googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: November 2007

Friday, November 30, 2007

Matthew 19:23-26: Who Can Be Saved?

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26

Have you ever wondered why Jesus’ disciples were “exceedingly amazed” by this statement? In Jesus’ day, people sought signs as evidence of God’s blessing (John 6:30). They tried to please God by sacrifice and good works but still felt they couldn’t be sure they were acceptable to God and so they looked for signs of God’s blessing. If someone was wealthy, that was considered a certain sign that God had blessed that man.

When Jesus said it was easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven, it went against everything they had believed. They asked, “Then who can be saved?” After all, if a rich man, who almost certainly had God’s blessing, couldn’t be saved, then no one could be saved.

Our circumstances aren’t dependent on our salvation; God makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good, and He sends rain on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). So whether we feel we are being blessed financially or not, we can know we are saved by believing in Him who promised us eternal life (John 6:40).

The only sign we need today is the sign Jesus promised the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 12:34-40:

“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

If Jesus were not resurrected, then our faith is in vain (1 Corinthians 15:14). What hope is there in worshipping a dead god? By His resurrection, Jesus shows us it is in His power to grant us life. If we confess Him as Lord and believe in His resurrection, we shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10). So if you’re worried about whether or not God loves you, stop worrying – He does (John 3:16)! Your circumstances aren’t the evidence of your salvation. If you need a sign, look to Him. His resurrection is the only sign we need!

I Don’t Hate Science

In a previous blog, I talked about the common mistake evolutionists make in insisting science must only deal with natural processes. This leads to another common mistake – the continued accusation that Christians hate “science.” Here’s a little exercise: do a Google search on the words “science haters” and see how often militant evolutionists call Christians “science haters.”

Their logical argument must go something like this:
1. Evolution is a scientific theory,
2. Some Christians do not agree with the Theory of Evolution,
3. Therefore, Christians hate science.

There are so many logical fallacies rolled up in this argument that it’s hard to sort them all out. Let me point out a few of the most obvious weaknesses in this argument.

First, there is the fallacy of a false premise. I explained in my previous blog that events in the past are not observable, repeatable, or testable. One tenet of evolution, for example, is that dinosaurs became birds. We cannot observe this happen and we cannot repeat it. Therefore, it is generous to even call it a scientific theory. So the premise that evolution is a scientific theory is wrong.

Next, they are committing the fallacy of equivocation, by suggesting that evolution and science are the same thing. Science deals with methodologies and includes many different disciplines. Is physics a science? Yes. Is physics evolution? No. Duh! There are many creationists who are scientists. Christians certainly use computers, cell phones, medicine, etc. All of these things have come from science and none of them have anything to do with evolution (no - not even medicine). Disagreeing with evolution really has nothing to do with science in general.

Finally, there is ad hominem. We’ve already seen that the logic of this argument fails, so why do people still call creationists, “science haters”? Obviously, they are trying to insult the Christian who disagrees with evolution. Anyone can see it's not an accurate adjective - they're just calling Christians names. A variation on this tactic is the assertion that people who do not agree with evolution are either “ignorant”, “stupid”, or “lying.” It doesn’t matter how much you know about evolution, if you don’t believe it then you just don’t understand it. You’re stupid. I often see the reverse of this as well: if someone believes evolution - even if he can’t cite a single piece of evidence for it – he is an enlightened one.

These are sophomoric tactics and frankly I’m tired of these weak arguments. Anybody who uses the term “science haters” is being an irrational bigot. Or better yet, they're "God haters"! There! Chew on that one for a while.

Defining Creation Away

A clever tactic of evolutionists is to attempt to discredit a divine creation by simply defining it as “pseudo-science.” Consider the following quote:

“"Creation science" is a contradiction in terms. A central tenet of modern science is methodological naturalism--it seeks to explain the universe purely in terms of observed or testable natural mechanisms.”
Scientific American Magazine, July 2002 [emphasis added].

Note the not-so-subtle premise that only something that is natural (i.e. not miraculous) can be considered scientific. At first glance, this might sound like a valid argument but let’s think about this for a moment: Is Scientific American saying that God could not have created the universe miraculously because that’s not scientific? Or, even if God created the universe we MUST still believe in evolution because only evolution is scientific? Of course that’s absurd. Scientific American has committed a logical fallacy known as a false premise. Arguments like this have absolutely no merit so I pay them no attention.

Science is from the Latin word for “knowledge.” Science should be about learning what is the truth, not simply what is natural. If God created the universe by fiat then that is what is true, whether it is “scientific” or not. If you wish to dispute it, you cannot do so simply by arguing that it isn’t scientific.

Speaking of science, evolutionists seem to be engaging in a little “pseudo-science” themselves. If you really want to be scientific, something should be observable, testable, and repeatable. When you’re talking about a topic like abiogenesis, where is this supposed “first, common ancestor”? Can we observe it? Is there fossil evidence of it? Do we see abiogenesis occurring anywhere? Have we observed dinosaurs becoming birds? Obviously we can’t see any of these things. So when evolutionists say we have descended from a single common ancestor, they are engaging in speculation, not science.

When dealing with unique events in the past – like the creation of the universe – they are neither observable nor repeatable. In the strictest sense, neither creationism nor evolutionism is science; they are merely paradigms that we use to interpret observations made in the present. Creation is as much (or as little) a science as evolution is. Except creation has the truth on its side!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What do they believe anyway?

I watched the GOP debate on CNN last night, well, most of it anyway. Some of the buzz leading up to it was about Mitt Romney being asked about his Mormon faith. Maybe he was asked but I must have missed that part. I did hear, though, a few other questions about the candidates' personal beliefs. One person asked what would Jesus do (WWJD) about the death penalty? Another person, holding up a Bible, asked about 5 times if the candidates believed everything in the Bible was true. And of course, in a previous debate, one person asked which of the candidates did not believe in in evolution.

As far as Romney is concerned, I have serious disagreements with Mormons on doctrine. If it came to choosing between a Mormon and a Christian candidate for President, with all other things being equal, I’d vote for the Christian. But Romney seems to be somewhat conservative on the issues even though his history on conservatism is a little spotted. I guess a Massachusetts Republican can’t be expected to be as conservative as those Republicans from, say, a more southern state. Heck, I’d take Democrat like Zel Miller over a MA Republican; I don’t use that little “R” after someone’s name as an excuse to vote for him. But between Romney and any current Democrat candidate, Romney wins hands down.

But I’m not here to talk about Romney today. I’m really a little more interested over this curiosity about the Republican candidates’ beliefs.

Why is it that the press (or “the drive-by media” as Rush Limbaugh likes to say) is only concerned about the religious beliefs of Republicans? We hear all this talk about the religious right; is there not a religious left? What aren’t more Democrat candidates asked about their personal beliefs? I think I already know the answer. The radical left does not have religious beliefs, unless you count militant atheism or secular humanism as a religion.

It’s funny to listen to non-religious people pretending to be Christians. When Howard Dean was asked which was his favorite book in the New Testament, he said, Job. Uh, Mr. Dean, Job is in the Old Testament. Likewise, when Al Gore ran for President, he said, “In my faith tradition, it is written in the book of Matthew, 'Where your heart is, there's your treasure also.'” I guess he’s never bothered to read Matthew 6:21 because he quoted it exactly backward. But then again, maybe he knew he quoted it backward but just assumed nobody would catch it since nobody really reads the Bible anyway.

Here’s a question I’d love to ask the Democrat candidates who claim to be Christians, “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me’ (John 14:6), Do you believe that is true?” I predict their answers would spin around being "inclusive," "tolerant of others' beliefs," etc. To be a Christian literally means to be a follower of Christ. I can’t understand how these people rationalize their beliefs. Do they really believe they are Christians but just don’t believe any of that stuff in the Bible? They would benefit to read Luke 6:46, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

Now if Democrats want to be atheists, agnostics, or (at the very least) irreligious, that’s they’re choice. But I think they should still stand up and voice their non-belief in the same way Republicans have to stand up and express their beliefs. The reason they don’t is simple – as much as they hate the religious right, they know that being non-religious or atheistic is far more unpopular among American voters. So, in spite of their contempt for Christians, they still like to play Christians on TV.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rethinking Evolution

In my previous blog, I talked about the Constanza Tactic©. There, I gave some of the more obvious examples of the tactic – Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, etc. But this tactic is not limited to those extreme examples. Scientists are constantly throwing out or tinkering with old theories every time some new piece of evidence comes to light.

Just for fun, every couple of months I like to do a Google search on these words: “new find rethink evolution.” I always get a list of several recent discoveries that overturn some of the previous “facts” about evolution. Here are some of the most recent headlines along with a notable excerpt:

Great ape find forces rethink on man's evolution, “The finding, if confirmed, will redraw the evolutionary tree of primates…”

Evolution theory overhauled after the discovery of ‘handy man’ fossil, “The story of a critical phase in human evolution may have to be rewritten after the discovery of two remarkable fossils in Kenya…”

Earliest primate ancestor had surprisingly tiny brain, “… suggests that evolutionary anthropologists may have to rethink some cherished theories about why such big, powerful brains evolved.”

Newfound Dinosaur Forces Rethink on Emergence of Raptors, “The discovery of a bird-like dinosaur in South America has paleontologists rethinking when, where and how one group of raptors evolved.” [I especially liked this one – they have to rethink when, where, AND how!]

There are many more examples of course but this gives you a pretty good idea of the kind of rethinking that continuously happens as new evidence is discovered. So, new “facts” come to light that overturn old “facts.” I’m weird in that I ascribe to “facts” the characteristic of being true! So, if an old “fact” wasn’t true, it was never a fact, was it? Just keep that in mind when some evolutionist is giving you all his "facts" to try to prove evolution.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that any of these finds are making these evolutionists become creationists (actually, I guess some are). Indeed, it doesn’t matter at all to many of them that their “cherished theories” were wrong because they just come up with a new theory to explain the new evidence. If the new theory is later shown to be wrong as well, then it will be on to the next theory. But THE theory - the theory of evolution - can never be wrong.

There’s Dying and Then There’s Dying

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27)

When God created Adam, it was His will that men would live forever. Of course, we know what happened: Adam disobeyed God and died as a result of his sin. It was by this act of disobedience that death entered into the world (Romans 5:12). As a result, we also die because we are descended from Adam.

Now, there are critics of the Bible who argue that our dying for Adam’s sin is unjust and even contradicts God’s command in Deuteronomy 24:16, “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.”

So, are we punished for Adam’s sin? Not exactly. We die physically because we have inherited our body of flesh from Adam. It is this fleshly body that dies. We also inherit his propensity to sin (sometimes called “the sin nature”). But we are not condemned because of his sin; there is another judgment coming where the lost will be judged for their own sins.

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15) [bold added for emphasis]

So when a lost person stands before God on that day, he is clearly not judged by Adam’s sin but his own. The “books” which will be opened, I believe, are the books of the Bible. And God will judge each man’s works according to the things written in the books. I can almost imagine it now – God will read the commandment, “You shall not lie,” and then show the person every time he told a lie. Then He’ll read the commandment, “You shall not steal,” and show the person every time he stole. On and on God will go through the books showing the sinner every time he violated His word. When He is finished, the lost person will have no defense; he is guilty on all counts.

Then there is another book opened, The Book of Life (Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5, Revelation 21:27, et al). These are those people who trusted Christ as their Savior. They will not suffer the second death (Revelation 2:11) but have already passed from death unto life (John 5:24). When we stand before God in judgment, we don’t have to show Him our good works (because we have none). We only have to have our names in the Book of Life. But the person who rejected Christ and relied on his own good works is condemned.

Unless Christ returns in our lifetime, our physical death is inevitable. When we leave this body, Christians will be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Those who reject Christ, however, have a worse death waiting for them – the death of their soul.

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

Monday, November 26, 2007

I Have Decided to Follow Jesus

“And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mark 8:34)

Jesus used the term, “follow me,” many times in the Gospels. It’s an interesting term when you think about it; to “follow” someone implies motion, action, and moving toward something. Jesus did not say, “Sit with me” or “Come stand with me.” Jesus is going places, and He wants us to go with Him (John 12:26).

But what does it mean, to “follow” Jesus? I suppose it covers a lot of things but there are at least three things that immediately come to mind:

We need to follow His examples (John 13:15, 1 Peter 2:21)
We need to follow His teaching (Matthew 4:23, Luke 6:46-49)
We need to follow His commandments (John 12:48, Matthew 28:19-20)

When we follow the directions given to us in the Bible, then we will enjoy God’s blessing in everything we do (Joshua 1:8). The popular expression, WWJD (What would Jesus do?) should apply to all areas of our life. That is how we follow Jesus.

But consider also Psalm 1:1:

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

Notice the subtle progression from walking, to standing, to sitting. When we decide to stop following Jesus, and decide to walk in the counsel of the wicked, we end up sitting on our butts, mad at the world.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Costanza Tactic

Does anyone remember the Seinfeld episode where George Costanza had a job interview, but at the end of the interview he wasn’t sure if he’d been offered the job or not? The hiring manager was going to be out for a week so George had the idea that he would just show up at the office while the manager was gone and say he’d been hired. Whenever the manager returned, it would be hard to deny his employment because he would already be “ensconced.” It finally dawned on me that evolutionists have been using this same tactic for years. Now, I’m not claiming any conspiracy. Perhaps it’s unintentional but the effect is still the same. Let me explain:

We’ll start with Piltdown Man. This was the ideal example of an ape/human transitional fossil and was once considered THE proof of evolution. For 40 years, it was considered to be an ancestor of man and many people believed in evolution because of it. When it finally came to light that it was a fraud, “oh well,” evolution was already ensconced.

Nebraska Man is another example of this. From a single tooth, an artist’s rendering of a full, primitive man hunting and using tools was presented to the public. This wasn’t a technical or “scientific” illustration but it was presented to the public as proof of evolution and I’m sure it made quite an impression. It was even given the scientific name, Hesperopithecus haroldcookii. Sure it was later discovered to be only a pig’s tooth but never mind that – evolution was further ensconced.

I can’t find a source now but I recall hearing once that nearly every candidate considered an ancestor of man up to the time of the Scopes trial (no scientific evidence was discussed at the Scopes trial) was later rejected by the scientific community. But it was during this time that evolution was coming to the forefront in the public eye. All the evidence that was used to convince people of the “fact” of evolution was ultimately rejected by the same scientists that presented it. But of course, peoples’ minds were already made up so, even though the evidence was bogus, the theory was ensconced.

The most recent example is Lucy. Casts of this partial skeleton have been viewed by millions of people in museums all around the world and has been perhaps the champion of human ancestor candidates for years. But even Lucy is starting to have her critics and may be on her way out as well. If that happens, it doesn’t matter because she’s already served her purpose. Evolution is further ensconced.

Of course there are other candidates still in the running and scientists will continue looking for that magic bullet. New fossils may come to light someday that will make people ooh and ah for a while. Headlines will read something like, “Oldest Ancestor of Man Found” or “New Find Confirms Evolution of Man.” When the new find is finally rejected it won’t make 1 bit of difference. Scientists will just keep looking for the next sensational find and the public will continue being told that evolution is a fact. You see, ToE is already ensconced.

If all the evidence that made someone believe evolution is later thrown out, I’m a little surprised more people don’t begin to doubt the theory itself. A lot of what was once “known” about evolution turns out later to be wrong based on new findings but evolution itself keeps chugging along. Evolution is ensconced. Here’s a headline I doubt we’ll ever see: “New Find Causes Scientists to Doubt Evolution.” Some evolutionists admit that even a rabbit found in the Pre-Cambrian layer would not disprove evolution. Nothing will disprove evolution. Evolution is already ensconced.

Evolution has prospered from good PR. Present evidence as proof of evolution, convince the public that evolution is true, throw out evidence later because it was wrong all along, public continues to believe in evolution. It’s the Costanza Tactic.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Don't Visit Ft. Collins, Colorado

Can I call them or what!?! In my previous blog, I wondered when the first city would be sued over a nativity. I didn’t have too wait long – it’s starting in Ft. Collins, CO: only they’re not being sued and it’s not about a nativity. According to WorldNetDaily, “A special task force in a Colorado city has recommended banning red and green lights at the Christmas holiday because they fall among the items that are too religious for the city to sponsor” [emphasis added].

Now, I’m not a biblical scholar or anything, but I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in the Bible about red and green lights. They’re not part of any religious ceremony that I’m familiar with. They certainly were not present at Christ’s birth. Yet they’re still too religious! Incredible.

Did it ever occur to this task force that the city DOES display red and green lights year round? Only normally, we call them “traffic lights.”

Come one people. Think about it. There’s nothing overtly religious about the colors red and green. It just so happens that people associate them with Christmas, and if someone sees red and green lights, he might think about Christmas, and if someone thinks about Christmas, he might think about Christ! Gasp! We can’t have that now, can we?

The story goes on to say that Christmas symbols will be allowed in a “multicultural display” at the Ft. Collins Museum. A museum of all places - how appropriate. Imagine a teacher leading a class past such a display. “Look children, these are artifacts from back when people believed in God.”

Matthew 8:5-13: Faith that can move Mountains

The account of the Centurion is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. The Centurion had asked Jesus to heal his servant. When Jesus offered to come to the Centurion’s house, the Centurion forbid Him and said he wasn’t worthy to have Jesus come into in his home. But he knew if Jesus just spoke a word, his servant would be healed. Jesus marveled at the faith of the Centurion and said, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel…. Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee (Matthew 8:10,13) [bold added for emphasis].

When you pray, how would you feel if Jesus answered, “As thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee”? If I sincerely believed, I would be very happy. But if I were plagued with doubt, I guess I would be disappointed.

Nothing is impossible for God (Jeremiah 32:27, Mark 10:27, et al). Yet, we often become so caught up in our worries that we cannot imagine that God can deliver us. We pray to God, but sometimes we pray “hoping” God can help us – not necessarily "believing" that He can. Or worse yet, perhaps we feel so hopeless that we do not even ask – “ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:2).

Jesus said that if we just have faith the size of a mustard seed, we could move mountains (Matthew 17:20). When you accepted Christ as your Savior, did you not sincerely believe God was able to save you? Didn’t God remove a mountain of sin when he saved each one of us?

God is waiting to bless each person who asks Him. Consider Malachi 3:10, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

Wow! God promises us more blessings than we have room to receive! In Malachi He is literally saying, “Just try Me.” All we need to do is ask, believing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

When “No” Really Means “No”

I’ve been studying Koine Greek (the original language of the New Testament) for a while and have really been blessed by it. When reading the Bible in Greek, there are sometimes subtle nuances that aren’t easily translated into English. In this post, I’d like to talk about one such nuance.

In Greek, there are different ways of saying, “no.” One way is with the word, οὐ (ou) which is a simple term of negation: ἔχω, "I have," becomes οὐκ ἔχω, “I do not have.” Another way is with the word, μὴ (mē). μὴ is used in the subjunctive mood - the mood of contingency: ἔχητε, “you should have,” becomes μὴ ἔχητε, “you should not have.”

In English, we normally do not use two negatives together. In Greek, however, two negatives used together create a strong negation known as an emphatic expression: οὐ μὴ ἔχητε, “you shall in no way have!” When someone uses οὐ μὴ together, they are communicating in the strongest terms possible.

οὐ μὴ is used many times in the New Testament but we often don’t see the force of it in English. Take a look at some of these passages spoken by Jesus; the use of οὐ μὴ is highlighted in bold. As you read them, try to mentally insert a strong negation (i.e. shall not in any way possible):

>And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
>“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst” (John 4:14)
>“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
>“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37)
>“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
>“Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.” (John 8:51)
>“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)
>“And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:26)
>“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:11)
>“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Revelation 3:5)
>“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out…” (Revelation 3:12)

Isn’t Jesus wonderful? He not only promised all these great things to those who believe in Him, but He promised them in as strong as terms as possible. He does not want us to doubt His sincerity or His ability to keep His word.

So remember, when Jesus says “no,” He really means “NO!”

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

One day, the father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the express purpose of showing him how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.

On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?"

"It was great, Dad."

"Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked.

"Oh yeah," said the son.

"So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father.

The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them."

The boy's father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks Dad for showing me how poor we are."

[Thanks to Barbara Jones for this story]

Whether we are rich or poor, we have a lot to be thankful for. Too often, we let the cares of the world quench our joy. But our joy should not rest upon the things in this world because this world will pass away and the things of it (1 John 2:15-17). We are only on this earth for a short while (James 4:14) and our present circumstances really seem less significant when we compare them to eternity.

Our relationships, our family, our finances, all weigh on us. God knows that we have needs (Matthew 6:31-33) but our joy should not be contingent on our circumstances. Rather our joy is in the hope of our eternal future. Our joy is in our relationship with Him who is the Prince of peace (John 14:27) and the Giver of good gifts (Matthew 7:11).

Jesus never promised we wouldn’t have trials. In fact, He promised the exact opposite

John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

Think about that: Jesus has overcome the world! If you think you have problems, then know that Jesus has already borne them for us (Isaiah 53:5). So whether you seem to have blessings or trials, remember this:

Psalm 118:24
“This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

A Thanksgiving Proclamation by George Washington

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

[signed] G. Washington

The Real Origin of Species

Speciation is the fruit of evolution - or so evolutionists would have us believe. When a new species of any organism is discovered or observed then it’s, “Aha! Evolution in action!” Yada yada yada. There are some creationists who are confused about speciation and have made comments along the lines of, “if evolution is true, where are the new species?” Then, when a new species is discovered, the evolutionists do a great big “gotcha” and the creationist is left with egg on his face.

Speciation happens. It’s no great mystery really. I would go so far as to say that creationists have a better explanation of new species than evolutionists have.

We should start with a basic definition of “species.” That’s actually not so easy because evolutionists can’t really define a species. The first thing they’ll usually offer is some reproductive test - that is, two animals that can reproduce and have fertile offspring are the same species. However, this is not a good definition because wolves (Canis lupus) and domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) are different species yet are able to reproduce and have fertile offspring. So, why are they different species? Here’s where the evolutionists begin their spin.

Let me offer a better definition: a species is an arbitrary term we assign to animals that possess a certain combination of traits. Among bears, for example, those bears that have light fur, pointed faces, long necks, larger bodies, etc., are called polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Bears with brown fur, shovel-shaped faces, short necks, somewhat smaller bodies are called grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis). Polar bears and grizzly bears can interbreed. However, they possess enough unique features that we arbitrarily call them different species.

Here’s where it gets interesting. There are millions of species of animals. By the way, many critics will use this as a straw man to debunk the idea of the Ark - how could Noah fit millions of animals on the Ark? Well, the vast majority of the “millions” species are bacteria, fungi, insects, plants, or marine animals which did not have to be on the Ark. According to Wikipedia, there are only about 24,000 species of terrestrial, vertebrate animals. There are 8 species of bears, 25 species of chipmunks, 34 species of deer, etc. Noah did not have to bring 16 bears onto the Ark (2 of each species); he only had 2 bears. From these 2 ancestral bears, all other bear species have descended. It’s difficult to say exactly how many animals Noah had on the Ark but it was probably only around 5-7 thousand.

If we start with only 5-7K animals, how do we get 24K species? Let me tell you the real origin of species. Have you ever noticed there is a lot of variety among bears but not a lot of variety among polar bears? The ancestral bears would have been much more diverse. For example, the ancestral bears would have coded for many different colors of fur. As the bears spread into different areas, natural selection acted upon the bears and those traits not suited to the new environment were eliminated. Today, the polar bear can only code for light fur; the trait of dark fur has been eliminated from the polar bear population.

To drive this point home, think about dogs. There is a tremendous amount of variety among different breeds of dogs but which is more diverse: mutts or Irish Setters? Mutts, by far, are the more genetically diverse. A single pair of mutts can have pups of many different sizes, colors, and shapes even in the same litter. Irish Setter pups will all tend to look alike. Think of the ancestral bears as mutts. The original bear-mutts had cubs of many different colors, sizes, and shapes. In the snowy climes of the north, the light-haired cubs had the advantage of sneaking up on prey. The ones with the long necks and pointed faces found it easier to stick their heads into holes in the ice. The largest ones had the strength to pull seals out of the water. The ones with webbed toes swam better. All of these traits were selected for, the other traits were eliminated, and voilà - the polar bear species was born.

Today, animals are pretty well adapted to their environment so sudden speciation shouldn’t be expected. But even so, when animals are subjected to new environments it’s no huge surprise to see speciation occur. The most important thing to remember is that when speciation occurs, no new traits are added to the population - unsuitable traits are eliminated and a certain combination of traits remain. The offspring are better adapted to their environment, but they are less diverse than their parents. This isn’t a net increase in genetic information - it’s a loss. Animals losing traits is NOT evolution. Speciation is NOT evolution.

God created plants and animals to reproduce after their kind. Bears produce bears. There may be a lot of variety among bears, but they’ll always be bears. We may call them new species but they’re still bears. Evolutionists would have you believe that something that looked like a fish - after millions of years of reproduction - became a bear. That’s just not true. God created the first bears and they’ve been bears ever since. Now you know the REAL origin of species.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Where have all the conservatives gone?

It is no small annoyance to me that Rudy Giuliani is among the front-runners in the Republican primaries. Perhaps he’s a conservative by New York standards, but not for the country at large.

Now don’t get me wrong - Rudy has several strong points: he’s for lower taxes, less government, and pro-defense. He especially looked good after the 9/11 tragedies. He certainly handled the surprise attack in NY much better than, say, the Mayor in New Orleans handled the Katrina disaster. I’d far rather have him in office than any Democrat candidate running.

But in spite of his good points, there are several issues where Rudy fails conservatism. He’s decidedly pro-abortion (he says he’s anti-abortion but for “the right to choose”); pro-gay; and pro-gun control. And though his views on these issues may not be as far left as those of the liberal Democrat candidates, there are obviously more conservative candidates running for the Republican nomination.

Besides his political views, Rudy has some personal baggage to deal with. I mean, come on, the guy’s been married 3 times. And don’t hand me any of that, “his personal life shouldn’t matter” garbage. If Democrat voters say they’re voting for Hillary because she’s a woman, I can say I’m not voting for Rudy because he’s a womanizer. I think a person’s character is part of his qualifications for being president. And a twice-divorced (actually one marriage was annulled) man has some character issues. Never mind his seeming penchant to dress in drag.

Tell me why, then, did Pat Robertson endorse Giuliani over any other candidate? As a Christian, I can’t imagine how a Christian leader like Robertson could endorse someone like Giuliani. Could it be because he thinks Rudy stands the best chance of beating whoever the Democrat nominee is? One of my biggest pet peeves is when Republicans choose candidates they think are “electable” over the people they think are the best for the job - unless Robertson really thinks he’s the best candidate. In that case, Robertson is just plain wrong.

But the Republican Party has started down a slippery slope in its pursuit of “diversity” or “big-tent” ideology. In 1994, when many Republican ran on a staunch conservative platform as demonstrated by the Contract with America, the Republican Party won in droves. Why have we abandoned that?

I first became concerned when I saw Colin Powell speak at the 2000 Republican Convention. He announced that he was “pro-choice” and was cheered! Kay Bailey Hutchison announced at the 1996 Convention she was pro-choice and was booed. Why the change?

Then there was the Governor’s recall election in California, 2003. The moderate Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected over the much more conservative Tom McClintock. Perhaps in CA, a moderate Republican was more appealing to the Hollywood crowd. But Arnold went on to be a keynote speaker at the 2004 Republican Convention. Is he the new face of conservatism?

And now we have Rudy Giuliani. Do you see a pattern here? Where are the true conservatives? Let me ask a question - as we have been moving away from conservatism toward “moderation” have we been winning or losing elections? After landslide victories in 1994 & 1996, we have been losing congressional seats ever since.

I’ve always believed that you get what you settle for. If we settle for mediocre candidates, we’re going to get mediocre candidates. I suggest that we don’t settle for them any longer. Remember Reagan? Where have all the conservatives gone? They need to step up to the plate in these elections. They’ll have my vote!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Genesis 11: The Tower of Babel

“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.” (Genesis 11:6-7)

For those not familiar with the account of the Tower of Babel, you can read the entire passage here. I’ve often wondered about the builders of the Tower of Babel. I can understand why they built the Tower; but have you ever wondered why they chose a tower? A possible answer dawned on me a while back and I thought I’d share my theory here.

The people at the Tower of Babel were the descendants of Noah who lived around 100 years after the Flood. Remember that, before the Flood and even for a short while afterward, people lived extraordinarily long lives. Noah, for example, lived 350 years after the flood (Genesis 9:28). So Noah and his children who were on the Ark were still alive at the Tower of Babel.

When Noah got off the Ark, God commanded him to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth” (Genesis 9:1). It was not God’s plan for everyone to stay in one place but to spread out all over the earth.

However, the descendants of Noah immediately rebelled and decided they did not want to be scattered. They said this overtly, “And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:4). So the why is easy – they did not want to be spread out on the earth. But still, why a tower?

Some people have said they were trying to create their own way to Heaven since the verse says, “let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven.” However, I doubt the ancients could have believed such a task was possible. In that passage, “heaven” most likely means “sky.” So, it was there intent to build a tower that reached to the sky.

Here then is my theory: It is my belief the people wanted to build a tall tower so they could escape the judgment of God if He decided to flood the world again because of their rebellion.

God had promised to never destroy the world again by flood (Genesis 9:11). Rather, He foiled their plans by confounding the languages. The divine intervention forced them to disperse since they could no longer communicate or work together. They thought they could rebel and escape God's judgment but they were wrong.

Today, people are still rebelling. And like then, people still think they can rebel against God and escape His judgment. Galations gives us a stern warning about this attitude, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Where evolution fails

In my previous blog, I talked about the difference between natural selection and evolution. As I pointed out there, natural selection involves the ELIMINATION of traits not suited to an environment. Evolution requires the ACQUISITION of novel traits in an organism. Consider bears for a moment. In the north, polar bears have white fur (actually it’s clear). This gives them an advantage because the white fur blends in with the snow and allows them to sneak up on prey. The trait of dark fur has been eliminated among polar bears. Further south, grizzly bears have dark fur. White fur makes lousy camouflage in the woods so the trait of white fur is eliminated in that population. We see traits being eliminated all the time.

Evolution, on the other hand, requires that animals acquire new traits yet we never observe animals acquiring novel traits. This is such an important point that it cannot be stressed enough.
To make this point, I have a favorite illustration that I use. Think about dogs. I like to use dogs because so many people are familiar with them. They’re also notorious breeders and we can easily observe many generations of dogs in a single human lifetime. Now dogs come in a lot of colors - red, black, brown, white, blonde, and different shades in between. But have you noticed that dogs don’t come in new colors? I like the color blue. There are blue birds, fish, reptiles, insects, and plants. Why aren’t there any blue-haired dogs? There aren’t any blue-haired mammals for that matter. If I wanted a blue-haired dog, how long would I have to wait for one to evolve? I’d have to wait a long time indeed because even though dogs come in a lot of colors, they don’t come in NEW colors. So I don’t expect to ever see a blue, green, or purple-haired dog. Do you?

Of course, critics scoff at this example. Am I saying that evolution can’t be true because there aren’t blue-haired dogs? Not exactly. Let’s think about this: animals aren’t becoming new colors. Yet, if evolution were true, dogs would have had to become new colors sometime in the past. I mean all the colors we see in dogs now had to be new sometime, right? So even though we know animals don’t come in new colors, evolution demands that they do. Then which is it? Do animals come in new colors or is evolution false?

To explain the rise of new traits, evolutionists invariably point to one thing - mutations. Mutations are mistakes or errors in the genes. They’re usually neutral or harmful (we normally call them “birth defects”) but occasionally an animal is born with a beneficial mutation. An animal is born with a birth defect, nature selects for or against the defect, the successful animals leave more offspring which inherit the mutation, and the "new" feature makes its way into the entire population. It is these beneficial mutations that evolutionists believe fuels novel traits in organisms.

In reality, though, mutations cannot explain novel traits. Go back to my example of polar bears. Polar bears have webbed-toes due to a mutation where the bear’s toes fail to divide during embryonic development. Now, this actually helps the bear swim better so it proved to be beneficial. And since, among bears, the trait is unique to polar bears, it could be called novel. However, it is still the result of a LOSS of function in the gene - that is, the toes FAIL to divide. It doesn’t, for example, explain how bears got toes in the first place. Deformed toes on a creature that already has toes isn’t really all that novel, is it?

So where are the observed examples of new traits arising in animals? How can I believe in a theory that defies simple observation? The inability of evolution to explain the rise of novel traits is the failure of the theory.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Can Anyone Lose His Salvation?

An often asked question is, after a person becomes saved, can he ever lose his salvation? I knew a lady once who thought the term, “once saved always saved” was a quote from the Bible. Unfortunately, it’s not. However, I think the Bible is clear on the issue and we’ll look at a few verses to support it.

First, consider what salvation is; It’s a free gift (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8). So if we cannot work to earn our salvation by our works, it’s difficult to believe we must keep it by good works.

Next, consider these Biblical descriptions of being saved:

>“We know that we have passed from death unto life,…” (1 John 3:14)
>“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
>“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:3-4)
>“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24)

These verses and many others clearly demonstrate that being saved in not simply a description of a current status. It’s not like, say, working at a job – you’re there now but in the future you may not be. Being saved is a permanent change of who we are – new creatures no longer dead but passed unto life.

Also, there’s the simple term of “eternal life” (Matthew 25:46, John 3:15-16, Romans 6:23, Titus 1:2, et al). The Bible seems clear that believing faith brings ETERNAL life. Not life that lasts as long as you’re good. How can something end if it's eternal? If you had eternal life and lost it, then, by definition, you did not have eternal life.

Finally, we have the testimony of Jesus Himself. When He was speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well, He made this interesting comment:

“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:13-14)

So the “water” Jesus gives us becomes “everlasting life.” He then says we will never thirst again. But if we have eternal life, then lose it, wouldn’t that mean we would thirst again? Wouldn’t that make Jesus a liar?

There is yet another passage even more explicit. Jesus said:

“And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:39-40)

Wow! Jesus is saying that He will lose NOTHING the Father has given Him and will raise the one who believes in Him on the last day. So, if someone did once believe in Jesus, then later “fell away” and was not raised on the last day, wouldn’t that mean that Jesus lost him? Again I’ll ask, wouldn’t that make Jesus a liar?

I’m not sure how Jesus could have been much clearer. I think John summed it up well, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5:13)

The Famous Peppered Moth Photos

This famous photo has appeared in millions of school text books. The peppered moth study is cited as THE example of observed evolution. I think it's a poor example but we've already talked about that.

Anyway, it was later discovered that the peppered moth doesn't even rest on tree trunks. The moths seen here are actually dead moths glued to the tree for the photo!

What are we talking about anyway?

I’m so excited about having a creation blog that I’m not sure where to begin. There’s so much I could talk about but perhaps it’s best to start with some terminology.

On these blogs, I’m going to be using the word, evolutionist quite a bit. For clarity’s sake, an evolutionist is any person (whether a layman or scientist of any discipline) who believes in the creation of life or the universe through natural, gradual processes. Likewise, a creationist is a person who believes in the miraculous intervention of God in creation (that’s is, a sudden creation – not a God-guided evolution). There are different varieties of creationists; I'm a young-earth creationist (YEC).

Now my biggest pet peeve is over the definition of evolution. There are many definitions of evolution but probably the most popular currently is, “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.” But there exists in that definition a kind of bait-and-switch.

When most people think of evolution, they understand it to mean the common descent of all present biodiversity from a supposed single ancestor over hundreds of millions of years. In other words, you start with something that looks like a bacterium and, through tiny changes in each generation over long periods of time, you end up with a horse, a tree, a bird, a man, etc.

The danger in the above definition is that when any kind of change is observed in a population, then it is cited as evidence for common descent. Has anyone heard of the peppered moth study? It appears in nearly every public school science textbook as an example of “evolution in action.” It’s so easy to find that I won’t detail it here but basically, a population of moths changed from mostly light, to mostly dark, to mostly light again in response to changes in the environment. Now this fit’s the definition of evolution given above so they’re correct in saying this is “evolution.” Here’s where the bait-and-switch comes in: Evolution is change, we see change, therefore all life has a common ancestor. Incredible!!

Here’s how I see it. What happened with the pepper moths is natural selection. Natural selection is an observed phenomenon wherein animals become adapted to their environment. This is accomplished because those traits not suited to an environment are eliminated (sometimes called "survival of the fittest"). In the case of the peppered moths, the dark moths stood out against the trees while the white moths were camouflaged. Therefore the dark moths were more often eaten. This isn’t really rocket science. If I started with a population of mice, then killed every poor critter that wasn’t born white, I’d eventually end up with a population of white mice. Duh! So we see that natural selection is the ELIMINATION of traits from a population.

But for evolution to happen, animals must ACQUIRE traits. For a dinosaur to become a bird, for example, it must acquire feathers. The supposed first ancestor did not have feathers - or hair, scales, or even skin. It did not have bones or muscles. It did not have a heart, brain, lungs, or any organ. For a bacterium to evolve into everything we see around us, it had to acquire traits all along the way.

What we observe, natural selection, is the exact opposite of evolution. We see animals losing traits all the time. We don’t see animals acquiring traits.

The next time you hear people describing evolution as “change” remember that not all change is equal. Animals losing traits cannot turn a molecule into a man. It doesn’t matter how long you wait. You can’t build a company by losing a little bit of money each year. It doesn’t matter how long you work at it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It’s beginning to look a lot like… that generic winter holiday

It’s November and Christmas will be upon us soon. At least I think it will. I keep seeing what looks like Christmas decorations in the stores but they don’t call them Christmas decorations – they call them, “holiday decorations.” Is there another holiday that decorates with Christmas trees, lights, wreaths, and poinsettias that I’m not aware of?

I have to hand it to Lowe’s this year. They’ve taken PC to a new level by renaming Christmas trees, “Family Trees” in their 2007 “Holiday” catalog (the cover is shown here). In the 56 page catalog, featuring hundreds of items, the word “Christmas” appears exactly 2 times.

In in all fairness, Chris Ahearn, Veep of PR for Lowe's, did apologize for calling Christmas Trees "Family Trees" and said, “The error was not caught before the publication was distributed, and Lowe's says it is disappointed in the breakdown in its proofing process.” Now, I don’t like to think the worst of people but let’s just say I have a hard time believing Mr. Ahearn. If they had misspelled “Santa” as “Satan” on one page, I could believe that was an accident. To have a 56 page Christmas catalog nearly void of the word “Christmas” smacks of intent

I hate to pick on Lowe’s, though, because many stores are doing the same thing. What irks me more than anything is that so many of the stores, which are loathe to mention the C-word, rely on Christmas for their entire year’s profit. The day after Thanksgiving has earned the nickname of “Black Friday” because the millions of shoppers who flock to the stores that day finally put some stores “in the black.” So they want the Christmas shopper (or rather, the shopper’s money), they just don’t want to have anything to do with the holiday itself. The old canard is that they don’t want to offend non-Christians. Look, if someone is browsing a catalog of Christmas trees, he probably celebrates Christmas. Imagine a casual reader suddenly shocked seeing the word Christmas - "Oh, these are Christmas trees? I was trying to get landscaping ideas!"

I never look forward to shopping at Christmas – the crowds are just too much for me. But when I do shop, I would like to hear “Merry Christmas.” For those stores choosing not to get into the Christmas spirit, I just won’t bother shopping there. There are still plenty of stores that haven’t caved in to the PC crowd.

Christmas is not about shopping anyway. It’s sad that it’s become the spending spree that it has. But the movement to take Christ out of Christmas has spread to other areas of public life as well. Any day now, I'm expecting the first headline about some city being sued over a nativity scene erected within eye-shot of City Hall.

My mother is a retired, public school teacher. Every year at Christmas time, they decorated their rooms and bulletin boards with snow flakes and snowmen. They were not allowed to show depictions of Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and certainly not a nativity. But above it all she was specifically told that she was not even allowed to explain that Christmas is the time Christians celebrate the birth of Christ! Now honestly, what kind of education can a public school student receive if he can not even be told the history of a holiday that 90% of the country celebrates? Next they’ll be saying that the first Thanksgiving is when the pilgrims thanked the American Indians for helping them get through winter. Oh wait, they do that already.

My family will be celebrating a Christ-centered Christmas again this year. For anyone who may not have read the story of the first Christmas, you can read it here now!

Merry Christmas to All and a Blessed New Year!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Bizarro First Amendment

Now, this happened a while ago so excuse me that it’s not timely. I wasn’t blogging then but the issue is still relevant so I’m still talking about it.

In May, 2007, I was fortunate enough to visit Answers in Genesis’s new Creation Museum the week that it opened. For those who might not be familiar with it, AIG has built a new museum that presents the Biblical history of the world rather than the evolutionary theory. It’s a great museum that rivals any secular museum I’ve been in. It was built entirely with private donations and is overtly religious in nature.

Anyway, about the time the museum opened, there was this tiny, wanna-be-grass-roots group called DefCon who was circulating a petition protesting the museum. DefCon is an abbreviation for “Defense of the Constitution” - you’ll see in a moment how ironic that is. Now, DefCon has the right to protest anything they want. They can picket, circulate petitions, tell lies (actually they shouldn’t tell lies but they still do), and try to discourage support for the museum in any way they see fit. However, everything was not as it seemed.

There were actually 2 petitions being circulated - one for educators to sign and the other for everyone else. The wording in each was nearly identical except the first began, “As educators..."; So, the people who signed this petition were specifically evoking their positions as educators when they signed it.

I first became alarmed when I read a little blurb about a DefCon board member, Sam Schloemer, who happens to be an elected school board official. The article referred to him by his elected title of Representative. In his quotes, he openly condemned the museum and encouraged teachers to do the same. Of course, many of these teachers who signed the petition were PUBLIC school teachers - i.e. representatives of the state.

So let’s see here, we have an elected official encouraging other public officials to condemn a private, religious organization. Then we have public employees, acting within their capacity “as educators” actually doing it. Doesn’t anyone see a problem with this? It would be akin to a group of history teacher banding together and signing a petition saying, “As educators, we condemn the outrageous belief that Jesus was an historical person.”

Now, being the concerned, Christian voter that I am, and (at that time) a resident of OH where Rep. Schloemer serves, I wrote letters to the Governor, Rep. Schloemer, the state’s Secretary of Education. I also engaged in much online debate about the blatant infringement on the First Amendment that was occurring. The silence from the elected officials was deafening. In all fairness, the Governor’s office replied with a non-committing response but he mistakenly seemed to think the museum was in OH. The Secretary of Education said that there is no official position of the DOE but did not comment on the teachers’ actions. I never heard back from Rep. Schloemer.

The response from cyberspace was confusing. I was constantly told, over and over, that these educators had the right to sign the petition because, even though they were teachers and elected officials, they were also private citizens and had their First Amendment right free speech. They also said that AIG is trying to effect public school curriculum by telling kids God created us so it was AIG who was violating the first amendment. If these people had their way, there would be a padlock on the museum right now.

OK, let’s get this straight: A private, religious organization exercising its belief is violating the first amendment. And ELECTED officials and PUBLIC employees openly condemning a religious institution and petitioning against it is free speech? It’s Bizzaro world.

There are a few people out there who believe the first amendment says something like, “there will be a separation of church and state.” Well, the amendment does not use the word “separation” or “church” or “state” so it’s about a bad a summary as one could make. For those who are confused, let me point out what the first amendment actually says:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. "

Here’s a little reading exercise. In the above quote, who is being bound or restricted by this amendment? Is it the religious person? No!! It’s CONGRESS (i.e. the state)! Religious people have the right to say, do, or believe anything they want. They can speak out and proselytize to their hearts content. They can publish newsletters and blog about how bad they think the government is. They can even build a museum and peacefully assemble there. They can do all these things and the STATE can do nothing about it. The state should do NOTHING to infringe upon the rights of Christians to exercise their faith, which includes signing a petition against them.

Perhaps there are a few teachers who signed the petition not realizing their actions were a violation of the free exercise clause. If you care to rescind your petition then you are forgiven. For all the rest - shame on you.

Science or Ideology?

Lately, some folks on the left have caught me off guard. I’m used to being called all kinds of names because I believe in the creation described in Genesis. But what has surprised me is that Global Warming has become a tenet in the left’s religion of secular humanism.

I’ve already said in other posts that, to say you don’t believe in evolution is to be labeled a stupid, ignorant, lying, science-hater. It doesn’t matter how much you know about the theory of evolution; if you don’t believe it, you’re just stupid. What kills me is that, even if you can’t cite one piece of evidence to support evolution, as long as you believe in it you’re “welcomed into the light.” But now, rejecting the global warming hysteria invites just as much scorn as rejecting evolution. So when I candidly admitted that there may be a warming trend but I’m not convinced there’s cause for alarm, I wasn’t prepared for the ridicule. “You’re a stupid, ignorant, lying, science-hater.” Now, where have I heard that before? //RKBentley scratching head//

What struck me as curious was the similarity of the rhetoric. If you doubt evolution, you’re a moron; if you doubt global warming, you’re a moron. They stand by the “science” that supports their doctrine and jealously guard it as their gospel. Any fact presented which might contradict their belief is disqualified from being possible and is labeled, “pseudoscience.” It’s difficult to debate someone about science if he only considers only those facts that support his view as true; everything else is a lie. So I’m proven to be ignorant, stupid, or lying for no other reason than I just disagree.

The practice of attacking your opponent, rather than rebutting his argument, is a logical fallacy known as ad hominem. Think about it; if I said, “Only idiots believe in evolution,” what kind of argument have I made except to call my opponents a name? There’s also the true-Scotsman argument, which goes something like this, “All credible scientists believe global warming is occurring.” Then when I point out that there are scientists who don’t believe it’s occurring, the alarmists respond, “Well then they’re just quacks because all credible scientists believe global warming is occurring.”

Both the ad hominem and the true-Scotsman arguments are empty arguments and are entirely without merit. Yet these seem to be the first line of defense when anyone dares question the religion of the left. I think it’s demonstrative of the weakness in their position. Remember both of these the next time you listen to or engange in a debate about either issue and see if you don't hear them being used.

Let me pause here and point out that there may very well be a warming trend. But how can we be sure? How long have we been gathering data? Former president, Bill Clinton, once said the ‘90’s was the warmest decade in 500 years. How do we know that’s true? Did Columbus steal the meteorological records from the Native Americans as he was raping their land? Were the Aborigines meticulously recording the average temperature in Australia at this time? And who was in the South Pole tracking the temperature there? I’m sorry but there is no way we can know the temperatures from around the world 500, 200, or even 100 years ago as precisely as we can know them today. And it should be pointed out that 30 years ago all the alarm was over global cooling.

But there’s another thing the warming-alarmists don’t stop to consider. Al Gore says, “The earth is sick. It has a fever.” Doesn’t that presuppose that he knows what the temperature should be? Well, what is it? Is it what we have at this very moment or should it be just a little cooler or a little warmer? In case Mr. Gore is not aware, there was once an ice age. If he had been alive at the end of the ice age, and ran around like Chicken Little shrieking about “global warming” he’d have looked a little foolish. I think he looks a little foolish now.

I don’t think anyone still holds to the idea that Ronald Reagan caused the last ice age (right after he caused the extinction of the dinosaurs) but they're quick to point out that we're causing global warming. The earth has warmed and cooled in the past and it was all without the help of anything we humans have done. It’s just part of the natural processes of the earth. Why should I believe we’re causing it now? Why does anyone think we’re able to stop it? I think the Herculean effort some people would have us spend would all be for naught. We will have suffered tremendous cost and discomfort for nothing. Here’s an idea, let’s stop trying to halt global warming and put that effort into preparing for a warmer earth.

I’m not sure why the left has adopted global warming into the tenets of its faith but I have my suspicions. It all goes back to the “being one with nature” mentality of environmentalism: a rock, a tree, a flower, a bird, a person - it’s all the same. It’s pantheism. Except to them, humans are inferior to the rest of nature. If an animal kills another animal, that’s the order of things. If a person cuts down a tree to build a house, he’s destroying the environment. The earth is wonderful and if something is wrong (in this case, it’s getting warmer) then humans must be the culprits. Humans are to blame for everything, and humans that live in the US are the worst of the lot.

The Bible talks about this very attitude in Romans 1. It says that some people worship the thing that is created rather than the Creator. In their religion, nature is their god and there’s no room for the God of nature. All views besides their own are heresy.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth

I was online the other day and answered a question about global warming, “Creationism,” and free speech. The person asking the question ended his comments by saying, “All thoughts are welcome.” As always, my reply was pointed yet polite and I addressed each subject with a brief example. I then received an email from that person wherein he called me a lying, self-centered fool. He also implied I was a thief which has me kind of confused. Oh well, I guess he meant to say, “All thoughts are welcome except those that disagree with me.” Please see my last post about people who simply hate Christians. This guy clearly fits that description. He’s one of the bigots I was talking about.

I could post his question or email and dissect them to show how he was wrong but I don’t want to pick on him in particular. His response is typical of people who hate Christians so there’s no need to single him out. Instead, I want to take a moment to address this notion that anyone who believes God created everything is a lying idiot (and I’m putting that politely - what I’ve been called is much worse).

I could address a wide range of topics surrounding the creation issue but for the moment, let me just touch on the issue of the origin of matter. I’ll save evolution for another day.

Presently, there is no consensus among scientists about where matter/energy originally came from. Whenever a Christian suggests that God made it, we’re accused of believing in a “god-of-the-gaps.” That is, anything we can’t explain, we simply attribute it to God. We’re then accused of hating science, being ignorant of the facts, lying, and even abusing our children; I kid you not - I’ve been accused of child abuse because teaching my children God created us is a crime in some people’s eyes!

So, putting the Bible aside for a moment, let’s look logically at how matter could have come into being.

The current consensus among scientists is the Big Bang model of the universe. They believe everything in the universe – matter/energy, space, and time - once existed in a single point known as a singularity. For some unknown reason, the singularity began to expand in an event known as “the Big Bang.” The most obvious question is, “where did the matter come from?” We’ll, they don’t know - but they know God didn’t make it! Hmmm, if you don’t know, then how do you know God didn’t do it? They just know I guess.

There is a law known as the First Law of Thermodynamics or “the conservation of matter/energy.” Most people have heard this expressed as “matter/energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms.”

If something exists, there are only 2 possible explanations for its existence: either it was created or it is eternal. That’s it. There are no other options. Also, nothing can create itself so it had to be created by something outside of itself. Can anyone disagree with me so far?

Now if you acknowledge something is created, you’ve not really answered the question. You’ve just moved the creation a little further back in time. Who created that creator? If that creator was also created, then you just keep moving farther and farther back - a logical fallacy known as an “infinite regress.” To keep moving the creation of matter father back to other created creators doesn’t answer anything. There must be an eternal “first cause” or something that was not created. I suggest to you that there is no other option than to believe there is ultimately an eternal Creator who created everything in the first place.

Now, I’ve had staunch atheists who refuse to acknowledge this inescapable conclusion. They have said to me that matter IS eternal. What they don’t seem to realize is that they are merely ascribing divine qualities to matter. In a real sense, they are making matter their god. There is no scientific reason to believe matter is eternal – it’s simply a point of faith. It’s the atheist’s “religion.”

But there is a scientific reason to believe matter is not eternal. There is the Second Law of Thermodynamics or “the law of increasing entropy.” There are a lot of different ways to explain entropy but ultimately it has to do with the transfer of heat/energy. Let me give an illustration:

Suppose there is a completely sealed room. No heat can enter or leave the room. Inside the room are a cup of hot coffee and a cup of ice. If left alone, you know what will happen - the coffee will cool and the ice will melt. Eventually, everything in the room will be the same temperature.

The same thing is true about matter/energy. Over time, all the stars will burn out, all motion will stop, and all useful energy will be exhausted and become useless energy (unable to perform work). This is known as the “heat death” and is the unavoidable end of any system. If the universe were indeed infinitely old, the heat death would have already occurred long ago. The fact that it hasn’t already happened is proof the universe is not infinitely old.

Now, the Bible says that God rested on the 7th day of creation (Genesis 2:2) that is, He stopped creating. So the Bible agrees with the 1st law of thermodynamics that no new matter is being created. The Bible also says that “the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment” (Isaiah 51:6) so it agrees with the 2nd law of thermodynamics. For someone to not believe in God he must either believe matter was either created from nothing (a violation of the 1st Law of Thermodynamics) or it is eternal (a violation of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics).

You see then, it’s not Christians who hate science, it’s these “Big Bangers!”

Monday, November 5, 2007

The New Bigotry

My name is Robert and I’m a Christian. There, I said it. Does it sound like I’m in an AA meeting? It feels that way sometimes. Some people think it’s more noble to say you’re a recovering alcoholic than a Christian.

Actually, anyone who’s carried on a conversation with me for more than a few minutes knows I’m a Christian so it’s not like I’m coming out of the closet with my Christianity. But I’ve noticed that, in society today, people seem like they would rather have Christians keep quite about what they believe. Being open about one’s belief automatically earns one the label of being an intolerant, fundamental, right wing, Christian zealot.

The funny thing is I guess I’m really all of those things. It’s kind of like hillbillies; they know they’re hillbillies, but they don’t like being called hillbillies by people who think there’s something wrong with being a hillbilly. When people call me a “right wing fundamentalist,” they’re not trying to describe me - they’re trying to insult me. Being called a “Christian” has become a pejorative term akin to being called a “racist.”

I sincerely believe the last bastion of discrimination that exists (that which can be expressed without fear of reprisal) is against Christians. If I made the comment, “blacks are weak minded,” I would earn the title of racist - and deservedly so because it’s a racist remark. However, in Playboy Magazine, Jesse Ventura, then Governor of Minnesota, said, “Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers.” When asked about the outrageous comment, his spokesman, John Wodele, clarified that the Governor was only talking about the “extremists of the religious right.” Oh, thanks Governor for clarifying that. So I guess it’s only those people who sincerely believe that Jesus is God who are weak minded.

I think I know why people who aren’t religious hate Christians so much. It’s because they don’t like being told they’re wrong. The old saying is that there is safety in numbers; well I guess there’s comfort in numbers too. So a new catch-word has made its way into the vernacular – “tolerance.” People who disagree with Christianity stopped making the argument that it was wrong; they made the argument that it was “intolerant.” It’s OK to believe something, just don’t tell anyone he’s wrong if he doesn’t believe it too. In other words, we shouldn’t tolerate intolerance. Jesse Ventura, in the same interview, said that religion, “tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people’s business.” That says it all.

It’s rather confusing when you think about it. The intolerant left says it’s OK for people to be Christians but if they believe anyone else is a sinner then the Christian is being intolerant. So the Christian is wrong for believing someone else is wrong. But doesn’t that mean the person who calls the Christian wrong is himself wrong because he called the Christian wrong?

Let me just say that I support any person’s right to be wrong. But believing a Christian is wrong for simply believing someone else is wrong is lunacy. There are people who hate Christians for no other reason than they don’t want to believe they are themselves wrong. It’s funny but sad that these people somehow think of themselves as enlightened and tolerant. Let’s just call them what they are – bigots.