Is Christianity a blind faith?

Many non-Christians love to point out how Christianity is nothing but a “blind faith”. They say that because God cannot be seen, heard, or touched, we cannot ever know for sure that He exists. Since there is a lack of physical evidence of God, then any rational minded person would never believe in God and, therefore, we just blindly believe what we were told.

Websters defines blind faith as:

belief without true understanding, perception, or discrimination

A common way that it is defined is to say that someone believes in something without any evidence. You believe because you are told, and that’s it.

So I have given this subject a lot of thought because it’s important. If God is real, and He interacts with us like the Bible says (i.e. Jesus, the cross), then there should be evidence somewhere that He exists. Or do I believe everything that I believe simply out of blind faith?

After thinking about it for a while, I realized that there are a few things I believe in blindly.

Heaven, for one, is something I have a blind faith in. I have absolutely no proof that heaven exists. It doesn’t affect my life, I can’t reach down and touch the streets of gold and I don’t know anybody who has been there and come back to tell me about it. But I believe in heaven because the Bible says it is true. I do realize the weakness of that argument, so I must continue my search. Is everything I believe about Christianity just blind faith?

Then I thought about angels. There are stories all throughout the Bible about angels. Angels that fight behind the scenes, and even ones that appear to man. But I have never seen an angel, nor have I ever interacted with one. And as they are not part of the natural world you really can’t test for them. So I realized I also blindly believe that angels exist.

But the single most important factor of Christianity to consider is God. Everything hinges around Him. If He doesn’t exist, then my faith is completely worthless and I’m wasting my life on this Earth.

So the question: Do I blindly believe in God?

I have never seen him, never felt Him physically. I have never heard his voice or seen His hand write on my wall. So at first I would say that I do believe in him blindly.

But then I thought about my wife. Do I only believe my wife exists because I see and hear her? Or is there something deeper?

I can’t see God like I can see my wife, but even if I were blind and could never see her I would know she is there. It’s the same with any of the physical senses. I don’t need to hear or feel her to know that she is in my life. I can see the impact that her presence has on me, both in how it changes me and how it changes my environment.

And it’s the same with God.

How, exactly, has God affected my life in such a way that I know He exists? The biggest reason is how God has changed me to be more like Him, which is completely contradictory to my own nature.

There have been times in my life where I have been hurt and betrayed in terrible ways. I was hurt so badly that I swore I would never forgive them. I would even get pleasure from thinking of harm being done to them. This, is me. This is my heart. You hurt me and I couldn’t care less what happens to you.

But that isn’t the heart of God. And as I follow God, He changes me.

If you are not a Christian it is almost impossible for you to understand or believe the change that I’m talking about. I’m not talking about religious change that comes from me trying to follow a book. I didn’t read in the Bible that we need to completely and utterly forgive people and then try my best to forgive these people that harmed me. I wasn’t trying to be a “good” Christian because I read some laws and did my best to follow them.

No, as I seek God and draw closer to Him, He changes me. A change that is very real, and can be explained by nothing other than supernatural power. A change so complete that I’m brought to my knees instantly knowing that I did wrong, and not just knowing what I had to try to do to forgive these people, but instantly I had the ability to forgive them. My heart was changed and it could only happen because of God.

But it goes beyond just a changed heart. I managed to get through high school without falling into any major temptation that is common among teenagers. Not just that, I managed to get through high school without falling into any temptation that I wanted to fall into.

I can promise that I didn’t avoid drinking, drugs, and being intimate with a girl because I had a wanted to be a good little kid. Don’t get me wrong, I did want to be a good kid, but those desires quickly get overruled when you face peer pressure or when a cute girl starts making obvious passes at you.

As I have grown older I have seen how much pain is caused by giving in to such temptations, and I’m so thankful that God gave me the strength to withstand those temptations. Because I know my heart and I know that in my own power, I’m not strong enough to resist temptation.

Pornography is such a problem in our culture today that over 70% of men and 30% of women confess to viewing pornography. Over 43% of all Internet use is for pornography, with related subjects being the most searched for terms on Google and other browsers. [1] [2]

These issues plague not only our culture but our core humanity, and we give in. Because it’s so easy, it’s pleasurable, and because we are increasingly being told that there is nothing wrong with it. In some places that I have worked pornography is talked about openly and it is fully accepted that “everyone does it”. To not partake makes you the weird one.

Yet, by God’s power alone, I have been able to escape these traps or avoid them altogether. Not by human power because someone gave me a list of rules to follow.

I have prayed to God for guidance and seen Him answer prayers. I have seen how God had healed my sister, who had burns all over her body to the point where the doctor cancelled the skin graft operation, after our pastor prayed over her. I have seen friends obsessed with sex in high school turn their lives over to God and their heart became completely transformed. I have seen 2 Corinthians 5:17 in action.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5‬:‭17‬ NKJV)

And there is even more real evidence of God in my life. I have felt God’s love. I have had my heart broken for things that God’s heart breaks over. I have felt the presence of God when going through tough times. Feelings that are not of me, that don’t exist in my own heart apart from God.

These things are real, not just the attempts of a mere man trying to follow religion and do all of the right things. I know my heart, I know what I’m capable of. And I praise God that He doesn’t just write me off as a lost cause but that He, the maker of the universe, cares about me and helps me. He changes me.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭10‬ NLT)

So no, there is no way you could ever convince me that God is not real. My faith in Him is not blind.  Because God changes lives.

But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you… (‭1 John‬ ‭2‬:‭27‬ NLT)

Do you have a story to share about how you KNOW that God is real? I want to hear about it.

Help us buy a camel

November is here, which means it is time to start breaking out the snow makers and make some snow angels in Los Angeles.

Or, more accurately it is time to start spending lots of money on all of those family members.  With how much marketing is put into Christmas it is no wonder that we are so focused on buying each other gifts to fill up the stockings and line the trees with.

But this year try to do something a little different.  Give just a little bit of your money to help people in other countries who have almost nothing and will likely get nothing for Christmas.

This year Eternal Truth Ministering is trying to save up to buy a camel.

Yes, you heard me right, a camel.

Gospel for Asia has a donation program allowing you to help buy livestock for villages in need (along with a ton of other cool ministry opportunities).  For only $345, the cost of 23 people subscribing to World of Warcraft for a month, or the cost of a single Xbox 360, we can purchase a camel for a village in Rajasthan, India.

Camels can be used to transport up to 330 pounds of goods across the sandy deserts that jeeps have a hard time getting through, and when they get to their destination they are even used for plowing fields.

Camel wool is used to make clothing and camel milk is a staple in that part of the world.

Missionaries from Gospel for Asia go into these villages to bring the gospel, and if they can meet physical needs while they are at it then it provides a great platform to show that those who follow Jesus love them in a very real way.

“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” – Matthew 25:40

Would you consider giving a small donation to help us make a difference to the lives of villagers in India?

Click here for more information or to donate.

I saw a Facebook status…

The other day I saw a Facebook status…

When you carry the Bible, Satan gets a headache. When you open it, he collapses. When he sees you reading it, he faints. When he sees you living it, he flees. And just when you’re about to re-post this, he’ll try to discourage you. I JUST DEFEATED HIM! Copy and re-post if you can. Any takers?

While it seems cute, and all good, it caught my attention.  This, to me, is a prime example of American Christianity.  While it is cutesy, it is NOT Biblical.  One thing American Christianity embraces is cuteness, while it ignores the Word.  We are in a war, and we need to know the truth.  The truth is, Satan uses the Bible against us, he even used it against Jesus:

Matthew 4 “5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, He will command his angels concerning you, and On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” -ESV

This verse shows us not only can Satan use the Bible against us, but that he knows it.  When you sit there, with your Bible open and reading, most likely he is trying everything he can to ever so slighty twist the scripture into something that will benefit him.  Be AWARE! Satan is not just trying to get you to sin, or get people to do bad things, he is trying to destroy the church, without even knowing he is.

Some lines from a song that are interesting (Destroy the Runner – I, Lucifer):

…I’ll preach what I practice,
and I will practice on you…

…I speak of angels,
but host demons instead…

…I will sell them the scriptures,
and I will pocket your fame…

…I am feasting on bread and your wine.

We need to be in the Spirit always to know when something is from God or from Satan.

I encourage you not to just take the word of others on spiritual matters, but to back EVERYTHING up with scripture.  Do not be like so many who are complacent in their lives, who prefer to enjoy the “cuteness” and ignorance American Christianity.  The Word gives us the truth, and everything we post about our beliefs from Facebook statuses to blogs, should be fully founded in the Word.  The Word is not a joke, and needs to be taken very seriously!  THIS IS A WAR!

Should Christian Women Cover Their Heads in Church?

I feel that Christian women should. Paul goes into great detail in 1 Corinthians 11 about why women should cover their heads in church. Just because a woman chooses not to cover her head, doesn’t mean she is not in God’s favor, but i don’t feel that any rule in the bible should be ignored just because the culture at the time says what women should or should not do. For example, did you know women generally covered their heads in church all up until the Feminist Movement? Then, women claimed they did not want to wear a symbol of a man’s authority over her head so they threw their hats and scarves off. However, should we really say that women should not cover their heads in church, or that God doesn’t care anymore about that just because some cultural movement tells us we shouldn’t? And what is man to say what should or should not be considered valid anymore in regards to the New Testament. The only reason why people say it’s not necessary anymore or that it was just a local, cultural issue in the New Testament times is because the culture we live in (American culture) tells us women don’t need to cover their heads. I guarantee that if it were culturally acceptable in the US for Christian women to cover their heads in church, then Bible commentators would not be ignoring God’s commands through Paul on the issue. Paul makes it clear also that what’s being discussed is a covering above and beyond a woman’s hair…otherwise he wouldn’t say if a woman does not cover her head that her hair should be shaved because a shaved head is a disgrace to a woman. And he’s not just talking about mere “modest dress” according to the culture at the time because in the end of chapter, he specifically says, “For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head”. He’s talking about a specific body part, not just a symbolic statement for modest dress. Also he’s talking about a specific, physical sign a woman should wear on her head in recognition of her acceptance of God’s decrees. I’m sorry, but in light of this, saying that a woman just dressing modestly should fulfill this decree just doesn’t cut it. There’s no weird vagueness or symbolism to look into in this chapter…Paul makes it pretty clear and well spelled out. I think it’s sad that churches today feel they can just ignore whatever in the bible they choose to ignore according to what’s “popular” or “unpopular” in the society at the moment. Believe it or not, this isn’t the command some churches have stopped at in determining “necessity” or not…today the issue is about homosexuality. Do you know that some churches are now saying that’s it’s okay now to recognize people living a homosexual lifestyle as being Christians and that there’s nothing wrong with homosexuality? That’s another example of churches ignoring God’s laws and decrees according to whatever’s “popular” in the culture at the time. People, this is dangerous thinking! We must stop this type of thinking and take everything spoken to the churches in the NT as valid and literal. If we continue with this type of thinking, what else will suddenly be seen as obsolete; or what other sinful practice will suddenly become acceptable? We as Christians are in NO place to determine what should or should not be accepted or believed if it’s very clear in the Bible. We need to trust that God knows what He’s talking about if he makes a specific decree or commandment. He did NOT leave it up to us to decide according to what’s popular at whatever point in time.
Now, I have gone to church before with my head covered in a scarf and have actually been persecuted for doing so… for following what the bible is saying! However, strangely, if I go to church with my hair in a bandana, no one gives me weird looks or questions me because it’s more common to see people wearing bandanas on their heads than scarves that they wrap on their heads and toss over their shoulders. This comes to show that people aren’t judging according to what they feel the Bible really means in 1 Corinthians 11, they’re judging according to what they’re used to seeing in public or not. That’s wrong. This shows that people aren’t really examining these verses, they’re just assuming the meaning of verses according to what they commonly see around them pr in mainstream culture.

I’m not the only one who feels this way either…i have found countless churches and groups who post their beliefs on their websites who say they too feel that this passage should be taken literally since it is a specific decree to churches…not just to the Corinthian church at that time, but to all churches everywhere, regardless of time period.

Here’s a statement i found on a website which puts what i believe so eloquently:

“Head covering for Women

Paul devotes half a chapter to the subject of head covering (I Cor. 11:1-16). He gives no indication that he is establishing a rule merely for the local situation in Corinth. He introduces such words as shame and dishonoring the head (ultimately Christ, v. 3). These ideas denote a moral issue of abiding significance, not some merely local question. Paul also makes a telling reference to the angels of God (v. 10) as a reason for a woman to cover her head in public worship. He says that nature teaches the same thing (v. 14). All of this strongly implies that Paul is laying down a general rule for all Christian churches, regardless of location or local culture. That conclusion is strengthened by what is said in verse 4. There the apostle forbids the use of a head covering for men in worship. Both the Jews and the Romans had the custom of requiring men to cover their heads in religious worship. Clearly Paul was not addressing mere cultural questions. He was settling what is right and proper for Christians in whatever culture they live. We therefore take what I Corinthians 11 teaches as binding on us today.

In effect that settles the matter of whether or not women should wear head covering in church services. No reputable exegete or commentator has the slightest doubt that Paul was insisting on the Corinthian women having a covering on their heads in public worship. We do not know of any Bible-believing church that would permit its men to wear hats or caps in public worship. Their reason is that I Corinthians 11:4 prohibit it. No one doubts that that prohibition is still in force. By what stretch of exegesis or of logic can the parallel prohibition of women worshipping bareheaded be counted a merely temporary matter relating to the Corinthians but not to us? In the light of Paul’s clear intention to establish a universal principle of conduct, how can we ignore the plain teaching that Christian women should wear a head covering in public worship? In the Free Presbyterian Church, we do not. We joyfully accept it.

Judging by God’s Standards

One of the reasons for women’s head covering is the respective roles of men and women in creation and in the church (vv. 7-8). We must be careful not to define a person’s worth or dignity by the godless standards of modern radical feminism or humanism. A woman’s true dignity is in knowing and accepting the place her Creator and Redeemer has accorded to her. The same is true of a man. Woman’s head covering is an eloquent testimony to acceptance of God’s standards, not man’s. The basic principle is laid down in verse 3: “The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.” Clearly the apostle is not discussing the issue of what the world calls “equality” or “dignity.” He is discussing the issue of government and authority in the Christian home and the church. Furthermore, the three clauses in verse 3 must always be taken together. In other words, Paul is not arguing for male authority over the woman without regard to man’s submission to the authority of Christ. He rather is bringing men and women to the place of submission at the feet of the Lord. Our homes and churches would be much happier and healthier places if we all, men and women, fully acknowledged the Lordship of Christ and obediently served Him in the role and capacity He has given to us. ”

Amen to that! There just isn’t any argument you can make against that is there?

Super-Conquerers

Romans 8:28-39 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. 30And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and he promised them his glory. 31What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else? 33Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. 34Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us. 35Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? 36(Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” 37No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. 39Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

-To those of us with spiritual insight, the actions on the Cross mean the end to sin. It is the act on that cross which turns all things to good; turns the base things in the life of a believer into something precious.

-Since God is FOR us…who can be against us? Satan will do his best to stop God’s work in us. But since satan tries to thwart God’s plan for us in this way, why doesn’t God end him and stop this “madness”? Because, God’s plan for us is to conform us into the image of Christ, to share in His victory. In order for us to have victory over something, there must be something there to overcome!

-God uses satan’s resistance in our lives to make us victorious in Christ. We as believers can be victorious in EVERY situation in our lives because Christ has conquered all sin, trials, and weakness. Since Christ’s victory was over all sin and death, we as followers of Him can have victory over these things. Although we all die physically, Jesus has overcome not only physical but spiritual death. We as believers, though we will die, will be resurrected in an immortal body and will forever overcome physical death!

-In verse 37 of this passage, the Greek word used to denote us being conquerers is “hypernikeo” which literally means “super conquerers”. This term denotes something or somebody that is so strong that their adversary literally has NO place in the field. It denotes the idea that an enemy who steps foot in your arena can literally be overcome and permanently vanquished. But you see, we as Christians have become “mega conquerers” over this world’s sin and spiritual death becase of Christ’s victory and resurrection. We have the blessing to be able to share in His strength. As Christians, Jesus is right there willing to offer His victory to us in all our struggles and failures…all we need to do is surrender it all to Him and follow His very footsteps.

-Christ redeems our sin and turns our struggles into something more precious than gold. Christ has the power to take the broken things in our lives and turn them into something whole and good.

-Christ’s victory over all sin allows Him to help us to become victorious through our struggles with individual sins. As Christians, we must keep in mind that whatever horrible things can happen in our lives as a result of satanic attack, we can rejoice…no we MUST rejoice because we know that NO ONE and NOTHING can take away our salvation and our place in our eternal home in heaven.

-Jesus turns victims into victors. Unlike modern psychology’s attempt to provide a way of “coping” with our problems and failures through various books and conferences, Christ doesn’t just provide a way to “cope” with victimization, He REDEEMS us from it!

-In Christ, there are no more victims, we are MORE THAN conquerers through Him who loves us! No matter how hard is the place you are in in your life and no matter how insurmountable your struggles may seem, Jesus Christ WILL deliver you and He WILL defeat our foe, satan. Satan’s execution is sure and we need to rejoice for behold, our Lord has overcome our enemy!

-Next time you feel so completely bogged down by troubles in life, and next time you feel like a victim to the world and a victim to your past…remember this, Christ has overcome! You need to just cling to Him and allow Him to make you a conquerer in your life. Rejoice in this…we are no longer victims to sin and victims to the troubles of this world…remember this when the enemy will tell you you are a victim and there is no way out. Look instead to the light of Christ and let Him clothe you and equip you against this fight! Don’t give in! For we are super-conquerers! Satan and sin has been overcome and we in Christ are victorious and can overcome these also!