The Earth Is The Center of The Universe MythThe first thing I want to write about is the so-called "Christians believe the Earth is the center of the universe" myth. Granted, there were many arrogant weasels in the dark ages that loved to think of themselves that way, and even enforced it as so-called "doctrine", but it's not something Jesus nor his Apostles ever taught. It was not taught by Moses either. Granted, the people of the Earth and God are the only topics in the scriptures, but the Earth is not mentioned as being exclusive, nor the center of the Universe.
I'd like to side-step a moment before I continue with this, and remind those that have actually read the Bible, about Jesus' number one pet peeve he always had with the Jewish powers that be (usually the Pharisees). Jesus spoke of the Mosaic law, as it is written (and given by him before his birth mind you, so he is an expert), and the ridiculous additions people would add on to it. Things like limiting the distance you can walk on the Sabbath, or eating corn from the stalk while walking through a corn field on the Sabbath, or healing on the Sabbath, or saving your ox on the Sabbath, etc. etc. Jesus emphasized the Sabbath was made for the good of man and not simply as a limitation on every seventh day. Point? Man loves to fill in non-existent blanks with their own stupid rules and so-called dogma, usually out of ignorance, but also for power.OK, back to the topic at hand. The "Earth is the center of the universe" is a man-made dogma that has no origins nor basis in the scriptures. The "Earth-centric" beliefs started from ignorance and molded into doctrine as many things did at the time of Jesus. The account of Earth's organization in the book of Genesis, speaks of the Earth, but it doesn't say everything revolves around it. The only thing we can say is that the teachings in the books in the Bible are all written to the people of the Earth and nothing more. Anything else is guessing and conjecture. The "Earth-centric" belief is a tradition that has damaged Christianity far too much in history, and it has to stop.
The Earth Is 6000 Years Old (give or take a few) MythOK, I want people to remember part one of this article, and Moses' account of the organization of the Earth, before jumping down my throat. This is one of those misunderstood issues with the Earth simply perpetuated from the use of "create" in the Bible instead of "organize", a translation error. It's amazing how a poor translation can create so much confusion with just one word! I have some things for you to think about:
- The materials used to organize the Earth and where they came from is not covered, nevertheless, God commanded materials be brought together to form the solar system and everything needed to support man on Earth. How old those materials are is unimportant, but can cause confusion.
- It is written in Genesis that this organization took six periods of time to complete. This is translated as "days", but could have just as easily been translated as months, years, centuries, etc. It was a vague phrase denoting periods of time. The translators chose "days". Frankly, I have no problem with 6000 years ("a day to God is a 1000 years to us," look it up), but it's not important if it really was a day or not.
- The Garden of Eden is a specific place on the Earth, not the whole Earth, and nowhere does it say how long Adam and Eve lived in that Garden before they were tossed out. It could have been millions of years, or week. We don't know. We do know that, in the Garden, everything was preserved and unchanging, but we know nothing of what went on outside the garden while Adam and Eve were in it. This leaves a large question mark on the "after organization" age of the Earth that wasn't part of the Garden of Eden.
- The Garden of Eden was in Africa, or the Middle East or wherever. Listen, everyone seems to forget one very important thing in the Bible. There was this big flood, and everyone, but Noah and his family, were killed in it. Water has currents, it flows quite easily. Sure, it rained 40 days and nights, and I'm sure a lot of other things happened to contribute to the deluge (ice caps?), but we know the Earth was a veritable Water World for a time. I'd say it was a VERY LONG TIME before the ark could land on land, and I'm sure the ark had food as well as animals to cover it. Nevertheless, they could have started anywhere on Earth and landed anywhere on Earth. Like most people, they named things after the old things ("New" York, "New" Hampshire, etc.) so their naming of rivers where they ended up gives no credence to where the Garden was originally. Just because there's a river called "Sidon", doesn't mean it's THE "Sidon" mentioned in relation to the Garden of Eden. For all we know Noah and Adam could have lived in Australia or the Americas (which I believe it was) for that matter, and there was the Garden's place. So using existing landmarks to "place" the Garden of Eden is a fruitless endeavor. You can travel pretty far drifting in a boat.
- Dinosaurs. Of all the ridiculous "fill in the blanks" stories I have heard from so-called "Christian Scholars" about the Dinosaurs. They even peddle this BS on young children claiming Jesus road Dinosaurs! Please, please, please, stop making Christians look like complete idiotic nutjobs with this Dinosaur BS! Please refer to #3 above and then re-think about what might have happened to the Dinosaurs. The fact is, they are not mentioned in the Bible ANYWHERE. So stop making up stories about them. There are many logical and reasonable possibilities for them and none go contrary to teachings in the Bible. God has a good reason to keep that knowledge from us and I can live with that.
If UFO's and Aliens Were Found to be a Truth, Then It Would Rock The Foundations of Religion! MythOh please help me to stop laughing about this one! So, you mean that to find proof that the Earth isn't the center of the universe, and that God has other creations as infinite as the stars, is supposed to be some sort of threat to religion? The only threats I see are to the false dogma's perpetuated by some religions that the Earth is God's only unique location for life. It would just mean that the reality of God's intelligence is far superior to that of even man's imagination. Why would God bother with all of the trillions and trillions of galaxies and stars unless his plans far exceeded measly (and arrogant) Earth? While I do believe the Earth has a special purpose, I do not believe it is exclusive in the universe for life.
Technology Is Evil! MythThis is another myth I cannot help but laugh at the blind stupidity of some that feel this way. Everything on Earth has dual uses. It can either be a tool for good or a tool for evil. It doesn't matter what the tool. God made us stewards over this planet and gave us the materials to better our lives. Every natural resource is a gift and for our responsible use. Every animal, every tree, every plant, all oil, coal, water, wind, gases, solids, metals, etc. were put here for our responsible use. To claim they are evil and shun them is frankly, in my opinion, a slap to the face of God. God taught us that everything must be done responsibly and in moderation applies to the Earth.
- Is it OK to use oil? Of course, why would God put so much of it in the ground, unless he knew we were going to need it? Does that mean to use it irresponsibly and create a mess of things? No, but it does mean God gave us oil to use. Remember, everything can be used for good and for evil, and oil falls under this. Pump oil, but be careful not to make a mess. Burn its byproducts, but make sure you don't cause harm to people and the other resources of Earth. Be smart about it.
- Is it OK to cut down trees? Of course, just make sure you replace what you took so there's more for the next generation. Going overboard with clear cutting isn't being responsible stewards, but neither is ignoring the resource that is there for our use.
- What about animals and eating meat? To all of my vegetarian and vegan friends out there, God said to eat meat is OK, and necessary, but only if it is done responsibly and sparingly. Having a steak for three meals a day would be gluttonous, but having a steak for dinner isn't wrong at all. Meat is great for keeping the body warm and is high in protein. Nevertheless, there are many more fruits and veggies than meat. Try eating more of them. That's what they are here for!
- Computers, are probably God's best tool for spreading truth and knowledge to the world, unfortunately, it's also good for evil uses as well. Like everything God has given us, we need to show responsibility when using it.
- Nuclear power is also God's gift. It's one of the most powerful for good use, and most dangerous for evil use. Just because evil can exploit it, doesn't mean it is evil. The amount of energy that can be extracted from nuclear material is absolutely amazing. God expects us to use it wisely, not ignore it, or cower in fear of it.
"Stupid-stitions"Every society and culture has their superstitions. Superstitions have no place in science nor Christianity, yet I see Christians everywhere that have sailed off the deep end with their superstitions (or "Stupid-stitions as I calll them), which have no basis in fact nor scripture. It's a form of "fear gossip."
- "Bar-codes are the mark of the beast!!" Um folks, get a grip. Bar codes make everyone's life easier, especially stockers and cashiers, and weren't designed to be tattooed on anyone's forehead. Get a grip! A bar code is a technology that makes it easy for computers to read important information off of a label. That's it, no need to type it, just use a laser scanner to find out what it is. That's efficient, not evil.
- "Everything with 666 on it is evil and I'm going to die!!! Ahhh!!!" I remember working for a small electronics store, and there was this highly stupid-stitous lady that would always come in to buy parts. If any total (sub-total, tax, total, etc.) had "666" in it, she'd panic and add something else to the price or ask to have split receipts made up just so that number would not be in the total. Soon, all of my fellow employees would have fun with this lady and adjust the totals so something always would give 666 in it (always discounting by the way, although it didn't matter, she would pay with the totals that way). Sometimes it was worth the few cents out of our pockets to balance the till just to have some fun. It's just a number folks, get over it. If someone wants to implant or print something on your forehead, then I would start to be concerned.
- "I saw Jesus or Mary on my toast / cat / tree / puddle of mud / as a shadow on a wall / cloud in the sky / stain on my bathtub etc." Cool optical illusion, but not a miracle. God rarely does blatant or grandiose miracles (parting the Red Sea, etc). Usually God is subtle and everything he does is useful and has a purpose. Nothing, and I mean nothing is ever for "show". Even Elijah's exploits all had their important purposes. Jesus on a piece of toast is just plain stupid. Yes, God does miracles every day, but he's not wasting his time on toast.
- "Witches!! Stories about (make believe) magic are evil! Burn them! Burn them!!!" Get a grip people! I mean get a grip! Yes, magic, the kind designed to deceive and mimic God's miracles is evil in that context. However, that does not make the entertainment art of "magic" evil, nor does it mean Harry Potter(tm) is evil. Get a grip people! God gave us imaginations and encouraged us to develop our minds, grow in understanding and learning, and tell each other stories, put on performances, etc. for entertainment. A children's book about make believe lands full of mystical creatures and with "magic" powers and such isn't evil. It's developing the child's mind to be able to be creative and find unique ways to handle problems in their real lives. It allows them to see even make believe is a place with real problems and smart solutions. Make believe is a training ground for real world responsibility and creativity. I do not believe modern technology could have happened if the inventors of the past hadn't read the fanciful books of all types of imaginative authors from science fiction to magical fantasy. God expects a parent to ground a child in reality so they know the difference between real and pretend, expects them to teach a child right and wrong, so a child's journey into make-believe is healthy and safe. Be an active part of your child's life and video games, books, TV, and movies will never hurt them.
MisunderstandingsAh yes, the inevitable misunderstandings. Some mostly brought on by paranoia, or cultural taboos and traditions.
- "Polygamy is evil!" Um...yes and no. Once again, I urge you to read your Bible. Like all things, both physical and spiritual, evil can counterfeit it or use it for its own purposes. Sure, we read about David and Solomon and their wives etc, but I'm not going to actually talk about them. To understand them you need to understand Abraham, God's friend. Yes, God called him a friend. This has a lot of deep meaning. Nevertheless, not directly related to the issue, but a means of showing Abraham's integrity, honesty, and strength. God promised Abraham a son and seed "as the sands on the seashore" (lots of descendants), and Abraham had a wife (Sarah) that couldn't bare children. If you carefully read the account of Abraham, there are certain truths you learn about God's law and marriage:
- Sarah offered Hagar, her servant, to be the means of Abraham "raising up seed". She, being the first wife, consented to a second wife.
- Like any decent and honest man in that position, Abraham got scared and asked God about it. Abraham was God's friend and had integrity, and loved his wife. He thought he couldn't satisfy love and integrity in this situation. He was stuck, and asked God what to do about it. God gave him permission and commanded him to do as his wife asked.
So what have we learned about polygamy so far?
Without these three criteria, polygamy turns into evil's counterfeit, a counterfeit of deceit and perversion, an abomination towards God. Without those conditions, monogamy is the rule, period. So, God gave Solomon and David permission for their wives (initially). By the way, the difference between a concubine and wife is, all are "married" to the king, but only children of "wives" can inherit the throne. Which is why Isaac got the inheritance from Abraham and not Ishmael. Hagar was a "concubine" and Sarah was the wife, yet both were married to Abraham.
- God uses it sometimes to "raise up seed".
- The first wife must consent to it.
- God must command it and approve of it, otherwise only one wife.