Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Credulous Thinking - Science and Truth At Odds

Well, it’s that time of year again when the atheists, evolutionists, and Bible haters come out of the woodwork again. (Ad from 2010) They are always there, but when the wormwood gets cold and frozen, they come out and try to bask in the sunlight of the season. Their source of heat – hate. Spreading joy and permitting others to have their fun just seems like something they love to spoil. Like stepping on a slug and slipping, they love to slime the public with their message of so-called enlightenment. They are not content in being atheists, they demand that others accept their godless ways as well. Apparently freedom of belief and freedom of choice are foreign to them. I really wonder why they don’t just move to a country that completely and thoroughly supports their beliefs. They’d be so much happier.

Still, these so-called enlightened ones make the claim that they shove “truth” in people’s faces because believers do so out of credulity, not fact. According to the dictionary, credulity is a state of willingness to believe in one or many people or things in the absence of reasonable proof or knowledge. Credulity is not simply a belief in something that may be false. The subject of the belief may even be correct, but a credulous person will believe it without good evidence.

Does science ever suffer from this? Oh yes, definitely, and not just occasionally. One of the most laughable instances comes from the world of food science. I’ve noticed for decades how science just cannot make up it's mind. Eggs are bad, then eggs are good. Coffee is bad, then coffee is good. Bacon is bad and, and, and……. the jury is still out on that one. But the one that embarrassed the whole community was the junk science on chocolate as a weight-loss diet. Not only was the “science” behind it bad, it was an intentional lie to prove a point.

But some may argue that such would never happen in research related to evolution. Sadly, even that assumption is credulous. Well, how about modern stem cell research? Oh dear, another big “whoops” for the science community. I could/would cite more, but I think I’ve made the point – science is not without its own false teachings, faked research, and more.

But let me be clear here. I am not defending those who celebrate Christmas. I know it is untrue that Jesus was born in December. That has been thoroughly documented and disseminated for many, many years. Even religious literature knows that. Even the Catholic religion knows that AND they were the initial propagators of this false teaching. Do any of those claiming Christianity (as a religious organization) actually respect that knowledge by not becoming involved? Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas. My point is that science needs to clean their own house first before they smugly take the white-glove to the furniture of others. There is a saying that “those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” These so-called “enlightened” ones need to contemplate that.

Previous blog article from 2010

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hebrews 11:6 Without Faith It Is Impossible

Quoting Hebrews 11:6: “Moreover, without faith it is impossible to please God well, for whoever approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”

So question: Why is it impossible to please God without faith? Probably the most obvious would be that if you don’t have faith in God, you wouldn’t even try to please him in the first place. This situation reminded me of a 20/20 TV show segment I watched recently about an American soldier who lost track of his twin children for over 40 years. (Part 1, Part 2) His greatest fear was that his children would have concluded that he abandoned them. Indeed, that was what they thought. In truth, he ran against one legal battle after another trying to reconnect.

The reason this story drives home the truth of Hebrews 11:6 is that the children had lost faith, hope, belief that their father cared. There was no relationship. In fact, the son was surprised that his father was even still alive. So the logical conclusion would be: “Why bother, my father doesn’t care and likely is dead.” Likewise, today some feel that “God is dead” and/or that he doesn’t care. With such feelings, obviously even those that might want to know God if he existed, are left with no desire to check out the truth of the matter.

But Paul was writing to believers which puts a bit of a different spin on that matter. Lack of faith, even momentary, displays a lack of appreciation, a lack of trust and confidence, for all that God has done and has demonstrated himself to be. We humans are indeed “weak” in a spiritual sense. We constantly need to be fortified, encouraged. Jesus was known of citing this issue when addressing even his closest followers with the words “you of little faith.”

Consider how this might happen to one who claims to believe in God. All mankind, both believers and non-believers, have the same challenges and issues in life. We are all imperfect. So large upsets and unexpected circumstances can momentarily knock us down (in a spiritual sense). In a literal sense, when we fall down, our first inclination is to get right back on our feet, look around, and hope no one saw. But in a spiritual sense, for some odd reason, we don’t react the same way. After getting knocked down or stumbling over an obstacle, some react by just lying there on the ground.

The Bible therefore reminds believers to get back up. I read recently that falling is not the measure of “a man.” It is what he does after the fall that truly demonstrates manly (adult) qualities IF he makes every immediate effort to stand up again.

But there is yet one more thing to remember. When a parent is teaching a child to ride a two-wheel bike, the child needs confidence not only in their own ability, which the parent constantly encourages, but also that the parent is there to rescue them if something happens. The parent may not be able to stop a fall, but they WILL rescue their child – bandaging the wounds, consoling the child. The same is true of God. He may not stop a spiritual fall, but he has assured us through examples in scripture that should be enough that we never lose faith. Coming back to the child on the bike, what if, even with all the love the parent gives the child, the child still acts like the parent doesn’t really love them or claims he doesn’t trust the parent. Obviously that would both disappoint and frustrate the parent. In that context then, “without faith it is impossible to please God well.” We can disappoint and hurt him. But Paul’s words at Hebrews 11:6 weren’t intended to be discouraging. Reading all of chapter 11 and the beginning of chapter 12, we see that he is trying to motivate his readers to appreciation that God does exist, does care, and can and will help us.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

True, Everlasting Happiness

Being happy is somewhat like chasing rainbows and butterflies in our dreams. We spend a lot of effort going after it, but even if for a fleeting moment we catch happiness, the realities of life shake us, shock us, to wakefulness. Some chase the arts thinking it gives them happiness. Indeed, the beauty of various art forms can be very calming and happy. But when tragedy strikes, art offers no answers. (Think of war-torn countries whose bomb-laden environment makes even the landscape look like a nightmare.) Some chase wealth and financial security thinking it will give them the greatest happiness. But so many have been very disappointed. For others happiness is always contingent on some future event, “I’ll be happy when….” That attitude truly is chasing rainbows.

Is there a real happiness than cannot be ruined by deterioration or stolen from us? Is there a happiness that cannot be spoiled by a “bad day”? Yes, there is. 
  • First, initial happiness comes from learning about and really knowing God. This includes understanding the “big picture” of God’s purpose for his creation.
  • Second, from understanding one’s own place and purpose in God's arrangement
  • Third, experiencing first-hand the cooperative brotherhood supporting each other in love
  • Fourth, from the satisfaction of doing our best to meet up to the honor of being called God's friend – a daily challenge.
  • Then, like icing on a cake, joy & happiness will be compounded when the Kingdom of God comes into full swing; when all ungodly people are no longer around trying to subvert & destroy our unity.
Now, I am not talking about emotionalism. Nor do I mean credulity masquerading as faith. Just as tangible as a relationship with another human can be, such a real relationship can exist with our creator.