Thursday, September 29, 2016

How To Live In Christ Through Pain & Suffering? (Walking Through The Valley Of Shadow Of Death)

            This is my 200th blog. Our gracious God has enabled me to write every week since January 14, 2013. Since I am continuing to learn much during this period, please permit me to share my most significant learning.

            There are [extended] periods in our lives when God allows us to live through excruciatingly painful moments that the Bible terms as the “valley of shadow of death” (Psalm 23: 4, NASB).  During these painful moments we wonder if God exists and, if so, why HE allows evil upon us.

            We are not perfect. We are sinners. We do not consider ourselves better than others. But if we look around, we observe some of our fellow humans enjoying life to the fullest. In comparison, we are neither very wicked nor more sinful. What have we done to suffer this evil?

            Job’s words reflect our thoughts more appropriately in this context, “If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you?” (Job 7:20, NIV, Emphasis Mine). These are genuine thoughts consuming our minds during our moments of weakness while we stagger through the horrendous impact of evil.

            However, during our stronger moments we genuinely say, ““…Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”” (Job 1: 21-22, NIV, Emphasis Mine).

            Our moments of weakness are more painful and scar us deeply. Hence, in moments of weakness, we are more liable to commit dreadful blunders or sins.

            The greatest sin we could commit during our suffering is to question God and reject HIM. Job’s wife offered a similar counsel to him, “His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2: 9, NIV, Emphasis Mine).

            Why God?

            This is not to ask why God allowed this catastrophe upon us. But this is to ask why God should take the blame for the catastrophe. Was Job’s wife right to blame God for Job’s situation? 

            It does seem so! God is sovereign i.e. God is supreme over everything. God, if HE so desired, could have prevented evil to hurt us (cf. Job 1: 10). Hence, we do have a certain right to question God.

            Doesn’t the child have the right to question the parent when something cruel happens to him/her, especially if the parent was in a position to prevent that cruelty upon the child? This is the similar situation between God and the person who is suffering.

            But is it right to blame God for our rather unjust pain and suffering? In other words, what would we gain, if we blame God?

            Those who blame God are rather naïve and immature. I use strong terms such as ‘naïve’ and ‘immature,’ since those who blame God are being extremely temporal in their vision.

            Make no mistake, evil is extremely painful, but the life which we live is not the only life that we are to live. This short life on planet earth is the gateway to the longer [eternal] life (in heaven or hell) that awaits us.

            Christians are not called to be temporal; instead we are called to be eternity-minded, ““Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14: 1-3, NIV, Emphasis Mine).

            As Christians we are not called to possess a worldly perspective on life, but we are mandated to sustain a heavenly perspective of life, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3: 1-2, NIV, Emphasis Mine). We should obey the mandate to sustain a heavenly perspective of this fleeing life. 

            Our life on planet earth is momentary, the Bible elucidates this truth, “Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.” (Job 14:1-2, NIV). Apostle James said, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4: 14b, NIV).  

            If our life is momentary, our suffering is also momentary. But the pain we endure in this time and age would not seem as momentary but would seem as long and grueling. However, since we are called to live with a heavenly perspective of this earthly life, we should intentionally look heavenward / Godward – towards the throne of grace where God is seated – when we suffer.  

            It is not easy to live with a heavenward or Godward perspective during our earthly life. This is easier said than done. How then do we live such a life? What is the key to leading such a life?

            Prayer and Bible. That’s it!

            The key to leading a life with a perspective of God and heaven while suffering is to immerse ourselves in reading and studying the Bible and soaking ourselves in prayer. We pray that God enables us to focus on HIM and not our temporal pain while we suffer.

            So when we suffer we could be with God, trust HIM fully or question God, blame HIM and ultimately reject HIM. But what would we gain if we reject God?

            The answer is quite simple. God alone can offer us the strength to live through our suffering. When we reject God, we disconnect our only source of strength and place ourselves in an incredibly dangerous situation.

            While we live our life in pain and suffering, we are expected to make routine decisions for the sake of our family and for ourselves. These decisions could be spiritual (e.g. questioning God, not succumbing to temptations…), financial (e.g. medical expenses) etc.

            Our life should be predicated on truth and patience. We are called to do the will of God in and through our decisions. Patience is the key to doing God’s will. We are to be truthful in God’s presence, not succumbing to a willingly sinful lifestyle.  

            We are not to rush our decisions. There are moments when our plans may appear to fail or be delayed, but we are to remain patient in those moments to allow God to work HIS way in our life. In other words, failure (e.g. joblessness, financial downfall, deteriorating health, false accusations etc.) should not deter us.

            This is a hard learning, for none of us desire to fail in life. But God may allow us to fail, which in HIS parlance is for us to “slow down” for a period of time. (There could be instances where God may allow our plans to fail, since it is not in HIS will, even if we have prayed earnestly for them. So we should abandon these plans. We should not foolishly pursue these plans to make a mess of our life.) So let not delays or failures prevent us from doing God’s will.

            God blesses us while we suffer. For instance, while we suffer, we will learn who our true friends are. God will send true friends to our encouragement and comfort. Suffering cleanses our life of all unworthy friendships. Remember these blessings and be grateful to God.  

            The Bible does not make random statements. When God says that we should rejoice in hope and persevere in pain, HE will enable us to rejoice, persevere and pray while we suffer, “…rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer…” (Romans 12:12, NASB).

            Let us then live by faith in God and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5: 7). If we do not live by faith, then our souls are en route to destruction, “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay. But My righteous one shall live by faith; And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul.” (Hebrews 10: 35-39, NASB).

            The Lord will bless and keep those who are living by faith while suffering, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 1: 24-25, NASB).  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Would A World Without Satan Lack Evil?

            The question, “Would there be less evil in a world without Satan?” could be relevant, for if the answer to this question is a yes, then we could plausibly ask, “Why did God create angels i.e. Satan, if evil in this world would be lesser without Satan?”

            Within this context, if God had not created Satan, evil would have been less, and our world would have been a good world. However, since God created Satan, could we then infer that God erred in HIS decision to create Satan?

            The entailment to this thought process could potentially debunk Historic Christianity. God (as a maximally great being) cannot err. If God erred in creating Satan, HE cannot be God. Hence God’s existence could be disputed. The infallibility of the Bible that reveals God to mankind could also be thus disputed. We could go on and on.

            Let us discuss this theme by considering the following aspects albeit from a biblical standpoint.

The Source of Sin

            Sin is an evil action or motive that opposes and assaults God. Sin replaces God with something or someone in God’s rightful place of supremacy. Sin entails evil.

            Understanding the source of sin is vital to understanding the theme we are discussing now. If Satan is the source of sin and evil, one could argue that God should have not created Satan to keep the world free of sin and evil.

            The “Animal Nature” of man is the source of sin, claimed British Philosopher and Theologian Frederick R. Tennant. Under this notion, humans possess natural animalistic impulses as a means to human survival that have intensified through natural selection based on their evolution from less highly developed forms. Other theologians have posited other sources of sin. However, each of these views has been found to be largely inadequate.1

            The Bible teaches differently. Sin is not caused by God (James 1:13) but man is responsible for his sins (James 1: 14-15).

            Man possesses certain innate desires. He could either satisfy those desires in moderation or sin by abusing those desires to either hurt himself or the others.
            His ‘desire to enjoy’ could result in an enjoyment of eating in moderation or a sin by being a glutton, whereby he injures himself.  His ‘desire to obtain’ could be satisfied either by legitimately acquiring material possessions or he could sin by exploiting and stealing from others. His ‘desire to achieve’ could be satisfied either through legitimate achievement or he could sin and achieve at the expense of others.

            Man could satisfy these desires in a godly manner by dwelling within the divinely imposed constraints. But man sins when he fails to accept the divine limits to these desires and makes these desires as ends in themselves, which are the cravings of a sinful man (1 John 2: 16).

            While desires are natural, there could be external inducements (Satanic or human) that motivate man to sin. Whatever be the case, man is wholly responsible for his sins. Sin is the choice of the person who commits it.

Function of Satan in Sin

            Satan is a demon (cf. Luke 10: 17-20). He is the tempter and deceiver. Satan opposes God and the work of Christ by tempting and deceiving humans. Satan tempted Adam & Eve, Jesus, Judas etc (cf. Acts 5:3, 1 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 2: 11, Ephesians 6: 11, 2 Timothy 2: 26).

            Sometimes we state that Satan is the source of sins. While making such statements, we use the word “source” informally. In this informal usage, “source” refers to an ‘originator’ or an ‘instigatory cause.’

            If we claim that Satan is the source of all sins i.e. if we use the word ‘source’ to mean, in an Aristotelian sense, the material cause (‘that out of which’) or the efficient cause (‘the primary source of…’), then we posit dualism. Dualism contradicts the Bible, for there are no two equally ultimate powers, one good and the other evil.

            God is the only ultimate power and God is good. God is not the source or the originator of sin or evil. Moreover, Satan was originally created good; hence Satan is not the source of sin and evil. 

Potency of Freewill to Sin without Satan

            If asked differently, the title question would be, “Would Adam & Eve have sinned without Satan?” Since man is responsible for his sins, the answer should be yes.

            The premise on which this argument is also predicated on is the freewill-based rebellion of angels in the heavenly realm. (This premise presupposes the metaphysical similarity of the freewill of the angels and humans.)

            The angels that rebelled against God did not have an external inducement (as Adam & Eve had Satan as an external inducer). There were only two entities during the angelic fall – God and Angels. (Even if mankind was created before the fall of Satan, man was totally incapable of influencing Satan’s fall.)

            Since God can neither tempt nor cause evil, the angelic rebellion was an entailment of their freewill. Therefore, it is quite reasonable to conclude that Adam & Eve had the potential to sin or would have sinned irrespective of the presence of Satan.

            Satan merely accelerated the sin of Adam and Eve. Had Satan not existed, Adam and Eve would have sinned (or eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) sooner or later.


            Satan is not the source of sin. Man’s freewill is the source of sin. Man would have inevitably sinned irrespective of Satan or not.

            Would the quantum and the extent of sins be minimized if Satan was not created? Not necessarily so, for if Satan is to be considered as an accelerant of sin, then there is a possibility that the quantum and the extent of sins would be actualized at a later time. So the quantum and the extent of sins would have been the same with or without Satan, for the potency of man’s freewill to sin is independent of Satan.

            The other possibility is that the quantum and the extent of sins would be lesser without Satan. In which case, the question, “If evil in this world would be lesser without Satan, then why did God create Satan?” gains legitimacy.

            If Satan is the sole cause of evil, then evil would have been absolutely eliminated, had Satan not been created. However, since Satan exists and that Satan is not the sole cause of evil, only God, in HIS omniscient wisdom would be able to determine the extent to which evil would be reduced had angels not been created. 

            But on the other hand, if the good that is to be actualized from the good angels in ministering to people is commensurately immeasurable, then God would be justified to create Satan even with the potential of evil.

            Finally, natural evil, which is devoid of human willing and acting, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis etc. and suffering caused by a host of diseases  such as cancer, cystic fibrosis etc. exist independent of Satan and adds substantial numbers to the victims of evil. The pain and suffering caused by natural evil and diseases are innate in the creational design of this world and the human body.

            The fact of the matter is that evil would not cease to exist if Satan were to be non-existent. Hence, numbers need not matter. When evil exists, the terms ‘lesser’ and ‘greater’ do not gain greater significance, for the world we live in would be evil even if only 1% of the total population (1 out of 10 people) are adversely affected by evil. Moreover, if only 1% of the total population is affected by evil, then there is a certain possibility for evil to increase. 

            Therefore, the question, “Would there be less evil in a world without Satan?” would neither debunk nor harm Historic Christianity.


1 Other theologians have posited various sources for sin. The “Anxiety of Finiteness” was proposed by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971). The idea of “Existential Estrangement” was proposed by Paul Tillich (1886-1965), the “Economic Struggle” proposed by the Liberation Theology, and “Individualism and Competitiveness” as argued by Harrison Sacket Elliott (1882-1951).

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pastor Joel Osteen’s Sin Or Not?

            Pastor Joel Osteen’s volte-face on homosexuality is certainly intriguing. Initially he said homosexuality was a sin and homosexuals would not inherit heaven. Later he claimed that God approves homosexuals.

            His radical shift is intriguing and damaging as well, for Christians could be led to believe that Pastor Joel Osteen is correct in his views. He is after all a very successful and a wealthy Christian pastor. 

            Should Christians follow or emulate Pastor Joel Osteen especially with regards to his views on homosexuality?

            Here is the background.

            A blog “Joel Osteen's Sin” published by The Huffington Post in the year 2012 was updated this year (2016).1 That blog was an offensive on Pastor Joel Osteen because the blogger quotes Pastor Osteen speaking to Oprah Winfrey in which he echoed the Bible and deemed homosexuals as sinners and that they would not go to heaven unless they repent, “When Oprah asked Pastor Osteen if he thought gay people would enter heaven, he answered, "Yes, if they repent for their sins." Pastor Osteen went on to say that the Bible defines homosexuality as a sin.”2

            However, in the year 2013, Pastor Joel Osteen, when interviewed by HuffPost live’s Josh Zepps, reversed his views on homosexuality. He claimed that God absolutely approves of homosexuals, “Zepps read a piece that he liked from Osteen's new book: "It doesn't matter who likes you or doesn't like you, all that matters is that God likes you. He accepts you, he approves of you." Zepps followed up by asking if that included homosexuals. "Absolutely," Osteen insisted, "I believe that God breathed life into every person and that every person is made in the image of God and you have accept them as they are, on their journey. I'm not here to preach hate or push people down."”3

            So Pastor Osteen knows in his heart that practicing homosexuality is a sin. However, it seems to me that because of the tremendous pressure upon him to be politically correct, he diluted the seriousness of the sin of homosexuality and made public statements such as “God approves of homosexuals.”

            I have not watched or attended Pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood church services, but I have read media reports that he usually does not preach sin or hell, “Last month Texas megachurch leader Joel Osteen was asked on CBS News' "Sunday Morning" program if he feels "like you're cheating people by not telling them about the Hell part? Or repentance part?" Osteen replied that "No, I really don't, because it's a different approach" and that "I say most people are beaten down enough by life. They already feel guilty enough."”4

            I personally do not endorse the style of preaching of Pastor Joel Osteen, but then who am I to object to his preaching? He is arguably the most famous Christian pastor and people flock to hear him, and his books are bestsellers.

            Since Pastor Joel Osteen is so famous and successful, Christians who follow him may be well inclined to be like him. They may think that since God has blessed him abundantly, he must be pleasing God, hence it is only appropriate to emulate Pastor Joel Osteen.

            This is an invalid thought process, for God can choose to or allow someone who does not believe in HIM to be abundantly prosperous as well. In other words, those who do not believe in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ could be abundantly prosperous, for God could have either blessed them abundantly or allowed them to prosper.  

            Worldly success is never a benchmark for genuine Christians. If the unbelievers of Christ could be abundantly prosperous, then prosperity need not be a benchmark for a genuine Christian. Hence let us consider Pastor Joel Osteen as a mere Christian and not as a wealthy or successful Christian pastor.

            To recap, this is the dilemma. Pastor Joel Osteen echoed the Bible to deem homosexuality as a sin. But he neither preaches about sins (e.g. homosexuality) nor about repentance. To top it all, he makes public statements such as “God approves homosexuals.” This is as if to say that God approves the practice of gay sex.

            This then is the drift of the dilemma; if the Bible condemns homosexuality, then how could anyone claim that God approves homosexuals? It is appropriate to say that God loves homosexuals, for HE loves sinners. But it is incorrect to say that God approves homosexuals, for the Bible screams that God does not approve of any sin.

            God hates sins. So the wrath of God is upon the thieves, drunkards, adulterers, homosexuals, and the like.

            A born again Christian would not be a practicing homosexual. He would strive to be straight. A born again Christian may have the urge or the temptation to be a homosexual, but he/she would resist those urges to live a straight life.

            The much acclaimed and renowned Christian leaders are tempted to be politically correct. People like Pastor Joel Osteen succumb to this temptation to refrain from calling sin a sin. The danger of being politically correct is to make sins seem like God-approved deeds. Does Christ mandate us to be politically correct or biblically correct?

            Today, a small fry, or a rather unknown Christian minister can say anything and hardly anyone would notice it. But if this small fry were to be as eminent as Pastor Osteen, then the whole world would become aware of his words and deeds. Would he then have the audacity to say in the public media that homosexuality is a sin? Similarly, if he is given an opportunity to preach in a famous Church, to tens of thousands of people, would he preach that homosexuality is a sin and that homosexuals ought to repent to enter into the Kingdom of God?

            Known or unknown, wealthy or poor, successful or not, a genuine Christian ought to be biblically correct. A genuine Christian cannot be politically correct so much so that he makes sins appear to be a normative Christian lifestyle that God approves of.

            Should we follow Pastor Joel Osteen or the Bible? Of course, the answer is that we are to follow God and HIS Word - the Bible.  

            Does God approve of homosexuals? No! God loves them, but HE does not approve of their sinful lifestyle. Should we love practicing homosexuals? Yes, absolutely. We should unconditionally love a practicing homosexual. Should a practicing homosexual repent to gain eternal life? Yes, of course! Within this context, should we follow Pastor Joel Osteen or not? Absolutely not!

            Wasn’t it St. Augustine who said this, “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it”? Let us do the right by following God and HIS Word – the Bible. Let us also pray that our leaders would have the courage to do what is right.


Websites cited were last accessed on September 15, 2016.


2 & Oprah Winfrey’s interview of Joel Osteen can be seen here



Thursday, September 8, 2016

So What If Adolf Hitler Was A Christian? (Would Hitler’s Christianity hurt Historic Christianity?)

            The antagonists of Historic Christianity claim that Adolf Hitler was a Christian and that Historic Christianity was the primary cause of the holocaust. The defenders of Historic Christianity counter-argue that Hitler was not a Christian or he may have been an atheist and that his non-Christian worldview was the primary cause of the holocaust.

            The holocaust, masterminded by Hitler and his Nazi regime, devoured 11 million lives, among them were 6 million Jews, and the other 5 million comprising of people with mental and physical disabilities, communists, resistance fighters, Slavic people, homosexuals, priests, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and anarchists etc.

            If Hitler was a Christian, would Hitler’s Christianity hurt Historic Christianity? In order to think through this theme, let us consider the case for Hitler’s Christianity, the case for Hitler’s non-Christianity, and the interpretation of Hitler’s apparent Christianity.

Hitler Was A Christian

            The high priest of Atheism Richard Dawkins, in response to Pope Benedict XVI praising the British for having fought the Nazi’s, claimed that Hitler was not an atheist but a Catholic Christian. Dawkins quoted Hitler’s 1922 speech wherein he referred to Jesus as “my Lord and Savior.”1

            Popular atheist author Michael A. Sherlock in his article “The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy – Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot” claimed that Hitler was a Christian, “…Hitler was a Christian.  This undeniable fact couldn’t be made any clearer than by his own confessions…

            To begin, here are just a few of Hitler’s Christian confessions:

            “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.  It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth!  was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter.  In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders.  How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison.  To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross.  As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.” [3]

            “The greatness of Christianity did not arise from attempts to make compromises with those philosophical opinions of the ancient world which had some resemblance to its own doctrine, but in the unrelenting and fanatical proclamation and defense of its own teaching.” [4]

            “His [the Jew’s] life is of this world only and his mentality is as foreign to the true spirit of Christianity as is character was foreign to the great Founder of this new creed two thousand years ago. And the Founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of His estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God; because then, as always, they used religion as a means of advancing their commercial interests. But at that time Christ was nailed to the Cross for his attitude towards the Jews…” [5]

            Over and above these solid testimonies, there are other equally strong pieces of evidence that indicate that Hitler was a Christian, like the fact that his soldiers all wore the slogan, ‘Gott Mit Uns’ (God with us) on their belts, that his birthday was “celebrated from the pulpits until his death,” as Hitchens so eloquently put it, and that the Nazis published their own slightly revised Christian bible. [6]…”2

Hitler Was Not A Christian

            As much as the atheist argues for Hitler’s Christianity, there is enough evidence to argue that Hitler was not a Christian.

            Hitler and his Nazi regime were much influenced by the ideology of German philosopher and thinker, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Hitler was consumed by the idea of “Superman” (who has a great “will to power” and would reign over other humans) that was taken from Nietzsche’s work “Thus Spoke Zarathustra.”

            Nietzsche’s sister, Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche was married to Bernhard Fӧrster, a prominent leader of the German anti-Semitic movement. Elizabeth was also a friend of Hitler. Elizabeth influenced the Nazi regime to an extent that Hitler was influenced by the Nietzschean ideology.

            Hitler was so fascinated by the Nietzschean ideology that he had copies of “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” given to all his soldiers between 1933 and 1945. Hitler often visited the Nietzsche museum in Weimar at the invite of Elizabeth and proudly posed for photographs of him staring at the bust of Nietzsche.

            When Hitler began his career, Germany was mostly a Christian nation. So Hitler often referred to himself as a follower of Christ. However, Hitler either imprisoned or executed more than 6000 clergymen on the charge of treasonable activity.

            Significantly, after establishing the “National Reich Church” that projected Hitler as superman / god, Hitler banned the Bible and the cross. Bibles were replaced with copies of Mein Kampf and the cross was replaced with swastika.

            Hitler also printed his version of the Bible, wherein words such as Messiah and Hallelujah were altered. Ten Commandments were revised to 12 Commandments. Hitler demanded worship; the Lord’s Prayer was revised, “Adolf Hitler, you are our great Fuhrer. Thy name makes the enemy tremble. Thy Third Reich comes; thy will alone is law upon the earth. Let us hear daily thy voice, and order us by thy leadership, for we will obey to the end, even with our lives We praise thee; hail Hitler Fuhrer my Fuhrer, given me by God. Protect and preserve my life for long. You saved Germany in time of need; I thank you for my daily bread; be with me for a long time, do not leave me, Fuhrer my Fuhrer, my faith, my light – hail, my Fuhrer.”3 This was recited by the Hitler Youth.

            Hitler systematically gained control over the Protestant churches in Germany to make them an instrument of the Nazi regime. In response, the “Confessing Church” movement gained momentum within the German Protestant Churches to resist Hitler’s attempt.

            Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German theologian, pastor and a founding member of the “Confessing Church.” Bonhoeffer and other leaders of the Confessing Church opposed the Nazi regime and sought to establish the true identity of the Church. Ultimately, Bonhoeffer was executed by hanging.

            Think about this; had Hitler been a genuine Christian what was the necessity for a Christian rebellion against Hitler? Christians subscribing to Historic Christianity fervently opposed Hitler to an extent that they risked their own lives. They were either imprisoned or executed for their anti-Hitler rebellion.

So What If Hitler Was A Christian?

            When our atheist friend argues that Hitler was a self proclaimed Christian, should the defenders of Historic Christianity negate that argument to begin a street fight with the atheist? Debunking Hitler’s Christianity need not be the one and the only option for us.

            The other option is to ask a question, “So What If Hitler Was A Christian?” The atheist primarily posits Hitler’s self proclamation as evidence to his Christianity. Self proclamation is inadequate to one’s identity as a Christian. A genuine Christian not only proclaims himself to be a Christian, but also obeys Christ through his deeds.

            Genuine Christians do not kill as Hitler did. The very extermination of the 11 million people screams against Hitler’s so-called Christianity. Hitler’s execution of the leadership of the confessing church that included Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who actually sought to establish the true identity of the church, is most surely not a genuine Christian’s deed.

            Friedrich Nietzsche was not a Christian; he constantly attacked the Christian ideals. A genuine Christian would not follow the Nietzschean ideology.  

            Significantly, a genuine Christian would not elevate himself into a position of “Superman” demanding worship of any form whatsoever. On the other hand, Hitler, so fascinated by Friedrich Nietzsche, and so desperate to be a superman, demanded that people revere him.

            Therefore, however which way we may want to think, Hitler, even though he may have been a self-proclaimed Christian, was not a genuine Christian. So Hitler’s Christianity does not harm Historic Christianity, and any claim to Hitler’s Christianity can and should be ignored completely.


Websites cited were last accessed on September 8, 2016.




Thursday, September 1, 2016

Why Are There Many Young & Unmarried Christian Women?

            The presence of young & unmarried Christian women is significant, for confusion could reign in the minds of some Christians as to why God has allowed this cruel predicament of the presence of young and unmarried Christian women.

            On the one hand, there are unmarried / single Christian women. On the other hand, the Bible advises the young single women to marry, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” (1 Corinthians 7: 8-9, NIV, Emphasis Mine.).

            If the Bible mandates unmarried women to marry, and if there are unmarried women who fail to find a suitable man, does this not mean that the sovereign God has failed to provide a suitable man for this unmarried woman? The alternate situation to this predicament is that God did bring suitable Christian men into the domain of unmarried Christian women, but they either failed to recognize or consciously rejected those men.

            Even if the latter reality (of the woman consciously rejecting men brought into her domain) were to be true, the blame cannot merely reside in the domain of the unmarried Christian women. Men, who are endowed with freewill, whom God brought into the domain of the unmarried Christian woman, could have rejected the unmarried Christian woman for reasons best known to them. So the blame cannot be ascribed to the unmarried Christian woman.  

            Consequently, when the woman in contention remains unmarried, it seems that God has either failed or has allowed man’s freewill to reign supreme while the woman burns inwardly with the passion to marry.

            So another important question we need to ask is “Who is at fault for the presence of unmarried Christian women? (Wo)Men or God?”

            Two factors are in play here: God’s sovereignty and man’s freewill. Let us consider the freewill aspect first.

            The presence of unmarried Christian women implies the employment of freewill of either the man or the woman to sustain the singleness of the woman. In other words, the man or the woman could have freely rejected the marriage proposals of the opposite sex. In this case, man’s freewill reigns supreme over God’s sovereignty.

            But man’s freewill cannot be supreme to God’s sovereignty, for if this is factual, then God cannot be sovereign. However, God, as greatest conceivable being, ought to be sovereign. We ought to concede this aspect.

            In the case of the unmarried Christian woman, is man’s freewill supreme to God’s sovereignty? This is an easier predicament to resolve, for the sovereign God may have allowed man to employ his freewill to reject the woman or the vice versa. Since God allows man to freely accept or reject the woman, God’s sovereignty remains unscathed (allows being the operative word). 

            But establishing God’s sovereignty still does not resolve the reason behind the presence of unmarried Christian women. The question, “Has God failed to provide a suitable man to the unmarried Christian woman?” still remains in play.

            If the unmarried Christian woman remains unmarried (rejection notwithstanding), then it seems that God has failed to provide this woman with a suitable man. But God cannot fail! Failure belittles God.

            If failure could be attributed to God, then God cannot be the greatest conceivable being. Since, God is the greatest conceivable being and since God cannot fail, there should be an alternate situation that could have contributed to the presence of unmarried Christian woman.

            This conundrum could be reconciled through this alternate situation. God, for some reason unknown to us, would have not chosen to establish HIS sovereignty to resolve the predicament of this unmarried Christian woman situation. Although God chooses not to establish HIS sovereignty, HE, as a gracious, loving and a good God, would not allow the woman to burn inwardly in her passions. God’s power is always available to the woman to sustain her unmarried condition.

            Therefore, the answer to the question, “Who is at fault for the presence of unmarried Christian women? (Wo)Men or God?” is this. The fault resides neither with God nor the unmarried Christian woman.

            Given the presence of unmitigated evil in this world, the unmarried woman may have just exercised utmost caution in evaluating her future husband. Her caution is valid, for many horror stories of failed relationships before the marriage and separation and divorces in marriages provokes the woman into being extra-cautious.

            The woman who rejects men sent by God remains a victim of the design of this world, wherein the potential of evil to ruin marriages is enormous. Hence, the unmarried Christian women ought to be viewed with utmost grace.

            The unmarried Christian women cannot be blamed at any cost.

            So “Why Are There Many Young & Unmarried Christian Women?” In some instances, family situations, such as taking care of ailing parents, could have contributed to the singleness of Christian women. Previously failed relationships could also be the cause for the presence of unmarried Christian women. Hence, women could be extra-cautious while choosing their husbands (and they cannot be blamed for this situation). On the other hand, single and eligible Christian men could have rejected the proposals of the women rendering her to the domain of singleness. Hence, this by no means implies an absence of suitable Christian men.

            What then is the destiny of the unmarried Christian woman?

            Age notwithstanding, marriage could most surely be on the cards for the woman. So patience is a virtue that the Christian woman should develop. Since patience is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, the Christian woman ought to remain in Christ to be patient and not be bitter about her condition.

            In other instances, marriage may not be on the cards for the unmarried Christian woman. Given such a situation, the unmarried Christian woman needs the power of God to remain single and not burnout in her passions, for the power to remain single comes only from God (cf. Matthew 19:11). Hence she has to remain in Christ to be holy, sane and single.

            Last but not the least, the Bible offers an intriguing counsel and an existential reality. First, the existential reality reiterated by the Bible is the presence of troubles in marriage, “But those who marry will face many troubles in this life” (1 Corinthians 7: 28b, NIV). Being unmarried or single is one surefire way to escape the troubles that a marriage is to offer.

            Lastly, the intriguing counsel offered by the Bible to the unmarried women is to devote herself totally to God, “I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.” (1 Corinthians 7: 32-35, MSG).

            Please add this concern to your existing prayer points. Please pray for unmarried Christian women. May the Lord’s power and peace be upon them, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3: 20, NIV).