Archive for December, 2013

Who's to blame?What I find so fascinating about hanging out with atheist folks is many of them love to blame God for pretty much everything they don’t like.

I suppose there’s an irony here, since atheism is defined as believing there is no God. But I suspect that most atheist people make charges like what you see in this graphic because they’re angry with people who DO believe in God.

All that said, you may be sitting back and asking me, a serious follower of Jesus of Nazareth, “OK, what about all the starving children and your prayers of thanks for food?”

Consider this: According to Oxfam Canada, there is enough food to feed everyone. In fact, the organization says the world produces 17 per cent more food per person today than 30 years ago.

So what’s the problem? It’s certainly not God. It’s corrupt governments, greedy big business, rich people who don’t care enough about the world’s problem to do anything and poor people who accept their lot in life without any fight. In other words, the problem is humanity.

Ok, you think. But why hasn’t God done an end-run around people and fixed the problem on His own? First, He IS doing something about it, through organizations like Oxfam, Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Feed The Children and dozens more.

This leads directly to my second point: thousands of years of evidence makes it clear that God prefers to work through people than on His own. Given our very, VERY imperfect nature, many folks may question this approach (count me among them), but it’s still God’s way and I respect it.

And that leads to my third point: since God is working through us to tackle the problem of hunger, what are YOU doing to make yourself available to Him? What organizations are you supporting? How are you thinking about the ways you spend your income? The vacations you go on?

The graphic is making another point – rejecting the power of prayer. I’ve tackled that issue elsewhere on Frank’s Cottage (http://wp.me/p2wzRb-9a), so all I’ll write about that here is this: I’m going to continue to be thankful to God for all He’s given me, including the gift of Jesus (who many people believe is His Son). And I’m going to continue to ask Him to use me in the work He’s doing to change the hearts and minds of people.

Now what are YOU going to do? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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From faith to blessings 11.13Striking, angry, bitter words, aren’t they?

This graphic, posted on an internet Atheism community, certainly states an opinion very strongly. But exactly what is the creator of this meme raving about?

Wikipedia defines faith as “confidence or trust in a person, thing, deity or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion or view (e.g. having strong political faith). The word faith is often used as a synonym for hope, trust or belief.”

Does this sound like something worth throwing your time and energy into opposing? It certainly doesn’t to me.

But what about being gullible, having an absence of reason, etc.? Well consider this: I decided to follow Jesus of Nazareth — who many people believe is the divine son of God — at age 42, after reading many books from variety of perspectives, thinking long and hard about what I believed in and why, and having challenging conversations with several Jesus followers.

But if you are to believe everything in this graphic, then after all my deliberation, I made a choice to become gullible. I decided to throw away reason. Become dishonest and blind myself (to what, I’m not sure).

Are you really buying this?

I can imagine some opponents of faith saying it’s what people of faith do that’s so wrong, especially when they use their faith to back up their actions.

On this point, we absolutely agree. There’s nothing more wrong than blowing up a skyscraper, denying rights to women or bombing abortion clinics in the name of faith. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

That said, here’s a question for you: should all faith be detested because of the crazed actions of a fanatical few? I know how many atheist people would answer, but what about YOU?

Like it or not, it seems to me, faith is mixed into the fabric of our lives.

  • We place our faith in doctors without knowing if (or how often) they’ve been sued for malpractice.
  • We go on airplane trips, trusting in mechanics and safety inspectors (who are every bit as imperfect as you and me) to ensure the plane is safe.
  • We drive our vehicles over bridges every day, placing our faith in nothing more than steel, concrete and rebar, plus annual government inspections.

So, if you really want to detest faith, then you better not leave the house again. In fact, maybe you shouldn’t even live in a house. Despite all the building codes designed to ensure it was built to last, who knows when it could fall in on you?

My faith in Jesus means that without seeing Him, I know that He lived, died and came back to life – all for the benefit of people who believe in Him and trust Him with their lives.

Does this sound crazy? Jesus addresses that very question when, after his resurrection, he permitted a follower named Thomas to touch the wounds of his crucifixion.

“So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes,” Jesus told ‘doubting’ Thomas. “Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”

Do you want those blessings? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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Oxford UniversityHere’s something I’ll bet you didn’t know: some of the world’s most renowned universities have their origins in Christianity.

Huh? Aren’t followers of Jesus of Nazareth kinda dumb – you know, shut off from reality and opposed to non-religious “higher learning”? That’s certainly the inference I’ve read in blogs by many atheists.

To make the point further, the website About.com states “It is true that studies have repeatedly shown a correlation between atheism and education levels. The more education a person receives — especially in the sciences — the less religious they become and the less likely they are to remain theists (believers in God).”

But get this: the motto at the University of Oxford in England, quite possibly the most prestigious university on the planet, is “The Lord is my Light”.

As an aside, consider this: Among Oxford’s Jesus-following graduates are famed authors C.S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia) and J. R. R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings). Both were university professors, too. That’s right, serious followers of Jesus were – and are – teaching in the planet’s highest institutions of learning.

The motto of another famed institution, Princeton University in the United States, is “Under God’s Power She Flourishes”.

Another aside: Among Princeton’s famed Jesus-following professors (and presidents) is American president Woodrow Wilson, who helped form the League of Nations, which led to the United Nations. “He was a frequent church-goer and read the Bible regularly,” says the website Adherents.com.

Want some more examples of universities that wouldn’t be around today without Jesus followers? Then add the University of Paris and the University of Bologna (Italy) to the list.

In fact, Wikipedia states that “The university is generally regarded as an institution that has its origin in the Medieval Christian setting. Prior to the establishment of universities, European higher education took place for hundreds of years in Christian cathedral schools or monastic schools , in which monks and nuns taught classes; evidence of these immediate forerunners of the later university at many places dates back to the 6th century AD.”

As for the assertion that scientific education, in particular, causes atheism, I’ve tackled that on this website (see “Naïve children, frightened seniors?” – http://bit.ly/Tgrt9p)

So, what do you think of all this? Does this make you more willing to check out Jesus? Type your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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