This Present Evil Age

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV)

Any Christian should be quite familiar with this well-worn text of Scripture. We’ve probably all been convicted by its strong words at one time or another during our walk with Christ. Vanity Fair has seduced its fair share of prospective pilgrims throughout history. The question I have now in my 3rd decade on the narrow path isn’t how much love I have for the world, it’s more along the line of How much hate I have for the world, and is it OK to hate the world we live in?

I think I’ve always had a fundamental distaste for the modern age in which we live. From a very young age I’ve always been fascinated with different time periods. I romanticized the various epochs in my vivid imagination growing up. I loved the eras of ancient Greece, the Roman Empire and especially the medieval period in Europe. This fact was confirmed just a few days past when I visited my first Medieval fair. Good times.

I think that’s why I play video games – particularly role-playing games. I’m thoroughly enthralled at the ability to be transported to another time and place. Sometimes people ask why I still play video games at my age. My answer is simple: They take me someplace else. Continue reading

Do Not Be Overcome By Evil: 2015 in Retrospect

As 2015 began I had my hopes up for an enlightening 12 month journey back to a high level of spiritual growth. I had reason to believe so. I’ve recognized a pattern in my 20-plus years as a born-again Christian. In 1995 I came face-to-face with my own sinfulness, beholding the face of God in Jesus Christ. God poured His grace on me in January of that year and my life has never been the same. Then, a decade later in 2005, I had a powerful personal reformation of my foundational theological beliefs and again, my life has never been quite the same.

So, here comes 2015, full of the promise of even greater blessings from above. I couldn’t wait to see what God had in store for me on the 20th anniversary of our reconciled relationship. Little did I know the heavens would open up and rain fire down on my family. We’ve been afflicted with trials and tribulation the likes of which I’ve never witnessed. Many sorrows have pierced us over the past 6 months and I can openly and honestly say to you that as I write this, we are broken and bleeding. The wounds we’ve received are deep, wide and will leave permanent scars on our souls. Continue reading

Self-Righteous Indignation

I did something today that I usually don’t do.  I posted a comment on a Yahoo! article.  Lately, I’ve become fascinated with reading responses to various articles on world events – things that may have a religious connotation – either directly or indirectly.

For example, I read an article this morning on Yahoo! about the horrifying events unfolding in Indonesia concerning the perpetual volcanic eruptions that seem to be getting more violent, despite expectations to the contrary.  The comment section had grown to nearly 4,000 comments before I decided to enter the fray.  Of course, I didn’t read every single comment, but just enough to get a sampling of people’s opinions on the matter.  I was appalled (but not the least bit surprised) at the callousness of some commenters who looked down on the Indonesians as an inferior people.  The reasons for their inferiority varied: morons who built villages on the sides of an active volcano; Muslims who are facing divine judgment for their false religion; etc. etc.   Some were quite harsh and merciless in their appraisals.  The general consensus for all the negative reactions is this:

the Indonesians are just getting what they so richly deserve.

As I read through these comments, shaking my head at such self-righteous attitudes, a scripture popped into my head.  it comes from the Gospel of Luke.  In chapter 13 Jesus is thronged by thousands and in response he begins to instruct the people.  At one point: Continue reading