The Jesus Clone I
The Jesus Clone
Acknowledgments and dedications…
I wish to acknowledge and thank Diann, my wife of 16 years for her deep love and support apart from this project. She is the most loving, caring person I have ever known—towards me and towards everyone. She has been described as having the energy and presence of 3 people—and this is so true. I explain to people who have witnessed her spirit of smiling goodness and presence that this is exactly how she is all the time, even when no one else is around.
With respect to this project: Diann introduced me to the concept of Kingdom-building through positive group interactions. In this arena she has provided me endless and boundless inspiration in the task of fleshing out our shared vision of building God’s Kingdom in this way. Thank you and I love you.
I wish to dedicate this work to my mother (mom) for her unique and wondrous expression of love and support throughout my life. Indeed she personified the love of Jesus in the way she nurtured and taught me and made me believe I was smart enough; gifted enough to do anything I wanted. She believed in me when others doubted. She passed in 2007; but she lives on in me and in my siblings through the fat heritage of love she bequeathed us.
I also wish to dedicate this book to the top tier of the Gibbs family, my mom and her company of siblings—14 in all. They have long since, every last one, passed on. In the tidal wake of their absence they are sorely missed by all who’ve been left behind to flounder there. But they leave us—their children and grandchildren, et al—a rich family culture filled with laughter and a proclivity towards boisterous joy and fellowship. May we never forget.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section I: The Prehistoric God
15 i. Intelligent design isn’t all that intelligent
16 ii. The seven day box
18 i. Belief v. science
20 i. Dynamic v. static
20 ii. Short recap…
21 iii. Mr. Evangelist v. Mr. Science
31 What makes the prehistoric God dynamic?
32 i. The Trinity
33 ii. The evolution of creation
34 iii. Original sin: changing the environment to one requiring innovative input from humans.
35 iv. Seven days of creation: evolution
40 v. Evolution in the process of creation
41 vi. The evolution of the uses of sand
44 vii. Short recap…
44 i. On the 7th day of creation God rested: passing the creation torch to humanity
46 ii. The creative process
48 iii. New creatures in Christ
49 iv. Sin is the mother of unconditional love
51 i. Conclusion
53 ii. Section I recap…
54 iii. Getting ready for Section II
Section II: The Pre-Jesus God
58 i. Deities: polytheism and monotheism
62 ii. Short recap…
64 iii. The devolution factor
67 i. Rise of Civilizations and Empires in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley by Maghan Keita
76 ii. Abraham in Keita’s world
82 i. Israelites are enslaved in Egypt for the next 400+ years
84 ii. The Israelite captivity in Keita’s world
86 i. The exodus event didn’t begin with Moses
87 ii. Moses the deliverer
89 iii. Short recap…
90 i. The reverse engineering of the Hebrew lineage
93 ii. Fleshing out the evidence…
94 iii. History of Israel (c. 600 – c. 160 BC)
98 iv. Short recap…
Section III: The Jesus God
102 i. Jesus overcomes temptation in the desert
105 ii. Short recap…
Jesus presents God’s authentic nature to humanity
106 i. Jesus clarifies the Law of Moses
107 ii. Punishment for transgressions
108 iii. Spiritual evolution
111 iv. The Lord’s Prayer
118 i. Revelation is established as the foundation for Christ’s Church
121 ii. The gates of hell
122 iii. Keys of the Kingdom
123 iv. Born of the Spirit
129 i. Faith
136 i. The crucifixion
138 ii. Two stories of forgiveness
146 iii. The curtain in the temple is torn in two.
149 i. Jesus the mediator
150 ii. Jesus stands with me
152 iii. Jesus sides with the underdogs
154 iv. If I am with you, who can be against you?
Section IV: The Post-Jesus God
159 i. The Bible as a 1-book perspective
161 ii. The Bible as a roadmap
163 iii. The deification of the Bible
167 i. How Evil works
170 ii. Evil works in one-on-one relationships
172 iii. Evil works in trios and small groups
174 iv. Evil works with relationships in bigger and bigger groups
177 v. Hierarchies embrace a closed doctrine and dissuade new ideas
179 vi. Early hierarchies included slaves
180 i. Mammon
181 ii. Institutions and the rock of revelation
184 iii. Questioning belief system as taboo
186 iv. What kind of love response does God want from us?
187 v. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength
189 i. The Parable of the Sower
194 ii. The seeds that fall on rocky soil…
200 i. Models of discipleship
202 ii. The mentor/ protégé model
203 iii. Bible study: a cautionary tale!
205 iv. The Parable of the Talents
208 v. Good and evil, free choice and the radar of discernment
209 vi. Gossip
Section V: The Jesus Clone
215 i. The Peter clone
219 ii. The Mary clone
220 iii. The Bible clone—the 4th person of the Trinity
223 i. The cloning process
225 i. The Jesus clone
226 ii. The human value standard
228 iii. A case for the liberal imperative
229 i. Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
232 ii. Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
233 iii. The Authority of Jesus Questioned
234 iv. The Parable of the Two Sons
236 v. The Parable of the Tenants
240 vi. Jesus the chief cornerstone—the stone the builders rejected
242 i. Matthew 22
243 ii. Questions
244 iii. Answers
247 iv. Paying the Imperial Tax to Caesar
249 i. A Warning against Hypocrisy
251 ii. Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees
253 i. The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times
255 ii. The Day and Hour Unknown
256 iii. The Battle of Armageddon
259 i. Summation of Matthew 21-24
260 ii. The Parable of the Weeds
265 iii. The Parable of the Prodigal (lost) Son
268 iv. The viscosity of sin
270 i. The 1st parable: The Parable of the Ten Virgins
272 ii. The 2nd parable: The Parable of the Bags of Gold
275 iii. The politics of heaven
277 iv. The politics of hell
280 v. The 3rd parable: The Sheep and the Goats
At the turn of the 19th to the 20th centuries houses were built by one guy and his 1-2-man crew. It took them a year or longer to complete. But following WWII the United States experienced an economic boom and at the same time a baby boom—houses were suddenly in big demand. GIs, etc. were coming back from the war and anxious to make up for lost time; each wanted a house to own where he could raise a family. This huge influx of houses became the catalyst for all kinds of technical advancements in the residential building trade…
- Lath and plaster interiors coverings evolved into sheetrock aka: drywall.
- Wooden lap siding evolved into carefree aluminum siding and vinyl siding.
- Knob and tube electrical wiring evolved into Romex (copper wire wrapped in plastic insulation), which was quicker to install and much safer.
- Plumbing evolved from cast-iron drain pipe and steel supply lines to PVC drains and copper, to PVC to pex supply lines.
- Paint evolved from toxic lead-based to safe and convenient latex; fire-resistant/fire-retardant paint; waterproof paint; soundproofing paint and even structure strengthening
- High-efficient windows, high efficiency furnaces; instant-hot (tankless) water heaters;
- Lights, appliances, locks and security cameras controlled by smartphones.
I spent most of my adult life building houses for a living. I started out in the building trade as an employee in approximately 1978. Before too long I found myself working as a subcontractor in business for myself. During my 25+ year tenure in the construction business I became involved in many different kinds of projects. Another thing I experienced was a continuum of innovations within the residential trade as a whole. For instance, when I started building, carpenters were all using electric circular saws for cutting by then; but it was only a few short decades before that the standard tool for cutting lumber on the site was a hand (voopah) saw. I have seen innovation after innovation come along and each new tool, material and product was aimed at making the end product as well as the construction process better, more efficient, safer, etc. This is only one area of life—one that I was intimately a part of. These advancements in the construction business signify a process called evolution which is a natural and welcomed process in all areas of our everyday life…all areas, that is, except for religion.
My mission in writing this book is one of glorifying God in the form of the Holy Trinity: the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. In the service of this task my intention is to in no way demean or diminish God or Jesus in any way. Quite the opposite is true; I wish only to illustrate a much bigger and better rendition of God in ways religions are unable to do because their static—evolution resistant—views have tied their hands on the matter. I will say up front that there will be times throughout the book when my observations will appear hostile toward religions specifically Protestants and Catholics. My objectives in doing this are to point out religious ideals and concepts traditionally revered as sacred simply on the merits of their deep heritage and longevity. Aside from this, though they have a hard time standing on their own two feet. Many of these questionable beliefs go beyond being just superfluous and innocuous and can be seen as offensive and profane when held up against the brilliant image of a God who is unconditionally-loving. The temptation will be to perhaps take offense at some of these observations, but I assure you the point in this isn’t to pick on or single out any person, group or denomination in particular; although I do site Catholicism an inordinate number of times. There is a reason I do this…
I was raised Catholic and having attended Catholic schools growing up; I am overly-acquainted with all things Catholic. Concerning the Catholic Church I speak candidly about its history and do, throughout the book categorically challenge its claim to apostolic authority. This authority is derived directly from Jesus, Himself via the Apostle Peter—at least that’s their story. This idea, although very old (it’s been in play since 315AD) is very thin and grows thinner in the light of modern-day mores. When all considerations are in, this authority is bogus and I make no bones about it in this book. That being said, it’s not my intention to hold Catholics, themselves in low esteem. There are countless numbers of Catholics—members and clergy alike who walk the God-walk and/or talk the God-talk…doing God’s work all over the world. I am from a deep and wide Catholic family heritage (on my mom’s side) and I enthusiastically number all of these among the Godly Catholics of which I refer. The general heritage of Catholics doing good works and great things derives out of the depths of the church’s past. The church has a political process for canonizing saints, but the greatest number of the saints and martyrs in the church, both past and present go unheralded: site heretics, most of these brave souls wittingly or unwittingly stood up to or fell victim to the evil practices of the church at the time—and paid the price with their lives. Expounding on this a bit further…10s of thousands to millions of medieval women failing to live traditional lives were burned as witches. These are numbered among the countless innocent lives lost to the sin of ignorance and superstition. But as the centuries passed, society managed to persuade the church to stop running the inquisitions and to treat its member more humanely…in the 1970s a cigarette ad marked the occasion, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” And, because they are no longer running the inquisitions we assume that the Catholic Church has come a long way also.
Several centuries later…as a society, we can clearly see the error in the thinking of the inquisitors of the medieval period; but the authority under which the inquisitors operated was given to them by the Catholic Church. This is the very same authority the church uses today to claim they have the power to act on God’s behalf: apostolic authority. This authority, by the way, is also that which gives the Pope the mantel of infallibility. I don’t know about you, but this whole deal leaves me with a question or two bumping around in my brain: What authority exists today that is big and powerful enough to trump the medieval apostolic authority? What kind of authority works in such a persuasive way to change everyone’s ability to see and understand so clearly that burning parishioners at the stake was not a good thing? Logic and reason? Hindsight? What doctrine does rational thinking fall under? Back then the popes and the inquisitors were sooo sure their burning of people position was righteous and that it originated from God. Was this actually God’s position back then? If so—what changed God’s mind? If not—with apostolic authority and papal infallibility in place—how did these egregious mistakes get past all of the sacred apostolic safeguards? And if it happened then, who’s to say it can’t happen in the church again—or that it isn’t happening right now? What about the birth control question, or the repressive apostolic-authority-based papal regulations curtailing official recognition of women in the ministry?
Unheralded saints and spiritual towers of strength walk among us still and just like they did in those olden times, many walking in the Spirit do so despite of rather than because of the church. A couple stellar if not obvious examples are Mother Teresa and the new pope. Pope Francis who in his short time donning the big pointy pope hat has already gotten worldwide attention from Catholics, non-Catholics and non-Christians/believers alike! This is the case because he is genuinely and authentically God’s man in the Vatican—nay, the world. This again is not by virtue of any apostolic authority, nor through any official channels or processes of election by a cadre of cardinals but by the very hand of God. His authority is evidenced not in his big hat or papal ring, not in the opulent palace where he lives or the high and mighty cathedral where he performs. His authority is evidenced in the Jesus-like mannerisms exuding from him wherever he goes. His authority is resident in the audacious message of healing and uplift; wrapped in his gift of presence and offered to poor and indigent people in whose company he is often found to be.
In Section Four of the book entitled: The Post-Jesus God I also challenge the Protestant claim to divine authority based in what Martin Luther referred to as the 5 Solas, especially Sola Scriptura (by scriptures alone). In making this proclamation, Luther was simply attempting to snatch the authority scepter away from the Catholic Church in saying the Bible—as a single book—is the embodiment of God’s word…and within this embodiment of God’s word resides the divine authority upon which the Protestants might build a better church. So utilizing this 1-book Bible authority precedent, the Protestant movement began to establish the concept of doctrine-based authority. In the early days of the movement Protestants strove to separate themselves along with their more correct beliefs from those of Catholics and Jews. Before long though, factions began to emerge within the protestant movement itself. Smaller subgroups for one reason or other would grow discontented with the established setup and would begin rethinking and ultimately regrouping under a new banner of different, better beliefs and practices. These groups started to be referred to as denominations. Over the years and centuries the formation of new and improved denominations began trending regularly and consistently within the Protestant movement; so much so in fact that the whole of the movement seemed to be turning into a bizarre sort of competition—who could come up with the best and most Biblically correct set of beliefs. Out of this competitive mindset emerged the fable that God, Himself required humans to jump through doctrinal hoops as a prelude to His acceptance, love and to the achievement of salvation. This fable has long since become hardwired into the culture of Protestant religion.
One of the unwritten laws of this bizarre competition was that representatives of each denomination should be certified though the sacrament of ordination; then and only then would they be allowed to preach and teach on God’s behalf. This ordination would provide these ministers credentials to function within their own denominations. With the advent of the mega church phenomenon and TV evangelism movements the ordination step has become obsolete. With Sola Scriptura as the now widely embraced foundation for divine authority; the barn door has been left open for anyone to claim the Bible is the foundation of their ideas. Bible-based or full-gospel mega ministries and/or TV evangelism movements are popping up all across America; ministries usually built on a single person, who stands up and speaks out in a loud, charismatic voice; who self-proclaims to represent God; who tosses in a modicum of scriptural references with a unique spin for effect—are attracting crowds of people like flies to a turd. And once they get this kind of action going the whole deal can spool up in rapid fashion. One might ask, “Where are the big crowds of people coming from—Are they previously unsaved souls newly coming to Christ?” Sometimes this is the case, but most of the people are coming in from other, smaller churches with dwindling numbers and out-of-step messages. And so we see the competitive ball tossed up in the air once more. This Bible-based shtick works so well that conservative politicians are using it and realizing a wonderful result.
In 2015 the Protestant culture of doctrinal hoop-jumping is really beginning to hit its stride. What’s happening in the Protestant evangelical movement is fairly reminiscent of the Catholic inquisition movement of the Dark Ages. Instead of actually burning transgressors at the stake though; they are offering them the promise of burning in hell for eternity. And their list of transgressors worthy of hellfire is a long and ponderous one indeed…
- Women who won’t submit to their husband’s divine right as head of the family. Women who use birth control. Women who are prochoice and anti-capital punishment. Women who have sex outside of marriage. Women who do it with other women. Women who want equal pay in the workplace. Women who are Hispanic living in the U.S. Women who are poor. Women with children who are poor. Women who don’t know their place. Women who breathe.
- LBGTs for having weird sex with another person. LGBTs for being abominations in the eyes of God. LBGTs for celebrating rather than loathing who they are. LBGTs for wanting to marry whom they love. LBGTs for thinking they can be like anybody else.
- Science for the theory of evolution. Science for global warming. Science for saying the earth isn’t the center of the universe. Science for saying the planet is getting warmer. Science for saying global warming is induced by humans. Science for thinking up and building electric cars (especially Tesla Motors). Science for saying the earth is older than six thousand years. Scientists and thinking-people who believe in science.
- Jews for not believing in Christ. Jewish women for being Jewish and women. Muslims for reading the Koran. Muslims for not believing in Jesus as the one and only way to salvation. Muslims for descending from Ishmael, not Isaac.
- Liberals and non-believers for not believing in or believing in God incorrectly. Liberals for believing pot should be legal.
In all fairness I must add that some of the conditions listed above will not in and of themselves bring on the hellfire; but are included as gateway behaviors which, if not corrected will lead one to the hellfire. Seeing this list we must ask: Are the Evangelical Christians right—does God have issues with all of these kinds of people for these kinds of reasons? Were the inquisitors right in burning all the heretics and witches (or at least all the ones they could get their hands on)? Are all mortals born into the world with the black mark of original sin on their souls? Did God really design human beings to jump through the hoops that religions promote? If so—which are the right hoops for us to jump through? How can we tell which is which? How does Jesus dying for our sins fit in? Whose sins are covered under this? If God is love, that is to say His love for humanity is unconditional, why are there so many conditions? In the pages that follow, I will tackle many of these kinds of questions and try to provide—if not answers—new, less self-incriminating ways to think about God and to utilize the Scriptures. I give you The Jesus Clone (a religion-free, Christ-centered theology) …I hope it will serve to open up a few windows in your house of beliefs and let in some fresh air!
The Prehistoric God
Section I: The Prehistoric God
The thrust of this section is to consider God in His natural element. The only way to picture Him thus is to place Him in a setting free of all public opinions, theological biases and political agendas. To do this effectively, we must go back to a period before human beings were around; we must go back before the time of the Bible. This may be a bit of a tricky enterprise because religious people don’t feel comfortable straying too far from the Bible when entering into a conversation about God. What may be helpful then is to put this question up on the table of discussion…Was God around before mankind and before the Bible? Christians pay lip service to this notion in the scriptural assertion that God is the Alpha and Omega—He has no beginning nor end; but beyond that there is little else written on the subject. Is it because scripture gives you the impression that He wasn’t up to too much before He created the human race; at least nothing noteworthy or of much importance?
If we do take the Bible out of the equation, will we have any way of getting a grasp upon the concept of God? Is there such a thing as a prehistoric God? Is there anything to be gained by considering such a God? The truth of the matter is that the reality of God at any time past or future is unaffected by perceptions about Him (or Her, or otherwise). So in this sense, God is in His purist form when He is un-festooned by human perceptions about Him. On the other side of the discussion, scientists say that the universe, though not specifically accredited to a God or a creator is much older than Christians and other religious scholars claim—especially those who hold fast to the 6-day Bible story about the origin of everything. If the universe scientist talk about was created by a God; what would this universe tell us about the nature of God?!
- Intelligent design isn’t all that intelligent
A movement these days in educational systems throughout the U.S. is for the theory of Intelligent Design to be included in school curricula as a viable alternative to the Theory of Evolution. The impetus behind this movement tends to come from conservative religious groups who feel our kids are being perversely affected by concepts about the origin of our planet and, in fact the entire universe which don’t include a conversation about a Creator or God.
Upon first hearing of this idea it will sound pretty good to Christians and their initial impulse might be to jump on board with this idea with abandon. As we take a second look, though we start to see that the traditional religious version of the universe compared to the scientific version of it quickly leads us to see that the designer of this universe can’t be all that intelligent! And the further we move into the future, the less intelligent He becomes. The more scientifically advanced the human race is becoming; the more difficult it gets to sell the seven-day version of creation and the burgeoning package of absurdities that inevitably attaches itself to it, not the least of which is that truncated rendition of a creator…
- The seven day box
Did God create the universe in seven days or was it a process spanning billions of years? There is a scripture that makes the claim that one day is like 1000 years to God. There are those Christians who venture far enough beyond the literal words in Genesis to suppose that this is an acceptable interpretation of what Moses was indicating when he said God created everything in 7 days. Actually it would have been in 6 days because on the 7th day He rested. But even factoring this into the equation would make the event a 6,000 year deal. Any scientist worth his salt would screw up his face and shake his head at such an assertion…those numbers just don’t fit the research, not even close. Even believers in God, if being totally honest, have to ask themselves if this 6 thousand year span described by Moses in the Genesis account of creation is consistent with the celestial scope to which they profess and want God to be associated; while scientists say the origin of the universe dates back billions of years! Let me put that up in digits: religion = 6,000 years. Science = 13,798,000,000 years. There is another scripture that proclaims God has no beginning (How long ago is that?)! Putting this on the table begs two questions:
- Why would God use such a relative puny time span of 6,000 years to create the whole universe?
- What was God doing for the first “forever minus 6,000” years?
A 3rd related question might be:
- Why did He create the universe so big?
As rational humans, if we take a moment to stop and reconcile the notion that God worked then and is working now within the parameters of statistics, charts and findings science makes available for us, it can help us to see God more and more in His proper setting…as designer and ruler of the huge universe that scientific researchers tell us about rather than the Cliff’s Notes version of the universe to which Moses infers. As believers in God, we are faced with the all-important question of how much of scientific commentary about the creation we wish to allow into our personal book of beliefs about God.
As Christians living in a modern-day world we enjoy the benefits of scientific research and advancements every day; yet the tendency for many Christians is to view science as a godless enterprise at odds with the creation story as conveyed in Genesis and thus at odds with God Himself. This tendency is especially exemplified in such groups as the Amish, Shakers and the like. These groups’ self-proclaimed goal is to hold on to a simpler lifestyle in order to keep God more in the forefront of their day-to-day experiences. This may or may not represent a valid perspective, but I imagine the greater impetus for keeping these traditions alive goes more toward the end of a spectrum that favors the preservation of their religious heritages and their way of life. Their traditions perceive science as a rival to God; perhaps even as a false god. Those who champion these traditions see the lure of scientific advancements as a sort of technological temptress poised to pull away those young and/or weak ones into the ways of the evil world. Another and more common assertion by the overall Christian community is that the scientific theory of evolution is in direct opposition to the creation story and therefore it must be evil.
But it is within this arena of science and scientific research (even in the taboo area of evolution) that Christians must begin a journey toward reconciliation. I am talking about not just tolerating the science and its immense body of research, but embracing it with fervor; and even beyond this, viewing science as integral in the process of building our collective human relationship with God. For the ongoing research and the findings with which science provides us is our treasure map that can lead us to understand what God was up to before human beings came into existence. It will become like our Bible about God…before there was a Bible. The universe with which science presents us is much, much larger than the one the Bible describes. If we can bring together these two notions: the mind-blowing version of the universe scientists tell us about and the benevolent creator the Bible tells us about, that would really be something, would it not?!
There is an ever-growing urgency to reconcile the spiritual and scientific views of creation with the intention of grasping a more realistic version of God. In this endeavor Christians can be made bigger and better in both their personal spiritual paths and in a united quest to amplify the Gospel message. Under such a banner, Christians of various denominations might begin to sense the urge to venture out from the comfort and complacency of their individual basecamps; join forces with different Christians and others with similar stirrings to begin a collective assent up the mountain. Is there a path of reconciling these two versions of creation? The 6 days that Genesis refers to may be the 6 eons (or periods) scientists refer to in their evolution of the earth and life on the earth.
- Belief v. science
- Does it matter whether or not science acknowledges the existence of God in order for the scientific information it discloses about Him to be valid?
This question goes to the very heart of this entire section on The Prehistoric God. The concept of the prehistoric God allows us to hold up to the light for close inspection the integrity of all that is aspired to be true and authentic about Him. This includes all the dogmas, doctrines and sacred assertions which have been put forth by so many of His believers for millennia. Upon such close inspection—will what we find be all that we expected—or will what we find be different than what we expected?
This sort of examination shouldn’t be a problem because nothing about the reality of God should be affected by anybody’s belief in or acknowledgment of Him. What spells this out best is the idea that God Himself predates the total amassed body of information about Him which resides inside the nutshell of human history. Any other information having to do with Him which predates history predates the Bible and is out of reach for men of religion because their religion won’t allow it. On the other side of the hedge, science is brimming over with an ever—growing body of resources which is getting both larger in size and accuracy. Much of the research science conducts is to the task of discovering stuff that was happening in the prehistory of humankind. But Christians have long since made the decision to not go there. What’s more…the Christian tendency is to move to the place where they are compelled to hold science’s feet to the fire in the arena of faith. Somehow who a person is morally and what they believe (i.e.: ideologically or theologically) outranks any scientific imperative. I find that by and large, Christians are incapable of accepting any real commentary about God including so-called research-based data and commentary about His creation from scientific sources.
From a Christian faith-orientated way of thinking the salvation of one’s own soul is the highest calling in life for a human being. If we get it right, we get to spend eternity with God in heaven, but if we get it wrong we are doomed to suffer the eternal consequences. The basis for getting it right is laid down in the doctrines that have been hewn and carefully crafted scriptures from the Bible. A key (if not the key) doctrine is the doctrine of faith in God. In the use of the term faith, I mean specifically the belief that He does exist exactly how the Catholic/Protestant Church proclaims He does. This faith imperative has been in place for 2,000 years—and it’s a formula for success that has been pretty impressive. Today the Christian body of believers is massive and building up impetus both in numbers and in depth of commitment on the part of its members! If you look at the Catholic Church’s numbers alone we get a very impressive tally somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.2 b members. Their heritage runs centuries deep. That’s a lot of clout: members, money, power, doctrinal sway, etc. Gathering to this ponderous rolling snowball is all of the non-Catholic Christian churches and organizations. All tolled it adds up to quite a pile of energy and influence lumbering down the mountainside of history.
What does all of this add up to? It adds up to authority; power to speak for God, about His nature and about all the hows, whys and wherefores of His creation. The momentum that this by now humongous, rolling confluence carries is indeed formidable. Faith-minded people are convinced there is a Creator/God and come together across broad denominational lines to stand together on this. Other points of lesser importance they still disagree upon, but the basic belief of God as creator is not up for discussion. TV evangelists get much traction with audiences tuning into their broadcasts daily, who are hoping to find answers. These evangelists keep shoveling the same pat answers to their viewers because it tends to keep them tuning in and their dollars rolling in to support the good work they do. I am suspicious of preachers who establish the position of casting anyone who disagrees with them as evil and then recommend to their congregations that the likes of these should be politely ignored or loudly shouted down.
Scientists, certainly fall into this enemy camp. So when the question comes forward…“Was the universe created or did it come into existence by chance as science seems to claim?” Mr. Evangelist swiftly plants his flag and trenches in on the side of God and creation. When questions about the origins of the universe get put to him, Mr. Evangelist can’t dialogue with facts and figures, so his involuntary reflex is to begin lobbing scriptures out like hand grenades from the safety of his self-righteousness foxhole. Mr. Evangelist doesn’t need to hear the questions put forth by this guy, or anybody else for that matter—he needs to talk. He has the word of God in his hand and on his tongue and he needs these sinners to just shut up and listen to it…listen to him. You see he’s been long convinced that Mr. Science is his enemy and thereby God’s enemy!
- Dynamic v. static
The body of knowledge—statistics, charts and data—about the universe is in a state of constant expansion, it seems to grow bigger by the second. One such bit included in this body of knowledge is the recent big news that the universe itself is expanding. In the same way that our human knowledge about the universe is expanding—the universe itself is expanding! It’s as if the girth of universe is attempting to stay ahead of our scientific perception of it. Even bigger and newer news—it has been realized that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate of speed. This little tidbit of info is blowing minds across the scientific communities. They ask: “How can this be happening?” No one seems to know how or why it’s accelerating outwards all they do know for certain—it’s doing it! Though scientists only learned of this characteristic recently, they know that this action or dynamic, whatever you want to call it, has been in play for billions of years. Through this chapter, section and entire book I will put forth the postulation that God is the source of all things—including the universe as scientists perceive it. With this new knowledge about the accelerating expansion of the universe in hand, I am promoting the idea that anyone looking will be able to learn much about God too.
If we attribute scientific research to God’s credit it begins to take on a spiritual dimension that would otherwise not be present. The way we think about God starts to change…its exciting and peace-instilling all at the same time. God isn’t changing; but our understanding of Him is. For me personally, it seems that out of the depth of these kinds of stirrings in my soul (that are directly triggered by scientific discoveries about the universe) come revelations and inspirations that have been out of reach till now. It feels like whole new vistas of this stuff are about to come forth, stuff telling me about God’s creation, His nature…not least among these is the fact that God is dynamic, not static in nature. Christian teachings go on and on about how God never changes. But this late-breaking, big news about the accelerating expansion of the universe sheds a different kind of light on God’s nature.
- Short recap…
If the entirety of His creation is in constant motion—including the speed of that motion—then that means His creation is dynamic in nature. If His creation is dynamic it gives us reason to believe that God Himself is dynamic in nature.
- Scientists say the universe is much bigger than the Bible universe. Where did this bigger science universe come from?
The size of His creation can be determined by mathematics. Einstein’s deductions along with research concluded that light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second. If we look out into space and can see the light coming from a particular star, then it can be calculated how far away that star is from us. Using instruments and mathematic equations, scientists have determined the size of the Milky Way Galaxy to be 100,000 light years in diameter. Using telescopes we can see the stars that are on the perimeter of the Milky Way. For illustration purposes, let’s suppose the earth is at the exact center of the galaxy. This would mean that the stars on the perimeter of the Milky Way are 50,000 light years away from us. If we can see them…that would mean using Einstein’s 186,000 miles per second these stars have been in existence for a minimum of 50,000 years. Can you see how creationists are headed for a problem here? If God created the universe 6,000-12,000 years ago, the Milky Way can’t be as big as it is; It could only be ¼ the size it has been determined to be. If you look beyond the Milky Way and find even more stars, the conundrum grows larger and larger the further beyond the perimeter you go. The dilemma grows large indeed when we are told by scientists that the Milky Way is only one of several galaxies in the seeable universe—I say several—actually the current estimate is as high as ½ trillion galaxies. ½ trillion in digits looks like this 500,000,000,000. Scientists can see all the stars in them and by using the speed of light and other calculations; they can and already have determined the age of the universe to be nearly 14 billion years old. My question to the Christians and the creationists who parade the 1-book Bible around proclaiming it to be the one and only resource about their God and His creation—where did the rest of the universe come from? Who created that? Based on their figures, this universe already existed when their 1-book Bible God created His much smaller, younger and comparatively unimpressive universe.
- Evangelist v. Mr. Science
- Evangelist’s God operates within a closed circuit universe and Mr. Evangelist aspires to the kind of reality that exists in there. He feels comfortable in there; in there he is the proverbial big fish in the little pond.
- Science’s universe is always expanding outward. This threatens Mr. Evangelist but excites Mr. Science and it keeps him eager and on his toes.
- Evangelist’s God is small and so is the size and scope of His universe. Using mathematics we can comfortably round down the distance across this universe to zero miles; it is boring and (still rounding down) it contains nothing.
- Science’s universe is mind-bogglingly large and dynamic. Size-wise we can mathematically round up the distance across it to infinity; it’s exciting and (still rounding up) it contains everything!
- If God’s nature is dynamic (like His creation strongly indicates) wouldn’t it stand to reason that He is looking for dynamic responses from us humans?
The more scientific research is amassed—the bigger computers get, the more the scientific version of the universe must make its way to front-and-center stage. What’s more, no manner of denial or echo-chambered discussions aimed at undermining it can ever change the facts. The facts we are talking about have to do with the laws and principles of physics which govern this universe. These laws and principles receive little acknowledgement from Christian organizations however, simply because they have their origins in scientific research—not in the Bible. More full-gospel type organizations go beyond this position to aggressively target scientific laws and principles—making them fodder for the typical Sunday morning sermon crowd. And Christians feel strongly that their reasons for trampling underfoot these outrageous assertions from men of science is sound—they nor science itself respects or acknowledges the teachings, sacraments or doctrines of God put forth so clearly in the Bible. Are they on the devil’s mission to confuse and distort the plain truth about God? Isn’t it their Christian duty to stand up for this truth?
But consider this for a moment—all the laws and principles of physics aren’t actually scientific laws at all—they are God’s laws. This must be correct because they explain, in ever-increasing depths, detailed information about His creation. So how could scientific data explaining these laws and principles be an affront to God if God Himself authored them?! And remember what we are discovering about this bigger, scientific creation—it’s dynamic in nature, that is to say ever-changing.
For hundreds of years Christians have been of the mind that God worked in and through spiritual laws and principles and because science’s focus was on all things physical, they each were operating in different neighborhoods—playing in different ballparks, so to speak. The Christians’ perspective then as it is now was to see the spiritual truths about God’s creation (the universe) as their only arena of concern which has anything to do with their quest to please God. Therefore the more science proclaims things which seem to crowd in on their Christian wheelhouse of spiritual authority; the more they tend to feel themselves backed into a corner. As this kind of situation escalates, Christians tend to poise themselves into a defensive posture. One of their main defense tactics is to put forth the notion that God is on their side! Why does God favor them? Because they are the ones who believe in Him. They are the ones who are strong in their faith in Him. And this according to them is the only thing that impresses God; believing in Him is the only response God is looking for from His children. By virtue of their humanity, scientists and others like them are also numbered with God’s children—or at least they could be. But they must first get themselves right with God. The action of acknowledging God and Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords is unequivocally first and foremost in the process of getting one’s self right before God. Until this transpires—they are counted with those whom God has blotted out from His sight.
They preach that when a person has found God, He wants them to seal themselves to Him through baptism or some other ritual of commitment, find a place to sit down in the church pew, listen to the preacher and do as they are told. This is a sort of oversimplification of the exercise, but does catch the high points of what it’s all about. Once the person is in the church, what they believe in becomes the be-all and end-all of who they now are as a born-again Christian. Believing in Jesus Christ as their personal savior is of paramount importance in their life. Once they have arrived in this place, their strategy becomes doing nothing whatsoever to jeopardize their standing with God. To this end they are swept up with their fellow believers who aggressively champion conventional, noncontroversial views of things. Job # one is maintaining their faith in God. Because they have been sealed to God and to their understanding of Him; they find themselves satisfied and comfortable in this arrangement. Added to this is the community to which they now find themselves a part—several other people ascribing to the exact same beliefs and creeds. One or more times every week, they gather to rehearse and extol the various themes of these creeds and beliefs. One of the very real, but not openly discussed motives for meeting with others of their faith community is the thought that being seen by God in His house in the company of His people will go far to preserve their saved status in God’s mind. Compared to all of this, scientific endeavors along with any other endeavors are of little significance to God—these things are not important to Him.
If we agree that these Christian prerogatives and practices as described above are accurate, how might we describe them: dynamic or static in nature? They seem pretty un-dynamic or static, don’t they?! The question this should naturally lead us to is, “If God behaves in a dynamic fashion in this prehistoric and pre-religious environment, why is He so adamant that we humans interact with Him through static rather than dynamic channels? By static channels I am referring to things like dogma, hierarchy, and a 1-book Bible that religions famously flaunt. We will discuss at length this Christian side of things in later sections of the book, but as a precursor to the stuff we are about to get into, let me just say that religious forces and intentions move counter intuitively to the dynamic nature of the prehistoric God. Everything in and around Christian traditions and theologies operates at cross purposes to the dynamic, creative and infinite energies emanating from this prehistoric God!
I began watching a new series on PBS called How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson. It’s a show based upon a book (also by Steven Johnson) that explores 6 innovations from the past and focuses (one episode at a time) on how each technological innovation opened the door on whole new avenues of possibilities. The two episodes I saw are Clean and Time. The relevant historical events are traced beginning shortly before the innovation is invented. From there they talk about early days developing the first iterations of the thing. Finally they feature subsequent developments, showing how it manages to catch the public’s imagination and take on a life of its own. The main thrust of the show however is to bring our viewer attention to focus on the outcropping of new ideas and developments spinning off the innovation once its usefulness becomes fully realized and assimilated into the culture. The show spotlights a characteristic indigenous to our human nature, ingenuity—the ability to advance ourselves as a species. This trait has been in evidence since the beginning of recorded history; but I am postulating that it goes back much further than that. I submit that this trait of ingenuity actuality predates history itself and finds its beginnings in the prehistoric God. What I’m saying is this ingenuity gene or trait is spiritual in nature and it’s not just something we picked up along the way somewhere and it sort of caught on. This is a big deal and very significant in our consideration of the prehistoric God. This ingenuity characteristic is an inheritance given to us directly from God Himself. This is an inheritance in the way a mother gives her daughter her red hair, freckles and prominent overbite. This ingenuity piece is written in the DNA of the Holy Spirit, so the ingenuity feature comes as standard equipment with our spiritual genome directly from the Creator.
A case for a dynamic God is fundamental to the message of this book. What’s more, the case for the God’s dynamic nature is potentially makeable with Christians for 3 reasons:
- It is logical to think that we humans would have similar if not the very same traits as the One who designed and made us.
- We see an inheritance pattern evidenced in humans in the passing down of traits and mannerisms from one generation to the next. By retracing innovations human beings have realized—reexamining the process used to produce each one—we can follow that path laced with the breadcrumbs of innovations all the way back to its point of origin within the heart of this prehistoric God.
- Genesis alludes to this inheritance of traits coming from God in the scripture that says God created man in His own image. If we can establish the characteristic of ingenuity as being part of God’s image package then that will be the game-changer we’re looking for in the challenge of selling this concept of God having a dynamic nature to Christians.
In this prehistoric, pristine and unmolested rendition of God we get to see Him as a dynamic and innovative Being. We see Him inspiring and endowing His, soon to be on the scene, human beings with a predilection to think and operate in the same ways He does. Somewhere, somehow along the pathway of history, humanity gets off-task with this directive, though. If we fast-forward all the way to today, we see God’s people responding to Him through static channels which are continuously being coated—layer upon layer—with fear, anger and conditions. Despite all of the bold, creative and dynamic characteristics about His nature which are seen copiously displayed in the prehistoric God; modern-day Christianity embraces a staunch and unified view contrary to these characteristics and its constituency is busy preaching same. In doing this, Christians are, in effect projecting God’s nature as being counterintuitive with His creation and consequently with Himself.
The following are excerpts from articles I wanted to include as examples of the static tenor to which I am referring. These are but a few examples of messages typically offered by Evangelical Christian ministers and organizations. These are informative articles about these ministers, but if you wanted to see these guys and others just like them in action, you can find them all over Christian cable networks. My point in including these examples isn’t to defame anybody but to simply show these guys promoting their static/formulaic views about God and in this way highlight their rendition of Him contrasted against the dynamic prehistoric God we are depicting throughout this section.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel, the health and wealth gospel, or the gospel of success) is a Christian religious doctrine that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will increase one’s material wealth. Based on non-traditional interpretations of the Bible, often with emphasis on the Book of Malachi, the doctrine views the Bible as a contract between God and humans: if humans have faith in God, he will deliver his promises of security and prosperity. Confessing these promises to be true is perceived as an act of faith, which God will honor.
The doctrine emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God’s will for his people to be happy. The atonement (reconciliation with God) is interpreted to include the alleviation of sickness and poverty, which are viewed as curses to be broken by faith. This is believed to be achieved through visualization and positive confession, and is often taught in mechanical and contractual terms.
It was during the Healing Revivals of the 1950s that prosperity theology first came to prominence in the United States, although commentators have linked the origins of its theology to the New Thought movement which began in the 1800s. The prosperity teaching later figured prominently in the Word of Faith movement and 1980s televangelism. In the 1990s and 2000s, it was adopted by influential leaders in the Charismatic Movement and promoted by Christian missionaries throughout the world, sometimes leading to the establishment of mega-churches. Prominent leaders in the development of prosperity theology include E. W. Kenyon, Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, Robert Tilton, T. L. Osborn, Joel Osteen, Creflo Dollar, and Kenneth Hagin.
Churches in which the prosperity gospel is taught are often non-denominational and usually directed by a sole pastor or leader, although some have developed multi-church networks that bear similarities to denominations. Such churches typically set aside extended time to teach about giving and request donations from the congregation, encouraging positive speech and faith. Prosperity churches often teach about financial responsibility, though some journalists and academics have criticized their advice in this area as misleading.
Prosperity theology has been criticized as heresy by leaders in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, as well as other Christian denominations. These leaders maintain that it is irresponsible, promotes idolatry, and is contrary to scripture. Some critics have proposed that prosperity theology cultivates authoritarian organizations, with the leaders controlling the lives of the adherents. The doctrine has also become popular in South Korea; academics have attributed some of its success to its parallels with the traditional shamanistic culture. Prosperity theology has drawn followers from the American middle class and poor, and has been likened to the cargo cult phenomenon, traditional African religion, and black liberation theology.
Recent U.S. history
The Neo-Pentecostal movement has been characterized in part by an emphasis on prosperity theology, which gained greater acceptance within charismatic Christianity during the late 1990s. By 2006, three of the four largest congregations in the United States were teaching prosperity theology, and Joel Osteen has been credited with spreading it outside of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movement through his books, which have sold over 4 million copies. Bruce Wilkinson’s The Prayer of Jabez also sold millions of copies and invited readers to seek prosperity.
By the 2000s, adherents of prosperity theology in the United States were most common in the Sun Belt. In the late 2000s, proponents claimed that tens of millions of Christians had accepted prosperity theology. A 2006 poll by Time reported that 17 percent of Christians in America said they identified with the movement. There is no official governing body for the movement, though many ministries are unofficially linked.
In 2007, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley opened a probe into the finances of six televangelism ministries that promoted prosperity theology: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Creflo Dollar Ministries, Benny Hinn Ministries, Bishop Eddie Long Ministries, Joyce Meyer Ministries, and Paula White Ministries. In January 2011, Grassley concluded his investigation stating that he believed self-regulation by religious organizations was preferable to government action. Only the ministries led by Meyer and Hinn cooperated fully with Grassley’s investigation.
In the 2000s, churches teaching prosperity theology saw significant growth in the Third World. According to Philip Jenkins of Pennsylvania State University, poor citizens of impoverished countries often find the doctrine appealing because of their economic powerlessness and the doctrine’s emphasis on miracles. One region seeing explosive growth is Western Africa, particularly Nigeria. In the Philippines, the El Shaddai movement, part of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, has spread prosperity theology outside Protestant Christianity. One South Korean prosperity church, Yoido Full Gospel Church, gained attention in the 1990s by claiming to be the world’s largest congregation.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James Orsen “Jim” Bakker (pronounced “Baker”; born January 2, 1940) is an American televangelist, a former Assemblies of God minister and a former host (with his then-wife Tammy Faye Bakker) of The PTL Club, a popular evangelical Christian television program.
A sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about his imprisonment and divorce. He later remarried and returned to televangelism.
Bakker has renounced his past teachings on prosperity theology, saying they were wrong. In his 1996 book, I Was Wrong, he admitted that the first time he actually read the Bible all the way through was while he was in prison, and that it made him realize he had taken certain passages out of context — passages which he had used as “proof texts” to back up his prosperity teachings. He wrote:
The more I studied the Bible; however, I had to admit that the prosperity message did not line up with the tenor of Scripture. My heart was crushed to think that I led so many people astray. I was appalled that I could have been so wrong, and I was deeply grateful that God had not struck me dead as a false prophet!
Disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker now selling ENEMA KITS and apocalyptic survivalist gear to his followers to help make up money he owes to the IRS
By Daily Mail Reporter
Published: 10:34 EST, 16 May 2012 | Updated: 11:09 EST, 16 May 2012
Televangelist Jim Bakker, known best for losing his multi-million dollar empire amid a sex and embezzlement scandal, is building his new brand around the end of the world. The disgraced pastor is now selling pricey cordless generators and survivalist food packs on his website in an effort to help earn money to pay off his debts to the IRS. The most unusual item on the docket are the collection of enema kits for sale, perhaps in a nod to his late wife Tammy Faye who died after a long battle with colon cancer in 2007.
Bakker made headlines in the 1980s when he and his wife Tammy Faye took the airwaves by storm with their Christian evangelical broadcast and development of the Praise The Lord Television Network. After amassing millions of viewers and becoming household names, their fortunes turned when Jim was accused of raping then-21-year-old secretary Jessica Hahn. He denied the charges, saying that their sex was consensual, and they settled out of court. However, an indictment for fraud and conspiracy was what landed him in jail for six years. Those charges accused him of keeping millions from the donation money his company accrued and later sought after by the IRS for $6million in tax liens dating back to the 1980s.
Tammy Faye divorced Bakker while he was in jail, and a few years after his 1994 release, he married his new wife Lori. Together, the new Mrs. and Mr. Bakker have begun their own television program and ensuing product line.
Among his books is Prosperity and The Coming Apocalypse, in which he touts his belief in the undetermined return of Jesus, and urges his followers to be prepared. In that vein, he and his wife are selling a number of apocalypse-themed products aimed at helping their fans prepare, while undoubtedly helping earn back some of the money he still owes the government. Emergency room and board kits- that cost $500 or $1,000 a pop- are for sale, along with foldable fuel-less generators for $1,700 and packages of long-lasting food supplies. The Jerry Jones Special is an unusual $2,000 grouping of 37 buckets of corn, green beans, tomato flakes and raspberries that are said to provide enough ingredients for 480 meals. He even has an entire section dedicated to health products, including a variety of vitamins, protein shakes and exercise equipment. The strangest by far is the so-called ‘Silver Solution’ enema kits, selling for $100.’He appears to have no shame. He’s milking his worshippers for “end of the world” products and enemas too, which is bizarre,’ a source told The National Enquirer.
Moyers and Friends
January 24, 2014
The battle never ends and the choices we make in democracy often pit religious or beliefs against scientific evidence that contradicts them and beliefs can be stubborn, hard to give up they even determine which facts we choose to accept. Partisans especially, and who among us is not sometimes a partisan will twist the facts to fit their preconceived notions; so when people do stupid things (journalists and politicians included) cherished beliefs are often driving them; sometimes right over the cliff. As people in recovery say, denial is not just the name of a river in Egypt and that’s what makes it. Right now, 2 powerful belief systems have converged the counter facts staring us right in the face. Just as the number of Americans who question the science of evolution has gone up, so too is the number who deny that global warming is happening and that human activity is causing it. This at a time when the global scientific community is more certain than ever that you and I and everyone else are helping to turn up the heat and seal our fate. And here’s the scary political reality…On both fronts: evolution and climate change radical right Republicans have made denial a litmus test. You can see it embodied in this man, Paul Brown, Republican Congressman from Georgia and the position with strong religious beliefs.
“I’ve come to understand that all that stuff I was talking about evolution, numerology, the Big Bang Theory…all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. And it lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a Savior. You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I have found out as a scientist, that actually show that this is really a young earth. I don’t believe that the earth is but about 9,000 years old. I believe that it was created in 6 days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”
And when he took on the science of global warming his fellow republicans in the House of Representatives enthusiastically applauded.
“Now we hear all the time about global warming; but actually we’ve had a flat line of temperatures globally over the last 8 years. Scientists all over this world say that idea of human-induced global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community. It is a hoax!”
Not true. Simply, not true. Up to a point we agree that Representative Brown’s personal beliefs are his own business even when he is telling the extremist John Birch Society that this entire concept of man-made global warming is a conspiracy to, and I’m quoting, destroy America. But remember this man his chairman of Oversight and Investigations for the Science Space and Technology Committee of the United States House of Representatives passing judgment on public policy & science. God help us!
Moyers and Friends
In third grade my teacher used to teach us kids school stuff and from time to time she would share with us out of her own book of life lessons. She was a Catholic nun and she had a little proverb she would occasionally recite to us. I remember it and cherish it to this day: “Right is right, even if nobody does it and wrong is wrong, even if everybody does it!” As a teacher her job was teaching her students to read and write in cursive and, as an added Catholic feature, she also taught catechism. As a student going to a Catholic grade school in the 1950s and 60s catechism class was required in every grade, but this year—3rd grade was very special. Third grade is the grade Catholic kids start receiving communion. This was a very big deal then and so it demanded much preparation to get us ready to receive. It was during this preparation period that our good sister challenged us, her 3rd grade 1st-Communion candidates to a catechism bee and pitted us against one another. In this contest we students were asked catechism questions and if we answered the question correctly we remained standing, if we were unable to answer it correctly we had to sit down. It was a thrilling competition and when all the dust settled, to my amazement it was I alone who remained standing! As I am writing this I’m flushed with a feeling of irony at the level of fervor for religion I evidently had and wonder what part it had in steering me towards projects like this book. As champion of this bee, I was rewarded with small yet impressive wooden plaque carved with images on its face of the Blessed Virgin in the center and surrounded by a throng of angels in various sizes and poses. It was a very Catholic sort of prize but it was very cool and special to me at the time. I wonder what happened to that plaque…
Whenever this good Catholic sister/teacher would recite this personal proverb to the universe with her classroom full of 3rd graders within earshot of her voice, her definitions of right and wrong were doubtlessly laced with Catholic overtones and fraught with all manner of conditional biases: nevertheless the truth behind her words still shone through. In my memory they continue to live on lo these many years later. By tweaking the words just a bit they fit nicely into the context of this chapter…“Right is right, even if nobody believes it and wrong is wrong, even if everybody believes it!” So with this slight yet powerful modification to my 3rd grade teacher’s homespun proverb I wish to respond to the previous excerpts depicting Christian narrowness and at the same time preamble the ideas about the Creator which I am about to present…
What makes the prehistoric God dynamic?
In this chapter we are going to talk about specific characteristics that come together to make up the prehistoric God’s unique dynamic nature. Let us remember that all the while we are doing this, our discussion exists in a prehistoric setting or at a time before there are people around to tell us that we’re not supposed to be doing this. So don’t think you are going to get into trouble from your priest or your pastor because those guys and gals haven’t been born yet and they won’t be born for several millions of years—none of us will be. So it’s okay to just sit back, and listen to your soul’s counsel concerning these ideas. Some of the characteristics will sound familiar, but will have a different spin put to them.
- The Trinity
The Trinity is the structure of the Godhead but in the consideration of God’s dominant characteristics of being loving and creative, the image of the trinity becomes the most brilliant and relevant. If we look at the person of God the Father, we see God as supreme and overarching all of creation. The Bible says He is Alpha and Omega: Christian dictums interpret this to mean God existed before all of His creation and He will still be here after all of it is gone. This is not completely accurate with the dynamic Trinity. God as an eternal Being implies that He, along with all that comes forth from Him: Jesus, the Holy Ghost, human beings and everything else He’s created, must also be eternal.
Another scripture proclaims God as the author and finisher of our faith. Author refers to the person of the Father in the trinity; whereas Finisher refers to the person of the Son. Authoring infers the initiation of creation or the starting up of the process of creation. Finishing refers to the process by which humans will enter into their full capacity of relationship with God. This finishing process is what I am calling the evolution of creation, in which our human response is Kingdom-building. The person of the Holy Ghost is integral and indigenous to both processes: authoring and finishing.
Let’s begin with two…because God is love means that besides the Father there must be at least one other person in the equation…one who will receive the love projected by the Father and who has the capacity of reciprocating this love. This person would have to be like Him intellectually and like Him in all other aspects…thus God the Son. As this great and mighty love is generated between Father and Son, it grows in power and capacity. How might this relationship—that the Father and Son enjoy with each other—speak to humanity’s potential for relationship with God? God the Son is Jesus Christ and humans are called into personal and intimate relationship with Him. Through Jesus’s excursion to earth, He has opened a two-way portal by which humans might find access to the Father and the Father might access the dormant yet divine nature resident within each human.
Because God’s love is far greater than can be capacitated by two beings, the necessity for a third being comes into play. The Holy Ghost is the proactive expression of God’s love. With the Holy Ghost acting as the agent of God’s creativity, countless other entities and energies become imminent. Because this is the case, we can start to see an interconnection between God’s power of love and His power of creativity. As a member or person of the trinity, the Holy Ghost embodies both the potential for and the inevitability of God’s Kingdom. This Kingdom, through the workings of the Holy Ghost, includes the rudimentary, though vast creation to which the book of Genesis is referring. Additionally, the Holy Ghost is the impetus and the mechanism by which God’s creation should continue to evolve, in fact it must evolve.
Scientist say that the universe came into being by way of an event called the big bang. Since the big bang, the universe has been in constant motion…expanding ever outward. Along with the expansion of the universe comes the inevitable constant change and growth. This constant change and growth theme is present throughout all of God’s creation. So, just as the universe is physically expanding and changing, so are all other aspects of God’s creation…all of this expansion and change is forthcoming in a process, this process is called evolution. The word evolution explains that God’s creation is dynamic in nature; is constantly moving toward a destination. The destination is the Kingdom of God.
- The evolution of creation
Let’s talk about how life works, that is to say the proliferation of the species. According to the Bible—how many people did God personally create out of nothing? Just 2 and of those two, He borrowed a part from the first (Adam’s rib) to make Eve. This isn’t indicating that the woman Eve was of a lesser quality or importance than the man, Adam, it’s pointing to the mode God is using to create the rest of humanity; procreation as opposed to God Himself forming (out of clay) one being at a time. In this action God was in essence, handing off the creation torch to human beings. In the procreation process, a male and female mate and from this union comes another being. So you have God, a male, female and then someone else. It may be said that this process is the proverbial making something (or someone) out of nothing…a feat usually attributed to God and God alone. Also this process spells the fundamental building blocks of community. Interesting…let’s hold on to that idea for a later discussion!
This capacity to create is foundationally evidenced in the seeming need to procreate that humans have and share with the rest of the animal kingdom. This need is biological in nature. God’s intention for mankind to procreate however comes with an additional need, which is more spiritual in nature; the need as a species to evolve, e.g.: technologically and socially. There is a mandate mentioned in the Bible for Adam and Eve to “…be fruitful and multiply. With this mandate, though, God is inferring far and beyond His desire for mankind to populate the earth. God wasn’t looking for a world full of clones of Adam and Eve. He didn’t want the process of peopling the earth to play out like a farmer building up his herd of cattle…with the specific intention of increasing his inventory in order to beef up his bottom line. We are each born unique, different from others—in appearance, perspectives, resources and motivations. Each person’s capacity to create and shape his or her reality based upon these differences, provides the potential for each and every person to extrapolate on the creation process which God initiated early on. In addition to all of these human/divine attributes God added into the mix His gift of inspiration which gives Him the capability to both motivate and direct the creative process within humans by way of the Holy Ghost. This general concept of a second-tier process of creation or creation by proxy; I refer to as the evolution of creation.
- Original sin: changing the environment to one requiring innovative input from humans.
The seed of God’s creation evolution is planted within each person as per His master design. This seed of the evolution of creation is what religiosity likes to refer to as original sin. Conventional Christian dogma looks upon this as a lamentable act and something that has put every single human being in jeopardy of eternal damnation just by virtue of their being born into the world. Many take literally the story put forth in the book of Genesis. The typical Christian version is: because Adam and Eve chose to eat something they were instructed not to…they needed to suffer the consequences. Their disobedience left God with no choice…they were only getting what they deserved. Their punishment: They would be kicked out of the Garden of Eden and forfeit all of its bennies, they would have to toil, suffer hardships, childbirth would be painful, they would have to fend for themselves and after the span of their life and they would have to die. In addition, all of the generations of their offspring ad infinitum would have to suffer the same plight. My view is that the eating of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil symbolizes a dawning of a new age in the evolution of creation process and it’s not a punishment per se. This eating the apple event symbolizes an agreement God made with humanity that would change their circumstances and their environment in such a way as to position them—from that time forth—as proactive partners in God’s creation continuum. Human beings, now called to become co-creators with God, were promised a day would come when they would break through their barrier of ignorance and inexperience. In this humans would be the fulfillment of God’s plan of creation as their creative capacity emerges into full fruition. This blossoming process would call forth out of humans their God-given potential to be innovative and to get creative…just as God is creative. It was the mother bird forcing her chicks out of the nest in order that they might learn to fly. The opportunity for human beings to follow in God’s footsteps and to receive the torch of creativity from God could only come from His kicking them out of the nest and into the real world.
“Necessity is the mother of invention”. Without hardship and struggle as part of the new environment, the evolution of creation would tend to just sit there; but with evil and strife and struggle in the environment, humans would have to think on their feet, deal with emergencies, stand up for themselves and slug their way forward in the school of hard-knocks that was this new environment. With this kind of dynamic in play things were almost guaranteed to evolve. In the early days, humans were limited in their abilities to create or make much of anything interesting or useful. History shows their abilities and imaginations would grow, slowly at first then faster and faster…at an ever accelerating pace. One day, however humans everywhere would be creating, inventing, innovating, improving, theorizing, and doing all these things seemingly at the speed of light.
- Seven days of creation: evolution
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
“…Let there be light…” might signify what scientists refer to as the Big Bang
The core ideas of the Big Bang—the expansion, the early hot state, the formation of light elements, and the formation of galaxies—are derived from these and other observations. As the distance between galaxies increases today, in the past galaxies were closer together. The earliest instant of the Big Bang expansion is still an area of open investigation. The Big Bang theory does not provide any explanation for the initial conditions of the universe; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Big Bang)
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.”
7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.
8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
In this (solar nebula) model, the Solar system formed from a large, rotating cloud of interstellar dust and gas called the solar nebula. It was composed of hydrogen and helium created shortly after the Big Bang.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Big Bang)
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.
10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.
12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,
15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.
16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.
17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth,
18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.
19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
The center of the nebula, not having much angular momentum, collapsed rapidly, the compression heating it until nuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium began. After more contraction, a T Tauri star ignited and evolved into the Sun. Meanwhile, in the outer part of the nebula gravity caused matter to condense around density perturbations and dust particles, and the rest of the protoplanetary disk began separating into rings. In a process known as runaway accretion, successively larger fragments of dust and debris clumped together to form planets. Earth formed in this manner about 4.54 billion years ago (with an uncertainty of 1%) and was largely completed within 10–20 million years. The solar wind of the newly formed T Tauri star cleared out most of the material in the disk that had not already condensed into larger bodies.
Earth’s only natural satellite, the Moon, is larger relative to its planet than any other satellite in the solar system. During the Apollo program, rocks from the Moon’s surface were brought to Earth. Radiometric dating of these rocks has shown the Moon to be 4.53 ± .01 billion years old, at least 30 million years after the solar system was formed. New evidence suggests the Moon formed even later, 4.48 ± 0.02 Ga, or 70–110 million years after the start of the Solar System.
Theories for the formation of the Moon must explain its late formation as well as the following facts. First, the Moon has a low density (3.3 times that of water, compared to 5.5 for the earth) and a small metallic core. Second, there is virtually no water or other volatiles on the moon. Third, the Earth and Moon have the same oxygen isotopic signature (relative abundance of the oxygen isotopes). Of the theories that have been proposed to account for these phenomena, only one is widely accepted: The giant impact hypothesis proposes that the Moon originated after a body the size of Mars struck the proto-Earth a glancing blow.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (History of the earth)
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”
21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”
23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.
25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.
Genesis 1: 1-31 (NIV)
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Genesis 2: 1-3 (NIV)
This is the point at which Christian theologians and Bible scholars tend to really fail us in their interpretations of the significance of the seventh day. Their conclusion is that nothing much happened on the seventh day other than God stopped creating—He sort of shifted gears into neutral so to speak. Metaphorically, He took off His gloves, kicked off His shoes and sat back in His big easy chair and ensconced Himself in the afterglow of all the cool stuff he had accomplished. “It is good!” He exclaims. But God does something else on that day doesn’t He? He blesses it and makes it holy. Theologians again really cop out on their interpretation of this as they tell us that God wants—no commands that we humans pay Him homage once every 7th day of the calendar week. He strongly recommends that we keep this day holy. Keeping this day holy…what is keeping holy supposed to mean? The traditional interpretation of keeping holy is to…not work, go to church and do nothing and depending on the denominational brand to what extent of nothing you are supposed to do. As Christians, we are simply following God’s example here. Do nothing, on the seventh day.
I have a drastically different interpretation of this day…the day God rested. Look at all the other days and see the awesome manifestations each one of these phases of God’s creation entails. Each one has (time wise) long-reaching implications doesn’t it? Each one builds upon the one before and really the process as a whole speaks of a sequential progression; with the exception of days 3 and 4 (which I think have gotten inverted somehow). All of them put together really smacks of an evolutionary process. They do at least until we get to good ole day #7. At this point it seems like the impetus which has been driving the whole thing suddenly falls to the ground. Not indicative of a Guy who was on such a streak in the previous 6 days.
The 7 days are symbolic for the seven ages of the evolutionary continuum. Day One—the day God declared, “‘Let there be light’, and there was light” symbolizes the Big Bang. Days 2 through 6 give details of what happens in the wake of this Big Bang and it tells the story of creation, a story with an evolving plotline. Then we get to Day Seven—the Day God rested and blessed His creation. This day symbolizes a new age—the age of man. This 7th day indicates a kind of explosion or aftershock of the Big Bang as the age of man dawns. Along with this comes God’s commission for humans to continue the creation process where He left off. In this action, for His resting wasn’t a passive thing, God was embarking upon the most ambitious phase of His whole project; He was entrusting those whom He had created (in His own image) to follow in His footsteps and become creators themselves. In a nutshell this is the significance of Day Seven. To my mind this is a much more interesting idea than the idea of God wanting us to go to church every Sunday.
- Evolution in the process of creation
It’s not only the dynamic nature and the size of His creation that give off clues to the prehistoric God’s true nature, it’s its seeming ability to self-perpetuate and evolve. The term “evolve” or “evolution” is nothing short of a curse word on the lips of creationists. Nevertheless, this dirty word best describes possibly the key to the prehistoric God’s nature. God is continually creating through evolution. In the 7-day creation story God created the animals in a single calendar day. If this is an accurate account of creation then it would stand to reason that animals would manifest themselves today exactly the same, in every way, as they did on the day God created them, right? Well this doesn’t seem to be the case with evidence to the contrary generally speaking and specifically too. There is much indication that the creation process in the animal kingdom is evolving as conditions change in their environments. Because we see this happening, we may reasonably assume that the creation process continues through the laws of evolution. The reason the concept of evolution is taboo in Christian circles is they believe the theory of evolution is inconsistent with teachings in the Bible. If this is the sole measuring stick for determining the validity or acceptability of any and all scientific laws and principles then Christianity as a whole is going to find itself skating on thin ice. Despite what Christians believe or feel about it, evolution is the mechanism by which God creates.
Evolution works this way…as the environment changes, a particular species will adapt or evolve in order to deal with the new situation if their exists potential threats in it. As the threat continues, nature will design and introduce a new coping or defense mechanism into the genome of the species’ offspring. This has been observed happening as early as one generation hence, but usually taking more generations to show up in the line. Evidently, God has put into the genetic code of his creatures a program for re-creation as the need arises. In the animal kingdom scientists refer to this phenomenon as natural selection; it is a preservation of the species mechanism.
When the international ban on the trade of ivory took effect in 1989, there were about a million elephants in Africa and about 7.5 percent of those were getting poached to death every year. Today , less than half of them are left, and we’re still losing about 8 percent of elephants to ivory poachers. Pretty much everything we’ve done to protect our wild pachyderm friends has failed. So elephants have decided to take matters into their own hands … or trunks or weirdly rounded three-toed feet or whatever. To make themselves less appealing to their greatest enemies (poachers), elephants all over the world have begun selecting against having tusks at all. For example, it used to be that only 2 to 5 percent of Asian male elephants were born without tusks, and you can believe those few were the belittled Dumbos of the group. By 2005, it was estimated that the tuskless population had risen to between 5 and 10 percent. And it’s not just happening in Asia, either. One African national park estimated their number of elephants born without tusks was as high as 38 percent. It’s natural selection in action: either lady elephants are deliberately choosing tuskless mates, or the only boy elephants surviving into breeding time are the ones born without tusks. Either way, that tusklessness is getting passed on. This is incredible, because it’s not like tusks are the elephant version of wisdom teeth. They’re weapons and tools, and they’re needed to dig for water and roots and to battle for the love of a lady. Which means nature decided poachers are a greater threat to the elephant’s existence than its diminished ability to forage or to score?
By: Kristi Harrison May 18, 2011
Read more: 7 Animals That Are Evolving Right Before Our Eyes | Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/article_19213_7-animals-that-are-evolving-right-before-our eyes.html#ixzz1yWzxzsOD
- The evolution of the uses of sand
God’s plan of creation is still going on today. The reason I say this is because most things God created for the benefit of humanity weren’t able to be appreciated by humans at first. When Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden, as the story goes, the resources God had created for them were only available in rudimentary forms, but chocked full of potential. Added to this, Adam and Eve didn’t know how to do anything because while residing in the Garden of Eden they lived the life of Riley. Everything was provided for them directly by God’s own hand…or so the story goes. So when they were asked to leave, the news must have come as quite a shock. Picture for a moment: Adam and Eve on the very first day after being evicted from the Garden of Eden. There they are looking out over the strange world that awaits them—stretching out as far as the eye can see in every direction. I am sure by comparison to the lush garden behind them, it must have appeared pretty bleak and desolate. They had no skills or wherewithal to cope with this hostile-looking environment which, like it or not, was their new home. At one point they happen to look down at the ground beneath their feet. It’s sand! Not too exciting as far as soil goes—stuff doesn’t grow very well in it (as they soon would learn). Standing there and contemplating their fate they begin to squish the sand with their toes. Looking out towards the horizon they can see that the stuff goes on for as far as they can see. As they continue to squish, it oozes out over the tops of their toes and Adam comments: “This feels kind of cool.”
Eventually they managed to grow some pathetic looking tomatoes or some ancient forerunner of them. At early days—based on their limited experience with things in the world—sand didn’t seem to hold much promise for them. Their big problem with it was it wouldn’t retain water very well, so the crop wasn’t able to use the precious rain before it drained off. Subsequently, they and the generations of offspring paid little attention to sand for hundreds of years. One day, though someone figured out that using sand in a different way you could clean and even polish some of your stuff. From there they figured out that they could devise a way to sharpen the cutting edge of the blades of their tools and weapons. Next they discovered pots and dishes could be made using sand. Shortly after that someone discovered that heating it up a lot, sand turned into what they would refer to as glass. They fashioned glassware and windows and once they figured out how to work with it this way it was off to the races…they began staining it and blowing it into wondrous shapes and designs and eventually someone warped and shaped it and formed it into a lens. A fellow named Galileo took a couple of these lenses and made a telescope which he used to look deep into the heavens and beyond.
In our recent past, humans would bring their creative genius to bear and turn this low-grade soil into a building foundation for an entire new technical age—silicon and silicone dioxide…
The chemical compound silicon dioxide, also known as silica (from the Latin silex), is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula SiO2. It has been known for its hardness since ancient times. Silica is most commonly found in nature as sand or quartz, as well as in the cell walls of diatoms. Silica is manufactured in several forms including fused quartz, crystal, fumed silica (or pyrogenic silica), colloidal silica, silica gel, and aerogel.
Silica is used primarily in the production of glass for windows, drinking glasses, beverage bottles, and many other uses. The majority of optical fibers for telecommunications are also made from silica. It is a primary raw material for many white ware ceramics such as earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, as well as industrial Portland cement.
Silica is a common additive in the production of foods, where it is used primarily as a flow agent in powdered foods, or to absorb water in hygroscopic applications. It is the primary component of diatomaceous earth which has many uses ranging from filtration to insect control. It is also the primary component of rice husk ash which is used, for example, in filtration and cement manufacturing. Thin films of silica grown on silicon wafers via thermal oxidation methods can be quite beneficial in microelectronics, where they act as electric insulators with high chemical stability. In electrical applications, it can protect the silicon, store charge, block current, and even act as a controlled pathway to limit current flow.
A silica-based aerogel was used in the Stardust spacecraft to collect extraterrestrial particles. Silica is also used in the extraction of DNA and RNA due to its ability to bind to the nucleic acids under the presence of chaotropes. As hydrophobic silica it is used as a defoamer component. In hydrated form, it is used in toothpaste as a hard abrasive to remove tooth plaque.
In its capacity as a refractory, it is useful in fiber form as a high-temperature thermal protection fabric. In cosmetics, it is useful for its light-diffusing properties and natural absorbency. Colloidal silica is used as a wine and juice fining agent. In pharmaceutical products, silica aids powder flow when tablets are formed. It is also used as a thermal enhancement compound in ground source heat pump industry.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: (Silicon dioxide)
Using silicon, brilliant men who were created in God’s image, fashioned a microchip.
Silicon is used for making chips not because it is cheap but because its excellent properties. Actually, to reach the level of chemical purity needed for the silicon to be useful, you need a very expensive process. This does not affect the cost of the chips because they use a very small amount of silicon. First of all, silicon is a semiconductor, which is a very special material. There are many other kinds of semiconductors, not many of them are stable. Silicon is a semiconductor with predictable, reliable electronic properties which are necessary for mass production. Silicon also has a high degree of crystalline perfection which is also required, since faults in crystal structure (such as dislocations, twins, and stacking faults) interfere with the semiconducting properties of the material.
The main microchip used in computers today is called the microprocessor. Since 1971, advancements in their capabilities have been astounding…
The transistor count of a device is the number of transistors in the device. Transistor count is the most common measure of integrated circuit complexity. According to Moore’s Law, the transistor count of the integrated circuits doubles every two years. On most modern microprocessors, the majority of transistors are contained in caches. As of 2012, the highest transistor count in a commercially available CPU is over 2.5 billion transistors, in Intel’s 10-core Xeon Westmere-EX. Xilinx currently holds the “world-record” for an FPGA containing 6.8 billion
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: (Transistor count)
God created sand with all of its developmental potential. Then He created humans and bequeathed to them His own high capacity for innovation and creativity. Next He placed them into an environment that demanded the application of this ingenuity and resourcefulness. Then poof—the perfect storm began to brew! This is the fundamental principle of creation evolution and it is through this process that God designated He would continue His creation. This example of the evolution of the uses of sand shows how, down through history humanity has incorporated scientific advancements as a springboard to evolve culturally, economically, socially and spiritually. In all of these arenas, God provided from the very beginning, opportunities for humans to (one experience at a time) move toward the fulfillment of their destiny as a species to collaborate with divinity. Today, more than ever, we are able to realize the cumulative transforming effects of these advancements. It’s as though the scent of God’s Kingdom is carried on a wind wafting in from the direction of our future—can you detect it?
Meanwhile, Evil is striving with all its power to slow down this wave of creation evolution; but this is a brilliant plan: the plan of creation. We can from this time forward refer to God’s main project as His plan of creation rather than His plan of salvation. The plan of salvation is only one component (albeit an important one) of God’s plan of creation.
- Short recap…
The world that Adam and Eve saw around them right after they were put out of the Garden of Eden was pretty much a desolate and futile-looking place. It would have seemed all the more so to them from their position fraught with inexperience and limited understanding in the ways of things. But as time marches on humans will be seen evolving physically, mentally, spiritually, socially and scientifically. They will be seen discovering and developing the God-seeded natural resources of the world and bringing them up to their potential. As Humans, we are even now engaged in the process of bringing our collective intelligence and creativity up to its potential!
- On the 7th day of creation God rested: passing the creation torch to humanity.
In the matter of God creating man (humans) in His own image, we must consider the creating penchant evident within humans. This creative piece is no afterthought or mere trifle in God’s master blueprint for humanity; rather it is key and foundational in attempting to answer the question of why God created the world, and everything.
God continues to create in the world through human beings. Because God gave human beings the gifts of imagination, curiosity, skills and brains, we are able to keep the creation ball up in the air! Like the animal kingdom has a code to adjust their coping abilities based on the ever-changing demands or impending threats in their environments, human beings have a code also and it’s called intelligence. Creativity operates on the rails of intelligence as we use our creativity to adjust to the demands of our environments. In pursuing this adjustment process, the human community has accomplished much since it started—in the broad sense we call it civilization. Through our experiences, untiring quest for gathering knowledge and the ability to keep records, we have learned from our predecessors.
We stand on the shoulders of the generations that came before us. We learn from their discoveries and we learn from their mistakes. As science has made significant strides through the years, mankind now teeters on the brink of being the creative hands of God in many fields of endeavor which potentially will provide His blessings worldwide. Some Christians rebuff this notion along with the people who believe in or pursue this notion. These Christians go on to claim that these people (e.g.: scientists) are playing god and in so doing, they are—in such pursuits—undermining God’s position as creator of all things. In context with the view of this chapter, I would have to say the opposite holds true. In such scientific pursuits, mankind is glorifying God by emulating His intelligence and His creativity. In this these scientific and otherwise innovative men and women are fulfilling God’s very purpose in them—and everybody benefits in the bargain! The Christian dictum that lays out this concept is at the center of the principle of stewardship. Christians talk about stewardship mostly in terms of it being a kind of tax system God uses. They preach that the whole story of stewardship is the commandment to give back to God in the form of money. In religious terms this translates into church members paying tithes (10% of their total net worth) to the church. Stewardship in its truest sense, however is a dynamic principle and the principle of stewardship is much more emphatically realized in scientific endeavors and not accurately represented by the bags and bags of money sitting in the church vault!
God is mentoring humans in the skill of creating. In the beginning eons…the ages and ages that were in the time before the coming of mankind, God was creating in the traditional sense…on His own. The Bible tells us that God created everything in 6 days. Some, more liberal Christians believe that in Bible speak; a day is symbolic for 1000 years. Many conservative Christians, even today believe that the Bible means a literal six days. My response to both of these estimates is…Where’s the fire?! If either of these time frames where accurate, it would sort of indicate that God was creating the universe and everything in it just to get the job over and done with. This isn’t reflective of a dynamic approach to creation. Any artist working with any medium will tell you that with regards to creating, this idea of doing a project just to get it done in no way explains why they engage in the creative process. One gets involved with artistic expression and initiates a creative process because creating provides its own reward!
Why would such a prolific creator/God (He created everything) at some point, stop creating?” Did Michelangelo do so? Leonardo da Vinci? Frank Lloyd Wright? Beethoven? Who among the greatest of creative humans in history did this? Historically what tended to put a stop to these people’s creating was death or some other debilitating factor; they don’t usually just decide to stop—that would be counterintuitive to the creative impetus. Let’s follow the logic here. Because God created human beings in His own image complete with intelligence and a passionate motivation towards creating, wouldn’t it follow that His intention from the beginning was to continue the creation process through human beings? Yes it would. What a brilliant concept!
- The creative process
I was always under the assumption that when reading a book (a novel or a textbook) that the ideas within the textbook or the novel were already tangible in the mind of the author. I imagined during the writing process, the author would take notes as ideas presented themselves. Once the body of notes grew to a size that would fill a book, they would begin the organizational process. Next he or she would work on the voice and style he desired to use in the text…he/she would edit for logistics, continuity and grammar, then off to the presses. This is my first experience with writing something of this size and depth and what began at one point to catch my attention was how once the creative process begins, that is, once the ideas start flowing they never seem to abate!
In my experience there’s a phenomenon I’m observing; as I write this book—as I’m putting down the ideas already in my head, new ideas seem to keep popping up. What this is indicating to me is that the very process of creating is tied into the action of transforming ideas (the theoretical) into words and sentences (the tangible). As I write, I take the thoughts in my head and convert them into words on a page. When they appear on the screen or paper, they have become tangible and are able to be shared with others. The process I started out using to write is this: First I dictated my thoughts into a digital recorder. Next I plugged the recorder into my computer and used software that converts my recorded voice into written words on the page. Then I’d go through the text and edit the mistakes the software made, but as I was doing this, I found that I was also editing the content. This worked out for me because I was free to record ideas wherever and whenever they’d hit me. Usually when I’d start dictating, the inspiration phenomenon would start to occur so I was able to capture the raw ideas as they’d form in my brain. Then when I sat to edit the transcription, the same phenomenon would engage.
If we extrapolate this concept to include other people’s experiences with the creative process and even those who work with other forms of expression, we can deduce that any creative expression, no matter the vehicle, is the attempt to materialize thoughts, impressions, emotions…things that are invisible, but none the less very real to the one receiving them. In a sense, this creation process is the attempt to capture in words, marble, paints, film, etc. ethereal truths coming to (inspiring) the would be creator. These truths originate from someplace else, someplace closer to God and utilize these human portals (our imagination, emotions and creativity) to find their way into our human realm of tangible manifestations. My own experience indicates to me that there are lots and lots of these pieces of truth over there (wherever there is), still with God; these are bloating and pushing out the membrane that keeps them over there, building up pressure from that side—from God’s side—needing to and always attempting to break free of their realm. And it was designed to work like that, it’s like the way a seed is designed to break free of its shell and pursue its destiny as an ear of corn, a stalk of wheat, an apple or a mighty oak tree. This would intimate as to why, when a creative portal opens, even a little bit and ideas begin to flow…they have the tendency to gush forth; and if left to their natural course they will bring forth a bumper crop of brilliance.
You start a creative project beginning with idea A. In the attempt to move to idea B, more detail presents itself to you about idea A. You might go back to noodle around with this new stuff about idea A when suddenly—idea C pops up out of nowhere. Continuing, you begin to approach the project like you’re sizing up, categorizing bits by colors and shapes, then finally snapping together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. You are working things from the outside perimeter in, applying pieces one at a time, but simultaneously working different areas of the picture. Incorporating this painstaking process, it’s only after the last piece is in place do you see what the whole picture looks like. While this is going on, it can become very confusing and frustrating. But when the Holy Ghost steps up; She quiets your heart and organizes your thoughts and these new ideas and insights become quickly organized and begin flowing in a mind-quickening and exhilarating issuance of something never before imagined or thought of.
- New creatures in Christ
Another aspect God is busily working within His plan of creation is the process of converting the human soul: pulling it out of its animal orientation and introducing the potential for its divine orientation. As God does this, using His method of evolution in all areas (spiritual, physical, mental and social) the inherent divinity within humans is busily engaged in its journey towards emergence! As this happens…as these new divine creatures or these new creatures in Christ as Paul describes, as they come more and more into true community (through the power of love) they become a powerful ally of God in His quest (not concerned about salvation) but God’s genuine quest in the plan of creation is to elevate humanity to His own full measure of existence. As this eventuates, we come to be more in true community with Him and Him with us! This kind of relationship with God didn’t exist nor was it possible in the Garden of Eden setting.
In this fully divine condition within mankind’s relationship with God, it becomes more like the divine essence that exists between Father and Son. This kind of relationship is possible and is the kind of relationship God longs to have with all of His children. In order to get us to this level of fellowship, His children must become sanctified—that is—have their natures become like God’s. This involves way more than altar calls and accepting Jesus as one’s personal savior…this involves ages and ages of the very evolutions we’ve been discussing throughout this section.
As humans move through history, the creation evolution process is changing and shaping the very characteristics of the human race and, as a result, all of creation. Through all the wars and all the bloodshed and all the tears and sorrow revealed in the procession of centuries which cumulatively is our human history; we can now look back with the advantage of hindsight and view things more the way God views them. With divine eyes we are able to see that much of the carnage and heartbreak we’ve experienced in the past has been in a way self-inflicted. The renowned poet Maya Angelo was quoted as saying: “When we know better, we can do better.” If we look back into our deep past through the widest possible lens this pattern of change for the better is clearly perceptible. As a species, humans have been evolving up through the centuries as the process of creation has marched on. The accumulation of human achievements have been piling up while at the same time compounding generation after generation until today (2015AD) we are able to realize startling scientific and cultural developments. The most impressive achievement isn’t humanity’s accumulated catalog of knowledge, but our human capacity to acquire new knowledge. Today we have the technology to cure, feed and shelter the entire world and do it without breaking a sweat, but there is still a missing piece in the evolutionary puzzle. Love.
- Sin is the mother of unconditional love
In the bulk of this section we have been focusing upon and highlighting the dynamic nature of the prehistoric God. We talked about how evolution is a dynamic method of creating. We mentioned that the prehistoric God used this method of evolution to pass along the creation torch to humans. Along with these very important areas of His nature, are there other areas that we are able to detect using this new dynamic-sensitive lens? How about love? Love is high on the list of qualities Christians assign to God. Does the prehistoric God possess this love quality? If He does, is His love dynamic? If so—how so? How does a dynamic love differ from the regular kind of love?
A big clue may be waiting for us if we look to what Christians have to say about their God: how He acts, what are His likes and dislikes and so on. The best way to get a bead on this is to look into Christian creeds and doctrines and the quickest way to access these is to simply ask your nearest evangelical-type Christian to tell you about his/her God. From a neutral perspective, we have already determined the fact that He is static in nature which would of course include His creation method. Your Christian evangelist probably won’t use that term, but you will be able to ascertain this static quality in clues he/she will no doubt drop as they go into some detail about their God. Listen for things that could be considered restrictions and conditions in the answer to a question like: “How does someone get to heaven?” or “How do I become saved?” Ask about the Bible and if they believe it is the divine word of God. Ask what happens to people who don’t proclaim to believe in Jesus. In short order you should be able to surmise from the answers to these kinds of questions concerning God’s laws and commandments that their God is static in nature and that His love for humans is conditional. Laws and commandments are just different terms for conditions, are they not? If we do what He tells us, then He will let us into heaven. If we adhere to His dictates as they are stated in the Bible, we won’t burn in hell forever. If we do what He wants; then (and only then) will He love us. That is conditional love. Another feature of His character which speaks to this kind of love is in the type of response He wants from humans. Apparently He isn’t interested in dealing with us directly; He wants all our questions and concerns about Him, the meaning of life and so forth to go through channels—middle management—clergy. He also seems to want humans to behave and respond to Him in ways that work at cross-purposes with the laws of nature and with human instinct and intuition. He is looking for cookie-cutter expressions of gratitude and praise towards Him. He is glorified when Human expression is well-ordered, pious and non-offensive towards Him (which, in the end leaves out most everything). He is hoping humans will keep their creative expressions tasteful while reflecting a homogenized reality rather than an authentic reality. He delights when His children are joyful, but cautions them towards moderation in all things! He revels in passive responses to life and subdued and reverent demeanors in His presence. He basks in the sunshine of the status quo. He likes it quiet so it’s appreciated when people walk on eggshells around Him and He’s easily offended. On the other hand, the prehistoric God’s love is dynamic that is to say—unconditional.
Along with the idea that necessity is the mother of invention, we can add something like: sin is the mother of unconditional love. The vehicle by which humanity can grow or learn to become unconditionally loving, like the prehistoric God, is what religion calls sin. And sin can only manifest in an environment like we have on earth—an environment of good and evil. It’s only with the injustice, pain, suffering, etc. that sin inflicts upon a human soul can the human soul learn and understand the power of unconditional love. Without the resistance that sin brings to bear, love would just sit there. Love would respond much like Adam and Eve responded to God and all the beauty and wonder in which He placed them…nothing much happened, really. It’s just like living in the lap of luxury or living where there is no challenge or no resistance to your life, thereby no impetus towards your goals is present, you would exist forever in a non-dynamic state.
Has the thought ever occurred to you that the Garden of Eden is an analogy for paradise a.k.a.: heaven (or some rudimentary variation of it)? In such an analogy the persons of Adam and Eve are representative of the human race. Analogizing further—the act of eating the apple depicts humans making the decision to become mortal; reside outside the garden (earth); grow up there; be challenged by its conditions for a relatively short time; pass along what they learn and then die. With this concept in hand, we can conceive of a useful purpose for the environment of good and evil with it generous portions of hardship and sorrow. Without this kind of environment, God’s creation would afford no pathway upon which humans could realize a dynamic existence. Humans would have no vehicle upon which to travel to the stars—back to a place prepared for them in God’s Kingdom…a dynamic version of the Garden of Eden. And if this kind of a plan were not in place, one that had evolution filling its sails, moving it forwards, then we couldn’t comprehend that the true nature of God Himself is dynamic. The manifestation of His creation could not have begun with a big bang. It wouldn’t be expanding at an accelerating rate as scientists know it is. The reality of the universe would be closer to that which our ancestor’s believed it to be: a black canvas stretched over our heads with pin pricks of light poked in it. And Adam and Eve would still be sitting in the garden, by themselves.
The struggle among Christian denominations is heated on various points of doctrine from the question of which day of the week to go to church on to the concept of transubstantiation; however when it comes to the topic of the authentic nature of God Himself, Christians appear to be far less plugged in. The reason for this is Christians have been conditioned over the centuries to go to their Bibles, authority figures and faith traditions on all matters pertaining to God. Out of this long, long-standing practice emerges the need for Christians to approach God using these religious channels and these alone. In this section—the Prehistoric God, we have been attempting to set aside some of this preconditioning as well as the afore-mentioned traditional, religious channels for a time in order to open up the possibility of viewing God through a different sort of lens.
As Christians push their belief in a Creator/God upon those who disbelieve this, they have tended to lose their way along the path. In their exuberance to win this battle and at the same time win over the souls of disbelievers, God Himself has often gotten kicked in the head amidst the scuffle! Let me explain myself. The traditional Christian approach with unbelievers has been to first establish the divine authority of the 1-book Bible in the minds of their opponents. If they can get this happening, the rest of the challenge is cake for them. The strategy has been used so much that the Bible itself has grown in stature as a result. This is true to the extent that the Bible now lives in the stratosphere with God. As heartening as this might seem for the Christians, this leaves them vulnerable in any real discussion about God’s authentic nature. For example in reference to His creation aka: the universe—their views and comments are extremely limited. So when they come out with the strong assertion that God created the universe, they haven’t the nuts and bolts to hold this view together for long, before it begins to collapse under its own weight. In such a discussion we have 2 universes on the table and the discrepancies between them are too numerous and onerous to mention. These aren’t similar but different universes—these are two thoroughly different species altogether! The science universe is far more impressive and might I say user-friendly than the evangelical’s universe. And I am of the notion that the Christians themselves would like to claim the scientific universe as their God’s creation; but they can’t do so because the Bible won’t let them. All the aspects of this science universe including explanations about how it operates and behaves speak to its dynamic nature; this type universe must be attributed to a dynamic God. Again, their traditional Christian God isn’t dynamic; He’s static and He operates within closed, circuitous channels and uses static methods. The dynamic nature of the scientific universe is counterintuitive to Him, once again, because the Bible proclaims Him thus. The really disturbing element here is that the Christian community across the board doesn’t seem to notice that their God is caught up in this paradox. They seem oblivious to the fact that He’s lacking in this way and they go right on heralding Him with great fanfare and self-assurance. In this they are not unlike the emperor with his new clothes; the proclamations about their God are supposed to impress everyone, but in actuality, they are only exposing their privates for everyone to see.
To this point, I recently was following a story in the local news about a church in the area that was displaying a giant cross up on a hill…
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (Oct. 12, 2014)A controversy has risen from the top of a hill in Grand Haven, quite literally. A religious cross on Dewey Hill that is raised up throughout the summer on city-owned land is now in question.
Some are questioning whether this violates constitutional principle of the separation between church and state. A group of people are asking for the 48-foot high, 28-foot wide cross to be removed from Dewey Hill
Two spokesmen from each side of the issue were quoted as saying…
“Even people of atheist beliefs, Jewish, Hindu, whatever the case may be they don`t have a problem with that cross. Keep in mind the cross is only up 10 Sundays a year for a couple hours,” Gunrow said.
Brian Plescher, who wants the cross to come down, is a former Christian pastor who converted to Judaism, and he says his reasoning is not anti-religious.
“For us, it’s realizing that there are a number of other religions, even though it is a predominantly Christian community, who aren’t Christian,” said Plescher.” For that cross to be displayed by the city, a cross of that size on the hill, I think makes people who aren’t Christian in this community feel a little bit like second class citizens.”
In support of these two opposing views Facebook pages have been created.
I wish to weigh in on this debate but in a way that doesn’t speak directly to the concerns on either side. Before I do that, however I want to point out a flaw in the argument by the guy who favors the cross—he argues…
“Even people of atheist beliefs, Jewish, Hindu, whatever the case may be they don`t have a problem with that cross.
In making this statement, he is implying that ALL atheists, Jewish, Hindu, and whatever people don’t have a problem with that cross. This is a some-all fallacy and falls into the category of a non-argument. The point I wish to weigh in with which relates to our discussion is the inference that this giant cross somehow represents Jesus Christ. In reality, it doesn’t do that, it makes reference to the Christians’ interpretation of Jesus. This interpretation falls into the same basket as the Christian interpretation of the Bible universe—small, insignificant and way off-target. This huge cross represents religion—not Jesus. How can I make that assertion—am I not doing the very same thing as the guy who proclaims that atheists, Jewish and Hindu people don’t have a problem with that cross? It’s not the same because the Jesus we are exposed to today is the religious Jesus and the real Jesus has been usurped by Christians who have left in His place this imposter. This religious Jesus is who is conjured up in the collective mind’s eye of the average US citizen regardless the side of the cross debate they’re on.
- Section I recap…
- The Bible universe is small and its creator operates within closed and static channels
- The science universe is much, much bigger and is dynamic in nature. It is expanding at an accelerating rate.
- The Christians maybe would like to claim the science rendition of the universe as their own—or claim that it was created by their God, but the Bible and all of the doctrinal baggage it has piled upon His back prohibits that from happening.
- We can assume that the Bible God operating within His closed circuitous channels is the author of the huge set of laws and commandments that the Bible talks about because it is consistent with all other aspects of His static nature.
- If the universe described by science were created rather than just happening upon the scene one day, what would its Creator be like? Would He/She be dynamic and possess many of the attributes described in this section of the book?
- What would it take to sort out these 2 universes—these 2 different Gods? Would it take Jesus Christ coming into the world and demonstrating the authentic and unconditional-loving nature of this dynamic God? Did He already do that once? If He did—what happened to undo the message and concept of this dynamic Jesus’s rendition of God?
- If Christians wish to be more effective in delivering their message about God and what His mission is, they may want to consider changing their em-oh in sharing the good news.
- If you are a Christian and haven’t been scared off yet; if you are interested in hearing more about this dynamic God…you are welcomed to read on.
- Getting ready for Section II
I wonder if the commission to bring the gospel or the good news into the world is understood correctly by Christians. Does simply reciting a litany of beliefs about God to an unbeliever count as sharing the gospel with them? Does serving up a couple of doctrinal hors devour to your target audience and calling it good, count for spreading the gospel? And what is the correct response to those who refuse said hors devours? Are they to be scorned and or shouted down? Is sharing the message about God more in the way of a contest between believers in God on the right and those who don’t believe (or believe correctly) on the left?
The biggest stumbling block for the Christians is the collective static mindset from which they operate along with the unclear (not fully reasoned out) objectives they embrace as believers. What is God calling them to do?—that’s what’s unclear to them. Outside the Christian bubble; upon the larger world stage they have painted themselves into a corner where they’ve become their own worst enemy. When this frame of mind is in place, it is easy for Evil—with a capitol E to step in and sway good people off course. If we harken back to Jesus’s day for a moment and consider the cultural traditions and practices in play at that time, we can quite easily depict these as being indirectly if not directly responsible for His death on the cross. The Pharisees were the religious people (the good guys) of the time who were diligently tracking with whom they fervently believed their God to be. Can we single out any one of the Pharisees as the perpetrator who brought down Jesus? Can we identify a group of them who formed a coup who were responsible for getting Jesus arrested on trumped up charges? No. As a matter of fact they thought they were on God’s side and so it was with full purpose of mind that they did proceed to orchestrate a plan to capture Jesus, put Him on trial, and sentence Him to that which would culminate in the bloody execution of the Son of God. From their collective mental perspective, they saw their actions as justified and themselves on the right side of history. You see when we question the validity or rightness of our own position on things, the area of our focus shouldn’t be solely upon the issues which are currently before us, but rather on what our motivation is. What is our driving force—our man behind the curtain bringing us into alignment with these issues? In dealing with this man called Jesus, the Pharisees didn’t do that. If they did then the answer they undoubtedly came to was it was their cultural traditions, encapsulated in the Mosaic Law, driving them to do what they did to Him. In effect, their beliefs blinded them to the divinity in Jesus. Are Evangelical Christians making that very same mistake again? Are they so certain they are standing with God that they no longer have to look at Him to make sure that it’s actually God standing with them? Are they so sure that they are right, which in turn makes everyone who doesn’t agree with them wrong? Are they blinded to the divinity resident within these whom they have labeled wrong, whom they see as their enemies? Referring back to Chapter One…
There is an ever-growing urgency to reconcile the spiritual and scientific views of creation with the intention of grasping a more realistic version of God. In this endeavor Christians can be made bigger and better in both their personal spiritual paths and in a united quest to amplify the Gospel message. Under such a banner, Christians of various denominations might begin to sense the urge to venture out from the comfort and complacency of their individual basecamps; join forces with different Christians and others with similar stirrings to begin a collective assent up the mountain. Is there a path of reconciling…?