A Flat Earth or Flat-out Lie?

There are some who, in search of something true and real in this world full of lies and deceit, have taken a wrong fork in the road which has led them to something seemingly promising, but that later turns out to have been a proverbial rabbit hole. One such group is Flat Earthers (FEs).

A problem with Flat Earthers – people who believe the Earth is flat – is that for the most part they lack the basics of a good education. By far their biggest problem, however, is their need to be recognized or given attention. This need for attention and the feeling of being “in the know,” as compared to the general citizenry, is what feeds their folly. Oftentimes FEs also believe heavily in other conspiracy theories, everything from lizard people to extraterrestrial aliens to faked moon landings and more.

The purpose of this post is not to convince any FEs that they are mistaken. This is, in part, largely impossible because they believe in their enlightenment without question, while questioning everyone else’s opinion as being “duped.” Consequently, one is not likely to have much to discuss with the raging FE when it comes to matters that are unrelated to any of the conspiracy theories he or she is currently researching and becoming enlightened on. In fact, the average person is likely to elicit no response or input from a FE if the topic of discussion is not somehow tied into one of the various conspiracies the FE is interested in.

At the bottom of this post, I have provided a few links to resources that more specifically discuss how and why the claims of FEs are wrong, especially in light of a Christian and historical point of view. My goal here is to discuss other aspects that likely precipitate or affect why a person becomes a FE in the first place, and what their friends or loved ones might be able to do to dissuade them from going down that deep and dark rabbit hole.

There is far more evidence for a circular, spherical planet Earth than anything the FEs can claim is faked, from historical evidence going back to Erosthenes and Ptolemy, to the exhaustive research and missions of NASA. The problem is not a lack of evidence, rather a lack of wisdom and the education to understand the evidence, coupled with psychological/psychosocial factors that likely affect one’s outlook on life and people in general.

Allow me to explain.

People who fall for the Flat Earth lie (and other conspiracies) are generally people who like to think of themselves as smarter than others, above others in understanding how the world “really works,” and generally exhibit an air of pride and arrogance that arises from constantly indulging in these thoughts. They look down on most people who – they are convinced – have been tricked into believing lies from the government and other shadow groups that are perpetuated by dozens of conspiracy theories. Their ravenous appetite for scintillating theories finds no bounds on the Internet, which most rational people realize is chock full of trash if that is what one is looking for, or if one is not discerning enough.

And thus, these people find others like them, other “enlightened ones” that have been able to see past the supposed hoaxes and lies of various governments or groups. They even get together and form societies of True Believers which are supposedly dedicated to freeing the minds of their fellow man at all costs. It is ironic that in so doing they demonstrate their collective education and experience in the sciences is a cumulative naught, since the vast majority of them have completed nary a single college physics or mathematics course. They feel they are just too enlightened for other people to realize, when in fact they themselves are the ones ensnared in lies and deceit, unable to think their way back out of the rabbit hole and into the light.

A cursory perusal of YouTube clips dealing with FEs demonstrates their basic lack of education, especially with regard to the fields of physics and mathematics. I deliberately left out astronomy altogether because FEs do not bother with it as a matter of principle, since to them it is all fake. But physics and mathematics are among the most powerful tools that prove Earth is a circular sphere, as is the Moon, as is the Sun and all other planets and stars in our Universe.

We have all known such people at some point in our lives, whether they are FEs or people that believe the Apollo Moon landings (all 6 of them) were hoaxes, or other conspiracies. As I stated earlier, the point of my post is not about proving them wrong with science, logic and common sense. Instead, the most effective way of reaching them, I believe, is with the Gospel.

Believe it or not, many of these people started out with good intentions when they first set out on their journey of enlightenment, but they have gone so far down the rabbit hole that they have lost sight of the prize. They are increasingly living their lives in fear and uncertainty, which causes them stress and clouds their judgement with regard to the basic and important responsibilities of life – paying the bills, being good parents, maintaining meaningful relationships with family and friends, focusing on a career or just holding down a job, being able to communicate well with others, and putting the cares and concerns of life and family above a perceived truth that has no bearing on real life.

This takes a toll on everyone around them even though they are oblivious to this terrible fact. They end up increasingly alone, feeling left out and as if their fellow believers who are dispersed throughout the world are their only real family or friends. This is a dangerous place to be; to feel alone in the world, misunderstood, not taken seriously and even ostracized.

But it doesn’t have to be this way, and if we can help it, should not be this way. We can reach them with the Gospel of Christ. We can point them to Jesus Christ, the Creator of this Universe, their personal Redeemer if they would let Him, and the One who can sustain them against any earthly conspiracy or evil plot. They do not have to live in fear, secluded from loved ones; we can remind them again and again that God is in control of it all – of the climate, of space and time, of governments, of history past and of the future before us, of all things going on at any time and that He has already won the battle!

We know how it all ends: Christ comes back and takes His people home, then He makes a new heaven and a new earth for them to enjoy throughout eternity. All we need to do is claim His victory in our lives, give ourselves to Him in faith and He will carry us through anything.

Nothing else matters, no conspiracy will be able to take your soul if you entrust it with Jesus. They need to see in us the love of God expressed in family relationships, in friends who support us through thick and thin, and in Nature itself. The cosmos speaks of its Creator in ways that are humbling, if we observe it and understand His word in the Bible account. This does not mean to read everything with an obsessively literal and closed-minded interpretation (such as imagining the Earth has four corners where the angels are holding back the winds), but correctly in the cultural and linguistic context that it was written in.

The Bible clearly states that God is the author and finisher of all, the alpha and omega. In Him is everything that has ever been or ever will be, and everything is in His mighty hand. He watches over His children and He has gone to prepare a place for them that He will take them back to when He soon returns.

None of the seemingly important events on this planet truly matter in light of this powerful truth. The earth is in its last few days before the return of the Son of God, who will take His loyal servants and children of God home at last. Our focus should be on Him and being more like Him with each passing day until that glorious sight. I invite you to climb out of the rabbit hole and to embrace the Light.

“But when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows… And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Mark 13: 7-8, 13

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12

 

Further resources:

https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/earth/does-bible-teach-earth-flat/

https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/earth/flat-earth-proof-just-a-mirage/

https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/earth/is-the-earth-flat/

https://answersingenesis.org/astronomy/earth/flat-earth-prediction-falls-flat/

 

 

Abba

 

Daddy.

Dad.

Father.

There are few words in the English language that are quite as comforting as these. The notion that there is a strong protector who not only defends you against all manner of dangers, but is also warm, patient and loving in his dealings with you is not something we reflect on often enough. Many times we only think about honoring Dad once or twice a year; once at Father’s day and maybe again on his birthday. As a society, we are placing less and less value on the traditional family unit and on paying as much attention to our parents, especially dads, as we used to.

Dad used to be the sole breadwinner in the house. Dad used to be able to fix everything in the house. Dad used to be the one who taught us a favorite sport or passed on his favorite hobby. Dad was our first driving instructor, our first sports fan, our first role model and our first hero. To a kid growing up, he or she looked up to Dad as the master of the universe and the corrector of all wrongs.

These days however, when more than 1 in 4 kids grow up in broken homes where either Mom or Dad is out of the picture, we are beginning to see the devastating long term effects of absent fatherly role models. Especially vital is the presence and participation of fathers in their children’s lives these days, maybe even more than in the past. For example, kids didn’t have Internet access resulting in being bullied online at home. Dads were our protectors, whether at school, out in town or at home. Dads taught us how to be gentlemen in our interaction with the ladies. With so many absent fathers these days, who are not much more than sperm donors really, those of us who have been blessed with both parents and whose fathers took an active role participating in every facet of our lives should recognize and thank them more.

Dads were supposed to teach us about and reflect God’s love for His children. In return, children teach their parents a bit about the pain that God must feel when His children err and rebel, or the joy that God experiences when His children trust and obey Him out of love. Those of us fortunate to be old enough to have gained a better perspective and understanding of God’s love toward fallen man, and who also still have our dads in our lives are doubly blessed. Those of us who may soon be expecting to be dads ourselves would be triply blessed. The goodness and mercy of God is boundless, His love is deeper than any ocean, taller than the highest mountain and wider than the entire Universe itself. His wisdom in creating the family unit of parents and children is meant to reflect the love and self-sacrifice that the three persons of God share with each other. The Father magnifies the Son, the Son glorifies the Father, the Holy Spirit glorifies the Son. This spirit of love and grace is to be manifested and exemplified in us and through us, in our dealings with our fellow man. Only then can we say we belong to our heavenly Father and He can claim us as His own.

Jesus himself came to show us the Father. Although a mystery that no mortal mind can comprehend, He was God and was with God. As the apostle John states, all things were made through Him and nothing was made without Him. He was in the beginning with God. For Christ to take the lowly and fallen nature of man was the most effective way to demonstrate to us how much God loves his creatures, that He would be willing to die in their place in order to redeem them and at the same time, to show them who God really is. Jesus responded to Philip when he asked, “Lord, shows us the Father and it is sufficient for us,” by saying, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?”

Throughout the life of Jesus we are given glimpses into His relationship with the Father. One only has to read Jesus’ prayer captured in John 17 to get an accurate depiction of who God is and why Christ came down to humanity. This is the Gospel in a nutshell:

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I pray for them.

I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.

On this Father’s day weekend, let’s remember to honor and thank the Dads in our life and to give thanks to our heavenly Father who saw fit to provide us with loving Dads; Dads that put our needs and happiness above their own, whose self-sacrifice meant more work and stress for them in order to protect and provide for us. No matter our age, we will always be Daddy’s girl or boy and that spirit of love and belonging comes straight from God out of heaven, where we are destined to be with Him soon.

Happy Father’s Day, Abba.

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father. Romans 8:15

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father! Galatians 4:6

Law and Order

1st Law of Thermodynamics – Conservation of Energy: it cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated (closed) system.

2nd Law of Thermodynamics – Entropy increases until thermodynamic equilibrium is reached.

3rd Law of Thermodynamics – The entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches zero.

Newton’s 1st Law of Motion – An object at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts upon it.

Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion – Heavier objects require more force to move the same distance as lighter objects.  F=ma

Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion – For every action/force, there is an equal and opposite reaction/force.

Having established these observable natural laws that apply everywhere and are at all times true, we should perhaps consider more largely the assumptions on the origins of matter, of the Universe itself, of Life and its increasingly complex processes from bacteria to dinosaurs and finally to man.

Many theories on Origins exist, in fact too many to list here. They are a stumbling block for most scientists who would rather leave such questions to others, instead focusing on AFTER the appearance of matter, life and the like.

But if we do not address Origins in light of observable, natural laws that we have demonstrated true over the last several hundred years, how are we to properly interpret and understand things that happened AFTER the appearance of matter and life’s processes?

Are we not like blind men wandering about and staggering with arms outstretched, groping for things and attempting to describe them only by using some of our senses instead of all of them? How much trust can we place in our faulty observations? Each of us may perceive objects differently, describing one object in different ways or only describing certain aspects of an object. How can we trust that we have the entire picture correct? Can we trust others’ interpretations?

I would argue that much of the science concerning origins of life and origins of the Universe itself are hampered precisely in this way: the worldview of the people tasked with the research and their reliance on their senses and observations. We need to be careful about running before we are able to walk. And walking is much more difficult than merely standing up.

Therefore, before we run off with unproven and untestable hypotheses such as the Big Bang, Evolution and others, we need to be able to stand up and start at the very beginning.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

Based on the laws of motion and thermodynamics, the Big Bang, or the “singularity,” would not and could not have occurred. Energy or matter cannot be created nor destroyed. This one simple but brutal fact cannot be overturned by any semantic application of language, nor by naively claiming that in the instance of the Universe itself, this law was somehow bypassed or broken. To this day, no experiments or evidence has demonstrated that the Big Bang event could occur due to the curvature of spacetime which would be infinite at the supposed time of the event. In fact, at this point all mathematical tools fail, and the theory breaks down.

Simply put, the Big Bang could not occur without an outside force. If nothing existed before the Universe, then nothing could cause it to appear. Consequently, the Big Bang could not have caused the current distribution of matter in the Universe, since its expansion would be met with resistance of an equal and opposite force preventing that dispersion.

Besides wishful thinking and computer simulations, we have no evidence to demonstrate that there might have been a previous Universe, or that our Universe is just one of many Multiverses. Without getting lost in the hypotheticals, it is important to remember no evidence exists for these fanciful notions. What does exist, however, is our Universe which is finite and is made of matter. It came into existence because a Force willed it so. This Force is God, specifically Jesus Christ, the Word.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:1-3

Moreover, had the first law of thermodynamics been broken and the Big Bang were somehow produced, the second law of thermodynamics may then also have to be violated, which states that entropy increases until equilibrium is reached in a closed system.

Entropy is a term that can be defined as unusable energy as result of maximum disorder, chaos or randomness in a system; the more disorder, the less usable energy. The ultimate goal is equilibrium. Therefore, the sum total of all the energy in the Universe is all the energy that can be or has ever been. Read that again just to be sure you understood it.

In a closed system such as our Universe, matter tends to decay and disorganize into disorder. This is entropy. Without conscious efforts to maintain any object or life form, the natural tendency is towards decay. A cell without nutrients will wither and die. A piece of iron outside in the elements will begin to rust and be corroded until it falls apart in a heap of metal flakes that are further broken down, absorbed into the ground itself and recycled. Without food and water, a person’s body will begin to break down and eat itself away until starvation ends in death, and death leads to decomposition into constituent elements which are then absorbed and recycled into the ground. All processes of life and all forms of matter require constant upkeep, transfer of energy from food to produce motive force and sustenance. This demonstrates entropy at work in all aspects of life and activity on Earth.

But what about the rest of the cosmos? If the natural tendency of matter is to disintegrate and increase in entropy, what keeps the moon in one piece? What prevents the sun from dying out? What keeps the Earth in its constant orbit since the dawn of life? What prevents planets from spinning apart and out of control? What keeps galaxies from tearing themselves apart?

You may be tempted to simply say, “Gravity.” But what is gravity? How can we explain it when we don’t understand what causes it, how it works and why? Even geniuses like Newton and Einstein grappled with it and never claimed to understand its properties, even though they came up with many equations that utilize gravity to explain motion, force, acceleration and the like. And yet, the standard model of physics we have inherited since the 1930s still does not agree with general relativity, precisely gravity.

I would venture to say that gravity is something we may observe, but a force which we do not understand and one which we cannot control in any way. We can use force and acceleration to overcome gravity temporarily, but we cannot destroy it or alter it in any way. We can simulate it but we cannot create it. We are subject to it on Earth, in space and everywhere in between. Gravity is beyond our understanding. It is much more than just a property of an object with mass.

If the picture of the Universe is too big a context in which to discuss entropy and the tendency towards decay, let’s consider something much smaller: the atom. The simplest element is Hydrogen, containing one proton and neutron in its nucleus and one electron whizzing around the nucleus at nearly 1% the speed of light. For reference, the speed of light is roughly 300,000 km/s while an electron’s speed is about 2,200 km/s.

Now let’s think of the nucleus as our sun and the electron as a planet orbiting the sun (disregard the fact that, while the radial distance of the electron from the nucleus is always constant, the orbital plane is never constant). Elementary chemistry tells us that the electron has a negative charge and the proton has a positive charge, while the neutron has no charge but it does have mass. We know from electronegativity that positive and negative attract and would cancel each other out with a spark.

We also know that the proton has considerably more mass compared to an electron. Therefore, the mass of the nucleus would confer the property of gravity to it. This is a powerful attractive force. Coupled with the forces of electronegativity which states that a positive charge attracts a negative charge, we arrive at a dilemma of both physics and chemistry: what prevents the electron from being pulled into the nucleus and interacting with the proton in a single spark of energy given off as light and heat?

The speed of the whizzing electron might be the only thing keeping the gravity of the nucleus and the electric attraction of proton and electron of the atom from self-imploding. We know that speed is affected by temperature; the closer to absolute zero, the slower the speed. What happens if we chill an atom of hydrogen to near absolute zero? Wouldn’t the speed be brought down sufficiently that the electron’s acceleration would not be able to resist the gravitational pull and electric charge attraction of the nucleus? Logic would dictate so.

Physicists have seemingly solved these problems with an important discovery. It is so important, in fact, that our understanding of it effects everything from the atom, to light, energy, nuclear radiation, vacuum, and space itself. What is this grand discovery? Heisenberg, the one who figured it out, named it (get this) The Uncertainty Principle. Simply explained, we cannot measure the position and the momentum of any particle with absolute precision. The more accurately we know one of these values, the less accurately we know the other.

Confused yet? Well, don’t be. The idea can be best thought of as the way in which we see and measure things in the everyday world. At its most basic level, the act of observation affects the particle being observed. In other words, we cannot fully trust our own senses and observations. I wonder how this might be applied to grandiose and scintillating stories of the Big Bang which are based on using our senses and making observations about the Universe? How trustworthy are our senses, our perspective, our ability to measure and our powers of calculating the errors likely existent in our observations?

As it turns out, not very. This is highlighted by the constant arguments occurring, with one camp claiming, “the Universe is expanding,” while the other claims, “the Universe is static, our observations are…. uncertain.”

It is important to note that while I believe science has been critical to expanding our understanding of many subjects and has benefitted us by way of technology, medicine and so on, it is not itself without error and beyond reproach. Further, science cannot disprove God nor truly explain things which appear to be beyond our understanding no matter how much research goes into them. For scientists to ridicule or deride those who place their faith in a Creator God who made the Universe, including us, is arrogant and narrow-minded.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

It takes a considerable amount of blind faith (and obstinacy) to believe that this Universe and everything in it – all of the ordered, complex, interworking life systems and processes, all of the ordered galaxies, planets and stars – appeared by chance and out of nothing, over eons of time. It not only strains credulity, it also requires a constant denial that this Force exists and transcends all matter including the entire Universe itself, and that we are subject to It.

I would be so bold as to say that it requires an active spirit of rebellion against the very thought and idea of an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-existing God that created everything from the largest and brightest galaxy to the smallest subatomic particle, including you and me and the planet we find ourselves on today.

The same God who created it all, out of nothing, came to live as a human in the form of Jesus Christ. He came to show us the Father. He came to demonstrate that God is love, so much so that He would give His life in order to redeem us back to Himself. This is one of several mysteries that no amount of research will ever enlighten for us, at least not in this life.

According to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle we may not be able to ever fully trust our senses, observations, measurements and calculations. Taking this further, we may never be able to trust our interpretations of the things we are studying, and even less so the interpretations of others.  What we think we know is subject to change. We should be careful in trusting in our understanding and our ability to reason based on faulty or incomplete data. The true scientist is always wary of this and will diligently search for the truth. That truth is most likely to lead him or her to God, the author and only source of truth.

“The more I study science, the more I believe in God.” – Einstein

“The question of whether there exists a Creator and Ruler of the Universe has been answered in the affirmative by some of the highest intellects that have ever existed.” – Darwin

“It is evident that an acquaintance with natural laws means no less than an acquaintance with the mind of God therein expressed.” – James Joule

“A scientific discovery is also a religious discovery. There is no conflict between science and religion. Our knowledge of God is made larger with every discovery we make about the world.” – Joseph Taylor

“God created everything by number, weight and measure.” – Sir Isaac Newton

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6