By the Numbers

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Isn't God Universal Energy?

Isn’t God Universal Energy?

.#Pantheism #Monism
Things appear vastly different to us as plants, animals, persons and stars. But these apparently different things in size, shape, color, temperature and density are all forms of energy. Everything is dying and being reborn or always changing form.
 It is simply illusion to think there’s any one permanent substance other than universal energy. I am part of that energy that will die and take other forms thousands of times. Everything forever moves round and round in cycles (samsarah). It is reality and so obvious it hardly needs proof. If all is ultimately, one substance we call energy, and what’s ultimate we call god, then as part of it, I can say I am god and there can be any number of gods.
We call this viewpoint monism because it claims that ultimately all is one substance and pantheism because that ultimate substance we call god. This is the view of Hinduism and religions derived from this way of thinking such as Buddhism, Taoism, New Age Religion, Christian Science, Unity School of Christianity. While these religions differ on some particular points and applications, they are essentially as described above. I trust I have stated this way of thinking accurately.
 As a Christian and Bible believer, however, I have reasons to think it is not the whole truth or reality. Also, I have reasons to believe my Christian faith is truth, fact and reality. I’m not open to discuss  the pantheist view  as I don't want to waste my time with e-mails. God's ministry is too vital. People need to know and share the truth of God's Word which is the hope of humanity--period!
Reasons to think the pantheist way of thinking is not the whole truth or reality
 First, unlike pantheists I don’t deny the realty of pain, sickness and death. These things exist in reality and we must cope with them, not excuse them with the idea of karma. Karma is the concept that we get what we earned in a former life and to interfere with karma only delays the inevitable. How do we even know we had a former life or lives?
Even supposing the world of things is ultimately illusion it is not presently illusion. Pantheists cannot live as though the world or all existence is mere illusion (maya). They like everyone else must wear clothes, take baths, eat, make purchases, look in the mirror, look both ways for coming traffic and bury the dead. Our human senses tell us these things are not illusions and we must act on them even if they will one day disappear. How can such a philosophy or worldview be illusiion when we cannot consistently apply to our lives?
Second, our human conscience and compassion tell us otherwise. When we all experience sickness, pain and agony, and see these same things in our friends and relations, how can we harden our hearts and turn our backs on such appalling need? Would we not appreciate someone honoring our thirst with a drink of water? In countries where pantheism is dominant persons are seen everywhere in need and passed by without conscience or compassion. Indeed, these persons treat wild beasts with more respect than themselves. Cows are treated better than real people!
Third, mind precedes and transcends matter. A real and distinct difference exists between mind and matter, the physical and the immaterial. Matter is compact energy but is not the same as mind and requires mind to explain it. A rock is not the same as a person--that should be obvious.
Unconscious energy has no capacity and will to plan and create complex life forms we see everywhere in plants and animals. From beginning to end, the structure of life forms requires planning of an infinite intelligence and will. Moreover, everything must begin complete and functional. No living thing can survive with a partially developed digestive system, reproductive system, lungs, eyes, ears, arms, legs, wings. No evidence exists that mutations and acquired characteristics will bring it about--mindless molecules do not arrange themselves into men even if in eternity. Think about it.
Frankly, if I didn’t know about Christian faith and all the evidences and benefits it brings human lives, I might think pantheism made ultimate sense, but at the same time have heartless despair. Pantheism destroys human personality, rationality, human dignity, social concern, absolute truth and ethics. If we are only energy that ends in absorption into Brahma, the World Soul (Atman is Brahman), then what purpose or incentive to life can there be? It seems only escape from a terrible human existence.
Reasons to believe Biblical Christianity is reality
History reveals Jesus is our Creator, Redeemer, and Judge.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him  nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men . . .   And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as   of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-4, 14. 
 In 350 B.C., the great philosopher, Plato, said this: “We wait for one, be he a God or an  inspired man to instruct us in our duties and to take away the darkness from our eyes.”
 “God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the  prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son . . . when He had by Himself  purged our sins.” Hebrews 1:1, 3-4.
 “How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be  spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing  witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit,  according to His own will?” Hebrews 2:3-4.
“He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was  ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”  Acts 10:42.
First, Jesus is Creator. It is reasonable that a finite dependent universe requires an eternal, infinite, independent Creator. Energy dispersion points to a beginning point. Human conscience suggests a moral order. But besides creation and conscience, do we have any personal, visible, objective evidence God exists? Yes, but only in Christian faith. Our planet earth has been invaded by the man from Heaven—the God-man, our Creator and King.
It is no problem for the universe’s Creator to become a man. Jesus Christ not only told us He is God, He demonstrated it visibly in fulfilling ancient prophecies of the Jew’s Messiah, in living a perfect sinless life, in performing hundreds of public miracles spontaneously before astonished disciples and hostile critics, and in predicting his own death and resurrection.
Besides the Bible, more historical evidence exists for Jesus Christ than for Aristotle or Julius Caesar. Check it out. Read, He Walked Among Us, by Josh McDowell & Bill Wilson, or The Historical Jesus, by Gary R. Habermas. The resurrection is the crucial test and while brilliant skeptics have industriously applied their wit to demolish it, the resurrection defies every attack—Jesus is God.  
Hear Peter, the chief apostle of Christ and traveling companion more than three years. He told the Romans to crucify him upside down because he didn’t feel worthy to die the same way as his Lord. Peter would never have died if he knew Jesus-the God-man was only a lie!

 "We did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power  and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” 2 Peter  1:16.
Unlike pantheism, things make sense since we have a personal, ethical Creator as the source and foundation of everything. He provides all we need and cherish—human dignity, rights, ethics, purpose, hope, love, truth, rationality, justice, life beyond the grave and the basis for science and creativity that arise from this.
Second, Jesus is Redeemer. Secular professors and dreamy optimists can talk about the goodness of man all they want to--it just “ain’t so.”  Earth’s soil is drenched in human blood. Human history records the decimation of properties and peoples, violence, rape, murder, crime, everywhere. Why do all nations have armies, jails, police, judges, locks on doors, security guards? Is it because everybody’s so good and trustworthy? Certainly not! Why do people everywhere steal, lie, cheat, fight, hate, gossip? The list of human abuse is unending.
We ignore our sin and blame God for the world’s evils when God created a good world and paradise for man. Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan still deceives us to deny God and have our own self-centered rebellious way. Many people mention God’s name but in profanity rather than in praise and thanksgiving.
We need a Redeemer and only the sinless God-man qualifies. Only the willfully blind would deny it. Try as we may, we cannot keep God’s perfect standards. We cannot even keep our own standards, which are much lower. We tend to criticize other’s sins while blind to our own. And we find ways to justify our habitual sins or claim I’m working on them.
 Moreover, any human notion of an imperfect God won’t do. How can we trust an imperfect God? He might betray us, have problems he can’t handle, be too busy for our concerns, or lose patience with us. Good deeds that outweigh bad deeds are unacceptable to a perfect God. Only 51% goodness cannot assure us of a sinless Heaven. Most religions don't believe in an ethically perfect God and that we can make it on our own.  Are they realistic about the real world around them? Sinful human nature cannot attain perfection--we need a loving forgiving Savior. 
Being God, Jesus can save us. Tested in all points like ourselves as a human being, Jesus proved worthy to be our Savior and assure us of a perfect Heaven. His bloodshed on the cross paid for our sins, made us acceptable with God and worthy of Heaven.   
And finally, Jesus is Judge. The risen Lord promised our every thought, word and deed exposed before Him will receive justice. Jesus, the all-knowing, perfect Ruler of the universe offered us forgiveness, His purity and eternal life. Now we receive our eternal reward or punishment for deeds done in the body and for our acceptance or rejection of Him, the only Savior. Our goodness will not avail. We must humble ourselves and trust the Savior alone as our only answer to sin, death, and Hell.

"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36).  Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). Friend, won't you acknowledge your sin, and say Lord I trust You now and forever to be my Saviour and Guide.


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