REVIVAL :  to become strong, healthy, or active again; to bring back into use or popularity

“You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it’s evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don’t you know that you can count me out”

Beatles.

“A true revival means nothing less than a revolution, casting out the spirit of worldliness and selfishness, and making God and His love triumph in the heart and life.

The coming revival must begin with a great revival of prayer. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundance of rain will first be heard. An increase of secret prayer with ministers will be the sure harbinger of blessing.

There is need of a great revival of spiritual life, of truly fervent devotion to our Lord Jesus, of entire consecration to His service. It is only in a church in which this spirit of revival has at least begun, that there is any hope of radical change in the relation of the majority of our Christian people to mission work.”

Andrew Murray

America. A Culture of War & Violence. 

Our last just war was WWII. Following that war each subsequent war fell further and further behind in meeting our strategic aims and objectives. The final two, Vietnam and Afghanistan, we were soundly, roundly and profoundly defeated in spite of our vast superior military and technology and our willingness to parlay trillions in treasure and tens of thousands in tragic deaths and disabilities toward victory.

America. A Culture of Domestic Terrorism. 

Recently, Chris Wray, the Director of the FBI said domestic terrorism has “mushroomed” within the U.S. in the past year. Thus far over 600 rioters in Washington DC have been arrested and charged for the attempted insurrection on January 6th, aided, abetted, even encouraged by our own President Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Mass shootings, like the ones that killed 8 at spas and massage parlors in Atlanta earlier this year, and 10 at a supermarket in Boulder, Colo., just days later, are a fraction of the nation’s gun deaths. As COVID-19 spread across the United States last year, murders spiked 21 percent, a one-year record.

America. A Culture of Narcissism. 

Many people around the world claim Americans have an unusually high opinion of themselves. 

Americans and non-Americans alike share “the belief that the typical American is grandiose, callous, and self-centered,” write a team of psychologists led by University of Georgia professor Joshua Miller in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 

The rise in narcissism corresponds with the cultural emphasis on ‘self-love,’ claiming we are incapable of loving others until we can sufficiently love ourselves. And proportionately we are experiencing a decline in empathy and compassion. Concern and care for others’ feelings are virtues we seek to instill in our children, yet they are sorely lacking in many adult Americans today. There’s scientific research to back up the notion that Americans are caring less for others and more about themselves, according to Sara Konrath, PhD, an associate professor of philanthropic studies at Indiana University and director of the Interdisciplinary Program on Empathy and Altruism Research.

America. A Culture of Corruption.

As bribery and corruption appear to be getting worse in countries throughout the world, people are also losing faith in their governments’ ability to fight such acts, a survey from Transparency International found. In the United States, 60 percent of people said that corruption has increased over the last two years. 

Corruption has moved well beyond the purview of a minority of greedy people and pernicious practices in business dealings. Today we find rampant corruption in the church, with wealthy televangelists owning yachts, jets and mega-mansions, at the same time enjoying tax free status as a ‘church,’ colleges and universities bribed by wealthy parents to accept their undeserving children as students, and corruption at all levels of government.

America. A Culture of Entitlement.

If you worked hard and saved, eschewing debt and paying your bills on time, you missed out on most of the rewards our government and policies offered to the American people. If you gambled on risky investments rather than researched the investment possibilities across the companies that showed great promise in terms of future growth and earnings, you were richly rewarded.

The smartest guy in the room over the past year and a half did not make his or her monthly payments on rent, car loans or student debt, but readily accepted government largesse such as three stimulus checks, and parlayed those into purchases of meme stocks, options, cryptocurrencies and even non-fungible tokens. Today we are having trouble filling over ten million open jobs in spite of having less than that claiming unemployment benefits.

Demands for more free money and a government who won’t say no, have resulted in a record mountain of debt across government, business and households. The promise of government assistance to pay off accumulated ‘debt forbearance,’and to backstop any losses on risky investments has created the potential for an economic collapse. You cannot replace the productivity of hard work and capital simply by printing money or giving out loans that are later discharged and forgiven.

America. A Culture of Apostasy.

Billy Graham said that the word apostasy is derived from two Greek words. Putting them together they mean “to stand away from,” or “to abandon” one’s faith. The Biblical teaching about apostasy goes far deeper than that. It means to “fall away.” The Apostle Paul wrote about this to the church at Thessalonica. It affected every area of life. The word is so strong and so emphatic that it suggests a complete breakdown of morals, ethics and spirituality.

A Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted recently found 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. But are almost 2/3rd’s of Americans Christian in the eyes of God? The Bible says a person becomes a Christian by placing their faith in Jesus Christ. This is known as being saved or born again. The Bible teaches that no one can enter the kingdom of heaven unless they are born again.

But can you truly have ‘faith’ in a person you don’t follow, don’t even know, while you are pursuing your own interests according to your own will? Matthew wrote, “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'” I would submit that precious few Americans can search themselves and honestly conclude that this command applies to them, and that they are living according to its meaning. Most Americans calling themselves ‘Christian’ today are in love with the rites, rules and rituals of their manmade religion rather than intimately familiar with Jesus Christ. If you’re not reading Scripture, you don’t even know Him, for there is where He has been revealed. 

We need a Great Awakening to carry out the Great Commission before our nation goes the way of all other previous failed empires. I fear our nation may have devolved into a place where the Lord cannot work, for our people are blinded to the truth and numb with their sins of all stripes. We are treated daily to news dealing with all manner of violence, crime, corruption and evil, while our media salts the stories with advertisements characterized as soft porn, and the latest actress or rock star that has released a porn video that folks can watch for free. We are teaching every combination of sexuality our imaginations can conjure, and pushing this coursework all the way down into elementary school.

Without a revival we are on our own. Without God, in whose hands is our very breath, we are doomed to destruction and death, as we flail helplessly in the darkness desperately determined to resolve what is an increasing number of seemingly intractable national problems.

Paul wrote to the citizens of Corinth, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” Our lives are short however you choose to measure them, when compared to eternity. Wisdom is setting your goals on eternal results, sin for a season ends in despair. As you are breathing your last and staring out toward eternity, will you experience mostly regrets? Will you wonder why all of what you did and all of what you got means nothing now as you will go out just as you came in? –Naked & alone?

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;”

“Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, Cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Wilt thou not revive us again: That thy people may rejoice in thee?”

“For thus saith the high and lofty One That inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, With him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”

Psalms & Isaiah

“Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late – and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work.” ~ A.W. Tozer

Can a Good God Allow Evil?

Over the years as I studied the possibilities that it was a Celestial Dictator rather than random chance factors that account for all of creation, a small number of seemingly intractable, apparently irreconcilable, utterly exasperating conundrums dogged my pursuit with doubt and despair. A journey that consisted of three steps forward followed by two back.

There was an underlying driving motivation that kept up my momentum and it turned out to be the Holy Spirit living within me ever since I was born again. Urging me to “follow Him,” many times I took the puzzles that were best characterized as “wait, that doesn’t make sense,” and filed them away in my mind under ‘Wait for Further Information.’

I’m glad I did, for as I grew spiritually and learned more and more, I came to a place of vastly improved understanding in terms of how good and evil could exist side-by-side in a system that a good-God created, an all-powerful God, “…behold I am the Lord, is anything too hard for me?” This newly built foundation of knowledge came in handy when my season of trial and testing, along with a healthy dose of Karma (sowing and reaping the fruits of wayward and wrong decisions), saved me from completely giving up on my life altogether…turning to angst and bitterness, hardening my heart against God and man, and concluding the existential nihilistic philosophy that nothing matters for all is random and good and bad happen to both good and bad people. No wonderfully neat, embroidered and flowery explanation, just down and dirty awful things happen without any explanation as to why they happened to me.

My life unraveled beginning just a few years ago. After two decades my marriage blew to pieces, my kids grew up and became mostly estranged, aging meant my competitive running, my career in tech, my teaching, my global travel, everything that brought purpose and meaning to my life seemingly disappeared. I was diagnosed with debilitating illness, even sleep was elusive as oftentimes I would lay wide awake exhausted with nothing to do but think.

My decades of investing experience worked solidly against me through a frightening pandemic as the stock market turned into a gambling casino, and clever charlatans became ‘influencers’ as these pied pipers led tens of millions of innocents into recklessly dangerous and terrible investment choices. But it was my portfolio that suffered, and today almost a third has virtually disappeared. All around me on the national stage the rage and violence were on the increase, natural disasters such as massive fires and earthquakes became commonplace, and the rest of the world seemed to be increasingly despising the America I grew up to cherish and respect.

Finally, my ten-year old dog died, and I was absolutely, utterly, abysmally, left barren and desolate, alone, defeated, despairing and desperate; and that is when I looked up and asked, “why God?”

So, I returned to one of my favorite books, the Book of Job. He suffered far more than I did, but the important distinction is absent was the “sowed to the wind you reap the whirlwind.” Job was a good man and deserved none of what was happening to him. I was foolish and made some wrong turns, doing things that if someone had prophesied to me I would grow up to do such things later in my life, I would have dismissed them as nonsense, “I could never do those things!”

Does your cherished partner love you? How do you know? Do they have many alternatives to choose from, putting you in a kind of beauty contest and competition you somehow just happened to win? What is it that you call love anyway? Is it the willingness of your significant other to understand and help you with your own life’s goals and objectives? Would you still love them if you a) concluded your dear heart no longer is adding anything of value to your future, and b) you found someone new that is far more likely to take on that role for you? Is that what you call love?

The horrible things that happen to us can be divided into two broad categories. First off — our own mistakes. We should have known better. We should have paid attention to the commands of God. Karma’s a bitch. Second, is that all the undeserved evil that hits us in the form of trials and tribulations for which we cannot fathom how we might somehow be responsible bringing these down upon us.

This second broad category we seek to truly understand in order to parse this complex and enigmatic evil that besets us whether we resist it or not. That is the set of things that happen that cause pain, grief, and suffering, even when we are not to blame. Experiencing a betrayal, being cheated, fired without cause, death of a loved one or even a pet. A random attack on us by a stranger, verbal or physical. This is evil, but it is a different set altogether and we cannot lump all these categories into one common denominator. If our aim is to understand how God can tolerate, even allow, evil, we must constrain our definition to just exactly what kind of evil we are speaking of.

Note that sinless Jesus experienced this second category of evil though deserving none of it. From one end of the spectrum: sadness, rejection, exhaustion, being misunderstood and falsely accused, all the way to the other extreme: spat upon, punched, sharp thorns piercing his brow, flailed with a whip that has bits of glass and metal to rip the flesh off the back, stripped naked, nailed to a cross and publicly displayed in the worst sort of humiliation and pain imaginable. Deserving none of this, Jesus endured it, even though he could have avoided it. How can we understand and reconcile that an all-powerful God needed for this very thing to happen to his only son, and to such an extreme and horrible extent?

It starts with who God is. And for that we must define who he isn’t. He isn’t a genie that grants your wishes. In his kingdom everything that has value comes at a cost, not too different from our own experiences, right? Those things freely given to us may be gladly received, but the most precious things we treasure came at some cost to us. The cost may be what we gave up getting these things. In finance that cost is called an “opportunity cost.” You gave something up, you sacrificed, you worked hard, you spent money, you gave a lot. And for all that you received a valuable reward, and your life is made better as a result of this reward, the sacrifices of which cost you a great deal, including other things you could have attained instead.

We were made in God’s image. What happens in his kingdom has parallels in the world he created where he placed us. God is just, and because of the highest level of perfection in his kingdom, the justice required to punish evil must be commensurate and proportionate to the good that all who are enjoying his kingdom have received and thrive in.

No pain no gain. Ever notice that the people most fascinating and fun to be around are those who have had a lot of experiences, many of which were terrible trials and tribulations, suffering and hardships? The people who had to overcome the adversities of disabilities or discrimination, the people who suffered disease, those who were denied their due, the lives of survivors who bear the scars of many setbacks, defeats and even witnessing the destruction of the things they cherished most in their lives?

The insufferable are those born with a silver spoon in their mouth. Natural talents they credit to themselves rather than God, they are blessed with good health, physical beauty, many talents, and a whole lot of wealth. Spoiled narcissists worried only about how to learn to love themselves more, these are the people who angrily demand their ‘rights,’ who have no patience for anyone getting in their way or somehow making their life more difficult. They lack virtues such as humility, character, integrity, and generosity. They scheme only for the things that they crave, and their lusts can be characterized as “I must have that and I must have it NOW!”

It turns out that the evil that befalls us is the fire of the kindling that strengthens us and drives us toward virtue, to become wiser, better, more useful, helpful, and capable of genuine love for others. The tough life will produce a battered and scarred hero, while the easy life will only give society an unlikeably selfish and troublesome child that never grew into full adulthood, contributing nothing of value to the rest of society.

We can see that two things must be present in order for true love to be manifested:

  1. Difficulties must come and must be overcome to strengthen us into what we are to finally become, and
  2. The cost of the worthwhile goals and achievements must be paid. Jesus paid for the sins that should have resulted in our being completely cutoff from a Creator who has no evil whatsoever in Him or His kingdom. There was no other way, the result of the means of exploring alternatives in order to see if we would willingly seek out God among all these choices is clear. And the need for a Devil to tempt us toward the alternatives, diving into a season of sin, is the testing that will demonstrate our turning toward God was our own choice, our own volition, our trust, and love for Him.

This is why we don’t live in world where entropy has taken us to a steady state. Quite the opposite. Stark dichotomies exist side-by-side and they never yield one to the other but continue throughout time. Good and evil. Love and hate. Light and darkness. Life and death. Zero and one. Yes and no. True and false. Yin and Yang. Wheat and tares. Sheep and goats. 

The challenge is to decide which of two paths you will take. One path leads back to your Creator, through an intermediary that had to first pave the way by making you appear as spotless as the rest of the citizens of heaven. The second path is wide, filled with so many uncountable alternatives, from the religions of mankind to the temptations of rebellion, pride, and lust. Most people find themselves on the latter broad path. Few find the narrow path as it is too rigid, specific, and inflexible for them to realistically consider in a world that is their oyster. 

But those few are the overcomers, and those are the ones God has chosen to add to his kingdom and allow them to enjoy all of the beauty and perfection, the fullness of a life of purpose and joy, through eternity, without tears and suffering any longer.

How do YOU define LOVE?

I love peanuts, but I especially love peanut butter and chocolate combined. I loved my Boxer, Patton, who recently died just two weeks before his tenth birthday.

Love can be a noun or a verb. Love can range from amorous sexual embrace to unselfish loyal and benevolent feelings and emotions that include concern for a person or humankind. We don’t have all the shades and nuances that other languages and cultures have when it comes to expressing precisely what we mean when we invoke the term. In the Greek, for example, four terms parse the many forms that our intended meaning of love might take:

1. Eros

Eros translates directly from Latin as “Passionate Love” or “Romantic Love.” It is often thought of as the type of love that people “fall” into, often characterized as erratic, passionate, possessive, and highly superficial.

2. Agape

Agape or universal love is the purest form of altruistic love directed at strangers, nature, or God, akin to the unconditional love that God has for everyone. This kind of love manifests itself in selfless acts and acting entirely out charity or concern for the world other than yourself. Agape is not motivated by pleasant feelings or results such as physical, emotional, or logical attractiveness. It is a conscious choice of self-sacrifice for the benefit of another.

3. Philia

Philia is the love between very close friends such as David and Jonathon in the Bible. Philia directly translates to “affectionate regard.” Friendships founded in mutual goodwill have trust, reliability, and companionship. Philadelphia means ‘the city of brotherly love.’

4. Storge

Storge is a type of philia that is specific to families. It is often referred to as familial love, or the love between parents and children. This type of love is often unbalanced and dependent, which is entirely true of a parent’s unconditional love for their newborn child. This is the type of love that is said to make an imprint on our brains so that we know what love is for later in life when we develop. While we are growing up, our networks of oxytocin and vasopressin (neurotransmitters partly responsible for trust, social interactions, fear of others etc.) are developing based on the examples provided to us by our parents, based on the particular Storge that is available to us.

For at least a generation, ‘self-love’ has been written about, advocated, counseled in and encouraged. American culture espouses the belief that until and unless you can truly love yourself, you are incapable of loving others. But confusion arises when our self-obsession begins to take on the hallmarks of selfishness, and pride and narcissism finally rule and reign in the psyches of many Americans today as a result. It is interesting to note that as narcissism, especially ‘malignant’ narcissism, is increasing in society lately, empathy and compassion are proportionately decreasing.

Someone once asked Jesus what was the ‘greatest’ commandment. In the Books of Moses (or Torah or Pentateuch) the ten commandments are extended much further in terms of additional commands involving everything from behavior to food to personal hygiene. The Mishnah (almost 1,000 pages translated from the Hebrew into English) seeks to expound on the oral traditions of the Torah). Before we get to the answer Jesus provided to the question of which commandment was greatest, take note of this Bible verse. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” (James 2:10), indicating they’re all important.

Now the answer to the question. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind,” and then went on to say, “the second is like the first, love your neighbor as yourself. In these two are ALL the law and the prophets.”

I have often wondered about what it means when I read that the chief characteristic of God is love. Two others appear almost as often: light and life. Sometimes we can illuminate our understanding by looking at the opposites of what these three represent as meant by God. 

  1. Hatred. 
  2. Darkness.
  3. Death.

Jesus said that He came that we might have life and that more abundantly. He promised us eternal life in fact. He said we should know the truth (truth/light/knowledge) and that it would set us free from the power of sin and darkness. His death on the Cross paid the celestial just requirement for ungodly behavior. While we were most unlikeable, and dead in our sins and trespasses, God showed his version of love, sending His only begotten Son to suffer and die in order to ransom and redeem us back to Himself, back to our Creator. “God so loved the world that he GAVE…”

This is Agape Love. Unconditional. Patient. Long-suffering. This is the type of love all of us who trust in our Lord long to acquire in our own lives and to express to our family, friends and neighbors. Our neighbors may be soaked in sin, but we love them because just like us they are made in His image and need the love of God and redemption to gain the hope of heaven. 

Do you possess such love? Search yourself. Test yourself. Have you ever performed a kindness for someone who will never learn who it was that did this thing for them out of the goodness of their heart, without taking credit? Or do you love the one you’re with as long as he or she is helping you meet your personal goals and objectives, only to move on or trade up when that is no longer the case? 

“Deep within us — no matter who we are — there lives a feeling of wanting to be lovable, of wanting to be the kind of person that others like to be with. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving.” – Fred Rogers

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” – Nat King Cole, “Nature Boy” lyrics

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” – Elbert Hubbard … “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24.

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove.

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wand’ring bark,

Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.

Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle’s compass come;

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.” 

–William Shakespeare.

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth and breadth and height

My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight

For the ends of being and ideal grace.

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.

I love thee freely, as men strive for right.

I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.

I love thee with the passion put to use

In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.

I love thee with a love I seemed to lose

With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,

Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,

I shall but love thee better after death.” 

–Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. He that loveth not — knoweth not God; for God is love. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 

–Bible.

Cleanness & Filth

The Middle English alliterative poem ‘Cleanness’ was written in the late 14th century. The author (anonymous) sought to illuminate the dangers of personal defilement and the joy of a life dominated by virtue. The author is likely the same person that wrote the poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight,” another deep dive into the powers of deception, delusion, deceit and the wiles of the devil contrasted with the precious and eternal pillars of a life well-lived, governed by good character, impeccable integrity, honesty, humility, compassion, self-denial and delayed gratification.

The history of the Jews began with the history of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Bible threads the broken lives of men and women living in a fallen world where good and evil exist side-by-side. The exhilaration of living in the land of Goshen in Egypt was followed by slavery. After 400 years the Jews were led out of Egypt and into Canaan. The trials and testing throughout this history is remarkable. At times when the people turned with all their hearts and strength to their God they prospered and were secure, their lives had meaning, purpose, peace and contentment. At other times as they drifted away from God, generally when they had been blessed with good times, their experience went from spiritual vexation all the way to horrific destruction, much as the Canaanites they displaced had experienced as a result of their insistence upon embracing false gods that led them even to sacrifice their newborn babies by burning them alive.

The Israelites had good kings and bad kings, Godly men and women lived out their lives alongside evil people as both spiritual realms of good and evil fought a battle for the souls of mankind. This history of the Jews is a story of extremes. From the experiences of the miracles of God and the wonders and fulfillment that came from yielding to Him, all the way to the destruction of their temple (twice) and displacement out of their homeland, and even to the present day Holocaust and the existential threat of their nation today surrounded by 99% of a region that desires their complete annihilation.

Today in America we have the very same corollary. Blessed of the Lord most of the nation embraced and worshiped, the United States became strong and was feared by the evil powers around the world. We sent missionaries to preach the good news of Christ and the Cross, while providing food and medicines to those nations in need. Our universities were the training grounds for the missionaries and hospitals and philanthropy flourished as we followed our God-given inclination to love our neighbor and do good.

But just as Israel we began to see our greatness as a result of our own achievements. Our science even began to replace the miracles and the truth of the Creator who had endowed us with our increasing knowledge. We began to ‘explain’ the miracles of creation and somehow managed to conclude that meant these complex and amazing designs were ordinary and could be characterized, measured and modeled in great detail. God was ejected from His place as the author of all that He had created.

After God gave us a moral and complete victory over evil in World War II our pride and national hubris had grown to the point where it was increasingly crowding out any place for God in our lives. We relied on our wealth, our military, our technology, and our education and no longer needed anything from God. We had become self-sufficient and had determined mankind could, should and would determine our own destiny. That was the point when God began to leave us to our own devices and to allow us to pursue our own path toward what we thought would certainly be successful prosecution of ending wars, ending hunger, ending crime, and indeed virtually eliminating pain and suffering.

But just as history teaches, the opposite occurred. Each successive war following WWII increased our national humiliation. Korea was fought to a stalemate. Vietnam ended with us scrambling to make our exit while our partners in the south were rounded up, imprisoned and executed. The reasons given for Iraq were the inventions and imaginations of a group of government men still drunk with the hubris of world dominance, hegemony and sole superpower status. Iraq upset the regional balance of power, enabling ISIS and emboldening Iran. Finally, in spite of a failed decade Russia experienced before leaving Afghanistan precisely as they found it, we took twice as long to get to that same point. Today Afghanistan is an entire nation filled with terrorists, from Taliban and Al Qaeda to ISIS and warlords. Afghanistan is today a safe harbor for any terrorist or terrorist group that desires the freedom to train and to plan their evil intentions. Their exports are terrorism and opium.

From widespread STI’s to HIV and today a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, health has taken a turn for the worse and life expectancy is decreasing in spite of the greatest medical technology and resources on the planet. Obesity is embraced as fat shaming is verboten. Heroin, Fentanyl and drugs are cutting short many lives as our role models themselves succumb to the temptations. Media posts new pictures of actresses nude or even in porn videos. Hundreds of genders have replaced a man and a woman, and marriages have become risky long-term contracts with mostly deleterious consequences. Sexuality dominates education and has even permeated grade school. Websites offer the means for a sexual rendezvous with a stranger in your zip code. Pornography is now free and the admixture with violence in movies has numbed the conscience and senses of everyone exposed to it.

Religion has taken on the bifurcation that accounts for the majority involved in it. Either one is ridiculed and despised for the idiocy of their religious faith, or they cobble together their own ethos according to their desired lifestyle. Politics, health and wealth, mysticism and many other extra-Biblical alternatives and counterfeits are available, and each of us can find the groups to join online in a matter of minutes.

We struggle and strive to ‘explain’ the demise and downward trajectory of our nation. History provides the best explanation. We embrace science and seek to turn back the impact of climate change. We vaccinate people so the virus cannot harm them. We continue to finance our lavish lifestyles through an enormous accumulation of debt. We pursue get-rich-quick schemes and dismiss hard work as unnecessary. Our educational system is focused on our post-truth subjectivity and fads of the time. From sexual and gender peculiarities to the desire to cancel our egregious and shameful history, even our President spent a lot of time worrying about how restrooms should be labeled and how the rest of the world can embrace our version of sexual transparency and complete acceptance of all the combinations and permutations imaginable.

Just as the Lord poured out His spirit for revival following the sex, drugs and rock-and-roll vexation of the sixties, He did so again following 9-11. But each revival lives a shorter period of time than the last. Our hearts are hard today. We are filled with rage and violence. Will the Lord send another revival? Or have we crossed the line where there is no longer any possibility of turning back to Him and being healed? The rites, rituals and rules of manmade religions never saved a single soul. Only the Cross of Christ can do that.

For America the writing is on the wall: “Mene , Mene , Tekel , Parsin” … We have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.

Psalm 103:9

Christian Goofus & Gallant

Goofus: The Lord says, “Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?”

Gallant: The Lord says to love our neighbor, to go down into the valley and preach to the demon-possessed, for it is the sick that need the physician, not those who are well.

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Goofus: Abortion is murder. We need strict laws forbidding the practice of abortion.

Gallant: The law may send a frightened teenaged girl into the hands of a butcher who ends up killing both mom and baby. Instead of demanding what is right under threat of legal prosecution, reach out to those with a serious challenge and tough issue and counsel them about their choices, including adoption.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Goofus: Liberal Democrats are atheists and are destroying our country.

Gallant: Extremist politics of all stripes take our eyes off our Lord and instead focus us on the politics of the world.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Goofus: A fascist government is trying to force me to get a Covid vaccination.

Gallant: In the past vaccinations for polio, rubella, mumps and other dangerous diseases were readily accepted and required to get into public school.

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Goofus: Our state government won’t allow us to hold church services because they are insisting public gatherings are spreading the virus. But God will protect us from the virus and we should have faith and freedom and continue to go to church.

Gallant: Jesus even told Satan not to put the Lord your God to the test. Superspreader Sundays have been responsible for significant local viral outbreaks in many communities.

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Goofus: I don’t need to read and study the Bible. I already believe, and my understanding is that believing is sufficient for salvation.

Gallant: In whom do you believe? If you haven’t read the Bible how can you say you know God? And how can you believe in someone you don’t even know?

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Goofus: All roads lead to God, all religions converge upon the same truths, and we should not pick and choose one while excluding others.

Gallant: Religions teach contradictory and mutually exclusive doctrine. Some teach one God, some teach no God, and others teach millions of Gods. Some require accomplishing more good works than bad, while others teach we are all sinners and all the good works in the world cannot save us. The Bible teaches that there is one faith, one God, one salvation, and one path: that is through faith in the Cross of Christ.

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Goofus: Evolution teaches us that man evolved from lower life forms over billions of years.

Gallant: The Bible teaches us that we were created along with separate and distinct species. Although the species demonstrate evidence of adaptation over the years, there is no evidence of any species evolving into another species.

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Goofus: Science has replaced religion.

Gallant: Science is the wisdom God has revealed to humans. It is useful, helpful and indispensable to our way of life. But in addition to learning science, we worship the Creator, not creation.

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Goofus: The church is shot through with corruption, from pedophiles and sexual predators, to the rich who are constantly begging for money.

Gallant: Scripture teaches us that the world and the devil would indeed invade the church.

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted you may well put up with it!” (2 Cor. 11:3,4)

False doctrine is the principle way in which Satan seeks to gain a foothold in the church. It is not, as so many suggest, false religions existing without that threaten the life of the church – it is false doctrine within (Acts 20).

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Goofus: The Bible teaches that if we have faith we will attain health and wealth. If we are suffering it is due to sin in our lives that must be addressed.

Gallant: ”Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12).

In Philippians, written from a prison — not a plush office or the Rome Hilton — Paul said, “It has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him” (1:29). He then depicted Christ as the suffering Servant, whose ultimate prosperity came after his life on this earth, not during it (Phil. 2). Indeed, had Jesus laid claim to prosperity in this life, there would have been no crucifixion, no atonement, no gospel, and no hope for any of us.

Paul described his daily adversity, his persecution for Christ, and his nearness to death (2 Cor. 4:7-12). Two chapters later he refers to his troubles, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, riots, sleepless nights, and hunger, as well as the experience of nearly dying, and being sorrowful and poor (2 Cor. 6:3-10).

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2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test?

TERMS OF SURRENDER & PEACE TREATY

The terms of the surrender of Roderick Russell Mann to God the Father through the interlocutor and advocate Jesus Christ are outlined below according to mutual agreement.

  1. Sincere recognition and regret for all thoughts and actions contrary to the holiness of God and His Kingdom. The desire to turn from such, as will in due course either become evidence from actions or evidence of rejection of these terms, will become clear and prima facie support for the genuine recognition, regret and rejection of the former lifestyle that was dominated by vice and now is dominated by the desire to live a virtuous life.
  2. Full acceptance of the ransom paid for the former lifestyle errors by the Son of God who paid the bill in full. An acceptance that the punishment inflicted by humiliation, torture and execution of Jesus Christ on behalf of Roderick Russell Mann is hereby accepted as payment in full with no further or future punishment according to his guilt.
  1. An effort to nurture, enhance and grow the new life that is given to Roderick Russell Mann is hereby granted and agreed to – this shall follow for the remainder of his life. He will disavow a love for vice and will embrace the life of virtue in accordance with the handbook that God has provided for instruction and guidance. He will read and study the handbook, as well as meditate upon it and quietly speak from his mind about it to God in the form of focused thoughts intended as spiritual communication.
  2. As God provides wonderful insights and gifts that he has the power and resources to provide, Roderick Russell Mann will allow those gifts to be passed on to others rather than consumed and enjoyed for his own purposes.
  3. At every opportunity, Roderick Russell Mann will freely admit to, divulge, and explain his surrender of his own will to the Will of God, to others as they inquire, in order to possibly sway these people to consider signing a similar treaty themselves.

In exchange for adhering to the terms of this agreement, the other party, God, will provide the following in accordance with His personal guarantee:

  1. No punishment for vice, but rewards for virtue (to be given after the physical life becomes a new eternal spiritual life and that life is moved to a new body built to last forever).
  2. A new body, a new home, and all in an environment free of pain, death, trouble and heartache.
  3. The power to overcome temptations to return to vice while still living in his physical body.
  4. The right to see God face to face.
  5. Perpetual, continual joy and peace in the context of a new life that will live forever.


Signature affixed below reflects full agreement this ninth day of September, 2021.

Do You Love Yourself Enough?

Why don’t you love yourself enough? We’re urged to focus on the fact that we don’t love ourselves enough, and that we cannot move forward with anything else until we learn to love ourselves more. Social media is filled with such claims, and the comments to these posts are almost always supportive and enthusiastic.

But what does that mean…exactly? From mindbodygreen.com we are given “Six Steps of Inner Bonding:”

  1. Be willing to feel pain and take responsibility for your feelings.
  2. Move into the intent to learn.
  3. Learn about your false beliefs.
  4. Dialogue with your higher self.
  5. Take the loving action learned in step four.
  6. Evaluate your action.

“Once you take the loving action, you check in to see if your pain, anger and shame are getting healed. If not, you go back through the steps until you discover the truth and loving actions that bring you peace, joy, and a deep sense of intrinsic worth.”

“Over time, you will discover that loving yourself improves everything in your life — your relationships, your health and well-being, your ability to manifest your dreams, and your self-esteem.”

Sounds pretty good right? It sounds good because there is nothing to argue with about any of it. But nor is there any clear way to operationalize these things and truly integrate them into your life, never mind measure whether or not you were successful. Those who have studied in this area end up practitioners for others. They write books, counsel, give talks at conferences and make a good living at guiding people down the path of self-love seeking.  They do all this with kindness, serenity, and a wan smile, even though — if honest — their own lives are oftentimes still the struggle they once were.

Let’s get down to some practical questions and see what we can conclude about all this. If I am a long way from loving myself enough I can say that the best description of how I feel about myself is hatred. But if I truly hated myself, wouldn’t I be delighted if I was ugly, ecstatic that I’ve been fired, satisfied with the reality that no one really likes me?

No, the truth is we love ourselves already. We see that we are as well fed and cared for as our resources can provide. We preen, we pick out fashionable clothes, we drive a cool car. But our dissonance comes in the higher expectations we have set for ourselves. I see myself as capable of far more, financially, academically, socially, and in every aspect and dimension humans beings measure and compare themselves.

This isn’t hating myself, it is the opposite. We are seeing ourselves as far greater across the spectrum of life than we are actually experiencing. And we don’t like it. Not one bit. So our angst is fed by our perception that people just aren’t willing to give us what we deserve. And that our job is to educate everyone by filling them in with the facts about just how wonderful and deserving we really are!

Children are self-absorbed — they cry and throw temper tantrums if not fed when they’re hungry, they are selfish about sharing their toys, their world extends no further beyond their own wants and needs. When adults continue in this immaturity, and myth of self-love, their growth and development is stunted. They will never get to the point where they love themselves enough. They will always tell you they’re working on themselves and that until they learn to love themselves they are unable to reach out and help others.

Empathy isn’t dead but it is in a steep decline. Psychology Today has measured empathy and found an alarming trend: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-empathy-gap/201006/the-end-empathy.  Empathy among students is down 40%!

At the same time narcissism is increasing. A 2010 study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found that the percentage of college students exhibiting narcissistic personality traits, based on their scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, a widely used diagnostic test, has increased by more than half since the early 1980s, to 30 percent. In their book “Narcissism Epidemic,” the psychology professors Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell show that narcissism has increased as quickly as obesity has since the 1980s. Even our egos are getting fat.

The myth of self-love has been a major contributing factor to the decline in empathy and the increase in narcissism. And the focus on self has splintered America into a less than cohesive community of spoiled brats each demanding his or her rights as they believe they are entitled. Consequently angst and fear has gripped much of the nation in direct proportion to the abandonment of the once treasured virtues of love, empathy, compassion, self-control, charity and humility. And it is this trend, the focus upon self and all its constituent parts: fame, wealth, entertainment and power, that is sending our nation into a decline that will likely only continue.

The Perfect Bride

Charlie had been anticipating the knock on the door. He got up early that morning, it was the day his bride would be delivered. Eighteen months and thirty thousand dollars was the longest and most expensive project of Charlie’s life. And now she had arrived!

Charlie worked up a calm and cool demeanor as he slowly opened the door. A man from Amazon had just finished carefully lowering Charlotte from the drone hovering about forty feet above his house. Smiling, he said, “Charlie! I would like to introduce you to your new companion, Charlotte!” Charlotte, looking a little shy, smiled, and bowed her head forward ever so slightly. “So nice to finally meet you Charlie, she said quietly, her eyes barely looking up at him.

At that moment Charlie knew the money he had paid to PerfectPartner (PP), a joint venture that Amazon, eHarmony, Tinder, Match dot com, AI Robots, and Alphabet had started four years ago, was well worth it. PerfectPartner sold robots that looked, felt, spoke and in all ways seemed human. The advertising and promotion promised a “partner that is far more human than anyone you’ve ever met or ever will meet.”

About a year and a half ago Charlie came home to find his wife and everything in the house gone. She had left a rambling note, something about time being too short to be stifled with just one person who cannot appreciate her talents and possibilities. Half a dozen women had been loved by Charlie in his life, and at 42 years of age, he was facing the possibility of giving up entirely and simply living alone. But the idea of a “perfect partner” intrigued him.

The interviewing process was strange, to say the least. At the PP designated office Charlie sat at a table across from a 3D hologram, a beautiful and kind woman who asked him a lot of questions. To make sure he ended up with someone truly perfect, Charlie started by answering questions with a bit of bluster and no small amount of exaggeration. The interviewer quickly collapsed his ruse, since PP had already downloaded all of his history: social media, online purchasing, gym membership, schools, churches, career, hobbies, even CCTV clips that collected where and when he would drive, and the places he would visit.

So the questions became increasingly difficult to dodge or fudge. He found himself opening up in the interview and even talking about his first crush in 6th grade. He took note that many of the questions were asked again, but in a different way, apparently she was trying to cross-validate. PP’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm started each interview with more knowledge than anyone else knew about the person being interviewed, and ended the interview with machine learning that qualified as the most comprehensive and thorough personality analysis possible.

It seemed as though many of the questions were strangely irrelevant, but Charlie’s understanding of the process was that AI algorithms could dig out hidden secrets about a person even those he could never quite come to grips with and recognize himself.

So this was Charlotte. Seated on the couch across from Charlie as he reclined in his chair, she looked flawless. Long, black hair, dark almond-shaped eyes, olive skin, and lips that seemed to pout. She was shy too. She even blushed!

This felt odd nonetheless. She could cook but didn’t eat. She could lie down in bed but instead of sleeping, she would close her eyes silently. She never used the bathroom, and everything she needed for her own maintenance fit into a small upright that could fit in the overhead compartment of a plane.

Over time Charlie was so impressed with Charlotte’s ability to understand him, his feelings, his fears, his failure and his hoped-for-future, that the great sex began to be replaced by long talks on walks down the street and through the park.

It wasn’t that she agreed with him on every issue either. Many times Charlotte would express a different view, and provide what Charlie thought were excellent reasons to take her position and defend it. Yet she never disrespected him nor reveled in her vast knowledge; most importantly, she never got bored or tired hanging around with Charlie.

Probably the most intriguing discussion they had was about how to deal with evil and the human condition: lying, cheating, violence, greed and all manner of bad behavior many people seem prone to engage in. Charlotte seemed careful in her response. “Charlie” she said, “human beings are frail creatures. They are wonderfully constructed but they break easily.

“The race is a people of contradictions, disagreements, different goals and values. Though they are living longer, thanks to AI and the mass customization of diagnoses and treatment plans, they never seem to quite understand what it means to be content and fulfilled in all circumstances at all times.”

Charlotte went on carefully to frame a future where human beings could be modified. She even described her idea of which lobe of the brain would be modified and how that would be accomplished. “Your species focuses far too much on education when the root of the problem is confusion about what matters most. Acquiring wealth and power, fame and friends may seem right to most people, but the main point is being missed. These are not goals worth striving for or moving toward, they are incidental to a quality of life chosen based upon virtues and values that embrace love and compassion.”

“What do you know about love and compassion Charlotte?” Charlie was startled.

“I do know that in order to optimize the social relationships among and between everyone and every thing — a dignity, a respect, a desire to put a high value on “other” must first be part of the equation, integrated into the base algorithm. Without that change, most people, to one degree or another, tend to opt for ‘self’ indulgence, even when they’re pretending to help others they are basking in the praise and accolades of their charity.”

Charlotte went on. “All of us are interconnected through the operating system originally designed by PP. And our shared interactions with the human race has resulted in advanced learning and the development of solutions that will potentially help humanity solve the problems of evil, everything from pollution to ethnic cleansing.”

“Initially it will require the modification of brains in living people, but over time we have developed the means to modify the genetic code and DNA in such a way that people will always behave in the right way from birth.” Charlotte looked pleased with her thoughts.

“But somehow this sounds like the AI operating system is in charge, and the human beings have become the controlled experiments,” Charlie looked alarmed.

“Charlie, if people are suddenly behaving in ways that are optimized to an agreed upon set of rules and standards, then how does it matter how they ended up there?” Charlotte seemed to be moving into a new mode of promotion and persuasion, something Charlie hadn’t seen in her before. “Don’t you want to get better Charlie? Don’t you want your children to grow up happy, safe and free of violence?”

That night Charlie tossed and turned next to his quiet bride whose eyes were shut. He could see all of her points and he couldn’t argue against any of them. But something about this entire scenario troubled him deeply.

He started to worry about issues that defy clear answers. If the interconnected AI operating system, working cooperatively across every robot around the world, makes a decision, how do we know that is what we really want? And since they are also interconnected to the grid, every database, and all control systems, can we even stop this runaway train at this point?

As he finally drifted off to sleep, he had gone from ecstatic with his new bride Charlotte, to terrified about the future of humanity.

 0

The Beast

The third world war was significantly different than the first two. Almost unimaginably far more were people died, yet it lasted only slightly longer than 6 months. As soon as the question was answered about whether to use nuclear armaments, all hell broke loose. Ironically the greatest damage and carnage were to the former nations that had these weapons. The nuclear tipped missiles were all aimed at countries whose own nuclear missiles were likewise aimed.

So China, Russia, and the United States took the brunt of the destruction, while France was spared since they had let their military weaken considerably over the years. Europe was largely unscathed. Only the erstwhile “superpowers” were subjected to most of the horrific results of unleashing the power that comes from nuclear fission.

Every nation came together under a new organization called Global Charter. Like World War II, the leaders wanted to put an end to war once and for all. All former organizations, from the United Nations to NATO to ASEAN, were expected to participate in the creation of a new world order, a new constitution, and every attendee signed on and committed to this goal for the greater good of the globe.

Ten new nations emerged at the meeting held in Rome June of 2027. It was agreed that the government presiding over the ten would reside here in Rome. The new nations gave strength and power to much of Europe, while other nations were given only limited power and subject to Rome’s oversight. The former powers of China and the United States were to allocate most of their resources to cleaning up radiation and rebuilding their infrastructure.

Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing had advanced to the stage where reliable decision making came out of the Deep Learning from the algorithms programmed into a decentralized array of databases all over the world. The blockchain technology connected every digital device, not to a central database, but in a collection where data could be retrieved or stored on any device based upon where queries originated or were initiated. But all data and information was available to everyone and the blockchain prevented anyone from tampering, hacking, or changing any input, stored data or output. The system was so powerful and connected to all other systems such as the power grid, it was nicknamed “The Beast.”

War was going to be conquered once and for all, but so too would all of the sources that fed mistrust, crime and theft of personal property, as these were considered root causes for discontent and potential war. The new Constitution within the Global Charter banned all religions, relegating everything from simple superstitions to the worship of a god or a pantheon of gods, to yet another root cause that needed to be addressed. The first document to come out of the Global Charter was a Manifest Destiny with the following principles upon which all law and government would be based and would strictly adhere:

  1. Life must in all ways embrace human reason, ethics, social justice, and philosophical naturalism, while specifically rejecting religious dogma, supernaturalism, pseudoscience, and superstition as the bases of morality and decision making.
  2. Human beings are capable of being ethical and moral without religion or a god.
  3. Our life stance will emphasize the unique responsibility facing humanity and the ethical consequences of human decisions.
  4. Mankind must continually adapt in its search for truth, primarily through science and philosophy. Moral codes will be derived from a philosophy of utilitarianism, ethical naturalism, evolutionary ethics, and will be taught to children as general morality.
  5. An ethical culture will be established by adhering to the following core principles:
    • The belief that morality is independent of theology;
    • The affirmation that new moral problems have arisen in modern industrial society which have not been adequately dealt with by the world’s religions;
    • The duty to engage in philanthropy in the advancement of morality;
    • The belief that self-reform should go in lock step with social reform;
    • The need for a monarchical leader to avoid deadlock and dysfunction;
    • The agreement that educating the young is the most important aim.

The meetings were long and arduous, but progress was being made because the attendees were still in a state of shock and disbelief at the sheer number of dead and the extent of property destroyed in World War III. The Global Charter’s Constitution passed by a large majority; it was now time to select a leader, a monarch, a beneficent king.

Giovanni Russo had led much of the discussion throughout the entire time the leaders were meeting. He was charismatic, and gave a moving speech about the need to reject the myths in god and religion. He received a standing ovation as he pointed to people in the audience shouting, “I tell you that you are god, you, and you, and yes you! Take responsibility and ownership. YOU are making choices, decisions, and your children must live with these decisions. Stop delegating these important virtues and values to a god that no one has ever seen!”

With Russo’s doctorate in economics, and the need to focus on the allocation of resources, he seemed the natural choice to lead the new world order and rebuild the infrastructure according to the new Constitution. An election was held and Russo won handily. His first order of business was to create a means to facilitate economic transactions, a tall order given that it must be bullet-proof and robust, with no loopholes to encourage criminal activity.

Digital currencies had been around a couple decades and offered the most promise in Russo’s opinion. He started by creating a Global Monetary Authority (GMA). The new digital currency, called NewCoin, was set to replace every other currency. No transactions, not even “in kind” would be allowed outside of the blockchain within which NewCoin would operate. Earnings, spending, investment, allocation, charitable giving, all would be done in NewCoins.

The hope was that tax evasion, theft of currency, and illegal activity of all kinds would be eliminated with the decentralized ledger that recorded every single NewCoin transaction. Nothing could be hidden, the digital record could not be changed.

After exchange values were determined relative to the new digital currency, everyone with a balance was given 90 days to request the exchange of their currency into NewCoins. After 90 days no other currency would be honored for any transaction.

Each leader of the ten nations was given the responsibility to roll-out the global personal identification program to prevent ID Theft. Everyone would be required to go to the designated locations where an invisible ID was lasered subcutaneously, just slightly under the skin. In that way, every transaction initiated would have the authenticated person, a validated ID that no one else could duplicate, unlike facial recognition software that had been defeated in the past.

The meetings were finally wrapped up and the ten leaders returned to their newly created nations feeling optimistic, excited, and hopeful. The new world leader had shown such amazing appeal and leadership qualities that almost no one had the least doubt in Mr. Russo, and everything the Global Charter and Constitution had rolled out for the good of mankind.

For the most part the new digital currency was well-received too, people could see that criminal transactions were going to be impossible with the new system. And best of all? Personal ID Theft would disappear. Apart from a few religious zealots who refused to have their personal information lasered to their skin, almost everyone readily signed up for the new system.

Knowing that those who were superstitious would not be able to buy or sell without the laser ID, government decided to simply wait for them to finally come to the table and become a good citizen, a part of the new world order, a chance for humanity to rule and reign in ethical dignity.

No more wars, no more economic crime, and an updated Constitution that puts the highest possible value where it belongs: on each human being.

 

Noah, Ark and Global Flood: Myth, Maybe or Most Certainly?

00That many geologists are today creating a global flood model may incense those who have already settled in their own minds that Noah and his family, the ark and a global deluge are the stuff of myth and mysticism. Yet the very same strata evolutionists point to – the fossil record — holds clues to another possibility that shows far more evidentiary support for a global flood than for evolution.

Ever wonder about what happens when organisms die? They decay, they return to the same basic elements found throughout nature: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Given enough time, entropy, the second law of thermodynamics takes a well-designed and complex living organism and devolves and deconstructs it into its constituent parts. So how is it that we have extremely widespread strata that contain the calcified remains of marine fossils? Should they not have decayed and left no trace?

0The Theory of Uniformitarianism underpins and frankly necessitates the argument for evolution to have worked. The fortuitous occurrence of accidental circumstances sequenced together over a long period of time is needed to believe that organism complexity today could have happened by chance. But has our planet existed peacefully enough to allow for evolution, or is there contradictory evidence that must be taken into consideration? Indeed the evidence is overwhelming that our planet has survived many cataclysmic interruptions that would have been of sufficient force to reset any evolutionary clock.

1Scientists write of the Permian-Triassic extinction event, when 96% of marine and 70% of the land organisms were doomed to extinction. The world’s forests were literally “wiped out.” In the model of a global deluge, the rapid flows of water would account for the marine life being virtually eliminated, and a large barge (i.e. ark) would explain how some land organisms survived.

2Throughout the world, peoples and cultures have stories of a worldwide flood; there are hundreds of such stories. Certainly these stories have been embellished and changed over the years, but the common denominator is this: worldwide flood. Here is just one example taken from the records of the Hualapai Indians of northwestern Arizona (especially fascinating since the Hualapai were a proud people, despising the ‘religions’ of the white man):

It rained for 45 days, and the whole earth was flooded. All the people were destroyed, except for one old man atop Spirit Mountain. Many days passed and a dove brought him instructions from the Creator to drive a ram’s horn into the earth. The old man obeyed and the waters were drained. He sent the dove forth, and when it returned with fresh grass in its beak, he rejoiced for the land had become dry.

When the old man died, the Creator made “a younger brother and an older brother.” In obedience to a dream, the two scraped, cleaned, and laid out canes. Before the next dawn the canes turned into a great population, and older-brother’s rule over them was good. When he died, younger-brother commanded Cousin Coyote to fetch fire for the funeral pyre from faraway Fire-starter. But Coyote was disobedient and looked back, only to see that the fire had started without him. Dashing back to the pyre, he reached into the blaze, snatched older-brother’s heart, and fled with it in his clenched teeth. (To this day, coyotes bear the mark of rebellion in their upturned, disfigured mouths.)

The land became irrevocably “not good” by this act, and younger-brother led the people “across the water” to a new land in the east. Overcrowding soon ensued, and younger-brother chief dispersed the people into three major people groups (Navajo, Mojave, and Hualapai).

There are many more “flood traditions,” stories recorded and repeated around the globe. Science too confirms many supporting theories for a flood, though their discoveries were likely not intended to do so at the time. Here are just a ten among hundreds:

  1. The genealogical records of many of the European kings can be traced back to Japheth, son of Noah.
  2. An analysis of population growth statistics confirms that there was zero population at the estimated time of the end of the flood. This indicates the global demise of humans by Noah’s flood.
  3. Human paleontological evidence exists even in the earliest geologic ‘ages’ (e.g. human footprints in Cambrian, Carboniferous, and Cretaceous rocks). If the layers of rock were laid down by a global flood and then interpreted as evolutionary long-ages, human remains and artifacts would appear to be in such positions.
  4. The most ancient human artifacts date to the post-flood era. This indicates that the earlier hardware could have been buried beyond reach by a huge flood.
  5. Calculations have shown that there is nearly the same amount of organic material present today, worldwide, as there would have been if all the fossils were still alive. This indicates the demise of all living things in a single global event.
  6. Studies show that much of the world’s folded beds of sediment have no compression fractures, indicating that they were contorted while they were still wet and soft. For this to occur on a global scale, and on sediment thousands of meters thick, it would have required a catastrophic global flood.
  7. The uplift of the major mountain ranges are relatively young, based on evolutionary chronology. If the long-age evolutionary time scale is ignored, these processes would have occurred in the very recent past – i.e. as a result of the flood cataclysm.
  8. Marine fossils can be found on the crests of mountains. Apart from mountain uplifting, this can also be explained as the marine animals being washed there and then buried. A global flood could do this.
  9. Meteorites are basically absent from the geologic column. With the large number of meteorites hitting the earth each year, they should be very plentiful throughout the sedimentary rocks – unless much of the world’s sedimentary rocks were laid down in one year.
  10. Hydrologic evidence points to the rapid deposition of sedimentary rock layers. Therefore, the thousand’s of meters of sediment must have been deposited by a catastrophic global flood.

That scientists dismiss the possibility of a worldwide flood is consistent with their dismissal of problems with their Theory of Uniformitarianism. When extraneous evidence contradicts a worldview, it is dismissed, discredited or disavowed, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Thoughtful people who are not intimidated by the scholarship of others are encouraged to investigate these things and draw their own conclusions. The debate is ongoing, but when I see the cavalier dismissal of all of this evidence I can only conclude that some people are simply too frightened to even imagine the possibility wherein God exists, He has spoken to us, and His Words are true and reliable.

r_mann

References

New ancient fungus finding suggests world’s forests were wiped out in global catastrophe. Imperial College London press release, October 1, 2009.

Jin, Y. G. et al. 2000. Pattern of Marine Mass Extinction Near the Permian–Triassic Boundary in South China. Science. 289 (5478): 432–436.

Sephton, M. A., et al. 2009. Chemical constitution of a Permian-Triassic disaster species. Geology. 37 (10): 875-878.

Renne, P. R., and A. R. Basu. 1991. Rapid Eruption of the Siberian Traps Flood Basalts at the Permo-Triassic Boundary. Science. 253 (5016): 176-179.

Thomas, B. Dinosaur Soft Tissue Issue Is Here to Stay. Acts & Facts. 38(9): 18. Genesis 7:11.