Seeing God is Seeing Love

Seeing God is Seeing Love      imgres

 

            It’s never enough sees Jesus as good moral teacher or prophet, for a good moral teacher could not perform the miracles that Jesus did while on this earth or have the spiritual authority that he possessed unless he had some divine authority given to him. Though Jesus had all authority in his person, he was as fierce as a lion and as calm and as tender as a dove. To say it again, Jesus was the direct reflection of our heavenly abbah. In my opinion, what prevents us from seeing the face of love the most is seeing the Father’s wrath within the pages of the old testament. Many times believers and skeptics alike react out of emotion rather than gaining a true understanding of what is going on.

For example, most people including some Christians believe that how God speaks and acts in the old testament is fundamentally different from the new testament. Upon first glance, it might seem that way, but again we must gain a deeper understanding of what is going on. If you find yourself horrified or shocked at the fact that God would wipe out an entire group of people or city. That’s probably a good sign because that means that your emotional faculties are working properly. I too had had that same reaction when my mind and heart began to engage the pages of scripture. But what has helped me understand and come to grips with what God does in the pages of scripture as a whole, was when I began to see things from the perspective of a father.

Mind you at this point and time in my life, but if I am ever given the honor and pleasure. My son or daughter will know that their father will protect them as much as he possibly can from the forces of evil. If a man or group of men came into my home late at night and wanted more then simply appliances, but wanted to use my family for their evil purposes. You could rest assure that I would meet this force of evil with much fire and resistance of my own, even if it meant taking their lives. Would I enjoy it? Most certainly not, but if wiping out a group of wicked and evil people who threatened the peace and well-being of my family. Much of the same motivation, I believe can be said of God the Father. In both protecting the Israelites and Gentiles of today. God wants to protect us from anything that aims to attack the holiness and purity that he has graciously bestowed upon us. I’m sure that it can be difficult to believe that God could love us this much, but if it’s true, then we have to let it move from our brains to our hearts.

We have to let it transform our lives from the inside out, we have to allow God to love us and let his love move over the old scars and pains in our lives. And in no shortage of words, we must have God as our first love before anything else in our lives. Which never truly made sense to me, until I realized that nothing else in this world could provide me with the kind of love that my heart desires the way God can. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want a relationship with a woman, and a future wife someday or even a kids of my own. But that when there are human beings mixed in the fold, where sin abounds, feelings get hurt, hearts get broken and relationships fracture. Yet God is there to always love us the way we have always wanted. Again, simply because we are to have God (the king of the universe) as our ultimate love, does not in any way mean that we don’t get to chances on loving people. But that we do not make others our ultimate satisfaction.

Only when we know how much God loves us, can we truly love others. When we see how God loves us in our stubbornness, can we begin to love others in their own. Only when we see how much God loves us in our selfishness, can we love others in their own. The price and risk that our Lord took despite how stubborn and selfish of people we are, only to provide us with new hearts, minds, hands and feet is something that is something so marvelous that no metaphor or new way of understanding well ever compare to how wide and deep the love of God is for us. Still, though the question still stands, how do we let and allow God to love us? After all, it’s not that easy, yet I believe that there is great freedom in admitting such an honest statement. It’s strange to me how skeptics largely assume that they’re the only ones that have questions. All one would have to do is look inside the mind of an honest thinking Christian to know that we have questions too.

The only difference is, is that Christians are not afraid to approach God with our questions.  For we know that our questions will not move Gods eyes from us but only bring us closer to God if we allow them to. Hebrews 11:6 tells us “And without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Of course, after reading the above passage, it would be very easy to think “well, I barely even believe that God exists.” Which is perfectly okay statement and conclusion to make, but I believe must be examined and focused is the small seed of faith that it takes to make such a statement. If you barely believe that God exists, that suggests then that there is a small spark inside you that has the ability to be ignited.

Seeing God is Seeing Love

Jesus is Amazing (Get Him Today)

Jesus is amazing; He is the definition of amazing grace. I know, the debates and speculation are at large:

Did Jesus exist?

Did He say, He was God?                                               jesus-sighting1

Was He crucified?

How could He have come back to life?

The debates can go on and on,  but the biggest question that we must answer within ourselves is what we believe about Him. Many claim that Jesus was a great example, many dismiss Him quicker then they can put their shoes on in the morning.

A step further, many profess that Christianity is similar to other religions. I’d like to put the brakes on a give a few reasons, as to why Jesus is far and beyond anything you have ever thought or believed.

The first point we must consider, is that if Jesus is who He says He is. Then we must look at Him with much intent. For every other religion has either pointed the way to God or left us to figure it out on our own. Jesus however, says that He is God come to seek you!

He came to live in our flesh, live with us in temptation and every emotion. He isn’t distant and remote as some gods in various religions can be.

He provides us with the love we have always wanted; Scripture tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us (provided that we place our faith and trust in Him. He will love us in our repeated destructive behaviors, though that also does not mean that we can live recklessly.

Jesus loves in ways that I cannot even begin to express, His loves assures us. Unlike other religions, one can know that they’re a child of God. Unlike other religions where you can never know where you stand, or have to earn your way into the love and mercy of God.

Jesus says that we don’t have to strive or work tirelessly because He has already done everything for us. We only have to live in grace and love. He is amazing and the lover of your souls. Get Him today, cling onto Him. For He alone can satisfy and quench your thirst.

Jesus is Amazing (Get Him Today)

What is Religion? and Why it Matters

 

 

Introduction

 

 

            Religion is a word that has more negative overtones than it does positive, for many religion drags long bad memories of things done by finite human beings that are in a position of authority or leadership. The late Christopher Hitchens cleverly subtitled his acclaimed book God is Not Great with Why Religion Poisons Everything. Millions of people reacted to the book with great love and enthusiasm, as though to say “Aha! See? Religion poisons everything!” Many atheist philosophers of today and old are very quick to do away with religion altogetherI’m spiritual but not religious. And while it has become a widely popular statement within the last ten years, there a few questions that deserve answers or better yet explanations

Within the follow pages of this brief paper an attempt to differentiate between religion and spirituality will be made and lastly to bring this paper to a close, we will discuss why all this talk on religion matters in the first place.

 

Defining Religion

 

 

            and them alone. Furthermore, in doing so, it allows for a person to appear to have any restraints on their world view and how they choose to live. The greatest problem then is that it can make for a society of people wandering aimlessly like a leaf in the wind being tossed to and fro.

let’s look at few ways that religion is defined. According to religioustolerance.org, religion is defined as The English word “religion” is derived from the Middle English “religion” which came from the Old French “religion.” It may have been originally derived from the Latin word “religion” which means “good faith,” “ritual,” and other similar meanings. Or it may have come from the Latin “religâre” which means “to tie fast,” or “bind together.”

ld think and behave. More socially sophisticated people cling to the words of William Ernest Henley who wrote the words I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Another way of defining religion stems from the book Invitation to World Religions, which it by stating that Religion is a cultural system integrating teachings, practices, modes, of experience, institutions, and artistic expression that relates people to what they perceive to be transcendent. As we can see in this definition, the author goes to great links to provide the reader with as broad and inclusive definition as humanly possible, not leaving a single stone unturned. The problem that many find is that while the definition is all-inclusive, it fails to guide others to a solid point on what religion is or how it is defined. Instead, the author leaves room for much relativity. Meaning that whatever one chooses to see as transcendent is truly up to them.

Christianity is not a religion it’s a relationship. Once more, much like the non-theistic view above, there are refusing to deal with the usage of the word religion means.

 

A View of Religion from The Past

 

 

ers. The late German philosopher Karl Marx Is best known for saying the following on the matter of religion: Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions. The two main points that can be gleaned from his words are

 

  • Religion is simply illusionary, and therefore created in the minds of others to cope with human suffering.
  • Religion should have abolished if one is to obtain truth happiness

 

Freud, much like Marx believed that religion was an illusion, furthermore he is most noted for saying the following in his book The Future of Illusion Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one.Neurosis, as defined by the encyclopedia of mental disorders as “Neurosis, is a term used to describe a nonpsychotic mental illness which triggers feelings of distress and anxiety and impairs functioning.

To summarize his biggest points on religion are:

  • Religion is a delusion

 

The questions we must ask then is, has it always been this way? Has religion always been viewed as evil and for weak minded people? The answers to these questions are no, in fact, CS Lewis writes this on the topic of religion

 

Here Lewis readily combats the presumption that atheists carry about religion and suffering, in that they believe that for an all loving, all powerful God to exists then there can be no suffering. Lewis here is more than likely saying that The Christian view of religion informs us that persecution and hardship are to be expected within the life of a Christian. And as provides the Christian with a more realistic and sober-minded outlook on life in front of them, for a Christian, however, persecution is not the end. Instead, they are readily and willing to face the days of peril ahead, knowing that the best is yet to come.

 

 

Does Religion Matter?

 

 

      After all, in the Christian Bible, humans are informed that pure and undefiled religion is taking care of widows and orphans (James 1:27, ESV).

And while it might easy for a person that lacks in Biblical knowledge, to imply that all they have to do is be a good person. Let us consider a brief commentary on the above passage from the staff at Ligonier Ministries:

It would also be a mistake to think that the Bible always defines the word religion in such a negative way. After all, the Bible does use the word religion in a positive sense to refer to the outward manifestation of a genuine saving relationship with Jesus Christ. We see a fine example of this in today’s passage where James gives us three ways in which we can recognize pure religion. The bridling of the tongue, the care for widows and orphans, and keeping oneself unstained from the world are all demonstrations of the pure religion that flows from authentic faith in Jesus (James 1:26–27).

 

Conclusion

 

 

It can be easy to look history and even present time, and quickly conclude that religion has done nothing but cause more war and societal oppression than anything else in the world.  It can be all the more appealing to human sensibility to assume that we have to rid of it. All in the name of freedom and the pursuit of happiness. However, is it possible that we have gotten way ahead of ourselves in our thinking? Meaning that states as the problem anyhow (Jeremiah 17:9, Matthew 13:5, Mark 7:21-22, Romans 1:21). It isn’t time for believers to show the world what pure and undefiled religion is?

 

what_is_religion_-_definition_and_role_in_society_121611

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

 

Karl Marx. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Marx

 

Ligonier Ministries. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from http://www.ligonier.org/learn/devotionals/undefiled-religion/

 

Opium of the people. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_of_the_people

 

Robot Check. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from https://www.amazon.com/God-Not-Great-Religion-Everything/dp/0446697966/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8

 

 

The Freud Museum ~ Education ~ Freud and Religion. (n.d.). Retrieved September 20, 2016, from https://www.freud.org.uk/education/topic/10573/freud-and-religion/

 

William Ernest Henley – Poem Hunter. (n.d.). Invictus Poem. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/invictus/

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What is Religion? and Why it Matters

My Paper On The Ressurection

This was my research paper, which I wrote for my apologetics class. Which I proud to say I received an A on! Enjoy.

-Brandon

Brandon Ryan

Mr. Garry Peterson

Eng. 101

Date-

 

 

Thesis

In this paper, I aim to provide evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, for someone who is on the fence regarding this issue. As such, I will assume that my time with this skeptic will be breath. Therefore, each of my points will be brief, but long enough to stir some thoughts in mind and the heart of this lovely fellow. To help establish my points, I plan on using resources from Josh McDowell, Garry Habermas and Antony Flew, Lee Strobel, Hank Hanegraff, and of course William Lane Craig. After presenting my case for the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, I will end with concluding remarks, however, let’s open this conversation with honesty. The resurrection of Christ has been one of my deepest struggles in my walk with God, how can I possibly know that Christ rose from the dead? There have been many periods of doubt along the way, and I don’t suspect that doubts to ever fully leave. That is until I see Jesus as he is in eternity.

I say all this to you, my friend that’s filled with questions because you’re not alone in your issues and doubts. A man named Thomas doubted Jesus until Jesus appeared in front of him and others after his resurrection. Thomas, or rather “doubting Thomas,” was able to not only see the risen Jesus with his own eyes, but he was able to touch him with his hands. Furthermore, there was also a man in the scriptures who had a son who suffered from seizures. The man cries out to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “If I can?” Jesus replied, “Everything is possible for him who believes.” The man’s reply would be one that Christians will always be quoting in our context today “I believe, but help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:20-25) My reason for sharing all this is because even we Christians have seasons of questions and doubts, as I am sure you do as well. So, let’s tackle (as briefly as we can) some of the rejections regarding the resurrection of Jesus.

Objections to the Resurrection

The first objection I’d like to bring to your attention is The Swoon Theory, at its most basic level, those who believe the swoon theory, think Jesus never died on the cross, perhaps he only fainted. This is a very cute way of looking at the crucifixion of Jesus, but let’s put aside briefly whether or not Jesus was who he said he was, and look at what he suffered through from a purely human standpoint. Roman soldiers were in many ways trained in the highest levels of violence, if a human being were flogged the way he was, they would quickly enter a state of hypo eutectic shock and die. In his book, The Case for Easter, Lee Strobel, who was a former Atheist, sought to embark on a journey to find out what all the fuss behind the Jesus of the scriptures was about. Along the way in his journey, he met with Alexander Metherell. Mr. Metherell has a medical degree from the University of Miami, Florida. Furthermore, he has a doctorate in engineering from the University of Bristol, in England. Regarding the flogging that Jesus Endured, Metherell had this to say “We know that many people would die from this beating even before they could be crucified. At the least, the victim would experience tremendous pain and into hypovolemic shock”. (This means that the victim loses large amounts of blood, fainting, loss of kidney function, etc.). Regarding the actual crucifixion, Metherell had this to say “Once a person is hanging in the vertical position, crucifixion is essentially an agonizingly slow death by asphyxiation.” (Strobel 15-16)

There is much more that can be said regarding the medical evidence regarding the evidence that Jesus died on the cross, but I’m afraid this will have to suffice for now. A second mythology that people use to dismiss the ideas that Jesus died and even resurrected was The Twin Theory; this is at its basic level the idea that Jesus had a twin brother named Home. This view was founded by Robert Greg Cavin, who furthermore believes that Hurome was separated from Jesus at birth and does not see him again until the time of the crucifixion. In his book Resurrection Hank Hanegraaff, says that Cavin squared off against acclaimed apologist William Lane Craig, Craig had this to say about the supposed Twin Theory “The Twin Theory may make great comedy, but no one should take them seriously-particularly no one such as Cavin, whose research has forced him to agree that Christ was fatally tormented, that the tomb was empty, that the disciples were convinced Jesus had appeared to them, and as a result of the resurrection their lives were utterly transformed.” (Hanegraaff 7)

There are, of course, more objections that we could examine, but for the sake of time let’s examine some proofs of the resurrection.

Proofs for the Resurrection

If you remember from the start of the conversion, I never saw any proof of there being a God, let alone someone resurrecting from the dead. Okay, I knew from looking at the world that there was something out there, but I didn’t think it was the God of the Bible. If it was, then, in the words of Bruce Almighty, “he liked to burn off my feelers and watch me squirm!” (Bruce Almighty) Seriously, though, I wanted to get down to the bottom of this God issue, I was raised as a Buddhist, meditating and everything. Though as I got older, I realized it was taking care of whatever vacancy was inside me. There was also a huge refusal inside me to believe the idea that the universe we live in came to be by chance, or that there wasn’t some grand designer behind it all. That was the hound of Heaven tackled me with the most loving and caring I have ever known. This would lead me to Grace University, where I would not only study psychology but the Bible. It was here that I would uncover the historical proofs supporting the very fact that Jesus even existed.

Former Atheist Josh McDowell, in his book The Resurrection Factor, says “There are both Jewish and Roman sources and traditions that acknowledge the empty tomb. These sources range from the Jewish historian Josephus to a compilation of fifth-century Jewish writings call the Toledoth Jeshu.” McDowell calls this “positive evidence from a hostile source, which is the strongest kind of historical evidence. In essence, this means that if a source admits a fact decidedly not in its favor, then the fact is genuine.” (McDowell 65).

William L. Craig, in his book On Guard, says that the historical case for the resurrection can be broken down into three facts:

1) Jesus’ empty tomb

2) Jesus’ appearance alive after his death

3) The origin of the disciples’ belief in the resurrection

On the subject of the empty tomb, Craig supports it by stating that the tomb of Jesus was found empty by a group a group of His women followers on the Sunday after his crucifixion. He goes on to say that if the burial story is accurate, then the location of Jesus’ tomb was known in Jerusalem to both Jew and Christian alike since both were present when Jesus was laid in the tomb. In that case, the tomb must have been empty when the disciples began to preach that Jesus had rose. He then also points out that the disciples could not have believed in Jesus’ resurrection if His corpse still lay in the tomb. (Craig 220-221) On Jesus’ appearance after his death, to support Jesus’ bodily appearance after his death, Craig first points us to the apostle Paul’s lists of eye witnesses in 1 Corinthians 15. First in his appearance to Peter, second, his appearance to the twelve (disciples), third his appearance to the five hundred brethren, fourth his appearance to James and fifth his appearance to all the apostles (Craig 230-34) On the origin of the disciple’s belief in the resurrection, one important point that Craig mentions on this point is that Jews had no conception of a Messiah, who instead of triumphing over Israel’s enemies, would be shamefully executed by them as a criminal. A messiah was supposed to be a triumphant figure who would command the respect of Jew and Gentile alike and who would establish the throne of David in Jerusalem. A messiah who failed to deliver and to reign, who was defeated, humiliated and slain by His enemies, is a contradiction in terms (Craig 241)

Conclusion

To conclude our time together, I hope the evidence that I have brought to your attention has stirred something inside you. As I have said before, I have had many questions and doubts come up along the way, but the question I always have to ask myself, is why would this be a lie? Could you possibly fabricate a story about the apostle Paul, who was once a persecutor of Christians? This man had Christians thrown in jail and even killed, yet this very same man who persecuted Christians would meet the risen Christ in Acts 3. The good news of the Gospel changes lives, despite all my doubts and questions, I find it exceedingly difficult to believe that stories such as the apostle Paul’s are all made up.

Secondly, I believe that there is a reason you are asking questions related to the miracle of the resurrection. Atheists will tell you that the reason that we make the leap to there being something more beyond our physical reality is a simple confirmation bias, or chemicals in our brains simply allowing to believe in a spiritual experience. There are even atheists who, while they don’t believe in God still say they can be spiritual people. At the core of that argument, a friend of mine once told mine told me that the reason some atheists believe they can still be spiritual is that atheism is not enough. I believe that the reason you are asking such questions is because the Bible tells us that God has put eternity in our hearts (ECL 3:11). Perhaps God is at work in the inner recesses of your soul. There is so much more I could tell you, but if I could leave you with any piece of wisdom and truth, it would be that the God of the universe loves you. He loves you so much that he sent his Son to take upon himself all of our sins and struggles. I can tell you that God has always proven Himself faithful to me, and if can trust him with all your heart, you have not only found a friend and companion that will never leave your side. You have found the greatest love you will ever know. No other person, animal or pass time will ever love you the way the father does. He is the only one who can make all things new. He is the only one who can make you a new creation.

Many of us, I believe have a deep sense that there is more to life than what we can perceive with our five senses. The problem because when we suppress the truth as the apostle, Paul writes in Romans 1:18. Furthermore, he writes in Romans 1:19-21

“19 For what can be known about God is plain to them because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[a] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

The psalmist David wrote in Psalm 14:1 The fool says in his heart, there is no God. As it was mentioned, God, through his Spirit can make you a new creation. And as such he can awaken our darkened hearts. The truth of the resurrection is the greatest triumph this world has ever seen, because of the resurrection of Christ. In light of this fact, those who put their trust in the resurrected Christ have the greatest love any human being could ever askimages-1 for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

“Bruce Almighty (2003).” IMDb. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2015.

Craig, William L. “Did Jesus Rise from The Dead.” On Guard. N.p., n.d. 230-241. Print.

Hanegraaff, Hank. “Mythologies.” Resurrection. Thomas Nelson, 2000. 5-7. Print.

McDowell, Josh. “Facts to be Reckoned With.” The Resurrection Factor. San

Strobel, Lee. “The Medical Evidence.” Case for Easter: A Journalist Investigates the

My Paper On The Ressurection

When You Feel Like Your Loosing The Battle (A Poem on Anxiety).

imagesMy anxiety has been getting the best of me.

The depression seems to be heavier at the moment.

All I want to do is lay in bed and hide from the world,

and its challenge. I know, this isn’t like you Brandon.

But it hurts, I hurt. This hurts. I’m scared, I’m paranoid

and fail to trust. I fail to trust God and I fail to trust people.

I don’t know who to trust, my paranoia rages within me.

O, how I feel like I’m losing the war. The strength to fight escapes me.

Focus is far from me, and joy fleeting.

All my tired soul can do is look up.

Look up to the Heaven’s where they greatest love came down.

When You Feel Like Your Loosing The Battle (A Poem on Anxiety).