Firstly, great emphasis is given that the contents of this series are intended to give Biblical information and insights on some of its contents. They are not intended to scare or offend anyone. It is one’s prerogative to read and never be shoved into one’s throat.
It is in the “exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference” as provided by The Philippine Constitution that this article was made.
If you find them scary, intimidating or offensive, please feel free to take them with a grain of salt and regard them like a badly written movie script.
Why is the bible doubted?
While Christians and believers of God and Jesus made the bible a foundation of their faith, many others could not get themselves to appreciate it and its contents because they see supernatural and cruelty contents, along with perceived contradictions and errors.
If the Bible indeed is full errors or blatantly contradicts itself, it’s hard to trust it or view it as reliable.
The bible can be trusted, be relied on, and God is real.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its related quarantine did led to the deeper discovery on bible matters and the birth of this series.
This series attempts to show evidences aside from the bible itself that suggest it is talking of real things and the God it is preaching is real.
These evidences will put light upon things written or claimed in this book that could not be refuted under conditions when it was written and today. They could also be scientific and historical in nature.
Here is the two main reasons why God exists and the bible is speaking of facts and why it’s better to believe in Him:
Presence of spirits and spiritual realm
This is the “make or break” part for the bible. If it can be categorically proven that the supernatural realm does not exist, the bible contents and ideas about God, or any other supernatural beings that are subjects of human worship for that matter, are all going down the drain.
However, that has yet to happen as there are just too many instances that prove without a shadow of a doubt that beings and events that could not be explained by nature and science indeed exists, as evidenced by numerous reports and documented cases of manifestations of the spiritual world.
They are just difficult to prove as many of these are experienced at a personal level and not normally occurring during the gathering of a large crowd.
The spiritual realm’s popularity in several cultures and traditions around the world and the sheer volume of recorded and reported incidence are more than enough to cast doubt in the outright denial of their existence.
Just consider various manifestations of these beings and incidents through the volumes of reports and videos of unexplained haunted house incidents, magicians, human beings possessed, exorcisms, exorcists, witchcraft, sorcery, voodoo practitioners, and the like.
They also supposedly have happened in different eras and timelines.
Here are just some of the specific incidents in the local and international front during recent history:
- How about letting home start this one with a bang. Anyone reading this who didn’t set foot in Baguio City, Philippines just try searching for paranormal experiences and sightings here, specifically at Loakan Road, White Laperal House, Teacher’s Camp, Baguio Convention Center, Diplomat Hotel, former Hyatt Terraces Hotel site, Nevada Square and some dormitories. If one asks a true-blue Baguio resident, they have lots of unexplainable tales occurring in these sites to narrate, some of them even experienced first-hand. No wonder Baguio is tagged as the third most haunted city by National Geographic.
- There are too many cases of pig and chicken butchering according to Cordillera culture as a result of some dead relative “manifesting” their presence or a message to a living relative relayed via speaking through medium, a dream, or an incident.
- The eerie sightings and noises at Balete Drive and the Ozone Disco spot in Quezon City and Fort Santiago in Manila.
- There are several reports of cases of multiple school children being possessed by spiritual beings during school hours in the Philippines. Not to be discounted are the supposed aswang, white lady, tikbalang and kapre (some Filipino terms for supernatural beings) sightings;
- Magicians from different parts of the world have exhibited some performances and acts that are not just slight of hand and could not be explained by nature or science. Examples are the appearance of cards or cds in seconds from thin air; disappearing in one location then reappearing in another in just seconds, communicating with spirits or souls of dead people with an immediate answer, stopping a bullet with teeth, vomiting and swallowing of live creatures; multiple changing of face masks and costumes in split seconds, and levitation among others. Many of them are televised live and replays can be easily viewed from different social media platforms.
- Numerous photos taken in different eras that show a dead person among the captured image.
- The United States Department of Defense confirmation, just this April, 2020, of three instances that indicate the presence of Unidentified Flying Objects recorded by their military in 2004 and 2015. They still refer to them as “Unidentified Aerial Phenomena’
True, many reported cases and acts might just be due to just deception, illusion, being fake, or simply just performing an innocent superstition ritual but there is no doubt that not everyone of them are.
In addition to these direct cases of manifestations, there are also the indirect evidences that this realm indeed exists.
Almost all humans had personally encountered manifestations of the supernatural through dreams, nightmares, mediation, curiosity, and imaginations.
Isn’t it ironic that six of the top ten highest grossing films all-time as of 2019 when adjusted for inflation have characters and settings that are not normal? Imagine the number of people that enjoyed Avatar, Star Wars, Avengers: Endgame, E.T., The Ten Commandments, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It is agreed that while these evidences collectively prove there must be undeniable existence of some sort of supernatural presence, they do not directly prove that God is real.
But, at the same time, they put the bible’s supernatural stories and God “on base”, speaking on baseball terminology.
They remove the probability of God being non-existent. The presence of the spiritual realm will strongly suggest the likelihood that He indeed exists.
The bible is straightforward and honest
We could say being clear-cut and simple is a key element of reliability and honesty is to trust.
There are many tales narrated by the bible but its main theme has been consistent from start to finish. On the other hand, this is the only book that encourages its readers to test its contents covering a wide range and variety of topics.
On the straightforward aspect, the bible’s general message is clear: the main theme of the book is the battle between God and Satan, good versus evil, and man getting on God’s side of things. It is not a science or history book. Many tend to forget this.
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40, New King James Version
In a nutshell, the premise is following Satan and doing evil is a lot easier than obeying God and doing good. And most humans often falls short of the requirements laid out by the old covenant. This made man suffer gruesome punishments and miss the rewards reserved for those following them.
As a remedy, Jesus, the Messiah, was born of a human earthly mother; preached love for God and for fellowmen during a time when these were very difficult to do; performed miracles and spearheaded occurrence of some supernatural events; and give up his life to pave way for an easier route to the afterlife reward today.
“but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31, NKJV
It is about faith, belief, loyalty to God and Jesus.
Anybody using the bible for questions it never intended to tackle might misunderstand the book and could easily get misled.
On the honesty aspect: this is a book that practically tells all, no holds barred on many subjects. The bible narrates and lays down events, persons, rules, and situations of any kind, whether good or bad, realistic or supernatural, soothing or offensive. This book isn’t holding back anything.
For example, the Old Testament is full of performance of intriguing values, actions, and intents may seem unfit during today’s norms and offends many in today’s society.
There are tales of slavery, slaughtering, polygamy, divorce, violence, punishment by death, being bisexual, and many more were told.
But so are tales of love, sacrifice, sacredness of life, goodness, and righteousness.
It has even supposed “contradictions” and “errors” according to some.
You name it, the bible has them.
Regarding the “errors” and “contradictions”, one could note that the only time God made direct communication to bible readers was when he wrote the Ten Commandments in tablets of stone.
All others were communicated through his apostles and the prophets. So while God inspired these writings, the narrations are from the perspective authors wrote this book.
They are still humans who are devoid of perfection. There several of them, having different ways of expressing their thoughts like being literal or poetic, and their writings were done in different situations, conditions and eras which could influence how they presented their stories.
So the bible gave its readers an out by wanting and encouraging them to not just blindly believe its contents but instead investigate them.
“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5: 19-22 NKJV
Further, their authors, especially in the New Testament, exhibited tons of credibility of being faithful witnesses who are simply giving accurate testimonies.
There is not a single piece of evidence that the authors of the bible had motives other than giving their testimony.
In fact, they had everything to lose and nothing to gain for performing such act. Many of them were put to death, sometimes in gruesome, painful ways because of it.
It was clear these men had greater fear of telling a lie than dying, even after Jesus’ death.
It would have been easier for them to simply tell a lie, make up another story, and stop proclaiming what they saw as these would likely be the reason they would be persecuted.
Unless their testimonies were absolutely true.
When the motivation of an author is to simply spread the word and the prospective readers are challenged to put his or her output to test, that author is confident of his or her output. These are very good marks of the output’s true honesty.
Trustworthy and reliability on the bible has been debated upon for centuries now because of the views on how one considers life on earth and after it.
And since there is a possibility that God do exists, being conservative might be the best alternative here.
Accountants describe conservatism as selecting the option that would show the worst possible financial standing of a business entity when two or more unproven alternatives are available. This is to remove the user of the account’s output be exposed to a bigger risk in case the worst possible scenario happens.
As it stands, the risk of not believing in and obeying God far outweighs the benefits of pure reliance in science for a better earthly life.
That is until it is absolutely proven that there is indeed no God nor hell.
By Armando M. Bolislis
This series is an offshoot on twin series about COVID-19 and other events as biblical prophecy fulfillment of events happening before “The coming of the Son of Man”.
The opinions and suggestions contained in this article are solely of the author and doesn’t necessarily reflect the stance of Baguio Herald Express management and staff.