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The Peace That Passes Understanding  June 3, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized.
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America teeters on the edge of the abyss.  Professional revolutionaries organized and funded by the Alt-left Progressives seek to provoke the Trump Administration into a response they can label as disproportionate or over-the-top.  As President Trump moves to quell the violence by any means necessary the Democrats who identify as journalists take every opportunity to label his response as disproportionate or over-the-top.  Some go so far as to say President Trump is assuming dictatorial power and that his attempt to restore the rule of law to the burning blue cities is as ruthless as Khrushchev stomping out the revolution in Hungary in 1956 or Brezhnev smothering the Prague Spring of 1968.  This is a stunning bit of hyperbole from the purveyors of fake news.

Here is a truism that has proven itself many times over – violence begets violence or as Jesus put it, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.”

There’s nothing easier than to choose a side and if not joining in the assault on the opposing side at least cheering on those who do.

What are we as Christians supposed to do?  Whose side are we on?  There can be only one answer to that, we are on God’s side.

Every army that has ever marched with the exception of the godless communists has said they were fighting on God’s side.  And even Stalin invoked “Holy Mother Russia” and had Orthodox priests released from his dungeons to bless the soldiers protecting his right to operate those dungeons.

So what is God’s side in this current season of proto-civil war wracking America?

God has called us to a ministry of reconciliation.  As Paul stated in his second letter to the Corinthians, “Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

On one side of our current divide we must admit that there is police brutality, and in some places, even systemic police brutality.  As an individual who has borne the brunt of such brutality, I can testify that it does exist.  On the other side we must admit that the numbers of rogue cops and complicit agencies is miniscule when compared to the legions of dedicated peace officers who put themselves in harm’s way to maintain the order necessary for a civil society.

On one hand we cannot allow the revolutionaries, criminals, and thugs to burn our cities.  This must stop.  The saddest thing of all is that most of the property damage is in the neighborhoods of the very people who have the least.  And there is no possible way to justify attacking the innocent to protest an attack against the innocent.

First, the violence must end.  Next, we need to address the underlying issues.  One of the biggest has been the Biden Crime act passed by the Democrat Congress and signed by Bill Clinton.  This atrocious law imposed unfair and unequal penalties on certain behaviors while allowing other behaviors which were equally as bad to slide.  It also imposed mandatory sentences that allowed for no mitigation.  Thankfully, this crime bill aimed right at the ghetto has been repealed under President Trump.  However, we must take up the challenge and devise some means of ridding our police departments of those who want to peruse a private agenda of hate.

Reconciliation is a two-way street.  If we stand on opposite sides and call each other names, there is no chance of peace.  While reconciliation takes two to tango forgiveness does not.  We as Christians are called to forgive.  Or as Paul said in his letter to the Colossians, “bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

Christ has forgiven us perfectly, completely, and for all eternity.  And that is how we are called to forgive others.  Once we’ve forgiven others we can move forward into the ministry of reconciliation.  But until we forgive, we’re locked in the endless cycle of tit-for-tat, he-said/she-said, recriminations, and hate.

So how far should we take this?  What should be the limit of our forgiveness?  There is a short conversation recorded in the Gospel of Matthew between Peter and Jesus that sheds light on this.  “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’  Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’”

So as the wall-to-wall talking heads do their best to implant anxiety and fear, as they practice their mantra, “If it bleeds it leads” we must turn to the source and summit of wisdom: God’s holy Word.  Turning again to Paul in his letter to the Philippians we find God’s recipe for peace.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

Watching the unfolding drama that is the daily news we find it easy to feel powerless, separated, and alone.  Which way to turn?  Who to believe?  What to do?  These are all questions that currently divide our lives.  Personally, I find only one answer and His name is Jesus.  He tells us plainly, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.”  Do that and find the meaning of this old saying, “No Jesus no peace.  Know Jesus know peace.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 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

 

 

Somebody Has to Say It  May 19, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized.
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Where are the voices of those crying in the wilderness?  Where are the watchers on the walls?  If the alarm isn’t given how will the people know when the enemy enters the camp?

In America today the descendants of those who fought the most powerful empire in the world to gain their freedom, the children of those who scaled Pointe du Hoc and slogged their way from Normandy to the heart of Germany to defeat the Nazi killing machine cower in government mandated lockdowns in fear of getting sick.  The speed with which Americans have surrendered their hard won and hard defended freedom is shocking.  What’s next?  The “Show me your papers,” of tyrannical internal passports, or the ludicrous idea that we keep the economy closed long enough to destroy it?

Politically and economically we’ve not only found the elephant in the room we’re riding it into the ash heap of History.

Much the same situation exists morally and spiritually among the many organizations that call themselves American Christian denominations.  There is a very visible counterpart to the invisible Social Security Flu stalking our land.  And this visible sickness is 100% fatal.

I’m speaking of the life denying sin of infanticide, which the Progressive Ahabs and Jezebels have disguised with the harmless sounding name of Pro-choice.  It is designed by focus groups and PR firms to entice those worshipping self to sacrifice the innocent on the altar of convenience.

Not only have many Christians fallen into this diabolical trap of the enemy, but six large Christian denominations are not only silent in the face of industrial scale murder they endorse it.  These collaborators include: The United Church of Christ, The Metropolitan Community Church, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Christ Church (Assembly of God), and the United Methodist Church.

Though many individual Christians and independent ministries stand forthrightly and valiantly attempting to throw the monkey wrench of public indignation into the gears of the abortion industry those denomination which proclaim they’re against America’s holocaust say little if anything publicly. As the saying goes all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.

There’s one denomination that’s spoken out against this sin consistently and publicly.  Unfortunately, the word doesn’t seem to make it from the headquarters to the pew.  In most cases the courageous words of the leaders are not expressed from the pulpit being replaced in many places by an “I’m Okay you’re okay” lukewarm mishmash of platitudes at best and New Age gobbledygook at worst.

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, recently wrote on Twitter, “Just saw a headline in a Catholic newspaper with the phrase ‘pro-abortion Catholic.’ Sorry. That’s a contradiction in terms. You can’t be a Catholic, at least not an authentic one, and be ‘pro-abortion.’ Or ‘pro-choice.’ It’s the same thing.”

And Bishop Tobin is not a solitary public voice among the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church.

Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila wrote in the diocesan newspaper, The Denver Catholic, “Catholics in good conscience cannot support candidates who will advance abortion.”  The Archbishop explicitly refuted attempts to assert the “moral equivalency” of different ethical and social issues pointing to those “who divide ‘the personal’ from ‘the public.’”

The Archbishop continued, “When people of faith do not stand up for their beliefs, the government will become ‘god’ and impose its beliefs on the citizens.  One only needs to look to the Health and Human Service contraceptive mandate, or the attempt by President Obama to force a transgender agenda onto public schools.”

With a bravery lacking in many protestant leaders the Archbishop even ventured to relate these spiritual and moral teachings to the political world where real world decisions are made saying, “Catholic voters must make themselves aware of where the parties stand on these essential issues.  The right to life is the most important and fundamental right since life is necessary for any of the other rights to matter.”

And to drive the point home that the sin of abortion is fundamentally different from all other social issues the Archbishop said, “There are some issues that can legitimately be debated by Christians, such as which policies are the most effective in caring for the poor, but the direct killing of innocent human life must be opposed at all times by every follower of Jesus Christ. There are no legitimate exceptions to this teaching,”

Becoming even more specific in his comments of a political nature the Archbishop said, “Christians must reflect on the platforms of both parties, with an emphasis on the human life issues.  If you truly live your Catholic faith, you will not find complete alignment with any political party, and that is okay.  But in voting, Catholics must look at how each party platform supports human life from conception through natural death, the freedom of religion and the freedom of conscience, the family, and the poor.”

Other voices ring out from the Catholic Hierarchy some even venturing into a hotly contested presidential campaign.  In 2016, Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann wrote in a column in his diocesan newspaper, The Leaven, “It was painful to listen to Senator Kaine repeat the same tired and contorted reasoning to profess his personal opposition to abortion while justifying his commitment to keep it legal. He said all the usual made-for-modern-media sound bites: It is not proper to impose his religious beliefs upon all Americans. He trusts women to make good reproductive choices. And when all else fails, there is always the question, Do we really want to criminalize and fill our jails with post-abortive women?

Regarding the imposition of religious beliefs, Senator Kaine appears to have no qualms with his public positions conforming with his religious beliefs with regard to such issues as the church’s opposition to racism or our preferential option for the poor. He appears not to be conflicted with our public policies mirroring the Ten Commandments with regard to stealing, perjury, or forms of murder, other than abortion.”

I’m not a disinterested party.  If not for the forgiveness I’ve received in and through Christ, I’d stand convicted of my part in four abortions.  My children were all offered up as sacrifices to convenience on America’s version of the altar of Moloch.

I’m not writing this to heap condemnation on those who through fear, ignorance, or even those who knowingly killed their babies.  Instead, as a fellow participant in the sin of infanticide, I want to tell those who agonize over their decisions to still those tiny lives that there is hope.  There is forgiveness.  When Jesus hanging on the cross took on the sins of all humanity our sins were included in the weight pulling against the nails. When our Blessed Savior cried out “It is finished,” the tyranny of sin, death, and the devil was broken even for us.  Instead of mourning each day for who might have been, instead of wallowing in the condemnation due for our crimes we have a way of escape.

All we must do is confess Jesus as the Lord and Master of our life and believe in our heart that God has raised Him from the dead and we will be saved.  And I don’t mean just saved from hell fire somewhere off in the future.  We are saved from every aspect of the condemnation which is a natural part of our fallen human existence.  The instant we’re born-again we step out of the darkness and into the light.  We become children of God able to stand in the presence of God without any sense of sin, guilt, or shame.

We’ll never forget our children.  We may never be able to hold them or watch them grow.  But we can rest assured when we step through the door separating this mortal reality from the immortal reality beyond, we’ll get to spend eternity with them there.

Some of this might be hard to hear but somebody has to say it.

This is not only a message of forgiveness this is a call to all American Christians: stand up for life with your words, your actions, and your votes.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 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

 

 

Are Democrats Smarter Than Republicans 2020?  May 6, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized.
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I’ve asked this question several times.  Have recent events changed my mind?

Remember this headline, “Nunes steps aside from Russia probe.”  Why?  As Nunes puts it, “Several leftwing activist groups have filed accusations against me with the Office of Congressional Ethics.  The charges are entirely false and politically motivated and are being leveled just as the American people are beginning to learn the truth about the improper unmasking of the identities of U.S. citizens and other abuses of power.”

Do you think if House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Democrat Adam Schiff was serving as the head of the committee he would’ve stepped aside?  No way.  If this had been going on against a Democrat, the entire Progressive establishment would’ve attacked the Ethics Committee for even accepting such accusations.

In a second example let’s look at the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.  He recused himself from the Russian witch hunt over non-issues.  Does anyone remember Obama’s last AG Loretta Lynch meeting with Ex-President Clinton on an airport in Arizona while her department was conducting a criminal investigation of his wife?   Did she recuse herself from overseeing that investigation?  No, only Republicans hold themselves to these standards.

Or look at the fake news tsunami about Russian meddling in the 2016 election.  After all this inquiry there was no evidence to support it.  WIKI Leaks provided documents that show our own intelligence organizations routinely hack computers and make it look like the Russians did it.  And as I pointed out all along if the Russians did hack the election and Hillary won the popular vote who was the recipient of any Russian help?  It has come out that President Obama’s political hatchet woman Susan Rice was the one unmasking people from the Trump campaign and transition team in broad sweep intel gatherings.  So, it looks like if any government was trying to interfere in a fair election it was the Obama Administration.

And yet the media drumbeat, the secret hearings, investigations, and charges continued.  If this happened to a Democrat, say to President Obama what would we have heard?   The media megaphone would’ve shouted day and night it was a racially motivated witch hunt.  And unlike the Republicans who had some of their leaders in and out of government as well as many in the media join in the attacks, in a similar situation the Democrats would’ve circled the wagons to defend the attacked 24/7.

Many members of the media received Pulitzer Prizes for the courageous reporting which ended up being nothing more than the propagation of lies and democrat talking points.  Now that the faced has fallen why don’t these supposed paragons of the Fourth Estate return those prizes or at least admit they were all based on fiction?  Since these were all given to democrats who identify as journalists don’t hold your breath waiting for any one of them owning up to their part in the PR campaign for the failed coup.

Like Charley Brown trying to kick the football repeatedly only to have Lucy pull it away; each time the Democrats keep running the same play and the Republicans keep falling for it.  The Democrats have called every Republican since Nixon illegitimate.  Their shills in the media magnify the false accusations and then try their best to turn the lies into history.

This brings us to the question under consideration, “Are Democrats smarter than Republicans?”

I was a fourth generation Republican who cut my teeth in Nixon’s first presidential campaign back in 1960 and then in Barry Goldwater’s failed Presidential bid.  I worked for Goldwater, Reagan, and all the following Republican flag wavers who tried to rally the country to a return to limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.  That is I did until Trent Lott’s Republican Senate Majority gave us the impeachment debacle and the explosion of government growth and spending under Hastert, Lott, and Bush.  When the Republican Senate refused to impeach President Clinton for crimes he later admitted and when they and their House brethren became Democrat Lite as the party of power, I returned my membership card to the party that was no longer the Grand Old Party of my great grandfather and became an Independent.

For most of my life I was a party man: accepting some things I didn’t agree with for the greater good of electing a party with a platform I could agree with.  However, once it became apparent that as far as the budget went we had elected the foxes to watch the hen house, that the conservative social agenda received a tip-of-the-hat during elections followed by no action, and that the only victims of the impeachment were those brave enough to bring the charges the scales fell from my eyes.  Once I saw that the Republicans had lost their moorings and were swilling at the public trough, I realized the platform we conservatives battle so hard for and hold so dear is merely a mirage held in front of social and fiscal conservatives to keep them loyal to a Party captured by the Progressives.

Back in the Dream Time my mind was locked in the glow of Ronald Reagan, his example, and his message of Make America Great Again.  But, even then I wondered, “What’s wrong with these leaders of ours?  Why do the Democrats always seem to outsmart them at every turn?”

Even Reagan, the best of the best until Trump, was hoodwinked by Tip O’Neal in the amnesty bargain: we would grant amnesty and then seal the border.  The problem was the illegal immigrants got the amnesty; however, America’s border was never sealed.  He also signed several tax deals with the Democratic majority.  We the People lost many deductions in exchange for lower rates.  The deductions never came back even though the rates started rising again as soon as the Gipper said good night and George the First forgot to read his own lips.

George Bush the Elder was out maneuvered by the Progressives so many times that 20% of his base ran to Perot opening the door for Clinton and the first attempt to ram national health care down America’s throat.  That time they overplayed their hand and the last great strategist among the Republicans, Newt Gingrich, was able to sell a Contract with America and bring the first Republican majority in Congress in 40 years.

Newt kept the promises and brought some fiscal sanity back to Washington. Within a few short years the Republican led Congress ended welfare as we’d known it for generations and balanced the budget.  Unfortunately, the Party of Lincoln then nominated someone who campaigned as if he’d voted for Lincoln.  The 1996 Republican campaign would’ve had to improve several thousand percent to make it to dull.  Suddenly, with an assist from the Corporations Once Known as the Mainstream Media it was Clinton who’d been dragged kicking and screaming to the benefit and spending cutting table, who was the author of everything positive Congress had accomplished.  The Republicans were outmaneuvered and outsmarted again.

According to every one of the serial re-counts Bush the younger won Florida and legitimately the presidential race of 2000.  Yet, to this day people talk of him being selected not elected.  After the dastardly deeds of 9-11 the rhetorically-challenged George captured the hearts of America and the admiration of the Western world by taking a bullhorn and talking to a crowd at ground zero.  Yet by fighting and winning America’s first preemptive war and then losing the peace through the lack of planning he soon lost the PR campaign which led to the Pelosi-Reid Congress in 2006 and eventually to the absolute triumph of Progressivism in 2008.

Once their secular messiah was enthroned at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue the Progressives with their filibuster proof majority took the reins of single-party rule and imposed their radical agenda to transform America into a Nanny-state based upon the re-distribution of wealth.  This wanton destruction of the traditional American society based on limited government and free enterprise sparked a vast rebellion of the silent majority resulting in the teanami of 2010 which brought a Republican majority back to the People’s House and an expanded minority to the Senate.

And what is the first thing these political savants do?  They reaffirm the same tired leadership and strike a deal that anyone who was paying attention could see was tailor made to save the discredited Obama presidency.  Then they set the stage for him to follow in Mr. Clinton’s footsteps taking credit for anything good the historic election might have made possible.  What were these so-called leaders thinking?  They turned the victory of the grassroots into a capitulation to the elites.  Not only did they sign a deal that extended uncertainty and raised estate taxes, they gave the Administration cover for a stealth stimulus filled with porkulous payoffs designed to help re-elect the President.

Along comes 2012 and the Republican establishment and their friends in the Progressive Media engineer the nomination of the one man who couldn’t beat the worst president in American History with the worst economy since 1932.  They surrender the issue of a massively unpopular Obamacare by nominating the author of its prototype.  Mr. Romney spends the last debate agreeing with the President’s handling of foreign policy and ignoring the raging controversy over the debacle in Benghazi.  He didn’t throw the election, he tossed it away.

Then came Trump, he wins fair and square, yet he’s illegitimate.  There was no evidence of any collusion with the Russians, but the seriousness of the charges demand an investigation as is the Democrat standard operating procedure.  All this smoke and mirrors was a cover so no one would investigate the real scandal: the Obama administration spied on and distributed the findings to sabotage the incoming Trump.  And the Republicans are either right in there working with the Democrats, they recuse themselves, or they’re merely ineffective in dispersing the smoke and revealing the truth.

And now the coronavirus lockdown destroys the best economy the world has ever seen.  Many are asking, was it necessary to put the entire country under house arrest?  Was President Trump played?  Some even say the whole reaction to the virus doesn’t pass the sniff test.

So, “Are Democrats smarter than Republicans?”  The answer is they aren’t.  It isn’t a matter of intelligence it’s a matter of people with dedication to something larger than themselves, as opposed to people with dedication to seeing themselves as something larger than they are.

The leadership of the Democrat Party is composed of committed radical Progressives.  They have a long-term agenda to transform America into a socialist welfare state with an unlimited government, and they never lose sight of that goal.  They’re willing to commit political suicide, or more accurately they’re willing to encourage their follow travelers who do not occupy safe seats to commit political suicide usually with pay off jobs in government agencies.  They never take their eyes off the ball.  They’re constantly pushing to move closer to the goal line even if it’s one inch at a time.  And after the debacle that was Hillary they warmed up to the idea of allowing an outright Socialist to become the leader and agenda driver of their Party even if they wouldn’t allow him to carry the ball as their nominee.

They say a leopard can’t change his spots but at least the sheep’s clothing is falling off the Faux Socialists who call themselves Democrats.  It’s interesting to remember that the Communist Party USA went all in for Obama and Clinton.  Why run your own candidate when one of the major parties is doing it for you?  These are some dedicated community organizers who aim at nothing less than fundamentally transforming America.  They realize that two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward.

By comparison, the leadership of the Republicans is composed of professional politicians. They’re pragmatists who do whatever they have to do and say whatever they have to say to retain their seats, their power, and their perks.  They believe the inside the beltway press who tell them how visionary they are to compromise, losing sight of those back home in fly-over country who instead believed the campaign promises and expect their representatives to stand up for principles.

The Party of Lincoln over-and-over chooses to be on the receiving end of Pickett’s Charge instead of behind the split-rail fence firing point blank as their enemy wastes itself in a senseless assault against an immovable barrier.  After the election of 2016, the Republicans controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.  They could’ve been that immovable barrier holding back the advancing forces of socialism.  Instead the Progressives of the right once again embraced the frivolous and spurious attacks of the Left against anyone who is really trying to lead away from the super state.  Led by Paul Ryan they joined the Progressives of left in a bi-partisan campaign to continue the spending, increase the debt, fool the public, and stop President Trump from accomplishing the things he’d been elected to do.

Paraphrasing the first Republican President, Historian Will Durant once wisely observed, “It may be true that you can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can fool enough of them to rule a large country.”

Looking again at the question which is the title of this essay, “Are Democrats smarter than Republicans,” over many years of pondering this question, I haven’t changed my mind.  Singleness of purpose and focusing on a goal will make one appear smarter than someone who is merely in it for what they can get out of it.  In other words, people who’re dedicated to achieving long-term goals who have the ability to delay gratification will always outmaneuver self-serving pragmatists who can see no further than the feathers in their own nest.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2020 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Okay We Get It  April 28, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized.
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The Social Security Flu is hitting the old, the halt, and the lame hard.  But out there in the wider, younger, healthier population it’s often so mild people don’t even know they have it.  As a member of the high risk, or as my son puts it, “Someone in the kill zone,” a well-seasoned citizen with an underlying health concern I think it’s time we all said, “Okay we get it.”

Now let’s quit charging giveaways to my grandchildren’s grandchildren and open the country up for the vast majority.  They can go back to work, save the economy, and let us targets self-isolate.

This isn’t just an offhand rant by an old foggy wondering who’s going to pay into the Ponzi scheme we call Social Security to keep the checks coming.  The evidence and the recommendations for this approach are mere clicks away.

Dr. Scott Atlas, the former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University in an opinion piece published in The Hill said, “The tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be entering the containment phase. Tens of thousands of Americans have died, and Americans are now desperate for sensible policymakers who have the courage to ignore the panic and rely on facts. Leaders must examine accumulated data to see what has actually happened, rather than keep emphasizing hypothetical projections; combine that empirical evidence with fundamental principles of biology established for decades; and then thoughtfully restore the country to function.”

To help people understand the course of action he recommends Dr Atlas shares what he says, “Five key facts are being ignored by those calling for continuing the near-total lockdown.”

Fact 1: The overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19.

The recent Stanford University antibody study now estimates that the fatality rate if infected is likely 0.1 to 0.2 percent, a risk far lower than previous World Health Organization estimates that were 20 to 30 times higher and that motivated isolation policies.

In New York City, an epicenter of the pandemic with more than one-third of all U.S. deaths, the rate of death for people 18 to 45 years old is 0.01 percent, or 11 per 100,000 in the population. On the other hand, people aged 75 and over have a death rate 80 times that. For people under 18 years old, the rate of death is zero per 100,000.

Of all fatal cases in New York state, two-thirds were in patients over 70 years of age; more than 95 percent were over 50 years of age; and about 90 percent of all fatal cases had an underlying illness. Of 6,570 confirmed COVID-19 deaths fully investigated for underlying conditions to date, 6,520, or 99.2 percent, had an underlying illness. If you do not already have an underlying chronic condition, your chances of dying are small, regardless of age. And young adults and children in normal health have almost no risk of any serious illness from COVID-19.

Fact 2: Protecting older, at-risk people eliminates hospital overcrowding.

We can learn about hospital utilization from data from New York City, the hotbed of COVID-19 with more than 34,600 hospitalizations to date. For those under 18 years of age, hospitalization from the virus is 0.01 percent per 100,000 people; for those 18 to 44 years old, hospitalization is 0.1 percent per 100,000. Even for people ages 65 to 74, only 1.7 percent were hospitalized. Of 4,103 confirmed COVID-19 patients with symptoms bad enough to seek medical care, Dr. Leora Horwitz of NYU Medical Center concluded “age is far and away the strongest risk factor for hospitalization.” Even early WHO reports noted that 80 percent of all cases were mild, and more recent studies show a far more widespread rate of infection and lower rate of serious illness. Half of all people testing positive for infection have no symptoms at all. The vast majority of younger, otherwise healthy people do not need significant medical care if they catch this infection.

Fact 3: Vital population immunity is prevented by total isolation policies, prolonging the problem.

We know from decades of medical science that infection itself allows people to generate an immune response — antibodies — so that the infection is controlled throughout the population by “herd immunity.” Indeed, that is the main purpose of widespread immunization in other viral diseases — to assist with population immunity. In this virus, we know that medical care is not even necessary for the vast majority of people who are infected. It is so mild that half of infected people are asymptomatic, shown in early data from the Diamond Princess ship, and then in Iceland and Italy. That has been falselyportrayed as a problem requiring mass isolation. In fact, infected people without severe illness are the immediately available vehicle for establishing widespread immunity. By transmitting the virus to others in the low-risk group who then generate antibodies, they block the network of pathways toward the most vulnerable people, ultimately ending the threat. Extending whole-population isolation would directly prevent that widespread immunity from developing.

Fact 4: People are dying because other medical care is not getting done due to hypothetical projections.

Critical health care for millions of Americans is being ignored and people are dying to accommodate “potential” COVID-19 patients and for fear of spreading the disease. Most states and many hospitals abruptly stopped “nonessential” procedures and surgery. That prevented diagnoses of life-threatening diseases, like cancer screening, biopsies of tumors now undiscovered and potentially deadly brain aneurysms. Treatments, including emergency care, for the most serious illnesses were also missed. Cancer patients deferred chemotherapy. An estimated 80 percent of brain surgery cases were skipped. Acute stroke and heart attack patients missed their only chances for treatment, some dying and many now facing permanent disability.

Fact 5: We have a clearly defined population at risk who can be protected with targeted measures.

The overwhelming evidence all over the world consistently shows that a clearly defined group — older people and others with underlying conditions — is more likely to have a serious illness requiring hospitalization and more likely to die from COVID-19. Knowing that, it is a commonsense, achievable goal to target isolation policy to that group, including strictly monitoring those who interact with them. Nursing home residents, the highest risk, should be the most straightforward to systematically protect from infected people, given that they already live in confined places with highly restricted entry.

And there you have it.  It makes no sense to destroy the country we love to save it.  I look at my grandchildren and it breaks my heart to think of the fear we are instilling in them: fear of social contact and fear of the unknown.  My heart breaks for my son and his generation as we’re throwing a monkey wrench into the gears that drive the greatest economy the world has ever seen.  This economic tsunami is reducing the horizons of the dreams.

In a much more eloquent and scientifically informed manner Dr. Atlas expresses the advice set forth in the first paragraph of this article when he says, “The appropriate policy, based on fundamental biology and the evidence already in hand, is to institute a more focused strategy like some outlined in the first place: Strictly protect the known vulnerable, self-isolate the mildly sick and open most workplaces and small businesses with some prudent large-group precautions. This would allow the essential socializing to generate immunity among those with minimal risk of serious consequence, while saving lives, preventing overcrowding of hospitals and limiting the enormous harms compounded by continued total isolation. Let’s stop underemphasizing empirical evidence while instead doubling down on hypothetical models. Facts matter.”

Or, as Paul says in an exceptionally good book, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.  Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

In other words, let’s free the country from solitary confinement, concentrate on protecting the most vulnerable, and practice this advice, “Why worry when you can pray.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 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

 

 

 

Praise God for Troubles  April 23, 2020

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Here we are in uncharted territory, locked up, locked down, and locked out.  Who could’ve guessed just two months ago as we struggled to hang on to a runaway economy that within a few short weeks we’d face the prospect of the new and improved Greater Great Depression?  A self-inflicted act of economic euthanasia.  Shuttered in our homes we peer through the TV and wonder, “Will my family make it through this?  Will I make it through?  Will this last so long the economy is gone?  And if it does what then?”

Some say there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  Some say this is a train roaring down the tracks to obliteration station.  I’m here to tell you today of another light.  The light who is the Light of the world.

Just as the Bible tells us, “Do not worry,” it also tells those who believe in Jesus, “Let not your heart be troubled.”

How do we go through what we’re going through and not worry?  How do we watch the daily briefings, the climbing death toll, adjust to house arrest, looming food shortages, and the possible collapse of the American economic miracle and not have a troubled heart?

Good questions deserve a good answer, and luckily God does not leave us alone.  His Word provides all the faith, hope, and love we need to not only make it through but to help others not only survive but thrive.

From the day man rebelled and cut us off from God there’s been a plan in motion to re-unite us with Him.  By confessing with our lips Jesus is Lord and believing in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead we enter this plan.  We welcome God into our life just as He welcomes us into His.  And where do we find ourselves?  Right where we always hoped we’d be, in the beauty of His glory and grace.  The only fitting reaction to all this is to praise Him, to shout it from the roof tops.

And that’s not just in the rush of deliverance it carries over into our everyday walking around life.  So now that we’re His we should act like it.  We realize that we’re His children, in the world but not of the world.  And because of this we praise Him even when we’re surrounded by troubles.  Why should we sing praises when we are troubled?

Because we know that as long as we keep our hand in the hand of the man who stilled the sea these troubles will not crush us they will make us stronger.  Because, troubles build patience, patience builds virtue, and virtue keeps us wide-eyed and expectant waiting on God.  And as we wait, we should never feel abandoned or forgotten instead we should hold tight to the promise of the blessings He has instore for us, the blessings He pours into our spirit day after day.

Knowing from experience Christ is an on-time God.  He didn’t wait for us to be good enough.  He came and gave Himself as a sacrifice while we were in rebellion seeking to find our own way.  This makes no sense to the natural mind. We can see how a good person might give themselves selflessly for someone worthy and even inspire others to do the same.  However, God showed His true colors by offering up His Son to pay the price of our sin while we were still in rebellion and not good for anything.

Now as we walk in the light of our reunion with God through Christ there shouldn’t be any doubt that we’re His children and reconciled with Him perfectly.  Think about it, when we were at our worst, rebels and completely estranged from Him, we were forgiven and set right through the sacrificial death of his Son. Now that His resurrection has defeated sin, death, and the devil and we’ve been re-born into God’s kingdom just try to imagine all that He has in store for us.

So after the troubles have birthed patience, patience has brought forth virtue, virtue has developed a character of steadfast faith, and this faith has brought forth hope we can depend on God that this hope will not disappoint.  Because this faith is founded on the love of God which is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit He’s given us.

Yes, the world around us is in turmoil.  Yes, this pandemic is testing us as we’ve never been tested.  We see our nation, our families, and ourselves hemmed in by problems we never saw coming.  But I’m here today to tell you hold on to the hope we have in Christ Jesus.  Nothing can snatch us out of His hand.  And I’m convinced that neither death or life, angels, principalities, powers, not things present or things to come, not height or depth, or pandemics can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 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

 

 

 

 

 

Resurrection Reflections  April 14, 2020

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As we hunker in the bunker and wait for the Death Angel to pass over it’s good to remember that being negative is positively one of the worst things we can do.  Not only is it a waste of time, it’s depressing.  God tells us in many ways “Do not worry” more times than He tells us “Do not steal.”  And we all know what stealing is.  Can any one of us by worrying add a single hour to our life or add an inch to our height?

As with almost anything that happens it doesn’t take long for Christians to start asking, “Do you think these are signs of the End Times?”  The Bible tells us we’ve been in the End Times at least since the writing of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament.  All I can do is repeat what Luke told us so long ago, “Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”

Wars and pandemics shake our world.  In a moment we’re in a brave new world wondering, “Will we ever get back to the way it was?”  Things can seem so dark, so forbidding, so bleak it’s easy to lose our focus on Christ and the life He’s given us in the middle of so much sickness and death.  If we focus on the negative, we may lose sight of the positive reality: Christ triumphed over death.  He conquered it through His death on the cross where He died so we may live.

He lived a life of love and perfection.  He died a death of hate and rejection.  He rose to share joy and perfection.  Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Accept Him and find life.  Reject Him and reject life.

God is so vast yet so personal, so sublime yet so simple.  We are His creation, yet He adopts us as children.  He sustains the universe and all that’s in it, yet we ask Him to find us a parking space at MegloMart.  The wisest humans who’ve ever lived could never devise a system of religious rules or disciplines that can lead us through the snare of the flesh to the liberation of the spirit.  Or, as Paul expresses it, “For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.”

In these times of stress, we need to stand strong, keep our eyes on the prize, and refuse to waver.  The government may try to become our all in all but believing that will be the surest way to fall.  We may be riveted on the daily briefings and the emergency alerts in the natural, but in the spirit we need to turn our eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace

Don’t be misled no one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others — ignoring God! — harvests a crop of weeds.  All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds!  But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”

Here’s some good advice from the days of a war long ago which was also based on truths from the Bible:

Johnny Mercer began his #1 hit by saying, “Gather ’round me, everybody.
Gather ’round me while I’m preachin.’  Feel a sermon comin’ on me. The topic will be sin and that’s what I’m ag’in’.  If you wanna hear my story
then settle back and just sit tight while I start reviewin’ the attitude of doin’ right”

Then he crooned:

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister in-between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
have faith, a pandemonium
Libel to walk up on the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the Whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
just when everything looked so dark

They said we better
accentuate the positive
eliminate the negative
latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister in-between.

As I reflect upon the Resurrection, I can see this is still good advice today.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 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

 

 

 

Trump’s Main Street Marshall Plan April 7, 2020

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How it was:

Basking in the glow of renewed freedom birthed through the Trump era tax cuts and the President’s massive reversal of the regulation noose that’s strangled America for the past three years, small-business success has achieved record highs.  The best economy in half a century unleashed by the lower taxes and fewer regulations inspired small businesses to hire more employees, to pay higher wages, and then to reinvest its capital.

How it is:

This pandemic is what historians call a black swan event.  It came out of nowhere and changed our perceptions forever.  But having said that the same conditions of lower taxes and less regulation still exist.  Though currently stifled by the stay-at-home orders and self-guarantees this period of confinement and artificial limits is building a tsunami of pent-up demand.

As one of America’s main employers, the Small Business Administration tells us Main Street is the engine of our economy.  Here are some facts about small businesses in America today:

  • There are almost 21.5 million (90%) small businesses in the United States
  • Small businesses are responsible for 39 percent of GNP.
  • Small businesses are responsible for 52 percent of the all U.S. sales and contribute about 21 percent of all manufactured U.S. exports.
  • Small businesses contribute 44 percent of all sales in the country.
  • Small businesses employ 54.4 million people, about 57.3 percent of the private workforce.

Some call these small businesses the backbone of the American economy.  In this time of national sacrifice and emergency they deserve a government that addresses their needs.

What’s been done:

In response to this crisis Congress passed, and the President signed the largest direct assistance program in American history. This, the third major bill in a month includes a novel plan for small businesses.  Instead of just tax incentives or emergency loans hidden behind a hedge of bureaucracy it seeks to deliver right-now-relief through the Paycheck Protection Program.

One way to express this effort calls to mind one of the most successful government programs of all time.  This is Trump’s Main Street Marshall Plan.

Through the Paycheck Protection Program businesses with fewer than 500 employees (including startups, sole proprietors, and the self-employed) can receive 100% federally guaranteed loans for eight weeks.  Then if the loan is used to pay employees, rent, or utilities, or rehire employees who were laid off due to the virus, the loan is forgiven.  The loan term is from February 15 to June 30.

This revolutionary piece of legislation saves small businesses the endless hassle of navigating the bewildering maze of the government bureaucracy which normally stands between citizens and government emergency relief.  With this innovative plan small business owners can work with their local bank or any lender backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.   This includes farmers.  Those who feed the world can work with the same farm credit institutions they’re familiar with, the ones they already know and trust.  All this without any bureaucrats in between the lenders and the borrowers.

American small businesses can take advantage of these loans right now, the sooner the better.  The applications for these loans are located on the  Treasury Department website.

The goal of the Paycheck Protection Program is to ensure small businesses are ready to relaunch as soon as America reopens for business.  This act seeks to keep Main Street afloat by providing direct relief for small businesses and keeping tens of millions of workers on the payroll.

The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest crisis as a nation we have faced in the lifetime of most Americans.  We have a great cheerleader in President Trump.  He strives day in and day out to raise our spirits and to lead us out of this dire straight and back to prosperity and peace.

What to do:

Having said all this I have to share my belief that government, even one that is being led by the greatest crisis manager of modern times, is not the answer to America’s problems.  Only God can bring salvation whether we’re talking about an individual or a nation.

He once told us, “if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”  And since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever we can still claim that promise.  Besides He also told us, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Trust God and He’ll bring us through.  Some may say, “What if we follow that advice and we catch the virus and die anyway?”  All I can say is if we die trusting God, no matter what the reason, we sure will be healed then.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 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

 

 

 

Got Hope?  April 1, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion, Uncategorized.
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My favorite president, Calvin Coolidge, once said, “The business of America is business.”  Today during the coronavirus pandemic hysteria, he must be spinning like a top in his grave.  Two weeks into our war with an invisible enemy there isn’t any business because we shut down all the businesses and if we want to have any more business we need to open the businesses again or there won’t be any businesses to do any business when we’re finally done riding the pale horse of pestilence and want to once again get some business done.

America’s economy has been the eighth wonder of the world since it first attained lift-off velocity after the Civil War, but if we keep the economy shut for too long, we run the danger of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.  That would be the oft mentioned case of the cure being worse than the disease.  At least that’s my two cents.  I wonder if anyone is buying what I’m selling?  They can if they want, but if they don’t that’s none of my business.  In the blink of an eye America the Beautiful has morphed into Apocalyptic America waiting for Mad Max to open the Thunder Dome.

When we’re finally allowed out of the time-out corner, we may well find ourselves in a new world as far as the economy, society, and politics are concerned.  However, there is one thing that won’t change.  It’s the same thing that never changes and is forever the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  God is God and we are not.

God spoke,” Let there be” and here we are.  The universe is vast.  So vast we have about as much chance of truly understanding it as an amoeba does the space shuttle.  If God had not revealed Himself to us through first the Bible and then through the incarnation of Jesus, there’s no way we can ever think our way to the truth.

And the truth is this: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  Or as the Message puts it, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”

That’s it.  Sin cannot be where God is.  It’s like trying to put the wrong ends of a magnet together.  It just doesn’t work.  We all have sin within us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Just as we can’t think our way to God and need Him to reveal Himself in the same way we can’t get to God by being good enough.  No one can be good enough.  Everyone from the greatest sinner to the greatest saint needs the same thing to stand in the presence of God: His unmerited favor or grace.

Paul explained it this way, “But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for us. And not only for us, but for everyone who believes in him. For there is no difference between us and them in this. Since we’ve compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us, God did it for us. Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself. A pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.”

No matter how this pandemic shakes out.  No matter what it does physically, socially, or economically spiritually the same door is open to us.  All we need to do is walk through and we pass from dark to light, from death to life, from being separated from God to being His child.

Don’t allow the sound bite of the day depress you.  Instead accept the Good News.  All your sins have been forgiven and you are now the righteousness of God.  “How? you ask.  In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.”

The world may be in a war against a virus, but we can be at peace with God.  The media may be blowing a discordant trumpet 24/7.  Newscasts, briefings, and special alerts may do their best to inform us, but they also do their best to keep us on edge waiting for the final shoe to drop.  Let me show you a better way:

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.  Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

Think about that for a moment instead of the reality-show apocalypse playing out on the world’s soundstage, and then answer this question: Got hope?  I hope so.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 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

 

Fear is the Opposite of Faith  March 26, 2020

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As we wander through the wilderness of the coronavirus pandemic it’s a perfect opportunity to realize God is in control.  We may think we’re the masters of the universe but in fact we aren’t.  God is.

Humanity has built a planet wide civilization.  Our machines transform deserts, harness the wind, and connect everyone in an ever-growing web of communication and information.  Our planes fill the skies.  Our ships fill the seas.  We’ve walked on the moon, sent robot ships to Mars and the other planets, flung satellites out of the solar system, touched the bottom of the Mariana Trench, and built permanent habitations in Antarctica.  Humanity stands proudly at the apex of life on earth as we cower before an unseen enemy and wage a war against a virus.  Our leaders tell us we’ll win this war while in the back of everyone’s mind dwells the thought, “Someday we may face another virus or germ that will wipe us out.”

We live on a rock hurtling through space.  Even a brief study of geology, paleontology, and astronomy makes it abundantly clear we live in a cosmic pinball machine.  Over and over large asteroids have smashed into the earth often bringing an end to most life and signaling the beginning of a new epoch in the planets 4.5-billion-year history.  It isn’t a question of if.  It is a question of when.

And if species eliminating pandemics and globe shattering collisions aren’t enough, there are super volcanoes lurking around the planet waiting like alarm clocks to explode and wake us from our blissful dream of ruling creation.

When we ponder our current situation, it might not be too far off to say, “This may not be the end of the world, but you can see it from here.”

With that thought in mind we might want to meditate on The Living Bible’s rendition of Proverbs 19:1, “Man proposes, But God disposes.”

The coronavirus pandemic rages all around us.  The government has us isolated, locked down, watching infection charts and mortality rates wondering what happens next.  As we fixate on survival, wishing we’d been crazy enough to be a prepper before being a prepper was cool, off in the distance our mind’s eye tries to envision the New Normal the media echo-chamber tells us is on the other side.

The easiest thing to do is to allow fear a toehold in our lives.  Fear of catching the virus.  Fear of our loved ones catching the virus.  Fear of losing our jobs.  Fear of watching our carefully constructed lives wither on the vine.  Fear of not having enough money, food, hand sanitizer, or toilet paper to make it through the blast.  Fear, fear, fear seems to be all the “If it bleeds it leads” news media offer wall-to-wall 24/7.

A wise woman told me that Fear is the captain of legions of other foul spirits such as greed and selfishness.  Look at how many have responded to this crisis and you see those in bondage to Fear and its minions cleaning off shelves, ignoring shelter-in-place orders, and partying like there’s no tomorrow.

Let me show you a better way.  Fear is the opposite of faith.  Choose faith and live.

We know that most of the things we worry about never happen.  Why waste our time worrying when we can instead walk in faith and have peace?  God tells us not to worry more times than He tells us not to steal and we all know what stealing is.  There’s a formula for peace.  It’s like a recipe.  We can follow it and bake it into our lives.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

I’m a Christian.  I believe Jesus is the divine incarnation who came to pay the penalty for sin.  He lived a perfect life, died a substitutionary death, rose from the dead conquering sin and death for all humanity.  I believe He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of our Father the Creator, and that He’s coming again to judge the living and the dead.  I believe all that as strongly as I believe I’m typing these words right now.  This is the foundation of my reality.  This is my faith.  Faith banishes fear.

If you’re tired of living your life in fear join me in a walk of faith.  To begin a new life in Christ is easy, because the sacrifice of Christ has paid the price of admission.  All you need to do is confess Jesus as the leader of your life and believe in your heart the God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved.  That’s it.  That’s all there is to it.

I’m not saying once we confess and believe we’ll skip down the primrose path with never a problem, a challenge, or a defeat until we dance our way through the Pearly Gates.  What I’m saying is once we confess and believe we can rest assured no matter what happens we’re in God’s hand and no one and no thing can ever snatch us out.  The viruses, asteroids, and volcanoes might come but our future is secure in the everlasting promises of God.

After we confess and believe we’re still facing all the same challenges we faced before, but now we have faith instead of fear.  Now we know that when we pray God hears our prayers.  In the natural we look to the government to save us.  But the government is of the world and the world is passing away.  All things will pass. Only those things in Christ will last.  Reject the transitory dying things of the world and embrace the life that’s in the Spirit of Christ.

Embrace the faith.  Defeat the fear.  And remember the recipe, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

It may feel like prayer is all we have.  Luckily prayer is all we need.  Faith is the answer.  Prayer is the key.  Why worry when you can pray?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 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

 

 

Who’s in the Basket    February 18, 2020

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Saul of Tarsus was the first great persecutor of the church.  In a blaze of glory, he met the resurrected Jesus while on his way to Damascus to attack the church there.  Then, instead of attacking the Church Paul started preaching fearlessly about this Jesus who rose from the grave.  The Jews sought to kill Paul because he was preaching Jesus as the Messiah who bore our sins on the cross, died in our place, and rose from the dead to bring us life.  As the enraged Jews looked everywhere in Damascus for Paul, he was lowered in a basket from the walls to make his escape.  When we share the Gospel with even just one person, and they receive the message and are born again we never know who might’ve just climbed in the basket.

Long long ago and far far away back in the dream time before Facebook, Amazon, and streaming, my wife and I felt the call to hold church services on the campus of a state university.  Everyone told us that would be impossible what with the judiciously manufactured liberal imposed mythical Constitutional separation of church and state doctrine.  I questioned God, “Are you sure?” My wife and I questioned each other, “Are you sure?”  But try to resist as much as we could the calling wouldn’t leave us alone.

I traipsed from office to office asking one bureaucrat after another for permission to hold church services in a public building on the campus of a state university.  Discouragement stalked me as I scuttled from “No,” to “No,” to “No way!”  In the natural I was skeptical when I started and after a month or two of pushing that big rock up that steep hill all I could do was encourage myself in the Lord to keep plodding on.  All we had was prayer.   Happily, that was all we needed.

I finally located the right bureaucrat.  He was the one in charge of renting space to outside groups.  After a diligent search and several misdirected wrong turns, I located his office buried deep beneath a massive pile of bricks and steel.  Then I learned he was never in his office.  Whenever I showed up his secretary would tell me, ‘He just left,” “He’s off for the day,” or “You just missed him.”  I tried coming at every hour of the day on every day of the week.  After a month or so it got to be a running joke between me and the secretary.  I’d pop in and she’d laugh, “He just left,” or one of her other variations of “You’re wasting your time.”

Then one day I walked in and there was the invisible bureaucrat standing in the middle of the room.  Before the Secretary could laugh or say anything I blurted out, “I want to rent a room to hold church services.”

To my surprise he said, “No problem.”  Then as he vanished into his inner sanctum he tossed, “Becky draw up a contract for the second-floor meeting room in the Student Union at the regular rate.”   Within a week we were singing praises to God and preaching the Gospel on the campus of that state university.  Everyone said it couldn’t be done.  I didn’t think it was possible.  But God did it.

For the next six months every Sunday we carried our keyboard, guitar, and a box of Bibles into the upper room.  Every Wednesday, as part of our rental agreement, we had an informational booth in the Student Union inviting people to the service.

The response was underwhelming but as church planters and domestic missionaries we were used to empty seats.  We had some students who came.  We had a few who came more than once.  And we had one who came faithfully time after time.  This one student eventually confessed Jesus as his personal Lord and confessed that God had raised Jesus from the dead.  He stepped from the darkness into the light, from death into life and now twenty-five years later he’s still praising God and trying his best to share the life, the light, and the joy he found with others.

As a couple of believers who’ve devoted most of our lives to preaching the Gospel, if this one born again believer is the totality of all we’ve done and all we will do before the curtain comes down … that’s more than enough.  Thank you, Father, for allowing us to see the fruit from Your vine.

As slim as the attendance was, we praised God every day for the opportunity and gave him glory for opening a door everyone thought could not be opened.  Then they shut us down.  They cancelled our contract and slammed the door shut.

I went to see the long elusive bureaucrat to find out why.  He told me a delegation of local pastors came to the school to complain because we were holding service on campus and they weren’t.  The religious spirit did its best to stop the Spirit.  But we know He opens doors, and no one can shut what He’s opened until the appointed time.  The anointing moved on and we knew God had accomplished what he’d sent us there to do.  Someone had climbed into the basket.

This reminds me of another time God called me to do something.  He called me to stand in front of an abortion mill.  I am the ever-remorseful father of four aborted babies.  Forgiven but ashamed of what I did, but not too ashamed to confess my sin publicly if there’s even the slightest chance doing so might save a life and save someone else from living with the pain and emptiness I feel.  For about six months several days a week I stood a lonely vigil in all types of weather with a handmade sign reading, “I repent for aborting my children” on one side and “God Forgave me” on the other.

People would drive by and honk.  Some would give me the thumbs up.  Others would use another digit to send a different message.  The police came and told me I had to leave.  But I was on public property and I refused.  The people from the abortion mill tried several tactics to chase me away.  Some people on their way in to end the lives of their children stopped to berate me and call me everything except a child of God.

No matter what the weather, no matter how vile the abuse I stayed there because I felt God called me to bear witness, so I stood my ground.  Then one day a couple stopped by on their way into the abortion mill and read me the riot act.  They told me what a terrible person I was.  They told me it was their choice.  They yelled and gestured as loudly as any one ever did.  Then about a half hour later they came back and in tears told me God had convicted them and they’d changed their mind.  They were going to keep their baby.

Immediately I felt released from that call.  Someone had climbed into the basket.

You might not know who’s in the basket.  You may never know.  All we need to know is that when God says stand there and hold the rope, we need to do our part and leave the results up to Him because it’s not about who we are and what we do.  It’s all about who He is and what He’s done.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2020 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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