16 Questions...

I often wonder what would happen if God intervened in a more supernatural way. I mean, I believe he has the power to. And I believe sometimes he does, in small ways that can most of the time be explained away in a scientific or medical manner. But I'm talking about, what if God sent a prophet, someone who had a connection with God deeper than anyone we'd seen in awhile? And what if this guy was more than a good preacher? What if he was more than convicting? What if he could do more than predict the future and pray for you? I'm talking what if he could confront God's enemies and bring literal hell fire and brimstone (I don't even know what brimstone is, but I know it's bad and you don't want it) upon their heads? What if the poor could bring them their sick because hospitals are too expensive, and he would heal them? And what if he came from some poor town in Africa and didn't speak our language? What if he condemned America and told us if we didn't start caring more about the world (and I don't just mean about the countries that might have the nucular power to bring us down, I'm referring mostly to those that don't) then God would stop caring about us? What if he said that everyone who made more than $30,000 better start giving away half of it, or we'd be in danger of losing our salvation? I wonder if we would listen. Sure we might hear about it, but would we really listen? Or would we say, that's just some poor black guy pissed at the world? Would we be willing to invade Iran, not in the military sense, but with bibles and the willingness, not just to die, but to suffer for the kingdom of God? Would we do it? The Bible says that Jesus was prevented from doing miracles in his hometown because of their lack of faith. The Bible also says that though we are faithless, he is faithful. But could our lack of faith be preventing him from reaching in and interfearing with our world? Or, does he do it and our lack of faith keeps us from recognizing it more?

There's no place like...

Last Friday, my wife and I attended a wedding. Well, I should say I attended, my wife was in it. Let me tell you something. A wedding is boring enough when you have your best friend next to you to crack jokes with. It's REALLY boring by yourself. But, in all fairness, after the wedding was over, the post wedding extravaganza was incredible. Lots of food, beer, and dancing. Two of my favorite things (I'll let you decide which one doesn't belong...). Anywho, as boring as weddings are, there is always one part that I enjoy. It was the most anticipated part for me at my wedding, so I'm always interested at other's weddings. It's the part when the bride comes around the corner for the very first time and the groom is seeing his bride in all her glory. What an amazing momment. I had seen my wife a million times before our wedding day, but I had never seen her more beautiful. What a perfect momment. In that momment, nothing else matters. You may have argued in the days leading up to the big one about flowers or DJs or mother-in-laws. You may have fought over the honeymoon destination or the mother-in-law (are you noticing a theme here?). But in that momment, all is right. You don't think of those things. All you can think of (besides the other thing) is how right everything is. I think there is a reason for that. I think there is a reason that you finally feel like you are becoming one. I think it's because you are home. You see, when you are dating, there comes a point on every date where you must go home. After the movie and dinner and making out, no matter how late you stay up or stay out, there comes a time when you go back to where you live and she goes back to where she lives. I think this is why God made man a companion, because it's not good to go home alone. But more than that, it reminds me that we still aren't home. That some day, there will be a time when we are presented in a white dress to our bridegroom. That one day we will be shining in Glory. And on that day, we will be home.


When Baptism Isn't Enough...

I recently came accross this article on Christians and global warming. Apparently some Christians actually believe that if you care about the earth, you're going to hell! Crazy! I think this Joel Hunter makes some sense. I especially like when he talks about working with corporations who have worked with Planned Parenthood in the past. I seem to be noticing a trend of Christians who are tired of the rote Christianity that has been handed them. Like if you are a Christian then you are a republican who hates gays and stem cell research. Now, don't get me wrong. I think there are times to say wrong is wrong. But for too long, I think we've expected too much of non-christians and not enough of Christians. How could Christianity not be leading the charge against global warming? Some have argued that global warming doesn't even exist. That it is something 'science' is making up. Even if that is true, shouldn't we above all people still lead the charge to PREVENT it? Of all people we should be the most grateful for this giant playground that he has given us. My wife and I recently took our dog Athena for a road trip. About 20 minutes outside of Vegas is Red Rock National Conservation Area. I was wowed by the beauty of this place. To think that God created that millions of years ago knowing that someday I would take my out of shape body and try and climb up places I have no business attempting. It was wonderful. So, even if it's selfish. Even if it has nothing to do with obeying his command to take care of the earth, shouldn't we just do it because it's cool to see the Grand Canyon and swim in the Pacific?


What's The Use?

My friend recently found this article about baptism in America. He has since posted three times because of some of the responses to his blogs. Here was my response to his second blog:

I think the problem is probably all semantics. Don't you love the English language! I think there are a lot of people who would say baptism is essential for salvation. But I think if you changed just one word in that sentance, almost everyone who professes Christ would agree with that statement. Because you're right about several things, one of which is that baptism is commanded. Both by Christ and by Paul, I think there would be few who would argue with that. So the question is this, when God commanded Abram to circumcise himself to join in the covenant with him, was it the literal removal of the foreskin that made that covenant a covenant? No, of course not, it was the Word of God. The same is true here. Is it the actual dipping in the water that produces eternal life (both now and forever)? No, it was the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. The shedding of blood by the perfect Lamb of God. By His wounds we are made whole. So what word should we change? We could change 'baptism' with 'obedience". Would you say obedience is essential for salvation? Hmmm...no, this debate is about baptism, so let's leave that in there. What about th word essential? No, that's the whole debate...And salvation is at the core of what we're talking about. So, how about this: Baptism is essential TO salvation. See what I did there? Kept salvation and baptism and essential in there, but didn't hinge salvation ON baptism, but made it seem incomplete without it. Man am I clever. But seriously, what if we think of it this way. What if for a momment we put Baptism in the same catagory as Repentence. I don't think this is so far a stretch since that one time when the church was just getting going and no body knew anything about nothing so everybody was confused and they figured that that guy who's yelling at them just spent three years with the Son of God, so he just maybe might know something about the subject of eternal life, so they decided to ask him what it took for salvation. They had already believed (since they had been cut to the heart as the good book says) so now what? Well the Rock pulls this one out saying, "REPENT and be BAPTIZED for the forgiveness of your sins." So there's several ways to look at this. On one hand, someone would say, "SEE to be saved you have to do these two things!" Bill Wolf the heretic would say, "no no no, since their sins have been forgiven, they need to repent and be baptized." Well Paul asks this question, "Should we just keep on sinning, knowing that there is nothing in the whole world that we could ever do to seperate us from Christ?" How would you feel when they catch the guys that raped that stripper at Duke if their excuse was, "Well, Jesus will forgive me, so I figured it wasn't that big of a deal." Probably feel a lot like we do when we think of the terrorists who flew planes into the world trade center for the Glory of God. Something's a bit off. Something doesn't match up. So what gives? Well, I think you'd say a follower of Christ would have to be repentant of their sins. That repentance was a basic lesson taught by Christ himself (just ask the woman caught in adultry). I certainly wouldn't want to be the guy standing in front of God on judgement day who accepted him, but then raped and molested little children because he knew Jesus would forgive them. Whether or not God puts him on the right or left, well, frankley that's up to God. But I sure wouldn't want to be in those shoes. Can't like those odds. So then, I think it would be safe to say that anyone who is serious about their relationship with Christ would be serious about their repentance. They would claim it was essential to their faith. That it would be impossible for them to follow Jesus without repentace. That without repentance, their conversion wasn't really serious. That without repentance, the words they said didn't really have any meaning. So take everything I just wrote and insert Baptism into it. On the issue of essential FOR salvation, won't touch it with a seven hundred and seventy seven foot pole. But if you want to ask if it is essential TO salvation...well, I think he's already spoken.