The first article in this series attempted to address the question often posed by Raleigh residents, “Why is there so much religion on Facebook?”. That article asserted that everyone worships something or someone, be it one God, many gods, nature, possessions, power, relationships, hobbies or interests. While worship is the effect of religion, faith is the driving force that defines religion and causes religious people to worship. Dictionary.com’s first definition of religion is:
“A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.” (Dictionary.com)
There are numerous religions, denominations and sects represented in Raleigh with each practicing different “devotional and ritual observances”. All faith systems have moral codes that share many similarities at a macro level but have different applications at a personal level. When it comes to the “cause, nature, and purpose of the universe”, however, there are really only two main categories of people:
1) Those who believe that the universe was formed by an infinitely wise designer/creator.
2) Those who believe that the universe was the result of a cosmic bang in which, given enough time, nothing became something, non-life became life, and chaos became order.
Both categories require some measure of faith. Creationists believe in a God they cannot see with their eyes, hear with their ears, or touch with their hands. Yet they know Him to be real through experience and through intellectual observance of perfect design throughout the universe. They see His work around them and sense his voice speaking into their hearts through scriptures and prayer. They feel His peace, comfort and delight.
“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” (John 20:29)
Those who hold to the big bang theory claim that there is no god and assume they have no religion. Yet, it takes a lot of faith to accept as true a theory that violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the law that states that life cannot come from non-life as proven by Pasteur, Lister, and Tyndall. It takes great faith to believe a theory that is statistically impossible.
“Sir Fred Hoyle, probably the greatest biological statistician of our time, calculated that the probability of a single protein molecule (not a living cell mind you, but just a single protein molecule) coming into existence by mere chance is “1 in 10 to the 300th power,” or, in his words, “practically nil.” ….The odds of creation become exponentially greater when we consider the statistical probabilities against humans, animals, plant life, and even single cell organisms evolving out of nothing. ” (Evolution, Creationism and Homosexuality in the Public Schools, by Robert R. Edwards, B.A., B.S., J.D.)
Some may argue that a third category exists for those who say that they do not know what is true regarding the origins of the universe. However, since what one believes about the origins of life determines one’s purpose and influences moralily, agnostics will still fall into one of these two categories in terms of behavior and worldview.
So, if all people exercise faith in whatever they believe about the origins of the universe and if all people worship something, then people are, by their very nature, religious. Could it be that people are not as offended by “religion” itself as they are about Creationists and more specifically, Christians? Part 3 of these series will explore that question.