Evolution for Afterlife

We are all familiar with Darwin’s theories of evolution during life, but very little has been written on evolution after life.  If you believe that there is nothing after life, then you will not be interested in this discussion; however, you might want to read this just in case there is something waiting for us after we die.  Since it is impossible to say with certainty that there is nothing after we die, it might be good to at least think about the possibilities.

You have heard stories about parents who wanted their children to have a better life and sacrificed their own lives to provide an education and whatever else they could to give their children a better chance than they had.  Evolution is a part of that process.  Survival of the fittest is one of the evolutionary principles that generally create a better and stronger species.  The weaker and less efficient members of that population die or don’t reproduce.

We know that Homo sapiens was lucky to become the dominant species.  If the dinosaurs had not suffered a mass extinction, mammals would not have had the opportunity to flourish.  And our species was nearly wiped out several times, but it fortunately survived the eruption of Mt. Toba and the ice ages.

So even though we consider ourselves as the ultimate species at the top of the evolutionary peak, this is not true.  Consider the source of that belief.  Our species consists of very fragile animals that cannot survive in extreme conditions.  The species has only existed for a short period in geologic time.  Our selfish tendencies will eventually doom us.  We would rather satisfy our individual needs than do the right thing to protect our progeny.  An example is our inability to preserve our environment for future generations.

We attempt to improve ourselves during our lifetimes, but our humanness limits our ability to evolve into selfless creatures.  Perhaps the best we can hope for is that we would sacrifice our lives to protect our children.  So, it may be that any significant evolution of man must occur after death.  Assuming that we are still conscious after death, we may have the opportunity to evolve into a much better entity.

The Bible indicates that there are three Heavens (2 Corinthians 12:2).  We can only speculate on these different Heavens, but there may be three separate tests for each Heaven.

The first Heaven probably is the obvious one where Christians go if they believe in Jesus who died for their sins.  But Jews and Muslims also know this Heaven as a place where believers of God are admitted.  Other religions and beliefs are not excluded from this Heaven.  This destination is not an exclusive club for Christians, Jews, Muslims, or any religion.  But your choices made during life may be a part of the judgment, including analyzing your actions as evidence that you actually believed.  So, this Heaven perhaps is the easiest to reach as long as you believe.  There may be a clear division between believers and nonbelievers.  The Bible refers to an abyss between the two groups.  Near-death experiences consistently refer to crossing over.

We apparently will retain at least some of our senses to detect this Heaven.  This is the Heaven that has been seen and heard by those who have had near-death or death experiences.  It probably is a beautiful and peaceful place, but still should be within the confines of God’s created, closed universe.  This is where we may see and talk to relatives and friends who predeceased us, angels, and Jesus and Abraham, all in recognizable human form.  This probably is by design so we will feel welcome and will not be afraid of unfamiliar forms and entities.  The face of Jesus will be comfortable and familiar to us, so we may see Him here.  But the face of God might be more hidden from us in this Heaven.

The second Heaven may require an evolution of spirit, going from selfish, centrist thought to “big picture” thinking.  In other words, you become less important as an entity as the whole becomes more important than your part.  This Heaven, more than likely, is reached through your thoughts.  You may find the mid-Heaven quite a bit more difficult to reach since there may be temptations in the first Heaven that impede your progress.  However, if you become one with God, you should be able to avoid selfish and prideful thoughts.  Some religions teach this unification, which is critical in order to evolve and transfer into the second Heaven.  Reaching this goal requires much more than a belief in Jesus or God; it requires a complete makeover of your personality, focusing on the universe that is beyond you.  I have no idea about the structure of this Heaven, but it probably is still within the border of our closed universe.  We may be judged by our actions in the first Heaven to determine if we will be permitted to transition to the second Heaven.

The third Heaven probably is God’s universe, which is outside our known universe.  The law of conservation of energy basically states that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed in a closed universe.  So, God’s creation probably occurred outside our closed universe in God’s kingdom.  The transformation that is required to reach this kingdom may be of such a magnitude that I would be surprised if many souls ever made it.  In fact, the Bible, including the teachings of Jesus, is very clear that only a very few make the grade to reach God’s kingdom.

Pastors rarely will discuss the three Heavens and even less often will mention the difficulty in reaching the third Heaven, God’s kingdom.  It would be too controversial.  The pastors would be run out of town.  Most believers only want to hear about the first Heaven, which is the easiest destination.  So, ministers focus on how members of their church can reach the first Heaven.  It would be difficult to sell Christianity or any other religion if people had to work too hard at it.  So, don’t expect too many articles on evolving from the first Heaven to the second and third Heavens.

The significant evolution of our spirits must occur after we die.  My wife and I look forward to the Heavens as a challenge.  We will do our best and reach as many Heavens as we can.  We believe we have a chance to reach the second Heaven, so we will prepare ourselves as much as we can during our lifetimes to be ready for whatever happens.

If there is no afterlife, then all will be still when we die, and we will not suffer from our beliefs.  However, if there is an afterlife, then we will be well served by our preparation for consequences.  The free will that God gave us must have some significance.  As religious existentialists we believe that free will without the consequences of God would be quite absurd.

Also, it seems logical that a creation must have a Creator and that a design must have a Designer.  If I were an odds maker, I would say that it is more likely than not that there is a God.  If I were a gambler, I would place my money on God not only because of better odds, but also because of the consequences if you are wrong.  Even if the chances of there being a God were one in a million, I would still bet on God because if I’m wrong, it will not cost me anything.  But if I don’t pick God and I’m wrong, it will cost me everything.

My wife and I have taken a vow of abstinence for the past twenty years.  We will die without having sex again.  This may seem a bit extreme, but believe me, getting to the other Heavens requires extreme effort.  It will not be easy, no matter what religion and beliefs you have.  You must be willing to sacrifice yourself and your desires.  My wife and I study the Bible together as we prepare for our final days.  We are not perfect, but we work toward reaching the final goal.  If you get halfway toward your goal each day, you will never reach the goal, but you will keep edging closer.

It is interesting that many people do not like their lives, their work, their sex lives, their sex (male or female), but there are days when my wife and I find that we don’t like our species.  We apologize for this, but sometimes, we like our dogs better than humans.  In fact, we hope God has animals in the first Heaven.  We feel confident that the second and third Heavens require a complete transfiguration from our species into something altogether different and, of course, becoming a better entity through the evolution for afterlife.  Good luck.  We all will need it.

Discrimination Is “All About You”

I have heard younger generations say, “It’s all about you.”  This is their way of saying that the person being honored with the comment only thinks of themselves and not other people.  Unfortunately, I hear this phrase more frequently in today’s environment.  It seems that politicians do not stand alone in a modern society that has evolved into narcissists.  Currently, a majority of Americans takes care of itself first and foremost.

What has that got to do with discrimination and racism, which is like a resistant blood stain on a white sheet?  Well, discrimination is also “all about you.”  If you belong to any group that feels superior to others, then you are guilty of discrimination.  As an example, if you belong to a soccer team that is winning most of its games and you taunt the other teams as being inferior to your team, you are guilty of discrimination.  As we will see later in the article, there are degrees of discrimination, some being much worse than others.

Bullying of school children by other students is in the news today because sometimes the child being discriminated against brings a weapon to school and starts killing other students.  Bullying through social media is getting out of control.  All these are signs of increasing discrimination by younger generations who are full of themselves.  They only think about themselves.  By hazing other students, it makes them feel superior to their targets.      

I can remember racist comments made in Kentucky when I was growing up and when I was a young adult.  I didn’t have any friends in these hate groups, but I always wondered what was behind the bitterness.

It seemed like the members of these group gatherings felt better since they found somebody else to put down and criticize.  They, in effect, were able to elevate their status above another group simply by discriminating against them.  They wanted to be members of an elite group.

Throughout history, we have seen discrimination against religious groups, races, cultures, nationalities, sexual preferences, poor people, and sometimes, just those who look and act differently than others.  And discrimination is not always the majority against a minority.  History is replete with occasions when totalitarian leaders, who were motivated by a quest for personal power, murdered or imprisoned thousands who represented the majority interests who opposed their leadership.

But there is one thing that can always be said about discrimination:  it is based on selfish needs and desires.  Those who discriminate are satisfying a personal interest.  For example, high school students may form cliques who make fun of “nerds.”  They may bully them on a daily basis, perhaps calling them “geeks” in the hallways and in classes, making fun of them.  These cliques are formed to make them feel important and better than others.  These students feel that life is all about them, and their egos are puffed up as they continue their taunting sessions.

I was in Air Force ROTC back in the late 1960’s and remember how I felt walking across campus being called a “baby killer.”  I wondered why the other students discriminated against me when I had not done anything except take military classes and have a short haircut.  The students who did not like the military were perfectly within their rights to express their opinions about the Vietnam War, but when they burned down my ROTC building and punctured the tires of military students’ cars, they were satisfying their personal needs to place themselves at a higher level than us.  In effect, they believed they were smarter and ethically superior to the military, including ROTC students.

I joined a fraternity in order to get dates because girls would not date somebody with short hair.  But things did not get better because I joined a fraternity.  The members of the fraternity abused the pledges, both physically and mentally.  I watched the members carefully and they seemed to inflate their egos by being able to treat the pledges like second-rate members.  It was all about them.  They had no interest in making the world a better place by encouraging pledges to be better students.  They only cared about making themselves feel superior. 

After completing pledging and becoming an active member of the fraternity, I refused to participate in the abuse and slave rituals, instead requiring the pledges to study for an hour before I would sign their pledge books.  Other members of the fraternity had the pledges do their wash, polish their shoes, get their dinner, or wait on them in some manner.  I did not participate in the physical abuse heaped on the hapless pledges.  It seemed rather barbaric to me and accomplished nothing more than to make the pledges want to do the same thing once they were active members.  It was all about them. 

The active members of the fraternity tried to “black ball” or eliminate me from their group because I did not conform to their standards.  I found out that groups who discriminate try to cull out those who do not join in that discrimination.  It seems that the glue for the groups is discrimination of some kind.  That, sadly, is what keeps them together.  And that discrimination seems to be focused on building up one group and tearing down another.

One definition of discrimination is a difference in treatment or favor on the basis other than individual merit.  This is an interesting definition since it points out that discrimination may also occur when institutions and businesses select individuals for school or jobs based on their belonging to a race, nationality, or religion, rather than based on the merit of selectees.  This is sometimes referred to as reverse discrimination.  All forms of discrimination are based on satisfying selfish interests. 

Does this mean that all forms of discrimination are harmful?  There are degrees of discrimination.  If you are interviewing six people for one job, you will have to discriminate between these six in order to select the person you deem best for the job.  This type of discrimination may be based on comparing education and experience.  This type of discrimination is reasonable.  But you also may discriminate based on the appearance of the individuals.  If a gentleman wears a nice suit and another wears tattered jeans, you may pick the man wearing the suit even though he did not have a strong background in education and experience.  This type of discrimination may be unreasonable.   

Let’s examine laws that discriminate against those who commit crimes.  Are these discriminations acceptable?  I believe so because they are moderate in their approach.  In order for society to avoid, anarchy, chaos, and disorder, there must be consequences administered to those who harm society. 

The problem is where to draw the line.  For example, should society be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals?  Since this is discrimination against a sexual preference, rather than a crime against society, these laws should not be permitted.  Some might argue that homosexual activity harms a society which is based on male-female marriages and families, but this makes little sense.  Homosexual activity, although clearly a sin under the Bible, does not appear to have any more negative impact on society than adultery, also a sin according to the Bible. 

However, sexual predators who attempt to rape others or have sex with children would be harmful to society, thus laws against these activities make sense and should be permitted discriminations.  We may not like to admit that we discriminate on a daily basis, but we all do.  We prefer to have friends who are like us, not necessarily based on race, but on creed.  We like to surround ourselves with people who think like us. 

Is this type of discrimination, based on creed, problematic?  It could be.  A healthy society needs to be creative and should not stifle new thinking.  If everybody thought the same way in a society, it would not be long before those who thought differently would be singled out as being bad for society.  An example is when Darwin came up with the theory of evolution.  This type of thinking is accepted today, but it initially had a difficult road as hard-line religious thinkers discriminated against those who championed this new thought.  However, the opposite may be true today.  Many who believe in evolution are making fun of Creationists.  Those who discriminate improperly may become those who are discriminated against in the future.  Neither form of discrimination is appropriate for a vibrant society.

The bottom line is that discrimination is all about you.  That means that you can change things for the better.  It is not practical to attempt to eliminate all discrimination, but it is possible to focus on improving society and our world through moderation.   

Scientific Evidence of God

About 16% of the world’s population is not affiliated with a religion, which makes it the third largest group coming in behind Christians with 31.5% and Muslims with 23% of the world population.  Overall, 84% of the world’s inhabitants, which it estimated at 6.9 billion, identify with a religion, according to the study entitled “The Global Religious Landscape” issued by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.  The unaffiliated category covers all those who profess no religion, from atheists and agnostics to people with spiritual beliefs with no link to any established faith.

But the most interesting aspect of this Pew Forum study was that religious affiliations are growing throughout the world, but are declining in America.  In 2007, about 15% of American adults were not affiliated with a religion.  But in 2012, the unaffiliated group of adults increased to 19.6%.  This is about a 1% increase each year.   The agnostics are about twice as large a group as the atheists, but those who are nonbelievers through apathy or beliefs without a God or lack of information or distractions of life are, by far, the leading cause of this loss of Christians in the United States.  We cannot determine with certainty what is causing this 1% loss each year, but it may be from an increase in immigrants and younger adults who are unbelievers entering this census each year.

So, what could you say to turn the tide of nonbelievers?  Well, it is difficult to determine since there are many reasons for this upswing in America.  For example if the problem is primarily because of apathy and distractions by worldly problems and materialistic and self-serving concerns, then a logical discourse on why you should believe in God is probably not going to change anything.  Sometimes, it takes a life-shattering event to stem the tide of disbelief.  In other words, if we saw that earth was in the path of an asteroid that was going to cause a global disaster, killing off over 90% of our population, you would see a sharp rise in believers.  It is human nature for this to happen.  You turn to God when you need God and sometimes not before.

However, since there are some who can be persuaded by logic, I will offer three items of scientific proof or evidence:  (1) cosmological evidence, (2) teleological evidence, and (3) metaphysical evidence. 

First, cosmological  evidence.  As you gaze at the night sky, you see the evidence.  The universe is vast, stretching out for millions of light years in all directions.  Since the speed of light is faster than the speed of the expansion of our universe, there is much of our former universe that cannot be seen because the light of that time period has long passed us.  So, we are limited in what we can see.  Only about 4% of the universe is visible anyway as dark matter and dark energy comprise about 96%.  And if the universe is closed, it could be an ellipse like many of the other orbit in our systems, thus making it impossible for us to view the entire universe.  This may be analogous to standing on earth and trying to see the entire world.  The point is that we are impressed by the visible evidence and might be even more impressed if we could see the entire universe.

Some scientists might argue that this elegant universe could have just popped into existence from nothing, but there is little logic in that.  How could you even define nothing without something?  We know we are living in something, so how would you reverse engineer something back to nothing?  I suppose that if you had exactly the same amount of matter and anti-matter, they would cancel each other out.  But you would still have the energy that remained from the annihilation. 

In a closed universe like we probably have, matter and energy can only be transformed.  The total amount of matter and energy can neither be destroyed nor created.  In effect, creation had to occur outside our universe.  Scientists might argue that there was no creation since our universe has always existed in a perpetual recycling pattern. 

However, the Big Bang is the accepted theory that disproves the perpetual universe.  There is strong evidence for the Big Bang theory, including background noise of the event still being heard today.  It is not likely that we will ever see any evidence of the Big Bang because the light from that event would have long passed us unless it circles back around and laps us in a cosmic orbit.  So, the Big Bang is perhaps the best scientific evidence of creation. 

Of course, scientists can always ask what happened before the Big Bang.  The answer is that we do not know.  But if there were a creation known as the Big Bang, then there had to be a creator because creation must logically have a creator.  Even if you still believe that our universe was created from nothing, there must have been a creator to accomplish this.  But logically this does not work because the creator is something and with creation, there is always something that creates and something to create from.

When Frank Borman, the American astronaut, returned from Apollo 8’s flight around the moon, he was asked by a reporter if he saw God.  Borman smiled and said, “No, I did not see him, but I saw his evidence.”

Second, Teleological Evidence.  The design in nature is astounding.   The strands of connecting gasses and dust clouds in the universe stretching out to clusters of galaxies start to look like fibers of connecting tissue in our bodies.  The universal laws of physics and relativity and genetics and evolution and quantum mechanics are all elegant in their design.  The fragility of life that is found in the “goldilocks zone” where everything had to be just right for it to even exist also points to a design. 

Many believers argue that evolution runs counter to God’s design.  This simply is not true.  There is no conflict between God’s design in nature and the laws of evolution.  Clearly, the finches on the island of Galapagos developed their different beaks through adaptation, allowing them to break open the unique seeds on the island.  Survival of the fittest applies as well without disproving God’s design.  Darwin’s theory fits in rather nicely with nature’s design.

And who could examine DNA and not believe in a design and designer?  And who could examine the micro-world of quantum mechanics and not believe in a design and designer?  The complexity of both of these sciences is mind-numbing.  And just like in our discussion of a creation and a creator, a design begs to have a designer.  Some scientists argue that the randomness of the quantum world can satisfy the need of design through its roll of the dice.  But even Albert Einstein said, “I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.”

The mechanism of quantum theory could be like an engine propelling our universe in perpetuity, leaving the question of who designed the quantum world?  In effect, even if the quantum world is the basis for the recycling in our closed universe, it is still in our universe and had to be designed like all the other designs in our universe.  Thus, behind the elegant designs within our universe is a designer.

Third, Metaphysical Evidence.  This is the evidence that transcends physical evidence.  When we look through our eyes, we see a physical world.  All our senses detect this physical world, but sensory deprivation would leave us with a metaphysical world.  If we were not distracted by the physical universe around us, we could focus more on this metaphysical world. 

As an example, we know some things without experiences to guide us or a priori.  We intuitively know that we should not do certain things because they are wrong.  Our conscience is our moral compass that helps us in making choices every day.  No scientists has dissected a brain and discovered the conscience yet, probably because it is beyond physical.  This concept of doing the right thing originates somewhere or from something.  Perhaps it is similar to how birds instinctively know where to fly in the fall.  They don’t have maps or a global positioning system.  Yet, they know how to fly to a specific location each year.  This is metaphysical evidence of something higher than us, giving us innate guidance as part of creation.  But this is different than God creating physical things.  This is God creating metaphysical things.

In many ways, this may be the most important evidence of God because it is something inside us that we subjectively know.  The first two sets of evidence relate to objective tests, but the metaphysical evidence is deep inside you.  You either know it exists or you don’t. 

My guess is that atheists would say that they know that this evidence does not exist, and I cannot argue against them since, as I said, the test is very subjective.  However, I can state with certainty that I detect the Holy Spirit within me, enhancing the conscience.  I sometimes describe the Holy Spirit as my conscience “on steroids.”  It seems to me that if I feel guilty if I do not do the right thing, and the atheist says that he does not feel guilty because there is no right thing, these two statements cannot both be correct. 

Which one is wrong?  Well, it seems logical that the positive statement disproves the negative statement.  I would not feel guilty unless there were some emotions precipitating that feeling.  It is more likely that there is a conscience than there is none, because if there were no conscience, right and wrong would not exist and the atheist could not say there is no right thing.  The atheist would not know of the existence of good to deny its existence.

Relativists believe that everything is relative and that there is no absolute good or absolute evil.  They might say, “There are absolutely no absolutes.”  Since the absolutes cancel each other out, making the statement nonsensical, there must be absolute good and evil.  Mankind has dealt with good and evil since the Garden of Eden.  It has carried forward through the centuries and is part of our metaphysical being.  We have been given free will and so we make choices every day.  The consequences for our decisions are provided in some cases by society through peer pressure and laws, but the internal personal moral code is the primary barometer of the pressure you place on yourself for your acts.  This freedom of choice was given to us by a creator and the consequences are administered by the same creator.  

One of the gifts of Christianity is God’s grace, forgiving our sins through the death of Christ.  This allows us to erase the guilt within our souls, giving us a clean slate so that when we are thinking in the afterlife, we will not agonize over our past sins, punishing ourselves for what we either did or failed to do.

So, do you believe?

Evilution

Darwin’s theory of evolution is sometimes suggested as being counter to religious beliefs.  This simply is not true.  The “monkey trials” may have made good drama in “Inherit the Wind” and may have made William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow more famous, but evolution and the Bible work hand-in-hand.

Clearly, God made finches and there is nothing in the Bible that indicates that finches cannot adapt to their environment.  The continuous improvement of species is part of God’s nature.  The survival of the fittest is not invalidated in the Bible.  Darwin’s evolution fits nicely in the palm of a Creator’s hand.

The part of man’s evolution that is evil is not Darwin’s theory, but it is man’s humanness.  The changes in society over the years, which have progressed: (1) from satisfying basic needs, (2) to addressing society’s needs as most important, (3) and finally to today where individual’s needs are paramount, may be explained by Darwin’s theory of evolution, a process of changing from a worse to a better state, thrown into reverse.  This theory might be renamed “evilution,” the process of changing from a better to a worse state.

“God bless America” became “God bless me.”  Then, it became “Bless me.”  Now, it is only “Me!”  The survival of the fittest may apply, promoting those who are willing to do whatever it takes to make their lives better.  These are usually the mean and evil spirited of our species.  All of our species are endowed with a generous amount of humanness, but as generations pass, there are more who have hardened hearts. 

And our species has adapted to a new environment where everybody focuses on themselves.  All aspects of society change, as well, adapting to this new world.  If it is all about the individual, marriages become disposable, family life is less important, laws restricting people from doing what they want are eliminated, and religion and ethics take a back seat to individual rights.

Analyzing the last paragraph, you might say that America has emphasized and supported frontier individualism, so why is individualism a bad thing?  Well, it is not the same type of individualism.  The 21st century individualism is not the same as the18th, 19th, and even 20th century individualism. 

Today’s individualism is “all about me.”  How you look, how many expensive toys you have, your car and house status are the important traits.  The old individualism was being able to survive in a difficult environment on your own or with family.  That is not an issue today.  The old individualism was individualism with a conscience.  That is not the case today.

So, who cares?  As long as people do what they want and don’t hurt anybody what’s the problem?  If they like dope, let them smoke dope.  If they are “try-sexual” and want to try anything with anybody, then let them because they aren’t hurting anything.  If our country is deep in debt, don’t worry about it.  We can print more money.  That doesn’t hurt anybody.  All these things may not hurt anybody immediately, but eventually we are no longer conscious of our conscience and our social systems are destroyed.

In other words, the system of democracy will evolve by adapting to these changes in our society until it is destroyed, which is the unfortunate end result of all systems.  Thus, man’s systems will all fail through “evilution” or entropy because of the humanness of man.  God’s system will not fail because evolution is part of God’s natural progression of improvements and there is no failure in the created world. 

Why do we know our universe was created?  Most scientists believe that evidence proves that there was a Big Bang.  The Big Bang was our view of the creation of our universe.  Only the Creator saw the creation from the other side. 

How do we know that the created universe will never fail?  Most scientists believe that in our closed universe that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.  In other words, our created world cannot fail or be destroyed.  Energy can transform to matter and vice versa, but the total amount of energy and matter in our universe will always remain the same. 

But man’s governmental systems will all fail, whether they are democracy, oligarchy, theocracy, socialism, communism, or totalitarianism; it is important to remember that our lives are short and our afterlives are long.  Live the short life as best you can, but focus on the much more important afterlife.

Evolution generally leads to an improvement and more control since it is a scientific process that was part of creation.  Typically, those adaptations which serve the species better are passed on to subsequent generations.  “Evilution,” on the other hand, leads to chaos and failure since it is mankind’s perversion of systems.

If our species creates “evilution” during our lives, does what we select in life follow us into the afterlife?  If we focus on ourselves during life and are still thinking about ourselves when we die, then that is all we will carry into the afterlife.  Can you imagine “evilution” forever?  Can you imagine what it would be like living with yourself for eternity?  If you are thinking at death and you do not believe in God, then you will certainly be lost in a chaotic environment that you cannot possibly imagine during your life, but that you certainly will imagine through your worst nightmares when you die. 

As Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”  If you believe in God and are thinking about God, then God’s evolution could also be found in the afterlife.  Nobody knows exactly what will happen in the afterlife, but God’s world is a controlled, peaceful world following His natural processes, perhaps including evolution.  By continuing to believe and think about God, you may evolve and develop in His universe. 

We all know we are sinners during our lives, but does this humanness follow us into the afterlife?  Does it follow us even if we believe in God?  If we are sentenced to living like in the movie, “Ground Hog Day,” for the rest of eternity that could be worse than a death sentence where we just stopped thinking.  I believe that God’s world has plenty of room for adaptation and evolution, so that we can develop into a better thinking entity or soul.  Otherwise our humanness in life, even though forgiven at death by God, would follow us into the afterlife where perhaps God could no longer forgive it, especially over eternity.

Some of the early Christian Gnostics believed that shedding your bodies and material things would free individuals from the created world, restoring a lost union with God.  They did not believe that humanness would follow man into the afterlife since it would be left behind in the material world.

The discovery of one’s true self can result from the teachings of Jesus.  In effect, you become one with God.  And some of the Gnostics believed that anybody could be the son of God, just like Jesus, simply by following the teachings of Jesus and uniting with God.  In other words, when you entered the afterlife, if you were thinking of God as the truth, then you would merge into God as another son like Jesus.

Why were the Gnostics dismissed and the other books about Jesus, primarily Gnostic, not included in the Bible?  Well, the Gnostics believed that religious truth could be discovered by individuals without the help of religious leaders.  The First Council of Nicaea, a council of Christian bishops convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine in AD 325, had no use for Gnosticism because it opposed organized religion and its leadership.  The Nicaean Council attempted to reach consensus of what Christianity would be from that point forward, of course, leaving out all the Gnostic books and theology.

The Gnostics were early existentialists similar to Soren Kierkegaard who believed that the individual with a conscience would be going one-on-one with God in the afterlife and that religious leaders were irrelevant for this future event.  In effect, entering the afterlife was a mystical experience with your individual thought process taking you where it led you.  If you linked with God, then you would have control over the situation; whereas if you were separated from God, then you would be lost forever in a deep, dark pit of chaos.

The Bible mentions two separate judgments:  first, at death when God’s grace grants you passage into Heaven based on only your belief; and the second, where your actions may be judged with appropriate consequences.  Some theologians believe that the second judgment is really only evidence that you do, in fact, believe.  In other words, if you truly believe in God, then you will follow God’s law and your conscience and act accordingly.  But the Bible references consequences administered after a final judgment before God, much like a trial with punishment.       

God creates everything and then man makes choices during his life of the creations in front of him.  God does not make him choose from this menu; he does that on his own.  That’s called “free will.”  Man makes decisions and then there are consequences waiting around the corner.  Nobody knows for certain what the consequences will be, but it will certainly be chaotic and out of control.  When we dive into the afterlife, nobody has a clue exactly what is going to happen, but it will be a surprise.  If you do not have a strong belief in God, you will be caught in a giant rip tide that will take you out to sea.

We can speculate that there may be two paths:  one to Hell and one to Heaven.  Hell could be chaos with an escalation in punishment depending on some “evilutionary” theory of consequences, but nobody knows.  The best approach in the afterlife might be to follow the path of Jesus to Heaven, the controlled universe which offers peace for eternity, hoping for continual improvement through evolutionary development of our souls.  It also would be very helpful if we left our humanity behind when we entered God’s kingdom. 

Bottom Line:  “Evilution” should never deter you from the straight and narrow path of Jesus.