Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Aliens, Evolution, and the Bible

Right from the get-go, I want to make some things clear. I believe in UFOs in the real sense, but reject the concept that they are piloted by beings from space or a parallel universe for both scientific and theological reasons. Also, the belief that extraterrestrials exist does not make someone foolish or an unregenerate heretic. There are Bible-believing Christians who believe that God created aliens; I disagree with them, but it's not a hill to die on, you savvy? Some of us who disbelieve in ETs still like a rollicking science fiction show now and then, too.


Note that these discussions ate usually about intelligent life, not about space bugs ot other unintelligent life. Evolutionists would sat that any life forms evolved. Although we're getting ahead of ourselves since no alien life has been found, their evolution would need evidence, not assumptions.  

Belief in aliens raises theological concerns for Christians
Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net / dan
Aliens are a staple of popular culture nowadays, appearing in fiction, alleged personal encounters, UFO investigations, New Age buffet-style religion, and more. Unfortunately, believers in them are also receiving propaganda from proponents of minerals-to-machinist evolution. Since they cannot account for the origin of life on Earth, they assume it happened on one or more planets, so we'll eventually see evidence of their existence. In addition to evolution, there are other problems for Christians to consider.
A 2012 survey reported that more than a third of Americans believe aliens have visited the earth, and only about one-fifth do not (the rest were undecided). With ET believers outnumbering non-believers nearly two-to-one, the intense fascination with aliens is obvious. Aliens permeate our society, as evidenced by warm and fuzzy—and sometimes not-so-fuzzy—ETs on every Cineplex marquee.

Given all this hype, should Christians care? Does the Bible have anything to say? In case you’re worried that you might have missed the Bible’s account of an alien visitation, let me assure you that it does not actually mention ETs or flying saucers. However, as with so many other issues, biblical principles help answer whether flying saucers and ETs are real. It’s not a trivial question.
To read the rest of this article or download the MP3 version, click on "Is Belief in Alien Life Harmless?"
  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Those Who Never Heard the Gospel

A subject of debate has existed for a very long time regarding the salvation of those who never heard the gospel. It's a fair question, and many Christians have wondered about it. Misotheists have also used it for the purposes of ridicule, even though the incoherent atheistic worldview should not allow them to care about the actions of God who they claim does not exist. "Why should there be only one way to your God?" can be replied with, "God did not have to provide any way to sinful humanity, but he gives both justice and mercy".


Salvation through Jesus Christ as taught in the Bible
Credit: Pixabay / jclk8888
God's Word tells us to share the gospel, and emphasizes the importance of doing so. We must be read (1 Peter 3:15, Matt. 28:18-20). It's vital to be true to Scripture, and not resort to subjective claims of "God told me such and so", or "I was led by the Spirit". Making things up does not work, either, and we cannot assume that someone will be saved based on...wishful thinking? Good feelings? Making excuses? We must stay true to what God has revealed to us in the Bible. It is also important to use a creation foundation in this increasingly pagan evolutionary culture, as Genesis is the source of all major Christian doctrines.

What follows are two feedback articles, the second of which is a direct response to the first one. I hope you will read both of them.
Charles S. United States, writes:
It is my understanding that everyone will have an opportunity to accept or reject Christ. I am sure that down through history and even today there are people who have never had that opportunity. People in some obscure tribe who may have never even knew who Christ was. Young children and babies who had no understanding of who Christ is. My question is what happens to those people? Will they, at some future time be given the opportunity to accept or reject Christ? Will they again be born to live again as humans to have that opportunity to accept or reject Christ. I understand that once we die we no longer have that chance to accept or reject Christ. Thank you for allowing me to ask this question. I look forward to your answer.
Lita Cosner, CMI-US, responds:

Dear Charles,

Thanks for writing in. Scripture says, “it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). This indicates that we all only have one life in which to respond to the Gospel. As I’ve said before, while the Bible doesn’t tell us everything we’d like to know about salvation, it tells us everything we need to know. With that in mind, here are a few principles which help us to think through this difficult issue.
To see the rest of Lita's response, click on "What about those who have never heard the Gospel?" The next article follows:
Among the responses to the article What about those who have never heard the Gospel?, there were some professing Christians who seemed unclear about some of the basic realities of the Gospel. We publish one reader’s comments and my responses below in the hopes that it will be edifying for those reading it, and that it may clarify biblical doctrine for those unclear on these matters.

Warren E. from New Zealand wrote:

The photo of Huka Falls is so appropriate for the article as it shows a photo taken from the walking bridge across the ‘raging torrent’. The viewer is unaware of the bridge, but nevertheless it has saved them from almost certain death! While visiting a friend and devout Jew in hospital in the 1980s, who died a few days later, I wanted to tell him about Jesus, but the Lord spoke to me and showed me a truth about John 14:6—Jesus is the only way, but some people may never know of, or see the ‘Bridge’ (Jesus) and yet God saves them through their faith in Him. My daughter died at 15 months old, and while we can and do believe she was saved, she can only enter heaven through Jesus. I believe my friend (like many living in ‘un-reached’ parts of the world) was saved through his faith in the one true God and creator and also, as he entered Heaven he saw the ‘Bridge’ over which he passed.
Lita Cosner responded:
To see her response, click on "Must we believe in Christ to be saved?"
 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Sabbath and the Christian

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

There are Christians who feel obligated to "keep the Sabbath", so they go to church and worship on Sunday. Some rigidly avoid unnecessary activity, and even shun things like sporting events and other pursuits that they consider "worldly". There are several problems with this approach. First, it is not scriptural, and more of a cultural belief. Second, the Sabbath was not changed to Sunday, it was established for the seventh day. Third and most important, Christians are not required to keep the Sabbath at all. Don't be disunderstanding me now, I'm not saying it's wrong to be church going. What I am saying is that we're not under the Law, the Mosaic Covenant.


No Sabbath required Christian church
Credit: Pixabay / tpsdave
The Sabbath has its origin in Genesis 2:3, where he rested on and sanctified the seventh day. God was the only Sabbath keeper at first. In Exodus 16:29-30, the day of solemn rest was established for Israel. See that? It was for Israel, not a universal command for all people for all time. After the Sabbath was set forth in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11), additional instructions were given in the Pentateuch. If you study on it a spell, you'll see that there is no command to worship on the seventh day. The Jews used their day off for that purpose. 

Those who insist that we keep the Sabbath forget that it is impossible to do so! There had to be a sacrifice by the priests to begin it. Also, Scripture makes it clear that we are to obey the Law in its entirety, not just Sabbath keeping, or accept the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection by faith, because Christ is our Sabbath (Heb. 4:8-10)! Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Covenant, and we have the New Covenant.

We can worship on Saturday or Sunday (the Lord's Day, the day of his resurrection and the day that the disciples met together), or any day we choose; there is no "Christian Sabbath". However, we must not judge each other. Some Jewish Christians worship on Saturday, not to keep the Law, but as a witness to other Jews. I know of a church that rents space in a school and had meeting times on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings.

I've been mighty free with a prairie-schooner full of bits and pieces of information, but I want to give you a couple of messages to hear. There's a bit of overlap, but each speaker gives some useful insights from his series from which each of these is drawn.

Each is free to hear online or download the MP3.

First, Pastor Chris Rosebrough's message, "How Christians Observe the Sabbath". There are also several links if you cotton to doing additional reading on the subject. Next, a no-frills page from Dr. Albert Mohler, simply entitled "Exodus 20:1-11 (Part 2)". If you want the lead-in, helpful but not required, here is Exodus 20:1-11 (Part 1). I hope you're listen to these, and possibly save this post as a resource. You may want to share it with people who are getting confused by the Hebrew Roots cults, Seventh-Day Adventists, and others.
  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

God's Written Word, Man's Hands

Something that many people have wondered about is how the Bible itself was written (aside from the vacuous "written by illiterate Bronze Age goat herders remark). After all, it is God's written Word. Did they take dictation? No, the Bible was not given to us through what is sometimes called mechanical dictation, where the writers were acting like secretaries.

Apostle Paul, Rembrandt, 1653
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture is God-breathed (often translated as "inspired"), θεόπνευστος, theopneustos. We see that the personalities of the writers is evident, but that God was in control. I'll allow that it's a fair question to ask if errors crept in, since the dictation approach did not happen and they wrote in their own words. God preserved copies of Scripture through the ages, and he is also able to have guided his chosen writers. I reckon that the book we can First Corinthians is not the first letter Paul sent to them, but only the first one we have, so it could very well be that the "missing" letter is missing by God's design. Other works are referenced in the Bible that may have also been "lost" by design. That's just my own speculation, though. So, the subject is whether or not there are errors, since God used people and allowed them to express themselves in their own ways. Unfortunately, liberal theologians tell us that the Bible is not entirely true. They tend to focus on the first eleven chapters of Genesis. This raises the question: If you cannot trust some parts of Scripture, how do you know you can trust the end of the Bible, or even those verses you depend on for your salvation?
It has long been recognized that both Jesus and the apostles accepted Scripture as the flawless Word of the living God (John 10:35, 17:17; Matthew 5:18; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21). Unfortunately, many attack this view of Scripture mainly because they assume that the human authors’ capacity to err would result in the presence of errors in Scripture. The question that needs to be asked is whether the Bible contains error because it was written by human authors.

Many people are familiar with the Latin adage errare humanum est—to err is human. For instance, what person would ever claim to be without error? For this reason, the Swiss, neo-orthodox theologian Karl Barth (1886–1968), whose view of Scripture is still influential in certain circles within the evangelical community, believed that “we must dare to face the humanity of the biblical texts and therefore their fallibility.”
To read the rest, click on "Does Scripture Contain Error Because It Was Written by Humans?"
   

Friday, June 2, 2017

Importance of the Age of the Earth to Christians

Supporters of long ages are often frustrated at the way biblical creationists defend the young earth, and some even make the false claim that we claim belief in recent creation to be a requirement for salvation. To sidestep those sidewinders, we occasionally need to go on record: believers in an old earth as well as theistic evolutionists are not automatically excluded from the grace of Christ. Further, belief in recent creation is not a salvation issue, nor is acceptance of the Ussher chronology of biblical lineages. You savvy?


Age of the earth is an important issue for Christians
Credit: Freeimages / Petr Wija
There are folks who will call us "science deniers", but there's a problem in that the age of the earth is in no wise a proved scientific fact. For one thing, it is historical in nature, and not something that can be repeated and verified. Also, there are many different age-determining methods that yield different results. These methods rely on certain assumptions which determine the interpretations of the data. Essentially, we do not deny any scientific facts, but rather, the interpretations and opinions of secularists.

But so what? Why should a Christian care about the age of the earth? The main reason is that a young earth is in keeping with the teachings of Scripture. In fact, Jesus believed in a young earth. More than that, an old earth does violence to the gospel message itself, and implies that God is a liar. I'll give you a "teaser" about deep time: the Bible describes death as an enemy. Death will be removed at the final restoration. But there is a serious conflict if death was a means of God's creation, and existed before Adam's sin because what, exactly, is God restoring? Death and sickness are clearly not in our future. We cannot pick and choose which parts of the Bible to believe based on our personal preferences or liberal theology, old son.
From time to time, we meet people who reject evolution and would call themselves ‘creationists’, but who, nevertheless, accept that the earth and its rocks are millions of years old. In some cases, they feel that identifying as ‘young earth creationists’ would cause them to appear foolish and that this would undermine the credibility of their Christian witness. In responding to this, I believe that it is a mistake to begin with science. Instead, I find a better approach is to talk about God, His nature and glory, His original, perfect creation and how this changed due to our sin. This helps people to see why an ancient earth cannot be reconciled with the Bible’s teaching.
To read the rest, click on "The age of the earth and why it matters". I suggest that you take a look-see at the "Related Articles" afterward, too.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Gospel and Noah's Ark

People who have little understanding of the Bible or have a low view of the authority of Scripture tend to wave off the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Regular readers have seen how a rejection of creation leads to errors all the way to Revelation, and the same thing happens when denying the Genesis Flood. What about the claim that the Flood was only local? That may seem to be a nice compromise with those who believe in long ages, but that's the opposite of the truth.

Genesis Flood was not a local event
Credit: Freeimages / Christian Carollo
I have pointed out one simple problem with people using the loco local Flood scenario. Peter discussed the global Flood (2 Peter 2:5, 3:6) and compared it to the coming Judgement by fire (2 Peter 3:7). So, if the Genesis Flood was only local, will the Judgement by fire also be just a local event? Not hardly!

More than that, the Ark is a type of Christ. When limiting the Flood, the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross is also being limited.
About 1,656 years after the creation of the world, God destroyed all humans, except for eight on the Ark that Noah built, and all air-breathing land animals (except those on the Ark) in a great global judgment. Many marine creatures were also destroyed—some 95 percent of all fossils found are the remains or impressions of creatures that once lived in the sea. We see evidence of this deluge all over the earth, including on the highest mountains. Mt Everest has marine fossils at its peak.
To read the rest and learn the significance, click on "Noah’s Ark and salvation — Another reason the Flood could not have been local".
 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Unmasking the "Holy Ghost" Movie

Unmasking the fraudulent, demonic, deceptive Holy Ghost movie

This post could be subtitled, "Why Unbelievers Hate Christians, Part 4", and is another that will probably cost me some friends. Don't that just take the rag off the bush, standing up for truth and getting professing Christians into a lather? It happened before, and it'll happen again because I seek to please God, not men, which makes me think of Galatians 1:10.

Did you know that most Americans who call themselves Christians are actually functional heretics? While this kind of news is very sad, it is also not surprising. In my experience, especially online, there are many people who profess to be Christians but have a very low view of Scripture, and very little working knowledge of it. Yet, they claim to believe it. When people fall in to deception, disregard for scriptural authority as well as biblical illiteracy are key factors.

 I run across all sorts of people while administering The Question Evolution Project. I'll see some who claim to be Christians because they liked the Son of God miniseries, the Holy Ghost movie, and some other dubious religious things (including Pages run by cultists). If I say that people like Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyere, and others preach a false gospel, they get on the prod. Well, if those folks had some spiritual knowledge and discernment, they wouldn't be following false teachers in the first place, would they? Also, I suspicion that TQEP loses followers because we uphold the inerrancy and authority of Scripture, which doesn't set well with modern churchians. They prefer feelings and experience over the written Word of God, and such things are a distraction from the truth.

Why would unbelievers hate us over the Holy Spirit? Because too many professing Christians are gullible and think that acting in an uncontrolled ecstatic manner is somehow the way God works (1 Cor. 14:33). Very often, hateful atheists will find instance of people being nutty for Jesus, and then overgeneralize that such behavior is typical of Christians.

I have to be direct here. Such people need to repent, get into the Word, and renounce false teachers. More importantly, they need to examine themselves and see if they are really saved. Don't be gambling eternity on the desire to have good feelings.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. The Holy Ghost movie is something that should cause Christians to weep because of the deceptions involved. Instead, demonic activity is cheered by people who claim to believe the Bible. (It received high marks from the Dove Foundation, which detracts from their credibility in my eyes.) If you're willing to learn the truth about this spiritual thimblerig, I have a something well worth your time.

On the "Fighting for the Faith" podcast, Pastor Chris Rosebrough spent about an hour on the Holy Ghost movie. He also embedded a video on how someone can set up a con that has all the appearances of a modern "move of the Spirit" that have nothing to do with the real Holy Spirit. This video is not from a Christian source and contains a bit of profanity, but is extremely enlightening. For the podcast and link to the video (both are free, and the podcast can be downloaded), click on "Debunking the Holy Ghost Movie". Rosebrough's podcast set up in an audio-only video format is here. I pray that you will listen carefully, and get into the Word. This is not the time for Christians to be dallying and playing at spirituality when faithfulness to God's Word is essential — as is proper discernment.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Christian and Greek Mythology

Many people are fascinated by ancient Greek mythology, which can be seen by the numerous volumes about the subject and various works of fantasy fiction that make their way onto the big screen. Although it appears that few if any people still believe in what were called gods and goddesses of Greece, that culture is still represented in today's Western world.

Artemis (Roman: Diane) credit: Wikimedia Commons / Marie-Lan Nguyen
Some jaspers say that the Bible is just mythology, like the Greeks, Romans, and others had. I wonder if they've ever read the mythologies and seriously read the Bible. When I was younger, I thought maybe they were just representatives of principles, but no, people did worship them. Those tinhorns in mythology were capricious, petty, deceitful, cannibalistic, and just plain unpleasant in many ways. Powerful forces of nature were attributed to them, as were other facts of daily life. We get diluted mythology stories, but if you get into mythology that is more direct, well, some of that stuff is brutal. Those characters received fanatical devotion, as is seen in Acts 19:28, Acts 17:16-34, and other places. There's no valid comparison of mythology to the Bible, which is written as history.

Evolution is an ancient Greek philosophy. (Actually, many Greek philosophies and religious practices were taken from Egypt, India, and other places.) Their false deities are a part of creation and evolution, while God transcends his creation. The Christian needs to realize that what we believe about the one true God and creation are extremely important today.
Greek mythology—the story-rich religion of the ancient Greek people—is familiar to most of us today. The names and antics of its gods, demigods, heroes, and assorted mortals enrich our language, art, and culture. The Apollo space program was named for the Greek god of archery, light, poetry, and music. The entrance to the US Supreme Court building is adorned with Themis the Greek goddess of law and justice, often called by her Roman name Justicia (or Lady Justice). Nashville, Tennessee, the Athens of the South, boasts a full-scale replica of the Parthenon. The original Parthenon, the primary temple of Athena, is in the ancient Greek city Athens, which was named for its patron goddess. Pandora’s box, the Golden Fleece, Achilles’ heel, Zeus’s lightning bolts, Hermes the winged messenger, Prometheus with his gift of fire to man, Titans battling the Olympian gods, the heroic adventures of Heracles (Hercules), the Trojan horse, and Homer’s feuding gods and goddesses—these are just a few images, phrases, and well-known tales drawn from Greek myths and related stories.
To read the rest, click on "Greek Mythology and the Gospel of Jesus Christ: What Can We Learn?"
 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Yes, Genesis is History

Something I keep stressing is that the Bible is God's Word, and true from the very first verse. There are people who, for various reasons, want to compromise and say that the Bible is true, but not the early chapters of Genesis — those have to be interpreted in light of the ever-changing whims of man-made science philosophies. Can't be believing in creation, can we? Yes, yes we can.

Sunset over clouds on Lake Superior, credit: Freeimages / Archbob
Why would they compromise? If you study on it, there are several possible reasons. One is that they are ashamed of God. Another is because they are more interested in what other people think of them rather than what God thinks. Many learn bad theology from liberal teachers. I reckon the most likely reason is that they have not really thought things through (which may stem from not being grounded in the Word). Capitulating on the opening chapters of Genesis leads to theological horse trading throughout the Bible, and undermines the gospel message. Genesis was written as history, old son, and the rest of Scripture treats it that way.
Ever had someone tell you, ‘You’re missing the whole point! The purpose of Genesis is to teach that God is our Creator. We should not be divisive over the small details. Genesis teaches the theological truth of “Who?” and “Why?” not about the “How?” and “When?”’ Or else they say that the Bible is a book for faith and morality, not history.

An obvious answer is, why should we trust Genesis when it says God created if we can’t trust it on the details? After all, Jesus told Nicodemus, ‘I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?’ (John 3:12). So if Genesis can’t be trusted on an earthly thing, such as Earth’s age, the sequence of creative acts upon it, or the Flood that covered it, then why trust it on a heavenly thing such as who the Creator was? Also, if Genesis 1 were merely meant to tell us that God is creator, then why simply not stop at verse 1, all that’s necessary to state this?

However, the critic has overlooked something even more important—Genesis is written as real history. This is why the rest of the Bible treats the events, people and time sequences as real history, not parables, poetry or allegory.
I hope you'll read the rest of this important article. Just click on "Genesis: Bible authors believed it to be history".

 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

People after the Genesis Flood

We are not given a great number of details about the post-Flood people in the Bible, but some were so impressive that they warranted special attention, especially the giants. (The writers used giant the way most of us do today, for very large people and not for the impossibly huge people of fantasy stories.) 

Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder)
Gaius Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder), from Wikimedia Commons

I remember a lecture that Ken Ham gave where he reasoned from accounts of people of great size, photographic memories, and other talents that very few people have, Adam would have been a composite of all of them. After all, he was made flawless and sin had not entered the world and begun genetic degradation. Some of those abilities must have lingered through the ages. In fact, Pliny and others have given some interesting historical accounts of people with not only strength, but mental agility, memory, endurance, vision, and more.
It has been over 6,000 years since God created Adam and Eve. Because of the Curse, we have suffered and changed greatly. We do not have detailed records concerning the abilities of man when God created Adam. However, the Romans were very accurate at recordkeeping and give us a glimpse at what a few men could do as little as two thousand years ago. Let’s take a look at some of the abilities of men at that time so that we can get a better idea of the fantastic abilities God bestowed on Adam and his descendants in the beginning.
To read the rest, click on "What Were Early Post-Flood People Like?" You may also be interested in Dr. Robert Carter's lecture on genetics, "The Non-Mythical Adam and Eve".
 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Non-Bible Answer Man

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Dr. Walter Martin was the original "Bible Answer Man" after he founded an organization called the Christian Research Institute (CRI). He was a noted authority on cults and religions, having written books on the subjects, had a radio ministry, was a guest on various programs, and more [1]. After his untimely death in 1989 at age 60, the leadership of CRI was given to Hank Hanegraaff. Dr. Martin's teachings were very helpful in the development of my own theology as well as my growing interest in apologetics.

The family of Dr. Martin has serious difficulties with Hanegraaff's demeanor, methods, lack of formal theological training, and in other areas [2]. They are not the only ones, either [3]. In addition, he has not been friendly to biblical creation science, preferring the "Framework Hypothesis" [4]. It seems that someone taking over such a position from Dr. Martin should have formal theological training and have less controversy.


Hank Hanegraaff left Christianity for the Eastern Orthodox religion
Christ the Saviour, Pantokrator, a 6th-century icon at St Catherine's Monastery
On April 9, 2017, Hanegraaff formally joined the Eastern Orthodox religion [5]. Some say that he has left the Christian faith because the Orthodox religion is diametrically opposed to some basic tenets of Christianity [6] [7] and this conversion caused a radio network to remove the "Bible Answer Man" from their lineup [8]. Hank says he has not left the faith, and his beliefs are codified in his books and nothing has changed. That is ridiculous, because of the huge differences between his new religion and Christianity (see "How Is Eastern Orthodoxy Different?" for more information).

I don't know what's going on with the Christian Research Institute. They had someone who is controversial and unqualified in his position from the get-go, but now that Hank has jumped the corral fence and become a theological maverick, will it become the Orthodox Research Institute and have the "Orthodox Answer Man" program? I know it's asking a lot, but I hope you'll consider watching the video or downloading the audio from Dr. James White, "Can a Consistent Eastern Orthodox Believer Be the Bible Answer Man?"


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Authority, Personality, Familiarity

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Seems to be human nature to defer to someone in authority. Well, let me modify that: someone that seems to have authority. The scene of a traffic accident, a stranger stops, gives instructions, directs traffic, and takes charge overall until the police and EMTs arrive. (There is something that is called presence, where someone has authority and personality.) He or she may not have had any formal status, but people deferred to the air of authority. Atheists listen to Clinton Richard Dawkins, even though he is a lousy philosopher, and evolutionists believe his ridiculous claim that the human eye was "poorly designed". Unfortunately, Christians are often persuaded by people with what they perceive as authority.


Some teachers are good, but people succumb to perceived authority of bad ones.
Evangelist D.L. Moody, from J. Wilbur Chapman, 1900
As an illustration, allow me a personal anecdote. I was raised in the Untied Methodist Church (misspelling intentional), my father was a pastor. In an adult Sunday School class, I was allowed to give a presentation on why we can trust the Bible, which may have taken about twenty minutes. My father gave some closing remarks from his liberal perspective that essentially undermined my work. How could it happen? He was the pastor, so they were familiar with him. He also had authority and personality.

Some years later, I was giving talks in area churches on biblical creation science and theology. The pastors and churches had no reason to trust me aside from what I wrote to them and told them. Should I have done this? Should they have let me in? Looking back, I am uncertain. Sure, the pastor was usually there (I wanted them to hear the messages as well), and they could have corrected errors that a stranger could have presented, but that may not have been sufficient.

Don't be disunderstanding me, I'm not saying that a church should not have a teacher that they do not know personally. There are some established Bible teachers, those giving talks from respected creation science ministries, and others who can be welcomed. No matter who is invited, church leaders need to use prayer and discernment before allowing someone into the pulpit.

Taking this authority concern further, professing Christians are willingly deceived by false teachings, whether theistic evolution, liberalism, it's all about you instead of Jesus, the prosperity gospel, or other demonic doctrines. A major part of the problem is that too many of us are doctrinally weak, and do not know the Bible that we claim to believe. Then someone comes along that has a strong personality, a tremendous delivery, uses humor, presence . . . It's mighty difficult to speak against someone that people like, but is teaching things that are untrue. People like Paul Young's blasphemous book and movie The Shack, and he spews further heresy in his latest book.

There some professing Christians go, believing lies because they were gullible and uninformed. I'll be blunt, many are spiritually lazy, preferring to be like atheists who teach "truths" through "memes" that are suited to bumper sticker mentalities. Learning the Word is too much like work for some folks. Wonder if they ever noticed attitudes such as expressed in Psalm 1:1-2?

Now it's time for me to link to a lesson in discernment and how teachers can be deceptive — even demonic — while masquerading as teachers of righteousness. This takes a bit of effort, because the podcast is over two hours (!) long. I recommend downloading it so you can listen when it's more convenient. It's at Fighting for the Faith, and is called "The YOU Effect?" This message is done, but I still want to urge you to get into the Word, our final authority, and be discerning.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Creation and Crucifixion

A day called Good Friday is observed to some extent by most professing Christians around the world. Unbelievers ignore or even hate this day because there is no camouflaging it; no candy rabbits, baskets with shredded plastic grass, egg hunts, ham dinners or any other trappings like people do with Easter. The crucifixion of Jesus is plainly on display for all to see.


Jesus crucifixion resurrection Bible Genesis
Credit: Pixabay / congerdesign
The bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead followed on a Sunday. He defeated death to reconcile those who believe with God the Father, and enemies of God don't rightly cotton to hearing about that none too much. They also dislike being reminded that Jesus is the Creator (John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:16), and that both the crucifixion and resurrection were prophesied centuries before those events happened. Further, the first prophesy about redemption after sin was in Genesis 3:15. For those who belong to God through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 1:12, Revelation 21:3-4), this long-foretold event gives us joy and meaning in our lives. Those who deny God have no hope, only blind, pitiless indifference before their terrible final Judgement (Matthew 16:27, Revelation 20:11-15).
It may seem odd for people to celebrate the humiliating defeat of their leader and hero. But the suffering, shame and death of Jesus Christ are a source of hope to Christians.

No one wants to live in a world where evil is ignored, or worse still, approved. Everyone yearns for justice when they have been mocked, insulted, betrayed or abused.

Who has not rebelled when they have been treated like an animal or a thing? We have a deep desire for our wrongs to be put right, for our suffering to have meaning.
To read the rest, click on "Genesis and the Cross". Also recommended, "Easter and Good Friday: questions and answers — Does Easter have a pagan derivation? Was Jesus really crucified on a Friday?"


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Order of Creation Events Irreconcilable with Evolution

One of the main problems that many professing Christians have is ignorance of the Bible that they claim to believe, and this gets them into trouble. Such Christians get recruited into cults, follow false teachers, and are willing to compromise with evolutionism.

Days of creation do not match evolution time
Credit: Pixabay Mzlle
Some are willing to say that God used evolution for creation, but do not see the theological problems this causes. A frequent way that liberal religious folks force evolution into Scripture is to say that the days of creation match up with evolution Not hardly! This shows not only ignorance of a basic reading of the Bible, but ignorance of the story of evolution as well. The two cannot be reconciled, pilgrim.
A straightforward reading of the Bible indicates that God created in six 24-hour days a little over 6,000 years ago. This is the way the church has understood it for most of the church’s history, and the way Hebrew scholars have always understood it.

However, with the rise of long-age claims in geology led by James Hutton2 and Charles Lyell3 about 200 years ago, some conservative Christians became intimidated. So they proposed schemes by which the Bible could accommodate these long–age ideas. Various views, unheard of before this time, sprung up: day-age, gap theory, framework hypothesis, theistic evolution.
To finish reading, click on "Evolution/long ages contradicts Genesis order of Creation".


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Adam and the Gospel

Previously, we examined how professing Christians disparage Jesus, and that many of those are theistic evolutionists. Another way to undermine the gospel message is to say that Adam was just an illustration and not a real man. We hear that kind of thing and worse (such as the old "book of fairy tales" nonsense) from atheistic sidewinders, but people who actually believe the Bible should be above dismissing Adam.

Adam Eve Genesis Bible, Wenzel Peter
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Johann Wenzel Peter
If you study on it, you'll see that the Bible is written as history. Specific names, dates, events, and so on are provided. Mythology does not have such detail. The primary reason for Christians to reject a historical Adam (as well as special creation) is to force-fit evolutionary views into Scripture. These foolish folks cause themselves a heap of serious problems when they do this, such as needing to explain why a fictitious character is referred to as a real man in Luke's genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:38), that Paul contrasts Adam with Jesus (1 Cor. 15:45), and Jude also calls Adam a real person (Jude 1:14).

There are some deeper issues involved as well, such as how rejecting Adam undermines the gospel message — which theistic evolutionists and liberal "Christians" claim to believe to some extent. One jasper plays semantic games by saying that in one particular place, the apostle Paul does not say the name Adam. Oh, please.
The Apostle Paul often found himself in a cultural context in which he had to deal with many objections to the Christian faith. In 1 Corinthians 15, for example, the Corinthian congregation was questioning the future resurrection of believers: “How do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:12).
. . .
Two thousand years later, not much has changed. Just as the culture in Paul’s day was permeated with Greek philosophy, so it is today. The worldview that undergirds Darwinian evolutionary thought is essentially Greek at its core.1 Many Christians are still integrating Greek philosophy into Christianity; however we have just given it the name science rather than philosophy.
To read the entire article, click on "How Do Some Among You Say There Is No Adam?"


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Professing Christians Disparage Jesus

Almost from the beginning of Jesus' incarnation as a man, there have been strange heresies about him. Owlhoots have been trying to find ways to denigrate him and make him less that who he was when he walked the earth, and nowadays, such heresies are no longer restricted to Gnostics, atheists, and other cults; the false teachings have infected mainstream churches.

Some professing Christians disparage Jesus
Credit: Pixabay / Hans_Hofer
C.S. Lewis referred to unbelievers' remarks about Jesus being a "great moral teacher" as "patronizing nonsense", but some professing Christians are at that same level. Even though his own words, Old Testament prophesies, New Testament writers, the church fathers, and so on have made it clear that Jesus is God the Son who humbled himself and took on human form, seems that people don't cotton to paying attention. Strange when they claim to believe the Bible, but then say that Jesus made mistakes. Quite often, you can find these false claims about him from believers in long ages, especially theistic evolutionists (I believe TEs are actually Deists) and other compromisers.
Astonishingly, there are people in today’s churches who, while strongly proclaiming their evangelical credentials, actually teach that Jesus could have been mistaken about some of His teaching! Of course, since the earliest days of Christendom, people with heretical views have plagued the Church. This is why there are so many warnings in the New Testament against false teachers—to imbibe their ideas is to wander off into myths, with the serious risk of ‘faith-wreck’ (see From fables to truth). Unfortunately, the advocates of a fallible Jesus are not merely a fringe group. Rather, their ideas are becoming increasingly and worryingly influential.
To finish reading, click on "Jesus, just ‘a man of his time’?

 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is the Inerrancy of the Bible Important?

Some folks have a modicum of respect for the Bible even if they do not actually believe it. To call it the "good book" and pick out various words of wisdom is to miss the important fact that the Bible makes serious claims about itself: it is the inerrant written Word of God. What does that mean?

When investigating the statements of faith from various churches and ministries, there are some phrases about the Bible that seem a mite baffling. Expressions like verbal plenary and inspiration stand out. The first one is expensive talk for the whole of Scripture, every word, is given by God. Inspiration is a horse of a different color, because we use that word to mean several different things. Some folks say that the Bible was "inspired" the way an essayist or even a skilled fiction writers is inspired. In the Bible, it is the Greek word θεόπνευστος, theopneustos (pronounced thay-ah-noo-stahs) that many versions translate as inspired, but is more correctly rendered God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16 NIV), the World English Bible also translates it this way. Another important verse is 2 Peter 1:21 ESV, which tells us that men were carried along by the Holy Spirit (often translated as moved).

The Bible, George Harvey, 1845
These two verses are part of the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. We do not have the original "autographs" (documents) that are inerrant, but are confident that the Bible we have is extremely close to what was originally given by God. There are minor errors in translation and copying, but textual criticism assures us that the major translations are quite reliable.

Do the terms God-breathed and carried along mean that the writers of Scripture took dictation directly from God? No, their personalities are evident in their writings, but the Spirit did not allow them to include errors. Pay attention here: the "errors" that are in the Bible are not errors of the Bible. That is, Scripture records when people lied, cheated, stole, committed adultery, and other things — the Bible is accurate history.

If we cannot trust the Bible to be given by God, we are in trouble as to what we can choose to be accurate. There are many reasons to believe in the important doctrine of inerrancy.
“You don’t really believe the Bible is true, do you?”

The shock expressed by those who discover someone who actually believes the Bible to be without error is often quite amusing. Inevitably, their next question takes us right back to Genesis. But what does the Christian mean by “without error,” and why are we so sure?
To read the rest, click on "Why Should We Believe in the Inerrancy of Scripture?"


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Ancient Chinese Artifact May Portray Genesis

China has one of the oldest cultures on Earth, so perhaps we should not be surprised to find traces of the Bible, even in this now-Communist land. Older Chinese pictographs have been demonstrated to show some elements of Genesis, and an ancient artifact from Sanxingdui may have some correlation to Genesis as well.

Chinese artifact may illustrate book of Genesis
Adam and Eve by Raphael
The identification of artifacts can be difficult, but the interpretation can be a mighty tricky thing. A bronze tree in Sanxingdui may have significant correlation with the Genesis Flood and the dispersal of nations at Babel. You might rightly wonder why, so I'll give you a couple of spoilers from the article linked below: this big tree made of bronze has a passel of details linking it to Genesis, but it is dated to about the time Moses was penning the Pentateuch. They weren't exactly telegraphing each other. So...
In 1986, workers from a brickyard near Guanghan, China, were digging for clay in the countryside when they discovered various pieces of bronze. They contacted the authorities, and archaeologists from Huaxi University in Chengdu came and excavated two different pits that were filled with outstanding artefacts of the Sanxingdui People. These archaeological efforts followed earlier excavations in the area dating back to 1929. From these two pits nearly 1,000 artefacts were recovered, including objects made of jade, bronze, gold, ivory, pottery, marble and implements of bone.
. . .

The archaeologists also recovered pieces of a tall bronze tree, which they cleaned and reassembled. As with most archaeological discoveries, there is little debate about what has been found. However, there is great debate about the meanings that are attached to the items recovered and their implications. In particular, “The meaning of the tree has been the subject of disagreement”.
To read the entire article, click on "The Bronze Tree of Sanxingdui — the oldest man-made Genesis artefact?

 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Adding Evolution to the Bible?

Once upon a time, a guy was involved with biblical creation science. Or, as he called it, young earth creationism (YEC). He became disillusioned with it, embraced evolutionism, turned on his fellow creationists in a show of public humiliation, and refused to give his name due to "harassment" from creationists. He trolls the Web to this day promoting his new religion and hating biblical creationists while pretending to be a respected Christian "professor". His knowledge of the Bible, creation science, theology, and other matters show that he is a fake creationist. I lack belief that he is a Christian.


Adding evolution to the Bible
Modified from an image at Morguefile by cbcs
But this is not about that sidewinder and his fictitious story. Instead, we're talking about Denis Lamoureux, who rejected biblical creation and embraced theistic evolution. The only way to get millions of years and evolution out of the Bible is to put them in through eisegesis. Like the character described above, Lamoreaux he was formerly a biblical creationist and rejected biblical truth to embrace Darwin. Lamoreaux's book shows his lack of understanding of both creation science and theology, and he clearly does not understand the repercussions and inconsistencies of compromise. He even goes as far as to claim that Genesis 1 was an ancient poetical structure (which has been disproved many times) and somehow, mysteriously, the first eleven chapters of Genesis are mostly irrelevant, but from chapter twelve onward, Genesis is no longer unreliable. Worse, Lamoreaux believes that Jesus didn't refute erroneous beliefs, but accommodated their brutish ignorance; Jesus was a liar.
Over the last number of years, influential evangelical theologian and scientist Dr. Denis Lamoureux has been actively promoting evolutionary creation. In his new book Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes! Lamoureux offers a number of explanations to justify his belief in evolutionary creation. This review will focus on several key issues raised in the book.
Even if you're not planning on reading the book that is reviewed, I'd be much obliged if you'd read the article. Just click on "Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say No!"


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Genesis, Foundations, and Persecution

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

As I have stated many times, all major Christian doctrines have their origins in Genesis, which is foundational for the Christian faith. Some folks wave off Genesis and creation as incidental and want to get to what they consider the "good stuff", but they are doing themselves (and others) a tremendous disservice. Of course, atheists, theistic evolutionists, and other owlhoots malign Genesis because it threatens their faith in evolutionism, and they know the importance of Genesis to the Christian faith.

Why do we wear clothes? It's found in Genesis. When did sin begin? Genesis. What is first promise of the Redeemer? Genesis, again. What is the foundation for marriage? That's right, Genesis again. The world is increasingly hostile to the truth of Scripture as well as more accommodating to secularism and atheism. Although persecution in the West is mild in comparison to what Christians endure in other parts of the world, it does exist and is escalating.

Genesis is foundational to the gospel. That is one reason that compromisers and other unbelievers attack it and persecute uncompromising Christians.
Credit: Pixabay / Alexas_Fotos
I have three examples of persecution here that ended reasonably well, but they illustrate the intolerant trend in society. First, pastor Mark Mackey was arrested for reading a Bible aloud outside a Department of Motor Vehicles in California, and the court ruled in his favor. Next, Tony Miano was arrested during street preaching in London. He said that homosexuality is a sin. He was charged with “using homophobic speech that could cause people anxiety, distress, alarm or insult.” Arrested for telling the truth, really. Suddenly, the charges were dropped. 

Third, another from the UK, Gordon Larmour was arrested for what he said in the course of street preaching. He was asked what God thinks of homosexuals, and he responded by telling them that God created Adam and Eve to have children. The homosexual man who asked the question argued with Larmour, and even chased him. But Larmour was arrested. Eventually, the charges were dismissed. I suggest that you read his story here.

The second and third stories involved homosexuality and marriage. Again, marriage is established in the foundational book of Christian doctrine, Genesis. People of the world, whether atheists, false Christians, or anyone else who is not redeemed by the blood of Jesus, hates the righteous (1 John 3:11-13, Luke 6:22, John 8:44). Hate is a characteristic of people under Satan's control, and I think this gives us an understanding of why they try to shut down uncompromising truth in God's Word.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Adam and the Tree of Life

Some folks may miss the important of the tree of life if they're quickly reading the Bible. (It's also very difficult to find a public domain image of it.) This tree first mentioned in Genesis 2:4, along with the one we've heard about quite a bit more, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When Adam sinned, death entered the world (Gen. 2:16-17, Rom. 5:12, 1 Cor. 15:22). There are people who will agree with Satan and charge God with lying, because we read in Genesis 2:17, "...for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die", and Adam lived 930 years. That's one of the problems we have with translation, especially ancient Hebrew to modern English: meanings are difficult to communicate and still make the text readable. More literally, it reads, "dying you shall die". Adam and Eve were not going to die, but by eating the forbidden fruit, they began the dying process.

After Adam and Eve sinned and death entered the world, God would not let them eat from the tree of life. This was actually a tremendous act of mercy.
Image credit: Pixabay / OpenClipart-Vectors
God did not want Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of life after they had sinned, and stationed a guard to keep them out (Gen. 3:24). (If you study on it, you'll realize that Eden must have still been there, guard and all, for mankind to see up until the Flood happened.) The tree that was mentioned in the first book of the Bible is also discussed in the last book at the restoration of all things (Rev. 22:2). But what was the big deal? Adam ate from the forbidden tree, why not from the tree of life? This was actually a tremendous act of mercy.
In Genesis 2:9, we are told that in the midst of the Garden of Eden, God placed the Tree of Life as well as the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam was permitted to eat of every tree in the garden except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God warned that if Adam ate of its fruit, he would surely begin to die. (See this article for an explanation of why that is the best understanding).

In Genesis 3, the Bible describes the fall of mankind and how sin, death, and suffering entered the world when Adam disobeyed God’s commandment and ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
To read the rest, click on "Why did God prevent Adam from eating from the Tree of Life after he had sinned?"