March Blog

I recently noticed a startling correlation. The first words of the entire Bible, God’s word to all of mankind for all of eternity are three simple, yet remarkable words: In the beginning. Not necessarily the attention-grabber your college professor implores you to craft for the opening of your essay or thesis paper.

 

Similarly, the apostle John, who most scholars believe spent more time with Jesus than any other of the disciples begins his gospel with the same words: In the beginning. Once again, this might not be the way you want to go if you are trying to convert your readers into believing that Jesus Christ the Son of the living God, came into this world to save all of mankind for all eternity.

 

And in John’s first letter, he starts it off with words that are not too far off from the two verses we just examined: That which was from the beginning.

 

It all starts with Jesus. It all ends with Jesus. It is all about Jesus. Our lives, our relationships, our struggles, our love, our passion, and ultimately our eternity, starts with Jesus. 

Atheism and free will

I recently read a very interesting article on atheism and free will. I truly am a sucker for anything based around the study and science of a term called “Christian Apologetics.” What exactly is that? Essentially, it is a logical and reasonable defense of the Christian faith. St. Peter warned us as believers we must: “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

 

The article, linked at the end of this blog, brought up several interesting points. First, as atheists so proudly believe, since we are just a random assortment of molecules that have evolved over billions of years, we technically do not have free will. The author of the article, Kyle Butt, quotes from some cornerstones of atheist literature by men like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. And second, if indeed as atheists believe that the material world is all that is, has, or will ever exist, and that there is no way to test “scientifically” anything else, then indeed free will is just an illusion.

 

If there is indeed no free will and we are just hostage to our own naturalistic instincts, then why, as Butt so astutely points out, would Harris or Dawkins for that matter feel the need to write a book to persuade someone into believing this, if they had no chance of ever changing their mind to begin with!!!

 

As our country and world plunge deeper and deeper into moral relativism and a naturalistic outlook on the entire world, the biblical worldview is being attacked. We cannot stand on a soapbox and merely proclaim that God is real and that He loves us. (Both of those are true by the way.) As Peter tells us, we must take a slightly different approach: Gentleness and respect can and will go a long way when presenting someone with a Gospel message.

 

Here is a link to the article: http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5339&utm_source=10%2F3%2F2016&utm_campaign=Newsletter+16&utm_medium=email

Writer's Block

I have absolutely nothing to say in this blogpost. Except…

Jesus Christ is the Son of God who was born of a virgin, lived a human life in the Jerusalem/Palestine area, performed miracles, personally attested to witnesses and followers that he was indeed the Son of God Creator of heaven and earth, was put on a mock trial in front of Roman authority, predicted his death, burial and resurrection numerous times to his closest disciples, suffered a horrendous death on the cross, was buried in a tomb, three days later rose from the grave, appeared to his followers in risen bodily form, also appeared to over 500 witnesses, ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of God, mediates on our behalf and is an intercessor for our prayers.

 

Also, he loves you.

 

-Pastor J

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

What to do, what to do? Ladies and gentlemen, we have a huge decision looming in the next month: Cheese or Pepperoni? In all honesty, the election, and more importantly, all of the hype leading up to it is getting rather intense.

Never before in any of the elections we have been witness to, have we seen such trash-talking, media-baiting craziness, like we are witness to in 2016. No matter which side of the aisle you stand on, that is not what this post is about, we can find and stand firm on common ground.

Peter, after reflecting upon the life of his Lord, Savior, and most likely best friend (#bff) has some choice words for his followers and readers of his first letter. These Christians were facing persecution, real persecution, and not the Starbucks-color-of-a-coffee-cup-persecution that we face, and he felt implored to remind them to, “Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:17)

 

Huh, would you look at that, even in the face of death, Peter reminds us that we are instructed to show respect to everyone, democrats AND republicans. And look at this teaching, we are to love the family of believers, that is right, no matter the denomination, a believer in Christ is a believer in Christ, and Peter, probably recalling Jesus’ greatest commandment, calls us to love. Fear God, also known as respect God, and the last one is the most important one we can do after we get the news of a lifetime on the night of the 2nd Tuesday in November, honor the emperor.

 

Before we can honor this president, there is one more important thing we can do: pray. As believers, we should be praying that whoever is put in office, they would seek the Lord in their decisions. I pray that we seek the spirit before seeking the ballot.

 

-Pastor J

October Road-Pastor J

Hey, remember when 2016 started and you claimed that it would be "your year?" Yea, me too, and what happened? Well, welcome to October, there are only three months left in the year, and Christmas is like 80-something days away. Sorry to burst your bubble. 

In all honesty, every time this season rolls around, we start making all of these plans for this, and plans for the. But, and I mean but, every plan we have ever had has either been blessed by God, or twisted and gnarled, wrapped and destroyed by the devil. 

So how do we ensure that we can involve God? First step will be very difficult  but, involve God. Interestingly enough when we try and "pull ourselves up by the bootstraps" (insert nay cliche here) we mostly fail. Have you prayed to God for clarity about 2017? Have you involved the Lord in your decision making processes about anything at all? 

David implored the Lord to "...search me, and know my heart..." I pray that we start having the same mentality.