Idolatry - We're All Nebuchadnezzars

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 28, 2012 2 comments

Hopefully that title jumped out at you a little bit. And hopefully it's because you are thinking about what you know about the tyrant mentioned in the title, and not because you are desperately trying to figure out how to pronounce his name. For those of you who already know a good bit about King Nebuchadnezzar, it is a very frightening thought that we are just like him. If you spent any time in the church as a child, you are probably familiar with one popular story involving King Nebuchadnezzar. I'm talking about the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the blazing furnace. King Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon at the beginning of one of my favorite books in the Old Testament - Daniel. He and his army besieged Jerusalem, killing most of the Jews and taking captive any of the best young men they could find to go and serve the Babylonian kingdom. This group included Daniel and his 3 friends, who were later named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. All of this can be read and studied in Daniel 1. I've done some extensive studies on the first 3 chapters of Daniel. Without going into a long discussion, I'll just tell you that we have every reason to believe that Daniel and his friends were made eunuchs (meaning they were castrated just in case I needed to get more graphic) in addition to watching their loved ones be killed and being carried off to another kingdom with a foreign language, culture, and faith.

But enough about Daniel and his friends (I could really go on forever about what we can learn from them). This post is about King Nebuchadnezzar. As if everything mentioned above was not enough for him, he had to be in control of every single detail of the lives of those under him. He changed their names, controlled what they ate, and tried to dictate when and who they could worship. You can read in Daniel 3 that King Nebuchadnezzar had a giant image of gold - ninety feet high and nine feet wide - made so that he could issue a decree that all peoples everywhere in Babylon must bow down and worship it when they hear the sounds of the instruments. It was the refusal to worship this image that eventually got Daniel's friends thrown into the blazing furnace, setting the stage for their miraculous rescue which is often remembered by those of us who know the story. So, it is clear that King Nebuchadnezzar disobeyed the 2nd Commandment and made for himself an idol. But I submit to you that the idol King Nebuchadnezzar made for himself wasn't really the giant image of gold. I mean, after all, did he ever bow down and worship it himself? We have no evidence in Scripture that he did. The idol that King Nebuchadnezzar made for himself was the same one that we all make for ourselves, whether we want to admit it or not.

As I already pointed out, it is at the beginning of Daniel 3 that we read about this giant image of gold. Take a look back at the previous chapter. In Daniel 2, we read about the troubling dream that the king has which he is desperate to interpret. God gives Daniel the gift of interpreting the dream so that he can gain favor with the king. But even though Daniel was exalted and praised for his ability to interpret the dream, that doesn't mean King Nebuchadnezzar liked the answer he got. Daniel tells the king that he saw an enormous statue in his dream that had a "head of gold" and a body made of several other materials. He then tells the king that the head of gold represents he and his kingdom (vv. 36-38). But then he tells the king that "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people", that this kingdom will "crush all other kingdoms", and that this was all represented in the king's dream by a rock that broke the gold and the other materials into pieces (vv. 44-45). So, to sum it up, Daniel is telling King Nebuchadnezzar that, while God has temporarily allowed him to have dominion over all, there will come a kingdom (that of Christ) that will destroy his and all others FOR GOOD! And what was King Nebuchadnezzar's direct response to Daniel's interpretation after he got done praising him for the mere ability to interpret the dream? Enter Chapter 3 and his decision to have the huge statue of ONLY GOLD erected and declare that all under his power must worship it. He was defying what Daniel had interpreted, and even had some astrologers greet him with "O king, live forever!" (3:9) King Nebuchadnezzar was basically saying to himself, "Forget what that fool Daniel interpreted because my kingdom will reign forever!" Friends, this was not a mere act of worshiping a golden image. This was the most blatant act of SELF-WORSHIP there ever was!

Our first inclination is to believe that there is no way we are that self-centered, that bold in our rebellion toward God, or that mean and disrespectful toward those who don't do things the way WE think they should. But seriously, stop and think about it. We can only say that King Nebuchadnezzar was worse than us because he had more power to carry out the evil desires of his heart than we do. But are our hearts really that different? If you could pretty much just eliminate anyone who didn't cater to your needs and desires, would you do it? If you have received Jesus Christ as your Savior and his promised Holy Spirit to guide you, the answer is hopefully "no". But, apart from the Holy Spirit, where our flesh and evil hearts reign, the truth is that we would do anything and everything to look out for number 1 and get our way. That, my friends, is idolatry, with ourselves as the primary idol. Idolatry, especially self-worship, makes us to crazy things we never thought we would do. I don't know that King Nebuchadnezzar was that bad of a guy, but I know that once he began worshiping himself, he was a control freak, a murderer, and mentally insane. There is no way to experience freedom from those chains without surrendering fully to the only One who deserves our total worship.

The good news is that, even for those of us who have spent years or maybe even a lifetime worshiping ourselves and been led ultimately to a place of despair, all we have to do to be set free is surrender. For all the evil that King Nebuchadnezzar did, my favorite part of his story is told in Daniel 4. Daniel interprets another dream much like the first one, again telling the king that he will lose his power. Exactly one year after that, it happens just as Daniel interpreted it. Then, finally, King Nebuchadnezzar surrenders to the Lord. He writes in his own words the following: "I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored" (4:34). He then goes on to praise God and his very last sentence is a declaration of both God's righteousness and what He can do to those who worship the idols of themselves. "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble" (Daniel 4:37).

Like King Nebuchadnezzar, all of us, even those who can regrettably look back and see a history of self-worship in their lives, can change it all with a decision of surrender and experience complete freedom. Think about it. Daniel and his friends were in captivity, yet they were more free than Nebuchadnezzar ever was until he finally repented and worshiped the Lord himself. In Monday's blog, Katie challenged us to take time to evaluate our lives to see what idols we might be worshiping. I suggest we start with the one in the mirror.



Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 24, 2012 2 comments

What do you think of when you hear the word “idol”? Do you think of a little statue in somebody’s house that they bow down and worship? Do you think of the next great pop singing sensation in America?

The word “idol” is from the Greek eidolon (pronounced I-doh-lan), and it literally means a false god or some sort of representation of one that may be worshiped. The word “idolatry” is from a similar Greek word (eidololatreia) which means worship of an image. Literally, idolatry is worshiping some sort of thing or object as if it were God. This is explicitly prohibited by God in the Ten Commandments, specifically in Exodus 20:4-5.

I would guess that most (if not all) of us don’t do this. I don’t have any particular thing that I worship and bow down to, do you? But it’s the definitions that we see in the New Testament that probably makes us cringe. Ephesians 5:5 says, “For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Similarly, Colossians 3:5 says, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.” The context of both of these passages is how we are to live like Christ, and both tells us specific things we should not do if we are to imitate Him.

Idolatry doesn’t just mean worshiping a particular image, but it’s also anything that we are greedy about. Do you want more money? That’s idolatry. Do you hoard things for yourself rather than helping those less fortunate? That’s idolatry. Are you obsessed over anything that is not God Himself? That’s idolatry. The danger we face is that any obsessive concern can become idolatry, even things that we may typically see as good. If a person is obsessed about feeding the hungry for the sake of doing it and not out of his or her love for God, that’s idolatry. Anything that you put more worth in than God is an idol in your life.

What kind of idols do you have in your life? I challenge you to take a serious look at your life and what you place before God. But be warned; what you find may truly convict you. Pray about what small steps you can take to remove those idols from your life and put God in the place of top priority where He deserves to be. 

Incarnation - It's in the Name

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, September 20, 2012 0 comments

What is the middle name of Jesus Christ? Did you ever wonder this yourself when you were younger or maybe hear someone else ask the question? Most of us probably laugh at such a question now because it shows our propensity to try to make our Savior just like us. I mean it's pretty clear, isn't it? His first name is Jesus, his last name is Christ, so he has to have a middle name. If you happen to catch someone in the middle of using our precious Lord's name in vain, you may hear that his middle name is "H". But who in the world knows where that idea came from! It's probably safe to say that the question of Jesus' middle name is probably asked most often by children. So if you are reading this and you have a child in your life who has ever asked this question, maybe this post will provide you with some information you can share.

Many of you probably already realize that the first paragraph was mostly tongue-in-cheek. But that doesn't mean that the name of the incarnate Savior isn't important. Jesus lived and walked at a time that was way before people starting having last names and my guess is that middle names didn't come until well after that. In the old days, you were identified by your given first name and some other distinguishing factor, such as your occupation or your hometown. Examples include John the Baptist, Simon the Tanner, and Saul of Tarsus. Since there were obviously many people with the same names, there had to be something extra to identify them. This was true with our Savior as well. You have heard him referred to as Jesus Christ, but you have also heard him called Jesus of Nazareth.

The great thing about the name of "the Word that became flesh" that we are all familiar with is that it reveals what we need to know about his incarnate state. "Jesus" is the English translation of the Greek version of a Hebrew word meaning "the Lord saves". The English translation directly from the Hebrew is "Joshua", referring to the one who led the Israelites into the Promised Land. Variations of the word also result in Hosea and Hoshea, two other names from the Old Testament. Joseph and Mary gave their son the name "Jesus" because they were told to do so by an angel who told them "he will save his people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). But make no mistake about it, "Jesus" is an earthly name based on the languages of men. As Katie pointed out in Monday's blog, the Word existed "in the beginning", meaning he was here way before there was such a thing as "flesh", such a town as Nazareth, or such languages as Hebrew, Greek, or English. So because Jesus was not his name before all of those other things were created, we can be sure that "Jesus" shows his HUMANITY.

Let's move on to "Christ". No, this is not Jesus' last name. But had those who saw him said "here is Jesus THE Christ", they would have been correct. The term "Christ" comes from the Greek "Christos", which is a translation of the Hebrew word for "Messiah", which can also be translated "Anointed One". In the name "Christ", we see our Savior's MISSION. He came in the flesh to fulfill all the prophecies that we see in the Old Testament. He is the One who has been anointed to rescue the people from their sins and to reveal his Father to the human race in a way that He had not previously been revealed - in the flesh! Everyone knew what had been prophesied in the Scriptures and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the "Christ". Jesus came and said "I am he", and Peter followed suit by being the first disciple to proclaim this truth. Today, those who declare that Jesus is the "Christ" make up the world's most popular religion - Christianity!

But even after we had the names "Jesus" and "Christ", there was still something missing in order for the Savior's name to be a complete description of who he is. There was his human name and his mission name, but frankly anyone of us can have those 2 things. You could call me "Logan the Preacher" or "Logan the Blog-Writer". So, for his name to be a complete description of who he is, there needed to be some inclusion of his DIVINITY. It doesn't appear that the gospel writers included this, which only goes to show they probably didn't fully understand who Jesus was until long after he was gone. However, the Apostle Paul would not settle for a name or description that did not explain his divinity. That's why you see through Paul's letters the phrase "Lord Jesus Christ" or "Christ Jesus our Lord". Paul understood and purposely conveyed to his audience that Jesus was not only a man who is the Anointed One of Israel, but that he is also God Himself. Nowadays, we pay little attention to the name by which we describe our Savior. But we must understand the significance of having all 3 titles, especially in the culture and context which Paul was writing. Maybe we ought to pay more attention to how we describe Jesus, just in case we encounter someone who really knows nothing about him.

As Katie described in Monday's blog, "incarnation" literally means "in the flesh". However, it also refers to the Christian theological doctrine that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. These truths, as well as his mission which just happened to be the most important mission there ever was or ever will be, are all wrapped up in his very name. We must always remember that Jesus was HUMAN, DIVINE, and had a MISSION. So maybe when we describe him to others, we just ought to get in the habit of using that phrase made popular by the Apostle Paul. He is our Lord, Jesus the Christ!!

Proof of the Worldwide Flood

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, September 19, 2012 36 comments

What would you expect to see if there was a worldwide flood? Opponents of the Biblical Creation Account attack believers by claiming that the belief in a worldwide flood and a literal six day creation that occurred 6,000 years ago is entirely unscientific and improvable. But again I ask, “what would you expect to see if there was a worldwide flood?”

The first obvious sign that a worldwide flood occurred is that there would be thousands upon thousands, millions upon millions of dead creatures buried underneath the surface of the earth. When we look at Geology, guess what? This is exactly what we find: thousands upon thousands and millions upon millions of creatures buried beneath the earth. Unfortunately, before secular humanists got their hands on the fossil record, creationists were poorly interpreting the fossils that were buried underground, which paved the way for secular scientists popularizing more scientific interpretations of the fossils. Today, creationists fight to set the record straight despite the fact that their interpretations are more reasonable and more logical than that of secularists.

Second, we would expect that somebody somewhere would have retold such an event had there been any survivors. Once again, many stories have been propagated regarding the occurrence of a global flood. There are flood legends in just about every religion across the globe. Oddly, even the secularists believe that the earth was once completely submersed in water! One of the most famous flood legends is from Babylon, whose main character is a man named Utnapishtim. This story sounds remarkably like the Genesis account and has caused many people to doubt the Bible’s account of the flood. To me, it strengthens the testimony of what the Bible has to say! Think about it, if two cultures that greatly disagree with one another agree on something as dramatic as the flood, don’t you think that the testimony of conflicting cultures (along with hundreds of other cultures) might be reliable? Instead of arguing about which one of the stories is correct, this shows us that a flood did indeed happen. Oh, and by the way; contrary to popular belief, the Babylonian account does say it was a global flood.

Third, people ask, “if there was an ark that preserved two of every creature, what about the dinosaurs? Wouldn’t somebody have said something about them?” The word dinosaur was not invented until 1841, so they would have been called something else. I believe they were called “dragons.” Think about it, “dinosaur” literally means “terrible lizard.” What is a dragon? Need I say no more? There are so many legends about dragons across the world that it is hard to deny that they truly existed in some form or another. Carl Sagan, a renowned atheist, was so perplexed by this phenomenon that he had to come up with a rather bizarre explanation to account for stories about dragons across the globe, even attributing them to ancient memories of dinosaurs! Mankind has seen dragons. Today we call them dinosaurs.

It’s easy for the scientific community to say, “That’s not science! You are making the facts fit what you believe!” No, we are seeing the facts in light of God’s written revelation. For instance, if the Browns win the Super Bowl, that would be incredible. But if I knew the season was rigged, it wouldn’t be. It would be because I have interpreted facts based on what I already know. God’s Word allows us to interpret Geology and the other sciences properly. That is why I can conclude, with confidence, that there was a worldwide flood and all of the evidence, when interpreted properly, testifies to this truth.


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 17, 2012 0 comments

You may be thinking, “What in tarnation is incarnation?” Well, maybe you’d say it that way if you’re Yosemite Sam, but you might still be wondering what incarnation is. Literally, it means to be in the flesh, from the Latin in meaning “in” (duh) and carnis meaning “flesh.” We as human beings living on this earth are technically all incarnate, meaning that we are all in the flesh.

The main reason that incarnation is important is that Jesus, too, was incarnate when He came to earth around two thousand years ago. The fact that Jesus became totally human meant that He had the same human emotions and desires that we do - He got hungry, tired, thirsty, lonely, sad, happy, etc. He felt the same temptations to go against God that you and I feel. He was totally and fully 100% human.

But, Jesus still remained totally and fully 100% God too, even while He was present on this earth. How can that be? That is one of those things that is simply a mystery to our human brains, because it really doesn’t make sense logically speaking. Jesus had both a divine nature and a human nature at the same time. Many theologians have pondered on and argued over this for many years, but it’s simply one of those things we need to take on faith because God is God and we are not.

We see in John 1:1-18 that Jesus (referred to in that passage as the Word) was with God before the beginning of time, and the world was created through Jesus (v1-3). We see later on in verse 14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jesus became incarnate - a human in the flesh - and came to earth to dwell among us humans. But at the same time He came from the Father so He is still fully God.

Jesus had to be both fully incarnate as a human and yet still fully God in order to save us. Only God has the power to raise from the dead, and only a human would be an adequate sacrifice for our sin. I personally am extremely thankful to Jesus that He loves us enough that He was willing to leave the perfect world of heaven for a time and become incarnate to live with us on this smelly, dirty, sin-filled earth!


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 10, 2012 8 comments

Have you ever tried to copy a long written document by hand? It’s a pretty tedious task. Could you imagine copying the Bible by hand - in the original Hebrew or Greek? That’s exactly what many scribes did for many centuries so that the Word of God could be handed down to the next generation. According to some searching on the Internet, I found that the Old Testament has 602,585 words and the New Testament has 180,552 words... that’s a total of 783,137 words! Definitely an overwhelming task, at least from today’s perspective.

But given that there are SO many words to be copied, how likely is it that each and every scribe recorded each one, exactly perfectly every time? Probably not very likely. But what about the fact that this is God’s Word they’re copying? Does that make it more likely? Perhaps.

Where I’m going with all of this is what we call the inerrancy of Scripture. Inerrant literally means without error. The doctrine of inerrancy is the belief that the Bible is completely truthful and accurate in every respect about all it affirms. So the question is, do you believe in the inerrancy of the Bible?

There are two main views on this idea - limited inerrancy and absolute inerrancy. Limited inerrancy believes that through unintentional minor modifications of the text over the course of human history, it is no longer fully inerrant. The inerrancy of Scripture is restricted to the theological doctrines, but not necessarily its historical or scientific statements. This belief also takes into account the fact that scribes have made minor errors (called a “scribal gloss”), but nothing that changes the text in any significant way. In contrast, absolute inerrancy is the view that the Bible is written with full historical and scientific accuracy on all matters, and therefore it is completely truthful about everything.

Personally, I hold to the view of limited inerrancy. I have seen evidence of scribal glosses, but not on anything that’s significant. One in particular I remember is that some manuscripts say Jesus and His disciples crossed a lake in a boat, while other manuscripts say it was in a “little” boat. This has no theological significance, but it is a difference between reliable manuscript texts that we have today.

Unfortunately, we do not have the original texts of the Scriptures, but we do have some pretty old copies. And regardless of whether you believe in limited or absolute inerrancy, we know from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” We know that the Bible was truly inspired by God, and that His principles and messages to us will remain true, regardless of how humans may unintentionally mess it up.

Immortality - The Reverse of the Curse

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, September 6, 2012 0 comments

If you are into sports even half as much as I am, you know that being a fan (short for fanatic of course) makes people think, say, and even do things that seem reasonable to them but would be considered ridiculous in any other circumstance. Possibly the most well-known example of this in the last 20 years has to do with two baseball teams I cannot stand - the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. They are two of the oldest, wealthiest, and most successful franchises in baseball history. The Yankees have won a record 27 World Series titles, which is more than double their next closest chaser on the list. The Red Sox are third on the list with 7 titles, including 2 since 2004, but the large majority of their history has been defined by one word that their fans literally began to think actually had power over the team - "curse". The team had won 5 titles between 1903 and 1918, but did not win another one for 86 years until 2004. Their fans came to believe in "the Curse of the Bambino", referring to the nickname for the great Babe Ruth. Baseball lore has it that Babe Ruth played for the Red Sox until 1920, when their owner decided to sell him to the Yankees for cash, which the owner then invested in a Broadway play that never amounted to anything. He sold one of the greatest baseball players of all time for cash to finance a play! Thus began what Boston fans believe was a curse preventing them from winning. Over those 86 years, they have had good teams that lost on what seemed like fluke plays, which only served to strengthen this nonsense about a curse!

Fortunately, sports lovers don't have to hear about it anymore because the 2004 Boston Red Sox "reversed the curse". They were down 3-0 in the series against the Yankees and won 4 straight to win the series and then went on to win the title. Due to their irrational belief in a curse, Red Sox fans viewed the 2004 team as heroes who undid something that no other team could undo in 86 years. A movie, Fever Pitch, was even made about the team and its fans. While these sorts of things make for a good story in sports entertainment, I find it hilarious that no one even talks about that curse anymore, and no one talks about the 2 recent World Series titles either. All that fans of the Boston Red Sox care about at this point is the fact that this year, their team has been a disgrace, the players complain and have no unity, and their manager is probably going to get fired soon. So, for all the hype about reversing the curse 8 years ago, the franchise is a mess today!

This otherwise unimportant story about the Boston Red Sox and their fans made me think about this week's word. We know that it is recorded in the Bible that Adam and Eve were the first human beings and were the first to sin. The consequence of their sin was a curse. However, this curse wasn't believed to have been from a mere man who happened to be a great baseball player, it was directly from God himself! Now, I'm not talking about the curse of pains in child-bearing for Eve or the curse of the ground and painful toil required to work it given to Adam. I'm talking about the greater overall curse of death for them and their entire human race. There were 2 trees in the middle of the Garden of Eden, the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9). The command was clear: Adam and Eve were allowed to eat from any tree, including the tree of life, but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. To eat from this tree would "surely" result in death (2:17). Genesis 3 tells us of the serpent's deception, Adam and Eve's decision to sin, and their subsequent banishment from the Garden of Eden, which meant they no longer had access to the tree of life. While God showed them grace and they did not die right away, we know that Adam and Eve eventually died. In Genesis 6:3, God says, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years".

Webster defines "mortal" as "eventually dying, certain to die". I spent over an hour earlier today just staring at this one verse of Genesis 6:3 and reading various translations and commentaries to try to find out what it means, since humans lived much longer than 120 years both before and after the flood. To be honest, there was a wide variety of opinions, but nothing concrete. Some believe that God was referring specifically to Adam and giving him 120 years from that time to repent, some believe it was a reference to the "normal lifespan" from that point into the future, and others believe it was the amount of time left before the flood. Since there is no real clear meaning of our English translation, we'll just have to leave it as a declaration of the consequence of sin and accept that we can't know for sure what is meant by the 120 years. What I do find interesting about the verse is that the Hebrew word for "mortal" can also be translated as "corrupt" or "of the flesh". That means that regardless of the exact meaning of the 120 years, we can be sure that our mortality is synonymous with our corruption. So that leads me to believe that it isn't simply a punishment given by God as much as it is the curse of our corruption according to the natural order that God set up from the very beginning.

Further strengthening this view is something I heard my pastor preach along time ago, that the human body is designed in a way that there should be constant regeneration and no death. He preached that medically-speaking, the only explanation that human beings deteriorate is "some outside influence". Now there may be some readers out there who are much smarter than me and can confirm or deny this from a biological standpoint, but I will simply say that it makes sense from a Scripture standpoint. We were created with immortality and had access to the tree of life, but the sins of the flesh caused us to become corrupt, and therefore mortal. Because of sin, we brought the curse on ourselves and were destined to die unless someone could help us "reverse the curse".

The Apostle Paul explains that God has indeed reversed the curse for us in 1 Corinthians 15:50-57. I strongly urge you to read this great theological passage for yourself. He states that "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable" (v. 50). He later states that "when the mortal is clothed with immortality", the saying from Isaiah 25:8 will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory" (v. 54). Finally, Paul declares that God is the one who will clothe us with immortality and has given us assurance of this victory through Jesus Christ (v. 57). His theology is consistent with what we read in Revelation, that the last thing that is thrown into the lake of fire before the new heaven and earth are created is death itself (Rev. 20:14). In chapter 22, the last chapter of the entire Bible, we read in the description of the new heaven and new earth that there is a "river of the water of life" and that the "tree of life" stands on each side of it (vv.1-2). The very next verse makes it all come full circle: "No longer will there be any curse" (Rev. 22:3a).

Friends, this is the only way to immortality, to believe that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins and to live in a way that worships him and brings him glory. While we will still die physically if he has not returned before that point, we have the blessed assurance that such physical "death" is really just moving us into the phase of eternal life. As TV pastor Jon Hagee likes to say, "My last gasp here will be my first shout there!" There may be times on this earth when you feel like everything is going well and you are untouchable, but God can take the breath from you at any moment and real immortality will only come through belief that Jesus Christ is your Savior. I know that once my life here has ended, I will be immortal forever thanks to Jesus. I hope you'll be joining me!

An Answer for Bill Nye

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 14 comments

Bill Nye mentioned several points throughout his statement where he claimed that certain proofs cannot be refuted by creationists. Let us examine some of these “proofs.”

1. Bill Nye automatically assumes that evolution is a fact. Jason DeZurik was interviewed regarding Mr. Nye’s remarks and brilliantly stated, “interpretations of facts are not facts,” very, very, true statement. Mr. Nye does not necessarily ignore evidence that could just as easily lead him to the belief in young earth creationism. I believe that he views it from a different perspective. And you know what, that is okay! What is not okay is what he is trying to propagate through his statement that we should not teach about the beliefs that we hold dear.

2. He claims that the denial of evolution is unique to the USA. Not true. I think maybe Mr. Nye has never heard of a certain Australian by the name of Ken Ham…the founder of Answers In Genesis. If you have never heard of his organization, check it out:

3. Is Evolution the fundamental idea in all of the life sciences? No. It is a presupposition that influences a person in his or her pursuit of a respective scientific discipline. I had a professor by the name of Dr. Todd Pesek, who taught Pathology at Cleveland State University. He was a diehard evolutionist, but he and I agreed on many points regarding diet, fitness, and general health practices. The one difference that we had was that he believed “evolution did it,” where I insisted that “God did it.” That was truly the only difference in our beliefs. By the way, I Aced his class, which proved I did not need to believe in evolution to excel.

4. In his YouTube video, he said that some people “claim” that they don’t believe in evolution. I think that what he means is that he believes that evolution is an undeniable fact. Therefore, these people are merely in denial. To this he asks, “Why not?” It is very similar to saying that nobody can truly be an atheist because there is no way to truly “know” that there is no God. The closest you could get would be agnosticism.

5. He claims that there is no evidence for creationism. Let’s analyze this claim by taking into account Mr. Nye’s evidence.

a. He mentioned that dinosaur bones and fossils are evidence for evolution. How does he know this? Science cannot even tell us how dinosaurs died off. How can they conclude, then, that dinosaurs are proof for evolution? Creationism provides a much clearer explanation of what dinosaurs were and how they gradually became extinct.

b. His second complaint was regarding radioactivity. I’m guessing that he was referring to radioactive decay rates. This is a common point brought up by evolutionists as proof for an old earth. However, we do not know if radioactive decay has always existed or if the decay rates have always remained constant. Recent investigation has proven that decay rates can change. As a result, creationists are justified in their belief in a young earth.

c. His third, and probably strongest claim, is that distant stars are evidence for evolution and an old earth. The problem with this argument is that it is highly speculative. For one thing, nobody really knows how far away the distant stars are because calculating their distance is complicated. Even given the fact that there are stars that are probably billions of light years away, which are observable by the human eye, there are theories to account for their light reaching the earth in far less than billions of years. For instance, Albert Einstein, as part of his theory of relativity, suggested a phenomenon known as gravitational time dilation. This theory suggests that gravity and speed affect the passage of time. There are other theories, but evolutionists would be lying if they claimed that they have everything about star light figured out.

d. Are “billions of years” evidence for evolution? To him, the notion that the universe is billions of years old is a fact. He does not know this and cannot prove this because nobody alive today was at the universe’s beginning. This was a statement of faith. He trusts science to be 100% accurate on this point with no room for error. After all, could we ever name an instance in history when science was wrong?

e. The ultimate proof for Christianity is in the historic account of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the existence of Jesus were proven false, Christianity would soon follow. But, the overwhelming majority of historians (secular and Christian) agree that Jesus was real, he was killed/crucified, his disciples claimed he was resurrected and worshipped him as God, a few of his opponents claimed that they experienced Jesus’ resurrected presence and committed their lives to him, and that his tomb was and still is empty. If Jesus really was the Son of God, then the words contained in the Bible must be held as truth because he would be the only credible authority on any topic in the entire universe.

In all reality, Bill Nye’s ignorance of the rational creationist responses to these proofs is evidence of one of two realities: 1) He is truly unaware of what creationists truly believe or 2) He willingly ignores their explanations. The reason I raise this issue is because these are relatively elementary speaking points in the creation vs. evolution debate. In order to not obtain an answer that would seem feasible and reasonable enough, given the existing body of evidence, would require Mr. Nye to be either conversing with a creationist who is ignorant of his or her own stances or that he would refuse to listen. Pray for him that he might have ears to hear and eyes to see.


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 3, 2012 1 comments

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to live forever? That’s what immortality is - not being “mortal” so you never die. The word immortality comes from the Latin in meaning “not” and mors meaning “death.”

Do you know any person who is immortal? I’m thinking the answer is no, since only God is truly immortal. God, in fact, is eternal - He has no beginning and He has no end. Although in the Old Testament humans lived for many hundreds of years, they were not immortal. For example, Abraham lived to be 175 years old, Adam lived to be 930 years old, and Noah lived to be 950 years old. While that would be a seriously long time to live, even 950 years old comes nowhere close to being immortal.

So why is immortality important? There are two reasons that I can think of. First, God is immortal. That means He always was, He always is, and He always will be. No one will ever outlive God. He will always be here for us, taking care of us and loving us and being the almighty magnificent God of the universe.

Second, we can have immortality. Wait, what? Didn’t I just say that no person is immortal? Yes, I did. But we can be given immortality as a gift from God, since He is immortal. All of us will die so we won’t be immortal on this earth, but we will live on after this earth. If we have faith in Jesus, we will be immortal in heaven; if we reject Jesus, we will be immortal in the eternal torment of hell. (Want more on hell? Check out last week’s blog posts.)

Immortality is not something we tend to think of as part of the human experience, because we will die from this earth. But immortality is still a very real thing in the heavenly sense!

Bill Nye Fell for the Lie

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, September 2, 2012 0 comments

I would never have imagined that this day would come. From 3rd through 5th grade I attended Bigelow Hill Intermediate School in Findlay, Ohio. My teachers were innovative when it came to teaching us science, so they experimented by showing us episodes of a popular new show called Bill Nye the Science Guy. I loved Bill Nye and enjoyed his show. He was smart, he was fun, and he spoke about things in which I would not typically be interested. He made it all come alive. Because my nickname is Bill, some of my classmates started calling me Bill Nye the Science Guy. I took it as a compliment. Today, I am insulted by Mr. Nye.

In case you have not heard, Mr. Nye has recently made the statement that it is okay for parents to deny evolution, but not to teach their anti-evolution beliefs to their children. He said that “We need them.” He clarified by saying we need scientifically literate tax payers and voters in future generations.

This whole spiel started with Mr. Nye stating that he believes that people rejecting the theory of evolution hold everyone else back. On what basis does he make such a claim? Do creationists prevent evolutionists from further exploration into the theory of evolution? Does the rejection of the theory of evolution prevent vital technologies from being developed? For the answer to that question, let me ask another question: Has the acceptance of the theory of evolution in mainstream science prevented the advance of creationism? The answer is obvious in both cases: No.

If anything, I would say that creationism has driven proponents of the theory of evolution to new heights and that proponents of evolution have driven creationists to new heights. As a diehard creationist, I do wish that the theory of evolution would go the way of natural selection, but let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment; if it were not for the theory of evolution, the modern creation movement would not exist today. In order to make that claim, we must also acknowledge that without the older forms of creationism, the theory of evolution would never have been invented. In a very capitalistic sense, the two models have strengthened one another and to suggest that one must be suppressed in order to exalt the other would have devastating consequences.

Mr. Nye’s statements are a threat to our freedom as Americans. What Mr. Nye intends to imply is that if you teach your children young earth creationism, you are engaging in a form of child abuse! If you don’t believe me, pick up a copy of Richard Dawkins The God Delusion and merely look at the table of contents. He has an entire section that is titled, “Childhood, Abuse and the Escape from Religion.” The unfortunate part for atheists is that they know that a man like Richard Dawkins could never be persuasive enough to convince a soft-hearted person that teaching children religion is child abuse. Enter Bill Nye the Science Guy. I would guess that hundreds of thousands if not millions of children, many of which are now adults around my age, have fond childhood memories of him. Mr. Nye is not Richard Dawkins. He has a heart. So the ploy is that you don’t have to be a heartless Richard Dawkins to believe that such teachings are child abuse. You can be reasonable and caring and arrive at the same conclusion. Under such a guise, if accepted, the meaning of child abuse could be expanded to the extent that you may only teach your children your values as long as they meet the standards of so-called experts. Anything teaching violating this standard would be considered child abuse. Does this sound reasonable?

I am not claiming that Bill Nye is advocating for such action, he seems to be pleading his case, but there are people who want to impose such measures. Suppressive action of this sort is always the result of political regimes grasping for power. All one has to do is observe China or North Korea. One’s freedom of speech in those countries is very limited and the consequences for expressing politically unpopular ideas are severe. I fear that Mr. Nye’s remarks may actually be more politically charged than scientific.

The timing of his statement could not be more ideal. We are two months away from the next Presidential election and supporters of one side are trying to make the other side appear as though they are a bunch of fanatical, ignorant, religious, nut-jobs. Why do I say this? Bill Nye specifically mentioned “tax payers” and “voters.” At old Cleveland State University, you would be surprised how often these two factors came up in the science classroom.

The theory of evolution is not intellectually superior to creationism, it is morally inferior. The big issue that often arose in the science classroom, in my day, was embryonic stem cell research. Evolutionists insisted this would be the salvation of the human race. What they refused to disclose was that adult stem cells were already known to be more effective and they had ulterior motifs for wanting embryonic stem cell research to be legalized. What prevented them from receiving funds to conduct embryonic stem cell research were Christian politicians that believed that an embryo is actually a living human being. The research and use of such stem cells would require Americans to redefine the point at which human life begins. It was a loaded political, ethical, and religious issue. Evolutionists hated creationists for blocking the move. They vented their rage by claiming that creationists were out of their minds and were preventing the advancement of the human race. Do we not hear this tone in Mr. Nye’s language?

It is funny that his resentment toward creationists blinds him of his own statements. He conceded that America is the world’s most innovative country. Could that be because we have an ongoing dialogue between opposing views? Do not misunderstand.
I believe that the truth needs to be preached and I would not believe what I believe unless I believed it. I am a young earth creationist. Bill Nye appears to be an atheist. I will teach against the ideas that he holds dear and he will teach against mine. He has as much of a right to oppose my beliefs as I have to oppose his. Belittling another’s intellect, however, is not an acceptable form of debate. Debates should be conducted through facts.

Unfortunately, as the wise Homer Simpson once said, “Facts can be used to prove anything.” And so, we must endure our opponents and their remarks that drive us up the wall; creationists and atheists alike. Bill Nye takes the low road this time around. Instead of engaging in a thought-provoking debate, he chooses the path of least resistance: silence all opposition.