Archive for May, 2012
Whenever I don’t know what to write about next, I look at the cover of Newsweek. This time, the magazine is depicting President Obama with a rainbow halo and the words, “The First Gay President,” fueling yet another debate over gay marriage.
Yes, I’m one of the politically incorrect Christians that thinks being gay is a sin. It’s not because I’m a bigot or because I’m mad the gay community has hijacked and monopolized the rainbow, rather it’s because Scripture tells me it is. There’s the Old Testament verses like Lev 18:22 or Paul’s writings that lay it all out (1 Cor 6:9, Romans 1:26-27), but many in the Church disregard these because ‘Jesus didn’t say it.’ Yet, Christ did define marriage as a man and a woman thereby negating homosexuality, polygamy, or anything else (Matt 19:4-9, Mark 10:3-12). To me, there’s no question that Christians should be opposed to gay marriage within the Church. The question I struggle with is: should Christians deny those outside the Church?
When Paul wrote to the nascent church in Corinth, it was common for the Greeks to have homosexual partners, which Paul opposed. Yet, when he called for the Greek disciples to abstain from sexual immorality, he also told them it was not his place to judge those outside the Church:
“It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning. God will judge those on the outside; but as the Scriptures say, “You must remove the evil person from among you” (1 Cor 5:12-13).
Paul is telling us that we should not focus our scorn on the non-believers, but rather that we should ensure those claiming to be Christ-followers are practicing what they preach. Isn’t that the biggest complaint about Christians today – that we are hypocrites? How can we use force (i.e. government) to define ‘holy’ marriage, when the Church elects gay bishops, covers-ups the molestation of children, ignores pornography, adultery, cohabitation and maintains the same divorce rate as non-Christians?
Christians should be more concerned with spreading the Gospel than legislating their will onto others (something we certainly wouldn’t want them doing to us). Christianity was able to spread throughout the Roman Empire, including carnal Corinth, and eventually transform it because early Christians focused on love, not law. If we focus more on being lights for the world, maybe the sanctity of marriage along with the rest of our culture could be saved. After all, it’s God that gives marriage its value, not government.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
“The heavens declare the glory of God” is a nice Bible verse for a sunset on the beach or a photo of a star-lit night (Psalm 19:1). But doesn’t this verse also suggest that God makes Himself known throughout all creation?
Consider how fortunate we are to live on Earth; our placement in the solar system means we are close enough to the Sun that it remains warm enough to sustain life, but far enough away that we don’t melt from daylight. The planet’s tilted axis not only allows for four beautiful seasons (or two if you’re from Cleveland), but also signals hibernation and migratory habits of thousands of species of animals. Earth’s liquid alloy outer core creates a magnetic field that allows just the right amount of the Sun’s radiation in to heat the planet but repels the harmful radiation that would fry its inhabitants, not to mention it’s useful navigational purposes.
Or consider gravity. If this force was too strong, galaxies and stars would be smaller and closer together, increasing chances of interstellar collisions, obviously threatening any ‘chances’ for developing sustainable life. Yet, if gravity was too weak, galaxies, stars, and planets would have never formed at all.
Or we could scale it down a bit and just contemplate a human cell. Each of our cells contains six feet of organically stored information in our DNA strands. Some might say, “that’s not that impressive, we have computers that can store way more than that.” But even our most advanced technology cannot regenerate or replicate itself. We cannot even create one cell with all of our knowledge, yet the human body contains millions, and every cell knows what part it plays.
What I may or may not be successfully demonstrating here is that everything from the structure of a tiny cell up to the forces that govern the physics in universe have a specific purpose. Their constitution suggests that the universe and life inside it were not the product of random explosions or some lightning-struck primordial goo that transformed into a complex self-aware creature, but that an intelligent designer constructed everything with intent. Even the head cheerleader of the skeptics, Richard Dawkins, acknowledged this when he defined biology as, “the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”
Suppose you were walking along a deserted island when all of the sudden you stumble across an iPhone. You pick it up, notice it is a piece of machinery perfectly crafted to allow you to take photos, play music, tell time, check the news, play games, and it connects you to other people so you don’t have to talk to a volleyball with a bloody handprint on it.
Would it be logical for you to assume that the telephone was the result of billions of years of sand and rocks being exposed to the elements in such a way that it formed into this intricate piece of technology? Or, would it be logical to assume that the phone had a designer? Likewise, it is logical for us to examine anything in the universe, see it’s complexities and particular structure and conclude it, and we, have a designer.
Not only does this argument suggest we have a creator, but it also implies that He is a personal one. You can’t accidentally design an iPhone. It takes years of study, planning, and attention to detail in order to develop something with a purpose. An inventor with such dedication has an affinity for his creation and wants recognition for his accomplishments and indeed deserves them. How much more must our Creator love us and deserves our adoration.
So, next time you gaze up at the the heavens, remember that like the stars, telephones, and the rest of creation, we too should proclaim our Creator’s glory.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )
One of my readers recently posed a question to me: “How do we know there is a God”? There’s a lot of ways to answer this question, and lots of people smarter than me have written many leather-bound books doing so. But my reader didn’t ask them, so here is my response. I’ll begin by first looking at the ‘cosmological argument’ – cliff notes version.
The ‘cosmological argument’ basically says that something had to make the cosmos (as in the universe, drinks included). All of the ‘stuff’ in the universe didn’t just appear. This argument is based on the ‘Law of Causality’: every effect has a cause. Let’s say I have one more ‘follower’ because my charm finally wooed someone to subscribe to my blog. The effect is that I have one more follower; the cause was my charm….obviously.
Not too hard of a concept to grasp right? Simply take any object in the universe and ask, ‘where did it come from?’ until you find the root cause. For example, every girl loves cosmopolitans. It’s a fact. They are a smooth and sweet with just a hint of sour that makes for a wonderful pink cocktail that any girl (and honest guy) loves to drink. But where do cosmos come from? Vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice and triple sec, obviously. But where did those come from? Well, the vodka came from water, fermented potatoes, and Russian tears. Cranberry juice comes from cranberries, lime juice from limes, and triple sec from distilled orange peels. But where did they come from? So, the potatoes grew from tubers under the ground…and on and on we could go.
Ultimately, this question points to an origin that must exist outside the universe and time in order to have created everything. Aristotle referred to this something as the Prime Mover, First Cause or Uncaused Cause (’cause it caused everything else). This ‘something’ must have always existed and always will exist. It must simply be by virtue of being itself. Christians call this something God (Ex 3:14).
Skeptics reject this argument a few ways. First, they say it actually violates the Law of Causality because the ‘something’ must also have come from something. Basically saying that ‘if God made everything, then who/what made God?’ But remember, the Law of Causality states that every effect must have a cause, but God is not an effect, and therefore needs no cause. After all, God’s name in Hebrew literally means “I am, who I am.” He was not created, He just is.
Some people claim that the universe ‘created itself.’ So, given enough nothing (no atoms, no light, no energy…nothing) and then add more nothing and enough time …and more time, you will eventually get something. Given a bajillion years of nothing and time, you’ll get more and more stuff until finally, you have our universe. I thought Redi’s maggots and the Law of Conservation of Energy put this one to rest, but apparently not.
The Law of Non-Contradition says that A cannot be A and non-A at the same time (for example, an apple cannot be an apple and not an apple at the same time). By definition, in order to be created, brought into being, there must be a creator or one who brings into being. If the universe created itself, it would have to have exist before it didn’t exist. Yet, it cannot exist and not exist at the same time. We can toss out this argument. And Christians are the one’s working on blind faith?
So, in the end, we all need to recognize and give thanks to the Creator of the universe…and more importantly, cosmos.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )