The Gospel of Humanity (Part 2)
In the Bible, Jeremiah 31:4 says the Lord will rebuild virgin Israel but Amos 5:2 says virgin Israel will never rise again. Matthew 10:34 records Jesus saying, “I didn’t come to bring peace but a sword,” but in John He says, “My peace I give to you and My peace I leave with you.” These verses aren’t contradiction…they simply need proper interpretation. 1 Corinthians 2:14 tells us that the things of the Spirit are foolishness to natural man. Natural man is blinded when it comes to understanding God’s Word.
When I gave my life to Jesus, He gave me His Holy Spirit to live in me to aid in transforming my mind, working towards ending my worldliness. He enables me to understand Him and His Holy Word. A good example is abortion. The Bible doesn’t use the word abortion or discuss this form of murder but I know how God feels about it. I have (or at least I’m getting) the mind of Christ. Carnal man views abortion as an acceptable solution to something they don’t even as problems. When I was 100% worldly, I saw nothing wrong with homosexuality between consenting adults. Now, I see it in a purer light. It is totally against God’s beautiful invention of (and reason for) sexuality.
The first chapter of Genesis is very vague about the creation process. It offers no details. Why should it? Its purpose is to let us know that God is the Creator. I don’t know much about fossil records or geological formations but I do know that God created me and then recreated me.
Did you ever see a pretty sunset? Ever help an elderly person to cross the street? Ever been in love? Did you ever get goosebumps at hearing a favorite song? God gave us these gifts that enable us to feel. Dogs instinctively nurse their young. They’re “family” for about a year. After that, they’re just dogs. Human children revere their parents for life and then some. God’s creation of animals was good but humans was said to be very good.
A writer in a psychological journal wondered what makes humans distinct from animals. After discarding possibilities like tool usage, language, and ability to reason, he concluded that humans are the only creatures that wonder what makes them distinct. Apes harvest termites with a “tool,” certain insects “cultivate” mushrooms for consumption, birds build species specific nests, whales “sing.” Such simple instinctive practices hardly compare with human achievements: art, technology, science, museums, and historic archives, philosophy, physicians and health care. Culture is definitely a distinguishing mark of mankind. The question is not whether to be involved in culture but how. God intends humans to exercise responsible stewardship that enables us to realize our potential in and for culture.
There are undeniable facts that humans possess God-given “made in His image” traits in order to reflect His good and loving character. The witness of the Holy Spirit is given only to believers and is not verified or falsified by physical evidence but to a believer the indwelling of God’s Spirit is the most important fact that is. It’s imbedded in Christians that His good and right qualities (Fruit of the Spirit) take predominance over worldliness. Most people, whether Christian or not, prefer good over bad.
Man has been on this planet for a very long time but certain human qualities have not been evident for all that long. Evolution as it’s normally thought of can’t be responsible. 150 years ago no one was concerned about their carbon footprint or the hole in the ozone layer. Global arming and other environmental issues are fairly new. We haven’t evolved into our “caring for the Earth” roles. But we’ve adapted!
Archaeology and fossil records show that man has been “spiritual” and had worship practices for as long as he’s existed. We didn’t evolve into being “religious” and we haven’t evolved out of the habit. We’ve always sought our Maker and wondered about our existence and we always will.
In the 1960’s, we protested the killing of Cambodian women and children. Then in 1973 we legalized the killing of unborn babies. Is this forward evolution for the better? How do we explain this as improvement or “upward movement” to our kids? Evolutionists claim man evolved from apes. How do we explain that there are still apes that haven’t changed or “evolved” in all this time?
I believe in Theistic evolution. God set in motion changes to take place on certain things at certain times to keep up with environmental changes. According to science, the same prehistoric creature became the modern horse…and camel. It was nothing more than God-directed adaption. Volcanoes and earthquakes have been changing the surface of this Earth for billions of years and they’re still going on. This is evidence of our Creator creating!
“He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on the face of the earth and has determined their preappointed times and boundaries of their dwellings.” Acts 17:26
A 14-year old Pakistani girl was shot by an extremist group of her own faith simply for pursuing an education. God miraculously saved her despite a bullet in her brain. Now she’s an advocate for women’s education worldwide. She recently went to Nigeria to argue for the release of over 200 kidnapped schoolgirls. Kidnapped by more extremists from her faith.
She’s not Christian. She doesn’t know Jehovah. It doesn’t matter. Mahatma Gandhi is another good example of the true God’s love and mercy. Gandhi was a Hindu religious leader and social reformer. He didn’t believe in or worship Jehovah either but he led a more virtuous life than most Christians. His choice of religion believes in a caste system which places one group of people over another based on social breeding, financial value, education and other superficial considerations. Although Hindu and a life-long believer in this social system, Gandhi spent his adult life showing Godly love and compassion to the lowest forms of India’s people, including lepers (hmm…Jesus hung with lepers).
The goodness put forth by this non-Christian pair reminds me that virtue and morals come from Yahweh, the Father of us all. It doesn’t matter what your faith or doctrine is…it doesn’t even matter what god you believe in. Godly character is more than moral or legal correctness. It’s the possession and display of the graces of His fruits which every person on Earth has. When any of these qualities are manifested and shown it paints a moral portrait of Christ and when we bear His fruit we glorify Him! You don’t have to be Christian to display Christ.