Category Archives: Truth

The Rule of “Isms” and the Call to Revolution

Oppression can be subtle and deceiving, but we are held captive today in America, not by militaries or governments, but by something I call “isms” or ideas or belief systems that have been packaged in such a way that they are now exerting great gravitational pull on a culture that has lost a sense of identity. There is a values vacuum, nested in a time of post-modernism (where truth cannot be known) and a new atheism (where religion and faith are mental illnesses) that seeks to destroy a basic belief in God and ultimate truth. Secularism (where all things can be explained naturalistically) has become the defining worldview of our age. This is fueled by a blind materialism (where money and wealth are the unquestioned biggies in life). The current generation lives out the philosophy of a radical individualism (where life is defined by what makes me happy) and life and relationships and families are falling apart at the seams because of hedonism (where the gratification of the senses has become our god). The oppression is subtle, but the isms rule in academia, government, law, politics, entertainment, music, and even in spirituality.

There must be a revolt. Not a “throw-rocks-at-the-bus” kind of a revolt, but a revolt of ideas and worldview. Revolution is about a spiritual struggle for a generation; about a pursuit of truth in an age of tolerance. It’s about a new perspective on life and living that breathes hope into those who are weary with the isms of man. It’s about core values that still work in a world that seeks to redefine everything. It’s also about serving a world with passionate love and radical acts of kindness. Revolution as Jesus defined it is about being Christ-like and spending time with and becoming friends with those who may be disoriented by the isms of society, or interacting in love and truth with those who embrace dead-end ideologies.

I believe there is a group of people that comprise a New Community who are dedicated to living life like Jesus asked us to live it. I believe there is a group of people who care so much about the coming kingdom that Jesus promised, that they simply cannot help but enacting it now, and that they are beginning to shape this world and ready this place for a new age. They are tired of being a spiritual by-stander in the spiritual struggle for a generation. They are ready for revolt, with pure passions that stand in stark contrast to the passions and pleasures of planet earth. The Revolution is not defined by age or demographics. It includes the spiritually hungry of every age and culture and gender who share a common longing to reach beyond a small life in our times.

Revolution ultimately is about a Jesus who will turn your world upside down. You are not just being asked to join a club or learn a secret handshake or to sign on to a set of beliefs. You are asked to bring all that you are and have under the authority of a new Kingdom, to be an ordinary radical in a world of war, sex scandals, corporate greed, desperate poverty, drug addiction, selfishness, and every ism known to man.

The Revolution began many years ago, but this Revolution is still going on despite what you read or hear about in the news. It is gobbling up more territory all the time. Just like Jesus did in the first century. He will wreck your life and turn it upside down. He will ask you to do some hard things like deny yourself, suffer for the Kingdom, serve your fellow man, love an atheist, befriend a prostitute, engage in dialog with skeptical neighbors, encourage another revolutionary, give money away, use your success in life to further the revolution, instill kingdom values in your family of “little revolutionaries”, and pray for spiritual breakthrough in your community. Jesus will ask you to live a morally pure life while serving and caring for those who live immoral lives. He will ask you to live an expectant life, where you watch the sky, but you work the earth into a Kingdom-Ready state. It will not be easy or convenient, but are revolutions ever easy or convenient? Welcome to the Revolution!

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Filed under Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Christianity, Church, Cultural Commission, Cultural Mandate, Post-modernism, Revolution, Truth

The Question For Atheists Is Not “How Do I Find God?” | The Question is “How do I Miss Him?”

While God is a hidden God and is surrounded by mystery (we will never totally understand Him – He transcends us), He also has revealed much about Himself in the world that He has made (cosmos) and in how He has made human beings with an in-built God awareness (conscience). This is what theologians call “Natural Revelation.” This in itself provides enough evidence for a reasonable belief in God and renders us without excuse.

In Romans 1:20, Paul states: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

God has planted evidence of Himself throughout His creation so that we are without excuse. Even if you were a non-Jew without the Torah, according to Paul, you are totally responsible for your behavior and cannot plead ignorance of God or His ways because God has revealed Himself to us in what He has made.

Paul’s argument is this: If you looked long enough at what God has made, you would come to understand something of His beauty and nature. Glittering stars flung across a black heaven. The earth in perfect orbit around the sun – close enough to sustain life but far enough away to keep from burning up. Sculpted mountains. The earth’s crust carved into breathtaking canyons. Fish that glow in the blackest depth of the sea. A butterfly breaking free from a cacoon. The meticulously spun web of a gray spider. The growth of a child in the womb. Birth. God’s fingerprints are all over.

After all of this, how could we ever come to the conclusion that we can live life any way that we want; that there is no God; that life is all about my glory, not His. From the greatest feat of forming a beautiful cosmos out of nothing to the intricate details of the smallest little insect or cell, each act of God in creation serves as a missionary in miniature form. They are sermons without preachers; they are biblical texts without Bibles. And while general revelation is not adequate to explain the Gospel, it renders all mankind without excuse and calls for a response.

God is everywhere, yet invisible. God is a hidden God. God has given us just enough evidence so that those who want Him can have him. Those who want to reject Him can do that as well. Think about it. It’s the only way a relationship with God could not be forced. If He was here in visible form, ruling with great power, would anybody choose differently? Evil melts away in his presence. So God must hide and self-limit in order for a free-will world to be possible. The direct presence of God would inevitably overwhelm our freedom. God gives everyone the room to either choose or reject. He’s a hidden God and He will not force love.

What you will find in your spiritual journey, is that it’s not so much that you find God; He finds you. And you realize you knew Him all along, but you suppressed knowledge of Him in your life (Romans 1). So don’t so much focus on “How do I find God?” Turn it around. “How has He already found me?” He brought me to this blog. He’s communicated via the Bible (Special Revelation). He’s placed me in an intelligently designed world that operates according to natural laws. He’s used crisis, confrontation, catastrophe, and even some fantastic blessings in life, like friends, baseball, family, and a day at the beach to get my attention and to cause me to tune in to Him.

Many former atheists have come to this conclusion: “God has found me! He’s known me all along and has never lost me, even though I’ve suppressed knowing Him. If I would have just looked at things close enough, I would have seen Him looking back at me. I don’t want to suppress Him anymore. I want to see and know Him.”

“How do I find God?” you ask. I reply: “How do you miss Him?” Look closely, and the very fact that you’re looking indicates this startling reality. He already found you.

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Filed under Agnosticism, Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Conscience, Creation, Earth, Existence of God, First Cause, Free Will, Hidden God, Intelligent Design, Theism, Truth

Tolerance and Moral Free Fall: The Revenge of Offended Absolutes (In Honor of Carrie Prejean – Miss California 2009)

Tolerance once meant listening respectfully to all points of view, freely discussed in our common search for truth. But the new creed is that knowing the truth is impossible. All ideas or propositions are placed on an equal footing, unless it’s a Christian idea, which is curtly dismissed from the marketplace of ideas. Carrie Prejean can tell us all about this.

Moral relativism is the view that when it comes to questions of morality, there are no absolutes and no objective right or wrong; moral rules are personal preferences (Beckwith).” This is reflected in many places, especially academic settings. When you forget or exclude God, relativism reigns. You become your own moral code. Objective moral standards don’t exist. You become god and usually will gratify your senses however you want, regardless of what other people say or think. When you devalue God, you devalue everything else, including human life.

What we see today is what one author called “the revenge of the offended absolutes” (Colson). Courts strike down simple prayers and religious symbols, and then wonder why barbed wire has to surround the playgrounds. Universities reject the very idea of truth, and are shocked when their brightest students loot and betray their companies. Celebrities mock the traditional family and family values, and then wonder why teenage pregnancy is a global issue. Law makers justify the taking of innocent life in sterile clinics and then act perplexed when life is disregarded in blood-soaked streets.

Sex is sacred, family is one man and one woman and children, integrity is a must in any culture, and a belief in God and obedience to Him are absolutely essential. When these absolutes are offended or ignored, they wreak a kind of revenge and culture pays a price. “We castrate and bid the gelding be fruitful,” says Lewis. We laugh at values and then wonder why people do the things they do, why they don’t “produce” more courage, honor, and noble things.

If a student comes to your school wearing a T-shirt that says ALL STATEMENTS ARE FALSE. That statement has a serious problem. If all statements are truly false, then his T-shirt motto must be false as well. See the logical knot. It’s self-defeating. The person who says, “There’s no absolute truth” just shared an absolute truth. They’ve self-defeated themselves. Stop hiding behind self-defeating nonsense, recognize that truth is discovered, not created for oneself, and that when the moral absolutes from a Moral Lawgiver are ignored, society goes into moral free fall, where anything goes.

We tend to define tolerance as moral neutrality – refusing to judge any behavior right or wrong. “It means putting up with people precisely when we believe they are wrong. It means respecting all viewpoints… (Colson).” It gives people room to work through their beliefs. It doesn’t rigidly point to the rules; tolerance reaches out with ideas that are truer, but in so doing it doesn’t suspend judgment. Tolerance requires practicing moral judgment, not suspending it. Tolerance is a virtue, like when opinions are being shared so someone can arrive at the truth. But tolerance is not a virtue when someone is being murdered or raped. Put them in jail immediately! There’s a time for the money-changers to be driven from the temple when the common good is jeopardized.

Tolerance is the wisdom to know which ideas or things to put up with and when, why, and to what degree to put up with them – and the settled disposition of acting on that wisdom (Budziszewski).

Carrie Prejean did the right thing by allowing absolutes to guide her decision and answer. How about we do the same.

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Filed under Atheism, Atheist, Christian Worldview, Miss California 2009, Theism, Tolerance, Truth, Worldview

Truth, Goodness, and Beauty: Atheists Have Lost Their Intellectual Virginity

The atheist is one who assets that there is no God. He or she does so, not because there is no evidence for God, but despite the evidence that exists which points to God’s existence. And more often than not, the atheist is one who doesn’t really care if there is a God or not. They have chosen their beliefs before all the evidence has been admitted to their personal courtroom of opinion. The truth of the matter is beside the point for an atheist. By ignoring their innate desire to know things, to want to find out what reality truly is, their intellectual edge has been dulled. The atheists deliberately tries not to know that there is a God, and in doing so, they have lost their intellectual virginity, to borrow a line from C. S. Lewis. Something is lost when someone walls off an entire area of inquiry, especially when that area of inquiry impacts all the other intellectual pursuits.

There are three things that humans live for, three transcendent ideas that we never tire of as human beings: truth, goodness, and beauty. Every human culture seeks these. Our minds want to know all truth. The truth is simply “what is” or “the true state of things.” We want people to tell us the truth in school classrooms, in court, in relationships, in our places of worship, and in our books. But the atheist ignores this transcendent idea of truth. “God doesn’t exists,” as if they’ve lived and learned long enough to actually know this. “I don’t want the truth about God,” somehow is a statement that darkens every other endeavor for truth. Truth points beyond itself to One who is true. To say something is “untrue” presupposes that one knows what truth is.

We reach for goodness. The moralists and philosophers engage in open, honest debate as to what is truly good, where that goodness comes from, and why we aspire to it. Humans desire truth, beauty, honor, justice, courage, love, heroism – the truly good. We desire to be free, to discover our self-worth, to correct our immoral behavior, to piece the hurts of life into some larger picture of meaning. The atheist will never allow this transcendent idea of goodness as an attribute of the One from which goodness comes. Goodness points beyond itself to One who is truly good. To say something is not good, presupposes that we know what is good. How do we call a line crooked unless we know what is straight?

And we lose ourselves in beauty. We live for our songs, our poetry, our stories, our art that somehow captures what it means to be a human, that somehow pictures an ideal state of affairs, where all is as it should be. Beauty points beyond itself to One who is truly beautiful, good, and true. To call something beautiful, presupposes that we know innately what is beautiful.

These transcendent ideas work off of each other. The truth is good and beautiful. The beautiful is true and good. Goodness is true and beautiful. These are secrets that God has shared with mankind alone. We know these things; we experience these things; we live for these things. Take away any one of them, and life becomes absurd, without definition. Our edge is lost. We have mated with existentialism. Our intellectual virginity has been lost, and nothing makes sense unless these three transcendental ideas can be pursued and lived for and can be honest representations of the existence of One through him these ideas come and in Whom they are found.

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Filed under Atheism, Goodness, Theism, Truth