I have been discussing proof of God in previous posts, and you should read them before this one, but I can prove to you now that the miracles of God can be explained with Science.
This is simple really, it comes down to the previous posts where I discuss that there is no proof of God due to God not existing in our Universe (nominal verse phenomenal), and that God can’t exist objectively as to what will occur to human actions (inability to have free will). God does work miracles, there is no questions in my mind of this, but I believe that these miracles can easily be explained away by science and shouldn’t they be?
This idea came to me long ago during an existential crisis that I had watched on the discovery channel. It was a program on Moses and the plagues. It was a discussion on how the plagues could be explained with science. That each of the plagues were just a series of coincidences. There was another program similar to this that was stated that all of Jesus’s Miracles could be explained also with science, and that he was just a very good healer, not necessarily a God.
Now as a child this seemed to be a pretty clear and shut case, that the plagues were a coincidence, and Jesus wasn’t God. I mean how could I, a child, argue with the Discovery channel documentaries? So, my faith wavered, and I thought that miracles couldn’t exist. Even when I came back to my faith I thought that miracles were a bit ridiculous, and then I began reading the bible again and digging deeper.
We think of miracles as some sort of out of the way dealing that God does, he works some sort of magic, and then Bam! Miracle. Now I trust that you have read my previous articles, and know exactly what I am about to say: Miracles first cannot be known, if they were obvious and known then we would then have objective proof of God, and as we already know that cannot exist as it has its own consequences. Two, miracles are proven by science, because God created the universe, so by whatever means he uses to interfere with the Universe should have explanations grounded in science.
Now I know that some people will say, I heard God directly, or that Doctors said my mothers cancer was incurable, and to that I say well yes those could be miracles, but again re-read the above.
This is a difficult concept for some but we should remember what Jesus was preaching in the desert, what you do with your right hand do not let your left hand know. Jesus, God, was preaching that if you do good in the world it should look like you were never involved at all.
If this is what God was asking of his followers then it should be pretty easily expected that this is what God is doing. He will interact in our lives, and make it seem like he was never there at all. We can recognize that this is Gods interference in our lives, and give thanks for it, but ultimately there can be no objective proof.
Miracles can change people, and bring someone to God. Often when speaking with someone who describes a miracle they have this feeling that God is at work, or they are amazed by the outcome. I don’t disagree with these beliefs, the only extra I am offering is if that were to be looked at and examined it could be explained, and should be explained.
I don’t know if I have had a miracle in my life that is super obvious that it was God interacting in my life. When I looked at certain parts of my life, and see how I landed on my feet, I certainly believe that God was involved. However, again this could all be explained away by coincidences, yet I am ok with this.
I am ok with someone telling me that God cannot exist, and the miracles are explained by science. I am ok with this as I agree, objective proof of God cannot exist, and that the miracles he performs are explainable because if I believe that God created the Universe then he should be able to manipulate it.
This all comes down again to faith. We as Christians have to have faith, and trust in those before us. We have five accounts in the Bible discussing the life of Jesus all giving us a way to increase our faith. We need to see five perspective otherwise we might fall away thinking that it could all be made up like so many other beliefs. I have faith that I am where I am at because of God, and that is a miracle, but if I looked real hard at my life I think I could explain it with science.
In a previous post of mine I discussed that there cannot be any objective proof of God for if there was then all of humanity would choose to follow God, not because they love God, but for fear of hell. To my eyes I believe that there cannot be this objective proof because the choice to follow God means taking a leap of faith, and living a life that you are not sure is justified. To follow God must be a personal choice not one that God determines for us. Objective proof removes the choice.
Today, however, I want to discuss how there could be proof of God, or at least discuss the natural verse unnatural.
Plato discussed that there are forms that exist outside of our world. Plato believed that there were chairs that we see in our world, but there was an objective chair outside of our world. This chair would embody what the true chair is, and all other chairs are based off of it. He believed that beauty as a concept was objective in a form. Kant moved past this, and stated that there are two worlds the Nominal (what is real), and the Phenomenal (what is experienced). We see the world through a limited perspective, but we don’t get to see the actual workings that really exist.
Both of these philosophers through their ideas of two worlds bring up a rather important point of Divinity, and the perception of God. Does God exist in our universe? That is a rather difficult question to answer, but in my perspective he acts through our universe.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. This verse in itself shows that God created our Universe, and shows that God does not exist exclusively in it. Think about it, the creator of the Universe wouldn’t have to be bound by the rules of the Universe that he created. Now we can imagine God outside the Universe, but understanding what the outside of the Universe looks like is not comprehensible by our limited perspective. I believe that it wouldn’t be bound by the same rules as the Universe we live in, and wouldn’t be affected how we are affected.
As people we were created by the same creator of the Universe. This creator gave us (through whatever means you believe in) perception of the world around us, but this perception is limited. We are bound by the limits of the human body. Our hearing can only hear certain octaves, our sight limited by the eye, and our touch limited by the sensations that we feel. All of it connected through a central nervous system piloted by a brain that comes to conclusions based on our limited perception. How can we actually think that we could perceive a God?
Isn’t that the reason that we go off of inductive reasoning for scientific research? Science is limited in what it can discover intentionally to make itself as close to objective as possible. We cannot study things that are not testable, or measurable as we cannot come to good conclusions about the data we receive. So, science isn’t really going to be useful in the search of God as we are looking for something outside of our Universe to determine if it is real. Something that is far greater than what our human minds could understand or comprehend.
When I think about the complexity of ants, and their societies I wonder if any of them could truly perceive the complexity of the human world. Some ant colonies are the size of Empire’s, and I would imagine that they would feel rather proud of themselves for what they created. Yet, I am sure that they would feel bad for boasting if they had the ability to see what humans can do. The ant queen would say, “Look at how perfect our tunnels are, look at the roads we made, and how quickly we can get from one colony to the next. Surely no other species has as good of trade as us.” If the queen could see us humans fly perhaps they would not think so highly.
This is how we are with God. We are able to say that we are the best that we know, and that is because we are all we know because we haven’t been confronted with anything else. Consider the inductive reasoning that rules our world currently. If all we saw were white swans we could reasonably say that all swans were white, yet once we go to Australia and see a black swan our conclusions would have to change. We could then say there are white, and black swans. Now we believe that there are no other colors besides the two for the species until we see a red one, and if we never see the red one it cannot exist. Yet, if the red one did exist, but not in our Universe (or ability to perceive) it still exists.
We can say scientifically there is no God, and that is because science isn’t the right tool to find God. Faith is the right tool for God. We believe that there is a God, and that he controls the Universe, or at the very least created it. We believe this because we have faith because of the proof from other sources, sources that are not always objective. Without objective proof we are forced to consider God, and determine if that is the life we want to live.
This is not only the best way to have a faith, but the best way to ensure that people will truly love you. If I told you that you needed to live a certain way your whole life, and you would be rewarded you would have to have faith that I would follow through with my promise, yet it is much easier to trust me as I am right in front of you. However, to consider living your life based on some book from 2000 years ago…that takes faith. You must really love God to make that choice, and if you do then you aren’t really in it for the reward of heaven. You are in it because you love God.
A word before my discussion. I know that topics related to religion, and faith are important to people. I want you to know that it is also important to me. The internet is a difficult place at times due to us not knowing what a persons intentions are on the other end of the screen. As my blog states, I am a work in progress, and I believe that we all are. If I say something that offends you I would encourage you to just move on as I am not attempting to make anything personal. I am just attempting to be better in my own life through understanding. Now that we got through that let me present my argument on the Antichrist.
For those of you who have seen the movie Constantine you’d know, the Antichrist is a godlike figure that arises from hell. Instead of bringing about the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of man like Christ, the AntiChrist will bring about the end of time. This Antichrist title has often been given to those we deem evil. The Rothschilds, Obama, Bush, Bin Ladin, Hitler, Stalin, the Clinton’s and now the latest, Trump. This Hollywood ideal of how the end times exists for Christianity has become rather mainstream in our own lives, and faith.
I can’t count how many times I have sat through a lesson on the great deceiver. How it’s the last hour. The Antichrist is near, and he comes closer each day. Watch out for the end times, as that is when we know he will be here. It is constantly brought up, and I don’t think that the AntiChrist of Constantine, and Hollywood are good examples. I believe that this has tainted our understanding of multiple teachings by breaking them up and taking them out of context.
The term Antichrist was used by the apostle John in his letters 1 John, and 2 John. If we just look at the sections that contain the term Antichrist (1 John 2:22, and 2 John 1:7), and mix in Paul’s 2 Thessalonian’s Chapter 2, and top off with some Revelations we have ourselves the convincing proof that the Antichrist is the lawless bringer of the end. Yet what else was John saying in his letters?
One of the most important things to remember about early Christianity is that it was a rather chaotic time. The Roman Imperial Cult dominated the empire, Jewish believers of Christ were being cut off from their synagogues, and the rise of Gnosticism threatened to end the Church as we know it today.
John addressed in his letter the issues of Gnosticism and false teaching. For those unfamiliar with Gnosticism the basics of it are that it stands for secret teaching meaning Gnostic knowledge. These early believes, and other false teachers were stating that the world (matter, and flesh) were evil, not the spirit. So, while the body (matter) did evil, the spirit did not, and once you are dead the spirit releases to heaven. This goes against Christian teachings as the only way to heaven is through Jesus (Again crash course not the full detail).
John highlights in Chapter 2 that one cannot sin and state that he is not a sinner. For if one does so that makes him a lair, and not truly apart of Christ. In the later part of Chapter 2 John states that those who went out from us were never really apart of us, for if they were then they would have remained. Then in Chapter 2: 22 John begins the definition of Antichrist: Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the Antichrist-Denying the Father, and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Johns first letter seems to be a direct thesis against Gnosticism (false teaching), not a discussion of how the world will end.
This definition of the Antichrist alone should be enough proof that our mainstream idea of the Antichrist is already incorrect for even John states that many Antichrists have already come. If the only requirement to be an Antichrist is the denial that Jesus was Christ then one could argue that many people who have lived on the earth were indeed Antichrists. This means that the “Antichrist” is not a singular person, rather this warning against Antichrists is a warning of false teaching, and a warning of falling away. It is a great example of how when we take pieces of the Bible we can make it say whatever we want. Like that there is a son of Satan that will rise from the bowels of Hell to destroy the world.
Context is everything, perspective is everything, and so is the importance of communication. When we dip in and out of different books we can make the Bible say whatever it is that we want. I believe that when taken into context the great deceiver in Paul’s 2 Thessalonian’s should not be used in conjunction with John’s Antichrist. They are separate, and different. To take part of one book, and mix it with another is ludicrous. The context of each book in the Bible comes from a completely different perspective, to mix these perspectives without the context leads to false teaching. Ironic, as John warned against such teachings.
Why are there five books in the Bible that focus on Christ? Think about it. Jesus is central to Christianity, and we have five perspectives to gain an idea of who Jesus was. Why just look at the simple differences, and you begin to understand why things taken out of context throws off teaching. Take for example the gospel of John 13:7. It states that as soon as Judas took the bread from Christ Satan entered into him. This is the only book that states that Satan entered Judas. What an interesting perspective that this adds to the betrayal of Jesus. Yet, there are four that show a different side to the story. Perspective gives new meaning. Why does one say that Satan entered and the others don’t?
Now I’m not saying that there won’t be a Hollywood style end of the world brought about by an Antichrist figure. What I am saying is that the term Antichrist doesn’t mean what many mainstream Christians thinks it means. I am also saying that out of context teaching shouldn’t be what we base our understanding of God on. The message of the Bible is complete without us attempting to take apart different pieces and put them together. Besides the anxiety of the end of the world shouldn’t be the focus of our walk with God. That is tomorrow’s issue and that’s for a later discussion.
This is a rather odd idea, how can someone being positive be toxic? We know that usually a toxic person is someone that brings us down. They might be extra critical of others, have strong views that they over share, or just are a generally negative person. A toxic person is someone that most of us try to avoid for our own sake, and sanity. How can they ever be positive?
Toxic positivity is the act of always encouraging positivity, but never allowing for processing. When we go to our friends and ask them for help, usually the last thing we want them to say is your fine just get over it. I’m obviously not fine, and that is why I wanted your help.
In a sense it is like when someone says that they are depressed or stressed, and someone answers with, just be happy or calm down. This is not a solution to the problem, but it mitigates the problem. That isn’t fair to do to someone else. Mitigating their problems is an issue because what they are going through may be the hardest thing for them.
I see this a lot in the church and I am just as guilty of it as anyone else. Someone may come up to me with a problem, and my response might just be, well you should pray about it. Yes, of course they’re going to pray about it, but that isn’t why they came to me. They wanted fellowship, and someone to listen. Just saying, well you should pray about it, mitigates their problem.
We all like to use comparisons. You think you got it rough, well look at them. This type of thinking is unfair to those that are suffering. If two people break an arm in the same spot doing the same thing, but one person has a broken arm every other week, and the other never has had a broken bone, who felt the worse pain?
Our pain may be relative to our situation, but it is no less troubling than if it was happening to someone else, or someone “stronger.” We are shaped by our pain and through our suffering we learn. I would hate for someone to learn through their suffering that they cannot count on me to be there for them because I mitigated their situation.
Just get over it
Go pray about it
You know I had it rough
Just be happy
Everything will be ok
These are positive things to say, but it isn’t what the person suffering wants or needs to hear. Instead of thinking of a response to say, don’t say anything at all. Let the silence be the response, I hear you. Sit close with them, and when they are done ask them, Is there anything I can do to help? If the person says no then you can tell them that, I know it is hard, but I believe in you. God believes in you.
Empower the weak, empower the suffering, empower those who are going through a hard time and feel like they are drowning. They deserve to have comfort in their suffering just like you did. Don’t mitigate what one person feels because you think it could be worse, understand that we all suffer. Why does God have us love our enemies? Because they are human like us, they suffer like us, they feel pain like us, they need help like us. Be a force of good for someone, but do it in a way that empowers that person no matter who they are or what they face.
Also remember there are of course the outliers as well. People who create suffering to feel empathy from others. For situations like that, do your best. They suffer in other ways.
Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness
Soren Kierkegaard in Skrifter vol 11 (maybe the correct citation) meditates on the above paraphrased verse in his writings, discussing the deeper meaning of the words. In short, he discusses that one must first seek the Kingdom of God, and this is accomplish by silence. Silence, according to Kierkegaard, is the first and most important goal in seeking the Kingdom of God.
To Kieregaard dropping everything for God is not the first step to seek the Kingdom of God. The first step is to be silent. To be silent, and to make yourself nothing before God. In this silence we arrive at the beginning, and this beginning is where we seek God.
Yet, what is this silence? If Kierkegaard states that silence is being prepared for the opportunity when it arrives, then isn’t mindfulness the same thing? It’s just another word for the same thing, and we know that mindfulness by itself isn’t spiritual. Rather it is an inward observation. By knowing ourselves we can better seek the Kingdom of God.
In our mindful/silent lives we make ourselves ready to serve God when the time comes. In this meditation we ready our inward self to serve. How can we serve God if our own lives are not in control? First seek the Kingdom of God. By first seeking the Kingdom we learn to be silent/mindful, and we take control of our lives.
God calls everyone to different things. Silence and inward observation gives us clarity to what those things are. The first step toward God is to become mindful of your own life, understanding of your weakness, to become nothing, so that God may use you for his will. The freedom to follow God starts with getting control of ones life. To understand your part in the world, and to be accepting of it.
I can work for God, and do great things for him, but first I must seek the Kingdom of God.
There is no proof of God.
Correction, there is no objective proof of God.
Correction, there is no objective proof of God that everyone can agree upon.
Correction, there is no objective proof of God that everyone can agree upon, and that is why we have faith.
Correction, there is no objective proof of God that everyone can agree upon, and that is the point of having faith.
If God came down every Sunday to all the churches of the world who could justify not being a Christian? If God performed miracles in front of live concerts played for the entire world, who would not believe? We would all try to be faithful, we would all follow the word of God, but what would be the motivation?
If we had objective proof of God then we would have objective proof of hell. We would have proof of an afterlife, and a reason to do good. When there is a reason that is objective to do good will we not do good, or least attempt good?
If you knew that you could steal a cookie from the cookie jar as a child wouldn’t you do it? Wouldn’t you at least be tempted by it? If your mother stood by the cookie jar, then that takes away the motivation to even begin with. You couldn’t dream of stealing the cookie as there is a capable person there to stop you.
God cannot objectively exist, and there can be no objective proof of God for if there there was then we would all act well. We would all act good, and follow commands to the best of ability. There wouldn’t be a questions of faith. How could anyone love by God by choice if we all knew he existed. We would all want heaven, not to be a better person, but to avoid suffering in hell.
Some say that they know God exists, I don’t. I try to have faith, but I am not convinced that there could be an afterlife. There certainly is a lot of evidence of one not existing. So, why am I a Christian verse a agnostic, or spiritualist?
The reason I am a Christian, even though there is no objective proof of God, is that I love God, real or not real. I choose to live by a moral standard, and attempt a good life. I do this not because it benefits me, but because I want to be a good person.
Now anyone can argue that “religion” has caused more suffering than good. That one doesn’t need a religion to be a good person, and that all of it is subjective to the situation. I would argue that if someone can find a more profound message than love your enemies, and provide for them, then I will follow that message.
This is why I choose Christ: love your enemies, feed the poor, be humble, and know that no matter what you are loved. I don’t have to do any of those things. In fact it’s rather detrimental to my own life if I do follow them. My enemies want to hurt me, why should I love them? Because you love all people, and understand that everyone has a perspective. That they are human to, that they suffer, and matter just as much as I do.
With objective proof of God you could easily be a Christian because you know your life was justified.
Without objective proof of God it becomes harder to be a Christian because you don’t know if it is justified, and you choose to limit yourself. I’m ok with that. I’m ok with that because I want to make a leap of faith, to stare down the absurd universe.
I am a Christian not because I want heaven, but because I love God.
People instinctively pass judgement on each other it’s a natural process. We make judgement’s on the way people look, act, and behave. We will take those judgement’s, and often pass them around to others. We will label those judgments on people, and they become fact without ever speaking to the person we judged.
I believe that I am more than guilty of this. I would say that it is my biggest weakness, and as a Christian who is trying to follow Jesus’s teaching it’s an issue that I cannot overlook.
As Jesus states in Matthew 7:1-5: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye.
While Jesus was using rather funny hyperbolic imagery the lesson is the same. To place judgement on someone is to ignore your own issues.
I like to think about the times when I am shopping or in a waiting room, and there is a tantruming child there making a scene for everyone to witness. An even better example is to be on the light rail, or in the street and a couple is having a loud fight. In the past with these situations I have put judgement on the participants.
Look at that child why can the mother not take care of it, look at that couple they have some obvious issues.
I put judgement on people, but rarely do I try to understand what it must be like to be in that situation, and ignoring the times that I have been in that situation. I have never had a child, and can only imagine the pressure that new parents must feel when their child is acting out in public. Every child acts out, and for us to say that it is the parents fault for the behavior of the kid is to ignore issues that may exist under the skin. When seeing these occurrences I didn’t have the experience of working with mental health that I do now. I have seen how a mentally handicap child can add immense amounts of stress on a new family, it is emotional for everyone. Who is to say that I would fair any better?
Everyone is different, with a different worldview, and different ideals of right verses wrong. It would be wrong of me to judge a person based on the few moments of meeting them, or watching them.
I know the intentions of my wife, my parents, and those who are close to me. Yet with strangers I have not met I should reserve judgement. How can I cast judgement when there is a plank in my eye, how can I cast judgement when I haven’t walked in their shoes? I can’t, and I shouldn’t.
So everyday from today on I will strive to reserve judgement for myself, and only to help myself be a better person. If I ever get to a point that there is no longer a plank in my eye then I may help my neighbor with the speck in theirs.