I very much enjoy Dietrich Bonhoeffer and this quote is one reason why. It is overwhelming the truth in any society here there or in any century.
A few months ago I was trolled on social media into a conversation with a devout atheist/agnostic I only add the agnostic because he would kind of admit that he didn’t know for sure if there was or not intelligent design but he was bent on doing his best to rebel by denying there was no God.
What sparked the conversation was a FB friend had posted a meme that featured a smashed watch that no longer worked that basically said let us see if is broken watch will evolve itself into a working watch. I added a reply and so did our atheist by saying let’s drop some sand on the floor and see if God will create a human, you know how God took Adam from the earth and breathed life into him.
My first thought was “well God has been there and done that, besides he used a bone from Adam to create the second human Eve so why use dirt again”.
The conversation went on and on but believe it or not I finally got our atheist to civilly admit unless he saw proof there was no way he could believe in a God, at least he was honest I can respect that much.
My next thought was even if you saw God, you would not believe. Jesus said in Luke 16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” Those words still ring true today as God has written on our hearts yet some still rebel and deny. Romans 2:13-15
This takes me to when I was listening to Ravi Zacharias one day and he had made a statement that I believe is very true, Ravi was convinced that Jesus came during the time period he did for good reason.
If God had came in a more modern time where we humans could record Jesus by photograph we would turn that image into an idol, I would add to that if we had visual proof of God most would make that proof into an visual or physical idols and then worship those images instead of worshiping God himself “why” you ask, because that is the way we humans are.
If God came down and visited us nothing new now would happen as it did then when he sent his son Jesus two thousand years ago.
The proof of God would be there as a digital image but still groups would be formed called the atheist magicians and they would try and explain how Jesus fed thousands with a few pita breads and a can of sardines and turned water into White Zinfandel using smoke and mirrors or used the power of suggestion.
Medical experts would try and explain away the physical and mental healing’s and first hand site miracles like the calming of the sea and the mount of transfiguration would be chalked up to cult like followers that would say or do anything to make Jesus or God appear supernatural.
God’s image would be liked and shared otherwise you won’t receive a blessing, pin it on your board and look my image I tweeted is trending well.
People first would give God’s image way freely but eventually the paparazzi would sell behind the scenes images of God doing miracles and the next thing you know we would be worshiping those photos.
You no longer need to have faith that the actual God of the Bible existed just stare at your photo or have a digitally enhanced stone cutter carve out a life size likeness of God.
There would be no mystery in who God was for some because you have his photo on your phone. Just pray to your phone and believe.
New mega churches would pop up everywhere in all denominations with God’s image front in centered, mood lighting, little plastic necklaces to wear and rub in your hands when your not sure or scared.
Why God sent his son Jesus to die and returned to heaven would no longer have meaning because I have his actual photo on my electronic photo frame who needs to study the Bible, Jesus is not in heaven he’s on my tablet my sins are forgiven just looking at my image the resolution is remarkable
My atheist troll would still not believe even if he said he saw some proof because like all people of his mentality there is never enough proof.
On the same notion a new breed of non believers would pop up, oh sure they saw Jesus, they have his image but that is all they want or think they need. No need to follow Jesus I saw God he’s on my computer I’m good to go.
No reason to crack open my Bible and listen for the Holy Spirit to speak to me God is on your front porch or on the fireplace mantel and I say a prayer to that image every night before I go to bed so I now have faith.
Bonhoeffer was absolutely right a God that would let us see and examine every megapixels of his existence without first believing in him and acknowledging his existence would just become an idol.
Some people would eventually throw their image into the trash because its everywhere why hold on to it, some would hoard even more images obsessing over them without truly understanding why he made them and what their existence is for.
Finely others will call him great but deny he was God because look I can see him, a true God that can do all things is beyond any humans approach.
Reading a blog just the other day from a liberal Christian blogger who felt that today’s church needs to bow down to the world and apologize to the LGBTQ society for I’m guessing not occluding them.
This poses a few questions from me, what church is there certain denomination? Is it any evangelical church, Roman or charismatic Catholics, Eastern Orthodox churches could you put Orthodox Jewish Synagogue’s as well. Is it the pastor that needs to apologize, the elders, the congregation because that is the church you and I are the church.
Let us just assume our blogger is pointing the finger to any church that refused to bow down to practicing the LGBTQ lifestyle within the confines of the church and Christianity. Christians are not to judge the outside of the church, 1 Corinthians 5: 12-13 (the world). God will and with that Christians do not owe the world an apology for standing with the word of God. The Church does not owe those outside of it an apology for not compromising with an amoral society that does not follow The God of the Bible.
But do we owe the LGBTQ society inside the church an apology for not compromising with their behavior? There really is not much difference sin wise when a person that deals with same sex attraction as does a person that is dealing with sexual addiction of the opposite sex. People have their vices but what separates the believer from the non believer is the continuing hunger to strive for God’s obedience.
People that believe obey and people that obey believe to paraphrase Dietrich Bonhoeffer, repentance is part of obeying God’s word. A question to our blogger is where in the Gospel does God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit condone and promote the LGBTQ lifestyle?
We are not stating when and where do we stop loving somebody for practicing a lifestyle outside of Biblical principles but do we condone, do we promote and do we except it as part of Christian life and in the church? Same sex attraction can be accommodated in the Christian church just as sex addiction, drug addiction, lying and idolatry but it cannot be practiced, condoned or promoted.
The accommodation comes in the form of love understanding and help to overcome the sin, not to hatefully judge but to lovingly support and work with the individuals in their healing.
Maybe it’s the other way around maybe LGBTQ crowed need to apologize to the church for not identifying with Jesus and his teachings and not being sensitive to the church and what the church is commanded to follow. What is the identity of a person or group that does not put God first and follow Jesus and his teaching both old and New Testament?
If the church needs to apologize it should be the church that has compromised with the world to Christians for leading them from the Gospel. A church that conveniently overlooks God and his moral law for fear of alienating people is no church but just a body of people that have religion but no God.
It’s interesting to me how now doctrines and theology constantly debate on how bad or not so bad hell will be.
We have doctrine that uses a annihilation that those going to hell will just stop being, Satan will bear the sins and those who do believe in Christ; where that is scripture I have no clue.
I get it Hell is scary, I saw a blog from a fellow Christian blogger that wanted Christians to stop scaring the hell out of people, is that opposite of let us put hell in people nicely?
The meme that goes if you need the threat of eternal torture to be a good person you are not a good person has validity to it and I would agree humans are not good, it takes God to be good.
Realistically when was the last time you heard your pastor preach on hell, when was the last time you heard a megachurch pastor preach on hell. When was the last time you attended a Biblestudy that studied hell. I have rarely heard any pastor or church leader spend much time on the subject of hell but every liberal Christian seems to think it happens way too much and is afraid it will scare the unbeliever away.
Openbible.info counts about 100 references on hell in the ESV translation of the Holy Bible. So hell is in the scriptures it does exsist and it is a part of our lives whether we want it or not.
In Matthew Jesus talks or uses hell 17 times, and describes it 8 times as being a furnace of fire and weeping and gnashing of teeth, eternal torture.
So why are some churches and Christians afraid to talk about hell maybe the same reason they want people to stop judging and have some tolerance for sin.
Not sure about you but you but hell scares me strait, yes I sin daily but daily I repent. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Now I’m not saying that the message of hell should be the focal point of the Gospel. Salvation and Gods free gift of grace that he gives us is always the front and center subject to new believers but we ought not to leave hell out of the full message.
Understanding why God created hell and why he sent his son Jesus is important to know and understand. As a believer hell never inters my mind, getting closer to Jesus and trying to share that faith with others is always my intentions.
The unbeliever on the other hand knows there is a God, they might try and convince themselves there is no God but it is written on their hearts there is a God but even with that the heart can deny the mind. One wonders why Jesus talked about hell if it was not an important part of knowing God personally.
We can only conjecture why God created a hell but scriptures states it is real, Jesus talks about the realness of hell and the Holy Spirit continues to talk about it in the New Testament. Hell is real and I believe we are doing a disservice to our fellow man by just pushing it under the carpet like it was a bad dream.
If we accept the notion that America should not be or is not a Christian national we fail to see the consequences that could have been and will be.
The founding framers attempted to design the constitution with the adaptation of natural law. They were of course a few ticks off but still maintained the importance of the need of The God of the Bible essence to be an integral part of the framework.
A strong percentage of our framers belonged to one church denomination or another, whether they were truly saved is not ours to judge but we have to know this affiliation to a Judeo-Christian church had to influence their judgment when creating a country such as America.
If we take Christianity away then we need only to take away some of our founding fathers like George Washington wondering would we have won the revolution without him and his Christian influence. Would a country full of atheist, Islamism, Buddhist and Hindus could have challenged the crown.
Would we still have a two party political system with the democrats and the Wigs parties? One could argue there would be no need for a man like Abraham Lincoln and how long would America continue slavery without the objection of the Christians.
In 1821 Benjamin Lunday, a Quaker from Ohio, started an anti-slavery newspaper “The Genius of Universal Emancipation.” 1830: The Plantation Mission Movement began. Methodist chapels were constructed on many plantations. 1959 John Brown raid on Haper’s ferry are just a few of the many Christian movements that combated slavery in America.
Christian missionaries moved in to helping the Native Americans, Christianizing many tribes over the years one notable being the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
As America became more prosperous missionary work flourished, one can easily criticize America’s greed but one cannot take away from prosperous people that gave and continue to give for and to missionaries to help the poor and disadvantaged in this country and abroad with privet contributions.
Much of our colleges we have today started out as Christian based education, Harvard, Yale, Princeton to name a few.
Civil rights movement of the 1960’s was heavily Christian with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and seminary students like John Lewis
We can argue and debate on this issue but it’s fairly easy to see the Christian influences in this country are huge. Can we say we are not a Christian nation well I guess one can make the case but we have to say we are a nation of Christian’s and a nation that has been impacted by Christianity. Can you make a case that our government should be secular, yes you can but we must then demand or statesmen and women to be Godly?
Our government functionality should be unbiased to everyone but the people that fill those positions in government should be Godly good statesmen.
If we have bad statesmen then we have bad government, ungodly statesmen ungodly government. In past it was important that anyone serving the public have some ties to a Judeo-Christian believing church of some kind. You can argue this is not fair for a county that embraces all religions all faiths but I’m not sure your argument would be valid.
Go back to the founding framers and their original intentions of natural law, this requires a statesman to know and understand moral law to govern. Can men and women of other faith know and understand good and bad and how morality plays out in a society; to an extent they can but they will fail to grasp why and who set these laws in motion thus the slow migration from a good and moral set of rules to a mixture of moral relativism.
I suspect the last few sentences will enrage some people, we can say America was not intended to be a Christian only nation but we have to admit it is a nation of Christians that have impacted society and helped design country based on a rule and law held on a notion of a creator and one God. A country based on a God with a moral law to protect and govern all that live in this great nation.
The culture war cannot be won with money power and votes, it is not a political stage even if the counter culture would have you to believe it is. Culture has to be changed through first the mind then the heart. It has to make sense not to want to kill unborn children or not to promote pornography to our young then it has to have and emotional connection to why those thing are wrong. The mind knows it is wrong the emotions keep it from happening.
This is why liberalism uses the political and judicial arenas to win in culture issues. Liberals politicize everything from God to cartoons, they use emotions to advance their agenda based on pure feelings alone. There is rarely any substance to liberal agendas when it comes to culture advancements. If they cannot win with emotions and feelings they then skip to the judicial arena to attempt the win. Instead of a conversation that they know cannot be won intellectually they go straight to making their issue law of the land.
Legalization of abortion, legalization of pornography, same sex marriage and coming to a city near you loss of rights to practice your religion with the redefining of our 1st amendment.
Abortion used scare tactics of unsafe and putting women at risk for trying to terminate life. It is anti choice of the individual if they cannot terminate their child yet the individual growing inside is never given a choice. The logical ideas of counselling and adoption are hardly heard of. It used a jaded interpretation of the right to privacy then demand to be funded by tax payers.
Pornography used free speech, the right to publish the act of demeaning humans both male and female of all ages. Everyone does it or what I do behind close doors in my business even if it effects my mind and heart down the road. It started with pornography in marked theaters to allowing it on paid TV channels like HBO and Showtime. It’s slowly downgraded to soft core porn and then to viewer discretion advised.
The pornography industry never tells us about the broken marriages, the disillusioned ideas of what love and sex is. It’s never thought twice that a new generation of young people can watch strangers do anything and everything to themselves and each other with a click of the mouse.
Same sex marriage, we have a right to have the same benefits as regular couples not understanding the definition of benefits. We love each other after all love wins not really understanding what the true description of marriage and love is. Matthew 19: 3-6 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
You will bake us a cake or take our wedding photos or we will sue you. They never tell you that maybe its not about true love maybe its about redefining morality. Judgement has a sting to it so maybe we make or redefine a law that says you cannot judge me anymore. Destruction of a society and an institution that had purpose is at hand but its my right because love wins.
All cases used law to enforce their existence because sound logic trumped emotional feeling every time is was argued. Mark 7:21 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts”. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else
And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?”
Next on the agenda will most likely redefining the 1st amendment. Practicing ones religion that offends another will be deemed illegal. Speaking out against ones concept of immorality will be deemed illegal or hate speech. Second hand grace does not ask for repentance it only condones bad behavior as long as you believe in God.
If we are to win or maintain a civil culture Christians and conservatives have to start working together. We can agree to disagree on minor politics but we must unite on rule of law, morality, ethics and our philosophies need to be similar if not the same otherwise the divisiveness will pull us apart and this liberal and socialistic culture will continue to dominate our world.
We have to live what we believe to be true and teach it to the young, we have to be different from the world and show the success that being different is not only worth being different but it is truth worth living.