Tag Archives: bible

Hang on to your magic carpet!

Serkan was a magic carpet rider. He came from a long family line of magic carpet riders; and as such he was respected and well known.

One day he was travelling from his hometown to the near-by mountain range, in order to milk the goats and feed the flock. As he surveyed the rugged and sandy countryside he thought about magic carpet flying: “I wonder where this power comes from?”

So he fancied himself to some unchartered musings about the origin of these powers. Particularly one line of thought reappeared: “the power must be with me”. The more he thought on this, the more truthful it appeared to him. He got bold: “I don’t think I need this rugged rag any longer!”, he exclaimed triumphantly.

Certain that his new found conviction would measure up to reality he stood up from his seated position and stepped towards the edge of the flying rug. As he saw the ground move ever so quickly underneath him, some slight doubt crept in, and so he resolved to keep one hand on the tapestry.

And then he did the unthinkable: fully convinced that the magic of the ride would lie within himself he pulled the carpet underneath himself out, chin high, chest out, expecting to hover alongside the old, stinking rag.

He didn’t even last a split-second.

There was Serkan, hanging onto his magic carpet, being dragged through the air. It was a sight for sore eyes, to be sure. The Bedouin shepherds underneath him could not help but crack into laughter: “look at this fool, he thinks he’s a falcon.” And “the fool” hang on for dear life.

Ok, so this story is just fiction. Not even all elements of the story hold up to magic carpet stories. But I have made that story up to illustrate a point:

The magic of flying through the air lay in the carpet. Our anti-hero was defined over and against the magical instrument, he was a “magic carpet rider”. Apart from this (albeit fictional) phenomena he would not have ever known anything about magic carpet riding, true?

Now, I have met and read of many a person that takes on the name of a follower of Jesus Christ (aka Christian). Where on earth do they get this idea from that such a person ever existed? If you ask them why and what they believe they would sight something out of the Bible, or at least speak of an “experience” that, upon closer examination, unmasks itself as a personalized version of what has been read in the Scriptures.

I have never heard anyone, who claims to be a follower of Christ, to have come to his knowledge about Him by mere contemplation … or maybe the reading of tea leaves.

No.

Knowledge of God (Yahweh) and Jesus Christ is, at least in its essential details, inalterably connected with the Bible. The definition of these two realities comes from this book. God has, in a special way (apart from nature, which is a general revelation), revealed himself to mankind. And He did so in language, a medium with rules and regulations precisely because one cannot just do with it whatever fancy dictates.

Apart from the Bible there is no Christianity.

Why? Well, because the very existence of that term and its essential features comes from the Bible. And, for this term to mean anything at all, it comes from a “natural reading” (a reading that takes into considerations the rules and regulations) of the language contained therein.

That associative title, Christian, would be devoid of any reality and sense if the Bible was just a mere story book, to be interpreted by shear whim. The title relates to a very definitive body of knowledge that, apart from Scripture, is just non-existent.

So now, when there are people that claim to be Christians, and yet deny the truthfulness and veracity of the Bible, then they act like Serkan in my story above: they are pulling the magic carpet out underneath them.

The result?

The same as in the story. Once they have no ground to stand on any longer they fall. However, because they do realize their dilemma, they still keep one hand on the carpet; a witness to their folly.

The world looks at this and reacts like the Bedouin shepherds. People are not stupid when it comes to intellectual dishonesty. They laugh at this “Christianity” (of course, without discernment generalizing all into this) and put it aside as yet another assault to reason.

They turn around and leave. Wagging their heads. Shacking off the life saving message as a joke (considering the witness given to them by liberal Christianity that is understandable).

And then they die into terror.

And you want to be responsible for that?

Please stop kidding yourself and stop lying to others. Unless you are truly convinced of the truthfulness of Scripture stop calling yourself what you are not.

You are not a “liberal Christian”. You are not “enlighented”, in fact, to quote Paul in Romans 1:21, you are “futile in [your] thinking, and [your] foolish heart [was] darkened”.

Not light but darkness. Not wisdom, but folly.

And please, hear me on this: I am not after you as a person. I don’t get kicks out of attacking an individual. But what grates my carrot is the philosophy you subscribe to. It is inconsistent, intellectually dishonest, wilfully misleading and serves to erode the one message that does have the power to save (c.f. Romans 1:26-27).

Do yourself, and the world, a favour and stop pretending. It will be easier for all involved.

And it might just lift the veil you are wearing. Maybe then you can see the truth, in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Cor 4:6).

So, hang on to your magic carpet!

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Filed under Apologetics, Convictions, Feuer!, Heresies, Runnaway Thoughts

A reason for truth being written, not experienced

Sunday morning at church i got to speak to dear brother of ours who was diagnosed with cancer, some time ago. This brother was speaking about how his experience was of late. He had gone through a number of chemotherapies, and related to us the effects that has on one’s mind and body. Frightening really. You just have to hate sin when you see a man in full bloom being sucked dry of life.

At a previous occasion he told me about his struggle with his faith in this time of trial. After the first week of being diagnosed he was struggling with the “why” and “why me” question. His faith was being put under trial and tested by some fierce fire. Today, when he spoke to us (i was not alone), he seemed much stronger in his faith, but still in a struggle. We comforted and encouraged him.

The interesting part of our conversation was when he told us what effect the chemotherapy had on his emotions. He told us about the times when he just could not care less about anything anymore (including God). He lived in limbo land, his experience of life was seriously dampened. How did he retain his faith in this time of testing, standing beside himself?

The written Word of God.

We were able to rejoice together about the fact that whatever changes in a man’s head, the written Word of God never changes. It is a reflection of who He is, unfailing, undeceiving, unchanging.

I am so glad that truth is not brought by experience! This story he told us about his mind and emotions changing confirmed to me one thing i had already suspected: experience cannot be trusted. However we feel about God and truth is irrelevant because our feelings are like a granny on ice skates. In fact, if our Christian life was build on emotions and experience we would not make it far. Our hearts fickle and deceiving, but the written Word of God remains the same, for all days and as long as this earth keeps on revolving around the sun (less poetic but more accommodating to our scientific friends).

Take joy in the fact that God chose to reveal himself this way, and not through some emotional experience. It cannot be trusted. God’s written Word, however, can.

In Him.

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Filed under Convictions, Devotional Musings