Friday, July 31, 2020

God, the Church, and Government

While the novel coronavirus COVID-19 has prompted many people to learn many things about it, we have also seen how certain American government officials who have contempt for God have not only made restrictions on human rights in the US, but also around the world. Churches in the US are being forced to decide between God and Government.


Setting the record straight regarding #COVID19, God, and government. We also hear from John MacArthur and the defiance of the California governor's dictates.
Made at PhotoFunia
People may be surprised to know that God has ordained government to enforce laws and protect the people. If you study on it a mite, you'll realize that the "you can't legislate morality" canard is foolish, because most laws are based upon morality. When governments act according to their purposes, the church and the state get along fine. When the state rejects God wrongly exceeds and claims power, we have problems.

Prayer in schools is outlawed, Christians are told to shut up and stay out of government (apparently government is only for secularists now), teaching that evolutionism is a religion and its science is flawed is bad medicine for leftists, telling us that we cannot gather while condoning "protests", abortions, and other gathings — then Christians object to discrimination and resist those in power.

In the first of two posts, Jason Lisle explains how and why government exists, its purposes, limitations, and the ultimate authority to whome the church — the Bride of Christ — and the state are responsible.
Many people have the impression that the Church is God’s institution and that the government is not.  Consequently, the Church must abide by the Bible in all matters, but the government must stay away from religious matters.  After all, isn’t there a separation of Church and state?  In reality, both the Church and the state are God’s institutions and both are morally obligated to abide by biblical principles.  When a government functions in the way God has specified, it is a blessing to all the people.  But a government that will not follow biblical principles inevitably becomes a tyrannical “beast” that oppresses its own citizens.
To finish reading, click on "God vs. Government". Be sure to come back for our second item.

In late July 2020, Grace Community Church in Sun Valley (a part of Los Angeles), CA, under the leadership of Dr. John MacArthur defied the dictates of leftist Governor Ralph Northam. At first, the church respected the urging of government officials to suspend public gatherings. The Wuhan Virus was new back then. However, as more facts became available and it was clear that government shutdowns were political machinations and continued to harm churches and citizens, Grace Community Church took a stand.
Christ is Lord of all. He is the one true head of the church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23; Colossians 1:18). He is also King of kings—sovereign over every earthly authority (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Grace Community Church has always stood immovably on those biblical principles. As His people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in Scripture. Therefore we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.
You can read the rest of Dr. MacArthur's article (note that I found this extremely slow to load, but never that bad in the past), click on "A Biblical Case for the Church’s Duty to Remain Open". In addtion, you can watch or listen to his sermon, "We Must Obey God Rather Than Men". The video below has a discussion between Eric Metaxas and Dr. MacArthur. It covers this discussion and touches on a few others. You will hear, "We have to take a break", and "...in the second hour", but it has been trimmed to about 38 minutes.


Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Repenting of Old Earth Creationism

It may be surprising, but repentance is not preached nearly as much as it should (Matt. 4:17, Mark 1:14-15, Luke 24:46-47, Acts 3:19, 2 Tim. 2:25, 2 Peter 3:9, Rev. 3:19). It applies not only to the unsaved, but to Christians who are not following the truth. How does this apply to old-earth creationists?

Those who give the false teaching of an old earth need to repent.
Credit: Modified at imgflip from a graphic at FreeImages by Claudia Meyer
Repentance from false beliefs is readily apparent, such as Arianism, Pelagianism, Gnosticism and Docetism, and others. These are far more significant than, say, disagreements regarding baptism. (I have to restrain myself about the war between Reformed and Arminian doctrines, each has adherents that act like cultists belonging to the One True Faith™ and essentially calling the other side heretics. Why I oughta...) There is a difference between heresies and disagreements. Learn it.

One thing that many false teaching have in common is denial of scriptural authority. Theistic evolutionists are coyotes smuggling evolution into the Bible, and with that comes a form of the Pelagian heresy. For owlhoots like that and other old-earthers, the Bible doesn't mean what it says, biblical creationists are deluded or dishonest, and we need to elevate atheistic interpretations of science into the magisterial position above God's Word.

While biblical creationists are not saying that believing in millions of years or evolution is a guaranteed ticket to Hell, those people need to examine their priorities. Why are long ages so important to them? It is also curious that they need to perform massive eisegesis by putting long ages into the Bible so they can pull that concept back out. The authority of current trends in man-made science are clearly more important to them than the inerrancy of Scripture. Mayhaps they should seriously consider repenting of their disparagement of God's Word and alliance with atheism.
A while ago I wrote an article explaining how the idea of millions of years entered the church, and I closed with a call for repentance. At a recent seminar, a man asked me publicly to explain my strong words. After all, aren’t all of us, even the godliest believers, subject to error? Must we confess every error before God?

This man was specifically concerned about the implications for two old-earth creationists he highly respected. As he explained in a later email, they were dear brothers in Christ who had dedicated their lives to the gospel. They may be wrong, he said, but there is “a difference between being wrong and sinful deception.”

That’s a good question that has broad implications for every believer’s walk with God. It is hard to imagine how any of us could avoid errors in our thinking. So is it possible to walk in fellowship with God even though we are wrong about some biblical issues? Or are we living in sin until we correct those wrong views?
To read the rest of this interesting and helpful article, click on "Old-Earth Creationism—Is It a Sin?" You can also consider the principles for applications in other areas.
 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Losing Faith in an Old Earth

It may come as a surprise to many people that a number of those involved in biblical creation science ministries had quite different views before becoming biblical creationists. Some were atheists, others theistic evolutionists, and some like Dr. Brian Thomas held to an old earth view.


Many biblical creationists formerly believed in an old earth, but like Dr. Brian Thomas of ICR, changed their views in light of evidence and Scripture.
Credit: StockSnap / Lauren Mancke
One problem people like Dr. Thomas and others have is that they are only aware of one side. Many do not even know that other — superior — interpretations even exist, and have never heard of biblical creation science. Brian's faith in long ages was challenged by several factors. He could not reconcile the old earth narrative with observed evidence, and most importantly, he saw that secular interpretations of the facts did not fit the truth of the Bible.
A student recently asked what I believe about the age of the earth. I replied that at one time I felt absolutely certain that the world was billions of years old. I even wrote a song that mentioned “the age of dinosaurs.” Now, however, I believe the dinosaurs that got fossilized lived when (but not where) Noah lived. They got locked in rocks through Noah’s Flood only 4,500 or so years ago. Four specific facts helped change my mind.
To finish reading this short article, click on "Why Do I Believe in Recent Creation?"

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Honor-Shame Cultures and the Gospel Message

In the United States and many other countries, the gospel message is rather straightforward (with some variations, of course). Unfortunately, evangelists tend to leave out Genesis, which has the origin of everything and tells us where sin and death began. Things get more complicated when dealing with people who have honor and shame in their cultures.

When sharing the gospel with people from cultures emphasizing honor and shame, we must learn how they think and show how the gospel meets their needs.
Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos / tawatchai
Honor and shame are closely associated with pride, but in some cultures, it affects the entire family. Also, they want to save face, and even help you or I to do the same so dignity is maintained. People will "accept Jesus" without knowing what that means, and those who believe in many false gods will add the real one into the mix. 

Missionaries have reported false conversions through misunderstandings, but have had far better success when beginning with Genesis. We need to learn about the people we are talking with and to change tack so we can take their mindset into account. We can tell them about the shame and humiliation that Jesus endured, and how God honors us in salvation.
Maintaining honour and avoiding shame are hugely important aspects of life and worldview for the majority of the people of the world, particularly those who live in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. They may be Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Judaists, animists, polytheists, or atheists, and they have the least access to the Christian Gospel and Christian resources.
. . . 
In these cultures, relationships guide decision making, so the most important identity is the family, rather than each individual, as in the West. The family makes the decisions, and the primary concern of members is to maintain honour and avoid shame (or ‘save face’) for their family, because what a person does brings honour or shame not only upon themselves but upon the whole family—indeed often also upon the entire community. Great respect is usually given to the elderly in the family, and in some cultures this may extend to the honouring of the spirits of dead ancestors by means of food offerings. In such cultures, often the father is the main decision-maker on behalf of the family.
The full article is found at "Preaching the Gospel in honour/shame societies".



Thursday, July 2, 2020

Evolution, Creation, and the Dilemma of Death

Professing Christians who accept the pronouncements of secular scientists about the age of the earth and evolution are faced with several dilemmas regarding death and God's very good creation. We can watch it on television and movies, read about it in books, but death is not entertaining when it happens to those we care about.

When it comes to dealing with death, secular ideas like evolution only cause confusion and offer no hope. The truth is found in God's Word.
Credit: Morguefile / ClarksGirl
Secularists tell us that death has been here all along. God's Word tells us that death is an intruder into creation, an enemy that was defeated at the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Death was not God's process of creation over long ages, and there will not be there at the restoration. The lie of evolution causes confusion and raises questions, but the truth in the Bible — beginning in the very first verse — gives us answers. You won't get answers or any hope from secularists.
Why is the world filled with death? Why did my friend’s three-month-old son recently die in the ambulance on the way to the hospital? What kind of God would make a world where three-month-old babies die?

. . .

But we don’t just struggle to explain human death. What about the death of so many animals that we find buried in the earth’s fossil-filled rocks? On every continent, thousands of feet of sedimentary rock layers are filled with billions of dead plants and animals. Why are they there? Did God make the world that way?
You can read the full article or download the MP3 at "The Problem of Death". You may also be interested in a related article, "The Fall of Man and Animal Death".



Wednesday, June 24, 2020

The Nephilim and the Sons of God

Moses, under the inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV) of God, did not give us many details about the identity of the Nephilim in the sixth chapter of Genesis. There are many speculations and even controversies about them and the "sons of God" circulating for a long time.

An area of controversy is the identities of the sons of God and the Nephilim in Genesis. The linked article discusses this in depth.
Credit: Pixabay / Stefan Keller
Who were these mighty men of renown that perished in the Genesis Flood? There seem to be four major views about them. The article that is linked below is a revised section of the book Alien Intrusion by Gary Bates (my video review is here), showing that each view appears to have biblical support to some extent, but only one seems to make the most sense.
Probably the most often-used and controversial passage of Scripture by pro-ETH (extra-terrestrial hypothesis) UFOlogists is the account of “the sons of God” and their resultant offspring, the Nephilim. 
. . . 
For proponents of the ancient astronaut and astrogenesis theories, the “sons of God” or even the Nephilim refer to extraterrestrial visitors to Earth. Erich von Däniken and Zechariah Sitchin, among others, believe these interfering aliens had sexual union with humans and/or genetically engineered humans or prehuman creatures in an effort to oversee mankind’s evolution. This is a grand assumption based on an interpretation of the text that is clearly incorrect. 
. . .
The text itself readily refutes the ‘primitive authors’ idea. In the first chapter of Genesis, we read that God created mankind fully formed and intelligent. Adam was even given the job of naming all of the land animals (Genesis 2:19–20). In the subsequent chapters, we see Adam’s offspring described as musicians and craftsmen (Genesis 4:21–22), demonstrating they were not primitive. The Scriptures are full of detail to show that, prior to the account in Genesis 6, man was already fully human, vastly intelligent, and engaging in spiritual worship—facts so readily ignored by those looking for the slightest opportunity to squeeze a UFO or two into the Bible. Unlike their rejection of earlier passages in Genesis as being real history, they readily accept that the Nephilim incident in Genesis is based on true events. But their ‘primitive authors and UFO’ interpretation is impossible if we accept that the earlier descriptions in Genesis are also true.
However, even among Christians, the meaning of this passage is sometimes hotly debated. There are probably four major views regarding the expression “the sons of God” in Genesis 6, with some surprising connections to UFOlogy:
The full article is extremely interesting, but it's going to take a while. You can do like I did and use a "send to ebook reader" service, or many browsers have add-ons like Reader View (it is built into recent versions of Firefox) to reduce clutter. Anyway, to get going, click on "Who were the ‘sons of God’ in Genesis 6?".

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The Fall of Man and Animal Death

It has been a month ago today that we had to make that awful trip to the vet and put an end to the suffering of Basement Cat, but I still get misty. When the box with her ashes arrived, I was upset all over again. When I was drifting off to sleep that night, I "heard" her meow like she often did at bedtime. When did animal death enter God's very good creation?

We miss Basement Cat. Some professing Christians say that animal death is a part of creation, but that is contrary to Scripture and the nature of God.

Animals suffer and die, and it hurts those of us who love them so much. Biblical creationists maintain that death entered the picture with the Fall of Man. After all, God does not approve of the mistreatment of animals (Prov. 12:10), and he even providing for birds (Matt. 6:26). For some reason, professing Christians who insist on exegeting huge amounts of time into the Bible concoct weird interpretations of Scripture — some even say that death is a good thing! Also, suffering and death are, to some owlhoots, a part of God's creative process through evolution. Such absurdities are inconsistent with God, our loving Father. At the restoration at the end of all things, there will be no death or suffering.
Did animals die before the fall? The short answer is “no,” but let’s unpack that answer. There are several reasons we believe animals did not die before the fall.

For one, God created the world “very good,” and a very good world would not include animal death. It is obvious from God's statement in Genesis 1:31 (at the end of day 6 of creation), which would mean no sin, no death, and no carnivory. Satan almost certainly rebelled after day 7 as well. God created everything perfect, but it didn’t stay that way for long. In Genesis 1:31 the Hebrew term translated as “very good” is טוֹב מְאֹד (tôb meōd). The word tôb refers to things that are pleasant, qualitatively good, morally good, or that has good character, while meōd serves as an intensifying adjective in this verse. Thus, Scripture did not merely say that all that God made was good—it declared that it was exceedingly good. This verse describes the Lord’s assessment of his creation, so we need to keep his character at the forefront when discerning what “very good” means. Since God is perfect, anything short of perfection could not accurately be identified as “very good.” Would the perfectly holy and morally pure Creator call a world full of death, suffering, and disease “very good”?
You can finish reading at "Animal Death Before the Fall?" A related article on animal death and God's character is "Animal death before the Fall — Cruelty to animals is contrary to God’s nature".


Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Happiness of Unbelievers?

Whether knowingly or unknowingly, people are in rebellion against God. Some simply do not care about spiritual matters, other have a nominal religion with religious trappings but no commitment, others mask their hatred of God by claiming they "lack belief". How do they attain happiness?


People who reject God may have some degree of happiness, but that is based on circumstances and things that are fleeting. What happens when things get really rough?
Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos / alexisdc
According to surveys, there has been an increase in people who say they are unaffiliated with certain religions. I don't know if that means specific denominations, but this does not necessarily mean an increase in atheism. A person can be a Bible-believing Christian and yet not identify as Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. Atheism is irrational and incoherent, and impossible to live it consistently.

When atheists spend their time angrily ridiculing Christians and misrepresenting biblical creationists — indeed, seeking their identities in unbelief — it is exceptionally difficult to believe them when they say they are happy. Sure, people can have some amount of fulfillment in wealth, political activism, social status, sex, drugs, alcohol, prestige in employment, marriage, and so on. Some say they believe in science and gain their purpose in evolution. But where can they turn when things come crashing down?
Yes, agnostics can find contentment, and many describe themselves as happy. But do they derive their happiness from their beliefs?
Valerie van Mulukom, a Cognitive Scientist at Coventry University, decided to find out if unbelievers find solace in life in times of crisis. In her piece at The Conversation, she presents what she found. Her opening sentences, though, suggest a bias toward asserting that one doesn’t have to believe in God to be a happy, fulfilled person.
The saying “There are no atheists in foxholes” suggests that in stressful times people inevitably turn to God (or indeed gods). In fact, non-believers have their own set of secular worldviews which can provide them with solace in difficult times, just as religious beliefs do for the spiritually-minded.
The aim of my research for the Understanding Unbelief programme was to investigate the worldviews of non-believers, since little is known about the diversity of these non-religious beliefs, and what psychological functions they serve. I wanted to explore the idea that while non-believers may not hold religious beliefs, they still hold distinct ontological, epistemological and ethical beliefs about reality, and the idea that these secular beliefs and worldviews provide the non-religious with equivalent sources of meaning, or similar coping mechanisms, as the supernatural beliefs of religious individuals.
In this opening, Mulukom asserts equivalence between religious contentment and non-religious contentment, leading one to believe that it’s simply a matter of individual choice. The results are the same; take your pick. Her intimation fits well with today’s post-truth mentality that individual happiness is more to be desired than truth.
To read the rest of this first article, click on "Can Unbelievers Really Be Happy?", but by all means, come back for the conclusion.

People who have their worldviews rooted in naturalism are inconsistent because science is impossible without God. For that matter, numbers and mathematics are not tangible. Nor is morality or love. Misotheists actually are standing on the biblical worldview, beginning with creation.
The previous entry described coping mechanisms used by unbelievers to deal with ‘uncreatedness’ and crisis. Let’s think about them.
Earlier today, we analyzed the article by Valerie van Mulukom at The Conversation, “How non-religious worldviews provide solace in times of crisis.” We summarized responses of unbelievers to crisis (atheists, agnostics and ‘nones’) into a list 13 coping mechanisms for dealing with what Francis Schaeffer called ‘uncreatedness’ – a perceived uncaring universe, autonomous to itself. Here’s the list again:
I highly recommend that you read the rest of this article. That can be found at "Can Unbelievers Really Be Happy? – Commentary".



Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Hominids and the Bible

Quite a few Christians are buffaloed by the claims of Darwinists who tell us that the parade of hominid ancestors is an accurate representation of evolution. Some Christians have tenuous faith and want the claims of evolutionists refuted. There are some very basic things that everyone should know.

Christians are buffaloed by the claims of evolutionists, some even thinking that scientists have disproved the Bible. We must stop and think for a few moments.

That parade is strictly imaginary. While anthropologists have assembled images from bones and such, they have mostly conjecture about the appearance of the apes and ancient humans — nor did they have any scientific reason to presume that our alleged ancestors became white Europeans to rule the world. The links are missing, but evolutionists use apes, imaginary creatures, and humans. Our faith is in the Word of God, not the atheistic interpretations based on naturalism.
A recent survey showed that the most persuasive argument for evolution comes from the iconic drawing of the apes-to-man parade. This popular picture illustrates ape-like animals evolving into a human. If this image reflects actual history, then the history in Genesis is wrong. If we came from apes, then we didn’t come from Adam and Eve. That also casts doubt on the other Scriptures—and their human authors—that refer to Adam as our real ancestor. Do certain fossils demand we take scissors to our Bibles?
To finish reading, click on "How Do Hominids Fit with the Bible?"


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Appearances of Jesus in Genesis?

The Bible tells us that no one has seen God (John 1:18). Moses wanted to but was told in no uncertain terms that it was not possible (Exodus 33:20). However, there are statements in Scripture about seeing God (such as the rasslin' match between Jacob and God in Genesis 32:24-30 or Isaiah's terrified exclamation in Isaiah 6:5). How do we reconcile these things?

People saw God before the Son became a man. These were most likely pre-incarnate manifestations.
The appearance of the angels to Abraham, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1728
Specifically, no human can see God the Father face-to-face and live. The reference in Isaiah and other places were visions, yet certain people experienced the divine. God has been involved with humanity from the beginning, which includes visitations from angels. Now we come to an interesting aspect.

In Genesis and other places we read about "the angel of the Lord". When you read those accounts, this angel is distinct from other angels that God sends to people. Although theologians disagree on this, most seem to believe that this was Jesus, God the Son, before he took human form as we read in the Gospels and later. Except for assorted cults and heretics, professing Christians know that Jesus is God, and therefore the Creator. Even Satan knows this fact.
When unbelievers think of Jesus, many strictly think of a man who lived about 2,000 years ago. Sadly, many Christians in the church pews adopt this same thinking. But when we do, we unwittingly devalue who Jesus really is.
. . .
The point is that Jesus Christ has been actively involved in the world from the very beginning. So the question arises, “Do we see Jesus anywhere in Genesis?” Yes! These pre-incarnate appearances of Christ are called theophanies (from two Greek words meaning “appearance [phaneia] of God [theos]”), or more specifically Christophanies. They are generally believed to be appearances of the Son of God prior to His coming “in the flesh” two thousand years ago (1 John 4:2).
You can read all of this short article by clicking on "Appearances of Christ . . . In Early Genesis?"


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Satan Testified that Jesus is the Creator

There are times when someone who opposes a person or belief and admits something that is favorable. In American legal parlance, it is a statement against interest, and can be used in court proceedings. Satan knows full well that Jesus is the Creator, and indirectly admitted this fact.

A surprising witness to the fact that Jesus is the creator is Satan, the ultimate sidewinder. This is a form of statement against interest.

There are fools who deny God's existence (Psalm 14:1) or pretend that Jesus is a myth, but even Satan and demons have sense enough to be afraid (James 2:19 NIV). When Jesus was on the earth, he was able to do creation miracles, and Satan (the ultimate sidewinder) tried to use that against him.
Matthew’s Gospel (4:1–4) has the following account of the temptation of Christ by Satan: ‘Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” ’
To finish reading this startling article, click on "A remarkable witness to creation—Satan". If you've a mind to, you can also hear the audio version.


Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Unbelievers Riding the Bandwagon

As biblical creationists, we want to be able to share the truth of creation, help equip Christians, and to ultimately share the gospel message. There is clearly abundant evidence refuting evolution and affirming special creation. We also provide evidence for the Genesis Flood. Why do unbelievers reject the truth?

Evidence is abundant refuting evolution and supporting special creation. As creationists, we try to share it but wonder why unbelievers will not listen.
Credit: Cropped from Pixnio / Adrian Pelletier
There are many reasons. I have long maintained that they reject the truth because they do not want it, preferring instead to embrace materialism as well as justify their rebellion against God. Also, they are under the control of their master down below (1 Cor. 2:14, 2 Cor. 4:4, John 8:44), which supports the idea that it is a spiritual matter and not about evidence. Remember, it is not our job to save anyone, and not every discussion will lead to a commitment to Jesus Christ. We do our parts and leave the rest up to the Holy Spirit.

Then there is the matter of pride. Atheists and other evolutionists want the approval of others, so they join in with derision and rejecting the evidence they pretend to desire. Most people accept evolution (as well as rejecting Christ, see Matt. 7:13-14), and folks want to appear smart. What would their friends say? It wouldn't do to hop off the bandwagon — at least, in their eyes.
We may discuss Y chromosomes that contain only a few thousand years’ worth of mutations, as expected from Noah. We may talk about a sedimentary rock layer deposited by a mud pulse that blanketed a whole continent at once, as expected from Noah’s Flood. Hundreds of similar superb science examples support Scripture. How do nature-only scientists treat these observations?

For the most part, they won’t even look at them.

A human behavioral trend called the bandwagon effect might play a role in this avoidance. The American Psychological Association’s online dictionary defines it as:
You can read the rest of the article by clicking on "Why Don't They Believe in Creation?"


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Behemoth Baffles Bible Scholars

If in Job 40:15 behemoth was simply noted and God moved on, it is easy to assume that Bible readers and scholars would have imply written it off as some animal of which Job was aware. The confusion results from the further descriptions of behemoth in the rest of the chapter.

It is fair to ask what God was talking about when he mentioned behemoth, and there are several reasons for confusion. However, one problem is the rejection of the truth of the Bible.
Image cropped from Pixabay / Ladycoffee
There are several reasons why scholars and us reg'lar folk may wonder what that beasie is, what with having immense power and a tail like a cedar. The first is that the Bible does use real animals and names in symbolic passages, such as Rahab (Joshua 6:25, Isaiah 51:9) and Leviathan (Job 41:1, Isaiah 27:1). Since the behemoth was unknown, maybe this was something strictly symbolic. But that doesn't fit with the text because God was not referring to mythical or symbolic creatures.

A second reason people are baffled is because this animal is unknown and apparently no biblical references exist outside the book of Job. Biblical creationists believe that the text supports the idea that this was a dinosaur (Job 40:16-18) that hadn't seen fit to become extinct yet. Through the years, people did not have a frame of reference until fossils of sauropods were unearthed and reconstructed.

But what is the biggest problem is that professing Christians and believing Jews give the magisterial position of atheistic interpretations of science philosophies. These owlhoots are denying the authority and perspicuity of Scripture.
In Job 40:15, God tells Job to “Behold, Behemoth,” calling him to take notice of this creature. The Hebrew word bĕhēmôt (בְּהֵמוֹת) is the plural form of bĕhēmâ (בְּהֵמָה), a generic word used to describe the domesticated “beasts/livestock” of the earth that God created on day six of creation week (Genesis 1:24) and that went onto the ark and then came out of the ark (Genesis 6:20, 9:10). In verse 15, the plural form bĕhēmôt refers to a single creature but uses the plural of majesty. Scholars recognise that this implies a “super beast” or “the beast par excellence.” What is clear, from v.15, is that Behemoth and Job have one thing in common: they are both creatures of God. The words “which I made as I made you” work “against the view that “behemoth” is a mythical creature.” A real earthly creature is clearly in view, as Konkel rightly recognizes in his commentary on Job:
To read the article in its entirety, click on "Scholars and the Mystery of Behemoth".


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Hezekiah in History

Many years ago, I attended a Christian high school that was run by Fundamentalists, but the school was interdenominational. Quite a change for this child who was being raised in liberal theology. Anyway, they had a daily "chapel" for the small high school. One guest pastor told us to turn to the book of Hezekiah. I started flipping through my Bible, and the girl next to me was doing nothing. For good reason.

Some people doubt the biblical account of Hezekiah his encounter with the Assyrians. There is historical and archaeological evidence supporting the narrative.
King Hezekiah crying out to God.
Image credit: Sweet Publishing via Free Bible Images (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Many of the kings of Israel and Judah were mighty wicked folks, but when it was Hezekiah's turn, his heart was right toward God. Trouble is, they had neighbors that would get the occasional notion to make war. The Assyrians attacked, and things looked bad until Hezekiah implored the Lord for help. He got it in a big way.

Bible deniers have said that archaeology has found no evidence of some things recorded in the Bible, therefore, the Bible is full of myths and legends. That's ridiculous reasoning. For one thing, it's an argument from silence. Another problem is the huge time gap between when people started searching for places to excavate and the times of the people and events. Also, many places cannot be excavated because people are living there. "Excuse me, mind if we set up an encampment and dig in your front yard for a few months?" That'll be the day!

However, nothing in archaeology has contravened a biblical narrative. In fact, there is historical and archaeological evidence supporting the existence of Hezekiah and his encounter with the Assyrians.
One of the most remarkable examples of God’s deliverance in the Bible is the encounter between Hezekiah, king of Judah, and Sennacherib, king of Assyria, at the end of the 8th century BC. A detailed account, from the Israelite perspective, can be found in 2 Kings 18–19. In recent times, this story has been made all the more fascinating since archaeologists have uncovered abundant evidence to corroborate many of the details in the biblical record. Given that the discipline of archaeology must rely upon whatever physical evidence just happened to survive the ravages of time, archaeologists are not able to confirm every historical detail in Scripture. Yet there are numerous cases in which the excavated evidence supports the Bible in spades, as it does in this instance. What follows in this three-part series of articles are many of the significant discoveries that help to confirm the Bible’s record of the confrontation between Sennacherib and Hezekiah.
These will take some time, but they are quite fascinating.

When God rescued King Hezekiah, part 1
Archaeology confirms the biblical account of Judah’s deliverance from Assyrian invaders 


When God rescued King Hezekiah, part 2
Archaeology confirms the biblical account—Hezekiah’s preparations in Jerusalem


When God rescued King Hezekiah, part 3
Archaeology confirms the biblical account—Jerusalem’s deliverance and Sennacherib’s end


Also of interest, The prophet Isaiah’s signature?

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The Environment, Science, and the Dominion Mandate

There is a term use about a biblical principle that may seem scary to some people. It is called the dominion mandate. It may sound like one of those political doctrines for the abuse of power like the divine right of kings or eminent domain, but the dominion mandate is a term for our Creator's command to understand and care about the world he has given us.


God gave us control over the earth, not to trash it. We are also to learn about things to improve our stewardship.
Credit: Unsplash / Dylan Sauerwein
Shortly after God created Adam and Eve, he told them, essentially, "See this nice planet I gave you? Reproduce (critters are to do this also), fill the earth, and get it under control". He did not tell them to run rampant and trash the place so he could be like a modern parent and clean up after his spoiled offspring. No, we are responsible to our Creator for how we care for the world. To do that, we must also learn about and understand many things. It is interesting that Jesus indicated this aspect as well!
It’s noteworthy that this was God’s first commandment to the man and woman He’d just made. They were to exercise dominion over the newly created Earth in a responsible stewardship. This would necessarily involve scientific study. If they were to subdue the earth as good stewards, they must first understand its properties and processes.
. . .

While these truths are rooted in the Old Testament Scriptures and have been elaborated on by creationists elsewhere,1 the Lord Jesus Christ also made reference to the need for us to undertake a detailed study of His creation. In Luke 12:27-28 and Matthew 6:28-30, He used the example of lilies to illustrate the providential care of God for His children and how we should trust in Him for our needs.
To read the article in its entirety, click on "The Gospels Affirm the Dominion Mandate for Research". To see an example of the dominion mandate being implemented, click on "Ethiopia’s ‘little Edens’".



Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Denying Genesis Compromises the Gospel

Perhaps, as some tinhorns claim, those who deny Genesis and recent creation try to appear moderate or reasonable. After all, science has proven that evolution happened and that Earth is billions of years old, right? Not hardly! Such antics are expected from those who ride for the atheism brand, but it is not fitting for professing Christians to do so.


Compromising on the clear meaning of creation in Genesis not only negatively affects the gospel, but also the rest of the Bible.
Image credits: Original from Morguefile / JCKL8888,
then processed through PhotoFunia
People who have little or no understanding of theology, even though they may have attended a church, often reject the plain reading of Genesis because evolution. Because uniformitarianism. Because science. Because they want to look intelligent in the eyes of enemies of God. Because rejection of biblical authority. People also compromise because their church leaders are liberal in their theology or have not bothered to think through how Genesis affects the gospel message. While Christians need to understand God's Word, their leaders have a great deal of responsibility. Indeed, compromise has a domino effect that goes all the way to Revelation!
Most of us are familiar with politicians who obfuscate simple questions with complex political answers. Who can forget Bill Clinton’s “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is”? Unfortunately, obfuscation exists in the realm of theology as well. God may not be “a God of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33), but there are scores of biblical scholars, theologians, and pastors who insert plenty of it into the first few chapters of Genesis.
Evangelicalism abounds with theologians who don’t know what the meaning of the word “day” is. The Hebrew word for day, yom, appears more than two thousand times in the Old Testament and would attract virtually no debate were it not for six specific appearances in Genesis 1. But those six days of creation are now at loggerheads with modern scientific dating methods. Rather than stand firm on the biblical account, church leaders acquiesce to unprovable theories and confuse the clear and consistent biblical teaching on origins.
You can finish learning by clicking on "The Genesis Crisis".



Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Adam, Jesus, and Thorns

When Adam and Eve sinned in Eden, the the curse came on all of creation (Rom. 8:22, 5:12). One part of the curse was that thorns (which are modified leaves, stems, roots, and so forth) are some of what Adam would contend with when he worked the ground (Gen. 3:17-19).


Part of the curse after Adam sinned was that the ground would produce thorns. At the Crucifixion, Jesus wore a crown of thorns. Learn about the connection.
Credit: Pixabay / kalhh
Jesus wore a crown of thorns (Matt. 27:29) as a part of the Crucifixion. The Creator of the universe humbled himself, taking the form of a man, died on a cross (Phil. 2:8). The crown of thorns is one of many symbols used in Scripture, and thorns are used many times. What does this mean in our redemption?
The thorns and thistles introduced in Genesis 3 pose significant problems for Christians who do not take Genesis as real history, as it is intended. If, as long-age secular geologists claim, the earth took billions of years of slow and gradual processes to reach its current form, then we have to conclude that thorns found in the fossil record are also millions of years old. This would mean that thorns, and death, must have come before Adam’s sin and long before any human being arrived on planet earth. This is obviously problematic and leads to a re-interpretation of the plain reading of the biblical text through imposing the fallible ideas of man on to the text instead. In contrast, thorns in the fossil record are not a problem for biblical creationists, who believe the majority of the fossil record resulted from Noah’s Flood, which destroyed the earth as it then was.
You can read the full article by clicking on "Why did Jesus wear a crown of thorns?"
 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Christian Atheism and Fools

Many Christians use Psalm 14:1 to indicate what God says about atheists. The word for fool is נָבָל, nabal, which essentially means a vile person. Although many professing atheists display a profound lack of reasoning ability, nabal does not indicate lack of intelligence, but moral failing. But you knew that.


While the Bible tells us that atheists are fools, we can also see that Christians can essentially be fools when we pretend there is no God. Phil Johnson explains.

There is a big problem with Christians who act like God does not exist. We can effectively be atheists by saying in our hearts that there is no God; Christians can be fools. Phil Johnson has an excellent sermon about this called "Atheism in our Hearts". I hope you will download it (there's an arrow down at the far right of the thing below) or listen online.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

COVID-19 and Natural Evil

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Since the Coronavirus has several names and there are several corona viruses, I think the best thing to do is stay with COVID-19 in this context. People refer to COVID-19 as evil, but more specifically it is a natural evil as opposed to moral evil. Bible-believing Christians know that natural evils are the result of the fall of man way back in Eden.


Evolutionists are using COVID-19 to further their agenda, and one theistic evolutionists is trashing the Bible and saying that God created something evil.
Credit: Freeimages / Marie Jeanne Iliescu
Although this virus is not like the Bubonic Plague that killed a large part of Europe's population in Medieval times which was pneumonic (airborne), people act like COVID-19 is that severe. On the other hand, it could be rightly considered evil when people have cavalier attitudes about spreading it — or using it for monetary gain. To rightly understand evil, we need to go to the Bible.

Evolutionists are using the pandemic to further their agenda, and theistic evolutionists seem to be joining right in. Theistic evolution is a fifth column to undermine the foundations of Christianity found in the first book of the Bible. These clouds without water (Jude 1:12-13) urge Christians to saddle up and ride for the "science" brand — that is, long ages and Darwinism. They tell us that the Bible doesn't mean what it says, and add a great deal to Scripture in order to gain the respect of enemies of God (Gal. 1:10). 

Interestingly, many compromisers believe that hominids existed before Adam and Eve, and that for some reason, God put the Garden of Eden among them and chose someone to be Adam. Genesis 1:18-23 shows us that Adam was unique, separate from other creatures, so God made the woman. Why not simply use one of the other hominids? Because they did not exist, old son.

When God made everything, he declared it to be very good (Gen 1:31). There was no death, pain, or corruption. We know that death entered the world through sin, and the world was cursed at the Fall. This was the beginning of genetic degradation. A TE working for the misnamed Christianity Today elevates the ever-changing whims of man-made science philosophies above the eternal, inerrant Word of God (Isaiah 40:8, 2Tim. 3:16). He says that God created some viruses to be harmful, and they are not the result of sin and the Fall. This sidewinder impugns the Creator's integrity and skill; essentially, he is calling God a liar. Death is an enemy (1 Cor. 15:26), not a part of God's creative process. I wonder what kind of restoration will happen in the final consummation in Revelation? Guess we can be sick and die. No, this guy is dead wrong and deceitful.

This article was inspired by a podcast by Dr. R. Albert Mohler, who has some excellent commentary on this and related material. I recommend the entire thing, but especially the second and third parts. You can listen online, download, or read the transcript by clicking on The Briefing for Monday, March 23, 2020. Something else to consider: Where is God in all this? An article on death, suffering, and God's plan by Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell (whose husband, Dr. Tommy Mitchell, died a few months previously) is definitely worth considering. Please read "COVID-19 and God".


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

When the World Ends

A drawback to our instant information age is exposure to fake news and bad news, and often a combination of both. There is anthropogenic climate change, fears that the Apophis asteroid will destroy the world in 2029, exaggerated reports of an asteroid that missed us by a long shot, the Wuhan Coronavirus, earthquakes, and more. Guess we don't need to worry about global warming.


With all that is happening in the world, people are wondering if the end times are upon us. We can give it some serious thought.
Credit: Pixabay / Gerd Altmann
People have wondered many times if the world was ending. I lived through the Cold War, and to listen to many songs, they were about fear of nuclear annihilation. 

In addition to concerns about nature, add the way people are acting: atheists are becoming increasingly obstreperous,


people using political leverage to seize power, the rise in the murder of unborn children, random acts of violence, fanatical evolutionism — it is no surprise that people are wondering if the world is coming to an end very soon. Especially Bible-believing Christians. 

Yes, the world will end. Despite feral environmentalists, we are not our own saviors because the Creator has a plan. (Once again, don't get me wrong, I am not saying we can trash the planet; we are God's stewards and must treat it with care.) One good thing about doomsday scares and the wickedness of others is that it prompts us to not only look at end times prophecy, but to see if we are ready for the Lord's return. (Never mind those date-setting grifters.) More than that, to make certain we are ready to meet him face-to-face, because it will happen one way or another. As for the end of the world, I agree with the advice to plan for the long haul, but also be ready for his return to happen at any moment.
A global pandemic, natural disasters, global warming, immorality, persecution – what is happening to Planet Earth?
Any event that knocks society off its equilibrium is bound to raise the anxiety level of people. Some Christians are especially prone to wonder if the words of Jesus about the end times are starting to be fulfilled:
I hope you will read the rest by clicking on "Should We Be Worrying About the End Times?"



Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Drops in the Ocean?

A common way of insulting God is to attack his work (including dysteleology, the idea that things like the human eye were poorly created), and to attack created things. Attacking Christians and creationists is like catnip to atheists and anti-creationists, who deny that we are created in God's image. One mystical belief involves the water drop concept.

Despite the claims of evolutionists and those who believe false philosophy, humans are worth far more than drops of water in an ocean.
Credit: Pexels / Sourav Mishra
Similar to the self-refuting Omega Point philosophy, this modified Eastern idea is that drops of water converge and lose their identities in the ocean. It came from Hinduism, which uses evolutionary concepts. However, we know from the Creator God's Written Word that he not only calls each star by name (Psalm 147:4), and he knows his people (John 10:28). Even drops of water have individual characteristics, and we are worth far more than drops; the Creator of the universe took the form of a man, was crucified, died, buried, and bodily arose. For you and for me.
When skeptics criticize biblical teachings, they often attack God’s character. One tactic is to malign the Creator by devaluing the people He created. When someone denies the precious worth of human life, that denial clashes with the Bible’s teachings about how God made and cares for humans.
For example, an astrophysics professor who advocates New Age mysticism once used Hinduism’s drop-of-water analogy to imply that an individual’s unique value is an illusion, or ephemeral at best. This portrays our earthly journeys as emptying into a common “one size fits all” dead-end. What weird and pessimistic theory was he promoting?
You can finish reading by clicking on "Water Drops and Human Value".


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