When talking to a skeptic about the existence of God, one will sooner or later get past the science discussion. It will come down to an old west style standoff. The skeptic will say that you cannot definitively prove the existence of God with science and the Christian will reply that you cannot definitively disprove the existence of God with science. (There are circles one can go within this debate especially if you drill down to specific sciences like physics, microbiology and astronomy. Sciences do point to a designer and some skeptics hold to the idea that life on Earth is an extension of life on another planet and was brought here either by an ancient alien life form or on a meteor (Superman style) from an exploded planet. This debate can go on and on, but typically will end with each side making the concession that you cannot either emphatically prove or disprove God based solely on science.) At this point the skeptic will often go into blather about the inability to prove unicorns and trolls to which the Christian simply scratches her head in wonder of what that has to do with the conversation.
Once past the science debate the discussion moves to a more philosophical tone. This is when one of the most divisive of all questions is posed by the skeptic. This one question is solely responsible for many people never accepting Christianity and for others leaving the faith altogether. The skeptic will look at the Christian and smile as if a light just turned on. With the grin upon his face he will then ask, “If God exists why does he allow suffering and pain, especially on good people?” The skeptic will then take his hands, clasp them together behind his head and lean back in his chair as he lets out a sigh of victory.
The Christian then feels tiny sweat droplets form at the top of her head. Those droplets of sweat slowly cascade down her forehead into her eyebrows. She clinches her teeth as she attempts to answer the question, but she feels defeated because she has been dealing with that very question herself. This question can often break the debate and leave the Christian stuttering and thanking the skeptic for his time. Some will make up something, but the skeptic can see through the thin veneer of fabricated answers.
I’ve been there and I have dealt with this very topic on many occasions. Here is what I have learned.
First off, let’s look at the basic concept behind the Christian faith: God created humans in His image – perfect and with the ability to choose – complete freedom. Humanity (Adam/Eve) chose sin (to be evil) over God and therefore became slaves to sin in place of being children of God. God gave law to humanity to define sin and give us a way to shun evil and turn to back to God. He also imposed the ritual of offering a sacrifice (giving up something) in place of the sins. Humanity continued to serve sin. God came to earth as a man – Jesus Christ – and sacrificed Himself to remove the penalty of the sin that we impose upon ourselves. Simply put, God offered payment to buy us back – giving us a chance to cease being servants of sin and once again become children of God.
Pain and suffering are the result of sin. This was never God’s plan for humanity, but we made the decision to become servants of evil and therefore suffer the consequences. We cannot put the blame on Adam and Eve because we have all done evil.
Here is a passage that sums it all up: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.” – Romans 3:22-25
I defined why pain and suffering exist – not because God wanted to watch us suffer but because He created us with the freedom to choose our master and we chose poorly. With that said, the question arises as to why Christians still experience pain and suffering. The skeptic will point out that our own scriptures say that Jesus Christ died for our sins and our healing. They will point out Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” [An interesting thing – when they bring this verse up they are pointing to a prophecy about Jesus Christ – years before he came to earth. It makes a great side conversation.]
I can get into a very controversial subject about healing and the Bible. I will put it like this; I believe in healing and know that God still heals because I have personally witnessed it. I am not going to address the whole topic about whether or not God always heals Christians who have enough faith. I will make this point, we all die – even the disciples died – so physical healing is still based upon the will of God to what extent he allows us to live.
Christians do still suffer. Christian people lose their children, die in disasters, are tortured, etc. We suffer alongside those who do not believe in Jesus Christ. How do we explain this? Salvation is not a free ticket to a fun filled life with no pain, it's freedom from sin. This really should be sufficient. If God did nothing on the cross but release us from the prison of sin, wouldn’t that be adequate? We get to spend eternity with God and shun hell. That is reward enough, no matter what trials we face while on this planet.
It’s not a question about why God allows suffering but why God allows us to experience joy, hope, peace and contentment in the midst of the chaos on planet earth. The question of why God allows pain and suffering is from the wrong perspective because it focuses on a selfish motive. God gives us a wonderful gift in rescuing us from the clutches of evil and that should be more than enough.
Here’s the question for the skeptic – Why is it that Christians maintain hope, comfort, purpose and peace in the midst of tragedy?
Do you ever feel like you are on the verge of something great? Anyone who has ever stood on a mountaintop knows the feeling. As you stand upon the edge off the cliff feeling the wind against your face, you behold the majesty of all that is around. You see the brilliant colors in the sky as the morning sun takes its throne, the rolling peaks and valleys of the terrain below, and the trees, rivers and lakes that dot the landscape. It is amazing to behold and you quickly realize that you are on the verge of something greater than yourself.
There are times in life that we feel that same emotion connected to our existence. It’s the feeling you have at the birth of your first child, when you purchase a home, give to help someone in need, land a new job, or dedicate to spend your life with the person you love. There are moments scattered throughout our lives in which we feel we are on the verge of something great. In those moments we know that life has a purpose and something dynamic is about to take place.
I currently have that feeling, but it’s one of those moments for which I cannot define why. I’m not sure if it is because I am about to publish my first book and feel the excitement growing in conjunction to what will be a major accomplishment in my life, or if there is another reason of which I have yet to discover. All I know is that I feel as if I am standing upon that mountain and looking at the splendor or the valley below. I eagerly anticipate what is before me and am hopeful for the positive growth it will bring to my life.
I know that my life has meaning and I feel as though a part my life’s purpose is soon to be revealed. I’m excited and yet a little nervous because what lies ahead is somewhat unknown. Being on the verge of something great signals a change ahead. That change will most likely require something to be sacrificed for that which is to be gained. When a child is born the parents sacrifice time and finances, purchasing a home also requires monetary sacrifice, giving to someone in need requires that we sacrifice pride and selfishness, starting a new career means sacrificing an old way of life and marrying your love means you must learn the art of compromise and sacrifice some of the freedoms you had when you were single. When the reward is much greater than the sacrifice, it’s worth the change that it brings. It still makes me nervous to know that my life will soon change and that I will most likely need to give up something.
What about you? Have you ever experienced a radical change in your life? Maybe you moved to another country and needed to learn a new culture or language. Maybe you made a major career change and experienced tremendous financial growth. What do you typically do when you feel you are on the verge of something great? How do you prepare for what is up ahead? Please leave feedback because you may have the words of wisdom that I need right now. - Tim
I am currently sitting at Marion Toyota as my oil is being changed in my car. I can still smell the aroma of my Gillette shower gel on my skin. I am reminded about how much our world has changed in the past few years. I’m not talking about the nice lobby with its leather chairs, LCD televisions broadcasting HGTV, free WIFI and coffee bar - at a car dealership; I’m talking about shower gel and men.
When my wife Julie and I first married I made one of my first compromises. I gave up the world of Irish Springs soap to enter the world of feminine shower gel. It was a pretty simple debate, Julie didn’t like the mess that soap causes as it disintegrates in the shower and I was madly in love with her and wanted to please her. I ceased using my soap bars and began using shower gel on those poufy shower things that don’t really have a name. I entered the world of jasmine and passion fruit. I was putting pink frothy moisturizing stuff on me as I watched my manhood vanish into oblivion.
Fast forward a few years. Some soap companies realized that men were becoming emasculated all around the world and haphazardly attempted to create shower gels that appealed to men. They were hidden within the droves of feminine shower gels at the supermarkets. These new man themed shower gels were in plain clear bottles, dyed blue and not very soapy. I would still buy them from time to time in a vain attempt to regain my status as a man, but I wasn’t very happy with those gels because they just didn’t do a very good job of keeping me clean. They also didn’t smell very manly – I think they just dyed the women’s shower gel blue.
To my knowledge, the first big attempt to garner men’s loyalty in the male shower gel world was made by AXE. Their commercials scared me away from their products. They were looking for an edgy approach that just looked scary. The image they created was that when a man used their products, all the women in the vicinity would suddenly turn to ravenous beasts or vampires and pursue the man. That did not sound appealing to me at all. I had no desire of turning the women around me into beasts nor did I want them to hunt me down. I am happily married don’t need women coming after me. It would probably not be beneficial to my marriage to say the least. I understand this was a marketing ploy to try to convince men that AXE would make them more appealing, but for me it was an epic fail as a marketing strategy. I stuck with my wife’s Herbal Essences instead.
A couple years ago the entire genre of men’s body wash was changed by the most unlikely of candidates. Until two years ago the words ‘Old Spice’ were synonymous with words ‘Old Men.’ I’m not sure this was written anywhere, but the motto ‘Old men wear Old Spice,’ was chanted on many occasions. The porcelain bottle with the ship on it was the symbol of retirement. It was cheap smelling cologne that no one under 70 would come close to.
The company apparently hired a wired haired genius because they suddenly created a line of products for men. They began to carry deodorant and dual purpose hair and body wash. My first response was, ‘its Old Spice, it can’t be good,’ and then the genius’ unleashed their marketing campaign. The commercial featured a fit and attractive man who essentially told men to man up and stops using “ladies’ body wash.” He told us that if we used Old Spice we could smell like him. He made body wash manly and attractive.
I could finally come out of the closet and boldly proclaim that I am a man who uses body wash. I could throw away my pink poufy thing and buy a navy blue one. I was suddenly able to be proud of using body wash. Old Spice was no longer for old men, but for manly men. It was pure genius.
Now there are a variety of men’s body wash. I think we have more choices than women and I get to smell the wonderful manly scent of my Gillette body wash instead of pomegranates and honeysuckles. From the bottom of my heart, thank you Old Spice for making me a man again.
What do you think about men’s body wash? - Tim
Who dies and who lives? This is one of the most difficult questions I ask myself when writing a book. Since I write thrillers, it’s inevitable that death will play a strong part in the story. I don’t write CSI themed books where the victim is at the beginning of the book and everyone is trying to figure out who is responsible. My stories contain dark characters with evil intentions and protagonists who may or may not become victims. It’s a tricky thing because I spend time developing and explaining a character only to obliterate him/her. I must consider the reader’s perspective when deciding what to do but still stay true to theme of the tale. It can be really tricky.
It’s tricky because we, at least in America, have a very negative view on aging and death. When we are young, we can’t wait to grow older. We have specific ages we look forward to: 10, 13, 16, 18 and 21. After 21, however, many of us want to stop aging. We have this negative view of what it means to turn 30, 40, or 50. Some look forward to 65, but not until they have already passed those other dreaded ages. As a society we don’t look at aging in a positive light. I have never seen someone blow out their candles on their 21st birthday and say, “I can’t wait until I’m 30, it’s gonna be epic!”
I think we really need to put a more positive light on 30, 40, 50, etc. We don’t like grey hair, balding, wrinkles and joint pain and we often associate these bad side effects with being anything over 25. We tend to forget that as we age we gain wisdom, financial freedom (hopefully), maturity, and an increased ability to positively affect the world around us. We lose stamina because we have a negative view on aging. I propose we start making targets beyond 21. Start setting goals for where you want to be at those ages you dread. Put some type of positive spin on them. Maybe you want to go to Hawaii, start saving money and plan to do so when you turn 40, 50 or whatever. Don’t wait until you are almost dead to make your bucket list. Start making plans now for your future and set goals by those ages you dread. That way you can post pictures of yourself smiling and doing crazy things to Facebook in place of those pictures of you sadly blowing out comic sans candles displaying your age with all your friends pointing and laughing in the background. Make goals and enjoy each of your upcoming landmark ages.
I started talking about death and will end with that subject. I think most of us dread aging because we don’t like the prospect of seeing our lives come to an end. We get into the mindset that each birthday is one step closer to death. We don’t talk about it but we do think about it. We do everything to avoid death but all know that it is inevitable. Everyone who lives dies. If my books were nonfiction, the characters would definitely die sooner or later. We don’t like to see the main character die because we hope to somehow cheat death ourselves. The problem is that we have a very negative view on death. We think about how sad our loved ones will be at our demise and all the things we will miss in this life. We fear death and do everything we can to ignore it.
I am going to die and so are you. I don’t necessarily like the idea of death, but I personally don’t see it as the end of my life. I see it as a transition from one reality to another. I’m not one of those people who really care anything about a ‘mansion in the sky’ or ‘streets of gold,’ but I do look forward to meeting the God who created me. I have many questions to ask Him much thanks to give Him. I want to hug Jesus Christ and see Him face to face. I want to reunite with family and friends who have already passed away. Death is not the end for me; it is a passage into my future. Which is it for you? - Tim
Be generous but not to the point that you enable someone’s bad habits – that’s my philosophy in life. If you have read my blogs for awhile, you know that I genuinely like to help people. I like the feeling I get when I buy a pair of TOMS or send money to aid people in Africa. I love taking a hammer and nails and helping someone who has lost everything to nature. I really like to help people and I honestly believe it is the Christian thing to do.
Jesus was definitely pro helping people: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40, “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”- Matthew 5:7
The United States of America has a forthcoming presidential election this year. Our nation has experienced some tough financial setbacks over the last several years and the average American is feeling the strain on their pocketbooks. One of the hot topics on debate is what to cut because our nation has gone ballistic in overspending. We have a skyrocketing deficit that is being laid on the backs of hard working Americans who are struggling take care of their own families.
When these debates come up, the question often arises about what we should do with our welfare system. There are two extremes on this debate. One says to completely do away with government aide and force people to provide for themselves while the other viewpoint is to increase what we are currently giving in order to help those who are suffering due to the downward spiraling economy.
Christians are viewed in a negative light during these debates. We are told that as followers of Christ we should be all about giving to aide others but many outspoken Christians oppose government aide and are therefore accused of not being very Christ-like.
As a Christian I believe we should definitely give to help those in need – I stated this in my opening paragraph. As I said, however, we should be generous but not to the point that we enable bad habits. Our current welfare system has become a force of enabling bad habits and needs to be reformed. I don’t think we need to stop giving aide to those who truly need it, but I also don’t think we should enable people to not work, stay at home and commit crimes.
Before I continue, allow me to explain how this has affected me personally. In 2006 my wife and I were expecting our second child, Rachel. We had gone through some rough times but I had landed a stable job the prior year. In June 2006, I found out that my entire division was being cut and I was immediately laid off. This meant that we would either lose our health insurance or be required to use almost all of my unemployment to stretch it out for a few months. Julie was due in September and we had no possible way of affording to pay for our health insurance. The state of Illinois has a system where you can obtain free health insurance if you meet a certain set of criteria. It was really our only option and we gladly enlisted Julie on that plan. I was drawing unemployment, my wife was on state funded health insurance and we were enrolled in a program called WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) that provided necessary foods for women with infants. We took advantage of government sponsored programs and I am extremely grateful that we had that opportunity. For me to say that we need to do away with government aid would make me a hypocrite. I don’t think it needs to be removed, but I do think it needs to be reformed.
My family did not abuse the system. I adamantly searched for a job and began working three part time jobs that October. One of those jobs turned into fulltime employment with an option to purchase health insurance for my family. We still qualified for the government sponsored system but I did not want to take advantage of money that had been made off the backs of hard working Americans. I agreed to pay the high premiums and cover my entire family under my work insurance plan. I had accepted government aid but I did everything I could to work my way back to a place where I provided for my family.
I think the system needs to be reworked to where it models that type of behavior. It needs to help you when you are in need but push you to find a way to provide for yourself. I don’t know if this would model the Civilian Conservation Corps where individuals worked for government projects to earn their pay or if it would be a tiered system where the aid recipients receive is gradually reduced, but reform needs to happen.
If you continually give a person a fish but never teach them how to fish for themselves, you are enabling them to depend upon you. You must teach them to fish and send them out on their own. Our current system enables dependency. If I didn’t take initiative to provide for my family, I could still be in the system. I could have government provided health insurance, food stamps, etc. I could be living off the hard work of others but I choose to be one of those workers instead. I want to spend my life as a provider, not as a taker. What about you?
We don’t watch much television. We don’t have cable or satellite and when we do watch a TV show, it’s usually on HULU. There are few shows that I have ever considered myself addicted to. One of those shows was LOST. I was a LOST fanatic, a genuine ‘LOSTIE.’ I had to watch each episode when it aired – no waiting for HULU or Netflix on that one. (I don’t even think HULU and Netflix existed when the show first aired.) From the moment the plane crashed until Jack met up with everyone in the afterlife, I was glued to my television. Julie also happened to really enjoy the show, so it was something we did together. We would rush the kids to bed and turn on ABC and get lost for an hour.
If you ever watched LOST, you are familiar with its main characters, Jack, Kate, Hurley, Locke, Charlie, Claire, Jin, Sun, Ben, Juliet and of course – Sawyer. A central theme in the show was a love triangle between Jake, Kate and Sawyer. Kate could never figure out what or who she wanted and she would constantly bounce between Jack and Sawyer. Jack was initially pictured as the strong, stable guy and Sawyer was the ‘bad boy.’ In the first season James ‘Sawyer’ Ford was the person everyone loved to hate. As the show went on, Sawyer and Jack switched places somewhat with Sawyer seen as the more stable character and Jack as the loose cannon. It was all confusing, but such was LOST.
One thing that stayed constant in Sawyer’s profile was his habit of creating nonpolitically correct nicknames for other characters. It was his calling card. Kate was ‘Freckles,’ Jack was ‘Doc,’ Hurley was ‘Lardo,’ Locke was ‘Mr. Clean,’ and so on. He actually called everyone by different names depending on the circumstances. These nicknames often were based upon how a person looked or acted. They always seemed aptly placed and brought a minuscule amount of humor to whatever drama was taking place. Sawyer also had a knack for stating the obvious in a blunt manner. The phenomenon became known as ‘Sawyerisms.’ If you don’t believe me, just Google it and you will see what I mean.
Thanks to the popularity of the show, I sometimes find myself still using Sawyerisms. Just last night Julie and I were watching a movie and one of the main characters had really thick eyebrows. Julie said, ‘she has really thick eyebrows,’ and I responded, ‘yeah, she needs to get them waxed. Sawyer would call her Brooke Shields.’ LOST has been off the air for almost two years and I find myself still making references to it as if we are going to watch it this Thursday night. I don’t go around using Sawyerims all the time, but they do still put a smile on my face when I think about them.
Do you have a favorite television show that you reference? Were you a LOSTIE or did the show just leave you lost?
I know there is a multitude of different types of churches. I must say that I really love my church, Christian Life Center in Herrin, IL. We know how to have fun. This past Sunday was one of those 'fundays.' I was service leader at our church and I got interrupted by some accountants. It was, well you just need to watch the video for yourself...
Do you consider your church fun? Do you think it's good to have fun at church or should it be more liturgical?
Ah yes, leftovers. This is the one meal everyone looks forward to. Some days, it’s hard not to sit at work and think about leftovers all day long. Okay, this really isn’t true. I am blessed, however, because I have a wonderful wife who happens to be an exceptional cook so it is a rarity in my family. When we do have leftovers, they are usually still delicious. Fresh food doesn’t last long in my house so yucky leftovers is not something for which I am an expert. This does not mean that I am unable to write a satire framed blog on the subject of leftovers. I still know a little and can always pretend to be the world’s most renowned expert.
We all have opinions on leftovers and those opinions normally range in the negative category. We typically have a couple good reasons for our diagnosis on the whole leftover controversy.
1. We don’t like eating the same thing two days in a row; we like variety
2. Leftover food does not taste as good as freshly made food
3. After a day in the refrigerator leftover food comes to life
The first one is a very good argument unless you are a college student who eats the leftover Papa John’s pizza that has been sitting out on your table for three days. For you, Mr. College Guy (we all know girls don’t do this), you have no argument against your mom’s leftover meatballs. For the rest of us, this makes sense. For this reason, some families try to hide the leftovers by making them into something else: meatball salad, meatball Panini’s, meatball soup, you get the picture. Now that I think about it, meatballs themselves are often reconfigured meatloaf. So the other dishes may just be leftover leftovers. If you start with meatloaf, you can add variety to the whole week.
The second reason is another good one with the exception of the college student -they are in a category all their own. We often don’t like the taste of leftover food. Sometimes the bread gets soggy or the cheese turns colors. The taste just changes and that makes leftovers look bad. For some reason this doesn’t happen with soup – which I don’t like. For those who do like soup, they tell me that the flavors mix as it sits and it gets better over time. I will trust their opinion on that one.
The last reason is probably the truest. The longer food sits in the refrigerator, the more alive it becomes. Leftover food can and will develop a personality as it molts in the cool climate of one’s refrigerator. It grows, mutates and multiplies. Over time the food will congeal into an alien life form and exit your refrigerator on its own. It’s quite scary. - Tim
What do you think about leftovers?
As I Christian I have often had trouble reconciling some passages of the Bible. Many of those opposed to Christianity will use these passages to make a case against the authenticity of the Bible. One specific passage has often perplexed me - 2 Kings 2:23-25 “From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!” He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.”
Prior to this passage the prophet Elijah had just been taken up to Heaven in a fiery chariot of horses in a whirlwind. His apprentice, Elisha, followed him in hopes to see him go into the presence of God. Elijah had promised Elisha that if he witnessed this event he would receive a double potion of Elijah’s ‘spirit.’ Elisha wanted to receive God’s anointing and Elijah’s blessing, much like a son obtaining his father’s inheritance.
If we stop right there, one could easily assume that I have problems with all the miraculous events that took place. The two prophets travelled somewhere around 25 miles that day and just seemed to be wandering. Other prophets knew that Elijah was going to pass into God’s presence in a miraculous way. Elijah parted the water with his cloak, the two of them crossed the Jordan River on ‘dry ground’ and a chariot of fire came from the sky and Elijah loaded into it and a tornado picked the chariot, horses and Elijah up and carried them away. As Elijah was being pulled away Elisha grabbed his robe and tore off a piece. Elisha then took the piece of Elijah’s cloak and also used it to part the waters.
As farfetched as that all sounds I don’t have trouble believing it. I have seen miraculous things in my life and miracles coincide with my understanding of God’s character. I’m not surprised by the supernatural and have no problem believing these events take place in the Bible. It’s the next part that I have trouble reconciling because it doesn’t line up with my idea of who God is. It has often perplexed me.
At least three days, maybe more, after this event a strange thing happens. Elisha returns to Bethel and is taunted by some boys. He turns around and calls a curse down on them from God. Two bears emerge from the forest and kill 42 of the boys.
Here is the picture that would run into my mind whenever I read this passage. Elisha is walking down the road, some five year old boys come out and make fun of his bald head, he asks God to kill them and God complies.
There were some mistakes in my version of the story. Many people smarter than me say that the original text asserts these boys were somewhere between the ages of 17 and 20. That’s better than being 5 year olds but it still seems strange that they were killed for making fun of someone. This is where we get into presumption because we really don’t have much of the story. We know that a group of least 42 young men aged 17 to 20 approached Elisha and began harassing him. It is quite possible that they were threatening him and his life was in danger. If these 42 people meant him harm we can begin to understand why he would go to his best defense – God. I concede that sending two bears in to devour the men seems savage, but this passage of scripture was written thousands of years ago and I am reading it through a 2012 lens.
This is my major point today. Even the newest texts in the Bible were written two millennia ago. Technology did not exist and the world as we know if was much different. People were constantly fighting over land and everyone lived by their hands. They had to provide their own food by growing it and killing animals. To better understand these difficult passages in the Bible I must look at them in the context of the times in which they took place, not in 2012. Elisha could not pull out his iPhone and call the police. He could not have the mob arrested and detained. He had only one answer and that was to call out to God for help.
I do not understand everything about God and, quite frankly, I am not supposed to. God is a greater being and I am but His creation. It is not my place to question God on why He chose to send the bears but to understand that He knows best. You see I serve a God of love. Read the New Testament and you will see love everywhere. I also serve a God of judgment and his judgment was swift in the Old Testament. Because of what Jesus Christ did in dying on the cross – God’s judgment has been redirected. I can accept God’s forgiveness and escape his wrath. It’s the whole reason Jesus died. This passage took place prior to the account of Jesus Christ in a time when God’s judgment was quickly carried out. He did this for reasons I may not comprehend but must accept.
Do I understand everything in the Bible? No.
Do I believe the Bible is true? Yes.
Do I understand everything about God? No.
Do I still trust Him? Yes.
For further explanation, please visit this site. It is where I received some of my information. http://www.biblequery.org/2ki.htm
Everyone has faith in something. Yes you read that correctly, everyone has faith in something. Yesterday I blogged about how atheism helps increase my Christian faith. The premise was this: Atheism poses questions- I seek answers- I find answers and my faith in God increases. I have talked to a number of atheists and agnostics in my years as a Christian and there often seems to be one argument that comes up repetitively. Honestly I think it’s one of the weakest arguments against Christianity that exists but it keeps coming up just the same.
Here’s the scenario: We talk about history and the claims of Jesus Christ or the different laws in the Bible or how some parts of the Bible seem to disagree with other parts and then they pose this defense: ‘I believe in facts, things that are tangible and can be proven by science. God cannot be proven by science and you must have faith to believe in him. I don’t believe in things that take faith, I live in reality.’ Mentally they then say, ‘checkmate’ because they believe to have ended the discussion and won.
Here’s the thing, they are correct in stating that it takes faith to believe in God. I never said that it doesn’t. To believe in the Christian God you must have faith that He exists, created man, man sinned and aligned himself with the devil (another created being); despite God’s pleas - man continued to sin; God took on the form of a human (Jesus Christ), worked miracles, was executed for his unorthodox views and rose from the dead – all to offer mankind forgiveness of sins. You can’t believe that without faith I concur. That does not mean that it’s not true or that choosing to not believe exempts one from faith.
If it is true and you choose to not believe it, aren’t you then acting in faith? You believe one idea over another which is essentially faith that you are correct and someone else is wrong. We all have faith. Most of us don’t understand oxygen. We can’t see, touch, smell or hear oxygen, but it is there. We know it is because the experts tell us so. We have faith that they have told us the truth. We could say the same for molecules and even germs.
Atheism takes faith. An atheist must believe that a greater being did not set the universe in motion. It takes faith to believe that everything that exists was formed out of nothing with no designer. It takes faith to believe that a huge explosion occurred billions of years ago with not propellant, fuel or even matter. It takes faith to believe in a beginning that started from nothing. Even evolution takes faith because it opposes the laws of physics. Actually, both ideas oppose the Laws of Thermodynamics. It takes faith to believe in them.
We all believe in things we don’t understand or don’t have proof for. It’s not a question of who has faith and who doesn’t; it’s a question of who is right and who is wrong. There are some things about my Christian faith that terrify me but I don’t run from it just because I don’t understand everything about it. I don’t understand much about God, but that doesn’t mean that I choose to not believe in Him. He is a greater being than I and therefore somewhat of a mystery. I’m okay with that because He wouldn’t be God if I understood everything about Him.
This blog isn’t about proof but there is much proof to substantiate Christianity. With that said, it still takes faith. All beliefs do, including the belief in having no belief. Today I will leave you with this:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1