Sunday 27 July 2008


We were having a discussion on why Jesus died. One of the questions went: but why did he have to die?
I think the predominant answer was, because He wanted to forgive; because of love. He wanted to demonstrate love.
But couldn't he have done it some other way?

Funny thing is, it was brought to "no greater love than this, than for man to lay down his life for a friend."
While yes, true, Jesus had to die because He loved us and wanted us to go back to God, that isn't the whole part of the story. If it were, He could have loved us in any other way and forgiven us in any other way.

We were also asked what the cross meant to us.
Standard answers: love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, Jesus.
I answered justice. I don't know why. It was just... justice. Justice or injustice? Because what happened wasn't fair? I didn't know what to say, but right now, I think what I meant was just... justice, because justice had to happen, and it happened then.
And that is why Jesus had to die.

Why justice? Isn't love the best answer? Shouldn't it be the only answer?
Love is only one side of the coin.
What about the fact that God is Holy and cannot bear sin? What about the fact that there is no other way to become holy again other than through blood sacrifice? What about the fact that sin requires judgement and punishment?
Yes, God loved us.
But He died because to love us enough to make us holy again, the price had to be paid for sin.
You cannot have one without the other.
Anything less is to cheapen the Gospel.
And that we are doing every day.

On an aside, why is the symbol of the cross so lightly used now, even amongst Christians?
I think it's an overall symptom of the shallow understanding we have of the cross.
And satan knows, to destroy a culture, you tear down its symbols.
The cross has been so cheapened that it doesn't hold its proper meaning anymore. Instead, we have grown a subculture of "Christian" labels and slogans that nothing is meaningful to us if it doesn't come in nice catchy sound bytes.

bah, humbug

I don't think it's faith that I have issues with.
It's the whole church set up and how it just doesn't make sense. It's insular. And inbreeding. And we just don't see it. Why can't we see it? Why can't we show it up for what it really is?
But anyone who does that is branded as faithless. An infidel, if you would like to use that word. An anti-Christ, who is trying to tear down the church.
But it's the church that doesn't make sense. It's not serving it's purpose. It's a hierarchy to man. A structure clung on to because it used to work.
What difference does the lights and sound and fancy work do?
Nothing. It only stirs you up to throw you down again. The very nature of its highs and lows only serves to confuse, and where one could have been sure of faith, it obscures the issue and makes one discard it as mere emotionalism for the moment.
And yet, because of the way we have been brought up, it is necessary.
We need it because we can't understand anything that we can't feel.
What happened to faith? What happened to believing that which we cannot see nor touch nor feel?


What we fail to trust, we will fight.
Why am I fighting you?
I know everything in my brain. So many things in my brain.
But I don't know what I am doing, and why.
Is this part of the plan?
Say yes, because at least knowing that something is supposed to be going right would be a nice feeling right now.
Controversial, you said.
Controversial, I am.
But I never thought it would be this way.
Where everyone else seems to know, but me.
What ever is said, it's not home. It is NOT home.
And I don't know how to fix it.
I give up knowing.
I give up understanding.
Give me the right to be peaceful in my unhappiness.
Let me know it's okay to be unsettled.
Let me know that it's alright to be not alright.
Isn't that where trust comes in?

Sunday 20 July 2008


One of the biggest problems of churches today is churchianity. There are scores of young, second (or third or fourth) generation Christians who believe because their parents believe. They have no terms of reference beyond what the church says. In a logical debate, the best they can come up with is circular thinking that goes along the lines of "this is true because the Bible says it is true and the Bible is true because I believe it is true". If you take the Bible out of the equation and ask them how else they can prove that what they believe is true, they have no plausible answer. They go stammering back to the sentence, "but the Bible says..." This does not work in a world of skeptics.
Another thought forwarded was, "this is true for me. You must try it for yourself." If it is true for me because I believe it is true, and you must try it to know if it is true, how different is that from the new age thinking that says that truth is relative to a person? Fine and good for you if you think it's true. Whatever works for you, man.
We discussed in CLEY three of the common theories to disprove that Jesus rose from the dead.
One - he did not die. He fainted and woke up in the tomb. Stupid theory - the Roman soldiers were professionals at killing. I doubt that since they made sure the two thieves were dead that they would have missed out on making sure Jesus was dead.
Two - the disciples stole the body. Maybe, if they were desperate enough to break with their own ingrown Jewish tradition of not touching "unclean" things (hard to believe if you've ever tried to reason with those who are superstitious) and fight the Roman soldiers (It would have been a tough fight - I doubt that the Romans would slack in their jobs and they were highly trained, something that the Jews were not). Where then would they have put the body?
Three - the authorities themselves spirited away the body. If they had done this, why did they not bring it out when the news was being spread about that Jesus had risen? If they were in possession of his real body, they could have easily disproven the new religion and gotten rid of the disciples. What was there to gain in hiding the body?
The assumed position of the leader then was that we were all defending the resurrection of Jesus. I beg to differ. All we were doing was to show the pitfalls and fallacies of those theories because frankly, they do not make sense. But disproving those theories do not prove that Jesus rose. They do not give any facts that can conclusively show that he did or did not rise. All they prove is that he died and his body disappeared.
So when put to the question of what then is the evidence that he truly resurrected, you have to take it back to the texts. Obviously if you are questioning the truth of the Bible, you cannot point back to biblical statements on his appearances. Were there any other texts outside the Bible that say he was seen alive? I don't know. I haven't heard of them. Has he been seen since? Say, if he appeared 2,000 years ago, does he appear now? How do you know he is alive? What of all these other theories and archaeological finds that seem to say that all this is really another religious scam?
The young church of today cannot answer these questions. The only lingo they speak is Christianese, and this does not make sense to a skeptical world. They are not able to take themselves out of the cocoon they have put themselves into, with its prosperity teachings and their own brand of superstitions. And the deeper problem, I feel, is this: when faced with a problem, they spew out Churchified and Christianesed answers. They give you feel-good messages that make you feel guilty because it makes you wonder what you've done wrong and why this God of theirs doesn't love you. They have their set of answers that really doesn't answer anything. They say that you must reach your lowest point before you can truly seek God and find him and understand what they are talking about. What if you've reached your lowest point but you still don't? Then they say that you aren't seeking him. And again it is your fault. Always your fault. You did not have enough faith.
Maybe the best answer to a skeptical world is that we do not know. We too are humans. We can only make sense of what we have experienced and what we have in our hands. We cannot prove that Jesus is alive because we have not seen Him. You cannot prove that He did not rise because all the theories, in the end, break down. At an impasse like this, the best we can say is, because of faith we are willing to stake our lives on this. Would you stake yours on what you believe?

Sunday 13 July 2008

of separate entities and SOX testing.

Like maybe the job gets to you and all that, right? But I was just mentioning to Shari that I would like to be a separate entity for once. I would like to stop thinking of myself as someone's sister, daughter or friend. I would like to stop comparing and thinking that everyone else seems to have it so much better than me. Smarter. More hardworking. Prettier. More talented. Less shy. More outgoing.
What is it about humans that we must have a list of things that we are not, and want to be them? It's like we keep harping on the liabilities and never take into account the assets that we have. Silly, right? Lending and borrowing circulates the money. Having a current ratio of more than 2:1 would mean that you're underutilising your cash. Sometimes you do need some liabilities.

And yet, as Ps Isaac expounded, it's all really about grace, and how it's a gift. And the favour is a gift. And that, really being grace, and being a gift, should keep us from looking down on ourselves. He thinks we're worth it. Who are you to think otherwise? Or who are you to judge if you're more "worth it" or not? And that should make us equal to everyone else. If only that lesson could be drilled down and nailed into my brain!

And so, the parable of the labourer brings this personal application that even if you're saved at different stages of your life, you still end up in the same heaven. You may have served God for 90 years, or 9 seconds, you may have been a good Christian all your life, or only some of it, but grace is grace, and covers all. It's unmerited. You can't buy it. You just receive. At the end of it, you must believe and receive that grace.
I figure it's a little like SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley) testing. As long as the controls work at the balance sheet date, you're alright. You're in the clear.

I suppose you need to be an accountant (or something related) to understand that.
And yes, I miss writing.