Why Some Believe the Earth is Flat

It’s amazing that in our modern age, some people surprisingly still do believe that the earth is flat — a flat circle! Yes, that is correct. They think that the earth is not spherical or a globe. Why is this so?

Well, it’s surprising to note that when you check the internet,  flat earth believers abound and they do present to you a lot of their alleged “scientific proofs” to prove they are right. A lot of YouTube videos are out there attempting to “prove” the earth is flat.

Two Reasons Why

I can think of two main reasons why they believe it. It is aptly said by Soren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher and theologian of the 19th century. I got this quote recently from a friend on the internet. Kierkegaard allegedly said that:

  • “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

Believing What is Not True

Yes, to believe what is not true is to be led into error. That’s for sure. For most flat earth believers, they really believe with all their heart that the Bible teaches that the earth is flat — which of course, is not true. They cannot be reasoned out of it no matter how hard you convince them that the Bible was not written as a scientific textbook, a cook book, an engineering book or a carpenter’s manual — to name a few examples. That is their faith. That is what they believe in. That is their religion. No amount of convincing will do the trick — unless of course God opens their minds.

Refusing to Believe What is True

With this premise and foundation that God has revealed to them in the Bible that the earth is flat, they therefore will not accept and will refuse to believe what is true! While the Bible does talk about a flat earth and the sun rising and setting, they will refuse to believe that there are various considerations in Bible interpretation like literary context, historical context, who the original authors and original audiences were, etc. They will refuse to believe these contextual considerations in Bible interpretation and insist that the Bible is revealing scientific data.

They will refuse to believe all the verified, empirical, authentic and scientific data gathered throughout the centuries by scientists, astronomers and the like. They will think that there is a big conspiracy to hide the “truth” that the earth is really and actually flat. They will suspect all scientific data that does not match up with their “biblical view” that the earth is flat. They think God has revealed to them the truth and the rest of humanity are deceived by a worldwide conspiracy group — which includes NASA.

Flat Earth Believers Not Alone

Well, flat earth believers are not alone. Another group of people continue to believe what is not true. They continue to believe that the old covenant (the Law of Moses) is still in full force and should be complied with and obeyed. They refuse to believe that with the coming of Christ some 2,000 years ago, the old covenant has become obsolete and instead the new covenant is now in force and Christians should look to Christ and obey his commands.

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Photo Credit: ThinkingHumanity.com

Many are Called but Few are Chosen

“Many are cold, but few are frozen.”
For people who are somewhat familiar with the Bible, we laugh when we hear this expression because we know this is a distortion of the the Bible verse found in Matthew 22:14 which says, “Many are called but few are chosen” as it is written in the King James Version (KJV) of 1611.

Salvation Only for Some?

The verse in Matthew 22:14 is quite familiar to many and out of this verse, some people have come up with their various interpretations which say that:

  1. Not all are going to be saved but only a few. This is a view held by some who hold on to a view called limited atonement.” In this view, only the elected few will be saved among the billions of people of this world since Adam. And to them, that’s final. God has already decided from the foundation of the world who will be saved (just a few) and who will be lost (the many). That’s their view of election and predestination.
  2. Not all are being saved at this time, during this present age or era. Only the elect few or the little flock have been chosen and given salvation for now. The rest of humanity will have their chance to salvation in the future during the millennium and after the millennium. This is a view based on eras, eons or dispensations — a view called dispensationalism.

These are the two broad views that I know of held by some groups as they read and interpret this verse in Matthew 22:14. Of course, there might be variations to this view just like there are various views on dispensationalism.

But is this really what Matthew 22:14 is saying? Let’s try to find out and study this verse based on its own context.

Getting the Context

Actually, Matthew 22:14 is the ending part of a parable which Jesus gave about a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. Jesus was giving a parable about what the Kingdom of God is like (Matt. 22:1-2).

In this parable, the king “called” (KJV) or “invited” (NIV, NJB) his people to the wedding banquet but some refused to attend. The king then invited “as many” (KJV) or “anyone” (NIV) his servants could find (Matt. 22:9). During the wedding banquet itself, the king noticed one of the guests was not wearing the proper attire for the ocassion and he was thrown outside into darkness. Then Jesus said, “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” (NIV, Matt. 22:14)

This statement angered the Pharisees. We read: “Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words” (Matt. 22:15). The background to this parable is that Jesus was actually talking about the chief priests and the Pharisees in this parable as well as in the previous Parable of the Tenants in Matthew 21:33-44. This is the larger context and background story behind the statement: “Many are called but few are chosen.”

The chief priests and the Pharisees rejected Jesus and wanted to kill him. So Jesus gave these parables and it was intended for them. Yes, they were “called” or “invited” but in the end they were not “chosen.”

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.  46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet” (Matthew 21:45-46  45).

The larger context becomes even clearer when we read Matthew 21:31-32: “Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.  32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”

Jesus here was talking to the chief priests and the elders who questioned his authority (Matt. 21:23). The chief priests, elders and Pharisees rejected Jesus, the King. Therefore the King rejected them and threw them outside into darkness in the parable.

Based on context therefore, my understanding is that salvation is for all. The many are invited! The many are called! Tax collectors and prostitutes are included! Not only chief priests, elders and Pharisees! God is not limiting those whom he will save and enter the Kingdom of God. Anyone (tax collectors and prostitutes included) who comes to the Lord will be saved. They have been chosen out of the many.

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