Looking Forward to the Future

Looking Forward to the Future

Looking Forward to the Future

My entire Christian life has been one of looking forward to a future when somehow, I find peace on Earth. I’ve always had this expectation that somehow, I was going to arrive on some vague plateau of personal peace, harmony and perhaps a state of being that was more like coasting downhill on a bike as opposed to peddling hard uphill.

But alas. It has never gotten easier for me and I have never arrived into that state of “coasting”.

I had a recent epiphany about the probable reality of my life as a Christian.

Allow me to use a football analogy to explain a new understanding of what the Christian life may be like for most of us.

Let’s say I was born into a football family.

The exposure to all thing’s “football” is continually around me. My identity is wrapped up in football and my destiny is playing football.

And so, I play pee-wee football in elementary school running and bumping into the little guys and more than likely going in the wrong direction on the field. Zero maturity but an intro none the less.

Junior high football comes next; learning the rules, listening to the coaches and growing physically into a football body.

With high school football comes growingly difficult opponents, more disciplines, teamwork, and life new choices as I consider how my behavior will affect my ability to play ball.

I developed closer friendships with the other players as we work on our game and my listening to the coaches becomes indispensable for any success. I choose to reject passivity and anything that will negatively affect my game. Hard dedicated work brings success.

Then, moving up to college ball…

… brings a whole new set of challenges. What are you going to allow in your life? Which distractions will you reject? What is your commitment, your motivating goal?

College brings you into contact with the better players and opponents from high schools all around the country. Bigger and stronger and smarter guys who play to win. The hits are harder, the losses bitter but the perks grow.

You have a host of new tools at your disposal to become a better player. Great coaches, facilities, support and exposure on national television plus fans that have higher expectations and demands but winning brings that taste of glory.

Life choices get more and more focused and, in some ways, stricter and limited. Disciplines grow and actions such as getting drunk on Friday nights are no longer an option.

Every choice can have a positive or negative effect on your game and so you are willing to choose the better things.

On you go to play at the next level, pro football; greater challenges but greater rewards. Your opponents are giants, the best of the best and you absolutely developed your body and skills or get seriously injured. Every choice you make must consider if it will hinder or help you win.

How you think controls the rest of it so if you’re thinking or perspective is off or wrong, your game suffers.

Depending on how you may play…

… in the Super Bowl and win but that is your last game, your eternal exit game. No retirement. You die.

The point of this is to consider that the Christian life is a game in action from the beginning to end. Even if you think you have checked out you are still a football player in the field of life.

The opponents real and their hits painful. There is no retirement so stop looking for it.

Stay focused and motivated and trust your heavenly coach with the goal of winning for yourself and your team.

 

Looking Forward to the Future

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

I like the idea of “Two Measures Foolish” especially as it comes to sharing what I am writing about in this article. For this is a topic that depending on where you are coming from many would say it is foolishness to either share or that the perspective at which I am going to share is foolish. 

Because this idea of God being good in the face of all the evil and maleficent behavior, we see daily seems foolish to the person who does not put their faith in God. 

Sharing my understanding of God and my relationship with Him has so very much shifted as I grow older and my life experiences have shown me how much I don’t know and how “foolish” I am in light of an ever-present, ever knowing and all-powerful deity.

I pray that my heart and mind are humble as I share my thoughts on how my free will and the evil intents of my heart brought me to an understanding that God is good in all that He does, and how this is displayed through His Sovereignty, Omnipotence, and Grace upon us all.  

I would like to start by defining my understanding of some key points, so the reader may understand what perspective I am coming from and be able to have a common ground as to my conclusions and beliefs for myself.

I will define ‘Free Will’‘Evil Intent of My Heart’‘Sovereignty’‘Omnipotence’, and ‘Grace’.

 

Let’s start with Free Will. 

As I unravel these concepts, I am going to abstain from dictionary definitions and share instead from my understanding of all these terms, which admittedly so have most likely come from Webster or Oxford, etc. 

Some may say that my will to choose freely is limited by my social, economic and genetic dispositions. And in most ways, I would agree especially to my genetic traits. Because I don’t believe in the adage that “I can do anything I set my mind to doing”.

I think that is a “Crock” and is damaging to the 5-foot-tall boy with no coordination and believes He can be the next NBA star. Or for the Girl with less than average IQ who wants to be a Brain Surgeon.

But within the limitations of the gifting and talents we bestow lies great latitude and freedom of how we choose to live our lives. And within this freedom also lies the great potential for goodness, complacency, and even evil. 

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1 

 

Evil Intent of My Heart

That leads straight into my second thought of the evil intent of my heart. Many people today and throughout time have with good intention tried to purport this concept that men are good. 

I find this concept to be both untrue from my own experience and potentially damning for the man who is seeking to find true meaning in life. I will look to my own experience as a father in explaining this. 

As beautiful and as charming and cute as my two daughters were at two years old, left to their own devices quite frankly they could be little demons. 

Just watch a group of toddlers at play and without adult supervision, you will see selfishness and narcissism at its peak if you watch long enough. 

In my own life, I have seen and know as the apostle Paul says in Romans 7:19 that the good thing I want to do I cannot carry out. I have seen this at times as a Son, Husband, Father, Friend, and Citizen. My thoughts and actions oftentimes don’t match the good desires of my heart. 

Instead, I can be selfish, narcissistic, an egomaniac, hateful, vengeful, deceitful and a host of other dark and destructive monstrous traits.

This is not to say goodness does not exist but as I will conclude at the end of this musing I do not see that goodness coming from within the heart of man, but instead from the goodness of an all-powerful and sovereign God, who by His grace can change us and give us a new heart once we come to accept our purpose and submit to our understanding of Him.

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Sovereignty

What is sovereignty? As to government, A nation can govern or make choices under its authority and power. As we expand upon that idea as it relates to my understanding about God, who I believe to have all sovereignty and authority, it gives Him ultimate power over all creation. 

This in itself could be a scary thought especially if it comes from the premise that God is the big guy in the sky who is looking down upon us with judgment and retribution. 

Sadly, this is the way that many people look at God. No wonder so many is angry with Him in their own life’s situation. However, if you take the opposite position that God is good and loves us with an all-consuming and unconditional love, what a different perspective and outcome that puts upon our view of life and its meaning. 

Honestly, in my life, I have been on both sides of the fence. For many years I was angry with God and thought of him as an evil giant throwing his bolts of lightning at humanity and reveling in our discontent. But one day about 15 years ago I had had a revelation and life-changing experience when I came to understand that God is good and that in his goodness, he allows us to live within the freedom of our choices.  

Within those choices lies the potential for good as we submit to God’s love for us. You may ask what my revelation was?

That is a story, maybe even a book for another day. But let’s just say in my own life’s pain, disappointments, neglect, abandonment, and fear I had so many of the same questions that have been common to Man throughout time. 

Such as…

…What is the meaning of this life? Or how could a good God allow such wicked behavior to exist amongst His creation?

Why can’t I see, touch and feel God daily? These and so many other questions, that I must admit may never be fully answered with my finite mind, have become my revelation as I have come to faith and belief that the answers lie in a personal relationship with my Creator and the Creator of all things.

Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 1

Omnipotence

With that thought of an “Entity” that has the power to create and interact with “All Things” brings me to Omnipotence, or ultimate power and authority. WOW, another scary thought if we only define it or try to understand it within the framework of our limited understanding of creation and personal experiences. 

Most if not all of us, have seen power and authority both abused within government or family and personal relationships. This might lead us to say that any concept of an omnipotent being in itself is evil!

Coming from the framework of personal experience I too at one time had that same belief and understanding. But reframed in the thought or idea of an omnipotent being who is Pure, Holy, Righteous, and Justified, redefines the character and nature of an all-powerful and all-knowing God.

So how did these concepts and ideas frame my conclusion that ‘My Free Will and Evil intentions of my heart brought me to an understanding that God is good in all He does.’

You can find Free Will and God’s Goodness Part 2 

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

The theory of evolution has brought confusion in many people’s minds and nowhere is it more apparent than our children. Many adults suffer from this confusion also, especially in the last 60 years.

Darwinian Evolution has been taught in all our school’s science classes at the high school and college level as undisputed fact. Sometimes it is being taught even earlier in grade school. 

Natural selection (the process of evolution) promotes that all life forms sprang up from some sort of primordial ooze as basic life on a bacterial level and then began to slowly evolve into more complex forms of life over millions of years. It took many different paths as it mutated into fish and birds to land-dwelling creatures and millions of other combinations. We have been told by scientists, that this is what the fossil records show.

Evolution at its core teaches us that there is no need for some sort of Intelligent Designer. Life came about through many mindless mistakes over all these eons of time to where we are today. No need for God. 

We go to church and send our children to Sunday school and we are told that there is a God. The Bibles tell us in Genesis that God Himself made all life forms and also how He designed the universe by speaking them both into existence.

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

 

When our children start going to public high school, they are being taught something completely different. When adults tell them two different things that are so basic as how life came to populate this planet, how can they not be confused? Two different messages. How can adults not be confused? How can we trust the rest of the Bible if it can not get this basic fundamental truth correct?

I was an atheist until I was 30 years old. When I did become a Christian I still wrestled with these elemental questions. Was Genesis true or was it a fairytale, or some sort of metaphor written thousands of years ago. 

Can science and faith coexist?

I needed to know ‘BIG Time’. My doubts were overwhelming to the point, that I stopped going to church, praying and resumed pursuing a secular lifestyle once again. I became an angry man again and made living with very hard for my family and myself. I had to know if this is all there is in life and when we die, is that it? Nothing beyond this very temporary life. We live for a few decades and then we are gone like billions before us.

God brought me back through a series of hard events. I missed Him! I also started to research more on some of my doubts like evolution. What I found surprised me. I found and joined a Christian organization that is led by astronomer Hugh Ross and a few other scientists that make their home at something called Reasons to Believe. I joined their local organization in my hometown and found I was not alone on many of my questions and doubts.

I felt liberated to connect with God again and not be ashamed of the doubts that were plaguing me. I began to follow a number of Christian apologetic leaders that were on the internet like Dr. William Lane Craig at Reasonable Faith. He is one of the foremost Christian debaters on the planet. He uses logic and reasoning to prove the hope that we have within us. There are many others that I follow and will leave a small list and links for you to check out at the end of this blog.

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Some of The 1,000 Scientists at Dissent from Darwinism

 Is evolution an undisputed fact? 

When I comes to evolution, I have found that in spite of what the prevailing push of what many scientists say, Darwinian Evolution is not a done deal. Far from it! There are many objections by scientists that work in the fields of Microbiology, Biophysics, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Quantum Chemistry and the study of DNA that are ringing the alarm that evolution has many problems and they are voicing their concerns.  

I found a website that lists over 1,000 scientists worldwide that have come together to voice their objections called “Dissent from Darwinism”. I was shocked at how many there were and the diverse scientific fields they came from.

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer has written a book that has taken the science world by storm called “Darwin’s Doubt”. A scientist himself, he points out from a scientific standpoint why there are many problems with this theory. It is a hard book to understand, in that he goes into detail on many aspects of how life works and functions. 

One of the things that caught my attention from his book was how all life is very complex and it was right from the beginning right down to the smallest cells. If it is so complex and was from the start, how did it get going in the first place? The scientific world still has no idea how life first began. They have never been able to duplicate the start of life in a laboratory. 

Questions on the Cambrian Explosion
Questions on DNA

What are they hiding?

Why is the evolutionary world hiding the fact that evolution is not a done deal or a fact beyond dispute? First, many scientists are atheists and will not even entertain the idea that there is an Intelligent Designer in our universe and will fight back tooth and nail at the very idea. Many evolutionary scientists have spent their whole lives as professors in universities teaching that evolution is beyond dispute. 

The ACLU has entered this fray. 

Whenever a teacher brings up doubts about different aspects of Darwinian Evolution in high school or college, they will sue them, so they are silenced. So much rides in our culture today on the belief that there is no God. Abortion has a lot riding on it. It is easy to kill an unborn human if you have convinced yourself deep inside that there is no God to be accountable to. 

The USA has truly become a post-Christian culture.

We have followed Europe in this regard. If there is no God, then there are no true objective morals to follow and nothing but our own opinions as to what is right and wrong.

Our Christian churches have ill-equipped our children.

When our young adults enter college many things will demand their attention. We have not made them aware of the push back they will receive on many issues about being a Christian. When they object to different things like evolution, they will be accused of believing in a fairytale and anti-science and looked down upon by fellow students and professors. They will have many doubts about their Christian faith, because they had no answers to this onslaught and many of them will walk away from the faith, they grew up in. 

So many adults have these same doubts just as I did. Churches need to address these hard questions of our faith through the study of apologetics. A safe place, that we can ask tough questions and discuss them with one another. A safe place, that we will not be looked at as if we were some sort of heretic, or told we just need more faith. A place where logic and reason are used to dig deep into our Christian Faith.

Make it safe and interesting for our children to learn about the hard and uncompromising world they will face. Treat them like adults and have them stretch their minds and logically look at things from God’s perspective. Promote the asking of questions. Many of our Church leaders and teachers are uncomfortable with talking about these hard issues because they do not know how to answer these questions.

The Bible Tells Me So

That answer is not good enough anymore. It never was good enough. All it tells someone is that you have no answer to what they are asking. You have not really studied the issue and want the easy way out. They are not worth your time to go into detail. 

How would you answer these next set of questions if someone asked you?

If He is such a great God, why did he make a place called hell? 

How do we know Jesus really walk this planet?

Can you have morals without God? 

Why do bad things happen to good people? 

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

Is the universe only 10,000 years old?

Can science and faith coexist? 

Why were certain books put in the Bible and why not others?

These are just a few questions that Christian Apologists confront and try to answer. I find it exciting and very thought-provoking to listen to different people that are involved in this field. Some are debates between individuals or groups (my favorite) and others are articles and blogs like this one you are reading from. 

They stretch my perspective on how and what I believe. Sometimes I do not know how to answer a particular question, but I try to be honest and ask if I can get back to them. Then I will do research and try and figure out what it is I believe in a certain subject. 

I think apologetics is a form of worship. We are learning about God on how and who He is. What makes Him tick. Looking at the universe on a dark night and be blown away at His creation. 

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Related Christian Apologetics Websites

 

Reasons to Believe: – Astronomer Hugh Ross – Where Science and Faith Converge.

Reasonable Faith: – Dr. William Lane Craig – One of the top Christian Apologetics. His debating skills are second to none.   

RZIM: – Ravi Zacharias – Difficult Questions. Thoughtful Answers.

The Case for Christ: – Best Selling Author Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics.

Discovery Institute: – Dr. Steven Meyer’s – Scientist – Books – ‘Darwins’s Doubt’ and ‘Signature of the Cell’.

Cold-Case Christianity: – J. Warner Wallace. The Evidence Whisperer.

Cross Examined: – Dr. Frank Turek. Free Apologetics Resources.

Dissent from Darwinism: – 1,000 Scientist World Wide Voicing Their Objections to Darwinian Evolution.  

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Evidence of Repentance

Evidence of Repentance

Evidence of Repentance

“In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, ‘

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’” Matthew 3:1-2

Do you feel that the kingdom of heaven has come near? It was a message preached two thousand years ago, even by the Messiah Himself right before He recruited His very first disciples (Matthew 4:17).

So, if this warning applied enough two thousand years ago for the incarnate God of the universe to find it worthy, or perhaps even necessary, to preach as the initiate teaching of His earthly ministry, how much more ought we repent now that the kingdom of God is at least partially present now before us?

It’s been two millennia since this warning was uttered and it rings true today just as much as it did back then.

I have spent a decent amount of time listening to those who have made shipwreck of their marriages.

In my experience…

…I have seen that the ones who confess their adultery to their spouse have a much more successful time reconciling and working through the tornado they’ve unleashed in their own marriage.

This is especially true when those repentant souls have already begun their own steps to free themselves from this sin either through a regular attendance to a support group, committed introspection with therapy, earnest pursuit of spiritual rejuvenation, or the common combination of all three.

When we confess, it shows that we are actively seeking to rid ourselves of our sin.

Confession is likely the biggest step in the healing process and its why it is intrinsically interlinked with repentance. It’s the first and greatest piece of evidence of repentance; you cannot solve a problem you will not admit you have.

God and the world are both sick and tired of Christians who talk a big talk yet hypocritically walk crooked walks. We do not need more insufferable whitewashed tombs; we need men and women who are brutally honest with their shortcomings.

Christians who will take off their fig leaf and expose their naked soul to God and to their neighbor: knuckleheads, dog-lappers, and Simon Peters. This is the circumcision of the heart.

This is the kingdom of heaven.

Remember this as you find those Christians unashamed and perhaps a bit too open about their past sins: rejoice, for the kingdom of heaven has come near unto you.

 

Evidence of Repentance

Evidence of Repentance

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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Extraordinary God Engineered Encounter

Extraordinary God Engineered Encounter

Extraordinary God Engineered Encounter

Just had an extraordinary God engineered encounter with an older, clean cut, brilliant, intellectual Christian whose focus sees “every spot, wrinkle and blemish” in modern churches, all pastors, all Christians, and the whole educational system in America.

Apparently, the Reformation was the only valid Christian age. He sounded so much like me.

He likes the same old preachers from the 1800’s, etc.

He no longer attends any church and doesn’t disciple anyone (I doubt anyone would be worthy of his guidance).

Statement after statement he spouted and, not arrogantly, by the way. He said nothing I haven’t said or heard from some of my friends say multiple times.

He was older than me.

So many similarities and yet he is lonely, not knowing that he is a prisoner of his intellect and spiritual discernment.

He can’t accept the world as it is, thus without seeing it or knowing it, he is unable to save anyone drowning because the water is too polluted.

A divine appointment with the man whom I could easily evolve into if not for the grace of God.

Extraordinary God Engineered Encounter

I challenged him strongly, emphasizing that ultimately this is about an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, the Lover of our souls, and our Lord is the one who jumps in the dirty, polluted waters, over and over again to rescue the perishing.

Lesson; get over yourself and focus on loving Jesus and others.

Amazing that God would bring a different version of yourself to Starbucks for a personal lesson in wisdom.

 

Extraordinary God Engineered Encounter

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Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

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