Archive for ‘God’

January 16, 2013

Walk By Faith

by pastortimfowler

Abraham

In Genesis chapter 12 we meet a man named Abram, later called Abraham. He is named in a genealogy in the previous chapter, but the first few verses of 12 kind of make you think that we should have known this guy a little more than we do at this point in the Bible. God starts talking to this guy and making him promises as if they have known each other for a while; well they had, but we haven’t.
God tells Abram to go to a place that he will be shown later. The motivation behind it almost seems to be the promise of being a great nation, but this guy was old and didn’t have any kids. I have to be honest with you. If God were to tell me to go somewhere, right now, at my age, and promise to give me lots of kids, I would have to seriously consider becoming a Buddhist monk instead. Promising me kids as motivation would be like promising a kid broccoli as motivation.
The sudden introduction of Abram and the assumption that he knew God a lot longer than it took for us to read that much of the Bible, lets us use our imaginations and assume more than we probably should. What I want to share with you is that the safest assumption is that God and Abram had a relationship that was very close. It had to be for this man to leave his land and relatives with no idea of where he was going. And, I know from reading the rest of the Bible and a personal testimony, that God desires relationships with His people and not religion.
God does not make sense. He reminds me of my parents when I was 6. They made no sense to me when they said not to build a ramp for my bicycle in order to jump over my little brother who was laying in front of the ramp. I had been riding for 2 years and can’t remember ever seeing them on a bike. What did they know about daredevil stunts? I had been watching Evil Knievel jump motorcycles over buses and cars and his parents weren’t around telling him to stop it.
You see, God is, or wants to be our Father. He wants to be intimately involved in our lives. He knows when we are in danger and knows how to do what is best for us. We tend to think that God is only there to be at our beck and call when it should be the other way around. God is our maker and our God. He wants us to love him and trust Him and we can, if we will just quit acting like know-it-all 6 year olds.
I think back through my childhood days and remember all the times that I did just trust my dad. He told me to cast my fishing line in that direction and I did, and I caught a fish. He told me to stand up to that bully and don’t act scared and the bully went away. He told me to go over there and wait and the snipes would come running out of the woods…No wait…there was no such thing as snipes and I waited in the dark for quite a while before I figured out it was a joke. But for the most part, I trusted my dad and did things he told me when I did not know the outcome. I did it because I knew he loved me and was going to take care of me.
Now I can see how Abram took off on his journey to a place that God would show him. Abram is the father of the Jews and the Christians and the Muslims. God held up His end of the bargain. He always does and always will. We just need to know Him. We need to walk by faith.

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January 7, 2013

Did God Really Say…?

by pastortimfowler

Blog

Today I was reading Genesis chapter 3 and this is where Adam and Eve were tempted and gave in to temptation. It is the fall of mankind from a life of eternal fellowship with God to one of separation from God and the beginning of humanity’s struggle to accept God’s word for what God intends it to be and what we want it to be. Genesis 3:1The snake was more clever than all the wild animals the LORD God had made. He asked the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must never eat the fruit of any tree in the garden‘?”
The argument of what God really says or really means is as old as mankind. Because we were given free will, we are unlike any other creature that God put on this earth. We have the choice obeying or disobeying. We can choose to believe in God or not. He will never force us to believe. God wants us to believe that He is our creator and that we are precious to Him and that He loves us. He wants us to love Him and love can never before forced. Free will is our blessing and our curse all rolled into one. It is what allows us to choose to believe in this loving God and accept His provision for forgiveness or chose to believe that we can do it ourselves.
Satan, in whom I also believe in, is a master of deception and a master of twisting God’s words. That is how he works and how he got Adam and Eve to fall into sin. It is because Satan knows that we are prideful and pride causes us to think that no one can do it better than we can. No one can love me like I love me. But this is not true. No one knows me better or loves me better than God, our Creator. But Satan twisted that truth and had Eve questioning the truth of God’s word with a little jealousy to stir the pot. Between our pride, jealousy, and nowadays our lack of reading the Bible completely to know the truth, Satan finds it really easy to get us to ask, what did God really say?
Satan told Eve that God just didn’t want us to have this great knowledge of right and wrong and if we did obtain it, God would be jealous that we would know what He knows and that we would be like God. And, like most kids who are far smarter than their parents, she believed that.
Christians are quick to accept the forgiveness and the gift of eternal life, but then we find loopholes and cause for doubt when we read or hear that the Bible tells us not to do or to do things that we don’t feel good about. Feelings, unfortunately will cost many Christian to miss out on many blessings. These same feelings will cause many who are not Christians to miss out on forgiveness and all the time blame God for sending them to Hell.
God does not send people to Hell no more than people get themselves into Heaven. God simply tells us the truth and we use our free will to believe God, who made a simple and complete way of forgiveness and eternity in Heaven, or to not trust God because we think we know better. And all along the way, Satan is there to encourage us to not trust God.
Here are a few things that God says and you can decide what to believe:

Romans 3:23Because all people have sinned, they have fallen short of God’s glory.
Sin is anything that you think say or do that goes against God. This means we have all missed the mark. Most of us don’t have a hard time believing that we have sinned. We just have a hard time believing what will happen to us because we have sinned.

Romans 6:23 The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God told Adam and Eve that they would die when they disobeyed Him. This is a spiritual separation and yes, the physical death is part of the curse. We deserve it because God is God and we are not and we were told to obey Him. His rules, not mine or yours. This is not what God wanted nor wants now, so He gave a solution to our sin problem in Jesus Christ. It is a total gift. This to is not open for our ways to override God’s way.

Romans 10:13 So then, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
You must exercise your free will to call on Him or not. But whoever does, will be saved from their sin problem. Again, simple, singular (in that Jesus is the only way) and our choice. God will not nor can not force us to love Him or accept His love. He wants us to know Him and learn to love Him just as a child learns to love his parents.

Romans 8:1 So those who are believers in Christ Jesus can no longer be condemned.
Just as God took care of Adam and Eve after they disobeyed, He will take care of us. When we trust God’s word for forgiveness, we get God’s word for eternal protection and eternal life. But if we chose not to believe God, then we chose to find out the hard way that God does not lie. And when this life is over, we will all meet Him. Some will meet Him as Savior, some will meet Him as Judge, but all will meet God one day.

Romans 14:11For it is written, “As I live,” says the Lord, “to me every knee shall bow, And to God shall every tongue confess.”
On that day, we will not get the option to ask…Did you (God) really say…?

January 3, 2013

Is There An Eternity?

by pastortimfowler

ETERNITY

Genesis is an incredible book of the Bible. It has the seedbed to all Bible doctrine and has been the source of many questions throughout time. The very beginning of all that we know is put out for scrutiny and scientific analysis. I have heard believers of the creation account called fools and complete idiots for believing such nonsense. But today I want to challenge you to question science with science and to take a good hard look at what the Bible says about the beginning of all that we know as this universe.
Science and the Bible tend to work well together. I believe that God gave us amazing brains and the ability to figure out great mysteries. Somehow science has been turned into an “anti-God” field of study that shows how there is no need for a God and only a desire to show that man is the higher power due to evolution. So lets look at the definition of science.
Science: a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws. I like that definition because it puts the Bible in play. The Bible claims to contain the truth. One thing I learned about the truth long ago is that some people don’t like the truth. Especially when it goes against their feelings. But science is not about feelings it is about facts and truth.
Here is a claim from the Bible that science often disagrees with: Genesis 1:1In the beginning God created heaven and earth. Most scientist say that there was a big bang and this ball of mass exploded causing cosmic dust to form the universe. So lets look at some logic, facts, and science to see which makes more sense.
The real question that I believe must be dealt with is eternity. Either something always existed or at one time there was nothing. Science will prove over and over that nothing cannot be the answer because nothing can’t explode or create something. Nothing, absolute nothing, leaves it impossible for either the Bible or some scientific claims to happen. So that means that something had to have always existed. That works well for me, a Bible believer. And if you are a big banger, it works for you. So what is it that always existed?
Science would have to say it was a lifeless mass so dense that it was collapsing in on itself and exploded. The Bible says that God, a living, loving, all-powerful being always existed. Science uses a term called cause and effect: Cause and effect (also written as cause-effect or cause/effect or cause and consequence) refers to the philosophical concept of casuality, in which an action or event will produce a certain response to the action in the form of another event. So we must ask what caused this lifeless mass to do anything? Was it getting bored with just sitting in a vacuum of space and decided to collapse in on itself one day? Science says that there must have been a cause for this action.
The Bible says that God, an intelligent and all-powerful being spoke into existence all that we see. There is cause and effect. Science. Sure it is not easy to understand how, but it does meet the criteria for science better than the other possibility. Remember that we are not going on feelings, only science and facts and truth.
You see the true problem that must be addressed is the problem of eternity. If mankind can prove that there was a beginning to everything from lifelessness, then the Bible is wrong and we don’t have to worry about eternity on the other end, death, nor answering to a higher authority when we die. If all that we see came from nothing of any intelligence or power or conscience, then we are merely scientific accidents awaiting our end.
But, if God did create everything because He has always existed, then we have to admit that we are not the highest form of life and there is a possibility that we will have an eternity on the other side of death and we may have to give an account to Him, the one true living God.
God loves us and wants us to spend eternity with Him. He made a way. His name is Jesus. And whoever will call on the name on the Lord will be saved.
Romans 14:11-12
11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, to me every knee shall bow, And every tongue shall confess to God.
12 So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.

January 2, 2013

2013…the year of the blog

by pastortimfowler

Story_of_God

 

Happy New Year to all in the blogosphere. 2013 is going to be a great year if you have the right attitude and motivation. My motivation is driven by what I find in God’s Word, the Bible. I know some who read these things are not big Bible believers and some are skeptics, and some are on the fence about what you believe. But I happen to believe it and think that it is quite a motivational book when understood and taken in context.
This year I thought that I would try to share more of that with you. This does not mean that you will always agree with me, although you should, but I hope that it will challenge you to think about a few things, especially things like eternity and whether or not we need to be concerned about it. I invite feedback and criticism, after all, nothing sparks a good debate better than the Bible. All I ask is that you keep it clean and keep it open for thought and discussion.
Each year I try to read the Bible from beginning to end. I have been doing this for about 20 years now and most years have been successful. Every time I read it I find something awesome and refreshing and I learn something new. I have had to change my mind on some stuff because I better understood the whole thing and have had to eat some crow because I did not understand things as well as I thought. But one thing has always been true; I have never found a contradiction that could not be explained or could lead me to believe the Bible is wrong. There are still plenty of things that I can’t explain, but nothing that I can’t accept.
So this year as I read through it again, I am going to share some of my findings and ask some questions and who knows, maybe I will give some answers. I am going to be blunt and give evidence or at least attempt to give some logic and every now and then I may even have to say that I just don’t know the answer. The reason is, I think I have more and better answers from the Bible than most are getting from elsewhere, especially when it comes to trying to prove that God does not exist and that the Bible is not scientific. I think you may be surprised by what I might share over the next year.
God has always been a source of controversy. No one was around when He created it all, so skeptics says it was an accident. Most who disagreed with Him have already died and although they know the truth now, can’t argue anymore. Those who are still alive can’t prove He doesn’t exist any more than I can prove He does. And, God does not need to proven to be God. I will leave you with this to close out this blog. Not believing in God will not stop you from meeting Him. If I am wrong, it really doesn’t matter. But if you are wrong, eternity is riding on it.
Thanks for an awesome 2012 and thanks for following me into 2013. It is going to be a great year! The year of the blog!

November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving

by pastortimfowler

thank you note for every language

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I love this holiday. I have more than I can name to be thankful for, but I always like to mention a few.
I am thankful for my wife. She is the girl of my dreams and the love of my life. Everything I ever wanted in a woman is fulfilled in her, except the fact that she does not fish or like baseball. (I have to keep her humble) Other than that, she is everything I could dream of in a wife.
I am thankful for my kids and grandkids. They are far from perfect, but, I still like them. None of them have become filthy rich yet so I will probably have to work until I am really old. I am still thankful for them.
I am thankful for my church. It is full of really weird people who remind me that God made none of us perfect. Some of them look weird and most of them act weird. They will make it possible for me to continue working as a pastor until I am really old.
I am thankful for the friends that I have. Really.
I am thankful for my salvation through Jesus Christ. I do not deserve what He did for me.
I think that is all I want to mention right now. There has been plenty that I did not mention for someone to get their feelings hurt because I did not mention them or what they did.
I want to close out this blog by telling you who I am thanking. Way too many people say that they are thankful, but don’t really think about who they are thankful too. In my case it is God. Not a god, but the one true living God. The one who forgave me, started fixing me, and will always love me. The God that gave me everything I mentioned above and everything I failed to mention. He made the turkeys that we will eat and the families that we will be hanging out with. He gave His Son to die in my place and His Spirit to guide me through this life. Without Him I am nothing but a body waiting to expire. With Him I am anything He wants me to be and even though this life is temporary, He has assured me of a life that will never end. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. That is who I am thanking. Not just during this great holiday, but everyday that He lets me live on this earth.
Thanks God! And Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

November 19, 2012

God In The Irritations Of My Life

by pastortimfowler

God is our...

Sorry for the lack of blogs lately. I have been dealing with the aftermath of the church fire, extra people in my house, and a barrage of other stuff that has had me a bit distracted. Through it all, God has been in touch with me, mainly through Twitter and Facebook, but sometimes right in my face. I thought that I could share a few things that He showed me.
He is in the stuff that I find irritating. I know that this may sound as if I am saying that God is irritating, and I am not. I do get rather flustered with Him from time to time because He refuses to let me be in charge or He lets me and everything gets all messed up. But, God is in the stuff that has been irritating me in some really cool ways.
I love my grandkids and I love the kids in my church. But kids irritate me. Unlike my wife who is a kid addict, I can only tolerate kids in small amounts and in short bursts. So with the fire at our church rendering our children’s area unusable, the kids have been coming into the adult worship area while I am preaching. The result; several of them have accepted Jesus as their Savior and I got to baptize 5 of them in the last two weeks. Many of them have come up to me and told me with all the excitement of a little child about how cool it was and thanked me for it. WOW! God is all in that irritation.
Lately I have been trying to do more with my grandkids, especially my oldest grandson who is 7. He lives with his dad and mom and a bunch of girls, and girls are trouble, we all know that. His dad works rotating shifts and does not get to take part in things like scouts and a lot of weekend stuff, so I am trying to fill in. In the past few months I have been to three camping events with him and slept in a tent and gone without a shower and fed him more junk food than he should have ever been allowed to eat.
I also took him to a Gamecock football game this weekend. There is about an hour drive to the stadium from my house and to help keep him entertained, I took the wife’s tablet so he could play games. I find it hard to have meaningful conversation with a 7-year-old for more than a couple of minutes, much less for an hour. Guess what? The tablet was not charged. So for an hour, we talked. Did you know that a 7-year-old can talk continuously for 15 minutes without stopping or even breathing? And I learned that I could throw a Chees-it and hit him in the mouth while I was driving but can’t catch one when he throws it. I also learned that if you slowed down beside the semi truck while he pumped his fist, that after several miles, even the toughest truck driver will eventually blow his horn.
I love to watch the Gamecocks play. Having a 7-year-old with you limits that ability. But when it is really cold and the wind is blowing hard and you told the kid to leave his jacket in the truck because you were not taking yours, kids can be an excellent heat source. So he sat in my lap most of the game and that was a great way to talk about the game, and eat pizza at the same time. And because it was military appreciation day, I got to tell him how God allowed us to be free to do what we are doing because of their service. Then to hear him say, ” God wanted us to be here today” was the icing on the cake.
I came home that night to find my 1-year-old grandson there. He will be staying with us for a few days. I don’t get to see him that often because his parents live a couple of hours away. But when I walked in, he ran to me. I tried to run away, but God wanted him to hug me and kiss me. I get really irritated when slobbery little kids try to kiss me, especially when I am not ready and they kiss me in the mouth. (gag). I am not sure why I felt the overwhelming presence of God at that time, but I did.
And finally, the fire at the church. What a pain. But I have met some really awesome people who are working to clean up the mess. I have talked to them about our church, invited them to attend, and had several tell me that they will come. My church folks have been amazingly understanding about the inconvenience and have stepped up in more ways than I can count to make this really irritating circumstance more than bearable.
God has really been in the middle of this most irritating time. He has been the peace when things are hectic. He has been the wisdom when things are crazy. He has been the love when I felt like I did not want to love or be loved. But I don’t know why I am surprised. He promised that He would never leave me or forsake me. He never lies and never disappoints. He gives me so many reasons to be thankful and just in time for Thanksgiving. What an awesome God I serve!

September 6, 2012

Force Fed God

by pastortimfowler

God is our...

Yesterday I saw on the news the vote to allow God to be part of the DNC platform again. Somehow the brilliant move to eliminate God from the platform was actually made and they had to vote on bringing Him back. Many think it was an oversight and never meant to have been such a big deal. If it was on purpose, I personally don’t understand why they would not want God there. He is usually very quiet and for the most part just observes such events. When you watch the vote that took place it was not convincing that the majority wanted God back on the platform. Either way, I believe He was being forced on those who did not want Him there to begin with. But there is no way to have a convention without God, like it or not.
Politics is a strange thing. You are either very passionate about your political views or you are barely aware of these sort of things. Those who are very passionate take great offense to anyone who would criticize their point of view and those who are not involved act as if they have never heard of the election system, other than the fact that we vote for who we would like to have as our leaders. I tend to be more of the type that could care less about most things that make the news and only focus on a couple of major issues. I don’t voice my politics to loudly, but don’t hide how I feel when asked.
God is a major factor in how I lean politically. But at the same time, I am not persuaded by just talk about God. I like to see the actions and most importantly, does what a politician say match up to what the Bible says. This is only applicable for moral issues. There are many issues that I have to go with my gut on and I always remember that there is no way a politician can keep his word on everything nor can he remember everything he has every said. So I don’t go for the gotcha moments that news programs like to run.
I do not believe that anyone who runs for public office wants to kill any people in our society. When I see images of people rolling little old ladies off cliffs, I laugh and think about how stupid some people must be to expect anyone to believe such garbage. I also don’t believe that politicians who say they will never raise taxes actually believe that we, the people, believe that is true. Most ads ran during a political campaign are designed to shock and play on the emotions of people. I believe that both political parties know that if they just ran ads with facts and figures that the people would probably fall asleep during election cycles. Politics have become big business for big egos.
I have good friends who are Democrats and good friend who are Republicans. Some are very involved in the process and others are casual observers. Neither are bad people, even the ones whom I totally disagree with politically. Some of them are very vocal about their affiliation to a particular party while others probably don’t even care enough to vote. But here is a fact.Your political party affiliation does not make you a Christian nor does it make you a good or bad Christian. It only makes you a Democrat or a Republican. All governments and their leaders are a result of a sovereign God allowing that leader to rule over His people. Christians are to respect whoever that is and follow the laws of the land. We are free to voice our opinions, but never free to condemn solely because we disagree with their policies. We must follow the laws of the land and use the proper means available to peacefully change the things that we don’t like.
We can not force God on people, nor do we have to. God has made Himself known through the wonder of His creation. He has set things in order according to His will and not ours. He will be at the DNC with or without a vote. He will be with the Republican nominees whether they want Him there or not. God is not elected by man and will never be dethroned by any vote or popular opinion or political affiliation. God is God because He always has been God and always will be. No need to force feed Him to anyone. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess. Not believing will not stop you from meeting Him. God is God alone.

July 30, 2012

Expecting More

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lollar/14941173/in/photostream/

As a pastor of many years and a church person of many more, there have been a lot of things that have stuck with me. One of them is how church people can get stuck in ruts of complacency. I did a blog last week about getting in a comfort zone. It is a dangerous thing for people who claim to know God to get to the point to where they expect the same ol’ stuff from God. But this is not a blog about being comfortable, it as about expecting more.
This morning I was talking with someone at the church and we were laughing about how busy we have been. At our church it is common to have stuff happening every day of the week. We like to use our building and let others use it. But there are a few things that are unique to our church and that is what we were talking about. In the last week we have not only had our regular schedule of worship and classes, but we have had a wedding, a funeral, baptisms, communion, baby dedication, and salvation. On top of that, we have recently been on missions trips, raised money for other churches, hosting exchange students, helped church members who needed it, helped homeless in our area, and regularly do counseling. This year we have had outdoor movies, tailgate parties, motorcycle rides, scuba trips, and of course the ever popular church work day. All of this leads to bunches of people visiting us for the first time and many deciding to stick around.  So much that we have almost reached our capacity on Sunday morning at 10:30am and are preparing to start a second worship time the first Sunday in January 2013. Not to brag too much, but we have had the privilege of seeing over 60 people make a decision to trust Jesus and over 30 of those have already been baptized this year, 2012.
All of this makes for a crazy pace and it often feels like we never know what to expect next. I love it. It sounds crazy at times and would be overwhelming if it weren’t for all the people who help make these things happen. I believe it is all in line with what God wants us to do because of all the ones who come to know Jesus. Far to often churches are fine with the same faces in the crowd every week. We get very uncomfortable if we don’t see strange faces in our crowd.
It is exciting to see what God can do using a bunch of strange people like us. He never asked for us to be better than anyone else, but rather God asks us to admit that we are sinners in need of His help. Then He forgives our sins, if we ask, and helps us to make changes in our lives that please Him. Most importantly, God wants us to love people, just the way they are. When that happens, people get curious and God gets the glory when they get to know Him, through His people.
I am expecting more from God. He never tires of blessing His children. He never gets bored and is never boring. If you have gotten that impression of God, you have been in the wrong place. The God I know and see working in my church is incredible and loving and far from boring. He has plenty of room in His family and in His church for you. Sure, you may have to change your mind on a few things, but that is the same with all of us who call ourselves Christians. Jesus said that He came to give us life and give it more abundantly, and He does not lie, I am expecting more!

July 25, 2012

Comfort Zone

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/uncorrectedproofs/3483703050/

I like being comfortable, don’t you? My bed, my truck, my way. All of these make me comfortable. I don’t like sleeping in strange beds, riding in someone else’s car, or doing things someone else’s way. That being said, why does God always seem to be getting us out of our comfort zones? I think He has a weird sense of humor and likes watching us say things like, “I will never do that”, or “God would never ask me to do this”. I learned years ago to not say those things very often and thought that I had gone unnoticed for a while. But…NOOOOoooo. I had to tell someone who getting an exchange student was not for me and I didn’t think that God would want me to do that.
So, a friend, and I use that term loosely now, told me that she needed someone to take an exchange student for a month until she could find a longer term family for him to stay with. My first response was not what I wanted to say. I told her she could talk to my wife about it. Remember her? She is the baby addict who loves all kids and would have 100 of them at my house all the time if I would let her. I know what she is going to say.
Now don’t go freaking out yet. It is not final. God could change His mind. And the point of this is not to tell you about us getting an exchange student. It is about not getting comfortable with God. It is about making yourself available to share the love of Christ with anyone, anytime, even at my house, even if you don’t live there.
Last month I went to Cuba. I had just told someone, a few months prior to being asked to go, that I did not think that God wanted me to go outside the country to serve Him. God had me just where He wanted me and I knew it. So, off to Cuba He sent me and it was one of the most incredible times I have ever had. About 11 years ago I was very comfortable in my hometown of Spartanburg and knew that God wanted me to stay there forever and serve in churches there. I have been living in Rock Hill now for 10 years and it is amazing. 33 years ago I was perfectly happy living the life of a bachelor and now I just celebrated my 32nd wedding anniversary…happily.
As a pastor I am constantly challenging people to listen to God and hearing them say that God is telling them to stay with what they are doing and remain comfortable. I laugh at them, on the inside, and tell them to be careful because God is always listening. Comfort is not God. Peace is God. Comfort makes you go to sleep. Peace makes you able to stay focused even though the storm is raging around you. Comfort is doing the same thing week in and week out and not seeing much different happen. Peace is not knowing why things keep happening all around you but wow, people’s lives are being changed by the presence of God.
About 20 years ago, I felt like God was calling me into the ministry. I was a few months removed from being a complete drunk and self-centered jerk. Very few people believed that God would call me to be a pastor, but I knew it was happening. I did not like it. I did not want it. I just knew it was happening. Today I have been the pastor, for ten years, of a church that is unbelievably growing with folks that are a lot like I was 20 years ago. They are not sure of why, but are sure of Who is calling them to be different. Some are facing the call to trust God for something more. Some are stepping out in faith and finding that they really can trust God to do everything that He says He will do. Some are just getting the courage to invite a friend who is still struggling with life’s constant bombardment of crap to visit this place that will accept them without judging them. It is so exiting to watch.
So let me encourage you to get uncomfortable with God for a while. If you call yourself a Christian, you should not be comfortable around God, you should be at peace. There is nothing comfortable of being around perfection when you are so far from it. But it is mind-blowing to be considered the child of God who is using you to do something that you never thought possible and finding out you love it.
Meanwhile I am still hoping that God is only messing with me about this exchange student and soon I will hear Him say, “PSYCH!”, ’cause this has me way out of my comfort zone.

May 15, 2012

There Is No God

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/naturegal/4267190771/

As a pastor and a Christian, I have heard many criticisms of my faith. I am cool with that, after all, there was a time when I did not believe and offered as bad, if not worse criticisms myself. One of the things I often hear is how cruel and intolerant God and the Christian faith is. I have to admit that most of the harsh things said about Christians are earned by those who call themselves Christians, but God is a different story. He is called cruel and intolerant for a lot of wrong reasons and mostly because people refuse to read the whole Bible and take things in context. I include Christians in this. They are just as bad to quote one liner to point out how bad someone or something is and tell you that you are going to hell. The Bible was never meant to be a book to prove our point by pulling out what fits our argument. It is meant to show how God is God and we are not and that there is morality that matters in this world and those morals are based on who He is and not what we think it should be.
So for a moment I am blogging as if there is no God.
If you disagree with me about anything, you are a scumbag. I make the rules and I am right. Who are you to disagree with me? Nature put me at the top of the food chain and my opinion of what is right is right. Sure, you can have an opinion, but I don’t care what it is and that makes you intolerant because you won’t even try to understand why I am right. I made myself to be the god of this blog and anywhere else I am. My beliefs are right because I believe them.
I, for this blog, now believe in evolution and natural selection. It is good science and it is right. Natural selection is the process by which biological organisms with favorable traits survive and reproduce more successfully than organisms that do not possess such traits, and, conversely, organisms with deleterious traits survive and reproduce less successfully than organisms lacking such deleterious traits. (New World Encyclopedia) Because of this, I must be superior or I would not have survived. Therefore, people who are inferior to me will be or should be dead and cease to exist. This includes homosexuals who cannot reproduce for themselves and therefore must be inferior. They should not survive the evolutionary process and should be dead. Don’t get mad at me, there is no God and I am making the rules. Who are you to try to force your morals on me? You fascist pig. That is real science that backs me up. Only someone who believes in a loving God who provides a way for all of a fallen humanity to be forgiven would ever think that homosexuals have a right to exist on this planet. Real humanists know that evolution is right and never would allow for anything that can’t even reproduce itself to continue to evolve. That would be unscientific and mean that evolution is flawed and cruel. It would mean that weaker things could not continue and have to be replaced by better things, like me.
Okay, back to reality. I do believe in God. Yes, God allows for sin to be punished by death, but at least it is because of a sin of choice rather than being born a certain way that condemns us. Humans are all going to sin. I too have and do still sin. Over time God dealt with sin in different ways. But every time He dealt with sin, He offered a chance to repent first. Read the whole Bible before you challenge me on that one. God never just kills innocent people. God even cares when an animal dies. But nature and evolution, have no conscious or morals and the weak and inadequate will die with no hope. And if there is no God or higher authority, who are you or anyone else to tell me how to live? If there is no God, then I will be God to myself and you can not.
God is love and chose to give a way to be forgiven through the death of His Son. He is holy, we are not. But God made it possible for us to become one with Him. Not through evolution or natural selection, but through redemption. No sin is worse than another. We don’t get to choose what sin is, God does. We don’t get to condemn either, so stop it Christians. We need to remember that we are only going to heaven by the grace of a loving God, not because we are special. And none of us have become perfect in this body. (I am close).
The Bible is a beautiful book of God’s love for a fallen creation and His provision to restore us. He has, does, and will judge sin that is not forgiven, but did, will, and does forgive any and all sin when asked. And there are no bigger sins than another. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.