Monthly Archives: December 2011

A holiday display of…nothingness?

Have you have ever wondered, “What would an atheist display look like?” I mean, if atheists ever defeated religion for a night, a really big night, like…say Christmas, what would they display in order to show the beauty and value of the atheist argument? Turns out, we’ve gotten a few glimpses this year into what that would look like in Leesburg, VA. and Santa Monica, CA.

Given victories with local municipalities to display their best presentations in place of Nativity scenes, atheists in Leesburg, VA., crucified a skeleton wearing a Santa outfit in a misguided attempt to link biblical faith with Santa Claus. In addition, they are preparing a courthouse property display. What will it be? You guessed it… nothing.

Another example is seen in Santa Monica. Atheists found a loophole in the system for gaining public space for displays and garnered public land on Christmas night for “atheist displays.” Meanwhile, a 60-year-old, local Nativity is out of luck. And what, you may ask, will the atheists be displaying? That’s right…nothing. While some of the area will boast signs that claim religion is false, the main display will be – nothing.

Now, I’m not a big fan of Nativity scenes. Most of the time the bible gets maligned for stuff it never even recorded and I end up embarrassingly explaining it to non-Christians. When God’s truth is on the line, we need to be careful to speak where the Bible speaks. If the bible doesn’t say how many wise men, don’t say there were three; if it doesn’t call them kings, don’t make them out to be (since they were probably priests anyway); and if Jesus was two by the time they got there, don’t have Him swaddled in a manger!

Even the best, most impressive scientists have never been able to explain a scenario in which something (the world for example) came from nothing. I can’t imagine how something can come from displays of nothingness either. If you are looking for something-ness this holiday season, look to the author and creator of everything!

 

 

What’s in a name?

In one of those “real life is stranger than fiction” moments this week, Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is facing lawsuits by his own company for violating the terms of service for the social networking giant. The only problem?  “Zuckerberg” isn’t who he says he is; he is Rotem Guez. Guez is an Israeli citizen who changed his name to “Mark Zuckerberg” to avoid Facebook’s policies and to really annoy them beyond comprehension. Why? Guez is, what some might call, a “troll.” A “troll” is someone who posts inflammatory messages on the internet because anonymity allows them to say anything with impunity. Normally, so-called “trolls” are satisfied to annoy in anonymity. Guez/Zuckerberg has taken trolling to extremes. Despite lawsuits, he continues to defy Facebook’s threats by maintaining a page with the title “I’m Mark Zuckerberg,” pictures of himself, his personal documents, and newspaper articles.

So? What’s in a name? Everything! Jesus told His disciples that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). How important is it to know the name of Christ? Peter reminded the religious leaders in Acts 4:12 “there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus said that prayers “in His name,” would be heard (JN 16:23-24). Doing anything “in the name” of another is a phrase that implies, “by the authority” of an individual. It is as if that person were there doing it themselves. Sometimes our name is all we have – the things we say, the way we live, and who we are.

Jesus warned that there would be false prophets (Matthew 7:15-23; 24:11-28). There will be many who claim the name or authority of Jesus, but only Jesus had the authority to die for our sins. I don’t know how Zuckerberg’s case will end, but there is only one Jesus. Only those who call upon His name will be saved. Does that include you? Is your trust in something other than His word? If I can help, get in touch and let’s study what scripture says together.

Now where did I put that billion?

Have you been following the downfall of MF Global over the last few weeks? The problems at MF Global are due, at least in part, to risky bets on European debt and short-term hedges made by former NJ Governor Jon Corzine. Corzine is no stranger to risk, and in the past many of his bets have paid off. This time he wasn’t so lucky. The big story though, is not that another fund went down; in fact, that is an all-too-familiar story these days. The big story is that it has become evident that the firm is missing a few dollars – $1.2 billion at the latest estimate!

Has misplacing $1.2 billion become such a small thing? I’ve been known to dig through the back seat for loose change in a pinch! It might startle readers that this firm can’t quite find $1.2 billion of investors’ money. Is it in the petty cash drawer? Has it made its way into someone’s pocket? Where could it be? How hard are they really looking to find it?

Jesus told a parable about a woman who lost a single coin or drachma in Luke 15. She scours the entire house, lighting a lamp and sweeping and searching diligently until she finds it. When she does, she calls her friends and neighbors to rejoice at having found that which was lost. Jesus likens this to the joy in heaven when one sinner repents and is reconciled to God (Luke 15:10). Isn’t it a comfort to know that we are so much more important to God than $1.2 billion dollars? Isn’t it wonderful that angels rejoice over our decision to follow God’s ways?

If you are one of God’s “coins,” know that He loves you and wants to rejoice in your having been “found.” Come to the saving knowledge of the truth today – that Jesus is the son of God and died for your sins, having shed His blood on your behalf.

If I can study with you or help in any way, please let me know!