wrong.

This is not some silly game of semantics. How the world is matters. Either this is a theistic universe or an atheist universe and if a Creator exists, and One does, then atheism is a world-view that is just flat out wrong.

The most precious part of atheists is this. They start with, “I don’t believe anything unless it’s proven by the scientific method of knowing.” But when science based knowledge strikes at the very heart of their world-view? “Well, it’s just science. Science is quite capable of being wrong.”

That's why they spend years coming up with an acceptable definition of the term, “atheist.” With just the right wording an atheist can say, “You see, if I'm simply a “non believer in God” as opposed to “believing God doesn't exist,” then I don't need evidence to uphold my “non belief.””

These word games are consistently played in atheist-world to maintain equilibrium in an unbalanced belief system.
From “Trolling for Atheists”

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Beauty of Suffering

Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy-five years in the world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained. In other words, if it ever were to be possible to eliminate affliction from our earthly existence by means of some drug or other medical mumbo jumbo, as Aldous Huxley (and all atheists down through time) envisioned in Brave New World, the result would not be to make life delectable, but to make it too banal and trivial. This, of course, is what the Cross signifies. And it is the Cross, more than anything else, that has called me inexorably to Jesus Christ.”
Malcolm Muggeridge

The Agnostic Christian

To be an agnostic means that I recognize that there is more to reality than what I am able to know, and that if I am ever to know more, it must be by revelation or through scientific discovery. My knowledge of God can only come to me as it is revealed to me in the person of Jesus the Christ and through His Word. But that creates a problem. If you accept Jesus’ presentation of God and then look at the world as we experience it, you will find what is meant by the phrase, “The cosmic distortion of God.”
Whenever God presents Himself against the backdrop of life as we know it, especially if He presents Himself as a God of love, He appears distorted to our reason; we cannot understand Him. Atheists frequently say that God does not act the way we would expect a God of love to act.
When a man comes face to face with nature, for example, we find that God allows things in the world which themselves seem wrong to our way of thinking. We believe that God should have done things differently. Every one of us has faced this problem: If God is love, why does He allow a nature that is red in tooth and claw? Why does he allow a man to rape the child? Why does He allow an endless succession of war? If God is a God of love, why don’t things look as they should?
A Christian is of necessity an intellectual agnostic on these things. Our attitude must be, “I have reached the limit of my knowledge, and I humbly trust the revelation of God as given by Jesus the Christ.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

“There is a creeping all-pervading gas of immorality which starts in the nursery and does not stop until it reaches the highest offices both corporate and governmental.”
John Steinbeck. 

Atheists - Seriously Entertaining

Have you been watching American Atheists codify their standards of proper behaviour?
Gotta do it – apparently.
Those people who don't need God in order to be good, do need a standardized code of conduct, in writing, so they don't misbehave in public. The whole point of converting to atheism is to not be accountable to any moral standard save that of one's own creation, and now this.
Atheists, the most logical and rational among us need to have it written down that they shouldn't be groping other atheists unless permission is given. They mustn't degrade or speak in a dismissive or derisive manner about people of other beliefs, race, sexual orientation yadda yadda yadda.
It brings a tear to the eye. I mean, what is the point of leaving organized religion because it tells you what to do, just to come under the thumb of organized atheism and have it tell you what to do?
Ah me. This is seriously entertaining. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Imagine what would happen if you went to your local police department with videotapes of young children, some not even school-aged, being sold for sex. What if you gave the police pictures, names, addresses of the men and women who were selling these children (for those old enough, the movie Taxi Driver “You can cum all over her face if you want to,” should ring a bell) and the police took this information / evidence and destroyed it. What if the police then arrested you and threatened you with false charges if you didn’t stop “harassing” the fine citizens who were running the brothels who sold these children to men from around the world, men who came to your country for the sole reason of having sex with children?

That is happening in more and more countries around the world.

Do you care?

John Locke once described how we Christians say that we believe the most marvellous, earth-shattering and revolutionary things. We say that we believe we are fully loved by a good and all-powerful God who will never fail to secure us in life and death. We say that we believe we are free to experience and exhibit selfless love and courage and joy every day - for eternity.

But how many of us live as if these things are true?
Locke estimated about one in ten thousand.
I think that he over estimated by about half.

So what can be done? First of all reject the atheist / secular vile and disgusting world-view that refuses to name evil for what it is. Pornography is not an acceptable or healthy form of personal expression. Pornography destroys the soul.

39% of paedophiles arrested for internet porn had images of 3 to 5 years old children
83% had images of 6 to 12 year olds
80% had images of actual penetration of the child
21% depicted violence such as rape and torture

The owner of the site that distributed images of gay porn actor Luca Magnotta killing, dismembering and "having sex" with the corpse of his victim justified publishing this on-line with, "People need to be aware of the dark side of human nature." Mm, hmm. People watch this stuff as entertainment and the atheist world-view doesn’t want to touch these issues because on atheism nothing can correctly be named right or wrong. At least not in an absolute or objective sense. As long as the community is accepting of something, then, on atheism, that something becomes right. Secular society lives by the rule, if you don't criticize what I do then I won't say anything about what you do. We'll both just close our eyes to evil and hope it all works out in the end.

The first thing to do in rescuing children is to reject this secular atheist relativism. This kind of thinking leads judges to make the follow judgments.

. Chilliwack physiotherapist Laurence Wong was sentenced to 60 days in jail, to be served on weekends, after police found 26,000 images of child porn on his computer and several hundred child porn videos.
. Brian Caldwell of Quelph was sentenced to 90 days for distributing child porn over the internet. The children were between 3 and 12 years of age having sex with adults and other children.

Pornography is not harmless entertainment regardless of what secularist civil rights groups tell you. REAL CHILDREN are being raped and assaulted. If a man made a video of him raping a woman no one would say, “Oh, well, he’s just producing entertainment.” He would rightly be called a rapist.

If you care, don’t allow secular relativists tell you that porn is just entertainment, or harmless. Atheists talk about consenting adults as though people just one day decide to allow themselves to be used and abused by others. Secular people talk about consenting adults as though the emotional, spiritual and physical brutality that is heaped on these men and women, boys and girls who work in the porn industry is a career choice. 

The degradation of the human soul is nothing more than evil having its way in a world of selective and relative morality. This evil bashes relentlessly at the imagio Deo that neither the atheist, pagan and secular people that support evil can tolerate in the human being.

Monday, June 25, 2012

DIAMONDS: Nothing says I love you like a superficial and overvalued rock clawed from the guts of the earth by African slave labour.

Dick Head

A client called me that once. In a story too long to tell here, this man had to be discharged from the treatment centre in which I was working. It was my job to give him the bad news. He was angry - at me. So that’s what he called me on the way out. In his mind, at that point (perhaps still) I had little or no value.
There are lots of people in the world like that. People with little or no value. Babies in the wombs of mothers who don’t want them. The poor. The mentally ill. Criminals. Certainly criminals. Read the comments about someone who has committed a crime and “Lock him up and throw away the key,” is a common sentiment. Few people see value in those who have spent their lives taking from the rest of us.
Someone exactly like that made an outlandish request. Without having darkened the door of the temple, without having done anything of value for society, a man, hanging on a cross uttered what was probably the first genuine prayer of his life when he asked Jesus, “Please let me spent eternity in Your presence.” And Jesus said, “Sure.”
Do you get this? This guy, like you and I and everyone else had nothing to offer in exchange for eternal life in paradise. All he had time for was one prayer and he used his time wisely.
“Would you let me in Jesus?”
To Jesus, you and I and everyone else have value. We have value, not because of how much we make or what we can do. Our value to God is not based on how we look or even how good we are to others. Our value to our Creator is based on the fact that He made us. He formed us. He knew us before our parents brought together their sperm and egg.
Jesus longs to spend eternity with us and the only thing that can keep that from happening is us. The only thing that can keep that from happening is our neglecting - or worse - our refusing to ask.
Don’t be a dick head.
Accept Jesus’ offer of forgiveness / salvation.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

“It Won't Rain On Me Mom”

I read in a magazine where a three-year-old wanted to go outside and play. Her mom said she couldn't because it was raining, and the little girl said, “It won't rain on me, mom.”
Isn't that ever a glimpse at human nature?
“It won't rain on me.”
“Yes he was abusive to her, but he won't be abusive to me.”
“I'll just say God doesn't exist and then He won't.”

Humans tend to follow the pattern of thought:
It won't happen
If it does happen, it won't be bad
It is does happen and its bad, it won't happen to me.
It if happens to me and it's bad there was nothing I could have don't about it anyway.

And so we come to a place where we have people saying:
I know what Jesus said about no one escaping eternal separation from God without taking up His offer of salvation, but I'm going to ignore what Jesus said and I'm sure it will all work out.
 “It won't rain on me.” 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Atheists Good Without God

I apologize to those who have had some difficulty accessing this web page. It appears that there is at least one atheist who has been having some difficulty being good without God. 
Ah well, life goes on.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Atheists Require Evidence - Not!

In the book “Trolling for Atheists” its shown that atheists are a long, long way from living out their claim that they don't believe anything unless it's supported by scientific evidence.

“Carl Sagan is said to have replied to someone pushing for an intuitive answer that Sagan wasn't prepared to give, “I prefer not to think with my gut.” Richard Dawkins says that he stands in awe at the genius of Sagan's “immortal” claim. It must not take much to impress Richard because Carl Sagan is the man who said, “The universe is all that has ever existed or will ever exist.” 

Isn't that interesting?

He tells people that he prefers to not think with his gut yet - thinking with his gut made Sagan a strong believer in the now discredited and utterly refuted Steady State model of cosmology. Sagan claimed that the universe is all that has ever existed just as though that was something more than wishful thinking, or more precisely, just as though it was something other than drawing a conclusion directly from his gut.

That doesn't seem like “immortal” thinking to me.

Sagan's comment is not unlike Dawkins who says, again just as though it's something more than speculation, 'There is life evolving right now on one billion planets.' How does he know that? Well, he says that there are 100 billion planets in our galaxy, give or take, and deftly pulling a handy equation out of a hat he says that the odds of life spontaneously appearing from non life in just so conditions is one billion to one. Ergo, one billion planets with life evolving on them – and that's just in our neighbourhood.

So how does Dawkins know those are the odds? How does he know the odds aren't 100 billion to one, or that it's simply impossible for life to arise spontaneously from non life without a Creator's help? Well, he doesn't. Richard Dawkins makes this stuff up as he goes. Actually, the scientific calculation for any planet in our galaxy having life on it is one chance in one, one thousandth of one one trillion. Science typically states that anything larger than 10^50 is impossible.

For atheists to say they don't think with their gut is a mockery of honesty. It's a characteristic that they'd like to project to the world. It's a character trait that they'd dearly love to believe is true about themselves, but it's one that is utterly and completely false.”

Thursday, June 21, 2012

“The only force known to make irreducibly complex machines is intelligent design. So [atheist] scientists are in the curious position of ignoring something they know to be capable of explaining what they see in biology, in favour of a phantom or totally unproven explanation.”

What Do You Mean, Fulfill?

I touched on this in
but I want to fill it out a bit more.
It’s not unusual for an atheist to counter a comment about sexual purity with, “Well you don’t stone your child to death for being disobedient.” The implication, which seems clear to the atheist is that if you don’t adhere to every law of Leviticus you have no business paying attention to any moral dictum. Sometimes it’s followed up by, “Jesus was all about love.”
So what did Jesus have to say about all this? “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill the law.” Matthew 5:17 Then six times in the next few minutes Jesus starts, “You have heard it said . . .” and follows through with what the Old Testament Law always meant.
As unredeemed humans:
We would love it if not killing someone meant that we were kind people.
We’d love it if all we had to do was be good to those who were good to us.
We’d love it if not taking something that belonged to someone meant that we were honest.
We’d love it if not having sex with our neighbour’s spouse, meant we were faithful to our own.
Those things we can do. But not killing someone is not the same as living in peace.
Jesus stated as clearly as could be said that He was not changing the law, not in the least stroke of the pen. By thinking that only outward acts constituted violations of God’s law, we are left free to entertain and nurture corrupt hearts. We actually believe that God’s law should not speak to our hearts. Jesus said that is absolute bull. It’s from corrupt hearts that hypocrisy arises.
. Jesus got very specific how the law was meant to be applied. For example:
. Jesus said that what we today call serial monogamy is actually serial adultery.
. The “eye for an eye” law was meant to limit legal retribution, not as we are tempted to see as license for revenge. Loving one’s enemy did not originate with Jesus on earth. He had given it as a law as far back as Exodus 23:4,5 and Proverbs 25:21.
Every single principle of the Sermon on the Mount had already been stated or clearly implied in the Old Testament. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and love your neighbour as yourself had been there all along. That is the fulfilment of the law.
The primary impact of genuine faith is on the heart of the believer. Motives and priorities change dramatically. The focus of life moves from self to others.
When Jesus recited the Golden Rule in the proactive form that is unique to Christianity, and then followed with “THIS is the Law and the Prophets” he was saying that the principle of the Golden Rule, is the underlying principle that governed and supported all of the law of the Old Testament.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Congratulations - Leah Libresc

Leah is one of the few atheists on the planet willing to follow the evidence.

Shouldn't be long now before her former peers are suggesting early onset dementia played a role in her decision to accept that the existence of the laws of logic, the laws of mathematics and the objective moral obligations and duties that we all experience require a cause from outside of not only ourselves but our universe. 

Solid rational thinking Leah. Congrat's.

Sin and Grace

Where sin increased, grace increased much more.” Romans 5:20.
What that’s saying is that no matter how bad we’ve been, God’s grace is greater. His forgiveness is ready and waiting for us to ask. In fact, the only thing that can’t be forgiven is an attitude that says, “I don’t need forgiveness.”
On the other hand some christians seem to think that the extent of God’s grace means that they don’t need to take sin seriously. I remember working with a Pastor as he was about to end his third marriage. He and his wife were in my office and she was crying and saying, “It’s not right to just walk away. God can help us fix this.” And this guy said to his wife, “Do you think God can’t forgive a divorce?”
In reality, it’s impossible for a genuine Christian to not take sin seriously.
To think like that Pastor would mean that we would have to call the Holy Spirit a liar as He convicts us about the sinful life that we are living.
The death and resurrection of Jesus has set us free. We do not need to remain slaves to sin (Romans 6:17). Whether it’s an addiction to porn or mood altering chemicals, whether it’s an unfaithful heart or a dishonest heart, because of what Jesus accomplished when He “made a spectacle of satan and his demons,” we no longer have to obey sin’s demand that we obey.
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1st Corinthians 6:9 -11
Every single day, people in each of these categories and more are being changed by the power of Jesus the Christ. You now have the power to say “no.” Because of God’s grace, we never again have to let sin rule over us. Knowing that it was our sin that sent Jesus to the cross, how could we ever justify continuing in obedience to sin?
Knowing God’s grace, “We can freely and with confidence approach the throne of grace to receive grace and find mercy in our time of need.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What we find with education is that we can never learn enough to bring meaning and purpose to life. We cannot build telescopes big enough or microscopes small enough to give us answers. Instead we end up with more questions. Every answer to God’s creation always, always, always leads to more questions. The majesty of His workmanship is infinite. 

What About Those Who Haven’t Heard?

That’s a good question, IF you don't understand how our Creator has chosen to communicate with us. And because He HAS chosen to communicate the reality of His existence to us, we don't need to worry about some people “failing to get the message.”
First of all, God is Love and God is Just. No one who should be in heaven will miss the opportunity. That is an absolute fact.
Second, there isn't a single person on this earth who doesn't know about Creator God. We know about His existence through the existence of the universe and the whispering of our conscience, which is the presence of The Law that is written on our heart.
Whether it's a baby like John the Baptizer leaping for joy in the womb of his mother Elizabeth, or an ancient man from an unknown tribe in a tropical jungle giving thanks for his catch of fish, or an atheist furiously pounding away on his computer explaining why s/he has rejected the evidence for God, each and every one of us responds in some way to the existence of our Creator.
The degree of our awareness may vary but each of us knows. Abraham communicated directly with God. Rahab the prostitute barely heard of Him at all. Neither of these people knew Jesus as we know Him, but they believed God and were counted as righteous because of the way they responded to the knowledge of God that they did have. Those who have little information will not be expected to respond like those of us in the West. “To whom much is given, much is required.”
Fact: No one exists who isn't exposed to the evidence and reality of our Creator.
Psalm 19:1,2 - The heavens declare the creative glory of God; the enormity of the universe proclaims the ability of what He is able to do. Day after day the cosmos pours forth a description of Creator God's power and intellect; night after night it reveals the knowledge required to produce a life-sustaining, mathematically precise, moral universe.

This knowledge of God's existence is not limited to one country, one society, one culture, one language group, or one time in history. The knowledge of God's existence is available to every single person on the face of the earth from the beginning of time until its end.

What's more, all of us know God's Law, the purpose of which is to highlight to us our need for salvation. Either because we live in a place like the West where we've been exposed to Law in written form, or like everyone else on the planet, all of us know the “Law” in our heart of hearts. We know whether we are wilfully obeying or disobeying our conscience. The more we obey God the more of Himself / Jesus reveals to us.
A good friend was telling us on Sunday about his work, many years ago, translating the Bible for a remote population in Papua New Guinea. For these people, at that time, attaining the level of “bronze age” would have been a step up. Stone-age would have more accurately described their living situation. As they were speaking about Genesis 1:1 - “In the beginning, God created the universe,” the tribal chief scoffed when my friend told him that some people in the modern world had a hard time accepting the idea of a Creator. Unknowingly stating a scientific fact that modern atheists refuse to accept, this virtual stone-age tribesman emphatically said, “Everything that begins to exist has a cause. Of course this world had a Creator.”

There isn't anyone on this planet that can't know that God exists. Through the evidence of creation, everyone at some level knows of Creator God. From the evidence of our conscience, each of us knows we need forgiveness. From the evidence of our inability to live up to even our own standard of moral conduct, each of us knows we need a Saviour. God Himself promises that if we examine and follow the evidence given to us, and diligently search for Him, He will allow Himself to be found by us.

Good luck on your journey.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Atheists say, "We Can’t Know!"

Some say that since this side of the grave we can’t know who is correct, Christians can’t claim to know the truth. At first glance this sounds like a statement that comes from humility. Instead this is pure arrogance. It’s similar to the analogy of the blind men and the elephant. Seems like a story with a profound point until you realise that the one telling the story thinks that he and he alone has the answer - he’s the only one who knows that it’s an elephant while everyone else is blind.
So too with those with those who say that we can’t know truth. If the person was saying, “I don’t know which religion is true,” that would come from humility. To say, “No one can know,” is to infer that you know everything there is to know about religion, or any other belief system for that matter. That kind of dogmatic statement is usually reserved for atheists who throw in the added piece of arrogance in saying, “Because I’m a Bright and you’re not, I can tell you that you are wrong and I am right.”

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Evolution Points To God

On CNN last night, Don Lemmon asked some preacher what evidence there was for God's existence, and the Pastor said, "There isn't any."

Wow! What a scientifically ignorant statement. Of course, you don't have to be a Pastor to say stupid things. Leaders of atheism are also able to travel that road.

Richard Dawkins says that evolution, or natural selection as it is often called allows him to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.

Natural selection allows nothing of the sort. Atheism has always been and always will be an anti-intellectual, anti-science, irrational and brutishly illogical means of denying the obvious – a supernatural Creator of the universe exists, and this Creator exists necessarily.

(Necessarily: It can't NOT exist)

For if natural selection is true, it is true only because the universe was designed (with a Creator's intent and purpose) in a way that allows natural selection generally and life itself specifically to exist. The theory of evolution does absolutely nothing to do away with the existence of Creator God.

Because of that, the world-view called atheism remains as incoherent and irrational as it always was, even before this pseudo evidence for the non existence of a Creator was invented.

The facts of adaptation and natural selection have always been before us. Atheism has just given them a new and incongruous, non sequitur (natural selection exists therefore God does not) type of interpretation.

Richard Dawkins and those who share his views also share a VERY low intellectual fulfilment threshold. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

That Was Stupid

I think I almost completely reject what I wrote in my last post. Not sure where the balance can be found. All I know is that as a Christian, I cannot stand silently and allow things like human trafficking, child porn etc. to progress unchallenged.

Yes, we do get the world we deserve. Yes we do need to leave people to live the lives they want to live. But no, we live in a democracy and in a democracy people get to voice their opinion, hack away at ideas they think are bad for society and allow the chips to fall where they may.

I also think that homosexual marriage or common-law relationships while absolutely wrong from a Biblical perspective will not destroy what God meant for marriage because our society has already passed that point. Even in the Church, the next generation is profoundly ignorant of what constitutes a Biblical marriage. That battle is lost. Those who follow Jesus and His guidelines for their lives will reap the benefits of that obedience. Those who reject that advice will also reap what they sow.

Anyhow, the evolution of thought is sometimes a messy process and my last post was an example.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Homosexual Marriage Is Not Our Problem

Our Creator went to dramatic lengths to establish the Jewish nation as His people.
In that process, as described in the Old Testament, Israel was to be absolutely unique among the surrounding nations. As I stated in the post  the ceremonial laws in totality and the judicial and moral laws in large part were to clearly separate and distinguish God's people in thought, word and deed from the behaviours of their surrounding neighbours.

Jesus the Christ went to dramatic lengths to establish we who are saved, as His people.
Unlike Old Testament Israel, we who are His people are to no longer avoid mingling with our pagan neighbours. We are instead to work diligently for the good of our secular world without becoming like the secular world. Rather than an individual nation being set apart for God, it is now our individual lives that have been consecrated and set apart for Christ. So what's this got to do with homosexuals marrying each other?

I read about a Pastor a few weeks back suggesting that the government of the United States “should be killing homosexuals, but it won't.” The implication being that if the government was obeying God it would force the inhabitants of the U.S.A. to obey Old Testament law – a law that was set forth specifically for God's chosen people. The question is, how could that Pastor make that kind of statement? Does he think that we're still living in Old Testament Israel? Jesus' Law Code (as pointed out in the post I referred you to above) is different from the Abraham and Mosaic Law Codes in very significant ways. It's understandable for atheists to not get that, but how can we who study God's Word miss that?

As Christians, the earth is not our home. As people who are part of God's family, we're strangers here. We're foreigners in a foreign land. So how did we ever come to a point where we actually believe that it is up to us, God's people, to tell other people, gentiles really, pagans and functional atheists in practice, how to live in their own country?

This world belongs to satan and his people, not to us. This world is their home, not ours.

So how did we come to believe that forcing pagans and atheists to obey Jesus' commands will make them right with Jesus? How did trying to make other people behave like followers of Jesus become our top priority? As I've said many times, if you are not in a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus, then how you live is the least of your problems.

The Israelites were to remain utterly separate from the surrounding nations, both physically and behaviourally. We, as followers of Jesus are to be physically present in our surrounding culture, yet remain utterly separate in our obedience to our Lord and Saviour. In regard to this topic, Jesus has set forth very clear guidelines, for His people, for sexual intimacy; it is to be within the safety and protection of a male / female faithful and monogamous marriage. Period. Regardless of what our surrounding culture celebrates as wonderful, we who claim to be followers of Jesus, need to follow Him – Period.

Personally, I think that we get the kind of world we deserve. I think that any degree of sin makes our world a worse place in which to live and a high level of sin makes it worst of all. However, if those who live upon the earth want to engage in homosexual marriage or polyamorous relationships, or take us to the brink (or over) of world-wide financial collapse with their greed and corruption, what is that to me? My job is to live as a citizen of heaven. My job is to show by example that there is a different way to do life, a better way to do life. As to what the world calls “sexual freedom” or “diversity”? Been there. Done that. What they consider new and exciting is as old as humanity, and I judge it to be third rate at best compared to what I have now. If those apart from God don't want to enjoy the kind of marriage relationship that I have, it's their loss. If they don't want to experience the “fruit of the Spirit,” I can't help it. If they don't want the salvation that Jesus offers, it's not my job to coerce change in that area. It IS my job, however, to not make it more difficult for those who live upon the earth to hear their Creator when He calls them to salvation.

Actually, as is shown by the areas in the world where Christianity is experiencing its greatest growth, the darker the culture, the brighter the light of Jesus shines. Perhaps we need to slide back into spiritual darkness for a time.

. When I try to force non Christians, whether by law, or guilt or coercion, to live as a Christian is supposed to live, do I really think they'll say, “Sir what must I do to be saved?”
. When I try to copy or mimic the behaviours of my pagan neighbours in some convoluted attempt to make Jesus more appealing to them, do I really think they'll say, “Sir what must I do to be saved?”

So how did we come to a place where we think that it is our job to tell those in the secular world (those who live in another nation so to speak) how to think and act? Sure there was a time when those who live on the earth tried to emulate “Christian” morals. Fine. Good for them. Good for society. Good for the world. Sure there was a time when the lives of Christians was attractive to those stuck in slavery to sin. Who could blame them for wanting out? But we're well beyond that time and I think it is time for us to return to our roots.

“This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those in Babylon: “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, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the place in which you live. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” Jeremiah 29:4-7 (rod's paraphrase)

We Christians are today living in a virtual Babylon. Followers of Jesus do not need a Christian culture for us to live in peace or to find joy. And for what its worth, a lack of joy or peace is not what keeps people from heaven, so that is not the “bait” that we need to be offering people. It's un forgiven sin, not a lack of joy or peace, that keeps people from heaven. 

By trying to force secular people to obey God (in the hopes of accomplishing what - exactly?), we have wound up making it impossible for those people to hear their Creator's call.

It's when we live as Jesus commanded us to live, not to earn salvation but out of gratitude for the salvation granted to us, that we become an irresistible flavour, drawing people to Jesus. It's when we live in obedience to Jesus in the midst of a pagan world, that He is able to use us to show the lost how to reach a safe harbour for their souls. It's hearing the Gospel of Jesus, not being forced to live out “Christian” rules of behaviour, that brings people to salvation.

Homosexual marriage, or living comon-law, or any other behaviour that contravenes God's will for our lives is not the problem. Those things are merely symptoms of the problem.

I say let the people of the world live as they want, while we enjoy the freedom that comes with salvation.

Let The Killing Continue

Have you ever had to wait for something you really wanted? Have you ever had to wait for something you really wanted from someone who is a really good and generous friend; someone who gives all kinds of good things? Like - Creator God
We as Christians expect Him to take care of us. And He does. In His own quirky way. As St. Theresa of Avila reportedly said in a prayer, "Father, considering the way you take care of your friends, it's no wonder you have so few of them." 
For example, when those people who have been killed for being followers of Jesus ask Creator God how much longer He is going to wait before avenging their deaths, God says um – what?
“They were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants were killed just as they had been. Revelation 6:11
Oh, great. Just as He has done down through the ages, God is going to continue to allow those bound for hell, to kill those who are bound for heaven. And exactly how have many of these people been killed? Well, in the same manner that the Qur'an tells all Muslims to kill infidels “where ever they may be found.” Luckily there are very few faithful Muslims.
“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God.” Revelation 20:4
Here's a little gem from last week. 

Christianity – its not for the faint of heart.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Church of “Nothing Matters”

Isn't that what the world demands of Christians? Of the “Christian Church”?
We're too narrow.
Too repressive.
Too demanding.
Too constricting.
Christianity asks things of its people.
No – Christianity demands things of its people.
Comments from pagans and atheists seem to suggest that Christian congregations should become microcosms of worldly living, a place where, just like in the world itself, nothing really matters – at least not from a behavioural standpoint. 

As long as what you're doing doesn't negatively effect me directly, then I don't care what goes on in your life. And as far as my life goes? I'll decide how to run my relationships.

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality.” Ephesians 5:3

Now of course in our attempts to “get it right,” humans err and err often. I'm no exception. In fact, I'm an example.
At one extreme, at least in North America, we have the Westbourgh Baptist Church and at the other the Unitartian Universalist Church (I'm not suggesting that either is Christian in nature or example). And those are only the extremes that I'm aware of. Including those and everything in between (like atheism) we have people who are genuinely trying to live their beliefs properly. Hard as it is for we Christians to be the people Jesus says we should be, we have people of the world trying to ram their beliefs down our throats. They tell Christians that what goes on in the sanctuary of our souls and within the building itself, anything goes. Nothing should matter. If the individual decides that it's right, then it is right.

“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness.” Ephesians 5:11

You look to your congregation for moral support and direction and find what?
Couples living together.
Hypocrisy piled upon hypocrisy.
Discriminating and rejecting instead of loving.
Divorce and remarriage without a hint of remorse or protest.
Of course where ever you find humans you'll find the worst sort of common behaviours but, should the Church follow the pressure of the world and turn a blind eye to sin? Should we ignore the One we claim to follow and refuse to pass on the guidance that we ourselves have received? Do we withhold this guidance from those who say they've committed to following Jesus?

Is that really love?
Is that really proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus?
Didn't Jesus welcome sinners in order to help us change? 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An atheist asks, “How can a Christian know what's good?”

In my discussion with Hugo regarding my post, “Greta Christina and the 1st Church of Atheism,” I stated, “Behaviours that are right and good, are right and good only if they cohere to the character of Creator God, from whom all aspects of objective morality flow.”

  Hugo replied, “you completely dodge the REAL question: how do you determine what's good or not?” 

  Seriously? Hugo doesn't know how Christians determine what thoughts and behaviours are right and wrong, good and evil? Seriously?

  I told Hugo yesterday that the first way that we can know what are good vs. wrong behaviours is to study the example of Jesus – God the Son. God / Jesus is not just a loving Being. God IS Love. God does not just convey truth. God IS Truth. God does not just command justice. God IS Justice. Both God the Father and God the Son are prime archetypes of these characteristics.

 The second way we are able to know what are good behaviours is to study the teaching of Jesus. 
Because the type of people who would ask the question above are of the same type who make the preposterous and unsupported claim that a defensible reading of the Bible could lead to acts of violence, I'll present this from that angle.
. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the meek
. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness
. Blessed are the merciful
. Blessed are the peacemakers
. You’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t murder but I’m telling you to not even be angry.
. Treat women with respect instead of just sexual objects
. You have heard it said and eye for an eye, but I tell you, don’t resist an evil person.
. Turn the other cheek
. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
. Forgive others as you have been forgiven by your Heavenly Father
. Don’t judge others in a hypocritical manner
. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
. So that we may not offend [the rulers] go and pay our taxes
. Don’t forgive the person who sins against you only seven times, but every time.
. Love your neighbour as you already love yourself
. Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant and whoever wants to be first must be your slave - just as I did not come to be served but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many.
. I will welcome everyone with open arms, no matter how evil they have been or what wrongs they have committed if they will only turn from their sins and follow me.
. O Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets sent to you. How often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
. Why are you harassing this woman [a prostitute]? I will forgive her sins.
. On the night before He was killed, Jesus washed the feet of all His disciples, even the one who He knew was about to betray Him and have Him killed and even though He knew that all of them would desert Him before the night was over.
. Filled with compassion Jesus healed the man with leprosy.
. Jesus had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd
. Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honour your father and mother.
. Father forgive those who are killing me for they don’t know what they are doing.
. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even pagans love those who love them back. And if you do good to those who are good to you what credit is that to you? Even pagans do that. Be merciful just as your Father is merciful.
. Do not judge. Do not condemn.
. Do to others the kind of things you would like others to do to you.
. "I am willing to heal you." "I have compassion for you and I’ll heal you." "When Jesus saw her, His heart went out to her and He said, "Don’t cry." "I tell you her many sins have been forgiven. Go in peace." "Don’t be afraid." "Whoever welcomes a little child in my name welcomes me." "Then neither do I condemn you." "Peace be with you." "Dear woman [His mother] here is the person who will take care of you when I die."
. Everyone who does the will of God, I will consider the same as members of my own family.
. When they hurled their insults at Him He [Jesus] did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats.
. If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.
. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
. “Put your sword away [Peter]. Shall I not go through the very thing for which I came to the world to do?” Jesus allowed no one to fight for Him.

These are just a few of the things that Jesus taught regarding peace. But what of His closest followers? We’ve already seen that Peter was ready to violently defend Jesus. If Jesus preached violence and hatred, one could expect that message to be found in the letters / propaganda that was later published by these followers.

These are an example of Peter’s writings, one of Jesus’ closest followers
. Don’t conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
. Rid yourselves of all malice and slander of every kind.
. Live such good lives among the pagans that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God.
. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men.
. It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.
. Do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil.
. Show proper respect for everyone.
. Husbands, be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect.
. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult but with blessing because to this you were called.
. Whoever would love life must seek peace and pursue it.
. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Hmm. Looks like being with Jesus caused quite a transformation in Peter’s life.

  Well, how about John, the one that used to be called the ‘‘Son of Thunder.’’
. Love one another
. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him.
. Let us not love with words but with actions.
. Whoever does not love does not know God because God is love.
. Whoever loves God must also love others.
. [Jesus'] command is that you walk in love.

  How about James, one of Jesus’ brothers and former sceptic?
. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble
. The wisdom that comes from Jesus is peace-loving, considerate, full of mercy.
. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
. Do not slander one another
. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
. Love your neighbour as you already love yourself.
. Do not show favouritism.
. Mercy triumphs over judgement. If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
. Everyone should be slow to become angry for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.

  How about the writer of Hebrews?
. Do not forget to do good and to share with others
. Make every effort to live in peace with all people.

  And of course, how could this close without quotes from the most diligent follower of Jesus, a former sceptic, a man who, before Jesus came into his life was a violent torturer and killer of Christians, the great apostle Paul.. Warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.
. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
. Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
. You know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God.
. We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children
. Do not lie to each other
. In Christ everyone is equal, none better than another.
. Therefore as God’s chosen people, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
. Fathers, do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged.
. Let your conversation be always full of grace.
. For then in Christ, be overflowing with thankfulness.
. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And if you do this, the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is praiseworthy, think about such things and if you do this, the God of peace will be with you.
. This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless.
. We preach the gospel of peace
. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
. Each one of you must love his wife
. Fathers do not exasperate your children
. In your anger do not sin for anger gives the devil a foothold.
. Be completely humble and gentle; bearing with one another in love.
. Love your neighbour as yourself. If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
. The outcome of living by the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
. A husband must not divorce his wife.
. The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we all stand before God’s judgement seat.
. Do not repay anyone evil for evil.
. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
. Do not take revenge, my friends.
. If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink
. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

  Now, if this is too difficult for you Hugo, if you still don't know where we Christians get our ideas of correct behaviours, well, I guess I'm the wrong person to ask.