All posts by Hiryu

Acceptance and Inlcusiveness

These two words are very heavily used in “minority” communities. Millennials have specifically adopted these words to reflect their mindsets. Are they really more accepting of others than the previous generations? The media would have you believe so, but is it true?

As Millennials, we need to filter out the noise of what is told to us in everyday life. I have said that before in previous posts, but let me expand on what I mean. This generation has been bred to be skeptical of everything that revolves around certain ideals. Ideals that mostly belong to previous generations. The biggest one is Christianity, of course.

The skeptic narrative is selective, however. We are supposed to believe everything that a scientist or a doctor tells us because they have that degree. To an extent, I can understand this. There is merit in recognizing the years of work that have gone into medical school or a Ph.D. in Marine Biology. Chances are they know many more things than the average person in their respective field. That doesn’t mean they can’t lie for money.

Not to digress too much, but to finish, you shouldn’t blindly believe anything on either side. As I’ve said before, we should question both sides of an argument.

So, how does this tie into the two title words? Just as our skeptical nature is being groomed in a selective way, so too is our understanding of acceptance and inclusiveness. The truth is that the media’s idea of acceptance only goes as far as people who agree with them. This goes for both sides of the political spectrum. It is mostly slanted, however, towards not accepting Christians.

Why is it that Christians have been put in this position where a large portion of the United States outright hate us? Some may say that it is because they don’t want to hear the truth. They don’t want to be accountable to a higher power. That does make sense. Who wants to be accountable to anyone else? This might be a piece of the puzzle, but I don’t think it’s the main reason.

God says something very important about restoring our land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. “

When Hurricane Katrina happened, Christians were infamous for telling New Orleans that it was their fault because they advocated very sinful practices. Maybe they were correct. That doesn’t matter to me. They just lost their homes and some family members and you want to publicly denounce them as sinful people? Where is the love of God in that? If you thought that was going to turn people to Christ, well guess what? Survey says: not a chance!

In my opinion, the harsh truth is that a vocal minority of Christians is heavily to blame for where they are at in the public view. It may have been a minority who preached fire and brimstone to everyone. That’s all it took. Because there were so many professed Christians in the world, a small minority is still in the realm of millions of people. Unfortunately, there are countless testimonies of people who grew up Catholic or Protestant that turned away because of how they were treated.

Of course, it also doesn’t help that the whole Catholic Priest thing happened. Nice job, guys. I’m sure they played a bunch of violent video games in the 1950s that caused them to turn into pedophiles.

Many of these groups that have formed in the past two decades use words like inclusive and accepting in their credo, but they all share a hatred for Christianity. Meanwhile, they condemn any opposition as “hate speech”. The irony is palpable.

We as Christians have every right to call a spade a spade. We can call out certain groups as hate groups or as being hypocritical. But at the same time, we need to understand where this all came from.

Matthew 7:3-5 says, ““Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

It looks like many Christians skipped over that part of the Bible. As humans, we are not perfect. There will usually be a plank in our eye when we believe there to be a speck in someone else’s. We should have been trying to help these people that we turned away by humbling ourselves. When Jesus walked the earth, he never condemned people for their sins. He got angry when he needed to, but he directed it at the sin of selling in the holy place. He didn’t flip the bird to the Pharisees and hold up a sign that said: “Y’all goin’ to hell!”.

People who have been turned away by their churches found other groups that were willing to fill that void that God fills. As Christians, we understand that God loves us for who we are. He sacrificed the Son so that we can have eternal life. This is all despite the fact that we fail to live up to God’s standards every single day. Those who fled the church have found what they believe to be that same sensation elsewhere.

The problem is that it’s not immutable. As it turns out, humans are really bad at playing God. Many of these groups say they love you for who you are, but will cast you out at the first sign of trouble. Just look at Hollywood, for example. Over the last few years, they have all tried to oust each other as sexual predators while trying to take the moral high ground.

“They need you right now, but when they don’t, they’ll cast you out. Like a leper. See, their morals, their “code”… it’s a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these uh, these “civilized people”, they’ll eat each other. “

This is a quote from “The Dark Knight” when Batman is interrogating Joker. I’ve felt for a while that this quote perfectly describes Hollywood and many groups that consider themselves as accepting.

Tying the 2 Chronicles verse back, this is how I believe we should proceed. We need to get right in our own sins and then extend a hand to everyone. Millennials who are Christians should be especially active in being accepting. If we are the ones who show the most acceptance, it will be the game-changer. “We’re sorry for how you were treated. I promise, God still loves you and wants to have a relationship with you.” It’s not up to us to decide how each other needs to change. We don’t need to play God to nonbelievers. There’s a far more capable being that is ready to do that.

If you are reading and you grew up in the church only to be turned away by how you were treated, this part is for you. The community is getting better, I believe. One church may not have been willing to accept you, but I promise you that there is one out there that is more than happy to accept you as you are.

“VENGEANCE is Mine”

The title phrase is something that is thrown around a lot. It is a useful quote to remind people that God is in control. He will take care of the unjust and that we should not worry about what is coming to the wicked. But often we believe that we know what is the best revenge. Let’s examine arguably the most famous example of revenge in the Bible. This will show just how wrong we can be with this thought process.

One of the greatest film scores of all time is in a Dreamworks movie that I believe you all know. Prince of Egypt may not be 100% accurate to Exodus’ accounts, but it is an incredible piece of film history. Most notably, the soundtrack is stunning, really capturing the emotion of the times. My favorite track is “The Plague”, also known as “Let My People Go” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDtGfvc3WzY

We all know the story of Moses and the ten plagues. I could let my case rest right here and we can all agree that the plagues themselves were worse than what any of us can legally do to someone. But as I was reading up on the plagues, there is something far more devious layered in the plagues than just the physical ramifications.

If you look at Egyptian mythology, you will note that they worshiped 10 gods in particular. These 10 areas of worship were the 10 areas that were attacked. For more information, read this link: https://owlcation.com/humanities/Ten-Plagues-For-Ten-Gods

When I read this, I was blown away. Not only did God destroy Egypt physically, he hit them where it really hurt. He destroyed their religion. The greatest god in their religion other than the Pharaoh was the sun god Ra. When God covered Egypt in darkness for three days, he laughed in the face of the most revered being in their religion.

And then he did the unthinkable. He humiliated the Pharaoh by killing his firstborn. In the beginning of Exodus, the Egyptians did the same thing to the Hebrews. If they had microphones in those times, I imagine God dropped one the size of Mt. Sinai.

I have always had a difficult time coming to grips with the concept that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart. Sure, it was his choice to begin with, but why did God have to propagate it? In my opinion, this is the major reason. God wasn’t just punishing Egypt for enslaving his chosen people. It was time for a regime of false gods to topple over. And when he did it, he did it in the most dramatic way. And let’s be honest, the coolest way possible. We see God do this with Baal later on with Elijah when he sends his fire down. Any time God decides to destroy an idol, he makes a spectacle of it. And I could not be happier to read about it, because he often does it in some of the coolest and most humiliating ways.

So in conclusion, when God says “Vengeance is mine” (Romans 12:19), let’s all take solace that God really means that. Just remember Sodom and Gomorrah. Remember Baal. Remember the golden calf that was melted down in front of the Israelites. Just listen to “The Plague” from “Prince of Egypt” and think about how God went out of his way to go above and beyond to get revenge for his people and for his glory. We may not always be able to see the tangible effects, but know that all will be judged, because nothing can escape his sight.

Christianity and Evolution: Where Should We Stand?

The rise of the theory of evolution has become problematic for some sects of Christianity. There are many who discount the idea of evolution entirely to fit their level of faith. Others believe that God created the universe billions of years ago and then just left it to its own devices to evolve over time. This is called theistic evolution. Of course, it is impossible to know what theory is actually correct. There is very little that we know about the beginning of the universe. My generation as a whole has bought into evolution as it is presented by media and common core education. So where should we as Christians stand on this subject?

First, the research. What does the Bible say about how old the earth is? Well, it really doesn’t say. The 6,000-year theory comes from the genealogy that is littered throughout the Bible. We cannot be sure that the genealogy is complete, however. It does not perfectly stretch from Adam to the end of the Bible without gaps. We also do not know how large of a gap there was between the seventh day where God rested and the creation of man.

Evolution is roughly based on a few scientific reasons. Carbon dating is a major indicator as well as interstellar matter and how long it would take to form said matter. The problem is that carbon dating is more unreliable than what is presented in schools. We’ve learned through many different studies that the formation of carbon can be sped up under different conditions. Empirical evidence has shown this through Spirit Lake after Mt. Saint Helens’ eruption.

Regardless of this, the theory of evolution has grown considerably since Darwin and has become more refined over the years. A theory is something that is formed through the scientific method. It has been tempered through multiple experiments. If something does not agree with your hypothesis, then you change your hypothesis until you can find results that match. That becomes your theory at the end of everything.

Many sects of Christianity have attacked evolution on the basis of its changing nature. I was taught this at a young age, but I cannot fully agree on this premise. The fact that it is changing is not necessarily a bad thing for Christianity. I will explain why later. The truth is that evolution is getting more precise as time goes on. That’s why it is constantly changing.

On the other hand, I also cannot agree with the sentiment to fully place faith in the theory of evolution as it is presented today. If it is constantly changing, you should be prepared for it to change again. We should always look to the future where our understanding of science, in general, will be different. Faux scientists consider our understanding of evolution as fact. Science does not generally believe in absolutes except where we have made laws. Newton’s laws of motion are examples. No matter how Richard Dawkins may try to spin today’s theory as fact, it will never be so.

So where do Christianity and evolution intersect? Many theologians discount the most basic theistic evolution theory that God left the earth to its own devices and stopped intervening. Many Christians believe in an active God that is still performing miracles today. Another theory that I believe to be closer to the truth is that God created the earth at a certain point in its evolution. He created certain creatures at different times in their evolution.

Where does the process of evolution come from? There is something innate that does this. Where does that come from? To me, it makes sense that it does exist, but there had to be someone intelligent enough to make it so. If you look at how complex the cell is, you will know that it is extremely unlikely that the universe was created randomly. Life on earth would not survive if the distance of the moon and sun were any different. For this to be as precise as it is, for that to have been accidental is laughable. Someone had to design it.

At the end of the day, Christians should have a similar mentality to the real scientists researching and experimenting with the theory of evolution. Many Christians believe that because God is immutable that we should be as well. Our understanding of God is constantly changing too, so why shouldn’t our approach to science be the same? God made science, right? He made logic and reason. If all of that is true, then the theory of evolution should eventually lead us closer to God’s master design. I believe it is not possible to fully understand everything at play in our universe, but we can get closer every day.

Millennials need to be able to cut through the noise that plagues our scientific fields. Anyone who presents theories as facts probably have an agenda. This goes for both scientists and Christians alike. Our job as young people is to examine everything and attempt to sift through false evidence and biased research so that the next generation can take our work even further. We would be doing a disservice to our progeny if we blindly believe everything we’re told by the media. So get out there and question both sides. To get closer to the truth, we should work together without bias to discover the supreme design that is our universe.

Disclaimer: This is not peer-reviewed material and should not be used as academic fact. This is an opinion piece that should be taken as such. Some research went into this post.

My Faith Statment

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase” ~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. King makes a powerful statement in this quote that accurately reflects what faith really is. The truth is, however, that all of us have faith in something. Even if you are agnostic, you take steps of faith every day. If you get into your car and drive, you have faith that you will get to where you want to go. There are tens of thousands of car crashes every year in the United States, and yet we still drive to work or school every day. This is faith, based on two factors. There is a tangible factor, where you can see the car and the road and other cars. Then there is an intangible factor, like mental awareness. In a sense, you have to have faith that everyone else on the road has the awareness and alertness to follow the laws to enough of a degree that you can safely travel from Point A to Point B.

In that regard, it is not illogical to believe in an invisible man who created everything. But just like the intangible factors of believing in God, there are also tangible effects that we can observe that point us to Him. From personal experience, I have seen people be healed from dire afflictions. I have seen the cogs turning as a result of prayer. It’s out there, and yet the world continues to deny it.

My faith also comes from a level of scientific understanding. Science does not answer every question, but it does explain how the universe was created. We are taught that there was a major explosion of sorts that created all things. That’s what the big bang theory states. In essence, I agree with that assumption. What atheists cannot answer is “where did all of that come from?”

The problem lies in the first law of Thermodynamics. It states that neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed. This means that if a big bang were to take place, it had to come from somewhere. The energy and matter cannot have just been created.

The answer lies with Albert Einstein’s equation of E=MC^2. This formula represents how energy and mass are related. While Thermodynamics tells us that energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed, Einstein proved that one could be converted into the other. This is the basis for the atomic bomb. It turns out that it takes a colossal amount of energy to convert into mass. Only a few atoms of energy were required to destroy Nagasaki. The energy inside a single human is tens of thousands more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Nagasaki.

That is only the start of the scale of energy that we are talking about. In the beginning, all of the planets were created. The sun, moon, and stars were created. The level of energy needed to convert to create all of this is astronomical. It’s a number that is not even fathomable. Never, in human history, will we ever be able to generate 1% of that power. When the stars were created, a star known as Canis Majoris was formed. This particular star has a radius of roughly 2,000 times as long as the sun. And it is estimated that over 1 Million planet Earths would be able to fit inside our sun. There are multiple stars that completely dwarf the sun in size. All of this was made somehow in the beginning.

So now that we have established just a fraction of our universe, it’s impossible for science alone to explain what caused that energy to be converted into the mass that made up our planets, moons, and stars. So what does the Bible say about how God created everything? Genesis 1 is very clear about it. He spoke and things came into existence. Speaking produces sound, which is a type of energy. The answer is clear. The big bang was God’s voice. God spoke with such an incredible amount of energy that the universe was created.

So then, where did God come from? John 1:1-2 says, ” In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. “. This is the NIV translation of the verses. The Bible says that God has always been, and that is difficult to process. It’s difficult to process that anything could have been there at the beginning. What even is “the beginning”?

This is where faith comes in. Ultimately, I accept and believe that there must have been a being that exists outside of time. That seems to support the Bible describing God as omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. If God exists outside of time, it explains all of those concepts. That is what I choose to believe.

I grew up in a Christian household and went to Christian school throughout my primary education. I went to Sunday school the vast majority of my life and still attend church. While I appreciate these things now as an adult, none of these helped grow my faith as much as learning about the science of why Yahweh makes the most sense. As the world grows more scientific, I believe the Christian communities should also head in that direction. We need to adapt to what drives and motivates people. There is a phrase that says, “Deep speaks to deep”. Ultimately, we need to be cognizant of the changing times and adapt, but not in a way that defies the tenants of God. Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

In my opinion, that means that we need to adapt but not assimilate. We don’t become just like the rest of the world, but we become more accessible to the rest of the world in order to testify and convert. That’s what Christianity is all about. And that is why I choose this path.