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Are We Nothing More than Material, Chance, and Time?

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I would like to pose a few questions for those of an atheist or a non-theist viewpoint. I will delve into heavy topics, yet my tone is not meant in animosity or belligerence. Our culture has far too much enmity from all sides. This is not a cannonade, but a call to exploration. If you have come here with a different worldview, I welcome you to my blog. Thank you for visiting. 

The Common View
That human life and our planet has come about by chance, that we are nothing more than material come into being by an accident of circumstances and time, is a widely held view. It proposes no God, only a naturalistic view of life. If a force or Being outside of ourselves exists, we are pretty much on our own and hold ambivalence to ideas beyond our senses. When faith is considered at all, it is fine for the weaker-minded who don’t want to acknowledge reality. If you hold this, or similar views, I am posing a few questions.

Value 
It is readily observable people universally wish respect and a level …

To This One I Will Look

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What kind of a man or woman is God looking for? The common assumption is a good one. A person who does their best. We learn through experience that no one lives up to their own idea of good consistently. We fail all the time. To us, as long as we try, it means we are good. Nearly succeeding does not fulfill a true idea of good, however, especially when we consider there are things we have done in our life we would rather no one else knows about. Maybe God will skip over those, we hope.

I am not splitting hairs here. The concept of good for a holy God differs greatly from ours. There is no sliding scale. The Bible says no one is good. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". Romans 3:23. In Jeremiah we read: “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jesus addressed people as evil in a matter-of-fact way (see Matthew 7:11). That is an eye-opener for our meek and mild image of Jesus. The reality is, God is holy…

A Spiritual Buffet

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Our culture views spirituality like a great buffet. Laid out before us are many selections. We choose whichever we fancy according to what pleases our palate. A little bit of this and a bit of that is piled on our plate. It is all good; it is just a matter of preference.

A post-Christian society has rejected any idea of a personal God before whom we are accountable, or the need of a Savior. Instead, you have the term, “being spiritual”. This is very popular today. It is meant to sound open-minded and free. It has little to do with the state of man or the existence of a holy God. Emotionalism wrapped is spiritual terms, with no objectively understood reality; the self becomes the defining object of focus. Inside this fluffy package, falsehood abounds.

Sadly, the same mindset pervades the mainstream church. When you go to a buffet, each dish has a label telling you what it is. For many Christian today, as long as the label has the word “Jesus” or “God” in it, it must be good. This make…

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? Part 2.

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We Have Our Rights
Why do bad things happen to good people? Today I discuss this age-old question from the perspective of our American culture. In our society we have the ingrained ideal of “the pursuit of happiness”. This was first expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Since the freedom to seek happiness is governmental, the idea has become sacred. While the original intention was that of releasing oppressive restriction, we now believe we own the inalienable right to never be uncomfortable. In addition, due to our modern comforts and conveniences, our attitudes have changed from that of former generations. Difficulty is seen as wrong, with outrage when experienced. It no longer matters what sphere it comes from, whether personal, political, spiritual, or circumstance, we understand adversity and problems as outrageous interruptions. Our attitude is our day-to-day lives should be a state of uninterrupted bliss and peace. Anything less is unfair.

What I am pointing out may see…

Mental and Emotional Illness and the Church

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When tragic circumstances occur in a family or community, many turn to their pastor, leaders, or church connections. This circle of support is important. We can address this suffering with encouragement and hope for things we see with our eyes. It is right to do so. Yet, there is a segment of the church and public I feel are overlooked. There are people who suffer in ways we cannot see, which go beyond familiar experience. I am referring to those with mental and emotional issues, whether temporary trials or long-term disorders. In church settings, care for physical illness or misfortune is available, with little awareness of dealing with emotional and mental distress as an illness. In addition, the observable traumatic hardship and events we readily understand can lead to complications of emotional turmoil. If we turn to the faith community for help with this aspect, there is not much practical outreach, though equally vital.

The Problem
Some mean well, but have never encountered thes…

Delighting in God

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At times, the Christian life is hard. Life is full of trials, difficulties, and pain. Our response is to call out to God, often asking Him to remove the difficulty. This is not wrong. Sometimes He does. I wonder, however, instead of wishing hardship would go away, if the answer with much of our walk would be simply enjoying God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states “man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever”. Forever can begin today, in the here and now.

By delighting in God, I am not talking about a pleasant smile that ignores reality. We do not dismiss our ordeals and think positive. The strength is the object our delight is in, not ourselves. With a deep, abiding joy we appreciate who God is and what He has done for us.

There are many ways to do so. Prayer, praise, worship, Bible reading. The Bible is full of reasons to enjoy God. I will focus on one. You may have many more to ponder.

God is awesome in holiness and almighty power. We need to let this sink into…

Is Faith a Crutch for the Weak?

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Not Enough

Skeptics ridicule faith-more specifically, Bible believing Christians-by saying belief is a crutch. The target of these dismissive remarks is important since faith is seen as beyond reason and weak if not subordinate to a humanist worldview. I do not agree with this view. As a committed Christian, this may be predictable. I do so in the opposite way assumed, however.

There are two primary reasons I find fault with this notion. The first is a crutch may be the accusation of cynics toward those of faith as weak-minded and needing it to support them, which need they are above, but the image itself is feeble. A crutch is not enough. It is undependable as an idea or any usable reality. To help ourselves along is not what broken, sinful humanity needs. Propping myself up with a wishful idea of Jesus will not get me far. It is essential for the actual reality of the living Jesus to redeem me and carry me entirely. If belief is only a pleasant but unrealistic prop, my faith is one …