The Problem with Scientists…

In my undergrad studies of Mechanical Engineering is where my deep interest in astronomical sciences really developed.   If time and money allowed, I would go back to school to obtain my PHD in astrophysics and astronomy but since that is not a current option I’ve resorted to reading journals and articles and book and papers.  I’ve been reading many articles lately on scientific findings and discoveries.  The overwhelming feeling I get when reading many of the articles (especially the ones dealing with the origins of the universe) is that the data is twisted to support the preconceived conclusion.  You may already be thinking “YEAH! Get those silly atheists!”  However, I’m talking about the scientific articles written by Christians.

The problem with scientists (both atheists and Christians) is that their beliefs cloud their findings.  Each side is guilty of observing a particular phenomenon and immediately seeking to fit the data to “prove” their conclusion.  Yes, creation scientists do this as well.  It baffles me that the ancient claim has always been “atheists have a preconceived conclusion that there isn’t a God and all their findings are bent to make sure God is never the conclusion” but Christians turn around and do the same thing to make sure their view of creation IS the conclusion even if it means to bend the data.

I have no problem with science.  Many Christians pick fights with science and that isn’t the battle they want to have.  God created science and all the laws of nature.  I would label him as the first scientist (He just doesn’t have to test His hypothesis).  I don’t want to get into a debate of the timeline of creation or the origin of the universe but I’ve heard too many people that lean to a certain creationist belief state that all science is bad and is just twisted to provide a platform for evolution.  I whole heartily disagree.  Now, the science isn’t the problem.  The scientist is; on both sides.

Many Creationists love to say that Albert Einstein was a Christian and believed in God. Actually, he was in fact an agnostic and was very critical of the belief in a personal God. In the early 20th century he developed the theories of relativity.

Relativity

If we were to let science and nature speak for itself what would happen?  Psalm 19:1 would happen.  Again I’m not about to get into a deep discussion about evolution vs. creation but the overwhelming evidence for a Creator is observable science.  Let’s take Einstein’s equation for a second.  The left side of the equation represents acceleration and if we step back and just take a look at the fine details it tells us that the universe is experiencing negative acceleration.  The Bible, other equations, and many discoveries reveal that the universe is also expanding (Job 9:8, Psalm 104:2, Isaiah 42:5).  An explosion is an occurrence where we see negative acceleration and expansion all in one… Big Bang anyone?  The interesting thing is that as Einstein contemplated the Big Bang he did not like the implications.  He realized that the Big Bang implied a beginning and thus the existence of a creator so he spent many years modifying the equation to give us the cosmological constant.  Even Einstein was “fudging” data to suit his conclusions.  Interesting that even something that is by many tied to “atheistic science” was realized by Einstein to require the existence of a creator.  Something about letting science and nature speak for itself.  Romans 1 give us a pretty good outline of things as well.

So the point?  I guess my point is that Christian and secular scientists make the same mistake.  They don’t follow the scientific method.  They determine the conclusion and wonder how their data can prove it.  Instead, if everyone would take a very good look at the data we may actually see what God intended us to see all along.  Him.

Slogan Christianity: The Stuff We Make Up to Make Ourselves Feel Better

“No God — No Peace. Know God — Know Peace.”

“Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!”

“Try our Sundays. They are better than Baskin-Robbins.”

“Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!

“If you don’t like the way you were born, try being born again.”

“Looking at the way some people live, they ought to obtain eternal fire insurance soon.”


“This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing?

U R

“Forbidden fruit creates many jams.”

“In the dark? Follow the Son.”

“Running low on faith? Stop in for a fill-up.”

“If you can’t sleep, don’t count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd.”

 

 

C’mon, seriously?! Is this what we’ve been boiling down Christianity to these days?  Slogans that are so ridiculous, so over simplistic, that the world looks at these and chuckles?  This post is going to be dealing with slogans like the ones I posted above, and the way that these slogans, and slogans like it do so much more harm than good.

 

I’m not a negative guy.  Really, I promise, I laugh all the time, sometimes I’m way too sarcastic, and I have some friends that make me cry of laughter.  I don’t want people to misunderstand my intent here, it’s not that I’m trying to point out things for the sake of pointing things out.  I’m trying to steer us back to truth, back to the reality of Jesus.  This includes calling out junk in both the Christian and non-Christian world.  I’m often more critical of the Christian world because we are the ones who are making huge claims.  Not many people claim to know absolute truth, not many people claim to know the only  way to heaven, and not many people are so bold about the truth that they claim they know.  Because of this, it’s extremely important that we know the truth that we are claiming.  If we are claiming that Jesus is the only way to God the Father and all of the other things that come with such a loaded statement, then we must be able to articulate this clearly, not dwindling it down to 5 or  6 words.  This is what gets me so frustrated about Church slogans, they are over simplistic, half true (and you know what they say about half truths), and they do very little to articulate the full truth of Jesus.

 

I know many people like to say that the gospel is simple, easy, just say a few words (from the bottom of your heart) and presto, like a magic act, you are instantly saved.  You now have permanent “fire insurance” (Aka: You’re not going to Hell) and one day you’ll be in heaven forever.  While I know this is popular thinking, I don’t think it’ Scripturally accurate.  Even Paul who preaches God’s grace to humanity, acknowledges in his letters to the Churches he started that a fruit of the Holy Spirit working, saving us, is a change in our lifestyle.  Works are a very important part to salvation, why? Not because they save us, but because they validate the real work of the Holy Spirit in us.  Some might say I’m on shaky ground, I beg to differ, the Bible is full of verses that teach this.  Of course the most popular being James 2:17, but then you have verses like Matthew 7:21, and of course the countless verses that Paul writes encouraging the Church to live a life of purity before God.  If works didn’t matter then the New Testament would not be so full of verses supporting the system of saved by the grace of God, validated by the life we live.

 

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  When it comes to the Christian faith, it is so important that we don’t windle down amazing truths in to bumper sticker slogans.  Why?  Because so often these slogans are not completely true!  For example, I saw one the other day that said “too blessed to be depressed”.  While a cute little saying that at first glance makes you say “Yeah so true!” Scripture will once again beg to differ.  Paul was quite depressed (or discouraged) often in his ministry, being shipwrecked, imprisoned, beaten, and cast out by his own nation, Paul wrote very often his struggle of spreading the message of Jesus to the masses.  Paul was extremely blessed, and he always brought praise to God no matter what his circumstance, but sometimes those circumstances were extremely difficult emotionally, and yet Paul kept his eyes steadily on the Father.  See the difference? The slogan tries to mask over the realities of this world, Paul collides with them head on, still considers himself blessed, and let’s God sustain him through his extremely difficult life.   Or take Job for example, everything was taken away.  If you read Job it’s clear that the word depressed doesn’t scratch the surface of what was happening, Job was honest with God in his pain, and Job never sinned.  For some reason I cant’ see Job saying “God my wife and kids are all dead, but I’m too blessed to be depressed!”.

 

Some of you might be saying give it up TIm! It’s just a stupid little slogan who cares?!.  God cares, because in a world that already muddies the truth, we don’t need to add to the noise.  Often times we hear things like “too blessed to be depressed” and we get a little high off it.  We say “Yeah! YEAH! I am to blessed!” the problem however is once we are faced with reality, that little slogan is soon gone like a vapor.  It can’t stand up to the reality of our situations.

 

Here’s my bottom line, it’s not that every slogan out there is bad, or full of hot air, it’s just that we have to be very careful with what we say is true.  If we are claiming to have the corner on truth (and we are loud about it), then everything we say about that truth, must be just that: True.   We can’t claim to know the way to heaven, then agree with many things that are not in Scripture.

 

A good friend of mine who I love dearly told me regarding my view of slogans in Christianity “Maybe some of us just like a little uplifting slogan from time to time.”Here’s the thing, if it’s not true, then it’s a lie.  There are only one of two options here, true, or not true.  If it’s not true, I dont’ want to hear it, I don’t care how appealing it sounds. I’m not concerned about trying to feel good, I’m not concerned about feeling emotionally happy, I’m concerned with what the work of Jesus has done to humanity, and what it is still doing to humanity.  I don’t want fluff do you?  Do you want to be fed a bunch of happy one liners only to find out that it was like eating junk food?  Tasted great going down but there was absolutely no nutritional value?  Look for the truth of Jesus, not for the concentrated doses of statements that give you emotional highs.  That’s not what is important here, the Kingdom of God is the most important thing because it is eternal, it is forever.

Why Can’t We all Just Get Along?

Ok ok so perhaps I’m an idealist? But hey that is what my blog is for, where I can express my idealist views.

 

More and more the debate between Christians and Atheists rages on.  In the headlines we see  “Atheists sues to take out God out of pledge of allegiance” and then of course we see the Christian’s response in other comments and headlines.  We see it in the media all the time. This war it seems that comes up every so often (especially around the holidays) Atheists attempting to take the word “God” out of everything and Christians trying to put the word “God” in everything.  My question is why can’t we just get along?  This is my letter to the Atheists and then next to the Christians.

 

 

To my Atheists friends

Why, Why, Why, Why WHY!  I truly don’t get it.  Taking God out of the pledge of allegiance? I lovingly say that you are in the minority (perhaps growing but still in the minority) on this issue.  the majority of Americans believe in some kind of God (granted it could be a different god, many different religions are represented in America, but never the less most Americans believe in some form of a higher power)  Having the word “God” in a pledge, or on a dollar bill is not religion, it’s a general belief held by MOST people in the world.  There is no way to beat around the bush you guys are on the fringe of the belief system and you can’t dictate to an entire nation what can and can not be in our pledge or on a dollar bill just because you choose not to believe in God (Might I also mention that before you deny the existence of God you first have to acknowledge there is a possibility that He exists, to deny is first to affirm then to reject that belief.)  It is impossible to deny anything without first being aware of it.  But that is for another time.

Further more, why this anger towards religion? Does it really bother you that much to hear the word “God” in the pledge? Then just don’t say God, also if you truly celebrate diversity then you will celebrate the life change many many people  have experienced due to an encounter with God.  Diversity is dangerous because it means accepting things you don’t actually agree with.  You can’t be open minded when it is convenient to you and then shun people that hold a worldview that si completely opposite to yours.  I guess I just don’t understand why there is such a hostile movement coming from the atheists.  You are free to believe almost anything you want here in the states, you can believe in the flying spaghetti monster, or in nothing beyond us.  It really doesn’t matter what you believe, you don’t face jail time, you’re protected by our constitution, you can burn the flag, you can put the flag on a pole in your yard, you can say the pledge, you don’t have to say the pledge.  Do whatever you want, you already have that freedom!  But no, instead now Americans have to deal with your obsession for taking the word “God” out of everything public.  It’s ridiculous because ultimately until you start massacring people (Not that you ever would) you can’t eradicate the belief of God.

 

 

 

To my Christian Family.

 

Change the focus! It is not necessarily proving to someone that you are right and they are wrong   My gosh I’m so exhausted from hearing and seeing debates about God with other people who are not Christians.  Ultimately God is the one who calls people right? It is our job to love people like crazy, to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Instead we get in to debates about what is true, what is not true.  God is true, and we believe that, and God has called us to be the light of the world, not the annoying pests that keep telling people to repent or face Hell.  We are called to be goodness, to literally be workers in the kingdom of God bringing heaven to earth, restoring people to Jesus.  I’m not saying we can’t talk about Hell, I’m not saying we can’t affirm Hell. What I am saying is that most people here in our culture already know about Hell, they already know that Christians believe that Hell is forever and eternal. Let us not forget that without love we are a clanging cymbal (1 Corinthians 13)  I really hate when people say “the gospel is offensive” it is?  The word gospel means Good News! How the heck is good news offensive?  And where is that in the scripture? And don’t give me Galatians 5:11 because Paul was under persecution from the Jewish people, not from the pagans.  The same goes for Jesus, the pagans did not crucify Jesus. The chosen people of God in the Old Testament (A.K.A the Israelites) crucified Jesus.   Our “good news” should be a breath of fresh air to a dying world, not more death.  It’s time to communicate and to show people that God wants people restored to Him! This is the crux of the whole Bible! That God made a way for us to be restored to God.  Lets offer some GOOD news.  Good news that we don’t have to live separated from God forever in Hell? Absolutely! But also that we can live with God right now! Right this second!

And really honestly if God is taken out of the pledge who cares? Say God anyway! Be a rebel! Pray in school, put the nativity up on your front lawn! Just because we are called to be peacemakers does not mean that we can’t peacefully protest and continue to peacefully rebel against the government when the time is appropriate.  Let’s say one day the government says being a born again Christian is unlawful and is punishable by prison or some other punishment I hope to God (truly) that Christians are just as outspoken then as they are now.  Personally? I think it’s easy to whine about things when their are no consequences, we will see how many people stand up when/if true persecution comes.

 

 

Couple disclaimers

1. I’m generalizing both with Christians and Atheists because I don’t have the time or space to go in to detail. Both movements are too large to completely define, so I stuck to mainly media generalizations

 

2. I have quite a few friends who are Atheists so this is not an attack on atheism, please don’t see it this way

 

3. I have MANY friends (family really) who are Christians, this is not an attack on Christianity, i breathe the Christian faith, it is all I’m concerned about in my life, and that is why I said what I said.  It is also why I am generally most critical of Christianity, because I am part of that movement.

 

4. 1 Corinthians 13.

You believe what!?

I had the pleasure of joining the company of Tim last night on Christmas.  There was more food than I could handle, and enough conversation topics to fill up the year.  One conversation stuck out though.  There was a young man who has been a practicing Mormon for his whole life I believe.  Tim was in the middle of picking his brain about Mormon beliefs vs Christian beliefs.  So I pulled up a chair to get a close listen on how they line up.  Wow, the things you learn when you just open your ears.

Jesus and Satan are brothers.  We become gods.  Water baptism is essential for salvation in addition to being a good person and God’s grace.  Revelations are ongoing from modern day prophets.  There are three different heavens that you can dwell in after death, or hell.  These are true Mormon beliefs.  How similar does this sound to Christianity?  Not very close if you ask me.  Does it matter that we know these things?  Absolutely.

No one has all the answers when they are saved.  It feels like quite the opposite.  The problem is this leaves you very vulnerable to what is true in Christianity.  There are so many half-truths out there that it is easy to believe that we are not so different from others, possibly the same.  A statement like “Yeah I believe in Jesus, he is my Savior” will satisfy most people.  But what if you learned that same person believes Jesus is not God and works are required to reach heaven.  Would you still think you guys are the same?

I remember when I first got saved in May of 2008.  I was on fire for God, but I also had so many questions since I did not have a church home or brothers to learn from.  This can be dangerous.  I approached a friend who was a Jehovah’s Witness, to learn what he believed exactly.  He stated that we believe in the Bible, but they do not celebrate holidays because they are not in scripture.  He made it seem like we were so similar that I found myself coming back for more questions.  Bad choice.  One day I was pondering the Trinity and was having difficulty.  I approached my friend with questions.  A few days later I was given Watch Tower literature on the Trinity.  Yeah I know, not good.  Thanks be to God that when I read in there that Jesus was “created”, God gave me the discernment to get rid of it and not look back.  It was clear to me that we did not believe the same things.   This is just a small example that shows not knowing what others believe can lead to being misguided, and possibly deceived.

This is not an attack on other religions.  Mormons and Jehova’s Witnesses deserve the same love and respect we show non believers when spreading the Gospel.  But by knowing the key differences in our beliefs, we will be better equipped to shine the Truth where we know the theologies do not match up.  Most importantly we should do this with love.

~Kyle