Friday, April 30, 2010

Hope - less?

So theres just a few things I want to get across. This may be very short.

1] Somebody told me that they would just like to know enough about Christ to be saved but not get into a deep relationship.

2] Somebody knew all I was trying to say to them, on one level at least. The only response he gave me, after supporting my attempt, was that each man chooses his way and Christ just wasn't for him.

3] Another felt offended when I questioned his heart, "but thats what Jesus is after, and if I ask to see your heart it is Christ that should reflect."


No souls were won, some contacts were made, but hey tomorrow is a new day. The motto of evangelism rings true and clear even when I'm being sincere, and that is that my job is merely to present to people truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the ONLY one involved in breathing life onto a lost person's soul.

This is why I could walk home with joy that moved tears to my eyes: It is always better to do the will of God. Their is no shame in GOing, even if we fail when we try, because really we don't fail, for it is only God who decides.

Mark 10:42-45
42
Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Are We Out to Answer Objections?

This is a very notable passage from an online article I found while researching postmodernism.

While postmodern theology is generally atheistic in nature, we recognize that some individuals become atheists because they believe that Darwin solved the question of life's ultimate origins. Others become atheists because they look upon God's moral order as "too restrictive." Still others agree because they agree with Freud that, "God was a projection. When children have problems, they run to their father for protection. When adults have problems, the project their earthly father into the skies, and they run to this entity for comfort" Some look at all the evil in the world and decide that no loving God could allow such a situation.


This is very interesting as it displays simply reasons why people don't want God, and in most of these I can see nothing more deep seeded than the sin of pride which leads to idolatry. Pride in that in each situation man is exalted above who he/she really is. With the exception of Darwin, these situations seem to point to man simply not wanting to adhere to Biblical authority. Man comes to believe he/she has become more than what God has revealed. This is simply a lack of research and investigation, which in turn sucks the Darwinians into the same category, who at least have made an option of the situation at hand [I can at least respect their refusal for the acceptance of an alternate view even though I do not believe it true].

Here is where I become concerned. With so many people simply shrugging off God as a preferrance to not having Him around, how far do I go in convincing these people?

I truly feel it worth while, worth a life of study, to learn and develop in various fields of academia so as to be most effective not in merely teaching others, but in destroying the veil that blinds the eyes of unbelievers. If I am able to convince scientifically, philisophically, logically, emotionally, theologically, simply in every imaginable way that Christ is the Way, Truth, and Life, then I pray to be able to do so. Yet I am in full knowledge that all of this would be for not because in the end the matter of conversion or simply salvation is a spiritual matter. So am I called to go and answer these objections, or am I simply to love. How can I love without convincing intellectually? How can I be effective if I don't know and understand their reasoning? And most hopelessly, how can I afford the time and energy to put forth such studies?

In the end, I only pray that God do with me as He wills. I will do as much I can to uphold my convictions, and balance relationships along with them. Yet I will always be plagued by thoughts of 'how deep do we go?'

"The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned." - Isaiah 9:2
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved." - Ephesians 2:1-5
Clearly God stopped at nothing to find us, so I feel I should find no limit in what I might do in order to be a more than credible witness.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blind Side

The Charge Of The Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854


Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Outreach

video

One thing that remains is the problem of pain
This was a video promo for a homeless outreach
The message that really comes out of this is that of an endless fuel tank being driven up the steepest mountain.
What is most perplexing about these ministries is that they are outlets of hope, love, and care, yet they are an endless cause.
There will always be the poor with us, and the absolute abolishing of world poverty is such a relative and seemingly hopeless task that it seems pointless to tackle such a task.
But nonetheless, that is the very strength of those who would accept the challenge.
The fight is not for this life, but for this soul. Life is more than living conditions. In fact it is short when seen through eternity's vision.
Knowing love, showing love, going love.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Another Dirty Secret

"A warning: it may prove dangerous to get involved with the Bible. You approach it with a series of questions, and as you enter it you find the questions turned back upon you. King David got swept up in a story by the prophet Nathan and leaped to his feet indignant - only to learn the barbed story concerned himself." - Philip Yancey


So I grew up a dumb wrestling fan and from time to time I catch up on what is going on in the wrestling world. Tonight, as I was multi-tasking with Yancey and Sportscentre, the wrestling show shot off a quick commercial that was a warning not to attempt the things these wrestlers are doing. So it got me thinking.

Why would you tell people not to do what you are doing? It comes down to fear. If people get injured 'play wrestling' then the big company gets in trouble. Do they really care? No, but that is not really the point. Who else does this? Cigarettes. The tobacco industry displays on their product the deadly effect of smoking and yet people are buying. What brings them back is addiction. Even after making this connection and deciding to turn off the tv, I still found myself wanting to numb myself with ignorant entertainment. Bakit ganon? There is clearly an addictive quality to these activities, BUT these big companies are not out for our best interests are they? Of course not. These people are only scared of being held liable for what happens to you as a result of their product.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. [Ephesians 6:12]


So I come across this warning for the Bible. Now the Bible can be a very heavy book but not all that deadly if you catch some palo upside the head. I found it odd for a while even after understanding that the Bible in many parts of the world can bring pain, torture, and death...but yet again the point has been eluded.

How come this theologian is marketing his book in the same fashion as tobacco and pro wrestling? Simply because it is. The thing is, as I've been learning again and again, "it" all has to be worth it. The risk hast to be worth the satisfaction that is promised to accompany "it" and that is what must be put under the microscope. These big companies are promoting danger while warning against it, all the while attempting to get us more and more hooked on their product. So let us see what makes the Bible so dangerous.

"Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."" [Luke 9:23]

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." [Romans 5:8]


A daily surrender, commitment, and struggle with Christ because He loves us enough to to that and infinitely more. Truth that exposes who we are and who God is, that is what makes the Bible dangerous. Yancey is talking of our sinful-self-discovery.

'Having seen all this you can choose to look the other way, but you can never again say 'I did not know'' - William Wilberforce


The risk of this however IS worthy. We die to ourselves only to be made alive in Christ. Losing ourselves to be made anew {Matt.10:37-39} The result now should be similar to that of the addict. If these faux-dangerous negative things cause harmful addiction, the correction of the perversion (the lie of what is really dangerous) in method and content should produce an equal yet positive result. All in all I think that my point is that reading the Bible, coupled with openness amd understanding perhaps, can and should become an addictive experience. Following those you trust who know the Lord {2Tim. 3:14 / 2Cor. 11:1} is to take part in the dangerous spectacle of Scripture.

Intake of Scripture WILL produce Jesus Freaks!

Isaiah 55:10-12
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hmmmm

Among other things, I must evaluate my thoughts, feelings, and opportunities right now. I may be confused with several things, pero I know that in the end God will bring me through. I do miss the Philippines. I even entered a filipino restaurant today just so I could use some tagalog, and it was just like back in the Philippines because I could barely understand what that lady was saying to me. What an emotionally draining few days. Don't know what to do, where to go, or how to go about things, but I know I need to follow God and not my heart [Jer.17:9]

I'm thinking if I could really Matthew 6:33 through a Psalm 88:18, but either which way I turn leave somebody left to burn, even me. What if I make a wrong move just on account of me. What if what I hope and believe simply isn't reality? I was reminded of my past today, and I can't help but think about how far I am from loving. God has used me to show His love to people, and I can only pray to be an adequate vessel. As for me, maybe there is no more than to let Brandon hang on the cross completely...no more left to pursue...it would seem as if my pursuit is for self and not for Glory, the Glory that comes when we glorify God. If that is so, then pray that I may lay Brandon to rest on the cross and live for what is truly best.