I added a video to the recent poem I wrote. All these wonderful people go to my church, and I am blessed to know them and be part of their lives.
I am a Christian!
I look like you, I walk like you.
My Hair can be black, my eyes maybe blue
You walk by me, you walk next to me
You talk to me, you even woRk with me.
I eat, sleep, drink like you
I even talk & think like you.
I can be black, or whIte like you
I can be a Sister, I can be a brother
An aunt or a mother
A poliTician a policeman
I’m tall, I can be short like you
I wonder do you know me………
I make Jokes like you, I laugh like you
I have passions like you, I like fashion as you.
I Educate with you, I graduate like you
I cry like you, I die like you……
So where is the severance, or who makes the difference?
A man that I proclaim, Who bore all my shame
He bore yoUrs too, he cares for you too
I wonder do you know him, he sure knows you!
He is the Saviour, he saves sinners…….like you!
Do you know what I randomly read the other day? The boiling point of liquids at different pressures! Now you might think “hmm how random”…..to which you would be right, but it got me thinking about the the world we live in, and the way in which God orchestrated this world with all it’s nuances to be liveable and sustainable.
Onto my shameless habit of reading random topics now; I read that the boiling point of liquids is linked to the given pressure around the said liquid. Lets say we take water for instance, water boils at 100 degrees celsius. At 100 degrees celsius, the vapour pressure of water equals the pressure in the air surrounding the liquid thus the water boils and starts turning into vapour or steam.
Now you might think alright, what’s so interesting about this, or why write a blog post about it? Well think about it…….we live in a world where the air pressure is just right for us to live in. Allow me to elaborate! If we were to say visit the planet Mars, where the air pressure is significantly lower than it is on Earth, the temperature at which liquids will boil would be much lower in relation to Earth. Thus meaning that we as humans who are filled with liquids would only survive literally minutes on Mars without appropriate space gear. With the pressure being so low, the boiling point of liquids wouldn’t have to be high as it is on Earth for it to start boiling, even room temperatures would be enough to make the liquids reach boiling point on Mars. So our bodies which have all encompassing liquids like blood would start to boil until we are cooked from the inside, or until it explodes out of us like blood pudding.
This just goes to show how Earth was specifically designed for us humans to inhabit. Qualities like what I’ve just discussed could not have come by chance. What are the chances that all minute changes in the world would all coherently work together to make living possible? This is the sign of a designer, and that designer is none other than Jesus Christ.
The bible tells us in John 1:3 “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made”
We are also told
in Colossians 1 that “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist”
Everything that exists, whether visible or invisible was made by him, and He is the one who sustains life. To think that there are millions of processes which work for us every single day to give us the sustainability of life, all sustained by the all Sustainable One.
It boggles the mind that people would really think that all this came by chance. The world is too complex for chance to have any say. It has evidence everywhere of a designer. To think otherwise would be foolish – Psalm 53:1
Here is an excerpt from the Appendix of Frederick’s Narrative. The reason I posted this is to highlight the stark difference between the Christianity that was purported during the times of slavery to support the inhumane acts of slave masters on their slaves, and true biblical Christianity which is against such practices. Douglass, who himself witnessed the misconstruction of scripture by slave masters in order to keep their slaves in check as if their plight was a divine act from God, writes and makes it very clear that this could not be further from the truth.
Douglass in his own words writes “I find, since reading over the foregoing Narrative, that I have, in several instances, spoken in such a tone and manner, respecting religion, as may possibly lead those unacquainted with my religious views to suppose me an opponent of all religion. To remove the liability of such misapprehension, I deem it proper to append the following brief explanation. What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference–so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.”
Paul writes in Galatians 3:26-29 “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female:for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”
Biblical Christianity is not the religion of slavery, on the contrary, biblical Christianity IS the answer to slavery. There is only one race of people that God made in this world, the human race!
I ask that question because God is not limited by time, space or matter as we are. He transcends all these barriers; he is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. He views the course of our lives in an instant, whereas we view our lives primarily through the present and sometimes through the past. The future to us is shaped by our beliefs and trust in Christ’s promises, we are motivated to live our lives in a way which is most pleasing to him, and the promise of his Word, assures us our faith and hope in him will stand strong through the good and the bad times, as he has promised “he will never leave us, nor forsake us” – Hebrews 13:5
It can be all too easy for us to be caught up in our view of things, and our future can very much be clouded with our own worries and cares. In the midst of our turmoil, we lose the confidence we have in the Lord for whatever reason, and take matters into our own hands to the detriment of ourselves.
So I ask the question again; Do you see what God sees? Viewing situations we face through the eyes of the Lord helps us to see the grand picture the Lord is painting for our lives. Whilst we are pre-occupied with the one piece, God see’s the entire puzzle.
A great illustration of this is found in Exodus 23 and it concerns the children of Israel; In this chapter, God continues to give a set of covenant laws through Moses at Sinai to pass onto the children of Israel. Towards the end of the chapter, God speaks about the Promised Land and makes conditional promises to the Israelites, that if they are to obey his laws, that he will drive away the inhabitants of the land, in order that they may inhabit the land. In setting out his conditional promises to the Israelites, God states his perspective on how he was going to drive the inhabitants away from the land in order that the children of Israel might possess it. God writes these truths, and I think this highlights my point about God’s perspective in our lives
“I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river:for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee” – Exodus 23:29-31
God’s plan was to drive the inhabitants away, but NOT in the time frame the Israelites might have thought! Now in their minds, as they waged war with Joshua to drive the inhabitants away from Canaan they might have been thinking, “how long or Lord” or “Has God forsaken us” as the battles wen’t on, but God knew if he had just instantly driven the inhabitants away, then the Israelites would have found more trouble in the shape of the wild animals occupying the land. This was a step by step carefully calculated plan to slowly ease the people into the land as they grew numerically stronger.
A great example for us today about how the Lord works. Friend! Are you feeling weary that as 2013 closes, it seems you are nowhere near where you want to be or perceive yourself to be? Well gladly remember this truth about the Lord, that he always has our best interests, many times the Lord does not give us instantly what we want, because he knows we are not yet ready for that. If he were to give us everything we asked for, then it may cause more problems than blessings, as we would not be able to handle it in our current state. “Little by little” he told his people “little by little”, so rather rejoice at how far the Lord has brought you this year, and anticipate another year in which he will bring you along that much closer in your Christian walk according to his will.
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart:wait, I say, on the Lord” – Psalm 27:14
Happy New Year
Goooodnight! We had a plethora of fictional heroes this year to complement last year’s haul of fictional heroes. We had new entries in the Iron Man series, Thor, Wolverine, Superman, Hunger Games to name the big hitters this year. With 2014 looming, there will no doubt be additions to these titles, along with new fictional heroes to add to the foray. Now this post is not really to bash fictional heroes, I just really want to highlight the trend in 2013 on the big screen, and how at times these are the heroes we idolise and attempt to emulate.
This is not necessarily a bad thing in itself if the portrayed hero has inherently good virtues, but it’s a shame that we cannot point to real life people who have done extraordinary or just selfless things and emulate them. They are out there….we just have to read more non-fiction books.
Better yet, many of these heroes on the big screen all have certain attributes that are terribly reminiscent of Jesus Christ, which is one of the reasons I find the cinema boring! You see, regardless of what the anti Christian media would like portray. The character of a hero, in order for it to be successful and resonate with the audience, must have certain key attributes which elevate him above the norm. Characteristics like selflessness, sacrifice, boldness, faithfulness etc. these attributes all but appear in each and every heroic stock character. Add to that the sweeping idea that the said hero was destined for “great things” since childhood, and you have your manufactured icon, ready for the masses.
The problem is, these are all attempted carbon copies of Jesus Christ…without the spiritual aspect to it or the significance of his death for mankind. They are just hollow examples basically of the holy example. If the heroes we have are only alive in the pages of fiction books or on the big screen, then we are getting watered down versions of a Saviour who is infinitely more greater, whose real life and death is the single greatest heroic story in humanity.
One that has spurred on millions of other non-fiction heroes to pick up their cross and emulate Christ. If we struggle to find real heroes to emulate, why don’t we by emulating Christ’s example of living a righteous life, and obeying him be heroes for the next generation who are quickly growing up in a world where heroes are only within the pages of comic books or fiction books.
It’s that time already! Where has month gone to? Already the 14th of December, next week and a half we will be celebrating Christmas, and subsequently be looking forward to 2014….by God’s grace of course!
As the year draws to a close, it is so important to remember all what the Lord has done in our lives through this year. The very fact I could write this blog post, indicates for one that God has kept me alive to this point; and trust me, if you know how I cycle, it’s only by the grace of God that some car or bus has not knocked me down yet. (I’m making it my goal to be a more road conscious cyclist for 2014 lol)
The books of 1 and 2 Samuel are some of my favourites, and I recollect particularly in 1Samuel, where Samuel erects a stone in chapter 7 called Ebenezer to mark the point to which God had helped the people especially against their enemies the Philistines.
Ebenezer means “stone of help” and is not that so apt for what the Lord does for Christians today? He is our help; The psalmist in Psalm 46:1 puts it beautifully when he writes “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” He sure is!!
I write this blog post to challenge all you and myself personally to write down all the blessings God has blessed us with throughout this year, and give praise to the Lord for his goodness. Many times we forget to have a heart of thankfulness so we forget the goodness of the Lord, even in the simple things. I know I am prone to this, and it is something I constantly work on cultivating.
So I challenge my fellow Christians to take up a pen (or tablet, mac, laptop, whatever lol) and write down some of the things you are thankful for in 2013.
A trying year it has been for many of us, but even in the trials we face, those are blessings, that go a long way in conforming us more into the image of Jesus Christ. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief we are told in Isaiah 53:3. Our Saviour! The one we should try and emulate by the Holy Spirit’s power until his return or our death, whichever comes first.
So take up the challenge folks! Remember no blessing is too big or small, for if God is our provider and very sustainer of life, everything we have and cherish is because of the Father of lights.
I finish with the chorus of that great hymn
“Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done”
God bless and early Merry CHRISTmas to my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Speaking with an acquaintance of mine who is a homosexual prompted me to write this post if only to address the rather unpleasant slave trade, Jim Crow, early 20th century era of world history. Somewhere along the line, I guess the idea that the fight for gay rights could or should be compared to the fight for civil rights. This acquaintance of mine covertly tried to link the two movements together repeatedly, as if me being black would send an agreeing nod his way.
Now this kind of thinking is WRONG on so many levels, not to mention insulting to say the least. To compare a God-given right to be counted equal with other human beings, to a movement which seeks to gain equality with the very laws of nature itself is shocking. I’ve read several articles as well which have sought to draw these two together, as if the spirit of those men and women fighting for something they really should not have been fighting for in the first place, will somehow rub off on those fighting for equal rights for LGBT.
Here are the two quintessential reason why these two movements are so so different
1) Homosexuality is a sin, whilst being black or being any colour is not a sin – Now this ends up offending many people who are LGBT, but why does it offend so much? I am told by your staunchest defenders that I should be accepting of the LGBT message, but when I say you should be accepting of my stance as a Christian, I am the one who is intolerant? What? How does that make sense.
2) Colour is an intrinsic attribute, whilst homosexuality is an adopted lifestyle – This one is simple! A LGBT can be of any colour, and are of every colour, any person can adopt a LGBT lifestyle, but what colour God has given you is an intrinsic attribute you are born with. You cannot change it, no matter what you might think to do. This then highlights one of the key reasons why, those who were fighting for civil rights were not just fighting for an adopted lifestyle, but were rather fighting for life itself. If they lost, then there were no alternatives, they are stuck with the colour they are given.
I find it ridiculous that these two would even be uttered in the same breath!! That is all…….now a few thoughts on the race issue!
Personally, I don’t have hang ups about the Civil Rights Movement, or what people of my colour have had to endure through the centuries. Just because I grew up in the 90’s and 00’s not personally facing the stigma of the past doesn’t mean I don’t know about the history, and the not so distant past atrocities black people endured, but I don’t let it interfere with my life. The moment I got saved 6 years ago, was the moment I found my identity in Christ, who I am, is defined by the relationship I have with my Saviour. The past will be judged by God, as well as the sins of all mankind for that matter.
You see the answer to the race problem is simple; the answer is found in Jesus Christ. In fact the word “race” in relation to mankind is not even found in the bible. The word of God always talks about nations, not races of people. A nation is made of many different kinds of people, not the other way around.
The nation of Israel itself, the nation God decided to use to shine the light of his workings to the gentile world was of a diverse mix of people. A nation which similarly were freed from slavery, were warned by God to not mistreat strangers, because they were once mistreated themselves (Deuteronomy 24:17 and like verses etc). Problems began when the Jews started to get an inflated view of themselves, and shunned other races, even their former brethren the Samaritans, because of their mixed ancestry. A problem that still persists today I might add towards others. This was never God’s intention for people to be divided by their colour, rather by nations were we meant to be divided.
Therefore I don’t subscribe to a “white race” or a “black race” etc mentality, I have many friends from different walks of life and backgrounds, our differences are what makes us strong, and builds our bonds as people and as friends.
Paul so eloquently states in Acts 17:24-27. The workings of God “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us”
…that is all.
Anyone who has read the book of Ezekiel will know that it is filled with imagery and symbolism! With Israel already decimated by the Assyrians, Judah’s judgment was coming swiftly! The hot hand of God had been stayed by the deeds of some righteous kings of Judah like Josiah in the past, but like a huge blue plaster across a bursting dam, the flood was coming…..and it came without mercy. The Babylonians overthrew Jerusalem and Judah in a matter of years.
Whilst all this is going on, we are introduced to Ezekiel the son of Buzi, gathered with the captives of Judah along the river Chebar. God makes his presence known to Ezekiel, and what then ensues are fascinating encounters between God and his chosen servant Ezekiel. I implore everyone to read Ezekiel, not only for the sake of just reading God’s Word, but also for the understanding of the ways in which God works, and the absolute execution of his perfect will. If God has spoken it, then IT WILL COME TO PASS!
For me, chapter 8 is one of my favourite chapters of the book, and one that I draw my title from for this blog post. It describes a visionary encounter with Ezekiel and God, as he lifts Ezekiel up by lock of his hair and take him by visions to Jerusalem, to see the abominations that are being carried out in the temple by the priests and princes of the city.
The candid expose on the idolatry and rank immorality of the elders in Jerusalem is startling, and one of the most vivid descriptions ever recorded in the Word of God.
As I read this chapter and highlighted key verses, a statement stood out to me that God repeats 3 times to Ezekiel and it’s this; “but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations”
Just as I was coming to the conclusion that it could not get worse for Jerusalem, and the downward spiral of sin could not go another spiral, God brings the message home to me; “It’s worse than you think”
This statement got me thinking, and I wondered in myself how many times I don’t see sin the way God see’s sin. Me who on a weekly basis trawls through this world, going about my business fail sometimes to see sin for what it is. The conditioning we so readily accept from the standards set by the world makes it difficult to stand back with subjective eyes and mourn at the state of affairs.
I think of when God by visions lifts Ezekiel high in the sky in chapter 8, and gives him a birds eye view of Jerusalem, a God’s eye view of Jerusalem I should say. It is almost the implication that God wanted Ezekiel to see what he see’s. This is not just a rebellious people, oh no, in God’s eyes these were stiff-necked people of the basest level.
With so much filth we pick up in the world, it is imperative that on a weekly basis, we remember to wash our hearts and minds daily in the Word of God, After all, if we are to reach the lost, we have to see the situation from God’s perspectives. This is a lost and dying world, not a world of redeeming quality, we as sinners are only saved by the grace of God, so let us share the good news, since there is no redeeming quality in ourselves, but only in the Redeemer who has purchased us with his blood.
I wrote all of this to bring to remembrance that sin is worse than we think sometimes, and because it is, there is a real hell for the punishment of sin. We have to reach out to our fellow man and warn them of the dangers of coming judgment, like Ezekiel did, and show them the way to the one who cane save their souls. May we always have fresh perspectives on the great mission that lies ahead for all believers. We are all responsible for carrying out the Great Commission.
(7) Soren Kierkegaard– The Advent of Diffusion!
Born – 1813
Died – 1855
Fruit – Existentialism/Neo-orthodoxy
Einstein, who is figured in this list as somewhat of the “8th” man is quoted as saying “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Now WWIII has not happened, obviously!! My point is not to argue if it will or will not, rather I would like to draw upon what Einstein quotes in describing the last…but by no means the least of the seven men who rule the world from the grave; Soren Kierkegaard.
If you have kept in touch with the previous 6 posts, then you would have read about the evolutionist kingpin, Charles Darwin; the higher critic extraordinaire, Julius Wellhausen; the marxist marksman of history, Karl Marx; The pragmatic programmer,John Dewey; the psycho in psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud; and the monetary madman of governance, John Maynard Keynes. What other area is left untouched?, you might ask! To which I would say….none really! Hence why I referred to Einstein’s quote above, because the great battles have been fought, well and truly before Kierkegaard’s writings came on the scene (100 or so years after his death), hence why Soren’s influence whilst it is great…it merely just toys around with concepts that had long before been established by these other insidious men.
When Soren came on the scene, the social landscape was in tatters from previous humanistic battles, hence the reference to fighting with sticks and stones……please say you understand my analogy =/ lol
Anywayz! Let us begin.
Soren who is the father of existentialism was born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1813, and much like the other men, he exuded character traits which would go on to define his beliefs. A revered author in his hometown, his books would go to define him more than the uneventful life which he lived. He wrote on many topics subsequently receiving acclaim from the crowds who gathered around each of his publishings. As I mentioned before though, this sleeping giant came to the fore of international fame and worldwide influence one hundred years or so after his death.
Nicknamed the melancholy Dane for his abject writing style and cryptic enigmatic undertones, he was rarely understood by his audience, and even today, many would struggle to figure out exactly what made this man tick….tock
I must note at this time of course that there is one thing that separates this world changer from the previous 6 mentioned, and that is he professed that he was a Christian! As a teenager he confessed that he believed in the finished work of Jesus Christ on Calvary’s cross, that he was the God man and that Christ died for his sins. The plot thickens right? 🙂
So what was the effect on society of Kierkegaard’s theological and philosophical concepts? The best word for that effect is the word diffusion! Kierkegaard appeared to take many contradictory points of view. He almost sounded like an agnostic when he denounced the state church of Denmark.
Soren totally believed in the individual and hated even the concept of the “group”. The result of Kierkegaard’s emergence in the middle of the twentieth century can be described as irrational thinking, theological diffusion. Final truth slipped away, and the thinking of the world became a set of self-contradictions known today as existentialism.
So what is existentialism? Ironically the use of the word definition defies existential philosophy lol: Existentialism is the approach which emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will. For the existentialist, “this moment” is the ultimate thing.
For many of you who have kept up with this mini series, you can easily see the destructive path this thinking might and has led to; existentialism is a denial of any consistent morality, the only right is what is right for you, and the only wrong is that which produces pain or inconvenience for you. There is no law, no principle, no proper course of action of any kind, so go with the “vibe” right? Whatever is you thing, do it!! You only live once after all…right YOLO. Starting to sound familiar?
Nothing would be true, nothing would be false, anything goes. or as a bunch of college students attending a university where Existentialism was taught said: “All we are is cocaine in the wind, man! Far out, yeah, peace, love, hard drugs”
Now whilst anyone with a composed mind would agree that Existentialism is a form of insanity, this philosophy has become the most pervasive philosophy of our time. There is virtually no philosophy department in any major university in western civilization that is not built on existentialism.
Existentialism produced the youth culture of the 1960s. It gave us boys who looked like girls, and girls who looked like boys. Thousands of these gaunt specters of humanity received graduate degrees and are now the intellectual elite of our time. The flower children of the 1960s wrote music, and hired the rock bands who proceeded to set their contradictory ideas to discordant music. Along came free love, free sex, narcotics galore, the orgy, the seance, the suicide solution and a thousand other insults to the image of God and the life of man.
Soren played with sticks and stones alright, but in a world already devoured by the previous philosophies, his sticks and stones were much bigger than anyone else, and nobody dared to challenge Soren’s sticks and stones.
Existentialism is different! It is not simply another point of view, but rather it is a denial of all points of view. Far from redefining truth, existentialism announces that there is no truth.
Far from just infecting the mainstream world, existentialism affected the churches as well, giving birth to neo-orthodoxy. The idea that it does not matter what happens when God gives the Word, rather it matters when the Word impacts upon the human spirit. Therefore it is proper to say that the neo-orthodox view of scripture is that the bible becomes the Word of God when scripture interacts within the questing soul.
I could go on and on, but it is enough that I stop here, I have elaborated enough I think.
Diffusion is the keyword to Soren. It eliminates all truth and places man at the centre of it all. Sound familiar? I ask the question…who shall overcome?
The Word of God has the answer.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – Jesus Christ
Suffice to say that I am glad my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We live in crazy times, but it gets all the more sweeter when we realise that he will come again. Even so Lord come quickly! Amen.