Category Archives: Uncategorized

Site Move

I am currently in the process of navigating all of my files and the domain name from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, which will give me a lot more flexibility in the continuing development of this site. However, because the domain can take up to 7 days to move from it’s current server to the new one, and then transferring the backup files over, there may be some issues with accessing this blog for the next week or so.

Thank you to all my readers, and I am sorry for the trouble all this may cause. Once the move is done, the full site will be accessible at the same domain – http://www.AnthonyIngram.com. It will seem as though nothing has changed (yet…). It is just going to take a little work to get it there.

Thank you for your patience.

Christians Who Don’t Love God

I have long said that if you don’t have a love for God and desire to pursue Him, then it doesn’t matter what your profession of faith. The reality is you are not saved.

I know that this is a pretty rough statement. I even know that it can push people to use that Christian cuss word, “judgmental,” to describe me, but I stand by it.

This week I came across a great quote in the book ‘Rumors of God’ by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson:

“Those who say that they believe in God and yet neither love nor fear Him, do not in fact believe in Him, but in those who have taught them that God exists. Those who believe that they believe in God, but without any passion in their heart, any anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God-idea, not in God.”

-Miguel de Unamuno

Despite the fact that America is claimed by many to be a great Christian nation, in reality we are not. However, if we do need a title, we might qualify as the greatest nominally-Christian nation, or maybe the greatest claiming-to-be-Christian nation in the world.

As I  live in middle-class America, observing our way of life, what I find is that there is a great number of people who live however they want to in whatever kind of sin pleases them. There is no love for God or desire to pursue Him. There is no fear that there may be consequences for their actions. They simply go about in the style of Romans 1:28, not even seeing it fit to acknowledge God…

That is of course until you bring God up. Then they will happily share their testimony of some time earlier in life when they attended church or youth camp, heard a message about Jesus, and gladly accepted His promise to make them happy and give them nothing but eternal blessings in exchange for simply saying a little prayer. So they said that prayer and walked into the rest of their lives with a sense of eternal security that meant they never even have to think about God again until they die. Of course, their version of the story won’t be that blunt, but the outcome will be the same.

Beyond that, I look at our culture and see a major cross section of atheists rallying against religion, and then on the flip side, a generation of “spiritual” people, who don’t want to deal with any kind of theology or dogma. They simply want to feel good. And then, an even sadder reality is that both of these groups could probably sit in many “Christian” churches and never even be challenged by the Gospel.

The fact of the matter is, Christianity was never meant to be the religion of pop-culture. It was never supposed to be cool and for most Christians in history, it was never easy or turned out great in the end. Yet, to be a real disciple of Christ we must answer the call to abandon all and follow Him wherever He leads.

So before I turn this into an all out rant, I want to get practical.

TO MY CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AND SISTERS

What do we need do to be faithful in our witness in a world that is so spiritually confused?

It must begin with us being renewed to a fresh love for God that draws us close to Him. We have to get a renewed perspective of who this God is that we serve and then be willing to share Him as He is. We can’t water it down, and we can’t make it something it’s not. Real faith is kinda messy, and often times unattractive, but it is the faith that God Himself established. I promise, we can’t make it any better or any more effective by pretending to be something else.

Jesus said to the early disciples, “take up your cross and follow me.” The way of the Christian is the way of the cross. We take communion where we remember Christ’s death, and we are baptized where we celebrate our own death and resurrection into Him. We have to realize that not everyone is willing to die to themselves in order to live in Christ.

TO NOMINAL CHRISTIANS

I know that you are caught in the middle of wanting the best of both worlds. You want to live life and enjoy the pleasures the world has to offer, but you also want the blessings of God and eternal life with Him. I can see the draw. But be warned, James 4:4 says, “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

As a hopeful follower of Christ, I pray that you will choose to pursue Him and be renewed in His image, but my plea for you today is that you will at least make a choice. To the church you are becoming the black sheep of the family, and to the world you just look foolish. Perhaps now is the time to go all in.

TO NON-BELIEVERS

Please don’t be upset with Christians when they act like Christians. We live a life of conviction, pursuing Christ and a life of holiness. We really don’t intend that to be an affront to you. In fact, we really would like the opportunity to share with you and invite you in, but that is a choice only you can make. But also, don’t be too upset when you meet a Christian who is a jerk or who acts like their faith isn’t that big of a deal. No one is perfect, and arrogance and pride gets the best of all of us once in a while.

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Evolution versus Intelligent Designers

This post was originally published on 11/19/07 on this blog’s predecessor. Somehow in the move to WordPress it didn’t come along, yet it is one of my favorites, so I did some editing and brought it back.

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I have been thinking a lot this weekend about the arguments for evolution and the big bang theory compared to the Biblical accounts of God’s design for creation. This came up Sunday night in my church’s study through Job and I again found myself pondering the subject while talking to my grandma today about her house falling apart. Even now, watching an old episode of Star Trek Enterprise, I can’t get it off my mind.

I have been thinking about God as the “Intelligent Designer” and mankind who was created in His image. We were put in the Garden of Eden and told by our Maker to take dominion over the earth. In essence, we were told to continue in God’s footsteps of creating. We were to take His garden and extend it out into the rest of the untamed world. It amazes me to look at the history of mankind and see where that God-given creativity has brought us. Look at our buildings, cars, airplanes, ships, computers, and so on. Look at the Egyptian pyramids, China’s Great Wall, France’s Eiffel Tower. Think about the marvelous works of art that have been put out there throughout the ages. Read some of the classic writings of history (and even think about how we have taken those same tales and turned them into spectacular movies). Think about your favorite meal and imagine the culinary experiments that had to take place to bring it to you today. Throughout history, one thing has been proven true. Man is a creative being.

It is because of this I can watch shows like Star Trek and then walk outside, look up, and tell myself, “someday…” I believe that it can happen, and unless God intervenes in opposition or by ending our time here on earth, I think it will. He created us for those things. He created us to explore His creation and then continue to create. I think God created science to give us the ability to achieve the things we have (and will) and gave us an imagination to get us started in that direction. I believe that by God’s design we are people of infinite possibilities. But that can only be true if we really are His creation.

On the other side of the creation debate you have the arguments for evolution and the big bang. In essence, for no reason whatsoever a giant explosion out of nothingness created everything in the universe. From that explosion, this newly created matter then turned that energy into forming giant rocks, which somehow mutated into living cells, creating plants and animals and ending up in the current time of humans, which according to this story came from monkeys.

What is interesting about the formation of the evolutionary theory is that it is based on the “rule of uniformity” (which should be called the theory of uniformity because it can not be proven, like evolution which stems from it). The rule of uniformity says that evolution is possible because the ways the universe have worked have always stayed the same so that millions of years ago we see the same natural processes taking place that we see today. It must do this to deny the possibility of divine intervention such as the flood of Noah’s day or Jesus’ miracles of healing and the resurrection, because that breaks the chain.

However, by applying the rule of uniformity to this theory, it undoes itself. First of all, the rule of uniformity would state that there could be no big bang. If there were no matter in existence and nothing to create an explosion to create matter, then the universe is impossible.

After this flaw, we come to the one I want to focus on here. If the laws of physics apply then we must look at why my grandma’s house is falling apart. When you take energy (such as the sun, and the process of natural decay) and apply it to matter (in this case, the house) and extend it out over time, you get destruction.

Throw a log in a fire, that energy applied for a length of time destroys the log. Put a rock in a stream and leave it for a few million years. It won’t get bigger and then come to life. It will, in fact, be weathered down to nothing, long before that time period ends. It is not the natural process of the universe to create, then to maintain, and then to better itself. This is why it takes a handyman to come along and fix the house problems.

This leads to another dilemma. A monkey does not instinctively come along, pick up a paintbrush, hammer and nails and fix a house. Even if you could teach it to do so, the animal does not have the reasoning mind to figure out the work that would need done. They don’t instinctively care about improving the environment in which they live. They hunt and forage, rather than cultivate. If we came from monkeys, then the question comes in as to why we have this ingrained in us fully, yet monkeys (or any other animal) do not have it at all.

Mankind is designed to be creators, builders, and cultivators. That doesn’t happen by chance. Imagination is not a trait developed by evolution. In fact, imagination would be something phased out in the evolutionary process because day-dreaming would be a flawed characteristic in an environment where “only the strong survive.” Imagination and emotions would both be put away to ensure our survival.

I am optimistic about the future of mankind, because I can imagine a brighter future. I can imagine things getting better, because it is in the design of the human race to make them better.

Why is flight possible? Because the human mind saw it in birds and could imagine it for ourselves then used science to bring it about.  Same thing with space travel and electricity and the internet and everything else we have achieved throughout our history.

We were designed to be designers and everything we design takes cues from God’s original creation. The fact is, if a builder doesn’t build the house, the house doesn’t get built. If we don’t maintain the house, it goes away.

Thoughts on Evolution

So I have been thinking about evolution a lot lately. I am of the postmodern mindset and a lot of times I find myself questioning my faith in God because of the rationality of it. For the last week I have been struggling with my faith again and keep having to remind myself that the Christian faith fits what I see going on in the world. Here is what I mean.

First of all, I struggle with the miracles of Christ, and even the miracle of creation itself breaking all of the laws of physics. In response, the only “credible” alternate explanation to creation is the theory of evolution which also breaks all of the basic laws of physics. For instance, things like energy cannot be created or destroyed and objects at rest stay at rest. Yet from nothing, a big burst of everything happened. without any cause the universe was set into motion. Also, when I look at nature I see that without intelligent intervention, order never comes from chaos. Yet evolution teaches that from an explosion in the nothingness we now have an ordered universe so intricately made that it can sustain life, and also that life forms themselves continue to get better and better until you no longer have the law of the jungle, but we have modern civilization. Let me just say, God makes more sense in this area.

Yet my struggle is also with the idea of sin. When I have all of these desires fighting within me that the Christian faith calls sin, it would be infinitely easier to assume that it is just my nature and that there is nothing inherently wrong with it. Evolution give me the way out to act on my “natural” desires.

However, when you follow this thought process out, by the process of evolution, in which only the strong survive, we must determine that for the continued existence of the human race (and the subsequent life-forms which will come from it), then the moral law which has been set up to govern our lives must be viewed as ‘evil’ because it will lead to our downfall.

Evolution must leave us in a utilitarian world in which I only have rights because I am stronger than you. Racism, then, and even slavery is not only justifiable action, but it is a necessity for my evolutionary success. Civilization, somewhere along the line, has become a danger to the evolutionary process because it holds us back from what may come. In fact, even modern intelligence which support evolution have at times used that futile intellect against what should have happened. For instance, if evolution is true, then Hitler should not have been stopped. Orphanages and hospitals should have never been built. Government is dangerous to the continuance of life. And the list could go on and on.

So, because there is something within us that says that there does exist some form of right and wrong, and evolution cannot explain why, then God makes more sense to me. To live by the law of evolution, then rape, murder, violence, and abuse are all in line with the universe’s plan and should be continued. But, if there is a God, and this God has given gifts to human kind, among which are faith, hope, and love, then to follow the law of love is the “right” way to live, and these other things become “sin”.

(Say what you want about the history of our country, but the founders who wrote our nation into existence understood this law of love to be the guiding fact in the universe penned in the words “All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”)

In light of all of this, I cannot look at the world through the eyes of evolution. Instead, what I see is a perfectly in balance creation which was purposely designed to propagate life. And I see human beings who are so complex, but have some spark of divine in them that they must be created in the image of God. Yet, in their complexity something apparently went wrong and this thing called sin entered the world. What I see in the world is a people running from their God. But I also believe that God is on a mission to reconcile these people to Himself. I long for that day to come. In all of the mess of the world, God and His story are the only things that make sense of it all.

The Lesser of Two Evils?

Today I am faced with quite a predicament. On November 4th I will be traveling to Panama on a church mission trip, so today I need to go to the courthouse and vote early. The problem is, that even with the full election only a couple of weeks away, I still cannot see myself voting for either presidential candidate.

Everyday my inbox is flooded with emails on why Obama is evil and cannot be trusted. Honestly, I don’t trust the man, but not because he is black. Not because he has a Muslim background. Not because of Bill Ayers, or any of the other things you see in the news. Deep down, I don’t trust him because it is how I have been brought up – Republican. Most democrats scare me. Not the people, but the things they seem to believe to be true.

On the other side, I hate the idea of voting for John McCain. I know he is a war hero and that he has all the experience, etc. But since I first became interested in politics after 9/11, all I have ever known of John McCain is that he flip flops on too many issues, he lies without excuse, and I have learned that he cannot be trusted.

People keep telling me that I have to pick the lesser of two evils. Most of them (being that I am still in west Texas) say that, meaning that I have to vote John McCain. But I hate that my only option is to pick whichever one is the least unfavorable. I mean, I understand each party’s beliefs on government, foreign policy and economics, but when we come right down to today, neither of them become favorable.

On the democratic side we have a candidate who will not go to war just because it is good business (that’s good to me), in fact, they want to stop spending excessively on a war that will never really end at the rate we are going (also good to me). But then they also want to instill higher taxes and have government controls over business. They support big government which costs more and takes freedoms out of the individual’s hands. None of that sounds good to me.

On the republican side, we have a candidate who is definatly a warmonger, as shown in his history, support of staying indefinitely in Iraq, and spending more and more money on newer military technology (I believe that war cannot lead to peace, it only births hatred and more war, so this is bad to me). McCain also supports tax cuts and letting people control their own lives (this is good to me). I don’t like the huge tax cuts for big business, but I also don’t like higher taxes on myself from the other party so this one is better.

Presidential election are more than just choosing the leader of the free world, sometimes it is literally a matter of life and death. For example: If I vote for Barak Obama, I am voting to strengthen Roe v. Wade, and make abortion more legal than it already is. But, if I vote for McCain, he will fight to make abortion illegal, yet he will send more of our countries ‘greatest resource’ overseas to fight and continue to die. Which one is better, to die before birth or at age 17?

To state this very clearly: I don’t want to vote for Barak Obama. I don’t want to vote for John McCain. I am stuck.

I am not going to tell you who to vote for or anything like that, but I am going to encourage you to think a little bit before you do. Don’t think that this is just another election that will come and go. This will decide our fate for at least the next four years. So pray about it. Seek God’s will. And vote with some kind of conviction. T.hen, when whoever wins sucks (because he will), take peace in the sovereignty of God (see Daniel 2:20-21)

I know this is a jumbled rant, but leave me your thoughts.