Archive for November, 2006

h1

Same old evil

November 22, 2006

“Bugden said the case reflects intolerance of people who engage in cultural and religious practices that differ from the mainstream.” (Associate Press, 11/21/2006)

Had this been 50 years ago, Bugden could have been defending homosexuality instead of polygamy. I bet few people in those days thought that homosexual marriage would be legal in some states by 2006. I wonder what year will bring about the full acceptance of polygamous marriage. How about pedophilia (some have begun to fight for it)? A book suggested to me on these topics is The Marketing of Evil.

Yet the Bible is defamed because it is old fashioned, culturally out-dated, biased, or hate-speech. The Bible speaks clearly about the evils of sin, whether they be lying, murder, homosexual practice, stealing, etc. (Romans 13:13, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Revelation 21:8). We must bow our knee to Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven, apart from any work we could do to earn salvation (John 14:6). We must battle these temptations and sins in our own lives (Romans 13:12-14)! And, finally, we must speak against these things graciously while not compromising the truth (Colossians 4:6). Of particular disgrace is sexual sin because it is a sin against the person’s own body (1 Corinthians 6:18-25), which is all the worse for those of us the Holy Spirit inhabits.

h1

A Form and Type of Love

November 20, 2006

When I was a child (1 Corinthians 13:11) I found a special love for the things/objects which my parents gifted to me out of their love and knowledge of me.

One particular memory I have was of one of the lunches my Mom packed for me. She had given me a devil dog (a sort of cake and icing roll treat). I don’t remember it as a normal object in my lunch. It was a gift of love, a surprise, something she knew I’d enjoy. A “friend” asked if he could have a bite. He shoved all but the crumbs into his mouth. I was crushed. I was devastated because of the violation of this gift of love from my Mom.

In like manner, this unique love, should be manifest in us for the gifts our heavenly Father has gifted to us out of His love. We should be loving others in this way, as gifts from God, a surprise in our lives to better us and conform us to the perfect image of His Son, our Lord Jesus. We should hurt when they are violated. We should run over with joy when they are exalted, even exalted above us. As they go astray we should plead, both in prayer and to them, that they may turn or return to the obedience of faith. Each of our blessing can be counted in this way, a gift of love from God to achieve a purpose in our lives, for our utmost good.

I have returned to this image of a lover and a gift of love many times. I drew a picture for my Mom at one point in which I expressed it. A boy and his mother stood staring into the sky, watching a balloon fade into the distance. The boy had tears in his eyes. The mother said, “That was not my love”. Though this gift of love, a balloon, was graciously given, it was not the actual love of the mother for her son. That love was untouchable, un-lose-able. In the same way, we have many gifts from God, many we will never appreciate fully and many that we will disdain to our utter humiliation and shame. But God is faithful. His gifts are not His love but expressions of His love. Though we disdain the, lose them, mar them, kill them, He is ready with the forgiveness, mercy, grace and love to return us to Him in power.

h1

Evolution Summary

November 12, 2006

Over the past eight weeks I have lead a group of young adults (18 and up) through several arguments against evolution. Today we summarized our eight weeks. I thought the summary might serve as a helpful introduction for others as well. Must of the information is drawn from Geisler’s Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics and The Answers Book from Answers in Genesis.
I would particularly point out the second paragraph which begins “Second, …”

In Jesus’ love,
Joshua

Topic 1: Evolution
Week 8: Summary

In the eight weeks of reviewing evolution we have looked at several points. First, we defined the type of evolution we were going to discuss. Our definition was the evolution of one type of living creature into a more complex living creature. The difficulty here was the impossibility of randomly generating complexity. We used the example of a computer that could generate random computer characters. At no time would this process generate a usable program which could add numbers. Complexity or instructions cannot be generated from a random process.

Second, we looked at the difference between the evolutionary view and the view of salvation. We found these to be incompatible. Evolution requires survival of the fittest. In order for it to work, the death of the less fit is required. On the contrary, Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned”. Contrary to evolution, Christian salvation relies on death entering the world through sin, not as a normal process that aided the development of all creatures. Further, and more importantly, salvation relies on Jesus Christ conquering death and sin. Second Timothy 1:10b reads, “our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”. If evolution holds then it demands death before Adam and Eve. Death before Adam and Eve would mean that death was not a consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve. If death is not a consequence of sin then Jesus did not have to die for our sins.

Third, we learned about the difficulty of dating the earth, rocks, fossils and the remains of the dead. There are many techniques for finding these dates. One is carbon dating. Carbon dating is only accurate for several thousands of years, not millions. It can be inaccurate unless the amount of carbon 14 in the cycle from air to plant to animal is known. Second is a technique used called radiometric dating. Radiometric dating uses isotopes that break down over predictable lengths of time to date stones and remains near those stones. Difficulties arise when the original amount of the parent and daughter isotope are not known; when the transition rate between the two is varied; and, when amounts of the parent or daughter could be added in the intervening time.

Forth, we review the common argument that the similarities of organisms and the evolutionist’s conclusion that these homologous structures necessitate common origin. We also review several real-world examples where similarities do not mean common origin and where they do. We discussed the necessity of many characteristics between organisms because of their common environment on earth. Also, a disconnect was found between structures that are similar between animals. The evolutionist does not concede that the structures are homologous, though they are similar, because there is no pre-conceived idea of a common origin between them.

Fifth, we reviewed a video, Unlocking the Mystery of Life, concerning the argument against evolution from the point of irreducible complexity. This again brought up the idea that the origin of the complex information is never explained in evolution. Also, the bacterial flagellum was used as an illustration of irreducible complexity. The idea of the video was that certain structures are complex and cannot be arrived at through more simple structures because the loss of any piece of the complex structure renders it completely useless. The order of assembly, self assessment, and construction mechanisms are also discussed as further difficulties to the evolution of these complex structures.

h1

Our Nation in Jeremiah 18:7-10?

November 2, 2006

Jeremiah 18:7-10, ESV:

If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.

There are several very interesting points in this passage. First, I want to point out that nowhere does it say “the United States of America”. In fact, from the reading we do not know if God has declared either judgment or blessing for our country. We certainly have a very prosperous nation, seemingly blessed by God. For this reason I believe our nation does, or at one time did, fall into that category.

Second, this passage is not specific to Israel. God has just mentioned Israel and His ability to do with them as He pleases. But this passage is a general rule God holds which is here declared to Israel for application. Notice the words “a nation”, “a kingdom”, and “that nation”. The nation or kingdom is not specific.

We can certainly ascertain that God is not pleased with our nation. All is not lost though. “If that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it.” We can still relent from the evil we have done and are doing. God is true to His word and faithful at all points. If we turn from our evil ways then God will not continue to bring disaster upon us.

h1

US Elections next Tuesday

November 1, 2006

I wanted to point out a general misgiving with political thought.

We are overwhelmed by scandal after scandal in our government. Our leaders are going to jail. Is there any reason to take heart after such crimes? Yes, in fact, very much. We still recognize their crimes as crimes!

Very often these crimes and criminals are paraded before us in order to persuade us that the opposing side is much more moral and worthy of leading our country. Is that true though?

Abortion and homosexuality are just two biblical crimes our country is currently battling. When we elect leaders for our country it is not known to us whether they will succumb to some scandal in the future. But when they openly admit that they plan to further the crimes of abortion and homosexuality, why should we elect them? If their plan was to steal money and molest children, would we elect them? No! Because we still recognize these as horrible crimes.

Some politicians are involved in criminal scandals. They should be caught and punished according to the law. But when the law refuses to recognize crime, we should not give our vote to those who not only refuse to recognize crime but also perpetuate it as part of their career.

We must continue to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, and not only to do so when it is popular (Romans 1:32).