“Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1
By Dionysis Theodorou
History 102 Section 101
December 16th 1999
“God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God” 1 Corinthians 2:10-12
From the beginning of time man has sought to find answers about his past, present and future. We are curious and we want to know, we want to satisfy the hunger that we have for knowledge. Jesus said “ I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst” John 6:35-36. There have been many theories about where we came from and where we are going, and many ideologies have been carefully mapped out and implemented in the hope of achieving a more peaceful, fair world where everyone is equal and everyone has equal status and opportunity. We have been trying to create a utopia! Utopia!
It is not at all surprising to find out what the meaning of this ancient Greek compound word is: Outopia. Ou means no or not, and Topos means place. Ou-topia, or no-place. Man does not have the power, wisdom, or the understanding to create such an environment for living. We have tried and we have failed in the most terrible ways. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” Proverbs 1:7
Charles Darwin was right to have his fears about the validity of his theory. After all, he had spent most of his life coming to the conclusion that all life had a common ancestor, and that we all evolved from that common ancestor. Of course, there are so many problems with this theory, but because of the ignorance of man, and mans enmity with God, people would rather embrace such folly than humble themselves to the will of God. “The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14. All this is the will of God “the Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble” Proverbs 16:4. Boards of Education are questioning Darwin’s theory around the country, and different ways of approaching the Creation v Evolution problem are being devised.
We think that things are so complicated, but things are not. There are not really that many choices. If you believe that we evolved from a common ancestor by random processes, then I guess you have to believe that there is not a creator. There is not a hereafter, and when we die, we really die and return to the dust. If there is no God, then everything that happens in the world is coincidental, accidental, and evolving in the same random sequence that it has been evolving since before the heavens and the earth came into existence.
Our whole lives: the way we live, the choices that we make, the jobs that we have, the people that we marry; every opportunity that comes our way and everyone that we know, is a huge accident that ends abruptly by accident and we are never conscious of anything ever again. What a wonderful concept! Not a very hopeful way to live our lives.
Is it true though? “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths” 2 Timothy 4:3-4.
People are not interested in knowing the truth, so they just swallow what they are fed without ever really questioning if it is harmful or nutritious.
Karl Marx had the best intentions when he argued against Malthus that it is not under production but unequal distribution that was the cause of hunger and poverty on earth. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is a noble way to live. Karl Marx was on the right track theoretically, but history teaches us that the enforcement of this theory had dire consequences, and the pains are still being felt in much of the world today. Quite a dark picture really. Is there any hope? “The fear of man lays a snare, but he who trusts in the Lord is safe. Many seek the favour of a ruler but from the Lord a man gets justice” Proverbs 29:25-26.
It seems that everything that we have tried has failed. We are still trying, where there is no struggle there is no progress, but where will it lead us? It will inevitably lead us somewhere. With all the knowledge that we have acquired, and all the technology that has been invented, we still cannot be at peace with each other. We think we are at peace but we are not! It is not in our nature to be at peace with each other. In the former Soviet Union there seemed to be peace for a very long while. People with many differences living in close proximity to one another being kept together by strict dictatorship. When this dictatorship fell apart look what happened. Where are we heading today? What political ideology is driving the world forward today? What about world peace? What will hold this world peace together? “When people say ‘there is peace and security,’ Then sudden destruction will come upon them as travail comes upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3-4.
Darwin was uncertain and Marx failed! Shall we put our trust in them, or in any man? “A voice says, ‘cry!’ and I said, ‘what shall I cry?’ all flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field, the grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely the people is grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:6-8
Many people attack the church, the organized church, and rightfully so. It is an institution that is corrupt and which has been corrupt from the beginning. People like Marx and Darwin had every right to rebel against an authoritative church where no freedom was given to anyone, and laws where set down without the choice to disobey them. Where was the freedom that the Lord promised? “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32
The church was offering anything but freedom. People were being awakened to new ideas. They were being set free from the bondage that the Church had on them. They were finding reasons to reject the Church and everything that they knew about the Church, which wasn’t much. Reasons to reject the God that the Church was supposed to represent, who it was not representing. People were in affect trading one form of bondage for another.
The enlightenment and the revolutions never achieved what they wanted to achieve. This is obvious now. At the time, the only force that was to be challenged was the Church, and challenged it was. Was this the true church? An institution with much real estate and enormous political power. “And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciple said to him, ‘Look, teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!’ and Jesus said to him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down.’” Mark 13:1-2.
An institution built on the teachings and commandments of men? How can it be pure if it is man-made? “This people honours me with their lips but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” Matthew 15:8-9; Isaiah 29:13-14. The true church is not built by man but is built by God Himself “So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built into it for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22.
The world is not in our hands, nor is it in our control. Many men will come and many men will go; men who are perceived by men, as being wise. Men who are sure that they have the answers, and by whom many will be deceived and carried away.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is the beginning of insight.” Proverbs 9:10, and “The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings of one shepherd.
My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making of many books there is no end, and much study is weariness of the flesh. The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:11-14