How was man created? Apparently, in this country there are only two schools of thought – evolution or creation by the Christian god. However, there just might be a third way.

To start with, I disagree with Christians who say that God created the world in seven days and I disagree with atheists who say that there is no God and that we are, therefore, some random, unexplained cosmic accident. So, at the risk of alienating everybody, here’s why I disagree…with just about everybody.

Christianity is a fine religion. I should know since I was raised in a Christian family.  However, there is just one small problem with Christianity. It does not agree with the Bible. Yeah, that’s a problem, isn’t it?

The history of the Church’s teachings has all of the twists and turns of a Dan Brown novel. As Christian theologian Brian McLaren put it, “One of the problems is that the average Christian in the average church who listens to the average Christian broadcasting has such an oversimplified understanding of both the Bible and of church history – it would be deeply disturbing for them to really learn church history.”  So at the risk of oversimplifying, here’s just a few of the problems with Christianity:

  • The concept of Original Sin is disputed by the Bible itself (see John 9:2-3 and Genesis 8:21).
  • The teachings of Jesus are, for the most part, missing from the Bible.
  • The idea of a messiah was hijacked from Judaism. In the Jewish Bible (the Old Testament), Jewish holy men proclaimed the coming of a messiah but their messiah was totally different from the one that Christianity later promulgated. For example, the messiah of the Old Testament was to be a man, not a divine being, and he would come not to save the entire world but rather to reestablish the Kingdom of Israel.
  • The concept of the Trinity isn’t in the Bible at all.

The Bible, itself, isn’t even an original work in at least one important aspect. The stories about the Garden of Eden and The Flood in the Book of Genesis, which are central to Christian theology, were based on older Sumerian writings, namely the Enuma Elish and The Epic of Gilgamesh. The Enuma Elish, which is sometimes referred to as The Seven Tablets of Creation, was written on seven tablets with the seventh tablet devoted to honoring God. Thus, the origins of the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week, from the Hebrew word shabbath (that means day of rest). The use of Sumerian literature by the Hebrew scribes in penning Genesis is quite logical since the Israelites were descendants of the Sumerians through Abraham (as stated in the Bible).

What about atheism, then, and their argument that creation was accomplished through evolution? The interesting thing about the atheists’ argument is that they state that if the Christian god does not exist, then God doesn’t exist. However, they don’t make the same claim about Islam, Judaism, Hinduism or any of the other thousands of different religions. Only Christianity? Why?

The answer as Michael Ruse, an evolutionist himself, admitted, “Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality….” So, the goal of atheism is actually to replace Christianity as the preeminent religion in this country. Why? The answer is that atheism is in reality a political ideology dressed up as an argument about how we were all created.

In that ideology, God must not be allowed to be a part of people’s belief systems. The reason as geneticist Richard Lewontin, an atheist himself, explained, “Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a priori commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” So, there it is – atheists cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door, especially in the field of science with respect to their theory of evolution.

Therefore in this debate, Christianity must be put asunder so that another ideology can take its place, an ideology where men have no inalienable rights that come from God, only rights that are specified by the State. And who exactly would the State be in that event? Well, they would mostly be those of white privilege, some of whom who are calling for the extinction of their own white race. Call them the elite, the 1% or whatever…of course, I’m pretty sure that, although they are calling for the extinction of the white race, they are not really calling for their own personal demise. You can’t rule from the grave, now can you?

 

Epilogue

So, if Christianity has these shortcomings, where does that leave us with respect to the existence of God. Well, in this country, many atheists would argue that if Christianity is wrong about the Bible, then God doesn’t exist. That’s such a stretch of logic, or in this case lack thereof, that it doesn’t deserve a response. However, I’ll give one anyway. That is, just because Christianity is wrong about their god, it doesn’t mean that a Creator isn’t responsible for the universe. I’m simply saying that there might be a third way. Now who can argue with that? Well… apparently everyone.

 

 

“When it comes to the origin of life on this earth, there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation (evolution). There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved 100 years ago, but that leads us only to one other conclusion: that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds (personal reasons); therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance.“

– George Wald, scientist and Nobel laureate

 

P.S. Wald said there are only two ways, but he didn’t say anything about a Christian god – only supernatural (divine) creation or evolution. He must be in agreement, then, that you can have divine creation without having a Christian god. It’s what I refer to as a “third way” – an explanation for creation that has nothing to do with evolution or original sin.

 

 

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Now that Easter is over, I’ve had some time to reflect on what it all means. When I was growing up in a Christian family, I never understood all the fuss concerning Easter. Now that I am older, I understand the fuss but I don’t buy into it. All I see is the Church’s selling of salvation.

I had always been taught that Original Sin comes from the Genesis story. Well, that’s where things get fuzzy. God punished Adam and Eve but he didn’t put any such curse of Original Sin on them (see Genesis 3:16-19). Then in Genesis 8:21, God had an epiphany, “ …and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth….” So, obviously, man did not inherit sin from Adam in that he only became evil beginning in his youth.  Jesus actually talks about how men should be like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven; so, again, no sin until after early childhood. 

That alone should end the discussion, but I wanted to know more.  Since the Genesis story was part of the Jewish Bible and Judaism does not recognize the concept of Original Sin, I wanted to know how that concept found its way into Christianity. Because Original Sin was strictly a Christian concept, I turned to the New Testament for answers. However, the answers weren’t exactly what I had expected. First of all, the disciples did not teach or write about the concept of Original Sin, or Easter either for that matter.  Nevertheless, the subject of sin was a hot topic and the disciples even queried Jesus about it, “And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:2). Jesus responded by saying, “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3). So, even Jesus rebuked the idea of Original Sin.

The first actual mention of Original Sin in the Bible is in Romans. The thing is that Paul’s concept of Original Sin does not mean that Adam’s sin was inherited by future generations as can be plainly seen in Romans 5:14, as follows, “Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come” (emphasis mine). Accordingly, noted 19th century evangelist, Charles Finney, denied the doctrine of Original Sin.

When you think about it, the concept of Original Sin is really only necessary if Jesus came to this world to save mankind. If, instead, he had only came to spread a message of hope and love, then the concept of sin wouldn’t be very important at all. So if the concept of Original Sin is incorrect, which it certainly appears to be, then the idea that Jesus came here to save us all is probably also incorrect. The truth is that Christianity needs the concept of salvation in order to make Jesus a universal savior (as opposed to the Jewish messiah that everyone was expecting and was prophesied about in the Bible).

Likewise, the concept of a Second Coming also needs to agree with the biblical account. For example, in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus discusses the End of Days with the disciples, as follows: “And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).  Jesus responded, in part, by saying, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:29-30).  

The disciples had asked when the end of the world would occur and Jesus answered by saying, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34).  Therefore, as Albert Schweitzer said in his book The Quest of the Historical Jesus, the Second Coming was supposed to occur in the lifetime of the disciples!

 

Epilogue

In a world of false prophets, one can only wonder who speaks the truth and who does not. Clearly, the Bible and Church doctrine are not in agreement. Doctrines like Original Sin, the Trinity and salvation through Christ can all be called into question. 

Early Christian theologian Origen of Alexandria (in On First Principles) said that the resurrection related to the spirit, not the mortal body. He considered the concept of a resurrection to be for those that did not have eyes to see and ears to hear, meaning that the story of the resurrection of a physical body was strictly a surface story for the unenlightened.  The real story could only be understood by those that were very enlightened (and had been initiated into the Mysteries).

All religions borrow concepts from other religions; the resurrection concept is no exception. For example, “The pagan belief was that the sun died on the winter solstice (December 22nd) because on that day the sun reached its lowest point in the heavens. The sun was then considered to be “dead and buried” for three days because it stayed at this lowest point on the horizon during that time. When the sun once again made its way higher in the heavens on December 25th, it was said to have been born again (resurrected)” (The Ethical Warrior, Why Are Christians Leaving the Church?).  So on the spring equinox, pagans celebrated the resurrection of the sun god whose own “death and rebirth” symbolized the death and rebirth of life associated with the spring equinox. That’s the story of how the world wound up with Easter bunnies, Easter eggs and sunrise services.

 

 

Christianity didn’t start out the way that most Christians practice it today.  Some of the church dogma is hardly even recognizable, if at all, in the Bible.  Take Original Sin, for example.

If it was in the Old Testament, it would by necessity have to be part of Jewish religious thought.  However, one rabbi summed up Judaism’s rejection of Original Sin this way, “The term ‘original sin’ is unknown to the Jewish Scriptures, and the Church’s teachings on this doctrine are antithetical to the core principles of the Torah and its prophets.”  By Jewish Scriptures, he meant the Old Testament, of course.  So how exactly, did the Church get there?

The road to Original Sin is a fascinating story.  It all started with the Greek philosopher Epicurus who created the well-known logic problem with respect to  evil and where it came from (for a comprehensive discussion of Epicurus and his logic problem you can read my article “The Illogic of God” posted 8/26/13).  The Church had a quandary.  How do you have a omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God without having to finger Him as the source of evil?

Their answer was remarkably simple.  Since God, by definition, had to have created a perfect world, the source of evil in the world must have been Man.  One problem though, since if God created man then the source of evil still had to be ultimately attributable to this all-powerful God.  The solution to that dilemma was to say that souls were not part of God, which doctrine is typically referred to as creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing); as if anything could ever be created out of nothing.

Aside: Why would a non-contingent being create a contingent being, anyway?

That solution caused yet another problem in that an all-powerful God certainly could have created a good entity (out of himself) if he wanted to.  He didn’t have to resort to creating something out of nothing. So the Church tried to solve that dilemma by saying that Man fell (The Fall of Man) as a consequence of Original Sin. The Church thought that perhaps they were now off the hook. However, an omniscient God would have known the end result (sin) if he had created something out of nothing.  All this twisted logic about Original Sin was simply the result of trying to explain how God (who is presumably good) created man (who is presumably evil).

Aside: Of course, the concept of Original Sin ignores the fact that the Bible says that life was created from either the Waters, the Deep or from the Chaos (depending upon which verse you read), as opposed to creation from absolutely nothing.

French biologist Louis Pasteur, popularly known as the “father of microbiology”, actually may have had the last word on this issue.  It was Pasteur who proved that life can only come from life (omne vivum ex vivo), also known as the Law of Biogenesis.  That pretty much upset the apple cart of both the deists who believed in Original Sin and the evolutionists.  No more primordial soup and no more creating life out of nothing.  Unfortunately, no one was listening then and still are not listening now.  Perhaps they never will.

“Nothing comes from nothing.”

        – Lucretius, Roman poet and philosopher