This second installment continues my thoughts on things often said, or commonly-thought, about the Christian life that sound true but after reflection are not as true as they first seem. Feel free to leave your own thoughts also!
- Faith is thinking positive thoughts about God.There are many diverse views in the church body concerning what faith is, but a common one I run across is this one. Namely, that when the Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God, or it is by faith we obtain answers to our prayers, that the thing we envision ourselves doing is concentrating real hard on God’s positive attributes, or even Biblical promises, and this act is what faith is all about.
There is of course nothing wrong with — and even everything right with — meditating on God’s divine attributes and on Biblical promises. It is one way for us to come to a greater knowledge of God. It is just not, in itself, faith. Nor for that matter is any effort we put forth.
Continue reading “10 things Christians believe that aren’t true (part 2)”
Just thought I would change up the format a bit and provide my thoughts on things I often overhear in Church circles which sound true, but as I think about them later, as not as true as they first appeared. Feel free to provide your own thoughts by leaving a comment!
- “I am just waiting on the Lord” means sitting on the couch in front of the television eating potato chips. Or going to the beach. Or hanging out with friends. Or doing anything for that matter that is not, in fact, waiting on the Lord.There is not, of course, anything wrong with sitting on the couch in front of the television eating potato chips. I have found myself engaged in that fruitful activity on many occasion. :)But as my older daughter pointed out to me in discussing this subject, “waiting on the Lord” is an expression that has come to mean “taking no action on a particular situation or opportunity.”
Which, by the way, there is nothing wrong with, either. Sometimes the worst thing we can do is take action when the action we should take is not clear. Continue reading “10 things Christians believe that aren’t true (part 1)”
Throughout the years I have heard many believers say it is difficult to hear God. I understand that sentiment. In my own life, there have been times and seasons when He has seemed undoubtedly distant or much quieter than I would have liked.
Continue reading “I hear God most when I am at rest”
A man is awoken in the middle of the night by a figure at the foot of his bed. It is Jesus Himself, who says, “I am sending you to another city, where the thing you have waited for will come to pass. But it is no longer safe for you here; if you remain, you will only find difficulty and heartache.” At that moment, Jesus disappears and the man falls fast asleep. The next morning, the man remembers the event vividly, God’s words as clear as crystal. But he has many ties to the community, and he likes it here, where he lives. He decides instead to remain where he is at. And in a few months, he finds himself enduring tragic and difficult circumstances, just as God said he would.
Is it ever possible the bad we experience is not God’s will? The answer is yes . . . and no.
We have been discussing the topic of God’s sovereignty over the past few weeks. I have been contending that God is responsible for not only the good but also the bad in our lives, at least what we consider bad. But I now wish to ask the question: Is it ever possible the bad we experience is not God’s will? The answer is yes . . . and no. This dual answer, which I shall explain in a moment, actually provides us much insight into how God can be good in the midst of our difficulties.
Continue reading “The Man Who Met God Face to Face”
In our past post, we asked the probing question: Is God responsible for all circumstances in our lives, including the bad things? Many would say no, mainly because it seems to suggest God Himself is not that good of a guy. We wish to protect Him from such a charge, if not in the public arena, then at least in our own minds. We wish to keep Him limited to the good things.
Some may even quote scripture to back this claim. For example, it is Jesus that said, “The thief (devil) has come to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” This certainly speaks to God’s intention for humanity, and also the devil’s. But many take it to mean it speaks to His sovereignty, also. That is, when bad things happen, God is not responsible at all. That is, He had no say or part in it coming to pass. Such a view of God, though it may seem good, is very small. It makes Him out to be not so much supreme over all of creation, but instead powerless over a great part of creation.
Continue reading “The Good, the Bad, and the Almighty”