By: Joe Butta & Steve Daskal
CHRISTIAN MESSIANIC ANALYSIS AND APOLOGETICS
It is nearly 2018 and things that would have been unimaginable in the 1950’s are today protected by laws in various western nations. The question is…How did we get here and who determines what can be described as normal behavior?
Secularism is not new. It was rampant in the latter days of ancient Greece and the latter 2/3 of the Roman Empire. Alexander’s Hellenism was very humanistic — while pagan rituals were retained, they were not taken very seriously as a belief system, but rather as a justification for the imperial cult and the sports, sex, and self-indulgence that was the norm for the free minority and eagerly sought by the enslaved majority. Similarly, the Roman Empire became increasingly secular by the end of the Antonid [first] dynasty. Again, pagan rituals were retained, but as a justification for the imperial cult and the orgiastic rituals of the various sects and cults that grew up around this or that “deity.” Secularism arose at the end of these civilizations and played a role in their end, because the beliefs and values which motivated them during their rise became hollowed-out shells of what they once were, getting paid “lip service” but not being taken seriously.
The unbelievers in our schools and universities often teach that the existence of so much evil in this world negates the existence of a holy and righteous God. Life itself proceeds with no discernible purpose. Events that occur in the cosmos appear to be totally random. The First Law of Thermodynamics proves since energy cannot be created or destroyed the universe has always existed.
Since we cannot argue that creation exists then how can creation exist apart from an act of creating initiated by an unseen Creator?
Most people throughout history believed or practiced their religion because they were raised to do so, made to feel guilty if they failed to do so, or coerced by social pressure to “fit in” with their family/clan/neighbors/local elites. Prior to the 20th century, there was generally little questioning of authority, and swift, vigorous punishment for those who dared to do so. What people learned in the home and school was also not all that demanding – it took an hour or so on a sabbath-day, or was the “price” for a feast day off from one’s work demands, or on fairly rare occasion required some self-denial for a fast day. There were always privileged, authoritative “religious” to obey: priests/monks/nuns on up through archbishops, or rabbis, or imams/mullahs, or the like, many of whom in turn had still higher human authorities to whom they were held accountable. These religious did not share their shortcomings, therefore many of the laity were convinced that they, unlike themselves, didn’t have any.
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, Elohim (“God”) created the heavens and the earth.”
According to what we know, the universe came into being between 13.7 billion and 15 billion years ago. That of course is from our perspective as we can observe a universe that is expanding. The Hubble Telescope and other instruments show that expansion is taking place. This means that there must have been a beginning or a Big Bang that started the expansion. This is very similar to fireworks that explode and push everything outward from its inception. The explosion that would have occurred to produce the universe as we perceive it, would have created a blinding light that would have lasted over 300,000 years. After 325 million years, what came into existence would have begun to be observable as the light from the initial blast subsided. As a result of this event, space, matter, time and energy came into existence. Continue reading