Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Jesus: Just a good example?

Starting with the premise that Jesus existed, one must then ask, "is he just another great man to have walked the earth or our saviour?" Let's take a look at his life:
  • Before Jesus had walked on the scene - he was already being talked about by a man named John (the Baptist) (Luke 3). He was telling of one who would come - and who's "thong" of his sandal, John was unworthy to untie.
  • Jesus began a ministry, calling men to leave everything - even family / home - to come by his side. These men came willingly and immediate.
  • He spoke with such authority and with such wisdom, that he drew great crowds wherever he went.
  • His own presence and popularity drew hatred from those in power (John 11:47-57).
  • He forgave sin, called people to repentance and healed the sick.
  • He hung around the remnant of society and those who were hated.
  • He commited no acts of terror or harm - yet was put upon a cross to die by a crowd of people yelling to crucify him (John 19:6) (All of which he had foretold to his disciples (John 12:27-50).
  • He lived beautifully: hating sin, loving his enemies, helping those in need - and valuing the most valuable (his Father in heaven).

Yet it doesn't end here. If we were to suddenly end here, Jesus might be seen as just a great example. But he was more than that.

  • Three days after his horrible death, he rises from the dead - appearing first to women (whose account and testimonies were considered second-rate at the time) and then to his disciples.

Ordinary dead men don't rise to live again. Ordinary men do not cast out demons and bring others back to life. Ordinary men do not forgive sins. Ordinary men do not proclaim they are "one" with God. Ordinary men are not like Jesus.

With only a public life of three short years, His one life created such a stir, such a revival and such fulfilment, that Jesus cannot be deemed, "just a good example". He was and is, the Christ - our Savior.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Self Preservation

Something that I am most keen of in myself is of commiting self-preservation. It's a sneaky thing because it can be so well justified. Self-preservation has most of its roots in pride and fear. All in all, it's an ugly one.

If you want to see the affects of a cultural shift to more and more self-preservation, it can be seen in different instances. I found one recently in a study that was done which speaks to how more and more people are isolating themselves. The causes of some of this can be linked to more folks using the internet to correspond.

Basically, people seem to be opting for the cleanliness of interacting through the electronic medium. It's easier in many aspects because one doesn't have to deal with the persons odor, or the other person's quirky personality. It's a kind of "disengaged" engagement - a half-hearted approach to relationships which only leaves us more empty and alone.

God has created us for relationships. And, He has properly equipped us to be engaged, be it good or bad. We need not fear interacting with someone who is strange or more powerful or just plain goofy. He has made us for this. And, I don't think He wants us hiding behind a curtain.

Ironically, isolation (which we ultimately think will give us more "safety") only leads to bad things, corporately. The less we know our neighbors - and as our sphere of influence diminishes - our society grows increasingly unsafe. There is no longer a "check" on the new guy moving in next door because no one has bothered to ask his first name - or where he's from. This leads to the (you've heard this before on the news, I'm sure) "He seemed like a good neighbor - but kinda quiet..I didn't think he was capable of__________." scenerio. So, the less we know of one another, the less we are safe.

Now, I hope to take this to heart (Lord help me).

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Affirming self or?

One doesn't need to search very long in the blog world to see what many hold as their highest treasures. Granted, it doesnt mean that just because one person hosts a blog all about their dog, that they hold that creature up as their highest value. But, it does cause one to wonder.

Self-worship holds center stage for much of blogsphere. If we do not see anything or anyone around us as more important and we fail to see ourselves, humbly, as created beings - we will gravitate to holding self at the center of importance.

Praising and worshipping self will not lead to a greater understanding; but only to a dead-end road.

Friday, June 16, 2006

What is most valuable?

I hope to point to that which is most valuable. We give value to things every day in how we spend our time, our money - in essense - our lives. Whatever a person values most, that is what he or she will likely pursue most. If one puts money as their number one value in life, they will do everything they can to obtain more. And so forth.

My aim and prayer is that I will point to the most valuable entity that there is. And that is God. And with that aim, I hope to show and point the reader to see that everyone ought to (not in a "have to" kind of way, but in a "want to" way) live in such a way that their existence revolves around Him - that which is most valuable above all else.

Everyone wants to be free

Freedom is a hearts cry of every man and woman. We will go to great lengths to get it - even unto death.

But what does true freedom look like? - and how is it found. I hope to examine this and other central issues related to our human condition here. I appreciate your time.