Hebrews 11:29-31

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 28, 2022 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.
By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”
-Hebrews 11:29-31

After looking at the faith of Moses, the next logical people to look at is what’s known as the Exodus Generation – the time of the Exodus from Egypt and entering the Promised Land. Today’s passage looks at three separate incidents: crossing the Red Sea, conquering Jericho, and Rahab’s faith.

Note that the author of Hebrews does not mention the years of the nation of Israel wandering in the wilderness. But there is a good reason for that. Overall, they were not known to be of great faith; instead, they often grumbled and complained to God for their situation. They were also the people who created the idol of the golden calf, which was blatant disobedience while God was giving His law to Moses.

But the people are included in verse 29 where they had enough faith to pass through the Red Sea. However, they did not have a lot of choice in that matter. With the Egyptian army bearing down on them, it was either have faith in this miracle that occurred before their very eyes or get taken captive or even killed by the Egyptians!

God was the one who made this crossing happen, of course, even though Moses was obedient to God’s command to raise his staff; see Exodus 14 for more on that. But faith was still required of the people to be willing to cross. This was not simply some large stream or even a river they had to cross; it was the red sea! The distance is across is a minimum of 16 miles (up to 220 miles) depending on where they crossed. It had to be intimidating to be out in the middle, knowing that if God was not trustworthy, they would all drown.

That is exactly what happened to the Egyptian army. The Israelites had faith in God, so they made it through the Red Sea just fine. The Egyptians did not have faith in God, so they all drowned. This shows that Israel really did have faith in God that they trusted He would care for them as they crossed.

The next incident brought up by the author in verse 30 is the conquering of Jericho. Check out the full story in Joshua 6. This incident does not have faith attributed to one person, but the whole nation needed to have faith in God working a miracle for this to happen. There is no way that walking around a city and blowing trumpets would make its walls fall down without divine intervention. The warriors and musicians who participated in the marching would have needed to have great faith in God that what they were doing was not pointless but would actually accomplish their conquering of that fortified city.

If the people did not have faith in God, then they would have used all the military strength they could muster to try and take down the city. But just like how the Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea because of their lack of faith, the Israelite army would have likely been slaughtered at Jericho, or at the very least unsuccessful in conquering the city. They needed to have faith in God that He would work out this situation in their favor.

The author of Hebrews wraps up this section in verse 31 by bringing up Rahab. You can read more about Rahab’s story in Joshua 2. Rahab was not a part of the nation of Israel but a resident of Jericho and a prostitute – two things that make it unusual for her to be included here in Hebrews 11 with the greats of Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. But she clearly played a great role in the Israelites conquering the Promised Land.

Rahab may not have been on a first-name basis with the God of Israel, but He still used her to accomplish His purposes and protect the spies that were sent into the city of Jericho before they conquered it. Rahab was obedient to what God called her to do, and she was rewarded for that – not only with her life but by being included in Jesus’ family tree (Matthew 1:5) and mentioned further in James 2:25.

What can we learn today from these faith experiences of the people of Israel? It must have sounded crazy to them to walk through a sea on dry land and to walk around a fortified city in order to make its walls fall down. It must have seemed unusual for the Israelite spies to think they could trust a prostitute who lived in the city they were trying to conquer, but she proved herself worthy of that trust. Sometimes God calls us to walk out our faith by doing things that seem crazy to us as well!

When I was in my early 20s, God called me to go to seminary and to begin preaching in churches. Depending on your faith tradition, that may not seem crazy to you; but for me, having grown up in a faith tradition that strongly believes that women should not go to seminary and should not preach, it felt about as foolish as trying to walk through the Red Sea or walking around Jericho to conquer it! But obedience to God through faith is always the right choice, no matter what the situation is. God takes what seems crazy to us and turns it into something that brings Him great glory when we obey Him in faith!

What is God calling you to do, whether big or small, that seems crazy? Step out in faith and do what He is calling you to do, no matter how crazy it seems.

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 MORE

Being a Christian 8: Deconstructing Christians

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 25, 2022 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

“Deconstruction” is an increasingly seen observation among the Christian community. It is when someone who once believed in the faith suddenly has their faith shattered and eventually departs the faith. This is one of the reasons why I felt compelled to open 2022 with this series on what being a Christian means and what it entails. The list of popular musicians, authors, and others leaving the faith is ever growing. It has grieved many pastors. Names whom they loved and trusted, producing works they used, and those whom no one would think would depart the faith are suddenly leaving the faith. The youth are leaving the church in an extreme mass exodus. The stats for the last ten years have indicated 90% +/- of youth raised in the church are not coming back as adults. This is alarming, and churches are looking at every possible answer they can to keep the youth in the church, except for addressing their most basic need: proclamation of the true Gospel and equipping them to handle the objections they face. Most youth get no more than mere “Bible stories” essentially taught as myths and fables with no grounding for reality. As a result, most youth are leaving the church because the church has not offered them anything real or tangible for dealing with life.

I want this blog post to stand as a warning so we can see the signs of what happens when a supposed Christian begins to deconstruct in their faith. One of the motivations for writing this article was a post I saw on Facebook of an ex-Young Earth Creationist citing her reasons why she left the faith. Her reasons were 1) proper science education, 2) evidence, and 3) YEC “liars.” I could spend a post on each of these to show it is not YEC who lied to her but pagan priests of Evolution pretending to be scientists. But a comment to this post really caught my attention. A responder said he was raised in the church that taught YEC, and basically it was what his mother taught him. I hear this line of thinking often, and I think it’s part of the severe problem we are experiencing with “church raised” kids.

It is really interesting how many atheists and current “Progressive Christians” are “ex-Christians.” You know what I don’t see? I don’t see these people being ex-Muslim or ex-Hindu or ex-Buddhist. Most of these people were raised in the church and then left it. So, what’s going on? There is another interesting detail that I have noticed in all these ex-Christian testimonies: the extreme majority of them virtually know very little about the faith they left. If you listen to them talk about their problems with the Bible, I get the impression they have never opened up a Bible and got their information from other unbelievers who also have never opened up a Bible. Yet they boast that they were “just like us.” When I talk with ex-atheists, ex-evolutionists, ex-Muslims, ex-Buddhists, ex-New Agers, etc., they know exactly what it was they used to believe. But ex-Christians (and ex-YEC believers) tend to hardly know a thing about what they left. They know the Sunday school stories they heard growing up and that’s about it.

I will blame two people for this. First, I blame the individual who left the faith because they did not do their homework and investigate before things came crashing down. The individual is still responsible for what he believes and what he rejects. But even more so than this, secondly I blame the pastor, the Sunday School teacher, the youth pastor, and all those church leaders who have not only enabled but aided in causing doubt and confusion and refusing to give answers, especially if they are “divisive.”

As origins is often at the top for reasons why people depart the faith, it is absolutely amazing to me how few pastors and church leaders refuse to do anything about this issue because they say it’s too divisive. If 90% of churches, denominations, and seminaries are teaching Old Earth models, and 90% of the youth are leaving the church citing origins as the prime reason for leaving, then OEC teachers and promoters get the blame. Instead, they try to blame us Young Earthers for believing the Bible and giving the answers that they won’t. Many people have left the faith because their church leaders would not or could not give answers or didn’t even believe what they proclaimed to believe. And it gets worse. When a former musician and friend of our president Jason DeZurik left the faith and decided to divorce and abandon his wife and kids to go live in a homosexual lifestyle, the two pastors who counseled him encouraged him to commit this grievous adulterous act. I’m not being judgmental here, but that’s the kind of thing Jesus said would make millstones around your neck be the merciful way to deal with the judgment.

In the desperate attempt to get people into the church via pragmatic and crowd-pleasing ways, pastors and church leaders abandoned their callings. When people found such antics to be devoid of anything real, they left the church. Good luck bringing them back; when they were lied to once by professing Christians, they aren’t going to easily hear another one. The most these people are hearing about Christianity are the doctrines of the faith found in the creeds, but their faith has no depth nor weight beyond that. Anyone can say, “I believe in the Virgin Birth,” and that is as far as that statement goes. We must have sound and correct theology; however, this faith calls for it to be much more than just intellectual knowledge about statements of doctrine. It requires those doctrines to guide and direct our lives.

Those who have left the faith show evidence it never was their personal faith. It may have been their parents’ faith, it may have been their culture, or they may have been given false promises regarding the teaching that suggests that Jesus will give everyone love, joy, and happiness here in this life with no suffering at all. They weren’t told the truth about what it means or what being a Christian truly entails. While some people’s lives did get better after coming to Christ by abandoning the sin that brought them so low, it has made others’ lives much more miserable. Why? Before Christ, they were comfortable in their life of sin; Satan left them alone, and sin’s bite hadn’t hit yet. After Christ, suddenly they became targets for the enemy. I will simply say that as long as the church continues to give these half-hearted, half-truth, pampered and watered-down messages, it will continue to produce false converts day in and day out. If we instead preach the full truth from the full counsel of Scripture, we will lose the false converts right away, but the ones who remain will be bolder, stronger, and the church will truly be more vibrant. We need to get back to preaching the true Gospel and ALL that comes with it.

I will do two more posts with this series. I’ll address how to test a teaching and movement, and then I’ll conclude this series with the only commands that Jesus truly asks of us: to trust Him and obey Him.

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 MORE

Hebrews 11:23-28

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 21, 2022 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.
By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.”
-Hebrews 11:23-28

After discussing the faith of the patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, the author now jumps to the man whom many say is the greatest (or at least the most popular) figure in Jewish history: Moses.

Moses is known for being the one to receive the Law from God – specifically the Ten Commandments, but also the rest of the laws that God gave to the nation of Israel. Moses was also the one who led the people out of slavery in Egypt and the first leader of that great nation that was promised to Abraham. So, one would think that the author of Hebrews would highlight those great accomplishments in his discussion on Moses’ faith, but those highlights of Moses’ life are only hinted at. Instead, the author gives other faith experiences in Moses’ life.

This passage starts out by first looking at Moses’ parents. Even before Moses was old enough to have a faith of his own, his parents’ faith was key in keeping him alive. Though only his mother is mentioned in Exodus 2:2-3 as being the one who hid Moses and placed him in the basket in the river, this could not have been accomplished without his father’s participation.

Why did Moses’ parents hide him? “They saw he was no ordinary child” (verse 23). The Greek word used there generally means that he was “beautiful,” so perhaps Moses was so beautiful that his parents thought God had a great plan for him. Or perhaps they knew that even this child’s great beauty would not save him from the Pharaoh’s decree to kill every male Hebrew child (Exodus 1:22). So instead of simply living in fear of the Pharaoh, they trusted God and hid their son by faith.

The next instance of faith in Moses’ life is when he was grown and did not want to be associated with the Egyptian palace (verse 24). We know from the account of Stephen in Acts 7:23 that Moses was around 40 years old at this time, so this was not simply some teenage rebellion on his part. Moses had the opportunity for great wealth, comfort, the prestige, yet he gave it all up, trusting in God by faith.

This decision by Moses led to him not only losing the luxuries of the palace but to being mistreated along with his fellow Israelites (verse 25). Moses knew that his true identity was not in the world of the palace. Once he saw where God was calling him, he could no longer go against that calling by staying in the palace and being a part of Pharaoh’s family. It’s clear that Moses’ faith gave him strong values and trust in God; he knew that obedience to God is more beneficial in the long run than the “fleeting pleasures of sin.”

This point is echoed in verse 26. Even though Moses lived many generations before Jesus, he knew that a Messiah would one day be coming to save God’s people. He knew that following God was of much greater value than any treasure held in Egypt. He looked forward to that day when the Savior would come, and he suffered disgrace for a time because of that choice. This decision likely looked incredibly stupid to those in Pharaoh’s court, but Moses knew what was really important: following God and being obedient to Him, even in the face of short-term suffering.

In verse 27, we see that Moses lived by faith when he left Egypt and did not live in fear of the king’s anger. But this verse is confusing, as there were two times when Moses left Egypt; once after he killed the Egyptian (Exodus 2:11-15) and again at the time of the great exodus from Egypt with all the people (Exodus 12:31-32). The first time, he did leave in fear (Exodus 2:14), but the second time he left with the confidence of living out God’s plan for his life. But the fact that the Passover is mentioned in verse 28 implies that this happened before the Passover, which would mean the first time Moses fled Egypt.

At any rate, Moses persevered by faith and he saw “him who is invisible.” There are a few times in which Moses saw God in various ways, including in the burning bush in Exodus 3. He also experienced God’s presence on Mt Sinai before receiving the Ten Commandments (Exodus 19), and later in Exodus 33 before receiving the new tablets. Even though Moses never actually saw God’s face, he saw Him enough to truly live by faith in God.

The final example of faith from Moses’ life is celebrating the Passover (Exodus 12). Moses and the people of Israel had witnessed all of the previous plagues and been affected by them too, so it was by faith that they knew that God would keep them safe from the firstborn of each family being killed. Moses instituted this ritual that the people continued to celebrate every year after leaving Egypt to remind them of God’s faithfulness.

What can we learn from all of these examples of faith in Moses’ life? Living the life of faith is not always the easy one. It often means making tough choices that seem to go against what the world desires. I would guess that it nearly broke Moses’ mother’s heart to put her beautiful baby in a basket in the river, but she had faith that God would take care of her son if he was meant to live. Moses made the choice to give up a luxurious lifestyle for one of being oppressed out of faith and obedience to God.

Moses was rewarded for his faith by having a close, personal relationship with God, including many close encounters with Him. Those times gave him the strength to get through the more difficult times, and they built up his faith in God that God would sustain him and take care of Moses and his people no matter what.

Today, because of the sacrifice of Jesus, we all have the opportunity to have a close, personal relationship with God! Are you taking advantage of that and growing your faith by spending time with God as Moses did? Those times will strengthen your faith to live out obedience to God, even when you’re faced with difficult decisions or times get tough.

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 MORE

Being a Christian 7: Schizophrenic Christianity

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 18, 2022 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

We live in a day and age and culture where it is easier to be a fake Christian than it is to be a genuine Christian. Those days are ending. Growing up, one of my favorite Christian musical artists was David Meece. In one of his albums, he takes a moment to step aside and tell a story of his childhood. He and his older brother had one of those southern mothers who you did not dare cross if you wanted to live to adulthood. In his home, only classic music was allowed – no rock, rap, or even contemporary Gospel music, only classic. His other brother sneaked a Beatles record into the house, but they only played it when their mom was out. Fortunately for them, they always knew when she was out because her car has such a bad muffler that you could hear her going and coming miles away. So, when she was leaving, they’d play their classic music on the piano, but the moment she was out of range, they blasted the Beatles. And when they heard her coming back, it was back to classic. David then went on to talk about how so many people live one life when around certain people, and then with another crowd they become someone else. He even went as far as calling it Schizophrenic Christianity. He concludes by saying that people who do this could fool every person around them or even themselves, but they aren’t fooling God.

Jesus had a scathing report to a church who lived this way. Of all the seven churches Jesus wrote to in Revelation 2-3, the one to Laodicea was the most scathing. There was nothing Jesus found pleasing in that church. There were two churches who had no sin marked against them, and four of the others had positive reports and one particular sin that was soon to break them. Laodicea didn’t have a single positive aspect they were doing right. They were lukewarm. Even the good they were doing was tainted by sin. They weren’t hot for Christ, and they weren’t cold against Him either.

I see this play out heavily in the origins debate, but I have seen this issue all over the academic world. In the documentary “Patterns of Evidence: Exodus” (the other three Patterns of Evidence films are good, but this was the best and this issue stands out here the most), Tim Mahoney interviews numerous scholars about evidence for the Exodus and surrounding events. Two scholars stood out to me in regard to this topic, and both were Jewish by religion and ethnicity. They celebrated Passover every year as though it were real, but then academically, they said they cannot accept that the Passover and the Exodus actually happened in history. How could they say that? The answer is simple: they have compartmentalized their academia and their religion to the point where they see no connection; as a result, they cannot see when there is a conflict. For these guys, it was their religion and their history that were separated. If the history is not accurate, then the ritual it is based on is meaningless. People don’t see it.

For origins, in Old Earth Creation ideals, there is a separation of science and theology to the point where when I bring up how the science they support and the theology they proclaim are conflicting, they don’t know what to do. They adamantly believe both are possible, yet they are in direct contradiction. Some Old Earth Creationists will admit that it was Adam’s sin who brings death to all men according to Romans 5:12. So I bring up the dating methods that put human fossils and human DNA long before Adam ever could have existed in their model, and I have received all sorts of dancing and ignoring, questioning everything from the definition of a human and life/death. But not once have they let their theology force them to question a dating method that violates their doctrine. And they expect us to believe that they believe in Adam or the doctrine of original sin, the very reason that Jesus had to come to begin with, when they do that.

What you believe is not found in your creed; it’s found by what you stand on, what you don’t let be questioned, and what you will die for. That’s what you believe. Anyone can cite a creed, but it has no weight until it costs you something. Last week I wrote about what it costs to be a Christian. The Christian faith will require you to go against mainstream academia, both historically and scientifically because both industries have bene hijacked by secularists and re-written to intentionally defy the Bible. You cannot walk two opposing sides with any sort of consistency.

What we are seeing here is the desire to serve two masters. You cannot serve both Christ and the experts of the world. You will not please both Christ and the world’s “experts” at the same time. Paul warned Timothy against such experts, against any teacher who does not adhere to sound doctrines, especially the words of Jesus, because they do not know ANYTHING and teach that living for self is justifiable for the Christian. Paul was the most learned man there was, and he had no respect for any academic scholar or institution that taught anything apart from the knowledge of Christ. I am a physics teacher. I teach science for a living. There have been a lot of great benefits we have from understanding physics. All our technology, transportation, weapons, etc. are a result of studying physics and the sciences. But if that knowledge is not rooted in God’s word and reveals God, it is useless knowledge. There is so much wrong with the scientific community these days that 50%+ of science papers today are totally false. Why? Because the scientific community as a whole has rejected God and are trying to come up with something to explain everything without Him. It’s foolishness and they don’t know God, nor reality, nor anything that has any validity or truth. I’m not saying it; Paul did, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Take it up with Him.

What happened to being consistent? Christianity is not a religious lifestyle that applies only on Sundays. It is a lifestyle that is to guide and direct every aspect of our lives: family, job, science, history, religion, theology, entertainment, sports, reading, everything. Does this faith we claim influence any of these areas of our lives, or just the theological side of things? Is Jesus truly the Lord of our life where we submit to His rule, or is Jesus just an accessory we wear? Is He just a toy we put on a shelf to play with when we want to and put Him back on the shelf when we want to focus on other things? Jesus is not a toy, not a casual acquaintance, but the Lord of all glory.

Jesus will work with those who long for Him and desire Him but constantly fail, but He will not tolerate those who say “great things” about Him and then completely disregard Him in other areas of their lives. The lukewarm person, the schizophrenic Christian, is going to end up in the same place as the total unbeliever. Why? Because they refuse to commit and go the distance. When the ship goes sailing, the person who has one foot on the boat and one foot on the dock will only get wet and end up in the same place as those who never tried to get on the boat. In this country, the ship for Christianity has raised the sails. It’s about to depart. The day of the casual Christian, the schizophrenic Christian, is ending, because soon no one will want to be one because we’ll be marked as enemies of the state. You can’t please both. As far as I’m concerned, those who try to please both will be marked as one with the world. I’ll leave their status to God, but for the sake of the health of the church, those who live double lives will only bring reproach to the church. There are times where removal is necessary; Paul did it. Let us deal with our hypocrisy and our double mindedness before God deals with it by publicly exposing it.

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 MORE

You Call This Life? It’s Not Living

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, February 16, 2022 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

For almost two years now, I and others with the team of Worldview Warriors have been lovingly warning, patiently waiting, and staying self-controlled with our tongues and actions through the attack on this nation’s foundational beliefs (many based on Biblical truths) and on true Christianity and the Christian worldview. For those desiring the truth, it’s beyond obvious what is now going on in our society. We believe we have been speaking out the truth in love and living it out through our actions, not only to those outside of the Church but many inside the Church who also claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. We have been attacked by many outside of the Church and even some of those inside of the Church.

As a young man back in the 1990’s, I literally chose to go the wide path that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 7. I wanted nothing to do with this God I had heard so much about in my youth. I did not want to follow His ways. Sadly, I dishonored my father and mother back then, but I am thankful that they loved me through it all. To this day, they are my heroes! I love them both so much. So, what helped me realize that I needed a Savior and needed to follow the Lord of the Universe?

Two things:
One
, the natural law or special revelation that Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, has put into place. This was and is a very good teacher. God has put this into place to teach us that some things we do have bad consequences and other things have good benefits. This is natural law. Those consequences are there for a reason, and so many people these days seemingly want to get rid of them and put more and more human laws into place. After all, all truth is found in the Lord Jesus Christ, as I began to learn and experience.

Two, my friend back in the 1990’s, Danny Castro, loved me with the truth. He loved me where I was at. Without him loving me like he did, I would probably be in a grave right now and burning in Hell, for that is where the wide path leads – death.

I am here today because of these two things: truth and love.

Since that time in the 1990’s, I have been on quite the journey of understanding the Lord and His ways more and more. I have been trying to “work out” my own salvation, to become mature and complete not lacking anything in the Lord. Do I and our team here still have a lot to learn? You bet we do, just as all people do. Two things I have certainly learned about is the importance of accepting that God Almighty is sovereign, and His providence is real. He’s not just real and in complete control, but He’s active in His creation. Providence (the action of God) can be seen everywhere if you’re just willing to be open to it. He is also incredibly loving and gives each human being free will to do as he or she pleases.

The true freedom and liberty that Almighty God offer are just incredible. When we surrender our lives to the King of Kings is when true liberty in Christ begins to manifest. I greatly encourage everyone reading this to be open to this incredible liberty He offers, not just for you but for others as well. After a year of being discipled by my friend and pastor, Larry Bertsch, he has helped me to realize and accept the very fact that none of us are God; God is God, and He can be completely sovereign while still giving His creation free will. I don’t understand it all, and that it is okay. Why? Because God is God, and I am not.

Friends, I encourage you to stop trying to control others with the fear and shame you put on them. Let God be God, and let the special revelation He has put into place be a good teacher. Think of the times it has taught you. I encourage you to strive to let it teach others, and let Almighty God be the judge.

Life (Existence is Futile) by Klank

You call this life?
It’s not living.

Another phase
Next step
Who’s guess?
What’s next?
Gotta figure out what to do

Another year
Seasons turn
Wheel spinnin’
Gears burn
Won’t believe the hell I’ve been through

You call this life?
It’s not living.

Broken down
Face first
Pushed aside
Eat dirt
Just another day in the life

Bigger bills
Smaller gains
Rents due
Hunger pains
Gotta be something more to life

You call this life?
It’s not living.

With all of that said, we have all been through and experienced 2 years of some serious change. I think we all need to realize that “normal” is not coming back. It’s time to move on. The future is unknown. As believers in Jesus Christ, we have an incredible opportunity to show people the way, the truth, and the life. As citizens of both heaven and the USA with inalienable rights, we have an incredible opportunity to show people how to live freely and freely in Christ. People can either surrender to Him or not. That is up to them. Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the law again.

Yes, friends, that is for us! That is for you. Now is the time to show people how to truly love others. It’s time to call all of this out for what it really is: idols. They are everywhere.

"The Idol of Safety and Security on full display all the while poisoning our children. Stop poisoning the children God has given to us."

Let’s be honest with ourselves and with others about how many idols we have made in this nation. So many people are following them and believe that giving power to these idols is actually living. Many seem to believe that mask wearing and vaxxing are the way out of this, even to the point of forcing others to do this. Now, if this virus didn’t have over a 99% recovery rate, I probably wouldn’t make this connection, but the truth is that is the real percentage. We are told to follow the “science,” when in fact many of us are looking at the numbers and are realizing what we were being told by servants in our nation was nothing more than a lie. The truth is that the recovery rate is that high.

If someone might be hurt from this virus, then by all means that person should take care of themselves. Forcing everyone else to live a certain way because of what might happen not only is foolishness, but it is just like bowing down to a 90-foot-tall idol in the book of Daniel in order to not rock the boat. It is the same spirit, friends, the same mindset we’ve been seeing in our society today. Idols are everywhere. Living freely in Christ is not looking fearfully at a virus with over a 99% recovery rate or to a vaccine that, like it or not, seems to not be working in my opinion. I’ll call the vaccine what it looks like to me: an altar to mammon.

With all of the counterfeits and heretical ways of love out there, now is the time to show people that enabling them in their sin through godless government programs and godless government solutions window dressed in “godliness” is not the way. These are idols, too, and I believe most of us know it. Being apathetic toward people choosing to sin and calling it fine is not wise. Being apathetic to those trying to force Christians to accept sin as good, right, and true is not wise either. We absolutely need to continue to love people. We need to continue to show them how loving and freeing the life God has given to them can be, through our liberty found in Christ. But we also need to be shrewd like Jesus Christ taught and lived.

We see this so many times, but it seems many of us have either forgotten this or just weren’t taught it. We see in John 10:39, “They tried to take Jesus again, but he escaped from them.” Jesus chose to be wise and was shrewd in dealing with people who wanted to attack or take Him away and just argue with Him. He chose to not entertain people in their foolish arguments and foolish mindsets. He would just leave and move on. And as Peter so boldly proclaimed in Acts 5:29, “We must obey God, rather than people.”

Get out of the rat race and trying to keep up with the Joneses. Yes, this is all connected. Idols, idols, idols. Stop being okay with being a cog in the machine of the world. Find liberty in Christ! Let’s get back to living. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Go live your life. I encourage us all to stop serving idols. As for me, my family, and the Church, you call this life? This “new normal” is not living.

Writer’s note: I am not against proven vaccines or taking medicine to travel. I am discussing this current vax, so please don’t read into what I am absolutely not saying.

Go check out other writings from Jason:
Are Your Actions Following Jesus Christ?
Get Your Mind Out of Your Phone
Lead Me, Follow Me, or Get Out of My Way
Just Cheat a Little

"To prevent kids from being socially awkward and weird, more parents opting to homeschool."
The story with this is satire, but not these pictures; these pictures are real and actually happened. You call this life? It's not living. It's time to live in the freedom we find in Christ.
Treating the vax as God (idol): "The very first Covid-19 vaccines in Ohio have just arrived at the OSU Wexner Center this morning. There is a light at the end of the tunnel."
"To those who still wear their mask below the nose, it's been almost a year now; it takes less time to potty train a toddler."
This is straight up judgement, friends – judgment over something that is not a sin. Please stop guilt tripping people and let's live our lives.

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 MORE

Is It Time for the Church to End?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, February 15, 2022 0 comments


by Eric Hansen

There’s an interesting aspect of Christianity that I think we often overlook, and that’s the church. I don’t mean the representation of the body of Christ, but the buildings we go to every Sunday, Wednesday, or other day and sing songs of praise about our Lord.

Back in 2019 or so, God started putting it on my heart to really inspect the church – not just the one I was attending when I was youth pastor, but the overall landscape. In doing so, I started asking some really tough questions, most of which I still struggle with answering to this day. Is the church growing? If so, then how is it growing exactly? Who can I look to and see Christ working in their lives to extend grace, and not just answering prayers about self? How can I be like Christ if everyone lives their life without Christ outside of a few hours every Sunday?

Not long ago I caught an online sermon from a church my mentor was watching, and it was pretty good, focusing on Martin Luther King and his ministry for unity. During that broadcast, a man by the name of Daryl Davis came up. His fame is that as a black man he befriended someone in the KKK, and not just anyone but one with immense power within that group. You can watch one of his TEDx talks about the matter if you’re interested.

This man did what I’ve never seen a Christian do: he loved an enemy knowing very well that it may cost him his life. In return, his enemy loved him enough to have a conversation about the differences, and neither man killed the other. Whether either man is a professing Christian or not, I’m a firm believer in the sovereignty of God and see it as His working through each of them to demonstrate what unconditional love is. Neither man really gained anything by sitting down and talking, but also neither rejected the other due to some pretentious stigma.

I used to tell people that I’m a Reformist, and follow the TULIP principle to the fullest. Not long ago I even wrote an article here about what it is. I still believe in the whole acronym, but having seen that pastor talk about Daryl and really evaluating what Christ is doing around and in me, I’ve come to the realization that the church is spiritually dead. When a tree dies, it’s not just its limbs or its trunk that perishes, but every single element of it. Just like a tree, when the church dies, it causes those who keep in it to spiritually die as well, unless they are able to separate from it and replant elsewhere.

My sample size of churches is small, as I’m sure there are very healthy churches out there. The one I mentioned earlier who showcased Daryl’s story is one of those. They are inviting people of all colors, creeds, and locations into their studies and services. That is what Christ calls us to do, regardless of how we feel about it.

Going back to the tree metaphor, a tree does not mature by staying a seedling. It needs nourishment, attention, and care even if just by nature itself. These trees are the ones that grow mighty, tall, and prosperous, providing shelter and protection to all the little things like it once was. If a tree isn’t able to receive that love and care that it needs, then at best it never grows beyond a little bush. However, more often than not it dies, losing its lusciousness and ability to be anymore more than firewood.

If you’re in a church that goes out into the community for the purpose of Christ more than itself, then it's a body of believers knowing Christ will guide them.

Matthew 28:19-20 gives us the command that Christ asks each believer to follow: glorify God. How can we glorify God when we’re condemning sinners or making God out to be a vending machine, giving us what we want when we want it? Neither end of the spectrum does anything but boost our own ego. How did Christ treat the Pharisees versus the Samaritan woman at the well? He condemned those who are boasting of righteousness, while He gave grace to those who lost hope.

This isn’t to say we shouldn’t address someone’s sin, but we need to be able to read the room as well. If a person is yelling and screaming at their kid, then we should do what we can to help defuse the situation. If someone is saying, “I’m going to heaven because I donated all my money to charity,” then we should tell them that they’re only going to heaven by having faith in Jesus Christ. We are not called to condemn, because then we play God. Instead, we are to share the gospel – the truth about Jesus Christ – and let the Spirit convict the person. While we are to live a Christ-like life, we can also take to heart what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:1-3: “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling,”

Hebrews 10:25 says to not forsake fellowship or gathering. There’s a plethora of reasons why this is so, and Jesus made it clear as well by sending people out in pairs and depending on others. Sunday services should be our primary way of fellowship, and not for the little bit before and after service, but it should be the service – gathering together, talking about how God has worked in our lives, where we need more grace, supporting one another through trials, and lifting up. When the only time we can do this is during Bible studies, and Bible studies are an afterthought for so many, then fellowship seems to be an afterthought as well.

Are you living a life glorifying God? Are you living to glorify Jesus as your Lord and Savior? In what ways are you contributing to the health (or death) of the body of Christ?

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 MORE

Hebrews 11:17-22

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 14, 2022 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.
By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.
By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
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.”
-Hebrews 11:17-22

After the author of Hebrew’s brief diversion in the middle of Abraham’s story that we looked at last week, he returns here to the story of Abraham and his descendants.

The first part of Abraham’s story was significant because it set him up as the father of a great nation, which could only happen by him having faith in the promise of God to give him a son even though he and his wife Sarah were old. But, God only gave him one son – Isaac – which is significant for the piece of Abraham’s story in this passage. You can read the entire narrative in Genesis 22.

This test was likely the most difficult one that Abraham had to endure. God asked Abraham to sacrifice (kill) his only son, Isaac. Of course, that would be really confusing for Abraham. God promised to make Abraham into a great nation, but that would open happen through his biological descendants, and Isaac was not yet married nor had any children at this point. Abraham would have had an internal conflict between his love for his son and his love for God, but there’s more to it than that.

The author of Hebrews points out that it appeared to Abraham that God made conflicting revelations to him. God revealed that He would give Abraham many biological descendants. God also revealed that Abraham must kill the one son he has. Abraham believed by faith that God could not lie to him, but how could both of these be true at the same time? If Isaac is dead, he won’t bear any children!

But even without understanding, Abraham still operated by his faith in God and chose to be obedient to the most recent revelation from God. His faith was strong enough that he knew that somehow, God would work it out. God made it clear that Isaac was the son through which God’s promise of a great nation would be fulfilled (Genesis 21:12). He knew that God was powerful enough to raise the dead (even though he hadn’t seen that work being done), so maybe God would raise Isaac from the dead after he was sacrificed?

The Greek verb used for “offered” in verse 17 is a tense that implies that Abraham considered Isaac as good as dead through this offering. Abraham DID offer his son as a sacrifice and did not hold back. But then, the same Greek verb is used in another tense that implies that the action was not fully completed. So it is made clear that Abraham’s heart motivation was truly to obey God, no matter what the earthly consequence was – even death for his only son. Abraham was still obedient to God, even though God stopped the action from taking place.

Next, after concluding the story of Abraham, the author moves to the other patriarchs – Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.

Interestingly, the only piece of Isaac’s life mentioned by the author of Hebrews (verse 20) is blessing his sons Jacob and Esau, which you can read about in Genesis 27-28. Even though Jacob deceived Isaac into blessing him instead of the older Esau who should have received the birthright, Isaac did end up blessing both of his sons. The author of Hebrews is focused on the faith that Isaac had – he blessed both of his sons with blessings that would not be realized in the near future. Isaac trusted by faith that this was what God would have him do, and he was obedient in that.

The author continues that theme of blessing when mentioning Jacob next in verse 21. Just like with Isaac, Jacob’s blessings of his grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh went against the traditional birth order requirement for the birthright. God will do what God wants to do, and God wanted the younger Ephraim to have the blessing. The phrase about how Jacob “worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff” tells us the heart attitude that Jacob had – one of truly worshiping God, even as he gave the blessing.

The faith of Joseph, too, looked forward to the future (verse 22), though his mention does not include a blessing as Isaac’s and Jacob’s did. The next great phase of the life of the nation of Israel would be slavery in Egypt followed by the exodus where they left that land to back to the promised land of Canaan. We know from Genesis 50:22-26 that Joseph instructed his descendants to “carry my bones up from this place.” Joseph had faith that God would come through to deliver his people and bring them back to the land He had promised to them at some point.

What can we learn today from all these stories? The first and simplest observation is to just have faith in God. Even when the circumstances look extremely confusing and impossible, God has a plan and will take care of everything. We only have a short view of the immediate future, while God knows all of time, so we need to trust Him with whatever our futures hold. Like Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, we look forward to what God will do for future generations – even if we won’t be alive to see it. We need to live our lives today in faith in God so that future generations can do the same.

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 MORE

Being a Christian 6: Count the Cost

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 11, 2022 1 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Christianity comes with a cost. This is a message that so few hear today. Let me make this crystal clear: this message will drive many away from the faith. I, personally, would rather chase someone away from the faith, having them knowing what it comes with, than welcome them into a faith that is superfluous and based on false pretexts. The Western church today has nearly all but lost the point or purpose of what it means to be a Christian because we have embraced pragmatic methods instead of God’s way of doing things. Instead of proclaiming God’s message as God gave it, with the focus being on worshiping God and holiness, they focused on “getting people into the church.” So as a result, the premise became to make people as comfortable as possible and don’t dare speak against their sins, and especially don’t make it personal. In all this, a key aspect of Christianity that is all but missing is that to claim the name of Christ and to live accordingly comes with a cost, and that cost is steep.

“But… I thought the gift of God was free.” “Isn’t our salvation by grace, not works?” “Does that cost mean I have to earn my salvation?” These are valid objections, but if we are going to be followers of Jesus, let’s let Jesus Himself describe what it means to be His followers.

To be a Christian, Jesus is to be your very life and source for sustenance. This is the whole message of John 6. Jesus fed the 5000, He crossed the lake, and the crowds followed Him, expecting more food. Jesus didn’t give them another bite and instead declared that to follow Him, you need to eat His flesh and drink His blood. There is a big debate as to whether Jesus was talking literal cannibalism or not, but we need to understand the culture. Drinking blood was completely taboo, and one reason is because Leviticus declares that the life is in the blood. Jesus is saying that the only true life is found in His blood, which would be shed at the crucifixion and would be something we do on a regular basis at the Lord’s Supper. The point I’ll emphasize here is that to be a Christian, Jesus Himself must be our sustenance, not even physical food or water. Jesus Himself said this. Do we believe Him?

To be a Christian means to give up your previous life. Jesus even said that our previous life was to be given a criminal’s death and we are to give it up as such: “Take up your cross daily and follow me.” Paul followed suit when he said, “I am crucified with Christ. Not I but Christ who lives within me.” Crucifixion was a Roman invention for the execution of the worst of criminals. It was so bad that they said they would not carry it out on Roman citizens. This is why Paul never was crucified but rather beheaded; Paul was a Roman citizen by birth.

This teaching about giving up your life is a key one that I find lost today, and don’t think I’m being all pious here. This is something every believer struggles with. A man I admire is Paul Washer, and he admitted that he regularly lives for self and not for the purposes and glory of Christ. It’s not something to be proud of. I do not condemn those who know this truth and so weakly attempt to carry it out, but I am challenging those who make excuses for their discrepancy and use the grace of God as a cover for it. Jesus did indeed die for these shortcomings because we’ll never make it on our own. But He died so we would no longer make that our lifestyle. Jesus asked, “Why do you call me Lord if you do not do as I say?” If Jesus is not acting as Lord over your life, then He is not your Savior either. Or rather, if you are not submitted to Jesus being Lord over your life (because He is Lord whether we acknowledge it or not), then why should He acknowledge you when you call upon His name to get into heaven?

What we have lost is a result of being “church raised.” I am a product of being raised in the church, so I can speak of the dangers involved in being church raised. It is so easy to be a false convert when being raised in the church. There are great blessings to being church raised, but there are grave dangers to it, too. In the 1st century, there were no people raised in the church. When you became a Christian, your life changed. You ceased your former lifestyles, running with the old crowds, going to the old businesses, etc. It was such a thing in Ephesus that the business owners who made their lifestyle on the idolatry of the city were running out of customers and their income went to nothing. That’s why they instigated the riot against Paul. It came with a cost to be a Christian because you were then seen as the troublemaker. Guess what? In every generation since Christ, the ones who preached the true Gospel and where the Gospel transformed society were all seen as troublemakers because they disrupted the sinful status quo. It came with a cost – it would cost them jobs, family members would turn against them, mobs would drive them out of the city if not “lynch” them as they did Paul at Lystra by stoning him, and the list goes on.

But we don’t live in a culture where true persecution happens and people are literally losing their lives for their faith yet. Even in this setting, to be a true Christian and to preach a true message comes with a cost. Ray Comfort is a very zealous evangelist, and he has made some grave blunders in his ministry career which resulted in him becoming known as the Banana Man. He is among the most ridiculed evangelists by the atheist community, and he greatly struggled with it. Yet as a result of that high level of stigma, he got to witness to atheists and high-level professors like Lawrence Krauss and Penn Jillette, just so they could have the privilege of having to talk with the very man they’ve ridiculed for so long. Comfort has gotten to witness to so many people who wouldn’t hear the Gospel from anyone, because he paid the price of his reputation among unbelievers and even other believers.

Paul Washer and Leonard Ravenhill have paid the price for preaching unpopular messages. Ravenhill was often scathing in his sermons, and Washer became known as American’s “blast the church” pastor after his Shocking Youth Message. Both often only got to preach one time at places because the church would not want them back. Many churches want these celebrity preachers to come support them, and they would not give a blessing message but rather a lashing message that the church needed.

Finally for this post, David Wilkerson had to pay the price, too. He had a burden for the gangs of New York City after seeing an article about seven gang members severely wounding a disabled teen. In his desire to help these criminals, he approached the judge during the trial and the media branded him as a Bible-thumping preacher. He was given a black eye for that, but when the street kids recognized him, they thought he was cool, because they both had the police and “proper citizens” against them. Before Wilkerson could gain the respect of the gangs, he had to be viewed as someone who was not prim and proper by media and police, and he did so without sinning himself. Revival took place among the gangs as a result. Wilkerson paid the price so he could fulfill God’s calling on his life.

Christianity comes with a cost. Your life will not be as it was. Jesus is not an accessory that you add to your life to “complete” it. Christianity is not a set of doctrines that you believe, and you can still go about thinking and living as you would if you didn’t have Christ. If you are going to follow Christ, your life is no longer your own, and you no longer have the freedom to simply do what you want to do. You are freed from sin and your rebellion against God, but you are freed also to servitude to Christ. True conversion simply exchanges one master (the indulgence of self) for another Master (the perfect God-man Christ Jesus).

If your faith doesn’t cost you anything, is it real? A faith that costs nothing is worth nothing. We can tell how real your faith is when the cost comes, and it will come. Your faith will be proved by whether you stand by it no matter the cost, or whether you cave to the pressure to give it up. Most do the latter; few do the former. Jesus warned us of the types of costs we will pay to be a believer. Very few of us have any clue what that means until it happens. Have you counted the cost?

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 MORE

The Law of Biogenesis, Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 10, 2022 3 comments


by Steve Risner

Last week, we started looking at the law of biogenesis and what this theistic evolutionist from a group I frequent on Facebook had to say about it. He was responding to a meme that said evolution violates the law of biogenesis. His exact statement was this:

The theory of evolution cannot violate 'biogenesis,' if there were actually a law of biogenesis. Evolution requires some sort of living, reproducing organism. Evolution requires biogenesis. Christianity requires abiogenesis, as well as biogenesis. The Bible clearly states (whether read figuratively or literally) that the first living organisms were generated from non-living matter. We came 'from the dust.' Other organisms are described as arising from the sea or the soil. It is also simply reasonable to think that the first living organisms were made of previously non-living chemical precursors. Hence an argument that evolution violates some requirement of 'biogenesis' is both a falsehood and an argument against the Bible. You have provided another piece of evidence that young-earthism and other anti-evolutionary notions are anti-biblical.

He erroneously claims that abiogenesis is a foundational block for evolution and Christianity alike, but I believe that’s a ridiculous claim. While it can be read in Genesis 1:24 that God said, “Let the land bring forth…” or some variation of that depending on your translation, this does not mean the land or earth or dust or whatever produced something by its own power. It has no power to do so. I consulted our local Greek and Hebrew egghead, Katie Erickson, about this passage. Her take, based on the word usage was as follows: “The verb for ‘produce’ can also mean bring forth, or cause to come out, or something like that. But the earth is clearly the subject of that verb, and it is a jussive, meaning it's translated as ‘Let the earth bring forth...’ rather than a more indicative statement like ‘The earth brings forth.’” This tells me God is the creative agent here. It’s not God asking the earth to do something as though it has the power to create; only God has this ability. His mind brings forth life. This is not abiogenesis by any stretch of the word. The author of life created life.

If we are going to suggest God is not the source of life and giver of life, then we need to read a bit of the Bible before making any further claims about the one who inspired it. Again, the creation of life by God Almighty is not an example of abiogenesis, although I’ve heard this canard many times from theistic evolutionists. The Bible doesn’t say only that we’re made of dust or clay or whatever variation he wants to throw in there. God formed dust and breathed life into it. His act of giving life is the key. It’s not that dust was used; it’s that God made us. In fact, using the dust makes us unique. He did nothing like this for any other living things He made. These facts make it all the more appropriate for the Old Testament writers to use concepts like the potter and the clay and so forth.

Does dust have the ability to create life? Obviously not. As A. E. Wilder Smith wrote, “The necessary information to build man does not reside in the few elements it takes to compose him.” We’re not even proportionately put together comparable to the earth’s crust. We are mostly oxygen like the earth’s crust, yes. But silicon is the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust. We are .026% silicon. That’s not in proportion to the 27% that’s found in the earth’s crust.

The fact is that all life on earth was born out of the mind of God. No natural process can account for its existence. Literally. There is no natural process that causes living things to be brought out of non-living matter. This theistic evolutionist even kind of hints at his own contradiction when he speaks of the first living things being “generated” from non-living matter. What did that? Was it necessary for God to do it this way? He doesn’t even believe this is a true account of the history of the world, so using it is a fairly strange happening. He also even states, after saying there is no law of biogenesis, that evolution hangs on it! Again, he says, “Evolution requires some sort of living, reproducing organism. Evolution requires biogenesis.” You can’t make this stuff up. In just a few sentences, he says two opposite statements.

His cop-out that evolution only deals with living things is noted. Unbelievers love to point out that universal common descent begins AFTER the first living thing was spontaneously generated billions of years ago. But the truth is, if this process cannot begin—if there’s no way for life to arise from non-living matter—then there’s no point in discussing the process after that because it couldn’t begin. That’s like asking, “If my car grew legs and walked away, where would it walk to?” It can’t grow its own legs, so the question is a non-starter.

He then deceptively describes evolution and Christianity in terms that don’t pass the sniff test. First, evolution clearly requires abiogenesis, but he fails to mention that. I know, I know – evolution describes how life diversified while abiogenesis describes how life began. But if life doesn’t begin, diversification isn’t a possibility. The two are very clearly intimately connected. You can read more on that here.

But does Christianity rest on abiogenesis? I thought Christianity rested on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but maybe my theology is messed up here. I hope he’ll see my confusion here and explain it to me in the future. Now, he’s going to suggest that the creation narrative tells us God allowed the earth to produce living things and all that sort of gibberish.

Genesis 1:24 says, “And God said, ‘Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.’ And it was so.” Does this mean God used abiogenesis and evolution to make all the animals and plants on earth? Easy question, the answer is obviously NO. It means that from the mind of God, the earth was filled with living creatures. He seems to forget a verse just a few before where God calls sea creatures and birds into existence but does not call them out of the water (which would be weird for the birds, right?). “And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky’” (Genesis 1:20). There is no mention of God telling the water or air to produce these creatures. It’s a bit of a stretch, is it not? And using verse 24 to support his beliefs while simultaneously NOT believing the verse is a true representation of the creation week is dishonest, in my opinion. You can’t reject the entire narrative as history and then cherry pick one verse and say it supports your man-made creation narrative.

Also, I’ve heard creationists criticized because they believe in “hyper-evolution” because we believe organisms diversified and developed the variety we see from their created kinds since the Flood—just 4400 years ago or so. This theistic evolutionist is saying that all the diversity developed in 24-48 hours, I guess. The timeline for creation is exquisitely clear. Genesis 1 tells us it took a week to make everything. Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 both confirm for us that God created everything and then rested in a 7-day week. There’s no arguing that. So, I guess I have to assume theistic evolutionists believe in a level of “hyper-evolution” that is beyond description. Or, the alternative is God created each individual species as it is today. Either way, they want to force the text to read in a way that is clearly erroneous and stretches their credibility.

Something is described as pseudoscience when it violates a known law of nature. The humanist origins myth is given a pass here even though ALL evidence (every single piece) tells us life can ONLY come from another living thing. The law of biogenesis, whether a person accepts it as a law of nature or not, is solid because we cannot point to a single instance—not one time—that we know life originated from non-living matter. So universal common descent and abiogenesis violate this law that has not one exception that we know of. Does that qualify it as pseudoscience?

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 MORE

Hebrews 11:13-16

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, February 7, 2022 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” -Hebrews 11:13-16

Are you ever in the middle of telling a story (or stories) and then need to make a sidebar comment so that what you’re saying makes sense? That seems like exactly what the author of Hebrews does with today’s passage. He was just telling us about the first part of Abraham’s story in verses 8-12, and he’ll resume the story of Abraham in verses 17-19. But in the middle of the story, he decides that his readers need some important information.

In verse 13, the author begins by clarifying that the people who have been mentioned so far (Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham) did not see God’s promises fulfilled in their lifetimes. They were only living by faith, which is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (verse 1). They were still confident and assured of God’s promises, even if they did not see the fulfillment of those promises. While Abraham was still alive to see his son Isaac born, of course, he did not live to see his descendants become as many as the stars in the sky or the sand on the seashore. All of these people knew that God’s promises would be fulfilled but only saw that fulfillment “from a distance.”

All of these people were “foreigners and strangers” here on earth. Yes, they did have homelands and families, but the point is that they knew that there was something greater than this earth to live for. Even many generations before Jesus would come as the promised Messiah, they knew that God had something better in store for them. They would one day all be citizens of heaven and were simply passing by so to speak on this earth while they lived their lives.

The rest of this section elaborates on the idea that this earth was not their true home. Verse 14 tells us that they were “looking for a country of their own.” If they were only focused on the things of this earth rather than God’s heavenly promises for them, they would not have been looking at the bigger picture of being foreigners and strangers on earth, preparing themselves for what God had in store after this life.

If they were only looking behind to what they had left, verse 15 tells us they could have just gone back there. But they weren’t focused on the past; they were focused on the future that God had promised them. They were completely focused on walking out the path that God had for them in faith, no matter what.

Rather than only looking at their current earthly lives or desiring to live in the past, they instead longed for the better heavenly country (verse 16). Their commitment to looking forward to their next life in heaven was a firm one, no matter what.

Because of their faith, God was not ashamed of them. They were obedient to Him through living their lives in faith, and God was proud of them for that. God is often referred to as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which demonstrates the faith of those men that God wants to be associated with them, even though they are sinful human beings. Because of their commitment to following God by faith even though they didn’t see the fulfillment of that, God honored them by preparing a city for them. Note that it doesn’t say that God will one day prepare a city for them, but it has already been accomplished.

What does this passage mean for us today? While we have already seen the fulfillment of God’s ultimate promise in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that brings us salvation, there are still times we need to live by faith in the things that we cannot see. We do not know the details of how our lives will play out, but we need to forge on anyway by faith in God that He will work everything out according to His good purposes (Romans 8:28).

Like these men of the Old Testament, we are all foreigners and strangers here on this earth as well. We know that this is not our ultimate home; for believers in Jesus Christ, heaven is our home. We are here for a time journeying through this world so that we can live our lives in faith in God. We are here to bring God glory and share about Him and all that He has done to our fellow sojourners here on earth, especially those who are not yet living by faith.

When we live by faith, God will not be ashamed of us either! He has already honored our faithful lives by preparing a place for us in heaven (John 14:1-4). We simply need to continue walking in that faith, focused on whatever God has in store for us and confident in that hope, even when we can’t see or understand what God is doing in our lives.

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 MORE

Being a Christian 5: A Pillar of Light

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 4, 2022 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Throughout church history, for the most part it was clear in society that when trouble came, the church was where you would find the answers for hope. When 9/11/2001 hit, the nation’s response was to get to church and to cry for help. But that repentance was short lived. The organized, visible church has been made nearly completely irrelevant to the culture of our nation today. There are two main reasons for this that I can think of. 1) The American church has, as a whole, so embraced teaching that is comfortable and seeking prosperity that whether it comes in the form of Prosperity Gospel or “Christian Nationalism,” the purpose of faith is not seeking what God wants but seeking what makes life easier. 2) The apologists of our faith have become so academic and intellectual that we chase away those who need truth and light because they were consumed by the lies of the world. I’ll be up front that I am just as guilty on these issues as anyone else, especially on the 2nd problem. So, I’m pointing to myself here too.

I ended last year on a 20-post series on apologetics and how/why we should be defending the faith. We absolutely must defend the faith. It’s a command, not a suggestion. We must bring the light to a world that knows nothing but darkness. In the Bible, light is a symbol of truth. It even describes God. As physical light enables us to see around us and what is going on, it is the truth that enables us to understand the times, the circumstances, and the arguments that we face. And much to the dismay of many, truth is exclusive. In a world that hates absolute truth, you will not make many friends by proclaiming the unadulterated truth.

Jesus said that we are the light of the world. Paul said the Church’s role is to be a pillar of truth. We are to stand out, be unique, and give answers to a world lost in darkness. Yes, we have answers, and we need not be ashamed of them. Yet, the intellectual world has given us post-modernism that denies any truth and any single source from having the final say about reality. Many have so embraced post-modernism that to break free of it and rebuke it will turn many who claim to be Christians against you. It’s like in Hezekiah’s day or Jeremiah’s day when Hezekiah and Josiah cleaned out all the idols from the land. The people were so entrenched in idolatry, thinking they were worshiping God that they thought Hezekiah went apostate. They ultimately rejected Jeremiah’s advice proudly declaring they would go back to worshiping their idols because when they worshiped their idols, they thought they had success. Yet the judgment that came upon them was due to their idolatry, not due to their abandoning their idols.

In 2018, my last of six times at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference, Tim Shoemaker made the closing keynote titled “Shooting Higher.” The context was for Christian writers to shoot higher with their writing. Go for the best standards, go proclaim the truth, and don’t hold back. He made this very quotable remark: “Where do we get the idea that we can reach darkness with more darkness?” How is it possible that we, who have the light, have been duped into thinking that in order to reach the world, we have to look like the world, sound like the world, and act like the world? This is how seeker-sensitive churches operate. In order to attract those in the world, we offer what the world wants, and the world does not want to hear sin-piercing, soul-penetrating, soul-saving truth of the gospel. Instead, they want to hear what makes them feel good and makes them acceptable in their sin. As a result, churches who do this cease being a church and become nothing more than a Sunday Social Club for the heathen. And that’s putting it nicely. This argument is what I have heard MANY Old Earth Creationists use, too. One even said, “You won’t reach the scientific community with these arguments.” My response was that if you are seeking their approval, you aren’t getting God’s approval. Since when did the church ever have to cater to the opinions of the lost?

We are to be light, and darkness hates light. We have to understand this. If we are going to present the unadulterated truth, those who are of the world will hate us. They will strive to silence us, mock us, or even kill us. Why? Because our message convicts them of their sin and reminds them of the judgment that is due to them unless they repent. But how can people be saved unless they see the light? Christianity is not meant to be a place where you learn your doctrines and your catechisms and then just sit comfortably in the pews. The church is meant to arm and equip the saints for going out there and being the light to people who have no light otherwise. At my job as a public school teacher, I may be the only Christian influence the students get. I’m not “allowed” to share my faith as part of my lectures in the classroom, and while it is an extreme battle to get kids to do it, I seek to teach my kids how to think independently of what they are being fed. I am also working on getting involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes now that we are back on campus.

The underground church understands what it means to be the light, but they also know what happens when they do so. Light is not just visible to those who want to be able to see and to get answers.; it’s also visible to those who hate the light and don’t want anyone else to receive it either. There is a cost to being a Christian and especially to being a light in this world. I’ll save that in more detail for my next post, but today’s youth raised in church seems to think that all you need is to wear a Christian T-shirt or wear a cross on a necklace and that’s all you need to showcase your faith. You can certainly use those as witnessing tools, but if you are going to be the light in this world, expect to be ostracized and singled out. You will be the “weird one.” But those who count the cost, and have paid the cost, have reaped countless benefits and rewards.

Do you want to be the light of the world? You should, but you need to know what it comes with. Jesus was up front about what it meant to be His follower. Most walked away, unwilling to pay the price to get there. There is a cost to being a Christian. We’ll see what that is 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.

READ MORE

The Law of Biogenesis, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, February 3, 2022 0 comments


by Steve Risner

Today, we’ll look at another wonderful example of poor logic, poor theology, and a terrible misunderstanding of both the arguments Biblical creationists make for their position and against the position a person who believes in abiogenesis and universal common descent (we call them evolutionists but this description as to what they believe is more useful, I think). We’ve discussed for some weeks the statements made by a theistic evolutionist and, frankly, how crazy much of what he says is. You can find the previous installments of this series here, here, here, here, and here. We began by outlining his initial statements and then, as he described what he felt were some inaccuracies concerning some arguments a meme had made about his beliefs.

We touched on entropy in our last two posts (linked above). I’ll wrap that up quickly and move on to biogenesis, this theistic evolutionist’s next argument. He finishes his critique of the claim that the second law of thermodynamics is violated by abiogenesis and universal common descent with this statement:

You'll note that this principle is so well established and provides such a clear source of increasing order for evolutionary purposes on planet earth that even the major anti-evolutionary organizations warn against using the argument that evolution violates the law of entropy. It's just too easy to point out that the argument is a falsehood.

He's right, you know. The principle of the second law of thermodynamics is one of the most well established in science. But it has nothing to do with “increasing order for evolutionary purposes on planet earth.” Not only does it not do this, but he didn’t even try to explain how.

He goes on to say the case is so strong (although he failed to tell us how) that “major anti-evolutionary organizations” (do you see how universal common descent has become an idol for this man?) tell us not to use this argument. Again, he’s right but not in the way he thinks. There are applications of this argument that are not profitable. They don’t seem to work. However, much of the talk on these “anti-evolutionary organizations” websites is replete with arguments explaining how abiogenesis and universal common descent require massive disruptions in this fundamental law of science. He provided a link (which I didn’t post here) that doesn’t work. It was nice he tried to offer some evidence for his claim, but the evidence is apparently outdated. Let’s move on to biogenesis and get the ball rolling with it.

On this topic, this theistic evolutionist, probably joined by most if not all others who share his beliefs, says:

The theory of evolution cannot violate ‘biogenesis,’ if there were actually a law of biogenesis. Evolution requires some sort of living, reproducing organism. Evolution requires biogenesis. Christianity requires abiogenesis, as well as biogenesis. The Bible clearly states (whether read figuratively or literally) that the first living organisms were generated from non-living matter. We came ‘from the dust.’ Other organisms are described as arising from the sea or the soil. It is also simply reasonable to think that the first living organisms were made of previously non-living chemical precursors. Hence an argument that evolution violates some requirement of ‘biogenesis’ is both a falsehood and an argument against the Bible. You have provided another piece of evidence that young-earthism and other anti-evolutionary notions are anti-biblical.

Biologyonline.com tells us that the law of biogenesis is the principle stating that life arises from pre-existing life, not from nonliving material. Now this evolutionist wants to act like this law isn’t real. Biologyonline.com disagrees. Medical-dictionary also disagrees, telling us it’s “a term given by [Thomas] Huxley [known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” due to his fierce advocacy for Darwin’s theory] to the principle that life originates from preexisting life only and never from nonliving material.” There were numerous other definitions on that page that essentially stated the same thing. Some seem to think that biogenesis is certainly a concept to be understood by biologists and laypersons alike. And to be honest, I don’t know a single person who has ever witnessed this not being the case. There has never been, in the billions, or more likely trillions, of organisms we’ve witnessed on this earth, a single time a living thing—whether a single cell or as complex as you’d like to imagine—has come from something not alive. They’ll sidestep this issue by claiming this was only applicable to spontaneous generation but doesn’t apply to abiogenesis. That’s hogwash. In fact, if you look at the definitions of those two ideas—spontaneous generation and abiogenesis—they are nearly identical.

Oxford defines abiogenesis this way: “the original evolution of life or living organisms from inorganic or inanimate substances.” Notice how they accidentally slipped the word “evolution” in there. Our theistic evolutionist doesn’t think the two are related. Oxford says that spontaneous generation is “the supposed production of living organisms from nonliving matter, as inferred from the apparent appearance of life in some supposedly sterile environments.” Do you see how these two definitions are very similar? They are, really. Huxley (mentioned above) changed the term from spontaneous generation to abiogenesis for the exclusive purpose of getting away from this backward, na├»ve, thoroughly proven false idea. Oops. It’s still the same thing, no matter how you change the name.

I think this is a good place to rest. Next week, we’ll look at the rest of his comment on the law of biogenesis, which evolution gets a pass on. Is abiogenesis a foundational pillar of Christianity? We’ll take a look at his theology here and use some of our resources on Hebrew to discover what the deal is. Thanks for reading and may God bless you richly.

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 MORE