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About The World

The word gospel basically means 'good news'. But the 'good news' of Christianity is, in fact, 'bad news' for the world. Contrary to some popular notions, Christ's purpose was not to provide the world with a set of guidelines for creating some sort of utopian society. Optimistic visions of the world's future are quite foreign to his doctrine. His message was not one of hope for the world, and he did not call upon his followers to try to transform (or control) it. What he and his apostles really taught was that the world, from a spiritual standpoint, is a 'lost cause' which is soon to be destroyed. Its sole reason or justification for existence is the creation of God's children. Once this is accomplished, it will be disposed of.

Even if one does not believe in God/Christ or the scriptural prophecies, the findings of modern science indicate that the world (as well as the entire universe) is ultimately doomed to destruction in one way or another. Its existence is transitory, and its life span is uncertain. The end, either for our planet or for our species, could indeed come at any moment.

There is hope, however, of an eternal existence for those who are spiritually born of God and do not belong to the world, but these are very few in number- a rarity. The vast majority of people are on the road to perdition, and this includes the majority of people who claim to belong to Christ, as is indicated by such verses in the New Testament as Matthew 7:22-23 and Luke 13:24.

Certainly, one would expect that there should be a significant, discernible difference in behavior and mode of life between those who are saved and those who are lost. I believe that nonconformity to the world, in the fullest, most extreme sense, must be the norm for those who belong to God. For the sake of brevity, I will give just one illustration of what I mean. Lending money with an interest charge for its use (usury) seems to be a common and accepted practice in contemporary society. It is, however, incompatible with the teachings of Christ (it is even condemned in the Old Testament), and those who have the Spirit of Christ should not be engaging in this practice, even in an indirect manner.

The world is a place of spiritual darkness, perhaps more so now than ever before. It is not a place to feel at home or to enjoy. Neither can it be made such. I myself want no part of it. I consider myself to be a stranger here, journeying to another place. In my heart, I know that it is right that I should.


About Faith

In Webster's Dictionary one can find faith defined as "belief and trust in and loyalty to God". I consider this to be a valid description of faith. But, from a Christian standpoint, I believe that another of the definitions is also an essential part of true faith- "firm belief in something for which there is no proof".

In the past, professing Christians have believed in the existence of various proofs of the existence of God, the divinity of Christ, and the truth of the Bible. Most of these proofs have fallen by the wayside over the course of time. Some people still need to believe that there are such proofs, and I have seen a number of books by professing Christian authors which purport to supply their readers with, as the title of one such work asserted, "many infallible proofs". In my opinion, many of the 'proofs' presented in such books are of a very dubious quality. In recent years, there have also been claims of finding various sorts of mathematically based codes or patterns in the Bible which cannot be the result of chance or human design. Whether or not these claims are valid remains to be seen. I, for one, am not knowledgeable enough about the mathematics involved to make a competent judgment about it, and I'm sure that the same holds true for the vast majority of others. This being the case, even if these claims are true, it is not a proof that just anyone can see for themselves directly- it requires that one have special knowledge. Those who don't have such knowledge must rely on the judgments of those who do. In other words, they choose to believe (have faith in) the experts' pronouncements.

Though I cannot say with certainty that no such proofs exist, I can understand why they may not, or at least why God may not have provided us with "many infallible proofs". The existence of proofs would tend to undermine the need for faith. In fact, they might actually make it impossible to have true faith, and I believe that, as far as salvation is concerned, having faith is essential. Believing in God and Christ and living according to Christ's doctrine in the absence of proofs requires that one be motivated by the pure love of God, untainted by elements of natural self-interest. That Christ repeatedly stressed the need for faith among his followers, and reproved those who required or demanded proofs (signs and wonders), is clear, and this may be the reason why.


Conclusion

There are undoubtedly limitations as to just how much we can know in relation to God. However, I would be disinclined to specify boundaries. My desire is to know God to the fullest extent possible and I do not believe in closing doors- especially when it comes to ethics, which to me is clearly the central concern of Christianity. That being the case, I appreciate the vital importance of self-judgment in the process of spiritual development and enlightenment. True knowledge of God springs from that source.

I also appreciate that it can be a fault to be overly intellectual about spiritual matters. After all, I believe that God is love, and love is something which emanates from the heart rather than the mind. Love can motivate thought and serve as a foundation upon which to build a mental edifice, but logic, reason, and even words are really inadequate to convey it. One can try, though.


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These pages are subject to additions and modifications. Last updated: 5/21/98 .