Friday, January 29, 2016

Subtle Shifting Shadows

Subtle Shifting Shadows

Subtle shifting shadows
In the corner of our eye
They follow in our footsteps
No matter what we try

We turn, and they are gone
They flee at sign of light
We question if they were there,
But then day turns to night

Suddenly the darkness
Is no longer hiding
We find we are surrounded
And the fear is quickly stifling

We try and light a candle
To keep the dark at bay
But it isn’t in our power
To turn the night to day

We crouch back in the corner
Hands above our heads
We shut our eyes in terror
Of the monsters at our beds

Before we know it
The door slams shut
We can no longer see
What the night has brought

We rip our hair
We sob and plead
If we could just make
The darkness flee

If only we could realize
The Light is all around us
But we cannot feel the Presence
Of His holy justice

We do not create the day
The Light’s not ours to make
We need only be translucent
So it can shine through our heartache

Light is alive
It moves and breathes
It fills our actions
It lets us see

In the darkness
All men stumble
But when He shines
The darkness crumbles

It is not us
Who crush the enemy
The Light in us
That is our remedy

So when we cower
Deep in the dark
To His calling
Our ear must hark

He gives us eyes to see
And ears to hear
The lame can walk
Men need not fear

So when our shadows
Stalk our pathways
Don’t turn around

But to the Light give way

Song of the Day: It is Well by Bethel Music

Friday, January 15, 2016

Predestination vs Free Will

I think this is topic that trips people up.

Does God choose exactly who and who will not believe? And did He do it before the creation of the world? If so, then do we really choose to believe? If we choose to believe, then does God not choose us? And if we don't choose to believe, and instead, God just selects His 'elect', then what is the point of preaching the Gospel? Will He not just choose anyways? Yet did not Jesus give us the great commission? And if God loves everyone, what is His basis for only choosing some? No one deserves being chosen, so is the choice arbitrary and meaningless? And if the choice is arbitrary, how can God possibly be loving? How could God be love, and yet only choose a few sinful people among a race of equally sinful people? Yet, if the choice is truly ours, then how can one explain all the passages about predestination?

See, I just came up with a host of questions about this in about 2 minutes. It's not easy - well, actually, people make it difficult. Personally, I think it is easy. The issue is this - people look at predestination from a perspective of earthly, linear time.

God doesn't care about linear time.

If you've read my blog about the 'space-time bubble' you may see where this is going. Basically, I think that a good (comparatively - nothing can come close to the truth of God's eternity) analogy for space/time is a bubble. We are in the bubble - God is outside of it, He is the bubble, and He is in the bubble, all at once.

If you think about it, this makes the whole predestination topic simple. If God is outside of time, then He can choose someone at the moment of their conversion. They had the ability to choose to believe. However, in God's view, we are in this bubble, and He doesn't care about when time starts and ends. He selects us, from our perspective, at the moment of our repentance, but from His perspective, it was before the world was made.

We are forced into a three dimensional, 'this, then this,' approach, but God is eternal. His decision to choose was made at the moment we believed; and this decision echoed throughout time - from before the creation of the world, til the resurrection of the dead and eternity.

Song of the Day: It's actually a spoken word. "Good News" by David Bowden

Friday, January 8, 2016

Book Review: The Gospel Truth

You may have seen my recent facebook post about the book The Gospel Truth. I thought I would do a little bit more elaboration on my blog.

It is written by a Christian from Barbados. He used to be a Jehovah's Witness, until, through a series of people he witnessed to, God called him out of the Witnesses and he became a Christian.

The story is about a Witness named Kamal, who knows his Bible better than any non-Witness he knows. This leads him to think that he must have the correct doctrine. He has a series of encounters which make him question the Watchtower organization, and cause him to wonder about things such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, and the true nature of God.

If you have never actually known a JW, this book will give you a lot of insight into how much they know about scripture, how they worship, and what they believe.

It spends a lot of time explaining and defending the doctrine of the Trinity and of the divinity of Christ, countering many arguments against them. The book is mostly about the Biblical evidence of the Trinity, mixed in with the life of  Jehovah's Witness.

It is independently published and edited, so it is not formatted exactly like a book you may pick up at Barnes and Noble, but it is definitely worth the read.

The print length is about 220 pages, but the print is quite large, and it could likely be completed in one Saturday.

It can also be downloaded through Amazon, but the author receives a higher percentage of the money from the createspace link.

Song of the Day: O Love That Will Not Let Me Go by Ascend the Hill

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Is Being Good Enough?

I think it is extremely interesting that people believe that doing good works could outweigh the bad things we have done. As if all God requires is that we do 51% good, and only really bad people like Hitler actually deserve Hell.

This fits no standard of human justice.

In fact, such a view is, honestly, inane.

Picture a courtroom.

Someone is on trial for doing a crime. Anything - theft, murder, whatever. In the eyes of the judge and jury, something wrong has been done.

Does the fact that the person on trial volunteers at homeless shelters, or gives to charity, or mows neighbor's lawns mean anything?

No! That's ridiculous. Crime deserves sentencing. It doesn't matter how philanthropic you are - if you murder someone, you should be jailed.

Why should we hold God to a lower standard than our own judges? That simply does not make sense.

More analogies: Should a cop not give a speeding ticket to someone who volunteers at the Humane Society? Should a referee not penalize a player who is normally an extremely good sport? Should a teacher not accurately grade a student who usually does well?

The whole "balancing the scales" concept of good/evil deeds simply does not make sense when thought about in any human situation. Forgiveness is the only thing that eradicates evil deeds, and even then, it doesn't pretend they didn't happen. It acknowledges the evil, and says, "I still love you".

Song of the Day: This is Not the End, by Gungor