Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Follow That Star

On the night that Jesus was born, a new star appeared in the sky. The shepherds followed this star to the manger where Jesus was sleeping. How in the hell is that possible?

It's true that the stars have been used for centuries to navigate. I don't know the details of how it's done, but ships could use the stars to stay on a straight course. So it is possible to follow the stars if you're trying to go in a specific direction...

... BUT how can you follow a star to an exact location?

Starlight is dim. In fact, a star just appears as a small pinhole in the black night sky. So the traditional ideas of a ray of starlight shining down on Jesus is just dumb. That didn't happen. Have you ever seen a ray of starlight? I didn't think so.

Oh, it was a really bright star! Fine. So why did only the shepherds see it and follow it? Wouldn't thousands of people follow this ray to see where it was shining as well?

Secondly, in order to follow the star, we must assume two things: one, stars can move about in the heavens at random, and two, the star must have known where the shepherds were and could move itself accordingly. Both of those ideas are just plain absurd. Yes, stars move, but not back and forth at random. Stars are not intelligent... they are just burning balls of gas hundreds of millions of light years away. In order for the star to have actually moved about in the sky to guide the shepherds, it would have to have traveled many thousands of times faster than the speed of light. Not possible.

Here is another point to consider. Why would the creater of the universe go to all that trouble just to guide a few shepherds to Jesus?

The shepherds left no testimony. In fact, their story is all told in third person. Who is that person telling the story? Maybe the shepherds told the story and it is being re-told by someone else. Perhaps. But if the shepherds were eye witnesses of the newly born Jesus, then why didn't god see to it that their testimony made it into the Bible? All we have is a third person account. What good does that do us?

The only benefit the shepherds got from this long and detailed event is the pleasure of seeing baby Jesus. But what good does that do? The scriptures often talk about how seeing is not as important as believing.

So it seems to me that the whole story about the shepherds following the star is not only impossible, but also pointless. What purpose does this story actually serve? None that I can think of.


Anonymous said...

...An angel told the shepherds where to go. The wise men, who had been studying the skies and anticipating a sign for decades, followed the star. Most likely using all sorts of navigational, and inspirational knowledge.

Mormon411 said...

Good call. I got the shepherds and the wise men confused.