Does Jesus Hate Religion?

I love Jesus and I love His Religion! Yes, I know, this is out of fashion and unpopular at this moment in history … oh, well - take this as a challenge! There has been a negative connotation with the word “religion” in recent decades. There has been a popular movement of “Spiritual, but not religious” and “it’s just me and Jesus” theology. This mindset is fueled by relativism, individualism and secularism, and not the teachings of Jesus Christ.

The word “religion” is often associated with the religiosity that Jesus condemns in the Gospels, but we must remember that Jesus was a practicing Jew who came to fulfill the law and the prophets, not to abolish them (Matt 5:17). He established a Church, built a religion and created a Kingdom (Matt 16:18). Jesus doesn’t hate religion; He hates sin, evil, pride, hypocrisy, legalism and religiosity.

Can we love Jesus and His Church?

Can we love Jesus and His Church?

When people hear the word “religion”, they often think about division and doctrines that confine and separate us. However, it is true religion that unites us and liberates us. Religion provides the channels to help understanding the overwhelming tidal wave of who Jesus is. The Bible teaches us that religion that is true is actually beautiful and leads us to a deeper understanding of God (James 1:27). The truth sets us free (John 8:32)!

In a world without truth, then yes, forcing opinions on others does seem harsh. But Jesus is the Truth and established a Church that He guides along with the Holy Spirit (John 20:23 & Acts 2:4). This Church is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth (1 Tim 3:15) and the religion known as Christianity. The Bible also describes the Church as the light of the world, the salt of the earth and a city set on a hill (Matt 5:14). It is not just vague opinions and personal interpretations of revelation (2 Peter 1:20) - Jesus left us a deposit of faith, real teachings and commandments and gave His Church actual authority (Luke 10:16).

I can understand the point of the religion haters out there since understanding doctrine is different than experiencing God. This experience of God is unfathomable and cannot be defined, but it doesn’t mean that religion should not exist. I join the haters in attesting most religions, but I am passionate about the religion Jesus established. If we don’t claim a religion than we end up subscribing to our own religion or unorganized religion.

While it is easy to hate on religion, we can’t ignore some of the good things in this world that we wouldn’t have without Christ’s religion. Christianity has brought us hospitals, universities, public education, orphanages; Christianity has championed science and medicine; Christianity has provided the morals and values that guide the western world and Christianity has been the largest charity organization decade upon decade.

I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I love His Church and I love His religion!

The Heart of Atheism - Discovering God through the Intangibles

Are there things you KNOW to be true even if you can't prove them physically?

While there are numerous arguments for the existence of God that apply to the reason, logic and intellect, I wanted to take a different approach with this blog. I want to appeal to the HEART (not just the emotions) in this blog and to the human condition (our true self without ignoring our emotional or spiritual aspects). 

Can we truly trust our reason/logic and intellect if our brains are just a bunch of matter, chemicals and firing neurons that came together by chance???

We can trust our mental faculties, but reason and logic are more than a result of random matter. We are far more than our physicality!

We sometimes try to deny truth and reality that exist if it cannot be proven using the scientific method, but we live by these truths everyday and they can't be ignored. Here are some examples: 

  • Morality - Right and Wrong exists independently of us
  • Reason/Logic/Intellect and Truth - we desire and seek truth
  • Faith & Hope - a crucial part of meaning and happiness - Atheists don't die happy
  • Desire - all of our desires can be satisfied; Why not our desire for God?
  • Meaning/Purpose 
  • Justice & Mercy
  • Intrinsic Value - we know that we have value and know we are worth far more than a stone or ant
  • Love - we seek it, we desire it, we experience it and know it to be real

While I understand these are not 100% undeniable proofs or physical evidence for God's existence that you can touch, feel and measure, my point is to encourage you to see the hand of God in the non-physical realities of our human experience. 

Ok, lets say you agree and believe that God is real, created you and loves you ... now, how can we effectively communicate this critical message in a world that doesn't believe truth exists and thinks that morality is just an opinion or personal preference??? Simple, the same way that Christians have been effectively doing this for the past 2,000 years ... LOVE! It sounds corny and cliche, but LOVE is the answer - they will know that you are Christian by your love! People will not be receptive to truth, nor will they act unless they see a living example. There is no love without truth and no truth without love. To love is to will the good of the other (with no altered motive). While this is simple, it is not easy. People will soon forget what you say, but they will remember the witness of your life and the way you loved them.  Remember, it is not us who converts, but God who changes hearts. We can plant seeds and be an instrument.  I hope this speaks to your heart and increases your faith in a personal God who is madly in love with you!

God bless you!

Set the World on Fire!

"If we became who we were created to be than we would set the world on fire." - St. Catherine

We are all called to be saints, to live the Gospel boldly and to become our best selves. St. Therese said, "there are no 1/2 saints. You are either a saint or not one at all." God is either the Lord of ALL or He is not the Lord at all ... He wants ALL of me and ALL of you! The point of this post is to inspire and encourage us to answer God's call to holiness; to Greatness; to become who we were created to be!

Motivational Video - A Father's Love is Powerful

Here are some of my favorite Bible verses that inspire me to answer God's Call (mentioned in video below): 

"With God ALL things are possible." - Matt 19:26
"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; Lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He will guide your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6
"He is the Potter, we are the Clay." - Isaiah 64:8
"Gold is tested by fire, and human character is tested in the furnace of humiliation." Sirach 2:5
"Be Strong and Courageous." 2 Samual 10:12
"I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." - Matt 10:34
"Take Courage, I have overcome the world." - John 16:33
"I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me." - Phil
"Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me." - Luke 9:23
"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." - Phil 2:12
"Fight the good fight for the true faith." - 1 Tim 6:12
"Run the race to win." - 1 Cor 9:24
"Iron Sharpens Iron." - Prov 27:17
"Put on the full armor of God." - Ephesians 6:11
"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." - 1 Cor 10:31
"Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all else will be added unto you." - Matt 6:33
"Strive to enter through the narrow gate." - Luke 13:24
"Be not afraid!" -  the Bible 365 times
"We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:3-4
"I have come to set the world on fire; and how I wish it were already blazing!" - Luke 12:49

Jesus is LIFE - 60 Titles of Jesus

60 Biblical Names and Titles of Jesus
I Love Jesus! I want to tell the whole world who He is, but for this post, I will let the Bible do that...

SEE 1min VIDEO - Jesus is LIFE

Almighty One Rev. 1:8  Alpha and Omega – Rev. 22:13  Advocate –  1 John 2:1  Author and Perfecter of Our Faith – Heb. 12:2  Authority – Matt. 28:18   Bread of Life – John 6:35  Beloved Son of God – Matt. 3:17   Bridegroom – Matt. 9:15   Chief Cornerstone – Ps. 118:22   Death Destroyer – 2Tim 1:10   Deliverer –1 Thess.1:10   Faithful and True – Rev.19:11   Good Shepherd - John 10:11   Great High Priest – Heb. 4:14   Head of the Church – Eph. 1:22   Holy Servant – Acts 4:29-30   I Am – John 8:58   Immanuel – Is. 7:14   Indescribable Gift – 2 Cor. 9:15   Judge – Acts 10:42   King of Kings – Rev. 17:14   Lamb of God John 1:29   Light of the World – John 8:12   Lion of the Tribe of Judah – Rev. 5:5   Lord of All – Phil. 2:9-11   Mediator – 1 Tim. 2:5   Messiah – John 1:41   Mighty One – Is. 60:16   One Who Sets Free – John 8:36   One in 3 (trinity) – John 14:26   One with the Father- John 10:30   Our Hope – Tim. 1:1   Peace – Eph. 2:14   Prophet – Mark 6:4   Redeemer – Job 19:25   Risen Lord – 1 Cor. 15:3-4   Rock – 1 Cor. 10:4   Sacrifice for Our Sins – 1 John 4:10   Savior –Luke 2:11   Son of God – 1John 5:10   Son of Man – Luke 19:10   Son of Mary – Luke 2:7   Son of the Most High – Luke 1:32   Supreme Creator Over All –1 Cor. 1:16-17    Refuge in times of strife – Ps 46:1   Resurrection and the Life – John 11:25   The Christ – Matthew 16:16   The Door – John 10:9   The Way – John 14:6   The Word – John 1:1   True Vine - John 15:1   Truth – John 8:32   Unblemished Lamb – 1 Peter 1:19   Victorious One –  Rev. 3:21   Wonderful Counselor,   Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace – Is 9:6   World Conqueror – John 16:33

7 Reasons Why I am Christian

There are dozens of reasons why I am Christian, but here are 7 of them: 

See Video HERE (7 Reasons Why I am Christian)

1. Jesus is God - This is the Christian claim and what I truly believe with ALL my heart.

2. My Environment - While the people and experiences in my life do impact my beliefs, I am not Christian simply as a result of my environment. While environment does not play a major factor in my faith, I didn't want to ignore this point since it always plays some role. 

3.  Jesus Claimed to be God - This fact can't be ignored. ALL of us must have a response to this point and there are really only 3 logical approaches to this claim (according to C.S. Lewis): Either He is a Lunatic, a Liar, or He really is the Lord (who He claims to be).

4. The Evidence Supports Jesus' Claims - The evidence certainly points to the Him being Lord: 100s of Prophecies fulfilled, miracles performed, witness of His followers, His teaching and wisdom, the amazing History of Christianity, etc.)

5. Grace - While reason and logic point to Christianity; ultimately I am Christian because of the Grace of God - His free gift of faith that I have been receptive to. 

6. Christianity is Practical - Christianity Work! It satisfies the deepest desires of our hearts.

7. I Know Jesus - Jesus is not only a historical figure, prophet and miracle worker; Jesus is ALIVE today and lives in you and He lives in me. I know Him. I talk to Him everyday and have a personal relationship with Him. I know He loves me and I love Him.