(Answered by Sages through the Ages)
Who are the "Chosen" of God?
This is a "loaded" question. It assumes that God is dealing with
some people and religious groups to the exclusion of all others.
This assumption is only divisive and has been the tragic cause of
countless religious wars, purges, pogroms, inquisitions, crusades
and ethnic "cleansings." The major premise of this site is the claim
that the personality of God is inclusive by nature, is sovereign
over creation, and "works all things after the counsel of his own
will" (St. Paul's letter to the Christians at Ephesus l:11).
Note: Deity within the site is mostly described as He or Him. This
is for convenience only and in no way suggests that God is "male"
any more than he is "female." Scripture cited from the Christian
Bible will often be quoted; not because it is considered the final
word or highest written authority on the Sacred, but because it
is the most familiar religious text of this writer. When scripture
is quoted, care will be taken to do so only within a fully inclusive
religious context, acceptable to all faiths.
What is the Purpose of Evil?
A.E. Knock wrote, "We do not realize that evil is a gift from God,
designed to bring us down to our proper place and raise God up to
the position his deity demands in the glorious consummation, when
he will be 'all in all.' We need evil for what we are and shall
be, not merely for any wrong that we have done. Evil is not essentially
a penalty, but a preparation. It is humbling and revealing and necessary
for the appreciation of good and of God…Trial, probing, experiment
is a thing God does not need for himself, since he knows all. But
his creatures need it, for they are here to learn, like Job, not
only what is in themselves, but also what is in God"
Creation or Evolution?
Christian intractability in the area of evolution has produced
an honest class of atheistic scientists from which the human community
still suffers. Not all scientists are atheistic, of course. Many
see no conflict with evolutionary science and the Bible's allegorical
explanations of creation. The issue doesn't need to be divisive
at all. Some scientists believe that both accounts of creation--the
seven-day creation account and the elongated evolutionary account--could
be "correct." Scientifically, it is known that the faster a moving
body moves, the slower time moves. For example, clocks on orbiting
satellites run a bit slower than those on earth because the satellites
are orbiting at 17,000 mph. A seven light-year journey from earth
to Alpha Centauri and back would be a fourteen-year trip in all.
During the fourteen-year trip, earth would have aged one hundred
and fifty years! Time is now known to vary in relationship to speed.
Add to this, the "Big Bang" theory of creation, with its premise
of an unimaginably rapid expansion of matter. Might a given set
point--say "earth"-- not experience a much shorter length of time?
Possibly, according to one scientist, seven days in length? bd
Is Jesus Christ the Only Way of Salvation?
"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"--Jesus. Was Jesus intention
to polarize? Was the central claim of Jesus that he is the only
way, the only truth and the only life? It seems that there is a
"Yes" and a "No" to the question. Possibly, the following might
Jesus is more a "nature" than a "name." Jesus was not insisting
that all believe on his "name" phonetically, but rather, that all
would believe in the essential good nature of God. That "good nature"
is inclusive and never exclusive. Jesus was not insisting that people
believe a lot of hard to believe things about himself; rather, he
was encouraging everyone to love, believe and embrace the various
good character attributes of God.
The apostle Paul spoke of "Gentiles" who knew nothing about Christianity
and Christ, but were relating implicitly to Jesus "by nature", spirit
and attitude (Romans 2:14). Jesus himself also seemed to validate
this concept. His disciples encountered other spiritual people who,
by nature, were doing a valid spiritual work and yet not a part
of the "in" group. They became jealous and territorial, ran to Jesus
to "tattle" on one of these: "Teacher, we saw someone who does not
follow us casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him because
he does not follow us."
But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle
in my name can soon afterward speak evil of me. For he who is not
against us is on our side. For whoever gives you a cup of cold water
to drink in my name (nature), because you belong to Christ, assuredly,
I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward" (Mark 9:38-41).
Many today, not knowing or "accepting" the "name" of Jesus, are
none the less bearing witness to his nature as they pursue the good
works of loving God and serving others. There are many paths up
the mountain, but the view on top is the same-AA saying.
What is the Priority? Riches of the World? Or
Maintaining a "Poverty of Spirit"?
"We have grown literally afraid of being poor. We despise anyone
who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life.
If he does not join the general scramble, and pant with the money-making
street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition. We have
lost the power of imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty
could have meant-the liberation from material attachments, the unbribed
soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what we are
or do, and not by what we have; the right to fling away our life
at any moment irresponsibly, the more athletic trim, in short, the
moral fighting shape.
"The thing in which I am blessed is my poverty. If I know I have
no strength of will, no nobility of disposition, then, says Jesus,
'blessed are you,' because it is through that poverty that I enter
into the kingdom of heaven. I cannot enter the kingdom of heaven
as a good man or woman; I can only enter the kingdom of heaven as
a complete pauper" (From Oswald Chambers, Christian Disciplines
II, and The Love of God).
What is the Spirit of Antichrist?
"Every spirit that dissolves Jesus by analysis is antichrist. What
is the spirit that dissolves him? My claim to my right to myself
does it. Is Jesus Christ "boss" or am I? God's order is that He
is to be absolute sovereign over me, and I am to be absolute sovereign
over everything that is not God, and sin is the switch off, for
the time being, that makes me my own "boss" and consequently "boss"
of nothing else. I only gain the absolute control God intended me
to have when I am brought back into perfect union with God. If I
want to know what the human race will be like on the basis of redemption,
I shall find it mirrored in Jesus Christ, a perfect oneness between
God and man, with no gap. In the meantime there is a gap. Sin, suffering,
and the Book of God all bring a man to this realization, that there
is something wrong at the basis of life, and that it cannot be put
right by reason. If we make rationalism the basis of things, we
shall find some great big tragedy will spit up and knock our theories
to the winds…Before we seal up our mind on any of these matters,
Jesus Christ says, "Believe also in Me" (Oswald Chambers, The Shadow
of an Agony").
"The spirit of Antichrist is 'absolute moral perfection'"
What is the Nature of God?
"Who is God? I have never seen God, or spoken to Him. An omnipresence,
omniscient, omnipotent Being does not amount to anything to me.
He is an abstract finding of a man's intellect. Can God take on
hands and feet and man's ways of doing things, and manifest Himself
on the plane on which we live? The Bible says that that is what
God did do. Jesus Christ lived a human life on this earth, and He
exhibited a disposition not yours and not mine" (Oswald Chambers,
The Shade of His Hand).
What is the "Call" of God?
When we speak of the call of God, we are apt to forget the most
important feature, namely, the nature of the one who calls. There
is the call of the sea, the call of the mountains, the call of the
great ice barriers, but these calls are only heard by the few. The
call is the expression of the nature from which it comes, and we
can only record the call if the same nature is in us. The call of
God is the expression of God's nature, not of our nature. There
are strands of the call of God providentially at work for us which
we recognize and no one else does. It is the threading of God's
voice to us in some particular matter, and it is no use consulting
anyone else about it. We have to keep that profound relationship
between our souls and God (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest).
Is There One Organized Church that has Existed
for Two Thousand Years?
"The history of the West is too enormous, eclectic and brutal
for anyone to claim a line of spiritual development running from
Calvary to the present"--Thomas Cahill The Desire of the Everlasting
More Questions and Answers are on their way!