Like a Poor Lowly Fisherman

I wrote in my latest book, Trying to be God, a chapter on Adam & Eve and how their pride led them to want to know what God knows…eating of the “Tree of Knowledge”. Many today wish to let on that they too know what God is thinking, how He acts, and what His final plans are. RUBBISH! God is omniscient and omnipotent; all knowing, perfect and all-powerful. Would you want a God that can be defined, described and understood? NO! Those are all limitations and confining; obviously unfit for the Creator of the Universe.

We can read in Isaiah 66:2 “…These are the ones I [God] look on with favor; those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” Ask then, how do we come before the Lord Jesus? …as an arrogant and learned Pharisee? …or as a poor lowly fisherman?

It was pride that drove Lucifer to say “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God.” (NIV); pride was the reason for the fall of Lucifer, the morning star (Isaiah 14:12-14). It is “Pride” that is the killer. Why not turn toward Jesus and admit you are a sinner in need of a Savior? You have a debt you cannot possibly pay; however, there is forgiveness and mercy available in the love of Jesus the Christ.

 

 

 

Aren’t you getting tired from all the hate?

This morning, the following headline finally push me over the top. A federal representative, sworn to follow the Constitution, says this about a duly elected President? It doesn’t matter if you like him or not; this is about much more:

Obama is human, President Trump is ‘really not,’ says Rep. Ilhan Omar

Hating conservatives, hating liberals, hating Jews, hating Christians, hating Muslims, hating white males, hating Obama, hating Trump! Friends, this is all playing into Satan’s plan of division, destruction, and chaos! Don’t you see the coming fall? Don’t you see the decline of the United States of America [underline “united”]? Many how spew hate over a simple stupid red hat with white words on it…why? What so wrong with “Make America Great”? What nation has done more in the world to help others? What nation in the world has done more to feed, clothe and help the helpless? Answer: only America! If we needlessly go down, so goes the world. Maybe this is all a great hateful push by Satan…I don’t know. I do know how unloving and sad it all is.

I do know this however, for me, I will follow Jesus Christ and try my best to be loving to all, and show kindness. Give it a try!

 

The Nature of Creation

When in architecture school, we studied the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, who studied the physical proportions of the human body and became one of the strongest advocates of the “Golden Ratio” and applied it to his art and architecture. Le Corbusier’s search for a standardized proportion ended in a system he called the “Modulor”, which represented the human scale universally applied to art composition and architecture. This “Modulor”, based on human proportions was found to be a system equivalent to all of natural creation. Le Corbusier felt that human life was “comforted” by this type of mathematics. How does a proportional system so widespread in creation come about? Certainly this is not a serendipity or evolution by-product; can happenstance produce mathematical perfection in nature and in the human body? I believe it to be part of the Grand Master Architect’s “good” design.

The Golden Rectangle, constructed by the rules, then divided by the rules, creates another Golden Rectangle; this then can be repeated to infinity, always creating the same “Golden Rectangle” and the same “Golden Ratio”. Beautiful perfection!

God created each individual animal species and called it good. As an architect who understands form, design, composition, symmetry, color and aesthetics; it is impossible to look at the wonderful designs in nature and believe they evolved from something else as simple happenstance. The sooner scientists look through the eyes of a Christian at God’s creation, the sooner the great destructive evolution debate will disappear.

Each work of creation must reflect a part of the Creator; it is the nature of creation, whether it is an artist, a sculptor, an architect, a musician, filmmaker, writer, or God. Part of the creator is found within the creation, within the created item. When you look at the beauty on this planet, be it a person, a sunset, a flower or a Mandarin Duck, what do you see? Do you see something that has evolved from something else lower than itself, while the creator sits on the sidelines with nothing to do? Or do you see a planned work of art, an individual creation from the Great Creator God? We are created in the image of God. The sooner you see each part of creation as created by God, “individually” one at a time as an important part of the whole masterpiece, the sooner you will respect other life found in the people and animals of this planet, and the less destructive things will be.

Who is Jesus? …a very short study

The key to everything is this question:  Who is Jesus?

Many groups over the ages have thought Jesus was a prophet, a teacher, or simply a good man. Some believe Him to be a mortal savior, a man who failed to deliver Israel from Rome. Some believe Him to be only spirit, not real at all; plus, it was someone else who was crucified on that cruel cross. Docetism, an ancient heresy asserting that Jesus lacked full humanity is still alive and well today by many. As the gnostics tried to understand, how can the entire cosmos be created through Jesus (Colossians 1:16 and Revelation 4:11), yet that same Creator, as flesh & blood, die on the cross? This is the part that puzzles the Muslims about who Jesus is; that is, a Savior of the world would be one that could not, would not, die (Sura 4:157-158)…but would overcome all evil and conquer His enemies. We Christians believe in the resurrection, that Christ conquered death itself. Genesis 1:26 uses the word “Elohim”, a plural word for God as the text says: “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image…” Christians are monotheistic as are the Jews and Muslims. We believe the one God is manifest in three persons…the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Qur’an declares in Surah 5:73 (see also 4:171) that Christians believe in three gods, and that this is blasphemy against Allah, but this is a misunderstanding of what Christians believe. Jesus Himself says in Mark 12:29: “You shall love the Lord your God; the Lord is One.” this is the same text as the Jewish Shema (Deut 6:4).

All these ideas about Jesus fall painfully short, for it is the limitations of man’s understanding that is trying to explain define and place Jesus in a box. Jesus is LORD. Jesus is Messiah. Jesus is fully man and fully God. The duality of Christ Jesus cannot be explained nor understood. Do you want a God that could be understood, limited to the weak limits of mortal man’s thought? …thoughts that will always fall short of reality? Something to think about…something to pray about. Blessings and peace to you!

 

God’s First Gift – Asymmetry

Since God dwells in perfection, there must be a perfect environment that is beyond any of our categories of understanding. Knowing there was both matter and antimatter created, one can easily see that if you had a balanced situation then there would be a perfect symmetry between matter and antimatter, each cancels each other out and you have…? You cannot say there is nothing, because there is indeed something! Our definitions of reality breakdown at this point, but one thing is for sure, it has to be a perfect state of being. In this perfect realm, there is no need for forces or laws or time or any dimensions to measure with. Perfection! Our world is not this world so something must create an imbalance, an asymmetry, to have something physical that can be touched and sensed. To a finite creature, what good is a gift if you can’t see it or touch it or sense its beauty? Nature itself cannot create the imbalance, by definition, Nature doesn’t exist yet. Coming out of perfection, how can the asymmetry get started to have this physical gift for us? This action must take an all-powerful Creator. It is from this balanced perfection position that God created “ex nihilo”!

 In the realm of balanced perfection, God has no need to “do” anything, unless God wants something. God, desiring to be in loving relationship with us, gave us a gift, a most unbelievable gift. It was God’s first gift to us, the gift of asymmetry! God kicked things off in the Big Bang, “Let there be light”, and continued His creative involvement by designing and creating every little quark to every large galaxy. This joyful creative effort includes you and me, my brothers and sisters.

We are so very limited in our ability to “see” the 7 divisions within the electromagnetic spectrum; we are limited to understanding only 3 physical dimensions with little sense of the miraculous. God’s creative actions are a reaching down to create a perfect “Garden” for us, for the purpose of seeking relationship with us. This creative effort is borne out of perfection, but it is not a “forced perfection” on us, where would be the love in that? We are not chained to a wall, with limitations only controlled by God. We are free to listen to the snake and eat that apple. God is not interested in having a relationship where He controls “the prisoners” of “The Garden”. We can blindly go day to day not listening to God’s instructions and doing our own thing, thus breaking trust and relationship. But beware, maybe one day you will look over your shoulder to see God’s bright light; what a wonderful light, a light you can believe in. I know God wishes to share a loving walk. It will be a loving walk in “The Garden” with us, oh, that would be so wonderful…that is, if we don’t mess it up again!

 

God's First Gift – Asymmetry

Since God dwells in perfection, there must be a perfect environment that is beyond any of our categories of understanding. Knowing there was both matter and antimatter created, one can easily see that if you had a balanced situation then there would be a perfect symmetry between matter and antimatter, each cancels each other out and you have…? You cannot say there is nothing, because there is indeed something! Our definitions of reality breakdown at this point, but one thing is for sure, it has to be a perfect state of being. In this perfect realm, there is no need for forces or laws or time or any dimensions to measure with. Perfection! Our world is not this world so something must create an imbalance, an asymmetry, to have something physical that can be touched and sensed. To a finite creature, what good is a gift if you can’t see it or touch it or sense its beauty? Nature itself cannot create the imbalance, by definition, Nature doesn’t exist yet. Coming out of perfection, how can the asymmetry get started to have this physical gift for us? This action must take an all-powerful Creator. It is from this balanced perfection position that God created “ex nihilo”!

 In the realm of balanced perfection, God has no need to “do” anything, unless God wants something. God, desiring to be in loving relationship with us, gave us a gift, a most unbelievable gift. It was God’s first gift to us, the gift of asymmetry! God kicked things off in the Big Bang, “Let there be light”, and continued His creative involvement by designing and creating every little quark to every large galaxy. This joyful creative effort includes you and me, my brothers and sisters.

We are so very limited in our ability to “see” the 7 divisions within the electromagnetic spectrum; we are limited to understanding only 3 physical dimensions with little sense of the miraculous. God’s creative actions are a reaching down to create a perfect “Garden” for us, for the purpose of seeking relationship with us. This creative effort is borne out of perfection, but it is not a “forced perfection” on us, where would be the love in that? We are not chained to a wall, with limitations only controlled by God. We are free to listen to the snake and eat that apple. God is not interested in having a relationship where He controls “the prisoners” of “The Garden”. We can blindly go day to day not listening to God’s instructions and doing our own thing, thus breaking trust and relationship. But beware, maybe one day you will look over your shoulder to see God’s bright light; what a wonderful light, a light you can believe in. I know God wishes to share a loving walk. It will be a loving walk in “The Garden” with us, oh, that would be so wonderful…that is, if we don’t mess it up again!

 

Mysteries and the Big Search

Since mankind was created and on this Earth, the “Big Search” for knowledge, truth and understanding has been going on. What is out there? What is beyond that tree or around that turn? I see something in the distance, but what is it and what is beyond it? Man has always asked important questions.

Sailors wondered, is the world flat? If I sail too far, will I sail off the edge? Mountaineers have wondered, what is it like on the top of that mountain? Can I make it to the top? What is on the other side of the mountain? Adam and Eve wondered what would happen if they ate the apple from the forbidden tree; what if they ignored God’s instructions? What would they know if they had all the knowledge of good and evil?

Mythology is filled with the inventions and explanations for what mankind saw around them. Stories such as, “someone” had to create the world: The Egyptians thought “Ra” created the world; so they made him the sun god with the head of a falcon who commanded the sky, the Earth and the underworld. The Greeks thought “Hades”, the shadowy lord of the underworld, the god of death because even death depends on life…nothing can continue without it. The Greeks also thought the original creator of mankind was “Prometheus” (a Titan, a race of giants), that he fashioned the first man in the image of the gods, using clay and water taken from Panopeus in Phocis (central Greece). Since creation was all a general mystery, it was simple for a philosopher or ruler to rise up with charisma, exhibit power over the common folk, and show that they alone had all the answers. The people didn’t understand what they saw or heard; they didn’t understand the questions being asked so they had no choice but to buy into the answers being given.

As it turns out, people do have the thirst for the Big Search. Though, we see through a glass darkly. We see partial truths, and we distort our view by prejudice and laziness. Throughout history philosophers, poets, architects, artists, musicians, and writers have sensed much more energy “out there” and a common tie to each other. The German word, “zeitgeist”, meaning roughly, “the spirit of the time”, implies there are certain ideas in the air at certain times (“Reading the Mind of God”, page 31). These “ideas”, or “energy”, can be seen manifested in every human endeavor; such as art, music, literature and even in science. It is all about the Big Search for what is out there.

The Big Bang – Part 2 of 2

To our omnipotent multidimensional God could not “the light” mean anything in the whole electromagnetic spectrum? Yes, of course! To say God can’t deal with all 7 divisions in the spectrum is silly when it was He that created them! So the discussion in the previous pages on Elementary Particles and Quantum Leaps suddenly takes on all new importance in our understanding of God’s creative act. Now most scientists will not see God’s hand in making all this come about, therefore all the nonsense of the “evolution invention”; they must explain it away somehow. More importantly to me is my wish for my Christian brothers and sisters to see the richness, the beauty, the mathematical depth, and the perfection that is God’s created Universe. Once you start to see things, lightly dusted with scientific fact, you will gain a whole new appreciation for the Universe, and the idea of a “Big Bang” will not automatically cause you to throw a defensive wall of rejection. The “Big Bang” is purely God’s activity! We Christians know of God’s love and believe in the Messiah, Christ Jesus, without the need for physical proofs; Jesus said “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen Me? The people who have faith in Me without seeing Me are the ones who are really blessed!” (John 20:29, LB). But how much more would you be empowered to preach the Gospel if you saw God’s creation through a different set of glasses? How exciting, instead of having a defensive rejection, would the richness be if you allowed a little science to sweeten your drink?

 It is my belief the “Big Bang” is the same as God saying “let there be light”! Scientists are working to find answers by moving back in time toward the Big Bang; I on the other hand, started my search by standing before the Big Bang and then moving forward in time. While this approach makes perfect sense to me, it does take one huge quantum leap…a leap of faith in believing that God is real and that God is the Creator of the Universe. Sadly, many will blindly not accept this supposition even after digesting all the previous chapters of this book…in that I would have failed. The fact of the matter is, we all believe; it takes a belief in something else to not believe in God. How rigid we can become as we stand on made up agendas instead of remaining open to learn by coming face-to-face with real Truth.

 

The Big Bang – Part 1 of 2

“God said, ‘I command light to shine!’ And light started shining. God looked at the light and saw that it was good.” And with this text in Genesis 1:3+4 from The Learning Bible we see the First Day. But what is light?

What we call light is really just an extremely small portion, the visible portion, of the electromagnetic spectrum. “Light” is really made up of 7 main divisions in the electromagnetic spectrum: Radio, Microwave, Infrared, Visible, Ultraviolet, X-Ray and Gamma Ray. Of these seven divisions, we can only see one small section 300 nanometers (nm) wide (that is 300 billionths of a meter) of the overall spectrum. The full spectrum is a measurement from 1 kilometer (km) (a thousand meters) to 0.01 nm (a hundredth of a billionth of a meter); a very broad spectrum indeed. Our little piece of the pie, so tiny, is it by chance that we just happen to have this visible portion and our eyes can pick it up and our brains process it? What are the possibilities? What limitations we operate under!

We so boldly move forward thinking we know so much when we only see the tip of the iceberg. As the Apostle Paul said, we know in part and we prophesy in part (1 Cor. 13:9). Let’s get back to Genesis and that First Day; we read the word “light” and immediately think it must be the light we see (the opposite of dark). Of course, if you read the next verse you would think it must be the visible light we see because God separates the light and the dark. But who says “the dark” is also what we think is the opposite of our visible “light”? We are three-dimensional beings with perception limitations in a multi-dimensional universe; things are not always how they seem. How can you be so sure?

 

Understanding “Now” Doesn’t Exist in Time, How Does That Solve So-Called Biblical Contradictions?

Let’s look at one such set of verse. At the crucifixion, Jesus is talking to one of the criminals hanging on an adjacent cross, Luke 23:43 in the NIV reads “I promise that today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Now compare that to Luke 24:7 in the NIV where we read, “The Son of Man will be handed over to sinners who will nail Him to a cross. But three days later He will rise to life.” Three days later? Of course, this goes with the other three occasions where Jesus had told the disciples what was going to happen, and in each case there was this three day delay in the resurrection. What’s the deal? Is Jesus in Paradise the same day He died or was it three days later? Some believe there was a separation of body and spirit, and the spirit went to Paradise, to “Abraham’s Bosom”. But that doesn’t explain the physical bodily resurrection of Christ three days later. It doesn’t explain Thomas touching His wounds a week later, Jesus eating fish on the beach, or the discussion on the road to Emmaus with the two sad followers. This is a big deal for some; let’s look at the important “Apostle’s Creed”. The Old Roman version (circa 200AD) stated in the fifth section, “The third day He rose again from the dead”; a newer Roman version (circa 700AD), the same version I recited in the Episcopal Church, adopted by Catholics and others, states: ”He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead.” Now, how can this be? How can Jesus be in Paradise the same day He died on the cross for our sins, and suffer separation from the Father, taking our sins upon Him, making them His own and paying the price for three days? One group is likely to say, we believe this way; and another group is just as likely to say, we believe this other way. Depending on their strength and determination, the two groups could soon be at odds with one another, arguments instill, feelings are hurt, and Satan smiles at yet another Christian conflict and a win for his side. Now with your new understanding of time and that “now” doesn’t exist in our linear time experience, plus the fact that we know that Jesus exists in the “now”, we can better understand that both situations are correct at the same time. Jesus is both in Paradise the day He died, plus He experienced the pain and separation from the Father, paying the price for our sins, for three days…all at the same time, all at the same moment.

Understanding "Now" Doesn't Exist in Time, How Does That Solve So-Called Biblical Contradictions?

Let’s look at one such set of verse. At the crucifixion, Jesus is talking to one of the criminals hanging on an adjacent cross, Luke 23:43 in the NIV reads “I promise that today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Now compare that to Luke 24:7 in the NIV where we read, “The Son of Man will be handed over to sinners who will nail Him to a cross. But three days later He will rise to life.” Three days later? Of course, this goes with the other three occasions where Jesus had told the disciples what was going to happen, and in each case there was this three day delay in the resurrection. What’s the deal? Is Jesus in Paradise the same day He died or was it three days later? Some believe there was a separation of body and spirit, and the spirit went to Paradise, to “Abraham’s Bosom”. But that doesn’t explain the physical bodily resurrection of Christ three days later. It doesn’t explain Thomas touching His wounds a week later, Jesus eating fish on the beach, or the discussion on the road to Emmaus with the two sad followers. This is a big deal for some; let’s look at the important “Apostle’s Creed”. The Old Roman version (circa 200AD) stated in the fifth section, “The third day He rose again from the dead”; a newer Roman version (circa 700AD), the same version I recited in the Episcopal Church, adopted by Catholics and others, states: ”He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead.” Now, how can this be? How can Jesus be in Paradise the same day He died on the cross for our sins, and suffer separation from the Father, taking our sins upon Him, making them His own and paying the price for three days? One group is likely to say, we believe this way; and another group is just as likely to say, we believe this other way. Depending on their strength and determination, the two groups could soon be at odds with one another, arguments instill, feelings are hurt, and Satan smiles at yet another Christian conflict and a win for his side. Now with your new understanding of time and that “now” doesn’t exist in our linear time experience, plus the fact that we know that Jesus exists in the “now”, we can better understand that both situations are correct at the same time. Jesus is both in Paradise the day He died, plus He experienced the pain and separation from the Father, paying the price for our sins, for three days…all at the same time, all at the same moment.

Understanding "Now" Doesn't Exist in Time, How Does That Solve So-Called Biblical Contradictions?

Let’s look at one such set of verse. At the crucifixion, Jesus is talking to one of the criminals hanging on an adjacent cross, Luke 23:43 in the NIV reads “I promise that today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Now compare that to Luke 24:7 in the NIV where we read, “The Son of Man will be handed over to sinners who will nail Him to a cross. But three days later He will rise to life.” Three days later? Of course, this goes with the other three occasions where Jesus had told the disciples what was going to happen, and in each case there was this three day delay in the resurrection. What’s the deal? Is Jesus in Paradise the same day He died or was it three days later? Some believe there was a separation of body and spirit, and the spirit went to Paradise, to “Abraham’s Bosom”. But that doesn’t explain the physical bodily resurrection of Christ three days later. It doesn’t explain Thomas touching His wounds a week later, Jesus eating fish on the beach, or the discussion on the road to Emmaus with the two sad followers. This is a big deal for some; let’s look at the important “Apostle’s Creed”. The Old Roman version (circa 200AD) stated in the fifth section, “The third day He rose again from the dead”; a newer Roman version (circa 700AD), the same version I recited in the Episcopal Church, adopted by Catholics and others, states: ”He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead.” Now, how can this be? How can Jesus be in Paradise the same day He died on the cross for our sins, and suffer separation from the Father, taking our sins upon Him, making them His own and paying the price for three days? One group is likely to say, we believe this way; and another group is just as likely to say, we believe this other way. Depending on their strength and determination, the two groups could soon be at odds with one another, arguments instill, feelings are hurt, and Satan smiles at yet another Christian conflict and a win for his side. Now with your new understanding of time and that “now” doesn’t exist in our linear time experience, plus the fact that we know that Jesus exists in the “now”, we can better understand that both situations are correct at the same time. Jesus is both in Paradise the day He died, plus He experienced the pain and separation from the Father, paying the price for our sins, for three days…all at the same time, all at the same moment.

Predestination and Election arguments are unGodly; to Know Why, You Must Understand what Time Is!

Time…What is time? Thoreau says that “time” is the stream in which he goes fishing. Less colorful and more boring than Thoreau’s definition, we think of time as one minute, or one day, a day of 24 hours, a year of 365 days, 60 seconds in one minute, a lunch break is one hour, and a coffee break is ten minutes. But this is not really time; it is our “measurement” of time. So, what is time? It has to be something, because we measure it, right? We debate questions like: Has time always been there, unchanging? Is there a beginning to time? Will time ever end? Does time move at different rates? What if “a day” wasn’t always 24 hours? Some calendars measure a year differently, so how do we know what a year is? The understanding of the concepts of time and what time is and how it appears to you are important issues for you to consider. These questions are not just for the philosopher or scientist, but also for every person, young and old. In this chapter we will explore a reality known as “time”. It has serious implications for us as we search for meaning in life and a better understanding of God and our relationship with God.

Did time have a beginning? Yes, it is a created dimension, as we will soon see. God created time as He created all the universal laws. Time is one of several dimensions; more accurately, it is known as Space-time, some call time itself the fourth dimension. First of all, we have our first three dimensions of space, namely width, length and height. It would be accurate to say time is the fourth dimension, but I like thinking of the combination of Space-time as the fourth dimension. We are talking about a mathematical coordinate model dealing with “events” and not just points in space. Time is relative to the observer and so the impact of space on time is important so we get a whole other dimension we call space-time. Physicists have long studied time and the variables that take place when different observers are moving relative to one another, especially if one is moving at the speed of light. Very strange things can happen indeed.

As with all created things and the universal forces, we can trace the beginning of time back to the Big Bang. God triggered the creation event. “Let there be light, and there was light!” We see that everything physical, everything we touch and see and breathe had its beginning at the Big Bang. Time, as a dimension is no different. All laws of physics, chemistry and the other sciences have two distinct worlds. One we know something about after the Big Bang, and one we know nothing about before the Big Bang.

Perfection and Order Just Don’t Happen on Their Own…Yes, Martha, There is a Creator!

There is a wonderful order to the cosmos, from the pulsar stars, with clocklike “pulsing” as slow as every 4 seconds and as fast as 30 times a second, to the always dependable speed of light. Astronomer Herbert Friedman said of the pulsars, they are “one of the most marvelous pieces of architecture in the Universe.” Actually, the “pulsing” is really a wobbling of the star’s axis as it sends out radio signals…anyway, accurate world clocks can be set to their measure. For additional facts about the order within the cosmos, we need only turn to the First Law of Thermodynamics, formulated by William “Lord Kelvin” Thomson in 1851. The law, also known as the “principle of conservation of energy”, is simple: Energy, the ability to exert a force over a distance, is a quantity that can neither be created nor destroyed. It can change forms but not the total amount. So then, where does energy come from in the first place? In light of the simplistic nature of the four natural energies, and the even more simple “unified theories”, it is inconceivable that energy would always be here…not in a world that moves toward chaos when left alone. No! God in the Big Bang created energy. Energy is a God gift to us. Energy is how we have “things”. Energy itself is a proof of order in the Universe. Electrostatic repulsion and attraction, the play of the elementary particles, nuclear forces, radioactivity and decay, wave-particle duality, gravity, and magnetism didn’t just evolve. God created all these in a perfect orderly plan that works with mathematical precision in the most beautiful design imaginable. There is no way we can define or get our arms around the full beauty of God’s plan, not with our human limitations; it is much more than human imagination! This, of course, is where we lose our scientist friends, for saying there is something beyond definition is simply not good enough…it must be mastered and understood…but I say that God’s actions cannot be and I like it that way!

Perfection and Order Just Don't Happen on Their Own…Yes, Martha, There is a Creator!

There is a wonderful order to the cosmos, from the pulsar stars, with clocklike “pulsing” as slow as every 4 seconds and as fast as 30 times a second, to the always dependable speed of light. Astronomer Herbert Friedman said of the pulsars, they are “one of the most marvelous pieces of architecture in the Universe.” Actually, the “pulsing” is really a wobbling of the star’s axis as it sends out radio signals…anyway, accurate world clocks can be set to their measure. For additional facts about the order within the cosmos, we need only turn to the First Law of Thermodynamics, formulated by William “Lord Kelvin” Thomson in 1851. The law, also known as the “principle of conservation of energy”, is simple: Energy, the ability to exert a force over a distance, is a quantity that can neither be created nor destroyed. It can change forms but not the total amount. So then, where does energy come from in the first place? In light of the simplistic nature of the four natural energies, and the even more simple “unified theories”, it is inconceivable that energy would always be here…not in a world that moves toward chaos when left alone. No! God in the Big Bang created energy. Energy is a God gift to us. Energy is how we have “things”. Energy itself is a proof of order in the Universe. Electrostatic repulsion and attraction, the play of the elementary particles, nuclear forces, radioactivity and decay, wave-particle duality, gravity, and magnetism didn’t just evolve. God created all these in a perfect orderly plan that works with mathematical precision in the most beautiful design imaginable. There is no way we can define or get our arms around the full beauty of God’s plan, not with our human limitations; it is much more than human imagination! This, of course, is where we lose our scientist friends, for saying there is something beyond definition is simply not good enough…it must be mastered and understood…but I say that God’s actions cannot be and I like it that way!

Understanding the concept of time and the nature of the “now” is critical to understanding many of the so-called contradictions found in the Bible.

Scientist tell us that an instant at which all known laws of science break down and none of the known definitions of reality hold true anymore is called a “singularity”. The Big Bang is a singularity at which time itself began. That doesn’t mean there was nothing before the Big Bang; it simply means the dimension we know of as Time did not exist in its present form before the Big Bang. This was fine for the Catholic Church, who in 1951 pronounced the Big Bang was in accordance with the teachings in the Bible. The Big Bang fits just fine with God as our Creator; if you disagree it is because you don’t understand the Big Bang from a Christian point of view. Creation ex nihilo.

So, if the dimension of time was nonexistent as we know it before the Big Bang, what was there? “Now” was there. A word we use all the time, yet few understand its true meaning. “Now” is that point that is neither present nor past nor future. It is a point that does exist in a multidimensional Universe; but a point whereby you can infinitely subtract any piece of time from, no matter how small the unit of measure. The interesting thing is, now is where we are. I am not in the past, nor am I in the future. You say I am in the “present”. What is the present? Is it “now”? What separates the present from the past or the future? Is it an hour? A minute? Is a second enough time to separate present from past or future? No matter how small the unit of measure, I can either add or subtract a smaller unit of measure from the point I call “present”, and then the “present” would no longer be the same!

Many outside the Church are erroneously critical of the Bible claiming contradictions; there are none! Understanding this concept of time and the nature of the “now” is critical to understanding many of the so-called contradictions found in the Bible. Churches spring up around one set of verse and then fight to defend their position. As I previously said, people first decide what they want to believe in and then they construct the arguments to defend that position. My point for wanting you to get a grip on what time is all about and the nature of the “now” is that once you understand these fundamentals, you’ll begin to see that Bible verses that seem on the surface to contradict are actually all true at the same time. I will present an example in my next post.

In the “now”, with no movement in time, the beginning and the end are the same moment. Strange I know. This is the nature of dimensions of reality that we cannot understand because of our limitations; faith is indeed required. We know in part and prophesy in part (1 Cor. 13:9). But look at this way, if we Christians, confessing our faith and belief in Christ Jesus, can relax a little knowing that we are limited in our ability to understand dimensions beyond three. If we can accept that the many seemingly contradictory verses are all indeed correct at the same time. We would then be much more loving toward each other. Isn’t that what Jesus asked us to do?

The Bible is Fiction? …NO!…It is God’s Revelation for Humanity!

You have heard about the “canon of the Bible”, but what does that mean? You have heard people put down Christianity as being based on made-up fiction formulated to strike false doctrine onto others. We Christians hold that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, the Logos, divinely breathed upon authors by the Holy Spirit. Thus the term “canon” is used to describe those divinely inspired books, which belong in the Bible, and have held up to scholarly review for many centuries. Jewish Rabbis and Hebrew scholars first conducted this review process. But the main energy in the review of these early writings came directly from the Triune God, revealed by Jesus Christ and directed by the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament was fairly firm early in the process; Hebrew scholars had been using the Torah for centuries and had long believed God’s prophets and accepted their writings as being inspired words. The only issue that remained was the “Apocrypha”, where a majority of Hebrew scholars thought the collection to be good religious documents, but not on the same level as the Hebrew Scriptures. Considering the New Testament and the work of the Apostles, Mark was probably the first Gospel written. This, along with a collection of the sayings of Jesus Christ known as “Q” (a German word for Quelle, meaning “source”), was the basis for Luke’s Gospel, and probably Matthew’s and John’s as well. Paul considered Luke’s writings and Peter recognized Paul’s work, so there was a great deal of continuity in the New Testament.

Also, the discovery of scrolls and thousands of scroll fragments recovered in the Qumran area, an extremely large collection of Jewish documents, has supported the accuracy of the early Old Testament writings. These documents date back to the third century BC, and are written in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Among these documents are the “Dead Sea Scrolls” which are all of the books of the Bible except Esther. Many councils, such as the Council of Laodicea (363 AD), the Council of Hippo (393 AD), and the Council of Carthage (397 AD), followed affirming the same 27 books are authoritative scripture. Questions asked were: 1) Was the author an apostle or closely associated with an apostle? 2) Was the book consistent with Christian doctrine and orthodox teaching? And, 3) Did the book put forward high moral and spiritual values consistent with the instruction from Jesus? As stated above, the Bible is God inspired and written by directing men driven by the Holy Spirit; therefore, it can be said that it was God that selected what was to be the Biblical Canon. I would never be so bold to claim to be an expert in the Bible, though I have taught adult Biblical Scripture Classes for over 30 years, anyone who has studied the Bible for any length of time has surely noticed how it all fits together cover to cover inspite of the many authors over centuries.

The Orthodox believer holds on to a theological knowledge based upon God’s Revelation. This Revelation is presented to the world through the written words in Scripture and through what is known as “The Apostolic Tradition”. Christ passed on in Pentecost the power for the apostles to do great things in the name of Christ. Jesus passed on “The Great Commission” for the apostles to go throughout the world and affirm the foundational Christian Truths as clearly taught in the Bible:

That the Triune God is three distinct persons in one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  1. The True Deity and True Humanity of Jesus Christ.
  2. The physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
  3. Salvation of the believer by grace alone, through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
  4. The atonement of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of the sins of a sinner.
  5. The physical return of Christ to Earth at the end of time to judge the wicked and reward the righteous.

Any Christian group that would alter or distort one or more of these orthodox beliefs would be considered an aberrant group. To push the issue farther, theologically a cult is any deviation from orthodoxy, or denial or outright rejection of one or more of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Not to be confused with a “cult”, the occult deals directly with demonic forces; this awful practice has been engaged in throughout all history. Nothing good can come out of it. I once heard a woman on the radio, critical of churches, saying that they needed to change with the culture; this is the exact opposite of what an Orthodox Christian Church should do! Adapting to the culture only creates aberrant and cult groups; Jesus did not do nor did He teach that we should adapt to the culture. Deviations take all forms with some being very minor; groups normally must pull verse out of context and twist it around (give it new meanings) to create their own new theology. One notable group, that produced “The Jesus Seminar”, goes so far as to uphold that Jesus’ ministry had nothing to do with salvation nor that Jesus viewed Himself as Messiah or the Son of God. Pretty darn arrogant and blatant when you consider the New Testament is extremely clear that Jesus in fact knew Himself as Messiah and what His role in the salvation of humanity was to be.

The Bible is Fiction? …NO!…It is God's Revelation for Humanity!

You have heard about the “canon of the Bible”, but what does that mean? You have heard people put down Christianity as being based on made-up fiction formulated to strike false doctrine onto others. We Christians hold that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, the Logos, divinely breathed upon authors by the Holy Spirit. Thus the term “canon” is used to describe those divinely inspired books, which belong in the Bible, and have held up to scholarly review for many centuries. Jewish Rabbis and Hebrew scholars first conducted this review process. But the main energy in the review of these early writings came directly from the Triune God, revealed by Jesus Christ and directed by the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament was fairly firm early in the process; Hebrew scholars had been using the Torah for centuries and had long believed God’s prophets and accepted their writings as being inspired words. The only issue that remained was the “Apocrypha”, where a majority of Hebrew scholars thought the collection to be good religious documents, but not on the same level as the Hebrew Scriptures. Considering the New Testament and the work of the Apostles, Mark was probably the first Gospel written. This, along with a collection of the sayings of Jesus Christ known as “Q” (a German word for Quelle, meaning “source”), was the basis for Luke’s Gospel, and probably Matthew’s and John’s as well. Paul considered Luke’s writings and Peter recognized Paul’s work, so there was a great deal of continuity in the New Testament.

Also, the discovery of scrolls and thousands of scroll fragments recovered in the Qumran area, an extremely large collection of Jewish documents, has supported the accuracy of the early Old Testament writings. These documents date back to the third century BC, and are written in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Among these documents are the “Dead Sea Scrolls” which are all of the books of the Bible except Esther. Many councils, such as the Council of Laodicea (363 AD), the Council of Hippo (393 AD), and the Council of Carthage (397 AD), followed affirming the same 27 books are authoritative scripture. Questions asked were: 1) Was the author an apostle or closely associated with an apostle? 2) Was the book consistent with Christian doctrine and orthodox teaching? And, 3) Did the book put forward high moral and spiritual values consistent with the instruction from Jesus? As stated above, the Bible is God inspired and written by directing men driven by the Holy Spirit; therefore, it can be said that it was God that selected what was to be the Biblical Canon. I would never be so bold to claim to be an expert in the Bible, though I have taught adult Biblical Scripture Classes for over 30 years, anyone who has studied the Bible for any length of time has surely noticed how it all fits together cover to cover inspite of the many authors over centuries.

The Orthodox believer holds on to a theological knowledge based upon God’s Revelation. This Revelation is presented to the world through the written words in Scripture and through what is known as “The Apostolic Tradition”. Christ passed on in Pentecost the power for the apostles to do great things in the name of Christ. Jesus passed on “The Great Commission” for the apostles to go throughout the world and affirm the foundational Christian Truths as clearly taught in the Bible:

That the Triune God is three distinct persons in one God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

  1. The True Deity and True Humanity of Jesus Christ.
  2. The physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
  3. Salvation of the believer by grace alone, through faith in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
  4. The atonement of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of the sins of a sinner.
  5. The physical return of Christ to Earth at the end of time to judge the wicked and reward the righteous.

Any Christian group that would alter or distort one or more of these orthodox beliefs would be considered an aberrant group. To push the issue farther, theologically a cult is any deviation from orthodoxy, or denial or outright rejection of one or more of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Not to be confused with a “cult”, the occult deals directly with demonic forces; this awful practice has been engaged in throughout all history. Nothing good can come out of it. I once heard a woman on the radio, critical of churches, saying that they needed to change with the culture; this is the exact opposite of what an Orthodox Christian Church should do! Adapting to the culture only creates aberrant and cult groups; Jesus did not do nor did He teach that we should adapt to the culture. Deviations take all forms with some being very minor; groups normally must pull verse out of context and twist it around (give it new meanings) to create their own new theology. One notable group, that produced “The Jesus Seminar”, goes so far as to uphold that Jesus’ ministry had nothing to do with salvation nor that Jesus viewed Himself as Messiah or the Son of God. Pretty darn arrogant and blatant when you consider the New Testament is extremely clear that Jesus in fact knew Himself as Messiah and what His role in the salvation of humanity was to be.

Knowing Jesus Brings the ONLY Peace & Grace

Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888) was a successful lawyer in Chicago who maintained a keen interest in Christian activities, deeply spiritual and devoted to the scriptures. He experienced the death of his son. A fire in Chicago around 1871 devastated the city; invested hugely in real estate, the disaster wiped him out. Two years after the fire, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe by boat for him and his family, his wife and four daughters. He was unable to go, struck by another vessel the ship sank, his daughters all drowned but his wife was saved. Knowing God as his personal Lord and Savior, he held on and wrote the hymn, “It is well with my soul”. His words, “Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul”. What is it that empowers man who has been through so much to have such a faith? Is it made-up phony mysticism with little substance? I think not! Do not make the eternal mistake of dismissing Christianity as a foolish collection of mis-guided writings. Rev. Alistair Begg said on April 29, 2010 of our response to the Truth of our Savior God, Jesus the Christ, that “this is the great issue of life”!

 Slave trader, John Newton, a seasoned sailor, thought he was in control when one day a large storm at sea forced him to see God. He stopped his focus on himself, saw God as a loving and forgiving God, and wrote “Amazing Grace” in 1779. His words: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” Later he became a minister and dedicated his life to the Gospel of Christ. Oh how we think we are in control. I pray you gain the eyes to see as John Newton did. We do need to be open to God, give in to His control, and not our own. We are lost. We have no control. I remember the day when the world hiccupped and 5,500 people died in Kobe, Japan (the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake), or terrorists brought down Americas’ tallest structures, the two 110 story New York World Trade Center buildings, and killed 3,000 innocent people in 2001.

Knowing Jesus Brings the ONLY Peace & Grace

Horatio G. Spafford (1828-1888) was a successful lawyer in Chicago who maintained a keen interest in Christian activities, deeply spiritual and devoted to the scriptures. He experienced the death of his son. A fire in Chicago around 1871 devastated the city; invested hugely in real estate, the disaster wiped him out. Two years after the fire, Horatio Spafford planned a trip to Europe by boat for him and his family, his wife and four daughters. He was unable to go, struck by another vessel the ship sank, his daughters all drowned but his wife was saved. Knowing God as his personal Lord and Savior, he held on and wrote the hymn, “It is well with my soul”. His words, “Whatever my lot thou has taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul”. What is it that empowers man who has been through so much to have such a faith? Is it made-up phony mysticism with little substance? I think not! Do not make the eternal mistake of dismissing Christianity as a foolish collection of mis-guided writings. Rev. Alistair Begg said on April 29, 2010 of our response to the Truth of our Savior God, Jesus the Christ, that “this is the great issue of life”!

 Slave trader, John Newton, a seasoned sailor, thought he was in control when one day a large storm at sea forced him to see God. He stopped his focus on himself, saw God as a loving and forgiving God, and wrote “Amazing Grace” in 1779. His words: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” Later he became a minister and dedicated his life to the Gospel of Christ. Oh how we think we are in control. I pray you gain the eyes to see as John Newton did. We do need to be open to God, give in to His control, and not our own. We are lost. We have no control. I remember the day when the world hiccupped and 5,500 people died in Kobe, Japan (the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake), or terrorists brought down Americas’ tallest structures, the two 110 story New York World Trade Center buildings, and killed 3,000 innocent people in 2001.

Thanksgiving, Christmas…How is Your Faith?

We read in the twentieth chapter of John about the interchange between Jesus and Thomas. One of the twelve, Thomas had seen and experienced a lot in his three years traveling with Jesus. A week after Jesus appeared to most of the disciples and after Thomas said that it would take the physical evidence of his own touch to believe that Jesus was alive again, we find a dramatic scene. Behind locked doors Thomas and others were surprised when Jesus walked into their mist and greeted them. Knowing what Thomas had said a week earlier, Jesus invited him to touch the hole in His side and believe. Verse 27, Jesus said to “stop doubting and believe”, and Thomas, now with his physical evidence, believed. Then in verse 29 we read the words of Jesus, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Mankind hasn’t learned much about believing in Jesus for the search for physical evidence is still strong. December 18, 1995 issue of TIME asks the question on the cover “Is the Bible fact or fiction?” Using archaeology as the hand of Thomas, author Michael D. Lemonick asks the question “Are the Bible’s stories true?” Lemonick writes,

“Each spadeful of dirt an archaeologist turns up could yield evidence about how, and even whether, these and other biblical figures [Jesus, Abraham, King David and King Solomon] actually lived. As Hannukah and Christmas approach, believers around the world are attuned more than ever to the significance of archaeological finds of the past century, and especially the past few years, in establishing the reality of the events underlying their faith.”

 Sorry Mr. Lemonick, but I don’t need some archaeologist to “establish the reality” of my faith! I don’t need to touch the hole in Jesus’ side to believe; I see the reality all around me every day. Have the eyes to see! I see the work of the Lord, the Creator, in His creation; I see the work of the Holy Spirit in my life! My faith is real and strong and doesn’t require a dusty artifact to make it real!

I realize that many desire the “burning bush” type of physical evidence to believe; like the Thomas before them, it would make all this “faith stuff” more real. I used to work with some Pentecostal guys that constantly suggested they “throw out a fleece” to get a sign; for me, a closer walk with Thee is all I need. It was my hope that the book, I Am, the Great Creator God, would help people to see differently; that they would notice the physical proof they so desperately seek has been there all along, right in front of their noses.

What? You DON’T believe in Miracles? How limited you are!

Albert Einstein used to read a book called “Flatland” by Edwin A. Abbott19 every year, simply to break out of normative thinking. It is a book about dimensions and getting us to think about the possibilities that exist when you move from one set of dimensions to another set. It goes this way. A three-dimensional man finds himself in a land of only two dimensions, called Flatland. In Flatland, there is no height; no third dimension. Think about it…in Flatland, if you were to draw a line, how would you know what it was and how would you get over it? You could go around it, but you could not “step” over it. So what would happen if a three-dimensional man were to come up to that line in Flatland? He could simply step over it and all the residents in Flatland would cry out “Miracle Miracle”. Also in Flatland, the people would only be able to see the line of contact with the ground of Flatland from the three-dimensional man. In other words, the existence of the man to the residents in Flatland is only known as the bottom line of the man’s feet as they touch the ground; it would form only a single line. In stepping over the line, the three-dimensional man, picking his foot up, would have appeared to have vanished. What happens if the man simply takes a step or jumps up? To the residents of Flatland, the man would have also vanished! Miracle! Miracle! We would, of course, say the man didn’t vanish; he simply took advantage of another dimension the residents of Flatland didn’t understand or realize. Since the residents in Flatland cannot go over that line you drew, and so must go around the barrier. Our three-dimensional man comes up to the line, and while his two-dimensional buddies work their way around the line, he steps over it. Miracle! Miracle! Cry out the residents; how did he do that? One moment he was on one side of the barrier, and then the next moment he showed up on the other side, why it’s a miracle! The book is full of interesting thought-provoking issues, such as, the residents of Flatland are two-dimensional shapes; how do you recognize anybody in Flatland where shapes all appear as a line?

One must then, as Einstein did, ask what are the possibilities for miracles to happen in a multidimensional Universe? We three-dimensional beings are as limited as those two-dimensional residents in Flatland! What then are the possibilities for a multidimensional omnipotent God, which created all things including time itself, to do amazing miraculous things? I know a Jesus that walked in to that locked upper room…walking right through walls…no big deal for a multidimensional God…just like stepping over that line in Flatland. If you are one of those people who do not believe in miracles, I would have to say you simply do not understand the ease of “miracles” in a multidimensional Universe and you suffer over the limits of our limited 3D perspective.

What? You DON'T believe in Miracles? How limited you are!

Albert Einstein used to read a book called “Flatland” by Edwin A. Abbott19 every year, simply to break out of normative thinking. It is a book about dimensions and getting us to think about the possibilities that exist when you move from one set of dimensions to another set. It goes this way. A three-dimensional man finds himself in a land of only two dimensions, called Flatland. In Flatland, there is no height; no third dimension. Think about it…in Flatland, if you were to draw a line, how would you know what it was and how would you get over it? You could go around it, but you could not “step” over it. So what would happen if a three-dimensional man were to come up to that line in Flatland? He could simply step over it and all the residents in Flatland would cry out “Miracle Miracle”. Also in Flatland, the people would only be able to see the line of contact with the ground of Flatland from the three-dimensional man. In other words, the existence of the man to the residents in Flatland is only known as the bottom line of the man’s feet as they touch the ground; it would form only a single line. In stepping over the line, the three-dimensional man, picking his foot up, would have appeared to have vanished. What happens if the man simply takes a step or jumps up? To the residents of Flatland, the man would have also vanished! Miracle! Miracle! We would, of course, say the man didn’t vanish; he simply took advantage of another dimension the residents of Flatland didn’t understand or realize. Since the residents in Flatland cannot go over that line you drew, and so must go around the barrier. Our three-dimensional man comes up to the line, and while his two-dimensional buddies work their way around the line, he steps over it. Miracle! Miracle! Cry out the residents; how did he do that? One moment he was on one side of the barrier, and then the next moment he showed up on the other side, why it’s a miracle! The book is full of interesting thought-provoking issues, such as, the residents of Flatland are two-dimensional shapes; how do you recognize anybody in Flatland where shapes all appear as a line?

One must then, as Einstein did, ask what are the possibilities for miracles to happen in a multidimensional Universe? We three-dimensional beings are as limited as those two-dimensional residents in Flatland! What then are the possibilities for a multidimensional omnipotent God, which created all things including time itself, to do amazing miraculous things? I know a Jesus that walked in to that locked upper room…walking right through walls…no big deal for a multidimensional God…just like stepping over that line in Flatland. If you are one of those people who do not believe in miracles, I would have to say you simply do not understand the ease of “miracles” in a multidimensional Universe and you suffer over the limits of our limited 3D perspective.

Selfishness – Our Poor Attitude

I am not going to dissect physiological selfishness within this post, for it is clearly beyond the scope of one post. What I would like to do is simply deal with self-ishness as it relates to creation, creating, and the creator. To understand our God, the Creator, and look at His creation, it is important to study the process and relationships of the creative process. There is indeed a link between the creator and his creation; I believe it has to do with the part of “self” that ends within the created object. High quality, timeless, creation (not just your basic problem-solving) but something of a special “museum-rated” quality, goes much deeper into the creator. Haven’t you heard the saying: “Put a little soul in it”? To most, this is just so many words about making an effort, but I propose that this timeless creation has exactly that in it…a little of your soul, a little of your life’s essence. There is, however, a danger of crossing the line…the line between putting yourself into the creation for the glory of the creation (“Let us make man in Our image”, Genesis 1:26), and putting yourself into you for the glory of yourself (pure self-ishness).

Why is it that man will often put-down and denounce innovation and creativity? Is it because of jealousy? Is it the change that is associated with innovation that scares people? I think people are mad at themselves, upset that they didn’t have the answers; they often feel that they don’t have the creativity within themselves to do the same. It seems to inflate or build up the criticizer (an ego thing) if he or she can denounce the creator or his creation. Saying, “that sure is a dumb idea” extends the position that you are smart enough to recognize that fact. The “put-down” is a way people seek to regain control over others.

All the great architects, artists, and filmmakers stood alone and were ridiculed by people of lesser vision. The importance of the created object by the creator was far too powerful to let the unknowing deter their paths by a watered-down and compromised pseudo-intellectual thought. A gang can come together for a given purpose, get the job done and move on to some other focus; but the real creator is a capable solitary innovative mind more focused on the creation than self. I know some of you reading this will say, “Wrong! The drive for that lone creator, that solitary mind is all about “ego” and not about any focus on the object of creation.” It is all about “self” you’ll say. Our society has put down “ego” as a bad thing because of a gross misunderstanding of what ego means. I’ve heard architects who should know something about creativity put down the Great Master…Frank Lloyd Wright for being egotistical, when it was ego that was the “muscle” that allowed him to conquer ridicule. Let’s first look at some definitions to help us be accurate; first “ego” and then “arrogance”; read carefully and compare the two.

ego – “the self, the individual as aware of himself, experiences the external world through the senses and consciously controls the impulses” …intuitive

arrogance – “full of or due to unwarranted pride and self-importance, overbearing, haughty”

It is my contention that these innovative and creative people must have ego; it is the “engine” that drives a person forward when all those around him are staying stop or “you can’t do that”. The ego is also the shield to protect those people as they found themselves out on the edge, charting new ground in a sea of hostility. Look at the “ego” definition again, it is an individual aware of self but within a larger context; it is not inward and selfish. Being aware of self is simply knowing one’s limitations and abilities for you to be able to use “the best tools for the job”; a craftsman knows which tool to pick up to do a particular job. Now, notice the definition of “arrogance”, the key words are:

full”…there is no room for anything else, nothing or nobody can get in; this often blocks new serendipity from being realized.

unwarranted”…there is no justification for the person’s attitude or position; most often what is visible in the person has not been earned.

self-importance”…manufactured self-worth and self-value; the drive to do something is purely inward and does not acknowledge a larger context.

Overbearing”…this is a protection mechanism for these people, a haughty overbearing attitude most often hides the inner insecurity and shallowness of the person; it keeps others from getting too close to see the truth.

Please don’t criticize a creative person, such as an artist, musician, or architect, as being egotistical when you mean arrogance. Ego allows the forceful decision making necessary for creative invention…do you think every new thought came about by some wishy-washy wet dishrag pea-brain afraid of making a decision, trying to decide whether he was right or not? No! New thought, ideas and solutions come about by one solid strong person having the guts to stand by his conviction after careful study and reflection; an individual aware of self but always within the larger context beyond self. Timeless solutions are never reckless.

God, the Master Architect Creator, created you and me, and created us to be creative; we are created in the image of God. We can and should use our God-given talents as a celebration to the wonderful gifts lovingly bestowed on us by God; to not do this and not give thanks for the blessing is to reject God. It was God who has granted you a confidence; a confidence that you can “go and do likewise”…that is, go and be a creative being…but in what larger context you say? The context we are to work within is not some socialistic utopia but simply it is to work to and for the glory of God. Although a person with ego can “miss the mark” (the definition of sin), it is this confidence in God and this larger purpose, the “ego engine” will empower us to run the uphill race.

The Creator Destroys His Creation

The fictional character of architect Howard Roark had passion for his creative effort, for his creations. I understand his feelings. My peers in architectural circles laugh at him today, and I don’t recommend nor approve of destroying buildings when they are altered by others, but I do understand. I designed a clinic once for a husband and wife doctor partnership. After the plans were completed and we moved to building the project, my client told me that my services were no longer needed; that my oversight was not wanted because they would build it exactly according to the drawings. No amount of my “why I was needed” education was going to help these “smart doctors”. It will never happen…”exactly like the plans”, I knew better. I was disappointed because I find it thrilling to experience my work as it takes on form and dreams become reality. I asked if I could put my sign out and come on-site from time to time. They were pleasant and happily agreed. One day I saw the roof was of a strange and different design, and then…all these ugly little metal boxes on the roof! Electric ventilating fans! How awful, how unnecessary, how ridiculous! You see, I had designed the roof form to collect prevailing winds and to have natural exhaust; through convection and architectural form I had created natural ventilation requiring neither electricity nor the purchase of a dozen mechanical fans. When I called the doctors to ask them why they altered the building so drastically, they said that their builder had told them the fans were needed. I politely said the fans were not required by the original design, but now they had not only increased the first cost of their building by the installation unnecessary mechanical equipment. Now they had ugly little boxes all over their roof, but that they would also be paying for it every month for the life of the building in their electric bill. The doctors replied, they didn’t know; they had believed the contractor. Through my disappointment, I felt sorry for them. Other changes and alterations soon took place and it wasn’t long before I took my sign off the building site. I got a call one day, “Haven somebody stole your sign!” I said thank you for your concern but that I had taken my sign off the property. But why would you do that? I heard. Because what was being built was not “my design”, I replied; it was not mine so my name should not to be associated with it. She expressed her regrets and I wished them good luck; as I hung up the phone I thought of Howard Roark…no I was not going to dynamite the clinic, but I understood the pain.

This unfortunately happens way too often by “blind owners and contractors” that think they know more about the design of architecture than the professional. To be fair, sadly many architects content with lifeless buildings could care less about producing spirited architecture. I think we should think about the creative effort, individual inventions and achievement. There is a passion and spirit that brings vitality to our cities. The mistakes and failures in our society usually can be boiled down to a collective lack of focus, compromised process, and arrogant altruism. As Howard continues in his testimony and final summary at his trial, he says:

 “I destroyed it because I did not choose to let it exist. It was a double monster. In form and in implication. I had to blast both. The form was mutilated by two second-handers [those that use others property] who assumed the right to improve upon that which they had not made and could not equal. They were permitted to do it by the general implication that the altruistic purpose of the building superseded all rights and that I had no claim to stand against it.

I agreed to design Cortlandt for the purpose of seeing it erected as I designed it and for no other reason. That was the price I set for my work. I was not paid.” (page 685)13

To care so much for the creation of your effort that you would rather see it destroyed than to exist so altered is rare; I sense that creative integrity and passion for it is escaping from us. Please, I’m not promoting that we destroy our buildings. What I’m trying to suggest is that this creative energy has value to the individual and to the collective; that we should work hard to not have or accept the lifeless trash in the first place. Without passion for goodness, quality, and spirit in our art and architecture; society will grow dead. Don’t you already see the deadness in society all around you? I do. You only need to have the eyes to see.

So, on a grander scale, what would drive a creator to destroy his creation? We’ve been looking at this question from an architecture point of view; now let’s look at it from a Biblical point of view. Rather than just one building project, let’s look at just that “Fountainhead situation” on a worldwide scale. Moving from fiction to nonfiction, the Book of Genesis tells us in the sixth chapter, verses 5 through 7 (NIV):

 “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the Earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the Earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the Earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.”

We will never know the extreme magnitude of the Lord’s pain and how He grieved over mankind making the wrong decisions, and the need to destroy His creation. It would have to be like losing part of Himself [we were created in the image of God]. We are the poema [poetry], the grand workmanship of God. Of course, what He destroyed wasn’t exactly the way He originally created it. Something happened. In the first chapter of Genesis we see God saying “It is good”, after viewing that which He had just created. However the creation He destroyed wasn’t good; the creation [we people] had been altered for the worse by our own self-ishness and by our desire to be like God (Genesis 2:5+6). We made our own choice to not obey God; that is the same as putting ourselves above God. This was made possible though the gift of free-will, lovingly granted by God at His great risk. To not grant free-will would have been the same as placing us in prison chains; we would simply be puppets on the end of strings dancing to the whim of the “Master Controller”. But God loves us; He is not into control but seeks relationship! We read that one afternoon God was walking in The Garden and called out to Adam, where are you? (Genesis 2:8+9) To walk in The Garden with God…but the people did not have the vision of the Creator, they had their incomplete vision. How could they think they could stand equal to the One that got the whole thing started in the first place? To cover the Earth with water and start again would grieve God to depths we can’t possibly understand, but it had to happen for God is in control and still seeks relationship. Maybe we’ll learn one day! In His effort to finally reach us, God sent His Son Jesus to show us the way…we need nothing else, but did we change our evil ways?

Evil is Real…Why does God allow evil?

 You often hear people say, “Why does God allow evil?” What would you have Him do? By force, change everybody into a different kind of puppet? Often you hear of people rejecting God as they express: “you say God is love and since there is evil in the world and God created everything, then God must not be love at all…I will reject a God like that”…or, they will say, “He simply must not exist at all because if He was in fact all powerful and a reality, then there would be no evil.” To which I say: Where is the love in a God that would manipulate, control and force His people into selected thoughts and actions? Is a manipulated relationship, actions controlled by strings & chains, movement & thought controlled by force or predestination; is that kind of a relationship, a loving relationship? Should we all simply not be trusted to obey a simple command like, “don’t eat from that tree”, or shall we be placed in a jail cell and then told what to do, where to go, and what to think? Oh gee, now that sounds real loving to me! [Structural note: for those who don’t see it these days, that was sarcasm.] Those of you who truly love their spouse, who would give your life for them (as Jesus did for you), let me ask you: Would you ever, ever dream of manipulating their spouse’s every thought, word and action by the heaviest of force? Of course not! And neither would your loving God in Heaven do that to you!

Evil is real on this Earth; I do know that evil is not God created, but is God allowed. God wants us to turn to Him; not through some forced or preprogrammed command, but because of our free choice and need to be close to our Creator. He will protect you; you don’t have to do a thing but give Jesus the preeminence in your life, saying that you wish Jesus to be your personal LORD & Savior.

It is not God’s deeds that are causing the problems in the world; it is our deeds that are evil. Many times I’ve heard people reject Christianity as being false because God couldn’t possibly exist because a good God would have created a good world. “Don’t blame God when you are tempted! God cannot be tempted by evil, and He doesn’t use evil to tempt others. We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. Our desires make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead.” (James 1:13-15 LB, underline added). Could we just possibly drop our stupid arrogance, turn toward our Savior Jesus Christ, who has already paid the price for the sins we commit in darkness, and by His grace become children of God…children of the Light? We have a chance to come out of the darkness, turn toward the “Light of God” that has come into the world, and be saved from our sins.

 

Why All the Talk on Climate Change & Global Warming?

This past week was difficult for weather forecasters looking at New York. Strange, things didn’t work out like they thought it would. Sure weather shifts around and often becomes worse or better than the forecasters first thought. Try looking one hundred years out why would anyone in their right mind think that they could do so? Fueled by arrogance, many have tried.

I pray for common sense to return to our world. One look into history knows that the climate has ALWAYS changed with absolutely ZERO impact from mankind. Cities with pollution are strictly local events for the world easily tolerates worldwide pollution circling the globe in a few days from massive volcanic events such as the Mt. Saint Helens explosion. It is the very height of arrogance to think that mankind has any global impact. This is humanism on steroids! The Bible tells us to be good stewards of God’s creation; this I will always promote! But, to think that mankind impacts global weather, the raising and falling of oceans, and building up or reduction of the ice caps is nothing more than mankind wanting to be God. Do you really think that God would create a perfect universe and a perfect world that was so delicate that mankind could really destroy it? How arrogant! How humanist!

I wrote an article in October of 2009. It still fits today as much as ever. I invite you to read, “The Sin of Environmentalism“. We are directing massive resources to a nonexistent problem, all the while literally ignoring the plight of children in Africa. Have you forgotten the 200 young girls stolen from grieving parents to be sex-slaves to evil men? Christians world-wide are being persecuted at a massive scale. The evil in the world today, not a hundred years from now, is becoming much more intense, thousands are being killed. No one is being killed directly by “climate change”. If we turn our backs on our world neighbors and the innocent and focus on the arrogance of being God-like, we are indeed sinners to the Nth degree!

Why All the Talk on Climate Change & Global Warming?

This past week was difficult for weather forecasters looking at New York. Strange, things didn’t work out like they thought it would. Sure weather shifts around and often becomes worse or better than the forecasters first thought. Try looking one hundred years out why would anyone in their right mind think that they could do so? Fueled by arrogance, many have tried.

I pray for common sense to return to our world. One look into history knows that the climate has ALWAYS changed with absolutely ZERO impact from mankind. Cities with pollution are strictly local events for the world easily tolerates worldwide pollution circling the globe in a few days from massive volcanic events such as the Mt. Saint Helens explosion. It is the very height of arrogance to think that mankind has any global impact. This is humanism on steroids! The Bible tells us to be good stewards of God’s creation; this I will always promote! But, to think that mankind impacts global weather, the raising and falling of oceans, and building up or reduction of the ice caps is nothing more than mankind wanting to be God. Do you really think that God would create a perfect universe and a perfect world that was so delicate that mankind could really destroy it? How arrogant! How humanist!

I wrote an article in October of 2009. It still fits today as much as ever. I invite you to read, “The Sin of Environmentalism“. We are directing massive resources to a nonexistent problem, all the while literally ignoring the plight of children in Africa. Have you forgotten the 200 young girls stolen from grieving parents to be sex-slaves to evil men? Christians world-wide are being persecuted at a massive scale. The evil in the world today, not a hundred years from now, is becoming much more intense, thousands are being killed. No one is being killed directly by “climate change”. If we turn our backs on our world neighbors and the innocent and focus on the arrogance of being God-like, we are indeed sinners to the Nth degree!

The Creator is Reflected in the Creation but is not there Physically; Created in God's Image, Yes…but Reject Pantheism!

It is a God given wish of all beings to create. Why? Because it is a reflection of you; part of you ends inside that creation. While flying back to Oklahoma City from a business trip to Indianapolis on June 1, 1994, I noticed a beautiful cover on a magazine. It was the painting “Medicine Woman” by artist Helen Hardin. I picked up the magazine and found a wonderful article on the artist. A quote from the late Helen Hardin that appeared in the United Airlines in-flight magazine, “Hemispheres”, June 1994, was as follows:

“I don’t fear death because I know I’ll always be here through my paintings. I want to be good at what I’m doing, I want to make it complete. It’s the reward of living and the reward I have to give to those who survive me. It’s the only thing I can give that’s really me.”

Helen Hardin died of cancer on June 9, 1984. I’m not going to comment on her theological beliefs, but I know by this quote that she did know something about creating, and that is what I would like to deal with here. Note her words, “…I’ll always be here through my paintings.” She knew that in every painting, Helen was inside, of course not physically, but as a reflection of who she was. Further, Helen knew that it [the created art] was the true reward of living. “It’s the only thing I can give that’s really me.”

There is an inner spirit in each of us, created by God and in His image and character that is, the creative “juice” that will move to do creative things. I like to call it “juice” because it (whatever “it” is) this creative essence in each of us “flows”. You can feel it when it is moving and you know when it dries up. Haven’t you heard an artist say things like, “I don’t have it anymore” or “nothing was coming to me”? Every artist has a dry period; a period when the juice is not flowing. The juice hasn’t dried up forever, gone and never experienced again. No, the juice is still within you; it has only ceased to flow at that given time. It is best to just get up and do something else for a time. When the juice is flowing, you can do amazing things. Michelangelo’s statue of David can be carved out of a rough block of marble. Frank Lloyd Wright’s house called “Fallingwater” in Bear Run, Pennsylvania can be designed. Leonardo Da Vinci’s 16th Century painting of the “Mona Lisa” and Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” can all be created out of nothing, ex nihilo!

Every time you read a novel, a poem, a sonnet, a play, any literary work, you have revealed something of whom the writer is and about their life. You can see that Michelangelo understands human anatomy when you view his drawings, such as the portion of the Sistine Chapel ceiling called the “Creation of Man”. Most architects display “their style” to the point that a person can view a set of buildings and place the architect’s name beside each one. In the created object, there is indeed part of the creator.

On the airplane going to Indianapolis, one day earlier, I visited with a pleasant woman sitting next to me. Our conversation gave way to theology; she asked me some questions. Questions she must have been asking herself for some time. I told her I didn’t believe in evolution and once you could really see God’s creation, it would be clear to her that everything is God created. She then asked me, “why did God create us, what does He need with us?” Michelangelo understands God reaching out to create mankind; it was this energy that empowered him to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling masterpiece. My answer had some of the sentiment found in Helen Hardin’s quote above. Not the part of leaving something behind to “survive” Helen, God is not dead, but my answer expressed the idea of completeness. Our creation by God “completes” God’s creation; it is all about “relationship”. Helen said, “It’s the only thing I can give that’s really me”; her art was about “relationship”…relationship with the beholder. So it is with God, He wants relationship with us. We are created to glorify God, we are not God. Jesus redeems us from our sins so that we may believe and be close to God in relationship. What better way to have a close relationship than to have part of Him in us! God is part of us, just like Helen is in her paintings, we are created in the image of God. When we view her paintings, we see part of Helen. When we view God’s creation, we see a reflection of who God is.

We must be careful in this type of discussion, however, for there are many who think we are all just spiritual beings and therefore God is us. They think God is in every thing…in the forest, in the sunset, in the universe. This is a pantheistic view and is not orthodox Christianity. All things are created by God and God is omnipotent, but all things are not God. God’s power can move through you, but don’t think that it is you that is the power.

The Creator is Reflected in the Creation but is not there Physically; Created in God’s Image, Yes…but Reject Pantheism!

It is a God given wish of all beings to create. Why? Because it is a reflection of you; part of you ends inside that creation. While flying back to Oklahoma City from a business trip to Indianapolis on June 1, 1994, I noticed a beautiful cover on a magazine. It was the painting “Medicine Woman” by artist Helen Hardin. I picked up the magazine and found a wonderful article on the artist. A quote from the late Helen Hardin that appeared in the United Airlines in-flight magazine, “Hemispheres”, June 1994, was as follows:

“I don’t fear death because I know I’ll always be here through my paintings. I want to be good at what I’m doing, I want to make it complete. It’s the reward of living and the reward I have to give to those who survive me. It’s the only thing I can give that’s really me.”

Helen Hardin died of cancer on June 9, 1984. I’m not going to comment on her theological beliefs, but I know by this quote that she did know something about creating, and that is what I would like to deal with here. Note her words, “…I’ll always be here through my paintings.” She knew that in every painting, Helen was inside, of course not physically, but as a reflection of who she was. Further, Helen knew that it [the created art] was the true reward of living. “It’s the only thing I can give that’s really me.”

There is an inner spirit in each of us, created by God and in His image and character that is, the creative “juice” that will move to do creative things. I like to call it “juice” because it (whatever “it” is) this creative essence in each of us “flows”. You can feel it when it is moving and you know when it dries up. Haven’t you heard an artist say things like, “I don’t have it anymore” or “nothing was coming to me”? Every artist has a dry period; a period when the juice is not flowing. The juice hasn’t dried up forever, gone and never experienced again. No, the juice is still within you; it has only ceased to flow at that given time. It is best to just get up and do something else for a time. When the juice is flowing, you can do amazing things. Michelangelo’s statue of David can be carved out of a rough block of marble. Frank Lloyd Wright’s house called “Fallingwater” in Bear Run, Pennsylvania can be designed. Leonardo Da Vinci’s 16th Century painting of the “Mona Lisa” and Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” can all be created out of nothing, ex nihilo!

Every time you read a novel, a poem, a sonnet, a play, any literary work, you have revealed something of whom the writer is and about their life. You can see that Michelangelo understands human anatomy when you view his drawings, such as the portion of the Sistine Chapel ceiling called the “Creation of Man”. Most architects display “their style” to the point that a person can view a set of buildings and place the architect’s name beside each one. In the created object, there is indeed part of the creator.

On the airplane going to Indianapolis, one day earlier, I visited with a pleasant woman sitting next to me. Our conversation gave way to theology; she asked me some questions. Questions she must have been asking herself for some time. I told her I didn’t believe in evolution and once you could really see God’s creation, it would be clear to her that everything is God created. She then asked me, “why did God create us, what does He need with us?” Michelangelo understands God reaching out to create mankind; it was this energy that empowered him to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling masterpiece. My answer had some of the sentiment found in Helen Hardin’s quote above. Not the part of leaving something behind to “survive” Helen, God is not dead, but my answer expressed the idea of completeness. Our creation by God “completes” God’s creation; it is all about “relationship”. Helen said, “It’s the only thing I can give that’s really me”; her art was about “relationship”…relationship with the beholder. So it is with God, He wants relationship with us. We are created to glorify God, we are not God. Jesus redeems us from our sins so that we may believe and be close to God in relationship. What better way to have a close relationship than to have part of Him in us! God is part of us, just like Helen is in her paintings, we are created in the image of God. When we view her paintings, we see part of Helen. When we view God’s creation, we see a reflection of who God is.

We must be careful in this type of discussion, however, for there are many who think we are all just spiritual beings and therefore God is us. They think God is in every thing…in the forest, in the sunset, in the universe. This is a pantheistic view and is not orthodox Christianity. All things are created by God and God is omnipotent, but all things are not God. God’s power can move through you, but don’t think that it is you that is the power.