Welcome to the new and updated Mt Barker Presbyterian Church website. Writing here is a way of communicating to many. I hope it is at least once per week. It does gives opportunity to consider some matters that the church and the pastor of a growing church face today. Christian or unbeliever, member or outsider as you seek the truth I pray these words will be helpful to you.
Does it not seem obvious to you? Both the war on terror by various nations and people and the evil desires of ISIS supporters cannot win or overcome the other!
No-one is really going to get the upper hand and we all should weep over the bloodshed, killing of innocent people and the deep scars it will leave on people who are raped, persecuted, dispossessed, and made refugees. The hatred along with the defensive behaviour by governments and communities against this hatred leads to a fight with billions of dollars wasted and a war that will be difficult for either side to ever disengage from and bring about a change of heart in people. If we thought that the evil of people smoking and causing themselves harm was difficult to combat then the evil of hatred that goes back to Abraham and Sarah and Hagar seems far worse. So is there any solution? Of course there is one. The ideology and world view of the Muslim is centred on a false view of God. If they would gain a true understanding of God and His plans then truly - hate would turn to love and war would turn to peace.
Last Sunday we were looking at the beginning of John's Gospel and in particular verse 14. I encouraged the congregation to help others improve their view of Christmas that is simply a time of getting together with family, a break from work and for doing nice things like giving presents to family and friends. All good things to do but many don't accept there is a God or they don't know about Him from the Scriptures - both Old and New Testament. Yet most, who are not committed to follow Jesus, recognize what Christmas is essentially about - celebrating the coming of Christ - or God's annointed - the Son of God, co-equal with the Father who created and sustains the world. The incredible truth that infinite became finite, eternity entered time, the invisible God became visible as one of us is a fact. No credible historian will deny the fact of Jesus being a real person in the history of the world. Yet many walk and talk at Christmas time as if He was a made up story. God revealed Himself in a way - not just through the prophets or the fact of an amazing creation - a world of complexity and order. God revealed himself in a person named Jesus. He is the perfect teacher - to teach us about God, the perfect example as a human being - to show us how to live and also the perfect sacrifice to make a person free from guilt and wrongs against God and others. He is the answer to wars and hatred. He is the the one and only answer to what is an alternative world view of life for Muslims and humanists and evolutionists.
In verse 5 of John 1, the statement is made that the light (God and His truth) shines and the darkness (evil and lies concerning God) cannot overcome it. I hope you can see this. The darkness is not going to overcome light. If you cannot then I suggest that you please read John's Gospel. And today more than ever I am hoping that Christians everywhere will challenge people when they say 'Happy Christmas' to respond with 'Yes and may you also celebrate Christ'.