Posts tagged ‘lie’

January 24, 2013

Isaac Could Have Died

by pastortimfowler

Isaac

In Genesis 22 God’s promise of a son to Abraham has been fulfilled and God tests Abraham’s faith with a really bizarre request. He tells Abraham to take his only son Isaac to the place of worship and sacrifice him. Without chasing that obvious questions of “isn’t that cruel”, because it isn’t if you know God’s promise to him. I want to talk about Abraham’s faith. This whole story is a Christ like story. Think about the similarities. Abraham’s only son, God’s only Son. Isaac carried the wood up the hill, Christ carried the cross up a hill. The father, Abraham was asked to sacrifice, God the Father offered the sacrifice. There was a ram with thorns around its head, Christ wore a crown of thorns. I could go on, but I think you can see the similarities.
Abraham had been promised that God would make his descendants more than the stars in the sky. If Isaac dies, how could this happen? So Abraham had to make a choice. Trust God or argue with God. The Bible tells us that God would rather have our obedience than our sacrifice. But if God wants our sacrifice, we need to trust Him to still fulfill His promises. God cannot lie.
So what were the choices that God had? Well, He could have let the sacrifice happen. If so, He would have had to raise Isaac from the dead or have his 100 plus year old wife have another baby. God could do either. Raising the dead is not hard for God to do. It is hard for us to believe and understand, but not hard for God. Sarah had Isaac at 99, so it wouldn’t be hard at 100 plus.
He could have caused the knife not to penetrate Isaac. Jesus walked through walls and disappeared from among crowds. God made himself in the form of fire and smoke and human flesh, I am sure that He could cause a knife to not penetrate skin.
What God did was what Abraham said God would do. He provided the lamb. As the knife was raised, an angel said stop and they looked and there was a ram in the thorn-bush. It was the lamb from God, again a Jesus picture, as He is THE Lamb of God.
Sure, Isaac could have died. But Abraham believed God and we are told in Hebrews that God counted this faith toward Abraham’s righteousness. As I said, God wants our obedience more than our sacrifice. He wants us to believe that His promises can be trusted no matter how bizarre they sound. God’s ways are higher than ours and our understanding is not required. He wants us to do what we are asked and allow Him to be God. He has done miracles as long as we have been on earth and even before. Nature’s laws do not apply to God and He will never allow the impossible to make Him a liar.
So next time that you are faced with the unbelievable and even the impossible, remember that God is the God of impossible and His love for us is unending. If He tells you to do the unthinkable, first, know that it is from God. Abraham knew this was from God, because Abraham had a very close relationship with God. He knew His voice and knew His promises were true.
I don’t think that God will ask you to sacrifice your child. I often prayed for that when my children were little and was not given the go ahead. But He may ask you to be obedient in the face of logic and worldly wisdom. Knowing God will mean that whatever He asks of you, you can find peace and you can trust Him. The closer your relationship, the greater the peace. The greater the faith, the easier it is to do the impossible.

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August 25, 2011

Responding to the Response

by pastortimfowler

Photo copyrights see http://www.flickr.com/photos/capturecreation/5733866534/in/pool-inspiks

Not understanding God is does not mean that He is wrong or what His word, the Bible, says is wrong. In fact, it is confirmation that what the Bible says about God is correct. Isaiah 55:9 “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” I constantly remind myself of this verse. But that does not mean that we can’t, won’t, or shouldn’t try to understand the things that challenge us.
One of my last blogs was responded to more than any other in quite a while. The one about lying. Many agreed with me, which by the way, is the right thing to do, but I was surprised at how many tried to justify that there was a good time to lie. I have to admit and remind you that I too said that it was very difficult and at times it seemed right, but God disagrees. If Jesus is the Way, THE TRUTH, and the Life, then anything not the truth is not the way to go.
Many of you gave scriptural references of people who lied. Abraham, Moses’ family and others were brought to my attention. What you have to realize is that God did not put those in there as an example of what to do, but rather as an example of how He could still use a fallen mankind. In the case of Moses, it is important to remember that the whole reason Israel was in Egypt was because of a lie. Joseph was left for dead, sold as a slave and dad was told that he was in fact dead. Only by God’s grace and favor on Joseph did his family eventually move to Egypt during the famine and eventually ended up as slaves. Lies and sin never go unpunished. God is a just God and cannot allow sin to go unchecked.
Sure, there were always good things that came from the situations but that is not because of man’s sin, it is solely because of God’s grace. His grace is greater than all of our sins. Jesus did not die for the righteous, but for the sinner. It was a lie that convicted Jesus, but God used that lie as part of His plan to redeem fallen man. The only way an innocent man can be convicted is through a lie or the truth being ignored, call it what you want.
In the past several months I have been pounding into the ears of my church and anyone who will listen the fact that God wants us to read the entire Bible starting at Genesis 1:1 and all the way through to Revelation 22:21. Only when we take the entire Bible into account can the whole truth be revealed. Stories, chapters, or verses always build on or compliment the rest of the Bible. It is not a book of one liners to prove our point or children’s stories to teach a fable. It is the living word of God, the Truth, and the story of the redemption of a fallen man.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval. 17 They equip God’s servants so that they are completely prepared to do good things. Our human nature wants us to lie. It wants us to find a reason to justify our actions when they contradict the Bible. But if you are a Christian, your human nature must be replaced with God’s nature and a desire for the truth. Satan is the father of ALL lies, and we are no longer his children but rather Children of God, born into the family by the Truth, Jesus Christ.
Thanks so much for being honest about what you think about my blogs. Thanks for being honest enough to say that you struggle with some things that God says. We all do. In fact, let me leave you with one last scripture to help when you struggle.
Romans 3:2-4
2 There are all kinds of advantages. First of all, God entrusted them with his word.
3 What if some of them were unfaithful? Can their unfaithfulness cancel God’s faithfulness?
4 That would be unthinkable! God is honest, and everyone else is a liar, as Scripture says, “So you hand down justice when you speak, and you win your case in court.”

April 25, 2011

Is the Easter Bunny a lie?

by pastortimfowler

Sorry for the down time, but nature called. No, not the bathroom, scuba diving. I took a 3 day trip to Florida for some fossil hunting with a few close friends and my son. I had a blast, got rested and now I am ready to get back to keeping the world informed.


While I was gone there were a few good blog ideas that were sent to me on Facebook. One was about the idea of the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and Santa and if it was a lie to tell our kids about them.
I want people to pay attention in church and when they do pay attention I want them to be able to live a more Godly life. I try to teach that too often we try to make the Bible more difficult than it is. When God says to tell the truth, that is what He means. So where does that leave the Easter Bunny? Is the Easter Bunny a lie?
This could be fun for my vegan friends. To think that they read my blogs and I get to say stuff like, rabbits are for eating not bringing baskets of candy and eggs. ROFL, or for those who are not as abbreviation savvy as I am, that means “rolling on floor laughing”. Oh wait! That in not true. I am not literally rolling on the floor. I think I just lied. See how easy it is to confuse sarcasm, exaggeration, and even abbreviation, as lies? As you can see, this thing about lying can be a difficult one to be truly literal about. But I still love fried rabbit.
We have to be careful what we teach our kids and how far we go with things that are such big events in their lives. Christmas and Easter should be big events in a kid’s life but for different reasons than they have come to be. These are the two biggest Christian events that we can teach. The virgin birth of our Savior and the death and resurrection of our Savior. But ask most kids what they mean and who it is about and you get Santa and the Rabbit.
For those who don’t know, I will never condemn someone for participating in these two traditions. I never cared for the Rabbit thing because that to me is just a big slap in the face to Christians from the secular world. It is very difficult to get from a crucified Savior and His resurrection to a Rabbit bringing candy and eggs. I would choose to teach my kids about Jesus and give them candy to reinforce that truth than to support a real stretch of the imagination. Besides, rabbits do not care about people getting candy. They are better pan-fried with a little garlic or kept as pets that do nothing more than make a mess. FYI, I don’t like rabbits as pets.
Santa is a fantasy based on some truth. Saint Nicholas was a real man who did take gifts to children. He was a Christian and from what I can find, someone who believed in helping and giving to others.
Santa is easy to explain as a fun fantasy for kids and easy to bring in the real teaching of the holiday. We can tell our children about the real man who started the tradition and how it was his love of Jesus that compelled him to do what he did. We can explain that it is fun to imagine him flying around the world helping others and a sleigh and 8, (9) if you count Rudolf, reindeer. I think children can have just as much fun with the fantasy and not have to present it as fact. And it is easy to take what “Santa” does and teach our children to be givers.
In case you were wondering, I never eat reindeer.
What I am saying is that as parents we have a responsibility to allow kids to be kids. Indulging in fantasy and having creative imaginations are perfectly normal. When we present fiction as fact, we risk confusing them and yes, we lie to them. Often this presents a dilemma for parents who become Christians years after having children and have been teaching them about Santa and the Rabbit. But kids appreciate the truth and done with love, they can be told the truth. After all, most lies are done with the intent of deception for personal gain. Not that it is right, but Santa and the Rabbit are more childhood fantasy than lies for personal gain. Unlike trolls and monsters and fairies which we do tell our kids are not real…unless its the TOOTH FAIRY!
So what about the Tooth Fairy? Please, do I have to tell you what I think about that? We all know that she is not really a she, but rather one of Santa’s elves who was fired for stealing and went to work for the Easter Bunny, but quit because the money was fake too, and ended up going into business for his self as a cross-dresser who in the day time posts weird, “important” stuff on Facebook for everyone to re-post if they really care.
Let me know what you think. Is the Easter Bunny a lie?

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