Best of All Possible Worlds?

Best of All Possible Worlds?

Best of All Possible Worlds?

This is one of those questions that you have to unpack and think about before answering. You may have to ask further questions to get a better handle on what is being asked.

Most people’s initial response is a resounding NO.

Or…

…O my God no, as if we are trying to convince God Himself with this half question half answer. How can life on this planet be the best of all worlds?

Sometimes this question can catch people dead in their tracks. Something seems off about it. Of course, this not the best of all worlds. What are you thinking? God could have done much better…

…Right??

The question was first asked by German Philosopher Gottfried Leibniz in 1710 in an essay on the origin of evil or solving the problem of evil. He was trying to account for suffering and injustice that exists in the world. 

Leibniz used Christianity to back up the validity of his essay. He said: “Once we understood evil and good, it gives us the ability to produce the “greatest possible good” out of all the goodness. Evil fuels goodness, which leads to a perfect system.”

That may be true in part but unless God adds another ingredient into the mix, good and evil are not possible.

Best of All Possible Worlds?

Free Will

 

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines Free Will:

1.) Voluntary choice or decision.

2.) Freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.

So, if you add Free Will into the conversation everything changes.

Two words. 

Best of All Possible Worlds if There is Free Will?

God could have created a world without Free Will but then humans would have been like robots only doing what was required of them and never making decisions for themselves. Never freely interacting with the creator or each other.

What kind of life would that be?

Would that life be worth sharing anything with? Would that life be worth living? Would you be even aware of anything?

Let’s say you designed and built a beautiful fancy car and then decided to travel all over the country visiting landmarks. Sure, you drove this car to all these locations but were you really sharing this trip with it or was it just along for the ride (pun intended).

Did it tell you how much it enjoyed that beautiful sunset at the Grand Canyon? Or did you still feel alone and wishing another human just like yourself was there to share this site with.

Best of All Possible Worlds?

At the Core of Free Will is Chaos 

Disorder, disarray, confusion, mayhem, bedlam, madness, havoc, turmoil, upheaval, anarchy and lawlessness are just a few words that describe chaos.

Has history not shown that all those words describe the human condition?

When God the Father was discussing making humans with the Holy Spirit and the Son they must have thought it was worth the pain and suffering for the billions of humans that would have to live on this boot camp of life on planet earth but also what it was going to cost the three of them. 

The Son in the form of Jesus would have to be born, walk this life like all humans but then be tortured and murdered so that sin could be wrung out of Free Will. 

God the Father and the Holy Spirit had to turn their back on Jesus for a time as He incurred this pain. Maybe the first time ever. Of course, they knew they were going to have to endure the crucifixion from the foundations of this world. The pain all three must have experienced must have been beyond description.

God wants to share His kingdom and all His blessings with ALL of mankind for eternity but He is also a righteous and just God. He can not allow man and his sinful, rebellious nature into heaven. If He did heaven would turn into Hell in a heartbeat without God creating such a place.

All these angry souls…

…that have denied the work of Christ. Individuals that are selfish and have lived lives without a thought of another humans welfare through their life times. People only living for earthly profit and temporary gain. All these souls suddenly showing up in a location not of their choosing through their life times of breathing air.

It would be considered spiritual rape. Forcing them to be somewhere they do not want to be. They would be angry beyond all description. They would rebell in the worst way wanting to hurt other souls and God Himself for eternity. This is NOT the heaven I want any part of. Not the heaven I have laid up treasure for.      

Now when you ask the question with Free Will part of the equation “This the Best Possible of All Worlds?”, what will your answer be? 

With that last piece of information I think most people would have to say IT IS the best possible of all Worlds.

How could God have designed it any other way?

 

Best of All Possible Worlds?

Follow Us On Facebook

Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

Website Design for Two Measures Foolish by Best Website Solutions

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

The theory of evolution has brought confusion in many people’s minds and nowhere is it more apparent than our children. Many adults suffer from this confusion also, especially in the last 60 years.

Darwinian Evolution has been taught in all our school’s science classes at the high school and college level as undisputed fact. Sometimes it is being taught even earlier in grade school. 

Natural selection (the process of evolution) promotes that all life forms sprang up from some sort of primordial ooze as basic life on a bacterial level and then began to slowly evolve into more complex forms of life over millions of years. It took many different paths as it mutated into fish and birds to land-dwelling creatures and millions of other combinations. We have been told by scientists, that this is what the fossil records show.

Evolution at its core teaches us that there is no need for some sort of Intelligent Designer. Life came about through many mindless mistakes over all these eons of time to where we are today. No need for God. 

We go to church and send our children to Sunday school and we are told that there is a God. The Bibles tell us in Genesis that God Himself made all life forms and also how He designed the universe by speaking them both into existence.

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

 

When our children start going to public high school, they are being taught something completely different. When adults tell them two different things that are so basic as how life came to populate this planet, how can they not be confused? Two different messages. How can adults not be confused? How can we trust the rest of the Bible if it can not get this basic fundamental truth correct?

I was an atheist until I was 30 years old. When I did become a Christian I still wrestled with these elemental questions. Was Genesis true or was it a fairytale, or some sort of metaphor written thousands of years ago. 

Can science and faith coexist?

I needed to know ‘BIG Time’. My doubts were overwhelming to the point, that I stopped going to church, praying and resumed pursuing a secular lifestyle once again. I became an angry man again and made living with very hard for my family and myself. I had to know if this is all there is in life and when we die, is that it? Nothing beyond this very temporary life. We live for a few decades and then we are gone like billions before us.

God brought me back through a series of hard events. I missed Him! I also started to research more on some of my doubts like evolution. What I found surprised me. I found and joined a Christian organization that is led by astronomer Hugh Ross and a few other scientists that make their home at something called Reasons to Believe. I joined their local organization in my hometown and found I was not alone on many of my questions and doubts.

I felt liberated to connect with God again and not be ashamed of the doubts that were plaguing me. I began to follow a number of Christian apologetic leaders that were on the internet like Dr. William Lane Craig at Reasonable Faith. He is one of the foremost Christian debaters on the planet. He uses logic and reasoning to prove the hope that we have within us. There are many others that I follow and will leave a small list and links for you to check out at the end of this blog.

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Some of The 1,000 Scientists at Dissent from Darwinism

 Is evolution an undisputed fact? 

When I comes to evolution, I have found that in spite of what the prevailing push of what many scientists say, Darwinian Evolution is not a done deal. Far from it! There are many objections by scientists that work in the fields of Microbiology, Biophysics, Bacteriology, Biochemistry, Quantum Chemistry and the study of DNA that are ringing the alarm that evolution has many problems and they are voicing their concerns.  

I found a website that lists over 1,000 scientists worldwide that have come together to voice their objections called “Dissent from Darwinism”. I was shocked at how many there were and the diverse scientific fields they came from.

Dr. Stephen C. Meyer has written a book that has taken the science world by storm called “Darwin’s Doubt”. A scientist himself, he points out from a scientific standpoint why there are many problems with this theory. It is a hard book to understand, in that he goes into detail on many aspects of how life works and functions. 

One of the things that caught my attention from his book was how all life is very complex and it was right from the beginning right down to the smallest cells. If it is so complex and was from the start, how did it get going in the first place? The scientific world still has no idea how life first began. They have never been able to duplicate the start of life in a laboratory. 

Questions on the Cambrian Explosion
Questions on DNA

What are they hiding?

Why is the evolutionary world hiding the fact that evolution is not a done deal or a fact beyond dispute? First, many scientists are atheists and will not even entertain the idea that there is an Intelligent Designer in our universe and will fight back tooth and nail at the very idea. Many evolutionary scientists have spent their whole lives as professors in universities teaching that evolution is beyond dispute. 

The ACLU has entered this fray. 

Whenever a teacher brings up doubts about different aspects of Darwinian Evolution in high school or college, they will sue them, so they are silenced. So much rides in our culture today on the belief that there is no God. Abortion has a lot riding on it. It is easy to kill an unborn human if you have convinced yourself deep inside that there is no God to be accountable to. 

The USA has truly become a post-Christian culture.

We have followed Europe in this regard. If there is no God, then there are no true objective morals to follow and nothing but our own opinions as to what is right and wrong.

Our Christian churches have ill-equipped our children.

When our young adults enter college many things will demand their attention. We have not made them aware of the push back they will receive on many issues about being a Christian. When they object to different things like evolution, they will be accused of believing in a fairytale and anti-science and looked down upon by fellow students and professors. They will have many doubts about their Christian faith, because they had no answers to this onslaught and many of them will walk away from the faith, they grew up in. 

So many adults have these same doubts just as I did. Churches need to address these hard questions of our faith through the study of apologetics. A safe place, that we can ask tough questions and discuss them with one another. A safe place, that we will not be looked at as if we were some sort of heretic, or told we just need more faith. A place where logic and reason are used to dig deep into our Christian Faith.

Make it safe and interesting for our children to learn about the hard and uncompromising world they will face. Treat them like adults and have them stretch their minds and logically look at things from God’s perspective. Promote the asking of questions. Many of our Church leaders and teachers are uncomfortable with talking about these hard issues because they do not know how to answer these questions.

The Bible Tells Me So

That answer is not good enough anymore. It never was good enough. All it tells someone is that you have no answer to what they are asking. You have not really studied the issue and want the easy way out. They are not worth your time to go into detail. 

How would you answer these next set of questions if someone asked you?

If He is such a great God, why did he make a place called hell? 

How do we know Jesus really walk this planet?

Can you have morals without God? 

Why do bad things happen to good people? 

Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

Is the universe only 10,000 years old?

Can science and faith coexist? 

Why were certain books put in the Bible and why not others?

These are just a few questions that Christian Apologists confront and try to answer. I find it exciting and very thought-provoking to listen to different people that are involved in this field. Some are debates between individuals or groups (my favorite) and others are articles and blogs like this one you are reading from. 

They stretch my perspective on how and what I believe. Sometimes I do not know how to answer a particular question, but I try to be honest and ask if I can get back to them. Then I will do research and try and figure out what it is I believe in a certain subject. 

I think apologetics is a form of worship. We are learning about God on how and who He is. What makes Him tick. Looking at the universe on a dark night and be blown away at His creation. 

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Evolution and an Age of Confused Children

Related Christian Apologetics Websites

 

Reasons to Believe: – Astronomer Hugh Ross – Where Science and Faith Converge.

Reasonable Faith: – Dr. William Lane Craig – One of the top Christian Apologetics. His debating skills are second to none.   

RZIM: – Ravi Zacharias – Difficult Questions. Thoughtful Answers.

The Case for Christ: – Best Selling Author Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics.

Discovery Institute: – Dr. Steven Meyer’s – Scientist – Books – ‘Darwins’s Doubt’ and ‘Signature of the Cell’.

Cold-Case Christianity: – J. Warner Wallace. The Evidence Whisperer.

Cross Examined: – Dr. Frank Turek. Free Apologetics Resources.

Dissent from Darwinism: – 1,000 Scientist World Wide Voicing Their Objections to Darwinian Evolution.  

Follow Us On Facebook

Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

Website Design for Two Measures Foolish by Best Website Solutions

Morals Without God?

Morals Without God?

Morals Without God?

It depends on what you mean by morals. The word moral, morals or morality seems to be straight forward, but it is actually deceiving and in need of further research.

Cambridge Dictionary defines moral as a noun: relating to standards of good or bad behavior, fairness, honesty, etc. that each person believes in rather than laws.

Wikipedia defines morality: “manner, character, proper behavior” is the differentiation of intentions, decisions and action between those that are distinguished as proper and those that are improper.

Who says so?

Interesting that both Cambridge and Wikipedia are similar in their definitions, but the problem is they are both silent and do not point to who or what entity says what is considered good or bad, proper behavior, fairness or honesty. 

What is the moral agent that defines this?

If you cannot point to something outside the natural man, you are doing nothing more than performing mental gymnastics by trying to make your opinion fit a narrative that you are trying to promote.

Morals Without God?

Morals Without God?

 

Furthermore, colleges have been debating if they should even be teaching ethics in law and business schools anymore. The topic has been considered divisive because so many people have different views on morality and what it is.

A panel of Stanford scholars addressed this issue in an event titled “Does Teaching Ethics do any Good?” Approaching the topic from diverse academic backgrounds, the Stanford professors who participated in the discussion, agreed that ethics classes cannot be expected to make students more ethical.

Why is that?

Our higher education schools have become deeply secular. No mention of God, Intelligent Designer or Moral Agent is allowed.

These schools and teachers struggle to point to something outside of human opinions. People have objections all over the map and see right through a false argument of what is right and wrong. They have to stay away from religion at all costs. Only secular thought can be used so they drop the issue altogether.

I also believe that is why people like about sports so much. It not only makes clear that there is a winner and loser, but they have clearly defined rules by a “Rule Giver”. There are rules that have to be followed that a play or technique is right or wrong to use. An objective rule giver has decided this beforehand.

Without God you cannot have objective morality.

Objective morality, in the simplest terms, is the belief that morality is universal. So how could something like morals be universal if there is no universal law giver?

The fact is, you really cannot have any morals at all but glorified individual opinions and billions of them at that. If you say it’s wrong to kill people or to steal or abuse them, then you are stealing from Judeo-Christian ethics that the cultures have adopted as there own the last three or four thousand years.

When Moses came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments the Jews themselves were somewhat in the dark about what was right and wrong. It clarified beyond a shadow of doubt in large print, what a transcendent being considered moral or ethical from His stand point. Thus, mankind had objective morality written in stone for the first time outside the viewpoint and opinions of humans.

Morals Without God?

Morals Without God?

 

The natural man cannot have these inclinations. Where would they come from? Evolution? Survival of the fittest?

Evolution has no such concept of morality or morals. There is no such thing as good or bad. Killing something or dominating the weak is a good thing because it promotes survival only, it’s not considered good but just “is”. “Is” is neutral. Killing is a “is” behavior neither good nor bad. Evolution has no opinion, no judgment, only that you are alive at all costs no matter what it took to get there.

Through out history when ever objective morality has been abandoned for human morals (opinions) devastating consequences have followed. During the Second World War the Nazi’s tried to impose their view of morality. Killing off the Jews and many other people deemed undesirable was considered a “good thing”.

The German scientist had already embraced Darwinian Evolution before Hitler came to power, so it was an easy transition for them to believe they had a mandate to cleans their German culture of this Jewish virus that Hitler promoted. They had a saying that was popular within its leadership. “What Darwin did not complete the Third Reich will finish”.

Think about that justification for a moment.

Scary stuff when humans are in control of what it means to be right or wrong. The goal post can move or shift at any moment or change of agenda.  

The Egyptian and Roman empires did not believe in Darwin per say because they were in power long before Charles Darwin came up with his Theory of Evolution in 1850’s but, the mind set was the same. They ruled with impunity because they thought they had a right to dominate and kill when it was convenient to their cause.

They were the rule givers.

We also see that in today’s world wherever atheistic governments are in control. There is no moral standard but their own. They have become god over their people. Staying in power at all costs no mater the consequences to humans under their control.

Dr. William Lane Craig, a Christian Apologetics or Christian Philosopher, has an interesting but effective take on the “Objective Morality Argument” in three parts.

  1. If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
  1. Objective moral values do exist.
  1. Therefore, God exists

Dr. Craig has a great discussion with someone who is an atheist on this Three-Part Moral Argument if you would like to read it in its totality.

What I find fascinating is how he finishes the article in his last two paragraphs:

“Let me say in passing that since God is the highest Good, we have a moral obligation to love and worship Him, and He would be evil if He did not care whether people fulfill their moral obligations or not.

Perhaps the difficulty here is that you seem to think of God simply as a creator, and you are quite right in saying that being a creator does not equate to moral authority. But the theistic concept of God is much richer than the notion of a creator and designer of the universe. He is also what Plato called the Good, the paradigm and locus of moral value. As such, He is ideally suited to serve as the foundation of objective moral values and duties.”

God is good.

He is the total embodiment of good. There is no part of Him that is not good and if we are a reflection of Him, as Christians, we are to reflect this good.

He is our very foundation and where objective morality comes from outside of the human man to a source before the beginning and creation of this universe.

 

Morals Without God?

Follow Us On Facebook

Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

Website Design for Two Measures Foolish by Best Website Solutions

A Matter of Timing

A Matter of Timing

A Matter of Timing 

IT was a warm late spring morning in Oregon as I sped up the Pacific Highway 5 in my VW micro bus. I was about halfway between Medford and Grants Pass on a very beautiful but lonely, desolate stretch of road when something profound occurred that I would reflect on many times in my life. It was 1982 and I had just turned thirty years old that April. How I ended up in Oregon looking for the meaning of life is another story. It is enough to say that I was divorced and had left three young boys behind in Arizona.

That is also where I had bought a used green VW bus to hold my every belonging I owned and headed for the great North West via California. I ended up discovering and attending a small country church in Applegate, Oregon that was very non-denominational and very Protestant.

For someone like me who was raised a Catholic, it almost felt sacrilegious in a way, like I was entering the house of the enemy. It was at this church that I had learned about The Food Bank Outreach Center north of Applegate in a town called Grants Pass that was looking for volunteers on Saturday’s to help distribute food to those in desperate need. I decided to visit and check it out. I found that I enjoyed helping people and it took my mind off the inner turmoil and conflicts I was experiencing.

 

I looked forward to the Saturday experience…

 

… so very much not only because of the people I met and helped but for the ride to and from Grants Pass. There were only two way’s one could travel from the Applegate and both would take about 45 minutes.

One was a country ride that took me through mountain passes and into open valleys going past farms and ranches along the way. The road was like a beautiful ribbon weaving this way and that and reminded me of racing along The La Mans motor race in France. I fell in love with that ride.

The other was to backtrack to the town of Medford and then take highway 5 north. It was an OK scenic drive but not nearly as much fun, so I did not take it much at all, until, one Saturday.

A Matter of Timing

A Matter of Timing

 

I had met a girl by the name of Jan at church the Sunday before and she expressed an interest in helping out at the food bank after I filled her in about it. The catch was she lived in Medford so “would I mind picking her up on the way.” By doing that we would have to take the roundabout route I hardly ever took.

After picking up Jan I found the highway exchange and headed north climbing steadily to a higher elevation until the road flattened out on a huge plateau. I loved this stretch of the freeway because you could see for miles in all directions and view the Rouge river intersecting the highway at many points as it weaved back and forth. Middle of nowhere was an understatement. Nothing around except high prairie, sky and the lonely road we were on.

…Then it happened.

My VW bus had been a great companion up until that point taking me on many miles across the western United States without any trouble at all. At first there was a loud backfire and then she started missing and coughing with smoke belching from the rear end exhaust pipe. Fear gripped me as I pulled to shoulder of the road and rolled to a stop. I gunned the engine just a bit to see if it would clear whatever might be causing the trouble, but my green machine violently shook.

As I shut the bus down, I turned to Jan and in my best, I am not that concerned voice that came out two octaves higher than normal, “I wonder what this is all about.”

Jan turned to me looking very worried and asked “What do you think happened”

“I dunno” I answered trying to gulp in air and calm down my racing heart as I exited the driver’s side front door. “But I am going to find out”

As I reached the back of the bus, smoke was billowing out the vents on the door that sealed the engine from the elements. I opened the panel and allowed the smoke to clear and then peered inside.

Everything looked OK….except….. “what’s this” I said.

Jan looked over the car seat and said “What’s, what?”

“Strange” I said as I shook my head in disbelief. “Why is one spark plug wire no longer attached to the engine. The plug is still attached to the wire and lying next to the engine block.”

“This is just plain crazy” I said trying to get a handle on what I was looking at in the engine.

As I reached for the lose wire and plug and I discovered a very hot spark plug. My fingers seared from the intense heat that sent my whole body jerking backward. That was a dumb move I thought to myself and I stuck a couple my pinkies in my mouth as I surveyed the land around the vehicle.

As I returned to the front and climbed back into the bus, I looked at Jan and she had her closed and what appeared to be praying. When she opened her eyes, I explained to her what happened.

I then voiced my plan.

“I am going to let the engine and spark plug cool down and then try and re-attach it with the tools set I have in back”

Almost as an afterthought I said “I have no idea what caused that to happen. I have never even heard of something like this even happening before. Why would a spark plug become disconnected from the engine like that?”

Jan just shook her head, but I knew she was concerned from the look on her face. “Now what the heck are we going to do out here in the middle of now where”

I thought to myself. “Well I guess there is always a reason for everything” I uttered putting my best spiritual voice forward.

A Matter of Timing

A Matter of Timing

 

As the word “everything” barely crossed my lips, when out of nowhere came a small tapping sound on the window of the middle sliding door directly behind me. What the? I thought as I snapped my head around in the direction of the noise. I realized it was a dark figure standing on the outside looking in at me. My first reaction and thought was “all the years of training in karate is going to come in handy now”

I remembered, quickly surveying the situation and thinking what my options would be and how I would be the first line of defense for the women sitting next to me. Jan had her window open before I knew it and was poking her head out to face this dark figure.

“Jan, put your head back in the darn car” I said irritatingly as I prepared to spring sidewise between the two front seats and into the middle section of the van and then to slide the side door open.

I figured it would be faster than getting out of the front door and taking myself around the outside of the car. I was running on pure adrenaline at this point with my heart racing. I figured I had no choice but to deal with this threat head on and as quickly as possible since Jan had made herself and me so vulnerable by opening the window. What Jan said next slowed me down to a small degree and made me feel that maybe we were not facing a potential threat.

 

“Are you OK buddy. What has happened to you”

 

I heard her say as I slide the side door open and faced this figure head on. What I was looking at appeared to be a young teen age boy no older than 15 or16.

His face as well as his cloths were very dirty and around his eye’s and cheeks were big dirty smug spots. My first thought was he had spit on to a rag or something and tried to clean his face.

“Hello” I greeted him as I surveyed him up and down. I then said the only thing I could think of at the moment. “What are you doing out here?”

A million thoughts were racing through my mind at that moment as I fought to calm myself down.

“It’s a long story but the ride I had, dropped me off out here last night” He said looking first at me and then at Jan.

“Would it be possible if you could drop me off at the nearest town”

 

“Sure” I said wondering if I spoke to soon as I once again looked him over for a potential hidden weapon such as a knife, gun or bazooka. Man, do I have a suspicious mind I thought to myself.

“What is your name man” Jan piped in thrusting out her hand out through the window. “Justin” he said as he first shook Jan and then my hand. “I am John, and this is Jan” I responded.

With that short exchange of words of introduction I informed him that I did not know if “we ourselves” would be heading to the “nearest town” and it would be 45 minutes to an hour before the engine would be cool enough for me to attempt to try and re-connect the wayward spark plug to the engine.

We would find out then if my bus was going to be moving on its own power and would “he” like to have a seat in my vehicle, and we could all visit with one another until that moment of truth. Accepting my invitation, I found Justin room on the middle seat directly behind Jan and myself. I was more than curious about this young man so after explaining to him where my companion and I were headed that morning I then asked him how he ended up out in the middle of nowhere.

For the next forty-five minutes or so, Justin told us a story of a journey that had begun a little more than two and half years before. He said his relationship with his parents had deteriorated so badly that after one explosive evening he decided to run away. At the age of fourteen, he hitchhiked from Seattle, Washington and made his way south until he ended up in southern California. Not having any money and no means to support himself at such a young age he fell in with and made friends with many other children his age who were homeless in the LA area.

 

They would try and support each other…

 

…and stay in small groups for protection by sleeping under bridges or in empty buildings and gong through garbage in the back of restaurants for food and always sharing what little they had with each other. He said he was always scared and was beaten up many times by people that were older and stronger than he.

He said he eventually ended up outside of Hollywood and became a young male prostitute. He had a roof over his head most the time and ate better but he hated every moment. He stressed emphatically that he was not gay, but he had no other choice on how to support himself.

He said much of the time he just wanted to die. Eventually he said he decided to leave and make his way home but, on the day, he was to take off he was once again beaten up and what little money he had saved was taken from him.

He left anyway by hitch hiking north on the freeways and turning tricks along the way to pay for food from his rides and the truckers he met. The night before he met us, Justin said he had picked up a ride at a truck stop outside of Ashland, a town just inside the border of Oregon.

 

When he refused to perform sex…

 

…on the truck driver he was riding with, the driver cast him out of the cab of the truck in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere with only the clothes on his back. He made his way to the other side of the berm by the side of the road and curled up and cried himself to sleep.

He was jolted awake by the loud backfire and a badly sounding engine. As he peered over the edge dirt berm, there sat a green VW micro bus and me at the back with two fingers in my mouth looking around.

Man fixing hour glass

 

A Matter of Timing

 

I interrupted him for the first time through the course of his story and asked him when the last time he had talked with his folks and he told me he had not since leaving two and a half years ago. He wanted to and even tried twice by dialing their phone number but when someone answered he hung up because he did not know what to say. He was ashamed and disgusted with himself for all he had done and been through and really didn’t know if they wanted to even talk to him again.

It was then I realized that his mom and dad didn’t even know if he was alive or dead after all this time. I was a father myself of three young boys, so it crushed my soul when I felt the implications of what he had just said. O my God, O my God, I repeated over and over in my head. I felt like someone had punched me in the gut.

 

It was then I realized it had been over an hour…

 

…and that should have been plenty of time for the engine to have cooled down. I asked Justin if he wanted to help me so the two of us proceeded to the back of the vehicle and after about 5 minutes attached the wayward spark plug back onto a cold engine block.

As both of us climbed back in to the van, Jan spoke for the first time in over an hour by asking “If you do not mind, could we say a short prayer first before you try starting the car”

I agreed and we did so in front of Justin. Staring out the front window I took in a deep breath and turned the key. The engine fired right up and purred just like a kitten. My two passengers cheered as I sat spellbound by the implications of what just occurred. What were the odds?

As we made our way to Grants Pass in high spirits, I told Justin that I was not real good at this God thing since I had just discovered Him just a couple of months before and I was told that things really do not happen for no reason.

When we made it to the outreach center, I explained all that had happened to Roy, the leader of the organization, who then insisted on feeding Justin and giving him shower and clean clothes. Then Roy approached Justin and recommended that he give his parents a call that very moment. Justin hesitated and looked bewildered so Roy once again said it might be a good idea if he made the call for him and break the ice and see what the reception would be.

With that Justin agreed. Jan and I made our way out of the room so the two of them could have some privacy as they huddled around the phone. We watched through the window as Roy appeared to pray with Justin and then dialed the phone. I watched his face hoping that someone would pick up the phone on the other end.

 

He started talking slowly at first and then became very animated.

 

When he turned and handed the phone to Justin, I could see tears streaming down his face and Justin in turn had slumped down into a chair by the side of the desk and was just hanging on. By the looks of it he needed all the support he could get. Tears just started flowing out of this young man and I knew the same thing was happening on the other end of the phone.

With that I turned and went down the stairs and out of the building and into the allay and began crying myself. I remembered thinking it had been a very long time since I had cried that hard. Maybe since I was a kid.

After about an hour or so I returned and found Roy and He explained haltingly with tears flowing out like a sprinkler.

You know John, I think Justin’s parents had thought something really bad had happened to that boy. They told me they had gotten the police and the FBI involved with his disappearance. I really believe they had lost all hope of him returning after all this time. You should have heard them” Roy paused a moment between gasps and the continued

“I got back on the phone with his dad after they were done and could hear his mother in the background crying. They insisted on wiring me money for a bus ticket for him.”

“John” He quietly continued “I was wondering if you and Jan would mind spending the night and driving him to the bus station in the morning. I have already called for the times of departure”

 

“Are you kidding me, of course we will”  Was all I could think to say.

 

I was so stunned by the events of the last few hours I sat overwhelmed not knowing what else to do. My usual sarcastic, funny self-had completely disappeared and deserted me. “How was all this possible? How in God’s name was this all possible?” I thought as I replayed it all in my head.

I hung out with Justin that evening and then the next morning drove him to the bus stop. I could see anticipation all across his face. He was shaking. After buying his ticket and waiting for the bus to arrive that Justin, this young man of 16 and half years revealed to me that he had decided on taking his own life yesterday morning.

It was then he told me he cried out “If there is a God, and you are really there, please…. please help me.”

That is when my spark plug decided to have a mind of its own.

 

A Matter of Timing

Follow Us On Facebook

Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

Website Design for Two Measures Foolish by Best Website Solutions

When the Levee Breaks

When the Levee Breaks

When the Levee Breaks

If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay
Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
Lord mean old levee taught me to weep and moan
It’s got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home
Oh well, oh well, oh well

Don’t it make you feel bad
When you’re tryin’ to find your way home
You don’t know which way to go?
If you’re goin’ down South
They got no work to do
If you don’t know about Chicago

Cryin’ won’t help, you prayin’ won’t do you no good,
Now cryin’ won’t help, you prayin’ won’t do you no good.
When the levee breaks mama you got to move
All last night sat on the levee and moaned.

All last night sat on the levee and moaned.

 

When the Levee Breaks, was originally written and performed as a country blues song by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie. It was made famous in 1927 when the Mississippi river flood occurred. Later, in 1971, the rock group Led Zeppelin did a remake of the song with the same lyrics, but a much different rock edge beat and guitar riffs. The message is still the same.

 

You can tell the song was penned…

 

… by someone that is feeling very down and depressed by the destruction that was headed their way. Besides the fact that the author really did not have a relationship with God which made it even sadder and more depressing with him lamenting, “prayin’ won’t do you no good”.

When the ‘Levee Breaks’ can also be a real metaphor for when things go wrong in our lives. Yes, it’s a real occurrence if you live along a river or near the ocean when storms blow in or rivers overflow their banks and the dike or barricade gives out. The destruction of flooding can be devastating for many people losing their homes and businesses and possibly lives.

 

When our Personal Levee Breaks…

 

..the destruction we leave behind can be just as devastating when our personal levee breaks. Sometimes God puts a lot of pressure on our own individual river or body of water until our human levee gives out. Water is spilling out over the top of the dam and we do not notice. Many times, that is the only way God can get our attention when he lets our levee burst. Sometimes we feel the pressure building up but many times we are oblivious.

Our behaviors, unchecked over time, through our addictions or selfish desires, will bring water to the top of the dike and over. God will turn us over to our cravings and let us have what we so desperately think we want. He lets us come to the end of ourselves. It never ends like we think it will. These secret desires sing to us in such beautiful melodies and fool us that this is the ticket to be punched and the train to take. It’s all vanity or empty promises. Cotton candy in the end with no true lasting substance.

When the Levee Breaks

When the Levee Breaks

 

Is it all meaningless?

 

What is your measuring stick for meaningful?

Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament of the Bible, talks about this very thing. To me it’s the hardest and most eye-opening book of the Bible. It wastes no time getting down to the nitty-gritty, to the most essential questions that have plagued mankind from the beginning. Is this all there is? What does all this mean?

King Solomon is named as the author but, there is some dispute who really wrote it. Textually, the book is the musings of a King of Jerusalem as he relates his experiences and draws lessons from them, often self-critical. He was someone who had it all in his life like no one else through out history. He was rich beyond all measure. He had many wives and concubines. He took worldly pleasure when every he felt like it. God had given him wisdom so he understood things that most people could not. He was king over one the most powerful countries and armies of the time. Needless to say, he wanted for nothing.

He finally came to the conclusion, emphatically proclaiming all the actions of man to be inherently meaningless or futile. Because inherently the lives of both wise and foolish men, end in death. In light of this perceived senselessness, he suggests that one should enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life such as eating, drinking, and taking enjoyment in one’s work, which are gifts from the hand of God. The book concludes with the injunction: “Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone” 12:13

In light of what is written in Ecclesiastes you could become very depressed because the writer is really getting at the heart of exitance and life on planet earth for all humans if they have an easy life or hard. How long does life last for a typical person? 30, 40, 60 or 80 years. Remember a long life is denied to many. But what is a long life and is it just a few more years tacked on?

 

My dad used to say…

 

…to me before he died, I do not know how I got here so fast. Now that I am in my 6th decade of life I understand what he meant. All those years behind me are but a distant memory now. Like the Bible says, life is but a vapor.

If you do not think there is a God then life here is a very cold and empty thing. In fact, the whole universe with all its billions of galaxies and trillions of stars is a very cold and empty thing. All life that has existed on this little tiny blue planet inside of this universe is meaningless and without purpose or meaning. When you die does your existence just wink out and then forgotten within a generation of being put into the ground? All the billions of souls that have ever walked and breathed and had families and had dreams is nothing but empty vapors.

I think this is why God allows our levee to break. Why would God give us pressure in our lives? Why does He let us experience death, pain, sadness or loneliness. What does it take for us to think outside of our little box we call life. Deep in our hearts we know that there is more to life, even when this life has many good aspects to it, it still does seem empty especially without Jesus. Everything grows old, withers and dies. God designed all life to do this very thing.

 

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains. It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world” C.S. Lews  

 

Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie on YouTube When the Levee Breaks

Led Zeppelin on YouTube When the Levee Breaks

Bible Gateway Ecclesiastes

Follow Us On Facebook

Two Measures Foolish are a Christian Apologetics group of writers that write from a Christian Perspective and Christian World View using the Bible as our core.

We all travel on an individual journey on this planet earth that God has put into motion from the day we were formed in our mothers’ body. We all have deep questions that need to be answered. Why are we here? Is this all there is?

Website Design for Two Measures Foolish by Best Website Solutions