Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Altar to an Unknown God

“For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.” (Saint Paul in the book of Acts speaking to the men of Athens.)

I am afraid most Christians are still worshiping at the Altar of the Unknown God and are ipse facto idol worshipers. The God they claim to serve and worship is not the God of the Bible. They actually have no clue as to who he is and are not willing to spend the effort to find out. They suffer from an overdose of indifference.

I would suggest a careful reading and meditating on the Athanasian Creed. It certainly will bring you face to face with the Triune God whom we are supposed to serve and worship; the awesome, majestic God hidden behind a veil of mystery which we cannot penetrate; we can only stand adore and serve.

One of our staff phoned me the other day and said, “We are in a park near by the grotto of Mother Mary and felt like praying for you.” I felt like screaming; surrounded by the glorious handiwork of God: trees and shrubs and flowers and birds and squirrels – and he needed a statue, never mind how beautiful, to inspire him to pray.

God in Psalm 46 encourages us, “Be still – cease from striving – and know that I am God.” What will make us still and cease from striving? To meditate on a piece of stone, or wood, or metal, or clay – things that have eyes and cannot see; ears and cannot hear; feet and cannot walk?  Should we not meditate on his power and wisdom and splendor as displayed by nature? Should we not meditate on the attributes of God which like precious stones are scattered throughout the Bible or listen to the hymn writers of old as they extol them:

To know who our God is, the God who demands our allegiance and has the power to still our heart; we should meditate on the attributes of God like …

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessèd, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great Name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
In all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth Thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
But of all Thy rich graces this grace, Lord, impart
Take the veil from our faces, the vile from our heart.

All laud we would render; O help us to see
’Tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee,
And so let Thy glory, Almighty, impart,
Through Christ in His story, Thy Christ to the heart.

To shake us out of our indifference it might do us good to heed the warning attached to the Athanasian Creed:

“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic (universal not Roman Catholic) faith; which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.”

 

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Are all religions the same?

I tend to agree with C. S. Lewis who wrote that he feels he has more in common with a person of another religion who truly believes and is truly devoted than with a nominal Christian. A nominal Christian after all is not a Christian.

Nevertheless to claim that all religions are the same simply cannot hold true. It is just not possible. Just look at what different religions teach about God, eternity, sin, salvation, afterlife, heaven, hell, creation and those are but a few. The Lord Jesus Christ says, “I am the way, the truth and the life; nobody comes to the Father except through me.” That nobody includes Mary, Joseph, Peter, Paul and everybody within and outside Christianity. Saint Paul makes the same claim about Christ: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” You may reject this, and no doubt many do, but for a Christian this is nonnegotiable.

The above two statements brings Christianity in direct confrontation with others religions which stake the same claim i.e. that their way leads men and women to God.

Who is right? We must make choices: “We can all be wrong but we cannot all be right.” Furthermore, “He who believes everything believes nothing.” Some boast about being broadminded when all they are is being ill-informed. As somebody pointed out, “It is not that people don’t know anything it is just that they know a lot which is not true.” And that all religions are the same is just not true; just not tenable.

While I too probably know a lot of things that are just not true; and know these things without harm being done to me; this does not hold true when it comes to the eternal

The old Bible College from whence my quest began…

destiny of my soul. I dare not be wrong! Are the claims of the Lord Jesus Christ and his followers really true? Saint John, another disciple says this of the Lord Jesus Christ, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”

“Truth can be investigated”! And from the beginning of my life as a Christian this is what I set out to do; through deeds great or small to prove that the claims and promises of the Bible are true.  I had no interest in a godless religion, where prayers prayed in meaningless rituals promised no answers. I wanted a God to whom I could relate. I wanted to walk and talk with Him. He would listen to my prayers and answer me in one form or another. I wanted more than just a God who let it rain on the just and on the unjust. I longed for a God who was personal and showed me in a multitude of ways, large or small, that he loved me. I wanted nothing less than to know that God was both real and personal. The irony is that the quest was impossible without the help of God Himself. God needed to do something for me before I could do something for Him.

Frank

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Saint or Aint?

“The letters to the Saints and Aints” defines my worldview: You are either a Saint belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ or you are an Aint which means not belonging to Him; the fence belongs to the devil. Saint is a Christian term meaning belonging to God. to the Lord Jesus Christ and does not denote somebody especially good – though he ought to be. Don’t be upset with me; I did not place you in either category – you chose it. Furthermore my worldview is mine and you can hold whatever worldview you chose.

I disagree with Mahatma Gandhi who is quoted as saying, “I am first an Indian and then a Hindu.” No doubt in him the two fused and he cannot be understood apart from this fusion. I consider myself first a Christian and my faith and the tenets of that faith will influence the citizenship I hold be it German, Canadian or Indian. As with the Mahatma I cannot be understood apart from my belief.

Furthermore we cannot grow above that which we worship. The Romans worshiped Mars, the god of war and Bacchus the god of wine and partying. No doubt he was one of Rome’s most favorite gods. As a result the Roman society was created in the image of its beliefs; of its gods.

I am not saying that all the “Saints” are good and all the “Aints” are bad: far it from me. That some of the “Saints” are bad just shows that God can get along better with some people than you or I can. If you want prove of that live in a Christian colony or in a compound with other missionaries; I frequently exclaim, “Oh what a day it will be when we meet with the Saints there in glory; but to live here below with the ones we know – that is another story.”

To further illustrate my point; some of the kids of our neighbors were definitely better than my father’s kids – of which I am one; the point is they were not my father’s kids and so were excluded from sharing the joys and sorrows of the family Juelich which included sharing in a meal of potato peels after WW II – we had the potatoes the day before.

Follow my post – I am actually a nice guy

Frank

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My Literary Efforts

To continue from my last blog which actually is my first blog … I want to introduce my books.

My autobiography, “Fearfully and Wonderfully Mad – the life of a living Epistle with a few pages missing” and The “Letters to the Saints and Aints” an Anthology consisting of more than a 100 letters written over the past 40 years.

The e-book format of the autobiography was published in April by Amazon.com; the paperback copy came out in May 2012. It was also published by Amazon.com

The “Letters to the Saints and Aints” also became available on Amazon.com in May 2012. It is a companion book to the autobiography filling in some gaps left in the autobiography. The layout is attractive and makes reading fun.

I had been working on the autobiography since 2007; I finally completed it in June 2011 when circumstances brought me to Bangkok Thailand for one month rest, and finding myself totally alone, that I finally completed the manuscript encouraged by my editor, Sue Carlisle and my friend Dr. Roger Stronstad.

The “Letters to the Saints and Aints” was except for the layout easy as I did not edit them but left them the way I wrote them over the years. After all you don’t edit your grandmother’s letters to make them more appealing and readable. The layout is attractive to ensure reading pleasure.

The autobiography received raving reviews. (To blow your own horn is my hygienic). Below are two worth reading.

“The narrative almost reads like a novel with literary flavor and humor. If literature is a reflection of life in language that is beautiful, here is one such piece. The only difference is when most literature is imaginary this is real. It is not just interesting but very inspiring.”

George Arackal, Retired Professor, St. Francis DeSales College, Nagpur, India

“If laughter is proverbially like good medicine, these memoirs are an antidote to any false perceptions that to follow God is boring and humorless.  Much less is it the easy choice.  Frank Juelich’s epic journey into India and into the lives of hundreds of children is one that chronicles the hardships, the obedience, the possibilities and ultimately the profound satisfaction that what the Spirit of God inspires in the heart of a man, God is abundantly able to complete.  And when the pen rests, God too smiles!”

Kelvin Honsinger, Director of International Programs – ERDO

So, pick up a copy from either Amazon.com or from Errol and Myrna DeSouza erroldesouza@gmail.com,

Phone: 1 604-859-8083

You will enjoy the read.

Frank

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