Category Archives: UNDERSTANDING OUR WORLD

Believers Need To Understand There Is No Common Ground Here

I do not want to explain myself the way I normally do — not in this post.  I simply do not trust myself to talk right now.  I am too angry and too grieved over what is happening in this nation today.  We are divided, and a house divided cannot stand.  Unfortunately, I do not see how we can mend this rift.  I hear people saying we have to try to understand the other side so we can find common ground and then come together on that common ground, but I do not see any common ground between us –not any more.  There was a time, when this was still about politics, but this is no longer about politics, or Left vs Right.  No, this has become about lawless vs lawful, good vs evil, and the two do not have any common ground.  Scripture is quite clear on this:

John 1:5-9 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not [a]comprehend it.

A person is either in and of the light, or in and of the darkness, and those who are in and of the darkness turn Truth upside down and inside out.  They:

Isaiah 5:20-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who [a]substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who [b]substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever in their own sight!

I look around and I see people demanding that I believe a woman who makes charges without witnesses to support her charges, and that I condemn a man who has four witnesses refuting her claims.  This is lawlessness.  Scripture says:

2 Corinthians 13:1 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Examine Yourselves

13 This is the third time I am coming to you. Every [a]fact [b]is to be confirmed by the [c]testimony of two or three witnesses.

Therefore, Scripture tells me that those people demanding that I condemn Judge Kavanaugh and believe his accuser are lawless, and Scripture defines lawlessness as evil.  How do I — as a believer — find common ground with evil?  If I compromise with evil, I join myself to evil, and since evil is not and cannot be a part of the Lord, I would be alienating myself from my Savior.

But how did we — a Christian nation — get to this point?  I keep asking myself this question, but I know the answer: we got here the exact same way Israel got to the point where it was twice destroyed — first the Northern Tribes, and then the Southern.  To put it simply, we turned away from the source of all our blessings, from the very anchor of our society and foundation of our liberty — the One True Living God!

I suddenly find myself being persecuted simply because I refuse to renounce the Truth.  Honestly, I pray that you, dear reader, are experiencing the same persecution, because there is affirmation in that persecution.  If you stand for what is right and just, if you refuse to become lawless and are attacked because of it, then know that you are standing with The Logos, The Word.  This means you are in the Logos and the Logos is in you, and the world hates you because of it:

John 15:18-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Disciples’ Relation to the World

18 “If the world hates you, [a]you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.

Matthew 10:22  New American Standard Bible (NASB)

22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

Therefore, if you are hated because you will not join the rest of the world in this growing lawlessness, or because you will not replace right with wrong, good with evil, then know that the world hates you because you do not belong to the world.  You are from above.  But also know that you and I are called to endure to the end.  This means we must not back away from this fight, we just have to fight the way the Scriptures command us to fight.  Put on the full armor of the Lord, and speak the Gospel: boldly and purely and without fear.  Witness to the world through your testimony and your actions, and do so with an agape love for all.  And remember, no matter what:

Romans 12:17-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. [a]Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but [b]leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

1 Peter 3:9-14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but [a]giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For,

The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
11 He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

13 Who is [b]there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you [c]are blessed. And do not fear their[d]intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but [e]sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a [f]defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and [g]reverence;16 [h]and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

UNDERSTANDING OUR WORLD: Spiritually, Everything Falls Into Two Divisions: Lawful Or Lawless

NOTE: I was not happy with my original post, so this was re-written.  I pray it will be a better explanation of the idea I’m trying to explain.

For the majority of my life, I struggled to make sense out of a seemingly endless number of worldviews and the political ideologies that spawn from them.  I have read the work of many philosophers, sociologists and political commentators in an effort to find some explanation for these differences.  You see, I have always believed the world operates by a fixed set of rules, and that logic is among these.  So, to me, if people take the time to properly think things through, we should all arrive at generally the same conclusions.  After all, if there are fixed rules governing the universe, that means there is an objective Truth, as well.  So, why do so many people seem to arrive at so many different versions of ‘truth?’  I never found a logical answer to this question — not until I let Scripture speak to me on its own terms.  The moment I did so, I saw that everything we humans believe or do falls into one of two categories: we are either Lawful or we are lawless.  It really is that easy. – at least, for me it is.  The following post explains how I have come to see and understand this divide.  I hope it may be helpful to your own personal understanding.

Whether or not people wish to admit it, this universe actually is governed by a set of rules or laws.  There are different types of laws, and they are all fixed; they do not change with time, place or even culture.  These laws can be discovered.  One way of discovering them is through observation and testing, which is a process we know as ‘science.’  Another way to discover them is through the proper application of logic, which philosophers call ‘right reasoning.’  But I’m not writing about these laws, or how we can discover them.  That is a subject for an entirely different series of posts.  No, what concerns me at the moment is that these laws are real, they are fixed, and because they are real and fixed, that means there is one objective reality.  And, if there is an objective reality — one Truth — a person will either seek to learn and embraces that one Truth, or they will reject it.  There are no other possibilities on this issue.  So, how is this connected to the subject of the Spiritual divide?  Easy. If there are universal laws, then there must be a Law-Giver.  This Law-Giver is God.  If there is a God, then a person will either seek Him and His Laws, or they will reject Him and His Laws.  In other words, a person either seeks to be Lawful, or they choose to be Lawless.  As a result, everything we think and do as individuals falls into one of these two categories — everything.

The first side of this division is that of Lawfulness, but this is a bigger issue than just the Ten Commandments.  It is all of God’s Laws combined: His Laws governing logic, mathematics, language, physics, economics — even morality.  Whenever a person seeks to learn these laws, accepts them and then tries to live in obedience to them, then that person is said to be living a ‘righteous.’  This is because that person is trying to live obediently by staying on the right side of God’s Law.   Now, this does not mean that such a person will never make a mistake in understanding God’s Laws, or that such a person will never violate the laws he does understand correctly,  because they will.  Everyone, no matter how ‘righteous,’ eventually breaks one of God’s Laws.  Scripture calls it sin.  Interestingly enough, the word, ‘sin,’ is derived from an ancient archery term meaning ‘to miss the mark.’  It may not seem like it, but this ancient meaning of the word, ‘sin,’ is not only connected to the Spiritual divide between Lawful and Lawless, it can serve as an indicator as to whether or not a person’s character is Lawful or Lawless.

If a person is lawful, then they will possess a certain degree of humility and will accept personal responsibility for their actions.  This is because they have accepted that they are not the master of this universe, they know they never will be, and that they are accountable to the True Creator.  This is why they recognize the Laws that govern this world: because they recognize the Law-Giver and His authority over everything — including themselves.  This is part of what humility s all about: the act of submitting one’s self to a higher authority.  In this case, that is God and His Law.  Such a person has a sincere love for God’s Laws, and because Truth is part of God’s Law, that person will have a love for truth.  A Humble person with a love for the Truth is capable of recognizing violations of God’s Laws.  They can see it in others, as well as themselves.  Because such a person is humble and has a love of Truth, they are also teachable.  This means, if they do not see a wrong at first, or if they are mistaken about something, others can show them the wrong and they will acknowledge it.  This is all part of a constant process of seeking, learning about and then embracing God’s Laws, and trying to live in harmony and obedience with them.  We call this persistent pursuit to live according to God’s Law, ‘righteousness,’ and it is connected to things such as virtue, honor and moral character.  People who make a habit of living this way are Lawful.  Yes, they may ‘miss the mark,’ but they will correct their mistake and seek to get closer to that mark the next time.

Then there is everyone else: all those who reject God and His Law.  These people are lawless, but this can be the confusing part.  Many of them will appear to be just and righteous, but it is only an appearance.  They are hypocrites (which actually means ‘play actor’).    TO make matters even more complicated, there are two main divisions of lawlessness.  There are those who follow false gods, and those who claim not to believe in or follow any god at all.  Even these claims are signs of lawlessness.

First, we have those who follow false gods.  If there is one set of un-changing law in this universe, then there is only One Law-Giver.  However, according to Scripture, there are many gods with a small ‘g’ (you need to read the book I suggested in my post, UNDERSTANDING SCRIPTURE: It Starts By Learning The Biblical Worldview, because the Scripture actually do say this!).  These small ‘g’ gods are the Princes behind the Principalities mentioned in the Psalms, as well as the Books of Daniel, Ephesians and The Revelation of Jesus Christ.  They are real, and they have been given authority over the different nations by the One True God.  The problem is, these spiritual Princes are lawless, themselves, so they lead the people under their authority into lawlessness.  o, while these people may believe they are worshiping the true god, in reality, they have been deceived by the Spiritual Prince who was assigned to watch over them and to teach them about the True God.  The end result is that the people in this category of lawlessness often appear to be very religious and righteous, but they are — in reality — following a false god.  This means they obey a false law, which — ultimately — makes them lawless in the eyes of the True God.

Then there are the lawless people who claim not to believe in any god.  These people are the most blind of all.  Whether people realize it or not, we all worship a god.  Whether it is the One True God, a false god or ourselves, we worship a god.  And this is where so many go wrong.  Sadly, this includes many people who sincerely believe they are following the True God, as well as many who believe in false gods.  I say this because there are many who claim to believe in a god, yet they do not accept or obey the teachings of their faith.  Instead, they either pick-and-choose what they will accept, or they re-write their own commandments according to their own desires, and even then, they often cannot live according the the rules they created for themselves.  This also applies to people who claim to be Atheists.  They may claim not to believe in any god, but in reality, they see themselves as their own god.  No matter what the specific case, every person who has created their own rules is worshiping themselves and, because they are not the True Law-Giver, everything they claim to believe in is lawless.  Even if they appear to be righteous, they are not —  because everything they believe in and everything they do is ultimately based in rebellion to the One True Law-Giver and His Law.

I understand that others may disagree, but, for me, this understanding explains everything I see people doing throughout the whole of history.  Not only does it explain it, but it does so in a consistent, rational way that can even be used to determine a person’s true motivations and predict the end result of their ideas.  It has helped me to understand why I see so much in common between the ‘Left and Right,’ and ‘Liberals and Conservatives.’  It is because there can be lawful and lawless people in both groups.  In fact, there can be lawful people who have made a mistake and appear lawless, and lawless people who appear lawful in both groups, as well.  When you count up how many of us there are, and how all of us can be lawful or lawless, or mistaken, or hypocrites,…  Well, it becomes easy to see how things can easily appear to be much more complicated than they actually are.  The rick is to just learn and accept the eternal laws of this universe, as well as the Law-Giver.  Once you do that, all you have to do to determine whether a particular person is lawful or lawless by nature is to observe what they say and do and compare it to what Scripture has to say.  If a person habitually speaks or acts against Scripture, they are most certainly lawless.  But, if they are habitually in obedience to, or can be corrected when they make a mistake, then they are most likely lawful.  It is a simple, rational and consistent way to approach the difference between all of us because it is in agreement with God’s Law.  So, for me, it really does come down to this question:

Are my words and actions lawful or lawless?

If I know my Scriptures, the answer to this question will be obvious.  Those answers might not always be easy to accept, especially when I discover I am acting lawlessly, but they will tell me everything I need to know about what I am doing and what I should be doing.  And, when I find I need to make a judgment regarding another person’s words or actions, I’ll have a reliable guide by which I can help me judge righteously.