Greeting once more from Dallas, Texas!
Many ask why God allows so much evil in this world, and why He will not do something to stop it. Others prefer to live by the motto ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil,’ and hope everything will work themselves out. People like to invoke God’s Love, but they leave out the second attribute of His divine nature that constitute who He is –freedom! Invoking God’s Love while choosing (freedom) not to take responsibility for our acts, is the definition of insanity – doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. These are the two attributes of His nature: Love and Freedom! God seeks to have a relationship with man He made in His image, and the foundation upon which that relationship is built is Love and freedom. We are speaking of divine terms, not the human definition of love and freedom.
“See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil!”
He desires to share these two attributes so we can enter and experience the very essence of His Being as God who is Tri-Personal in the Father, Son, and Spirit. We are speaking of attributes which have united the Triune God from eternity and will continue forever.
Consider the first attribute of God’s nature for a moment: Love. The Bible says, “God is Love.” (1John 4:8) What is the opposite of Love? If God is perfect and sinless, then sin is the opposite of Love. If God is Love, then what is man? Man is sinful! It is for reason of man’s sinfulness that Christ came to die to save us from our bondage (absence of freedom) to sin. Only then, we are given the freedom to Love one another. Man cannot Love one another and end evil in this world until he is freed from his slavery to evil and sin. The Love of God is real, and can be felt, touched, and lived, so is sin! Freedom is real, so is bondage!
The second attribute, freedom, expresses who He is – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are free Persons who exists as One in the communion of the Trinity. They are free functional Personalities, homousiosly and relationally One God. The human personality derives its uniqueness and propensity from the three Personalities of the Triune Godhead. The personhood of humans was created autonomous and distinct from one another resembling the Triune God. This is a vital element of man’s relationship with God that never leaves him. We do not lose our differentness and become lost in a giant pudding, so to speak, yet we are united with God through Christ in the Spirit. We have the freedom to be who we are destined to become as a person unique in our calling. The poet William Wordsworth said all persons “in the constitution of their souls, differ by mystery not to be explained.” (“The Excursion, Book Fourth: Despondency Corrected.”) Every person who has ever been born is different in gifting, just as no fingerprint is identical. The mystery of human personhood reveals the deeper mystery of God Himself in whose image man was created. But the Spirit makes known to men the mysteries of God as it concerns man, “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” (1Cor. 2:10b) Most especially as it affects human personhood and uniqueness in gifts and personalities – for that’s man’s language of communication with Him.
We are accountable for our freedoms, as God is in His own actions. You cannot have Love without freedom, or have freedom without Love! They form the same substance, one cannot do without the other. We see how these twin attributes stands inviolate in the very Being of the Triune God. Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal.5:1) Freedom is God’s nature. Jesus came to bring us divine freedom from sin’s bondage which is the root cause of evil in the world.
The Synonymy of Sin and Slavery. U.S. Senate Passes Resolution Apologizing for Slavery. Photograph from the SHC’s Edward Ward Carmack Papers, 1850-1942.
The degree of evil in this world is commensurate with the degree of man’s slavery to sin. The opposite of Love is sin and rebellion, and the opposite of freedom is bondage. Just as God is free to express His Love, man is a slave (not free) to express sin (opposite of Love). So the answer to evil is divine freedom which only God can give through His Son. It has nothing to do with the “goodness” of our human hearts. God says our “goodness are like filthy rags.” (Isa.64:6)
Rebellion is sin! The word rebellion renders a more precise constitution to the condition of sin in the world. The word sin has become so religionized and lost its painful and offensive meaning. What is rebellion? It is the condition of pride manifesting in non-compliance with the divine will of Love (God). The opposite of rebellion is humility and compliance. The Bible says that “rebellion is the sin of divination.” (1 Sam.15:23) Divination has to do with evil fallen angels whose sin occurred before man’s creation which was open rebellion against God. (Isa.14:12-15; Ezek.28:13-15; Jude 1:6) Rebellion is part of man’s nature who has been held captive by the devil since Adam’s (man’s) rebellion. (Gen.3) Paul tells us, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph.6:12) Hence, the answer to good and evil in this world has to do with unseen forces that controls the spirit of Love and rebellion, and freedom and bondage, not the “goodness” or “badness” of our human hearts. They create the “condition” which in turn create the outcome we see in the world today. The evil forces became “adversary” to God. Therefore, rebellion means to be adversarial with God (Love). God’s purpose is to bring us back to His Love and freedom, the purpose for which He created mankind. (Gen.1:26-27) The evil forces of the dark world are powers and authorities which hold sway over mankind, and man’s only hope is Jesus. And this He has already done, defeating the devil in the battle for mankind’s freedom. (Matt.4)
The prophet tells us what the dark forces has done to the heart of man making him adversarial to God, “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jer.17:9) This speaks of the darkness of the human soul. The prophet says, “We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows…we are like the dead… Our sins testify against us.” (Isa.59:9, 10, 12) Rebellion is the essence of this darkness in the human heart. Love is the light of God’s own heart which shines into the darkness of the human soul. And from the glory shone out of the light of Jesus’ life man can live in the ever increasing glory His brightness which covers our darkness. So, the end of evil and darkness in this world is commensurate with the ending of rebellion against the will of God in the heart of man, and the appearance of the light of God’s Love.
In all of creation humans are regarded as the dominant species. But this is not because of natural selection, human genetics, or man’s doing. Man derives his dominant nature from God at creation because he is made in His image. (Gen.1:26-27) When it comes to human relations we see humans trying to ‘dominate’ other humans, instead of Loving and encouraging the freedom of others to express their gifts as God does when He relates with man. This is the basis of evil in this world. What man don’t fully appreciate is the ‘dominion mandate’ precludes man from ruling over another human. Yes, we are to have dominion over all creatures and the earth and its resources under God, but not over another human. (Gen.1:26, 28) Only God has the prerogative to rule man for he was created in His image. God ‘rules’ mankind in Love and gave His Son to save humanity. Paul said we are to “owe no man anything except the continuing debt of Love.” (Rom.13:8) Jesus restated the Genesis ‘dominion mandate’ after His own disciples argued about who was greater or more dominant among them (Matt. 20:25-28). He said, “those who exalt themselves will be humbled; those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matt. 23:8-12).Jesus washed His disciples’ feet to show the humility that ought to govern our relationship with each other. He was the chief servant, not chief dictator. He gave His life for them. Life is about stewardship, not ruler-ship. We are stewards of His way of Love and freedom.
Spiritually, slavery means to live in the condition of sin under the influence of evil forces. But Christ has freed us from the slavery of sin through the mediation of His perfect life that was sacrificed for our forgiveness and freedom. Jesus is our freedom! Jesus is the expression of all good in this world that man seeks.The evil we see in the world is the result of spiritual slavery to sin, and man desperately needs true freedom. He has called us to freedom, not slavery. Paul said, “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about you adoption to sonship (free as His children). And by Him we cry “Abba, Father.”” (Rom.8:15), emphasis added)
The Bible says what you sow, you shall also reap. (Gal.6:7) That’s freedom, but man resents taking responsibility for his actions. If you sow the seeds of God’s Love, you will reap the fruits of good in the world, but if your sow the seeds of the devil’s rebellion, you will surely reap evil. We are all given the freedom to choose the seeds we sow. G.K. Chesterton said men are incomplete thinkers who “want things in fragments, that way we do not have to think about our inconsistencies. That way, we do not mind when our work contradicts our ideals (or principles), or when our politics contradicts our faith, and we keep each thing in its watertight compartment.” (The Apostle of Common Sense, p.19). Yes, we live life filled with contradictions. If you live the ‘wilderness life’ it never leaves you, it stays and follows you wherever you go. No amount of compartmentalizing life will change the harmful outcome! If you enter the ‘promise land’ you are freed from the ‘wilderness life’ to live life in the Spirit. (Love, Rom.5:5) God (Love) cannot be mocked, the degree of evil in this world corresponds with our sojourn in the ‘wilderness of sin’ we allow ourselves to be held bondage to. Likewise, the degree of good in the world is matched by the degree of the Spirit’s life in us (‘promise land’), where we freely choose to Love others as ourselves. (Mark.12:31) Like the force of gravity, Love is no respecter of persons. Your own actions (Love or rebellion) will be the judge of your life.
God waits for man with open arms, it’s up to us – choose Love, choose Freedom!
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessing of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you today and give you strength for authentic creative “Triune Living” as a Bula man-river.*
If you wish to read more, please obtain a copy of my book, “Bula Man-River – The Miracle of Triune Living,” from my web site: www.bulamanriver.com. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kiang (Your Servant in Christ)
*The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. Man is the “riverbed” and the Spirit is the “living waters” that cover him and flows to all in his valley (destiny). (John 7:37-39)
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All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.