Posts Tagged ‘acts of God’

Gift of Soul, and so on…

October 23, 2011

If you think people evolved from lower life forms,  then please understand that this creative work was revealed long ago–before science was invented– when it was written very simply that “the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground.”

And if you think that hominids such as Neanderthals or Cro-magnons lived on earth before Adam and Eve, then please wrap your mind around the fact that at a certain selected point in time,  the Creator– the One who had written the double-helixed codes of life itself–touched a man and gave him an essential gift–something very new and unprecedented. God placed within the man, Adam, a gift that would forever define the quality and direction of human life.

We call it soul. From that point on, men and women became less like the animals, more like God.

“God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

This gift of soul set men and women apart from other life forms, as its metamorphosing wonder formed within them self-consciousness and God-awareness. This had never been possible in the animal existence.

The soul-enabled path of  higher development now available to us through God’s shared creative work led ultimately to a new requirement–the need for law.
Through Moses, Law was given, so that we might civilize the world and live peaceably and productively within it.

The subsequent progress that sprung up through law-enabled civilization– and its incessant entropy toward downfall– led ultimately to a new epiphany–the need for Spirit, and not just any spirit, but a holy and righteous Spirit.

Through the life, death, and resurrection of  Jesus, the holy Spirit was given. Are you ready for this?

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Faithful Presence

April 4, 2011

To change the world– a noble challenge to which we Christians have always aspired– now becomes a new call to service issued by James Davison Hunter, in his book by the same name: To Change the World.

Dr. Hunter’s clarion call is preceded in the book by an analysis of historical and contemporary manifestations, among the people who call themselves servants of God, of that God-inspired inclination to make the world a better place. Hunter’s analysis identifies three strategic camps within  American Christianity today:
~Christians whose dominant cultural identity is found in defending themselves and their institutions (especially the family) from encroaching secularism; (the “defensive against” camp, as defined by Prof. Hunter)
~Christians whose motivation for divine fulfillment is centered on working toward justice, and toward institutional and individual benevolence to help poor and oppressed people; (the “relevance to” camp as defined by Prof. Hunter)
~Christians whose purpose is to maintain and advocate a pure manifestation of Christ’s work and teachings, with emphasis on peace and non-violence; (the “purity from” camp, as defined by Prof. Hunter)

After a cogent description of each, and consideration of their various impacts upon society as a whole, James David Hunter concludes his book’s message with a new (although its as old as the prophet Jeremiah!) paradigm for Christian involvement in our secularized world. “Faithful presence” is the strategy by which we authenticate God’s love for all people by adopting societal well-being as our own. This requires us to accept worldly responsibilities for the welfare of the communities and nation in which we live. Rather than despising worldly society we take our places, prepared and enabled by God, within it.

Our biblical example and precedent for this collaboration is found in the exhortation that Jeremiah issued to the Jewish exiles in Babylon, two and a half millenia ago. The prophet told them:

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile form Jerusalem to Babylon: build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jer. 29:4-7)

I emphasize that last sentence because I think it summarizes well the essence of Professor Hunter’s point. Even more importantly, though– it is a biblically sound, potent call to service for our generation of Christians and all those who follow us–“faithful presence” in the community and nation in which we each live. Responsible presence, caring presence, contributing presence, and hey–presents! at Christmas and other appropriate times.

The “welfare” of which Jeremiah speaks above is not the governmental dole system which in some cases enables laziness and lethargy to overtake people who are down and out. Nevertheless, our welfare system–woefully deficient as it is– is not beyond the capacity of our great God, through his son Jesus, to redeem and sanctify those unfortunate citizens (Christian and otherwise) who partake of it.
So do not judge those who find themselves stuck in that dolish “welfare” predicament. But rather, work as God’s productive people, saved by the blood of the Lamb, to lift the levels of living water in God’s sea of humanity so that all boats will rise within it.

Glass half-Full

Stun

September 28, 2010

Now our last day’s just begun;

our revolution’s surely won,

no need for knife or gun,

’cause the ancient anointed one

hath finished work that’s long been done.

Sing!

Oh you daughter and you son,

for our time is just begun,

and our race already won,

though yet we run.

Is it fun?

A ton.

The Twelfth Imam

September 26, 2010

Muslims of Shi’a Islam believe there is a great Imam, a spiritual leader, who has been alive on the earth since the year 872 c.e. They believe that he, Muhammed al-Mahdi, will emerge from his prolonged hiding and return to public life someday, probably soon.

Shi’as believe that when this Imam, the 12th Imam after Mohammed, returns, he will be with Jesus. They believe that their return to public ministry together will initiate a new age of  peace and justice on earth.

We Christians do not accept this scenario of Christ’s return to this troubled earth.  We believe Jesus will return on his own, being One with God, the Creator of the Universe. There will be no need for a Twelfth Imam accompanying him.

Whose apocolyptic vision is the correct one? The Christian one derived from the Bible, or the Muslim one derived from the Q’uran? When that great day comes, we shall see who is right, eh?

Judeo-Christian objectives

August 8, 2010

So here’s the deal.
In the old covenant, Joshua bar Nun lead, by military means, a desperate people into conquest over a bad land.
In the new covenant, Yeshua bar Yahoveh leads, by the holy spirit, a depraved people into conquest over their own bad self.

No need for temples, mosques, or cathedrals

July 17, 2010

The tide of human history moves persuasively toward a revelation that temples, church buildings,shrines, stupas, mosques, and other architectural relics are useless for spiritual redemption.

Christ predicted the demolition of the second temple; he also prophesied much more societal and personal downsizing that is yet to come.

He is the founder of nonviolent resistance, disallowing Peter’s impetuous use of the sword, and then allowing himself to be crucified. All of this so that he could overcome death to demonstrate for us life beyond death’s door, if you are willing to believe it.

His strategy will win out in the end, and he doesn’t need buildings or conquests of any kind to accomplish it. The kingdom of God is found in the human heart.

Aliyah Yerushalayim

from Relativity to Rock

March 17, 2010

As the big bang or whatever you want to call it manifested a universe through ever-widening time and space,  Logos asserted, in the midst of diverging matter and energy, a creative force to countermand  the default entropy. It was good.

So good, in fact, that Logos got excited and wanted to share the exuberance with someone. So Logos arranged a certain solar system so that it would  fling out a planet upon which optimum conditions could evolve to produce sentient beings.

After those living entities had developed to an optimum condition, Logos breathed into one chosen specimen a new dimension called Spirit, which enabled the new species to communicate with Logos, which is why Logos referred to homo sapiens as being “in our image.”

What that in our image attribute meant was: able to communicate with its creator. This was no small step for mankind.

One day many generations later an important turning point in the history of homo sapiens was reached. On a clear starry night, a certain very sensitive, intelligent man stepped out of his tent, looked up at the heavens and  thought: This world, with its accompanying heavens and creatures, is quite impressive. I’d like to write a book about how it all happened, because my people have been wondering about its origins.

And Logos, reading his mind, replied: Good idea. I’ve been waiting for someone like you to come along. Sit down and start writing; I’ll instruct you. I’ll give you some material that will help the people understand what’s going on in the universe, and will also help them to make a better life for themselves.

From our perspective several thousand years later, the man’s opus was quite limited by his place and time. But he did a nice job of it, and  managed to produce, with a little divine help, a best seller. You can still get a copy today.

His name was Moses.

In defense of God

January 17, 2010

Phil Angelides mentioned to Lloyd Blankfein that there is a difference between acts of God and acts of men/women.

I’d like to add a little bit to that discussion by pointing out that there is also a difference between acts of God and acts of nature.

An act of God would be, for instance his provision every minute of every day of breath in your lungs and beating in your heart.

On the other hand, a financial breakdown would be classified as an act of man, because it is the foolishness of men that makes such things happen.

An earthquake, however, is an act of nature. There’s no need to blame God.

Here’s why:

If this lump of matter that we call earth was once a sizzling, hot sphere of lava that shot off from the sun or the big bang or from however all that creative process spun out, then there would necessarily be cracks forming along its surface as the earth cooled.

Have you ever seen a mud puddle that dried up in the sun? Perhaps you noticed the mud, thick and wet. A few days later you walked by it and noticed that the mud had cracked as it dried.

That process, roughly speaking, is what has happened on the entire surface of the earth since it became a planet. Furthermore, that geological process has not ended; it is still happening. Cracks are still forming in the surface of the earth, rearranging its face.

When a crack happens where thousands of people are living, many  get killed because heavy stuff that humans have made falls on them and crushes them. This is one of many hazards of living on this planet; it goes with the territory.

The cracks in earth’s crust develop along what geologists call “fault” lines.

So understand that the earthquake in Haiti happened as a result of a fault in the earth. This tragic event was the earth’s fault.

It there was any “curse” involved, it was just what somebody uttered when they realized what the hell was going down in Port au Prince.

It’s not God’s fault, and it’s not an act of God.

If you think the earth just happened this way, then don’t blame God because you don’t believe in him/her anyway.

If you’re thinking that maybe there is a God who created the earth, then you may be wondering why did he make such a dangerous place where innocent people get killed seemingly for no reason?

I don’t know, but I do know this: you shouldn’t shove the blame on God for something that is the earth’s fault.

If you ever do meet him then perhaps you can ask him about it.