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It Takes Faith to Be an Atheist July 18, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion, Uncategorized.
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I once had enough faith in myself to believe there was no God.  I had enough of that self-centered faith to believe the entire universe sprang from a Big Bang.  I could believe that Big Bang came from an unbelievably dense unbelievably small point that for some unexplained reason suddenly exploded.  I could believe that after the explosion this unbelievably dense unbelievably small point expanded into everything that is.  I could believe that everything that is now expanding would eventually stop expanding and then contract back into that unbelievably dense unbelievably small point that would then eventually explode again and the entire process would happen again over and over from eternity to eternity.  Yes, I had enough self-centered faith to believe all that.

I blindly accepted what scientist told me was verifiable evidence that all this was physically true.  I never once asked myself any of these obvious questions: How could anyone possibly know that this had ever happened before?   How could anyone possibly know that it would happen again?  How could anyone possibly know where the unbelievably dense unbelievably small point came from?   Or better yet, what made this self-existing unbelievably dense unbelievably small point explode?

Without asking any of these important questions I could believe all that without ever contemplating the fact that chaos breeds chaos it does not breed the complex organization that we observe in reality from atom to Adam.  Or, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics puts it the entropy of any isolated system always increases.

In other words, the odds of a tornado hitting a junk yard and leaving a fully assembled 747 in its wake are less than zero.  And to have order come from chaos on a universal scale would mean that that would have to happen billions upon billions of times.  Which flies in the face of something I learned back during the Hippie commune days, no matter how many times you multiply zero it is still zero.

But I had faith!  Without blinking an eye I was proud to strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.  Everything came from one itsy bitsy piece of who knows what that existed from eternity to eternity exploding into everything and the shrinking back to an itsy bitsy piece of who knows what over and over.  Sure that made sense but a loving God who created everything that was too far out to believe.

Jesus tells us that we have to come to the end of ourselves if we want to walk with Him.  We have to realize that anyone who intends to come with Him has to let Him lead.  We’re not in the driver’s seat; He is.  We shouldn’t run from suffering we should embrace it.  Follow Him and He’ll show us how. Self-help is no help at all.  Self-sacrifice is the way, His way, to finding ourselves, our true self.  What kind of deal is it to get everything we want but lose ourselves?  What could we ever trade our soul for?  He said those who seek to hold on to everything will lose everything and those who let go of everything will gain everything.

When I first started trying to live this kind of life I thought of it as learning to walk backwards because it was the opposite of everything I had ever been taught on how to succeed.

When some people see another walking in faith following Christ sacrificing themselves for others they say, “Wow!  They have such great faith.”

To be sure to follow Jesus takes faith but even that faith is a gift from God.  God gives each of us a measure of faith and we should think seriously about that and follow that faith into the good works He’s given us to do.

So while it takes God given faith to follow Jesus it takes faith in ourselves to be an atheist.  I praise God that in my life the faith gift of God overwhelmed my own faith in me.   When I look at all the dead ends my choices led me to and compare that to the fulfilling and joyful life I have found following Him and I can see that He has a better way.

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

 

The Only Way Back to God May 29, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion.
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If Jesus is the Son of God, if God became man and walked among us, if the incarnate deity suffered and died to pay for the sins of the world, if He descended into hell and took the keys of death from the devil, if He rose again from the dead justifying all who become one with Him, if He rose into heaven and anointed the ultimate altar with His blood offering up the payment for the fall of man what is there that can be of more importance than that?

If out of all the millions of books ever written God wrote one book, one set of writings infused with His Spirit, and alive with His Word what can compare with that?

I remember back when I first began to walk with Christ.  As with most new believers I burned with passion and devoted myself as exclusively as I could to the study of His Word.  I couldn’t get enough.  I read His Word every chance I got.  I devoured it.  I lived and breathed it.  Nothing else mattered. I just had to get His Word into me, into my life.  And it changed me.

Reading God’s Word led me to Christ.  Reading His Word taught me to love. Reading His Word taught me that I shouldn’t pollute His temple (my body) with drugs, tobacco, and other things.  It healed me of addictions I had accepted as a normal part of life, cleansed me of sins I hadn’t even known I was committing, and it gave me a love for God’s people, and His church.

Being a self-centered substance abuser, a street-fighting loner, and in general a morally bankrupt reprobate gave me a lot of running room in my search for holiness in Him.  I was working forty to eighty hours per week and spent every waking hour not at work in the Bible.  It was a wonderful time and a joyous time of getting to know my first love.

For many of us as the first blush of love fades, as the joy of Christian fellowship becomes an everyday event, as we learn that many Christians shoot the wounded, crucify pastors, and leave their love at the altar the supernatural becomes mundane and love fades.  Slowly we become colder until we wonder, “Was it all a dream?”

The cares of this life seem to cauterize the faith of believers.  We strive to walk by faith and not by sight but most of us are peeking.  We still have one eye on the world, one ear to the ground, and one hand in the cookie jar.  That’s what trips us up.  We can’t walk through life divided.   If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  You see no one can serve two masters.  For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and the world.

I have made that mistake.  Like Frodo looking into Mount Doom I peeked at the news until it consumed me.  My daily study of “What was going on” became an exercise in naval gazing: a worthless pursuit that gave me the ability to speak like an expert and live like a fool.  For a fool has said in his heart there is no God.  And I know there is a God and I invested my intellect and my attention in that which is not God.  For this I repent.

I remember when I was a new believer reading through the Bible for the first time.  When I read the book of Judges I wondered why God kept saving those Israelites over and over when after a few times it became evident they would just backslide again.  Then I had my first stumble, and my second, and my third, and I am forever grateful that God does not shoot the wounded.  Instead he binds the broken hearted.

As Unspoken puts it,

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

If the world has caught you in its web once again, if shiny objects glittering in the light have captured your attention turn away from the world, cast your eyes upon Jesus, keep your thoughts upon Him, and return to your first love.

You may ask, “How do I do that?”

There is only one way back to God. …

Get back to God.

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

 

How Can You Stay So Optimistic? February 28, 2018

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Religion.
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People ask often me “How can you spend so much time following the news and writing on the bizarre twists and turns of our political theater of the absurd and still remain so happy and optimistic?”

The answer is, “It’s easy because my hope is in Christ and all of this is just a soap opera.”

Sure I tune in multiple times every day to see what my people are up to.  Yes, I follow every twist and turn in the plot.  I cheer when my favorite characters triumph and I hiss when the evil nemesis unfairly pulls them down.

However, all in all I realize I’m something like Horton.  I hear the Who.  And like Horton I realize there’s a whole world living on a speck of dust flying along oblivious to the fact that dust in the wind is not the most stable place to exist.

Fleeting flowers and beautiful sunsets like snowflakes and icicles dazzle the eye inspire the imagination and then they are gone.  Look at the sweep of History.  We can read of empires long ago.  The amazing DNA tests available through a multitude of sources can tell us where we come from.  Ancestry web sites tell us who we come from.

In reality what do we know of those billions who have gone before?  What were the names of your eight great grandparents?  If by some miracle you can name all eight what do you know about their lives?  Can anyone reading this name their sixteen great-great grandparents?  I would wager 100 to one no one can.  So in our own lives our knowledge of History dissolves before 100 years has elapsed.  Sure we can read and memorize facts about the past but how far back does that really go?  At most 5,000 years.  Conservatively the earth is at least four billion years old.  The universe itself is estimated to be at least thirteen billion years old.

And our direct knowledge goes back maybe one hundred years.  Our knowledge gained through study maybe five thousand.  Get the picture?  We are the Who.

If that was all there was I would jump up on a table and sing,

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

And for thirty years of my life that’s what I did.  The emptiness and futility of it all led me to the edge of sanity and beyond.  I wandered about aimlessly muttering, “I’ve got to try something.  I’ve got to try something.”

Until a voice in my ear said, “Why don’t you try God?”

That day changed my life.  That day led me to road that led me to Christ and from that day to this I have hope and joy and nothing I see prancing across the stage of this earthly drama can take it away.

In America our standard greeting is, “Hi how are you doing?”  Not that anyone really cares.  Not that anyone ever really listens to your answer.  That is just a customary greeting.  I always answer, “I’m blessed.”  This often brings questions such as, “Why?”  This gives me an opportunity to tell them I’m blessed because I have eternal life and that Jesus gave it to me and the devil can’t take it away.”

Sometime people answer, “I am too.”  And it’s always a joy to meet a brother or sister wherever they may be.

So, though it is interesting and it helps pass the time as we hang on to our speck of dust as it swirls about in the wind don’t let the story-line get you down.  Just skip to the back of the book and you’ll find out that Jesus is God, God wins in the end, and no matter how bad it gets we should pray, “Come Lord Jesus.”

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

 

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