Ask Jonathots … December 31st, 2015

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I’m 15 years old. Last night my mom and dad started talking about the storms going on this winter and got into a ferocious argument over climate change. My dad says the climate is God’s business and that He’s in control of it, and that people always think the weather is odd. My mom totally thinks we have just about ruined the planet. What are your thoughts on the subject?

One of the most misinterpreted concepts is “God has a plan.”

When that is followed through to a conclusion, you enter a realm of predestination, where our efforts, directions and motivations don’t matter because they are subject to being changed by a Universal Creator.

If by “plan” you mean that Nature takes its course, then you might be onto something.

Faith has no battle with science as long as faith understands that God has set in motion a natural order which works by principles, and not chance.

This is why Jesus told us to study nature–to discern the signs of the sky and apply that same philosophy when we evaluate how we handle our lives.

Therefore, since Nature has a course and is functioning under scientific principles, it is our responsibility as inhabitants of Earth, to study these axioms, be sensitive to them, and adjust to what we can do to be better caretakers.

So the debate over climate change is ridiculous–because it’s not an issue of whether the world is going to end by floods or fire, but whether we can become students of the Natural Order which God has put in place and address the situations of our time.

In other words, if the increase in carbon dioxide is proving, to some degree, to be detrimental, what could possibly be wrong with adjusting our output, to be more aware of Nature’s course?

The problem comes when we feel the need to be dark and dreary, pronouncing doomsday instead of insightful, helpful and hopeful.

Here’s what I would tell your mother and father:

There is an Earth. It is the Lord’s and the fullness of it.

We have been placed here to be an intelligent presence and to take care of the planet and each other. Anything we can do to improve the situation based upon our discoveries makes us good stewards of our home.

It’s as simple as that.

It is useless to talk about climate change and insist it’s going to destroy the world. Equally as meaningless is to treat the Earth like toilet paper and fail to recognize that every action has a reaction, equal in force and opposite in direction.

So my approach is simple:

  • I will listen; I will learn.
  • I will do what I can to help Mother Earth do her job, which is to run her course.
  • I will never be afraid … nor proclaim that our surroundings are without hope.

 

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Fulfil or Destroy… May 13, 2013

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Good requires nothing of evil. On the other hand, evil desperately needs good to give up and lose heart. It puts evil in a disadvantageous position–always sniffing around great ideals to see if anyone is despairing.

So what is evil?

I will tell you this–it has a beginning, a middle and an end. If you allow it to start, it is very difficult to stop it.

The beginning of all evil is cynicism–mainly the contention that people are just no damn good. It doesn’t matter if it’s said by a jaded comedian or a preacher trying to save the lost. Anytime we attack human beings, trying to prove how stupid they are, how immoral they are, how destitute they are, how ignorant they are or how useless they are, we are setting a master plan in motion–to degrade us to evil.

Perhaps this is the only thing that religion and secularism have shared in common throughout history. They have both concluded that mankind is perniciously flawed, incapable of progress. Even though it contradicts the gospel of Jesus, which insists that the Kingdom of God is within us, it gains a tremendous following because we get to attack others while insisting that we’re not “quite as bad” as they are.

From that beginning comes a middle and the middle of all evil is always politics. And what is politics?

Well, since people are stupid and incapable of doing what’s right, somebody must step in and control them, bringing about more orderly results. Of course, this appears to be a powerful position, so cynical men who are on their way to evil vie for it. They argue, debate and bring everything to a standstill, making it seem even more likely that we’re all doomed to be dumbfounded.

Politics is not limited to government. There’s politics in religion, politics in romance, politics in education. Any time we believe that we can control our future by carefully plotting strategy and discussing it in a committee, we are on the verge of some sort of evil plotting.

So as you see, the beginning of evil is cynicism. The middle of evil is the muddle of politics. And the end is a resignation towards terminating the world.

Yes, all of our prophets, whether they be of global warming or the second coming of Christ, are yanking us towards an emotional quagmire of hopelessness. So what’s the point of pursuing excellence?

This is not limited to Bible-thumpers. Every movie in Hollywood made about the future contains some form of anarchy or cannibalism. It is evil. It is the opposite of what God intended when He placed a garden east of Eden and told us that we could tend it and be successful.

One day Jesus told his disciples, “I have not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

Jesus was probably the greatest revolutionary that ever lived. He turned the world upside down–but not by using cynicism, politics or preaching doom and gloom. He told people they were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. He told them to be perfect, even as their Father in heaven was perfect. And he told them to love their neighbor as themselves.

So be careful as you pursue your little tirade of righteousness–that you don’t accidentally slip into the TRUE axis of evil. You can always identify it: it begins with cynicism, in the middle transforms into politics and in the end is darned tootin’ sure that the world is going to blow up.

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2063… April 10, 2013

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America Open for BusinessThe year is 2063.

The earth has changed.

Yet contrary to what the science fiction writers foretold or the doomsday prophets predicted, things are actually better. No longer is there endless debate on gay marriage, gun control, abortion, racial bigotry, global warming and nuclear destruction.

Several decades ago life on this planet came to a crisis. I guess we just grew tired with being weary of ourselves. The expansion of technology, the insufferable debate of politics and the prejudice of race was finally confronted and exposed by a generation of young humans who yearned for intimacy instead of continually jockeying for supremacy.

Ineffective religion and abstract agnosticism, which had battled each other for the minds of our people, were both abandoned in favor of the fervor of faith: faith in a heavenly Father, faith in each other and faith in the power of love.

People left their computers and homes to spend time together. Theater reappeared.  Music was live and organic. Dinner became an experience of eating around a table at home with friends.

To our shock and amazement, we didn’t destroy the world. Instead, we eliminated alienation. We included one another at face value, and let God and nature work out the particulars. We began to laugh at funny things instead of mocking each other. We mourned loss instead of weeping tears over our own insufficiency.

We grew into an understanding of the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind rather than maintaining a mere allegiance to those possessing our DNA.

I did not live to see it.

But my twenty-five-year-old great-grandson still reads my work, because to his delight, fifty years earlier, I believed in the impossible. I shared the vision of a world that pulled up short of Armageddon, and rather than welcoming Christ to the earth in a blood bath between good and evil, we instead invited Jesus to come, sit and enlighten us.

So even though I am gone, the simple words that I penned live on. The dreams thrive in an era when thoughts, considerations and phrases are allowed … to bring hope again.

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