Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Facts vs. Truth - The Flawed Argument

Facts vs. Truth, The Flawed Argument

On the one side you have people, usually atheists, arguing against things stated in the Bible. Their approach is usually that there are no facts to support these statements, or that said facts are contradictory in nature. On the other side you have Christians who, although well meaning, argue that what they have is Truth which cannot be explained by facts along, there must be faith. As a Christian I understand what they are saying and to an extent they are correct, but to pit facts against truth is totally illogical. They are different, yes, but they do have connections to one another that makes it impossible for one to exist apart from the other.

Let us consider the cosmos, that is the entirety of the universe. What facts do we have to support the existence of this universe? Well, we have big-brained people looking through high powered telescopes, or viewing images taken from satellites. We have mathematicians calculating the distance from us to planets, stars and galaxies. We have a host of scientists telling us about many things that are either facts or believed to be facts. What we do not have, even taking all of them together, is a clear picture, understanding or grasp of our universe. We have enough to "get our heads around it", but in the end result we must have faith that the cosmos does in fact exist. Am I saying these facts are incorrect? Of course not. What I am saying is that they are only tiny pieces of a very large picture, a picture so large, in fact, that it cannot be completely seen or understood. That it does exist is truth. Truth is all the facts compiled together, and the millions of facts that have been overlooked, all summed up in the single existence of the cosmos itself. It cannot be fully seen, nor explained, but that doesn't negate the fact that it is there.

Likewise scientists have made observations about our earth, about the life on this planet, about the different species and made certain speculations based on those facts to give us an idea of where we came from. Are all these facts false? No, of course not. When they begin to disregard certain facts because it doesn't line up with their beliefs, well then that is neither true science nor is it revealing any true facts. The Truth is that God created everything there is out of nothing. He did it by the power of His spoken Word. For many this Truth is so great, so vast that it's just plain impossible to believe. Yet if we follow the facts, as we did with the cosmos, we would see that these facts are all part of a larger picture, a Truth so big that it takes faith to contain it. And the Truth is that there is a God. He is the One who is bigger than even the sum total of all the facts. The facts themselves are not incorrect, but I guess it is like putting together a large jigsaw puzzle. The truth is the picture you see on the cover, the facts are all the pieces in the box. But if someone were to disregard some of those pieces because they didn't fit with their understanding, well then that puzzle would never be solved. God gives us plenty of facts, but we cannot possibly comprehend the enormity of the picture these facts come together to make if we even had all the facts, which we do not. So we are left with doing one of two things, disregarding the existence of God, because our understanding is so limited that we cannot possibly perceive of some Divine being that is so vast, or we can allow God to give us just enough faith so that we know that He exists. If we do the latter these facts start to come together. They start to make sense. We still don't see the full picture, but by faith we can possess the fullness of God. That is why this argument is so badly flawed. It pits one against the other when there is a decided difference between facts and Truth. Yet one thing will remain, no matter where you stand on this issue, Truth cannot be altered. Truth remains truth. To alter it means only to turn it into a lie.

Now people who disbelieve the existence of God really do overlook a lot of facts. The overlook the fact that everything is slightly different, even if it looks the same. They overlook the tremendous complexity of even some of the minutest of life forms. Take grass, for instance. A simple blade of grass is actually part of a unit, a community of sorts. It has roots that shoot down into the earth and the blade reaches up to the sky. If we let it grow long enough the community will also send up a shoot that will carry seeds that will plant new grass. Let's go back to the blade of grass. This blade will always angle itself to get the most exposure to the sun. Because it is mostly water in nature, as are all living things, it needs to draw moisture up from the ground in order to stay alive. As it does so the chlorophyll that gives grass its green color reacts with the sun and the water, taking in the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and converting it to oxygen. This is just grass, but if it weren't for grass, green algae in the waters around the world, and other plant life, we would soon run out of air to breathe. It is interesting that while humans and animals exhale carbon dioxide that these little green plants live off of this gas. Furthermore, while they exhale oxygen we live off of that. This fragile balance could not possibly have happened by accident. I mean even if some great alien being were trying to create life on this planet they would have to go through many, many trials and errors to get the balance stable enough to work out so both plant and human and animal life could exist. Each time they got the balance wrong the whole experiment would shut down and they'd have to start from scratch again. The real kicker is that they would have to get this balance correct at precisely the same time or neither could exist.

In the Genesis account of creation you have God moving on the waters, which is made up of hydrogen and oxygen as I'm sure you all know. He separates the waters so that there is dry ground. This makes perfect sense because many of the plants are going to need ground to live in, and algae may be a long way in coming about. Also the animals and people are going to need ground to walk and live on. After God makes this separation he does something else. He creates lights in the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars. This effectively gives us a way to calculate the passage of time, something that did not exist either before the world was created. You need to think outside the box here to think of timelessness, so I apologize for the reference. Yet there is something else that the creation of these lights does. It gives a balanced exposure of light and warmth to the earth that made it conducive for both plant and human and animal life. Follow this God created the plants. There was enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the waters as evaporation took place under the sun. Then God created the animals, giving the plants a good firm foothold so they wouldn't die. Finally, when the balance was nearly complete, God made man in His image, which does not refer to the physical features at all, but the fact that, like God, we are triune, having within our bodies both a center for intelligence and an eternal part of us which can most closely be described as our character or personality. This is our spiritual nature. Yet for it to survive on this planet the body must survive, and as I've just shown, God prepared the way for this shell we call the flesh or the body, to live so that the real us might have a place to live.

There is much more, but these are just some of the facts that go overlooked by people who refuse to allow God into their observations. People like this started some of the most bizarre religions on this planet, and others took their fears and limitations to twist the Truth and turn the relationship we were supposed to have with God into a religion. Having only part of the picture can be dangerous, especially if you insist on convincing yourself that you have all the pieces.

Getting Things Straight

I get all kinds of emails from Christians around the world. Those I receive from those in the US are disturbing. They talk about how anti-Christian President Obama is and propose various ideas and legislations to bring us back to a Christian society. Hang in there and you'll understand why this is disturbing.

In God's Word King Solomon received this promise from the Lord, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2nd Chronicles 7:14)

That sounds like a map to get us back to where we need to be, but it's only part of the map. We actually have to humble ourselves. We actually have to pray and see the face of God. We actually have to turn from our wicked ways if we want God to "forgive their sin and heal their land."

Now there are many out there that will say, "That's what I'm doing." This is where the other side of the coin is revealed. In the Chronicles and the Kings we have a list of kings from David up until they are led captive in Babylon. Some kings were good, and did what was right. Most did that which was evil. One good king, I believe it was Joash, King of Judah (you see already their evil had spit the nation) ordered the cleaning out of the Temple to make it worthy of the Lord. While they were cleaning out all the garbage, the idols, the things that belonged to other idols, men found the book of the Law. We would know this as the Torah or the books of Moses. They brought it back and read it before the king. Now pay attention. As they were reading this the king tore his clothes and fell (I believe) on his face. The very reading of the Law showed him how evil he was, even though he did that which was right. He ached for the people he ruled over and destroyed all the idols, grinding them into dust. Then he had the books of the Law read before all the people and the priests and Levites cleansed themselves and began to offer up sacrifices for the people.

You may be scratching your head, wondering why I'm bringing up this ancient history. The reason is simple. As long as we try to blame someone else for the troubles we are in we are part of the problem. Until we truly humble ourselves before God, how can we turn from our evil ways? If we do not turn from our evil ways, we, the CHURCH, then our nation will continue to come under the persecution of God. It's not that God likes persecution, but He wants us to come to Him.

Many in our churches are writing their own rules, their own laws. Our hearts have grown hard. While certain people may be doing harm to this nation, they can do no greater harm than we, who call ourselves Christian, and act in ways that do not seek God out or fail to humble ourselves before our Maker. You see, God sets all authorities over us. That means President Obama and all the rest. I'm not saying they are right. I'm saying that God has sent us into our own Babylon by appointing people who would increase the burdens on our back.

Do you see it? Jeremiah prophesied this, as did Isaiah, and a number or others. Are we greater than Israel that God would stand aside for our "democracy"? We are in contempt of His court, and unless we get things right with Him they will only get worse.

The way back is through a veil of tears. Each of us must listen to the law of love that Christ spoke of, and remember that God is Love. How far have we fallen from our first love? What is in store for us if we do not return? These are the things we should be directing our energies to.

Not Political

There are lot of angry people out there following the 2012 election results. While I can understand why they are angry I also realize that anger may be one of the things that is pinning us down in this society.

Fact 1: Just about every news outlet has shown us just how poorly Pres. Barrack Obama has led this nation. He has apologized to people who are our enemies, and have stated that after Israel we are next to be destroyed. This should be scary to say the least.
Fact 2: Obama has driven the country's debt higher than all previous presidents combined.
Fact 3: It is obvious that Obama does not want the people to have the right to make their own decisions. Perhaps the South was right to secede from the Union in 1860. Some people get the idea that the Civil War was about freeing the slaves. While that did become a factor, the real issue was State Sovereignty, and I think they were right in that.
Fact 4: While we have the privilege to vote for the candidate of our choice it is actually God who establishes authorities over us. How God does that is in direct proportion to the way we, as Christians, have, or have not obeyed Him. Currently God has handed us over to a cruel task-master.

So what does all this mean? Why am I bringing this up? I am bringing this up because there are worse things than a president bound to destroy our nation. Many of you may disagree with me on that. It seems to me that as long as you and I regard this nation as the top of our priorities then we will continue to be angry and bitter with our president. This is such a crazy thing to do.

One person shared with me that unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger directed towards anyone, is like wishing they would die and taking the poison ourselves. This is what America is currently doing. We are taking poison in hopes that some other person dies or is incapacitated in their duties, in this case, President Obama.

As Christians we are to forgive, even as Jesus forgave us. Do you think that you, by your own hand, find any goodness in the eyes of God? If you do then you better change your way of thinking. Scripture tells us that there is none righteous, no not one, and that Jesus offered Himself up to die for us that we might be seen righteous through Him. Dare we think any less for the one God has placed over us?

I do not agree with Obama. I believe nearly all his policies are corrupt and seems almost calculated to destroy the United States. And yet I forgive him, with the help of the Holy Spirit. For if I rebel against Obama I am rebelling against God.

The Bible says, "If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, seek My face and turn from their wicked ways then shall I hear from Heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land."

Time is working against us. It flies by like a barn swallow. If we do not repent now, we may never have the chance. The cup of God's wrath is already being filled. People have warped His words to support their own deviant behaviors; anger, drunkenness, sexual lust, and yes homosexuality. These also we must uphold in prayer and forgiveness. I have friends who are homosexuals, but they know my beliefs as well. I don't preach to them, nor do I put them down. People are people.

For instance, the shooting in Connecticut have nothing to do with guns or mental disabilities. It has to do with the presence of evil, and we must realize that this evil exist in all of us. The evil in one may provoke the evil in another. Jesus came into the world for this very purpose, to destroy that evil in us, but He can only do so to those who respond to Him.

While I would normally be writing about the birth of Christ and the miracles that surrounded that birth I believe it is more important to remind you, to remind me, that God is God. I'm not. Therefore I have an obligation to forgive anyone who has slighted me, and that includes the President. In fact, look at your life and pray for every person God has placed over you. Only as we seek His face and repent can we find the healing of God on this nation

Psalm 23