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Archive for October, 2016

false godsWhen I found this graphic on an atheist Internet community, it caused me to ponder the exact command.

(FYI, it’s in a part of the Bible called ‘Exodus’, and an easier-to-read version puts it like this: “You must not worship any other gods except me.”

So, is the God of Christianity and Judaism admitting He’s not the only god floating around the universe? That’s certainly an easy conclusion to make and it’s obviously the route taken by the creator of this graphic.

Let me be quite truthful: thousands of years ago, many people in the Middle East did, indeed, worship other “gods”. Or more accurately, they worshipped what they thought were gods.

Chief among those rival “gods”, mentioned in the Bible’s Old Testament, are Baal, Ashtoreth and Molech.

You’ve probably never heard these names before and the reason is simple: they turned out to be nothing but figments of people’s imagination — and often created to allow “followers” to do ghastly things, such as sacrifice children. Consider this: if Baal, Ashtoreth and Molech were “gods”, wouldn’t they still be around today?

All that said, the first of the Bible’s Ten Commandments certainly has application today because there are plenty of modern “gods” vying for our attention. Here’s a brief list:

Power: just watch what people will do to become prime ministers, presidents, premiers, governors, mayors and CEOs. How many lies are they willing to tell? How many promises will they make to financiers and lobby groups?

Wealth: I Googled “how to become rich” and found 22 (yes, TWENTY-TWO) pages of links. I think that’s enough to call wealth a “god”.

Sex: according to a 2013 Huffington Post article, pornography websites get more visitors each month than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. Wikipedia lists 22 U.S. politicians who were forced to resign because of a sex scandal. And that’s just between 2000 and 2015. Yes, I can confidently write that sex is a “god” to many, many people.

Fame: Think about the endless number of TV reality shows in North America. Many of them, like The Bachelor, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Dating Naked, Hoarders and Duck Dynasty, don’t showcase anyone with talent for anything other than achieving fame on those TV shows. Yep, definitely a “god”.

Do any of these gods have a place in your life? Do they have a place in mine? Probably. I try to be aware of how I use my time, my brain and my emotions, but I’m brought up in the same culture as you. And like it or not, that culture insists that the meaning of life is found in power, wealth, sex and fame.

One way I’ve found to keep these false gods from dominating my life is to stay focused on just one god: the creator and master of time, space and the universe.

I’m a Christian and that means I believe that the creator and master of time, space and the universe:

  • knows who I am;
  • wants to have a living, breathing relationship with me (not just in this life; for all eternity) and;
  • sent His Son to this planet to make that happen.

I follow that Son (Jesus Christ) and it’s made a tremendous, positive difference in my life. He can make a tremendous, positive difference in your life, too.

Interested in knowing more? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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butterfly-mcqueen-10-16When I read the quote on this graphic, kindly supplied by a Facebook humanist group, part of me thought “oh, if only this were true.”

It’s not, of course. And anyone who thinks it is…well, they’re living in some sort or dream world with fairies and frogs that really do turn into princes.

Be honest with me: do you really think that without “mythology and Jesus Christ”, humanity would ever rise up and deal with hunger, homelessness or any of the many other problems that we create for ourselves? Really?

Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen, the actress who portrayed Prissy (Scarlett O’Hara’s maid) in Gone With the Wind, apparently did.

I wonder, did Butterfly consider the greed, self-centredness, prejudices, dishonesty and self-delusion that plagues our race? Was she somehow immune to these horrible weaknesses? I’m certainly not immune.

In fact, my weaknesses are one of the main reasons I decided to follow Jesus Christ, whom serious Christians believe is is the divine Son of God.

Despite what Butterfly and other critics say, most theologians agree that Jesus really did exist–and he really did come back to life after being crucified on a Roman cross. In fact, there’s powerful evidence right in the Bible.

Paul, a missionary who did so much to spread Christianity in its earliest days, wrote a letter (that’s now in the Bible) where he tells people that after dying on that cross, “he [Jesus] appeared to Peter and then to the twelve apostles. After that, Christ appeared to more than 500 other believers at the same time. Most of them are still living today, but some have died.”

Some critics of Christianity may think Paul was lying. I don’t see any reason why he would do so, especially since he was hardly getting rich telling people about Jesus. In fact, Paul spent much of his time in prison.

But enough on that. Consider why people like me turn to Jesus to help us deal with our weaknesses:

  • By following Jesus, Christians have the benefit of having a clear set of timeless, unchanging rights and wrongs by which to live our lives. Shifting tastes and trendy opinions have no effect on what Jesus says is good or bad.
  • By following Jesus, I have access to a spiritual source of strength to deal with the many challenges of this life. Again, this source is absolutely unchanging and unwavering; how many things can you or I say that about?
  • By following Jesus, I can tap into a worldwide community of fellow believers. We support each other physically and through prayers. Yes, lots of people have communities, but this one is far more meaningful than wine-tasking or extreme sports groups.
  • By following Jesus, I have the same confidence that Paul the missionary had: eternal life in Heaven with Jesus. His sacrificial death pays for all the wrong things I’ve done and all the right things I’ve failed to do.

This is powerful stuff, folks. This is life-changing stuff. In fact, there is NOTHING more important than what I’m writing about here.

So, are you interested in Jesus? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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