Tag Archives: faith

Um, “Thank you,” Richard Dawkins? Well, sort of…

If you know anything about Richard Dawkins, you know that he is one of the world’s most prominent atheist authors. He despises religion. And Christianity has been the target of his wrath more than a few times.

That is why it is surprising that Dawkins might say ANYTHING positive about Christianity. But, in a roundabout way, that is exactly what he just did. And what Dawkins said, though not meaning to be complimentary, speaks volumes.

Dawkins’ recent comments came in response to an article by The Guardian, “Christianity as default is gone: the rise of a non-Christian Europe.” Now, you might think that Dawkins, self-described, “equal opportunity religion basher,” would rejoice at such an article. But, he didn’t.

Ironically, Dawkins noted that Christianity stands as the “bulwark against something worse.” What could be “worse” that would cause Dawkins to want Christianity to stay in Europe? Islam.

Dawkins calls Christianity a, “relatively benign religion.” In comparison, Dawkins says, “If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam.”

Now, be careful. You might get so entangled in the discussion about Islam that you actually miss the word. He said, “evil.”

“Evil” exists…according to one of the world’s leading atheists. Did you catch that? I know it may seem simple, but it is utterly important.

Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist, believes that life came from nothing. It evolved through random chaos and ‘survival of the fittest.’ Yet he believes in evil. Why? Because morality exists!

And the Judeo-Christian morality that defines his sense of right and wrong comes from the Bible. It is a book Dawkins hates. Yet, and DON’T MISS THIS: The last line of defense against something he calls “evil,” is Christianity!

Dawkins would never want to be associated with supporting Christianity. But, a Europe without Christianity makes Dawkins hope Christianity sticks around a little longer! Will we, one day, see the following Richard Dawkins quote?…

 “Come back to Europe, Lord Jesus…and quickly.”

An Open Garage Policy…And Giving God The Authority You Gave Your HOA

Homeowner Associations (HOA’s) can be annoying, but they are created to protect property values and to provide services for neighborhoods. If neighborhoods have no rules, things can go downhill fast. So, for the most part, we accept their rules. Sometimes, though, overly zealous HOA’s can go a little too far.

For example, recently, a California HOA discovered that a family had been housing another family in their garage. So the HOA took action. Their solution? They demanded that all houses must leave their garage doors open from 8am to 4pm!

Now, I’m pretty sure none of us would like that idea. Residents, of course, voiced security concerns. But they also didn’t want people staring at their stuff all day. After all, don’t we cram stuff in our garages to hide it?

Some homeowners say they will pay the fines and face the consequences. Most homeowners, though, are complying. You see, they signed over their rights. So, the best they can do is to ask the board to change their mind…and live with an open garage door in the meantime.

I wonder if most of us give our HOA power that we don’t even give to God. What I mean is this: What if God expected you to open your life to Him, leave your valuables vulnerable to Him, and to allow Him to peer into your life all day? Would you sign that authority over to Him?

Of course, God doesn’t need permission; he can see through garages and into our hearts and minds. But He wants willing participants. Sadly, most of us forfeit far more authority to human institutions than we give to the sovereign ruler of the universe.

“Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21). Invite God to rule your life, your home, and possessions. Open your spiritual garage door, not because you were forced by an HOA, but because, as the Psalmist says, “Search me, O God, and know my thoughts (Psalm 139:23).

Will you hand ALL of yourself to Him today?

Of Babies And Sled Dogs…Both Are Innocent!

But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these (Luke 18:16).

Tramadol is prescribed to treat moderate pain. Prescribed to people that is. But when dogs in the Iditarod tested positive for the pain killer, well…it caused quite a stir!

The Iditarod is a 1,000-mile race through Alaska that ends in Nome in March. Sixteen dogs, and a “musher” who drives the sled, compete in this challenging race. And, during the race, the dogs are drug tested at 3 different locations.

Some say it was the “musher,” Dallas Seavey. But friends and competitors defended Dallas, saying he would never jeopardize his dogs or the sport. Also, the place in the race where the dogs were drugged made no sense strategically. Some say anti-sledding animal rights groups are to blame. Even fans are under suspicion, as there are opportunities along the race to pet and give treats to the dogs.

The truth is, we will probably never know. But one thing is clear; no one is accusing the dogs! Why? Dogs don’t dope themselves.

So, consider this: if we immediately assume the dogs are innocent, why do many Christians fall victim to a theological lie about sinful babies?

Considering children, Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to “such as these” (Mark 10:14; Luke 18:16). Furthermore, we must become like little children to enter the Kingdom. Does it make sense to say, “become guilty, sinful, and totally depraved… like these little sinners” in order to enter heaven?

Sin falls into two categories: 1) Knowing what to do and not doing it (James 4:17), and 2) Doing what we shouldn’t (lawlessness) (1 John 3:4). Babies, therefore, cannot sin. Moreover, they can’t die in sin as happens with all who do not believe (John 8:24).

And, if guilty of sin, how could a baby be reconciled to God?
We must believe (Mark 16:16); what does an infant believe?
We must repent (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30); can an infant change their minds/lives?
We must confess Jesus with our mouths (Romans 10:9-10); what can an infant say?
We must be immersed for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38); what sins does the infant need washed away (Acts 22:16)?

But babies grow up. And when they do, they will make choices. And in those choices, knowing right from wrong, they will fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

When their sin separates them from a holy God, they will have to make another choice: be saved by the grace of a loving God, or refuse the mercy of a just God. Unlike dogs, people can, eventually, choose. We don’t blame dogs in a doping scandal and we don’t look to infants to reconcile sinfulness. Mush!

Having A Faith Like Roman Concrete

Ancient Romans built impressive structures. Among the most impressive are sea walls and harbor piers that still stand after two thousand years. A study published Monday in, American Mineralogist, reveals the secret behind the concrete…and it also happens to be a great lesson for Christian living.

What is so impressive about Roman concrete? As written in the Washington Post, July 4 article, by Ben Guarino: “harbor concrete, a mixture of volcanic ash and quicklime, has withstood the sea for two millennia and counting.” One research engineer at DuPont recently called Roman concrete, “the most durable building material in human history.” Modern concrete, on the other hand, when exposed to seawater, corrodes within decades.

What’s the difference? Marie Jackson, ancient Roman concrete expert at the University of Utah, found the difference in “microscopic structures of concrete samples.” Roman concrete’s ingredients cause a chemical reaction, resulting in aluminous tobermorite crystals to grow out of a mineral called phillipsite.

The problem is that modern concrete is designed to ignore the environment while Roman concrete is designed to grow stronger from it. The crystals that grow in the Roman concrete act like armor, protecting it from cracks. Modern concrete fractures in seawater.

True faith is also designed to grow stronger by living in the world, not ignoring it.

In John 17:15, Jesus prayed to the Father: “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.” In Matthew 13, Jesus reminds His disciples that we cannot remove adversity from the world. Rather, He says (v30) to “allow both” (the wheat and tares) to grow together until the harvest.

In evangelism, we cannot ignore the environment we enter. Rather, we should learn from Roman concrete. We are designed to become strong, immovable, and faithful by entering a harsh environment.

Our true composition will be revealed and rewarded if we are in Christ and Christ is in us. He is the armor that strengthens our weakness. And if we build on the foundation of Christ, our work will remain eternally (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).