What is the evidence for God’s existence?

Or do we take it simply by ‘Faith’?

Many ask whether God really exists and if God’s existence is detectable in a rational way. After all, no one has seen God. So maybe the idea of God is simply a psychology operating of our minds. Since God’s existence affects our understanding of ourselves, our future, and the meaning of life, it is worth exploring. There are three straight-forward and rationale families of evidences which tests fairly conclusively whether there is a God or not.

Test 1. Scientific Evidence for our Origins attests to a Creator

You and I exist and we find ourselves wonderfully constructed and in a world that supports a diversity of other life that is also interconnected and fine-tuned like machine components fine-tuned to work together. The scientist heading the team that first sequenced the human genome described DNA in the following way:

“As a first approximation, one can therefore think of DNA as an instructional script, a software program, …  made up of … thousands of letters of code. 

Francis Collins. The Language of God. 2006. p102-103

how [is] the program actually ‘run’ ?… A team of sophisticated translators in the factory [ribosome] then …  convert the information in this molecule into a specific protein

Ibid p 104

Another way to think about this … is to consider the metaphor of language.  …  These words [proteins] can be used to construct complex works of literature… 

Ibid p 125

‘Software programs’, ‘factories’ and ‘languages’ only come about by Intelligent Beings. Thus, it seems intuitive that the first and most likely explanation for our origins is that an Intelligent Designer – God – made us. We explore this more in-depth here where we examine this contrasted to the Theory of Evolution, which attempts to explain biological complexity without Intelligence.

Test 2. The Case for the Historical Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead.

Death is the ultimate fate awaiting all human life. Our natural systems, though incredibly designed, always deteriorate. But a very strong historical case exists that Jesus rose from the dead. If true then then most viable explanation points to a Supernatural Power that transcends nature. Examine the resurrection and consider for yourself whether Jesus rose from the dead. If so, this demonstrates a Supernatural Power (God) that works in the world.

Test 3. Prophecies of Jesus points to a Divine Plan, and hence a Divine Mind executing this Plan.

Many events of Jesus’ life are prophesied in various ways, both through word and drama, hundreds of years before he lived. The striking fulfillment of dozens of prophecies show a Mind coordinating events. But since these events are hundreds of years apart, and since no human mind can foresee the future that far ahead in time, that speaks to a Mind transcending time. Examine both the intricacies and the diversity of the prophecies and ask yourself if these can be explained in any other way apart from an omniscient Mind signalling and implementing His Plan. If that is the case then this Mind that can so coordinate in human life must exist. Here are some specific ones to explore.

Justice for Nations in a Globalized World: How does the Bible foresee it?

Globalization: Image by storyset on Freepik

With the advent of air travel followed by the internet with social media it seems that the world has shrunk. Now we can be in instant communication with anyone on the planet. We can travel to anywhere on the globe in 24 hours. Translation apps with Google and Bing have enabled people to communicate in different languages. Globalization is driven by advances in technology, transportation, communication, and economic integration. It has transformed the world into a global village, where events in one part of the world can have far-reaching consequences for others.

Globalization is a modern phenomenon, accelerating sharply after World War II. With internet and social media crossing national borders it seems like people in the nations are continually jostling with each other. We see the mass migrations at border crossings as people desperate to escape war, famine and to secure a brighter future for their children risk their lives to take planes, buses, and even trekking for days to reach security elsewhere.

Culturally, globalization has brought about the spread of ideas, values, and lifestyles. It has led to the popularity of global brands, the exchange of cultural practices, and the blending of traditions. However, it has also raised concerns about the loss of cultural diversity and the dominance of Western values. Critics argue that globalization exacerbates inequality, exploits workers, and undermines national sovereignty. They call for policies that protect local industries and workers.

Will there ever be justice for the poor in our roiled global village?

Foreseen in the Bible

Major Bible characters in Historical Timeline. The Bible in general, and Abraham in particular, is ancient compared to other historical events

Though an ancient book, the Bible has held the nations, and justice for them, continually in the center of its scope. This is remarkable considering the Bible was birthed by the Jews. Historically they have been very insular, concerned with their religious distinctives rather than with other nations. However, as far back as Abraham, 4000 years ago, God promised him:

I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.

Genesis 12:3

We see here that the Bible’s scope already 4000 years ago included ‘all peoples on earth’. God promised a global blessing. God later reiterated this promise later in Abraham’s life when he had just acted out the prophetic drama of his son’s sacrifice:

and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”

Genesis 22:18

‘Offspring’ here is in the singular. A single descendant from Abraham would bless ‘all nations on earth’. Globalism surely permeates that scope. But that vision was laid out long before internet. modern travel and globalization arrived. It is like a Mind could foresee the distant future back then and envisioned the globalization occurring today. Also, that vision was for the good of people, not for their exploitation.

Continued with Jacob

Jacob/Israel in Historical Timeline

Several hundred years later, Abraham’s grandson Jacob (or Israel) uttered this vision to his son Judah. Judah became the leading tribe of the Israelites such that the modern designation ‘Jew’ is attributed to this tribe.

The scepter will not depart from Judah,
    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
    and the obedience of the nations shall be his.

Genesis 49:10

This foresees a time among the nations when that single descendant who Abraham previously glimpsed would one day obtain the ‘obedience of the nations’.

And the Prophets

Isaiah in Historical Timeline

Hundreds of years later, around 700 BCE, the prophet Isaiah received this global vision for the world. In this vision God speaks to a coming Servant. This Servant would bring salvation to ‘the ends of the earth’.

“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
    to restore the tribes of Jacob
    and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

Isaiah 49:6

This same servant would also

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

Isaiah 42: 1-4

Justice ‘to the nations’ that are ‘on earth’ even to the ‘islands’. That surely is a global scope. And the vision is to ‘bring forth justice’.

Listen to me, my people;
    hear me, my nation:
Instruction will go out from me;
    my justice will become a light to the nations.
My righteousness draws near speedily,
    my salvation is on the way,
    and my arm will bring justice to the nations.
The islands will look to me
    and wait in hope for my arm.

Isaiah 51:4-5

The nation that spawned this vision will see the spread of ‘justice to the nations’ even to ‘islands’ scattered across the world.

To Revelation at the Close of the Bible

Right down to the closing pages of the Bible, it holds healing and justice for the nations in view.

“You are worthy to take the scroll
    and to open its seals,
because you were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.

Revelation 5:9

Speaking of the honor that will come forth in the New Zion, the Bible closes with

The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.

Revelation 21: 24-26

The Biblical scriptures foresaw a coming globalization long before technology emerged that makes it possible. No other writing has been so prescient and so globally cross-cultural in its scope. We do not yet see the justice that the Bible foresaw. But the Servant who will bring it about has come and even now invites any who are thirsty for justice for all nations across the globe to come to him.

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
    come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
    come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
    without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
    and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
    and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.

Isaiah 55:1-3

Isaiah foresaw and wrote down how the servant would accomplish this 2700 years ago. We examine it in detail here.

What about Evolution? Did we Evolve or were we Created?

I was an avid science reader while in school.  I read about stars and atoms – and most things in-between.  The books that I read and what I learned in school taught me that scientific knowledge had established evolution as a fact.  Evolution proposes that all life today descended over long ages from a common ancestor. It did so through the process of natural selection operating on chance mutations.  Evolution appealed to me since it made sense of so much of the world I saw and experienced around me. 

Evolution Taught in Society

For example, it explained:

  • Why there was such a wide variety of life forms,  but still with many similarities between them. This proved descent from a common ancestor,
  • Why we could see some changes in animals over a few generations. I learned how scientists observed populations of moths changing color, or bugs changing beak lengths, due to changes in the environment. Then there were the advancements in animal breeding.  These were examples of small evolutionary steps.
  • Why organisms, including humans, fought and struggled so hard with each other to survive. This showed the never-ending struggle for existence.
  • Why sex seemed so important to animals and especially humans. This ensured that our species would produce enough offspring to survive and continue evolving.

Evolution explained human life – struggle, competition and lust. It fit with what we observe in the biological world – mutations, changing species, and similarities between species. Chance and natural selection operating on our common ancestor over millions of years resulting in the various descendants we see today made sense of this.

Textbooks mentioned transitional fossils as possible further scientific evidence for evolution. Transitional fossils showed how animals in the past linked to their evolved descendants through intermediate fossils.  I had supposed that many such transitions existed, proving the sequence of our evolution down through the ages.

evolution Predicted sequence of transitional organisms
Example of Transitions in Evolution from Mouse to Bat. Intermediates A – H are assumed by many to have existed and been found. But None have. Taken from Evolution: The Grand Experiment Dr. Carl Werner

Fact: Lack of Transitional Fossils and Intermediate Life forms

Evolution publicly debated at McMaster University with Evolution professor. Dr Stone began with 30 minute presentation in favor of Evolution, I followed with a critique. Then we had rebuttals and Questions from audience. Debate was over the Dobhzansky statement “Nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of Evolution”

I was quite surprised, as I looked closer, to discover that this was simply not the case.  As a matter of fact, the lack of transitional fossils showing the textbook evolutionary path (single cell -> invertebrate -> fish -> amphibian -> reptile -> mammal -> primates -> man) directly contradicted evolution.  For example, the evolution from single cell organisms to marine invertebrates (ex. starfish, jellyfish, trilobites, clams, sea lilies etc.) supposedly took 2 billion years.  Think of the countless intermediates that must have existed if life evolved from bacteria to complex invertebrates by chance and natural selection.  We should have found thousands of them preserved as fossils today.  But what do the evolutionary experts say about these transitions?

Not one Transitional Fossil has been discovered out of the millions and millions collected. Image from Evolution: The Grand Experiment Dr. Carl Werner

Why should such complex organic forms [i.e., the invertebrates] be in rocks about six hundred million years old and be absent or unrecognized in the records of the preceding two billion years?

M. Kay and E.H. Colbert, Stratigraphy and Life History (1965), p. 102.

The fossil record is of little use in providing direct evidence of the pathways of descent of the invertebrate classes. … no phylum is connected to any other via intermediate fossil types.

J. Valentine, The Evolution of Complex Animals in What Darwin Began, L.R. Godfrey, Ed., Allyn & Bacon Inc. 1985 p. 263.

Thus, the actual evidence showed NO such evolutionary sequence culminating in the invertebrates. They just suddenly appear in the fossil record fully formed.  And this supposedly involved two billion years of evolution! 

Fish Evolution: No Transitional Fossils

We find this same absence of intermediate fossils in the supposed evolution from invertebrates to fish. Leading evolutionary scientists confirm this:

Between the Cambrian [invertebrates] … and  when the first fossils of animals with really fishlike characters appeared, there is a gap of 100 million years which we will probably never be able to fill”

F.D. Ommanney, The Fishes (Life Nature Library, 1964, p.60)

All three subdivisions of the bony fishes appear in the fossil record at approximately the same time… How did they originate? What allowed them to diverge so widely? How did they come to have heavy armor? And why is there no trace of earlier intermediate forms?

G.T. Todd, American Zoologist 20(4):757 (1980)
Fossils of Fish Evolution: No transitions have been found. Image from Evolution: The Grand Experiment Dr. Carl Werner

Plant Evolution: No Transitional Fossils

When we turn to see the fossil evidence supporting the evolution of plants we find again no fossil evidence:

The origin of the land plants is about as “lost in the mists of time” as anything can be, and the mystery has created a fertile arena for debate and conjecture

Price, Biological Evolution, 1996  p. 144
Evolution Textbook diagram of Mammal Evolution showing no Transitional Fossils. Price, Biological Evolution, 1996 p. 127

Mammal Evolution: No Transitional Fossils

Evolutionary tree diagrams shows this same problem. Take the evolution of mammals for example.  Observe this textbook figure with no start, or transitional fossils connecting the major groups of mammals. They all appear with their characteristics complete.

No Transitional Fossils in the Museums

Scientists have searched exhaustively all over the world for over 150 years for the predicted transitional fossils.

[Darwin’s] ideas were presented in opposition to the theory of special creation, which predicts the instantaneous creation of new forms, …  He … predicted that as specimen collections grew, the apparent gaps between fossil forms … would be filled in by forms showing gradual transitions between species.  For a century thereafter, most paleontologists followed his lead.

Evolutionary Analysis by Scott Freeman & Jon Herron 2006. p. 704 (popular university text with later editions)

They have catalogued millions and millions in various museums.

Fossil Museum Collections since Darwin. Why have no transitional fossils been catalogued? Image from Evolution: The Grand Experiment Dr. Carl Werner

Though scientists have found millions of fossils worldwide, they have not found one undisputed transitional fossil.  Notice how scientists at both the British and the American museums of Natural History summarize the fossil record:

The American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils…You say that I should at least ‘show a photo of the fossil from which each type of organsim was derived’.  I will lay it on the line — there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument”

Colin Patterson, Senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History in a letter to L.D. Sunderland as quoted in Darwin’s Enigma by L.D. Sunderland, p. 89  1984

Since Darwin’s time the search for missing links in the fossil record has continued on an ever-increasing scale. So vast has been the expansion of paleontological activity over the past one hundred years that probably 99.9% of all paleontological work has been carried out since 1860. Only a small fraction of the hundred thousand or so fossil species known today were known to Darwin. But virtually all the new fossil species discovered since Darwin’s time have either been closely related to known forms or, .. strange unique types of unknown affinity.

Michael Denton. Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. 1985 p. 160-161

New Emerging Information never observed in Natural Selection

Change and diversity in Chickens. Just variations on existing design themes. Chickens are always Chickens

Then I realized that evolution’s explanatory power that I described earlier was not as impressive as I had first thought.  For example, though we see changes in animals over time, these changes never show increasing complexity and new function.  Thus, when the moth populations mentioned earlier change color, the level of complexity (gene information) remains the same.  This is how human races arose. No novel structures, functions or information content (in the genetic code) are introduced. Natural Selection simply eliminates variations of existing information.  Yet evolution requires change showing increase in complexity and new information.  After all, this is the general trend that the evolutionary ‘trees’ portray. They show simpler life (like single-celled organisms) gradually evolving to more complex life (like birds and mammals). 

Soapberry Bug beak length decreases: Textbook case of Natural Selection does not show new structures emerging

Seeing objects moving horizontally (like billiards rolling on a pool table) is not the same as movement vertically up (like a rising elevator). Vertical movement requires energy. In the same way, variations in frequency among existing genes is not the same as developing new genes with new information and function. Extrapolating that increasing complexity can be inferred from observing change at the same level of complexity is not supported.

Limb design similarities in mammals – Can just as well come from Common Design as ancestor

Biological Similarities Explained by Common Design

Finally, I realized that similarities between organisms allegedly proving the existence of a common evolutionary ancestor (called homology) could alternatively be interpreted as evidence of a common designer.  After all, the reason that automobile models of a car company bear similarities in design with each other is because the models have the same design team behind them. Similarities between designed products is never because they are descended from a common ancestor, but planned by a common design team.  Thus, the pentadactyl limbs in mammals could signal evidence of a designer using this basic limb design for all mammals. 

Bird Lung: Irreducibly Complex Design

I have seen that as we continue to understand more about the biological world, the problems with evolution keep increasing.  For evolution to be possible, small changes in function need to increase survival rates so that these changes can be selected and passed on.  The problem is that many of these transitional changes will simply not work, let alone increase function.  Take birds for example.  They supposedly evolved from reptiles.  Reptiles have a lung system, like mammals, by bringing air in-and-out of the lung to alveoli though bronchi tubes.

Birds however have a totally different lung structure.  Air passes through the parabronchi of the lung in one direction only. These figures illustrate these two design plans.

How is the hypothetical half-reptile and half-bird going to breathe while his lung rearranges (by chance modifications)?  Can a lung even function while part-way between the bi-directional reptile structure and the uni-directional bird structure?  Not only is being half-way between these two lung designs NOT better for survival, but the intermediate animal would not be able to breathe. The animal would die in minutes.  Maybe that is why scientists have not found transitional fossils. It is simply impossible to function (and thus live) with a partially developed design.

What about Intelligent Design? It explains our Humanness

What I first saw as evidence supporting the theory of evolution, upon closer inspection, turned out to be unpersuasive. There is no direct observable evidence supporting the theory of evolution. It contradicts a surprising amount of scientific evidence and even common-sense. Essentially one needs faith, not fact, to adhere to evolution. But are there any alternative explanations for how life came to be?

Perhaps life is the product of an Intelligent Design?

There are also facets of human life that evolutionary theory never even attempts to explain. Why are people so aesthetic, instinctively turning to music, art, drama, stories, movies – none of which have any survival value – to refresh ourselves? Why do we have a built-in moral grammar that allows us to intuitively sense moral right and wrong? And why do we need purpose in our lives? These capabilities and needs are essential to being human, yet are not easily explained through evolution. But understanding ourselves as created in the image of God makes sense of these non-physical human traits. We begin exploring this idea of being created by Intelligent Design here.

Why would a Loving God allow Suffering, Pain and Death?

Of the various reasons put forward denying the existence of an all-powerful and loving Creator this often tops the list.  The logic seems pretty straightforward.  If God is all-powerful and loving then He can control the world and would control it for our well-being. But the world is so full of suffering, pain and death that God must either not exist, not have all power, or perhaps not be loving.  Consider some thoughts from those who have argued this point. 

“The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are being slowly devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst and disease.”

Dawkins, Richard, “God’s Utility Function,” Scientific American, vol. 273 (November 1995), pp. 80‑85.

The grim and inescapable reality is that all life is predicated on death.  Every carnivorous creature must kill and devour another creature … How could a loving God create such horrors? …Surely it would not be beyond the competence of an omniscient deity to create an animal world that could be sustained and perpetuated without suffering and death.

Charles Templeton, Farewell to God. 1996 p 197-199

Diving into this question, however, we will quickly find it more complex than might appear at first.  Removing the Creator crashes on a contradiction.  Understanding the complete Biblical answer to this question provides powerful hope in the face of suffering and death.

Building the Biblical WorldView

Let’s consider this question by carefully laying out the Biblical worldview.  The Bible starts with the premise that God exists and that He is indeed all-powerful, just, holy and loving.  Simply put, He always is.  His power and existence does not depend on anything else.  Our first diagram illustrates this.

The Biblical worldview begins with the premise of an all-powerful Creator

God, from his own will and power then created Nature out of nothing (ex nihilo).  We illustrate Nature in the second diagram as a rounded brown rectangle.  This rectangle includes and contains all the mass-energy of the universe as well as all the physical laws by which the universe runs.  In addition all the information required to create and sustain life is included herein.  Thus, the DNA which codes for the proteins which utilize the physical laws of chemistry and physics, is also included in Nature.  This box is huge, but crucially, it is not part of God.  Nature is distinct from Him, represented by the Nature box as separate from the cloud representing God.  God used his power and knowledge to create Nature, so we illustrate this with the arrow going from God into Nature.

God Creates Nature which encompasses the Mass-Energy of the Universe and its physical laws. Nature and God are distinct

Mankind created in the Image of God

Then God created man. Man is composed of matter-energy as well as the same biological DNA information construct as the rest of creation.  We show this by placing man inside the Nature box.  The right angle arrow illustrates that God constructed man out of the elements of Nature.  However, God also created non-material, spiritual dimensions to man.  The Bible terms this special feature of man as ‘made in the image of God’ (explored more here).  Thus God imparted spiritual capabilities, capacities and characteristics into man that go beyond matter-energy and physical laws.  We illustrate this with the second arrow coming from God and going directly into man (with label ‘Image of God’).

Sister Nature, not Mother Nature

Both Nature and man were created by God, with man materially composed of, and residing within, Nature.  We recognize this by changing the well-known adage about ‘Mother Nature’. Nature is not our Mother, but rather Nature is our sister. This is because, in the Biblical worldview, both Nature and Man are created by God.  This idea of ‘Sister Nature’ captures the idea that man and Nature bear similarities (as sisters do) but also that they both derive from the same source (again as sisters do).  Man does not come from Nature, but is composed of elements of Nature.

Nature is our ‘Sister’, not Mother Nature

Nature: Unjust and Amoral – Why God?

Now we observe that Nature is cruel and does not operate as if justice has any meaning.  We add this attribute to Nature in our diagram. Dawkins and Templeton artfully articulated this above. Following their cue, we reflect back to the Creator and ask how He could have created such an amoral Nature.  Driving this moral argument is our innate capacity for moral reasoning, so eloquently expressed by Richard Dawkins.

Driving our moral judgments is a universal moral grammar …  As with language, the principles that make up our moral grammar fly beneath the radar of our awareness”

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion. p. 223

The Secular Worldview – Mother Nature

Not finding an answer to our liking many then dismiss the notion of a transcendent Creator who made both Nature and mankind.  So now our worldview has become secular and looks like this.

We have removed God as the cause who made us, and thus also we have removed man’s distinctiveness bearing ‘The image of God’.  This is the worldview Dawkins and Templeton promote, and which pervades western society today.  All that remains is Nature, the mass-energy and physical laws. So the narrative is changed to say that Nature created us.  In that narrative, a naturalistic evolutionary process brought forth man.  Nature, in this view, really is our Mother.  This is because everything about us, our capabilities, capacities and characteristics must come from Nature, since there is no other Cause.

The Moral Dilemma

But this brings us to our dilemma.  Humans still have that moral capacity, which Dawkins describes as a ‘moral grammar’.  But how does an amoral (not immoral as in bad morals, but amoral in that morality is simply not part of the makeup) Nature produce beings with a sophisticated moral grammar?  To put it another way, the moral argument against God presiding over an unjust world, presupposes that there really is justice and injustice.  But if we get rid of God because the world is ‘unjust’ then where do we get this notion of ‘justice’ and ‘injustice’ to begin with?  Nature herself shows no inkling of a moral dimension which includes justice.

Imagine a universe without time.  Can someone be ‘late’ in such a universe?  Can someone be ‘thick’ in a two dimensional universe?  Similarly, we decided that amoral Nature is our sole cause. So we find ourselves in an amoral universe complaining that it is immoral?  Where does that ability to discern and reason morally come from?

Simply discarding God from the equation does not solve the problem that Dawkins and Templeton so eloquently articulate above. 

The Biblical Explanation for Suffering, Pain and Death

The Biblical worldview answers the problem of pain but does so without creating the problem of explaining where our moral grammar comes from. The Bible does not simply affirm Theism, that a Creator God exists.  It also articulates a catastrophe that entered Nature.  Man rebelled against his Creator, says the Bible, and this is why there is suffering, pain and death.  Review the account here with ramifications spelled out here also.

Why did God allow entry of pain, suffering and death as a consequence of man’s rebellion?  Consider the crux of the temptation and thus man’s rebellion.

For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:5

The first human ancestors were tempted to “be like God, knowing good and evil”.  ‘Knowing’ here does not mean knowing as in the sense of learning facts or truths like we might know the capital cities in the world or know the multiplication tables.  God knows, not in the sense of learning, but in the sense of deciding.  When we decided to ‘know’ like God we took the mantle to decide what is good and what is evil.  We can then make the rules as we choose.

Since that fateful day mankind has carried this instinct and natural desire to be his own god, deciding for himself what will be good and what will be evil.  Up to that point The Creator God had made Nature as our friendly and well-serving sister.  But from this point on Nature would change.  God decreed a Curse:

Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”

Genesis 3: 17-19

The Role of the Curse

In the Curse, God, so to speak, transformed Nature from our sister into our step-sister.  In the romantic stories step-sisters dominate and put down the heroine.  Similarly, our step-sister, Nature, now treats us harshly, dominating us with suffering and death.  In our foolishness we thought we could be God.  Nature, as our cruel step-sister, constantly brings us back to reality. It keeps reminding us that, though we might imagine otherwise, we are not gods. 

Jesus’ parable of the Lost Son illustrates this.  The foolish son wanted to depart from his father but he found that the life he pursued was hard, difficult and painful.  Because of that, Jesus said, the son ‘came to his senses.. ’.  In this parable we are the foolish son and Nature represents the hardships and hunger which plagued him. Nature as our step-sister allows us to shake off our foolish imaginations and come to our senses.

Mankind’s technological breakthroughs over the last 200 or so years has been largely to lighten the heavy hand of his step-sister upon him.  We have learned to harness energy so our toil is much less painful than in the past.  Medicine and technology have greatly contributed to lessening Nature’s hard grip on us.  Though we welcome this, a by-product of our advance has been that we have begun to reclaim our god delusions. We are deluded into imagining in some way that we are autonomous gods. 

Consider some statements from prominent thinkers, scientists and social influencers who sit atop man’s recent advances.  Ask yourself if these do not smack a little of a god complex.

Man at last knows that he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose.“

Jacques Monod

“In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural.  The earth was not created, it evolved.  So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body.  So did religion. …  Evolutionary man can no longer take refuge from his loneliness in the arms of a divinized father figure whom he has himself created…

Sir Julian Huxley. 1959. Remarks at the Darwin Centennial, University of Chicago. Grandson of Thomas Huxley, Sir Julian was also the first director general of UNESCO

‘I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves. … For myself, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation, sexual and political.’

Huxley, Aldous., Ends and Means, pp. 270 ff.

We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of pre-existing cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world, and because we do, we no longer feel beholden to outside forces. We no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible to nothing outside ourselves, for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever.

Jeremy Rifkin, Algeny A New Word—A New World, p. 244 (Viking Press, New York), 1983.  Rifkin is an economist specializing on impact of science and biotechnology on society.

The Situation as it Stands Now – But with Hope

The Bible summarizes why suffering, pain and death characterizes this world.  Death came as a result of our rebellion.  Today we live in the consequences of that rebellion.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned

Romans 5:12

So today we live in frustration.  But the gospel story puts forth hope in that this will come to an end.  Liberation will come.

‘For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time

Romans 8:20-22

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead was the ‘firstfruits’ of this liberation.  This will be achieved when the Kingdom of God is fully established.  At that time:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away

Revelation 21:3-4

Hope Contrasted

Consider the difference in hope that Paul articulated, compared with Dr. William Provine and Woody Allen.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:54-57

One must have one’s delusions to live. If you look at life too honestly and too clearly life does become unbearable because it’s a pretty grim enterprise. This is my perspective and has always been my perspective on life – I have a very grim, pessimistic view of it… I do feel that it [life] is a grim, painful, nightmarish, meaningless experience and that the only way that you can be happy is if you tell yourself some lies and deceive yourself.”

Woody Allen – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8684809.stm

“Modern science implies … ´There are no purposive principles whatsoever. There are no gods and no designing forces that are rationally detectable …  ´Second, … there are no inherent moral or ethical laws, no absolute guiding principles for human society.  ´Third, [a]… human becomes an ethical person by means of heredity and environmental influences. That is all there is.  ´Fourth …when we die, we die and that is the end of us.”

W. Provine. “Evolution and the Foundation of Ethics”, in MBL Science, Vol.3, (1987) No.1, pp.25-29. Dr. Provine was professor of History of Science at Cornell University

Which worldview would you prefer to build your life on?

What does the Bible teach about Environmental Stewardship?

The Creation Account
Sweet Publishing, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What does the Bible say about the environment and our responsibility to it?  Many think that the Bible only deals with ethical morals (i.e., do not lie, cheat or steal). Or perhaps it only concerns an after-life in heaven.  But the relationship between mankind, the earth, and life on it, along with our responsibilities are introduced right on the first page of the Bible.

The Bible states that God created mankind in His Image. At that same time He also gave mankind his first charge.  As the Bible records it:

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:26-28

God retains Ownership

Some have misunderstood the commands ‘subdue’ and ‘rule’ to imply that God gave the world to mankind to do as we want with it.  We are thus free to ‘rule’ over the earth and its ecosystems to our every whim and fancy.  In this way of thinking God washed his hands of His creation right from the beginning. Then He gave it to us to do as we like.

However the Bible never states that mankind now ‘owns’ the world to do with it as they please.  Many times throughout the Bible God asserts his ongoing ownership of the world.  Consider what God said through Moses ca 1500 BCE

5 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 

Exodus 19:5

And through David ca 1000 BCE

10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
    and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
    and the insects in the fields are mine.

Psalm 50:10-11
eMaringolo, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Jesus himself taught that God retains an active interest in, and detailed knowledge of, the state of animals on this world.  As he taught:

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 

Matthew 10:29

We are Managers

The more accurate way of understanding the roles given to mankind is to think of us as ‘managers’.  Jesus used this picture many times in his teachings to describe the relationship between God and humans.  Here is one example,

1 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’…

Luke 16:1-2

In this parable God is the ‘rich man’ – the owner of everything – and we are the managers. At some point we will be evaluated on how we have managed what He owns.  Jesus consistently uses this relationship in many of his teachings.

In this way of thinking we are like pension fund managers.  They do not own the pension funds – the people paying into their pensions are the owners. The fund managers have been delegated authority to invest and manage the pension fund for the benefit of the pensioners.  If they are incompetent, lazy or do a bad job the owners will replace them with others.

So God remains the ‘owner’ of creation and has delegated to us the authority and the responsibility of managing it properly. Therefore it would be prudent to know what His goals and interests are with respect to creation.  We can learn this by surveying some of His commands.

God’s heart for His Creation revealed through His commands

After the Passover, and the giving of the Ten Commandments, Moses received further detailed instructions on how the fledgling Israelite nation should establish itself in the Promised Land.  Consider the instructions that give visibility to the values in God’s heart concerning the environment.

1 The Lord said to Moses at Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 

Leviticus 25:1-4
An Untouched Earth
Sweet Publishing, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unique among all the other nations and their practices back then (3500 years ago) and even different than typically practiced today, this command ensured that the land, remained uncultivated every seventh year. Thus the land could have a regular, periodic ‘rest’. During this rest, nutrients that had been depleted under heavy agriculture could replenish.  This command shows that God values long term environmental sustainability over short term extraction.  We can extend this principle to environmental resources like fish stocks. Limit the fishing either seasonally or pause fishing until over-fished stocks can recover.  This command applies as an extended principle to all activities that deplete our natural resources, whether water, wildlife, fish stocks, or forests.

This guideline seems environmentally beneficial. But you are probably wondering how the Israelites were to eat on the year that they did not plant.  These were people just like us and they likewise asked this question.  The Bible records the exchange:

18 “‘Follow my decrees and be careful to obey my laws, and you will live safely in the land. 19 Then the land will yield its fruit, and you will eat your fill and live there in safety. 20 You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” 21 I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. 22 While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in. 

Leviticus 25:18-22

Concern for welfare of animals

4 Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.

Deuteronomy 25:4

The Israelites were to treat the beasts of burden well.  They should not withhold their animals treading on the grain (so it would thresh) from enjoying some of the fruit of their effort and work.

11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”

Jonah 4:11

This comes from the well-known book of Jonah. In this book a giant marine creature had swallowed Jonah before he obeyed his call to preach repentance to the wicked citizens of Nineveh.  Angry with God that they had repented from his preaching and so had averted His judgment, Jonah complained bitterly to God.  The quote above was God’s response to his complaint.  Apart from revealing God’s concern for the people of Nineveh, He also reveals His concern for the animals. God was pleased that the animals were spared because the people of Nineveh repented.

Judgment for those harming the earth

The Book of Revelation, the final book of the Bible offers visions of the future of our world. The pervading theme of the future it foresees centers on coming judgment. The coming judgment is triggered for a number of reasons, including:

18 The nations were angry,
    and your wrath has come.
The time has come for judging the dead,
    and for rewarding your servants the prophets
and your people who revere your name,
    both great and small—
and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”

Revelation 11:18

In other words, the Bible predicts that the mankind, instead of managing the earth and its ecosystems in a manner consistent with the will of its owner, will ‘destroy the earth’.  This will trigger judgment to destroy those guilty.

What are some signs of the ‘end’ that we are destroying the earth?

On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.

Luke 21:25b

The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.

Revelation 16:8-9

These signs written down 2000 years ago sound like the rising sea levels and increased intensity of ocean storms we witness today as part of global warming. Maybe we should heed the ancient warning.

What can we do to help our environment?

Here are some steps we can take to work towards a better environment:

  • Lower your waste output by reusing products as much as you can before recycling them. Recycle items that can be processed and re-used, such as paper, plastic, and metal.
  • Plastics harm the environment, so decreasing the plastic use is an easy first step. You can take simple steps such as carrying a water bottle with you instead of buying water in plastic bottles. Reuse your plastic shopping bags. Use metal or glass containers to store food. Some snacks and foods are still packaged with plastic.  You can try to buy these in bulks and then store them in reusable containers.
  • Water is an important aspect of the environment. Conserve water by taking precautions such as turning off taps when you are not using them. Repair dripping pipes and faucets.
  • Use energy efficient products. For example, using energy-efficient light-bulbs is not only better for the environment (with a lower carbon footprint) but will also save your energy costs.
  • Use public transportation instead of your own car. This is not always the easiest step to take because they are far more convenient than walking or taking the bus. But try walking short distances to get some exercise and take a step in protecting the environment. If the weather is nice try bicycling. Buying electrical cars instead of fossil-fuel burning cars is another way we can reduce the carbon emission caused by cars.
  • Use environment-friendly products which do not harm the environment. These include organic foods or biodegradable cleaning products. 
  • Do not litter. Because of littering many plastics wash into the oceans and bodies of fresh water.
  • Remember that small changes can make a big difference. Whatever step you take towards a protecting the environment if you maintain it throughout your life will make a difference.
  • Pass on these tips and strategies to others.
  • Educate people, especially those younger, about the environment and the importance of protecting it. Social media is a big part of our lives. Use social media to share information about environmental issues and how we can protect it.
  • Practice these preventative measures so you can set an example for others. People are more likely to adopt a new habit when they witness other people practicing it.   

The most unique Book: What is its Message?

Brilliant and creative writers have penned many great books down the centuries. Books of different genres written in multiple languages from diverse cultures have enriched, informed, and entertained mankind over generations.

The Bible stands unique among all these great books. It is unique in several ways.

Its Name – The Book

The Bible literally means ‘The Book’.  The Bible was the first volume in history to be put into the book form using pages common today.  Before that people kept ‘books’ as scrolls. The change in structure from scroll to bound pages allowed people to keep large volumes in compact and durable form. This led to increased literacy as societies adopted this bound page form.

Multiple Books and Authors

The Bible is a collection of 69 books written by several dozen authors. As such it is perhaps more accurate to think of the Bible as a library rather than a book. These authors came from different countries, languages, and social positions.  Prime Ministers, kings and senior government officials to shepherds, rabbis, and fishermen comprise the some of the authors’ backgrounds. However, these books still create and form a unified theme. That is remarkable. Pick a controversial topic today, like economics. If you scan the foremost writers in that topic you will see how they contradict and disagree with each other. Not so with the books of the Bible. They form a unified theme, even with their diverse backgrounds, languages and social positions.

The Most Ancient Book

It took more than 1500 years for these books to all be written from start to finish.  In fact, the first authors of the Bible wrote their books about 1000 years before the rest of the world’s earliest authors began their writing.

Bible Time Span with some of its major characters shown on Timeline. Notice how much later the ‘Father of History’ come as well as other major historical events and persons. The Bible is Ancient

Most Translated Book

The Bible is the most translated book in the world, with at least one of its books translated into over 3500 languages (out of a total of 7000).

Diverse Writing Genres

The books of the Bible form a wide variety of writing genres. History, poetry, philosophy, prophecy all incorporate into the various Bible books. These books look back to the ancient past and also forward to the end of history.

… But its message not readily known.

This book is also a long book, with a complex epic story. Because its setting is so ancient, its theme so profound, and its scope so wide many do not know its message. Many do not realize that the Bible, though vast in scope, centers on a very personal invitation. You can take different perspectives to understand the Biblical story. The list below provides a few on this website:

What is the ‘Son of Man’? The Paradox at Jesus’ Trial

The Bible uses several titles in referring to Jesus. The most prominent is ‘Christ’, but it also uses ‘Son of God‘ and ‘Lamb of God‘ regularly. However, Jesus often refers to himself as ‘Son of Man’. What does this mean and why does he use this term? It is in the trial of Jesus that the irony of his use of ‘Son of Man’ really stands out. We explore this here.

Many are somewhat familiar with the trial of Jesus. Perhaps they have seen the trial depicted in a film or read it in one of the gospel accounts. Yet the trial that the Gospels record brings forth profound paradoxes. It forms part of the events of Day 6 in Passion Week. Luke records the details of the trial for us.

Jesus on trial before Pontius Pilate
Popular Graphic Arts, PD-US-expired, via Wikimedia Commons

At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. “If you are the Christ”, they said, “tell us.”

Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”

They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”

Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”

Luke 22: 66-71

Notice how Jesus does not answer their question whether he is the ‘Christ’.  Instead, he refers to something totally different, the ‘Son of Man’.  But his accusers don’t seem puzzled by that abrupt change of topic.  For some reason they understand him even though he does not answer if he was the Christ.

So why?  Where does ‘Son of Man’ come from and what does it mean?

The ‘Son of Man’ from Daniel

‘Son of man’ comes from Daniel in the Old Testament. He recorded a vision explicitly about the future, and in it he references a ‘Son of Man’.  Here is how Daniel recorded his vision:

Daniel lived ca 550 BCE, long before Jesus

“As I looked,

“thrones were set in place,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
    the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
    and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing,
    coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
    ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
    and the books were opened….

Daniel 7:9-10

13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Daniel 7:13-14

vs. Son of Man at Jesus’ Trial

Now reflect on the irony of the situation at Jesus’ trial. There stood Jesus, a peasant carpenter living in the backwater of the Roman Empire. He had a ragtag following of lowly fishermen. At his recent arrest, they had just deserted him in terror. Now he is on trial for his life. By calling himself the Son of Man he calmly claimed before the chief priests and other accusers to be that person in Daniel’s vision.

But Daniel described the son of man as ‘coming on the clouds of heaven’. Daniel foresaw the Son of Man taking worldwide authority and establishing a never-ending kingdom. That could not be more different from the actual situation that Jesus found himself in at his trial. It would seem almost ludicrous to bring up that title with him being in that situation.

What was Luke thinking?

Jesus is not the only one behaving strangely. Luke does not shy away from recording this claim and putting it on record. However, when he did so (early 60s first century CE) the prospects for Jesus and his fledgling movement seemed laughable. His movement was ridiculed by the elite, disdained by the Jews, and ruthlessly persecuted by the insane Roman Emperor Nero.  Nero had the Apostle Peter crucified upside-down and Paul beheaded.  It should seem beyond sane reason that Luke would keep that fantastic reference in the mouth of Jesus. By writing it down he made it public for all their detractors to scoff at.  But Luke was confident that Jesus of Nazareth was this same Son of Man from Daniel’s vision. So, against all odds, he records Jesus’ irrational (if it were not true) exchange with his accusers.

Philip Devere, FAL, via Wikimedia Commons

‘Son of Man’ – being fulfilled in our time

Now consider this. Only after Jesus gave his reply, and centuries after Luke put it on record, some significant parts of the Daniel Son of Man vision have been fulfilled by Jesus.  Daniel’s vision of the Son of Man stated that:

“all peoples, nations, and men of every language worshiped him”.

That was not true of Jesus two thousand years ago. But look around now. People from every nation and practically each of the thousands of languages do worship him today. This includes former animists from the Amazon to Papua New Guinea, the jungles of India to Cambodia. From East to West and North to South people worship him now on a global scale. For no one else in all of recorded history is this even remotely plausible. One may dismiss this with a ‘yes well that is due to the spread of Christianity’. Sure, hindsight is 20-20. But Luke had no human way of knowing how things would unfold in the centuries after he recorded his account.

How could the Son of Man get worship

And worship, to be real worship, can only be given by a free will, not under coercion or by bribery. Suppose Jesus was the Son of Man with the powers of Heaven at his command. Then he would have had the might 2000 years ago to rule by force. But by force alone he would never have been able to get true worship out of people. For that to happen people must be freely won over, like a maiden by her lover.

Asbury Revival- nonstop, two-week prayer and worship session that took place at Asbury University (2023)
Mollie Landman HunkerCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thus to reach fulfillment Daniel’s vision required, in principle, a period of free and open invitation. A time when people could freely choose whether they would give the Son of Man worship or not. This explains the period we now live in, between the First Coming and the Return of the King. This is the period when the Kingdom’s invitation goes out. We can freely accept it or not.

The partial fulfillment of Daniel’s vision in our times provides a basis to trust that the remainder will also be fulfilled someday.  At the very least it might raise our curiosity about the truth of the overall Biblical story.

In his first coming he came to defeat sin and death. He achieved this by dying himself and then rising. He now invites everyone thirsty for everlasting life to take it. When he returns as per Daniel’s vision he will fully establish the ever-lasting Kingdom with its ever-lasting citizens. And we can be part of it.

What’s the Gospel? Considered through COVID, Quarantine and Vaccine

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, emerged in China towards the end of 2019.  Just a few months later it had raged around the world, infecting and killing millions while spreading to every country.

The lightning fast spread of COVID-19 created panic around the world.  People were unsure what to do in light of this pandemic.  But before vaccines emerged, medical professionals insisted that success in containing COVID-19 hung on one big strategy. Everyone on the planet practiced social distancing and quarantine. This caused authorities around the world to setup lockdown and isolation rules. 

In most places people could not meet in large groups and had to keep at least two meters distance from others. Those who came in contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19 had to completely isolate themselves from contact with others. 

Simultaneously, medical researchers raced to find a vaccine.  They hoped that vaccinated people would develop resistance to the coronavirus. Then the spread of COVID-19 would be less fatal and slow down. 

Covid -19 Vaccine

These extreme procedures to isolate, quarantine, and develop a coronavirus vaccine, provide a living illustration of another procedure to treat a different virus. But this virus is a spiritual one.  That procedure is at the heart of the mission of Jesus and his Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.  The coronavirus was so serious that societies across the planet attempted drastic steps to protect their citizens. So perhaps it is worthwhile to also understand this spiritual counterpart. We do not want to be caught unaware by this threat like the world was with COVID.  The COVID-19 pandemic illustrates abstract Biblical themes like sin, heaven, and hell, but also the mission of Jesus.

First how the infectious disease illustrates sin…

A Deadly & Contagious Infection.

No one really thought that COVID-19 is pleasant to think about, but it was unavoidable. Likewise, the Bible talks a great deal about sin and its consequences, another topic we prefer to avoid.  An image the Bible uses to describe sin is that of a spreading infectious disease. Like COVID, it describes sin as going across the whole human race and killing it.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. 

Romans 5:12

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
    and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
    and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 

Isaiah 64:6

Epidemics are diseases but are not the cause of the disease. For example, AIDS is the disease; HIV is the virus that causes the disease. SARS is the disease; SARS Coronavirus-1 is the virus that causes the disease. COVID-19 is a disease with its symptoms. SARS Coronavirus-2 is the virus behind it. In the same way, the Bible says that our sins (plural) are a spiritual disease. Sin (singular) is its root, and it results in death.

Moses & the Bronze Serpent

Jesus linked an Old Testament event connecting disease and death to his mission. This is the account of snakes infesting the Israelite camp in the time of Moses. The Israelites needed a cure before death overwhelmed them all.

They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”

Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

The Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.” So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. 

Numbers 21:4-9
Israelites being captured by snakes
Moses made the bronze snake

Throughout the Old Testament, one became unclean either by infectious disease, by touching dead bodies, or by sin. These three are associated with one another. The New Testament sums up our situation like this:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Ephesians 2: 1-2

Death in the Bible means ‘separation’. It involves both a physical (soul separates from the body) and spiritual death (soul separated from God).  Sin is like an unseen but real virus inside us. It causes immediate spiritual death. This then leads to a certain physical death over time.

Though we would rather not think about it, the Bible treats sin as real and deadly as the Coronavirus. We cannot afford to ignore it. But it also points to the vaccine…

The Vaccine – Through the death of the Seed

From its beginning, the Bible developed a theme of the coming Seed.  A seed is essentially a packet of DNA that can unfurl and develop into new life.  The DNA in a seed is specific information from which it builds large molecules of specific shapes (proteins).  In this sense, it is similar to a vaccine, which are large molecules (called antigens) of a specific shape.  God promised that this coming Seed, announced from the beginning, would solve the problem of sin and death.

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Genesis 3:15

See here for details on the woman and her Seed.  God later promised that the Seed would come through Abraham to go to all nations.

In your (Abraham’s) seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.

Genesis 22:18

In these promises the Seed is singular.  A ‘he’, not a ‘they’ or an ‘it’, was to come.

The Gospel reveals Jesus as the promised Seed – but with a twist. The seed would die.  

Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

John 12:23-24

His death was on our behalf.

But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Hebrews 2:9

Some vaccines first kill the virus in it. Then the vaccine with the dead virus is injected into our bodies. In this way, our bodies can produce the necessary antibodies. Our immune system can thus defend our bodies from the virus. Similarly, the death of Jesus enables that Seed to now indwell us. So now we can develop an immune defense against that spiritual virus – sin.

Covid -19 Antibodies

No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

1 John 3:9

The Bible continues to explain what this means:

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

2 Peter 1:4

Though sin has corrupted us, the life of the Seed in us takes root and enables us to ‘participate in the divine nature’. The corruption is not only undone, but we can be like God in a manner impossible otherwise.

But, without an adequate vaccine our only option for Covid is quarantine.  This is also true in the spiritual realm.  We know that quarantine more commonly as Hell.

How is this so?

Quarantine – Separation of Heaven & Hell

Jesus taught on coming of the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’. When we think of ‘heaven’ we often think of its situation or milieu – those ‘streets of gold’. But the greater hope of the Kingdom is a society with citizens of completely honest and selfless character. Reflect on how much we build into the ‘kingdoms’ of the earth to protect ourselves from each other. Everyone has locks on their homes, some with advanced security systems. We lock our cars and tell our kids not to speak to strangers. Every city has a police force. We vigilantly protect our online data. Think of all the systems, practices, and procedures that we have put in place in our ‘kingdoms on earth’. Now realize that they are there simply to protect ourselves from each other. Then you may get a glimmer of the problem of sin in heaven. 

Exclusivity of Paradise

A depiction of what heaven might look like

If God set up a kingdom of ‘heaven’ and then made us citizens of it, we would quickly turn it into the hell we have turned this world into. The gold on the streets would vanish in no time. God must root out the sin in us just like societies try to eradicate COVID-19 for society to be healthy. Not one person who ‘missed’ (the meaning of sin) this perfect standard could enter God’s kingdom. Because then he would ruin it. Instead, God needs to enforce a quarantine so sin would not wreck heaven.

What then for those whom God quarantines and denies entry? In this world, if you are denied entry to a country you cannot also participate in its resources and benefits. (You cannot receive its welfare, medical treatment ,etc.). But all in all, people around the world, even terrorists on the run from all countries, enjoy the same basic amenities of nature. These include such basic and taken for granted things as breathing the air, seeing light like everyone else.

What separation from God finally is

But who made light? The Bible claims

‘God said, “Let there be light” and there was light’.

Genesis 1:3
A depiction of what hell might look like

If that is true then all light is His – and it turns out that we are just borrowing it now. But with the final establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven, His light will be in His Kingdom. So ‘outside’ will be ‘darkness’ – just as Jesus described Hell in this parable.

“Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 

Matthew 22: 13

If there is a Creator then most of what we take for granted and assume is ‘ours’ is really His. Start with such a basic entity as ‘light’, the world around us, and go on to our natural abilities such as thought and speech. We really did nothing to create these and our other abilities. We simply find ourselves able to use and develop them.  When the Owner finalizes His Kingdom He will reclaim all that is his.

When COVID-19 breaks out bringing death and havoc among us all we hear no argument when experts insist on quarantine. So it is no surprise to hear Jesus teach in his parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus that

And besides all this, between us (in Kingdom of God) and you (in Hell) a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.

Luke 16:26

Taking the vaccination – Jesus’ explanation of the Bronze Serpent

Jesus once explained his mission using the story above about Moses and the deadly serpents.  Think about what would have happened for the people bitten by the snakes.

When bitten by a poisonous snake, the venom entering the body is an antigen, just like a virus infection.  The normal treatment is to try to suck the venom out. Then bind the bitten limb tightly so that the blood flow ebbs and the venom does not spread from the bite. Finally, reduce activity so that the lowered heart rate will not quickly pump the venom through the body. 

When the serpents infected the Israelites, God told them to look at the bronze serpent held up on a pole. You might imagine some bitten person rolling out of bed, looking at the nearby bronze serpent, and then being healed. But there were about 3 million people in the Israelite camp. (They counted over 600 000 men of military age). This is the size of a large modern city. Chances were high that those bitten were several kilometers away, and out of sight from, the bronze serpent pole.

The Counter-Intuitive Choice with the serpents

So those bitten by the snakes had to make a choice.  They could take standard precautions involving binding the wound tightly and resting to restrict blood flow and spread of the venom.  Or they would have to trust the remedy announced by Moses. To do that they would have to walk several kilometers, raising the blood flow and spread of the venom, before looking on the bronze serpent.  The trust or lack of trust in the word of Moses would determine each person’s course of action.

Jesus referred to this when he said

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him may have eternal life.

John 3:14-15

Jesus said that our situation is like that serpent story.  The snakes that infested the camp are like sin in us and society.  We are infected with the venom of sin and we will die from it. This death is an eternal one requiring Quarantine from the Kingdom of Heaven.  Jesus then said that his being lifted up on the cross was like the bronze serpent lifted on a pole.  Just as the bronze serpent could cure the Israelites of their deadly venom so he can cure ours.  The Israelites in the camp had to look at the raised serpent.  But to do that they would have to explicitly trust the solution provided by Moses. They would have to act counter-intuitively by not slowing the heart rate.  It was their trust in what God provided that saved them. 

Our Counter-Intuitive Choice with Jesus

It is the same for us.  We do not physically look at the cross, but we trust in that provision given by God to save us from the infection of sin and death. 

However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 

Romans 4:5

Rather than trusting our ability to fight off the infection, we trust God who made the vaccine in the Seed.  We trust him with the details of the vaccine.  This is why ‘Gospel’ means ‘Good news’.  Anyone who has been infected with a deadly disease but now hears that a life-saving vaccine is available and given for free – that is good news.

Come & See

Of course, we need a reason to trust both the diagnosis and the vaccine.  We dare not give our trust naively.  As one of the earliest discussions on this theme records

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.

“Come and see,” said Philip.

John 1:45-46

The Gospel invites us to come and see, to examine that Seed.  Here are some articles to help you do that including:

Come and see like Nathanael did so long ago.

Apparel: Why More than just Clothing?

Why do you clothe yourself?  Not with just anything that fits, but you want fashionable clothing that states who you are.  What causes you to instinctively need to wear clothing, not just to stay warm but also to express yourself visually?

Isn’t it odd that you find the same instinct across the planet, no matter what people’s language, race, education, religion is?  Women perhaps more than men, but they also display the same tendency.  In 2016 the global textile industry exported $1.3 Trillion USD.

The instinct to clothe ourselves feels so utterly normal and natural that many don’t often stop to ask, “Why?”. 

We put forth theories as to where the earth came from, where people came from, why the continents drift apart. But have you ever read a theory as to where our need for clothing comes from?

Only Humans – but not just for warmth

Let’s start with the obvious.  Animals certainly do not have this instinct.  They are all perfectly happy to be stark naked in front of us, and others all the time.  This is true even for higher animals.  If we are simply higher than higher animals this does not seem to add up.

Our need to be clothed comes not just from our need for warmth. We know this because much of our fashion and clothing comes from places with almost unbearable heat.  Clothing is functional, keeping us warm and protecting us. But these reasons do not answer our instinctive needs for modesty, gender expression and self-identity.

Clothing – from the Hebrew Scriptures

The one account explaining why we clothe ourselves, and seek to do it tastefully, comes from the ancient Hebrew Scriptures.  These Scriptures place you and me into a story that claims to be historical. It offers insight into who you are, why you do what you do, and what is in store for your future.  This story goes back to the dawn of mankind yet also explains everyday phenomena like why you clothe yourself.  Becoming familiar with this account is worthwhile since it offers many insights about yourself, guiding you to more abundant living. Here we look at the Biblical account through the lens of clothing.

We have been looking at the ancient creation account from the Bible. We started with the beginning of mankind and the world. Then we looked at the primeval showdown between two great adversaries. Now we look at these events from a slightly different perspective, which explains mundane events like shopping for fashionable clothes.

Made In the Image of God

We explored here that God had made the cosmos and then

Biblical series, The Creation of the World, the sixth day, finally humans, made in the image of God were created

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 1:27

In creation God fully expressed himself artistically through the beauty of creation.  Think of sunsets, flowers, tropical birds and landscape vistas.  Because God is artistic, you also, made ‘in his image’, will instinctively, without even consciously knowing ‘why’, likewise express yourself aesthetically. 

Fir0002GFDL 1.2, via Wikimedia Commons

We saw that God is a person.  God is a ‘he’, not an ‘it’.  Therefore, it is only natural that you also want to express yourself both visually and personally.  Clothing, jewellery, colors and cosmetics (make-up, tattoos etc) is thus a prominent way for you to express yourself aesthetically as well as individually.

Male and Female

God also made humans in the image of God as ‘male and female’.  From this we also understand why you create your ‘look’, by your clothing ,fashion, through your hairstyle and etc. This we naturally and easily recognize as male or female.  This goes deeper than cultural fashion.  If you see fashion and clothing from a culture you have never seen before you will generally generally be able to distinguish male and female clothing in that culture.. 

Wellcome Library, LondonCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Thus your creation in the image of God as male or female begins explaining your clothing instincts.  But this Creation account continues with some subsequent historical events which further explains clothing and you.

Covering our Shame

God gave the first humans the choice to obey or disobey Him in their primeval paradise.  They chose to disobey and when they did the creation account tells us that:

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Genesis 3:7

This tells us that from this point on humans lost their innocence before each other and before their Creator.  Ever since then we instinctively have felt shame about being naked and have desired to cover our own nakedness.  Beyond the need to stay warm and protected, we feel exposed, vulnerable and ashamed when naked in front of others.  Mankind’s choice to disobey God unleashed this in us.  It also unleashed the world of suffering, pain, tears and death that we all know so well.

Extending Mercy: A Promise and some clothes

God, in his mercy for us, then did two things.  First, He uttered a Promise in riddle form that would direct human history.  In this riddle He promised the coming redeemer, Jesus. God would send him to help us, to defeat his enemy, and to conquer death for us.

The second thing that God did was:

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

Genesis 3:21
Adam and Eve being clothed

God provided clothing to cover their nakedness.  God did so to address their shame.  Ever since that day, we, the children of these human ancestors, instinctively clothe ourselves as a result of these events. 

Clothing of Skin – A Visual Aid

God clothed them in a specific way to illustrate a principle for us.  The clothing that God provided was not a cotton blouse or denim shorts but ‘garments of skin’.  This meant that God killed an animal in order to make skins to cover their nakedness.  They had tried to cover themselves with leaves, but these were insufficient and so skins were required.  In the creation account, up to this time, no animal had ever died.  That primeval world had not experienced death.  But now God sacrificed an animal to cover their nakedness and shield their shame.

This began a tradition, practised by their descendants, running through all cultures, of animal sacrifice.  Eventually people forgot the truth that this sacrifice tradition illustrated. But it was preserved in the Bible.

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23
Sacrificed lamb

This states that the consequence of sin is death, and it must be paid.  We can pay it ourselves with our own death, or someone else can pay for it on our behalf.  The sacrificed animals continually illustrated this concept.  But they were only illustrations, visual aids pointing to the real sacrifice that would one day free us of sin.  This was fulfilled in the coming of Jesus who willingly sacrificed himself for us.  This great victory has ensured that

The last enemy to be destroyed is death

1 Corinthians 15:26

The Coming Wedding Feast – Wedding Clothes compulsory

Jesus likened this coming day, when He destroys death, to a great wedding feast.  He told the following parable

“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.

11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.

13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Matthew 22: 8 -13

In this story that Jesus told, everyone is invited to this festival.  People will come from every nation.  And because Jesus paid for everyone’s sin he also gives out the clothes for this festival.  The clothing here represents his merit which sufficiently covers our shame.  Though the wedding invitations go far and wide, and the king distributes wedding clothes free-of-charge, he still requires them.  We need his payment to cover our sin.  The man who did not clothe himself with the wedding clothes was rejected from the festival.  This is why Jesus says later on:

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

Revelation 3:18

God built on this initial visual aid of animal skins covering our nakedness by pre-enacting the coming sacrifice of Jesus in remarkable ways. He tested Abraham in the exact place and in a manner illustrating the Real coming sacrifice. He also instituted Passover which indicated the exact day and also further illustrated the Real coming sacrifice. But, given how we have seen clothing first come up right in the creation account, it is intriguing that creation also pre-enacted Jesus’ work.

Races and Languages: From Where? Answering Racism

People often mentally categorize others by race. Physical features, like skin color, that distinguish one group of people, a ‘race’, from another, are easy to notice. So Caucasians are ‘white’, while those of Asian and African decent are darker.

Collective, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

These traits distinguishing groups of people from each other easily leads to racism. This is the discrimination, ill-treatment, or enmity towards other races. Racism has contributed to making societies today more caustic and hateful, and it seems to be on the rise. What can we do to combat racism?

The question of racism begs a related question. Where do races come from? Why do race differences among humans exist? Additionally, since race has a strong correlation with ancestral language; Why are there different languages?

The ancient Hebrew Scriptures record a historical event in early human history explaining both the diversity of languages we hear, and the different ‘races’ that we see today. The account is worth knowing.

Genetic Similarity in the Human Species Leading To Our Genetic Ancestors

Before we explore the account there are some basic facts we should know about the genetic makeup of humanity. 

The genes in our DNA provides the blueprint that determines the way we look, our physical characteristics. Humans exhibit very little genetic diversity between different people compared to the diversity seen within an animal species. What this means is that the genetic difference between any two people is very little (on average 0.6%). This is much less than, for example, compared to genetic differences between two macaque monkeys.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid)
PublicDomainPictures, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

In fact, humans are so genetically uniform that we can trace the line of descent from all women alive today back through their mothers, and their mothers, and so on. Doing so shows all lines converging to one ancestral genetic mother, known as Mitochondrial Eve. There is also a male equivalent known as Y-Chromosomal Adam. He is the most recent ancestral male from whom all humans living today have descended. There exists an unbroken line of male ancestors going back to him. The Bible does state that all humans alive today descend from an original Adam and Eve. So genetic evidence is consistent with the Bible’s account of the origins of humans. Not only the ancient Chinese, but modern genetics testify to an Adam as our common ancestor.

Origin of Human Races According to the Bible

But then how did the different human races arise? The ancient Hebrew Scriptures describes, just a few generations after the flood, how people were scattered across the earth. With only some basics in genetics, we can see how such an event would give rise to today’s races. The ancient account reads: 

1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.

3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”

Genesis 11:1-4

The account records that everyone spoke the same language. With this unity they devised new technologies and started to use them to build a high tower. This tower was to observe and track the movement of stars, since astrology was keenly studied in that time. However, the Creator God made the following assessment:

The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”

So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.

Genesis 11:6-9

History records that civilization began in ancient Babylon (modern-day Iraq) and that from here spread across the planet. This account records why. Because the languages were confused this ancestral population was split into various language groups along clan lines.

Implications of Babel from Genetics

The Tower of Babel
Jl FilpoC, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The various sub-clans could no longer understand one another. Since kleshas and other negative attachments came naturally to people since sin and karma had entered the world, these various clans quickly became distrustful of each other. As a result they withdrew from other clans to protect themselves and they did not inter-marry across the language groups. Thus, in one generation the clans became genetically isolated from one another and dispersed.

Punnett Squares and Races

Consider how races arise from such a situation, focusing on skin color since that is a common marker of race. Skin color arises as a result of different levels of the protein melanin in the skin. White skin has less melanin, darker skin has more melanin, while black skin has the most melanin. All humans have some melanin in their skin. Darker people simply have more melanin, giving rise to darker skin. These levels of melanin are controlled genetically by several genes. Some genes express more melanin in the skin and some express less. We use a simple tool, called a Punnett square, to illustrate the various possible combinations of genes. 

Punnett Square of Melanin

For simplicity assume only two different genes (A and B) that code for different levels of melanin in the skin. The genes Mb and Ma express more melanin, while the alleles mb and ma express less melanin. A Punnett Square shows all possible outcomes of A and B that can arise by sexual reproduction if each parent has both alleles in their genes. The resulting square shows the 16 possible combinations of Ma, ma, Mb, and mb that can occur from the parents. This explains the diverse range of skin color that can result in their children. 

Punnett Square Demonstrated

Tower of Babel Scenario

Assume the Tower of Babel event occurred with parents who were heterozygous as in this Punnett square. With the confusion of languages the children would not inter-marry. Therefore each of the squares would reproductively isolate from the other squares. So the MaMb (darkest) would now only intermarry with other MaMb individuals. Thus all their offspring will only remain black since they only have genes expressing greater melanin. Likewise, all the mamb (white) would only intermarry with other mamb. Their offspring would always remain white. So the Tower of Babel explains reproductive isolation of the different squares and the emergence of different races.

We can see diversity like this arising from families today. Maria and Lucy Aylmer look like they come from different races (black and white), but in fact they are twin sisters from heterozygous parents. Diversity like this arises simply by genetic shuffling. But if diversity like this arises and then these offspring are reproductively isolated from each other, then their skin color distinctiveness will persist in their offspring. The Tower of Babel is that historical event explaining how clans retained their isolation from other language clans. Thus what we call ‘races’ today have persisted since then.

Twin Sisters Lucy and Maria Aylmer

One Family – No Race Distinction

But once we understand how races arose then we realize that all diverse races are simply part of the same human family. There is no basis for racism once we understand where race differences really come from.

As the Bible states:

26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

Acts 17:26-27

All people today, no matter what their race, skin color, or other distinctive features, descend from the same original couple. In that case we are simply one large and diverse family. The Bible says that God established the diversity of nations so that we would reach out to find Him. He unfolds His way for us to reach Him by begetting one special nation out of all the nations. We look at how this nations finds its beginning next.

What can we do about racism?

Here is a list of some things we can do towards eliminating racism and combating it day-by-day:

  • Educate ourselves: We must educate ourselves about racism and the effects it has on people and society. For example, we can do research on racism in the past and present and its impact of people.
  • We should speak out against racism: Whether it occurs in our daily lives, places of employment, or communities, we must always speak out against racism. This entails rejecting racist humor, epithets, and stereotypes and the institutions and practices that uphold racial inequity must be held accountable for their systemic racism.
  • We can support anti-racist initiatives: We may assist groups like civil rights organizations, community-based groups, and advocacy groups in their efforts to combat racism and advance racial justice.
  • Look at our own biases: Implicit biases might be a factor in racism. We need to look at our own biases and make an effort to get rid of them.