Q and A / Religion

Bernie from Ft Lauderdale, FL asks...

Does God answer to anyone?

Dear Junebug: How do you explain the existence of GOD relative to the Holocaust where some 6 million Jews and Gypsies plus others were tortured, starved and killed?

Posted in Religion on Sat, Jul 24th 2010

Do you choose to believe He's good?

Dear Bernie:

First, I believe this torture and mass evil presented here actually proves the existence of God. Realizing that these acts are bad shows that we understand there is an evil and there is also a good! So, if mass genocide, rape or whatever horrific evil represents a supreme evil, then there HAS to be something on the other end of the spectrum that represents a supreme good! This seems to prove there is something that is perfect that plays the role of a supreme good, aka God. Now, that answers the question literally, but in doing so, I haven't proven that this supreme good is our Christian God. I will, however, tell you how "Junebug" deals with this age old question of "how can a good God let bad things happen to innocent people, His very own creation?"

See Bernie, I choose to believe He is the good Creator of all things.  That's because I see Him in the orchestra of nature. I see Him in every single DNA molecule, an original each time.  I see Him in the zillions of galaxies flung far and wide across time and space.  I see Him in the proven historical facts of the Bible that man cannot explain nor refute. I see Him in a life that has been drastically changed and transformed; my own.  And perhaps most profoundly, I see Him in the miracle of birth!  You see Bernie; this is called "faith". Faith is believing without seeing.  Jesus told us so.  When  speaking to "doubting Thomas" Jesus said, "blessed is the man who believes yet has not seen" (John 20:29).

While I don't have all the answers to these most difficult questions, my faith in His goodness, the many miracles I've witnessed myself and my own changed life lends all credibility to His inspired Word, the Bible. I do know God gave us the gift of "free will"(thank God we are not robots) and we live in a fallen world (our choice/Adam and Eve in disobedience), hence the Hitler's, Stalin's and Castro's of this world. But because of my faith in Him, I eagerly await my eternal home in Heaven which is free from all suffering.

I will conclude with two questions for you? Would you believe in God, His Son Jesus and the Holy Spirit, if They, the Trinity, came to visit you today face to face; loving, teaching and performing miracles for you? Or would you do like they did in the ancient Bible times when Jesus walked among His people raising the dead, healing the sick and feeding the poor, yet still they chose not to believe?

Truths to ponder...

Junebug

W.B. from Peoria, Illinois asks...

Follow Your Heart?

Dear Junebug: I believe we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. This allows us to condemn others for their "evil" deeds, while seeing our deeds as good, because we meant well. The world says "follow your heart", the Bible says your heart is more deceitful than any other thing and will lie to you. Yet most people justify their actions because their intentions are good, and follow their inner voice guided by their heart. They'll even say this guidance is God leading them. How do so many Christians acknowledge the blatant evil deeds of evil men and women who claim to be lead by God as sin, yet we feed our greed for money, success, affirmation and general fulfillment of the flesh with prayers to God to open doors of what we consider "blessing" for us? Should my first course of action any time I hear "God's voice" be to seek the wisdom of a “multitude of council” to determine whether or not the voice was divine or just mine, or do you believe I can at any point trust my intention and my heart to be pure and decipher God's voice from my own?

Posted in Religion on Tue, Aug 17th 2010

Follow the Shepherd

Dear WB:

I have found that we tend to see ourselves through rose colored glasses and look at others through a magnifying glass. It is imperative that we keep this natural tendency in check. I use three GUIDELINES to help me stay balanced in this area.

GUIDELINES for spiritual maturity: 

1. Be open to criticism. If others in your life do not feel safe in confronting you, then you will stay stagnant and never grow. Growth requires pruning. Pruning is the loving criticism of your friends and family. However, be careful who you allow to "prune" you, for some people have wrong motives. I suspect you already know who these people are so stay far away from their advice. Keep a healthy line of criticism open.

2. Ask yourself HONESTLY what your motive is in what you are doing.  Does it pass through the gate of kindness? Meaning, are your actions sincere and loving regarding the person/situation you are dealing with?

3. Most importantly, do your thoughts and deeds line up with God's Word? Let me give you a clue. If you are not reading His Word daily, then you don't know if your actions are in line with His. Get into the Word and pray. I know you will see yourself with clarity and see others through the lens of forgiveness and mercy.  

When you start using these three "GUIDELINES" regularly, you will be on your way to spiritual maturity. A wise Christian freely admits wrongdoing, and accepts criticism with joy; knowing that he/she is growing into a fully equipped follower of Jesus Christ! 

I trust that if you consistently use the GUIDELINES above, you will most certainly hear from God. He says “my sheep know my voice.”   

Listen using God’s Word,

Junebug      

Bo from Bronx, NY asks...

What Does God Look Like

Dear Junebug: What do you picture when you speak of GOD? One that resembled man? An apparition? Space? A vision? Your inner self? Thanks!

Posted in Religion on Wed, Aug 18th 2010

All of the Above

Dear Bo:

I believe the answer is all of the above, as outlined below:

1. "One that resembles man?"

When God sent His Son, Jesus, He sent Him with flesh and bones, as a man, just like you. John 1:14, found in the new testament of the Bible, says, "And the Word (God's Word) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

2.  "An apparition?"

I believe there is no better place to see Him in spirit form than in the beginning of creation! Genesis 1:2 says, “The earth was without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."

Moving to the New Testament, Romans 8:9-11 says, "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." Clearly we can see He is also Spirit, aka apparition.

3. " Space?"

Again a more literal interpretation is found in Genesis 1:16-18. "Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good." I believe you can deduce, the creator is in all the things He has created! 

4.  "A vision?"

 God spoke many times to His people in visions and in dreams.  i.e., Ezekiel, King David, Job, Paul, Abraham, Peter, and Daniel.  

      "And it shall come to pass afterward

       That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;

       Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

       Your old men shall dream dreams,

       Your young men shall see visions.

       And also on My menservants and on My 

       maidservants

       I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

       And I will show wonders in the heavens

       and in the earth:

       Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

       The sun shall be turned into darkness,

       And the moon into blood,

       Before the coming of the great and awesome

       day of the LORD.

       And it shall come to pass

       That whoever calls on the name of the

       LORD

       Shall be saved" (Joel 2:28-32).

5.  Your inner self?

Bo, just the other day, I was reading in the gospel of Luke 17:21, where Jesus was asked by the Jewish religious leaders where the actual place of the kingdom of God was located, to which He replied, "...For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."  Ironically, I received your question shortly thereafter. So my answer is, yes HE is your inner self in a way; if you have invited Him to be LORD over your life, then He takes up residence within you. As others look at you it will be obvious, for the evidence of Him living in you will be manifested through a drastically changed life. That's why I read the Bible daily so that I can be transformed more into HIS image!  Why not strive for perfection?

And lastly, most of the Scriptures I have given you are from the Old Testament, several of which are from the Torah. I hope the information I have provided will help answer some of your questions. God bless you.  

 Junebug

William from Bend, Oregon asks...

Hell or Not?

Dear Junebug: Recently a renowned coach was being witnessed to by a Pastor. The coach, who grew up in a non-Christian household, was receptive, but stated, “If you are going to tell me that my deceased father, who was a good man, is in hell, then our discussion is over!" The Pastor responded with the standard, “We don’t know all of God’s mysterious ways and God is the only judge .…”, which didn’t satisfy the coach at all. Junebug, is there anything else that could be said to this man to help steer him toward Jesus? 

Posted in Religion on Fri, Jan 21st 2011

The Truth IS...

Dear William:

When I initially heard your question, I was standing in my kitchen overlooking a pristine nature preserve and with all seriousness prayed, “LORD, how in the world can I provide Your truth, Your insights and Your comfort to this dear man who is seeking You, but has reached such an impasse?” I thought of the pastor’s honest answer - that no one knows how God will judge a person. Yet that answer didn’t seem to console nor provide the coach with what he was seeking. As if I were standing directly in the presence of the Lord, the answer became precisely clear to me. Luke 16:19-31 describes how a rich man dies and goes to Hades while Lazarus, a diseased beggar who sat at the rich man’s gate, died too, but was taken by angels and put into Abraham’s bosom. In the rich man’s torment, he begged Lazarus to go to Earth and tell his five brothers about Jesus, Heaven and Hell. Of course, Lazarus could not. The man’s yearning was that his brothers' know Jesus while on Earth. From this Biblical account, I know without question that the coaches’ father would give anything for his son to know the truth about Jesus and come to love Him personally. This I know for the Bible tells me so….

As difficult as this is to digest, it is the truth. There is but one way to eternal life, and that is through Jesus Christ our Lord.  I suggest you have the coach read the above passages from the Bible; for the truth will set him free.

Junebug

Ricky from Franklin, TN asks...

Will We Ever Get It Right?

Dear Junebug: If we love God with all our heart, soul and mind, then why do we do so many things outside His will for us?

Posted in Religion on Sun, Nov 21st 2010

Keep the Scales Balanced

Dear Ricky:

What a daily struggle we ALL endure. For no matter our Christian maturity, our flesh is yet a weak vessel begging for strength and fortitude; all of which comes from God and God alone. In Romans 7:19, the paraphrased words of the apostle Paul, who wrote the majority of the New Testament, states that he (Paul) does what he doesn't want to do and doesn't do what he wants to do. So you and I, my dear, are in good company.

It's a necessary thing that we fight our fleshly desires daily, as this is what dying to the flesh is all about. Dying to our desires, exerting self control, which is a fruit of the Spirit, and living an obedient lifestyle to God is what we are to strive for in order to live out our profession of faith. 

Rick, my question to you is this: If you had a set of the two sided scales of justice and you put God's Word on one side and your life on the other, would your life reflect what you SAY you believe in HIS Word? I was asked this the other day and it made me squirm! How does your life balance out compared to all that the Word testifies? For example, if you believe what Jesus says in Luke 16:19-31 about the rich man who was in torment in Hades and begging the poor man Lazarus, who was in heaven, for just a drop of water, then do you witness with such fervor and urgency as to demonstrate your deepest belief in His Word and Truth? The question certainly should give us pause. 

So with that said, keep questioning, stay focused on HIM and pursue righteous living. When you do mess up keep on keeping on. Don't give up; Paul didn't, even though he struggled intensely as we all do. We are "little while" folks learning and preparing for the "long while" lives we will receive the day we come to life in Heaven.

Excited for that day,

Junebug