Part 1 – Your Relationship with God

2 Timothy chapter 3, verses 1 to 4 states: “In the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…” (ESV)

Probably most will say that the above verses spell out our current culture. They would be correct; but please note that the end times have been on-going since the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. The human values noted in 2 Timothy 3 have been on display for most generations since. Yet, we have the ability of seeing first hand these ugly sinful values on display in our current time on this planet.

We need to turn; that is, we need to repent and turn toward our only Savior, Christ Jesus! Any view of history, no matter how long or short, reveals that mankind cannot save themselves. Many will reject the idea of an ultimate savior, saying there is no God because there is evil in the world. Will you bet your eternal soul on that? …or, do you believe this world is all there is?

God will bring all things to a close and re-create all things anew at His time. Out of love, He is waiting for as many as possible to turn…to repent and accept Jesus Christ as LORD and Savior, so to find a heavenly home.

Part 2 will be an example of how much God really cares for those that love Him.

Garbage-in Means Garbage-out

I contend that a person’s dress and their speech are connected to their actions. Just look how people dress these days to travel; not long ago you would dress up to travel. People’s actions will affect what they think, and what they think affects their actions. I believe that what you chose to take into your heart impacts how you will act and talk. I believe that “garbage-in means garbage-out”. It is all connected. Today, it is rare to encounter “manners”. It is rare to see chivalry and courtesy. Many say that the culture is much more coarse today than just a few decades ago. One thing that is very common today among young and old…foul language in open everyday communications. We see teachers in young classrooms using foul language. It is a rare rap song that isn’t laced with foul language. Kids tell parents that everyone talks that way.

The Bible has much to say about the evil of the tongue, driven by an impure heart. An evil tongue, driven by an evil heart, is the cultural damage we see every morning in newspapers and on TV news shows. It is the tongue that creates the gang wars and shootings at sports events. Obviously there are some refreshing exceptions, but does anyone doubt me concerning the current state of our culture, our politics, and Hollywood?

Fill your heart with the blessings of God’s Holy Word, the Bible, be at peace with yourself, and be nice and courteous to those you meet…you will find your heart and your voice will start changing into a compassionate and sensitive human being.

 

Moving Backward into the Deep Caverns of Hate

Evil comes in all packages. Often, groups with the nicest sounding names can be the most evil; wolves in sheep clothing. Where I live, middle America, I see no racism…we all get along just fine. I see people helping one another. Why is it that the purported racism seems to most often be in the big liberal cities, rather than middle America? God created all of us in His image; we are all children of God. Whether you believe in God or not, you were created by a Divine Hand. All blood is red! We Christians (true, not just name only) do not see the human differences; so, I must ask, is there a business, a way of gaining power and money from promoting hate?

I am not completely unaware; I have been a witness to history for more than 60 years, but we seem to be moving backward into the deep caverns of hate. Have we not learned anything after all the trial and errors that have been made in our 200 years? It appears to this one observer that the arguments are growing more absurd and dangerous. Why is hate fueled so much? What is to be gained? In recent memory, there was a Washington News Bureau Chief who broadcasted, to his own demise thankfully, that the GOP would be happy with black people drowning as hurricane Isaac approached. This so-called journalist didn’t know the real facts; that it was the GOP that brought about all the civil rights improvements we have in this country…that the KKK was first a democrat group. Can we move forward and not backward?

In recent memory we have Ferguson activists threatening the police and praying for their death. But people like this are fueled by their leadership. The so-called Reverend Sharpton, speaking in a church on the events in Ferguson claimed an ancient Biblical text, not supported by Jesus Christ, that there would be an “eye for an eye” in retaliation for their perceived mis-justice in the case. In other words, he was saying there would be death for death and the fight was not over. In pulling down Old Testament verse to suit his passion, his political agenda, he chose to not obey the teachings of Jesus (Matthew 5:39-45) for a pastor is not to make the Word of God his vehicle for hate.

Please, I pray, let’s turn around before it is too late in this country to repair itself and become a “Godly Nation” again. Shalom.

 

Connections of Love, Hate, Respect and Violence

Blessed are the Peace MakersSeveral years ago, this image was placed on the doors of the Houston County sheriff’s cars in Alabama. In recent years, we have seen many police officers being gunned down, murdered by hate-filled people fueled by the hateful rhetoric from hate groups such as “Black Lives Matter”, a group applauded by then President Obama. The folks in Alabama reacted negatively to the image due to its Bible reference of Matthew 5:9. Why? Did they not want peace? If they hated cops, then they must really love anarchy!

Maybe they did not know where hate comes from? Hate and evilness comes from Satan. Were they on the side of Satan? Love, Hate, Respect and Violence are all wrapped up in who we really are. This is not about black or white, rich or poor, male or female, nor any other set of comparisons the Progressives wish to divide us over. This about the heart and your inner spirit.

Goodness, love and peace come from God, and the Bible is God’s Holy Word…plain and simple. God was speaking then and is still speaking today…first, YOU must stop speaking and listen!

 

Won’t you turn to Him now?

I have to admit, I am so very tired of hearing from our academic institutions, be they from kindergarten through our highest universities, of the gushing out of pure garbage of the zero-evidence non-proven “truths” about how mankind came into being.  So prevalent in so many circles, most drink it in as truth. Absolute trash about how creation came about, even from the likes of the great Steven Hawking. They all pour out their ideas, all the while ignoring the very science that proves them wrong.  You can not (should not) pick and choose your supporting arguments to fit your agendas if your adventure is to find the real truth.

I have written on this subject before and I am not going to try to fight in this short post. But what I do want to request of anyone out there with a brain of their own, please think through all that you hear, test it out, does it hold even a little bit of water? You are sensible people, don’t just buy the voice of the mob!

For thousands of years thoughtful scholarship has taken place to show and prove that God is not just some construct. God always is and has been, and will be! God is the non-created “first cause”! We have never had the ability to know more than we can electronically today, and that will only mushroom many times over in the future. But we have never been more mistaken on what the truth really is. Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them [your days]’.” (NIV). You still have time; remember your Creator. Seek a Biblical worldview instead of a humanistic worldview. You have been gloriously created by a very loving God who wants you to be in relationship with Him. Won’t you turn to Him now before the end of your days?

Won't you turn to Him now?

I have to admit, I am so very tired of hearing from our academic institutions, be they from kindergarten through our highest universities, of the gushing out of pure garbage of the zero-evidence non-proven “truths” about how mankind came into being.  So prevalent in so many circles, most drink it in as truth. Absolute trash about how creation came about, even from the likes of the great Steven Hawking. They all pour out their ideas, all the while ignoring the very science that proves them wrong.  You can not (should not) pick and choose your supporting arguments to fit your agendas if your adventure is to find the real truth.

I have written on this subject before and I am not going to try to fight in this short post. But what I do want to request of anyone out there with a brain of their own, please think through all that you hear, test it out, does it hold even a little bit of water? You are sensible people, don’t just buy the voice of the mob!

For thousands of years thoughtful scholarship has taken place to show and prove that God is not just some construct. God always is and has been, and will be! God is the non-created “first cause”! We have never had the ability to know more than we can electronically today, and that will only mushroom many times over in the future. But we have never been more mistaken on what the truth really is. Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, ‘I find no pleasure in them [your days]’.” (NIV). You still have time; remember your Creator. Seek a Biblical worldview instead of a humanistic worldview. You have been gloriously created by a very loving God who wants you to be in relationship with Him. Won’t you turn to Him now before the end of your days?

Spiritual but not Religious…oh really?

You hear people say, I’m a spiritual person but I am not religious. What does that mean? Many will tell you that spirituality is finding your inner peace, finding your true self and your true path…whatever that means. They will tell us that spirituality is deep healing of mind, body and spirit…a shift to a higher consciousness and understanding. This is all humanism; making the person the power generator capable of reaching the high levels on their own. This type of thought sets the individual at the center of all that happens. This kind of spirituality is simply a preoccupation with ourselves.

Real spirituality is something you cannot do on your own, but requires formation by God’s Spirit. Called “Spiritual Formation” and it is entirely different from the humanism we see all around us. It is complex and takes a lifetime. Spiritual Formation places Jesus Christ in the center to keep us out of the center.

If you really want a worry-free life, one with a peace that passes all understanding, you only need to turn to Christ Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to  be a child of God. God will replace your evil heart with a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). God will put His Spirit in you (Ezekiel 36:27). This is the real spirituality available to all people.

What will be MY response?

Forgiveness, what a word. The Bible tells us to forgive 70 x 7 times; in other words, an unlimited number of times. The Bible also tells us that if we don’t forgive others, that we will not be forgiven. We are all told to forgive one another but it is very hard to do. Here is why. There is a thing called the “stress response”. If the stress response is triggered by a meeting of one you said you had forgiven, then you had not fully forgiven.

A lawyer beat me out of a sizable architectural fee 40 years ago. He was an evil person and hurt many others. He also hurt my wife and children. The courts were of no help after years of trying, so one day I decided that I was carrying way too much baggage about this guy, after all I had recovered from the pain he caused. I wrote him and said I forgive you. Of course, I never got a reply; I didn’t expect one. He probably thought I was weak. Soon, I began to consider…what if I run into him on the elevator? How would I feel? Being honest with myself, I decided I would get nervous, flushed with adrenaline, and so thought I had not FULLY forgiven. It took about a year of working on my forgiveness before I decided I would have no reaction and could actually wish the man “a good day”.

Yes, to fully forgive can be difficult but I promise it will be YOU who will be blessed in doing so. Furthermore, each and everyone of us needs forgiveness for something; looking back, I could fill a book; I am so glad that God has forgiven me, now what will be my response be to God’s mercy and grace?

So, what is a Christian anyway?

What is a Christian? Someone who knows Jesus Christ? No…the Bible tells us that the demons know Jesus Christ. Someone who knows Jesus is the Son of God? No…the demons know that too. Fact is, Jesus told us that many so-called Christians will call Him Lord and He will say, “I don’t know you”. So what then is the real Christian? Maybe the Christian is one who does good things. No, many non-Christians also do good things. So what then is the real Christian?

Michael Brown, past professor at a number of seminaries, wrote an article published on January 3, 2013, entitled: “What’s Right and Wrong with American Christianity”. He listed 8 “right things” and 12 “bad things”. The right things were about the things a Christian “does”: feed the poor, generosity, being helpful to others, being moral, pro-life, and pro-Israel. Jesus asked us to go and “do”, strive to be righteous and look after your neighbor; so I agree with Brown’s “right listing”, but these things don’t define a Christian. The bad things consist of having shallow faith, leadership scandals, moving away from orthodoxy, prosperity preaching, false teaching, and changing the church to fit the culture. Here we have a serious and accurate list. If we can reverse this “bad list” we will find out what a real Christian is.

A real Christian has a very strong faith in Jesus Christ and is willing to put Jesus above all things including self. The Bible teaches that leadership will be judged harsher than others; leadership should be stronger and humbly better, no excuses. The Christian’s faith must remain orthodox; the Bible is the very word of God, believe it with all your mind, heart and soul. A Christian does not change Jesus to suit his personal whims or to make the culture like a false message. A Christian loves Jesus no matter what the world thinks, no matter if it costs him his life.

Down With The “ME” Generation!

For decades now we have had the philosophical experts say a person must satisfy himself first, must think of herself first, must always put yourself first; and that you must strive to make your life fulfilled. In business, the experts say you should always pay yourself first before any other obligations. We had and have the “me” generations; it is all about “me”. I say, “baloney”, it is all baloney! This teaching is quicksand, it sucks you in and under…and you die a selfish death! This teaching destroys. This is all the work of Satan, the great apostate!

This kind of nonsense is what destroys marriages; fifty percent divorce rates show the results of these past decades of erroneous teaching. If one feels unfulfilled, if one is not getting what one wants out of the marriage, they bail. We see the results in phrases such as: I am unhappy, I don’t get what I want, I don’t like the sex, I want another. It is all about the “I”. This is not what a marriage is to be! In a relationship, each person shall work hard for the joy of the other! If I put my wife first and she puts me first, what do you suppose the outcome will be? I will tell you from experience; it will be a long-lasting wonderful household of love, caring and sharing.

Matthew 17:24 (ESV) “The Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”” Deny one’s self…can you image what the behavior experts would say about that suggestion? Put others first…we are seeing this play out by the thousands along the Gulf Coast in south Texas as I write this post. This is what makes a great marriage! This is what makes a great society! This is what makes a great nation!

Down With The "ME" Generation!

For decades now we have had the philosophical experts say a person must satisfy himself first, must think of herself first, must always put yourself first; and that you must strive to make your life fulfilled. In business, the experts say you should always pay yourself first before any other obligations. We had and have the “me” generations; it is all about “me”. I say, “baloney”, it is all baloney! This teaching is quicksand, it sucks you in and under…and you die a selfish death! This teaching destroys. This is all the work of Satan, the great apostate!

This kind of nonsense is what destroys marriages; fifty percent divorce rates show the results of these past decades of erroneous teaching. If one feels unfulfilled, if one is not getting what one wants out of the marriage, they bail. We see the results in phrases such as: I am unhappy, I don’t get what I want, I don’t like the sex, I want another. It is all about the “I”. This is not what a marriage is to be! In a relationship, each person shall work hard for the joy of the other! If I put my wife first and she puts me first, what do you suppose the outcome will be? I will tell you from experience; it will be a long-lasting wonderful household of love, caring and sharing.

Matthew 17:24 (ESV) “The Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”” Deny one’s self…can you image what the behavior experts would say about that suggestion? Put others first…we are seeing this play out by the thousands along the Gulf Coast in south Texas as I write this post. This is what makes a great marriage! This is what makes a great society! This is what makes a great nation!

Who in the World is Philip Melancthon?

Philip Melancthon, 1497-1560, was a German scholar and a humanist. He was a little delicate man, cautious, and a very smart genius who worked with Martin Luther. Luther, on the other hand, was a “bull in a china closet”, reckless and rough, like a hard-charging “tank” fighting an enemy. As a magnet requires two different poles, these two, very different individuals complemented each other. Melancthon soften Luther’s toughness so that people would not be afraid of his actions but would actually listen to what he had to say. It was Melancthon’s complementary disposition and political inspite that got Martin Luther be in the right place, at the right time. It took the two of them, working differently but in tandem, to get the job done. We must learn to celebrate our differences; that we are, in fact, all different parts of one body in Christ, that is brothers and sisters in Christ.

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-20 ESV)

 

In the very important “Lutheran Reformation”, Philip Melancthon (noted above) was in his own right, a great intellect of wide learning. He represented Luther at many conferences, and even wrote and presented the Augsburg Confession in 1530. Melanchthon was friends with John Calvin so after Luther’s death, Melanchthon, not being a good leader but willing to compromise on doctrinal issues continued to bring groups together in the Reformation.

Today, we Protestants owe a great deal to the Reformers; all Protestant Christians have heard of Martin Luther; we even have the denomination called Lutheran after him. But how many of you have heard of Philip Melanchthon? Just think if it were not for Philip Melanchthon, there would be no “Lutheran”! Melanchthon provided the catalyst for the Lutheran break-away experiment to begin and to finish. Without the calming impact of Melanchthon, most would not have even heard Luther’s argument. This is “Good Symmetry” over time in the developing actions from people not knowing the true impact of their work, people facing great opposition, people continuing through their long-term commitment to their LORD.

You Can Make the Bible Say Anything You Want

Revisionists! We see a lot of that going on these days. Political sides champion their man or woman as the best ever, knowing their term was a flop. Smoke and mirrors, words out of context, it all seems like a shell game. Groups claiming hate are usually the most hateful group…smoke and mirrors, day after day, and song remains the same!

Since the mid 1990’s, media articles claim America’s success was due to its long-standing tradition of secularism. Oh, really? An L.A. Times article, titled “America’s Unchristian Beginning” quoted a portion of an April 19, 1817 letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson: “Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been upon the point of breaking out, ‘This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it!'” Adams was commenting on the petty religious bickering between Joseph Cleverly, a schoolmaster, and Lamuel Bryant, a minister. The Times article stopped the John Adams quote there, but as Paul Harvey used to say…now for the rest of the story. Adams’ letter went on to say: “But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell.”

So, you see, if you have no morals, no honesty, no integrity, and if your position is anti-Christian and you have a job for the L.A. Times (or any other media outlet), you can write whatever you want, quote the pieces you want out of context, and make people believe America had an unchristian beginning…not a bad gig if you are that type of person! Our mainstream media and professors of higher education are full of that very kind of person!

I once heard an atheist quoting Biblical scripture to support his case. The fact is, you can make the Bible anything you want as long as you take text out of context and leave out the parts that don’t support your argument. Pretty Sweet deal I’d say…until you die!

When in a Fish, Trust God

The story of Jonah and the whale in the Bible book of Jonah is very possibly a real story and not allegory. We will leave that discussion for others. I will not be the one to place limits on what God can do; but I do know this, the story of Jonah speaks to the truth that God will never abandon you. While many will shake their fists at God, blaming Him for their trials and tribulations, the anger comes from those individuals not seeing the whole picture, only seeing a fraction of the whole plan God has for you.

Chapter 2, Jonah is in the whale and calls out to the LORD…the LORD he was running away from in the first place. In verse 1, God answers Jonah because God was there and heard Jonah’s voice. Many times in the Bible the “seas” and “the deeps” are a synonym for chaos; do you have chaos in your life and feel God is far away? Verse 6 “…yet You brought up my life from the Pit, O LORD my God.” God never abandons His creation, only the creation abandons God.

God does have a plan for you. You have the freedom to accept it or reject it. Often the plan develops in ways we struggle to understand. We may even feel the pathway is a mistake or that we are on the wrong road. Let’s look back at our friend Jonah, verses 3 to 5 in chapter 2:

“You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the flood surround me; all Your waves and Your billows passed over me. Then I said, I am driven away from Your sight; how shall I look again upon Your holy temple? The waters closed in over me; weeds were wrapped around my head”

Jonah surely would be puzzled by these events if he thought God was leading him somewhere, but you must believe in the goodness of God and His love for you. Jonah remembered…verse 7:  “As my life was ebbing away, I remembered the LORD;” and Jonah was saved, empowered to carry out God’s purpose for the salvation of a whole city. When in a fish, that is, when in chaos, turn and trust in God!

Your Inner Essence – Light or Darkness?

Grand Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach authored an article entitled “Celebrating the Miracle of the Soul” published in the Jewish World Review. He wrote of the Hasidic or Chassidic Jews, a form of mystical Orthodox Judaism that began in the 1700’s in Eastern Europe with a name meaning “Master of the Good Name” in Hebrew:

Every Jew possesses an inner spiritual essence that can’t be tarnished by even the worst sin he commits. This inner spiritual point is so lofty and so holy that it cannot be contaminated. Even a Jew who discards everything “Jewish” retains this inner spiritual essence. This spiritual core is, and always will be, pure and holy. Indeed, it is to this, the Torah (Lev. 16:16) refers when it describes the Creator as He “who dwells with them in the midst of their uncleanliness.”

 Another version of this teaching is expressed by the Talmud (Sanhedrin 44a): “A Jew, even if he sinned, is still a Jew.” In fact, when one hears of a person who has transgressed all the prohibitions of the Torah and yet is awakened by the desire to repent and return to Him, it is a desire for return that emanates from this inner spiritual point.

As a Christian, admittedly I see this text through different eyes, and though I have some minor disagreement with the idea the inner spiritual essence will always be pure and holy no matter if a person completely falls away, I think I understand what is basic here. To be able to completely reject God and yet remain with a pure and holy essence means there is never a person or an angel that can fall from grace, but we know from the Bible that people and angels did in fact fall from grace. We are indeed free to reject God; this is actually true love from God, we are not prisoners in chains. We have freewill to decide what we chose to believe. More important than this discussion is the fact that we are indeed created in the image of God, and when God created us, He said it was good. Therefore, there is indeed a pure and holy spiritual essence in each of us, but we can indeed throw it all away and move to the dark side. There will be a judgment one day for each of us! Whose side are you on?

Yes, We are indeed loved by God

What have you thought when you have heard the statement, “she is a child of God”? What does that mean? What it means is what it says, plain and simple. It means that where the Holy Spirit gives witness that our spirit has received Christ Jesus as LORD and Savior, then we become children of God (Romans 8:16). What then? What does the child receive from his father? His inheritance of what the father has built up. As a child of God, we are heirs to the Kingdom of God (Galatians 4:1-7). As with the “Parable of the Prodigal Son” story, the father threw a great banquet for a son that did not deserve it, a son who made all the bad decisions and wasted everything. The reason was simple; the son was lost but came back home to the father, back to the family.

 My poor decisions occurred when I was not connected to the “Jesus Trunk”. I was getting poor nourishment by my own actions and decisions. It was not God’s making. I don’t blame God for God waited on me to come back to Him; this is grace. There is no way I can get to heaven except by the “Jesus gate”; it is not by my works, but is by the One I dedicate my life to. In being born again, the old has passed away and my bad decisions and sins are remembered no more. As a born again Christian, my new life should reveal what a real Christian is, and not one in name only…actions speak louder than words.

 Though we, the body of Christ in the Christian Church, did not deserve it for all of our bad decisions once made, when we lost souls have finally awaken and turned back to God, we will receive the heavenly banquet and a place in heaven’s mansion where the Father, excited to have us back again, welcomes us home to the Garden again, welcomes us back into the family of God.

 Following the “tree metaphor” in the book this blog follows, A Different Kind of Tree; connect to the “Jesus Trunk”, who supports like none other; take root into the Word of God to receive the best nourishment like none other; go out and produce good fruit for when your branch is connected to Jesus Christ and you are then indeed, “A Different Kind of Tree”!

 

Knowing Who Jesus Is

Many Protestant theologians (e.g., Luther, Calvin, and Barth) emphasize God as known in Jesus Christ, over God as known through creation. Is an emphasis on knowing God through creation, and the accompanying go-a-long traditional arguments for his existence, detracting from the knowledge of God as Redeemer as revealed His Word…the Bible?

I believe there is a great deal to be learned about God if you have the eyes to see the wonderment and glory of His creation. The book this blog patterns; I Am, the Great Creator God, is all about gaining the eyes to see. This “general revelation” is certainly enough to prove the existence of God. But if you are not reading the Bible, you will not know that all of creation is and was through Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity.  However, one can deepen their knowledge of who this Godhead is by reading His Holy Word. We find out who Jesus is throughout the Old Testament, and we find out what Jesus, the incarnate God, does and says in the New Testament. All this then is energized by the power of the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity (Trinity). Thus the Triune Godhead is revealed and knowledge is exploded in very special ways going far beyond and deepening beyond general revelation. Now, you are in the classic position for God to use your special gifts, greatly empowered for your role in a possible “special revelation” encounter with the living God.

Not all religions are alike; the difference in the big 3, is who is Jesus?  In Christianity, Jesus is the Christ; in the other 2 main religions of the world, He is not. Thus there is only one thing we can do…turn toward Jesus Christ and humbly come before that Messiah Jesus, on our knees, and call Him LORD.

Love is – Kicking Us Out of the Garden

Now, there are indeed some folks (and churches) going around saying that since Jesus already paid the price for my past, present, and future sins; I can now do whatever I want to. Wrong! How selfish is that! Is that the way you thank someone that rescued your eternal soul from hell? If you think so, then you are greedy, selfish and arrogant. You don’t have freedom from sin to keep on sinning! There is only one true “thank you” response; you repent from your sin, and then you praise, worship and dedicate your life to the service of Christ Jesus.

 This, my friends, is the development of “good symmetry”, a move toward perfection; finally to be obtained when you are made whole again in God’s Glory. At such time, God will repeat a statement once made long ago about His creation and repeated when you were created, “It is good”.

 Using the beautiful butterfly as metaphor, we start out low as caterpillars and we change, some all at once and some gradually. From our fallen state, we morph into a new creation not at all like the caterpillars we were before. God wants His “butterflies”, but He wants His “butterflies” to love Him unconditionally. This is not natural by itself for the world sees it all as foolishness (1 Cor. 1:18); it all takes becoming a new creation in Christ, changed and made new by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 5:17).

 You see, we don’t deserve God’s saving grace! People turn from God because they wrongly say, “God doesn’t care about me”. How arrogant is that? It is the same thing as saying, “God loves everybody in the world but me”. The truth is this: We [humanity] were kicked out of the Garden of Eden before we could eat from that second tree…the “Tree of Life”. Eating from the “Tree of Knowledge”, the one thing we were told not to do, was our arrogant attempt to be like God; to have the every knowledge of God. But had we eaten from the “Tree of Life”, we would eternally be damned by this sin. God’s first saving act was to kick us out of the Garden; yet, today, many see the action as hate from a vengeful God.

 

The Existence of Evil Argument

Often I see or hear about people rejecting God because of there being evil in the world. This comes from a lack of understanding about evil, but this kind of statement is not good enough; we will not reach the rejecting humanity with a statement like that.  We Christians should ask and be prepared to deal this question:  How great a problem is the existence of evil as a counterargument against the existence of God as He is understood by Christians?

I think there are a great many who use this “evil exists” argument to say that God could not be real, nor be a God of love, nor all powerful…or He would eliminate evil. I believe this to be a huge problem. The Church has not done a good job to explain where evil came from and how people gravitate toward it instead of toward God. Evil was not created but is the result of people’s free will to choose what they want. Lucifer and one third of the angels wanted to be god by their free will and were cast from heaven. Adam & Eve wanted to have the knowledge of God and thus were cast from the Garden (actually this is an act of love by God to save them from eternal separation). I believe that God did not create evil but allows it and sometimes can even use it to open up the eyes of those He wishes to reach. As a parent may allow a child to finally touch a hot stove after repeatedly saying not to, the child finally learns the stove is indeed hot. The parent remains loving to their child. Love and free will allows people to accept or reject God. God wishes His creation to glorify Him, but because we are VERY much loved by God (John 3:16), God does not bind and chain us as prisoners. Thus we are free to reject Him and blame it on other circumstances, such as the existence of evil, or turn to God and find mercy and salvation from evil. You are not a puppet manipulated by a set of strings; you are free to decide to follow God or your own set of idols; only one of these two options leads to peace and grace.

The waves of chaos and stress are inevitable!

Many these days find themselves in darkness, deep in chaos with the waves of stress crashing over them. If you are one of those, are you alone? Chapter 3 of the Book of Daniel, we find Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego thrown into an ultra-hot furnace (7 times normal)…they were not alone. Chapter 6 of the Book of Daniel, we find Daniel thrown into the lion’s den by evil men tricking the king to enforce his law now impacting his friend Daniel…Daniel was not alone.

The organization “Open Doors” serves the persecuted church over seas. They say 215 million Christians in 50 countries last year face high or very high or extreme persecution. Are they alone? No! The Holy Spirit is there for Jesus knows, for the world hated Him as well (John 15:18). When Jonah was in the whale, he called to the LORD, and the LORD answered him for God heard his voice (Jonah 2:2).

It has been published that only 4% of Millennials have a Biblical Worldview. How sad, and even more sad for their children (who will teach them?)! What do you suppose will happen when, not if, but when darkness falls upon them? The waves of chaos and stress are inevitable! To whom will they turn to find strength, peace, mercy and grace?

“The waters closed in over me; the deep surrounded me: weeds were wrapped around my head…yet You [God] brought up my life from the Pit, O LORD my God.” (Jonah 2:5-6). Turn to the only one who can save and rescue you, the LORD Jesus Christ!

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.

Should a Christian be Different from Others?

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai after his encounter with God, he was physically changed. When we become a new creation in Christ, we are changed as well; the old has gone away. There should be a difference between a Christian and the rest of the world; unfortunately, many cultural statistics remain the same whether the surveyed group is Christian or not. One should wonder if there is really a change or not; for Jesus said many would call Him LORD and He would say, I don’t know you (Matt. 7:21-23). We are to be imitators of Christ (Ephesians 5:1). We are to strive to be like Him (Romans 8:29). As Christians, when people see us they should be able to tell that we have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13). In boldness and in love we should stand up for Jesus and be His disciples no matter what the world thinks of us. Be holy as Christ is holy; be loving as Christ is loving…search and find Jesus Christ, then strive to be like Him.

We searchers of light are not perfect, but we try to be. When we fall short, we are supported by the Spirit and forgiven by God’s grace. So what then is our action toward those that hate us? Shall we return the hate? Fight fire with fire? No! Jesus forgave those that tortured Him and killed Him on that rugged cross. No, we are to love our enemies; though in a way they are not “our” enemies, but we apparently are “their” enemies. Actually, the love we are to show is not our love at all but God’s love, we are only instruments [disciples] used to pass that love [Agape love-God’s love] around to all that will receive it. Strange that “God’s love” is such a threat to so many; they have no eyes to see.

The 23rd Psalm Speaks to us Today

Probably the most popular Psalm is the 23rd Psalm; a psalm of trust and confidence. This psalm obviously comes after Psalm 22 which reflects David’s anguish. There are many in anguish today! Besides those millions with evil intent, many have problems due to the idol worship of money, sex & fame in our culture, the governmental quest for power, the culture of materialism, and all the false leaders & teachers among us. There is only one way to find the correct path, though a narrow road it is, to find the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

“The LORD is “my” shepherd”; He is your personal Savior who knows you before you were born. “He makes me lie down…He leads me besides still waters”; The LORD wishes you to rest and have peace, and will guide you there. “He leads in right paths”; the LORD will guide you to the destination that is good for you if you will just follow. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil”; In Matthew 10:16, Jesus sends us sheep out among wolves. “…in the presence of my enemies”; Matthew 7:15 tells us that false prophets come in sheep’s clothing (to fit in with the herd)…they are indeed among us now. “…my cup overflows.”; with Christ Jesus you will find overflowing grace, more mercy, more goodness, more care than you can possibly handle! Why not invite Jesus into your life, repent and find the only way to peace?  Oh, you will still have problems existing in this world, but you WILL have mercy and forgiveness, which will provide for you a waterfall of peace!

Can we not be civil and simply disagree?

There was not a conservative that called for the execution of Mr. Obama when he became President; yet, we see the unhinged liberals holding up bloody heads of Mr. Trump and openly calling for his execution…can we not be civil and simply disagree? Apparently not if you are a professor on most any American college campus or a liberal congressman or major media person, all of whom routinely become unhinged and fall into a rant when faced with opposing views. Michael Gerson wrote a nice article entitled “The Reason for Civility”, published January 21, 2011. He writes:

“So what is the source of America’s current civility problem? Is there too much immodest conviction? Or is there too little regard for the value and dignity of others?

 There is no reason that both answers can’t be “yes.” But the second challenge is primary. We need a robust civility that allows for deep and honest disagreements instead of explaining those differences away. In the long run, this is only achievable if Americans believe that their fellow citizens deserve respect, even when they hold absurd political beliefs.”

Friends, this article is over 6 years old, and our civility problems are MUCH worse now! We are all “branches” on a trunk, be it the “Satan Trunk” or the “Jesus Trunk”. The Bible teaches that the wheat and the weeds should be left to grow along side each other and that in time separation of the good from the bad will occur (Matthew 13:24-30). We can show that we are growing with correct and proper nourishment if we can remain civil while holding to our good positions and beliefs. Certainly, people will decide for themselves that they are “wheat”; we don’t need to label the “weeds”…God will sort that out at judgment time…and it is not our role.

The culture would put forward that there are no absolutes; please don’t buy it. This is simply another source of diversion from real truth. It is hard to see in muddy water, so if you want to control others…muddy their water. Of course there are absolutes! To those “branches” growing on the “Jesus Trunk”, we can and should treat all with dignity for we are all created in the image of God. It is the Jesus dance!

The selfish intolerance of others is interesting; it is like if I do it, it is my freedom, but if you do it you are infringing on my freedoms. Wait a minute, I just inadvertently hit on it; it is all about the offended, only their freedoms matter and nobody else…the minority control over the majority.

I guess there is no room for other “branches” on this tree. We have those branches that shut down Christian prayers and symbols in schools, yet promote the study of Islam in public schools. We have those branches that shut down Christian examples of peace & forgiveness, yet wave the signs of hate & bigotry toward the capitalism that made this country great. We have those NPR branches that receive mega-millions of tax-payer dollars every year yet they directly attack the Christian faith. I see intolerance on parade…but since the offense by the minority is not about one of the 90 different genders these days…the Christian majority will continue to be stepped upon! We must continue to show peace as best we can…and pray! Shalom!

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking

Preface – In light of all the debate after the recent “Paris Climate Accord”, I would like to share my 3-part article on the dangers of thinking humans can actually change world climate. As a reminder, I have been and continue to be a strong advocate for good stewardship of the world’s resources. As an architect, I work to reuse and recycle building materials; and I have been a proponent of daylighting and passive solar design for over 45 years.

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 1, Setting the Stage

Karl Barth said, “Knowledge is real solely through God’s revelation.” When you think about the meaning of God the Creator, and the story of Creation, as told in the Bible, one must first believe in God to understand and believe what has been written. This is no shallow truth we are talking about; how many “truths” do you know about that have withstood numerous tests over 3000 years? Let’s first look at how we believe in what we each call our own “truth”. We first “decide to believe” in something, then we setup arguments to support our decisions, so our beliefs then become our truths. The atheist first decides that God does not exist, and then sets his arguments to backup that “fact” (as he sees it), all the while ignoring the “messy” physical truths all around him that easily prove that God does exist. And the person that doesn’t believe in God, yet believes in the devil as the supreme power in the Universe, builds his own arguments to fit his beliefs. Admitting the devil was thrown out of heaven and rules over the Earth, they ignore the fact that an even a higher power threw the devil out of heaven in the first place thus having the greater power.

The Creator’s work (the creation) can be understood when you first get some knowledge of the Creator. We see this when we view art and architecture; a better understanding is realized after you first get an understanding of the artist or architect. A great portion of the book, I Am, the Great Creator God, is dedicated toward showing you the reality of God’s Creation. The whole Universe was created by this loving God, and that the Universe did not come into being because some particles of space dust decided to colligate into a planet on their own. To believe some physical law just happened to be there at the right time to do its magic, working by happenstance, is ridiculous. Why would a star, all by itself, decide to blow up to create more debris to make more objects in the Universe? It just does not work that way; there is a Creator’s hand involved.

Karl Barth said:

“It is assuredly a basic error to speak of creation myths. At best a myth may be a parallel to exact science; that is, a myth has to do with viewing what has always existed and will exist. A myth has to do with the mighty problem that at all times propounds itself to man and therefore is timeless, the problem of life and death, of sleep and wakening, of birth and dying, of morning and evening, of day and night, and so on. These are the themes of myth. Myth considers the world as it were from its frontier, but always the world which already exists. There is no creation myth because creation as such is simply not accessible to myth. The Bible speaks in Genesis 1 and 2 of events which lie outside of our historical knowledge. But it speaks upon the basis of knowledge, which is related to history. In fact, the wonderful thing about the biblical creation narratives is that they stand in strict connection with the history of Israel and so with the story of God’s action in the covenant with man. Knowledge of creation IS knowledge of God and consequently knowledge of faith in the deepest and ultimate sense.” (underline added) (Dogmatics in Outline, p. 51)

In summary, when viewed carefully, one cannot gaze on a Wood Duck, a snowflake, a Peacock’s tail, an Atlantic Sundial or a Chambered Nautilus shell, or the human body machine and not see a most unbelievable design. Couple what you physically see with the three Laws of Thermodynamics, and you simply must come to the conclusion that all that is…is God created. It is not happenstance. It is not by some evolutionary engine that things simply “become”. God is a wonderfully creative creator; and we are each an individual creation, intimately created out of love as an individual “work of art”.

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 2, YOU are NOT God!

In Part One of this string of 3 posts, I mentioned facts about how we are indeed “works of art”…we are God’s “poem”…the best words in the best order is a poem, that is what we are. Because we are loved so much by God, to be so wonderfully created (Ps. 139:14), that we have also been given a gift of choice to accept or reject the God that created you. There is actually a great deal of love in this gift of choice, for what lover would put his beloved in chains, to be a puppet, to control every action and thought? There are no strings on you! You are not in prison chains…you can decide what to believe, wrong or otherwise.

So, you are free to reject God even though the blood of Jesus Christ redeemed you (paid the price for your sins), you can reject His divinity, and His being sovereign over all. You are free to become your own god. Become your own god? Yes, that is exactly what you are doing when you believe you can control the natural forces on Earth…that YOU believe YOU can affect the whole planet in some manner. How arrogant of you to believe such nonsense! For to have such a belief of global impact is to place yourself above all nature…to make yourself as powerful as God. If you are having trouble with this line of thinking, it shall become clear in Part 3 of this series of posts.

Everyone wants to believe they are important, that they have value and can contribute something to the “Play of Life on Planet Earth”. As Robin Williams said to the boys in “Dead Poet’s Society”, what will your one verse be? I am no different. That is why I write these posts on two blogs, write articles and books, I care. I don’t advertise. I don’t make any money. I care to reach out to others as a teacher because I feel called to do so. As you can with God, you are free to reject what I have say, but I only ask one thing of you. Put aside your pre-conceived notions and at least ponder briefly on the truth I wish to share with you. Only for this one reason – one day you will be asked to give an account of your life…what will you say?

Will you confess to following a lie at the expense of human lives? Will you arrogantly say that I have so much effect on the world that I could melt global ice caps? In fact, I am so important I can actually make one ice cap shrink and make the other one grow! Wow! If true, I could only say…You must be God to do that!

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 3, It Is About Control Over People!

Despite all the decades of so-called scientific alarmists spouting the on-coming dangers if we don’t change our ways, nothing has ever come to pass…no raising oceans, no ice ages. The broadcasts of global warming circled the planet and blamed everything on the warming…problem was…there was never any warming. The “science” was only computer modeling, and as we all know “garbage in – garbage out”. When the false science was exposed, the broadcasts of doom changed to “climate change”. The problem now was that term didn’t blame mankind to whom they wanted to place blame. When you blame someone for an action, then you can control that person…this is the true goal of the liberals, control of the masses. The term was changed to “man-made climate change.” Dumb-down the population, remove common sense, and make all things relative, and now you have a setting whereby lazy people will accept stupid ideas. Man-made climate change reeks of absolutely zero common sense; anyone with half a brain should be able to reason through this to realize it to be completely without any merit whatsoever!

I only need one example, though there have been hundreds since we have been recording history. The Native Americans called it “Smoking Mountain”; we call it Mt. Saint Helens. There was a major eruption in 1800, and minor eruptions in 1898, 1903, and 1932; but through all this the mountain was a beautiful scenic peaceful area; that is until 1980. A huge eruption, like thousands before since the world was formed, blew the top 1300 vertical feet off the summit. The direct blast covered 230 square miles and blew 540 million tons of ash 12 miles into the air. How can that be equaled by all the industry on the planet, all the cow farts on the planet, all the lawn mowers and cars on the planet? Today…Mt. Saint Helens has recovered as it always has…on its own…because all of nature is created by God, and God said it was good. All of mankind on the planet together does not have a power to equal the blast of the 1980 Mt. Saint Helens eruption to instill global climate change. The belief that mankind is that powerful is to make him like God.

The environmental extremists have re-created a gnostic form of religion. The environmental movement, now its own religion, is one whose roots are firmly planted in ancient gnosis that set the Creator-God as being evil and at best incompetent. By removing God from being Creator of all creation, one could now focus on knowledge as being the saving act. You see, if you believe the world is evil then it was the result of being formed by an evil God; for the Gnostic it was material things that were evil, but it is their personal knowledge that would be the saving power. The environmental scientists don’t need facts anymore, all they need is their knowledge to computer model the future of the planet.

Philip Lee writes in “Against The Protestant Gnostics”, on page 16, “The fundamental problem between biblical faith and gnostic faith begins with two different world views. Biblical faith insists that the Creation is well made. Christianity affirms with Judaism that ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.’” Continuing, Lee writes, “…Gnosticism simply cannot endorse that positive vision of the Creation.” This is why liberals fight against any idea of God Creation, and so grossly endorse evolution as the prime mover. Lee continues saying, “The basic issue is clear: Gnosticism must deny any direct link between the Creation and God.”

Here is where the environmental religion becomes the evil force; instead of preaching that we should all be good stewards of God’s creation (something I firmly endorse and practice), the environmental extremists first take God out of the picture with the false doctrine of evolution, then they empower themselves in believing they can manipulate God’s creation thus making themselves equal to God. It is pantheistic at best!

                                                                                                                                                           

Written by Haven D. Mankin and originally published in the “I Am, the Great Creator God” blog in July and August of 2015.

The Sin of "Man-Made Climate Change" Thinking

Preface – In light of all the debate after the recent “Paris Climate Accord”, I would like to share my 3-part article on the dangers of thinking humans can actually change world climate. As a reminder, I have been and continue to be a strong advocate for good stewardship of the world’s resources. As an architect, I work to reuse and recycle building materials; and I have been a proponent of daylighting and passive solar design for over 45 years.

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 1, Setting the Stage

Karl Barth said, “Knowledge is real solely through God’s revelation.” When you think about the meaning of God the Creator, and the story of Creation, as told in the Bible, one must first believe in God to understand and believe what has been written. This is no shallow truth we are talking about; how many “truths” do you know about that have withstood numerous tests over 3000 years? Let’s first look at how we believe in what we each call our own “truth”. We first “decide to believe” in something, then we setup arguments to support our decisions, so our beliefs then become our truths. The atheist first decides that God does not exist, and then sets his arguments to backup that “fact” (as he sees it), all the while ignoring the “messy” physical truths all around him that easily prove that God does exist. And the person that doesn’t believe in God, yet believes in the devil as the supreme power in the Universe, builds his own arguments to fit his beliefs. Admitting the devil was thrown out of heaven and rules over the Earth, they ignore the fact that an even a higher power threw the devil out of heaven in the first place thus having the greater power.

The Creator’s work (the creation) can be understood when you first get some knowledge of the Creator. We see this when we view art and architecture; a better understanding is realized after you first get an understanding of the artist or architect. A great portion of the book, I Am, the Great Creator God, is dedicated toward showing you the reality of God’s Creation. The whole Universe was created by this loving God, and that the Universe did not come into being because some particles of space dust decided to colligate into a planet on their own. To believe some physical law just happened to be there at the right time to do its magic, working by happenstance, is ridiculous. Why would a star, all by itself, decide to blow up to create more debris to make more objects in the Universe? It just does not work that way; there is a Creator’s hand involved.

Karl Barth said:

“It is assuredly a basic error to speak of creation myths. At best a myth may be a parallel to exact science; that is, a myth has to do with viewing what has always existed and will exist. A myth has to do with the mighty problem that at all times propounds itself to man and therefore is timeless, the problem of life and death, of sleep and wakening, of birth and dying, of morning and evening, of day and night, and so on. These are the themes of myth. Myth considers the world as it were from its frontier, but always the world which already exists. There is no creation myth because creation as such is simply not accessible to myth. The Bible speaks in Genesis 1 and 2 of events which lie outside of our historical knowledge. But it speaks upon the basis of knowledge, which is related to history. In fact, the wonderful thing about the biblical creation narratives is that they stand in strict connection with the history of Israel and so with the story of God’s action in the covenant with man. Knowledge of creation IS knowledge of God and consequently knowledge of faith in the deepest and ultimate sense.” (underline added) (Dogmatics in Outline, p. 51)

In summary, when viewed carefully, one cannot gaze on a Wood Duck, a snowflake, a Peacock’s tail, an Atlantic Sundial or a Chambered Nautilus shell, or the human body machine and not see a most unbelievable design. Couple what you physically see with the three Laws of Thermodynamics, and you simply must come to the conclusion that all that is…is God created. It is not happenstance. It is not by some evolutionary engine that things simply “become”. God is a wonderfully creative creator; and we are each an individual creation, intimately created out of love as an individual “work of art”.

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 2, YOU are NOT God!

In Part One of this string of 3 posts, I mentioned facts about how we are indeed “works of art”…we are God’s “poem”…the best words in the best order is a poem, that is what we are. Because we are loved so much by God, to be so wonderfully created (Ps. 139:14), that we have also been given a gift of choice to accept or reject the God that created you. There is actually a great deal of love in this gift of choice, for what lover would put his beloved in chains, to be a puppet, to control every action and thought? There are no strings on you! You are not in prison chains…you can decide what to believe, wrong or otherwise.

So, you are free to reject God even though the blood of Jesus Christ redeemed you (paid the price for your sins), you can reject His divinity, and His being sovereign over all. You are free to become your own god. Become your own god? Yes, that is exactly what you are doing when you believe you can control the natural forces on Earth…that YOU believe YOU can affect the whole planet in some manner. How arrogant of you to believe such nonsense! For to have such a belief of global impact is to place yourself above all nature…to make yourself as powerful as God. If you are having trouble with this line of thinking, it shall become clear in Part 3 of this series of posts.

Everyone wants to believe they are important, that they have value and can contribute something to the “Play of Life on Planet Earth”. As Robin Williams said to the boys in “Dead Poet’s Society”, what will your one verse be? I am no different. That is why I write these posts on two blogs, write articles and books, I care. I don’t advertise. I don’t make any money. I care to reach out to others as a teacher because I feel called to do so. As you can with God, you are free to reject what I have say, but I only ask one thing of you. Put aside your pre-conceived notions and at least ponder briefly on the truth I wish to share with you. Only for this one reason – one day you will be asked to give an account of your life…what will you say?

Will you confess to following a lie at the expense of human lives? Will you arrogantly say that I have so much effect on the world that I could melt global ice caps? In fact, I am so important I can actually make one ice cap shrink and make the other one grow! Wow! If true, I could only say…You must be God to do that!

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 3, It Is About Control Over People!

Despite all the decades of so-called scientific alarmists spouting the on-coming dangers if we don’t change our ways, nothing has ever come to pass…no raising oceans, no ice ages. The broadcasts of global warming circled the planet and blamed everything on the warming…problem was…there was never any warming. The “science” was only computer modeling, and as we all know “garbage in – garbage out”. When the false science was exposed, the broadcasts of doom changed to “climate change”. The problem now was that term didn’t blame mankind to whom they wanted to place blame. When you blame someone for an action, then you can control that person…this is the true goal of the liberals, control of the masses. The term was changed to “man-made climate change.” Dumb-down the population, remove common sense, and make all things relative, and now you have a setting whereby lazy people will accept stupid ideas. Man-made climate change reeks of absolutely zero common sense; anyone with half a brain should be able to reason through this to realize it to be completely without any merit whatsoever!

I only need one example, though there have been hundreds since we have been recording history. The Native Americans called it “Smoking Mountain”; we call it Mt. Saint Helens. There was a major eruption in 1800, and minor eruptions in 1898, 1903, and 1932; but through all this the mountain was a beautiful scenic peaceful area; that is until 1980. A huge eruption, like thousands before since the world was formed, blew the top 1300 vertical feet off the summit. The direct blast covered 230 square miles and blew 540 million tons of ash 12 miles into the air. How can that be equaled by all the industry on the planet, all the cow farts on the planet, all the lawn mowers and cars on the planet? Today…Mt. Saint Helens has recovered as it always has…on its own…because all of nature is created by God, and God said it was good. All of mankind on the planet together does not have a power to equal the blast of the 1980 Mt. Saint Helens eruption to instill global climate change. The belief that mankind is that powerful is to make him like God.

The environmental extremists have re-created a gnostic form of religion. The environmental movement, now its own religion, is one whose roots are firmly planted in ancient gnosis that set the Creator-God as being evil and at best incompetent. By removing God from being Creator of all creation, one could now focus on knowledge as being the saving act. You see, if you believe the world is evil then it was the result of being formed by an evil God; for the Gnostic it was material things that were evil, but it is their personal knowledge that would be the saving power. The environmental scientists don’t need facts anymore, all they need is their knowledge to computer model the future of the planet.

Philip Lee writes in “Against The Protestant Gnostics”, on page 16, “The fundamental problem between biblical faith and gnostic faith begins with two different world views. Biblical faith insists that the Creation is well made. Christianity affirms with Judaism that ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.’” Continuing, Lee writes, “…Gnosticism simply cannot endorse that positive vision of the Creation.” This is why liberals fight against any idea of God Creation, and so grossly endorse evolution as the prime mover. Lee continues saying, “The basic issue is clear: Gnosticism must deny any direct link between the Creation and God.”

Here is where the environmental religion becomes the evil force; instead of preaching that we should all be good stewards of God’s creation (something I firmly endorse and practice), the environmental extremists first take God out of the picture with the false doctrine of evolution, then they empower themselves in believing they can manipulate God’s creation thus making themselves equal to God. It is pantheistic at best!

                                                                                                                                                           

Written by Haven D. Mankin and originally published in the “I Am, the Great Creator God” blog in July and August of 2015.

The Sin of "Man-Made Climate Change" Thinking

Preface – In light of all the debate after the recent “Paris Climate Accord”, I would like to share my 3-part article on the dangers of thinking humans can actually change world climate. As a reminder, I have been and continue to be a strong advocate for good stewardship of the world’s resources. As an architect, I work to reuse and recycle building materials; and I have been a proponent of daylighting and passive solar design for over 45 years.

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 1, Setting the Stage

Karl Barth said, “Knowledge is real solely through God’s revelation.” When you think about the meaning of God the Creator, and the story of Creation, as told in the Bible, one must first believe in God to understand and believe what has been written. This is no shallow truth we are talking about; how many “truths” do you know about that have withstood numerous tests over 3000 years? Let’s first look at how we believe in what we each call our own “truth”. We first “decide to believe” in something, then we setup arguments to support our decisions, so our beliefs then become our truths. The atheist first decides that God does not exist, and then sets his arguments to backup that “fact” (as he sees it), all the while ignoring the “messy” physical truths all around him that easily prove that God does exist. And the person that doesn’t believe in God, yet believes in the devil as the supreme power in the Universe, builds his own arguments to fit his beliefs. Admitting the devil was thrown out of heaven and rules over the Earth, they ignore the fact that an even a higher power threw the devil out of heaven in the first place thus having the greater power.

The Creator’s work (the creation) can be understood when you first get some knowledge of the Creator. We see this when we view art and architecture; a better understanding is realized after you first get an understanding of the artist or architect. A great portion of the book, I Am, the Great Creator God, is dedicated toward showing you the reality of God’s Creation. The whole Universe was created by this loving God, and that the Universe did not come into being because some particles of space dust decided to colligate into a planet on their own. To believe some physical law just happened to be there at the right time to do its magic, working by happenstance, is ridiculous. Why would a star, all by itself, decide to blow up to create more debris to make more objects in the Universe? It just does not work that way; there is a Creator’s hand involved.

Karl Barth said:

“It is assuredly a basic error to speak of creation myths. At best a myth may be a parallel to exact science; that is, a myth has to do with viewing what has always existed and will exist. A myth has to do with the mighty problem that at all times propounds itself to man and therefore is timeless, the problem of life and death, of sleep and wakening, of birth and dying, of morning and evening, of day and night, and so on. These are the themes of myth. Myth considers the world as it were from its frontier, but always the world which already exists. There is no creation myth because creation as such is simply not accessible to myth. The Bible speaks in Genesis 1 and 2 of events which lie outside of our historical knowledge. But it speaks upon the basis of knowledge, which is related to history. In fact, the wonderful thing about the biblical creation narratives is that they stand in strict connection with the history of Israel and so with the story of God’s action in the covenant with man. Knowledge of creation IS knowledge of God and consequently knowledge of faith in the deepest and ultimate sense.” (underline added) (Dogmatics in Outline, p. 51)

In summary, when viewed carefully, one cannot gaze on a Wood Duck, a snowflake, a Peacock’s tail, an Atlantic Sundial or a Chambered Nautilus shell, or the human body machine and not see a most unbelievable design. Couple what you physically see with the three Laws of Thermodynamics, and you simply must come to the conclusion that all that is…is God created. It is not happenstance. It is not by some evolutionary engine that things simply “become”. God is a wonderfully creative creator; and we are each an individual creation, intimately created out of love as an individual “work of art”.

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 2, YOU are NOT God!

In Part One of this string of 3 posts, I mentioned facts about how we are indeed “works of art”…we are God’s “poem”…the best words in the best order is a poem, that is what we are. Because we are loved so much by God, to be so wonderfully created (Ps. 139:14), that we have also been given a gift of choice to accept or reject the God that created you. There is actually a great deal of love in this gift of choice, for what lover would put his beloved in chains, to be a puppet, to control every action and thought? There are no strings on you! You are not in prison chains…you can decide what to believe, wrong or otherwise.

So, you are free to reject God even though the blood of Jesus Christ redeemed you (paid the price for your sins), you can reject His divinity, and His being sovereign over all. You are free to become your own god. Become your own god? Yes, that is exactly what you are doing when you believe you can control the natural forces on Earth…that YOU believe YOU can affect the whole planet in some manner. How arrogant of you to believe such nonsense! For to have such a belief of global impact is to place yourself above all nature…to make yourself as powerful as God. If you are having trouble with this line of thinking, it shall become clear in Part 3 of this series of posts.

Everyone wants to believe they are important, that they have value and can contribute something to the “Play of Life on Planet Earth”. As Robin Williams said to the boys in “Dead Poet’s Society”, what will your one verse be? I am no different. That is why I write these posts on two blogs, write articles and books, I care. I don’t advertise. I don’t make any money. I care to reach out to others as a teacher because I feel called to do so. As you can with God, you are free to reject what I have say, but I only ask one thing of you. Put aside your pre-conceived notions and at least ponder briefly on the truth I wish to share with you. Only for this one reason – one day you will be asked to give an account of your life…what will you say?

Will you confess to following a lie at the expense of human lives? Will you arrogantly say that I have so much effect on the world that I could melt global ice caps? In fact, I am so important I can actually make one ice cap shrink and make the other one grow! Wow! If true, I could only say…You must be God to do that!

The Sin of “Man-Made Climate Change” Thinking – Part 3, It Is About Control Over People!

Despite all the decades of so-called scientific alarmists spouting the on-coming dangers if we don’t change our ways, nothing has ever come to pass…no raising oceans, no ice ages. The broadcasts of global warming circled the planet and blamed everything on the warming…problem was…there was never any warming. The “science” was only computer modeling, and as we all know “garbage in – garbage out”. When the false science was exposed, the broadcasts of doom changed to “climate change”. The problem now was that term didn’t blame mankind to whom they wanted to place blame. When you blame someone for an action, then you can control that person…this is the true goal of the liberals, control of the masses. The term was changed to “man-made climate change.” Dumb-down the population, remove common sense, and make all things relative, and now you have a setting whereby lazy people will accept stupid ideas. Man-made climate change reeks of absolutely zero common sense; anyone with half a brain should be able to reason through this to realize it to be completely without any merit whatsoever!

I only need one example, though there have been hundreds since we have been recording history. The Native Americans called it “Smoking Mountain”; we call it Mt. Saint Helens. There was a major eruption in 1800, and minor eruptions in 1898, 1903, and 1932; but through all this the mountain was a beautiful scenic peaceful area; that is until 1980. A huge eruption, like thousands before since the world was formed, blew the top 1300 vertical feet off the summit. The direct blast covered 230 square miles and blew 540 million tons of ash 12 miles into the air. How can that be equaled by all the industry on the planet, all the cow farts on the planet, all the lawn mowers and cars on the planet? Today…Mt. Saint Helens has recovered as it always has…on its own…because all of nature is created by God, and God said it was good. All of mankind on the planet together does not have a power to equal the blast of the 1980 Mt. Saint Helens eruption to instill global climate change. The belief that mankind is that powerful is to make him like God.

The environmental extremists have re-created a gnostic form of religion. The environmental movement, now its own religion, is one whose roots are firmly planted in ancient gnosis that set the Creator-God as being evil and at best incompetent. By removing God from being Creator of all creation, one could now focus on knowledge as being the saving act. You see, if you believe the world is evil then it was the result of being formed by an evil God; for the Gnostic it was material things that were evil, but it is their personal knowledge that would be the saving power. The environmental scientists don’t need facts anymore, all they need is their knowledge to computer model the future of the planet.

Philip Lee writes in “Against The Protestant Gnostics”, on page 16, “The fundamental problem between biblical faith and gnostic faith begins with two different world views. Biblical faith insists that the Creation is well made. Christianity affirms with Judaism that ‘in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.’” Continuing, Lee writes, “…Gnosticism simply cannot endorse that positive vision of the Creation.” This is why liberals fight against any idea of God Creation, and so grossly endorse evolution as the prime mover. Lee continues saying, “The basic issue is clear: Gnosticism must deny any direct link between the Creation and God.”

Here is where the environmental religion becomes the evil force; instead of preaching that we should all be good stewards of God’s creation (something I firmly endorse and practice), the environmental extremists first take God out of the picture with the false doctrine of evolution, then they empower themselves in believing they can manipulate God’s creation thus making themselves equal to God. It is pantheistic at best!

                                                                                                                                                           

Written by Haven D. Mankin and originally published in the “I Am, the Great Creator God” blog in July and August of 2015.

Stand up – Stand up Ye Soldiers!

The Creator will one day judge the creation. The last portion of verse 10 in Psalm 96 states, “He will judge the peoples with equity.” And again in verse 13,”He will judge the world with righteousness.” So, we Christians are to do what? The “Great Commission”…spread the Good News of the Gospel of Christ Jesus! Psalm 96:3, “Declare His glory among the nations,…” Oh, but the world does not want us to do this; our own country controls where the Gideon’s are allowed to hand out a New Testament. We are shut down from proselytizing; however, we are also charged with caring for the lost, to tell them there is hope, forgiveness, mercy and grace. Are we afraid of standing up for the truth we know in our hearts and minds; the truth proven by historical events, eyewitness accounts and revealed within creation itself? Are we like Peter before He was empowered to be a great preacher for Jesus…you know…that Peter that denied that he even knew Jesus…that Peter who claimed he would die for Jesus and soon denied him three times?

The world is hurting! Not all religions are the same. Some religions kill those not in their group…some will not invite others to their Communion Table. There is plenty of hate and division all around us. We Christians are to love our enemies, to love and protect the innocent, and to share the love of Jesus Christ with the lost…regardless of the hate from the world. Shall we not follow George Duffield Jr.’s famous lyrics in the second stanza of his hymn “Stand up, Stand up for Jesus!”:

Stand up, stand up for Jesus! The trumpet call obey:
Forth to the mighty conflict, in this His glorious day;
Ye that are men now serve Him against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger, and strength to strength oppose.

There is Only One Flock!

Most city dwellers will not be familiar with sheep and their shepherding, nor what a sheepfold is, but we all can read about God’s love for His sheep [His children] in John chapter 10. Of course at the time Jesus was teaching this lesson in Jerusalem to the Jewish religious leaders, everyone was familiar with shepherding. Verses 14 & 15: “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.” (NIV) The arrogant religious leaders wanted to be the way, for the people to follow them. Surely, they didn’t think much of Jesus’ presentation. So, they wanted to kill Him…small problem…they were not in control, for Jesus had a mission, He was in control; a mission to save His sheep by laying down His own life by His own accord, no one took it from Him.

So, who are the sheep of His pasture? Well, at the time Jesus was addressing these religious leaders; the sheep were the Jews. We need to keep reading however, verse 16: “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” (NIV) The other sheep are all those who hear the voice of Jesus Christ and follow Him. There will be only one flock under the care and love of the Good Shepherd.

Before the morning crowd, what will you be crying on Friday?

Today, April 9, 2017, was Palm Sunday. Most know about the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem; but many may not realize that this entry was very much different from all the other times Jesus and the disciples entered the city. Always before, entry was quiet; this time it was different. On a donkey, not a king’s horse but a donkey that had never borne a person.

Fore-told three times to the disciples, Jesus knew this was His last entry into the city. What must He thought by the cheering crowd, knowing that there was a second and different crowd waiting for Him in the dark of Friday morning. Jesus was coming to His glorification; this was the aim of His earthly life. Jesus was in control, and certainly not the evil men crying for His Roman execution.

I love Psalm 118:24…I say it every morning since my heart attack, “this is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”…but, many will pray some form of verse 25. This verse goes like this:  “Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!”

My friends, we don’t need safety and we don’t need success; what we do need however is salvation. We need God working “in” us! Everything else will be what it will be. The people wanted safety & deliverance from Rome; we don’t need saving from world powers. We do need saving from our sins! This is why Jesus entered Jerusalem, not on a king’s horse to conquer Roman oppression, but on a lowly donkey…the great Creator of the Universe came into town to take away the sins of the world. This was His purpose! This was His gift to us! What will you be crying on Friday morning?