Three Major Ways
Is the world moving toward a grand climax? Are we humans just evolving animals that return to soulless dirt, or mere cyclic energy awaiting absorption, or beings of eternal dignity and worth? Can we have a good life beyond the grave if we try to live a good life now? Does life have any ultimate meaning? Honest thinking people deserve good answers. There are three major ways people worldwide view these issues. Let me explain them.
The Atheist View
Atheists are called by many names: secular humanists, evolutionary naturalists, socialists/ communists, materialists, antitheists.
They all mean that there is no God of any kind, or angels, supernatural revelations, miracles, human souls or anything beyond nature. We are merely evolving animals that return to soulless dirt and life’s meaning is whatever you can make of it. There can be no absolute truth and ethics since everything evolved by chance over billions of years. So we are shut up to conflicting human opinions, preferences and guesses as man is his own highest authority and savior—hence “anything goes” leading to chaos and anarchy unless wise strong persons take control to keep the peace and dictate policy.
An atheist plan of big government and economic control becomes imperative to wipe out religious ignorance and force compliance through education, law and police surveillance for the general well-being of humanity. The government has the wealth and power and the population must obey or be penalized or eliminated.
Atheists claim science and reason demonstrate nature is everything.
They know scientifically that the material universe had a beginning—it’s expanding, running down and since nothing creates nothing it couldn’t have created itself. They know (anthropic principle) well over a hundred precise conditions for human life to exist are unique to planet earth. Such conditions as earth’s position, size, distance in the galaxy to other kinds of stars, one moon, earth’s revolution, rotation, gravity, water, air composition, crust thickness, temperature, magnetism, seismic activity, and multiple others. But atheists’ dogmatic naturalism won’t allow them to admit the material universe and earth is the effect of an eternal, unchangeable, infinite, self-existent Mind rightfully called God and who can best explain everything.
Atheists know, but won’t admit other crucial scientific facts. Life forms don’t spontaneously pop into existence from nonlife and all have genetic limitations. Acquired characteristics and mutations cannot change one life form into another. Unconscious blind molecules have no mind to arrange themselves into men. Life forms show design of an intelligent cause. And to destroy a major organ or system is to kill it so it had to be complete and functional from the start. Randomness results in chaos not order. Living cells are enormously complex and compact, a literal city of machines demonstrating design implying an infinite Designer or God. No scientific experiment demonstrates evolution. Fossils’ showing each step of change is necessary to prove evolution but exists nowhere except in the evolutionist’s mind.
Not true science and reason, but an entrenched naturalistic philosophy has been deceiving the public about such things for decades.
The Pantheist View
Pantheists (or monists) believe the universe is reoccurring cycles of energy that can take any form such as stars, planets, gods, plants, animals and people.
What our senses perceive as real is ultimately illusion without permanent substance like a wave that returns into the sea. Justice is shown in karma or what is sown in one life is reaped in the next life. So sickness, pain, good, evil, death, life have no real or abiding existence. Giving aid to someone only interrupts and delays the inevitable cycle. The only hope to get off the endless cycle is absorption into nothingness (liberation). Thus, all history and life, people and experiences are meaningless changing cycles.
This is a general pantheist view and there are varied versions and religions. I wonder how nothing became a universe of illusion. Science is pointless and impossible if the material universe is illusion without real existence--it operates on the premise that’s its real. Calling ourselves god confers no special dignity above anyone else. Further, what dignity if we’re all simply a small piece of universal energy that may be a maggot or dirt in the next life. Pantheists act as though the world is very real—they wear clothes, look in the mirror, eat, bathe, avoid oncoming vehicles and obey prescribed rules. But if pantheists are correct, it makes no ultimate difference if we minister to persons or murder them.
Pantheism is an abstract system devoid of human dignity, compassion, forgiveness, and hope. Is there a more hopeful realistic view of life?
The Biblical Christian View
Any religion claiming to be Christian that denies the original church teaching of Christ and his apostles is not Christian. Historians accept three independent sources as authentic history while the four Gospels, Acts, and the New Testament letters are six independent sources giving double evidence of Christ as the incarnate God-man. And only an anti-supernatural prejudice can deny a universe’s Creator can take on human form and walk among us. Jesus’ resurrection established Christianity and that all his teaching is true. See my article on Jesus’ resurrection.
THE BIG QUESTION:
If a personal ethical God exists, what would it take to prove his existence?
We know nature acts in unalterable fixed patterns. What would we think if someone appeared who could alter these known patterns? Wouldn’t we be astonished? And wouldn’t our good sense tell us this person has power over nature beyond mortal men? And what if he told us many times and many ways he is our God and Creator? Do we have any honest reason to say it’s impossible? But it would take abundant repeated eyewitness evidence to be established fact.
This is exactly what Jesus did. He walked on water, raised the dead, cured diseases immediately, caste out demons all the while explaining that he was our God and nature’s Lord. He did such things perhaps hundreds of times before astonished disciples and hostile critics who couldn’t deny them. Moreover, accounts of Jesus’ miracles were published within thirty years while persons still living and knew the events would have disputed them and prevented Christianity from being established. Disciples even asked unbelievers to acknowledge the truth they knew about Jesus.
The whole thing seems utterly impossible to us today, but must God appear in like manner to every generation?
These first century Jews and Christians were not stupid people. The fact they were always astonished at Jesus’ miracles shows they knew natures laws as we do today. They too were put out of the synagogues that in their view condemned them to Hell. Moreover, they and their families were ridiculed, tortured and murdered for their new belief. Jewish rituals and Gentile polytheism was transformed—both peoples went everywhere preaching Christ is the Son of God and Savior of sinners. The New Testament is incredible unless its many details are solid fact. Further, history can’t be discounted since it’s written down and passed on from person to person and not buried in dirt as monists might claim.
With all our sophisticated weather technology, we can’t always predict just when and where disaster might strike. What about our predicting details about persons and events centuries in advance? The Christian Old Testament mentions numerous predictions of the coming Jewish Messiah (Christ). He was to be God, and man, born of a virgin, in Bethlehem, perform miracles, die for the people and arise from the dead. These are specific details many which the rabbis recognized. And they mention supernatural things only God could accomplish. No guessing, postdating, artificial fulfillment and ambiguity can explain them away. Jesus’ miracles and fulfilled prophecies can establish truth to open-minded persons.
Jesus resurrection proved he is our God and all he said is true. He is the basis for human dignity, truth, ethics, justice, love, that history will have a great climax, life exists after death and has ultimate purpose—Heaven and Hell are realities.
Intellectual belief is good, but it takes an act of faith and repentance to become a child of God. The ball is in your court. Rejection of the Savior is your choice of Hell.
“God . . . commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:30-31).
Friend, won't you say, Lord Jesus, Son of God, I don't understand everything. But I know I have done many things I'm ashamed of and deserve to be punished for.
You loved unworthy me enough to die in my place on the cross to satisfy God's justice and deliver me from Hell. Lord, I trust in You right now to save me the sinner and make me Your child forever. Lord, be my Master and Guide from this day until I walk the golden streets in Heaven. Thank you Lord.
You can also view Bob's articles on his blog, Good News Messengers
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