Of Science, Golden Calf, and Religion…

On one occasion, St. Augustine made this remarkable declaration, “The book of nature and the book of Scripture were both written by the same author, and will not be in conflict when properly read and understood.”1 More recently, in 1987, Pope John Paul II said that “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.” Both these statements challenge the prevailing worldview that there is a conflict between science and religion. Yes, I know, I have written about this before, but this is an ongoing dialogue and there is a lot at stake.

St. Augustine and Pope John Paul II both seem to suggest that science and religion have the potential to complement each other and that they are necessary tools for expanding human knowledge about the natural and the spiritual realms. As physical beings, humans need to study and grasp the laws that govern their natural environment. As spiritual beings, they need a good and coherent understanding of the spiritual realm. Few people seem to have found the balance of being both stellar scientists and deeply religious people. Commenting on the wonders of the solar system, Sir Isaac Newton confidently asserted that “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord overall; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God “Pantokrator” or Universal Ruler.”2 This is the conclusion of one of the world’s intellectually eminent astronomers and physicists renowned for his scientific discoveries. Other scientists believe that there is a conflict between science and religion.

Stephen Hawking, another eminent scientist, has concluded that the universe created itself. Hawking argues that the laws of nature such as the law of gravity have the potential to create a universe from nothing. But he does not explain how these laws of nature already in existence could create a universe from nothing. Besides, if the laws were to create a universe, it would not be from nothing. It would be from the laws of nature! The question would be: Where did these laws come from if they were not part of the universe they created? The laws of nature do not of themselves have the potential to create anything. As John Lennox, professor of mathematics (emeritus) at the University of Oxford argues, Newton’s law of motion has never been able to move anything from point A to point B.3 It has never moved a soccer ball from one goal post to another. As such, the laws of nature are there to describe the conditions and occurrence of events in the universe. They do not explain why.

People who mistakenly believe that religion and science are in conflict cite the case of Galileo and the Catholic Church. But, in fact, the real issue with the Galileo case was the “dogmatic embrace of Aristotle’s” teachings by the Catholic Church at that time about geocentricism.4 Galileo’s study convinced him that all planets, including planet earth, revolved around the sun (heliocentrism). Aristotle’s views were vehemently embraced by some Catholic bishops who thought Galileo’s theory of heliocentrism was wrong. This was the real source of conflict between Galileo and the Catholic Church. It was, in essence, Aristotle versus Galileo with some powerful Catholic bishops rooting for Aristotle in his corner. It was not based on the teachings of the Bible.

The world is indebted to scientists and their discoveries that have alleviated indescribable suffering and have tremendously improved the quality of life. But to insinuate, let alone declare, that science is the source of ultimate truth and knowledge or that the more scientific discoveries we make, the less relevant God becomes is to slide down the dangerous slope of trying to transform science into a Golden Calf. Whatever science has discovered does not render the existence of God null and void. Rather, it points the teachable mind to the creative genius of the Agent who brought such an astonishingly, intricate universe governed by the regularities of natural laws into being. He alone sustains the laws of nature since He established them, and He is the only One who can interrupt these laws anytime to cause what we call a miracle. That is why Jesus who is the express image of God could interrupt and reverse the natural law of decomposition of a human body after death, and bring Lazarus back to life four days after death! No one else has ever done that since the universe came to be. But since He created these laws, He can also set them aside for His purpose. They obey Him.

Although science describes to us how our universe operates, it still cannot explain certain realities such as energy, consciousness, gravity… Another area in which science is limited is semiotics, which is the study of the complexity of language using signs and symbols as elements of meaningful communication among people.5 Just how are those squiggly lines and symbols we draw on boards and pieces of paper able to convey specific meaning from one person to another and propel them into responding appropriately? Who can explain, using physics, why we are able to see the letters l-i-f-e- and derive meaning from them? Talking about life, we now know that life is contained in a nucleic acid known as DNA. For human life, this DNA is a humongous database that contains a word not less than 3.5 billion letters long, and carries within it the genetic information and instructions for development of life. Science cannot explain why these letters carry the meaning they do. It can only describe the process they use to develop life. Where there is intelligible information such as the one contained in the DNA molecule, there is a mind behind it to put it together. Scripture says that is how God created the universe; using words and information to call into existence both animate and inanimate things. “He spoke…and it stood fast,” (Psalm 33:9). A great and awesome mind is behind the creation of our universe and all that is in it. Denying it does not make this truth go away.

 

Sources

1.Sheahen, T.P. (2016). Idolatry in Science. American Thinker. Accessed from http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/12/idolatry_in_science.html

2.Newton, I. General Scholium. Translated by Motte, A. 1825. Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. New York. Daniel Adee, 501.

3.Lennox, J. (2010). Stephen Hawking and God. RZIM. Just Thinking Magazine. Accessed from http://rzim.org/just-thinking/stephen-hawking-and-god/

4.Schirrmacher, T. (2000). The Galileo affair: history or heroic hagiography? Creation Ministries. Accessed from http://creation.com/the-galileo-affair-history-or-heroic-hagiographyandhttp://creation.com/the-galileo-affair-history-or-heroic-hagiography

5.Lennox, J. (2007). God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God? Wilkinson House. Accessed from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Nave-html/Faithpathh/Undertaker.html

 

God’s Will and Human Expectations

But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened, (Luke 24:21).

This Scripture pulsates with disappointment and discouragement. Two disciples, Cleopas and his unnamed colleague are on their way to their home in Emmaus from Jerusalem, a city abuzz with current news about the recent execution of a young, vibrant itinerant Rabbi who had done many wonders and signs among the people including raising people from the dead and striding across the foamy, tempestuous waves of the sea of Galilee to save a boat of frightened disciples. Everybody had hoped He would be the One to deliver Israel from Roman domination. Unfortunately, He had died a shameful death of crucifixion at the hands of the Romans. Unbelievable!!! What was even more astonishing, said those who had followed the course of events to the end, was that Jesus seemed puzzlingly willing to subject Himself to this humiliating and torturous form of death.

Cleopas viewed and interpreted Jesus’ work and sacrificial death from a natural perspective. His hopes and desires and expectations were dashed because they were at variance with God’s will for His Son. That was the source of his perplexity, bewilderment and even confusion. Now he talks with despondency about the third day since the crucifixion, and the women’s testimony that they had seen the risen Lord, but Cleopas misses the significance, the spiritual implications, and the definitive universal benefits of the entire event. He has an opinion and is trying to justify it. The deliverance he and his ilk had anticipated was a political one. They were more concerned about their physical bondage than their spiritual bondage, which had led to physical bondage in the first place. To Cleopas, Jesus’ death was an unfortunate and disappointing occurrence; a source of dejection and disillusionment.

Looking back in retrospect, we know that he had totally missed the point. But he is not alone in this. Cleopas might as well be my spiritual twin. Alas, there is usually an uncanny dichotomy between God’s way and my own expectations of Him.  Only with hindsight do I get an opaque inkling of how things were actually meant to be. Kierkegaard aptly observed that life can only be understood backwards although it must be lived forwards. There are times, however, when the veil remains drawn and the loud silence and intense darkness become nerve-wracking. Only Jesus makes sense then.

Jesus came not to do our will. He came as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of this world (John 1:29). He is the Great Physician of every physical and spiritual malady as demonstrated by the accounts of His life in the gospels. He is the Light that shines into the dark and diseased areas of our lives to drive out the dark pathogens that plague our souls. He intercepts the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of disease in the body, soul and spirit. He morphs us, nay recreates us into new creatures (1 Cor. 5:17).

Cleopas and his colleague’s failure to recognize the risen Lord walking beside them is a reflection of their spiritual blindness and lack of comprehension about what the Scriptures taught regarding the role of the Messiah. The so-called sad story Cleopas shares with Jesus is, in actual fact, the grandest and most glorious story of all history. It is a story about the manifestation of the power of God unto salvation for all who believe (Romans 1:16). Indeed, it is the eternal life-line of the entire universe. Because of this story, I dare believe that my sad stories are also glorious when viewed from God’s merciful perspective. As C.S. Lewis once remarked, God gives us back with His right hand what He takes with His left hand. Jesus sensed a deeper need in His two disciples. Ever the caring Savior, He came to revive their flickering faith, which was nearly snuffed out at Golgotha.

Those Infuriating Fiends

We are all familiar with those unnerving monsters that lurk maliciously under the surface of our lives; the ogres that take the form of an assortment of propensities and proclivities to unsavory behavioral tendencies such as lust, gossip, wrath, doubt, jealous, slander etc…Most of us try to push these fiends down into the dark depths of our lives, away from the public eye because we are scared someone might catch a glimpse of them although they can be elusive and defiant. What is most chilling is that they have a tendency to surface unexpectedly, at the most inopportune moments. They wait until we are most vulnerable to shoot out of the depths of our souls, glaring at us, underscoring our flawed-ness. For the believer, this can be most distressing because these character defects tend to mock our efforts to live as people in “good and regular standing.” Shouldn’t we be thinking about things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report (Phil. 4:8)? From whence then come these unholy thoughts, which threaten to rob us of the joy of our salvation, particularly if we give in to the temptation of identifying with them and start labeling ourselves by their names. Sometimes, we wrongly believe that their persistence in our lives turns off God’s love for us. Sadly, this can propel us into the futile mode of striving to conquer them by our own efforts so that we can overcome them and please God. Our ensuing constant failure to do so can degenerate into religious neurosis and depression, not to mention disillusionment and frustration about our faith. The struggle to do what is right and to avoid doing what is wrong is an uphill overwhelming one (Romans 7). Sin seems weirdly appealing even when we know that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Consequently, eerily, we often find ourselves caught in the delusion of optimistic bias, which always leads to spiritual bankruptcy.

No effort at self-cleansing can rid us of the stain of sin. As a matter of fact, such an effort can only end up in a fruitless religious existence which Jesus condemned and likened to white-washed tombs full of dead peoples’ bones (Matthew 23:27). On our own we are no match for our inherent inclination to do evil. We need divine help. True, God can never condone sin and we must never expect Him to overlook it. But He does something that human beings have repeatedly failed to do: He loves the sinner and hates the sin. Just because we are being harassed by unrelenting monstrous thoughts and inclinations embedded in the depths of our lives does not make us monstrous. That is why God, in His love for us, has provided a panacea for our spiritual malady in the Person of Jesus Christ. Only Jesus has the weapons, authority, and power to overcome these menacing leviathans skulking under the surface of our lives. God alone leads us in triumph, in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:14). To Him be glory forever and ever.

The Invisible Reality

Human beings have spiritual acuity that allows them to experience both the physical and spiritual realms because they are made in the image of God. Although invisible to the eye, the spiritual realm surrounds and undergirds the physical realm. The spiritual realm is eternal while the physical realm is temporary. Human beings are born in the physical realm. They grow and blossom, but soon the telltale signs of their mortality begin to manifest themselves. Our bodies begin to betray us with incessant aches and pains due to degeneration. Finally, our relentless efforts to patch them up, and mend them and restore them back to health fail, and we die. But because we are more than just flesh and sinew, Scripture exhorts us to shift our focus to the spiritual; to remember that even if “our earthly house or tent is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,” (2 Corinthians 5:1). This is where our hope should be anchored during our brief earthly pilgrimage. We are exiles from our eternal home, but we can catch a glimpse of it even in the flesh. This is what gives meaning to our existence.

The spiritual realm is real. It is unlimited and unrestricted, and it will ultimately determine the fate of the physical realm because it has transcendent power and authority. Everything is possible in the spiritual realm. The limitations and uncertainties that characterize the physical realm are of no essence in the spiritual realm. Sometimes the spiritual realm penetrates the physical realm and intersects it to direct and steer its affairs in a specific direction.  For example, the angel Gabriel appeared to the elderly Priest Zacharias to announce the birth of a son to him. Zacharias’ son would prepare the way for the One who would change the history of this planet forever by establishing the kingdom of God in the hearts of His followers. After the announcement, the angel stepped back into the spiritual realm and became invisible again. To authenticate his first message, he came back and appeared to Mary to announce the birth of the Lord Jesus. Then again he stepped back into the spiritual realm. On some occasions, human beings have had the privilege of seeing into the spiritual realm. For example, when the king of Syria gathered his military forces and surrounded the Prophet Elisha’s dwelling place with chariots of war in order to destroy him, the prophet was unfazed. To calm down his frightened and frantic servant, Elisha asked God to open his eyes and allow him to see into the spiritual realm. The servant saw chariots of fire surrounding the hills where the prophet was. Forces in the spiritual realm were arrayed for battle to protect the man of God. The Bible tells us that it is the invisible realm that created things in the physical realm.

But there are some that dismiss this as mere wishful thinking. Sigmund Freud, for example, said that religion is a reversion to childish ways of thinking. Similarly, the American president of atheists, David Silverman says this about things of the spiritual realm: “Even children know churches spew absurdity, which is why they don’t want to attend services. Enjoy the time with your family and friends instead. Today’s adults have no obligation to pretend to believe the lies their parents believed. It’s OK to admit that your parents were wrong about God, and it’s definitely OK to tell your children the truth.”1 Stephen Hawking thinks that belief in the spiritual realm is for people who are afraid of the dark. What is amazing is that these individuals do believe in the reality of the invisible realm themselves. For example, they believe in the reality of radiation, the electromagnetic field, gravity, and many more. They also believe the wave function of the universe, which they believe is designed to represent the behavior of the universe. But this wave function has never been observed, “seen, measured, assessed or tested” by any of its proponents.2 This is all based on a theory; a speculation promulgated by physicists and yet they believe it, totally. But when it comes to spiritual things, their argument is that there is not enough evidence. When Bertrand Russell was asked what his defense would be if on judgment day God should ask him, “Why didn’t you believe in Me? Russell said his reply would be “Not enough evidence, God! Not enough evidence!” Maybe the word evidence is being loosely used and thrown around without taking into account its variant application in different disciplines and professions. For example, what a farmer might consider evidence for a bumper harvest of his crop might not make sense to a school teacher. But that does not mean the farmer is lying because, chances are, the teacher has no clue about evidence of predictors of a bumper harvest. Evidence in music might be totally different from evidence in chemistry. Similarly, an atheist physicist or cosmologist has no grounds for dismissing what the theologian claims to be evidence for the existence of God. If he or she did, they would be entering uncharted territory where their expertise would be limited.

Sources

1 DeMar, G. (2014). American Atheists Hide Behind the Fairy Tale of Evolution. Accessed from https://americanvision.org/11504/american-atheists-hide-behind-fairy-tale-evolution/

2 Berlinski, D. (2008). Th Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions, Crown Forum, New York. pp. 100

“Come, Follow Me,” (Matthew 4:19)

To be a follower of the Lord Jesus is more than merely agreeing with what He taught. It is to become an adherent who imitates Him; to have Him as the ultimate role model (1 Peter 2:21). This type of follower is known as a disciple. Being Jesus’ disciple means walking in His footsteps all the way even through rough terrain. Whether the terrain is dark and dreary or characterized with loss and tears, the disciple must never slacken the pace otherwise the enemy will read the cue and move in to steal, kill and destroy. In every situation, our pace must be consistent and unwavering lest we lose sight of the Lord going before us and find ourselves plunged into destructive darkness. To follow Jesus is to be called to a different ethical standard. As disciples, we are called to become like the Lord in purpose because we have the same Holy Spirit that dwells in Him. We read from Scripture that after Jesus had chosen His disciples, He preached what is known as the Sermon on the Mount; a redefinition of morality with specific ethical behavior; a roadmap for disengaging from the tantalizing worldly affiliations that so easily encumber us. This sermon is a call to being transformed by the renewing of the mind through power of the Holy Spirit. To be a disciple is to have a radical paradigm shift. It is to embrace Jesus and His teachings as guidelines for everyday conduct. As disciples, we abandon ourselves to Jesus as both Lord and Savior. For the disciple, “There is no compartmentalization of the faith, no realm, no sphere, no business, no politic in which the lordship of Christ will be excluded. We either make him Lord of all we are and have, or we deny him as Lord of any.”1 He must be preeminent in all facets of our life. He will not take a divided heart and will not compete with anyone or anything. The Bible talks about a certain would-be disciple who pledged fervent love for the Lord and promised to follow Him everywhere. But Jesus’ response was surprisingly dissuasive: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matt. 8:20). Jesus answered people based on their unarticulated motives. He addressed the person not the words that veiled their intention. In this case, Jesus discerned in His spirit that the individual’s motive for wanting to be his disciple was wrong. Jesus did not come to set up an earthly kingdom to impress people with its glory and grandeur. He came to be the Savior and Lord rejected by His own. He came to be taunted and scorned by the same people He came to die for. Jesus came not to glorify Himself, but the Father who sent Him. He was oppressed and afflicted, but never opened His mouth in resistance nor did He fight back. He is the King who allowed Himself to be literally bound hand and foot by his own subjects and still loved them even after they pronounced a death sentence on Him and handed Him over to be crucified. Jesus knew the would-be follower was not looking for that kind of life. Being a disciple is being the light of the world (Matt 5:14), diffusing the glory of the Master; walking where He bids us go even when it is painful, obscure and insignificant in the sight of the world. After all, ultimately, the only opinion that really matters is the opinion of our Creator. To be a disciple is to be the salt that preserves this world. As disciples, we enter into a new, spiritual realm, and attain a new identity. We re-organize our schedules so that Jesus becomes our first priority. We become members of a new family; the eternal family of God composed of blood-bought individuals from every nation, kindred, tongue and people; an unimaginably diverse community with an array of spiritual gifts for edifying each other. As Jesus’ disciples, we die to self so that we may be alive to God. We lose ourselves in Him so that we can find our full selves there. The Golden Calf of self-gratification is detrimental to our relationship with the Lord. As His disciples, we must give Him our dreams, our reputation, our careers, our finances, our purpose, our everything, so that He can make a glorious tapestry out of them. But this act of self-renunciation takes nothing away from us because, in the end, what we really have is what we have surrendered to the Lord. As His disciples, we get to know Jesus’s voice not through doctrinal teachings, but through His eternal presence in our lives. He never gives up on any one. Jesus “washes our feet even when we would betray him.”2 He gently restores and reaffirms our place in the family of God even when our quest for self-preservation leads us to deny Him.

But being a disciple is not a walk in the park. The road is difficult and the gate narrow, and only a few find it although there is room for everyone. The trials and tribulations that beset the disciple are the difficult road and the narrow gate. Our sinful nature resists and rebels against the discipline of turning the other cheek or loving others the way we love ourselves or blessing and praying for those who curse and revile us, which are all characteristics of the kingdom to which Jesus is calling His disciples. But this is how Jesus overcame the kingdom of darkness forever: using the weapon of love. Trials can be excruciatingly painful and draining, physically and emotionally. But we take comfort in the promise that this light affliction we might suffer momentarily as disciples is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17). Whatever we have gone through in this life, whatever we will still be called to endure, the Bible insists that it pales into insignificance against the splendor awaiting us. Whatever has been taken from us, God will make it right beyond our wildest dreams and imagination. To be a disciple of Jesus is not to be disadvantaged. It is to be more than a conqueror both in this life and in the life to come….through Him.

“Follow Me,” the call has not changed.

Sources

  1. Camp, L.C..(2003). Mere Discipleship, pp. 19, 23-25.
  2. Ibid.

Seeing Through the Façade

Question: Has anyone provided a proof for God’s inexistence?

Answer: Not even close.

Question: Has quantum cosmology explained the emergence of the universe or why it is here?

Answer: Not even close.

Question: Have the sciences explained why our universe seems to be fine-tuned to allow for the existence of life?

Answer: Not even close.

Question: Are physicists and biologists willing to believe in anything so long as it is not religious thought?

Answer: Close enough.

Question: Has rationalism in moral thought provided us with an understanding of what is good, what is right, and what is moral?

Answer: Not close enough.

Question: Has secularism in the terrible twentieth century been a force for good?

Answer: Not even close to being close.

Question: Is there a narrow and oppressive orthodoxy of thought and opinion within the sciences?

Answer: Close enough.

Question: Does anything in the sciences or in their philosophy justify the claim that religious belief is irrational?

Answer: Not even ballpark.

Question: Is scientific atheism a frivolous exercise in intellectual contempt?

Answer: Dead on.1

“The claim that the existence of God should be treated as a scientific question stands on a destructive dilemma: If by science one means the great theories of mathematical physics, then the demand is unreasonable. We cannot treat any claim in this way. There is no other intellectual activity in which theory and evidence have reached this stage of development.”2 The author does not vilify or dismiss the landmark achievements of science or their benefits to mankind. What he is saying is that science is not the default intellectual framework for interpreting and understanding life and the universe. There are some things scientists cannot explain.

 

Sources

1.Berlinski, D. (2008). Excerpt. The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions. Crown Forum, New York. (Flaps of Book).

2.Ibid. pp. 60

January 2 – Truth And Consequences

THE RIVER WALK

truth-and-consequences-trw

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:13)

Read: Genesis 3:1 – 4:26, Matthew 2:13 – 3:6, Psalm 2:1-12, Proverbs 1:7-9

Relate: The idea of a clean slate was a good one. What happened? I loved the concept of a new beginning. Has it already been marred? I’m not even halfway through day two of this new year and already I’ve sinned. I’ve messed up. I’ve failed. This year began with such high hopes. It began with such promise, but my stupid pride, my foolish ambition, my lazy apathy, my fallen humanity already got in the way. Now I’m stuck sitting here wondering why I even bother. I should fall to my knees asking for forgiveness and then get up and start walking this journey again. Instead my instinct is to try to run and hide from God. My shame…

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Thank God For Your Enemies Prayer!

Pure Glory

by Apostle Gabriel Cross

Thank God for your Enemies Prayer! (POWERFUL DELIVERANCE PRAYER)

I want you to open your mouth and thank God for your enemies! Your enemies serve a purpose, in your God-ordained destiny.

Thank you Lord that my enemies help confirm to me that I am anointed, approved, and chosen by God. Thank you Lord that what my enemies planned as evil against me, you made as good for me, to deliver many others. (Genesis 50:20) Thank you Lord that the same people (enemies) putting me down, will become the same people (friends), lifting me up. Because You cause me to RULE IN THE MIDST OF MY ENEMIES, whether at work, ministry, family, or etc. (Psalms 110:1, 2,) Thank you Lord that I don’t have to fight my enemies because You smite and defeat them.

You BLESS ME SO, when my enemies come at me one way, they…

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The Light Shineth in Darkness…. (John 1:5)

The presence of light always nullifies the existence of darkness. Darkness does not flee from light. It dissipates when it encounters light. The more intense the darkness, the brighter the light shines.

After The Fall of man, darkness descended on a once pristine planet in the form of sin, moral chaos, and death. All facets of creation were marred by this cataclysmic event. Greed, pride, jealousy and selfishness converged in the human heart and widened the dark chasm between Creator and creation. The quest for knowledge became self-seeking and twisted. J.H. Newman aptly describes the scenario that ensued after The Fall, “…the greatness and littleness  of man…his short duration, the curtain  hung  over  his  futurity;  the  disappointments  of  life,  the  defeat  of  good,  the  success  of  evil, physical pain,  mental  anguish, the  prevalence  and  intensity  of sin, the  pervading  idolatries, the  dreary  hopeless  irreligion; that  condition  of  the whole race, so fearfully  yet so exactly described in the Apostle’s words, ‘having no  hope  and  without  God  in  the  world,’  all this  is  a  vision  to  dizzy  and  appal;  and  inflicts  upon the  mind the  sense  of a profound  mystery, which is  absolutely  beyond human solution….this living society of men…is out of joint with the purposes of its Creator.”1

The ubiquitous effect of The Fall permeated everything God had created, and grotesquely disfigured and distorted it. Sin did not only corrupt Adam. It spread to all his descendants, gaining momentum and intensity with each succeeding generation. The dark night of sin seemed unrestrained under the direction of Satan and his emissaries. The sacredness of human life began to wane starting with Cain who committed homicide against his own little brother with impudence. The trend to trivialize human lie has continued, alarmingly. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) claims that in 2012 alone 437,000 people lost their lives as a consequence of intentional homicide!1 Other vices were unleashed on our planet as soon as Adam relinquished his authority and handed it over to Satan. People began to rebel against the authority of God and chose to be their own gods. Since then mankind has continued to attempt to determine his own future; trying to find significance and to make a name for himself apart from God. The tower of Babel was the first and prime example of man’s attempt to create a name for himself without God. Many other towers of Babel have been erected in one way or another since then claiming millions of lives in their wake. Unified rebellion against anything to do with God has exploded in most academic institutions under the guise of intellectual enlightenment. Stephen Weinberg, a Nobel laureate, said in 2007 in his address at a conference titled “Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason, and Survival” during which they attacked religion that “Religion is an insult to human dignity.  With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”2 It is true that some people and organizations have, historically, committed crimes against humanity in the name of religion. But true Christians know that using violence to proselytize is at variance with the teachings of the Founder of their faith. Violence is never a core principle of Christianity. Jesus scolded Peter for cutting off a man’s ear although he was attempting to defend Him on the eve of His arrest.

But Weinberg should know that evil has never been limited to religious people and institutions alone. Obviously, Weinberg has never heard of people like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Idi Amin, Pol Pot (among many others) who were architects of incredibly appalling carnages and genocides, but had nothing to do with religion. These are the consequences of sin manifesting themselves in myriad ways. The quest for autonomy and power is fast becoming the foundation for the self-defeating denial of the Creator God, and the enthronement of the self. Instead of seeking to know God, mankind has embraced a strange proclivity toward self-worship and self-exultation. This can be true for believers and non-believers alike. No one is insulated from the darkness of sinful desires and actions. That is why God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us a once -and-for-all Cosmic Remedy for this pervasive spiritual malady in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Light that shineth forever.

Jesus, the Light of the world, is the divine panacea for this psychic and sarcous malaise of mankind-all of mankind. In Him we do not only see God. We see mankind as he was intended to be. Jesus has fittingly become our future history. He came to offer discontinuity to man’s self-destructive gravitation toward darkness and sin. Jesus is the Light that shines in the darkness of our sin-sick souls so that we can be sensitized to seek reconciliation with God and have access to a new birth with new desires, new life, new aspirations, and newness of spirit. He came to counter the aggressive dark force that has set itself against the knowledge of God and all He stands for. Jesus towers over all history as the prism revealing God’s attributes, His love for all mankind, and His power over sin. He is the Restorer of all that has been damaged by the dark night of sin.  The life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus are not only transformative to the believer. They give the believer victory over the kingdom of Satan now. They are also God’s promise of complete eschatological annihilation and eradication of all that is related to darkness and sin. Jesus was so acutely aware of the implications of His sacrifice and resurrection and ascension that, at the end of His ministry, He triumphantly declared, now “the prince of this world is judged,” (John 16:11). Satan was defanged by Jesus’ finished work. Sin can no longer have dominion on believers who abide in Christ. Light shineth continuously from Jesus, offering pardon and reconciliation with our heavenly Father (Colossians 1:20). But this Light is a gift that can only be effective if it is accepted. It is never forced on anyone.

 

References

1.United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) (2016). Some 437,000 people murdered worldwide in 2012, according to new UNODC study. Accessed from http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/press/releases/2014/April/some-437000-people-murdered-worldwide-in-2012-according-to-new-unodc-study.html

2.Berlinski, D. (2008). The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions. Crown Forum, New York. pp.21

 

 

Prince of Peace – Hillsong

The Jordan Valley

Jesus is the original Peacemaker. On the cross he took all of our affliction upon Himself and made peace with God for all mankind. It is from this cataclysmic act of glorious surrender and reconciliation that we find peace now and forever in and through Him. And it is in knowing the ‪‎Prince Of Peace personally as He takes up residence in our hearts that we begin the process of being made into His likeness as PEACEMAKERS in this world.

– Joel Houston

Prince of Peace – Lyrics

[Verse 1]
My heart a storm
Clouds raging deep within
The Prince of Peace came bursting through the wind
The violent sky held its breath
And in Your light I found rest

[Chorus]
Tearing through the night
Riding on the storm
Staring down the fight
My eyes found Yours
Shining like the sun
Striding through my fear
The Prince of Peace…

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