.....My views on Christianity, the world and other general musings and meditations.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Christian Tithing

Unbelievers often view tithing as just the church gathering money for itself from silly followers, but Christians view it from a perspective of being a follower of Jesus and some thing we must do. All money really belongs to God and so does the church. The church needs money to function in this world, pastor's salaries, bills, missions and helping the poor, the list could be endless. God doesn't just drop the money out of the sky, but allows believers to share in His church's work and growth, this giving includes bringing Him glory and worship, plus us growing in love, discipline and becoming more like Jesus.

I do have two issues with modern church tithing, one being the 10% strict tithing, the other is modern automatic electronic tithing.

I have recently watched a number of DVD lessons on tithing by a well-known US pastor, run by our church on Sunday mornings. I must say that much of what was said does not sit comfortably with me. There was talk of strict 10% tithing and if you don't, you are stealing from God and basically under a curse! It didn't sit right with me because all of the 10% tithing rules seemed to be only supported by old testament scriptures, nearly nothing from the new testament. Nothing that could be applied to new testament Christians. Surely new converts just after Jesus would have had issues with handing over money and Paul would have enforced 10% tithing if it was so important (especially with a curse involved)! Paul seems to always say the opposite, that we are no longer under a curse of any type, but free in Christ, this also involves our giving. Paul states that 'God loves a cheerful giver' (not a forced one) and we are free to give as much as we want, this of course is through love, which working properly will want us to give more than 10%! The 10% is just a good guideline for giving, but not a 'law'!

This link below gives a good introduction into what I mean.

My second concern is the modern view of automatic electronic tithing (which was also talked about in the DVD) which is often mentioned in our church and others. I'm not having a shot at any Christians who do this (there may be important reasons), but I do think that personal hands-on giving is better! As Paul said in 1 Corithians 6:12,

"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial".

also written as,

 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful".

Electronic giving is easy and you don't really have to think about it, it does get to where it's suppose to, but I would say, where is the worship and discipline?

When I go to get my 'tithing' money (the money and amount I give in love), I do it as worship before God and angels, bringing God glory. I carry it as an act of worship, I physically put it in the church basket as an act of worship before God, angels and people. Where is the worship (besides the quick actual electronic transaction) every week in automatic tithing?

Hands-on tithing also involves discipline every week, getting money, setting it aside and putting it in and not forgetting it! God wants us to have discipline and growth, and also to worship Him in many various ways. Where is the discipline in electronic giving? Once organised you can just forget about it. Not much personal discipline or growth will happen there!

Another problem that can also occur is that pastors become use to a certain amount coming automatically each week. This many help run the church, but the temptation may come to forget about God who supplies it and rely on the banks instead. Pastors will be happy with fixed amounts, but how quickly will it force a pastor to his knees in prayer, when the amount doesn't ever drop or change? No, I think it's most beneficial for a pastor to totally rely on God, especially like the great men of God did in the past!

There is also the temptation for pastors to check how often and how much certain people are giving (as was done by the pastor for personal reasons, in the DVD), almost certainly breaking federal laws on privacy! I would rather only God and I knew about my tithing.

These are some of my reasons for tithing to be done in certain ways, in ways that give other believers and me freedom, growing  love, increasing worship and discipline and growth.

1 Corinthians 10:23 can also be applied,

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up".

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Christian History

It is by your own history, that you really know who you are. This especially applies to Christians, but unfortunately many today do not know any of the history of our Christian faith, after the last page of Acts in the Bible. I think this is a little sad, as like this video said, these people in our history after Acts inspire and teach us, as much as the people in the Bible do.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Jesus - The Only Way To Salvation (John Piper)

This article by John Piper sums up Jesus as being the only way to make us acceptable to God (justification), instead of a way by our own good works or purely by obedience to commandments.

If justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. (Gal. 2:21)
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them." ... Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us. (Gal. 3:10, 13)
Historically, Protestants have believed that the Bible teaches that our salvation depends on what Christ has accomplished for our pardon and our perfection. We accept by faith his substitution for us in two senses: in his final suffering and death, he was condemned and cursed so that we may be pardoned (see Gal. 3:13; Rom. 8:3); and in his whole life of righteousness culminating in his death, he learned obedience so that we may be saved (see Heb. 5:8-9). His death crowns his atoning sufferings that propitiate God's wrath against us (see Rom. 3:24-25; 5:6-9), but it also crowns his life of perfect righteousness—God's righteousness —that is then imputed to us who believe (see 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 3:21-22; 4:6, 11; 5:18-19).
God provided in Christ what God demanded from us in the law. But today this good news that Christ is not only our pardon but also our perfection is under serious attack. Here I hope to show not only that the doctrine of the imputation of Christ's righteousness is biblical but why we should defend it.

The Problem of the Law

Three times in Galatians 2:16, Paul tells us that no one can be justified —no one can be made right with God—by "works of the law." In context, this phrase refers most naturally to deeds done to obey Moses' law. (Note the parallels between "the Book of the Law" and "works of the law" in Gal. 3:10, and between "the law" in Rom. 3:19, 20 and "works of the law" in Rom. 3:20. In both Gal. 3:10 and Rom. 3:19-20, the term "law" refers to the Mosaic law; so the phrase "works of the law" naturally picks up that meaning.)
In its narrow, short-term design, the law that God gave to the Israelites through Moses demanded perfect obedience of the Pentateuch's more than 600 commandments in order for the Israelites to receive eternal life (see Lev. 18:5; Deut. 32:45-47; Rom. 10:5; Gal. 3:10, 12). In this way, it upheld an absolute standard of childlike, humble, God-reliant, God-exalting perfect obedience that is in fact due from all of us—and thus provided the moral backdrop without which the Pentateuch's sin-atoning provisions (and ultimately Christ's sacrifice) would be unintelligible.
Yet the Israelites were uniformly sinful and hostile to God (see Exod. 33:1-3; Acts 7:51). They did not—and indeed could not (see Rom. 8:7) —submit to him. Consequently, the law's effect on sinful Israel, when she was confronted with its hundreds of commandments, was awareness of latent sin (see Rom. 7:7), increased sin through deliberate violation of God's holy, righteous, and good commandment (see Rom. 7:12-13), and the multiplication of transgressions (see Rom. 5:20; 4:15). All of this was part of God's design for the law: "[The law] was added for the sake of transgressions" (Gal. 3:19); "The law came in so that the transgression would increase" (Rom. 5:20). The law cannot give life (see Gal. 3:21); rather it kills by multiplying sin (see Rom. 7:5, 8-13).
The law's deadly design and effects are sufficient to warrant Paul's statement in Galatians 3:12—"The law is not of faith"— especially in view of what he says eleven verses later: "Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law . . . . But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian" (vv. 23, 25). This does not mean that there was no faith before Christ (see Rom. 4) but, rather, that there was no faith explicitly in Christ before Christ came. The law's function, in the long view, is to prepare God's people for Christ's work, even as its short-term function is to imprison its recipients in sin (see Gal. 3:22-23). The narrow, short-term aim of the law is to kill those who come in contact with it because it is primarily "commandments" (see Rom. 13:8-9; Eph. 2:15) that require perfect obedience but that cannot themselves produce this obedience independently of the Spirit who "gives life" (2 Cor. 3:6).

What God Requires, Christ Provides

Justification cannot come through the law (see Gal. 2:21; Acts 13:38-39). Each of us-every single human being (see Rom. 3:10-12, 19-20)-has failed to do what God's law requires of us (Gal. 3:10; 6:13; cf. James 2:10). But to understand what God requires, we must see what Christ provides. In his mercy, God has provided his Son as a twofold substitute for us. Both facets of Christ's substitution are crucial for our becoming right with God. These facets are grounded in the twin facts that (1) we have failed to keep God's law perfectly, and so we should die; but (2) Jesus did not fail—he alone has kept God's law perfectly (see Heb. 4:15) —and so he should not have died.
Yet in his mercy God has provided in Christ a great substitution—a "blessed exchange"—according to which Jesus can stand in for us with God, offering his perfect righteousness in place of our failure and his own life's blood in place of ours. When we receive the mercy God offers us in Christ by faith (see Acts 16:31; 1 Tim. 1:15-16; 1 Pet. 1:8-9), his perfection is imputed—or credited or reckoned—to us and our sinful failure is imputed—or credited or reckoned—to him. And thus Jesus' undeserved death pays for our sin (see Mark 10:45; 1 Tim. 2:5-6; Rev. 5:9); and God's demand for us to be perfectly righteous is satisfied by the imputation or crediting of Christ's perfect righteousness to us. "If justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose" (Gal. 2:21). But "God has done what the law ... could not do" (Rom. 8:3).
2 Corinthians 5:21 is one of Scripture's most powerful affirmations of the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the account of those who believe in him: "For our sake [God] made [Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." There is a great deal that can be said about this verse but, when all is said and done, perhaps Charles Hodge has summed up its import best:
There is probably no passage in the Scriptures in which the doctrine of justification is more concisely or clearly stated than [this]. Our sins were imputed to Christ, and his righteousness is imputed to us. He bore our sins; we are clothed in his righteousness... Christ bearing our sins did not make him morally a sinner... nor does Christ's righteousness become subjectively ours, it is not the moral quality of our souls... Our sins were the judicial ground of the sufferings of Christ, so that they were a satisfaction of justice; and his righteousness is the judicial ground of our acceptance with God.
All of this then means, as Hodge goes on to say, that "our pardon is an act of justice"—an act based on Jesus having borne our sins (see 1 Pet. 2:24)—and yet it "is not mere pardon, but justification alone"—that is, our forevermore standing as righteous before God because we are clothed with Christ's perfection—"that gives us peace with God."

By John Piper. ©2012 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

To read the full article, please go to

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jesus - The Only Way To Salvation

What is the core message of the Bible, of Christianity, it's the need and way of salvation through Jesus. Why do I or anyone need salvation? Because all of us have moved away from our Creator, from God, basically we are His enemies and His wrath is upon us. The 'created' have rebelled against the Holy and Righteous Creator.

For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life - Romans 5:10

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him - John 3:36

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God - Romans 3:23

Some people will say 'I have sinned only a little, I'm sure God will overlook that, as I'm really a good person and do a lot of good deeds'.
To God sin is sin, all have sinned and when God looks at you, he sees no difference between you and say, Adolf Hitler. Why is that? Lets say you have a favourite white shirt or top, does it make any difference if at a restaurant a waiter accidentally drops a whole bottle of red wine over your shirt or if you just put a pen in your shirt's top pocket after signing for your meal and your pen leaks a small blob of ink? Either way your white shirt is ruined! God sees a stain on you, doesn't matter if it's huge or small! Only when you allow Jesus to put His clean white shirt over your's, does God see you as acceptable.
Do you really expect God to just overlook your sins, because you do good deeds? Would you expect a respectable judge to let you off a crime that you are guilty of, just because you are a son or daughter or relative? Could you really be released from any type of major crime, by telling the judge or police that you do a lot of good deeds? If it doesn't work like that here on earth, why do you think it would work like that with God? Don't get it wrong, any sin is a major crime against God. All have sinned!

God loves us and wants to remove evil without having to remove all of us. He is a Righteous Judge and King, and does not change, but he created a way of fulfilling all his requirements. He came to earth himself as Jesus the Son, to live the life you should have lived, and suffer the punishment and die the death you deserve. He made it as simple as He could, all you have to do is believe and repent.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord - Romans 6:23

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life - John 3:16

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him - 3:36

Salvation is gained by confessing Jesus, the Son of God, what he has done for you and asking God to come into your heart and your life, a life you now choose to live for the glory of God. It is not by any good works that you are saved, it is a gift of God.

It is up to you how you want to face God, accepted or as an enemy, but know this, we will all face our Creator one day!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Did God Create Evil?

A question or statement that many people put forward to deny that God exists, often to also try to deny that he's a good God, is the existence of evil. God made evil, if he made all things! If God is good, how can evil exist and why does he allow it?

This article, 'A Good Reason For Evil', is one of the best explanations I've come across. It also enlightens Christians, about the attitudes they should have, when bad things happen to them.

Stand to Reason: A Good Reason for Evil

Sunday, September 9, 2012

God Is The Owner Of All

Some people basically shake their fists and say,' Why should I listen and follow God? Even many Christians have forgotten a very important and basic principle about God. It is that He is the owner of all.

If you have any belief or faith that there is a creator God, then due to Him, all, everthing came into existence and therefore all belongs to Him. He planned and designed this planet, this galaxy, this universe and His abode in heaven as well. This actually means you don't really own anything. He designed and made all protons, neutrons and electrons (and all smaller particles), He has the patent on all. Besides the rocks, water, air, 'your' car, house and furniture, He also owns every atom that makes up 'your' body, including the bodies of 'your' partner and children.

This has a great implication, that 'your' life is not your own and never was! Everything you have is not 'yours' and has been given to you and can also be taken away at any time. This does really mean everything, including family. God as designer, creator and sovereign King of all, has this right.

This is the reason why we should listen and follow God, why we say grace before meals, why we should always be thankful to God for everything. God's ownership of everything has much to do with how all of us should behave and act in life, towards others and possessions. This applies even more so to Christians who have believed in Jesus, especially as 1 Corinthians 6:20 states, 'you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body'. Even before you became a Christian, God owned your body. People with their bodies and possessions should always glorify God, the creator and true owner of all.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What Do You Want To Believe?

We all believe in something about life, in other words we all have some type of faith, because we can't really totally prove our beliefs, one way or the other. Even if you're an atheist, you still have a faith, basically that there is no God.

Many in the world just seem to float along with out ever looking into their 'faith' and why they have it. Again I say, that this is probably the biggest and most important question of your life, but have you spent any time looking into it? You still have some belief at the moment, even if you think, it's just too hard to find out the truth! The question to ask is, what do you believe and why?

Another thing you probably need to ask yourself is, do you really want to know the truth and what would you do if the answer wasn't the one you expected or maybe wanted? If you found out and believed there was a God, would you follow what he said? Do you just want to live your own life by your own rules, no matter what? What holds you back?

Hebrews 11:6 says, 'And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him'.

Some things to note about this statement. 'Without faith', the word faith meaning believing without really totally being able to prove anything. Something we all have at the moment, but not necessarily towards God. John 4:24 says, 'God is spirit'. 1 Timothy 6:16, states this about God , 'who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see'. Many verses in the Bible show us that God is unseen and can't be seen, including John 1:18 and John 6:46. God knows he can't be seen, that's what faith is all about, but he wants you to know he's there and wants us to see his workings and results.

The above verse of Hebrews 11:6 shows that God is pleased when we believe in Him and wants to reward us. The key words are 'earnestly seek him'. If you want to know the truth, you must put some greater effort into it! The question is, do you really want to know the truth? How much effort have you put in to find God? Have you asked him to reveal himself to you? Show you the truth? He will if you seriously ask him!

Give the answer some time, don't just expect something there and then. We want a 'God in a box', but he doesn't work like that! He is a sovereign King and Creator. Keep asking, 'earnestly seek'. Only when you have honestly and earnestly 'seeked' with no answer, can anyone even begin to say, 'there is no God'.

For some further information, go to:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Why Believe In God

I'm sure you can find a large number of books and websites stating why God exists and other sites stating he doesn't, many from intelligent, highly educated people, but all I will do here is say why I think he exists, besides the personal feelings and events of my life where God was involved.

As I work with other Zoologists, scientific and university people, we are use to working with a hypothesis of some type, so using one to 'prove' God, is I think possible. I know some people will immediately disagree and yes we can't make a formula or put God in a test tube, but we can look at it logically. The hypothesis - God exists.

At this very moment you, an extremely complex being are standing on a small, but extremely complex planet, full of extremely complex ecosystems, moving (at 400km/sec) through an extremely complex universe with extremely complex laws. Chances of this occurring purely by accident diminishes with every use of the words 'extremely complex'. Some people will say that there are billions, upon billions, upon billions of stars, so such a complex planet, complex ecosystems and our complex bodies could have 'just' occurred. Possibly true, but this still does not account for our complex universe and it's complex laws of science. Laws don't just happen or evolve by accident. Mathematics on which the whole universe is built on, is to me a beautiful example of a Master Mathematician! I have no problem with Evolution on our planet occurring, but I believe that a Master Evolutionist is involved.

We often want God and religion 'in a box' to fit our current ideas about life, but we still know so little about this universe or anywhere else. 'Where is God?', people often say. I've heard when the first Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin went into orbit around our little planet, he (or the Communist Party) said, 'I don't see God up here'. Do we really expect heaven to be up in the sky? Theoretical physicists have only fairly recently concluded that there are 10, 11, or 13 (or more) dimensions, instead of just the four. No one really knows how many there may be intersecting the very space you are in right now! Why couldn't one or more of these be the 'spiritual' world? I know it's a little out there, but remember we understand so little of this vast physical universe. As the Bible reads in Acts 17:28, 'For in him we live and move and have our being.'

You can chose to not believe in any creator God, but that will have it's own problems! You have to then have the courage to admit that you (and others) are purely an accident with no meaning, and your life doesn't count. Your just a freak of nature with no goal or destination. It make no difference what you do in life. Love, virtues or morals don't really exist. Any love you feel or anyone had for you, including your parents, is only evolution doing it's work. You can't tell anyone how to behave, because there are no lasting rules. Only what society dictates at the moment and what you think, your opinion. Opinions in human society change by the generation, so if Nazis had won the war, our laws and opinions on human rights (eg Jews) would be totally different! None are absolute or lasting. You honestly then cannot condemn a rapist, murderer or even paedophile for what they do. There are no absolute morals or any justice! A very sad universe, with no hope.

We humans as bad as we often are, do have morals (even the worst have some) and want justice. We may not be able to carry them all out, but we do treasure morals and justice. Even in our books and movies, we love a happy ending when the good guys win! As the Bible in Genesis 1:27 says, 'So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them'. I do have hope, because I believe our universe has a creator God who is righteous and just.

I know this post on 'Why Believe In God', is very basic, it could go on for days, as there are so many other reasons. I think these are a few of the core ones and hopefully I'll be able to expand some others during future posts, including why Christianity (and what it really is) makes sense.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Little About Me

I come from old Lithuanian stock, my parents and whole family coming to Western Australia just after World War II, from Germany, where they were forced to work as slave labour for the Nazis. I was born and grew up in Perth, at the wonderful little riverside suburb of Bassendean, in the days when there were always empty paddocks and some remnant bushland to explore. Still a nice Perth suburb near the Swan River, but now filled with homes and only some small manicured parks, not that much for the local kids to explore anymore. The local Bassendean swamps with their birds and wildlife is where my love for nature, especially the birds, was kindled, and many years later resulted in me becoming a Zoologist.

I became a born again, Spirit-filled Christian in the mid 1980's, it was at a time of turmoil in my life due to many reasons, and my 'conversion', if you want to call it that, was nothing spectacular. Just a warm sunny afternoon, alone with the pastor of my auntie's church. After a 'chat', I accepted Jesus into my life. I suppose I had always believed in God, coming from the Roman Catholic faith of the family, but many in our family were now becoming Baptists, Church of Christ or Pentecostals, it seems even me! Looking back, I can see God moving slowly through our family.

I won't go into details, but it has been a rocky road for me with God, always my fault, wandering away, then life becoming a real mess, me coming back. Depression, which seems to run in my family, hasn't helped, plus I'm a thinking type of guy, analysing everything, so some aspects of faith don't come easy. I have always only wanted to know only the 'truth' of things, life and everything else, never to get sucked into some lie or error. I have studied evolution, philosophy, other religions and of course Christianity. Knowing the 'truth' is what matters. Where did I come from? Do I need to do anything while I'm here? Where am I going afterwards? Is there a God or isn't there? These are the questions that all humans want to know, but they can all only be answered by faith! The atheist or Christian, or any other religion, can't provide any formula or anything solid to back their belief, it's all faith.

The sin and saddest thing is that, these are the biggest questions, but we invest so little time into them. We will spend hours, days or years looking at the best investments, best insurance, car or house, and partners, but not really spend any time looking into the big questions! Do we think it's just too hard and we won't find the answers? Are many of us prepared to just float through life, the real answer if we find it, may not be the one we want?

I believe there is a God and at the end of things, when we all stand before him, he will say to so many, 'Why didn't you bother, to even spend some time trying to find out the truth?'

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Welcome. This blog is about Christianity and the world in general, as I see it, I repeat again, as I see it! Religion is an extremely passionate subject amongst humanity, those that believe in something, those that don't and the endless views among even them. This blog is just my understanding of life and what Christianity means to me. I know my views may bring forth many comments, positive or negative, from both sides of the spectrum, but I don't intend to get into any great debates over them, unless I think they are worth getting into. If they are rude, I'll just delete them.
Many major views or beliefs of life are entrenched in people and will take a lot to change them, often we are scared to change them, it upsets our world as we see it. Also we can waste our whole lives arguing over small things, creating divisions especially in our own religion, small things that mean very little at the end. I don't intend to argue over things, just write as I see them.