Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018: Engaging Our Anti-Christian World

            From the vantage point of engaging spiritual challenges, the year 2018 would be no better than 2017! In fact, 2018 could be worse than 2017. Let me unpack this predicament.
            There are several Christian countries in the world. Argentina, Armenia, Denmark, England, Greece, Monaco, Vatican City, and Zambia are some of the Christian countries. These countries recognize a form of Christianity as their official religion.1 

            Although a country may claim to be Christian, its culture need not be driven by Christian values. In fact, anti-christian ideology is either growing fast or has enduringly entrenched itself in every culture – be it Christian or non-christian. So whether we live in a Christian country or not, we would have to engage the non-christian values that are either lawful or seek to establish its legitimacy in that country.  

            Given this situation, it is a pleasure to hear President Trump wishing Americans “Merry Christmas,” instead of the politically correct lingo, “Happy Holidays.” This trend could continue as long as he rules America or until he stays faithful to the Christian values. Even if he remains faithful to the Christian values, the American culture is largely Post-Christian.

            Post-Christian culture is a culture that was once shaped by the Christian faith but has since wriggled away from its Christian roots. Then there is the non-christian culture. The non-christian culture maybe secular or it may be predicated on another religion. Whatever the case may be, a non-christian culture would consciously steer clear of the Christian worldview.

            In today’s scenario, anti-christian ideologies are either covertly or overtly driving every culture in the world. The post-Christian and the non-Christian cultures will exhibit many similarities since they steer clear of the Christian faith. If antichristian ideology is the driving force behind every culture, then we may as well term the culture that we live in as an ‘antichristian culture.’

            The post-Christian and the non-Christian culture are not absolutely horrendous. The non-Christian cultures that I have experienced have certain very good values.

            Christian culture, on the other hand, could be a better alternative, albeit not without challenges. Christians read the same Bible (plus or minus some books in the Bible). However, our interpretation of the Bible is largely diverse. The diverse hermeneutics (the science behind the interpretation of the Bible) that exist in Christendom impacts our theology and its application in our lives.

            The existence of a plethora of denominations in Christianity is a prime example of the hermeneutical diversity in Christendom. While one group of Christians could condone (give tacit approval to) abortion, another group may condemn abortion as a sin. This system of diversity extends to many pertinent aspects of our life. Hence, a Christian culture, which may not be a perfect system, could be a better alternative, but with challenges to overcome.

            When God created the world and its inhabitants, HE established a system wherein culture would have to be a derivative of man’s loyalty or disloyalty to the living God. However, the intensity of being loyal and disloyal to God can differ. Loyalty or disloyalty to God could export or import much needed good values from a culture.     

            Having said this, 2018 will continue to embrace antichristian ideologies! The antichristian ideologies will continue to infect our culture. Hence, complications in varied forms and sizes will devour our lives.

            In order to successfully navigate through the antichristian culture that we live in, we should understand the threats and dynamics of this culture:

            We live in a culture where truth is not absolute. In this culture, the truth is what works for me. Truth is a subjective preference.

            Our claim that abortion is a sin against God will fall mostly on deaf ears. Our fervent pleas against abortion will be rejected even if we state the truth that abortion kills an innocent life that cannot even speak for itself. The antichristian culture teaches its adherents to reject any absolute truth claim because they believe that they can play God and so possess an innate privilege to choose anything that satisfies their carnal cravings.

            The antichristian culture also teaches its adherents to distrust all forms of authority. If we claim that the Bible is our sole authority, we will be thoughtlessly and unequivocally rejected.

            Anger, fear and a great desire for personal control rule those who subscribe to the antichristian culture. Unmitigated anger against the biblical values that our ancestors held so dearly rules this culture. Fear of submission to God and the fear of leading a life within the biblical boundary reside in the minds of those driving this culture. A great desire for power and personal glory, which opposes humility and Christlikeness, fuels the lives of those subscribing to this antichristian culture.

            Human performance would be elevated to great heights in the antichristian culture. People would be glorified by the masses. The Christian community is not immune to this antichristian culture. Pastors, evangelists and Christian leaders are more glorified than God. In fact, these individuals seek more glory to themselves than ascribe glory to God.

            Our life is driven by our unrestrained presentations fuelled by technology and realized in social media. Boasting about our godlessness and secularism through the social media is utterly simple.

            With the social media ruling many lives, spewing hatred is a common occurrence. Technology empowers an average individual to communicate with anyone and everyone via the social media. Such communications are not always civil and courteous. Hatred is spewed as if accountability is dead.

             “I will say what I have to say and I do not care what you think,” is the general idea that consumes those who subscribe to the antichristian culture. Such is the darkness consuming this culture that perspectives based on valid premises are rejected to endorse perspectives that suits our vainglory and subjective preferences, even though they may irreparably impair the health of an individual and that of the society. 

            (Observe closely and you will see these traits existing and thriving in the Christian churches today.)

            How then do we live in an antichristian culture? Here are three simple tips:

            Get closer to God like never before. This culture strives to liberate us from God. But we know that apart from God, our life is meaningless. We should echo the words of Simon Peter who pledged his ceaseless allegiance to Christ while many disciples were abandoning Christ, “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6: 66-69, NIV, Emphasis Mine). Our relationship with the Triune God and our ceaseless allegiance to Christ should motivate us to navigate through.

            Love those who subscribe to the antichristian values. There is no alternative to love. While we love our neighbors who do not believe God, we are to live our lives as disciples of the Lord Jesus. Our love for them precludes our endorsement of their sinful practices. We should also express our deep conviction in the Christian values without any shame or guilt.

            Be vocal about our practices while expressing our opposition to the sinful practices. Being politically correct is not an option. Given an opportunity, we are to express our opposition to the sinful practices that the antichristian culture glorifies.

            Our focus is to not merely oppose the sinful practices that occur in our precincts. But we are to affirm and appreciate the authentic goodness experienced by our society ruled by the antichristian culture.

            May God enable every willing soul that loves HIM to be a channel of HIS grace, courage, wisdom, and love. Enjoy a peaceful and a blessed 2018.   


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Christmas: A Perfect Portrayal Of God’s Love & Sacrifice

            Christians commemorate three major historical events surrounding the Lord Jesus: Christmas (birth), Good Friday (death) and Easter (resurrection). Although Jesus is the central figure, God’s love and sacrifice is the common denominator of these three events.

            But Christians often tend to overlook God’s love and sacrifice while celebrating Christmas. The reason behind Christ’s birth - Christ was born to die, so to save mankind from their sins - is usually the chief focus during Christmas celebrations.  

God’s Love Led To Christ’s Birth

            Christ was born because of God’s love for mankind. For God so loved the world that HE initiated and fulfilled the program of salvation through Christ - to save man from sins. Since love gains perfection with sacrifice, God sent the second person of the blessed Trinity, the Lord Jesus, to die, resurrect and ascend into heaven (thereby those who believe in Christ would be saved from their sins).  

            God’s love for mankind could be best remembered and accentuated if we consider the Historic Christian doctrine of salvation in comparison with the competing doctrines. God’s love for mankind is best displayed in the doctrine of salvation of the Historic Christian worldview.

            The competing doctrines of salvation fail to display God’s love for mankind. God can only be a loving being. If any doctrine portrays God as not a loving being, then that doctrine cannot be true.

            For instance, God cannot be a loving being, if he mandates man to do good works to attain salvation. Similarly, God cannot be a loving being, if HE would eventually save all of mankind, irrespective of their belief or disbelief in HIM.

Salvation By Works: Cannot Be A Loving God’s Salvific Program

            It is well within God’s perfect and infinite knowledge and power to devise other means of salvation (other than the death of Christ on the cross of Calvary) to save man from his sins. For instance, God could have mandated man to do good works to be saved.

            But God would have passed the buck to man had HE mandated man to do good works to attain salvation. God, who creates man, should own the sole or the primary responsibility to save the man. But if God’s mandate was for man to do good works to be saved, the responsibility of being saved would have shifted from the domain of God to the domain of man.

            Only an unloving and an unjust God could have executed the salvific program of the man doing good works to be saved. No one is perfect in doing good works, for we can never be immune to sin or imperfections. Man is always prone to sin. Hence, doing good works to utter perfection is impossible for man. Every good deed that we perform will always be tarnished by our bad deeds.

            But an argument predicated on the grading system in pedagogy could be posited. God could save man based on his performance of doing good works in life. In other words, those who ‘Fail’ in God’s salvific scrutiny would not be saved, whereas those who ‘Pass’ (by exceeding God’s expectations) would be saved.

            Even then, had God instituted a plan of salvation-by-works, HE could be blamed endlessly.

            Had God not created man with an innate inclination towards imperfection, it may be plausible to not blame God. But man is not perfect; he has a natural propensity to imperfection (sin). Hence God could be blamed. Every good work that man performs could be questioned and every good work could be improved upon.

            This problem is compounded by the fact that God does not create people uniformly (physical, mental, emotional etc.). For instance, not all people are created with the same IQ.

            In order to be saved, the man ought to adequately comprehend God’s plan for salvation so that he can consistently perform good works. But a man with an average or a low IQ would naturally struggle to assimilate God and HIS plan to save him, thereby this man can come up short while performing good deeds. If this is the case, how could God not be blamed, for man is HIS creation?

            Abnormalities exist in mankind. Hence, people with average or below-average physical, mental and emotional capabilities would perform deeds differently, let alone good or bad.

            Defining good and bad is also not a simple task. A terrorist thinks he is performing a good deed when he kills his enemy. But those being killed by this terrorist consider him as an evil human being. Similarly, a parent punishing the child could either be termed good or bad based on the differing perspectives of the parent and the child. If defining good and evil is a complicated process, then performing good deeds would naturally be more complicated and contentious.

            On the other hand, if God lowers HIS expectations for man, so to compensate for HIS unequal creation of man, God’s justice could be questioned, which would then lead to questioning HIS very essence as the greatest conceivable being. God cannot be the greatest conceivable being if HE is unjust.

            When God creates people with abnormalities, they cannot perform good deeds consistently. More importantly, mandating man to do good works when God creates man with severe abnormalities, projects God as an unjust being. But the greatest conceivable being cannot be unjust so God could not have instituted a program of salvation by good works. Therefore, a loving and a just God cannot expect the man to do good works in order to gain salvation.  

Universal Salvation: A Loving God Will Not Save All Men

            Another contradicting doctrine on salvation is that of universal salvation – that everyone would be saved. But universal salvation cannot be sustained without demeaning God.

            God cannot be a loving God if HE is unjust (an imperfect being cannot be God). So this doctrine of salvation would crumble because a good and a loving God could not have instituted a horrendous program to save the man.

            If universal salvation has any merit, the notion of good and evil or right and wrong should not be in existence. But as long as good and evil exists, universal salvation cannot be God’s program to save man, for universal salvation posits God saving both the good and the unrepentant evil.

            If God saves both the good and the evil, either God should be evil or morality should cease to exist. But God cannot be evil, for the greatest conceivable being cannot be evil. Moreover, there is good and evil in our world. Therefore, it is impossible for God to save both the good and the evil.

            Consider a man who is innately corrupt – a man who cheats, maims and murders innocent people so to gain wealth and power. How could such a man be saved unless he repents of his wrongdoings and reforms his life? But universal salvation posits salvation for such a man despite his unrepentant life.

            Consider those who curse God. Militant atheists fall into this category. If a man who curses God dies without repenting (many atheists have died such a death), and if God saves such a man, then this implies that God deserves no respect or reverence.

            God cannot be revered or respected if HE saves those who perennially curse HIM. If God encourages people to not respect and revere HIM, HE cannot be God, to begin with. Such a God cannot be in existence.

            God, as the greatest conceivable being, should be worshipped in awe and reverence. God is holy; hence HE deserves to be worshipped. But if God saves those who perennially curse HIM, the implication is that HE does not demand worship (because men would still be saved without worshipping God).

            A God who does not demand worship cannot be a holy or a loving God. Hence this God cannot be in existence. Therefore, the program of universal salvation bites the dust. God could not have instituted such a program to save the man.

Christmas: God’s Love & Sacrifice

            Christmas is all about God’s love and sacrifice.

            Christ’s birth demonstrates God’s love for mankind. Love is always unconditional. So God became man and placed HIMSELF under the power of evil to brutally suffer and die for us. God’s sacrifice on the cross of Calvary demonstrates HIS love for mankind.

            Christ’s birth also signifies God assuming the primary responsibility to save the man. Christ died for us while we were still sinners. The all-loving God sent HIS Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to sacrifice HIMSELF for the sake of mankind. Thereby, all those who believe in Christ are saved.

            We celebrate Christmas to thank God for Christ’s birth. But to think of Christ’s birth without recognizing God’s love and sacrifice is to disregard the true meaning behind of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

            So when we celebrate Christmas, let us remember God’s love and sacrifice, and let us love each other by sacrificing our needs so to satisfy the needs of those around us – our families, friends, and even those whom we do not know.

            Enjoy a Christ-filled Christmas season! 

Monday, December 11, 2017

Trump’s Recognition of Jerusalem: Justification & Impact On Christians

            The announcement that America has finally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital invoked a mixed response. Christians, who support Israel, are joyous. Conversely, Muslims and Christians, who do not support Israel, nonchalantly exhibit hostility to this development.

            Jerusalem has always been the capital of the nation of Israel. However, a majority of UN member states, by virtue of disputing Israel’s ownership of East Jerusalem, positioned their embassies in and around Tel Aviv. Thus the official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was withheld by these countries.

            Ben Shapiro contends that the American recognition of Jerusalem is a wise, legal and a powerful development. He lists seven reasons to justify the same:1

1. Jerusalem Is The Eternal Capital Of Israel. Jerusalem is only important because the Jews made it important; it was the capital of the kingdom of Israel, the site of the Temple, and the wellspring of Judaic thought for millennia. Both Christianity and Islam value Jerusalem because Judaism did. The dream of Jerusalem has animated the Jewish people for its entire existence; there is a reason the Psalms (137:5) state, “If I forget thee, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.” Jerusalem is mentioned hundreds of times in the Prophets and Writings (during the time of the Torah, it was not yet called Jerusalem). By contrast, Jerusalem is not mentioned at all in the Koran. If Jews do not have a historic claim to Jerusalem, they have no historic claim to any part of Israel, including Tel Aviv.
2. Congress Has Long Recognized Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital. In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, requiring the movement of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The act also said that Jerusalem should be undivided and be recognized as the capital of Israel. The executive branch has refused to implement the law thanks to both political and separation of powers concerns. Trump would merely be stamping Congressional law with approval. That law, by the way, passed 93-5 in the Senate and 374-37 in the House.
3. Recognizing Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital Recognizes Israel’s Sovereignty. By removing the United States from the position of pressuring Israel to sacrifice its historic, religious, strategic capital, Israel will now be able to negotiate on its own behalf. That means that the U.S. will no longer be in a position to twist the arm of our closest ally in order to pursue separate strategic interests. Imagine the United States pressuring Great Britain to hand over all of Belfast to the IRA. That’s what the U.S. has been doing to Israel for years.
4. Recognizing Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital Will Minimize Violence. Every time negotiations fail, the Palestinians threaten violence and participate in terrorism. The sticking point for such negotiations has generally been Jerusalem — that’s the excuse the Palestinian Authority and Hamas use to launch campaigns of terror, to international approval thanks to the international community’s refusal to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. They hope that using violence as a tactic will earn concessions from Israel, or pressure from the West on Israel. By leading the charge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States will be sending the unmistakable signal that violence over Jerusalem will not be tolerated, and that pressure tactics through murder will earn no rewards.
5. Showing The United States Will Not Be Bullied By Terrorists Is Good Policy. The entire Oslo Accords was based on a blackmail program: Palestinians vowed not to murder Jews if Jews turned over land. That deal wasn’t just blackmail, it was a lie: Israel offered many generous peace deals, and the Palestinians responded with terror waves. The United States shouldn’t participate in such blackmail. If the Palestinians threaten violence, Trump should drop the other shoe: he should refuse to authorize the release of foreign aid to the terrorist government. There’s no reason taxpayers should be paying terrorists in the first place.
6. Recognizing Reality Makes Peace More Possible. A few days ago, the Saudi monarchy reportedly summoned Palestinian leadership and told them to support a peace deal with the Israelis. That deal would retain major Israeli settlement blocs, prevent the establishment of a Palestinian standing army, and leave the PA without Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital. By declaring Jerusalem Israel’s undivided capital, the United States would remove any other option from the table, thereby pressuring both the Saudis and the Palestinians into accepting that deal.
7. Recognizing Jerusalem Means Cementing The Anti-Iranian Alliance. President Obama's horrific foreign policy united Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel against Iran. But that alliance cannot be cemented until realities are recognized by all parties. Just as George H.W. Bush should have allowed Israel to join the coalition against Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War in order to force the Muslim states to recognize that their common interests with Israel outstripped their differences, Trump would be right to make clear to all parties that Israel has control over its own capital, and that the price of alliance is recognition of reality.
Jerusalem is, was, and always will be Israel’s capital. Failing to recognize that is a slap in the face to history, to reality, and to Israel itself. If Trump does what is necessary, he’ll deserve credit not just for bravery, but for decency.

            How does this development impact Christians?  

            Christians who believe that the Church has replaced the nation of Israel would neither support Israel nor be excited of this development. Their concern that this development could possibly set off violence in the region that’s immune to peace is understandable.

            However, this development cannot impede the peace process, claims Dr. Brown, “When it comes to the peace process, more than two decades of negotiations have yielded precious little progress. So the idea that recognizing Jerusalem would hurt this process is ludicrous. Instead, if the Palestinians want peace with Israel, they can have wonderful, lasting, prosperous peace — without dividing Jerusalem.”2

            Christians who believe that the nation of Israel is distinct from the Church would be immensely excited about this development!

             The Bible reveals Christ’s future rule from the city of Jerusalem for 1000 years (cf. Isaiah 2:3; Matthew 19:28, 25:31-34; Acts 1:6-7; Revelation 20:4). Hence, when the most powerful country in the world, the USA, recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it invariably sets the date of Christ’s bodily rule on earth closer than ever before. This event heralds the glorious second coming of our Lord! This development is also a matter of great joy because it is marvelous to witness the unfolding of the events prophesied in the Bible right before our very own eyes.

            Finally, would God bless those who bless Israel? Dr. Brown says yes!3

Will God bless President Trump and the United States for making this bold and courageous move? I believe He will, for the following reasons.
1. On doing so the president is blessing Israel. God still blesses those who bless His covenant nation, despite that nation’s sins.
2. Out of all the cities on the earth, the Bible only calls us to pray for the welfare of Jerusalem (see Psalm 122; Isaiah 62:1-8).
3. The tremendous resistance to the president’s decision gives evidence to the intensity of the spiritual battle over this city.
4. There are prophetic scriptures that speak of a Jewish Jerusalem welcoming back the Messiah. So the decision to fortify the unity of the city is in explicit harmony with those Scriptures (see especially Zechariah 12 and 14).
And what about God’s love for the Muslim world? What about justice for the Palestinians?
The answer is simple: If they want to be blessed, they too must recognize the Jewish claim to Jerusalem, a city that they do not need to possess or divide. They don’t need to call for violence and war. Instead, they need to accept that East Jerusalem will not be the capital of a Palestinian state. That working with the Jewish people rather than against them will be in their best interests, too. And that the Jewish people have a massively greater claim to Jerusalem than the Muslims do.
As for President Trump, he is convinced that this formal recognition of Jerusalem will aid and abet the peace process. But even if that is not the case, I truly believe that God will bless him and bless America for making this courageous and righteous decision.
Let’s watch and see in the coming days.



Websites cited were last accessed on 11th December 2017.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

How To Overcome Needless Fear?

          Quite a few Christians are consumed by needless fear. I don’t think we need a definition of needless fear since the term is quite self-explanatory. And this very term (needless fear) implies that fear is unnecessary in a Christian life.

            But this is easier said than done. Christians (not all, but some) are consumed by needless fear. Although some of them know that this fear is absolutely unnecessary in their life, many do not know how to eliminate this fear from their life.

            If you are consumed by needless fear, you may not be able to lead a normal life. Hence, you could complicate your life, if you do not know how to deal with your fear. And your life could get worse and unmanageable (depending on the intensity of this fear). So I pray that a few relevant spiritual thoughts would help end this unnecessary fear.

            Before we jump into the spiritual realm of this theme, let us momentarily consider the solutions offered by science.

            Anxiety disorders could be a broad synonym for needless fear. Panic attacks, fear of being judged, embarrassed or ridiculed, and fear of heights (flying in an airplane) are some instances of anxiety disorders.

            If you are prone to anxiety disorders, you may not be able to sleep well or you could be nauseous, dizzy, cold and sweaty, and you will not be able to remain calm. These are certain symptoms of anxiety disorder.1

            Treatments for anxiety disorders range from antidepressants, anxiolytics, and psychotherapy. The effectiveness of these treatments is largely subjective (every patient would respond differently to these treatments).

            This is as far as my comprehension about the scientific intervention to anxiety disorder goes.

            Now let’s get to the spiritual realm of needless fear.

            The Bible narrates a few instances of needless fears. Let’s consider an example from the Old and the New Testament.

            Prophet Elisha’s servant was in needless fear when he saw the army of King Aram (2 Kings 6:8-23). But Elisha asked his servant to not fear, for he knew that God’s protection was active and that his servant was in needless fear, “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” (v15-17, NIV).

            The disciples were in needless fear when they were in a boat with the Lord, “That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”” (Mark 4:35-41).

            Unfortunately, God’s power is not experienced so directly by those in fear today. Our spiritual eyes, in most instances, will not be opened to see God’s armies surrounding us when we are in fear. Christ is also not with us in HIS incarnational form, as HE was with HIS disciples then, to annihilate our fear once and for all. So, many of us find ourselves in lonesome and vulnerable situations when we fear.

            It’s quite clear from the biblical narratives that Christians should not be slaves to needless fear. That’s why Charles Wesley wrote this hymn, “Away, My Needless Fears:”

             Away my needless fears,
And doubts no longer mine;
A ray of heavenly light appears,
A messenger divine.

Thrice comfortable hope,
That calms my troubled breast;
My Father's hand prepares the cup,
And what he wills is best.

If what I wish is good,
And suits the will divine;
By earth and hell in vain withstood,
I know it shall be mine.

Still let them counsel take
To frustrate his decree,
They cannot keep a blessing back
By heaven designed for me.

Here then I doubt no more,
But in his pleasure rest,
Whose wisdom, love, and truth, and power,
Engage to make me blest.

To accomplish his design
The creatures all agree;
And all the attributes divine
Are now at work for me.

           Charles Wesley knew that apart from God, we cannot overcome our needless fear.

           Easier said than done!

           Legendary yesteryear preacher, Charles Spurgeon, specified the reasons that cause needless fears in Christians.2 Christians suffer from needless fear because they have already succumbed to one or many of these fears:

a.      Fear of man.

b.      Fear that the truth of Christianity may be destroyed by the opposing forces.

c.      Fear of losing their salvation.

d.      Fear of imminent poverty (adversity) striking them.

e.       Fear of death.

            Spurgeon echoes the Bible when he says that all these fears are unjustifiable. Nothing can separate a Christian from God’s love (Romans 8:37-39). If Christians believe this, they will not fear needlessly.

             If Christians realize that God is in absolute control of their lives (and that nothing unpleasant can happen in their lives without HIS permission), they would not fear needlessly. This is a mandatory condition in a Christian’s life, according to Spurgeon.

             None can curse those whom God has blessed; this is stated in the Bible (cf. Numbers 23:23). When Martin Luther was summoned by the Roman Catholic leaders, his friends were afraid for him to go. But Spurgeon recollects Luther’s response, “If all the demons in hell could fill your house, and seek to injure you, there is no need for you to fear or tremble more than Martin Luther did when his friends were afraid for him to go and be examined by the Roman Catholic leaders who were trying to get him to recant, but Luther said to his friends, “If there were as many devils there as there are tiles on the roofs of the houses, I would face them all in the name of God.” And you may say the same. If all the armies of the earth came against you, and all the demons in hell, had come up to join with the world against you, you could still say, “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge;” and charge them in the name of the Most High, and cause all of them to flee in defeat, because the One who is in you is greater than the ones who are against you [1 John 4:4].”3 (Emphasis Mine).

            Science states that anxiety disorder is a mental disorder. According to the Bible, those who fear needlessly are in a state of bondage. The Lord Jesus Christ offers the only viable solution to all those who suffer from fear, which is to pray, pray and pray more without ceasing (cf. Mark 9:29).

            Pray that God will fill you with HIS peace when you are in fear, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).

            God says this to us, “Why do you forget the Lord, who made you, who stretched out the sky and founded the earth? Why do you constantly tremble all day long at the anger of the oppressor, when he makes plans to destroy? Where is the anger of the oppressor? The one who suffers will soon be released; he will not die in prison, he will not go hungry. I am the Lord your God, who churns up the sea so that its waves surge. The Lord who commands armies is his name! I commission you as my spokesman; I cover you with the palm of my hand, to establish the sky and to found the earth, to say to Zion, ‘You are my people.’”” (Isaiah 51:13-17, NET).





Cited websites were last accessed on 5th December 2017.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Is Christianity Only About Love?


            Some Christians believe that Historic Christianity is only about love. (When I refer to Historic Christianity, I preclude all other flavors of Christianity that contradict the core essence of Historic Christianity.)

            These brothers and sisters consistently harp on verses that communicate love: ‘God is love, ‘love your neighbors’ etc. Love is the only lens through which these Christians assimilate Christianity. Hence, their beloved slogan is love, love, and more love.  

            Is this the most perfect understanding of Christianity?

            Let’s examine the following aspects:

            (1) If Christianity is only about love, then there should be NO room for ‘hatred.’ But if Christians are mandated to hate someone or something, then Christianity is not only about love. So is Christianity only about love or is there room for hatred?

            (2) The command to love our neighbor is with a qualifier. The qualifier is this: you love your neighbor as you love yourself. We are not called to love our neighbors, but we are to love them as we love ourselves. What does it mean to love our neighbors as we love ourselves?

Should Christians Hate?

            If you study the verses that mandate love, you would learn that the verses mandating love in the Gospel of John and in the letters of Apostle John, the author defines a boundary for love. The love mandated in these writings is between fellow believers. These verses do not necessarily mandate love between the believers and the unbelievers of the God of the Bible. Consider a few verses:

            John 13: 34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

            1 John 2:9-11: “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”

            1 John 4:20: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

            But when Jesus commanded us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31), HE had already annihilated the boundary that limits love. In the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37), Christ defines a neighbor as anyone we would come into contact with – be it Christian or non-Christian. Therefore, Christians are mandated to love our neighbors (anyone) as we love ourselves.

            Although Christians are called to love everyone, there is still room for hatred. For instance, God, who Christians are to primarily love, obey and emulate is not all about love. Yes, God is not all about love; God hates certain actions and certain people. Consider these verses:

            God hates wicked people (Psalm 5:5: “You hate all who do wrong”).

            God hates wicked deeds and wicked people (Proverbs 6:16 -19 (MSG): Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.).

            God’s hatred is unlike human hatred. Although the wrath of God is upon all those who do not believe HIM (Matthew 10:28; John 3:36; Romans 1:18), God sends rain and sunshine upon the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:43-48). Because God loves both the believers and the unbelievers, HE has provided ways and means for the unbelievers to believe in HIM and be saved. Therefore, God’s wrath is only upon those who consciously reject HIM.

            God does not mandate Christians to merely love. Christians are mandated to hate evil. Here are a couple of verses for your consideration:

            Psalm 97:10: "Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked."

            Romans 12:9: "Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good."

            Believers of God are to hate evildoers as well. But this is a righteous hatred. This is not a hatred that seeks harm upon the subject of our hate.

            Significantly, Christians are called to hate Satan. We are mandated to perpetually battle Satan (Ephesians 6:10-18).

            The Psalmist says, “I hate double-minded people…” (Psalm 119:113). And elsewhere the Psalmist says, “Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.” (Psalm 3:7). Does the Psalmist, out of his abundant love for his enemies, plead to God to break their teeth? Or would you say that the Psalmist had not understood God adequately?

            If your child is kidnapped, would you not pray for deliverance? Of course, you would! Do you realize, at times, the only means to deliver your child is by killing the kidnappers?

            Any Christian, who claims that he would forget his child and not take any action against the kidnappers because he is mandated to love his enemies a.k.a. the kidnappers must be obtusely insane and acutely ignorant of the Bible.

            To those of you who say, hate the sin but love the sinner, I ask, just as how you may accommodate a needy person in your home, would your sacrificial love for a pedophile motivate you to accommodate him at your home with your children, thereby endangering your children’s lives? Or would your amazing love for your fellow neighbor and enemy – the ISIS – prompt you to fund their intents?

            Only an insane Christian would intentionally accommodate a pedophile at his home, thereby endangering his own children, whom he should only nurture and protect. Only a stupid Christian would fund the ISIS (thereby placing many innocent lives at risk) just because the Bible says that he is to love his enemies.

            Believe it or not; there is room, in Christianity, for righteous hatred! The prison is the most appropriate location for a pedophile, terrorist, and all evildoers. The primary expression of your love for your enemies should prompt you, as a responsible Christian, to inform the police upon sighting an evildoer.

            What about your colleague who misappropriates funds at your workplace? Isn’t he your neighbor and your enemy? He robs the company of its financial resources, an outcome of which could jeopardize your job. Would you, in your abundant love for your dishonest colleague, not inform your managers of your colleague’s misdemeanor, so to deceive your organization?  

            Christianity allows for righteous hatred! Upon your report, if your dishonest colleague gets fired, your love for him could motivate you to serve him by striving to transform him and alleviating his financial needs, if he is needy. But love for our neighbors does not entail Christians to promote evil in any size, form or manner.

            Here’s another articulation of righteous hatred, “…if the love is real, it must include hate…We hate evil because it is wrong. But on the other hand, if this hatred is part of loving our enemies, we must hate the evil of our enemies because of what the evil means for them…ISIS does evil and is evil — and our love for them means we hate both. We hate that they are blinded by darkness, that they are trapped by Satan’s schemes, that they are following the course of this world and ignorant of it all (Ephesians 2:2; 4:18). But that hate, if we are obeying Jesus, means that we hate them not only because of their disgusting injustice, but for what that injustice means for their souls…Love for our enemies means, fundamentally, that we hate our enemies for wholeheartedly joining in the evil that will ultimately cause their damnation (John 5:29). That is the kind of hate — the kind of love — that might look on them and say, in the spirit of our Savior, Father, forgive them for being so oblivious to what they’re doing. Open their eyes.”1

How To Truly Love?

            Loving your neighbors as you love yourself is easier said than done. Quite a few of us scream at the top of our voices that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves.


            I love myself and my family so much that I give us the best my money can buy. Does your life reflect this statement?

            True love is not visiting orphanages and elderly care homes once or twice a year. True love is not to help a senior citizen cross the road or offering a small portion of what’s in your wallet to your neighborhood beggar or the homeless.

            As long as there are needy people in your vicinity who are unable to eat three proper meals or afford appropriate healthcare or education, and as long as you and I continue to enjoy all these benefits, we do not truly love our neighbor.

            It’s not true love when we refuse to part with our money, but we assure our neighbors of our prayers. The Bible depicts this situation wonderfully well, “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:15-17). Make use of all your resources (financial and non-financial) in such a way that you and your needy neighbors are never in need.

            What then is true love? It is to give and give graciously and freely until our giving hurts us. I am not saying that we should become poor. Moreover, we may not be able to alleviate poverty in our neighborhood. But we can certainly make a strong difference in people’s lives by graciously and sacrificially giving what the Lord has graciously and freely given to us.

            Finally, true love is not to encourage the sins of our fellow Christians. Some Christians claim that Christianity is all about love only to legitimize their own sins or the sins of their fellow Christians (E.g. Endorsing homosexuality).

            Sins are an assault on God. God has defined and determined sins in the Bible. Let us not strive to embark on a futile journey to legitimize sins under the false pretense that Christianity is all about love.


            Christianity is not all about love. Righteous hatred has its place in Christianity.

            When we claim to love others as we love ourselves, let us truly love others without any semblance of hypocrisy or political correctness.



Scripture references are from the NIV unless otherwise mentioned. 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Why Do Scientists Believe In Christ’s Resurrection?

            Historic Christianity is predicated on Christ’s resurrection. If Christ has not been raised, our faith is futile (1 Corinthians 15: 12-17, NIV).
            Those who invigorate a war between Science and Christianity (e.g. scientists subscribing to atheism and skepticism) claim that Christ did not resurrect. Richard Dawkins - a professor at Oxford University until 2008 - is one among those who reject Christ’s resurrection, “Presumably what happened to Jesus was what happens to all of us when we die. We decompose. Accounts of Jesus's resurrection and ascension are about as well-documented as Jack and the Beanstalk.”1

            But Christian scientists believe in Christ’s resurrection! Ian Hutchinson is one among them, “I’m a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, and I believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. So do dozens of my colleagues. How can this be?...We really believe in the bodily resurrection of the first century Jew known as Jesus of Nazareth. My Christian colleagues at MIT – and millions of other scientists worldwide – somehow think that a literal miracle like the resurrection of Jesus is possible…The founders of the scientific revolution and many of the greatest scientists of the intervening centuries were serious Christian believers. For Robert Boyle (of the ideal gas law, co-founder in 1660 of the Royal Society) the resurrection was a fact. For James Clerk Maxwell (whose Maxwell equations of 1862 govern electromagnetism) a deep philosophical analysis undergirded his belief in the resurrection. And for William Phillips (Nobel prize-winner in 1997 for methods to trap atoms with laser light) the resurrection is not discredited by science.”2

            Dr. John Lennox, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford, cites famous contemporary Christian scientists who believe in Christ’s resurrection, “…there are eminent, scientists, like Professor William Phillips (Physics Nobel Prizewinner, 1998), Professor Sir John Polkinghorne FRS (Quantum Physicist, Cambridge) and, in the United States, the current Director of the National Institute of Health and former Director of the Human Genome Project, Francis Collins (to name just three) who…affirm their belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which they regard as the supreme evidence for the truth of the Christian worldview.”3

            Why and how do Christian scientists believe in Christ’s resurrection or the miraculous?

            Christian scientists know that science can investigate the miraculous, but science cannot prove or disprove the miraculous, “…while science can’t logically rule miracles in or out of consideration, it can be a helpful tool for investigating contemporary miraculous claims. It may be able to reveal self-deception, trickery, or misperception. If someone has been seen levitating on a supposed flying carpet in their living room, then the discovery of powerful electromagnets in their basement might well render such claims implausible…Science functions by reproducible experiments and observations. Miracles are, by definition, abnormal and non-reproducible, so they cannot be proved by science’s methods.”4

            Moreover, Christian scientists reject the reasons offered by non-Christian scientists. The argument employed by atheists and skeptics to reject the miraculous is grossly invalid.

            Miracles are rejected on the premise that they go against the laws of nature. But this argument, as Dr. John Lennox explains, is invalid, “Hume denies the miraculous, because miracle would go against the uniform laws of nature. And yet elsewhere he denies the uniformity of nature. He famously argues that, just because the sun has been observed to rise in the morning for thousands of years, it does not mean that we can be sure that it will rise tomorrow. This is an example of the Problem of Induction: on the basis of past experience you cannot predict the future, says Hume. But if that were true, let us see what follows.

            Suppose Hume is right, and no dead man has ever risen up from the grave through the whole of earth's history so far; by his own argument he still cannot be sure that a dead man will not rise up tomorrow. That being so, he cannot rule out miracle. What has become now of Hume's insistence on the laws of nature, and its uniformity? He has destroyed the very basis on which he tries to deny the possibility of miracles.

            In any case, if according to Hume we can infer no regularities, it would be impossible even to speak of laws of nature, let alone the uniformity of nature with respect to those laws. And if nature is not uniform, then using the uniformity of nature as an argument against miracles is simply absurd.”5

            Dr. Lennox posits God’s intervention into nature as a reason for the miraculous, “…from the theistic perspective, the laws of nature predict what is bound to happen if God does not intervene; though, of course, it is no act of theft, if the Creator intervenes in his own creation. It is incorrect to argue that the laws of nature make it impossible for us to believe in the existence of God and the possibility of his intervention in the universe. That would be like claiming that an understanding of the laws of the internal combustion engine makes it impossible to believe that the designer of a motor-car, or one of his mechanics, could or would intervene and remove the cylinder head. Of course they could intervene. Moreover, this intervention would not destroy those laws. The very same laws, that explained why the engine worked with the cylinder head on, would now explain why it does not work with the head removed.

            It is, therefore, inaccurate and misleading to say with Hume that miracles "violate" the laws of nature. We could, of course, say that it is a law of nature that human beings do not rise again from the dead by some natural mechanism. But Christians do not claim that Christ rose from the dead by such a mechanism. They claim that he rose from the dead by supernatural power. By themselves, the laws of nature cannot rule out that possibility.

            When a miracle takes place, it is the laws of nature that alert us to the fact that it is a miracle. It is important to grasp that Christians do not deny the laws of nature, as Hume implies they do. It is an essential part of the Christian position to believe in the laws of nature as descriptions of those regularities and cause-effect relationships built into the universe by its Creator and according to which it normally operates. If we did not know them, we should never recognise a miracle if we saw one…

            …To suppose, then, that Christianity was born in a pre-scientific, credulous and ignorant world is simply false to the facts. The ancient world knew the law of nature as well as we do, that dead bodies do not get up out of graves. Christianity won its way by dint of the sheer weight of evidence that one man had actually risen from the dead.”6

            Therefore, the reasons offered by the non-Christian scientists to reject miracles are weak and invalid.

            There are, however, compelling evidences that persuade Christian scientists to believe in Christ\s resurrection, “Most of our evidence comes from the New Testament and it may surprise many that, in comparison with many other ancient works of literature, the New Testament is by far the best-attested document from the ancient world…It is the constant and unvarying testimony of the Gospels that the tomb was found to be empty when the Christian women came early in the morning of the first day of the week, to complete the task of encasing the body of Jesus in spices. And when the apostles went to investigate the women's report, they likewise found the tomb empty…But it was the way in which the grave-cloths were lying that convinced St. John of a miracle. So, could someone have taken the body and rewound the cloths deliberately to give the impression that a miracle had happened? But who could this have been? It was morally impossible for the followers of Christ to have done it. It was also psychologically impossible, since they were not expecting a resurrection. And it was practically impossible, because of the guards. It would be absurd to think of the authorities doing anything remotely suggestive of a resurrection. After all, it was they who had ensured that the tomb was guarded, to avoid anything like that!

            The early Christians did not simply assert that the tomb was empty. Far more important for them was the fact that subsequently they had met the risen Christ, intermittently over a period of forty days. According to Paul's list in 1 Corinthians 15, there were originally well over five hundred people who at different times saw the risen Christ during that period…To anyone who knows anything about the ancient laws regarding legal testimony, it is very striking that the first reports mentioned in the Gospels of appearances of the Risen Christ were made by women. In first-century Jewish culture, women were not normally considered to be competent witnesses. At that time, therefore, anyone who wanted to invent a resurrection story would never have thought of commencing it in this way. The only value of including such a story would be if it were both true and easy to verify. Its very inclusion, therefore, is a clear mark of historical authenticity.

            The evidence of the empty tomb, the character of the witnesses, the explosion of Christianity out of Judaism and the testimony of millions today are inexplicable without the resurrection. As Holmes said to Watson: "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"” (Emphasis Mine).7









Websites cited were last accessed on 25th November 2017.