Are You Afraid of Intimacy?

Intimacy means to be known by someone. They know your strengths and weaknesses, your hopes and dreams, your fears. God created the need and desire for intimacy within human hearts. Not only in marriage but in friendships. Relationships are the very essence of who we are as believers. Godly relationships provide stability and a sense of value and belonging. On the other hand, intimacy gone wrong can cause disappointment and intense pain when someone betrays us. Rejection and abandonment are traumas that children experience early in life and may withdraw from any offer of love from that point onward.

Intimacy reveals our weaknesses and neediness and we don’t like others to see that part of us. There is also the unspoken belief that we don’t deserve the love others extend to us. When we take the risk of exposing ourselves, we can end up tattered by deep wounding and rejection. Yet, we desire, we yearn for the closeness of love and acceptance.

People who avoid intimacy fear being controlled and manipulated if they share themselves. So they attempt to stay in control of their relationships. They enjoy rescuing and being looked up to by the needy and helpless. Those who have been abused as infants and young children identify “love” with the abuse they’ve suffered and they want no part of it as an adult.

When I first started fellowshipping with charismatics the men stood outside the place of worship to greet me with a hug. I guess they thought if they hugged me enough I would learn to like it. I did not. Distrust was a thread that ran through my being and I finally drifted away. I had walls instead of healthy boundaries. Even shaking hands a little too long was disturbing to me.

Being a Christian did not change this behavior but it did increase my longing for even one trustworthy friend who could celebrate my small joys and commiserate my griefs with me. When I started on the journey to emotional healing of Dissociative identity disorder (DID) I discovered that Jesus was that trustworthy friend I could pour out my heart to. He listened with such love as I could never have imagined. Slowly, as I felt secure in His compassion and mercy, I began to feel more willing to risk sharing myself with others. Resisting the urge to run from their love was a challenge but the deeper I went into Jesus (allowing Him to go deeper into me) the more stable I was.

I was elated to discover that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes. I asked Him if I could come to Him often for a hug, a kiss, or a lingering conversation and He reminded me of Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Since that time I have come to His throne often, sometimes several times a day just to worship Him and to be loved by Him, my Beloved. There are still times that I feel so undeserving, but if I step back from Him I immediately feel the cool breeze of distance and seek reconciliation.

Psalm 27:13 TMBA I would have fainted unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Even here and now in my 79th year I have been granted the privilege of not only seeing the Lord’s goodness but reveling in it. He is good beyond measure. He is amazing and beautiful, and fragrant. He has carried all my sins and griefs and sorrows. He has healed me of immune problems, broken generational curses and given me a healthy body with a lively step. He is worthy of all my love and trust.

God’s Hidden Ones

Isaiah 49:2 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)  He has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of His hand has He hid me and made me a polished arrow; in His quiver has He kept me close and concealed me.

Hebrews 4:12 (AMPC) For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

I’ve been watching various videos of some individuals known for their abilities in healing, deliverance, miracles, signs and wonders. I’ve also observed the attendees and their various questions, comments and  testimonies. One comment that sticks with me is that “I had to dumb it down for the common  people.” That disappointed me so much in the speaker and colored my perception of everything that followed. Attendees wanted to be noticed and acknowledged; testimonies needed to be more amazing than the other guy’s. How is this different from the traditional churches these individuals left?

Jesus didn’t seem to be the center of conversation. Relationship with Him didn’t seem to factor in except as it involved the power individuals wanted, and my heart sank. Fortunately, the names of leaders who deeply value relationship with Jesus were mentioned occasionally, so I knew those in the videos knew that Jesus would be first or He would not bless their striving for the miraculous. The miraculous should flow from relationship, should it not?

In contrast I attended a meeting where the person ministering knew Jesus and reached out in patience and gentleness to a small congregation who understood little of the supernatural. After patiently repeating concepts several times, he opened the meeting to those needing healing. Among the conditions he called out were multiple personalities in one individual who got a miraculous healing. Others received healing of diabetes, thyroid problems, arthritis, etc. My faith was so enriched and affirmed. I was one of those healed of arthritis.


What about Jesus’ followers who are quiet and pursue Him passionately for who He is? That brought me to Isaiah 49 and verse 2 spoke to my heart. There are those who know the Lord and Master for who He is – Lord and Master. They bow down and offer themselves as bondservants, love slaves. And they know they are hidden until the Master releases them. They know the power in their Master’s words. They have submitted to the sanding of rough edges, and then being dropped into His  quiver to await the right time for being released. Meantime, they have learned the power of His Word and have learned from precious experiences that their Master is trustworthy. So they are pursuing intimacy with Jesus while waiting expectantly for God’s timing for their release into His divine purposes.

Habakkuk 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not tarry.

Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

God has not forgotten either you or His promises. He is absolutely trustworthy and you can count on Him. The time for your release is drawing near and He will reveal Himself through you, the humble, soft-spoken (no need to shout God’s words), and deeply committed ones.

Fierce Defender

Isaiah 49:24-26 Amplified Bible (personalized)

24 “Can the spoils of war be taken from the mighty man, Or the captive (my brother) of a tyrant (Satan) be rescued?”

25 Indeed, this is what the Lord says, “Even the captive of the mighty man (Satan) will be taken away, And the tyrant’s spoils of war (my brother) will be rescued; For I will contend with (my brother’s) opponent, And I will save My child (my brother).

26 “I will make those who oppress (my brother) consume their own flesh [in mutually destructive wars] And they will become drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine; And all mankind will know [with a knowledge grounded in personal experience] that I, the Lord, am (my brother’s) Savior, and (his)  Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

 I have been pleading for the healing and restoration of a man who is fighting for his mind. He has been consigned to a nursing home as having dementia with other serious physical disabilities. His siblings are believers in Jesus and healing but they don’t know how to approach God’s throne boldly in faith. I suggested the above Scripture as a prayer to be prayed back to the One Who wrote this passage and is also The Healer.

Sometimes the most effective prayers are the Bible verses you feel drawn to as prayers in another person’s behalf. God’s promises to His little children for their protection are breathtaking. I have personally experienced my heavenly Father’s defense against opponents far bigger than me, even when I didn’t deserve it. The triune God is intensely jealous of His children’s love and runs to their defense when He hears their weak call for help. He is honored by those standing nearby, watching to see what God will do, when He thunders a warning and reaches out to lift the tormented one to safety.

Our God is an awesome God, worthy to be trusted as little children trust their parents. Thank you, Lord God, for Your gentle loving care when we are weak and helpless. Your tenderness and mercy are overwhelming. You leave me wordless!


Cheap Grace

The Christian journey is meant to be a turn from selfish pursuits to selfless sacrifice. While Christian maturity doesn’t happen all at once, salvation is a definite turn from one to the other. When Christianity is merely status it is not what Jesus intended it to be. Jesus did not intend following Him to be comfortable. In Luke 14:26 He said His followers should “hate” father and mother and even their own lives. In Luke 14:27 He admonished potential followers to think seriously about the cost of following Him.

Culture influences how people think about God’s Word. Too often culture shapes people’s concept of who God is and His expectations for them.

Christianity is not about a list of dos and don’ts. It is not about a name but a relationship. It is not a declaration but a transformation. Jesus made it very clear about what He expects from His followers who seek status, who are halfhearted, indecisive, irresolute, tepid, uncommitted.

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!  So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold,  I will vomit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16-17

Jesus rebuked five of the seven churches John wrote to in the Book of Revelations. He strongly disagreed with the idea that Christians need never again to repent. Far from believers being unaccountable for their sins, they must answer to Jesus for their disobedience.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. II Cor. 5:10

As Jesus was preparing to go back to Heaven He promised that the Holy Spirit would come and that He would teach believers all things and remind them of everything Jesus had said to them (John 14:26). Why would the Holy Spirit remind Jesus’ followers of His words if they were no longer necessary? In fact, in Mark 13:31Jesus said “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”

I John is a brief letter to believers. I John 1:9 begins with the word “If”.

If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We confess and repent to establish and maintain an intimate relationship with our heavenly Father and His only Son, Jesus.

The idea that one can have Jesus as Savior but not necessarily as Lord is a concept of carnal Christianity. As long as one makes a profession of Christianity, obedience to Jesus’ commands to live a life of holiness is unnecessary. Those who advocate for carnal Christianity distinguish the call to salvation from a call to discipleship.

However, salvation is a call to discipleship.  One cannot have Jesus as Savior without also acknowledging Him as Lord.

The New Testament uses the word for “Lord” (kurios) 748 times, and 667 of those times it is used in reference to God or Jesus (e.g., “Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 1:4). In contrast, the New Testament uses the word for “savior” (soter) only 24 times. It seems clear that the emphasis in the New Testament is on Jesus Christ as Lord, not as Savior. Now in saying that, it is not meant to downplay or denigrate the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross. What a glorious and gracious provision God has made for His people in providing Jesus Christ as our atoning sacrifice who thereby guarantees salvation and eternal life for those who believe in Him. Jesus Christ is most certainly our Savior, but this cannot be separated from the fact that Jesus Christ is Lord, and as Lord, He commands and we obey.

Jesus told a crowd of listeners that salvation and obedience go hand in hand: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46).

Jesus’ Frightening Warning

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does (present tense; speaks of direction not perfection. Speaks of obedience as a servant would obey their “master” or adonai) the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Many (not just a few!) will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ (Notice He does not dispute their claims) And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart (present imperative) from Me, you who practice lawlessness (present tense).’ (Mt 25:41; 2Th 1:8, 9, 10)

 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2). Salvation by grace alone through faith alone is so much more than simply mouthing the words “Jesus is Lord.” We are saved by a living and active faith (James 2:14-26), a faith that manifests itself in repentance, obedience and love of God and our neighbor. Salvation is not a transaction; it’s a transformation. Paul says it best when he says we are “new creations” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). There is nothing “cheap” about grace!

Honoring the Bible

When the Bible is not honored, as in American institutions of higher education, there are strongholds of racism, gender bias, extreme competition, dishonor of life (abortion, euthanasia), dishonor of marriage (sexual perversion), etc.

Where there is NO Bible, all of the above exist in addition to diseases of filth, violence in the streets, filthy social and personal habits, lack of sanitation (flies,  fleas and lice, vermin), illiteracy, hunger from poor farming practices, demon possession, mental illness, misuse of personal, social and political power.

Faith in God the Creator and prayer to Him sanctifies a nation. The most Christian  countries in the world are also the most advanced. That includes both Israel and the United States of America.

Those who have traveled abroad have had the experience of searching for a clean toilet, clean food, gasping for air in crowded conditions, observing the mentally ill thrashing alongside busy roads, fortune tellers sitting along sidewalks doing a good business, meeting people who fear authorities who misuse their power for their own purposes, etc. I have seen all these things while living and working abroad.

From her infancy the Christian church has experienced constant attack. But political and physical persecution failed to stop or even slow the rapid increase of converts. However, with acceptance politically and socially, the church began to encounter attacks from within of division, worldliness, heresy, and pagan religions. That condition continues down to the present, but external persecution is realizing  a resurgence as well.

The answer to this situation is not to abandon one’s faith but to increase one’s  respect for God’s Word as the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament admonishes. It is deeply gratifying to observe the ground swell of new passionate believers following Jesus. The increase of believers ministering healing both physically and emotionally, working miracles, signs and wonders is exciting. Being on the receiving end of some of these events beggars description!

The writer of the Book of Hebrews 10:35-39 urged believing Jews to not abandon their faith in Jesus when persecution came. Compromise is to lose one’s intimate relationship with Jesus and still possibly not escape persecution.

Do not, therefore, fling away your [fearless] confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward. For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised. For yet in a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not  delay. But My righteous one [the one justified by faith] shall live by faith [respecting man’s relationship to God and trusting Him]; and if he draws back[shrinking in fear] My soul has no delight in him. But our way is not that of those who shrink back to destruction, but [we are] of those who believe [relying on God  through faith in Jesus Christ, the Messiah] and by this confident faith preserve the soul.

 On the other hand, Jesus will never abandon His followers. Hebrews 12:1-4 (AMP).

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work]. Just consider and meditate on Him who endured from sinners such bitter hostility against Himself [consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. You have not yet struggled to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin;

Encounter with My Bridegroom

I have been having moving encounters with my Bridegroom. They are intensely intimate and I am reduced to streaming tears. What does my Beloved have in mind? We stand before each other totally vulnerable with not so much as a silk scarf between us. We have no boundaries – either of us. If I come into His presence with anything on my mind other than Him, we can’t enjoy intimacy. He is supremely Lord or the relationship is suspended until I come into unity with Him. He reminds me that He wants a Bride that is without spot or wrinkle. That is not negotiable. He will not be unequally yoked with His Bride.

Today when He came to me, I was wordless, overcome with His majesty, gentleness and self-restraint. I was reduced to weeping and trembling in His loving presence. At last, unable to resist His fervor, I slipped into a peaceful sleep for a couple of hours although it was still morning.

Fully His Bride

As I allow Jesus to help me surrender my earthly identity, the Holy Spirit opens  my eyes to what God sees me as. In a vision I saw myself as His Bride. I was small and no light came from within me. But as Jesus prayed for me and loved me  passionately but oh, so gently, I began to grow. I gained trust in Him as He poured Himself into me day after day so patiently and respectfully. He treasures me! Our relationship was sacred to me as I honored Him as Lord of lords.   At last I  stood fully His height and a blue light shone out from within my breast, purely and spotlessly His equal. My body was transparent, glowing in glory, beauty and dignity.

The scene shifted. What an incredible sight as I gazed at her, His Bride, as described in His Word (Rev. 19:8). The Bride’s gown appeared to be pale blue linen which billowed gracefully as she moved to greet her Beloved.

Jesus will never be unequally yoked. But as we obey Him, He will continue His  miraculous creativity in bringing us to Himself in holiness and the most  thorough purity.

He Who began a good work in you will continue developing that good work and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Phil. 1:6

See Transparency of the Bride October 29, 2017


Is God Big Enough?

I’ve been thinking about prophesy as regards our United States. It concerns me greatly that our national and state governments and other officials are so thoroughly corrupt. It is urgent that those who lie, steal and kill be brought to justice, for the life of a nation is at risk. The more one inquires into the lives of our leaders the more appalling the evidence of wrong-doing being uncovered. Not just a few of our Representatives and Senators are guilty of wrong-doing, but hundreds, perhaps thousands, of elected and appointed are implicated across the nation. Draining the Swamp is a good idea but perhaps it is impossible in scope. Activist judges, lawyers, peace-keepers, lawmakers have abandoned what is morally right in favor of doing what is right in their own eyes. (Deut. 12:8; Judges 17:6; Judges 18:1; Judges 19:1; Judges 21:25) Or worse, they may choose to do what pleases themselves and answers their greed. Selling our nation’s resources to our enemies; aborting our unborn babies; preying on our infants and children; depraved sexual behaviors.

II Tim. 3:1-4 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.

Time after time these same immoral tendencies inflamed the kings of Israel. Faithfully God sent messengers to warn the people and their kings that they would reap what they were sowing. Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Every farmer knows you reap more than you sow and later than you sow.

As an intercessor and decree-er I have prayed for the morass we as Christians are confronted with. But it occurs to me that while we are attempting to bring the lawless to justice, it is too little too late. I’ve even been told, “As long as I have the freedom to live my life the way I want to, I don’t care what the government does.”   What we desperately need is a powerful move of God as in the days of Jehoshaphat in II Chron. 19-20.

I believe God is rallying His children (as opposed to cultural Christians) to come together in unity and He is honoring those who take the risk to obey His precious Holy Spirit. I also believe He will do exceeding great exploits soverignly as we obey Him. I believe this nation can become far more than it is as we cry out to Him for whom nothing is impossible.

How Should We Pray?

Isaiah 44:26 “(I Am) the Lord Who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers;…”

Isaiah 45:11 Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and His Maker: Question Me of things to come concerning My children, and concerning the work of My hands command Me!

Job 22: 28, 30 You shall also decide and decree a thing and it shall be established for you, and the light [of God’s favor] shall shine upon your ways,…He will even deliver the one [for whom you intercede] who is not innocent; yes, he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands.

These passages are powerful and reveal God’s desire to work with His followers, but our prayers and decrees must be in agreement with His will. What is God’s will? His deepest desire is that all men would come to Him for salvation, come to know Him and His love and beauty. He gave His only Son on the cross to buy back fallen mankind. That’s a strong desire!

The precious blood of Jesus cleanses deeper than the stain of sin. No one is beyond Jesus’ ability to save and keep – no matter how filthy the sinner.

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost – completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity – those who come to God through Him (Jesus), since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them.


The word ‘eternal’ translated from the Greek aionion is used some 45 times in the New Testament. With only two or three exceptions, it is always used in reference to eternal life. When Matthew wrote …

“And these will go away into eternal (Gk. aionion) punishment, but the righteous into eternal (Gk. aionion) life”

… he used exactly the same Greek word to describe both the punishment of the wicked and the duration of eternal life. In other words, ‘eternal life’ cannot mean one thing, and ‘eternal punishment another’ – If the punishment is not eternal, then neither is the life.  If the life is eternal, then so is the punishment.

Note how the book of Hebrews uses exactly the same Greek word in both cases, speaking of “eternal” judgment and three chapters later, speaks of “eternal” redemption.

…and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal (Gk. aionian) redemption. (Hebrews 9:12 NASB)

…of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal (Gk. aioniou) judgment.  (Hebrews 6:2 NASB)

Redemption itself was a once and for all event that took place 2000 years ago. However, the results of the redemption continue forever. Similarly, the judgment will occur in a particular moment in time. However, the results of the judgment are eternal.

Again, in the verse below, something is destroyed once, i.e. something cannot be continuously be destroyed. However, the results are permanent, i.e. the thing stays destroyed.

These will pay the penalty of eternal (Gk. aionion) destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, (2 Thessalonians 1:9 NASB)

Not only is there a lack of support for universalism and decisive arguments against it, but the Bible never once says anything about sinners repenting, accepting Jesus Christ, having their sins forgiven etc. in the afterlife. In fact, the author of Hebrews completely contradicted this notion when he wrote …

And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, (Hebrews 9:27 NASB)

Finally I have to ask why 1 Corinthians 9:16 records Paul as saying

For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.  (1 Corinthians 9:16 NASB)

Why was Paul “under compulsion” to preach the gospel and, considering the “woe” means great sorrow or distress, why did he say woe to him if he did not preach the Gospel?

If all men are saved, it wouldn’t have made the slightest bit of difference whether Paul preached or decided to start a tent-making company. If people are already saved and only need to be informed of that fact, why would Jude have said to snatch people out of the fire by just about any means necessary. (Jude 1:23)



Philosophical Teaching Strategies, Part II

If the idea that all living things are equal and that life has no meaning, what is the missing concept?  I suggested that man is set apart from all other living things because man has personality.  But where did personality come from since evolution is purely mechanical?  Personality is not concrete.  Could it have evolved?  Personality is more than metaphysical; it is spiritual.

Why has no one ever been able to demonstrate how time plus chance can produce the needed complexity of the universe, much less the complex personality of mankind? Initially, this question will seem unrelated to the literature students have read, but it is better to let them struggle with these questions without knowing where the teacher is leading lest they attempt to anticipate and develop a rebuttal before truly exploring what they have accepted as science and truth.

Students will disagree with one another about life having meaning, but eventually will come to the conclusion that life does have meaning although they can’t explain it.  Then I suggest that if life started with a personal beginning – a Person – then personality existed before creation.  In this situation man, having personality, also has meaning.  Beginning with the impersonal, there is no explanation for the complexity of the universe or the personality of man.  Morals have no meaning in the mechanics of evolution for there are no absolutes.

If life started with a personal beginning, which was the origin of all else, then personality does have meaning, having derived from the Creator.  Man with his aspirations is not meaningless, as in Thomas Hardy’s writings, because he is superior to other living things.  If the teacher stops here, a philosophical case for creation and purpose of human life, as opposed to the mechanics of evolution and the mindlessness of Fate, have been established.  This philosophical discussion can be carried to a conclusion, however, and a case for man’s need of redemption can be made.

Once the idea of a personal beginning is accepted, will the class choose an infinite-personal God or finite, man-made gods?  Do absolutes and morals originate from man himself, or do they come from the Creator?  God, or finite gods, must be big enough to be the point of reference for the underpinnings of society.  Man creates gods in an attempt to explain his world.  They are a product of man’s limited mind; thus, they are inadequate to help man develop personal character and structure for society.  However, God the Creator is entirely separate from his creation.  He alone is infinite.  All else is finite and cannot stand alone.  Only the infinite Creator is immeasurable and independent.

Man was made in the image of God; thus, there is a separation between man and other living things because man has personality.  Furthermore, man is separate from God, as the created is separate from the Creator.

If man was created with a personal beginning, how can his lawlessness be explained?  There are two possibilities.  Man in his rebellion and cruelty is inherently what he has always been.  If this is true, then the infinite-personal God who made man must himself be inherently ruthless.  Or, is it possible that man has changed himself; he is not what he was created to be?

Man, made in the image of an infinite and perfect Creator, was perfect in mind, body, and soul.  But he was given a will and some boundaries were set.  At a specific time in history man chose to violate God’s boundaries to become something he previously was not.  This act of disobedience put man in a moral predicament rather than a metaphysical one.  Morals suddenly existed and man was in discontinuity with what he was originally created to be.

The man-is-normal philosophy offers no hope of a solution to man’s corruption.  But because rebellion is abnormal, there is hope of a solution.  The substitutionary death of Jesus Christ, as God’s only son, on behalf of lawless mankind, takes on significance.  We have the hope of a solution for man’s abnormal condition.  With the hope of deliverance from lawlessness we are able to be angry at social injustice and moral evil without being angry with God.

In summary, if there is no God there is no answer to the dilemma of evil and immorality.  Thus, evolution cannot answer man’s questions about who he is and why he is morally flawed.  More importantly, man has no recourse to evil, individually or socially.  But there is hope when one knows who God is because his character is the foundation of law and morality in the universe.  And in his infinite compassion and mercy the personal God has provided the antidote to sin and corruption, both individually and socially.


Philosophical Teaching Strategies

I brought with me one semester He Is Here and He Is Not Silent by Francis Schaeffer.  It’s a little book about examining evolution from the problem of personality development.  Schaeffer has a wonderful way of challenging people’s assumptions so I took detailed notes to use in my graduate English lit course.  We will be comparing Thomas Hardy’s writings with Charles Dickens’, Hardy presenting fate as the inescapable determination of man’s life and Dickens presenting hope for positive change.  The graduates went to the Internet to read what they could find about Hardy in their own language and from their own prejudices, for the Chinese believe very strongly in determinism (fate).  Where does personality come from?  Does personality evolve?  Give evidence to support your view.  Since personality is not found in the DNA of an organism, how did it originate?  When life evolves mechanically it has no meaning.  But life does have meaning and is not mechanical, so where does meaning come from?  That was an intellectual challenge for my graduate English majors.

The Problem of Personality in Evolution

Every Christian teacher abroad will occasionally meet students who wish to discuss reasons Christians don’t espouse the theory of evolution.  They are generally taught in China that evolution is a theory only because it can’t be reproduced in the laboratory although natural illustrations of the process abound.  However, evolution cannot stand up to philosophical examination.  Using Francis Schaeffer’s little book, He is here and he is not silent, I used a strategy which challenged students’ assumptions about evolution and creation.  This worked best for me in graduate literature classes where sharply contrasting authors’ styles could be analyzed, as with Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens.

In Thomas Hardy’s writings Fate twists and perverts personalities and events.  Absolutes produce discontent and disillusionment.  Education – or merely the desire for education – corrupts individuals, as in Jude the Obscure.  Individuals may never reach their potential after making a commitment to marriage.  Even nature in Hardy’s writings is exploited to cooperate with Fate by producing a pall that hangs over churches and colleges.

In Charles Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities, commitments to friendship and marriage are honorable and honored.  Biblical phrases are quoted to support responsibility to friend and spouse.  Absolutes are called into action to admonish readers to avoid an English revolution by pointing out the bloodshed of a French Revolution.  Nature and happenchance support Darnay’s escape and the subsequent safety of the fleeing Manette family.

After the class finished reading the two contrasting novels, I scheduled time to ask students some questions.  I wrote the questions on the chalkboard and encouraged students to discuss them with friends and classmates.  I began with a question like this: If everything that now exists came out of nothing, where did energy, mass, motion, and personality come from. In our external world we see form and order.  If everything that now exists had an impersonal beginning, everything is equally impersonal.  In an impersonal world a weed is no less valuable than a man.  If all living things are equal, life has no meaning.  Is this conclusion acceptable to the class?

Part II next week.