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Blog Category: Christianity (6 posts)
Luke J. Wilson | 06th January 2018 |
The topic of human suffering is a subject many Christians struggle with, and is an issue many theologians have written about over the centuries — so it's definitely not something I can fully address in a single blog post!
But there are some general principles we can find in Scripture that many Christians can/do accept, which should act as a starting point to addressing this subject, such as:
We live in a fallen world due to sin (Gen 3), and so things aren’t perfect and neither are people, therefore suffering can happen from illness, nature, and human action (or inaction).
Not all suffering is necessarily “bad”, from a Christian perspective. For example, if we are made to suffer due to our faith, we should rejoice to be counted as partakers in Christ’s suffering —
1 Peter 4:12-16
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.
If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you.
But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker.
Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Sometimes suffering can be used to test our faith to make us stronger, which we see an example of with Peter in the Gospels:
“Simon, Simon, listen!...
Luke J. Wilson | 06th November 2015 |
As much as it a pains me to give this guy any more exposure, sometimes you need to in order to expose something.
First, you need to watch the latest video from Joshua Feuerstein to understand what I'm talking about here:
I do this not to further his “cause” or “movement” but rather to counteract it. Mainly with something more practical, but hopefully also with more common sense too.
It's things like this that give Christianity a bad name. I mean really, is this really what Christians should be worried about? Why not do something more useful like feed the homeless and start a movement that'll actually benefit society AND do something Jesus actually commanded and cared about?
Joshua Feuerstein: YouTuber, pastor and social media celebrity.
Feeding the hungry, helping those in need, comforting the lonely, healing the sick… you know, the things that God and the Bible speak a lot about and places a high level of importance on as ways of living out your faith in a way that pleases God. Getting all offended and upset over coffee cups just seems to be missing the point really. This whole thing is just ridiculous at the end of the day.
I suggest starting a better movement. A movement of people who practically live out and demonstrate their faith by caring and aiding those less fortunate; a movement that if done consistently by everyone who follows Jesus (and not just leaving it to the charities and organisations to deal with) then it could very well make a change and difference in our societies.
I won't suggest a hashtag though because part of living out like this is to also bring humility and make one more humble – not boastful or full of pride on social media by declaring every good deed you do with a slogan for all to see.
Do good, but do it because the love of Christ compels you. Don't do it with the motive and purpose of being seen in order to attract praise. This is not the way of Christ.
There's no need to hashta...
Luke J. Wilson | 28th June 2015 |
The next fifty years in this country (the UK), and the U.S. — the West in general especially really — is going to be very interesting for society; for the Church. Mainly for the Church. Society is going through a major shift, almost on a global scale. A great divide is coming and will hit the Church over issues of sexuality and marriage. More so than it might already seem.
A great divide is coming
Only one side will come out of it as the dominant "winner". The other, to reside in obscurity in the annals of embarrassing history. Everything is being done under the guise of "love" — almost as if to try and shame the Church into looking as though it's not being or preaching "LOVE" as it's meant to. But it's not love, not truly, it's hedonism with a 'love-mask'.
It is lust and desire renamed as "love". The only way the world will be put right is if the Church truly lives out and demonstrates TRUE LOVE. Not fairytale Disney "true love" but real, actual, LOVE.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
The Church needs to step up, stop squabbling, and demonstrate true love.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
Stop worrying about how The World acts and lives, and manage your own house.
For what have I to do with judging those outside? Is it not those who are inside that you are to judge? 1 Cor 5:12
Act in love towards one another and let that bleed out INTO the World. Let them know us by our love and watch them come.
God's house will stand in spite of us....
Luke J. Wilson | 02nd May 2014 |
By now, most people (in Christian circles, at least) will have heard about the Jars of Clay controversy. For those that are thinking "how on earth could there be controversy over some jars?" let me clarify: they are a contemporary Christian music band. The controversy is because the frontman, Dan Haseltine, tweeted some thoughts on the topic of gay marriage.
Shocking, I know.
This is what started it all:
The treatment of people as less than human based on the color of skin is crazy... Or gender, or sexual orientation for that matter.
— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 21, 2014
Not meaning to stir things up BUT... Is there a non-speculative or non "slippery slope" reason why gays shouldn't marry? I don't hear one.
— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 21, 2014
I'm trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But It doesn't hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women's suffrage.
— Dan Haseltine (@scribblepotemus) April 21, 2014
Plus many, many, more tweets as time went on, with the whole twitter/blogosphere alight with this madness. Apparently even some radio stations had pulled Jars of Clay's music because of this assumed support of gay marriage by Dan, and by association, the band too. Dan has since issued an apology on his blog, and expanded on his thoughts in ways which the twitter character limitations wouldn't allow him to previously.
But as much of a hot-button topic as gay rights within the Church is, it is not what I want to talk about now. No, what got me was the way in which the Christians reacted to this news about JoC and the tweets, and how all the bloggers etc. exploded with articles with some hints of condemnation.
Jars of Clay at Toronto, Canada. Photo: Ian Muttoo
Though I do agree that twitter probably wasn't the best place to voice such questions and thoughts, which I do think were genuine and not merely provocative, that doesn't excuse the way in whi...
Luke J. Wilson | 25th April 2014 |
The Church is so whiny at times. At least in the West it seems, from the various news outlets which like to showcase the "worst" (and actual worst) of the bunch. Sometimes I read articles and wonder why do certain Christians care so much about this!? It's usually a non-issue really, often under the guise of "principles" or "persecution."
Now I realise that some of the articles I linked to above could also relate to serious issues that we, as Christians, should face and discuss. But even from a quick search on Huffington Post and the BBC News for "Christian", the majority of articles (as of writing) from America relate to homosexuality in some form, and for the UK, they are about David Cameron saying we are a "Christian country" (though, admittedly, that last piece of news probably has non-Christian's whining more).
Though nothing quite sums up the Christian attitude more than the recent fiasco in the news about Google's doodle for Easter — or rather, lack thereof.
Here is the "offending" Google page on Easter day:
Shocking, isn't it.
Apparently it was/is to many Christians who felt the need to vent their frustrations and outrage on the Google forums (and even declare a boycott), as you can see from the screenshot below (click for larger view):
I'm sure there was probably many more comments too. Source: aattp.org
Yep, even Google not doing something is something to get in a flap about. The thing is though, Google has done an Easter "doodle" before, and also has done a Christmas "doodle" pretty much every year since 1999!
Except the real problem here isn't really the lack of a "doodle," but rather the fact that these Christians are apparently happy when Christmas and Easter is 'doodled' using nothing but secular imagery. Even if Google decided to honour the holiday with a "doodle" — do you really expect them to draw a crucifixion or a nativity scene? No, they are going to, and do, generally appeal to secular culture, rather than ...
Luke J. Wilson | 16th April 2014 |
According to NASA, there are about two lunar eclipses per year. This time there happens to be four all within 18 months - something astronomers call a tetrad.
I'm slightly surprised I've not seen much about this yet (maybe a good thing?), but it does seem as though this is an event certain Christians have been waiting for - and writing books about! I came across this on a recent Huffington Post article which gives this story also about church leaders saying these moons are "an omen of Armageddon and Second Coming of Christ", but I'm not so sure about that.
I did recognise one of the names mentioned, though: John Hagee, a Texas megachurch pastor. It was probably something I read about him and these so-called "blood moon prophecies" before, which happens to be what his book is about ("Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change").
Apparently, since this upcoming tetrad involved the "blood moons" landing on or during Jewish holidays, that means something drastic will happen (see diagram, right), which history also apparently shows.
The Jewish Talmud (book of tradition / Interpretation) says; "When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel. If its face is as red as blood, (it is a sign that) the sword is coming to the world." ... Every time a blood moon pattern has appeared on Jewish feast days a big event affects the nation of Israel. The event affectingIsrael begins just before the actual years of the blood moons. To understand what will happen in the 2014 - 2015 "blood moons" you must understand the pattern of blood moons in the past.
It was confirmed by NASA that we have had "blood-red moons" on the first day of Passover and the first day of Sukkoth on back-to-back years seven times since 1 A.D. Three of these occurrences were connected to 1492 (the year the Jews were expelled from Spain by Queen Isabella) , 1948 (statehood for Israel and the War of Independence), and 1967 (the Six-Day War) — some of the most signifi...