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Posts Tagged ‘National Post’

George JonasIt’s one thing for me, a committed Christian, to try and explain/justify God. It’s another altogether when a self-confessed, “non-religious” major newspaper columnist like George Jonas tackles the topic.

In a 2013 National Post column, the veteran journalist (1935-2016) wrote about dreaming he was God and encountering a range of challenges from skeptics. Here’s an excerpt from one of those chats:

   Skeptic: “Aren’t you supposed to be omnipresent? I never saw you in Auschwitz, the (Soviet) gulag, Dresden (where so much Second World War bombing took place) or Katyn Forest (site of a Second World War massacre)…”

    Jonas: “You never looked for me. You were busy doing evil things.”

    Skeptic: “Why did you let me?”

    Jonas: “Has it occurred to you that you might have acted without my permission?”

Later, Jonas (still writing as God) noted: “Men doing fiendish things used to prove the existence of evil. Now it casts doubt on the existence of God. Once I punished men for being bad; now men punish me for it. ‘If we’re bad, God, you don’t exist.’ Talk about gall.

To my sometimes-foggy brain, the insight shown here is impressive. We humans were given a mind-boggling gift  – freewill – then tested God by using it to crucify Jesus Christ, whom serious Christians believe to be His son. Not only did God prove freewill was for all time and space by doing nothing to stop this crucifixion, He restored Jesus for us by resurrecting Him.

(If you want powerful evidence for the resurrection, go to a website called biblegateway.com and, in the “passage lookup” section, type this:
1 Corinthians 15:6.)

Sadly, as Jonas pointed out, God’s gift of freewill hasn’t been enough for skeptics. Some may claim they haven’t done the evil that wracks the world, yet they must live with it. To that, I recall British writer G.K. Chesterton. When asked by a newspaper to write an essay on the theme ‘what’s wrong with the world?’, he responded with just this:

    Dear Sirs,
    I am.
    Sincerely yours,
    G. K. Chesterton.

He was what’s wrong with the world because of what he did and what he failed to do. I am what’s wrong with this world for the same reasons. And so are you.

That said, I am sure of this:

  1. For everyone who says the state of this world proves there is no god, just imagine how things would be if He weren’t involved. Would there ever have been peace in Ireland? Would apartheid ever have ended in South Africa? Would the Berlin Wall ever have come down?
  2. There is a price to be paid for the wrong things you and I have done, and for the right things we haven’t done. That price was paid by Jesus. If you believe this and make him your leader and best friend, then forgiveness – and the opportunity for a new, clean start – is yours. Just as it is already mine.

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

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Are you holding out on considering a life of faith because you figure you have plenty of time for that down the road?

A study out of the U.K. says yes.

According to a 2011 National Post article, the study suggests the decline of spirituality in developed nations can be linked, at least in part, to our ever-increasing life expectancy. It causes people to postpone any sort of faith life because they don’t sense any urgency to, as the National Post termed it, “secure a place in heaven”.

I can understand this because our culture insists that pursuing fame, saving money for a Caribbean cruise, advancing your career and buying the biggest possible flat-screen TV are more important than living a life of faith.

The way I see it – and this is backed up by conversations with family members and friends – most people don’t see any benefit in considering spirituality because they have no concept that it’s about so, SO much more than the afterlife.

The media will never tell you this, but following Jesus of Nazareth (who many people believe is the Son of God) isn’t about religion. It’s about a here-and-now relationship with God, through Jesus.

Yes, what happens to us when we die is of infinite importance, but to ignore the benefits of knowing God and following Jesus NOW is like buying a cottage and never using it until you retire.

This leads me to the thoughts of Ross Carkner, a pastor friend who read the same National Post article: “What about retirement planning? Do people put off saving for retirement until they retire? What is it that you and I need to have ‘in the bank’ with God before we expire, let alone retire?”

I get what Ross is saying. If you have no relationship with God, if you don’t know who He is or have even a vague understanding what Jesus has done for everyone who follows Him, then will you get much comfort from a last-minute deathbed “conversion”?

In the meantime, what happens if you lose your job or your house burns down or a loved one is hurt in a car accident? Challenges like these happen to everyone, but I’ve found that having a here-and-now relationship with God, through Jesus, makes them easier to bear.

That relationship has the best chance at growing when it includes attending church services. That’s part of my faith life; it means I’m included in a supportive community that’s based on something so much more important than a shared interest in extreme sports or wine tasting.

Here’s something else to ponder: Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney infamously spoke about “rolling the dice” during the early 1990s on constitutional negotiations with the country’s 10 provinces. His gamble failed and Canada’s constitution remains unsigned by Quebec.

Are you as brave – or as foolish – as Mr. Mulroney? Are you willing to risk “rolling the dice” that nothing will prevent you from sitting in a rocking chair, enjoying retirement and leisurely doing what it takes to  “secure a place in heaven”? Post an answer below and let’s have a conversation.

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