Posts Tagged "religion"

Easter’s Mortal Wound – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Easter’s Mortal Wound – Pastor Matt

The Easter celebration is filled with powerful images.  The crown of thorns shows us the sheer brutality and ironic sensibilities of Jesus’ executioners.  The Via Delorosa is marked by the stations of Jesus’ ascent to Golgotha.  And the cross is a vivid reminder of the pain caused by God turning away from Jesus.

What I love about the Bible is how everything is interrelated.  One of the most obvious interrelations is the unity between the Garden of Eden and the place Jesus died.  I have heard it said that Genesis 3 gives the very first prophecy concerning Jesus.  After Satan successfully leads Adam and Eve into sin, God says this, “he will crush your head, and you will strike his heal.”  That he is a man born of a woman.  That he will not succumb to temptation, live a perfect life and crush the head of Satan.

The he is Jesus.  Satan strikes Jesus with the pounding of a pike through his feet on the cross.  And Jesus deals a mortal wound to Satan’s head by overcoming Satan’s most powerful weapon…death.  Therefore, the death of Jesus sets off a chain of events that cannot be reversed and the doom of Satan is secured.

It is certainly true that the work of Christ on the cross (the Atonement) is marked by a number of important effects.  One effect is imputing our sin upon Jesus and simultaneously imputing his righteousness upon us.  But another effect is the ultimate destruction of that vile snake that has hounded the righteous since the first rays of the sun.

Since the children have flesh and blood (us), he (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil…  Hebrews 2:14

This Easter season, let’s remember not only our undeserved salvation, but also the deathblow dealt to him that would take away our salvation.

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Do Not Do a Do Not – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Jun 4, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Do Not Do a Do Not – Pastor Matt

When I was in high school I loved hiking the giant 14,000 ft. peaks of Colorado.  On one occasion I went off the trail to get a closer look at an impressive rock outcropping.  As I turned around to go back to the trail, an incredulous looking older woman was waiting for me.  She yelled, “you’re not supposed to go off the trail, you’ll kill the plant life.”  Somewhat confused I replied, “umm ok.”  I didn’t realize hall monitors enjoyed hiking.

Frankly, I believe she overreacted; I didn’t strangle a baby marmot after all.  But it got me thinking: everyone is a bit of a puritan aren’t they?  Sure they might not care if you act like them.  But what happens when you act in a way that they disapprove?  You might get a good New Englandesque tongue lashing, like me.

The reason we are all puritans, is because we all believe in right and wrong.  Even if we are relativists, we still are condemning of non-relativists.

The irony, of course, is that there are many who would call themselves non-religious, yet are chief among the modern puritans.  Their concerns are not religious de jure but religious de facto.  In other words, one doesn’t have to be religious to cram their religiosities down other people’s throats.

My point is that puritanism isn’t strictly a religious issues, it is a human issue born out of our own sinfulness.  The difference is, Christianity is not about following rules, it’s about following a person: Jesus Christ.

Sadly, many outside the walls of Christendom are trading a relationship with Christ for a set of rules of their own devising.  And what is the one thing we know about rules?  We can’t possibly follow them perfectly; thus, we can’t follow them at all.

Following your own rules is like driving in cul-de-sac with no outlet.  It’s a lot of work and you only get dizzy.  Following Jesus Christ means you have been freed of the burden of rules, and your life becomes centered on becoming like Christ.  The Christian does not follow rules for the rules sake.  The Christian lives a life devoted to loving Jesus Christ.

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Are All Religions the Same? – Pastor Matt

Posted by on Apr 15, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Are All Religions the Same? – Pastor Matt

Are all Religions the Same?

This is a question that is raised all the time, because there are universal similarities to all religions.  In essence, all religions claim to have an answer/solution to THE big problem: evil.  Of course, there isn’t consensus to the definition of evil and thus no consensus to the answer/solution.  To illustrate, modern politicians seek to address issues like poverty, yet there is no consensus on the causes of poverty; therefore, there is no consensus on how to best approach the issue.  One wouldn’t then say all proposed solutions would solve the problem equally.  There are better ways and worse ways to address poverty.

Raising the question about the “sameness” of religions shows that there is at least a consensus about the existence of a problem.  Religions agree that there is something wrong with this world, even if they don’t agree as to what.  That only proves there is a problem.

If one concludes that all religions are the same, it would essentially minimize the meaning of all religions.  If all religions are the same they essentially are nothing and mean nothing.   It’s like playing a game of Trivial Pursuit and instead of earning wedges by answering questions correctly, you earn wedges by listening to questions being read.

If every proposed solution to end poverty garners the same results, then why propose a solution in the first place?  If we truly believed that, we would have to believe that poverty isn’t real.  But poverty is real, whether we do anything about it or not.  So, if we truly believed that all answers/solutions to the problem of evil garners the same results, then there must not be a problem of evil.  Most of us, however, know deep in our hearts that evil is real.  Responding to that evil is where it gets interesting.

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