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

Friday, July 19, 2013

See You On The Flip Side

Have you ever heard an atheist claim that Christianity was invented by people who want to escape the harsh reality of life's end? 
Atheists think that makes sense. 
Well, about as much sense as saying that atheists have made up their world-view because they want to escape the reality of judgement, which for them will include an eternity spent in the utter absence of God.
At least Christians have physical, scientific evidence supporting their world-view; something atheists will never have.

Regardless, Christians have never been promised, nor do we expect to be spared from the harsh realities of life. Jesus showed by example that we can experience a full and abundant life even as we step right into the midst of suffering, pain and loss. 
What we have been promised and what we do receive is God's presence with us in and through suffering, pain and loss. Therefore we sedulously keep our eyes on the prize and enjoy the fact that we can lie down and sleep in peace, because God alone provides for our safety. 


  1. Hi, Rod-
    Been away a while, had to have some skull surgery after a traffic accident. All is OK now, except for a pirate-like head scar.

    "Have you ever heard an atheist claim that Christianity was invented by people who want to escape the harsh reality of life's end? ".
    What I know is the argument that christianity was invented by people who drew profit from people's suffering, and wanted to make their underlings believe that there was still another , far more important eternal life after this one. And that makes sense indeed.

    Atheists, you say, "want to escape the reality of judgement".
    Oops. Wrong category, Rod. Judgment is not a reality, it is something some people believe will happen when they're dead, more like wishful thinking.

    Judgment of atheists, you say "for them will include an eternity spent in the utter absence of God"
    Well, we're used to it. Not much of a penalty, if you ask me. Boring, as all eternal things, but not much of a loss.

    "God's presence with us in and through suffering, pain and loss"
    How comforting to have an invisible friend who does not even try to prevent ugly things happening to you, but sends you tragedy for mysterious reasons...
    With a friend like that, how can you feel safe? What if he does another bet with Lucifer, about you this time?

  2. Good grief man! I'm glad you're alright. Life can change – or end – in a blink.

    I hope you don't ignore or squander this opportunity like you have the one given you by your cancer. That at least gives a person time to think. Accidents, falls, heart attacks or strokes, natural disasters etc. These can bring it all to an end suddenly with no opportunity for repentance.

    Nevertheless, I'm glad you've come out ok, I'm assuming you're past the beauty pageant stage of life so the scar can be used for good pirate stories in the bar :-)

  3. "I hope you don't ignore or squander this opportunity like you have the one given you by your cancer."

    Well, Rod - I hope I misunderstand you. Honestly, did you just say that I "squandered an opportunity" when I fought my cancer for years? Only because those endless vomit-inducing procedures did not simplify my mind towards childish beliefs about an invisible raging old man in the sky?

    I spent weeks in preparation, flew 6,600 miles to the best available clinic, and spent months in rehab. But all this is in vain, because that soul you insist I have was not saved in the only way you can think of? Now, try to behave like an adult.
    If this is the way you treat clients, then I understand why you have to work with max security prisoners. Sorry for that ad personam, but you asked for it.

    My cancer, and that stupid little traffic incident(which led to an intra-cranial bleeding) have made me a better, gentler person. Why spend the rest of my life at battle? I at least try to understand other people - and be assured, many of my acquaintances here in Bangkok are far weirder than you and your one-size-fits-all proselytizing...
    As for the scar, indeed I was contemplating action along the lines you suggested.

  4. “did you just say that I "squandered an opportunity"

    Regarding salvation? Absolutely. I'm glad you have become a better human being. There seems to be a shortage of such. However, “How is it any benefit to any man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?”

    “invisible raging old man in the sky?”

    Well, He rages against the evil that brought cancer into our world. On the other hand, Someone who would pay the price for your sins, even while knowing that you will in turn reject Him is hardly a “raging old man.” I call an action like that overly generous, compassionate and kind.

    “the only way you can think of?”

    No, it has nothing to do with what I think and everything to do with what Jesus taught.

  5. (1)Wrong Citation
    Well, that's not what Luke 9:24/5 says, Rod.
    It says:
    "24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
    25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
    Which translates to
    1) Don't go to hospital, go and get killed for Jesus instead. (M. Atta said such things, too)
    2) If you conquer the world, and get lost in that process, you gain nothing.

    That's quite another stuff, isn't it?
    It's pretty unusual to claim that a soul can get lost, I mean, it's claimed to be indestructible and eternal... Ah, but you mean that in the sense of "going to hell". Well, being in the absence of god is something atheists are used to.

    (2) Raging Kindly
    Kindly raging against evil Ah yes, the mystery that white is black. And we've always been at war with Eurasia.
    Rage - any kind of rage - is emotion overriding empathy and ratio. Bad enough for a four year old, hardly excusable for an adult, sheer horror if executed by an omnipotent being (supposed to NOT be impaired by an imbalance of brain chemicals).

    (3) Evil Caused Cancer
    "the evil that brought cancer into our world"
    Interesting theory. As far as I know, cancer is linked to the potential failure of molecular processes in body cells of most higher animals. Nothing to do with good or evil. It's one of those absurdities you had to invent because the universe can be looked upon as a horrible place, and how can a benevolent being create such? So it must be a human's fault that mice get cancer... How much hubris can you take? The narcissistic masochism underlying your position is detestable. "Oh Lord, I'm the cause of all evil in the universe, because I missed mass".

    (4) Thinking vs. Being Taught.
    You lose me there. No knowledge is taught by repetition of texts, it is only gained by understanding, being able to replicate the argument behind a quotation, and accepting it after thorough consideration.
    None of which is part of Christian education.
    It's "accept the mystery", turtles all the way down.