Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Do I Have a Wii Religion?

I’ve been thinking a lot about our worship to God lately and one idea of that has been on my mind. It’s the “discussion” of have to go to church and get to go to church. I know that the mentality of have to go is that of being forced, there are no other options. But I also think that when we have the mentality of get to go to church can be misleading as well. It sounds to me when we say this it’s like we have an option of whether we go or not and either is ok. I want to challenge you to adopt a new idea about going to worship, or at least new to me. Why don’t we say we WANT to go to church? Is it such a stretch of the imagination that we want to go worship God? We want to go join our voices with our brothers and sisters in praise to our almighty God?
I think part of why we say this is because we fall into having a Wii religion. What I mean by Wii religion is if I go play a game of bowling on the Wii, have I actually bowled? Or did I just go through the motions of bowling? We can do this in our religion where we come and go through the motions but they don’t mean anything. We’ve not worshipped God if we do that. Let me ask you a few questions that I’ve had to ask myself about my religion:

Where was your mind truly at when you took the Lord’s Supper last Sunday?
1 Cor 11:24-26

When you sang did you enjoy the tune of the song or did you think about the words you were singing as teaching your fellow worshippers? Eph 5:19

During the Bible reading and sermon did you think about what you were going to do that afternoon or for lunch? Or was you thinking about how what God wants you to get out of that Scripture?

When did your spiritual thinking stop? At the last Amen? Did it ever start? Did you let it flow into your life in your daily routine?

I want you to stop and think are we living the life God wants us to live? Or are we treating our religion as a Wii, where we go through the motions but don’t commit ourselves to God. I want you to think about one verse in closing. When Jesus was asked what is the greatest command in all the Law. Did you know his answer was about our worship? The offering of praise that God desires most is that of a life that lives for him. Notice the account between Jesus and the Questioner in Mark 12:28-34. (NIV)

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

"The most important one” answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and
there is no other but him. love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Conflicting Thoughts

I was thinking about the ideas of Darwinism and Evolution and the world here lately, February 12, 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth. As I was thinking about this it occurred to me that there are a few modern ideas that are popular in the world today that go against Darwinism. It seems funny to me how people say they believe one thing then do something that violates the very thoughts of it. I would some additional thoughts and comments if you can help me figure these ideas out better.
First, I notice like many people that in today’s world there seem to be more people fighting for the rights of animals than the rights of humans. I can understand this to an extent, I don’t believe people should abuse animals but giving them as many rights as humans a bit of a stretch to me. This got me thinking, how can someone who believes in Evolution support efforts that save animals from extinction or reduced numbers? Isn’t this a clear violation of Darwin’s law about survival of the fittest? How can you claim to follow Darwin but yet think his idea and nature need changing?
Lastly, with the homosexual agenda being pushed so much, shouldn’t Darwinism followers be just against homosexuals as us Christians are? I mean think about it. Isn’t this “lifestyle” again a clear violation of survival of the fittest? How can a species survive if it gives up the natural use of male/female relations (Rom 1:26-27)?
These were just some interesting thoughts I had and wondered if anyone had any ideas about their support by Evolutionists. It seems to me that these especially the latter group believes in Evolution just for the benefit of not having to answer to anyone about their lifestyle patterns.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Presence of God. Ps 23:1 & 4

I am writing this because some friends asked me to blog about what’s happening at the lectures. The first lecture I got to today was the one at chapel. I forgot that when you stay in a college dorm it’s hard to get in bed before 1, mostly because of all the noise. That lecture was about the presence of God in our lives from Psalm 23:1 &4. It was done by a faculty member Jesse Robertson. He brought out many good points and thoughts about God being with his people. He basically began a study through Genesis about God promising to be with Abraham. Gen 12. That God told Abraham that he would show him a land and that to show him a land God had to be with Abraham. Then later in Genesis 15:1 God promises Abraham that he would be his shield.
Then he went on down to Isaac and in Genesis 26:24, God told Isaac that he was with him when Isaac was surrounded by men in that area that wanted him to leave. Then in Gen. 26:18, when Jacob had the dream about the latter ascending to heaven as he was fleeing Esau, God told him that he was with him.
Then in Exodus, God told Moses he was with Him. In Ex. 3:12 when Moses gives the excuse who am I, God told him He was with him. A great point was made that when we realize that God is with us we can do anything because it is not something special in us, it’s the power and support of God that helps us. Then in Ex. 33, when the people make the golden calf and Aaron says this is the god that delivered you. God wants to leave the people and allow an angel to guide them the rest of the way, but Moses calls to Him to remember the promise to Abraham and says that if God will not go with them then do not lead us up from here (14). Moses realized the importance of God’s presence with His people.
Also in the book of Deuteronomy, Moses says in the time of war the priests are to go up and remind the people that God is fighting with them and will give them the victory (20:3,4).
Next in the book of Joshua, Joshua is reminded by God himself that He is present with Joshua. He calls Joshua to be strong and courageous with that fact. Josh 1:5,9
Then in the book of Judges, God comes to Gideon when he is hiding in a wine press and calls him a great warrior. Gideon questions the message saying that if God si with us then why has He allowed this to happen to us? Then God tells Gideon that He is with him and that Gideon will be able to strike down the Midianites as one man. Judges 6:12-16
In 1 Samuel 17:37, as David is preparing to face Goliath, he states that God was with him when he faced lion and bear and God will deliver him also from the paw of this Philistine.
In 2 Kings 6, Elisha and his servant are surrounded by the armies of the king of Syria, and Elisha’s servant comes to Elisha wondering what they could do with such a great force ready to descend upon them. Elisha tells him not to worry because God is with them. Then Elisha prays that the servant’s eyes might be opened so that he can see God’s deliverance. Then the servant looks out and he sees the chariots of fire and the horses and the Servant realizes God’s presence there.
Then one last example was King Ahaz. When the neighboring Kings were against him he doubted the presence of God. Then God comes to him and tells him to make a request for God to prove himself. Ahaz refuses then God says he will give the sign of a virgin giving birth to a child and his name shall be Immanuel or “God with us.” Then we know in Matthew 1:23 that when Jesus was born he is called Immanuel. He is truly God with us. Then quickly looking at John 1:1-2, 14, how Jesus was the word and was with God and was God and he came to this earth and put on flesh. Then Matthew 28:20 after his death he gives the promise that he will always be with us. In John 14:18-23, he promises the spirit will come and be with the disciples and that he won’t leave them alone. In 1 Corinthians 6;19 we are told that our bodies are the temple of the spirit. Romans 8:15-16, when we cry “Father, Father” then the Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s children. Then finally, in 1 John 3:24, we are told that if we keep His commandments we abide in Him and we know that he abides in us by the Spirit that he gave us.
What a wonderful thought to know that God cared about us so much that He has promised He would always be there and that He would always take care of us. Thus giving significant trust and faith into Ps 23:4 – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

I hope you enjoyed this first installment. I will try to get some more up here soon, if I can find the time. Also if you have iTunes you can find the lectureships on their under the podcasts at Freed Hardeman University, Bible lectureships, and 2009. I encourage you to listen to the afore mentioned lecture it was Monday at 10:30. May God bless you all