Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Secular Views vs. Christian Truth

I feel very fortunate to have been saved from death.  I very much feel that way.  I can never be as grateful as I ought to be, but by only a shadow do I understand the truth of how very sacred and important a single human life is.

In 1977 Elvis Presley died of drug overdose, with what was believed to be 14 different drugs devastating his internal organs.  Elvis Presley, one of the greatest musicians humanity has to offer, was found dead with a Bible in his hand.  He had studied it consistently, and had extensive notes and thoughts scribbled in the margins.  It was later auctioned off for around $75,000.  My point is this, if Elvis was taken from this world, found dead with a Bible, why then did I not receive a similar fate?  I too clutched at a Bible, walking the streets with a laptop in an old brown bag. The Bible, a gift from my grandfather, was my only companion as I stumbled about miserable and lost.  I was also drug addicted, and yet somehow in that overpowering delirium I was drawn to the Bible.  I carried it wherever I went.  It pierces all disguises, including those within the mind.

I witnessed, and more than witnessed, I felt and endured the kind of depravity of the mind Satan can inflict on a member of a culture obsessed with pleasure.  I was addicted to cough medicine, and I won't even go into exactly why, just that a chemical in cough medicine taps one of the areas of the brain that lights up during worship and spiritual pursuits.  I could probably equate that to the new age movement, a vain attempt of man to make himself the God and creator of the universe.  Shockingly now, despite warnings in the early 80s about this bizarre spirituality, it has taken on mainstream acceptance.  Scary.  If the Anti-christ that is spoken of in the book of Revelation is to come and live among the people of the Earth, I imagine he would fit right into that sort of framework. An all-inclusive spirituality that claims to bring in all religions under a single banner, by carefully modifying interpretations of the various sacred documents of those faiths. 

Given its inherent danger, this is certainly something to keep an eye out for.  It all starts to add up when you see universities, and philosophical thinkers always searching for a framework to allow for diversity and at the same time unity.  New age provides that possibility, unfortunately, it also makes man his own god and his own architect.

This is the depraved mind at work, and I speak from experience.  I was a new-ager at the same time consuming a drug that hit the worship button, without me having to actually connect with the true and only God.  Let me say that as that drug use progressed to it's most extreme level, I was very much engulfed in the immoral.  There was a sort of tunnel vision in my thinking, that I could not think my way out of.  That is the essence of addiction, a mindset manipulated by chemicals and desires, to the point of being an inescapable and ever-present twist on reality.

This is in the same vain as the thoughts and actions of atheists and scientists, as well as new agers, who are unable to present arguments for their own irrational doctrines and then attempt to rewrite the rules of logic and coherence to allow for wide spread acceptance.  This is where post-modernism, the idea that all things are relative comes in.

There is a public sort of mindset, or at least a heavy input onto the minds of Americans.  There is a realm of debate and inquiry that takes on certain methods of thought, and when those methods are adjusted to allow for fallacious ideas, it can become hazardous.  It's similar to the political climate during a presidential election year.  The mainstream media will ignore certain key facts, and focus on other areas of debate that have more widespread acceptance.  The truth never gets out, and insanity and false notions prevail on a mass level in thought.

My point here is that drug use, for me, was a short cut to a sense of spiritual connection.  I initiated the spiritual process by downing pills that did immense damage to my body, all in seeking a way of feeling comfortable in my own skin.  The Truth was not present in this situation.  I had faced incredible pain while growing up, pain from people I had entrusted to care for me, and pain from the people of the world, young and foolish and all too cruel.  Is my experience so different from most experiences?  Probably not.

More often than not when I am speaking to non-believers about Jesus Christ, especially in my area, they arrive with many preconceived notions about what God ought to be. They arrive with memories of painful encounters with individuals who failed to carry the Christian message in a correct and loving way.  When people open themselves up to spiritual principles, namely Christianity, they allow themselves to be vulnerable and to place their lives trustingly in the hands of God and the church.  When a church or institution damages that trust with improper teaching or condemnation, we then are left trying to offer love to someone who has turned off that part of themselves. These people shut down because it is just too painful to attempt such a possibly damaging connection.  They see themselves as rejected by the body of that connection because of their sins, some happening, or some issue that came up.

The kind of talks I have with people who are hurt like that are much less talks and much more, simple listening on my part.  Many have never vented this dark anger they have for their previous encounters with Christianity. 

If I can allow them to express their feelings, their opinions, lovingly listen, and look for ways to agree with and validate their confusion and sadness, then I can begin to show a loving Christianity that is the actual truth of God.  So I listen, divert direct insults and attacks, continue to listen, and offer encouragement and identification.  I provide them with compliments and love, and I quite carefully share my experience, from my perspective. "This is what I did," not "you need to do this."  I share directly from my experience about how I reconnected with Christ after having a poor experience in organized religion.  And through that, they start to see another path to Christ, through the wilderness, not through the mainstream, where they may directly connect to Christ, by testing the message against the words in the Bible, not on the actions or words of imperfect representatives of God.

Knowing the kind of pain I used to be in daily, I can hardly imagine the kind of pain, immense, that people are going through as I see them day to day. I can only imagine how terrible it must really be for some. When every movement is agonizing and you don't know why, and you don't know how to get through tomorrow, and everything lacks meaning. That is a tough place, it's a very agonizing place.  These people need to see the love of God working in our lives, and they need to be given small tastes of that love in our interactions with them.  

Most people I talk to instantly (and I mean instantly!) get defensive, go into debate mode, argument mode, when I mention my faith.  What is the standard reaction for most?  To debate back with them by using scriptural references, and demanding Jesus Christ is all powerful Lord and Savior.  And of course he is our all powerful Lord and Savior.  We toss Bible verses at them because we see the Bible as the ultimate authority.  Guess what? They don't see it that.  We can't pelt them with Bible verses and demand they believe there is a God because we say there is one.  People's egos do not respond to that in this day and age.  But what they do respond to is love, friendship, and encouragement.  They want to be heard, to be identified with, and we can most certainly listen, and listen, and then listen more. 

Again and again our Lord allows the world to crumble to the breaking point, so that people may feel the pain and learn to understand their place in the universe under a sovereign and loving Creator.  I was so very stubborn before I called out to Jesus Christ for help.  I had a bad experience with Christianity early on in my life, and rejected the possibility, quite defiantly, in the progression of my spiritual journey.  

I wanted a spiritual connection outside of Christianity, so I made my own headway into the vague spiritualism of New Age.  When that did not satisfy my inner ache for eternity, my hunger once again lead me into drug use.  And when withered to the core physically, often found in beds of mental hospitals and beds of emergency rooms, having done incredible damage to this temple, my body, my stubborn defiance began to melt away.  Couple my physical deterioration with the more important factor, my mental agony: the hatred, sadness, depravity, the great depression, the longing desire for a gun to be placed to my head... my defiant ego was crushed to no known recognition of what was, what was not, who I was, who I was not, what was meaning, what was not meaning. 

It is an awful process, painful, yet worthwhile. I was made capable by God to fall to my knees weary, beaten, and battered to the very breaking point of insanity to call on my Lord Jesus Christ "please Lord Jesus save me from a life lived on the philosophy of not needing you."

If Malcolm Muggeridge sees modern man as a weary and battered old brontosauraus soon to declare himself extinct, I would suggest that it is at just such moments throughout the history of mankind where we, as a body of humanity, are brought so low so beaten and weary to the very breaking point economically, socially, and spiritually that at that desperate last endgame moment God is able to touch our hearts so our mouths may cry out to the Savior Jesus Christ "please Lord Jesus save us from our own desire to rise above you and live without you as that attempt has left us utterly ruined."

There is something that chills my bones, to the very core of my being and my spirit.  In the Old Testament there was always a repeating problem that would cycle over and over, over hundreds of years.  It was that one generation would witness God's miracles and be loyal to him, but then their children would turn against him.  This repeats to this very day.  And even when Jesus Christ returns and reigns over the millennial kingdom, we are told that those living then will have children, and those children will once again turn against God.  Seeing the pattern of obedience and rebellion, echoing into the millennial kingdom all the way from the beginning of time terrifies me.

It's easy for people to get tunnel vision historically about where we are and what's going on.  Since I was born, I have seen a stable and technologically advanced culture.  I've seen science and technology as well as information take off in leaps and bounds.  I can easily start to think that this is the only world that has ever existed, a marvelous world of human creation.  But if I look back just one hundred years, or two hundred years in the vast scope of human history; religion has always been key to human culture in all areas and on all levels.  Yet in the last thirty years we have finally discovered that we can toss out religion and let the human heart reign supreme?  

That's what we see in the ideas of scientists who seek to remove intelligent-design, atheists who seek to remove the mere possibility of a loving God, post-modernists who seek to remove moral law and meaning, intellectuals who deny evil in the heart of man despite such overpowering empirical evidence, and new spiritualists who seek to remove the need for a savior, declaring all religions as basically the same and man as his own divine creator and lord of the universe.   

This is where the law of non-contradiction makes such philosophies and ideas utterly impossible.  So the eastern idea of all inclusive ideas, denying apparent contradictions begins to invade the western debates on these topics, to allow for the broken and flawed ideologies to began to hold weight as tangible world views. 

I am telling you the truth, these new and trendy ideas that invade college campuses are not logical or defensible world views.  They can and do attack Christianity, but once you question their world view they are silent. As Ravi Zacharias stated, many hands go down when he asks those who would question him, during his apologetic college campus tours, that if they should ask a question they must be prepared to defend that question from their own worldview. So their worldview becomes difficult to defend when it espouses such bizarre doctrines.  Questions help those we speak to consider their own questions and what they tend to believe and hold true deep down.

A world of irrational and destructive ideologies is then perpetrated from many key angles, where the worldview is then mass-produced in the minds of men from youth to old age.  Our young people are taught science with no morality, much less even the possibility of a loving God.  Consumerism and pleasure gratification is taught through the television.  Self-worship is taught through the internet and social media.  On the college campuses students read Marx, Sartre, Russell, Darwin, and get pounded with Liberalism and the latest fad Eastern mystical philosophies and religious ideas from Professors and staff.  After college there is the grab lifestyle of more wealth, more sex, more power, and more pleasure.  Chasing those self wants recklessly, having been taught nothing else by media, society, and education such people live empty, meaningless lives and crumble under the weight of the pain of such pointless endeavors.  Christianity, at the same time, is mocked as backwards and old, manned by judgmental hypocrites, intolerant bigots, and child molesting pedophiles who have caused such evil with their organized religious ideals.  People at the same time defeated by a deranged lifestyle of pleasure pursuit and wealth acquisition continue to need a spiritual connection, so it is sought in the perfect all inclusive religion for the selfish post-modernist evolutionist consumerist; New Age, all religions to the same summit as long as when we get there we are all gods, the unknown makers of all reality, waking up from a good nap of depravity to take the reins of omnipotence for our further pleasure, as the earthly pleasure was just not enough.  Does that about sum it up? 

Seen from the angle of the truth, which is a hard point to reach in our convoluted information age, we can start to see just how irrational this mindset is.  It is not logical or coherent, and the only way it can be sustained as a worldview is by tunnel vision, ignoring of key facts, ignoring the law of non-contradiction, and accepting a unity of diversity that is fundamentally flawed in it's reasoning.

Tell me, is it mathematically possible for the universe to have occurred by chance?  Or is 10 to the 36,000th power mathematically impossible?  Then why not teach at least the possibility of intelligent design in our schools? 

Tell me, if there is no morality and no meaning, and all things are relative and open to every individual's experience, why in the thousands of years of human existence has every human being born wanted to know 'why'?  But I think the strongest argument against the post-modern argument (if there is such a thing as the post-modern argument, for it tends to contradict it's own declaration of a non-coherent universe by attempting to explain itself in coherent means) is that of a history.  All the worlds people as long back as we have written history have yearned to understand a higher being or force.  That stabilizing force, found predominantly through the Christian message is that of a moral law, of accountability for ones actions, and of meaning.  Imagine a history of humanity devoid of spirituality, but instead empowered by the post-modern view of no moral law and no meaning.  Imagine that all of humanity, from the beginning of written history, had adopted that philosophy completely.  Can you honestly say that there would be like modern humanity at all?  Or would humanity have utterly annihilated itself without a moral law, an inner inclination to seek God, and a love for fellow man?  I imagine a man in this post-modern society who is upset with his neighbor because his neighbor slept with his wife.  Being upset, and making up in his own mind what is moral and what is just, he proceeds to go to his neighbors house and stab the man repeatedly to death with a butcher knife.  Police arrive on the scene and ask the man what had he done!  And the man replies, hands bloodied after the brutal slaughter, "No, it's fine Officer, I determined in my mind that this was morally right and just."  And what could the officer do?  Study the man's face to make sure this was truly what the man considered himself to be right and just, and then having done so, nod his head and leave?  So, if post-modernism in the hearts and minds of the people in the past would have lead to our own utter destruction, it is an utterly unsustainable worldview for a humanity that wants to move into the future in continued harmony and healthy coexistence.  Nietzsche admitted the same when he said that without God, lights would have to be lit, false gods invented to guide humanity to desire for the greater principles in life, so humanity itself would survive.  And naturally as post-modernism grows in popularity and eastern religious ideas are deified; Christianity is demonized and marginalized along with western ways of thinking given less value.  My last point is, with these new ideas invading hearts and minds we've seen a corresponding empirical increase of depravity, consumerism, depression, and meaninglessness in Western culture.  It is easily visible and measurable. 

Tell me now also, if we are to intellectually resist the idea of men being evil and declare all men as basically good then why is there so much diabolical evil in the world?  Do you see what they've done?  The question they've always attacked apologists with, the question of evil in the world and how God could exist in spite of that, is the same question they utterly ignore when considering the heart of man.  I don't know that I even need to spell out all the bizarre evil and corruption in the world, but let's just look at a few of the keys that are fairly blatant out there.  The starvation in Africa?  Over 20 million babies aborted worldwide every year?  The constant conflicts between countries?  The need in every area of the known world for complicated laws, police, standing armies, convoluted political systems just to keep common everyday men and women from annihilating each other?  The incredible amount of damage done to the climate and atmosphere of the Earth, exemplified in the floating island of garbage in the Atlantic Ocean about as large as the state of Texas?  Most recently the nuclear reactors overloading in Japan, still spewing radiated water into the Pacific Ocean to this very day?  Or the BP oil spill off the Gulf of Mexico?  The United States bombing of Libya in 2012, Libya whom was attempting to join Africa together in a common wealth of nations to bring about finally some peace and prosperity to that continent?  I could go on and on, and just barely scratch the surface.  The heart of man is desperately wicked.  My heart personally was desperately wicked, and is only now undergoing a slow transformation with Jesus Christ living within.  I think the most important factor when considering the desperately evil heart of man is that it helps us to understand why exactly we need the indwelling of a savior, not from the world or others, but from ourselves on an individual basis. 

And please tell me finally, how could man possibly be his own god and creator when he cannot even manage to exist peaceably and in harmony on Earth?  How can all religions be paths to the same place when there are such fundamental differences in the ideologies?  And assuming that this is the direction spirituality goes, to New Age beliefs (capital N, capital A) don't you think in a world full of tyrants an all inclusive new age religion of "we are all gods" would be a religion full of people claiming to be gods whom are also tyrants?  And if you're versed on the book of Revelation in the Bible, our guide map to the end times, there will be a one world government, a one world religion, and an anti-Christ whom places himself at the head of this one world religion/government.  World peace will rein, a new age will dawn, then halfway through that reign all out war and destruction will break out.  It's interesting to note the culminations of these predictions from the book of Revelation which are materializing today.  The Jews once again had their own nation after World War II.  Then we saw the rise of nations joining together through the United Nations, the European Union, the alliances in Asia, and most recently in pushes for a North American Union in the West.  Now we see the rise of this all inclusive religion where all men are gods, popularized by huge figures like Oprah, Doreen Virtue, and Chopra.  I think we'll continue to see the rise of the new age all inclusive beliefs, it's perfect for ego driven selfish humans, intellectuals, common folk, philosophers who want unity in diversity, its just perfect for those routes, and it can garner wide spread acceptance because it doesn't exclude, but include all major religions, as long as the followers are willing to deal with modifications to their own belief systems that allow for an all inclusive belief system.  All the major figures of each religion, Buddha, Krishna, Jesus, and so on are all seen as "Christ-like" incarnations of individuals who attain a state of spiritual perfection and then share their message with others.  This contradicts major precepts of all the major religions, not just Christianity, but especially Christianity that says Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, the only way to the Father (God).  Naturally all the other religions of the world do not have a savior, some don't believe in heaven, some don't believe in hell, some believe in obtaining heaven through good works, other through secret knowledge, others like reincarnation are about paying for your wrongs, always paying, and paying toward nirvana when you do good works.

Christianity is fundamentally different and distinct as the one truth, to me, for several key reasons: For one, Christianity is the only religion where salvation is a gift, it is not something that can be obtained or worked for.  It is a free gift that is simply received.  The key figure of Jesus Christ shows divinity more clearly than any other figure in religions about the world, in my view.  Jesus Christ, God himself in human form, came down to Earth to serve humanity, not to get on a throne and rule over, but to walk about as a human does, feeding people, healing people from sickness, encouraging and guiding people to salvation, and teaching about pure truth.  He lived humbly among his people, and he was persecuted for teaching the truth, on the outskirts, as the organized religious body of that day persecuted him (see what I mean about following Jesus Christ and not organized religion) and then they accused him, and then they killed him.

And what always gives me shivers, is when I think about it, and put myself in Jesus' shoes. My hands and feet nailed to a cross, my back whipped to a pulp, the crowd spitting at me, jeering me, mocking me, at that moment what would I say?  "I hate you all" maybe?  Jesus Christ at that moment prays and says to his Father, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do."  If a divine being personifying God would come to Earth in human form, and I was trying to imagine what that was like, that statement by Jesus would embody more than I could imagine.  Jesus Christ is unique, true substance, and he is the only way to God, to eternal life, and whether we want to admit it or not, we all need him.

So knowing, that we each personally need a savior to save us from ourselves, knowing that there must be a moral law for society to continue at all, and knowing that science and math support the idea of intelligent design rather than appose it, doesn't Christianity, the Bible, seem like a perfect fit, not in it's followers or institutions, but in it's ideals and the actions of it's one and only savior Jesus Christ?  I think it does.  I know it does.  And I invite those of you out there who do not yet know, to come to know, by asking in earnest, "Jesus Christ, if you be real, please show yourself to me."

I know that if you earnestly seek him he will come close to you, and one day, maybe not right away, but one day you will come to that place where you absolutely know, wow, it's all real.  Because that day came for me.  I took a leap and saw my life transformed.  I had faith that it could happen.  And it did happen.  Experientially I saw the evidence.  Personally I felt the reality of it grow and grow.  Intellectually I studied, read, and listened to some of the greatest men in human history profess their faith and trust in Christ.  I learned from great apologists the coherence and logic of such a worldview.  And I saw in point blank, powerful terms, my life brought about 180 degrees marching from an utter disaster of drug addiction, alcoholism, fear, and depression; to a new life of success, growing inner peace, knowledge, beauty, happiness, and love.  The results have been highly tangible thus far, and I am so very grateful for what has happened in my life.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Testimony of Christian Author Jim Hughes

How do you share in a short testimonial all that the Lord has done for you and what He means to  you?  I can only share a few highlights of a life lived by faith  and not be sight.

I was raised in the church, but didn’t really give my heart totally to the Lord until I was 18.  I was in a revival meeting at church and the Lord really got hold of my heart.  It was there, at an altar of prayer, that I fully gave myself to the Lord.  Within two years He had called me into Christian ministry.  If I had known at the time what all I was getting myself into, I may not have been so quick to say, “Yes!”.  It was again at a revival meeting on campus at college that the Lord led me into pastoral ministry.

Although I did not know it at the time, I met my wife on the college campus.  Through God’s wondrous ways, we got together and were married in 1973.  I still often pinch myself in amazement that she saw in me things she wanted for a life partner. 

Most of my 40+ years of ministry has been in a bi-vocational capacity.  We have been blessed with two adult children who are married and a son still living at home and two granddaughters.  Although I am officially “retired” I find myself busier than I have ever been.  We home school our son at home, babysit our granddaughters, and I have written a book on Christian marriage that I try to market.  It amazes me the variety of ways the Lord allows me to serve Him through the book.

Most of all, I want to express my love and passion for the Lord.  Jesus is everything to me.  I am overwhelmed by this life of grace I am privileged to live.  I love to read through the Word as part of my daily devotions and would highly recommend it for everyone.  After all these years, I still find the Word speaks to me in new and fresh ways constantly.  I find the more I am into the Word, the stronger my love for Christ is.  I died to live and live to die.  I can’t wait to see my Jesus face-to-face!

My book can be purchased through Amazon books (, Tate Publishing and Enterprises, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Power of Love in Western Culture

The power of love.

It's such a simple word.  It's such an abused word.  Love.  So easily said, so easily tossed around.  Love is hard to live.

It's interaction in our lives and in our thoughts is extensive.  We give love.  We receive love.

We learn to love love.  We learn to hate love.

I believe the great hope within the modern mind throughout this country, the USA, is love.  We want to be loved.  And we want to give love.  It is inherent in our very nature that love ought to be placed on high, as a method for the direction and conclusion of our lives.  When our parents held us, cared for us when we scraped a knee on the playground, we saw love and felt love, and were glad.  When we made friends, and saw them last by our side in tough times, love's power was made perfect as a hope for better things to come.  In desiring companionship and family, we enter into marriage and have children to both give love to, and receive love from.  In that progression, God's love is eventually sought after and received as a gift, for the life of a Christian.

Personally, in my troubled life of the past, I learned to hate love with great passion.  Hope is so directly connected to love.  As long as I am receiving love and giving love, I see great hope in the present, past and future.  But when my love tank runs dry, I can neither give love nor receive it.  As a result my hope fades and depression sets in. 

How many of us have had romantic relationships, and by the end, having endured and/or given so much abuse and neglect, the entire sad affair collapses and we swear off love for good?  We say, "How can there be love, when I have been so fully abused and neglected by this person?"  And on a larger scale, if there is so much ruthless and terrible lack of love in the world...  If there is indeed so much evil that the simple thought of such despair, rage and agony afoot in the world makes me want to curl up in a ball, then how in fact can there be an all loving God?

Perhaps that is truly the root of the question so posed regarding evil in the world.  As we sit in this beautiful and prosperous country (less prosperous as of late) we have the time and creature comfort to boggle our own minds with such questions of evil.  We toil with these questions despite having faced so little of the brutal physical evils head on.  And we wonder: How can anything make sense, knowing tens of thousands slowly starve to death on the continent of Africa?  How can there be love, when thousands of young women are sold into sex trade slavery across the entire world?  And on and on those questions flow forth.

We as humans are frail things aren't we?  We're physical creations, obviously ingeniously created with all kinds of defenses, white blood cells, immunities, DNA written with various instructions to allow for growth at a young age, hands to write and read with, eyes to see, feet perfect to walk on, and so on and so forth.  But we're frail.  Our bodies grow, top off, then grow old, and we wither and die all generally within the frame of 100 years, often less.  All manner of things can go wrong, that allow for us to falter and fall apart though.

No water?  You're dead pretty quick, less than a week.
No food?   You're dead in 3 weeks.
No shelter? You're not gonna last long in Wisconsin, that's for sure.
No air?  You've got about two minutes.

And what about love?

For me, the less love I received, the less love I gave.  The less love I received, the more I needed and wanted for drugs of all manner to crush the pain of it momentarily.  The more empty my love tank became, the more my hope dwindled.

Love is essential for a Christian to give and receive.  Love is essential for anyone to have and hold within, as well as give away.

But what is love?  Let's look to the Bible to see what it says about this mysterious thing known in the English language as "love."

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NLT) Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[a] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!


 What's the first thing it says?  Patient and kind.  You know the more I try to actively practice being patient and being kind, the more I enjoy both.  Grandma Steckbauer was absolutely right when she said, "It's nice to be nice."  And I'm sure shes not the only Grandmother who has said those words.  


 The love tank, a concept talked about in the Minirith Meier clinic's book "Love is a Choice: Recovery for Codependent Relationships" is a concept of a sort of invisible tank within the child that receives and gives love.  When the parents of the child did not have their love tanks adequately filled by their parents, they do not adequately give love to the child, and the child suffers as a result.  According to the book this is where a lot of strange ideas about romantic love come in.  It also says this is where a lot of poor relationships with friends, family, and even, and perhaps especially our relationship with God himself.


 In popular media you can see it everywhere.  We see music, movies, and so on with the idea of the partner completing the other partner.  Of one individual filling the void in the other.  Thus a romantic partner becomes a need, not a want.  The vacuum in the chest of the one is hoped to be filled by the other.  When the partner is unable to fill that hole, the relationship suffers and often crumbles.


 How often have I seen male and female friends a like desperately searching for that next relationship.  How often have I seen friends constantly jumping from one relationship to another, utterly terrified of being alone in their own thoughts without constant companionship from another.  That's another topic entirely.  The point is, patient and kindness come easily to one with a full love tank. (Note: If you feel you're operating as Christian or non-Christian with an empty love tank, a sort of void in your chest, I'd highly recommend "Love is a Choice."  Wonderful book.)


 My love tank was fairly well filled at a young age.  My mother was very close with me, and showered love upon me.  I was the apple of my grandmother's eye on one side, and on the other side of the family I received great love from that grandmother as well.  However I don't believe I received the kind of love I required from my father early in life.  My mother also constantly worked, so as I often say, I had three mothers: my biological mother Karen, my grandmother Patty, and my aunt Colleen.  I was quite truly raised by women, which I believe gave me a compassionate and thoughtful heart later in life, to this very day which I am eternally grateful to God for.  However, in my teens, as my parents began edging toward divorce, things went astray in the love area.  My father seemed to live vicariously through me, attempting to obtain victories through my life he had failed to achieve in his.  There was little love, and more so a manipulative sort of ordering about going on.  My mother, confused and uncertain about the marriage leaned on me for advice and love when my parents fought, draining my love tank of assets I required for my own mental health.


Love is not jealous, boastful or proud or rude.  Jealousy aroused may often indicate a codepedent nature to the relationship, where the relationship is needed, not desired.  Does pride come about from a preponderance of love, or a severe lack of love?  Rude, you get the picture.  


We get a wonderful description of what love is, and what love is not from the passage in Corinthians.  We also get a clue to ministry in the United States from the end of this passage.  Special knowledge becomes useless, but love lasts forever.  


Knowledge is very useful in the current climate of information in the United States.  We have a huge amount of information thrown at us daily, most of it entirely useless.  So much knowledge is only a search engine click or two away. Malcom Muggeridge said in his book Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society: "Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over--a weary, battered old brontosaurus--and became extinct." 


I think my favorite part of that particular quotation is "educated himself into imbecility."  The ironic ends to the various pursuits of man, population growth and then desiring decreased population, anti-depressants with suicide as a side effect, endless supplies of food in the west millions starving in the east, and finally to my point for the Western world: pleasuring ourselves into utter stupefaction to the point of wanting for nothing but a connection to something, anything, with some sort of meaning.  


The various and endless lengths we go to fill the need of the heart for gratification lead inexorably all the way through drugs, power, wealth, sex, knowledge, and all of those yielding nothing, we stumble bent and broken, weary and toiled, calling out on high to a loving creator, please Lord Jesus, save me from myself.


 There it is.  As Western Christians, bent and I hope bent, on sharing the kind of renewal we've experienced first hand through Christ Jesus, we've gotta be there with love as our overpowering message.  We have got to, got to, got to be there for our Western brothers and sisters, as they stumble from the drug scenes, whore houses, desperate relationships, bars, colleges, and reigns of failed and prosperous enterprises and institutions alike, with arms open giving incredible understanding and kindly patient love.  


The experience of turning my life over to Jesus Christ to do with what he will and his dwelling in my life, has revealed to me one very important thing regarding evangelism: If that indwelling and commitment is genuine, there is nothing I can do but want to give it away to every single person I see, know, or have heard of.  It is so powerful and wonderful to finally have the answer, I desperately want to give it to so many I see in such desperate misery.  I know how it feels today to have the power working in my life, and I still know and remember just how incredibly and unimaginably terrible it felt not to have it. 

What a desperate and tragic sight I was not so long ago my friends.  I once told my story in drug rehab years back, and by the time I was done telling the story every person in the room had tears in their eyes.  My voice, my tone, my eyes tracking the ground as I told the tragic tale stuck to their hearts and they felt great pity for such a meaningless life of consistent failure in all areas and attempts of living on Earth.  That is why I want to share Jesus Christ with the world, because without Jesus Christ in my heart, my life was the saddest story, of a Gollum who despised the very act of living through a day; that despising outlook on life only topped by his own hatred for the fact that he had ever been born.


 Yes, we must go.  Yes, we must give intellectual defenses for Christianity to the college campuses.  Yes we must give monetarily in our communities.  Yes we must plant churches.  Yes we must endure sound doctrine.  Yes we must be relevant.  Yes we must send missionaries.  Yes we must have radio stations and television programs.  Yes we must write books.  Yes we must preach sermons.


But it is my firm belief, on this continent in the West, and in Europe, we must be there when they stumble from lusts of false lorels of every kind imaginable, love tanks run dry, wanting for two things: Meaning and Love.  We must be there with an intellectual exposition of the meaning found in Christ Jesus while at the same time displaying in our actions and words the kind of love that is found in such a personal relationship as one with our Lord Jesus Christ.  


In the United States and Europe we have all manner of pleasure in front of us, almost none of it with any longevity and almost none of it containing true love.  In the United States and Europe we have all manner of information and philosophy, almost none of it containing true meaning.  This is where we must meet them.  Rarely can we halt the progression or exploration of those pleasures and philosophies, but we can be there when they have been literally run dry on false doctrine and false pleasure, to show them just where true meaning and true love are found: In a personal commitment to Jesus Christ.


 The applications?  


Pray for them as they explore pleasure and knowledge. 


Afford them infinite patience when they assault and question your faith.


Afford them kindness and compassion when they do not deserve it.


Answer their questions politely.


Tolerate their intolerable sins.


Show them a picture of Jesus Christ in how you live your life daily, and how you treat those around you.


We can do this my friends.  We will do this.  I love you.  Jesus Christ loves you.  God loves you.  The Spirit loves you.  If God loves us when we do not warrant it, we can love the unsaved when their actions make us sick, when their mannerisms make us angry, and when their pursuits mark a path to disaster.  We have a chance here in the West, in Europe and the USA, a unique chance.  I believe that chance hinges on intellectual exposition of the Gospel and an uncharacteristic amount of love and the exposition of God as the source of all love.  I firmly believe that with fervent prayer and constantly going on the offensive for our heavenly Father, we can restore Christianity in the West, and more than restore, place a stronger loving and intellectually relevant Christianity that will endure to the very end.  This is on my heart, and it will not leave me heart.  I hope it is on your heart as well, and I hope you're praying for your area of the world, and the very city you live in as much as possible.  And I hope you're going.  And if you are, for my part, thank you so very much.  Thank you, and thank you, and thank you again.  


I called on Jesus Christ with an utterly exhausted and empty love tank.  I called on Jesus Christ with no idea what meaning was anymore.  Through that indwelling, through that connection I have seen my love tank slowly (not instantly) restored, and my sense of meaning being made (not instantly made) perfect  by the communications of God through scripture matched with personal experience on a day to day basis.  They will treat us terribly, they will mock our faith, they will call us liars, they will call us intolerant, they will attack our faith, and they will even physically attack us for what we believe.  

What do we do? 


My question is: What did Jesus do?  


Jesus Christ shared his perfect message with his disciples and with numerous thousands in crowds.  What did those people do to him?  They conspired against him, rejected his message, betrayed him, and then killed him.  And as Jesus Christ hung on the cross, slowly dying, beaten and bleeding, mocked and ridiculed, forced with a crown of thorns, he prayed one last time to the Father on their behalf and said, "Forgive them Father, they know not what they do."


 Forgive them Father, they know not what they do.  We are called to be exactly that picture of love.  As they mock our faith, intensely ridicule us, challenge the Bible, challenge our every statement, rewrite the rules of logic, rewrite the rules of morality, and do away with meaning all together, despite all of it, we must, must, must show them the powerful love of Jesus Christ both at work in our lives and in expression verbally.  At the same time praying to our heavenly Father and saying to him, "Father, forgive them, they don't know what they're doing."   


 Thank you for reading :) 


Friday, October 18, 2013

Outlook for a Revived American Christianity

I'd like to lay out a few key features of what I believe a revived United States Christianity would look like.  The United States has quickly become a post-Christian nation.  Church attendance is down from 75% in the 1940s to today just under 15% and some think 15% is an optimistic projection.  Why has the general public in the United States decided to move away from church attendance and Christianity as a whole?  There are many theories and ideas, but I think we'd have to take a hard look at the current diminishing range of churches across the country.

Is Christianity no longer relevant to modern life?  Have sermons become lectures?  A common charge against what's left of the modern American church is hypocrisy in the congregation and in the staff.  In an age of post-modern thinking people don't know what to believe, so genuine faith and authenticity are more important than ever.  We can say all we want about the media, public education, colleges, science, and atheism, but really those are the effects, and the cause is our lack of a solution.  The solution as I see it is a revival of the churches of our great country.  In my view, we ought to stop complaining and get to work on revival.

If there is to be a revived and re-established church in the United States, and I hope and pray there will be, this is what I believe it may look like:

Relevance (without sacrificing Biblical truth)  - Ok I'm sorry, but we've got the instruction book on existence in front of us, the Bible, rich with stories, timeless wisdom, sacrifice, eternal love, salvation, and all manner of truth, but that's difficult to make relevant?  There is no "making it relevant"  it IS relevant!  I can't think of anything more relevant.  The principles and facts of the Bible are easily defensible for modern living.  If there is to be a revival, practical application of scripture will be an integral part of it.  Dr. Ben Guiterrez in his book "Ministry Is..." indicates that encouragement is sorely lacking in church leaders today.  Too many pastors assume they ought to scold and yell when they give sermons, as if disciplining a 6 year old boy.  Instead what ought to be offered are clear practical steps to growing as a Christian, and encouragement along the way.  Rebuking has it's place, but it's not the whole message.  Relevance means practicality, and translating Biblical stories to their application in modern daily life.  That isn't too difficult in my view.

Genuine Teachers - It's with a heavy heart that I write this aspect.  We're Christians after all.  My goodness, we are in serious trouble when our ministers are molesting children, misusing money, and consistently being caught in all manner of outrageous sin.  The Vatican has been caught up in all manner of controversy and corruption regarding laundering money, improper teaching, and maneuvering abusive priests between  congregations.  Fair enough, that kind of religious ritualism has been fading away for quite sometime.  However it seems like equally troublesome mega-churches have risen to replace that kind of establishment ripe with their own unique manner of watered down teaching, controversy, misuse of money, and explicit repeated sin and arrogance displayed in their leaders.  Please please please, let us be humble, encouraging, and practical in our teachings.  People can see authentic faith and genuine expression of faith from a mile away, and that is what people are looking for today.  There are all manner of scams, half truths, hidden lies, abusive families, crooked politicians, and perverse media advertising coming at us everyday.  People want and desperately need entirely genuine and enthusiastic leaders, slow to anger, and abounding in forgiveness, compassion, and brotherly love.  The revival will need great leaders, and I continue to pray for such leaders to be risen up in the cities of this great country.

Emphasis on Inner Growth - Here is a huge part of it.  We cannot keep demanding congregations adhere to Christian principles when they have not been transformed internally.  This kind of transformation begins with accepting Jesus Christ as savior and Lord.  But God won't do for us what we can do for ourselves.  There is no light switch to flip.  There are though, wonderful teachings and books for Christians on overcoming past hurts, learning to love, forgiveness, and recovery from addictions.  I have personally greatly benefited from books from the Minirith Meier clinic on growth and recovery.

Of course we don't see good behavior in Christians, they have not undergone thorough inner transformation!  Jesus Christ within directs us and enables us to grow inwardly.  He guides us to books we need to read, things we need to hear, people we need to meet, and studies we ought to attend.  In the revival I imagine a great emphasis will be placed on inner growth and transformation.  This doesn't mean that the church will become a self help seminar, but isn't there some happy medium of promoting good works as well as Christ driven growth?  The 12 steps of recovery and support groups ought to be integral to this.  If drug addicts and alcoholics of the worst kind like myself can work these steps and undergo fundamental transformation in action and thought, then how much more could it help everyday Christians in practicing what they preach?  We can't act in a Christian manner until we think in a Christian manner is my thought on that.

In Kirk Cameron's documentary Monumental a monument left by Pilgrims, some of the first settlers of the United States was analyzed as a method for a return to Christianity.  One of the integral facets of the monument was a statue representing inner growth and transformation facilitated by Jesus Christ. 

Evangelical attitude - the few growing churches in the United States have adopted this attitude and are thus obeying Christ's great commission to "Go."  The old Catholic and Lutheran churches in my area don't seem to go as much as they ought to.  It's kind of a little click, where everyone knows each other, rumors fly, and a lot of judgement is tossed around.  That is not the way, period.  Stepping into the public eye is difficult for a church congregation for many reasons.  It's stressful to face down the current culture as an open Christian professing faith, because Christianity is thought of today as dogmatic, hypocritical and passe.  I have personally experienced the kind of shunning that takes place because of open faith, but it is required of us.  Nine of ten will avoid us and judge us for our faith, but that one may just see something they want, and come to be saved.  In the revival I imagine churches will be more like launching pads into the community than castles to hide within. Integrating into the community is very important for evangelism.  There should outposts of sorts all over the city to meet needs and serve lovingly.

Movies and series in pop culture are excellent as well.  The Bible mini series on the history channel was wonderful.  The movie The Gospel of John played a huge part in my coming to Christ.  I may not personally have enjoyed The Passion directed by Mel Gibson, but it had people talking about Christ, and that's a big deal.  Personally, wearing Christian shirts, bumper stickers, yard signs, and anything else we can do to make Christianity visible, the more the better.  Also and very simply, we need to share our faith personally day to day with people we know.  Rejection will be common, and it will hurt, it definitely will, once again it is required of us.

Utilizing technology, style, and art - The monolithic decaying towers and cathedrals of dead Christianity in our country will most likely become relics.  I'm sure many still endure quality teaching and strong evangelism, but let's be real: They are not easy structures to mosy into, and I cringe often when I see the derelict structures around town, an ever-present reminder of how ceremony and pompous ritual has decimated the church of America.  I imagine the revival churches will look more like community centers or public schools in design, unimposing and as easy to walk into as a gas station.  This has materialized in my area in the form of storefront style outreaches where acoustic cafes and mini teachings make for an easy place for understanding and truth to be received by curious seekers.  I imagine the interiors of such churches will be modern in appearance, and modest in decoration. Guitars, drum sets, the latest instruments ought to be utilized.  Projectors, computers, technology of various kinds.. I don't see a thing wrong with utilizing technology to display Christian truth and Christian principles.

Internet Evangelism - Like it or not the internet has become extremely prominent in American culture, and as the body of Christ we need to be adjusting our evangelism as a result.  In the revival I imagine a grassroots framework similar to political grassroots movements like the Tea party or the Liberty Movement that have made use of the internet to gather and inform the public.  Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter became grounds for constant political activism by groups like these, and a similar framework in sharing Christianity I believe must and must be an integral part of a revival.  Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs of all kinds, internet petitions, memes, and much more are intriguing ways to share the truth found in the Bible.  I've seen with great pleasure this kind of internet evangelism begin to take off.  It allows for average everyday Christians to share their faith with hundreds and even thousands.

Christian Apologetics - Speakers like Ravi Zacharias and John Lennox truly inspire me, when they "go" to college campuses and institutions sharing the very real and coherent intellectual arguments for Christianity.  In the age of information apologetics is crucial.  Atheism needs to be answered.  Post-modernism needs to be answered.  Young Christians must be taught how to defend their faith intellectually as they go into secular colleges.  Intellectualizing faith makes for a stronger and more defensible faith in public forums.  It is most necessary to a revival. 

There are many other areas and good ideas that ought to be built into a framework for a revived Christianity in the United States, but I firmly believe these are key aspects of such a revival.  How can we see this happen?  Isn't it time?  I go along day by day often heartbroken by the lost people I encounter.  They are not receiving the message.  It is not in front of them, they are not seeing it and what they are seeing is judgment and hypocrisy.

We must, must, must do something about the situation.  My call to you, if you too wish to see a revived church is this: Get to work on just that.  We have to start it.  We have to be the change.  We have to pioneer it.  And then our children, and their children will have a firm foundation to build on, in safety from a culture rapidly proceeding into utter depravity and all form of immorality, as well as general confusion, economic turmoil, drug abuse, prostitution, and outright chaos.

Let us halt the march to collapse, and revive American Christianity.

Believe it can be done.

It starts with you.

Go in peace :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Questions on Salvation and God

What is the choice to make?

What is there to know?

I was driving to a meeting this morning.  I had thought to pray before I left, something I can very easily forget when I'm going too fast.  Going nowhere for so many years, I tend to go too fast these days.  I have the ability to go, and I can go.  Naturally, I want to go.  I want to go, and go, and go, as fast as I can into the future. 

I prayed for many things, and I gave thanks for several things.  Some fear slipped away, and some certainty replaced it.

And I was thinking as I drove.  It is true, that any amount of proof and evidence will not move some people.  But why?  Jesus said that only those who the Father draws to him can come to him.  I had the thought: Why doesn't God draw every single individual to Jesus Christ?  I couldn't answer that question in my head.

There is no utter understanding of God.  Why?  Because all I have is a conception, as much as I hate to admit it, there are great and intense limits to my ability to comprehend the Father.  I haven't reached those limits yet.  In fact I'm just building a healthy conception of God, hopefully, with God's constant input and adjustment.  But all it will ever be on this planet, in this meaty form of flesh and blood, is an incomplete conception.  My mind doesn't fathom infinity, I tend to look at any given situation in linear terms.  And I can even scope out and say that alright, I'm one line proceeding through the universe.  And there are other lines of individuals also proceeding forward, and sometimes they intersect, and others end, others begin.  My conception of God might be a line, of sorts, proceeding forward also, but that would be incorrect wouldn't it?

The Bible says God is eternal, the beginning and the end, all at the same time.  To say God is a reflecting diamond of truth creating and projecting the lines, well that's not enough either is it?  What is infinity?  I don't really know.  It has to do with time, and having the ability to be everywhere at one moment, all the while knowing the future completely, knowing the past completely, and having the ability to build an entire universe from a black abyss.  Unfortunately I cannot conceive of it's totality.  I've only just merely outlined God's interactions with humanity, and only then in some limited incomplete sense. 

Thinking about all of that didn't really get me anywhere, just as going down a line into infinity doesn't really get you anywhere, you just keep going, with no end in sight. 

The question remains.  When any given human is born and lives, they are not guaranteed salvation.  It is a free gift laid out for them, but they must reach out and accept that gift.  How unspeakable is the loss of a soul?  Especially some of my atheist friends.  They are such vital people.  Their minds are so creative, their views so intriguing.  How unthinkable would be the loss of even one of these fine individuals to the abyss of nothingness? 

The despair is too much to fathom.  The idea of so many millions and billions of children brought through a public education system that teaches evolution as the end all be all of reason considering the origin of the universe.  A public education system that teaches core and I'll admit quite interesting subjects like math, history, science, and english.  But how useful are these classes truly?  What about morality class?  What about life management skills?  What about self growth class?  What about philosophy?  And even further, what about banking skills, loan assessment, how to pay taxes, pitfalls in advertising, and healthy eating?  So I look at a public education system leading billions astray.  I look at a media and worldview that is toxic to the very perpetuation of civilization.  And my heart is breaking for those things.  It is truly breaking.

Still the question remains.  Why does God not draw every man, woman, and child to Jesus Christ?  And if I fold my hands, and pray hard enough, if I fast and tear my clothes, if I cry out, weep, scream to God, for hours and hours, days and weeks, might he move to save just a few more?  Is there any sacrifice I can make, any withholding that I can perform that might move my Father to save more, or even to save all?

The feeling of Christ within, the transformation being done in my spirit is so wonderful I can't help but want it for every single person on the planet.  I have seen how they suffer, and who could know as well as I do the kind of inner suffering that takes place when one is disconnected from God, trudging a road of disaster desperately stuffing every pleasure into my heart known to man that might satisfy me, only to get further and further from truth, and deeper and deeper into all manner of addiction?

The Father will not draw all to Christ.  Why?  I don't know.  But I trust him.  I also believe in the power of prayer.  I have seen that kind of power at work in my life, and in others lives.  I've seen it first hand, and it's very real.  We are not bystanders in the spiritual conflict taking place.  We can effect incredible changes, just by folding our hands, getting on our knees, and begging the Father to move hearts and minds. 

And maybe that's the truth of this situation.  There is another side than just the Father.  There is some great and terrible power that the evil one holds.  That power is shown in John 6:66 (NIV) "From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him."  The power of the evil one is to turn many away from truth, and God will not override that power.  God has provided an escape hatch for those who will simply receive it, and that is Jesus Christ.  But that power of the evil one remains. 

I have a million questions, one or two for every moment and situation in the world.  There isn't anything wrong with that.  We all have questions.  We all struggle with our faith.  As many questions as I have, I have a firm and baseline truth that is nestled deep in my heart: My Father knows what he is doing.  The best thing I can do, is learn to accept the things I can't change, and learn to peacefully change the things I can.  And even if great struggle and persecution come upon me, even if all I have including the clothes on my back disappears in disaster and storm, I still have all I need.  And even if they take my life, they can only take my physical body, my spirit lives on.  How comforting is that?  Nothing can take God away from me.

I have a conception of God and the world around me.  This is my Christian worldview.  And it's needed a lot of tweaking.  That's absolutely fine.  I've had to seek out help for many of my issues, a lot of it going back to abuse I received when I was a child.  I have to journal on that, write it all down, and face it.  I'm learning to do that from some very helpful books from the Minirith Meier Clinic.  And on that note, I will return to my reading and journaling, as difficult as it is.

God be with you all, and thank you.  :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Search for Truth & Meaning

The search for truth is age old on our planet isn't it?  It winds between every brick building, every sand hut, and more precisely, the occasional thought of every human being on the planet.  It intersects our personal lives doesn't it?  It makes a demand, the most simple, yet infinitely complex demand and for our language, that question is "Why?"  It's a beautiful question.  So simple isn't it?  Yet the implications are so far reaching.  What question do children most commonly ask.  Why.  When I see a situation or demand, or thought that is both incredibly simple, yet infinitely complex, I see the hand of God at work in the world, or more precisely, in thought.

I remember when I was 4 or 5 years old, in the early 90s, at the old white house across from the mill where I grew up. And I remember this quite clearly for such an old memory.  I was standing in the kitchen thinking to myself.. "I wonder why I exist."  But more I remember the joy of discovery and the new existence in front of me. It felt so interesting and wonderful, everything was new. Yet I still wondered why.  

And as I think back on it, and recall myself thinking that, I start to realize that my thinking process at it's core has changed very little over the time from then until now.  I'm a seeker.  I always have been, and always will be.  But what happens when you find the answer?  The answer is indescribably wonderful, yet also a bit open ended.  

There is a paradox at work in comprehension of a connection to God.  It was that I couldn't understand it.  But let me stop you there, before you get frustrated.  It was not that it was an illogical decision, or a decision that departed from reason.  It was very much the opposite.  Christianity is both logical and reasonable.  It is also completely coherent.  

The problem was that I had been ingenuously seeking.  I had some misconceptions about what I would find, and I was looking for those things, whether consciously or unconsciously.  I will say I sought more genuinely than many I've seen.  

Some are so slanted in their seeking that they reject any and all possibility of divinity, sanctity, and most recently even coherence.  If someone reading this is seeking, let me encourage you to adopt as much neutrality regarding specific ideologies as possible.  If I really, truly, really, wanted to know the exact truth, no matter what it was, I had to seek without bias.  Wherever it would lead I would go, and then I could find truth, whatever it might be.

It takes a redefining of the entire search for meaning for philosophers and intellectuals to start chipping away at the blocks of Christianity.  Naturally that's what we've seen in our culture lately.  They say all truth is relative.  They say all morality is relative.  And there are observable societal shifts as a result of such ideologies.  We see increased depravity, immorality, economic corruption, political corruption, and a highly measurable increase in authoritarian governance.  John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."  There is an increased creation of new laws, and an increased need for new laws, as the desperately evil heart of humanity discovers new ways of doing harm and evil to one another, and themselves.  

I remember I was about 15 years old and I was questioning my cousin whom I considered wise about the meaning of existence.  I recall clearly the conversation, that I asked her what the meaning was she said it was just whatever I wanted, whatever I decided, and just go for whatever.  Her policy was "whatever."  And I recall replying something to the effect of "What about morality?  What about goodness?  What about fighting for what's right?  And she replied, "Nope, just, whatever!"  And giggled.  And I replied, "Oh I see."  And she giggled again and said, "Yeah isn't it cool!?"  

And what I remember most clearly is what I thought directly after that statement.  I knew instantly, even at that young age, that she was most certainly wrong.  

If that was the ever-present meaning and truth for all existence, that drew all men and women in all life to it's cause to the very beginning of time, there would be no society, no structure, no compassion, and no humanity.  

The very idea of humane demands a moral law.  A moral law demands a moral law giver.  And I'm right back to the truth I'd been trying to run from in my own biased search.  But even when I searched biasedly, I was still deep down able to discern a direction that would leading inexorably in the opposite direction that I was heading.  

Many scientists and scientific atheists would have you believe that the scientific community has long ago crushed the old and backwards ways of Christianity, and set forth a new landscape of truth that is infinitely more coherent.  The opposite seems to be the case.  I once read something interesting, just a short quote that read "scientists have discovered that when anyone says scientists have discovered anything, people will instantly believe it."

And doesn't that seem to be true?  We tend to instantly accept the vague statement that scientists have discovered this, or discovered that.  We place a predetermined trust in such a statement, because the scientific method builds a coherent and observable argument for a conclusion.  Fair enough, I love it in fact.  How else would we have cell phones, sanitation, and all the very interesting gadgets and gizmos, and medications and medical procedures?  Science is a wonderful thing in and of itself.  I find it most intriguing to read articles and discover little tid bits about how my loving Father operates on the natural level, and in other ways as well!  It is such a wonderful thing.

Unfortunately human pride often gets in the way.  When scientists claim to know there is no God, this is simply a falsehood.  The scientific method is unable to prove or disprove such a hypothesis as "Is there a God?"  And into the 21st century we've started to see a new line, instead of "scientists have discovered" it's "scientists have now discovered..."  And a baseline I was taught as fact in high school and college science is now something totally different.  These are theories, theories that change, fair enough.  But they ought not to be taught as fact.

Then we are moving from understanding to indoctrination.  We are placing a worldview, unproven, though observable as it is, with the full possibility of changing our fundamental baseline whenever we discover something new.  

I was going for a walk tonight under the stars, I had been wrestling with some tough questions.  My faith isn't perfect, and despite knowing to trust and believe, I often delve into my many questions about the nature of my living Father, and the nature of my reason for existing and being connected to him.  So I was bumping my head repeatedly on the limits of my ability to comprehend a timeless and infinite God, deeply wondering how God could exist forever and always, and wrestling with that idea with my own conception of existence relating to creation.  Doesn't God have to be created by something, because all one step below God was created by him?  So I was applying a simple human understanding of existence, creation, to the creator, and that wasn't working out well.  I was confused, so I went for a walk.

As I walked I was thinking to myself, Christianity requires that I believe in an all loving God, and of course I do, because of endless amounts of experiential evidence.  At the core of the belief is a requirement for me to address and admit my own inability as a human with a limited intellect to comprehend the full make up and origin as well as direction of God and his universe.  For a thoughtful seeker like myself, that is a most difficult thing to do!  I must admit I most desperately want to know the specifics.  In fact, it took winding up in such a desperately defeated situation mentally, physically, and emotionally that I literally had no choice but to call out to the creator of all things with a very simple prayer that superseded understanding.  "Jesus help me."

And there in is the experience evidence that drives me forward today.  He did help me.  That was the final piece of the puzzle, when all my star gazing and intellectual run around's failed to address and cure the fact that I was dying slowly to drug addiction.  

From there I thought to myself, does science and evolution theory provide what God is refusing to provide for my intellect?  Does science race perfectly in fact to the very origin of the universe and show me irrefutable proof of where it all came from and exactly why I exist here at this moment right now?  It most certainly does not.  In the past century, century, that's 100 years, scientists have made incredibly boastful and arrogant assumptions based on chunks of rock and clay, telescopes, and highly detailed I grant you, but limited observations about the incredibly expansive universe around them.  

And from there I scoped out, to the entire range of human history, thousands and thousands of years, and my goodness, who are we to say, in just the last 100, or 50 years just exactly where it all came from and exactly what is going on here?  We look at the entire scope of human history, how many billions of people have lived and died on this planet, and little old you and I, we've got it all figured out.  

Let's try and get humble about the approach if not anything else.  

Science postulates that for some reason all the atoms required just always existed, and then exploded, aimlessly careening into the endless abyss of dark space.  There is no time machine, where they go back and video record the forming of the universe and say "here it is, see and believe."  To me the "always existed" idea was as open ended as the idea of an all powerful God.  It didn't answer any of my questions.  Once again I was left with a leap of faith to take.  Many take that leap of faith, due to calculations and assumptions constantly changing, on the idea that since matter, it's composition and age are somewhat observable, that this data justifies a leap to the conclusion that the building blocks of the universe always existed, in some untouchable void until they chose to spontaneously burst into the current universal composition.

Yes, this is what I think about when I walk around my neighborhood at night.  So if you see me walking don't run me over, I'm obviously in a lot deeper thought that I probably ought to be.  

At the heart of my biased seeking in the past was not a sincere desire to know the truth, that was secondary to the heart of my search, my search was to find something that wasn't related to Christianity, and more true than Christianity.  Inevitably I was walked around the mullberry bush many times in endless circles of thought that lead to endless circles of addiction.  My infinite arrogance, fear, and anger were central to this search.  It was only by the inexhaustibly long and devastating process of losing everything I had, and more importantly every I was in the most painful and agonizing way possible, was my ego effectively crushed to the point where I still could not even see the truth, but I could do only one thing, call out desperately for help.

And how blessed I was to be able to make that call to the Creator.  Many die I imagine stubbornly refusing to make that call, as the last vestiges of their crippled and miserable lives slip away from them.  I exist and write this today because the Father drew me to Jesus, to know his name, and to call out in his name.  And I was healed.  

That sacrifice was adequate to save my wreckage drug addicted life, and turn it anew.  So I didn't have all the data.  I didn't know what would happen, or if anything at all would happen when I called out to Jesus Christ.  I just didn't have another option in front of me.  So I took a leap to save my own life selfishly, and defeated, and Jesus saw fit to restore me so I could now work in his service.  That indwelling of Christ allows me to become less selfish day by day, less mean day by day, and less evil day by day.  Without it, I would be in a mental hospital, prison, or dead.  

Meaning is defined as: noun
what is intended to be, or actually is, expressed or indicated;signification; import: the three meanings of a word.
the end, purpose, or significance of something: What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of this intrusion?

Truth is defined as: noun, plural truths  [troothztrooths]  Show IPA .
the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like:mathematical truths.
the state or character of being true.
actuality or actual existence.