Re: The Average Shelf Life of a Fellowship Disciple
[Well, it's been a bit different here, lately. There have been lots of slow times on this message board, and that does not concern me. Yet, I note that lately it has been mostly Les and I posting, about questions of Deity, the Universe, religion, and all that.]
May be they are busy with Hanuka or Christmas preparations. ;-)}}
Talking about the Universe, my favourite radio station ABC (Aus) recemtly had a great program about the Big Bang and beyond:
It is about the oscillating Universe, which is an idea I am subscribed to, (may be the Hindus are right),
Worth listening to.
- Les said:
[Well, first they just killed the guys who translated the Bible. When they could
not kill all of them, they joined them and "translated" the Bible their way.
This is the pattern they follow in everything. First they fight it, when they
cannot win, they join in and put their own spin on it.
First they executed all who did not believe that the Earth was flat. Then they
boast that the Bible talks about a "round" Earth. Give it a few years and they
will show that the Bible wrote about evolution thousands of years ago. ;-)}}]
I have wondered about this also. There have been so many adjustments to theology that were forced on the church by mounting scientific evidence. The Roman Catholic Church had Galileo renounce that the Earth moved, but it was only a matter of time before thousands of people would have telescopes and see for themselves that the Earth does indeed revolve around the Sun, and rotate on its axis. Then the adjustment came, and theologians everywhere "showed" that the Bible taught that the Earth moved all along.
Once it became apparent that the Earth is a lot older than 6000 years, then a "day" became millions of years in theology. As I have mentioned, one of the ideas that they came up with was the "pre Adamic world." Whatever scientific discoveries are made, relating to the formation of the Earth and extinct species and such, can now just be thrown into the "pre Adamic world." I heard a preacher, not long ago, state that this "pre Adamic world" is obvious in Scripture, since Genesis 1:2 states that the Earth was in a state of chaos. His logic was that since the LORD never creates chaos, the Earth had obviously been altered from its original creation. So, God, who doesn't create chaos, created Satan, who created chaos. However, no one, prior to science showing how old the Earth really is, ever came up with this "pre Adamic world." Only when scientific discover forced the issue was it invented.
Then there is micro evolution. In my various conversations with Christians about this topic, I got the idea that, for example, ants can evolve into other kinds of ants. In short, similar animals can arise from various specific types. This is how they try to explain how all the land based animals in the world could be on a mountain in Turkey 4300 years ago. It seems that they believe in much more rapid evolution than evolutionists do. Kind of strange, really. But necessary to explain the vast variety of land based animals on the planet, and still maintain the Noah's ark story. The truth is that if this type evolution took place, then it would have been observable over the centuries, since it took place in just over 4000 years.
So, I am wondering what's next? Will they actually come up with some passages that show that the Bible says there is evolution of life on the Earth? I suppose it would depend on whether or not overwhelming evidence of evolution is found.
When I look at ancient cultures, and the Deities and writings they believed in, I have to wonder. We look back on those writings now and easily call them mythology. Yet, the people who lived in those ancient cultures took their beliefs just as seriously as Christians do today. I find it strange, now that I am non religious, that Christians would tend to look at these "pagan" peoples as willfully ignorant, worshiping demons, and generally evil. Many of those ancient religions taught concepts of morality, and requirements of getting to a favorable after life. Some are similar to the Old Testament writings, and were written before the Old Testament. So why would those ancient people be viewed as evil, when they sincerely believed in their religion? And why do some people have no problem saying that their religious writings were myths and legends, but foam at the mouth if you suggest that even parts of the Bible are myths and legends?
In my opinion, it has to do with what I call the religious mind. Part of that mind could be simply defined: "My religion good, all other religions bad." For example, if someone tells a Christian that they found the legend of Hercules inspiring, the Christian might respond, "That is a false inspiration, and a lie!" Even though they have never read the legend of Hercules, they will automatically write it off as having no value. If someone says that they find Aesop's Fables illuminating, a Christian might respond by saying that they need no fables, for they have the gospel truth. Etc.
From a human civilization point of view, reading ancient religious writings gives a lot of insight as to where a culture was at in terms of its social and moral development. The Bible is an amazing set of writings, in part because it is a range of writings spanning about a thousand years. (It is argued that it is much longer than that, 1600 years or so, but as far as the earliest writings discovered, it spans about 1000 years, from the time of David to the time of the early church.) Reading other writings, from the ancient religions of other cultures, can also be worthwhile.
One thing I noticed was that in a couple of the Star Trek movies the Bible was referred to as myth. In Star Trek 2, Dr. McCoy says, "The Earth was created in 6 days, according to myth...." In Star Trek 6, Spock explains a painting on the wall of his cabin, depicting Adam and Eve being cast out of the Garden of Eden, and says it is from "ancient Earth mythology." I have to wonder if at any point such stories will be universally considered mythology? If human civilization doesn't get blown to Hades by a mass world war, then in 200, 300, or 400 years from now, when Jesus hasn't come back on a flying horse, will people still be saying that the Bible is the absolute, infallible Word of the One True God? Or will they view it the way we now view the religious writings of ancient civilizations, such as the Egyptians and the Greeks? Unfortunately, I won't live long enough to find out, but I still wonder about stuff like that.