Have You Seen This Painting?

I have a special wall in my office. The wall houses paintings that TFC students have created for me. It’s a special place because it reminds me of the talent and kindness of our students.

When visitors come into my office they often look at various paintings on the wall and ask me who painted each one. I take time and tell visitors about the students and the story behind the paintings.

I also have another wall of family photographs. Again, visitors who stop by my office look at the photographs and someone usually finds one they especially like and inevitable ask me who took the photograph.

Throughout my travels I encounter folks who simply don’t believe in God. They are atheists. Over and over they tell me there is no evidence of a God. Now, how do paintings and photographs in my office relate to the belief of atheists? Let me tell you.

I have spoken and written about the issue of common sense before. The paintings, photographs, and no belief in God are all related to simple common sense. Those with no belief in God look at paintings and assume a painter. They look at photographs and assume a photographer. They look at creation and say there is no creator. They assume the world was created by chance. What? Why would you look at all of creation and not assume a creator? Here is where we find the common sense disconnect. We look at simple things (like paintings and photographs) and take a common sense approach. However, on issues of faith, some folks get so busy arguing scientific and theological positions that they become either unable or unwilling to see clearly what is obvious and right before their eyes.

A painter created the paintings on my wall. A photographer created the photographs on my wall. The God of the Bible created our world. To reach any other conclusion is hard to support. Where there is a creation there is a creator.

Don’t forget your common sense when you look at issues of faith and creation. The answer isn’t always complex.

Have You Ever Been Stung Like This?

https://vimeo.com/88294929

Let me tell you an old story about a scorpion and a frog.  The frog was getting ready to cross the river and the scorpion begged the frog to allow the scorpion to ride on the frog’s back as he crossed.  Of course the frog wasn’t very cooperative.  He was afraid the scorpion was going to sting him as they were crossing.  The scorpion convinced the frog to take him along saying that if he stung him they would both die crossing the river so the frog didn’t need to worry about being stung.

Part way across the river the scorpion stung the frog.  Just before both of them drowned, the frog asked the scorpion why he had stung him.  What was the scorpion’s response?  I just had to.  It’s my nature. You see, stinging is what scorpions do.  They can’t help it.

When I think of this story, I also think about our nature as followers of Christ.  By definition, we should be modeling the behavior of Christ and following His teachings?

On my blog you can see a video of a young boy without any winter coat sitting on a bench in the cold.  Some people walk by him and do nothing.  Others stop and talk with him.  Still others give him their own coats and keep him warm.  What behavior would you model?

When people want to gossip and include you, as a follower of Christ, what is your natural response?  When someone does something to hurt you, as a follower of Christ, what is your natural response?  In other words, by your behaviors, how does anyone even know that you are a follower of Christ? What actions show that by following Christ your very nature has changed and that you are a new creation?

2 Corinthians 5:17 reminds us of this, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

So, may I encourage you not to be the scorpion that stings because that is his nature.  Rather, be the new creation in Christ and model what it means to be a follower of Christ.  Make the Godly characteristics taught in scripture your new nature.