STUDY 3: FALSE VIEWS OF GOD
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
THE second false view of God is materialism. Materialism is the theory that reduces all existing things to matter and its inherent forces. It denies the existence of any substances other than matter, and therefore denies the existence of things intangible to one or more of our five senses. To the materialist spiritual substances do not exist. It deprecates the idea of God and denies His existence, ridicules faith as superstition, denies a Divine revelation, free will and moral responsibility and denies a personal hereafter.
Arguments in Refutation of Materialism
(1.) Materialism fails to explain all being and events by matter and its inherent forces; the nature of matter and the nature of force; how motion in matter first started; how conscientiousness – thought, feeling and will – arose out of matter and its inherent forces; the origin of life and the various species of animal life; and the origin of the difference between man’s powers and those of the brute creation.
(2.) Materialism assumes and takes for granted as matters of faith some very important things that should be proved in order to establish it as a theory. It assumes that matter and its inherent forces are eternal, but is unable by the senses to have observed their eternity. It assumes the reality of time and space and their being without beginning and ending, but none of them have been able to observe these things. It believes in the invariable operation of cause and effect, yet no one has observed all causes and effects. It assumes spontaneous generation as the origin of life, but all scientific demonstrations and experience disprove such a thing.
(3.) Materialism’s denial of the reality of spirit substances. The following spirit substances and others exist and certainly are not matter: life principle, light and fire.
(4.) Materialism’s denial of spirit beings. By spirit beings we mean superhuman persons whose bodies consist of spirit, as distinct from material, substances. The phenomena of spiritism demonstrate the existence of spirit beings. Although there is much fraud exercised by some mediums, there is such an abundance of demonstrable facts on the activity of spirits in spiritistic phenomena, that the existence of spirits is accepted as a scientific fact. While we accept such spirits as real, we do not endorse their characters in spiritistic phenomena, but believe them to be demons, the fallen angels, who with almost unbelievable deceitfulness palm themselves off as dead humans existing as spirits.
(5.) There is no known example of thought, feeling and will, without the union of life principle and substance organized into bodies. Inorganic matter does not feel, think or will. To have consciousness, substance must be arranged into an organism, a body. But a mere organism cannot exercise thought, feeling and volition. There must be the union of such an organism with life principle by means of the blood. Such life principle is Biblically called spirit – not a spirit.
(6.) Materialism cannot bridge the gulf between matter and mind. It cannot deduct mental processes, for mental processes cannot be deducted from material conditions. While the function of the brain is that of an instrument which the person uses for thinking, feeling and willing, it is the union of the life principle and the brain that produces the person, which by the brain does the thinking, willing and feeling.
(7.) Materialism denies the freedom of the will. Materialists think that man’s will is controlled by physical law. This is untrue, for he frequently chooses from principle to do what he does not like, and frequently likes to do what he does not choose to do. He frequently changes into disliking what he formerly liked, and into liking what he formerly disliked. We are conscious of freely choosing, sometimes by principle, sometimes by prejudice and sometimes by a mixture of both. We know that we could have chosen otherwise, had we so desired. Our regretting on further consideration a former choice and reversing it, proves our free will. We are conscious of our freedom of choice, even if unable at times to execute the choice.
(to be continued)
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