Dear Children

Letters From A Father's Heart

Archive for the category “Community”

God’s Word, The Beacon Of Truth

Dear children,

The Bible is not a book suitable for fools, for it is the fool who approaches this work of works with the premise already set in his heart that the claimed author doesn’t exist. You must make up your mind about this your own self, but as you make up your mind, do so only after you’ve made up your mind about your own existence.

For one, you exist in time. One of the most profound passages in the Bible is God answering the question put to Him by Moses, “Who shall I say sent me”? The two words “I Am” was his answer, and this is our creator’s signature to His magnificent work. I was told of this passage before I read it, and it put me into an immediate state of awe and wonder. “I am” speaks of existence, but not only of existence, but an existence as it relates to time and space, or perhaps better put, to an existence from the perspective that is outside of both.

It is difficult to think outside of one’s own perspective. I am a westerner now living in the early twenty first century. My mind interprets all things from that perspective. And while I might manage to capture and confine a few of the influences bearing on me from the perspective of my 21st century western experience, I’m convinced that it is a hopeless endeavor to escape the myriad influences sufficiently to evaluate myself and my world from any other perspective. I can never say, “I am”. I can only say that “I am here and now”. Indeed my own history as late as yesterday is already fading from my grasp, and tomorrow is completely unknown.

Yet still, I am aware of a history that preceded even my own existence, but even the study of that is limited by my perspective and made more hazy by the perspectives of those who witnessed it and played their part in conducting it to the present. It is clear to me that man can never “be” in the same sense that the “I am” is. Man is a blind fool wandering around in the annuls of time, seeing his own short history of existence in the light of a dim flickering lamp that creates long shadows which hide truths. And he is completely blind as it regards his future. He is led about by a ring in his nose, that ring being his fleshy desires.

As a result of such contemplations of “time” you will inevitably be led to your origins. On this matter the Bible and your culture are not compatible. Pay no mind to anyone who attempts to reconcile evolution and scripture. If it be concluded for you that your existence is the result of evolution, then reject God and accept the consequences of that faith. But if it be concluded in your heart that the faith required to be an evolutionist is beyond your ability to reason, then reject it. Your father lacks the required faith to believe the tenets of evolution. It is an easier task for this feeble mind to see the “I Am” as the author of man’s existence, and so by extension your father’s existence. Still, I understand those who put their faith in a system of knowledge that denies the a coming day of judgement wherein an account will be required. Man generally prefers to see the world as he wishes it to be rather than how it really is. But know this, in the whole of it reality dangles precariously for any of us on the tiny thread of that portion of the total of truth which we hold to be true.

On the second matter, you exist in space. That is to say that you exist on a slab of land on a planet in a gravitational relationship with two heavenly bodies, all three of which are spinning and churning through the cold nothingness we call space. But more importantly than this, you exist in another sort of place that is multifaceted. You live in a family, a community, a region, a culture and a nation. And just as well, if you are in Christ, and He is in you, you live within a global community of believers who together make up the body of Christ. It is these facets that exert themselves onto your existence. They pull and push you this way and that. In fact the Bible calls it being “blown this way and that by every wind of doctrine.” Without some sort of stabilizing force in your life you will have no recourse but to look inwardly for direction, and in so doing subjecting yourself to feelings and the prevailing thought patterns in which you find yourself emmersed.

God’s word is the only answer for such chronological and spatial disorientation. It is a beacon on the horizon by which you can fix your position in time and space according to the great “I Am”. You will not be lost, your direction and purpose will be sure, and you will endure the course set before you, which, though not beaten, certainly not untrodden by former witnesses either.

I pray that God’s Word would become a lamp unto your feet, a beacon of hope, and a comfort in your trials.  I pray that you would hear and trust the promises of God and that you would set your face like flint in the direction that God has marked for you to go. I pray that you would not falter, that you would rise up as a mighty warrior in Christ’s army, and that where I have failed and fallen, you will succeed. May you in the end hear those blessed words, “Well done my good and faithful servant”. I desire nothing for you more than this.

Your father.

*Don’t Let These Confusing Times Confuse You

Dear Children

Having not lived in all times I dare not say that the confusion of these days is worse than they have ever been before, nor even that they are more confusing than any other time in my short life.  Let it be enough for you to understand that you are living in confusing times.  We might even say that these times only seem confusing, but really it’s only a different sort of confusion than that which was prevalent when I was a child in the 60’s.  During those days, you see, the confusion may have been hidden because almost everyone in my community went to church somewhere.  The standards of the church were the same as those of the community, so even those who didn’t even consider themselves Christians still lived according to the community’s standards.   As long as the community standards and God’s standards were not in conflict in any great way one could easily go to church on Sundays and live a moral life without being born again and no one, perhaps not even the poor unsaved soul, knew any better.

The wickedness that has overtaken this land has changed all of that.  Community life is different now because it is contrary to that which God teaches.  When I was a child, the Bible verse “…the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” ( Matt 7:14) made no sense.  Very few people openly rejected the Bible’s teaching then, and in fact most went to church on Sundays and professed Christianity.  Now, while many still go to church on Sunday, many of those church attendees also reject what the Bible teaches, and they do not fear God.  Research shows that about half of the preachers on some level reject what the Bible teaches.

In some ways, however, life is clearer now.  When I was a child, a person made a pilgrimage up to the front of the church and prayed to ask Jesus in his heart, and was then considered “saved” from that point on regardless of how wicked his life became. I was one of those.  This brought confusion because salvation was a man-made formula that was followed, after which you were pronounced Christian by the preacher and that was that.  You could live and think any way you wanted and were assured that God loved you and was obliged to send you to heaven when you died because of what you did at taht church that day.

The community’s standards back then served to control how we acted so we generally lived outwardly in a way that was not that much different than what Jesus taught.  Little did I know when I was a young one living in the country that I was actually living in a time when big social shifts were taking place; shifts in mindsets that the small town in which I grew up in was not spared.  By the time I was a teenager my community’s standards had changed radically.  Divorce was acceptable and rampant, killing babies became legal and shame was dead.  It became clear to me by the time I was 20 that the increasingly unbiblical community standards had become my true guide in life, and not God or his laws.  As the community drifted toward wickedness so did I and I finally admitted to myself that I really wasn’t a Christian.  Had the community’s standards not changed, you see, I may have never realized that it was the community’s standardds that were my true guide and not God.  See?  Confusion.

I was not alone.  As Jesus plainly said that most would not find the narrow gate, the vast majority of people followed the community into wickedness and not God into righteousness.  Yet many who followed the community still sought to hold on to their religion. In time, entire denominations began to embrace what God clearly said was wrong reflecting the titantic shifts that were taken place below the surface.

But as a non-Christian, I thought following the world while still holding to the religion was a little hypocritical.  There were the masses who would live like me Monday through Saturday, and they would go to church every Sunday and teach Sunday school classes and sing in the choir.  I never paid much attention to them.  But every once in a while I would meet someone who really believed, and it was obvious that they believed.  They were different.

There is a good example of what I am talking about that took place during the time of your own childhoods.  When President Obama was running for president he said that he was a Christian and that he considered marriage to be between one man and one woman.  Nobody really him seriously.  But when the owner of Chick-fil-A mentioned that he believed the exact same thing people who loved Obama were very upset.  As it turns out, those who loved Obama were not at all confused about who he really was, nor who the owner of Chick-fil-A was.

Unlike the decisions that faced me when I was a little older than you, you must decide whether you are going to follow what society calls right and wrong, or whether you will follow what God calls right and wrong.  The one way will lead you into a life in which God is your enemy, the other will lead you into a life in which you will be ridiculed and hated by your culture.  One way will lead to life eternal, and the other to death.

With prayers for you my beloved children,

Your Father

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