Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Powerful Decalogue

The Ten Commandments is a powerful tool to help show people their need for Christ. Many have suppressed sin in their mind and ignore guilt. How do you expose this sin for them? What should you say? Both Christ and Paul used the Decalogue to circumvent the intellect and go straight to the conscience (1). We are called to be ambassadors and be prepared as we interact with society around us (2).

The mirror

The commands are like a mirror, kind of how James describes the law of liberty (3). When the unregenerate come to see themselves pitted against God's moral standards, they know they are fallen creatures. Once they see their sin, they will understand why they need one to rescue and from their trespasses (4). They see their sin as if one sees ones face in a mirror.

While in conversation with others about God or while sharing the gospel with those who do not follow Christ, feel free to give them some of the commands to see how they have held up to God's standards. When you ask if they are a good person or if they have been good enough to go to heaven, most will say yes. However, the Bible says we all have sinned. They know sin in their heart-of-hearts, they just need to see it for what it really is, trespassing against God's ways (5).

The questions

Ask questions like these: have you every told a lie, even a white lie? That makes you a liar. Have you ever stolen anything, even if it was small? That makes you a thief. Have you ever used God's name as a cuss word? That is blasphemy. Jesus said, “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” This lust makes you an adulterer at heart.

Think about it, we all have sinned. More than likely, if one is honest, he or she will have done all of these things, we are all people. They as well have trespassed God's holy commands.

Note this, I only mentioned four of the ten commands, already this person is a liar, a thief, a blasphemer and an adulterer at heart! Come judgment day, what do you think God will say to this person for his or her sin?

The rest of the story

Now you can tell the story of Christ, his teachings and now forgiveness and cleansing makes sense. Jesus paid the penalty on the cross, he delivered us from the bonds of our sin. Rising from the dead so we would be free from the pains of eternal death. Now you can speak of repentance, of them turning from sin. Now we can speak of a changed life. Now we can speak of them trusting Christ for salvation. Now we can speak of forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Now we can speak of following Christ's ways.

Now it makes sense. Now they see reality as it really is. Speak of their sin before remedy, Show them their trespasses
before redemption. Need before solution, law before salvation!

(1) Matthew 19:16-22, Romans 5, Romans 7:7-12.
(2) 2 Corinthians 5:20, 1 Peter 3:15
(3) James 1: 22-25
(4) Just because they understand will not mean they still will not have a hard heart and suppress the truth. However, now they have no excuse. It is not your job to bring them to repentance, it is the Spirit's. You are just the messenger who plants the seed or waters the sprout. 
(5) Romans 2:12-16

Image source: "TenCommandmentsAustinStateCapitol". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pro-Life Cartoon

Please share this cartoon on all your social network connections!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

When do you stop being you?

A Zygote from Gray's Anatomy
Let me treat you to a fictitious journey. You rubbed the "magic lamp" and made your wish, you are now on the way to becoming a younger you.

Wrinkles are disappearing and your face and body are looking younger. As the days turn into years you become younger, not older. But you are still you.

Now don't mind all the problems with this story, just let your mind wander with me for a bit.

Did I forget to tell you that you are looking so young that you are no longer an adult, nor a teen, nor a preteen but you just passed first grade? But wait, you are no longer an infant, now don't tell me how, but you now reside in your mother's womb the second time. However, you are still you, aren't you? Now I have a question, at what point do you stop being you - in other words, when do you become "a mass of tissue?"

Did I tell you, that with this wish, you have the potential to live your life three times - two growing older and one growing younger? (Maybe you you are not fond of this, but hey, at least I am giving you a chance here.)

But wait, that "blob of tissue from your mother's womb", if removed would not be a concern for you, because it is not you, it is just a blob of tissue we are told... For some reason, you are no longer able to live your life thrice, just twice. For you see, that mother of that tissue decided that she had her life to live, that blob would just get in the way because your life was not worth having around. Your mother let you down...removed that "tissue" which took your chance of again living your life. She just killed you!

Picture source: "Gray3". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Path Towards Liberalism . . . or something like that

A Christian - Conservative or Liberal? Some call me a too conservative Christian- others look at me as being a liberal Christian and "out in the deep end." Confusing, ain't it?


In Christianity, for too long, we have accepted equivocation as being the norm within our culture. While these two words, conservative and liberal (in reference to a Christian, not politics), do have a place and significance, there must be good context and clarification to elucidate meaning. However, for me, these words have become almost meaningless in everyday life. In fact the use and the spirit of these words have almost made me despise them when one is talking about another Christian's Christianity. Let me tell you why.

My Reasoning

One day, in some circles, I'm uber conservative, the next day, in another context I'm the most liberal person. One group I'm considered a "stiff", and maybe a little bit of a "party pooper", to another group I'm "pushing the line" and doing things that are not "appropriate."  To one I'm almost an Amish, to the other I'm almost not even a Christian. To one, I'm a radical, to the other I'm almost not even "Spirit led."Do you see my frustration? Do you see my concern?

In other words, arbitrary distinctions are set up in a subjective sense. Do you see the lack of definition? Meaning, it seems, is lacking except to criticize others without justified grounding.

The Fix

So, what's the fix? It is quite simple, we need an absolute standard. This standard needs to tell us what God expects of us - and what he does not expect of us. It needs to explain rules and principles of God's instruction on how we're to act, think, dress and talk. Here's a quiz, can you think of something that is not subjective, that's absolute and that we can refer back to when making decision on how to conduct oneself?

A Little Bit of Wisdom

There is an old 19th century maxim that goes like this: "Where the Bible speaks, we speak; where the Bible is silent, we're silent." Understandably, some may take issue with this. However, I think it may have a lot of merit and wisdom. It builds a framework for our lives. Think of it, the Bible is very well written - it can work in any culture context.

However, some may say, "but what about this" or "what about that" topic? My thought is simple, did God forget to place that subject in the Scriptures if it was so important?

However, God is not myopic - he set a different standard. If I were to write the Bible, the culture I exist in would probably seem to be the best one for proper living. However, rather our job is not our own will, but striving to be Christlike by being obedient and full of godliness.

God's Big Picture

What did Jesus and the Apostles do and what did they teach? Can we learn what to think, what to say, where to go and how to behave from them? Conservative and liberal become void terms if we follow Christ's teachings. Think how many problems would be solved if we all would just focus on his teachings and less of the other "important issues".

Image source: Wikipedia 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mr. Kingfisher

Problem: Train needs to travel at 200 mph with very little noise-pollution.
Solution: The Shinkansen Bullet Train and a bird-watching engineer.

Excessive noise is generated when trains zip too fast, exiting tunnels. Thus a sonic boom. As it moves through a tunnel, pressure builds up in waves which causes this boom as it emerges. A bird-watching Japanese engineer, on the train design team, put his bird watching skills to work. Capturing the design from the kingfisher's head and beak, he designed the nose of the train.

Kingfishers dart into the water searching for fish - absent a splash and scarcely a ripple. Propelling through a low drag medium to an high drag medium causes shock. Circumventing this issue is accomplished by the exquisitely design of the beak. Now you see the solution for the train with a similar issue - low drag in the tunnel, high drag as it emerged. The wedge design of the kingfisher's beak was the needed key.

But get this, sound was not the only thing that was reduced, but also a fifteen percent less energy usage and an increase in travel speed by ten percent (1)!

(1) http://www.asknature.org/product/6273d963ef015b98f641fc2b67992a5e

Image source: Flicker Karen Roe

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Silly People or Silly Idea?

One of the greatest mistakes we make is to name names indiscriminately in discussion when ideas would work just as well. In fact, it is very important in communication. If you noticed I usually try to have good arguments without pointing fingers or naming names.

Now this is not always possible. Where there is public statements and discourses made, the rules change some. There are times that private discourse should be disclosed as well, however I try to make that rare and used only in extreme situations.

Intelligent Christian InteractionsCases like Ham and Nye were public (see this link and this link for my commentary on their debate), but even than I tried not to put either one down but tried to have respect for both. I tried to analyze their ideas and not them.

Sometimes you need to quote someone, but it should not be used to make them, the person, look stupid. Now maybe their ideas are silly, but that is what we are looking at anyhow, so just point it out. While not always possible, if you are going to say something, try your best to be positive (such as my thoughts on Dr. Meyer).

In other words, we should not use character assassination in our conversations. This is called an ad hominem attack or an argument against a person rather than his or her ideas. This is weak thinking and is a poor argument that makes you look silly!

In other words, if nothing you take from this post, remember this:
Be egalitarian to people but elitist regarding ideas.

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