The secret of satisfaction

People everywhere seek satisfaction. Despite this, very few have found the secret of satisfaction. People look for satisfaction in relationships and experiences that make them happy or jobs and enterprises that make them more wealthy. Finding the secret of satisfaction, is something so critical in people’s minds that they invest much of their life in doing it.

A philanthropist is a wealthy person who discovered wealth does not satisfy.

Wealth does not satisfy. Ask a philanthropist. They have spent their days seeking to have ‘more’ wealth, until one day they discovered it was not going to satisfy. Think about how ‘wealthy’ changes meaning depending on who you ask. If you ask a person living in a hut and a person living in a two story house they own with a car and job what ‘wealthy’ means to them and they will give two different answers. Each will explain ‘wealthy’ by describing someone who has ‘more’ than they do. There is no standard for wealth, no point at which you can say ‘I made it.’ The rich man always wants ‘more’. The real meaning of wealth for someone who wants it is ‘more’. It never satisfies and the rich man who finally kept getting more with no satisfaction realises that wealth is a false promise. A philanthropist is a wealthy person who discovered wealth really doesn’t satisfy. 

Happiness is an enigma. When you are looking for it, you cannot find it.

Happiness is an enigma. When you are looking for it, you cannot find it. Someone said that seeking happiness is like looking at a distant star. If you look at it directly, it is so hard to see, but if you look at the darkness just next to the star, it shines so brightly. The pursuit of happiness is a dead end because happiness is not found in seeking it.

A person already satisfied tends to find wealth and happiness more easily, through he or she does not care for it. A person already satisfied does not spend their resources on the latest care or gadget because she is not filled with a craving for ‘more’.  Because they are not busy spending, buying and amusing, they wast their resources. A person satisfied is not constantly trying to make themselves happy, and thereby being disappointed.

The pursuit of wealth and happiness are mutually exclusive. A person seeking wealth will work, save deny themselves for the sake of ‘more’. A person seeking happiness will play, spend and indulge themselves for the sake of ‘more’ happiness. Proverbs 21:17 says “Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.”If you seek one, you must forsake the other. Another proverb says, “The leech has two daughters: Give and Give. Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”. (Proverbs 30:15)

The secret of satisfaction is not found in the pursuit of wealth or happiness. These things can only be a by product of some other pursuit, but will only offer an empty vacuum of a wasted life if sought. Satisfaction is found elsewhere.

James 1:11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

The Secret of Satisfaction

The secret of satisfaction is found in a far different place.

God has made us to be satisfied in Him. A the psalmist pleads, “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”(Psalm 90:14) The steadfast love of God offers us the satisfaction that will fill us with gladness and rejoicing for ‘all our days’. Real satisfaction leads to lasting joy.

The satisfaction we find in God’s steadfast love impacts how satisfaction in life. As Proverbs 13:25 says, “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.” James exhorts us, “But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” (1 Timothy 6:8) The righteous is satisfied with what he has, but the wicked man always wants more. The righteous is satisfied and filled. He says “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” (Philippians_4:11) But the wicked wants more and steals. The want of the wicked is called in the Bible “covetousness”; It is sin.

We are warned “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”” (Hebrews 13:5) The “love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10). But Jesus who is the steadfast love of God “will never leave you nor forsake you” (John 3:16).

Jesus says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Mathew 6:33)

The secret of satisfaction is simple. The steadfast love of God is lasting satisfaction. Seek His Kingdom. Everything else will happen as needed. Find out more.

 

 

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Christian parenting is more than raising good people

With church attendance on decline, many parents are concerned about the damage society will wreak on their children’s faith. We’re realising that Christian parenting is, after all, really the responsibility of the Christian parents. But how do we build their faith?

The Vegetales brand

Some Christian parents often sit their children down in front of a television to watch “Vegetales”, a cartoon where your children are trained to think of Biblical people as personified vegetables acting out stories with moral lessons. On the other hand how many consider proclaiming the gospel to be key in Christian parenting? Vegetales may seem like a lot of fun, and the emphasis is always on being kind, but does this really prepare our children for the anti-Christian culture we live in? Can we do something more as parents to keep our children in the way?

What do you mean by “good”?

Being good people isn’t the point of Christianity, it’s the problem. We aren’t good (Romans 3:23). This why Jesus came. As Jesus said, “Only God is good.” We are made good by God in the new birth not by our earthly parents. Are we really meant to raise our children to be good people? We can’t. What can we do then to prepare our children?

Reason why youth live for pleasure – humanist worldview.

Society teaches your children that they must do what feels best for them, to follow their heart. “If it feels ‘good’ then your probably doing it right”, society softly reassures. “It’s wrong when it hurts others”, it moralises. “If it doesn’t hurt you, why are you judging me?” It arrogantly defends. Humanism’s central doctrine of hedonism is founded on its commitment to the evolved human. Darwinism creates the vacuum of morality, boldly proclaiming “survival of the fittest is all that matters”. Darwinism reassures, “you’re just an evolved animal”. With this dogma being rammed down your child’s throat, mere moralising won’t work.

Reason why children don’t act morally – sin nature

There is a second problem, mere morality will not change the heart of the child. As they grow up, their sinfully contaminate human heart (Jeremiah 17:9; Romans 3:10) begins to express itself regardless of the moral behaviours you taught them. The problem is they were born into your family, but have not yet been born again into God’s family. You gave them their sin nature. God can give them a new nature. With a heart yearning for sinful pleasure, they begin to act it out. The Darwinian dogma and Humanistic hedonism they were taught at school seem pretty good after all. A good truth foundation will help them confront the wickedness of their heart, even if it won’t change their heart (only God can).

More than morals: Build a Biblical worldview

Biblical morals without a Biblical worldview will simply be discarded. If you teach a child to act differently to how he sees the world, then he will eventually realign with his perception. If you build their moral compass without the correct truth foundation, their moral compass will realign with how they see the world. This moral truth collapses when placed upon the unsupporting basis of humanism.

The question is if you’re not building their worldview, who is? Children acquire worldviews throughout their development regardless of whether parents teach them. Society intentionally imposes it’s worldview on your children through the education system and entertainment. If you’re not working harder than society to instil a Biblical worldview in your children’s minds, your child will have an unstable ‘biblical morality’ built on a humanist foundation. This might just eventually realign to humanism.

Christian parenting calls for building a worldview of the Bible in our children’s minds. It is essential. If we teach our children to be selfless and considerate of others while the school is teaching them that they’re just evolved animals who’s purpose is survival of the fittest, the morality you taught them will collapse before your very eyes. If however you build a strong evidential foundation to doubt evolution (ie. genetics, biochemistry), and you proclaim the truth of Genesis, you’ll find the school’s attempts to instil antiChristian doubt will utterly fail. Oh and learning about genetics and biochemical evidence against evolution means they’ll probably ace science at school as the added benefit of additional knowledge.

But winning the mind is just the beginning. If you don’t win their heart they’ll just adopt a more convenient worldview (John 3:17:21; Romans 1). They need a heart change.

More than morals: Preach the gospel

If you train your child to act morally, even equipping them with a Biblical Worldview, they still have a huge problem. They inherited from you a heart that loves sin. Eventually despite all their trying they will cave in to their desires unless God does a work in them. Exhort your children to a relationship with God. Point them to a better Father. They must be born again (John 3:6). The greatest father on earth, universe, heaven is their Heavenly Father; not you. You gave them sin: massive moral burdens and no ability to lift them. God offers them strength in weakness, with the light yoke and easy burden of Christ. Preach to your children the good news that Jesus came to save sinners, by paying the penalty at the cross and raising again so we can live in him.

Mere morality will produce Pharisees – outwardly clean, inwardly filthy, still sinners. Being born again means a new inwardly clean nature, that works its way outward in our lives.

Satisfaction in the Saviour

Mere morality is humanism without Biblical truth. There are plenty or ‘moral’ dogooders, who live immorally – right in their own eyes. Morals not founded in a Biblical worldview are not Biblical morals. Even ‘biblical’ morals without a Biblical worldview are easily discarded. Morals not expressed in a relationship with God are fake. People aren’t essentially good; if you think they are, you disagree with the Romans 3:23 and what Jesus said, which is “Only God is good”. We can only be good when the goodness of the Saviour indwells us and satisfies us. Raise your children with good morality yes, but found it on a Biblical worldview and exhort them to seek God while He can be found. Teaching a child to behave well isn’t enough. We must build in our children’s minds a Biblical worldview and exhort them to seek God for a new heart.

​Faith in humanity is misplaced faith

When Barack Obama was elected president of the United States,  many in the African-American community trusted him to elevate their standing in America. Now Trump is elected president, many conservatives are hoping he will turn back the liberals and appoint conservative judges.

The Bible however says –  

Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. … Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. (Jeremiah 17:5-7)

Here we see a blessing and a curse, a blessing for those who trust in God and a curse for those who put their hope and trust in man in the place of God. If we look for human saviors, then this curse comes to bring a barren reward.

  I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. (Isaiah 43:1)

We must not look to human saviors. They are all pretend, because only the LORD is the savior. The futility of trusting in a human savior is dangerously disappointing. Consider how human leaders come into power with a surge of popularity, but then it fades and by the end of their term they have lowest rankings in polls.  People routinely look for a human savior and are routinely disappointed.

Just as Barack Obama disappointed so many, all human leaders fail to deliver. The bigger their promises the bigger their disappointment. If all humans are disappointing leaders, why would the next be different?

Thankfully there is a Savior who has fulfilled every promise for every soul who trusted in him. All the promises of God find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ, in whom the fullness of God was pleased to dwell. 

To know more about the wonderful promises of God that never fail, click here.

    Zuma’s Interrupted Speech and the Reconciliation Storm

    South Africa’s President Zuma was delivering the Reconciliation Day address when the warm sunny day turned into a huge storm that suddenly lifted the north side of the giant tent he was speaking in high into the air. As attendees fled for cover and Zuma’s bodyguards rushed the President to safety, everything was in chaos. 

    Reconciliation Day is South Africa’s day of celebration of national reconciliation. Sadly, this national reconciliation falters as South Africa struggles through greed, crime and disunity. Ironically, Reconciliation Day arises on the day of the Battle of Blood River, where many Zulus lost their lives, and the formation of Mkhonto weSizwe (MK), a militant arm of the ANC. Neither event was an act of reconciliation but the day is to look forward to the future, rather than the past. 

    As South Africa grapples with the legacy of racism in the daunting shadow of greed and crime, it is important to make a few observations. First, South Africa’s focus on reconciliation has been marked by human icons. From Mandela to the MK, human icons have dominated the political and social landscape in South Africa as it strives to make progress to what it sees as reconciliation. Second, reconciliation still seems poorly defined within public dialogue. To some it looks like separate traditional groups remaining separate but equal (how is this different to the old regime?).  Others think that the old ways impede progress and are willing to cast aside tradition for what they view as western progress. Another way reconciliation is poorly defined is by adding to the idea of ethnic reconciliation ideas of ‘social progress’ such as gay marriage, abortion and other social agendas. Third, the road to reconciliation is obscured by how reconciliation must be achieved and with whom. It is this last point that this article will concentrate.  

    When we agree that reconciliation is required, we acknowledge that we were once alienated. Reconciliation is the restoration of friendly relations. To require restoration of friendly relations there must have been some falling out. Some animosity has come about but now they now want peace. Therefore the ‘who’ of reconciliation is enemies or alienated persons. 

    Therefore, as South Africa strives for reconciliation it must ask itself whom have we alienated and how must we make peace? We need to keep three truths in mind.

    The first truth that we need to keep in mind is that God “made from one man every nation of mankind” (Acts 17:26). The Bible says God made each human group from one human common ancestor, unlike the evolutionary philosophy that claims humans have emerged from different nonhuman ancestors. Genetics has recently supported the Biblical viewpoint by showing that all humans have a single common human ancestor only some thousands of years ago. The false philosophy of evolution has supported racism and radical adherence to the Bible has refuted racism. Reconciliation of diverse ethnic groups depends on knowing and affirming the truth. The root of racism is found in false views about where we came from. Truth is the foundation if true unity. 

    But the above passage does not simply stop there. It continues and gives us the purpose of God’s creation of various human ethnic groups. It goes on to say that He “determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.” We have found ourselves separated from God, but he wants us the find reconciliation with him. While “all have sinned”(Romans 3:23), “in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them…” (2Corinthians5:19). This reconciliation with God means that the “dividing wall of hostility” (Ephesians 2:14) is now broken down which once divided Jew and Gentile, Black and White from God. 

    This reconciliation with God is desperately needed. “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent   because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” The storm that interrupted Zuma’s speech will be nothing compared with the “day on which he will judge the world”. We must be reconciled with God before he returns to judge. God’s judgment will come more suddenly than the storm that surprised the President. You can’t delay and you don’t know when it will come. 

    If reconciliation is to be meaningful and real, it must begin with making peace with God. Thankfully Jesus settled the dispute on the cross when he paid the penalty of our trespasses and rose again defeating death, the primary symptom of sin. Since God commands everyone everywhere to “repent”, let us turn to God through Jesus his Son. Abandon your sins and trust in Jesus.  

    Want to know more? Click here. 

    How did life begin?

    How did life begin? This is a question that intrigues scholars and the average person alike. Science has shown that the trillions of cells, that make up our bodies, are unfathomably complex with prescriptive information codes at their very core. This issue has two layers that point strongly in one direction: authorship

    Spontaneous generation

    In medieval times, it was commonly thought that rats, flies and other vermin spontaneously came into existence in certain conditions such as dark and moist cavities (rats) or meat (flies). This belief was handed down from pagan philosophy, centuries before. It was an ignorant and superstitious belief that was largely due to our ancestors’ lack of understanding of life cycles.

    Spontaneous generation was soon exposed as false by Rene and Pasteur who demonstrated the doctrine of biogenesis: that life comes from life. The idea that life could spontaneously arise in certain favourable conditions was disproved by robust experiments.

    But recently, atheists have revived the old superstition of spontaneous generation and given it a new name. But more about that in a moment.

    Chicken or egg? What came first?

    Life has many important components but DNA, RNA and proteins (made of amino acids) are essential. Without any one of these three components, life is impossible. DNA is the prescriptive information code that carries the instructions for the blueprint of life. Proteins perform many functions include reading, writing and proof reading DNA and RNA. RNA is a prescriptive information code that is less durable than DNA but more versatile. Proteins transcribe DNA instructions into the temporal code of RNA. A specific type of RNA is used by proteins to produce proteins. But a further type of protein is then needed to fold the proteins so they can function.

    Without DNA, there are no instructions or blueprints for proteins. Without RNA, the DNA instructions cannot be translated into proteins. Without Proteins, the DNA and RNA instructions cannot be read, replicated, executed or proof read.

    Subscribers to the newly revived superstition of spontaneous generation are trying to cloak superstition with science. Different ideas have been put forward. One idea is that life started when a strand of DNA accidentally formed. Those who push this view point out that proteins require DNA instructions. DNA is exceedingly more stable than RNA. Others argued that, DNA is too rigid, but RNA is more flexible and that is was what spontaneously strung itself together. While some others claim a protein world hypothesis, where a complex protein suddenly formed in a bubbling soup of amino acids. They would point out the RNA is far too unstable to support life.

    The fact is they’re all half right. DNA is too inflexible and cannot replicate itself. RNA is incredibly unstable and would not be able to remain stable for long enough to spontaneously generate into meaningful codes. Both DNA and RNA wouldn’t be able to replicate without proteins. And the protein world view is dead in the premordial soup, too, since proteins do not carry their own instructions. Protiens are completely dependant on DNA and RNA for instruction on how to form and function. They all have a deeper problem.

    Encoded Information

    The difference between life and non life is the existence of functionally specified complexity, which is information. This is not any type information either, but prescriptive information. The question “how did life begin?” can be phrased “How did all that prescriptive information get there?”

    The information encoded in DNA is incredibly complex. It is not merely functional or shannon information but a very specifically prescriptive information code. It has not only data but also metadata. In fact, there is more metadata than basic data. Much of the data is contingent on the metadata. This is apparent in DNA splicing. DNA splicing is a process where different parts of multiple genes will be cross read to reveal another code. For example, if you took the capitalised letters out of the following words, you would have “creation”: inCRedible Evidence ATtracts thInking Observers Normally. It can do this because of the metadata in the DNA that tells the protein how to read the code. This is just another reason why mutations can’t improve the genome overall, even when beneficial, since one improvement in one gene will inevitably destroy other genes.

    Authorship of life

    “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” (Heb 11:3)

    The best explanation for encoded prescriptive information is an intelligent author. Human experience, common sense and science supports this.

    The Bible teaches all things were made by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3; Genesis 1). So it is no surprise that there is a code in all living things and natural laws that underlie the universe. DNA is a written record of God’s prescription for living things. God made all things by His word and that is why it is so finely tuned!

    But something went wrong. We were separated from the Author of life. This led to decay and eventually death. The separation was caused by sin; we had disobeyed the Word of God and so we became separated from the Author of life.

    The Author of life

    Thankfully, the “Word became flesh”, the very flesh it created, “and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). He came to pay the penalty of our sin on the cross so that we could live in him, reconciled with the Author of lIfe. His name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

    People rejected and crucified “…the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” (Act 3:15)

    How do you “speak” blessing into your life?

    Ever heard that your “words have power”? Ever studied how to “declare” blessings in your life? Here are three Biblical principles that will unlock your understanding of the spiritual implications of words.

    Declaring your plans

    The Epistle of James was written to Jewish believers in Christ in the earliest era of the church. Keep in mind the following passage is speaking to Christians as you read it. It gives us the most important lesson about speaking.

    “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:13-17 )

    When we read, “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring”, we see not only that our words don’t inform the future but they also don’t affect the future. Therefore, if you assert the future with your words reflecting your will “you boast in your arrogance” not acknowledging the will of God.

    Conversely, this is where the key to blessing is! As the proverb says, acknowledging God’s will is crucial.

    Proverbs 3:5-7 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.”

    Rather than arrogantly declaring the future according to your “own understanding” being “wise in your own eyes”, boldly “acknowledge” God and his sovereign will in everything and “he will make straight your paths”. This is the first crucial step.

    Jesus gives us a lesson on words

    “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Mat 12:33-37)

    Words come out of our heart and therefore reflect the inner condition of our hearts. If we speak lies, our hearts are full of deceit. Conversely, if we are filled with the Word of God, then we will boldly speak God’s words. Out of the heart the mouth speaks.

    Because our words demonstrate the inner condition of our hearts, we are going to be judged for our words. Since the fruit of the heart ripens from our lips, we will make our hearts known when we open our mouths. Therefore, what we fill our hearts with is the crucial next step.

    “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” (Psalm 119:11-16)

    How to speak blessing

    The Apostles found themselves in difficulty and challenge and their response is our example. In the book of Acts 4:29, the Apostles prayed asking for deliverance 

    “And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,”.

    There are two things to note about speaking here. First, the apostles make supplication not declaration. They don’t boldly declare but humbly beseech. They don’t think their words can affect the future but they do think the One who hears their words can. Secondly, the words they seek to speak are not desired outcomes, positive thoughts or even “words of faith”, rather they seek to speak God’s own word boldly. This ought to remind us “not my will by thine” and not our words, but God’s words. Fill your heart with God’s treasures and he will lead the way.

    Gods words vs our words

    If I want to turn on the light, I can say “light, turn on.” But if I do not get up and put my words into effect with my actions, then the light will remain switched off. There is a separation between words and effect that is bridged by action and other factors.

    God’s word is powerfully like no other. When God said “Let there be light” there was light. God created all things by his word (Genesis 1; Hebrews 11:3). Instantly God’s words caused and affected God’s will. There is no separation between words and effect for God. God’s words carry their own effect. For the rest of us, we must live by God’s word.

    “But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'””(Mathew 4:4 )

    Christianity is counter-cultural

    Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15)

    The long awaited Olympics is celebrated in a dazzling display of decadent festivity, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    As the sprinter chases down that gold medal, the athlete leaps his way up to his personal glory, and crowd roars in exhilaration, Jesus still says, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    People identifying as “transgender” are praised for their “bravery”, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    Masses march to parade their “gay pride” because they exalt their diversity, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    Margaret Sanger is celebrated as a feminist hero, although she claimed black people and Jews were human weeds, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    Planned Parenthood, who plan the killing of babies, are exalted among society, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    People despise creationists who believe God’s Word but exalt darwinists because they believe men’s opinions, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    People love man-made “peace” and “reconciliation” but don’t want peace with God, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    People love guns and exalt themselves with them, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    A superstar exalted by his grovelling fans, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    The media adores a president working out a humanist peace treaty in an intractable conflict, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    The world will tell you that happiness is everything, ignoring the all-satisfying glory of God, but Jesus said, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

    “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 

    What do you exalt that God sees as an abomination? What do you despise that God exalts?

    It is no wonder the mob who rushed against the church in Acts 17:6 claimed “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also…” The God of the Bible had chosen what the world despises to turn the world upside down.

    “so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”” (1 Corinthians 1:31)

    The New Religion [Part two]: Persecution

     

    The New Religion

    As I said in my previous post, there is a New Religion offending the separation of church and state. It has the four essential elements of a religion, which are answers to the following four questions every religion seeks to answer:

    1. who are we?
    2. how did we get here?
    3. what ought we to do while we are here?
    4. who is God?

    As it turns out, “Secular” humanism meets all the essential qualifications. It turns out that “secular humanism” is “secular” in name only. Its essential doctrines answer those questions. Secular humanism teaches that (1) & (2) we are “highly” evolved apes [Darwinism, Humanism], which explains who we are and where we came from. It also teaches (3) what we ought to while we are here, which is seek happiness and human advancement [Darwinism, Humanism, Environmentalism, Socialism and Capitalism]. Finally, it answers the question “Who is God?” in some rather lame kinds of ways.  It teaches that since there is no supernatural [atheism], therefore either the most evolved must be God, or the universe [mother nature] or aliens who must have seeded life on earth. Note that the definition of “religion” does not need to include a supernatural “god”, or that would exclude pantheism and animism. These explanations are really just pathetic attempts at reviving logically absurd pantheism, which claims the universe is a “god”. This is logically absurd because it postulates a self caused entity.

    Separation of Church and State

    The Separation of Church and State, was originally proposed by Christians, who wanted the state to stay out of Church affairs. Throughout history, “secular” authorities imposed religion on Christians as a test of loyalty, or tried to control Christian worship and define Christian faith. The Roman Emperors who burned Christians on stakes, fed them to lions, ants and a multitude of wild beasts for mob entertainment. When Christianity spread so fast that the Roman authorities couldn’t kill them fast enough, one Emperor tried to hijack the church through his “conversion” into and then control of the Church. So began the Church State religion that continued to burn Biblical Christians at the stake during the Reformation. Tired of persecution, some Biblical Christians decided a Separation between Church and State was needed to allow for the free exercise of religion. It seemed to work for a time.

    Then came along “secular”(in name only) Humanism. This new state sponsored, media hyped, intellectually elite, politically correct religion answers all four of those questions with its basic doctrines. No longer does the state wish to have an official church, but rather an ideology which replaces church with a new ‘secular’ religion. The institutions of society are now hijacked as places for religious education. In the school classrooms, mainstream media, and university lecture theatres, these doctrines are disseminated for the “non-experts” (laypeople). The Clergy of Academics are kept “pure” of nonconformists, since grant applications by scientists for funding are given special attention if they somehow promote socialism, darwinism or some other humanist rhetorical enterprise. In some cases, outright fraud are used to ensure the lapping up of doctrine by the non-elite devotees.

    Not only has it hijacked the state, but it also seeks to attack nonconformists. Think wedding cakes and bakers, gender identification and toilets, evangelism and so on. If you don’t want to participate in gay weddings or gender neutral toilets, you will be fined. If you don’t affirm a doctor’s right to kill unborn babies, you will be marginalised and called a bigoted misogynist. If you don’t believe the doctrine of Darwinism, they’ll call you an idiot and laugh you out of scientific grants till you career grinds to a sudden halt because science is funded by grants. If, however, you dare to think you’re persecuted, you must have the “Evangelical Persecution Complex”. They’ll laugh at you for thinking its wrong to be fined for being faithful to your conscience towards God. The New Religion sponsors attacks of Biblical Christianity and laughs at those who call them out.

    A History Lesson

    The Roman Problem

    If we look back into the last multicultural empire that sought to keep order, we find the Roman Empire. The Roman imperial rulers had territory covering all of the Mediterranean, most of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. With this huge territorial expansion, came a complex problem of maintaining unity among the various peoples, languages, religions and cultures as diverse as the Celts of Britain and Gaul, Berber of Africa and the Jews in the Middle East. The Romans were usually “tolerant” of other religions, but desperately needed a way of uniting the Empire behind a common religion. Their solution was the strange practice of Emperor worship. Every person in the empire could worship their own “gods” provided they sprinkled a pinch of incense to an image of Caesar (their emperor) and hailed him and the “gods” of Rome.

    The Jews  were exempt, providing they sacrificed daily for the Emperor in their Temple. Rome didn’t need an armed confrontation with the Jews. Also the Jews did not try to spread their religion and therefore weren’t likely to inspire other peoples refuse the worship of the Emperor.

    The Christians

    There was just one problem. A growing faith, called by their enemies “Christians”, would not sprinkle incense to Caesar. Not only were they unwilling to do this, but they also advocated their message and sought for others to join them in their pursuit of the Kingdom of Heaven. Their evangelism was spreading like a wildfire through the Roman Empire.

    One letter written by a governor of the region in what is now known as Turkey to the Emperor Trajan, explains the effect Christianity had on pagan worship. According to the Roman Governor of Asia Minor, the temples were nearly empty and the markets that once bustled around the temples, were now neglected.Christianity had almost wiped out Roman and Greek religion in what is now known as Turkey. Writing about 96-87AD, this Governor noted his confusion.

    I am very unsure… whether the name [of being a Christian] as such should be punished even if there is no crime, or whether only the crimes attributed [atheism etc] to this name should be punished. Meanwhile I have followed this procedure with those who are denounced to me as Christians. If they confessed I repeated the question a second  and third time and, moreover, under threat of the death penalty. If they persisted I had them led away to their death, for I had no doubt that, whatever it is was they confessed, their stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy certainly deserved to be punished.

    After describing his torture of two girls, the Governor then described the impact of Christianity on pagan worship in the province:

    For many of all ages, of every rank, and of both sexes are already in danger [of becoming Christian], and many more will come into danger. The contagion of this superstition has spread not only in the cities but even to the villages and to the country districts. Yet I still feel it is possible to check it and set it right. Of this I am sure, that people  are beginning once more to frequent the beautiful temples which have been also deserted, …so that fodder for the animals to be sacrificed, for which until now there was scarcly any demand, is being bought and sold again.

    Persecution

    Clearly, not only was Christianity seen as a threat to the unity and religion of the empire, but also the economy suffered when the religious sector was hit. Christianity swept through the Roman empire like a broom through a dirty room cleaning out the pagan filth in its wake and the Romans were not happy! Religion has always hated pure faith, and the old religion of Roman paganism was as state building oriented as the New Religion of Secular Humanism has become.

    Persecution ensued. Christians were beheaded, burned, fed to wild animals in public places for the amusement of mobs. One essential characteristic of the Roman persecution of Christians involved false accusations of infanticide, orgies and other sins (ironically things openly practised by Romans) yet as the Governor above acknowledged were really known for their love and purity.  The Romans were bent to ensure they kept their imperial authority and unity no matter what evil they had to do.

    All this was suffered because the early Christians understood that they could not betray Jesus by giving their loyalty to another. They certainly respected the emperor (Romans 16) but would not worship him (Exodus 20).

    Today, we live in a multicultural society, again. As in Rome, society is looking for unity in an increasingly fragile and divided world. Once again, the world is looking for a caesar to worship, something for unity. With the external threat of extremist religion and internal disunity, the world looks like the Roman empire as it sought to throw off the Gothic hoards without and remain united within. The solution to the modern unity problem is the New Religion, forced Secular Humanism. It boldly declares “you can believe what you like, but you can’t talk about it and live it out.” We are in the perfect melting pot for persecution.

    There is a way to respond to the New Religion. It is the same response that the early church used, which eventually brought down paganism in the Roman Empire without lifting a sword or shedding the blood of others. The Bible speaks of the “accuser” which means the one who accuses us of wrongdoing simply because of our faith. It tells us how to deal with him.

    How do we respond?

    We respond in the way the Bible declares:

    “And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
    (Revelation 12:10-11)

     

     

    Bibliography and Further Reading

    English Standard Version

    Eberhard Arnold “The Early Christians in Their Own Words” (1997) (Plough Publishing House)

    Bruce Shelley “Church History in Plain English” (1982) (Word Inc)

    The New Religion

    Since Constantine converted in c.313AD to ‘Christianity’ and made it the official religion of the Roman Empire, secular authorities have been trying to control the church. Constantine began a persecution of non-conformists. Some of these non-conformists were actually heretics, while others simply didn’t respect the authority of a secular ruler over the Kingdom of God. Since then, history has been repeating itself.

    This phenomena can be described more carefully as secular authority trying to control the ideology that relates to religion. It may be by establishing a official ideology that all must adhere to, or simply by persecuting non-accepted ideology.

    The separation of church and state was meant to deal with this. The idea was that by preventing the state from interfering with religion, the church would be able to express itself free of the kingdom of man.

    Unfortunately, this doctrine has taken a secular twist that has allowed it to be used again for the purpose of secular control of the church.

    No longer does the state wish to have an official church, but rather an ideology which replaces church with a new ‘secular’ religion.

    Religion tends to be an ideological system that answers four basic questions:

    (a) who are we?
    (b) how did we get here?
    (c) what should we so while we’re here?
    (d) who is God?
    Religion does not have to specifically believe in supernatural dimensions, because that would exclude many animist and pantheistic beliefs where spirituality is infused within nature as a subunit of the physical. It simply has to answer the four questions above.

    This new state sponsored, media hyped, intellectually elite, politically correct religion answers all four of those questions with its basic doctrines.

    (a) who are we? humanism;
    (b) how did we get here? Darwinism
    (c) what should we do here? Pursue happiness (humanism), be nice to each other with “equality” and “tolerance” (socialism), submit absolutely to the state (socialism/communism).
    (d) who is God? because Darwinism teaches that we are the most evolved, secular humanism concludes we must be. More recently this has become so preposterous that many have suggested aliens. This doctrine has been called ‘atheism’.
    As said above, this can be completely materialistic and is a form of pantheism.

    The state sponsors it by promoting it’s answers to each of the four questions.

    (a) the state is human centred and so individualism is the new icon of policy;
    (b) huge science grants from the state to Darwinism and Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)
    (c) increased big governance aimed at delivering ‘happiness’ for conformists and by persecuting “intolerant” non-conformists (think christian bakers and wedding cakes).
    (d) promotion of atheist ideology through “separation of church and state” while shoving secular humanism down the throat of students (ie by defining secular authority as atheists).

    In the name of secularism the state now has it’s own official religion. In the name of Separation of Church and State, secularism has become a religion imposed on all.

    As the state begins to try to replace the church with itself, people can hear sermons by Professors in secular humanist seminaries (‘secular’ universities), seek the counsel of humanist psychologists who ‘pastor’ the happiness-seekers, and be evangelised in schools, colleges and the media.

    Thankfully, Christ has bigger better plans.

    The Kingdom of God

    Jesus Christ the eternal and living Word of God says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

    Why did a loving God create people knowing they would go to hell?

    This question seems to really be encompassing two things. First, why a loving God would send people to hell. Second, why God created people he knew would go to hell.

    This raises another question, why did our loving God create man, knowing that his own son would have to come to earth and die for them? Why do we think we are owed an answer?

    Sadly this question often gets asked by parents, who look at their children and struggle with the idea that God would let their children exist knowing they could go to hell. This is ironic though. Think about it, parents love their children, don’t they! If their child was planned, they chose to have their child out of love. Yet they knew their child would die one day, because everyone will. Did they question their own motives just because they knew their child would one day die and yet chose to have them anyway?

    Despite this irony, the question warrants an answer. There are many reasons to give.

    We might respond to the question by attacking it’s premise. God is good and love and can send people to hell. We can’t change that. Okay, now repent so you don’t end up there. But there are many good reasons to be given addressing the three issues:
    (1) we misunderstand what love is;
    (2) we misunderstand God’s character; and
    (3) we misunderstand the purpose of hell and the choice of man.

    Let’s start by better understanding the “love” that God is.

    Love believes all things

    When you ask how a “loving God” would do something, you must first ask what is “love”.

    The Bible explains what love is very comprehensively and one explanation of love is that “love believes all things”. Love has a certain entrusting nature to it. That is not to say God had a false belief about where we would end up, but it does mean God rightly expected we would be loyal to him because of His love.

    God loves people not robots

    God knew every outcome possible but God clearly wanted children who would choose to love him. Love is a choice. If we were made without the choice of betraying him or being faithful to him, our love is without choice. Robots don’t love. They just do what they’re programmed to do. People have a choice. Robots don’t. God made people to love because robots can’t choose to love.

    He knew everyone would betray him, but he had a plan to save and reconciled them to himself. This way they could love him all the more because “the one who is forgiven much will love much.”

    God loves His Glory

    We’re not the only ones God loves. He loves us people for sure, but he also loves his glory. In Romans 9:22-24, we learn that God is entitled to make vessels for destruction if it glorifies him. Thankfully, God has offered Heaven to all (Romans 10:13). God loves his glory, as well as people.

    God’s character

    Fundamental to this question is a misunderstanding of God. God is not only motivated by love, but also a God of perfect justice and perfect mercy. Justice means that God punishes the guilty and expects payment of debts. Mercy means he forgives the guilty and justifies the wrongdoer. God reconciles his justice and mercy through the payment of life made by Jesus on the cross.

    When we think of why God created us, much more is going on than only love. God’s glory, justice, truth, mercy, supremacy and so on are all relevant to His creating us.

    The Eternal Dignity of God

    The gravity of the insult rises with the dignity of the one insulted. If I slapped my brother, I might get one back. If I slapped a policeman, I might end up in jail. If I slapped the prime minister I can expect a longer sentence. However, if I slapped the Queen, I might not be seen for a long time. The Queen’s dignity made my insult more grave. God is of eternal dignity. Our insult is eternally grave.

    When we ask why God made people knowing they would go to hell, we are ignoring the plain fact that we deserve hell. In making man, God didn’t make man go to hell. We earned it by choice. God is glorified because in spite of our deserving hell, he has offered us heaven.

    Hell was made for the Devil

    Hell was made for the devil and his angels. When man joins the devil’s rebellion, he joins the devil’s destiny.

    God offers life to everyone

    God has offered life to everyone, even that tribe that has never heard the Gospel. In the middle of Africa, a traditional medicine man was seeking the one true God. This man had never seen a white man or heard about Jesus. Isolated in Africa, all he knew was pagan religion. One evening, he fell asleep and God revealed to him in a dream that he was sending him missionaries in a car. He didn’t even know what a car was. Years of faithful waiting later, God fulfilled his promise and the whole village received the Gospel. There are many stories like this. “God …commands all people everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).

    People choose not to be saved

    At the end of the day people refuse heaven because they “do not love the truth” and instead “suppress the truth in unrighteousness”. God created man entrusting him with a relationship, but he chose to betray God.

    Humans Choose Hell

    In choosing to betray God, man has chosen hell.

    We shouldn’t question God

    Finally, we have good reason to thank God for making us. Why do we question God? He owes us no explanation or account. Yet he lovingly explains so much in the scriptures.