Does God Exist?

The Rise of Atheism

In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of atheism in our culture as evidenced by the popularity of such authors as Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) and Stephen Hawking (The Grand Design). Intense debates like the ones between seminary professor Dr. William Craig and Christopher Hitchens, a self-proclaimed anti-theist, pack university auditoriums across the country with hungry minds seeking an answer to the question:  Does God Exist?

A Time to Reflect

It’s common for many to spend the last week or two of a year reflecting on the past and looking forward to what the new year might bring. As we prepare for 2011, I encourage you to take some time to consider what you truly believe about God’s existence. How we answer that question, both individually as well as collectively,  will determine the path we travel as a nation in the coming year.

A young Albert Einstein’s Answer to this Question

The following clip is a reenactment of an exchange between a young Albert Einstein and his professor over the question of whether or not God exists and, if He does, is God evil. This might be a good starting point for your reflections as this year comes to an end.

Does God Exist? Albert Einstein

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“You will seek me and find me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, NAS). May God reveal Himself to you in 2011 as you earnestly search for Him.

So How Did We Get Here?

This past weekend I attended the Texas Psychological Association annual convention and listened to seven ministers speak on the following topic:  Ethical Standards, Psychological Research on Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgendered (GLBT) Issues, and the Church. It sounds pretty dry, I know, however it was anything but. The panel included an Episcopal priest, a Presbyterian pastor, a Methodist minister, a seminary professor, a Lutheran pastor, a Baptist minister, and a Reformed Jewish rabbi, each of whom spoke in support of homosexuality. (An interesting side-note: Several of the ministers remarked that in those denominations holding to their view, the membership numbers were declining.)

Painful Struggle

I was moved when a young lady in her early thirties stood and shared the pain of growing up a lesbian without the support of a father who happened to be a Presbyterian minister. She had clearly struggled for years to find love and to love herself. My heart went out to her. Several passages flashed through my mind of instances when Christ, too, was touched by the pain in others.

A Different Kind of Homosexuality

One of the ministers commented that homosexuality in the Bible is not the same homosexuality we see today. That when the Bible refers to same-sex sexual behavior, it does so out of a “thorough ignorance” of what is now known about sexuality and its complexities,  suggesting that science, not the Scriptures, is the absolute final authority on what is truth. I mulled over what might happen to the absolute final authority of science if, in the next month’s research journal on human sexuality, a study came out that completely contradicted last month’s research. Science is forever discovering new things that invalidate what we proclaimed to be true yesterday. In the 80’s, for example, science declared that eggs were bad for you. And yet, based on current studies, the Diet Channel suggests that this not the case. Who knows, maybe in another thirty years eggs will be bad for you again.

What Has Driven This Change?

When I think of how our culture has changed in the past sixty years on issues such as abortion, prayer in school, attempting to legalize marijuana (as we recently saw in California), and homosexuality, I struggle to understand how we got here? What changed in the moral fabric of our society to the point that we rationalize away the Scriptures to bring Christianity more in line with the present culture? And what has been the driving force behind this push?

Steady Gradual Change

This change didn’t happen over night, though many predicted this day would come. One such individual was Dr. Francis Schaeffer who in 1982 spoke of the impact of secular humanism on the culture in America and the deafening silence of “Bible believing Christians” in speaking out against its influence creeping into the Church. He stated that “secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries.”  While you may not agree with everything Dr. Schaeffer says, his words seem eerily prophetic for the day in which we live.

A Christian Manifesto

In A Christian Manifesto, Dr. Schaeffer speaks of the role the courts played in advancing this humanistic agenda. “The whole law has shifted,” he states. “Law is arbitrarily decided by a few people on what they think is good for society at that given moment and it can be changed.” Though these words were spoken almost three decades ago, they are as current as your most recent Twitter Tweet.

A Christian Manifesto – Part 1 of 3

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Divided Church – Divided Nation

Next Tuesday millions across this nation will go to the polls and elect our leaders for the next two to six years. In January, the newly elected will head off to Washington and the various state capitals to represent our interests as they vote on a number of critical issues. But for whose interests are they really looking out and how do they know to which voice to listen, particularly when so many opposing views are clamoring for their attention?

A House Divided

We in America live in a sharply divided nation, a nation polarized between blue states and red states, conservatives and liberals, pro-this and anti-that, saturating the very fabric of our culture and influencing the Church to the point that Christian Conservatives are seen as little more than the far-right extreme of the Republican Party while Christian Liberals are perceived as ‘in bed’ with the Democrats and the far-left “liberal loons,” as Bill O’Reilly  of The Factor is often fond of saying.

Salt Anyone?

Instead of ‘salty’ Christians influencing an American culture that is rapidly spiraling away from God, the Church has allowed the culture to ‘season‘ our understanding of God’s Word leaving us a Community of Believers guided by the ideology of the day instead of the Spirit of God through His Word. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe its the Church in America, having “…forsaken (its) first love…” (Revelation 2:4) as did the church in Ephesus, that is the corrupting force behind this division. Either way the end result is still the same:  A Divided Church, the mirror image of our culture. I can’t help but wonder if Jesus was referring to the Church in America in Matthew 5:13 when he spoke about the consequences of salt losing it’s saltiness and being “…no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.”

Cultural Battle Lines:  Liberal vs. Conservative

For the most part, this cultural battle is played out along two lines:  Those who see themselves as Liberal, although many on the left prefer the term Progressive, against those who hold to Conservative values, each touting their differences with boisterous rhetoric spouting from the halls of Congress to the pulpits across this land. But is each side really that different from the other? Is is possible their motives are the same? The makers of  whatyououghttoknow.com present a humorous but poignant sketch on Liberals vs Conservatives suggesting that what each side shares in common is the desire for power and that those we elect are merely a reflection of what’s in our own hearts. Given what we see in Washington today, that’s a sobering thought as well as an indictment of the spiritual condition of our nation!

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