The Natural View and the Spiritual View #2

Sunday, February 9, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

ORGANIC EVOLUTION VIA NATURAL SELECTION. Evolutionists disagree about life’s origin on earth. The many hypotheses offered—extraterrestrials, meteorites, lightning/atmospheric phenomena, and deep-sea vents are popular—are not infallible (thus, they remain “hypotheses,” ideas subject to change).

Furthermore, every organism’s genome is its entire genetic “blueprint” complete with deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). DNA is a language that governs how the organism (in embryonic stage) will be organized (its physical traits) and how it will develop and function (its growth rate, role in nature, et cetera).

Charles Darwin argued that when an environment grows hostile toward an organism (predation, food shortage, et cetera), mutations (changes in its genetic material) equip the organism to adapt to its surroundings, survive, and pass those new traits to its offspring. Nature selects against organisms that fail to adapt to their environments, and thus, they die, but nature selects for the individuals that adapt, so they survive and reproduce (“natural selection”). Just how mindless, random nature “selects” these advantageous traits before the organism/species dies out [and then it cannot “evolve”] is a “mystery” to Evolutionists [they admit it], since only intelligence [such as God] has a capacity to make such critical selections.

Over many millions of years, innumerable random mutations allegedly generated significant genetic changes: a bacterium evolved into the first fish, a fish evolved into the first amphibian, a dinosaur evolved into the first bird, a great ape evolved into the first human, et cetera. Mutations are actually rarely beneficial, and my physician re-affirmed to me that genetic boundaries cannot be crossed as evolutionary theory teaches (all species could not have descended from one ancestor).

Rather than embracing random genetic mutations and universal common ancestry as origin of the species, the Bible creationist understands that the Creator is the Lord Jesus Christ, Who, at creation, crafted into the perfect original organisms of their “kind” (“family”) all pertinent genetic material. Once man’s fall and the curse of sin, the Lord “switched on” that information to ensure survival.

Proceeding onward….

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #1

Saturday, February 8, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

Herein is offered the first of several (brief) devotional arcs addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate.

As a Bible teacher and student, and a geologist (Earth scientist) pursuing my Master of Science degree (anticipated later this year), I enjoyed the debate. Raised in a Christian home where Bible creationism was believed, and spending nearly two decades in public schools learning evolutionary theory (over seven years in university), I will here evaluate both views and reduce them to “layman’s terms.”

Unfortunately, many professing Christians vacillate concerning, or completely avoid, the Creation/Evolution issue. Sadly, they are unsure how to answer the “scholars’” anti-Bible theories and “evidence,” or they prefer to avoid the “superstitious Bible-toter” stigma and exemption from the “in-crowd”—mainstream scientific community and its agreeing public.

The Creation/Evolution issue actually predates Christ’s earthly ministry. It has been especially controversial during the last 150 years, since British naturalist Charles Darwin published his book, “The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life” (notice this full title [rarely seen or reported] conveys racial undertones—evolutionary theory was once utilized to teach there are superior human races!).

It is now imperative to define terms.

Evolutionary theory asserts that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) descended from one original ancestor (which itself “evolved” when random organic molecules mysteriously combined), and this morphing of one organism into totally different species we see today—in order to adapt to environments and survive predation—involved a four-billion-year-long process of genetic mutations (man is considered “most evolved”).

Bible creationism, embracing the Bible’s creation account (Genesis chapters 1 and 2 especially) as literal, historical narrative, teaches that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) are not genetically related, but each “family” of organisms was created perfectly by the Lord Jesus Christ within six literal days in the recent past, but which species then used pre-inserted genetic material to adapt to a fallen world (the curse brought on by man’s sin).

Proceeding onward….

A Holy Nation #2

Tuesday, January 21, 2013

“For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45 KJV).

Today’s Scripture summarizes a book most burdensome to many.

Atheists, Bible skeptics, and agnostics frequently ridicule the Bible because of the “cruel” God of its Old Testament, His strict laws and merciless chastisements. (Evidently, they seem to miss Old Testament passages such as Exodus 34:6,7: The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin….)

Once JEHOVAH delivered Israel from Egypt, He immediately gave the Jews a series of three tests. The Bible says, “He proved [tested, evaluated] them” (Exodus 15:25)—the bitter water He made potable for them. Again, “…That I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no” (Exodus 16:4)—the manna He gave them to eat. In chapter 17, He miraculously gave them water to drink. Still, they complained constantly, and Moses became increasingly irritated with them. Within those three chapters, the Bible makes reference to ungrateful Israel’s “murmuring” some ten times. And God heard every complaint those two million Jews made… and provided for them anyway!

Sinful Israel demonstrated that she could not follow God’s directions. The Jews doubted God’s provisions (they said they preferred returning to Egyptian bondage, according to Exodus 16:3!), and when He did provide for them, they disobeyed His instructions when collecting the manna (Exodus 16:16-20, but especially 25-28). They “tempted” (or, irreverently challenged) Him to see what He would do when they lacked potable water in Exodus 17:1-4.

After all this, about two or three months after deliverance from Egypt, in Exodus 19:5,6, God instructed Moses to tell Israel, “If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” God is now offering to make Israel’s blessings contingent upon her performance.

Let us see what Israel will decide….

Shallow #1

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

“Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:34 KJV).

If the professing “Church” is to impact our culture as the Lord Jesus Christ intended, then it had better recognize today’s Scripture as applicable to it!

Society, even here in our beloved “Christian” America, is becoming increasingly secular humanistic. Secular humanism is an outlook/worldview that boasts, “We humans are good enough to solve our problems, without God and His Word.” Secular humanists emphasize man and ignore God. There is no regard whatsoever for the Creator’s will: the only issue is what does mankind think is right, acceptable, and good. How did mankind ever get to such a pitiful condition? What would ever cause such a frail, short-lived creature—made of mere dirt!—to exalt himself to such a deified position?

Let us be clear about three points:

  1. CREATION: Man’s original spiritual and moral decay could have been avoided had he not willfully rejected his knowledge of God (just like the Christians referenced in today’s Scripture). We can, and later will, appeal to the Scriptures to see man’s spiritual and moral decline… less than a week after his creation!
  2. CIVILIZATION: The significant cultural transformation—the willful rejection of the knowledge of God—that we are witnessing today is nothing new (recall the Christians referenced in today’s Scripture). What is happening today in the United States and all nations is something that God has seen many times over. He is not surprised, and neither should the Bible student. We can, and later will, appeal to the Scriptures to see Israel’s spiritual and moral decline.
  3. CHURCH: The professing “Church” has repeatedly—and in many cases, deliberatelyrejected their knowledge of God (just like the Christians referenced in today’s Scripture). This is nothing new, either, as God has seen it many times over. He is not surprised, and neither should the Bible student. We can, and later will, appeal to the Scriptures to see the professing “Church’s” spiritual and moral decline.

The serious Bible student can recognize a pattern in the three above points, which we will now carefully dissect….

Where Was God? #1

Saturday, September 14, 2013

“Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest thou thyself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1 KJV).

One of the most common questions ever asked….

We in the United States of America recently marked the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In the twelve years since those events, the question has been asked myriads upon myriads of times, “Where was God?” That is, “Why did He allow such a tragedy?” There were no miraculous interventions of God, no guardian angels to help the 3,000 souls who would perish on that awful day. The Bible teaches “God is love,” and yet the heavens were silent as the worst disaster in United States history occurred. Why?

One of the most basic teachings of Scripture is that the Lord Jesus Christ created man as a “free moral agent.” Simply put, man is not a robot. He is a creature who can willfully submit to his Creator’s will, or he can willfully reject it. Man can choose to obey the Lord, or he can choose to do something else. This is how much God loves freedom.

Luke 7:29,30 is one of the Bible’s clearest examples of free will: “And all the people that heard him [John the Baptist], and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.” Some people accepted God’s will: they declared God “just” (right) by accepting John’s baptism as true. The rest rejected God’s will: they declared God a liar by denying the necessity of John’s baptism.

As free moral agents, we have been granted the responsibility of making our own choices and bearing the consequences (whether good or bad). Again, God will not make our decisions for us. In His Word, the Holy Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ has already declared what is right, good, acceptable, and perfect. Nevertheless, He does not force us to agree with Him. We can push Him out of our thoughts and do what we want in life, pretending as though He did not exist (Romans 1:18-32).

However, God is still there….

Peace of Mind in a World in Pieces

Thursday, August 15, 2013

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4 KJV).

Despite all of the weeping, sleepless nights, and despondency, there is hope in Jesus Christ!

With the recent passing of a Christian couple’s newborn baby, the sudden demise of a Christian brother and ministry fellow-laborer, and the death of my great aunt yesterday, I can assure you that the member of the Church the Body of Christ, although guaranteed a blissful eternity in the heavenly places, is not spared from pain and grief in this fallen creation. My, what horrific, constant suffering all around the world! In fact, this very reality is often used as an “argument” against God’s existence (but is likened unto the folly of, “I do not believe in the existence of law enforcement officers because of the widespread criminal behavior!”).

Dear saints, sin produces division, disruption, disease, despair, decay, and death. What we see today are merely the remnants of the original perfect creation, what is left of that paradise before God cursed it so Satan could not use it in all its glory for his own purposes (Genesis 3:14-19). As each day passes, this ruined creation comes closer and closer to the day when that “bondage of corruption” will be lifted, when paradise will be restored on earth and in heaven (Romans 8:18-25). Much needs to happen before that glorious day arrives, so we Christians must patiently remain here on earth until our program finishes.

As our Apostle Paul wrote in that awful Roman prison cell, “Rejoice in the Lord alway [in every instant]: and again I say, Rejoice” (today’s Scripture). We cannot rejoice because of our dire conditions, but we can rejoice in these difficulties. Right where we are, whether good or bad circumstances, we should rejoice in our identity in Jesus Christ, in who He is and who we are in Him, what He has done for us (saved us spiritually), and what He will do for us in the future (deliver us physically).

Remember, God’s grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9,10) and we “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]” (Philippians 4:13). 🙂

What’s the Bible Got to Do With Me? #6

Saturday, May 18, 2013

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8 KJV).

One frequent charge the lost world levels against Christians preaching and teaching the Holy Bible is, “That ‘old’ book has nothing to do with me!” Is this a valid objection?

What is the greatest confirmation that the Holy Bible is relevant to the 21st century? When we Christians walk by faith in God’s Word to us—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon—the doctrine will show itself to be the greatest life ever lived. The lost world will not like to see it, but it will literally be the life of Jesus Christ for all to see! They will see the Holy Scriptures manifested in your life, and they will be forced to admit the Bible is relevant… otherwise, it would not be on display in your life.

We have briefly analyzed the “‘old’ Bible is irrelevant” objection from four angles—the historical, the scientific, the literary, and the practical—and we briefly demonstrated that it is nothing more than the lame claim of the sinner easing his conscience and avoiding accountability to a holy, righteous God.

The Bible (1) is often used by secular works as a source of world history, (2) it is a wealth of scientific concepts and facts the mainstream scientific community has only discovered within the last few centuries, (3) its literary value (phraseology, rhythm, terminology, wisdom, majestic style) is unparalleled, seeing as to over 5500 manuscripts support its New Testament and thousands of manuscripts form the foundation for its Old Testament, and (4) its doctrine is used by millions of Christians as the basis for their worldview and lifestyle.

In closing this devotionals arc, and considering what we have discussed, the Bible rejecter is now left in an unenviable position—he can ignore the testimony of all these, thereby allowing himself to keep his anti-Bible worldview, or he can set aside his foolish pride and finally put his trust in that Book that literally takes an eternity to fully grasp…. After all, “the word of our God shall stand for ever.” 🙂