Friday, September 30, 2011

Jesus, Dinosaurs and Diets 9/28/2011

Is God Jesus' Father?

Tonight we got the chance to address a question that was emailed to me from the fom on this blog.  I hope whoever sent it is reading this.  The question was, "Is God Jesus' father?"  It didn't take much discussion for the students to just say yes, but asked them to tell me how they knew.  It's very important for you to know what you believe, but it's just as important to know why you believe it.  There is a concept in the Bible that we refer to as the Trinity.  We serve one God, but He exists in three persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).  That's how the Bible describes it.  You won't find the word "trinity" in the Bible, but the concept is definitely there.  When Jesus gave instructions on baptism in the great commission He told His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Mt. 28:19).  The clearest reference to Jesus as the Son came at His baptism when the Father said, "this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." (Mt 3:13-17).  You see the trinity here again.  The dove is the Holy Spirit.  The Father speaks.  The Son is baptized.  This is one of those concepts that is a little hard for our human brains to grasp.  It's one that we accept by faith knowing that God is bigger than we are.

What About Dinosaurs?

I don't remember the exact question, but someone asked about dinosaurs and where they fit on a timeline.  Before I even get into this I have to say that I am no scholar on this topic, but I did a little research and it all makes sense.  First we went straight to the creation account (Gen 1).  The Bible says animals were made on the fifth day and man on the sixth.  Therefore I believe dinosaurs and man roamed the earth at the same time.  I did some research and it turns out there is a lot of evidence for this.  First off the Bible talks about dinosaurs in a few places using the word "behemoth" or "leviathan".  (Job 40 & 41, Psalm 104 and Isaiah 27).  The word dinosaur isn't used, but that word wasn't invented until 1840 so that kind of makes sense.  Computer isn't in the Bible either, but I don't see anyone arguing against their existence.  Some believe dinosaurs were referred to as dragons in ancient times.  There is also a lot of evidence for this.  The other thing to think about is the fact that dinosaurs or dragons are used in a lot of designs on ancient pottery and artwork.  They couldn't have gotten these images from fossils.  They had to have seen them in real life.  There are also some remote places in Africa and South America where tribes have described seeing what looks like dinosaurs in present day. 

Here's something else to consider.  Reptiles never stop growing until they die.  Back before the flood people lived to be almost 1000 years old.  It can probably be assumed that animals would have lived longer under the same conditions.  This could account for the size of  dinosaurs and why we don't see them today.  Maybe present day lizards are what used to be dinosaurs.  There are a lot of arguments that I'm probably not doing justice.  You can check out this video: if you want some more info.  The video is kind of long, but he's got some really good points in there.

The bottom line for me is this:  The Bible gives a record of creation.  The animals were created a day before the humans were.  It's not a stretch for me to believe that dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth at the same time.  I think I can believe that a lot easier than I can believe I came from a rock.  To me that takes a crazy amount of faith.  I'll choose to put my faith in a loving God who took care in creating me.


Finally someone asked about being a vegetarian.  Is it a right or wrong issue?  Is it a sin issue?  There are many reasons that people choose to be vegetarian.  I think it's completely up to them.  If it is a moral decision for them then I applaud their committment.  The Bible is clear that we are free to eat meat.  God gave us dominion over the animals and there are several instances where eating meat is condoned.  When it comes down to it, it's not a sin issue.  You can choose to eat or not eat meat.  Either way it isn't a sin.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Destination Campus 9/21/2011

Tonight was a little bit different in r@Nd0m.  I brought a challenge to the students to impact their campus with the gospel and become a campus missionary.  The event was called "Destination Campus" and it was happening in youth groups all over the state as we look forward to See You at the Pole next week.  So students here is a reminder of the commitments your are praying about this week.

Don't forget to bring back your signed card next week if you are committing to be a campus missionary.  God has great things in store for us this year and I can't wait to see what He will do through you on your campus.  Also, don't forget to join students all over the nation in prayer this Wednesday at 7:30 AM at your school's flag pole.  We'll see you at the pole.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Walk to Remember 9/14/2011

Tonight we had a pleasant surprise in r@Nd0m.  I got a call this afternoon from Trey Hancock, a missionary who lives in Dearborn.  He is walking from Dearborn to Mackinaw City to raise money to build a church.  Yes you read that right.  He started on September 5th and has walked all the way to Gladwin.  He will continue all the way to Mackinaw City and celebrate with a plunge in the waters beneath the bridge.  Since we had this golden opportunity I asked him if he would join us and share with the students and answer some questions.

Here's a little bit of background on Trey.  He has been ministering to Muslims in Dearborn for many years.  I remember as a teenager that he came to visit my youth group.  He has been faithfully serving the Lord in a challenging field for quite some time.  The greatest population of Middle Eastern Muslims outside of the middle east live in Dearborn.  It's as if you have left the United States and stepped into the middle east at times.  It's quite a different culture to live and minister in.  He's been doing this for years and now they are in the process of building a church there.

One of the students asked him why he was walking so far.  I jokingly said he was trying to show what it's like to be a missionary without speed the light.  That really isn't the case, but he liked that and I'm sure he is understanding what that would be like.  Just a reminder to all the students we need to provide the equipment for our missionaries to do the work God has called them to do.  OK, I'm done with my commercial.  Trey shared that his real reason for walking was to raise funds to build the church.  Then he shared a bit about ministering to Muslims.

Trey talked about how Islam is completely anti-Christian.  The world we live in would like to water down our religions and pretend that we are all one.  That is a deception that Satan would like us to believe in order to lead us away from God.  The call to prayer of Islam states that there is no other god but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.  This is a complete lie.  The Bible clearly states that there is one God and Jesus Christ is His son.  Some would try to confuse us into believing that we are all worshipping the same God in different ways.  That is just not true.  There is only one true God.  Please keep Trey and his ministry in your prayers.  Pray for Muslims everywhere that they would hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

There is no such thing as a half-truth!

After a two month sabbatical we are back at it in r@Nd0m.  It’s good to be back.  Tonight someone asked about the difference between a half truth and the whole truth.  You know those times where technically we are telling the truth if you examined only the words we said.  But if you look at the intent and the meaning of what we are leading people to believe it might not be the real story.  So let’s dig in.

First let’s establish why it’s wrong to tell a lie.  We’re born with an innate sense that tells us it’s wrong to lie, and yet we all do it because we’re also born with a sinful nature.  You don’t have to teach a kid how to lie.  We all deny everything from the moment we can say, “wasn’t me.”  Our parents teach us that it’s wrong to lie.  Well I hope they do.  The Bible even tells us not to do it.  Remember those stone tablets that Moses got in the book of Exodus (Chapter 20).  So are all of those the reasons that it’s wrong to lie?  NOPE!!!  The bottom line is that it goes against the very nature and character of God.  He is the way, the TRUTH and the life (Jn 14:6).  So God is truth.  To lie goes against His very nature and therefore it is sin.

What about when we technically tell the truth, but leave out a few facts so that we don’t get in trouble or don’t hurt someone?  Is that a sin?  I would say the best example of that is found in Acts 5.  Ananias and Sapphira sold some property and then brought an offering from that sale.  They kept some of it back, but wanted everyone to believe they gave it all.  The passage clearly says that they lied to the Holy Spirit in doing this and they died for their sin.  The Bible is very clear that God looks at the heart.  If you are intending to deceive then you are lying.  Even if the words you use aren’t technically a lie it’s still a lie.  There is no such thing as a half truth.  If it’s part lie then it’s all lie.  If it’s not totally truth then it’s all lie.  You can’t go half way on this one.

So what about those lies we tell to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.  All guys dread this question:  “Does this make me look fat?”  The Bible tells us to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15).  If someone is wearing something that makes them look bad how is it loving to tell them it looks good?  Then they are going to wear that thing out in public and it will be even worse.  If we really love someone we will tell them the truth.  It may hurt for a little bit, but it will keep them from greater pain later.  So if someone has something in their teeth when you’re talking to them politely tell them.  Don’t let them walk around like that.  That’s not what a true friend does.  We should speak the truth in love.  Don’t forget that last part.  Don’t be mean about it when you’re telling the truth.  Still be loving and kind.  It’s all about truth and love because that’s what God is.  Follow that and you’ll be alright.