Wednesday, July 07, 2010

WAYNE’S WORLD

Wayne Dyer, Ph. D., gives the following tip for success:

“Live in a supportive universe. If you see the world as an unfriendly place, you will have a handy excuse for any failure -- something always will seem to stand in your way. Instead, view the universe as helpful.

Strategy: Remind yourself frequently that the universe is trying to help you achieve your goals. Soon people and events will stop conspiring against you and start conspiring to assist you.

Example: In an unfriendly universe, if your car breaks down, the 100 drivers who don’t stop to help are proof that the world is out to get you. If your car breaks down in a supportive universe, the 101st driver who does stop is evidence that the universe is on your side. This attitude will keep you in a state of contentment and peace instead of anxiety. It also enables you to attract the right people into your life.”

Notice the personalization of the universe. He says the universe is trying to help you.

No, Wayne.

The universe is a collection of impersonal objects. It is the space that contains galaxies, planets, stars and lots of empty space. It is actually more empty than full. Emptiness does not want anything, it is the absence of everything.

This reminds me somewhat of Carl Sagan, the former scientist and writer, who hosted the show “Cosmos” and said that word in every other sentence. Sagan, late in life, said we could worship the Cosmos.

The Bible says the universe, the cosmos, was created by God. Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” It is the first verse in the Bible for a reason. The writer, inspired by God, wanted people to know that everything started with God. He made the universe, he owns it, he controls it and he may do with it what he will.

It’s not only in Genesis, though, that the Bible makes the claim. It says it over and over. Here are a few examples in the English Standard Version.

Isaiah 40:26 says “Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them (stars, planets etc.) all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.” God made them, he numbered and named them, showing they are his and subject to his will, and he kept track of them.

In Isaiah 45:12, God says “ I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.”

Colossians 1:16 says “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.”

Yet, men want to reject God, refusing to submit to his authority. They even deny his existence and his creation. In short, they refuse to worship him.

The problem is, men and women are made to worship. Rejection of God does not result in atheism, total unbelief, very often. Rather it leads to idolatry, the worship of other so called gods. That is what Dyer and others do when they personalize the inanimate universe and especially when they attribute power to it to control human life. This is usually couched either in philosophical terms, as with Dyer, or in pseudo-scientific terms, as with Sagan, but is just window dressing for astrology, the belief that stars and planets affect human destiny.

The Bible addresses this phenomenon. Romans 1:24 says “ Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!” They key here is they exchanged worship of the Creator, God, for worship of the creature, or creation. Worship of the universe, or cosmos, is, in God’s eye, no better than the worship of wooden idols, trees or animals.

God gave them up because he left plenty of evidence that there is a creator. Romans 1:19 says “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

In other words, the beauty and intricacy of creation speaks to the qualities of the creator, particularly his eternal power and divine nature. No one without great power could create the universe and no one could keep it going unless his power is eternal. No one could create all this unless he is divine, for man cannot do it.

Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, recognized this. He said, in an 1823 letter to John Adams:

". . . I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in it's parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to perceive and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of it's composition. The movements of the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal and centripetal forces, the structure of our earth itself, with it's distribution of lands, waters and atmosphere, animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles, insects mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organised as man or mammoth, the mineral substances, their generation and uses, it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, . . ."

What is the result of man’s rejection of God in the face of the evidence he left in creation? The result is God’s wrath. The Bible says it this way: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Men and women who reject God will incur his wrath.

Wrath is extreme anger and fury. We are not to have it. God has the right to it.

God has displayed his wrath on several occasions recorded in the Bible, always as a result of men and women rejected him. The first example is the sin of Adam and Eve, rejecting the command of God and following Satan’s advice. God banished them from his presence in the Garden, cursed the ground and imposed death on them and the whole human race.

In the time of Noah, God expressed his wrath on the wickedness of men and women by destroying the earth in a flood.

God expressed his wrath on Israel, who had rejected God by practicing idolatry, by letting them be conquered and taken into captivity in Babylon. He even let the Babylonians destroy his temple.

God expressed his wrath on Israel again, for their rejection of Christ, by letting the Romans destroy Jerusalem and the Temple and kill a million or so people.

All of these are types of the ultimate expression of God’s wrath which will occur at the final judgment. The book called “Revelation” shows God expressing his wrath partially in increasingly terrible ways to get man’s attention. Then, finally, those who reject him are banished from his presence like Adam and Eve, but to everlasting torment, not to a cursed earth.

This, of course, means we are all in trouble. We have all rejected God at some point and refused to follow his rules. The Bible calls that sin and says all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So, we all become objects of God’s wrath. Yikes! What can we do?

The good news is God provided a way out. He provided a way to punish sin and allow us to escape his wrath. He did that by sending his son, Jesus, to take the punishment for us. He put our sin on Jesus when he died on the cross. If we believe that he is God’s son and did in fact die for our sin, and commit to follow him, we receive the benefit of his death for us. Then we avoid God’s wrath and, instead, experience his love and eternal life.

The universe, the creation, will not save you. The creation will not respond to your worship.

The Creator demands it.
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