Monday, June 25, 2012

The beautiful promise of Adoption

Some very good friends of mine are in the process of adopting a child.  It will be their first adopted child and overall the third child in their family.  I have watched them prepare and followed their progress and something occurred to me the other day.  I hope you’ll indulge me as I put this together.

My friends have been slowly working through this process of adopting their child.  If I am current on the news of the process they have officially adopted her and are waiting for everything to be clear and final so that she can move from her country to America to be with them.

The young girl that God has led them to adopt is aware that she will soon have a real family once more.  Complete with siblings and a mom and dad who love her very much.  Quite frankly, I can’t think of anyone better suited to show an unconditional love to an adopted child more than Aaron and Delaina. 

There is no doubt that this child will be raised to know the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.  She will be loved and nurtured beyond her wildest imagination and it will come because both Aaron and Delaina know the love that has been shown to them by their Savior.

Between now, the time of adoption, and the time when she actually comes to live with them here in America though there is a longing.  She longs to be here with them, and they long to hold their daughter in their arms.

That time is coming, that time is guaranteed, but it just isn’t here yet.

When we are saved by God from our sins through Jesus Christ, the Bible says that we are not only justified (cleared of our sin debt) but that we are also made His child through adoption (Romans 8:15).

How wonderful that upon salvation God bestows on us all the rights and privileges of a child on us.  Yet, even in that adoption we too can feel that sense of longing.  We are saved, we have the peace and assurance of the Holy Spirit that we’ve been born again, but we are not yet what we will one day be. 

One day, when our adoption is complete we will go home to live forever with our Savior in Heaven for all eternity.  The longing to be near Him will cease because we will see Him as He is and enjoy His direct presence forever!

How wonderful a promise that we have been given that we will one day be taken home.  Just as Aaron and Delaina’s adopted child now knows, her current residence is no longer her home.  She has a new home.  A permanent home. 

As Christians, we too long to be we know that this world is no longer our home.  Is Psalm 39:12 the Psalmist makes known to God his desire to be home in Heaven and also acknowledges that He is passing through this world.
Each day that Aaron and Delaina’s young daughter wakes she is no doubt comforted in her longing with the certain hope that she will one day be home.  That is a part of a family.  Christian, we too have this hope through our adoption by the Father.

 [19] So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, [21] in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. [22] In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. - (Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV)
Hold on to that blessed hope Christian.  Though persecution and trial swell all around us, we have the promise of the One True God that we will be rescued from this world and taken to be with Him (Romans 8:28-30)!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Overview of Hinduism

Our final world religion is the 3rd largest in the world with around 900 million followers.  You probably haven’t encountered too many of them in the United States because there are only about 1.5 million here.

Though you haven’t encountered a Hindu person, you are probably very familiar with some of their practices.  Reincarnation, yoga, and a pagan form of meditation.

All concepts that have influenced our culture.  In the 1960’s, the Beatles helped spread the acceptance of Hinduism in America when they endorsed a man named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Yogi was a spiritual guru. 

Later on the Beatles distances themselves from Yogi after allegations that he had made inappropriate advances towards some of their wives.  However, they did not abandon their belief in the practices of Hinduism.    Jon Lennon once said “while we no longer count Maharishi Yogi a friend, we DO believe in yoga and meditation.

They have a song entitled “My Sweet Lord”.  That song is not singing about Jesus Christ, it is a Hindu prayer set to praise the Hindu deity Krishna.

(I)    History –

It is hard to trace its origin to one specific person.  There really isn’t a particular founder or anything.  We do know that it originated in the Hindus Valley which is located in modern day Pakistan more than 3,000 years ago.  Next to Christianity, Hinduism is the 2nd oldest religion in the world.

Hinduism encompasses a wide view of varied beliefs.  This is one of the reasons why its history is difficult to piece together.  It is thought that it is a blend of a nomadic “Aryan” Indo-European tribes that invaded Northern India from Russia and Central Asia.

(II)     How It Works –

The Hindu society operates on a “caste” system, which ranks people according to their occupational class.

-    Brahmins – priests
-    Kshatriyas – soldiers, king-warrior class
-    Vaishyas – merchants, farmers, laborers, craftspeople
-    Harijahns – the “untouchables”

The higher your caste level, the more blessed you are with the benefits and luxuries of life.  The caste system was outlawed in India in 1948, however, it is still employed in India and used by many unofficially.

(III)    Beliefs –

Chiefly, they believe that all paths lead to God.  I would agree with that statement.  All paths DO in fact lead to God.  BUT, one of those paths leads to God as Savior, that is through Christ alone (John 14:6), all the rest lead to Him as JUDGE. 

Karma – Karma is a guiding principle.  It is known as the law of cause and effect in which each individual creates his own destiny through his thoughts words and deeds.

Where it differs from Buddhism is that Buddhism teaches Karma has no impact on this life, only the reincarnated life.  In other words your sins don’t affect you no, just later in Buddhism. Hinduism teaches that it affects your life now and the reincarnated life.

Good actions lead to good consequences and bad actions will have the opposite effect.  Sometimes a life ends before all the Karmaic consequences are felt and so it carries over.

Those who have lots of negative Karma when they die the will be born into a lower caste system or even as an animal or worse, our insect.

Depending on the Karma you may have to endure several lifetimes of suffering to absolve all of your negative Karma and are again born as humans.

Selfless acts and thoughts and devotion to god help you to be reborn at a higher level.  One question, how does an animal or an insect do that?  This vicious circle of birth, death, and rebirth is known as Samsara.

(IV)     Scriptures –

The Hindu would appeal to a number of sacred texts as Scripture, but they don’t have any one single authority to go to.

Among them;

The Vedas – These 4 “books of knowledge” are considered the most authoritative. Compiled over a 1,000 year period with no known author.  They are really a collection of hymns to various Hindu gods.

Upanishads – Discusses the idea that behind all gods is the one ultimate reality known as Brahman (the ultimate), but Brahman is not an authoritative deity.

Ramayana & Mahabharata – Two Hindu literature epics.  One tells of the Hindu god Vishnu and the other is a 100,000 verse poem, the most popular part you are likely familiar with is the Bhagavad Gita.  It explains how to reach Nirvana.

Puranas – Myths, lore, and legends of other Hindu gods.

(V)    God –

Hinduism does teach that all paths lead to God, however, god to them is not a deity, god is Brahman the ultimate reality.  Brahman is the universe and all it contains.  In other words, God is everything and everything is God.

This wrong view of God is known as pantheism.  That “everything” includes you and me.  As a part of Brahman you are also god.  In Hinduism there is no personal knowable God who is sovereign over but separate from His creation.

Because there is no ultimate god, Hinduism is full of the worship of many deities and idols.   All of them are manifestations of the ultimate reality.

Brahma – The Creator
Vishnu – The Preserver
Shiva – The Destroyer

Most Hindus worship Krishna and Rama, two of Vishnu’s ten incarnations.  Additionally, forces of nature, animals, and humans can all be deified giving Hindus a selection of about 330 million known gods and goddesses to worship.

(VI)     Jesus –

Jesus is simply one of many avatars, incarnations, of the impersonal Brahman.  But they reject Him as being the only incarnation of God.  In no way is He the unique Son of God, part of the Triune Godhead of Scripture.

(VII)    Heaven and Hell -

In Hinduism there is no literal Heaven or Hell.  The closest belief they have to that is the suffering endured through numerous lifetimes on earth.  The closest thing to Heaven is not to cease to exist like the Buddhist but rather to lose their self-identity and be absorbed into universal oneness.

(VIII)    Sin and Salvation –

Hinduism has no concept of sin against a Holy God; instead it teaches that man’s greatest problem is his ignorance that he is god.  Since Brahman is all that exists all else in an illusion.  Your physical body, the physical world, your existence, even the chair you are sitting in is an illusion.

So you goal is to admit that and then work to erase Karmaic debt.  There are 3 paths to this liberation.

1.)    The Way of Works – Liberation can be obtained through social and religious obligations.

2.)    The Way of Devotion – This is the most popular way and includes acts of worship to the numerous gods of Hinduism.

3.)    The Way of Knowledge – This way attempts to reach a higher consciousness until one finally realizes his identity with Brahman.  This is achieved through study of philosophical writings, yoga, and deep meditation.

(IX)    Reaching the Hindu –

Well, as in all religions Hinduism is based on works.  They must be warned of the Judgment Day that is coming (Hebrews 9:27).  Further, we are not God.  We do not become God, and everything is not God.  Thus saith the Lord (Isaiah 45:5). 

Christ has come to pay the debt we owe.  It is a sin debt from this life time.  That we have accumulated by our intentional disobedience against a Holy God.  Judgment looms for our sin, BUT Christ has died and been raised to pay the debt for all who will repent and believe on Him (Mark 1:15; John 3:16, Romans 10:13).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Southern Baptists or Great Commission Baptists - Does it matter?

With all the discussion about whether or not the Southern Baptist Convention should consider a name change I put together some thoughts.  This is in no way a comprehensive handling of the subject but it is nonetheless intended to encourage my Baptist brethren in the pursuit of obedience to the Great Commission of making disciples of all Nations.

Comments welcome.
Download the essay
- On Being Great Commission Baptists (.pdf)

Monday, June 18, 2012

When God LITERALLY puts the opportunity on your doorstep...

This past Saturday our neighborhood was visited by a local group of Jehovah's Witnesses.  I was excited because the last couple of times they had been through our community my family and I were not at home and so we only knew they had been there by the pamphlet left on the door.  But this day we were home.  I spent probably the better part of an hour speaking with a young man named Taylor.  We spent a very short amount of time in debate and I quickly tried to move to addressing his conscience.

All the while I'm praying in my mind, 'God please, please save this man.'  He was not at all receptive to the Gospel as one would obviously expect, he would not take a Gospel tract from me nor consent that he would even consider the claims I'd made in our conversation.

My heart was hurting for him, and then, seeing that he was making no progress in converting me, he was preparing to leave when he made a comment that sent my flesh raging but has since turned to sorrow and now conviction. (Hence the writing of this post)

Taylor said to me, "Sir, you seem fully convinced of the faith you hold." To which I replied, "I am, I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day."  Taylor smiled and somewhat smugly said, "Well I live in Duncanville and if you are truly convinced that what you have told me is true, then start knocking on door sharing your message until you find me."

With that he promised to return some time in the future to speak with me again.  I know not whether I will ever see Taylor again at my door or whether I will ever find him in town to speak to him about the true Gospel again.  I can, at this point, only continue to pray that whether I ever see him again or not that God will save him and I will one day see him in Heaven.

My flesh was sent raging by his comment... my immediate thought was... how dare he suggest such a thing to me... that I have prove something to him...  I was enraged and because God has graciously given me opportunities and strength to witness on the streets I wanted to launch into a barrage of boasting of what I had done and planned on doing and so on... I wanted to shout at him, 'You foolish man!  REPENT!'

As I said, that was my flesh speaking and not the Spirit.  But I said nothing.  I smiled and shook his hand, thanked him for the polite conversation and left him to his way.

Since Saturday I have lost much sleep thinking about his words.  The question I posed to myself has been, do I excuse away a lack of witnessing often simply because I do it on occasion?  Do I feel that what time I do spend in evangelism is a cause for boasting in myself?  I'm afraid it often is, or at the least it is a temptation.  My wise friend, Rick, once told me that the heart of a legalist beats in us all.  How true that is.

His comments quickly moved me to sorrow.  Here he is, this man who is pushing a false gospel that does not save (Galatians 1:6-10) and he is hitting the streets under the conviction that what he believes is true.  Yet here we are with the truth (John 14:6) and we scarcely speak of Christ with friends let along strangers.

Christians, are we failing in our calling to fulfill the Great Commission (Mark 16:15).  Where are we?  I realize that the Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses have made "door knocking" much more difficult and I realize that many people do not want to be bothered at their home.  Fine, get on the streets in the public parks and plead with sinners to turn from sin and find forgiveness in Christ Jesus who has died for them!

I am not being the best steward of the commission to witness that I ought to be and so I am asking you to pray for me and in turn I would love to pray for you.  That God would increase our boldness and shake us to the core with a passion for sharing His Gospel with every person we come in contact with.

And so the conviction, I'm praying God present me with more opportunities to share the Gospel and that when that time comes that I will not shirk away but be emboldened by His Spirit to plead with sinners to repent and turn to Christ (Mark 1:15).

“If every one of your Christians would every day make known Christ to somebody, what a missionary organization we should be!” -- Charles Spurgeon

-- Find out more on the beliefs of a Jehovah's Witness.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

An Overview of Buddhism

Our next cult finds itself with 375 million adherents that include such famous people as George Lucas, Goldie Hawn, Tina Turner, Jim Carrey, and Richard Gere.  It is the 4th largest religion in the world and it is the dominant religion of the Far East and is becoming increasingly popular in the West.  In America, it is really catching on in Hollywood.

We most likely associate Buddhists with monks in orange robes, the little Buddha statues with the large bellies, and the Dalai Lama.  The appeal of Buddhism is its stress on gaining wisdom and also pressing the idea of non-violence and tolerance. 

It offers the followers a moral life of peace with all without any accountability or obligation to the person for their sins.

What is it?

Well, they would contend that it is not a religion because there is no specific deity.  They would say that Buddhism is understanding that is beyond the confinement of religion and deity.  It is a philosophy… a way of life.

The word ‘Buddhism’ comes from the word ‘buddhi’ that means “to awaken”.

They summarize the path to Buddhism in 3 points.

1.)    To lead a moral life
2.)    To be mindful and aware of thoughts and actions
3.)    To develop wisdom and understanding

This from “A Basic Buddhism Guide”.

“There is no almighty God in Buddhism.  There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposed Judgment Day.  Buddhism is strictly not a religion in the context of being a faith and worship owing allegiance to a supernatural being.”

Let’s do some deconstruction shall we?  If I were to say to you, please come and be a Buddhist because we will help you lead a moral life, to be mindful and aware of your thoughts and actions, and we’ll help you develop wisdom and understanding.

And you come on board and the first thing I tell you is that there is no god, no higher being, etc.  Your first question should be, well, then, if there is no god, by what standard do you use to define these moral values I am to lead my life by?  Wisdom and understanding?

They will have an answer that is bankrupt of validity.  They have a set of moral values, but it may or may not be the same as this person’s values, which is different from someone else’s.  For that matter I guarantee that while most of us in this room would agree on 99% of what is or isn’t moral, there would no doubt be some small area that we disagree on. 

The question is, whose moral values to we follow?  Mine, yours, the Buddhist’s?  To define morality in this way you must have a concrete standard.  The Christian understands that to be God’s Word.

Where did Buddhism come from?

Well, it was founded around the 5th century BC by an Indian prince named Siddhartha Gautama.  He lived a wealthy and comfortable life.  Sheltered for the most part until once, on one of his adventures, he saw an old man, a sick man, a poor man, and a corpse.

What he realized was that nothing lasted.  People tried desperately to hold on to or acquire life, health, possessions… but try as they might all these things passed away, this loss caused suffering.

This picture of suffering bothered him and so on his 29th birthday he left his wife and infant son to go on a search for truth and the meaning of life.  After wandering for 6 years and experimenting with yoga, asceticism, and near starvation he sits down under a tree and vows not to move until he gains total enlightenment.

Well, several days pass and he finally feels he has attained this “understanding” that he sought.  He stood up as the “Buddha” which means “the enlightened one”.  He spent the remaining 45 years of his life teaching the path to liberation from suffering (the dharma) and establishing a community of monks (the sangha).

Here we are over 2,500 years later since Buddha’s enlightenment and Buddhism has spread and like any religion it has split into a few different branches.  While practices and ceremonies vary the teachings are fundamentally the same.

There are 3 main schools of Philosophy:

Theravada – (The “Doctrine of Elders”) – represents approximately 38% of the Buddhist population.  Theravada is the closest to the original atheistic philosophy.

Mahayana – (The “Greater Vehicle”) – represents about 56% of Buddhists.  Over the years, Mahayana has accommodated many different Asian beliefs and now worships Buddha as god.

Vajrayana – (“Lamaism” or “Tantrism”) – represents the remaining 6% of Buddhists.  It has elements of shamanism and the occult. 

Some groups are more superstitious than others but most do things like idol worship, veneration of the spirits of the dead and ceremonial rituals to appease evil spirits.  Particularly one of the idols you’ll find in all forms of Buddhism is the chubby Buddha statue.

They would say that they don’t worship Buddha.  But let me read to you a description of the Buddha statue’s use. 

“A statue of the Buddha with hands rested gently in its lap and a compassionate smile reminds us to strive to develop peace and love within ourselves.   Bowing to the statue is an expression of gratitude for the teaching.”

Sounds like a form of worship to me.  Worship is giving your chief devotion to something.

What do they believe about the Scriptures?

Well, there are a large number of religious texts and scriptures in Buddhism.  The Sutras are considered to be the actual sayings of Buddha.  The Tripitaka is one of the earliest compilations of Buddhist teachings.  Over the years, many new observations were added until today it consists of up to 50 volumes and it is 10x larger than the Bible.  By some it is considered sacred.

Who is God?

All branches of Buddhism agree that “the world is not created” or “ruled by a God”.  The idea of a loving Creator who interacts with His Creation is foreign to Buddhist practice.  How tragic!  It really seems that Gautama rejected theistic beliefs simply because he couldn’t reconcile pain and suffering in the world with a loving God.

Today, the Tibetan Buddhists believe in a large number of “divine beings”.  Buddha never taught or believed himself to be a god or anything, but after his death many of his followers declared him to be “Bodhisattvas” which means a savior-like god and that he can be called on for help.

Who is Jesus?

Well they really just view Jesus as an enlightened master, but definitely not the Son of God.  The Dalai Lama believes Jesus to be a “fully enlightened being”. 

“If Jesus is fully enlightened, wouldn’t he be teaching the truth about Himself?  Therefore, if he is teaching the truth, then he is the Son of God, and there is a God, and Jesus is the Savior.  If he is fully enlightened, he should teach the truth.  If he is not teaching the truth, he is not that enlightened.”

The Dalai Lama believes that Jesus lived previous lives and that his goal was to teach a message of tolerance and compassion to teach us to be better human beings.

Soul, Sin and Salvation

There is no such thing as original sin.  In fact, that belief has no place in Buddhism whatsoever.  Because of this there is no need for salvation.

Buddhists don’t even believe that we have an individual soul.  They are made up of 5 elements.

1.)    Physical form
2.)    Feelings
3.)    Ideations
4.)    Mental developments
5.)    Awareness

All of those things combine to form a human being at the time of birth.  And there is no eternal soul to continue after death.

Buddhism teaches the belief of Karma and reincarnation.  A person who dies is reborn (reincarnated) as someone else and your achievements from previous lives (your karma positive or negative) carry forward. 

Under karma there is no mercy to be sought from a savior.  No escaping your sins.  You just work to become better with each life.  Through countless lifetimes Buddhists go through an endless cycle of continuous suffering and their goal is to break free from this cycle by finally extinguishing the flame of life and entering a state of pure non-existence (Nirvana).

Their ultimate goal is not life, but death by releasing their attachment to desire and self.  Their reward is that one day they will hopefully stop reincarnating and cease to exist.

Buddhist Teachings/Customs

Buddha taught many things, but the basic teachings of Buddhism come down to:

The Four Noble Truths

1.)    Life is full of suffering (dukkha) – Life includes pain, getting old, desires, and ultimately death.  Also we endure things like loneliness, frustrations, fear, embarrassment, disappointment, and anger.  So Buddhism’s goal is to teach you how to avoid sufferings like those.

2.)    Suffering is caused by craving (samudaya) – We will suffer if we expect others to conform to our expectations, if we want others to like us, if we don’t get what we want.  Cravings like those deprive us of happiness.  So rather than struggling, you should modify your desires.  Ultimately you are trying to eliminate the desire to even exist.  Craving leads to suffering because it leads to being reborn. (reincarnation)

3.)    Suffering will cease only when cravings cease (nirodha) – Suffering can be overcome by happiness and true happiness can be obtained.  If we give up careless and useless cravings, then we can be happy and free.

4.)    Suffering can be eliminated by following the Noble 8 fold path

1.)    Right understanding – Seeing reality as it is, not as it seems
2.)    Right thought – Change in the pattern of thinking
3.)    Right speech – One speaks in a non-hurtful, non-exaggerated truthful way
4.)    Right action – Wholesome action, avoiding action that would do harm
5.)    Right livelihood – One’s way of livelihood doesn’t harm in any way oneself or others directly or indirectly
6.)    Right effort – One makes an effort to improve
7.)    Right mindfulness – Mental ability to see things for what they are w/clear consciousness.
8.)    Right concentration – Being aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion (which involves deep meditation)

These are just practical guidelines to live by.

They also hold to 5 Precepts

1.)    Abstain from harming to living beings (humans-insects).  Buddhists can only eat meat if it wasn’t killed for them specifically.
2.)    Abstain from stealing
3.)    Abstain from sexual misconduct
4.)    Abstain from false speech
5.)    Abstain from intoxicating drinks & drugs, except those taken for medicinal purposes

Buddhism thrives on teaching that if you don’t work to attain righteousness you are doomed to repeat life over and over again until you get it right.

They are under a yoke.  They are striving for righteousness when Jesus says “Come to me and I will give you rest”.

Matthew 11:25-30 - [28] Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Reaching them with the Gospel

To reach them with the Gospel we must show them that their suffering is not caused by cravings so much as their cravings and suffering in the world is all caused by sin because we are sinners by nature and live in a sin cursed world. (Psalm 51:3-5; Romans 3:23, 6:23)

But though they’ve sinned against God, God offers mercy and hope in Jesus Christ! (Romans 10:13)  The hope isn’t in ceasing to exist but rather in turning from their sin and receiving true life and forgiveness by trusting in Jesus Christ.

You have to be careful telling them to be born again without defining it because to them being born again is a very bad thing.  Point them to the One who will give them rest for their soul through forgiveness of their sins, not the ending of their existence.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Book Review: Heaven is Now by Andrew Farley

Someone sent me this book and asked that I look it over.  They had several ministerial friends reading it and loving it but they had read it and were not sure they agreed with it so much.  Here is my assessment.

Andrew's goal seems to be to inspire hope in the believer.  This is a great cause and a great theme for any book.  The Christian life is hard and daily, Gospel-centered, encouragement is needed!  However, I believe that while this book will probably give some a degree of "hope" I believe it is misplaced.

Heaven is not now.  Heaven is after this life.  I get where he's going by urging the Christian to trust the hope of Christ, but instead of pointing to Christ, Farley points to Heaven.  He says that our hope comes from pointing our lives towards Heaven.  WRONG.  Our hope comes from pointing our lives towards CHRIST!  HE is the Living Hope (1 Peter 1:3)!

Consistently through the book Farley refers to "Heaven speaking" and it is always some little thought meant to encourage.  The problem, some of the remarks are not Scriptural and all of them place the focus on Heaven and not the one who makes Heaven, Heaven.  Listen, if God is not in Heaven then I have no desire to be there.  So focusing me on Heaven is really pointless.  Focus me on God.  Focus me on my Savior who RESIDES in Heaven, then I will be encouraged to persevere in this world.

Let me give you a couple of examples of what I am talking about in both the instance of missing the scriptural mark and also of the misplaced emphasis on Heaven.

"The law doesn’t encourage or praise us. Being under law is like being married to an abusive perfectionist. Even if you please your spouse and only stumble in one way here or there, they treat you as if you’re a good-for-nothing, sorry excuse for a human being. They act like you’re guilty of disregarding everything they’ve ever asked of you: “whoever keeps the whole law and stumbles in one point is guilty of all” (James   2: 10)."

Farley, Andrew (2012-04-01). Heaven Is Now: Awakening Your Five Spiritual Senses to the Wonders of Grace (Kindle Locations 197-200). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.

He is correct that the Law does not encourage us, but I disagree with the function of the Law towards the sinner being likened to an abusive perfectionist spouse.  The law is not an abusive perfectionist. it is perfect converting the soul (Psalm 19:7).  The law points to Christ. an abuser points to themselves. an abuser's goal is to exercise an evil control over the abusee, the law condemns the sinner (Romans 3:19-20; Romans 7:7) but points to the relief found in Christ (Mark 1:15; Romans 10:11). This is an awful illustration.  Unintentional as I am sure this probably was Mr. Farley places God in the role of the abuser since the Law is His. 

Let us not forget that the Law reveals our unholiness but it points to the Holiness of God and our need for Christ.

Following the Law leaves a person bankrupt and hopeless, but seeing the One the Law points to can lead to life!

Example number 2.
"Heaven wanted earth to see that, apart from divine intervention, there was no real hope."

Farley, Andrew (2012-04-01). Heaven Is Now: Awakening Your Five Spiritual Senses to the Wonders of Grace (Kindle Locations 211-212). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.
 No, GOD wanted man to see that, apart from divine intervention, there was no real hope.  It was the predetermined plan of God to send Christ (Acts 2:23; Romans 8:28-30)

I recommend avoiding this book.  Because of its obscure language, poor illustrations, and misapplication of Scripture in some places it may prove to be a very dangerous book to read.  If you are looking for an extra-biblical source to help you understand the Bible, there are far better works written on the subject than Farley's.