Saturday, February 15, 2014 12 comments

Christians on Campus: A Cult?

The question: Is Christians on Campus a cult?

As an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin, I became aware of the accusation that Christians on Campus was a cult. I often heard of other students running into this allegation, but I was not personally approached until my senior year, in fall 2012. During a conversation about my future plans, one of my chemical engineering professors expressed genuine concern that I might be involved in a cult: Christians on Campus.

I was taken aback by this conversation because this professor was one of my most trusted advisors. I had been working as an undergraduate research assistant in his lab for more than two years. We were co-authors on several scientific research papers. Most recently, we had published a paper in Science magazine about an innovative method for controlling the orientation of block copolymer nano-structures []. We had a very close relationship, almost like that of a father and son. In addition, I knew that he had my best interests at heart. His genuine concern prompted a similar concern within me. So I was forced to reflect on my experience with Christians on Campus and investigate the allegations against Christians on Campus. Was this club a cult?

The answer: a resounding NO

I began participating in Christians on Campus as a freshman in fall 2009. The truth revealed in the Bible, fellowship, and friendship that I found with the club became a big part of my college experience. During my investigation, I discovered that some allege that Christians on Campus is a cult because the leaders try to control the lives of the club members. Throughout my four years with the club, I never once felt controlled or pressured but rather I sought and received much helpful shepherding. This care touched my heart and led me to willingly volunteer my time and energy to club activities. These activities were so enjoyable and enriching to me both spiritually and academically. Another allegation that I discovered during my investigation is that Christians on Campus is a cult because club members are brainwashed and damaged mentally. In my experience, however, being involved with the club helped me to keep my mind properly balanced and contributed significantly to my success as a student. I can recall attending weekend retreats with Christians on Campus during the middle of the semester and returning to school refreshed and ready to attack the books and the lab. Eventually, as a senior, I was recognized by the university for my involvement in making a breakthrough scientific discovery []. I can say with certainty that my academic success was not hindered, but rather bolstered, by my participation with Christians on Campus.

I have no regrets about spending four years with Christians on Campus at The University of Texas. I know that there are negative rumors about Christians on Campus and that others rightfully have fears as a result of these rumors. I am happy to say that my professor is no longer concerned that I was involved with a cult in college. I hope that my story can help to assuage similar fears and concerns. Meanwhile, I would encourage any students who are seeking Jesus Christ and Christian fellowship at UT to consider joining Christians on Campus!
Thursday, February 28, 2013 0 comments

God's breath: how powerful?

A few days ago, I was chatting with some buddies about the Bible and we came upon the topic of the breath of God. I walked away from that conversation with a deeper appreciation of the sheer power of God's breath. God is omnipotent. We are not. I can't do much with my breath than spread a few dandelion seeds around my lawn.

The effects of my breath: nothing to write home (or blog) about.

God can do much more with His breath. Let's look at a few examples from the Bible:

1. With His breath, God created man.

Gen. 2:7 - "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

Adam was formed out of the dust of the ground, but he was just a lifeless piece of earth until God breathed into him. When God breathed into him, Adam became a living soul. Adam became a human, the most complicated and sophisticated of all God's creatures.

2. With His breath, God wrote the Bible.

2 Timothy 3:16 - "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,"

Physically, it seems that Bible was written by more than 40 different authors over a period of more than 1,500 years. But in reality, the Bible was written by God exhaling. Because God breathed out the Bible, there are deeper spiritual realities behind the physical words on its pages.

3. With His breath, God destroys His enemies.

The Bible contains numerous cases of God defeating His enemies simply by breathing on them. For example, Job 4:9 speaks of the consequences for those who plow iniquity: "By the breath of God they perish, and by the blast of his anger they are consumed."

The most poignant example of victory by breath, however, is still to come. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 describes the fate of the man of lawlessness (Antichrist): "Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth..." Antichrist will fight with all his might and all his armies, but he will be slain by nothing more than a gentle puff from the the Lord's mouth. Kind of anticlimactic.

4. With His breath, God gave us the Holy Spirit.

John 20:22 - "And when He had said this, He breathed into them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit."

Of all the things that God has done and will do with His breath, this is my favorite. After the resurrection, when the Lord breathed on His disciples, they didn't just smell the fish He was preparing for them. Through the Lord's breath, the disciples actually received the Holy Spirit. Today, it is the same. The Lord desires to breathe the Holy Spirit into people. All we have to do is open up and receive.
Thursday, December 20, 2012 1 comments

The Earth Controls Heaven

It's been a while since I last posted last. Sorry about that. Now that the semester is over, it's time to post again.

During this winter break, I am reading a book called The Prayer Ministry of the Church by Watchman Nee. This was the title of the first section in the first chapter of the book:

The Earth Controls Heaven

Those four words piqued my curiosity immensely. According to my thought, God created the earth and God dwells in heaven, so therefore, heaven controls the earth.

But that thought misses the principle of prayer, which is that God does not act if man does not pray. The move on the earth (men praying) precedes the move in the heaven (God acting). God has limited Himself to man's prayer. Of course, men cannot make God do what He does not want, but men can prevent God from doing what He wants by failing to pray.

Can you believe this guy controls heaven? Well, actually, the people who live on this guy.
That may sound kind of crazy, so I want to present three verses that show the principle that the earth controls heaven:

1. Exodus 17:11 - "Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed." Here, God in heaven is causing the Israelites to defeat the Amalekites, but only when Moses, who is earthbound, lifts his hands.

2. Ezekiel 36:37 - "Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock." Surely God wanted to increase His chosen people, but He would not do it unless the house of Israel asked for it in prayer.

3. Isaiah 45:11 - "Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: Ask me of things to come; and concerning my children and the work of my hands, command me." Have you ever thought of praying as commanding the Lord? This is the earth controlling the heaven.

Realizing that the earth controls the heaven is key to understanding the importance of prayer, but it also raises a deeper question: 

Why did God limit Himself to man's prayer?