Christmas. It’s the time when we hear so much about how it brings out the best in people. It’s time to give gifts. It’s time to be nice to other people. All those things.
Scary stuff – isn’t it?
And then there’s the baby – Jesus – the true “reason for the season”.
A little baby.
… That’s why Christians call the Friday commemorating Jesus’ crucifixion Good Friday – not “horrible friday”. One more time – not because of the way Jesus died, but because of the fact that we made Jesus’ death necessary by our own actions. It’s Good Friday, because that death is what saves us from God’s judgement.
“The results show that Americans overwhelmingly believe the Bible is a source of hope and a force for good even as they express growing concern for our nation’s morals.”
This is an interesting quote. The bottom line is that “many” Americans are searching for something that Americans “overwhelmingly” believe is in the Bible. However, even as that’s happening, they also think the country is going downhill. What does that mean?
Someone asked a while back on one of the posts if I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible. The implication was that no reasonable person could possibly believe such a thing. After all – who could possibly believe that the earth was created in six literal days? Or that people walked with dinosaurs? My answer would be something along the lines of – exactly where does the Bible say either of those things? In fact – it doesn’t. The problem isn’t errors in the Bible – the problem is errors in people’s interpretation of the Bible. If someone wants the Bible to say something – they’ll find a way to make that happen. It’s human nature to do things like that. And it’s not just with the Bible. Look at statistics. Having taken a few graduate level statistics courses and programmed several statistical analysis models – including for a motion picture studio and a US Navy contractor – I think I have a bit of a background to confirm an old saying – there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. While they are purely mathematical in nature – they say what they say – the way people interpret […]
Genesis – including the creation account – was written by Moses. It was the beginning. If we don’t believe it, then we’re calling it a lie. And once we begin to call God a liar, how can we all of a sudden claim to believe anything at all that He says? If we can’t accept the things are are plainly visible, how can we begin to accept the things that aren’t visible at all – let alone the things that will happen in the future?
I do know now, after these past 7 years. Some of it was for others, based on feedback I’ve received. Some of it was certainly for me. The cost has been high. And yet, looking at the image at the top, I realize that when we’re talking about this particular cost, it’s really not necessary to blow up the budget – because the budget is way bigger than we can even begin to realize.
What I’m looking at for this topic is the kind of slavery we allow to come on ourselves. It starts as something “innocent”, or so we think. It’s a thrill, or so we think, We can control it, or so we think. Then it ruins our lives, maybe even in spite of what we think. It could be nearly anything – work, money, alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography – you name it, we can become addicted to it. Those are the kinds of things Paul was talking about in Galatians.
Any attempt to say that we must have faith and do stuff above and beyond that to earn our salvation – it takes away from Jesus’ death, as I mentioned – but it also takes away our only means to judge for ourselves whether or not our faith is real. By saying that faith alone isn’t enough – people are taking away our ability to stand firm in our belief – before we die / before it’s too late – whether or not our faith is real and therefore whether or not we are saved.
The concern here is that when we say things like we “know” certain things because the Bible says so, we run the risk of turning people off to the message we are trying to give. Something that was meant to be caring and loving can be construed as something that sounds uncaring and insensitive. I think we need to remember that we believe God meets us where we are, and so when we talk with others who faith isn’t as strong as our or maybe have no faith at all, we also need to meet them where they are – not where we are.
In the days of Noah, people were evil in their hearts. Tell me – how great is the evil in our hearts when even our talk of religion – what’s supposed to be our beliefs about God – turns into the kinds of things it is today? How much evil does it take for one Catholic to call another Catholic equal to a jihadist? How much evil does it take to have some Catholics call other Christians equal to a jihadist?
Can we know if God still cares? Of course, that assumes that God did exist in the past. And it assumes that God still exists now. And it assumes that at least at some time in the past – God used to care. That’s a lot of assumptions. Whether you care to make none of them – some of them – or all of them – please read on and see what you think at the end.