From God to Newton and The Reconcilation of Science and Theology

It is common sense that in the so-called “Dark Ages” of the medieval Europe, theology predominated in all the area from theocracy to regalia and became the absolute authority in the spiritual world of European. Science was left no space in the magnificent palace ruled by theology and was seen as heterodoxy. At that time, the conflict in relations between science and theology was serious, or more exactly, the oppression theology put on science was cruel. For instance, Italian philosopher and scientist Bruno because of his insistence on scientific truth was burned at the stake by the Inquisition in Rome in 1600. Great physicist Galileo, for believing in and publicizing Copernicus’ heliocentricism, was put into prison for life.1 Under the great pressure and in the context of Western European fanaticism, there was hardly possibility and space for science to emerge. Up to 17th and 18th centuries, science began to advance rapidly and defeat theology eventually. God became “master not at home” and Newton became “chamberlaine in the world”. Why did it happen in Europe? The key is to find out the origins for the rise of modern science. To see it, we first look into Western traditional weltanschauung.

Western traditional weltanschauung is a kind of dualism. Toward no matter what in nature, morality or religion, Western people often has a dualistic attitude. For example, the classical two-valued logic based on true or false duality founded by Aristotle continued to use today. Moreover, the dualism of mind and body, subject and object, noumenon and phenomenon, ideal and reality, collective and individual and so on, could easily be found here and there in Western history and culture. Especially in religious beliefs and metaphysics, Western people adhered to a dualistic position so obstinately that the transcendent world and the real world were departed completely and heaven and earth were separated absolutely.2 No matter in significance or value, the former is always higher than the latter. Probing into the origins of the dualistic worldview, we could retrospect to ancient Greek philosophy (especially metaphysics) and Christian theology.

Plato’s theory of Forms asserted that the realm of Forms and the realm of things are opposed.3 “The Forms are those changeless, eternal, and nonmaterial essences or patterns of which the actual visible objects we see are only poor copies.”4 Although Aristotle tried to overcome Plato’s system of the dualism of Forms and actual things, he didn’t give up the dualistic idea of reality and phenomenon5, e.g. the distinction between matter and form.

Another element of Western traditional dualistic worldview is Christian theology. It is obvious that the city of God and the city of the world as well as faith and reason are resolvedly distinct in the Bible. Christian theology assured that any values and ideals that could not be fulfilled in the world could be achieved in paradise only if you affirm the existence of God and believe in God piously. If compared to the absolute Christian beliefs, any ethical or moral value or temporal ideal shows immediately insignificance in itself. For instance, Jesus’ response to the questions about paying tax – “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”(Matthew 22: 22) typically represented the dualism of Christian theology.

The Christian theological thought above mixed with Plato’s theory of Forms and Aristotle’s metaphysics latter constructed the voluminous system of scholasticism. In more than a thousand year of the medieval ecclesiastic system, the Christian theology was the dominant ideology of Western European.

In this context, although the scientific researches were never stopping completely, the scientific seeking and the exploring of nature and even all the secular concerns confronted with such a perfect, pure and transcendental realm constructed by Christian theology were suffering despisal, neglect and oppression. Christian theology became the unique absolute standard of Western people and persecuted those disobedient. Despite that theology nearly held all the power over all the secular and holy affairs and science seldom had space to develop, the theological worldview could not be necessarily ever-victorious and ever-valid. Once coming across holistic changes or encountering the assault of heterodox thought, the faiths of Western people would be lax, which would shake and even destroy the whole Christian theological worldview.

Renaissance in the 15th and 16th century first revolted. The sense of self-awakening catalyzed by humanism and the revival of ancient Greek and Roman cultures broke down the unified complexion under the reign of theology. Man as a scientific master instead of God in the theological world became the center of social life and academic researches so that science gained a valuable chance to grow.6 Then Reformation, against the moral corruption of the Catholic Church and the sham of the dualistic opposite of soul and body, advocated “justification by faith” and religious tolerance and rejected the absolute authority of and the spiritual control by the Church.7 Therefore, science got rid of the spiritual restriction of theology. Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th century in Europe further fulfilled the ideological liberation of Western European.8 Reason replaced faith and theology receded into the background. Modern science emerged as the times require.

The intellectual revolutions above are the main causes for the rise of modern science, but in the final analysis, the origins are from the collapse of Christian theological worldview and the rise of the scientific worldview. It is obvious that the collapse of Christian theological worldview was going with a series of the intellectual revolutions-Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment. But generally speaking, it could be explained in terms of the inherent problems of Christian theological worldview within and the assault of “heterodox” thoughts from outside.

First, the system of medieval scholasticism that wholly made a stand for Christian theology, although it tried to shorten the huge gap between reason and faith, yet because of its insistence on “faith superior to reason”, finally could not keep the balance and harmony between faith and reason. On the one hand, J. D. Scotus’ theory of “double truth” accelerated the departure of faith and reason.9 On the other hand, mysticism contended a direct encounter and mystical union with God, such as J. Eckhart said “God and soul were neither unaquainted nor far away, so soul was not only consistent with God, but identical with God.”10 Mysticism distained all secular affairs, consequently, theological dualistic worldview was transformed into a transcendental monistic worldview which refused any intervention of human reason. W. Ockham’s nominalism argued against the doctrines made up by scholasticism and the arguments of God’s existence. His principle of simplicity known as “Ockham’s razor” contended that “what can be explained on fewer principles is explained needlessly by more”11, which became a “prodder putting medieval theological system into disintegration.”12 Consequently, Western European in the late Middle Ages lost their confidence in Christian theological worldview and began to resort to reason.

Secondly, Copernicus’ heliocentricism affected the worldview of the current scientists and philosophers in Renaissance and geocentricism of the theological worldview was seriously challenged. Human lost the superiority constructed by Christian theology in the cosmos and the dualistic relation between heaven and the world was loose. Scientists at that time e.g. Galileo only regarded God as prime efficient cause of the physical world and deprived God of the title of final cause. Therefore, the power and the omnipotence of God were questioned. Other scientists such as Bruno because of the influence of scientific explore, mostly adopted a pantheistic position as a substitute of the theological dualistic worldview. Meanwhile, a tendency in modern philosophy gradually emerged to cooperate with science to rationalize the world. For example, Descartes “first made use of God’s existence for the objectivity and actuality of the physical world and then locked God into coffer and explained the structure of the world in a scientific view.”13 As for the problem of the transcendental world in theology was “hanged” and became a “pseudo-problem”. The pantheistic metaphysics of Spinoza excluded the existence of the transcendental world, which also gave a deathblow to the dualistic theological worldview. On the other hand, the empiricism initiated by Locke developed to Hume became a radical positivism of skepticism, which ultimately denied spiritual substance and the existence of causal necessity and denied all the attempts of the arguments of God’s existence through human reason and empirical facts, which greatly fluctuated the basis of theology. Kant’s theory of the antinomies and critical rational theology contended that the transcendental world or noumenal world, the existence of God and the immortality of soul could not be proved, consequently, theology was excluded from human knowledge. Hegel’s rationalistic dialectic metaphysics regarded the variational process of the real world as the self-unfolding of absolute spirit and transformed the dualistic worldview into absolute idealism. The dualistic worldview was eventually discarded and Christian theological beliefs were evanesced in Hegel’s system. Thus, reason won the advantage over faith and the scientistic worldview instead of the theological dualistic worldview became the dominant ideology of Western European.

The rise of modern science could not begin until the traditional dualistic worldview was transformed, because weltanschauung is the ultimate understanding of the world or human life of people, which is able to potentially predominate the ultimate attitude toward and activities in life of thinkers, social workers and even the masses in a region. That is, only if the traditional theological worldview was replaced by a new reason-based worldview viz. the scientistic worldview, the rise of modern science could have ultimate assurance. In a word, the origins for the rise of modern science were the collapse of the theological dualistic worldview and the predominance of the scientific worldview.

The conversion from theology to science has both positive and negative impacts on Western history. After walking up on the fast lane of scientific development, the realistic life of Western European was greatly improved, the material civilization was rapidly progressed, the explore of nature and geography was continuously advanced and technology was dramatically reformed. Thence, Western countries made a continuous progress whereas Eastern countries fell far behind. The influence of the conversion from theology to science is unmeasurable, just as historian H. Butterfield pointed out on this problem: “The impact on the world culture of the rise of modern science in the 17th century could only be mentioned in the same breath with the rise of Christianity in the first century.”14 However, it does not mean that this conversion doesn’t have any negative impact on Western European. “Weltanschauung can be thought as a sort of comprehensive experience that most potentially affects the cultural atmosphere e.g. academic ideas, life styles, living attitudes and so on of any country and sociaty.”15 Accordingly, when the weltanschauung of the people in a region undergoes a right-about or fundamental conversion, the academic culture and life attitudes and behaviors will have holistic changes.

Because the traditional dualistic worldview was the dominant ideology from the Aristotle to the late Middle Ages, in which Western European soaked themselves and took it for granted all the time, the spiritual crisis of Western European was coming on the just day the theological worldview collapsed. In the context that the theological worldview nodded to its fall and nihilism was widespread around, Kierkegaard, Dostoevsky and Nietzsche etc. in 19th century inaugurated the philosophical ideas of existentialism in coincidence to save the spiritual crisis and get back the lost psychic home of Western European.

Danish philosopher Kierkegaard’s existentialistic thought was a critical reaction to Hegel’s rationalism, which rejected Hegel’s neglect of theology and the problem of faith and contended that theological knowledge and Christian beliefs are subjective truth that can not be evanesced in universal objective knowledge. He thought that rationalist Hegel and the like holded the position of the supremacy of reason and reduced the transcendental world into abstract idea, which obliterated the paradoxicality (truth as subjectivity) of theology and the non-rationality (not congruent with reason but with feelings and faith) of the dualistic worldview. Russian novelist Dostoevsky discovered the problem of fate of existence after the collapse of the theological worldview. In his novels from Crime and Punishment to The Brothers Karamazov, he discussed how to seek the spiritual way out after the comedown of faith in God. He implied that except Christian theology and beliefs, Western people could not find a savior for their spiritual crisis. Another initiator of existentialism and also a representative figure of philosophy of Will Nietzsche, though likewise criticizing rationalism, pushed the theological dualistic worldview into collapse at the same time. From the assumption of “God is dead” (Nietzsche really believed that Western European had lost the theological worldview.), he claimed that all traditional morality, philosophies and theologies must be revalued with the collapse of the dualistic worldview. New values and ideals should be established by the Superperson who can harmonize the animal nature with the intellect and keep a balance between Dionysian and Apollonian elements. His theory of the Will to Power is the foundation of his philosophy of the Superperson.16

From the argument above, it is obvious that the conversion from theology to science, though brought high material civilization to the Western world, yet also produced deep spiritual crisis for Western people. The scientistic worldview in the extreme would regard reason as the unique standard to evaluate all values and exclude any other “unscientistic” worldviews, which would further reject the value and meaning of faith and affection and completely alienate people from the consciousness of existence. Furthermore, the development of scientific theories would have stimulated the improvement of productive technologies, which would increasingly enhance the danger of the scientific technicalization. And the maximum danger of the scientific technicalization is to eliminate reason of value by value of instrument and let people to forget the problem of existence of themselves and become the average “massman” or the “common herd” degenerated from the true and individual existence in the mathematically mechanical process. In the context of religious externalization and secularization, the true Christian beliefs disappeared while the theological dualistic worldview lost its original meaning.

It is undoubted that there exist some incompatibilities between theology and science. Science (in narrow sense natural science) is the knowledge of the physical world, which mainly explains phenomena and laws of things; while theology is the knowledge of the immaterial world, which chiefly resolves the problem of faith and the transcendental world (God and heaven). Since the late Middle Ages especially modern times, “the contradiction and conflicts in relations between science and theology have been so serious that people always oppose them with each other that apparently cannot coexist.”17 We do not deny the cruel oppression on science exerted by theology in the Middle Ages and the tremendous impact on theology made by science in modern times, however, science and theology are not always “oil and vinegar” and not capable of being conciliated. In fact, a number of eminent scientists- Isaac Newton, M. Faraday, C. Maxwell, Albert Einstein and many academicians of the Royal Society etc. all have deep faith in Christian belief or interest in theology. Some scientists even consider that science and theology are coherent and they fulfill the same mission through distinct approaches.18 In recent years, the dialogue between science and theology have been paid increasing attention to both by scientists and theologians or philosophers of religion and various theories of the relations between science and theology or religion have been presented successively. Wang Pisheng of Hong Kong Baptist University claims that the dialogue between science and theology in recent years is not a new and rare phenomenon but a long and continuous tradition.19 He also indicated that many top scientists today are aware of the importance to learn from philosophy and theology, not only to have a deeper insight into the significance of the scientific work, but also to seek a breakthrough in their scientific research. Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that science and theology have a basis of coexistence and harmonization. If the two both understand their limits and the conjunct significance to human existence, a phase of science and theology in harmony is hopefully to come.

After experiencing the tragedies of the two World Wars and the spread of nihilism and hedonism after the Wars, people in the New Century can still not enjoy the peaceful life from the flying development of science. The threats of the weapons of massive destruction and nuclear warfare and the crime of terrorists who killed the innocent through modern scientific technology, all of these have strengthened the uneasiness, insecurity and anxiety of people directly or indirectly. And that the tsunami aroused by the earthquake on the Indian Ocean devitalized thousands of lives at the end of last year and a trail of disasters-Pakistani earthquake, hurricanes in North America, hog cholera and birds’ flu and so on latter, have made it clear that science is not omnipotent confronted with those fearful disasters; while the global humanitarian succors unprecedented since the beginning of this year have just indicated that faith and affection are the spiritual springs of human peace and solidarity. It gives us a profound revelation: the tensions and conflicts between science and theology are not beneficial to human peace and development while the mutual-complement and reconciliation between them are probably the best salvation to help people above water. Just as Paul Tillich says in his Culture of Theology, “They should not be separated from each other; they should be aware that their isolated existence is dangerous.”20

A. N. Whitehead thinks that religious symbols endow human with the meaning of life; scientific modes endue people with the capability to reform nature. The influences of religion and science are so tremendous that the orientation of human history in the future is decided by how modern people look on the relations between science and religion. It shows clearly that theology and science are both the spiritual pillars indispensable of human development. We need ‘God’, as well as ‘Newton’. Both of them are rooted in the basis of human inner world and point to the ultimate concern for human beings. Been aware of this, conflicts between science and theology would be overcome and science and theology both would rediscover their true existence in the mental life of human and endow man with ultimate meaning, creative wisdom and courage to love.

Note:

1 F. Engels in Dialectic of Nature(zi ran bian zheng fa): “Natural science sent its martyrs to the stake and the prison of Inquisition.” Exactly speaking, it is Christian church that sent scientific martyrs to the stake and jail.

2 Fu Weixun, From Western Philosophy to Zen Buddhism, 1989, p158.

3 As Bertrand Russell says in A History of Western Philosophy: “Plato’s philosophy is based on the distinction between reality and phenomenon.”

4 Sammuel Enoch Stumpf & James Fieser, Socrates to Sartre and Beyond A History of Philosophy, Seventh Edition, 2003, p55.

5 Aristotle believed that God as pure idea, happiness and complete self-actualization is eternal and doesn’t have any purpose that is not fulfilled; contrarily, the sensible world is unperfect, has life and desire, and belongs to the impure idea. The idea as well represents his dualistic outlook.

6 It is asserted in A History of Europe written by 11 European historians that God and heaven were seen as the center of thought in the Middle Ages, but Renaissance drew the attention of people to man and the real world. This conversion had an impact on science. Since then, theology lost its superiority and the interest in human and nature prevailed.

7 Luther says: “Each Christian can interpret the Bible in his own way”, which is against ecclesiastical authority, because only the Church has the power to interpret the Bible and its interpretation is the unique right one.

8 It is claimed in A History of Europe that nature according to its own law of development will result in a perfect world, so the religious and political interventions of human should be minimum…reason requests man to develop in nature, which shows the importance of reason in the research of nature.

9 Wollf comments on Scotus’ theory of “double truth” that it undoubtedly promoted the worldly research enterprise.

10 Paul Tillich, Theology of Culture, 1988.

11 Samuel Enoch Stumpf & James Fieser, Socrates to Sartre and Beyond A History of Philosophy, 7th Edit., 1966, 2003, p. 185.

12 Fu Weixun, From Western Philsophy to Zen Buddhism, 1989, p.161.

13 idem, p. 162.

14 Wang Pisheng, “Science seeks God: the new phenomena of the dialogue between science and theology”, Report of the Research Center of Chinese Christian Religions, Second Issue, 2002.

15 Said by Fu Weixun.

16 Nietzsche writes, “I regard Christianity as the most fatal and seductive lie that has ever yet existed – as the greatest and most impious lie”, which is a fatal blame on the slavish morality of Christianity.

17 Dong Xiaochuan, “Science and theology: the two pillars of Modern American Civilization”, [http://xueshu.newyouth.beida-online.com/data/data.ph3]

18 idem.

19 Wang Pisheng, “Science seeks God: the new phenomena of the dialogue between science and theology”.

20 Paul Tillich, Theology of Culture.

Closer To Truth: Some More About Theology

There is an ongoing PBS TV series called “Closer to Truth” featuring interviews on all of the Big Questions surrounding a trilogy of broad topics – Cosmos; Consciousness; Meaning. The trilogy collectively deals with reality, space and time, mind and consciousness, aliens, theology and on and on and on. Here are a few more of my comments on one of the general topics covered, subjects dealing with various theological concepts.

Mystery of the Trinity?

My initial reaction after watching “Closer to Truth” interviews on the Trinity is that I’d entered the Twilight Zone of waffle, waddle, twaddle and poppycock! The only contribution these theologians and philosophers have made is yet an additional contribution to global warming. I have the impression that this is akin to penning an entire encyclopaedia over the meaning and significance of one sentence picked at random, randomly from a library full of novels. Why does this cosmically matter?

I find it quite incredible that here in the 21st Century this concept is being seriously discussed as if it had some real significance, importance or meaning. It has as much reality as that philosophical debate over angels dancing on pinheads. One may as well argue over whether there exists one, two or three different species of unicorns. They too are referenced in the Bible.

This has all of the importance of arguing about the reality and meaning behind another trinity. One may as well just discuss the trinity of Kirk the Father; Spock the Son; “Bones” McCoy the Holy Ghost.

It’s all “Through the Looking-Glass” nonsense.

Is This the End Time 1?

As noted below, Jesus himself said that the end times should have come to pass while some of those that heard his message were still alive, or within a generation. Now that means that roughly some 699,000 days have now passed without any end times incident. That’s 699,000 days where God (and Jesus) have been a no-show. That total increases by another day per day. So what’s God (and Jesus) been doing over all these hundreds of thousands of days that has taken priority over the end times? If they haven’t gotten their act together by now, what odds that they will get their act together sometime over roughly the next 2000 years? What’s that they say in the military – hurry up and wait?

Is This the End Time 2?

In mythology there are many references to the departing gods that have apparently vowed many aeons before General Douglas MacArthur to return such as Quetzalcoatl. But most relevant to most of us is THAT Second Coming, otherwise hyped as the End of Days, and boy is it ever hyped.

It would seem that every time there is a natural disaster (even oil spills qualify), anywhere in the world, but especially in America, right-wing Christian Fundamentalists and TV Evangelists jump for joy, do high fives and are more than happy to point out, even gleefully telling “I told you so”, and the more the destruction, the better the mayhem, the greater the death toll, the higher they jump, the happier they are
and the more they rub their hands gleefully together. Why? It’s to them yet another Sign that the End of Days are near.

Well they are both right and wrong. There will be an end of days when the Sun engulfs us and roasts us alive, making global warming seem downright frigid in comparison. A real Hell on Earth certainly should appeal to the Fundamentalist and Evangelist mobs. However, it’s that ‘near’ part that’s in error. We won’t be solar barbecued for another five billion years, give or take a hundred million or so years in either direction.

As to THAT End of Days that so many are looking forward to – and if it takes disasters to convince the faithless and bring it on, so be it – sorry to rain on your parade folks, the solar barbecue is probably going to be something only for your great, great, great (add several million more “greats” here) grand-kids to look forward to and enjoy.

Of course if our Fundamentalists and TV Bible Thumpers had lived 500 years ago, or 1000 years ago, or 1500 years ago, they would have been strutting out the same old line, the same old hype, the same old gloom and doom (gloom and doom for the rest of us sinners that is).

How long can these Evangelists go on playing the same old End of Days song before credibility runs out? – Seemingly indefinitely if you’re already preaching to the converted and/or the gullible. No doubt 500 years from now their descendants will be screaming out the same old tired tune.

Is This the End Time 3?

The End of Days/Second Coming was supposed to have happened by the year 100 AD at the very latest, probably earlier according to no less an authority than Jesus Christ (J.C.) himself. Consider the wording in the Contemporary English Version of the Bible. Jesus said that “I can promise you that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all this happens.” “This”, in this case refers to all those ‘signs’ that the end is nigh. One may wish to consult Matthew 24: 33-34; Mark 13: 29-30; or Luke 21: 31-32. It ain’t happened, so what went wrong? The 21st Century is clearly the wrong era for the end times according to J.C. If it isn’t, then clearly J.C. hasn’t a clue what he is talking about. Perhaps in the final analysis it is all just myths and fairy tales for grown-ups.

A New Heaven & A New Earth?

Here is another spin on the concept of a new heaven and a new earth. The creation of a new heaven and a new earth could just mean the termination of the current version of the software program that created and sustains our Simulated (Virtual Reality) Universe Mark One to be replaced by a Simulated (Virtual Reality) Universe Mark Two. The new and improved Mark Two software version of our virtual landscape would of course translate into a new heaven (Heaven Mark Two) and a new earth (Earth Mark Two). This makes just as much sense as that supernatural scenario outlined in the Book of Revelation.

Religious Faith: Rational or Rationalization?

If, as I believe (as a matter of faith), that religious faith is rooted in self-interest, the “what’s in it for me” concept, then religious faith is a rationalization. You have no rational reason to have religious faith any more than you have a rational reason to have faith in Santa Claus, but you might rationalize lying to your children about the existence of Santa. In the case of your so-called religious faith, you are rationalizing lying to yourself, or perhaps rationalizing to yourself that maybe, just maybe, it’s not really all a lie and that my self-interest in adopting a religion might really pay off.

Authentication and Conflict in Religious Belief?

Well I must say that when it comes to this topic, [“Closer to Truth” contributor] J.P. Moreland certainly has some superior religious convictions, convictions which I’m sure many other people of other religious faiths would dispute, and that’s putting it mildly.

Basically Moreland seems to think other faiths that is faiths that are not based on Christianity and Judaism, are rather self-serving and culturally derived. Even if they have their hearts in the right place and promote good ideas they are still false faiths. Christianity and Judaism on the other hand are cross-cultural faiths, and thus are superior.

But Moreland’s even more basic tenet is that Christianity and Judaism are the only really real religions because they, and they alone, are based on historical evidence. Christian ‘faith’ is based on the historical reality of miracles, Moses, and Jesus, as cases in point. Moreland keeps on keeping on about the absolute historical evidence that supports the Old and New Testaments putting those religious documents heads and shoulders above all other religious texts. No other religion, and Moreland specifically cites Islam in this context, is based on any actual historical evidence. Thus, Islam, and other non-Christian faiths, aren’t true. Show me the evidence for Islam and I’ll give up Christianity Moreland says.

So Christianity isn’t based on faith but on historical evidence according to Moreland – bull! There is no independent historical evidence that has been uncovered by archaeologists or historians that supports any events that Christianity and Judaism relate in their texts. There are only words in a book (the Bible), a book cobbled together by numerous authors over the space of a thousand years that now appears in dozens upon dozens of differing versions or translations. Oh, and some books that should have been included in the Bible didn’t make the final cut, and some books that did make the final cut just barely made it in. What a cut-and-paste job! In any event, anyone can write words in a book. Bookshops and libraries are full of novels and other works of fiction. Just because you read the words in the Bible don’t make them necessarily so – to paraphrase that song from “Porgy and Bess” – or make them real historical evidence, to quote Moreland.

Moreland goes on to quote Jesus, but how does Moreland know what Jesus said? If he is honest, he doesn’t. He can’t. The gospels weren’t written down until 70 to 100 years after Jesus shuffled off to Buffalo. Jesus, assuming there ever was a Jesus, was such a minor figure in his day that nobody went around with pen and paper following him and writing down his words of wisdom. There were no journalists eager to put into print the latest text-messages of Jesus. Jesus left behind no documents or letters or notebooks. So much for Moreland’s absolute evidence.

I love Moreland’s concluding remarks that “sometimes the best thing you can do to love someone is to tell them they’re wrong.” Okay, Moreland, you’re wrong!

Does Cosmology Provide Meaning?

I maintain that you, and you alone are the responsible agent for determining what your own meaning and purpose is while you exist here on Terra Firma. Buck-passing to a larger whole, an alleged higher authority, even if it is just your parents, teachers, clergy and theologians, philosophers, or whatever, is just being intellectually lazy. However, that’s not to say they cannot be an influence on you, but the final, free will choice, is yours and yours alone. You are responsible for your own choices and actions. You couldn’t argue in court that some nebulous larger whole made to do what you did.

Free Will and Decision Making

By the way, can you have free will in Heaven? I mean can you, of your own free will, make a decision to commit a sin in Heaven? If you can, well you shouldn’t be in Heaven at all and God has stuffed up, being all-knowing, in letting you in, in the first place. If you can’t commit a sin in Heaven, then God has revoked your free will!

Is There Life After Death 1?

Your life begins at conception. Your life ends when you die. It’s quite clear that the you at conception is not the same you as the you at time of death. Between the two end points there are many seconds (of time) and many changes. Every second new atoms and molecules become part of you, yet ever second atoms and molecules that were part of you depart the scene. From second to second your cells divide, die, and do all manner of chemical things. From second to second you age, ever so slowly, but ever so surely. Gray hairs and wrinkles appear as those seconds pile up. Second by second memories are added to; other memories fade away. One set of seconds you are angry; another set of seconds later you are ROTFLYAO. Loves are found; loves are lost. Knowledge is gained; knowledge is amended; some knowledge is lost or discarded. To make your long time story short, you are not the same identical person from one second to the next, like it or not. Now the question becomes, out of those millions of differing stages of you, which is the one which gets picked to be the life-after-death you? You probably get no say. You may not want an afterlife saddled with the appearance of a ninety-year-old, a thirty-something would be better. On the other hand you will probably want intact all the memories you had at ninety. Can you have your cake and eat it too and the best of all possible worlds? I rather think not.

Is There Life After Death 2?

There would appear to be four separate and apart positive concepts that are suggestive of a life after death. Unfortunately, each of these four separate and apart concepts all have an equally negative aspect that counteracts the positive.

The concept of an afterlife is nearly universal across all cultures and societies past and present. That’s a rather positive indication that there must be a life after death. Alas, that’s countered by the reasonable suggestion that the concept of an afterlife is just wishful thinking since the afterlife remains just a concept and not a proven reality after thousands and thousands of years.

Believers in a life after death point to Near Death Experiences (NDEs) as a positive indication that when we die we move on to another plane of existence commonly called an afterlife. This is re-enforced by the near universality of the NDE experience by people who have NDEs. Alas, that’s countered by the fact that NDEs are not independently verified by those present when an NDE happens to that someone else in their presence. Further, there is an alternative and natural explanation available for the NDE experience.

Ghosts apparently are strong positive physical evidence (since they can be seen, heard and interact with their immediate environment) that some part of you survives death. That too is re-enforced by the fact that ghosts are also a near universal part of cultures and societies past and present. The negative is that there are also reports of ghostly or phantom buildings, trains and other non-living things that once were but are no longer. That probably requires an alternative explanation that has nothing to do with surviving death.

Lastly, there is a vast literature that reports on communication with the ‘dead’. Such reports must number in the multi-tens-of-thousands; probably more, way more. Alas, séances, Ouija boards, channelling, and the appearances of ectoplasm embodiments have been well and truly debunked as total flim-flam. As the saying goes, there’s a sucker born every minute – probably every second.

So, there you have four positives for life after death balanced by four negatives against life after death.

Is There Life After Death 3?

Quite obviously [“Closer to Truth” contributor] J.P. Moreland believes there is life after death. He argues that if it is rational to believe in God (IMHO it is not rational), then it is rational to believe in an afterlife because God is not finished with you; He has further plans for you which requires you to front-and-center up into the afterlife that He has provided. Alas, the logic doesn’t follow. Moreland cannot know that God is not finished and done with you at the moment you draw your last breath.

Moreland also cites as life after death evidence the resurrection of Jesus. Alas, the existence of Jesus, far less a resurrection, isn’t universally accepted by all scholars. Even if Jesus did exist, he could have been an ordinary mortal with delusions of grandeur who is now dead, Dead, DEAD.

Moreland also cites the existence of Near Death Experiences (NDEs) as absolute proof positive that there is an afterlife. Alas, there is no such proof positive otherwise NDEs would be standard issue in medical and related textbooks as proof positive there was an afterlife. If that were the case there would be no need for any further debate on the subject of the existence of an afterlife any more than one needs to debate the reality of gravity.

As if all of that isn’t enough nonsense, Moreland says that there is no scientific approach to the idea of an afterlife, only scientists who have their own personal approach, and that approach is a philosophical one not a scientific one. Of course one reason why there is little or no scientific approach to the idea of an afterlife is the same as there is no scientific approach to the reality of astrology.

The other concept that I take issue with Moreland on is his insistence that memories are not spatially located in the brain and have nothing to do with hardcore brain biochemistry, and neither is mind or consciousness. They have nothing to do with the brain. Memories, mind and consciousness are real but independent of the brain. Well, I suggest that if I were to destroy Moreland’s brain, cell by cell, sooner or later Moreland wouldn’t have any mind, consciousness or memory of anything left.

Is There Life After Death 4?

Here is an interesting can of worms regarding the afterlife. It is usually assumed that there is one and only one essence of you. One self-awareness per body is the default position. It’s that singular essence or self-awareness that will reside in the afterlife, whatever that is and where ever that is. However, it is well known in the mental health trade that there are persons who have dual personalities, multiple personalities or split personalities. In other words, one body and one brain can house two or more essences or personalities or self-aware consciousnesses.

The question is, if neither personality is dominant or there was no original personality, which personality or essence gets the golden or heavenly ring? If there are three personalities in one body (as in the film “The Three Faces of Eve”), and say one personality is saintly, another personality is atheistic and a third is sinful, which personality gets the afterlife? Does it have to be restricted to the equation of one essence per one body gets one afterlife?

The issue of more than one mind in just one body, say as in Siamese Twins with two heads and brains but one body, when it comes to the afterlife, is a philosophical and theological issue that I haven’t seen addressed. I wonder why? Perhaps it is in the way too hard basket, maybe even too hard for a deity to resolve!

Is there a Judgement?

According to [“Closer to Truth” contributor] J.P. Moreland, there will be a judgment from on high. Moreland makes that statement on the grounds that the Christian religion is absolutely true based on historical evidence from New Testament documents and that Jesus actually rose bodily from the dead and that Jesus was the Son of God. The Christian religion is true, there’s historical evidence to back that up, and therefore there must be a judgement because Christian religion says so.

Excuse me, there is no such evidence for the truth of the tenets of the Christian religion and the New Testament as actual history, at least not enough that would satisfy any historian, that’s for sure. Moreland certainly believes in the validity of the New Testament, but there is a vast gulf between believe and actual evidence that one can examine on the slab in the lab.

Moreland goes on to suggest that God’s judgement will be fair and that even those who for a whole potful of reasons never got to know the messages of Jesus and the tenets of the New Testament will still be judged on their merits, even if they existed before the time of Jesus. Of course I’m not quite sure how far back that time of grace would extend to. Would those humans who migrated out of Africa some roughly 70,000 years ago qualify? What about the Neanderthals? What about Homo erectus? If humans only are to be judged, where is the line in the sand drawn between what is on the pretty much human side of the line and that which falls pretty much not on the human side of the line?

Now Moreland can state with certainty what God will do because he says absolutely “I know what God is like”. He knows what God will and will not do. “God is such a wonderful person” according to Moreland. God is fair and just and kind and funny. How Moreland can say that with a straight face thus ignoring all of the Old Testament ‘evidence’ to the contrary is quite beyond me.

Anyway, Moreland says with 100% certainty that there will be a final judgement. He hasn’t convinced me by any sort of hardcore evidence presented in his “Closer to Truth” interview.

Eternal Life is Like What?

Apparently, according to [“Closer to Truth” contributor] J.P. Moreland, ‘life’ eternal is very much like this one in that we require food and have sensory apparatus and can do things that are of personal interest, etc. And of course we don’t decay so presumably we’re 100% healthy, both physically and mentally. Of course part of our terrestrial health tends to involve the need for sex. Alas, sex is apparently the one thing we don’t get, or don’t need or don’t want in the ‘life’ eternal. That alone might be off-putting to some people! But there seems to be an inconsistency here since one of God’s directives, at least here on Earth, was to “be fruitful and multiply”. So what happened to that common phrase we all know; “on Earth as it is in Heaven”? There must be sex in Heaven since there is sex here on Earth. Finally, one question that never seems to be addressed when you achieve ‘life’ eternal is which one of the ever changing multi-versions of you that existed here on Earth is THE one selected for your eternal afterlife?

Do Persons have Souls?

Do persons have souls? The trouble here is that ‘the soul’ has so many diverse definitions that it can mean just about anything you want it to mean. Probably no two people would describe the concept in the exact same way. However, I think we can agree that an egg cell has no soul – however you define it. A sperm cell has no soul – however you define it. Therefore, at conception, you have no soul. No cell has a soul, therefore no tissue (a group of common cells) has a soul, therefore no body organ has a soul (an organ being composed of various tissues), therefore you, as a collection of various organs and organ systems must have no soul!

So when did you get a soul (assuming there is such a thing and that it has some degree of tangibility)? Did you get your soul at birth? Perhaps it was on your first birthday? Perhaps you received you soul when you became of age, say 21. Perhaps it’s just as likely that you don’t receive a soul at all – there is no such separate and apart physical thing you get from any higher authority. Perhaps your soul just develops or evolves naturally as part and parcel of your growing maturity over the years, in which case it can’t be totally separate and apart from the body. In other words, if you develop a soul akin to your developing a sense of morality or spirituality, then it cannot ‘leave’ the body after death. Translated, your soul (however you define it) isn’t your ticket to an afterlife. It resides somewhere in that brain-thingy of yours, locked somewhere within that maze of biochemistry that collectively makes up your grey matter. As an aside, if you were to clone yourself, would your clone have a soul?

So, do you have a soul? Nope! The burden of proof is on those who advocate that humans possess an indestructible, immaterial ‘soul’ that exists separate and apart from the body and which survives the body’s demise. If such proof (or even evidence) were set in stone
the is-there-or-isn’t-there debate would have ended long ago. No one can demonstrate where the soul comes from, how it becomes a part of you, or where it goes to after you’re gone. No one can explain how an immaterial concept can contain hardcore data – your essence in other words. Does a person with a multiple personality disorder and sense of selves have more than one soul? I think not. There’s also the double standard of humans anointing themselves with a soul but not animals. This is another example of humans patting themselves on the back without justification.

Is the Soul Immortal?

According to [“Closer to Truth” contributor] J.P. Moreland, the soul is an immaterial substance and it is also a thing. So a soul is a thing of substance that’s immaterial. Wow! Unless I’ve missed something in translation here, that’s a total contradiction. It’s like saying that Wednesday weighs 30 grams. Moreland also goes on in his beliefs about the soul that it controls or animates the body. Again, how something immaterial can exert physical control on something material like the body is beyond me. In any event, I was under the impression that the concept of a vital force was tossed out the biological and philosophical window many decades ago. Finally, according to Moreland, the soul has various facilities that determine what makes you, you. Moreland mentions [free] will, mind, consciousness, and spirit. But he also mentions sight, and sight is a physical thing that relies on a physical process. That too is incompatible with the soul being something that’s totally immaterial. When it comes to J.P. Moreland and his concept of the soul, IMHO, something is screwy somewhere.

Does a Soul have an Afterlife?

[“Closer to Truth” contributor] J.P. Moreland is in no doubt that the soul exists and it has an immortal afterlife. However, he leaves himself in the enviable position whereby he cannot be disproved by science since the concept of a soul, and I gather the concept of an afterlife too, are not, according to Moreland, scientific questions. Belief systems are great when they cannot be falsified. You can wear your suit of theological armour and thumb your nose at the scientific community.

Anyway, the thrust of the interview centred on Moreland’s belief that there is no physical state of self. The brain has bugger-all to do with mind, consciousness and related although these facets of self are functionally dependent on there actually being a brain. In reality it is the soul that has the facilities of self, like thoughts, mind and consciousness.

While Moreland’s belief cannot be falsified by science, according to Moreland, that’s not a belief that I personally share.

Do Angels and Demons Exist 1?

[“Closer to Truth” contributor] J.P. Moreland is in no doubt that angels and demons exist. He states two reasons for this, one being that Christianity says so. Because Christianity is 100% true, there must therefore be a system dependent belief in angels and demons. Of course the flaw there is that Christianity is a faith not based on any evidence, so angels and demons are real as a matter of faith not because there is slab in the lab evidence for angels and demons.

Moreland’s second reason is based on millions of personal experiences that people have related over thousands of years regarding interactions with angels and demons. Again, hardcore evidence is conspicuous by its absence even though credible people, like those with doctorate degrees, have made reports, at least according to Moreland. But the icing on the cake is that Moreland has had a personal experience with angels. Well actually not. The witnesses in two separate cases relate seeing angels around Moreland – one a woman in church; the other one of Moreland’s graduate students. Moreland never saw his angels himself. Again, no physical evidence is presented, not even an out of focus photograph.

But the aspect that really raised eyebrows on the part of the interviewer, was Moreland’s statement that guardian angels exist and protect children. “This isn’t make-believe, this is real” according to Moreland. See my comments below for an analysis on guardian angels, but I just have to echo the interviewer’s observation that if guardian angels exist, they are doing a horrendous job of guarding!

Do Angels and Demons Exist 2?

Then there are ‘guardian angels’ that need to be considered. However, IMHO, the concept of a ‘guardian angel’ is seriously flawed. First off, if we each have a ‘guarding angel’ looking over us, and as the human population keeps doing it’s “be fruitful and multiply” bit, where do all the ever required additional ‘guardian angels’ come from? Do they just materialize out of thin air? And secondly, if they exist, then they are doing a lousy piss-weak job of being a true guardian. I mean you still have bad luck, misfortunes, failures, accidents, illnesses and you still ultimately end up kicking-the-bucket. If a child of two say dies of cancer (or for any other reason), do the parents really believe there was a so-called ‘guardian angel’ looking after their kid? Do you believe it?

So-called ‘guardian angels’ are just wishful thinking. There’s no reference to them at all in the King James Version of the Bible. In fact, the word “guardian” doesn’t rate a mention. While some angels as depicted in the Bible allegedly look after selected individuals at selected times at the behest of God, that’s a far cry from the belief that God sends an angelic spirit to watch over every individual 24/7. In fact the concept of guardian angels isn’t consistently believed or upheld in Christian thought as an article of any sort of faith.

Replacement Theology Refuted!

The Bible clearly teaches that the Hebrew God chose Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for a special purpose to ultimately affect all humanity.

God first revealed Himself to “the fathers” and promised to be their God and the God of their descendants. The rest of mankind was “temporarily” left in the dark and to their own devices.

God drafted the 12 Tribes of Israel to become His Servant Nation. Moses rejoiced in ISRAEL’S UNIQUE CREATION (Deut.4:32-34).

The Great Creator God had never chosen any other people to represent Him. He had never inducted any other nation into His international service. He had never revealed Himself and entrusted His “Instruction Manual for Mankind,” His holy Law and Word, His Divine Constitution, to any other nation or people in history!

Of physical Israel, God declares: “You only have I known of all the families of the earth” (Amos 3:2), and “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD” (Ps. 147:19-20).

Yes, God ordained Israel to serve as His Custodian of Divine Revelation, specifically the Jews (Rom. 3:1-2). And please note that this was written AFTER the Church was founded and Jesus had given certain authority to his apostles!

The lying proponents of “replacement theology” deny that there’s any advantage to being a Jew or an Israelite. The apostle Paul, under inspiration, strongly disagrees! He wisely continues Jesus’ recognition of the Jew’s God-given authority: “The scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do” (Matt. 23:2-3). And Moses prophesied that the Jews are to retain their God-given authority until Christ restores Israel as “One Nation under God.”

Moses didn’t say that Gentiles or the Church had any right to covet or steal that responsibility from the Jews: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, UNTIL Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” (Gen. 49:10). Jesus didn’t do that at His first coming, which is why His disciples asked Him after His resurrection and just before His ascension: “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). The King of the Jews will accomplish that divine mission when He returns!

God formed Israel as His Holy Nation, instructed them as His Son, and inducted them into His Divine Service. They received a special calling to become a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, a MODEL NATION, a LIGHT TO ALL NATIONS. God decreed Israel would be “above [not equal to] all people, And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Ex. 19:5-6).

NO OTHER NATION CAN COMPARE TO GOD’S RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL AND HIS REVELATION TO THEM! (Deut. 4:5-8). Please understand that this utterly unique relationship and revelation is what made Israel great, it wasn’t something inherent within them. It was a gift and a blessing they had received from God, despite themselves. It wasn’t because they were any better than anybody else; it wasn’t because of their race; it was because of GOD’S PURPOSE AND GRACE (Deut. 7:7-8; 9:5; Matt. 3:9; Rom. 3:23; 9:10-18).

The apostle Paul wrote to Church brethren, about their different gifts and calling (they weren’t all equal): “For who makes thee to differ from another? And what do you have that you didn’t receive? Now if you received it, why do you glory, as if you hadn’t received it?” (1 Cor. 4:7). It is by God’s design that individuals and nations should have different and distinct gifts and callings.

It is our Heavenly Father who directs and establishes us where we belong in His plan, whether it’s in the Church or among the nations (Deut. 32:8). Who are we to question His wisdom or to quarrel about positions? (Isa. 45:9-10; Matt. 20:23; 1 Cor. 12:18).

Jesus is the Firstborn of many brethren, the Church is the collective firstfruits of humanity, and ISRAEL IS THE FIRSTBORN OF MANY NATIONS! In fact, Isaiah 19:25 pronounces: “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.” God has dealt with those three nations more than any others on earth. That is His choice and prerogative. But for now, God has privately tutored Israel like He commands fathers to teach their sons (Deut. 6:7).

God has never referred to any other nation as His Son! Only Israel has that honor: “Thou art my Son” (Ps. 2:7), and “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt” (Hos. 11:1). We’re the little boy that will show the way to the whole world, once God has subdued our sins, conquered our enemies and changed their bestial natures to befriend us (Micah 7:19-20; Isa. 11:6; Zech. 8:23).

We need to grow up and we will. Israel has been given a head-start in spiritual education, a special advantage, compared to others. We’re not yet mature as a grown man but at least we’re a child while others are still acting like animals! (Lev. 26:22; Rev. 13:18). Nevertheless, “I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light to the Gentiles; I am the LORDand my glory will I not give to another” (Isa. 42:6,8).

God will faithfully fulfill His purpose for calling physical Israel. He will finish what He’s started with our nation! He won’t offer that opportunity to any other! God promises, despite the demonic doctrine of replacement theology: “This people [Israel] have I formed for myself: they shall show forth my praise” (Isa. 43:21). Not Germany or Italy or Ethiopia! Do we believe God? Do we doubt He’s capable of redeeming Israel? Replacement theology doesn’t trust God and denies His saving power! It attempts to limit the Holy One of Israel!

God refers to future events as if they had already happened, since He knows He’ll bring them to pass! (Rom. 4:17). Israel is the first nation that God has called out of spiritual Babylon, but they’re only the first and not the last. God has called physical Israel to prepare them to serve as a CONVERTED NATION with but under His brilliant Kingdom of God-Beings, just like the GLORIFIED CHURCH is destined to serve as Immortal Priest-Kings, with but under Christ! (Rev. 3:21; 20:6).

ISRAEL WILL BE THE FIRST NATION TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT! (Ezek. 39:29; Isa. 44:3). Then we’ll share our spiritual blessings with all mankind: “But ye [Israel] shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God; And [Israel’s] seed [physical descendants] shall be known among the Gentiles, and their [literal] offspring among the people: all that see them shall [finally] ACKNOWLEDGE THEM, that they are the seed which the LORD hath blessed” (Isa. 61:6,9; Isa. 60:14). And at that time the tribes of Israel will acknowledge Judah for faithful service (Gen. 49:8, Zech. 8:23).

Christ will rule from Jerusalem as Israel’s God-King, and yet there will also be a human prince and other mortals reigning under Him (Jer. 30:21; 33:26; Ezek. 46; Zech. 14:16). Likewise, internationally, the human nation of Israel will rule with but under the divine Kingdom-Family of God, and Zadok’s physical descendants will faithfully serve in the Temple at headquarters (Ezek. 44:15).

All of the above glorifies God for his tender mercies and faithfulness to our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It reveals that “with God all things are possible.” It confirms that “I would not, [Gentile] brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, UNTIL the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so, all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant with them, when I shall take away their sins; as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), FOR THE GIFTS AND CALLING OF GOD ARE IRREVOCABLE” (Rom. 11:25-29).

Those who foolishly push replacement theology are “wise in their own conceits.” They have shamefully twisted the Scriptures that refer to spiritual Jews, to spiritual Jerusalem, the spiritual Temple and spiritual Israel – that generously admits repentant Gentiles into the SPIRITUAL COMMONWEALTH OF ISRAEL – to spiritualize away God’s faithful promises to physical Israel! Now that they’ve been admitted, they jealously want to exclude Judah and usurp Israel from their rightful place in God’s plan! (Rom. 11:24). Individual Israelites may fall away, converted Gentiles grafted in, but the NATION OF ISRAEL is here to stay!

“O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance; We are thine: thou never barest rule over them [Gentiles]; they were not called by thy name” (Isa. 63:17-19).

Some Gentiles have forgotten that God hasn’t called Israel to become spiritual Gentiles, but has called everyone to become spiritual Israelites! They’ve forgotten that ISRAEL IS THE HOLY ROOT to which they’ve become attached. Paul warned them: “Boast not against the branches. But if you boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee” (Rom. 11:18).

They forget that the Church is CONVERTED ISRAEL that embraces righteous Gentiles. They’ve ignored the biblical principle of DUALITY. That there’s the physical and there’s the spiritual, and that both have their ordained place. Satan is the one who would love to spiritualize Israel away into oblivion. He wants God to break His promises to physical Israel and let them die in a spiritual holocaust!

However, God refuses to forget His physical people Israel and His holy purpose for them! “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee” (Isa. 49:14-15,Jer. 31:20).

We’re supposed to ENCOURAGE ISRAEL TO REMEMBER THEIR ROOTS AND JUDAH HIS RESPONSIBILITY BEFORE GOD, not discourage them. Nevertheless, God remembers them and places His special protective seal upon 144,000 Israelites before the Day of the Lord (Rev. 7:4), and purposely names the 12 gates of the New Jerusalem after the 12 Tribes! (Rev. 21:12). This ought to prove that Israel remains first and foremost in God’s Mind (Zech. 2:8). After all, salvation is to the Jew first and then to the Gentile (Acts 3:26; Rom. 1:16).

Paul addresses the nonsense of those who would belittle Israel by asking, “Has God cast away his people? GOD FORBID!” He goes on to show that God has always graciously preserved an ISRAELITE REMNANT, a “holy lump,” even when He permitted the majority of Israel to go astray so that He could meanwhile recruit Gentiles (Rom. 11:1,5,16).

Those who preach the polluted propaganda of replacement theology would say physical Israel doesn’t matter any more, but Paul clearly fought against such damnable lies! He also reminded his Gentile audience that it’s the Israelites who were given everything from the Land Covenant to the Law (Rom. 9:4-5).

Those who preach Satan’s lies against Israel had better read and believe and take warning! God says, despite Israel’s horrible sins, “I WILL NOT CAST THEM AWAY, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their [physical] ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD” (Lev. 26:44-45).

And with physical Judah and Israel, God promises to enter into a new or renewed covenant: “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a NEW COVENANT with the House of Israel, and with the House of Judah” (Jer. 31:31). God also states emphatically that just as surely as the sun, moon and stars continue to shine, “If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a NATION before me forever. Thus saith the LORD: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD” (Jer. 31:35-37).

Again, God has heard the lies of those who say that He’s spiritualized away His precious promises, that the TWO PHYSICAL FAMILIES OF ISRAEL AND JUDAH (and literal descendants of David and Levi) aren’t important anymore, and says such blasphemers “Have despised my people, that they should be no more a NATION before them. Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; Then will I cast away the SEED of Jacob (unconverted Israel), and David my servant, so that I will not take any of his seed to be RULERS over the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them” (Jer. 33:17-26).

GOD’S WORD STANDS: Those who deny it will be history! “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6). God will keep His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and to their physical descendants: Israel will become His model nation, His Kingdom of Priests and His light to all nations (Lk. 1:68-75). We can bet our lives on it!