googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: May 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Hunt for the Truth

Many years ago there lived two brothers: Evo and Creo. They were alike in many ways. Both loved the outdoors, they marveled at the wonders of nature, and both were very inquisitive to know more about it. However, both had very different ideas about what they saw.

One day, after breakfast but before starting his chores, Creo was reading the Big Book when Evo walked in. Creo laughed at the way he was dressed. Evo was wearing old clothes, a big floppy hat, an orange hunting vest, hip-waders, and was carrying a butterfly net and a camera.

“Where are you going dressed like that?” Creo asked.

Evo responded confidently, “I’m going to hunt for the Truth!”

“The Truth?” Creo replied.

“Yes,” answered Evo, “the Truth. It’s that elusive creature that is said to have once lived in these woods.”

Creo looked puzzled, “I know what the Truth is. I was just surprised that you’re going to look for it. Why?”

“Well,” began Evo thoughtfully, “I want to know more about it. I want to know what it is and what it looks like. I want to find out what’s really out there.”

Creo was still puzzled, “That's great that you're interested but the Truth isn't out there in the woods any more. We only know about the Truth because The One who wrote the Big Book told us all about the it.”

“Bah,” spat back Evo. “The Big Book was written a long time ago. How can you believe the things written in it?”

Creo thought a moment, “Well, there are a lot of things written in the Big Book. Some of the things I can verify and they’re all correct. Since the things I can verify are correct, I trust the Big Book about the things I can’t verify.”

“Aha! Then you admit you can’t know for sure what it says about the Truth,” Evo pointed his finger at Creo as if to accuse him but Creo did not flinch.

“That’s not what I said. I said I trust the Big Book about things I can’t verify because I know it’s correct about those things I can verify.”

Evo didn’t pursue the point anymore but began gathering up a few more things to take with him – a magnifying glass, his spectacles, a tablet of paper, and a fanny-pack. As he was packing the items he continued once more talking about his quest, “Anyway, I’m going to find the Truth so I can study it scientifically.”

“But the Truth lived long ago. What makes you think you can even find it?” Creo asked.

Evo sighed. He was becoming annoyed with Creo. He knew Creo believed all the things written in the Big Book but Evo liked to think of himself as skeptical and would not be fooled into believing ancient tales. “Look,” he answered trying to maintain composure, “You’re welcome to believe what the Big Book says about the Truth but I’m going to do this scientifically. The Big Book isn’t scientific evidence.”

Creo was undeterred, “I admire that you want to learn more about the Truth but if the Truth lived long ago, how can you study it scientifically? It’s long gone now.”

“If the Truth lived then there should still be evidence for it. I will look for the evidence.”

“With those?” Creo asked pointing to items Evo was stuffing into his fanny pack. “Do you think you’re going to be able to catch the Truth in a net? Will you be able to put it under the lens of your camera or magnifying glass?”

“Of course with these,” Evo snapped back, “These are the tools of science. With these I can study nature. I can take pictures and take samples to study.”

Creo asked again, “But you can’t observe the past. I’ve told you that the Truth lived a long time ago. How can you take a picture of it now? How can you study it?”

Evo had had enough, “Look! The Big Book is a bunch of garbage. It was written by people who didn’t understand science. I’m going to find out the real facts about the Truth.”

“We already have the real facts,” Creo persisted. “If the Truth lived long ago then you can no longer study it like you study other things. The best evidence for it now is what the One made the Truth put into the Big Book.”

“See, that’s exactly my point. You said the One who wrote the Big Book ‘made’ the Truth. That’s garbage. It’s like believing in magic. If the Truth lived, it was born like everything else. It wasn’t created out of nothing.”

Creo chuckled. He tried to hide his amusement but Evo was incensed, “Why do you think that’s funny?”

“Because,” Creo answered still smirking, “if everything is born then where did the first parents came from?”

Creo thought he saw smoke coming from Evo’s ears as Evo shot back, “Where the first parents came from is not what I’m looking for. I’m only trying to find the Truth and I’m going to do it scientifically. I’m not relying on some old book written by goat herders.”

Creo sipped his coffee and gave Evo a moment to calm down. He put a sugar packet into the Big Book he was reading, saving his place before closing it. After a moment he continued, “Let me get this straight. You want to know more about the Truth and so you are looking for evidence for it. You won’t consider the Big Book as evidence even though it was written by the One who made the Truth. You want to find your own evidence for the Truth even though it lived so long ago you can’t even study it anymore. Is that right?”

Evo paused before answering. He wasn’t sure if Creo was being sarcastic or sincere in his question. “I’ve already said that I’m only going to use science. What somebody wrote in a book is not science. You can’t use a book to prove the things written in the book. That’s circular reasoning.”

Creo could see this was going nowhere. “OK, he conceded. Go ahead and look for the Truth even though it’s not out there in the woods. At least take the Big Book with you so that you can recognize the Truth if you see it.”

“I don’t need the Big Book. I will know the Truth when I find it.”

“How?” asked Creo. “There are a lot of things out there the claim to be the Truth but they are false-Truths.”

“I will know the Truth by comparing it to things that are alive now.”

“But things are different now than in the time of the Truth,” replied Creo.

“Phooey. Natural laws are constant. Are you saying physics was different in the days of the Truth? We can use what we know about nature today to help us understand things that happened long ago. ‘The present is the key to the past’ as the saying goes.”

“What about evidence of the Flood?” asked Creo.

Evo replied with a question, “What?”

“The Flood. You know. The Big Book says the Truth was alive during the time of the Great Flood. So if you find evidence of the Great Flood, then that would be evidence for the Truth, right?”

Evo shook his head, “No, of course not. There have been a lot of floods. The goat herders who wrote the Big Book probably experienced a big flood but that’s not evidence for the Truth. Perhaps I’ll find some record of a flood from where the Truth lived but that’s not the Great Flood.”

Creo started to respond but Evo interrupted him, “Besides, how do you know the Truth written about in the Big Book is even the real Truth. You said yourself that there are many things out there that claim to be the Truth. Maybe one of them is the real Truth. I will go wherever the evidence leads.”

Creo was shocked, “Not only are you rejecting everything we already know about the Truth but you’re also willing to believe that a false-Truth is real if you think there’s evidence for it? It sounds to me like you’re mind is already made up about what the Truth is. The Truth is anything except what the Big Book says it is.”

Evo was done talking. He gathered up a few more things for his adventure – a paddle ball game and TV remote – then headed out the door.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Good News/Bad News

Well, the good news is that thepCalifornia Supreme Court upheld Prop 8 which bans gay marriages in California (much to the dismay of the liberal elites there). The bad news is that it’s only a matter of time until gay marriage is foisted on us by that oligarchy of despots known as “federal judges.”

You see, the CA Supreme Court’s hands were truly bound in this case. How else could they rule? How could someone say, with a straight face, that a constitutional amendment was unconstitutional? Well, it was a little more technical than that but basically the court decided 6-1 that it could not simply overturn the results of the vote.

But the times they are a changing. It’s starting with Obama’s nomination of Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. You may have seen the video where Sotomayor admits that it’s in the appeals courts where “policy is made.” For being a candidate for the Supreme Court you would think she would understand that it’s not the job of the judiciary to make policy. Obama, I’m sure, is counting on her help to “make policy”. Of her background, Obama is quoted as saying, “It is experience that can give a person a common touch and a sense of compassion, an understanding of how the world works and how ordinary people live.” Some have called it “empathy.” Hmmm, a judge having empathy? Sounds like a terrible idea to me. “I know the law says otherwise but I really understand how you feel so I’m ruling in your favor.”

Let me make a predication: if Sotomayor gets appointed and when a challenge to a gay marriage ban ends up before her, I already know how she will vote. She’s going to make a new policy and overturn all of the laws banning gay marriage (laws made by the real policy makers).

By the way, did you happen to catch the news from London last week? “British churches will be forced to accept practicing homosexuals or "transsexuals" in positions as youth workers and similar roles, under upcoming equality legislation, the government has said. The Labour government's Equality Bill will prohibit churches from refusing to hire active homosexuals even if their religion holds such behavior to be sinful, said deputy equalities minister Maria Eagle.”

Don’t be fooled into thinking such a thing can’t happen here. The imagined “right” to be gay may someday trump our enumerated right to practice our religion. So don’t get caught up in the good news out of California. The fight is only beginning.

Monday, May 18, 2009

America is Mostly Pro-Life, But That’s Old News

A new Gallup Poll released says that, since Gallup began asking the question, a majority of Americans identify themselves as “pro-life.” Well, I hate to break it to Gallup but America has been pro-life long before now – many just didn’t call themselves “pro-life.” We can see this when we start breaking down the numbers within the poll when the pollsters asked when abortion should be legal/illegal.

22% of the people surveyed said abortion should be legal under any circumstance. These are the people who are truly “pro-choice” (that is, pro-abortion). They believe a woman should have unrestricted access to an abortion for any reason she chooses. To them, abortion can be used simply for birth control. It’s an extreme position but it is to this minority that the Democrat Party caters.

Another small group (15%) believes abortion should be legal under most circumstances. Perhaps they could also be considered “pro-choice” (that is, pro-abortion) but they at least recognize that some abortions are extreme (perhaps things like late term or partial birth abortions). Yet even when combined with the group above both of these groups amount to only 37% of the population.

On the other hand, 60% of the people surveyed believed abortion should be illegal in all circumstances or legal only in a few (probably in cases of rape or incest). So, by a margin of nearly 2 to 1, Americans hold to pro-life values even if they don’t identify themselves as such.

The real surprise to me in the poll was that the number of Christians who identified themselves as pro-life was only 59%! I know that liberalism has worked its way into many mainstream denominations but this number should be 100%. For Christians, there should be no doubt where we should stand on this issue. Now I know there are some Christians out there who would say, “I am personally opposed abortion but I believe women should have the right to choose an abortion.” However, this lame defense is as sophomoric as saying, “I’m personally opposed to slavery but I believe people should have the right to choose to own slaves.” If something is wrong then it’s wrong and we shouldn’t tolerate an abomination like abortion under the guise of liberty.

Getting back to the poll for a moment, I believe this poll also spells doom for the radical left in Washington. Folks like Obama and Pelosi are governing like they have a mandate. I’m sure we all remember that Obama ran a campaign promising “change.” That’s a rather ambiguous slogan and I’m sure his abortion agenda is not the kind of change people had in mind. Obama has said that women “should not be punished with a baby” and, to that end, has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act. He has already lifted the ban on Federal funding of abortions so our tax dollars are now going to pay for abortions around the world.

Many people are not single issue voters but abortion is one of those issues that people are passionate about. The numbers speak for themselves. The more Obama and the extreme-left go down this road, the more they are going to alienate a majority of Americans. You can only be in-your-face about the issue for so long before people react. Let’s not wait until 2012; let’s start by getting the liberals out of Congress next year!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What’s on American’s Minds?

After I published my last post on Obama’s honorary degree from Notre Dame, I was trying to get ideas for another blog. There are so many things in the news right now: abortion (because of Obama’s visit to Notre Dame), water-boarding (and Pelosi’s lies about it), record high unemployment, government take-over of the auto industry, and the list goes on and on. While thinking about it, I noticed on Yahoo’s home page they have a list of the day’s top-10 searches. Aha, I thought, here’s a list of things Americans have on their minds. But after looking at the things on the list, I soon realized Americans aren’t interested in the same things the news media publishes.

On the top-10 list are:

1) Ayelet Zurer. Who? Is she some foreign leader or perhaps a congress woman I hadn’t heard of? No. Come to find out, she’s an Israeli-born movie actress staring in the new Ron Howard flick, Angels & Demons. OK, so that’s sort of current news I guess.

2) Deborah Gibson. The pop teen singer from the 80’s? You’ve got to be kidding me! I think I saw her hosting a one-hit-wonder show on VH1 a while back but other than that, I didn’t know she was doing anything. She’s number 2? Oh well.

3) Easy Crock Pot Recipes. Hmmm. At least I can empathize with this one. My wife recently bought one of those magic-bullet type blenders and I searched “blender recipes” so I know where these people are coming from. Still, to be the 3rd most searched item is a little surprising.

Rounding out the top-10 are:

4) Bridal Shower Ideas
5) Jane Campion
6) Will Ferrell
7) Blink 182
8) Bipolar Disorder
9) College Basketball
10) Travel Insurance

Perhaps I’m taking this news/politics stuff a little too seriously. Oh well! “To each his own,” I always say. I’ll continue to blog about things I think are important and people will still continue to read what they think are important.

I have an idea. Perhaps I should write a blog about Ayelet Zurer and Deborah Gibson exchanging easy crock pot recipes. It might not be interesting but at least my blog will show up in all the Yahoo searches!

Healing the Divisions of Religion?

Obama spoke today at the Notre Dame University commencement and was honored with an honorary law degree. I’m not sure exactly which act he has done that was being honored but he was honored nonetheless. Before being awarded his honorary degree, Obama was recognized with these words:

… The University of Notre Dame Confers the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, on the 44th president of the United States, whose historic election opened a new era of hope in a country long divided by its history of slavery and racism. A community organizer who honed his advocacy for the poor, the marginalized and the worker in the streets of Chicago, he now organizes a larger community, bringing to the world stage a renewed American dedication to diplomacy and dialogue with all nations and religions committed to human rights and the global common good. Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Did you catch that last part? “Through his willingness to engage with those who disagree with him and encourage people of faith to bring their beliefs to the public debate, he is inspiring this nation to heal its divisions of religion, culture, race and politics in the audacious hope for a brighter tomorrow.”

Since when are Christians interested in healing the divisions of religions and politics? Why should we be? I respectfully remind Notre Dame of the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:34, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”

Christ didn’t heal divisions – He made them and He didn’t water down His message to appeal to the masses. You’re either with Christ or you’re against Him (Matthew 12:30). Jesus didn’t just speak the truth, He was the Truth (John 14:6). To compromise on even one point on order to win converts would make the truth a lie. I could almost understand the argument that we need to give a hearing to different points of view. But do we have to honor them? Obama is perhaps the most militant, pro-abortion politician in Washington today. For a strongly Catholic and (supposedly) pro-life institution to award him an honorary degree should be a scandal.

And now there are some in the GOP who believe we should abandon our conservative principals and move the party toward “the center.” Excuse me? Do they mean we should be more like Obama? What exactly do they think the objective is: to win people or to win elections? I’m sorry but I don’t go for the Arlin Specter model of politics (“if you can’t beat them, join them”). I prefer to stand on my principals and try to win others to my point of view. If anyone is persuaded, great; if he refuses, then I continue without him.

“Strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). In other words, there’s no room in the truth for a “big tent.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Have We Created Life?

The origin of life has been the bane of the evolution debate for decades. The theory of evolution holds that all biodiversity on earth descended from a single common ancestor that lived more than a billion years ago. However, evolutionists have always dismissed themselves from having to show where this original ancestor came from. They common retort is that evolution only explains what happens after the first life form was formed. Where the first life form came from is a separate issue. Well, separate or not, there had to have been a first life form or the rest of their theory is academic. So where did it come from?

Well, today the New York Times ran the headline, Chemist Shows How RNA Can Be the Starting Point for Life. Hmmm. For something that’s not even part of their theory, they’re quick to tout it when they think they finally have an answer. I think they think they’re finally on to something.

I encourage everyone to read the article but let me make a few points.

First, the article says researchers have been working on this problem for 20 years. So, after 2 decades of work, they start to make a little head way and say, “See! Intelligent design isn’t needed to create life!” It’s kind of funny in a sad sort of way that they’ve spent 2 decades trying to accomplish something they don’t believe took intelligence in the first place.

But regardless of that, what did they find? The article puts it this way:
The author, John D. Sutherland, a chemist at the University of Manchester, likened his work to a crossword puzzle in which doing the first clues makes the others easier. “Whether we’ve done one across is an open question,” he said. “Our worry is that it may not be right.”
So, they’ve likened the origin of life to a crossword puzzle and they believe they’ve gotten 1 across. However, they’re not even sure about their answer. That still leaves a lot of the puzzle.

If you read the article, what they’ve done is take the first step in creating RNA. The article says, "Scientists have long suspected that the first forms of life carried their biological information not in DNA but in RNA, its close chemical cousin." Read that again carefully because the implication is easily overlooked. Scientists are looking for the origin of life. They SUSPECT the first life forms carried biological information not in DNA but RNA. They’re not even sure about the RNA! For all we know, they’re barking up the wrong tree.

And there's still another glaring flaw in this article. Even if scientists someday create life in a lab, there's still no way to know that's how it (supposedly) happened (supposedly) a billion years ago. Creating life in a lab is science. That event known as abiogenesis happened long ago; it can no longer be observed or repeated. If abiogenesis occurred, it's history - not science.

This is just another flash in the pan for evolution. Frank Benavidez, a fellow creationist I’ve read online, made this great quote: “[It’s] just more hype for evolutionist to bang their chest about while the dust settles on their dashed hopes.”

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Proverbs 6:20-23

My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.
When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Separation of Church and State Goes Both Ways

I’m not a fan of the term, “separation of church and state.” I believe it’s a poor paraphrase of the first amendment which actually says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” Even a casual reading of this sentence reveals that the restriction is placed on congress (i.e. “the state”). The purpose of the amendments is to protect individuals from the government – not to build a wall between the two.

Too many people have gotten it all wrong. They believe schools should be void of religion. For example, a while back, I blogged about a student who had her microphone turned off during her valedictorian speak at her graduation. Her offense was that she discussed God too much.

Well, one student wasn’t going to take it anymore. In Santa Ana, CA, one student sued his history teacher after the teacher called the student’s belief in creation “religious, superstitious nonsense.” On Monday, a federal judge found that the teacher had indeed violated the constitutional rights of the student. You can read the Fox News article here.

This should have been a no-brainer. What part of “prohibiting the free exercise thereof” didn’t the teacher understand? If a student has a religious belief, then that’s his religious belief. Teachers are not duty bound nor vested with some supreme authority to correct the “superstitious” beliefs of their students. It doesn’t matter if the teacher believes the student is wrong. It’s not the job of the state to decide which religious beliefs are correct and which aren’t.

I hope this is the start of something. We need more precedents like this. If they want a separation of church and state then they need to learn to keep the state away from the teachings of the church. Let the schools teach evolution in the classroom – but then make the teachers shut up about what the students learn from their parents and their church. The separation of church and state must go both ways.