Disappointed by the ending of the Game of Thrones??

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Last night the HBO series the Game of Thrones came to an end. This morning according to the media, those who watched the show are disappointed about how the show ended. I have never watched a single episode nor truly even understood the plot. Most of what I have heard about the show–its extreme violence, its accepted culture of rape and its dark outlook on life–make it unappealing to watch. This HBO series has been well followed and the books widely read by many in the American Culture. We love stories and we communicate through stories. They are not just informative, but are used to form the the way we see the world.

We live in a day and age where there is a war of who gets to control the cultural meta-narrative (the grand narrative). Whoever controls the meta-narrative controls the culture’s way of seeing what is happening around them. George R. R. Martin, the author of the series, sees the world through a Nihilistic worldview. Nihilism is the rejection of all religious and moral principles in the belief that life is meaningless. So this should not surprise anyone that the story ends with no real conclusion leaving disappointed followers.

Every worldview must answer 4 basic questions:

  1. Why is there something rather than nothing?
  2. What went wrong?
  3. Is there any hope?
  4. How will it all end?

To the Nihilist there is no real hope and no point to anything, so even the end is meaningless.

Albert Mohler on The Briefing today spoke about this topic and said, “There is only one story that can end satisfactorily. There is only one story that can end with absolute justice and absolute righteousness. That is the Biblical narrative of Creation, Fall, Redemption and New Creation. The only satisfying end–the only truly satisfactory end is Christian eschatology as made very clear in Scripture.”

That is why we must teach our children the true meta-narrative found in the Bible because only then will we find true Hope.

As J. R. R. Tolkien once said,

“Darkness will pass, a new day will come, and when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.”

Praying for you,

Pastor Tim

“My son’s actions were informed by people we do not know and ideas we do not hold”

 

This past weekend America saw and heard another attack on a place of worship, by a person who had been taught to hate others. This hatred blossomed into murder when he shot and killed people worshiping in a synagogue. My heart breaks for all the families involved. Then I heard the shooter was a 19-year-old college student and my mind went right to his parents and their hearts toward their son’s actions. This morning I heard that the parents released a statement: “Our son’s actions were informed by people we do not know and ideas we do not hold.” The parents continued, “How our son was attracted to such darkness is a terrifying mystery to us, that we are confident that law enforcement will uncover many details of the path he took to this evil and despicable act.”

Wait a minute, did I hear that right? Your son was influenced by people you do not know? The parents say this is a terrifying mystery! How did these people influence your son? How did they teach your son so much hatred that it gave birth to murder? Were there signs that they missed? Could this happen to my children? All these questions were circling in my head.

So, I began to think about the places or things that influence teens. The first thing that came to mind was the impact of the internet in teen’s lives. Albert Mohler states, “We’re looking at the entire digital world just about every toxic idea and worldview and political theory, just about every sinful form of thought, every conspiracy theory and every lie, can make its way right onto the computer or the smartphone of just about anyone including that young person in your house.” Each day through technology all kinds of hate and truth are pouring into our homes. What are we to do?

The first step is to acknowledge the truth about the advance in communication and taking steps to guard you and your family. The second step is to teach your children to discern truth from a lie. In order to do this as parents, we must first know the truth in order to teach the truth. Here are some quick tips to help:

  1. Parents-study the Scriptures daily and teach them to your children.

  2. Parents-teach your children the attributes of God. Knowing God will help them know themselves.

  3. Parents-know everything your children are doing on the internet.

  4. Parents-your child’s heart is curious, and this curiosity will lead them astray. Ask questions and be listeners of your children.

  5. Parents-talk with your children. Do not be afraid to speak with them if you see something that concerns you.

Remember, if we only teach children to stop hating or start loving without the truth of God’s Word, we are teaching them to be good for goodness sake.

Praying for you.

Pastor Tim

 

Stressed Out? Change your Worldview

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We should all be able to agree with the majority opinion of both secular and biblical historians that we have enough evidence both within and outside of the bible to affirm the historicity of the life, crucifixion, and empty tomb associated with the ministry of Jesus. Additional affirmation of the reality of his life and works includes the fact that many of the apostles who were eyewitnesses of his life and ministry met gruesome deaths proclaiming the reality of the resurrection.

Having this strong evidence supporting the reality of the ministry of Jesus and the claims that he made about himself it is an important to ask the question just how did Jesus recommend we handle the uncertainties, difficulties, and normal stresses that life brings to all of us.

An insightful account from the life of Jesus is found related to us in the book of Mark chapter 4 verses 35-41.

“That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”  Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.  A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.  Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

There are many questions one can ask about this event but let’s just focus on four.

  1. Why were the disciples frightened?
  2. Why did the disciples wake Jesus?
  3. Why did Jesus rebuke the disciples?
  4. What was missing from the disciple’s worldview?

 

  1. The disciples apparently realized that the situation was out of their control. They could not stop the waves or the wind and they observed their boat and lives were in jeopardy. They ascertained that unless some force outside their control interceded, they were indeed in trouble.
  2. Knowing they themselves were helpless to change their situation, they almost certainly remembered that Jesus performed many miracles in their midst and hoped that by waking him perhaps he could do something to help the circumstances.
  3. Now this is the most interesting question. You would think that Jesus would have been glad to have been awakened so that he could save the lives of the men by calming the storm before the boat was swamped. But instead he rebuked the disciples and calls them faithless. Where did Jesus want them to have their faith? It was not in him at that moment because they did awaken him and he rebuked them.
  4. What was missing from the disciple’s worldview was faith in the existence of an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God who was with them at that moment in the storm even when Jesus was sleeping. That realization would have made a profound difference and the lack of faith in that reality for the disciples is what I believe Jesus rebuked.

So what storms are brewing in your life?  Are you stressed out? Are your circumstances weighing you down? Does life seem burdensome?  Perhaps the verse “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God” would helpful to follow. The Christian worldview includes an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God who is not far away but right with us and this is not a hope or a wish but a reality and to say otherwise would make us worthy of rebuke just like the disciples. Jesus knew that his disciples, then and now, needed to understand that God is always available to assist us according to his will and purposes no matter what circumstances come our way.

Let us not be like the disciples during our storms in life and deserve to be rebuked but let us have faith in God through every circumstance in life. This is the kind of worldview that can truly transform your life.

by Karl Yorgey