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Empires Rise and Empires Fall October 21, 2020

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Almost everyone has heard the saying of Winston Churchill, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.”  It’s true that one of the most important benefits of studying History is that it gives us the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of others.  However, a careful study of History teaches us that this seldom happens.  Which is why I’ve added an addendum to Churchill’s famous saying, “Those who do study History are doomed to watch everyone else repeat it.” 

Looking back over the grand sweep of History we see that all nations and empires rise and fall.  From the ancient cultures of China, Babylonia, Egypt, and Rome to more modern examples such as the Spanish, Russian, French, German, and British empires and in an almost textbook case the USSR we see that no matter how powerful, enduring, or effective these societies have been in projecting their power, providing an ordered life for their citizens, and maintaining control they’ve all passed from the scene.  

We’ve all heard some of our self-declared enlightened pundits compare modern day America to Rome just before the fall.  True there are many parallels such as military over-reach, deficit spending, inflation, crumbling infrastructure, and metastasizing bureaucracy.  I guess the example of Rome is used because so many people can relate to it.   

However, if we look at the other examples mentioned we see that these same deteriorating conditions existed across the board.  These malignant outgrowths of the hyper centralization of government are often highlighted and pronounced by pontifical pundits and academics as the litmus test for evaluating where along the trajectory to the dustbin of History a society may be at any specific time.  

While not disputing that these indicators of decay are evident as waystations to dissolution, I would like to add one more that is seldom if ever mentioned: the rise of leaders who betray the central values, ethics, and morals upon which the society stands. 

John Adams, one of the principle framers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution who served as the first Vice President and as the second president said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” 

In many ways America has morphed from a shining city on a hill into a cesspool that makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like puritan pitstops on the way to Pee-Wee Herman’s playhouse.  However, we’re still the go-to destination for all the poor huddled masses around the world.  One of the problems of this is that most of them have never known anything besides authoritarian socialist government.  And though the tragic results of those governments are what caused them to make the perilous journey here they seem to automatically vote for the American version of the failed systems they left.  Much as the refugees from California, Illinois, and New York all appear dedicated into turning Iowa, Arizona, and Maine into smaller versions of the failed states they’ve fled.  With these uninformed additions along with those who vote not by thought but by habit we currently have roughly half the people in America ready to vote for the final transformation of our country into a socialist paradise à la Venezuela.  

The reason this governmental rot appears to be spreading like COVID in our society is that we as a people have lost our moorings.  We’ve abandoned the fundamentals of the Christian faith: first, to love God above all else and second to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. 

The outward societal expression of this love does not mean we should turn the safety net of compassion established for the needy into a hammock for the lazy.  But it does mean we should provide decent and respectful care for those who cannot care for themselves while encouraging everyone to achieve to the best of their abilities.  It does not mean we should facilitate or allow violence and civil unrest.  But we should provide and protect space for the free exercise of free speech in all its many forms.  It does not mean that we should tax people into poverty and spend future generations into hopelessness.  But we should contribute for the maintenance of a government of, by, and for the people.  And that government should be filled with citizen legislators.  Not professional politicians, intent only on keeping an iron grip on power so they can line their own pockets and those of their families and supporters with the loot confiscated from others. 

Once we instinctively knew these things. They were the mother’s milk of American pride and self-reliance.  Today after generations of students taught what to think instead of how to think we are faced with the spectacle of masses of people supporting socialism who don’t know the history or the 100% tragic results of socialist experiments through History.  We’re confronted with shouting mobs crying out for the centralizing agenda of dedicated statists in the name of anarchy and with continuing conflagrations in our cities ignited by people who want better lives while burning down their own neighborhoods. 

What we need is a revival of Christianity in an increasingly pagan America.  Let those who see the light be the beacons of love Christ called us to be not conduits of condemnation who turn their noses up at anything that doesn’t resemble them or theirs.  Living as we do in a representative republic which operates with democratic input, we as citizens should vote our conscious.  Vote only for those who will uphold your beliefs remembering always that when we choose the lesser of two evils, we’re still choosing evil. 

The ultimate source for our guidance as always is God’s Word.  Speaking through the author of Second Chronicles the Spirit tells 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 on a more personal note Joshua exhorted the ever wavering Israelites saying, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” 

And while God’s Word is the ultimate source of wisdom there is much to find among the words of men.  Winston Churchill reminded us, “A nation that forgets its past has no future.” 

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 

He is the Head We Are the Body October 13, 2020

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As the body of Christ, we are His hands, His feet, and we should strive to speak His words, see with His eyes, and love with His heart. We’ve been washed in His blood and we are the redeemed.   

And this is not merely a spiritual renewal though that is the foundation of all that flows from it.  We are renewed when we reckon ourselves dead to this world and alive to God.  When we put off the old man born in sin in the line of Adam and are re-born in the likeness of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the second Adam

This action: cleansing the sinner of all guilt and making us able to stand in the throne room in the very presence of God with no shame or feelings of inadequacy may seem extravagant.  Paul tells us that we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, and that all this is not some hap-hazard addendum.  No, it flows directly from all God’s wisdom and prudence.  

This action on God’s part not only impacts the spiritual renewal of the believer.  It also leads to a physical and mental renewal which the believer experiences here-and-now.  This is the redemption of our bodies.   

And just as Christ is redeemed now so is the believer who is in Christ Jesus.  Our bodies will someday be glorified fully in the presence of God, but in the here and now we taste the first fruit of our redemption in the total renewing of our lives.   For as members of the body of Christ, as children of God, as joint heirs together with Jesus we are born of one baptism and filled with one Spirit.  We are the body and Christ is the head

However, since we are born of the flesh as descendants of the first Adam. Conceived, born, living in sin, and the members of a lost and degraded race, we must be redeemed and sanctified before we can enter the kingdom of God.  Remember we were chosen in Christ Jesus before the foundation of the world.  Once we have accepted Christ as our Savior and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead this inheritance is our possession   

However, we must possess our possessions for them to do us any good.  If we don’t accept the love of God in and through Christ Jesus, they are just so many gifts lying about unaccepted. 

The Life is in the blood.  And it is the shedding of His blood that is the first action in the unfolding of our redemption.  This is the Good News and it’s the best news ever.  Christ poured out His blood so that we might be freed from our burden of sin.  There is no longer an unbridgeable gulf between God and humanity.  The sin life, the sin nature that the first Adam assumed when he disobeyed God and then passed on to all his offspring has been washed away in the blood of Calvary.  

Lord, let us see with your eyes, hear with your ears, love with your heart, and touch with your hands.  As we strive to be about Your business send us somewhere to be a blessing to someone somehow. 

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 

Believe it Confess it Receive it Live it October 6, 2020

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Here’s one of those fifty cent words we Christians throw around, Omniscient. In other words, God is all knowing.  Since He’s the Alpha and the Omega the first and the last He knows the end from the beginning and everything in between.   

All of which brings forward a question that’s a mystery often presented as a conundrum some people pose as a veiled attack against the reality of God. 

They ask, “If God knows everything doesn’t that mean He knew Adam would fall even before He created him in the first place?  So why do we make a big deal about God making a way for salvation when He created man to fail?”  Some even compare this to the fireman who starts a fire then calls in the alarm so that he can become a hero for putting it out. 

The biblical answer for this is found in Paul’s rendition of the story of Pharaoh hardening his heart against God found in Romans chapter nine

For the Lord says of Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”  Therefore, He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 

You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 

What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 

That’s it.  “Does not the potter have power over the clay?” Remember what we were originally “God formed man of the dust of the ground. Adam was nothing but a clay mannequin until God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” It was only after this that “man became a living being.” 

We are the clay.  He is the potter. And the fact that He made one “for honor and another for dishonor” is none of our concern.  It is the fact that He made a way for the dishonorable to become the honorable is what this is all about. 

The first work of God for our salvation was His decision that He would make a way for us to become not only reconciled to Him but actually become His children.  This is not based on anything we’ve done, will do, or could ever do.  It is not because of any good which is in us.  It is based solely on the love of God. 

This truth gives us perfect security and assurance in our transitory world of sin.  For the love of God never fails, never wavers, and is always everywhere dependable, reliable, and ever present.  What can the world do to us when we’re safe and secure in the love of God? 

Paul expressed this perfectly in his letter to the Romans, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

Though all may be saved not all will be.  All of us were born in sin.  We carry embedded in our fallen bodies the burden of Adam’s original sin.  Then along the way we all contribute to that sin burden ourselves.  All these sins were paid for at the cross.  All of us can have Adam’s sin as well as every sin we have ever or will ever commit washed away by the blood of Christ’s sacrifice however, not all will avail themselves of this glorious gift. 

Look at it this way; if I purchase a brand-new car and I offer it to you.  If you accept the gift it is your car.  But if you refuse to accept it, it may have been purchased for you, it may be waiting right there in your driveway, but if you don’t accept the gift it isn’t yours. 

From the first moment that we confess Christ as our Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead we’ve walked in the kingdom of God.  Our steps may still be visible in the natural world, but we’re walking in the Spirit.  Before that, satan held the title deed to our lives.  We were born into the line of the first Adam, sold in sin and separated from God.  But, once we’re born-again we stand in the line of Christ, the last Adam

God places us in His family, and He has work for us to do.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  

And since He has work for us to do, He has prepared us for that work.  Every gift, every talent, every opportunity we have has been strategically placed in us and in our lives to help us fulfill the mission God has for us.  He doesn’t send us on to the battle without equipping us for the fight.  We aren’t some kind of busted up, raggedy sinner who just barely scraped in by the skin of our teeth.  No!  We’re the born-again children of God bought with the precious blood of Christ.  In Him we are the righteousness of God. 

We’re washed in the blood of the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.  Believe it.  Confess it.  Receive it.  Live it.  We not only stand blameless before God our Father we stand redeemed and holy in the love of Christ, children of God received before the throne not as one who lived a wasted life of sin, but instead as one set right, accepted, and honored as a member of the Body of Christ, a living stone in the temple of God.   

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 

We Are Accepted September 28, 2020

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Everyone from the greatest sinner to the greatest saint needs the grace of God.  Everyone who wanders through the vail of tears that is this fallen world is tested, tried, and assaulted by our adversary, the prince of the power of the air, who goes about like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour.  Our fallen body and soul are open to him and his minions.  And if that isn’t bad enough our own sinful desires lure us into trap after trap.

Surrounded and attacked by all this it seems natural that we would cry out with Paul, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”

There is an answer to this cry.  We don’t stand alone before the heavenly court of justice.  If we did not even one of us would deserve anything except eternal damnation and separation from God.  Instead of standing alone in the withering judgement fire “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” and the fire of His presence becomes for us the life-giving warmth of His love.

We need to praise the glory of God’s grace, His unmerited favor because, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  We may have been the worst of sinners.  We may have cursed God and persecuted His people but once we turn from the darkness to the light, once we embrace Him and are born again all that changes.  We change and the world around us changes.

Peter sums it up well when he says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”

The author of Hebrews goes into even greater detail showing how the eternal sacrifice of Christ is superior to the shadow sacrifices of the Old Covenant.

“Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 1And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.”

This is the description of our present state.  We are accepted.  We have entered our inheritance.  Today we “see in a mirror, dimly,” but once this perishable has been swallowed and replaced by imperishable, we shall see “face to face.”  For “Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”

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

The Blue State Blockade September 21, 2020

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It took just three years for President Donald Trump to lead America from the perpetually stagnant New Normal of the Clinton/Bush/Obama Trifecta of Failure back to the Morning in America of the Reagan era.  This was nothing short of an economic miracle that began the day after America’s blue-collar billionaire won the biggest upset in our political history when the stock market took off like a rocket.

In a steady assault on the Deep-State Swamp President Trump hit the delete button on more regulations in three years than every other president in our history combined.  He renegotiated the give-away trade boondoggles of the Trifecta and set off an avalanche of industrial growth and the return of prodigal corporations.  He rebuilt our military after eight years of neglect.  He re-started our space program.  He required our NATO allies to quit freeloading on the gravy train and start making meaningful contributions to their own defense.  He defeated ISIS, started negotiations to end the forever war in Afghanistan, pulled out of our incursion into Syria, and created a Trump Doctrine.  He alerted the world that under his administration America would only commit forces to defend our interests; no more nation-building, no more free mercenaries carrying the water for others.

Of course, the Deep-State Swamp creatures didn’t just sit on their hands.  The perpetually re-elected civil service protected corporately selected troika of politicians, bureaucrats, and media megaphones fought tooth and nail.  They used the politically corrupted ranks of the FBI and the national security forces to first try to undermine the Trump campaign.  When that didn’t work the Obama Administration used the waning days of their regime to set in motion an attempt to thwart and if possible overthrow the incoming Trump Administration.

For three years they beat America about the ears with their fake news of supposed evidence through illegal leaks, politically motivated highly coordinated whistleblowers, and secret hearings in the underground star chamber deep in the bowls of Congress.  Recent revelations brought to light through Freedom of Information exposures revealed that Pelosi, Schiff, Mueller, and the rest of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight knew from day one that there was no Russian conspiracy and that even the supposed hack of Democrat computers was a red hearing.  Yet the luminaries of the left were on every available outlet of the ABCCBSNBCCNNMASNBCNPRPBS Cartel indoctrinating the low information voters with their propaganda day and night.

Then came the Impeachment Hoax.  Facts now show the Democrats were plotting to impeach Trump before he was elected.  The Washington Post started calling for impeachment on the very day Trump was inaugurated.  And the disloyal opposition have also admitted they had to impeach Trump as part of their 2020 election strategy.  Talk about trying to interfere in an election!  They impeached the President for things that were not criminal, that were built on false testimony, inaccurate and made-up reporting, and purely out of spite. 

Three years of attacks such as no other politician ever has survived, and President Trump not only survived but he thrived.  Then along came COVID-19 and sat down beside him. 

Accepting the flawed models of Fauci, Birx, and other globalists the President erred on the side of caution when it came to American lives.  He gave us a textbook example of crisis management along the way.  Taking over the decrepit testing system left moldering in warehouses Mr. Trump quickly led us to the most dynamic testing regimen in history, directed manufacturers to make a surplus of the masks and respirators needed.  He left the mechanics of the economic shutdowns in the hands of the governors of the States as is proper in our federal system.

And America ground to a halt.

Unemployment skyrocketed and stimulus money flowed to who knows where out of Washington as money was created out of thin air.  The stock market cratered wiping out the savings of millions.  Now we are socially distanced into isolation.

As a natural contrarian President Trump has always gone against the grain.  He was the first world leader to shut down travel from China.  And early on he began to say, “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

Instinctively knowing there may be more deaths from the ramifications of stopping the greatest economy the world has ever seen than from the Social Security Flu.  Now President Trump is the cheerleader for Making America Great Again Again. 

Certainly, there are obstacles.  The Democrats who identify as journalists are spewing their disinformation and hate wall-to-wall online, on the air, and in print every day.  The Democrat machine in Congress is threatening to impeach the President again and holding more hearings on conjured evidence heading towards preprogrammed conclusions.

All this resistance aside the country is starting to open.  The pent-up demand that follows any artificial roadblock to supply and demand will make the economy blossom.  No matter how the Progressives try to get Americans addicted to free money.  No matter how hard they try to turn the U.S. into a command economy sitting atop a submissive herd of regimented citizens the spirit of America cries out, “Let’s get back to work!”

What is the political damn the Democrats seek to build across the flood of people returning to normalcy?  I call it the Blue State Blockade.  Thirty percent of America’s economy is in California and New York.  Two States long controlled by entrenched Democrat machines.  Both these Progressive sink holes have spent themselves into the failed state zone of economics.  The Federal Government/taxpayers spent billions supporting these two Democrat fiefdoms during the COVID pandemic.  We built them hospitals they demanded and never needed, we sent them hospital ships, and military personnel to meet needs that never materialized.  And now they’re demanding we bail them out of the financial difficulties they created, and which existed long before anyone ever heard of the Social Security Flu.

Like all Progressives they don’t just ask for help.  They demand it.  They’re holding the economy hostage saying they won’t open their States until they get the money.  And it isn’t just the Big Two.  Most of the other blue States are also demanding bailouts.  These cynical power brokers believe that if they can keep the economy or at least as much of it as they control shut down long enough, they can cause a Greater Depression.  They long to cast President Trump as the 21st Century Hoover so they can wheel Old Joe out of the basement as the new FDR and usher in the Green New Deal.

Never in the History of the world has any society quarantined healthy people.  Never in the History of the world has any society voluntarily shut down its own economy.  We are in uncharted territory.  What will it be?  Will it be a return to Trump’s Morning in America or a retreat to the Trifecta’s Mourning in America?

We need to ask ourselves, “Why would any political party see the destruction of our own economy and all the resulting problems that accompany poverty as a good thing?”  Now we should ask, “How can anyone who has any respect for the dignity of people support such a cynical policy?”  Perhaps we should ask ourselves these questions the next time we get to vote?

In this lost world we see through a glass darkly.  It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.  I know what I would like to see.  Kick out the jams and let the good times roll!  Let’s get back to work and get something done.  However, I know that the fate of nations is in God’s hands.  He has given us the formula for success if we’re wise enough to take it.

“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.”

Corporately that’s it.  Individually I know I can swear, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the 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

Excerpt:

President Trump is the cheerleader for Making America Great Again Again.

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All That Really Matters September 14, 2020

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Back when I was an atheist and I believed this is all there is I was passionately interested in politics, economics, and current events.  I was committed to working for my side and to defeating the other guy.  Now that I’m a born-again child of God, a citizen of Heaven, and merely a pilgrim here I follow the ever-changing kaleidoscope of civic events more like a soap opera.   

Yes, I understand that within this bubble we know as the space-time continuum the ins and outs of who’s up and who’s down actually make a difference.  For example, it will have a profound impact on the United States whether we hand the government over to socialist revolutionaries or if we deliver it to capitalists.  However, in the grand scheme of things this makes about as much difference as which queen bee is laying eggs in which hive. 

I came to this level of a wokeness after years of Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with God.  Just as a caterpillar goes through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly, I believe humans go through much the same process.  Only instead of a two-stage process like a butterfly we go through three stages. 

First, we’re a fetus (in Latin fetus means little one) for approximately nine months.  Second, we’re born into this world and live here for as long as we do.  And finally, we pass from this world into eternity.  Let’s see: nine months, maybe 120 years, eternity.  Which stage do you think is the real deal?  The nine months prepare us for the 120 years and the 120 years prepare us for eternity.  Two of these stages are merely steppingstones for the main event.  Therefore, I contend that humans are in fact eternal beings who pass through two stages of development to become what we were created to be. 

All that really matters in this stage of our development is the direction we’re facing when we leave it.  Are we looking to God and putting our faith in Him?  Or are we looking to the world still grasping for all it has to offer?  Think of it this way: if when we’re a fetus inside our mother the umbilical cord is wrapped wrong or if there is a chromosomal problem we could enter life with some sort of handicap that we will spend the next 120 years dealing with.  In the same way if we enter eternity facing in the wrong direction, we will spend eternity dealing with the ramifications of that choice. 

From my personal Christian perspective here’s the 411 on how we turn from the world and face in the right direction. 

Everyone can see that this world is broken.  Evil runs rampant.  The bad are rewarded.  The good are crushed.  Sickness, poverty, and oppression are on display in every direction.  If God is good, why would He create such a horror show? 

The easy answer is He didn’t.  When He was done with creation He paused and looked around.  Surveying all that He had done and it was “Good.” 

Then man turned away from God, embraced Satan, and God cursed the world while at the same time promising that a Savior would come who would step on Satan’s head and deliver humanity from the grip of the evil we chose. 

The price was a sinless sacrifice, the good for the bad.  No human could do it because none of us has ever or could ever live a sinless life.  Therefore, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be incarnated as a human, live a sinless life, and then offer himself up as a sacrifice for us all.  After His sacrifice Jesus descended into hell and as an eternal being suffered the punishment for every sin that had ever or would ever be committed.  Then He was born-again in the very heart of darkness, triumphed over Satan, and God raised Him from the dead.  Jesus led all those who had died waiting for this deliverance out of Satan’s grasp and emerged on the third day with the keys to death and hell. 

After spending forty days instructing His disciples on how to carry the message of the best news ever to the world He ascended into heaven.  Ten days later the Holy Spirit arrived and filled the new believers so that from then on they were no longer earth bound humans. They were instead wall-to-wall God birthed children of the Most High on a pilgrimage here with a mission to share their experience to be witnesses

There it is in a nutshell.  The word Gospel means “Good News” in old English.  So, when you get filled to overflowing with all the bad news the world vomits up every day why not turn to the good news.   

Don’t worry about what you can’t do anything about.  Do you think if you missed one news broadcast or if you stopped watching them for ever it would make any difference to what is happening on the stage of the world or would the actors just keep reading their lines and playing their parts?  The bad news impacts us more than we can ever impact it. 

It’s like a joke making the rounds: 

An English asks an Amish fellow, “Why isn’t the COVID rampaging through your communities?”  The Amish fellow says without hesitation, “Because we don’t have any TVs.” 

The TVs, radios, magazines, and papers may carry the news, but only the Bible has the Good News.  It all comes down to choices: “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  In other words no matter what, we’re all going to serve somebody.  It will either be any one of the countless gods of this world or the one true God. 

How do you make that choice?  Is it by joining the right church?  Is it by attending the correct services, worshipping in a certain way, or following any of the endless rules the world invents to complicate and build a barrier between us and the God who wants us to join His family?  No!  Not only has He made it simple He has made it easy.  All we need to do is confess Jesus as the Lord of our life and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead and we will be saved.  That’s it.  Do that and we have joined God’s family.  Then we can pour ourselves into His Word so that it’s life-giving Spirit will fill us and recreate us.   

Forget about the bad news and study the Good News instead. Let’s “Eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive, latch on to the affirmative, and don’t with mess mister in between.” 

Or to put it another way, “Turn your 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.” 

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 

What’s All This “In” Christ Business About?  August 31, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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Sometimes we born-again believers talk in such a closed-circuit Christianese dialect that baby believers, old line denominational members, let alone your everyday garden variety sinner has no idea what we’re talking about.  We throw around words that carry massive meaning to us but sound like in-crowd jargon to those hearing them from the outside.

Propitiation, justification, and salvation are all words that trip up nonbelievers as they tiptoe around the cross.  Then there are phrases we think say it all that leave those we want to reach scratching their heads and standing off instead of kneeling down.  Phrases such as:  substitutionary death, pleading the blood, I’m born-again, I’m Filled with the Holy Ghost, and here’s one that throws them all, in Christ.

A dictionary will help with the words.  The phrases usually take a little time in fellowship with others to sort out and understand.  I can’t try to explain them all here, but I will try to address one of the most cryptic phrases to the uninitiated, in Christ.

“In Him.”  This is a major theme of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and of the whole New Testament.  It’s a central teaching and a foundational truth.  If for some reason this sounds strange to your ears or is a new concept study to show yourself approved.  We should follow the example of some early believers who upon hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.”

We can’t allow our development as believers to be the responsibility of anyone else.  Yes, it’s good and advisable to have teachers and mentors; however, we can’t rely on them alone.  In his letter to the Philippians Paul told them to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” and this is advice that we should also take to heart.

This major theme echoes through the New Testament: we are “in” Christ.  Thousands of years after it was first presented to humanity it continues to ricochet through this verse into our spirit.  The born-again believer resonates like a tuning fork to this life-giving message.  The message, “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,” floods down the corridors of time like an avalanche of hope.

The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ is the living parable of love for all to see.

The birth of Jesus set forth in scripture, is a graphic portrayal of prophecy fulfilled.  The Incarnation is the union of deity and humanity.  It was divine love’s invasion into the realm of human selfishness.  That which had been foretold for millennia finally arrived.  Or as the author of Hebrews tells us, “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.”

This invasion wasn’t by an army of angels though it could’ve been.  It wasn’t by raising up Israel to conquer the world and imposing belief in the One True God by force though that could’ve happened.  Instead this invasion took the form of a tiny, defenseless Baby born in a manger on the poor side of town.

His parents called Him Jesus and His name has filled hearts and souls of humanity with songs and praise ever since.  The love brought by God through this one birth has given hope to the defeated, healing to the sick, liberty to those in bondage, and salvation to all who confess Him as Lord and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead.

All this is based upon the finished work of Christ.  This finished work is the ultimate revelation of divine love.  Jesus gave His life freely in place of ours.  He voluntarily became sin in our place so that we could become the very righteousness of God.

And we become that righteousness when we claim our place as a part of the body of Christ, the church so that when we stand before God He doesn’t see our sins and our shortcomings, instead He sees the absolute righteousness of His own Son.  This is how we can stand before a holy God with no sense of shame, guilt, or inadequacy.

The New Testament describes this well, “The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one-part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one-part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance.  You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.”

And this is what we mean by being “in” Christ.  We have accepted our place as a member, or part of Christ’s mystical body: the church.  It is no longer we who live but Christ lives in us and through us.  And now that we know, let’s go forth and be all that God has called us to be, let’s allow Christ to live in us as we live in Him.  Let’s allow Him to reach through us and minister to a world in need.

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

 

 

 

How Can I Trust the Bible? August 24, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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Sometimes we try to define God’s words and actions too perfectly.  In our arrogance we think we can adequately describe exactly what God always means in all situations.  This easily can lead us into thinking our doctrines are God’s doctrines.  We act as if God is sitting on the throne studying our catechisms and judging by our standards.

When we do this, we’re trying to put God in a box.  The biggest problem with this is that when God decides to draw outside the lines, we run the risk of misidentifying a move of God as a heresy because it violates one of our rules.

It’s good to devote our efforts to grasping the meanings of God’s Word; however, we must always be aware that it’s possible to veer from seeking understanding to believing we have cornered the market on this valuable commodity.  We just can’t reduce the immensity of God into formulas.  In any equation we devise to represent God, His Word, or His actions the “X” of God is always undefined.

Eternity, infinity, and omnipresence are all terms we can define but we can never fully comprehend.  The reality of God, the only self-existent One is as far removed from our understanding as the operation of a supercomputer is from an amoeba.  Or as one of the prophets put it, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”

We must acknowledge that we can’t think our way to or through God’s truth.  Our human minds are fundamentally incapable of encompassing such immensities.  As the man who wrote most of the New Testament tells us, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Many unbelievers and sceptics try to cast aspersions on the Word of God by pointing out what they perceive as contradictions in the text.  When we’re reading or meditating in the Word if we encounter anything we feel is a contradiction don’t let it weaken your faith instead stand on faith. Instead of wavering do as one of the New Testament authors suggests, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.  For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

And don’t despair, don’t think I just can’t understand this.  Don’t think God has given us a puzzle instead of a revelation.  Just because we can never fully understand all of it does not mean we can’t understand any of it.  Just because we can’t use God’s Word to develop a spiritual unifying field theory for every person everywhere every time it doesn’t mean we can’t understand enough with God’s help to have a reliable guide for life.  The Bible itself addresses the ability of the born-again believer to embrace the revelation of God, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”

And for those who say, “The Bible has been translated so many times by so many people how can we know it’s the true unadulterated Word of God.”  Personally I believe that if the God of all creation went to all the trouble to send prophets and apostles over thousands of years of time to write down His Word to humanity and if after thousands of years of unbelievers trying unsuccessfully to burn and destroy that Word it has not only survived, it has thrived. I can believe His Word has ended up in my hands in a pure enough form for me to hear what He’s saying.

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

 

 

How Do I Get To Heaven? August 20, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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Many people believe they can find their own way to heaven.  They think they can figure it out on their own.  That’s sort of like trying to lift yourself up by your own bootstraps.  I’ve often offered a one-hundred-dollar bill to anyone who can do that.  I still have that hundred-dollar bill.

Some people think they’ll get to heaven by being a good enough person.  Some may even fool others into thinking they’ve accomplished it.  But in our heart-of-hearts we all know who we are and where we’re lacking in this department.

Some think they’ll have the “Christ” experience and transcend from the normal to the paranormal.  I once attended a church that started preaching this as doctrine.  Instead of rising into the heavenlies they descended into blatant sin and error calling that which was bad good and good bad.

Some think that belonging to the “Right” church, following the “Right” rules and the “Right” regulations will do the trick.  Others follow philosophy, psychology, or sociology, biology or some other “ology.”  Still others think that education will enlighten them to the point of revelation or evolution will grow them into the presence of God.  We can’t think our way to God.  He’s bigger than our mind can conceive or our intelligence can comprehend.

Then again, some don’t even believe in God.  Some think they can accept or reject Christ, ignore God and still end up with God when they die.  An old saying goes, “You don’t prepare for heaven by raising hell here on earth.”  Some think someone else is going to pray them into heaven.  And then there are those who think there are many paths to heaven.  Another old saying goes, “I know there is no Heaven and I pray there is no Hell.”

Some treat Jesus as just one of many avatars along with Buddha and Muhammed.  But when they do this, they call Jesus a liar and how could a liar be a reliable spiritual guide.  Because Jesus doesn’t mince words, He claims to be the only way to heaven, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

To understand this and to appropriate its power into our lives we need to take a leap of faith.  We need to confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead.   For as the passage continues, “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”   Those who reject the claims of Jesus say, “Show it to me and I’ll believe.”  However, the way it works is: believe and you will see.

These scoffers might want to check the company they keep.  When Christ hung on the cross paying the penalty for sin the Chief Priests, the Scribes, and the Pharisees laughed at him saying, “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”

Before we can stand on solid enough ground to take such a great leap of faith we need to arrive at certain realizations.

First, we must realize that God is a person.  By this I mean He is a personal God not just a “Force.”  Some believe that the mere idea of personhood when applied to God implies some sort of limitation and therefore should never be applied to what is supposed to be an omnipotent and omnipresent reality.

I think this belief arises because these people unknowingly agree with a statement by the ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras, “Man is the measure of all things.”  This is usually interpreted to mean that the individual human being, rather than a god or an unchanging moral law, is the ultimate source of value.  This belief is taught and ingrained throughout our modern Godless education system to the point that when most people graduate from secondary school this forms part of their subconscious foundation of so-called “Common Sense.”

Based on this erroneous belief people assume since our personalities are limited therefore, personality in and of itself is limited.  This, however, is wrong.  We are a flawed example.  God is the only perfect personality, and though He is endless in all ways we are but a pale reflection.

This realization of God’s personhood is vitally important.  Without this knowledge it’s impossible to be convinced of His utter supremacy.  If God is not a person how can we sin against Him?  And if instead of sinning against a person we are merely violating the rules of some system, that sounds like something we should be able to appeal.  If there’s no sin and we’re either working with the “Force” or against the” Force” we might ask, “Is there only one Force or are there multiple “Forces” out there?”   And if there are multiple “Forces” can we chose to be ruled by one that supports our lifestyle choices, so we don’t work against it?

This type of thinking easily becomes circular and leads to philosophical tail chasing.

When we acknowledge that God is a person we’re almost assuredly convicted of our sins.  We instinctively realize that there’s no way for us to measure up to the holiness of God.  We understand intuitively that there is a barrier created by our abject unworthiness and God’s all Holy presence.  Anyone who recognizes the vastness of the gulf between our sinfulness and God’s sinlessness sees that we need to be forgiven if we stand any chance of ever entering His divine presence.

Conversely, if we deny God’s personhood it’s easy to fall prey to the spirit-of-the-age and its apparently easy going, “I’m Okay You’re Okay” attitude.  Everything is beautiful.  Who needs forgiveness if there is no personal God and there is no sin?

The true message of Christian evangelism is to the sinner: the one who is conscious of God.  If there is no acknowledgement of God as a person as an individual separate reality the word of God will fall like seeds on the street that birds quickly snatch up and take away.

As a former atheist I can personally attest to the fact that unless and until we come to an acknowledgement of God as a personal reality there’s no way that we can be open to the Gospel.  To the sinner who faces his total inability to approach a Holy God the first and foremost message of the cross is, “You’re forgiven through His sacrifice and grace.”

And that’s how we get to Heaven.

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

 

 

Defending American History  July 27, 2020

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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Every revolution seeks to distort, tarnish, and destroy any sign of the positive accomplishments of the society they seek to replace.  During our own Revolution, our ancestors tore down statues of George III and melted them down to make bullets and cannons.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that during the current Democrat led revolt the military wings of the party, BLM and ANTIFA, seek to desecrate and destroy the monuments raised by generations of patriotic Americans celebrating our shared culture.

The first cases of this iconoclastic frenzy was aimed at heroes of the Confederacy.  The fact that they were slave owners is used as justification for their fall from the pedestal.  The same logic is applied to Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and others among our most prominent Founders and Framers.  Christopher Columbus is attacked for the crime of bringing Western Civilization to the Americas.  All of this has blazed across our screens.

Now they are coming for President Lincoln because though he was anti-slavery for his entire public career and even took a bullet in the head because he freed the slaves, he wasn’t pro-black enough for BLM.  And they have spread their attack to include General Grant who smashed the South and Teddy Roosevelt who built the Panama Canal and introduced America as a world power.  Where will it end?  It won’t until every vestige of the original American culture is eradicated, and statues of Marx, Field Marshal Cinque, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Malcolm X, and Nancy Pelosi fill every town square.  Make no mistake about it, this is not a crusade for social justice, this is a revolution to replace the old America with a new America.

While Democrat leaders in Washington and around the country cheered the rebels on as the next step in their attempt to reverse the election of 2016, Republican leaders mostly stood silent wringing their hands afraid to do anything for fear of being labeled racists.  You’d think by now they would know that whatever they do they’ll be labeled as racists by the Deep State, its media propaganda arm, and their black shirted bullyboys in the street.  In stark contrast President Trump has stepped into the breach.

Defining the situation and clearly describing the rebels our president said, “They’re tearing down statues, desecrating monuments, and purging dissenters. It’s not the behavior of a peaceful political movement; it’s the behavior of totalitarians and tyrants and people that don’t love our country.”  And clarifying his approach to justice in these cases of revolutionary vandalism by saying, “Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!”

In recent weeks we have seen rioters senselessly deface and destroy historical sites, monuments, and statues.

  • Rioters have defaced and torn down monuments and statues honoring some of the most important figures in our Nation’s storied history.
  • In Portland, mobs tore down statues of our Founding Fathers–George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
  • In San Francisco, rioters tore down a statue honoring Ulysses S. Grant.
  • There are even calls to remove statues of Abraham Lincoln in Boston and Washington, D.C.
  • A statue of Hans Christian Heg, who died fighting for the Union Army during the civil war, was torn down in Wisconsin.
  • These monuments memorialize the history we all share as Americans, and they deserve to be defended for future generations.

The George Floyd/1619 riots have now become the most destructive and expensive period of rebellion and mayhem since the Civil War.  Millions perhaps billions of dollars’ worth of property has been destroyed.  Thousands of businesses, many black owned, have been burned, looted, and closed ending the personal dreams of entrepreneurs and making their years of sacrifice and hard work fruitless.  If this lawlessness is allowed to continue it’s only a matter of time until America as we have known her is toppled from her pedestal along with Columbia and Lady Liberty.

However, we can praise God that President Trump is fulfilling his duty to defend the life, property, and rights of the American people.

  • President Trump will not tolerate the rampant violence and destruction that has occurred over the last 5 weeks.
  • Left-wing extremists are rioting, looting, and calling for the destruction of the United States system of government.
  • Through mob intimidation, these violent extremists are attempting to impose their ideology on the law-abiding citizens of this country.
  • Some State and local governments are failing their citizens by not distinguishing between peaceful protest and violent chaos.

Using the power of his office President Trump is not wringing his hands he is putting his hand to the plow and working to save our heritage from the ravenous wolves of revolution howling in the night.  Our President is taking action to defend our Nation’s historical monuments, statues, and memorials.

  • President Trump has signed an Executive Order that ensures that any person or group that destroys or vandalizes a monument, memorial, or statue is prosecuted to the fullest extent.
  • United States law authorizes a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment for the willful injury of Federal property.
  • The Executive Order also directs that those who incite violence and illegal activity are prosecuted to the fullest extent under the law.
  • State and local law enforcement agencies that fail to protect monuments, memorials, and statues will be subject to the withholding of Federal support.
  • The Attorney General will take all appropriate action against individuals and organizations found to have participated in unlawful acts—related to rioting and the destruction of Federal property.
  • The Federal Government will ensure personnel are available across the Nation to assist with the protection of Federal monuments, memorials, statues, and property.

As his actions begin to take effect the President tweeted, “These arsonists, anarchists, looters, and agitators have been largely stopped.  I am doing what is necessary to keep our communities safe and these people will be brought to Justice!”

Is America perfect?  No there’s nothing on this earth that’s perfect except for the love of God in and through Jesus Christ.  But even when we paint the picture, warts and all, America is still the last best hope of humanity for freedom.  Have we made mistakes, committed sins, and fallen short of God’s command to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves?  Of course, we have.  However, America is still the most noble experiment in self-rule and liberty in world history.

Now is the time for all good citizens to come to the defense of their country.  We’re being assaulted from within.  The time to stand up for what we believe is here.  If we don’t stand for something, we’ll fall for anything.

Keep the Faith.  Keep the Peace.  We shall overcome.

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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