Tag: God

Disappointment with God

THIS paper is filled with success stories about people who have found God, been set free from their addictions, been healed emotionally and physically, had their marriages restored and found a peace and joy that was previously unknown. As a result of this, you may be forgiven for thinking that giving your life to Jesus will fix all your problems and make your life rosy.

The truth is, though, that in the Christian life there will likely be deep disappointments and unanswered prayers.

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Our faith is not blind

WORLD SIGHT DAY is on the 13th of October, celebrating our physical sight – a wonderful gift and a vital sense that helps us interpret and evaluate our environment.

However, there are many real and important things that are not visible to us like energy, love, and gravity.

What about faith? An oft-quoted Christian phrase is “we walk by faith and not by sight” but is it really true that “faith is blind”?

Homicide detective J. Warner Wallace, in his 2013 book entitled Cold Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels, discusses how, as a religious sceptic, he investigated the death of Jesus Christ and the evidence for God in the same manner he investigates cold cases (unsolved murders of the past) in his job.

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What type of father is God?

HAVE YOU HEARD people say ‘I like the Jesus of the New Testament (NT) but I don’t like the angry God of the Old Testament (OT)?’

According to Christianity, Jesus is God in human form. Jesus told His followers that if they had seen Him they had seen God.

Sometimes it seems to me though that we think they are two different types of gods: that the OT God is a stern, strict Victorian father who takes the strap to his children if they do wrong, whereas we imagine Jesus as a modern, fun parent who gives us lots of hugs and positive reinforcement.

 

But are either of these really the picture the Bible portrays?      

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Learning from the samurai

by Andrew Lansdown

Anyone who has seen The Last Samurai can easily understand why it has been nominated for four Academy Awards (best art direction, best costume design, best sound and best supporting actor). It is an outstanding film about a disillusioned American soldier, Captain Algren (played by Tom Cruise), who goes to Japan in 1876 to help modernise and train an army for the Emperor. He knows nothing of the samurai, the enemy he is about to face. Then in his first battle against them he is taken captive. Thus begins his (and our) discovery of the samurai and their way of life.

And what a discovery it is! I doubt that anyone could watch the film without feeling a sense of admiration for those warriors of ancient Japan.

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Are you suffering through Christmas?

Published Christmas 2018

Most people are familiar with the basics of the Christmas story and the manger scene of baby Jesus in the hay; however, they might think ‘well so what? Even if that is the historical basis for Christmas, it is irrelevant to me now in the 21st century.’

Christmas, to most Aussies, has come to mean presents, food and maybe some time off.

For some, though, it is not even a festive holiday but a hard time. Christmas may bring with it unnecessary debt, unwanted expectations, demanding social engagements and painful memories of family members who are no longer with us or relationships that have broken down.

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Yin Yang

The Eastern symbol of Yin Yang, with its equal swirls of black and white, has become ubiquitous on clothing brands, computer games and in popular culture generally. This idea of a balance between good and evil, of an eternal struggle between the two, is played out in comics and TV shows, and is very appealing. We can identify that tug of war in the world around us and we feel the struggle within ourselves.

The concept of equal but opposing forces in an epic duel has even crept into Christian thinking. However, Biblical Christianity teaches a far different and more encouraging power balance than that good causes and is dependent upon evil, just holding its own in the struggle.

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Love is a doing, not a feeling

Soon it will be Valentine’s Day and the shops will be filled with red heart cards, chocolate gifts and flowers for us to give to our nearest and dearest.

But even if you write the whole thing off as a commerical con, most of us understand that the principle behind Valentine’s Day holds true – if you love someone you want to give them things. You want to do stuff for them.

Think of your closest relationship – whether it is romantic or familial – if that person tells you that they love you but never acts on that feeling, how loved would you feel?

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