Monthly Archives: April 2016

Work

Work-needed

But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. (John 5:17)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the current unemployment rate as of this writing is 5.0%. On the surface, that looks pretty good, but when one considers that the unemployment rate rose to over 10% in late 2008 and remained there for almost four years before starting to drop; and that many that lost jobs then, and since then, remain unemployed and off the unemployment rolls, the current report is deceptive. The current statistic draws from a smaller pool of workers. With fewer jobs to go around, companies maintain minimum staffing simply to survive. Not to mention, Obama Care encourages employment of part-time help rather than hiring full-time employees to avoid paying health benefits. As a result, fewer workers are being laid off, so the unemployment number looks better than the actual unemployment. Sources differ, but the actual unemployment rate is somewhere between 40% and 60% meaning that at least half of the country is out of work.

The scarcity of work not only serves to stagnate the economy, but it potentially promotes an increase in crime and civil unrest. Having been created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), humans need to work. Jesus made the point in John 5:17 (above) that God works, and He (Jesus) works. It follows, then that we, His creatures, must work; it comes with being created in the image of God.

So, what happens when we don’t work? A line in an old song says, “busy hands are happy hands; hands that can’t go wrong.” An old saying says, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” God set the pattern for work in six days of Creation. “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made” (Genesis 2:2). Later He would codify that pattern into law. “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work … For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:9-11). The command was repeated again: “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD” (Exodus 31:15), and again: “Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work” (Deuteronomy 5:13-14). The pattern was established from the beginning. The place where God placed man in the beginning was not a place of leisure. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15).

Work is something God created for man’s benefit. God could have called the entire creation into existence in a nanosecond, but He “worked” in six days to set the pattern for us. Have you ever wondered why the 7-day week is ubiquitous in all the earth? Nowhere on earth is there a four-day week or a ten-day week. All across the earth, the world observes a seven-day week.

Work is God’s gift to us. Yes, work can become “laborious” because of the Fall (Genesis 3:17-19), but it remains in us to work because of the image of God which we carry. The psalmist, Moses, said, “Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it” (Psalm 90:16-17). We reflect the image of God through our work. Knowing that should encourage us to do our work with excellence. Modernizing Paul’s words he exhorts us: “[Employees], obey in all things your [employers] according to the flesh; not [only when they are watching you], as [flatterers]; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ (Colossians 3:22-24).

Since work is something that God does which He imparted to His image bearers, is it any wonder there is so much unrest when there is no work to be had? It would be good, if our policy makers understood that.

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Loving God

Woman in Worship 6214442_ml

If ye love me, keep my commandments … If a man love me, he will keep my words. (John 14:15, 23)

How can one love God? Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). How does one love or worship “a Spirit”? By definition, a spirit is immaterial. A spirit cannot be heard, seen, smelled, tasted, or touched. Those who choose not to believe in God use this as an excuse. Understandably, it is difficult for us material beings to relate to the Spirit of God. Some, I think, attempt to make the connection by raising hands and swaying to the music of a Sunday morning worship service in order to achieve some sort of euphoric state. (I’m not making fun. I have no way of knowing what goes on inside the heart of others. I’m only making an observation.) I cannot do that. I am not a touchy-feely person that requires a lot of external stimulus. I know God intuitively. God is real regardless of how I feel or whether I can sense Him or not, but to love Him, I must understand His personhood.

One aspect of God’s personhood is His desire to have fellowship with His creation. From the beginning we read, “And they [Adam and Eve] heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day … And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:8-9). God feels hurt when betrayed, but acts justly, yet with mercy. When Adam and Eve disobeyed, God expressed hurt when He said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” (Genesis 3:22), and although He had created the Garden of Eden just for them, He acted justly “and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden” (Genesis 3:22-23). Yet He showed mercy toward the couple. Rather than kill them outright, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (Genesis 2:21) substituting the life of innocent animals to cover their sin.

From the beginning we find that, while God is just in punishing sin, His love for us, His creation created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), manifests itself in His grace and mercy. We see this pattern revealed again in His dealing with Cain for murdering Abel (Genesis 4). We sense God’s pain: “And he said [to Cain], What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground” (Genesis 4:10). Because of this horrific act, God executed justice by banishing Cain to a life of wandering (Genesis 4:12), but He showed mercy on him by placing an identifying mark on him to keep others from taking revenge on him (Genesis 4:15).

Still, a greater example comes from the Flood account in Genesis 6-9. By that time mankind had become so wicked and corrupt, “And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart” (Genesis 6:6, emphasis mine). The word translated “repented” is the Hebrew word nâcham, which means to “sigh” or “breathe strongly,” or, by implication, “to be sorry.” It does not mean that God changed His mind (Malachi 3:6). The end of that verse expresses God’s hurt over man’s depravity: “it grieved him at his heart.” God’s justice came in the form of the Flood. “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8, emphasis mine). Because of His grace, i.e. love, God showed mercy in saving His creation from complete destruction.

We could go on and on with examples, but from the beginning of Genesis, the pattern was set for the personhood of God. He is just, loving and merciful (and much more). We should also note, in these first examples that it is man who does wrong, but it is God who first responds out of His love for us. Indeed, “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). John writes in his Gospel, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16, emphasis mine). The word order in the Greek emphasizes God’s love – “so loved God the world.” So great is God’s love that He acted. “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

The shama proclaims “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, He quoted the shama, (Matthew 22:36-38). It seems rather paradoxical that God, who first loved us, demands that we love Him when our natural inclination is to reject Him. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God” (Romans 3:10-11, emphasis mine). Yet this jilted lover reached down to those who rejected him (John 1:10-11) and literally gave His life to rescue us from the very clutches of eternal death.

When we come to a deep understanding of that reality, our desire should be to return that love. But how? We can’t wrap our arms around Him. We can’t kiss His wounded head, hands, and feet. How can we express our love for Him in a tangible way that truly demonstrates our love?  How can we “love the LORD [our] God with all [our] heart, and with all [our] soul, and with all [our] might”? God gave the answer. “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes” (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). In short, we demonstrate our love for God by obeying His commandments. Someone might say, “But that is Old Testament. We live under the New Testament; we are not bound by the Law.” That is both true and false. We cannot be saved by obeying the Law, but that does not nullify the Law. It still serves as our standard, i.e. our guide book. There is a saying, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

The Law gives us something to aim for. The fact that we cannot perfectly meet that standard is the reason Jesus had to die in our place. And He said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Note that “commandments” is plural. Jesus, who is God in the flesh (John 1:1, 14), gave those commandments to Moses, and He says, “For I am the LORD, I change not” (Malachi 3:6). However, He did condense all of His Law down to two: (1) “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”  (2) “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Then He said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). If we can do all of that, then we are keeping all of His commandments, and thereby we demonstrate our love for Him. But how do we know we are keeping those two? Check the guide book – the Old Testament.

Loving God has nothing to do with the euphoric experience you get, or don’t get, out of Sunday morning “worship” service. Loving God means obeying His commandments. That is how you show your love for God, and no fuzzy feelings are required.

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The Problem With Academia

On my commute to work this morning (April 14, 2016), I tuned in to the Mark Davis Show on KSKY 660 AM and listened to a segment worthy of sharing. Mark read part of an article by Dr. Everett Piper, President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, where he addressed a student who felt “victimized” by a sermon on 1 Corinthians 13 – “The Love Chapter.” In the article, Dr. Piper “schools” the boy on “how the cow eats the cabbage.” The interview that follows is equally educational.

I recorded this on my dash cam, so the sound quality is not the best, and on top of that you have to listen past the road noise. But, if you listen closely, you will get an education. 🙂 So relax. Turn up the volume, and enjoy my drive to work!

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Filed under Current Events, Philosophy, Random Musings

NOah Sail!

Ark Model Display at the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

Ark Model Display at Answers in Genesis Creation Museum

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. (Genesis 6:14)

The creation ministry Answers in Genesis opens its long-awaited project the Ark Encounter on July 7, 2016. As implied by the name, the project promises to give visitors an “encounter” with Noah’s Ark. The main attraction is a full-scale model of Noah’s Ark based on the Egyptian Royal cubit of 20.6 inches and making the model an enormous 515 feet long. That is almost the length of 1 ¾ football fields.

The Ark will house many exhibits including life-sized animal models – many animated to be sure – to help visitors experience what life on the Ark might have been like. This will include the storage of food for the crew of eight, plus that of all the animal passengers. It will instruct the visitors on how the care and feeding of so many animals could be accomplished with only eight people onboard.

noah-arkThe importance of this attraction lies in the understanding that a large majority of people today reject the Bible as myth due to accounts such as that of the Global Flood recorded in Genesis 6-9. Even many liberal theologians compromise with the secularist in attributing the origin of the account to the Epic of Gilgamesh, or suggest that the Flood was only local and not global as described in Scripture.  Many adults today, if they think of Noah’s Ark at all, remember the stories read to them as children and remember the pictures of a tiny little boat with animals sticking their heads out of different port holes. Or they remember cute little bathtub toys with which they played at bath time. So, the idea of a wooden vessel large enough to house so many animals defies reason. The Ark Encounter will change that thinking, or at least give them something to think about.

I look forward to visiting sometime after it opens, and I would encourage others to plan a trip up to northern Kentucky to experience it for yourself. While there, you can also visit Answers in Genesis Creation Museum. To get the most out of the visit, I would plan for at least three days. It will really be worth your time.

ark sail

The Sail

Not to take anything away from this most excellent endeavor by Answers in Genesis, but I do have one small bone to pick with the exterior design of the Ark. The ark replica under construction sports a tall stationary “sail” at the bow of the “ship” and a rudder-like structure, called a skeg, at the stern of the “ship.”

The Skeg

The Skeg

Tim Lovett is the designer of the ark replica. I do not know anything about Mr. Lovett, but according to the cover on his book Noah’s Ark: Thinking Outside the Box, he is a naval expert and a mechanical engineer. Lovett employed sound reasoning in the design of his ark. The “sail” is a wooden superstructure that rises high above the weather deck along the centerline of the ship. I say “ship” because the hull construction of this ark resembles what one would imagine for a modern ship with a tapered prow and stern. Hence the idea of “Thinking Outside the Box.” Prior to Lovett’s ship-like ark, most conventional thought rendered the Ark more box shaped – like a barge – than a navigable ship. Though unconventional, Lovett’s design makes good sense. The design prevents “broaching” i.e. catching a wave broadside. A tsunami-like wave in order of 100 ft or higher (which we would expect from the catastrophe described in the Flood account) could possibly swamp and capsize the vessel. On a navigable ship, an experienced sea captain would turn his ship into the wave to prevent broaching, but the Ark was not a navigable ship. Taking this into consideration, Lovett designed his ark with a sail and skeg that take advantage of the wind that generates the waves (sometimes but not always) and the motion of the wave to turn the ark in the direction of the wave and accomplish something similar to that of the experienced sea captain. It really is a very clever design.

Lovett defends his design by pointing to the ship construction of the ancient Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, etc., and suggests that pre-Flood people probably possessed similar shipbuilding skills. If that were the case, then Noah probably had access to the same technology, and assuming, as we do, that pre-Flood people were actually of higher intellect than modern man (being that they were genetically closer to the perfectly created man, Adam), then it stands to reason that Noah had the intellect, knowledge and skills to build such a vessel.

There Lovett argues from scriptural silence. The Bible makes absolutely no mention of maritime travel in the pre-Flood world. We can surmise that they were technologically skilled by the descriptions given in Genesis 4:20-22, but the description is rather limited: they kept cattle, made musical instruments, and worked in brass and iron. That is really not up to the standard that we might consider technology today, however, that is not the point of the narrative. These people were not “knuckle draggers;” they were highly intelligent, yet there is nothing said about their abilities to navigate the open seas. Would that not be significant? So, Noah’s shipbuilding skills are merely a product of Lovett’s speculation, and we should leave it at that. There is nothing wrong with that as long as we remember that it is “speculation,” not Bible.

Let us consider what the Bible does say. We know that the human race had become wicked and corrupt (Genesis 6:1-7) to the point that God had no other option than to destroy them all; “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). God instructed Noah to build an ark. The Hebrew word translated “ark” is têbâh, and it means “box” – not a “ship” or a “boat.” It is a box.  Further, God instructed Noah what building materials to use: gopher wood and pitch. No one knows what gopher wood is. Some think it is some kind of extinct tree, and some think it may have been a method of construction or a process of laminating wood. We do not know. The point is that Noah knew what it was. “Pitch” is the Hebrew word kôpher which literally means “cover,” the same word that is used for “atonement.” Some have suggested that it was bitumen – a tar – but whatever it was, it was meant to seal the Ark and make it watertight.

Ark Model on Display at the Institute for Creation Research

Ark Model on Display at the Institute for Creation Research

Noah was given the dimensions for the Ark 300 x 50 x 30 cubits (Genesis 6:15), and it was to have three decks and animal pens (Genesis 6:14).  God’s instructions also included a “window” (Genesis 6:16). The Hebrew word translated “window” is tsôhar, which literally means “double light,” and is translated elsewhere in the O.T. as “noon” or “midday.” Considering these details, one would think that something so prominent as a “sail” or a “skeg” would have been noted. But again, this is an argument from silence that does not necessarily negate Noah having added this detail of his own volition. We can infer from Scripture that Noah employed some of his own initiative when, at the end of the Flood, we read, “And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made” (Genesis 8:6, emphasis mine). In this case the Hebrew word translated “window” is challôn, which is always translated as “window” in the O.T. This was something different than the “window” God specified for construction.

So, could the Ark withstand the ravages of the catastrophic global flood without the benefit of a sail and skeg? To answer that question, we must answer some fundamental questions. Who brought the judgment upon the human race (Genesis 6:7)? Who decided to save Noah and his family (Genesis 6:18)? Who gave the order to build the Ark and provided the specifications (Genesis 6:14-16)? Who selected and called the animals to the Ark when it was completed (Genesis 7:7-9)? Who caused the fountains of the deep to burst and for the rain to fall for 40 days and nights (Genesis 7:11-12)? Who caused the waters to continue to rise for 150 days (Genesis 7:24)? The answer to all of those questions is God. It was all God’s doing. The next question to ask is: “What was God’s purpose for the Ark?” “Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive” (Genesis 6:20, emphasis mine).

Considering that God directly planned, directed, and superintended every detail of this catastrophic event, it stands to reason that (since His plan included preserving life on the Ark) He also kept the Ark safe through the turbulence of the storm.

Noah was instructed to build a big box, not a ship. God did not require him to possess shipbuilding skills, only enough skills to build a watertight box. God would take care of the rest. So, while Tim Lovett’s design is clever, well thought out, and reasonable, it is really unnecessary when God’s plan all along was to preserve life. More than that, a simple box preserved in turbulent waters, glorifies God more than a sleek ship designed by man. A ship designed to resist rough waters glorifies the ingenuity of man; but with a simple box, God gets all the glory.

The Ark is a “type” of Christ. Salvation is through grace; it is not by works of man (Ephesians 2:8-9). Those who place their trust in Christ are saved from the storms of life and preserved to enter into a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1). It is all God’s doing. The only thing man needs to do is obey God’s call and enter through the only door (John 14:6) to be saved. No clever scheme of man, no matter how refined, can compete with God’s very simple design.

So, if you have an opportunity to visit the Ark Encounter, please do so. It will really be a blessing to you. But when you look at that massive sail and skeg, take it for what it is: a clever product of someone’s imagination. And remember, God does not need our help to accomplish His will.

You might also be interested in reading about the Arm model I built: Building the Ark.

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The Bible Says

The Bible Says

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

I am blessed to have been raised by Christian parents who, not only took me to church every Sunday, but they taught me from God’s Word at home. Dad was not well educated. He was raised on his father’s ranch in Chihuahua, Mexico and only went to school until the third grade where he learned to read, write and do basic arithmetic. That was sufficient at a time and place where hard work was valued above book learning – education extends beyond the confines of a classroom. After he came to the United States and met Mom, God called him into the pastoral ministry, and he spent the rest of his life pastoring small Hispanic congregations, mostly around West Texas. Before entering the ministry, he prepared for five years at the Instituto Biblico Mexicano in San Antonio, Texas that taxed his third-grade education to the limit, but he persevered and completed his training.

My parents, my father in particular, taught me at a very early age that the Bible is the very Word of God. Every word of it is true and trustworthy, even when it comes to things that are hard to believe like the Red Sea parting (Exodus 14:21-31), the walls of Jericho falling (Joshua 6:15-20), or an axe head floating (2 Kings 6:5-7). These things have no natural explanation other than the record in God’s Word. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19). Therefore, if God says something in His Word, it must be true regardless of our ability to explain it.

However, one does not have to cast off reason and believe the Bible simply because the Bible says so. The Bible contains more than sufficient, historical, scientific, practical, fulfilled prophetic evidence of its accuracy to lend credence to those areas demanding “faith.” Archeologists have time and again confirmed the Bible’s historical account. For example, the Bible was long criticized for recording the existence of the Hittite people until archeological evidence proved the Bible right. To date, archeological digs uncover evidences confirming the historical accuracy of biblical accounts.

Scientifically, although not a text book on science, the Bible accurately records scientific matters. For example, the Bible matter-of-factly records the existence of ocean currents (Psalm 8:8), earth suspended in space (Job 26:7),[1] a spherical earth and expanding universe (Isaiah 40:22), the water cycle (Psalm 135:7), and even Pi (π) rounded to the nearest whole number (1 Kings 7:23). As for practical matters, one need only read and apply the book of Proverbs or Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to live a successful life. The Bible accurately records fulfilled prophecies. The prophecies concerning Israel’s captivity in Babylon were pronounced as far back Deuteronomy, prior to their entry into the Promised Land. This same prophecy was repeated by later prophets, and it came to pass. Their return to the land was predicted and it came to pass. The Diaspora was predicted and it came to pass, as was their return once again to the land of Israel which took place on May 14, 1948. All the prophecies of Jesus’ first coming, His death, His burial, and His resurrection were all fulfilled to the letter.

When the Bible is correct in all of these areas, then why should one doubt when miracles are presented? Miracles are acts whose only explanation is that of divine intervention even when those acts defy natural laws. The same God who “cannot lie” (Titus 1:2), and who will do as He says also says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). Jesus concurred with the prophet when He said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).

There is a scene in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis after Lucy has visited Narnia for the first time and returns to report to her siblings. They would not believe her story. In her defense, Professor Kirke (the old man in whose home the children were staying for protection from German air raids over London in World War II), challenges Lucy’s siblings by asking them if she has ever been known to lie. Since Lucy was not prone to lying, Professor Kirke suggested that perhaps the children should take her at her word. The same can be said about the Bible. Since the Bible can be proven accurate historically, scientifically, practically and prophetically, then perhaps it should be taken for at face value when it speaks of miracles.

This brings me to what perhaps is the greatest miracle of all, next to the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ, i.e. the creation of the universe and all that it contains. This account of creation is found in the first chapter of Genesis, and it is foundational to the rest of Scripture. It is this creation account that I found myself defending against evolution and the Big Bang theory after I left home as a young man. I could not explain a literal six 24-hour day creation other than to stand on “the Bible says.” My conversations usually ended up something like this: “I believe God could have used Big Bang and taken billions of years to create everything, if He chose to. I believe God could have used evolution to create life, if He chose to. But the Bible says that God created everything in only six days. I believe God is great enough to do whatever He chooses to do. He could have created everything in a split second, if wanted; but the Bible says He did it in six days, and that is what I believe.”

I know that answer rings hollow to a hardened evolutionist, but it was good enough for me. I will never take man’s word over God’s Word about anything. Yet, far too many “Christian” leaders waffle as to the veracity of this record. Many, certainly not all, highly trained theologians and pastors wear their Ph.D.s and Th.D.s as a mantle of pride that they dare not tarnish by defending the literal reading of Genesis 1 against “experts” in the sciences. They fear appearing “uneducated” for their inability to explain biblical creation to the satisfaction of the skeptics who relentlessly insist that “science has proven” evolution. So rather than defend the clear reading of Genesis 1, they come up with silly compromises, like the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, or Theistic Evolution to appear “scholarly” in their defenses. In the end, they subjugate God’s Word to man’s word.

Some say such compromises make Scripture, especially where Creation is concerned, more believable/acceptable/palatable to people steeped in evolutionary indoctrination. After all, the teaching of evolution is ubiquitous in the world. Not only is evolution taught as fact (albeit unproven, but that’s a minor matter) in schools beginning at the lowest levels, but it is broadcast on television, the movies, and in print. Take notice when watching or listening to commercials at how many products “evolve.” Missing in these messages is the fact that this is “evolution” guided by “intelligence.” The message that comes across is that “everything evolves.” Learning channels like Discovery, Science, History, etc. often present evolution without question. Considering the constant brainwashing of our society to accept evolution as a “proven” fact, it is no wonder that religious leaders shrink back from defending biblical creation. Well, they ought to grow a backbone!

The Bible says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). There in one sentence is the universe: time, space, matter. The Bible says, God created everything there is in six 24-hour days. “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11, emphasis mine). He did it in six days rather than a split second in order to set the pattern of a seven-day week for us – work six days, rest one. Furthermore, the “days” in Genesis 1 are normal 24-hour days. The Hebrew word used is yom, and with very few exceptions (clarified by context), it means a normal 24-hour day. God then took extra care to define the “day” as “evening and morning” (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31)[2] to forfend against any notion of undetermined time.

The Bible says that God created plants before animals and even before the sun (Genesis 1:9-13). The Bible says there is no to plant evolution. “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so” (Genesis 1:11, emphasis mine). “After his kind” means no evolution, and the regenerative process resides within the seed (the DNA) of each plant. Some critics point out that plants need the sun for photosynthesis. That is only partially true. Plants need “light.” Light was created on Day One (Genesis 1:3). Even if it can be argued that plants need “sunlight,” surely plants can survive 24 hours without sunlight, which was created the following day.

The Bible says God created the earth before all other celestial objects (Genesis 1:14-19). My scientist friends might challenge me on this point because it cannot be proven “scientifically,” but this tells me that the earth is at or near the center of the universe. This is not to say that I believe in a geocentric solar system where the earth is stationary and the sun, moon and planets revolve around the earth. (I have seen models that show how this is possible; however, I will stick with what my scientists friends say in this regard – all planets, including the earth orbit around the sun.) However, that does not preclude the earth being located somewhere near the center of the universe. It just makes sense because the Bible says so. Also, according to biblical chronology, the earth (and the universe) is only about 6000 years old. The critics challenging this point to light from galaxies billions of light years away. How is it that we can see that light now, if the earth is only 6000 years old? I cannot explain it, but my astrophysicist friend, Dr. Jason Lisle offers a great theory on it that I cannot condense in the space of this article.[3]

The Bible says God created sea creatures (crustaceans, fish, marine mammals, and reptiles) and air creatures (birds, flying mammals, insects, etc.) on Day Five (Genesis 1:20-23). Here again, God created all creatures so that they would reproduce “after his kind.” The Bible says no to evolution. By the way, note that plants came before any kind of animal. Evolutionists teach that everything came from the sea; they have it backward. On Day Six, God created all land creatures that reproduce “after his kind” – no allowances for evolution. Dinosaurs would be included on Day Six of creation. Note also that birds were created before dinosaurs, which contradicts the notion of birds having evolved from dinosaurs.

The Bible says that the last thing that God created on Day Six was mankind. Male and female were both created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). At the end of the day, God assessed His total creation and declared it “very good” (Genesis 1:31). The Bible says that God placed the man and the woman in His special garden east of Eden (Genesis 2:8). There, man had complete freedom. His only prohibition was not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:17). Having been created in the image of God, man had the free will to obey or disobey God. Man chose to disobey God (Genesis 3:1-7), and through his act of disobedience brought upon himself, his posterity and all of creation the curse of death (Romans 5:12). In His foreknowledge, God had a plan for that eventuality with the promise of a Savior (Genesis 3:15).

In these first three chapters of Genesis, the foundation for the Gospel is set. Without a firm foundation, the entire message of the Gospel crumbles. Those who would insert long ages to the simple reading of Genesis 1, allow for ages of death and misery long before the Fall of man. The Bible says death is the enemy (1 Corinthians 15:26). If that is true, why would God make death the curse, when death had already been around for eons of time? And if death is not the curse, then what does Jesus’ death and resurrection accomplish? If Adam and Eve evolved from some ape-like ancestor (again, death and suffering already exist, and God’s creation is not so “very good”), then Jesus, who Scripture identifies as God (John 1:1-3) was wrong when He said, “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6). Can God be wrong?

More can be said on this topic. For now, I think I have gone on long enough. I will end by saying this: there are those who say that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God, but when it comes to defending the biblical record of creation, they defer to the evolutionists rather that defend God’s Word for what it says from the very beginning. I really don’t care if a pastor can’t give scientific proof that the Genesis record is accurate. Most pastors do not have a background in science; their training is mostly in Bible and church stuff. I get that. But for goodness sakes, if you say you believe that the Bible is true, then preach it like it’s true. Creation took place exactly like God recorded it in Genesis 1; that is the bottom line. Now, if a pastor feels the need to back up that statement with scientific proof, there are scientific organizations like the Institute for Creation Research, Answers in Genesis, Creation Ministries International, the Creation Research Society, and others that uncompromisingly defend the veracity of Scripture with scientific research that confirms the biblical account of creation. There are also organization like Biologos and Reasons to Believe that compromise on the biblical account and attempt to make the Bible “fit” modern science. Avoid such; they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Stand by what the Bible says!

Notes:


[1]  The book of Job is considered to predate Genesis by almost 500 years or more, and certainly long before man traveled to the moon and visually confirmed that God “hangeth the earth upon nothing.”

[2]  By Jewish reckoning, the day begins in the evening; so from dark to light, and then evening begins a new day.

[3]  Go to http://www.icr.org/home/search/ and search under keyword “distant starlight”

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BOLTING THROUGH THE BARRICADE

Great read! God gives us so many warning signs. Do we heed them?

MOVING THE ANCIENT BOUNDARIES

“Look at those people, honey!” I pointed out the kitchen window. “Are they silly, stupid, or just not paying attention?”

My husband peered out the kitchen window. “Can’t they see the road’s closed?”

Missing the Warnings

“Obviously not. And here comes the school bus too. Gracious, you can see that barricade and those large orange signs from the top of the hill, but they keep coming and are forced to turn around. I vote for stupid.” I ran to slip on a pair of jeans and a shirt and grab my camera. “This would make a great blog; don’t you think?”

Missing the Warnings 2

Hubs grinned. “Don’t make any enemies. Folks might not like you taking their picture and calling ’em stupid.

We live in a small subdivision off a country road with only two ways in and out. The Texas Road Department has been working on our stretch of road since way before Christmas. They’ve…

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