The Two Ditches: Atheism on the Left, Imperial Dictator God on the Right
November 15, 2018 Blogs, Integrating Bible, Science, and Life Experiences, Life's Tough Questions by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

God is Creator — builder of all reality (space, time, energy, life) — and God’s laws are the laws upon which reality are constructed to operate — the laws of physics, health, and the moral laws.

One cannot break God’s design laws and remain in harmony with life. All deviations from God’s design for life unavoidably result in injury, pain, suffering, and ultimately death — unless remedied by God.

God’s law cannot be changed in any form or fashion. To change even the slightest element of God’s law would cause the universe to fall apart and cease to exist.

Rejection of the truth about God and His design protocols for life always results in pain, suffering, and death — regardless of whether that rejection is to the left (Atheism) or to the right (Christian fundamentalism with an Imperial God-construct).

Evidence that rejection of God to the left (Atheism) damages and destroys:

  • The French Revolution: In the late 18th century, the French parliament voted to reject God and embrace the Goddess of Reason. The result? A combination of horrible hedonistic debasement, cruelty, and violence. The country was torn by the Reign of Terror in which tens of thousands were executed in both internal and external wars.
  • Communist Soviet Union and Communist China: Both countries rejected God and His methods and principles. Instead they promoted the doctrine of a godless universe with a principle of “Survival of the Fittest.” Millions died as a result of the evolutionary idea that the strongest should survive and dominate the weak, even though it was presented through the Marxist mantra.

Rejecting God, and moving to a godless frame for society, unleashes the basest passions infecting humanity — fear and selfishness. Only the power of love, emanating from our God of love, is capable of restraining these destructive forces. When we reject God, He grants us freedom and we reap what we have chosen. His restraining power is removed and selfishness, exploitation, violence, and destruction ensue.

While recent history has given us ample evidence that rejecting God altogether (moving to the ditch on the left) results in destruction as the infection of fear and selfishness breaks out unrestrained, there is greater evidence from history that the ditch on the right (Imperial God-concepts) is equally damaging.

What are Imperial God-concepts? The idea that God’s law is functionally no different than the types of laws humans enact — imposed rules, rather than design protocols. Such imperial rules require the ruling authority to use its power to enforce adherence to the law and thus punish rule-breakers. In this construct, God is presented as the source of inflicted pain, suffering, and death, all under the claim of “divine justice.”

Because of one of God’s design laws, the law of worship (or modeling), we are actually changed to become like the god we admire and worship. Thus, when the dictator views of God are taught, people become more authoritarian. They will eventually use the methods of coercion to punish those they view as breaking God’s laws. History is replete with this type of behavior:

Evidence that rejection of God to the right (Imperial God-constructs) damages and destroys:

  • The Dark Ages: those who believed differently were burned at the stake.
  • The Inquisition: An authoritarian church aimed to root out and punish heresy through torture, imprisonment, and death.  
  • Conversion from Islam: Muslims who convert to another religion risk being punished or even killed for their decision.
  • The Rwanda genocide: More than one million people were killed in 4 months during the Rwandan Civil War in the 1990’s. The primary killing zones were churches. People from every denominational group participated in the killing and were convicted of war crimes. In the aftermath, researchers found the common denominator, which separated those who participated in the killing from those who protected the refugees, was the god-concept held. Those who had an authoritarian god, with imperial law that inflicted punishment for law-breaking, participated in the killing. But those who worshipped a God of love, who seeks to heal and save people (consistent with design law), protected the refugees. It didn’t matter what denomination, how they were baptized, what day they worshipped upon — the only factor that mattered was whether they rejected the truth about God’s character of love and His design law methods.

While rejecting God and moving to a godless view of the universe (the ditch to the left) results in pain, suffering, and death, accepting a false view of God as dictatorial and His law as imperial rules that require Him to inflict punishment for breaking His law (the ditch on the right) is just as damaging, if not more so.

Satan, the master deceiver and trickster, gets people in both the left and right ditches to attack each other. Both groups are suffering without remedy to their terminal condition. They see the lie of the other ditch and feel relieved not to be deceived by that lie, but remain trapped in their own ditch, never realizing they, too, are dying without hope.

If we want genuine healing of mind, restoration of heart, happiness, cooperation, love, and unity — an actual healthy and vibrant life — then this is only possible by living in harmony with God’s design protocols for life.

We must reject the lie on the left that there is no God, but we must also reject the lie on the right that God is a dictator and His laws are imposed rules that require Him to punish sinners.

We must embrace the truth that the punishment for sin comes from sin itself, from being out of harmony with God and His principles of life and health. We must realize that only God can heal, only God can save, and only God can fix what is wrong with us and restore humanity back to perfection.

And this can only happen when we reject these lies and return to the truth about who God is.  Then, invite Him into our hearts to heal and transform. I invite you to reject the lies about God and experience the freedom, love, and joy that living in harmony with our Creator and His protocols for life bring!


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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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