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The Christian Response to Hate: Where is the Love

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The end of gender: Is it possible that there will be no Male or Female in Heaven

angel

I am going to suggest something that for some could be mind blowing. I want to start off by saying this is speculation, but not empty speculation. I would say I have a small argument based off of some deductions from scripture. I wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if I was right.

So here’s my thought: There will no longer be man and woman in heaven; at least in the traditional sense.

So the first question anyone will ask is how did you get to this point? That’s a very good question. In one of my more popular posts:

Marriage after Death: Can we be married forever?

I discuss the issue of marriage in heaven, which is closely related to this issue, and in another post

Will there be Candy Apples in Heaven? which is one of my favorites, I discuss  the issue of food in heaven. What they both have in common is they look at what our new bodies will be like.

So this is how I got to the point of assuming that there will be no males and females in heaven.

Lets start out with our primary verse from 1 Corinthians 15:

39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh[c] of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.

40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.”[d] The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord[e] from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear[f] the image of the heavenly Man.

Last I want to go to one of my foundational passages from my last post “Will there be marriage in heaven, found in Matthew 22.

29Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.

So what these passages both suggest is that the nature of our bodies will change, and that we have to look at our bodies differently. Our new bodies will be not like the first Adam, that was created initially male, and then later created female. It will be like that of the heavenly Man.

Now in the passage in Matthew 22 states something very strong. It states that one of the reasons that there will be no marriage is because we will be like the angels in heaven.

So here’s a question, Do angels have a gender?

When you look at scripture I can’t point to any scripture reference where the angel is a female.There is a passage in the fifth chapter of Zechariah that mentions two woman with wings, but those are probably not angels, but representative of other agencies.  Despite the lack of scripture references there is no definitive statement that angels cannot come in a female form. Angels are shape shifters. They have no set look. When they do appear they are often described as men, and at times with a glow, but how they appear on earth may not always be their true form. Often in scripture angels appear from no where and then vanish. The laws of physics don’t seem to apply to them.  Scripture points to the fact that they can appear in the form of humans, but don’t have human bodies. Hebrews states that they often appear as strangers.  So the big point behind this is that angels when they appear in Scripture just take on the form of a human, they do not have permanent physical  human bodies or reproductive organs. They do not have a set form or set gender.

Our first point then is that if angels have the ability to alternate human forms then that means they could come in theory come in either male or female forms depending on what suited them. Again their bodies are adaptable for the purposes of delivering a message.

So if Christ states we will be like the angels, I think he is referring to the fact that we will either have no gender, or that we will not have the same human elements that would cause us to want to get married.

I will not touch the Nephillim argument, but even if one chooses to use that, it seems to indicate the point that angels were not familiar with sex prior to coming down, and that the angels who did come down and had intercourse, had intercourse with women.

So again that leads us to conclude that either angels are prohibited to have sex, or that they have no sexual organs.

However lets move on. We have much bigger fish to swallow.

So the big issue that we have to examine is this question?

What is the primary reason for God making man male and female?

The answer is reproduction.

When God made the earth scripture stated that he started with a seed, Adam, and from Adam he would create Eve, for the purpose of reproduction. What is the primary organ that determines if one is male or female? Our reproductive organs.

So if there is no longer a need for reproduction, why would our new bodies have sexual organs?

So here’s a question. What was the goal of the mandate to reproduce? In Genesis 1:28 scripture says the following:

28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it

God’s mandate for man was to fill the earth. It wasn’t simply to populate the earth, but for the population of heaven.  Now once the earth is full, or heaven is full, there no longer remains a need to reproduce. So here’s a question. What is the difference between the population at the beginning of earth and the new earth. The first earth had one man. The new earth will be full of humans. There is no need to reproduce. One of the reasons is that there is no death, and if there is no death and we live eternally, the new earth would have to expand exponentially because of all the population growth.

In the parable of the wedding banquet in Luke 14 we find the master telling his servants to invite as many people into the celebration until every seat is full. There will be no empty seats in heaven. God knows the capacity. There will be no new births in heaven. That stage will be over. All the creation of new humans and death of humans will end at the last trumpet.

So again I ask you, If we are getting new bodies, why would God give us reproductive organs if we will not reproduce? So if God does not give us reproductive organs, and we no longer have penis or vagina, then will we be male and female?

Now aside from the sexual organs, will we still have some appearance as a male or female? Who knows. Maybe, maybe not. It is possible to have the appearance of a woman, and not have a women’s sexual organs. Of particular interest is that the angels except for rare occasions seem to wear  clothing. This is of note because there is no evidence that would help us decide if an angel’s figure was that of a female or male. Even when I use the term male, I use it in the sense that when angels appear they come in the male form, but we are not sure of their true form.   There is much that we don’t know because we don’t know what are the hidden elements of our bodies that change, will be replaced or even be done away with. We don’t know what elements of masculinity or femininity will remain or be done away with, or be changed. For instance I’d like to think that there are no bathrooms in heaven.  I don’t think there will be a male, a female and an other bathroom. In fact I hope we don’t even need bathrooms. There are passages that suggest there will be feasting, however I’d like to think that our bodies will not need to create waste, but that every thing we eat would be recycled, or that our eating would be for enjoyment, and not necessarily for fuel. On the other hand if God chooses that we still create waste, then that’s what God wants. I’d have to admit that as a man some of my more peaceful times have been on that porcelain stool, but in Heaven I’m sure that the peace of being with God would eliminate any need for that.

Now here’s an idea I have been floating around, because I know it could kind of bum some of us out that we will potentially be different. Here’s the biggest take away. Our truest identity, or that which makes us, ourselves, is our soul, our memories, and our thoughts. Our bodies obviously make us who we are, but are bodies are going to change, and thank God. My knees are already getting creaky, and my body is not as spry as it used to be, and I’m still under 40 years old. I don’t mind getting an upgrade.

However back to my idea that I’ve been floating around. I think in heaven our bodies will be made for God. There will be a warming pleasure, like being under a warm blanket,or being next to a cool breeze that will create such great joy while we are in the presence of God. Our current bodies cannot withstand his presence. He has to tone it down when he speaks with us. Think of this concept, the earth’s sun has infinitely less glory that that of God. There is a light that is stronger, that is greater, that is more powerful, more warming, more loving, more calming, more brilliant  than anything we have understood or could imagine. We will be made to handle and embrace and contain the glory of God. We will be one with him. It is no longer about male and female. It is about human beings and their God. Our sexual organs are a part of our humanity that we most likely will lose, but that we will in no way miss. Trust me. There will be such great joy, such singing, such music such celebration as never before. The rush that you get when you see a beautiful woman, or man and that desire to be with them, will be replaced with a desire to be with our God. That’s why its called the great marriage feast.

Now again, I could be wrong, but the idea is that God is really efficient and intentional in what he does makes me think that my sexual organs would be a waste of space. We will be eunuchs indeed.  God would not design something that was without use.  I am fascinated when I start to think about the wisdom of God, and the potential that lies ahead of us. We need to understand that though there will be many things that are similar, there are other things that will be different.

So to sum up this conversation, our bodies are a big part of our identity, but one that will change significantly. I’d like to say that we need to shift our conversation and be ready to relinquish our current view of things. I want to close with a scripture that kind of helps put these things into perspective, whether my argument is right or wrong.

29 I mean, brethren, the appointed time has grown very short; from now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, 30 and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, 3and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the form of this world is passing away.

32 I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; 33 but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman or girl[f] is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please her husband. 35 I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.

36 If any one thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed,[g] if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin. 37 But whoever is firmly established in his heart, being under no necessity but having his desire under control, and has determined this in his heart, to keep her as his betrothed,[h] he will do well. 38 So that he who marries his betrothed[i] does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better.

Our world, our conceptions our ideals, our way of life and  our bodies are passing away. Our focus and our devotion in heaven will be on the Lord. The male and female dynamic will fade away. Thats why it says that he who refrains from marriage will do better, because they have the proper focus, it is on God. I think Paul may have understood this concept which adds an extra meaning to this passage here:

26for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slaveg nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

Its something to chew on an meditate on. Feel free to comment. I think it makes for a good discussion.

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Don’t freak out when the familiar becomes unfamiliar.

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When your faith is weak

Here’s a podcast about how to respond when our faith is under attack.

 

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Superbowl: Putting the game in perspective

Its no secret that the Superbowl is an unofficial holiday in America. I’m surprised we don’t get the Monday off from work to recover from the food comatose that ensues each game. Besides Thanksgiving more food is bought for Superbowl Sunday than any day of the year.   Football has replaced baseball as the national past time, so it makes sense that the biggest game of the year is a big deal. Its no coincidence that many of America’s idols converge on Superbowl. The big four are entertainment, consumerism, sex and gluttony.

Many men in the church know more football players than bible characters, more NFL teams than books of the Bible. They spend more money attending games than giving to a church, more time celebrating touchdowns, and crying over defeats than celebrating their salvation and weeping over their sin.

Houston we have a problem.  Now I’m not some purist who doesn’t watch the NFL, though I think the college game is more entertaining. My personal sports addiction has been the NBA. I have been working on monitoring the time I watch and read about it.  I’m not here to say that watching games or even going to parties is wrong. There is a time for everything. A time for the Seahawks to repeat, A time for balls to deflate. A time for Brady to be shady and on and on we go.

I do think we as believers need to do more than have viewing parties at churches. I think we need to really address some of these issues and internalize how we are doing in dealing with our countries idols.  Isn’t it amazing the amount of garbage we will be fed during the Superbowl. There will be a couple of funny commercials, but along with those there will be plenty of sex driven ads for beer, food, or some automobile. I have never been a fan of half time shows, because without fail they will have some wierdly costumed singers, prancing on the stage doing some gyration usually with someone breakdancing in the background while patches of rabid fans are jumping up and down in adulation. There is likely to be some cooky imagery  and stage decorations which will convince you the stage designers are in league with the devil or “illuminati” : ) and for the most part the music will not be my cup of tea.  I mean if we throw a Shad, Andy Mineo and Dream Junkies (Don’t worry if you don’t know who they are) to perform maybe that would be something different.

Its sad to think that for many people without God, this is a highlight of their year, and yet when it ends then what. As believers we believe in something that transcends a game, a show, something that transcends the food, the friends, the ads. We are awaiting a King to return, and that’s when the real celebration will begin. The task then is how to communicate this truth with our friends, neighbors, and family. In truth we have to be as excited about our God then anything else. You know the Oscars are coming up, and I could write the same article and just move around a couple of things, because maybe you are not in to sports, but into film, or fashion, pageantry, and awards. The point is that the best that the world has to offer can not hold a candle to what we will experience when our God comes in his glory. But where does your greatest excitement lie?  I thank God for these events, and I praise God when he allows athletes on big stages to glorify him. I’m looking at you Russell Wilson. The application however lies in how can I communicate with my sphere of influence the goodness and greatness of God in my life, whether I’m “winning, or losing” , because with God we are always winners. That’s why Paul says, “We are more than conquerers through him that loved us.” So when the commercials stop, the madness ends, the last chip is dipped, let us be thankful, but prayerful that the world may see and worship the God to whom all glory is due.

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Am I the only one here?: Being a minority in Church

Changing churches can be a very stressful exercise. About a year ago, my family and I decided to move from our beloved city back to an area I grew up in. On top of our priority list was finding another church. Off the bat I knew I didn’t want to go to a thousand different churches, having to awkwardly stand up a thousand times during the meet the visitor segment of church services. That is just too much pressure. So I decided to do a little research, and try to trim the list of a thousand  down to a couple. Fortunately it didn’t take too long to find the church as God guided me to a really great church. But before I joined the church I had to address one big issue, can I go to a White Church?

It is hard to go from a multicultural to monocultural environment. One of the great qualities of my previous churches was the fact that they were very multicultural.  There’s nothing better than worshiping with other brothers and sisters from all nationalities. If I were to rank my level of comfortability in terms of church diversity I would prefer multicultural worship over a predominately black church. I  would even considered going to a spanish evangelical church where I would be a minority, but that would be okay because like some black churches they know how to get down( meaning they have passionate worship and preaching but at times extremely long services). Ironically, despite my preferences the two churches that I visited were both predominantly white.

One of the first things I do and I’m sure many others do as well when visiting a church is look for people that they can connect and relate to. This happens no matter what type of church you go to. If you are a teenager you will look for other teenagers, if you are single you will look for other singles, if you have a young family you look for others with young families. One of the most disappointing things to happen is to go to a church and feel like there’s no one or only a handful of people like you there. So when I visited the first church which is a good thriving church, I was immediately taken back by the lack of black people or diversity there. I felt a little uncomfortable, not because of anything that anyone said or didn’t say in particular, because the greeters and ushers were kind. The discomfort came because I felt that I would only be able to connect superficially, and because I felt like I was in a place where no one would really understand me.  I didn’t know it until processing it later but I actually experienced culture shock.   Its funny to think that culture shock can come in the same city that a person grows up in because we usually use the term when people go overseas to mission trips but here I was in the middle of church thinking this is probably not the place for me. In fact I must confess I actually had a little condescension for the one black guy I did notice, thinking he must be the token black guy.

To put things in context, I felt more out of place at that church then at the Korean church I where I served as the English Ministry Pastor. Ironically the Pastor of the Korean Church is a great example of displaying diversity. He first hired an Indian and then myself an African American to work with the korean  youth and young adults at his church. Part of my search for a home church was simply because the only other church services at that church was in Korean.

Often times we create self fulfilling prophecies when we put up guards before even getting the chance to know someone who seems different. This doesn’t just happen with race, but with language, class, gender etc.  Though we should embrace the opportunity of change , we have be honest with our experiences and our own makeup; sometimes juggling those conflicting feelings can be difficult.

God gave me another chance to do just that. While browsing online I found a great church.  It had great teaching, a great missions program, and did local outreach. The only downside I found was when I looked at pictures of the staff. At first glance I looked and saw that there were no people of color, but after checking again I saw that one of the pastors was Asian, not a total strikeout I thought.  So I decided to check out the church on Sunday with my family. This church though predominantly white, had a small mixture of other races, and a small amount of blacks. Like the other church the greeters were friendly, but for some reason I felt more comfortable. Though the church was not as diverse as I wanted it to be, all the other factors more than made up for it. After a couple of weeks I came to the determination that this was the most balanced church I had ever been to or seen.  So my family and I joined.

It was after joining and meeting the pastor that I understood why I felt more comfortable. My pastor in the new members class said something that I will never forget. When he assumed the pastorate there weren’t too many black families, and one of the most faithful  black families was considering leaving precisely because they felt unwelcome. After talking to that couple my  pastor told the church something amazing. “I will not pastor an all white church”. He told the church that he wanted more diversity,and that the church would have to change the way it looks at those who are of different ethnicities.  He explained to the new members in class that day, how that moment transformed the ethos of the church, and how though not perfect they became more conscious of how to treat others. This is one of many reasons that I love and respect my pastor. He cast a vision for the church and made a stand that diversity sometimes means challenging the status quo.

I’ve been at my church for over a year and have had to from time to time wrestle with the idea of what it means to me to be a minority in my church. I have to say that in the year I’ve been attending the church has grown a little more diverse, and that there are so many wonderful men and women of God who are genuinely loving and don’t see skin color. This doesn’t mean however that there have not been awkward or uncomfortable moments as well. But there will always be awkward moments, even without race, its just a part of fellowship.

One of the reasons that I write this is to partially share part of my journey in being a minority but also to give a little perspective on how some minority’s may think. In honor of black history I would like to close with a few recommendations for churches who want to become more diverse.

  •  The call for diversity is heard loudest when the Pastor is willing to not only communicate it, but stand for diversity.
  •  Sometimes minorities may feel a little uncomfortable even when you may be friendly, they may just be dealing with their own experiences and doubts of whether they will be accepted.
  • Minorities feel a little more comfortable when they see other minorities in leadership positions.
  • One of the ways to make others feel welcome is to just love on them.
  • Talk to them and get to know them without stereotyping.
  • Experience their culture; films, music, books, food
  • Recognize that even within ethnic groups theres great diversity of personalities that they are not one monolithic group.

The church is the one institution that God has left to testify to the world of his great love. This is why I get so excited when I see Koreans and Japanese, White and Black, Palestianian and Israeli brothers and sisters worshipping together. It proves that the love of God has no boundaries. I’m so glad to be at my church and want to encourage all my fellow minorities who may feel a little out of place, that God may have you there for a reason; to spice things up. My prayer is for all future pastors and church planters to build churches that are reflective not only of their local communities, but of the beautiful and colorful bride of Christ.

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Are you a sponge or a brick?

I have been teaching the past couple of weeks on John 15. It is definitely a rich passage.  Take a second and read this:

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 

This passage is one of Jesus’s last teachings to his disciples pre resurrection. He emphasizes the importance of remaining in him despite the difficult seasons that are in their near future. He knows the cross is coming, he has warned them about the cross, but like most of us we seem to let God’s words go in one ear and out the other. Why? Because we do not follow verse 7. We do not let God’s words remain in us. Other versions say abide. Does God’s word take residence in you? Does it flow from your heart? Does it flow from your mouth? Does it float around in your mind? Or do you hear and then immediately forget. God’s word is not meant to be simply listened to. It is meant to be examined, and in fact you are to be examined by it.

Its as if a doctor is giving you your physical. The Word is the doctor who is reading your pulse, checking your vital signs, and prescribing you its dosage. You need a Psalms 1 for that, and Ephesians 6 for that condition, a Psalms 34 and 27 for that worry. I want to give you two ways to let his word stay in you.

The first way is to read it. Some of you might be like duh? But let me clarify what I mean by read. I’m not just talking about reading devotionals, though they are beneficial. I’m talking about picking a book like John and reading through it. There’s something about letting the Bible speak to you on its own. Read it first without any other voices telling you what it says. I know sometimes it seems intimidating, but there are a variety of different versions and helps to help you understand it. But the first step is to crack open your bible or bible app and begin reading a couple verses lets say around 7. When you read them, read them slowly and begin to think about what is the word saying. If possible get out a commentary or search one online and get some background on the passage. Biblegateway.com is a good place to read or another site I like if I want to look at some quick commentaries is  http://bible.cc.

You should ask questions while reading or after reading like Who was writing it, to whom was it written. What was the person going through? What message are they trying to communicate? What does this message say about God? What does it say about the people of God? Then you begin to apply the principle to your life, or your situation. The second quick step to keep the word in you is by talking about it.

I want to show you a quick passage that I am still learning to incorporate in my family.

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Msg)

How often do you talk about the word? I’m not just talking about at church or in Bible study, but incorporating the Word in your home. Read the word to your kids, talk about it, talk about it to your wife. Share your devotions and your prayer requests. Share with your other brothers or sisters in the faith how you were blessed by a certain passage. The more we are exposed and process the word through speech, critical thinking and critical listening,the longer it stays with us. This also goes with sermons as well. If you do not talk about the sermon your pastor gives, or read your notes or pray for wisdom concerning the message you most likely will forget it. The key word is meditation. Meditation involves repetition, it revives soaking it in, and releasing.

I know many of us are going through different difficulties, but when life squeezes us what comes out of our mouth? Is it complaint, is it fear, is it worry or is it his word. Get God’s word in you because it is what will sustain you during the times of stress. Surround yourself with God’s people so that when you are becoming dry you can soak up some of their word.

So are you a sponge who absorbs the word and lets is seap through its pores, or are you a rock that hears the word and it slides right off your back? I want to conclude with Jesus’ word. Let his words remain in you. Keep them in your mind, your heart, your tongue and your home for the more you do you will find Jesus sitting with you in your midst. Amen

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Lessons from the Dark Night Rises

With the backdrop of  the senseless tragedy in Aurora Colorado, the constant reminders of the untimely departures for many from this life, I decided to watch the Dark Night Rises. I have to admit part of me in a weird way felt guilty for watching it, as if my participation in the theater was somehow not showing proper respect for the victims. Seeing men slaughtered by machine gun fire by the villain five minutes into the film did not assuage that uneasiness.That uneasy feeling however eventually succumbed to the greatness of the story. Nolan does an excellent job of drawing you into the world of Gotham. Gotham is a powerful city, a city that has been supposedly rehabbed its image, by cleaning up its villains locking them up in mass. The police force develop a pride, a hubris at its new found success in crime fighting only to find out that a storm has been brewing right under their eyes, the likes it has not seen in years. The city’s solution to the problem;The Dark Night, Gotham’s savior has been blamed for the evils of the past, and now with the storm coming it is only the few faithful followers who know that the city’s only hope for survival is to invoke his name that he might fight off their remaining enemies.

The power of movies, and of stories is that they can be seen as windows and commentaries to our own world. Gotham is a dark city, not to far from the fallen urban centers we live in today. Our nation like Gotham served as a beacon of light to the world; a moral, economic, and political model of success. We became prideful and ascribed our success to our own ingenuity and bravado. We began to scandalize the virtues and principles which were foundational for our prosperity, and have continued to blackball and malign anyone who claims our success was due to its savior, and indeed the savior of all creation; Jesus Christ. Today we are in the midst of a crisis; people are scared, children are parent-less, men are jobless, families are falling apart, our idol of economic superiority that brought us comfort and ease is crumbling before our eyes, our political system has proven to be corrupted by greed and tribalism, and our moral fiber has disintegrated to a rubbish heap of relativism.

There is a reason why there are crazed lunatics who kill innocent movie goers. Its called depravity. The effects of sin, in a world that refused to blush at its name. Instead the virtues of rebellion are touted as freedom from religion and superstition, freedom from the tyrant on high and his despotic son who are set to ruin all civilization. We think we are righteous in our own eyes. We don’t need a hero. We have it all under control. Meanwhile the vices of greed, sexual immorality, malice, covetousness, idolatry have been festering under the surface, only to bubble up when our fascade of prosperity was removed.

I am concerned for my country. I pray for it. Our leaders are blinded, our educational system is failing, our churches are dying. We are as divided as we were right before the civil war. We are under threat externally, but it is the internal divide that is at a boiling point. People are frustrated, and angry, like a powder keg waiting to go off, we are one large failure setback away from rioting and internal chaos.

What is the solution to this? The gospel of Jesus Christ. Unlike the Dark Night, however, Jesus knows what is going on, he has defeated his enemies and is aware of all their workings; he is in total control. He has done his work, he has given his gift of salvation, It is available to all those who call on him. He is coming back again to set up and remake our world. That is the hope of all those who trust in him. It is the hope he offers all cities under the grip of sin, the weapon of the ruler of the world; who is the greatest despot of all.

There’s a scene in the movie where all those who try to fight against the villain Baine and stand up for truth; the righteous, are killed. This has been true throughout the history of the church, and disturbingly may be something we see in our own country within time. I want to encourage my brothers and sisters in the faith, to open our eyes and like Jude said contend for the faith which was once and for all delivered unto us. Let us pray for our friends and family who are blind to the beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ, and labor in proclaiming that there is only one savior, one name by which all men can be saved and that is the glorious name of Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory, honor, and power. Amen.

There are many who may not see the Dark Night Rises, and many who will see it two to three times. Personally I enjoyed the movie.  I believe Nolan did an excellent job in re-creating the world of Gotham, of telling the story of a lost city in need of its savior. The movie was obviously more layered than that, but regardless of whether one goes or not, I think it is always helpful for us believers to recognize that the fascination for super hero movies is really just the drive to know deeper the super hero that truly lives; Jesus.

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July 25, 2012 · 11:59 am