Thursday, November 19, 2015

Says Who?

All of us have some source of authority for our thoughts about God.

One man says, “Allah is God.”

Another says, “Jesus is God.”

Still another says, “There is no God.”

I met a young man named Gautam early in my time in India. He would visit us and we’d exchange our ideas about God. He worshiped Krishna from whom we get the Hare Krishna group. If I said, “Jesus can heal the blind,” Gautam would say, “So can Krishna.” Whatever Jesus could do, Krishna could do. It was like the old Broadway song, “Anything you can do I can do better.”

What was Gautam’s source of authority in believing in Krishna? It was the religion of his family. He was born into it and that’s what he knew. Why question that?

Most of us are like that.

Everyone has an ultimate source of authority for their “God statements.”

I remember my brother once saying to me, “I have my own ideas about God.” I got the impression that he’d thought about it. My guess is that he based his ideas on his experience in life to that point. His own thoughts were his source of authority. Many of us do that too.

For those who say “Allah is God,” that statement is usually based on the weight of societal opinion and on parental teachings. The Qur'an reinforces the belief.

For the atheist, his authority might be his own opinion, based on experience and what he considers scientific evidence. Certainly the agreement of many in academia is a reinforcement.

When a Christian says, “I believe in Jesus,” it may be from the same set of “authorities,” namely, culture, family, experience, etc. These can help, but is there more?

For many, myself included, there is the person, Jesus Christ. His life is recorded in the four Gospels of the New Testament. The testimony of who Jesus was and is, is an objective source of authority. If Jesus is truly God who came into the world as a man, then the Bible is a very compelling basis for a belief system.

What is your source of authority for your God statements? Is it your upbringing or traditional beliefs? Is it whatever is popular in our culture today? Maybe it’s your own opinion or proceeds from some hurtful experience?

The truth about God is out there. It’s either this or that. It’s either what you believe or it isn’t.

You remember my friend Gautam who was so stubborn about his belief in Krishna? Eventually, Gautam trusted in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Something about Christ sank in. He still actively promotes Jesus today, more than 30 years later. 

I recommend that you read about Jesus Christ in the Bible today. Jesus said, “The one who asks will always receive; the one who is searching will always find, and the door is opened to the man who knocks.” (Matt 7:8)

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Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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