Why I Believe in God

I thought you all would like this article compliments of Alan Ray.  My personal opinion, is we should all have well founded reasons for our faith and in what we believe.  Please read and enjoy!

May God richly bless you all!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Why I Believe in God – A Believer’s Answer to an Atheist
What is it with the atheists these days? Lately I’ve read a lot of web articles written by angry atheists including many news articles about those crazy Christians and what superstitious fools they are, and that science has proven there is no God and Darwin was right and blah, blah, blah, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Well I disagree with them all. I am a theist, the opposite of an atheist. I am one who believes in the Divine, who believes that all of life in its magnificence, beauty, splendor, wonder, and its finely tuned order is by design. And where you have intelligent design, isn’t it reasonable to assume that there is an intelligent designer? I believe it is and I believe that designer to be God — the God of the entire universe and everything in it, including us.

Recently, I read an article by Greta Christina, a self-acclaimed atheist who writes for an online news source. Most of what she writes, from what I could gather, is about how feeble minded Christians are and that there is no evidence whatsoever of God’s existence. I’ve got a problem with this already. If you don’t believe in God, that’s your own business, but I can’t help wonder why someone who doesn’t believe in a Creator would spend so much time writing articles about not believing. If you didn’t believe there was a Loch Ness monster, would you waste your time interviewing people who did and then write about how wrong they are?

Also, when I read the answers she stated believers have given in response to her question “Why do you believe in God?” (although she didn’t quote anyone), it sounded as though there weren’t three firing neurons between them. Answers like, “Because…well because…since I don’t know, God had to have done it all!” or some such nonsense. It conjured up an image of mindless members of the God Squad…eyes glazed, slowly walking the Earth with outstretched arms muttering “God did it…God did it…” I don’t have all the answers. But I do have some better answers than that and I’m going to lay them out for you.

I could list a thousand reasons from the pages of my own life for believing in God, but that would be admittedly, a very subjective viewpoint. I want to give you what I think is some really good objective evidence for an Intelligent Designer. That’s what she asked for in her article. At one point, she asks for believers to give her some valid, scientific reasons for God’s existence so she could prove them wrong. Well, I did what she asked and sent it to her editor. I never heard back. So now I want to share with you some of what she wrote in her original article entitled: ‘Why ‘Everything Has a Cause’ Is a Terrible Justification for God’s Existence,” combined with my rebuttal.

Why I Believe in God – The Disproving Test
Firstly, I want to say that I believe God should be the default here. Meaning, I feel I shouldn’t have to prove His existence that it should be on the atheist to prove his/her case to the contrary. I’m no scientist, but I believe there is enough scientific evidence to support a designer. Greta certainly offered nothing scientific in her article as to why she doesn’t believe. No wait, I take that back. She did say this, and I quote: “And every single attempt to demonstrate the existence of any supernatural force or entity affecting the universe — at least, every attempt using careful, rigorous, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, etc. scientific methods — has fallen flat on its face.”…[read more]

Advertisements

Once Saved, Always Saved?

crossroadsBeloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” ~Jude 1:3-Jude 1:5 NKJV

Are we, as so many say, “Once Saved, Always Saved”?  If it were so, then consequences would not be a concern to us as we could do anything we desire and not be held liable, but didn’t Paul tell us, “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV While this passage is about the eating of sacrificed foods to idols, it does have a much greater meaning, in that, we must be careful what we do in the midst of other Christians.  Especially the baby Christians, because they are being influenced by us and our actions – regardless of the biblical text.  And they will do as we do, meaning that we should not be doing things that are stumbling block to our brothers and sisters. Or also, better worded by Paul, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.” Romans 14:13  Because we will be held responsible to God for our actions, deeds and words, both good and bad, openly and those in secret. (see Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.“”  ~Gal 2:20-21 NKJV

costI cost Jesus’ life on the cross in order to save our souls.  If that is all it took for us to do anything we desire, are we not throwing away His life for our temporal enjoyment and pleasure?  If once we became saved and claimed Jesus as our Lord and Savior just to live our lives in debauchery, would that not negate our freewill and negate the will of God that commanded us to:

…love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish…” ~Deuteronomy 30:16-16 NKJV

And Jesus reiterated this command to us when He was asked as to which was the Greatest Commandment:

“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.””  ~Matt 22:37-40 NKJV

If we are “Once saved, always saved,” and we lived such a debaucherous lifestyle – in what way are we emulating the Christ-likeness that we are called to live?  We must also remember what the prophet Isaiah told us:

“But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,
So that He will not hear.” ~Isaiha 59:2

That being the case, it is my opinion that we must confess our sins all of the time in order to regain our place with God.  Just reading the Psalms, King David sought forgiveness from God all of the time; especially, at times his sin(s) were highlighted.  How much less should we do the same?

This “love” which Jesus spoke of was not carnal nor lust filled, it is not like a brotherly love or a love between a husband and a wife; but was Agape love which is the most self-sacrificing love that there is.  This type of love is the love that God has for His own children. This type of love is what was displayed on the cross by Jesus Christ, where Jesus laid down His life for our eternal souls that He would be the ultimate sacrifice.

consequencesThere are tests aimed at us every day of our lives, if you do not believe me then re-read the Book of Job you will learn of tests of sorrow, pain, character and integrity.  You must decide for yourselves how you are to approach your Christian walk before God.  Bertrand Russell once said, “The best argument against Christianity, are Christians.”  Or something to that effect, I recently heard it on an interview.)  But just think about it, Christians will (in many cases) twist the biblical scriptures to say what they desire them to say in order to do as they desire.  And, unfortunately, I in my youth and in my past have – ashamedly so – have done this.  We all have weak moments in our lives because as we have been told in the Book of Genesis, “the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Genesis 8:21)  I do not use this as an excuse, but actually as a judgement against all of mankind, because we all fall short of the glory of God! (Romans 3:23)  And we are all destined for a grievous awakening one day, if we do not watch out for our walk with God.  There is no free lunch, and the piper will have to be paid…these adages are quite telling, as well as fitting.  There are consequences for our choices and our actions…we all need to REMEMBER THIS!

I pray that you will all read this with an open heart, mind, and spirit and think deeply upon this issue.  I cannot make you what think anything, nor will God, we can only show the way that you should go and point you in that direction; that is both the blessing and the curse of FREEWILL, only you have to make that choice!  The consequences and the blessings are before you, but you must choose the path you will take at any given time.

The final note is this:  are you willing to gamble your eternal soul on your present choice?

May God Richly Bless You All!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Show Mercy and Compassion

Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Execute true justice, Show mercy and compassion Everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, The alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart Against his brother.” ~Zechariah 7:9-10 NKJV

lend_a_helping_handIt should not matter who we are nor who it is that requires help from us.  Regardless of such background checks we can treat all with the dignity that all of our fellow brothers and sisters deserve!  Especially since each man and woman is our neighbor, as was clearly depicted in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.  Considering the porous problem with our border and the illegal alien population which has illegally and improperly entered our country, they are still human beings deserving of compassion and assistance, under certain circumstances.  Though they may be doing so for a noble cause, they have still broken our laws.  Unfortunately, there are others which have violated far greater laws and are very violent.

Despite those who are violent there are a great number of those who are taken advantage of and abused while making the trek to these United States.  There are many who need compassion, despite their legal status.  Once in the US, many will get jobs and be taken advantage of by those in this country.  A check on the exchange rate shows that the Mexican Peso is roughly 16.4:1 USD.  That shows the depressive economy that they have; while I was in the USAF stationed in Germany in 1985-1988 towards the end of my time there the dollar would exchange to 3.2 West German Deutche Marks and the dollar would get 12 East German DMs.  While I can understand the plight of the people and I can understand the disdain of my fellow Americans over their political representation…we as Christians, as brothers and sisters of Christ, must maintain the compassion and mercy of others in the forefront of our minds and hearts!

GuardianAngel1dAfter all we are expected to submit ourselves to the governing authorities, what of those who illegally or improperly enter our country?

Zechariah’s message is to us all, that we may learn the ways of the Christ, the path of Jesus.  While I touched on a political subject (of sorts) I believe I maintained it to the ways of the bible, as a whole, and that message of the love of Christ.

May God Richly Bless You All!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Division Among the Ranks

Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” ~Mark 9:38-41 (NKJV)

divide_conquer

Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered…” ~Zechariah 13:7

This is, without a doubt, a war of spiritual and Armageddon-like proportions!  And, more often than not, Christians are going after their fellow Christians to convert to their own denomination.  While I disagree with many denominations and doctrinal positions, in general because they are for the most part non-biblical, we are attacking who should be seen as our allies!  We need to take the message of Christ, and the charge and task the Christ has given us to those who are non-religious (aka, “nones”; i.e., NO Religious affiliation.)

divide+and+conquer+handsPerhaps, just perhaps, we should embrace our Christian brothers and sisters, without embracing their doctrines and dogmas.  Let us discuss among one another the tenets of the bible and our ability to and our charge to bring our “lost sheep” brothers & sisters back into the fold of Christianity.  We also need to move back to some of the old ways of learning the bible, its tenets, as well as apologetics and evangelism within the congregations of America and throughout the world!  Quite often our children go away to college and enter into their new lives only lose their beliefs and faith.  And why you may ask…most of us are indoctrinated into our faith, as we had entered into it from birth (in most instances).  That being said, we have a bigger problem of not growing our faith.  Meaning that we need to learn more about our faith, our beliefs, and our Creator!  In doing so, we should through reason be able to  explain to those who ask us about our faith the why we actually believe what we believe.  

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” ~1 Peter 3:15 

Most are losing their faith because they do not know why they believe and are being swayed by the relativistic nature of others who are better “non-faith” peddlers with a used car salesman mentality.

Our churches and parents need to take a greater hand in the building up our youth in our congregations.  I was born into the Catholic faith; however, I left that belief system due to the fact that many questions went unanswered.  And it didn’t help that the Priests actually believed, at that time, that we people of the congregation were “too stupid to understand the bible.”  When the church leadership takes such positions, they actually do more harm than those of the new age movement and other religious beliefs.  However, despite all that I have said and my position from my youth, I in my maturity have gained the ability to see beyond the “people” issue, stopped blaming God for their actions, and began to learn from not just the bible, the church fathers, and also the Catholic Church fathers.

Great resources for teaching and training our youth are Scott M. Sullivan (Catholic in Thomistic Philosophy) and Ravi Zacharias (Evangelical Apologist).  There are many more, but these two stand out, in my mind, with respect to teaching philosophy, evangelizing, and apologistic ideas and argumentation.

I believe that the scriptural message at this blog post’s outset is quite telling of our brothers and sisters in Christ.  I truly believe that despite their doctrinal and dogmatic belief systems, they are still brothers and sisters in Christ!  I also believe that Jesus, the Son of the the One True God and the Christ for all said it best:

Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matthew 5:19-20 (NKJV)

I believe, as is indicated and inferred by this passage, that we are all at peril of being Hell-bound UNLESS we teach the commandments of God and to keep them.  If we live and act in a manner of “do as I say, not as I do” we will be no better than the scribes and the Pharisees and will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven!

divide-and-conquer-gameBeware my friends, we are but pawns in this game of life…if we permit it!  Don’t hold against your Christian brothers and sisters their doctrine, but if they are teaching  a larger doctrine or dogma against that of the bible then we are obligated to make them aware of their misunderstanding of the biblical truth.  Something that averts them from the truth of the Son of God, Jesus, being the only way to God the Father!  there are a great number of things that we get stuck on as “perfect truths”, but are, in my opinion, menial ideological thoughts.  I believe we tend to get ourselves stuck on thoughts based upon misnunderstood scriptural interpretations, etc.

Don’t get stuck, do your homework! All of it by research & study!

May God richly bless you!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

…there is a spirit in man…

jesus“But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.” ~Job 32:8

While this is a response from Elihu, which contradicts his fellow com-padres-in-chaos, it does express a point.  That being there is a spirit in man, attributed to God and is believed to be the comforter or helper which is sent unto us all by God in a time of need.  The concern is that not all of us actually pay attention to the messages from God; or perhaps, we misunderstand the messages given to us in a time of great distress.  Our biggest problem is that we do not make it a habit to pray and seek His guidance in our lives…we only seem to do so in times of great turmoil.

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” ~John 16:13

In the book of John we were told that He would send the Spirit to us and dependent upon your translation is the Spirit may have been referred to as the Advocate, Helper, or Comforter.  The breath of the Almighty is given to us as a gift, the Spirit is given to us all, also as a gift when we seek God and His will in our lives.  The breath of the Almighty resides within us when we become a living being:

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” ~Genesis 2:7

Is it not then reasonable to believe that God wants to speak to us, talk to us, inspire us, and use us all for the betterment of this world?  It all starts while on your knees!

prayer11It is far easier than using the phone, because God is listening to us all of the time.  No matter where you are, what you are doing…God is listening.  Talk to Him while at work.  Have a silent moment while on break. Speak to Him for a moment of gratitude before a game or an important task.  Seek His will before you endeavor out on a job or personal task.

God is there just waiting for you, giving you all the time you need to speak your mind, and to make things right with Him; but when your time is up and you have done nothing…it is up!  No if, ands, or buts about it.  And your whining and complaining will get you nowhere excepting to be judged and sentenced.

So, think in the Spirit, think of God, speak, talk, yell, scream, or just think silently of God.  It just takes a moment of your time and all of those moments add up over time.  What could you possibly lose??

Think about it!

May God richly bless you all!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD