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FINDING OUR ORIGINS: HOW DID WE GET HERE?

Christians believe in a Creator. We believe the Creator made us in His image. Christians are also highly intelligent and knowledgeable, and prove that faith in God and scientific fact are not mutually exclusive.

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Though proponents of secular science insist there is no God, they are also forced to believe in an unexplainable original uncaused cause. They must admit, no matter how distasteful it may be, that they’ll most likely never make it to the rainbow’s end. They have no idea how Creation, or the “Universe,” came to be at its earliest instant, though they content themselves with the highly implausible possibility they may figure it out someday. In the meantime, the surrender towel they threw into the ring remains there, above the canvas, stuck forever in suspended animation. For them, discovering the origin of Creation has reached a dead end. They can go no further. Though such anti-God proponents et al are saturated with scientific knowledge up to that point, if indeed their vast pronouncements of scientific reality are indeed factual, their otherwise powerful brains come up short at explaining beginnings. Could it be their absence of faith makes the original uncaused cause forever undiscoverable to them?

TRACING OUR ROOTS

For those who engage in the work of genealogy, often inspired to trace their personal family tree, it can be an intriguing and exciting adventure, especially when finding a slightly harder to locate previously unknown link in the chain. They continue going back in time adding more pieces to the puzzle. As they do the effort grows more difficult. The people one searches for become increasingly harder to find. Though one may have success in the early going mapping out ancestral generations, even going back several centuries, one discovers an eventual unwelcome interval when the trail is lost, when he must expend more time and energy on finding the next ancestor in line who has inadvertently perchance made himself scarce, than discovering all the other ancestors up to that point. Inevitably, whether Mr. Scarce or another after him is eventually found, one will reach a dead end. There will be no more ghosts of the past located.

Upon reaching this place, a person must simply face reality. The records grow scarce to the point of non-existence or at least it appears that way. With no written records one has nothing to work with. There is always the hope that maybe something will be found to grant another clue but the odds are against it. Even professionals with relatively unlimited budgets can only go so far.

ONCE UPON A TIME

As a way to remedy such an occurrence, what if one simply started making things up? What if one simply began creating ancestral characters? As an aside, we know that primitive people with no written records have oral histories stretching back into the distant past. They particularly honor the great ones of their bygone times who performed outstanding deeds to better the cause of their people. In time, the honor they give such ancestors becomes ancestor worship. And inevitably, such great ancestors become deified. They transform them into gods. Later generations approaching and appearing in the present accept such “history” without question. They believe wholeheartedly in the legends of their clan. It helps to make them what they are though much of their history is contrived.

Secular science does the same. Rejecting any idea of a Creator, an original personal uncaused cause, they insist on finding purely scientific and factual answers without getting bogged down in foggy legends or what they often term religious nonsense. On the surface, of course, this is good. On the other hand, however, without keeping an open mind to possible spiritual origins beyond their understanding, even though much in such a field is obviously suspect and easily refuted by facts, such people have a decided tendency to grow ever more cynical. It is why many of these people refuse to believe in God. The concept of God looks like a fairy tale. Some of them consider invoking God to be a cop out. And with such unbridled skepticism it is only a hop, skip, and a jump into outright mockery. With such an arrogant attitude which insists only on the use of what their intelligent but extremely limited brains can fathom, they eliminate the very place where the bulk of answers are found.

In the meantime, they must continue with their version of Creation based purely on the discoveries of the scientific method. They continue going back in time (by the billions of years) explaining to the best of their ability how it all came to be. And then they reach the same dead end. They are at a loss to explain it any further. Their only conclusion for the riddle of the Universe is an original uncaused cause. An unknown beginning. Even if they go back to a single point from which the entire Cosmos emerged or burst forth, there is no satisfactory scientific explanation for that single point. How did it get there? Do they think the process of minimizing the Universe to a single subatomic particle in the great distant past makes it easier to understand and accept our origins? Intelligent thinking people know better. The scientists know better. They still refuse, however, to consider a possible spiritual reality or something or someone beyond their ability to see or perceive.

So they make things up. In much the same way primitive tribes construct a legendary reckoning of ancient ancestors, filling in gaps as they go with fictional stories based loosely on suspect oral histories, so must science, the supposed facts people, come up with “answers” to fill in their knowledge gaps in order to complete the story, or their version of events. For backup they rely on one another. It becomes nothing more than circular logic or baseless biased reasoning. It happened that way because we say it did and we are the ones who know because we are the ones with all the credentials. And thus science destroys their one major caveat by becoming religion.

BREAKING FREE

I understood early in life that there must be something more. Looking around and sizing things up brought me to the conclusion, even as a kid, that things simply didn’t add up. Rather than plunge ahead into life with no thought of trying to figure it out, I always allowed for a belief in what may be termed higher things. Though unknown, of course, there must be something else out there I could not perceive but could at some point possibly discover. Such a belief and inevitable search allowed for a drag of sorts on doing what society expected and demanded regarding full attention toward excellence in completing a prescribed course. We understand that devoting full attention to whatever it is we must do makes the job easier.

However, as we mature and face our responsibilities, we collect out of necessity a growing number of hot glowing irons in the fire at the same time, each of which demands our attention, and therefore the idea of devoting full attention to any single one can only happen on an effective piecemeal basis. For those whose lives are so simple they only engage in a single activity and can thus give full devotion to it, I would think their chances of success would be relatively high in that particular field. For most people, however, they must devote themselves to any number of activities, engaging in them all at the same time in turn, like the guy who juggles bowling balls and meat cleavers. Life gets tricky that way. But it also tells us, through our previously unknown ability to excel at several activities at once, that we can spare some time for higher things as well, even though the latter might not be a top priority.

However, until our personal search for truth moves to the top of the list, we will never excel in that endeavor. And without such excelling God will forever remain in the distance.

© 2020 by R.J. Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

Why the Lord Used Parables (And Why So Many Christians Still Don’t Get It). Part 3

         And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE.”

         With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples. [Mark 4:30-34]

         Here we have the mysterious but distinct contrast to the real teaching method used by the Lord Jesus and that of imposters.

         As mentioned in Part 2, religious indoctrination must be used when no relationship with God is present.

         There is no doubt this is a “hard saying,” and certainly causes the inevitable stumbling when related to one’s Christian experience. But try to see it this way: Fathers do not put their small children in a school desk or pew in the living room and attempt to ram home all the teaching they must impart through a contrived institutional format.

         Instead, they spend as much time as possible with their small children and allow them to ask questions. They are gentle and open, and allow each child to feel secure while also putting forth a mature stature which the child naturally respects.

         The father spends time with his children, engages in activities with them, attempts to bless them with opportunities, and teaches by example. Love comes first, and as life’s opportunities for learning present themselves, fathers are ready with the same kind of instruction used by the Lord.

         I don’t know why this is so hard to see, but it certainly is. Traditional, institutional Christianity has robbed the children of God from having that particular close learning relationship with the Lord He so wants to share with them. He loves His many children and He must feel very bad at being shut out by those who insist on regimenting and overly structuring Christian teaching, and turning spiritual revelation into classroom indoctrination.

         Why can’t we see that the Lord Jesus never did this? Why do we justify it? Why do so few “Christian” men lack the spiritual backbone, intestinal fortitude, and outright nuticles to do something about it?

         Though God, the Lord Jesus is also the greatest MAN who ever lived. He is manly to the core. When He walked this earth He presented the manliness and strength of God in a way that had never been done before. The real seekers of truth noted this, honored and respected it, and listened to the Man to the point of receiving His truth, His Spirit, and all that entailed.

         Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?”

         The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” [John 7:44-46]

         Rather than respect Him and the gospel, His detractors and enemies took the opposite path. Whether intimidated or angered by Him, they simply could not possibly coexist with Him. They were the ones who insisted on cold, unfeeling, formalized religion that never touched the deep heart of people in great need.

         The Lord, though, never used their false methods. He got down on the level of His disciples and taught with love and sincerity.

         He had no church building.

         He had no pulpit.

         He had no narcissistic clergy distinctions whatsoever.

         He did not need to prop Himself up or surround himself with or within some grand faux religious apparatus to appear genuine.

         He was genuine by His love and manner. His disciples felt His love. They knew they were loved, the same way a little boy or little girl knows he or she is loved when daddy takes them fishing, or to the park, or plays a game with them, or shows them how to do stuff.

         Is not this the very essence of mature servanthood and of the strong taking care of the weak? Instead of the strong becoming more strong and more enchriched and ruling over the weak?

         For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. [2Corinthians 13:9]

         This is the heart of God. At best, some of the overly formalized regimented methods of clergyites might lead to a better understanding of God on possibly an elementary level, but can in no way reveal the Lord for who He really is. This is why all the patriarchs spent so much time alone with God out in the desert. It is why the apostle Paul did the same. They learned from God directly, and they brought home teachings and understandings no one else possessed.

         Please consider the following:

         For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. [Galatians 1:11-12]

         Paul had no New Testament. He had no formalized church to attend. How did he learn so much? Though he had no New Testament, he ending up writing much of it! How?

         He says he did not receive the gospel from man.

         He says the gospel he taught was not according to man.

         He says He received the gospel he taught through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

         Think about it. No church. No Bible school. No seminary. No New Testament to memorize and learn from. No brothers or sisters around him all the time instructing him.

         Paul received the gospel he preached through a direct revelation from God while he was out in the desert alone with God.

         How do we know he got it right? And how do we know most “Christian” ministers get it wrong? Here’s how:

         And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

         I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom,

         BUT IN DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT AND OF POWER,

         so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

         Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom

         IN A MYSTERY, THE HIDDEN WISDOM WHICH GOD PREDESTINED BEFORE THE AGES TO OUR GLORY;

         the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written,

         “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

         For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

         For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?

         Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

         [1 Corinthians 2:1-11] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.