A Manifesto for Christianity

The very nature of truth carries exclusivity. Two opposing statements cannot both be true. Either the Earth is round or it is flat, a person is either guilty or innocent, either God exists or He does not.

If you hold to the latter, that there is no God, no designer, no creator, then you are bound to nothing. We are but specs of dust on an insignificant planet surrounded by the immensity of space. We are beholden to no moral code or ethical good but what we decide. Seek pleasure, seek fame or fortune, seek only what makes you happy for the brief moment of existence you have, because it will be gone in an instant.

But if the opposite is true, if God does exist, the ramifications are vast. I believe that the beginning of time and space, the fine-tuning of this Universe for life, the argument for objective morality, and the problem of evil infer an all-powerful, timeless, personal Creator. We are here, we are conscious beings, we understand there is an objective right and wrong, and the improbability of a life-permitting world all point toward the existence of God.

So what God should we follow? Which of the many world religions are right? Contrary to the popular slogan, COEXIST, all religions cannot simultaneously be true. If Islam is true, claiming any other god beside Allah is blasphemous, including Jesus. If Hinduism is true, we die only to live again, hoping to do enough good that we reincarnate in a higher form than before. If Christianity is true, Jesus claims "No one comes to (God) the Father except through me," meaning every other religion is false.

To decide, we must look at the veracity of each religion, their sacred texts, historical accuracy, and seek truth with as little bias as possible. Begin this process and you will see no other holy book makes prophetic claims that come to pass, no other teaching is based on grace apart from works, no other religious figure died for His followers and then rose from the dead, none other than Jesus Christ.

No collection of works is so historically accurate, archaeologically confirmed, and divinely inspired as the Bible. No document is as validated by outside sources as the Bible. No book as consistent, written across 1,500 years, by over 40 authors in 66 documents, as the Bible.

The Bible is authoritative and has stood the test of time.

So if we are to believe the Bible is true and accurate, that Christianity stands alone among world religions, that the person of Jesus really lived, died, and rose from the dead, what then does that mean for us?

We cannot hide under the guise that we exist by accident. We cannot pretend to dictate morality by popular vote. There is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ.

But the world protests the idea of only one way, reasoning that no one should be sentenced to eternal pain. Yet, instead of complaining, let us rejoice that there is at least A WAY, the path is knowable, and most astonishing of all, the omnipotent Creator seeks after us!

I am not asking you to lay aside skepticism or doubt. Embrace it, but not with complacency. Let your questioning drive you to follow the evidence where it leads. Read the science, challenge belief, gather facts from all sides, and I pray you reach a confidence in knowing that truth exists, and His name is Jesus.

O Captain, It Is Time to Lead

O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done; The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won; The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart! O the bleeding drops of red, Where on the deck my Captain lies, Fallen cold and dead.

- Walt Whitman

On September 20, 1519, Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Spain with five ships and 251 men to complete the first circumnavigation of the globe. Three years later, one of the five ships along with 18 survivors completed the journey, being the first people to accomplish such a daunting task.

Magellan died mid-voyage and never completed his own quest.

Having been on a few cruises, I will admit that more than two days at sea can becoming unnerving. Seeing only water in every direction for days on end can make one yearn for dry ground. After reading the account of Magellan's journey, I discovered that after their departure from Spain, two months were spent sailing across the Atlantic.

That's 60 days at sea.

I wonder at what point during those sixty days did some of the crew begin to doubt the vision of this journey. 20 Days? 40? It might explain why shortly after docking in South America there was a mutiny among the ships against Magellan!

As leaders, we attempt to minimize risk with every decision. "Don't rock the boat,." "If it ain't broke don't fix it." "We've always done it this way." Do these sound familiar?

While the strategy of consistency is beneficial in some areas, like consistently keeping the restrooms clean, we must always be looking ahead for a curve in the road. Do we see a shift in culture coming soon? How should we adapt to accommodate it? What current practices are no longer working and should be revised or eliminated?

With any new venture there is risk, Magellan can certainly attest to that, and there may be casualties along the way, but to stay stagnant means you are the next Polaroid or Blackberry. Sedentary business models beget early obsolescence. Look no further than the closing of 100s of Macy's and Sears department stores.

But it is not enough to try something new for the sake of new, there must be a strong vision behind the change. The "why" must be clearly articulated. I'm not sure what Magellan's vision was exactly, but it was strong enough to survive even after his death. Despite the mutinies, treacherous passages, and hostile natives, 18 men finished the journey on the last of five ships.

As we direct our teams, we should inspire and embed the why of what we do so deep, that the vision will be carried out with or without us.

Magellan's journey around the globe took three years to complete. Can we, as leaders push towards the vision with full investment for even a fraction of that time?