Thursday, January 14, 2010

Does God Really Exist?

Whether it is a family member, co-worker or friend, everybody knows someone who is either agnostic or athiest. I can appreciate those who are skeptical. As a pharmacist, I have to guard against and be leary of false claims about the benefit of drugs from Over-The-Counter drug manufacturers. I was also born in the "Show-Me" state of Missouri--so just "Show-Me."

The real stumbling block on issues of faith is that man has a finite ability to comprehend infinite things. God is infinite and God is reality.

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We can all agree that Albert Einstein was a genius and one of the greatest minds of the 20th Century.

I remember a pastor who lived across the street from me long ago that seemed concerned when I told him that I was going to college and taking science courses for pharmacy school. I think he was worried that I would discount God in favor of science.

But just like Einstein, seeing the order in the Periodic Table, studying physics, seeing how amazing the human body works in harmony all the way down to the Krebs Cycle...the more I delved deeper and deeper into science, the more I knew there had to be a God. Science confirmed my belief in God because you can see the brilliant architect behind it all.

Science and religion do mix. As a Catholic, the Dan Browns of the world negatively and erroneously try to protray the Catholic Church out to be anti-science. Do you all remember hearing about the Big Bang Theory in high school science class? Did you realize that the "Big Bang Theory" (origin of the universe) was formulated by a Belgian Catholic priest?

Yes, Monsignor Georges LemaƮtre. Click HERE to read about it.

Einstein believed in God but he didn't believe in a personal God. My reasoning is that his parents were Jewish. He did not believe that Christ was the son of God. Our "personal God" is Christ. And Christ himself says that you cannot know the Father except through the son:

  • John 14:6-7: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

So why does God allow bad things to happen in the world?

Why does He allow evil?

Many athiests and agnostics always raise this question. And it is good question. It has made me think at times. But once again, we have a finite ability to understand an infinite God. We define our life too much on the seen and on THIS world--without knowledge of the greater world beyond called heaven.

As Father John Corapi says, just take a look at The Cross if you want the real answer for why God would allow bad things to happen. The Cross represents the greatest evil (the created kill the creator) and the greatest good (Christ willingly dies for our sins).

So in summary, why does God allows bad things to happen? Simple: To bring about a greater good.

Christ came into the world to turn it upside down. He brought a New Covenant of Love and Forgiveness to replace the "Eye-for-an-Eye" Old Covenant. Jesus Christ willingly laid down his life for all of us for the forgiveness of sins. He did so in a humiliating and brutal fashion. He experienced pain and suffering. Why? So that He could truly understand the pain and suffering we all go through in life.

The next good question that even Christians raise at some point in our lives: Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? Why does God allow suffering? Because He is a loving God. God knows us better than ourselves and He knows what we need. God tests our faith from time to time. He tested Job, didn't he?

  • Hebrews 12:6: because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.
  • Hebrews 12:10: Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.
  • Luke 24:26: "Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"

What is the danger of not believing in Christ or making things of this world your god?

John 8:21-24: Once more Jesus said to them, "I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come." This made the Jews ask, "Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, 'Where I go, you cannot come'?" But he continued, "You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."


Faith is something that even Christians struggle with at times. But least we forget this these scriptures:

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  • Galatians 5:14: The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Peace be with you,

© Michael J. Cox

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Gone Fishing

I started this blog almost a year ago. According to my blog stats, I get over 1200+ page views per month and have over 250+ regular readers. My July 2009 blog titled The Mystery of The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved had a record high 437 page views in a day. Some of the readers are family and friends but many of the readers are those in CyberWorld that I do not know. Guess what? I love you all.

Ok, what is love and who should we love? Christ said we should love everyone, including those who hate us.

  • Luke 6:32: "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them."
  • Luke 6:27: "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you."

And as a Christian, you will be tested because you will be hated and misunderstood. Christ warned us:

  • Matthew 10:22: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."

And God will test you, He chastises every son he loves:

  • Hebrews 12:6: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son."

Back to the concept of what love is. Is love doing good things for people? Yes, that is a part of it but listen to what Christ says:

  • Luke 6:33: "And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that."

The Ultimate Form of Love

So what is the ultimate form of love? Can we all agree that if you truly love someone, you would want the best and greatest thing for that person? Yes?

Well, the ultimate form of love is when you desire the best and greatest thing for that person. That is: Heaven and Eternal Life.

  • Matthew 13:44: "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."

It is undeniable. It is love in the highest degree. Heaven and Eternal Life are forever. And just like the song says, "Forever is a mighty long time."

And this is why I started this blog: Out of love. A love for you and a love for God. I am a sinner just everybody else but God loves me just as he loves you. God gives each one of us certain talents and one of mine is writing. I have authored one book: Masten Gregory: Totally Fearless. It got a movie option from James Chressanthis and it helped get Gregory into some motorsports Halls of Fame. I could spend my free time writing another book for its monetary reward. But I have all that I need and have the most important thing that brings true happiness: Christ's love and forgiveness.

So I choose to use my talents and some of my free time in helping build Christ's Kingdom on earth by writing these blogs. I don't know if my blogs have made a difference in anyone's life. I get a few e-mails of encouragement from time to time. But if my blogs help one person and get them on the path of God... if they help save one soul, then it is worth any money I could get from putting my talent and time into some other selfish pursuit.

I took Christ literally when he said:

Mark 1:17:

"Come, follow me,"

"and I will make you fishers of men."

You can't be a fisher of men any other way than following Christ. As Christians, we need to be IN the world, not OF the world, and it is our moral obligation to point other lost souls towards the light--not to confirm them in a life of darkness.

  • James 5:19-20: Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

And so we all need to go fishing, being fishers of mankind. Christ tells us why:

  • Matthew 13:47-50: "Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

When the nets get pulled up someday in the future, don't you desire yourself and those you love to be good fish that don't get thrown away?

That is the ultimate form of love, when you desire the best and greatest thing for that person. To be with Christ someday, the greatest example and source of love we have ever known.

  • 1 John 3:16: This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

So go fishing instead of just a wishin'. Because in the end, you and those you love will be one of two things: a good fish or a bad fish. A winner or a loser.

A new song I love. Click HERE

Peace be with you,

© Michael J. Cox