Category Archives: Faith

Of the ‘Devil’ and the Evil in All of US!

Where does Satan and our Sinful Nature fit

  • in explaining the evil that is in the World Today?

As a Christian

  • I learn about the existence of ‘Satan‘ and of the ‘Sinful Nature,’ but
  • I have not fully resolved
    • how those two (sinful nature and Satan) interact to bring evil in the world.
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Regarding Satan (the devil, serpent, tempter, accuser, destroyer, etc.)

  • Is he present everywhere at the same time?
    • everyone appears to be constantly being affected or
      • tempted by him;
  • How is he able to tempt each person individually?
    • How come he knows what we are thinking?
    • How come he knows so much
      • about our individual histories, personalities and weaknesses?
  • If Satan, ‘the devil’
    • can tempt, deceive, dissuade, discourage, destroy individuals
      • even as the human population on the earth
        • continues to grow and
        • has reached over 4 billion; and if he
    • can work his evil from generation to generation for thousands of years;
      • the way some people say he does,
      • does not that make him a very powerful person
        • with some attributes like God(!)?
        • But he is NOT GOD!

This brings us to another source of evil in the world:

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  • The Sinful/Evil Nature in all of us.

A ‘celebrity’ (in the early church)  once said this about himself:

  • (in the first century)
  • “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me,
    • that is, in my sinful nature. 
    • For I have the desire to do what is good,
      • but I cannot carry it out.   
    • For I do not do the good I want to do,
      • but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.”
        • (Paul: Romans 7.18-19)
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This is what that sinful nature looks like:

  • He(She) is lazy, slow, and a procrastinator.
  • He(She) lies, exaggerates, and deceives
  • He(She) is incredibly selfish;
  • He(She) is greedy, proud, boastful, and self-promoting
  • He(She) can be lewd, nasty, and insensitive
  • He(She) is utterly against God
    • He(she) does not want to submit to God’s rule or to worship him;
    • He(She) does not like to humble himself before God;
    • He(She) does not like to pray;
    • He(She) does not want to read sacred scriptures;
  • He(She) does not like limits
    • if the speed limit is 40 mph, he(she) wants to go at 45 mph or
    • if the speed limit is 55 mph, 65 mph seems attractive to him/her
  • He(She) lacks self control, prefers excesses,
    • he(she) does not want to wait or to accept limit on him/herself
      • whether it’s with regard to food and drink, or
      • in relation to social interactions,
        • including sex, and marital fidelity;
    • he(she) does not want to go to bed or to wake up early;
    • with regards to words and conversations,
      • he(she) can be mean, insensitive, inconsiderate, gossipy, and crass.
    • He(She) is never satisfied, always wants more.
  • He(She) works against the interest of the person in whom he dwells;
    • the excesses of the sinful nature may cause
      • disease, physical harm, crime and punishment;
      • auto accidents, fire, financial ruin,
      • ruined relationships and broken families,
      • loss of face and status, loss of power, etc.;
    • but this does not stop him or cause him to change direction .
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I believe that

  • this sinful/evil nature is in every human being;
    • it can be conditioned/tempered by
      • parental discipline and personal experiences;
      • Christian (religious) conversion and education, and by
      • custom, and the laws of society;
  • this sinful nature is a “he/she” because
    • it is a part of but
      • not the totality of who we are as individuals
    • because he(she) appears to operate by ‘reason’ and ‘persuasion’
      • to our minds and/or to our will
      • (See Paul above in Romans 7.15-25);
    • as individuals we have still have the ability
      • TO MAKE A CHOICE between what
        • the persuasion of what the sinful nature wants and what
        • commons sense, conscience, laws of society, and the dictates of our faith, tell us.
  • (Personally, I refer to this sinful nature as “THE BEAST”).
  • Bring a community of people together
    • with this sinful nature and its tendencies,
    • we then have endless possibilities for evil,
      • in our world!

NEXT POST:  BRINGING THE TWO TOGETHER:

  • SATAN, OUR SINFUL NATURE, AND THE PREVALENCE OF EVIL IN OUR WORLD!!

Pain, Suffering, Evil, and God, Questions? Answers!

Questions:  Pain, Suffering, Evil, and God?

  • What is my ‘SATISFYING ANSWER’?
  • If God is  ALTOGETHER GOOD AND ALMIGHTY’
    • why the pain, the suffering, and all the evil
      • that we see in the world?
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I now believe that this

  • God-designed creation runs on a ‘natural order’ (!)
    • based on the laws of science in
      • biology, physics and engineering, chemistry, geology, astronomy
      • mathematics and statistics, electronics, nuclear physics, etc.;
    • based on the laws of society and human interactions in
      • sociology and anthropology,
      • political science and economics, etc.
    • It is the challenge and opportunity of all men
      • since the days of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, Solomon, etc.,
      • including Christians, and all genuine God worshipers,
      • to discover and utilize these laws for their benefit;
      • as stated in the book of Genesis when God’s says to man,
        • “fill the earth and subdue it” (Genesis 1.28)
        • work it[the garden-creation] and keep it. (Genesis 2.15)
  • Creation running on the ‘natural order’ is also ‘broken’ and
    • all men are subjected to this broken natural order INCLUDING
      • Christians, people of earnest faith, genuine God Worshipers;
    • evil, vile and wicked men;
    • evil schemes, wars, crimes, corruption,
      • are to be expected and do happen;
    • typhoons, storms, tornadoes, earthquakes, accidents,
    • diseases like cancer, deformity,  fatal accidents,
      • will and do happen.
  • God is making a NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH,
    • a restored creation with a restored ‘natural order’!!

I also believe that God rendered himself ‘Almost Powerless’

  • in the affairs of men
  • when he gave man total freedom to make choices!
    • Most of the evil in this world
      • comes from men and societies making evil choices,
        • spouses cheat, abuse, and abandon families;
        • wayward children choose wrong paths;
        • criminals, political leaders, sociopaths,
          • make wrong choices that harm others,
          • ensure continuing cycle of evil
            • as their ‘broken’ victims
            • turn around and victimize others.
    • God let’s men have their own way so that they can see
      • in themselves and in the results of their choices
        • a need for God,
        • if they would believe
        • (Romans 1.24a, 26a, 28b).
    • God’s purpose and plan is seen
      • in those who willingly let his kingdom
        • reign in their hearts and lives
          • becoming his “witnesses” to the world,
          • “salt of the earth”, and
          • “light of the world.”
    • As before though
      • God will judge.
      • God will restore all things.
      • God will be proven right, just, loving, faithful and true.
      • God will remake a new order
        • without the problems of this old order.

I also believe that God is incredibly Great, Powerful, and Sovereign

  • If (since) there is an ALMIGHTY God
    • from our knowledge of astronomy
      • he must be incredibly great
      • (Please take a look at this astonishing video on YouTube
  • This limits the extent to which my puny mind
    • can understand him or his purposes
      • for the world he has created.
  • If (since) he made the universe as we know it, 
    • he is sovereign over it;
      • (free to act as he pleases)
    • he owns everything!

So how then shall we live?

  • God takes pleasure WHEN we trust him
    • so I will trust him, what is the alternative(?)
      • Can you change him?
      • Can you change his purposes against his will?
      • Can you fight God?
      • If you reject God and abandon your faith
        • what difference will it make?
        • what will you replace God with?
  • God has revealed himself to man in the only way he can
    • by becoming man through his Son – Jesus Christ!
  • God has demonstrated that he cares
    • when Jesus died on a cruel cross
    • as we struggle in this fallen creation
    • so I will trust him
      • that he will make all things right again!

We can still pray for and expect ‘miracles’

  • God breaks through the natural laws of creation
    • from time to time,
    • to let us know
      • that he is there and he is not silent;
    • to demonstrate his power and
    • to encourage our trust in him;
  • (all answered prayers are miracles!)
    • God sometimes answers prayers
      • which appear to be the result of the ‘natural order’ but
      • which are ‘too coincidental’
        • since we prayed specifically about it!
  • The genius of God is that
    • while it appears that things happen
      • according to the natural order of things,
      • according the fallen-ness of creation and human nature
      • according to the arbitrariness and capriciousness of human choices;
    • his purposes are clearly still being fulfilled in the world:
      • righteousness matter,
      • evil is wrong,
      • truth is desirable,
      • and faith in him is
        • enduring and cannot be destroyed;
        • meaningful and practically rewarding!!!
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Notice, I did not say anything about Satan?

  • HE IS NO MATCH FOR GOD!  BUT more about this next time!

Let me know what you think.  Send me an Email, or a tweet.  Please share!

 

Questions: Pain, Suffering, Evil, and God!

I ADMIT IT!!!

  • I have had a lot of questions that have plagued me for a long time

    • about pain, suffering, evil, and God!

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  • I have seen (first person) or heard and read about

    • Christian men and women (young and old)
      • faithful to Jesus Christ,
        • active witnesses for Christ,
        • righteous in their lifestyle choices,
        • selfless in service to others,
        • regular and authentic worshipers,
      • loved by all, and then
        • fall ill and die,
        • drown at a Church outing or swimming in a home pool, or 
        • killed in gruesome road accidents, sometimes
          • while out or soon after evangelizing, or
          • while going about their normal business;
          • leaving behind grieving
            • (sometimes young) families,
            • congregations and the church at large,
          • while their ‘less worthy’ and sometimes criminal compatriots
            • live on!
  • I have read about 

    • how about five million Jews (‘God’s people’)
      • were killed in the second World War;
    • how over two hundred thousand people
      • were killed during the Tsunami in Asia in 2004,
    • how hundreds of thousands (including many innocents) were killed during
      • World War I, World War II,
      • Genghis Khan Wars, Alexandra the Great wars, Roman Empire Wars,
      • wars of Independence in US, India, Nigeria, Pakistan,
        • in South America, Africa, Asia, East Asia, Europe,
        • in civil wars and terrorist plots all over the world, etc. etc.
  • I/We have seen TV/Video clips of infants and babies 

  • struggling with cancer and other horrible diseases
  • that adults find it difficult to cope with, much less little children
  • born with birth defects
    • (blind, deaf, without limbs, joined with other children etc.)
  • I/We have seen the crooked and the unrighteous

    • get rich and powerful
      • by engaging in ruthless, unethical, and evil schemes,
      • swindling their customers, investors, and society as a whole,
    • beat the system instead of paying for their crimes,
    • appear to continue on with their lives
      • after destroying the lives of others
        • including family, trusting friends, and associates.
  • I/we have also seen

    • the poor remaining poor
    • the sick remaining sick
    • the rebellious child remaining rebellious
    • the marriage not becoming healed
      • even after a lot of prayers!

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 PAIN, SUFFERING, AND EVIL, GOD! QUESTIONS?!!

I CAN NOW SAY THAT I HAVE ANSWERS THAT SATISFY ME AND I WANT TO SHARE THEM WITH YOU.

NEXT POST!!!

I believe in Miracles and …!

I believe in a reality

  • that is governed by observable and verifiable laws
    • of science operating within God’s creation.
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I believe that scientific laws and discoveries are valid

  • for ALL human existence
    • including those of the children of God(!), that is, the laws of
      • gravitation, motion, thermodynamics, relativity, atomic energy,
      • mathematics, statistics, chemistry, physics, electromagnetism, etc.
      • I do not accept evolution BY CHANCE but
        • I cannot rule out evolution by divine design.
  • Denying the laws and verifiable discoveries of science
    • on the basis of so-called ‘faith’
    • is a futile endeavor because
      • GOD PUT THEM THERE!!!
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I believe and accept the scientific advances behind modern technology

  • that have revolutionized human existence in the fields of
    • agriculture and food production,
    • medicine and fighting disease and illnesses,
    • manufacturing,
    • communication and transportation,
    • entertainment,
    • astronomy and even (sadly and unfortunately)
    • warfare, because
  • GOD PUT THEM THERE (!!!)
    • to be discovered for human use!

I also believe and accept verifiable theories and observations of the social sciences

  • concerning human nature and human interactions:
    • the quest for power,
      • how and why people attain, keep and exercise
        • dominance over others,
      • organizational behavior,
      • group dynamics;
    • the quest for possessions including
      • the universal principle of scarcity,
        • (human desires and wants are unlimited but resources are),
      • the economics laws of demand and supply,
    • the quest for pleasure,
    • Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, etc.
    •  are valid because GOD PUT THEM THERE!!!!

I  believe that God is therefore the greatest scientist;

  • the greatest, physicist, mathematician, astronomer,
  • molecular biologist, surgeon, sociologist, etc.!
  • God is above, over, and beyond all of his creation.

I also believe in the writings of the Bible

  • It is a revelation of an otherwise UNKNOWABLE God.
    • How else can we know the God
      • who is the origin, and is over, above,  and beyond the cosmos?
    • This revelation gives meaning and purpose to life.
    • It is ultimately the only viable answer
      • to the question:
        • “What is the meaning and purpose of life?”
    • Think of God as the Unlimited Energy that birthed everything
      • (energy appears to be one of the main constants in the entire cosmos)
      • but which/who is also a PERSONAL being!
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I believe God wants men to live within the natural order of creation

  • FOR THE MOST PART(!!),
    • that miracles of the dramatic kind
      • are rare occurrences and
        • designed by God to be so(!),
        • because he wants us to live by faith(!!)
        • and because he wants us to live
          • within the scientific (natural) laws of his creation!
    • GOD PUT THEM THERE!!!!
  • Neither Abraham, nor Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon, Paul, Peter, or James
    • discovered the aerodynamics in order to build an airplane, nor did they
    • discover penicillin, the microscope, electricity, the Periodic Table, DNA, X-rays, Quantum Theory, or the connection between smoking and cancer;
    • gun powder was discovered by the Chinese, and
    • Archimedes had to discover the buoyancy principle because,
    • THAT’S HOW GOD INTENDED IT!!!

So child of God

  • don’t give up on dramatic miracles, but
  • don’t wait for them either.
  • It is God’s will that you live your life in obedience to him
    • with or without miracles.
  • The ONE MIRACLE that you can be sure of is this:
  • LEARN, UNDERSTAND, AND USE
    • the laws and principles
      • that God has put into his creation,
    • and seek his favor, and
  • YOU WILL MEET YOUR GOD GIVEN GOALS.
  • THAT’S HOW GOD INTENDED IT!!!!

LET’S DO THIS!  YOU CAN DO THIS!!

(Next post: how the perspective above helps us deal with the problem of evil and suffering!!)

 

 

I believe in Miracles!

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But I also believe in scientific laws of creation

  • That is, all knowledge and discoveries that are
    • objective, demonstrable, repeatable, and
      • irrespective of race, geography, time, or status
        • namely the laws of Physics, chemistry, electronics, gravity, geography, etc.
        • are valid and placed there by God.
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Here is why I believe in Miracles:

  • I believe in God
    • It follows that if (since) there is a God
      • and if (since) he is involved in his creation, then
      • by definition he is able to overrule the laws of creation
        • that is the definition of a miracle!
    • I also believe he responds to (answers) prayers and
      • that is the definition of a miracle!
  • I believe in Jesus Christ
    • I believe he did all the miracles
      • that the gospels say he did.
  • I have experienced events in my life that qualify as miracles
    • The events around my repentance and believing in Jesus Christ as savior
      • feels like God responded to my desperate cry
        • for him to reveal himself to me!
    • Coming to the USA for the first time
      • was a miracle!
  • I have ‘sensed’ (‘felt’/’known’) things before they happened
    • I ‘felt’ (‘knew’) God say to my heart
      • that the woman who is now my wife
        • of thirty-six years,
        • will be my wife before I had met or spoken to her;
    • I ‘felt’ (‘knew’) God say my first child will be a girl
    • I ‘felt’ (‘knew’) God say my second child will be a boy
      • (Note: I did not have any leading about the third and fourth).
    • I ‘felt’ (‘knew’) in my ‘spirit’ to mourn for a colleague
      • after a kind of vision (vivid image/thoughts)
      • before he was outed as  a cheat/crook
        • even though I had no prior knowledge of it.
    • I ‘feel’ (‘know’) God say to me that I will not die before I am 70
      • (caveat: I have now grown to respect the natural laws
        • that safeguard good health and long life, despite this).
      • I survived the civil war in my home country:
        • one time shot at
          • four bullets in my direction
          • two bullets through the window my father and I
            • were looking through;
        • one time on the ground slated for execution
          • by trigger happy troops;
          • in a civil war,
          • with exploding bombs within a couple of miles away
            • but survived.
      • Once, we had an accident
        • that had me and and my motorcycle slide under a huge truck
          • between its wheels,
          • but me and my passenger survived!
    • I have also had some dramatic answers to prayer:
      • A Demon oppressed neighbor girl
        • was delivered as we prayed ‘in the Name of Jesus’.
      • My son with a medical condition
        • that could not be treated in my African country,
        • got treatment in the UK by clear answers to prayer (miracle):
          • funds were provided, and
          • doctors: general practitioners and specialists
            • gave free treatment and
              • their own money and time to care and
              • continued to provide costly and continuing support;
          • without which he would now be wheelchair bound,
            • deformed and/or dead!
        • By inspiration, I named him
          • “One born to see wonders!”
            • at birth!
    • A married woman who could not bear child after several years
      • delivered within the year after prayer and
        • the laying on of hands;
    • A married woman whose pregnancy was going past ten months
      • delivered the baby by the next morning after prayer and
        • the ‘laying on of hands.’
    • A series of ‘answers’ to prayer that brought my family to the US
      • after fifteen years of prayer and then,
      • at the US Embassy,
        • an initial visa application appeared Rejected!’
          • but dramatically changed to
            • ‘Approved;‘ 
      • and after provision of funds
        • that also went way beyond my ability.
    • And lots more
    • I believe other people have experienced miracles too!
      • I have heard first person narrations and
      • I have read about experiences of others.
      • But some of my prayers
        • HAVE NOT been answered
          • the way I wanted it to be;
          • because God thought otherwise, and
          • because we must live by faith, and
          • because the ways of God is still a mystery!!

Next Post – God, Science and the Natural Order of Creation!

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.
[Moses: Deuteronomy 29.29]