googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: January 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Moving the Goal Posts

A good theory must be falsifiable; in other words, it must make predictions that can be tested to determine how sound or useful the theory is. I hear this as a criticism of creationism all the time but I believe proponents of the theory of evolution effectively excuse themselves from this criterion. For example, even Darwin offered suggestions/predictions on how his theory could be falsified. Some of the predictions are specific and reasonable. But as we close in on proving the theory wrong, evolutionary scientists simply move the goal post and dismiss that prediction as a valid way to disprove the theory. In this blog, we’re going to look at a few of the most egregious examples of this practice.

Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” In his book, Darwin’s Black Box, Michael Behe, a biochemist, coined the term, “irreducible complexity” which, I believe, describes the kind of organ that Darwin had in mind. According to Behe, a system is irreducibly complex if it cannot function if even a single component is removed. After all, how could a system evolve gradually if it had to have every piece in place before it has any function at all?

Behe offered several examples of systems he said were irreducible complex. Critics, however, began to assail his examples – some more successfully than others – and attempted to show how such organs/systems could indeed have evolved gradually. In the end though, it is of no consequence because many evolutionists now argue that irreducible complexity is simply an argument from ignorance; just because we cannot imagine how such a system could have evolved, it does not prove the system didn’t evolve. So Darwin’s prediction of a complex organ disproving his theory is of no effect. No organ, no matter how complex, will ever fit the bill. It may still have evolved, we just don’t know how.

Another difficulty Darwin recognized with his theory was the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. He said, “But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?” In another chapter he said, “But just in proportion as this process of extermination has acted on an enormous scale, so must the number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” Darwin, of course, blamed the imperfection of the fossil record for the lack of transitional forms. But now, 150 years and billions of fossils later, there is still a conspicuous lack of transitional forms: perhaps a hundred examples, not the countless numbers Darwin predicted should be there.
The late, Stephen Jay Gould, a champion of evolutionary theory, was frank about the nonexistence of gradualism in the fossil record. In a 1972 paper, along with Niles Eldredge, Gould, proposed an evolutionary theory known as punctuated equilibrium. According to Gould, evolution occurs first in a very small group of individual organisms isolated from the larger, parental population. The smaller group rapidly evolves while the larger group remains static. Since the large group leaves the most fossils, and the smaller group very few, it easily explains the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. How convenient that Gould would suggest a theory to explain the LACK of evidence. Remember, Darwin said the lack of transitional forms was “the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” But the goal posts have been moved. Now, PE explains why evolution is still true in spite of the fact there’s no fossil evidence of it.

Evolutionary biologist, J. B. S. Haldane, is credited with having said, “I will give up my belief in evolution if someone finds a fossil rabbit in the Precambrian.” That’s a pretty specific prediction. Evolutionists argue that animal life began as microbes, evolved into marine animals, then amphibians, later reptiles, and finally birds and mammals. If a rabbit (or any animal believed to have evolved later) were found in the earliest rock layers, it would be strong evidence the theory wasn’t true. But even before such an out of place fossil is found, evolutionists have started distancing themselves from the idea it would be evidence against their theory.

From, we have the following quote: “In order to falsify a theory, you need to know what the theory says. Finding an out-of-sequence fossil or an "impossible" animal may not falsify evolution, but it would falsify the particular theories (in this case historical theories) about that group of organisms - for example, if we found a modern rabbit in the Cambrian Era, we would have a massive problem with existing phylogenies. We might even say that if the program of constructing phylogenies based on the theory of common descent were that wrong, there might be a problem with common descent, and abandon that theory. But this, in itself, would be insufficient to falsify the entire set of theories of evolution, although it might be enough to make people think twice about the general set of assumptions on which they are based.” [Bold in original]. So there you have it; to some evolutionists, not even a rabbit in the Cambrian layer would disprove evolution!

There are other examples I could list but I think you get the point. To the true believers, evolution is true – let the evidence be damned! Nothing, no matter how contrary to earlier predictions, can dissuade devout evolutionists. The Theory of Evolution cannot be disproved as long as evolutionary scientist continuously move the goal posts.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Truth Trumps Theory

Theories are funny things. Whenever we observe something, we might theorize how such a thing can be. We can be very elaborate in our theories. As we discover new things about what we’re studying, we can tweak our theories to explain the new information. When we’re done, our theory seems to explain the observation so well that we become convinced that our theory must be true. But we should always keep in mind that the even the most well thought out and seemingly sound theories could be wrong.

First, we should never fall into the trap of circular reasoning. If you invent a theory to explain the data, then you cannot use the data as evidence for your theory. For example, if I find a black rock with purple dots painted on it, I might theorize that Martians painted the dots on the rocks. If you ask me how I know this, I might reply, “Here’s the rock. See for yourself!” So you see, my theory might explain the rock but the rock can’t prove my theory. Likewise, people have invented an elaborate theory (ToE) to explain changes in animals. They can’t then point to the changes in animals to prove their theory.

Let me give you an even more detailed scenario. Suppose for a moment that I came home from work one evening and found broken glass all over the floor. The first thing that I would do is wonder where it came from. There are some things that I already know: 1) there’s glass on the floor and 2) there are three people in my home during the day – my wife, my 14 year old daughter, and my 5 year old son. Immediately I might conclude that one of these three people caused the glass to be on the floor.

Next, I would look for additional data. I might try to assemble some of the pieces to see what was broken. After looking at a few of the pieces I can see it was a drinking glass. Aha! Somebody dropped a glass. The next thing I notice is there is no liquid on the floor so the glass must have been empty when it was dropped. I look carefully at the pieces and I notice they’ve already accumulated a little bit of dust. I look in the cabinet and the glasses there don’t have as much dust on them so the pieces must have been on the floor for at least a while. They weren’t there when I left for work so it must have happened soon after I left. My wife is a compulsive cleaner so there is no way she would have left broken pieces of glass on the floor all day. My son is too short to even reach the cabinet so I don’t believe he broke the glass. That only leaves my daughter as the suspect. So here then is my theory:

I left for work when everyone was in bed. My wife could not have been home when the glass was broken so she must have gotten up and taken our son somewhere early. Then my daughter wakes up, goes to the kitchen to get something to drink, and drops the glass before filling it. Being a typical teenager, she doesn’t bother to clean it up and leaves it on the floor all day.

As I’m standing there reflecting on my sleuthing skills, my wife walks in. I’m a little surprised to see her. “Where have you been?” I ask. “I’ve been here all day,” she replies. I’m even more surprised. “Then why have you left this mess here?” She answers, “I didn’t leave it here. I was just cleaning it up when you came home.” I stand there puzzled as she explains what really happened:

The truth is, “I was cleaning in the house when I noticed some men standing in our driveway. One of them was drinking from a glass and he dropped it. I was nervous to go confront them alone so I just waited until they left and then I went out with a dustpan and swept up all the pieces. As I was carrying them through the kitchen to put them in the trash, I dropped the dustpan. I was getting the vacuum cleaner out to clean it up when you came in.”

We see then my theory was wrong on several points: The glass wasn’t empty when it was dropped; it wasn’t dropped in the kitchen; it wasn’t even our glass; it wasn’t broken by anyone in my family; it wasn’t dropped in the morning; the dust on the pieces was actually from the dustpan; and my wife had not gone out anywhere.

My theory may have explained all the facts, but very little about my theory turned out to be true. What is true is what was told to me by an eyewitness to the events. And when I learned the truth, I could then understand why things were as they were.
When we looked at the creation of the world, we can speculate and make theories about how it happened. But the Creator of the world has told us what He did and He was indeed the only eyewitness to the events. The truth of His words trumps our theories.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It’s Not Just an Expression

English is a rich language and, in America especially, is full of vivid pictures, popular expressions, and interesting idioms. But many people don’t realize just how much the Bible has shaped our language. A lot of the expressions we toss around like clichés are taken directly from the Bible. I thought it would interesting to give a few examples.

We use so many expressions from the Bible that there would be no way to list them all in a single blog. The gospel of Matthew seems to be especially cited so I will limit my examples to that book.

There are some expressions that are actual verses taken from the Bible. People might or might not realize they are verses but they still apply them in many different situations. “Man shall not live by bread alone,” (4:4) is an example of this. Also, “Judge not lest ye be judged” (7:1) seems to be a favorite quote used by the irreligious.

The Sermon on the Mount seems to be a source of some of the most common expressions: “The salt of the earth” (5:13), “Turning the other cheek” (5:39), giving someone the “shirt off your back” (5:40), and “Going the extra mile” (5:41).

Ronald Reagan called the US a shining “city on a hill”; he took this phrase from Matthew 5:14. Some people believe Abraham Lincoln coined the phrase, “A nation divided against itself cannot stand” but he was actually quoting Jesus in Matthew 12:25.

Jesus had some harsh words for some of the religious leaders of His day. In His rebukes He used terms like, “A den of thieves” (21:13) and, “The blind leading the blind” (15:14). He admonished the religious leaders because they could not read, “The sign of the times” (16:19) and He warned the Apostles to beware of “Wolves in sheep’s clothing” (7:15).

When we make last minute changes or decisions we’re said to be waiting until the “Eleventh hour” (20:6). When a child says something funny we might say, “Out of the mouths of babes…” (21:16). Sometimes in a moment of frustration we might say, “The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” (6:3). When we’re especially angry we might say of someone, “I’ll have his head on a platter” (14:10-11). Graveyards where indigents are buried are often called, “Potters Fields” (27:10). When someone does not use his God-given talent we might say he’s “hiding his light under a bushel” (5:15). And when someone gives up we sometimes say he “Gave up the ghost” (27:50).

These represent a tiny handful of the hundreds of expressions taken directly from the Bible. Hopefully it gives you a good idea how rich the Bible is in its wisdom and and how enduring its advice can be. I encourage anyone to study it more!

A False Dichotomy

With gas in my area surging to over $3.09/gallon recently, a lot of people have been asking what the feds intend to do about it. Some Washington folks have they answer – they say we need to raise the gas tax a little more!

In a recent AP article, it was reported that a Washington commission has suggested increasing the tax on gas another 50 cents per gallon over the next five years.
“The report comes as state governments and several business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, are calling on the federal government to raise gas taxes to pay for substantial transportation improvements. The Minneapolis bridge collapse, which killed 13 people and injured about 100, spotlighted the decaying infrastructure and drew new calls for additional spending.
There, you see, people are dying because we don’t pay enough taxes!

Many of our elected leaders suffer under a false dichotomy: Whenever there is a problem they only see 2 solutions – raise taxes and spend more. It doesn’t occur to these people that there is another alternative, namely to cut spending somewhere else.

Building interstate highways is a perfect example of why we have the federal government. In spite of my disdain for government, we do need things like highways, an army, a court system, etc. so I don’t mind paying a certain amount of taxes so that these things are done. I’m constantly annoyed, however, when Washington is involved in all those other things (such as national health care) that it no longer can afford to do the things it’s supposed to be doing – like fixing our roads.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Microevolution and Macroevolution

Evolutionists sometime define evolution as ““a change in the gene pool of a population over time” or more specifically, “any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next.”” That’s a pretty broad definition and would include nearly any tiny change in a population such as a variation in the light/dark ratio of the peppered-moth population. Creationists readily acknowledged that such changes are truly occurring. However, we do not believe that one kind of animal can evolve into a completely different kind of animal such as is required by the Theory of Evolution (ToE).

To distinguish between the tiny changes (which we do observe) and the kind-changing changes (which we don’t observe) some people have adopted the terms Microevolution and Macroevolution. Both evolutionists and creationists use these terms and both generally agree in their meanings. However, I believe these terms are grossly misleading and I discourage creationists from using them. I’ll show you why:

Evolutionists seem to imply that macroevolution is nothing more than the accumulation of microevolution – that is, a bunch of small changes in a creature will add up to a great big change which would make it a whole new creature. I’ve explained several times how evolution and natural selection are different. Natural selection is the elimination of traits unsuited to an environment. But for animals to evolve, they must acquire traits. The supposed first common ancestor did not have scales, hair, feathers, skin, organs, bones, etc. For a molecule to become a man, it must have acquired new traits over and over again. So we see that natural selection (the elimination of traits) is the exact opposite of evolution (the acquiring of traits).

You don’t have to be a financial guru to understand that no one can build a business by losing a little bit of money each year. It doesn’t matter how long you work at it, eventually you have to make money or the business will fail. In that same fashion, natural selection cannot turn a molecule into a man by continuously eliminating traits. For dinos to become birds, for example, they must at some point have acquired feathers. I would be more apt to believe evolution if the theory taught that dinosaurs were originally birds that had lost their feathers – only that would still not explain the origin of feathers in the first place.

The types of changes we observe make evolution impossible so I don’t call them evolution (either micro- or macro-). If you’re discussing changes in a population, I would recommend using the term natural selection instead of microevolution and evolution instead of macroevolution. This will help you avoid the bait-and-switch tactic used by evolutionists: “Evolution is change, we see change, therefore all organisms had a common ancestor.” Don’t let them get away with this; not all changes are equal!

Running on Empty

As I’ve studied Koine Greek, I’ve found it interesting to see how a particular word might be translated in different passages. This gives me a much broader understanding of the meaning of the word, which perhaps leads to a better understanding of a particular passage. One of the first “aha!” moments I had was with the verb, ὑστερέω (hustereō).

Romans 3:23 says,

πάντες γὰρ ἥμαρτον καὶ ὑστεροῦνται τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (KJV)

“Come short of” in this verse is the translation of the word ὑστερέω. In English, the phrase, “come short of,” suggests that something was very close but just not completely where it should be. If I had a goal of losing 30 pounds and lost only 28 pounds, I might say, “I came just short of my goal.” So in English, the phrase “come short of the glory of God,” suggests we have some glory, just not as much as God’s glory.

However, the same word is used in John 2:3,

καὶ ὑστερήσαντος οἴνου λέγει μήτηρ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ πρὸς αὐτόν· οἶνον οὐκ ἔχουσιν.

“And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.” John 2 describes the wedding in Cana where Jesus performed His first miracle of turning water into wine. In this verse, the word hustereō is translated as “when they wanted…”

The word ὑστερέω means to become exhausted or depleted; basically, “to run out of something.” At the wedding in Cana, they had run out of wine. So if we look back at Romans 3:23, we see that we’re not “just short of” glory – we have none. Because of our sin, we have depleted our glory; and not just a little bit, we’re completely empty.

Most of us like to think of ourselves as nice people. Each of us will admit we’ve made a mistake or two, but overall, we’re not that bad, are we? As much as we hate to admit it, in the eyes of God we’re all sinners and there’s nothing good about us. Fortunately, it’s not my good works that matter for anything. Jesus is the only One who did not sin and I am justified by His righteousness.

Romans 3:23 is not the end of the story, it’s the beginning. Read the passage in context (Romans 3:23-26):
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Wow! I guess that’s why they call it, “the Good News.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What is a Kind?

In previous blogs, I have frequently used the terms “kinds” and “species.” I recognize, though, that many people struggle to understand what is meant by these terms and the difference between them. So in this blog I will spend a little time exploring the meaning of both.

When God created birds, plants, fish, and animals, He told them to reproduce after their kind (Genesis 1:21, et al). This very easily then defines a “kind” as creatures that can (or originally could) reproduce and have fertile offspring. The problem we run into though is that evolutionists tend to define a species in much the same way. So people get the false impression that “kind” is the same as “species.” This then causes a host of other misconceptions (i.e. “speciation means animals can evolve beyond their kind” or “how did Noah fit millions of species on the Ark?”)

But the term species is terribly vague. Wikipedia has the following quotes: “A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring.” So this is similar to the definition of kind. However, Wiki goes on to say, “It is surprisingly difficult to define the word "species" in a way that applies to all naturally occurring organisms, and the debate among biologists about how to define "species" and how to identify actual species is called the species problem.” Many different species, for example, can indeed reproduce and have fertile offspring. For example, coyotes (Canis latrans) can successfully breed with wolves (Canis lupus); why then are they different species? Even though they are different species, they still qualify as being the same kind.

Though it’s relatively easy to define a kind, it’s not as easy to determine to which kind any particular animal might belong. It’s not practical to experiment by cross-breeding every known species. In the case of extinct species, it’s impossible. But for the sake of this blog, we will look at some of the more obvious and common examples.

We’ve already discussed wolves and coyotes, but also domestic dogs, dingoes, jackals, and foxes are interfertile. This would suggest that all dogs species belong to a single canid-kind.

All species of bears within the genus Ursus have been known to successfully interbreed in captivity (polar/grizzly bears are known to have hybridized in the wild). Even the sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) has been bred with the Malayan sun bear (Ursus malayanus) so all bears would seem to be a single ursid-kind.

Horses are an interesting group to study. Evolutionists have often touted that the evolution of the horse is the most complete series yet discovered. Various species within the equid-kind are remarkably diverse. Horses, donkeys, and zebras are known to reproduce (although the offspring are usually infertile). The photo here is of a Zeedonk (zebra/donkey hybrid). I believe the evolutionary series is more likely only various equid species which superficially appear to progress from ancient to complex. Imagine, for example, how various dog breeds could be arranged in seeming progression from the Chihuahua to the Great Dane.

Cats are another well-known example of a kind (felid-kind). It’s long been known that tigers and lions can reproduce (producing both fertile and sterile offspring). We also see leopards and pumas, lions and jaguars, tigers and pumas, etc. There are even several varieties of hybrids between domestic cats and wild cats. The photo here is of a Savannah Cat, a fertile hybrid of a domestic cat and the African wild cat AKA the Serval cat (Leptailurus serval).

The types of hybrids known to exist can be surprising. Domestic cows can breed with yaks and American bison. Cow and bison offspring are fertile forcing scientists to reclassify bison into the same genus as cows. Camels have bred with llamas. False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens) have bred in captivity with Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) with fertile offspring. While all of these examples have been of mammals, there are also several bird, reptile, and fish hybrids. However, hybridization is most often observed among plants. For the sake of time and space, we won’t explore those here. Hopefully, the examples we’ve already seen will help you understand the much broader meaning of a kind.

An important point must be made. Evolutionists believe that all felid species, for example, are descended from a common ancestor. The irony is that this is exactly the creationists’ concept of a kind. The unidentified common ancestor of the felid-kind would have been on board of Noah’s Ark; then all the various species of cats have descended from this ancestral cat pair (see my blog on speciation).
There are 2 distinctions between the evolutionists’ position and the creationists’ position: 1) creationists believe speciation occurs more rapidly than evolutionists theorize and 2) creationists understand that variation occurs only within the kind: i.e. all bears species have a common ancestor – the ursid-kind pair on the Ark. On the other hand, evolutionists would have us believe a bear has a common ancestor with a pine tree.

The study of kinds is called Baraminology from the Hebrew words bara (to create) and min (kind). The evolutionary theory has an evolutionary-tree model where all present biodiversity has descended from a single common ancestor. The creation model has a sort of an orchard of trees where each animal was created as a kind, and the wide numbers of species we see today have all descended from a much smaller group of created kinds.
We may never know exactly how many originally created kinds there were. Even so, all the present diversity we see in nature perfectly agrees with the creation account described in Genesis.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Luke 23:43: Where to Put the Comma

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”
But the other answering rebuked him, saying, “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.”
And he said unto Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”
And Jesus said unto him,
“Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:39-43 (quotation marks added to KJV text for clarification)

There are certain cults that do not believe we are immediately with God when we die. They believe rather that we will be resurrected sometime in the future and live in a Paradise here on earth. The above passage would tend to rebut that; Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would be with Him in Paradise today.

These cults have devised a clever argument to get around the clear meaning of this passage – they simply move the comma and translate v. 43 to say, “And Jesus said unto him, 'Verily I say unto thee today, Thou shalt be with me in paradise.'” You can see then that this passage no longer says that the thief will be with Jesus, “today”; Jesus is only telling him “today” that he will – at some undefined time in the future – be with Him in Paradise.

Here's the verse in Greek:

καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ· ἀμήν σοι λέγω, σήμερον μετ' ἐμοῦ ἔσῃ ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ.

In the original Greek, there is no punctuation so where to put the comma can be somewhat subjective. How can we be sure which is the correct translation? I’ve always said that the best way to interpret Scripture is with Scripture (a practice known as exegesis) so let’s look at some other instances where Jesus made similar remarks.

In normal conversation, it would be superfluous to say to someone with whom you are already speaking, “I say to you…” However, Jesus said it often. It was sort of an attention-grabber, to alert His listeners that He was about to speak a particularly important truth. It might be compared to the English idiom, “Mark my words…” Often, He would use the phrase to contrast His teaching with some erroneous belief or misunderstanding held by His listeners. Consider the following passage:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

Matthew 5:43-44 (bold added for emphasis)

To paraphrase His point, Jesus is saying is, “You might believe this, but I am telling you what is really true.”

In the gospels, Jesus said “Verily I say unto you/thee…” approximately 77 times (in the KJV). He also said, “I say unto you/thee,…” (without the “verily”) another 57 times bringing the total number of times Jesus used this expression to 134. So how many times did Jesus say, “I say to you today…”? Besides the verse in question, there is no other instance in recorded Scripture where Jesus used the phrase, “I say to you today…”

Considering the number of times Jesus used the phrase, “I say unto you,” to suddenly believe He said, “I say unto you today,” in this one instance seems to me to be nothing more than special pleading.

I will leave it up to you to decide which is more likely. I believe the answer is obvious.

Shooting Our Own

One complaint I’ve always had about the Republican Party is that we have a habit of shooting our wounded. Exhibit A - Trent Lott who makes an innocent comment about Strom Thurmond during the congressman’s 100th birthday. A few people were able to twist his benign remarks into a racial slur and many of his fellow Republicans lined up to chuck him overboard. The silly incident led to his resignation as the House Leader. Now I’m seeing a similar attitude during the Republican primaries; only someone doesn’t have to be wounded – he simply has to be in the lead and then everyone starts gunning for him.

In the polls leading up to the Iowa caucuses, it was a pretty close race between Romney and Huckabee. Romney came out with his “contrast ads” against Huckabee. Huckabee came back with his counter ad but decided not to run it; instead, he showed the press the ad and explained he wouldn’t run it because it was too harsh (wink, wink). Come on, Mike. I know I’ve endorsed you and all but even I can see through this tactic. Rush had a good analogy: Imagine if Mike had said, “I want to call Mitt a bad name but I won’t – but if I did, I’d call him a so and so.”

Huckabee did very well in Iowa but in the much more liberal state of NH, McCain is the real competition for Romney. So, over the last few days Romney has been running “contrast ads” against McCain. In some of the televised debates, McCain had some pretty heated exchanges with Romney but in the FOX forum, McCain said he wanted to run a positive campaign and eased off a little.

Rush Limbaugh, while he hasn’t come out against Mike, hasn’t been terribly kind to him either. Still, Rush is holding his endorsement for whichever candidate wins the nomination. On the other hand, Ann Coulter, a conservative author and extremely funny lady, has slammed Mike on her website; she calls him, the Huckster.

The media has been quick to point out all these barbs as well. It seems to me they are much more quick to point out the exchanges among Republican than among the Democrats (the Democrats have actually been much worse).

I know that I’ve had a harsh word or two about some of the candidates in the past, but I’ll take any of them (except perhaps Ron Paul who truly is a nut) over Obama, Clinton, or Edwards. One of these candidates is going to be the Republican nominee for president. When he runs in the general election, I want him to beat the Democrat nominee. All of this in-fighting is going to diminish the electability of whoever wins the nomination.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Cafeteria Christians

“These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? … From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”
John 6:59-61, 66

The buzzword today is, “tolerance.” I’m OK, you’re OK, and we all can worship God in our own way. If anyone says Jesus is the ONLY way, he’s accused of being intolerant.

Too many Christians have bought into this lie. The saddest part is, they apply this philosophy to not only other people, but to themselves as well - “I can believe what I want and God will still love me.” I call these people cafeteria Christians; they pick and choose the parts of the Bible they agree with.

>God is love. OK, that sounds reasonable.
>Preach the gospel to every creature. Isn’t that being a little pushy?
>If you lust after a woman then you’re an adulterer. The term “adulterer” might sound too harsh.
>No one comes to the Father except through Jesus. I don’t believe God means that.

Cafeteria Christians reject the clear teaching of Scripture and replace it with their own “feel good” opinions. By doing this, they create another god for themselves, a god made in their own image. This is a god that doesn’t command them, reign over them, chastise them, or even judge them. They don’t even need to read the Bible, they just seem to know who their god is and they worship him their own way.

But you can’t be a halfway Christian. Jesus said, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46) He said further, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matthew 12:30)

The Bible says 2 people cannot walk together unless they are in agreement (Amos 3:3). When Jesus preached, He had some people who seemed interested for a while. But when He started saying things they disagreed with, they stopped being followers. If someone wants to disagree with the Bible, it’s his prerogative. Let’s just not pretend that we can call Jesus, “Lord” and not agree with everything He said.