How do we know God's laws? What books shall we read in order to know the will of God? By God I mean the creator of the heavens and the earth and all they contain. If an organization puts together a writing, how do we know that these writings are true and by what authority? Do the writings have the authority of God? How can we test the veracity of these writings? What should we do if we are not sure? Where is the doctrine of true liberty? I'll try to explain my thoughts and experiences and put them together in a way that I hope will make some common sense in a world that seems to contain so little.
God's laws are self-evident
Throughout the course of our lives, we see the evidence of God in nature. We can see the beauty and complexity of life itself and we know that at some point, God would have had to put it all together. We don't know why he did it or how he did it; we just know that he did do it and everything he created has its place in the order of life. We can't see God, but we know he exists. There is a latent knowledge in every man, woman, and child that God is always present and we can sense it everyday. Some will say that we can't see God, and that is true, but we also can't see the wind nor can we see gravity but we can feel the effects of those natural "laws". We don't need a book to tell us these laws because instinctively, we know them already.
It has been my experience that everything that God created looks good in it's own way. I walk or hike in the woods quite frequently, and I am astounded at the beauty of it. I see something different almost every day. Some plants bloom only for a few days, and their beauty is most enjoyable to behold. My favorite hobby is to take photos (many are posted on my blog) of the things that I see most every day. To me, this is the evidence that God not only exists, but that he made everything good. How he did it is not for me to know unless he wants me to know. The miracle of life is something that no man can duplicate. Only a twisted psycho could think that he can put himself at the same level as God the creator.
God's World Order
All of nature must stay within the Creator's natural order of life; I call it: God's World Order. And within that order is what mankind is supposed to maintain by using his own common sense and the guidelines of the commandments, which should be self-evident through the use of reason.
The commandment of not having any false gods before the Creator makes sense. Who in their right mind would want to worship the created? That is evil and it is stupid. Yet many religions teach that people can be gods. That idea is completely insane. The commandment against taking the Lord's name in vain makes sense because no one but God could possible know what the future holds.
Honoring ones mother and father makes sense. However, the commandment for the Sabbath is one commandment that cannot be properly reasoned. While for some it makes sense under a religious tradition, hardly any religion can agree whether it is to be on Saturday or Sunday. Rather than speculate or make a wrong choice, I simply put that one aside until I completely understand it. We know it is evil to murder someone. If we lie, we distort other people's minds. If we steal or are coveteous of another's property, we are giving ourselves unjust gain. These things make sense, and those people who apply these principles will have more freedom in their lives because they will not have to bear the burden of their sins; which have their own retribution.
Testing the scribble
So when I read anything, I try to test it with the natural law and the commandments. My first job is to determine if the writing is true. I also test it to see if it is good or bad. If it is good, then I use it. If it is not; then I put it aside or I throw it out altogether. Any writing that is a lie has no place to be in anyone's mind. Twisted information has no value. The problem with most writings is that they seem to carry an authority that they may not deserve. Just because someone wrote something down doesn't necessarily mean that it has any authority. People tend to put too much faith in the scribble, and not enough effort to find out the facts.
Beside testing the writing for good or bad, true of false, I also look for contradictions. Searching for contradictions is more difficult. Here, I may be using truthful information on one hand, and then
deceptive or incorrect information on the other. However, at the point of contradiction, I will immediately know when something is wrong, and that I need to do some more research and investigation. But when I connect the dots as to what is true, I usually come out with an accurate picture of what is really happening. I may not like what I see, but I have a better understanding.
True Liberty; True Freedom
True liberty and true freedom resides within the truth. The truth cannot be altered, it is the state of the case. The truth is a fact. Thus, abiding within the natural law has the best chance for success because we can already see how the things in nature are there for the enjoyment of life. In God's World Order, we have peace and enjoyment of all of the benefits of being men, women, and children.
In the New World Order, everything is completely reversed and turned into evil. So then it makes sense to make sure we live and abide within the commandments to secure the benefit of being alive.
Life under the New World Order is one of depravity and bondage and it really isn't necessary if mankind can learn to keep the natural law.
All of us are subject to a spiritual battle. The evil that tries to influence us to do something wrong is always present. When I was doing some research in earlier Christian and Jewish writings, I happened upon the idea of repeating the commandments to get rid of the evil influences. I thought it was a great idea, and I use it to this day. I've mentioned this on other article I've written on this blog, but it deserves repeating. If I am tempted with fornication or sexual sin, then I simply repeat the commandment against it and the urge goes away. I always try to keep myself separated from anything that could get me into trouble. I've had people who have written back to me recently who tell me that they are getting the same results. Evil cannot reside near a person who has God's commandments in their heart and mind. By repeating the commandment with which you are being tempted, appears to be a sure way of defeating the urge to commit the sin. If I start to get angry, I use the commandment for not killing because anger is the first step toward a murder. This is the easiest way that I know of to stay out of trouble. Of course, none of the modern religions teach this, but I found it hidden away in other writings that are not as popular for whatever reason. It's a great way of staying safe.
Finally, God's law, which is natural law, is a man's complete resistance to evil. Repeating those laws, whether verbally or just in ones mind will drive away the evil inclination. Evil is completely unnatural and it should be avoided. And that means for me that I don't read as much as I used to because there is simply too much evil to absorb and it starts to be a big burden. Chasing the evil away is the best way to keep life enjoyable and meaningful.
Walter Allen Thompson is the author of The Grace of Repentance: Keeping God's Commandments