Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘John 10:10’

Is there any truth to this viewpoint, which I found on an atheist Internet community? Unfortunately, yes.

Just visit some Christian or Muslim communities in Google+ or Facebook and you’re sure to encounter a few “religious” people who believe they have all the answers to life’s questions.

But isn’t this the case for every group out there? I’ve spent time in atheist Internet communities and have encountered many, many people who announce their opinions — such as the assumption stated in this graphic — as if they were scientifically proven facts. It just ain’t so.

Most Christians I know absolutely do not go around claiming to know it all. In fact, it just takes a few moments of mature, respectful conversation with thoughtful Christians to discover they have all kinds of questions about the things they don’t know. And I’m one of them.

But here’s the thing: it’s not about what we don’t know. It’s about what we DO know. Here’s a brief summary:

1. God loves every person on this planet, no exceptions. How do serious Christians know this? Because we shine a light on a very important part of the Bible, simply called ‘John’, that states God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.

2. God wants a living, breathing relationship with us. Consider these Bible excerpts:
Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have (from a section called ‘Philippians). Notice the word “everything” in what we are to pray for?
I came to give life—life that is full and good (from ‘John’).
I have good plans for you. I don’t plan to hurt you. I plan to give you hope and a good future (from ‘Jeremiah’).

3. The wrong things we’ve done, and the right things we’ve failed to do, have put a wall between us and God. Evidence? All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness (from ‘Romans’).

4. God went to extraordinary lengths to knock down that wall, by offering Jesus — His life, his sacrificial death, His glorious resurrection — as a gift to anyone willing to accept Him. The evidence: Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us (also from ‘Romans’).

5. When you accept the gift of Jesus, God no longer sees the wrong things you’ve done and the right things you’ve failed to do. He only sees His Son’s perfection. And when you accept the gift of Jesus, He comes into your life and starts a process of change that doesn’t end until this life finishes and you spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

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

 

 

Read Full Post »

tumblr_n9z91ls6xO1r7gbhio1_500When I saw this graphic — posted on an Internet atheism community — the first thing I did was look up the definition of cult. Here’s part of what Dictionary.com says:

1. A system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
2. An instance of veneration of a person, ideal, or thing.
3. A group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.
4. A religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader.

Does Christianity fit all that? I’m sure some folks would shout YES! Let me beg to differ. As far as I’m concerned “religion” is a set of behavioral rules designed to fit people into little slots and let others pass judgement on them. I would not be a follower of Jesus Christ if that’s what Christianity is about.

It’s hardly a surprise to write that serious Christians venerate Jesus Christ, whom they consider to be the Son of God. Nor is it a shock to write that serious Christians are a group bound together by veneration of Christ.

But by those definitions, “Beliebers” (fans of pop star Justin Bieber) could be labelled a “cult”, complete with all the onerous attributes that most of us associate with that term.

So what happens when anyone leaves any group? Most of the time, it would be questioned, dissected and judged. Indeed, if it weren’t, then the members of the group clearly don’t care about the person leaving.

Serious believers understand that following Jesus Christ means:

  • Having a lighthouse to guide us through life’s nastiest emotional, financial and physical storms.
  • Knowing that we are loved — loved so much that God offers all humanity the gift of His Son, whose sacrificial death makes up for all the wrong things we’ve done and all the right things we’ve failed to do.
  • Having the assurance we will spend all of eternity in the intimate presence of our Creator.
  • When someone leaves all that, should we shrug and walk away? That’s not respectful; that’s telling them they don’t matter to us or to Jesus Christ. And that would be very wrong.

Does that mean we would stage “interventions” or prevent them from leaving like the inmates of Jonestown, the horrific cult that Jim Jones established in South America in the 1970s? That cult ended in 1978 when, on Jones’ orders, more than 900 people drank cyanide-laced punch.

I think even the angriest opponents of Christianity would admit that’s not what following Jesus Christ is all about.

What wise Christians do when someone decides to leave is to remain friends with them, pray for them and welcome spiritual conversations.

Not all Christians are that wise, of course. But I think it’s safe to write that Christianity has nothing to do with any credible definition of “cult”. It has to do with Jesus’s explanation for why he came to this earth: “I came to give life—life that is full and good.”

Do you want this life? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

Read Full Post »