Kirk Cameron recently shared "Happy Insanity" by author Jay Younts. He begins by referencing that famous definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Every January 1st, most of the world celebrates insanity. Times Square is filled with people who watch a crystal ball descend as midnight approaches. Millions more watch on television. When the ball ends its journey a massive celebration erupts. People are excited about the promise of a new calendar year. They hope the disappointments of the previous year will be replaced by better times in the new year.
But the jubilant celebrations often fade into dismal hangovers, just like last year and the year before that, doing the same thing over and over again. People believe they can make things better by their own effort and will. What promised to be new has become old again… People believe they can make things better by their own effort and will.
It's been a while since there has been a Word of the Day that has really caught my attention and connected with Scripture in a meaningful way but September 24th was just such a day. The Merriam Webster word for that day was teleological.
: exhibiting or relating to design or purpose especially in nature
Along with this definition they provided the following explanation...
Teleological (which comes to us by way of New Latin from the Greek root tele-, telos, meaning "end or purpose") and its close relative teleology both entered English in the 18th century, followed by teleologist in the 19th century. Teleology has the basic meaning of "the study of ends or purposes." A teleologist attempts to understand the purpose of something by looking at its results. A teleological philosopher might argue that we should judge whether an act is good or bad by seeing if it produces a good or bad result, and a teleological explanation of evolutionary changes claims that all such changes occur for a definite purpose.
Did you notice the meaning of the Greek word telos? It means "end or purpose" as in a goal or objective... not an ending or ceasing.
My only daughter (and youngest child) recently went off to college. Before she left, her mother and I gave her a mountain of advice and a metric ton of encouragement before she took that giant next step in her life. Being the kind soul that she is, she also gave me a bit of advice in return: "Dad, you should get a Fitbit. It can help you monitor your health."
So… I bought a Fitbit Flex. It’s a little band you strap on your wrist that, paired with an app on your phone, provides a simple reminder that I needed to watch what I eat, get outside and do some walking, and get enough rest.
A recent World Net Daily article shouts the question, "WILL TRIBULATION BEGIN A YEAR FROM NOW?"
Pastor Mark Biltz authored the article and I view him with great respect for his discovery of the "blood moons" phenomena back in 2008 well before anyone else was speaking about it. In his tribulation article, Pastor Biltz makes note of several factors suggesting that the end is near and the tribulation is about to begin:
I am a member of various online communities including the "Faith Driven Business" community on LinkedIn. A question was posed recently in the discussion forums:
Do you struggle with balancing wealth and humility?
And should we be? Steve Hoeft, the founder of Faith Driven Business, discusses his views on wealth and how to view money as a Christian entrepreneur. What he has to say may be surprising! Read and comment below! http://faithdrivenbusiness.com/7-reasons-why-god-wants-to-make-entrepreneurs-wealthy/
Here was my contribution to the conversation:
A friend of mine recently shared an astounding fact. 90% of children who grow up in evangelical homes make a decision to follow Christ but only 22% of that group are still following Christ by age 35.
Before they are 35 years old, 80% of children who grew up in evangelical homes are not following Christ.
I had to check this out.
In part 1 of this series, we noted that Ernst Haeckel's inaccurate sketches of embryos in various stages of development from 1847 were still being used in public school textbooks as late as the early 2000's. In a similar fashion, certain ideas within Christianity that have been debunked by archaeologists, historians, and modern Biblical scholars also continue to be presented as truth to an unsuspecting audience.
The first error we addressed was an inaccurate view of first-century Judaism's teaching on salvation that was presented in a small booklet mentioned previously. A second error also had me shaking my head in disbelief.
In 1847, Ernst Haeckel created sketches of embryos in various states of development and used them in his biology textbook entitled Anthropogenie. Modern science has proven these images to be inaccurate at best and outright fraud at worst.
Although the images were debunked in the early 1900s, they were still being used in school textbooks as late as 2004 .
Christians who believe in the Biblical account of Creation point to continued use of Haeckel's images as proof that lies are being presented as evidence of evolution to unsuspecting public school students. They are demanding that it stop and their common chant is "Truth above all!"
Unfortunately, certain ideas within Christianity that have been debunked by archaeologists, historians, and modern Biblical scholars also continue to be presented as truth to an unsuspecting audience. We should follow the exhortation of Paul from 1 Thessalonians 5:21, "Put everything to the test. Hold on to what is good."
The Hebrew word for "atonement" (kippur) literally means "a covering" but in the context of the Levitical priesthood and sacrifices it has to do with ritual cleansing. The root word, kopher, means "a ransom". The "kippur"/atonement offerings are literally the ransom or price of ritual cleansing... and that ransom involves blood.
In Leviticus 14:52 the blood of a bird is used to cleanse a house with "leprosy":
My precious daughter (a senior attending a local high school) came home one day with tears in her eyes.
"Sweetheart, what’s wrong?", I asked and gave her a hug.
"Nothing," she sniffled.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"Okay. I love you and I want to help in any way I can. Just let me know," I said with another brief hug.
I began to turn away but was immediately engulfed in a 30-minute, non-stop, emotionally-charged account of a heated conversation between three of her close friends that resulted in all three of them being mad at her and each other. It all stemmed from a single question one of the girls had asked about someone completely unrelated to their group.