There are any number of satirical parodies of Michelangelo’s famous creation panel from the Sistine Chapel; this one happens to be the work of some dude named Mockallangelo. It pictures the Pastafarian deity known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster, creating “Meathead,” the first man.
LIKE MANY RELIGIONS, Pastafarianism is a parody religion, only intentionally so. As such, it uses satire to provoke debate over various religious creeds and doctrines of other religions, as a way of pointing out the “absurdity” and lack of “sustaining evidence” for these notions, and often including religion itself.
In this time of relative scientific enlightenment, all evolutionary religions are more or less struggling to maintain their often fetishistic belief in a wide variety of variously accumulated man-made dogmas. Concepts like Hell, Noah’s Ark, Creationism, Intelligent Design, and others, bear the brunt of this theological thrashing. But faith— especially in one’s personal religious experience— remains profoundly unassailable.
Yes the Pastafarians can and will make fun of you and your religion, but the sifting is going to happen one way or another, and before you’re done you may have to let go of some man-made dogma to get your religious compass working again. In letting go of antiquated and, in some cases, simply false ideas that over the last couple centuries have become attached to religious faith, remember this: The relation between you as a human creature and God as the divine Creator is a living experience; a dynamic religious faith, which cannot be precisely defined. Nevertheless, it can be experienced. Here’s the bottom line: no one can live your faith for you; you have to live it. You do that by believing what is validated in the deepest part of who and what you are, and then trying to live that truth. Go there; search there; take what you know for sure and use it to do good, to find truth, and to realize beauty in everything and everyone.
It’s clear to most clear-thinking observers that the progress of science, along with the philosophic elimination of religious fear, has greatly increased the death rate of many false gods, and it’s not done yet. And even though these casualties of man-made deities and dogmas can occasionally blur the spiritual vision, they are eventually successful in destroying the ignorance and superstition which has so long obscured the reality of the living God of eternal love. And if it takes a Flying Spaghetti Monster to make that happen, then there you go.
But to isolate part of life and call it “religion” is to disintegrate life and to distort religion. And this is why God claims all allegiance or none. A religionist of philosophic attainment has faith in a personal God, of personal salvation— and this faith is something more than a human projection, or a sublime hypothesis. A real religionist has faith in a God of love. No matter how often you may forget, love remains the essence of religion, and the wellspring of any superior civilization.
Faith transforms the philosophic God of probability into the saving God of certainty in the personal religious experience. Skepticism may challenge the theories of theology, but confidence in the dependability of personal experience affirms the truth of that belief which has grown into genuine faith.
Convictions about God may be had through wise reasoning, but you can only become truly God-knowing by faith— through your own personal experience. When you make contact with cosmic reality, certainty can be experienced when meanings and values are addressed with living faith. The God-knowing soul dares to say out loud, “I know”— even though this “knowledge” of God is questioned and often ridiculed by unbelievers who deny any such certitude can exist, because it is not wholly supported by intellectual logic. Still: it’s not some random semantic accident that the believer always holds the trump card with the reply, “How do you know that I do not know?” Yeah snap.
Of course reason will always question faith, and it should. But faith can always supplement both reason and logic. Reason creates the probability which faith can transform into a moral certainty; a spiritual experience. If God is the source of all reality, then he is the source of all truth; he is absolute truth. And since God is the first truth, he must also be the last fact; all truth has its origin in him, and all facts must exist relative to him.
As truth, we may come to know God. But to understand— to be able to explain God— we must explore the fact of the Universe. And this vast gulf between the experience of the truth of God and ignorance as to the fact of God, can only be bridged by living faith. Reason alone simply cannot achieve harmony between infinite truth and universal fact.
The facts of evolution must not be arrayed against
the truth of the reality of the certainty of the spiritual experience
of the religious living of the God-knowing mortal.
THE LIMITATIONS OF SCIENCE
To science, God must always remain a possibility. To psychology, a desirability; to philosophy, a probability; to religion a certainty, an actual religious experience. But reason demands that a philosophy which can’t find the God of probability should at least be respectful of a religious faith which can— and does— find the God of certitude. And science simply cannot discount such religious experience on grounds of credulity, not as long as it persists in assuming that our human intellectual and philosophic faculties emerged from increasingly lesser intelligences the further back they go, finally taking origin in primitive sludge which was and still is utterly devoid of any capability to think and feel; you know, consciousness.
Don’t hold your breath.
The facts of evolution must not be arrayed against the truth of the reality of the certainty of the spiritual experience of the religious living of the God-knowing individual. Intelligent men and women should stop reasoning like children and use the more consistent logic of adulthood: a logic which tolerates the concept of truth as well as the observation of fact. But scientific materialism has gone bankrupt when, in the face of each recurring universe phenomenon, it refunds its current objections by referring what is admittedly higher back into that which is admittedly lower. Consistency calls for the recognition of the activities of a purposive Creator.
Organic evolution is a fact; purposive or progressive evolution is a truth— which makes consistent the otherwise contradictory phenomena of the continuing achievements of evolution. The deeper any scientist progresses in his chosen science, the more he should be willing to abandon the theories of materialistic fact, in favor of the cosmic truth of the dominance of a Supreme Mind.
Materialism cheapens human life; the gospel of Jesus— as presented in The Urantia Book— has the power to tremendously enhance and supernally exalt every person who is willing to invest the time to read and understand it. And this is especially true for all Bible-believing Christians who are convinced they already have all the facts they need about the life and teachings of Jesus.
LIVING IN THE REAL WORLD
Belief may not be able to resist doubt and withstand fear, but faith is always triumphant over doubting, because faith is positive and living. The positive always has the advantage over the negative, so does truth over error, experience over theory, and spiritual realities over the isolated facts of time and space. And the real convincing evidence of this spiritual certainty is the social fruit of the spirit which believers produce as a result of this genuine spiritual experience.
However you finally choose to get there, mortal existence must come to be visualized as the intriguing experience of the reality of the human upreach with the divine and saving downreach. Only then will you find the certainty that lives in faith.