Tag Archives: genetics

Not Passed On In The Genes


And Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and went not fully after the LORD, as did David his father. (1 Kings 11:6)

I have heard the lament of many good Christian parents who did all they knew to do to “bring [their children] up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) only to have them walk away from the faith as adults. This is nothing new, and the Bible offers examples from which we can take comfort.

Israel had no greater king than David. Although the Bible makes no effort to hide David’s imperfections, it does make one claim that defines David’s overall character. David was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22). With all of his flaws, David’s greatest desire was to please God. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 43:1-3).

One would think that kind of love for God would be reflected in his children, but the record shows that David’s children did not share the same devotion.  Amnon, David’s first-born son by Ahinoam’s (2 Samuel 3:2) loved (actually lusted after) his half-sister Tamar so much that he raped her (2 Samuel 13). Tamar was Absalom’s sister by Maacah. When Absalom (his name means “Father of Peace”) heard of Amnon’s deed, he waited for a time to see if his father, David would take any action. When that did not happen, Absalom acted on his own accord and had his older half-brother murdered. After two years of self-exile, he was allowed to return to Jerusalem, but David refused to see him. This caused Absalom to rebel against his father and incite a coup to overthrow the king. David fled for his life, and the rebellion was finally quelled with the slaying of Absalom, much to David’s regret. All of this illustrates the point that children do not automatically inherit the parent’s zeal for God. Some may blame David for being an inattentive father. Some may attempt to excuse him; after all, he had a kingdom to manage. But the Bible is clear, God holds every individual responsible for his own actions.

Another illustration of this truth shows up in David’s successor, Solomon, supposedly the wisest of all Israel’s kings. But a close inspection of the Biblical record reveals a different story. At the beginning, Solomon started out on the right track. On his ascendancy, David charged his son, “I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself (1 Kings 2:2-3, emphasis mine). Early in his reign, Solomon honored his father’s admonition. “And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father” (1 Kings 3:3) so much so that when God offered him anything he wished, he asked for wisdom to rule God’s people (1 Kings 3:5-13). God granted him not only wisdom, but wealth and fame.

Solomon used his God-given gifts to build the Temple, purportedly the envy of the known world. Solomon built up the kingdom and extended it borders, and God granted him peace throughout his realm. “So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and for wisdom. And all the earth sought to Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart” (1 Kings 10:23-24, emphasis mine). However, not long after the Temple construction dust settled, Solomon’s love for God waned, replaced by a love for something else. “But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites; Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love” (1 Kings 11:1-2. emphasis mine). These “strange” women were not of Israelite stock. Solomon violated God’s prohibition against marrying “foreign” women, not because God is “racist,” (He’s not; He created all nations of one blood- Acts 17:26), but for “religious” reasons. These women all worshiped demonic gods, and God knew they would negatively influence His people. “For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites” (1 Kings 11:4-5). What happened to Solomon? Did he not have a great example in his father David?

Yet, hope remains. Solomon is known for his many proverbs and sayings. It is said that Solomon “spake three thousand proverbs” (1 Kings 4:32), only a fraction of which survived as recorded in the Book of Proverbs. Near the end of his life, perhaps he regained some of his wisdom, which he tried to pass on to the son who would succeed him, Rehoboam. Proverbs 1-9 record Solomon’s words of advice to his son where he admonishes his son to seek “wisdom.” Imagine that! The Biblical record is clear that his son ignored his father’s counsel, which resulted in splitting the kingdom. That Solomon returned to his “first love” at the end of his life comes through in the Book of Ecclesiastes, “probably [written] in his old age, as he was looking back on the happy early years of his reign and regretting his tragic failures in his later years.”[1] The tone seems rather pessimistic, which results from man’s quest to fill one’s life through material and/or sensual means. In the end, Solomon reveals the true source of joy and satisfaction. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Having experienced my own children walking away from God, I can only sympathize with those experiencing the same thing.  I can relate to all the second guessing that goes on in the hearts and minds of such parents. They wonder where they failed, where they went wrong, what they could have done differently. Parents, regardless of the heartache we endure over our lost children, we must realize that God does not hold us responsible for the actions of our children after they are on their own.  “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezekiel 18:20, emphasis mine). It works both ways. I have also known many good Christians that had wicked parents. God holds each individual responsible. We can only hope and pray that, like Solomon, one day they will see the vanity of their lives, and return to the God of their fathers. Only God can change the heart. Salvation is not passed on in the genes.


[1]  Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Henry Morris Study Bible, (Master Books, Green Forest, AR, 2012), 985.

Post Script:

By Dr. James J.S. Johnson

  1. Perfect example in a well-known Christian family, the son of 2 very godly parents, Francis & Edith Schaeffer, is Franky Schaeffer, a vile & blasphemous apostate Christian-hater – total opposite of his parents; in fact, the true “heir” to the Schaeffer ministry is Fran & Edith’s son-in-law, Udo Middelmann  —  see  www.theschaefferfoundation.com/bios_francis_a_schaeffer_foundation.php .
  2. A less famous example is a less-well-known (yet very godly) couple, Ian & Ginny McLaren, whose vile & blasphemous apostate son is emergent-church “prophet” Brian McLaren.
  3. But my 3rd post-script is the reverse – my own father was an apostate clergyman who spent huge amounts of energy denigrating the Holy Bible – yet, by God’s grace, I rejected his blasphemy.

No one can blame their parents, or get into Heaven on their parents’ coattails.  God has no “grandchildren” – He is the Heavenly Father (not grandfather) of the redeemed; Satan is father of the lost.

><> JJSJ


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Are you ready question - vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, stained by color inks, isolated on white

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night … But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4)

What kind of future events fill you with anticipation? You know the feeling. Like the first time that most beautiful, unattainable girl agreed to go out with you. That was one time you took extra time to make sure you smelled good, had every hair in place (I remember I used to have hair!) and your duds were in keeping with the latest style. Remember the feeling in the pit of your stomach, the sweaty palms, and the dry mouth? Remember how you rehearsed in your mind the lines you would say and your concern over making a good impression? How about the time you bought your very first new car? You spent weeks researching all the specifications, options, and colors until you found exactly the one that was perfect for you. You couldn’t wait for the day to go down to the dealer and pick out your baby. Then you sat for hours in the salesman’s office fighting to get the best deal while the salesman ran back and forth to the manager’s office doing the deal dance. Finally you had an agreement, but then you had to qualify for credit. Remember the agony? Would your credit pass? Would that shiny new baby ever be yours?

That is kind of how I feel about the imminent return of Christ. I am sure some of you feel the same way. What is He waiting for? What is taking Him so long? What has to happen before the time is right? The answer to that last question is “nothing.”  Nothing needs to happen next for the Lord Jesus Christ to return for His Bride the, the Church, i.e. the body of true believers in Christ. That is what makes His return “imminent;” it could happen at any moment.

The stage is set. Israel is back in her land (Isaiah 51:11; Jeremiah 30:9-10; Jeremiah 31:7-13; Ezekiel 31:1-14; Zephaniah 3:20). There are wars and rumors of wars in the Middle East (Matthew 24:6). Jerusalem has become “a burdensome stone for all people” (Zechariah 12:3). The depravity of mankind is rapidly increasing. Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold (Matthew 24:12). The world is “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Back[stabbers], haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant-breakers, 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 1:29-32). People are “lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2-4).

Jesus said that the days before His return would be like the days of Noah. So what was going on in the days of Noah? Although Genesis 6:1-5 gives us pause to scratch our heads, it portrays some very unnatural activity taking place. The “sons of God” (bene Elohim) are understood to be angelic beings in other places in the Bible, particularly in the Book of Job. They “came into the daughters of men” (Genesis 6:4). The phrase “came into” implies a sexual union. The objection to this comes from the words of Jesus who said that in heaven we neither “marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God” (Matthew 22:30). So, does that mean that angels cannot procreate or that procreation won’t be going on in heaven? Whatever was going on between the “sons of God” and human women was creating a creating a race of giants. The Hebrew word for “giants” there is nephalim, meaning “fallen ones.” God found Noah to be “perfect in his generations” (Genesis 6:9). The Hebrew word translated “perfect” is tâmı̂ym, meaning “entire, without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sound, without spot, undefiled, whole.” In other words, Noah’s generations, i.e. he and his family, had not been contaminated by this mingling by the “sons of God” with the “daughters of men.” Whether by copulation or by some other means, the human genome was compromised. Jesus said the days before His return would be like that. You might ask, how can that be? I don’t want to chase this rabbit right now, but you may want to watch these two online videos to gain some insight: https://prophecywatchers.com/videos/tom-horn-and-joe-ardis-inhuman/ and https://prophecywatchers.com/videos/tom-horn-joe-ardis-inhuman-part-2/. But in short, there are well meaning scientists that are working on human DNA manipulation to “improve” the human race. To hear them talk about it, their goal seams quite noble – engineer humans that require less food to eliminate hunger. But this is very real, and it is taking place right now. Naturally, this kind of thing is always kept from the general public for obvious reasons. So when Jesus said “as the days of Noah” I do not believe He meant things were just going on as normal – marrying and giving in marriage. No, I think He meant more than that.

So, the time is near. Christians do not have to look for the Antichrist to come on the scene because we will not be around when he shows up. In fact, our presence here in the world is the only think keeping him at bay (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8). So Christians should be looking for the Christ not the Antichrist.

I am ready. Are you? Those who love His appearing are promised a special reward – “a crown of righteousness” (2 Timothy 4:8). Of course, being ready does not mean packing your bags and waiting for your ride. Jesus left us work to do (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8) and He instructed us to “Occupy til I come” (Luke 19:13) especially “as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Still, I wish He would come already. I am ready!


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Cain’s Wife

Cain and Abel, ivory panel from the cathedral of Salerno, ca. 1084. Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ivory_Cain_Abel_Louvre_AO4052.jpg

Cain and Abel, ivory panel from the cathedral of Salerno, ca. 1084. Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ivory_Cain_Abel_Louvre_AO4052.jpg

And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch … (Genesis 4:16-17)

The question of Cain’s wife comes up often with both serious students of the Bible and skeptics. The low hanging fruit tempts the skeptic to ridicule the Bible for the omission of important details. After all, the Bible only speaks of Cain and Abel; no others siblings are mentioned. If the skeptic adheres to evolutionary/atheistic thinking, he may use this to support his perspective by claiming there were many hominids around before the mythical first couple came around. Cain must have gotten his wife from one of the many available to him.

The Bible student may find himself without a defense because the skeptic is clearly correct – there are no other people mentioned at this point. Genesis 4 records the first family, which includes Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel; no others are mentioned. So where did Cain get his wife? Is the skeptic correct?

This can pose a serious problem even to a seminary trained “professional” because there seems to be no clear-cut answer. But here I want to direct my attention directly to those who claim to believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture. If you are reading this now, and have doubts about the veracity of the Bible, you are welcome to check it out now.

If we believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, that it is without error and it is true in every respect – infallible, than we must accept it for what it says – period. Starting from the beginning, God created one man and one woman (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7, 21-22). That was all; no other “hominid kind” were created. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). In Genesis 4:1 Cain is born and in the next verse we are introduced to Abel. “And in process of time it came to pass” (Genesis 4:3) that a long period of time transpires and the boys are fully grown. The Bible gives no indication as to how much time elapsed between the first and second sentence of verse 2. Seth, the son to replace the murdered Abel, is born 130 years from Adam’s creation (Genesis 5:3), which means Cain and Abel could have been anywhere from around 30 to 129 years old. That said, “the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4, emphasis mine). It seems unlikely that in that span of time between the birth of Abel and the birth of Seth, Adam and Eve abstained from procreative activity. It is quite likely that they had a plethora of boys and girls – one every two to three years is not unreasonable.

At this point, the serious student of the Bible must conclude that Cain’s wife was one of his sisters. Did I hear a collective “Yuck!” out there? Suddenly someone recalls the biblical prohibition against marrying a close relative (Leviticus 18:6-20), so Cain cannot take a sister for his wife because that is prohibited by God’s Law. Here, science can aid our understanding of Scripture.

Let us first examine the time frame between creation and the time the Law was given to Moses. From Creation to the Flood was about 1656 years (Genesis 5). From the Flood to birth of Abraham was another 290 years (Genesis 11)[1]. From the birth of Abraham (Abram) until Israel went into Egypt was another 218, and Israel was in Egypt 430 before the Exodus and then another 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. So, from Creation to the Law was between 2594 years and 2604 years. This means that marrying within the family was not legally prohibited and Cain could indeed marry his sister. Remember that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob all three married close relatives.

Now, for Cain to marry his sister presented no biological problem either, because Adam and Eve were created perfectly – their DNA was perfect. Harmful mutations had not corrupted their DNA, so close family marriages did not present a problem.[2] It took about 2600 years before the genetic load became significant enough for God to intervene by giving the prohibition not to marry a close relative.

Where did Cain get his wife? From his parents; he married his sister. This posed no problem biblically or biologically.


[1] James J.S. Johnson, “How Young Is the Earth? Applying Simple Math to Data Provided in Genesis,” http://www.icr.org/article/how-young-earth-applying-simple-math-data-provided/, accessed July 17, 2015.

[2] Ken Ham, “Cain’s Wife: It Really Does Matter!” http://www.icr.org/article/cains-wife-it-really-does-matter, accessed July 17, 2015.

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