NS couples honoured for 50 years of service to the Lord

The Convoy Avenue Church of Christ kicked off their 2017 Gospel Meeting by honouring two couples who have been part of the church here in Halifax for 50 years.  Dennis & Carol Peters and Wayne & Shirley Taylor were acknowledged for “50 years in service to the Lord.”  They have been members of the Convoy Avenue Church since it was established at this site in 1967. 

In his message, pulpit minister David Cariaga described the challenges we face as Christians to serve our unchanging God in a world that is constantly changing.  We are so proud to have examples of such faithfulness in our congregation as the Peters’ and Taylors’.

The Law of Expediency in Marriage

The Law of Expediency in Marriage
Choosing the right partner for life is very important aspect in marriage. One does not just jump in now and tomorrow declares he or she is married to a stranger. Marriage is a lifetime contract where “two becomes one.” They live together in sickness and in health till death do they part. So what is this all about finding the right partner?
For Christians, it is strongly encouraged that Christians marry Christians. When Christians’ desire is to go to heaven, they must find someone who shares with them that dream. They must find someone who lives right and who shares the same Christian life and work for it in life. Bob Todesco says in his article “The fruit of Unity” that has some relation to choosing a family “One of the most foundational scriptures addressing unity is found in Ephesians 1:9-10 “For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will… to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” The importance of this scripture cannot be overestimated since it presents God’s plan from before the foundation of the world. “…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world (Ephesians1:4). Togetherness in worship supports God’s plan; togetherness in mission supports God’s plan. We do not always know exactly what the Lord is doing, but he has revealed his overall plans and purposes to those who want to live for Christ.”

An argument was raised whether this concept is consistent with God. The answer is absolutely yes! James 4:4 says; “
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Gill’s Exposition to the Bible says; “In a figurative and metaphorical sense: as he is an adulterer that removes his affections from his own wife;… and she is an adulteress that loves not her husband, but places her love upon another… who, instead of loving God, whom they ought to love with all their hearts and souls, set their affections upon the world, and the things of it.” 
Apostle Paul said What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?(2 Corinthians 6:15) It is wrong for believers to join with the wicked and profane. True elders will caution their beloved children in the gospel, not to be unequally yoked. The fatal effects of neglecting Scripture precepts as to marriages clearly appear. Instead of a help meet, the union brings a snare (Matthew Henry Commentary).
What evil can we say when we see Christians are marrying Christians? None! Is it expedient for Christians to marry Christians? The answer Biblically is absolutely! It is expedient! The word expedient means “tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances. It also means conducive to advantage or interest, as opposed to right. (dictionary.com)
marriage

5 reasons our evangelism isn’t working

Sharing the Good News to people has always been the objective of the church to obey Christ’s command to preach. Though the only idea we need to dwell on is “preach” but we have to make converts for Church to grow.

Many among us are very concerned of the truth that we share and I do not question the idea of sharing the TRUTH. It has caused debates and arguments for standing on what is right which I never directly say to be wrong. However, we are in the business of reaching out to people to teach and lead them to the Kingdom.

We have to realize that we have to do all we can to bring one or many souls to the acceptance of the truth. After bringing them to Christ, like a new born babe, we have to guide and teach them as they desire the sincere milk of faith (1Peter 2:2).

These are the common tips often forgotten by those sharing God’s word:

  1. Lack of HospitalityRelationship are not built with trust and closeness. How can you be concern of the spiritual needs and not be hospitable?  Often, the attitude of the one preaching is being studied by prospects.  When we show a good heart, eventually we may be more effective in sharing the truth.1 Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (ESV) and Matthew 12:35 “The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.”(ESV)
  2. Lack of SensitivityChristians should learn how to listen and read people – their weaknesses and strengths. When we are not sensitive to their life’s problem and are not willing to even offer any help, how can we convince them that we cared for their souls? Many are so impatient and not willing to extend what is necessary to be able to help and make him a brother or sister. 2 John 1:8 says; “Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.” Romans12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (ESV)
  3. Neglecting regular conversation.
    Talking and spending good time, eating and coffee drinking seems to be so hard as we always count time so “precious.” We can watch games for hours and hours and yet we have not developed the ability to carry a conversation to the one we want to bring to our Lord. Proverbs 12:25 (ESV) “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
  4. Not willing to spend
    If bringing the word to the lost is sacrificial, it means we are willing to extend in our capacity what we have to build. We are building a Kingdom of God. Use money, time, mind and effort to advance the kingdom of God. Luke 6:38; “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Proverbs 28:22 “A stingy man hastens after wealth and does not know that poverty will come upon him.”
  5. Too proud
    If being denied hurts our pride, it is not us – it is our Lord’s. Remember, our Lord was denied, mocked and even people plotted to kill Him. This business is not ours but of the Lord. If we pursue and be aggressive, we still have not lost anything. Jesus said; ““Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Matthew 5:11. James 4:6 says; “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (ESV)

David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue Church of Christ in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Happy Mature Group in Coffee House

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” Prov 12:25

 

Are we on the right path?

We have come to a generation filled with “high and advance technology” yet morally, our generation is filled with confusion. We do not know whom to believe as the devil is also working hard to lead people astray. Imagine, the coming of different Philosophies, concepts and values made our world so filled up with so many different ways and even Religions and gods. It has deviated our minds into different ways and many say “one way is as good as another.”  In marriage, it used to be sacred and the “living together” of two persons is based on vows and blessings from God. These vows were made with commitments in the presence of witnesses and of God.

Today, the sacredness of marriage is tarnished by many people who ignore God’s will. We often see men and women living together, changing partners often as they change their clothes. Children were raised without complete parents, and if with parents, they are not even legally married. If married, they change partners easily and children are often times not given consideration to have and see a life where family is at peace happy and intact. Oftentimes, I read articles about divorce and the pains of the family and children. Since divorce is easy to acquire, people have the convenience of cutting off the relationship to escape from “little problems” and hope to find peace with another person of his/her choice.  Worst than these, we see man and man – woman and another woman living together. WHAT A GENERATION!

Then we hear, WHO ARE YOU TO JUDGE US? It seems like there is no more right and wrong in all aspect. It means “their happiness” is the most important and as long as it is not hurting anyone “Physically,” they can go on in their way. Is the world in the right path? Let’s start with the “Church in the Bible” as we seek for the truth.

Our Lord Jesus established a church. He died and bought it with a price. He said; “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it ” (KJV) Matthew 16:18. There is only ONE TRUE CHURCH and that is what Jesus built! Satan introduced many churches for man to follow. These are not the church in the Bible. If the Bible is “God breathe,” this same Bible should be the bases for man to build a church. Stephane Maillet of Moncton NB posted in the Facebook his comment regarding religious division- creating so many churches saying “With love and respect I humbly ask all who care to seek and understand eternal truth (Jn. 8:32). Within the pages of God breathed New Testament law (from Matthew to Revelation), do we read of Jesus Christ our risen King (Lk. 24:2-3), … building a Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Wesleyan, Gospel Hall, Presbyterian, Mennonite, 7th day adventist, Salvation army, Community Church, House of Nazareth, and or any other of the thousands of denominations out there, is Christ divided? If so, please provide BCV to prove your case. If not, then why remain loyal to something God never built?”

Religious conflicts, division, disagreement or confusions were made by Satan to deceive man. 1 Peter 5;8 says; “Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour (ASV). Division is NOT caused by God himself. It is caused by people who ignored God’s word and are not afraid to mislead people. Tweeting with God article says; “It is therefore very painful to see that Christians are so divided. The main causes of this division in various churches and communities are the stubbornness, prejudices and sinfulness of the people themselves.”

Check the Bible if your church is found in the scriptures?
Check its teachings if its basically Biblical.

Open your eyes and see! Matthew 15:14 says; they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

If you have difficulty in checking and you wanted to be guided, please give us a call or contact our website so we can help you and respond to your needs.  We are also open for Bible studies anytime at your home or at Convoy Church of Christ building at Convoy Avenue, Halifax NS, telephone number 904-443-9628 or call us at (902) 410-8496. We at Convoy Avenue Church of Christ would be so willing to assist you in your search for the truth.

Brother David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue Church of Christ in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

wooden signpost near a path

Are you on the right path?

Practical Atheist

Our world today has an influx of people who do not want regulations, control, policies or directives and even religion. One lady hinted that she did not grow in an environment where rules are observed and punishment is imposed upon violation of rules. Meaning, it seems that rules have never been presented since childhood and the strong opposition for punishment has been so clear. Now, what kind of society are we having with this kind of attitude of the mind? It seems to me that there is an absence of ACCOUNTABILITY. Since there are no restrictions, there are no rights and wrongs – definitely there is no STANDARD to be followed. That makes one to think that he is free to do anything – harmful or not as there are no rules to signify the acts as good or bad. The concept of Atheism can easily come in as they do not want to be subjected and accountable to the rules of God.

Atheists do not believe in the existence of God. They strongly state by definition that there is no God. Though their voice is strong, their reason to be an atheist is so weak to prove that God does not exist.

Ron Rhodes in his argument against atheism says:

“The burden lies on you to prove that evil actually exists in the world. So let me ask you: by what criteria do you judge some things to be evil and other things not to be evil? By what process do you distinguish evil from good?” The atheist may hedge and say: “I just know that some things are evil. It’s obvious.” Don’t accept such an evasive answer. Insist that he tell you how he knows that some things are evil. He must be forced to face the illogical foundation of his belief system.” (Strategies for Dialoguing with Atheists).

From a rabid Atheist to a more moderate called “Practical Atheist or Christian Atheist” both sounded the same but a little difference can be clearly seen in them.

George Smith says: A “Practical atheist, or Christian atheist, is defined as someone who believes in God but lives as if He doesn’t exist.”

Another definition says; “Christian atheism, also called non-realistic Christianity, is a bizarre form of quasi-spiritual philosophy that keeps the forms and practices of Christianity while denying God’s existence. Christian atheists attempt to “de-mythologize” Christianity, doing away with all belief in the supernatural yet maintaining liturgies and corporate worship experiences as meeting humanity’s need for socialization and the communication of lofty ideas.” (Gotquestion.org)

To sum it up, a Practical Atheist believes in God but does not do God’s will. He may believe in God’s existence but does not give importance to God’s commandments. He claims that he belongs to a religious group and goes to the church occasionally but his heart and mind is so far away from God’s teaching. He may profess his religion and yet does not have any Biblical verses to support his claim. They are likened unto a car without a gas. What is the use of a car to travel and transport people when it cannot start and run because it has no gas? What is the use of a light bulb when there is no electricity? Same in religion, what use is your faith when you do not do God’s will?

Our Lord Jesus says, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matthew 15:8)

James also said the same thing; 14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your[a] works, and I will show you my faith by my[b]works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! (James 2:14-19 NKJV).

It is my aim to state that a mere belief or faith is not enough to please God. Non- acceptance of God’s existence and non-obedience of God’s commands do not make any difference. What this author is trying to say is that – Many in religious groups today tried to justify that “all is alright with God” even to the point of someone who do not know God or who deliberately ignore God – CAN STILL BE SAVED. Can you imagine that? He is saying that a car can still be a car and run even without gas or a lightbulb can still give light even without electricity! Listen to the interesting statement of a Pope.

Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ has good news for atheists according to Catholic online. He said “Atheists can do good and go to heaven too. Jesus died and was raised for them (atheist) as well. His redemptive embrace was for all, not just a chosen few…… The Church wants all men and women to be saved. (Catholic Online) What the “Catholic Online’s” article is stressing that one who considers God foreign or not at all existing, can be saved by God. What a dream! It says, regardless of your religion – may it be christian, pagan, muslim, hindu, Buddhist, or whatever – can all be saved! There is no more church in the Bible – and Christ dying for His church is unnecessary, no more Right and Wrong. No more Word to follow. Wow! This is the same or worst than the Devil’s teaching taught long time ago in the garden of Eden! THIS IS A CLEAR LIE and OPPOSITE TEACHING FROM GOD. THIS IS NOT WHAT THE WORD OF GOD SAYS! This is not TRUE at all. It is interesting that the devil believes in God and yet the Pope claims that one who does not believe in God will be saved by God. Harold Vaughan says; “The Devil is a practical atheist. He knows there is a God, but operates as if there were no God.  He believes in God, but he does not love God. The Devil knows he will give account to God, yet he persists in his rebellion. He acknowledges God, but does not glorify God.” Stephen Charnock said, “The devil knows there is a God, but acts like an atheist; and so do his children.”

What did the truth say? There is no other salvation in any other name except in Christ Jesus –Acts 4:12. Hebrews 5:9 says; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. Additional verses goes back to Jesus as man’s only source of Salvation. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” ( John 11:25-26) “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also.” ( John 14:6-7) “And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.” ( Matthew 19:29) “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” ( John 5:24) There can be no other source of TRUE guidelines for man to follow except the WORD of God for him to be saved. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

David Cariaga is the pulpit minister of Convoy Avenue Church of Christ, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Street

Let’s Allow God to Rule our Lives!

By David Cariaga

An article by Larry Tomczak entitled Is America destined to become like Sodom and Gomorrah? says, “observing the president of United State States kicking off the official celebration of ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Month,’ was introduced by two 9-year-old girls celebrating their lesbian mothers. Flanked by a smiling Vice President Biden, President Obama then called out individuals with gay backgrounds amid applause. Finally, he reaffirmed his commitment to same-sex marriage and gay initiatives in America. This coincides with his administration releasing directives so that individuals will be forced to affirm homosexuality in the federal government. Remaining silent will be seen as discrimination and put their jobs in jeopardy.

The world today seems to be no different from the time of Sodom and Gomorrah. I saw and read in the newspaper, some people asking to be given recognition and they wanted to be treated like anyone else – “equally”. If they (Gays and Lesbians) are right and we who are against it are wrong,  the world is either confused or has distorted God’s word by doing their own desire.

If we believe and respect God, why are man’s opinions heavier than the word of God?

By what standard do we seek to live and conduct our lives? Whose standard is it?
Who legislated its rules? By what authority is their standard established?
Notice what Leviticus 18:22 says, You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination”; Leviticus 20:13: If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.” And also “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes Proverbs 12:15.(NASB)

So now with these Biblical verses, why will we push our human opinion to justify homosexuality and say it is OKAY with God?  We cannot deny the fact that this behavior is against God’s teaching – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” And Romans 1:26-27(New International Version-NIV) “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

If it is an abomination to God’s will even in the Old Testament, this act stands on par with prostitution, adultery, uncleanness, lying, murder, idolatry and any other sins against God. They charged those against their acts as “harsh” and “inhuman”, where they too deserved to be loved and respected. There is no question about that. I can love a person, and God without a doubt loves mankind more, but these acts (behavior/mentality) are what God hates.  Meaning, God can love us so much but not our “unlawful acts.” Not all happiness of man is acceptable to God.  Adultery, stealing and many others make people (who do this) happy.  This is contrary to God’s teaching!  This is what people need to know.

The scripture says, For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart Hebrews 4:12.  Gays and Lesbians may get mad at those who speak against their practices, but the Lord’s teaching is their real enemy, and not us Christians merely reminding people to follow what God wants us to do.  They get insulted.  God has the authority to remind anyone.  They think it is an intrusion to their life.  God needs to get in to their lives to make them realize that they must change!  Build a world with high Moral Standards.  Build a world where God’s word is respected and obeyed.

Let’s allow God to rule us, not us people distorting His rule for us to follow!

David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue Church of Christ, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Corinthians 13

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”  (Hebrews 12:1-2a, NIV)

CONFLICTS IN THE CHURCH

 Conflicts in the Church
by David Cariaga

It is so nice to be in an organization especially when the common goals and objectives are so clear and we join hand in hand together to achieve those goals. When we know the church is toward obeying God’s command, the work, sacrifices and joy of being part of the church is so great. But there can be no perfect organization as we are aware that organization is composed of imperfect people. Conflict is a common thing to experience as the years go by. We rub elbows with others and sometimes causes “friction” not even considering  as we easily forget that we came from different families that created us to have different personalities. There can always have small or big conflicts and all of these can never be avoided. However, there are ways to determine the causes of conflict and with a heart willing to improve and easy to forgive, conflicts are “nothing” and so easy to overcome.

Stephen J. Cole says, “If we want true and lasting peace in our relationships, then we need to resolve conflicts God’s way. His way for resolving conflicts is not to give surface techniques that achieve outward peace. Rather, God goes for the heart – primarily our heart relationship with Him. When our ways please Him, then we have a foundation for resolving conflicts with others.” (Bible.Org: James- Lesson 16 Resolving Conflicts God’s way)

The attitude of indifference, pride and selfishness are usual causes of conflicts. I remember long time ago my father who is a preacher pioneered a congregation and  organized men to help build the church and was just later divided because of pure envy. Envy on the part of the person who cannot see the effort being made and wanted to destroy the entire brotherhood. I know that “Envy is so disastrous to man.” So, one day, my father just walked away with heavy heart and left the church to start another work than fighting it out to divide and destroy the Lord’s church. Not so long years have passed, my father’s work flourished and all the brethren who did not join him came later and peacefully joined to see the work of the Lord grow. I saw that there was willingness and forgiving spirit among each other to continue the cause of Christ except for the envious man who never repented.

The Bible says, “Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:5-10)

God fearing and loving churches resolve conflict with minimal damage to durable relationships. But belligerent congregations allow conflicts to aggravate and magnify. They never search for resolution and often add new conflicts to their existing problems. But the “trying hard-Christians” settle all conflicts, with an open heart to submit to God. So, we have an open space in our heart to accept forgiveness and willingness to forgive. We sincerely obey our Lord when we go against the devil and be remorseful of our mistakes.

I strongly agree with James D. Wilkens in his short article saying,“The powerful aspect of prayer must also be constantly interlaced with all conflict management procedures. Prayer is more powerful than all the management skills put together. Not only will prayer empower and help the leader go forth with a positive attitude about managing church conflict, but it will enable the facilitator to determine what the end result should be.Wise leaders recognize that Christians need not destroy the church and each other. They find ways to manage conflict. They use the power of prayer along with God-given skills to accomplish it.” (Managing Conflict in a smaller Church)

Brethren, when we solve our problems peacefully, it brings unity and brings positive impact to all and to the community around us. Healing is so wonderful and we hope we can learn from the past conflicts. We become prayerful, stronger and better in dealing with problems especially when “we focus our minds above.” Look, we are children of God and our God is a God of peace and harmony (1 Corinthians 14:33).

David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue Church of Christ, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Conflict Management

“The attitudes of indifference, pride and selfishness are the usual causes of conflict.”

 

The Bundle of Inconsistencies in Atheism

BUNDLE OF INCONSISTENCIES IN ATHEISM

by David Cariaga 

An atheist is “a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods” (Merriam-Webster)

“Many people are atheists because of the way they were brought up or educated, or because they have simply adopted the beliefs of the culture in which they grew up. So someone raised in Communist China is likely to have no belief in God because the education system and culture make being an atheist the natural thing to do. Other people are atheists because they just feel that atheism is right.” BBC Religions 

In atheism, there is no standards, no rule, no law and salvation. We are no better than our pets and any animal. We exist and when we die, we are nothing. No soul, spirit and definitely NO HEAVEN! 

Atheists claim that there is no evidence for the supernatural.

As a Rebuttal: It is the fallacy of “begging the question” to limit the definition of “evidence” to the purely natural, and then use that definition to deny any evidence exists for the supernatural. It is actually a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, if you calibrate a thermometer to measure in the range of zero to 50 degrees, you can’t use it as evidence that nothing ever gets below zero or above 50.

So in order for atheists to prove their assertion that there is no evidence for the supernatural, they would have to devise a way to both affirm and falsify (disprove) the claim. And as one of their own famously said, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. So since a purely naturalist philosophy can never observe the supernatural, it cannot be used to disprove it. Just as the negative assertion “there is no God” cannot be either proved or falsified, neither can the assertion “there is no evidence for the supernatural”. (2017 Words of a Feather)

Ex-atheist, Dr Carl Wieland, Managing director of Creation Ministries International is right when he says, to believe the Bible was not to commit intellectual suicide, but was the logical and consistent position to adopt.” But to an atheist, he has no respect for those Christians who were not willing to defend the Bible’s history, rather saying that “God used evolution” and the like. “The argument is not, and never has been, about ‘the facts’ relating to origins”, Dr Wieland said. “Rather it is all about how the facts are interpreted. Atheists use a framework that begins by rejecting God and His Word. Although they present themselves as rationalists and free thinkers, they are in fact bound by their biases.”

Romans 1:20-22(NIV) aptly sums it up:

20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.22  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.

Our belief in God’s existence is in harmony with history, man’s mental and moral nature, as well as the nature of the universe. It’s the most logical and feasible world view there is. Even if there are doubts, the evidence for the proposition is better than the evidence against it. Atheism solves no problems and answers no questions, but God’s existence fits the facts of Scripture, knowledge and science. In some way, a man discovers himself when he discovers God, and he discovers in God something identical within himself. On the other hand, Atheism is unbelievable. It tells a lie and asks us to believe the unbelievable and tells us it’s true. If we start to discuss truth, it tells us nothing is true, nothing can be known. Confused as I am with their stand, I would like to take Dr. Jason Lisle when he says, “Because an atheist does believe in God, but does not believe that he believes in God , he is simply a walking bundle of inconsistencies.

The most wonderful and greatest thing about God, is that He showed how much He loved us, and that He was willing to give His Son to suffer to save us,so that we can have the hope of eternal life. From the time of creation, the Bible spoke about Jesus with the Father, and His coming to earth was predicted many times in Old Testament prophecy. He came to live with us. His crucifixion, resurrection and ascension are historical facts, and were witnessed by hundreds of people. Jesus is not an imagination of a fairy tale. He is our Saviour, the Son of God who taught us the way to heaven.

David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue Church of Christ in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Truth Road Sign

The search for truth takes people to many different places.  Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

 

LOVE AND MATURITY AS TRUE CHILDREN OF GOD

By David Cariaga

One of the problems in Christianity today is “true AGAPE – Love among Christians.” Why do we so often fail to love? Because, like the Pharisees, we often do not get what we want and, to get our wants met, we act out of self-protective measures in very unloving ways, or our overt acts of love are really acts of hypocritical self love. We build walls around ourselves for protection, but these walls become hindrances to our ability to love. Jesus said; “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” John 13:34 (ASV). Matthew Henry Commentary says; “Men in general notice any of Christ’s words rather than these. By this it appears, that if the followers of Christ do not show love one to another, they give cause to suspect their sincerity.”

This way, we can say a person has not matured when he does not know how to love. Other problems that we see is that the person has so many suspicion, anger, selfishness making evident his or her dislikes and likes, easy to judge or prejudice to any race, color, education or nationality of origin.

We come to question, who then is superior and by what category can we say someone is good and not good? What gives us the right to be judgmental to others? Considering we ourselves are not perfect like anyone else. If this is a wrong habit or attitude to anyone, we Christians should put a stop on this attitude and grow to be mature. Destroy the walls that hinders our ability to love others. We cannot grow without love nor be united when we build walls around us. Mark 12:28-33 evidently show the two great commandments and the many commands to love one another. This is the clear mark of maturity. A mature man or woman will be one who loves and cultivate affection across differences. But consider what Spurgeon says and notice the intensity of hate and love:

“Where the Spirit of God is there must be love, and if I have once known and recognized any man to be my brother in Christ Jesus, the love of Christ constraineth me no more to think of him as a stranger or foreigner, but a fellow citizen with the saints. Now I hate High Churchism as my soul hates Satan; but I love George Herbert, although George Herbert is a desperately High Churchman. I hate his High Churchism, but I love George Herbert from my very soul, and I have a warm corner in my heart for every man who is like him. Let me find a man who loves my Lord Jesus Christ as George Herbert did and I do not ask myself whether I shall love him or not; there is no room for question, for I cannot help myself; unless I can leave off loving Jesus Christ, I cannot cease loving those who love him.” (The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. XII, 6)

Brother David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue church of Christ, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

people in the shape of  church.

The church is not a building.  It’s made up of people.

Christianity is NOT without LOVE

By David Cariaga

I recently wrote on Love and Maturity as true Children of God. I wanted to write more on this issue as I see people worshipping God yet cannot show their Love toward others or in the other way I heard people confess their love on others yet do not truly believe and serve God. Which is which? Where do we Christians belong?

Now, I would like to entertain and dwell on the sayings that I read that says “if you cannot love people (with their mistakes and imperfection or race and nationality), you cannot love God.” Loving people and the willingness to overlook at their weaknesses is what we have to focus on. Who among us people are perfect before we can start loving? Can’t we not accept the idea that all are in a position of struggling and has each own weaknesses? Can’t we not just be an encouragement to others so the word of God can be everyone’s guide to make our lives right? If “AGAPE” love is unconditional love, it is NOT based on emotion at all. This is a decision we make to love another person whether they love us back or not – it means that “we Christians” must love somebody even if he is your enemy. JK Rowling said exactly what we needed to know to show the true love in us when he said, “if you want to know what a man’s like, take a look at how he treats his inferiors, not equals.”

Our common concept is that we can only love those who flatter our ego directly or indirectly – meaning, we simply focus on the extension of our “self love.” Loving the rest of the humanity is a bit “so” difficult because it requires getting over our love for our own self. In other words, it means self sacrifice which is so obviously difficult to perform. Allow me to be frank Brethren, your worship, time and effort in coming to church are all waste if you cannot LOVE your fellow Christian or the Humanity as a whole. Yes, I agree that we do not like “worldly works” that the world is doing but loving your brother and sister or anyone is a command. All of us are going to have certain individuals even within the Church – that we have to struggle to love. Yet the Bible is very clear “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” 1 John 4:7 (NIV). Jesus himself commanded us to love “agape” others, not because they share the same thoughts with you, not because they are rich, or have the same race or nationality but because it is a COMMAND TO LOVE “Agape” EACH OTHER as followers of Christ.

The plain simple message of this article is to encourage everyone to be good, compassionate, caring and concern to the people around us especially that we are God’s followers. Jesus words fit exactly as mentioned in Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (KJV) Galatians 6:10 says, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” (NIV)

Brother David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue Church of Christ in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

refugees