. . . with Long Lasting Implications
FEW THINGS occur in the life of a sociologist that totally change their perspective on mankind. Often, we merely verify what is common knowledge within the field. Occasionally, if one happens to be fortunate enough, we'll make an observation that adds to that common knowledge. And once in several lifetimes, as in my case, Dr. Marcus Samuels, we stumble upon something so profound that it threatens to turn that common knowledge on its head.
It began with a thought that occurred to me during my graduate days. At that time, I had not the resources nor the reputation to prove its validity. However, not long ago, thanks to a generous Congress, money became available in the form of research grants. And so, to make a long story slightly shorter, here's what happened when, in an effort to partake of those funds, I presented my proposal . . .
'Samuels, I don't understand you. An opportunity like this opens up and you propose an experiment based on superstition.'
'Dr. Watkins,' I insisted, 'please hear me out--'
'I think we've heard enough!' Watkins was his normal overbearing self as Chairman of the sociology department. He turned his attention toward Dr. Richards, who nodded in complete agreement. Why Richards, a devout evolutionist, was even present I'll never know to this day. But in hind- sight, I know now why he eventually came to dislike me.
'I only ask,' I said in self-defense, 'that you consider my idea with an open mind.'
Richards drew, once more, from his cigarette. The annoying habit had forced us to meet outside, on one of the campus' patio tables. 'As a Darwinist,' he began, releasing smoke from his mouth, 'I don't understand why you refuse to accept natural selection as the sole explanation.'
'Dr. Richards, I merely wish to pursue another possible explanation for man's fear of death, one which I believe more accurately explains--'
'But Samuels,' Watkins interjected, 'death is an integral part of the evolutionary process. It's the driving force behind survival of the fittest--'
'But that's exactly my point. If death is so natural, then why does mankind do everything within its power to counteract it? Why is death so repulsive to us?'
Richards shook his gray head. 'We're going in circles here. Your logic is convoluted.'
'No, it's not!' I said, leaning forward. 'For example, you often hear of people complaining about how time flies. People try to make the most of every fleeing moment, and when they don't, they often live to regret it. Why? Why the obsession with time? You wouldn't expect a fish to complain about how wet the water is, would you? Of course not, unless it was meant to live on dry land. Likewise, why do we complain about finite time? Unless we were originally intended to live forever.'
Richards rolled his eyes as he lit another cigarette. 'Originally intended? Are you suggesting we were created? Doctor, please. Let's stick with the facts.'
'The facts as you assume them to be have yet to be proven. But, I'm not here to argue about evolution's validity. I'm here to present an alternative explanation for why we act the way we do.'
Richards waved me off, focusing his attention on his cigarette.
I frowned, amazed at how, as a scientist, his 'open mind' didn't have enough room to take in a supposedly closed-minded view. From that point on, I directed my words toward Watkins. 'Consider the following: Mankind shouldn't be constantly seeking to worship someone or something unless he was created, yes created, to worship. Mankind shouldn't have a tendency to follow unless he was created to follow someone. Mankind shouldn't have the capacity to love, a trait that totally flies in the face of survival of the fittest, unless he was created with that capacity. I could go on--'
'Please don't,' Richards said.
'Okay,' I answered. 'I will. Where did man's idea of morality come from, when to display such tendencies would undermine his ability to survive in a dog-eat- dog world? What survival advantage does self-sacrifice possibly serve? Why does mankind wear clothes if he is just another animal? Who told him to do that?'
Richards began to grin. 'Ah, but you assume that wearing clothes is some preprogrammed disposition. I, for one, wouldn't mind living in a nudist colony.'
'I'm sure you wouldn't, having evolved from a monkey.'
'Gentlemen, please,' Watkins said, fighting back a smile. 'Samuel, it's nothing personal. I've always considered you brilliant in your own way. But, please understand. What would it look like if we approved money to pursue what frankly is something better left to religionist superstition?'
'Superstition?' I said.
'Besides,' Richards added, 'how do you intend on proving your theory? Or are you going to try phoning your supposed Creator?' Richards smiled and glanced at Watkins. 'Perhaps Samuels found His phone number scribbled in a phone booth.'
Both men broke into laughter.
I slowly shook my head. Here were two scientists, confronted with a thought-provoking question, but simply because of it's religious connotation, they chose to
be scoffers instead. I opened my briefcase and pulled out a Bible. They immediately stopped laughing.
'Gentlemen,' I began, with a desperate display of boldness. 'I propose the following experiment: characterize the human predilections of every civilization that has ever lived, including our own, and compare them with those tendencies that a being created for a purpose should have. I suspect you'll find that man, as a whole, acts more in line with what you'd expect a created being to act like than one who has evolved.'
'Preposterous!' Richards said, aggressively putting out his cigarette. 'It would be a complete waste of time and money!'
'Okay, then prove me wrong,' I said, facing Watkins, 'and I'll never ask for another grant again. In fact, if I end up proving that Richards is right, I'll publish the results under his name, giving him full credit.'
Watkins smiled and faced Richards. 'Derek, you must admit, it's a tempting offer.'
Richards inserted a new cigarette in his mouth. The end slightly trembled as he began to light it. 'It wouldn't work,' he said. 'You lack an objective model. How are you going to define what a created being should be like? Your own definition would be skewed by your expected results.'
'I'll use this as my model.' I pointed at the Bible. 'It describes the attributes of a created being.'
'In that case, you're bound to fail since your model is bound to have contradictions.'
'Then my loss is your gain, remember? Come on, gentlemen, recommend the grant. If you're so sure of the results, prove me wrong. Prove the Bible wrong!'
Both men looked at each other, then sat back in their chairs. I quietly waited as Watkins, who had the final say, rubbed his chin in contemplation. He finally shook his head. 'I'm afraid I can't approve of this. We all know there's no Creator anyway.'
Richards relaxed in his chair. 'Well! Now that we've settled this, is anyone interested in grabbing a bite?'
'I've already eaten, thank you,' I said, smiling, as I pulled out my notebook.
'I must say,' Watkins began, 'you are taking the decision rather well.'
I continued to smile, making notes. 'Actually, things turned out in my favor. . . you've proven me right.' From the corner of my eye I could see Richards gather his eyebrows. 'You see, gentlemen, your attitude toward my proposal has reinforced my theory. You've acted in accordance to the Bible's model of a created being . . . or more specifically . . . a created being in rebellion against his Creator.'
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated between you and your God," Isa. 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" Rom. 3:23.
And Jesus, referring to sinners, said that He:
"shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity [sinners]; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Mat. 13:41-42
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 Baptism, good deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are all examples of good works that cannot save you, because: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he [Christ] saved us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8-9) THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and Him alone, to save you.
"if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Rom. 10:9
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