All In God's Hands, But Even If He Doesn't

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, August 31, 2014 0 comments

by Michael Homula

While I do not recommend the movie Gettysburg for historical accuracy (it is fraught with issues and based on historical fiction – the novel Killer Angels) it is a very low barrier and fairly entertaining entry point to start a learning journey about Gettysburg provided it is followed by some effort to discern the facts from the myth.

In the movie, Robert E. Lee (played by Martin Sheen), is repeatedly heard saying, “It’s all in God’s hands.” While there is no firsthand account or eye/ear witness who heard Lee speak these words at Gettysburg, it is historically accurate based on the writings and other words spoken by Lee in his lifetime and during the Civil War.

In studying Robert E. Lee for over 20 years, it has become crystal clear to me that Robert E. Lee was a devoted follower and humble servant of Jesus Christ. The teachings of Christ and the words of the Bible shine brightly in his walk and life. Lee was a man of prayer and devotion and his life, words and personal writings demonstrate his profound faith.

General Lee was a saved, born-again, Christian man and everyone knew and respected him for it. He wrote to his chaplains who informed him of their prayers for him that he thanked them and needed all of the prayers they could offer in his behalf. And then he said: “I can only say that I am nothing but a poor sinner, trusting in Christ alone for salvation.” (Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9; John 3:7)

Given his role as the commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, and the reverence and esteem his officers and men held for him, it would have been easy – and perhaps understandable – if Lee would have been filled with self-pride and view that he was in control of circumstances, events, and outcomes. But this was not the case. Lee believed everything was God’s will and all of the evidence shows Lee possessed a granite like conviction of trusting God’s will implicitly.

At Gettysburg, on the afternoon of July 3, 1863, the day had turned hot and humid. At his headquarters just west of town, alongside the Chambersburg Pike, Gen. Robert E. Lee was feeling a heat that had little to do with the sun. Everywhere he looked men, animals, and weapons were moving with a sense of purpose instilled by orders he had given just a short time before. A climax to two days of battle was coming, announced by an action sure to be bloody, and certain, he fervently hoped it would be decisive and victorious. The now famous Pickett’s charge was imminent.

To anyone passing by his modest headquarters tent, the 56-year-old General Lee appeared, as one soldier recalled, “calm and serene.” There is no reason to believe otherwise. “I think and work with all my power to bring the troops to the right place at the right time; then I have done my duty,” Lee said. “As soon as I order them into battle, I leave my army in the hands of God.”

That day did not turn out well for Lee, his Army of Northern Virginia, and the Confederacy. In perhaps his finest moment, after his men had been repulsed convincingly, he rode out amongst his retreating men and blamed himself for the failure saying, “It is all my fault – I asked more of men than should have been asked of them.”

But Lee had trusted God. He committed himself, his men, and his army into the providence of God’s will. Yet, the outcome was not what he had hoped for. For Lee, God’s will had been done in the repulse of his men.

Dr. Charles Stanley said, “Be obedient and leave the consequences to God.” This is what Lee did and it is a valuable lesson for us today. Go ahead and apply it to any circumstance you’re facing. Trouble in a relationship? Making a decision about money? Need to trust God with a health issue? Be obedient and leave the consequences to God. Stands up, doesn’t it?

Lee’s attitude and behavior were a result of his faith in God and it reminds me of an amazing true story from the Bible. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego also lived out their implicit faith and trust in God’s will as we read in Daniel 3. At the edge of a fiery furnace, they had a decision. Bow to an idol or be thrown in a furnace. They chose faith, believing that God would deliver them from the very fire that tested it. But then they said, “But even if He doesn’t.” (Daniel 3:18)

They didn’t jump into the fire knowing they’d be delivered. They jumped knowing The Deliverer. I’m shaking my head as I type this sentence. I want an “Even if He doesn’t” kind of faith. Save me, help me, heal me. But even if He doesn’t…

I am confident, though I don’t know with any fact based evidence, that this part of Daniel 3:18 had taken up residence in the heart of Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg. “It’s all in God’s hand” he firmly believed as he committed his army to that fateful charge. He also firmly believed God would deliver him and his men a victory. But it is plainly evident that he also had the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. “But even if He doesn’t…” Lee would continue to trust in God and His perfect, good, and pleasing will.

Do you have an “Even if He doesn’t” kind of faith?

For more reading on Lee’s faith, please check out “Christ in the Camp: or, Religion in Lee’s Army,” by Chaplain J. William Jones, known as the “Fightin Parson,” who knew Lee personally.

America’s Got Talent

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 29, 2014 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Every summer the last few years, a very popular game/reality show is on: America’s Got Talent. One thing I love about this show is that it gives people with a wide variety of skills a chance to display them. It’s not just a singing contest. It’s not just a dance contest. It has anything and everything. As I wrote this post, we just finished the quarter-finals, the top 48, of the competition. The acts making the semi-finals include singers, strength/balance acts, dancers, magicians, and more. Acts in the past have included bands, dog acts, comedians, motocross, bicycle trick artists, a indoor kite flyer, card throwers, archers, entertainers, aerial dance acts, and the list goes on and on. I love this show because of the variety of skills that are put on display. Yes, there are some very bad acts that show up in the auditions and there are other acts that I definitely do not agree that go forward with the judges or America’s voting, but there is an amazing display of skills and talents on this show.

What does this have to do with us at Worldview Warriors? Every one of us has talents and skills that God has given us. He didn’t just create us with a blank slate that needs to be filled. He gave us natural skills and talents and gave them to us with a purpose in mind. What kind of talents are we talking about? For some, it is a physical skill in a sport. For some it is at a craft, like welding, or crocheting, or painting. For some it is intellectual, like math, or history, or strategy. For others it is emotional such as encouragement, mercy showing, or counseling. And the one thing that makes each and every one of us unique is the combination of these skills and talents.

But natural talent alone will not take you far. These skills need to be developed, honed, and practiced. I am a Denver Broncos fan and I am loving the ride the team is having with Peyton Manning at quarterback (despite the difficult loss to Seattle in the last Super Bowl). One thing that makes Peyton stand out so much as a quarterback is his combination of natural talent and dedication to his job. Peyton is always the first on the field to practice, and always the last one off the field. And when he is not on the practice field, he is studying video of his team and his next opponent. Peyton also has a natural talent with his memory. He remembers every team, every drive, every team he’s played in such detail he can recall each part of it. That is one of the reasons he is so difficult to beat. Because unless you show him something he hasn’t seen before, he knows what you are going to do. It takes a lot to fool him.

What if we were to take the skills and abilities that we have and use them for the glory of God with the same level of dedication and focus that Peyton has with football and that every major athlete has towards his/her respective sport? Jesus tells a parable about talents in Matthew 25. Then, talents were a measurement of weight, particularly relating to money. One servant received five talents, another two and another just one. But let me point out a key phrase often missed: each according to his ability. In the parable, the master knew what his servants could handle and gave what they could manage. The first two servants used their talents and returned with double of what they originally had. Interestingly enough, their reward was the same: “You have been faithful with a few things, you shall be a ruler over many things.” The third servant did nothing with his talent. He wasted and the master called him wicked and lazy. And the talent of the third servant was given to the first who now had ten.

God gave us talents but he expects us to use them as they were intended to be used. There are many VERY gifted people out there who have either let their talents go completely to waste or they have used them for their own selfish desires. A brilliant mind can be used to help people or hurt them. A military strategist can use his skills to conduct his battle minimizing collateral damage, or he can go out and destroy as much as he can. A singer can use his voice or musical skills to give glory to God or he can use them to build up self. Or he can use them to lead others astray with subtle, inappropriate messages that many kids listen to. We will be held accountable for how we use our talents.

I’ll wrap up with a thought provoking question. I will not answer this question but I want you to think about it. In the Parable of the Talents, one servant was give five talents, one was given two, and the third was given just one all in accordance to their abilities. Did the servant with two or one talent look at the one with five and with jealousy demand that they be given the same talents? How often do we look at others’ skills and wish we were like them? Don’t we have enough to worry about with our own skills? But seriously think about this. If the servant with one talent was called wicked and lazy for not using his one talent, what would the master say if the servant with five talents only used four of them? Or if the servant with two talents only use one of them? I won’t answer that. I don’t want to know the answer. But I want that question to be in the back of our minds as we go about our business and to remind us to not let what God has given us go to waste.


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, August 28, 2014 3 comments

by Steve Risner

The human body is an astounding machine—far more complicated than any of us could ever be aware. I've recently written blogs on the brain, the liver, the circulatory system, the hand, the eye, and taking care of this marvelous temple. Today I want to just give an overview of the incredible human machine.

In so doing, I hope to illustrate the sheer silliness of the popular belief that this terrifically complex collection of integrated systems could arise through any unguided, random process of mutation.

I realize this is a strong statement to begin a blog post with, but I truly believe that if one understands the complexities of biology and reproduction then the concept of evolutionary common descent becomes simply ridiculous. There is a peculiar anti-intellectual stubbornness in forcing oneself to think that this body, built of at least 12 different systems composed of over 7,500 named parts, sorted into anywhere from 60 to 1,000 specialized organs could be the result of random natural selection. I say this because it's possible to classify each bone as an organ as well as each muscle of the body. We rapidly exceed 1,000 if we do this. I feel this is overkill. Let's limit the list to the internal or external parts that are specialized in purpose and fairly self contained or distinct. And to view the body as a bunch of isolated individual parts (mechanistic thinking) is naive and fails to see how interconnected the entire body truly is.

As stated, the body is composed of 12 systems – the nervous system, the circulatory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the immune system, the respiratory system, the integumentary system, the excretory system, the reproductive system, the lymph system, the muscular system, and the skeletal system. We also have the special sense organs that have their own systems. This is marvelous! It's amazing the coordination necessary to interlock and integrate all these systems together to make a breathtaking machine whose complexity is unrivaled. Let us also consider that, aside from the reproductive system, we can't really live without all of these in place and working correctly. True, we can survive for short periods with one or even a couple of these systems impaired, but rarely without lots of medication and lots of external aid.

The brain, brainstem, and spinal cord (the central nervous system) control and coordinate every function of the body. It's impossible to live without these organs functioning and communicating with ever part of the body. It's estimated that the nerves of the body, laid end to end, would span nearly 600 miles! If you removed every other tissue from the body except the nerves, you could still see nearly every detail of the human form including the details of the face. Let that sink in for a moment. Without the brain and brainstem and spinal cord, we could not exist. But wait! The brain needs oxygen. How do we get oxygen into the body? We have a respiratory system. But this is located outside of the cranium—where we like to keep our brain. How does the oxygen get to the brain? The circulatory system. However, the heart, the primary pump to move blood rich in oxygen, is not located in the lungs where the oxygen is drawn into the body. What about other nutrients? Oxygen is great, but it's far from the only thing we need to build and maintain this body. We have a digestive system to extract nutrients from food. But this has to have an interface with the circulatory system in order to get the nutrients from where they are to where they're needed. And what about removing waste products? What about protection from invaders? Our brains aren't impervious to infection. We need an immune system to protect us. This also utilizes the circulatory system as well as the lymph system.

I've hardly scratched the surface but I hope the point is exceptionally clear—these integrated systems cannot exist without each other and there is no explanation for their existence other than special creation. The alternative is that they all arose simultaneously, which is not possible at all. The number of mutations that would have to take place at the exact same time and exactly the right way is incalculable. None of these systems can exist without the others. Evolutionist: please explain.

My hope in writing this is that you will see how necessary an awesome Designer is for life to exist. I've written about the human body (very briefly). This is one type of organism in a world filled with amazing creatures each with their own remarkable integrated systems. Biomimicry is an industry that “invents” things based on copying nature. When we do this, it's rare for our designers to create the efficiency of nature—which apparently figured out much better ways than we can mindlessly.

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--how well I know it.” (Psalm 139:14)

God Hears Every Prayer, and Much More Than That

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, August 27, 2014 0 comments

by Logan Ames

There truly was no more obvious way to begin this week’s post than with a reference to the fantastic movie “Bruce Almighty,” especially since it happens to be on TV as I write this. Every time I see the movie, I’m reminded of how selfish and arrogant we are when it comes to our prayers and desires and what we think God “should” do about them. In addition, I’m reminded that nobody can be God quite like God can, even though we sometimes think things would be so much better if we were in charge. In the movie, the main character is a news reporter named Bruce who very early in the story gets angry at God and judges that God is not doing his job very well. He refuses to follow his girlfriend’s advice to turn to God during difficult times, begins a barrage of blasphemies and insults toward God, and declares that praying to God wouldn’t help him because God either isn’t listening or just doesn’t care.

In his anger, Bruce goes for a drive and actually begins to ask God for a sign, but fails to see the many God sends because his anger and bias are clouding him. When God finally gets Bruce’s attention and lures him to the place where he reveals himself, he provides a series of wonders to show his identity and power beyond Bruce’s doubt. One of these “impossibilities” is a file cabinet that appears to be very small but is said to contain anything Bruce ever did, said, or thought. When he opens it up, it stretches all the way across a big room. God proves to Bruce that he has seen, heard, and recorded EVERYTHING, including that which was merely thought.

This week, we are addressing a question that we have probably all asked at some point, and maybe you have, too. That would be the question of whether God really does hear our prayers or not. Let’s first think about the alternative. If God doesn’t really hear our prayers, that would have to mean someone somewhere created the fabrication we call “prayer” and that billions have been deceived. But we can’t conclude that someone fabricated the idea when we see in Genesis 3:8-10 that the very first conversation that went back and forth between man and God was initiated by God himself. Furthermore, the New Testament shows that Jesus, who was God in the flesh, taught about prayer in Matthew 6:5-15 and promoted a conversation between the disciples and the Father.

Since the alternative to God hearing our prayers doesn’t make much sense, I want to explain why a very critical error is made when we believe in God yet question whether he hears our prayers. However, the error is not directly with the question, but its implication. If we believe God exists but aren’t sure he really hears our prayers, we are wrongly implying that there is even anything which God cannot hear. Take a look at David’s words in Psalm 139:1-12. Within those verses, David confesses his understanding that God searches and knows him, that he completely knows David’s words before they are even spoken, that he knows all of David’s thoughts and everything he does, and that even if he wanted to David could not get away from God even if he went all the way up to the heavens or all the way down to the depths of the grave. David, a man who used to live as though his actions were hidden from God and wouldn’t have consequences, now understands and accepts that God sees what is done in secret and hears even our most private thoughts. Too often, we view prayer as if it is only what we speak out loud in the presence of others or what we speak directly to God. God surely hears those, and a heck of a lot more.

We are actually fortunate that God hears more than what we say. We rarely know what is truly best for us and can’t see past the way we feel in the moment. This is shown in the movie when Bruce is given the powers of God temporarily and gets tired of having to hear everyone’s prayers, so he develops a system that automatically answers everyone’s prayers with “yes”. He blows it off as “making everyone happy” when in reality he is just lazy and doesn’t truly care about the individuals anyway. A woman “loses 47 pounds on the Krispy Kreme diet”, people get jobs they haven’t earned, and over 400,000 people win the lottery, which considerably lessens the amount they win. Everyone’s wishes being granted leads to total rioting and destruction in the city. The real God reminds Bruce that people don’t have a clue what they really want and challenges him to pray about what he really cares about rather than his fleeting surface desires and cliches like world peace that he thinks are what God wants to hear. God knows what’s weighing on our hearts and minds anyway, so we might as well just get right to it.

This is shown through the life of a little-known Bible character who is the inspiration for a book that became a best-seller. In “The Prayer of Jabez”, Dr. Bruce Wilkinson writes about a man who is only mentioned for two verses in the whole Bible. In 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, we meet Jabez, a man who was so named by his mother because his name sounds like the Hebrew word for “pain”. In a culture where a child’s name was believed to be prophetic, Jabez’s mother gave birth to him in pain and likely either didn’t want the child or believed his life would be marked by pain. Imagine growing up with that hanging over your head. Yet, Jabez’s response was not to try to take the reins of his own life. Instead, he cried out to God saying, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain” (v. 10). We then see that God granted his request, which means that God obviously did hear it.

You may ask why God would grant Jabez’s request when so many others pray for the same things and God does not grant them. After all, that is what causes us to question whether God is really hearing the prayers. The point once again is that God hears a lot more than just what we are saying. God knows the back story, every single time. He knew about Jabez’s unfair burden, and he knows about yours, too. Skeptics say that Jabez’s prayer teaches a “prosperity gospel”. Let me just tell you, those words personally annoy me like crazy. Is there anyone out there that God does not want to see prosper? He may not want everyone to prosper with worldly things, but he certainly wants us all to prosper in the abundant life he offers. He knew Jabez’s heart and that he was trusting God and inviting him to be a part of his life and every move. When we selfishly pray for prosperity with wrong motives, James 4:3 says we will not receive that for which we ask. Remember, God always knows the motives with which you pray. He hears everything you say, and everything you don’t. So next time you question him and what he is doing, I encourage you to question your own motives instead.

Why Worldview?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15a)

There are many people who struggle with the concept of a ministry that focuses on worldview. Certain well-meaning Christians might think such a ministry is redundant. They might ask why we preach worldview when we could just be evangelists. They might also wonder why we spend time trying to convince people of what the Bible says when we could just hold them up in prayer, that they would one day believe. I would answer that the teaching of worldview is evangelism, but even more than just evangelism. I would also agree that such a ministry should not be practiced without holding those up in prayer to whom we minister.

The teaching of worldview in a public forum is, indeed, a form of evangelism. I can’t help but to notice that throughout the New Testament there are many debates. You will notice such debates taking place on the Worldview Warriors webpage as well as on Facebook. I have also noticed that in the New Testament, the debates almost never, if ever, result in the conversion of one debater or the other. You might also conclude such from our debates. However, in both cases, those who listen in are the ones who are seeking the truth. It is they who measure the debate and determine who it is they find most convincing.

Worldview ministry is intended to open minds toward the possibility of the truth of the Gospel and the Scriptures. Another observation I have made is that nobody receives the Gospel unless he or she is open to the possibility that it is true. And why would you receive it if you did not believe it is true? Our country faces a predicament of extreme secularization that is about to leave us in shambles. Young people are taught from the earliest stages of their education to view the world as though there is no God. This has also been a problem within the Church.

Recently, I finished a book by Francis Chan titled Multiply. This book was in response to the growing need for making disciples inside the Church. I found it fascinating that the first few chapters were devoted to explaining why discipleship is necessary and the whole rest of the book is devoted to teaching the reader about Scripture as though it is the authoritative, inspired, and infallible Word of God. My friends, this is worldview ministry. And what I take from the layout of Chan’s book is that you cannot be a true disciple of Christ unless you are indoctrinated (yes, indoctrination is not always a bad word) into a Biblical worldview. So I have proposed that worldview can be used both with evangelistic and disciple-making intents. Is it any wonder that the ministry of Worldview Warriors is passionate about what it teaches? We seek to tear down strongholds, build up leaders, and equip everyone with knowledge that will aid you in godly living. Don’t let the nay-sayers discourage you. Instead, take off the veil of spiritual blindness and let your mind be transformed so that God’s work will transform you from the inside out.

Does God Really Hear My Prayers?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 25, 2014 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Last week I wrote about how to pray. But does God really hear us when we pray? Or is it all just a pointless exercise?

The question behind this question is that we first need to believe that God exists. If we don’t believe that God exists, then we wouldn’t pray in the first place, and we wouldn’t care whether God hears prayers. But, if God exists, and we do have a prayer conversation with Him, then how do we know that He hears us?

One way we can know this is if God answers us, as I wrote about last week. Prayer is not just us talking AT God, but it’s us talking WITH God. It is a two-way conversation between us and Him, so we need to listen for His answer as well as telling Him our requests. God may not answer our specific questions right away, but when we allow ourselves to hear Him, then we know He is listening.

We see in the Bible that God tells us He is listening. Psalm 34:15 says, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.” In 1 Chronicles 5:20, we’re told that God answered the people’s prayers because they trusted in Him. We too need to trust that God at least hears our prayers if we are expecting an answer from Him.

We also see evidence in the Bible of God listening to people. Look at the story of Jonah - go read the whole thing, it’s only 4 chapters. Toward the end of the story, Jonah has told the people of Nineveh about God’s impending judgment, and the king responded by telling the people, “Let everyone call urgently on God” (3:8). A couple verses later, it says, “When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened” (3:10). God heard the prayers of the people, even though they were not necessarily believers in Him before. They trusted that He must exist, because of Jonah’s proclamation, and therefore called out to God, and God heard them. Just after that, in chapter 4, Jonah and God have conversation about the outcome of that and Jonah’s feelings. While God may not have given Jonah the answer he was looking for, God did hear Jonah’s prayers.

But that story happened a long time ago. What about today? Does God really hear my prayers today? I fully believe that He does. There have been many times that I know God has heard and answered my prayers - sometimes in the way I would like, and other times in a way that isn’t what I want at first. If you believe that God exists, believe that He is the God who cares about us and wants to hear from us.

Next week we’ll look at how we know if our prayer was answered, so be sure to check back next week for that!


Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 22, 2014 2 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

The first two of the Ten Commandments are:
1) You shall have no other gods before me.
2) You shall not make yourself any idols.

Today, we don’t live in a world where a society will make an image of a deity and bow before it and worship it. Or do we?

We don’t have a daily ritual where we go to a temple and bow before an image that we can see and give it our praise and worship? Or do we?

We don’t give honor and praise to a person or object or idea that should only be given to God Almighty. Or do we? Idolatry was a major issue throughout the Old Testament history. An idol is any object, person, spirit, idea, or image that is placed in a higher level of honor than God. Some of the major idols mentions are a Golden Calf (Exodus 32), Baal (1 Kings 18), Asherah (Judges 6), and Molech (Leviticus 20). What did these idols mean or represent?

The Golden Calf was created in rebellion against Moses when he was on the mountain of God too long for the people’s patience. The people were displeased with Moses’ leadership and they crafted an idol in the image of what they had seen in Egypt. It was a longing for the imprisoned past they had where they had grown comfortable.

Baal was the god of the rain. Israel is a desert climate and was an agricultural culture. They depended upon the annual rain for their crops and their livelihood. Elijah directly challenged the authority of Baal by declaring that it would not rain until Elijah gave his word. He finally brought the prophets of Baal into a showdown at Mt. Carmel where they called upon their god for fire. Elijah prayed to the one true God and fire came down.

Asherah was a goddess of love and fertility. For women, barrenness was considered a curse, and as a result often an outcast from society. As a result, they would turn to whatever it took to support being able to have children. And usually that led to Asherah worship. Asherah worship led to a lot of immoral sexual debauchery.

Molech worship was particularly evil. In attempt to avoid curses and to be blessed, parents would do the unthinkable: sacrifice an infant child to Molech by placing the child on a metal plate and putting the plate with the child on it into a fire.

We see very similar behavior today. It takes a very different form, but it is the same mentality. We don’t worship statutes like Israel did but we do worship people. We do worship idols in a different form. American celebrities are certainly idols. When John Lennon of the Beatles was killed, all of America mourned like it was the end of the world. Just last week, Robin Williams committed suicide. How much media attention was he given? Miley Cyrus has been an idol for a long time, first as Hannah Montana and now she is synonymous with one word: twerking.

What about sports figures? How many of us search out every detail about our favorite sports players or teams? What about the big name preachers out there? Yes, there are the Benny Hinn’s, the Joel Osteens, etc. There are the Mark Driscoll’s, the Rick Warrens, etc. My favorite one is Eric Ludy. But I have to caution myself to not idolize him. Paul Washer has an awesome 15-minute interview addressing how we as Christians can idolize preachers, some of whom are very solid.

While we may respect and admire some of these people, we must be careful that they do not take the place of God. Each of these role models we look up to are fallible men and women and they all have a need for a Savior just like us. There is a place for these types of people, for the public role models, but they cannot fill the shoes that only God can fill.

Let us get a little deeper and personal. I often hear people say, “An idol is anything that takes the place of God.” There is a lot of truth in this. But we have to be careful. God desires a relationship with us, but he does not call us to neglect the duties we have committed to. At an Intervarsity Camp I went to a few years ago, the speaker talked about how he was on a mission trip and he was supposed to go out and play with the kids. He did not want to do that so he created an excuse: I’m going to have my quiet time. It sounded very solid and well-intentioned but he was clear that his motive was wrong. We learn in 1 Samuel 15 that to obey is better than sacrifice. Is it possible that we can make our “quiet time” an idol”? Yes, it is.

What else can be idols? Our jobs. Do we neglect our families, our home duties, for the sake of our job? What about relationships? Do we hold our significant other so high that we are willing to cut off relationships with family to hold onto it? What about parents or our children? Can we trust God to take care of them or do we have to control every aspect of their lives? Will you sin against another - a friend, a spouse, or even a stranger - for the sake of “family honor”? What about social media? A very big clue that our cell phones or our Facebook accounts are an addiction, an idol, is what happens when we are separated from them. Can you walk away from your cell phone and not think about it? Can you step away from Facebook or Instagram or Twitter? If you do, how long does it take for you to be dreaming or wondering what is going on there? And here is the kicker that a friend of mine told me about: Are you willing to sin, against God or against someone else, to maintain that job, relationship, object, etc? If so, then you have an idol.

Now, do not read what I am not saying. I am not telling you to abstain from all these things - from having a role model, from having a relationship with someone, from having a favorite sports team, from having social media, from listening to a popular pastor. I am not telling to stay away from these things. Many of them are good things in and of themselves. I am simply saying they need to be put in their proper place. We need to not look to them for the satisfaction, comfort, approval, and support that only God is able to provide. Remember, God is on the throne, not us, not the things we like. Keep him on the throne and he will let you know where to place all these other things in our lives.

Go read more from Worldview Warriors on idolatry in this post or this post.

How To Pray - It Requires a Humble Boldness

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, August 20, 2014 0 comments

by Logan Ames

Just a few weeks ago, we wrote blogs on the topic of humility and it made me think of a critical time in my life. I remember when I was going through some tough circumstances about 5 years ago that were partially due to my own mistakes and partially due to untrue things others were saying about me. This combination led to the end of a long-term relationship and the loss of my job and left me without an opportunity to defend myself. As I struggled through this time and recognized my own sin issues, my former pastor encouraged me with 1 Peter 5:6, which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time”. He then told me that, as I take time to allow God to change me and let go of what others think of me, God would give me a humble boldness to go forward serving him and leave the rest behind.

Thinking of that phrase that my pastor used made me think about how we are supposed to approach prayer. I used the phrase “supposed to” even with the disclaimer that I don’t believe there are “rules” surrounding prayer. It is conversation with the Creator of the universe and if you read Psalms and other places in the Bible you see that God allows us to be bold as long as we remain humble when addressing him, questioning him, or asking for help.

Look at Jesus’ teaching on prayer as part of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:5-15. First, he tells them to be different from the “hypocrites”, who love to pray openly in the synagogues and on street corners so they can show off for other human beings (v. 5). Who is he talking about there? I’d say he’s talking about the Pharisees and other Jews who claimed to be righteous but were more self-righteous and showy than anything else. They would have been the ones in the synagogues. Jesus teaches that any sincere follower must pray in a way that is not for show in front of men but humble before the Lord. After that, he tells those listening that they should also be different from the “pagans,” who babble and repeat themselves because they believe they are more likely to be heard (v. 7). Jesus tells them that God already knows what they need so there is no reason to keep telling him (v. 8). What follows is known as the Lord’s Prayer in verses 9-13. Unfortunately, the prayer has become something that churches and other organizations repeat as a sort of ritual. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing to pray it, but to believe those are the exact words Jesus wants us to say when we pray all the time would be incorrect. Verse 9 doesn’t begin with, “This, then, is what you should say”. It begins with, “This, then, is HOW you should pray” (caps mine).

I believe Jesus knew what he was teaching and was intentional about it. The words in the Lord’s Prayer are more of an attitude of our heart than anything else. They require neither the babbling of many words nor the listening ears of other mere humans. What they do include are both humility and boldness that should accompany every single time that we talk to God or hear from him. We must believe that God is OUR Father and not just MY Father. We must revere his very name and understand that he is in heaven while we are not. Humbly, we acknowledge that things are best when HIS will is done, not ours. Rather than asking for all the things we want, we simply ask for what we need for each day and trust that he is willing and able to provide it for us. Boldly, yet still humbly, we ask God to forgive us of our sins as we also forgive others and to keep us from being overcome by temptation and evil. Humbly, we always remember that the kingdom, power, and glory belong to God and God alone.

Jesus ends the teaching by telling those listening that their sins will only be forgiven if they forgive others (vv. 14-15). This also requires humility. While we may not want to forgive others for how they’ve harmed us, we humbly accept that God is the authority and that we don’t get to hold others to a standard that we don’t apply to ourselves.

Praying also requires us to believe that God will give us what we desperately need with absolutely no doubts. Read James 1:5-8 on your own. This requires both humility and boldness. If you have tried to get what you need on your own and failed, it’s time to humbly accept that only God can give it to you and boldly believe by faith that he will. If you doubt the very ability of God to meet your need or doubt your own prayer, Scripture is clear that you “should not think you will receive anything from the Lord” (v. 7).

Finally, boldness is expressed in the very ability and willingness to pray. Check out Hebrews 4:14-16. The writer is telling us that, because Christ was tempted in all the ways that we are and defeated them without sinning, and because we sinners are justified in the presence of God by the blood he shed for us as our high priest, we can “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (v. 16). According to the Old Testament laws, human beings could not directly approach God because he is holy and we are sinners. Any human who tried was sure to die. But the picture painted in Hebrews is that we can boldly approach the throne that used to cause us to fear because Christ is standing there on our behalf.

This means that we have no need for a priest, pastor, or “mature Christian” to pray for us as if God is more likely to listen to them. It also means we have no reason to think that our sins are too awful for God to forgive, for such an attitude says that Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough. If any of these thoughts have passed through your mind before or still do today, please understand that Christ is enough. If you sincerely believe in his sacrifice, you can approach God humbly and boldly, even when those traits seem to be opposites of each other. Allow this revelation that is proclaimed throughout the New Testament to remove all doubt and shame that has been weighing you down. God already knows what you’ve done, he knows what Jesus did for you, and he knows what you still need. So go to him, and let him mold you to his will, which is always best!

Global Warming: Who dun it?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, August 19, 2014 4 comments

by Bill Seng

Take offence if you will, when people claim that God is cruel for causing natural disasters to take place in certain areas of the world as a form of divine judgment. I remember when Hurricane Katrina took place in New Orleans. Many in the fundamentalist-evangelical community (I’m referring to folks like Pat Robertson) were likening New Orleans to Sodom and Gomorrah, pointing out its lavish Mardi Gras celebrations, gay pride, and acceptance of voodoo as a legitimate religion. The conclusion was that they deserved it and God used Katrina as a form of judgment.

Whether this was true or not, people were offended at the idea that God judged New Orleans with a hurricane. What I find ironic is that the humanistic environmental movement is trying to shift the blame and the guilt away from God and onto the shoulders of humankind.

It used to be widely accepted that God was responsible for the weather: rain, sunshine, catastrophes, and wonders. Now the “consensus” is that humans are responsible for tomorrow’s forecast. Yup, that’s right! No need to factor in the variables of natural cycles, geography, or cosmic factors. You can know and determine the forecast of tomorrow simply by being aware of what you do on a daily basis.

To be clear, I am referring to the idea of global warming, global climate change, global climate disruption, or whatever name must be given to it tomorrow because of its general failure as a viable scientific theory. Let me backtrack a little on what I have said. “Global warming” was occurring until approximately 15 or so years ago but has been absent ever since. The man-made aspect, as a theory, has fallen flat on its face as populations continue to increase, corporations continue drilling for oil, and carbon emissions continue to be released into the atmosphere.

If you are going to check out any additional links, check out this one!

Because of the lack of warming, the label has evolved into “change.” Because of the lack of change, it has evolved into “disruption.” What does disruption mean? Answer: Man-made natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc. It is impossible to deny that these disasters occur, but should we attribute their occurrences to the negligence of mankind toward nature? If so, can it truly be proven that mankind is responsible? So long as hurricanes and such continue to happen, I think that certain opportunists don’t care.

Why is it called “climate disruption?”:

Now I conceded that warming had occurred over a decade ago. Why then do I deny global warming as a reality? First, because global warming normally refers to man-made global warming. That is not to say that I believe that human activity does not affect climates at all, but that the effects of human activity are greatly exaggerated. Take, for instance, Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth. His predictions in 2006 don’t even come close to the reality in 2014. His estimates would have put entire coastal cities underwater at catastrophic depths.

The Final Countdown:

I don’t know all of the details, but have heard from several credible sources that are critical of global warming that concede carbon emissions play some sort of a role in warming, but it is so tiny that it is almost unnoticeable. There is significantly more information that proves man-made warming is not a threat, but let me use this to transition into my next point. Secondly, past warming trends correlated almost perfectly with increased solar activity. Once the solar activity returned to what we perceive as normal, warming stopped. Coincidence?

Michael Oard (2 parts of one of his lectures. He addresses the sun’s effect on climate in part 2):
Part 1:
Part 2:

Warning: THESE SCIENTISTS DO NOT EXIST (Actually they do, but you didn’t hear it from me):

I understand that supposedly (and I don’t use that word loosely) the majority of the scientific community believes in global warming. The reason I emphasize supposedly is because this word and the statistics behind the majority claim require a lot of unpacking. I’m not going to do that right now. Instead of doing so, I will give you my conclusion as a result of the proverbial unpacking. If you accept global warming/change/disruption at this stage in history, you are denying reality.

Frozen Great Lakes:
Ship searching for melting ice trapped in ice:

The perfect example regarding such denial is none other than the Reverend Al Sharpton. During his show on CNN, he mocked global warming skeptics as being right-wing looneys who deny global warming just because it is cold during the winter. Tell me, Mr. Sharpton, or anybody else who is critical of the so-called global warming deniers, if a cold winter is not evidence that global warming is not happening what is? I thought global warming meant warmer climates, and global climate change means that the trend of climate has totally shifted. A cold winter is normal… that is our point. So is a warm spring and summer. It is not difficult to figure out. To the global warming advocates, if it’s too hot, its global warming. If it’s too cold, its global climate change. Mind you, Sharpton mocks global warming deniers while playing footage of America being leveled by snow! How do you reason with such a mind?

Check out Sharpton’s rant:
An interesting article regarding this past winter:

The scientific community, to me, is like the Roman Catholic Church in the days of Martin Luther (no offence to my Catholic friends). For such and such a fee, we can absolve you of such and such a sin. Can anyone say “carbon tax”? Standing against such lies results in ridicule and in some cases punishment. Indoctrination is a dangerous, dangerous tool in the hands of the corrupt.

Humanism has adopted environmental causes to forward tis agenda and religion. But instead of blaming the world’s injustice on a God they don’t believe in, they blame you and me. And they will ridicule us until we finally conform to their will. So the question is no longer “How can a loving God be so cruel?” It has now become, “How can you be so thoughtless when you can clearly see that you are causing droughts, famines, hurricanes, and other natural disasters throughout the world? How dare you drive that SUV!” Of course, this question/accusation is not genuine. It is meant to manipulate the masses. That is why verifiable scientific data is never presented. The loyal global warming supporters always fall back on the fact that 95%+ of their faithful priests (that we call scientists) believe in global warming and that’s good enough for them.

In some form or another, God is in control of the weather and the climate. Does he use it for divine judgment? Sometimes “yes,” sometimes “no.” But I am to be the judge of neither circumstance. All I have to say is that next time you hear about a hurricane, tornado, or any other form of natural disaster, don’t look at me. I didn’t do it.

How Do You Pray?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 18, 2014 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

As followers of Jesus, we’re often told to pray, encouraged to pray more, or even told to pray about certain things. But what exactly does that mean? What exactly is prayer, and how do we do it?

At its most basic level, prayer is a conversation between you and God. It can be an individual prayer that only you and God knows, or it can be a corporate prayer where a group of people pray together. It can be spoken aloud, it can be whispered, or even just thought in your head - God hears them all.

Interestingly, a Google search defines prayer as “a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.” But I think that definition only covers half of it. Yes, prayer is us as humans talking to God. But, prayer is also God speaking to us! We don’t often think of prayer that way, and in corporate worship services we don’t often allow time for God to speak to us. We spend all of our time in prayer telling God things and asking God for things, and precious little time just listening for God to speak to us.

That brings me to the next answer, to the question of how we “do” prayer. We’ll start with the easier part - the part where we talk to God. Jesus Himself taught us to pray, as recorded both in Matthew 6:9-15 and Luke 11:1-4. This is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer, since Jesus spoke it to His disciples. Many people use this prayer as one they recite often.

There are also other models for prayer that give us a guideline if we don’t know what to say. One such model is known as ACTS - Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Adoration is praising God for who He is. Confession is telling God what we’ve done wrong in our lives. Thanksgiving is thanking God for the blessings He has given us. Finally, supplication is asking God for things we want Him to do. I appreciate the order of this model, because the focus is first on praising God, and you don’t get to asking God for your laundry list of requests until the very end.

But as I said before, us talking to God is just half of prayer - even though many people seem to think that’s the main (or sole) purpose of prayer. The other part is listening to what God has to say to us. Prayer is a 2-way street, not just 1-way of us to God. You wouldn’t have a conversation with a friend by you doing all the talking and never listening to what the other person has to say, would you? Since prayer is a conversation with God, we should treat it the same way, although with even more respect since we are conversing with the God of the entire universe!

God assures us that He will answer us when we pray to Him. Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Even though this verse was originally given to the prophet Jeremiah for the people of Israel, it still holds true for us today. Similarly, in Psalm 32:8, God says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” God will speak to us when we allow Him to.

But how do we listen to God? Well, how would you listen to a friend speaking to you? The most important thing is to be quiet. You can’t hear what someone else is telling you when you’re still talking or have a lot of noise in the background. We also need to get rid of other distractions. You can’t have a meaningful conversation with a friend if you are distracted by playing on your phone, while listening to music, and someone else interrupts you. To have a conversation with God, you must focus on Him and Him alone. Remove all distractions, sit quietly, and listen - if you are listening for God’s voice, He will speak to you.

So how do you pray? Have a conversation with God. Focus on Him and Him alone. Share your life with God, but also listen so He can share the plans He has for you and your life. If you’re not accustomed to listening to God in prayer, I encourage you to give it a try this week.

Gut Check of Faith

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, August 17, 2014 0 comments

by Michael Homula

I am going to deviate from sharing a specific story about Gettysburg today. Rather, I want to use a scenario that played out thousands of times at Gettysburg, and thousands more across the battlefields of the Civil War, to illustrate a point about faith.

I have been studying the Battle of Gettysburg since I was 15 years old, long before I came to saving faith in Jesus Christ in August of 2003. I recall walking the field when I was in college and wondering what would pass through the heart and mind of a man who, being mortally wounded, was facing certain death. While death came instantly for some, most would experience mind boggling pain and suffering from horrific wounds before succumbing to death. Certain types of wounds in the Civil War were almost always fatal and the men knew it. Surviving images of the dead on the battlefield at Gettysburg or any other Civil War battlefield reveals corpses whose jackets and shirts are ripped open at the chest or stomach. This was not the result of post death pillaging of the wounding but the work of the dying men themselves. They knew if they were gut shot they would die so, immediately after being wounded, they would tear open their jackets and shirts to see where they were hit. If it was in the abdomen or chest they knew they were most likely going to die and would prepare by writing last words in diaries, muttering final words for comrades in arms to share with their soon-to-be widows and families, and some would even finally come to faith in Jesus. A term that we now know as foxhole faith – though there were really no foxholes in the Civil War.

Confederate dead at the Rose Farm - Gettysburg, PA

Foxhole faith refers to someone whose life is ebbing away and in desperation they cry out to God to save them. In the face of battle and death, men who have had nothing to do with God suddenly find themselves facing bullets flying past their head or experiencing mortal wounds and they cry out to God to save them. “If you get me out of here alive, I’ll serve you, God,” might be something they’d pray in the face of death – if they are even given the time to cry out before dying.

If they survive, this type of commitment rarely ever lasts beyond the rescue. If the person is spared from death and returns to safety, the promises fade and life without God eventually returns. In Isaiah 17:7-8 we learn about another type of foxhole faith:

In that day people will look to their Maker and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel. They will not look to the altars, the work of their hands and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles and the incense altars their fingers have made.

Isaiah is bringing a message from God to the people of Damascas. After the ruin of that city, there will only be a few of them left, “like the stray olives left on the tree after harvest” (Isaiah 24:13). These few remaining will realize the vanity of idol worship they’ve been participating in, and they will suddenly turn to their Creator. They will suddenly have respect for God. This reminds me of that famous passage found in Philippians 2: “…and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Clearly this kind of faith is not focused on God. It is focused on self. This kind of foxhole faith is actually idolatry itself because it’s about putting God on a shelf until you need Him. True faith trusts God in the good times and the bad.

How’s your faith today? Are you able to honor God in the good times, or are you like these people from Damascas, or those facing death on the battlefield, who turn to their own pleasure and carnal pursuits until crisis hits? The problem with the latter of these two is that there is no guarantee of time to make one last confessions, one last moment of repentance or one last moment to finally trust Jesus alone for salvation. James writes, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14). If you do not have the eternal security found only in Jesus Christ, there should be a sense of urgency because this life can be over in the blink of an eye. You may not have time to pull open your jacket and shirt and do a gut check, finally confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior at the last possible moment.

The encouragement today is to trust Him. Have faith that God has and will rescue you now and forever from death if only you will trust in Jesus.

This Pen Is Like a Woman

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, August 16, 2014 4 comments

by Nathan Buck

When I was recruiting to help staff a telecom company, they would interview with an age-old sales question. They would put a pen on the table in front of a candidate and ask them to, “Sell me the pen.” The candidate would then struggle on the spot to come up with ideas of how to demonstrate their best sales skills, in relationship to making this hiring manager want to buy this pen.

I will never forget one candidate who picked up the pen, thought for a moment, and then proceeded to describe the pen to the managers as if it were a woman. He described its curves, it exterior features, and its ability to smoothly communicate whatever needed to be said. After completely exhausting the analogy and almost losing the Hiring Manager to hysterical laughter over a very straight and very simple Bic Stic type pen, the interview was over. The candidate did not get the job, but I certainly admire his creativity.

In our relationship with God, prayer is often overcomplicated (or oversimplified) depending on how you look at it – by having a similar “sales” like attitude. We start to think of prayer kind of like that interview, where we have to “sell” God on why our request is important and why He should respond. All the while, we miss the fact that we have painted ourselves into a corner. When prayer is just a transaction, then we expect to put in something and get something out. We put in creative words and petitions, or try really authentic begging and justifying, and expect that if we do that well enough, we will get what we want from God.

The next few weeks, some of the Worldview Warriors bloggers are going to be writing about prayer. I encourage you to read these posts and explore the topics from each writer’s perspective this month.

In the meantime, read Psalm 1 and ask yourself how the pictures in that Psalm change your thoughts about what prayer does.

And read Romans 12:1-2 – consider if prayer is an act of worship, and if it is, how do these two simple verses change your view of what prayer is?

Young Earth Creation: The Doctrines of Genesis

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, August 15, 2014 4 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?” (John 3:12)

This post will wrap up my series on why I believe in Young Earth Creation and why it is important for a Christian to hold this as their model of origins. I have covered the four major world-effecting events of Genesis: Creation, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, and the Origin of Sin. I have addressed these mostly from a doctrinal basis but also addressed some of the scientific backing for the claims. In this post I am going to summarize a key idea I have been laying out in the previous four, the fact that every doctrine of Christianity has some root, some foreshadow, some reason laid out in Genesis. Genesis is the foundation of world history. It provides the background of all the nations, their languages and cultures. It provides the reason why there is death and disease, and why we are longing for things to return to that utopian setting we had before sin. And ultimately, it provides the reason why Jesus Christ had to come to this earth to die for our sin.

A while back I went through some minor and major doctrines of Christianity that have a direct reference in Genesis. Here is a table of what I found.

7-day week - Genesis 1
Sabbath - Genesis 2:2-3
Man's Dominion over Creation - Genesis 1:28
Man Made in God's Image - Genesis 1:26-27
The Trinity - Genesis 1:26
A Perfect Creation - Genesis 1:31
Marriage - Genesis 1:26-27; 2:24
Work - Genesis 2:15
Choice to Worship God - Genesis 2:17
Sin - Genesis 3
Death - Genesis 2:17; 3:17; 3:22
Clothing - Genesis 3:7; 3:21
Blood as payment for Sin - Genesis 3:21
The Promise of a Savior - Genesis 3:15
Marriage Roles - Genesis 3:16
Toil, Thorns, Cursed Creation - Genesis 3:17-19
Animal Sacrifice - Genesis 3:21; 4:3-4
Worldwide Judgment of Sin - Genesis 6-8
Baptism - Genesis 6-8
Rainbow Promise - Genesis 9:13-15
One Human Race - Genesis 5,10,11
Call to the Promised Land - Genesis 12:1
Promise of Israel - Genesis 12:2
Blessing/Curses on Israel - Genesis 12:3
Jesus of the Order of Melchizedek - Genesis 14:18
Tithing - Genesis 14:20
Circumcision - Genesis 17:11
Intercession - Genesis 18:23-33
Jesus, the Willing/Final Sacrifice - Genesis 22
Firstborn/Birthright - Genesis 21; 25:31-34; 27
Dreams/Visions - Genesis 37; 40; 41
God works ALL things for the good of those who Love him, called to his purpose - Genesis 37;39; 41

This list is anything but comprehensive. This is just 32 doctrines and teachings that have a direct reference in Genesis. And notice that in this list, 2/3 of this list is found and rooted in Genesis 1-11, the chapters of debate on origins. Now I understand that if I had made a comprehensive list, this fraction could change. I’ve been writing about the Old Earth and Young Earth origin models and why this issue is important for Christians. I hear that many simply choose to avoid this discussion entirely as to not bring up the conflict. However, this list shows that the majority of Christian doctrine has its roots in the first 11 chapters of Genesis. If these chapters are to be ignored or gotten wrong, how much more does that affect our understanding of the “important” parts, like the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus?

I have heard many people, especially from the Old Earth camp, say that it is difficult to understand Genesis. They often reference the many different ways that “day” can be interpreted or how we cannot be so certain that Genesis is a historical account because it “could be” poetry or metaphorical. But I have this question for them. If they have such a hard time understanding the foundations, how could they understand the Gospel? Jesus said the same thing when speaking to Nicodemus. He asked “If I tell you of earthy things and you do not believe, how can you believe me if I tell you about heavenly things?” If we can’t grasp or if we can’t believe Genesis, how can we honestly say we understand the Gospel? If we don’t understand how sin and death entered the world, if we believe Christ, what are we being saved from? If Genesis is a myth, how real is our salvation? What is more, Revelation 21 and 22 are a mirror image of Genesis 1-2. It shows us that what we started with in Genesis is a shadow, a picture of what the New Earth will be like. If our origins model is filled with death and decay, how can we believe that the New Earth will be any different? I will say that one’s position on origins does not determine one’s salvation. That is dependent upon faith and dependence on Christ as LORD (not merely Savior, but Lord). But I find often that one’s position on origins tends to be a fruit of their actual position with Christ. And when I see pastors and preachers proclaim an Old Earth origins model, I am forced to question what else they get wrong.

I believe Young Earth Creation because it is the only origins position that gets all these doctrines’ foundations right. The Old Earth models only get it right starting with Genesis 12, but there is a logical break between their position on Genesis 1-11 and on Genesis 12-on. YEC is by far the most consistent origins model with Scripture. It is completely consistent with the historical records of all the other nations. All observational science is not in conflict with the YEC account.

Finally, before I ever heard about the sciences that back up Scripture, I believed what YEC has preached. Since I was a child and I read Genesis, I believed that God made the universe in six days and I believed that the creation account was very recent. I didn’t know it was 6000 years but I knew right away it wasn’t millions of years. I had heard of Evolution growing up but it never made any sense to me. And as I took my science classes in college it still never made any sense to me. I understood how it is supposed to work and the ideas behind it, but I have never been able to see how it works with the scientific principles it claims to be based on. I’ve had many people try to explain it but it was just a repeat of what the textbooks say. But when I heard about the science from the YEC groups, it made sense. Perfect? No. But it showed that what the Bible has claimed for thousands of years has been verified. And it has been time and time again. I do hope this series on origins has challenged you to think about where you come from and why you believe that. Whether you believe it or not, it affects how you live your life today, what decisions you make, and helps you focus on where you are going. And ultimately, talking about origins does not mean much if we do not intend to bring it to Christ. He is the center of it all. He is the Creator and he is the Savior. If you trust Christ with your life, you should also trust him in how he made you and this universe. If you trust him on how he made everything, you can trust him with your life.

Witnessing - Worth More Than The World

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, August 13, 2014 0 comments

by Logan Ames

This week we are answering the question of why it is so important to “witness” for Jesus Christ. Consider what the writer of Hebrews says about those whose witness ultimately led to them being martyred for the kingdom. “Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated - the world was not worthy of them” (Hebrews 11:36-38). These words were written about the many witnesses (aka “martyrs”) from the Old Testament who didn’t even get their names mentioned in the chapter. After the author writes about some of the specific stories of faith in Israel’s history that were to be examples of Christian witness to new believers, he explains that there were many others with less notoriety.

I believe that one of the reasons why the author chooses not to mention these individuals by name in this chapter is because fame is only worth something in this world. Think about it. That would flow right along with what he wrote in the verses I quoted above. Look at each trial they faced. Some of them were physically and emotionally abused, but one’s emotional and physical health are only important in this world. They were chained or put in prison, but those chains could only last as long as this temporary life would allow. They experienced unbearable physical pain and cruel deaths, but they were restored the moment they breathed their last earthly breath. They wore animal skins for clothes, but that’s okay because fashion is irrelevant in heaven where we all are clothed in white. They were poor, but wealth is only good in this world. So along with each of those things, us knowing their names is pointless because they are now in a place where worldly notoriety means nothing! Their willingness to live as true believers even when it cost them everything this world had to offer showed that their witness truly was worth MORE than the world.

What do people see when they look at your witness? Do they see you grasping for the things of this world and doing everything you can to make sure you don’t lose them? Or do they see that you are focused on something they might not be able to see, but that you know is absolutely priceless? Those who were martyred in the early Church likely desired the things of this world just as much as you and I. If you read some of their stories, you’ll see that they had struggles, temptations, and sins just like we do. So it’s not that they were immune from the desires of the flesh. Instead, they simply believed by faith that the reward they couldn’t see was greater than anything they could. To the world, giving up everything (as far as we can see) is crazy. But then again, that’s why the world was not worthy of them and is not worthy of you and I when we experience hardship either because of our faith or as a means to test and strengthen it.

To illustrate this point further, I’ll share two examples from the Old Testament that are not directly named in Hebrews 11. In Daniel 3, we see the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These were three of Daniel’s close friends who had been taken captive along with him during the Babylonian exile. When King Nebuchadnezzar builds a huge golden statue and orders by decree that everyone in the kingdom must bow down and worship it anytime they hear the musical instruments, the three boys (they were likely teenagers) refuse to do so because it would be against their faith in the one true God that is deserving of worship. They had most likely lost their families, their towns had been destroyed, they were probably castrated because that is what the Babylonians did to the young men that they wanted to keep for service after they destroyed everyone else, and they were exiled in a land far from everything they learned and practiced regarding the God of Israel. Add to that their daily exposure to the pagan customs and false religions of Babylon and the witness of these boys was even more courageous. Read the story for yourself and see how the boys stood strong in their faith even as they were led away to the fiery furnace where they were to be completely incinerated. How could they be so strong? I submit that they were convinced beyond all doubt of two things: that God could save them if he wanted and that their reward would be literally OUT OF THIS WORLD if he chose not to. And guess what? Their witness coupled with the move of God started the evil king himself on a path to acknowledging the true God and his power (Daniel 4:37).

The other example is a man who had just about everything you could want in this world. “He was the greatest man among all the people of the East” (Job 1:3b). While we usually think of witnessing as something done before other people, Job had the most difficult and resistant audience - SATAN! That was how it all started. We see in Job 1 and 2 that Satan comes before God and they have a conversation about Job. Satan claims that Job only follows God because he experiences no hardship, so God allows Satan to begin to take things away from Job little by little to test him. It starts with his property, his wealth, and his children (1:13-22). Then it moves on to his own flesh as he is afflicted with painful sores over his entire body (2:7). Enter Job’s wife, who can’t bear to see the suffering any longer so she urges him to “curse God and die” (2:9). Job’s witness is shown in that he immediately refers to her as an immoral woman and rhetorically asks her, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (2:10)

Like Daniel’s three friends, Job’s attitude and actions in the midst of his suffering were a witness to those who watched. They included his wife, several of his friends, and Satan. Unlike Daniel’s three friends, Job had tons of worldly wealth and every reason to cherish this life. But in the end, Job obviously rendered the value of those things as less than the value of following God wholeheartedly by faith. Job clearly believed that whatever God would have for him would be even better than what he could get in this world.

We live in a materialistic society, which is why witnessing to our faith in Christ and a greater reward that lasts for all of eternity rather than just this temporary life is so important. Remember that others are taking notice of how you live and conduct yourself when your faith is tested. Most of us can say we depend on our faith when intense suffering is distant, but when it comes near to us is really when we have a chance to show the world that what we value is worth way more than what they can see and experience here. As you persevere, remember that the world is not worthy of you!

Do We Live in an Age of Miracles?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, August 12, 2014 1 comments

by Daniel Fazzina

The Bible contains incredible stories of miracles and divine interventions. Moses parted the sea. Peter healed a man lame from his mother’s womb. Jesus walked on water, drove demons out of people and raised others from the dead. But are these types of events still happening today? Some people say the age of miracles has ended, but I beg to differ. Being a curious journalist, I frequently ask people I meet, “Have you ever witnessed or experienced a miracle or a divine intervention?”

Nearly everyone I ask has a story about something that happened to them that defied natural explanation, something they consider miraculous. It could be a near-death experience, a close call where should’ve been killed, a dramatic healing, or an answered prayer that gave them the help they needed at just the right time. Some people’s entire lives seem to be one long sequence of divine interventions and miracles.

Yet for others, these types of occurrences seem to be totally outside their experience. I wonder why that is. Maybe they don’t recognize a miracle when they see one? Maybe they just haven’t experienced one yet, but their time will come? Whatever the reason, for some people divine interventions are outside their world altogether. When I asked one friend if he’d ever experienced a miracle, he responded that he never had—and even questioned the very existence of miracles. “After all,” he reasoned, “if the miracles like the ones in the Bible are true, they’d still be happening today. How come I’ve never seen one?”

A fair question, undoubtedly. It was this line of reasoning that became the very purpose that I started my radio program, Divine Intervention, on which I interview intriguing people who’ve experienced God’s hand in amazing ways. You see, in my experience, miracles and divine interventions like those recorded in the Bible are still happening—today! People just need to know about them.

During the short time I’ve walked this planet, I’ve been blessed to meet some very interesting people who have powerful miracle testimonies. I don’t believe these meetings were coincidences or chance encounters, but rather divine appointments.

I don’t think it a coincidence, for example, that I’ve met three people who’ve been shot in the head and lived to tell about it. Nor do I think it accidental that I know three people who miraculously recovered from a coma and paralysis after doctors said they should be dead or, at best, vegetables. I don’t chalk up to serendipity the fact that a good friend and college classmate, who was born a paraplegic, miraculously got up out of his wheelchair and walked for the first time at age seven after having been prayed for in the name of Jesus.

I’ve experienced God’s intervention in my own life many times, including two dramatic healings—one from a painful, chronic back condition and one from a grapefruit-sized cancerous tumor that threatened my life. I’ve met people who’ve experienced God’s intervention in all types of ways—not just through healings.

In fact, these experiences seem to be common in the lives of many who are sincere followers of Christ, no matter what denomination they are affiliated with. Their stories inspire hope and faith and need to be told. They are a testament to the fact that Jesus is alive and still working among us every day – and sometimes using miracles.

I’m continually awed by the incredibly passionate, and generous people God has sent my way. They’ve been selfless, transparent, and vulnerable, and in many cases have bared their souls with the single goal of encouraging a broken, hurting world in need of hope to have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—Immanuel, “God with us.”

If you don’t believe in God or have never experienced a miracle or a divine intervention, it’s my prayer that you will call on the name of Jesus, the miracle maker, and that He will begin to show you some of the many ways that God does intervene in people’s lives daily. The age of miracles is not over, my friend. Open wide your eyes, heart, and mind, and prepare to experience the miraculous!

About Daniel Fazzina:

Mr. Fazzina’s professional background is in media production. His experience includes hosting radio shows, editing music videos, directing a short film, and award-winning commercials. He also served as a board member of St. John’s University’s chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where he earned his B.S. in Communication Arts in 1998. After studying in Spain, Italy, and France, and doing missionary work in the Dominican Republic, he has gained a broadened appreciation for different peoples, languages, and cultures. His radio program, “The Divine Intervention Show,” can be heard on Sundays at 10 p.m. on its flagship station, Hope Radio in New York, on various other radio stations across America, and on the Internet at Daniel's own personal testimony of miraculous healings - one from a painful chronic back condition in 2001, and one from a massive, cancerous tumor in 2002, led him to start the Divine Intervention Radio show and book series, in which he interviews intriguing people who have experienced the hand of God in Amazing ways. His additional interests include Biblical apologetics, alternative fuel technologies, networking, reading, writing, economics, cryptozoology, and creation science.

Everyday Miracles Pay Homage to Divine Intervention
God’s hand at work in the world, evidenced by powerful personal testimonies

Moses parted the Red Sea. Peter healed a man born lame. Jesus calmed a raging storm, healed paralytics, and raised the dead. The Bible contains some incredible stories of miracles and divine interventions, but are these types of events still happening today? The answer to this question, detailed in Daniel Fazzina’s Divine Intervention: 50 True Stories of God’s Miracles Today (Charisma House, August 2014), is an emphatic yes! Contained within the book is a collection of amazing true stories that attest to this fact. You will read astonishing firsthand accounts of people who have been healed of paralysis, "terminal" cancer, and tumors through prayer. You will see the love of God powerfully transform the life of an Islamic terrorist. You will witness the liberation of the demon-possessed, the resurrection of the dead and much more.

“The testimonies are true, amazing, and provide unmistakable evidence that God is still intervening in people’s lives today, just as He did during the time the Bible was written,” says Fazzina. “They are from people with diverse cultural and denominational backgrounds from all over the world who give glory to Jesus for their experiences.”

The topic resonates with Fazzina on a personal level too. More than ten years ago, he was healed of a painful chronic back condition and a large cancerous tumor in his chest. The doctors said he could be dead within a matter of weeks, but God had other plans for him, and now he is “an ordinary man [who] can not deny there are miracles happening every day.”

Daniel Fazzina’s radio program, “The Divine Intervention Show,” can be heard on radio stations across America and on the Internet on A native New Yorker, Daniel currently resides in Virginia with his wife.

Why Do I Believe the Bible Over Other Religious Texts? Reason 10

Posted by Worldview Warriors On 0 comments

by Bill Seng

Reason 10) Truth

The Bible tells me the truth about what happened in the past, no matter how ugly it might have been.

Atheist, magician, and comedian Penn Jillette has made some outrageous claims against the Bible regarding the types of things that the God of the Old Testament was okay with. One noteworthy concern of his was that in one story it is noted that a woman was “gang-raped and beaten and God being ‘cool’ with it” (Mr. Jillette said this during a Big Think recording, First off, God was not “cool with it.” Second, the point of the story was not to describe the activity of righteous people living in obedience to God, but wicked people living in rebellion against God. The story he paraphrases is found in Judges 19 and is actually more gruesome than he paraphrases. The book concludes with the words “everyone did as they saw fit,” meaning that there was no moral authority in the land.

The Bible does not sugar-coat its history to make it seem as though any person or group of people were perfect. In Genesis, we see Noah get drunk after the flood and Abraham’s nephew, Lot, commit the sin of incest with his own daughters. In Judges, Samson is overcome by lust and marries a woman, Delilah, who conspires to have him arrested. In 2 Samuel, King David, a man described as one after God’s own heart, committed adultery with another man’s wife and then sent the husband off to the front lines of war to be killed. The Bible does not hide the faults of its heroes. One ought to take note of its honesty. Psalm 51 is even entitled, “For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.”

With such brutal honesty about its fallen heroes, how much more ought we to take note of the good things it says about its triumphant heroes? The sins of those who were models of the faith were so horrible that the story of Jesus is refreshing. Many people fell to Satan’s woos while trying to accomplish God’s will for their lives, but Jesus crushed the head of the serpent under his feet.

I believe what the Bible says because the people it describes are just as susceptible to evil as you or me. Even Jesus was tempted with all of the same evils that we have been tempted with. I would encourage everyone to use the truth filter when testing the validity of any message. The Bible passes the test.

Is Witnessing Really That Important?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, August 11, 2014 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

What do you think of when you hear the word “witnessing” in a Christian context? Do you think of the guy on a street corner yelling about how we’re all going to hell unless we turn to Jesus? Or do you think of Jehovah’s Witnesses knocking on your door, asking if you know Jesus?

Many people think of these examples as witnessing, but I would contend that they are really examples of evangelism. These two words, witnessing and evangelism, are often used interchangeably, but I believe there is a difference between the two. Evangelism is from the Greek word “euangelion,” which literally means “good message” or “good news.” Evangelism is the sharing of the good news, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ - that He came to earth as a human to die for us and rise again for our salvation. That’s why the examples I gave above - of a street corner preacher and Jehovah’s Witnesses - are considered evangelism.

So if that’s evangelism, then what is witnessing? Witnessing is living your life. Whether you realize it or not, your life is a witness to something. When people see the way you live, they recognize your witness. What is your witness - if someone looks at your life, what do they see? Do they see a representation of this world and its desires, or a representation of Jesus?

The Greek word for witness is “martur,” which is where we get our word martyr from, often meaning one who died for their faith. The verb form of this word also means to give witness or testimony of one’s faith. While that does sound a lot like evangelism I discussed above, witnessing is more specifically about living your life in such a way that people see Jesus and your faith through it.

Evangelism can happen between any people; they don’t have to know each other for one person to tell another that Jesus died for them. Witnessing, however, takes relationship. You have to get to know a person to be able to see their witness well. You may see a person you don’t know doing something that makes them seem like a Christ follower but when you really get to know them you find out they aren’t, or vice versa. You have to be in a relationship with someone in order to truly share your witness with them.

So now that we’ve defined what witnessing is, is it really that important? A couple weeks ago I wrote about the importance of good character and integrity. In that case, their importance, and your motivation for them, are dependent on what your authority is. Witnessing is the same way - it depends on your authority. If your authority is the world and the things of this world, then witnessing probably isn’t that important. After all, if you’re not following Jesus, what would you be a witness of? On the other hand, if your authority is Jesus Christ and His teachings, then witnessing is incredibly important - your life and your relationships with others will share the love of God and the opportunity for salvation with others!

In fact, we are commanded multiple times by Jesus to be His witnesses on this earth. For example, in Mark 16:15 Jesus simply tells His disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Jesus refers to being a witness to others in Matthew 5:16 when He tells His disciples, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” In Acts 1:8, just before Jesus goes back into heaven, He leaves the disciples with this final command: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

There are also other times in Scripture that Jesus commands His disciples and us to be witnesses. If Jesus commands this so many times, it is especially important! Evangelism is important, but it must be accompanied by witnessing as well. We need to be walking the walk of witnessing with those in our lives, as much as we’re talking the talk of evangelism. How are you doing at this in your own life?