I'm convinced that most men don't know what they believe, rather, they only know what they wish to believe. How many people blame God for man's atrocities, but wouldn't dream of imprisoning a mother for her son's crime?
We must realize that the Reformation world view leads in the direction of government freedom. But the humanist world view with inevitable certainty leads in the direction of statism. This is so because humanists, having no god, must put something at the center, and it is inevitably society, government, or the state.
Atheists don’t hate fairies, leprechauns, or unicorns because they don’t exist. It is impossible to hate something that doesn't exist. Atheists — like the painting experts hated the painter — hate God because He does exist.
Indeed, a quick glance around this broken world makes it painfully obvious that we don't need more arguments on behalf of God; we need more people who live as if they are in covenant with Unconditional Love, which is our best definition of God. (p. 21)
Those who live as though God sets the rules are not going by their own rules. That is the self-sacrifice, or selflessness, that peace more often than not requires. Those who insist on going by their own rules cannot make that sacrifice. They are the steady adherents of (global) conflict because they are forever fighting both themselves and others to do whatever they think that they want to do.
God's relationship with man does not work in a way in which man stumbles and then God has to drop what he is doing in order to lift him up; rather, man stumbles so that God can lift him up. Hence it is utterly impossible to truly diminish his glory.
Imagine a person who comes in here tonight and argues 'no air exists' but continues to breathe air while he argues. Now intellectually, atheists continue to breathe - they continue to use reason and draw scientific conclusions [which assumes an orderly universe], to make moral judgments [which assumes absolute values] - but the atheistic view of things would in theory make such 'breathing' impossible. They are breathing God's air all the time they are arguing against him.
To better understand God we must first shatter our own idea of God - maybe even day after day. Maybe he's too great to stay compressed in the human mind. Maybe he splits it wide open; this is why pretentious intellectualism so often fails to comprehend the concept of God: it is only accepting of what it can explain while in the process finding higher sources offensive. What we may confidently assert is that faith is the opening that allows God, this unpredictable, unseen power, to travel in and out of the mind without all the pains of confusion.
A man must be prepared not only to be a martyr, but to be a fool. It is absurd to say that a man is ready to toil and die for his convictions if he is not even ready to wear a wreathe around his head for them.
There is a greater Christian faith than one which settles for the temporal happiness, and that is the augmentation of faith. The more faithful you become, the harder the obstacles get; but the harder the obstacles get, the tougher your spine grows; and the tougher your spine grows, the less dependent you are on man's approval. I came to know this about Christianity when valuing faith before comfort.
The theistic philosopher has a tendency to devalue insufficient worldviews, ideologies, and quite often common sense for the greater good, and in such cases, one should not be discouraged when seen as a bad guy. If he stresses over man's perception of a righteous heart, then he has given his heart to man.
The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.
In essence I find that the foundation of modern conservatism is driven by a clinging to God in fear of the world, whereas the foundation of modern liberalism is a clinging to the world in fear of God; albeit, the true foundation should be one's clinging to God in fear of God.
I cannot encourage any fabrication even for the sake of making people feel good. If I were to fabricate consciously and knowingly, I would not only be ordaining myself their enemy, but also ordaining myself God's enemy.
Hypocrisy versus authenticity among men is not always so black and white, and as is righteousness, humility is often self-proclaimed. The Church is most definitely supposed to be a hospital for the spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically sick, hurting, and broken individual, yet ironically, many of its critics are those who ran away and permanently denounced its members after they visited and felt that they were sneezed on.
It is never ridicule, but a compliment, that knocks a philosopher off his feet. He is already positioned for every possible counter-attack, counter-argument, and retort...only to find a big bear hug coming his way.
For God to prove himself on demand, physically, would be a grave disappointment, and the strongest Christians should be considerably grateful that he chooses not to do so. The skeptic endlessly demands proof, yet God refuses to insult the true intelligence of man, the '6th sense', the chief quality, the acumen which distinguishes man from the rest of creation, faith.
To be honest, one can only feel glad that so many modern iconoclasts consider Christianity to be full of exceptionally hypocritical, religious zealots - it's biblically accurate and a prophecy fulfilled. The old smoke screen is one of Satan's favorite tricks. He conceals the authentic. He has a persistent strategy of targeting those who remind him of Christianity because he fears those who remind him of Christ.
The optimization of cosmic darkness and of Earth's location within the dark universe that sacrifices neither the material needs of human beings nor their capacity to gain knowledge about the universe reflects masterful engineering at a level far beyond human capability- and even imagination. It testifies of a supernatural, superintelligent, superpowerful, fully deliberate Creator.
Innumerable conditions must be exquisitely optimized for the support of humanity and of civilization. Many of them are highly time variable. Evidence showing that a wide variety of independent conditions all reached optimality during the identical narrow epoch when human beings appeared on the cosmic and terrestrial scene testifies of supernatural design and purpose rather than mere coincidence.
Therefore, when a person refuses to come to Christ it is never just because of a lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties: at root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God's Spirit on his heart. No one in the final analysis fails to become a Christian because of a lack of arguments; he fails to become a Christian because he loves darkness rather than light and wants nothing to do with god.
Christianity, like genius, is one of the hardest concepts to forgive. We hear what we want to hear and accept what we want to accept, for the most part, simply because there is nothing more offensive than feeling like you have to re-evaluate your own train of thought and purpose in life. You have to die to an extent in your hunger for faith, for wisdom, and quite frankly, most people aren't ready to die.
The ultimate story of success: When a nobody, who has never once in his entire life known the feeling of being remembered or respected, suddenly snaps and becomes a world dictator. On one hand it sounds just, but on the other, it illustrates the reason why a prosperity message has and needs its limitations.
Think outside the box? Indeed. But to add balance to that, one should not in the process forget what the inside of the box looks like as well. Those who are best at thinking outside the box do it not to puff themselves up, but to see how small they really are. As a contented fish in its fish tank appears to have a small, boring existence to us, imagine a larger, more perceptive kingdom (even by scientific taxonomy) to whom our contented existences may appear to be small and boring. This is where true creativity and massive perceptive abilities spawn a sense of intellectual humility; the kind which God adores.
Now the best relation to our spiritual home is to be near enough to love it. But the next best is to be far enough away not to hate it. It is the contention of these pages that while the best judge of Christianity is a Christian, the next best judge would be something more like a Confucian. The worst judge of all is the man now most ready with his judgements; the ill-educated Christian turning gradually into the ill-tempered agnostic, entangled in the end of a feud of which he never understood the beginning, blighted with a sort of hereditary boredom with he knows not what, and already weary of hearing what he has never heard.
There was a time when skepticism was an act of rebellion. Since to a degree I both believe in evolution and have faith, I can only conclude that, as prophesied, to have faith will someday be an act of rebellion.
Realizing the seriously ruthless, venomous habits and agendas of evil always instills a more fierce passion and longing for a closer God. Men, out of pride, may claim their own authorities over what constitutes good and evil; they may self-proclaim a keen knowledge of subjective morality through religion or science. But that is only if they are acknowledging the work of evil as a cartoon-like, petty little rain cloud in the sky that merely wants to dampen one's spirits. On the contrary, a man could be without a doubt lit with the strength, the peace, and the knowledge of the gods, his gods, but when or if the devils grow weary in unsuccessful attempts to torment him, they begin tormenting his loved ones, or, if not his loved ones, anyone who may attempt to grasp his philosophies. No matter how godly he may become, God is, in the end, his only hope and his only grace for the pressures built around him - it is left up to a higher authority and a more solid peace and a wider love to eclipse not just one's own evils but all evils for goodness to ultimately matter. If all men were gods, each being would dwell in a separate prison cell, hopeless, before finally imploding into nothingness.
I think we should stop treating ["God works in mysterious ways"] as any kind of wisdom and recognize it as the transparently defensive propaganda that it is. A positive response might be, "Oh good! I love a mystery. Let's see if we can solve this one, too. Do you have any ideas?
God knew man would evolve. People think some of the Old Testament laws are absurd now because we live in a very different culture, a different time period. They had their problems and we have ours. God is constant but man is not, and he foreknew the ever-changing world his people would have to deal with; therefore, and if there is indeed an omniscient God, a Christ-like figure would be our only rational, possible connection to a constant, holy God throughout the evolution of culture and social law. The only answer that makes sense when it comes to relevance regarding religions and time periods is Christ, and the chances are slim that men could have invented it.
There is a difference between criticizing people and criticizing a people's uninformed ideals. That is, unless one defines himself or others by their ideals, then he is offended, and usually offended secretly. Because oddly enough, this person is the same person quickest to resort to dismissive name-calling, such as 'bigot' or 'zealot'. And oddly enough, he is always the one, the 'open-minded' one, who adamantly protests for, not only himself, but others not to listen to any type of scholarly theological truth inherently for the sake of his own personal, moral beliefs.
When we find that God's ways always coincide with our own ways, it's time to question who we're really worshipping, God or ourselves. The latter moves the nature of godliness from the King to our servant to a slave, a deduction into the realm of selfhood and then the lower, slavehood. It's a spiritual mathematics in that men who need God in his godhood are humble yet strong and spiritually ambitious while men who need a slave in their selfhood are ultimately paralyzed and will remain paralyzed.
The typical atheist rebels against God as a teenager rebels against his parents. When his own desires or standards are not fulfilled in the way that he sees fit, he, in revolt, storms out of the house in denial of the Word of God and in scrutiny of a great deal of those who stand by the Word of God. The epithet 'Heavenly Father' is a grand reflection, a relation to that of human nature.
The Christian does not avoid sin to achieve salvation, but rather salvation brings him to a desire not to sin. The closer that one's spirit is synchronized with the holy knowledge of God, the more he comprehends how and why sin is destructive to himself and others in each and every circumstance. The dwindling desire for sin is a premature gift of Heaven - where there will be no sin, where all will, too, possess that full and complete wisdom; all will have perfect reasons not to sin. In this way, free will might still exist, but the shared wisdom of God will simply outwit all desires, impulses, and needs to sin.
To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.
It is the philosophers, theologians, and evangelists who are said to be filled with pride and bigotry due to the strong convictions that they represent. On the contrary, teachings can be either taken or dismissed; whereas voting is the only thing the average person can do to force everyone to live how they would prefer. A simple vote is among the largest yet most acceptable forms of bigotry, and that is because people play the card only when they feel that in doing so it conveniences themselves.
The skeptic says that the believer has lost his own mind under God. On the contrary, it is the people who follow God who are most like his children, who willingly and consciously walk in his will; but those who oppose him oppose him vainly and at their own expense, and, figuratively, seem to be more like his tools. They don't diminish his glory, but instead he still manages to use them in ways of unconsciously carrying out his will.
It has always been difficult for Jews to take Christians serious, mostly because Christians lack the fundamentals that religious Jews learn in their youth. It remains an embarrassing fact, that modern Jews can comprehend the New Testament better than modern Christians. There is no excuse for this. Christians have dropped the ball and should be anxious to remedy that neglect. Not only would they benefit themselves, but their community too.
The problem is obvious, once the Father began creating, He risked that, although perfect, His new and autonomous family could choose badness. How else did we get demon angels? Two is a risky number. The solution is unifying, or amening, with the original one. Only recently has science been able to monitor a quasar. The elements that compose the stars is too base for the creation of higher forms of life. When these stars die, however, they go through two steps: First, the star implodes. Second, the star explodes. Only after the second step does the quasar create higher elements, from which we are formed. Stardust: We are made of stardust. The universe we come from is lyrical. From polarity, matter, energy and light eventuate. Even a black hole emits a super-charged jet. For the birth of any new thing, there must be polarity. For any children to exist, there must be a man and his opposite, woman. It is no mystery why the ancient Sumerian words for, one and two are the same words for, man and woman.
So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgment. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalising effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.