Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's the end of the world and we know it..... So how do you feel?

It's the end of the world as we know it.... Michael Stipe was a bit ahead of his time with the '80's hit....
Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign towers.
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn.
Locking in, uniforming, book burning, blood letting.
Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate.
Light a candle, light a votive. Step down, step down.
Watch your heel crush, crushed. Uh-oh, this means no fear cavalier.
Renegade steer clear! A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies.
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

So the end didn't come like the billboards said it would, I can't say I'm not surprised. And I know what some are saying, see there goes those crazy Christians again. I think that even in many of the staunch atheist circles, this is recognized as loopy.
The question that is raised through all of this is kind of interesting however. If we look at this situation from a sociological experiment perspective, we have to ask what does the world think of the idea that the Rapture may one day take place? It would seem that many don't care or hold it with loose conviction. Another question would be, are the quips out there pointed at Harold Camping and his idea or at the general thought of the rapture itself? 
So I pose this question:

Do you believe that the Rapture is real? 

And a follow up, 
Do you think it will happen in your lifetime?

Now this perspective brings another idea into mind, while the Bible does say that we may not know exactly when it will take place, it could happen soon. Knowing the way God works sometimes, it would be just like Him to send the rapture sooner than later. Just to spite those naysayers who are laughing. Hear me out I'm not saying God is spiteful, he just has a sense of humor that is not to be trifled with, just look at the duckbill platypus. 
With such thoughts of end times in mind, we really need to seriously think on the condition of our hearts. It may be illogical to try to think you can figure out the time through numerology or timelines but we do know that the Bible says be prepared both in season and out, for it will happen when we don't expect it. So I encourage the dialog to change from when will the rapture happen to a more introspective thought line of if it really did happen next week or next month or in a year from now will I be ready and if not, what can I do to change my life?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Say it again Sam

So what's the deal here, I mean we see all this press about the New Atheists, which I have to say is a bit of a misnomer, considering most of what they are spewing are old rehashed or outdated arguments. 
Take Hitchens book Portable Atheist, it's a mashup of clips from men of old that spout the antiquated musings of premodern England. Now there are a few that have a bit more current statements but still nothing that really changes the course if you will. Dawkins book God Delusion really was nothing more than sophomoric belly aching, and whining that even most right minded Atheists said wasn't worth the paper it was printed on. Stenger while a bit more scientific in his approach still lands himself in s bit of science fiction with his view on   "life force" referring to ESP and chi (not chai) along with psychics (listen I can't make this stuff up, read for yourself in God: The Failed Hypothesis- pg 85) keep in mind all these guys endorsed his book too.... 
I really was hoping for a bit more from Sammy Harris, but when he makes comments like, "If I could wave a magic wand and get rid of either rape or religion, I would not hesitate to get rid of religion." as well as this gem: Saltman: Are you a Buddhist practitioner?
Harris: I’m a practitioner, but I don’t really think of myself as a Buddhist. Buddhism can be distinguished from other religions because it’s nontheistic. But I think Buddhists have to get out of the religion business altogether and talk about what the human mind is like, what the potential for human happiness is, and what are some reasonable approaches to seeking happiness in this world.
Saltman: How did you come to Buddhist practice?
Harris: I came to it initially through a few drug experiences. I had a brief psychedelic phase around twenty years ago that convinced me, if nothing else, that it was possible to have a very different experience of the world. I began reading about mysticism and contemplative experience, and it led me to Buddhist practice — Dzogchen practice, in particular.
Saltman: So you see Buddhist meditation not as a religious practice, but as something that can yield results.
Harris: Clearly, there are results to any religious practice. A Christian might say, “If you pray to Jesus, you’ll notice a change in your life.” And I don’t dispute that. The crucial distinction between the teachings of Buddhism and the teachings of Western religions is that with Buddhism, you don’t have to believe anything on faith to get the process started.
(note the key is Harris has a clear opposition to faith, but he is cool with mysticism, just don't call it religion)
  If you want to learn Buddhist meditation, I could tell you how to do it, and at no point would you have to believe in God or an afterlife.
(Buddhism teaches reincarnation, and that seems plausible to you?) 
Whereas if you’re going to be a Christian and worship Jesus to the exclusion of every other historical prophet, you have to accept that he was the Son of God, born of a virgin, and so on. 
(but to follow the path of Buda to the exclusion of all other prophets is ok.??.)
And I would argue that those beliefs are unjustifiable, no matter what the results of Christian practice are. 
(yes he did say "no matter what the results are", some scientific method at work there, for sure)
The fact that you prayed to Jesus and your life was completely transformed is not evidence of the divinity of Jesus, nor of the fact that he was born of a virgin, because there are Hindus and Buddhists having precisely the same experience, and they never think about Jesus.
(I know of no Hindu or Buddhist who has had "precisely" the same experience as Christians, each religion is so diametrically different from one another there isn't the same experience, there is no salvation, through faith in either of those, or trust in an eternal everlasting life.... So no Sammy you're wrong)
(Parenthetical statements are mine)

I have to say Sammy seems really conflicted! 

Bottom line here at least at this point, and don't get me started on Dawkins and his incredulous meme theory. I mean really let's think logically about this, for him it's ok to have memes, bodiless, essenceless, little mental critters that can infect someone and create a belief system in them, like a virus but to him the Holy Spirit is complete fairy tale stuff..... Ya sure.... 
Dawkins is a nominal scientist but a horrible theologian, but I said don't get me started, so I'll stop.

Bottom line, while we see all these supposed great thinkers, these "brights" as Dennett calls them really seem to think as long as they shout loud enough and try to sell enough books, which by the way I have to say the fact that one can get a book on the best seller list needn't prove it's accuracy, remember Joel Osteens been there, and currently Chelsea Handler is there (twice). But the evidence I want to ask them is, what good are you doing by all this whipping in the wind, have you built any wells in Africa lately like Bloodwater Mission, have you feed any orphans like Compassion International, have you pulled underaged prostitutes off the street like my friends in Myanmar? By the way all in the name of this as Dawkins put it, "oppressive, violent, degenerate god." and really Sammy you would choose rape over religion.... It pains me to think you would say that to a woman who was raped, but look into her eyes and see if you really truly still believe this, then look in the eyes of that little child who never had fresh drinking water and take that from him, who wins in your world?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Biblical Einstein...

I'm reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, again, and my mind is being blown away by the Biblical/Scientific idea of relativity.
Einstein’s theory of general relativity gives us an interesting perspective of space-time and what is called geodesic, basically the view of the earth is curved and if we were to view an airplane in the sky, while it looks like (from the perspective of the earth) that the plane is flying in a straight path it is actually  flying in a geodesic curve following the earth. Hence the reason that it may appear to fly over the curve of a far off mountain, while in the plane one still feels the sensation of straight line flight, but the farther from the earth you move the more evident the geodesic curve becomes.
Light rays follow the Geodesics in space-time. Meaning that as gravity diverts or bends the rays of light when they pass by the sun it may appear that ray is moving in a straight  three dimensional line when really it is following a two dimensional curve.
Time likewise slows the closer to a great mass like the Earth you are. If you look at the earth from the plane cars on earth appear to move slower than if you are sitting the side of the road.  There was also a test done called the twins paradox that states if two twins were to go and one lived at sea level while the other moved to a high mountain when they met again the one at higher elevation would have aged slower. It would be very small but if one were to be sent on a spaceship for a long trip, when he returned he would have aged much slower.
In this same perspective we are able to confirm Einstein’s theory of general relativity, by seeing the rays of a distant star while appearing to be in a straight line actually curve as they travel closer to the gravitational pull of the sun. Therefore the perspective of the star we see is really only a past representation of the light that has passed the sun. We don’t see the star as it appears today, but rather the light that originated many years prior due to the speed of light and the distance traveled.
If we were to look therefore at the earth from the perspective of a definitively far off distance then what would look to us like a day would rather appear in a shorter time frame. Therefore the Biblical “a thousand years is as a day in the eyes of God” Psalms 90:4 would be a scientifically accurate biblical perspective of the portrayal of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.  

Time and again we see science match what has been spoken of in the Bible, for so many years people have attempted to “outsmart” it but only to walk directly back into its truths.