Tag Archives: atheist

Becoming Animals

It’s interesting living in the culture we do.

In this post-modern culture, or whatever it’s called now,  there is a wholesale abandonment  of belief in God.  At university level the statistics say that 70% or more of Christian kids will abandon their faith and become agnostic or atheist.

The culture at large is moving away from a belief in God as well.  Around us is a culture proud of its ability to function without God.  They even claim to be moral without God (but that discussion is for another day).

What’s the price for these choices? What does it cost a man to turn his back on God?  Or course you might expect me to say it costs him salvation, and that is true, but there is another price that most don’t realize they pay- they lose their role as image bearers.

The bible says we were made in the image of God, but when we deny him, refuse to believe in him, to follow him, we forsake the very thing we were designed to be- image bearers of God.

As a result we often choose to bear the image of the only thing left, the animal world around us.  I think this is why movies like the Twilight series are so popular.  Men and women becoming vampires and werewolves gives them an image to reflect, an identity….the image of animals.  

This comes out as well in a new TV series titled GRIMM.  In this series a police officer is chasing people who look completely normal, but are really animals under the skin.  When we deny our role as image bearers of God we usually imitate what we see around us.

Romans 1 talks of this, but not in exactly the same way I am here.  It’s clear we were designed to reflect God, to bear his image.  When we refuse our identity we will reflect something, what will that be?

Some wonder why the world around us is becoming so violent, why anger, killing, and war seems to be growing.  In part it’s because we have decided to abandon our calling as image bearers of God and the results are what we see in our world today…men acting like animals.

When you turn your back on God you lose much more than you would imagine.  You lose the God who made you, you lose the promise of life, you lose peace (that’s another post as well) and you lose sight of what you were designed to be, you lose your identity.

The price is much higher than we even know, but when we deny God we also deny being made in his image and choose a lower image. We choose to become men without souls, without a purpose, without a moral compass, without hope.  We become animals.

 

Visit Mike at FinishingWell.
 
 

Faith And Science

In my reading today I came to one of the atheist web sites I like to visit. While there I found this question. It’s a very good question and one I wanted to discuss here as well. Here it is-

“The question to ask the faithful is, how would you distinguish the difference between faith in something true and faith in something false without evidence?” 

Photo by sippakorn



It’s a good question because it brings us to the very reasons for our faith. For the atheist there is no truth apart from what can be discovered by science. If science can’t observe it, dissect it and explain it then it’s not true or real. Science becomes the filter everything must go through to be true, but science is a very limited discipline. It can only evaluate what it can see, test and observe. So, what would be considered valid evidence to believe something?

There is much that is real, true and valid that science simply cannot evaluate. For example we know that George Washington lived and was our first president, but science cannot evaluate that. There is no scientific method or resource that can prove this, nor was science designed for this. And so, according to the scientific method alone, George Washington didn’t exist. Now we all know that’s just silly. There are other sciences and ways to validate and prove true things that science simply cannot evaluate.

Evidence? What evidence would be required for us to distinguish something true from something false? The example I gave above is one that can be proven and believed in by other information. There is history, eyewitnesses, articles written at the time….multiple stories. And so, we believe. It’s not a leap of faith to believe in George Washington. It’s history! There’s evidence. It’s believed because there were real people at that time who knew him, saw him, wrote about him and we believe their words.

What evidence would you need to believe something? What evidence is there of God? What do we have to believe in God and how do we know we are believing something that is made up vs. something true? Science cannot unpack this for us. This is outside of their parameters. They cannot go there, but it doesn’t mean it’s not true. It doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist any more than believing George Washington never existed because the scientific method cannot prove it.

What evidence is there for God? Psalm 19 tells us the universe is the first evidence that God exists. Science would deny that as evidence for God and give credit for this amazing universe to their god called “chance.” I think it’s easier to believe in the God of the bible than the god of chance. Your odds are much better. Second, there are eyewitnesses of God’s work. They talked to him, saw his work and documented it. There are multiple witnesses of God’s work. Do any of these men and women count in our discussion? I think so. Just because all of the stories have been compiled into one volume called the bible doesn’t mean their eyewitness testimony is not true.

There are the predictions of things to come in the Old Testament that actually happened as predicted. They happened with 100% accuracy. Can we consider this proof? In fact the birth and life of Jesus Christ fulfills hundreds of prophecies made many decades before his birth. The odds of one man fulfilling just 8 of these specific promises, let alone all 300+ prophesies is almost impossible. But we have Jesus. A real man who claimed to be God. And yes, he did claim to be God. That is not up for discussion. His claims were verified by his miracles, his Deity proven by his resurrection and all of this was recorded by hundreds of eyewitnesses. The evidence for the life of Jesus is more believable than the evidence for our first president George.

What science can’t measure or evaluate other things can. Science is not the filter for everything. It is limited. When the atheists of the world claim there is no evidence for God they are simply talking about evidence according to science. There is much that a blind man can tell me as he smells, touches and hears the world around him, but what he can’t do is tell me what he sees. He’s blind to a whole world around him because he cannot see it. Just because he cannot see doesn’t mean that what he doesn’t see does not exist. Those of us who see are amazed at the blind man’s claims and cannot convince him of the reality we see.

Just because the blind man of science claims he cannot see God doesn’t mean he’s not there for anyone with vision to see clearly.

Faith or science? Evidence for God? I’ll take the evidence for God clearly seen all around us and witnessed by those who told their stories in the bible. I know I believe in the true God because the evidence is everywhere….science simply won’t or can’t see it.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

The most important thing

I just finished teaching through the first three chapters of Ephesians and as we finished chapter three we came to Paul’s closing prayer for the first three chapters. After some wonderful theology Paul’s prayer focuses on one thing- that they would understand how much God loves them.

Honestly, it doesn’t seem to fit, but what Paul knew was that if you understand the love of God then everything else fits very nicely, thank you. It’s God’s love that brings all the theology of this book into sharp focus and makes faith possible in the midst of questions we can’t answer. If we could understand the love of God, even a little, it would buffer the pains and arrows of life. It’s that important. In fact, it’s the most important thing.

The atheist will argue with you contending that if God is all powerful and all good we have a problem. From those two parts of God’s nature they try to refute God’s existence, but they are focused on the wrong things. The key thing they must address…the key thing we each must address is the love of God. Does he love us? If so, if there is evidence for God’s love and his resolution of our problem, then I can endure the pains and woes of the difficult days because I know I have a wonderful God who is madly in love with me. It is the most important thing. Continue reading The most important thing

Public vs. Private

This morning I read an article by an atheist writer. I like to read his thoughts because he makes me think. Of course I have to sort through the anger, harsh words and bitterness that comes from his past, but he has a lot to say. This morning his topic was public prayer. His arguments were compelling to argue that we should not be busy about public prayer, but pray privately. So, I began to think about the broader picture. What about me should be public? What should be private? Should all of my life be lived for the public square or should some of my life of faith be private for only God to see?

Those questions began to rumble about in me this morning after a time of rest from the long trip to Kenya and back. We all live in cultures where we become numb to the cultural nuances of our faith lived in a society. Not everything we believe is correct. Not everything we do is right, so how should I live? What about me should be private? What should the world see? Continue reading Public vs. Private

On being a fool

I woke early this morning thinking about a passage of scripture that I thought I understood. As I thought about my own life and the verse I will share with you in a moment it suddenly struck me that the way I had viewed the verse was all wrong. I had missed the main point! Here’s the words from Psalms,
Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”As I thought about this verse and my own life I realized I’m the fool! It’s not the denial of God that’s the problem, it’s thinking and living like there is no God! I’m the greatest fool of all in this. 

Yes, I am a Christian. I’m a pastor. I do love the Lord, BUT I often think, act and live like there is no God. The bible calls me a fool and it’s right to do so. If God is really there then my thoughts and life should be different because of that.

If there really is a God who is there then that will affect what I look at on the internet and on television. For any man or woman to get involved in sin, whatever the flavor, is to say in your heart, “there is no God…no one is watching…no one will ever know.” If you’ve ever done that, and I have, then you’re a fool. I speak from first hand experience. When you make a decision to sin, in any way, you’re saying in your heart “there is no God…no one will know.” But he does. He sees. You’re being a fool when you do that and so am I. Continue reading On being a fool