Unbelievers often scoff and mock that Christians follow, as these unbelievers say, Bronze or Iron Age beliefs written down by ignorant peasants and superstitious persons thousands of years ago in a no longer relevant book called the Bible, and by using these pejorative and chronologically-snobby labels for the foundational of Christian belief, the unbelievers are obviously trying to imply that Christians are fools for holding to these antiquated ideas, but, in fact, the truth, in many cases, is the exact opposite of what such unbelievers believe, for the fact of the matter is this: in this present age, where 1) we have modern academics and “thinkers” telling us that men can become women by mere verbal fiat, and where 2) we have modern academics and “thinkers”, such as modern ethicists, endorsing infanticide and bestiality and incestuous marriage, and where 3) we have modern academic and “thinkers” telling us that something can come from nothing, or that language is meaningless, or that morality does not exist, or that consciousness and the self just illusions, or that there actually is such a thing as equality in the world between people, or any one of the other myriad of absurd and reality-denying claims made in the modern world today, then I tell you that, in many cases, I am more than happy, and I am more than rational, in preferring to believe the common-sense and time-tested wisdom of reality-hardened men from generations long past than I am in trusting some modern gender-studies professor or some “ethicist” who tells me that shagging sheep is A-OK; remember, truth does not respect chronology, and just because it is 2016 does not mean that we do not have many things insanely wrong, and it is for that reason that in many cases, I am more than happy and smart to embrace Bronze Age beliefs rather than wedding myself to the insanities of our present age.
Although one sometimes hears unbelievers and others talk about how religions and religious belief will soon be thrown in the dustbin of history and thus mankind will move into the ‘shiny secular utopian’ stage of their existence (which all too often has its shiny secular sheen soon marred by buckets upon buckets blood, but that’s a different story), unbelievers and others need to realize that if the past is any indication, then not only is religion like philosophy in that they both tend to bury their undertakers, but religion also gives men the drive to fight and die and sacrifice pleasure for family and for civilization, something which most secular societies do not do as well–as evidenced by the hedonistic and emasculated and suicidally-reality-avoidant and barely repopulating secular societies found in western and northern Europe today–and so the fact is that most likely, religious belief is not going anywhere, and any secular utopian project, even if existent, would likely soon collapse under the weight of its enfeebled, narcissistic, and hedonistic populace.
From time-to-time, I hear certain nominal believers contend–usually the believers who lean towards the “spiritual but not religious” side of the religious spectrum–that they do not need to go to Church given that they can worship God anywhere, and while this is ultimately true, it is also a disingenuous and slightly misleading excuse, for just as it is true that a person can work-out anywhere it is also true that arguably the best place to work-out–the place where one will have the most focus, the least non-exercise related distractions, the most willingness to push one’s self, a natural and encouraging environment for working out, so on–is in a proper and formal gym, and it is also the case that many people claim to be able to work-out anywhere precisely to avoid having to attend the focused confines of the gym, thereby leading them to avoid a strenuous work-out, and in the same way, it is the case that while it is true that a person can worship God anywhere it is also true that arguably the best place to worship Him–the place where one will have the most focus, the least distractions, a natural and encouraging environment for working out, and so on–is in a Church, and so the claim that God can be worshiped anywhere, which is so often just used as an excuse to avoid taking a mere few hours out of one’s day on Sunday, needs to be immediately followed by the understanding that, though it is true that God can be worshiped anywhere, it is also true that a Church is the best place to do so, and that avoidance of this truth simply to indulge one’s sloth and hedonism is a sin; indeed, when you think about it, the aforementioned fact seems obvious, for while a man can be healed anywhere, he is most often best healed in a hospital, and while a man can be educated anywhere, he is most often best educated in an lively educational academy (not like the ones we have today), and while a man can eat anywhere, he is most often best fed in a clean and sanitary restaurant, and so the point stands: while God can indeed be worshiped anywhere, he is, more often than not, best worshiped in the place made to worship Him, and so if you are simply using the excuse that “God can be worshiped anywhere” as a reason to avoid your duty to go to Church, then stop, and get yourself to the place that you should be getting to in order to worship the Lord in the best way possible….and do so today.
Look, the fact of the matter is that Islam may or may not be true, but whether it is or not (and it is not, but that is a different story), the further fact of the matter is that history lays waste to the assertion that Islam is a “Religion of Peace”, for the truth is that for its approximately 1400 year history, and right up to the present day, and wherever Muslims had some larger numbers of men and material with a human population, Islam has been at war along its borders with non-Muslims of every stripe–essentially, Islam has bloody borders–and these wars have, as often as not, and in fact more often than not, been expansionist and offensive in nature, and even in the cases where some of these wars were “defensive” in nature, the wars themselves had earlier been spurned on and instigated by past Muslim aggression (the Crusades fit this category), and the further fact is that such vast expansionist aggression was not earlier seen in Arab pagans or Christians, and so the main unifying theme motivating this aggression was Islam and, of course, the earthly plunder that Islam allows its warriors to have; so again, whether it is ultimately true or not as an overall religion, for the sake of historical and contemporary truth, we need to stop saying that Islam is a religion of peace, for its record does, quite frankly, contradict such a claim to the ‘nth’ degree.
One of the things that I have heard certain atheists from time-to-time semi-humorously posit is that they wonder what advanced aliens, if they ever came to Earth, would think of our religious beliefs and other “superstitions”, and by formulating this sort of semi-thought-experiment, these atheists and unbelievers are clearly implying that these imagined aliens beings would clearly be atheistic in orientation and outlook, and so these unbelievers try to imagine that Christians and other theistic believers would find such an outcome–namely, advanced interstellar beings being atheists–disconcerting and counter to their most deeply held beliefs; but what is interesting to think about, and one of the things these unbelievers rarely seem to consider, is to think how they would react if–and given that we are talking about presently fictitious aliens that no one knows anything about, this upcoming idea is as plausible and possible as the atheistic one–upon arrival, these advanced aliens, far from being atheistic, actually stated that they had come to Earth to preach the Good News of the Son of God who died for the sins of all rational beings…just imagining how certain atheistic jaws would drop at such a sight forms a good-natured and jovial smile on my face, and who knows, maybe one day that is exactly what will come to pass.
Although I am simply thinking out loud with this thought, and though my thought may actually be deemed theologically heretical in orthodox Christianity, I have always been interested in the idea of both ‘reincarnation’ and ‘resurrection’ and as to whether a reconciliation between these two concepts can ever be made, and thus I wonder if it would at all be possible–and of course it would be “possible” in a logical sense, but here I mean possible in a theological sense–that the way to reconcile the idea of reincarnation and resurrection in a Christian context would be to claim that God allows the continual reincarnation of people on this Earth (as people, not animals) until they are reincarnated in a time and place where they are fully and properly exposed to the Gospel, and then, and only then, after freely and with full knowledge choosing to either embrace or reject the Gospel message that they have been exposed to, does God allow such people to finally and fully die in the earthly sense; in this way, not only could the ideas of reincarnation and resurrection by reconciled and both be true–essentially, that you are reincarnated until you are properly exposed to the true religion (first Judaism, then Christianity), then judgement and resurrection–but it would also serve as one possible explanation as to why the Christian faith is to be spread to all corners of the world as well as serving as an answer to the objection that it is unjust for God to judge those who have not heard the Gospel (although this objection is also easily answered by other means)…and so there are a number of reasons to contemplate this idea, and yet, as stated, I am not necessarily endorsing this view, but just expressing some musings about the matter.
In today’s day and age, you often hear the cultural meme that the problem with all religions and all ideologies is their “extremism” and “extremist elements”, but this idea is, in fact, absolute bullshit, for the fact is that there is a world of difference between, say, an extreme pacifist and an extreme jihadi, for while we have little or nothing to fear from the former we have a great deal to fear from the latter, and since such examples can be multiplied many times over with many different ideologies and worldviews (for example, an extreme monk who becomes a spiritual hermit (harmless) vs. an extreme Marxist who leads a bloody revolution (deadly)), we can thus come to realize that it is not the “extremism” that is the problem in and of itself, but rather which ideology one is being extreme in, and so this very truth puts a lie to the claim that we need to be worried about “all” religious or ideological extremists, for what is the worry is the ideology or religion they are being extreme in, not the fact that they are extremists.