Supreme court case

Please pray as the Supreme Court begins to hear oral arguments in a case deciding whether the Obama Administration should be allowed to force business owners to violate their faith by paying for someone else’s abortion pills. Think about it: Imagine that Obamacare mandated provision of health insurance for the abortion procedure itself. Would you feel that companies like Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties had a right to refuse to support it? Sound like a stretch? Don’t forget that abortion has been consistently framed in liberal politics as a healthcare issue for women. Why should this be a strange possibility? Beyond this case, I am personally not supportive of the role government is taking in healthcare but that’s an issue to address in the next two elections. Please pray and vote!

For thoughtful analysis

Follow the case

Live Blog: Contraception Cases at Supreme Court

Steve Cornell

Did Jesus welcome unrepentant sinners?

I read an article this morning emphasizing a response to the Supreme Court decisions about marriage based on the grace of the gospel.

While I appreciated the tone and many of the reminders, a particular line from it troubled me. The author invited us to reflect on the way that, “Jesus first welcomed and received unrepentant sinners” before saying, “Go and sin no more.”

The word “unrepentant” is what concerns me.

The author rightly suggested that, “The love that is meant to mark us as Christians is meant to receive people in the generous and gracious way Jesus received people.”

This emphasis, however, could be a little misleading when it comes to unrepentant people — even in relation to the courts’ decision.

First, in keeping with the theme of the article, Jesus was often ran with the “wrong people” of society. Why do you think they labeled him “the friend of sinners” (Matthew 11:19)? The self-righteous crowd shook their heads in disgust at the people he spent time with and used his associations to renounce him. Even at the end of his life, when he died for us on the cross, Isaiah foretold his final association — “He was numbered with the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).

Secondly, Jesus also clearly and repeatedly jolted the self-righteous religious establishment with culturally scandalous statements and stories. Imagine their response when he said, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you” (Matthew 21:31). How could he tell a story that placed a tax collector in the temple and sent him home justified before God instead of the Pharisee? Wow! There is no softly and tenderly Jesus is calling in this – just bold truth to cut to the heart of our self-righteous ways!

Yet the unrepentant sinners of Jesus’ day were mostly the religious leaders. And we could hardly say that he warmly welcomed them. Broken sinners, yes; self-righteous, arrogant (“see and do things my way, or else” sinners), no. It’s important not to be confused on this matter so that we don’t melt everything into a non-Christ-like kind of “just accept everyone no matter what” approach.

When His disciples began to mimic the behavior of the religious leaders, asking about greatness in the kingdom, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 18:2). Yes, changes must be made because “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5). Without these changes, you will not even enter heaven. It is reserved for the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3). 

Now I certainly agree with the author that, “To receive an ‘other’ as they are, without first mandating behavior changes, requires us to tolerate a bit of anxiety or discomfort. It demands that we release, or at least relax, our natural impulse to announce our opinions. To receive another as they are, and not as we wish them to be, is to agree with the apostle Paul’s conviction that it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance.”

But many of those who argue for gay marriage mirror the intolerant religious leaders of Jesus’ day more than the broken and contrite ones to whom the kingdom is open. They are not the “sinners” who seek grace but act more like the self-righteous who condemn and ostracize any one who disagrees.

Many of those promoting gay marriage have become some of the most intolerant people in our country. They operate with a “see things my way, or else” approach. If you hope to show them kindness it will only be accepted if it comes with full endorsement and celebration of what they want. The slightest disagreement with them wins one labels like “hate-monger, bigot, racist, homophobic, etc…

Many don’t realize that anger and bitterness underlies much of the homosexual lifestyle, not because of society but because of personal histories of those who choose to live it. This is one reason that gay relationships are notorious for domestic problems. 

I hope this balanced perspective leads to deeper discussions on our calling as Christ followers — especially in a context of responsible citizenship in a democratic form of government. 

Steve Cornell

8 Links worth seeing

  1. The End of the World’s Leading ‘Ex-Gay’ Ministry
  2. Group apologizes to gay community, shuts down ‘cure’ ministry
  3. Conversion therapist: Lawsuit won’t stop us
  4. Why Do So Many Rappers Impersonate Christ? 
  5. The Evolution of the Swimsuit
  6. Marriage rate may be low, but more weddings predicted
  7. Marry Me. And Me
  8. The Pornography Culture (an older column worth seeing again)

Other ministries dedicated to helping those with unwanted same-sex attractions

Restore True Tolerance to America

We need a nationwide effort to expose the way tolerance has been used as an agenda of power to coerce society to conform to certain ways of thinking on debatable issues. 

In my role as a political columnist, I am considering starting a campaign titled Restore True Tolerance to America.

My motivation comes from the gratitude I feel for the freedom we’ve experienced in our country and the costly sacrifices made to protect those freedoms.

Tolerance has clearly been the most emphasized social standard for the last several decades.

Perhaps it was originally aimed at replacing the ugly sectarian and segregationist thinking that hurt our country with a shared commitment to respect and civility for all.

As a virtue, tolerance is necessary to a diverse society of ethnic, religious, ideological and lifestyle differences. Tolerance is not just “putting up with differences,” but also truly respecting others despite differences. Tolerance, as a virtue, shines most when people deeply disagree but treat each other with respect. 

Society suffers when people do not respect each other on lawfully permitted differences. But somewhere along the way true tolerance was replaced with a counterfeit operating under the same name. The new version demands agreement not respect, and the results are eroding our freedoms. 

Tolerance now feels more like a strategy of power being used to control people.

On many issues the public largely feels like we are given a choice between agreeing with a set of politically approved ideas or being labeled intolerant or even a hateful bigot. This is the tone that now dominates political debate, and both sides have been guilty. 

I am not suggesting that it’s easy to protect civility in a diverse country. But I know that we can’t promote civility by forcing everyone to see things one way under threat of being labels and ostrasized for disagreeing.

I believe most people have had enough of this distortion of tolerance.

  • Are you tired of being told what to think and say on certain issues?
  • Do you feel forced to pretend you agree on too many sensitivity issues?
  • Does tolerance feel more like a strategy to silence you than a virtue to free you?
  • Do you feel like there are a growing number of sensitivity police trying to control our country? 

Zero tolerance on sensitivity issues has resulted in a long list of absurd punishments — even on children in our schools. Hate laws are being used to enlist thought police to read motives where they don’t exist. People are being sued for following their long-held religious and moral convictions. 

I am grateful to live in a country that has largely moved past the sad days of racial and gender sectarianism. We should protect always people from discrimination based on matters of nature beyond their ability to control or change. I am not suggesting that we are completely victorious in these areas. Like most people, however, I am tired of those who refuse to celebrate our advances out of a desire to be seen as victims to whom society is indebted. 

We need a wake-up call to what’s happening in our country. Forced agreement on debatable issues threatens true tolerance and violates freedom. The virtue of tolerance functions where there is disagreement with respect. Intolerance forces people to pretend they have no differences. 

If we care about freedom, we need to promote respect, honor and neighbor love — true tolerance. But we must equally reject coercion and manipulation.

We’re in for a lot of trouble if we fail to restore true tolerance in our country. 

Want to join the campaign?

It would be a public and media campaign to restore tolerance and freedom to our Country before it’s taken over by those using tolerance as a strategy of power to control people. I am in the early stages but I am thinking about using every medium of communication possible to bring this message to every corner of this great country.

Restore True Tolerance to America could be accomplished through:

  • Television
  • Newspapers
  • Websites and Blogs
  • Web casts and commercials
  • Posters, bumper stickers, signs, mailings, t-shirts, mugs, etc…

All funds would be used for production and promotion costs of the campaign to restore tolerance and freedom to America. If interested,

s.cornell@millersvillebiblechurch.org

Steve Cornell

See also: 

The Easter question

How final is death? Can we expect to live after our earthly lives end?

We know that the story of Jesus didn’t end with death because, “God raised him up putting an end to the agony of death since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:24).

And because Jesus broke the power of death, those who trust him as their Savior rest confidently in his promise, “my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39-40).

On this promise, I expect to be resurrected one day. I am not merely expect to live after the death of my physical body. Resurrection is more than life after death. Resurrection is life after life after death. Yes, you read that correctly. Resurrection is bodily life after life after death. It’s postmortem existence stage two. I expect to return to identifiable bodily existence just as Jesus did (see: Philippians 3:20). But I am humbly grateful to know that I will return in a body that is free from sin and death!

The body is important to God. Six events of biblical history endorse the importance of the body.

  1. Creation: God fashions the body from the dust of the earth
  2. Incarnation: God enters the body prepared for him (Hebrews 10:5)
  3. Resurrection (Christ’s and ours)
  4. Ascension: Jesus has bodily existence at the Father’s right hand
  5. Salvation: The body is the temple of the Holy Spirit
  6. Glorification: Final redemption of the body (Romans 8 )

If we take Jesus Christ at his word, everyone who has lived should expect to be resurrected. Jesus said, “a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out (John 5:28-29).

Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:17-18).

“Christianity is, among other things, the wonderfully good news that this life is not our whole story.” (Robert Roberts)

“But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21).

Until that great day, we ask God for grace to apply the truth that, “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Yes, we “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:23).

Steve Cornell

A plea for civility and sanity from brave liberals and progressives

 

This is a plea for civility and sanity among brave liberals and progressives. It’s time for many of them to break the silence and oppose the tone changes and agendas in their party. They have good reasons to be concerned about the reputation of their side of politics.

The old vision of being known as a party of tolerance, civility and rational thinking has been hijacked by a vocal minority who use social coercion to bully fellow Democrats into their agendas.

Frankly, we need large groups of citizens from both sides of the political aisle to refuse blind loyalty to their party — especially if it requires violations of civility, tactics of manipulation and attitudes of arrogance and intolerance toward those who differ.

On the liberal side, the growing tendency toward these things portrayed vividly on cable networks like MSNBC, and required of the faithful, ought to be enough to move large numbers to threaten to become independents.

As a liberal, does it disturb you to hear Chris Matthews from MSNBC irrationally gush over President Obama as if he is a messiah? Does something bother you about the cynical and condescending tones of Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell? Do you find it disconcerting to hear the president discredit a news outlet because it’s actually willing to disagree with him? I cringe when I hear Sean Hannity at Fox News mockingly refer to President Obama as the Anointed One. I cringed over the apocalyptic rhetoric that flowed from Glenn Beck.

Liberal Democrats once prided themselves on being a party of choice where one was free to think and be an individual. Now being a liberal requires uniformity to a growing list of litmus tests. For example, if you’re a progressive but believe that abortion actually destroys a human life, you’ll need to remain in the closet if you wish to be accepted in the party. You must oppose all things pro-life and support many other liberal causes with blind loyalty or risk rejection. If you admit to views that oppose the litmus tests, you’ll likely hear someone ask, “You’re not becoming one of those right-wing nuts are you?”

To be a member with full acceptance, you’ll need to toe the party line on global climate change, gay marriage and gun control. You’re not permitted to think logically or rationally about issues if it leads to differences from required party opinions. You must be anti-war while demanding the rights of women to serve in combat. You must oppose the evils of tobacco while supporting legalization of marijuana. You must boast allegiance to science while ignoring scientific evidence of abortion as the destruction of a human being.

I believe that there are many liberals who don’t like the tone that has taken over their party. Yet they fear the consequences of opposing it. They also know that one of the primary sources behind these changes is the attachment of their party to a small but radical pro-homosexual contingency.

Although many liberals and progressives don’t appreciate being associated with an agenda to change laws regarding marriage, they know that the slightest contradiction against this agenda will result in harsh criticism and social exclusion.

They know that the way this agenda is being shoved down the throats of Americans is becoming one of the foremost threats to civility. All reasonable people should find it alarming that a prominent pastor could be invited to give an inaugural prayer until a radical group discovered that he gave a sermon many years earlier explaining his personal views about homosexual behavior.

The Democratic Party is now dominated by litmus tests. The same criticism once used against conservatives is now true of Democrats.

It’s time for thoughtful citizens on the liberal side who desire to be known for reason and civility to protest these changes. It will take courage because of the bullying tactics used to force acceptance of required thinking, but if more liberals refuse to acquiesce, perhaps there is time to save the party. Then again, the best way to send a message might be for for large numbers of Democrats to become independents as many former Republicans have done.

Steve Cornell

* For a similar plea, see the opening of Dr. Ben Carson’s recent speech with President Obama present – Listen Here

8 Links Worth Seeing

 

 

  1. The Joy and Gravity of Adoption
  2. Justice, Politics and the Cross
  3. Wheaton College Wins ‘Major Victory’ Against HHS Contraceptive Mandate
  4. Porn Use and Supporting Same-Sex Marriage
  5. A Christian Perspective on the Explosive Child
  6. The Loss of the Innocents
  7. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Two Same-Sex Marriage Cases
  8. The Gospel According to Christopher

When bad things happen

Imagine God appearing to you on New Year’s Eve to tell you that nothing bad will happen to you in the coming year. 

A great sense of relief would come over you each time you felt the pull of anxiety about anything bad happening. You could dismiss the concern because you’ve been promised a year free of sadness, disappointment, failure, pain, or any other bad thing. It would be a great year! 

But how much would God have to rearrange to actually make this happen?

Before answering this question, let me acknowledge how much I would prefer to live in a world where nothing bad happened to anyone. It would be an understatement to say that I don’t like a world where bad things happen to people. Our nation is reeling after the tragic loss of life in Connecticut!

Here in our community the front page news focused on a 22-year-old man charged with torturing three elderly women in what is being called an act of rage against the Mennonite faith. 

Would I prefer a world where these things didn’t happen? Absolutely! I long for such a world! I also expect to live in one someday. 

But this is not the way things go in this life. The cycles of evil and suffering are endlessly repetitive — everywhere in the world. Bad things happen to all of us. And sometimes bad things happen to people we might consider good and undeserving — especially children.

Does God care about all of this?

Some feel that there has been just too much suffering and cruelty for the idea of a powerful and caring God to make sense. One skeptic suggested that, “under the sheer weight of human tragedy the providence of God buckled and was crushed into implausibility.” Many have asked over the years, “How could a loving, all-powerful God exist when His world is so full of evil?” “Why doesn’t He put an end to the bad things that happen?”

Perhaps skeptics accept God’s existence if bad things only happened to “bad” people. But how would such a world operate? How would we judge “goodness” and “badness”? Who should be worthy of being “spared” and who should be the “judged”?

A sobering thought

To demand from God a world where nothing bad will happen is to risk eliminating ourselves. Why? Because we do bad things. I realize that not all evil is equally horrific. I also admit that I tend to want to downplay my bad things and magnify the evil of others. 

But I must be willing to work honestly through the implications of revealed truths if I hope to comprehend the world. 

If, as Scripture revealed, “all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory” (Romans 3:23), and “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), then the fact that we sinners are still alive certainly appears to be evidence of God’s mercy. We are the ones who rebelled against a good Creator. This is not the world He originally gave us, the one He declared to be “very good.” We’ve wrecked God’s world and He hates the evil and is grieved by our suffering. 

“The sovereign and utterly good God created a good universe. We human beings rebelled; rebellion is now so much a part of our make-up that we are all enmeshed in it. Every scrap of suffering we face turns on this fact. The Bible itself centers on how God takes action to reverse these dreadful effects and their root cause, sin itself, and the believer’s hope is the new heaven and earth where neither sin nor sorrow will ever be experienced again.” (D.A. Carson, How Long, O Lord?)

God’s willingness to allow a world where bad things continue could be understood as a profound display of His mercy. This is no thoughtless platitude but a sober truth taught in Scripture (see Romans 9:22-23). I also recognize that this is easier to believe when bad things are not happening to you. But can I afford to ignore it or deny it? 

“If in fact we believe that our sin properly deserves the wrath of God, then when we experience the sufferings of this world, all of them the consequences of human rebellion, we will be less quick to blame God and a lot quicker to recognize that we have no fundamental right to expect a life of unbroken ease and comfort. From the Biblical perspective, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed” (D. A. Carson, Ibid).

The fact that God would show kindness to any of us sinners is shockingly merciful. But the truth of Scripture offers far more. In flesh and blood, God entered this bad world in the person of Jesus and allowed bad people to commit evil acts against himself.

Did he possess the power to stop those who opposed and brutalized him? Yes. Why didn’t he use his power? Why didn’t he protect himself? Because, in love, he willingly chose to provide us with salvation by bearing the punishment our sin deserved.

“The Bible does not give us a quick and easy answer to why God allows evil to continue in his world. But if we think back about how God involved himself in such a costly way in the ultimate defeat of sin and death (crucifixion), then whatever reason he may have, it is not that he is indifferent to the human race.” (Dick Keyes, Seeing Through Cynicism).

Those who receive this salvation will one day be delivered from all evil. They will experience a world where nothing bad happens to anyone! No matter how difficult, in the face of horrific evil we are called to confess God’s mercy and to be instruments of mercy toward others. Our desire for nothing bad to happen must be placed beside this acknowledgment that salvation is still offered to sinful humanity.

We also have a great promise to which we may anchor our troubled bodies and souls in turbulent times. The apostle Paul wrote, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

“We note that Paul does not say here that all things that happen to us are good things. In fact, bad things happen to us. Painful things. Things that crush our spirits. Things that leave wounds and scars. Things that evoke grief and lead us into the house of mourning. Yet all of these bad things that happen to us are working together for our good” (R.C. Sproul, The Invisible Hand).

When bad things happen, one good that it brings is to move our focus toward the Scripture quoted by President Obama,

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (II Corinthians 4:16-18).

Steve Cornell

The current political atmosphere in the USA

Are you ready for the presidential debate? Or, like a growing number of people, are you sick of the nasty divisiveness of politics? Have you had enough commercials demonizing political opponents with endless distortions of fact? Sadly, all of this easily turns into political indifference instead of informed engagement.

In his new book, “The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by religion and politics,” Jonathan Haidt quotes Rodney King’s lesser known response to the riots incited by the court verdict that acquitted the LA police officers.

“Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try and work it out.”

Although his words were aimed at racial reconciliation, I believe a lot of people feel this way about the current political atmosphere in the USA . Partisan divisiveness is an embarrassing example of a failure to promote the true virtue of tolerance. This indictment ought to seem a little strange because, for decades, much of public education and mainstream media has promoted tolerance. In fact, tolerance has even been required in many parts of public life. Why then does society seems less and less tolerant?

Perhaps it’s because someone forget to require politicians to show tolerance. The bitter partisanship of political rivals is a sad reminder of how divided we are as a nation. Some say this is just politics as usual but the tone, posturing and polarization seem to be getting worse. Whatever happened to tolerance? 

A better answer is likely found in the kind of tolerance being promoted. In an ironic twist, the popular form of tolerance turns out to be intolerance disguised as tolerance. Just ask the average person if he has a feeling that tolerance is a kind of politically correct code language for putting people under some form of societal coercion. Ask him if he feels like he’s being forced to affirm a politically approved set of morals and values.

It might surprise the prophets of tolerance to learn that many people feel that the public square has increasingly become a place where you must believe what you’re told to believe — or else! This smug and condescending attitude has become pervasive in the extreme parts of the democratic party. And I think that many thoughtful democrats are embarrassed by it.

When we feel a need to demand tolerance, it should alert us to a greater need to teach the virtues that promote true tolerance. Virtues like respect, honor and neighbor love facilitate true tolerance. Forced tolerance threatens these qualities. For diverse people to live in civility by honoring and respecting each other, they must learn to have robust and respectful conversations about the common good. Coerced forms of tolerance foreclose on these conversations.

In a society that cherishes freedom, people want to know who gets to set the morals that everyone must tolerate. Who defines what “we the people” must accept as lawful and good? We need to teach people that tolerance does not mean agreement. It means treating others with respect when you disagree. Where disagreements are deeper, practicing tolerance becomes more virtuous. When told that we’re not permitted to disagree, we face coercion, not tolerance.

The strange version of forced tolerance promoted over the last few decades has encouraged people toward lifestyles of duplicity. People increasingly have learned to subscribe to one set of beliefs publicly and another privately. Is it surprising that this breeds resentment and sometimes violence? If you force a man against his will, he’s of the same persuasion still — and he’s likely to get mad.

I realize that civility necessitates law making and law enforcement. I also realize that we cannot expect everyone to agree on the laws. But, in a free society, trouble is like a storm getting up when laws are made that unilaterally overturn the collective will of the people. When, for example, a handful of justices define marriage for an entire State, we are only asking for trouble.

We must restrain judicial activism on one level and improve respectful and open dialogue on another. We must navigate the give and take of life together and show more deference to others. One of the greatest needs of this nation is more teaching and modeling of the virtues of respect, honor and neighbor love. These are the qualities that support the true virtue of tolerance. “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other” (Romans 12:10).

Steve Cornell
Senior pastor
Millersville Bible Church
Millersville, PA 17551

The “God Particle” – elusive piece to cosmic puzzle discovered

 

Imagine a room full of ecstatic scientists! A little hard to do? Well, at the world’s largest atom smasher (the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, a 17 mile circular underground tunnel), scientists broke into cheers (and even singing) as they announced that they believe they’ve found the “God particle.” 

The LHC tunnel where particles accelerate.They claim they’ve discovered a subatomic particle matching the description of the Higgs boson, named after the 83 year old physicist, Peter Higgs who first theorized the role of a particle that holds all matter together with a force functioning as a kind of cosmic glue. Without it, Higgs theorized, nothing could exist. (see: video explanation)

“Physicists say they have all but proven that the ‘God particle’ exists. They have a footprint and a shadow, and the only thing left is to see for themselves the elusive subatomic particle believed to give all matter in the universe size and shape.” (John Heilprin, AP)

This undated image made available by CERN shows a typical candidate event including two high-energy photons whose energy (depicted by red towers) is measured in the CMS electromagnetic calorimeter. The yellow lines are the measured tracks of other particles produced in the collision. The pale blue volume shows the CMS crystal calorimeter barrel. To cheers and standing ovations, scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher claimed the discovery of a new subatomic particle Wednesday July 4, 2012, calling it "consistent" with the long-sought Higgs boson — popularly known as the "God particle" — that helps explain what gives all matter in the universe size and shape.Physicists are more than 99 percent sure that they’ve found the long-sought particle with a mass 125 times the size of a proton. One scientist said, “For now, it’s time to celebrate a little and spike the ball in the end zone.”

The nickname “God particle” is controversial. It arose through physicist Leon Lederman’s bookThe God Particle: If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question?But Higgs, an avowed atheist, wasn’t amused by the nickname. Many other scientists also protested the association of God with the particle (See: “Why Scientists Don’t Like the Term ‘God Particle’ for the Higgs boson,” 

Some time ago, William Lane Craig wrote about this moment. 

“Scientists hope to be able to discover the Higgs boson, a particle thought to be responsible for the field that imparts mass to various sub-atomic particles. The Higgs boson is frequently called “the God Particle,” not because it has any theological significance but because, like God, it is everywhere but is mysteriously hidden.”

“In layman’s terms,” another source noted, “different subatomic particles are responsible for giving matter different properties. One of the most mysterious and important properties is mass. Some particles, like protons and neutrons, have mass. Others, like photons, do not. The Higgs boson, or “God particle,” is believed to be the particle which gives mass to matter. The “God particle” nickname grew out of the long, drawn-out struggles of physicists to find this elusive piece of the cosmic puzzle” (from Got Questions).

At least 7 primary accomplishments are being associated with this discovery.

  1. It would help answer basic questions about the universe 
  2. It would reveal the origin of Mass
  3. It would confirm the standard model for the universe
  4. It would explain the electroweak force
  5. It would make supersymmetry a viable theory
  6. It would justify the Large Hadron Collider (built for approximately $10 billion by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)). The U.S. had a chance to build a supercollider in Texas, but Congress cut off federal funding.
  7. It would open a new direction for scientific research.

Scientist think that the discovery will substantiate that something could be permeating the universe that gives substance to all things. It will tell us why we’re here and why any of what we see exists. 

“The press has dubbed the Higgs boson the ‘God particle,’ a nickname that makes many physicists cringe. But there is some logic to it. According to the Bible, God set the universe into motion as he proclaimed “Let there be light!” In physics, the universe started off with a cosmic explosion, the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, which sent the stars and galaxies hurtling in all directions. But the key question is left unanswered: Why did it bang? The big-bang theory says nothing about how and why it banged in the first place”  (Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at CUNY).

Although none of this has necessary theological implications, I was compelled to reflect on the amazing and clarifying statements of Scripture:

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty,darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light” (Genesis 1:1-3). 

“For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything” (Hebrews 3:4). 

“For by him (Jesus Christ) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible . . . all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. ” (Colossians 1:16-17, emphasis mine).

Joe Carter, over at The Gospel Coalition appropriately wrote, “God not only caused the universe to come into existence (Gen. 1:1), he continues to sustain its existence. Every particle in the universe would cease to exist if God were not actively, continuously, and sovereignly ensuring their continued existence. The existence of the universe is as dependent on a Sustainer now as it was dependent on the Creator at the time of the Big Bang. “And he is before all things,” said Paul, “and in him all things hold together.” The Higgs boson may be responsible for holding the universe together, but Jesus holds the “God particle” in it’s place.”

For reflection:

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun” (Psalm 19:1-4).

Look up to the heavens. Look up at the skies. Be still and listen. Their voice and words go out to “all the earth,” to “the ends of the world.” They provide the one universally accessible language on earth! They testify to the glory of their Maker and proclaim the work of His hands!

See also: 

Steve Cornell