Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

Questions and Answers with Author and Attorney Tim Rowe

Posted by faithandthelaw on August 13, 2010

1)      What motivated you to write The Magnificent Goodness of God? 

Our generation has lost faith in the goodness of God and His character. Without a right concept of God’s true nature and character, the foundation of Christian living crumbles, and the Church will fall into a downward spiral and lose its effective witness for Christ. We must know with great certainty what our God is like and His heart toward His beloved children. The goodness of God encompasses everything that God is, and is a perfect representation of all His characteristics.  There is not one stain in the moral character of God and not one sliver of evil. The origin of all sin is found in a mistrust of God’s character. If we don’t know who God is, we cannot trust Him and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We must not look at the world or our own experiences to define God. If we make this mistake, we can’t help but impugn God’s character. Satan tempted Eve on this very point by questioning God’s character. He does the same to us today. I want people to understand that God does not have a dark side; God is not two-faced; God is not good one day and evil the next. God does not have good days and bad days. God does not have any personality issues or character flaws. Understanding the goodness of God is first and foremost in spiritual warfare, because without this you can never stand for God faithfully.

2)      Why do you think the subject of God’s goodness is being lost in the modern day church?

I believe people have let their experiences, or culture, or religion define God rather than going to the Bible and letting God speak as to what His true nature is. We have become distracted often in many surface things and have failed to develop an intimate relationship with our God. I present a wonderful study guide of the Bible on the goodness of God, using over 30 translations of the Bible and 3000 verses to weave a tapestry of truth as to what the goodness of God is and how it can transform your life.  Eventually, something or someone will turn our heart from God if we do not understand His goodness that relentlessly pursues us all the days of our lives. Unfortunately, the church has too often had far more faith in the power of the enemy to defeat us than we do in the power of God to deliver us, change us, empower us, and demonstrate His mighty nature in and through us. Jesus Christ is the absolute pinnacle of the goodness of God and it is only through Him we begin to taste and see the magnificent goodness of God. It is time that there is an awakening of the goodness of God in the heart and soul of Christianity.

3)      You host a tv and radio show called “Faith and the Law.”  Is that an oxymoron?

God is vitally concerned about justice and the Bible sets forth laws that bring justice, liberty and balance to society.  Faith and the law are actually supposed to be intertwined and work together closely to allow an individual the absolute freedom to pursue life with God.  The law is to set boundaries so the sin nature does not run wild. God wants to set up laws that allow people to pursue and worship Him in complete freedom without interference from the government or civil authorities. As we look at the relationship of faith and the law, any law that diminishes, restricts, prohibits or destroys faith is not a just law and exactly opposite to the law’s true purpose. All laws should work together so faith flourishes. This is why religious liberty is so important. Religious liberty for Christians is under increased and relentless attack all over the world. Christians are being arrested for praying and preaching in public parks; they are being fired for wearing crosses to work; students are expelled for wearing t-shirts with a pro-scripture message and children have been accused of hate crimes for laying a Bible on their teacher desks. As amazing as it sounds, this is going on in the United States of America and it is important for Christians to stand up for their legal, constitutional rights and fight back against those who are trying to take away our freedom to exercise our religious beliefs.  The ACLU has tried to create a “faith-blind” secular society and laws, whose perverse effect is to rob all Americans of their religious diversity and uniqueness. The subtle message of the ACLU’s stance is that we can only be unified if we each agree to deny our commitments to our religious values (our faith) and agree to remain silent. We as Christians have stood silent for too long as the atheists and agnostics have controlled the legal system. As a result, many of our religious liberties are eroding at an alarming pace. This is often done through unjust rulings and laws by people and judges that have little understanding of the biblical principles present in the founding of our country and have given too much hype to the overused metaphor of  ‘separation of church and state’ that is not in our Constitution. This is the essence of why we feel faith and the law is such an important truth for Christians to understand so the gospel can have free movement in this country and reach the hearts of men, women and children without hindrance from unjust and unwise laws.

4)       Is the law becoming more and more hostile toward the Christian faith? Why or why not?

The American system of jurisprudence is still the best in the world even though it has some flaws and imperfections. It was founded upon a strong dedication to the God-given inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and a commitment to justice. The Bible and history provided a strong moral law and the law was not subject to the moods and minds of every single judge. The legal system has been moving toward secular humanism where man is glorified as the ultimate reason for everything and God is left out of the picture. Our legal system must have a driving moral principle behind it or it begins to crumble. God is just and God is good and there are moral principles of life set forth in the Bible that are the foundation of the Judeo-Christian system of law in the United States. So often, we have forsaken these values in the name of tolerance or in the name of intellectualism and we have become too “smart” for our own good. The law is becoming more and more hostile to Christianity around the globe. Atheists and Agnostics and God-haters have risen to the forefront of so much of our culture and they are pushing their godless agenda and want no resistance. The lamp of liberty is beginning to dim in America and we must rise up as Christians and begin to claim our legal rights like the Apostle Paul claimed his rights as a Roman citizen. The greatest threat to liberty in this country is not radical Islam but nominal Christianity. When teachers cannot even mention the word God without being prosecuted in Florida, when the theory of evolution is coddled and protected by the courts as scientific truth while creationism is thrust to the side, when a Christian college group cannot even require their voting members and officers to sign a statement of faith without losing their status as a college group at our universities, something is radically wrong. Our legal system has had a dramatic shift away from God and instead turns to the judges as ‘gods’ determining that the law is whatever they say it is and the Constitution is a changing document with the culture of the times. There is no longer a moral standard, just shifting beliefs. Christians need to wake up and become more firm in their total devotion to the Lord. I pray for this country every day, but I also have a moral responsibility as a citizen of the United States to speak out against the destruction of our Constitution and our rights as Christians. Religious liberty is the foundation of our country and should be guarded and guaranteed to every American. 

5)      What do you say to a family who has been faithful to God all their lives yet their child dies or is abducted?    

We are an intense spiritual warfare and there are evil things that happen every day in a very sinful, fallen world, but I don’t believe that scripture teaches God causes it or endorses it. We do not realize at times how many idols have been erected in our hearts that act as barriers to receiving the promises of God.  How much are we praying? How much are we in the Word? Do we watch television hours a day and never crack open the Bible and wonder why our lives our spiritually anemic? We must discipline ourselves to do the fundamentals of Christianity and always be alert in prayer for we have an enemy who comes as a thief in the night.  We pray too little, study the Bible too little, know very few promises of God, do not walk in wisdom and then blame God when things happen. Sometimes things happen because of a lack of wisdom.  God expects us to use our head. In regards to healing, there is great healing available in the cross of Christ and his finished work on the cross. But we do not always rise up to the standard of the Word and believe the promises. There is nothing wrong with going to the doctor and God has worked miracles through doctors and medicine. With Adam’s fall, the body has the curse of death on it and will eventually die. Often we don’t have health because we don’t walk in wisdom by eating the right foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, etc.  We expose our bodies and souls to other perils foolishly and then ask God to bail us out. God is a God of mercy, but the walk of health takes faith, wisdom and fervent prayer. God can deliver us from any attack of the wicked one, but Christians do have a target on their backs in spiritual warfare and we must learn to stand with the whole armor of God not just a portion of it.  There is also great healing in the Communion Ceremony, but very few Christians know the significance of the bread in Communion. Bread represents Jesus Christ’s body that was broken for our physical, mental and spiritual healing. The Corinthian church did not properly discern the Lord’s body and there were many sick, weak and dying in the church because they did not know the great healing in the communion ceremony. Understanding Communion will bring great healing to the church. The devil received the authority to exercise dominion upon the earth as the god of the age when Adam transferred to him as an act of high treason in the Garden.  He is responsible for all the evil in the world and it is a daily battle standing up to his attacks.  With the help of God, we can overcome and be more than conquerors in any situation in life. The Bible says that Jesus came to destroy the works of the Devil (1 John 3:8). His ministry was to heal those oppressed by Satan (Acts 10:38). Nowhere do the Gospels portray Jesus as healing those oppressed by God. Rather than God, it is Satan who is the source of evil. He is the one who has authority over all the kingdoms of the world (Luke 4:5 and 6), and it is Jesus’ job to crush his head (Gen. 3:15).

6)      Paul had a thorn that he claimed God would not take away.  So how does all that mesh with God’s goodness?

Paul’s thorn has been a “thorn in the flesh” for many Bible scholars. People have guessed a thousand things as to what it was–from sickness to eye problems –but the Scripture is very clear on the issue. The first thing we know is that it did not come from God as  II Corinthians 12:7 says it was a “messenger of Satan.” It came from Satan who is the great accuser of God’s people not from the God of all goodness. The word of God also says it was sent by Satan to buffet Paul  and the word buffet means “to strike blow after blow.”  When prior usages of the word “thorn” are worked in Scripture, it becomes obvious that the thorn in the flesh was people or human messengers that Satan sent to stop Paul and hinder Paul from sharing the gospel of Christ. The devil uses people who open their minds and hearts to him and controls them to do the kind of things that they did to Paul. At the same time, he works to arrange the circumstances in our lives so as to tempt us to respond according to our flesh (sin nature) rather than leaning on the spirit of God within us and allowing the Lord’s strength to be manifest in our lives. He can marshal people to hinder Christians and the movement of God’s Word. He has the authority to do that according to Scripture and it says when you live godly you will suffer persecution, but God has the ability to deliver us out of them ALL. But who did we rely on? Ourselves or God? His strength or ours? When we are under attack, it is only with God that can we be strong and by His grace overcome. This abundantly shows the goodness of God because even in the midst of the attack by the enemy, God is there to comfort, strengthen and pull us through. The goodness of God does not mean that you will never be under spiritual attack as a Christian. It is recognizing and embracing our weakness that drives us to our Savior, who will sustain and energize us to do His work.

 

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