Friday, August 30, 2013

Looking at Syria... is war ever right?

The headlines ooze the news from Syria - confirmed 1429 of the general population - including 426 children died of chemical warfare from the government against them. It makes us all stop and think - when is it ever right to have war? In the face of atrocious regimes like this? What about in the past? Hitler? Imagine if we had never stood up to his regime - what would the world be like today? 

What does the Bible say about war? 

We all know it say do not commit murder, yet there were times when God demanded people be put to death for crimes. We know there were times when God had the Israelites invade and wipe out entire nations of people. When is war justified? God commands us to protect those who cannot protect themselves as James 1:27 says, Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. Ecclesiastes 3:8 says there is a time for war. God does NOT LIKE war, but sometimes it has been necessary when all peaceable means have failed to resolve a situation. Let me say I am not pro-war, but I am not against it when it is needed to free those from harm's way. If we can help and don't help, what does James say? James 4:17 says, If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.

So what do we do as believers. I've had people challenge me saying we can never go to war because it kills, and if I seem to be okay with it to help out a situation that cannot be resolved any other way they get upset at me and quote the Ten Commandments - me... a pastor. Like I don't know what the Ten Commandments say. I get talked to like i'm ignorant of the Bible. I know some denominations flat out say we are against people serving in the military. "Turn the other cheek!" "Blessed are the peacemakers!" So if Canada got invaded by an evil force... would they sit back and not do anything? 

I know this is a touchy subject, but I thought it was very relevant considering the situation the world is facing with Syria right now. 

It is wrong to kill, it is wrong to sit back and watch people being killed by an evil regime who would use gas warfare on their population. Decide for yourself what you think the world - including Canada - needs to do here. For me? I think we can support a strike situation as Syria is now challenging the world against its actions. War can only be considered when all other means have been exhausted - the world has tried sanctions of different kinds, they have tried to negotiate peace, and Syria has remained defiant. it is an evil that must be overthrown in my opinion - or we could have another Hitler. This is not about revenge, it is about standing up to an evil force with any means necessary to get rid of it.

God bless.  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sci-Fi and the believer

People who know me know I'm a sci-fi guy. Often Christians don't go into the sci-fi realm because of different reasons and then announce that any believer who does like it and watch it is not strong in their faith "obviously." Really? The original Star Trek had Biblical references, on in particular I remember seeing was when they found a planet that was into sun worshiping. At the end of the episode it was Lieutenant Uhara that said, "not the sun, the Son of God!" It was an acknowledgement of God. Firefly had a Shepherd (pastor) as part of the crew, Babylon 5 recognized Christianity. Stargate had a character say, "There's only one God ma'am, and He don't look like that!" There are Christian sci-fi writers out there and I have a book of Christian sci-fi shorts. I keep waiting for a huge sci-fi on the level of a Star Wars of something to appear at the Christian bookstores, maybe even a Christian sci-fi movie... maybe some day.

Christianity and sci-fi can exist. Worried about aliens? Think they don't work with the Bible? Two thoughts on that - 1) Maybe there are aliens out there that we are not permitted to contact because we are fallen and they are not? 2) Firefly is the only sci-fi out there that doesn't use aliens, and a main character is a Shepherd/Pastor! Shiny! It is a series that has other themes that are not kid friendly so it's not a family sci-fi. Maybe someday we'll get something like Firefly that IS family friendly. The universe God made is so vast that it hold secrets we may never know until we get to heaven. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Seasons change... not just the seasons of nature

Seasons change, and not just the seasons we experience in nature like summer/spring/fall/winter (which is the order I like those seasons by the way). I'm talking about the seasons of life we experience. Being born, childhood, teens, young adult, adulthood, parenting, getting older and empty nesting, senior years, jobs, and more. We all experience times of joy and times of sorrow. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about this: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time for war and a time for peace.

So change is inevitable, the point is are we going to be ready for it? Churches get pastors that come and go, businesses gain and lose staff, people get sick and well, and more. No matter who we are we will face trials of many kinds - and as believers we know these trials produce perseverance which produces a stronger faith. We intellectually know that God works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, but do we believe it? 

How we handle change is what determines if we are successful in our faith or not.