Sunday, April 10, 2011

General Thoughts Lately On The Faith

Where do I begin...

It is sometimes dangerous to take on philosophical questions without a degree or credentials pertaining to philosophy.  But, I live on the edge,  So here goes.

Christianity is counter-intuitive, not because God delights in being weird, but because our intuitions are corrupt, and his ways were right in the first place.

This accounts for why we keep straying from the faith.  We slip back into "what seems right in our own eyes." 

Even our attempts to rectify the situation are completely corrupted.  We cannot simply retrain our senses to appraise what is best.

One of the problems atheists and skeptics run into is the whole issue of claiming to have insufficient evidence to believe the Bible or Christianity.  But why do people believe the faith who study it far less?  A skeptic can easily try to dismiss it by saying "the person in question is low in intelligence."  Perhaps that is true.  But countless people of great intelligence believe and trust the Word every day.  Even as people of great social standing do, all the way down to the one who empties the dust bin.

The fault, then, lies not in insufficient evidence, but in not loving the truth. Anyone, even a mature Christian, is susceptible to fall in this area.  

Failure to love the truth and appraise the ways of God are not remedied by human will-power.  While it is true that our will must move,  and cannot move our own will, the good new is that God, through the Spirit using the Word, gladly does the conforming, 

This may seem all academic, but there is dogging problem that we need to be careful of.  Maturity in doing the things of God should lead to knowing his will in what are considered "matters not particularly addressed."  These include, but are not limited to:  Whether to drink alcohol with a meal, how you choose to educate your children, how to vote, how to view the government, etc.

Those such as myself who seem to be tossed to and fro need to walk with Him and get busy in His things, while there is still a little daylight left to get it done.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Confusion Is The New Religion

I have bitten the fruit of the tree, so to speak.

In my addiction to You Tube, something good came out of it, and I am ready to share it.

The world--even the Christian community--is confused beyond belief.  The Middle East is a crazy powder keg, and nobody knows how to defuse it.  Israel defenders--rightly so, I believe, love the idea of Israel, and speak tenderly to her (as in Isaiah 40).  But many voices-even Christian ones--release crushing blows on this modern-day state with the ancient name. And the camp of Israel-haters seems to grow every day. 

Just look at all the You Tube videos about religion.  Many of them are ranting polemics served up by self-appointed heresy hunters who blacklist many other ministers.  Now I believe there is a right and wrong theologically, but is absolutely necessary in these days to walk in a relationship with the Lord in order to stay sane--in orthodoxy AND orthopraxy. 

It is at this point that the sheep and the goats start saying "sayonara" to each other.  Jesus said " My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow Me." (John 10:27).  Without a real relationship with a healing, loving, storm-calming Christ, we are doomed by our own fallenness to respond to ALL situations in the flesh.  And if anyone thinks that's beyond the pale, remember that the great Joshua forgot to inquire of the Lord before the Gibeonites approached him with their trickery (Joshua 9).

So to keep it simple, here's what I believe about the current landscape of thought:

Satan has so clouded the truth with side issues, fleshly agendas, cold love, and dueling false prophets mixed among true ones, that the average Christian has difficulty sorting it all out, and is susceptible to every wind of doctrine, and loveless, faithless practice.  Some depart for atheism or agnosticism.  Even good men and women who walk with the Lord do not follow him all the way, and that adds to confusion. Mea Culpa.

In the mean time a spiritual war/rebellion is going on, and hardly anyone has the mindset to fight it. 

The remedy?  Difficult to state right now, but people like me and others have to start with the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Excursion Into Atheism Has Failed-first part

Obsessive-compulsive is a hard habit to break.

In addition to watching William Lane Craig and other Christian apologists, I recently became dubiously addicted to watching Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, and other atheists on YouTube.  Why?  Just fleshly, I guess.

I was actually toying with the idea of what life would be like without any concept of God.

"Traitor! Defector!" I can just hear the cries now.

But I learned some things as I watched and noted everything with Asperger's-level ferocity.

1.  Some atheists began as Christians who never went deep enough with God, in all his offices, and with a life-changing result.

2.  Others were burned by people in the church, and in their anger, went to skeptical scholarship to confirm what they had already decided was a farce.

3.  Atheists like to begin at the beginning with Genesis, and debunk each story in the Bible.  But theoretically, they would hate on every page, through all 66 books.  Don't they see the futility of it all?  How could a mere man write all those "offensive stories" back to back? The paradox of it all seems like it should awaken faith, as the emotions tire of sore hatred, and the promise of the Seed of Abraham unfolds to comfort the soul.

4.  Virtually all atheists make the same mistake as they consider matters of religious faith, and often the Christian apologists follow them down the same hole:  The mind is tool which is to be used to receive truth, but the affair does not end with the mind.  Both atheists and Christians can put up some astute arguments for their positions, and there are many eminent scholars from both camps.  But I have never heard a skeptic convinced by a debate. In this regard,  the Enlightenment reaches further than many have anticipated.  Debating on the plausibility of faith or lack thereof misses the point that God is a person, and therefore implies a relationship.  Information about a relationship doesn't save you.  Reconciliation to a Person does.

5. From my own personal experience, relational dysfunction has a way of warping the perceptions of the mere mortal parties.  We tend to attribute negative motives and characteristics to persons we do not like, regardless of how much good information we hear about them. This determines more political elections than we care to admit.  It is the same with the faithless.  They really do not like God, and therefore they harp on all the things they they hear that they don't like--this accounts for the "through the Bible" tirade they carry out.

6.  Faith is a pre-condition of the mind's operation, and consists in a positive posture toward the object of faith.  The mind chooses in the direction of it's desire.  In this way, it is the pre-existing condition of verbal affirmations of God and his truth.  Therefore, my problem is a cold heart, and that is an emergency before the attending Physician of heaven.  

Even after my confession to God for my faithlessness and the attending joy, I realize the battle may have only begun.  There will be more assaults on faith in God via stress, disappointment, human flesh, Satan's activity, and last but not least, relationship problems on a human level.  But the struggle did not succeed in pulling me away to a faithless position--and that is encouraging.  It reminds me of the Eagles song:  "Every time I try to walk away...something makes me turn around and stay."

I guess that means one of the things that has to happen in 2011 is a vital connection to the church local and catholic.