From Jim O'Brien
January 13, 2017

Hi Friend,

The Rational Mind

The story of Adam and Eve encountering the Adversary in the Garden is one of the most significant, and maybe overlooked experiences that God has chosen to preserve for mankind. There are a couple of challenges they faced that are common to mankind.

First, we are not told specifically how long the first humans had lived before facing the deceiver. We know Satan had lived longer, much longer, in an angelic culture that exceeds human dimensions. The odds were against them.

But God gave these two humans the great equalizer to resist the devil. They, as all humans since, were given a mind with which to reason and they were expected to use it.

Notice, Satan was not given power over them. He had to persuade them to turn against God. Their slavery was chosen, not forced. The most important tool of self-defense given to mankind is a rational mind.

On the surface, one is tempted to think that the task before Satan was insurmountable. Adam and Eve knew that God was the author of life, that they lived by His grace and that life in the Garden was good. No rent, no food costs, no utilities and no need to shop for clothes.

What had Satan ever given them? Yet they were so gullible that evil gained credibility in their eyes and they were persuaded to reject the Creator and lose His blessings.

Americans may be a modern type of Adam and Eve. Why do Americans, especially Christian Americans, allow other cultures to convince us that their culture is better? Is there any culture superior-no, is there any other culture that is equal to the Judeo-Christian culture? Where is there more justice, liberty, or economic prosperity than God has given to citizens of the United States? Could it be found in North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Russia, Zimbabwe, or Mexico?

We, like Adam and Eve, must be convinced that the cultures of tyranny that enslaved so many other countries, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, is superior to ours. And we are choosing the forbidden fruit.

Donna and I were eating at North Star Restaurant just prior to the elections when the waitress serving our table lamented that she could not vote. She is from Korea, does not have citizenship here, so that privilege is denied her.

Then, she said something that is as startling as it is obvious. She said that the benefit of a free-market economy versus communism is apparent just by looking at a satellite photograph of Korea. At night North Korea is completely dark while South Korea is brightly lit. The North Koreans don't have an economy strong enough to provide electricity to light the country.

Then she made a shocking confession. Her grandparents lived north of the 38th Parallel and emigrated from North Korea to South Korea during the war. However, the brother of her grandmother chose to stay in the north. Why? Kim Il-sung convinced him that communism would lead to a better life. There was a window of opportunity to escape from the tyranny but it closed and her uncle was never heard from again.

For over 70 years the Kim family has ruled North Korea. Jeane Kirkpatrick, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, called North Korea a psychotic state. She said that that is a rare occurrence in history. Consider the number of nation states that have existed in the 6,000 years of man's history-and this is one of the few that could be called psychotic.

Today North Korea is a prison that murders men who attempt to escape but their ancestors were convinced that communism offered a better life than the free-market. Like the uncle of our waitress friend, they chose it for themselves and their children.

Humans can be convinced of many errors-often by sincere people with good intentions. There was a time I was convinced that Christians should not vote. The man who persuaded me did not hold a gun to my head or otherwise overpower me. He deceived me! But I allowed it. There is no one to blame but me. It was a foolish choice on my part and the consequences were harmful.

But, it was a valuable lesson to understand that there's a bit of Kim Il-sung in otherwise decent people. They're called well-intentioned dragons and the only way to defeat them is to use the rational mind given by God through His Holy Spirit.

Until next time,

Jim O'Brien