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We Battle Not Against Flesh and Blood February 27, 2017

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion.
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2 comments

There are many of us who believe that prayer played a major part in the upset victory of Donald Trump last November.

He may not be a born again Christian. And he may not be one who believes in miracles.  As a person who grew up in the church of Norman Vincent Peale he is the personification of that minister’s theological doctrine of positive thinking.  Like Robert Schuller of Crystal Cathedral fame, or any of the word of faith, gab-it-and-grab-it, believe to receive crowd The Donald believes the words of his mouth have power to shape the world around him.

Anyone who sees the result of being positive as opposed to being negative knows there is much real world sense to this belief.  Is the glass half empty or is it half full?

As spirit-filled born again believers we know that it isn’t about who we are it is all about what He has done and it isn’t about what we have done it is all about who He is.  We know that prayer is the answer and faith is the key.  We know that God can use any tool to accomplish His purpose.

We also know that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  And in this struggle we know that a thousand may fall at our side and ten thousand at our right hand but it shall not come near us if we keep our eyes on Him.

So as we watch our president surrounded by the Progressive Fusion Party of Democrats, Republicans, courts, and media don’t despair.  Don’t return to the couch and think, “We voted him in now we can go back to sleep.”  Now is the time to do battle in the heavenlies.  This Hail Mary victory pass shall not stand unless we hit our knees.  We must hold the president and our nation up in prayers.  Pray confusion into the counsel of the enemy, pray that President Trump has the courage and strength to stand for America when everyone around him is proclaiming they are citizens of the world and that America should be just another state in a UN dominated new world order.

The nation state is what won in November.  The globalist conspiracy was thwarted at the very moment when they thought the last nail would be driven into our coffin.  They had victory snatched out of their talons and they are going berserk as the rail against the last gasp of American independence.

Many of these advocates of global centralization and the authoritarianism it would need to re-distribute the world’s goods claim to be atheists.  They are actually devotees of humanism, worshipers of self.  In other words those who have bitten the apple and listened to the siren song of the serpent, “you will be like God.”

And we also know God has promised, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”  If we will do that, if we will turn from this world and embrace Him then we shall receive the benefit of those who wait on the Lord.  We shall renew our strength.  We shall mount up with wings like eagles.  We shall run and not be weary.  We shall walk and not faint.

So why worry when we can pray?

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2017 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

Science Fact Swallows Science Fiction January 25, 2017

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Religion.
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9 comments

Not too long ago I began a science fiction novel, which has always been a dream of mine, and since I finally broke through the fiction wall last year with my book, America’s Trojan War I thought it was time.  I even had a plot that had been rattling around in my mind for years.

I began working in what I call Writing Mode, which is where I go when consumed with the writing of a new book.  Typically I will rise at about four in the morning and write for twelve hours, sleep and repeat until done.  Building on the years of pre-writing and research that precedes the first chapter I often stay in continuous Writing Mode for weeks at a time.

This process has led to the completion of a dozen published books and several more that are currently working their way through the publication pipeline.  In my mind’s eye I could see my long anticipated science fiction novel spring fully formed from my forehead much as Athena sprang from Jupiter’s in the Greek Myth.  The anticipation of a successful creative birth drove me on.

Here is the plot that inspired me.  A couple of scientists who were also husband and wife, he a world renowned geneticist and she a programming superstar, decide to translate the human genome into computer code.  Once they have completed this herculean task they decide to hack the code. When they do they are immediately confronted with the entity that wrote the code and transported into an endless array of parallel realities.  In these multiple realities it seems each was the invention of another and like a reflection of a reflection in a mirror these wheels within wheels stretched infinitely off into life begetting life.

Through struggles, temptations, and conflict the pair of scientific Argonauts chased the golden fleece of knowledge searching for the prime cause.  For they knew that every sequence has its beginning, and there must always be not only a first domino to fall but also someone to knock it over.

Then in what was meant to be a stunning and thought provoking climax our intrepid duo finally break through to the final reality and find themselves using their hacked DNA code to birth a new reality.  Thus the circle is unbroken and life begets life begets life begets life in an eternal cycle and the prime mover remains veiled while the unnatural source of nature reverberates through reality.

That was the plan.

Unfortunately the reality of science fact swallowed my science fiction.  First the CRISPR-Cas9 comes along.  This is a remarkable technology that enables geneticists and medical researchers to edit the genome by removing, adding, or altering sections of the DNA sequence.   There goes the revolutionary idea of hacking the genome.

This was followed by a headline which provided the final nail in my science fictional coffin, “Lab-Made DNA Used to Breed a Life Form for the First Time.”  This article continued to hammer away at my fictional ideas of creating life by introducing modified genetic codes into reality and thereby willing existence into reality.  The author, Clyde Hughes, put it this way, “Lab-made DNA has been used to breed a life form for the first time by expanding the genetic code with the help of common E. coli microbes.”

Not satisfied with dashing my dreams of wowing people with outlandish concepts the article added, “Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California modified common E. coli microbes to carry expanded genetic material which they believe will eventually allow them to program how the organisms operate and behave.”  As my imagination was corralled by reality the following posts were driven into the now to confine my musings of the future:

“Scripps Research scientist Floyd Romesberg said his colleagues have created a single-celled organism that can hold on indefinitely to the natural DNA mix in synthetic-base material.”

“You can think of these unnatural nucleobases as X and Y.”

“Romesberg said the challenge with X and Y … was that they would lose their code as they divided. Graduate student Yorke Zhang and Brian Lamb, an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow, used a tool called a nucleotide transporter to allow X and Y to be copied across the cell’s membrane.”

According to Zhang, “The transporter was used … , but it made the semisynthetic organism very sick.”

The author of the article interjected, “The researchers found a way to modify the transporter that alleviated the problem, making it easier for the organism to grow and divide while holding on to X and Y.”

And finally the author and the scientists ganged up on me and delivered the death blow to my science fiction fantasy about creating life when they delivered this, “The researchers said their next step is to study how their new genetic code can be transcribed into RNA, the molecule in cells needed to translate DNA into proteins.”

I figured why write a fictional novel about what is now reality.  Therefore to compensate for this extreme case of Writus Interruptus and to live out the rituals and exigencies of my artistic Pon farr I waded into the depths of writing mode birthing two new books which will soon be available.  These books are: Then Came Trump, wherein I share insights about where we have come from, where we are now, and where the Donald promised to lead us.  And The More things Change the More They Stay the Same, which deals with the development of the secular political religion which is jingoistic patriotism using the three presidential assassinations of the 19th century as case studies.

Reflecting further on the startling announcement that humanity now has the power to create life I am reminded of an old story.

A scientist says to God, “You’re not so much I can create life right here in my laboratory.”

God answers, “Is that so?”

“Yes, it is and I challenge you to a contest.  Let’s see who can create life faster and better, you or I” responded the scientist filled with pride over his great ability.

“All right,” said God “let’s give it a try.”

With that God stoops down and picks up some dust and starts molding it in his hands and the scientist grabs his test tubes and starts pouring liquids back and forth.  God pauses and looks at the scientist and says, “Hey, get your own dust.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2017 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

Merry Christmas or Mary’s Christmas? December 22, 2016

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion.
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3 comments

In December of 1914 in the first bitter winter of a long bitter war the solders of the German Empire and the soldiers of the British Empire defied the orders of their officers.  They abandoned their hastily dug entrenchments, that would soon grow into an elaborate maze of trenches stretching from Switzerland to the English Channel, to meet each other in no man’s land. They sang hymns and exchanged gifts in a spontaneous outpouring of the feelings of peace, fellowship, and forgiveness which were then the staples of a Christ centered Christmas season.

If you drench yourself in the torrent of Christmas movies that bombard us from Thanksgiving till December 25th you see that the spirit of Christmas in emotional America isn’t about the Christ child who came into a lost world to die as a payment for sin and to rise again to bring new life in harmony with God.  It is instead about the sentimental ideal of love and the boy gets the girl or is it the girl gets the boy?  Who knows, sometimes they throw in a curve that really builds the suspense.  There are movies about Santa Clause, his sons, his daughters, his elves, and wingless angels all of whom help people learn the true meaning of Christmas, which is never about Christ and always about family and friends and being nice people.

In commercial America, Christmas is about Black Friday and discounts so deep they remind me of the street vendor in Mexico who follows you shouting “I’ll give you 110% off if you buy two!”  The Chia Pets come out along with snuggies, pet rocks, and every other doodad imaginable to buy for people who already have too much.

The mountains of presents which obscenely bury Christmas trees in so many American homes are ripped apart by sugar-high children. Children who get into a frenzy of getting so intense they never have time to appreciate what they get. All they want is to get something else.  The beautiful wrapping paper, the miles of ribbon, and the forests of bows are stuffed unceremoniously into big green garbage bags soon on their way to landfills.

The problem with being a Historian is that you are constantly looking for the context, the background, the circumstances in the past that created the circumstances you face in the here and now.  Sometimes when you discover the story behind the story it isn’t what you thought it would be.  Sometimes it is the opposite of what you thought you would find.  Take Christmas for instance.

The early Church never celebrated Christmas.  Why didn’t the early Christians celebrate the festival honoring the birth of Jesus Christ?  For the same reason they didn’t honor either birthdays or anniversaries. It was known that the celebrating of any day or date was a custom of the pagans.  By the word ‘pagans’ they meant people who still lived in the darkness of superstition. In an effort to divest themselves of all pagan practices, they did not even set aside or note down the date of their Savior’s birth.

In the Fourth Century, Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire.  Controversy, heresy, and false teaching began to plague a church now swollen from small groups of dedicated disciples ready to suffer persecution with and for Christ to a massive bureaucratic organization crammed with those who wanted to be part of the religion mandated by the government.  Naturally the Church began to lose its fervor and fire: the zealous faith that exploded out of Israel and spread through the Roman world.  Unfortunately, just like today, the Christian leaders of that time not knowing the true secret of the Church’s growth, looked to outward sources to bolster their flagging faith. Celebrations and entertainment began to surface within the church.

In 354 AD – Bishop Liberius of Rome declared that Christians everywhere should celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25.  Since the early Christians didn’t record the actual date of Jesus’ birth how was December 25th decided upon?   Most scholars agree that the birth of the Redeemer did not take place in the month of December at all. In fact, the 25th of December was not even chosen by the Christians, but by the pagan Romans.

When the Romans of that age noticed that the days grew shorter each year during the months of November and December, they began to fear that the earth might be dying. Therefore with the ‘return of the sun’ at the end of December resulting in longer days, the Romans began to celebrate the “Feast of the Sol Invictus” (the Unconquerable Sun) on December 25. Soon many Christians began to join in this pagan festival and the various celebrations that went with it. Their faith wasn’t vibrant enough (or real enough) to stand against the strong pull of the festivity and celebration around them. They drifted with the crowd.

Thus, in order to keep the Christians away from all the pagan rituals that were part of this worship of the sun, Bishop Liberius of Rome declared, in 354 A.D., that all Christians everywhere should celebrate the birth of our Lord on December 25.

Did this celebration continue unbroken? No. During the rule of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of Britain and the Commonwealth, the celebration of Christmas was banned because of “the heathen traditions surrounding this sacred event.” From 1649 to 1658 no celebration was allowed except for special church services on Christmas Eve. Cromwell was a dedicated Christian who lived by the commands and principles of Scripture.

We must recognize a parallel in what took place in church history and what is taking place in this day and age. The pagan festivities of the fourth century and Cromwell’s day are much like the commercial celebration of Christmas today.

Christians no longer participate in the worship of the sun or the sun god as in the fourth century. The centerpiece of Christmas is now no longer the sun but the unconquerable Santa Claus. This white bearded, chubby benefactor typifies the god of this age – materialism. It was Coca Cola who first gave the white bearded individual his red suit to go with the advertising color of the popular drink. What this plump, rosy cheeked individual has to do with the advent of the precious Lamb of God, I cannot even begin to understand! Writer Jonathan Skinner puts it this way: “A white-bearded old man has thrown the baby out of the cradle, and his trinket-filled grotto has replaced a rustic stable…The spiritual has been swallowed by the secular, the sacred obliterated by sentiment. Christmas has been gutted of its meaning.”

These humanistic and unscriptural traditions have quietly crept into the church when true faith and real worship were fading. All this is reflected in the entertainment aspect of much of the Christian worship of today. If we claim to be Christians and disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us distance ourselves from the commercial (and pagan) celebration of the so-called Christmas season. Holy celebration is Scriptural but must begin from within in the hearts of those who claim to follow Jesus. The crazy rushing whirl that typifies the celebration of Christmas today has nothing to do with our servant Lord who had no place to lay His head.

Instead of obsessing over the war on Christmas waged by Progressives who desire to erase all that made America great, and instead of campaigning to get Christ back into Christmas perhaps we should pray for a revival that will get Christ back into Christians.  Instead of worrying about whether we are allowed to say Merry Christmas, we should be concerned that so many have lost sight of Mary’s Christmas.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2016 Contact Dr. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens

 

 

 

 

 

 

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