Faith

Faith is resting secure in the knowledge that our God is more than willing to keep us from falling. He is utterly trustworthy to perform all that he says He will. To seek to know the outcome by way of spiritual methods such as horoscopes, fortune tellers, or any other method that employs a supernatural element, is strictly forbidden in the scriptures. “Putting out a fleece” or giving God an ultimatum, is tempting the lord your God. Continually asking Him for confirmation or having to “really know that it was God,” demonstrates a lack of faith in the almighty. Throughout the scriptures we are encouraged to hear His voice and act accordingly. There’s an uncertainty about it that causes us to rely on His divine nature. If we had it all buttoned down, it wouldn’t require faith. We would be walking by sight, and that’s not faith at all.
I find that meditating on God’s word encourages faith to rise up in me.

Romans 10:8
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim)

Romans 10:17
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Horribly Addicted

I was at my doctors when he prescribed a dose of penicillin for an infected bladder. He used the term “horribly infected” in describing what could happen to me if I didn’t take the drugs to get it under control. I thought about that term for a while. I really didn’t ask for or want a bladder infection. I was the unwilling recipient of an insidious infection that a mere 100 years ago, likely would have been fatal.
Addictions are similar in that seemingly reasonable people, just doing what normal people do, can get trapped in a life altering addiction. One feels helpless at the disposal of a merciless tyrant. Left unchecked, your captor will most certainly ruin all that could have been beautiful and innocent. In particular, I’m referring to drug addiction. The toll on human lives is immeasurable not only in inner city ghettoes, but with every day working stiffs. They thought they were mentally strong enough to dabble in casual drug use and avoid the trappings of the drug world.
In the downtown east side of Vancouver, within a ten square block area are ten thousand active drug addicts. Tragically, statistics say that for everyone on the street, elsewhere there are ten functioning addicts elsewhere who carry on a normal life. You would never guess that they are horribly addicted to substance abuse. This parasite sucks the life blood out of its hapless victims. Everything that is good and honourable is sacrificed for it’s unquenchable thirst. Addiction knows no class barriers, has no age restrictions and no economic boundaries. Some drugs are highly addictive even at a single dose, while others do permanent brain damage. The exit strategy for drug abuse is long and painful. Experimenting with drugs is a death wish that will inevitably destroy families, wealth, health, and worst of all, human dignity. Drug addiction is a blight on a society which offers no real answers or long term solutions and there is very little hope of full recovery. Christian based recovery operations such as Teen Challenge offer hope to the hopeless, and are a bright spot amongst largely ineffective government programs.
Recently I watched a utube of an addict writhing on the ground like a wounded reptile. She had lost all self respect and modesty. It was sad and painful to watch how low a person could descend. Christ offers dignity and wholeness of mind and body for those who would follow him wholeheartedly.

Amoeba’s Revenge

One of the little control mechanisms that we take for granted is our body’s ability to poop at will. More importantly to not poop at any given point. Fortunately the default mode is set to not poop. Even while we are sleeping, the mechanism is firmly in control.
So here we are on the Mayan Riviera for the eight time. The sand is so white that they don’t recommend bringing a white towel because it will get lost. I am aware that in a third world country, you must always be careful to wash the fruit and veggies with agua purificato. I also know that when a knife pierces through the skin of a mango, it will transfer any amoebic impurities to the inside of the mango. These nasty little amoebas seem to have a preference for careless tourists, leaving everyone else entirely alone. I think they resent non locals invading their gorgeous beaches, or perhaps they take morbid pleasure in luring their hapless victims by the warm Caribbean breeze after a soggy cold Vancouver winter.
It’s 4:28AM and I’m convinced that the human body is made up of 99% poop, held together by a thin coating of skin. I never realized that such a volume of brown stuff could ever come from such a nice guy. When all else fails, and the hapless tourist determines to lay on the beach and enjoy their well deserved holiday in spite of a raging case of amoebic dysentery, the amoebas pull out their ultimate weapon. They mess with the default settings on your “do not poop” mechanism. I will never again take for granted my body’s ability to not poop until I give it permission to.
God has so wonderfully arranged our body to function perfectly. The arrogance of youth and atheists, who think they are invincible, nothing can hinder them until a tiny amoeba messes with their body. We walk a thin tight rope of good health, and I thank God for every day I’m not pushing up daisies. We can endure pain, a lot of pain, but when we don’t feel well it really goes to our head. One day we can feel on top of the world, the next day we can feel like we’re dying. The psychological effect of our insides all coming out doesn’t help matters either.
Back in Vancouver, the water is soft and clean. Rolls of 80 grit sandpaper do not mistakenly get sold as toilet paper. My memories of all that attracted me to Tulum, Mexico has faded into the distant past. I’m at home now. All is well.

The Lie of Secret Sins

Everybody knows that secret sins have a way of finding you out. Just when you thought nobody would ever find out, and that it wouldn’t affect anybody else anyhow. God is fully aware of your secret, and is more interested in preserving the purity of His body than helping your deceptive coverup remain hidden.
It’s a lie from satan that it doesn’t affect anyone but yourself. Maybe not in obvious ways, but there are tangible negative affects when your personal integrity is eroded.
It’s a lie that it satisfies. Sin’s insatiable nature ensures that it will never satisfy. It only entraps the weak willed to repeat unseemly behavior. It’s also addictive in nature, enslaving those who are simple minded and foolish.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m talking about pornography and the insidious effect it has on it’s viewers. Unfortunately, Christians, and even Christian leaders are often duped by the lie that they can get away with watching porn. Perhaps God doesn’t notice, or maybe He is too busy to care what we watch …? If you’re that gullible, perhaps I can interest you in some nice Florida vacation property I’m selling. It just needs to be drained and the alligators shot off before using it.
Of course it’s important what we do when no one sees us. In fact it’s more important than the front we put on for the world to see. What we do in secret defines a real Christian, and separates him from the fake ones. Jesus was particularly harsh on those who led a secret life yet put on a front of respectability.
He called them… hypocrites.
Personal integrity begins when we admit our depravity to God. Our pride separates us from God, but when we humble ourselves, we are ushered into His presence where forgiveness is freely given. Humbling yourself for the sin of indulging in pornography involves confession. If you’re thinking “it’s not that much of a sin that I need to confess it to someone, just working it out with God should suffice,” then you don’t realize the seriousness nature of it. If you’re taking your cues from societies approval ratings, you’ll get it all wrong. Jesus said if you look on a woman with lust, you’ve committed adultery in your heart. The very fact that you feel uncomfortable confessing it should tell you it’s wrong, shameful, sinful.
For a Christian not to take seriously that which Christ died for is a grievous sin in itself. He becomes satan’s mole in the church, secretly eroding it’s purity from the inside out.
Satan calls them… useful idiots. đŸ˜•

Global Warming and Settled Science

Global warming is to blame for record snowfall and freezing temperatures. The unseasonably inclement weather is due to an inversion factor causing an equal and opposite temperature rise some where else in the world. Most scientists agree that in spite of global temperatures remaining constant for the past 18 years, we cannot be too premature in admitting that the global warming scare perpetrated by Al Gore was a complete hoax. After all, millions of taxpayers dollars have been spent propping up the theory. We are certain that in a few more years, perhaps a decade or two, the temperatures are bound to begin to rise somewhere on earth, vindicating the predictions. We really don’t want to confuse the issue with the facts, it’s settled science and not worthy of debate. Global temperatures will eventually rise and of course man is the evil culprit of this mess we’re going to be in. Never mind that the projections have been totally off for 18 consecutive years. This is a temporary lull and global warming will return with a vengeance.
Meanwhile we need to change our terminology to “climate change.” It’s a little too cold outside to be calling it global warming at least in western Canada, and most of the east as well.

The Beginning of Heresy

Heresy starts in a Christian’s heart and mind. The point of divergence is when they adopt a secular world view of who they think a good god should behave like, as opposed to who the transcendent God of the universe actually is. This god serves their perceived needs whether they be physical or spiritual, material or sexual, real or imagined, basically anything that caters to their personal health and happiness. The Bible teaches us that we must die to what we want, and live to what he wants. This involves crucifying or putting to death any idea of our own personal fulfillment or gain. Dying to ourselves is not particularly appealing to most Christians, especially when the Christian bookstores are loaded with self fulfillment manuals. Turning to the god of self-actualization is a game changer. When Henry Ford was asked how much money was enough, his reply was one dollar more. Man is never happy enough or fulfilled enough apart from being found in Christ. His way is to die to ones self in order to truly live in Him. Like their master the devil, perpetrators of the false god of self fulfillment don’t play fairly. They prey on the weak in the faith, the vulnerable, the offended, those who lack a true understanding of dying to their fleshly desires. They venture onto the quicksand of Christian liberalism. Once the forbidden line of orthodoxy is crossed, everything is up for grabs. Once the holy scriptures are subject to the scrutiny of logical minds rather than divine revelation by faith, nothing is sacred.

Matthew 16:24-25
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

On Being Uninhibited

Last week I watched a movie called “Dory” with my grandchildren. It was about some fish that talked and had human like emotions. Not particularly my type of flick. True to form, Disney’s movies are always didactic, unashamedly pushing their agenda on kids like a drug dealer in a high school parking lot. Walt would roll over in his grave in disgust if he only knew. They used the phrase ”what would Dory do?” A take off on ”what would Jesus do.” Dory was a half wit fish who lost her parents, then cruised through the next year following her every wind of emotions. It reminded me of tracking deer in the woods. They seem to have a memory of about 5 seconds, following wherever they felt like going at every turn. Bovine tracks on the other hand are guided by either food, sex or safety. Their tracks are quite predictable, not like a deer’s that Meander about in the woods.
An orderly life is a self disciplined life. The scriptures instruct young and old, male and female, single or married, even widows, to lead a self disciplined life. Without it, elders and church leaders are subject to disqualification.
It’s a pagan idea that we should lose all our inhibitions and be free. In truth we become a slave to our emotions, forced to do whatever feels good at the moment. True freedom comes when we take on the yoke of Christ, reign in our inhibitions, and lead a self disciplined life.
Unfortunately the philosophy of uninhibitedness is all too prevalent, leading otherwise intelligent people down the garden path of relativity. A new generation of pseudo spiritual guides author books that weak or ignorant Christians gobble up like popcorn. This new humanistic philosophy scratches an itch of discontent with everything gone wrong in traditional churches today. The abandonment of historic Christianity and good orthodox teaching comes with the high price of alienating the weak in the faith. They will seek teachers of Christianese sounding platitudes that are just cleverly wrapped paganism. A clue to detecting who they are is their ever present discontented attitude towards the church. Forgetting that this is the precious bride of Christ they are maligning, they heap condemnation for themselves. Authors like Richard Rohr , Robb Bell and Glennon Doyle Melton give the illusion of following Christ, but only lead their readers to a life of discontentment, a loss of true direction, and enslavement to a philosophy of self fulfillment. The end result of their folly is often sexual deviancy, debauchery and debasement.
They are moles placed in God’s church by none other than satan himself.

Proverbs 25:28
A man without self control is like a city broken into and left without walls.