Orphaned – Not Any More!

Spurgeon orphanage 1860

Spurgeon orphanage 1860

When I was 14 years old my father died. Growing up without a father in your life is like growing up with something big missing. You don’t get the “well done son!” when you do something well, or “Come on lad, lets go fishing!”. There isn’t the wise council of dad, or to ask the really important questions like “what colour should my first car be?”. You manage to adapt, and move on. A few years ago at the age of 41 my mother died and I was orphaned. Can you believe it, orphaned at 41! I was alone! And so were my two brothers. We were alone. We moved on. The other day I was fascinated by my own reaction to a bad dream. I remember when as a child if I had a bad dream I would go to my mother for comfort. On Monday morning I had a bad dream and was reminded that I didn’t have a mother to go to for comfort, so I prayed to God, who is my Father in heaven, and lo and behold, He comforted me, the God who created the universe comforted me! It was a wonderful moment because at that moment I realised that actually I’m not an orphan and that I have been adopted into God’s family, I didn’t feel alone. Romans 8:15-16 “For you have not recieved the spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God…”

God vs Science

Firstly, I received this via email from a friend at work.

God vs Science   “Let me explain the problem science has with religion.” The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

‘You’re a Christian, aren’t you, son?’

‘Yes sir,’ the student says.

‘So you believe in God?’

‘Absolutely ‘

‘Is God good?’ ‘Sure! God’s good.’

‘Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?’

‘Yes’

‘Are you good or evil?’

‘The Bible says I’m evil..’
The professor grins knowingly. ‘Aha! The Bible! He considers for a moment. ‘Here’s one for you. Let’s say there’s a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it.. Would you help him? Would you try?’

‘Yes sir, I would..’

‘So you’re good…!’

‘I wouldn’t say that.’

‘But why not say that? You’d help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn’t.’

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. ‘He doesn’t, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Can you answer that one?’

The student remains silent. ‘No, you can’t, can you?’ the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax. ‘Let’s start again, young fella. Is God good?’

‘Er..yes,’ the student says.

‘Is Satan good?’

The student doesn’t hesitate on this one.. ‘No.’

‘Then where does Satan come from?’

The student falters. ‘From God’

‘That’s right. God made Satan, didn’t he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Evil’s everywhere, isn’t it? And God did make everything, correct?’

‘Yes’

‘So who created evil?’ The professor continued, ‘If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.’

Again, the student has no answer. ‘Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?’

The student squirms on his feet. ‘Yes.’

‘So who created them ?’

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question. ‘Who created them?’ There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized. ‘Tell me,’ he continues onto another student. ‘Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?’

The student’s voice betrays him and cracks. ‘Yes, professor, I do.’

The old man stops pacing. ‘Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?’

‘No sir. I’ve never seen Him.’

‘Then tell us if you’ve ever heard your Jesus?’

‘No, sir, I have not.’

‘Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?’

‘No, sir, I’m afraid I haven’t..’

‘Yet you still believe in him?’

‘Yes’

‘According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn’t exist… What do you say to that, son?’

‘Nothing,’ the student replies.. ‘I only have my faith.’

‘Yes, faith,’ the professor repeats. ‘And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.’

The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. ‘Professor, is there such thing as heat? ‘

‘ Yes.

‘And is there such a thing as cold?’

‘Yes, son, there’s cold too.’

‘No sir, there isn’t.’

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain. ‘You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super-heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don’t have anything called ‘cold’. We can hit down to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy.. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold… Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.’

Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.

‘What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?’

‘Yes,’ the professor replies without hesitation.. ‘What is night if it isn’t darkness?’

‘You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and it’s called darkness, isn’t it? That’s the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn’t. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?’

The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester. ‘So what point are you making, young man?’

‘Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.’

The professor’s face cannot hide his surprise this time. ‘Flawed? Can you explain how?’

‘You are working on the premise of duality,’ the student explains.. ‘You argue that there is life and then there’s death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can’t even explain a thought.’ ‘It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.’ ‘Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?’

‘If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.’

‘Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?’

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.

‘Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?’

The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided. ‘To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.’ The student looks around the room. ‘Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor’s brain?’ The class breaks out into laughter. ‘Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor’s brain, felt the professor’s brain, touched or smelt the professor’s brain? No one appears to have done so.. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.’ ‘So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?’

Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers.. ‘I Guess you’ll have to take them on faith.’

‘Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,’ the student continues. ‘Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?’ Now uncertain, the professor responds, ‘Of course, there is. We see it Everyday. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in The multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world.. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.’

To this the student replied, ‘Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God.. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.’

The professor sat down.

PS: The student was Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein wrote a book titled ‘God vs. Science’ in 1921……

There are several points I’d like to highlight.

Firstly, this is a wonder example of using scientific argument to prove your own point, like, I have a answer, now I’ll use these tools to prove it – bad science!

Secondly, evolution has still not been proved, yet it is taught in schools as though it is fact not a theory. This is also not good science. And if you say that God hasn’t been proved to exist, then you have missed the point!

Seeking God in a Crisis

James 1:2-4 states

2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

A challenging statement and far easier to read that to go through.
Isaiah 64:8 states

8 But now, O Lord, You are our Father,

We are the clay, and You our potter;

And all of us are the work of Your hand.

How wonderful to know that we are the work of the creator of the universe!
Russ shared with us the “crisis” he went through with God (available here) and here are some of the revelations:

 

  • In order for a resurrection there must be a death.
  • When God speaks, your situation doesn’t necessarily change, but you change.
  • When God speaks, life is released.
  • Prov 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
  • Even in the midst of a crisis you can still have intimacy with God. Jesus said (in Matt 28:20) that he will be with us “even to the end of the age”
  • You have to build your relationship with God yourself. You can receive an impartition from others, but you cannot receive someone else’s experience of a relationship. God walked with Adam and Eve in the garden in the cool of the day, so he wants to walk with you, be with you.
  • Give God time to respond. A relationship is a two-way thing, Ps 34 “I sought the Lord and he answered me.”
  • Share what you are going through with your spouce/ best friend
  • You are not abandoned, God is with you in the fire Ps 23 “Even though I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil, for you are with me’.

“Great faith is a product of great fights” – Smith Wigglesworth.

Phil 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

A year in the west

A Year In the West (ern Suburbs)

We have been here for just over a year and so much has happened, we have been so blessed far beyond what we deserve. Was it a good decision to move from UK to the western Suburbs of Melbourne? umm, in a word, yes.
Some of my observations, questions and answers. Is Australia what I expected? Is it as good as it is made out to be? Yes and no. There were a few surprises, one being the leaching through of the penal colony authoritarianism. There are some laws which I am astonished are still around, almost straight out of the “lord and slave” era! One in particular is that the local government can change the use of the land you own/work from one use to another and you have no recourse. An example might be a farmer whose land is not to distant from the nearby expanding town, the local government can change the use of the land from farming to residential so more housing can be built, the farmer now has land he can’t farm but he can sell, but only in accordance with the government guidelines!
In other areas Australia is so much more beautiful. The landscape is breath taking and the people are wonderfully friendly and helpful, even to pommies! The way of life is slower and more relaxed. “No worries mate” is really that, there is no real need to worry. There is a relaxed air of confident nonchalance that it will all sort itself out, it’ll come good. And generally it does, and sometimes on time! Every country has its problems, good points and not so good. I think its just a case of finding what you feel comfortable with, it is all a bit of a compromise really.
And what has happened to us? Well, we landed a year ago last September. Within weeks we had found somewhere to rent, a little house in a quiet neighbourhood. We were welcomed into a wonderful small church with great people, made some friends and Jules found employment. Wow indeed. Gods blessing. With 20/20 hindsight I see what God was preparing us for when in the UK, for without that preparation we certainly wouldn’t be where we are now.
And now, a year on, we have made even more friends, I have employment too. We have bought our first house. We have seen a little bit of Australia and visited Perth to see Brett and Chantal and the kids for Christmas. We are both happily involved in church life. There have been a few ups and downs along the way, but God even blessed us in those too, it just takes a bit to see it sometimes. God really has blessed us beyond our dreams, answered our prayers and continues to, and remained (as always) faithful. We are looking forward to the next year with even more hope for life in abundance!