Is There A Soul? Part 2 of 3
- Part 2/3
Life after death: Christian views
Who created the Universe?
Over time man started thinking of the origin of nature and of these mighty forces. Who created the stars, planets, galaxies and the ever-expanding firmament? Who masterminded the perfectly ordered structure of the Universe and its replica; the minute atom? The protons and neutrons of the atom and it’s still smaller elements also circulate in their orbits in the same orderly fashion as the planets and stars of the Universe. The gravitation force keeps them all without head-long collision and destruction of the Universe The big-bang theory was an attempted answer. But who caused the big-bang? The answer was the WORD, the sound of the monotheistic God of Judaism, Christianity, Islam Hinduism and other religions. This was a change from the many nature-gods to Adwaitha and one-god theme. Man was discovering God. He was not inventing, as poet Vayalar imagined; but only discovering the already existing God, This God is the supreme creator of everything. He is perfect and complete knowledge pitted against the imperfect man of finite senses and abilities. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He has no beginning and no end. He is knowledge, truth and hence infallible. His perfection on comparison makes us finite men, imperfect and sinful. The finite with its limited abilities and reasoning cannot fathom the infinite.
Many things we simply believe without experiencing them with our senses. Our senses have only very limited abilities. We cannot see something distant from us: say a mile or two away. We cannot hear sounds or words uttered some distance away. We cannot touch anything beyond our reach and so on. So we have to believe others who have experience of them. Thus it is faith in what others say that makes us believe of its existence. Soul, spirit and God are such ideas. Those who have experienced them speak of them. We have to believe them. Try for this experience. You may or may not get at it. It is faith that gives it to you.
The concept of good originates from God. He alone is good. Hence the imperfect man is ungodly and has evil. Thus while God is perfect and good, man is imperfect, evil, and sinful. Man can aspire to become perfect like God. This is what Jesus taught us by His life, death and resurrection.
Christian belief is the -Nicene Creed. It is our profession of faith.
1. We believe in the triune God--Father, Son and Holy Spirit-- the creator of everything.
2. Christ incarnated from God as man born of Virgin Mary for our salvation from sin.
3. Was crucified in the days of Pilate, died and resurrected after three days
4. We believe in the one catholic church and Baptism is the method to absolve us from sin; And
5. We are looking forward to the second coming of Christ to gather all of us to His kingdom
The basics of Christianity are a way of life to be one with God. Its rules are for a new social order for peaceful co-existence of man with Universe. It is the Kingdom of God brought to earth. The essence of Christianity, we learn from the Bible (Old & New Testament) and teachings of our Church fathers, past & present. Four ideas emerge:
1. Universal brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God. Love everyone and everything as yourself.
2. The kingdom of God is at hand; (St. John the Baptist’s and Christ’s teachings). Repent for your sins and enter into the Kingdom.
3. Life is the true measure of values to mirror Christ to others. And
4. We are Stewards of Christ entrusted with the mission to spread this Good News.
This concept and goal of Heaven was necessary for a workable social order. Man is a social being. All creations of God, man, animals, plants and trees, fish and birds live in suitable locations on earth where nature provide them facilities for life. Each group agglomerates to suitable places and live together. Each social group can peacefully exist together only if they accept and adopt certain minimum rules for their society. Love is the basic rule for all. Love in society like gravity in cosmic system can exist only when there is another entity to love or gravitate. When all the men love one another and everything around as him and share what he has, there will be peace and happiness in social life. One may call this society Heaven. It is Universal brotherhood. Buck Minster Fuller uses the term Synergy for this love or gravitation.
All entities in the firmament gravitate and pull each other. So none can move away from its orbit. In the same manner if all the creatures on the planet (now 6000 Planets?) love one another as itself, there will be peace and happiness in all social lives in the Universe. Practicing SYNERGY can bring Heaven into the Universe and among men.
Prof. Joseph K.Alexander, Thiruvananthapuram