Saturday, May 26, 2012

This life and eternal life

Apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the young Christian community in Corinth
If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
1 Cor 15:19 NASB

The fullness of the Biblical revelation - for there is an internal development or should we say evolution of the matter - clearly talks about two types of life. There is "this life" by which Paul apparently means the life that ends in death and there is a life under the generic title "resurrection". Especially in the cited chapter 15 apostle Paul attempts to explain what this is.

The Biblical setting for life
The setting for life is set in mythical language and images in the second creation story that tells about the Garden of Eden. This is a story of life and death in most serious tones and establishes the framework for human existence in God's world.

We read from the story of Eden that God creates the wonderful garden with special considerations for man. There were friendly animals, plenty of fresh water, wonderful fruits - including figs - and the gold of Havila was pure and good. God in His goodness creates woman as a suitable help for man so that he does not need to be alone. The two were running around butt naked and were sexually innocent like small children or even more so. It was a really good place to live, a true paradise, carefully planted and planned by God for man, Adam (adama, earth).

However, Garden of Eden was not a static place, a kind of retirement vacation hotel just for being happy and lazy. It was a dynamic place full of gardening and maintenance work and enormous potential.

The amazing Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil growing in the midst of the garden was mysterious and the more intriguing to Adam because he was explicitly forbidden to eat its fruit under the threat of death sentence "die by dying". Note that the first and only command in the Garden of Eden was given before Eve had been created of Adam's rib.

There was also the Tree of Life and no prohibition against eating from it!

The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Genesis 2:16-17 NASB

After Adam and Eve had eaten from the mysterious Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil their creator God became worried that in this status of "knowing like God good and evil" they would now go and eat from the Tree of Life. This tree would change them so that the life God had given them would become eternal - no death. (Even there was a death sentence hanging against Adam and Eve for eating the forbidden fruit against God's commandment.)

Potential for eternal life
There was now a great risk that God saw in the case of His creatures. The state of Adam and Eve had changed after eating from the mysterious tree and now the potential of eternal life existed in the unguarded Tree of Life growing in the garden.

God was clearly thinking that in the status before breaking His commandment Adam and Eve could have eaten from that wonderful tree and avoided death. Now something essential had changed and eating from the Tree of Life would be a disaster. Not for God who lives and is the master of life and death but for Adam and Eve themselves. 

Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”
Gen 3:21 NASB

So action was definitely needed by God Himself in control of the situation and responsible for everything

therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden

He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.
Gen 3:22-24 NASB

Reality of life and death and eternity
How can we possibly talk about "reality" when the Biblical setting of the human condition - blessed life, fall and curse, death, eternal life as good or evil - is set in such mythical terms?

How can we possibly talk about "reality" of resurrection when the Biblical message through Apostle Paul is so clearly tied with faith and not factual proof and with so much room for disbelief in the so called apostolic wittness that Jesus lives, the new Adam is here and we have hope beyond this life and after death?


That's how it is.

Take it or leave it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Death giving meaning to life

Consecration of Aaron and his Sons
Holman Bible (1890)

Yacov Meir has again published in Haaretz daily a very thoughtful and educational study of the Parasha of the Week  Parashat Tzav / Shabbat Hagadol.

Meir's study is not easy reading. It requires concentration and patience but brilliantly rewards the work. I quote here from the end of the study (emphasis mine):

Directly afterward, the Torah relates: “... he poured of the anointing oil upon Aaron’s head, and anointed him, to sanctify him” (Lev. 8:12).

This reverse process of mourning and death that is depicted in the midrash, where Aaron and his sons grieve without precisely knowing why, sheds a new light on the period of consecration of the tabernacle: There is ostensibly a possibility that each mourner is mourning his own death. Aaron and his sons sit in the sacred space, removed from the people, in the middle of a process of objectification that turns them into the entity that links heaven and earth.

Mourning is thus redefined here: It is not necessarily a response to the death of another person, but rather a process of individual, inner transformation, whereby a person deals with the possibility of his own impending death. In this sense, the process of mourning is not preparation for a game of Russian roulette, in which one of those present will surely die, but rather for a “partial” death of every one of those present. The priests’ removal from everyday life, their entry into the tabernacle and the profound transformation they experience is death in miniature. Only at the end of the process does death become consolidated and realized, targeting Nadab and Abihu.
It is the way of the world that death is invariably a surprise. The shivah enables a mourner to gradually rejoin the world of the living. However, when the process of mourning precedes the moment of death, mourning is transformed from a process of returning to life into one of gradually bidding farewell to it. In the above midrash the fatal moment − of the deaths of Aaron’s sons and of the generation of the flood − is redefined and presented not as a final separation from life, but rather as a formative event that sparks a profound metamorphosis in the relationship between the person who remains behind and God. Death is thus portrayed as granting meaning to life.
Yacov Meir
Haaretz Sunday, April 01, 2012 Nisan 9, 5772

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Natural selection, Divine selection

Natural selection
Natural selection by the survival of the fittest is cornerstone of evolution theory still today on the lines suggested by Charles Darwin in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. (1859) .

Nature provides variation in genetic offspring and eliminates those that do not fit to the changing environment. Environmental pressure on living organisms is driving force in the suggested mechanism explaining biodiversity.  Genetic mutations provide raw materials for the selection process between favoured and doomed organisms groups. Some species will perish and others live and multiply. Natural catastrophes do interrupt the chain of evolution of organisms creating new groups of biological raw materials for the selection process and new rules for survival of the fittest.

Divine selection
Divine selection is matter of faith rather than natural sciences. Faith is a crucial element in Divine selection while Fate is more evident in Natural selection.

Although divine selections concerns all life forms but here we are looking at the species homo sapiens sapiens. Humans are the raw material for the selection process that decides who will perish and who will live.

Humans live in very different environments that affects this selection but there are some common elements for all humanity. Divine selection takes place during the life time of humans but becomes apparent to all only at the end of this aeon. The selection means that some humans will perish utterly and some will live forever in the new environment God of Israel will create in the future.

The differences to Natural selection are many. For divine selection is not based on survival of the fittest or on qualities of the human but rather on a fixed quota system that includes a given number of humans who will never die. The humans not included in this quota of divine selection will face second death which is eternal.

Predestination is a Christian doctrine that has been very difficult even to the best of the best among the theologians. In principle, it asks is Divine selection at all related to environmental factors and human decisions on the pressures of life and survival. Or is it purely a subjective decision already made before the creation of the humans.

Different Christian denominations vary in their faith in God the Selector - some saying that He only chooses those who are predestined to be saved while others speak of those predestined to perish. But there is logically no big difference between the two.

For if only those are selected that God chooses than no matter what the others do they will perish, right?

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace be to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, even as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
having predestined us to be His own adopted children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in His Beloved
Ephesians 1:1-5 KJ21

Natural selection is rough but brings good results as we all can see.

Divine selection is much rougher and brings even better results as we shall see.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Material girl, spiritual boy

Materialism is not intrinsic to humanity and is often associated with intellectualism and rationalistic scientifically oriented personality. Human experience and history shows religious behaviour starting from the Stone Age which demonstrates, among other things, that the traditional Marxist criticism of religion as secondary learned attribute in humans is incorrect. Of course, the broad range of world religions and ideas associated with immortality, transcendent worlds, divinities and spirits and powers that are not matter is immense.

Human religiosity is investigated intensively in various discipline under the umbrella of Science of Religion. These studies use many methods from psychology and sociology to modern chemistry and neural studies of brains and so on. There is no general assumption about the reality of transcendent, no ontology, but rather a hard-nosed practical approach to studying what can be studied using the given methods.

Material girl
Materialistic philosophy sees everything as a play of matter and energy. Also life is a phenomenon produced by this game. Using the classic tripartite structure of mind developed by Sigmund Freud we can say that in materialistic view not only body but also the spiritual aspects of humanity are, in fact, only forms of matter and energy. The raw engine of hormone driven Id, the mental processes of an Ego showing personality traits and also the moral and ethical role of Super-ego in a living organism with higher intelligence and its mental reflections in the world of belief systems and make-believe are all at the end matter.

In death, it is dust to dust as the organism disintegrates and its elements return to nature and all the mental activity, feeling, spiritual ideas, love and hatred ends. The person is no more and there is no hope for ever seen him again, as the widow of Carl Sagan said.

Spiritual boy
Ancient Greeks new materialistic philosophies of which Leucippus and Democritus are great examples. Such natural philosophies were not dominant, however, and the Athenians in fact executed Socrates blaming him of Atheism. Good Greeks were believers in the socially accepted religions that also covered some rather mystic Egyptian and Indian stuff mixed with prehistoric Eleusian traditions.

The intellectual Hellenic mind considered that there is both a spiritual reality and a material reality. Plato presented a spectacular thinking model about the Ideal world where things are what they really are, pure and unchanging and uncorrupted.

But not getting to the heights and depths of Plato's philosophy, ordinary Greeks understood that the spiritual human soul is a prisoner in the material body. The material world was also imperfect, unethical and in many ways evil so that the body was really seen as a prison.

At death the eternal soul separates from the corrupt material body that rots away and the soul that is the invisible reality of the human travels to its real home.

This ancient Hellenic idea is very influential and can be seen in many forms also in the Western culture today.

All kind of ghost whisperers include the idea of an invisible and immortal element that dwells in the human body and separates from it at death.

The spirit is not matter and cannot easily be studied by scientific means. Attempts have been made, for example by measuring the weight of the person who is dying and seeing did the soul have some mass, after all.

Very clearly we see this soul living in the house of body in ancient Egyptian religion where it was imperative, however, that the body will be preserved also after death as the dwelling place for the soul of the deceased that would come to the place of funeral to consume the sacrificed food and drink and enjoy the beauty of earthly gold and jewels, as it did during the life time.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

God and food chains

In the creation life and death are integral and cannot be separated one from the other.

Cheetahs attacking a delicate gazelle is a cruel sight. But biologists teach us today that the bloody work of predators on hoards of antelopes in African savannah represents and example of a broader ecosystem. There is a delicate balance between the gepard and its victims that is actually beneficial to both species (although not so nice to the individual animal being slaughtered for food).

The need for balance in the food chains of life and death has evolved into highly complex ecosystems depending on the types of species involved and the environment. This has been learned in the hard way by the humans dominating life upon Earth today and crystallized in the book "Silent Spring". Poisoning supposedly insignificant harmful insects at the beginning of a food chain brings unwanted death and destruction to the lovely singing birds at the other end of the chain.

Death is part of life. Organisms must eat organisms in order to survive.

Vegetarian world
The Bible has an interesting detail in the Genesis: when God created man and woman He made them vegetarian. The food chains on early Earth were not bloody.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."

And God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat"; and it was so.

And God saw every thing that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."
Genesis 1:28-31 KJ21

People, who have adopted vegetarian life style say they are doing well without eating meat. 

Scientists think, however, that prehistoric men were predators and ate meat for meat.

Human carnivores
God gives meat for meat after the Great Flood - but not blood

And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.

And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.

Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

"But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat."
Genesis 9:1-4 KJ21

Death sentence
By giving dominion of all species on Earth to humans and by giving herbs and fruits and every moving thing that lives as food for them God gives death sentence to many of His creatures to be killed and eaten by man.

Death is an integral part of life.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

God and mass extinctions of life

As humanity has learned more about the history of life upon Earth a startling realization has emerged from the discoveries of the past: there is not only one but several absolutely catastrophic events when almost all life forms have faced extinction.

New and more accurate information about the rock sediments and their chemistry, patterns of distribution of life forms and organisms, statistics of fossils and comparisons of geological layers and their contents have brought the cycle of life and death into better focus.

History of life is generally grouped into major periods, Old life, Middle life, New life, or in Greek Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic.

Today the evidence seems to suggest phases of radiation, such as the Cambrian explosion of life, followed by stability of the life forms followed by a violent End of the World.

Biologists are not convinced about evolutionary patterns between Ediacaran and Cambrian organisms. It may well be, that future science will find evidence of massive extinction of Ediacaran enigma.

The awful destruction of life upon earth at the end of Permian seems to have wiped out over 90% of the known life forms bringing an abrupt end to the Paleozoic era. The statistics may be exaggerated but the numbers are there in the scientific publications.

First major mass extinction widely known to the public is the Yucatan hit of an asteroid probably leaving the Kuiper belt some160 million human years earlier. At about 65 million years ago the asteroid crashed on what is today Gulf of Mexico causing "nuclear winter" and the extinction of much of the flourishing life in the Mesozoic world. This brought to end the rule of dinosaurs upon Earth and opened way to us mammals to take over.

There are probably many more massive extinctions of life forms - I am just providing some examples of what this thing is.

God of Israel
For many smart people it is quite difficult to understand how a rational God who is supposed to be good and loving would create life forms and then mercilessly destroy them in whatever way He chooses. Philosopher's God does not look like that. You create something ... so let it stay.

But the God of Israel we meet in the Bible is behaving in such an irrational manner.

The Great Deluge described in Genesis 7 is an intentional mass extinction of all life upon Earth. 

And the waters prevailed and were increased greatly upon the earth, and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth, and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail, and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, all that was on the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man and cattle, and the creeping things and the fowl of the heaven, and they were destroyed from the earth. And Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.
Genesis 7:18-24 KR21

I am not saying here anything about the Flood as a historical event. I am simply saying, that this is what is written in the Bible about the God of Israel.

Hebrew spirit brings also here ethics and morality saying that the cause of the Flood was the evil deeds of people. The comparable myths in Sumer and Babylonia lack this aspect ... the gods were annoyed that people made so much noise or there was some other not-so-ethical reason for the Flood from which Utanapishtim survived in a big boat. 

The Bible is telling, in fact, that God of Israel intends to bring massive destruction and extinction upon Earth in the near future. The apocalyptic writings and especially the Book of Revelation talk about not so nice eschatologic events divine will allows upon humanity and nature followed by a new beginning, a new world.

Remnant stays
The continuous experience of the Jewish people is a rather awesome God. They have faced mass extinction not only in the gas chambers of the Third Reich but also in the hands of the cruel Assyrians and the mighty Babylonians and were almost destroyed by Amalek when not yet a nation. Their experience is that when God is in action, a remnant stays.

Unless the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.
Isaiah 1:9

In the nature we see similar action by God of Israel - the next period of life is somehow already present in the current fauna and flora. There is continuity despite of the mass extinction and disappearance of highly successful designs like the trilobite that survived for three hundred million years.  

We mammals did not come into existence after the Yucattan hit, it allowed our furry species to dominate the changing planet Earth after the dinos were gone. 

And actually, Devonian fish survived the Permian End of World, dinosaurs survived as birds the End of Mesolithic life and homo sapiens sapiens survived the end of the last Ice Age.

The Jewish people are a remnant but today they are living and flourishing in their ancient home their God promised them.

Because of this very concrete example we Christians may also learn to trust more the God of Israel... that He keeps His word and while He utterly destroys this world we know and love a new and better one is already hidden in this one.

Also, we do not need to join the Atheists and others who see in the mass extinctions of life on Earth behaviour of Creator that a real logically thinking and good God would not let happen.

Bible tells us that God is a bit different from what we think.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eve - Mother of Life

God's words to the Woman are quite different than the blank hard work and death sentence given to the Man, and actually quite mysterious.

Yes, she shall bear children with awful pain. No two minds of that and even modern medicine prefers to let the bangs of childbirth hit the mother - except in some special cases.

With pain, but she will bear children!

There is a kind of immortality in the bringing of offsprings to this world. It is there in all living creatures from seed bearing plants and trees to fish and birds and animals and insects. Otherwise they would be fossils only.

True, the father and the mother will pass away when their time comes but their LIFE CONTINUES in their children. Not just any life in general but the specific personal thread of life given by God to the child when the baby is conceived in the womb.

So there is hope for the Soil with Soul also as his wife brings children. In this way we gain kind of immortality in our offspring. The same way father Abraham lives in his children today.

New name
This is big what God says so now Mr Adam decides to give up the selfish "Hey, this is made for me from me Wo-man" and gives the first lady a new name Havva, Eve, for she is the Mother of Life.

And now it was time finally to dress up properly - the childish innocence was over. God took care of this, too, making thereby leather clothing kosher.

And Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
Genesis 3:20-21

Seed of a woman
Yes, the woman will also go dust to dust.

We remember from the story that Adam is not just soil but also has a soul.

Not everyone is sure about woman having a soul. There is no mentioning of the nefesh in the story of the Garden of Eden.

For this reason it is very important to note that the mysterious prophecy in Genesis 3 is given to Eva and not to Adam. (The key was Mary and not Joseph.)

There is a remarkable and mysterious verse in the Bible in the story of the Garden of Eden that has intrigued and inspired and given hope to humanity wherever the Word of God is being proclaimed

And the LORD God said unto the woman, "What is this that thou hast done?" And the woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate."
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, "Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field. Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; It shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel."
Genesis 3:13-15

Death enters

Both are guilty
Details from the Gent altarpiece

In the story of the Garden of Eden God creates man. The same root is used in Hebrew for Adam adamah the fertile reddish soil of the Holy Land.

Adam is not only made of soil but also has a living soul!

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Genesis 2:7

Adam the Man called his newly made partner for life a Wo-man.

This is probably the first mention of anaesthesia.

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.

And the rib which the LORD God had taken from man, made He a woman and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Genesis 2:21-25

Sin and Death
Things did not go well for the Man and his Wo-man.

There was only one law in that Garden of Eden, a simple ruling concerning a single forbidden tree among all those wonderful trees with tasty allowed fruits. And of course, they had to eat from that tree...

Adam is guilty as charged and God judges for him heavy farmer's life and death with no hope for more.

And unto Adam He said, "Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, `Thou shalt not eat of it,' cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life.
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field.

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."
Genesis 3:17-19   


By the way, this is also a truly materialistic description of death as elements of the soil return back to the soil when man made from dust becomes again dust. Modern Atheists see death similarly as return of elements, atoms and molecules, to the universe that temporarily gave them for a living organism. (more about this later).

Woman was deceived
And the LORD God said unto the woman, "What is this that thou hast done?" And the woman said, "The serpent beguiled me, and I ate." Genesis 3:13

The writer of the First Timothy was perhaps a bit misogynist and commented

For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived; but the woman, being deceived, was in the transgression. 1 Tim 2:13-14

I agree to this full-heartedly - Adam was not deceived, he knew exactly what he did!
(more on this later)

Divine ballet

A short erotic movie I recently saw on Polish Tele 5 begins with a close-up of an attractive naked woman sitting in front of a make-up table in a ballet practice hall. She is shown painting her lips using a small brush and bottle of paint instead of lipstick. Her black hair is cut short. Totally concentrating on her job of making her even more attractive to the man standing enthralled near by she lightly powders her face, neck and shoulders. She has delicate breasts and nipples which add to the her erotic power in the situation.

The young gentleman standing near by is dressed in black trousers and a romantic fancy white shirt resembling a 19th century nobleman. He is unable to move his eyes from her as his seduction is already at final steps and the willing victim of the lady has already been made defenceless.

The man appears to be in the lead. Dressed and in control he gives the woman a pair of black ballet shoes which she carefully ties to her feet. Next the gentleman gives her an expensive black mesh tutu. This will be her only clothing until it is removed later on leaving her dressed only in the ballet shoes. But is it really the boy who is in control?

Both of them act in a carefully planned choreography of hands and bodies in an intimate embrace. But there is a deeper choreography within the man and the woman that dictates their actions on a determined path that we all know and expect and will be unhappy if the movie ends before it. Something written into humans and not so different of the love games written by God to birds and other animals He has created. 

The man gains even more control when her eyes are gently covered with black silken scarf and she has a leather collar around her neck with a chain. These objects symbolise the total submission of the woman to the man holding her. Such games underline the deep trust of the woman saying with her body movements "you can do to me whatever you want".  For the man this capitulation adds so much to erotic power that we are not so sure who is actually in control of the situation.The master is just doing what is expected of him when a woman acts like this.

After the beautiful scene of caressing hands the woman is finally ready for the climax and leans on the railing in the ballet hall. The man enters deep into her in undulating movements causing them both great pleasure and joy.

Not shown, as this is an erotic and not a pornographic movie, the seed of the man penetrates with orgasmic power deep into the uterus of the woman in search of her egg.

Once reaching the egg the semen would trigger the beginning of new life. For this reason some evolutionary biologists prosaically call this act selfishness of genes seeking to reproduce themselves. 

At the end of the movie we see two naked humans standing with feeling of fulfilment, satisfaction, mutual love and soft smiles. Nature has done its fundamental job in bringing a man and a woman physically together.

Love and marriage
Jesus uses the serious expression "God has made them into one" and the Bible tells that sexual act should take place in marriage and not randomly with partners as in prostitution. And since the united man and woman are made one by God in marriage man should not break that covenant.
(More on marriage, sexual ethics, adultery and death later)

Male and female
Since I am describing a skilfully made erotic movie and not real life the two actors have probably taken strong measures to prevent the creating of new life.

The movie focuses on good vibrations, on sexual arousal and satisfaction. The idea of having a child as the natural result of coitus is not so erotic and is therefore kept at bay.

God has added so much spices, smells, feelings and seductive elements to the sexual act that these often dominate the scene leaving the purpose of bringing children to this world in the background. Having sex together is one of the great moments in the lives of man and woman and one of the purposes of creation and largely dominates our life.

And God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
And God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
Genesis 1:26-29

Creating life before death
The actors in the short movie I have described are young adults in their twenties.

Once they were young children, then teenagers and God willing by time they reach middle age and then old age with grey hairs and hopefully nice memories from their golden youth.

At some point both of the actors in the movie will die. (So will you who are reading this text and me also.) The heart will stop beating, the lungs will breath no more, blood will no more circulate in the body which gets cold and soon the decay of the body begins - from dust to dust.

What to do in face of death?

We cannot create artificial life but we can create life by making love and having children. 

Human and all life faces death and continues in the off-springs.

There is a kind of immortality built into life in the reproduction systems. In us humans they have created generations of families, tribes, races and enabled us literally to replenish the earth as God our creator intended.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

God, Life and Death

Humanity and Death would be a title that leads to many highly intensive and significant scientific, philosophical and religious subjects on truly global scale.

Looking at the past of humanity we have, for example, the Archaeology of death, Anthropology of death, Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophies of death, the belief systems of hunter-gatherer SAN people in the Kalahari desert about death, the incessant battle of the fabulously powerful Pharaoh in his court in Memphis trying to take it all with him.

There are even more involved in studies of modern medical, psychological, sociological, cultural, philosophical, religious approaches to death in modern societies. We humans are, indeed, dealing earnestly with death. It concerns us all and makes us both curious and desperate as we all know that one day sooner or later each one of us will die.

God and Death is, of course, much bigger subject than Humanity and Death. But instead of opening almost unlimited fields for discussion it focuses on the ONE, the God of Israel and death. 

From the huge subject I concentrate on two subjects in the realm of science and religion

  • Creation and death or Death in Nature 
  • God of Israel and death or Death in the Bible
God, the Creator of life has interwoven death as an integral part to His work starting already from simplest food chains on bacterial level to the complex genetic events in the natural selection in the fight for survival. Mass extinctions of life on planet Earth seem also to be a regular occurrence and part of what we have learned about the history of life in nature.

In the Bible we meet a very rich message about death. There we are been told by God Himself how He personally battles death as the last enemy of humanity. It is a message of crucial importance to the entire humanity and far from dry theory as it decides our own eternity.