Posts tagged ‘belief’

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.

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April 3, 2012

Not Discouraged

by pastortimfowler

untitled - raising my hands to the sky

I was reading through the Apostle Paul’s 2nd letter to the church in Corinth. This was an amazing dude. He was either absolutely a lunatic or he knew something very special. In his first few paragraphs he writes that he was not discouraged with all that was happening to him. In short, he was imprisoned, put in a dungeon, beaten, and given a death sentence all for preaching about Jesus. On top of that, many of his friends and church people who he helped, often turned against him. Many openly doubted that he was really an apostle and the Jews thought that he was a traitor. Through all of this, he maintained a positive attitude toward what he was doing and over and over told people who it was worth it.
What kept this man so motivated? Most normal people would have given up and changed their mind about this new-found faith. As a pastor, I see new believers forsake their faith when tough times hit far too often. I think people have confused a relationship with God and what the Bible tells us with a fairy tale that says, and they all lived happily ever after. No where in the Bible does it say being a Christian would be easy and that no more hard times would ever come our way after we prayed for forgiveness. In fact, it is quite the opposite and Paul wrote about this in most of his letters.
What motivated Paul was his belief that what was on the other side of death was worth it. He believed Jesus when He said that in this world we will have troubles, but what awaited us after we died was a reward that could not be imagined by the human mind because it was so great. He also knew that every person that he was able to convince of this would not spend eternity in Hell, a place the he and Jesus were convinced was real, but the Heaven that they both believed in was far greater than anything this life had to offer and therefore the struggles here were worth it.
Paul knew of the crucifixion that Christ suffered and how brutal it was and that Christ died that horrible death for sinners like him and like me. He knew that Jesus was falsely accused, wrongly sentence and beaten and put to death, as well as rejected by friends and the Jews. Paul often wrote that he considered it an honor to suffer for the cause of Christ.
Now don’t misunderstand me, Paul had some awesome times and he wrote about them too. But his idea of a great time differed from what we would often think of as a great time. He got the chance to preach to kings and governors. He got a chance to see new churches start and become thriving examples of Christianity in cities where immorality was rampant. He saw young men and women leave behind false gods and idolatry and become workers for the cause of Christ. He saw thousands of people change their direction from one that leads to Hell to one that leads to eternity with God. He saw hope given to hopeless and believed that Jesus Christ Himself would greet him one day and say, “Well done, my good faithful servant”.
Yep, things in this life can get you down. It can be hard to cope with losing jobs, seeing loved ones get sick and die, have friends turn on you and face the fact that one day our own lives will come to an end. But we can be encouraged by that hope that Paul had. This hope is that God loves us. He loves us so much that He allowed Jesus to take our death and gives us eternal life when we ask for forgiveness. After that, He allows us to tell as many people as we can about this same hope and the chance of one day hearing those words of “well done” from a Savior who thought it worth the price of His own life so that we could know Him personally.
I was glad I read about Paul and his encouraging message. I was feeling a bit down today, you know, the hassles of living that make you feel blah from time to time. But then I was reminded of the hope that the Bible gives and the fact that this world is not my home. I am only a traveler through it and one day, I will see Jesus face to face. Now, I am not discouraged.

September 13, 2011

Doing What We Are Told

by pastortimfowler

I hate getting older, but considering the option, I think hate is too strong of a word. Last night our men’s Bible study group met over at one of our group member’s house and helped rip out flooring in order to put in new sub-flooring. I was working with a crow-bar and my back was yelling at me to stop. There was a time when that stuff didn’t bother me but now I hate to admit that it does.
My dad always told me to work hard at whatever I was doing. He said that the results that you get will be equal to the effort that you give. I wish he would have told that to some of those boards that were not coming up no matter how much effort I put into it. My siblings and I were raise in a very strict environment and were taught that when a grown-up told you to do something, you did it, no questions asked. I am thankful for that now that I am older and trying to be a better Christian by trying to do what God says do. I am not trying to be better to earn favor, because God already loves me as much as He can, but I want Him to be please with my faith.
Faith is a strange thing to some. Many people think that faith is the gauge of how great of miracles you can do, but I believe it is more about gauging anything that you do. The truest of faith comes when we do the things that we don’t even think about. I never think about sitting in a chair before I do it because I have faith in the chair. Faith is real belief, not wishful thinking that it will be okay. Often my faith is tested when I know what I am suppose to do but struggle with the actual task at hand because of my own personal desires being contradicting to it.
So, The Bible tells us to bear each others burdens. Sometimes that is being a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. Sometimes it is answering the call in the middle of the night to help someone who is tempted or even has fallen to that temptation, and other times it means canceling a Bible study to go help someone tear up a floor. As a pastor I have faced each of these and the last was the hardest. My back hurts even before the work and I am not a construction or even destruction minded person. I get intimidated by those things and often feel in the way instead on helping. It would have been so much easier to have the Bible study for those who “couldn’t make it” to help and to send others to do what I was not willing to do. But if that happened, I would have never experienced the joy of seeing almost three fourths of the men in my Bible study show up to work hard for a few hours. I would have never had the prayer that I prayed answered and I love seeing God immediately answer prayers.
What was the prayer? I was in the middle of a great big grunt to pry off this stubborn piece of plywood and all of the sudden a felt a sharp pain in my lower back. The board did finally come up but my back began to have spasms and I said please Lord, don’t let me have to quit right now. What I didn’t notice was that this was the last piece that we had to get up and that we were finished for the night. BAM! God answered my prayer. My back still hurts and the spasms continued for a few minutes, but I didn’t have to quit, it was just time to quit.
We finished the night by thanking everyone for helping and reminding everyone of this verse: Galatians 6:2 ~ Help carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings.
We did not walk on water and we didn’t heal my back but, our faith was in action by doing what we were told.