The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Friday, November 28, 2014

Beyond Covenant Creation; the Sacrifice of Israel, God's Only Begotten Son

Undoubtedly, the Scriptures are not a science textbook! In this day & age, even many Christians are beginning to realize this startling & almost horrifying fact, though probably as many more or holding vociferously to the old, archaic notion that the creation story related in the first chapters of Genesis is indeed a scientifically accurate, chronological account of the very beginning of Creation! We may read this account scientifically, but when we try, through that science, to prove certain 'facts' about this terra firma, then is when we run into trouble!

Being fully convinced of the truth that the account ( s ) in Genesis 1 & 2 are about the Introduction of Covenant rather than about the formation of the material world, we ascribe with all certainty to this 'model', and we understand many of the implications of this sobering, yet freeing truth! However, though this truth is becoming clearer & clearer every day, we might understand too, that while the importance of understanding ( intellectually ) the concept & construct of the covenant life is great, putting those implications into practice is of utmost importance! More & more, Christians & non-Christians alike are beginning to live according to this glorious Truth, whether or not they acknowledge & understand  ( fully ) the importance of this kind of Theology!

Covenant Creation really opens up the Scriptures! Reading the Revelation of God's Word in this Light makes certain heretofore obscure & meaningless passages grab our attention like never before! And, we've only just begun! It's really only in the past few years, certainly no more than a decade, that this construct, or conception has really begun to jockey for position with the more traditional concepts & beliefs that have been held for millennia! The Implications & Applications that Covenant Theology, from Covenant Protology to Covenant Eschatology & Beyond, have on this Life are Infinite! Understanding the covenantal relationship that we have with, not only with our Heavenly Father, but with all of His good Creation, should have a most profound Impact upon the way in which we live our lives, but what are the fruits that we have harvested from this 'tree', so far?

So far as I have seen, there are but a few discussion groups on the Internet, Facebook in particular, that are dedicated solely to the discussion of Covenant Creation! One of these seems to be aimed more at discussing the idiocy & inconsistencies of this position, while another group has been opened exclusively to those who already strongly hold it, or at least are hungry for the truth it holds! Both groups are relatively interesting & fruitful, but unless there is a meaningful change evident in the lives of those who get embroiled in such discussions, of what real use are they? Although we know than any lasting change will take time & in order for us to act on what we know, we must first be sure of what we know, there is a time when action must take the place of discussion! That time is Now; we must begin to act on what we know, not before it's too late ( for 'twill never be too late ), but while this biology endures, for as long as our bodies encapsulate the Breath of Life, we are God's Hands & God's Feet!

As faith without works is dead, so discussion of the principles of Covenant Theology, whether Protology or Eschatology, is useless unless necessarily accompanied by a notable change ( for good )! So many of us seem to substitute these discussions for meaningful change ( action ) & when it comes to instituting or applying these implications, it seems that we are fruitlessly discussing them to death & then going about our relative day to day with almost no noticeable change ( for the better!

Covenant Theology, both Protology & Eschatology, makes so much sense of Scripture that it's almost frightening! Having come to this understanding, it's becoming more & more difficult to envision life without it! Once you've drunk deeply of its waters, you'll never be truly satisfied with the traditional theology that most of us grew up with!

A return to the beginning, to the drawing-board, so to speak, is what's called for here! In many if not most cases, this all-encompassing paradigm shift is so pervasive & so with any previous paradigm, that it will take a complete reversal, almost, to relieve ourselves of the errors that have become so prevalent in our modern theological landscape! If we can somehow implement the changes in our society that Covenant Theology necessitates, then & only then will come to fruition the countless hours of discussion!

'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End'! When we begin to understand the full import of these words, to witness the Protology & Eschatology of Israel, then it becomes infinitely clear to us that the Scriptures were never meant to simply relay the truth of biology, but are a record of the introduction of Heaven to Earth & the redemption of His Creation to Himself, through the ministrations of the Son of God! The preparation of Israel, from the First Adam to the Last, to be the necessary sacrifice for that Redemption & Marriage, was initialized 'in the beginning', as related in Genesis & finalized with the Advent of the Jewish Messiah, or Jesus, who was the Christ!

With the advent of this sobering, yet freeing truth, the Truth of the Marriage of Heaven & Earth, many things have changed & Lord willing will continue to do so, but to enable that change, we must be willing to move beyond any theology we might hold & put those beliefs into practice, to let them flow out through our fingertips into a suffering world that needs our Redemption!

As the Embodiment of God's Son ( corporately speaking ), may we always let this Redemption flow through us to the 'nations' around us, may we be the Waters of the River of Life that flows out from our Heavenly Father's Temple! Let us venture beyond our theology, Covenant or otherwise, with the realization that God IS who He is & WE ( corporately ) ARE His Temple!

Charles Haddon Shank

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Courtship of Israel & the Creation of Covenant

When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord God.
Ezekiel 16:8

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
Genesis 6:1 & 2

Israel is known as the wife of Yahweh/Jehovah/God! Whether you understand Israel as being only those according to the flesh, or as those according to Promise ( Spirit ), she was and is what may be called The Marriage of Heaven & Earth! The Sinai Covenant, having been traditionally viewed, among most anyway, as the institution of this Marriage & the Formation, or Genesis of Israel as a nation, some have come to see, that Sinai did witness the Genesis of Israel & even more, that this was not the institution of the marriage, but simply the initialization of it! What was begun in the beginning ( 'In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth' ) was the formation of the apple of His eye ( 'As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling cloths'- Ezekiel 16:4 ). When she had matured physically & was ready to be married, Yahweh instituted a Covenant of Betrothal with her, promising, through that Covenant, to marry her 'in the fullness of time'!

Scripture, or the Holy Bible as we English-speaking peoples know it, has been known as a Book of Covenant, in certain circles, God's Love Letter to His People! It is that! How much, though, do we understand by those words? Is it really as simple as 'For God so loved the world..........' ( John 3:16 )?
Well, yes, it IS that simple, but how well do we understand what it really means that 'God so loved the world'? Reading passages from The Song of Solomon & this from Ezekiel 16 ( 'indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine' ), we see how much impact that phrase really has!

Many Christians ( even non-Christians ) look at the passage above, from Genesis 6, and they see male demons, or fallen spiritual ( non-physical ) beings procreating with female human beings! Not only is this a ridiculous assertion, it has been found through further study, that these 'sons of God' were simply a reference to the sons of Seth, rather than sons ( 'daughters' ) of Cain. The 'sons of God'' in this passage, as well as others, may be seen to refer to & picture those Covenant Children who would become the 'sons of God' ( Matthew 5:9, Romans 8:14 ) in 'the fullness of time', that is, when the Marriage had taken place!

As a sort of side-note, you might say, it was fallen spiritual beings ( Jude 6 ) who impregnated the 'daughters of men'! It was those children of Adam through Cain who had rejected the Knowledge of God & had thus given up the blessings of His Inheritance! These 'angels' ( messengers ), like Israel according to the flesh, failed to relay the Message of God's Love & instead had sown seeds of discord & hate! Because of this failure, God sent His only begotten Son, in 'the fullness of time' to gather His Bride from 'from the four winds' ( Matthew 24:32 )!

The spreading of Yahweh's 'wing' over Israel should bring to our minds the courtship of Ruth & Boaz, wherein she requested of him, 'Take your maidservant under your wing,[a] for you are a close relative' ( Ruth 3:9 )! This strengthens our assertion that this Covenant was not a Covenant of Marriage ( although a Promisory Covenant ), but simply a Covenant of Betrothal!

Much more could be written here, concerning this Courtship, the Choosing ( election ) of the Bride of Christ & the Marriage of Heaven & Earth, but since the purpose of this post is simply to inspire thought in the People of God, we will go no further here, except to say that the Creation ( fattening ) of 'the heavens and the earth' was simply a preparation of the Son of God ( Luke 3:38 ( Exodus 4:23 )  Hosea 11:1 ( Matthew 2:15 ) for that Marriage!

Charles Haddon Shank

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Tangled & Random Web We Weave

The internet ( thank you, Al Gore ) is a two-edged sword; it can be either a blessing or a cursing, used for good or evil! There is a lot of good stuff out there, but there's also a lot of bad; you can easily find millions of search results, literally in seconds, on any subject you can think of, theological & mundane. Anymore, pastors don't need much of a personal library, as long as they have the internet & time to search for the titles they're looking for. This is not a guarantee that the specific title they're looking for is on the world wide web ( legally or illegally ), but, for the most part, if it's in the public domain ( and even if it's not ), it's somewhere in cyberspace!

On the dark side, you can just as easily ( or easier ) find pornography, to whatever degree your little heart might desire! Sometimes. dancing images of naked women or little girls even, will pop up on your screen because you simply typed in one wrong letter in the address bar, or entered the wrong search terminology. Yes, it's not just the men who 'benefit' from this Pandora's Box, either; women can lust after their favorite Chippendale ( sans tights ) with just a few clicks of a button!

Social networking, on the other hand, and Facebook in particular, has become such a huge business ( 'everybody's doing it' ) that people must often wonder how they got along without it! It IS an easy way to keep in touch with family & friends, as long as they 'do' Facebook anyway, especially in this day & age, with the busyness of our lifestyles. With the advent, in the past decade or so, we can now carry Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & a horde of other internet sites with us wherever we go, even Youtube! Speaking of Youtube, if you need instruction on anything from small engine repair to how to load a pricing gun, you can probably find the video you need on Youtube! In fact, I just recently read a story about a former NFL star who had never farmed in his life, quit a very lucrative career in the NFL, and learned the ins & outs of farming by watching Youtube videos!

Again, there is a dark side as well, to this social networking thing! Many relationships have come to bear through Facebook ( or other SN sites ) but as many or more have crashed & burned because of it! One of the problems, as my brother-in-law has pointed out, is a lack of accountability. Because of the world wide web, you can say almost anything & get away with it! You may be looking at ( and lusting after ) the most drop-dead gorgeous blond with the most luscious & delectable boobs you've ever seen, and you may become hopelessly entangled in her web of deceit, only to find out ( too late ) that 'she' is an over-weight black man, living on Social Security & foodstamps!

Even if you live in the same town as certain of your FB 'friends', because some people are often prone to talk more freely in cyberspace, relationships have been known to go flat! With Facebook, as with texting or any other form of electronic communication, though it is easier, often, to relay a message or hold a sort of conversation, it is also easy to misread, misunderstand or even misinterpret what was relayed!

One may sign up for Facebook or a plethora of other SN sites out there ( even dating sites ) with the best of intentions; some may even have a positive impact on their cyberspace, or find the woman ( or man ) of their dreams & live happily ever after, but as the case may be, probably more often than not, one will find their hopes & dreams dashed, and find out, too late usually, what a negative influence this internet can be!

As with all of life, care & caution must be exercised when it come to the World Wide Web! One must know the difference between good& evil, as well as having the gumption to put that knowledge into practice! The internet is not evil in & of itself; pornography even, would not exist if it were not 'good' business! If people were not so easily ensnared by its seductive influence, it would not be such a booming enterprise! Even though it is well ensconced in the hearts of at least 75% of this nation of dupes, if even half of those were to, all of the sudden, stop viewing it online, or even to stop paying for the 'service', it would no longer be the thriving business that it is now!

As with politics, people are to blame for the problems & yes, the evils that we love to complain but usually don't do a damn thing about in today's society! If everybody in this country had a sudden change of heart, and just stopped ( Cold Turkey ) perpetrating or turning a blind ( ignorant ) eye to the evils that occur every day, every hour & every minute in this nation, we would see such a Revolution as the world has NEVER seen! All the Great Awakenings & Revivals of Righteousness this nation has EVER witnessed would pale in comparison & and many of the evils that now plague us would simply dry up  & blow away!

It starts with the Family! If we don't get that right, then NOTHING else will turn out right! Political intrigue & social action might seem, on the surface, to alleviate the problem, but as we've seen for the past several centuries, they only entangle us more hopelessly in the web of deceit & despair! If we can untangle ourselves from this web, at the same time utilizing it for the good that we can accomplish through it, having a positive rather than negative impact on society, we can turn this country around, although it will be a slow progress; it's taken years to sink to the level we've gotten to & it will take as long if not longer to climb out!

May we, as the Covenant Community of God's People, lead the charge in this Blessed Endeavor!

Charles Haddon Shank

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Idol on Every Street

Just about everywhere you look these days, even in the midst of the most beautiful parts of God's good creation, are idols! These, according to definition ( ), can be anything from 'an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed', to 'any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion' or even 'a false conception or notion; fallacy'. There are parts of God's good creation that people have made into idols & there are constructs of men & women, whether material or intellectual, that were made, if not expressly for that purpose, for no other real purpose then the admiration & adulation of others!

Just south of Glacier National Park, here in beautiful Montana is a slightly down-sized rendering of one of the largest & most infamous idols in the nation, The Washington Monument! Not much more will be ( or need be ) said here concerning this most famous phallic symbol, but suffice to say that this 'erection' is very significant of the sexual 'bent' of this nation! Although this is actually, by far, not the largest such 'erection' or construction in this Nation of Whoredom, it is maybe one of the best-known symbols of the idolatry for which she is known!

Just as in the days of Israel according to the flesh, much of God's good creation has been utilized as idols as well! The reason for this is that idolatry rests securely within the hearts of men & women who have not actively sought & cultivated a right relationship with their Creator ( Heavenly Father )! An example could be the difference between one who looks at the beauty of Nature & ascribing it to our Almighty & Beneficent Creator, enjoys it as such, and another, who looking at the same Beauty, ascribes it to Chance & so approaches it with a reverence & worship due the Creator alone!

Not only can the material good Creation or construction of man be worshiped as idols, they ( idols ) can also be the property of the intellect! One example of this, particularly in this day & age, is the very Constitution of these United States itself! How often do you hear people from every walk of life, including most Christians, lamenting 'if ONLY this country would return to the Constitution!'? The Constitution is by far not the only culprit when it comes to the intellectual property of idolatry ( in fact, you could almost say that idolatry is a merely intellectual property ); in many cases, what we know as the Holy Bible has itself become almost an idol, not unlike the Law & the Temple did in the Days of Israel ( according to the flesh )! Many Christians maintain, irregardless of the truths of Audience Relevance & Covenant Context, that it's Eschatology refers to our own day, and not only that, but that it is the VERY Word of God & not simply the Revelation of that Word ( as interpreted by man over several millenia ) which now dwells, in His Fullness ( Colossians 1:23 ) within His people, the ( Corporate ) Body of Christ!

Idolatry, just as in former days, takes many forms, as we have noted! It can include anything from the misplaced adoration & adulation of the Natural Creation itself, human & material, to the worship of the pro-creation, materiel & intellectual of the creature! This could include the Sunday Worship of crazed football fans at the local center for idol-worship on some mountain ( or at the foot of a mountain ), but it also has to do with our priorities! What importance do we place on certain activities? Would we rather do one thing over another? If so, 'why'? If not, 'why not'?

Now, having said all this, placing more importance on one activity, place or thing ( even person ) does not make that activity, place or thing wrong, or evil! As we saw earlier, idolatry stems from the heart, the innermost being! It is why one reveres this over that, or even worships in the midst of God's good Creation that makes an idol out of it! Even our own intellectual property ( I speak mostly to myself here ), as well as that of others, can become an object of Misplaced Worship to us!

Let us determine in our own hearts ( innermost being ) to remove these idols from this temple & to place our adoration & adulation solely where it belongs, at the Feet of our Heavenly Father ( metaphorically speaking )! In our determination, let us live our lives in worshipful Adulation & Adoration, Exultation & Exaltation of our Heavenly Father! Nothing more & nothing less than this will do!

Charles Haddon Shank

Monday, November 17, 2014

Explaining the Problem of Evil

Can the problem of evil even BE explained? Put simply, yes! Can we explain why an almighty Creator allow it to exist, or happen? Well, that one might be a bit more difficult, though not impossible! Does God allow evil to exist, or does He allow, even cause it to happen? The question we might better ask is, 'what is evil?' Is there such a thing as 'Evil', or is it merely something that occurs ( happens ) contrary to what we know is right?

The Epicurean Paradox goes something like this;

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then He is not omnipotent!
 Is He able, but not willing? Then He is malevolent!
 Is He both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? 
Is He neither able nor willing? Then why call Him God?

The Problem of Evil has plagued the creation since, well, since man was on the earth! Not that 'evil' or wrong-doing, is relative, like an Epicurean might say, but very often, one looks at the actions or character of another and pronounces those actions or that character as evil. for instance, one will say, 'he's an evil man'! Then too, we have the wisest man ever saying , 'This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all'. Is Solomon here accusing his Creator of evil-doing?! We know that the Creator said, through Isaiah ( 45:7 ), 'I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the Lord, do all these things.' The word here translated 'calamity' is the Hebrew 'ra`' elsewhere translated 'evil'.

This is not to say that God is the Author of Evil, because Scripture tells us that 'God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good' ( Genesis 1:31 ) God made ( formed ) man in His Image, and called it 'good'! Through man's disobedience to God's Law, 'evil' happens; it occurs when man does something which either God or his neighbor does not approve of, and yes, God uses, or even causes 'evil' to occur! Whether for eschatological purposes, as we read in Isaiah 45:7, or in the world today; the Almighty's purpose is fulfilled, either through 'The Evil That Men Do' or 'When Bad Things Happen to Good People'! This is not to say, either, that our Heavenly Father approves of this 'evil', or even that He is empathetic toward those who perpetrate it; it is not merely relative: Scripture is clear enough that our Heavenly disapproves of 'evil' & punishes those who perpetrate it!

How, then, can we explain it; why does it happen & why would an almighty & good God allow it to persevere? Well, we've already seen somewhat why our Heavenly Father allows it to happen, but WHY does it happen & what can be done to stop it from occurring? Why DO men do the evil that they do?!  We saw too, that when men are disobedient to their Heavenly Father, that they are guilty of committing evil! Even when men do something of which their neighbor disapproves or just plain hates, this is often viewed as an evil too! 

'Evil' then, is something that happens; whether men act in disobedience to the Law of God or against the preferences of their neighbor; it is without doubt, something that occurs! There are, no doubt, evil people out there, and sometimes these people must simply cease to exist if their evil is to be eradicated, but often, if caught soon enough & 'nipped in the bud' ( Ecclesiastes 8:11 ), the 'evil' may be redeemed & turned around in its tracks! One example I have given before & there are countless others out there ( the internet can be a great blessing! ) is a friend whose beloved daughter was killed through the evil actions of a drunk driver! That man was turned around in his tracks, and now shares a table with the family against whom he committed the evil!

Because 'evil' is simply disobedience against the Law of God, it is as easily cured; just don't do it! I know, easy to say but hard to do. Then we have the problem of what to do about all the evils out there in society! We can do our best to avoid them, but they're still there & there are too many that do follow that crooked way!  The best we can do is to avoid those evils ourselves and encourage others around us to avoid them as well. If an evil ceases to be fed, it will soon cease to exist! Another way to say this is, if people stop doing it, it won't happen!

Just like corrupt politics, 'evil' is not something that can be reformed! The people that do evil, just like those who have corrupted politics, must be either redeemed or eradicated! We can eradicate the evil in our own lives by ceasing to do what we know is wrong & we can set the example for our neighbor to follow & even encourage him to do right, rather than wrong, but we may not force someone to cease from evil & do good! Well, we probably could, but then we'd end up with the same problem we have now!

Rather than trying to explain evil by trivializing & and relativizing it, then, by using Epicurean reasoning, as we saw above, let us  accept the fact that 'evil' exists only because men ( people ) who are not in right relationship with their Heavenly Father and so do what seems right to them! We know what is right to our Heavenly Father & if we act accordingly, we will have taken a giant step towards The Eradication of Evil!

Charles Haddon Shank

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rebuilding a Free Society ( From the Top Down )

No, this article, contrary to popular opinion, is not going to be another 'revolutionary' one about reforming the powers that be ( not what you would normally think of when hearing the phrase 'top-down' ): on the contrary, we will be investigating how to begin a reform where the balance of power truly resides ( in an earthly, human context ), and why that balance has shifted.

How should we then live?

'Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other'. These words, spoken by John Adams, one of this nation's Founding Fathers, go well with another statement he made in reference to 'we the people'; he said '[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue.' The vision that our Founding Fathers pursued was that of a free society, one which was based upon self-governance, and not upon the rule of a king, or any other sovereign, a master, you might say.

The place to begin this reform, then, is in the hearts of 'we the people', and this reform must be a 'top-down' reformation! The past two hundred years or so of our history as a nation has shown us that, unless, as John Adams prophesied, we remain a wholly religious and moral people, our Constitution would do us no good, and in fact, could end up doing more harm than good ( this is starting to sound strangely familiar! )!

 'Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.'

Paul wrote these words to the Christians at Rome, proving that even though the Law was good, because of his sinful and naturally disobedient nature, what had been given to bring Life had only brought Death ( note that Paul was speaking in a corporate sense here, as in the prayer of Daniel )! Because the Body of Israel had clung to an outward show of obedience to the Law, rather than practicing from an inward change of heart its requirements, it had brought them down to Sheol rather than setting them free!

My point here, is that returning to a mere outward adherence to the Constitution will not return this nation to a free society, and definitely not even to the vision that our Founding Fathers fostered! If this nation is to return to being a free society, to say nothing of their vision, she must return, at the very least, to being a moral and religious people, and ultimately, to a true worship of our Creator, Father, and God!

This 'top-down' reformation, through the power of the Holy Spirit of God, might begin with a re-education of the American people of the principles upon which this nation was birthed, but it cannot stop there, and indeed MUST not stop there! It must flow through the ordinary citizen and out through their fingertips; it must begin with a head-knowledge, but that in its turn, must flow from a recognition in the very heart of the people, an acknowledgement by the spirit, and must prove its mettle through active repentance and turning!

 I have recently had the privilege, though no doubt, you will not find even a 'blurb' of this story in any major news media ( in this country ), an account of the current Ugandan president doing something that every national leader needs to do; leading his nation in a prayer ( and hopefully action ) of repentance!

He prayed, 'I stand here today to close the evil past, and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness, we confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation. We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal'.

This prayer to an Almighty God sounds much like that of Daniel, in his intercessory prayer for the children of Israel in their Captivity. It also sounds very similar to the prayer that we should be voicing, not only with our hearts, but with our hands as well, before our Almighty God and Father! We are as guilty as any Ugandan, of the sins of idolatry and witchcraft! We have as much need as they, to confess our sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal!

Why have we not done this, as a nation?

One can easily and quickly answer this by blaming these atrocities on someone else; from saying 'the devil ( 'Satan' ) is the true ruler of this world', to saying 'our political leaders have become more and more corrupt, and have led this nation to the brink of disaster' ( I believe that this, somehow, is related to the first reason ), but when we say things like this, we do two things ( for starters ); we take the focus off ourselves and our own wickedness and pure laziness, and two, we admit that we have become a nation of 'sheep', and fit only to be led or driven!

The Constitution of these United States, as I am beginning to understand it, puts the power of life and death, so to speak, squarely in the hands of 'we the people'! Don't get me wrong; I am NOT saying that this is a perfect document, or completely in alignment with the Law of God, but I do believe that, as our Founding Fathers fought to ratify this document according to their understanding of the doctrines of True Liberty, strict adherence to this document is not what has gotten us to where we are today!

Many think, and there has been a great push to do this, lately, that if we can just get our leaders to return to the 'first principles' ( of the Constitution ), then all will be well once more, and our nation will once again thrive with the liberty and security she enjoyed in the beginning: sadly, this is not the case! If you will honestly think about how we got to where we are today, and how long we have been sinking into this pit of slime and ooze; I believe you'll find that it was not to long after the ratification of this Constitution ( 100 years, give or take ) that things began to transpire that led to the tyranny and misery that we see so rampant and blatant today!

The only effective response to the degradation that we see in this nation is a full-scale repentance and return, not merely to the Constitution, or to the principles upon which it was formed, but with all our heart, mind and strength to True Worship of our God and Father!

We can strive as long and hard as we want, to make sure the right man gets elected as 'the leader of the free world' ( president ), and that may seem to go far toward solving our problems, but until there is a change of heart in 'we the people', not even the best, most Christian man ( or woman ) in these United States would be able to make much difference!

The prayer of the leader of Uganda, as we noted above, could go a long way, if in true earnest & honesty, in restoring that nation, but he cannot do it alone; every man ( and woman ) must recognize, and repent of, this same selfish idolatry that he admitted to and interceded for. In our nation as well; if our president was to become the leader he should be and lead his country in an active prayer of repentance; I believe that it is quite possible many in this nation would turn from their idolatry back to the true worship of God. Again though, sadly, there is a far greater number, I fear, that are far too ensconced and comfortable in their own idolatry, and such a president probably wouldn't be president very much longer!

Obviously, we cannot 'fix' our problems by using the same means that created them ( politics ); that is, unless we start raising up the kind of people that John Adams envisioned, 'a moral and religious people'! How can this be accomplished? Well, put simply, we could have a big genocide of sorts ( 'kill'em all & let God sort'em out' ), then start the process all over ( that's almost inevitably what would happen-John Calvin's Geneva? ), or just start another nasty Civil War, the effects of which last for many, many decades & centuries ( in fact, we still feel its effects today )! A better solution, though, and one maybe more in line with Kingdom principles, is to transform society from within, beginning at the beginning, so to speak, the family!

With a good, Godly focus on the family, teaching our children Kingdom principles & raising up a generation of men & women who would not only vote for & support good, Godly leaders, but would themselves step up to the plate & be good, Godly leaders; Politics could well bring this nation out of her idol-worship & back on track to becoming a free society! Until that happens, politics as usual will have the same effect it's always had, no positive & lasting one! As basically the decision of the people, politics will always be effective & and if the people are corrupt, so then will be the politics!

The only hope we have for a truly Free Society, is for one without rules & regulations, one where the people themselves live & do what is right, because it is right! If one only does what is right out of fear of reprisal, are they truly doing right? Can morality be legislated? Many Christians would most likely answer 'yes', but is it truly morality if the laws are obeyed through outward, but not inward observance?

May we, as a Covenant Community, purpose within ourselves to live these Kingdom Principles & raise up a generation of men & women who will govern themselves by these same Principles & themselves to raise up their own generation of men & women who would in turn govern themselves by these Kingdom Principles & so on & so forth! Politics is dead; let's bury her on move on, or rather, 'back' & start where we should; at the beginning!

Charles Haddon Shank
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thank God It's ( Black ) Friday!

In this day & age, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving Day, has been known as the second biggest, if not the biggest shopping day of the year! I mean, really, a 50" Flatscreen for $200; a Playstation 3 for $100 or even $75?! Who, in their right mind would pass up on deals like that?! Recently I have heard that one can't really call the day after Turkey Day Black Friday anymore because the stores are all starting to open earlier & earlier on Thanksgiving Day! And why; to capitalize on the greediness of a population dedicated to idolatry & comfortably numb in their chains of servitude! I actually heard recently, from someone in the know, that certain shoppers have come into certain stores, asking why they're open on Thanksgiving Day!               ????!!!!

The original Black Friday, on the other hand, while it was, to many who witnessed it, a Day of Mourning, brought a kind of selfish joy to most, not unlike today's Black Friday celebration! On that Friday ( traditionally ) a world-changing event occurred, one that affected not just those who were immediately involved & closest to the situation, but for generations to come & people from every nation & all walks of life! On that Black Friday, the heavens themselves actually dimmed their lights in mourning for the death of the greatest Man who ever lived. On the Third Day, though, the day after the Sabbath, the morning light shone bright & clear in exultation of the Resurrection of the Son of God who had surrendered His life that we might Live!

What a contrast we see between these two! On the one hand, we have selfish & greedy idol-worshipers mauling each other to get the best deals they can & on the other, we have a bunch of selfish & greedy idol-worshipers killing the King of Life, just to try to keep their unstable chains! Really, not much of a contrast there; more like an unsettling & even frightening similarity! It makes one wonder, as I'm sure the true worshipers did in Jesus' Day, when God's righteous indignation was going to bring these idols crashing down! In fact, the disciples almost unwittingly, asked this question of Jesus, and received the answer, 'Watch & Wait' ( Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21 )!

On the first Black Friday, the Salvation that those true Jews & Gentiles had looked for was Realized ( though not fully Revealed until 70AD )! Belief in the Sufficiency of that Sacrifice brought Reconciliation between Creature & Creator & made manifest the Way back into the Presence of our Heavenly Father! The Holy Transaction made that Day was one of Eternal Value! Those who endured to the End, not hoping for something better, as most Americans do every Black Friday in today's day & age, but looking forward to & hasting ( not 'Hastings' ) that One Day when their Redemption would finally be Realized, they received the Gift of Eternal Salvation in that Blessed Presence!

No more can millions of greedy shop-keepers simply advertise Black Friday sales to get millions more idol-worshipers in their stores, since most of them are viciously competing with each other for their business on the day which has been officially set aside for people to be thankful for what they already have! Instead of enjoying the gifts that we receive every day & taking some time out to celebrate life, many Americans, at the instigation of these greedy shopkeepers, have forsaken these blessings for the hope of something better! Seriously, though, especially when you consider how much better most Americans have it ( materialistically anyway ) than the people of other nations, how could we as for anything more?!

Is there hope for America? Undoubtedly there is! It rests, though, not in the false hope of getting someone better in the White House, or finding the best Black Friday ( now Thanksgiving Day ) Deals! Our hope for a better tomorrow rests firmly in the events of that original Black Friday & in the Resurrection that followed! May we, as a nation look only & always to back to that Black Friday in the hope of a better tomorrow, and not to the next Black Friday Sale in the selfish hope for something better!

Charles Haddon Shank

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Protology & Eschatology of Israel

'In the beginning, God created'; this is how Genesis begins, in most modern translations! While this translation has stood thus for centuries, more recent studies have revealed that it more correctly reads, 'in the summit, Elohiym fattened' these same 'heavens and earth', which again, more correctly, should read, 'the sky and the ( dry ) land'. Put simply, these recent discoveries have brought under scrutiny the traditional notion that the beginning chapters of Genesis are about the creation of  what we know as 'terra firma', or the existent world ( globe ) along with the sun, moon & stars!

The very thought of relegating Genesis 1 & 2 to merely a record of the establishment of covenant relationship between Creator & Creation, or, even more heretically, between Yahweh & Israel, is foreign to all but a handful in this day & age! For one thing, to even entertain this notion, is to open a 'Pandora's Box' ( 'can of worm' ), the least of which is the suggestion that the earth might be more than 6,000 or even 10,000 years old! The construct of Covenant Creation might even lead one to question, not only the scope of the Flood of Noah's Day, but ( 'horror of horrors' ) whether there were even real animals on the ark ( compare Genesis 6-9 & Acts 10 )!

Assuming the facts we have in evidence ( at least, if one is willing to study with an open heart & mind ), it is easy to see how this account ( Genesis 1 ) is significant of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ, especially when one thinks of phrases such as, 'I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end'! When Peter wrote, 'the end of all things is at hand' ( I Peter 4:7 ), we readily understand that he was not signalling the end of the world ( 'terra firma' ) but rather, the end of that covenant 'world, that Covenant Creation which had been 'fattened' in the 'beginning'!

Thus we have the creation, or formation ( might be a better word ) of covenant, the open relationship which we now enjoy, as the People of God, with our Heavenly Father! Open relationship, we say, because we are thus free, not only to have a relationship with our fellow human beings as well, but because the Blessed Presence of God is not relegated to a particular geographical location. Nor is it limited to a peculiar biology either, as that was the 'end of all things' of which Peter & other Gospel writers spoke! No more would Israel be known by its biology ( Romans 9:6-8 ), but by it's spirituality, by those who 'have the mind of Christ' ( I Corinthians 2:16 ).

Much is made, in this day & age, of eschatology, or the study of the end, or 'end-times'! According to most Christians, Eschatology refers to the end of the physical world & even the end of biology, in some cases. Only recently, although the concept has really been around for centuries, have certain ones 'braved the elements' & challenged tradition to say that Eschatology is about Israel about God's Covenant Creation! It only makes sense that if Biblical Eschatology is about the End of a covenant relationship, then Biblical Protology refers to the Beginning of that same covenant relationship!

Although more & more Christians are seeing this 'new' truth every day, it is still a sore subject for most, and is usually treated heretically, leading to much unnecessary heartache & pain! While Biblical Eschatology, particularly in the most recent decades of the past century, has enjoyed renewed attention & study, Biblical Protology, and the questions which it not only answers, but brings to light, are even more important when it comes to Soteriology!

What does it really mean when it says, 'in the image of God He created him' ( Genesis 1:27 )? Are ALL men ( & women ) made in the 'Imagio Dei', or was it only a certain part of God's Good Creation which received this 'image', and thus were given the ministry of reconciling the Creation with its Creator? If only a certain part of that Creation was given that ministry, where does that place the rest of God's ( good? ) Creation?

Covenant Creation opens a whole new world when it comes to all aspects of Theology! If Jesus was simply Israel's Messiah, what does that say about the Nature of God? The question of 'who is Israel?' comes under renewed scrutiny, as well it should! If the Israel formed with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob was the Israel which Jesus came to save, then where does that leave the rest of us? Or are we the Israel that was formed, not only with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, but with that first Adam?

The apostle Paul wrote ( I Corinthians 15:45 ), 'The first man Adam became a living being.”[d] The last Adam became a life-giving spirit'. In actuality, that's all that needs to be said; Adam was the first ( covenant man & Jesus was the last ( Covenant ) Man: He was the End ( Goal ) of which Scripture had prophesied, not the cessation of the Creation, but the Goal of Creation, the Marriage of Heaven & Earth!

Charles Haddon Shank

Monday, November 10, 2014

Convenience, Comfort & Conditioning

'Why are things the way they are?'

Well, that's a deep subject ( so to speak ), but really, it's devilishly simple; mankind, outside of right relationship with the Father of all Living, is, as we read in Jeremiah 17:9, is 'deceitful above all' & 'desperately wicked'! Yes, that does explain a lot, but since the Redemption of All through the Intercession of Israel's Messiah, aren't all men basically good? I mean, really, isn't it simply our environment, or some other outside influence, like the Devil or Satan, that causes people to do bad things or to act wickedly? After all, doesn't John 3:16 say that God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die that it might live( never mind that 'whoever believes' part )?!

Remember how, after Moses had led the children of Israel out of bondage & slavery in Egypt, they were glad to be free of their chains, but when they started to get hungry, they remembered how 'good' they'd had it back in Egypt, ant wanted to return to their 'leeks and melons' ( Numbers 11:5 )? In much the same way, but with a different twist, after the slaves were officially set free by Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of September 22nd, 1862, a monster was brought into existence, and exists to this day among the greater part of the Negroid population, and even much of the white population, that of dependence & entitlement! Because these former slaves, though they worked hard & often under rigorous & even dangerous conditions, we so used to depending on 'Massa' for their subsistence that's all that most of them knew!

In today's day & age, many Negroes, as well as ( probably more ) white folk hold stubbornly & ignorantly to the notion that they are owed something! The Negroes seem to thing that because the 'honkies' enslaved them for so long, that now the 'honkies' owe them, and much of the 'white population has jumped on the bandwagon, so to speak, and begun to clamor for handouts as well! How many people do you know, both 'white' & 'black', that sit on their wide asses all day, playing video games & collecting food-stamps, and on top of that collect a welfare or disability check every month, just because they're to fat & sassy to keep a job or afford healthy food? Because they can't hold down a 'real' job, they have to subsist on a meagre welfare check ( 'but look at my new tattoo; cool, huh?' ), and because they only get that little bit, they can't afford healthy food, which only makes the fatter & lazier, and so the vicious cycle continues!

Technology has made great leaps over the past century or so; we now have the incandescent light-bulb ( 'Thanks, Tommy' ) & thanks to Benjamin Franklin, we now have an electrical socket to plug our microwaves into! The advent of the Convenience, or 'C-Store' has been a great boon for the commerce of this great nation, if only for truckers & vacationers ( or travelers ). At pretty much any C-Store you stop at along the way, you may find pre-packaged hot-dogs, pop-tarts & hot-pockets ready to pop in any of the shiny & inviting microwaves ( there's usually more than one ) and have a delicious & satisfying meal in 30 seconds or less ( of course, you may have to make an unplanned 'pit stop' at the next truck-stop or C-Store to get rid of the unhealthy crap you've just eaten )!

One might wonder sometimes if technological advances have really had such a positive effect on this nation!

Technology is not in itself evil, though, like anything that mankind gets its grubby little fingers on, it can be corrupted & that PDQ! The creation of the Atom Bomb, for instance, though it might have been deemed a necessary evil, brought to light new technologies that helped to advance many fields. One of these fields, unless I'm greatly mistaken, and this was before the bomb, I'm pretty sure, was the greater enjoyment of that delectable delight we call beer! The Internal Combustion engine, for well over a century now, has been used to propel automobiles over roadways much faster than one can walk or run, but it has also been used as an Engine of War, and mobilized for its destructive power! These engines have allowed mankind to fly through the air with the greatest of ease ( without a trapeze )!

Comfort & Convenience may be the most glaring symptoms of this deadly disease, but Conditioning has played probably an even greater & definitely more insidious part! The greater part of the people of this country, even many of those who have been at least half-way awakened, are so used to the Comfort & Convenience of their servitude, that they don't realize the magnitude of their slavery! For many centuries, Conditioning has been used by many different powers & authorities to control the population of any respective nation, state, or area!

Even those, and this number may actually be the greater, who claim to have a right relationship with their Heavenly Father live in somewhat the same manner, enjoying the Comfort & Convenience of their Servitude, because of the Conditioning they've received for at least the last 200 years, but maybe even close to a millenia! Part of this conditioning can be blamed on a false view of eschatology, but that alone cannot shoulder the entire load of blame, there is also a false hermeneutic to blame & when it comes down to brass tacks, a misunderstanding of the Nature of God!

What can be done to rid ourselves of this insidious & debilitating disease? Can we ever hope to shrug off these chains of oppression? 'Obviously', you might hear, 'Jesus has not yet totally defeated death & set up His Kingdom on Earth ( Matthew 6:10 ), because if He had, there would be no more tears or sickness, no more war& death!' Must we, as most Christians believe, wait for the Send Coming of a Messiah who promised to return to His first-century Church ( Body )? Or, through the Power of His Resurrection & the New Temple which He constructed ( again, in the first century ), do we now have the power & authority ( Luke 9:1 ) to enact the change that is so desperately needed in this country & elsewhere?

Is it possible that, as the Disciples of Christ & Children of our Heavenly Father, that we are actually above all these petty dictators & over-lords?! Why do you think Jesus said, 'do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul' to His disciples in the first century? It wasn't because their biology, which He created & pronounced 'good' was worthless or useless; it was because that wasn't what defined THEM!  In this day & age, especially, mankind, including most if not all Christians, have become so attached to & enamored with the physical 'husk' that we live in, that the very threat of its decease scares the hell out of us & causes us to submit to evils we would not otherwise tolerate!

There is Hope though! If we, as the Body of Christ, will get off our blessed assurance & leave the cold comfort & convenience of our servitude, we can overcome those years of Conditioning! While we're at it, whether because of active preaching & example, or through education, we may even teach the nations ( peoples ) around us to follow suit! Imagine that!

In His Grace & with His Love,
Charles Haddon Shank

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Dwelling of God

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.'
Revelation 21:3

Quoting from Leviticus, Jeremiah & Ezekiel, Jesus spoke of the dwelling of God with man, the Marriage of Heaven & Earth in these terms; 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.' John wrote, in the Revelation, as well as the apostle Paul in his second letter to the Church at Corinth ( 6:16, quoted from Leviticus, Jeremiah & Ezekiel when they prophesied of the future dwelling of God in the Spirit!

Most Christians today almost vehemently take the stance that 'God cannot dwell with sin'! While I would tend to agree that our Heavenly Father WILL not dwell with sin, I would beg to differ that He cannot dwell with sin! I would challenge ANY Christian to show me, in the proper context, that He CANNOT dwell with sin! Sure, a certain logic would tell us, that, as the History of Israel shows ( ' your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear' ( Isaiah 59:2 ), He chooses not to dwell with sin, or iniquity ( though, through the Temple, He still, for a time, dwelt in their midst )!

The Gospel according to Matthew ( 1:21 ) tells us that Jesus came to 'save His people from their sins'! If Jesus succeeded in this endeavor, which no Christian in their right mind would deny, would it not follow that we too, as the People of God have been saved from our sins? As the Psalmist prophesied in Psalm 103:12, 'As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.' Again, if our sins ( 'transgressions' ) have been taken away, and as Jesus promised, 'We will come to him and make Our home with him', then we must acknowledge that He NOW dwells with His People!

This is not to say that His People no longer transgress, or fail to keep His Royal Law of Love! Again, no Christian in their right mind would say that they love their neighbor as they should, or even God perfectly ( according to our modern definition of 'perfect' ) all the time, but, as the Body of Christ, we are, in Him, 'holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners' ( Hebrews 7:26 )! This same writer later wrote as well ( 10:14 ), 'by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified'. Admittedly, there is an aspect of the 'already, not yet' scenario to be considered here, but we should also recognize that while it may seem to us to be speaking of individual perfection, it is the ( corporate ) Body of Christ which has been perfected ( made whole or complete ), and not individual human beings!

It cannot be stressed enough that our Heavenly Father, in toto, now dwells with ( in ) His people! Although we all, as individual Christians, fail to keep His Law of Love at all times & in all ways, it is our ( corporate ) status as the Body of Christ which has rendered us 'without sin' in the eyes of our Heavenly Father!

Eschatologically speaking, and this is partially where the 'already, not yet' scenario comes in, most Christians believe that, though the Holy Spirit now dwells with us ( 'your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit'-I Corinthians 6:19 ), God Himself, our Heavenly Father, has not yet taken up that promised residence! Depending one one's eschatology, then, even though it does not effect the Truth of the Matter, one might understand that we are already 'a dwelling place of God in the Spirit' ( Ephesians 2:22 ), Jesus' promise in John 14:23 has not yet been fulfilled, or realized! Good, sound logic & reasoning, though, should tell us that our Heavenly Father, the Great & Holy Spirit, DOES dwell fully with & in His People, the Body of His Son & the True Temple!

Does God dwell with sin? According to Scripture, He does not! Can He dwell with individuals within the Body of Christ who stumble? Mot certainly ( I'm proof of that! ) Is He pleased when we fail? No, just like any good father, He is most pleased with His children when they obey Him, but He will not leave us or forsake us when we fail to keep ever jot & tittle of His Law! As individual Christians, we do face that choice, the choice of whether to love the unlovable, or even whether to love our Heavenly Father, every day, but as a part of the Sinless Body of Christ, we may take great comfort in the fact that, in spite of our manifold weakness, He has chosen to make His Dwelling with us!

Charles Haddon Shank

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Despicable Art of War

'War is a racket!'

How much truth is in that statement! Since time began, the strong have made war on the weak in order to exercise control, whether it be control of money, population, power or natural resources. Human beings have always endeavored to hold under subjection those who don't enjoy quite the same status of importance! With the advent of centralized government, human beings found a simpler way to exercise this control, by threatening & carry out war against anyone who opposed the decisions of the majority!

In this country, we have exercised this power, as have many empires in the past have, in order to prosper! Because of the shortcuts we have taken to gain this prosperity, which by the way, is simply a false prosperity, we have become one of the most hated ( though feared ) & despised nations on earth! Sure, many foreigners love our 'freedom, which, again, is a false freedom, but sooner or later, they usually find out that they had it better, or at least no worse, in their country of origin!

Since The War on Terror began ( it's been going on for well over 10 years now ), terrorist activity has, if anything, worsened in its intensity! To be fair, the biggest discernible problems have, at least since the attacks of '9-11' have been relegated to other parts of the world, but if you talk to the right people, you might begin to understand why this is so! Since the inception of this corporation ( U.S. Inc. ), those 'in the know' have revealed how such events ( 'Pearl Harbor, '9-11', etc ) have been orchestrated by the 'powers that be' to needlessly embroil true patriots in the wrongful endeavor that 'they' wish to pursue, ostensibly, for the good of the nation!

America, or the U.S. Inc., is not the first empire to employ the despicable art of war, nor will it be the last! Many empires have risen & fallen since the dawn of time, and their downfall has always been wrought by the same perpetrator; corruption from within has always been a problem for empires & while enemies from without are a big enough threat, enemies from within are an even more dangerous & subtle threat!

Centralized government, whether it be the Assyrian, Babylonian, Greek, or Roman Empire, has always imploded, due not only to outside influence, but because of inner corruption! Human nature, in particular, that which does not realize its covenantal nature, has always shared a 'pack mentality'; just like a base animal instinct, it is 'survival of the fittest'! When a certain segment of society is seen as weak or unfitting, it is readily attacked, and quickly subjugated or destroyed! When one group lusts after the possession of another group, it doesn't take long for the battle to ensue, and before the dust even settles, for the vultures to close in!

Terrorism is no doubt a big problem and has become even greater in both scope & magnitude over the past decade, but with the necessary equipment, much of the problem would likely dry up and blow away like the desert sands! It might surprise many people in this country how much of our national treasury goes out each & every year toward funding these terrorist organizations! Oh sure, this 'aid' which is sent overseas, probably on a daily basis, is marked for humanitarian aid, and to be truthful, some of it probably is ( we do, after all, have to put up a good 'front! ), but that's the 'aid' that we hear about; what about the top-secret & 'bedroom deals' that usually go unnoticed?!

While the American Empire is most certainly not the only one to ever benefit from terrorism of some sort, it is the most ready answer! Especially since the 'attacks' of '9-11', although that was doubtless not the first time, many eyes have been opened to the real enemy, that with our own central government! While we still have a long way to go & this country is very likely facing a Civil War which could make the last one pale in comparison, the corruption within the U.S. Inc, or the American Empire has had at least this one unintended, but unavoidable effect; it cannot continue to fight against itself, because, as a Wise Man once said, 'If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand'!

Charles Haddon Shank

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Is the Physical Immaterial?

Ofttimes, when the proposition is made that our biological bodies will not play a part in the Resurrection, the accusation may be made that the one who made the proposal has been 'poisoned' by Gnosticism! That one then might be encouraged to remember that when Adam was created, he was pronounced 'good'. We read, in Genesis 2:7, 'And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being'. If our Heavenly Father created biology & called it 'good', who are we to say that this biology will perish someday; isn't that flying in the face of the promises of an Almighty God?!

Several problems may be confronted immediately when assaulted with such reasoning! First of all, the accuser assumes that the Resurrection of the Dead has not yet occurred! Secondly, such an accusation presumes to say that Adam was the first  ( human ) biological body to inhabit planet earth. The question of whether the creation account in Genesis 1 & 2 is about the creation of biological life, or simply about the introduction or revelation of covenantal life into that creation might be superceded by the gnawing question of whether the latter purports that Yahweh is not the Creator after all, but simply a tribal god!

If Yahweh was simply a tribal god ( God ) who decided to reveal Himself to His Creation, to initiate a Covenant Relationship with His People, then we might well acknowledge the claims of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Krishna, etc! If, however, Genesis 1 & 2 are the beginning parts of the Story of the Creator of the Universe & all life that exists, who humbled Himself to enter into a covenant relationship with His Creation, then we have a completely different Story! This Story tells us of the Love of a Father who sent His only begotten Son to redeem His Creation that had distanced itself from Him by their disobedience & lust for power!

The Resurrection, we have found to be verifiably true, was not only personified by Jesus who was the Christ; it is inextricably bound up with the promised redemption! If the Resurrection has not yet occurred, the neither have God's People been redeemed! Again, if the Redemption of Israel has occurred, so has the Resurrection! Jesus, as we have seen ( John 14:6 ), embodied the Resurrection; it was those who looked upon Him with the eyes of faith ( Numbers 21:8 ) who experienced this Resurrection, while those who refused to do so were destroyed & annihilated!

We have found, relatively recently & through much new study & inquiry, that the creation accounts related in the early parts of Genesis, though traditionally assumed to chronicle the Beginning of Time itself, are not a History necessarily of the Dawn of Creation, but the Beginning of the Revelation of Jesus the Christ! A closer & more honest study of the original language of creation reveals the beginning of a Creation within Creation; the creation of covenant between Creature & Creator, Father & Son!

So, you may ask then, what is the use of this biology; for what purpose did our Creator form it, and why, if it was never meant to live forever, did He pronounce it 'good', so much so that He sent His own Divine Essence in that form to redeem it back to Himself? Did man, through His disobedience, so thwart His Creator's Divine Purpose, that he has become worthless in the eyes of his Heavenly Father!

The Body of Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, was sent to the Land for One Purpose & and that Purpose was to do the will of His Heavenly Father; that is still our Purpose! Whether through death or life, biologically speaking, we serve His Purpose! This is why He created our biology, that become His Instruments of mercy & grace, His Ministers of Reconcilliation!

Charles Haddon Shank