Archive for November, 2016

divisionI do love all those times — and you’d be surprised how many there are — when I, a man of faith, want to high-five atheists.

When I discovered this atheist meme (please, people, PROOFREAD the memes you generate before posting them), I certainly wanted to find the creator and tell him or her how much I appreciate this quote.

“Religion” divides people by ranking them, declaring some are better than others based on behaviour and adherence to group-think.

“Religion” controls people by declaring they must follow a long list of rules, most of which are gloriously petty and irrelevant to the big questions of life, death and eternity.

“Religion” deludes people by insisting they can earn their way into some sort of eternity with a creator if they only do enough good stuff, think enough ‘right’ thoughts and be enough of the kind of person that will win others’ approval.

I want nothing to do with “religion” because it has almost nothing to do with God.

“There is a difference, an important difference, between relating to God through doctrines, codes of conduct, inherited traditions, and relating to God directly, soul-to-soul, mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart,” writes pastor Bruxy Cavey in The End of Religion.

“Jesus [of Nazareth, who many people believe is God’s divine Son] taught this distinction, lived this message and was killed because of its implications.”

Does Jesus divide people? Absolutely. His message of love, acceptance and being a necessary intermediary between imperfect people and a perfect God split families and couples 2,000 years ago and it continues to do so today.

In fact, following Jesus and trusting that His sacrificial death makes up for all the wrong things I’ve done and all the right things I’ve failed to do has divided me from the rest of my biological family.

I’m not happy about this divide, but I’ve come to know that following Jesus is the most important thing I can do in this life and in the life to come. Furthermore, I’m now united with people of all races, genders and social/economic statuses who also follow Jesus.

Does Jesus control people? In a way, yes. When you trust in Him and commit yourself to seriously following Him, then he enters into your life and begins to change you. He’s working on me as you read this, making me more generous & less petty, more loving & less resentful, more charitable & less self-centred, more forgiving & less judgemental.

It’s a challenging, life-time project but I’m eternally grateful for what He’s doing because I’ve come to realize I can’t make me a better person on my own.

Does Jesus delude people? Just the opposite.

  • He reminds us of our complete and breathtakingly imperfect humanity.
  • He reminds us that God is perfect and that’s God’s standard for humanity to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
  • He reminds us that even though we can never be perfect, we don’t have to be when we believe in Him and what’s He’s done for us through His life, death and resurrection.

In other words, when we accept the life-changing GIFT of Jesus, we can be better people now and, when this life is finished, we can spend eternity with Him.

Sound interesting? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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Religion is irrationalIs “religion” irrational, as this atheist graphic suggests?

First of all, I wouldn’t know because I’m not the least bit religious (and here’s why: http://wp.me/p2wzRb-i9). In fact, the world would be a much better place without religion.

So what about faith, which is a very different thing? Is it irrational? By the standards of our world, absolutely.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to declare that North American culture worships at the altars of science (don’t get me wrong, I find science quite fascinating), shopping, celebrity scandal, getting and staying rich, the latest technological gadgets and our next vacation.

All of these pursuits are pretty tactile; we can touch money and iPhones, suntan on a cruise ship, obsess over celebrities on our 60-inch flat-screen TVs, read all about the latest scientific discovery and stand in the middle of a crowded mall.

Can’t do any of that with faith. Can’t see or touch God, can’t make any money off Him (unless you’re one of those creepy televangelists) or obtain a vacation cottage or find out who’s wearing the black hat in the latest celebrity divorce spectacle.

Now, let’s think about what else is irrational in our world:

  • Love: as the 1960s anti-war song said, “what is it good for?” What can love achieve that a solid contract with a willing business/life partner can’t?
  • Superstition: Beyond the obvious (fear of black cats and walking under ladders) there’s “Beginner’s luck”, 666, Friday the 13th and cross your fingers. Can anyone credibly tell me these are rational?
  • Fashion: The sports jacket I wore five years ago is now a joke? Seriously?
  • Fear of flying: so it’s okay to be in a speeding vehicle but so much more dangerous to go on an airplane? Have you read any statistics lately?
  • Facial hair: it grows naturally on both genders, so what on earth possesses so many of us to shave it off?

As you ponder this list, consider the fact that most people who want nothing to do with faith accept many of these irrationalities without second thought. And that includes the atheist person who created the graphic that inspired this blog.

Why the double standard? Simple: faith is about something serious. Even more serious than love. It’s about how we view this world and how we think about what comes after this life ends.

Our culture constantly tells us not to bother with such things, but if you’ve read this far, then I bet you’re willing to think for yourself.

So consider this: not only is there a Creator of everything we see and experience, this creator is vitally interested in YOU. So interested, in fact, that He offers YOU a gift: His perfect Son, who came to this earth to live, die and be resurrected for YOU and everyone else who’s willing to accept that gift.

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

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