Showing posts from 2010

Christian Pharisees

The term "Christian Pharisee" is an oxymoron, however, there are many people who claim to be Christians but act like Pharisees. The Pharisees are blind to their own errors but think they have the truth, which is why they are condemned. "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains." Claiming to be speaking for God they teach their own commandments. "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men (Matt 15:8-9)."

In one situation the Pharisees challenged Jesus for eating with tax collectors and sinners, but Jesus answered them, by saying, "Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice (Matt. 9:13).'" These are the words of Hosea where at the end of the book he says, "whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for th…

John Lennox on Hawkings

John Lennox has successfully debated Richard Dawkins and has written a book called, God's Undertaker - Has science buried God. Here is an article he wrote concerning the book by Stephen Hawking, called The Grand Design.

Matrix Christianity

The movie the Matrix depicts a world where most of the people are only alive in their minds. Connected to the Matrix they live in a simulated reality being used in a war of man versus machine. Those who are "free" and not connected to the Matrix fight the machines.

Most of Western Christianity is lived only in the mind. If we examine the trends that are in the world, we will find the same trends in the church. It was once frowned on to drink, smoke, fight, swear, or gamble, now these very same things are being promoted in the church and perhaps even admired. Most Christians today will exclaim that none of these things determine if you are Christian, and I agree, but the problem is that those were the remaining differences between Christianity and the world. Examining the day-to-day lives of individual Christians in the public sphere would be remarkably similar, if the not the same, as those who are not Christians. This is quite frightening especially since this is the genera…

Jehovah Witnesses

Last night some Jehovah Witnesses stopped by my door. Many people can't stand them. Some slam the door in their faces, others talk about how they don't answer the door. Those who do talk to them often have stories of how they stumped them with a particular verse or that after talking to them they never come back. All in all most people view them as lesser people than themselves. Unfortunately most of these stories I have heard from people who also profess to be Christians.
Jehovah Witnesses should be admired for their dedication to their beliefs. It has to be difficult to know that people think of you in those terms and yet still come and knock on their door. I am sure some come out of fear of not earning God's favor and others out of concern for others. If only we as Christians were as dedicated as they are to our own beliefs, but who is to say they are not Christians? Over the years, as I have talked to Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons, I have noticed a trend that they both …

Right Doctrine

In Christianity there are many different sects or denominations as they are more commonly called. These sects are divided on some point of doctrine. In fact, some denominations even have the point of doctrine that they are known for right in their name, such as, Baptist. What should we make of all these different sects?

The most important thing that we need to keep in my mind is that God does not desire sects. Paul speaking on these things says, "He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God (Eph. 4:11-13)." God wants us to have the same mind when it comes to doctrine (Phil. 2:1-4). The thoughts expressed in these verses are hardly isolated, but embody one of, if not the greatest desire that God has for His church, namely, that we be one (John 17:21).

Knowing that God desires us…

The Universe Exists because I said so...

I just finished reading Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow's new book called, The Grand Design. This book is typical of most scientists who simply use their books as a way to show that God does not exist. In this book they say, "spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going (pg. 180)."

My apologies to Stephen Hawking but his explanation for the existence of the universe is terrible. In any other area of our lives we would not accept such shallow and weak arguments. As an engineer I solve problems every day. Sometimes we will come up against a problem where we find a solution but the explanation is not adequate. We will say something like, "we fixed the problem, but we are not really sure why." This could mean that we don't understand what the fix is actually doing or it could mean that we did not fi…

Che vs Jesus

I recently got married and spent my honeymoon in Cuba. I was not in Cuba for more than a day before I started to wonder who this guy was on shirts, books, pictures and everything else. I soon found out his name was Che Guevara but I did not know anything about him. As soon as my wife and I got back from our honeymoon I picked up a book about Che and started reading.

The historical Che was part of four revolutions in Guatemala, Cuba, Congo, and Bolivia. He of course was a key factor in bringing Fidel Castro to power. During his tenure in Cuba he also promoted revolutionary causes all over the world. His final goal was to start world war III by mobilizing Latin America to overthrow the United States and therefore all of the western imperialists, and implement socialism throughout the world.

As I started reflecting on the life of Che, I was really impressed by his devotion to other people. It was the  poor people, which he met on his travels through Latin America, which moved him to be p…

Schindler's Parable

Oskar Schindler was not a religious man but he saved around 1200 Jews from almost certain death at the hands of Hitler and his henchman. He died penniless having spent his fortune saving Jews by bribing officials and caring for them.

Those of us who believe in Jesus Christ like to think that we would have done the same things that Oskar did, if we were in his situation. We can almost imagine ourselves standing up fearlessly to the evil reign of terror helping to hide Jews from almost certain death.

When asked why he did what he did, he was quoted as saying, "When you know people, you have to behave towards them like human beings ([1])." Is this the only thing that motivated this man to risk all of his material possessions?

In the movie Schindler's list*, there is a moving scene at the end of the war were Oskar breaks down just as he is about to escape after becoming a wanted man. He starts realizing that if only he had made more money he could have saved more people. The…

Preach the gospel and all times and it is always necessary to use words

St. Francis of Assisi  once said, "preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words." I don't know the original intent of this quote, but I do know how it is understood today. It is the greatest excuse for not preaching the gospel in North America.

These words have come to mean, "if you are scared to preach the gospel, don't do it." We are ashamed of the gospel and telling other people about it because they might think we are weird. Many people tell of stories of how people just knew they where different by how they acted. That is all well and good but what good is it if they can see a difference, but don't know what is the difference? And is the difference they see in us any different then what they would see in any other religious person?

As Christians, if we compare our lives to let's say Mormons there is very little difference, they might even be a bit better than us when it comes to living out our beliefs. Since the difference is mar…

What does it mean to forgive someone?

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive (Col 3:12-14).
Life is never easy and as Christians this should be expected. Unlike the rest of the people in the world, God is in the process of transforming us to be like Jesus. We are to be his physical body on earth as Jesus Christ directs us, through His Spirit, from Heaven. This means we need to act like He did when He was here. In the Bible, it is called being a disciple. Perhaps the hardest thing to follow Him in is forgiveness.

Jesus came down to us even when we hated him. In fact, not only did we hate Him, we actually killed Him. Even the disciples who loved Him the most scattered when He was put in the hands of those who would crucify Him. Only a handful stayed by Him during this time in His life. It is safe to…

Are prayers answered?

The two main disciplines of Christianity are reading your Bible and praying. Of those two, praying is by far the hardest to understand in how it relates to a relationship with God. Reading your Bible is straightforward since it is obvious that you need understanding in order to live how God wants you too, but how does praying fit in?

Praying is mysterious because it is a conversation where it seems there is only one direction. As Christians we know we must pray, but what is the point of it? Some people have no problems praying and could go on for hours, other find it difficult to pray for more than 5 minutes. Usually this is a difference in personality, not in spirituality. Just like there are people who talk very little in social situations, there are those who talk a lot. We must not compare ourselves to others because each person is different.

The reason it seems sometimes that prayer is a one-way conversation is because most prayers cannot be answered. Our prayers ar…

First time

For some time I have thought about creating a blog, but never have because of the time it takes. I finally decided that I would at least try, but I am not sure I will even tell anybody about it. Really this is just a way for me to write out my thoughts, so that I can go back and read them later in life. My hope is that if some day people do start reading this blog it will encourage them to examine their life to see what really matters.