Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I could not resist. I have just seen a great movie about a Scottish farmer "Angus Buchan" in Africa. It was so powerful...it really moved me. I just had to share this story with you guys. It is based on a true story, many amazing miracles!
God is real, I just want to say that over and over again. Seek Him...I so hope you all will come to know our Maker!!
Here is a Bio:
P.S. Ok, back to study :)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thank you for all the discussions so far...
The next few weeks I am going to take a break from blogging and will focus on getting a 2000 word essay written for a paper at uni.
It is called "belief and the existence of God".
Should it turn out alright I will aim to post it on here.
Feel free to discuss among yourselves should you desire.
Friday, August 21, 2009
A fascinating thought.
Why is it that man has such a strong sense of right and wrong? To the point that even when someone breaks their promise we get upset. But if we break our promises we always need to find an excuse as to why we broke our promise.
Is there a standard outside of human opinion that all humans have a similar opinion on?
I'll let Lewis illustrate on a couple of points:
The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people's ideas get nearer to that real Right than others. Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something-some Real Morality--for them to be true about. The reason why your idea of New York can be truer or less true than mine is that New York is a real place, existing quite apart from what either of us thinks. If when each of us said 'New York' each means merely 'The town I am imagining in my own head,' how could one of us have truer ideas than the other? There would be no question of truth or falsehood at all. In the same way, if the Rule of Decent Behaviour meant simply 'whatever each nation happens to approve,' there would be no sense in saying that any one nation had ever been more correct in its approval than any other; no sense in saying that the world could ever grow morally better or morally worse. - Mere Christianity
Or did morality (if you believe in evolution) come about through evolutionary developments?
(I hope you don't mind me quoting Lewis all the time, I am fascinated by so many interesting insights of his) :)
Note: C.S. Lewis believed in evolution.
Supposing you hear a cry for help from a man in danger. You will probably feel two desires--one a desire to give help (due to your herd instinct), the other a desire to keep out of danger (due to the instinct for self-preservation). But you will find inside you, in addition to these two impulses, a third thing which tells you that you ought to follow the impulse to help, and suppress the impulse to run away. Now this thing that judges between two instincts, that decides which should be encouraged, cannot itself be either of them. You might as well say that the sheet of music which tells you, at a given moment, to play one note on the piano and not another, is itself one of the notes on the keyboard. The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.
Another way of seeing that the Moral Law is not simply one of our instincts is this. If' two instincts are in conflict, and there is nothing in a creature's mind except those two instincts, obviously the stronger of' the two must win. But at those moments when we are most conscious of the Moral Law, it usually seems to be telling us to side with the weaker of the two impulses. You probably want to be safe much more than you want to help the man who is drowning: but the Moral Law tells you to help him all the same. And surely it often tells us to try to make the right impulse stronger than it naturally is? I mean, we often feel it our duty to stimulate the herd instinct, by waking up our imaginations and arousing our pity and so on, so as to get up enough steam for doing the right thing. But clearly we are not acting from instinct when we set about making an instinct stronger than it is. The thing that says to you, 'Your herd instinct is asleep. Wake it up,' cannot itself be the herd instinct. The thing that tells you which note on the piano needs to be played louder cannot itself be that note. - Mere Christianity
If there is no right and wrong ultimately then how can there be right and wrong? If it is the choice of humanity then it comes down to opinion. It would be merely my opinion to say that Hitler was "wrong".
R.C. Sproul Jr. stated that if there is no centre mark to aim for then how can you tell how far off the mark you are?
I remember a story he once said about when he was lecturing english classes. He stood up against the idea of relativism and stated that there was a real wrong and a real right.
A person in charge of him suggested that his career would not go far if he continued to talk like this. R.C. replied asking "Are you trying to say that it is "wrong" to say that there is a right and wrong?"
The person asked him to leave...
Without God there can be no right and wrong except for opinion. The person that will win their version of right and wrong will be the person with the biggest stick.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
You believe that since God knows all things that He is responsible for sending people to hell because He could have made it otherwise but He chose to make the situation where they went to hell. You blame God for making us with the ability to sin and the ability to spend eternity in hell.
You think it is unfair that Adam and Eve sinned and we should inherit their sinful nature. You believe that although we have a freewill and try not to shift the blame, ultimately God is to be blamed because He caused creation to happen which would result in people going to hell.
Am I correct?
The problems you bring up many Christians have often already thought about it before. We are not ignorant fools...we just dis-agree with what you are saying.
What I believe:
I'll start by quoting ND's paragraph from his blog about a dialog between the Godhead because I think it forms a good basis...
A Prelude to the Beginning.
Before this begins, we know that some of you will rebel against us and eventually we will have to banish you from our presence. However, whether you are Ang-el or Adam, you must play out your destiny in order for us to reach the goal. For we desire not to have mindless servants but dedicated and loving companions who desire to be with us and serve all through a committed and brotherly love.
We could create beings that would do our beck and call but they would not be what we desire because they would not have reached the goal through your own free will. Such companionship can only be obtained by taking a journey along the path of your own choosing. On this journey, you will always be in our presence or have the evidence of our existence. However, you have to choose your way based on faith, not by sight. We will now embark on that journey.
Are we committed?
We are committed.
Let it happen.
(Before I continue, remember to check me up in the Bible)
God made His creation knowing the end from the beginning as far as I know. His plan is to have man made in His image with His freewill. Man can choose good or evil. God made man as a "whole". All mankind is linked. Because Adam fell, we (his descendants) now have been affected with a nature of sin being his children. But we still have a conscious and are responsible for our OWN actions.
God will judge us by our own actions. God set out to save us and give mankind a second chance by dying and paying the punishment for stuffing up His world. Our evils and our pains He laid on His back. So that mankind can choose to be good once again and live in the presence of a good God. Though God foreknew some people would choose to go and rebel against His will, He still did not cause them to. He occasioned them to or allowed them to.
If God did not allow this, then love/loyalty/freewill/faithfulness in regard to man would be a myth. How can you have love/loyalty/faithfulness without the opportunity to be hateful/disloyal/unfaithful?
God knows who loves Him by who follows His commands and seeks His presence. God is goodness in Himself, He is not like us. Yes, I take this by faith...that God is good and that He will be faithful. Whether God chooses not to sin and therefore cannot sin (being omnipotent) or whether He by nature cannot sin I do not know. All I know and accept by faith is that God is good as portrayed in His Word.
Faith is evidence of things unseen. I see evidence of God's goodness and therefore believe it and continue to believe it in the future. The next glass of water I drink I have evidence that it is drinkable by the track record of knowing it is drinkable. Yet I drink with faith. (Understand my principle)
We all have faith. Atheists, theists....the difference is, some faiths have better evidence for it than others.
I obviously think Christianity is the best answer to life and I am not ashamed of it.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I have since found these thoughts from Lewis rather interesting about whether there is meaning behind our universe, like this flower pot. It has more meaning than just flowers in a flower pot.
"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course, I could have given up my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too--for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust, not simply that it did not happen to please my private fancies.
Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist--in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless--I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality--namely my idea of justice--was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning." (Mere Christianity)
I have heard one person make a point that the complexity of what we have today in our universe is like getting a thousand monkeys on type writers hoping to draft a thesis.
1. So, what are the likely hoods of our universe accidentally producing creatures with the ability to understand the concept of meaning?
2. Is it more likely that it was an accident or objectively caused?
3. Would the concept of meaning arise out of no meaning? Just as, would the concept of dark ever hit us if there were no light?
Many, many questions really, we need to be honest with ourselves.
I believe that God has made us to understand meaning, in order to understand God as our Maker. We are designed to think and understand meaning, unlike animals.
We have two cows on our little piece of land. Should they walk through our garden, I am sure they would have no idea that they are trespassing and have no idea that it is ordered for a reason/meaning :) To them it is just food. But when a person sees it, they wonder why it is ordered and conclude with the best option that it must have had someone who ordered it with a meaning/purpose in mind.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
For example. Where in the Bible does it say that God is omnipotent? All powerful to do good and evil.
I know He is most powerful but when thinking about it, there are some things that I can do that God cannot. E.G. I can lie but God cannot...He is good.
2 "in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,"
Is God all knowing? I seem to remember in Hebrews somewhere it saying that God forgets our sins! LOL...isn't that awesome!
Heb 10:17, Heb 8:12
(Thanks Keith :))
But some questions that I would like to ask is "Does God know the future or does He cause what He plans (prophecy)? Is God outside of time?...that is Greek thought. Or is simply God eternal who was and is and is to come?
Genesis 18:21. Seems to suggest that God came down to check out Sodom and Gomorrah? If I remember correctly... God knows the hairs on our heads which implies He can know everything...but is there some things He will not intrude on (want for a better word)? Though maybe it is just figurative language about God musing over what we as people have done :)
Answers from the Bible is what I would like. It is the Word of God and I believe it! Praise God for revealing Himself to us through His Word! Help us to learn oh God!
Keen to hear your guys thoughts?
Taking what I said here:
"But some questions that I would like to ask is "Does God know the future or does He cause what He plans (prophecy)? Is God outside of time?...that is Greek thought. Or is simply God eternal who was and is and is to come?"
I am NOT saying that God does not know the future. I think He does when I consider prophecies in Daniel etc etc, however I am just wanting to challenge thoughts that we have been brought up in and get back to the Word of God.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
I notice that people keep referring back to old ways of thought that sometimes we have been brought up in.
I myself am guilty of this. We need to come back to the God of the Bible and not fit our own ideas into it. It is a challenge that we all face since reality is sometimes not what we would desire. Come back to the Hebrew God and not Greek ideas of a God "way up there". God is personal, seek Him and find Him! (There are probably some good Greek ideas but I am speaking in general)
Here is a neat little video that you guys may enjoy. It is a challenge to break off old traditions :) LOL. Hmmmm I wonder if I could do something like this on my wedding day next year?
Break off old traditions
Thursday, August 6, 2009
The claim by atheists that I dis-agree with.
1. Atheism has no relation to consequences.
2. God is evil becaue he is most powerful and most knowledgable...so He is responsible for our sin.
Firstly, point 1.
What follows a person when he takes up the belief of atheism?
I'll give you a clue.
I believe that the God of the Bible is THE God. period. Because I believe in Him there are consequences.
a.I will be punished for my evil deeds because there is a law behind our morals.
b.There is an ultimate moral law
c.There is reason for me being here beyond what I am.
d.There is a hell.
e.There is a heaven and a new earth where righteouness will dwell.
These are consequences for my belief in the God of the Bible both good and bad. This is my worldview.
Atheism is not just "belief in no god"...there are consequences that follow that belief that affect the way we live and view life.
Secondly, point 2.
God is responsible for all evil it is claimed.
God occasions evil but is NOT the cause. This is the God of the Bible. The god atheists portray is not the God of the Bible. If the god that the atheists portray is god then I would be an atheist. In fact I am an atheist in regard to there imaginary god.
The Bible says that God is not willing that any should perish. Yet people go to hell? God is good in character and has freewill. We as people were made in His image and have been made to make OUR OWN decisions, seperate from God. God wants a people that are loyal to Him and to dwell with Him but to have real loyalty is to have the opportunity to be dis-loyal.
Analogies like God as father and us as children, so God is responsible for our bad... are inadaquate because we are not children and nor were Adam and Eve.
Our freewill is subject to God's freewill and God's freewill is subject to His character. He is sinless and does not make us sin.
Hell is a terrible place...don't go there, unless of course some people would rather be there than with a good God, and go by there own choice.
Is hell a worthy punishment of evil? To my thinking it is harsh in a way, I admit that, but that is because my standards are not as high as God's standards and evil to me (not a force but an action) is more of a stench to God then it is to me...sadly, I should understand it. God wants a good world but WE keep stuffing it up.
Often reality is not often what we want...that is what makes it real, whether we like it or not.
So, is an everlasting hell really a terrible thing? At first glance it is but let us think deeper.
We live in a world where evil people plague the planet...including us. If we knew that hell would be annihilation then there would not be any real incentive to seek to be right with God. There would be no real punishment. Kind of like a druggy who knows it is killing him but he is just wanting to have a grand time and then die, doesn't want to preserve his life. So annihilation would not be a very good justified punishment.
What about a temporary hell?
Well, same thing again. Do periods of temporary imprisonment stop people from being evil? would it stop people?
No, people have a grand time being evil while knowing they will just a have a period of punishment.
No justified punishment there.
But an everlasting hell for those who would prefer to live without God and His righteousness would be a sure hell indeed and well deserved.
BUT there is good news peoples,
Why think on hell when there is no need to go there? You shouldn't think to yourself "The police are unjust because they give lifetime jailment, so I will not belive in them".
Look at God's provision for us. He paid our price of eternal death and conquered it for us! How awesome is that. Through a second chance we can be right with our Maker after stuffing up His world. We can be good again and be renewed by Him living in us through His Holy Spirit. To heal the broken hearted and set the captives free!
Come to God and become a new person.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
The following quotes are taken from a couple atheist friends that try to convince us that atheism need not have consequences.
"I hope you are not rying to say that you have free will because you believe in a supernatural power but I do not because I don't believe in supernatural powers? Hmmmmmmm?"
I am saying that if your philosophy of "no God" is true then you can accept the consequences. I f I am wrong about a consequence then show me why. (I am talking to everyone) Don't fob off problems as "just philosophy" because our very world views are philosophical)
"There are many ways towards atheism. You do not need to subscribe to a given and described philosophy to be an atheist. All you need is to doubt that there is any gods. Clear so far?"
I am afraid that it is unclear Mr G.E.
What you are trying to sell us is thinking such as "I don't believe in cars" and nothing can affect me because of it.
1. A car could run you over.
2. Sore feet could develop from walking everywhere...unless you believe in wearing shoes.
We cannot believe what we want to believe and forget about all the conequences of what we believe.
Another angle is that beliefs collide with other's beliefs. For example Israel to Palestine is Palestine's and Israel to Israel is Israel's.
Can they just agree to disagree? I don't think so. Who will win? The person with the biggest stick :) The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob will!
The most reasonable answer should win, the one that is nearer to truth. At least Dawkins has the guts to admit that his atheism is a dark world (Dawkins Lennox debate) with no absolute morals and no purpose except for what you make it... the list of consequences go on and on.
Don't turn a blind eye but face up to reality.
Relativism does not work. Atheism is not "just" atheism.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
So what is the big deal?
If atheistic naturalism is true then I ask, would it take away all free-will? What I mean by this is...I was meant to write this post and NO OTHER WAY could have happened except what is happening now. I was meant to write this post and you were predestined by cause and effect to read this post.
If there is no "outside" nature then we are all stuck in a series of causal happenings causing us to act and our "will" is a delusion. The thought you just thought was caused by the thought before and the thought you are having now was caused by the other thought you had just before.
So I am a Christian because I cannot help it and you are maybe an atheist because you cannot help it; the same applies to every person if this is true.
If so, do we NEED police? If someone murders someone else isn't it just their chemistry causing them to act? Chemistry attacking another lot of chemistry?
Is not today's world seeming to take that turn in thinking...justifying someone because they couldn't of known better? Such as when a school kid is being uncontrollable the teachers pass it off as "It was his/her upbringing" (I admit there is some truth to this but I use it to make a point).
Many Christian theists don't have a problem with this situation because they believe that people are spirit as well as body and we have an "outside nature" part to us...an image of God...a free-will.
Why do people have such enormous ability to have abstract thought and inference truths about our universe? Someone once said that man is incurably abstract.
Does this give evidence that man is special as the Bible teaches us...more than just an animal?
To read more on this subject try this link to chapter 3 entitled "The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism" in a book called "Miracles". Note: It may be helpful one day to read the whole book in context to since we miss the first two chapters but here is the third which brings out some interesting thoughts. If you disagree with a statement then don't throw away the baby with the bath water :)
"The Cardinal Difficulty of Naturalism"
P.S. Another slant on the thought of naturalism:
|“||Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God."||”|
—C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity
Saturday, August 1, 2009
My fiancee runs a blog and puts up a lot of her art work that she does. She is completing a degree in visual arts this year and is focusing on illustrating children's stories and currently is working on a book to be published. You can find her artwork here:
Do check it out.
I am soo proud of you Ess!
P.S. Feel free to leave a thoughtful comment... :)
Hope you all have great weekend!