Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I would like to start this one out by saying I believe in God.  I look around at the complexity of everything, how detailed life is, and how the Earth works like a fairly well oiled machine and I believe it is much harder to chalk it all up to chance than God.  I do not agree that the Earth has only been around 10 thousand years, nor do I think that not believing that in any way shape or form goes against the Bible (the vast majority of religious people do not believe in that 10k year mumbojumbo either for the record).  I also do not think evolution poses a problem either, as there is really nothing in the Bible that says "God did not create the planet in a fairly successive order" and in fact it even goes through an order of creation so I am not sure why evolution sways people's decisions to believe one way or another.  In my opinion, it is a lot like apples and oranges, the two subjects just really don't affect each other.
That being said I do have some problems with the current way that religion can at times make people function. 
I am reading this book called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn and so far I am really enjoying it.  I did almost fall asleep in the first chapter, but to the books defense I was laying under my sherpa throw in my bed...which is basically a perfect storm for catching z's.  His book describes what he believes scripture says that Heaven will really be like and how things will progress.
I really like how he describes things.  I think so many of us somehow get latched on to this notion that Heaven will mean floating on clouds, perpetually strumming harps, and singing the same songs over and over again.  And let's face it...that is not exactly the way that many of us want to spend the rest of our eternal being is it?  Alcorn agrees, that option wouldn't sound good to anyone.  And then he comes right out and says that isn't what the Bible says at all.  Hopefully when I am further into the book I will be able to provide a better description of what he suggests.  And it is topics like this that get me to my train of thought for this particular blog post.
I think that to a certain extent, some people have really tried to dumb religion down.  It is a little like we latch on to this "the Bible tells me so" mentality and think that it is all we need and pretend we never have questions or concerns or doubts ever again.  And maybe as an individual you can get by with that, but honestly how are you going to tell someone in the academic setting that they should believe God created the Earth by using "the Bible told me so"?
Me personally, I have struggled off and on with short panic attacks throughout my teenage years and even still every now and then.  That is what brought me to the book by Alcorn.  I think of eternity...floating on a cloud in a dark hazy space...singing (which I am not even good at let me just say)...and I start to panic.  I have never once gotten decent help from anyone in any of my churches for it, which isn't their fault necessarily.  But I have found great book resources that I do really think will help my solve my own doubts.  I am the type who cannot handle "the Bible tells me so".  Call me skeptical if you will, but there are just times I need a solid foundation (stone instead of sand anyone?). 
For a while I was in Intervarsity at my college.  I remember being in a training class that was supposed to get help us "spread the word to our peers".  About the time that the leader started drawing out circles with squiggly lines around them and stick people, and this was how I was supposed to tell my colleagues in the science department that God came to save their soul...I knew I was in trouble.
I am not saying that it isn't a cute way to tell people Christ died for them and took the hopelessness (or squiggly lines) out of the equation.  It's adorable, if you are ten years old.  But this is young adults we are talking this is some of the (arguably) better years of our thinking lives.  We are nearing the ages when the greats like Newton and Pascal and the lot were all inventing things and discovering gravity and whatnot.
This is the single worst time in a persons life to present them a cutesy dumbed down version.
And I really feel like to some extent various people have used this mentality for their entire outlook on Christianity and religion.  I consider myself pretty intelligent, not rocket scientist material but smart nonetheless.  And there's times when my brain flatlines with the way stuff like this is presented to me.  Those circles and squiggles quite frankly insulted my intelligence.  I have since turned to books like Lee Strobel's the Case for Faith (and others in the series), William Lane Craig (a prominent philosopher) and his book Reasonable Faith, and the book by Randy Alcorn. I do not understand why reading the Bible ends up equating to either being afraid of science or never trying to look at what your opponents are believing in and their arguments behind it.   I want to know about relativism, humanism, all the other isms that people are chasing these days and see what the thought is behind them.
I don't think religion and science can't mix.  I really don't.  My life in the science realm has quite frankly helped my religious stance.  I think it is imperative that Christians and similar start thinking again, start reading, studying, reflecting, etc.  There is so much that floats about like the idea that Heaven is floating around on clouds singing, when there is little to no Biblical literature to back that up, and plenty to suggest it is far more than that.  Religions all have a lot of issues these days no doubt, but miscommunication is going to be the worst of all (though tied with hypocrisy).
Newton, Pascal, many of the scientific greats were looking for different theories because they thought that they would prove God's existence.  Not necessarily to prove Christianity, but even they felt that there was so much more to life than random chance.  I am not by any means saying I am qualified to debate with someone on the reasonability of the existence of God, and I will leave that to people like William Lane Craig.  But if anyone ever hopes to reach my age group, and really most of the other people in the world, people are going to have to stop dumbing it down. 
My main reasoning for this is that a lot of times if you go to ask someone higher up or that has been in the Church longer a serious question or one that is deep about religion...they say go read your Bible.  Now that is a fine answer in some respects, but I have to wonder if they are saying that because they think you will get more out of it if you study it yourself...or because they really don't know any other answer except the Bible told them so... Pin It Now!

1 comment:

  1. Agreed! Beautifully stated! I wish that everyone could understand this!