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Archive for December, 2016

are babies atheists?, Babies are atheistsMaybe you’ve heard the claim in this meme, helpfully supplied by an atheist community. Maybe, without giving it much thought, you find yourself nodding in agreement. And why not? It’s just one more reason to live any way you please and not worry about what comes after this life.

Welcome to “Burst Your Bubble” 101.

Atheism is believing there is no creator behind all we see and experience. Atheism is believing you have no soul and when you die, all that you are becomes nothing more than rancid worm food.

My wording may be crude, but I believe it’s necessary for you to stop living your life without thought and to truly ponder the big questions.

Do you really agree with the notion that a toddler believes there is no God? I have a year-old grandson and after all our interactions, I feel quite confident that he has absolutely no beliefs of any kind about God. Does that make him an atheist? Not a chance.

That doesn’t even make him an agnostic (people who claim to simply not know if there is or isn’t a God). That makes him a baby with a baby’s brain. Period.

What about these “lies” that are apparently told to babies and young children? My very brief answers will come from the perspective of someone who follows Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is God’s Son).

1.  Most credible theologians and historians believe Jesus was a real person who lived and died in ancient Israel when it was part of the Roman empire.

2.  Was Jesus the Son of God? Several places in ancient documents say yes, and not just from the mouth of Jesus.

3.  Did Jesus die to make up for all the moral crimes of people who follow Him? Original-source biographies of Jesus’s physical life on earth say yes.

4.  The single most important fact about Jesus is that after three days in a tomb, He rose from the dead and appeared to as many as 500 people. One of Jesus’s first followers attests to this. If it wasn’t true, why would anyone at that time claim it is, then have it shot down when someone produced the body of Jesus? That has never happened.

I have just barely touched the surface of all the material available that testifies to the reality of following Jesus. For more, I encourage you to visit https://www.carm.org/ or https://www.reasonablefaith.org/.

Please spend time in these websites. This is important stuff and I want you to be well informed before making any kind of decision about what atheists claim are “lies”. Your eternal destiny is at stake.

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faith-badIf, through some twist of fate, I happened to meet American science blogger Bruce Peeples, I would be sure to gratefully shake his hand. Because when I found this meme quoting him, I knew I’d been handed a gold-plated opportunity to explain what a life of faith is really about.

First of all, I’m struggling to understand how my faith — I trust in and follow Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the divine Son of God — is keeping me from believing in myself.

I showed this graphic to my wise friend Ross Carkner and right away, he noted “believing in yourself and having faith in God are not mutually exclusive.”

Do I somehow not “truly” believe that I can be a valuable, contributing member of this culture? Why on earth would I accept such a notion? Certainly no pastor or Jesus follower I’ve met has ever suggested any such thing to me.

Secondly, I find that believing in God and following His Son makes me MORE powerful.

I have more power because I’m no longer struggling to fly solo through a world that I think most of us will agree is not doing well. I’m part of something larger — a movement of God, through all His followers, to make this hurting planet a better place.

This new power started when, after deciding to put my faith and my trust in Jesus at age 41, I came to understand that life is NOT all about me and my pleasures, my needs, my prejudices or my childhood grievances.

As a result of fully accepting this truth, I’ve learned to become more generous, more aware of suffering around me and more willing to invest in others. I can quite confidently write that without my faith in Jesus, none of this would have happened.

Let me make it clear: this isn’t about self-confidence. It’s about what Ross calls “Jesus confidence”. Consider this quote from a section of the Bible called ‘Philippians’: “Jesus is the one who gives me the strength I need to do whatever I must do.”

That’s Jesus confidence. And it happens in a way that scientists like Steven Hawking can’t possibly explain. It’s supernatural. And if you encounter someone fully caught up in Jesus confidence, you’ll see it for yourself.

All that said, if you’ve ever met any serious Jesus followers, I’m sure you’ll agree we’re a long, long way from perfect. And that’s OK. One of Jesus’s earliest followers, named Paul, acknowledged it himself when he wrote this:

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Jesus, who has so wondrously reached out for me.

Jesus is reaching out to Bruce Peeples. And through this blog, I believe He’s reaching out to YOU. Are you interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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