The atheist who believes in God

FRANK Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book is “Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace”
He wrote this on the CNN blog:

“I am an atheist who believes in God.

“…I believe that life evolved by natural selection. I believe that evolutionary psychology explains away altruism and debunks love, and that brain chemistry undermines the illusion of free will and personhood.

“I also believe that a spiritual reality hovering over, in and through me calls me to love, trust and hear the voice of my creator.“

“…Many of us, even the devout, have many more questions than answers about God and religion.

“In other words, people just like me: atheists who pray and eloquent preachers who secretly harbor doubts.

“….Many Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Christians inherited their faith because of where they were born. If you are an atheist, you hold those beliefs because of a book or two you read, or who your parents were and the century in which you were born.

“Don’t delude yourself: There are no ultimate reasons for anything, just circumstances.”

You can read the rest of what he has to say here http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/10/meet-an-atheist-who-believes-in-god/?hpt=hp_t2

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43 thoughts on “The atheist who believes in God

  1. What a lot of words to say:- belief – proof = 0
    Or, at best, 1+1=3.33>nth

    eg. “I also believe that a spiritual reality hovering over, in and through me calls me to love, trust and hear the voice of my creator.“
    “Don’t delude yourself: There are no ultimate reasons for anything, just circumstances.”
    are both unfounded assertions.
    …and the true atheists (such as wombats and rhododendrons and rookeries) have no interest in either of them.

    ‘All we have is the here and now’
    To (mis)quote Livingston Seagull

    What more could you possibly need?

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      • We have indeed; so again I ask:- What is it about ‘NO’ that you don’t understand?
        ….and, for the record, my assertions ARE founded:- in the generally-supported etymology of the word. —>

        ATHEIST:- a-without; theo- god. (from the Shorter Oxford)
        I don’t know how to say it any more succinctly:- If you have NO god, knowingly or UN-knowingly*, you are ‘without god’…and by DEFINITION an ‘a-theist’.

        Just as a-symmetrical means ‘without symmetry’ REGARDLESS of what one chooses to ‘believe’ or DIS-‘believe’. …or even consider.

        ‘a’ is a common prefix universally understood to mean ‘without’. (and variations like ‘no’.)
        It’s used to describe a comparison, NOT an adversarial position.

        Just because that doesn’t suit those who persist in ‘explaining’ theology or set up contentious issues to push a particular point of view doesn’t alter the fact. ——–>>
        atheist (n.)
        1570s, from French athéiste (16c.), from Greek atheos “without god, denying the gods; godless, ungodly,” from a- “without” + theos “a god” (see theo-).
        Etymology Dictionary

        * similarly, being ‘un-knowing’ does NOT require one to ‘know’ ~ nor even ‘believe’ ~ that they are, in fact, ‘unknowing’.
        (or do you suggest “Wombats, dogs, cats and rookeries” need to KNOW they’re UN-knowing in order to choose to ‘believe’ they’re un-knowing?)

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      • There’s no such thing as an atheist baby

        FROM TODAY’S LONDON TELEGRAPH

        Richard Dawkins’ implication that babies have a default theological position of atheism is as silly as assuming a default language or nationality.

        There are no atheist babies, and certainly no agnostic ones. This is for two reasons. The first is that if we’re going to be consistent, and to demand that babies only be ascribed identities that they themselves embrace, there are no German, British or Chinese children either. There are simply the children of German and English and Chinese parents, who will in due course learn the habits and the rules of the cultures around them and grow into their parents’ language, nationality, food habits – and religious opinions. The way in which they express these will become more subtle and more interesting as they grow up – or at least we can hope it will – but the fact remains that babies are entirely anchored in the world by their parents.

        Of course, in an environment where religion is regarded as weird and old-fashioned, children grow up atheist because that’s what their parents are. They don’t think about it. They may have profoundly superstitious and unscientific beliefs, but they will think of these as rational and atheist because that’s what – they know – all decent people are.

        This is a perfectly sensible piece of conformist time-saving – life’s too short to live without prejudice – but it isn’t a reasoned rejection of belief after serious consideration of its possible truth.

        There is another reason why babies can’t be atheists or agnostics. Everything we know from science shows that supernaturalism comes naturally to children. It is not just that they believe much of what their parents and the surrounding societies tell them: they show a preference for remembering and transmitting stories that defy scientific rationality. So do we all, unless we train ourselves out of it.

        To reach the state where you can really reflect critically on your own beliefs – rather than simply understanding that your parents are deluded old fools – takes a long time if it ever happens at all. As Bertrand Russell observed, many people would rather die than think and most of them do. And that is why no one can really be called an atheist or an agnostic until they have grown up.

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/12/atheist-baby-richard-dawkins-babies-atheism

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      • ‘You have to choose to be an atheist’??? Oh heck, Bryan, do you really believe and think that?

        Now, atheism, as I’ve tried to suggest here many times is not a chosen belief, but rather the CONCLUSION one comes to when one ceases (or fails) to believe in some sort of deity. The only people who actually choose or make up their minds to be atheists, are purely folks who have come to resent the teachings and history and demands of religion, and decide not to follow them any more. But of course, they are not really atheistic in their philosophies, but merely outwardly living the life of atheism, or acting out as if they believe in it.

        So, do you hold, Bryan, that you yourself would be quite capable of changing your mind, and DECIDING or CHOOSING to become an atheist (that is, a GENUINE ONE), at this point in your life? Or, are the conclusions that you have come to during your lifetime, sufficient to leave you as a theist, and that strictly speaking you really couldnt choose to change?

        For me, I would need some sort of striking insight, revelation or epiphany before I would change my religious stance. But I never CHOSE to be inspired in the first place, to be most devoted to Gnosticism/Humanism and Pantheism.

        Rian.

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      • Yes I believe you have to choose to be an atheist. If you come to a “conclusion” that God doesn’t exist you have made a choice. A decision. Would I decide to be an atheist? No. Of course I COULD change…that’s free will…but You see, my decision to be a Christian is based on a relationship that is constantly growing. How could I ignore God when He is so present to me? Your decision to be gnostic or whatever you want to call your belief is probably based more on what you might see as intellect. Not, I would guess, on relationship. So I would think you probably don’t really get what I am saying. But, you may change your mind through. as you say. some striking insight or revelation. But you’d have to be open enough to accept it That takes some intellectual and spiritual boldness.

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      • Isn’t the Telegraph the English version of the Hun? ….or was it The Truth? 🙂
        Either way, cats won’t even use them as kitty-litter.

        And in either case, you ARE having a lend of me, aren’t you?

        The bullsh you cite has so many holes in it y’couldn’t even use at as a sponge!

        Among those erstwhile offerings is this little bit of sop chicanery:-
        “The first is that if we’re going to be consistent, and to demand that babies only be ascribed identities that they themselves embrace, there are no German, British or Chinese children either.”

        Not only do babies embrace NO identity until they’re force-fed it, along with potty-‘training’,
        but to be “consistent” he’d need to show that atheism is a genetic trait, which differentiates chinese children from those others.
        In the case of german and british children there IS no difference to speak of, and neither of them pop into the world singing God Save The Queen or Das Deutschlandlied .

        ….But what what ALL of them have in common is that they’ll have a dozen or more Invisible Friends before they ‘get god’. like all good godless kids.

        NO god means NO god.

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      • I agree with Rian that the decision to call one’s self an atheist is made after coming to a conclusion that there is no god. It is a thought-out decision. One needs to have a concept of what a god is supposed to be.

        I doubt if an atheist is likely to acknowledge averice as a god worshipped by many. Or love. They are more likely thinking of a supernatural being made in man’s image.

        Not a thought held by babies, I would think.

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      • On the contrary, I think YOU missed the point.
        To make a choice one needs to know there are options.
        No baby has knowledge of (let alone ‘belief’ in) god ~ nor that there are options like non-belief…or the myriad of other religions/sects/etc.

        You wouldn’t suggest the ‘believers’ who ended up in Jonestown, or flattened the Twin Towers, for example, were destined to do so because of ‘beliefs’ with which they came into the world, would you.

        If you would, the next question is: at what time and place did they gain their
        knowledge ~ which led to their ‘belief’? Did god decree that only christian sperm fertilised christian eggs?
        ……or is the basis for religious conflict established even before the womb?

        I think there’s ample proof that godbotherers are made, not born. That’s why there are so many varieties of them….and why they feel free to change their beliefs (and, ‘necessarily knowledge of god’) which you say are inherent.

        The ‘default’ state is godlessness*.
        …….by definition, atheist.

        * why else would one ‘introduce’ them to ‘god’ (of choice, depending on whichever local divinity rules) via ‘baptism’ or some other form of human sacrifice sometime AFTER birth —>
        “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he CANNOT see the kingdom of god.”
        That’s another, and precise, way of saying he is ‘without god’.
        …by definition, atheist.
        …….and I’ve never met a dog or a cat or wombat or rhodie that’s been baptised or otherwise perverted by whatever cult their parents belong to.
        Have you??

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      • sigh…. Play it AGAIN Sam:-
        ““Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he CANNOT see the kingdom of god.”
        That’s another, and precise, way of saying he is ‘without god’.
        …by definition, atheist. (Not ‘AN’ atheist; but simply ‘atheist’ ~ “without god”.)

        He MAY choose not to be atheist, by choosing to be ‘born again’.*
        ….AND unless and until he makes such a choice he CANNOT ‘see the kingdom of god’ and therefore is without god.
        ……By DEFINITION atheist.

        Dogs and cats and wombats and rhodies ALSO fail to make ‘the choice’, so they too are NOT born again ~ ie remain ‘without god’: therefore, by DEFINITION, atheist.

        Try to shrug off your apparent dyslexia for a minute:
        One CANNOT choose to be ‘atheist’;
        One can ONLY choose NOT to be.

        Try a less contentious comparison:- You wouldn’t suggest one is born married, would you? You can ONLY be married if you choose, specifically, to become so, and the relevant ritual is performed. Until such a time, whatever else you may do ~ or ‘believe’ ~ you REMAIN as unmarried as the day you were born.

        The point’s been made: Satan himself CHOSE to recognise god ~ resisting anything requires recognition of it ~ and, at the moment he did he ceased to be ‘atheist’.

        *Being ‘baptised’ as a baby by dolting parents (!) is STILL NOT a choice HE makes, and therefore fails to give him ‘born again’ status. He REMAINS atheist…..even the major churches are recognising that reality these days.
        Are you really setting yourself up against Jesus (as reported) AND the major churches?

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      • Nope. wrong again..You really do miss the point Dabs. Either that or you can’t understand what I’m saying (again) .As you say, children are not born Christian, Hindu or whatever. And baby christenings are not the baby’s choice. You don’t become a Christian because your parents baptise you. Neither are children y born atheist. That’s all a choice. A decision. You made a choice yourself….or if you didn’t you are just the non-thinking product of your parents. You can’t have it both ways. And no, Satan isn’t an atheist. He knows what he’s doing and has made the choice …just like yourself. For goodness sake, be bold and honest enough to admit you made a choice.

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      • answering Bryan posting of 13th at 18.25pm. -Part 1

        Thanks Bryan for a most stimulating set of comments.
        Now in regard to ‘choosing’ to be an atheist… well, I will allow you the point that, at the time a person comes to the conclusion that a god must be rejected, IF he decides that his speculating or researching on the topic is now ceasing, then sure, that IS a choice he is making. He is choosing not to question that current conclusion. But the reason he has actually come to that point is this. – he is being honest in observing and admitting what his experience and reasoning has been informing him, up to and as of that date. Doesn’t that honesty and recognition of truth, account for a lot in such cases, Bryan?

        Now reading what you said there, notice that you gave the opposite sort of experience. You have a Relationship that you are clearly conscious of truly developing. It is constantly proving itself. Basically, if what you describe is accurate and remains consistent, then I SIMPLY DO NOT BELIEVE, Bryan, that the ‘freewill’ you claim, could possibly allow you to ‘choose’ atheism at present. You would clearly need to really change, and discover a different sort of vision within yourself, to come to a different conclusion.

        Now, let me say that my contentment with, or attraction to Gnosticism is not based on intellect in any way, except that neither of the two Gnostic affiliations I’ve enjoyed over or during the last 53 years restricted my absolute freedom of intellect. [I realize of course that I might put myself in jeopardy here concerning my ‘motivations’, first, if I deny having the most powerful ‘heart’ response (rather than intellect) behind the Gnostic experience, I thereby a display a cold rational unfeeling basis. Or on the other hand, if I acknowledge the most powerful heart response I’ve ever had, – then I may be accused of making spirituality dependent on emotions, which Christianity has just as often denigrated.] Maybe I cant win!

        As it happens, the latter is close to what I do have to affirm. My entry and deep involvement into a most beautiful Christian Gnosticism for a period in my 40s/50s, was very much based on a profound heartfelt spiritual lift, and with no intellectual pressure, other than permission to doubt and question as much as I liked. Interestingly enough, I still found too much of pure recognizable Christianity within it, for me to remain in it in honesty. Then a certain Gnostic temple of spirituality that is close to my heart, originally just swept me away with its beauty and peace, as it still can after some 50 odd years. But as for ‘Relationship”? Well, in Pantheism, I have certainly found a sense of relationship with the Divine AND with the natural world; while in Humanism, I know a deep sense of relationship with the rest of my fellows.
        Rian…………..Part 2 to follow.

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      • Part 2 to Bryan at 21.41pm.

        To continue, Bryan, (Part 2)

        Are you familiar with the fact that Christian Gnostics of the early period found orthodox Catholicism most disappointing and lacking, because of the very fact that IT was just too intellectual and legalistic? Many of their groups encouraged freedom to doubt and to seek their own truths. Because they sought Gnosis, they found the developing Catholic insistence on ‘Faith’ to be misplaced, as well as the demands on the faithful to undividedly avow the precision of the Creeds and their meaning. A modern text on Gnosticism in my library puts it this way. (and I have quoted this here before) – ‘Certainty divides us, while Doubt unites us.’ Still, I believe, very true.

        I guess I have to recognize that on this Blog, I often come across as being analytical and unemotional, but there are a couple of specific reasons for that, which I will refrain from discussing here; although my dear Monica, after some twelve months or more of devoted correspondence with me, will probably understand better than anyone else here. Oh, and my good local friend and colleague Strewth also understands what I’m talking about.

        No, Bryan, it would not take exceptional openness of mind or whatever for me to change my current viewpoints. I do freely leave myself open for all sorts of development in my future. Indeed, have happily offered ‘prayers’ about it over the years. I’ve already been through a number of very significant changes during my 78 years, since my early upbringing in Christianity. I doubt that there will be many devout Christians on this blog who could allow the same possibility and degree of change for themselves. The ‘unchanging’ aspect I understand though, is crucial within Christianity, (oh, allowing for growth within the same, however!)

        I recall a conversation/debate some years back with my retired Presbyterian minister friend, a most lovely old guy, – when at one point, I suggested that I am far more likely to change my mind or my spiritual stance in the future, than he ever would. He thought about it, and agreed with me, (though with differing reason I suspect.) Does everyone recall the last testimony of St Polycarp before he was martyred, about how Christ had been faithful for him for so many years, and it would now be impossible for him to deny him?

        I cant really take you too seriously, Bryan, when you state that it would actually be possible for you to ‘choose’ to be an atheist, now. All your experiences and conclusions have clearly demonstrated that your Christian faith is pretty final and powerful; and your freewill appears to be perfectly contented about that. You could not ignore or refute your own honesty.

        Cheers, Rian.

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      • Of COURSE they are!:- ” Neither are children born atheist. ”
        They’re born without a belief in ~ or even a concept of ~god; by DEFINITION ‘a-theist’.
        It’s NOT a choice they’ve made.
        ………..any more than is having a foreskin. They may later make a choice to remove it, but they need NOT make a choice to keep it. They can, in fact go through life without even realising or considering their ‘condition’.
        It’s the default position, and unless they actually decide to do something about it they retain it for life.

        ps and I repeat:- One isn’t ‘AN’ a-theist, any more than one is ‘an’ courageous or ‘an’ stupid; one may BE ‘a-theist’.

        Now I’m on my way to deal with a REAL recalcitrant (and a-theist) billy-goat; it’ll be a comparative doddle! Like atheist creatures everywhere. they don’t have an artificial issue to establish. 🙂

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      • Quite the reverse:—-> “He knows what he’s doing and has made the choice …just like yourself. For goodness sake, be bold and honest enough to admit you made a choice.”
        …and that’s the whole point. I HAVEN’T ‘made a choice’.
        Haven’t seen anything, discovered any motivation, that would induce me to feel a NEED to make a choice…..to embrace ‘god’ OR reject ‘him’.
        I’ve always felt perfectly happy (if sometimes uncomfortable!) to exist in my original packaging/foreskin and deal with any consequences of that.

        And one reason for my complacency may well be that ~ whatever consequences unfold ~ I’ll be in control of my destiny, unlike those who surrender themselves to The-Powers-That-Be, which may, and often have, reneged on the deal. Even the most pious/righteous jews went to the gas-chamber.
        And the most righteous jew of all was crucified. What sort of a deal is that??

        A good case in point was the court thing the other day. In line with SOP (Surrendering Other Possibilities!) they offered to drop half-a-dozen fairly serious charges if I’d plead guilty to a slew of fairly minor ones. Most people jump at such a ‘gift’ because ‘that way lies salvation’, and the Magistrates’ courts play the role of Pilate.

        I insisted upon my right to take the matters to a higher court (judge and jury) for strategic reasons. Nobody quite knew how to deal with that: it was virtually unheard of.
        The Magistrate gave me a long lecture about ‘procedures and ‘processes’, and finally pointed out that I stood to get much heavier sentences in the higher courts. I responded that I’d first have to be convicted in a proper court by a jury of my peers…and he actually smiled.
        That’s when they withdrew ALL the charges.
        If it ever gets to the point I’ll be prepared to take on the god that made me what I am and copping the consequences. But I won’t be surrendering and begging for leniency way ahead of the main event.

        …and, frankly, I really don’t understand how anyone could be so gutless as to do so.

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      • ps….and as for Nick ~ and Eve:- they should confront god and demand he make a choice.
        ie:- He can’t have made them what they are, and held them eternally responsible for living up to their role in creation, and at the same time claim to be Just or Moral. (let alone ‘forgiving’ and ‘loving’!)

        It’s about time HE made a choice as to his role in the scheme of things.

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    • What is a true atheist? Though wombats and rhododendrons and rookeries have no religious belief, it is not a thought out position for them. They are certainly not anti-theist, which I’m afraid many are, who mistakenly call themselves atheists.

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      • Well-picked out Strewth.
        They’re different terms AND concepts.
        A common attitude seems to be that ‘atheist’ is a more pejorative term than ‘anti-theist’, and therefore more useful in ‘hate-speech’.

        After all ~ as has been pointed out often ~ Satan believes in god so he’s certainly NOT an ‘atheist’.
        But IS ‘anti-theist’, which requires a ‘reasoned ‘belief’.
        And poor old Nick has ample reason for such belief.

        …in terms of ‘unconditional love’ and universal forgiveness if no other.

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      • Don’t let ’em kid you Strewth (“it is not a thought out position for them.”); there’s no rule anywhere that says it HAS to be a ‘thought out position’.
        …….A rose is a rose is a rose, as Gertrude Stein said, no matter how much you insist it’s a lemon (as I said!)

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    • I agree with you Bryan. If you believe in God then you believe that God will set up children to be on the right path. If you have incredibly strong faith in science and don’t believe in God then basically you are not going to believe that.

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      • Right path?
        D’you mean like the path through the jungle ~ and the path to the One True God ~ those kidnaped little girls have been pushed along?

        The bottom line is still: Everything has a default position, and it’s not NECESSARY that one make ‘a choice’ between an entirely different set of postulates.
        Take a new-born from its mother and keep it entirely separated from any form of religion or politics for twenty years.

        …and then explain to it that it’s now time to make a choice between being religious or atheist. (or being a democrat or a republican.)

        The Original Sin wasn’t eating the fruit; it was the presenting of the choice of whether to eat the fruit or not. The Fall was a set-up, and should be recognised as having no validity…..Which would invalidate everything that followed.
        ….and ditto virtually every other ‘choice’ we’re told we have to make, when we really don’t. (like picking a football team to get hysterical ~ or homicidal ~ about, for example.)

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  2. Perhaps I’m not reading straight. He seems to contradict himself more than once, even apart from saying he is an “atheist who believes in God.”

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  3. The problem with atheists is that they contradict themselves. Whilst Dawkins believes that natural selection creates intelligent designs with no aim in mind, other evolutionists believe that natural selection does have an end in mind.

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  4. Having read the whole article, this is pretty much the way I think of it all. Someday’s it maddening, but it is at the same time liberating, as opposed to the frustration I felt at a time when I did attempt to follow a religion.

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  5. If atheism is a choice, then according to the Bible that choice has far-reaching and eternal ramifications. Surely, if death meant oblivion, then the Bible would be silent concerning the choices we make? But it’s not silent. It has much to say about atheism.

    The Judgment of the World

    “Jesus says repeatedly in John’s Gospel that he did not come to judge the world, but he also knows his coming will produce judgment. Jesus came to carry out his Father’s commandment to offer eternal life, but those who reject the offer have no further plea. They are judged by their own rejection of their only hope.

    The New Testament contains countless references to an eternal punishment that awaits persistent sinners. For just one example, most of Revelation 21 is about the wonders of the perfect new heaven and new earth, but consider verse 8 which offers the needed contrast: “But cowards who turn back from following me, and those who are unfaithful to me, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those conversing with demons, and idol worshipers and all liars—their doom is in the Lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the Second Death.”

    The new heaven and new earth certainly will contain people who have done every sin on the previous list. Nobody has ever committed any sin that by itself condemns them. What finally condemns us is refusing the medicine for our sin-disease, rejecting the redemptive work of God in Christ Jesus, blaspheming the liberating power of the Holy Spirit, declining to repent, refraining from dying to self, not letting Jesus heal us.”

    Christview Ministries org

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    • A Personal Story

      “Just over twenty years ago, within a two week period, two people who were nearly strangers to me, certainly strangers to each other, a former Missionary Baptist minister and a woman married to a former priest and a fairly new Roman Catholic herself, spoke the same words to me: “There is an inhibition in your ministry that the Lord wants to heal.” The man prayed for me. The woman gave me a set of instructions for seeking the healing.

      As instructed, I began by asking Jesus to reveal to me the hurt that he wanted to heal.

      My mind’s eye was taken back to a time when I was four years old on the family farm in Kansas. The winter had been cold and long. The coyotes had been ravenous. When the lambs were born, we brought them in from the pasture and bottle fed them, first in a corner of the basement and then in a small, unused chicken house. One cold morning, my father came from the chicken house carrying a lamb that looked nearly dead. It was barely breathing. He put it in a box behind the kitchen wood stove and looked up what to do for a lamb overexposed to cold. He reported that the book called for glucose. While he was trying to figure what he would need in order to give the lamb an i.v., I asked, “What’s glucose?” My father replied absently, “Sugar water.”

      I stuck my finger under the faucet, into the sugar bowl, and then into the lamb’s mouth. The lamb got up and began moving around the kitchen. I was impressed.

      My father felt it necessary to explain, “Son, there was not enough sugar on your finger, and it did not have time to get into the blood stream where it could have an effect. The fire was warming the lamb, and the sugar gave it an interest in life.”

      I had never seen this as a wounding memory, nor in my early adulthood when the memory came, was I a person inclined toward tears, but, as the scene unfolded before my mind’s eyes, tears flowed down my cheeks.

      I obeyed instructions and accepted forgiveness for being carried away with myself, forgave my father for being insensitive, and then asked Jesus to reveal his healing of this memory. When the answer came, it came as a vision of Jesus standing in that kitchen of my childhood, with his blood-wet finger going down into the sugar bowl and being held out to me. Again tears flowed, but I understood neither the pain nor the healing.

      I went to see the woman who had given me the instructions, but ended up talking with her husband, the ex-priest, now counselor. “The key,” he said, “is the vow you made when your father explained things to you.” “Vow?” I asked. “Yes, you made a vow.” “Oh, you’re right. I did. I thought, ‘Daddy is very reasonable. I have been unreasonable. I will never be unreasonable again.’” The counselor concluded, “Jesus is healing you of your overexposure to the coldness of reason. God gave you a good mind and wants you to use it. But he does not want you to use it to explain away God. Let God be God, and healing will follow.”

      This moment was at once a stern judgment of my sin and a wonderful healing of the inhibition of my ministry. My self-concept was built on reason. I could not yield it to God’s control without dying to self. But I could not be raised to newness of life until I thus died.

      I felt out of control. A week later I had a dream. It was at night. I was in Little Rock, on I-630, driving west at Interstate speed. In those days, the western end of I-630 was simply a barricade. Suddenly all lights–street lights, building lights, car lights–went out. I tried to slow down with my brakes. They went to the floor board. I tried to steer to where I imagined the slower right lane would be. The steering wheel spun in my hands. I had no control. I would crash into the barricade. I struggled to pull myself out of the dream. As I did, I heard a voice: “No, I am the light of the world.” Jesus was asking me to trust him to be in control. I really could yield my dominant sin to him. When I stopped trying to control things with my reason, when I died to self, he would take over.

      An Undefined Time Limit

      The light that is available to us in any given moment is a precious commodity. There is an undefined time limit to our opportunity to respond to the light. We do not know how long we will live, how long our minds will remain sharp, how long spiritual resources will remain available to us, how long before sin will have such a hold on our hearts that we will be unable to yield to the reign of God over our lives, how long before God says, “Okay, have it your way.”

      The light feels like it will kill us, but it is the light of love, of redemption, of healing. When we are ready to die to self, the light will lead us to new life.

      The world’s deepest need is to see Jesus. My deepest need, your deepest need, and our neighbor’s deepest need is to see Jesus (not religion), lifted up as our crucified Savior who gave everything for our salvation, lifted up as our risen and exalted Lord who alone can bring us to a perfect destiny. Choose to see him now. Enter his light while you may. Receive what he has to offer, which is nothing less than everything.”

      http://www.christviewmin.org/bible.study/sermon.draw.all.php

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    • Yep. I’ve heard it said.
      ………… and I’ve also heard of ‘Munchausen syndrome by proxy’.
      Or fire-fighters setting fire to things.
      ….and of so many other situations where one creates an artificial threat in order to peddle an artificial cure.
      Vast industries have been established on that basis.
      I’d’ve thought we had more than enough real crises on which to spend our time and efforts and resources .

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  6. I’m bamboozled where I should be posting this, not being a young bird any longer – 83 today!

    Re Rian’s posts, yes I am privy to where he’s coming from, and can assure you that although he has a strong intellectual ability, he also has a strong emotional side that he often seems obliged to cover up, except with his beloved cats.

    Re Gnosticism, which he has been led to, ‘gnostic’ implies ‘knowing’, but it is not intellectual knowing, there are no secrets in gnosticism which get revealed to increase your knowledge. The ‘knowing’ is as in knowing God’s presence: not who or what God might be, but in knowing the Presence is there, in experiencing it.

    For this reason Gnosticism was often seen as elitism, not admitting any who had not had that experience. Whereas the evangelical churches would admit all who could repeat the words of their creed. There aim was to help all, either saving their souls through conversion or some other missionary work.

    The Gnostics on the other hand were more concerned in their inner spiritual life, the experience of which also led them to good works, but not as broadly as the Evangelicals, not in a missionary sense.

    Some churches today have come to acknowledge many ways of serving God.

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    • Happy Birthday Ruth!

      Hope you have had a wonderful day. May God richly bless, and keep you safe and well.

      With love,

      Mon X

      Like

    • Strewth my love,
      well well, so your birthday? Congrats and all. I and my pussycats send you all the best of wishes. And I’ll repeat it all if I see you at tomorrow’s exercise session. I might even try to say it in French! Gee so you are my superior in years. I’ll have to be more respectful to you in future.
      Cheers, Rian.

      Like

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