So what do you know?

A former co-worker used to joke that, “What you don’t know would fill an ocean.”  I thought this was an insult until I realized he was teaching me.  The knowledge of my ignorance can humble me and give me the desire to learn from others and grow.  Or, I can fear that I am inadequate and try to hide my ignorance with arrogance and pride and be unteachable.

Even if I talk with someone to exchange knowledge with them, I, and they, may come away with totally different meanings of what was said.  English is ambiguous at best.  I enter conversations with preconceived ideas that influence the meaning I assign to what I hear.  I see what I want to see, what I am prepared to see.

That is why stigma is so devastating.  The label of mental illness changes how I perceive someone.  Even if I have met someone and been in a conversation with them and formed an impression of them, if I then find out they have a label, my interpretation of all my knowledge of them changes.  At a local mental hospital the patients don’t wear shoes.  Doctors, and other staff, do wear shoes.  Sometimes doctors can be seen talking to someone and briefly looking down to see if they have shoes on.  Do the doctors want to know how to interpret what they see?  Do they not trust what they see, and want a label?

The stigma of a lack of education is another example of not knowing what I don’t know.  A certain pastor of a large church was reported as saying he would never hire a pastor that did not have a college education.  It is interesting that the head of the church, Jesus, doesn’t qualify to work in his own organization.  The religious leaders of Jesus time felt the same way. They remarked that he had not gone to school so, “Where did he get this teaching?”  This pastor and the Pharisees felt they had nothing to learn from someone who had not gone to school.

The stigma of skin color and other physical features, perceived intelligence, wealth, cultural heritage, language, weight, youth, lack of youth, all claim to inform me about someone without me having to do the work of getting to know real individuals.  When I do get to know real individuals they are always more wonderful than the lying, deceiving stigma told me they would be.

So what do you know?

Jesus is healing my racism

What is “race”?  Is it possible to define one race from another?  What attributes would you use?  Are the attributes of one race possible to be found in a different race?  If those of different races can have children then aren’t we all part of the same gene pool?  If we are all part of the same gene pool then aren’t the attributes that define race arbitrary?  For example why is it that skin color is used to define different races but eye color is not?

I am guilty of prejudging people, of prejudice.  I have looked at people with mental illness labels as if they were less than me somehow.  I have believed that those with a developmental disability are less than me somehow.  I have looked at people with different skin color, language, height, weight, culture as less than me somehow.  I have even believed that some people with different attributes than me were better than me somehow.  I have allowed my fears and ignorance about others different from me to influence my perception and conclusions about them.  Fortunately there is help for me, and His Name is Jesus.

Jesus said to me in the Bible to love God with all that I am, and love all people in the same way I love myself.  I couldn’t do that until I received God’s love for me.  I have hated myself much of my life.  I have also loved myself, but in a self-serving way.  Trying to feel better about myself I despised others.  This was not a reflection on them.  This was the result of my rejecting Jesus’ love for me.  It wasn’t until I humbled myself, asked forgiveness, and actually believed what God said, that God loved me, that I experienced His love and healing.  And now I can love God and other people, not perfectly, but hopefully in increasing measure each day.

My "God’s Not Dead" University Experience

God’s Not Dead is a great movie, very inspiring.  It supports God as “First Cause” or Creator of Creation.  I believe the movie could proclaim even more truth.  God’s Not Dead seems to imply an endorsement of evolution as the creative mechanism God used in the development of life.  I would like to humbly suggest evidence that challenges this view.
God’s Not Dead implies an endorsement of the universe being 13.7 billion years old. Some of the team that put the first people on the moon held that view as well.  They argued that the amount of space dust that the moon’s gravity would attract, an amount that could be calculated, would be several feet deep by now.  This could jeopardize the moon landing.  When the astronauts landed on the moon they found about an inch of dust on the surface of the moon.  This suggests that the moon is about 10,000 years old.  This is consistent with the Bible’s account of creation and not nearly enough time for evolution to explain life as we know it.
Our Sun has been documented to be shrinking at a predictable rate.  If the sun were 13.7 billion years old, it would have started out the size of the orbit of the earth.  Some scientists purport that the Sun actually grows in size between the times we measure it.  They say that this explains the problem.  However, there are no facts, or theoretical mechanisms to support this theory.Evolutionists point to the fossil record to support their theory of evolution.  The strata of rock they say reveals millions of years of time between layers.  There is a fossil that crosses between two strata or layers that is inconsistent with this theory.  It is, however, consistent with what you would expect to find if there was a world-wide flood and sediment and debris settled in layers.  This separation of sediment into layers and trees crossing between strata was demonstrated at the base of Mount Saint Helen’s when its side exploded and the fallout mixed with heavy rain.  Evolution hypothesizes that chemicals somehow came to life and then reproduced with beneficial mutations that resulted in the species we have now.  God’s account says He created life and His account specifically and repeatedly says that species reproduce after their own kind.  The fossil record supports God’s account, as the ancestors of different species that Darwin predicted would be found have not been found.Evolutionists argued that opposing views needed to be represented in the public schools decades ago when they were in the minority.  My experience at Grand Valley State University showed me that evolutionists don’t believe their own words.  Now they want to be the only view and suppress good scientific evidence to the contrary.  I presented some of the above challenges to the teacher and students in a class I was taking around 2009.  When the students became interested in learning more about Creationism, the teacher, who did not disprove these challenges, decided to end the discussion by an appeal to authority.  She quoted what I believe was the National Science Foundation saying, “Evolution is a fact.”  She ended the discussion in her class, but there are now young people whose curiosity has been piqued.  They, like me, and maybe like you, may not be satisfied with the evolutionist’s declaration of “fact.”  We may want to find out more for ourselves.