Tag Archives: Epistle to the Romans

Higher Powers

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1)

The Wuhan Pandemic proves the willingness of Americans to voluntarily subject themselves to the “higher powers” without question or objection. At least that holds true for those of the population who generally comply with mandates issued by the powers that be.  Compliance comes without challenge to the legitimacy or legality of the edict.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the Christian community. Ever since the government issued the “shelter-in-place” rules to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, churches have shut the doors to their facilities, ignoring the biblical mandate not to forsake the assembling together.[1] In so doing, they also ignore another biblical principle that we, the Church, are to obey God rather than men.[2]

In defense of these biblical infractions, church leaders cite Romans 13:1-7.  Writing from Corinth, Paul pens a letter to the young church in Rome expressing his desire to visit them on his way to Spain.[3] Paul’s “meaty” letter to the Romans contains much “heavy” doctrine as well as practical application of that doctrine to the Christian life. In this section, Paul gives instructions on how Christians should relate to governing authorities.

Paul wrote his letter to the Roman Church sometime around 57-58 A.D. Nero reigned as emperor of the Roman Empire.[4] History records that Nero initiated the “Great Fire of Rome” in 64 A.D.[5] in order to make room for one of his public works projects. In order to deflect the liability from himself, he cast the blame on Christians subjecting them to harsh persecution. It is said that he raised Christians on stakes and set them on fire to light the streets of Rome. It is this emperor to whom Paul exhorted the Roman Church to submit “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4). “He is a minister of God to thee for good”? He is “a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil”? Was Paul really talking about Nero? Indeed he was.

Christians should submit to the governing authorities because, according to God’s Word through Paul, “the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1).  The Greek word translated “ordained” is tassō and it carries the idea of putting things in order; to station in place; to arrange; to appoint. I picture it as God arranging chess pieces on a chessboard. The Bible clearly affirms that it is God who sets up or takes down earthly kings. He does it to accomplish His higher purpose. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1).

Even though Nero used Christians as human torches, this was an isolated case. Systemic persecution of Christians did not exist at the time of Paul’s writing to the church at Rome. Isolated cases of persecution cropped up from time to time, but it was far from rampant. The primitive church in Jerusalem suffered the brunt of early persecution at the hands of the Jews, but except for Stephan[6] and James,[7] there is no biblical record of Christians being killed for their faith. The Jews beat Peter and threw him in prison, but an angelic jailbreaker let him out.[8] Early Christians did suffer individual and isolated cases of persecution, but it was mostly in the form of ostracism. In fact, the Bible records that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). The moniker, Christian, was given as a term of derision, not as a compliment. That was mostly the extent of persecution in the early church. We, in America, suffer that kind of persecution today and it appears to be growing worse.

The kind of persecution portrayed in epic movies – Christians fed to lions, burned at the stake, dragged to death behind chariots, etc. – did not take place until much later. “Officially sanctioned Roman persecution was most intense during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius (161–180), Decius (249–251), Diocletian (284–305) and Galerius (305–311).”[9] For the most part, the Romans practiced “freedom of religion,” as long as people gave verbal assent to Caesar as lord. Declaring “Jesus is Lord” could get Christians into trouble, if such a declaration fell on the wrong ears; but I am sure Christians were safe as long as they watched their words.

My point in all of this is to show that Paul gave the church at Rome good advice in keeping the law and submitting to the authorities. Indeed, Paul took advantage of Roman law on more than one occasion.[10] Likewise, as Americans, while America remains, we must submit to our authorities and make use of the system of laws provided by the United States Constitution.

The greatest difference existing between the Roman Empire and the United States of America is the rule of man versus the rule of law. Our framers understood that fallen man cannot rule righteously and must be constrained by something (or someone) greater. Our founders understood that our freedoms come from God alone, and not from human government. We are free because God made us individually free, not because some benevolent human government bestows freedom upon us. Government only takes away freedom. Therefore, the framers of the Constitution, our Law of the Land, very simply designed a form of government of laws, gleaned mostly from the Bible and divided amongst three co-equal branches of government – the Legislative to write laws, the Executive to enforce the laws, and the Judicial to ensure that the laws written by the Legislative branch and approved by the Executive branch were in keeping with the Constitution. Further, the original Constitution included only ten amendments called the Bill of Rights that protected individual citizens from governmental abuses. The design of the Constitution purposefully complicated the process of legislation to prevent our “fallen” leaders from creating abusive laws willy-nilly.  The main intent of government was to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”[11]

Our authority is the Constitution of the United States, not our President, not Congress, nor the Supreme Court, and certainly not the unelected officials which pass thousands of laws and regulations unbeknownst to the rest of us. The first of the Bill of Rights ensures for us the freedom of (not from) religion, the freedom of speech and of the press, and the freedom to peaceably assemble. Specifically, freedom of religion guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion[12] [i.e., we cannot have a “national” religion, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc.] or prohibiting the free exercise thereof [i.e. we are free to practice our faith in any way or in any place we want to].”[13] The freedom to peaceably assemble[14] also applies to our freedom of religion because that is what we, as Christians, do on the Lord’s Day, assemble peaceably.

Now, the Wuhan Bug[15] invaded our borders, and our governmental leaders locked down our nation effectively imprisoning all Americans in their homes “for their own protection,”[16] of course. If they intended to “insure domestic tranquility” they failed miserably. If they intended to “provide for the common defense” they failed at that too. Consider all the rioting and the calls to defund the police. Law-abiding citizens are left defenseless.[17] If they intended to “promote the general welfare,” they failed again. Consider all the jobs lost, businesses closed, and lives disrupted. We are “encouraged” to stay home and not to come out unless it is absolutely necessary, and then we must wear masks to cover our mouths and noses and keep away from other people. I could go on, but I will not belabor the point.

These draconian measures have effectively neutered the First Amendment. We are not allowed to peaceably assemble in our houses of worship, and we are, therefore, prohibited from freely exercising our religion. It was not many years ago that Christians were being discouraged from practicing their religion in public, as in school, at work, or on government property. We were encouraged to confine the exercise of our religion to our houses of worship. Now we cannot even go there.

I do not believe Paul would encourage us to obey unlawful orders. As noted above, Paul lived under the law of man, Nero. We, supposedly, live under the rule of LAW, not of man. Paul without hesitation exercised his legal rights as a Roman citizen under Roman law when his freedoms were violated. Comparing Roman law and American Constitutional law is comparing apples and oranges. We are not obligated to obey edicts prescribed by unelected officials, CDC, HHS, NIH, WHO, etc. They are not legitimate lawgivers, so any edicts put out by these organizations are unsupported by our Constitution – unless We the People voluntarily subject ourselves to them.

No intelligent person denies that COVID-19 poses a potentially fatal threat. However, the infection to death ratio is extremely small. Furthermore, those at high risk of death from this virus are those who are physically compromised – the elderly, the immunocompromised, those with respiratory illnesses, etc. Healthy individuals who are infected either exhibit no symptoms, or they experience symptoms akin to a severe case of flu.

The Wuhan Bug does not warrant the measures taken to combat it. What these measures do accomplish is to provide a large-scale test platform for population control. After all, these measures are “for our own good.” Our government is only trying to protect its citizens. Do not be deceived! The higher powers are testing the waters for greater restrictions to come. These are just the first fruits of tyranny. Sadly, our churches are unwittingly paving the way.

I am one lonely voice. If I could influence anyone, I would encourage church leaders to engage in civil disobedience.  “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). I know pastors are concerned about their congregations and do not want to be responsible for anyone getting infected or dying from the bug. I get that. However, we can meet together without masks, without social distancing, and without prohibitions against personal contact – shaking hands, hugging, etc. First of all, trust God that He will place His protective hand on the congregation. Second, encourage and trust people to exercise common sense. If someone suspects they have been infected they should stay home. If anyone has traveled out of the country or to a “hot spot” they should stay at home. If anyone feels a little “under the weather” they should stay at home. Third, provide plenty of hand sanitizing stations. Fourth, make an extra effort to keep the building clean and disinfected. If the higher powers protest, they do not have a Constitutional leg to stand on. You may have to fight it, but Paul gave us the example.

In the battle for American independence, it was the churches and the pastors that led the charge. It is high time the modern church exhibited the same kind of courage!

 Notes:


[1]  Hebrews 10:25

[2]  Acts 5:29

[3]  Romans 1:13; 15:22-24

[4]  “Nero” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero

[5]  “Great Fire of Rome” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_Rome

[6]  Acts 7:54-60

[7]  Acts 12:2

[8]  Acts 12:3-19

[9]  “Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire

[10]  Acts16:35-40; 22:25;25:11

[11]  Preamble to The Constitution of the United States of America

[12]  By “religion” the founders had in mind Western religions which at that time included all Christian denominations and the Jewish religion. Eastern or pagan religions did not even occur to them.

[13]  The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

[14]  “The Right to Assemble” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/06/14/the-right-to-assemble/

[15]  “Wuhan Bug” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/03/15/wuhan-bug/

[16]  “Unprecedented” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/04/19/unprecedented/

[17]  “Living in Fear” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/06/28/living-in-fear/

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Harbinger Of Demise

The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem, by David Roberts (1850)

That they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands, and with their idols have they committed adultery, and have also caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them. (Ezekiel 23:37)

Ezekiel prophesied to the Jewish captives in Babylon. These were the first carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar.[1] Nebuchadnezzar appointed Jehoiakim’s brother, Mattaniah (a.k.a. Zedekiah), as “king,” i.e., figurehead, over the remnants of Judah. [2] It is to these that the words of our verse above were addressed.

God compared Samaria, capital of the Northern Kingdom, and Jerusalem, capital of Judah, to a couple of adulterous sisters, Aholah and Aholibah.[3] The text does not say whether these were two actual women; however, the name Aholah means “her tent” as in a place of worship. Aholibah (Jerusalem) means “my tent is in her.”

The Northern Kingdom had long abandoned the worship of Yahweh for pagan gods like Baal and Molech, and established their place of worship as Mount Gerizim. Jesus encountered this when He spoke with the Samaritan woman at the well. “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain [Mount Gerizim]; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship” (John 4:20). So, Mount Gerizim was where Aholah (Samaria) had pitched “her tent,” but God had placed “His tent,” i.e., the Temple, in Jerusalem.

God places Himself in the position of a jilted husband whose wives persistently commit adultery against Him. This adultery comes in the form of idolatry with pagan gods. The idolatry included the live sacrifice of their babies – they had “caused their sons, whom they bare unto me, to pass for them through the fire, to devour them” (Ezekiel 23:37). For this, God “put away,” i.e. “divorced,” His wives. Both Israel and Judah went into captivity, and even though Judah returned to the land after 70 years, they never again enjoyed the same relationship they previously had with God.[4]

If God did that with His “chosen” people, what makes us think that the United States of America will fare better in her idolatry? America may not worship the grotesque idols of the ancients, but we do have our idols. Our greatest idol is egocentrism. We worship self. We offer up to self our time, our efforts, our money, and yes, even our babies. Babies are a major inconvenience to our own desires. They can cramp our style, so mothers can “choose” at any time to sacrifice their babies to the god of self. Just as the ancients placed their live babies onto the firey hands of Molech, modern mothers can place their live babies into the murderous and greedy hands of Planned Parenthood abortionists.

That is not all the ancients did. The worship of their gods included ritual sex with temple prostitutes – male and female prostitutes. These were not only for heterosexual sex; the practice included homosexual sex. God considers such acts as abominable.[5] Today, our god of self allows for this practice even to the point of assigning your preferred gender to yourself. This perversion is not only acceptable; it is encouraged. As the decline of social mores rapidly accelerates in decay, the words of Paul to the Romans ring ever truer.

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools … Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves … For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:22, 24, 26-32, emphasis mine).

That is the true state of our union. I was proud of our President Trump in his State of the Union address. His message was positive, encouraging and hopeful. However, in the gallery sat those who applauded only when their selfish interests were addressed. When the President spoke for the sanctity of life, for religious freedom, and against socialism, those same white-clad egotists sat grimacing on their hands. Sadly, these are the ones in power who will thwart every well-intentioned effort by our President.

The light shines brightest when it’s darkest I’ve been told. However, if the dark is a black hole, no light will ever penetrate. If God turned His back on His chosen people, for, arguably, less than our national sin, why should we expect to fare any better? Our only hope is for Jesus to return to reign on earth. From the “signs of the times,” that event can happen any time.

I hope, as you read this, that you are ready for that moment. If you are not sure, please read my page on Securing Eternal Life.

Notes:


[1]  2 Kings 24:11-16; 2 Chronicles 36:5-8

[2]  2 Kings 24:17-19; 2 Chronicles 36:10-12

[3]  Ezekiel 23:4

[4]  The final prophet to speak for God after Judah’s return to the land was Malachi. For 400 years after that, the voice of a prophet was not heard in Israel until “the voice of one crying in the wilderness,” (Matthew 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23) John the Baptist. He announced the coming of Messiah whom the Jews rejected. That rejection resulted in the complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Diaspora that lasted almost 2000 years until the rebirth of Israel on May 14, 1948.

[5]  Leviticus 18:22; 20:13

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All Things Work Together For Good

Everything will be alright

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Were you to ask me what my all-time favorite verse of the Bible is, without hesitation I would say Romans 8:28.  I favor many verses for various reasons, for example, Genesis 1:1 is foundational: “In the beginning God created the heaven[s] and the earth.” God as Creator settles a lot of unanswered and unanswerable questions. Along with that is John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” reveals that Jesus Christ is the Creator, who “was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). It was He who, “being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8) because, “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). I take comfort from knowing that, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23:1). He will meet my every need.

Sometimes, everyone comes to a point in life, maybe more than once in a lifetime, when we feel abandoned by our Shepherd, and we feel that our needs are not being met. In those times, I take refuge in the assurance of Romans 8:28, but it can easily be misunderstood to mean that everything will always be good. That has certainly not been my life experience. To properly understand the significance of this verse, we must see it in its context and examine it in its original language, Greek.

In context, Paul is addressing a group of Christians in Rome. He assures them that for those who have placed their trust in Christ, there is “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). Those who “are in Christ Jesus” manifest that fact in the way they conduct their lives, i.e. “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” and he explains what that means in the succeeding verses. Those who walk (conduct their life) after (according to the leading of) the Spirit have the Spirit of God dwelling (residing) in them (v. 9). Let that thought sink in and penetrate your heart. If you are a child of God, you have His Spirit taking up residence in you! Because that is true, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (v. 16). If you are truly God’s child, you should never have a doubt about that. If you do, the Holy Spirit is there to reassure you of that fact. Now, if you never get that reassurance, you need to reexamine your status before God and get that settled. God will let you know whether you are His or not; He does not want you to be deceived.

Another benefit of being a child of God, is that you share the same inheritance with Christ (v. 17). All the unimaginable glory of heaven belongs to God’s children for eternity! The condition (“if so be that we suffer with him”) means we “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (v. 1). Here in America, we have not experienced persecution like many of our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, but we should not get too comfortable in that thought. Persecution may yet come. Jesus said, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18-19, emphasis mine). Unless you have just not been paying attention, there is a growing animosity toward Christians in this nation. Have you sensed it? Have you been rejected by friends or family because of your faith in Christ? Have you suffered with Him and because of Him? Take heart, such suffering is only temporary for God’s children, but the payoff is out of this world (v. 18)!

God’s Spirit in us also helps us in our weakness. When we stray and “walk after the flesh,” the Spirit is there to remind us and bring us back in line. Also, when our heart is burdened to the point that we cannot express what is in our heart so that “we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (v.26). Because God’s Spirit indwells us, He knows us intimately, better than we know ourselves, and He gives expression to the Father of what is on our hearts.

Verse 29 tells us that God, in His foreknowledge, predetermined (predestined) that His children would be conformed – molded into – to the image of His Son. That is God’s purpose for our lives. We are not completely passive in this process, but as we make ourselves available and malleable to the Holy Spirit’s leading in our life, God, not we, shapes us into the form of Jesus Christ to minister to the world around us, and yes, even to suffer for Him.

It is in this context we read, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (v. 28). The Greek syntax places the words of greatest significance at the beginning of the sentence, and those of secondary significance at the end of the sentence. The strict translation of the Greek text is: “We know, moreover, that to those [who are] loving God, all things work together for good, to those according to [His] purpose called [are] being.” First, we who are His children know. This is not up for debate. It is firm. It is assured, and this we know because the Spirit informs us. We are those “who are loving God” consistently. For us, “all things” – the Greek panta is all inclusive – work together for our “good” (Greek: agathon, meaning benefit). This does not say that everything that happens to us will be “good.” Just look around. We see our brothers and sisters suffering with cancer or other illnesses. We see them losing employment or in financial difficulty. We see them struggle with familial difficulties or other relationship problems. Perhaps we experience those things ourselves. No one can say these things are “good.” But the promise of this verse is that God will use those trials for our benefit. God blesses us with many good things, but often, when things go well, we forget the source of those blessings. Sadly, it is the trials that come into our lives that draw us closer to God. Those are the times of our greatest benefit, and God uses those times to help conform us into the image of His Son. Remember, our inheritance is not in this world but with Christ.

God uses ALL things – good and bad – to work for good for His children. This promise does not apply generally to all people. This promise is specifically for God’s people – those “who are called according to His purpose” – that of being conformed to the image of His Son.

When I experience trials in my life, Romans 8:28 gives me the assurance that God works all things for my benefit, and I trust Him for that. Paul ends this chapter in Romans by asking, “If God be for us, who can be against us? … Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (vv. 31, 35). His answer, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us … [nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv. 37, 39). No, all of these things work together for our good – our benefit.

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A Day Is A Day

Evening and Morning Was One Day

Evening and Morning Was One Day

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:4)

In a previous post, No Gap, I discussed the “Gap Theory” compromise of the biblical creation account.  The Gap Theory is only one of several compromises of theistic evolution.[1] Another popular compromise is the “Day-Age Theory.” This offshoot of theistic evolution maintains that God used long ages – billions of years – and evolution to create rather than the six literal days stated in the Bible. The Day-Age Theory attempts to stretch the days in Genesis 1into six long periods of undetermined time. “[The] ‘days’ of creation were interpreted figuratively as the ‘ages’ of geology.”[2]  In order to back up that assertion, the proponents of the Day-Age Theory will cite the psalm above or 2 Peter 3:8: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”

Besides the hermeneutical problems with this view, a logical dilemma arises that refutes any form of theistic evolution. To see this, one must have a clear understanding of who God is and what His attributes say about Him. To begin with, God is inconceivably great beyond anything the human mind can imagine. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, emphasis mine). Considering God’s “thoughts,” one of His attributes is that of omniscience; He is “all-knowing.” Hence, He innately knows all that can be known, and there is nothing He does not know. “Shall any teach God knowledge?” (Job 21:22). “Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him?” (Job 40:2). “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Since that is so, why would God need to take billions of years to create by means of evolution, slowly developing from a single cell one thing, and then the next, and then the next, etc. until in the end He evolved man? That makes God out to be something of a mad scientist experimenting in a laboratory to see what He can come up with next. God does not need to experiment! God has nothing to learn; He has no need to practice. Besides all that, billions of years of evolution also involves billions of years of death. This is contrary to God’s nature. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4, emphasis mine). God is concerned with life, not death. “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26, emphasis mine). If death existed before the completion of creation, God would have erred when He said that it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Besides that, death before the fall creates greater theological problems. (I deal with this issue in No Gap.)

In addition we must consider God’s omnipotence; He is “all-powerful.” There is nothing He cannot do. “Is any thing too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14). “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27). “For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

Given that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, i.e., there is nothing impossible for Him, it is not unreasonable to believe the Genesis literal six-day account of creation. In fact, given His omniscience and omnipotence, He could certainly have created in an instant what He took six days to create.

Simple logic with a basic understanding of God’s nature refutes theistic evolution and the Day-Age Theory. Furthermore, these compromises fail when applying proper hermeneutical principals. A plain reading and understanding of the text of Genesis 1, as I explained in No Gap, precludes any possibility of long ages. The Hebrew word, yom, for day can only mean a normal 24-hour day. To further stress this point, God encapsulated the completion each creation day between the boundaries of “evening and morning.” There is no other way to interpret this narrative without pulling in from outside sources information not contained within the text. This system of hermeneutics is known as eisegesis – reading into the text what is not there.

The proponents of the Day-Age Theory in attempting to legitimize their compromise will cite 2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4, but when properly interpreted, in context, these passages speak of God’s eternal nature and have nothing to do with specifying time limits. God is not bound or limited by time; His transcendent nature places Him outside and inside of time simultaneously. Therefore, one day with Him is like one thousand years and one thousand years is like a day. Peter employs a literary device known as simile; otherwise he would have left off the “like.” Likewise Moses in his psalm says, “For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4, emphasis mine). But when God says He completed the work in one day, He means one day. So, why did He take six days to create rather than an instant? He created in six days and rested on the seventh day to set the pattern for our work week – six days of work, one day of rest. Have you noticed that the seven-day week is ubiquitous around the world? Furthermore, He wrote it in stone: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 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, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 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 20:8-11, emphasis mine). The Hebrew word yom for “day” used here in the Fourth Commandment, is the same word yom used in Genesis 1. God was not talking about long ages when He gave this commandment, and He was not talking about long ages when He gave His creation account.

Another argument offered by the compromisers suggests that Genesis uses “poetic” language. This argument falls apart simply by comparing the narrative text of Genesis 1-4 with the literary style of parallelism employed in the Wisdom Books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs (Song of Solomon). One does not even need knowledge of Hebrew to see the difference. So, claiming that Genesis 1 employs poetic language is a weak argument in support of a sad compromise.

No long ages fit into the narrative of Genesis 1. The Day-Age Theory compromises and weakens the Word of God. It is a diabolical instrument of Satan to create doubt for God’s Word, and disparage the very character and nature of God. There is no gap in Genesis 1, and there are no long ages. A day is a day, plain and simple.

Notes:


[1]  Henry M. Morris, “Evolution and the Bible,” http://www.icr.org/article/evolution-bible/, accessed 10/23/15.

[2]  Ibid.

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A Special Kind of Stupid

Image Credit: The Greanville Post, http://www.greanvillepost.com/2014/04/29/his-day-in-court-a-chimpanzee-makes-legal-history/

Image Credit: The Greanville Post: “His day in Court—A Chimpanzee Makes Legal History

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.  (Genesis 1:26)

This week “Two research chimps got their day in court … Steven Wise, an attorney with the Nonhuman Rights Project, told Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Barbara Jaffe that Hercules and Leo, the 8-year-old research chimps at Stony Brook University on Long Island, are ‘autonomous and self-determining beings’ who should be granted a writ of habeas corpus, which would effectively recognize them as legal persons. The chimps, he argued, should be moved from the university to a sanctuary in Florida”[1] (emphasis mine).

Well, what can one expect! For years now evolutionists have been claiming that chimpanzee DNA is 98% the same as that of humans. If that is so, then it stands to reason that they should at least be considered 98% persons. Is that not so? However, the DNA findings exaggerate the similarity in a narrow segment of the genome and deemphasize the vast differences that clearly separate chimps from humans. Biologist Dr. Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Research Associate in Life Sciences for the Institute for Creation Research, researches these claims made by the evolutionists. In comparing 40,000 chimpanzee genomic sequences against the human genome, Tomkins found “that reported levels of human-chimp DNA similarity were significantly lower than commonly reported … For the chimp autosomes, the amount of optimally aligned DNA sequence provided similarities between 66 and 76 percent, depending on the chromosome. Only 69 percent of the chimpanzee X chromosome was similar to human and only 43 percent of the Y chromosome. Genome-wide, only 70% of the chimpanzee DNA was similar to human under the most optimal alignment conditions.”[2] The 28% (give or take) variance may seem small, but in genomics, it is huge. “While, chimpanzees and humans share many localized protein-coding regions of high similarity, the overall extreme discontinuity between the two genomes defies evolutionary timescales and dogmatic presuppositions about a common ancestor.”[3]

I am no scientist, but even without getting into the coded information contained in DNA, the differences between chimps and humans seem obvious to me. To make an evaluation, one needs only to ask a few simple questions.  Aside from some basic similarities like: chimps have hands, humans have hands; chimps have feet, humans have feet (albeit chimps have “thumbs” on their feet and humans have a big toe); chimps have faces, humans have faces; chimps express emotions, humans express emotions; chimps nurture their young; humans nurture their young; chimps live in communities, humans live in communities; chimps communicate (as do most other animals), humans communicate; chimps make “tools,” humans make tools. There may be other similarities, but basically, it ends there. The questions reveal the differences.

Chimpanzees can make simple “tools,” but can they replicate a tool or mass produce it? Do they teach their tool making techniques to others in their community? Do they improve their tools to make them more functional or employ their tools for a variety of different purposes? Chimpanzees can build shelters, but can they build permanent structures? Do they employ aesthetic design in their building efforts or are their shelters simply utilitarian? For that matter, do chips create anything – paintings, sculptures, music, etc.? What is the extent of their creative abilities, if any, and how do they compare to those of humans? Can chimpanzees do even simple math? Do they develop economic systems or practice even the most basic exchange systems? We know that chimps can communicate in some rudimentary ways, but have they developed a language? Do they exchange ideas, and if so, how is that accomplished? Have they ever developed a system of writing, and if they have, do they value it enough to preserve it? Do chimps study chimpanzee anatomy in order to “doctor” on one another? Do they research in order to find cures for chimpanzee diseases? Along the same lines, do chimps study other animals to learn their habits and habitats? Do they observe the stars at night and dream about visiting other worlds? Chimps play, but do they develop games with rules and teach the game to others in order to stimulate healthy competition?

The comparisons are endless, but the more questions one considers, it becomes all the more obvious that chimpanzees fall far short of human achievements and capabilities. Sure chimps have greater strength than humans. They can swing from tree to tree even using their feet to grasp branches; but they do not have the manual dexterity to play a flamenco guitar, harp, piano, or violin; or the grace to match the agility of a gymnast or to dance a ballet or to figure skate.

The evolutionists claim that humans and chimps originated from a common ancestor. If that is the case, then why have chimpanzees not advanced even to the level of the most primitive human tribes? Supposedly they have had the same 100,000 years as humans (according to evolutionists) to evolve beyond their lowly “animal” status. So why are they stuck at the point of their origin? The fact is that they are animals and humans are, well, humans. Chimps were created by the spoken word of God (Genesis 1:24-25); humans were formed (Hebrew yâtsar meaning form or mold) in the image of God (Genesis 2:7; 1:26-27). The difference in creation between beast and man is so distinct, from the Creator’s point of view as recorded in Scripture, that one would really have to be some special kind of stupid to attribute personhood to an animal on par with that of a human being. But, this should really not surprise us. The Bible teaches that those who profess such things have “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever” (Romans 1:25, emphasis mine).

So, if these chimps really are “legal persons” – the “autonomous and self-determining beings” their lawyers claim – they should go out and hire their own lawyers!


 

 Notes:

[1] Krishnadev Calamur, “Research Chimps Get Their Day in Court in New York,” (http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/05/27/410058029/research-chimps-get-their-day-in-court-in-new-york). Accessed May 28, 2015.

[2] Jeffery Tomkins, “New Research Evaluating Similarities Between Human and Chimpanzee DNA,” (http://www.icr.org/i/pdf/technical/Research-Evaluating-Similarities-Human-Chimp-DNA.pdf). Accessed May 28, 2015.

[3] Ibid.

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