One of the greatest debates in history is the debate over creation. How was the universe made, how did we all get here? These questions have been answered by various religions and sciences, but none of them seem to offer definite answers. Today I'm going to logically show what I believe and why I believe it.
First off, the universe. Did this universe come about by chance, a random mixing of chemicals, or was it created by something or someone? The answer that most people attribute to science is the Big Bang Theory. This is the idea that one day a random particle started expanding into what is now known as the universe. What this theory doesn't explain is the origin of that original particle and the space it was in. Imagine an empty room. Outside of this room, there is nothing else, only this room. Inside the room is a set volume, a volume which starts expanding and turns into furniture, air, food, everything a typical living room has. Now we can say that our Bang created everything in the room, but we can not say that it created the room itself, because the room must have existed for the Bang to take place. Another question I have is time. Did time begin with the Big Bang, or was it something that was always there?
I personally have so many questions regarding the Big Bang Theory that have yet to be answered. I find it a bit of a stretch to say that nothing created something. I have never seen that happen. I don't have enough faith to believe that, instead I find myself forced to think that everything had to be created by something. I do not find it logical or plausible that the universe was not created by something. But then that brings us to a critical question: if the universe was indeed made by something, then how did that something come into being?
This is the exact problem I pointed out with the Big Bang Theory, and it is indeed a troubling one. First off, this something would have to have existed before the universe. But if that is the case, then it wouldn't be bound by time and space, and how did that time and space get there? The only solution to this contradiction is if that something were to exist outside time and space. Only something not bound by time and space can create it.
Now things are getting a little confusing. For something to live outside of time and space is impossible for the human mind to fathom. We can not understand such a concept because we ourselves are bound by time and space, so we can not understand something beyond what we are bound by. Consider the example used in the last article. If we all lived in a two dimensional space, where everything was flat, how could we imagine the existence of height or depth? The only reason we understand the third dimension is because we live in it. In the same way, there may be things that we do not understand because we do not live in it. So if something were to exist outside of time and space, we wouldn't be able to understand it because we ourselves do not live in that "dimension."
Now say that something does live in a higher dimension, is not bound by time or space, and created our universe and everything in it without being affected itself. While to some this may seem far fetched, I find it far more believable than the universe creating itself. But we still haven't answered the question of how that something came into existence. The answer to that is simple: something that lives outside of time and space doesn't simply "come into existence." It has to be something that is always there and is timeless, because one can not have a beginning without a concept of time.
So in order for me to think of a logical way for the universe to come into existence, the only thing I can think of is something manipulating it from outside itself. A painting does not paint itself; it is painted by a painter. If this world is the two-dimensional canvas, then there has to be a three-dimensional painter. Perhaps I may not be able to absolutely prove the existence of the painter, but I can not absolutely disprove it either, and from a logical standpoint, I see no other way that a painting can be painted.
This something that lives outside of time and space and can create a universe must be pretty powerful. It would have to be powerful enough to create galaxies and smart enough to design laws of nature. This concept sounds pretty close to the concept of God. By logic, I have to see the universe as created by a higher being, or God, given the evidence I have explored thus far. So back to the question. How was the universe made? I believe that the universe was made by God. That's it. Nothing more and nothing less.
Hi Everybody! I am a christian teen who wishes to share his ideas on the web, and ultimately, create an online christian teen community. This blog is new, but I am hoping that you will be impacted by what I write and become a member of this online community. I have been greatly inspired by Alex and Brett Harris at www.therebelution.com and David Platt at www.radicalthebook.com thank you for reading!
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
God vs Science. Everyone has thought about this before, and it seems that in modern times they are in conflict with each other. As culture and technology have advanced, people have begun to get the idea that religion is a thing of the past, and now science has taken over. Over the next few weeks, we are going to start from the beginning and discuss in a logical fashion various misconceptions and debates over this topic. I will not use the Bible or Christianity as the foundation, since some reading this may not believe that these things are true. What I will do is use logic to explain what I believe, that Science and God really can coexist.
To begin, I would like to make a few things clear. I do not intend to bash any belief systems throughout the course of this series, but I will point out some things. Also, if anyone feels like I haven’t covered a topic completely or missed something, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will prayerfully answer it by email or in the next article.
Initially, I am going to make a statement that might confuse some of you: I do not have enough faith to not be a Christian. This may seem odd in the sense that Christianity supposed to be all about faith, while atheism would be the opposite. After taking a solid look at the facts however, I find it much harder to be an atheist than a Christian. If this counter-intuitive statement perks your interest, I encourage you to keep reading.
Naturally, there are many places to begin. When dealing with such a complex subject, there is bound to be. First, we will start with the fundamental question: “What Is Truth?” After all, if the purpose of this series is to find out the truth, it’s probably a good idea to find out what truth is first.
Over the past few decades, society has had a paradigm shift from belief in “absolute truth” to “relative truth.” Absolute truth says that there is a universal standard for right and wrong, and that standard does not change. Relative truth takes the stance that what is right or wrong for one person is not necessarily right or wrong for another person.
There are a couple things that seem odd to me about relative truth. First, the statement “There is no such thing as absolute truth” is a paradox. If that statement was true, then it contradicts itself in the fact that no statement is true. Let me put it another way: say relative truth was true. Now look at that previous statement. How can something be true if there is no such thing truth? It is a paradox that contradicts itself.
This alone, however, isn’t enough to completely discount relative truth. My other qualm with it is this: what if my truth contradicts your truth? For example, one person believes that murder is morally ethical while another believes murder is morally wrong. If it is morally ethical for the first person to murder the second (think cannibalistic tribes in Africa), but from the second person’s perspective it is morally wrong, these two viewpoints contradict each other and have no logical resolution.
Another more realistic example is this: My truth is that there is absolute truth and a non-changing standard in morality, while your truth is that truth is relative from person to person. Again, our truths collide, for my truth says that your truth can’t be true while your truth says my truth can’t be true as it infringes on your truth. The second that something is said to be absolutely true or absolutely false, relative truth falls apart.
One more thing that points to an absolute right and wrong is the sense of morality ingrained into every human being. Most of us can agree that there is something in us that urges us to do what is right and to not do what is wrong. If we didn't posses this moral sense, then morality would have no meaning and there would be no such thing as right and wrong in our minds. Therefore, we have this moral sense in our very beings, however this moral sense must conform to some kind of moral law. If this moral law changes from person to person however, then our moral senses can’t always be right, meaning that emotions such as guilt have no meaning.
In conclusion, based off what has just been said, our only other option is that there is only one truth, and everyone is subject to that truth just as much as we are to the laws of gravity. If this is indeed true (no pun intended), then the entire game changes. Instead of a perspective of “let’s not offend anybody” and “let’s all live our lives as we see fit”, it turns to a perspective of “we must find the truth” and “if there is one truth, then everything else must be wrong.” By this last statement I do not mean that everyone except Christians are absolutely wrong, but what I do mean is that not everyone is right about everything.
Now that we have established that truth is absolute and does not change, we are ready to dive into God and Science. Over these next couple of articles we will go into evolution, the Big Bang Theory, and the question of “is there a higher being directing the universe.” There is a lot I will be covering, but eventually we will get to difficult questions such as “why does God allow evil in the world.” If you have any questions, feel free to email me. I do not claim to have all the answers, in fact there is a lot I don’t know. Some things we can’t understand. It’s like if we all lived in a two dimensional space, we would have no idea what a three dimensional space was, we couldn't fathom it. Or if we were all born blind, none of us could describe color. There is a whole dimension of things out there we don’t understand, and we won’t be able to in this life. Thanks for reading, until next time, God Bless!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Christianity isn’t a set of rules dictating one’s life. It isn’t a mysterious supernatural being condemning all of humanity. It isn’t a set of teachings about how to live. It isn’t an excuse to live however one wants. It isn’t a promise that life will be better. It isn’t about being good enough.
So, what is it about?
When God created the heavens and the earth and all living things and forms of matter, He knew all that was going to happen. God is not bound by time, i.e. He knows everything that has ever happened and ever will happen. And He also has thinking capacity beyond our understanding. When God created everything, He had one thing on His mind.
God sees every person as His unique and beloved creation. He has that capacity. And with every man and woman He has ever created, He meticulously made them in His image, and said that His creation was good. See when God created everything, He had a purpose. And that purpose was relationship.
God created you because He desired a relationship with you. The God of the universe wants to be friends with you, you whom he says is His greatest creation. He actively searches for you, to know you and to be with you. He wants to be your friend.
After God’s creation, the first human, Adam, made a mistake, as we are all prone to do. He rebelled against God and sinned, causing the fall of humanity. God can’t live with sin, because he himself is sinless, so He had to punish Adam. Work became difficult, and life would be rough for generations to come. Time and time again, people would sin, and each time God’s heart would break.
So it looked like humanity had been a failure. A messed up drawing. Someone had drawn outside the lines, and now it was time to throw it away.
But God didn’t throw us away.
Even though we had (and still do) failed Him, He in His love for us made a plan to save us, so that we could be with Him again. With this plan He showed us that He does draw outside the lines, and instead of throwing away the drawing, He fixes it. And this plan to save us? To die.
God sent His only son, Jesus Christ, down to earth to live and die for us.
The God of the universe came to earth as a man to clean up our mess so that He could be with us. Instead of erasing the mistake and doing it over again, He fixed it. After all, He is a carpenter.
Not only did He come to save us, but He came to experience what being human was like. He stayed perfect with no sin, but He felt physical and emotional pain as well as temptation while on earth, all so He could say to His children “I know what you are going through, and I’m here for you”. After all, true friends are there for each other.
Then, He died on the cross. But it isn’t just the cross that He experienced that day. When Jesus was hanging on that tree, He bore not only the pain of the cross but also the pain of our sin. He took the punishment that we should receive, just so that He can be with us. He did this so that on the day when humans are judged, God sees Christ in His perfection instead of us in our sin and we may be with Him for eternity.
Jesus died so that He could give us the greatest gift of all: to be with Him. And the crazy thing about this gift is that it’s totally undeserved. After all the mistakes we’ve all made, and to be with Him in heaven? It’s preposterous, but God loved us so much that He made a way for us. Like all gifts, He expects nothing in return. All you have to do is accept it.
So what is Christianity? It’s a love story.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
“I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.” As Robert Kennedy implies in the quote above, the reason for poverty is not the lack of resources but the unequal distribution of them. As of January 23rd, 2012, 50% of the world’s population is shown to live on less than $2.50 a day, which equates to under $912.50 a year. The average American makes $41,560 yearly, over 45 times what half of the world makes. This outrageous difference is demonstrative of the unfairness of the division of the world’s wealth.
Imagine a graph representing the amount of income various groups of peoples obtain. Imagine a line crossing the graph about halfway through it that represents the fulfillment of basic needs such as food, water, proper clothing, education, ect. Now imagine two bars: one representing America and the other representing the 50% of the world mentioned earlier. America’s bar goes past the line to the top of the graph, while the second bar barely reaches halfway to the fulfillment line. This is the reality of the trend of poverty in the world. While a select few percents of the world’s population enjoy comfortable lives, the majority are struggling in their day to day lives just to survive.
Poverty is a rampant, growing problem throughout the world. Unfortunately, the reality of it is that poverty will never go away. The only way to event attempt such a feat would be for thousands of people to work together for it. This was attempted in the form of communism, but humanity’s own fallibility showed that it’s not possible to pull off such an effort. The graph is not likely to ever change drastically for the better.
In spite of this, there are still things we can do. We can make a difference in people’s lives. We may not be able to change the world, but we can change others’ circumstances. The world’s graph may not change, but our own personal graphs can. We can lower our bars to the fulfillment line and use the excess to raise someone else’s up.
It’s not just about the money, however. While finances can change lives, as Mother Teresa puts it, “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.” The best thing we can do for people is to genuinely love them. The feeling one gets when they know that they are truly loved is immeasurable. Mother Teresa writes “Hungry for love, He looks at you. Thirsty for kindness, He begs of you. Naked for loyalty, He hopes in you. Homeless for shelter in your heart, He asks of you. Will you be that one to Him?” Many people are poor in love, but we can bring it to them wherever they are at.
Ideally, I would like to see a world where everyone has enough and everyone is loved. This idealism in itself is impossible; however we can make a difference in individuals’ lives. I may not be able to change the world as one man, but I can change the world for one man.