Friday, 30 November 2012

Choosing between good

As we walk along the paths of life we all become familiar with and sometimes focused on choosing between good and bad. We all want to be able to choose that which is good instead of bad. Sometimes, and often times we fail at that so it is a good focus to be able to choose the straight and narrow so to speak. But something that can sometimes be even harder is choosing between two different good things.

Over the past few months I've been growing in my understanding of marital life and learning about my own desires to provide for and love my wife. With that sometimes comes the temptation to work overtime at work. The logic goes like this. I can provide more food, more clothing, more comfort for my wife if we have some more money, which requires working more. I've seen it in so many men's lives as they try to provide for their families in these ways. But it necessarily requires the sacrifice of time, time doing other things like playing with your kids or talking to your wife. You ultimately have to decide which is more important to you, providing for your family materially, or providing for your family by being there for them. Its an issue of balance.

Whats been making me think about this is at my current job they are offering loads of overtime over the past couple months. For the most part I usually just delete the e-mails without reading them, but today I found myself reading the e-mails and briefly considering working on Saturday because our budget has been a little tight for the past couple weeks. But thankfully I realized my error and dismissed the ridiculous idea of giving up a day with my wife especially since the only time we get to spend time together during the week is at breakfast and while in bed. How ludicrous it would have been to give in to that temptation, but then its a very common thing and a very easy temptation to give in to. And it has benign motives too! We have our loved ones in mind when we do these things. I think we just need to think through it more before we unintentionally walk away from our families.

For His Glorious Name,

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Boy Scouts, MacGuyver, and Jesus

I grew up in the Boy Scouts. As a Boy Scout I got to spend a lot of time outside, making things, being resourceful and such. We would go camping, doing survival training, merit badges, and a lot of other things that are involved in Boy Scouts. I also remember one of my favorite tv shows growing up was MacGuyver. One of the reasons was because MacGuyver was the epitome of what a Boy Scout often strove to be. He could take just about anything and use it for something amazing. He would take ordinary mundane objects and give them a purpose that was beyond what we would normally think they're capable of. Thats why he was somewhat of a hero of mine and I have all 7 seasons on DVD, because he could change the status of something from mundane to extraordinary. Maybe you can see where I'm going with this.

And yet he pales in comparison to Jesus. Jesus also takes things that are lowly and gives them a purpose and meaning. But he does it with things that are broken. You see, MacGuyver got to use things that were still functional and served the purpose they were originally made for. A pen still did what it was supposed to do, he just gave it a bigger, more extraordinary purpose. But Christ, he takes us, whom are broken and not serving the purpose we were created for. We are sinners and can not even do what we're supposed to. Yet he takes what is broken and makes us into extraordinary vessels for His glory. Its truly amazing, and thats why Jesus is more than just a hero to me, he is my Savior.

For His Glorious Name,

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The Genesis Debate

Ever since Darwin there has been a serious debate going on. How old is the earth? The Darwinist view is of millions and billions of years whereas the Bible claims a measly thousands of years. And over the years the non-Christian world at large has bought into this idea of billions of years rather than thousands of years for the age of the earth.

But there is a bigger problem. We can expect the world outside of the Church to be deceived and led astray by every whim of doctrine or as the ESV puts it, "In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." But there are many who call themselves Christians who also believe in the older age of the earth and that the Genesis account should be read with a grain of salt so to speak. Those days were actually thousands of years. They think evolution is true and that we need to look at Genesis as how you would explain it to those who wouldn't understand that if you told them that, so we use a story to represent it.

I don't debate the topic with a non-Christian because its a distraction by Satan. I'll give my point of view and briefly describe why, but very few are convinced of Christ as Savior by debating the age of the earth. But I will debate it with brothers and sister in Christ whom are deceived by this worldly claim. And here is where I normally start.

If the age of the earth is millions or billions of years and evolution is true. Then Adam must not have been an actual man, but a metaphorical representation of mankind. Most would agree with me on this who claim an evolutionary christian perspective. And most would also agree with me that Abraham was an actual man and not just a metaphorical representation having had children by the names we have recorded and being of a historical nature. So then I move backwards.

Abram's father was Terah and was born when his father was 70 years old.(found in chapter 11). Nahor was the father of Terah when he was 29 years old. Serug was the father of Nahor when he was 30 years old. Reu was the father of Serug when he was 32 years. Peleg was the father of Reu when he was 30 years old. Eber was the father of Peleg when he was 34 years old. Shelah was the father of Eber when he was 30 years old. Arpachshad was the father of Shelah when he was 35 years old. Shem was the father of Arpachshad when he was 100 years old.

If we add those together it was:
70+29+30+32+30+34+30+35+100 = 390 years from the birth of Shem to the birth of Abraham.

Then we go further back, and guess what? There are numbers there too!

Noah was the father of Shem when he was 500 years old(chapter 5). Lamech was the father of Noah when he was 182 years old. Methuselah was the father of Lamech when he was 187 years old. Enoch was the father of Methuselah when he was 65 years old. Jared was the father of Enoch when he was 162 years old. Mahalalel was the father of Jared when he was 65 years old. Kenan was the father of Mahalalel when he was 70 years old. Enosh was the father of Kenan when he was 90 years old. Seth was the father of Enosh when he was 105 years old. Adam was the father of Seth when he was 130 years old.

Lets add these up:
500+182+187+65+162+65+70+90+105+130 = 1556 years from the "birth" of Adam to the birth of Shem. Putting that together it was only 1946 years from Adam to Abraham. Certainly not millions or billions of years.

So the question I always ask is if Adam was a metaphorical man and not a historical one, at what point did these metaphorical men father historical men? Which one was it, Seth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, etc.? The problem is if you take the Genesis 1-3 account as metaphorical and not historical, then you have to throw out the genealogies, and therefore the rest of Genesis as at best misguided and mythological(which is bad enough) or accept them as full on lies. And if that is the case then you might as well throw the whole Bible out.

I think there is plenty of room for debate in the scientific community concerning this issue to take down the lies that Darwinism has started and spread around like a virus, but it truly bothers me that Christians will take their faith and try to fit it into a worldly worldview. But people claiming to be followers of Christ have been doing such things from the very beginning, after all Satan is the father of all lies and seeks to undermine our work in the world to make Christ known.

But with this issue of Darwin vs the Bible, there really isn't any middle ground. They are completely opposing.

For His Glorious Name,

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Power of a Name

As I drove today I was thinking about my own deficiency in remembering names. I remember people. I remember interaction and events. But I have a hard time remembering peoples names! If I'm not around you daily, it is likely I've forgotten your name, not you, but your name. Even roommates and people I've spent a lot of time with I have to take a few moments to remember their names.

I then moved on to why is that? I remember what I've done with them and what they mean to me and I realized its because in our culture we don't give people names based on events or interactions. Sometimes we give people nicknames, but not all that often. For example when Abram became Abraham, that was a meaningful name associated with who he had become. Likewise with Jacob becoming Israel again a new name with who he had become. There are cultures in this world that call you by who you are, not by what name you were given at birth.

And now I think about the names of God. That is ultimately the only way we can refer to him, and also why he has so many names. He is an awesome God so he has many names like Elohim, El Shaddai, El Adonai, El Elyon, Yahweh/Jehovah, Yeshua, and the list goes on. And each of those names describes a part of who he is. There is no one name that can capture his whole nature and so we can't call him by only one name. But sometimes we try. I know I'm most likely to call him Lord and Father than Judge, Savior, Creator, etc. Its a hard thing to keep his whole nature in our minds because its beyond our minds. He can not be contained, and so my attempt to do so is doomed to fail. But thats okay, because ultimately it is an awesome God with many names that describe who he is. And I am thankful for who he is.

For His Glorious Name,

Friday, 16 November 2012

Self-Sufficiency and Independence

These two things, Self-Sufficiency and Independence, are two of the highest ideals in modern American society. Its understandable that they would become so when evaluating the history of our nation. But its gone too far. The founding fathers sought independence from an oppressive regime and self-sufficiency in the sense of being able to provide for ones family using the resources available. Now we seek self-sufficiency in everything and independence from anyonw. Our idea of freedom is the ability to choose whatever we want whenever we want, and it is destroying the notion of freedom that the founding fathers intended.

The theme of these two as is generally accepted now is an illusion. We are not self-sufficient. Name for me anyone who ever didn't need their mother and father to be born? Name for me someone who could provide all their living necessities without anyones help. Now wait a second, I'm not just talking about humanity helping but name me a person that didn't need the resources on the earth, the plants, animals, etc. to survive. Its not possible. Self-sufficiency is an illusion in the ultimate sense and its also against the way the Lord has called us to live. The church is to be interdependent and provide for one another. The church is to care for one another in all senses, spiritual, emotional, physical, etc. And that care is to extend out to others as we take the Gospel to the rest of the world. There is only one who is self-sufficient, Our Lord and God. Jesus our Savior(and the Father and Spirit) is the only one who can claim he doesn't need anyone else to surevive, or exist. He is self-sufficient, but even then has chosen not to be independent. The very nature of the Trinity, a mystery when you really think about it, is an interdependent one. We are not to be independent from one another. We are only to be separate, i.e. independent from the nature of this world. Independent from the evils and sins prolific in our fallen world. We are to be set apart, and that is what it means to be independent in the only sense that pleases God.

For His Glorious Name,