Dominion Over the Earth

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 30, 2022 2 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

From the moment of his creation, man was given dominion over the earth, to subdue it and to bring it into subjection, all the while being fruitful and multiplying. These are the first commandments and responsibilities given to mankind. While many sermons have dealt with Genesis 1:28 in numerous different ways, my church’s primary teaching elder made some statements in a recent sermon that triggered me to write this post.

In most sermons I’ve heard, the message from this verse is about man having control over the animals and the power to do science and create technology. Then man is to be productive and have lots of children. But the past couple months, this verse has been gnawing at me. The whole notion of making the home and the family structure to be productive and little self-sustaining “kingdoms” as opposed to mere places for rest and entertainment has gotten my attention. The comments the teaching elder made about man’s role in having dominion over the earth while also being fruitful have magnified my understanding of Scripture to a new level, and I’ve been chewing on how to put these concepts to practice.

First off, man has dominion over the earth. He has the authority to use and control the earth and life and bring it to order. There are a number of people who suggest that this idea of dominion actually means that life outside the garden was actually a wreck, indistinguishable from what sin actually did, and so man was given instructions to “set it in order.” I have serious problems with such ideas. For one, it teaches that God is a lousy creator and needs man to finish the job because God left it messy. It is another ploy to keep man from being responsible from what is wrong with this world.

That’s actually not what “have dominion” actually means in this context, which is pre-sin. It more accurately means that man is to take the creation and put it to good use, and man has done that. We have created technology and built roads and houses and lakes and mountains and done all sorts of good things.

But man in his sinful hubris tries to play the God-role, too. Man is made to be a steward of the earth, but it is God who actually owns and ultimately controls it all. Man thinks he is both the problem with this world (which both Evolution and Creation teach) but also thinks he is the savior of the world (which only Evolution teaches). Just watch the Sci-Fi channel. How many disaster movies are out there that pits man against this insanely big disaster, and yet with our modern technology we have the great ability to solve this disaster that wipes out cities and continents? It’s actually comical when you think about it. Man thinks he can solve the “climate change” issue and as I watch the weather completely confound our “experts,” I can picture God up there saying, “Oh, you think you can control that? Well, try this.” Yes, man has dominion over the earth, but only as stewards or managers, not as owners. Let us not forget our place. While we are indeed the pinnacle of creation, we are still a mere creation. We are not gods and we’ll never be like God.

But in light of my elder’s teachings, namely on how the home turned from a place of production into a place of consumption, he made a comment that I had heard many times but never in the context of this verse. In our day of technology, we are not controlling or having dominion over the technology. Instead, it is having control over us. I have heard many preachers address this issue regarding money and treasures here on earth. John Piper says, “I don’t think it’s wrong to have a lot of money. I just think it’s wrong to want to keep a lot of money.” Voddie Baucham says, “I’m not against you having things. I’m against things having you.” It’s the same issue, but I had never heard it in context of Genesis 1:28. Instead of man having dominion over technology and science, the sinful results we face is this technology and science has us.

It is easy to see this in the context of our TV, games, social media, internet, cell phones, etc. We are addicted to technology, and our lives simply will shut down if we go without it for long. That is one aspect, but the general trend is to overreact to that and want to throw out all technology. Some preachers have thrown out their TVs, smashed their games, and limited their phones to the bare minimum. I won’t say that is wrong, but I won’t say it is right either. That is between each person and God. The issue is not technology; the issue is who has control. If we are ruled by sin and self, technology and science will control us quickly and easily. But if we are ruled by the Holy Spirit, we will be able to use technology to its fullest.

But an angle I will take to this teaching even further is the studies of science itself. I am a physics teacher, and I have seen so many people actually deify science. Where did man come from? Science has the answer. Where are we going? Science has the answer. Why are we here? Science has the answer. Who are we? Science has the answer. Who has the authority? Science does. This is not what God designed us to do. I love science. Don’t read what I am not saying; science is an awesome tool. But it is a tool. So many have made science their entire epistemology. They don’t do science, nor do they have any dominion over science. Science rules them. Nature is their god, and it has led to some of the most stupid and deadly decisions ever made. When science and nature and technology control us, we are actually practicing a form of pantheism, the worship of nature.

Be careful. We are to control science, not let science control us. And science can only be under control when we are under the control of God, submitted and yielded to Him. God will not unlock the deepest secrets of the creation to those who despise His name and seek to steal His glory. He’ll give them to those who love Him, seek to honor Him, and keep both God and nature in their rightful places. May we learn how to put technology under our control as we submit to the rightful rule of God our Master. Next week, I’ll look at the other half of this verse in how to be fruitful and multiply.

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Athaliah, Queen of Judah

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 26, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

This series I’ve been writing for the last few months has been on the kings of the divided nation of Israel and Judah. But today, we’re switching that up just a bit and taking a look at a queen of Judah. This is definitely unusual for the nation, and you’ll see as we dig into Athaliah’s life how it all played out.

The previous king of Judah chronologically that I wrote about two weeks ago was Ahaziah. You may recall from that blog post that Ahaziah was killed by King Jehu of Israel while Ahaziah was visiting King Joram of Israel, who also happened to be Ahaziah’s first cousin.

Athaliah was Ahaziah’s mother, and she had been married to King Jehoram of Judah (Ahaziah’s father). But, Athaliah was also the daughter of King Ahab of Israel! That’s definitely quite the complicated family tree (I actually had to draw a picture to figure it out for myself). Athaliah was widowed when her husband Jehoram was killed and Ahaziah became king.

So, when Athaliah heard that her son Ahaziah was dead, she stopped at nothing to seize the throne and put herself in charge (2 Kings 11:1). She literally murdered every member of the royal family so that there would be no biological heir to claim the throne instead of her. She even murdered her own grandchildren! With no one else remaining alive to begin ruling, she made herself the queen of Judah.

But, Athaliah had a daughter who survived, named Jehosheba. Jehosheba managed to hide Ahaziah’s son Joash from her mother. Joash was among all the royal family’s princes who Athaliah was going to murder, but Jehosheba snatched him away and hid him with a nurse so he would not be killed (2 Kings 11:2).

Amazingly, Jehosheba was able to sneak Joash away to the temple, where she undoubtedly conspired with the priests to keep the young boy hidden. It probably helped that Jehosheba was married to the high priest at the time, Jehoiada (2 Chronicles 22:11). They managed to hide him for an entire 6 years while Athaliah was ruling as queen (2 Kings 11:3)!

The people of Judah were not happy with Athaliah's ruling as queen since she ascended to the throne in such an awful way. That likely contributed to those involved desiring to hide Joash from her, so that he could become the rightful king when he was old enough. Jehoiada the high priest worked up a plan to get Joash on the throne and depose Queen Athaliah, which is spelled out in 2 Kings 11:4-12.

First, Jehoiada got all those in charge in the temple and in the military on board with the plan. Next, he got the Levites (the priestly class) on board and had them swear their allegiance to Joash, who was the rightful king. Then, he got certain royal guards into the right places at the right times and had them appropriately armed for the situation. The palace needed to be defended should anyone who supported Athaliah try to thwart the plan.

Finally, Jehoiada led young king Joash into the right spot to put everything into action: “Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, ‘Long live the king!’” (2 Kings 11:12).

Athaliah, of course, heard all the commotion and was quite mad. She knew exactly what was happening when she saw the situation – that Joash was being made the king, while she was still reining as queen. She proclaimed it treason, but that did not matter as Joash was technically the rightful king, and everything had been done to make him so (2 Kings 11:13-14).

This is where it was key that Jehoiada had the right guards in place; he commanded them to seize Athaliah and to put to death anyone who proclaimed allegiance to her. They dragged Athaliah out of the palace in order to put her to death as well, thus ending her 7-year reign (2 Kings 11:15-16).

But wait, there’s more! “Jehoiada then made a covenant between the LORD and the king and people that they would be the LORD’s people. He also made a covenant between the king and the people. All the people of the land went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed the altars and idols to pieces and killed Mattan the priest of Baal in front of the altars” (2 Kings 11:17-18). Joash was only 7 years old at the time, but Jehoiada the high priest got him off to a great start in his reign by declaring that the people of Judah would follow the one true God. They removed all the altars to idols and pagan gods and put the proper covenants in place for Judah, and the new king Joash, to follow God.

To sum it all up, “All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the palace” (2 Kings 11:20).

Athaliah’s brief reign as the only recorded queen of Judah (or Israel) definitely does not shed a great light on the female gender as leaders. But to be fair, the sample size is pretty small! She started off her reign with anger at her son’s death which led to her murdering many more of her own family members. If not for the bravery of her daughter Jehosheba who snuck away baby Joash, Athaliah may have had many more years of an idol-worshiping reign, leading the people of Judah further away from following God. Athaliah is not a great example to follow, but Jehosheba’s courageous actions in the face of her murderous mother are inspiring.

Which one of these ladies are you like? Are you acting like Athaliah and taking over what may not be rightfully yours? Or are you acting like Jehosheba and standing courageously for what’s right in the face of danger?

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Compartmentalization Revisited

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 23, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Two years ago, I wrote on how we have a compartmentalized life. I would recommend reading that post before continuing on here. Over the past few months, one of the elders at my church and I have been feeding off each other as we are wrestling with different issues. He has been wrestling with God over what he needs to do in his family life to prevent little things from going downhill, even asking God, “What seeds am I planting that I will not like when they bear fruit?” God has been doing an amazing work in him, and it’s been stirring me up as well. That is what triggered me to write my current blog posts.

As mentioned last week, the American home has been a center of consumption in the last 100-150 years, mostly triggered by the Industrial Revolution. The home today is for eating, sleeping, consuming, and little else. With few exceptions, I think only farmers maintain the old lifestyle, where all the kids were seen as assets and were productive to the family job. Today, they are viewed as liabilities, and they produce suffering for those who want to consume and be entertained. These are significant issues that we have to face, and this has produced another side effect: the compartmentalization of the family, the church, and the areas of life.

The Industrial Revolution brought something to the home that had never been done before other than with military service: taken the father away from the home. The typical “work dad” in the family leave home early, works for a corporation, and comes home in the evening. His job is completely irrelevant to the family. The typical mom, because dad’s job is independent of the home, now only has housekeeping to do and gets bored. Due to rising costs, mom also has to work (which was catalyzed by World War II). Kids are now bored because mom and dad are working and are now sent to school. Public schools were birthed in this industry, and for several decades now, we have “compulsory” education – children MUST be in school or they are sent to court (yes, that is a real thing).

While much can be said about the effects this has, one key thing to point out is that dad, mom, and kids each have completely separate lives and only spend time with each other for a few hours each day and on weekends/holidays. In fact, parents have to be encouraged to spend “quality time” with their kids. They are advised to take from the few hours you have to make quality time. That is not what used to be. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, parents had “quality time” with their kids every day, because everything they did revolved around the home from their farming, blacksmithing, tailoring, etc.

But as goes the home, so goes the church. Regarding elders, Paul told Timothy that if a man cannot rule his own household, how can he rule the church? Paul was not talking about totalitarian dictatorship nor was he talking about having completely submissive children. He was talking about how a man manages the home. Was he leading the family appropriately? That letter was written in a context when the whole family was truly a unit, and the wife and children were all part of what dad was doing. If dad led a dysfunctional home, how could he functionally lead the church?

What is going on in the church today? Total segregation. Adult service, children’s ministries, youth ministries, woman’s studies, black studies, white studies, division, division, division. While youth group was formed as an answer to the bored children who were segregated from their families due to jobs, it has since become an institutionalized part of the church and has actually usurped the parents’ role and job. There are pastors who will tear children away from their parents to take them to Sunday School when parents wanted their kids with them for the main service. There are even pastors who didn’t know their own kids were not going to church because they were part of the youth ministry and went to separate services and different buildings. See Voddie Baucham’s Q&A on youth ministry for more details. What is going on? Compartmentalization of the home led to compartmentalization of the church, and the enemy is having a heyday with it. Parents no longer know who their own kids are because they are rarely with them.

Church aspects themselves are also compartmentalized. How often have you heard the claim that the “worship” was just the singing part of a service? This is not so. The reading of Scripture, the preaching, the singing, the testimony – all of it (when done appropriately) is worship. My church has a “beadle,” which in our case is someone who presents the Bible to the pulpit (a job I often do). It was done with John Calvin’s churches too, which I didn’t know until just recently, so it has history. It is meant to showcase that the Bible is not just some book but the holy Word of God. Even that practice can become mundane and trivialized. But that is worship too; it is not worship of a book but worship of its Author. Yet we have compartmentalized that also.

The worst part of it, though, is the compartmentalization of our faith and the rest of life. It is so strong that people believe literal contradictions at the same time. I know a guy who is an “Old Earth Creationist.” He professes to believe in a literal Adam and whom was the originator of sin and that all death to mankind came through Adam. He proclaims animal death prior to sin because “the Bible is silent on it,” but he believes human death was only after Adam. I asked him how he handles his dating methods that put human fossils and human DNA long before Adam lived, and he avoids this like the plague. He thinks he’s escaped it with “I don’t know.” At that point, I cite the very theologians he cites as defense for his Old Earth position who adamantly stand on the doctrine of Adam’s original sin as being fundamental to the Gospel and that they reject any teaching that violates that doctrine. His compartmentalization is so strong that he does not see the inconsistency in his beliefs.

We need to return to holistic faith again, where our faith is holistic and central to every aspect of our lives. We let science separate our doctrine from the real world, and with that line of thinking came separation of the family and separation of the church. This is why we cannot mess with origins or any other part of the Bible. We cannot have the Bible in one category and academia in another. Abner Chao wrote a masterpiece article on getting theology back in its rightful position as the Queen of the Sciences. I have been preaching that message for years, and it is great to hear others give the same message. We need God to reunite our families, reunite our churches, and reunite our thinking/academia and all under one banner: the banner of Jesus Christ. That means kicking out anything that would usurp and take a place that it is not supposed to have. Satan is a master of division, but Jesus’ prayer was that we would be united. Never at the expense of truth, but under truth.

Next week, I’ll take a closer look at science and its proper place, based on an intriguing statement made by an elder at my church.

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Jehu, King of Israel

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 19, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

We learned a little about Jehu, king of Israel, in last week’s post about King Ahaziah of Judah, but today we’re going to dig into Jehu’s story a bit more. We read about Jehu in 2 Kings 9-10, and his story intersects with King Ahaziah of Judah and King Joram of Israel.

The prophet Elisha was the one who initially singled out Jehu. He summoned a young man from his company of prophets and sent him to where the battle was taking place at Ramoth Gilead. That prophet was then supposed to locate Jehu son of Jehoshaphat and anoint him as king. Elisha told him, “Then take the flask and pour the oil on his head and declare, ‘This is what the LORD says: I anoint you king over Israel.’ Then open the door and run; don’t delay!” (2 Kings 9:3). It was an anoint and run!

The prophet did exactly as Elisha told him. He gave the following prophecy to Jehu during the anointing: “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anoint you king over the LORD’s people Israel. You are to destroy the house of Ahab your master, and I will avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and the blood of all the LORD’s servants shed by Jezebel. The whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel—slave or free. I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. As for Jezebel, dogs will devour her on the plot of ground at Jezreel, and no one will bury her” (2 Kings 9:6b-10a) And then he ran away, just as instructed.

All that was done inside a house, in secret from the rest of the officers at the battle. When Jehu emerged and the other officers were curious what that was all about, Jehu simply told them that he had been anointed king of Israel! The officers immediately honored Jehu as their new king. Jehu conveniently left out the part about being told to assassinate Joram, the current king of Israel at the time!

By that point, Joram had been injured and had gone to Jezreel to recover from the battle with the Arameans at Ramoth Gilead. Jehu told the other officers that if they wanted him to be king, they should keep it quiet that he was leaving and going to Jezreel. He didn’t want news of the conspiracy and assassination leaking out to thwart his plans.

When Jehu arrived at Jezreel, Joram’s lookout saw the person on horseback approaching, and a messenger was sent out to ask if he was coming in peace. Jehu commanded the messenger to fall in behind him. When that messenger didn’t return, they sent another out, and the same thing happened again. By that time, the lookout recognized Jehu based on his chariot driving style, which was “like a maniac”! (2 Kings 9:20).

Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah who was visiting both hitched up their chariots and went out to meet Jehu. Joram asks if Jehu comes in peace, and Jehu replies, “How can there be peace as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel abound?” (2 Kings 9:22b). Jezebel was actually Joram’s and Ahaziah’s grandmother, but she still had great influence over these two kings and their wicked ways.

Joram tries to flee, warning Ahaziah of the treachery that Jehu was committing, and Jehu shot Joram between the shoulders, piercing his heart with the arrow. Jehu commanded his chariot officer to pick up the body and throw it on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite, which he did. Ahaziah fled but Jehu chased him. Jehu’s men wounded Ahaziah but he escaped, though he didn’t get terribly far when he died from that injury.

Jehu wasn’t done with his murderous rampage just yet! Next, he went for Jezebel – his wicked grandmother. Hearing that he was coming, Jezebel puts her makeup on, fixes her hair, and waits for him by a window. When Jehu arrives, Jezebel asks if he comes in peace. A few of her eunuchs looked out the window at him, and Jehu commands them to throw Jezebel down out the window – which they do! And then Jehu trampled her with his horses to finish her murder.

Jehu went inside and got some food and drink, then he ordered some servants to bury Jezebel. But when they went out, all that was left was her skull, feet, and hands. This fulfilled the prophecy from 1 Kings 21:23: “And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.’”

However, Ahab still had 70 sons who could try and take the throne from Jehu. So Jehu wrote them all letters to challenge them to a fight. But all of Ahab’s sons were terrified; if King Ahaziah and King Joram couldn’t stand up to Jehu, how could they? So the administrators in the palace gave in and told Jehu they would do whatever he wanted. Jehu asked for the heads of Ahab’s sons and to meet him in Jezreel. All 70 of them were beheaded, and their heads were brought to Jehu who asked for them to be put into two piles by the city gate at Jezreel.

The next morning, Jehu announced to all the people that the house of Ahab fell, according to the word of the Lord through Elijah. And then Jehu killed the entire rest of the house of Ahab who remained in Jezreel, including all his close friends, priests, leaders, etc. Jehu continued his murderous rampage of everyone in the house of Ahab in Samaria, and he left no survivors (2 Kings 10:17).

But wait – there’s more! Jehu summoned all the prophets of Baal under the guise of holding a great sacrifice to the false god. Once Jehu and his sidekick Jehonadab (who he picked up in Samaria) made sure that everyone there was a servant of Baal, all the prophets of Baal were murdered. Jehu and his men then demolished the temple and everything to do with Baal worship. That sounds like a great move, except Jehu did not stop all idolatry; he still worshiped the golden calves at Bethel and Dan that Jeroboam had set up.

What did God think of all of Jehu’s actions? “The LORD said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.’ Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit” (2 Kings 10:30-31).

Jehu is an example of a king who was “close but not quite” with following God. He followed God in some aspects – in spite of all the murder he committed – but he also did not make a great effort to be obedient to God. He still allowed some idolatry to happen, though he did get rid of a large part of it through destroying the temple of Baal and all his prophets.

In what ways in your life are you “close but not quite”? Are you following God with all that you are, or are you just being obedient to parts of what God asks you to do?

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Pleasure or Productivity

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 16, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

What I am writing today is something that I started chewing on as a result of recent teachings by one of my church elders. As the Lord has been dealing with him, he has been investigating what is going on in the American home. What he’s been finding is something I believe we have all known all along, but we have struggled to put our finger on it.

It is difficult to have any remote knowledge of today’s culture and not acknowledge that something is seriously wrong with the nuclear family unit in our culture. More children are raised in broken or non-traditional homes (traditional being a mother and father in proper marriage) than ever before. It seems that the government and the media are seeking and pushing to put the final nails in the coffin of “traditional marriage” with all this LGBT+, transgenderism, gender fluidity, etc. But how did this happen? We are recognizing this is a problem now, but what enabled this madness and insanity to even be thinkable? It’s not just the failure of morality. It is the failure of a proper view of the nuclear family and the home.

The role and function of the home drastically changed in the last 150 years, and this can be traced directly to the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution initiated factory production, the explosion and initiation of modern technology, and all but ended the United States being an agrarian society. With the advent of factories, fathers no longer merely operated their own farms but instead left the home to go work at the factories. Initially, the families traveled with the fathers, but soon labor laws and such separated the children and wives from the husbands, and this changed everything.

Fathers were no longer home most of the day, and they worked in factories instead of farms. In fact, many of the factory owners would buy large pieces of land to build homes for the workers. Families not longer had work to do at home, and children were now bored. Schools were not very common at this time. Kids were educated at home and despite a lack of “formal” education as we know it today, they were not uneducated. They could do far more than read and write – Greek and Latin, not just English. But during this time, parents were starting to gather together to hire teachers to educate their kids while they did their jobs. The public school system was birthed out of this situation.

This situation also developed a lot of technology which would quickly and rapidly replace manual labor. Children would go to school and come home where there was little to do because the homes were built for the mere purpose of housing workers for the factories. As technology increased, radio and television entered the picture. So did professional sports as transportation options increased from your typical horse. What did this do? It made entertainment the main activity when not at work or school. It has been that way every since.

Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the home was a center of production. The entire home – the parents and the kids – were all involved in not merely working the farm but producing things that could be shared with society. Here, having a lot of children was important not only for mere survival for more hands to do the jobs, but each were viewed as an asset. This is one of the reasons why Scripture tells us that children are a blessing, and a quiver of children is a father’s crown.

But now, what has happened is children are seen as a liability, as an expense, and worse, as stealing from the enjoyment and pleasure that you could have without them. Today, parents long to get their kids out of the home and into schools or sports. Teachers long for the breaks to be rid of the kids, too. But the home is no longer a place of production and is instead a place of consumption. The home is used for ultimately three things: eating, sleeping, and consuming.

A side effect of the transformation of the home as being a place of production to a place of consumption is a total breakdown the family. Dad is at work, and when he is at home, he is there to consume sports and beer and rest. Don’t believe me? Watch any sitcom or commercial in the last 30 years. The man’s job is to work, then drink and do sports. Provide for society and do nothing in the home. Take notice that all these factory jobs did something else: make work to provide for society out there and have no value to the home itself. Most of our jobs today are completely irrelevant to our home life.

So, with dad always out away from home and with home being nothing more than just a place to eat and sleep, dad gets tired of home and his wife and kids. Being away from home most of the time and with home being only a place for consumption, the wife is no longer satisfactory, and thus adultery is now an option. But with the home being a center of consumption and pleasure, that also turned and made marriage just about sex and pleasure.

It gets worse because this culture has carried into the church. As the home goes, so goes the church. As the home became a center of pleasure, so became the church. Most people look for a church that meet their needs, and by needs we are talking about the American culture of pleasure and consumption. What can this church offer me? Music, preaching, youth program, etc. Many complain about their pastors because they “are not getting fed,” despite doing weekly small groups and daily Bible reading. What is the problem? Consumption and pleasure instead of productivity and offering your skills and gifts to edify and build the church.

What my church elder is challenging us to do is to examine our lives and our homes. We can’t throw away all the technology, but what steps could we take to move our home from a place of pleasure and consumption into a place of productivity? This is not limited to those who are married with kids. I am single, and I am chewing on this. How can I as a single man without a family make my home to be a place of productivity, for a place where I can edify and build the church? Part of what I can do is the writing I have been doing. But I know that is not enough. So I am chewing on what else I can be doing to be productive and to make the most use of my time. However, we need to be watchful for the notion of being too busy serving God that we completely ignore being with God. That is for another discussion.

What can you do? How can you make your home no longer a center for consumption (though there is nothing wrong with enjoying the fruit of your labor) and into a place that wisely uses the resources we have been given? I am processing what I need to be doing or what I can do better. Let us all pursue this.

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.


Ahaziah, King of Judah

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 12, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

After Jehoram king of Judah died, his son Ahaziah took over as king. Joram was still the king of Israel when Ahaziah began his reign. Ahaziah was only 22 when he became the king, and his reign only lasted a year! But his short reign is still significant. Ahaziah became king in the midst of tragedy. His father Jehoram was killed in battle, and so were Ahaziah’s older brothers, leaving him as the only one left to take over the throne (2 Chronicles 22:1).

One important piece of Ahaziah’s reign is who he’s related to and how that affected his reign. 2 Kings 8:26-27 tells us, “His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel. He followed the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was related by marriage to Ahab’s family.” Omri was one of the evil kings of Israel, and Ahab is generally considered the evilest king to ever reign in Israel (or Judah).

Ahaziah’s father Jehoram was also considered an evil king of Judah, so the deck was definitely stacked against him simply because of his family. This point is further emphasized in 2 Chronicles 22:3-4: “He too followed the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother encouraged him to act wickedly. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, as the house of Ahab had done, for after his father’s death they became his advisers, to his undoing.”

The major event of Ahaziah’s reign was what happened surrounding the battle at Ramoth-Gilead. Ahaziah and Judah joined forces with Joram and Israel to fight against the Arameans there. Joram was wounded in that battle, and went to Jezreel to recuperate, where Ahaziah went to visit him (2 Chronicles 22:5-6). While Joram was wounded, Jehu was anointed as the next king of Israel (more about him next week). Jehu goes to Jezreel with the intent to kill Joram and thus stop the line of Ahab from reining on the throne of Israel.

While Jehu is there executing those in Joram’s household, he finds Ahaziah and his people there. Jehu kills Ahaziah’s officials and relatives, but Ahaziah escaped and fled to Samaria. But, Jehu’s men tracked down Ahaziah, captured him, and brought him back to Jehu, who killed him (2 Chronicles 22:7-9).

Why did Ahaziah go visit the wounded Joram? That’s a great question, and one that Scripture does not give us a clear answer for. But Ahaziah’s mother was Athalia daughter of Ahab, and Joram’s father was Ahaziah son of Ahab (yes, they share the same name), so that means this King Ahaziah and King Joram were first cousins. It’s likely that Ahaziah went to visit Joram simply because they were related and as a gesture of goodwill.

However, again this is a case of who you surround yourself with can do great harm. Jehu’s primary mission was to kill Joram, but since Ahaziah was evil as well and he was in the vicinity, he was killed as well, thus ending his very short reign over Judah.

It all goes back to the alliance between Judah and Israel through the marriage of Jehoram of Judah to Athalia, Ahab of Israel’s daughter. If not for that marriage, then Ahaziah would not have had such close ties to the royal family of Israel, and he likely would not have gone to visit Joram and thus been killed. While Azahiah did not make that mistake, his father Jehoram did, and Ahaziah continued to reap the negative consequences of that action.

Ahaziah’s grandfather was Jehoshaphat who was one of the good kings in Judah, but the legacy of evil from Ahab and the ruling family of Israel easily overpowered the good that Jehoshaphat did for Judah, through Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram and his son Ahaziah.

What kind of legacy are you leaving? Whether you’re old or young, every person is leaving a legacy in some way. Even a good legacy can quickly go bad, so what are you doing to maintain a lifestyle of following God and to encourage that in those around you? A history of obedience to God is great, but we must keep listening to God and following His ways in the present for the sake of our future and for those around us.

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When the Prophets Won’t Come

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 9, 2022 1 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

In his sermon “A Cry Against the Wickedness of American Youth,” David Wilkerson said something like this: “Woe to the church when the prophets of God will not come.” He was talking about when a man who truly has the word and the heart of God refuses to come to a church because they know that church does not teach sound doctrine and is full of death. We often hear about churches who refuse to invite a sound preacher. Leonard Ravenhill was known for saying, “I preach in a lot of places once.” He gets invited to speak, and he gives a message that exposes that church’s sin, and that church doesn’t invite him back. That’s bad enough, but if a good preacher refuses to come to a church, that’s because that church has a reputation for being bad and God has already put His sign of judgment upon it.

Today, we hear messages where over and over and over again, God is a God of many chances and no matter how broken or messed up we are, God will receive us and love us. There is a lot of truth to that, but it is nearly universally unbalanced because God’s patience has limits. God’s mercy has limits. I know that is hard to hear. God has His hands out. With one hand He is beckoning us to come to Him; with the other He is holding back His wrath. The day will soon come when both hands will drop. At that point, it’s “Game over!” When God does not send His messengers to a church, there is a reason and it’s not good.

Who are the prophets of God today? Now, I want to make clear that I am not talking about prophecy as predicting the future. I’m not talking about the position of prophet as used throughout the Old Testament; I am talking about those who have the ministerial gift of being a prophet. A prophet in this sense is someone who is naturally receptive to the spiritual realm and is able to hear from God on what He has to say about a given situation. Now, I am also not talking about anyone who goes around proclaiming themselves to be prophets or prophetesses. I’m talking about those who speak the truth, are not concerned about their reputation, say what needs to be said, and reveals what God is saying about the matter.

Leonard Ravenhill was one such prophet. He had the heart of God and while he was kind and gentle in person, when in the pulpit, he became like fire – not a warm, comforting campfire; but rather a cleansing, purifying fire. Paul Washer is another. Voddie Baucham and Steve Lawson also come to mind. While I love listening to Eric Ludy, Todd Friel, Adrian Rogers, and others, I would not quite put them in this particular category, not because they are wrong but because they have a different role. Adrian Rogers was a teacher, not a prophet. Todd Friel is a “sheep dog,” but not a prophet in this sense. Eric Ludy is an exhorter. These are all important, but I’m emphasizing prophets here.

What would cause these people to reject a call to come preach at a church? I know many who would take advantage of preaching at a place they knew was pagan to present the truth. But would Ravenhill, Washer, Baucham, etc. accept an invitation to come preach at a known heretical church? Washer gave his “Shocking Youth Message” prior to really becoming known. Ludy’s first sermon was about holiness in relationships in a conference and the guy that followed him said, “Well, I’m not here to preach about holiness.” Wilkerson said he was invited to conferences to be the “let’s get serious” guy, while everyone else preached the fluffy stuff. The prophets know whether an invite is legitimate or whether it is a trap, and often, they don’t go to those meetings. The Bible has some of these accounts too.

King Saul sought the knowledge and advice from God on what to do, but after disobeying God twice, God rejected him. Samuel wept over Saul and God even told Samuel to stop praying for Saul. The prophet, Samuel, never saw Saul again. He did not go back to give him another chance. Even when Saul tried to summon Samuel to get a better word from God, Samuel just pronounced the final doom upon Saul. Saul was a case where the prophet refused to come to him or give him a word.

Ahab had at least four chances to repent. He was the worst king of them all, and yet in four instances, God gave Ahab the chance to repent from his sin. He refused to listen, so God sent a lying spirit to convince him to go to war and he would be slain. Even in this case, Micaiah the prophet was summoned but he refused to give him the message right way, because he knew Ahab was going to listen to the false prophets anyway. Why Jehoshaphat, who knew God, still went with Ahab is something I don’t get.

Jehoshaphat also joined Ahab’s son, Jehoram, and they got lost in the wilderness with no water. Jehoshaphat asked for Elisha for help. Elisha told Jehoram that he wouldn’t even talk to him if not for Jehoshaphat being with him. Let me make this clear. There comes a point where man sins so frequently and so often and repeatedly refuses to listen to God that in the moment of desperation, God will not answer. This is one of God’s promises He makes multiple times. The only reason why God was so patient with the wicked kings of Judah was because of His promise to David, not because of His patience with them. Jehoram would have died in the desert if Jehoshaphat was not with him. But Elisha asked Jehoshaphat a key question: “What are you doing with these guys?” This was Jehoshaphat’s key blunder, and it had serious consequences because Jehoshaphat’s daughter-in-law was Athaliah, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. Bad things happened under Athaliah.

Judgment comes to the house of God first, and one of the first judgments we see is the removal of sound preachers. How will people know if sound preachers are being removed unless they are in Scripture regularly and continually themselves? So many people get their theology from the preachers they listen to rather than from Scripture itself, nor are they checking what they are hearing with Scripture. As a result, they will never know if their preacher is actually pointing them a different direction than the Bible.

When the good guys are not welcome, that is evidence that a church/ministry is in judgment and has drifted long from the truth. When the good guys refuse to come to a church/ministry because of its reputation for ungodliness, then you can be certain that said church/ministry has already been judged by God as unredeemable. They are dead, and no amount of truth will resurrect it. When that happens, get out of the sinking ship or go down with it. Find a church that is still preaching the truth, supports those who also preach the truth (not idolizing them), still calls out sin, and always and continually points toward Christ as the standard. But beware of those who preach of themselves, preach of self, seek self, and whom the good guys refuse to support. They will do you no good.

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Do Psalm 90 and 2 Peter 3 Support Deep Time?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, September 8, 2022 0 comments

by Steve Risner

This week I’d like to look at some Scripture shared with me by a theistic evolutionist, as I did last week, that he claims supports his position of deep time and universal common descent (what some often just call evolution, but I prefer a more precise nomenclature). Last week we looked at 2 passages that were very similar: Genesis 1:11-12 and Genesis 1:24. This week, I plan to combine a couple as well since they, like the previous two references, are similar.

We’re looking at Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 this week. These verses read like this, respectively:

“A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

These verses, especially 2 Peter 3:8, are very commonly cited by evolutionists and old earth creationists – inappropriately so, but often nonetheless.

Why would the person who wants to believe in deep time present these verses for us to look at as evidence from the Bible? The reason is they want these verses to mean that if God says, “I did ‘x’ in a day,” what He really could mean is it took Him a thousand years. In other words, just because God said He created in 6 days that doesn’t mean that’s what He meant because what’s a “day” to the Creator?

Like many such questions concerning the meaning of a passage of Scripture, context is critical. What were these passages about?

Psalm 90 is a prayer written by Moses. It begins with a brief description of the greatness of God. He spends considerable time on the timelessness of God—that He is eternal and existed before we or the earth did. He speaks of how insignificant man is in respect to the great power and majesty that is our God. So, the verse here in Psalm 90 that is being used to prop up deep time and universal common descent has literally nothing to do with how God measures time. God created time, so how He measures it is important. But I think it stands to reason that if God says, “I did ‘x’ in a day,” that this is exactly what He means. If He says, “I made everything that exists in 6 days and rested on the 7th,” you can be sure that’s what He did. Otherwise, it seems the argument is, “God isn’t subject to time, so He might not get it right when He gives us a timeframe for something.” That’s literally what this argument is. But verse 4 isn’t telling us to forgive the Lord if He accidentally says “a day” when He means “a thousand years.” It simply means that while man frets over days and years because his time is short, it means nothing to the Creator who is beyond time and will never end. His time will never cease, so He’s not worried about getting something accomplished today because He may not have tomorrow to do it like us humans. God transcends time. That’s really all this is saying. It’s certainly not saying He took millions or billions of years to create the universe, and there is clearly nothing about universal common descent here.

The second and more commonly used Scripture reference, 2 Peter 3:8, essentially means the same thing, but the context is different. Here, Peter is here talking of the second coming of Christ. As early as the writing of this epistle by one of the closest friends of Jesus, people were already saying, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” Peter is encouraging his readers to not be disheartened that Christ hasn’t returned yet. While it might seem like a long time to human beings, the 30 or 40 years that may have passed since Christ’s ascension are not even the blink of an eye to an all-powerful Creator who is not subject to time. That’s really all this passage is saying. It’s a very applicable Scripture for us in our lives as we wait on the Lord. We may be praying about something or waiting for God to move on our behalf, and it might seem like it’s taking forever. “God, how long will this go on? How long before You move?” But to God, the passage of time is irrelevant, and He is always “on time.” Generations may pass, but God is still God, and He is still waiting for the appropriate time—which is often not our time. As Peter goes on to say in verse 9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” In God’s love, He wishes no person should perish without knowing Him, so He is waiting. “Just one more,” is often the way I’ve heard it described. The Father is looking down on the world while the Son is anxiously awaiting to return and the Father says, “No. Not yet. Just one more. Just one more.” How great is the love of our Lord for us?!

This argument used by people who are Christians but want to believe in deep time based on these verses is another failure. The argument falls flat when you apply it to other portions of Scripture. For instance, how many days did Joshua and the Hebrews march around Jericho? Was it 7 days, 7000 years, or some other time period? How long does the Fourth Commandment tell us to work? Is it 6 days, 6000 years, or some other time period? When Moses asked Pharoah to allow the Hebrews to travel 3 days into the wilderness to worship God, did he really mean 3 days, or was it 3000 years or some other time period? When Moses was on Mt. Siani receiving instruction from the Lord, was he there for 40 days, or was it 40,000 years or some other time period? The same goes for Jesus; when He was in the wilderness, did He fast for 40 days, 40,000 years, or some other time period? How long was Jesus in the grave? The Bible says He was raised after 3 days, which is pretty awesome! But was He really there for 3000 years? He would definitely need a resurrected body after that amount of time rotting in a tomb. You can see how this argument would mean we can’t know much at all in the Bible because anything can basically mean anything. What a silly idea, right?

Peter goes on to use this as an opportunity to encourage his readers, us included, to live lives that are blameless and Godly. Since we do not know when Christ will return and it will happen quickly and without warning, we should always be living a Christ-like life. You can read more of Peter’s words on this here.

Something very noteworthy here is that this chapter of this letter by Peter, a close friend of Jesus, confirms for us a few things about the Flood. If we read 2 Peter 3:5-6 we find, “But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.” We can conclude from this that nothing the evolutionist believes is supported here, whether deep time or universal common descent.

We can also learn some affirmative things about our faith in the Bible being the trustworthy Word of God. First, it shows us that, according to Peter, who we believe is writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the Flood happened. Secondly, Peter explains that the entire planet was flooded during this event. Thirdly, it emphasizes that things do not plod on as they always have (an idea known as uniformitarianism). While there is a fairly consistent drone of marked change over time due to erosion and geologic disturbances like minor eruptions and earthquakes, there are major catastrophes that impact geology and the landscape tremendously and can make huge changes very quickly. This passage is often cited by creationists who believe the Bible (Biblical creationists) because it confirms that even the New Testament authors believed the Old Testament and its teachings on the Flood. The universality of this event seems pretty clear in this passage if the numerous references in Genesis to it being a global flood were not enough. It is a little surprising to me that a person who wants to make a claim that the Flood didn’t happen (a major tenet of Biblical creation) would reference this passage. Cherry picking can be a fun way to go about reading the Word… for some. This is the second blog post on Scriptures used by theistic evolutionists that actually support Biblical creationism (what they like to refer to as young-earth creationism).

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Jehoram, King of Judah

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 5, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

As I wrote about last week, Joram king of Israel and Jehoram king of Judah both share basically the same name. Both can be known as either Joram or Jehoram. So for these posts, I used Joram for the king of Israel and I’ll use Jehoram for the king of Judah.

Jehoram’s story can be found in 2 Chronicles 21. He was a son of King Jehoshaphat, one of the kings of Judah who followed God and was mostly obedient to what God commanded him to do. Jehoram had 6 brothers. Their father Jehoshaphat gave them all many physical gifts of gold, silver, and even cities in the land of Judah, but Jehoram was the firstborn so he got to rule over the kingdom.

So what did Jehoram do when he became king? “When Jehoram established himself firmly over his father’s kingdom, he put all his brothers to the sword along with some of the officials of Israel” (verse 4). Clearly, there was some sibling jealousy and selfishness going on there. Jehoram got the most out of all the sons of Jehoshaphat, and yet he still killed them so he could take their portions of the inheritance as well.

After that evil start to his reign, Jehoram did not get any better. He had married King Ahab’s daughter Athaliah, so rather than following the ways of his father, he followed the evil ways of his father-in-law King Ahab and his mother-in-law Jezebel. Even though he ruled over Judah, Jehoram did evil in the eyes of the Lord just like so many of the kings of Israel.

But, God did not choose to destroy Judah simply because of this one evil king. “Nevertheless, because of the covenant the LORD had made with David, the LORD was not willing to destroy the house of David. He had promised to maintain a lamp for him and his descendants forever” (verse 7). God made a covenant with King David, and even an evil king like Jehoram could not destroy that.

However, that does not mean there weren’t consequences to Jehoram’s evil actions. The nation of Edom rebelled against Judah, so Jehoram went to fight him. Even though Edom surrounded Judah’s troops, Jehoram came out victorious in that battle. Conflict between Edom and Judah continued, however. In addition to that, the Philistine city of Libnah also revolted against Judah at the same time. All this was because Jehoram did not worship God but instead built high places (altars for worshiping idols) and led the people of Judah away from following God.

The prophet Elijah saw how Jehoram was driving the kingdom away from obedience to God. Elijah lays the smack down and calls out Jehoram’s wicked actions in a letter to the king (verses 12-15). He calls out Jehoram’s sin of murdering his own brothers, and he even says that those brothers were better men than him! Because of all that wickedness, Elijah tells Jehoram, that God will “strike your people, your sons, your wives and everything that is yours, with a heavy blow.” In addition, Jehoram will become very sick with a disease that will cause his bowels to come out!

Scholars debate whether that letter actually came from Elijah given its timing and location. Some say that Elijah was only involved with the northern kingdom of Israel, but we know from 1 Kings 19:3-8 that Elijah did travel to the south, specifically Beersheba and Mt. Horeb. As for timing, the last date we have associated with Elijah is 852 BC, but it is possible that he was still on earth when Jehoram became king and slaughtered his brothers in 848 BC. It is also possible that Elijah wrote the letter before he went up to heaven, and Elisha delivered it to the king for him, which should give his words even more impact when coming from someone no longer on earth.

But just as Elijah’s letter predicted, Jehoram’s family was struck down. Judah was attacked by the Philistines and Arabs, who “carried off all the goods found in the king’s palace together with his sons and wives. Not a son was left to him except Ahaziah, the youngest. After all this, the LORD afflicted Jehoram with an incurable disease of the bowels. In the course of time, at the end of the second year, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great pain” (verses 17-19a). Scholars today believe that his disease was an extreme form of dysentery.

Jehoram was the king of Judah for 8 years, from age 32 to 40, and he was not one of the highly regarded kings of that nation. Verse 20b says that “He passed away, to no one’s regret, and was buried in the City of David, but not in the tombs of the kings.” No one mourned the loss of this king of Judah.

The contrast between the God-honoring and God-disobeying kings of Judah is striking in this account. The king who honors God is also honored by people; the king who dishonors God is dishonored by people. The king who obeys God receives blessings and prosperity during his reign; the king who disobeys God receives revolt, death, and disease.

What caused the difference between the reigns of Jehoram and his father Jehoshaphat? The people they surrounded themselves with. While Jehoshaphat did make an alliance with the evil King Ahab, he did not turn to Ahab’s ways but instead tried to keep his focus on following God. Jehoram, however, was immediately sucked into the evil that was Ahab and his family, and that was his downfall.

Who are you surrounding yourself with? Are you surrounding yourself with people who encourage you to follow Jesus in your life and to give God glory in all that you do? Or are you surrounding yourself with people who encourage you to be selfish and follow the ways of the world? Learn from Jehoshaphat and Jehoram’s lives and choose to follow God, both in your life and through who you surround yourself with.

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The Temptations of Jesus

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 2, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Both Matthew and Luke record the account of Jesus being tempted in the wilderness by the devil in between His baptism and the launching of His earthly ministry. Many different sermons have been preached on this message, but earlier this year when I was going through Luke in my daily devotionals, I realized something that few people mention. Jesus hardly addressed what was being offered. Let’s find out why, but please read either the Matthew passage or Luke passage (both linked above) before continuing on.

The order of the three temptations is irrelevant, so I am going to arbitrarily base them on Matthew’s account. There are three temptations: make stones into bread, throw yourself down from the temple mount, and bow before Satan in exchange for the whole world, governments, riches, etc. All three of these are the key categories of temptations that every person faces – going after physical health as priority, popularity and the public platform, and wealth/political power. John described these as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (not the same order though). This is what Eve saw in the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil: good for food, pleasing to eye, and food for making one wise. Interestingly enough, this is what the “prosperity gospel” offers as well.

The first temptation Jesus faced was to turn stones into bread. Jesus hadn’t eaten in 40 days, reaching the point where the body physically should not be functioning much more. This is the only temptation in which Jesus actually directly mentioned what was being offered: physical food. Yet he answered that man does not live by bread alone, but by what comes from God.

The second temptation Jesus faced was to throw Himself down from the temple mount, the highest point of the temple, in front of a crowd, and make a show. Jesus didn’t even address this issue. He did not say He was not to do His ministry with a popular crowd and large platform and putting on magic shows. Instead, He said He would not be presumptuous about what God wanted to do. He would not put God to the test.

The third temptation Jesus faced was to utilize all the world’s political and financial power to accomplish His mission of saving the world. He just had to acknowledge Satan as the owner of it all. But Jesus would not give him any attention.

Each of these was critical to the success of Jesus’ ministry because He faced times where He had spiritual food instead of physical food satisfying Him, times where He was popular and He had to set the bar extremely high for what it meant to follow Him, and times where He had the backing to take the Judean throne, which, legally speaking, was rightfully His. Jesus repeatedly refused these temptations each time they came.

But there is a central theme to each of these temptations in how Jesus was able to overcome them all. Jesus never took the bait and went after that which the human flesh would desire as Satan had offered for 4000 years since he was successful with tempting Adam and Eve. Jesus never went after false food, never went after popularity or a large platform, and never sought political power. He wasn’t even tempted by it. But each temptation had a more subtle issue with it that Jesus addressed head on: each of these temptations was an attempt to break Jesus of His bond with His Father.

If Jesus turned stones into bread, which He could have done, He would be declaring that He would satisfy His physical needs any way and any time He desired, and He would not be showcasing faith in His Father. If Jesus was presumptuous about His Father’s actions, it would show that He was not relying on His Father but rather demanding His Father do what He wanted Him to do when He wanted it done. If Jesus had acknowledged Satan as the owner of the political and financial systems, He would be denying the Father’s sovereignty over everything. In all three cases, Jesus addressed that His relationship with His Father and the authority of the Father was to never be challenged nor abdicated.

I have only just realized this truth, but putting it into practice is going to be a challenge. The sinful tendencies of man are to look for any source of satisfaction outside of God. There will always be a counterfeit. But if we want to be able to overcome any temptation, the secret is in the relationship with the Father. When we acknowledge and recognize that our dependence is to be upon Him and no other source, then we will recognize that every temptation is not about whatever needs or desires we have but about whether we are going to trust God or trust someone/something else.

In everything we do, it really boils down to these two options: do we trust God to cover it, or are we going to look to some other means? I have started writing my book on Proverbs 3:5 and it focuses on the same issue. Do we trust God, or are we relying on our own understanding of where our sources are and how/when to access them? God is going to provide everything we need, even if it doesn’t come in the form or timing we’d prefer. Every temptation will snuff our nose at God, deny trust in God, and seek to fulfill each need and desire when the self wants it done rather than waiting on God.

Next time you are tempted, ask yourself: does doing this thing affect my relationship with God? Because we are generally used to very flaky and less than impressive relationships with God, we tend to take His presence for granted. Jesus never took it for granted, and that was how He beat every temptation. In the Old Testament, Joseph had the same idea when Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce him, saying, “How could I sin against God?” David realized it, too, after his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah. His sin was ultimately against God. Yet here we are, so used to mediocrity that we get offended when someone actually tries to go out and live this faith. How sad! What is our priority? Our relationship with God. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. If God loves it, love it. If God hates it, hate it. Let Him be your sustenance and your source of life. When we get that part right, the rest is pretty easy to sort out.

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Does Genesis Support Theistic Evolution?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, September 1, 2022 2 comments

by Steve Risner

“Fiction can be fun, but I find the reference section a little more enlightening.” —Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

For months, I had been asking a theistic evolutionist I run into online for a list of Biblical references he had that he claimed not only supported what he believed (deep time, universal common descent, a local flood, etc.) but also were major problems for the Biblical creationist view (one that believes God created as He said in 6 days, that Adam and Eve were the first humans, and they rebelled against God causing the Fall and curse of sin, a global Flood destroyed all land animals and humans except those in the ark, etc.). After he told me he had this list and would provide it, it took me a few attempts to actually get him to produce it. Unfortunately, his list did not contain any explanations, so I’m forced to decide on my own how these Scriptural references support a theistic evolutionist’s theology and how they create issues for those of us who believe what the Bible actually says on the topic of origins. Let’s take a look.

His first reference he includes is Genesis 1:11-12:

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

I’ll include his next reference, which is Genesis 1:24, because it is very similar.

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.

I’ve seen this before from other theistic evolutionists, and I have questioned our local Hebrew egghead Katie Erickson on it. I try to go back to the original language when I can to see if there is some sort of clue in the meanings, translations, or conjugation of words. She’s very knowledgeable on Hebrew and Greek, so I take these questions to her as well as looking through commentaries and such. Her take on it was this:

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.” But yes, I'd say that translation is accurate. I don't understand how that could indicate abiogenesis or evolution.

The issue being raised here is that, according to this odd interpretation of Genesis 1:11-12 and 24, God is telling us that He allowed the earth or nature to produce all the life we see on the planet. It evolved from non-living matter and began as some sort of scum that eventually, through a series of lucky mistakes in copying itself, diversified into the millions of various species we see on planet earth right now and in the fossil record. That is what they claim the Lord is telling us when He says He told the land to produce vegetation and animals. I know it’s hard to believe this is where they think this passage is going, especially since no one noteworthy in the Hebrew/Jewish people or Christendom remotely suggested this until about 300 years ago.

As Katie suggests above, we can see the word usage here indicates that God was drawing out living things from the earth. He created them and caused them to reproduce after their own kind. The text this theistic evolutionist uses here to support his beliefs in evolution fails miserably and actually quite strongly supports the fact that God made everything (not nature or the earth) and that He produced them to create after their own kind. Both of these things stand in strong opposition to universal common descent. I would suggest, as many ministries around the world have done, that this verse actually is strong evidence for the Biblical worldview and interpretation.

If you look at the references again, you’ll see that not only did God command life to come about, but it clearly tells us that this is exactly what happened immediately. “The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.” He commanded living creatures (animals) to come forth and produce after their own kind as well. So, we have no evidence for evolution at all here. None. The contrast couldn’t be more corrosive to the idea that universal common descent is what the text is trying to get across to us. If the land produced vegetation and animals that produced after their own kind, where is there room for abiogenesis and universal common descent? Short answer: there is no room at all.

Note that the texts above do not mention single-celled organisms or life coming from non-life in a simple form that would mutate over time into humans, bananas, honeybees, and anemones. It says the land produced vegetation and various kinds of animals after their kind. This is the exact opposite of what evolutionists believe the text says, or what they need it to say. It clearly does not support universal common descent and in fact strongly speaks against it.

It could just as easily be argued, using the “logic” of theistic evolution as applied to these few verses, that according to verse 20, sea life evolved from water. Does this mean fish and the other numerous kinds of sea creatures evolved from water? No. Because verse 21 tells us that God created all the creatures of the sea. “So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds…” The same idea can and should be applied to the verses in question here — that God created life, both plant and animal, on the earth. The same is said of our passage in verse 25 — that God made all the creatures of the land. It does not say that the land produced animals. Had our theistic evolutionist continued reading rather than stopping where it suited him, perhaps we could have avoided this strange situation of injecting a desired meaning into the text when it obviously isn’t there.

Contrary to what this evolutionist is telling me he believes, I believe that God, by the awesome authority of His will, produced the universe, the earth, and life in all its various forms. In other words, He commanded creation to happen, and it did. All the glory for such a creative act rests on God Himself. He created light by speaking. He created the earth by speaking. He commanded living things, both plants and animals (and other varieties), into existence with nothing more than His will. He required no assistance. He did not allow something or someone else to have any role in it aside from doing as He willed. He was the sole Authority that made it all happen. This is very different than the tale spun by evolutionists who want to walk some sort of imaginary line between Biblical truth and humanism/secularism.

In my view, God is the center and focus of creation, and He alone is the creative force behind all that exists. Therefore, He wields authority over all of it including myself. This is why I submit to Him and His plans and purposes for my life. I don’t feel the evolutionist can say this. At least, it does not seem possible to me that they could draw out their purpose from their Creator in the same way when they don’t believe they are a special creation made by God uniquely on day 6 of the creation week. They are the result of an accumulation of copying errors that brought fortune to them by allowing them to be. The difference seems like this to me: God has a special plan and purpose for my life so He created me vs. God wound up nature and allowed it to do whatever the heck it was going to do and it luckily spat me out because it messed up enough times.

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