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Magnetism: Attraction and Repulsion May 15, 2012

Posted by regan222 in Books, Educational Ranting, Religion, Science and Technology.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Key Verse:

John 12:31   Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

The Gospel has power to both attract and repel

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Magnetism, to most people, is all about attraction.  The magnetic material draws any ferrous or iron containing metal to itself.  The truth, however, is that magnetism is as much about repulsion as it is attraction.  Magnetism makes a neat metaphor for the Gospel.  Its power of attraction is strong but its power to repel is equally as strong.  What determines whether magnetism attracts or repels is the orientation or condition of the substance it acts upon.  What makes the Gospel attract or repel, we shall soon see.

Magnetism attracts because of the nature of iron, its molecular structure, and the general design of atoms and molecules.  Without involving Quantum Mechanics and the Pauli Exclusion Principle I cannot give a perfectly accurate description of why magnets attract but I can give a reasonable explanation that will support our metaphor.  We must start with the electron.  Atoms, of all kinds, including magnetic substances, are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons.  Electrons move around the center of the atom at a distance, similar to tiny planets orbiting a sun.  These electrons “spin” as they orbit, again like tiny planets.  (Spinning is actually incorrect for what they do, however we are not going to involve Quantum Mechanics so spin is close enough.)

While they don’t move very far, electrons do move inside that atom.  This movement of electrons creates a tiny magnetic field.  Since most electrons are paired; two spin in each orbit in opposite directions, the tiny electric or magnet fields are canceled out because they are opposite.  However, ferromagnetic materials, material that can be magnetic, have several unpaired electrons which create a cumulative magnetic effect.  Iron, for example, has four unpaired electrons with the same spin direction.  This allows for a very strong cumulative effect.  However, iron by itself is NOT a magnet.  Iron must be placed in the presence of a magnetic or electric field in order to align its electrons and get them spinning properly.  Once that occurs, iron BECOMES a magnetic substance.  This is the important part.  Iron alone is not magnetic but anytime iron enters an electric or magnetic field it takes on the properties of a magnet.  The power of the field causes the iron to change.  Only magnets can be attracted by magnets.  If the iron does not change into a magnet it WON’T be attracted.   If the iron changes, however, it will be drawn to the other magnet.

An inherent property of magnets is that they have two poles or sides.  Since electrons can spin in opposite directions it is possible for there to be two opposing magnetic fields.  When this happens, instead of attracting, the magnets repel.  Any power that opposes the direction of the original magnet will be repelled.

It is interesting to note that iron, which is not a magnet, if left in a magnetic field long enough, will be permanently altered and become a permanent magnet.  You can experience this yourself by dragging a paperclip or other small piece of steel or iron over a magnet.  Over time the metal will acquire a magnetic field and will be able to pass that field on to other pieces of metal just like the original magnet.

We’ve learned a bit of the physics surrounding magnetic fields and how they attract and repel.  Now lets read our verses again.

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Who is being cast out?  The “prince” of this world.  The Bible also calls him the “prince of the power of the air.

Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Remember we said that any force entering the magnetic field that was going the opposite way of the original magnet would be repelled?  We know who is going against the Gospel.  We know who God’s enemies are because the Gospel repels them.  The Word of God is anathema to them.  In the end they will be cast completely out of the original magnet’s field.  They will no longer be anywhere near God’s realm of influence.  That does not leave many places for them to be put.

On the other hand, people occasionally come into the presence of God’s Word, the Gospel.  When that happens, it is possible that a change can take place.  Remember we said that only a magnet can be attracted by another magnet.  Iron is just the raw material.  A change in the very nature of the iron must occur for there to be a mutual attraction.  Some people, under the influence of the Gospel, find something in them spins the same way.  They allow the change to occur and are forever changed.  They become a permanent magnet with properties similar to (although not a strong) as the original magnet.  This allows them to pass on the change and facilitate the creation of other magnets which can both attract or repel based on what they come in contact with.

Sadly enough, there are other people, who for whatever reason, find an opposite reaction to God’s Word.  They are put in the presence of the original magnet but their electrons don’t spin the same way.  They choose the opposite path.  These people never find the attraction between themselves and the source of the power.  They go the way of the opposing field or power or whatever you choose to call it.  You are now in the presence of the Gospel.  You are in the field or sphere of influence of the Holy Spirit.  He is calling to you.  It’s time to decide.  Will you be attracted or repelled.  You get to choose which way to turn.  Won’t you follow Jesus? <invitation />



1. Mad Maudie - May 16, 2012

Wonderful analogy!

regan222 - May 17, 2012

Thanks again for the kind words. It is very uplifting and encouraging when someone out there responds to an idea of mine.

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