Sunday, March 19, 2017

Earth A Testing Ground?

Is the earth just a testing ground for humans? That is what one man who calls himself a pastor would have us believe.

I am not going to post the links to the source article, only because it is riddled with pop-up ads and at least one virus that attempts to convince you your computer has a virus and then get you to call an 800 number for tech support. (Don't worry, the notice is a fake and the so-called help desk will actually put a virus on your computer to hold it hostage until you fork over money. This well-known scam has been around for at least a decade. Helpful note if this ever happens to you: That notice will lock the browser screen so you cannot do anything. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del together and then open the Task Manager. Use the Task Manager to kill the browser instance.)

That said, as near as I can tell, Rick Warren from Saddleback Church poses the questions, "Have you ever wondered why God didn't just take you to Heaven when He created you? Why did He put you on Earth? You're only here for 100 years at the most, and you're going to live for eternity in Heaven or Hell. Why didn't God just take everybody to Heaven?" His conclusion is that we need to learn "God's 'giant lesson in love' so we can be ready for heaven." Yet another overly simplistic answer to a question that glosses over (doesn't even attempt to raise) the next logical question. To me, that question would be, "Wait a minute, he didn’t make the angels go through a test before putting them directly in heaven, why is God being unfair to us?” Or how about this question, “The angels didn’t have to contend with being imperfect, why do I have to prove something as an imperfect man that is sinful in nature?” That also is completely unfair.

His perception is based on the false belief that all good people go to heaven. As I’ve reasoned here before, that is not only unscriptural but doesn’t make sense. So why did God put mankind on earth? The claim that God did so to test us actually slanders God because it assumes he expected Adam and Eve to sin and had already planned to punish them. There is nothing in scripture that indicates that. He made earth with all its creatures because he enjoys making things, is an artist, loves diversity, and so much more. He had already made the angels in heaven. Making the physical universe was another expression of his love. Making intelligent mankind to be managers and caretakers of the earth was a demonstration of God’s wisdom of order. Far from being a temporary testing ground, this was (and still is) to be our permanent home. “But wait,” you protest, “the Bible does mention some going to heaven – what about those?” Click on the first link in this paragraph to get the answer.

One thing that I didn’t mention in the main article above was that Mr. Warren’s website was linked from (Caution: Numerous pop-up ads) On that latter website was an ad asking “Want to become an ordained minister today!?” Then welcoming people to click and join. I wonder how many writers for christiantoday are these armchair preachers that have absolutely no depth or breadth of knowledge in scripture. Really, the biggest drive for both sites seems to be generating money. Even if you don’t want to buy or join anything, they will gladly take your “donation.” Reminds me of the money changers in Jesus’ day. How often have you ever seen me even allude to asking or wanting money from my audience? Answer: Never! Why? Jesus told his true followers: “You received free, give free.” (Matthew 10:8)

Addendum: I just noticed something in Rick's first question, "...why God didn't just take you to Heaven when He created you?" Does he think that God creates each of us individually? This one completely floored me. Again, if heaven were the intended destination, why have a production plant on earth making physical beings? Just skip earth altogether and make them angels. Much less work. LOL

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