Archive for September, 2016

bludgeoning-9-16Maybe you read this graphic (supplied by an Internet atheism community) and thought “Ya, whoever this Lovecraft dude was, he has a point.”

Okay, then. I have no problem writing that sadly, some parents do try to “bludgeon” their young into artificial conformity. And it saddens me because those children will likely abandon faith rather than embrace it (you can read a few examples here: http://wp.me/p2wzRb-Y).

But consider this FACT: as children from a family of faith venture out into our culture, their worldview will be severely tested by a tsunami of ideas and trends that are absolutely opposed to everything they believe.

That tsunami of non-faith philosophies and lifestyles inevitably serves the exact purpose of H.P. Lovecraft — an American horror fiction writer who wavered between atheism and agnosticism — and others who are opposed to faith.

That tsunami serves to bludgeon people into conformity with a world that acts as if there is no creator and no absolute truth.

Resisting the tsunami is challenging at the best of times. Followers of Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Son of God) agree with the ideas advanced by ancient original-source documents:

  • God is the real, eternal creator of the universe, this planet and everyone on it.
  • God created the gift of freewill and stands by it, no matter how often we humans spit on it.
  • God is a personal god who is involved in the lives of everyone who permits Him to live in them through his Holy Spirit.
  • God is perfect and that’s his standard for every human being.
  • God knows humanity can’t even agree on a definition of perfection, much less adhere to  it.
  • God offers Jesus as a gift to everyone who is willing to accept Him — His life, His words, His sacrificial death (to make up for all the wrong things we’ve done and the right things we’ve failed to to) and His glorious resurrection.

At least some of these basic tenets are rejected by most of humanity. Perhaps you’re one of them. But are you at least open-minded enough to realize that what H.P. Lovecraft considered an “unbending quest for truth” is usually quite subjective?

A remarkably telling three-word sentence in one of the original-source documents of Jesus’ physical life on earth speaks volumes: “What is truth?” asked the political leader of Jesus, who had been arrested on the authority of religious leaders who opposed Him.

Jesus didn’t answer the question. Can you, with absolute objectivity? Without my faith in Jesus, I know I couldn’t.

So from your perspective, do you know there’s nothing behind all we see and experience? Do you know that morality is entire subjective? Do you know that when you die, ALL that you are will become NOTHING more than rancid worm food?

If you don’t know all this for sure, then perhaps you’re open minded enough to consider that maybe there is a creator. And maybe He does have a divine Son who died to make up for all the wrongs YOU’VE done and all the rights YOU’VE failed to do. And hey, if you’ve come this far, perhaps you’ll even consider that by trusting in this Son and following Him, you’ll have a permanent place with Him in Heaven.

What do you think? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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northkoreaquestion-9-16Our culture discourages thinking about what happens when this life ends, but maybe you’re one of those people with the courage to ponder the notion.

If there is a Heaven, is it like the numbing, monotonous ordeal described by militant atheist Christopher Hitchens? Is it, as Christianity Today magazine postulated: “an uninspiring place, a subject of clichés and the butt of jokes”?

There’s a lot of stuff on the internet about Heaven, and it’s not just the Heaven of my faith (I follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is God’s Son). Here are just two descriptions:

Heaven is often described as a “higher place”, the holiest place, a paradise, in contrast to Hell or the underworld or the “low places”, and universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith or other virtues or right beliefs or simply the will of God.

Heaven is a real place where the people of God will live one day. In fact, Heaven is where God and the angels live. In Heaven, those saved by God will have new bodies without the curse of sin.

Perhaps some people — maybe even YOU — believe Heaven resembles Christopher Hitchens’ nightmare. But who made him an expert on the subject?

Let me make it quite clear: beyond the illuminating BibleInfo.com explanation, an exact description of Heaven is hard to find. Note the words of Christianity Today writer John Koessler: “If Heaven is only a distant gallery from which the departed observe affairs as they unfold on earth, then it is a dull place indeed.”

Koessler’s words appear to apply to Hitchens. So is there something better? YES.

1.  It’s a place of reunion for all people who pass God’s test for entry.

2.  It’s a place of reconciliation, where people who opposed each other on earth leave behind all that (no matter how serious or grievous) in exchange for peace — with themselves and everyone else.

3.  It’s a place of perfection — perfect minds, bodies and spirits. Whatever tortures us in this life will become utterly irrelevant in Heaven.

4.  It’s a place of surprises — those who go there will likely be shocked by who else is there and NOT there.

All this may still seem, well, inexact, but consider John Koessler’s conclusion: “If ‘our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us’ [from an ancient Jesus follower], then neither are our present joys or pleasures.”

In other words, when it come to Heaven, expect far, FAR more glory than anything our limited minds can imagine. (And anything that could ever exist in North Korea.)

So, what about this “test for entry” I mentioned? It’s quite simple: are you PERFECT? Jesus of Nazareth, says that’s what you need to qualify. But since none of us are, how can anyone get in?

The answer is to that question easy, even if you don’t like it: trust in and follow Jesus.

For people who trust in and follow Him, Jesus was crucified on a Roman cross to make up for ALL the wrong things they did and ALL the right things they failed to do. When Jesus followers are finished with this life and stand before God, He sees NONE of our sins. He only sees His Son’s perfection.

Does this make sense? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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