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Shadows Dancing On A Wall August 20, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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The idea that everything came out of nothing is an assault upon reason.  Since creation is often presented this way as a straw-man argument by the opponents of faith, many thinking people fall for this siren song of secularism.   

But that isn’t what the Bible presents.  In the beginning, in Genesis we’re told that God called all things in this physical reality into being out of nothing physical.  This reality did not exist before God willed it to be here.  God said, “Let there be,” and there is.   

But this doesn’t mean that everything came out of nothing. In the letter to the Hebrews Paul put it this way, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”   It was God’s word and His faith in His word that created everything.  And it’s God’s faith that sustains all that we see. 

Ponder for a moment the incredibly complex relationship between the physical reality and our perception of it.  The computer screen you’re reading this article on is made up of more empty space than matter.  As is the table or desk it’s sitting on.  As are you and I.  From the dark matter and dark energy that scientists theorize makes up the vast majority of the Space-time continuum to the sub-atomic world which goes as far in as the stellar expanse goes out this physical reality is actually tiny bits of matter held together by invisible forces.   

Accepting ourselves as the center of the universe because that’s the only point of observation each of us has we look at our macro view of the micro world and see solid things and we accept that this is the totality of reality.  However, that’s only how we perceive things.  That’s not what they really are.  All matter is enveloped in emptiness powered by energy and the fabric of creation is sustained by faith. 

Long before modern science revealed the mirage of solid matter or the inability of perception to account for an expanding universe without a preponderance of dark everything, one of the greatest of secular thinkers aptly described the shifting sands upon which our understanding rests. 

In his book The Republic Plato used the allegory of the cave to explain the relationship between perception and reality.  His story goes like this; prisoners are chained in a cave, only able to look forward at the shadows on the wall. The shadows they see are real to them, but in reality the shadows are just the shadows of real objects in the room and shadows of the prisoners themselves being projected on the cave wall from a fire behind them.  The sounds they hear and images they see are real to them, even though they are unaware of the true source.  The allegory of the cave is a theory put forward by Plato, concerning human perception. Plato claimed that knowledge gained through the senses is no more than opinion and that, in order to have real knowledge, we must gain it through philosophical reasoning. 

Thus even those who knew nothing of God could see that what we see is not all there is and that what we do see is more a representation of what it is than what it appears to be.  However, the wisdom of the wise is foolishness to God and the wisdom of God is foolishness to the wise. 

The problem with this thinking past the shadows is that we can’t reason our way to God.  He’s outside the bounds of our reality, the source and summit of that reality and therefore, beyond anything we can think or imagine.  If He didn’t reveal Himself we could no more reason what He’s like than an ant could reason its way to man. 

God used an allegory to teach the Israelites about the death-defeating life-giving nature of the Messiah’s mission.   

Since the days when the Jews were slaves in Egypt the sacrifice of the Passover Lamb has been the symbol and the purchase of redemption.   Originally Moses ordered the Jews to sacrifice the Passover Lamb and then apply the blood to the door posts of their homes.  Seeing the blood of the sacrifice the Angel of Death passed over God’s chosen people.  For more than a thousand years the Jews sacrificed the Passover Lamb every year to cover their sins never knowing this was a shadow of things to come.  

Christ’s ministry was first announced to a fallen world when John the Baptist said, “Behold the lamb that takes away the sins of the world.”  And from that moment on His life brought the true form of reality out of the shadow. 

Following the command of Moses as interpreted by the elders every year each Jewish family chose a lamb and took it into their home to live with the family for five days.  During this time they examined the lamb for blemishes.  Only after it was found to be perfect could it become the Passover Lamb.  Then the lamb was sacrificed and the blood poured out on the altar of God to cover the sins of the people. 

Jesus, the Lamb of God entered Jerusalem on the same day that the lambs entered the homes of the Jews.  For five days He was examined by the Chief Priests, the Scribes, and the Pharisees.  After He was found to be without guilt they were forced to bring in false witnesses.  Than on the fifth day; the Day of Preparation just as the Jews were sacrificing the Passover Lamb the light of revelation pierced the darkness of a fallen world as thousand year old shadows took on flesh and blood for when Christ was nailed to the cross the shadow became real. 

At the time of Christ’s death and resurrection even His Apostles didn’t understand what it was all about.  They scattered and hid fearing they would be the next to go.  It was only after they were filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost that they boldly proclaimed the Gospel.  It was only then that they finally grasped that Jesus came to fulfill the scriptures, to make the shadows real. 

We may ask ourselves, “How did they miss it?”  But just as the proof is in the pudding so faith is in the living.  Do we live consistently in a way that reveals our grasp of God’s revelation?  Or do we judge our acceptance with God by how well we’re doing?  Do we live each day in the full knowledge that we’ve become eternally acceptable to God only by our faith in Christ?  Our ability to walk boldly into our Daddy’s throne room must never be measured by how good we are.  If it is we can never enter.   

People say that hind sight is 20/20.  Yet we all know those who fail to learn the lessons of History are doomed to repeat it, and all around us we watch as History repeats itself over and over.  We who’ve confessed Jesus as Lord and who believe in our heart God raised Him from the dead have the benefit of revelation.  We’re given insight into the shadows which still lie over this vale of tears like a fog.  We can see the forms which to those without Christ are nothing more than shadows dancing on the wall of a cave. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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 Works For US August 13, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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While the Theater of the Absurd that is the modern American political scene tries to turn the “swing and a miss” collusion conspiracy into a do-over in the best Congress money can buy, President Donald Trump continues to go quietly about his business of making America great again.  

One year ago this past July President Trump inaugurated the Pledge to America’s Workers.  This is a program lead by his daughter and Advisor to the President, Ivanka.  As the number of job openings soars and the unemployment rate plummets to a near-50-year low, American wages, after hitting a decade long plateau, are starting to rise.  That’s great news.  But it comes with a daunting challenge.   With the tightening labor market American companies are struggling to find enough workers with the right skill sets to fill the open jobs. 

And that’s where the Pledge to America’s Workers comes in.  Last summer, President Trump inaugurated a new approach in an effort to bring more Americans off welfare rolls and unemployment.  He wants to see them reintegrated into the labor force.  To do this the President issued a challenge for businesses.  He asked them to actively create more opportunities for meaningful career training.  He asked that these new opportunities be available for students and workers of all ages. 

At a recent meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House to mark the first anniversary of the program Ivanka Trump said “Over the last year, more than 300 businesses and organizations, large and small, have signed our Pledge to America’s Workers, and today we celebrate reaching over 12 million pledges.”  Also at this meeting the National Association of Manufacturers announced they’ll become the latest organization to meet the President’s challenge.  The members of the Association include American manufacturing giants such as Caterpillar and Boeing.  With this addition another 1.2 million blue-collar workers will have a chance to enhance their skills under President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers initiative. 

Pointing to the expanding program and what it is doing to help every American benefit from the expanding economic boom Ms. Trump said, “Every single pledge is a commitment to the promise of an individual and his or her potential. We are changing the conversation on workforce development, so we can prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.” 

Thanks to President Trump for 12+ million commitments for meaningful career training and counting!  He’s working for US. 

Let’s talk about what’s right with America. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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 

 

 

Lead Me Not Into Temptation August 8, 2019

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This line from the model prayer Jesus taught us something the Apostle James also points out, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God;’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.”  Or, as it says in the Message, “Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, ‘God is trying to trip me up.’ God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil comes from us and only us. We have no one to blame but the leering, seducing flare-up of our own lust.”

It’s us and only us who choose to sin, to turn our backs on the good and embrace evil.  “Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.”

Just like everyone else who’s wandered this earth since the fall of man I struggle with temptation.  It matters little that I know these struggles come from my own lust.  I still have a battle on my hands.  And just like everyone else I can stand strong against most temptations but I do have those sins which so easily ensnare me in their web of momentary pleasure and future guilt.  These are the things I struggle with.  Anyone who’s honest with themselves will admit they have the same situation.

Recently after a service I had a man asked for counsel about this very thing.  All I could do is all I can ever do; share my witness.

When I’m faced with the temptation to fall into my pet sins, which I face on a daily basis, I admit I’m not strong enough to resist the temptation.  These sins have years, decades even of practice in enticing me to wander from God’s path of obedience.  My own lusts have their spiritual hands on all the right levers to pull me away.  How can I resist?  Who’ll save me from myself?

Christ has come to set us free and when He sets us free we’re free indeed.  I know that’s what the word says.  But how do I get in on all this freedom when I’ve spent so much of my life as a willing slave to these sins?

The first step is to admit my inability to resist the sin.  And to realize that these thorns in my flesh are there to protect me from pride and to shape me into what the Lord intends me to be.  It’s the act of surrender, of admitting my inability to resist that makes a way.  You see when I get to the end of my rope if I give up my struggle and ask Jesus to use His strength to resist the temptation for me I can walk unscathed through the fires of my lust.  When I’m weak then I’m strong because Christ’s strength is perfected in weakness.

We’ll never be tempted by more than we can endure and in every temptation there’s a way of escape.  This is one of the many promises we can hang on to when we face our pet sins across the gulf of temptation.  Think of how the Lord himself resisted temptation in the wilderness.  He used the Word of God to rebuke Satan.

In the same way we need to have the Word of God in us if we want to have the strength to admit our weakness so we can find His strength.

Walking with God can sound and feel like walking backwards to anyone steeped in the wisdom of the world.  For the wisdom of God is foolishness to the wise of this world.  Just as the weakness of a sinner becomes the strength of the saint as hand in hand with the Man who stilled the sea we give it all to Jesus so He can give it back to us.

Those who seek to keep their lives lose them and those who give their lives away keep them for all eternity.

So how do we resist temptation?  We trust Jesus to do it for us since every sin was paid for at the cross.  Accept Him as your Lord and Savior.  Believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead.  And you will be saved.  That isn’t pie in the sky.  That isn’t a hollow promise for the great by-an-by.  That is a constant reality for the here and now.

So when those pesky old sins reach up and try to drag us down remember we aren’t out here all alone.  Once we’ve given ourselves to God in and through Jesus it’s no longer just us facing these struggles it’s Christ within us the hope of Glory.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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 Two Witnesses Who Helped Change My Life July 30, 2019

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If it’s my way or the high way I choose the High Way; God’s way.  You see I tried my way and it led to depression, despair, and loneliness.  The best I could figure out is if this is all there is let’s roll out the barrels and have a party.  My life before Christ was like the meaningless forever party at The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe in Douglas Adam’s iconic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  The band plays on, the people careen through life in a mad dash to nowhere, everyone is laughing, smiling, miserable, and heading toward oblivion. 

In the doomed life without Christ people mistake happiness and laughter for joy, and waste their lives trying to tickle themselves to death. 

So after thirty wasted years sacrificed on an altar of senseless, self-indulgent, self-destructive tickling I chose the High Way.  I chose to make Jesus the Lord of my life because I believe in my heart God has raised Him from the dead.  I came to believe Jesus offered Himself up as a sinless sacrifice to pay the price of not just my sin but of everyone’s sin.  I came to understand that the wall of separation caused by sin between humanity and God was broken down and we can all be united with Him.  I embraced the truth that we can become His children.  We no longer are strangers but members of His family welcome to walk boldly into our Daddy’s throne room. 

Have you ever felt as if there’s no hope?  Don’t be fooled by the god of this world. There is hope.  Have you ever felt like you were too far gone, too wrong to ever be right again?  Don’t be fooled by the confusing systems of laws that litter this world, or by gnawing feelings of guilt.  We can be right with God.   

Christ told us to take His light to the world and in our finite wisdom we constantly attempt to build lamps.  They may provide light but it’s not His light.  The bewildering mazes of religious laws are paths built by men.  The feelings of guilt that inform us we have a consciousness of sin are themselves pinpricks and poundings delivered by God to prod us into the way, His way, the High Way.  They don’t mean we’re lost forever.  It’s just the opposite.  They mean God hasn’t given up on us yet.   

And if God hasn’t given up on us why should we give up on God? 

Happiness can be affected by what we had for dinner last night.  Did it taste good?  Did it sit well or did it give us indigestion?  Happiness can be impacted by whether or not we’re rich or poor, sick or healthy or any combination of things that are here today and gone tomorrow.  Laughter can be a mask to hide the tears. 

But joy is something else again.  Joy is rooted in our relationship with God, and since the world didn’t give it to us the world can’t take it away.  That’s why it’s called the joy that passes all understanding.   

This God given joy is a powerful life changing thing. 

Seeing this joy in action when I was an unbeliever is one of the things that eventually convinced me the Bible was true, salvation was real, and I could have it if I wanted it. 

When I was at the depth of my unbelief, calling myself an atheist and a hater of all things godly I witnessed people live through the birth of a very special child.  One whose physical challenges led to a short life among us but a life having a major impact on at least one life I know of: mine.  His parents loved that child.  They praised God for that child.  They gave all they had to care for that child.  And when that child passed leaving them physically, emotionally, and financially drained they held a celebration to praise God for blessing them in such a great way. 

I can remember thinking they were crazy.  I shook my head and wondered how anyone could be so different from everyone else I’d ever known.  I didn’t know it at the time but I was a witness to people living out the reality of a passage from the book of Job who was the greatest of all the people of the East.   

After Job lost everything; his home, his children, and all his wealth he was struck with painful boils from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head.  While sitting in the midst of the ashes of his life he took a broken piece of pottery to scrape off the scabs his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” which is what the world was screaming at the two followers of Christ with their family disrupted, their finances destroyed, and their child dead.  These born-again believers said with their actions to the world what Job replied to his wife, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks.  Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” 

Years later as I reflected upon whether or not it was possible to live for God in a fallen world the memory of those two saints, Judy and Harry, praising God for blessings in the middle of what the fallen world saw as a curse I knew it was possible.  Now after forty years of walking with my hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the sea I know it from personal experience. 

Choose God and accept His gift of salvation not for what we’ve done but because of what Jesus did.  He paid the price for our lifetime membership in the family of God, but we still may have to pay some dues down here.  If we trust in Him when the wind and the waves smash against us we’ll stand like a house built on a rock.  If we choose to give our lives to God in Jesus we get them back again better and brighter than we could ever imagine.  If we instead try to keep our lives for ourselves we lose everything, and when the wind and the waves smash against us we’ll crumble like a house built upon the sand. 

We never know who’s watching.  We never know what someone else may see.  So let’s quit tickling ourselves to death, find the joy of the Lord which is our strength and let the joy, joy, joy of the Lord down in our souls and watch our lives become the witness He’s called us to be. 

Thank you Judy and Harry for being two witnesses who helped change my life.  I praise God for you both, and I love you with the love of the Lord. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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’ve All Had an Apple Out of That Sack July 16, 2019

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When I first gave my life to Christ I felt so incredibly clean, so new, and fresh it was truly like being born-again.  My old life was washed away and I was a babe in Christ. 

Then as I devoured His Word reading, meditating, and praying it into the very fabric of my life it changed me even more.  I was miraculously healed of alcoholism.  Lifetime habits of chemical abuse and drug addiction were washed away in the life-giving flood of Christ’s love. 

I was saved reading and believing the Gospels.  The New Testament starts with the birth of Jesus.  It tells the whole story of His sinless life.  It reveals His sacrificial death.  And it imparts life changing reality of His life giving resurrection and ascension into heaven.  But it doesn’t end there. 

After the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John the New Testament continues with the story of the spreading of the sin shattering story of Jesus from Jerusalem to Rome in the Acts of the Apostles a God breathed History that is truly His Story.    

Secular History tells us that the few followers of Jesus shared the good news of freedom from the curse of sin, the empowerment of holiness, and the joy of salvation and that this message of hope spread like wildfire.  It couldn’t be contained by persecution.  It couldn’t be squelched by religion.  Yes, this secular History tells us that this obscure faith movement birthed in an out-of-the-way corner of a vast empire marched from person-to-person and within 300 years became the official religion of Caesar.   

Secular History can tell us what happened; however, it takes the New Testament to tell us why.  We’ve all heard it said that the Gospel is good news.  As one popular song tells us today, “It’s not good news.  It’s the best news ever.” 

In the beginning, back in the garden, man chose not to obey God but instead to follow his own lusts and desires chasing into a path that has forever led us away from God.  We can blame Satan who the Bible tells us tempted Eve into disobedience but it was Adam whose willful choice to follow his own desire to be with his wife instead of with God that crossed the threshold and saw a barrier of sin separate us from our sinless God.  There was no way back.  There was no way to wash the stain from our spirit.  We were no longer united with our creator we were instead united with the father of lies. 

Now here’s the why: God in His unsearchable love came Himself in the form of Jesus born of a woman to live a sinless life that He willingly sacrificed to pay the price.  Now anyone who will confess Jesus as the Lord, the leader, the master of their life and who believes that God raised Jesus from the dead is forgiven of all sin and re-united with God.  That’s it.  That’s the best news ever. 

I was changed by systematic and prolonged study of the Epistles: the letters of the first followers of Jesus to those who believed through their ministry.   

After this saturated my life and I began taking my first steps into a world which was now the Kingdom of God I began my study of the Old Testament.  

When I read the story of Jacob and Esau, the children of Isaac and the twin sons of Abraham that expands the promise of God to send a Savior which is the essence of the entire Old Testament, I came across the line, “I loved Jacob and hated Esau.”  This was a puzzle.  Because when you read about these two brothers it soon becomes evident that Jacob was a lying, cheating, deceiving, schemer and Esau was a nice guy who obeyed his parents and seemed to live a godly life.  Why would God choose Jacob over Esau? 

Esau esteemed his birthright, which was the promise of God flowing into its third generation so lightly he was willing to trade his place as the eldest child and heir for one single bowl of stew.  He threw away eternal blessing for instant gratification. 

Seeing this I thought what a fool Esau was.  How lacking in faith and fortitude it was no wonder God chose Jacob to be the child of promise, the heir whose bloodline would one day produce Jesus. 

It was only as the years passed as I began to live out my own version of the Book of Judges I stumbled and fell.  God renewed me over and over.  It was then that I came to realize how easy it is for the followers of Christ to find themselves in the path of easy going Esau instead of climbing the ladder of faith with Jacob. 

We may not trade our eternal inheritance for a bowl of stew but how many of us choose the things of this world over the things of God?  How easy it is to find ourselves drowning in diversions instead of immersed in the Word?   Majoring on minors instead of dedicated to doing the works God has called us to do.  Perhaps we should ask ourselves, “Are we consumed by the news or devouring the Word?”  “Are we serving ourselves at the all-you-can-eat buffet of modern culture or are we helping to seat others at the wedding feast of the King?” 

When I first read the Book of Judges and how the Israelites of old after generations of miracles culminating in finding the promised land turned away from God, fell under the heel of oppressors, begged for deliverance, and then after God delivered them forgot about God and wandered off again, and again, and again I felt if I’d been God I would’ve written them off and started over.  In the first flush of my regenerated life of joy I couldn’t understand how God could just keep kissing the hand that abused Him. 

In time my own book of judges taught me that it’s God’s love that keeps Him constantly ready to accept us back.  I also learned that I was really happy that He never gave up on those Israelites and that He nave gives up on me. 

Esau gave away an eternal promise for something that looked good, smelled good, and tasted good.  But it was also something that perished with the using.  He was weak, he was a fool, and we’ve all had an apple out of that sack. 

If you’ve wandered off into the dead-end trails of self-indulgence in the trackless waste which is the world as I have time after time don’t despair.  We shouldn’t give up on ourselves because God will never give up on us.  As many times as we turn away from the world to face God He’s there ever ready and eager to take us back.  Or as a current song tells us, “You can never fall too hard, so fast, so far that you can’t get back when you’re lost.  Where you are is never too late, so bad, so much that you can’t change who you are.  You can change who you are.” 

How do we change who we are?  We Let Jesus in and He does all the remodeling for us.  That’s that best news ever you’ve been hearing about. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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 

 

 

 

Give Peace a Chance June 25, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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Since the oil embargo of the 1970s we’ve been told by our leaders that energy independence would free us from the never-ending cycle of Mideast wars.  Today after two and a half years of Trump’s “Drill-Baby-Drill” policies we’ve unshackled our vast resources from the climate worshiping Eco-fanatics.  And what is the result?   We’ve not only achieved energy independence we’ve become a net exporter of energy.

Yet today America is still embroiled in several wars in the Mideast.  Our troops are bogged down in the Forever War in Afghanistan.  Everyone in the world knows that sooner or later we’ll leave and the next day the Taliban rolls into Kabul as our puppets fly 747s filled with cash to Switzerland.   We still have troops in Iraq doing who knows what.  Our forces still haven’t left Syria even after the President ordered them to return home.  We provide logistical and moral support for Saudi Arabia’s devastation of Yemen.  And we have major assets of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines stationed in Qatar.

And day-by-day we ratchet up the pressure on Iran.  We’re strangling them with economic sanctions which are themselves acts of war.  We’ve cut them off from exporting oil, the life-blood of their economy, saying that anyone who buys their oil will no longer be able to do business with us.  As the world’s largest economy that shuts off the spigot and chokes the Iranian economy to near asphyxiation levels.

Which brings up the question, how far can you push someone until they push back?   And if they finally push back can we actually call that push back unprovoked aggressive action?  It was our America’s oil embargo against Japan the produced FDR’s unprovoked attack on Pearl Harbor.

Using bluster, bluff, and brinksmanship are all good negotiating tactics when it comes to making vast real estate deals.  And they can also be useful in diplomacy but they can also lead to miscalculations written in blood, treasure, and tears.

Osama Bin Laden’s secret strategy was to prod America into following the USSR into bankruptcy through endless unwinnable war in the Mideast.  This succeeded in sinking the presidency of George II and giving us the eight year Obama debacle.  We’re still bleeding and paying as the Forever War drags on.  Trump turned the heat down from a boil to a simmer but we’re still firmly seated on the burner.  Now the Chinese have adopted the death by a thousand cuts strategy leading us to bankrupt ourselves in the Forever Wars of Shia versus Sunni.

And what of the push back provocations nudging us to cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war against a foe four times the size of Iraq with forty-three million more people.

The circumstances of these so-called clear cut provocations are murky at best.  Look at the recent downing of a drone by Iran.  They claimed the drone was in Iranian airspace.  We claimed it was over international waters.  Yet there are no international waters in the Straits of Hormuz.  The accepted territorial water of all countries extends 12 miles from their shore.  The straight is 21 miles wide and thus straddled between the territorial waters of Iran and Oman.  This alone should be enough to make the issue worthy of debate.

As always Pat Buchanan, the Godfather of Paleoconservatism in a recent article summed up the situation perfectly regarding the two disputes we have with Iran; nuclear weapons and supporting terrorism.

Monday, the president tweeted: “The U.S. request for Iran is very simple — No Nuclear Weapons and No Further Sponsoring of Terror!”

But Iran has no nuclear weapons, has never had nuclear weapons, and has never even produced bomb-grade uranium.

According to our own intelligence agencies in 2007 and 2011, Tehran did not even have a nuclear weapons program.

Under the 2015 nuclear deal, the JCPOA, the only way Iran could have a nuclear weapons program would be in secret, outside its known nuclear facilities, all of which are under constant U.N. inspection.

Where is the evidence that any such secret program exists?

And if it does, why does America not tell the world where Iran’s secret nuclear facilities are located and demand immediate inspections?

And …

“No further sponsoring of terror,” Trump says.

But what does that mean?

As the major Shiite power in a Middle East divided between Sunni and Shiite, Iran backs the Houthi rebels in Yemen’s civil war, Shiite Hezbollah in Lebanon, Alawite Bashar Assad in Syria, and the Shiite militias in Iraq who helped us stop ISIS’s drive to Baghdad.

Why should we go to war to ensure the energy resources needed by Japan and Europe?  Let them secure their own national interests.

War doesn’t produce prosperity.  It impoverishes those who worship at the altar of Mars.

The unprecedented prosperity flowing from the Trump program of encouraging entrepreneurship and cutting regulations is turning the 2020 election into a choice between Keep America Great and Make America Miserable Again.  A stark choice between capitalist can do-ism and socialist cradle-to-grave do for me-ism.

Peace and prosperity is the formula for four more years regardless of the media megaphone and their progressive lackeys’ witch hunts and state persecutions.

However, a war with body bags arriving and resources evaporating would inevitably birth an anti-war movement trying to recapture the left’s glory days of Vietnam.  The plummeting poll numbers would smell like blood in the water to the well-financed impeach now industry.

Mr. President don’t be lured into a war that will be your war.  It will be the ruin if not the end of your presidency.  How will it benefit Americans?  How will it make America great again?  Pull out of the Mideast.  Use the troops and resources to gain control of our own borders and let the enemies of our enemies devour each other.  Confound the disloyal opposition and the Never-Trumper fellow-travelers with the shimmering success of your policies.

Or as John Lennon said in long years past, “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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

 

 

 

Does Any of This Make Any Sense? June 18, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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Looking at the world around us it’s easy to find ourselves asking this question.  When we see the suffering, the depression, the poverty, and the horror of everyday life for so many it’s hard not to see the nightmare reality of this world as a curse.

That’s a good place to start searching for the meaning in it all because it is a curse.

You see when God created the world He created it as a good thing, a wondrous, and beautiful thing.  Here’s the rub; actions have consequences.

I’ve always thought if I ever found a perfect church I’d spoil it by joining because I’m not perfect.  Most of us mature enough in life to realize we aren’t quite what we could or should be.  Some people never attain this level of self-awareness and we judge them to suffer from a type of psychological problem known as narcissism.  A central aspect of narcissism is grandiosity. That is, narcissists tend to think highly of themselves. In particular, they tend to have a positive view of themselves compared to other people.

Most of us don’t suffer from this malady.  It is more often some form of feeling we aren’t good enough that plagues us.  Those who stumble out of a dysfunctional family are all too often familiar with this one.

Whatever brand of psychobabble seeps through our lives working itself out in hubris and braggadocio or anxiety and self-doubt it doesn’t take a genius to figure out this world is messed up.  Neither is it too complicated for the least perceptive among us to discern.  All too often what the world calls good is bad and what the world calls bad is good.  This alone is enough to make us see the fractured carnival mirror reflection of justice that permeates our reality.  Add to this our personal experiences and anyone who thinks we’ve found ourselves in a bed of roses may be fooling themselves but they aren’t fooling anyone else.

Anyone who can walk through this vale of tears with no faith is a better man then I Gunga Din.

I wasn’t able to do it.  I made it till I was thirty years old and the meaninglessness of it all was on the verge of driving me to suicide.  I kept coming back to if that’s all there is, my friends then let’s keep dancing let’s break out the booze and have a ball if that’s all there is.  However, I found living at the perpetual party at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe was not very uplifting and after a while I couldn’t even pretend it was fun.  How anyone can stagger through all this with no hope of anything beyond this is beyond me.

I can only pray that if they ever come to the end of themselves they will look to God.  That’s what I did and I was surprised to find that God was looking at me.

‘Why is the world so messed up?  Because God made man His viceroy in this creation and instead of listening to God and doing things His way we listened to Satan and gave the whole shooting match away. The story is there for us in Genesis and because of that decision God laid a curse on the whole deal.

But He also gave us a promise at the same time that He would send a Savior.  Jesus is that Savior.  The penalty for disobeying God is eternal separation from God.  The only way back is to live a perfect life which no one can do.  So God became a human, lived a perfect life, and then died for the sins He never committed as a substitute for us.

In doing this He defeated sin, death, and the Devil.  He also opened the way for all of us to get in on the action.  All we have to do is accept Jesus as our leader in life and believe that God raised Him from the dead and that’s it.  The whole deal is reversed and we are once welcomed home.  So let’s run like the prodigal to greet the Father who has waited for us, who greets us like the like lost child we are.

So does any of this make any sense?  It does.  As a matter of fact it makes perfect sense.

You see no matter how messed up it is if we will accept God’s offer, if we will step past the end of ourselves and into His waiting arms the veil will fall from our eyes and we will see this world for what it is: an incubator for the children of God.

It’s not a matter of seeing and then believing instead it’s a case of believing so you can see.

The Bible lays all this out in great detail.  Anyone who’s interested can contact me for a guided tour.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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

 

 

An Arrow Aimed at America’s Heartland June 4, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Politics, Politiocal Philosophy, Uncategorized.
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Are you ready to get down into the weeds and look at a current attack on our Federal System through the lenses of American Constitutional History to gain an understanding of something which is nothing less than an arrow aimed at America’s Heartland? 

This is a wakeup call to citizens of Middle America of a plot to strip us of our electoral importance by the entrenched elites of the Deep State. 

Recently, Nevada became the 15th state to pass a measure granting its Electoral College votes to the candidate winning the nationwide popular vote regardless of how the citizens of their own State voted. 

This movement is being led by an organization called National Popular Vote.  The founders of the 501(c)(4) Are election law expert and attorney Barry Fadem and John Kaza (co-inventor of the scratch off lottery ticket).  

Fadem and Kaza both have impressive careers filled with professional achievement.  However, it’s easy for anyone with even a smattering of knowledge of civics to discount their efforts by assuming though they may be intelligent and accomplished they don’t know much about how our government is designed to work. 

In reality the exact opposite might be the case.  These two and their organization aim to disrupt the balance between the States and have intentionally launched this arrow aimed at America’s Heartland. 

Their objective is to influence a group of States whose electoral votes total 270, which is the number needed to win the presidency, into an alliance binding them to follow a majority vote attainable by a combination of New York, New England, and the Left Coast without regard to how the citizens of the States voted. 

During the Constitutional Convention the Framers vigorously debated how the government they were designing should operate.  When looking at the election of the chief executive they rejected direct democracy because they believed it was too prone to result in a majority that would act as a tyrant. 

Looking back across time this collection of largely homeschooled patriots drew upon their knowledge of history and philosophy.  Specifically they looked to the writings of Plato who wrote in the Republic that the people or the demos, as they were called in Greek could not be trusted because they would inevitably vote for whoever promised to meet their desires of the moment even if that meant taking from others or from the national treasury.  In other words they would vote for a Santa Clause over a Washington or a Jefferson.  A lesson well learned and applied by the pitiful politicians promising paradise who make up the best Congress money can buy.    

Plato thought the majority would lack the knowledge and wisdom to make sound choices.  Of course he didn’t know about our enlightened American education system that spends more time indoctrinating the young skulls full of mush about Al Gore’s Climate hoax religion than it does about the founding of this country.  A federally controlled union infected system spends more energy turning our children into good little socialist than teaching them that capitalism has raised more people out of poverty than any other system ever devised. 

Instead of echoing the platitudes of Comrade Sanders and AOC as if they had any chance of working in the real world our government indoctrinators could teach about how the Connecticut Compromise led to the structure of our bicameral legislature and the executive branch.  They could teach that the electoral college was created to prevent the United States from becoming a place where the majority subjugated the minority. 

Hamilton and Madison, two of the key strategists in devising our government focused on factions or combinations of likeminded people who work together to advance their own interests.  Mainly they spoke of majorities and minorities.  Madison especially thought that government must be structured in such a way as to fragment the power of the majority so that it could not become tyrannical. 

When you read Federalist 9 (Hamilton), Federalist10, and Federalist 51 (Madison), these deep thinking political theorists identified three key elements they felt existed to help give the new United States a chance for success: its population size, geographic size, and the differing interests of the independent States.  Back in those days before smartphones, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and 24-hour cable news, these factors made it difficult if not impossible for minority factions to combine into a coalition large enough to do any real damage to our system.  But today with near instantaneous communication people can be rallied quickly which means emotions can easily out run reflection 

In America today intolerant minority factions can be whipped up into tyrannical majorities in a way the Framers never imagined.  At the very time in our history when we are more vulnerable than ever to manipulated majority rule the National Popular Vote movement wants us to embrace direct democracy at the presidential level. 

The Framers designed a system of government limited in scope and shackled by the Constitution.  A system designed to do little as opposed to doing too much.  They attempted to build a system based on the nature of man.  A system of divided power able to control humanity’s less desirable tendencies.   

As Madison said in Federalist #51, “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” 

This identifies the basic problem perfectly.  We aren’t angels.   

Because of this we need controls designed to prevent unfettered majority dominance.  The Electoral College is the tool given to us by the Framers to make sure all of the States have a voice that is heard.  However, if enough States adopt the National Popular Vote this safeguard will be neutralized, not through amending the Constitution but instead by doing an end-run around it.  If this happens we’ll take a long step towards the dystopian vision our Framers sought to avoid: the tyranny of the majority. 

One question I have is, “How do these political manipulators convince people to vote to make their future votes irrelevant?”  To paraphrase Lincoln, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.  But you can probably fool enough people to convince a majority to vote themselves onto the sidelines of History.”  If this arrow finds its mark a bicoastal electoral juggernaut will trample the voice of the Heartland into the dust of History. 

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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 

 

 

 

Marley’s Chains May 29, 2019

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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To paraphrase scripture as presented in the Message we see that not only has the Church become Israel many have become spies only pretending to be Christians, who slipped in to find out just how free true Christians are who seek to pervert the freedom from religious legalism Christ gives us.  They want to build their own kingdoms and feather their own nests by bringing others into the same religious bondage they drag around like Marley’s chains through a life that reeks of the grave.

Now the paraphrase of Romans 2:17-29:

If you’re brought up Christian, don’t assume that you can lean back in the arms of your religion and take it easy, feeling smug because you’re an insider to God’s revelation, a connoisseur of the best things of God, informed on the latest doctrines! I have a special word of caution for you who are sure that you have it all together yourselves and, because you know God’s revealed Word inside and out, feel qualified to guide others through their blind alleys and dark nights and confused emotions to God. While you are guiding others, who is going to guide you? I’m quite serious. While preaching “Don’t steal!” are you going to rob people blind? Who would suspect you?  It is the same with adultery.  And it is the same with idolatry. You can get by with almost anything if you front it with eloquent talk about God and his law. The line from Scripture, “It’s because of you Christians that the outsiders are down on God,” shows it’s an old problem that isn’t going to go away.

Baptism, the ritual that marks you as a Christian, is great if you live in accord with God’s law. But if you don’t, it’s worse than not being baptized. The reverse is also true: The unbaptized who keep God’s ways are as good as the baptized —in fact, better. Better to keep God’s law unbaptized than break it baptized. Don’t you see: It’s not the submerging in water that makes a Christian. You become a Christian by who you are. It’s the submerging of your heart in God, not the water on your skin that makes you a Christian.  And the recognition comes from God, not legalistic critics.

Not only are we warned to avoid the legalism of religion we are specifically warned about false teachers and wolves disguised as Christians who seek to build their own kingdoms and lead others astray.

At the end of the book of Romans Paul warns us; One final word of counsel, friends. Keep a sharp eye out for those who take bits and pieces of the teaching that you learned and then use them to make trouble. Give these people a wide berth. They have no intention of living for our Master Christ. They’re only in this for what they can get out of it, and aren’t above using pious sweet talk to dupe unsuspecting innocents.

And in Philippians 3:17-19 Paul tells us; Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

I’m not knocking anyone’s beliefs or their traditions.  What I am doing is trying to warn those who want to follow Christ.  We can’t let anyone, anything, or the peer pressure of any community fool us into elevating a system of man over the freedom of Christ.  We should ask ourselves, “How can customs, traditions, holidays, and ceremonies transplanted from paganism to attract or mollify converts as faith in Christ was spread, sometimes by the sword, across barbarian Europe after the fall of Rome save us?”  Anything that obscures the fact that it’s by faith alone that we’re saved and by obedience alone we’re changed is something holding us back from becoming what God created us to be.

Once again turning to Paul, the Apostle of the heart set free, we find in Galatians a stunning rebuke of those trying to turn a living faith into a religious structure.  In Chapter three he says, “What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.

Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”  After faith comes we’re free.  Holding on to the structure of religion may make following easier but making ourselves a slave to it doesn’t set us free.  And Christ came to set us free.

Remember whatever is not of faith is sin and  no one can snatch us out of the hand of God but we can sure jump.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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

 

Show Me Then I’ll Believe May 21, 2019

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I’m in the process of re-writing my autobiography.  I initially wrote it back in the early nineties.  Until now it never seemed like the right time to publish it, but now I believe the time has arrived.

As I re-read the chapters which chronicle the adventures of a lost young man throwing away everything nature and nurture gave him and self-medicating his way to total despair I can’t help but think of all the missed opportunities and self-inflicted pain.  Anything that should’ve meant something was discarded in a blind attempt to escape the pain of not understanding the world around me.

However, time and maturity have finally taught me that if I hadn’t taken every step I’ve taken to be here I wouldn’t be here.  Instead I’d be somewhere else.  And I know without a shadow of doubt that I’m standing exactly where God wants me, which is the only place I ever want to be.

At an early age I discovered History and my immature mind told me, “If you understand how we got here maybe you could understand here?”  So I started reading History on a daily basis, a habit I’ve never lost.  However as I gained a vast knowledge base I didn’t seem to gain any wisdom.

I knew what happened but the why always seemed to escape me.  I just couldn’t figure out why bad things happened to good people and good things happened to bad people.  A fact the study of History proves over and over.  The drugs and alcohol I used to ease the pain of confusion didn’t help.  I ended up thinking I should do bad things if I wanted good things to happen.

As a child I’d given up on Christianity the first time I heard about turning the other cheek.  My young but already street smart mind told me, “If you do that the world is going to slap the taste out of your mouth.”

I thought ideas such as loving those who hate you, returning good for evil, and sacrificing yourself for the good of others was foolishness.  Living like this seemed like walking backwards through a burning building.  I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

At least not until I’d lived my life into a corner and came to the end of my rope believing there was no afterlife and nothing except what I could touch, see, or feel.  I figured if this is all there is why go on, why continue living only to die.  My life became a parody of the chorus from the song, Is That All There Is; “Is that all there is, is that all there is, if that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing let’s break out the booze and have a ball if that’s all there is.”

Luckily for me that isn’t all there is.

That’s when I ran into Jesus.  I gave my burned-out useless life to Him and He gave it back to me all shiny and new.  He gave me purpose.  He gave me hope.  He gave me a loving wife, the love of my life, who’s my other half in a one flesh marriage.  He gave me the opportunity to know the joys of being a second-chance father and a stand-in grandfather after having all my own children aborted.

In my former life I did my best to destroy and throw away everything given to me.  But, God works with what’s left.  He takes the cinders and the ashes and makes them into something beautiful.  Tears may come at night but joy comes in the morning.

Has everything been as smooth as silk and twice as nice since I’ve become a new creation?  Not by a long shot.  There’ve been trials and tribulations beyond counting and they aren’t over yet.  At first I would pray for God to take this cup from me forgetting the second half of the prayer, “but not my will but yours be done.”  Then I’d wonder, “Why do I keep going through the same things over and over?”

Somehow in my continuous reading of God’s Word I’d missed this part:

Even when we’re surrounded by troubles we keep right on shouting praises, because we know if we walk through these troubles hand-in-hand with the man who stilled the sea they’ll develop perfect patience in us.  And if we learn to practice perfect patience this forges the polished steel of virtue.  This virtue keeps living in expectancy ever on the lookout for what God will do next.  Living in this kind of breathless expectancy, we’re never left feeling ripped-off or overwhelmed by circumstances.  No, it’s just the opposite.  If we’ll walk through our problems like this we can’t find enough treasure chests to contain all the blessings God in His mind-blowing generosity pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Still seeking after wisdom I spend every day pursuing the One who is wisdom, the One who is light and life, the One who is the Savior of my soul, the King of Glory who died and rose again.  The ever living Jesus who sits at the right hand of the Father, the One who sent the Holy Spirit to live in me.

If life doesn’t seem to make any sense, if we find ourselves going through the same things over and over let’s step out of the meaningless maze of carnival mirrors and find peace in union with God.  Give it all up to get it all back.  If we lay down our lives Jesus will show us how to live.  Let’s stop fighting a war that’s already been won.  Victory is found in surrender.  It isn’t a matter of “Show me then I’ll believe,” instead it’s a matter of “Believe and it will be revealed.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com  © 2019 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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