There was a man who got lost in the desert. After wandering around for a long time his throat became very dry, about that time he saw a little shack in the distance. He made his way over to the shack and found a water pump with a small jug of water and a note. The note read: “pour all the water into the top of the pump to prime it, if you do this you will get all the water you need”. Now the man had a choice to make, if he trusted the note and poured the water in and it worked he would have all the water he needed. If it didn’t work he would still be thirsty and he might die. Or he could choose to drink the water in the jug and get immediate satisfaction, but it might not be enough and he still might die.
After thinking about it the man decided to risk it. He poured the entire jug into the pump and began to work the handle, at first nothing happened and he got a little scared but he kept going and water started coming out. So much water came out he drank all he wanted, took a shower, and filled all the containers he could find. Because he was willing to give up momentary satisfaction, he got all the water he needed.
Now the note also said: after you have finished, please refill the jug for the next traveler.” The man refilled the jug and added to the note: “Please prime the pump, believe me it works”!
When we were infants, we had very little knowledge about what was safe and what was dangerous. We would put our hands up into the hands of our fathers or mothers, and they would take us down the street. When we came to a corner, we didn’t know the difference between a red light and a green light. But they guided us. When they stopped, we stopped. When they stepped off the curb and crossed the street, so did we. We trusted our parents because we were under their care.
As we grew older, the guidance we experienced as children waned. Our parents withdrew the assistance so we could learn. Being prepared arms us with the tools to resist doubts that we encounter in moments of weakness.
Who can doubt that we need to be equipped with knowledge, whether to help us or to strengthen our determination?
As if the temptations weren’t enough for us to contend with, we are also confronted daily with negative external influences. In modern times these influences have grown increasingly sinister and insidious.
The ability to make the right choice often is critical in life.
Our postmodern culture has done a number on the idea of what is right. It teaches that truth and morality are relative, that there is no such thing as absolute truth. To the intellectual elite dominating our universities and the mainstream media, these ideas are considered enlightened and progressive, even though we all should intuitively understand that absolute truth exists, and more importantly, we all conduct our lives with that recognition.
Is it possible that two contradictory things can be true at the same time? If one has the intellectual dishonesty to say “yes,” I ask how certain he is that absolute truth does NOT exist. Is he absolutely certain?
There exists a right and a wrong approach to circumstances which defines success or failure.
Liberal secularists insist that tolerance is the highest virtue. But they don’t tell you what they mean by “tolerance.” To them, tolerance doesn’t simply involve treating those with different ideas respectfully and civilly. It means affirming their ideas as valid, which can’t be done without renouncing their own beliefs. If, for example, you subscribe to behavior as right, you cannot at the same time affirm that such behavior is wrong.
Christians should honor the principle that all people are equal in God’s sight and entitled to equal protection of the laws as well as fair, courteous, and respectful treatment. But there is no moral imperative that we adopt the notion that all belief systems are equally true. There is a moral imperative that we do not.
Peter was a disciple of Jesus. He was a fisherman by trade. He said this.
1 Peter 3:17–18 (ESV)
For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.
Christians must teach the truth, even if it makes us unpopular, even if it leads to the charge that we are intolerant or insensitive, even if it leads to our suffering or persecution. Yes, we must teach truth with gentleness and respect, but above all, we must teach. We must not be silenced by the tolerance police.
I believe that it does take more faith to be an atheist than not. It certainly takes more faith to believe that human beings evolved from the random interaction of molecules. Did the fragments somehow come into existence themselves? It takes less faith to believe in a Creator.
Deep inside all of us, we have an empty center of our soul. A feeling of inadequacy. We have a certain emptiness. We feel a need to prove ourselves. We have to do something about it.
We work in our career, or we look for love. Maybe you’re searching spiritually because recently somebody you thought would love you has pulled away from you, or maybe because recently you found you thought your career was going to do better.
We achieve a means to get to “things.” So we then buy “things.” We want stuff. Things others have. Then we want to feel significance. Some kind of accomplishment. Reinforcement and recognition are necessary. Something to fill that empty center.
There’s something wrong. Some trouble. The world cannot help me. I can’t help myself. No one human being can help me. Nothing can help me.
We think of faith as going against what we know. Faith is not opposed to your thinking. Faith is opposed to your fears. Faith is opposed to self-protection. Faith is simply admitting, “I am helpless. I am weak.”
You and five friends come to this huge gorge in the middle of the jungle, and there’s this terribly rickety bridge. The first four go across it. Let’s say they’re all heavier than you. It comes to you. You have a lot of information. So does that mean it’s not going to take faith to step out on that bridge? Oh yes! It’s going to take a lot of faith.
It’s not faith against the information. It’s faith in line with the information and going beyond the information. If you want to find faith in something, you have to learn about it. You don’t just close your eyes and say, “I’m going to believe in chance. You need to learn about the matter. You need to study. You need to find out about it.
Today we don’t do anything unless we understand it. Something that cannot be explained, it’s beyond your head, it’s beyond your reason. Creating a faith with nothing to go on.
When people in the Faith Movement talk about the power of faith, they’re talking about faith as if it were a personal power that we possess to create our own future, a personal power that we possess to create our own reality, to change the world, to literally define and manufacture our own future.
When they talk about the power of faith they mean that we can use our faith as a power to write our own future history. We can literally believe things into being. We have the power of faith that can create a healing. We have the power of faith that can bring about a salvation. We have the power of faith that can change how people can treat us. We have the power of faith that can change our economic situation, that can take us from poverty to wealth, that can take us from having little to having much, from being deprived to being prosperous, to being a failure to being successful, from being a nobody to being a somebody, from having only ambitions and hopes and dreams to experiencing fulfillment.
One cannot become divine. You either are divine or are not.
Faith demands an act of the will. Need some reinforcing evidence?
Skeptics believe that the bible can’t be trusted for objective information—it’s a biased book written by biased people. If it were, you couldn’t trust anything you read concerning religion—including books written by atheists or skeptics—because every writer has a viewpoint on religion.
However, that doesn’t mean what they write is false or not objective. While authors are almost never neutral about their topics (personal interest is what drives them), they nevertheless can present their topics objectively.
For example, survivors of the Holocaust who wrote of their experiences certainly were not neutral bystanders. They believed passionately that the Nazis were wrong, and they were driven to record their experiences so the world would never forget the Holocaust and, hopefully, never repeat it. Did their passion or their agenda cause them to bend the facts? Not necessarily. In fact, their passion may have produced the opposite effect. While passion may induce some people to exaggerate, it may drive others to be all the more meticulous and accurate so as not to compromise the credibility of the message they wish to communicate.
Christians think the authors of the Bible took this meticulous and accurate road under the guidance of God’s Spirit. Please keep in mind that you should believe or disbelieve what we say because of the evidence we present, not because we have a certain set of religious beliefs.
I am a Christian, but I was not always a Christian. I came to believe through evidence as God’s Spirit filled that empty center of my soul. So, the fact that we are Christians is not the issue: why we are Christians is the important point. And that’s the focus.
John was a follower of Jesus. He wrote these words over two thousand years ago.
1 John 1:1–4 (ESV)
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.
Christianity addresses the issue of truth itself, conclusively proving the existence of absolute truth. It demolishes the follies of moral relativism and postmodernism, then proceeds systematically to march toward the inescapable truths of the Christian religion.
The Bible is a book that had to be written and even more had to be published. So I’ll stop the gushing now and leave you with this until the next writing.
Many a hungry soul awaits the truths that are defined in the Bible.