Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Revealing Questions: Why Doesn't God Just Reveal Himself

This has been sort of addressed in my Top 50 questions blog, but it bears revisiting not due to s revelation, but just insight gained over time.

So, if God is real, why doesn't He just put an end to the "hiding" and show us His glory once and for all? Then people can believe. Makes sense, right?

Actually, i feel that's sort of a cop out that people seem to use so they don't have to deal with the idea of God and having to be accountable to Him. But rather than give the Christianese cop out answer "it's all about faith" (it is in a way, but we need reasons for the smart people) I will give a few reasons why God doesn't just show Himself.

The first reason He doesn't just show Himself is because it would destroy us. Pretty good reason if you ask me.

In Genesis 3, we see the fall of man. As a result, we humans chose to hide from God, and God had to drive us from His presence. Further, atonement had to be made by a sacrifice (animal skins, foreshadowing the Jewish sacrificial system in the Hebrew Scriptured and thus Christ's sacrifice). So because we are separated from God through our sin, we can't be in His presence. God is Holy and absolute good and therefore cannot tolerate the presence of sin, hence why adam and eve were evicted. Sort of like how you or i can't stand being around a certain smell or the sight of something. I can't stand certain actors in movies, so i keep them out of my presence. Sin is like that to God.

This is further demonstrated when Moses meets God on Mt. Sinai in Exodus 33:17 - 23 and chpt 34:5-9. In 33:20 God Himself tells Moses that if he sees Him face to face, that Moses would die. As it was, just seeing part of God, Moses fell prostrate before God. Even Exodus 19:20-21 the Lord warns the Israelites that they were not to look at Him lest they die.

Ezekiel 1:28, Ezekiel sees God and falls as though dead. He is a fallen man in the presence of God, so it makes sense. Isaiah has a slightly different experience, but when He sees God he realizes that he is unworthy.

In Revelation 1:17 John sees Jesus (God the Son, God as He incarnated as man) and He falls as though he were dead.

Just from these few encounters, we can see that it's not good for our fallen flesh to behold a Holy and just God. If God were to just reveal Himself to us, we'd all die or be close enough to it to wish we were. God, in His mercy, keeps us from seeing Him while we inhabit this body.

A good second reason is because deep in our sinful hearts, we really don't want to see God. Partly because we then would have to deal with our sin issue. So, we hide.

We already saw in Genesis 3 that when Adam and Eve sinned, they hid from God (or tried anyways).

In Exodus 20:18-21, the Israelites have the choice to hear God directly, but instead choose to have Moses serve as intermediary (foreshadowing Jesus, no doubt). Not hiding really, but close enough in that they dodge having to deal directly with God. They can't bear being that intimate with Him.

Ezekiel 8, especially verse 12, we see that the elders of Israel tried to hide their sinful activities from God.

Quasi related to this, if God showed Himself then went away, we would forget before too long and revert to our sinful ways. God delivered Israel from Egypt mightily. He parted a sea, He was a pillar of cloud and fire, and yet Israel doubted and complained. The book of Judges is full of tragic cases where God worked miracles revealing glory here and there. Often within a few years Israel often turned back to sin.

Given the opportunity, we do our best to hide or avoid God and forget His mighty works. I myself have had God provide financially or deliver me from demonic attack only to try to hide from the truth and from God by trying to rationalize it away later. I have to remind myself it was a miracle and that God did move. I find myself now in a situation where I need a miracle, and I hope I will remember it when God moves.

But despite our best efforts to hide from God, we can't anyways. Its listed in so many places in the Bible that we can not hide from God. The prophet Jonah learned the hard way that it isn't possible. But it's best summarized by Chuck Missler, "God loves you so much that He can't take His eyes off of you."

It could also be argued that God did reveal Himself. 2000 years ago, He became a man, Jesus Christ, fulfilling hundreds of specific prophecies from the old testament. Mankind's reaction was to kill Him, fulfilling yet more prophecies in His death (psalm 22 for one) and His resurrection after 3 days.

On a sidenote, the book called "the Math of Christ" investigates the probability that Jesus Christ fulfilled merely 40 of the hundreds of prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures, let alone the hundreds that are proposed. You can listen to an overview of it here:

And of course, God will show Himself to us, but it's not going to be what you think. It won't be a quick glimpse to put our superficicial doubts at ease, then back to being invisible so we can go about our lives. It will be to come and pour out His wrath on those who have rejected His offer to make peace by turning from our sin.

Revelation 6:12-17 paint a terrifying picture of what happens when God will show His face. The physical universe that we touch and see will be removed and humanity will see God face to face. And on that day, the reaction of fallen man will be to hide. But if you read the rest of Revelation, it doesn't cause humanity to repent and believe in God. The rest of Revelation is about how despite God's continuing and obvious judgment and opportunities to repent, nobody does. Even to the point that people are trying to attack Jesus as He returns in Revelation 19. Other parts of the old testament expound on this time period and refer to it as the Day of the Lord, notably the book of Joel. Joel assures us that it is not going to be a happy day and that it will be too late to change our tune then.

The only way that any of us will see God face to face in a good way is to accept His free gift of salvation found in His Son Jesus Christ.

Turn from your sin, recognize it for its evil and ask God to forgive you for it, because He gave His Son Jesus to die for our sins according to the Hebrew Scriptures and Jesus rose from the dead according to the same scriptures on the third day. Done. He paid the price for my sin and yours, and by accepting that gift we can and will see God as a friend, Lord and Savior. He will reveal Himself in all His glory and finally we will be equipped to handle it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Who You Gonna Call...on? Ghostbusters, or Jesus?

If you've never seen Ghostbusters, stop lying. EVERYONE'S seen it.

Growing up, this movie, cartoon and toys were the source of many hours of enjoyment and occasionally terror for me. I wanted to be a Ghostbuster, i had many of the toys, i wrote a Ghostbusters fan fiction in highschool that will never see daylight, heck, i even went to the firehouse in new york city on 14 N Moore St.

But, Ghostbusters also led me into the occult. Big surprise, i know.

For what it's worth, it is a fun movie, i still enjoy it, and many Christians probably do too. In all seriousness, i don't know anyone who takes it more deeply than that. But there are some things worth considering, especially from a Biblical viewpoint.

I know i certainly see this movie with new eyes.

Part One: The Ghosts

To be fair, the Ghostbusters mythos deals with things beyond ghosts, and the movie even deals with "a god" and a hundred foot marshmallow man. We're led to believe that most of all these normal ghosts are dear uncle charlie, or aunt sylvia. If thats the case, containing them indefinitely in a custom made storage facility is probably not the nicest thing to do.

But we never actually see someone die and become a ghost, so are these ghosts really dead people? If so, why do so many look like horrible monsters? In fact, with a few exceptions, the ghosts are pretty much all grotesque. Even the ones that aren't, become so when agitated.

As in the real world, the best explanation would be that these "ghosts" are demonic spirits, not dear departed loved ones.

Several plot points become much clearer when viewed this way. The devil dogs posessing Dana Barrett and Louis Tully, clearly demonic posession (though they have physical attributes). Especially the scene where Venkman encounters Zuul. That whole scene, ectoplasm and all, smacks of demonic manifestation as recorded in real "ghost hauntings" that I've read about. Since Dan Akroyd is a student of the occult, it should be no surprise that he provided authenticity.

It also explains the whole Vigo episode in Ghostbusters 2. In the guise of a human, Vigo, a demonic spirit attached to a painting posesses people and tries to permanently take over a baby's physical body. Vigo would not be a ghost of a human, so much as a demon pretending to be a person who wss Vigo.

What about Gozer? Seems a bit stronger than a ghost. Well, Gozer is a "god" so basically Gozer would have to be a fallen angel. Gozer seems to have some attributes if an angel, nanely physical and spiritual attributes.

In light of this, if indeed the "ghosts" in the Ghostbusters mythos are demons, and Gozer a fallen angel, what are we to make of this? In the real world, a believer in Jesus Christ has the authority and relationship with Jesus to rebuke these beings. I also believe it's possible, based on the pleadings of Legion in the Mark 5 area, for these beings to be sent to the abyss. A place which they fear and avoid.

The Ghostbusters, however, are able to do this not based on anything but science. In the old cartoon at least, the place the ghosts go, the containment unit, looks alot like an abyss, minus the eternal darkness. So in effect, it seems Ghostbusters are subconciously selling the idea that science can replace God and the authority of Christ and is able to sentence wayward spirits to their jail.

Part Two: Bible Prophecy

Interestingly, Ghostbusters has an interesting link with Bible prophecy. Apart from the obvious dead rising (which they pervert) one thing stands out.

In Revelation 9, a "star" (ie angel, fallen or otherwise) opens up the bottomless pit. This lets out all kinds of nasty creatures, seemingly demonic. Of course in Ghostbusters, this happens.

Louis Tully gets possessed by an evil entity named Vinz Clortho, the "keymaster". This entity is a devil dog, with physical attributes, as it creates much collateral damage, and also spiritual aspects, given that it possesses Tully. This makes the being very much like a fallen angel, though lower on the pole than Gozer.

The keymaster then proceeds to open the abyss, or its equivalent, letting all the "ghosts" out. The ghosts then proceed to terrorize the people of new york. Just like Revelation 9.

It's interesting that this is also paralleled in the recent Avengers movie, even including the same city.

Theres more though. Clortho then opens another portal with Zuul. A side note on Zuul, she bears a small resemblance to the woman in Revelation 17:4, in that she wears red/scarlett and also gold (in the form of glittery things). The color purple seems absent though.

So, they then open another portal, (sort of continuing what Vinz started earlier) and let out Gozer the DESTRUCTOR, which is interesting as the entity in the bottomless pit of Revelation 9 is known as the destroyer.

In the Bible, this series of events culminates with God's judgment of the sinful world, and His restoration of Earth.

In Ghostbusters, the destruction preceding God's wrath is thwarted (atop a tower, ie, Babel?) by 4 men armed with unlicensed nuclear accelerators. As if to say, "we will stop God's wrath and judgment through our own efforts and with science."

While not an exhaustive analysis of Ghostbusters and its symbolism, this should serve as a good place to start for a Christians to look at the film and themes therein.

In the end, the only way to escape God's wrath is to turn from our sin and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. No amount of science will improve our sinful stance with God, nor will it put an end to His judgment.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Looking Good in the Cheap Suit of Failure

If you found this blog because you too are a failure, you're in good company. I am a huge, EPIC FAIL. But, God still loves you and has a plan for you, so don't give up yet. Turn to Jesus, and He can do anything, even succeed in our failures.

Let me lay out my credibility as a failure, so you can see. I'll go through the many ways i've failed, and try to balance that with what God has done. I don't want to complain, but, i need to lay out some history so i can tell about how God redeemed the failures.

Since i turned 16, i've been working. Early on, and even in recent years, i've been pleased, perhaps prideful, that i can hold a job and earn money. It didn't take long to find out that ain't always so.

Throughout the past nearly 2 decades of work, i have failed almost as often as i "succeeded". And some of those "successes" were barely so.

My first job was at McDonald's. Hard to get canned there, so i left on good terms. My second job in manufacturing was also good, though in both cases i was occasionally in the hot seat as a trouble maker.

My third job, and perhaps one of my favorites, was as a baker, another thing hard to mess up. No one bothered me, i loved it. Ah, but my fourth job, thats where things started to go south. (Or north if you're from the south, and going north is a bad thing)

I was fired from a warehouse for productivity issues, not wholly my own fault. I was physically not strong enough, and on the team of biggest screw-offs and reprobates there was. Around here is when i gave my life to Christ. God tested my faith here. I struggled with some things immensely at this time. Still, God kept me from being given over to it wholly and i think He showed me that i can fail despite doing my best.

From there i interned in IT, but, when a job became available, i was not given it. Still, i left on good terms and was always told i did an awesome job. After that, i was sort of fired/laid off from a bank job doingIT/furniture moving work. It was sort of a temporary thing that had ended, but also, they didn't like me much. That puts us at 2 firings, 4 left on my own for something better.

I'd take those odds. Believe me, i would.

Job seven found me doing in-store computer repair work for a major chain. I was never trained, nor assigned any work to do. I quit, but, during my notice they told me not to come back. A draw i guess. Job eight, i was a TA temporarily for a semester and quit on my own.

Job nine, phone tech support, fired for anger issues really. That was an absolutely poor witness for Christ, but during that time i grew alot and also suffered alot. The Lord really dealt with a few issues here, and also got me involved in church. As a baby Christian, i learned a lot about life and the Church.

God did alot during that time. He helped me control finances to an extent. He also purged me of most of my anger. The worst parts anyways. In retrospect, i also see this as a great lesson in spiritual warfare and growing in wisdom. God really moved here.

I believe at this time, He also showed me that "normal" church ministry and involvement wasn't for me, though i tried to fit. I was involved in 2 ministries here. Teaching high school seniors and planning events for the singles ministry. But both efforts fell flat for a variety of reasons probably because i was doing them on my own power with minimal prayer and relying on God.

Job ten, manufacturing again, but i was fired for a mistake and really fired more for lying about it. Job eleven found me doing customer service again, but, God really grew me here and also provided a TON for me (money and school). I did well for most of 5 years actually, and even almost enjoyed it. Until management became draconian and gave us whips of scorpions. Then, i left before they could fire me.

During that time, i had my faith crisis and got back into UFOs, then restored back to faith and right relationship with Christ.

Job twelve, is current as a business writer (in line with my major where i graduated with honors because of God's favor) This one is about to become a failure, and has been since the beginning. I was never really trained, and my boss gets mad even with my best attempts.Even so, God has helped me in amazing ways in my work, as well as learning about myself and issues that need to be fixed.

He's showed me a lot about myself, that will help me find the right fit and be more effective for His kingdom.

So in these failures of work, i'm still trying to learn what God's trying to tell me with 45%-50% termination rate. But i can tell you that during these failures, God has helped me. He has provided for me with jobs and money when i didn't deserve it. He gave me a free college education and allowed me to graduate with honors. He's allowed me to nearly achieve a long standing dream, and i feel He is giving me signs that the dream will be achieved.

what else can i say?

Throughout all of my failures and struggles, whenever i have turned to God, He has helped me. Not always in ways i wanted or expected, but He was always there. Further, He has always grown me. He has also allowed me to meet many really interesting people.

But overall, He has used all of these struggles and failures to glorify His name by redeeming me through Jesus Christ and drawing me ever closer to Him.

My most recent job failure has shown me that i am a total failure, and that anything good that comes from my life is both God's gift, and God working through me.

David Wilkerson said in his book "Have you felt like giving up lately?" (A book every Christian and every failure should read):

"God delights in using men and women who think of themselves as unable to do anything right...a person who knows that if anything good happens through her, it has to be God. All the hotshot Christians who go about bowling people over with their great abilities never impress God."

Think about that a moment.

Find me one "hero" of the Bible who wasn't a failure in some way from a human perspective:

Jacob was a cheat and a liar

David had great accomplishements, but, had great failures too. But when he failed, he acknowledged it and repented.

Moses had doubts and made excuses when he received his call. He gave into anger as well.

Samson...'nuff said.

Paul was shipwrecked, arrested, beaten and so on. He considered himself a wretch, doing what was wrong and not doing what was good.

Even our Lord Jesus, at first seemed to fail. His three year ministry ended in His death. From human eyes, He failed. But, He rose again, through His power as God the Son to redeem that "failure" and it became a victory.

So when the storm clouds gather, when you fail. Turn to God. Read and pray the psalms. Tell Him your concerns. No one loves you more. No one has done more for you. No one can do more for you. The Lord will direct you and use your failure for His gain. Jesus rose victorious from the dead! Put your faith in Him, and your failure can be redeemed. You can be redeemed!

1 Corinthians 1:27 - 30

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Ps, good psalms to read for "failures".

Psalms 46, 12, 29, 37, 145, 17, 86, 142, 120, 56, 71, 35, 7, 39, 145, 38, 15, 19, 25, 6, 63, 133, 111, 49, 91, 11, 33, 109, 223, 5, 41, 56, 59, 25, 32, and 48

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's here at last!

Ancient Aliens debunked!

To accompany it, there are several blogs on this site that also debunk ancient aliens. Enjoy! Please also visit this will help you to delve deeper into many of the other claims they make in ancient aliens.