Sunday, May 31, 2009

Three Years of Theology Put to Good Use

Today I preached a simple sermonette about The Challenges of Righteousness by Faith during the Ten Days of Prayer seminar at the church I attend. I hope it did someone good. The pastor's wife commented after the service that it was a lovely talk. She encouraged me to put together another one. I told her I'd rather keep on presenting the same sermon with variations each time. She smiled and said that wouldn't be as interesting.

It was a blessing for me to have been asked by the pastor and to have given the 20-minute meditation on a subject that is important to me. It is why I remain a Christian as well as continue being interested in the Seventh-Day Adventist church. It was in the Seventh-Day Adventist church that I found Christ and the message of Righteousness by Faith. My ministry is to share this passion with others in church, especially those who may have legalistic leanings.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Future Sin

I don't know about you, but the more I think of sin as a concept, of past sins, unconfessed sins, theoretical sins, etc., the more I want to sin. I'm even taking a risk by writing about sin. Even when you do sin it is better to confess your sin to God and then quickly move on. Why cry over spilt milk, as it were? Why frown about the vase that broke and cannot be repaired? Pick up the broken pieces, throw them out and then move on with your day, and with your life. Of course, I am not saying there is no such thing as sin. It would be nice if that were the case. It is obvious that there is something wrong in one's behavior from time to time. However, it is not healthy to dwell on the imperfections of sin.

Do more than just put it out of your mind. If anyone starts talking about Sin or sinning just excuse yourself and remove yourself at once from their presence. That is unless they have asked you to help them because they are weighed down by the burden of sin. You would be sinning again if you were so unconcerned about a fellow human being who is asking you for help.

There are so many worthwhile and useful things you could be doing with your life than dwelling on your sins, past or future. It is better to focus on a more loving version of yourself, a more grateful one, a more ideal one which will, hopefully, bring you closer to that reality.

Even better yet is to focus on Christ, his words, other ideal realities and these exalted realities may very well become your own reality, as well.

What to do with Sin? Leave it alone, in both word and deed. Take a breath of fresh, sinless air, and start enjoying your life today.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Christianity 3001 A.D.

What will Christianity look like in 500 or 1,000 years? While Christianity can still be integrated into past manifestations of its history, no matter how modern or contemporary it has become or is becoming, it is not necessarily a given that the distant future of this religion will be as recognizable as its past has been.

Some of the realities that may well come to pass in the future will, no doubt, also have their impact on Christianity. Some of these are briefly described below.

Christian cyborgs - A cyborg is a being that is composed of both cybernetic as well as organic components. To a limited extent cyborgs already exist today as technology works wonders with those who have had limbs amputated due to war, disease or other mishaps. When a future individual becomes more cybernetic than biological--perhaps some even out of choice--how would this reality impact its experience as a Christian? In such a case the person in question would be more a work of man than a work of God. Of course, it would still be God who gave humans the knowledge to enhance or refashion one of his creatures. Would cyborgs be the only ones who could share their faith with other cyborgs? How would they fit in when worshiping among biological Christians? Might not the ultimate symbol of their acceptance into the community of believers be a painting of Christ washing the feet of a Cyborg apostle at the last supper? Paul's familiar text about there not being neither slave nor freeman, Jew nor gentile, male nor female, may very well one day include, neither biological person nor cyborg. All are one in Christ.

Christian A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) Entities - Some may scoff at the mere mention, but keep in mind that earlier generations had similar attitudes toward in-vitro humans, as well as the still-forbidden cloning of human beings. If one day A.I. persons can pass for human or accomplish most human activities except anatomical reproduction of offspring, how would Christianity deal with these seemingly improbable humans? They would be perhaps one of humanity's greatest scientific accomplishments. Already one can carry on conversations with proto-humans via computer that sometimes jars one's mind as how human they appear in their thought patterns and approaches. If free-will is built into these A.I. Christians, might they not also seemingly want to relate themselves both to the God of its human creators and to their designers themselves? Could these A.I. Christians also be considered one in Christ?

Interplanetary/interstellar Christians. These are not so unlikely as one might think. In a hundred years or less, when Christians are born on Mars or the moons of the gas giants, how would they relate to their savior who will not only come for those he originally promised to retrieve at the end of Earth's history, but to their off-world descendants who also have a hope in the return of Christ. Centuries later when humanity leaves its solar system behind, what will Christ's return to Earth mean to those who are light years from Earth?