Wednesday, 27 June 2007

My Day And A Half

I met my new granddaughter yesterday afternoon. So tiny, but so beautiful.. so perfect. Less than a day old, yet a real little person. Praise be to God!

I was at work this morning when I was called to the phone. I was in the middle of a few things, so I answered half-distracted. I almost missed who it was that was calling. He asked me if owned a 1984 Buick Regal. I said, "Yes," and turned to look out the shop window to where I had parked it yesterday. And there it was... not!

I asked, "Who is this?" He said, "This is the Fox Creek RCMP. Your car is here. We caught a couple of kids driving it."

Usually I just keep my Grand National in my garage at home, but it needed servicing, so I parked it outside my shop yesterday and left the keys with the service shop a couple of doors down so they could pick it up when they were ready for it. They apparently didn't get to it.

The insurance company is going to have it towed back. I'm told there is not much damage, except to the steering column where they broke out the lock. I will see when I get it back.

But anyway, did I say I have a new granddaughter? She's beautiful!

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19,20)

Take Care

The Wasp's Nest

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.Isaiah 5 v20 (NIV)
The wasp's nest is an apt analogy, not only for The Anglican Church, but for any denomination where the spirit of the world is in danger of creeping in. Indeed, in these times it could be a warning to any church.

Take Care

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

By The Way, Why Am I Up So Late?

I have a new granddaughter, Oakley Lana Groff, born early (even earlier) this morning, 39 minutes after my own birthday was over.

You may wonder about the name. Well, my daughter and her husband have been quite creative in naming their children. First there was Kadence (now with the Lord), then Knox J, then Declan (a girl). Now Oakley Lana. I find that each of these names, when I first heard them, caused me to pause, reflect, then say, "Yes, that's a nice name..."

Welcome, Oakley, to this new place. May God's face shine upon you all your days and may you dwell in the shelter of His wings forever.

Take Care

And More Thoughts Still

I won't say "final thoughts" because it sounds so, well... final.

I often think and say that I consider myself blessed to have found two wonderful church homes, (Edson Baptist and St Paul’s Anglican, Edmonton) and I do hope I offend neither one by acknowledging my love for the other.

I want to thank Peter for his blog at Anglican Essentials and his tireless and devoted efforts over the last few days, because there I discovered, in a sense, another family, or at least of course, another branch of it.

How encouraging it is to be, “in the company”, so to speak, of others of like mind and faith. How wonderful to pray and discuss our common faith one with another. I can imagine brothers and sisters in various and diverse locations across Canada and around the world who have become a “new community” during these interesting times, each of us in our own place, but none of us alone.

Keep the faith,
Take Care,

Sunday, 24 June 2007

A Few More Thoughts

Motion 186 was at once meaningless and significant. Meaningless in the sense that the creeds don’t mention sexual ethics at all. It was just stating the obvious. It might just as well have moved that driving on the left side of the road is not in conflict with Anglican core doctrine, in the sense of being creedal.

But it was important in a propagandist sense, in that it seems to me that it will encourage and embolden the “yes” forces. It may also give them ammunition to go ahead with same sex blessings (SSB’s) on the basis that, “There’s nothing in our doctrine that says it’s wrong.”

The reality is, and the main thing I see from this synod, is that there are two Anglican Churches in Canada. I believe that the sooner everyone realizes it, the better. The one thing that the defeat of motion 187 might do is to put the inevitable split even further off. As one commenter on the Anglican Essentials blog says, it may actually be damaging to the orthodox side, lulling them into a false complacency and scattering their forces. If a split does not happen soon, many who hold to the truth may leave, weakening the 'conservative' forces. In any case, many in Essentials, I'm sure, will be advocating an immediate separation and I for one hope it will happen.

My wife, who still attends an Anglican church in our present home community, is relieved. She was actually composing her letter of resignation from vestry,but now she has three more years before the matter comes up for another vote, as it surely will.

As for myself, reflecting now on the outcome, I almost wish the vote on 187 had been yes, so parishes would have been forced to make choices and declare positions. At least we would then know where they stood. The sooner the wheat is separated from the chaff, the better.

Take Care

PS: It is also interesting that, as commenter David pointed out, this all happened on the Feast Day of John the Baptist, whose baptism was a baptism of repentance, and Gay Pride Day, a day celebrating a totally UNrepentant, "I'll do what I please."

Take Care

Motion 187 Fails

Motion 187:

That this General Synod affirm the authority and juristiction of any diocesan synod,
a) with the concurrance of the diocesan bishop, and
b) in a manner than respects the concience of the incumbant and the will of the parish,
to authorise the blessing of committed same sex unions

The vote was by orders, meaning that laity, clergy and bishops were polled separately. The vote went as follows:
Laity: for:78, opposed:59
Clergy: for:63, opposed 53
Bishops: for 19, opposed 21.

The motion fails (for now). In all things, God is sovereign. The LORD gives and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the Name of the LORD!

Among the bishops, the previous motion (A186) the vote was 21/19 in favour. In other words, at least two bishops who voted "Yes" on motion 186, voted "No" on this second resolution. Bishop Victoria Matthews was one of them.

Take Care

Motion 186 Passed

Motion 186 states:
That this General Synod resolves that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the core doctrine in the sense of being creedal of The Anglican Church of Canada.
Bishop Victoria Matthews, bishop of the Diocese of Edmonton, the diocese of which this community, Edson, is a part, stood IN FAVOUR of the motion.

As Peter, the Anglican Essentials liveblogger exclaimed,
Lord, have mercy on us!

Now under discussion is Motion 187:
That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any diocesan synod, with the concurrence of its bishop, to authorize the blessing of committed same sex unions

With the passage of this motion, the self-destruction of the Anglican Church of Canada will be complete.
Take Care

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Pray This Night

Tomorrow, Sunday, the Anglican Church of Canada, at their general synod, will decide whether or not to bless, in some way, same sex unions (SSU's).

In a sense, it doesn't matter what the outcome is; the church is already irreparably divided, and whether the vote is decided by a few votes this way or that, the fact that there is such a push in favour of SSU's shows a deep rot in the denomination that once evangelised the world.

Pray for those Anglicans who remain faithful to the historic orthodox Christian faith. Pray that they will be guided by the Holy Spirit as to what should be the next step.

Pray, indeed, for a miracle of conviction, conversion, and renewal among delegates, that scales will be removed and eyes will be opened.

Is it too late, at this last hour, to hope for such a miracle? With God, all things are possible.

Take Care

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Since When? (With All Due Respect)

Archbishop Andrew Hutchison's opening address to the Canadian Anglican Synod, being held this week contains anumber of statements to which my only response can be the title of this post.
We are taught that the first principle of moral theology is obedience to conscience...
Since when does the fallible human conscience trump the infallible and inspired word of God?
The second principle of moral theology is to inform your conscience to bring it, if possible, into line with the teaching of the church.
I'm not sure we can 'inform our conscience of anything. It is our conscience that informs us. Yes, sometimes it can inform us wrongly, but the answer to that is to discern the truth. If we come to a true knowledge of the truth, our conscience will follow.

But again, since when should our conscience be directed by the teaching of the church rather than the truth of Scripture?
He urged them to remember that while the decision that will be reached on the matter of same-sex blessings “will not be unanimous” it “should not be a communion-breaking issue.”
Since when should this kind of blatant compromise on so many levels not be a communion breaking issue?

And finally, since when is a 'smudging ceremony' appropriate for Christians to take part in? Of course, I must qualify this question. If it really is a customary part of how native Christians worship the true God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, I must stand convicted and apologize. After all, there are different forms of worship around the world, and if such a ceremony is true Christian worship, it would be nothing different than our inviting someone from a different culture into one of our own church services.

But if it is actually a form of Native Spirituality, yet another compromise in the name of toleration and inclusiveness, then it is a form of bowing down to other gods, and completely inappropriate.

I'm sure there are some at this synod wondering, "What are we thinking?"

Take Care

Monday, 18 June 2007

A Quote for This Week

The Anglican Church of Canada begins their General Synod today. The key issue to be discussed (and probably decided upon) is that of blessing same-sex unions. Here is a timely quote from Blog and Mablog:
Consider our great ghost town denominations. For some reason, it is still customary for us to speak of them as the "mainstream" denominations. But because of the consequences of their capitulation to liberalism, and their resultant loss of millions of members, it would be more accurate for us to speak of these now as the backwater denominations. Nothing has proven to be more irrelevant than the liberal lust for relevance. As C.S. Lewis put it once, "Whatever is not eternal is eternally out of date."
(emphasis mine, JK)

Take Care

Friday, 15 June 2007

Did Jesus Contradict Himself?

I once had someone investigating the Christian faith raise the following question. In Matthew 5:22 Jesus describes a sever punishment for calling someone a fool. then in Mat 23:17, he calls the Pharisees blind fools. Is this a contradiction?

This gave me problems too, until I studied the passages and realized he was warning about calling your "brother" a fool. (Mat 5:22,23) He is talking about fellow believers, or brothers.

We know that there really are fools in this world. It’s just a matter of fact. Some are rather innocent fools, mistaken if you like, and with those I'm sure we should at least be patient. But there are also fools who have an “evil agenda.” Psalm 14:1, says, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Such fools have it in their mind to deliberately keep people from finding God. Finding God is the most important thing in a person’s life, a matter of eternal significance, and anyone who deliberately stands in the way, I believe, is truly evil. I think it was these people to whom Jesus was speaking in Mt 23 and John 8:44. They were interested more in their own position and interests than in God’s.

I see it as a legitimate difference between righteous anger and petulant name-calling. The Pharisees in question were not "brothers" but just the opposite; they were actually preventing people of the time from coming into a relationship with God. For such people is reserved the most severe punishment (Mt 18:6)

Jesus was telling it like it was; calling a spade a spade. These people were exactly what he said they were.

Take Care

John Stott on The Bible Answer Man

John Stott gives a rare and delightful interview on Today's Bible Answer Man, in connection with his book, "Your Mind Matters". You can listen to it Here

Although I discovered since I began this blog that William Lane Craig, much more famous than I, uses the same phrase, "Reasonable Faith", it has always been on my heart, from the time I came to believe, that there is no conflict between reason, sound thinking, and the Christian faith. This interview with Dr Stott will be a delight to the ear of anyone who feels the same.

Take Care

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

The Breadth of God's Grace

I want here to address a point that seems to have initiated a brisk discussion on Doug Wilson’s blog and that is responsible for much controversy among believers and non-believers alike. Is Jesus the only way to God? What about those who have never heard of Jesus? Are they lost? In a sense, I'm "outing" myself here, perhaps to be excommunicated once and for all by my Calvinist friends.

I think perhaps we need to look at God’s grace more broadly than some of us may have in the past. Can we reconcile some of the Bible’s seemingly more exclusive statements such as, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) with seemingly more inclusive passages like, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish...” (2 Peter 3:9b) or 1 Timothy 2:3 which says that God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

If we look at Luke 10: 25-28, we see an interesting perspective. A teacher in the law asked Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus answered, “What is written in the Law...” The man answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’” Jesus said, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.” Notice Jesus said nothing here about himself. He confirmed that, to inherit eternal life, it was enough to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. and love your neighbour as yourself. It is important that we not go beyond the text. “Do not go beyond what is written.”, Paul says. (1 Cor. 4:6) What is the significance, then, of Jesus’ statement, “No one comes to the Father except through me.”? Or Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Certainly, the only thing that has made salvation available at all to anyone is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without his atoning sacrifice on the cross mankind would be without hope and no one could be saved. But will there be a test of theology as an entrance requirement for heaven? Must one have a perfect understanding of Jesus and what he did to be saved? If not a perfect understanding, where is the line drawn? How much understanding is enough? Is it possible, even, for someone who has never heard of Christ to benefit from what he accomplished? I am prepared to believe that it is.

God has revealed Himself to all people, all around the world, throughout all of history, both before Christ and after. This is made apparent in such passages as Psalm 19, Romans 1: 19-20, and Paul’s sermon in Acts 17. God has hidden Himself from no one; He is available to all who have eyes to see. As Paul says, “ are without excuse.” (Rom 1: 20). It’s not necessarily about whether people have heard of Jesus. It’s what they do about the revelation of God they have received.
Jesus is the “True light that gives light to every man...” (John 1:9) I must assume that “every man” means just that: every man, whether they have officially heard of him by name or not.

Is there any example of someone being saved not having heard of Christ? Yes: “Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6)
Paul preached a sermon to people who knew God, but not completely. They knew Him as an “unknown god”, but Paul commended them on their search. He said this:
“God made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and HE determined the.... exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him,...” (Acts 17:26,27 caps mine) If God did this, that is, so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out to Him, surely He would not then make Himself impossible to find

If God revealed himself to one man, Abram, in a remote corner of the globe, perhaps others were able to find him as well. If one man, Abram, years ago in the far-off middle east, was able to look up at the night sky and have a revelation of God sufficient for his salvation, why couldn’t the native in the South American jungle, the North American forest, or the Australian outback? This does not at all diminish the exclusiveness of Christ as the only way to salvation, because if not for him, no salvation would be possible for anyone. His death and resurrection was the only way to bring reconciliation between God and man.

Now, lest I be thought of as a universalist, I repeat Romans 1:20. Nobody is off the hook. Ignorance is not an excuse. (Romans 1) The whole world has seen ample evidence of God, and it is still required, for the salvation of anyone that he, “…love the Lord... with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and his neighbour as himself.” This is according to Jesus himself.

God IS a God of love. He cares for all people and I believe He invites them all to come to Him. . He has promised that all who seek Him will find Him (Mat 7:8; Luke 11:10). He will turn no one away, and I’m sure it saddens Him when those He invites reject Him. But John 3:19 sums it up, “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”

Jesus is the, “True light that gives light to every man” (John 1:9). Jesus is the true fulfillment of every legitimate search for God, but just exactly how much about him does one need to understand? I believe there will be those who never had the opportunity to learn about him in life but will finally come face to face in glory with the one they knew, “through a glass, darkly here on earth.

Take Care

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Vauxhall II

Here's a followup to my previous post on my 1961 Vauxhall, updated by my brother Don.

I read about the Vauxhall. You left out the parts about rear ending a guy in Hamilton because you weren’t wearing your glasses or better still the time in Louth township when you, Gerry Smith and I went for the ill-fated ride which ultimately ended when you introduced the front end to a culvert. (As a result of that collision I broke one of my front teeth and for years had a gold cap as part of my smile. JK)

After you were through with Mac, I “inherited” the car to drive to my first job. E.D. Smith’s. I tore out 2 axles and had to have a valve job done on the car @ 30,000 miles. I can still remember Dad questioning the service guy at Slessor Motors (Sam) about the relationship between the valve job and my driving style. Sam assured dad that 30,000 miles “between” valve jobs was NORMAL for this type of vehicle. Did the rings too which meant a huge repair bill. I can remember the cost as being a few hundred dollars. Took forever to pay off when I was working for 80 cents per hour. Good thing I was working full time! Steady nights, 7pm to 7am. I am sure that Dad forgave some of the debt.

I did the repair on both axles. The second repair was done at Bill’s greenhouse. I couldn’t get the axle out so I bought a whole rear end from the wreckers. I managed to cross thread the brake lines when I put it back together and so I had no brakes to get to the service station to have that portion repaired. Bill as it turns out had lost the clutch in his Chev pick up. So, I towed him to the garage. He was my brakes and I was his clutch. What a sight it must have been. Bill, ever the joker kept applying the brakes which had me in low gear with revving engine most of the trip to the service station. Great memories!!

Great memories indeed. I had forgotten all of this, but when my brothers and I get 'brainstorming', there's no telling what our collective memories will dredge up.

Take Care

Monday, 11 June 2007

What a Blessing!

Something happened last Wednesday night that has been on my mind from time to time ever since. As we sat down to begin our regular Bible study on 1 John, Pastor Terry (link below) mentioned how much joy it gave him to study and research God’s word in preparation for these studies. My heart leapt. Really!

There is the greatest difference between enjoying a thing or an activity, and having it give you actual joy. It is the difference between contentment and enthusiasm; between a mere passive satisfaction and an outright energized passion.

What a blessing it is to love God’s word. Even greater to read the Word you love. Greater still to listen, study and discuss it with someone whose joy you know it is to do the same.

Thanks Terry,

Take Care

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. (Psalm 119:111)

1968 MGB

Early in my career, while I was working as a salesman at Westdale Toyota in Hamilton Ontario, a car like this one was traded in. The year was 1972, so the car was 4 years old, but it had over 100,000 miles on it and the rocker panels were completely rusted out (it was Ontario, remember). We allowed $250.00 on a trade in. Looking back now, it doesn't seem like much. It would be like a 2003 model now, but at the time, that was all it was appraised at. I bought it for my wife.

I went to Canadian Tire and bought a length of galvanized eavestrough, cut it in half and rivetted the pieces over the existing rusted out rocker panels. A can of British Racing Green paint made it look just like new.

The '68 was the last of whaat I would call the "real", "authentic" MGB's, with real knock-off wire wheels, low-back leather buckets, a real wood steering wheel and chrome bumpers. In 1969, the safety regulations started kicking in, although it was a few years yet before they got those stupid-looking big rubber bumpers. In addition to the soft top, our 'B' also had a tonneau cover.

The 1800cc engine was a larger version of the one in my Riley 1.5's with the two SU carburettors and it never failed to start: just pull out the manual choke and turn the key. The MGB was to a previous generation what the Mazda Miata revived in a later one; a real open air sports convertible.

Eva loved this car. One night she was parked at a friend's house for a card night when the neighbour across the street backed out of his driveway and into the driver's door. Eva was several month's pregnant at the time and had to spend the next few weeks getting in the passenger side and crawling over the gearshift to the driver's seat. It's something we still remember from time to time. (I had her permission to tell that).

It was another car we enjoyed owning and another post I enjoyed composing. More info on the MGB is available Here.

Take Care

Thursday, 7 June 2007

More Than All We Ask Or Imagine

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20)

A long time ago, in a land far away, (a young boy brought his lunch to the King and it was multiplied beyond anything anyone could ask or imagine. Did Jesus need the loaves and fishes? Did he need to involve his disciples in the process? Of course not! Jesus was God, who created the universe! He could have spoken enough food into existence right there on the spot. In the beginning he created the heavens and the earth. Surely lunch for 5000 wouldn’t have presented much of a problem. But he used his people and what they could provide at the time.

If we bring our own gifts and place them at his feet – at his disposal, he will do the same today. Because of his great love. In the Gospel story it was his love for the multitudes and he used his disciples. Today it is his love for the world and he will use his church. John 3:16.

Jesus has died, risen and ascended into heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand as our advocate. But now He has sent His Spirit, our Comforter and enabler and he has commissioned us to tell the world about himself, beginning right here, right now, each of us in our own corner of it.

But no longer, as in the Gospel story, is Jesus external to us, doing his work as the disciples looked on. Now he is the power at work within us, the power by which we do his work. And with His power at work within us, God can do immeasurably more than any of us could possibly ask or imagine. him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:21)

Take Care

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Anglican Division Over Same-Sex Blessings

This issue will inevitably come to a head, if not at General Synod this June, then some time later. Frankly, I am not optimistic that a falling away from the faith will not occur. Here is another article a week later on a delegate who seems firmly committed to voting for the approval of blessing same-sex unions.

Both the Rev Stephen London and Bishop Matthews, mentioned in the first article, were among those recently in my town (Edson AB) for a discussion on the issue. Both are basically on what I would say is the orthodox side of the issue, although I must confess some disappointment from the meeting at how conciliatory they seemed to be. A committee headed by Bishop Matthews prepared a report called the St Michael Report that made the recommendation, among others, that this should not be a communion breaking issue.

I'm afraid I must disagree. It already is! And well it should be, in my opinion. For a view of what well-known Anglican J.I. Packer has to say, check Here

This past Sunday at Edson Baptist, our Scripture reading included 1 Cor 11:19,
“No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God's approval.”
I thought of what is now unfolding in the Anglican Church of Canada. There are divisions, and there will continue to be, and these divisions will separate truth from falsehood. Both sides cannot be correct. One must be wrong, and frankly, I don’t see how the pro-same-sex forces can possibly think they are right unless they radically redefine their view of Scripture or toss out its authority altogether. And if they discount or ignore the clear teaching of the Bible, they are eliminating the primary source we have of knowledge of Jesus. Paul says that if Christ is not raised, our faith is pointless. (1 Corinthians 15: 12ff). We might well say, if we cannot trust the Scriptures, that if Christ never existed, our faith is futile, based on nothing but our feelings, putting us on a par with every other pop-psych fad the world has ever dreamed up and continues to do. If we can’t count on the Bible as the reliable Word of God, what’s the point? We are truly to be pitied above all people.

But this is nothing new. From the very beginning of the Christian faith, the “wisdom of the world” (1 Cor. 1:20b NIV) has threatened to creep in and corrupt the faith that was “...once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3b). Jesus himself predicted that, “...many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” (Mat. 24:11). The Apostle Peter also assured us that heresies would occur. “...there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them...” (2 Peter 2:1). The early Church Father Tertullian, with the preceding Scripture references in mind, warned that heresies were to be expected, because, “When it has been determined that a thing must by all means be... it is impossible for it not to have existence.”

On the other hand, Jesus had assured his followers that he would build his church and that the “...gates of Hell [would] not prevail against it.” (Mat. 16:18b KJV).

God is in control. His truth will survive. As in the days of Elijah no matter how discouraging things appear, there will be those raised up to preserve the truth, "whose knees have not bowed down to Baal."

Take Care

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Psalm 57, Verse 1

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
I was reading through the Psalms when I came, once again, upon this one.

A number of years ago I suffered for a time from quite severe clinical depression. This passage was a great suport to me through that time. I was about to say it was a great comfort, but that would be untruthful. In the pit of depression, comfort is almost a foreign and distant concept, seemingly so far away as to be unreachable. I noticed that the subtitle of this Psalm indicates that David, its author, wrote it when he had fled from Saul, who was trying to kill him, into a cave. This image also fits the reality of depression, the feeling of cowering in blackness surrounded by unseen attackers.

But this passage did indeed give me support. I can remember being seated in an armchair, almost physically unable even to lift an arm or a finger, but repeating this verse from memory, for minutes at a time. Even more soothing was having my Bible in front of me and reading the words on the page, which I would do, over and over again. Because, for a Christian believer, with aid of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Comforter, Scripture is much more than mere ink on paper.

"For the word of God is living and active..." (Hebrews 4:12), which indeed it was. It was living in the sense that it took on the role almost of a living comforter, a hand upon my shoulder in my blackest hour. And active almost in the sense of a stretcher, carried by a loving Saviour, bearing a helplessly wounded person to a place of safety and healing.

I will close with another passage of Scripture that has been meaningful to me in a troubled and painful time:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:4-9

Take Care


I received a number of responses to my previous post, which I had posted on an atheist "debunking Christianity" website. they ranged from "off the wall",
Well, I would just say that the value something has comes from its capacity to fulfill desires. People's lives have this capacity to a high degree, so our lives have value. Bug's lives don't fulfill many desires (though maybe some biologist's) but they are not nearly as necessary for getting what we want as human lives are. I'm not sure there needs to be more of an answer, like positing that human lives are intrinsically valuable or anything like that. Just my take though.
to self centered,
As with anything, the value of something is the value we give it.
to predictable,
as a society we agree to basic value of certain things and laws. One of which is that a humans life has more value than that of a bug.
In the end, though, it all comes down to subjective opinion, even if it is that of the majority of a society. When all is said and done, atheists have no basis on which to comment on issues of morality, although many continue to do so with great moral outrage.

Take Care