08.24.16

A dog park. A muddy dog park. With never-cleaned port-a-pottys and the only sustenance being grape flavored vodka and sweet potato fries smothered in mustard and mayonnaise. That would be my hell. The smells alone would send me over the edge.

Maybe that sounds like heaven to you. (except the port-a-pottys, who likes port-a-pottys???)

That was our discussion on Monday night. No, not port-a-pottys but Hell. Does Hell look the same for everyone? How does God justify the existence of Hell? Why aren’t second chances offered in Hell? Really tough stuff. And to be honest, we struggled with it all.

But there was one thing we all agreed on. Hell is separation from God.

No one likes to think about Hell, but it’s real. Thankfully God offers us a way out – Jesus. He paid the price for sins that would send us to Hell. All we have to do is seek and follow him. And not only will he keep us from an eternity in Hell, but he gives us eternal life with him. Praise hands all day long!

I hope you will join us next week as we talk about the dark and violent history of the Church. Sure to be a good discussion and hopefully involves less port-a-pottys.

08.18.16

Greetings,

The blog wheel landed on the Adams’ household this week. (and the image above is from the #AdamsAlaskaAdventure2016 to remind you that Winter Is Coming. Photo Cred: Zach Adams)
Monday evening, we continued our study of The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. It has been a great study that asks the hard questions pertaining to faith and our daily walk with Christ. While it is providing some insight on certain biblical conundrums, I, fore one, enjoy the discussion that stems from the questions presented that may not have answers. This Monday Kate led us as we took an in-depth look at the stance that “It’s Offensive to Claim Jesus is the Only Way to God”. The discussion had an Olympic theme that took us all the way to the Brazilian Rain Forest and even included a lengthy talk on the dreaded “p” word…purgatory. Special Shout Out to David and his family recipe of Chicken Parm “that tasted so good“(read in Peyton Manning voice). Join the Meeting Society next Monday night as we tackle the thought that “A Loving God Would Never Torture People in Hell.”
Please join us at our outreach event this Sunday at the Citadel. We are committed to feeding around 300 cadets as they move in on Sunday afternoon. We are going to grill hamburgers and hotdogs along with some ice cold Lemonade from 1pm to 4pm. Several members of the Church feel this is a great cause and have donated funds to purchase the supplies. We will have a tent, table, and grill fired up to serve the Cadets and the Lord.  If you feel led to volunteer or just want to pop your head in let Zach or Jensine know.

8.8.16

 

Last Monday we discussed Objection #4, “God isn’t worthy of worship if He kills innocent children”, from Lee Strobel’s, The Case for Faith.  Only the first portion of the chapter addressed the killing of innocent children, so in my opinion, Strobel should have named the chapter something different, like “Scholar Norman L. Geisler’s guide to interpreting Scripture”  or “How can we believe in God when He makes it impossible to believe in Him with divine events like miracles or contradictions in the bible or torturing and murdering innocent women and children?”
As in all the other chapters, Strobel interviewed a scholar with an expertise in the objection at question.  Norman L. Geisler, at the time of the interview, was president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC.  He has written numerous books and given lectures and debates to defend Christianity against skeptics that challenge the Bible’s authority and question God’s character, much like Strobel attempts to do in this book.
What we learned from Geisler in response to the question of God’s character in the massacres of innocent women and children in the Old Testament, is several things.  God gave these groups of people, like the Amalekites, Canaanites, and the group of men that insulted Elisha, multiple opportunities to repent from their wicked and cruel behavior.  These groups were on a mission to destroy Israel, so putting an end to their anticipated genocide of God’s chosen people was critical to create an environment where the Messiah could come and bring salvation to all of us.  We also learned that most of the women and children would have fled before fighting began, and that the Israelites always abided by a code of conduct that required they make a peace offering before obliterating a particular tribe.  In cases where individuals within these groups repented, they were saved.  Another of Geisler’s points were that children were automatically saved if they died before the age of accountability, and thus they were spared from growing up in a toxic environment of evil people where ultimately they would have suffered eternal damnation had they matured into adulthood.  Another point he made was that each story of massacre or torture had to be taken into context and interpreted through various translations of the bible.  There is scripture in the King James version of the bible that make it seem as though David tortured his enemies, but if the same scripture is read in the New International version, we learn that his enemies weren’t tortured but rather forced into labor.  Whether or not Geisler’s attempts to explain Strobel’s objection were acceptable or not, is of course up to the reader to interpret.
We then went on to discuss prophesies, contradictions, and miracles in the Bible and looked at how these subjects compared to other religions.  Geisler explained his guide to interpreting scripture as comparing the archaeological evidence that proves the stories of the Bible as being physically accurate with the miracles and prophesies that proved multiple times the validity of his prophets’ divine authority.  In response to the skeptic that challenged that God made it impossible to believe in Him, his response was that God has made it obvious on numerous occasions that He is real.  It is up to the individual to be willing to believe.  Hence, it all goes back to free will.  We are all given the choice to accept God’s love and love Him in return, but He will never force us to believe in Him or love Him.
We are looking forward to Kate’s teaching on Objection #5 on Monday, “It’s offensive to claim Jesus is the only way to God.”
Prayer requests/praises:

  • Pregnancies:  The Gerbrachts due in November, Zach and Jensine’s friends, David and Kristin due in February.
  • Empty Nesters:  Jensine’s parents sent their last child, Jana, off to college.
  • Jobs: Kate is awaiting to hear if she will get the job she has always wanted
  • Babies:  Poppy and Huck came to the Meeting Society Monday night. We had a great time playing pass the baby.
  • New classes and ministries:  College Sunday School Class starts 8/21 at 10 am in the Carroll Building. Praise that Karen has offered to help with the Children’s Ministry, prayer that Trinity will have guidance on how to grow and minister to more children in our community.
  • Deaths:  Jensine’s friends Katie and Will lost their baby 23 hours after childbirth. The Gerbrachts’ friend, Kim Buff, lost her battle with leukemia.  Brooke’s friend, Cristina, lost her daughter and is now guardian of her 3 year old grandchild.
  • Birthdays:  Taylor’s birthday was last Monday!

 

Thanks to everyone reading this blog and helping us to pray for the requests listed above.  We pray that all would receive the love they need to share the love of Christ will everyone around them.

-Brooke Gerbracht