Sunday, 26 December 2010

Enjoy Yourself

I recently saw a computer game slogan that read “Enjoy yourself before you destroy yourself. ”
That's what this hedonistic world commonly believes. All over the world we are taught to enjoy ourselves, try to get as much as you can before you die. Inevitably people are destroying themselves, speeding down a hill with no brakes until they crash and burn.
I'm not saying video games are a sin or that you're in anathema with God if you play some video games. And I'm not trying to make up some rule where "you have to do this" in order to live in accordance to God's will, like some standard of which you must reach to be acceptable to God. It's nothing like that. What I want to share with you is the convictions I recently got with video games.
You can enjoy video games, but control yourself. Keep close attention to your thoughts when you play these games. In some of these new games you can steal cars, shoot pedestrians on the street, order a hooker, get drunk, drive drunk, and get away with pretty much anything that you'd never think of doing in real life. Be careful!

Friday, 17 December 2010

World Peace - John Piper

April 26, 1983 | by John Piper

James, the brother of Jesus, wrote a letter to some Christian churches scattered throughout the Roman empire in which asked, "What causes wars and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions which are at war in your bodies? You desire and do not have; so you kill. You covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war." In other words, the origin of hostile conflict, whether among nations or neighbors, is frustrated desire, "You desire and do not have, so you kill."

The weary father desires peace and quiet but the children are all excited with a new game, and so he lashes out in anger. The college senior desires to get married, but his fiancée breaks the engagement, and so for months he swings between depression and rage. A political party desires to control the legislature, but lacks superior candidates, so it smears the opposition. A nation desires a safer border, so it invades another land. "You desire and do not have, so you kill"—or steal, or exploit, or lie, or grumble, and peace vanishes out of the world.

But Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers" (Mt. 5:9). St. Paul said, "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all" (Rom. 12:18). And the apostle Peter said, "Seek peace and pursue it" (1 Peter 3:11). Over and over in the Bible God is called the "God of peace"" (Rom. 15:33; 16:20; Phil. 4:9; Heb. 13:20; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:16). Jesus is called the "Prince of Peace" (Is. 9:6). His message is called the "gospel of peace" (Acts 10:36; Eph. 6:15). And in the new age, which he promises to bring, "justice and peace will kiss" each other (Psalm. 85:10).

So there's a big question: How can we follow Jesus in the way of peace when our hearts are brimming with desires and longings which often go unfulfilled? I don't think there is any way to make a human being cease to have desires. You wouldn't want to do it if you could. It's true that a person without desires wouldn't make war, but he wouldn't make love either—or poems, or birthday parties, or roads or hospitals. The answer is not in quenching desire. The answer is in redirecting desire towards God who promises ultimate satisfaction.

Isn't it true that when a person becomes abusive or hostile it's because he's not resting in the promise of God to work all things together for his good? The reason there are so many angry and hostile and militant people in the world, is because there aren't very many people who really believe that the living God is at work in every situation for the good of those who trust him. And yet the great prophet Isaiah said, "No eye has seen a God besides Thee, who works for those who wait for Thee" (Is. 64:4). And Jesus said, "Don't be anxious; your Father knows your needs; seek first his Kingdom, and he'll give you what you really need" (Mt. 6:31-33).

The gospel of peace does not demand that we cease to desire, but that we direct our desire towards God and discover that the promises purchased for us by Jesus Christ on the cross and secured for us by his resurrection—these promises are satisfying beyond measure.

Therefore, if you want to be a peacemaker, your first item of business is to have confidence that God works everything together for the good of those who love him. And then, when your heart is freed from fear and guilt and greed, you can pray with genuine love that the leaders of the world will turn their desires to the living God and find the peace which passes all understanding for themselves and for the nations.

© Desiring God


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Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Monday, 13 December 2010

False Religion

Any religion that is man-made is a false religion. They give the appearance of wisdom and are of no value in stopping the indulgence in the lusts of the body. Religions that tell you you can work your way to heaven are false. They tell you to look at your own "good" works and relying on your own will to earn a new life or maybe a better life in the next one. It's all based on your own efforts and getting a reward for "a job well done." It's self-centred and self-esteemed. It's selfish and man-centred and man-made.

I'm not gonna name religions because even you as a Christian can make your own religion. Are you making any extra rules? Colossians 2:22. Are you making anything a sin which isn't really a sin?

Friday, 12 November 2010

Our Fundamentalist Betters

by R.C. Sproul, Jr.

As I write, I find myself visiting Gwinnett County, Georgia. It’s a good thing that I am only visiting. If I actually lived here, I’d find myself on the wrong side of the law. It seems the county recently passed a law that says you may not have more than eight people living in a single house at a time. Me, my wife, and my seven children puts us over the limit. The law, I’m pretty sure, wasn’t designed to keep families like mine out of the county. That wasn’t the express intent of the county commissioners. Instead, I believe the intent, though this too wasn’t expressed, was to discourage certain immigrant groups from settling here. Rather than pass a law against those immigrant groups, which wouldn’t be politically correct, they came up with their clumsy solution that also affects large families. This particular law has run smack into another law, the law of unintended consequences. Such always happens when we try an end-around around honesty. When we try to have our way, while hiding our convictions, we lose everything we seek.

It is no new insight to note that in America the evangelical church is worldly and anemic. We are so earthly minded that we are no heavenly good. The anemia comes from the worldliness. But whence comes the worldliness? Like any other sin, we have options for placing its advent. We could argue that it began with the latest fad to hit the church. Or we could go back to the beginning, to the garden. Both have their advantages. It might be more helpful, however, to see the beginning of this descent at the height of the fundamentalist-modernist controversy.

Fundamentalism is so named for a fundamental reason. It was a movement that concerned itself with affirming, defending, and maintaining the fundamentals of the faith. As a movement, it affirmed the authority of the Bible. It affirmed the accounts therein of creation, of miracles, of the virgin birth, of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It affirmed the necessity of conversion through faith in the finished work of Christ. It affirmed, in short, the defining issues of historical evangelicalism. Why, then, isn’t the controversy called “the evangelical-modernist” controversy? To get at that answer we must ask another. What is it that distinguishes evangelicals and fundamentalists? Suddenly our problem becomes clear. An evangelical is a fundamentalist that wants the respect of modernists, and sells his soul to get it.

That is to say, the difference between a fundamentalist and an evangelical isn’t the content of their respective beliefs, but the way in which those beliefs are held. Fundamentalists, to their credit, clung to the fundamentals like a pit bull on a t-bone. There was nothing attractive or sophisticated about it, but everyone knew you’d never tear the two apart. The evangelical, on the other hand, sought to find, at least culturally, a middle ground. Yes, we believe in the authority of the Bible, but we believe it for nice, professional, academic reasons. Indeed, all that we believe we believe for nice, professional, academic reasons. What separates evangelicals from fundamentalists is that we evangelicals don’t breathe fire, and we have fancy degrees hanging in our studies, instead of pictures of Billy Sunday. We evangelicals are they who cut this deal with the modernists, “We will call you brother, if you will call us scholar.”

Please don’t misunderstand. The point isn’t that the right way to believe in the fundamentals is to be stupid. Instead, the point is that the right way to believe in the fundamentals is with a holy indifference to what others think about us. Anything less leads us right where we are. That is, any movement that begins with a fear of those we are seeking to win has already been won by those that are feared. We thought we were defending the fundamentals, but we were giving away the store. Like the Gwinnett county officials, our failure to demonstrate the courage of our convictions led to exactly what we didn’t want. Weakness disguised as compromise compromised our convictions, and exposed our weakness. Because we were too worldly to not care, we have become too worldly to matter.

We still follow that same path today. For fear of offending the lost, we will not tell them they are lost. For fear of looking narrow and close-minded, we have made peace not just with the deadly secularism of modernism, but with the doubly deadly folly of postmodernism. There the culture itself reflects our uncertainty, refusing to make affirmations, just like us. In our pride we have embraced a humility that won’t stand for anything.

Our Shepherd, however, calls us to a different path. He tells us that having those outside the faith revile us for our faith is something to be sought, not something to be avoided, that those who experience the disdain of the world for His name’s sake are blessed. The fundamentalists of the last century were laughed at and scorned. And for that they earned the praise of Jesus. May we find the courage not only to affirm the fundamentals, but may we be given a double portion of the spirit of the fundamentalists. They fought the good fight, while we collaborated. They kept the faith, while we merely kept our positions in our communities. May we learn to fear no man, and to fear God. For such is the beginning of wisdom.

Resource: http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/our-fundamentalist-betters/


Dangerous Fundamentalism

There's been a lot of talk in the recent years about fundamentalism. It's always religious fundamentalism - usually Christian and Muslim. The assessment is often that's it dangerous. And much of the warning comes from secuarlists who think religion is patently wrong and often dangerous to society and rationality.

Does it ever occur to secularists that there can be a fundamentalist version of their view that is dogmatic, threatens fundamental institutions of civilization, and is irrational? Fundamentalism isn't just a religious problem.

Posted by Melinda at STR.org.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Life is So Precious

We don't realize how delicate our lives are. Our lives are like flowers, they blossom then die. This is how God sees us and this is why He gives us so much grace.

For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes.
James 1:11

The voice said, “Cry out!”
And he said, “What shall I cry?”
“All flesh is grass,
And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:6-8

“Man who is born of woman
Is of few days and full of trouble.
He comes forth like a flower and fades away;
He flees like a shadow and does not continue.
Job 14:1-3

He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
So the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments to do them.
Psalm 103:7-18

The Lord is not slow to fulfil his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2 Peter 3:9-10

The Vital First Step in Following God's Will

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Reasons for Guilt

For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk ("live their lives") as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.
Philippians 3:18-19

Guilt is a marker of true religious commitment. It is essentially what lies behind repentance.
For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
Mark 8:38
as it is written,
"Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence;
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame."
Romans 9:33

No one comes to salvation who hasn't become ashamed of himself.

The Feeling of Guilt
  • It is evidence of remorse over one's sin.
  • It is essential for anyone who wants to enter into the kingdom of God; to spend eternity with God.

The Act of Repentance
Be willing to admit your sin. Lose your life here to find it in Christ. Don't get caught up in the things of men or of the world. We live in a shameless society. The world boasts [about the things they should be ashamed of]. But because of your guilt, that is evidence of your love for God and a repented heart.


The Pre-eminence of God
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Colossians 1:15-23

"You are the crowning glory of God."
Voddie Bauchum

And one called to another and said:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!"
Isaiah 6:3

We live to glorify Him!

Read the bible – see how God deals with His people; see His relationship with us in scripture. You will understand where you stand as a child of God when you keep in His word. Get into His word and get to know Him. You can trust Him forever.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Islamic Wife Beating Rules

Chilean Miners' Fight for Survival Brought Them Close to God

About a dozen of the miners rescued in Chile returned to the San Jose mine Sunday for a private ecumenical service with friends and family.

The miners and their families made a pilgrimage to Camp Hope to sing and pray together, bringing some closure to what many believe was a miraculous event.



Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/10/17/chile-miners-pinera-london.html#ixzz12noKWNxs

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Fiddler on the Roof - If I Were A Rich Man

The Watchtower Society


"Furthermore, not only do we find that people cannot see the Divine Plan in studying the Bible by itself, but we see, also, that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside, even after he has used them, after become familiar with them, after he has read them for ten years--if he lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, though he has understood his Bible for ten years, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness.
On the other hand, if he had merely read the Scripture Studies with their references, and had not read a page of the Bible, as such, he would be in the light at the end of the two years, because he would have light of the Scriptures."

- Charles Taze Russell
The Watchtower 9/15/1910; p.298

Basically what Russell is saying is that if you study his book of references then you will really understand the Bible. But if you go and read the Bible, after you have 'understood' the Bible (meaning if you have understood it the way he does), then you will not understand the Bible. And you can only obtain the light of the Scriptures by understanding his interpretation of the Bible.

Direct Your Lusts!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

There is Freedom in Forgiving Your Enemies

What's Love Got To Do With It?
Technically, we aren't being asked to like the other person, because that would require an emotion that we sometimes can't conjure up, despite our best intentions. But in effect we are to treat them as though we like them--because that's a decision of our will.
We don't have to approve of what they are, what they've done, or how they conduct their affairs, but we are to love who they are--people who matter to God, just like you and me. People who failed but who are eligible for God's forgiving grave.
In fact, the Bible says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Amazingly, God's response to our rebellion against Him wasn't to declare war on us as His enemies. Instead, returned love for evil so the path could be paved for us to get back on good terms with Him. And that's the kind of love He wants to extend to those who have crossed us.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

400th Post! Charles Darwin Autobiography


Religious Beliefs
During these two years (i.e. October 1836 to January 1839) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality. I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come, by this time, to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow as a sign, etc., etc., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos, or the beliefs of any barbarian. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, would he permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, etc., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament. This appeared to me utterly incredible.

Spiritual Discernment

Spiritual Discernment
  • Required to make decisions daily
  • Some decisions our own preferences
  • Good conscience
  • Decisions not always clear
  • Factors causing difficulty:
    • subjective
    • mystery - hear God; affirmation
What is Spiritual Discernment?
  • The process of assessing and evaluating a particular situation or determining the desire of God in one's life.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

A Roman's Identity and Honour

It was to others that a Roman had to look for any confirmation of his ability and identity.
In Roman society confirmation by others was sought as well as required. Be they the elders of his family, his patron or his clients, army comrades, or even - in an election - the people of Rome; no Roman could be his own judge, but could see himself only through the eyes of others.

Jesus Above Other Gods

Christ’s features and myths are in many ways similar to those of the Greco-Roman salvation cults of the time known as “mystery religions”, each having its own savior god or goddess. Most of these (e.g., Dionysos, Mithras, Attis, Isis, Osiris) were part of myths in which the deity had overcome death in some way, or performed some act which conferred benefits and salvation on their devotees. Such activities were viewed as taking place in the upper spirit realm, not on earth or in history.

Earl Doherty

Most of my blog posts are usually references or inspired by other authors. But now that I come across this quote on an atheist site it made me want to beg the question, “aren't these atheists just quoting from other atheists to prove their point?” Why don't they go look at the evidences themselves? When they attack Christ, they seem to just point at some Christians and call the hypocrisy from them and use that as evidence that Jesus is a liar of some sort. Of course they do believe he is a liar because they want to believe in naturalism and they come from a presupposition that hates God or any religious doctrine.

I want to respond this time in my own words and by my own knowledge of Scripture and history; my own facts. Here we go!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Submissive Family - John MacArthur

by John MacArthur

What makes a family work? Is it authority—a firm-ruling father who keeps the peace? Activity—weekly date nights and regular family outings? Availability—members who make time for one another? According to Scripture, a key ingredient for a successful family is submission. Society scoffs at the very mention of the word, but God places submission at the top of His list for a unified family.

When our culture brings up the topic of submission, it’s usually to mock or malign it. After all, we live in an age where prideful self-assertion and ambition are major hallmarks of personal success. Sadly, that same attitude is brought home to the family, with disastrous results. Mutual submission may sound like a strange success formula to the world, but God’s ways are higher than our ways—and always better.



Listen to John’s sermon excerpt, then join the discussion in the comment thread.


Resource: GTY.org

Friday, 20 August 2010

Christ's Unique Claims - RZIM



The First Attack on Family - John MacArthur

by John MacArthur

After God created the first couple and brought them together in the first marriage ceremony, there was perfect harmony, fellowship, and joy. Adam had a wife to fellowship with; the two of them exercised dominion together. Eve had her husband to protect, provide, and care for her. All was well in Eden, for the moment.

Perfection didn’t last long—a serpent was loose in the Garden of Eden, crafty and animated by Satan. He launched the first attack on the first family, striking out against God and His perfect creation.

Read more at Grace to You Blog


Resource: GTY.org

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

True Religion - John MacArthur

"If you want true religion, if you want true communion with God, if you want true worship to take place, if you want godly living, if you want to please God, then you must be filled with the Spirit...not controlled by alcohol but controlled by the Holy Spirit. The parallel to this is in Colossians 3:16 where instead of saying be filled with the Spirit, Paul says let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly because that's really the same thing. When the Word of Christ dominates your life and you respond in obedience to it, it's the same as being controlled by the Holy Spirit, of course, who is the author of Scripture. Obedience to the Word is being filled with the Spirit. It's not some kind of mystical experience. It's not some kind of ecstatic thing. It's not something that comes over you and catapults you into some unconscious behavior. It's not being knocked over into a dead faint, as you see so often on television. It's not launching off into some ecstatic speech. It's not going out of yourself or being beyond control. It simply is to be continuously controlled by the Spirit who does it through the Word and that means we are obeying the truth."

John MacArthur,
A Plan for Your Family: God's vs. the World's, Part 1

Deathbed Reptentance

Sunday, 15 August 2010

The Dark Side of Darwinism: What Hath Darwin Wrought?

The Atheists are really gnashing their teeth about this one!

Between 1934 and 1939, in the interests of evolutionary hygiene, the eugenic program in Nazi Germany forcibly sterilized about 400,000 people. The victims were men and women suffering from hereditary and mental illnesses along with the deaf, the blind, alcoholics and others judged unfit to reproduce. At the time, another government was also busy sterilizing citizens it deemed racially unhygienic. Measured for eugenic enthusiasm, this other state entity ran second to Germany worldwide. And what state was that?

Why, the United States, but in particular the state of California. In the first half of the 20th century, the U.S. sterilized 60,000 Americans, to which California contributed a very robust 20,000. One of the more haunting features of an excellent new cable documentary coming out this summer, What Hath Darwin Wrought?, is the setting where many of its interviews with scholars were conducted: the grounds of the old Stockton State Hospital in Stockton, California.

Read more at The Huffington Post

http://www.whathathdarwinwrought.com/

Discovering Your Spiritual Gift - John MacArthur



1 Corinthians 12

Spiritual Gifts

1Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says "Jesus is accursed!" and no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except in the Holy Spirit.
4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Bishop Väisänen Defrocked

Bishop Matti Väisänen of Luther Foundation Finland (LFF), the Finnish partner to Mission Province in Sweden and Finland, was defrocked on Wednesday 08/11 by the Cathedral Chapter of Tampere Diocese led by Bishop Matti Repo. The basis of defrocking was the episcopal ordination of Väisänen in last March. Prior to this, Väisänen had served as a pastor in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland for 46 years, and is a well-known figure in the confessional movement inside the Finnish national church.

Väisänen was called to serve as a bishop in the Mission Province, the care of Finnish pastors and congregations as his primary task. Luther Foundation and Mission Province are reacting to the rapidly increasing liberalism and secularism inside the Scandinavian established churches, the key issues being the ordination of women and - lately - blessing of the same-sex partnerships. For already ten years, it has been practically impossible for candidates refusing to accept female clergy to receive ordination into the pastoral office, while the members of the church with similar conviction find it increasingly difficult to find places to worship in anymore. Luther Foundation has countered this problem by calling and ordaining its own pastors via Mission Province, assigning them with the task of serving new congregations in Finland. Neither these pastors nor the congregations they serve are recognized by the established church.

Check out the LFF website for Matti Väisänen's response to the Cathedral Chapter as well as LFF's response concerning the defrocking of its Bishop.

http://www.luthersaatio.fi/uutiset/bishop-vaeisaenen-defrocked.html

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

A Look at the Christian Home - John MacArthur

by John MacArthur

There are many opinions about the restructuring of the family. Some sociologists say marriages need to change. They say we need “open marriages,” “gay marriages,” or even “non-marriages.” Many seem to think it really doesn’t matter whether marriages continue as they have in the past. People are groping, without any base of authority, to try to find out how to make meaningful relationships in a disintegrating society.

Read More at GTY.org

Monday, 9 August 2010

God Kills Innocent Children

Inspired by Norman L. Geisler

In 1974, Thomas Paine wrote In the Age of Reason: “Whenever we read the obscene stories, voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the work of a demon, than the word of God.”

That sounds like a tough challenge, but it isn't. And it's too bad he didn't have a Bible when he began writing his book. Apart from that, he is confusing two things: what the Bible records and what the Bible approves. For instance, the Bible records David's adultery, but it doesn't approve of it. God let that happen in order for something good to happen. God used a sinner like David to accomplish something greater in the future. He changed him and made him a king over Israel.

It's true the Bible is full of grotesque stories. In the book of Judges it reports a raping of a woman, then cutting her into twelve pieces and sending one piece to each of the twelve tribes of Israel. But the Bible certainly doesn't approve of that. God later gave the Benjaminites into the hands of Israel for the evil things they did to that woman. In those days there was no king in Israel. Everybody did what was right in their own eyes (ch.21, v.25). Paine is factually wrong. The Bible doesn't condone any torturous executions that God commanded.

Quote of the Month

Man's weakness is a showcase for God's strength.
- Charles F. Stanley

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Ladies, Does How You Dress Cause Men to Lust? - Al Martin



30 minutes long

Read John Piper's article Is Modesty An Issue In Church Today?

The Truth About Yoga



'The PraiseMoves program utilizes gentle stretches that correlate with Scripture verses. There's "The Eagle" stretch, where the arms are pulled back to resemble a bird in flight. While students hold this stretch, Laurette reads Isaiah 40:31: "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles" (NKJV). Other stretches include "The Angel" (Psalm 91:11), "The Rainbow" (Genesis 9:16), and "The Altar" (Romans 12:1). At each session's end, students are asked to prayerfully consider a verse from the Bible, or to spend some quiet time expressing gratitude to God.' - davidicke.com



Saturday, 7 August 2010

The Man With Three Huts

I heard a story about a man who was stranded on an island for some years and when he was rescued they found that he built three huts. The rescuers asked him why he built three huts. The man replied, "The first one is my home and the second one is my church." "But what about the third one?" they asked. He said, "Oh, that was my old church."

Even we can get sick of our selves sometimes. My friend told me about this American friend of hers who sold all that he had to move to China. He sold his flat in New York, his car and all that he owned to start a new life half across the world in Beijing. She tells me that he is always complaining about the people in Beijing and from all over the world. He travelled all over Europe and couldn't be satisfied where he was. The reason he moved, he says, is that he was sick of the people. He has no friends, he moved to Beijing for a girl, and after two years they broke up because he was complaining too much and unpleasant to be around. Today he still lives in Beijing.

No matter where this man lives, he will always be unhappy. The reason I am sharing this story is because it has great irony to why he is really unhappy. Like the man with the three huts, this former New Yorker moves to the next hut when he finds something he doesn't like, and he focuses on that and magnifies it to the point that he blame it for his unhappiness on that instead of himself.

A lot of people ten to hold onto something that they don't like about themselves. That builds into hatred. They have problems with other people. They can't have a good relationship with anyone unless that person is absolutely opposite of them. They are afraid to confess their sin with someone else, afraid that they may be exposed for who they really are.

Have you every noticed that most people would remember you for something you did in the past a long time ago and they would just look at you as that person? They identify you for what you had done. A person might remember something you did when you were eighteen and label you that way.

Instead we should look at a person for who they are, and not what they have done.

The world needs us to be examples of Jesus. Though many unbelievers will tell us that Christians are the problem why they won't believe in Him. We all come short of displaying God's love or even loving God back whole heartedly. We get angry at the ones who we see ourselves in, and we keep inside the lies. Satan loves it when we keep our secrets and lies inside because a lie will grow inside where no one can see and eventually spawn up hate. We must confess our sins to each other and not be afraid of exposing our true selves. We are not perfect. When we share our sins with each other, the weight will be lifted off and we can enjoy God's love. The freedom from the guilt and shame by confessing to each other will not only bring you so much joy and peace, but your sins will be crushed, and your relationships will grow. This is how we can train ourselves to be more in the likeness of Jesus.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

There Is A God and Why It Matters

Christopher Neiswonger 04 August at 15:59

Christopher Neiswonger in a special presentation at the global center of one of the world's largest non-governmental relief, development and advocacy organizations on why the existence of God has an important place in our thoughts about human rights and international development.

http://apologetics.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=524%3Athere-is-a-god-and-why-it-matters&catid=43%3Akkla-995-fm-los-angeles&Itemid=74

"Why do we need to defend “the existence of God” and relatedly the existence of this one specific God as opposed to one of the many other deities? Two reasons: Truth and Goodness. Having the wrong God or no God at all will tend bring about, as it's normal consequence, violations of human rights, the repression of peoples on the basis of race, nationality and gender, the objectification and evaluation of people on the basis of utility which manifests itself in slavery, human trafficking, genocide, and the devaluation and commodification of children. Making ourselves into animals, or less than animals, carries within itself every kind of misery. These things are always looking for an opportunity to manifest themselves in the very worst that humanity has to offer and the denial of objectives goods and the inherent dignity and value of Man as a creation in the image of God, rather than an accident of the mindless universe, is usually at its center."

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Darwin's Stance on Christianity? A Damnable Doctrine

Have You Been Stealing Promises?

by Greg Koukl, STR.org

When I was a new believer in the 70s, part of the standard “gear” for Jesus Movement Christians was a dog-eared paperback copy of The Jesus Person Pocket Promise Book.

It seemed like a sensational idea at the time, collect God’s promises, and then cash them in as needed. Now, nearly 40 years later—though the promises of God are no less “precious and magnificent” (2 Peter 1:4)—I think twice when people claim them.

Promises are frequently abused, in many cases by people who should know better. A promise not carefully tethered to the details of the text becomes an empty exercise of relativistic wishful thinking.

Knowledge—“an accurately informed mind”—is the first characteristic of a good ambassador. Ambassadors need to get the content of the message right before they can accurately pass it on to others. Since everything we offer on God’s behalf consists of promises of some sort, mistakes here really matter.

A biblical promise is a binding pledge from God to do—or not do—something specific. If the promise is made to you, you have a right to expect God to keep His word. If you are not the rightful owner, though, you may not lay claim to it. It is pointless to expropriate promises made to another, and can lead to disappointment and discouragement.

But how do you know if you are the fortunate beneficiary? You find out by looking closely at the details of the promise itself and applying two simple principles.

The correct meaning of any biblical passage is the meaning the author had in mind when he wrote it. A promise is only a promise when it is used as its maker intended. We discover that intention by paying attention to the specifics—the words, the conditions, the recipient, the timing, the historical setting—the details that make up the context of the promise.

The process can be organized into steps by asking (and answering) four questions: Who?, What?, Why?, and When?*

Who?—Identify the particular person or people the promise is made to. The promise may be for a specific individual, for a group, or for anyone. Ask, Am I that person? If the promise is to a group (e.g. Jews, Christians) ask, Am I part of the group?

What?—Zero in on the particulars of the promise. Specify what the promise actually commits to. Ask, What will happen (or not happen) when the promise is fulfilled?

Why?—Why will the promise be fulfilled, that is, what must happen first? Note the conditions or requirements the promise hinges on, often signaled by an if/then clause. Ask, Do I meet the requirements?

When?—This is the promise time. The promise may be for a particular time (“…at this time next year …“) or for an unspecified time. Ask the question, What is the time of the promise, if any?

We can only legitimately claim a biblical promise if it is rightfully ours. If the promise is for us, and we have satisfied the conditions, and the promise is for our time, then we can count on God to keep His word.

If not, then we must leave the promise to its rightful owner and profit from the text by learning what we can from God’s faithful dealings with them.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Quote of the Month

"I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I have founded empires. But on what did we rest the creation of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of men would die for Him."

- Napoleon Boneparte

"Only when you bear fruit can you then plant seeds.

A tree without fruit is not able to yield any seeds."

- Me

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Those Stubborn Presuppositions…

TruthCrossing.com | 5 April 2010

As I have said before, I am currently taking a couple classes at Liberty University. One of my classes is basically an introduction to theology. In this class and really in any theology class, the format will consist of approaching big theological topics and tackling them in about a week’s time-span before moving onto the next topic. This leaves little time to drink deeply of a topic, rather it feels like you are drinking from a fire hose and then being asked to write a paper on how it tastes. In my class this last week we were dealing with “Bibliology”-which is basically the study of the Bible, as in how we got the Bible that we have today. The topic was really boiled down to the inerrancy debate though the manuscripts and other sub-topics were dealt with as appropriately as time would permit.

He Would Have Even Forgiven Joseph Stalin

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Peking Man Argument

I was reading on talkorigins.org about the Creationist arguments for Peking Man. They said,

Creationists often claim that the Peking Man fossils are the remains of apes or monkeys eaten by real humans; that the original fossils may have been disposed of to conceal the evidence of fraud; that only models of the fossils remain; and that they are distorted to fit evolutionist preconceptions. Duane Gish (1985) discusses Peking Man extensively, drawing most of his material from Boule and Vallois (1957). This book, which was almost 30 years old when Gish wrote, was a light revision by Vallois of a book that had originally been written by Boule another 20 years or so previously (Boule died in 1942).

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Blinded by Love

InTouch Magazine, July 2010 Issue, Page 41
Read | 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

If someone we care about hurts, our first instinct is to remove the pain. We want to offer money, advice, or a way out of a mess. However, If God is not ready to have the problem patched up, then the believer who repairs it gets himself into a fix. The Lord will discipline a Christian who obstructs His work in another person's life.
Love can blind us to the fact that God has a plan for pain. For example, He may bring a person to a position of utter desperation so that she will give up her self-sufficiency. Only when His strength is manifested in her weakness does she finally know what it means to rely upon God. We do not want to hinder such an essential lesson!

Early Light | It is only natural that we want to rescue hurting loved ones. However, we may not be the tool God wishes to use for that purpose. The wise course of action is to ask God if He wants us to get involved. Then, we must be sensitive to His will and ready to stand aside so that His plan can move forward.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Science: Insufficient for Metaphysics

Sunday, May 23, 2010 - John MacArthur, GTY.org

It's hard to imagine anything more absurd than the naturalist's formula for the origin of the universe: Nobody times nothing equals everything. There is no Creator; there was no design or purpose. Everything we see simply emerged and evolved by pure chance from a total void.

Not long ago, when you asked the typical naturalist what he believed about the beginning of all things, you were likely to hear about the Big Bang theory—the notion that the universe is the product of an immense explosion. As if an utterly violent and chaotic beginning could result in all the synergy and order we observe in the cosmos around us. Today the theories have changed, but the common root of speculation remains the same.

I used to ask those who subscribed to the Big Bang theory, what was the catalyst that touched off that Big Bang in the first place? (And what, in turn, was the catalyst for that?) Something incredibly large had to fuel the original explosion. Where did that "something" originate? A Big Bang out of nowhere quite simply could not have been the beginning of all things. Apart from the eternal God of the Scripture, answers about ultimate origins are short in coming.

Friday, 9 July 2010

The Human Race Is Evil, And Atheists Agree

Read Romans 3:9-20

After a long argument with an Atheist about some verses in the Bible that offended him, I have learned more about the hostility man has towards the Bible. There is a basic hostility in every sinner to God that manifests itself in hostility toward the Bible. Sinners are all ignorant of God and are enemies of God. And in their ignorance they are unable to understand and they don't like what they do understand.

Now men can grasp some things in Scripture. But when it comes to their indictment about their sinfulness and God's righteousness, and the glory of the gospel and the hopelessness of works and self-effort and all of that, they are hostile to it. And when something offends their worldview or way of life, they call on their own understanding and righteousness.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

1 Timothy 2:11-14

Continuing the conversation on YouTube:

ElectricG said,
"Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (I Timothy 2:11-14)


My Response
Here again in 1 timothy chapter 2 they are talking about faith, living in holiness with self-control. This church needed order in worship obviously, as well as doctrinal correction. It was plagued by false teachers as Paul pointed out at the beginning in chapter 1. Tim was in charge and looks like he needed counselling. Paul was asking women to be dignified and modest, self-controlled. Not slanderers (3:11).

He asks them to LEARN quietly. Not to live in bounded silence (if that's what you think).

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Ephesians 5:22-24

This is a conversation I had with an Australian in response to the video of Mark Driscoll yelling at the men of his congregation who mistreat their wives. Click Here for the video.

ElectricG said,

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24)

How does this guy have the nerve to suggest that Christianity is in favor of the rights of women?

He asked someone to explain this, so I didn't hesitate to take up the challenge.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Claremont School of Theology Opens Up To Islam and Judaism

"Christian ministers, Jewish rabbis and Muslim imams and eventually clerics from other religions will be educated side by side, each in their own traditions but also with classes in common so they learn to work together to address the problems that face humanity today and that can only be solved if religions work together across their boundaries,"

Campbell, Claremont School of Theology

Listen to a discussion about this at Apologetics.com

Outpouring Of The Holy Spirit

Last night I went to a seminar that had a speaker who talked about the Holy Spirit. The seminar started off with praises and songs for an hour or two. The music kept playing in the background while the charasmatic preachers and teachers spoke to the congregation. At the end of the night all the deacons, male and female, lined up at the front of the altar to give healing. The whole congregation lined up in cue down the middle of the isle. As I walked up the deacons guided us through the crowd. I got up to the front and one man with oil anointed my forehead. Then another man (maybe a deacon) directed me to a heavy-set man who laid his hand on my head and started to prophesy. I couldn't hear what he was saying, nor would I understand if I could because he was speaking Portuguese. I heard one person ranting "Shalalala," from the side of me for a moment. I hear this so often. It doesn't sound like a language at all. So, I ignored it and focused on trying to direct some prayer and receive God's blessings through this man who laid his hands on me. He put one hand on my stomach and I could feel a slight push. I noticed I was leaning back a bit, so I stepped back a little to support myself. After he had finished I opened my eyes and turned toward the crowd and looked around. I saw some people on the floor with white sheets on them, not covering their heads. Then I saw my friend. She pointed out that her sister had fallen down. I could feel that everyone was caught up in the emotion of what was happening. As I walked back to my seat I didn't know what to feel about it. I just kept quiet and felt out of place. For me, it was terrifying.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Happy Canada Day 2010

Beginning on July 1, 1867 the federal Dominion of Canada was formed. Canada today is a federal state from the British Empire. The Confederation was formed by the Fathers of Confederation. Sir John A. MacDonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada, whom suggested the uniting of the Province of Canada (now BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) along with the other provinces and colonies (British Arctic; now Yukon, NWT, Nunavut) included in the Confederation; Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI. Newfoundland and Labrador later joint the Confederation until 1949. The National Flag of Canada known as the Maple Leaf was adopted in 1965 to replace the Union Flag.

Canada became a country at Confederation in 1867. Our system of government is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is Queen of Canada and the sovereign Head of State. The Governor General is the representative of the Queen in Canada.

The governor general represents Canada during State visits abroad and receives Royal visitors, heads of State and foreign ambassadors at Rideau Hall and at the Citadelle of Québec.

The governor general presents honours and awards to recognize excellence, valour, bravery and exceptional achievements. The governor general is also the head of the Canadian Heraldic Authority.

Sworn in on September 27, 2005, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean is the 27th governor general since Confederation.

Now running in his fourth year, Stephen Harper was sworn in as Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister on February 6, 2006.


Canada Day Quiz: CONTROVERSY and SCANDAL

QUESTIONS:
1) In the wake of the controversy that followed the RCMP's pepper-spraying of demonstrators at an APEC conference in Vancouver in 1997, Jean Chretien controversially said: "Pepper? I like it on my ———————"
2) Which prime minister, accused of public drunkenness after vomiting during election debates, claimed: "I get sick sometimes not because of drink or any other cause, except that I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent."
3) After more than a decade of construction and a string of political scandals, which great Canadian engineering feat was completed in 1885 with the hammering of the Last Spike?
4) Which prime minister was photographed performing a pirouette behind Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace?
5) What was the name given to the victims of a scheme that saw several thousand orphaned children falsely determined to be mentally ill by the government of Quebec, and confined to psychiatric institutions?
6) What is the name given to the forcible resettlement by the British government of many of the original French colonists of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and P.E.I.?
7) The 1896 federal election was largely influenced by this controversy, which concerned the right of students to be educated in French, Manitoba's minority language.

ANSWERS:
1) Plate
2) Sir John A. Macdonald
3) Canadian Pacific Railroad
4) Pierre Trudeau
5) Duplessis orphans
6) Acadian Expulsion
7) Manitoba Schools Question


Reference: http://www.gg.ca/index.aspx?lan=eng

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Morality vs. Fertility


While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor....
Numbers 25:1-3

Quote of the Month

"I delight in the company of those who enrich my thinking."
- Ravi Zacharias

Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Secret: Uncovered

(Updated on July 4th 2015)

"The Secret teaches us that we create our lives, with every thought every minute of every day. Living The Secret offers tools and ideas to help you live The Secret and create the life of your dreams." - TheSecret.tv

"The Secret is the culmination of centuries of great thinkers, scientists, artists and philosophers. Here we take an exciting look behind the scenes of The Secret’s life-transforming power." - TheSecret.tv

Rhonda Byrne’s intention is to empower all peoples to live a life of joy. It's a beautiful idea, but it will not save souls. It's empty and gives people a dillusional view of what reality is. I want to show you how Jesus understood the world--then from investigation show how The Secret trades on a completely different view of reality. This reminds me of the da Vinci Code and how it uses partial truths to prove it's claim. Greg Koukl, President of Stand to Reason said, " 'The Secret' is not the deep wisdom of the universe, but is rather the oldest lie ever told." My job here is to investigate the facts and bring out the truth; the good and the ugly.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Is God Racist?

Is God Racist For Choosing His People?

An Atheist and even a Muslim remarked to me that the God of the Bible was racist because in the Old Testament He chose only Israel wholly to Himself. If we look to the New Testament we see Paul giving an answer against a people who were thought to be the most powerful nation in the Mediterranean. The Greeks thought they were the superior race on earth, but in Jesus' time they were governed under the Roman empire.

In his address to the Athenian philosophers the apostle Paul made a definitive statement about God's plan for the ages: "From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from us" (Acts 17:26-27).

Paul says that every race and culture was present in God's mind before he created them and gave them their territories on earth. God positioned each of us in a particular race and yet Paul reminds us that not just as part of our race but as an individual, He is not far from any one of us. This assurance that God planned the very core of your personality, that you were purposefully born and fashioned according to God's plan, and that He is near to you wherever you are is reason to celebrate the way He has, to use the "woven you."

In the vastness of God's creation, your birth and your reach is something unique. With the psalmist we may personalize it and say, "What is there in me that you take notice of me?" (Psalm 8:4). "You knit me together in my mother's womb. . . . I am fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:13-14).


Resource: Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Long Live The Queen?

Canadians don't want a Queen, even if she's done a great job

By Amy Minsky, Canwest News Service June 16, 2010


Queen Elizabeth II may feel a little alienated when she arrives in Canada later this month, on the heel of news that the majority of Canadians believe the country should sever its ties to the monarchy once her reign ends.

Two in three Canadians agree the Royal Family should not have any formal role in Canadian society, according to the results of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Canada.com and released Wednesday.

But according to one expert on the monarchy, the sentiment is simply a product of Canadians being "woefully misinformed" about our institutions.

"Canada has always been a monarchy," said Matthew Rowe, a spokesman for the Monarchist League of Canada. "It's part of who we are as a nation. We didn't spring from the Earth fully formed. We're part of an institution."

Canada's association to European crowns dates back through centuries. Now, as a sovereign nation, Canada is a constitutional monarchy, meaning the powers of the monarchy in Canada are limited by the Constitution.

According to the poll and not surprisingly, the strongest voices favouring abolishment of the monarchy in Canada come from Quebec, where eight in 10 people believe ties to the monarchy should be cut when the Queen's reign ends, but 53 per cent think she has done a good job in her role as monarch.

On a national level, the Queen's approval rating is at 73 per cent.

"Find me a politician who has that approval rating," Rowe quipped.

As for what would replace the Queen, a majority of Canadians surveyed in the poll said they would prefer a republic system where the Governor General would become the elected head of state.

"Right now, our Governor General can't act as the constitutional referee," said Tom Freda, director of Citizens for a Canadian Republic, pointing to the fact the Michaelle Jean approved both of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's requests to prorogue Parliament. "It's not appropriate to have the prime minister appoint our head of state — and she does act as our head of state . . . Some dinosaurs in Ottawa and the Monarchist League are inhibiting the democratic evolution of the country."

But ridding Canada of the monarchy and reconstructing the government would be enormously difficult, Rowe argued.

"This would be something on a scale unheard of. It would be completely rethinking the basis of our legal system, the basis of our government structures. It would be a fundamental shift," he said. "And I don't think there's an appetite in Canada for that kind of shift in constitutional discussion."

The poll of 1,017 adults was conducted June 10-14, and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

© Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

Read more

The Difference A Vowel Makes

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Secret: A Fatal Attraction


New from Greg Koukl

As America's most influential "pastor" and spiritual guide, Oprah Winfrey has used her bully pulpit to preach "The Secret" of the Law of Attraction to her 22-million-person congregation. Included in Oprah's fold is a multitude of Christians who believe that this New Age deception, found in Rhonda Byrne's bestselling book The Secret, is consistent with Christianity.

In this illuminating new presentation, Greg sketches out the worldview of Christianity--that is, how Jesus understood the world--and then shows how The Secret trades on a completely different view of reality. In the process, the real secret of Byrne's book is exposed: that "The Secret" is not the deep wisdom of the universe, but is rather the oldest lie ever told.

get your copy of The Secret: A Fatal Attraction at STR.org

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Anti-Christian Bias In The House

National Post, Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Re: Why Is OK To Pick On Christians?, Eyra Levant, June 1.
Incredible. The leader of a political party in Canada, under the cowardly cover of House of Commons immunity, feels he has the right to name political volunteers and state their religious affiliation.

What will Gilles Decuppe do next? A listing of all Freemasons in Parliament? All Knights of Columbus in the Commons?

Eyra Levant is right. There does seem to be an anti-Christian attitude prevalent in Canada today. The proof? Mr. Duceppe would never have had the balls to say such a thing in its absence.

Marty Burke, Geulph, Ont.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

What Is Truth?

In the conversation between Jesus and Pontius Pilate at his trial, Jesus said, "I come to bear witness to the truth," Pilate responded, "What is truth?" As Christians, we are often told we have the burden of proof. But this is not so. The Bible says that God reveals Himself in creation, in our conscience and in revelation so that man is without excuse. It is the folly faith of the atheist that bears the weight of disbelief on which they suppress the truth and God's evidence that is clearly visible to the naked eye.

From the perspective of our existence, the fundamental truth of our origin defines everything from there on. If we are the random product of atoms, then there is no one to thank for life, for nature is "red in tooth and claw." On the other hand, if we are the handiwork of God, the psalmist's words ring beautifully true:
The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
whose voice is not heard.
--Psalm 19:1-3 ESV

Notice what the psalmist really does here. He speaks of creation as a language. A language not limited to one single group. It is a language that the whole world can understand. From that starting point he goes on to point out how perfect the law of God is and how pure His commandments, revealed in His Word. Taking the reader through the majesty of creation with a speech all its own to the Law, a written revelation, the psalmist ends by saying, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer" (Psalm 19:14). From a language that requires no words to the Law that did require words, he ends ultimately with a commitment that would honour God with the word.

Yes, truth is a property of propositions that is in keeping with reality as it really is. That one ultimate reality is God Himself. Nietzsche, and atheist, played with words when he spoke of worshipping at the altar where God's name is truth. Gandhi, a pantheist, said at the end of his search for God, "God is Truth and Truth is God." From different perspectives they both found it impossible to posit truth without using the word God. The Christian knows that in Christ the Word became flesh and dwelled among us, full of grace and truth (see John 1:14). If you want to know what truth is, look at Jesus Christ. He always is. His Word is always true and He told us that to know Him is to know the truth. His being defines reality as it was meant to be. To know Him is to know the consummate expression of wonder. It is defined in Him.

If you want to know what truth is, look at Jesus Christ.

Resource: Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias.

The Ultimate Gift

Looking back at what God had said through Isaiah--"What more could I have done for you than I have not already done?" It was Isaiah who first hinted at the answer. The giver was now going to give more. The provider was now going to provide the ultimate. The one who spared Abraham's son would not now spare His own. The author of life would now demonstrate what it meant to sacrifice life. The broken body would be that of the innocent, not the guilty. At the cross Jesus gave the final and ultimate gift of unmerited favour. The disfigured body of our Lord was a reminder that even though God had kept His part of the commitment in the face of such betrayal, He would sacrifice His own lamb--His Son--as one last demonstration of His love. If it were not sufficient, nothing would be.


Resource: Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The Soul of Seduction

"Once the heart has been trained to submit to a habit it is hard to change because the repitition of a ritual engenders a state of mind that brings a sense of peace, lifting it to the semblance of wonder."

In his book, Ravi Zacharias explains the misdirected search for wonder in religion. Ravi presents the contrast of sleep and the imitation of sleep by inducing unconsciousness with an anesthetic. Religion can be an anesthetic when we think that religion is the answer to our search for wonder. Just like an anesthetic that desensitizes our body and manufactures the brain condition that disconnects its ability to feel, religion desensitizes us and disconnects us from true spirituality.

Different religions enjoin different routines--prayers at given times; the direction one must face during prayer; a language through which God communicates that has been given as a private revelation to only a handful in this world (any attempt to translate that language results in losing the inspiration); certain festivals, feasts, and fasts that one must observe at the cost of placing one's life in jeopardy; converting to another religion brings risk of slaughter to one's family. Is it any wonder that any presentation of a counterperspective on God is seen as an attack upon one's culture?

What this all means is that spirituality for the sake of the spirit is not a sufficient reason for being spiritual. There are many traps in the world of religion.

A question was put to Jesus once when the disciples, who were hungry, took some consecrated bread and from the temple and ate it. It was a defining question and a tough decision in a culture where religion and ritual had become one. Had the disciples desecrated the temple and the bread by eating the bread? Jesus was put on the spot by the ecclesiastical powers who were horrified by what the disciples had done. "No," said Jesus. "I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:6-8).

In that one statement Jesus put our relationship with God in a direct line with our relationship with Himself. You see, the Christian faith is reallz not one that calls us to a higher ethical life. It challenges us to remember that by our own efforts we cannot produce a truly spiritual life. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit in us. That, religion cannot do. Ceremony has the power to soothe and mollify the conscience, but ceremony no more changes reality than outward behaviour guarantees love. It is to this "greater than the temple" that we bring our temples--our bodies--and find that in the process of seeking physical, material, or even spiritual sensation is to seek a sensation without finding the source of wonder.


Resource: Recapture the Wonder by Ravi Zacharias

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Straight Through The Gospel

It Is Why They Are Called Atheists

A Letter from Greg Koukl at Stand to Reason

Atheists no longer believe there is no God, apparently. Instead, they merely lack belief in the divine. They are not un-believers. They are simply non-believers. And non-belief is not a claim, so it requires no defense.

This, atheists think, makes their job easier by relieving them of any responsibility to provide evidence for their view, er…their non-view. After all, no one is obliged to give evidence for the non-existence of fairies. Thus, atheism secures the inside lane as the default view for reasonable people. Or so atheists claim.

For example, if you asked me which Rugby team was the best in England, I wouldn’t know where to start. Since I have no interest in the question and no information on the issue, I cannot form a belief one way or another. Because I have no beliefs about the quality of Rugby competition in the UK, I am truly a non-believer regarding the question. I am neutral.

This is not the case with atheists. It’s true, atheists have no belief in God, but they are not neutral on this question.

For an atheist to enter a debate, he has to take a position. If he takes a position, he asserts a belief. And when he asserts a belief, he makes a claim. When he advances an argument, presumably he believes the conclusion that flows from his own reasoning. Theists say there is a God, and atheists argue they are wrong. This is not neutrality.

To say you do not believe in God is very different from saying you lack belief about God. Anyone who has a point of view has a belief. And atheists have a point of view. This makes them believers of a very particular stripe: They believe God does not exist.

There’s another problem, though, that apparently has escaped the notice of those atheists who claim the high road of reason as their own. Given any point of view (e.g., “God exists”), there are only three possible responses to it. You can affirm it (“God does exist”), you can deny it (“God does not exist”), or you can withhold judgment (“I don’t know”), either for lack of information or lack of interest.

In the God debate, the first is called a theist (of some sort), the second an atheist, and the third an agnostic. The alleged non-believers in question here are neither theistic nor agnostic. Only one logical option remains: They deny God exists, which is why they are called atheists to begin with. An atheist (a = not, theist = regarding God) is a person who holds there is not a God. That is an active claim, not a passive non-belief.