Friday, March 24, 2017

SECULARISM AND A NEW REIGN OF TERROR





A Yale professor recently admitted that he has come to believe in the inestimable value of each human. Not having encountered such a belief among the classical philosophers, he acknowledges that this belief finds its origin in Scripture.

Scripture reveals that the value of humanity derives from the fact that we are created in the “likeness” of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This also implies profound moral obligations:

·       With it [the tongue] we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water. (James 3:9-12)

Taking this thinking one step further – the Bible is the only available basis for this necessary belief. However, many secularists will object:

·       We can simply decide that humans have inestimable value. We don’t need a God to tell us to do this.

Admittedly, the secularist can decide to believe whatever he wants. However, he cannot rationally maintain this belief. Why not? Because, as a materialist, only what is perceivable and measurable is rationally allowable! However, when he looks at his fellow humankind, he does not see inestimable value. While he might perceive value in some, he will also perceive a profound lack of value in others.

Based upon his perceptions of his fellow humans, a “rational” materialistic assessment would justify him cursing some and blessing others, treating some with contempt and others with commendation.

When our beliefs are contradicted by our worldview and its perception of reality, they cannot be sustained. Look forward to another reign of terror.

THE THEISTIC EVOLUTION BIOLOGOS FOUNDATION IS JUST ANOTHER CULT





Biologos does not interpret Scripture through the lens of Science, as they claim, but through THEIR interpretation of science. This is very different.

Christian growth requires that we identify and leave behind our own personal lenses in order to see Scripture for what it really teaches. This, of course, is a very gradual process and requires years. It took me years to even identify my own biases, and the process goes on.

However, Biologos takes us in the opposite direction by IMPOSING an additional set of biases upon how we read Scripture. We are told that in order to understand Scripture, we have to read it as non-science and non-history, even in light of the fact that the rest of the Bible reads Genesis 1-11 as history. Just look, for example at the genealogies which go back to Adam! By doing this, Biologos tells us that we cannot read the text as it seems (and how Scripture requires) but as Biologos instructs us to read it.

This is just what many cults do. For example, in The Divine Principle, Sun Myung Moon has written that he had been given the key to understand the Scriptures:

·       “The Bible is not the truth itself but a textbook teaching us the truth.” [What is needed] “is a new truth that can elucidate the fundamental contents of the Bible so clearly that everyone can recognize and agree with it.” “This new truth has already appeared. With the fullness of time, God sent His messenger to resolve the fundamental questions of life and the universe. His name is Sun Myung Moon. For many decades, he wandered in a vast spiritual world in search of the ultimate truth…He came in contact with many saints in Paradise and with Jesus, and thus brought into light all the heavenly secrets through his communication with God.” (James Sire, “Scripture Twisting,” 117)

Biologos has done the same thing. In order to remove any contradiction between the Bible and the theory of evolution, Biologos has taken the position that Genesis 1-11 should not be taken as history but, instead, as mere theology. To support their claim, they denigrate the teachings of the Bible as errantly influenced by the “science” of their day, the Ancient Near-Eastern cosmology.

Biologos has violated the numerous Scriptural injunctions to not tamper with Scripture:

·       You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God that I command you. (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32; Rev. 22:18-19)

While Biologos claims that Genesis 1-11 is not an historical account, taking away from the Word, the Bible provides no hint of such a thing. Instead, the Bible generously quotes Genesis as history, for example:

·       For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. (1 Corinthians 11:8-9; 1 Timothy 2:13)

In most instances, the NT derives theology from the history, showing that history and theology are inseparable, contrary to the assumptions of Biologos. Therefore, where history is denied, so too is theology.

Consequently, where Biologos and theistic evolution have tread, the Church has suffered. In Bruce Malone’s DVD, “Explosive Geological Evidence for Creation,” he claims that 81% of church youth do not believe in moral absolutes. From 65 to 95% of these youth leave the church entirely by the end of their fourth year at college. Perhaps even worse, 63% of the youth attending Christian schools do not believe that Christ is God; 58% believe that there are many ways to God; 65% don’t believe in Satan! Malone understandably laments:

·       “By not emphasizing the creation, the Fall, and the Flood as real historical events; the Bible has lost all credibility to the world when it relates to anything dealing with the physical world.”

Even worse is its impact on the Church. Malone further claims:

·       “When you throw out what the Bible has to say about the physical world, the world will throw out what the Bible has to say about the spiritual world.”

Sadly, theistic evolutionists have brought this into the Church with disastrous results.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

THEISTIC EVOLUTION AND ITS INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE





Theistic evolutionists (TEs) believe that in order to understand Scripture correctly, we must view it through the lens of modern science. However, this is placing the theory of evolution above Scripture, requiring that Scripture conform to it. To accomplish this, they require that we regard Genesis 1-11 as non-historical.

How do we interpret Scripture? We interpret it the way we do any other form of literature – by the intent of the author. How do we interpret the intent of the author? There is only one way to do it – from the perspective of the ENTIRE body of the author’s work. This is also what it means to interpret Scripture by Scripture.

However, you are interpreting Scripture through a “higher” and more authoritative lens, the lens of the present-day scientific consensus on evolution. For the TE, this lens has become determinative about how Scripture is to be understood, as if the findings and conclusions of this Consensus are more reliable than Scripture.

As such, the TE has imposed upon Scripture an alien taskmaster coercing Scripture to agree with the Consensus.

As a result of the TE is doing what the typical cult leader does. They too claim that the Bible is the Word of God, but they also claim that it can only be understood by using their Key to the Scriptures. For example, the rabbis claim that the real meaning of Scripture is deep and spiritual. It is not to be found on the surface. However, they too claim that they have certain formulas to penetrate into the depths.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A POSITIVE CHRISTIANITY



A positive Christianity is marketable; a negative one is not, and this is what seems to matter today.

One pastor preached on the need for a positive message – that we are worthy of God rather unworthy. He reasoned that positive reinforcement is the key:
·       If you are raised to feel that you are loved, you will also feel that God loves you.

There is definitely some truth to this. I had felt very unloved growing up. Consequently, I felt that, in order to be loved, I had to become a very different kind of person. Even after I was saved, I still felt that God couldn’t or wouldn’t love me the way I was, unless I produced spiritually, big time. However, it became painfully apparent that I couldn’t produce, at least not enough to warrant God’s love.

This, of course, led me into great despair, but it also led me into a deeper study of the Bible, where the Gospel slowly unfolded itself to me by the guidance of the Spirit. Once I began to realize that my life wasn’t about my worthiness but His, I came to know the truth, and the truth set me free from so much that had enslaved me (John 8:31-32).

I also came to a deeper understanding of what God had revealed to Paul:
·       But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

In my weakness and brokenness, God created a surpassing love for His Word and Gospel. I am now confident in the Lord, perhaps far more than those who had come from a positive family.

The pastor went on:
·       If you preach a doom and gloom, fire and brimstone message, people will leave feeling gloomy.

Perhaps some will, and perhaps this might be a good thing. Perhaps we need to be shaken up. However, as the darkness makes the light even more striking, the message of doom makes the Gospel shine more exquisitely. If we only hear the Good News, we may become jaded to the message. It might even become monotonous and meaningless. However, when preceded by the bad news, the Good News assumes fullness of meaning. Besides, can we really take the Good News seriously if the “good news” is all that there is? And will the Spirit validate such an unbalanced message within our hearts? I don’t think so!

Nevertheless, the pastor concluded:
·       Because God had given His only Son, it is not a matter of whether or not I did bad today. Instead, it is a matter of how much I have enjoyed the Lord today.

I began to think, “Will I enjoy the Lord with only a ‘positive’ understanding?” The pastor seemed to think so, even as his congregants slept on.

CAN WE TRUST THE HISTORY OF THE BIBLE?





Did the writers of the Bible have a different understanding of history than we do? Was it so different that the history of the Bible cannot be trusted? This is what some, especially theistic evolutionists (TEs) allege.

However, I do not see any basis for such an allegation. For the Biblical writer, writing about history was a matter of truth or falsehood as it is for us. Writing falsely about history was a matter of bearing false witness, something that is uniformly condemned by the Bible. Let’s start with the Ten Commandments:

·       Exodus 20:16 (ESV) “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

Lying in general had been proscribed:

·       Leviticus 19:11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another.”

·       Psalm 5:6 You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

·       Psalm 12:2-4 Everyone utters lies to his neighbor; with flattering lips and a double heart they speak. May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, the tongue that makes great boasts, those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail, our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

Falsehood was understood as the opposite of faithfulness:

·       Psalm 119:29-30 Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me.

·       Psalm 119:163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.

There is no reason to believe that the recording of Biblical history would be exempt from such prohibitions. Instead, truth was the ideal, especially when it came to the Scriptures:

·       Proverbs 3:3 Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart.

·       Proverbs 12:17-19 Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit. There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

·       Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.

This is why Isaiah had warned that the Word alone was the model of truth:

·       Isaiah 8:19-20 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn.

It is pointless to go further. The uniform testimony of Scripture favors truth over falsehood in all areas of life, even in the inscribing of history. Consequently, we find that the Hebrew scribes were meticulous in copying their Scriptures. Evidently, they had been fanatical about getting it right, even when they didn’t like what they had been copying, and their Scriptures said many demeaning things about the Jewish people.