The Call to Life!

When I was finishing up my undergraduate degree at Liberty University, both Valerie and I had the opportunity to work for the Liberty Godparent Home.  The LGH is a home that provides education, care, and (if wanted) adoption services for young ladies who are pregnant out-of-wedlock.  Valerie was a receptionist and worked the hotline, and I taught computer skills and worked on the office mainframe.  While we were there we learned the facts about fetal development and the untold dangers about the different types of abortions.  That, coupled with a good understanding of what the Bible says, has made us profoundly pro-life ever since!

This Sunday (January 22) is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  At First Baptist we celebrated it on the 8th, because I didn’t want to interrupt a sermon series that I just started.  The sermon was entitled “A Call to Life” and can be found here.  At the close of the sermon I had a chance to use a video that may be the best video I’ve ever seen regarding the Sanctity of Human Life.  It doesn’t just talk about abortion, but mentions all of the various issues that are involved.  If you desire to be moved, click this link!

New media and musings about Avatar…

New sermons have been added to the audio page, including Sam’s sermon from November!  There is also a link to the song of the month on the main page.

I went with the kids to see Avatar a few weeks ago, and it was absolutely stunning in 3-D.  I thoroughly enjoyed the artistry that went into making the film.  The storyline, however, is a completely different story.  It attacks corporate greed, imperialism, and military might, while elevating mysticism, pantheism, environmentalism and science.  I felt like I was hit over the head with a political message the whole time I was in the movie, even in the midst of the stunning special effects.

Yes, imperialism can be bad, and corporate greed has cause many problems in our world today.   However I very rarely hear the term “imperialism” used in our society without having the word “American” before it.  And am I the only one that is nonplused that most of the ex-military in the movie come across as bloodthirsty jerks?  Or that scientists are seen as saviors?  I’m afraid that certain stereotypes are being reinforced under the guise of entertainment without many people even realizing it!

That goes for the religious message of Avatar as well.  Avatar does affirm some sort of afterlife, but it is  more in line with mysticism, spiritualism, and the new age than with Christian thoughts and ideas.  While immersing ourselves in the story we shouldn’t allow our thoughts and ideas to be affected by the non-Christian worldview of James Cameron.

Ironically, while elevating the mystical ideas of the “Navi”, I think that the film actually undercuts their beliefs.  There does seem to be some sort of soul or essence that continues after death and that can communicate with others, but the scientists describe the ancestral tree and it’s connections with terms like “neurons” and “synapses”, and they liken the entire system to a  computer network.  It seems that although the Navi are more in tune to their environment, they still can’t understand it like the scientists can.  They can describe it phenomenologically, but  only the scientists are the only ones who can really understand what is going on behind it all.

In summary, there may be some good ideas present in Avatar, but don’t check your mind at the door.  You may find that you’ve been invaded by aliens!

A Proud Father!

Andrew and the youth praise band performed “Amazing Love” this Sunday.  He’s playing lead guitar and singing.  The camera was right in front of the band, so the singing sounds a little soft but it was a touching performance.

I’ve added three new audio sermons to the church website.

Some people have mentioned that Sunday’s sermon reminded them of a Steven Curtis Chapman song.  “Dive” can be seen here.

Why do you want to go to heaven?

Sunday’s sermon (9/2) is now online.  Some of you may recognize the title of this note from a section of my sermon.  I thought that I should share some additional material from “God is the Gospel” with you…

“Can we really say that our people are being prepared for heaven where Christ himself, not his gifts, will be the supreme pleasure? … My point in this book is that all the saving events and all the saving blessings of the gospel are means of getting obstacles out of the way so that we might know and enjoy God most fully.  Propitiation, redemption, forgiveness, imputation, sanctification, liberation, healing, heaven — none of these is good news except for one reason: they bring us to God for our everlasting enjoyement of him…The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God.  It’s a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God.  If we don’t want God above all things, we have not been coverted by the gospel.”

Some strong words, and I even left out some of the more biting comments.  But in all fairness, why do we want to go to heaven?  To escape hell?  To see our loved ones who have died?  Not that these are bad things, but they should not be the focus of our attention.  Our focus should be on the God who loved us enough to die on a cross so that we could know him.  Our relationship with him is paramount, and should be the focus of our lives.