Friday, February 23, 2018

The Origin of Sin

The expected response to the question, "What was the beginning of sin", is probably when Adam and Eve at that apple. Actually, no. The Bible does not say apple, that's a bit of information for you to carry around and shine up to show people on occasion. In addition, Eve was deceived by the serpent, which was the work of Satan. For some reason, Adam chose to eat the fruit that she gave to him. Interesting to note that if Eve had been presuppositional in her approach, she would have stopped the whole thing right there by declaring that she believed God, not Satan.


Sin did not begin in Eden, but with Lucifer's pride
Credit: cropped from Pixabay / RayHolloway
If you study on it, you'll realize that the first sin was not with Adam and Eve. Instead, it was when Lucifer rebelled against God because of pride. Before that, everything was very good (Gen 1:31). This raises questions and can give material for a passel of sermons and articles, so we have to keep the subject narrow. Satan fell because of pride, and has appealed to the pride in humans to make us stumble since that day in Eden.

God the Son, our Creator (Col. 1:16, John 1:1-3), took on the form of a man to redeem us. He didn't have to, but he did so out of mercy and love. Our fallen nature prompts us to try to save ourselves, to earn our salvation, which is a gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9). We can't earn it or save ourselves, old son. We have to humble ourselves before him and receive salvation.
Often when Christians think of the first sin, they think of Adam and Eve and the Fall in the Garden of Eden. While this is indeed the first human sin, it is not the first recorded sin in Scripture. As Christians, we know that the serpent tempted Eve, but we often forget that the Devil’s fall from grace was what set the stage for humankind’s fall, both as antecedent and type.

We catch a glimpse of Satan’s fall in the following passage, prophetically directed at the king of Tyre, but in this portion, apparently meant to include someone apart from humanity (specifically referred to as a cherub) who had been in the Garden of Eden, the prophecy turns into a description of an angel, namely Lucifer:
To read the rest of the article, click on "The First Sin". You may also want to see additional articles about Satan and the fall, here.



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Misrepresenting Jesus on the Age of the Earth

Some folks riding for the old earth brand claim to believe the Bible, but their words betray them. They have a low view of Scripture, and put atheistic interpretations of science into the magisterial position over the Word of God.


Biologos claims to believe the Bible but put atheistic interpretations of science in the magisterial position

Old Earth creationists, theistic evolutionists (TEs) and the like find ways to sidestep what the Bible clearly says. Some reinterpret the clear teachings of Scripture because they are committed to deep time views. I reckon that they have to run to the excuse mill near the Darwin Ranch when annoying facts come to light, and keep on compromising. 


via GIPHY

Those of us who believe what the Bible says don't have that problem.

Jaspers at the Biologos outfit have been playing fast and loose with God's Word (and siding with their atheist cohorts against biblical creationists). Sometimes, they even challenge Jesus. But he's the Creator (John 1:2-3, Col. 1:16-17), so I reckon he knows what he's talking about.
In a recent column on the BioLogos website (an organization founded to promote theistic evolution), regular contributor Ted Davis makes a vain attempt to evade Jesus’ teaching on the age of the earth. He takes issue with an argument CMI has used repeatedly—that Jesus and several New Testament authors made statements clearly indicating their belief in a young world . . . 
To give one example, Jesus said that Adam and Eve were around “from the beginning of creation” (Mark 10:6). Old-earth timescales are inconsistent with Jesus’ teaching since, according to these views, humans only arrived billions of years after the beginning.
To read the rest, click on "BioLogos misreads Jesus on the age of the earth".


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Ten Lies Satan Tells to Biblical Creationists

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Christians who know and believe the Bible are well aware that Satan exists, and is intent on negating or even destroying the work of God. Some professing Christians see the devil behind every bush, and blame him for practically everything that goes wrong. That's not the whole story. Scripture tells us that we have two other sources of conflict: the flesh and the world. Satan will not only use his own deceitful skills, but brings the other two nonentities along to bring down a believer. In addition, we have our own lusts and sin nature, so we may very well be out of line to blame Satan too often. 

The opposite extreme is to take a pseudo-intellectual approach and pretend that Satan does not exist. A phrase attributed to French writer Charles Baudelaire has appeared in several forms and in many places, including movies: "The devil's finest trick is to persuade you that he does not exist." I'll let you study on that for a while and you can see why it would be very useful for the devil to be unacknowledged.

So, as in many other cases, there has to be balance. The devil exists, and wants to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). Look way back at the beginning. Satan appealed to Eve on several levels in Genesis 3:6, and her own desires helped his temptation along.

I need to add that Satan is not the scary, ugly thing depicted in comic books, movies, poetry, art, the image shown below, and so forth. He is actually quite beautiful (Ezekiel 28:13-17, Isaiah 14:12-14, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15). Satan is attractive to us, which is part of the reason he is so effective.

I said all that to make it clear that this is not a treatise on spiritual warfare per se, and I hope it will be useful to the clear-thinking Christian. 


Ten lies that Satan tells biblical creationists, and not all come from atheists
Background image: Pixabay / TheDigitalArtist
A while back, Charlie Wolcott recommended a couple of sermons by Eric Ludy, and one that stood out for me was "The Nine Lies" that Satan told to Nehemiah through owlhoots that were riding for the anti-Israel brand. I am highlighting this message for Question Evolution Day, and it is useful for biblical creationists as well as Christians in general. Clever folks probably noticed that Eric has nine lies, but my title adds a tenth lie.

I am going to draw from my own experiences in biblical creation science ministry efforts, especially The Question Evolution Project. Note that I am unaware of Mr. Ludy's views on creation, and not giving a blanket endorsement of his site, just the sermon that will be linked below.

The Israelites had seen the glory of God many times. He delivered them dramatically from their Egyptian captors, provided food and water in the desert, gave victory over their enemies many times (see the last two chapters of Joshua for their affirmations of loyalty to God). Then they kept on grumbling and forgetting God's mercies, and eventually, became subjugated by the Babylonians.

Nehemiah was the cup-bearer for King Cyrus, which was not only tasting for poison, but a position of administrative responsibility. The king graciously allowed the exiled Israelites to return to Jerusalem, and Nehemiah facilitated the rebuilding of the wall. Their enemies didn't cotton to that idea, and did their best to stop the rebuilding without violating the royal decree (Nehemiah 2:19, 4:7-9). The enemies did not realize that they were fighting against God. Be aware that a component in may of the lies, both to Nehemiah and to the rest of us, involve bullying and manipulation.


The First Lie: You cannot challenge the establishment




Biblical creationists are told that we cannot withstand the might and consensus of the heavily financed secular science establishments. People don't believe the Bible anymore in this enlightened day, so there is no point in resisting. Evolution is a fact, don'tcha know!


The Second Lie: You are too unimportant

This lie works with the first one, and we are nobodies. I have made it plain that I am a nobody and have no legacy. But I have an unregistered assault keyboard, since the web gives us reg'lar folk a chance to speak up. There are also some large creation science ministries who are supported in one way or another, especially through social media. At this writing the seventh annual Question Evolution Day is about to happen on February 12, and it has had the support of known and unknown people. Even those of us that atheists and evolutionists have decided are "unimportant" have the ability and the right to make our views known.


The Third Lie: Your accomplishments are nothing

The Question Evolution Project has less than 10,000 "Likes" on Fazebook right now, which is substantially fewer than the high-profile ministries. All creation ministries have fewer fans than atheistic entertainers and pseudo-scientists who are public figures. Dwarfing those are Pages and sites for entertainers, athletes, soft drinks, and so on. (Sciencey stuff doesn't really make the cut for a passel of people.) So what? We're being faithful to God's calling, and are not going to quit because everyone does not adore us.


The Fourth Lie: Take some time off

This child gets tired. I have a job to pay the bills, and I do creation science ministry work after hours, on vacation and holidays, and so on. At this very moment, I have eye strain. Maybe I should just take a week or two off. But I know of someone who had a ministry and got "burned out", and left it all behind with the idea of maybe coming back someday. He's been absent for years, and some people wonder if he stopped believing altogether (he says that's not the case). 

Sure, we need to take a break, but not in the midst of a major project. Large ministries have many people on staff to take up the slack when others are absent. That's fine, but the ministries themselves do not shut down. Don't be disunderstanding me, I'm not talking about relentless obsession and avoiding a short breather to care of daily life and ourselves. However, long-term delays can result in...nothing. I am thankful that I have help on The Question Evolution Project. 


The Fifth Lie: I can destroy all your work

There are some narcissistic tinhorns who make it their purpose and seek validation by attacking biblical creationists (and other Christians) on the internet. Somehow, they have decided that lying, misrepresenting, destroying, and other things are "good". How can such activities be good? Because the end justifies the means, mein Herr. They seldom engage with the actual content, and seek to destroy people. Some go so far as to misrepresent and defame us to other creationists.

I have been threatened by someone who said he was calling my workplace to have me fired because he disliked what I had said online! (Like he could just call up the head of a major international corporation who wouldn't care anyway.) Others have attacked TQEP and tried to get it taken down by Fazebook, as well as setting up fake accounts of FB Pages, creationary individuals, and so on. What would that prove? Would it prove atheism or evolutionism right? Would it mean there is no God? Not hardly! It would only prove that someone had a tantrum and sabotaged people they wanted to silence, which is censorship. Read the end of Revelation: God wins, and his people are with him.

People hate us. We cannot hide behind a watering trough, squeezing off pot-shots at bushwhackers. We have a job to do, and the results are in the hands of God. He is the one we want to glorify, after all.


The Sixth Lie: The enemy is on its way

Atheists and evolutionists like to recruit others to attack biblical creationists en masse. Usually, they reside in their holes and share ego-bolstering stories and libel about how creationists are "anti-science" and oppose "reason". Ironically, those people display little logic and a great deal of hatred for the truth of God's Word (1 Corinthians 2:14, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Matthew 12:30, Romans 5:10, Romans 8:5-6, Psalm 14:1, Proverbs 1:8, Romans 1:18-23). Misotheists have attacked God's Word for millennia, and the Bible still stands strong. We have to believe and apply it.


The Seventh Lie: You are doing this for your own sake

This is a lie that resonated in my own spirit, as I believe that not only Satan has "spoken" it to me, but also his hand puppets have said it as well. I pray that I'm seeking glory for God, not glory for Bob. But I still wonder if it is this ministry is monument to my ego. Is it an idol? Someone who threatened to destroy The Question Evolution Project ridiculed a post I had made, and apparently ignored the content (they do that). In it, I had said that TQEP is in God's hands, and that I had almost taken it down myself!

The insidious part of such an accusation for a sincere Christian is when we ruminate if it is true after all. Guess what happens? We end up focusing on ourselves instead of going about the work that we were called to do.


The Eighth Lie: Let me be your pal, I'll give you counsel, then we shake hands and part friendly



via GIPHY

Someone who has vowed the destruction of you or your work wants to be your friend? That'll be the day! (It's interesting that some people who have antipathy toward me, creation science, the Bible, and God himself address me like we're great buddies and co-workers riding fences together.) Atheists have invited me to be on their Podcasts, attempted to bully me into participating on forums, and other things, but I know full well that they were disingenuous at best. Secular news sources have falsely reported on major creationary ministries such as Ark Encounter. Time and again, they act all friendly like, then spin the news — Just ask Dr. Jason Lisle. No, there is no reason to take worldly counsel from enemies of God, nor to give in to their manipulative machinations.


The Ninth Lie: Danger is coming. Run away! Run away!

Similar to the Sixth and Eighth lies, this is when someone is pretending to be interested in your welfare and safety. If you've been grounded in God's Word and have been staying faithful, you should be able to spot nonsense quite easily.

Now, let's go down a side trail for a few moments. I tend to do that, don't I?

Flip back in your Bibles a few books from Nehemiah, to 1 Samuel. In the 17th chapter, we find the famous account of David and Goliath. The giant was taunting the armies of Israel. David was making a food run to his brothers in the army, and heard this blowhard. He asked, "Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" (I Samuel 17:26). Savvy that? He wasn't making a crude remark about man parts, but was reminding Israel that they had a covenant with the Creator, not the Philistines.

Later on, David and Goliath had words (1 Samuel 17:43-47). Goliath was taunting, but David was affirming that he was God's property and under God's protection. When it was time to commence to fighting, notice in 1 Samuel 17:48 where David ran toward that heavily-armed, armored, bravado-filled giant. And won.

Back to the main trail again.

We belong to the Creator of the universe, who died for us, defeated death by bodily rising from the grave, lives in us, and is going to take us home with him. He has the final victory, and God is sovereign. We don't run from real or imagined ministry "danger", we run toward it in full assurance! Nehemiah never wavered, he had a wall to build, and the Sanballats of his world did not prevail.


The Tenth Lie: Recent creation is not really in the Bible, it is a myth or metaphor

This is the bonus lie, and it does not usually come from atheists, but from within the church. However, there are some atheists who falsely claim to be "former Christians" (no such thing as "used to be", more like "never was") who have the arrogance to lecture us about the Bible. And they don't even believe it. They pretend to be defending "science", which is evolution, and I lack belief that most of them even understand what they are trying to proclaim. No, the bigger problem is from professing Christians who do not really believe the Bible. I have several posts that address a few of the problems:


Some people seem to think that we can wait for compromisers to use the "wisdom" of atheists to interpret what the Bible says and means. They are actually calling Jesus, Peter, Paul, Moses, and the rest dishonest or uninformed. What we really need to do is stand firm on the Word of God and in the armor described in Ephesians 6:10-18. Nehemiah had a wall to build. We have our work to do as well, despite attacks and lies from secularists and religious people.

I hope you'll listen to "The Nine Lies", free to listen online, and you can get a PDF of the sermon notes as well. If'n y'all don't want to listen at the computer, here is the direct MP3 link.




Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Seventy Weeks Prophecies

Prophecy is an important and prominent component of the Bible, and many of them were specifically and rather dramatically fulfilled already. Others are yet to happen. Many Christians are heavily involved in eschatology (end-times prophecies), and it is a fascinating subject. I'll allow that it's mighty confusing at times, however, and it is not my strongest subject. There are several different viewpoints that I will not go into here, but I'll let you know that I lean toward what is often called the Premillennial view, as I believe its proponents make the most compelling case.

The Seventy Weeks Prophecies in the Bible need detailed examination.
Credit: Pixabay / StockSnap
I think one reason that there is different schools of thought on prophecy is that God has his own reasons for making some things hidden. Prophecies about Jesus were not known during his earthly ministry, and the fulfillments were not recognized until after his Resurrection. Also, God does not do things according to our demands. Add to this that we need to look at the historical, cultural, grammatical, biblical, and other contexts when looking at eschatology.

To add to the mix, we have the Seventy Weeks prophecy — or is that prophecies? To say that this section of Daniel is symbolic isn't worth a plugged nickle, but comfortable for liberal religious folks. Some aspects were predicted and fulfilled already. "Weeks" means "weeks of years". There seems to be a gap before the final week... Look, I'll let you read the article and see what you think.
This is one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible. It predicted the very day that Jesus was declared to be “Messiah the King.” There are two basic interpretations, both agree that it predicts the time of Jesus’ first coming, the Futurist interpretation states that the prophecy is yet to be completed, but the Fulfilled interpretation believes that it was completely fulfilled within a few years of Jesus’ life on earth. Aspects of both interpretations will be examined, but the Futurist interpretation is the one that will be shown to be the correct view.
To finish reading, click on "The Seventy Weeks".
 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Dishonesty of Evolutionary Creationism

A few years back, some atheists wanted to change their name because of the negative connotations associated with the word atheist. One suggested term was "brights", which is fallacious because it implies that they are smarter than everyone else because they choose to reject God. That kind of whitewash will not fool people, since the negative connotations have been earned, what with the protests, persecution of Christians, trolling, and generally negative attitudes in general. Some tips given for mental health and to reduce depression is to stay away from negative people. I suggest that folks start with avoiding internet atheists.


Using evolutionary creationist instead of theistic evolutionist is deceptive as well as confusing

Similarly, theistic evolutionists have a deserved bad image because they prefer the magisterial view of secular science philosophies to the written Word of God. It's like they have their evolutionism wagon and slap a sign on the back saying "God used evolution", and that somehow validates their views. TEs often saddle up with the atheists and ride for the Darwin brand on the owlhoot trail, dry-gulching biblical creationists who have a high view of Scripture — especially regarding Genesis. (Watch TEs ridicule biblical creationists, and atheists get out of their clown car to applaud the abuse.) Some theistic evolutionists are using the moniker "evolutionary creationists". Well, that's confusing!

Like I've said many times, definitions matter (see "Science, Evolution and the New Golden Rules" for an article on this). Some atheists believe in God, and I heard one professing atheist call in to a Christian radio show saying he was a Christian because he liked some of the things Jesus said! If you study on it a spell, it makes sense that if someone claims to be a "creationist", he or she rejects evolution and affirms the Bible. Biblical creation science is odium theologicum to theistic evolutionists and old earthers.

Once again, I have to point out that yes, someone can be a Christian and believe in evolution. It is not a salvation criterion, but it does show serious compromise and ignorance of the violence such views do to the gospel message. (For an in-depth pair of articles on this, begin with "Waterless Clouds, Wandering Stars". Lots of links for additional research.)

So, people who uphold Darwinism and mix that false religion with Christianity need to read the book of Galatians. But since they are being deceptive, I doubt that they will take the Bible seriously. Really, what is someone supposed to think with a name like "evolutionary creationist"?
Anyone involved in a debate knows that definitions are important. In a debate, controlling the definitions of terms allows control of the debate’s framework and frequently determines the winner.
This lesson was on my mind when I heard about a conversation a colleague had with an evolutionist who served as a college professor in a nearby town. He is a theistic evolutionist. He believes in God and confesses faith in Christ, but believes the evidence for evolution is compelling and has been critical of Intelligent Design (at AiG, we are clear that God is the Intelligent Designer). That was why he surprised my colleague when he insisted that he too was a creationist. He even wanted my creationist colleague to agree with him that they both believed God was the creator, and therefore were both creationists.
My colleague wouldn’t do it, noticing immediately that the professor was trying to reinterpret the words creation and creationist for his purpose. 
To read the rest, click on "Can an Evolutionist Be a Creationist?"



Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Dangers of Rebellion

Those of us involved in Christian apologetics ministries are familiar with how atheists, other unbelievers, apostate "Christians" and others are in rebellion against God (see Romans 1:18-23). Rebellion is glorified in today's culture. However, God warns his people all through Scripture about rebellion. Indeed, God likens it to divination and witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:22-23)! Note that the Bible never condones rebellion.


Rebellion is never condoned in Scripture, and is devastating in churches
The Judgement of Korah, Dathan and Abiram, Maria Hadfield Cosway, 1801
How many rebellions, large or small, begin with grumbling to one another? We are warned against that, too (Prov. 11:13, Jer. 6:28, 2 Cor. 12:20). Not only does such grumbling help produce a rebellious spirit, but it shows lack of Christian love for one another. Grumblers recruit one another and the whole thing escalates, then there is discontent in the church.

I have to mention that, if you study on it, adding to God's Word is an act of rebellion. God don't cotton none to that (Rev. 22:18-19, 1 Cor. 4:6, Prov. 30:5-6). It's easy to add our opinions to Scripture, maybe it's human nature. A more systematic way is with cults like the Jehovah's Witness and Mormons who rewrite the Bible or add their own special books. Evolution and deep time are added by apostates and compromisers, since there is no legitimate way to get them out of the Bible; they must be put in first.

More serious rebellions in the church are often started by respected, prominent people. They seem to have valid concerns and act like they want to make things right, but there are often hidden motives rooted in pride. They get to yakking with one another about their dissatisfaction, and do not follow Biblical injunctions such as in Mat. 18:15-17. Then the pastor is bushwhacked by prominent people who twist Scripture in their seemingly valid claims.

I had a passel of notes on this, but I'd wind up preaching the sermon for you. Phil Johnson does a much better job, and I hope you'll spend some time hearing it. Free to download or listen online, just click on "Korah's Rebellion".


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Traits of False Teachers

Christians who are grounded in the Word, make an effort to know true doctrine, and pay attention to good teaching are most likely to spot owlhoots who want to lead people on a bad trail. Nominal Christians are at a greater risk of being swayed by false teachers. However, both kinds of professing believers need to be wary of the tactics of these types so they can avoid deception.


Just because a preacher has a Bible does not mean he is teaching the truth
The Preacher, George Harvey, 1840
Sure, a teacher can read text from the Bible, but many will use that as a springboard for interpretations and opinions that are not justified. Some will make disparaging remarks about the first eleven chapters of Genesis, which contain the basis of all major doctrines. Then they commence to insert long ages, evolution, current trends of social justice, homosexual marriage, and other aberrations. They may even cite "authorities" who base their views on other authorities, further and further from what God's Word actually says, and people end up being fed lies. Some of us encourage that nonsense! What are some signs for us to give us warning?
Jesus warned His followers of false teachers who would come and attempt “to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22). We need to be aware of the techniques the Enemy uses to distract us from the truths of God and His Word. When someone tries to tickle your ears with unsound or misleading doctrine, don’t scratch. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, your heart and mind grounded on Scripture, and “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3).
To read the rest and learn about five techniques used by false teachers, click on "Itching Ears".