Sunday, December 20, 2009

About Zeus, Thor, Buddha, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Angry Atheist dropped by to ask my thoughts about other religions. Although, my reply is posted below in the comments, I thought that these thoughts were worthy of an original post. Thanks to the Angry Atheist for motivating me to post on this subject.

I arrived from Church not too long ago. This morning I heard a great message entitled Our King is Here. That was the follow up to last week's message, Our King is Coming, and the message which concludes next week entitled,Our King is Coming Again.

I am not smart enough to offer you an apologetic that addresses Zeus, Thor, Allah, Buddha, the Flying Spaghetti Monster ("FSM"), etc. I can point you to Norman Geisler's "When Skeptics Ask," or I can point you to Josh McDowell's, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict," or I can point you to a number of Lee Strobel or C.S. Lewis books.

Do not get me wrong. I think apologetics are useful. By the fact that I rattled off those books, shows that I've spent time investigating the subject. Still, I am sure that other Christians, have addressed the subject matter with you. I do not think I can feed you any information that you haven't heard before.

What I can tell you is that Jesus is real. There is ample history indicating that He is real. It is only within the last half century that anyone would deny that He ever existed.

With respect to other religions, I would point you to the Tower of Babel, which is in Genesis chapter 11 a few chapters following the story of the flood. I am just a simple attorney in Valrico, Florida. But, it is my humble opinion, the Tower of Babel is the source of all man made religion. Zeus, Thor, Buddha, Allah, FSM and every other religion on this planet involves "what can I do for god." The person hopes that his good deeds outweigh his bad deeds, then he should be good to go.

God's way is different. God says no matter what we do, we are not good enough. We are too prideful and it is hard for you and I to admit that we are wrong. (I also think that many self-righteous Christians suffer from the same problem).

It is when we recognize that we are not good enough, that God comes to us and says I will provide a way out, if you will receive me. John 1:12 says to those who received him (Jesus) to those who believed in his name, he gives the right to become children of God.

In the book of Acts (chapters 3 and 4), you have the story of how God, through Peter and John, healed a man who had been crippled for life. The religious people (perhaps no different than intelligent religious people of today) of that day were furious. They tried to shut up Peter and John. Peter's reply was "there is no other name (Jesus) under heaven given to man, by which we must be saved." (See Acts 4:8-12).

Religious and secular people like to keep Jesus in the manger, where he can't harm anyone. Jesus is so much bigger than that. Where we can't do enough good deeds to save ourselves, Jesus did, by laying his life down for you and me.

With all that you know about Jesus, the relevant question is what will you do about him? I take you back to the Million Dollar Bill, which you confessed to have reading. I also encourage you to go back to the Gospel of John. Don't simply read it. Study it. After studying John, my question is what will you do about Jesus Christ?

My prayer is that you would repent and put your trust in him. Many Christmas blessings to you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tiger's Confession

Every one heard what has been going on with Tiger Woods. So you have a celebrity, a wife with a golf club, a damaged Cadillac Escalade, and out at 2:25 a.m. Nothing good can come from that combination. Against, that background you start getting a lot of speculation, rumors, and gossip. This is followed by three different statements from Tiger Woods. In his last statement, he finally confesses his indiscretions:

I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.

I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.

Throughout this whole thing, Tiger continuously asked the press and the public to respect his right to privacy. On that point, Tiger is partially right. He should be entitled to his right to privacy. Still, when he is who he is and given the public’s obsession with their celebrities, especially when they are caught in a scandal, the chances of him getting the privacy that he desires are slim to none.

So, what is next for Tiger Woods? Going back to his statement, I am not so sure if he was truly repentant or whether this is an instance in which he got caught. Before his confession, he talked about malicious rumors. I think Tiger can learn a lesson from King David. Many are as familiar with David’s “transgressions” as Tiger’s. Sometime after his open confession, David wrote Psalm 51. While the entire Psalm is worth reading, key lessons are highlighted in the following verses:

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,and sinners will turn back to you.

Yes Tiger, you have truly let your family down. For about 13 years, you have been on top of the world. Now, you have fallen hard. Still, there is redemption. Study David’s prayer in Psalm 51. They say it is impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, but with God all things are possible. Tiger, repent and put your trust in the Savior today.

(See also "Cornered Tiger" by Ray Comfort)