Judgement Day

Have you ever wondered what Judgement Day will be like?

Look around you, for you are living in it. The decisions you make today, the choices to follow Christ in word and deed, or to deny Him with your actions, will be the action replay you will see as your fate is decided.

In Eastern thought, there is the saying that “there is only one moment, and it is now“.

And there is only one salvation…and it, too, is now.

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Of Mice, Men, and God

I have a friend with a “mouse problem”.

Extraordinary weather has swelled the rodent population, and they have come into his house in search of food. They are quite brazen, and, since they carry disease, they must be killed.

My friend is no stranger to killing. He does not speak of his military service in time of undeclared war, but I know enough to know that he has done the necessary.

But he is troubled by this, the killing of mice.

“I have to look into their faces when I remove them from the traps,” he said. “And I see something I would rather not contemplate. I see individuality of expression that leads me to think that God lovingly created each mouse, not in His image, but in His delight.”

I tried to address this. “They are merely mice.”

“And are we merely men, Surpreet? Or did God breathe something special into us?”

“Of course He did. He gave us souls.”

“And how are we to know that the mouse is not possessed of a soul?”

“Scripture says…” But there I had to stop, because it is an issue on which Scripture is silent. We men have souls, but to ue that positive to define a near universal negative – to say that we are specifically said to have souls because we are unique – does not logically follow.

My friend will continue to kill the mice, and He will continue to be troubled. I suspect he says a short prayer for every rodent he kills.

And I will think long and hard on this question. We judge our inferiors and casually kill them when their presence is inconvenient.

Inferiors created with obvious care and love by God, Who may have been charmed by their antics.

We may have much to learn, and we may not have as long as we would like to learn it.

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Is Grace a Free Pass?

As Christians, we are saved. Grace has covered us, and has delivered us from the sins we have committed, and from those we may yet commit.

But what is this Grace? Is it a free pass that allows us to do as we like, with no worry of the consequences?

Before answering “no, of course not!”…check your own heart, and your history.

If you are a man, here is the simplest question – did you make the choice to look lustfully on a woman, not your wife, since you accepted Christ?

Did not the act of making the choice treat Grace, and Christ’s sacrifice, as a free pass, meaning you could step over the line without worry?

Is this the kind of behaviour for which your Saviour was tormented?

What do you think?

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Is Tithing an Investment?

It has become popular to think of tithing as something of an investment – for every dollar we give to God, He will give us some kind of return.

There is Scripture that seems to support this. The Parable of the Sower is most often invoked, in connection with “seed giving”.

We are also reminded that we will be given as we give, and that God loves a cheerful giver.

I am afraid that the use of the Parable of the Sower can be disposed of quite easily; a careful reading indicates that the “seed” is the Word of God. To extend it to money is insupportable.

But the Scriptures on giving are quite plain, and they do promise a return – of some kind – for giving.

But tithing is not giving. The closest analogy is a tax that we owe God.

Giving beyond the tithe is a choice, and in making this choice, we may decide how much to give, and we choose our demeanor – cheerful or grudging.

But the in rendering the tithe, our feelings are unimportant. It is an obligation, and while a cheerful heart would surely be to our benefit, it is not a requirement.

The act, itself, is.

And it is not, therefore, any more of an investment that is an income tax. The tithe is a sacrifice.

Inferring, even slightly, that there is something material to be gained from the tithe is to undermine its purpose, and to defeat its intended meaning in our lives.

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Christian Sex – Second Part

Paul said it is better to marry than to burn, though there are some, I am sure, who would have preferred literal immoslation…

But I digress.

Paul’s point in Corinthians, when he discusses physical intimacy, is that it is something without which no marriage is complete, and that faith and perceived ‘holiness’ cannot be used as an excuse for the decorous avoidance of sex.

He is quite clear – a husband and wife can have periods ‘apart’ for mutually agreed prayer and fasting, but they must come together again.

Willingly and wholeheartedly. There is no alternative given.

It is often quoted that “our bodies are not our own, but belong to our spouses”, but that rather misses the point. Our bodies are ideally a channel through which an aspect of God’s love can flow between wife and husband.

The three legs of a marriage are the spiritual, the emotional, and the physical. As for a stool, three legs give stability.

And yet, this analogy also falls short, because it implies a separateness of components. It is much more like water, whose three components are two atoms of hydrogen, and one of oxygen.

Take away an atom of hydrogen, and you have hydrogen peroxide. It is wet, but it is not water.

Take away the oxygen atom, and you have hydrogen gas. At room temperature, it is not water, nor is it wet. It is, however, explosive.

God designed us carefully indeed, that we might delight Him, but also that we might delight His created consorts.

People such as the spouses we have chosen, and from whom we cannot withold ourselves, in any way.

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Christian Sex – First Part

Christianity has some fairly simple guidelines for sexual behaviour – much easier to navigate than the maze of modern morals.

If you are married, you are obligated to have sexual relations with your spouse (except for brief and specific periods of prayer and fasting which have been mutually agreed upon).

If you are unmarried, sexual activity is forbidden.

While there are those who would try to paint this as a sort of ‘holiness’, it is really quite practical, and based in sound psychology that benefits the individual, the couple, and society.

Today, let us speak of sex outside marriage. *We will leave out the arguments concerning STDs and out-of-wedlock births, as they are so obvious and so well known as to need no further exposition here.)

Sexuality invokes both the body and the soul, and has the potential, even at brief exposure, to completely change a relationship. A casual friendship which becomes sexual can never return to its previous state, and someone is probably going to get hurt along the new path.

Modern thinkers will point to this, and say that we have not yet been well-indoctrinated – we should treat sex as a base physical appetite, and partake to slake that appetite, with no repercussions.

This can be done; I have spoken with those for whom sex is essentially meaningless outside a momentary enjoyment.

However, they have lost the capacity to enjoy a physical relationship on a deeper basis. Those that have married speak of a dissociation from their spouse, and a sense of dissatisfaction at being limited to one partner.

One hates to use the term perverted…but this is a way to pervert the sexual gift that God has given us.

The ban on sex outside marriage is not meant to take away ‘fun’. It is intended to protect individuals from sorrow, and from the destruction of a unique physical bonding that can and should best be enjoyed exclusively in marriage.

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Can We Lose Salvation?

This question has been debated for centuries…so I suppose I may be permitted a brief opinion.

The commonly held view is that we lose salvation by apostasy, and certainly that is supported in Scripture – a deliberate turning away from Christ is a fatal act.

However…I would posit that while we may not deliberately renounce Christ, our daily actions often amount to a total renunciation of all that He is.

So many of us lie. We exaggerate our successes or our hurts to gain accolades or attention.

We cheat. We may sell some items for more than their purchase price on eBay, but as long as the sums are modest, the IRS does not typically question our figures…so we may invent a loss, or a more modest profit that we actually derived.

We lust. The television programmes we watch cater to the development of lustful thoughts, but we do not turn away.

Would we do this if Christ were watching?

No, but we assume He isn’t watching. It’s a tacit assumption that He isn’t there, at least when we’f rather He not be.

I think we are denying Him, far more seriously than we know.

And we risk much.

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