Category: God

Existential Stuff

This seems like a good time to discuss beliefs and observations about a couple of basic questions. Does God exist? Why cannot the existence of God be proven.

There is a blog by Dr Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Dr Spencer is a decorated scientist and a pioneer in climatology who helped develope satellite technology to measure the earth’s surface temperatures, a much more reliable and consistent measurement than the older surface thermometers. Dr Spencer is also a Christian. I hope you enjoy his blog at this link. It was written in response to a journalist who knew nothing about science or Christianity.

You see, science is only a process that is imperfect at best. All it can do is compare physical entities and judge proof on that comparison. If you have no data you have no proof. So, if you have no physical evidence of God, you have no proof of God’s existence. Also, if you have no physical evidence of a random creation of life, you have no proof. This is a sword that cuts both ways.

Spencer makes the point that it takes the same degree of faith to believe in a Creator as it does to believe in a random process of particles accidentally creating life.  It takes a LOT of faith to believe in random.

When someone says they don’t believe in God because we cannot physically prove the existence of God, I have to question what they really believe. Do they not believe in God because they cannot see, feel, smell God?

Do people believe creation started in a random dance of electrons and other quantum particles banging together in some sort of cosmic march of the sugar-plumb quarks? Do they believe that space aliens brought life to earth several million years ago, or that life was transported to earth in asteroids and comets?,

Much of the science we read about in news releases, or done in the past has proven to be false. It is the job of the scientific process to disprove old ideas as new hypotheses are generated. This happens every day.

It looks like you have to work as hard to believe in nothing as to believe in God.

Chick-fil-A And Gay Marriage

This subject has been going around all week, and I have waited until now to address my feelings on the matter.

The CEO of Chick-fil-A stated his Christian beliefs in an interview that he believed in the traditional marriage definition. Now, not only the media, but certain politicians have charged that the company itself it against gay people and gay marriage. Of course, this is all politics and convenient, incorrect interpretation by a liberal media.

There is nothing wrong with preferring marriage to be between a man and a woman. There is nothing unusual about this, at all. Just because I don’t always agree with this traditional definition doesn’t mean that I do not respect those with whom I disagree.

What we have seen is a complete lack of understanding of our First Amendment right of free speech from the Mayors of Chicago and Boston. Maybe we should expect this because both are politicians, and they are in the business of buying votes. The irony is that the Boston mayor says he will oppose Chick-fil-A’s expansion in Boston when he has no right or duty to do so. If Chick-fil-A goes to court, the mayor will be defeated in a battle costly to the City of Boston.

Boston and Chicago have picked lose-lose positions. They come across as anti-democracy, and anti-freedom. Both cities are run by crooked political machines.

In my opinion the argument about gay marriage is silly. Some people will tell you that a civil union is OK for homosexuals, but marriage is out of the question. Who are they kidding? A civil union, by any other name, is a marriage. Most unions are marriages, including just living together. Just ask some of those Hollywood live-in actresses if they can convince a court that living-in is a marriage. Of course it is.

You can argue that God doesn’t define marriage that way.  With the risk of offending our Maker, I don’t believe God sees any difference between a civil union, a marriage, or a live-in lover. It all comes down to the same thing.

Legally, there are many differences, but people wrote the laws, and people can change them. The morality was decided a long time ago, and all we have done is legalize immorality.

If there is any threat to the institution of marriage, we have already put it in place by accepting live-ins, civil unions, and anything that allows people to cohabit without assuming responsibility.

As I have said many times, marriage as an institution is threatened by married people who do not keep vows, and do not stay married. Homosexual marriages would be such a small number that its effect on the institution would be negligible. Plus, many of them will not be contributing to the gene pool.

There is no reason to castigate Chick-fil-A because its chairman has certain beliefs. The ravings we have heard are silly, and not well thought out. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with gay marriage that is not already going on, either in civil unions, or as live-in lovers.

What do you think?

The Evolutionism Creationary Bang

Sometimes I wonder why we sit around and argue so much about things about which we have little or no knowledge. The origin of life is one of those things, and maybe this is an appropriate discussion for a Sunday.

A lot of people agree with something called, evolution. Some people believe in creationism. Understand, I have given you links to Wikipedia, but it is well known that Wikipedia can easily misrepresent things. I am not going to do a comparison about the entire theory about either belief, but just one aspect.

It seems to me that whether you believe that God created the universe ( and all creation), or evolution, then you wind up at the same place when considering the actual creation of matter and life.

Evolution, I think, postulates that the universe was nothing before the Big Bang. After that, everything happened at random with particles joining together to form atoms, then molecules, then stars, then all the rest of what makes up our universe. Life began, probably, in some sort of primordial soup of proteins and other organic compounds, most likely with the cooperation of a fortuitous lighting strike.

What happened before the Big Bang? Well, nothing, according to our scientific friends. In other words it was magic.

Now, along come the God believers who right off the bat will tell you the the whole thing was magic in the first place. Well, let’s say magic in the sense of a Superior Being, i. e.,  God doing the honors of creating matter and life.

So, I have accorded a belief in magic to evolutionists and creationists. Where am I going wrong?

I am far from being the person to evaluate either theory. Everybody will always take somebody else’s word for something, and we all are in that position from the viewpoint of how life was created, and by what means. As far as thinking that God created our world, universe, and life, that doesn’t conflict with the physical sciences. Maybe some Bible stories do, but I am not arguing that, anyway.

Of course, this brings up another issue. Evolutionists tend to think that people who believe in God are anti-science. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the famous and fundamental scientists were also Christians. Some had strange beliefs like Isaac Newton, who was also an alchemist. Many people say that Newton was the most intelligent person in history. Don’t forget Galileo and Copernicus, both Catholics.

I think I will stick with my backwards belief in God doing all this stuff. I will let others argue over where all that magic comes from.

What Happens After We Die?

The answer depends upon whom you ask. To accommodate any after-life scenario, you have to believe in some sort of spirit quality of your being. There you have it, spirit or no-spirit. That’s the first step. After that first step, things get a little cloudy.

I will never forget that Saturday Night Live skit where, as people died, they were sent through a long tunnel towards a bright light. When they arrived at the bright light, it was a white-on-white waiting room, and a big voice instructed them to get in line, and “Take A Number”.

Of course, the allusion was to the idea that after-life was pretty much like regular life. You would be subjected to all the frustrations of a regular, hectic, commute-to-the-city-in-rush-hour existence.

There are psychics out there that claim to talk to dead people, and I think you have to be very careful. It seems to be a popular scam.

Psychics claim to be able to talk to dead people’s spirits. So, where are all those spirits when they are chatting with your expensive psychic? Is there, indeed, a cosmic waiting room?

Christians believe that those who believe in Jesus Christ will go to be with Him, and most call this place, Heaven. Others will be on the next train to somewhere else, most likely the Biblical Hell. There is no mention in the Bible about a collection room, or a stopping off place.

To believe in psychics, we have to give the “cosmic waiting room” concept validity. The dead must be in a place where they are free to speak.

Do you really think the dead are able to talk back from Heaven, or Hell? The Bible tells us that we will be singing praises to the glory of God. I won’t have any time to talk to a mere psychic, so please, don’t expect any talk-back after death from me! On the other hand, even though Hell is a busy place, I would imagine that pretty much everybody in that place would be anxious to talk to the living about avoiding a hellish ending. This does make some sort of weird sense.

A big problem with our conception of death is time. The Bible erases the idea that time will exist. After all, we will be spending eternity wherever we are, and time is meaningless in that context. Our physical concept of time will not apply.

Considering everything, I don’t believe there is a cosmic waiting room after death. I don’t believe there is a train, or moving sidewalk that takes you toward a bright light. There may be bright lights, but I believe that after you die, things are pretty much instantaneous. There will be no  concept of time.

After we die, we will, indeed, meet our maker.

I don’t believe in psychics. There may be some other explanation for their claimed conversations, but I don’t believe they are talking to the people they claim.

I will stick to the old-time religion. After death, I will meet God.

Epiphanies And Games

From Dictionary.com:

e·piph·a·ny

3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience

Epiphanies happen all the time. This sudden insight can be a bold, extreme flash of realization. Some call it a BGO, a Blinding Glimpse of The Obvious.

This morning while in that narrow, hazy world between sleep and waking, I had one of those epiphanies. I realized that it doesn’t matter whether the universe began with a big bang, or that believing in biological evolution makes any difference whatsoever to the eventual fate of the universe. All this stuff just doesn’t matter.

The epiphany is that life is a game. Live is a brutal game. I think it is all about life and death, power and wealth, love and hate, etc. Note that there are different games you can play, and you can make up your own game!

Some of us chose to concentrate on power and wealth. Others go the love/hate route. I have always gone the game of random occurrence, or accepting whatever would come along.

At some age, we make a choice of the game we will play for the rest of our lives, and a lot of that depends on who we are, and what game our parents played. No surprise, there, but we don’t have to play our parents’ game. Even after we have been molded early in life, we can choose to change our game.

We are not tied to the game we started, and we don’t have to settle for one game. We can play several of them, and most people do.

So, what game are you playing, and who wrote the rules? Or, are there even any rules, whatsoever, for our life games?

Many of these rules change from country to country, culture to culture, and from time to time. Most people and cultures have a rules against killing other people, or stealing, or adultery.

Killing one’s enemies, or lying to those outside our culture or religion is acceptable to some, especially those tribal cultures with whom we are battling terrorism. They are just playing the same game their parents played. So, who is right?

If we don’t like the game we are playing, we can find another one, or we can change the rules. Why should we be constricted by such ideas as honesty, or ethical behavior whatever that is?

On the other hand, when it is all over and the universe has either blown up or collapsed, what will it matter what game we played in life, and who won?

Maybe it really is not about who won or lost. Maybe it really is all about how you played the game. Maybe it is all about the rules you follow.

Heaven Is For Real – Book Review

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

 – Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

Occasionally, a book or story is published about near death experiences (NDE), which are accounts of people who have supposedly been near death, or actually died only to return to the living with stories an afterlife complete with heaven, angles, and God. The stories are encouraging to those who believe in God, and they usually support the things we have read in the Bible or the way we have learned to see heavenly things.

Picture of Book Cover for Heaven Is For Real
The Story Of A Little Boy Who Went To Heaven, And Back!

This book, Heaven Is For Real, was written about a little boy, Colton Burpo, who suffered from a ruptured appendix, and was mis-diagnosed by his local, small town doctors. With poison raging in the childs system for several days, the parents in a desparate move whisked the child off to a metropolitan hospital.

The life of three year old Colton Burpo was touch and go for over a week. His parents were concerned that their little boy would not survive. The father, Todd, is a pastor of a small church, and called upon his church family and friends to pray. After a couple of desperate operations, and much prayer, the child survived the ordeal.

Colton’s story did not end with surviving and living happily ever after. As three year old children are wont to do, little Colton spoke in a fashion children seem to prefer, directly and honestly. The descriptions started issuing forth from the young man about having been held in the lap of Jesus, the presence of Jesus’s Dad (God), and the existence of the Holy Spirit.

Throw in some Angels dressed in white garb with belts of gold, and you start to wonder just how much was in Colton’s out of body trip to heaven, and how much was in his memory banks from his father’s sermons and overheard conversations.

That’s the rub. It is easy for believers to treat the story as real, and equally easy for skeptics to doubt the story.

Todd Burpo, father and pastor, does explain at length that the descriptions were a surprise to him and his wife. In talking with their son over several months, they tried to not lead him in his answers. To Todd’s veracity, there are a few validating things that Colton described.

Colton related an out of body experience when he could see himself on the operating table, along with the doctors and staff working on him. He also said that he saw his father in a small room praying while his mother was talking on a cell phone, simultaneously. Since neither parent had talked about that particular moment, they realized something might be going on.

Later in the book, the child tells Todd that he met Todd’s grandfather in heaven. Now, Colton never saw his great-granddad and Colton did not recognize a picture of the great-granddad in his sixties when shown. Later Colton did recognize a picture taken when great-granddad was in his thirties. The little boy said that there were no old people in heaven, and nobody wore glasses as portayed in the old man’s picture.

I am prone to be skeptical of stories like this, but I do like the story, and have chosen to believe it.

Why do I believe it? You will just have to read it for yourself. You can buy the Kindle edition for about $5.00, and the print edition for a little over $10 on Amazon.com