Throughout history, human beings have had the tendency to reject their Creator, and replace Him in their lives with gods of their own making. From the Greek and Roman pantheons, to the Egyptian sun-god, people would rather worship a god that they create than the God who created them. Such false gods always have the following characteristics. (1) They are attributed one or more characteristics or powers that belong only to the Living God, especially a power over some aspect of nature. (2) They are given allegiance, worship, or reverence above God in at least some way. (3) They are created either physically or conceptually by man. (4) They are not the Living God, the Creator of all things.
In our modern “educated” world, people often look back at the silliness of the Greek, Roman, or Babylonian gods, as if we are far too sophisticated for such primitive nonsense. But that just isn’t the case. There are many false gods in our modern world; entities that are revered by people above God, and attributed powers that they cannot literally possess. Whether it is the worship of concepts like nature, or power, or physical entities like money, such things should not be respected above God, and they cannot do what God alone can do.
But one false god stands out among others today; this god is worshipped and reverenced as the ultimate god of our culture. Many books have been written about him, and dedicated to him. He is the foundation of most modern philosophy and education. What is the ultimate false god of our age? Is it Evolution? No, Evolution is certainly a popular god. But many people doubt Evolution. And in any case, Evolution answers to a higher god – a god who is far more popular and powerful than Evolution: the god Gravity.
Gravity is the concept of a vast, universe-spanning force of attraction: the notion that the Earth and universe are glued together by physics and not by God. It is a popular belief today, and is considered by many people to be the mainstream “scientific” position. Disciples of Gravity would probably object to the notion that he is a god, or that he is even a person at all. They might say that Gravity is an academic concept, the conclusion of scientific reasoning – not a person with power. However, by their actions, Gravity disciples do indeed imbue him with personal characteristics and powers that only a conscious being can possess. Students of logic will recognize this as a reification fallacy. Nonetheless, for this article, we shall honor their beliefs and refer to their god as their actions suggest that we should. Gravity, as he is commonly followed today, does indeed fit the characteristics of a false god.
Consider (1) Gravity has characteristics and powers that belong to God alone. In fact, the parallels are truly amazing! For example, Gravity has the power of creation. According to His followers, he has made stars, planets, and galaxies. He has made canyons, and mountains. Gravity created the continents and oceans. He has made all living creatures through his servant – Evolution. Indeed, Gravity took the elements of this universe, and from that gaseous hydrogen he made man. These are all powers and actions that are rightly reserved for God alone (Nehemiah 9:6, Psalm 33:6, Job 38:4, Psalm 104:5-8, Genesis 1:9-10, Genesis 1:20-25, Genesis 2:7).
But it doesn’t end there. Gravity is also said to have tremendous power to direct the course of events in the universe. Gravity creates and destroys species and civilizations at a whim. He gives life and takes it away. He continually shapes the earth as he sees fit – changing mountains to plains, and plains to mountains. Gravity existed long before man, and will continue long after man, or so we are told. Again, these are characteristics that are rightly attributed only to God (Acts 17:26, Job 42:2, Isaiah 46:10, Isaiah 45:7, Amos 3:6, Acts 17:25, 1 Timothy 6:13, Job 1:21, Isaiah 51:3, 43:19-20, Genesis 13:10, Deuteronomy 29:23, Genesis 17:1, Deuteronomy 33:27, Isaiah 43:10, Revelation 22:13).
But according to his disciples, nothing is too difficult for Gravity! He is able to do any miracle! Consider this famous quote from Stephen Hawking, “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.” Yes, the gradual evolution of dust into people may seem impossible. But with Gravity, all things are possible! He is the “reason there is something rather than nothing.” Compare this with the characteristics associated with the biblical God (Matthew 19:26, Jeremiah 32:17).
(2) Disciples of Gravity worship him with reverence and awe. They may deny this with their words, but their actions indicate that they do cherish this god above all others. This makes sense: if indeed Gravity does have the powers and abilities that his disciples attribute to him, then he should be worshiped. Such worship takes place in the schools and universities, where Gravity’s wonderful works are praised all the day long.
The worship of Gravity is found in many a science textbook too. Sandwiched in between the discussions of science will be stories about the amazing feats of Gravity. A little science here, and an amazing story there. Although Gravity has nothing to do with science, often the science and the stories are interleaved such that it can be difficult to tell where one begins and the other ends! The mixture makes for an entertaining, though deceptive read.
Devotees take their religion very seriously. Gravity must not be questioned. That would be sacrilege! Those who fail to worship at the altar of Gravity are ridiculed, and face being expelled from the classroom. Textbooks that fail to acknowledge the supreme lordship of Gravity are not likely to be used, or even published. Those who wish to work as professors must swear allegiance to Gravity and His servant Evolution if they want to be hired.
(3) Gravity is manmade. The concept of vast interstellar forces is not something that has been revealed to us by the Living God, nor recorded by the history books of men. Rather, it is an invention of man to account for the characteristics of our present world without invoking biblical history. The modern version of Gravity can be traced back to Isaac Newton – an anti-trinitarian who lived in the 17th century. His ideas were further popularized by Albert Einstein in the early 20th century. However, this is merely a re-imagining of a much older idea. A number of ancient cultures believed that the Earth had a powerful innate force of attraction.
(4) Gravity is not the Living God. Nor is Gravity an aspect of God, a creation of God, or an ally of God. Gravity exists only as a concept, created by the mind of men. He has no literal existence. Although his disciples ascribe to him many of the characteristics of the biblical God, it is clear that Gravity is fundamentally different than the God of the Bible.
The biblical God is love (1 John 4:8). The biblical God is righteous, just, and merciful. He made a perfect world with no pain or death, a world that was corrupted by Adam’s sinful actions. God punishes evil, as any good judge will do. However, God is so full of love and mercy, that He has extended forgiveness to all who will trust in Him. He has paid the penalty for their treason by dying on a cross in their place, and will undo the curse of death by resurrecting everyone.
But Gravity is a cruel, uncaring creator. He creates complex worlds, only to destroy them at a whim. He does not care about justice or love, and is merciless and arbitrary in his judgments. He creates using death and pain, and does not listen to the cries of anguish of his creations. He punishes the innocent along with the guilty, and rewards evil and good alike. There is no forgiveness or mercy to be found in Gravity – only the certainty of falling.
This last characteristic deserves special attention. For the biblical God, ‘falling’ is just another name for Adam’s sin, and another word for death: an enemy that God Himself will destroy (1 Corinthians 15:21, 25-26). But death is Gravity’s ally and servant. Evolution works through death. Progress is made incrementally by the slaughtering of billions of creatures, so that one may gain a slight improvement. What a sadistic and inefficient process that Gravity has chosen! I can only say that I’m grateful to the Living God that Gravity doesn’t actually exist. What a horrible god he would be!
Since Gravity is so contrary in nature and actions to the God of Scripture, it is disappointing that many Christians attempt to honor and serve both of them. There are those who teach that God used Gravity to create the universe, in stark contrast to God’s own revelation of creation. They claim that God used the naturalistic forces of decay and destruction to get the world to be the way He wanted it (apparently unaware that decay is an enemy of God, and one that was introduced as a punishment for Adam’s sin.) It’s not that modern Christians want to give up the True God. Rather, they simply want to add another god, one who is contrary in nature and actions to the Living God. Unfortunately, this type of syncretism has been a common failing in God’s people.
Consider the Israelites. Their main struggle was not with giving up God completely, but with adding other gods. They wanted to merge their beliefs with the pagan practices of the day, and worshiped and served the gods of Canaan. This was totally inappropriate, not only because the Canaanite gods are fictitious inventions of the mind, but because God alone deserves our worship and does not tolerate idolatry. In the First Commandment, God states that “You shall have no other gods before Me.” The phrase translated “before Me” has the meaning of “in my presence.” Scripture is clear: God alone is to be worshiped as God (e.g. Matthew 4:9-10).
Remember reading of Baal? Baal was the Canaanite god of weather and thunder. The Israelites often fell into Baal worship, in violation of the First Commandment. Elijah pointed out their absurd inconsistency in 1 Kings 18:21, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” It was illogical for the Israelites to attempt to serve two contrary gods (and immoral). Are we any different today when we try to add other gods to Christianity?
No man can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Those Christians who want to believe in Gravity along with the biblical God are being dreadfully inconsistent. They may claim that they serve the Lord alone, but by their actions they reveal that Gravity is their primary god, and the Lord is secondary. We can tell this by the way they handle Scripture. For the Gravity-Christian, all Scripture is interpreted in light of the dictates of Gravity. Thus, Gravity is primary, and the Scriptures are secondary. Indeed, if the Scriptures were primary, then the individual would have to reject Gravity as a false god (Exodus 20:3, Isaiah 45:5-6) and fictitious concept (Exodus 20:11)
It can be discouraging to see so many Christians attempting to serve the pagan god Gravity. It often feels like the Christians who truly stand on God’s Word are so very few. But we should remember that Elijah was discouraged as well. In a time when he was afraid for his life, and thinking that he was the last faithful believer he cried out to God (1 Kings 19:14). But the Lord responded, “Yet I will leave 7,000 in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18). Think of this the next time you are discouraged about the rampant compromise within the Church. How many more Christians has the Lord kept for Himself who have not bowed the knee to Gravity?
The above – as you may have guessed – was constructed by replacing a small handful of words, phrases, and examples in Dr Jason Lisle’s recent blogpost, Deep Time – the god of our Age. I shouldn’t have to explain further the problems with his argument – he does seem to be being at least somewhat satirical, but you’ll have to excuse me taking it to the absurd.
I have another exam tomorrow, so you’re seeing this instead of the usual Monday DpSU. That article was written by Jeffrey Tomkins, and is called Australopithecus Was a Well-Adapted Tree Climber. You can probably guess what’s in there, and while the bipedality of Australopithecus afarensis is a likely question in tomorrow’s exam I have more important things to study right now. I recommend you go and read Adam Benton’s post on the same subject if you can’t tell what Tomkins got wrong by yourself (or even if you can, of course).