Discovering Your Destiny Pt. 2

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Blog Post
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Within the Christian worldview, the concept of an ultimate destiny is much more coherent and robust. One of the most important aspects we must deal with when it comes to our destiny is – the soul. The evidence for the existence of the soul (sometimes called the mind) is very strong – so much so that it has many scientists and philosophers conceding that it is a huge problem for naturalism. Even for the average person with no scientific or philosophical training, it is usually quite obvious there is something that makes us who we are – that has nothing to do with the physical parts we are made of.

For example, we naturally speak of our bodies in a possessive sense. This is my arm, or my leg. There seems to be a subconscious distinction between us, and our bodies. Likewise, if we were to unfortunately lose a part of our body – like an arm or leg – we do not ever consider ourselves 75% of who we are. Our identity is dependent on something else. Our feelings, thoughts, morality, and personality come from somewhere other than our brain chemistry, and we are the only ones that have access to them. Despite what some people like to claim, scientists cannot tell you what you are thinking by analyzing your brain. The only way scientists were ever able to map the human brain is by monitoring people’s brains and then asking them what was happening during a specific period in time.

Here is another thought to consider. If we were simply made of matter –flesh and chemical reactions – then we would have no free will. Whatever we say or do would be the result of a physical process. As I said before, the last domino in a line of dominoes doesn’t choose to fall down; it falls as the result of all the others falling down. However, human beings are not like that, are we? We can make free choices. Lift your arm right now, and you will have proven my point. You chose to do that – or chose not to – but you certainly didn’t do it because anything or anyone forced you to. We also have thoughts and beliefs, and thoughts about our beliefs, and beliefs about our thoughts! We can have a thought about hitting someone and believe that it would be wrong.  We can believe that God exists for example, and have thoughts about why we believe that! Try explaining things like that in a world where we are just a large glob of accidentally organized molecules colliding together!

Additionally, multiple reports from Near Death experiences, or NDE’s, have shown that human consciousness continues on after there is no longer any brain activity. People have accurately described things that were happening in other parts of a hospital – at a time when they had no visible brain activity at all! Our brains are not running the show, in other words, because people can keep thinking and feeling and seeing things after their brain has shut off. We are not simply physical bodies. We are souls who have bodies.

If we are souls, as it truly seems we are, then our destiny will rightly involve what happens to our souls after we die. Who determines that destination will ultimately be the one who created them, and owns them – God.

This is where things get a bit theological. But I think we can follow our basic sense of justice – to make sense of how an infinite, just, and loving being would go about determining our final destination. I think most people would agree that a person who commits moral crimes deserves to be punished. I also think it would be safe to assume that everyone has committed moral crimes at some point in their lives, myself included. That is what I would call bad news. But it’s worse than that because the person we have committed these crimes against is not our friend or spouse or co-worker or neighbor, but our creator. If we are to receive a pardon from the infinite being we have committed these crimes against, then it would be on His terms and not ours. Anyone who accepts the pardon would be forgiven; anyone who does not, will be judged for what they have done and found guilty.

This pardon I speak of exists in the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth – who claimed to be God, and then demonstrated it through His life, death, and resurrection. All who place their trust in Him are forgiven for their crimes against God – based on His merit not theirs. God paid for our debt, because it is not in our capability to do so. This is the Christian message; albeit an over-simplified version of it.

Whether or not a person agrees with the Christian worldview, one thing they cannot say is that it is incoherent. In the Christian worldview, the universe was created by God – perfect and with a purpose. Humans were created in His image with the capacities of rationality, morality, and love, to name a few. Humans then rebelled against the God who created them and God stepped in as a loving father to offer forgiveness for the punishment they rightly deserved. There is nothing incoherent about that.

Christianity holds to a concept of destiny that lines up perfectly with our miraculous origins, our longing for meaning, and the undeniable moral framework that we cannot escape from. Every other worldview that comes against it must do a better job of answering the big questions – a feat that I have yet to see be accomplished.

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