Archives For Jesus

An apology post I wrote after reflecting on how I’ve written about Trump and immigration / refugee policy

Donald Trump:

“we will make America wealthy again” (January 20th, 2017 Inauguration Speech)

“Part of the beauty of me is that I am very rich.” (Good Morning America, 2011)

“The point is, you can never be too greedy.” The Art of the Deal

Jesus Christ:

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” (Matthew 6:24)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Continue Reading…

There are two groups who think all religions are the same: the informed and the uninformed.

The informed have done a general study of the main religions and have concluded that they share the same central tenants or that God is too big to put in a box so he/she/it must be larger than any one religion.

The uninformed are those who don’t really bother to think about these things, but assume all religions are alike the same way one who lives in the desert assumes all fish are alike.  And they sleep just fine at night under this illusion.

There are motivations, some genuine and some not, to all of the above, but at the end of the day and with so much on the line, it’s can’t be overstated that all religions are not the same.  While generally I don’t like to use the word “religion” to describe what I have found in Jesus (the term “relationship” is much more appropriate and helpful), I’ll stick with it for the sake of this discussion.  Here are some brief and immensely weighty reasons why all religions are not the same:

  • Have you done wrong against God?  Do you need to be forgiven and can you earn that forgiveness?  These are huge questions that have actual answers.  There is no way the answer to these questions can be “all answers are the same.”  You either have or haven’t done wrong against God and He either is or isn’t going to forgive you.  In addition, you will either be able to earn this forgiveness, or not, and if not, you’d better hope there’s a way for it to be bestowed upon you.  The only religion where you are forgiven through what God did for you rather than what you can do for God is found in Jesus.  Period.  Jesus says you can’t measure up to God’s holy standard, so he did it for you.  Other religions say you must measure up to God’s holy standard (good luck).  These are not the same.
  • Jesus either rose from the dead or he didn’t.  If he did, his religion is true.  If he didn’t, all the religions that say he didn’t (which is all of them) could potentially be true.  The same goes with his claim to be God.  He’s either God or he isn’t God, these two things are not the same.  Don’t you find it ironic that no other religion says that Jesus rose from the dead or that he is God?  Of course they don’t!  If they did, they’d admit that Jesus is where true religion is found.

There are many more things that could be added to this list, but it’s been kept short intentionally.  Please think hard about the above two bullet points.  It’s okay if you don’t believe them, though if they turn out to be true you will sorely regret it.  And goodness, why would you risk that?  What are is the payout of that gamble if you end up being right?  But at least make a decision.  Don’t take the cop-out that all religions are the same.  They can’t be.

And as C.S. Lewis so eloquently said in Mere Christianity, do not call Jesus a “good teacher” or a “prophet” as most world religions do:

If your kid’s math teacher was excellent at teaching algebra but also taught that they were God on earth, would you call this person a good teacher?  Only if their claim was true!  Otherwise you’d have them locked them.  You can’t call Jesus a good teacher but reject his claim to be God.

Don’t deprive yourself of intellectual vigor by claiming that all religions are the same, but much more importantly, don’t deprive yourself of your eternity!  There’s way too much on the line not to look into these claims.

 

Let the Scriptures speak…

What trend do you see?

Is it the same trend or a different trend than you see in America?  In the American Church?

Matthew

6359417358769223841804779694_dream-act(Jesus, Mary and Joseph were immigrants / refugees)  Matt. 2:13-15       When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”  So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Matt. 5:3-5    “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth. Continue Reading…

A historical man named Jesus claimed to be God.

He died on a cross at the hands of the Romans, a historical event.

Many witnesses saw him rise from the dead.

These witness and other earliest followers spread the news of his resurrection, his being God, and his promise to save us, at the expense of their lives.  They gained nothing from this except persecution and death.

OMG.

That acronym is as common nowadays as ETA or ASAP.

“Oh my God.”

“Jesus Christ!”

“Oh Lord.”

“Good Lord.”

These phrases are a regular part of most people’s vernacular, including many Christians.

Smack in the middle of the 10 Commandments, Exodus 20:7 tells us, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (KJV) (You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. (NIV))

It’s easy to stop here with a black & white legalistic reprimand that people need to stop “taking God’s name in vain,” as if everyone even knows what that means or why it’s important.  Rather than another “thou shalt” just for the sake of it, let’s break this down a little:

First and foremost, the reason we are not to take God’s name in vain is because God’s name is HOLY.  It should be treated with awe and reverence, not as common or crass.  

Check this out:  Holy means to be “set apart.”  The Jews would not even say God’s name out loud because it was so holy.  When they wrote God’s name in the original Old Testament manuscripts (written in Hebrew), they would write the letters YHWH.  Nobody knows how to pronounce this because the Jews didn’t say it aloud!  In addition, when scribes were creating a new copy of Scripture, if an error was made in writing God’s name, there was no crossing it out or using white out.  The entire piece of parchment and all the tedious work that went into it would be sacredly thrown away and they’d start over!  This is a faaaaar cry from the casual way many throw God’s name around (in vain) today. Continue Reading…