Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Case for a Creator

When I know I am going to have waiting time, I bring along a book to read.  Today during that waiting time, I began reading Lee Strobel’s The Case for a Creator, one of the books recommended on the post last Saturday, the 12th.  I read the first two chapters.  One of my foibles is that, when I’m reading a book for knowledge, I have this compulsion to underline.  Since this is a borrowed book I think I’ll stop reading it until I get my own book when I can underline to my heart’s content.  (By the way, in chapter one he makes reference to another book mentioned in the earlier post—Darwin on Trial by Phillip E. Johnson, second edition, 1993.)

The author states that his parents took him to church services when he was young but he had many questions that weren’t answered.  He became an atheist in high school convinced that Darwin’s theory as taught in his biology class was true and made any concept of GOD obsolete.  He is convinced that the teaching of Darwin’s theory has turned others to atheism and that that teaching is a form of religion—the religion of atheists.

What I want to discuss briefly tonight though is a quote from chapter 2.  This is the author characterizing his acceptance of atheism as a high school student.  “Rather than facing this ‘unyielding despair’ (in the preceding paragraph he quoted atheist Bertrand Russell) that’s implicit in a world without God, I reveled in my newly achieved freedom from God’s moral strictures.  For me, living without God meant living one hundred percent for myself (my underline).  Freed from someday being held accountable for my actions, I felt unleashed to pursue personal happiness and pleasure at all costs.” (page 25)

I think this view may be the crux of the conflict between evolution theory and the belief that GOD created the universe and all that is within.  Of course, I don’t think most evolutionists will actually admit it, unless pressed.  However, if GOD is removed from the equation, if life happened by chance, if life evolved through survival of the fittest; then the most important being in that chance universe is oneself.  And the ultimate conclusion of that individual life and every individual life is death and nothing thereafter for the rest of eternity.  If that is true, then the philosophy of “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die” may well be the most rational philosophy of all.  Or as they started to declare in the 1960’s and continue to practice today—“drugs, sex, and rock and roll.”  Why not?  All that we can expect from life is the pleasure we participate in today and ultimately the death we face on some tomorrow.

What are the results of a world where the enduring philosophy is me first, me second, me third, and me all ways?  No hope, no faith, no trust, no truth, and little love except for love of self.  The “what’s in it for me question” is the first question thought.  Even ultraistic works are seen as actions that make “me” feel good.  Situation ethics becomes the standard of the day.  The end justifies the means is obvious if the ends means my survival and pleasure.  We each set our own standard of conduct as it best suits our ends.  

Murdering our own unborn is a right because we are the most important entity in the world.  Unity through marriage is acceptable as long as it satisfies me.  If it doesn’t, discard it.  Homosexuality is natural and acceptable.  Tolerance is the rule of the day unless it’s tolerating individuals who disagree with you; then they are not tolerant because they are judging your behavior.  Rules are tolerated only if they do not interfere with your desires or you fear you might suffer a consequence.  You are the most important person in your world.  And then you die.

As could be expected, the Bible also deals with the philosophy of “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow you die.”  “The Lord, the Lord Almighty, called you on that day to weep and to wail, to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth.  (To repent—my addition.)  

But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine!  ‘Let us eat and drink,’ you say, ‘for tomorrow we die!’

The Lord Almighty has revealed this in my hearing: ‘Till your dying day this sin (my underline) will not be atoned for,’ says the Lord, the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 22: 12-14)

“And he (JESUS—my addition) told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.  He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do?  I have no place to store my crops.’

Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do.  I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years.  Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

But God said to him, ‘You fool!  This very night your life will be demanded from you.  Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself (my underline) but is not rich toward God.’”  (Luke 12: 16-21)

“If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained?  If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.’  Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’  Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning (my underline); for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.” (This is a portion of a longer discourse on the resurrection of Jesus and the resurrection of the dead at the end of time as we now know it.) [I Corinthians 15: 32-34]

The decision you make in relation to evolution theory or the existence of GOD is an eternal decision.  Evolution means death.  GOD means the promise of everlasting life.  But, that is only the first step.  The second step is repentance, accepting JESUS as LORD and SAVIOR, and being obedient to HIS will.  That leads to everlasting life with HIM and GOD and the HOLY SPIRIT and other Christians.  And of course, your choice does not determine what is.  (Evolution theory is true or it is not true.  GOD created the universe is true or it is not true.  We can not change the truth by our choice.  We don’t have that power.)  But, your choice does help to determine how you live your life on this earth—for self or for GOD, it can’t be both.


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