Where was God in All this Tragedy?

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When a mad bomber sets off a bomb killing and maiming many, the people blame the mad bomber. When a drunk destroys the lives of family members and takes the life of the other driver, the people blame the drunk driver. When a man goes on a stabbing spree injuring and killing others in a large crowd, the people blame the man wielding the knife. However, in our Politically Correct culture when a man, woman, or child takes a gun into a “Gun Free Zone” and unleashes a whirlwind of bullets killing and injuring the innocence of life at a school, the people blame the gun. Why are people so skewed with respect to the weaponry used?? on February 14th, 2018, there was great travesty in Parkland Florida – a shooting by a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Now, I could go on with this topic for several blog posts, just based upon: What happened, what is being revealed, what is not being said, and who is being blamed. But on a far more serious and segue into the more important topic at hand…where was God in all this tragedy? To who should we cast our eyes for protection?

So, let’s address the elephant in the proverbial room…where was God in all this tragedy? God was right there in the thick of it! He was in the heart of every teacher that ran toward the gunfire, with fear but ever so courageously, in order to protect their students. With great adversity and trial God is shown in the courageous actions of Aaron Feis, Chris Hixon, and Scott Beigel. Admittedly, we may never understand the reasons for any, let alone all, of the evil and suffering that occurs throughout our lives, it is that simple. As a man of faith, and sometimes doubt, I believe that God in His infinite wisdom and in His glory has some morally sufficient reason for such things as these.

Could God have created a error free world without hate, without such travesty? Yes, in my opinion He actually did…it was that little known Garden of Eden from which mankind was kicked out for not abiding by the rules of the garden. It was without pain, fear, travesty, and death. And then Adam and Eve broke the golden rule of God:

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”~Genesis 2:16-17 NASB

And according to the prophet Isaiah, who said:

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear. ~Isaiah 59:2 NASB

This was an affront to God, man violated His law. Seem a bit harsh? Think about it for but a moment…how are you saved? Through the blood, the substitutionary blood of Jesus! By believing and claiming such, through the holy word of God, and faith (as that of Abraham) we are saved. It took the blood of Jesus, who hung on a cross for all of our sins…ALL OF THEM. Every sin which you ever will commit and ever have committed during the course of your life. God saw it all. And Jesus subjected Himself to the torment and torture of the cross out of love for all His creation! So, does getting kicked out of the Garden seem all that harsh in comparison to what Jesus endured for your sins, now???

God is a strict, but loving, God. He provided the sacrifice for our iniquities, suffering the gruesome consequences for not obeying His word. Had He not done so, we would still be sacrificing animals for our sins.

Getting back to it…God created the perfect world and we, mankind or more specifically his ancestry, botched things up. And even now, we as the species of man are not doing such a great job of following God’s commands and word. Even while being saved, we fail Him each and every day, with each and every thought we think and breath we take.

God was also with each and every student, both the survivors and the deceased. You are probably wondering why didn’t God do anything about this? Well, actually He did. The police were called to Nikolas Cruz’s home on 39 separate occasions (23 of which for violence, one of which he aimed one of his guns at the head of a child in the household in which he lived.) This was a police failure on a paramount scale. God gave man free will and regardless of what goes on, man has the ultimate choice. Then there were the FBI hotline tips that were not followed up on. Another Law Enforcement failure. The School Resource Officer failed to act in a timely manner and has since resigned. Then there were the Broward County Sheriff’s deputies who were hiding behind their vehicles with guns drawn while gunfire was going on inside the school when the local police arrived.

When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff’s deputies were also outside the school and had not entered, Coral Springs sources tell CNN. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles, the sources said, and not one of them had gone into the school. ~CNN Politics

According to Scott M. Sullivan, Ph.D., who is a Christian Apologist wrote on this subject within his Course on Suffering:

  • Christians must admit both that they think both, that:i. An all-powerful and all-good God existsii. Evil exists (evil is not an illusion)

  • In other words, Christianity holds both of these to be true. But morethan that. Christians also must admit that not only does an all goodand powerful God thinks there should be evil and suffering in theworld, but more particularly that GOD WILLS physical evils to happen(physical evils don’t fall outside of God’s control) and PERMITSmoral evils to happen (God cannot will sin for He is all-good but Hecan and obviously does allow it to happen.)i. GOD WILLS THE LAWS OF NATURE THAT CAUSE EARTHQUAKESii. GOD WILLS THE LAWS OF CHEMISTRY AND BIOLOGYTHAT RESULTS IN DISEASEiii. GOD PERMITS THINGS LIKE MASS KILLINGS, TORTURE,RAPE AND GENOCIDE etc. ~Suffering Course Introductory Courses in Apologetics

 

If all evil were prevented, much good would be absent from the universe. A lion would cease to live, if there were no slaying of animals; and there would be no patience of martyrs if there were no tyrannical persecution.” ~St. Thomas Aquinas, S.T. I.22 ad.2

And furthermore, the observation of St. Thomas Aquinas is such that:

God is so good that never would he allow evil to exist, unless he were so powerful as to be able to draw good from evil. Hence it is due to neither impotence nor ignorance on God’s part that evils occur in the world, but it is owing to the order of his wisdom and to the greatness of his goodness, whence come the many and divers grades of goodness in things, many of which would be lacking were he to allow no evil to exist. Thus there would be no good of patience without the evil of persecution, nor the good of the preservation of its life in a lion, without the evil of the destruction of the animals on which it lives.” – Aquinas De Pot III.6

We must keep in mind that we, mankind, are finite. We can only truly speak on those things we have experiences or knowledge of or about. God, on the other hand, is infinite. Meaning God sees from the beginning to the end as though it were a unimaginably large panoramic picture. We can only see from our beginning of perceiving of a subject. There is a big difference with respect to the perception of these two.

And though we do not like evil, how are we able to determine how much evil should be in the world???

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28 NASB

Because of our limited understanding and perception how can we expect to know the morally sufficient reasons behind that which we deem as evil? And it is quite possible that nothing may not be realized until 10, 20, 30, 50, or even 100 years after the incident. Perhaps there are to be a series of incident that cascade off of one another over the course of decades. There are those who will go to hell and those who go to heaven.

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~1 Timothy 2:3-4 NASB

And considering that God desires all men to be saved, why aren’t they? God gave us free will and the gift of choice. That being said, the gift of salvation must be chosen and freely accepted. Consider the man who refused a presidential pardon, George Wilson (1833). This is why “THE ROMAN’S ROAD TO SALVATION” is such a popular and easy method to aid others in their road to salvation…the basis of which is that we must choose life (salvation), unlike George Wilson.

WHY DID GOD CREATE THOSE HE KNEW WOULD GO TO HELL? Here, St. Thomas Aquinas’ will never be popular with respect to his answer, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true – ALL PEOPLE WILL GLORIFY GOD – those in Heaven glorify God’s mercy, those in Hell glorify God’s justice. Thus, even those in Hell fulfill the very purpose of creation.

I hope this was helpful and informative.

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

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A Question On Assumption & Belief

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People tend to question the motives of Christians who assume certain things they believe as factual and true, even though the person who challenges or questions, has no actual basis for an argument as he has done no historical research. On the other hand, Darwinists or Evolutionists argue for the Big Bang theory and stand by scientific findings on the age of this world, which according to scientists is 4.5 Billion years old (approximately.) Of course, this is based upon Carbon-14 dating methods.

While I am no expert on genetics, or any other science for that matter, that is why I (as do others) do our research and rely (have faith in) on and in the work that has been done by those who work in such fields of specialty. Science relies, in certain instances, on assumptions of information they do not have. Carbon dating methods rest on the assumption that carbon deteriorates at the same rate over the course of time, even at the millions of years, or billions of years. My limited understanding of the Carbon Dating method is to compare the two variant Carbon molecules. (C14/C12 notated as a ratio.)

Carbon-14, (14C or C14) or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope of carbon with an atomic nucleus containing 6 protons and 8 neutrons. Its presence in organic materials is the basis of the radiocarbon dating method pioneered by Willard Libby and colleagues (1949) to date archaeological, geological and hydrogeological samples.

Carbon12, (12C or C12) is of particular importance in its use as the standard from which atomic masses of all nuclides are measured: its mass number is 12 by definition and contains 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons.

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Robert Whitelaw has done a very good job illustrating this theory using about 30,000 dates published in Radio Carbon over the last 40 years. One of the impressive points Whitewall makes is the conspicuous absence of dates between 4,500 and 5,000 years ago illustrating a great catastrophe killing off plant and animal life world wide (the flood of Noah)!

Anthropologists, archaeologists, among others rely on other information in order to calculate the age of a demised animal, dinosaur, etc. Hence, genetics are used in certain instances. According to Roma Panganiban, The short answer to the question “how long does DNA last?” is complicated, and determined by a number of unpredictable factors such as weather and the organism’s final resting place.

We, as people or as students, are expected to accept (lock, stock, & barrel) the information given us by our superiors (teachers and others in academia) and we are to have blind faith on what is presented to us. And in many instances, if you should raise questions or challenge such things presented to you, or perhaps in research/term papers you take an opposing view, there is the potential for academic suicide (which is an intended future blog post.) If you value your grades you will acquiesce and play the game, but if you value your position (as being a point of principle) you will stand your ground all the while you see your academic career plummet. Or, if you listen to Ben Shapiro, you will not commit academic suicide and you will play the game so that you may survive to fight another day.

Case in point, while attending the university for my second Bachelors degree, I had to take a course (politically based upon history & citizenship), I took a Libertarian/Constitutionalist position within this paper which was, in fact, opinion based. I received a mid-level grade of C (78%). On an opinion based paper…how do you get a C??? How does your “Blue Dog Democrat” Professor give you a 78%??? Coincidence or conspiracy…you decide. But things such as this happen far more often in more liberal parts of this country’s educational buildings than here in the Midwest. That was the only time I had such a thing happen to me.

Can we trust science and scientists? Yes, we can; provided that they let the evidence take them on the journey and lead them to the answers. Not allowing their preconceived notion or agenda take them on the ride of their life and make the details fit the facts.

Darwin’s famous research on evolution was but a theory based upon speculation with the high hopes that future scientists would find the missing evidences. While it is a proven fact that germs, bacterium, and the like can and will mutate. Not one scientist can show an observable instance where the Darwinian Evolutionary process has occurred where something morphed from one kind or species to another. Most of such scientists will refer to the mutations and changes of on bacterium to another, but that is the case isn’t it? Bacterium changing to bacterium is not a change in kind or species…it remains a bacterium.

The Darwinianists cannot find the, so-called, missing link. That jump from one species of humanoid-like to human being. They keep saying it is there…but never quite get to the proof. Almost like the “Global Warming,” or the “Climate Change” believers. Sorry, the science doesn’t bear it out, they’re called seasons of changing weather patterns. The old adage, “Liars can figure, and figures can lie” is quite appropriate. People will use all they have at their fingertips in order to prove what they want you to believe. And even the NAZIs believed that if you tell a lie big enough and long enough that the people will eventually believe it.

The fact remains, if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present – could He make the earth as old or as young as He desires? Could God use different things, such as mans intelligence, strength, etc. to confound his own beliefs?

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise ~1 Corinthians 1:27 NKJV

I hope I did not confuse you any more than possible. Do I think it is a big deal to argue over how old the earth is? No, not at all. In fact, we are mandated not to argue in the book of Timothy, “avoid foolish and ignorant disputes…” (2 Timothy 2:23 NKJV) Quite honestly, the arguments and disputes that come from such arguments are not helpful to your purpose as a disciple of Jesus. Our job is to present the information and let the Holy Spirit and God and Jesus do their thing! The glory is all His…none falls to me or you. We are just assistants or tools to accomplish certain things in this scenario. Godspeed, my friends!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

References:

How does the radiocarbon dating method work?

Is radiocarbon dating based on assumptions?

Is Carbon Dating Reliable? by Helen Fryman

An Apparent Contradiction, or So They Say…

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There are, perceived contradiction within the biblical text. But are they truly contradictions, or are they misunderstood & misinterpreted theological ideologies? Let us look at one such contradiction in a comparative manner.

First, let us see what the Apostle Luke has told us:

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” ~Luke 23:42-43 NKJV

And let us look at this  scripture by the Apostle Paul:

For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. ~1 Thessalonians 4:14 NKJV

Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. ~1 Corinthians 15:18

We recognize and believe that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God and, therefore, He cannot lie. We affirm this through our faith and through the reading and research we do, at least those of us who go beyond the Sunday Church and Bible Study Classes. It is part of the tenets of our faith. That being said, if these are the words of Christ, it is a promise of God’s only Son. And since most of what has been said, biblically, is based upon the oral traditions of the Jewish Nation and the Hebrew People (Israel), it stands to reason that they were held to task by those who were around them within the community. Holding their feet to the fire, so-to-say, by correcting them when they went awry in their retelling of the occurrence.

bible gutWe must also remember that the New Testament was written in Greek. There were no punctuation, excepting for the end of a sentence…a period, as I am aware. The English punctuation did not about until the bible, old and new testament(s) were transcribed into the English language. By the 1400 AD the Bible was translated to the Latin language and it was transcribed into the English language between 1400 – 1800 AD. Which was where much of the punctuation was infused into the bible as we know it, today.

According to Matt Slick’s website, CARM.org,

Paul speaks of a man who was caught up to paradise, parallels this to being caught up to heaven, and is clear that this was not necessarily just a vision by was, perhaps, a bodily experience. Paradise, then, must refer here to a heavenly abode that currently exists. Paul, writing infallibly under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, defined Paradise as a present, heavenly reality to which a man could ascend either in or out of the body. It is also worth pointing out that early Christians frequently used the word “paradise” to describe the conscious state of believers’ souls between bodily death and future resurrection.
~Does Jesus’ Promise to the Criminal in Luke 23:43 indicate that humans have an enduring soul? by Luke Wayne

So, who are the “Dead in Christ”? Accordingly, the dead in Christ are those believers who dead in christhave died prior to the second coming of Christ. (Note, whether 1 Thessalonians 4 is referring to the second coming or the rapture is a matter of debate.) Believers, whether dead or alive, belong to Christ. (ref: “Who are the dead in Christ in 1 Thessalonians 4:16?”, gotquestions.org)

So, this leads us to further ask the question “Will we fall asleep or die and then go to heaven, or are we to wait until a later time?” It is my belief that unless directly promised by God or His Son (as in the case of the thief on the cross) we shall all fall asleep in Christ until the resurrection. At which time we shall be judged. According to the same article:

At death, the body lies in repose in the grave awaiting the resurrection of the last day, but the soul goes to be at home with the Lord. This is the doctrine of the intermediate state. Believers experience in a provisional sense the rewards that await them in heaven, while unbelievers experience a taste of their eternal torment in hell (Luke 16:19–31). ~Does Jesus’ Promise to the Criminal in Luke 23:43 indicate that humans have an enduring soul? by Luke Wayne

Another article by Matt Slick is rather telling, as well:

But what does “dead in Christ” mean? It refers to the Christians who have died before the return of Christ. They will rise first and return with Him (2 Cor. 5:8). They are “in Christ,” that is, they are saved. The phrase “in Christ” is a designation of being saved, along with other great things like redemption, eternal life, no condemnation, etc.  Check out “In Christ Grid.”

1 Thessalonians goes on to say . . . “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words,” (1 Thess. 4:17-18).

As you can see, there are two resurrections in this context. Those who “rise first” are resurrected to their glorified bodies before those who are raptured. ~Who are the dead in Christ who rise first at the rapture? by Matt Slick

We can infer from these articles which explain these scriptures to us any number of ways. But it is easiest to follow logic and reason, which are gifts which God gave us in order to love him. Remember the “Great Commandment”?

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ~Matthew 22:37-40 NKJV

Following logic and reason, and my trust in the explanations of these fellow Christians, that we will die and “fall asleep” in Christ until the second coming of Jesus.

I personally would deem the thief on the cross as a special circumstance, in that, he (I would reasonably and logically speculate) was learning from Jesus while in prison. He spoke of and taught about the Kingdom of God to the thief  while in the prison as if he were of the crowds during His sermons. He, unlike his fellow thief, came to repent to our Lord and was saved through Christ, personally.

 

contradictionSo, these apparent contradictions are not contradictions at all. We must simply take these and place them within the proper context. Which is something that we do not seem to want to do in our conversations these days. There was a study done and it was shown, to be true that I may add, that we do not listen carefully enough to understand what others may say…rather, we listen to respond. An I am not casting stones at any of you, because I am very guilty of this…one of the numerous problems of my carnal nature which I need to gain control over! One of the many areas in my life I fail daily.

Most people heard something somewhere that there were, or are, contradictions in the bible. And without any searching themselves, they take what was stated as for truth. This is just one of the many problems within this society of ours. No one wants to look uncool…even for God. They just want to be accepted by those around them and cannot see themselves going against their friends. NEWSFLASH: Not everyone is your friend! God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) is the best friend you can ever have, all others are optional!

Until next we meet, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

The Argument of Sufficiency of Scripture

Sufficiency of Scripture

See chapter 8 Systematic Theology

God has granted us sufficiency of His word throughout history. Man has enough in God’s word in order to learn and understand what God desires of us and we have enough information how to live the Christ following life we need. Furthermore, there is sufficient information for each of us to hear the word of God, understand we are sinners, to confess our sins before God, and be saved unto Christ! What is the legitimate definition of  “The Sufficiency of Scripture”?

sufficiency

What is the purpose of scripture? Well, in the second letter to the Apostle Timothy by the Apostle Paul it was stated:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.~2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

Hence the purpose of scripture is to teach those who already believe and have accepted Jesus as the Son of God, who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Now, can it be used by those who do not believe? Yes, yet we do not even need the bible, or scripture, to prove the existence of God.

We can find everything that God has spoken on, ultimately, any given topic; either directly or indirectly or inferred. For example, in the sixth commandment “You shall not murder.” (Deuteronomy 5:17 NIV) Blatantly states that we are not to murder anyone. But what is murder?

There are many definitions of murder include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation. However, the nuts and bolts of murder is unlawful killing of another, whereas killing is an act by which someone dies due to an accident without forethought or malice as part of the equation.

But by way of inference we can deduce that we are not to harm another in any physical way. Jesus spoke on this, in fact, Jesus stated emphatically that we are subject to judgement if we are angry with our brother. Furthermore, we are subject to the fire of hell if we even say, “You fool!” to our brother. (ref: Matthew 5:20-22 NIV) This is but one example of inferring from scripture and all we can learn from the same.

The sufficiency of scripture also promises us that the amount of scripture given to us at each stage in our history is and was sufficient for us to learn what was being taught to us and that it is proper and sufficient for our redemption through Christ. We learned in the Mosaic teachings this basic understanding:

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. ~Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV

God has this tendency to reveal to some people more than the rest of us. Just look throughout history and this will be an understood fact. You may be one of those who believe that the bible, while being canonized was a severe censure of the word of God, but in reality, if you believe God is all powerful, all knowing and all present…then He has the ability to protect His message to all the world from the likes of those who believe they must control the thoughts of men. And in so doing, those same men will change the contents of the books of sacred scripture, but God will get His message through to all His children.

sinful1God gave each of us the same brain, but it is up to each of us to love God with all of our minds. And how do we do such? Great question…and here is an answer! We must take charge of our mind and subject our thoughts to godly things, subject our eyes to godly things, and subject our bodies to godly things. We must bask in God’s word by learning all we can, we must also subject our minds to understand the godly words and understanding all that is good. Reading good books, wholesome and truthful. We must subject ourselves to those who have studied God’s word before us and learn what they have had to say in order to understand. Of course, that does not mean that we must agree with their assessments but it will help us to be of one mind and heart!

There is the problem of those who are health and wealth preachers who tend to preach heretical teachings. They tend to obfuscate the true word of God through smoke and mirrors allowing you to misunderstand the true nature of God through the all deceptive pattern of wealth…that always catches a person’s attention. Because if they believe that God truly wants us to be rich and wealthy…they are hooked and are in for the long haul.

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.~Deuteronomy 4:2 NIV

See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.~Deuteronomy 12:32 NIV

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar. ~Proverbs 30:5-6 NIV

Does God desire us to be rich? Yes, but He wants our wealth to be in His kingdom. We temptation-gardenwere warned by Jesus not to be so attached to wealth and riches on this earthly plane. Jesus was very clear on this. God does want us to be rich and many who do great things are rewarded in earthly riches. But we all need to remember that:

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.~Matthew 5:44-45 NIV

We are equal in God’s eyes, in that, not one of us is righteous.  But getting back to the point is we are not to add to scripture, nor take anything away from it. By doing so you clearly intend to mislead those you are teaching and you will be held accountable for such teachings. The prophet Ezekiel warned us:

When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself.~Ezekiel 3:18-19 NIV

We are reminded throughout, that we are not commanded to believe in anything outside of the scriptures about God Himself or His redemptive works. Everything is within the confines of the 66 books of the bible. We are also taught that there is nothing sinful that is not forbidden by the scriptures. As written by the Apostle Paul, on the Believer’s Freedoms:

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. ~1 Corinthians 10:23-24 NIV

We can do all things, but is it wise to do all that we desire to do? As children of God we should be desires and have a passion for those around us. Helping and aiding all those near us…our neighbors! Our brothers and sisters in Christ!

We are also reminded that God does not command any of us to do anything that is not explicitly in the biblical text, or implied by the same! Because God is all good, He will not command us to do what is evil. He will not guide us to lie. Because the seed of God is truly righteous.

Do-what-God-has-told-you-4We are taught, implored to do really, that we should emphasize what the scriptures tell us and to be content with what God has told and taught us within the scriptures. We are to touch the lives of those around us with God’s word, because God desires all to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. And more often than not, we are the only connection that others will have to God. Trust me, God will open those opportunities to you to touch the life of another.

Until We Meet Again, Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

The Two Harlot Sisters

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While the story, word of the Lord in the Book of Ezekiel 23, is directed at Israel…we, mankind in general, have become and are increasingly growing in to the Two Harlot Sisters. A prelude where we (America, as well as the rest of the world) have become the Whore of Babylon, Sodom and Gomorrah. We give up the word of God for our “God given rights,” we become lecherous for the immediate pleasures of the NOW, and the list of sins can go on and on! We seek something more convenient, easier, faster, and immediate instead of setting our sights on the long term goals. We are gluttons for the immediate pleasures of the world and have given up on planning for the future sustaining of our lives.

We sell ourselves for a better life, only to be miserable in the long run. During our quest for a better life, we trade our memories for money. We trade our relationships for for the hopes of reward. We trade our quality time with our children for extra time with our bosses and co-workers, in so doing we end up not teaching our kids those all-important lessons we desired them to know…yet they never find out from us. All the while as we grow away from our families, they, too, grow apart from us. Thereby, we acquiesce and abdicate our responsibilities for them and allow the unthinkable to occur. We allow them to create new relationships with others who will take president over us. Our kids learn from their friends and even worse…their heroes, of the likes of Bon Jovi, Poison,  U2, Metallica,  AC/DC, and the list goes on and on.

As we get older we will look back on all of these indiscretions with disdain, dismay, and much regret. I remember growing up where my father was always at work. I saw him, at very best, on the weekends…and even less when he traveled. I also remember my attitudes throughout the years and how I acted. And I remember my father and I were suppose to meet the night before I went to boot camp (and I was leaving on his birthday), which got scratched by me. Why? You may be asking, or if not I will tell you anyway. To be with my girlfriend. As I look back on many of these actions, yeah…I recall much regret. I essentially sold my self for my feelings…a form of prostitution, if you will!

Yeah, this song by Harry Chapin (“Cats In The Cradle“) always comes to mind when I think on these things:

We each do different things, but in the end we will have that sense of failure and regret. Now let us roll on into our main event…no, having you think on your regrets wast not the intent of this blog posting!

The bible tells us to live in today and be thoughtful of the now, but we are also to plan on the future, as well. But how can we balance the two ideologies?

We are desperately in need of the ability to enjoy and live in the here and now and also have a mind for our future possibilities. While we are not promised tomorrow, we should still be in tune with what would be best for us and our family.

Do not boast about tomorrow,
For you do not know what a day may bring forth. ~Proverbs 27:1 NKJV

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;  whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. ~James 4:13-14 NKJV

Enjoy the now, live in the now, and make plans for the future as though you will live far into the future!!! Will you live that long? Who knows? Only God does! But you should plan with the hope that you glorify God and longevity would be your reward.

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. ~Proverbs 13:22 NKJV

We each have hopes of living unto retirement, but if you think about it – retirement is but a Twentieth century concept. Retirement, here in America, came about during the first two terms of the FDR Presidency. Within the the 1930’s, more specifically in 1935 where mork-mindy-01President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Up until that time in our fellow American’s lives we worked until we could work no longer and stored up enough wealth on our own in order to survive our old age. Now-a-days, we are not expected to work all of our lives, our children are taught to rely on the government for their retirement pension, and most kids (today) expect to start off at the top pay scale and work their way down. Kind of like the old sitcom from the 1980’s, “Mork & Mindy” where he was an alien who was hatched as an adult and grew to youth. hmmmmmmmmm, what a concept! A little exaggerated, but not by too much!

Sadly, the fact of the matter of most of our lives is the fact that we each sell ourselves for one agenda or another. What is worse, is that we teach our children the same thing. But morals-and-ethicswe can change that if we would just pay attention tow what we pass on to them. They are the future of the family, the state, the country and this world! We need to instill within them a better sense of direction! A better pattern of morals, ethics, values, ideals, logic, reason, faith, family, belonging, etc. These problems and much worse will be faced by the next generations. Why you ask? Because each generation’s political class will inevitably  pass their problems on to the next generation. And unfortunately they will learn the same tricks enabling them to kick their very expensive dreams on down the road to the next generation. And at some point in time the piper will demand payment and there will be nowhere else to kick the can, the tab will have to be paid!!

Without ever realizing it, we have been taught to whore ourselves out to gain some benefit that we perceived ourselves to receive for free. Yet, it was free to you but was bought and paid by others.

I am warning you that you treat your lives, and the lives of your individual family members, with a certain modicum of dignity and respect. Remember to plan for them, each of them, in your future plans. Don’t forget to consider all aspects of your family planning. Things such as: Births, deaths, schooling, working, insurance, savings, investment, budgeting, etc. These are things we should be aware of but all too often do not think of. We tend to blow them off for the almighty dream of the big lottery win.

Until We Meet Again, Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

We Get Attached To The Strangest Things

So Jonah went out of the city and sat on the east side of the city. There he made himself a shelter and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. And the Lord God prepared a plant and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be shade for his head to deliver him from his misery. So Jonah was very grateful for the plant. But as morning dawned the next day God prepared a worm, and it so damaged the plant that it withered. And it happened, when the sun arose, that God prepared a vehement east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he grew faint. Then he wished death for himself, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” Then God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the plant?” And he said, “It is right for me to be angry, even to death!”  ~Jonah 4:5-9

jonah-and-the-gourd-vineA long mane can be just as emotional to cut off. (Reflections from my youth.) It was one year ago today (10/9/2016) when we had to put down our dog Bernie. Funny how you get attached to things. Jonah was attached to a gourd vine, we and many others were attached to dogs or cats, a neighbor of ours was so attached to her bearded dragon, my grandmother was attached to her parakeets. We are a species that desires to give and receive love and if we cannot receive it, we will just give it.

Jonah fell in love with that gourd vine, because it protected him from the hot sun during the day while he sat there on the hill just waiting for the Ninevites to fail God. Because Jonah knew that they would fail Him, as Ninevites could not be trusted. We all tend to have trust issues with respect to others, don’t we? My suspicion is that Jonah had witnessed the travesties of the Ninevites first hand and this is why he held them in such low report. Despite God was on His side and despite God’s mandate for Jonah. He did not care, Jonah just did not want those Ninevites saved.

Jonah knew that if he had gone and warned the Ninevites and if they would listen to the message from Jonah and if they sensed sorrow in their heart that God would forgive them. God is funny that way. Jonah loved the gourd vine for what it provided him and was angered when it withered away, despite the fact that he put no work or cultivation toward its growth. We on the other hand, tend to love the animals that we adopt as pets because we give up much time to train it up to do as we desire it to do for us, or to mind us. Other animals and creatures just kind of exist and we take their motions to be a form of love or caring toward us. But God loved the Ninevites NOT because of what they could do for Him, nor what they could provide for Him, but solely because of the fact that they were one of His creations and He could be a forgiving, compassionate, and loving God.

bernieJust something we need to remember is the fact that we are God’s creation. In God’s eye we are but a speck of sand, yet He knows our names. When you look at those who have done you wrong, what do you see? Do you see an enemy or a friend in the making? One truly kills and destroys an enemy by making him your friend. While we cannot destroy another man’s soul, we can surly be the impetus of saving it through the message of Jesus Christ and by living our lives as Christ lived His life.

This is a short message today as it touched a nerve when my wife reminded me of our dog Bernie going bye-bye for the final time.

…what I hate, THAT I do

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. ~Romans 7:15-20 NKJV 

Hate1

Talk about a recipe for disaster, eh? The Apostle Paul describes here to us that even he has problems staying on the straight and narrow road to God’s righteousness. And he was an Apostle, though some may differ in their opinion on that. This just goes to show us, layman or common men of God, that we are susceptible  to sinfulness and sinful thoughts. We are men, we exist, therefore we think. There was sometime ago I posted that the average man thinks approximately 70,000 thoughts per day; however, based upon further searching that is a bit high…it is more like 20,000 thoughts. In either case, we are constant thinking creatures, as well as deletion creatures. We delete many of these thoughts because of what we tend to focus on at any given time.

Since this topic is the sinful nature of man:

the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” ~Genesis 8:21 NKJV

When we sin, many, not all men, will tend to dwell upon what they have done. The old adage that we are our own worst critic, is quite true in this respect. We will, those of us that think on our actions and sin, will dwell upon them and mull over them for what seems to be an eternity. So much so that we will whip ourselves into a frenzy of despair or even depression. We all have those moments of disdain toward ourselves. The circular questions which lead us nowhere but to an blocked road without an exit.

  1. Why do I keep doing this?
  2. Why can’t I get past that?
  3. What the hell is wrong with me?
  4. When will this madness stop?
  5. Why do I keep failing God?
  6. Why do I keep failing myself?
  7. Why do I keep failing my wife?
  8. Why do I keep failing my family?
  9. Why do I keep failing my kids?

And the list if never ending dismay can continue until the end of eternity. So of ten we are so focused on the problem that we fail to look toward any solutions. Start asking different questions. More empowering questions. Such as:

  • What can I do to make better use of my time?
  • How can I avert further problems with THIS particular sin?
  • What can I do to glorify God?

The list of how to stop sinning list and the circular questioning list each can go on and on. The fact is that we sin, our imaginations are evil in nature (this we were told in Genesis 8:21 NKJV), but Jesus gave us an out from this problem. Yes, He did touch on the subject with His own  followers (i.e., the Apostles) where He said, in Luke 22:46 NKJV, “Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”” We can follow Jesus’ lead and suggestion to steer away from sin through prayer!

However, many of us do this wrongly. What I mean is that when we pray, we need to pray to God for the Spirit of understanding, wisdom, knowledge and workmanship in order to do something that will essentially glorify God in the long run. Unfortunately, many of us tend to pray not to do something (i.e., to not sin in this or that way again and again.) What we need to do is to pray to glorify God by doing His will, through knowing and understanding His word and gaining the necessary wisdom. Face it, we have all done it as some point in time. BUT now is the time to stop doing things the wrong way. When we gain the wisdom, the knowledge, the understanding, and the Spirit of workmanship to do so, we need to pass that on to those around us. Those who also are potentially having the same problem of what I call a “prayerful rut.” A “prayerful rut” Is much like mis-attributed quote to Einstein’s definition of insanity:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Well most of us tend to pray to God in Jesus name to not do “x” or not do “y”. YOU-ARE-WHAT-YOU-THINKWell, guess what? When you do so you first place what you do not want to at the forefront of your mind and, thereby, keep it close in your thoughts.

Like Dr. Robert Schuller spoke, you are what you think about all day long. If that is so, why not think about what you want to, or choose to, do? Eh, what a concept! We need to look at what we desire to become along with praying about becoming such a person, and we need to envision ourselves becoming such a person at all times throughout our day. In so doing, you place those thoughts, as well as, those pictures at the forefront of our minds. By doing this you have a much better chance of becoming what you seek to become than by focusing on what you desire not to do. Also, since our minds work with pictures far more efficiently that with words, prayers, and inanimate thoughts, our minds focus on the pictures and images.

We all have that tendency to do what we desire not to do and not do what we ought to do. But we can change that by focusing on how to better handle and control our sinful natures. I hope this post was helpful to you all! All my prayers to you and the for the betterment of this country, as a whole!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD