Friday, March 8, 2013

Our Life Choices

Life is full of choices some are important choices like getting married and some are not as important like what do I have for breakfast. Every choice that we make changes the course of our life to some degree. Marry the wrong person and life can be very difficult. Eat certain foods all the time and clog your arteries. Our choices are so often made with very little thought because we think of them as ordinary.

Some of our choices are awesomely good and some are great and some are just OK. Other choices turn out to be bad and some terrible in the unforeseen consequences.  It is only after we make a choice that we discover the results right or wrong. We can take some time to evaluate the possibilities prior to actually choosing and improve our chances of a good choice.

We are sometimes called upon to make a choice that will result in vital life changes. A young woman finding she is with child has a choice to keep the child and live with twenty plus years of parenthood or abortion and the rest of her life wondering. A young man or woman chooses to enter the military with the possibility of having to kill one of more “enemies” or being killed in combat. You can choose to drink a lot of alcohol and then drive home and the results can mean death, arrest, or extreme pain for the rest of your life. Life is sacred and choices that involve another life have sacred and eternal outcomes.

This kind of choices requires not only a lot of thought and careful planning but also a lot of prayer. When you consider making major changes do you spend enough time in prayer? Have you made God part of the process in directing your life particularly when the choice might involve the death of another person? These are important life questions that only you can answerer.

Moving from one state to another requires prayer. Getting married requires prayer. Changing your career requires prayer. Committing your life to Christ requires prayer. Joining a church requires prayer. Daily seeking the will of God for your life requires prayer. Strive to make good choices.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

God Hates ... ???

I have been noticing that people are willing to post a message that starts with, “God hates … “ and plug in what ever they do not like. A certain Baptist church seems to think that God hates just about everything and everyone but them.

It seems to me that it is a dangerous thing to tell God that he hates something. How audacious to invoke that kind of language and apply it to God. How would you answer for that on Judgment Day? To do this is the very height arrogance and is so self centered as to be beyond the pale.

Standing in prayer I am humbled to know how much God loves me and all my fellow humans on this earth. That in repentance we are forgiven of our sins and restored to that loving relationship of grace. If I accept that my sins are forgiven how then can I deny that another’s sin is forgiven by the same loving God? God is love and love does not hate!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013



It is interesting how over time the meaning of a word can change so much as to be totally opposite from its original meaning. “Dogma” is just such a word. It is a Greek word which translated into English is “That which seems good.” Then it took on religious meanings such as teachings that the church has deemed good and true. In some Christian churches it refers to a religious truth established by divine revelation as defined by the church.

Today the term dogma is taken as an unchangeable set of beliefs, which is a far cry from the original meaning of the word. It is often used and abused by both clergy and secular to be that unshakable truth. To be dogmatic is to be unshakable in your opinion. To be so locked into an opinion that that you can not make a change for the better, even in the light of new information is folly.

Dogma was a perfectly good word in the church until the reformation and different church groups disagreed about which positions “seemed good” and true. The meaning of the term dogma began to change from what is good and true to the other sides unshakeable opinion that is by the way dead wrong. Wars were fought over the smallest valued opinion such as how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. People can be so fussy.

All of us, myself included, believe that our opinions are correct or we would not hold them as true. Opinions can change as facts change if we are willing to seek the truth. It was once thought that the earth was flat and had four corners. That opinion was dogma until proven other wise. At one point the church had a dogma that said that Jerusalem was the center of the universe and the sun went around the earth. Information has changed and so has the dogma. Let us open our minds to search for truth and that which seems good.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why Do I Believe?

Why do we believe the things we do?  Our religion, politics, life theories or what ever have foundations that start early in our lives. It is a good thing for us to examine our beliefs on a regular basis up date our core understandings. That is not always an easy thing to do!  

To be honest with ourselves takes a lot of work and we may not like some of the answers we discover. Many of the things we hold most dear start in our early childhood because we trusted our parents. Because of that trust we adopt many beliefs, with out thinking about it, our parents belief systems on many things. Our understanding of God is an example of a core belief that is most often passed on from parent to child. I am a member of the same church my mother belongs to.

We can change our core beliefs but it takes effort and should not be done in haste. I am not involved in the same political movement my parents usually voted for because I reexamined my thoughts on the matter. If I only listen to those who believe as I do my self examination is shallow and ineffective. Being honest with ourselves can bring us to stronger core beliefs and a more powerful life. It starts with the question, “Why do I believe what I do?” and moves to exploring new ideas and information. It is a journey worth the cost.