g                      i                      n                      k                      w                      o                      l                      d                      .                     n                     e            t  






[your walk



helping to build community

emerging community resources

for your walk in faith






add your site  


hard questions :  christianity, general



december 16, 2001 - "isn't christianity a crutch for the weak?"

it depends on how you define both the words "weak" and "crutch."  if by weak you mean weak minded, no.  but if by weak you mean the weak in spirit, yes.  we live in a world where "strength," being strong, is defined by who can crush who, or who has the ability to power out another, it sure is nice to know there is a place for the weak - those who care, love and desire to see all people develop a relationship with God.  we are engulfed in a world where children are raped, women abused, people killed because of skin color or sexual preference;  where value is based what we can get from others by abuse or greed and call it "business."  i do not see those qualities as "strong" i see them as pitiful.  


now, if by "crutch" you mean a place that can support you when you are down and hurting - you bet.  we all hurt, not one is left out of the hurting part of life.  i even believe those who believe they have it all, hurt.  their hurt comes, and they realize they have no one around who loves and cares for them because of them - not because of what they can offer others.


so, if only people who are weak and in need of lifting need God - that would be us all. 


january 01, 2002 - "you can't prove God even exists, can you?"

simply put, no.  i, nor anyone else for that matter, can prove God exists.  in fact, the bible never ever tries to prove that God exists - the bible works under the assumption that God is real.  the whole foundation of scripture is centered on the reality of God.  we see this from the opening, "in the beginning God..." to the end, "the grace of our master jesus be with God's people."  over history people have tried to "prove" God is real.  three main schools of reasoning have developed:


ontological (words of God's being) this approach took on a "reasoning" for the existence of God.  God was seen as the greatest conceivable being,


cosmological (words of God's order)  this approach deals with the understanding that everything that exists must have has a "first cause" and that God was that "first cause."


teleological (words about God's purpose)  this is the designer argument.  if it is, it must have been designed - just look at a watch and you know a watch maker - 


in reality, each of these approaches has a down fall.  anselm (1033-1109) a theologian said, "i am not seeking to understand in order to believe, but i believe in order that i may understand."  it is not that we can prove God exists it is that we know God exists, and all we do is seeking a deeper relationship with Him.


june 10, 2001  -  why would anyone want to be part of such a religion?

they wouldn't - I know I wouldn't.  but I have never asked anyone to be part of a "christian religion" - I have asked people to seek and understand a relationship with Jesus Christ - here's the difference.


our walk with God can be seen as an orange - the outside rind can be seen as "religion" - it is bitter, hard and has very little use.  I was once told by a cook that the rind gives all the flavor to dishes in cooking, and that is true for it's use in our walk with God - it flavors others arguments against the faith to those outside the faith.  the inside of the orange - the sweet meaty part is our relationship with God - it has all the sweet good stuff, and all the vitamins that help keep our bodies fit - in fact, get a cold, eat an orange - get confused, go directly to God.


now, I am not going to deny the fact that people in the name of christ have killed a great many people, and I am not going to give that old argument the "people who kill others in the name of christ are not really christian" because I believe we need to move pass that an onto understanding who we are in relationship to religion and relationship.  yes, we did some pretty stupid things in the name of christ and in the name of the faith - and I will not say that we will never do it again.  all I can do is say, I will not be part of such action.

religion will not guide us at all, in fact it will cause us to lose our steps.  when we seek a true and open relationship with God, we will know the wonders and sweet nature of a wonderful walk - remember, the seeds are on the inside, pass the to others and watch the plants grow.


november 11, 2001  - "since christianity has failed, why bother with all this?"

well, i believe christianity has not failed, i believe it has not been tried.  too many people are willing to condemn christianity for it's failures, and i will admit i take my shots every now and then, while ignoring all the good it has done.  because we only ask "why hitler?" and we never ask "why mother theresa?" we are truly only asking half the question, and we don't want to see the good that has come from faith.  my favorite scripture is romans 12:2 - go against the flow.  when i think of all the world offers, and all christ offers - i see the need to swim upstream and go against the flow.   today, i see people getting out of the church and helping people in many ways - they are not writing checks, they are doing what it takes.  people making sandwiches and taking them to the homeless in different sections of town; suburban churches sponsoring sports teams for inner city youth, and members of the congregation acting as the coaches - even when they have no children on the teams; a team of people in the church joining together to visit lonely people on an AIDS ward, and willingly and openly embracing them; i see people take the truth of christ and openly love others, no matter where they are in life.


so for me, when asked "why bother?"  i simply have to say this - i see people in the church, the new pomo church. changing and reaching past themselves and into the lives of others.  this going beyond themselves is where i desire to be as a follower of christ.  why bother?  because christ bothered with me, and reached beyond himself to redeem me and my walk.  the least i can do for others is get dirty. 


november 18, 2001 -  "why does christianity discount other world religions and claim to be the only way?"

wow, yesenya that is a powerful and thought provoking question, and one i know a great many people are asking today.  i know that our claims of "being the only way" seem to be closed minded, narrow and intolerant but they are truly not.  we could defend our selves based on the fact that all religions teach they have found the truth, and christianity is no different.  i see that as "begging the question" and not answering with truth and honesty.


yes, christianity truly does teach "we got it right."  we claim this because of the unique nature of jesus and the teaching he gave directly too us.  for example, buddha never claimed to be a "savior;" he claimed to be a "teacher."  muhammad never claimed divine honors of responsibility.  so, what makes jesus so unique?  i believe we can see his uniqueness in three ways.  


first, because of who he was:  peter, in the book of acts (starting on page 246 in the message), called jesus "the holy one."  he stated that jesus was the one spoken about by the prophets of the hebrew scriptures.  peter called him "the messiah" - our savior; the one who willingly died for us, and all the world.  jesus never claimed that what you did would save you, because no one could ever do what it took to be saved.  no matter how "good" we are, we all fall short of pure goodness.  so, knowing that the law would do nothing for us, jesus willingly died for us - so very cool.


second, because of what he did for us:  none of the others who have received the honors of being named a founder of a religion was willing to die for their followers, none.  in fact, stories of them running from their enemy's abound in stories of there lives.  jesus never ran, in fact he stood his ground and spoke boldly of who God was and how we could connect with God.  he was unconcerned with with earthly power, money or status.  he never benefited from his teachings in a monetary way.  what he did, he did because he loves us.


third, because he lives:  jesus lived for us, died for us and rose for us.  imagine willingly dieing for those you love, but do not know; could you?  would you willingly die if you knew your death would save the world, but required people accept you and follow you?  if not, you would have died for no reason.  then, imagine being raised from the dead - crazy, yea - but oh, so true.  jesus died for you and i, and rose from the dead to prove that death has no power over the teachings of God.


yes, christianity does claim to be the only "true" religion, but if you believed in something so strongly and so powerfully would you not claim it to be truth?  but in our claiming that "jesus is the only way" we must not force others to follow.  God does not desire followers based on force or violence.  while i pray all will see jesus as their savior, i will never force another to follow him.  


october 28, 2001 - is the old testament important for christian people?

well yasha, this is going to be short and sweet  - yes and no - don't you just love those answers?  yes, the old testament is important as a historical study of God's interaction with his people; no, in the sense that the new testament is the book that christians need to use as a guide in our faith.


november 04, 2001  - "if God really loves me why doesn't he give me everything i want?

one reason, and i believe the most important reason, is that what we want may not be good for us.  after all, all we want is just stuff, and stuff is nothing.  God's desire is not to give us what we want, but to give us what we need.  we need his love, his grace and his guidance.  when we get "all we want" we become spoiled brats, and we all know how spoiled brats act!  in luke (12:15-21) jesus tells us not to be motivated by our wants; he tells us to be motivated by our desire to know God better and to be seen as rich in his sight.


february 15, 2002 - "isn't christianity just a cult?" 

Wow, great question.  To be honest, I think some churches are cults; which in turn falls upon the church in general.  For me, the problem becomes this, when we define “cult” we do so based on our own definition of that “Christianity” is and is not.  We often find ways to exclude those “outside” of our thinking and label them “cult.”  That to me is a big problem the church needs to address.  It’s like asking a man, “Have you stopped beating your wife?” no matter what the answer, he’s in trouble.  So, if we look at the question in terms of how Christians define “cult” the answer would be – it depends on whom you talk with.  But if we look at it in terms of the following guidelines, a different story comes to light:


1.  As a whole, the group rejects the authority of scripture and places another book above scripture.

2.  The leadership of the group is central for all group activities.  Nothing is done without their permission.

3.  The leadership does not fit those essentials found in 1 Timothy 3:2-4

4.  Leadership claims exclusive personal authority

5.  The group teaches that it must remain separate from others “Christians” and from the outside world.


If any church or Christian group fits the above – it is a cult, no matter if it calls itself Christian or not.


october 15, 2002 - aren't there just some hard questions christianity just can't answer?

I believe Christian teachings have the answer to all life problems; we just don’t want to hear the teachings.  No matter the problem, Christian teaching can help; we just don’t like the answers.  Most of the time people who want to deny Christ’s teachings do so because they say they are too “simplistic.”   But let’s face it, everything is simple; Jesus teaches that we should personally care for those in need, but we don’t.  You see, the problem is not the teachings it’s the followers.  People want to complain and do noting, or they want to write a check and do nothing, or worse yet, they expect others to do it for them.


What is the easiest way to end hunger?  Simple, invite a hungry person over to share your food.  What is the easiest way to solve the homeless issue?  Simple, invite a homeless person over your house and give them a place to stay.  You see, it’s not that Christianity does not teach how to deal with these issues; it is that those who claim to be a follower do not truly follow.  Why do we make the issue so complicated?  But people will say, “I don’t have to invite a homeless person over to live with me to show I care, I can write a check to the shelter.  That is why we have shelters, so we can care for them there.”  Care?  How does that show you care?  What it shows is a willingness to make your life less dirty, more linier, but I do not see how one cares.  You see, we don’t like opening our homes, we don’t like sharing what we have worked so hard for, we don’t like breaking our little routine with human drama.  So you see, it is not that Christianity does not have the answers to hard questions – it’s that Christians don’t want to live by the answers.