They'll Sidestep Any Reasonable Discussion of the Issue at Hand

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 31, 2015 21 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

Last week we began to talk about how some who do not hold the Biblical position will try to say that we are making this a salvation issue. They say this although it is clearly stated by many Biblical creationists that this is not the case at all and is even explained in detail quite often. In his blog post called “Is evolution a ‘salvation issue’? The Bible is clear, despite YECs’ attempts to muddy its message,” Tyler Francke quotes 2 prominent Biblical creationists stating quite clearly that we don’t believe that holding to a belief in evolution or billions of years will result in the loss of your salvation. He then goes on for some time about how they claim it is an issue of salvation. It’s really quite strange, actually. Today we’re going to analyze some of the claims he makes in this blog post and how they are connected to the exodus of our youth from the church.

I would like to first just stress again that Tyler has developed a strawman argument here. He has done this so he can easily knock it down. The strawman in this blog post (his posts are littered with them) is that Biblical creationists say belief in evolution excludes you from heaven. This is completely false and, as I’ve indicated, he knows this is false. So he writes this long blog post explaining why something no one believes should not be believed.

Let’s start by quoting Tyler saying the only trustworthy thing I think I’ve read from him recently: “…the core message of Christianity is this: Jesus, the Lord of all, died for your sins and rose again. Through believing in him — placing your faith and trust in his sacrifice — your salvation is assured. A powerful message, yet also a gloriously simple one — which is in no way dependent on or otherwise affected by your particular take on the biological origins of the human race.” We agree. I just wanted to point that out. Why there is an issue, I cannot say. He just seems to want to make up something to complain about.

Tyler does something here that tells me he’s not thought things through before publishing them. He quotes Jesus in the “only time He quotes Genesis” and says that in this passage of Scripture Jesus doesn’t say anything about the origins of human beings. But let’s look at the verse (which he states is only about divorce). We’re looking at Matthew 19:4, which reads, “He answered, ‘Have you not read that He Who created them from the beginning made them male and female…’” Jesus is here referring to Genesis 1:26-28. If you read that, you’ll notice something interesting that stands fairly firmly against what Tyler is saying. “He Who created them from the beginning…” seems to make a direct reference to the origins of the human race, does it not? In fact, the passage of Scripture he mentions is the passage that talks about the origin of the human race—that’s what it’s about!

He further uses the Bible to support his nonsense all the while making himself look a little foolish. He claims that the Biblical position collapses under the tiniest bit of scrutiny. This is actually ironic seeing that he rarely 1) gets the Biblical position correct, and 2) rarely follows any lines of logic in his own arguments. There are fundamental problems with theistic evolution’s understanding of the Bible and its message. He lists several scientific things he feels you can’t believe are true if you are “consistent” in your Biblical worldview. Notice the tactic is not to defend Darwinism, but it is to attack the Bible and its supporters. This is repeatedly the case. Frequently we see this person who claims to love and respect the Bible demean it and mock it, making fun of those who believe what it states.

Tyler thinks you can't believe the Bible and believe in science. This, of course, is hilariously inaccurate, since most of modern science was built by creationists who believed in Genesis as its written rather than how the secularist has attempted to rewrite it. He lists a few things you can't believe if you believe the Bible. The first, the water cycle, was described by the Bible in what is traditionally the oldest book we have in the Bible—Job. Look at Job 36:27-29! That's over 1500 years before a non-biblical source for such things can be accounted for! Tyler wants us to think that the Bible says God specifically calls on the rain each and every time it happens. And who knows? Perhaps this is the case. Perhaps God is intricately involved in such things, although I feel He set processes in motion that would cause this thing to happen. I also believe, just like He did many times in the Bible, God can obstruct these processes from happening and do something we simply call a miracle. He can stop or start rain at will. He can open blind eyes and raise the dead. He can make animals speak. He can set a bush on fire but allow it to not be consumed by the flames. He can send large amounts of frogs, flies, and locusts. You name it: God can do it. If Tyler is consistent, he cannot believe any of these things happened including the resurrection. If you are able to believe in a single incident where God did something supernatural, why not believe in His creation of the universe by a supernatural process? He said it. I believe it.

Tyler mentions other things and uses Scripture verses either out of context or simply seems to fail to grasp its meaning. You can investigate those things for yourself. Again, to make sure it's clear, Tyler tries to expose the Bible as full of erroneous information. From a skewed point of view, it's easy to make anything look incorrect. He attempts to make the Bible look foolish. I'll leave it at that.

In reference to the water cycle, Tyler says, “What is so wrong with thinking that the same God who uses a natural process to send the rain upon the earth, would also use a natural process when he filled this planet with life?” Let us just make a note here; there is no natural process that can account for: the origin of the universe, the origin of matter, the origin of energy, the origin of natural laws, the origin of our sun and stars, the origin of our solar system, the origin of our planet, or the origin of life just to name a few. So what “natural process” did God use to create all of these things? It's outrageous that he writes things like this. He must assume no one actually investigates his statements or thinks about them. If he had people reading who thought critically, he may try to write with more scrutiny. To be honest, it's possible he has comments on these blog posts that indicate some people do think for themselves rather than just reading his stuff and nodding their heads. I've actually not read a single comment. Getting through the blog posts and exposing his questionable “theology” and lack of reason takes enough of my time. Perhaps others have pointed out how hollow these writings of his are. I'll say it again to reemphasize it: there are no natural processes that account for the origins of nearly anything that this discussion is about. None.

Tyler goes on to quote something that Ken Ham says that is apparently crazy. He says, “When we deny the existence of Adam and Eve, then how do we explain the origin of sin and death in the world? And if we cannot explain how sin and death came into the world, or if we believe that it was always here, then what was the purpose of Christ’s death and resurrection? Why was the atonement even necessary?” Does anyone see why these are bad questions? I guess if you can't answer them, then you have to just say, “Pfft. How can he be so dumb?” Tyler claims you have no need to know why sin exists or why the sin nature is part of who we are as a race. It's funny, then, that the apostle Paul wrote so much on that very subject. And the point of the statement by Ken Ham is apparently missed by Tyler here. If a thinking person or some sort of skeptic is seeking for truth, does it not seem logical that if you inform them of their need for salvation, that the question of “why?” would come to them? And in the “why?” perhaps a “how did this happen?” Rather than actually provide some sort of deeper, intellectual, thought provoking rationale for his theology, he decides to “sidestep any reasonable discussion of the issue at hand.”

He finally decides to throw one more assault on the motives of the men he's constantly attacking—they just want your money. Odd, really, since they're preaching a message consistent with the message of God's Word that's been taught for 2000 years (and for some time prior to that when the Jews were under the Old Covenant). And the final mistake he makes in this particular blog post is his accusation that belief in the Bible is the reason that our young people are leaving the Church as they enter into college. I've spoken on this topic in the church. It's his inability to think for himself, I think, that gets him to say things like this. He's probably heard it from someone else who disagrees with the Bible and hates Christians. This is the way I see it (and it's likely pretty close): our young people know when they read the Bible what it clearly states on origins. My 12-year-old (and probably my 10-year-old and 7-year-old) can tell you the account of creation as recorded in the Bible as well as the Flood. They read it and know what the message is. They have no doubt. They trust God and trust His Word and me, for that matter. If young people read these accounts and don't have a good education concerning what God- haters, atheists, secularists, and the like will say about these matters, they can fall prey to a lie. Their parents, the Church, youth pastors, and they themselves haven't worked it over and over so they understand not only the Biblical position but the criticisms of that position. I suspect Tyler was likely in that group as well. So another philosophy and origins story (or several others) begin to bombard them in college by secular professors and students who've decided to deny the God that loves them. And because their footing wasn't solid, they fell. It wasn't because they believed what the Bible told them and that was it. It was that they were unprepared to think through the attack on the Bible and Christianity in general that is so heavily saturating our educational system—including many “Christian” colleges. You can get a glimpse at what I've said on this topic in the past here.

I'll take this moment now to encourage you, student, to study this stuff and honestly and openly look at all sides of the argument. If you do that, there is no way I would fear you would make the wrong decision. Parents: please talk with your children about these matters. Read Dawkins and other God-haters and know their arguments so you can go over them with your children and show them how hollow and foolish they are. Don't throw your kids to the wolves or believe the job of preparing them to enter a world that hates Jesus is the youth pastor's job. It's yours.

Time dictates we run here. Be blessed. Celebrate 2015 and all the good things God has done for you this year! It's easy to focus on the negative. Take a minute and recall all the ways you were blessed.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Mind the Mystery

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, December 30, 2015 0 comments

by Logan Ames

As we bring 2015 to a close, we find ourselves in basically the same unique place that we do every year at this time. Christmas has come and gone, and all mysteries related to what you or your children were going to receive as gifts have been revealed. Whether you eagerly awaited or fearfully dreaded spending time with your family members over the holidays, it has happened and there is no more wondering how your time with them is going to go. This particular year, another “great mystery” has been revealed during this season. I’m talking about “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Personally, I couldn’t possibly care less about it, but my Facebook newsfeed has certainly showed that people are serious about it, with many putting the threat of “unfriending” in place for anyone who spoils it for prospective watchers. Now that it’s been out for a while, any mysteries have been revealed.

I say that this time of year puts us in a unique place because, despite these mysteries being revealed, we have one big new one right in front of us. You’re wondering what 2016 will bring for you, your loved ones, and even this nation. Some of you can’t wait for the adventure, others get anxious just thinking about it. You worry about your job, your health, your loved ones’ health, your finances, your children, your marriage, and a host of other uncertainties. At the same time, you know that Jesus says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). No matter how much you worry about 2016, things will happen for which you were not prepared. Your only choice is whether or not you accept this now and choose to depend on the One who is never surprised. Are you willing to mind the mystery?

The Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the Roman believers - and we wrap up our year-long series on this letter - with encouragement in looking toward the unknown future. In Romans 16:25-27, Paul shares that God is able to continue to establish his people through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This belief is not based on faith alone, but also the evidence. Paul knows that the church in Rome is being threatened. He is aware of their persecution, as well as the false teachers and dividers within their midst. Through it all, he has seen God continue to sustain them and establish new believers despite those threats. He also encourages them to see that God’s plan will not be thwarted. The mystery of God’s plan of redemption for the whole world through Jesus Christ was “hidden for long ages past” (verse 25), but is “now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith” (verse 26). In other words, Jesus is the connection between those prophetic writings and salvation coming to all peoples of the earth. He is the answer to the mystery, the now-opened Christmas gift, and the hope for the future.

One of the most fascinating men of the Bible is Simeon. We know very little about him, but his part in the story of Jesus can be read in Luke 2:25-35. Take a moment to read those verses. Simeon had been waiting most of his life for the mystery of the promised Messiah to be revealed. His faith was strong, as he believed the Holy Spirit who revealed to him that he would not die before seeing the Messiah (verse 26). You can imagine that day after day he wondered if he would finally get to see the Messiah, but the answer was “no” for potentially many years, though we don’t know exactly how long he was waiting. On the day Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple to consecrate him by offering a sacrifice in keeping with the law, Simeon was finally told by the Holy Spirit that this child was in fact the long-awaited Messiah. Look at what happens after he holds Jesus. He asks God to go ahead and let him die in peace! In knowing that Jesus was real and the promise had come true, Simeon didn’t need anything else! He understood that Jesus meant salvation for all peoples (verses 30-32), but also that his presence would divide people in the sense that no one could remain neutral regarding Jesus (verse 33-35). Because of Jesus, people would either rise or fall depending on how they responded. What more do we need to know?

I want to share with you some personal mystery coming up in my life. If you are one who specifically follows my writings, it’s important that you know that this will be my last one for a while. If you haven’t been reading the blog posts of others on this site every day of the week, I recommend doing so. They are gifted, passionate, and most importantly, they love God and his Word. I do not intend to completely abandon the ministry of Worldview Warriors, as I believe in what the Lord is doing through it. However, I am planning not to return to weekly writing until at least August of next year. I praise God for the people of this ministry and for the break he is giving me, but there is uncertainty for me regarding what that will look like. I have been writing every week for this ministry for over 4 years! Like many of you, I presume, staying busy gives me an excuse (a poor one, by the way) for neglecting my own walk with the Lord. Thus, not being as busy and focusing on personal growth will be challenging at times. I’m also getting married in July, and I recognize the need to prepare physically, spiritually, and logistically for the blessings and changes God is bringing. All of those things being said, they are all according to the Lord’s will and as he permits. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, so obedience to him today must remain our focus.

You don’t know what the future holds and neither do I, but I know that Jesus is real and how I respond to his work in my life is what will determine whether I fold under the pressures of life or patiently endure whatever he brings me. God is good and there will be blessings, but it’s a guarantee that we will have troubles as long as we are in this world (John 16:33). Jesus has overcome the world, and celebrating his birth as we have just done should be our reminder going forward that his presence is all we really need to face the future. God keeps some mysteries hidden from us so that we can trust him by faith and depend on his presence. He’s never failed before, and he won’t start now. So go ahead and mind the mystery. God remains in control and he is ENOUGH for you!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


The Gospel of John: The Christian Gospel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 29, 2015 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16

As the age of the first apostles was drawing to a close, a body of believers was left with only the youngest of the original apostles left in their midst. The body of work that the others had left behind was certainly sufficient for helping the church to grow in faith, but something seemed to be missing. As more and more challenges arose inside of the church, one question needed more clarity than any other commandment or issue of obedience: the true identity of Jesus. The last of Jesus’ 12 apostles just happened to be the best man to take on the task of writing an account of who Jesus is on a personal level. It was up to the Apostle John to write a gospel account that would instruct, encourage, and empower Christians by learning how to have a deeper personal relationship with Jesus.

The Apostle John is one of the most incredible of Jesus’ disciples. It is well documented within the Gospels that Jesus had three disciples that walked within his nearest circle: Peter, James, and John. Of the three it appeared that John was the closest to Jesus, which is particularly interesting because he was also thought to be the youngest of the 12 apostles. He was present during every major event of Jesus’ earthly ministry: The Transfiguration, the various miracles and teachings, the Last Supper, and even the crucifixion. Whenever the others wanted to ask Jesus something that they were afraid to ask themselves, they went through John. At the Last Supper, the other apostles told John to ask Jesus who his betrayer would be. Although the other three Gospels contain similar information, John’s gospel is completely unique.

The Gospel of John includes several unique components. The first and most noticeable is that it does not include an account of Jesus’ birth. This will be discussed later. It includes themes of water, bread, and Spirit throughout its narrative. John clearly sought to emphasize Jesus’ ability to satisfy a person’s eternal needs by connecting these three elements. John’s Gospel also puts a stronger emphasis on Jesus personal relationships than the other Gospels. For instance, the other Gospels do not say much concerning what Jesus talked about with his disciples the night he was betrayed. John devotes what we have categorized as chapters 13-17 to the dialogue Jesus has with his disciples in the upper room. On that note, the only other account that really gives any details about the resurrection is Luke. Luke, however, only mentions one and a half appearances to his disciples before he ascended to heaven. John details three as well as a detailed account of Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the resurrected Jesus. In relation to the resurrection, Matthew’s gospel emphasizes its mystery, Mark focuses on its awesomeness, Luke focuses on its beauty, and John focuses on its reality. In just about every appearance of Jesus after his resurrection in John includes an initial sense of joy, a moment of hard truth, and then assurance according to whatever need the disciple had.

Ultimately this reassurance stems from the confirmation that Jesus Christ is God incarnate. John’s Gospel is not written in a way in which you are supposed to study and think about what Jesus is trying to get across. Certainly there are portions like that, but John’s message is very clear from the beginning of his Gospel. Jesus can bring us peace because he is God and he has forgiven us of our sins. John has to contain more direct references to Jesus’ divinity than any other Gospel. The opening verses state, “The Word [Jesus] was with God and the Word [Jesus] was God” (John 1:1).

Now, I am going to take a moment to clarify something. Jesus never says the words, “I am God.” Very true. But did you know that the word “God” actually never appears once in the Bible? I did a little bit of research on this word to find out where it came from and it is actually derived from the Norse god, Odin, who in another dialect was referred to as Godin, which is suspected to have been shortened to God. The word was probably invented strictly for translating the Bible into their language so that they would get an idea of who this Yahweh character was. And that’s just it, the God of the Bible is the only God, but even in the Hebrew it is hard to communicate that until he reveals that he has a personal name (YHWH, which people pronounce as Jehovah or Yahweh despite the fact that the Hebrew word is unpronounceable) and that he is the only heavenly being of his sort (noting that even the word Elohim, which is translated as God, can also be translated as heavenly beings or angels). But one name of God that is definitely pronounceable that God tells to Moses is I AM.

Although Jesus never says I am Elohim (remember YHWH is not pronounceable), even if he did it would still be vague concerning who he was. All that would announce is that he is a heavenly being. At a climactic moment in John chapter 8, in which Jesus is arguing with the religious teachers about his identity, he knocks the air right out of their lungs by informing them, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). To the Jews, this was considered blasphemy because they did not believe that Jesus truly was God and they immediately sought to execute him. There are many clear references to Jesus’ divinity throughout John, and I believe this is all for the sake of making clear to the believer who it is they worship and what their message to non-believers is.

John was a much needed gospel in its day. This is not just because they needed to define and identify their faith, but also so a believer could build a strong and meaningful relationship with their Savior. It is written by the apostle to whom Jesus was the closest, with stories that show how Jesus is in a personal setting, and statements that declare Jesus’ full divinity. It’s no wonder this is many Christian’s favorite gospel. For those who are seeking after Christ and have not yet found him, I would honestly recommend the other three. But for the one who confesses Jesus as Lord and Savior, John’s gospel will refresh your spirit with living water.

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Romans 16:25-27

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 28, 2015 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith — to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”

Well readers, we’ve made it - the end of the book of Romans! I hope you’ve enjoyed this year-long journey with us. I know I personally have learned a lot more about Romans through writing these blog posts, so I hope reading them has helped you grow in your faith as well.

Paul ends this lengthy letter in a very fitting way - with a doxology. A doxology is simply praise for God, coming from the Greek word “doxa,” meaning glory. Paul wouldn’t have written this letter if not for the life and work of Jesus Christ, so praising God is a fitting way to end it.

This doxology contains many elements that Paul has written previously in his letter to the Romans, especially early on. In this blog post, I’d like to walk through these and make some of those connections.

“To him who is able...”
Romans 1:4, “and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.”

“ establish you…”
Romans 1:11, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong.”

“ gospel…”
Romans 1:1, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.”
Romans 1:9, “God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you.”
Romans 2:16, “This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

“...with the revelation… but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings…”
Romans 1:2, “The gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures”
Romans 1:17, “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
Romans 3:21, “But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.”

“...all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith…”
Romans 1:5, “Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.”

“...only wise God…”
Romans 3:29-30, “Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, 30 since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.”
Romans 11:33-36, “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.”

Do you see how this doxology connects with a lot of what Paul has previously written in Romans? The gospel had been a mystery, but now it has been revealed. Paul has used many quotations from the Old Testament to link the Scriptures that they had at the time with Jesus and God’s plan for the salvation of His people. The purpose of all this is so that all people “might come to the obedience that comes from faith” (Romans 16:26).

This whole letter, and thus our year of blog posts about it, has been about giving God glory by helping people understand what God has done and is doing here on this earth. For that, God deserves all the glory! Amen.!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Holly Jolly Christmas

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, December 27, 2015 0 comments

by Ami Samuels

This is the time of the year when we enjoy bright lights, children’s laughter, and the scents of the season. Do sweets tempt your tongue? Are you surrounded with family and friends?

Why of course - it IS the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it?

You know what? My heart is heavy for the people who aren’t having a holly, jolly Christmas season. My thoughts are with those people who are hurting, lonely, or who are ill. It can be difficult getting into the Christmas spirit if you are mourning the loss of a loved one, a marriage, or a job. Maybe the house is decorated and the tree is up and you gaze at a seat where your loved one once sat and your heart is filled with sadness.

We find encouragement in Deuteronomy 31:6: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.” Even when our lives change and we feel all alone we can rest assured that God is with us and He will never leave us.

Maybe right now as you’re reading this, you are blessed and life is going well. Spend some time in prayer thanking God and recognizing your blessings. Look around you and reach out to those people who are all alone, hurting, and struggling. The holidays can be very hard when you don’t have family close. Including others who are far away from loved ones can be a blessing to them.

We can also send cards of encouragement, take them Christmas shopping, check in on them, give them a call, or take them out for coffee. It is important to let people know that we love them, care about them, and support them.

In either case, we can start a gratitude journal listing 5 things that we are grateful for each day. This helps us remember how fortunate we are and it can take our focus off of what we have lost and place it on what we still have.

This holiday season I would like to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Read Between the Lines

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, December 26, 2015 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

King Herod was a wicked and self-focused king. He was power hungry and radically insecure. He killed his own sons to keep them from taking his throne. His personal life was a wreck, even if he professionally had power and influence. It's this king that the wise men spoken of in the Bible came to see on their search for Jesus.

Herod asked them for information about Jesus, and said he wanted to worship Him. But his real intent was to kill any rival to his throne, even a child. Jesus would have been about 2 years old when the wise men arrived. So, Herod ordered the death of all children 2 and under in Bethlehem, to try and ensure he took Him out.

Read Romans 16:17-20. In his final section of his letter, Paul warns the believers in Rome to watch carefully those who cause divisions and hindrances that are contrary from “what they were taught [God's Word].” And he goes so far as to say, “Avoid them” because everything they do and say comes from their enslavement to their own desires. In other words, no matter what they say, or how good it sounds, there is a shadow mission, a selfish agenda, underneath.

The hardest thing to do when dealing with someone like this is to discern if they are intentionally being divisive, or are just unaware of their shortcomings. That is why it is important to watch them carefully, and listen carefully. We have to hear what they say, and what they don't say - reading between the lines of their words and intent.

As you observe and talk with them, you will discover their trajectory and motives. And one thing is for certain, when you get close to uncovering their shadow mission, they are likely to make a personal attack toward you. A divisive person who is hindering the Gospel will not consider relationship first; they will consider the threat to their agenda before anything else. They may start as a “friend” because you have something to offer their cause, but resist their desires and you will quickly find yourself being made the “bad guy.”

The hardest lesson to learn in this is that it is okay to walk away. Whether it’s a controlling leader who attacks you because the question for clarity exposes their motives, or couples who fight to get their own way instead of fighting FOR their marriage, or individuals who prefer chaos and lying to get attention more than even their own child's well-being, the hardest part is walking away.

I have dealt with these and many more, and sometimes you get the unique opportunity to be the voice that helps them change course. Many more times, though, it doesn't work out that way. It's important to pay close attention, not just to see if there is error in their behavior or motives, but also to see if there is opportunity to help them change direction.

The wise men were told by God to go home a different way than they came. God had them completely avoid going near Herod. And God sent Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod's murderous plan. We don't know if God warned other parents, or if the soldiers warned anyone before the attack. We do know that Herod divided his own kingdom and destroyed part of its future all because of power, control, and fear. In order for that to happen, there had to be people who blindly followed him, and did not consider how his leadership measured up to God's Word. What if his councils had observed him closely and stopped following his commands? What if they had rejected the power Herod offered, and instead stayed loyal to what is good and right and true?

In the free will God has given us, we can be a part of great evil or great good. Normally great evil starts with small detours into personal agendas. Great good usually comes when we have the courage to reject division and stumbling blocks, to walk in truth and unity. It is hard for believers to grasp what walking in truth and unity looks like, because followers of Christ have too often become followers of personalities, doctrines, programs, etc.

As you wrap up 2015, take a moment and ask yourself:
- Who am I listening to? What is their spoken agenda, and what is their hidden one?
  - Am I a part of what is truly good, or just what seems good?
- Is the community of faith I am part of partnering with other denominations, groups, etc. that also trust the Bible as their only rule of faith and practice?

I trust God to lead you, as you look closely into these questions. May 2016 be a year of great unity among believers, and great purity in our hearts as we follow God's Word.

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A Year of Growth

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 25, 2015 0 comments

by Jason DeZurik

This year has been an amazing year for the ministry of Worldview Warriors. Our team of bloggers have not only gone through and written on the entire book of Romans but we have also written on some major hot button topics such as the Creation / Evolution debate, self-governance, the Thanksgiving story, the attributes of God, and many other topics through out the year. We also started a new short feature radio program entitled “Faith Talk” with our blogger Ami Samuels. Also, since the beginning to 2015 up to the present, I have been able to be heard every weekday morning on a program called “New Morning Praise” from 6:00am - 8:30am on 90.1FM WXML in Northwest Ohio on WMXL. We have also been blessed to have some of our programming on Amb-OS this whole year, which is a satellite service allowing many radio stations to access our programming.

One thing that was quite trying throughout this year was the fact that we began to receive more and more people commenting on our blog posts who disagreed with things we were writing on. Many of these are non-believers. Some are open to truth, but many are not looking for truth and are just wanting to be “a thorn in the flesh” per se. Something beautiful though about all of this is the “free publicity” this ministry has received in England via the Internet. Our blog posts have found their way on many sites, both friendly and unfriendly to us.

It has been quite a year of living out our faith and learning how to deal more and more with people who disagree with us, and continuing to equip those wanting to find truth and live it out.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you! Thanks to people like you and of course, Jesus Christ the King of Kings, we are reaching more people than ever and equipping students to impact this generation for Jesus Christ. Thank you for your prayerful support. If you would like to help us financially to spread God’s kingdom, you can donate online using the button below or contact us here. Worldview Warriors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so your financial gift is tax deductible.

May you enjoy your Christmas day worshiping our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ!

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The Savior of the World

Posted by Worldview Warriors On 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

As today is Christmas, I will be taking a break from my series in addressing Matthew Vines’ arguments on Christianity and homosexuality. That will resume next week. Today is Christmas, the day that those who believe in Christianity celebrate the birth of the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ.

Many people the last few weeks have been setting up Christmas lights, decorating, buying gifts, gathering family, traveling, cooking, wrapping, and all the regular hoopla that goes on this month. But not everyone gets to enjoy this day. Many have broken homes where fathers are deployed, in prison, abandoned their families, or have died. Many families, when they gather, are not peaceful and joyous. Many people struggle through this time of year because of something tragic happening during this time period. Whether a happy, peaceful family, or a broken, separated, and miserable family, Jesus came to be the Savior of both.

As we go around looking at our decorations, we will see the standard nativity scene. Mary and Joseph with Jesus in a makeshift crib with straw for bedding, surrounded by animals, shepherds and wise men. But something has been lost in the glorifying of this scene. Jesus was born into a broken world, a hurting world. He was not born into privilege. He was not born to attention worthy of his name. As the director of the 2006 Urbana Convention put it, let me take the stained glass off this scene.

Joseph was forced to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, by foot a distance of 80 miles right at the time when Mary was expecting her child. He did not want to have to do that right then and there. Mary chose to go with him, knowing her child was due. Mary and Joseph already had their community question them because Mary, a virgin, was with child. She wasn’t married yet. When Jesus tried to minister in Nazareth, the people mocked his being “Mary and Joseph’s son.” They all knew he was illegitimate because the two were not married yet. They carried that stigma with them the rest of their lives. In Bethlehem, every room was taken because everyone else was also there to register for the census, and that was when Mary began labor. No hospital, no midwife. No room to have the baby. They had to sleep in a stable, possibly a cave. Alone. No help. They used a feeding trough (that is what a manger is) to lay him in.

It did not get much easier. Yes, some shepherds were told the message from an angelic host, but they too were the lowest of the lowest rung in society. Later these wise men showed up. That’s a whole sermon in itself and they gave gifts of frankincense, gold, and myrrh, but right after this, Jesus and his parents had to flee from Herod, who then killed every baby under age 2. Jesus immediately became a refugee in Egypt. An international wanderer.

Why do I tell you this? Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. A time of partying and family, and celebration. I tell you this because most of us, whether we are willing to admit it or not, have broken situations. There are many who talk to me and think I have it all figured out. No, I don’t. My own family is separated. I am with my parents, but none of my other siblings or any of our other family is coming (for a variety of reasons, most legit, some not good). We cannot travel to go visit family, and even if we did, we could not see everyone. And some in my family don’t even want to see us. Some of you may be dealing with a broken situation. A broken home. A lost job. Financial trouble. The list goes on. And I want to tell you that Jesus understands. And he came for YOU… and for me.

He was a born as a baby, in a very humble setting. But he grew up to become the teacher he was and he died to be the replacement for our sin, for our rebellion and our treachery against him. He did nothing wrong. He did absolutely nothing to deserve the mocking, the ridicule, the whips, the thorns, the beating, the punching, the spitting, being driven out of the city, and nailed to a cross, publicly naked (the ultimate shame for a Jew). All of that he took so that which is broken in us could be restored.

Jesus did not come to save the wealthy. To save the healthy. To save the self-righteous. He came to save humble sinner, who recognize their sin and their rebellion against God. He came for the poor. He came for the broken. He came for the weak. He came for the disabled. He came to give life and life more abundant. He knows what you have been through. He knows the hurts. He knows the pain. He knows the brokenness. He knows the betrayal of others. He knows the rejection from those we seek approval from.

He came to restore that which the enemy has stolen. He came to give life where there was none. He came to give hope where there was none. He came to rescue the captives. He came to give sight to the blind, legs to the lame, ears to the deaf, and tongues to the mute. And he came to bring the Kingdom of God, the glory and majesty of God himself here on earth. He left to go prepare a place for us who believe in him, and he will return. When he does, he will not be a humble baby, but a conquering king to end the domain of evil once for all and to bring justice for those who had not received it.

Are the holidays rough for you? Let this post encourage you that Jesus came to deal with the pain you have endured. Are the holidays are glorious time for you? Let this post encourage you that the victory Jesus won at the Cross is the reason why we can celebrate. May Jesus Christ be gloried this day and every day for ever and ever. May he receive the reward of his suffering and may he have Lordship over every area of our lives so that where there used to be death, there may be life. Today, I celebrate the day Jesus came because he has transformed my life in ways I cannot describe and give it justice. Why do you celebrate today? If not, let this post give you a reason to celebrate it. And we do not celebrate a mere date. We celebrate a person: a person who is the Savior of the World.

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Genesis and Salvation - What's the Connection

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 24, 2015 5 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next one is here.]

We are getting closer and closer to the actual theological questions Mr. Tyler Francke claims no young earth creationist can answer. However, we still have two more links to discuss in his intro before we apparently do something no one has done before with these questions. This week's link takes us to a blog post called “Is evolution a ‘salvation issue’? The Bible is clear, despite YECs’ attempts to muddy its message.” This blog post, despite seemingly having the answer to the question correct, has a great deal of spun information Tyler uses to apparently make up an issue that's really not there. In fact, he essentially tells us this is not a Biblical creationist issue and proceeds to tell us why it is. We'll also find, in a not-so-shocking turn of events, that he is ridiculing Ken Ham and his statements.

Tyler starts out well enough with his introductory paragraph but wastes no time assaulting Ken Ham in the second as well as Dr. Jason Lisle (who has a great blog). The topic here boils down to whether you can be an evolutionist and be saved. The obvious answer to this question is, “Of course.” This, strangely, is exactly what Tyler says Ken and Jason say. He then goes on to tell us why this really isn't what they believe. If you saw the debate between Ken Ham and Bill Nye, you'll recall that Ken actually specifically addressed this issue and clearly stated that a belief in a straightforward reading of Genesis has nothing to do with salvation. To be honest, I feel like this should be enough, but Tyler seems to want to make this an issue that no one else has. Truthfully, I believe Tyler is just grasping at straws to find reasons to complain about the ministries he's mentioned. He makes the claim that Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research are simply in it for the money. This is an absolutely disgusting allegation. Tyler is stooping exceptionally low in this blog post. Not only does he misrepresent what Biblical creationists believe or say, but now he's misrepresenting their motives. This is odd since he can't possibly know what is in the hearts of the people who work in these ministries. I'd better stop there or I may get carried away. So let's take a look and see what he's getting us into.

It is accurately stated that having a firm foundation in Biblical truth is important to understand the Gospel. Tyler tells us Ken and Jason believe “that the denial of evolution and rejection of an ancient earth are of the utmost importance for all Christians.” This is true on the surface, but not for the reasons Tyler indicates. More on this later. But Tyler quotes Ken Ham saying in regards to an historical Adam and Eve, “Now, I want to make very clear that belief in a historical Adam and Eve is not a salvation issue per se, but it is a biblical authority issue and a gospel issue.” This seems fairly simple. Ham has stated what Tyler wants to believe here—that evolution and a young earth are not necessary for salvation. He talks about statements made by Dr. Jason Lisle where Jason states that the issue of evolution is not a “salvation issue” at all but can lead us to a slippery slope away from the Gospel. So what's the problem? That's what I'm wondering, too. These guys are agreeing with Tyler.

We then see that something being brought up here is the fact that not believing in some parts of the Bible causes us to more easily not believe other parts. It truly is an issue of whether or not the Bible is our authority. If we place naturalism on equal footing as the Bible and the secular scientist has the same standing in regards to truth as God does, we can easily fall away from the faith or become a universalist—one who believes that all mankind is saved regardless of that person's belief (I realize many theistic evolutionists are universalists but this is one of the reasons for me writing on this in the first place). If we erode the authority of Scripture to something that is only determined by what we understand from a naturalistic perspective, we lose just about everything in the Bible. As Jason points out, and Tyler indicates, if we allow the authority of a man to outweigh God's written Word, we lose the resurrection since this is obviously not something that would happen naturally. But if you believe that Jesus Christ, under His own power (the power of God) raised Himself back to life after being tortured and killed by Roman soldiers, I'm not sure why believing that God created the heavens and the earth about 6,000 years ago is so difficult.

Tyler seems to think that although both of these men (and so many others) have clearly stated that renouncing evolution is not necessary to be saved—that accepting Christ as your Savior, believing in His sacrifice for you, is the only thing necessary for salvation—that they both somehow believe it IS necessary to be saved. The point is really simple. Salvation is truly a “come as you are” idea. But Jesus doesn't expect you to stay where you are if you receive Him as your Savior. Tyler quotes, rightly, several Scriptures that indicate what is necessary for salvation.

“Then he brought them out and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ And they said, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.’” —Acts 16:30-31

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” —Romans 10:9

He mentions more, but that's the idea and this is right. However, these passages are talking about initiating this thing we call the Christian life. A thorough look at the Bible will easily lead you to believe that conversion (which is not the goal of the Great Commission) is not what we're looking for. “Make disciples” doesn't mean get someone to accept Jesus Christ and move on to the next person. It means to actively pursue Jesus Christ in your lives and help others do the same. We're not only saved from making mistakes or some other such watered down version of the situation. We're not just saved from hell and that's the end of the story. We are seated at the right hand of the Father. We are now dead to sin and alive to God. We were eternally separated from God because of the rebellious nature of flesh. And that's the end of the story if God had not made a way for redemption. But, praise God, we are free to live a life worthy of the calling. Our life in Christ is so much more than just declaring with our mouth “Jesus is Lord.” It's about action—because faith without works is dead. So the Good News is far more than just getting saved from hell. It's about truly living—living the Christian life.

So what does this have to do with the topic at hand? Good question. In our relationship with Christ, we should be seeking Him. We should be actively seeking Him in prayer and meditation. But we should also study His Word. What's included in that? Of course—Genesis is the foundation that the rest of the Word stands on. In fact, I'll say that without Genesis, the rest of the Bible doesn't make any sense. It's like building a house without have a foundation under it. It'll collapse eventually. This is exactly what Ken Ham and Dr. Jason Lisle are talking about. Over time, as we study the Bible and try to make sense of all this, if we're believing that the foundation—the very parts of Scripture that tell us WHY all this is going on—are not an historical account, what's the big deal? Why do we need saved? Genesis tells us. But if Genesis is a myth, so is the Fall and, therefore, our sin nature. Jesus said if you don't believe what Moses wrote, you won't believe Him either. Who wrote Genesis? That's right—Moses (see this for more info). I suppose this means we ought to take what he wrote a little more seriously.

As we evolve in our relationship with Christ and as we study His Word, we develop a deeper understanding. But if we have nothing to base our faith on (the WHY of this whole story of redemption), we run the risk of either falling away from our faith altogether or we may believe that Jesus is A way to God but not necessarily THE Way to God. Is this a sure fire result? Of course not. This is why both of the men of God that Tyler is ridiculing state quite clearly that this is not a salvation issue. But they both indicate that it is risky and CAN lead to falling away or belief in a false Gospel. The Gospel is about life. It's not just what happens after you die. Here and now we are to be made into the likeness of Christ. “Get out of hell free” is the 4th grade version of the Gospel and is of little use to the believer. Living a life to the fullest is what Christ has guaranteed for us both here in this world and in the next.

Next week we're going to touch on some of the erroneous interpretations of the statistics and some other things as we wrap up this blog post by Tyler Francke of I hope you'll stick with us and I pray you'll have a terrific Christmas celebrating the night that heaven and earth collide!

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Peace on Earth, But Let's Start in the Church

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, December 23, 2015 0 comments

by Logan Ames

By now, you’ve probably heard the famous announcement of the heavenly army recorded in Luke 2:14 at least once during the Christmas season. If you’ve been in church, you have probably heard it in sermons. If you haven’t been in church, the chances are still high that you’ve heard part of it in a song while shopping or driving. A “great company” of the heavenly host joined the angel of the Lord and proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (NKJV). The angel and the heavenly army proclaimed this truth first to the shepherds in the fields, declaring that with the arrival of Jesus the Messiah comes peace to the earth and goodwill toward all men. The question is, where’s the peace?

A study back in 1991 revealed that from 3600 B.C. to 1991, the world only knew a grand total of 292 years of peace. In that time, there were 14,531 wars of both large and small size and over 3.6 billion people were killed in those wars. We know that these numbers have certainly risen since 1991. The reason for all this destruction and fighting is not because Jesus failed at achieving peace, but because the human heart doesn’t want peace. The prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure” (17:9). God has given us free will out of his love for us, and with sin in our hearts, we desire only what pleases the self. The answer is still Jesus, for peace is achieved when an individual heart responds to the Savior and Lord by surrendering the desires of the flesh, be they anger, lust, greed, power, or something else. World peace may never be achieved until Christ returns again, but YOU can experience peace in your life between you and God, you and another person, and you and your enemies by surrendering to him.

Some 33 years after that glorious night in which the Christ was born, the early church was formed following Jesus’ death and resurrection. They were unified by the presence of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2) and moved forward in boldness and faith to do the Lord’s work on the earth, beginning at Jerusalem. But if you read the book of Acts beyond that, you will see that it didn’t take very long before well-meaning believers allowed their selfish desires to get in the way and suddenly, there were divisions and even false teachings in the church. How can the body of Christ expect there to be peace on earth when there often isn’t even peace IN the church?

The Apostle Paul addresses this problem in Romans 16:17-20. He is wrapping up his letter to the Roman believers and urges them to be aware of “those who cause divisions and put obstacles in (their) way that are contrary to the teaching (they) have learned,” and then also to avoid them (verse 17). These are two separate groups of people that Paul is telling the believers to avoid. They are just as prevalent in the church today as they were back then. There are those who divide God’s people and those who deceive God’s people. You may be speaking truth and sound doctrine, but may be gossipping or causing others to either side with you or with someone else. Those who deceive God’s people are more often those who teach and practice things that are not in accordance with sound Biblical doctrine, but they make them seem like they are. One group of people is not at peace with each other, and the other group is not at peace with God. Paul was talking to the first century church, but he might as well be writing directly to you and me today. We must avoid those who seek to deceive or divide God’s people, but we can’t avoid what we won’t even acknowledge.

I’m not suggesting you live in constant paranoia regarding your relationships with other believers, and neither is Paul. He says that he desires that we be “wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil” (verse 19). You’ve probably heard it said that the best way to spot something that is counterfeit is to become overly familiar with the real thing. That’s why Paul mentions being wise about what is good first. My friends, this is such a critical point for us today. The reason I say this is because we are at a time today, even in the church, when false teachers are trying to blur the lines between what is good and what is evil. The problem for them is that God’s Word does not change. We must continue to evaluate good and evil by the standard of Jesus Christ, who is the “true light that gives light to everyone” (John 1:9). Isaiah saw this coming when he announced, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter” (5:20). In other words, we the church must STOP confusing God’s truth with a counterfeit version of it that might look or even “feel” right, but only “deceives the minds of naive people” (Romans 16:18).

I’ve spent most of this post addressing those who deceive God’s people, but those who seek to divide are just as much of an issue. Paul says they “are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites” (verse 18). If you’ve ever spent time around Christians who are always arguing or fighting with each other, you’ve probably wondered if you took a wrong turn somewhere. Jesus was clear when he said, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand” (Matthew 12:25). Are we one body, or are we not? That’s the question each Christian must ask. A lack of truth threatens to destroy the church, but truth without unity leads to pride. So, would you rather be “right” all the time, or be at peace?

Reverend John Philip Newell said, “Mad dogs are shot; infectious diseases are quarantined; but evil teachers who would divide to their destruction and draw away the saints with teaching contrary to the doctrine of Christ and his apostles are everywhere tolerated!” If you’ve been believing false teaching or contributing to division in the church, take some time this Christmas season to reflect on what it means for you that the Prince of Peace came to this earth. Read in the Gospels how he handled those who tried to confuse truth with lies and those who tried to divide his followers. Let your heart be open to the move of the Holy Spirit to turn you into a peacemaker. Paul ends this section with a reference to the “God of peace,” who “will soon crush Satan” under the feet of those who trust in him (verse 20). Peace on earth must begin with the church, which means it must begin with you.

Any Greek would have recognized the scholarly content and depth of Luke’s gospel. He appeals to their love of beauty through its opening songs, relates to the poor in Greek culture through his emphasis on the poor, and reveals that through Jesus their longing for deliverance could be fulfilled by being adopted into God’s family. This is a gift we can all be thankful for during this season. Merry Christmas!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


The Gospel of Luke: The Greek Gospel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 22, 2015 0 comments

by Bill Seng

“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” ~1 Corinthians 1:22-23

It is often said that belief in Jesus is simplistic, unreasonable, and, in some respects, judgmental. If you are one of these people, I highly recommend that you give the Gospel of Luke a fair reading because your biases against the Christian faith might dissolve before your very eyes.

The first thing to keep in mind is that its author, Luke, is a physician. In other words, he was an ancient man of science and a scholar. The other gospel accounts are based on recollection of some sort. Matthew was an eyewitness, Mark probably drew his account from Peter, and John was also an eyewitness. Luke, on the other hand, investigated the various gospel accounts and drew up an account of his own based on the words and writings of various eyewitnesses. If he had written his account today, citations would be scattered throughout its pages to give credit to the sources that were responsible for providing the information. It is one of the most scholarly writings of its day. Its opening words include the statement, “I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you…so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:3-4)

The Gospel of Luke has a very logical flow of events. It is suspected that although the other gospels may not have followed strict chronologies, Luke drew his account out in a very strict time line. This helps to connect ideas and to see the consistency of Jesus’ ministry from its beginning to its end. Just as Matthew’s gospel does, it begins with the story of Christmas. Once again, had this account been written today, it would have supplied us with the very first Christmas carols as it has three songs concerning Jesus’ birth, belonging to Mary, Zechariah, and Simeon.

The emphasis of the Christmas story inside of Luke is different from that of Matthew. Matthew focused on the predicament that a Jewish man would have to deal with in realizing that his wife was unlawfully pregnant before he was united with her. Luke focuses on the lowliness of Jesus’ birth through the emphasis of Israel’s disparity under Roman rule and the proclamation of the Gospel to the shepherds by word of the angels. Later on, in chapter four, Jesus reads from the Isaiah scroll to declare the purpose of his ministry. He reads:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:14-15)

In chapter six, he preaches the beatitudes, except this time he does not only pronounce blessings but woes as well. This is clearly a warning against those who use their status as a means to oppress, exploit, or ignore the poor. A Greek would have resonated greatly with these teachings because a large number of the Greek population lived in bondage and poverty and was exploited by those in the Greek community who occupied high status.

Like the Gospel of Matthew, Luke does not only have teachings that appeal to the Greek mind, but he also points out their inconsistencies. According to popular Greek religious thought, only the rich and powerful would go to heaven because they were thought to be the children of the gods. Luke’s gospel points out the importance of all people and God’s love for even the lowliest. Half of the Gospel of Luke is devoted to Jesus’ journey to the cross. This is incredible as Luke’s gospel is actually the longest of all four gospels. (Random trivia: both of Luke’s writings, his gospel and Acts, comprise over half of the New Testament. In these two books he wrote more of the New Testament than both Paul and John!) Aside from other lessons that can be learned from Jesus’ journey to the cross, this gospel emphasizes a very important point to not just the Greeks, but the entire world.

In chapter three, Jesus’ chronology is given and it contains a different message than that of Matthew. Matthew’s gospel emphasized the lineage of Jesus through Joseph, which includes kings and such and only traces back to Abraham. It is a very Hebrew genealogy. Luke’s gospel, however, traces all the way back to Adam, the first man. Where Matthew’s gospel emphasizes Jesus as the Jewish Messiah, Luke reveals to the world that Jesus is actually the Savior of all mankind. The Greeks knew they had to be children of God to go to heaven and now, through the Gospel message, they could be adopted into God’s family no matter how lowly they were.

Any Greek would have recognized the scholarly content and depth of Luke’s gospel. He appeals to their love of beauty through its opening songs, relates to the poor in Greek culture through his emphasis on the poor, and reveals that through Jesus their longing for deliverance could be fulfilled by being adopted into God’s family. This is a gift we can all be thankful for during this season. Merry Christmas!


Romans 16:17-19

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 21, 2015 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.” (Romans 16:17-19)

We’re almost at the end of 2015, so we’re almost at the end of the book of Romans! Paul is continuing his concluding remarks here toward the end of this lengthy letter to the church in Rome.

The general theme Paul is trying to get across in this passage is a warning against false teachers. This is not a new theme for Paul, but it is a very important one. False teachers are dangerous because they are not serving Jesus, and they can easily deceive the people away from the truth. They may sound like they’re teaching truth, but they’ll twist it ever so slightly to gradually fill people’s minds with lies. Unfortunately, this was not only a problem in Paul’s time, but it’s a problem today too. There are many churches today where the truth gets twisted, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Spend a few minutes clicking through these comics. Have you been following any of these “American Popular Versions” of Scripture? Can you see how much our society’s worldview has shaped how we view Scripture?

But how do we recognize false teachers? People who look for counterfeit money know that the best way to see what is false is to know what is true. If they know what a true $20 bill looks like, down to the tiniest detail, they can easily recognize a fake one. The same works with us as followers of Jesus Christ. If you know God’s truth so well, down to the tiniest detail, you’ll easily be able to see when someone is preaching falsehood. This is why spending time reading and studying the Bible is so important, so we can get to know what God has given us as Truth.

Paul also shares with us that a common indicator of false teachers is their smooth talking, which they use to mask their lack of real truth. If they sound like they know what they’re talking about, they must be right, right? We as humans are easily deceived, especially when many others are going along with the deception.

The early Roman church sincerely desired to obey what God wanted them to do. However, this made them more susceptible to false teachers, since they would obey any teacher who came along and sounded like he knew what he was talking about. Paul encourages them to remain innocent in the truth, rather than becoming corrupted by these false teachers.

We need the same warnings that Paul gave to the early Roman church. We need to be rooted in the truth so that we are not deceived by falsehood, or even led astray by a slight twisting of the truth. What are you doing to make sure you remain strong in God’s truth?

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Does a Christian Foundation Matter?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, December 20, 2015 0 comments

by Jason DeZurik

We have been told time and again that the United States of America is not founded upon Christian principles and is not a Christian nation, yet the writings and speeches from our founders seem to say otherwise. Please take into consideration some of the following statements when trying to wade through the truth of this matter.

“My only hope of salvation's in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come Lord Jesus! Come quickly!”
- Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence

“If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us and bury all our glory in profound obscurity.”
- Daniel Webster

“The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been printed.”
- Attributed to Patrick Henry
(Note: Some say this quote is fake, but there seems to me to be just too many scholars that claim this to be true to be left out of this blog post.)

“In all my perplexities and distresses, the Bible has never failed to give me light and strength.”
- Robert E. Lee

“We recognize no sovereign but God and no king but Jesus!”
- Attributed to John Adams

The list goes on and on, friends. I am not in the least claiming that all of our founding fathers of the United States were believers in Jesus Christ. But it does seem fairly certain that the majority of them realized the importance of the Bible and the teachings that are in this book for a society to be based on it and its teachings as a foundation to be built upon. I'd also like to point out that many of the founders speak of Jesus or Christ by name, leaving no doubt of to whom they are referring. Since this is the case, we can also deduce that when the word Providence, Divine, Almighty God, and other such terms are used, they are more likely than not referring to the God of the Bible.

Here is one last quote to consider from our sixth president, John Quincy Adams: “The first and almost the only book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the world… and I say to you, ‘Search the Scriptures.’”

Click here for one place to dig a bit more into this.

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More Than Ever

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, December 19, 2015 0 comments

by Nathan Buck

Right now today there are many people, especially Americans, who believe the world is worse than ever before. They feel like crime, terrorism, juvenile delinquency, police brutality, political strife between nations, etc. is all worse than ever before. I have to say it is tempting to believe that. I am sure if we did an in depth statistical analysis, we might find that the moral compass of the world is a bit more bent and off target than ever before. Maybe.

I often wonder if it is just different than before, or more “seen” than ever before because of technology. And then I read articles about how the American Christian church may be shrinking, but those who are firm Bible believing followers of Jesus are becoming more intentional and active in serving others. Then I read that more Muslims are coming to Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior every day than ever before in history. Muslims are reading the Koran in their common language, realizing the fullness of what Muhammad taught, and casting the tyranny aside for the love of Jesus. Some are even having dreams and visions from God, leading them to Jesus.

Then I read about how many people have no understanding of the Bible and are sick of the caricature of Christianity, but they would be more than willing to sit down and learn what the Bible says from a follower of Christ. And I read about small groups of believers preparing to seek out Muslim, Syrian refugee, LGBT, liberal academic, atheist, and scientific communities to build a dialogue in hopes of demonstrating the love of Jesus by sharing life with them.

I could go on, but suffice it to say I realize there is HOPE and OPPORTUNITY for God to be seen, everywhere we are tempted to despair. In fact, those places may be more open to receiving Jesus, than the casual churchgoer.

The Apostle Paul intentionally sought out places where people had never heard of Jesus, in order to go and share God's Truth. Read Romans 15:14-21.

He tried to avoid preaching and teaching where others already were succeeding. He was not in competition. He wanted to go to the “hard” places, the “tough crowds,” because he knew they might be quick to receive God's ways. Why? The same reason any believer may have - what we were already living wasn't working, and we didn't have any real hope to look forward to.

He wanted to go to those places because part of God's promise in sending Jesus was that people who had never heard of God would hear and understand. But Paul did more than just go and talk. EVERY place he went to share God's message, he was able to demonstrate the truth of God's promises, and the resurrection of Jesus, with POWER. The Holy Spirit provided signs and wonders, healings, raising the dead, casting out wicked spirits, etc. When God's living power was active on the scene, people realized that nothing they believed compared to Almighty God.

So, here's a question: who has heard about Jesus for the first time because of you? Are you even able to talk to non-believers about faith stuff? Take a page from Paul's example; get out of the insider conversations about Jesus that are mostly used as excuses to justify how spiritual we are and pontificate on what is wrong with the Church or the world. Go and learn how to communicate with those who don't know Jesus. And I mean communicate, not browbeat and endlessly quote Scripture at them. Share life with them, and demonstrate the love of Christ. And if your heart is as Paul's was, desiring to show Jesus to others as of first and only importance (even through ordinary everyday life), I am certain God will provide the demonstration of His power everywhere He needs to - through you.

(Warning: once you learn to talk like a real believer with real unbelievers, you may wonder how you ever understood all the religious babble in the first place. You may also experience people giving their lives to Jesus.)

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Christianity and LGBT: Celibacy

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 18, 2015 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

[This post is part of a series. The previous one is here, and the next one is here.]

The last couple weeks, I’ve been addressing the recent surge in American churches that try to use Biblical support of homosexual relationships. Matthew Vines leads The Reformation Project, suggesting there are 10 Bible-based reasons to allow homosexual relationships. In the first two posts (here and here), I addressed Vine’s claim that not allowing the homosexuals to do their things is “bad fruit” and the claim that church tradition never address the modern “sexual orientation identity” issue.

The third argument Vines uses is that under the traditional interpretation, that because homosexual relationships are sinful and cannot be acted upon, that means that these people must live a life of celibacy and cannot be married. He then says that celibacy is only for a few select people. It is a special calling, but not a command, and most certainly not towards the LGBT community. Therefore the traditional interpretation of homosexuality must be wrong because it would violate Biblical teachings on celibacy.

What is the deal with this? Let’s break this down. First, Vines is correct about celibacy. It is not a command to a group of people. It is only for a specific individuals who make a vow or are called to celibacy. However, beware of the tactic here. Vines cites one Biblical standard to make his claim that the “traditional interpretation” about homosexuality must be wrong, when that standard actually does not apply. It is a tactic of using one rule to circumvent another rule, trying to find a loophole to escape on a technicality. Let us examine what is at the core of this argument.

The basis of the argument is this approach from the “traditional interpretation”: “there is nothing wrong with having an inclination towards homosexuality. But acting on it is the sin.” If this is true, then because the homosexual is not attracted to the opposite gender, they must remain celibate, single, and not allowed to experience the joys of a loving, committed relationship. Two key things to address: is the orientation itself sinful? And is the “marriage relationship” something that a homosexual couple can achieve?

First, is the sexual orientation itself sinful? Ray Comfort, when addressing this issue in his recent movie “Audacity,” defuses this question very quickly. If a straight person has a tendency towards adultery and that would be sinful, what is the difference between a gay person having a tendency towards homosexual desires? The answer is none. The Bible describes two types of violations of God’s standards: “transgressions and iniquities.” David describes how he was born in iniquity in the Psalms. All of us are born with a tendency towards sin. That’s the sinful nature. That’s “iniquity.” Transgressions are the actual acts of sin. Remember that Jesus stepped up the standard; adultery is not merely the act of adultery, but even looking at another with lust is adultery of the heart.

There is another aspect that is telling about Vines’ approach. Vines proclaims that the homosexual orientation is “broken” from what was originally meant to be. First, to declare something is broken, we must first establish what is correct. The “traditional interpretation” defines marriage as between one man and one woman as per Genesis 2. So if the “traditional interpretation” is correct, then as a Christian, God should be in the process of restoring that which is broken. There are numerous testimonies from ex-homosexuals that show just that: God restored their attraction. Christianity is about the process of being conformed into the image of Christ, about dying to self. Less of us, more of him. Vines, however, shows absolutely no interest in changing his ways, all the while stating that Christianity is in part about “dying to self.”

That is a big issue. Vines does not show any hint of striving to be like Christ. We have two natures as Christians: the old self and the new self. The old self is the nature that we have before Christ and it is geared towards self - what I want, what I am inclined towards. The new self is geared towards Christ and what Christ is like and what he wants. In addressing these arguments, I have not seen a Christ-centered approach from Vines, nor any effort to explain how his position will help us get closer to Christ as a Church. Vines does mention that marriage is a picture of our relationship with Christ. But how does a homosexual relationship reflect this picture? How does this build the Church? That will be later when I address Vines’ argument about what marriage actually is.

The other issue that needs to be addressed is, “Can a homosexual even have the type of relationship that is defined by Biblical marriage?” I am not going to dwell too much here because I will get into detail on it with a later argument Vines makes. Can a homosexual partner be that “suitable partner”? Genesis 2, quoted by Jesus, defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Vines asks, “Why can’t a homosexual partner do that?” My response to this is: “Why should a homosexual even be considered?” Vines cannot just poke a hole into the “traditional interpretation” here. He needs to defend his case. The Bible says “man and woman.” If “man and man” are to be considered, Vines needs an affirmative statement about it. I’ll again deal with this again in when Vines talks about marriage.

Let me wrap up this post with this. Vines makes the claim that the traditional interpretation about homosexuality violates the Bible’s teachings on celibacy. What I have done in response is what Jesus did. He did not directly address the question, but the heart of the issue. When the Pharisees asked Jesus about why his disciples did not fast, Jesus responded with this: you declare what is supposed to be for your parents as a ‘gift to the Lord,’ so you can circumvent God’s command to “Honor your mother and your father” (paraphrased). The Pharisees used one provision in the Law to circumvent and have an excuse to not follow another Law. They thought they could not have to take care of their parents if the money they were supposed to use for that could be “dedicated to the Lord.” Here it is the same issue. Vines is using celibacy to attempt to circumvent the standards of what marriage is and the clear statements against homosexuality in Scripture. This mentality is everywhere in liberal “Christianity” today. Be on guard against this way of thinking.

Next week we’ll deal with a major issue: the judgment upon homosexuality. Vines claims that the judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah is not related to homosexuality. That’s next week.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


God Must Be Crazy

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 17, 2015 0 comments

by Steve Risner

[This blog post is part of a series. The previous post is here, and the next post is here.]

Thanks for reading! We are very deep into discussing the theological issues brought up by blogger Tyler Francke in his blog post “10 theological questions no young-earth creationist can answer.” As of right now, we haven’t gotten to the 10 questions but have been dismantling everything he's stated thus far in his introduction. It may seem a little like overkill to be involved in this for so long and still be in the intro. But Tyler included in his introduction a list of 10 links to various posts he's written that pose “theological” issues for Biblical creation (which in and of itself is strange since Biblical creation is what the Church in general has believed firmly in for 2000 years and the Jews before that). We've hardly touched on anything theological. Most of his issues are because he doesn't understand the Biblical point of view, or he misrepresents the Biblical position altogether. Most of his concerns are not in the category of theology at all. Today, unfortunately, is another blog post by him that mocks the Bible. This, too, is very odd since he claims to respect the Bible and its teachings yet he routinely mocks what the Bible says. He'll likely say he's not mocking the Bible but is mocking those who believe what it says. I fail to see the difference. Let's take a look at his blog post he calls “The absolute craziest thing young-earth creationist groups believe.”

He starts out by listing distorted things that he claims Bible believers teach. That, again, is unfortunate. But he says none of these massive distortions or misrepresentations of what the Bible says equals this one—which he says takes the cake.

Surprise! He's saying to believe what the Bible says is the craziest thing we believe. I have to just begin by apologizing if you've read the blog post I linked to above. It's very juvenile in its demeanor and I can't help but feel sorry for him. His issue here shows something I think shouldn't be overlooked—he can't think outside the box he's built for himself. His culture, society, education, acquaintances, or whatever have created a world he believes is the only way human beings can or should live. So the issue he's come up with as the “craziest” thing the Bible teaches is that the human race expanded, multiplied, and spread across the globe through incest. So what's the deal? Is this true? What's going on here?

Adam and Eve (Eve was made from Adam so I'm already jumping ahead of Tyler in saying that Eve was made out of Adam so, according to him, that's probably a problem for the Bible as well) had a son named Cain. They had other children, as well. The Bible doesn't record the names of all of them. It simply says “...Adam... had other sons and daughters.” Keep in mind here, as the Bible states pretty clearly, that Adam lived a very long time having sons and daughters. How many kids could you have in the time frame of 930 years? He was created to live forever—likely genetically perfect. This goes for Eve as well. How long could they have kids? Well, it says they bore children after Seth for a pretty long time—800 years. Genesis 3:20 tells us that Eve is the mother of all living (not the mother of some, a few, most, or anything like that… ALL). So I believe this means she's the mother of all humans that have ever lived (except Adam, of course). Why? Because the Bible makes it pretty clear that's what it means. This, by necessity, means that Eve is the mother of all the people that were alive at the time, then. A very common question is “Where did Cain get his wife?” Cain's wife, by necessity, was likely a sister or niece. Yes, this is marriage between close relatives. No, there was no other option. Were these unions blessed by God? Some, sure. Others, probably not. It depends on the persons involved. The Biblical position here in question is that Adam and Eve are the parents of all those alive, period. Tyler claims this is a teaching of “young-earth creationist organizations” like Answers in Genesis and the Institute for Creation Research. The truth is, if you Google search “Where did Cain get his wife” you'll find ICR, AiG, Christian Answers, Let us Reason, Life Hope and Truth, Josh McDowell, Christian Apologetics Research Ministry, and so many more that all agree with the Biblical position—Cain's wife was a sister or other close relative. Even Wikipedia makes this fact clear.

But that's not all! What happens when we get to the account of Noah and the Flood? His family is all that's left. His 3 sons and their wives were the only humans to reproduce after the Flood, so the story here is the same. But wait! That's not all. Abraham's family married close relations, including Abraham's brother, Nahor, and Abraham himself. Abraham's wife, Sarah, was his half-sister. Isaac married his cousin, Jacob married 2 of his cousins, Amram married his aunt who birthed Miraim, Aaron, and Moses, and Charles Darwin married his cousin. Didn't see that last one coming, did you? It's true, though.

You see, by isolating this situation to only Cain, Tyler makes it seem like it's some sort of hole in the Biblical position. However, this early in the human race, there were no genetic reasons to forbid such unions. Well, except for in Darwin's day. That's why he had several kids that had serious health issues, from weak immune systems to infertility. But in the early years after creation, genetic defects had not created a situation where close relatives would have problems mating. In our culture and context, yes, this seems wrong. But we need to keep in mind that our culture makes a lot of stuff in the Bible seem odd or even repulsive. How about publicly stripping, beating to a bloody pulp, and nailing to a cross on a hill near a busy road into town a man not guilty of any crime? That seems offensive to me. What about you? The Bible, full of customs of a people far away from long ago is hard to get sometimes. But this doesn't make me think the Bible is incorrect in how it records the events. I am a little relieved this is not practiced in my culture, but it was for centuries elsewhere. Royalty in many nations' histories record close relatives marrying to keep the throne in the family.

Now, to be sure, it is true that the Law given to Moses and passed on to the Hebrews tells us that incest is forbidden. However, all of the examples I gave from the Bible occurred long before this Law was given and long before the reasons for that Law—genetic mutation—had taken root in the human gene pool. At the time of the Patriarchs, we're not just talking about this sort of thing being excused. It was necessary for the survival of the human race in some cases. Tyler here again demonstrates a very weak understanding of the Biblical text. God's plan included this; read it for yourself. Not just Cain, as he wants you to think. Abraham, the father of the faith, was involved in an incestuous relationship and Moses was the result of one. Did God bless these people? You better believe it. In fact, Abraham was blessed in his marriage with a son—Isaac! And Tyler wants this all to be a myth or something like that (I'm not really sure what he thinks because all of this time—in all these blog posts—he's not told us what he believes so much as he's mocked what the Bible says). That's fine, too. Regardless of how the story is read (as a myth, an allegory, or an historical account) it seems to have the moral teaching that incest is okay in these instances. Especially when you read Genesis 17:15-16 where God says He will bless Sarah and give Abraham a son through her, his half-sister.

So is the point here that incest is okay? Of course not. It seems like Tyler wants us to think that's what the Biblical teaching is, but it clearly is not as is indicated by the above Levitical text. But prior to the Law being given, not only was incest excused, it was necessary. Tyler is trying to use this Law and the numerous instances where we find this act in Scripture prior to the delivery of the Law as a means to discredit the Bible. He's also then, towards the end of his blog post, employing the “what if” fallacy to try to poke holes in this clear teaching. In fact, he's trying to make a case for incest being okay. That seems ironic, doesn't it? This almost seems like a familiar phrase we find in Genesis 3:1: “Did God really say…"

Creation Moments has a nice piece on this as well. I encourage you to take a look at it.

I'm sorry we had to do this. Tyler is making an extremely exaggerated argument against something God clearly was behind. He has repeatedly mocked the Word (not just those who stand to uphold the Truth of it). I cannot believe a lover of Jesus Christ would do such things. You can say you have an alternate way to interpret a passage of Scripture and still maintain a respect for it. But if you constantly mock the Bible, I'm not sure how that's treating it with respect. Pray for Tyler. Pray for those that support him. We are nearly finished with the intro to this dreadful blog post!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.