Thursday, June 13, 2013

Beliefs vs. Facts: The Christian Perspective

And so last week, I decided to tackle anew the Evolution/Creation debate, and had stated that I've written a lot about it in my journal over the years.  Going back over my journal, I discovered that this entry from 1995 was my first mention of that debate.  Some of my views concerning some of this have naturally changed over the last two decades.  For instance, I'd have to say I'm not a "young earth" proponent as Walt Brown is, and I take exception to my claim below that we have been just "poking holes in the other major theory" of evolution, for I actually think it is much more than "poking holes".  In fact, everywhere I turn in evolutionary science, I find nothing BUT holes, excuses, hoaxes, and wishful thinking!

     The journal entry below only touches upon the evolution/creation debate; there is much more to come from these journals, not only with this debate, but with Christian theology, science, and other apologetics.
     I also believe that some of what I wrote here will most likely step on a lot of secular toes, but it goes with the territory, I'm afraid.  It is the God's honest biblical truth, that those who believe in Jesus will make it to heaven, and those who don't will wind in someplace else, someplace not so nice.  Non-Christians seem to have the most problem with this very concept, and yet it is at the root of what Christianity is all about: That Jesus is the only way to the Father.  He even said it Himself in the bible:  "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6 NIV
     Sorry to be blunt, but that's Christianity!

My journal entry from 1995:

     I no longer believe in evolution, and I do believe in creation, and a creator.  But is this creator (or creators) the God of the Christian Bible?  Was the world created the way the Bible said it was?  At this point, we have to not so much disprove other theories, but prove our own.  Never stop searching!

     Walt Brown’s book In the Beginning:  Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood touches on this needed proof.  As the title suggests, he really does have compelling evidence of an actual world-wide flood like what is described in the Book of Genesis in the story of Noah and the Ark.  I also just checked another book out of the library called The Genesis Record: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings by Henry M. Morris.  I’ll always be on the lookout for proof!
     However, as I said, I won’t find all the answers in this life.  Creation is just a theory, and unfortunately has not really been proven, not even after all these years, aside from poking holes in the other major theory of how all of this came about and how we all got here.  Yet that also means that it hasn’t really been disproved either.  As much as I wish it could be proven, it has not been, and has been designed in such a way by God so that it actually cannot be proven.  It is not fact.  It is a belief.
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     But then, that is why they call it faith; to believe without having all the facts; to have faith in the Bible and Jesus without proof:  That is what is ultimately required of all Christians (or any other belief, really, be it another religion or atheism).  One can, and should, continue to search for the truth, the facts, and the proof, for it can lead in the right direction (but not always, thanks to the great deceiver and father of lies, Satan – some people who think they are on the road to truth are being deceived).  Yet there comes a time in a man’s life where the search for the truth produces only more questions, and he has to make a choice; when facts alone are not enough and he realizes they will never be enough.  Sometimes he or she is required to make a choice without all the needed information being at his or her fingertips.
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     It goes without saying that I cannot prove the Bible as the Gospel Truth (if it could be proven, there'd be a lot more Christians around, and they wouldn't call it "belief" or "faith" anymore), and that includes all that goes along with it:  The creation, the flood, the happenings and stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, the exodus from Egypt, the legends of David, the virgin birth of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and his death and resurrection, or even the very existence of God in any of his guises (Creator, Lord, YHWH, Father, Son, or Holy Spirit).  Even skeptics agree in some of it:  They believe in the flood of Noah’s day, but that it was not a world-wide flood, and they agree that people like Abraham, Moses, David, and Jesus existed, and can corroborate many of the stories.  However, these unfaithful, secular experts are unlikely to put their faith in anything that goes beyond what can be corroborated in other ancient documents or can be called into question based on evidence from olden objects found in archaeological digs.  If they can question it, they will.  In short, I have some evidence on my side to back up what I believe, but at some point, I must still “take the leap of faith” and let Jesus catch me.  I can’t really speak for any of the other religions, but I know the Christian faith requires this leap of faith.  You can do all the searching in the world and you won’t find the answers.  You won’t find proof that the Bible is literal, or that Jesus was of virgin birth and was uniquely the only literal Son of God (in the sense that He is God as God the Son, part of the “Triune Godhead”), or that when He was crucified that he thereby saved us from our sins, and will come again.  How can I convince people of this when some people and other religions actually believe He faked His crucifixion and resurrection?  Christianity requires that we believe all of this without the proof it would take to convince others outside the faith, and I do. 
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     And so I believe in it, this religion and the God of the Christian Bible, but even more so, I believe in all of it because I believe in the deity and “God-ness” of Jesus Christ.  I used to believe in Jesus primarily due to what I’ll call the “comfort” and “safety” factors.  It’s comfortable to believe what everybody else in the community, or the household, believe, or the majority anyway.  And being a Christian, we believe that Christians go to heaven, and those who don’t believe go to hell, and so believing in Christ becomes a safety issue, as in “If I believe, I’ll go to heaven.”  But my belief, due to my quest for more information and more proof, has expanded beyond this safe and comfortable region.  It’s growing into a different, deeper kind of faith now, one that has blossomed because of the lies I’ve seen in the teachings of this world and its secular views, and its shallow selfishness.  But I wouldn’t behoove anyone who comes to the faith or still believes in Christ mostly for that safety net.  This faith cannot be disproved, and if the choice between eternal life in paradise or eternal damnation in hell is the deciding factor in bringing some people to Christ, then they are still believers, and have become my Christian brothers and sisters.  In other words, if the Christians are wrong in their beliefs, then it really makes no difference what I believe.  If I wink out like a candle flame when I die and no longer exist, or if I’m reincarnated according the dictates of other religions, then it stands to reason that believing in Christ would make no difference one way or the other.  I’m still going to just “wink out of existence” or be reincarnated until I “get it right” or attain Nirvana or something, according to these other beliefs.  However, if the Christians are right, then only those who believe in Jesus and follow Him will make it to Heaven, and all others will still exist, but (and I know this is harsh) burn in hell for eternity!  If that’s a person’s only reason for believing in Christ, it’s a good one!
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