Life, the Universe, and Everything, from the Outside In

Archive for the ‘life’ Category

May the Divorced Remarry?

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divorce trauma3
This question has plagued people now for centuries. The consensus in many “Bible-believing churches (should this be redundant?)” is that Jesus said it was an absolute no-no because God has decreed that every marriage is forever, end of discussion. But is this the case?

Before going farther, there is no intent here to encourage anyone to take the marriage vows any less seriously. “Til death do us part” still means the same thing and, as many of us know, divorce can be even worse than death for those so-affected. If you are married, then unless your life is in real danger, that is, if at all possible, make it work, please! Many go running out that “back door” only to find themselves slammed through the brick wall on the other side of the doorway.

If Jesus said that divorce is a sin, and that those divorced must stay single, then we have an interpretation problem. In the Sermon on the Mount He had said that He would not be changing “one jot or one tittle” of the Law of Moses, but to fulfill it. As a body, it is “fulfilled” when every figure and prediction has come to pass. At present count, the 2/3 which covers the Second Coming and the Kingdom Age is yet to happen. The Law, then, including the parts in which God gave the statutes for divorce as well as the parts for honoring parents, respecting others’ property, and loving God with our all, are still in effect.

“Giving divorce?” Yes, before the Giving of the Law divorce did not exist. A man had all rights in the marriage, including to expect a deserted wife to wait for him indefinitely in case he wanted to come back in a few years and sell her and her children on the auction block. God, through Moses, changed this for His people. “For the hardness of your hearts it was given” Jesus said. To protect the injured party from continued neglect, abuse, or infidelity the Law allowed a clean break, with a certificate to show that person was free to remarry or, as Moses wrote it, “free to go where she will.” Marriage, even remarriage, was the norm because of God’s command to “be fruitful and multiply” and the male-driven economy which made it nigh-to-impossible for a woman to strike out on her own. This would have been the exception, not the rule.

If we but recognise that Jesus is, Himself, the Word, the Logos, of God, then we see that for Him to change course with any detail of the Law would be for Him to contradict Himself as the Law-Giver. It was not His purpose to outlaw divorce, or any other detail of the Law. As much as it can hurt, and yes it can be about like an amputation, if the amputation takes years to complete and the anesthetic is in short supply. But like an amputation it is not done for cosmetic purposes unless one is either incredibly dense or psychotic, but to save a life. In like manner, for the Church to marginalise the divorced would be like a handicapped parking spot being open for all but amputees.

Is this the whole story? Not by a long shot. There is more- We have yet to touch on Jesus actual words on the subject, or the implications in the Church for leadership, or the charge given to modern pastors and leaders for dealing with the situation as it stands. But this is a good spot to stop for questions. What’s yours?

Written by Robert Easter

Wednesday, 9 September, 2009 at 20:21

Aborting our Souls?

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The Wall Street Journal today, in a story about an upcoming report on the effects of the abortion trauma on the mothers involved, quotes one clinic director, Susan Hill, who runs clinics in five southern states, as saying that, “‘..women today need less counseling, less psychological care than they did in 1973,’ when abortion was legalized but still carried an enormous stigma.” We might speculate that this is in line with the overall loss of sensitivity for human life, generally. Over the last thirty or so years we seen a shift from a time when the film, Bonnie and Clyde

(From Warner Brothers, no less- What’s up, Doc?) stirred such controversy over its gory scenes. Now Hitchcock’s style of suspense stories has been replaced by “splatter films,” and pop music now features brutal rape and murder in place of undying love and devotion.

Ms. Hill, who has been in the business of “providing abortions” for thirty five years, said she, “has tried offering postprocedure counseling sessions — but very few women show up.” In her words, “They want to get past it and move on with their lives.” Overlooking the possibility of all kinds of motives for not returning to the “clinic” to walk through that trauma all over again, it might be good to consider the real effects on all the people in this picture. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Tuesday, 12 August, 2008 at 15:32

It’s all about Theology!

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Einstein was even righter than he realised. The famous genius of the 20th Century was able to use mathematics to show links between time and motion (Theory of Relativity) and between matter and energy, and closed out his career developing a “Unified Field Theorem.” There has to be a unity to the Universe, he reasoned, but just what was the keystone that held it all together?

Without near the intellect of an Einstein, but actually one who wonders if high intelligence might not be a “disability” in this world, one might wonder if the one fly in his ointment, keeping him from actually bringing his theorem together, might have been his theology.

Einstein was convinced that God, if there were such, would most likely be defined (divined?) on the lines of Spinoza’s philosophies. In other words, a deity which was part of the Universe, and visible in its workings. This would mean that, to find or understand “God” one must understand those workings. If we can gain a clear enough view of enough of the particulars, we will see the general picture they comprise!

In theory, this sounds nice enough, though the number of particulars is mind-boggling. Just think of the story of the blind men who wanted to find out what an elephant was. After hearing of one at a passing circus they gained access to its pen. One examined its tail, one its hind leg, and one its trunk. On the way home, they argued whether this creature was more like a rope, a tree, or a great serpent!

Ecclesiastes tells us, “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.” There is so much to learn- so much to know, and as part of our divine make-up (The Imago Dei, or image of God which is upon each of us) is that we are drawn to the beauty and complexity we find all around us. The very fact that we do find a complexity, and not chaos, shows a coordination which in turn begs a unity somewhere, somehow. Interestingly, it is the beauty, the order, and the over-all coordination that both draws us into
further study and which points us, like Prof. Einstein, toward the existence of some keystone which ties it all together.

What is that keystone? If God is behind Creation, then we can expect evidence of design. Is there coordination? Is there a food cycle for each of the billions of species on this planet? Isn’t the very fact of planets and moons in orbit suggestive that Someone must have calculated mass, velocity, gravity, and set them there in those paths? (The “accidental capture” idea is an amazing stretch!) The bottom line is that the study of natural phenomena (“Natural Theology”) can only take us so far, but it does point us to a unity. But it does accomplish two things: It leads to discoveries about a hypothetical Creator (“For every
effect, there is a cause:” First Law of Physics.) who is greater than Creation (The cause is greater than the effect:” Second Law.) and, hence, not part of it. This Creator loves order and detail (a first class in anything from Algebra to Zoology will bear this out!), and He loves us (the beauty in Nature, the beauty that covers and surrounds our planet, great array of tasty foods we enjoy…). Any contrary opinions would have to argue from the exceptions, and just in acknowledging them to be exceptions does that argument a fatal blow!

If this Creator is like our best science indicates, then it would make sense that He wants us to know about Him. So, then, if there is a Creator who is free from the obligations of citizenship in this Universe, (time, space, causality..), who communicates through order and beauty that we can recognise, and who is kind; and who wishes to be known to us, it does stand to reason that if this Creator wanted to do something, it would get done, and so it probably has caused there to be some kind of record of such a revelation. We can look through all kinds of possibilities, but an earnest, open-minded, search is bound to wind up with this:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that
whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Written by Robert Easter

Friday, 15 February, 2008 at 14:12

Posted in destiny, life, science, truth

Who Am I?

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Good movie- sure, Jackie Chan is great!

But, getting down to it, before we ask if something is true, we need to know if we’re able to find out. Is it knowable? Can we know? What is knowledge? What are we, to even ask that question?

If we follow that line of thinking from the popular assumption that we are all random collections of cells, which we assume are random collections, ultimately, of atomic particles, then lose three key pieces to finding out any answers. Life, order, and personality. In a random universe there is no way for any of them to develop, and for them to exist is a direct violation of the laws of science.

First, Life may be continued from one organism to its offspring, but it is not reproducible. Even the most orderly and controlled experiments fail, and the model for life’s origins is neither. The one experiment, decades old now, that was claimed to have produced “life in a test tube” was shown, in attempts to repeat it, that the first container had not been sufficiently sealed, and the “findings” turned out to be contamination! If you are alive, that life came from somewhere.

Order, whether living or inert, always tends toward disorder. A pile of mud has yet to collapse upward into a brick office building. In fact, it takes a lot of energy in baking the brick, producing the steel straps, making the mortar, and developing and using the skills to lay the bricks to keep those bricks from too soon collapsing back into a pile of mud! Or, can an old person naturally grow young? Some might point out that young people, especially Japanese, are growing taller than previous generations, but a closer look shows nutrition, and not some genetic mystery, as the cause. More energy going into a system, more energy inherent in the system; but the “energy” will dissipate, and those young
will also soon be old.

Physics tells us that everything comes from something. Energy cannot be created or destroyed within the limits of our material Universe, and all matter (anything that can have any weight or take up any space) is, in simple terms, compressed energy. Everything has a source, and the source is always greater. The ball might be rolling down hill, but how did it get up there? It made for a silly song a few years ago, but we really don’t look for three-pound birds laying five-pound eggs, do we? If our lives have a source, and that source is greater then it can’t have been a chimp, a frog, or a pond scum, can it? If we apply this to the Universe itself, the entire Universe had to have come from something, as
it cannot have created itself, and it has to have been designed and fashioned to possess such amazing order and complexity. It doesn’t quite look like we’re alone, does it?

The mind, and personality, raise the stakes considerably. At last look, “Modern Science” still does not know what the mind is, and assumes it to be located in the skull just for the sake of discussion. When we go from the mind to the intricately complex personality, all bets are off. The one explanation left on the table is, “In the beginning, God..!”

So, if we want to know who we are, the question is askable. The answer is knowable, because there is an orderly, created, reality which can be known. That we can know, and the Universe can be known, suggests that there is a Creator, an Artist, if you will, who wishes to be known in it.

All this is based on those first three words in the Bible. Wonder what else is there!

Written by Robert Easter

Thursday, 7 February, 2008 at 21:30