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If God is So Good Why is There Evil? June 20, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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1 comment so far

This question has confounded philosophers for ages and led countless millions to blame God for all the evil in the world.  We must have faith if we’re going to question whether God is the author of evil since the Bible says of God, “You are good, and the source of good.”

We need faith to doubt God and instead ask the question, “If God is good why is there evil?”

Why do I say that we need faith to question God?

To even consider this question we must first accept the fact that God is and that He created the world.  If those two things are not the foundation of our faith, the basis of our world view, the question which forms the center of this essay is a meaningless exercise, an enigma wrapped in a riddle that makes no sense.

Most of us believe in fairness.  So how can we even think of blaming God for evil if He isn’t the source of it?  That wouldn’t be very fair would it?  So we’ve established that if we ask this question, “If God is so good why is there evil?” Or, if we blame God for all the evil we see in the world we must therefore believe in God and believe He is the creator of all things.

Having established that this question will only make sense in the context of faith let’s move forward with our reasoning.

First, we must determine is life as we know it normal?  Is this world filled with hatred, violence, death, disease, and war what God intended?  Was it His plan to have us suffer through this vale of tears?

There is only one place we have a chance to get God’s side of this question.  He only wrote one book.  Therefore if we reject the Bible as God’s word we have nowhere to get the answer to this question except our own finite mind.  Does seeking the answer to an eternal question in a finite source make any sense?  If as established above we have a foundational faith in the existence of God and that He is the creator of the world eternal facts which we can only learn from the Bible why would we then reject the Bible as a source of other eternal knowledge?

Moving forward in reasoning based on the eternal knowledge revealed in the Bible:

We know God placed Adam and Eve in Eden.  Are we to believe that God intended for his children to run around naked in a poison ivy patch filled with thorns and thistles?  No, at the end of the fifth day of creation after God had made the whole universe and all that is in it except man he looked over everything He had made and it was good.  If everything was good and then after He brings man into the equation all of a sudden there is all this not good going on all over the place what happened?

Humanity was not an afterthought.  God didn’t create the world and then decide, “I need a gardener” and then make humans to fit the bill.   You see long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ.   Humanity was marked out as God’s children before He said, “Let there be light,” or as the science guys call it, the big bang.  Before the foundations of creation were laid God purposed a family, and humanity is the answer to that purpose.

But what kind of a being did God create?

When God was saying let there be this and let there be that and He came to the creation of humanity He said, “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature.”   That’s right. He made humanity in His own image.  He goes on to tell us, “God created human beings; He created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature.”  That’s what it says.  When God first created humans they were in His class.  Not the monkey class…the God class.

And He even tells us why, “So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”  Then He gave them the power to reproduce so they could give Him a wonderfully large family to manage His creation, “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!  Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

That was His plan.  He created a perfect earth and then created beings that were like Him to run it as His assistants, His superintendents.  Humanity was given complete charge over the earth from the fish in the sea to the birds in the air.  It was all ours to command because God gave it over to us.

If God is anything He is fair.  If He makes a deal He sticks to it.  God is not a contact breaker.

Just think of this: if I gave my child a new car signing the title over to him doesn’t he then have a legal right to do anything he wants with that car?

I may have wanted him to use it for his business, maybe taking the kids to school, and even for his own pleasure.  That was my vision when I gave him the car.

But he had other ideas.  He decided to give the car to someone else.  He signs the title over to her.  Who does the car belong to?

Would I have any legal right to take it back from the one he gave it to and say, “Hey, that isn’t your car!  I bought it for my child.”  I don’t think that would stand up in court.  That wouldn’t be legal.

You see God gave humanity dominion over the earth.  We have no idea how long that dominion lasted.  Adam and Eve could have been in the garden for millions of years. We have no way of knowing.  But then along comes Satan, the father of sin, whose original sin was saying that he would set his throne above the Most High and that he would make himself god.

And what does he do?  He invents the first pyramid scheme.

He entices Eve with the idea that she could be like God.  Eve was conned.  She bought the dream … eat the forbidden fruit … then lay on the beach collecting residuals as the new god.  Hook, line, and sinker she swallowed it all.  She never understood the part about kicking it all back up the line to her new boss, Satan.

Then Adam comes home and Eve tells him of the fabulous deal Satan is offering.  Adam isn’t fooled.  He sees through the whole thing but he wants to be with his wife so he signs on the dotted line and by doing that he transferred his dominion over to Satan.  He gave Satan the title to the new car.

Now God being a loving Father wanted his children to have the new car but they gave it away, so being a just God He can’t just take it back.  Therefore, because of the treason of Adam creation now groans under the lordship of Satan.

That’s it in a nut shell.  God created humanity to be His supervisor here on a perfect earth.  He gave us the title deed to the planet.  Then through Adam’s willful disobedience we gave it to Satan and that’s how he became the god of this world.  Ever since, Satan’s nature, evil, has ridden rough shod over us and sin and death have plagued us from that day to this.

This isn’t what God planned.  This is the result of our choice, the choice to serve Satan instead of God.  And remember Satan’s original sin was that he wanted to play God, so every time we blame God for what Satan has done we give him exactly what he wanted all along … to be recognized as God.

What a mess we made.  God gave us a good deal and we traded it in for a swindle.

All I can do is echo another poor sinner saved by grace who once said, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

More on that later. …

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

A Childless Father Who Has a Son June 12, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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I am blessed.  My wife gave me a son. He was hers before he was mine.  Then he became ours.  In my heart he is always mine and I feel as if I am his Dad.  But it often feels like a homerun record with an asterisk, an almost.  You see, I’m a step-father.  That’s as close as I will ever come to experiencing the life of a father and for that I am forever thankful to God for I am a childless father who has a son.

I know the pride of watching my son play little league.  Together we experienced the joy of victory and the agony of defeat.  I encouraged him to play music.  I helped with homework.  I watched him march in band.  I raced against the stop lights time after time to make it to events and meetings with teachers, doctor’s appointments, and birthdays.  I watched him graduate grade school after driving him from one town to another so he could remain in the same school with his friends after we moved.  I blessed God when he graduated high school and earned scholarships to college.  I was happy when he chose the girl my wife and I prayed for long before we ever met her, enjoyed being the father of the groom, and I love my grandchildren with all my heart.  I am truly blessed.  My wife gave me a son.

But there are four other children I have never known.  Four other children blood of my blood and bone of my bone that I never had the chance to know.

These are my aborted children.

They were aborted without my consent, told by the women involved and the courts that it was none of my business, murdered within the law, slaughtered beyond the pale.  They are still alive within my heart.

Let me say in defense of the women who aborted my children, before I gave my life to Christ I was a snake.  As a matter of fact I’ve always said that before I was saved snakes would cross the street when they saw me coming.  I was a drug addicted; drunken scheming dreamer convinced I should be something I wasn’t and equally convince I wasn’t what I was.

Any young woman who learned they were pregnant and that I was the father could not be blamed for deciding I was a waste of space, a self-indulgent loser, and a disaster as a potential father.  And although none of the three young women involved ever told me why they aborted my children, that’s what I have always thought was my addition to the equation.

Once I gave my life to Christ.  Once I sobered up, straightened out, and stood in the light of His love I knew he forgave me for any part I played in the deaths of these innocent children.  I know He forgives everyone who lays their sins at the foot of the cross.

Over the years He has ministered to my heart, my spirit, and my soul as I have cried tears for who could have been.  I am healed for when He said, “It is finished,” sin was defeated.  When He rose from the grave life conquered death, and since He ascended into heaven where He took His place at the right hand of the Father together we all live in Him.  I am healed.

But there is not a day I don’t miss those children.  There is not a day I don’t think of what might have been.  There is not a day that I don’t imagine seeing them in Him.

I struggle sometimes knowing that two of the women who aborted my children later had other children.  They’ve had an experience they took from me.  I don’t begrudge them the joy of parenting.  I have forgiven them.  But sometimes I’m jealous of what they have and of what I shall never have and for this I repent.  I also struggle sometimes watching other women I know have had abortions and later had children.  I know God has forgiven them.  I don’t have anything against them but at times I struggle with my own emotions.

All of this is the burden of this forgotten father.  I was forgotten in the decision to abort my children.  I have been forgotten in all the years since.

I may be forgotten but I cannot forget.

My children died.  Four lost lives in the American holocaust of millions.  They are four souls whose blood cries out to God, four cracks in my broken heart, four children of God I long to know, four tears I shall cry till the day we meet.

A step-father is like a used shoe.  It may look good, it may wear well, and at time it may even feel good.  But it’s still a used shoe.

However my step-son may feel about me I know how I feel about him.  He is my son.  I may have lost four but I have gained one.  I am blessed.  My wife gave me a son.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

A Soap Opera That Never Ends Will Finally End Then What? June 6, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion.
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1 comment so far

All my life I’ve been in love with History.  I learned at an early age that if you love reading you can live a thousand lifetimes and if you’re wise you have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others.  I’ve certainly experienced the former while unfortunately not doing much of the latter.

My love of History metastasized into a love of Political Science.  These two intellectual “Loves of my Life” have given me countless hours of joy lost in reading, mired in thinking, and entertained by speculation.

Now as I enter what are called the golden years, though I believe they might be made of brass, having spent several decades teaching both subjects I feel a need to share some insights not on particulars but instead on something that is usually disparaged and often dismissed, generalities.

Though most have never heard of him many can misquote the writer and philosopher George Santayana who is reported to have said, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”  What he actually said was, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  There is a subtle difference there for learning and remembering are two different things.  This sounds so wise.  It even appears self-evident.  And it apparently, at least to my observation, it’s an oxymoron.  After a daily study of History for sixty years the only lesson I’ve learned is that humanity never learns the lessons of History.

In my classes I tell my students that History is nothing more than the stories of people just like us who lived at different times in what were essentially different worlds.  They had the same bodies and minds that we do.  They felt the same emotions.  They lived, they died, and now it is our turn.  I also tell them that if we don’t learn anything from History that helps us in our everyday life we might as well read fiction.

I know that most people study History because they have to.  I know most people find it boring.  As an exercise in memorizing dates, names, and facts to be later regurgitated on a test and forgotten I can well understand the boring part.  There are so few who can see through to the stories making History so exciting.  So few can lose themselves in the narrative, imagine themselves on the deck of that ship, in the palace with the king, or in the hut with that peasant.  They only see dates, and names, and facts. BORING!

And Political Science who cares about that?  I tell my students who don’t care about it at all that it’s the science of who gets what and if they don’t care about it someone else will and then they get to make the decisions.  So what do you want?  You decide.

Now after decades spent following politics through the lens of History attempting to share with others the insights gained I must tell you all that it’s essentially the equivalent of an ant studying a castle made of sand.  He spends his life telling other ants how wondrous the castle is, how imposing its turrets are, how deep its moat, and how formidable its defenses then the waves come in the castle is gone and the ants have disappeared.

I recently taught a class on American History from 1877 until the present to a class full of millennials.  We used a textbook that was more than a thousand pages long.  It wasn’t until the last few pages that we reached anything the students could remember as having happened since they became aware of the world around them.  That last twenty minutes of the semester really had an impact.

To most people History begins the day they’re born.  For all of us it ends the day we die.  And Political Science ends up being the science of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

In the 4.5 billion years of this planets existence, in the fifteen billion years since the Big Bang the history of humanity doesn’t even take up the last few pages.  It would fill perhaps part of a sentence, a few words such as……………. All things will pass only those things done in Christ will last.

That’s it.  The sum total of all I have learned, all I have discovered, and all I will ever know.  No Christ no peace.  Know Crist know peace.  For those who seek to gain their life will lose it and those who lose their life for Christ will find it.  He is the truth, the light, and the life and without Him there is no truth, or light, or life.

Stop fighting a war that’s already been won.  Stop spinning your wheels running in a race that goes in a circle.  Step out of the darkness and into the light and let this be the first day of the rest of your life.

The stories of those who have gone before teach us nothing if they don’t lead us to Christ.  The politics of this world are an endless loop, a tempest in a teacup, a soap opera that never ends.  It may be engaging to watch like a slow motion train wreck.  It may be exciting, exhilarating, even entertaining but for most of us in a hundred years no one will even know we were here.  In a thousand years no one will remember the compelling arguments of today, the all-important bitter debates about whether we place the deck chair here or there.  Yet in an eternity from now heaven will know whether or not we acknowledged Christ as our Savior, for if we confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead we shall be saved.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2018 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com   Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

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