Category: JESUS CHRIST

MY FAITH, MY TESTIMONY

Why am I a Christian? How did it come to be? In answer, an entire book could be written, which would have quite a few racy, dramatic, well-thumbed scenes. However, it’s likely that no-one, or almost no-one, would read it in todays racy, well-thumbed, sound-bite world, so instead here’s a brief, somewhat clinical summary.

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(Not me-I was nowhere near being that cute!)

I was raised in Britain in a Christian home, and I was a born thinker. I thought deeply about most things from whatever age I was at all conscious of the world. I also suffered acutely from loneliness, particularly as my hard-working and wonderful dad was never at home, and my wonderful mum was preoccupied with housework and TV soap operas.

In my teens I fell in love with a girl, and she seemed equally in love with me, but when she dumped me four years later my world came crashing down. What was life all about? What was the point of it? Was anything worth living for? God didn’t enter my mind here. God seemed far, far away, like my dad was.

I took to drink and drugs. The pub and party life was my church where I found fellowship, conversation and a lot of laughs. I was looking for love, whatever that was, but my second serious relationship with a girl ended the same way as the first. I suffered terribly with rejection, and the drink and drugs got stronger. They numbed the pain, at least for as long as I was high. However, two things had come into my life which turned out to be milestones in my journey to faith. First, the second girl’s mother had taken me to church, mostly against my will, and she herself was the real deal- a warm, kind person. The second influence was a professional musical- “Godspell” which I toured with as a musician. The actors themselves were for the most part hedonistic, but one scene in the show, which I could view clearly from my on-stage vantage point, enacted in an abstract way the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Every night for ten months, as the lead actor, a Christian, died and rose again, my heart was burning inside me. God, I now know, was calling me. Sadly, I continued to get high for another three years, not knowing any other way to cope with life.

By that time, when I wasn’t high I was suffering severely with depression, and I can remember one night calling on God-whoever or whatever God was-to help me. It was just a simple two-worder, but packed with sincerity! Not long after that, the warehouse I worked in found itself short of work, and I was laid off for the Christmas period. I decided to use the time, and some money I had saved for the first time in my life, to go to visit my eldest sister, who lived five thousand miles away in the United States, just to get away from it all for a while.

(Also not me)

What I wasn’t expecting was that she would hook me into attending her church. It may be that the influences I had experienced before helped me to feel safe enough to go along just to please her. There the minister, one Earl Hargis, turned out to also be the real deal. When he preached, my spirit inside me was hugely and deeply aroused, as though God himself was speaking to me: He was. Hargis faithfully relayed the gospel-the good news-of Jesus Christ. That is, that the Son of God came to live among us, and to suffer God’s judgment in our place on the cross. God could then overlook our sin nature, and give us eternal life with Him. On the third day Christ rose from the dead. He will come again to subject the world to himself, and to take us home.

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I cannot relate the exact feeling I had when the pastor preached, but God had come for me, and was calling me loudly and clearly. After a month of being so called, I went back to where I was staying one Sunday, got down on my knees, and asked Jesus Christ to save me from my sins, to take over my life, and to change me. The light of God truly came into my life at that point, and very quickly life had meaning and purpose for the first time. The plan of God for me and for the world, which I now realized He had created, made eminent, beautiful sense.

Decades later, I’m still on the same road: the road to eternal life with my God and my saviour, and with all those who’ve heard the call and responded. The road isn’t all strewn with roses, but it’s going in the right direction.

A caution here-not everyone hears the call as loudly as I did: God had to shout to get my attention.

FAITH WITHOUT GOD!

The “unknowns” of evolution are too numerous to list, yet the whole package is pushed upon us as though the concept is beyond question. True science deals with observable, testable certainties: evolution cloaks itself in those certainties in order to appear respectable and equally true…

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Evolutionism takes its assertions and sells them to us as proven facts. It hypocritically presents itself as our parent, our originator, our creator, our guide and master. It’s a charlatan, masquerading as our Source, our sustainer and our future.

If we boil down the argument of secular evolutionists against the existence of God, we get something like this:

“We can’t see or detect any supreme being, so obviously he doesn’t exist, and we must proceed with this assumption”.

This is in fact part of the operating mode within secular science: God must be excluded from consideration right from the start, because he’s nowhere to be seen, and he won’t jump to attention when we pull his chain. That’s an interesting position, because the very same people who have adopted this attitude will insist that certain things they cannot see or test or experience “must be” there. Whether or not they are there, the point is that faith is okay for the evolutionist, so long as God is not involved.

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For example, the Oort cloud, a proposed cloud of ice and dust far outside the solar system, explains away the problem of comets not all having fizzled away millions of years ago. It hasn’t been seen. You can find plenty of pictures of the Oort cloud, but the problem is that they are all artist’s impressions. “Dark Matter”, also totally unseen and undetectable, is used to explain why galaxies, moving at 6000 kilometres a second, haven’t dispersed, but remain in beautiful clusters throughout the universe. “Dark Energy”, also unseen and a huge mystery to physicists, is invoked to explain why the expansion of the universe is not slowing as it should be according to Big Bang theory, but is instead speeding up.

The UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor Sir Martin Reece, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge, while discussing dark energy, stated this:

“We don’t know why the universe banged, or what banged” (1)

Not only do the greatest scientists and evolutionists in truth not know why or how the universe began, since they are totally unable to re-enact the event (though of course they have elaborate theories) but they also have to conclude that very shortly after that great “singularity” occurred, certain things must have happened which they also know nothing of. The laws of nature must have “changed” for some inexplicable reason, because quantum theory and classical physics do not agree. But they don’t know what changed or how.

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I’ve written before, in a post titled “The Must-Haves of Evolution” about some of these speculations, which get passed onto us and our children as proven, indisputable fact. Such “empirical” evidence came into play in a discussion I heard on the subject of photosynthesis, without which we could not be here. It was an intellectual presentation, the panel consisting of highly qualified biologists and educators. Photosynthesis, declared the all-knowing panel, began when single-celled bacteria were “captured” by large inorganic molecules, and conscripted as energy-producing slaves for their new masters. When asked by the program host if they could give an idea of “when” said evolution from bacteria into the necessary chloroplast organelles happened, “within, say, seven hundred million years or so”, one of the expert answers was this:

“…there are no fossils of this kind of thing-to date-in rocks, but it must have happened…” (2)

Chloroplasts are here, and all the vegetation we need, so they “must have” evolved. Isn’t that flawed logic? Doesn’t a conclusion have to be an arrangement of its propositions? Isn’t something missing?

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To summarize, there’s no empirical evidence that chloroplasts evolved. It happened only once in earth’s history, say the experts, and it has never been observed. There is no fossil evidence of the alleged two-billion years past transition from single-celled bacteria into chloroplasts. Evolutionists are sure, however, that it “must have happened”.

That “must have” phrase, along with many similar euphemisms, is invoked to bridge the enormous gaps between theory/hypothesis and evidence. There is no evidence to be seen, but it “must have” happened. Conversely, however, God cannot be seen, so he “must not” be there at all. A text book on the evolution of life from non life similarly bridges an enormous gap in one deft leap by invoking the “must have” imperative, demonstrating (on paper) how to easily solve or cover over a giant mystery by adding non-testable elements to the non-observable narrative:

Once the necessary building blocks were available, how did a living system arise and evolve? Before the appearance of life, simple molecular systems must have existed that subsequently evolved into the complex chemical systems that are characteristic of organism” (“Biochemistry. 5th Edition). (3)

In a movie called “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, released in 2008, Director Ben Stein interviewed none other than Richard Dawkins. Stein asked Professor Dawkins how life began from non-life. Dawkins answered:

Nobody knows how it started…we know the sort of event that must have happened for the origin of life”.

Stein: “What was that?”

Prof. Dawkins: “It was the… origin of the first self-replicating molecule.”

Notice that Dawkins had just made a gargantuan leap from nothing but chemical soup to the first self-replicating molecule, actually skipping the profound degree of information needed to answer the question, were it even possible.

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The conversation continued…

Stein: “Right. And how did that happen?”

Prof. Dawkins: “I’ve told you, we don’t know”

Stein: “So you have no idea how it started?”

Dawkins: “No, no, nor has anybody.”

So in summary, the great Professor assures us that while they “don’t know” how life evolved from non-life, and that they haven’t seen it happen, they’re pretty sure that it “must have” happened.

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The Professor went on to suggest that life may possibly have come from somewhere else in the universe. Here is another bridge which attempts to cross the enormous chasm between non-life and life. Cambridge News discusses one scientist’s book on the theory:

Extra-terrestrials resembling humans must have evolved on other planets, according to a new book by a Cambridge professor“.

But wait a minute…no-one has any evidence that this happened either! Here is another empty chasm: more snake oil.

Go to the best natural history museum you can find (as I have) and ask to see a series of transitional fossils clearly showing one creature evolving into another: there will be none-just a few bones and some artists impressions. Think carefully about what you are being presented with.

1 IN OUR TIME: “Dark Energy”, with Melvyn Bragg.

2 IN OUR TIME: “Photosynthesis”, with Melvyn Bragg

3 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22508/

4 http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/intelligent-aliens-evolved-planets-says-cambridge/story-26814631-detail/story.html#IHazrJCcZi0Il174.99

 

 

THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

Is there any evidence for the existence of God?

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Consider first that there are three possibilities as to how we all got here. 1, We were created; 2, We evolved; 3, We aren’t really here, we just think we are. Other evolution-related concepts such as “Pan-Spermia” (life evolved somewhere else in the universe and was then seeded on earth) are not really alternatives, since all life, wherever it came from originally, either evolved or was created .

I have no time for the third option: I’m definitely here, and so are you. That leaves only two possibilities: a Creator, or evolution from nothing.

Apologies to those who’ve read this post before under a different name. It’s a favourite topic of mine, and vitally important. This is a shorter version.

DESIGN

We see incredible design in all of nature. The evidence for God is all around us: its impossible to miss. When we look around at our world we see beauty everywhere, and things which fit and have meaning and purpose. We live, love and exist in a world of wonder, not a world of chaos. Science is not evidence against God, it’s powerful evidence that God is The master scientist.

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INFORMATION

As an example, one strand of DNA, invisible to the naked eye, contained in each of the trillions of cells in our body, is packed with more information than a huge library of books. Where did that information come from? So- called “simple” life forms are really incredibly complex: how did that first information arise out of nothing, or out of inanimate matter? Information has never been observed to come from nothing or from chaos, and so to believe it did is blind faith, not science. Researchers scan the skies for a radio message from space which, they are convinced, would confirm intelligent life out there, yet ignore the incredible message in plain view within life on earth, as seen in our DNA, in our brains, and in all of life.

ORDER

The universe operates in a very orderly, lawful way, as does our own solar system and our own planet. The laws of nature hold all things together and allow us to exist and function. Sir Isaac Newton, whose laws of motion and gravity are still employable and were used to land man on the moon, attributed that orderliness to a Creator.

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ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE

This principle, dismissed as mere “coincidence” by the evolutionist, demonstrates clearly that Earth is uniquely placed and equipped for life in our galaxy and in our solar system. We benefit from many thousands of extremely fortuitous conditions. As an example, if earth were tilted any more or less in relation to the sun, its temperature ranges would be too extreme to support life. If we didn’t have our moon, or if the moon were not at just the right distance from us and at just the right relative size with just the right orbital pattern, we would have no tides to keep the oceans alive and fresh, and there would be no life on earth. Earth’s magnetic field protects us from the harmful power of the sun’s radiation. Water is unique in many of its properties, enabling life to exist and continue.

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ORIGINS

Even famous evolutionists admit that they don’t know for sure how life evolved from non-life, and they’ve never seen it happen. Millions of people are convinced that life has been made, or almost made, in the laboratory: this is not the case. The Miller experiments made a few amino acids only. When the proverbial first living cell miraculously produced itself according to evolution theory, defying multitudes of natural obstacles, who did it mate with and what did it eat?

The “evolution” of photosynthesis has never been observed: it was a unique event in earth’s history, as even evolutionists have to concede. I can much more easily believe in an intelligent creator than in a rock producing all the complexity we see. In fact, try counting the incidences of evolution which you have observed-there will be none. Bacteria adapting is not evolution in the sense of one creature turning into another: it is still bacteria, and all of life has inbuilt potential in order to survive.

There’s plenty of scientifically supportable reason to believe in the Biblical view of origins. Try http://www.icr.org for a start, or http://www.answersingenesis.org

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HUMAN HUNGER FOR GOD

Man has an inbuilt hunger for the spiritual, which explains the existence of many religions throughout history and in every culture. Religion is not always a product of superstition: perhaps superstition is born of  a natural longing for God, and the realization that there’s something much greater than us.

ATHEISM

The condition of atheistic societies to date has not been impressive or endearing. Atheistic philosophy has been the cause of far more evil in our world than any religion has. Hitler, in his book “Mein Kampf” expressed the need to “cleanse” the human race for the sake of “Mother Nature” and healthy human evolution. Also refer to the regimes of such men as Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, who wanted to rid the world of God. Once man sees no God to answer to, and no  fixed, objective standards of right and wrong, tyranny is the likely outcome, along with the degradation of the value of human life. We can see this at work in our world now. Please note I am not saying that every atheist is a “bad” person: they are usually no more evil than anyone else. Instead I’m demonstrating  that having a God-less society is not the answer to our problems.

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EMOTION

Most of our emotions would be superfluous and even detrimental if we were only here to contend with other life forms so as to emerge the winner (as we have, if we evolved). The God of the Bible made us in his image, and is himself a feeling, emotional being.

LOVE

Real love produces commitment, caring, empathy, loyalty, faithfulness and truthfulness. Where does love come from if not from a loving, faithful designer? How could chemical reaction and interaction alone-born of rock-produce love? When your significant other asks if you love her or him, do you reply that yes, you are currently experiencing some chemical and hormonal interactions, and as long as they occur you will stick around and refrain from killing and eating him or her? Love in today’s popular definition is a reductionist ploy with the aim of reducing our relationships to good vibes and temporary mutual use while the going is good. Godly love, as found in the Bible, is that which produces stable relationships, happy kids, and successful societies.

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JUSTICE

Our sense of justice is evidence that we were made by a just, moral God. If we “evolved” a sense of justice, why do we still have crime, war and murder, at every level of every society, no matter how many new laws and regulations are created? And why would or should we care anyway? The fact is that we recognize naturally in our hearts that there is such a thing as evil at large in our world, and that it needs to be controlled. This recognition was given to us by a God of justice.

AESTHETIC SENSE

We have an inbuilt appreciation for beauty and for all of creation, and not merely for our mate when we’re having sex, or for the food on our plate. We desire to be creative, to entertain, and to express ourselves, and we appreciate those who do so skillfully. We love art, music, literature, and all forms of recreation and creation. We imagine-often without any practical reason but the pleasure of it. We philosophize and think deeply (some of us do anyway).

SIN and EVIL

The Bible is right about human nature: just look around. You probably need look no further than the mirror, or your own family and friends.  Those who claim that people only abuse each other when they’re impoverished are often the same people who berate the ultra-rich for abusing the rest of us. If poverty were the cause of crime and terrorism, half of India and Africa would be in absolute turmoil. And if we evolved, why shouldn’t the rich abuse the rest of us, since life is all about the “survival of the fittest”?

EXPERIENCE

In the years I’ve been a Christian I’ve experienced God in many ways. This includes an acute awareness of His presence, a feeling of indescribable completeness at times, an inner peace and joy, and answered prayers. It also includes the fact that seeking God and His righteousness has helped me to live a far more meaningful and peace-filled life than I would have without Him. It’s important for me to remember those experiences and continuous states of mind, and not to let them be dismissed as mere superstition, hormonal balance or positive thinking. I’ve seen the difference made by the Spirit of God in people’s lives, in homes, and in areas of society where God has been allowed or invited in. I’ve also seen the destruction in societies and individuals who have rejected God.

LIVING WITH THE BEAST

Mankind is devolving, not evolving. Yes, we have cell phones and cars and internet, but this is development, under the temporary opportunity given us by freedom, relative peace and prosperity: it isn’t physical or cerebral change for the better…

Such evolution, says the fairy story for adults, takes many millennia at least, and more likely, “millions of years”. While we poke away at our little digital devices, paedophilia is becoming the next immoral frontier to cross, sex changes are being carried out, millions of babies are being killed and thrown away before they can be born, rioters attack our emergency services personnel, and a multitude of other horrors and sicknesses develop which will ultimately bring the wrath of God on our so-called civilization. 

The arts are decaying into crass expressions of the worst in human nature, while we, the “entertained”, remain transfixed by the product of technology rather than the quality of meaning and message behind it. Universalism and multiculturalism are flooding the once-strong West with division and resentment, not unity.

The West, which once fought off communism and fascism, now teeters in the direction of those very same darknesses, in the name of change.  In my country of origin, and unfortunately, in most of the Western world, people constantly decry the failures of government, and then vote into power the very same kinds of people they are whining about, i.e., weak and unprincipled. And this is in part due to media types-the ones who parade themselves as purveyors of truth, but who instead are promoters of propaganda, and whose only truth is their own twisted, uninformed, biased view of how things should be. Our cultural navel-gazing is carried out with blinkers in the dark. Our aims are not the upholding of civil life, propriety and factual enquiry, but the overthrow of what has gone before, in the vain, misguided, foolish belief that Utopia is just around the corner. 

The warriors of hopelessness have successfully commandeered the narrative in education, politics and so-called entertainment. The worst in human nature has percolated to the top of the heap, and now seeks to lead the rest of humanity down the moral drain and into the sewer and the garbage bin of history. Only a few souls bravely work to hold us back from the brink, while being attacked and vilified by the lawless. Those of us who just want to live our lives and are not working to overthrow national and moral boundaries can only stand by and watch. Will the rot be in check for another four years, or not? If it is, its warriors of godlessness will be more vicious and devious than they are now.

Where will it all end? That’s the question asked by many more people than we think. And those who refuse to believe in absolutes, or in an Absolute, that is, a God who made us and therefore will hold us to account, have no hope of finding the answer. They are the willing lost; the willing blind; the blinded; the determined, cynical agnostics who are drowning in a sea of post-modernism, in which there can be no objective hope. Where it will end is in judgment. The creator of the world will not leave his creation to rot forever. Instead he-yes, I said “he”, will bring a screeching halt to all that mankind is doing to itself and to his world. The only remaining question is, are you ready for that day? Have you accepted God’s only Son as your saviour from the darkness? While you live, it’s not too late.

NICE PEOPLE

How many nice people do you know? Let me be a little more specific: How many people do you know who you feel at ease with; who are genuine and real; who are warm and thoughtful; who you know care sincerely and consistently about you; who you trust, and who are committed to companionship with you for life?

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Perhaps you’re fortunate enough to know a lot of such people. I’ll have to admit, reluctantly, that I could probably count the number of such people I know on one hand, and have a finger or two to spare. If I look back over my life so far, I may be able to employ all my fingers and toes in the count.

I’m not saying this to have a dig at human nature, as easy as that would be. After all, I’m human too (surprise surprise) and I suffer from the same weaknesses and faults that everyone else does. We can all be hurtful at times, or aloof or busy and inconsiderate. Just how do those few “nice people” manage it? How are they nice? What makes them kind, considerate, warm, forgiving, and all those other special endearing qualities which I am deficient in?

If I focus more closely still on what turns me on, socially speaking, I think I would have to single out that amazing ability a very few people have to make you feel welcome, wanted, loved, and appreciated, every time you meet them, even when you know you’re a nobody, and even when you have nothing to offer them in terms of this world’s perks. I can picture a few shining faces, always fixed on mine, so glad were they to see me and let me know so. They were(and are) the people who have made me feel like life was worth living, that there is a loving God, and that the world really is a beautiful place after all.

My next point is unavoidable. As I’ve considered these people prayerfully, I’ve had to ask my God why I’m not like them. Why am I not a nice person? I wish I were. I wish I could have that effect on people. I wish I could be warm, polite, kind and welcoming as a normal standard of being, rather than having to stretch to a minute or two of pleasantness before I lapse back into my normal modus operandi: being distant and preoccupied.  And as many professing Christians as I’ve met over the years, I must confess that the bulk of them have been, like me, in various stages of brokenness, selfishness, business, worldliness, and yes, sinfulness. We go to church (in normal times) in the hope of meeting people who are going to reflect the love of Jesus Christ, not realizing that everyone else is doing the same thing.

How many of us rise to the occasion?

The answer must lie in genuinely becoming Christ-like. I don’t mean a fleshly spirituality in which we think we’re just like Peter and Paul and can do all their magic tricks: I mean loving, selfless, warm, patient, faithful, godly behaviour as a way of life.

The few who achieve that level of walk with God in this life will be the ones to shine like stars for ever and ever.