Archive for October, 2012


Trying to make a point only to make it worse.

Recently I was reading one of those forwarded emails claiming to be from a commentary given by Ben Stein.  As is my typical reaction I take the things with a grain of salt, so I decided to jump over to Snopes.com and see if it was actually from Mr. Stein, because simply put it just didn’t sound like something he would say.  Well sure enough only a portion was from big Ben, and the whole exaggerating stuff, especially in regards to statements regarding religion, in this case religious freedom, makes me wonder what part of not beavering false witness do these folks not get?  However that aside the following line appeared in the article, “funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says “.  Contrast that with the following quote attributed to George Carlin, ” people will believe in this man in the sky without a second thought, but put up a sign that says wet paint and they have to stick their finger in it”

Now both of these statements are at least partially false. We now all to well that people like Rush, Hannity, and others question what the papers say all the time.  Likewise men like C. S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, & Ravi Zacharis have questioned and looked for Biblical truth.
Shouldn’t all of those who dare to call themselves Christians be questioning what they believe?  Notice I didn’t say doubt, but question.

Question to understand

If R.C. Sproul is right that showing the existance of God & the truth of the Bible is 90% of the battle, then shouldn’t you and I be constantly asking the tough questions?  Shouldn’t we be ready when a non-Christian & and especially when an Anti-Christian questions our beliefs?  If you are a Christian you are directly told to “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with gentleness, and fear”. – 1Peter 3:15
So maybe faith and belief isn’t a lack of questioning?  Maybe faith should come because of having asked the hard questions, going deeper than anybody else.  Perhaps when doubt comes in, asking harded, deeper, & tougher questions than anybody else, is what I should be doing.  If you and I ask the really hard questions of ourselves, then we won’t be surprised by anything that anybody else can throw at us.
Have you been lied to by someone just trying to help?  Should we tolerate this kind of imbelishment?  How would you deal with Freinds and fellow Christians who lie to make a point?
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Born Again Christian?

Is there any other type?

I keep hearing time and again the term “Born Again” being used to describe Christians, and I have to wonder about it.  Often it’s used to describe those that attend one of the newer denomination church’s such as evangelical, four-square, Pentecostals etc, and usually not when talking about a Methodist, Lutheran or, Catholic.
And yet I wonder is there really any other type of Christian?  John 3:3 states” except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Heaven”.
Now this did not start with someone outside the church as best as I can tell.  Instead it seems that this started to be used by some followers of Christ as some sort of way to differentiate themselves from other followers.  That’s all well and good but, really what is the difference?
Now comes outsiders using this same term as if there is some sort of difference.  But the truth is there is not.
And we need to stop trying to set ourselves apart from each other.  Are we called to be seperate from non-believers?  Of course,  not from each other.  Would we say “I’m an ear Christian, or a hand Christian?”. That would seem pretty silly.  But isn’t that what we are saying when we use this born-again Christian thing.  Born again? Yes.  Christian? Yes. But born-again Christian, kind of like saying I’m a Christian/Christian.  You are either a Christian or your not. And if you are then you’re born again.
Haven’t we had enough of giving outsiders one more thing that does not reflect well on God, and adds to the confusion about what Christianity is.
Let’s stop with all the devisifness and celebrate and embrace our alikeness and while using our differences as a way to learn from each other and grow.
What are your thoughts?  Are we making too many distinctions in an attempt to separate ourselves only to be causing division?  What would you think if you weren’t a Christian?

Christianity & Liberty

Alexis De Tocqueville in his classic Democracy in America, “The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and Liberty so intimately in their minds that it is impossible to make them conceive one without the other”

So what happened? Has this changed?  Or is it that as a nation, we have moved further and further away from God?  I’m inclined to think that this is the case.  As a nation we have taken down the ten commandments, removed prayer from the schools, and we wonder why liberty has deteriorated.  Christianity instills , brings about a huge overwhelming sense of love from man towards his creator, and therefore a love for his creation.

 So what?

If we love God, and by extension his creation then we will want liberty and freedom for others to become the best they are capable of.  Even if that liberty allows the other to not love or even curse God.  Why should we allow this?  Because God allows the same thing.  He gives each of us the liberty to be whom ever we choose.  What liberty does not do is exempt us from the consequences of our actions and desires.
Consider this, many people would say that I’m a good person I never killed anyone so I’m sure God will let me into heaven when the time comes.  But isn’t that God stepping all over your liberty.  Your free will?  Would anyone think for a minute that God is good if he forced his will upon man?  So if it is wrong for God to force himself upon you for 70 or 80 years how much more offensive would it be to do it for eternity?  How could a good God force himself upon someone, even if it was for their own “good”?
Now its time for your input.  Do you think God should force himself on his creation? 
Let me know what you think in the comments.

Theology

Defined- The study of the existence, nature, and attributes of God. To know God

Now I am no theologian, I only know an infinitesimally small aspect of who/what God is. What I know is only because this magnificent, beautiful, all knowing all powerful being has, for a reason I cannot fully grasp, chosen to reveal himself. Not just to me or just to a few, but wants to be known by everyone.

And yet today so many seem to want to place this immense being (how else do you describe infinite) into a neat little box. But how can we do that? That somehow if God is not completly and wholly understandable he must not exist. Maybe trying to understand the Father is messy, not because God is messy and all over the place, but because we are. Ok maybe not you, you probably have it all together. Let me rephrase that I am messy.

Because I’m messy, when I try to know God I fall short of understanding. Some of it I get, but a lot I don’t. I get that God is love, but other things are beyond my ability to understand. As I try to see the face of God I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by who & what God is & overwhelmed and mightily aware of what I am not. Like David searching to know God better I can only say “What is man that you are mindful of him?”

Is it really any wonder that some search for God, and upon facing what God must be, can not wrap their heads around it and pronounce “There must be no God? Is it because while searching they are expecting to be able to confine and define God inside some neat little box, only to find that He won’t fit? Still others lightly say they believe in God yet make no effort to know who God really is.

Christ says to know God is eternal life (John 17:3) This doesn’t speak to just some book knowledge; this is about an intimate knowledge, a knowledge that permeates everything.

No I’m no theologian, but I want to be.