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

Archive for the ‘Reality’ Category

The End of America?

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Wiley+Miller+Judgment+DayOkay, so you’re a Christian. Odds are if you’re reading this you’re an American, where 85% claim to be “saved.” There just doesn’t seem to be a lot of agreement on what we’re supposed to be saved from, or saved for, how we came to be saved, or why. But we’re saved. You can bet on it.

So a Christian society endorses pornography, abortion, drunkenness, adultery, divorce-for-convenience, euthanasia, and all kinds of sexual immorality in degrees unparalleled since the fall of Rome, and brags about its “liberty.” It even sits idly by as its leaders enact a new law giving pedophiles protected status that in the same stroke they denied their returning war veterans. Yet we indignantly wonder that other countries, despite lavish “foreign aid,” don’t love us unquestioningly. Do we even imagine that the fragrance of our religion doesn’t utterly gag the Almighty? Yet we’re so sure we’re all destined for eternal glory. We’re Christians, after all! Well, let’s not bet the farm on it. Or our old bug collection for that matter.

God had His witness in Sodom. “Righteous Lot” lived among the people as God’s representative, but his desire to do business compromised his life, and he nearly died in their judgment. His wife did not even survive. Nineveh was, if anything, worse even than Sodom, but one unwilling prophet appeared on the scene to proclaim, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be destroyed!” Nineveh turned to God, and He held off His judgment.

Is there hope for this country? Will the US survive? Every lesson from history seems to scream to the negative. America has in the past been a savior to the other nations, pouring military and humanitarian aid into many nations to defeat dictators, to fight hunger, to help in education. Lately this is being more and more off set by our role as the UN’s pet bulldog in areas like the Balkans and the Mid-East. The humanitarian aid often “misses” areas that are in the worst need, and the education is more about self-worship and greed than anything useful or even honest. We think of Sodom as being some city-wide, full-time, romp, but the descriptions we see in the Bible could as well be about any city in this country. Where are the prophets? For over sixty years our recognised “prophets” have been clucking their tongues like an indulgent grandmother about, “not having God’s best” when the Spirit would have them issue a call to repent from the sins that are destroying this nation, and each life in it, from the inside out.

These “prophets” tell us that a revival will come when God “sovereignly” decides to send one, so we sit calmly in our sinking boats, refusing to either bail or row, and assure ourselves that we are in God’s will. God’s will is not for the churches in America to founder and sink. He has given us everything we need to not only stay afloat but to rescue those drowning all around us, but we adjust our deck chairs and religiously mutter, “But that is God’s job!” The Church is not preaching repentance, is not preaching righteousness, but is telling those drowning all around them that such things are only invisible legal fictions in the courts of Heaven. Can this nation survive if no preachers are even calling it to receive the life God has been trying to offer it? Can this nation turn to God if it truly believes that such a turn is only a matter of putting the right face on things? Nineveh heard their prophet, turned, and lived. Sodom compromised their prophet, and corrupted his message. Is there hope for America, or is this encroaching “secularisation” merely the darkness approaching as God withdraws His light?

The answer is up to us. “Ask, and you will receive, seek, and you shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened.” By His grace we are able. Let us not let it slip!


Written by Robert Easter

Sunday, 24 May, 2009 at 9:24

Free Thought?

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It’s interesting, no, really crucial, to think of what it means to be human. Despite all the Hollywood glitz to the contrary man is the only creature on this planet with the ability to reason. The so-called “dumb animals” can react or respond, or follow hard-wired instincts, but as one anthropologist offered, after years of primate studies, the highest chimpanzee is intellectually closer to the cockroach than to humanity. Not to disparage our four-legged neighbors, but let’s consider this:

God has made us in His image and, though the perfect image has been deeply scarred, we do still have such marks as an attraction to goodness, desire to love and be loved, and the ability to reason and to create. The Bible tells us that “the world, the flesh, and the devil” are at odds with the God Whose image we bear, and so is intent on destroying that image. How do we see that? All around us are enticements to set aside any idea of love as being more than using others for personal thrills, or of goodness as more than self-preservation.  Our reasoning itself seems to be the greatest target, and the greatest threat to that three-fold attack on our humanity. Even the so-called “free thinkers,” more often than not, merely cluster around a popular myth, and if any hold a differing opinion, launch personal slanders against them and pride themselves on their “critical thinking.”

The truth is that, if God has indeed given us these divine “markers” in our lives we have a holy responsibility to use and develop them. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Wednesday, 10 September, 2008 at 10:10

The Billy Generation

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The “Boomer Generation,” also known as the “Love Generation,” and the “Beemer Generation” among others, born between 1946 & ‘64, has done the most, good or bad, to shape the contours of America-as-we-know-it. This generation has written the schoolbooks, movies, sitcoms, and newscasts, and shaped current social trends and Government policy. According to recent polls, nearly 80% of Americans acknowledge a “born again” experience. By all rights, this should be the most authentically Christian nation anywhere, and any time, in history. Yet in the past thirty-five years over fifty million lives have been violently extinguished by abortion, more children nation-wide are growing up in single-parent homes, chronically neglected by absentee fathers (or sometimes mothers) as they learn to esteem the “thug life” as honorable, and homosexuality is being pushed as a new normality,

What has gone wrong? We can go into particular causes for a lot of that stuff, but the root to it all is Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Monday, 1 September, 2008 at 14:59

War on Terror, and Faith

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The “War on Terror.” The US has, in the past, declared war on poverty, and on drugs. In both cases little progress was made on those fronts. It’s really hard to wage a negative campaign against a negative concept. In this one we seem to have a war with a few more concrete objectives and photo-ops, but until the Western governments get what, and why, it is they’re fighting they stand to lose a lot more than their confusion lets them see. The war that has embroiled the “Western Powers” is far more far-reaching than a bush operation against a motley bunch of sand bandits, as the American Press would have us believe. What we are looking at is an ideological war- a campaign of values, ethics, and dogma that forges the rival Islamic sects and nations into a de facto coalition, and either joins Liberal Western leaders with them or at least keeps them out of the way. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Robert Easter

Thursday, 7 August, 2008 at 20:42

Western Myth Number Five: That Jesus was "a great teacher."

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“Jesus was a great teacher.” The ultimate subject of all of Holy Scripture is Christ, and what He said and did doesn’t allow us that option. (We can debate whether Mohamed was a “great teacher” based on his teachings and his life. It’s not hard for most people to see that loving others on the same level as ourselves is a more godly approach than waging war on civilians in the name of one’s religion, but that seems to be changing.) C.S. Lewis said that Jesus does not give us the option of saying that He was a good moral teacher. A moral man would not make the claims that Christ made, of being in the Godhead before the days of Abraham, of having the power to forgive sins against God, or of having the power to die, and rise again, of His own will. Such claims would have to come from a liar, or a lunatic. A liar, though, would surely have changed his story when facing torture and death, and a lunatic could not have backed up his claims with such miracles (Remember, His miracles were so widely recognised by friend and foe alike that for the first several centuries afterward it wasn’t His divinity, but His humanity that was hard for people to comprehend!) “Which is easier,” He asked, “To say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?'” At His word, the paralytic rolled up his mat and went home. The only option left us is that He truly is the Lord of Creation, and of life. How does that affect your life?

Written by Robert Easter

Wednesday, 6 August, 2008 at 17:38

A Question of Conscience

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About three fourths of the world’s Anglican bishops are meeting this week in Canterbury for a conflab. The main issue in the meeting is about conscience. The other fourth is boycotting the meeting as a matter of conscience.

Pretty big word, this. What is conscience? To some it is simply a feeling that can be manipulated, or claimed as a weakness with which to manipulate others, lest they “hurt one’s feelings.” This view seems to fit well with the “Modern” view that there is really no truth or knowledge beyond mere opinions. These bishops, though, as sworn servants of Christ, should be expected to think Christian-ly and follow a Christian meaning of that word.

In the New Testament we find serious warnings to respect the consciences of other Christians. Paul writes, “do not for the sake of your flesh destroy a person for whom Christ died.” He is there is talking there about respecting the consciences of others. Not that violating another’s Christian conscience is an insult or a matter of hurt feelings, but a mortal threat. The word here is not “insult” or, as some might suggest, “challenge,” but “destroy.” How is this? How is this?

In Hebrews we read about Christians’ consciences being cleansed of sin by the work of Christ’s Spirit in our lives, and of a resulting confidence before God. We read in Timothy about how some people will “depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” Each group is free from shame and guilt, but that is exactly where the resemblance ends. One is free from sin to know God, the others, well, just the opposite. For a Christian to cast away that confidence that comes from a cleansed conscience before God is the same as to defect from the Faith, and from Christ. For anyone, especially a leader in the Church of Christ, to reduce the question of “conscience” to a matter of personalities, is to declare themselves to be an enemy of the Gospel. Case closed.

Now who would want to be that foolhardy? As long as one has a conscience, there is hope. Let’s be praying for the consciences of the bishops in England this week!

Written by Robert Easter

Sunday, 20 July, 2008 at 9:50

Western Mythology, Part One: Education as Salvation

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“The Greek Myth:”: From the time of Plato, or one of his poorer students, we have the idea that there is a kind of “education” which draws out the good in us, making all our intentions pure and all our decisions wise. It would seem that Hugh Hefner used that one to put pornography into mainstream society, by loading Playboy with articles written on a post-graduate level, and the “What sort of man reads /Playboy?/” internal advertising. (One might ask, after all, weren’t there all kinds of nude representations in the ancient Greek sculptures? Well, actually, there were, and theywere generally set up along the roads leading to the temples where the prostitutes plied their trade. The noble Greeks had “solved” their problem of sexual misbehavior by having their religion endorse it! No, if this were the case, then we would surely see real virtue today, in a society which can boast of the highest education levels in history; but in fact the difference is only that the higher-educated, like the Greeks, are more skilled at weaving stories around their misdeeds, and using their networks of highly-placed old classmates and Greek society chums to make it all better. Example: If somebody steals a wallet on the street, there’s an unblinking system of justice to make sure there’s a prison cell waiting. If a judge or a lawyer perverts justice, costing someone far more than that wallet would have yielded, how often does that make the daily paper, or reach the courts to be made right? Education doesn’t improve a person, but it does provide new skills and methods.

Is education a bad thing? Not necessarily, but can we really believe that stuffing the head can cure the heart?

Written by Robert Easter

Monday, 14 July, 2008 at 9:37