Known acts of vandalism at Christian churches in North America have been minor this week. These are the ones reported to Texas Gospel Canada:
Fox8tv reports the building belonging to the Church of the Transfiguration in Conemaugh, Pennsylvania had, “a lot of widespread damage,” as well as items related to worship stolen. WJAC TV reports the church has a 100-year history with the local community.
The Old Testament tells us how God provided food for His children and the New Testament tells us not to be anxious for food. So why do some Christians starve? The fact that Christians can starve to death could appear to be in conflict with the idea of God providing all our needs. Do these ideas conflict, or are we overlooking something?
I think it’s easy for non-believers to assume the existence of starving Christians is proof that God fails to provide if they assume that death is the end-game. But if the Bible’s message is true, then death certainly is not the end. When you consider how long eternity is, I would say death is only the beginning. When I consider how brief our lifespan is compared to deep time, our suffering here is momentary. But why does God provide food for some, but not all? The answer seems to lie within the difference between needs and wants.
I believe God’s children in the Old Testament were given food because they needed it to fulfill His purpose for them. But the Book of Luke tells us about the beggar who died in poverty even though he was in God’s will. It’s no small thing that Luke records that when the beggar died he was carried away by angels to Abraham’s bosom. His suffering, by the way, was the result of a perfect creation that had become imperfect as a result of sin. I know of no scripture that tells us we will never go hungry, or that we will not starve. The pain and suffering we endure is caused by sin. It’s not caused by God. It’s not only the result of our sin, but by all sin which caused God’s creation to become corrupt. We have an appointed time to leave all of this and be with Him. We have no need to be anxious that we won’t have what we need before that time. God is in control. When a Christian dies, even from things like starvation that exists because of sin, they go to be with our Lord. We do not need to live beyond our appointed time to die, nor should we want to. This world has nothing to offer compared to eternity with God.
I’m certainly open to consider any scripture you feel conflicts with what I’ve written above. Please leave comments below if you additional scriptural evidence about God supplying our needs.
It’s common to see those who oppose our faith post articles about preachers caught doing something wrong. These kinds of stories make up the majority of posts on some atheist websites. But while non-believers consider them proof the Bible is false, I see them as affirmation of God’s word.
Consider King David got a woman pregnant and had her husband killed to cover up his guilt. Yet two times the scripture calls him a man after God’s own heart. Not because of his sin, but because he sought to please God even though he had major failures.
Our failures may be mocked, but they are not proof that God’s word is false. They affirm its warnings and they should never keep us from turning back to God.
Apologetics literally means to “speak in defense,” and there are plenty of authors with books about apologetics. It’s something I find fascinating because as I dissect anti-theist arguments, I find new understand of how God’s creation affirms His presence, something I’m sure those who oppose our faith don’t realize their words do. But is apologetics something on which we are told to spend a lot of time?
I have to admit, I probably spend more time than I should reading atheist writings so I can understand their complaints, and scripture to find the shortfalls of anti-theist criticisms. I could justify doing this with 1 Peter that tells us to always be ready to give answer for our faith. This brings me back to the question at the end of the first paragraph.
Our first calling as Christians is to spread God’s Word to as many people as possible. We do this so that by hearing God’s message they are, for those few precious moments, not distracted by the things of this world. I believe we don’t win people to Christ through argument springing from cognitive skill. If salvation was something we achieve through our own efforts, it would be the result of works and not faith. But Ephesians seems to tell us it’s the other way around; salvation is a gift. By sharing the Gospel, are we not simply removing the distractions of this world for those few precious moments; that is, removing the static between God’s people and salvation? It is His call after all, that leads to salvation, and not something we’ve done.
I think it’s important to note here that some Christians seem more eager to win internet debates than lead someone to God. How would winning a debate at such a cost honor God? Studying apologetics is being ready to give answer about our faith, but not that which results in saving faith.
When you give answers to non-believers, especially those in the anti-theist set, are you helping them understand or causing them to dig their heals into the dirt of non-belief?