Is the Church prepared for extreme Atheism?

28 09 2007

Putting aside the philosophical attacks on the existence of God in his The God Delusion, i made in way to another book which presented a more scientific facet of atheistic views – GOD the failed hypothesis by Victor J. Stenger. It is interesting to note the coming waves of a New Age beliefs (Spirit of the Anti Christ) will encapsulate in this Atheism that strikes to altogether discount the existence of God through Science and Philosophy by learned men and women. The Church today, is ill-equipped to handle the waves of attack on the fundamental conviction and beliefs that the existence of God is called to question.


James, the brother of Jesus

26 09 2007

Had an interesting chat last night at Jewel’s place, when Jerome mentioned he was reading the book of James and got convicted by what James the brother of Jesus has to say about prejudices and self confidence.

Prosperity Preaching by John Piper

18 09 2007

As i was clearing my 500+ unread emails, i came across a devotion by Desiring God which i totally agree and held fast to conviction about. Here i will repost (With permission from the site this article is taken from).

When I read about prosperity-preaching churches, my response is: “If I were not on the inside of Christianity, I wouldn’t want in.” In other words, if this is the message of Jesus, no thank you.

Luring people to Christ to get rich is both deceitful and deadly. It’s deceitful because when Jesus himself called us, he said things like: “Any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). And it’s deadly because the desire to be rich plunges “people into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). So here is my plea to preachers of the gospel.

1. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that makes it harder for people to get into heaven.

Jesus said, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” His disciples were astonished, as many in the “prosperity” movement should be. So Jesus went on to raise their astonishment even higher by saying, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” They respond in disbelief: “Then who can be saved?” Jesus says, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:23-27).

My question for prosperity preachers is: Why would you want to develop a ministry focus that makes it harder for people to enter heaven?

2. Do not develop a philosophy of ministry that kindles suicidal desires in people.

Paul said, “There is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” But then he warned against the desire to be rich. And by implication, he warned against preachers who stir up the desire to be rich instead of helping people get rid of it. He warned, “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:6-10).

So my question for prosperity preachers is: Why would you want to develop a ministry that encourages people to pierce themselves with many pangs and plunge themselves into ruin and destruction?

3. Do not develop a philosophy of ministry that encourages vulnerability to moth and rust.

Jesus warns against the effort to lay up treasures on earth. That is, he tells us to be givers, not keepers. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19).

Yes, we all keep something. But given the built-in tendency toward greed in all of us, why would we take the focus off Jesus and turn it upside down?

4. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that makes hard work a means of amassing wealth.

Paul said we should not steal. The alternative was hard work with our own hands. But the main purpose was not merely to hoard or even to have. The purpose was “to have to give.” “Let him labor, working with his hands, that he may have to give to him who is in need” (Ephesians 4:28). This is not a justification for being rich in order to give more. It is a call to make more and keep less so you can give more. There is no reason why a person who makes $200,000 should live any differently from the way a person who makes $80,000 lives. Find a wartime lifestyle; cap your expenditures; then give the rest away.

Why would you want to encourage people to think that they should possess wealth in order to be a lavish giver? Why not encourage them to keep their lives more simple and be an even more lavish giver? Would that not add to their generosity a strong testimony that Christ, and not possessions, is their treasure?

5. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that promotes less faith in the promises of God to be for us what money can’t be.

The reason the writer to the Hebrews tells us to be content with what we have is that the opposite implies less faith in the promises of God. He says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6).

If the Bible tells us that being content with what we have honors the promise of God never to forsake us, why would we want to teach people to want to be rich?

6. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that contributes to your people being choked to death.

Jesus warns that the word of God, which is meant to give us life, can be choked off from any effectiveness by riches. He says it is like a seed that grows up among thorns that choke it to death: “They are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the . . . riches . . . of life, and their fruit does not mature” (Luke 8:14).

Why would we want to encourage people to pursue the very thing that Jesus warns will choke us to death?

7. Don’t develop a philosophy of ministry that takes the seasoning out of the salt and puts the light under a basket.

What is it about Christians that makes them the salt of the earth and the light of the world? It is not wealth. The desire for wealth and the pursuit of wealth tastes and looks just like the world. It does not offer the world anything different from what it already believes in. The great tragedy of prosperity-preaching is that a person does not have to be spiritually awakened in order to embrace it; one needs only to be greedy. Getting rich in the name of Jesus is not the salt of the earth or the light of the world. In this, the world simply sees a reflection of itself. And if it works, they will buy it.

The context of Jesus’ saying shows us what the salt and light are. They are the joyful willingness to suffering for Christ. Here is what Jesus said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth. . . . You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:11-14).

What will make the world taste (the salt) and see (the light) of Christ in us is not that we love wealth the same way they do. Rather, it will be the willingness and the ability of Christians to love others through suffering, all the while rejoicing because their reward is in heaven with Jesus. This is inexplicable on human terms. This is supernatural. But to attract people with promises of prosperity is simply natural. It is not the message of Jesus. It is not what he died to achieve.

The whole crux of our Christianity and the ultimate focus of our faith is never and ever will be about our earthly prosperity. Can we pursue God wholeheartedly while entangle with earthly wealth even when we gave reasons that such wealth gave us the ability to further His Kingdom? I believe the motives to start with, is wrong. For one, we do not need to be millionaire to reach the people around us; and to say that i have no grudges against Millionaires or Billionaires, but with such amount of wealth, much is demanded of us, if God choose anyone to be so, be prepared to do equally big things.

The God delusion or Dawkin’s Delusion

13 09 2007

“Who will say with confidence that sexual abuse is more permanently damaging to children than threatening them with the eternal and unquenchable fires of hell?” – Richard Dawkins

Who is Richard Dawkins? From Wiki.

Clinton Richard Dawkins (born March 26, 1941) is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and popular science writer who holds the Charles Simonyi Chair for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University.

Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centered view of evolution and introduced the term meme into the lexicon, helping found memetics. In 1982, he made a widely cited contribution to the science of evolution with the theory, presented in his book The Extended Phenotype, that phenotypic effects are not limited to an organism’s body but can stretch far into the environment, including into the bodies of other organisms. He has since written several best-selling popular books, and appeared in a number of television and radio programmes, concerning evolutionary biology, creationism, and religion.

Dawkins is an outspoken atheist, secular humanist, and sceptic, and he is a supporter of the Brights movement. In a play on Thomas Huxley‘s epithet “Darwin‘s bulldog”, Dawkins’ impassioned advocacy of evolution has earned him the appellation “Darwin’s rottweiler”.[1]

I read the God delusion, while he sought to explain in a confrontation manner regarding Monotheism especially the God of the Old Testament Yahweh, this man with a background of Biologist, and a Scientist, with all respect by no mean, a historian, or far from being an expert in fields of languages especially Aramaic, or an expert in culture and sociology in the Jewish or the nomadic culture or more accurately in the middle east.

In his argument of why religion especially the Christian faith feared to be challenged, is flawed. I believe the Christian faith is a reasonable faith, it can stand up to challenges, scrutiny, and more, by facts and reasonable to the extend, i can stake my life on the reliability of what the Scriptures say and attest to!

His confusion is understandable to even brand Christianity as the euphemism of the cause of trouble in many areas – the Northern Ireland Terrorists, the Balkan conflicts between the Christian and Muslims, the War in Iraq as Ethic cleansing that all these are the effects of religion namely Christianity? How deluded is Dawkins or in his audacity to assume that, Christian Faith is far from what motivates people to go to war; I am surprised Dawkins in his limited usage of such examples did not include the Crusades and the Witch Hunt of Salem.

Christian Faith is more than Human government and their decisions. I am no more an American than Bush is a Christian when he in the name of God went to war, killing Iraqis and Americans alike for his own end, or the Pope in the vatican’s greed, went to Crusades, or the inquisition. Christian faith and God intended Christianity to be way different from what Dawkins has so inadequately believe.

To someone who has no or little understanding of what Christian faith is, to say about sexual abuse as damaging as the preaching of the fiery fires of Hell is like explaining Quantum science to a 6 year old whose only knowledge is Photosynthesis.

While the book presents a real honest approach to the question of God, Dawkins’ introduction and preface is disappointingly fallen short of a real intellectual, factual, and rational search for the answer than a deluded fanatic who has already made up his mind about how religiously he wants to be as an atheist.

For a biologist, to write on religion or worse, philosophical explanations why there is no God is a farcry of an intellectual, and fair discussion, but a whorely one-sided argument of a pseudo-religiously fanatic.

Yet, this book has caused more stirs in the evangelical circle in the west more than the east, mainly because of how Christianity is so intricately linked with their politics, (and not rightly so) that such argument could be a stumbling effect to many Christians who lacked a personal relationship with God, and whose convictions are not based on God, and His Word – the Scriptures and on the Person of Jesus but on traditions, and their pastors. The erosion of Christian intellectualism which in the last century is but diminishing from the onslaught of Liberal Theology where the feel is the authoritative than the doctrines.

Christianity Today’s review on the God delusion – Read

Russia’s new bomb a prelude to End Times

12 09 2007

Russia have tested out the biggest non-nuclear explosive device which its destructive power rendered a building to rubble. Alarming as it is, this device is in my heart a prelude to End Times. Read BBC report on this

One thing at a time

10 09 2007

If one were to do everything that are required of us on about Christian walk by our own strength, is a burden. Yet Christ came, to give us life, and life much more abundance; is hardly what we call a burden if we were to have life much more abundance.

The thing about doing all those things, is to take the one more important step in faith, (For without faith, it is impossible to please God), and in that step, is all about trusting in God whom i cannot see, or touch. I shall not endeavor to try  to do all those godly christian duties but only start with trusting in God with all my heart, soul and strength. I hope in doing that, either it makes the rest easier, or it will follow naturally. Ah there’s so much i need to trust Him for.

Wishing on a hope

10 09 2007

You shall live and not die – the words echoed by pastor Frankie on his sermon, which a familiar passage but appearing more and more unconvincing every time i read that chapter. I doubt i have that courage to declare that energy and will to live, for that much, both i am lacking of. I am feeling a strange and almost surrealistic a peace in the coming storm, of which i am quite uncertain of is i will find myself alone. As much as i am sick to the core of my hypocrisy that i actually need friends, to the fact, i am used to standing alone on the battlefield without any need of sympathy. Especially to passerby with the acronym of without guts to reveal your vile identity, i am in no need of any reminder why i have decided i had enough of hypocrites, like you and maybe i have formed someone whom i hate and a guilt of burden towards, that what i hate, is what i am. While everything eludes me and i am in lack of everything, i shall not disgust myself any further of any desires that i will prefer to draw sword and battle on alone. Please do not mind my thinly veiled disgust of so called families, for there is indeed none i count as family or friends.