Guest Blog – Avengers: Age of Ultron

I love superhero movies. I just cannot get enough of them.

This was a movie I was highly anticipating. No wonder I watched it on premiere night on 1st May, 2015.

I was not disappointed. It was pure eye candy. For someone who is crazy about visual effects, it was an unforgettable experience.

For a Hollywood blockbuster movie however, it had too many religious themes running through it, so much so that at a point I was wondering what the director’s intention was.

One common theme which was echoed throughout the movie was what Ultron kept repeating. “I AM FREE; THERE ARE NO MORE STRINGS ON ME!”

Ultron believes that humans are puppets, covered in strings. I agree.

In my opinion, there are two kinds of strings attached to mankind.

You could either be a puppet to sin, or God’s puppet.

Let us discuss the concept of being God’s puppet

I believe that most people want to be free of all moral restrictions. I mean, wouldn’t you want to do all the bad things you fantasize about and not have to deal with the weight of guilt which comes along with doing those things? Oh, and how heavy that weight is. Oh, such guilt.

This weight of guilt comes because as Christians, God’s word directs our lives. His Spirit lives in us to constantly remind us of his word and to convict us of sin, so that we do not go astray (John 16:8).

We don’t live for ourselves, but live to do the master’s bidding. “NOT MY WILL, BUT YOUR WILL BE DONE.” – Famous words of Jesus to conform to the pressures of the world.

So in a sense, someone can say that God is a puppeteer and he/she would not want to be anybody’s puppet. This is very evident in the saying, “it’s your life, and it’s your choice”. But then can we really make such a statement? Paul says the life which I now live; is not I that live, but to live is Christ (Galatians 2:20), so for him, being a puppet doesn’t really matter.

The ironic thing is that all who desire their freedom by breaking free of the control of God do not really end up being free. They enter another form of circus show, where they are puppets, yet again, this time, to a very evil, wicked master. The devil aka Satan aka Lucifer who encourages a life of Anarchy, becomes their new master and uses them to host entertainment shows to please his weird, dark, twisted fantasies.

Let us consider a classic example to illustrate this point.

THE PRODIGAL SON

Growing up, this was one of the very common parables or bible stories which I heard over and over again. From the story of the prodigal son (Luke 3:11-32), I learnt that young people are more likely to rebel and desire to be free from all form of control than adults. We rebel because we believe our parents are restricting us. We want to be bosses of our own lives. We so crave our independence. Yet like the prodigal son, we only find out later that breaking free is not the solution. We end up only being slaves to Satan, to lust, to addictions etc.

I pray that we would submit ourselves to God, and trust in His ability to take care of us. After all, he knows the thoughts he think towards us.

Have you had any experience where you tried to live your own life and go your own way and it did not end well with you? Kindly share with us.

Thank you very much, Cyb3r for this awesome post. You can also share your story with us, Send them to christianblogghana@gmail.com

Faith: Why it is important to have it

Faith is the substance of things hoped for; the conviction of things not yet seen – Hebrews 11:1.

Christianity has got everything to do about having faith. Believing that the world was created by God is faith. The fact that we have a book called the Bible which guides our belief is faith.  Trusting in God and His promises and the fact that He makes everything possible for His children is also faith.

There are so many theories in the world which has the ability to shake the very foundation of our faith that is why it is important to be grounded in the word. I shared a testimony about how my philosophy class at the University of Ghana made us argue only through the things that we felt. There were classes that I sat through that took us through how the world was created and according to my lectures, it can only be proven through our senses and an example is how scientists prove how the world came into being through the Big Bang Theory. These were confusing and if care not taken will sway you from the faith. No wonder people go to the universities and colleges, and come back without their faith.  If you are looking to prove the existence of God only through your senses then, my brother or sister, you are in the wrong faith.

Faith is very important for your prayers to be answered. The Bible says that with faith as a little as a mustard seed, we can tell a mountain to move into the sea. The question therefore is why we don’t have our prayers answered. Perhaps, our faith is too small; smaller that mustard seeds.  That explains why our prayers are not reaching anywhere.

Ability to speak in tongues requires you to have faith. A number of us have been Christians  for so long but we still do not speak in the language of the spirit just because we are doubtful. The Book of James records that anyone who is doubtful will not receive anything from God – James 1:7

What kind of thoughts are you entertaining? Do you always doubt God and His power yet you say you are a Christian? Why don’t you spend today praying to God to increase your faith?

Dear Daddy (a letter to a dead father)

Dear Daddy,

As you might know, Fathers’ Day is approaching here in Ghana. It’s this Sunday, 21st of June and as to how the celebrations got to the third Sunday of June instead of the second, I cannot really tell but I still have this letter for you.

I appreciate the fact that you brought me into this world. I really do because Science has made me understand that it was your semen that fertilised ovaries to begin the conception process in my mum. I do appreciate that a lot. I cannot tell how you treated my mom when she was pregnant because I was not present but since we are both alive and strong, I guess you did not give her too much trouble or else we wouldn’t exist.

I cannot say you didn’t raise me too because if I did, I would be a liar. If for nothing at all your family’s money did – it took me through nursery school all the way to college. I appreciate that because I know most people do not get this kind of opportunity especially when they lose their daddies at a young age.

I don’t know how life would have been if I had had you around especially when I was growing up. Would I have been a daddy’s baby? I don’t know if I would be rushing to you each day to tell you stories about what happened to me during the day or you were going to be that kind of daddy that I would be hiding from. Would you have made that kind of impact I see in most of friends who are always sharing interesting stories about how their dads never spared the rod on them or you wouldn’t have made any difference at all?  I have had a number of males advising me but I do not know how an instruction from you would have sounded like. I am certain that would have made a lot of difference in my life.

Fathers’ Day is only two days away and people will be celebrating the impact their daddies have made in their lives. As usual, I am going to remain silent the entire day and imagine how my life would have been if we had met.

I know we would meet someday, in Heaven for sure (Revelations 21 :4) where I will run straight into your arms for the hug that I have always wanted and for those encouraging words that only daddies know how to give. I will ensure you fill me in on every story that I missed while growing up. Just prepare yourself for that ok…

Your child

What the Bible Teaches but Telenovelas Don’t

In the previous post, I mentioned how much I disliked telenovelas but focused more on The Empire television show. In this post, I would like to focus a little bit more on the telenovelas that are so common here in Ghana.

Telenovelas are serial dramas which has its origination from Spain. The level of viewership for these soap operas have soared recently since a number of television stations are translating them into our local language.

Although I do not remember the last time I watched one, I know they have very similar story lines – the lead role is played by either a beautiful woman whose love is being competed for by two men or a handsome man whose love is being fought for by two beautiful women.

Why the dislike for Telenovelas?

  1. They have the power to influence your judgement – Before I became emotionally matured I thought love was all about what I saw in telenovelas – falling in love with a handsome guy or lady, walking on the beach and sipping a drink or going horseback riding and when you got tired with whoever you were with, you switched to another one who made your heart skip faster. That is what most of these story lines portrayed, but in reality love is way more than that. One of my favourite verses in the Bible is 1 Corinthians 13 which provides you with a vivid description of what love ought to be. Proclaiming you love someone is more of an action than emotional. Before anyone proclaims he/she is in love with anyone, they should have a look at what the Bible says before they do so. Sadly, most of these women and children who watch these serials begin to develop certain fantasies about what their love life should be – expecting roses from their men and other romantic gestures which are not too familiar in the Ghanaian culture, causing drifts in their relationships and marriages.
  2. They are addictive – Yes, when you miss one episode, you feel your life is about to end therefore, whenever it’s time for that particular programme, you would want to leave whatever you are doing to see what is happening to “Camilla” or “Paloma.” If you are going through that remember the Bible mentions in Romans 6:16 … Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Let us be mindful of whatever we choose to become slaves to.
  3. They teach the wrong things (morally) – This is one of the reasons I stopped watching them. Telenovelas have a beautiful way of making evil people seem so strong and powerful and got away with the sin they committed but sin is something the Bible strongly condemns… Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? …1 Corinthians 9:10

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up,” and that is according to I Corinthians 10:23, so my question today is what have you been spending your time on?

3 Reasons I Dislike “The Empire” Series

I stopped watching telenovelas years ago mainly because I hated all the twists, turns and the nature of love they portrayed. I do not like to watch any series either and this because they are long, play with ones’ emotions and portrays lies as real life. I read an interview with Taraji Henson of ‘The Empire” fame and I decided to watch the Empire series to understand what has made this particular American series so popular.

The series was filled with so many nice things including people wearing attractive clothes, good music, very handsome and beautiful people but I still take my stance that these television programmes are simply not a thing for me. I know they are just acting for the money and may not exhibit these characters in real life some viewers may be influenced to adopt some of their lifestyles.

My observations while watching the series include-

  1. The actors and actresses did not portray the character of Christ – The fruit of the Spirit which is the character of Christ include love, joy, peace, long-suffering, patience, kindness, meekness, faithfulness and self-control and that is according to Galatians 22 but what do we see in these series? People scrambling for a share of rich man’s “empire” and stopping at nothing. They did not mind killing each other to get a share of the riches and not forgetting the owner of the Empire himself who stopped at nothing including hurting his family to get rich. No wonder the Bible says it will be much easier for a donkey to enter into the eye of a needle than for rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God – Matthew 19:24
  2. It is filled with sexual perversity – The Bible, especially in the New Testament mentioned severally that believers should abstain from sexual immorality (Acts 15:20, 1 Corinthians 5) but these series had a very nice way of justifying sexual immorality. What did we see? Family members laying with one another, friends having fun with sex as if sex was like having a drink. And the homosexuals in Empire, they had a field day. I had a discussion with a friend who drew my attention to the fact that, the empire series had really packaged homosexuality in a very nice way which will make it acceptable even for believers. How? Because the gays in the series were handsome, patient, very loving and talented and it was so easy to accept them and their ways but the Bible made us understand in 1 Corinthians 6:9, that homosexuals among other people will not enter into the Kingdom of God.
  3. They swore and blasphemed – There were scenes in the series where the lead actor likened himself to Jesus for coming back to life, as God for he had to be immortalised but the Bible also mentions that blasphemy was one of the evils that came from within a man which had the high risk of defiling him. Mark 7:22

Have you watched any of these series? What are your views? Are there series or movies that are helpful for believers? Share them with us!

Dear Family – A Letter to the Family I Never Had

Whenever I hear or see families do things together, I develop a heavy heart and start to imagine how life would have been if I had a real family with a mum, a dad and siblings living all under roof.

I did not grow up like that. Life started throwing bitter pills down my throat at quite an early age. I had no choice but to swallow them as and when they came.  I went to live with mum’s relatives when I was about six years and dad died when I was eight years old.

If you are a Ghanaian, you may have an idea of how it feels when you do not live with real family. I never had any idea of what real family was till I met a Christian one later in life.  They did almost everything together – cared for each other, they prayed and worshiped God together and most importantly, they had real communication with one another – each person knew what the other was going through at every point.

After I met with this family, I started imagining how it will feel like to have a family that really loved and cared for each other. We need to thank God for the families He has provided us in our various churches today. If you have not had a real family, I believe the church is the best place where you can find love and a sense of belonging – the kind of love that Jesus wants us to have for one another.

Back in the day of the Apostles, those who received Christ got baptized, came together, sold their possessions and divided it among themselves as anyone had the need. They did that continuously and with gladness and praising God, and do you know what the Lord did for them? According to the last part of Acts 2:47, God added to the Church daily. This, I believe is the simple formula for church growth.

To those who have real families like the one I described earlier, use today to thank God for their lives and to those who have not had ‘real’ families, do not forget the church is a place where you can find a family. To members in churches of all denominations, let us use the example of the Apostles in the book of Acts to create that atmosphere which will draw more people to Church and closer to God. Let us learn to show love to one another by sharing what we have.

Do you have a real life testimony of what God has used the church to do in your life? As usual, we would love to hear from you. Our email address is christianblogghana@gmail.com

Guest Blog: Should We Live in Fear?

When anyone experiences a disaster, especially if he/she is a believer, so  many questions linger on the minds of people like, how did God allow this to happen? Let us take, the June 3rd disaster at Circle, for example, a lot of people started questioning God and how he allowed such a thing to happen but in all of this we need to remember…

.He said to them, “Why are you so afraid?…( Mark 4:40)

Many a tragedy befalls mankind and in the natural sequence of events, questions arise and responses are given in an attempt to allay fears or strengthen or weaken certain beliefs. Common amongst these questions is ‘why did God allow this to happen’. The faith of many waver in the process.

O taste and see that the Lord is good… (Psalm 34:8).There are several ways of knowing a person. For example, you can know that a person is good based on your relationship with the person or several testimonies of such a person (of course from reliable sources). The psalmist in the above scripture testifies of the goodness of God. The people of Israel also testified saying “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel, Hallelujah! (Ezra 3:11).”In Malachi 3:6 God makes an emphatic statement of his character, “I do not change”. Drawing inference from the above scriptures we can say that God can only be good. God cannot be the architect of disaster. He loves his children steadfastly.

Jesus said in John 16:33 that “…… In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world“. Tragedies (tribulations) may occur but in spite of these, Jesus would have us function in a particular way. He would have us be cheerful. I ask again “should we live in fear?” … An emphatic no.

Finally picture Jesus saying to you ” child,be of a good cheer in spite of your tribulation” . He only has the answers to our ailing hearts. Remain lifted!