Thursday, November 29, 2007

Either or ...

Either humanity is in control of its future, for better or worse, or God is in control of it, for the good of all concerned.

Either we create our own reality daily or God creates it for us, including having created it in the distant past before any life began.

Either we're "getting better all the time day by day" by focusing on a positive outcome to our lives as Emil Coue believed or we "can do all things through Christ who strengthens" us."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Foreknowledge of God

The Open View of God might partially explain the mystery of sin and Satan. God is an optimist by nature, otherwise why create something to begin with if he didn't think it would turn out perfect and stay perfect. A perfect being, by definition, is only capable of optimism.

Can you imagine a being who knows everything that will ever occur? There are no surprises. He knows everything he will ever do and create and what will happen to his creation. God created the universe with the best of optimistic intentions. God had no idea when he created Lucifer that a ghastly creature like Satan would eventually emerge from Lucifer's free will and cause so much anti-perfection for millions (or thousands) of years. Otherwise why be partially responsible for such horror and evil?

If father or mother Hitler had received convincing proof from a time traveler that their little Adolf would murder so many innocent people, would they go ahead and play a role in allowing him to be born? They went ahead because they had no idea, of course. They hoped for the best and waited to see what would become of their little boy.

God, likewise, created Lucifer and his confederates, as well as humanity, with the best of intentions, hoping against hope that we'd all turn out as perfect as he would have liked for us all to have turned out.

Perhaps that's why he sent himself in the form of Christ, because in being partially responsible for allowing us to get into this mess as he was, he got himself into this mess as well, as one of us, to bare the brunt for having created us in the first place and to help us get out of it and return us to that hoped-for perfection he wished we all had chosen for ourselves all along. Think of the pain he's in to see how we all have suffered and continue to suffer. God wants this all to end as much as we do, otherwise he'd already have ended it for all concerned.

That, my friends, sounds like a responsible and sacrificing God and parent.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Philosophical Exercises and God

If we concentrate on the evil in the world, invariably we become bitter and unhappy. We blame it all on God instead of pressing on to understand the mystery that is life, and yes the mystery, that is God.

Of course, we shouldn't become unconcerned when we encounter evil, no matter how it manifests itself. That would in itself be compounding the problem of evil.

We should, instead, focus on making good out of evil. It also opens up the possibility that some people out there--clever souls they--may be inventive enough to make evil out of good. It all depends what spin you place on each side of the mirror.

It is sometimes said that good is incomplete without its opposite, evil, and evil is meaningless were it not for the existence of good. A reality that consisted of only one of the two would be an impossibility and would be unstable in very little time.

Therefore, it follows, that in a perfect or complete world or reality, we need both good and evil.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Neo-Charismatic Realities in Adventism

"In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh." Joel

When doing research for this post I found this article from the that is a good enough a springboard for what I've been thinking about lately.

"Our worship services are not to be cold and lifeless. Ellen White says there is such a thing as healthy enthusiasm, but what is a healthy enthusiasm? 'The Holy Spirit of God alone can create a healthy enthusiasm. Let God work, and let the human agent walk softly before Him, watching, waiting, praying, looking unto Jesus every moment, led and controlled by the precious Spirit, which is light and life' (Selected Messages, vol. 2, pp. 16, 17). A healthy enthusiasm is a holy joy that results from beholding the workings of God. This joy is expressed in praise and worship as the human walks softly and reverently in the presence of the great Creator and Redeemer. " Charismatic Experiences in the Seventh-day Adventist Church; Present and Future
by George E. Rice
. (Please click on the title of this post to see the quotation in it's original article.)

I am not advocating what most Christians refer to as speaking-in-tongues. I've witnessed it first hand and it is either perplexing, though quite possibly genuine for the believer, or false and is self-orchestrated, which is a travesty to observe. For unsound minds or temperaments it is better not to be in a church where speaking-in-tongues takes place. Some would run from the very place to for fear of contamination by a less than benign force. Others might stay to observe a social-religious phenomenon and learn about how it impacts the lives of the Christians present.
I've rarely experienced congregations of Adventists caught up in the life of the Spirit. Most services are either ordinary, or worse, lack luster and are lacking the minimum required to be genuinely transported into the presence of God.

What Adventism needs is to talk more about the Holy Spirit and to collectively pray for the Holy Spirit. Only then will our churches catch fire. At present they are merely dying embers which is sufficient for most people in attendance. It is not, however, the rich experience that all Adventist churches should be experiencing and which is necessary to both keep current members in the church as well as bring new ones into the church.