Just a quick heavily accented video greeting for you… THANKS FOR VISITING MY SITE.
At this time in our world the daily news reports areÂ predominantly more bad news than good. The disregard for fellow human beings has superseded even basicÂ consideration ofÂ others and “loving others as yourself”. In secular society the “Golden Rule” seemingly has been replaced with “MY way or the highway.”
It is terribly sad, but what if I told you… it’s NOT surprising.
Why is it that peopleÂ (who endeavor to live ethically, morally as Christ did), areÂ “shocked” when people who have not yet acknowledged God and His Sovereign Lordship? They do not fear God’s promise of just punishment for every sinful thought, word and deed. Why is it so shocking that the unprincipled people would live unrighteously?
That’s right, God has revealed in His Word and through recorded events throughout history, the curse of sin that plagues our world since the Fall continues to degrade our societies into not-so-civil civilizations. That same “cause” is at work today! The blame does not fall on guns, knives, drugs, or terroristic gangs of people. The root of our problem is SIN. That is truly something that we ALL share; each and every one of us cannot help but commit sin in our natural life. Transgressions are unavoidable. What we do about them is the decision that will either bring us everlasting peace or continuing turmoil.
I have not only heard growing severity and numbers of reports from other people about the encroachment of evil opposition into theirÂ daily lives, Â but lately I have experienced personal attacks that leave me shaking my head in disbelief at what I am witnessing first-hand.
Given recent developments, I even more appreciate the wisdom of the leadership and pastors at our church in selecting the current series of messages in the Bible’s book of Nehemiah and Ezra which focus on our need to think differently about our mission in reaching a lost world with the message of salvation which is for all mankind… the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God does punish sin, but He SAVES sinners that genuinely seek His righteousness. Get that? It is Jesus’ righteousness (we could NEVER accomplish it on our own), but it is offered to ANYONE who will believe. How awesome is that!
.Today’s message was deliveredÂ by Curt Tyra and was entitled “Advancing God’s Work in an Antagonistic World”. He covered both chapters three and four of the book of Nehemiah in the Bible’s Old Testament.
Nehemiah Chapter Three — EVERY INDIVIDUAL MATTERS.
Did you ever notice how many times there are all these near unpronounceable names in the Old Testament? Why not just say “a bunch of people got together and this is what they did”? Â I had thought it was because by recording actualÂ names and lineages, individuals could be identifiedÂ by their neighbors of the time and also be researched throughout history. Their individual testimonies and actions could be studied, challenged, and/or verified. Their witness mattered more because they were “named” individuals.
Curt stressed, “Names Matter: Individuals Matter!” There are individuals who were used by God and their participation mattered.Â Look at that participation:
Nehemiah Chapter Four —Â Persevering Over Opposition
The EnemyÂ has a predictable and often repeatable pattern in of opposing us when we are working God’s plan.
When neither the enemy’s anger nor taunting stopped their work, he involved others in his plan to thwart the mission…
OUR RESPONSE TO OPPOSITION:Â “The people of God persevere in the work of God for the glory of God.”
The opposition came when they went to work (not just talk about it) in the midst of coming together andÂ building the wall, the enemy’s opposition came quickly and it came fiercely! Â His intent was to tear down that which was being built and to confuse and demoralize the workers BUT …
“The people of God persevere in the work of God for the glory of God.”
and they did so with prayer, remembrance, a plan and by each individual ACTING, and doing so in the unified spirit of building.
See Ephesians 6:10 > regarding our need to put on the FULL ARMOR of GOD.
Continuing with the point of my previous post about how evil it is, to exchange the truth for a Lie…Â Dawkins #Memified Atheists ‘deliberately alter truth’
I first want to thank my atheist friend who inspired my post. She knows who she is… she was actually just one of the last of many with the same challenges. If it weren’t for her and those who are like her, I might not appreciate as much how very thankfulÂ I am forÂ truth and love in God’s Word.. Ms. Memified as I will call her (so as not add to her embarrassment on Twitter) may have intended to change my thinking but actually helped prove that what I believe is more true than ever.
Anyone or anything that challenges us to examine what is true, honorable, righteous, pure, lovely, excellent or worthy of praise is a worthwhile endeavor IF it is done with respect, reasonableness and integrity. After all, iron sharpens iron… and sometimes sparks fly. But if the grinding wheel throws some sparks on the way to a sharpened tool, the process is beneficial,
I took herÂ meme and examinedÂ it point by point — dissected the atheistic claims with the sword of truth. To see if something is true, examine it with something that you know is true…the BIBLE! God never changes and His Word helps us rightly divide the truth.
Here is the result:
WHY I CREDIT THIS POST TO AN ATHEIST: Â It’s a story of an atheist showing me what happens when one exchanges truth for lies.
This one particular female came at me after I posted numerous Twitter posts about the good news and joy of resurrection of Jesus.Â She started out saying Jesus never even existed. Okay so maybe she was just ignorant. But seriously, who hasn’t heard of Jesus Christ whether a believer or not? Â Then she asked me if I read the Bible because she has done extensive study of the Bible herself. To which the glaring contradiction prompted me to ask her “How is it that you say that you have studied the Bible intensely and yet you say that Jesus [central figure of the ENTIRE Bible] never existed?’ She didn’t answer that one, but diverted and chastised.
Experience has demonstrated there is an observable general #God-hater #Angry-athiest mode that some emotionally charged atheists reliably demonstrate. They typically ask “loaded” questions and grow angry very quickly. Some of the characteristic behaviors I have experienced could be summarized in a unified caricature as follows: Â “I’m just gonna hate anything relating to God and demand you prove stuff to me…Right NOW!!!!!!!…and you can’t use the Bible… oh and I will alternate between ignoring any other truths outside of the Bible if they don’t agree with MY version of truth…after all truth is relative… there is not absolute truth. “You do know you are being condescending, don’t you?” Â I will just deny or berate opposition or correctionÂ [criticism is theirÂ strong speciality] and pass my judgments [emotionally laden, fact-void] of being fiction, nonexistent, false, hateful, cruel to children, demeaning to women, enslavementÂ orÂ further assign various accusations as they occur to me.”
InterestingÂ how the accusers demand IÂ answer THEIRÂ questions and then proceed to get pissy as the truth doesn’t work with their agenda. Many are also extremely impatient. Watch and see how many become angry accusersÂ in about 3 tweets. Predictibly, theyÂ have repeatedly said: “You haven’t answered my question” “You are ignoring the question” “You can’t answer the question; it’s too hard for you.” Etc, Etc. Â It really is a facinating study of human behavior of the Godless.
Another common observable behavior is the frequent complaining and attacking people instead of issues. If someone presents an idea that they don’t agree with or prefer, watch what happens. It is a truthful statement: “if you want to see the real character of an individual, just say ‘no’ or deny him something and watch what happens.” Â What has this experience revealed about the general #AngryAtheist?Â Â TypicallyÂ they turn a full assault on the person as stupid, cruel, or a liar. It’s yet another living example of the depravity of man who is dead in his sin.
Really it all boils down to not having LOVE of God or others. To be clear,Â I am not speaking of the “feeling” or “emotion” of love. Â I have to clarify that because so many people today are “feelings” and emotionally driven rather than principle driven and feeling experiencing. Rather I am referring to having the love we were designed by God to have and express. A powerful force that unites and grows in beauty, joy and hope. An active and powerful force that is the best there is. Love is a choice. To have or reject. Give or receive. Love is valuing others and caring for them and even being willing to suffer and die for them.
Anyway, back to the credited atheist: I was answering Ms. Memified’s questions, but growing more concerned she was appearingÂ as though sheÂ wasn’t genuinely interested in the truth at all. Especially after sayingÂ she extensively studied the Bible yet she was isÂ Jesus-denying and God-accusing. Can there be aÂ greater dichotomy of mindset or worldview?.
I was thinking it might be time to leave her as one who has aÂ reprobate mind. I was going elsewhere when this one #meme she sent caught my eye. It said ** “Biblical Ways To Kill Children” and “What God Thinks of Children” and then listed several Bible verse references beside a number of claims of “methods” for killing children. Â [addressed above]
At first glance I could recognize the lying summations. However,Â Â it was the number of totally WRONG BIBLE VERSESÂ she cited and the misinterpretations that wereÂ glaringly obvious! The very first one about tying stones around children necks and drowning them was a loud alarm. Could an assumed intelligent person really believe that parents should eat their children.Â What?! IF she is such a profoundly studious examiner of the Bible that she claims she is, WHYÂ is she sending out this garbage dumpster full of lies about Bible Scripture?!
That degree of shocking behavior is what prompted this post. So you see I do owe it to an atheist.
If #memified and #angryÂ #atheistsÂ have gotten these few verses so abhorrently wrong . . . and uses these lies as their basis for knowledge and understanding … where are they headed? and what good is there?
I want to be clear… stereotyping of groups of people in such a way as to imply that “ALL of the group AREÂ this” is commonly seen as wrong. After all,Â every individual is their own person and no group of people are ALL the same… groups are made up of individuals.
For the sake of order and efficiency in our lives we do tend to catagorize things andÂ classifyÂ people into generalized groups based on some kind of common trait. InsideÂ those groupsÂ there may be subdivisions within that classificationÂ and maybe subsets of those. ThereÂ may be such great difference discovered that an entirely different group is created. Labelling is an ongoing process as we learn more and maybe even redefine our criteria for a group.
Like manyÂ people, I order, categorize and label to quickly identify and efficiently use my time. I also use themÂ for gaining quicker understanding. My groups or labels or terms may not necessarily agree with someone else’s who may have a different understanding or judgment of where something fits.
Since I have spent a good deal of time lately in conversation with a number of people who do not think the same way I doÂ (in fact some in direct opposition to as I do) I thought this would be a good time to lay down a basis of better understanding.
THIS is what I mean when I use these terms: #Atheist (they call themselves this -no God) Â #AngryÂ or #MadÂ (predominantly displays anger, bitterness and criticism of others) #God-hater (displays hatefulness toward God, Jesus, Bible, and Christians) These terms defined by the everyday common understanding of the words: #Illogical or #Unreasonable (not following logic, reason) #Lie (not #True, contrary to the truth, facts, or nature of something)Â #Wrong (may be #mistaken, but definitely not #right which I use God’s ultimate standard as well as general humane definitions) #Bible (The Word of God, originatedÂ by God and recorded by divinely chosen men for benefit of mankind’s understanding God, truth, love, wisdom and how to live good and upright lives), #God (God as revealed in the #Bible, God of Abraham,Isaac & Jacob, Yahweh, “I Am,” Alpha & Omega, Everlasting Father, Almighty, Sovereign, Eternal, Omniscient, Creator of the universe and all that is in it, Sovereign, Provider, Sustainer, HOLY = pure good, love, truth, righteousness).
Being a Christian I do notÂ pretend to know all the various forms of atheism and their subtle differences. As a Christian the foundation of my faith and life is Jesus Christ, truth and love. Love God and love others as myself. Â Contrary to the accusers of me on twitter, I do not judge that a person is EVIL because they believe differently than I do. Â Belief is an individual choice.
However, if anyone, believer or not, shows contempt for others and lies about truth I am compelled to speak against that badÂ behavior. That is admonishment — confronting lies with truth, wrong doing with righteousness.
It is not an easy thing to do. It is not a fun thing to do. But it is the RIGHT and LOVING thing to do. Depending on the degree of harm being done and whether I believe the person is even receptive to or respectful of the dignity and direction of truth, I mayÂ try to speakÂ truth that exposes the wrong in hopes that misunderstandings are corrected and bad behaviors cease. All of us make mistakes. I would hope that someone else would do the same for me.
Like the wisdom of scripture states, there are those who have hardened hearts, deaf ears and are blinded to truth and righteousness. At those times when it is clear that the perpetrator has no desire to truthfully analyze or correct, there is no point in preceding. Don’t cast pearls before swine. Leave themÂ with theirÂ depraved mind. Kick the dust off your sandals and walk on.
LIVING A GOOD LIFE IS SO MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE WITH OTHERS
Like most people, I enjoy hanging out with people that do the same things I like to do or generally believe the same things I do. Our experiences shared with our family and friends are the real memory makers that we get to enjoy over and again.
However, I also have great friendshipsÂ “outside of my circles” where I am getting to know people I would not have even met in a sequesteredÂ life. The most profound discoveries of new friends happens as I engage in my online excursions. Social media after all is social.
I enjoy learning of various world-views from people that are not normally in my social circles. It is quite invigoratingÂ to engage in conversations with these new friends; growing inÂ understanding of other people and ideas that I previously didn’t know. “Come let us REASON together,” is a welcome invitation to learn from one another and examine things together.
The experiencesÂ that I have with people helps in me to understand so very much more than I did before I had the blessing of knowing them. Even those who have been unpleasant to me have taught me valuable lessons in human behavior and communication. God is so very good. He allows us to grow in truth, love and wisdom as we encounter peopleÂ who do not employ them. They demonstrate for us the consequences we have been told in the Bible will befall the liars, selfish, andÂ foolish . . .without us actually having taken that particular path ourselves.Â Likewise, others can learn from our shortcomings when we share them transparently. ALL of us make mistakes. ALL of us can learn from those mistakes and help one another not to repeat them. Iron sharpens iron.
In closing, I believe that labels are just labels. They are not meant to define a person. They are just one way of quickly identifying what is same or different, or to point to a place. I believeÂ that making statements about the characteristics of a group does not mean that it always applies, all the time, to all the individuals of the group. General statements about groups of people are that . . . generally speaking . . . for the most part.
The problem that I see with those who stereo-type is that they misuse labels. They proclaim that ALL people of this certain group are ALWAYS ________ (insert their claim). THAT in my opinion is the key difference between labeling and the wrongness of stereo-typing . . . having the label defining the person places one’s judgment of a person over who that person actually may be.
What do you think about this topic? I welcome your comments.