Category Archives: Perspective

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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Photo by Akil Mazumder on Pexels.com

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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Photo by Jakob on Pexels.com

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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Photo by Cecu00edlia Tommasini on Pexels.com

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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Photo by Jonathan Meyer on Pexels.com

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!!)

 

 

Why I (As a Bible Believing Christian) Cannot and Will Not Be Voting for Donald Trump (2!)

In my last post, I argued that

  • the perceived benefits of the Trump presidency
    • from a biblical perspective,
      • are temporary and earthly, not eternal.

Now: The continued Trump presidency

  • from a biblical perspective, will be
    • damaging, and
    • of eternal significance
      • for the Church, for America, and for the world.
  • Under the Trump Presidency
  • Truth/Facts/Reality and our attitudes towards them have suffered.
    • The Trump administration is “An Administration of Lies.”
      • The president is a proven, pathological, and an unrepentant liar.
      • His supporters repeatedly offer “alternative facts”
        • to explain the administration’s actions and statements.
      • Getting more people to believe a ‘narrative’
        • (by retweets, ratings, polls, ‘likes’, ‘going viral’, soundbites, etc.)
        • in modern America
        • is now more important than the facts and
        • has been exacerbated by an administration
          • that peddles lies, obfuscation, spin and/or misdirection.
    • Truth is a Biblical and Christian ideal.
      • Truth is eternal!
      • Deceivers will be eternally punished.
    • Truth is reality and reality is truth.
      • Science deals in facts and objective Truth;
      • without truth and objective facts,
        • normal living is not possible;
          • to live in alternative reality is insanity, and
        • the progress of human civilization is hampered.
      • Justice for all depends on establishing
        • what is true and what are the facts (evidence!).
  • The Image of God
    • present in every human being;
      • (along with a sinful fallen nature) that is,
    • everything that is noble, pure, selfless, and admirable in man suffers.
    • Instead of the image of God:
      • humility, selflessness, love, harmony, peacefulness, self control, patience, gentleness, holiness, mercy….
      • Trump models the sinfulness of Man:
        • pride, narcissism, hate, division, quarrelsomeness, short temper, impatience, meanness, ‘fight back’, vengeance, impurity and indecency….
    • Trump undermines our common human dignity by 
      • choosing to divide instead of bringing people together
        • in order to harness political power.
  • The Direction and Fate of the World May Change Forever
    • The Bible predicts that history is marching towards the ‘End Times.’
    • America is the only economic, military, and cultural superpower.
      • Trump has stated he acts based on his guts instincts
      • Trump who appears willing to take unnecessary risks
        • (economic, military, cultural, political)
        • without strategy or clear planning;
        • he can therefore plunge the world into an ‘end times’ scenario
          • predicted in the Bible.
        • This can also weaken America from within.
  • America as
    • a moral beacon in the world,
    • ‘the city on a hill that cannot be hid’
    • a clear voice for universal human rights,
    • model of freedom of the press, and as
    • a model of human dignity,
      • will be lost forever;
        • making the biblical ‘end times’ scenario that more certain.

So count me out, I will not be voting for Donald Trump in 2020!

Why I (As a Bible Believing Christian) Cannot, and Will Not Be Voting for Donald Trump!

All the benefits of my Vote for Donald Trump Appear to be
Material, Temporal, Earthly

  • More Conservative Judges

    • Inasmuch as I want a society
      • where conservative values are respected, this
    • pertains mostly to America, not the Kingdom of God,
      • when judges are appointed
        • by both sides
        • solely for partisan control of the judiciary,
          • and it will ultimately corrupt justice
            • for everyone, forever (!);
    • will not prevent the ongoing moral decay of humanity
      • predicted in the Bible, as we move toward the end-times!
    • Deuteronomy 1.16:  “‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him.” 
      • That is, justice must be blind to even the closest earthly affiliations.
  • The Possibility of Overturning Roe vs. Wade

    • Inasmuch  as I am pro-life
      • (in Church and personal life
      • and I will work to reduce abortion in society
        • in other ways other than using the force of law)
      • I am also pro-choice (as a matter of law in society), and
    • inasmuch as I will like to reduce abortions in the US,
      • the church will do a better job to impact society for God
        • by modelling selfless, holy, and cross-bearing lives as people of faith,
        • than to try to wield the corrupting tools of political power
          • to force social change; that is,
      • making abortion illegal
        • constrains action by force of law, it
        • does not change people and
        • is only a temporary fix, to the eternal problem of the
          • sinfulness of man, and it
        • does not address immorality within the Church itself;
      • I also have hope that God has a plan even for unborn babies
        • as I believe he does for infants who die early!
    • Matt. 18.10:  “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.”
  • A friend of the (mostly white) Church in the White House

    • is temporary, of this earth, not the kingdom of God
      • if the Church cannot criticize that ‘friend’,
      • if the Church must always praise that ‘friend’,
      • if the Church must explain away, excuse, and lie (‘spin’),
        • when that ‘friend’ lies, divides, and is unrepentant of
          • deceit, meanness, pride and boastfulness, narcissism, and adultery,
        • and thereby abandon its basic mission to a lost world:
          • faithfully proclaim the truth and will of God
          • that we must be
            • true, loving, meek and lowly, selfless, and faithful to the wife of our youth, welcoming, be wronged instead of wronging others, give vengeance to God instead of always ‘fighting back.’
    • Faithful prophetic witness
      • to powerful (and sometimes corrupt) political leaders (kings)
      • is clear in the Bible.
        • It usually involves truth, rebuke, courage, and great risk:
        • Samuel (Eli), Samuel (Saul), Nathan (David),
        • Elijah (Ahab, Jezebel, Ahaziah), Elisha (Ahab), Micaiah (Ahab)
        •  Isaiah (Manasseh), Jonah (Nineveh),
        • Jeremiah (Zedekiah), Daniel (Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar),
        • John the Baptist (Herod)
        • Jesus (Pilate), Peter (Sanhedrin);
        • the Early Church (the Sanhedrin); and
        • Paul (Agrippa).
        • It is never a cozy relationship as the one we see between
          • the White House and white evangelical American leadership.
  • Strong Economy?

    • As good as that sounds,
      • a strong economy is of this earth, not eternal
      • Mark 8.36: “What does it profit a man [nation]….”
    • What if
      • (as the signs are beginning to show, and
      • as Donald Trump continues to gamble
        • with the economy and
        • with the livelihood of millions of Americans,
        • using trade wars),
      • the economy takes a downturn,
        • as is expected every now and again?

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  • Strong Immigration Enforcement?

    • This excites those
      • whose primary concern is America
        • not the Kingdom of God,
      • who may be driven by
        • lack of knowledge and compassion, fear, distaste, and/or
        • indifference towards
          • those who are different, who are weak, and destitute;
      • who have forgotten, who ignore the fact,
        • that the Kingdom of God is all tribes, tongues and nations
        • that everyone ‘came from somewhere else’,
        • that the Bible overwhelmingly teaches love and welcome
          • for the weak, the widow, the fatherless, the alien ,strangers (!)
        • that Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus were themselves refugees
          • to Egypt from political violence!
    • Matthew 24.44:  “Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’”
    • Revelation 7.9 “…from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb….”
  • Strong Military and National Defense,

    • pertains to only America, not the Kingdom of God;
    • is material, temporary, and earthly.
    • Ephesians 6.  “For we do not wrestle not against flesh and blood…”
  • Second Amendment Rights

    • Is only of this earth, and temporary,  and
    • when promoted unreasonably and at all cost, it
      • UNDERCUTS THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS:
        • selfless love,
        • sacrifice,
        • give instead of taking life,
        • “turning the other cheek”,
        • “Nevertheless, let your [God’s] will be done not mine”
          • not my right(!)
          • [Jesus!]
      • lacks any sound biblical and theological support.
      • Matt. 16.24: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
        • The choice between a gun and the cross is easy
          • I CHOOSE THE CROSS!

Next PostWhy a Vote For Donald Trump has Negative Long Term/Eternal Consequences for America and the Church.

Believe! – 2

Some Basic Truths For Meaningful, Happy and Successful Life

Believe that:

  • There is a God Almighty

    • He is
    • He sees
    • He knows
    • He loves
    • He will judge
    • He is sovereign
      • (owes no one any explanation, and is
      • free to do whatever he wills,
        • with his creation)
    • He is Holy but he is also merciful
  • You are Special

    • One of a kind
    • In a good way, despite or because of
      • what you did in the past
      • what someone did to you in the past
      • your DNA profile
      • where you were born
    • You have something to say, to give, to contribute, to do
      • in this world;
      • a legacy to leave behind,
      • a mission to accomplish, and
      • a dream to fulfill.
      • Your life has meaning!
    • You are of infinite value
      • to God who loves you and died for you
        • on a cross!
      • to those who love you
        • mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, siblings, bff etc.
        • You add meaning, joy and happiness to their lives.
        • For those who may not ‘love’ you,
          • They are not looking at your true value.
          • They are looking at something other than
            • who you really are!
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Photo by le vy on Pexels.com
  • Things can and Do Change

    • Other opportunities will open
      • Closed doors may become open
      • New doors will open up
      • ‘Doors’ can become walls or
      • ladders may be provided to scale walls!
    • People can change
      • Friends can become enemies
        • and vice versa.
      • Bosses can become subordinates
        • and vice versa.
      • Doubts can become trust
        • and vice versa.
      • Opponents can become team-mates
        • and vice versa.
    • Miracles (impossible ‘coincidences’) can happen
    • New methods, medications, procedures, approaches will be invented
      • making it easier to get where you want to go in your life!
  • Reality, Facts, and Truth Rule in the Long Run

    • There are no ‘alternative facts’
    • Opinions, feelings, emotions, loyalties change, facts don’t
    • Evidence based choices are best
    • Respect True Scientific Discoveries
      • God is the ultimate scientist
      • They are foundation to practically all human achievements 

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  • The Other Side of Life Will Be Different

    • All tears will be wiped away;
    • No more sorrows, sickness, death, or evil,
    • No more scammers, swindlers, thieves, liars, sociopaths;
      • Those who (we) think they ‘got away with it’
        • will not escape the ultimate justice,
          • guaranteed by God!
    • If you have invested in it!
      • I recommend Jesus to you, Personally!
    • Don’t think there will be need for ‘Faith’
      • Faith will become sight
      • It will be like the Garden of Eden all over again!

Follow Reach Ministries on Twitter and Facebook;  Contact:  reach4himwdray@gmail.com

YOU CAN DO THIS, LET’S DO THIS!

 

Life After Defeat?… Yes! (2)

In order to have a meaningful and successful Life after Defeat, Step 1 is to separate Who YOU ARE from WHAT HAPPENED (the event).  Now the next steps:

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Photo by Simon Migaj on Pexels.com
  • Take Time to Reflect
    • Avoid far reaching decisions while you are ‘feeling blue.’
      • Choices under such conditions are likely to be
        • emotion driven,
        • ill advised, and
        • wrong.
    • Learn from the experience.
      • Who to trust
      • What to do
      • A better way
  • Keep Things in Perspective
    • The Time Perspective
      • There may be other opportunities.
      • Take the long view.
        • How will this look one, two, five, or ten years from now?
        • How will this look from the other side of eternity?
      • You may have gone through this in the past,
        • remember how you made it through then?
          • You can do it again!
    • The ‘Others’ Perspective
      • In the past your ‘win’ meant others lost!
      • Your experience may not be the best,
        • but it is not the worst either.
      • Others have survived such things
        • so can you!
    • The ‘God’ Perspective
      • He lives, he sees, he knows, he understands, and
        • he loves YOU!
      • He is in control
      • He does not make mistakes
      • All Things Are Possible with him
  • Consider Alternatives
    • Do it again!
      • Success sometimes (often) comes only after several tries
      • ‘Third time is the charm’
      • Believe!
    • Adjust Your Line of Attack (approach)
      • More and better preparation
      • Note the ‘signs’ along the way and make adjustments
    • Change Direction
      • You may not be a fighter pilot but
        • you will be able to design the planes they fly in
      • You may not qualify or be approved to be a doctor
        • but you will be an excellent nurse practitioner or
        • a medical technician, or a surgical nurse, etc.
      • You may not qualify to become an engineer
        • but you will be an excellent and successful mechanic!
      • You get the idea!

You can Do this – Let’s Do this!

Contact:  reach4himwdray@gmail.com