The Folly of Politics and Faith

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 12, 2017 0 comments

by Aaron Felty

I grew up in a single parent home where my mom was a registered democrat. I believed from my early years that the democrats were for the little or poor guy and the republicans were for the wealthy. I went to church every week to attend an AWANA program and church services. From my earliest years, I never remember anyone connecting faith and politics. That does not mean it did not happen, I just do not remember. In full disclosure, my mom and I both are now conservatives.

However, there is no place in Scripture that links saving faith to politics. I believe it is folly on both sides to claim that one particular political party completely represents Christian faith. What I do know is that Christians on both sides of the political spectrum do a disservice to Christ by the way we treat one another. Jesus said in John 13:34-35 that we would be known by our love for one another. To quote The Princess Bride, “I do not think this word (love) means what [we] think it means.” Whether you are a liberal Christian who believes in abortion, same sex marriage, and greater involvement of the government in our lives, or you are a conservative Christian who believes abortion is wrong, marriage is between a man and a woman for life, and the government should be less involved, the way we treat one another is of primary importance. 

I believe we fall into the trap of folly because we have lost the ability to love one another even when we disagree. Perhaps we have never had that ability. So the world outside of faith, which we are trying to win for Jesus Christ, watches us bicker over supporting Trump, Roy Moore, Al Franken, the tax plan, the Affordable Care Act, same sex marriage, and so on and says a resounding, “NO THANK YOU!” They are saying, “If these supposed followers of Jesus, who are always talking about God’s love and Jesus’ life, cannot demonstrate love for one another, why would I want to associate with them?” God is love and we cannot claim to love God and hate our siblings (1 John 4:20). We often get hung up in foolish (not discerning, unwise, or not using good sense or judgment) arguments and treat one another as though our political positions will cause us to go to heaven or hell.

The only way to heaven is through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Bible says the requirement to get into heaven is to confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9). There is no room for political posturing and ideology. There is no statement here about the age of the earth, our views about same sex marriage, the size of government, immigration policy, and war. Please do not get me wrong, I believe the Bible is clear about those things too, but they are not salvation issues. It seems to be a lack of good sense to argue so fiercely over things that are not salvation issues. I also know that a mature faith is one that allows Scripture to inform ones politics, not the other way around; yes, there is a place for a discussion about what the Bible teaches, but too often we argue from opinion. That’s a topic for another day, so please know that the political conversations are important, but not as a test of faith in Christ Jesus. A political position may be based on a lack of faith or ignorance of God’s word, or it may not. We can only know that with a good relationship. 

When Jesus got ahold of me some 24 years ago, I certainly had some “messed up” beliefs as I would call them now. Was it the arguments of seasoned Christians that swayed those beliefs? Was it political ideology or the current cultural norms communicated through the media? No! It was spending time with the King of Kings, reading His Word, prayer, and worship that began to challenge my worldview. It did not happen all at once. It took, and is still taking, many years to rearrange my thoughts, beliefs, and standards around Scripture rather than politics or culture.

Let me be crystal clear: our faith should inform our political ideology, but we must not confuse political ideology with faith. It is a certain immovable obstacle for the unbelieving world. I believe this is self-evident, but if you do not believe me, try to convert someone to Christ using political positions.

“But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared in and out of season to give a reason for the hope we have but it must be done with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15). The key in this verse is to set apart Christ as Lord. Let Him lead you. Do what He would do, say what He would say, and treat people as He treated people. We do not have to convince people that their political ideology is wrong; what we have to do is love people where they are and let God do the work of changing hearts and ideology.

The question is, “What is love?” The Bible gives a thorough definition of love and it could be life-changing to others if we applied this to every interaction with people of a different political ideology. Perhaps if we followed this approach, we would find that, to take a recent cultural phrase, love actually wins! Not the misused phrase of those who think God affirms same sex marriage but the Biblical definition found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a. Let’s look at this and apply it to our often misplaced perspective on faith and politics. 

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

What if we demonstrated patience to those with whom we disagree? What if our responses were kind? What if we operated with humility and asked good questions? What if we did not respond angrily? What if we focused on the truth of Scripture? What if we protected those with whom we disagree? What if we trusted that God is in control and can handle differing political ideologies, even if they are mutually exclusive, because He knows where people are in the journey? What if we had hope for people with whom we disagree? The answer according to this passage is: love wins! Re-read that passage above and put your name in where the word love is or is implied, and consider your interactions with people of a differing political perspective. Would the passage be true in those cases? 

You might say, “But Aaron, how do we respond when people are so clearly wrong?” My answer is, “Love!” You and I do not have to prove anything to anyone. We can present what we believe the Bible teaches, but more importantly we have to love one another. I am a young earth, pro-life, traditional marriage supporter who believes we cannot close our borders to immigrants, our government and country need to be more charitable to those in the greatest need, and money should not be the highest order of business all based on what I read and understand from Scripture at this point. No government is in power apart from God’s allowance (Romans 13:1-2) so we would do well to pray for and find ways to create unity not create division. 

bWith Christmas fast approaching, we would do well to remember that the government is upon Christ’s shoulders and of the increase of His Kingdom there will be no end (Isaiah 9:6-7). I fear that our futile arguments about political ideology work against the faith that God intends to unleash on the earth. Our task is to love people, present a Biblical worldview, and get out of God’s way. Let’s follow the way of 1 Corinthians 13 this upcoming year. 

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What Does the Bible Say About Work?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 11, 2017 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

After last week’s post about what the Bible says about money, writing on what the Bible says about work seems like a natural follow up. Many people have a particular job simply for the money and not necessarily because we have a passion for that type of work. But is that the attitude we should have? What does the Bible say?

God created work in the Garden of Eden, even before mankind fell into sin. Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” One of Adam’s purposes was to work in taking care of the garden. But without sin in the world, that work would have been completely enjoyable! However, after sin, work got significantly worse. “To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it.’ Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.’” (Genesis 3:17-19)

Because of sin, work is not always a fun thing for us humans, although we were created to do work - God’s work. God didn’t create us to sit around and be lazy all day (more on that next week), but to work at what He has called us to do, to accomplish His purposes. That doesn’t mean we’re all called to full-time vocational ministry, but whatever we are doing in life we should do in a way that glorifies God.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23)
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)

We know that when we work hard, we will profit from it in some way. “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense” (Proverbs 12:11). “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23).

We should set an example to those around us through working hard, doing our tasks well, and working with integrity in all that we do. Titus 2:7-8 says, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.” Matthew 5:16 says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

One of the most important things to remember about work is that we will reap what we sow. If you sow good things such as working well, you will reap good things; if you sow bad things such as doing as little as you can and with a bad attitude, you will reap bad things such as punishment or no longer having that job. Galatians 6:7-10 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”

Ephesians 4:28 encourages us to work to get what we need, rather than through stealing or other dishonest methods: “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.” Work makes us productive members of society, helping those around us.

Finally, we are commanded to do what God instructs us to do, whatever kind of work that might be. James 2:14-26 tells us that without works (doing what God instructs us), our faith is dead. James 1:22 says that we should not just listen to God’s Word but do what it says.

The Bible tells us that work is a good thing, created by God and for mankind to do to fulfill God’s purposes. We work to serve and glorify God and to help those around us, so that in all things we might honor the God who created us. I encourage you to make that your attitude as you go into this work week.

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The Faith of Moses

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, December 10, 2017 0 comments

by Logan Ames

My family was blessed with an absolutely amazing dog when I was growing up. “T.J.” was an English springer spaniel who rarely disobeyed us and was always excited to see us. We loved him like a human being and almost always took him with us when we went on trips. One such trip was to a vast wilderness area in northern Pennsylvania known as the Allegheny National Forest. My dad had been to a hunting camp there as a kid and the area is also known for its elk population, so we longed to see the area and hopefully come across some wildlife. While we were on a hike with T.J., he took off following a scent from some other animal (probably a deer or elk), and the next thing we knew was that he was gone. He stopped listening to us as he followed the scent and took off running, deep into the forest. Suddenly, we all feared the worst, that we would never see him again and some bigger animal would get to him. We did what we could do, which included a foot search and yelling his name for about an hour straight. Despite our efforts, we all knew that we had no control over this situation and were completely dependent on God to watch over T.J. and bring him back to us. If God didn’t come through, all hope would’ve been lost.

I’m happy to say that God did bring T.J. back to us. He eventually came running back to our shouting voices like it was never in doubt. Still, that ordeal was one of my earliest recollections of being in a situation where I knew even my father, who always seemingly had everything under control, was fully dependent on God. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed how seldom I, like many other Christians, am comfortable depending on God. It’s like we know how to talk about what it means to have faith, but don’t ask us to actually depend on God with no contingency plan.

After looking at the faith of Moses’ parents over the past two weeks (here and here), we now look at the faith of their son. Moses’ very birth and life had already been works of the Lord that no one could deny, but as he got older he had to learn full dependence on the Lord for himself. Certainly, he was able to reason that if God could create the whole universe out of nothing, he could be trusted above all else (Hebrews 11:3). But that reasoning didn’t come right away for Moses. He first learns of God’s call on his life through the “burning bush” encounter in Exodus 3. He was told that God was going to use him to lead his people, the Israelites, out of captivity in Egypt. Moses had been raised in Egypt and had been very close to Pharaoh and his family, so he understandably has a lot of questions, followed by a lot of excuses and complaints (Exodus 3-4). The Lord answers every single one, and Moses, now out of stall options, returns to Egypt.

A seemingly shocking incident takes place while Moses is on his way and almost ends the whole thing before it even gets started. Exodus 4:24-25 tells us that the Lord is about ready to kill Moses until his wife pulls out a knife and immediately circumcises their son. This might seem harsh coming from a loving God, but we have to understand that circumcision was the specific act that God required of all Israelite males to demonstrate their faith and trust in him. For Moses to either be uncircumcised himself or allow one of his children to go forward uncircumcised was a sin of omission. It was indicative of the guilty party not taking the commands of God seriously. And while God had big plans for Moses to lead the people out of Egypt, we must see this story as a reminder that our calling is never bigger than obeying God’s commands.

God will not accept disobedience, and as important as Moses was to the big story of God’s plan for his people, their rescue from captivity would’ve gone on without him if he didn’t choose to obey God. Moses might have thought the particular command regarding circumcision was of no real consequence so God wouldn’t really care. But God taught him that no sin can be ignored just because we don’t see the point. God was getting ready to deal with the sins of Pharaoh and all of Egypt, so how could he ignore Moses’ sins? It would be out of God’s character to do so. And this may have been the turning point for Moses. After that encounter, he meets with his brother Aaron and they go straight to Pharaoh and ask him to let their people go as the Lord commanded. No matter how insane of an idea that seemed to be, Moses had learned that God was in complete control and he wasn’t about to disobey his commands again.

Hebrews 11:24-28 lists several examples of faith from the Exodus story for which Moses was commended. First is his willingness to align himself with the captive Israelites, his true native people, when he could’ve continued to be known as Pharaoh’s grandson and received all the benefits that came with it. We are reminded that this decision meant that he would suffer with them and understood that “disgrace for the sake of Christ was of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (v. 26). His faith in his eternal prize allowed him to willingly give up the pleasures of sin in Egypt. Secondly, he and the Israelites left Egypt when God presented the opportunity after a series of devastating plagues rained down on the Egyptians, even though he likely knew that Pharaoh and his vast army would pursue them. Verse 27 tells us he was able to do this because he “saw him who was invisible." Pharaoh had all the worldly power, but Moses knew that it didn’t compare to the power of God who was fighting their battle for them. And thirdly, we’re told that Moses faithfully kept the Passover and the application of blood.

Considering where Moses came from when he began his journey of faith by nearly getting killed for not obeying the seemingly odd command of circumcision, the application of the blood during Passover might be the best example of his faith. In the midst of the craziness of the plagues and all the back-and-forth between Moses and Aaron, God, and Pharaoh, Moses receives what seems like absolutely ridiculous instructions. To this day, Israelites still commemorate Passover as their re-birth as a nation, but think about what it was like to be the first one to hear about the idea. In Exodus 12:1-11, Moses is given all the specific instructions regarding the Passover lamb and how it should be chosen, prepared, and eaten. That may or may not have been weird. But right in the middle of it, he is told they have to take some of the blood from the lamb and wipe it on their doorframes of their houses. Um… huh? Someone with a normal background may have been alarmed, but not Moses. He has already learned his lesson. So, from here on out, all instructions from the Lord, no matter how silly or insane they sound, will be followed without fail. Circumcise everyone? No problem, Lord. Play in the lamb’s blood and wipe it on our beloved homes? You got it! Because Moses and the people didn’t mess around and followed all of those weird instructions, they were spared during the final plague. Moses’ faith and willingness to depend fully on the Lord, even when it didn’t make sense and there was no contingency plan, led to the rescue of an entire nation from oppressive captivity. If you’ve been fighting the same battle for years and still can’t overcome what enslaves you, I encourage you to stop depending on your own strength. Trust God FULLY. He will never fail you!

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Making Tough Decisions, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 8, 2017 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

As Christmas season approaches, I want to write several posts about reflecting back upon the things God has done in my life. This post was inspired by a sermon by Eric Ludy titled “Defining Moments of Obedience” where he chronicled 17 moments of his adult life that made him who he was. They were not easy moments to go through at the time but were necessary to form and shape him. It got me thinking. What moments of obedience have I been through to put me where I am, and what decisions have I made in following God that have brought me here?

I began to make my list and I came up with ten big ones. To give them a fraction of their due justice, I am going to split them up over this week and next. I did not include my coming to the Lord in this list because I was a child at that time and, while very important, I wanted to emphasize on my decisions as an adult. The five decisions I will describe this week are: 1) embracing the mission field, 2) starting a fencing ministry, 3) my call to start writing, 4) attending the Urbana Conference, and 5) witnessing to a co-worker. Then next week, I will write about five more major decisions I have made which have helped shaped my life. This list is not comprehensive, but as you read my story I would like you to think about your life and what major decisions you have made which have brought you to where you are.

1) Embracing the mission field. I grew up on the mission field. I was six years old when I went on my first mission trip to Juarez, Mexico, and I would be involved with them through International Family Missions for the next 22 years. I was 16 when my parents, my brother, and I moved from Colorado where I am 5th generation of Boulder County, to El Paso, Texas where I still live. Some may say that I had no choice but to go. My parents were the missionaries but I was along for the ride. However, I still had to make a choice, a choice some missionary kids make and many others reject. I chose to embrace God’s calling ME to the mission field. I know one missionary kid who outright told his parents, “God may have called you to the mission field but he didn’t call me.” I had to choose if I was just to be baggage or an active participant. I chose to be active.

The decision to be active was life-changing for me in more ways than I can really remember. I used to be someone who was absolutely dependent upon a rigid schedule. I have on record for throwing my worst temper-tantrum as a child when my babysitter put me to bed 30 minutes LATE. If plans were to change, I needed to be forewarned or I would throw a fit. Summers were difficult for me because I did not have the routine. When my parents took me on my first mission trip it was a disaster, according to the “experts.” I lost 18 months of development in one week. My parents recognized what God was doing and they would take me again and again and again.

By the time of my move to the missions facility where my parents were responsible for the maintenance and behind-the-scenes work, I was getting used to a life where things did not go as scheduled nicely. My decision to embrace this move has greatly taught me flexibility and adaptability, and without this experience, I likely would not be able to handle things like college, driving, or living on my own. There is a big part of that story I don’t have space to include here.

2) Starting a fencing ministry. I wrote about much of what I do with this last week, but it was something God simply laid on my lap. My uncle and I were waiting for a mission team to return from Mexico to our campus and he made a comment about taking my swords over to Mexico as a joke. I laughed, I told the joke to the team directors, and they took it seriously. That week I did my first demonstration at a children’s home and it was a huge hit. God began talking to me about how to use this, and what I shared last week is just a snapshot of what God has done with it. How has this affected me? I stutter when I talk, and this gave me training to speak publicly and now I have five professional conferences as a speaker under my belt to go along with numerous other speaking opportunities. The obedience to start using fencing as a tool for ministry and giving the sport God gave me back to God has been a great part of my development.

3) My call to start writing. I never saw myself as an author for most of my life. I would often write stories in journals and it would typically be the same story rehashed and re-written over and over again, and it was terrible. Don’t ask for those from me because I no longer have them. But in November 2006, a friend of mine wrote a fictionalized autobiography and asked me to critique it. I absolutely loved it and when sharing with him my thoughts, he suggest I try writing. So I did. In three months, I had a 280 page action/adventure novel. It was an okay story needing a lot of editing, but I discovered a joy in writing. I am using the core concepts from that initial draft in a current massive story that is taking on the size and scale of Lord of the Rings. Since then, I have published one book, Call to Arms, and I have several others written and I just keep going at it.

4) Urbana Conference. Urbana is considered the world’s largest mission conference in the world. I went in 2006 and 2009, with 23,000 and 19,000 college students from all 50 states and most countries around the world. While there was little I learned from the conference itself that stayed, two things (one from each) did. In 2006, I received my primary calling, to go into full time ministry with youth. God still has not fully revealed what it will look like, but every decision I have made has been with this calling in the front of my mind. This was confirmed when I was a counselor at a youth camp the following summer, and then in 2009, the calling began to take shape. It was there I met Steve Lillis, whom I wrote about last week, and that contact lead to another which put me on the course initially towards coaching, but then towards teaching. Now I am seeing that coaching fencing is to be a part of this ministry God wants me to do. I am waiting for his timing to get it started, but it was going to the 2009 Urbana Conference that sparked it.

5) Witnessing to a co-worker. In May 2007, I went on a week-long retreat right after final exams. I was fast moving through my first draft of Call to Arms (I would have 250 pages in six weeks, even with finals and this retreat) and during that retreat, God made a very strong impression I needed to witness to a co-worker of mine. It would be my last summer at that job at a local grocery store and I had gotten to know this guy over the previous six years. He had taken an interest in my writing skills because I could depict battle scenes with epic detail, so I used my first draft of Call to Arms as a means of witnessing to him.

My co-worker read my draft, and things started to go crazy because I had stirred up a demonic stronghold which had been lying dormant in his life. The full story takes an hour to share in person and I’m not about to do that here. Suffice it to say, this demon began to manifest itself through him, I received very demonic messages through e-mail from him, and my faith was attacked and shaken to the core. I did not have the ability to drive out the demon and I know much more about why now. But that encounter was a sifting of wheat and I am stronger in my faith because of it. When editing Call to Arms, I needed to scrap the entire draft because the story was just that bad, and in the re-writing I took this whole encounter and plugged it right in. I truly do make use of a warning a T-Shirt I have that says: “Be careful what you say, or you might just find yourself in my next novel.”

These are five decisions I have made which have had a significant impact on my life and have made me who I am today. Next week, I will share another five. What decisions have you made that have shaped your life today?

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.


Whale Fossils Tell No Tales

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 7, 2017 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Whale evolution has moved to the front of the story telling machine of the evolutionist, taking the place of horse evolution (the lineage for horse evolution has been rearranged and discredited so many times they've dropped it for the most part). Whale evolution is a curious thing for the evolutionist. It would describe a process by which an animal left the water a few hundred million years ago and slowly evolved into an amphibian, and then to a reptile, and finally to a mammal. But land dwelling mammals are not what we're referring to here. We're talking about creatures that live in the sea. So the evolutionist is left with figuring out how and why land dwelling mammals would evolve (quite marvelously, by the way) into completely aquatic animals with several major modifications.

This is a story much like many other tales evolutionists like to tell. It's filled with half truths, fraud, artistic license, and a great deal of imagination. What is even better is after the story has been rearranged and modified and demonstrated as false, it still gets told. This is because, according to Dr. Keith Stewart Thomson, “We often are highly conservative and will hold to a viewpoint longer than is justified when there is no alternative or, worse, when the logical alternative upsets the rest of our world view.” It's just laziness or deception that demonstrably false ideas constantly keep getting promoted to our youth. If you see a made up lineage in your science textbooks of whale evolution from sea to land and then back to sea, please understand there is literally no truth to it at all. Let's take a look.

Here are some basics on whales and dolphins (called cetaceans). They are classified as mammals but live exclusively in the water. What else differentiates them from other mammals? Quite a lot, actually. They can hold their breath for very long periods of time—on average a little less than half an hour but sperm whales have been known to stay under water for up to 90 minutes. The record for a human was set by Peter Colat and was a measly 19 min! The eyes and ears of cetaceans are very different than those of land dwelling mammals. They have to be, due to the difference in environment. The primary reasons for both of these sense organs being designed differently is the immense pressure they must endure and that light and sound travel differently in water. Their skin is different—no hair and lots of fat (blubber). Many also have unbelievable echo location skills (sonar) to find objects in the water and to communicate. There really is no pelvis either, at least not one that would accommodate any sort of mobility aside from aquatic. There are other fairly major differences, but that's enough to show they are tremendously different from what evolutionists will call their land-dwelling cousins. How an animal on land developed these things before it went into the water is fantasy. How it would have developed these things after it went into the water is also fantasy. And, to be clear, there isn't a single fossil from the fossil record that shows any sort of transition from land dwelling mammals to aquatic mammals. None at all. This was confirmed by E.J. Slijper: “We do not possess a single fossil of the transitional forms between ... land animals and the whales.” This was in 1962, but the facts haven't changed much since then.

Let's take a walk down the imaginary path they would like to take you on to get from sea to land and back to sea. The great-great-great-grandfather to the whale is said to be Ambulocetus. Combined with its species name, the translation from Latin is “walking whale that swims.” What a terrific name since the animal has been clearly demonstrated to not be anything like a whale and lived on land. This guy measures about 7 ft in length. The smallest whale known today is 9 ft long and the blue whale, the largest animal to ever grace our planet, can approach 100 ft. When these animals are shown in their fabricated lineage, they are all conveniently made the same size. That seems rather deceptive, doesn't it?

This animal's remains are exceptionally incomplete, missing some of the most important parts to determine any relation whatsoever to whales. Although drawings and models indicate it had a blowhole, there was none. There was no pelvis. That's critical for this discussion because anything on the tail end of the animal will have to be made up in terms of how it's attached and meant to function. However, the tail pieces that were found show that this animal didn't have anything that would allow it to swim like a whale—the bones were too small and had little to no place for muscles to attach. There's also the very robust leg bones and a hoof that indicate the animal was nothing but a land dweller. Using the standards of deep-time and evolution, this fossil find is also dated to be younger than many “modern” whale fossils found. I don't agree with the dates, but they do and this makes this an impossible candidate for a whale ancestor, especially one of the first or oldest in the line. How can such terrible observational skills and such a huge story be fabricated out of so little? How can these findings be published in well respected science journals? Dr. Don Batten answers, “It’s probably an indication of the status of paleontology as a ‘science’ and also the desperate desire of neo-Darwinian evolutionists to find some fossil evidence of an ‘intermediate’ form.” Those seem like fighting words, but in reality, it's appalling that such shoddy work is accepted in the scientific community. Their standards are exceptionally low.

Basilosaurus is another great example of the lengths to which the priests of Darwinism will go to make their belief system appear to be a reality. Its name means “king lizard,” but what is interesting is this guy was a completely aquatic animal. It was far from a transition from land to sea. It had no ability, according to its remains, to walk on land at all. Some paleontologists have said, based on the fossil evidence of the teeth and other parts, that this animal couldn't possibly have been an ancestor to modern whales. It also did not have a blowhole. They did have very small appendages to the rear of their bodies, but they were certainly not for walking on land. They were most likely for reproduction.

Pakicetus is another suggested intermediate from land animal to whale. However, researchers looking at all the available skeletal fragments (which isn't much) have concluded, “All the postcranial bones indicate that pakicetids were land mammals, and … indicate that the animals were runners, with only their feet touching the ground.” Its ears were wrong to be a whale. Its tail was wrong to be a whale. I don't feel there's a need to delve into that one much further.

Rodhocetus is yet another attempt at land animal to whale transitional organisms. Its discoverer claimed it was on its way to having a whale like tail and front flippers. However, its fossil evidence did not suggest either of these things. There was literally no evidence for a whale tail or flippers of any kind. Eventually, its discoverer, Dr. Gingerich, admitted he no longer believed the animal had either of these distinct whale characteristics, although you will clearly see them in many of its representations in books and charts. This is more evidence for the fraud and deception that goes into evolution as they attempt to brainwash our children.

I've included some conceptual drawings of these creatures with this post. I had a hard time finding one of Rodhocetus that didn't include flippers and a tail for swimming, so I omitted it since there is no evidence of any kind to suggest that. But the others you can plainly see are not whales or, at the very least, are not transitional to whales from land animals. They are either fully a land animal or fully an aquatic animal and have no characteristics that can be called transitional. However, this is the current favorite of evolutionists to show you if they want to support their origins myth. Let's be clear about this; I don't want anyone confused. The fossil record in no way shows any transition from land dwelling mammals to aquatic mammals—there is literally no evidence for this at all. The best evidence they can point to is totally made up and/or completely misrepresented. On the other hand, so we are equally clear, the evidence strongly supports creation in this matter. All species noted are fully formed and appear to be highly adapted to their particular environments. Whales show up in the fossil record with no evidence of more primitive ancestors. Whale evolution is of great interest to evolutionists because it's a great issue for them. But the evidence heavily supports special creation.

Genesis 1:21 tells us all we need to know about the origins of the whale and other great sea creatures.

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Enter Into Joy

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, December 6, 2017 0 comments

by David Odegard

Editor's note: Please enjoy this previously written post as David focuses on his pastoral ministry during this Advent season.

For God so loved the world that He gave us a gift. He wrapped it in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger. By this act He makes peace with the whole world and gives them each an opportunity to respond in faith and be justified.

But an un-opened gift is an unreceived gift.

Each Advent, we Christians celebrate a few recurring themes: hope, peace, joy, and love. These four themes correspond with all the expectations that the Messiah has fulfilled. In my church, we make these themes stand out the entire month before Christmas day, culminating in the grand epic of Christmas Eve candlelight service. id

Hope: “Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘til He appeared… a thrill of hope the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morning…” Immediately after the sin in the garden, God cursed the serpent (Satan) with THE promise that the offspring of the woman “will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

We must have hope in God’s promise, and all of the promises that He made after that first one, that He will rescue His people. When he brought Israel out of Egypt, it was a promise that He will deliver His people from the powerful dominance of this world and its structures, and nothing would stop Him from doing so. This is hope. God has not abandoned us to the evil world we created.

Peace: God made this child to be the atoning sacrifice for the whole world. Through His sinless life and His sacrificial death, Jesus Christ made peace with God available to each one. He is our peace.

Joy: After having witnessed our hope in God’s promise being justified through Jesus and having received the peace that God makes with us through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross, He “has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” So we “greatly rejoice, and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:3-9).

Love: After you boil off all the lust and greed, all of the self-justification and personal empire-building, and all of the guilt and shame, do you know what remains? Love. Sacrificial, giving love. That is exactly how Jesus lived and died and rose from the dead. Consider two groups of people who heard of the birth of the Messiah: The Scribes and the Shepherds.

When the Magi finally arrive on the scene 2 years later, they go to Herod and ask where the King of the Jews is. Herod doesn’t say, “I am King!” Rather, he calls the scribes and asks them. They immediately answer, “In Bethlehem, in Judea.” They quote Micah 5:2, “But you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah… for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.”

But then the scribes don’t go running off to Bethlehem themselves to see if they can find the Messiah, even though it’s only a short distance. They just go back home—indifferent to whether the Messiah has come.

Although they should have hope that the Scripture is about to be fulfilled, they have long since given up actually expecting the Word to come to pass. These are hearers of the Word only, but they never do anything about it.

This is a quiet sort of death, and I see it too many times where people just give up believing even though they don’t admit it to themselves.

Contrast that to the attitude of the Shepherds in Luke 2:8-20:
“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ‘This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.’
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, ‘Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.”

What a difference in attitude; they immediately took off running for the place where Jesus might be found. When they found them they told Mary and Joseph all about what had happened with the angels. They were filled with joy.

The shepherds were available. They were interested. They were filled with joy at being the first to see the Messiah.

How excited will you be the day that you get to see Jesus Christ face to face? May the grace of God be with you.

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Political Elections in the Bible

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 5, 2017 0 comments

by Bill Fortenberry

In my previous blog post, I pointed out how the Mosaic Covenant confirms the concept of popular sovereignty. In this post, I’d like to draw your attention to a fact in Scripture that absolutely blew my mind when I first came across it. Did you know that the concept of popular sovereignty was so ingrained in ancient Israel that their leaders were almost always chosen through public elections? Let me show you how I discovered this amazing fact.

1. The Israelites voted on whether to accept the Mosaic Covenant.

Yes, you read that correctly. The Israelites voted on whether or not to be under the Mosaic Covenant. In fact, they voted twice just to make sure that there wasn’t any sort of miscount or other error in the vote. The account of this vote is found in Exodus 24:3-7.

In that passage, we see that after God delivered all of the terms of the covenant to Moses, Moses came and told the people what the Lord had said, and all the people gave unanimous assent to the terms. Moses then committed the entire covenant to writing and read what he had written before all the people. Then the people voiced unanimous consent a second time to confirm that they were agreeing to the covenant exactly as it had been written. The Mosaic Covenant did not go into effect until after the people of Israel publicly voted to accept it.

2. The Israelites voted to have Moses as their leader.

No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The Bible actually records that the Children of Israel chose to have Moses lead them and represent them before the face of God. In Deuteronomy 5, we find that God originally wanted to give His Law directly to the whole congregation of the people. The Bible tells us that God began speaking to the people “face to face,” not just to Moses.

According to this passage, God descended upon the mountain in the sight of all the people, and began presenting the terms of the covenant directly to the body of the people. The people heard the ten commandments that formed the foundation of the covenant, and then they became afraid. When God stopped speaking in order to record the Ten Commandments in writing, the people took advantage of the pause to approach Moses and ask him to be their representative before the Lord. According to the parallel passage in Exodus, Moses actually pleaded with the people that they not succumb to their fears, but they refused his pleas. Then, the Bible records for us that God heard the decision of the people to elect Moses to be their representative and that He not only approved of their decision but also that He wished for them to always display such wisdom.

Here we have a record of the God of the universe rejoicing because the nation of Israel decided on their own to elect a representative to stand before Him in their place.

3. The Israelites voted to have Saul as their king.

When the nation of Israel convinced Samuel to give them a second king (yes, Saul was the second king, not the first), Samuel eventually consented to their request. However, the ensuing coronation of King Saul was far from the simple, straightforward process that most people think that it was. The first part of the biblical record corresponds well with the standard “Sunday school” account. The people asked for a king. God told Samuel to anoint Saul. Samuel showed the people that God had chosen Saul. The people rejoiced and shouted, “God save the king.”

At this point, however, the Biblical account differs greatly from the conception that the average Christian has of this event. Immediately after the people shouted “God save the king,” the Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 10 that Samuel sent all the people away and Saul returned to his home in Gibeah. There is no mention of any coronation. Samuel sent the people home without crowning Saul as the king, and chapter 10 ends with people doubting whether Saul was fit to lead.

We don’t read of Saul being crowned king until verse 15 of the next chapter. In the first 14 verses of chapter 11, we find Saul forcing the people to follow him in a victorious battle against the Ammonites. After Saul had proven his military expertise to the people, they came to Samuel with the charge that anyone who doubted Saul’s ability to lead should be put to death. It was only at this point, when the people were firmly and perhaps even unanimously in favor of Saul, that Samuel gathered them together at Gilgal and crowned Saul king of Israel.

(See my new book “Unsung Heroes and Obscure Villains of the Bible” to find out which man was the first king of Israel.)

4. Israel voted to make David their king.

The coronation account of King David also gives testimony to the prevalence of popular sovereignty in the political ideology of ancient Israel. The transition from Saul to David was not an easy transition. Saul was killed in battle while David was in exile, and the Biblical account tells us that when David learned of the death of Saul, he returned to Hebron where he was met by the men of the tribe of Judah. The men of Judah decided to crown David as king, not over all of Israel but rather over just the tribe of Judah. The rest of the nation chose to crown Saul’s son Ishbosheth as their king (2 Samuel 2). It is only after the account of the death of Ishbosheth that we read:
“So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the LORD: and they anointed David king over Israel.” (2 Samuel 5:3)

Thus we see that David’s coronation was just as much an act of popular sovereignty as that of Saul. He was not crowned king over all Israel until all the elders of the nation had agreed to be under his rule.

The idea that the people should be free to elect their own rulers is an integral component of the government established by God in the Old Testament, and it was such a natural part of Israel’s political ideology that it was adopted by the leaders of the early church as the proper way to fill positions in that body as well (Acts 6:2-6). The early church had the same casual familiarity with popular elections as is found among the various societies, businesses, and other organizations of America, and such a familiarity only makes sense in a culture with a long history of freely choosing their own leaders.

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.