A Smooth Transition

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 30, 2017 0 comments

by Steve Risner

In my last post, we started a brief look at transition fossils—fondly called “missing links” because they are completely absent from the fossil record and would allegedly bridge the gaps between different known species. The trouble here is that the fossil record should be full of “missing links,” but it's entirely void of them. The fossil record is, in fact, full of complex organisms that appear to have no “primative” ancestors. Over the years, many found “missing links” have been ranted about. These are nearly always premature and later removed from the list, or they're still called transitional between groups of organisms even though they've been thoroughly shown to be nothing of the sort. I'd like to take a look at a few of those to demonstrate the lack of scrutiny and over-zealous nature of evolutionists when it comes to “missing links.”

If you've spent any time investigating evolution, you've probably heard of Tiktaalik—the famous “fishapod.” Not only was this celebrated as a link between fish and land animals (tetrapods) but it was also claimed as a successful prediction of the theory. They claim it was said that an ancestor that first was able to leave the water and walk on land should be found in the geologic column around the age of 400 million years (give or take, you know). This lobe-finned fish (which is exactly how it's described by many sources) allegedly had the ability to leave the water for periods of time, using its fins to sort of ambulate from one pond or stream to another. Let's keep in mind that there are fish here and now that can move across land for short periods. The snakehead, walking catfish, and climbing perch are just a few examples of these fish. So even if Tiktaalik was able to do this, it's nothing really that interesting and certainly no kind of “proof” for fish to amphibian evolution. There are several reasons to be skeptical that this fish is what they claim it is. First and foremost, evidence has been found, in accordance with deep time assumptions, that an animal was already walking in the mud with a coordinated four-limbed gait (probably like a lizard) nearly 9 million years before Tiktaalik. Now, I don't agree with the dates at all, but evolutionists do and this blows Tiktaalik out of the water. However, it is STILL touted as a great victory for evolutionary thinking even though it is nothing of the sort. This isn't the only issue for Tiktaalik. There are numerous anatomical features it doesn't have that it would require for land walking. Its fins are wrong. Its pelvis is wrong. It was clearly a fish (and is called as much by evolutionists). If anyone suggests to you that this fish is some sort of transition, don't trust them. They're either misinformed or trying to mislead you. Tiktaalik is not a transition fossil of any kind.

What about the “frogamander," the alleged transition between frogs and salamanders? This one is an interesting guy. It demonstrates an all-too-common tactic used by evolutionists (and the media) when it comes to over reporting a find. It was claimed that this “elderly frog” was a nearly perfectly complete specimen. Although the fossil was described as “almost perfectly complete,” we find the description as claiming it was found upside-down and without any legs. How could they make adequate comparisons between frogs and salamanders if the single specimen they have has no legs and is only visible from the belly side? You got me. Of course, artists' depictions of this little guy are fully half frog and half salamander. However, the nice bit of honesty, as reported by John Bolt, curator for fossil amphibians and reptiles at The Field Museum in Chicago, is that this organism seems to resemble modern amphibians—aka it shows no signs of being more primitive or less sophisticated than modern amphibians. With a single specimen and only about 2/3 or so of it, it's hard to believe anyone with integrity would suggest this is a transitional organism, an intermediate, or a “missing link.” There's just not enough information to make any such statements.

Then there's the Puijila. The story is that organisms evolved from non-living material (a violation of the law of biogenesis and contrary to every single observation related to it) and slowly, over eons of time, changed from single cellular organisms to multi-cellular organisms to, eventually, fish that slowly began to walk out of the water onto land. These guys eventually became amphibians, then reptiles, then birds and mammals. The problem is we have mammals that live in the water. How did that happen? Well, there are wonderful stories evolutionists will tell of how land-dwelling mammals decided to migrate back into the water to become whales. I'll get into the terrible science, dishonest story telling, and over reporting that has gone into that later. There are similar issues with sea lions and seals. Where did these guys come from? Obviously, as a creationist, I believe they came from the creative mind of God on day 6 of creation week. But the evolutionist will explain how this fossil—Puijila—is a transition from land to sea dwelling creatures, like the sea lion and seal. This group of animals is called “pinnipeds.” This has been an issue for evolutionists because there are tons of fossils of pinnipeds, but nothing to show where they came from—who their ancestors were. What I mean is there is nothing in the fossil record to show land dwelling mammals that migrated and evolved to live in the water. This fossilized creature is all they have. However, it's nothing more than a river otter. The similarities between it and otters are extensive, while its similarities to pinnipeds are lacking. It has feet and a long tail, which distinguishes it from seals and sea lions, and its proportions are exactly that of river otters. You may even find “scientific” articles that say its eyes and teeth were like those of pinnipeds, but this is simply not true. They are more like river otters. Richard Dawkins, the infamous God-hating evolutionist, stated, “Puijila neatly straddles the gap between land and water in the ancestry of pinnipeds. It is yet another delightful addition to our growing list of ‘links’ that are no longer missing.”

It's almost cute how these guys get so excited about something that is clearly not what they so desperately want it to be. They long for a story to tell that helps them feel better about denying the existence of, and therefore their accountability, to God. If evolution is accepted, then there is no need for a Creator. The ramifications are astounding. Man's hatred for God is what fuels the desire for evolution to be a reality (although, to date, we have no actual evidence other than circular arguments and imagination). But the smoke and mirrors of evolution are not held in a monopoly by humanists/atheists. Sadly, some Christians have rejected the clear reading of Scripture and have decided to buy into the origins myth that “science” teaches. They call themselves “theistic evolutionists” and believe atheism when it comes to origins and believe the Bible on redemption. They want it both ways, but it just doesn't work. Unfortunately, it's not science at all but atheism masquerading as an intellectually superior worldview. The fact is, atheism is void of substance, is cold and hopeless, lacks consistency to any real degree at all, borrows from the Christian worldview in order to argue against it, and has more holes in it than a golf resort. Don't be fooled into thinking these ideas—evolution and/or the big bang theory—are scientific ideas at all or supported by evidence. They are not supported to any degree and are only alternatives to what we plainly see all around us: that God is real and He created the universe and all life on earth.

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The Evil Within, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, November 29, 2017 0 comments

by David Odegard

The serpent convinced Eve that disobedience to God was in her best interest. The snap of Eve biting into that apple, or whatever fruit it was, resounded throughout all the ages of mankind. The serpent then used her to tempt Adam to eat the forbidden fruit, too. Adam ate with eyes wide open.

The fruit was from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Knowledge divorced from God. Knowledge for yourself, with no accountability to God. As the Luciferian creed states, “Do What Thou Will.” “Don’t let anyone stop you from your dreams.”

When the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened, as the Scripture says, everything changed. They fell. Their souls were irrevocably changed. For the first time, they experience shame and fear. Eden was transformed suddenly into a hostile place. They dreaded the presence of God because they realized their own nakedness.

“If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains, but only a fearful expectation of judgement and raging fire that will consume all adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).

The human condition is dreadful. We are bent by nature. As Jeremiah said, “Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool, inscribed with a fine point, on the tablets of their hearts” (Jeremiah 17:1). And, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked—beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (17:9).

Sigmund Freud thought he could understand why the soul is broken, but he doesn’t come even a fraction as close as Jeremiah did with his precise diagnosis of the human soul.

Jeremiah pronounced judgement because of sin. He says, “Through your own fault you will lose the inheritance I gave you. I will enslave you to your enemies in a land you do not know” (17:4) Over and over God had placed His people on the anvil and pounded His hammer down on them. He pounded them flat with the hammer of the Philistines, the hammer of the Egyptians, the hammer of the Assyrians, and now Jeremiah was announcing the Hammer of the Babylonians. Pounding, pounding, pounding, generation after generation. Pounding hearts too hard to yield to God!

One can almost hear the voice of the apostle Paul, crying out in his despair, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24).

But God shows Jeremiah a new day that is to come.

The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice. You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and eat them as ordinary food. For there shall be a day when the watchmen will cry on Mount Ephraim, ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the Lord our God.’ (Jeremiah 31:3-6)

Now I almost can hear the bewilderment of Nicodemus when asked Jesus, “How can these things be?” (John 3:9).

God gives us the promise of the new covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34. It is only by the Messiah coming and instituting this New Covenant that people will be able to be different. God will cease His endless pounding when He finishes the nails in the Messiah’s hands and feet, and the Blood of Jesus will make us clean.

Jesus, on the night before He betrayed to the cross, picked up the cup at the last supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is being poured out for you” (Luke 22:20). The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was necessary to take away our heart of stone and open up a new agreement between God and His people. He would punish Jesus for our sin.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:4-5)

Anna Waterman wrote this sweet refrain after realizing that the blood of Jesus is the only remedy for sin.
Come, ye sinners, lost and hopeless, Jesus’ blood can make you free; For He saved the worst among you, When He saved a wretch like me.
And I know, yes, I know Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean.

This is precisely what we testify to in baptism: that we are sinners, dead in transgressions, until Christ has “made us alive with God.” Because, “Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins” (Hebrews 9:22). Now that Christ has remade us, we are dead to sin, but alive to God.

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22).

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 Sin of “Race-ism”

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, November 28, 2017 0 comments

by Aaron Felty

This will be my final post on race in the series regarding our Christ-like responses to the “race” issue.

Here is a statement that parallels this conversation. The 2nd amendment gives all citizens of our country the right to bear arms. Many people argue that we need gun laws to reduce gun crimes. They say that guns in and of themselves are inherently evil, and that while they require a person to operate them, guns allow more carnage and therefore need to be restricted. My contention is that the issue is not about guns, it is about sin! No amount of government legislation will reduce the amount of sin in our country; only the saving work of Jesus Christ can do that.

I believe our use of the “isms” is a way to put our finger on the underlying cause, to give the ills of the day specific names. The rampant sexual harassment and poor treatment of women by our male politicians and entertainers is called sexism. When someone says we ought to restrict people from countries that sponsor terrorism, it is called xenophobism. If you believe in a traditional definition of marriage, it is called homophobism. Finally, if a person of a different skin color or ethnic background is or feels slighted, it is called racism. I am not suggesting the terms be abandoned, only that we miss the underlying cause and fail to actually treat the problem: sin!

The heart of the matter is sin. If someone thinks they are better or above anyone else because of their gender, immigration status, sexuality, or skin color, they have a sin problem. It is the sin of pride and idolatry. These types of sin put the individual in the place of God. Genesis 3:5 says that the serpent tempted Eve with being like God, determining what is good and evil, when she ate from that forbidden tree.

All these “isms” have sin on one or both sides. Sexism can be declared if there is legitimate reasoning, or if someone simply “feels” slighted by a person of the other gender. This could be sin on both sides. The exact same could be said for xenophobism, homophobism, and racism. Someone may be legitimately mistreating another because of their citizenship, sexual orientation, or skin color, or a person can “feel” like they have been slighted when in reality it is simply their own pride. Just because someone looks at me funny it does not mean they are a racist. However, someone can look at me pleasantly and harbor sinful attitudes in their heart and I never know. So, the real issue is sin, not the “isms.”

When people speak of racism, I believe they are really attempting to define their own experiences, feelings, and intuitions. Instead of saying it is sinful to mistreat someone differently because of their skin color, we just say, “You’re a racist!” or “That’s racism!” Like it or not, the experience of black people in America has always been shrouded with feelings of being treated as less than others. Some move through it better than others, but I have never met one black person who has not at one time or another been mistreated simply because of their skin color. I am not saying everyone has been mistreated, simply that I have not met anyone who hasn’t. Also, I know everyone has difficulties. The difference is many of the things we are mistreated about can be changed, but it is not easy to change one’s skin color. The sooner we come to grips with that, the sooner we can reconcile and walk freely and equally as God intended.

How do we overcome the sin of “racism”? We must extend grace and mercy. Truly seek to understand where the other person is coming from. Give them an underserved gift, the gift of listening with the desire to understand. Furthermore, when someone wrongs us or mistreats us because of our skin color, we do not repay them what they deserve. If you are black and someone is harsh, you can respond by walking away, confronting the sin gracefully, communicating how that statement affected you, or many other ways. If you are white and you hear harsh racial comments, take a stand and call out the sin. Do not laugh at racist jokes. Grace and mercy does not mean to become a doormat; on the contrary, it means standing up in strength but doing so in a way that honors Christ. Read how Jesus responded on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Of course, on the surface people know what they are doing, but at a deeper level they do not. Jesus is the model for grace and mercy, giving an underserved gift and withholding deserved punishment.

Another statement about the sin of racism is we have to move past being easily offended. As black people, it is idolatry to find racism in everything or even many things. The truth is, many people are not racist. We have created an idol out of being black. I have actually heard people say, “I am black first.” For me that is not even top 10. I am a child of God, enemy of the devil, part of a holy family and a royal priesthood, brother of Christ, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, and nephew who happens to be half black. As white people, it is ignorance, insensitivity, and a lack of care that causes you to not see the pain of black people as it relates to racism. It is just lazy to think it no longer exists and people should just get over it. It is prideful to think you know better than someone who actually lives in this world as a black person.

We ought to acknowledge every person’s feelings, even if we disagree. We could say, “So it sounds to me like you feel slighted or mistreated, is that so?” By acknowledging, we are not agreeing or condoning, just demonstrating love. Then, we should be slow to speak and slow to become angry.

Finally, at some point we have to walk by faith, not by sight. We must trust that in the end God will deal with all the injustice and maybe, just maybe, He is calling us to be a part of that reconciliation process now. In prayer, we should go to God and ask Him to reveal any unclean way about us, to remove it, and to replace it with the fruit of His Spirit. Racism is a sin and sin can be avoided. It’s well past time we avoided this one!

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.


What Does the Bible Say About Sports?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 27, 2017 2 comments

by Katie Erickson

Anyone who knows me that I am not a sports fan. I never have been, and I’m pretty sure I never will be. If I had to choose a favorite sport it would be baseball, simply because I know the most about it, having gone to numerous baseball games with my baseball-fan family growing up. While I will attend an occasional game as a social event, it’s not something I often choose to do in my free time.

So the question this week is what does the Bible say about sports? There are a number of sports metaphors in the Bible. For example, Philippians 3:13b-14 says, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 uses sports metaphors to explain having self-discipline in our spiritual life: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

1 Timothy 4:8 takes that one step farther, saying, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”

When the apostle Paul was nearing the end of his life, he compared it to the end of a race in 2 Timothy 4:7-8: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day —and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

While the Bible does not mention specifics for every sporting situation, we need to look at its overall meaning and realize that whatever we are doing (whether it be playing sports, watching sports, or some other activity), we should be good witnesses of our faith and the God we serve in everything. We see this in 1 Peter 3:15, Matthew 5:14-16, and 1 Corinthians 10:31.

We also need to be cautious against sinning within the context of sports. The main cautions we get from the Bible that would apply to sports are pride and idolatry.

We can easily become prideful when either we are particularly good at a certain sport, or when our favorite team is doing very well. There are many verses in Proverbs that talk about the negative effects of pride, but here are a couple. Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 27:2 says, “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” When we boast in ourselves and our own accomplishments, we are being prideful. Sports frequently bring attention to the accomplishments of the individual, rather than giving glory to God.

Idolatry is addressed in Matthew 22:37-38: “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” If we put anything else as a higher priority in life than God, then we are loving that thing and not loving God with our whole heart. 1 John 5:21 is pretty self-explanatory: “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” Anything that we worship more than we worship God is an idol in our lives.

How can you tell if sports are an idol in your life? If you play sports, do you make games or practice a priority over spending time with God in your life? If you watch sports, can you name all the players on your favorite team, but not the books of the Bible? Does watching sports get in the way of your time spent worshiping God? Do you wish the pastor would preach a shorter sermon on Sundays so you can get home in time for kickoff? Consider how you spend your time and where your priorities are at.

There is nothing inherently sinful about sports according to what the Bible says, but we should be cautioned that sports of any sort (or anything else for that matter) are not to be a higher priority in our lives than the God who created us with the abilities and passions He has given us.

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 Faith of Moses' Parents: Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, November 26, 2017 0 comments

by Logan Ames

In our present culture, there is a lot of attention, discussion, and even outrage toward people, programs, institutions, and belief systems that are deemed to be “oppressive” to certain groups of people. And depending on what particular issue is being addressed, we occasionally find ourselves involved in something where people on BOTH sides feel they are being oppressed. Christians often find themselves in the middle because they want to stay true to God’s Word but also don’t want to appear as hateful or ungracious. Since those words are generally thrown around anytime someone doesn’t like the view of another, it’s a realistic concern for believers.

During confusing and frustrating times, we can always find hope in Scripture. The Bible is clear that showing care and concern for the oppressed is not a suggestion; it’s a command. In Isaiah 1, God is speaking to the Israelites through the prophet and is telling them that they are disobedient and rebellious, just to name two of the adjectives listed there. But in verse 17, he specifically tells them to “seek justice” and “defend the oppressed." He then gives more specific information about who is oppressed: “Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." In other words, those who are most oppressed, according to God’s Word, are not those who have had their feelings hurt or who are struggling to deal with the unfairness they have experienced in life. The truly oppressed are those most vulnerable who cannot care for their own needs - widows and orphans.

We should ask ourselves in 2017 if anything has changed. Yes, single women and even widows have many more opportunities to provide for their needs in our society than they ever did in Biblical times. But as believers, we ought to pay attention to those who are most vulnerable and dependent on others. Single mothers might be hard-working and almost heroic in the way they juggle all their responsibilities, but they are still at a disadvantage. Widows who have given their whole lives to supporting their husbands or families and now must find a way to function in life with diminished skill sets (at least in the eyes of the working world) need our help. Children who are either unwanted or whose parents can no longer care for them or have passed on are completely dependent on others to meet their basic needs. I believe God will hold us accountable just as he did Israel if we ignore these needs right in front of us.

While many don’t want to hear what I’m about to declare, it’s something the church in America MUST address. By far, the most oppressed group of human beings in this country and across the planet is unborn children. Some will say it’s a controversial statement, but the statistics are indisputable. By anyone’s count, over 50 million babies have been aborted in the United States and over 45 million are aborted every year across the world. The vast majority of these babies are simply “orphans," children who God allowed to be created yet remain unwanted by their parents. And even those who may have been wanted at some point had their lives and futures snuffed out in favor of something that took greater priority. Some will say we shouldn’t talk about political issues in this type of forum. Well, good thing it’s an issue of faith and not one of politics. And by the way, this great sin of oppression has been taking place for thousands of years.

For this week and next, our heroes of the faith from Hebrews 11 are two people that the writer of Hebrews doesn’t even mention by name (Exodus 6:20 tells us they are Amram and Jochebed), but their faith and appreciation for created life stood out during a time when no one would’ve blamed them for caving to the laws and pressures around them. They were the parents of Moses, a man whom God had planned to lead the Israelites out of captive Egypt since before he was even born. But he faced an instant and very real threat to his life the very moment he opened his eyes for the first time in this world. To understand it, we have to know the history.

Last week, we talked about the faith of Joseph and his prophecy that the Israelites would surely leave Egypt and his bones would be carried back to the Promised Land. At the time Joseph died, things were good between Pharaoh (king of Egypt), Joseph, and the rest of the Israelites. One reason for this was that the Israelites posed no threat whatsoever to the Egyptians at that point. But as we transition from Joseph to the exodus, we learn that circumstances changed. Exodus 1:6-10 tells us that after Joseph and his family members died, the Israelites experienced their own “baby boomer” era and the land became so full of them that a new Pharaoh who couldn’t possibly have cared less about Joseph decided the Egyptians had to do something about them before they join Egypt’s enemies and fight against them. Exodus 1:11-14 shows us that his initial plan was to simply oppress them with ruthless physical labor. He must have assumed that this might control the population a bit. When that doesn’t work and the Israelites only increase (I’ll say more about this next week), Pharaoh resorts to partial-birth abortions, ordering the Hebrew midwives to kill any Hebrew babies that are determined to be males when the mothers are already on the delivery stool (v. 16). When that plan doesn’t work because the midwives obey God over Pharaoh (I’ll say more about this next week as well), Pharaoh goes a step further and resorts to infanticide, ordering that every Hebrew male baby be thrown into the Nile River (v. 22).

This is the setting for Moses’ parents to take their great step of faith. When Moses is born, and Exodus 2:2 tells us that his mother saw he “was a fine child," his parents had a life-changing decision to make. Would they disobey the king’s order and risk not only the destruction of their child but also their very lives? Or would they disobey God out of fear of man? Well, Hebrews 11:23 reminds us of what the next part of Exodus 2 details, that Moses’ parents had faith and demonstrated it by hiding him for three months. They feared God more than the king’s heinous order. I suppose that they determined that a God who created the whole universe out of what we can’t see (Hebrews 11:3) could be trusted to handle life and death concerns.

The story didn’t end after those three months. As we’ll see next week, Moses’ parents continued to take steps of faith and were ultimately rewarded in a way that only God could truly organize. But for us, we must determine if we trust God enough to accept that he oversees life and death entirely. The alternative is that we succumb to the prevailing worldview of our culture that WE should have ultimate choice in this area. There have been well-known Christian leaders coming down on both sides recently, as well as others that just try to avoid the issue altogether. But let us all be challenged to do as God commands and look after those who are most vulnerable and oppressed, especially the unborn! I remind you, it’s not a suggestion.

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.


Jezebel’s Net

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 24, 2017 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

No person in the Bible represents evil incarnate more so than Jezebel, the wife of Ahab. Her influence over Ahab was so strong that her name became synonymous with false teachings by the time of the writing of Revelation and the warning against the church of Thyatira. God gave Ahab multiple chances to turn to him. He cut off rain for 3½ years. He brought fire down from heaven. He gave him not one but two victories against Syria. But time and time again, there was one person who had him by the hook: Jezebel.

In 1 Kings 21:25, we see this statement: “But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the Lord, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.” Ahab was wicked enough as it was because he walked in the ways of Jeroboam, which means at the very least, he allowed the idol worship of the golden calves at Dan and Beersheba to continue, and not only that, he married Jezebel. As I read through the life of Ahab a while back, and after listening to this great sermon by David Wilkerson about Jezebel, I wondered something: if Ahab had not married Jezebel, would he have repented?

With this post, I wrap up my series on false teachings. One thing I have noticed is that with each false teaching, there is a connection to a false teacher. That sounds like a “Well, duh” statement, but hear me. Behind each person who promotes a false teaching behind the pulpit, there is a master wolf promoting it from behind the scenes.

The Prosperity Gospel is the pagan concept of “the Law of Attraction” covered and decorated in Christianese, targeting the fleshly desires to commit the sins of greed, lust, and covetousness. There is a person behind this “Law of Attraction” in the secular world, a woman by the name of Rhonda Byrne. Her film and book (based on the film) The Secret has held massive sway in many circles, not just Christian. I have watched the film and all my comments about the Law of Attraction are based on the documentary.

The Emergent Church also has one man influencing the leaders of the movement: Ken Wilber. One of the Emergent Church leaders actually said in one of his books that if you wanted to understand Emergent thinking to spend three months at the feet of Ken Wilber. Ken Wilber has many followers, and he is a New Age atheist, greatly influenced by various Buddhist, Freudian, and Marxist philosophies with a model, Integral Theory, that I have not been able to really grasp yet. Yet, in the Emergent Church, much of their influence is not coming from Christ but from Ken Wilber.

The Old Earth Creation models have many teachers, but the ones who primarily influenced them are now long dead. Charles Lyell, Charles Darwin, Thomas Huxley, and others were what spurred the movement. In all the models, what influences the OEC leaders are not other Godly leaders, but the secular experts.

If you are going to call yourself a Christian, shouldn’t the person you follow be Christ? And if you listen to others, shouldn’t they be also disciples of Christ? Yet one of the clues you can use to see if a teaching is true or false is to trace the core of the teaching to its roots. All false teachings have a root with someone who is not a Christian, with someone who follows in the footsteps of Jezebel.

Ahab got to witness God control the weather, bring fire from heaven, and win him battles, and every time he returned home to give the report, there was Jezebel, decked in her vanity, and her leash on Ahab in her hand. I can only image the excitement Ahab may have had after seeing what happened on Mt. Carmel. But instead of considering there was something real to Elijah, she put out a death warrant for him and it was no idle threat. She moved to silence any attempt to reach Ahab and she was successful. When Ahab wanted Naboth’s Vineyard, it was Jezebel who set the trap to have the man killed so Ahab could claim it.

But notice how God never blamed Jezebel directly. He blamed Ahab. Why? Because Ahab was the authority and he surrendered it to Jezebel, just as Adam did with Eve. Likewise, each of the teachers of these false teachings are going to be held responsible not only for teaching error, but for listening to sources that never came from God. Could they be deceived and teach out of ignorance? Sure. Paul in his zeal persecuted the Christians out of ignorance and pride. It did not get him off the hook, though. Paul grieved over his previous lifestyle constantly.

What happens when you follow such teachings? First, it takes away any power of your faith. You may be an authentic, born again Christian, but you have no power and Jezebel will have done her job at neutralizing you. She can’t take you with her, but she certainly can render you useless to God if you follow her as man falling for the trap of an adulteress. Second, if you are an authentic born again believer, following these teachings is as building with wood, hay, and stubble. You may survive, but as one just rescued from a burning building. If you hold on to it too tightly, you may be as Lot’s wife, escaping Sodom only to be turned into a pillar of salt for refusing to let go of the old lavish lifestyle. Third, while you may escape the judgment upon the false teaching, you open the door for the next generation to take it a step further. Those raised in Jezebel’s net are easily lured to stronger nets, and Jezebel is not one who will let go of a single follower without a fight.

There is only one way to escape Jezebel’s net. First, you need God to supernaturally awaken you to the fact that you are caught in her net. The enemy is really good at making those nets very comfortable and uses health, wealth, and prosperity to build them; but they are still nets nonetheless. And those he catches in Jezebel’s net tend to fight with everything they have to keep the net. If I were to start listing the specific names in these three categories of Prosperity Gospel, Emergent Church, and Old Earth Creation, I can guarantee I would have followers of those teachers roaring after me with teeth and claws as though I had destroyed their most precious possession. I can say that because I have experienced it.

The second thing is that you must renounce the holder of the net and deny the net. You must let go of what that false teacher promises and you must renounce that teacher of having any authority in your life. If it means leaving the church you attend, then do so. If it means changing your lifestyle, then do so. You must leave it all behind and not look back.

Leaving a false teaching is no easy task because it’s not just the enemy that will hound you to get you back; all those who follow it will hound you. Those who leave Mormonism or the Prosperity Gospel can often be considered outcasts by their closest friends. Daring to question the leaders to any of their followers is like taking a baby bear from its mama. They will use threats on your life, your family, your soul, and all you hold dear to keep you “contained.” Prepare for a fight. But this is life or death and is not a playing matter. Your life and the lives of any in your circles can be influenced in how you handle a true or false teaching. You may not be able to save someone, because they must make their own choices, however, you are responsible for how any who listen to you turn out. If you follow a false teacher, have been warned about it with wise, Biblical counsel, continue, and others follow that false teacher because of you, you will be held responsible. If you escape, and because of your influence others escape, you will be rewarded, as long as you lead them to the truth. It happened to a dear friend of mine who passed away two months ago. He was caught up in a cult setting and God enabled him to escape. He and a good friend started the church I grew up in, married my parents who describe him as the Godliest man they have ever known, and he never departed from the truth since. It wasn’t easy, but because he did and because of how many have followed him to the truth, he is experiencing a great reward in heaven right now.

Listen carefully to what you are hearing. False teachings are everywhere and it is very hard to find the truth anymore. The only way to know for sure is to check EVERYTHING with Scripture. Be a Berean. Take every thought captive to the will of Christ Jesus. Let him be the standard and let him help you escape from Jezebel’s net.

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.


For the Glory of God, Give Thanks

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 23, 2017 0 comments

by Steve Risner

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18

“Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” -Psalm 106:1

We can tend to be prideful—people in general but men especially. We feel, often times, that we're self-sufficient and have it under control. Our job pays the bills. We're healthy. We've got the kids or school taken care of. Life is good and we've done well for ourselves. Sure, we may offer up the token, “To God be the glory,” but do we really mean that? Have we meditated on the goodness, the grace, and the blessings of God and truly, honestly thanked Him for it?

We often times put our faith in our situation rather than in God. What happens when restructuring moves our job overseas and the money's gone? Where's our faith now? What happens if we find that ache or pain or cough was the first sign of a debilitating or terminal disease that causes us to waste away, unable to do activities of daily living or even participate at work or home? Our health could be gone in a moment. What happens when a family issue causes strife within the family? A word spoken hastily can change a family dynamic in a moment. Where do we put our faith? How do we respond to these things?

1 Thessalonians (above) tells us we are to be thankful in all circumstances. It's easy to be thankful when our situation is good. But what about the times when it's not going so well? The truth is, our lives here and now are but a moment, and our eternal destiny—paradise with Jesus—gives us all the reason we need to praise Him and thank Him every day. No matter what is happening, Jesus Christ has still paid the price for your sins, making your eternal destiny heaven.

It changes our mood. It changes our outlook. It improves our health. It actually changes our brain chemistry. Being grateful literally can help change your mind! So let's spend some time being thankful and not just this time of year or today, but every day and in all things.

The Bible tells us over and over to be thankful or to be grateful. It also tells us that it is for God's glory that we are to serve others, so they will give thanks and praise to Him. God enjoys receiving thanks.

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” -2 Corinthians 9:11-12

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” -2 Corinthians 4:15

Here we see that serving others in the name of the Lord leads to His praise and people being grateful to Him. He receives the glory! The two great motivators in Christian generosity are that it fills the need of another human being as we are moved with compassion to help, and it leads to God receiving glory and thanksgiving – a double blessing!

You can be thankful in a number of ways, but they must all be sincere. If you're not really grateful, none of this will be of benefit to you. It must come from a grateful heart. Meditating on God's goodness and grace will lead to thanksgiving. Sitting and contemplating the things you have to be grateful for and truly thanking the Almighty for it is a great place to start. But something much easier is in song! We find the Psalms are filled with exhortations to thank God.

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” -Psalm 100:4

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.” -Psalm 69:30

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” -Psalm 107:1

“A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” -Psalm 100:1-5

“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” -Psalm 95:2

“A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High.” -Psalm 92:1

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” -Psalm 28:7

And in the New Testament, Paul tells us to praise and thank God through singing.

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” -Colossians 3:16-17

It's a really easy and uplifting way to demonstrate gratitude to our Great God who has done great things for us.

Take some time today this week to sit and think on these things—to sit and think on what God has done for you. Be grateful and express that thanks in prayer and meditation as well as in singing. But remember: you can spread the cheer by serving others; providing for the needs of others which will inspire them to thank and praise Him as well. Thanks for reading and God bless you!

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The Evil Within, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, November 22, 2017 0 comments

by David Odegard

On November 5, we had a brutal demonstration of human evil in a little Baptist church on the outskirts of San Antonio, TX. Devin Kelly entered the church intending to kill his ex-wife’s grandmother. In the course of events, he slaughtered a total of 26 people including the pastor’s kids. Kelly killed women and children because of his blurry hate. Evil is latent in the heart of man.

The root of bitterness finds fertile and welcome soil in the hearts of so many people. Kelly nursed his hatred, fed it, and cared for it. The root of bitterness prospered in his heart. It poisoned everything about the young man.

I have read only a few details of Devin Kelly’s life. He was kicked out of the Air Force. He was convicted of animal cruelty because he closed fist punched a dog, picked it up, and choked it. Worse yet, he beat his wife and child. It seems that his ex-wife’s grandma, Lulu White, urged Kelly’s wife to get away from him before he killed her someday. Grandma was right on.

But Kelly blamed Lulu White’s interference, rather than his own violence. Kelly had a diseased and fallen soul, but he refused to agree with God about that it was in fact fallen. He did not repent, rather he justified himself, like so many do.

The anger deepened, and he began to console himself, like Esau did, with the thought of murder. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually the hateful roots spread their wicked tendrils throughout his entire heart until it was completely consumed. It began to express itself in the afore mentioned criminal acts. After his bitter lust for revenge conceived, it gave birth to death.

Just shooting his former grandmother-in-law did not satisfy his evil. He had to kill 26 people. Women. Little children! And finally, like a coward, he shot himself. “Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death” (James 1:15).

My nephew is taking a psychology class in college, so you can imagine he has a lot of questions. Right now, he is knee deep in Freud and Skinner. Recently he asked me to summarize Freud’s and Skinner’s philosophical basis and then contrast it with Christianity. I just wanted him to help me clean out my barn, but instead I got a Psych 101 exam.

But please, constant reader, allow me to offer you the briefest sketch of what I told him, because all Christians need to see the contrast for ourselves.

Freud was committed to philosophical materialism; that is, he interpreted life from an evolutionary framework. Those who believe the Bible, on the contrary, believe that God made everything and that we were created as human beings in the image of God.

According to Freud, the id is a hold-over from a lower stage of evolution of human beings, through which humanity was rewarded by its ability to procreate and fight off competitors. The id perhaps should have been discarded after an earlier stage in the evolutionary path to humanity. Freud defined the id as the pleasure center of the brain. It motivates a human being by lust for sex and violence, demanding fulfillment, but often by sabotaging our best intentions in modernity.

Evolutionists and Christians look at the same characteristics in human beings and posit explanations which account for the data and their preconceived philosophical commitments. What Freud has to call the id, a holdover from evolution, we Christians call the fallen nature.

Christians know that at the Fall, humanity changed into desperate sinners. Human nature corrupted into the cruel image we now see every day in the news. Even Freud could see the effects of the Fall, even if he completely failed to discern their origin.

Christianity has a deep understanding of the human heart. We have been studying the soul for thousands of years now, in contrast to evolutionists like Freud’s paltry century.

Excuse my use of Greek, but the New Testament teaches that humanity’s basic problem comes from the Pathos — the diseased state of the mind, will, and emotions. The diseased soul. From the diseased soul the various lusts (epithumea) surge out—the hot passions of anger, rage, malice, and lust, which spring like the tentacles of an octopus from the pathos. Like Hercules’ hydra, cutting off the tentacles does little to kill the beast. So cutting of various sins does not change the diseased state of the soul—only Christ can do that!

The Bible teaches that at the Fall, our nature was twisted. Like a blacksmith trying to make a knife out of the spring from a truck, no matter how many times the steel is hammered flat, it still wants to curl back up because it can’t forget it was once a spring. It is forever distorted. The only remedy is to melt it down and recast it. (See Romans 6.)

Why do human beings choose to do evil when the path to the good is apparent? Is it because we still have monkey-genes swirling around in our DNA? No, human beings have not evolved from lower forms of life. We come from the dirt and the hand of God. Then our creator blew the breath of life into us: A living spirit. Like Him. And we became alive—forever.

The Bible clearly describes the source of all human evil and its cure. Evil began when human beings sought to live independently from God, but the cure is found in the perfect obedience of Christ. Jesus has made reconciliation with God possible through his sacrifice on the cross. Friend, don’t justify yourself. Agree with God that you are a sinner and receive His cure. You need a new heart. Jesus makes that possible. Till next week. Blessings.

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Israel: The 5th Gospel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, November 21, 2017 0 comments

by Aaron Felty

Let me explain how I see Israel as the 5th gospel. Recently my wife and I spent 2 weeks in Israel. A group of 45 of us embarked on a Biblical studies tour of the Holy Land. On our first day, the group was in the dining area of our hotel doing introductions. The leader of our group, Larry Erhlich, made a statement that stayed with me the entire trip. Initially it kind of rubbed me the wrong way, but by the end of the trip I began to embrace it as well. He said, “Israel is like a 5th Gospel.” HERESY! First of all, there is only one Gospel and that is found in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, but I get what he meant. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are 4 writers of the Gospel message and Larry’s assertion and mine is that Israel is something of a 5th gospel. In short, a visit to Israel communicates God’s message of salvation to all who will listen. 

Obviously land cannot save anyone, so I am not saying that a requirement to get into heaven is the land of Israel. After all, that does not even make sense. However, what I am saying is that the land teaches us a couple of very important lessons that parallel our salvation. 

First of all, God is a promise keeper. If God makes a promise, He will certainly keep it, but what if He establishes a covenant? A covenant is even stronger than a promise. In Genesis 12, God entered a covenant relationship with Abram. Often, we Christians forget all that is included in that covenant. Yes, we remember the phrase, “blessed to be a blessing,” but we often fail to remember that the covenant included Genesis 12:7: “To your offspring I will give this land.” If God entered a covenant with Abram some 4500 years ago and it has come to pass (in 1948 Israel became a country, and a few weeks ago I was in the very room where it all went down), then all the promises He has made in Scripture will come to pass. The Bible says it is impossible for God to lie. So the very fact that Israel is a nation is good news, what God says in His word will come to pass. 

Secondly, the message of salvation is the story of the human experience, which is also demonstrated by the land of Israel. Before anyone comes to faith in Jesus Christ, two things must be present: 1) an awareness of sinfulness, our enslavement, and 2) faith that God has provided the only solution for that problem. The Bible says we are slaves to sin before entering a relationship with Jesus. The Israelites were slaves in the land of Egypt and God led them out, into the promised land as free people.

Our team spent 4 days in the wilderness looking at the place where Moses struck the rock to make water come out. We also saw the place where Solomon mined for copper, the place where the Israelites began to grumble about how difficult the wilderness was and bronze serpents came up and killed many so Moses had to lift up a serpent on a pole and those who looked at it were healed. We saw the caves of the En Gedi (pictured at right) where David hid from Saul, and so much more. However, the most profound thing was how bleak, desolate, difficult, barren, dry, harsh, and deadly the wilderness is and most certainly was. That place is HORRENDOUS - rocks and dirt as far as the eyes can see for hours! (See photo below.) I completely understand why the Israelites grumbled to Moses and wanted to go back to Egypt. I will not chastise them ever again for grumbling.

God led them out of slavery into a land flowing with milk and honey. The only problem was, there literally was no milk and honey and the people grumbled. Deuteronomy 8 says that during their time in the wilderness, the Israelites’ shoes did not wear out and their feet did not swell. For 40 years?? I was there 4 days and my feet swelled up! I bought expensive shoes for this trip and in 4 days they were wearing out. We had 45 people in our group; Moses had anywhere from 50,000 to 1.5 million people in his group (depending on who you ask).

Here is my profound revelation: without God, you will die in the wilderness, and that is the human experience. There is no way they survived that “other worldly” place without divine intervention. There is no water, no wildlife, and no plant life, only rocks and dirt! I cannot even hypothesize how God could keep 45 people, let alone 1.5 million people, alive in that place for 40 years. It is beyond comprehension, and mind you we went in the winter season, not during the time where the temperature is 40 degrees hotter. The land of Israel showed me that without God’s direct and regular action I will die. That is the message of the Gospel. There is nothing I can do to save myself; God has done all the initiating!

If we place our trust in the words of God we will never be let down. Our response to God’s word should be obedience inspired by love, that is, we love God because He first loved us. In Deuteronomy 8 (referenced above), Moses warned the people to not disobey when things are good. If I reword those sentiments positively it would be: “When things are good, obey all the more as a sign of gratitude.” 

The only sensible response to the Gospel message is a desire to obey inspired by love. Going to Israel has given me a much deeper appreciation for the covenant that God has entered with us through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. I want to love Him more because I have seen the literal ongoing fulfillment of His covenant with Abraham and Moses in the promised land. Our only hope for living in the wilderness is trusting what God has done through Jesus Christ on our behalf. Will you trust Him?

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What Does the Bible Say About Sex After Marriage?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, November 20, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Last week I wrote on what the Bible says about sex before marriage, so that begs the question: what about sex after marriage?

Before answering this question, we first need to establish what marriage is. Marriage is between one man and one woman. It can’t be redefined to be anything else, because it was instituted by God. The marriage relationship should be like that of God and the church.

Hebrews 13:4 talks about sex both before and after marriage: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Keeping the marriage bed pure means that sex will only happen between a husband and wife. Once two people have intercourse, they become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

The apostle Paul gives advice to married couples in 1 Corinthians 7. Verses 3-4 say, “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” Once a couple is married, Paul commands them to stay married, because they are already united as one flesh, in verses 10-11: “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.”

Similarly, the Bible tells us that sex after marriage should not include adultery (sex with someone other than your spouse) or prostitution.

“You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20:14)

“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.'” (1 Corinthians 6:15-17)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

Regarding the details of sex between a husband and wife within the context of marriage, the Bible is not very specific. But the general guideline to follow is to determine whether that particular act is good, beneficial and loving. In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul says, “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but I will not be mastered by anything.” While the context of this passage is not specifically related to sex, the concept still applies. Just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good or beneficial. That’s where discernment and discussion between the husband and wife needs to take place.

So what does the Bible say? While sex before (or outside of) marriage is condemned as sin by the Bible, sex after and in the context of marriage is encouraged.

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The Faith of Joseph

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, November 19, 2017 0 comments

by Logan Ames

Just over a week ago, our nation held its annual observance of Veterans’ Day. It appropriately falls just a few weeks before Thanksgiving and the beginning of our Christmas season, as it reminds us that we have much for which to be thankful in this country and much that we so often take for granted. The service and sacrifice of so many in our military remind us of our Savior, who gave up his very life for not just our nation, but the sins of the whole world.

A word that might most accurately describe our veterans’ service is “legacy." They love their country and want to be remembered as having contributed to maintaining the freedoms it provides. One man who couldn’t bear the thought of his legacy not including some sacrifice or contribution to preserving those freedoms was former NFL player, Pat Tillman. He is known for having given up his comfortable life as a professional athlete to join his brother in the Army Rangers during our national conflicts with Iraq and Afghanistan. While anyone who has heard of his story knows that Tillman lost his life in Afghanistan in 2004, many have continued to wonder why he would give up the life that so many would want. The answer can be found in an interview he did the day after 9/11, part of which can be viewed here. Tillman mentioned all of his family members who had proudly served their country, then considered that he, by comparison, hadn’t done a thing. He would eventually come to the conclusion that a legacy of service and self-sacrifice was better than a legacy of athletic success and lavish living.

How we live, and for that matter how we handle the fact that our lives are but a fraction of God’s whole story in the world, says everything about the legacy that remains long after our time. Our hero of the faith for this week is Joseph, and he certainly left a lasting legacy of faith and dependence on God. Hebrews 11:22 tells us, “By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones." This verse shows us that Joseph had an opportunity to do what many don’t, and that’s give direct instructions to those who will carry on his legacy just before he dies. Let’s go back to the Old Testament and take a look at his story.

Genesis 37:3 tells us that Joseph was loved by Jacob more than any of his brothers. This caused his brothers to hate him. Frankly, Joseph doesn’t appear to be that bothered by this, because he dreams that his brothers and his parents will all eventually bow down to him and has no problem sharing these dreams with his family. It’s quite possible that Joseph knew how favored he was, and that this led to some level of arrogance. Later in Genesis 37:18-36, we see that his brothers plot to hill him, but instead come up with a better plan to sell him into slavery to a group of foreign merchants, who in turn take him to Egypt and sell him to a man named Potiphar, who was a high-ranking official in Pharaoh’s administration. Joseph then spends at least the next 11 years in the home of Potiphar, and although God has allowed terrible and unfair things to happen to him, he lives a life of obedience. When Potiphar’s wife tries to sleep with him, he refuses because such an action would be a sin against God (Genesis 39:6-10). Unable to deal with his rejection, Potiphar’s wife ultimately tries to force him and when even that doesn’t work, she accuses him of attempted rape. That’s a death sentence in that time and culture, given that she was the wife of a high-ranking government official.

But God continues to work in Joseph’s life as Joseph continues to be obedient and faithful despite his circumstances. He is put in prison, but just so we’re clear, it’s nothing like the prisons we have in America today. Psalm 105:18 tells us that Joseph’s “feet were bruised with shackles and his neck was put in irons." Despite this discomfort, Genesis 39:21-22 tells us that God gave Joseph favor in the eyes of the prison warden, who then put Joseph in charge of the business and the people in the prison. Joseph didn’t know it yet, but God was preparing him for a time in his future when he would use his experience and leadership to save others. After a few more years in prison and some other unfortunate and unfair happenings, Joseph has an opportunity to interpret dreams for Pharaoh himself. When he does it, Pharaoh puts him in charge of all of Egypt (Genesis 41:41). During his service to Pharaoh, Joseph plans ahead and stores up grain during 7 years of abundance because God reveals to him that 7 years of famine are coming after that. When the famine happens, Joseph is able to feed and save people who did not prepare for it.

The group of people saved includes his family. Jacob hears of grain in Egypt and sends Joseph’s brothers there to buy some. Eventually, Joseph recognizes his brothers and after a while chooses to reveal himself to them (Genesis 45). This is his best opportunity to really hammer them for what they did to him years earlier, but Joseph’s faith and obedience to God are shown in his unwillingness to get them back. He thinks only about how he can help them. At the end of Jacob’s life, Joseph’s brothers fear his revenge. But Joseph directly tells them that even though they meant to harm him, “God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20). That kind of perspective on God’s work in everything reveals that Joseph trusted God with even his suffering, knowing that a God who created the universe out of nothing (Hebrews 11:3) could handle his trials and any necessary vengeance.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Joseph kept that faith in God’s great plan in the midst of suffering even to his last breath and actually, beyond it. He could think of nothing better to pass on to his brothers and future Israelite generations than a trust that God would do as he had always promised. In Genesis 50:24-25, he tells them that God will “surely” take them out of Egypt and back to the land he had promised to the forefathers. He then makes them swear an oath that they will not bury him where he dies, in Egypt, but will instead take his bones with them WHEN (not “if”) they go back to the Promised Land.

Things would get much worse for the Israelites in Exodus 1 when a new king (aka “another Pharaoh”) who couldn’t care less about Joseph takes over. It would be 400 years until Joseph’s prophecy is fulfilled and Moses does as Joseph asked (Exodus 13:19). Yet, all throughout those 400 years, Joseph’s body and bones remained in a coffin above the ground, so that anyone who walked by and wondered about it could be reminded that God is still in control and still working in the midst of their circumstances, no matter how bleak they appear.

As things seem to be spinning further and further out of control in our country and around the world today, what legacy are you leaving for your children and those who come after you? Is it one of fear and a need for security? Or are you leaving a legacy of faith and freedom in the knowledge that God is at work and will SURELY do as he promises? If you haven’t done it yet, let go and trust God!

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Pandora’s Box: Old Earth Creation

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 17, 2017 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

In this series about false teachings, there is one that opened the door for the Prosperity Gospel and the Emergent Church among many others: Old Earth Creation. Back in 2014, I wrote about three flavors of "OEC" here, here, and here, and those three are what I predominantly had in mind in writing on this topic. There are new versions that have popped up and they tend to follow the same patterns. I do consider it a false teaching which has swept many of the churches in the West, and it carries out the same tactics used by both the Prosperity Gospel and the Emergent Church. And I cannot help but notice that more than any other teaching, none have opened the door so wide for so many others than old earth creation models. It is not necessarily as “offensive” as the Prosperity Gospel or Emergent theology, however it was the opening of Pandora’s Box and paved the way for a full out attack on Scripture.

Now, there are many, many sincere people who believe in an old earth and some of whom I would stand in court and testify they are believers. Likewise, there are true believers who have been caught up in other false teachings as well. I am not judging people’s salvation on any of these posts. However, a false teaching is still a false teaching and not only must it be addressed, but my purpose in these posts is for you to see what they are so you can avoid them, so you can escape them, or help someone else escape from them.

The Old Earth models have a very short pedigree in the church. They did not exist except for 200 years in the 2000-year history of the church. While many of its supporters will cite early church leaders who suggested an instantaneous creation, none of those church leaders ever supported an old earth. When the ideas of millions of years showed to be “demonstrable” with ideas of uniformitarianism, the church in the mid-1800s panicked and instead of standing upon the authority of Scripture and making a stand, they sought to figure out ways on how to include the deep time idea into Genesis. Right then and there, the church surrendered the sufficiency and authority of Scripture and the assault on Scripture has only increased since. Now, those who stand for the sufficiency and authority of Scripture are considered dogmatic, closed-minded, bigots, or worse.

Old Earth Creation models are frequently described as a compromise by the Young Earth organizations. The claimed compromise is joining the two opposing philosophies of Biblical authority and secularism. But I am going to take it a step further and suggest it is not really a compromise but something much worse. While there are many variations of old earth models, they all have this in common: it is the secular models of deep time, or at least parts of it, covered in Christian language. It is not a joining of two models, but a cosmetic covering of one with the other’s language and terms. Just as the Prosperity Gospel is the pagan “Law of Attraction” fit and tweaked with Christian terms and using misquoted and misapplied Scripture to “back it up,” when you boil these models down to what they actually are, the Bible has absolutely nothing to do with it. I have asked numerous OEC where they get their figures and their history from, and time and time again the Bible is nowhere to be found, no exceptions. The Bible is cited more to question YEC than to support OEC, and the only positive references are used, misquoted, and misinterpreted to back up the godless models, and often completely ignore many other passages while at it.

Like the Emergent Church, OEC roosts above the Bible with a false humility, claiming to take a low, humble position, but able to dictate what God meant because we have figured out so much about science, even when it completely contradicts what Scripture actually says. They put the Bible under their microscope of scrutiny, whereas a Christian is supposed to put himself under the scrutiny of Scripture. Like the Emergent Church, OEC will reference how the people back then did not know what we know now, thus insinuating that right now we are at the peak of man’s knowledge and can figure it out. This approach is not one of humility but of arrogance. Their claim is the Bible and the science they have figured out (referencing to secular understanding of science, where God nor any of his accounts are ever part of the equation) are on equal footing. Their practice, however, is that the secular understanding always trumps what God says. Man’s knowledge in his rebellion against God, is always taken over what Scripture actually says. Many apply this to the entire Old Testament, not just Genesis.

Most Old Earthers I have come across consider Sodom and Gomorrah to be allegorical, and the 10 Plagues and Crossing of the Red Sea can be explained naturally, and the falling of Jericho’s walls to be figurative, and Jonah’s encounter with a large fish to be just a myth. There are a few exceptions, but most I have encountered do not believe these events actually happened as recorded. They struggle to consider miracles into their equations because that makes the accounts not able to be analyzed scientifically. To which I say, “That’s the point, so you can’t explain God’s action without him.” But then they believe in the Resurrection of Christ, so they say. How? The answer is simple: they put themselves in authority over Scripture where they can pick and choose which parts are believable or not. Here is reality: the OEC does not believe God nor the Bible, despite their insistence that they do. They believe themselves because they are the highest authority, able to dictate what the Bible should actually say or mean. That is the height of pride.

When Old Earth Creation took root, man became the authority over Scripture, allowing him not only to determine which parts he wanted to believe, but even to go as far as defining who God is and what heaven would be like, and all with removing the core of the Gospel. I have seen that while a few teachers of the Prosperity Gospel, the Emergent Church, and OEC will mention sin, all three teachings take a very low view of it, and I have watched all three make little to no mention about actually being conformed into the image of Christ. In presentations, sin is seen as mistakes or “imperfections,” but not the outright rebellion against God that it is. Because OEC has enabled those in the churches to consider Original Sin to be of little consequence, now we have Emergent Church leaders suggesting that man has divinity and that our sin does not separate us from God. Not all Prosperity Gospel or Emergent Church teachers are Old Earthers or vice versa, however, Old Earth paved the way for a large number of the Satanic assaults on the integrity of Scripture to continue and it has completely removed the power of the church to address the issues it faces. If you can consider just one part of Scripture to be “unimportant” or “just a side issue,” or make it "your interpretation," you are telling everyone around you that you can choose whatever you want to believe and the next generation will always take it a step further than you are. It paves the road for all the other false teachings to take root, and whether you follow that road or not is not the issue. The issue is that the path is open and enabled.

You can look at any of the articles I have written about Creation, Evolution, and Old Earth by myself, by Steve Risner, or Bill Seng on the search bar on the Worldview Warriors blog page, or ask for more clarification in the comments or on Facebook.

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The Broken Record

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, November 16, 2017 0 comments

by Steve Risner

This week we will trot along as we look at attacks waged by evolutionists (theistic as well as atheistic) when they tell creationists they don't understand evolution. This is a very common tactic from proponents of evolution. They assume that someone must not understand it if they reject it. However, they fail to recognize that several creationists who are authors, debaters, and/or educators once taught evolutionary biology at the college level or have degrees specific to or related to evolution. Surely these people understand it. But to be honest, I feel it's pretty safe to say that no one understands it, really, because they get it wrong very frequently. They're always rewriting the story. Darwin mused over the lack of transition fossils in the fossil record. Here we are 150 years after Darwin's work with no real transitions to speak of (we'll get into that more later in this writing), but the theory hasn't had any issues with that at all, although the fossil record should be filled with transitions. I've been told that I don't understand how evolution works because I don't believe transition fossils exist. I've also been told that EVERY fossil is a transition fossil, but that's just blowing smoke to shut down discussion.

Are there transitions in the fossil record? The overwhelming response must be “NO!” Of course there aren’t. If there were, we'd have all heard endlessly about it. We do hear about them on occasion, but we later find no one, sometimes including the person that discovered it, actually still thinks it was a transition from anything to anything. Let's get back to Darwin:

He said in On the Origin of Species: “The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, (must) be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.” Remarkable, right? Now, just to be clear, Darwin didn't really blame this on his theory at all but on the evidence! He even had a chapter in his book called “The Imperfection of the Geological Record.”

It's no different now than it was then. Stephen Jay Gould, a very well-known evolutionist, said “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips.” He says “extreme rarity,” but I think it's more accurate to say “absence.” Darwin asked why the geologic column was not loaded with transition fossils and even with direct lineages from one organism to the next. If gradualism (slow changes over very long periods of time) is true, the fossil record should be ripe with evidence for it. He claims the evidence for Darwinism isn't there because the fossil record doesn't keep good notes, essentially. The (unverifiable) idea that Gould liked the most was that changes occur over a shorter period of time with long periods of no change. This seems to help the theory out, but 150 years and millions if not billions of fossils later, we still don't have anything we can truly call a transition. How could this be?

The rescuing device (suggesting that the transitions just aren't captured in the geologic column because they happen in short intervals) really is nothing more than wishful thinking. Darwin says that intermediates (transition fossils) must exist in huge numbers. We don't find them. He also states that it must be because the fossil record just didn't preserve them for us. The other alternative, obviously, is that his theory is incorrect. But as we've discussed before, since the facts don't help the evolutionist, they accommodate anything and everything (and sometimes claim they've had it right the whole time).

If we're honest and really think on it, the fossil record should be filled with not only the random transition fossil, but entire lineages should be represented. There are estimated to be, now, nearly 9 million different species. Surely we'd catch at least one ancestral line from something primitive to something modern. There are about 5700 family distinctions in taxonomy in the animal kingdom alone. There is nothing in the fossil record that connects them. If you recall the quote from Dr. Gould, he even says that the “tree” Darwinists love to talk about and claim is reality only has representatives at the tips of the branches. There is literally nothing to connect any of them. According to Eugene Koonin, Senior Investigator at the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine, “The general lack of transitional forms between species in the fossil record is a constant theme in evolutionary biology.” Here's a fact for us all to enjoy: the fossil record undeniably demonstrates stasis (lack of change) and NOT evolution.

When a fossil is found, it's generally quickly identified as a type of this or that. It's always something we know existed because something similar exists now, or if it's extinct we've found numerous other examples. There's never a question of “Oh, perhaps this is transitioning from an amphibian to a reptile,” or, “You know, this has several characteristics of a reptile and a mammal.” We just don't see them. In fact, the idea of transitions in and of itself is illogical. Evolutionists require it for their humanist theory, but it's impossible.

Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” He went on to say he knows of no examples of this (of course, or it would have destroyed his theory). But for a guy in the 1850's to be expected to have any real degree of knowledge on biology and physiology is a little much—at least not to the degree we do today (which is still rather small). There are numerous issues for Darwinism based on irreducible complexity. Evolutionists will claim this is not true, but my opinion is that the issues are fairly obvious. I've written on it before. There is no logical or fact-based defense for the evolutionist against irreducible complexity or specified complexity. But because they have to believe it or their religious beliefs have no hope, they hoist it up as though it's explainable through some magic of atheism.

The number of transition fossils allegedly found between some ape/human ancestor must be in the dozens. Yet, to date, every one can easily be identified as either completely ape or completely human (or completely bogus/fraudulent). The same can be true of nearly any alleged transition fossil found. And, again, if evolution is a reality, not only should we find more transition fossils, but we should find more of them than non-transition fossils. The record should be loaded with them! We've got none. How does that work?

Creationists see the fossil record and see 2 things: all life originated abruptly and with no ancestral lines to trace them back to something less complex, AND the planet's surface was annihilated by a great Flood that killed an unknowable amount of life forms all at one time. Both of these ideas are supportive of the Biblical account and neither is helpful (or acknowledged) by evolutionists. They do enjoy denying the obvious.

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.