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Archive for the ‘Devolution’ Category

I don’t know why you are hurting, or how you may relate to others in your pain. Only God knows all the reasons and the depth of our suffering; God is not the reason for our pain, but he understands. Some people become angry with themselves, with God, or with everyone. The same person may react in different ways at different times. People who are hurting may wound other people in turn, even if only through the empathy of others. The ripples often run much deeper though. Loneliness begets loneliness. Emptiness leads to emptiness. Our frustration creates frustration in those around us. We lash out at others, dragging them down with us. Sometimes this is even intentional. It is difficult to believe but sometimes people take pleasure in the suffering of others.

Don’t make the common mistake of blaming this mess of a world on God. There are several things that the Bible says that God is not, or is not to blame for. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love (2nd Timothy 1:7). God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1st Corinthians 14:33). When Elijah had been instructed to come out of a cave where he was hidden, first there came a terrible wind, then an earthquake, followed by a fire. The Bible says that God was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire (1st Kings 19:11,12). Elijah heard him afterward as a still small voice.

“Never blame the rainbows for the rain.” Don’t blame God for the problems of life. On the sea of Galilee, when a storm threatened his disciples (Mark 4:37-39), Jesus “arose and rebuked the wind.” That implies that the storm had an outside cause. There is such a thing as judgement, but the undiscerning and unaffected either think it’s all or nothing; some think it non-existent, and others imagine it in every instance. Job’s “friends” insinuated that his suffering, even the loss of his children, was due to God’s judgement of him (Job 4:1-5:4), but God judged that they were wrong (Job 42:7-8). Jesus said, “Judge not, that you be not judged.”

The Bible says that when one hurts, we all hurt (1st Corinthians 12:26). We are all in this together. There is a spirit of misunderstanding and deception that often plays us as pawns against each other, and against God. When we are hurt, God is hurt (Isaiah 63:9). I believe that God is the actual target, and that his love for us makes him vulnerable. I believe that we are being used as human shields by a deceptive enemy in an all-out war against God. I understand why people seek an escape, but ultimately there is no real hope apart from Jesus.

God, as Jesus Christ, put himself within our reach. He became vulnerable, became God incarnate, to use a more religious sounding term. It is a theological mistake to try to set him on a pedestal out beyond the stars somewhere. That isn’t what he wants (Revelation 21:3-5)). He wants his presence to make a difference in our lives, here and now in this world, and in the next, and not to have to leave us to our own devices.

By the way, the word “world,” (werald, or weralt) means “old man.” According to the dictionary, it comes from the old English words “wer,” which meant “man,” and “eald,” an ancient spelling of “old.” By the same token the word “werewolf,” for the fictional creature of horror stories, simply means man-wolf. This changing world is often the real horror story. I don’t need to try to tell you all about it. We all hear a bit of the news. All of us have our own experience.

In my short lifetime the world has begun to grow old, but I think that this is only the temporal reality. God has promised to eventually create a new heavens and a new earth. He will have to, for man will destroy this one. No deception or misunderstanding will ever darken the new world (2nd Peter 3:13). The hearts of its inhabitants will be ready for a new day (Hebrews 8:10). It will be what God wanted from the very beginning.

Wherever we are or whatever we are going through, we are not as alone as we may feel. God is with us. It is a simple matter to be found; all we have to do is call (Acts 2:21). As the world goes on, the good shepherd is searching through time for his children yet unborn.

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What is God? God is boundless freedom within the horizons of perfect love (Luke 4:18, 2nd Corinthians 3:17, 1st Corinthians 13:1-13). Love is not a limit to freedom, for true freedom cannot exist without it, yet love often limits its own freedom for the sake of others. The Bible tells us that God is love (1st John 4:8). Love calls for fair play. Isn’t that fair?

The Bible says that God is light (1st John 1:5). The first chapter of Genesis tells us that God created the phenomenon of light. He created the sun and stars to emit light, and the reflective properties of the moon. He formed the spectrum of the rainbow (Genesis 9:13-15). He created light to enable our eyes to comprehend his physical creation.

“Ayin,” the Hebrew word for “eye,” is also a word for color. We perceive “colors” when various wavelengths of light are either reflected or absorbed by different materials. God colors the worlds. The light dancing from forest leaves is reflecting the thought of our creator. Colors playing in the clouds show us something of God.

When the angle of reflection is right, light can appear to surf the ripples of a wandering brook, turning it into a flowing stream of diamonds. Life and love lend a special light to my wife’s blue eyes, and it was God who created them to be so beautiful and expressive.

Our senses were created to enable us to know God and experience his physical creation. I love to listen to the winter wind on the mountain behind our house. Sometimes it sounds like musical chords are being played in the barren trees. It feels magnificent to walk in that wind for a little while, but it isn’t a place to stay for very long.

God has created a world of sounds and songs. I don’t particularly like the sound of my name, but my wife can say it very beautifully. She doesn’t always make it sound that way of course. I suppose it wouldn’t sound so special if there was never variation.

A taste of honeysuckle nectar tells us that God is good. In a perfect world, bees would share their honey, and man would not “rob” their hives. The unexpected feel of a snowflake drifting to our skin is a touch from God. We have more than one way to experience “feeling.” An unexpected kindness from someone is evidence that God is not dead.

The sense of smell is often associated with nostalgia, a word which means “to know again.” A particular smell can recall a pleasant memory from a distant time. Some people believe that we possess a sixth sense, an extrasensory perception, but to make sense of that would require a separate post. For the moment, I’ll just say that it isn’t wise to accept every idea that comes to our mind as if it were our own original thought.

Unpleasant things sometimes force themselves upon our senses but I don’t want to focus there, because God did not desire the harsh and extreme things of this world. When our focus is held captive by these things, the thief is busy stealing some blessing that God has given. Stop to smell the roses, and the devil may show us a dead butterfly. Try to enjoy the sunset on the drive home after work, and a redbird smashes into the windshield.

These things are the calling cards of the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). They tell you loudly that this world is not heaven, but don’t let these things convince you that there is no heaven. God is beauty, but just as great masterpieces have been hidden when someone painted over them, the unfairness of our world obscures the work of God.

Anything that can be created can be misused, and that is the devil’s specialty. Our intelligence, senses, desires and dreams, anything material or imaginable can be used in ways that God didn’t intend. We can be mislead by “feeling.” We can be deceived by beauty. We can find ourselves out of balance anywhere.

Jesus said that offensive things must happen; that it is impossible for it to be otherwise, but woe to the person who causes them (Matthew 18:7, Luke 17:1, ref. King James Version). He said that we should not be offended at him when bad things happen (John 16:1-3). He is Lord over all things, but we don’t yet see everything in submission to him (Hebrews 2:8). God is not to blame. Sometimes, people unaware of God’s commands, or even in pure spite of them, bring terrible suffering upon themselves and others.

In a physical universe such as ours, natural disasters would inevitably occur if God didn’t continually intervene, and man works day and night to do away with God. The world that God made where everything was good has now devolved, and God cannot rightfully sustain such a world forever. Man will force it to an end, and God will have to create a new one (Revelation 21:1).

“Pas” (paths), an ancient Hebrew word that is translated as “many colors” in the Bible (Genesis 37:23), means “breadths,” (bands or widths). That is evidence that Hebrew thought, several thousand years ago, was in line with modern scientific understanding of the bands of light. Overlapping beams of the primary colors of light, reassemble themselves to become “white” light, but when the primary earthy pigments are stirred together, the mixture comes out black.

I wish that we never had to try to sense God in the darkness, but here we are. Don’t be offended at God. No offence is intended, and none should be taken. The beautiful and wonderful things of life are telling the truth about God. Listen carefully and believe them. The harsh and hateful things of earth do not render them untrue.

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On a wooded hilltop overlooking a farm where my family once lived is an abandoned graveyard. Most of the markers are just flat stones with nothing written on them, dug up from some field nearby. Trees had already grown amongst them when I was a boy. I remember looking at the dates on a few of the stones which are carved, but I have no recollection of reading anything else.

Recently, when some of my family revisited our old farm, we stopped by the graveyard, but a particular epitaph yet went unnoticed. For some reason however, I took some digital photos of the markers. Looking through them later, I noticed the writing and was able to read it. It is on the marker of a child who was born in 1866, and died in 1872. The dates are etched very deep.

There is no name, for the top of the stone has broken off, but in faint, weathered writing below the dates are the words, “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal.”

That saying is from a song by Thomas Moore (1816). David Crowder does a modern revision of the song. Leaning against this marker, setting upon what is probably the fragment with the missing name, is the broken top from another stone. All I can read from this stone is, “Born Sept. 2, 1846.”

The stones are shaped the same, and I have to wonder if someone has set the top from the marker of the mother, or another family member, against that of the child. The dates would be right for that. The good Lord knows. Life is not always good, and death is not good, but God has not forgotten those graves on the hill.

There was a time when death did not exist, but the possibility existed, for God warned the first humans of it. Now, it may appear as if there is no escape from it, but according to the Bible, Jesus holds the keys. God was telling the truth in Genesis 2:17, when he warned Adam, and he is telling us the truth in Revelation 1:18.

If we could experience life and creation without the devolution that has since occurred in this world, it would be easier to understand that God is good. Genesis 1:31 tells us that God made everything good. Then, according to Genesis 3:1-5, the first humans believed the lie of a fallen angel (ref. all posts in my Dec. 2011 archives).

The lie was that we would not “surely die,” but that by knowledge we could “become like gods,” interpreting all knowledge, and answering all moral questions for ourselves. The implications were that man would no longer need God, and that God should not be trusted to make all moral judgments. This rethinking of all things has progressed to the extreme that “educated” people can now believe that life evolved from lifeless matter, which in turn evolved out of absolutely nothing.

These two incredible points, usually lie buried and ignored beneath countless pages of evolutionary propaganda, but if “something” existed to begin with, where did that “something” come from? An atheist may as well admit the existence of God, as to think that in the beginning, “something else” existed. The idea that “nothing” must suddenly have become “something,” is equally inconceivable. It’s certainly no more difficult to believe the Bible than to believe in evolution, unless you just don’t like thinking about God.

The theory of evolution allows human beings to view themselves as gods, the highest form of intelligence in existence. Man was created with freedom of will. So were the angels, and the possibility of the creation of a lie would inherently exist in the mind of intelligent creatures. Freedom is good, but the abuse of freedom is not. The deception was framed in such a way that Adam and Eve did not think it all the way through.

How could they? The tree of knowledge continually grows, and only God could foresee the consequence of each thought and action. Adam didn’t suddenly “just know” all right from wrong, but he began to think that he could make that determination. Eve, of course, didn’t always agree with Adam’s every moral judgment, and argument was born.

If that sounds like a stage that all cognizant human beings now go through, I think that it is. Life, with all its moral struggles, now forces us into that state. Not everyone may remember making a conscious decision, but when I was around 11 years old, I clearly remember thinking, “this is my life. I will decide right and wrong for my own self.”

That sounds fair, but the problem is that we make many mistakes which involve other lives around us. Ripples from the wake of our lives flow onward affecting events that we may not see. I don’t think this would have become a forced issue if it were not for man’s original choice, but now we must decide what is good, and who is good. We must decide between things which we hardly know anything about, and that are much bigger than we are.

Who is lying? Who is mistaken? Is John 8:44 true? Are we really as smart, and as good as we think? Does science possess omniscience? Who, or what, are we going to believe?

We don’t have forever to make these decisions. I think it’s wise to call on the good Lord to help us. If the good book is telling us the truth, all the enemy must do to defeat us is cause us to wait out the clock. If we had forever to “make up our minds,” wouldn’t most of us take forever? Wouldn’t most of “forever” be wasted?

Though we turn it into an endless struggle, our freewill is actually evidence that God is good. He wants more for us than a robotic existence. He must eventually judge our abuses of freewill, but God is not the tyrant that man is. It is a good thing for God to be fair, and to establish justice in the earth. Rulers like Hitler can’t hide in death and escape judgment (Isaiah 28:18&20).

We encounter a problem there because none of us are always good, not even those who live the most sacrificially, and sometimes terrible tragedies stem from small indiscretions. We should also take into account the fact that some people are born into more difficult circumstances. Some lives are not as easy as others. It is a good thing that God is merciful, because ultimately, justice cannot save us. Though we may not yet understand or admit our need for forgiveness, God’s offer of mercy is evidence of his goodwill toward us.

I have given a lot of evidence for God in my writings, but it would do us little good to prove the existence and identity of God if we didn’t also understand that God is good. I hope to find time to write a little more about this.

We must not allow a world that is devolved from the perfection of its created state to fool us. “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not heal.” Except for the precious hope of heaven, the lives of the mother and father of that child may have been utterly ruined in the year 1872. Someone who loved that child yet believed in the good Lord, or that writing on the stone would not be there. God has given us this hope.

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