Thursday, June 30, 2016

His Word Endures Forever

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God (John 1: 1-2 NASB).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God (first person of the Trinity), and the Word was God (second person of the Trinity).  If we change the Word, we change God Himself.

Christians are called to love all our neighbors unconditionally. Believers in Christ value life and therefore mourn the loss of every person made in God’s image.  In the wake of the tragedy in Orlando, it has been so unjustly suggested that the views of Christians are at least in part responsible for this horrendous act.  While we are appalled by the travesty and are deeply grieving with the families and friends of the victims, to say that Christians are to blame is a gross misrepresentation of the truth.  Believers in Christ are just espousing and taking to be true what the Bible says.  Same gender sexual relationships are called sin.  If these acts are not wrong, then God is a liar.  There is more going on in this discussion than a mere theological argument.  What’s at stake is the very integrity of the Word of God and the character of God Himself.  If same-sex marriage is a legitimate definition of matrimony, then God’s Word is not true.  If God’s Word is true, then homosexual relationships were never God’s plan.  If the former is true, then the Bible as our moral compass has been lost.  As believers in Christ, we cannot ride the fence on this one.

Of course, people have a right to choose their lifestyle, but so do Christians have the right to believe as we see fit.   Yes, we must be compassionate toward sinners as we would want for any sin with which we might struggle.  Hatred and bullying are always wrong, but believing the Bible is not an act of hate, it’s just the opposite. We must not let any voice out of Orlando alter our stance on the unchanging Word of God.  His Word endures forever!

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Destruction Of Our Princes

“You must not have any other god but me.” (Deuteronomy 5:7 NLT)

In last two generations, we have seen many of our top pop icons self-destruct.  Why?   Man is designed to worship and not to be worshiped.

 Three of our most popular cultural symbols, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Prince have perished through self-inflicted means in less than fifty years.  All three had immense talent and charisma that invoked adulation that was almost unprecedented.  These men all developed almost cult followings due to their entertainment genius even though it may have never been their intent.  Idolatry happens when legitimate things become ultimate things.  There is nothing wrong with recognizing and enjoying great talent, but when those gifts become the driving force in our life, they, in essence, become our god.

When we start to deify a person we never do him or her a favor.  We put them in a role in which they can never succeed.  It is tough to meet the job qualifications of God, all-seeing, all- knowing, and all-loving, etc.  God is the only one who is worthy of our veneration and capable of receiving it without negative consequences.  God wants our reverence but does not need it.  He is self-sufficient.  He desires it from us because he knows it’s best for us.  Man, unlike God is self-centered, and therefore needy.  The more adoration he receives, the more he desires it to make him feel complete. Public figures find themselves on a treadmill with no end in sight. It is unsustainable. History records that our brightest stars have started to self-medicate to dull the pain of their existence.

It is not my purpose in writing this piece to condemn those who have fame and fortune.  All of us bear a little responsibility for their fate.  We are a part of a culture that increasingly worships the creature rather than the creator.  We also should not deceive ourselves into believing that this dilemma does not exist in the sacred as well at the secular world.  The solution is simple, though not always easy.  We must worship the one true God,  saving us from the disappointment of worshiping a false god, and the destruction of being one.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.