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Filthy Rich

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There is nothing filthier than the pride of being filthy rich. These surround themselves with illusions of material privileges while, in reality, spiritually clad with filthy rags.

There is nothing more disgusting than the sight of one who pretends to be a servant of God, but whose life only betrays of his being a slave of mammon. Such a personality is filled with talks of luxury, riches, special privileges, power, prosperity, superior than others mentality, and an agonizing desire to be regarded with special consideration for the sake of his wealthier position. The love of honor for any reason whatsoever is despicable in God's sight. The Bible stipulates that a man of God must be free of any love of filthy lucre (1Tim.3:3,8; Tit.1:7; 1Pet.5:2 KJV). How unhappy is the sight of a servant of God who uses phrases such as "filthy rich" without considering the element of menace that is associated with the term "filthy lucre"!

But, how much more vile is the tapping…

Excerpted: Time-Travel and Trinity

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Excerpted from Omniscience

Time-fictions that imagine oneself traveling to the past or the future and being able to see oneself as another self only cash on the imagery of a realistic video playback. One can go to the past in the same way that one can go back to a time frame in a video and playback from there, they imagine; the exception in this reality playback: one can interfere. Similar is the imagination about the future. Of course, this involves the paradox of going back and killing oneself and yet being able to survive in the present. Some have even tried to suggest theories about several parallel universes and possibility worlds, which look interesting to the mind, but pose an interesting plurality. Of course, this could be one area where fiction allows for man to imagine a unity of being and yet a plurality of persons at the same time. For instance, in this imaginary time-trip, I find myself in 2010 at a University campus where I am presenting a paper. I (standing under a tree…

Omniscience

Omniscience is an article of faith among people across various faiths that hold faith in the Supreme God. Omniscience baffles reason. How can God know all things beyond time: things that were, things that are, and things that will be?
I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and [I know] the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but [are] a synagogue of Satan. Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw [some] of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. (Rev 2:9-10) The biggest challenge comes in the form of the objection:
1. Knowledge is cognizance of something that exists.
2. The future doesn’t exist yet.
3. Therefore, one cannot know the future.

There have been various reactions to this and attempts to try to explain omniscience of future events. Some subscribing to the eternalist theor…

Culture Doesn't Define Ethical Principles and Lifestyle

I do not think that it is right to turn to cultural anthropologies in order to either affirm or negate a doctrine. Human experience is not the criteria of biblical doctrine. For instance, there have been cultures where people lived nude, without any covering whatsoever, and felt no sense of shame--that doesn't falsify the Genesis account in which Adam and Eve felt ashamed that they were naked, after the Fall. There have been certain cultures where cannibalism was practiced and people ate their neighbors--that doesn't become an experiential argument for the ethical innocence of cannibalism. I think we must be careful not to bring in the experience of man in a culture to validate or invalidate a biblical doctrine.

God-Christ-Man-Woman Relationship in 1 Corinthians 11

It is important for us to affirm some of the absolutes that Paul highlights about God-Christ-Man-Woman relationship:

1. The head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God (1Cor.11:3). Certainly, this is not with reference to the Church; for, Christ is the head of the Church and in Christ there is neither male nor female (Gal.3:28). So, this is with reference to creation-order of authority.
2. Man is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man (in the Creation-order) (1Cor.11:7). However, in the absolute sense, both male and female are created as man in the image of God (Gen.1:27).
3. Man is not from woman, but woman from man (in the Creation-order) (1Cor.11:8).
4. Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. (1Cor. 11:11-12)
5. Man was not created for the woman, but woman for the man (in the…

Omnipresence

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Omnipresence baffles reason. How can someone be at all places at the same time? To say that the doctrine of divine infinitude implies omnipresence is not enough, for God is not an infinite ocean that fills all space, analogically speaking; He is a person. Therefore, the doctrine is a pure tenet of faith. Human attempts to explain omnipresence may either pluralize God as immanent to all things (pantheism) or reduce all things to a mere manifestation of the One (monism). Polytheism has no place for omnipresence. Indubitably then, the doctrine that the personal God is omnipresent is a pure tenet of faith that baffles all explanation. But, we can delineate a few implications from the doctrine:

1. Omnipresence doesn’t mean occupation of all space. Material objects occupy space. But, God is Spirit. Divine infinity doesn’t mean that God’s infinite presence takes up all space for anything else; which is, obviously, not the case. God’s presence in the world, therefore, cannot be detected by ph…

Freedom from Corruption begins with the Individual

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Newspapers and news channels are seething with the issue of corruption, injustice, and violence nowadays. While there is anger and outrage about why politics reeks with hatred and abomination of every kind, I am forced to consider the problem of the human situation once again. They say it right, “Fix the man, and you fix the world”. We know the story of a boy given a world map torn into several pieces and asked to fix it. He fixed it quite easily, because he said, he noticed the image of a man behind the map and knew that if he fixed the man, he could fix the world.

The Bible tells us the history of leaders who led their nation into prosperity and leaders who led their nation into violence and self-destruction. Hatred always divides. Falsehood always distorts. Violence always destroys.

But, I am not concerned as much of national politics as I am concerned about our own small circle of work and relationships. Some time ago, I visited a mainline congregation whose pastor was filled wi…

Doubt Vs Trust

Doubt has single-handedly destroyed many families, friendships, and futures of people in the world. But, what is doubt?

Doubt is a thought. It is a hypothetical thought that uses expressive forms such as “May be”, “Perhaps”, “Suppose”, “Seems like”. Doubt casts a dark cloud of suspicion on the mind of a person against truth. Slowly things begin to look darker by the influence of this cloud. Everything begins to look different and supportive of the doubtful thought. Supportive evidences seem to flock around the suspicious idea in the same way that birds of the same feather flock together. The problem becomes vicious when one actually nurtures a deep grudge, fear, or anger. Then, thoughts turn villainous.

Doubt is the enemy of trust. Where doubt enters, trust quivers. But, where trust takes a willful stand, doubt can find no entry point. Therefore, the believer confesses again and again: ‘I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”’ (Psa 91:2…

The Authenticity of the New Testament

The third important source of knowledge in Indian epistemology is Sabda (Word or Verbal Testimony); the first two are pratyaksha (direct perception, experience) and anumana (inference, reasoning). The role of testimony as source of knowledge is crucial since it affirms the unity of knowledge and the fact that much of what we know has come to us by means of testimonies. Historical knowledge copiously relies on written testimony. Similarly, culinary science, medicine, architecture and a host of sciences conserve and convey knowledge to us. However, not everything conveyed as information is necessarily true. However, by affirming the first two sources of knowledge to be authentic, we also affirm that testimonies of direct perception cannot be considered as unreliable sources of information; for by rejecting the reliability of testimonies, one also rejects the reliability of one’s own experience and his testimony of it.

The authenticity of Christian experience is deeply tied with the test…

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want (Psalm 23:1)

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. (Psalm 23:1)

This is a powerful declaration of David. There are many inferential connections in the assertion, like "The Lord is my Shepherd; He is an all-powerful Shepherd; He is an all-knowing Shepherd; He is all-present Shepherd; He never slumbers or sleeps; He is good and kind; He is a Caring Shepherd; He is a Rich Shepherd; He is a Loving Shepherd; therefore, I shall never lack anything."

When David calls God his shepherd, he recognizes God as his protector, provider, savior, and master.

There is nothing more damaging to the Christian life than the thought that "I am lacking something". The devil tried this with Eve and prevailed. He first tried to question if God forbade all the trees of the Garden. When she said, No, not every tree but only the tree of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, he questioned the motives of God as to why He had kept this one tree from them. Have you ever felt like why this o…

The Significance of the Book of Job

One of the greatest significance of the book of Job is its answer to the question of suffering. Job tells us that
1. An individual's suffering is not necessarily the result of sin.
2. It is unjust and unrighteous to use someone's misery as a proof to condemn the sufferer of some probable sin.
3. To falsely condemn a fellow-human and use such opportunity as a false reason to glorify God will not please God at all.
4. Our first call towards the suffering is to help and assist them, not theologize or debate about their situation.
5. There is absolutely no reason to doubt the goodness of God, no matter how bad or unfair life appears to us. God's goodness is greater than all misfortune.
6. Suffering is not just a natural affair; the devil and his hosts are actively involved in suffering that results from the violence of wind, fire, murderous and rioting men, and physical diseases.
7. Nothing is out of the control of God.
8. The goodness of God cannot be limited to experi…

God's Gifts To Man

Speed is given to the cheetah, but the race is given to man;
Wings are given to the falcon, but sublimity is given to man;
Strength is given to the lion, but dominion is given to man;
Labor is given to the ant, but planning and management to man;
Beauty is given to the butterfly, but art is given to man;
Night is given to the owl, but watchfulness is given to man;
The sting is given to the scorpion, but peace is given to man;
Corpulence is given to the whale, but magnanimity is given to man;
Yes, height is given to the mountains and breadth is given to space;
But, what compares to the hope, faith, and love that God has given to man!