Wednesday, July 25, 2018

External Pressures and Internal Changes

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Over at Piltdown Superman, I've been posting material from ICR on engineered adaptability and the continuous environmental tracking model. Essentially, Charles Darwin supposed that organisms change because of external "pressures", a concept that his followers cling to even today. They don't cotton to the notion that critters adapt (without evolving into something else altogether) through internal mechanisms (see "Targeted Changes and Engineered Adaptability" if you want to see an example). The Master Engineer built in the ability to make changes.

Using biological concepts as illustrations, external pressures and engineered adaptability are contrasted in the Christian life.
Modified from a Library of Congress photo (usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
Let's take this biological concept into another area — and flip it.

People have been blaming others for their actions for a very long time. Go back to Eden, and see that Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed Eve and God ("the woman you gave me"). This happens all the time. Just pay attention for how many times you come across someone using a phrase similar to, "It's not my fault!", or how many times you do it yourself.
  • The boss cheated me out of my lunch break, so I'll cheat back the time
  • I had to lie so I wouldn't look bad to my peers, then I had to lie some more
  • My husband isn't man enough, so I had sex with another guy
  • I hate her because she said something I don't like
  • Christians are big meanies, it's their fault that I'm an atheist now
See that? We have external pressures and we react to them. Unlike the creation science principle of engineered adaptability, external influences are not in conflict with our inner nature, and there is no need to change. (If anything, the more we give in to our urges, the worse we get.) Something needs to change, old son, before we drift into full postmodernism.

The root of the problem is sin. If we fess up and agree with God that we are sinners, and are giving in instead of living for Jesus Christ, by whom and for whom we were created. If you belong to God, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you. People who truly believe the Bible, have repented, have Jesus as the primary place in our lives, and seek to glorify  him have the Spirit's engineered adaptability. We can take responsibility for our actions, stop blaming other people and external pressures, and let God work inside us so we are not "under the circumstances".

I have a couple of sermons by Voddie Baucham for you and they're free, as usual. Mayhaps I'm asking a lot, but this is important. Note that each one is a direct link to the MP3, and I'd be much obliged if you'd give them serious attention. First, "Errors In The Modern Day Gospel". Second, and for me this one supplemented the first, "The Supremacy of Christ in Truth in a Postmodern World", which actually begins at the 3 min. 45 sec. mark. Let's get serious with God, and let him work his engineering inside us so we're not adapting to sinful influences.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Mystery of the Trinity

Although orthodox denominations bearing the name of Christ have their differences in some doctrines, they tend to historically agree on major articles of faith. (With the increase in apostasy, that may not be happening so much nowadays.) One of the most common areas of agreement is the Trinity: The Father is God, Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit is God. And yet, there is only one God!

Although that word Trinity is not in the Bible, the teaching is clearly present from the beginning.
Trefoil (Trinity) symbol image credit: Pixabay / Philip Barrington
People get bothered when a theological question is given the response of, "It's a mystery". That is often an excuse for someone who does not know what he or she claims to believe, or maybe does not want to actually look for an answer. This is devastating to children. However, there are times when mystery really is the best explanation. We are not expected to fully understand everything about the eternal Creator God, our Redeemer, you know. We cannot fully understand the Trinity.

Some owlhoots and cultists deny the existence of the Trinity. One of their excuses is that the word is not found in Scripture, but the doctrine is clearly indicated there. They tend to "proof text" by lassoing verses that fit their preconceptions, ripping them out of context, and corralling them as "evidence" for their views. Doesn't work that way, old son.

Even though biblical creationists emphasize that God the Son is the Creator (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:16), we know that the Trinity was present at creation,  Also, the early Church Fathers clearly believed in the Trinity. This doctrine is essential to salvation, but cultists, atheists, uninformed religious folks, and ultra-liberal "Christians" say that we are wrong.
It may surprise some to learn that we have supporters who like our work on biblical creation, but disagree with central Christian doctrines which we hold and strongly defend. Bruce B., Australia, wrote,
For my rejection of the false belief of the Trinity, I need only to rely on history, and just one Bible reference although there are many. That reference is Mark12:29-34. Here Jesus defends the Shema, which every Jew learns when he first learns to speak, and repeats each morning. This was an ideal time for the Lord Jesus to teach the Trinity. But he did not. Why?

With 8 or so texts that tell you Jesus has a God, and it is the Father, Who is omnipotent, (Micah 5:4; Matt 27:5,6; John 20:17; Ephes. 1:3; v. 17; 2 Cor. 11:31; Heb 1:8-9;Ps 45:7; 1 Pet 1:3; Rev 3:12) how can you persist in your spiritual blindness? You are still using the term “God the Son, which is a term you will never find used in the Bible, NOT even once. You will find Son of God. Why do you persist in adding to the Scriptures? (Deut. 4:2)

I have studied this topic on and off for 50 years. I wouldn’t dare to accept your delusion. Why don’t you re-study it? You work for Creation Ministries, which talk a lot about checking things out. The tremendous work you do is marred by this fallacy. It’s TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!
Lita Cosner, CMI-US, responds:
To read Lita's response, click on "Discussing the Trinity".

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Bible Affirms the Genesis Flood

Unfortunately, many professing Christians (including pastors) have not given serious thought to the Genesis Flood. Many accept atheistic interpretations of science philosophies, accepting millions of years and evolution. This makes it more difficult to present the gospel message because of the compromise involved. Also, accepting deep time usually means rejecting the Genesis Flood. This leads to a series of biblical errors and, ultimately, rejection of Scripture.

Many professing Christians do not realize that the Genesis Flood is stated as history throughout the Bible.
The Animals Entering Noah' Ark, Jacopo Bassano, 1570s
I have pointed out several times that when people say that the Flood was local or tranquil (or never happened at all), they are calling Peter, Paul, Jesus, and others wrong or even liars. They said it was a real historical event. Peter likened the Flood to the end times, and Judgment by fire — will that be a tranquil, local event also? Not hardly! When you claim to believe the Bible but doubt the Holy Spirit's divine inspiration, you have some serious problems, old son.

Try setting aside the excuses for rejecting the straightforward account of the Flood, and read about it in Genesis 6-9. Ask yourself if it sounds reasonable to make such extensive preparations for a local flood. Check the terminology, and look for the purpose of the Flood. Local floods do not last such a long time. Why compromise on the truth of God's Word? Indeed, there are many things to ponder.

Some things make sense just by giving an honest reading and thinking about them, but there are other aspects (such as Hebrew terminology) that provide additional impact. The article linked below is one of the best I have encountered about the importance and purpose of the Flood, and how it is relevant all through Scripture. It's not that difficult, either. I hope you'll not only read it, but save it for future reference.
Today, most Christians around the world (including seminary and Christian college professors) accept the idea of millions of years of earth history. In doing so, they either ignore Noah’s flood or reject its globality or historicity and think it has nothing to do with the question of the age of the earth. But the flood is critical to that question. Here I present the overwhelmingly clear biblical evidence that Noah’s flood was a global catastrophe that destroyed all the land animals, birds, and people not in the ark, and by implication ripped up all the vegetation on the land, killing millions of sea creatures, and buried many of those plants, animals, and people in sediments that now cover the earth in the form of sedimentary rocks layers filled with fossils. The flood is a vital reason for concluding that the earth is only a few thousand years old.
I'd be much obliged if you'd keep reading. To do that, click on "Noah’s Flood: a Unique, Historical, Yearlong, Global Catastrophe".

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Suicide and your Creator

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This child has had problems with depression for decades, so I can relate to the frustration people feel when they are told to "get over it" or have similar dismissals. It seems like some folks just do not care. While that may be the case, we have to use our minds in our depressed moments — which can be difficult at times.

Depression and suicide are on the increase. Our Creator Redeemer has provided a means to deal with this.
Credit: RGBStock / Jeff Grace
People are caught up in their own problems, whether it is relationship issues, bad employers, family difficulties, their own shallowness, health troubles, and maybe their own depression or mental health challenges.

Seems that everyone gets depressed now and then over circumstances, so the callous "get over it" is at least a mite understandable. Others have depression problems because of chemical imbalances or other medical causes that need to be diagnosed and treated; it annoys me that some of my hypertension and other medications contribute to depression. I believe that knowledge of what is happening is a step toward dealing with the ongoing problem.

I took medication for depression for several years, but went off it some time ago. Now I have to examine the situations and my reactions, and trust God. Don't run off, I'm not saying that becoming a Christian makes everything peachy keen. In fact, it can be a difficult life — but it has rewards, both in this life and especially in the life to come. Some folks get an emotional high after their conversion, but they need to mature in the faith, growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You may have noticed that depression and suicide are on the increase. A good part of that is focusing on negativity. Atheists are the most negative, angry, and bitter people I have ever encountered. Indeed, atheists have a high suicide rate. Is it surprising, since they cling to an evolutionary worldview, where we are all the products of time, chance, and random processes? If all you are is a bunch of chemical reactions, you cannot trust your own thoughts to be rational or even real. When you die, you're worm food; no afterlife, no justice or judgement, and no hope. 

Materialistic and postmodern philosophies are unable to get to the root cause; it is not just psychological or medical, but primarily spiritual (people who do not know God are belong to and are controlled by their father down below). There is a way for change, but it involves humbling yourself and accepting the salvation offered through God the Son, who became a man, was crucified for our sins, and bodily arose, thereby defeating death. Then, God the Holy Spirit indwells us. He also guides is when reading the Bible, the written Word of God.

There is someone I knew that was a happy Christian for some time, but has not only problems with depression, but a habitual negative outlook. This is not what God prescribes for us! Like atheists, she developed a habit of seeing the bleak side of things and dwelling on disappointments. She forgot (and sometimes I may forget like I did when I had suicidal thoughts not all that long ago) that she has a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe, who has redeemed her and lives in her. Perhaps she needs to examine herself and make certain that she really has received Christ. Unfortunately, too many professing Christians are actually false converts, giving intellectual assent or are "cultural" Christians.

I recently heard a sermon that mentioned the book of Ruth. Her mother-in-law Naomi had some serious setbacks in life, and told people to call her Mara, meaning bitter, because she felt that God had dealt bitterly with her. Later, when she's helping Ruth get acquainted with Boaz, you can see that her spirit had improved. The fact that her attention was no exclusively on herself may be a big part of the change.

People need the proper perspective. Although I detest the trite saying, "Count your blessings", there is truth in it, but it needs to be taken further and developed. To borrow something my father used to say, "Ya gotta wanna". Now I'm going to turn you over to the article that inspired what I have written here.
Entering a relationship with your Maker through Jesus Christ is the key to healing suicidal tendencies, but there’s more to work on after you become a Christ follower, because even Christians can get depressed and suicidal. There are some day-to-day thought processes that need to change, and will change, as the Holy Spirit enters your life and begins to work. His work will accelerate as you study God’s word and learn to trust God in prayer. Finding Christian friends at a solid, Bible-believing, Bible-teaching church is extremely helpful for preventing suicidal thoughts from coming back, but there is more you can do silently in your own mind when you are alone.

I want to share what I think is the greatest daily therapy for preventing suicide, and that is: ‘Cultivate Gratefulness.’ It sounds too easy, but think about it. Look at what this one habit of mind can do for you.
I really hope you will read the entire article. To do so, click on "Creation Therapy for Suicidal Thoughts".