Dear Children

Letters From A Father's Heart

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

Three Things You Need To Know About Politics*

Dear children,

You will find in your life that there are only two things about which people can be trusted to passionately disagree: politics and religion.  That’s because the individual mindsets that undergird these kissing cousins are rightly the root of every controversy because they mark the intersection of life, truth, and reality.  Most will contend that there should be a wall that separates the two.  Those who say such things are being foolish and naive.  They are asking for others to do something that they themselves  can’t pull off. They are, in fact, asking for the impossible.

So in this letter I would like to give you three basics to consider when you are thinking about politics.

By “politics” I mean the process of sinners choosing sinners to govern sinners

Man is fallen, and just because any man (or woman) has convinced over half of a group of people to vote for him, that doesn’t suddenly remove his sinful nature.  On the contrary, power has a way of leeching our sinful nature to the surface. The first basic is this: man is not basically good.  This is as true a statement for those elected to government as it is in anyone, and perhaps even especially for those elected to government. Knowing this will put you a long way ahead of your countrymen when it comes to politics.

Our founders understood this basic truth about man and so gave us a government with divided powers.  But that was an age still steeped in a Biblical worldview.  The government was therefore formed by a people who had an understanding of human nature that reflected reality.

This is not so today.  Even most people who attend a Church somewhere reject this basic truth concerning man’s depraved condition.  So there are two realities that should not surprise you: One, that many will be willing to believe that there are a select few who are benevolent and righteous, and two, they’ll be willing to make them into little gods in hopes that they’ll usher in a Utopian paradise.  But merely believing a thing does not make it true.  What is true is true, and no amount of denial will make truth or its effects go away.  So unlike those around you, who see gods and devils in government, it would be wise for you to not expect very much in the way of righteousness from your elected leaders.  That they might eke out a few decent laws is at best unlikely, and at worst a pipe-dream.

Politics is downstream of culture

Never forget that if a tsunami washed in and killed every elected politician and judges in Washington DC, the 20 percent of the society that votes would simply vote other people with the same “religion” back into office.  Reprobates do not elect righteous politicians.  So if you want to change government you will want to do two things.  First, start by spreading the Gospel and discipleship.  The Bible says that when we are born again that we are new creatures in Christ and have gained the mind of Christ (1st Cor 2:14-16).  It also says that the new disciple will see things differently, that he will have a different perspective on life and therefore will have a different perspective on what kind of laws should be governing the land.  He will know that elected sinners are not the final arbiters of good and evil, that taking wealth from one sinner and giving it to another is not compassion, charity, or loving, and that all men who have been given the reigns of power ought to be viewed with a healthy dose of suspicion.  He will also know that no man, no matter how righteous, is going to change the culture by forcing external behaviors.  The heart must be changed and only the Gospel is can do that.

Second, you must think intergenerationally.  You must look beyond your own life and into the future.  Societies are not won due to the work of one generation, nor the outcome of one election.  I, your father, hold no hope in seeing a better land for you with my own eyes.  My hope is that you, if you do the hard work of first teaching your own children, and second, of spreading the Gospel, might see a glimmer.  Scripture tells us that children are like arrows shot into the future.  You are my arrows, and I pray that you will be sharp and true, and not only that, but that your children would be the same.

Politicians are political

Always remember, for the man to win an election he must convince only about 20,  percent of the people to vote for him.  20 percent you ask?  Well yes, something like that, because as best I can determine, only about 40 percent of your fellow countrymen actually vote, and the politician will only need only one over half of those to win.  A good politician, that is, will know this, even if his constituency doesn’t.  So when you hear a politician say something that you find to be outrageous, just remember he is not speaking for the benefit of all, but to only a relatively small group of people.

Also, it’s important to realize that every human does what he does because of a motivation.  Voters and politicians are no different.  Voters may well want free handouts from government and thus are motivated to vote likewise.  Others want to keep what they earn rather than have it confiscated, and so they also will vote likewise.  All want righteous laws, but all define “righteousness” differently, and so they vote accordingly.

Politicians are motivated also.  This is natural and normal, unless the politician actually does think he’s a little god. They realize that no matter what they want, good or bad, selfish or altruistic, they must win elections to make it happen.  So they are necessarily motivated to please enough people to bring that about.

In conclusion

Politics is people and people are political.  Where two or more are gathered, there you will find politics.  One person will emerge the leader, even if there are only two.  That does not mean that the leader always gets his way, but only that he will be the one driving every decision the two–or more–make together as one.  Add ten people and it gets more complicated.  Add a thousand and little factions begin to emerge.  Add a million and then there are even more factions which begin to coalesce into parties.  The individuals exert themselves in the factions, the factions exert themselves in the parties and the parties exert themselves on the whole.  This is how things are.  It is reality.  No one in a group ever gets what they want; no one.  The final outcome will reflect the collective morality of the people, but not necessarily their collective will.

So I pray, as your father, that you would gain wisdom from the scriptures and vote accordingly.  Remember that the natural state of man in his six thousand years or so of history is to be enslaved and not liberty.  Either way, fix your eyes on the author and perfecter of your faith and run the race laid out before you with perseverance.  Preach to and disciple your children in the Gospel, even as you live it out before them.  Pray that God would instill it into the hearts of your children, your children’s children, and your children’s children’s children.

Your father

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God’s Law Is Profitable*

Dear children,

You were born into an age in which the society and the Church of God have become thoroughly antinomian, which is to say that it has rejected God’s law.  While it’s obvious that the world boldly rejects God’s law, preferring instead the ever-changing standard of man’s law, of particular interest to us is the fact that the majority of Christians have become uncomfortable, or perhaps embarrassed even, concerning God’s law.   And, while it shouldn’t surprise us that those who don’t recognize Jehovah’s sovereignty in this world would reject His laws, that Christianity would reject it also is of great concern.

Using myself as an example, the vast majority of my Christian life was one confused on this matter in particular.  I lived in a world and among a Church in which God’s law had been repealed, and yet I was still not free to sin.  As I saw it, I was supposed to live righteously, but there was no law to guide me.  I spent considerable time and energy in my attempts to understand this dichotomy between living rightly when nothing was wrong.  This quest led me to understand that man in his heart hates God’s law. We can detect a resistance to law in our expressions.  There is an almost knee jerk repulsion against “bringing back the law”, when there is an appeal to the fact that a thing is against God’s law.  There are accusations of “attempting to put people under the law again” that are quite common when issues of morality are discussed.  But at the same time these same Christians rightly have no problem calling idolatry, adultery, murder, all of which are based on law, sin.  The vast majority of your true brothers and sisters in Christ will at some level be confused on this matter.  I hope, however, to bring a little clarity for you in this letter. So let us look at the three purposes of God’s law.

Let me start by assuring you that God’s law is profitable.  It does every human being, redeemed and unredeemed alike, good.  A society that sets its morals on God’s law will be more safe and prosperous.  Therefore, in order to love your neighbor as yourself you will want to, as much as it is up to you, encourage the enactment the laws of your land that are based on God’s laws.  Will it doing that bring about a Utopian paradise?  Of course not.  Man is fallen.  There are no Utopias, and anyone who thinks there can be ought to be judged as foolish.

God’s law is profitable in 3 ways:

God’s law Tutors, Reveals, Mirrors

The New American Standard Version uses the word “tutor” to describe God’s law.  The King James Version uses “schoolmaster”.

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. (Gal 3:24-25)

If God never commanded that I not covet my neighbor’s things then I would not know that is was sinful to do such things, even though it would still be sinful.  But God did command, and His law ever points at my fallen nature by revealing to me God’s righteous standards and my failure to live accordingly.  But this is where the power of the Gospel is revealed.  The law teaches that man is fallen and rightly deserves God’s wrath.  But rather than pour that wrath out on us, God instead sent His Son to die on the cross in place of those who put their faith in Him.  The more we grasp God’s law, and our inability to live according to it, the more we grasp the glory of the cross.  How can anyone meditate on such things and not be moved into praise, thanksgiving, and the worship of our glorious God?  Meditate on such things.  You must seek to grasp this lest the redemption that occurred on that cross become dull and small.  It was by no means anything but glorious.

God’s law restrains evil

The word “civil” is based on law.  Civil societies have laws and civil people obey those laws and their is a process in dealing with those who do not.  Civilizations punish law breakers.  This is justice, but it’s also a deterrent to others whose passions might rise up against their neighbors. When a civilization stops punishing lawbreakers, it begins a slide toward incivility. (For more on this be sure to read Romans chapter 13.)  You will live your life in such an age that is well into this slide, I am sorry to say.  Idolatry is embraced. Babies in the womb are murdered with the law’s permission, and increasingly so, so are the aged and sick.  Marriage is no longer sacred.  Private property is legally stolen through excessive taxation.  Lying is acceptable to justify Godless ends.  Covetousness is embraced, preached and glorified.

There is a well-known proverb, “Without vision the people perish“.   It is stated in other versions as “without vision the people cast off restraint.”  The understanding of the word “vision” in this proverb has morphed.  But if we read it as simply “vision”, the ability to see, and consider the context, its true meaning will emerge.  That context is in the next line.  It continues with “But happy is he who keeps the law“.  If we can’t see God’s law our society will cast off restraint and end up perishing.  But if we see God’s law, and restrain evil, both in ourselves voluntarily, and in others by way of the civil magistrate, we will be happier.  Evil and lawless societies are not pleasant societies.  But wicked men not only cannot understand that God’s law provides the best society, he will not.  And when he rejects God’s law, or, as scripture says, “casts off restraint”, obvious problems will emerge. The answer to these problems will always be to enact more godless laws to patch them up, which makes everyone even more unhappy and desirous of even more Godless laws.  Scripture warns us about this.  It tells us that God turns such over to their own foolishness:

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.  (Rom 1:28-32)

God’s law shows us how we may please our heavenly Father

Man often asks the question,  “How should we live?”  God’s law answers that question.  You, my dear children, know that your obedience pleases me, just as your children’s obedience will please you.  In the same way we are not left here by God not knowing how to live.  God shows us in His Word how we are to live in a way that is pleasing to Him.  But in many ways this is the source of the confusion concerning God’s laws because the line between love and obedience is blurred.  If you, my children, obeyed me to the letter but did not love me, your obedience would not be pleasing to me.  And in the same way, if you loved me more than anything else in this world and yet rejected my authority, that would not be pleasing either.  But both of these examples are absurd for if you didn’t love me you would not be obedient, and if  you were not obedient you would not love me.  And, along those same lines, if you do disobey me you do not lose my love, nor are you happy with yourself that you disobeyed because you do still love me. From this example we can begin to understand what Jesus meant when he said “If you love me you will keep my commandments”.  (John 14:15)

There is so much more to say on this matter.  Perhaps this introduction will give you reason to seek more knowledge, wisdom and understanding concerning God’s law in this age of lawlessness.  I pray that God would richly bless you in this endeavor as you learn more and more about the beauty of the cross, God’s loving restraint of evil in this world for His children, and how you might grow in obedience to your Heavenly Father.

Your father.

The Tale Of Two Men*

Dear children,

I have a story for you to think about concerning two different men who were identical in many ways, except that first one, a wealthy man, learned one day that he would be receiving a gift of ten million dollars.  He was pleasantly surprised and happy about his good fortune, but the news was not life changing for him.

The other man was not only poverty stricken, he was blind.  He couldn’t work to earn a living.  He wondered every day where his next meal was coming from and where he would be sleeping that night. This man was also told that he would be receiving ten million dollars.  As you might imagine, this news would completely alter his life.

Both of these men received identical news.   So which do you think was happiest?  There is, of course, a catch.  I said earlier that these two men were identical, and in a spiritual sense all men are identical in their condition before God.  However, some men do not see their spiritual need, or understand their standing before a holy and righteous God.  But the scriptures are clear regarding our spiritual state.  All men are blind naked and poor and are in need of a redeemer.  To the extent that a person realizes this, that person can also receive with great joy the Gospel, and his life will forever be changed.

I draw this comparison from Revelations 3:

‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.  (Rev 3:17-20 NASU)

The Gospel involves two parts.  There is you who fits the description above of being poor,  blind when it comes to righteousness and your ability to grasp the extent to which you have fallen short.  And then there is God, who is holy, righteous, perfect and just.  The Gospel is all about reconciling you to Him.

You will be living your lives in a culture that has rejected God, yes, this is true.  But, if you continue in your faith, you will also be living your lives among a Christian subculture that is no longer aware of half of the Gospel.  The first man represents the Christian culture that you will be living in.  This culture loves the grace part of the Gospel.  He loves the promise of his sins being forgiven.  He loves the saved-from-Hell part.  But, like the rich man, his life will not be impacted much by the free gift of salvation because he never fully grasped his own condition before God.  He therefore never fully grasped what a great salvation his salvation actually was, if in fact he was ever truly saved at all.  And because his view of himself is distorted, his view of God is distorted.  And because his view of God is distorted, his view of the Gospel is distorted.

But here is the truth about the half of the Gospel that the modern affluent Christian downplays.  Man is depraved.  I am convinced that we have no idea the depths of our true despair before God. It may well even be beyond our ability to grasp it.  While we all probably have a trace of the first man in us, to the extent that we realize that we are really the second man, that we really are wretched, blind and poor, to that same extent we will fall in love with the Gospel.  But to the extent that we cannot grasp our true condition before God as fallen, again to that same extent we are likely to pervert the Gospel, or even become ashamed of it.  This has become evident in your day.  The Gospel has become “God loves you and He has a wonderful plan for your life”.  This is like telling a rich man that he’s getting some extra cash.  The rich man says “Oh, that’s very nice, thank you.”  I promise you this, dear children, this is not how one who understands his true situation before God responds to the true Gospel.  The proper response is that of Paul, who exclaimed “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  (Rom 7:24-25)

And here is another truth about the other half of the Gospel the attributes of God.  He is holy, righteous, perfect and just.  Because of these attributes, and because of the condition of man, it is right that God’s wrath would abide on man.  And that is the sore point in the Gospel.  Man uses a different standard to judge righteousness than God does.  Man uses himself as the standard.  But God uses perfection, which is Himself, and God wins.  Man must judge himself according to God’s standards, which is the problem.  When man adopts God’s standards of righteousness he must accept that he is not only condemned, his condemnation is the only holy, righteous, perfect and just verdict that can be given. Man must accept that he is poor and blind.  Before man’s eyes are opened to his condition in the light of the glory of God, the whole Gospel is foolishness and repulsive to him. The response by the man who truly understands the Gospel is praise in reckless abandon.

You live in a material world dear children.  Every minute of every day of your life will not be lived in this exuberant thanksgiving for the Gospel.  But never let yourself stray very far from the reality of it.  Spend time meditating on the significance of what Jesus accomplished on the cross.  Consider who He is, and that He came into this sinful and rebellious world to reconcile man who was dead in his sins, to die on the cross.  Meditate on the holiness and righteousness of God, and His love for those who have been reconciled to himself.  Never forget the eternity that you were saved from, nor the eternity that you were saved into.  Examine yourself often.

I will close this letter by including the lyrics to a song written a couple hundred years ago in an age in which the Gospel had not yet been so perverted. It is drawn from Exodus 33 wherein God protects Moses from Himself.  It is a beautiful metaphor that highlights man’s condition and God’s providence of placing man in the cleft of that rock which symbolizes Jesus.  It is a prayer put to song, which, as you know, I love.  But consider the doctrine of the Gospel in this song.  The writer understood two things about the Gospel: his condition, and God’s holiness.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
When mine eyes shall close in death,
When I soar to worlds unknown,
See Thee on Thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee

I pray that you would rush to cross and cling with all your might.  I pray that the good news of the Gospel would fill your every heart with gratitude, praise and thanksgiving.

With prayer and love

your father

 

How To Read Your Bible*

Dear Children,

Here is a list of ways that I read my Bible.  I’ve written them as a list of Do’s and Don’ts, but please don’t confuse that with the rules of interpreting your Bible.  That would be hermeneutics, and hermeneutics is not different for different people.  Even though I have them listed as do’s and don’ts, it would probably be better stated as: “I suggest that you…”, and “I suggest that you not…”.

Do’s

Make it a goal to read your entire Bible.  Once you have read it, make it a goal to read it again in time.

Ask God to reveal Himself to you before you read.

Pick a book, any book.  Try to grasp the book as a whole.  Ask yourself what is the overarching message or theme of the book, or what is the central message that God is telling His people? Is there a theme?

Once you’ve gotten a better feel for that book, consider it in the context of the rest of the Bible.  How does it fit?  How does it complement the Bible in its entirety?

Divide your time between the Old and New Testaments by perhaps alternating between OT and NT books.  You will note that Jesus, in the Gospels, and also the Apostles, referred to the Old Testament often, and so should you. Keep in mind, as you are reading the New Testament that it was written to people who did not have a “New Testament” Bible to study.

Read the Bible in the same way that you would take a leisurely drive down a country road, with lots of time to kill.  When you see an interesting looking barn, feel free to pull over and admire it and/or study it, or whatever.  Camp out there for a while even.  Take some pictures.  Try to draw pictures of it when you get home.  In the same way, as you are reading your Bibles, feel free to stop when you see something that grabs your attention.  Ask your Father in heaven questions about it.  Read it over a few times to get the jest of it in your mind so you can continue to meditate on it during the day, or days, ahead.  Study its context, both locally and globally; that is to say, consider how it fits in the rest of the book, and how it fits in the rest of the Bible?  Dig deep.  God may very well be teaching you.  Keep it in mind as you continue to read.

Try to have a good quality Bible that you will keep for many years.  Prefer, if you can, to read from that Bible.  While you may not remember the exact address of that “old barn”, you may remember that it was, say, on the top right side of the left hand page.  This will make it easier for you to find the places that you have stopped to “take another look”.

Make marks in your Bible if you want to.  Write notes to yourself, and cross references.

Memorize, memorize, memorize, word for word, verses, chapters, even books, as much as you possibly can.

Learn your Bible brick by brick.  If you look at a brick wall it would seem silly to note that the top layer of bricks would not be up there if the bottom layer of bricks were not down there holding them up. The same can be said about things you learn while reading your Bible. Some things that you might have “driven right past without notice” before may be brought to your attention later.  It might well be that that passage you read without noticing, or without understanding yesterday, will help you to understand the one you have in your hand today.  Isaiah had this to say about such things:

Whom will he teach knowledge?
And whom will he make to understand the message?
Those just weaned from milk?
Those just drawn from the breasts?
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept,
Line upon line, line upon line,
Here a little, there a little.”
(Isa 28:9-10)

Don’ts

Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought.  Sometimes it may be that you feel that you have discovered something in your Bible that no one else has ever discovered.  Be very careful!!  This book has been poured over by great minds for 2000 years.  In that 2000 years there have been countless heresies and cults, both on large and small scales, that were started with a “new revelation”.  What we learn should be very similar to what others throughout the 2000 year history of the church have learned.  God is directing and superintending His Son’s bride, and He is big enough for the task.  His bride is the goal.  The Word is for her washing, so you, my children, be washed by the water of His word.

Don’t read your Bible in search of proof texts.  That is not reading your Bible.  That is forging for ammo.  The world is at war with God.  Many of the world’s warriors go by the name “Christian” in these doctrine starved days.  You may find yourself looking for particular scriptures to defend the faith against such, but that is not “Bible reading”.  Be careful!

Don’t judge God as you read, but rather let His words judge you.  Don’t skip over passages that bother you.  In fact, I would suggest spending some time and prayer on those passages in particular.   However, if you have to, feel free to set such passages aside for a time.  Perhaps they are bricks meant for a higher place on the wall than the layer being laid now.  I, for many years, hated Romans 9.  I had to pretend that it was not in my Bible for a time because it made me question the goodness of God.  Yet, one day I realized that I am a mere sinful  man who was judging my creator according to my own standards, which are corrupt.  In time I have grown to love that passage.

Don’t feel as if you must fit your Bible reading plan into a wooden structure.  If it helps, then by all means do.  The goal is to get God’s Word into your heart and mind.  It must be your foundation.  It must be the lense through which you see and interpret your world and experiences.

Don’t build on the sand.  Spend a few minutes in reflection before you read. Consider the bigness of God.  Can Jehovah speak a billion universes into existence?  Can he ensure that the words you are reading have come to you, not by the hand of man, but by His loving providence?  Is he subject to what man thinks he knows?   Is He big enough to send a delusion?

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  (2 Thess 2:9-12)

Don’t think yourself stronger than God, and so strong in fact that you will outwit him should He decide that you are one of the ones who will receive His delusion.  Pray instead that your Father in Heaven will have mercy on you.  Pray that often.  Be humble before your God!

I pray, dear children, that God would have mercy on you, as I pray that he would have mercy on me also.  I even now am praying that He would have mercy on your wife and husband should he give you the days to marry.  I pray that he would have mercy on your children, and your children’s children, and I pray that He would give you the wisdom to pray likewise.

Your father

Epistemology And Faith

Dear Children

You should think about things worthy of thinking about.  One of the things you can think about that will be worth your time is the question, how do you know what you know?  This question is an old one that dates back to the ancients.  And just so you know, there is a name for such contemplations, it’s called epistemology.  For the thoughtful, which is to say, for those who think about things deeply, it will ever be a question.

The word “science” is an epistemological word.  It means “a state of knowing”.  It uses methods to separate assumptions from knowledge.  That kind of science is what brought us cell phone computers, the existence of which, by the way, I am old enough to still be marveled by.  But as man marvels over his accomplishments he can begin to think that since he knows a little more about a few things, he knows a lot about a lot of things.  His great leaps in knowledge therefore can blind him to his actual poverty.

One of the things new knowledge can teach us is that what we thought we knew we didn’t know at all.  We can see this in the study of the history of science.  For much of this history, for example, doctors practiced a thing called bloodletting.  This was a practice of “bleeding” patients to cure them of illnesses.  For the scientist, in that time, I’m sure it all seemed reasonable based on what they thought they knew.  I’m sure doctors learned all about its advantages in medical school.  I’m also sure that anyone who opposed such a procedure would have been ridiculed for going against a very old and accepted practice.  These scientists did not know that they did not know and presumed to know something to be true that wasn’t.  My father, your grandfather, used to say, “It’s what I learned after I knew it all that counted most”.  The Bible says that knowledge puffs up.  It makes man proud.  Knowledge, properly handled however, ought to make us humble.

With this in mind, consider one of the deepest questions a man can ask himself: how did I come to be?  The answer to such a question has profound consequences no matter how one answers it.  There is an answer acceptable to man in these days that displaces a Creator, but what do we really know concerning that answer?  As it turns out, not much.  It is based on made up stories of how it could have happened.  But made up stories does not constitute science.

So, what can we know concerning the consequences of this answer?  Well, we can know that if man, by happenstance, evolved from dirt into sacks of chemicals, blood, flesh and bone, and those chemicals reacted in ways that made him ask questions like, how did I come to be?, then the questions are as absurd as the man.  For if man came from nothing meaningful, and he will return to nothing meaningful, nothing the chemical reactions in his head do in the meantime are meaningful.  Knowledge itself is in fact meaningless and whether the chemical sacks attempt to create meaning, or they instead do something else like go on a killing spree, just for the fun of it, it in the end is still meaningless.  We can know this.  It is not logical to deny it.

But man wants to insist that he does have meaning.  But so what?  His insistence is inconsistent with his “knowledge”. It is only mere chemical reactions that are meaningless.  This is called epistemological inconsistency.  If a man who wants to live knows the building he is in is on fire, and he goes to bed as if it is not, then his actions are not consistent with his knowledge.  He is being epistemologically inconsistent.  In the same way, if a man knows that his existence is ultimately meaningless, and his actions are contrary to that knowledge, he, again, is being epistemologically inconsistent.  So, it would only be fair to say that for the man in the burning building to remain epistemologically consistent with evolution, it would be absurd whether he stayed and burned up, or whether he ran out.  In fact everything he says and does is meaningless, for it is simply the result of the chemical reactions of cosmic dust.

But dear children, man does not know from where he came, as man counts knowing.  In the grand scheme of things man fares much better when he is humble concerning what he thinks he knows.  He should be content that no matter how much he knows, in reality he knows very little.  Beyond that he must have faith.  We can know that it is a man’s faith that informs him of his origins, whether that faith be placed in men, called scientist, or in religion.  But make no mistake, do not be mislead, in the end it is faith no matter what name man hangs on the door of it, and no matter how arrogant, puffed up and proud the man is who says it is not faith.  Man cannot prove that he evolved from dirt.  It can’t be done.  The belief in evolution is a religious belief, and you ought to always consider it as such.  And it is the basis for the predominant religion of your time and place, Secular Humanism.  It takes faith to believe and live according to it.  Come what may we can know that all have faith in something.

But my dear children faith is not a bad thing.  The more you know the more you ought to know that you do not know, which ought to humble you rather than inflate your opinion of yourself.  You must have faith.  You must have faith that there is good and evil and that man is not the arbiter of which is which. (Isa 5:20)  You must have faith that God gave a law unto man. (Rom 1:19) Once you know God’s law, you can know that man, and you, rebelled against it. (Rom 3:9-18)   You must then have faith that God loved the world in such a way that he gave his only Son to redeem rebels like you while maintaining consistency with His justice.(Rom 3:26) You must have faith that God poured out His wrath against you on His Son instead. (Rom 3:25). And you must have faith that His Son, Jesus, rose from the dead.  (1 Cor 15:17) And you must have faith that your life is not meaningless, no matter your lot, which God in his providence, good or bad, bestows upon you.  (Eph 2:10) It is by faith that you are saved. (Eph 2:8)

To believe these things is to be epistemologically consistent and reasonable.  Think about these things: There is good and evil.  All men are by their nature depraved, and man is accountable to his Creator for his evil.  We can escape God’s wrath by hiding in Christ through which we have access to joy in this life, and we have hope for the life that is beyond the grave.  We do not have to be slaves to sin.  We are able to forgive.  We can do all these things through Christ who is in us.  Life has purpose.  This is both reasonable and consistent, and it is faith.

But it is not blind faith, as some will say.  For 2000 years there have been those who have tried to undermine and destroy God’s Word with no success.  A study of this magnificent work, the Bible, will reveal many reasons as to why it has stood the test of time against a massive onslaught.

It has been my prayer for you since you were young that God would have mercy on you and save you from His wrath.  It remains my prayer today.  I pray also that you would be wise in the fear of the lord, and that you would not presume to know things that cannot be known, and which set themselves up against the knowledge of God.

Your father

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