Most Atheists point to physics and science to explain away God. Often I struggle with many of these questions, and while I have read about countless famous physicists that believe there must be a God, I was curious as to what the more modern Physicists and Theologians thought on this topic.  Upon doing some research on the topic, I came across a really interesting site that explores this topic. The article is written by PHD Fr. Robert Spitzer who has written some very highly regarded books on the subject. This article, https://strangenotions.com/how-contemporary-physics-points-to-god/, goes into some of the modern theories on the Big Bang Theory, the Multiverse Theory, and the theory of an oscillating universe in higher dimensional space. 

“Guth concluded this study as follows: “In my own opinion, it looks like eternally inflating models necessarily have a beginning…As hard as physicists have worked to try to construct an alternative, so far all the models that we construct have a beginning; they are eternal into the future, but not into the past.”3This snippet is from a point in the articles where three separate papers by written by the Physicists Borde, Vilenkin, and Guth all came to the same conclusion. The article is very scientific and parts are hard to understand, but if you are a science nerd, you will find it fascinating. 

On a side not, there is a massive list of books recommended by this site that this site recommends, many of which will be added to my exhaustive reading plan. https://strangenotions.com/books/

Another article that was dumbed down, but the final page has a super interesting article. Watch the double slit test. I had read about this recently and was baffled. 

Article on the Afterlife

More recently in 2007, one scientist claims to have discovered a theory within quantum physics that provides and explanation for death and afterlife. Dr. Robert Lanza, developed the theory of biocentrism which states that the existence of life and biology are central to being, reality and the cosmos—our consciousness. In essence, it is that life creates the universe, rather than the other way around. Dr. Lanza uses the famous ” double-slit test ” to illustrate his point: the double slit test is an experiment of light and matter which found that it can display characteristics of both waves and particles—it’s behavior changes depending on the observer’s perception and consciousness—quite an unexplained phenomenon of quantum physics! Dr. Lanza asks “Why does our observation change what happens? Answer: Because reality is a process that requires our consciousness.” He claims that this experiment would explain the quantum effects of the afterlife and supports the many reports of afterlife experiences by people who have died, visited another realm and lived to tell about it. One such supporter of this theory is Dr. Eben Alexander, whom cannot scientifically explain his experience visiting heaven when he was clinically brain dead from meningitis, thus making it scientifically impossible to generate any neurologic activity and brain function. Yet, he had such a powerful afterlife experience that he has lived to tell.  He said, ‘My journey deep into coma, outside this lowly physical realm and into the loftiest dwelling place of the almighty Creator, revealed the indescribably immense chasm between our human knowledge and the awe-inspiring realm of God.”  He goes on to state, “The brain itself does not produce consciousness.  That it is, instead, a kind of reducing valve or filter, shifting the larger, nonphysical consciousness that we possess in the nonphysical worlds down into a more limited capacity for the duration of our mortal lives.” (Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey Into the Afterlife, 2012) While Dr. Lanza’s theory is not widely embraced by fellow scientists, his discovery in conjunction with quantum physics certainly could shed light on God’s promise of eternal life to those who believe (John 3:16). As the Bible so beautifully explains in 2 Corinthians 4:18 “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/faiths/galleries/how-quantum-physics-proves-gods-existence.aspx?p=5#3Goy0mweW5FM4G6f.99

Another non-scientific article that has a good statement by a Physicist:http://bigthink.com/dr-kakus-universe/we-physicists-are-the-only-scientists-who-can-say-the-word-god-and-not-blush

 I had read or heard somewhere that Christians should memorize the Lord’s prayer and say it each morning and evening. That didn’t make a lot of sense to me, so I did some research. According to https://bible.org/seriespage/3-lord-s-prayer-matthew-65-15-luke-111-13 It says, “One of the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1). Jesus said that prayer should not be a way to get attention and praise from people. It should be done with a right heart toward God. It is wrong to pray just to impress people.” 

Another section goes on to say, “Prayer is the time you spend being real with God. It is when you pour our your heart to Him. You can tell God anything and everything. You can tell Him when you are angry or hurt or disappointed. You can talk to Him about the good stuff that happened in your day. He is with you every minute, so it should be easier to talk to Him than to your best friend or even your mom or dad. Prayer is also when you stop to listen to His voice (John 10:27).

Jesus gave a perfect example of how to pray. We call it “The Lord’s Prayer.” Lots of people can say this from memory, but remember, Jesus just said not to repeat the same words over and over. Reciting this prayer does not take the place of heart-felt conversations with your heavenly Father. Jesus wanted to tell His disciples the type of prayer to pray. These things are the type of things that God will honor in your prayers.”

Here are the two examples of The Lord’s Prayer. It is a great prayer to know for family gatherings etc, when you are uncomfortable just talking from your mind in a group or family setting, like at Easter or Christmas dinner. 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew%206:9-6:13&version=KJV
Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=luke%2011:2-11:4&version=KJV
Luke 11:2-4King James Version (KJV)
And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

New International Version
“The first lot, which was for Asaph, fell to Joseph, his sons and relatives 12 the second to Gedaliah, him and his relatives and sons 12”

Over and over they kept saying each lot fell to 12. 

According to https://www.gotquestions.org/casting-lots.html  “Various offices and functions in the temple were also determined by lot (1 Chronicles 24:53125:8-926:13-14).”

This appears to be 12 was this specific job and each time someone drew 12, the received the said job. “God allowed the Israelites to cast lots in order to determine His will for a given situation…”

Today I got to thinking when considering a purchase, what am I allowed to do on the Sabbath? Am I allowed to shop? Am I allowed to buy online? Does that still apply to the New Testament? So many questions…

In the dictionary the Sabbath is referred to as: a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, kept by Jews from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and by most Christians on Sunday.

This site is quite good and explains a lot about the Sabbath: https://www.sabbathtruth.com/ They are very keen on observing the Sabbath on Saturday. In fact many of the sites I see seem to be insistent on it. I’m curious then, why do every church observe on Sunday (for the most part)?

Another site describing the Sabbath: http://www.crosswalk.com/church/worship/what-is-the-purpose-of-the-sabbath.html with some interesting information.

This site is much more liberal about the Sabbath and does not believe it should be followed to the letter like many others. It has a passage showing what Jesus (who obviously is the ultimate authority on everything) says in several passages:

https://www.gci.org/law/sabbath

“Jesus always compared the Sabbath to ceremonial laws, not to moral laws. When his disciples were picking grain, he used the example of the showbread, and the work of the priests in the temple (Matt. 12:3-6). Those rituals were just as important as the Sabbath. He said that circumcision could be done on the Sabbath (John 7:22), which indicates that circumcision is a more important law than the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a ritual law—it says that behavior that is perfectly good one day, is forbidden on another, simply because the earth has rotated. But true morality does not change from one day of the week to another. When ritual laws became obsolete when Jesus died, it should be no surprise that the ritual of the Sabbath also became obsolete.

Jesus said that daily chores could be done on the Sabbath (Luke 13:15). Even hard labor could be done in an emergency (Luke 14:5). He told a healed man to carry his sleeping mat, even though there was no hurry (John 5:8). He even used the word “work” to describe his activity (v. 17). Many Christians follow this example. They remember that Jesus consistently criticized the Sabbath rules of the Pharisees, and that he treated it as a ritual law.”

The site also states:

  1. The first place we see a command for the Sabbath is in the law of Moses.
  2. The law of Moses contains many commands that Christians do not have to keep.
  3. Even laws that came before Moses, such as circumcision, can be obsolete.
  4. To see which laws are obsolete, we need to study the New Testament.
  5. The New Testament never commands the Sabbath.
  6. Jesus always criticizes Sabbath rules, and never tells anyone to be careful about what they do on the Sabbath.
  7. Jesus always groups the Sabbath with ceremonial and ritual laws.
  8. Peter and Paul could live like Gentiles if they wanted to.
  9. Paul said that something about the Ten Commandments was fading away

This site makes a ton of other great points. Without stealing too much of their content, the also point out a passage from Paul (one of Jesus’s disciples) that says “In Romans 14, Paul writes that some Christians consider “one day more sacred than another,” whereas other Christians consider “every day alike.” In the Roman church, partly composed of Jews and partly composed of Gentiles, it is obvious what kind of days might be considered sacred.”

Here is another site with similar view points: https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA135/are-the-sabbath-laws-binding-on-christians-today

This is another site that kind of has an in-between message: https://www.gotquestions.org/Sabbath-keeping.html they quote from the Colossians and state:  “In Colossians 2:16-17, the apostle Paul declares, “Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Similarly, Romans 14:5 states, “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” These Scriptures make it clear that, for the Christian, Sabbath-keeping is a matter of spiritual freedom, not a command from God. Sabbath-keeping is an issue on which God’s Word instructs us not to judge each other. Sabbath-keeping is a matter about which each Christian needs to be fully convinced in his/her own mind.”

I believe a combination of the last two thoughts are the most accurate. The Sabbath was not meant to be a chore for man. It was designed for the ancient Israelites to have a day of rest and worship. Today we do not do 6 days of hard labor.

All throughout the Old Testament it says someone is tearing their garments. 

According to https://www.gotquestions.org/tear-clothes-Bible.html it meant a display of sorrow, loss, or mourning in Jewish custom.

Another interesting article on the subject is found here https://www.jw.org/en/publications/magazines/ws20140815/rip-apart-garments/it also dicusses why they got rid of this custom.

I’m not going to lie… this passage troubled me. It says:

2 Kings 2:23-24, “Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up by the way, young lads came out from the city and mocked him and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead; go up, you baldhead!” 24 When he looked behind him and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the LORD. Then two female bears came out of the woods and tore up forty-two lads of their number.”

The site, https://carm.org/why-did-god-kill-42-lads-merely-saying-elisha-was-bald gives the explanation, “Given the challenge of the youths, their intimidating number which could constitute a mob, their veiled threat, the contemptuous attitude, and the fact that Elisha was the prophet of God, the Lord allowed the youths to be destroyed. But, God did not break his own moral law.  The Bible says do not murder.  Murder is the unlawful taking of life.  But, all people have sinned against God and are worthy of death (Rom. 3:236:23).  So, God had them killed according to the Law.”

This site has a better explanation: https://www.gotquestions.org/Elisha-baldhead.html  “In summary, 2 Kings 2:23-24 is not an account of God mauling young children for making fun of a bald man. Rather, it is a record of an insulting demonstration against God’s prophet by a large group of young men. Because these young people of about 20 years of age or older (the same term is used of Solomon in 1 Kings 3:7) so despised the prophet of the Lord, Elisha called upon the Lord to deal with the rebels as He saw fit. The Lord’s punishment was the mauling of 42 of them by two female bears. The penalty was clearly justified, for to ridicule Elisha was to ridicule the Lord Himself. The seriousness of the crime was indicated by the seriousness of the punishment. The appalling judgment was God’s warning to all who would scorn the prophets of the Lord.”

I think it is fair to take into consideration that in this time, God was more visible to the people, and with his spirit and presence be obviously observed in his servants, to mock and disrespect him has severe consequences. It worries me thinking about how badly people mock God, Jesus, and Christianity as a whole. I am guilty of terrible thoughts, statements, and the likes. While I feel I am better than before, now that I have been in the word, I still am guilty of disrespect. I still fear for those who regularly mock God and take his name in vain. Reading the Old Testament really shows you how disrespect to God will invoke his wrath, and rightfully so. I implore anyone reading this to ask for forgiveness for yourself and others. 

It states that these books have been lost and have not yet been found. Some interesting information can be found here: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/books-of-the-chronicles-of-the-kings-of-judah-and-israel They also state “he content of these books appears identical in character to the Assyrian annals. Probably the mass of facts on royal activities in Kings came from these books.”

 

An Asherah pole is a sacred tree or pole that stood near Canaanite religious locations to honor the Ugaritic mother-goddess Asherah, consort of El. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asherah_pole

More information is found here: https://www.gotquestions.org/Asherah-pole.html

According to some websites, the Golden Calf was an intermediary (similar to Moses) to their god. http://thetorah.com/what-was-the-golden-calf/

Others state that the golden calf is a symbol of desire.

According to the website: https://www.gotquestions.org/Solomon-Adonijah-Abishag.html

“Solomon rightly saw Adonijah’s desire to marry Abishag as part of his brother’s ongoing attempt to take over the kingdom of Israel.
In those days of royal harems, taking possession of a king’s concubines was a declaration of one’s right to the throne. This had been one of Absalom’s methods when he led a coup against David (2 Samuel 16:22). Since Abishag was considered part of David’s harem, her marriage to Adonijah would have strengthened the usurper’s claim to the throne.”

Another great explanation I found on a Catholic forum. User Rocks_91 says “This Adonijah had previously declared himself king. David wanted his son Solomon to be king, as he had promised his wife that it would be so, and had Solomon anointed and crowned.

When Adonijah made the request to Bathsheba to take one of Solomon’s servants as his wife, of course Solomon must have thought that the guy had some nerve. Solomon saw him as a very dangerous person and a potential threat to his kingdom, and thus had him killed.” https://forums.catholic.com/t/why-did-solomon-have-adonijah-killed/255524 The full conversation and thread can be found here: 

In this passage I was confused as to why God grew angry at Israel and David for numbering his people (taking a census.) 

According to this website: https://www.gotquestions.org/David-census.html it says “As to why God was angry at David, in those times, a man only had the right to count or number what belonged to him. Israel did not belong to David; Israel belonged to God.”

They also speculate that it was Satan who tempted David to take a census of his people. 

Another website https://www.thisisyourbible.com/index.php?page=questions&task=show&mediaid=1122 corroborates this theory by saying ” 1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked (Hebrew two sooth) David to number Israel. ‘Satan’ in Hebrew means ‘adversary’. In Numbers 22:22 ‘satan’ is properly translated as ‘adversary’.”