Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I heard an interesting comment today in class, it was that miracles don't happen today, I think the rationalists were right in England, we need to understand things the way they are today.
I have to strongly disagree with that.
Miracles happen all the time, we just need faith. Here is an example, while in India, we were riding around Kolkata on our free day with some of our new friends. Kolkata, and India in general is a Hindu nation, and evangelizing or preaching in public is not allowed. However, we are in a taxi on a ride back to Salt Lake and our hotel and our friend, Aklesh takes the time to go through a conversation about God with him while touching on all the Hindu gods he has in the car. In the process the man expresses he wants to know more about Christ and he prays with us, meanwhile the whole car full of us is praying for this man. That is a miracle, this man a strong Hindu sees the light of God while driving a taxi full of us "kids."
Secondly, every time a flower opens is a miracle, the fact that we breathe is a miracle, and it is the very breath of God that is in us.
If you want a miracle pray and have faith, they are here and they happen. Just because the ocean doesn't part, or you don't pass a test is by no signs that God does not work amazing things into everyday of our lives, take time to look for them, God makes himself known all the time.
Just look at this image of space, I definitely would classify that as a miracle and a sign from God. How about you?
Monday, April 20, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The failure and murder at Jonestown is an indictment. It is an indictment to our passivity and failure to stand for the beliefs that are God has sent down to his community and even more a failure of the Church to live in like of the cross. It is our failure to not be bold and state false for false simply for the sake of not rocking the boat of tolerance.
Jim Jones was able to advocate a public theology and win a following and found a true alternative community, in essence in his cultic stance he was able to make a more "Christian" community then the church has had since before the conversion of Constantine. Further, he was able to win theological arguments with his converts and mainstream Christians because the Church has not stood against heresy or taught its people how to decisively argue against it, or see it. That is clear in his throwing away the Bible because it got in the way of understanding and no one, NO ONE, objecting, but agreeing.
As a church we need some serious change. We really need to be an alternative community. The call of the church is more than what we do for an hour on sunday mornings, and occassionaly for an hour on Wednesday and Sunday nights. We are called to be witnesses to fulfill the great commission. We are called to be the church, we are not called to blend in with society and make pals. Our work is God's work, it is challenging and we should make claims informed by our faith, and then people may see that we are something vital, and that we do have something important to say.
Let's be a community, completely seperate and other than society. Let's show the world what real Christianity is, in essence let's be the church. Then, maybe, we will finally start to see some change around here.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I officially get to head into the classroom and begin teaching this week and that will be awesome. The youth group is about 25 kids, from a church of about 40 people, so it is going to be awesome to get to work with the church and see where God leads over the next few years.
I ask those of you that read this to please pray for Beaverdam and the youth, pray that God continues to work in the kids lives and their parents as well, also pray that I can continue to seek Him first and see His will for his kids.
Okay, now it is off to take a quiz in Islam and then off to lead a discussion on Jonestown with other religious studies major. But on a high note, less than 25 actual classes left until I graduate.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Recently a great mentor and my professor Dr. Breitenberg, has presented our class with the idea of women in Christianity. Anyone and especially women will note that they have constantly been oppressed in the faith and held out of major roles like deacons, missionaries and especially ministers and pastors of churches. This is especially true in my own denominational background Southern Baptist. But in this hierarchy of sex the church has overlooked some fundamental scriptures, namely the first scriptures of the whole Bible.
I would like to talk about Genesis chapters 1 and 2.
This comes from Genesis 1:
"26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, b]">[b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.""
When we see this scripture God is calling for the creation of man and women, for humankind all together and at once. What does this mean for us? Well, it is rather simple, he created men and women on equal footing, and of equal standing before him. There is to be no hierarchy of the sexes, there is to be none of this men are to have the higher and superior role because they are made in the image of God. All of mankind was made in God's image. And, to further that statement I would like to ask, have any of us ever seen God? Do we know what His image even is? The resounding answer is no, we have never seen God and to state that one sex was made more in the glory of God is atrocious and ludacris.
Another piece of scripture that supports this is found in Genesis 2. It is the description of the creation of men and women, and what God clarifies about that creation.
Gen 2: 18 " Then the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make for him a helper as his partner."
Gen 2:24 "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother CLINGS to his wife, and they BECOME ONE FLESH."
Here we see that woman was not made to be subservient, she was made as a helper and a partner, not under, not above, but to work side by side with her man. Therefore, we should realize that all women must be made equal for us to truly enter into the community God ordained. Also, the chapter goes on to conclude that a man clings to his wife, he holds fast to her like a baby to his mother. Clinging is almost the equivalent of holding on for dear life, and that is what Adam did with Eve. This is not a picture of Adam lording over his wife, and making her submiss to his every want and whim. Sin has ruined this picture. We need to remember that like the one flesh that men and women came from they are to return to being one flesh with each other, through relationship, and through family and marriage.