Monthly Archives: June 2013

Sad Old Flag

Sad Old Flag

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.  (Psalm 33:12)

As we prepare to celebrate the 237th anniversary of our nation’s birth, I wanted to write a celebratory message to beat the drum and sound the trumpet for America’s greatness, but as I thought about it, I could find little to celebrate. Yes, I could talk about America’s great history. I could write about the wisdom of our founding fathers that framed a government from and of the people – a government that recognized that liberty was derived from God and not from a ruling class. I could write about the Christian heritage that guided the founders, and how the majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were pastors or graduates of seminaries. Of the 56 signers, only two were Deists – Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin – and there were no atheists. (How could an atheist conceive that liberty comes from God!) I could write about the wisdom contained in the few words of our national law – the Constitution of the United States of America. I could write about how God has blessed and protected this nation above any other for more than 200 years making  us the richest nation in the world and the strongest militarily power in the world – all gifts from God to whom all credit is due.

There is so much I could say, most of which has been repeated countless times albeit to a mostly deaf audience. It seems to me – perhaps I am just getting old and curmudgeony – that the majority of our populous has little appreciation for the greatness of our nation, much less any love for her. My youngest son, who claims to be  politically Conservative (a Libertarian, actually), and is very interested and involved in politics, remarks that America is not all that great. America is no better than any other nation in the world. The world hates us because we are big bullies imposing our will on people that don’t want it. Our politics are corrupt; we cannot trust the people running our government. He has no idea how deeply that wounds me as a Vietnam Era Veteran that served four years active duty and eight years in the Naval Reserves. I take great pride in my country and my flag. When I entered military service, I took an oath, under God, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. When I left the service, I do not recall that oath having been rescinded. In my view, that oath is still in effect.

I still love my country, and I love my flag. I love what they stand for, or perhaps more accurately, what they used to stand for. I am not sure anymore if this is the country and flag I swore to defend and protect. The Constitution is still valid, in a manner of speaking, but it has been so trampled by power-hungry oligarchs that its only remaining value is to be touted in self-serving rhetoric by unscrupulous politicians. Many rules and regulations have been enacted by unelected bureaucrats which, if each is measured by that founding document, would be found unlawful. Yet there they are, put in place to circumvent and supersede the Law of the Land.

Although the current administration, along with the other two branches of government, are indisputably the worst violators in the history of this nation, they are not the first or the only ones to place political gains above the welfare of the nation. This is nothing new. It has been happening for at least 100 years, but like so many others, I had faith and trust that our elected officials genuinely held the interest of the nation as a sacred trust. How naïve and gullible I was!

But our ignorance is not solely to blame; neither can the entire fault be assigned to our less-than-honorable elected leaders. No, these United States of America is a government “of the people.” It is the collective body of all Americans that must shoulder the blame for the disrepair into which our nation has degenerated. It is the collective body of all Americans that has jettisoned God from the public arena. It is the collective body of all Americans that has sanctioned the murder of millions of unborn babies. It is the collective body of all Americans that has bowed to political correctness in allowing sodomy to have equal standing with what God has designed for the home and family. It is the collective body of all Americans that has allowed the subjugation of half of the citizenry by making them dependent on government subsidies. And while Christians may be saying, “Not us,” allow me to remove that air of self-righteousness by reminding us of the words of Edmund Burke: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” We, Christians, have kept silent too long and have allowed this to happen. Yes, I hear the outcry now, but it may already be too late.

America is not the country that I remember. It is not the country that I desire for my children and my grandchildren – not in this current state. But there is hope. While there is life, there is hope. There are two solutions to our current estate. First (and my preference), is the return of our Lord to redeem His creation. Nothing that man can achieve, politically or economically, can compare to the rule of law and peace that only He can bring. The second is a call to God’s people, for God said, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). More than pray, in this nation of “We the people,” we must get actively involved in the doings of our government and take back the control granted to us by our Constitution and the liberty that is granted to us by our Creator.

I vow to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic, and I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, so help me God.


Filed under Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Holidays, Politics, Religion

Confronting Historical Adam


And the LORD God formed [ʼâdâm] of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and [ʼâdâm] became a living soul.  (Genesis 2:7)

The question of whether Adam was a true historical person is not a new one. Liberal theologians have debated the question since at least the middle of the nineteenth century. They eventually concluded that Adam was a mythical figure recorded in Scripture for the purpose of attributing to God a superintending role in the process of creation, which was mostly guided by evolution. This rejection of the literal reading of the text quickly degenerated into relegating the rest of Scripture to the stuff of myths, and ultimately to the rejection of the deity of Christ. The Bible thus became a good book to live by, but not necessarily to be taken seriously.

This is nothing new. However, the negation of the historical Adam, and the rest of the Genesis creation account, is now cropping up in Evangelical circles. Evangelicals who have traditionally stood for the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture are now beginning to question the historicity of a real Adam and Eve as the very first, uniquely created, human pair from which the rest of humanity sprang. Granted, this is NOT a salvation issue. Our salvation is by Grace alone, through Faith in Christ alone, and by no other means. However, what one believes about the historical Adam has huge theological implications for several reasons.

First of all, the Bible is the “God-breathed” Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16), therefore it cannot be found in error because God does not lie (Numbers 23:19). Nor can God’s Word fail (Psalm 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 5:18; Luke 21:33; 1 Peter 1:25). Some may try to discredit the Bible by claiming that it was written by men and therefore is full of errors. That is to charge that God is incapable of preserving His Word. Scripture makes clear that God’s Word is not to be tampered with (Deuteronomy 4:2), and that it is not the product of the will of man but of God Who inspired and guided men to pen the text (2 Peter 1:20-21). Since the writing of the original autographs, textual criticism had confirmed the integrity of the text that we now have over and over again. So, to question the historicity of Adam is to question the integrity of God and His Word. Personally, I would rather steer clear of that.

Secondly, Jesus confirmed the authenticity of the historical Adam (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6), as well as other “questionable” miracles contained in Scripture: Noah and the Flood (Matthew 24:37-38; Luke 17:26-27), the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15; 11:23-24; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12; 17:29), and Jonah swallowed by the “great fish” (Matthew 12:39-40; 16:4; Luke 11:29). Since Jesus is the Creator (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16) and the ultimate Author of Scripture, one would surmise that He had first-hand knowledge of the events. So, to deny the historicity of Adam is to find fault with Jesus’ testimony. Ultimately it is to deny His deity, for how can God commit such errors! To deny the historical Adam is to charge that either Jesus purposefully lied, which God cannot do, or that He was uninformed, which God, through omniscience, is incapable of doing.

Thirdly, other New Testament writers affirm the historical Adam. Luke, the physician (Colossians 4:14), who had “taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us” (Luke 1:1), set down in his Gospel the genealogy of Jesus tracing it back all the way to “Adam, which was the son of God” (Luke 3:38). The significance of this is in that Luke, being a physician and scientist, was meticulous about the details he recorded as can be seen throughout his Gospel. Paul also, highly educated under the tutelage of Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), refers back to Adam especially with regard to original sin (Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45; 1 Timothy 2:13-14). Jude, the half-brother of Jesus, counts the generations of Enoch beginning with Adam (Jude 14).

With all the internal evidence for the historical Adam, especially that which comes from the lips of our Lord Himself, one has only two options: accept the historicity of Adam recorded in the foundational book of Genesis, or reject the Bible altogether as unreliable. That brings us full circle to the issue of salvation. If the Bible is unreliable with regard to historical Adam, how can it be trusted in regard to salvation? One cannot ride the fence on this issue, and it is time for Evangelicals to nail this down once and for all. Adam and Eve were real, historical figures and the progenitors of the human race.

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And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (Revelation 5:13)

I received an email this week from someone who thought we were limiting God’s creative power by suggesting that there is no other life anywhere in the universe outside of what is found here on earth. I assume she was referring to other human-like life.

It is understandable how someone could arrive at the conclusion that other “races” (to differentiate between human and human-like life) could exist elsewhere in the universe. After all, the universe is immense, and we are told that at it is arrogant for us to presume that we are the only ones. Then we have evolutionary/atheistic scientists that incessantly probe the night skies “listening” for “intelligent” communications from other worlds in the tax-funded Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). If that is not enough, our “science” channels are filled with programs about UFOs or Ancient Aliens. That these programs are featured in the “science” channels lends an air of credibility to them, so that many – even the “elect” – are swayed by them. But all of these have a common thread – evolution. For decades now, the propaganda of evolution has been forced down the throats of otherwise intelligent people – starting in kindergarten – so that our society has been thoroughly indoctrinated in this unsubstantiated “theory.” As the saying goes, “Tell a lie long enough, and people will believe it.” Evolution teaches that life sprang from non-life on earth 3.5 to 4 billion years ago – by mere accident – and if it can happen here, surely it could happen elsewhere in the universe. That might be true, if evolution is true, but evolution has consistently failed the test of scientific scrutiny; even avid evolutionists will admit to this. (I could offer quotes, but that would make this article too long.)

So, back to the question of other “races” of “people” elsewhere in the universe. We are in agreement that God is certainly capable of having created life elsewhere in His universe, if He chose to do so. We cannot say with certainty that He did not. However, if He did create life elsewhere, that would raise some serious theological issues for us here on planet Earth.

God created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27). Man sinned (Genesis 3), and brought the curse upon ALL of creation (Romans 8:21-22). God came and put on the “image” of man (Philippians 2:5-7) in order to pay the penalty (Romans 6:23) for our sin thereby redeeming us (Galatians 4:5; Titus 2:14) and all of His creation (Revelation 5:13).

Now, if there are other human-like creatures (Vulcans, Klingons, Romulans, etc.), somewhere else in the universe, it is very likely that they all sinned as well – remember, Adam was only given one rule to obey, and he chose to disobey. So what is to say those other races fared any better? That being the case, it would mean that Jesus would have to die separately for each one of those races of “people,” but that is in conflict with Scripture. The Bible tells us that Jesus died once for all (Romans 5:17-19; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Hebrews 10:10). So, according to Scripture, Jesus came to die for and redeem man-kind, not aliens.

Yes, God is certainly capable of creating other races of people, but we cannot substantiate that from Scripture. To insist that other races “might” exist “out there” is speculative and arbitrary. We need to stay with what Scripture clearly reveals to us, and it says nothing about aliens from “a galaxy far, far away.” Even though God could have created them (His omnipotence is unlimited), we need not worry about E.T.


Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity, Creation, Current Events, End Times, Evolution, Gospel, Religion, Salvation, Theology, UFOs

Practical Atheism



If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)

It could be argued that there are no true atheists. The Bible says that “that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them” (Romans 1:19), so they are, in fact, not ignorant of the existence of God. Instead, they “hold [down or suppress] the truth in unrighteousness” (Romans 1:18). According to a recent poll reported in the Washington Post, August 13, 2012, only five percent (5%) of Americans profess to be atheists. That represents a rise from one percent (1%), but it could hardly be called epidemic.

The same poll noted a decline of those who call themselves “religious” from 73% to 60%.  “Religious” is a rather nebulous term that could range from strict fundamental Christianity to navel-gazing new age mysticism. In an article that asks, “How Many Americans are Evangelical Christians? Born-Again Christians?” Bradley Wright points out that “Currently Evangelical Christianity in the US is at about its 40-year average, with 23%-24% of Americans affiliating with an Evangelical church or denomination.” Of course, just being affiliated with an evangelical church does not necessarily mean that the adherent is “born again.” Under this classification, Wright noted that 34% of Americans claim to be born again, and that includes mainline Protestants, and Catholics besides Evangelicals. Even here, the numbers may be misleading because many who claim to be “born again” really have no idea what that means. Probably the percentage of truly born again believers in America is less than 20%, and I base that on personal observation without any scientific proof.

My observation informs me that there exist many “practical atheists” out there. Many are in our churches and are familiar with church “lingo” so that they easily “pass” as genuine Christians. Most practical atheists, however, are either “non-religious,” that is, they profess to believe in God, but do not affiliate with any organized religion, or they are simply “spiritual” holding to one or more varieties of pantheism, and they will even “allow” for a “supreme being.” None of these would deny the existence of God outright, but they live their lives as if there is no God. Their egocentric lives are a series of choices based on what is expedient for them at the time. They never consider consulting God on a matter, but rather act on what suits them at the moment. To someone like this, James says, “Go to now, ye that say, [Today] or [tomorrow] we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13-15).  To ask God’s direction in any plan would not even occur to a practical atheist.

A practical atheist thinks that all his possessions are his because of his own effort, or in the case of him who lives off subsidies, he believes that somehow these things are owed to him. Certainly Paul’s instruction to “In [everything] give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) would make little sense. The practical atheist gives low priority to “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is” (Hebrews 10:25). Even if he is a member of a church, often other activities will take priority over attending the worship service and Bible study on Sundays. The practical atheist has no need to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) or to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15). For the practical atheist, personal prayer and Bible study are of little or no value. The practical atheist lives his life as though his future is guaranteed. He is oblivious to Jesus’ warning: “Surely, I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20).

Practical atheists are not necessarily “bad” people. Jesus told of a rich man that died and went to hell (Luke 16:19-32). Jesus’ description of the man was not necessarily an evil report; albeit he was self-centered and self-absorbed, and oblivious to the needs of Lazarus who begged outside his gates. The rich man went to hell because he was a practical atheist. He lived his life as if God did not exist even though he was probably very religious in practice, yet even his religious practice was all about him, and “God” was just part of the nomenclature of his religious life.

The practical atheist may profess a superficial belief in God, but he lives his life as if God does not exist, and as if he is not accountable to Him in any way. As Christians, we should strive to live our lives consistent with our profession and the teachings of God’s Word, and not as practical atheists.


Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity, End Times, Gospel, Religion, Salvation, Theology

Seeing, They See Not


And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. (Acts 9:7)

Saul was a religious fanatic. Following his approving support of the stoning of the first recorded Christian martyr, Stephan (Acts 7:58), he “yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem” (Acts 9:1-2). Saul was ready to bring in the followers of “The Way” either dead or alive, and he would have given his life for the extermination of these infidels – those who had turned away from the religion of their fathers. Such zeal is nothing strange to us these days, unless you are a Christian; Christians do not normally behave in this manner.

But God had something else in mind for Saul, and He would turn Saul’s zeal for his religion into zeal for the Person of Jesus Christ. Saul was a hard-case, and getting his attention would require more than witnessing the death of a faithful martyr. So Jesus met him in person on his mission to exterminate the believers that were in Damascus. “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9:3-4). Saul was soon to learn that his mission against The Way was really a mission against God Himself as Jesus directly identified Himself with His church: “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (v. 5). The very God whom he thought he was serving and whom he wanted to please struck Saul blind (v. 8), and put him in “time-out” for three days (v. 9) to give him time to reflect on his experience. Saul’s life was dramatically changed following this, so much so that “after … many days were fulfilled, the Jews took counsel to kill him” (v. 23). He was even given a new name, Paul, by which he is most commonly known (Acts 13:9). Everything about Paul changed following this encounter with the risen Christ.

The conversion and transformation of Paul was miraculous indeed, but what about the others who had accompanied Paul on the same mission? They also heard a voice but saw no man. The encounter apparently had some impact on them because they “stood speechless,” but for them, nothing changed. In fact, they may have been the very ones that turned on him, and “took counsel to kill him.” When we think about it, it really should not come as a surprise. Jesus said, concerning the Jewish religious leaders, “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive” (Matthew 13:13-14).

Today, the Gospel is preached though every possible medium available – even this simple blog – and though it is heard by countless millions, it has no effect on most. Jesus said that “strait [small] is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). Seeing, they see not, and hearing, they hear not.

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