Celebrating Existence

When it has come to writing blogs on the days of my friends, I have written a blog to honor them. Today, I am in a unique situation. I am the one with the birthday and I do not wish to write something all about me. I like to hear compliments, though I’m quite shy of them at times. Still, I can write about something on this day and that’s the celebration of existence.

I think that’s the reason I celebrate birthdays. We hear talk about how this is so self-centered and I know the JWs actively go against birthdays, but I don’t see it. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in being thankful for your own existence. I am celebrating 27 years on this Earth today and I am thankful for that.

I thought about existence some today in between the visits and phone calls I got. I consider it a marvel that we exist. Of course, I consider it a marvel that God exists, but his existence is different. When we think about God and his attributes, they exist necessarily. God has to exist and all that is in his nature must then exist.

However, “I exist” uttered from me is not a necessarily true statement. Now I know that I have to exist to say the statement and I could never say “I don’t exist” and have that statement be true. However, the concept behind the statement is not a necessary truth. My non-existence is possible.

That just marvels me. I didn’t have to be, yet God chose to have me be. I can only think that there’s something about each of us that he loves. I am not a Calvinist. I do believe God does desire all people to be saved and I do believe we are all loved by God in some way. Have I worked it out entirely? No. This is where I’m at now though.

I can only then look at my existence as grace and especially my being included in God’s salvation as grace. God was just fine by himself before any of the human race came along. The fellowship of the Trinity was more than enough for him. He didn’t need any of us, but I believe we were created because such is the nature of love. Love desires to go beyond itself.

In fact, we could say most of us are here for that reason. Two people had a connection with each other and because of that, each of us came into being. Unfortunately, in our world, it seems that the love aspect is being there less and less. Flings with kids on prom nights and even sometimes now rape. Not every kid is born in love in this world, and that’s a sad state of affairs the church needs to address.

I am thankful that I was. I don’t think it downplays those who weren’t. It is not an insult to them to be thankful for what I have. I do not lower the blind man by being thankful that I can see. It is simply the recognition of what I’ve been blessed with and it does not honor God to not celebrate that which he has blessed me with.

I am extremely thankful for my friends and family today. Every phone call and email and instant message was great. The forum where I post was especially friendly to me. It’s a neat thing when you realize it personally. All of these people are essentially saying “Thank you for being alive. The world is a better place because of you.”

Sometimes, I think we fear such things will make our egos too big. Maybe it does for some people. I find myself in utter humility though each time. I am one who worries about having too big an ego, but I find the more good I hear, it seems the more humble and thankful I become. Perchance someone skilled in matters of the soul can explain that, but I can’t at this point. Of course, that gives me something new to ponder on which I will enjoy.

Tonight, I thank God then for my existence. I have been on here for 27 years. They haven’t all been great. There have been some hard times. At the end of the day though, I need to realize that every good and gracious gift comes from God. That includes the life he has given me. Thank you Lord for the time I have had. May I use it more to serve you.

God, Grease, and Girls

I hope by now it’s been shown in my blogs that I am fully male. I say this because I was in a chat last night with some internet friends, which is how I spend many an evening. I was in a musical mood and went to my music files on my computer and started listening to Final Fantasy music.

I hear some of you right now. “What kind of geek listens to music from Final Fantasy?” The answer is, a Final Fantasy geek.  I love the music in the series because it always gets me in mind of preparing for an adventure. Play some of the music from that and I’m ready for action. I frequently hum the tunes throughout my day.

Then comes one of my male friends who is a truly awesome friend. (Yeah my friend. You need to know that.) He starts talking about a girl that he’s been talking to. I’m surrounded by guys and we’re typical guys. We want to know everything he’s willing to tell us. I thought of that scene then from the movie Grease.

If you remember Grease, it’s the story about High School several years ago and a bad boy and a good girl getting together. John Travolta played the bad boy and Olivia Newton-John played the good girl. I can’t say I like everything that happened in it, but it’s an enjoyable one to watch and the music is especially catchy.

My mind goes to the scene with the guys on the bleachers talking about girls the way guys talk about girls usually. The girls are in a picnic type area of the school having lunch talking about guys the way girls talk about guys I suppose. Olivia and John are both asked what they did and they start talking about meeting each other. The song goes back and forth between them with the girls asking girly questions and the guys asking the questions of guys.

If you remember it (It’s called Summer Nights if you want to find it on YouTube), all the guys and the girls that are in the “Chorus” throughout are saying “Tell me more! Tell me more!” That will always be followed by a question. Throughout the chat, I was simply saying “Tell me more! Tell me more!”, even though  I didn’t follow it with a question. A comedic side had come up.

I thought about it though. In Grease, this is a simple story being told. Guys have encounters with girls they like of a non-sexual nature everyday, but it’s still something exciting to hear about, especially if you’re a guy talking to a friend. I compared that to what was going on in Grease.

It’s an everyday thing, but it seems like the music just draws one in. The music reminds me that this isn’t really everyday though. It’s a story as well. That’s why you say “Tell me more! Tell me more!” You want to hear how the story ends. We all assume when we read a story that it is going somewhere. It may not go where we like, but we expect it to go somewhere.

This is what makes life exciting when viewed as a story. We are all characters in this story. One could even picture a heavenly council of angels and one angel talking about something happening with one of us and another answering “Tell me more! Tell me more!” I suspect our lives could be the stories of Heaven. We have the audience of angels watching to see how the story turns out.

This is also where God comes in. Stories go somewhere. Our lives are to go somewhere. Unlike many stories, the characters do have some freedom, but rest assured, the characters are going somewhere. However, is the life really an adventure? Is it a quest to reach a goal for an eternal purpose? Or is it simply something that you go through and in the end there’s nothing?

How you answer will determine how you live your life. You all know how I’ve answered. The question is, if you agree with me, are you living accordingly? Are you enjoying your life for the story that it is?

Be Attracted

I’ve been thinking about this concept some lately. (Unfortunately, I tend to have a problem with focus so this concept I think on could be in the middle of several other concepts.) In Pilch and Malina’s “Handbook of Biblical Social Values” we read of the idea of love as attachment and that the idea of love of wife could mean abiding sexual attraction.

We moderns find such a concept hard. We live in an age of dating and can’t seem to grasp often the benefits of arranged marriages. (Speaking as a single guy who has been waiting for a long time, there are times that I wish I had been born in a culture where we had arranged marriages.) We go out and we find someone we like and we date them for awhile and then we marry them.

Could it be though that we need to recover this ancient worldview? Even if we don’t return to arranged marriages, I think there is much to be said in the biblical view of how a man is to love a woman. Let us look at various texts and see this applied in how we are to be attached to the woman and how hate is a form of disattachment.

In Matthew 6:24, we are told no one can serve two masters. There can not be two people that are the ultimate authority in life. Your attachment can only belong to one. Thus, a person in that text will either be attached to God or they will be attached to mammon. The same concept applies though.

In Song of Songs chapter 4, the man speaks of his lady and is very descriptive about how he describes her. Now some of us may blush at these parts. These are fully God’s Word though. Yes. We can draw an allegory to an extent, but let us never deny the beauty of the literal meaning of the text.

However, is he merely doing this? In expressing her beauty, is he not also saying that he desires her and longs to be attached to her above all others? Don’t we see this in Chapter 6:8-9?

8 Sixty queens there may be,
and eighty concubines,
and virgins beyond number; 9 but my dove, my perfect one, is unique,
the only daughter of her mother,
the favorite of the one who bore her.
The maidens saw her and called her blessed;
the queens and concubines praised her.

What is he saying? He is saying that she is different from all the others. He has chosen her to be attached to. The same is found in the explicit language that is contained in Chapter 7:7-8. The story ends with the bride speaking to her groom about how he will find what he desires in her.

Probably one of the best examples of this is in Proverbs 5.

15 Drink water from your own cistern,
running water from your own well. 16 Should your springs overflow in the streets,
your streams of water in the public squares?

17 Let them be yours alone,
never to be shared with strangers.

18 May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

19 A loving doe, a graceful deer—
may her breasts satisfy you always,
may you ever be captivated by her love.

20 Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress?
Why embrace the bosom of another man’s wife?

21 For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD,
and he examines all his paths.

22 The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him;
the cords of his sin hold him fast.

23 He will die for lack of discipline,
led astray by his own great folly.

Note in this warning against adultery what is described. What was pleasant back then was water. It was a joy to have water. Where was the man to find this “water” of his? It was in his own cistern. He wasn’t to take his neighbor’s water. What the man has is too valuable to simply let loose in the streets. It is his alone. It is his to cherish.

Then he is to look at his wife and in deeply sexual language, is told that he is to rejoice in her always and be satisfied by her. Yes! The groom is to enjoy this relationship and this is to be the prevention against adultery. How does God say to rekindle joy in the marriage covenant? Simple. Rejoice in your wife. Look at her again. Remember how beautiful she is.

Why go with an adulteress? Here’s why not. Your wife is good enough for you. She is what you are to rejoice in. Forbidden fruit may look good, but it is not for you. Why delight in someone else’s wife when you have a lady of your own that you can spend endless delight in?

This is one of the problems with our culture. We rely so much on emotions and feelings that the idea is hard to grasp. “I don’t feel love for my wife.” What do you do? Love her. Be attracted to her. Try romancing her some. Do you not remember when you were dating how you would do anything to impress her? Why stop that?

We tend to have it that in our day and age, the man marries and thinks the chasing stuff is over. May it never be! Keep pursuing her! Remember her! Be attracted to her! Check this out guys. If I am right in what I am saying, and I believe I am, God is telling you to sexually desire your wife. Some of us might be scandalized by that. If I’m correct again though, God isn’t, and he expects it and for you and her to enjoy it.

Men. We need to learn what we are to do from the Scripture. If we are married, we are to desire our wife and her alone. We should not even entertain the thought about what other waters would be like. If you are married, you have your own cistern to drink from and it is most certainly a treasure.

Men. Be attracted. Not only is it commanded, but I am sure of this. Your wife is attractive. Also, your wife will enjoy being attractive to you and she will most likely be glad to show it. So consider the picture then. You get a good marriage, you have a happy mate, you get to please her and she gets to please you.

Maybe the biblical way is right after all.

If It Feels Right, Repent…

I was listening in church today at the morning service and if there is something that gets my attention and I’m watchful for, it’s our modern notion today of feeling led and hearing the voice of God and other such things. I was even involved in a discussion this morning in Sunday School on that topic where people said “I felt a peace” and “It worked out” and my reply was, “Where does Scripture show that’s how God’s will was found?” No one could answer that.

So I’m sitting there listening and we have the closing invitation. We got the usual, “If you feel God is tugging on your heart, come on down.” Okay. It’s a tired saying and it’s not the one I’d use, but I heard it anyway. Then I heard the next part, “If you don’t feel it, don’t come.” Okay. That got my attention.

I talked to my pastor afterwards about my concern about our emphasis on feelings. He told me that it was meant to be said that if you have been convinced of the truth, then you should come down. Very well. I can grant that. Here’s my problem though. I certainly had no understanding that that was what was meant to be conveyed from where I was listening and I doubt anyone else reading this post would have that either.

I think the only reason someone should come down is if they think Christ is the truth and that the testimony of Scripture is accurate in what it says about him. Now if someone says “I just don’t know yet. I’d like to go and read some more on the topic before I decide,” I will reply with “Great!” I have no problem with someone wanting to study the claims of Christ more because I’m convinced if they do it fairly, they will see he is the truth. My evangelism is not Mission Impossible. I don’t have to convert them immediately. I can plant seeds or I can water them. God makes them grow and I leave it to him.

Yet I saw this as a microcosm of what is going on. It seems today that truth in the church is no longer what matters. Nowadays, it’s feeling and personal experience. The individual has trumped the truth. So much of our worship service is about us. In fact, this is how we determine if we had a good worship service. If we feel good when we leave, it was a good one.

Friends. When Paul was in prison before the governor Felix, he preached on subjects that Felix did not like to hear such as righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come. Felix, I’m guessing felt miserable at such times. However, can we say that that activity was glorifying God? Absolutely. Sometimes we need to feel miserable. Paul rejoiced that the Corinthians felt godly sorrow for it led to repentance.

This was more clear to me as I listened to something I had ordered earlier that week when I got home. I had ordered Greg Koukl’s “From Truth To Experience” from STR. (I recommend anyone getting STR’s “Decision Making and the Will of God” along with the earlier mentioned item.) Koukl spoke on how the church has become more focused on experience than truth. Everyone wants to hear personal revelation.

Friends. Our faith though is not about what is happening to us. It is about what God is causing to happen and that can be done largely through us. It is about the truth that God sent his Son to die for our sins and that he physically rose again whereby we could all be atoned for the sins we have committed.

We are spending way too much time, and that includes me, focusing on our experiences instead of focusing on the truth of Christ.  When was the last time you were really involved in a discussion on matters of the faith? I have a group of friends that I try to spend time with discussing great ideas. When I go to a Bible Study, while we have some laughs as I think we should, we try to dig into the text.

Friends. I doubt repentance will feel right usually. None of us like to admit we were in the wrong be it intellectually or in our actions. It needs to be done regardless. There is only one reason to believe in Christ and to follow him. It’s not because Christ will heal your marriage or help you with alcoholism or put a smile on your face in the morning. Oh he can do that, but that is not a guarantee in this lifetime. The reason you come is because he is the truth. We have no right to guarantee what Christ himself never did.

My suggestion? Those feelings can fool you easily. Trust the truth instead.

Where lies beauty?

I’ve been talking to a friend of mine lately who has had his faith shipwrecked and I decided to bring up the point of beauty after he commented on the human brain. His comment was that our brains are wonderful. My question was “are they?” I was told he knew someone who disagreed, to which I asked if they were really wonderful. Then that got to asking if anything is truly wonderful or beautiful in itself. If we are not here, is there anything that is beautiful?

We live in an age where people say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This has become a popular maxim today, but it’s one I think entirely wrong. If you hold to this position, then I see no other conclusion other than that beauty does not exist in itself, but that you are calling some things beautiful. The problem is though that they are not beautiful. They are only beautiful to you.

Of course, we must say what beauty is. I find it a difficult term to define. I will use a simple idea that the beautiful is that which is good and true. When I use those, I mean that it fits the moral category in reflecting God’s nature as nothing can be beautiful unless it participates in the beauty of God. I say it is true because some aspect of it resonates with us.

The problem with those who deny beauty being objective is that we can easily say the same applies to anything else be it morals, meaning, or any other quality. We do not discover reality in that case, but we decide what reality is. If we think something is beautiful, then it is.

However, if nothing really is beautiful, then we are simply saying what is false and if we are Christians especially, we dare not say something false. If something is not beautiful, why say that it is? For the naturalist though, it seems that all beauty would be an illusion. We think something is beautiful, but that’s just our minds deluding us. What are we to say happens then when we realize that this is an illusion? Why should I consider anything beautiful when I know nothing is? Then the same goes to morality and meaning.

Ultimately, aesthetic qualities attributed to things will be meaningless. If we say “The Mona Lisa is beautiful” we cannot possibly be making an absolute statement and if it is a true statement, it must be absolute. Now if I said “I think the Mona Lisa is beautiful” that would be an absolute statement in one way. It would be absolutely true for all people in all times and all places that I, at this moment, think the Mona Lisa is beautiful. Now I could be wrong in my statement, but I could not be wrong in that I hold that idea.

However, if those statements don’t really speak of anything, then they are nonsensical. Why say anything is beautiful? We are not describing it. We are describing our reactions to it. It reminds me of the argument Hume used in that when we see a murder take place, we say that it is evil, but what we are doing is simply feeling evil and projecting it on the murder out there.

However, we are not using words to describe a feeling within ourselves. We are using words to describe an action in the real world. We are not saying I find evil in me and therefore that action is evil. We are saying that we find evil in the action itself. One can see though how the two can be closely aligned.

Now some of you might be saying “But before we came along, was there anyone to say X is beautiful?” The answer is yes. God was there. God is the one who knows what truly is beautiful and what truly isn’t. Let us remember also that God is seen in Scripture and by the saints as beautiful. If God does not possess beauty, how can anything else?

Friends. I am concerned by a secularist mindset that tells me that the things I value most in this life, including beauty are illusions. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder. It lies in the nature of God and is reflected in his creation.

Can Atheists Do Psychology?

I’ve had this thought on my mind lately. I’ve been in a debate with someone where my contention is that thinking is evidence that the supernatural exists. This argument is found in C.S. Lewis’s book “Miracles.” Unfortunately, my insistence on this has not been understood, but I will explain it here.

If naturalism is true, matter is all there is and thus, all that is is the result of material activity. This would mean that there is nothing outside of matter acting on matter either or else matter would not be all there is. It is these material processes that brought about us through natural evolution.

Now if that is the case, then that would mean all that we are is the result of naturalistic processes. However, that would also mean that our brain is simply matter as well and all that goes on is naturalistic processes. It is practically determinism from the perspective of naturalism, which is why some naturalists even admit that if evolution is true, we have no free-will.

This would mean then that all our thoughts are simply the result of material processes. Why should I think then that my thoughts can adequately tell me information about the world? Why should I think they’re my thoughts even? They are simply chemicals going off and causing reactions in my brain.

The only way to think otherwise is to have some standard outside of thinking that validates thinking. In a naturalistic universe though, does such a thing exist? One has yet to be presented and if one is to be shown, let us see if it can validate thinking. (Of course, that leads us to a problem as we think it does validate thinking which our thinking is not really rational but still the result of materialistic processes.)

Ultimately then, there is also no “I.” I have no soul in naturalism. I am simply my body and all that I am is matter. I’m just arranged a bit differently than other pieces of matter. Everything that there is to say about me can be described in terms that relate to the five senses.

This leads to my question. Can an atheist do psychology? Now I don’t mean this in a general sense. I think atheists can of course study the field we call psychology. I think we can say Freud did psychology even if we think his psychology was bad. I think we can go to atheists and get many excellent psychological theories.

The question I ask is, is that consistent with the naturalistic worldview? If naturalism is true, then who is this psyche that one is trying to reach? One is not studying a person but simply a collection of molecules. If you want to know why a person thinks what they do, a physicist then is just as good as a psychologist.

If Christianity is true though, then many Christians would say that there is an “I” behind my body. I am not simply materialistic processes. I carry a soul and I am capable of grasping ideas about the world and relating to it and that is based on the nature of a God who does not deceive and has revealed himself in space and time.

Now does this prove naturalism false? No. It could be that matter is all there is and all our thinking is the result of naturalistic processes. It just simply shows that one cannot consistently live that out if they treat each person as if they have free-will.

Or one could simply be a naturalist and say “Matter made me do it.” I’ll instead stick with Christian theism where I do see an explanation for free-will and good psychology.

Tablets of the Heart

Last night, I had one of those sleepless nights for awhile. I was staying up in bed unintentionally, but my mind was going full steam and not reaching any stopping points. Sometimes, it’s quite difficult to be in such a position where one can easily obsess and fixate on things.

I started thinking about things in my own life. I realized that my identity cannot come from within. It has to come from without.  I cannot tell me what I am. Only God can give me my identity and maybe this is why other people are able to see it so much better than myself. It is because they do not have the clay I have.

What do I mean by that? I believe it is in the Socratic dialogue of Theaetetus that Socrates compares our knowledge perceptions to clay in our souls. I’d like to take that and show how I think we take in messages of ourselves. I’d like to suggest that our souls contain message boards that get responses.

There are some messages we receive and internalize over time that get written on the tablets. Now this doesn’t mean that they are verbally said. They probably rarely are. However, certain events come and take place in our lives and we draw beliefs about the world and ourselves based on those events.

Why are we the least likely to believe the good things our friends and loved ones tell us about ourselves? It is because they do not carry around the tablet. They do not have that message that has been so long engraved that it seems hard to deny. We must open ourselves up to those who love us truly though for they could see us in true ways we cannot.

We must also be open to what God says about us. If we believed what he said, we would be unstoppable. I was walking at work tonight and someone with a table set up asked a worker there, “Is that guy as much trouble as he looks like?” Now he’d been joking with me earlier so I knew how to take it.

However, as I thought about it I realized I could go back and knowing I bear the image say “You have no idea how much trouble I can be.” Why? Because I do bear the image and I can make a difference. When you let someone into your world, they will change it in some way. Realizing you are in the image means you realize how much you can change things.

I wish this process was easier, but it isn’t. I looked back over the years and saw many sad messages I’ve internalized about myself. I try now to replace the false ones with truth. It is not done overnight. I think anyone who has really done this at all knows exactly what I am talking about. I have much negativity to overcome, but by the grace of God it can certainly be done.

I urge you to look at that tablet also. What true messages do you have? What false ones do you have? Look and see and pray for healing of that which is false. Listen to your friends and loved ones that don’t carry around the tablet. Maybe they’re trying to inscribe the truth on it if you’ll be more open.

Some Thoughts On Doubt

I had someone IM me today and they wanted to talk about doubt. They’d lost their faith, so to speak, and seemed content in their new life, but at the same time, they wanted back. I read something they wrote on the process later and really got to thinking a bit more about doubt.

Now I have done some thinking on the topic because like anyone else, I do have times of doubt. There are times I wonder. However, I want to assure any reader of mine. Some of you are thinking “Oh. He’s the defender of the faith and he’s doubting! What about me?!” Let me give the assurance then.

When such happens for me, it is emotional. Here’s how I know. It’s not based on rationality. It’s based on fear. It is simply a “What if” question at times.  Those are not based on rationality and they’re snowball effects. You can tell because you can give all the rational reasons you want and it’s “Yeah, it’s convincing, but what if….?”

The main problem is that we treat doubt like it’s a disease. There is something dreadfully wrong with us if we are doubting. Not so. We are simply human beings. Now doubt can become a problem, but doubt in itself is not a problem. It can be a great tool that leads to an even stronger faith than one had before.

Another problem is how the Christian community treats doubt. We think people are unspiritual if they’re doubting. If someone is in doubt, they’re less of a Christian. Biblical people never had doubts. (If you believe that line, you’re not reading the Bible.) We also give these little pet solutions like “Go read your Bible” or “Go pray.”

I’m not against reading the Bible. I’m not against prayer. I’m against them being used as a magical elixir. It makes the Bible and prayer into acts of magic. If you do it enough, then God will take it away. I don’t believe he’s ever promised to do that for us. Prayer and Bible study are not meant to be excuses for laziness whereby we don’t do anything and expect God to do it all.

We all have to eat to live for instance. However, as much as we say God will supply all our needs in Christ Jesus, does that mean that if you want to eat, you should stay home and pray that God will have a pizza delivered to your door? No. You should go out there, work, get money, and then buy the food you need, and who is to say God hasn’t set up the process that way?

Now some study could also be good. If you have rational objections, then you need to honestly look at those. Are there good answers? Now in many questions, you’re not going to find 100% answers. A lot of people think that’s what you have to have. It’s not. I say that you should go with what is most likely based on the evidence.

Keep an eye on your emotions in this time. Gary Habermas has said that men and women both doubt. For women, their problem is that it’s emotional. Their advantage though is that they know that. For we who are men, we will tend to say “It has to be anything besides my emotions!”

No men. A lot of us can have unruly emotions. I ponder that it could be because we are built up with this macho attitude that a real man never shows his emotions. Well what do we do after awhile? We just deny that we have them altogether. However, those emotions are in there and getting more and more mixed up.

To my friend then who is doubting, I say this. “Don’t give up yet.” Now you may say you’re happier now. Irrelevant really. What matters is if your belief is true. Now I have no doubt that as a Christian, you believed the central tenets, but could you have some fake Christianity that was mixed in with real Christianity and so the system didn’t work like you thought it would and that led to a problem? It’s worth looking into.

I also pray for you tonight. I hope you come out of this soon.

Looking Back on 9/11

Today is the day that we in America remember that 6 years ago, we suffered the worst attack of terrorism ever to take place on our soil. We remember that some radical Muslims hijacked planes and flew them into buildings not caring who died so long as their message got out. We remember the thousands who died that day and how New York, and indeed our nation, will never be the same again.

It has been called the JFK of our generation. I remember where I was when it happened. We had just begun to get ready for chapel in Bible College when a professor came in and asked us to be in prayer for a plane had just hit the WTC. I thought it was a tragedy at the time and wondered how it could happen, but I was certainly not thinking of terrorism. It was only afterwards that we learned the second tower had been hit and we knew we were under attack.

For the first time today, I thought back on the speaker that day in chapel. It is a shame, but I have no clue who he was. Indeed, I bet hardly anyone does. I could not tell you a word of the message that he preached. I remember where my thoughts were the rest of the day.

I remember looking up at the sky and not seeing any planes and thinking how that day would be different. I don’t remember many other thoughts. Everything was a jumble. I’m not really an emotional person in that regards. I find empathy quite difficult really. However, I do know that I was thinking some on how wicked our society had become and how some things are clearly evil and how we needed to start taking a stand.

I remember how many of us came together. Churches all over united. No one worried about secondary issues. We were all united under Christ. It is a shame, but I don’t believe it lasted. Apparently, we say we never will forget, but we have forgotten. We have forgotten what it meant for us to be united. We have forgotten the men who enlisted right away so they could fight for their country in response. We forgot that America can be a nation of courageous people who stand for the truth.

But we can remember!

Let us remember! Let us return! This isn’t about politics! This is about good and evil. This is about truth and falsehood! We cannot afford to lose this fight. We Christians have had a tendency to cower every time. The world pushes a little bit each time and we always just give right in.

Let’s remember the heroes of 9/11. Let’s remember Todd Beamer who said “Let’s roll!” He knew he was going to die, but in dying, he saved the day for so many others. Let’s remember the firefighters who rushed into the collapsing towers if they could save just one more person. These were people who looked in the face of death and laughed. They were ready to die for what was right!

Now you might say they had something to fight for and die for. So do we! Surely the gospel is worth fighting for and dying for! Now I don’t mean a military invasion of the gospel. I mean at least standing up in the public square. I mean letting your voice be heard. I mean not being ashamed that you are a follower of Christ since truth is on your side.

Heroes of 9/11. I salute you! Those who lost loved ones, may we continue to pray for you and comfort you. To those who oppose us and who oppose the gospel, I say bring it on. We are not afraid of you. We who follow Christ believe we have the truth, and we should be willing to stand for it, fight for it, and die for it.

The Miracle of Nature

In our day and age, it has often been asserted that we need miracles to show evidence of God. What happened 2,000 years ago is not enough. Now I will not point to modern miracles as those have more than enough skepticism, but the age has nothing to do with miracles. A man who will not believe miracles today would not believe them 2,000 years ago either.

However, I have pondered that what if we are missing the boat entirely? What if we are forgetting that the miracle is the natural system itself. The atheist prides himself in speaking about all that the natural system can do. Very well. Can he explain though what brought about the natural system?

It sadly seems to say that something has been brought about through naturalistic processes does not increase our wonder but often only kills it. This does not prove naturalism false of course, but the atheist does often ask about why God doesn’t seem to do miracles for him today. (I am one who claims I haven’t ever seen or experienced a miracle of the biblical type where God directly intervenes in the laws of nature that I can point to without doubt. I believe they happened in Scripture, but I have not had personal experience of them.)

It seems to me that we are like the story of the follower of the Christian Science movement who woke up in Hell along with some others and when asked what he thought about being in the fire for all eternity simply answered with, “It is not hot. I am not here.” He is thus denying the reality that he is in.

We are like people in the fairy-tale who are saying that no magic is happening around us. We are like people in the Star Trek series who are saying that there is nothing worthwhile to explore out there. We are denying the reality of the world we are in all the while asking for some example of that reality.

Yet look at so many simple things and see if they can be explained in naturalism that we all seem to believe in. Can we explain beauty in naturalism? How about morality? Has anyone really succeeded in morality apart from God? How about the existence of love? Dare I say it, how about thinking itself, for if all thinking is the result of naturalistic processes, then so is that thought.

And what of we Christians who do believe this? Are we going to wake up? Are we going to realize that naturalism has put a spell on us so that we deny the reality we are in? Are we going to come out and realize the joy and beauty of life that fills each and every day and realize that we should celebrate it.

We are Christians. We are not naturalists. We live in a Christian world and not a naturalistic one. Let’s live accordingly.