Who Do You Trust?

There are many deities proclaimed to be God. Some appear valid, while others are obviously false. But how can one discern which deities are truly worthy of the title, God?

If one actually was God, then he/she would know for certain how the universe and the earth in particular were created. So a good initial test would be to evaluate the creation story presented by a particular religion: if a particular deity really is God, then he/she would definitely know the real truth. If a particular deity claimed to know the truth, but deliberately lied, then he/she could never be trusted in any context.

If we examine the various creation stories, we would find such stories as the Hopi story of the four creations by Taiowa, Sotuknang, and the Spider Woman, the Norse story of Odin and Ymir where ice melts into all that exists, and the Babylonian story of Marduk Creating the World from the Spoils of Battle. These stories, and many more, are obviously false and easily dismissed as pure fantasy.

So what does current scientific theory tell us about the creation of the universe? The universe existed as a single point that rapidly expanded into a gigantic mass of plasma producing unimaginable amounts of light and heat that rapidly cooled as it expanded and coalesced into matter and antimatter as the universe entered a time of darkness. Over time, the gravitational attraction of matter formed stars, galaxies, planets, etc. The earth formed from the rotating disk that formed our entire solar system, and a collision of two proto-planets created the earth, the moon, the rotations of the two, and the earth’s iron core that produces the magnetosphere that protects us from the sun. The earth’s gravity produced our atmosphere, and comets brought us water. As the earth cooled, life appeared, first in the oceans, and then progressed to the plant and animal life we know today.

If we look at the Biblical story of creation, we find some amazing similarities. Passed down to Moses some 3500 years ago, the story begins with God creating the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). The earth was left without form and void (Gen 1:2), which could be the result of the cooling mass after the “Big Bang.” As the matter coalesced, light began reappearing (Gen 1:3-5) and galaxies and stars began to form (Gen 1:6-8, the dividing of the firmaments). Then, as our solar system began forming, the earth formed with a heavy cloud layer (Gen 1:9,10) and plant life began (Gen 1:1- 13). As the heavy cloud layer thinned, the light of the sun and moon penetrated, but not enough to actually see the features of either one (Gen 1:14-19). Animal life later developed, first in the oceans, and then on the land (Gen 1:20-31), which seems to be the exact sequence that actually happened.

Any deity, proclaimed to be God, would know exactly how creation progressed, and should be willing to divulge that information in a manner appropriate to its recipients. As we can see, this is exactly what happened in the book of Genesis. Even though the recipients couldn’t fully grasp the meaning of the story, they were able to receive it and pass it down through the generations. We have received this story as a testimony of a God who actually participated in creation. Even if we do not fully appreciate the ancient words used, we certainly can discern that the story is at least an extremely good approximation of what we now believe actually happened.

We should immediately reject any potential deity who has not, in the ancient past, presented a credible description of creation. Such a deity would either be ignorant, or deceitful. Either the potential deity is actually powerless and cannot be trusted, or is deceitful and cannot be trusted. Any deity that we should be willing to accept as God must be trustworthy in both word and deed, or else be immediately rejected as unqualified. What about the one you worship? Is he/she worthy to be called God? You decide.

Copyright (c) 2007 Jon Straumfjord