Doubts, Questions, Queries, Thoughts…

Just because I know you’re out there, I thought I’d just remind you that the ‘Itching Questions’ tab still exists.

I absolutely love questions. Even when I can’t answer them, they open an opportunity for thought.

Don’t be intimidated because I don’t know anywhere near everything and I never will.

Don’t be afraid because my aim isn’t to cut you down but to draw light on your questions/thoughts from the Bible.

Don’t hesitate because you might learn something you didn’t know before.

Don’t hold back because getting into the depths of the Bible is something I find fascinating and I can guarantee it’s worthwhile.

So there, hopefully that’s reason enough to just ask away.

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The Heart of the Problem

So I’ve started the 60in60 challenge, yeah it’s late I know, but I thought I’d just do a quick post every now and then on what I get out of the sermons. All sermons, for each day are available for download here.

Day 1 – The Heart: Mark Driscoll

Why do we sin?

  • Because our heart is riddled with sin. Religious people tend to think that they are pure and the world is evil. But Christians think differently, are hearts are evil and so too, then, is the world.

What can we do about it?

  • Behaviour Modification: you can change how you act but it doesn’t really fix the root of the problem.
  • Regeneration: Other religions are all about behaviour modification, but Christians are all on about getting a new heart.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees.” Ezekial 36:26-27
Christianity isn’t about dealing with issues by changing how you behave and fulfilling certain laws. It’s about getting a replacement heart, so you can start afresh and find joy and desire in living life the way it’s meant to be lived.

More.

What do you want more of?

For the past two weeks a number of uni’s, including mine, ran a mission on campus. The theme was more, basically Jesus came and said ” I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10). So the focus of the mission was to look at how what we desire and want more of is actually available at it’s best through Christ. I thought I’d give a little summary of the talks that I was able to go to.

 MORE Sex.

Our society has managed to separate God and sex, portraying him as essentially the ‘fun-police’. But when God created man he in fact commanded them to have sex – and to “fill the world”.

Our societies approach to sex is an individualistic one whereas God’s is a relational. Our world sees it as self satisfaction, regardless of the other person. God intends marriage to be a reflection of Christ’s relationship with the church, commitment, service and unconditional love.

MORE Justice.

Our world is messed up. Just take a read of Ecclesiastes to see that the recognition of the broken state of the world is not a new thing. So why doesn’t someone do something? (Essentially, there is only so much we can do)

Why doesn’t God do something? But then the question arrises as to how far you would want God to go if he were to bring justice. What criteria for justice would you have to place down to exclude all the wrong things you’ve done but include everyone else. The reality is, is that no one could stand through judgement.

So as we cry for justice, we should also cry for mercy. And  in this God has heard our cry and provided a way out, despite that we don’t deserve it. Christ underwent our judgement so that we didn’t have to. So why are we still waiting? Well God’s giving us time to come back to him.

MORE Stuff.

People tend to create an image of a God that would feel at home in Soviet Russia, a hater of luxury or wealth, or even all the good things in life.

John 2:1-10. After running out of wine the party starts to fall apart but Jesus revives it by creating 700L of wine. (Which our speaker calculated to be the equivalent of 26, 000 standard drinks). God loves to see us enjoy ourselves.

BUT God does have reservations. HOWEVER, these reservations are the same we generally have. He doesn’t like it when we take the good stuff and use it all selfishly (Amos 5:11-12). God doesn’t like it when we receive these things ungratefully, so taking all the good things but ignoring the giver. Neither does he like us using these things blindly (Amos 9:13-15).

MORE Happiness.

The general trajectory of society is towards to new, towards breaking out of routine and being revived by the new, I guess receiving a sort of ‘happy hit’ to make us really feel alive. I’m sure you know the feeling I’m referring to. But no matter what, that feeling leaves us and we go searching for it again.

But, Jesus is the living one and the life giving one. Humans are born, live and then die. But Christ always was and is. Humans all became but through Christ everything became. Jesus isn’t just a religious guru but he’s the living Son of  God, through which all things were made, he not only offers life, but eternal life. Eternal meaning and happiness and life to the full. (Check out Colossians 1:15-23)

So essentially that thing that’s missing, that you keep trying to replace with “happy hits”. Well that’s where knowing the God who made us is meant to fit.

So I’ve just given a really brief overview of some of the answers to life’s desires that were given. If you find any particularly unanswered or want to know more there is the Itching Questions (and suggestions) tab. Also I’m working on a post called “What would Jesus say in a gay bar on Oxford St?” (and I’m gonna admit stealing the title from a sermon outline), so watch this space.