We are not all God’s Children.
From time to time in social media there are statements made that make those hairs on the back of my neck stand straight up. Statements that for one reason or another sound true enough not to be questioned and in fact are often quite aggressively defended yet have little to no truth in them. In the past I've spoken about a few of those statements such as "God just needed another angel so He took your child" or "I know its not the right thing to do but I'm sure God will understand" or my personal favorite "Christians aren't to judge, it's in the Bible". Yet there is one statement that has caught my eye this past week in several post that were responding to the evil that took place in Orlando where an Islamic Terrorist killed 49 people. The attempt is sincere but the following statement distorts who my God is and is contrary to scripture. So here it is... "We are all God's Children". Really?? Are we all God's Children? Well the truth is no, we are not all God's Children!
You see there are only two ways that a person can be the Child of someone else. It is either by physical birth where a man and women come together and create a child or by adoption. There's just no other way! So let's look at the first way someone is another persons child, physical birth. Is there anyone alive today who is the physical offspring of God and the answer is no. Now this does exclude non-Christian groups including Mormons who do actually believe that their God and his celestial bride gave birth to your spirit before it was sent to earth to join the physical body your parents created. That only leaves being someone's child by adoption. So has everyone been adopted by God and the answer again is no. Now don't get being His child confused with being created in His image. Everyone is an image bearer of God, all are created in His image but that does not mean we are His Children. He has a process, a plan by which He will adopt someone. Galatians 3:26 gives the clearest understanding of who can and who isn't a Child of God. Gal 3:26 says "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus". You see the only people who can be called God's Children are those that come through Faith. To be a child of God you must accept Jesus as your Savior.
So the next time you hear this statement use it as an opportunity to share that everyone can be a Child but it's just not automatic.
Often I will receive, in my Facebook feed, an article that seeks to educate Christians on all the things we Christians are doing wrong in our attempt to share our Faith with Atheist. There is usually a lengthy list of comments and conversation starters that are either offensive to them or that they find insulting. This got me to thinking about how these individuals are looking at our activity as believers and I thought maybe there are a few things they may need to know about us. So here are four things I think every Atheist needs to know about Evangelical Christians. Some of these are in direct response to an argument that an Atheist may present.
1. As an Atheist you want me to know that not everyone believes the way I do. My response is very simple to that statement. My Faith doesn’t require everyone to believe what I believe! We actually know that most people don’t believe what we do and most people never will. We’re not happy about that but it is a sad reality based upon our beliefs. But just as Coke wants every person in the world to know about their product and embrace it, we as believers want everyone to have a chance to embrace Jesus.
2. As an Atheist you think I am trying to convince you to embrace Jesus, to force you to make some type of statement of acceptance. Nothing could be further from the truth. All I wish to do is present Jesus as who He is and allow you to make a decision freely based upon that information. As a believer we aren’t called to convict you of any wrong you have done, only to point to the way to change. We know if we can convince you to embrace Jesus, someone else will convince you to turn your back on Him.
3. As an Atheist you see tragedy and turmoil in the lives of believers as evidence that our prayers are unanswered. What you may not understand is that as a believer we are asked to come to Jesus as children. Children don’t hold back with their request, they don’t filter themselves very well. They literally ask for everything without regard to all the ramifications if that request is granted. But as a believer even though we ask and we don’t get the answer we were looking for, we are confident that Jesus heard our request and we are totally accepting of the answer that God gives. His plan is perfect and that plan may mean we are allowed to struggle some times. We always know that the answer will always fit into one of three categories …yes, no or wait.
4. As an Atheist you believe I am wasting my time. This is a hard one. What is a waste of time and who gets to determine what activities fall into that group? Is it a waste of time to rescue a baby dear from a frozen pond to know that the following year that fawn will then be grown and possibly shot by a hunter? Is it a waste of time to stop at the scene of a wreck when it looks like there are enough people helping to only find out they needed one more person to help push the car off of the victim of the wreck? My point is simple, it may be a waste of time in your eyes as you receive this information but it won’t be to everyone that I offer it too! I just don’t know who will or who won’t so I have to offer it to as many as I can as often as I can.
Jesus Saves Atheist Every Day, Maybe Today It Will Be You.
Taking an Oath or making a promise? The Bob Scott story.
A few weeks ago the new Mayor of my home town, Franklin NC, decided to fore go the traditional left hand on the Bible and raise your right hand swearing in. Instead he opted for the left hand on the Constitution raise your right hand method. Now before all the people who want to come to his defense get riled up let me just say a few things. No I don’t live in Franklin any longer but my family owns property there so the Mayors decisions are important to me, also I am not saying the Mayor is a bad man, confused yes but bad no, and finally He has every right to be sworn in on any document that he wishes (according to our highest courts) including any number of Dr. Seuss’s books and no I’m not comparing the Constitution to A Cat in a Hat!
One can only imagine why he chose the method that he did. That is between him and his maker… sorry I meant to say between him and the writers of the Constitution. You see the taking of an oath of office has a long history and there are some things that are factual about taking an oath that I am sure the Mayor failed to take into consideration.
The first thing that the Mayor failed to consider was the very definition of the word oath. In the Merriam Webster Dictionary it gives this as the primary meaning “a solemn usually formal calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says”. In the 1913 version of Webster’s the definition seemed more specific “A solemn affirmation or declaration, made with a reverent appeal to God for the Truth of what is affirmed. A solemn affirmation, connected with a sacred object, or one regarded as sacred, as the temple, the altar, the blood of Abel, the Bible”. So you see the very taking of an oath calls for some type of witness, a person, whom we fear, and an object that is representative of that person. Most people in the history of America have thought that person to be Jehovah God and the object to be His eternal word, the Bible. However the Mayor chose the Framers of the Constitution and the less than 250 year old constitution as his highest standard. The Bible has never changed and is perfect in every way. The Constitution however is being redefined daily by our courts. With his pledge the Mayor accepts, no he promises to defend these reinterpretations no matter how vile they may be.
The second issue is the history and weight that has been placed upon using the Bible and taking ones oath before God. The history of such oaths reach all the way back to 9th Century England and were carried over to the American Courts where witnesses were sworn in with a statement that ended with the words “so help me God”. The majority of our Presidents have been sworn in on the Bible, sometimes opening the Bible to a particular passage that they felt would assist them in being a good leader according to Biblical moral standards. The men and women who defend our constitution take an oath which concludes “so help me God”. Though they may not have their hand on a Bible they are calling on God as the guarantor of their pledge. Even the Citizenship (Naturalization) oath ends with the words “so help me God”. So what is the benefit of removing the Bible and using the Constitution, where is there precedent, how does it build a stronger community?
The final issue that seems odd is that any elected official should have a desire to represent his constitutes and seeing that The Mayor isn’t opposed to religion (I assume) then why would he take such a hard left turn from those that elected him. Seems like he wanted to make a statement with this decision but only opened himself up to criticism. Good leadership never shy’s away from a fight but good leadership also doesn’t start needless ones.
In the only conversation, with the Mayor, by way of the internet, we discussed what we each believed in. The Mayor said he believed in the Constitution to which I replied that I believed in God. It is my creator that establishes my rights and as the Declaration of Independence states they are endowed by Him and Him alone and not by any document or administration. My rights may be outlined in the Constitution but it is by God that they are given.
You see in the end the Mayor disregarded the Oath and instead went with a much weaker alternative… a promise. He promised on the founding fathers that he would do the work of the office of Mayor. He looks to them to keep him honest and if he fails he accepts the punishment they offer. Not much but it’s all the people of Franklin have been afforded. Let this be a warning to us as the citizenship to ask the important questions and know the candidates before they are elected to office.
Darryl D. Womack
In the movie called the Matrix there is one of the best encouragements to share our Faith with others that I have ever seen. The Spiritual leader of that rag tag bunch goes by the name of Morpheus and the young deliverer who he believes is the promised one goes by the name of Neo. Needless to say not everyone, actually most everybody doesn’t share his enthusiasm concerning Neo and the prophesies of his coming to the rescue. In one scene as Morpheus is standing before the council and asked to defend his actions, he is confronted by the military antagonist in the movie who says to Morpheus ""Not everyone believes what you believe Morpheus". Very calmly and boldly Morpheus replies "My Faith doesn’t require that they do". Wow, what a statement, I totally agree with that. My Faith isn’t built upon the notion that I have to convince others. My Faith isn’t weakened when someone else says they don’t believe. My Faith doesn’t change to suit the climate of the current culture. You see My Faith is built upon my relationship with Jesus Christ. My Faith is demonstrated when I share with others who Jesus Christ is to me, what he is doing in my life and how I trust him with my future. Don’t allow the world to define your Faith. God Bless you all as you become the Hands and Feet of Jesus.