I Believe in Christ

I don’t believe in magic, and I rarely believe in the improbable.

Growing up, I used to hear the question, “If there was an explosion at a printing company, is it possible for that explosion to result in a perfectly printed and bound copy of the Bible being created?”

The answer of course is “no”. No sane person would claim a fully printed and bound copy of the Bible could be created from a random explosion. The speaker then would continue on to point out that a person needs to create a Bible for it to exist. In the same way, a human being could not have been created by chance of evolution. Humans must have a creator if something much less complex, like a Bible, needs a creator.

I would take this analogy a step further.

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Chinese Pastor’s Last Sermon

Originally from: http://www.chinapartnership.org/blog/2018/12/my-declaration-of-faithful-disobedience

Editor’s note: Over 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China, were arrested beginning Sunday, December 9. At the time of publication of this translation, arrests are still being made. Among those taken away were Pastor Wang Yi, senior pastor of Early Rain, and his wife, Jiang Rong, who have not been heard from since Sunday.

Foreseeing this circumstance, Pastor Wang Yi wrote the declaration below to be published by his church should he be detained for more than 48 hours. In it he explains the meaning and necessity of faithful disobedience, how it is distinct from political activism or civil disobedience, and how Christians should carry it out. We thank Brent Pinkall and Amy Cheung for their contributions in translating this letter.

On the basis of the teachings of the Bible and the mission of the gospel, I respect the authorities God has established in China. For God deposes kings and raises up kings. This is why I submit to the historical and institutional arrangements of God in China.

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New Christmas

We lost Christmas.

“Holidays” have replaced Christ. Excitement at the birth of one who will save us all from death has faded. The stories of exultant angels singing to an audience of shocked lowly shepherds, are largely forgotten. Gift baring magi and tales of Bishop Nicholas of Myra’s generosity have mutated into self-serving shopping frenzies dominated by a fat creature of the north, and his masses of supernatural elves and reindeer.

We can make the best of this situation.

No longer do we have societal pressure on how we celebrate Christmas. Our society celebrates “Holidays”, so feel free to celebrate “Christmas” in a more fitting way. Celebrate a new Christmas, and leave behind the one of the last 100 years.

First, Christ’s birth should be celebrated through song. We know the angels of heaven celebrated the first one that way. As God said, “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.” Celebrate Christmas through song.

Be selective about your choice of songs for our new Christmas. True Christmas carols center around Christ, his teachings, his life, and his victories over death and hell. Surely this is what those angels sang about in the presence of the shepherds.

Second, give as Christ gave. Christ spent all his recorded life giving gifts that could never be reciprocated. He taught people that could never teach him. He removed leprosy from the maimed. He gave sight to those blind from birth. He gave love to those who only knew hate and loathing. He gave without getting.

So give for new Christmas. Focus on giving to those who can never return the gifts. Give to friends. Comfort strangers. Love those who hate.

Third, let the world know the stories of Christ’s birth. They are filled with fulfillment of ancient prophesies and promises. Miraculous events surrounded the birth. Also, share the glorious stories of 2000 years of Christmas. Tell of enemy soldiers sharing a night of love and peace in World War I. Tell of random acts of kindness. And, tell of Christ who championed this behavior.

Let our society celebrate the “Holidays” and enjoy our new Christmas. Christmas is what we make of it.

We lost Christmas. Long live new Christmas!