The Death of Death

Jesus Christ did not just defy death. He did not just deny death. He destroyed death. – Tim Keller

This is the joy of Easter, this is the joy of the cross. That the string of death is no more because of the glory of the Cross.

But we will die is what our common sense says to that Tim Keller quote. How can death be dead if we still die? Yes, we will die…everything this side of eternity will die. But because the ultimate death is destroyed at the Cross we have no fear of death.

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die – John Donne

The Ungrateful Dead

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The  Scene:
(A cold Canadian November evening with snow on the ground. Two friends sitting on couches in a random coffee shop next to the window)

Me: Hey, I learned something disturbing today at work. So you know I went and volunteered to be a bone marrow donor because I am a mixie and some person out there maybe half Chinese-half Laotian and need my genetics.

Male Graphic Design: Yeah. Are they looking for mixed Asian people?

Me: They are looking for anyone but there is this 22yr old girl with an incredibly rare disease, only 75 people in the world. That’s like 0.0000001% of the world population. They are just looking for people for her and to be in the database but what really got me was that recipients of a bone marrow transplant rarely ever contact the person who save their life to thank them. The stats say less than 50%.

Male Graphic Designer: That’s is because the hospital, government or whoever is in charge blocks them. There are procedures and red tape.

Me: I know but many times the recipient is given the option to communicate with the donor and they refuse. They don’t want any communication, even to say thank you.

Male Graphic Designer: Wow, that’s incredible. You’d think…but you don’t become a donor to be thanked, you do it to save a life. But they should get a thank you. People should be grateful.

Me: If that doesn’t make you believe in Total Depravity…I don’t know what will. (Pause) No, you shouldn’t go in and expect to get a thank you. But you just saved their life. Someone who you don’t know, have no obligation to, hasn’t done anything for you and you go through this procedure that weakens the donor for several days. You are sore, tired – you go through a lot. You go through all that pain and surgery with no gratitude in return.  Shouldn’t you buy them a bike or bake them cookies or something?

Male Graphic Designer: People are selfish.

Me: (Staring out the window for several minutes) It’s like Christ at the Cross. He goes through the horror and agony of the Cross for people who don’t care for him. Jesus doesn’t have any obligation to us since we are sinners, we are dead but goes ahead and dies on the Cross to save our lives and we don’t care.

Male Graphic Designer: (Quiet) Wow, you’re right…that’s what it is.

The End

We Are Too Easily Please

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I am sure you have been in the situation where you are debating with someone about something…food, wine, bands, educations, landscapes, whatever it is you have been in this conversation. A conversation where you believe with all your DNA that your opinion or experience is it; the authority on the subject. Only to realize that the burger, hotel, car, park, movie, worldview, you love so much pales in comparison to what the person you have been debating with has been telling you. And you can’t imagine why you ever thought your previous opinion was of any good.

We humans think that if WE experience it, WE like it, WE think about it, than that it is the only way it is. My way or the highway. How wrong is that? How self-centered is that? How in-imagative is that?

All 3 you are guilty of. If you think that your worldview on religion or anti-religion is the defining view. I encourage you to push your creative limits and think outside the box because whatever you think is good, isn’t as good as what is out there. The good/joy that CS Lewis is talking about is the thing that all good comes from.

Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king I tell you.”          

                                           The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe –  CS Lewis 

Remember that incredible feeling of being both humbled and amazed and realizing that things will never be the same and for the better? I urge you to investigate who CS Lewis is talking about.

Changes

Hello everyone!

I just wanted my followers to know that there will be some changes in the template in the following weeks. The old template didn’t allow me to post pictures, links or videos properly.

While experimenting with new templates I hope to find one that will allow the reader (you) to learn, grow and be challenged.

For now here is a great quote from Scotty Smith:

“There’s nothing more than the gospel, there’s just more of the gospel”

The Puritan in Prada

Fyodor Dostoyevsky Quotes

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* As many of you who have followed my blog, I am a HUGE Fyodor Dostoyevsky fan. I pronounce him as the greatest, most profound writer the world has ever seen. Mostly because of his insights into the subject of suffering. Here are just a few of his most famous quotes on the subject matter. I hope and pray that these words will go and penetrate into your inner most thoughts and feelings. These quotes  will challenge and change you if you let them.

The darker the night, the brighter the stars,
The deeper the grief, the closer is God!

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

To love is to suffer and there can be no love otherwise.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov


Pastors vs. Truth

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The Scene: A small tan modern apartment in downtown Toronto with a 70’s interior design feel.

Male Graphic Designer: By the way, I finally listened to that Tim Keller sermon on anger.

Me: Good, isn’t it? Makes Pastor B’s sermon on anger all wrong.

Male Graphic Designer: I see Tim makes a lot of points that Pastor B missed. But I don’t know…

Me: What do you mean? Pastor B is wrong—biblically wrong. Pastor B cherry-picked Bible verses to support his argument. You need to consider all that the Bible says on a subject and then change your views when faced with the truth. You “are” allowed to be angry, but we need to be slow to anger, not never feel anger. Righteous anger is good and Godly. All those verses in Proverbs say it. TK all the way.

Male Graphic Designer: TK is speaking truth but I  believe Pastor B.

Me: But if TK is right and Pastor B is wrong than shouldn’t you believe who is right?…Who is speaking truthfully?

Male Graphic Designer: I chose to believe Pastor B.

The End

I chose to post this real life conversation I had with a fellow Christian because I feel that in the Christian world we worship our pastors and leaders and not the truth. Especially celebrity pastors of large church organizations, i.e. Mark Driscoll, John Piper, Tim Keller, Rob Bell, Gregory Boyd, the list goes on. We never question them or find fault in them, and defend them even if they are clearly wrong or not preaching what the Bible clearly states. Our celebrity worship culture has infiltrated the North American church. American Idol Pastor 2013.

Many of these pastors I have listed are great. Tim Keller and John Piper are absolutely fantastic but they are men…fallen men who are not perfect. Gifted but not perfect and thus cannot be our saviour against our sins. Mark Driscoll makes good points but many times is a bully, rude, insulting, and aggressive to people he is in conservations or debates with. And Christians defend his behaviour! Just because someone you may like makes some good points, is charismatic and popular doesn’t excuse this type of behaviour. Just because he’s good to his wife doesn’t negate the fact that he’s wrong and should be called out about it!

Now, with Rob Bell and Gregory Boyd… They. Are. Heretics. Full Stop. Yet people who have been following them cannot see their right hand from their left. They have drank their Kool-Aid so much they can’t tell if they are drinking water or bleach. Many Christians follow these men and others to a blinding fault. Not looking to see if they are biblically correct, not listening to critics or just common sense arguments that counter the false teachings of these men.

Our modern Western Christianity has placed finding truth in church leaders and not the Bible. Church leaders can be wrong, in fact many times they are but the Bible isn’t. Western Christianity cares more about the preacher than what they are preaching because if we really cared about truth than men like Rob Bell, Gregory Boyd and so many others, they wouldn’t have a church or a large following or be best selling NYTimes authors. Modern Western Christianity cares about how you preach and not what you preach.

The only way to know if a preacher is preaching the truth is to go to the Bible, listen to critics and arguments that go against their teachings and than go back to the Bible. The Bible is where God relieved his Truth.

“…test everything; hold fast what is good.” 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Are you defending, or still choosing to believe a pastor’s preaching even when truth or Biblical correction is in front of you? You are probably idolizing that pastor. Idolize truth. Idolize God.

* Here is the link to the Tim Keller sermon: The Healing of Anger. http://sermons2.redeemer.com/sermons/healing-anger