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Posts Tagged ‘9-11’

Embracing FreedomSometimes, I’m amazed at all the things atheists and Christians have in common. That was my reaction when I saw this graphic posted in an Atheist Internet community.

I consider following Jesus Christ (whom serious Christians believe is the son of God) to be freedom.

Freedom to wonder. I can wonder how God does stuff like creating planets, creating babies and creating the mysterious relationship between my free will and His will. I can wonder how Jesus was God AND human at the same time (this is a core belief for serious Christians). I can wonder how He can (and does) love people who are simply beyond my pathetic ability to even tolerate.

Freedom to explore. I can explore science, just like atheists and just like Christian scientists such as Francis S. Collins (who helped map the human genome). I can explore different faiths and understand how they’re different from Christianity. I can explore who and what God is, even as I know I’ll never get all the answers (and that’s OK).

Freedom to doubt. I can read parts of the Bible where people who feel abandoned by God cry out to Him. In one section, called Psalms, the writer states “Has our Lord rejected us forever? Will he never again speak to us? Has God forgotten what mercy is?” I can feel amazement that this is in the Bible — amazement and relief, because it means I’m NOT condemned if (well, when is more accurate) I ask the same questions.

Freedom to be me. A key part of the Christian faith is that human beings are not only accepted, they are LOVED by God for exactly who they are. Right now. With all our faults, jealousies, doubts, fears, misplaced anger, pettiness, greed, self-centredness and ludicrous sense of entitlement.

How do I know this? Because one of the four Bible accounts of Jesus’ life, simply called ‘John’, says “God loved the world so much [and that includes you and me, with all our quirks and faults] that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.”

No one has “damned you into sin from birth”. It simply happened, whether you and I like it or not. We enter this world thinking only of ourselves; everything revolves around us. And to a certain extent, we carry at least some of that thinking right through to adulthood and old age.

Everything DOESN’T revolve around us. You and I are NOT God. And to the extent that we (encouraged by our culture) believe that we are, that is sin. Like it or not.

So I say, embrace reason. Embrace the God who wants to embrace YOU. Accept the gift He offers you — the Son who:

  • brought extraordinary ideas to the world (like loving your enemies);
  • died to make up for the wrong things you and I have done and the right things we’ve failed to do, and;
  • came back to life to prove He’s God and the Bible’s predictions about Him are true.

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

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God Auschwitz evilTake your pick: the Auschwitz concentration camp, 9-11 terrorist attacks, massacres in Connecticut (2012) and Norway (2011), barbaric ISIS warmongers.

These, and many other horrific examples of human evil, can serve as evidence of why there is no God. I certainly understand how people can adopt this viewpoint.

But I also understand that this is the path of least resistance; the conclusion any of us could jump to in the heat of anger and despair.

So I’m going to advance a very different proposition: there are Nazi death camps, vicious ISIS/Al Qaeda terrorists and rampaging “lone wolf” killers, so there MUST be a God.

How can that make sense? Let me explain:

1. The beautiful and terrible gift of freewill. We’ve been given it. And we spit on it. Every day. That absolutely includes ME, when I act as if there is no God and put myself in charge of me.

When you and I claim we know what’s best for ourselves, we open the door to greed, unbridled lust, petty self-centredness, intolerance and so much more. Like it or not, this path can lead all the way to unspeakable evil.

2. Who gave us that gift of freewill? Who else but God, the creator of this universe and the air you are breathing right now? Does that mean He’s responsible for when we do wrong and fail to do right? Not even a little bit. God didn’t want goose-stepping robots; he wanted people with freedom. And he still wants that, no matter how hard it has often been.

3. Who can we turn to when despicable evil happens? God, who gave you air to breathe and free will to believe in Him or turn away and rely on yourself.

Serious Christians believe this statement in a section of the Bible simply called ‘John’:  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son [Jesus Christ]. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him [Jesus], anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”

The news gets better. The Bible goes on to say: “God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.”

Notice how we haven’t been simply abandoned to free will and all it’s potential consequences?

In the midst of Auschwitz, Jesus Christ was there, offering people hope of eternity in Heaven with Him, long after the suffering ended. And with that knowledge came His strength and a willingness to forgive their Nazi torturers and escape the prison of rage and revenge.

In camps where refugees are living with practically nothing, just so they can escape ISIS terrorists, Jesus Christ is there, offering them more than blankets and food. Offering them His love and eternity with Him when this short life is done.

In the aftermath of massacres, Jesus Christ is there, offering a community of believers who are, in their midst of their own imperfections, ready to provide physical and spiritual help. To be the hands of feet of their Lord and Saviour.

Getting in on all this is simple. Accept the gift of Jesus, whose sacrificial death makes up for all your sins. Make Him your Lord and friend. Then watch as changes start to happen. Good changes. Changes that will take you into eternity.

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

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God all-powerful? 2.14Is God all-powerful?

You’d think I would know better by now. And yet, I naively continue to be amazed at how some folks willfully delude themselves and work like there’s no tomorrow to stay ignorant.

This graphic is a case in point. It was posted on an atheism Internet community; in my experience, most of the people in these communities know their Bible pretty well. Then someone uploads a graphic like this…..

First of all God IS all-powerful. If you give the Bible any credibility, consider these excerpts:

  • Look! I am the Eternal, the God of all living things. Is anything too difficult for Me? (from a section called ‘Jeremiah’)
  • God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. (from ‘Isaiah’)
  • There are things about God that people cannot see—his eternal power and all that makes him God. But since the beginning of the world, those things have been easy for people to understand. They are made clear in what God has made. (from ‘Romans’)

Now consider the evidence of hundreds of thousands of years: all the bad things me, you and the rest of humanity have done (and the good things we’ve failed to do). Could there be a clearer measure of proof that God is serious about the gift of freewill?

Indeed, God could have stopped Roman authorities from putting Jesus Christ (whom serious Christians believe is His divine son) to death on trumped-up charges. But he allowed freewill to take its course.

In our day and age, God could have stopped Al Qaeda from carrying out the 9-11 terrorist attacks. But once again, He allowed Freewill to take its course. (You may not like that, but if He stopped that, then where would the limits on freewill end? I address that here: http://wp.me/p2wzRb-38)

My point here is that God could easily force people to believe in Him. But what would be the point? To prove He’s powerful? Really? I don’t think the creator of time, space and the universe needs to prove a darn thing.

What He does want is for all of us to come to Him, through His son, because WE want to. Here’s how the Bible puts it, in a section called ‘Timothy’: “God wants everyone to be saved and to fully understand the truth.”

The truth is this: “If you openly say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from death, you will be saved.” That’s from ‘Romans’.

Saved from what? From being judged on all the bad things we’ve done and the good things we’ve failed to do. When I decided to follow Jesus, His sacrificial death on a Roman cross cleaned my account with God. God no longer sees my mistakes, my pettiness, my times of thinking I can do everything without Him. He sees me as perfect – just like Jesus.

Does this make sense? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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