Life is a journey, not a guided tour

Truth

Aldous Huxley said all great truths were obvious. Parents love their children and men and women were attracted to one another in a variety of ways, he said.

Many people were moved by nature to feel elation, awe, tenderness, gaiety, melancholy; most people were attached to their homes and nations, to the beliefs they were taught in childhood and the moral code of their tribes.

Huxley said some of the great truths were not palatable to some people.

“You shall know the truth and the truth might make you mad,” he said.

Hence the penchant for trivialising anything that seems too spiritually challenging.
We domesticate angels into stuffed toys, try to downgrade the Easter story with bunny rabbits, ignore the fact that we will all die some day and pretend that God Almighty is just the benign old man “upstairs”. Galileo thought all great truths were easy to understand once they were discovered — the point was to discover them.

It seems obvious that believing is not always about physically seeing.

Yet, many of us believe that if something cannot be touched, seen, heard, or measured in some way, it must not exist.

We can acknowledge that there are designers behind computers and aeroplanes, yet can claim that our very lives, the origins of the universe and our intricate human bodies — despite their complexity — are merely products of evolution.

We can assert that there are no absolute categories of good and evil, that all morals are merely personal, social and evolutionary constructs. But justice and mercy are clearly more than human whims.

If we believe the myth that man is God, we may assume that evolution will eventually create perfect human demi-gods. History shows that is a myth.

Or we can argue that free-thinking logic proves there is no God, and then claim our thinking is a fixed reaction of our brains governed by the laws of chemistry and physics.

It is obvious, surely, that a spiritual faith that cannot handle the truth is not worth much.

The Christian world view states that faith and logic are not opposed. Faith establishes principles from which we reason logically.

The Bible teaches that God is logical and when God declares that something is true, then it really is true.

At its core, faith is not a set of arbitrary beliefs — political or religious. It is the experience of God’s love, a love that clearly transforms people.

C.S. Lewis stated reason, authority and experience were things that faith could use to bring us the truth.

We were not put on this earth merely to make a difference in the world.

We were put on this earth to make the world different. And that requires us knowing what is true and what is not.

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Life is a journey, not a guided tour

  1. Hi this is Mary Bailey. The latest post, Life is a journey doesn’t seem to download. Is it because I use my mobile phone? I’m hoping not , as I don’t have a computer at the moment. Thank you so much , I really enjoy each one!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

  2. “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” John 17:17

    SUFFERING CANNOT BE ENDURED

    As a paratrooper in the Australian Army a deep desire to curb injustice and cruelty motivated Michael F. Bird to explore the spiritual beliefs he had once mocked.

    In his youth Michael was convinced religion was a crutch due to the instruction of his secular home and education in suburban Brisbane.

    He echoed the belief of those around him that Christians were “morally deviant hypocrites” and later wrote poetry mocking belief in God.

    As an Australian Army paratrooper and intelligence operator he was brought face-to-face with the moral problem of evil, which challenged his beliefs.

    “I felt conflicted when my heart ached over the injustice and cruelty in the world,” he says.

    As an atheist, Michael says, “I ‘knew’ that ethics were nothing more than aesthetics, a mere word game for things I liked and disliked.”

    He then developed “an acute suspicion there might be… something supreme”, a God who has given mankind objective moral laws.

    In all those years when he mocked those who believed in the Bible, Michael admits he had never studied the life of Jesus in the New Testament. He recalls being immediately surprised when he finally did.

    “The Jesus I encountered was far different from the deluded radical, even mythical character described to me,” Michael recalls.

    “This Jesus… of history was real. He touched upon things that cut close to my heart, especially as I pondered the meaning of human existence.”

    As he studied textual and historical evidence for Jesus’ divine identity and resurrection, Michael says that “faith grew from seeds of doubt”.

    This was liberating, he recalls, because “I came upon a whole new world that, for the first time, actually made sense to me.”

    Doubt gave way to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord of the Universe, which Michael says “opened a constellation of meaning, beauty, hope, and life that I had been indoctrinated to deny”.

    This new liberty spurred Michael on in a lifelong quest to study the Bible and early Christian history to the doctorate level. He is now a lecturer at Ridley College in Melbourne, Australia.

    Michael describes himself as an “anti-type of Bart Ehrman” – another New Testament scholar with a university doctorate who rejected his early faith and has argued that Jesus never claimed to be God.

    Michael flatly rejects Bart’s assertion, saying, “A careful look at the Gospels shows that the historical Jesus explicitly claimed to exercise divine prerogatives [or characteristics].

    “He (Jesus) identified Himself with God’s activity in the world. He believed that in His own person, Israel’s God was returning to Zion, just as the prophets had promised. And He claimed He would sit on God’s throne.”

    Michael also points out that these de facto claims to divine personhood were “the reasons religious leaders of the day were so outraged.”

    And he adds, “Within 20-some years after His death and resurrection, Christians were identifying Him with the God of Israel, using language and grammar of the Old Testament to do so.”

    Michael says it is not scholarship but a false sense of superiority that kept him from seriously investigating Christianity.

    Taking a leaf out of Philippians chapter three, Michael writes: “If anyone thinks they are assured in their unbelief, I was more committed: born of unbelieving parents, never baptised or dedicated; on scholarly credentials, a PhD from a secular university; as to zeal, mocking the church; as to ideological righteousness, totally radicalised.

    “But whatever intellectual superiority I thought I had over Christians, I now count it as sheer ignorance. Indeed, I count everything in my former life as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing the historical Jesus who is also the risen Lord.

    “For His sake, I have given up trying to be a hipster atheist.

    “The real story of Jesus Christ is good news, and it transformed my life. That’s why I’m fighting to tell it amidst a cacophony of misguided voices.”

    CHALLENGE, The Good News Paper—April 2016

    Like

  3. “At its core, faith is not a set of arbitrary beliefs — political or religious. It is the experience of God’s love, a love that clearly transforms people.”

    “Through Biblical examples and Scripture we see that God’s love transforms people in 4 primary ways.

    First, God transforms who we are when we are born again.
    Second, God transforms what we believe about everything. His Word, as revealed by His Spirit, becomes our authority for understanding everything. Every thought is to be brought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-6)
    Thirdly, God then transforms how we live.
    Lastly, God transforms what we pursue.

    This is not a one-time process through this 4 step cycle. God continues to transform us in these ways as we journey through this part of our life with God. Ephesians 2:10 describes this process with the words “we are His workmanship”. The ultimate purpose of this work of transformation is to make us more and more like Jesus in every way and to lead us to the pursuit of God’s Kingdom and Righteousness above everything else. This transformation is a work from the inside out. The Holy Spirit who comes to dwell within us when we are born again leads this transformation process.

    The goal is to bring the soul and body of the believer into alignment with the will of God. The soul is our mind, our emotions, and our will. Therefore, the work of transformation is to change us so that we use our bodies as instruments of righteousness. (Romans 6:12-13) It is to change how we think and believe as the Holy Spirit renews our minds with God’s Word. (Romans12:1-2). It is to bring our emotions under the control of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) It is to bring our will to be surrendered to the will of God. (2 Cor. 5:15).

    This transformation is a result of our relationship with God which we are given when we become His children. This transformation is a work of God alone but it does require our cooperation, and/or our willingness.

    In Ephesians 2 we see two important words. The words are grace and faith. Our experience of transformation by God’s love is a result of God’s grace combined with our faith.

    Philippians 2:13 gives us the perfect definition of grace. Grace is the desire to do God’s will (“to will”). Grace is also the power to do God’s will (‘to work”). Grace is given in these two stages. Once we experience the first stage of grace which is to receive from the Holy Spirit a desire to want to do God’s will we must then choose faith. Biblical faith is a trust which leads one to obedient action. So once we are given the desire we then begin to move in the direction of the desire in trusting obedience. Our faith is in Jesus and in the truth that God’s will is best for us. Our faith is a trust that God will supply the power to carry out the obedience. We cannot desire God’s will nor do God’s will on our own. We depend upon God’s grace alone. Transformation occurs as God gives grace and it is made complete by our choice of obedient faith.”

    Fairview Baptist Church February 28, 2016 Series: That You May Know the Love of God
    Message: The Transforming Love of God – How it Works (part 1)

    Like

  4. “If we believe the myth that man is God, we may assume that evolution will eventually create perfect human demi-gods.”
    True, man is not God, but if evolution is a tool of God, and as God is teaching us, learning can involve evolution too. We must learn to take responsibility. Not totally, as sometimes we recognise we need to ‘let go and let God’, but neither to stand idly by where we see corruption.

    2 Peter 1:4 tells us believers are empowered, and from an Orthodox perspective is the emphasis on the incarnation of Christ as a means to raise human nature to the Divine. Athanasius said “the Son of God became man so that man might become God.” which is in contrast to the heavy emphasis on human sinfulness present in much of the theology of the Western churches.

    Anyway, we still in this life have a long way to go. We’re still in school, imho.

    Like

  5. “We can acknowledge that there are designers behind computers and aeroplanes, yet can claim that our very lives, the origins of the universe and our intricate human bodies — despite their complexity — are merely products of evolution.”

    I’m not sure who is claiming that the origins of the universe are products of evolution, but I’m pretty it’s not a qualified scientist. As for comparing the complexity of machines like planes and iphones to naturally occurring organisms (including people) there are well documented explanations, understandable to most lay people, available to anyone who cares to listen.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s