Thursday, January 20, 2011

# 303: A Mental Revision That Has Long Been Overdue

Two to four thousand years ago, even as little as six hundred years ago, very little was known of what we now know about the enormity of our solar system, let alone the vastness and endlessness of our universe. Along with that, consider all the information modern science has compiled about how and why many things in nature function the way they do, and even why we as humans do what we do.

For anyone, or even any group of people, to staunchly deny the above-mentioned achievements of what we have learned in the past six hundred years or less, he/she could be a candidate for the funny farm.

It is hard to believe that there are millions of people who fit that category of denial concerning this vast treasure-trove of knowledge. They are people who wholeheartedly still believe—or most likely pretend to believe, to appease the powers-that-be (who may also silently be pretending)—that our universe came into existence about six thousand years ago, according to Genesis, chapter one.

Yet, out of loyalty to the teachings of their denominations, they will “stick” to the archaic beliefs set two to six thousand years ago. The main reason these religious leaders can’t change their credo is that they may believe—or pretend to believe—that the complete Christian Bible is inerrant, as they may have been taught in seminary school or elsewhere. If, by some chance, they were to admit that there are flaws in the Bible because of the lack of up-to-date knowledge, they could not reconcile those changes accordingly with their present teachings. To put it another way, as for one, they can’t admit that they have been wrong as to the time-frame found in the first four chapters of Genesis.

Another question: Since many were taught to believe that the Bible is inerrant, do they still believe that the earth is flat and has 4 corners, according to Revelation 7:1. and Revelation 20:8? I will just quote one: “After that I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth . . .”

We must always remember that even though Almighty God inspires the writing of the Bible, the holy people who wrote it were fallible, including this author, and could only write according to their/my knowledge, as it was/is known at that time.

One unmovable fact is that any science is not valid without empirical evidence (relying solely on experiment and observation rather than theory) to substantiate its validity. Why can’t many religious people believe that axiom? Biblical facts like the stars in the sky, were believed to be small-lighted objects that would fall from the sky in the end times. Matthew 24:29. “. . . the stars will fall from the sky, . . .” Matthew and others were not aware that stars are either planets in our solar system or other giant solar systems in our Milky Way Galaxy.

Is the clergy not aware of the age of dinosaurs that became extinct 65 million years ago? Or all the hundreds of thousands of fossils that have been found of our prehistoric ancestors that go back thousands of years?

Time, especially earth’s time, does not exist in the realm of eternity or God. Those six days—when God created the earth and everything in it—could have been millions or even billions of years each. The reason that most likely is true is that 2nd Peter 3:8 teaches, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” Since that is the case, those thousand years mentioned in 2nd Peter could just as well have been millions of years each, because time does not exist to the Lord God. By the way, the word “billion” was not mentioned in the Bible and was possibly not known as a number two thousand years ago.

The clergy teaches that Christians must believe the first four chapters of Genesis in a verbatim fashion, and to also believe all New Testament teachings. That has become an embarrassment since several sections of the Bible are in conflict with modern science and added-on church teachings.

For example, the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) is the day the Lord God instituted as His holy day. Exodus 20:8-10. “Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy. Six days you should labor and do all your work but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work . . . Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Are we to obey only nine of the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses and skip the fourth that tells us to remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy? Check your calendar; Sunday is the first day of the week.

Are there any Sunday-morning-church-going Christians who would believe that the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath Day had never been terminated, and Sunday was never established as the Lord’s Day anywhere in the New Testament? There are only two scriptures in the complete New Testament that vaguely mention the first day of the week (Sunday); one is in Acts 20:7. “On the first day of the week (Sunday) we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people on that day, because he intended to leave the next day, and kept on talking until midnight.” Now everyday logic teaches that if he didn’t intend to leave the next day—most likely to take a ship that was leaving on Saturday—he would have preached on the Sabbath, as he did on many other occasions. Acts 16:13. “On the Sabbath we (Paul and his companions) went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer.” There are another half-dozen Scriptures where Paul met with others to worship on the Sabbath.

The other verse that uses the words “first day of the week” is in 1st Corinthians 16:2. “On the first day of every week [most likely payday], each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up [most likely at home], so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” One does not set aside a sum of money while in a House Church, but at home. That collection was to be sent to Jerusalem as a gift to the poor, and not as wages for Paul. This verse does not imply in any way that Sunday has/should become the Christians’ day of worship. Most laborers were compelled to work seven days a week. I am not certain if the Jews and early Jewish Christians were exempt.

Another verse is taken completely out of context concerning Sunday being used by early Christians as their holy day: this was written by the apostle John, in Revelation 1:10. “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit . . .” This thinking is that since Jesus Christ was raised on a Sunday, that should be the day that all Christians should worship. The only thing is that the Lord’s Day and the Lord’s Sabbath (Saturday) are one and the same.

Now the tantalizing question remains: Where, how and when did Sunday become the Christian holy day of worship? Several years ago, I searched much of the early church history to see if I could find evidence anywhere as to when and how Sunday became the Christian holy day. My search was in vain. My assumption is that the early Christian church wanted to noticeably separate themselves from the Jewish religion that rigidly observed Saturday as their Sabbath. Now my question is this: What right/authority did the early church leaders have to disobey (change) the New Testament Scriptures and firmly implement Sunday as their holy day?

If they could change a holy decree to fit their misguided intentions, why can’t they believe the logic of the first several chapters of Genesis—without actually changing any of those verses—to conform with volumes of scientific evidence teaching the approximate age of the earth, which is about 4 billion years old, give or take a few years? Along with that, why can’t they accept all the evidence of the fossils of prehistoric man, dating back hundreds of thousands of years?

Using the cyclotron, carbon–14 dating could be used for objects as old as 100,000 years, while samples containing radioactive beryllium could be dated as far back as 10–30 million years. A newer method of radioactive tracing involves the use of a new clock, based on the radioactive decay of 235uranium to 231protactinium.

Along with that, there is no guesswork or assumptions when it comes to counting the rings on the ice cores. They have counted 60 glacial advances and retrets during the last 2 million years.

I just heard on the news today (1/11/2011) that the Hubble telescope reached out 650 million light years away, to see two very large galaxies colliding and breaking up into smaller galaxies. To me, this ability of Hubble to capture these images is totally incredible. And then I laugh when religious people blurt out that we humans are the only intelligent life in the universe. If that were true, what was the reason God created the remainder of the universe? Just for the hell of it?

To the contrary, it seems only logical that since God is eternal and omnipresent, it must be true that the universe is also endless, with an endless number of planets that have the capability of harboring intelligent life. Just because I can write this down does not mean it is possible for us humans to actually envision an endless universe. And it is not preposterous to say that many of God’s celestial bodies will be totally governed by God-type love and goodness.

That seems to suggest that humans, the earth, and everything in it as we now know it, came about by a God-guided process of creation and not by chance, because God knew the end result: that some intelligent beings throughout the universe eventually could/would believe that there is a God, etc. (Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”). Only thing is, the Lord God did not give any specific details on how/why He took only from morning to evening on the fifth day to create Adam.

Repeating: It is only common-sense logic that the Lord God created all humans through His own finely tuned, timeless process of creation—which Darwin partially explained, and then claimed as his own, naming it evolution. God was in no hurry, since hurry does not exist in God’s eternal and timeless realm. It would be totally out of character for God to make the universe and mankind in six twenty-four hour days, which is contrary to the way eternity and nature work. Again, please answer: Why the hurry?

Attempt to answer these questions: a) Give one valid reason why the Lord God would fully form a man in just one twenty-four hour day. b) Did Adam have any knowledge of how the world and life worked? c) In other words, knowledge could not have been endowed; as we know, “knowledge” comes from experience. d) What experience did Adam have on his first day on earth? None. It just doesn’t make any sense. I am ashamed to say that believing the literal six-day creation period makes the Bible seem as if a grade-school student—who didn’t understand God or modern science—wrote it.

Since Moses, the author of the book of Genesis, was confined to earth’s time, and did not understand that the Lord God lived in a timeless realm, the Lord God had to speak to Moses in terms of what he knew and understood. Now that we understand much more about how the earth and humans came to be, it is our place to verbally share God’s creation process with all church people who adamantly believe it all happened in six twenty-four-hour days.

Conventional Sunday-morning-church-going Christians and the clergy cannot continue to keep their heads stuck in the sand and deny what empirical science has proven over and over again. In this class-action belief of ignorance, they are not only making fools of themselves, but by proxy, are also condemning thousands, even millions, of potential “wannabe” Christians to hell, who won’t humiliate themselves to join the ranks of those Biblically uneducated na├»ve people who believe that the first four chapters of the Old testament actually occurred in six earth-’s time twenty-four-hour days.

I am in no way inferring to physically change that section or any section of Scripture to conform to modern science, but to mentally understand why it says what it says without belittling the remainder of the Old Testament, or the Bible itself.

The best evidence yet—that has not yet been mentioned—to validate what is being taught in this post, lies in the following Biblical excerpts (Cane speaking to the Lord after he killed Able in Genesis 4:14-15): “I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me. But the Lord said to him, ‘Not so: if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven time over.’ Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.” Where did these other people come from? Also see Genesis 4:17. “Cain lay with his wife . . .” Where did Cain’s wife come from? This is undisputable evidence that there were other people (possibly our prehistoric ancestors) on earth at or before the time of Adam.

It has been a deception—better yet a disaster—of untold dimensions what religion has created by not accepting logical truth; and truth is not truth without logic. The logic I am referring to is the explanation this post gives by updating antiquated Biblical beliefs into common-sense truth.

In closing: Any section/s of the Bible that does not coincide with the modern sciences of anthropology, archaeology, astronomy and other pertinent well-established sciences, needs to be mentally and verbally updated as new Biblical teachings.

Anyone who is an ardent student of the New Testament will find many errors, besides what is mentioned in this post, that cannot accurately be explained, except as being holy unintentional errors. Check post # 110, “Contradictions and Uncertainties.”