Christians are Hypocrites

“I don’t go to church, because Christians are nothing but hypocrites!”

This charge is often levied against churches, or the people who attend them.

“I know a guy/girl who goes to church, and acts Christian, but they did this, or that.” “I talked to this pastor, and he was a jerk.” “At least I’m real and true to who I am, Christians pretend like they are perfect or righteous.”

Let’s cut past all the subterfuge and subtlety. Are Christians hypocrites? Yes. Every single one. Hypocrisy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform. By definition, Christians have moral beliefs, set forth by God’s word, to which we desire to adhere. But every single Christian fails in this task. Every single one falls short, and I dare say this happens daily in the heart and minds of each, if not in actions.

Jesus says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” The moment this expectation, demanded by a holy God (for what else could infinite perfection demand), has failed to come to fruition, even in the smallest of ways, we have by definition become hypocrites and in fact, lawbreakers. We have failed to live up to a moral standard we accept as right.

But let us consider an atheist, who by definition, has a subjective moral code, derived from either ones own opinion, from popular opinion, or from the opinion of those who are in charge and can force a citizenry to exercise a particular behavior. In these instances, a moral code also exists, albeit one that is not handed down from a perfect creator, but is instead decided upon by mankind. If we reflect on the results of these subjective moral laws, depending on the flexible moral code of a given society, then two results  can generally be expected:

  1. If you live in a morally stringent society with heavily girded laws, as a citizen subject to these agreed upon codes, any violation of these codes renders you a hypocrite, and a law breaker, i.e. anyone who disagrees with Sharia.
  2. If you live in a morally relativistic society, defined by anarchy, nihilism, or lawlessness, or if you have determined within your own subjective mind that your behavior should fit no moral code (i.e. sociopath, or in religion – New Ageism), then you have absolved yourself from consequence to escape guilt. Anything goes.

Number 2 is extreme, and approaches mental disorder, however the reality in everyday life is a combination of the two. Often one who wishes for the freedom to be flexible in beliefs finds themselves to be militaristic towards anyone who holds to an opposite view, like during an abortion or transgenderism conversation, thereby pitting one set of subjective beliefs against another, if there is indeed no standard, and neither of which has more merit.

The reality is, therefore, to escape being a hypocrite against whichever moral code you reside under,

you must either operate perfectly within that framework – nigh impossible, or

you must adopt a framework with a moral bar set so low that you can’t help but live up to its standard, and then defend it militantly to escape any shame and guilt associated with those behaviors, or

you must constantly be ‘moving the goal posts’ within an ever changing set of standards, which is by definition, not a standard at all.

With careful, logical scrutiny, one could conclude that every acceptable moral set of beliefs would inherently have as its members nothing but hypocrites, all of whom are constantly trying, and re-trying, to live up to the expectations they believe in. As it is with every pursuit in life, from sports, to education, to religion, to parenting, human experiences are riddled with failures, and shortfalls. We strive for excellence in these pursuits, though we may never achieve perfection, and in so doing we work to better ourselves. It is the same with our walk in Christ, and for this walk we use the word sanctification, a lifelong and constant goal. The alternative, in Christianity, as well as sports/parenting/education, is to set the standard so low, that you feel validated by sub-par character and performance. This is no way to enrich a life, or the lives of those around you.

The result of this constant falling short is accepting the reality of hypocrisy. This is why Christians should gather in churches, as it is a place not only for worshiping the one person who set up the holiest standard possible, and then lived up to it, but also to surround yourselves with those who cannot, and are there to love and support each other. This is the essence of the body of Christ. Those who recognize that despite all human effort, they are in need of grace and mercy from a holy Creator.

Let me save you the trouble of pointing it out. You will not find perfect Christians in church. Christians struggle with anger, alcohol, sexual immorality, hate, depression, gossip – oh Lord the gossip, among a myriad of other sins. Yes we hide them, yes we don’t like to announce our struggles and shames from the mountain tops, and yes we pray for forgiveness constantly for not being as good as we can be. But there is peace and joy in Christ, in grace, and in knowing that we can let go of all of our missteps and focus the next day on how to love better. And despite these struggles, there is a concerted effort (or should be in a healthy church group) to do good works, to support others, and to be generous with the gifts that we do have.

If you are a non-believer that has had an unpleasant experience with a Christian, please realize that this person is struggling daily to do what is right, or may be going through his or her own temptations or trials, just like you. To dismiss thousands of years and mounds of evidence of revelation from God, to dismiss all His good works to bring about a savior, and our relationship with Him, and to dismiss the reality of eternal life with that Creator, because you interacted with someone who fell short in their walk is to dismiss the very reason we need Jesus Christ. In fact, as an unbeliever, are you not claiming to have a problem with a belief to which you do not conform? Is that not hypocrisy?

So if someone finally reaches the conclusion that he or she has fallen short of God’s perfect moral standard, that they are ready to admit that they are a hypocrite in their own right, based on the moral law written on their heart, then they can safely come to a church of believers. They are in good company, a place full of hypocrites, who all have fallen short, and all wish to experience freedom from their sins. If I see you there, I will do my best to lift you up, and do life with you. But I am a hypocrite too, so I may fail, and need forgiveness from time to time.

 

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Supposed Final Words of Steve Jobs

Widely reported as the last words of Steve Jobs, though inspired and interesting, is most likely a false deathbed speech. We can easily imagine thoughts such as this passing through our minds at the end. Though most likely not genuine, it is interesting to consider them, and how they reflect our hopes for our lives:
“I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.
In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.
However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed.
At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death.
In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me.
Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth.
It should be something more important:
For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.
No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me.
God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me.
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.
This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead.
Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands.
What is the world’s most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life.
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls.
Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends…
Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbours.”

I have never personally faced a life threatening illness. But I have had my life threatened, as well as watched the life of a loved one deteriorate. I have watched helplessly at a bedside, when the only power I had was to pray to God. And the only hope that I had in my heart was that if that loved one passes from this world to the next, I will get to see them again, and stand with them before a God who saved us both through His mercy and grace.

These final words go far, and they are serious, and wise, but do they go far enough? The author mentions God, but if there is one and only one infinite God, He alone is to be sought. And if that God has declared the one door to Him is through His son, Jesus Christ, then I would lovingly declare this statement does not go far enough by any stretch of the imagination. An atheist who lived out Steve’s advice would die with memories, and still with no hope. And those who remembered them, would also perish, and so the love that had been attained in a lifetime of wholesome philosophy would be lost to history. This alone is not the answer. That is why I often repeat my favorite verse in these articles, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

In John 10:9, Jesus says, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

In John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This may seem narrow-minded to some, or dogmatic, and I assure you it is, unless it is the truth.43dc6e87710d1c4d4f780482f310a7df If it is the truth, if God entered His creation to die for our sins, and that sacrifice resulted in the legal and moral substitution for a judgement we deserve, then it would indeed be the only way, and the truest act of love. The author mentions God, and speaks of the importance of love in this life. True words, sir, and a very fine philosophy for living. Yet those with money, and those with loving memories both still stand to lose all if they do not address the truth of salvation.

The bible is not ambiguous on this point. There isn’t one way for Christians, one for Muslims, one for Buddhists, and another path for New Agers. There is one door, which is why Christ Himself includes that He is the truth, as well. It is a warning, given in love, and providing hope for all, for all are fallen, and all face death. To Mr. Steve Jobs, I say, boldly and beautifully said, a sad and grave wake up call against the things that drive us. But, I also say, your love and memories cannot save you. Living for a fallen version of love will still leave you wishing and hoping in a hospital bed. There is only one door. Though it is now, more unpopular than ever to state, and offends many, we cannot be so timid as Christians that we cannot claim the truth, and that is that Jesus Christ is our door to salvation. It is said that this speech, despite its lack of authenticity, has inspired many. But we must ask, does talk like this truly help? or does it give a false sense of meaning, and therefore provide a complacency more dangerous than the position of men who admit they are evil. Change is only possible when one realizes it is necessary.

 

The Feelings That Drive Us

In studying forgiveness this week, we delved in to Luke 17:

3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you,[b] saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”
5 And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. 10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”

The interesting thing about forgiveness is that here Christ commands it, as a duty, which is especially noteworthy in a society that cultivates self-gratification, the fulfilling of emotional desire, and the alleviation of consequence from duty or action. The pleas for help against the strength of emotion are not merely a product of today, but of the weaknesses of all mankind, and is illustrated here by the apostles themselves, when they ask Jesus for increased faith. They wish for a greater faith to overcome the emotions set against forgiving others. It is as if they are saying, “no one can forgive someone over and over on their own!”

Jesus’ response? It is your duty. Don’t hem and haw and finally decide to forgive, so that you may then turn around and ask for praise and adulation for simply doing what is commanded. If you follow me, if you love me, then you will forgive, because that is what I have done for you. It is your duty.

Society will absolve guilt and duty with phrases and mantras such as:

“You shouldn’t have to apologize for your feelings,”

“We can’t control our emotions,”

or even

“We should allow for our feelings to guide us in our decisions.”

I admittedly am an emotional person, given to highs and lows, and do struggle with the discipline of not letting un-caged emotion drive my decisions. However, we must remember that we are Christians because it is true, and there is hope in truth. Yes it is emotional, but God has also provided a great many evidences, not the least of which is the reality of a resurrected messiah.

John MacArthur has said, “Pertaining to the bible, its prophecies are fulfilled. Its miracles are true and attested to. It is scientifically flawless and accurate. Its history and archaeology are verifiable to the smallest detail.”

He goes on to assert, “The basic task of the church is to teach sound doctrine. It is not to give one pastor’s opinion, to recite tear-jerking illustrations that play on emotions, to raise funds, to present programs and entertainment, or to give weekly devotionals.”

When it comes to forgiveness, it is described as a duty that should supersede emotional qualms. This also implies that forgiveness is not waiting on the emotion to join the intent, but instead is action taken despite emotion. But what action?

Forgiveness is simply releasing the right for revenge. The action of not disparaging a person who sins against you. To not gossip about them. To even speak well of them. To not seek or hope for their demise, or punishment, or just desserts. These are actions. These can rise above emotion.

Put another way, the act of forgiveness can be carried out as a duty until the emotions match the actions. If however, we wait on the emotion, the weakness of our flesh, to entice us to follow God’s command, would it ever happen?

Another instance of an emotionally driven construct of today is the transgenderism issue, a delicate one, and one that not only defies God’s will for us based on emotion, but also defies very real and understandable science and genetics. Scientifically stated, there is no such thing as transgenderism. It is  a construct of our society. We see similar psychological disorders with anorexia and the like, a person who perceives reality and the biology of their body differently than what is real. Consider this denial in who you are, this rebellion against how you were made, total denial in the identity of yourself. This is akin to suicide, the end of your life as what you were designed to be. Couple that with the mutilation of one’s body to fulfill the emotional desire to not be oneself, and you have not only physically harmed the body, but have harmed chances of a marriage, of having your children with a spouse, to connect with people of the same and opposite sexes on a meaningful level in many ways. This is why those in the transgender world are 19 times more likely to commit suicide than other people groups. A group forever forced to adopt the persona of what they are not.

Dr. Paul R. McHugh, is the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry, and is the author of six books and at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles. He states that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.

“This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken – it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.” Regarding his willingness to reassign gender through surgery, he said this: “And so at Hopkins we stopped doing sex-reassignment surgery, since producing a ‘satisfied’ but still troubled patient seemed an inadequate reason for surgically amputating normal organs.”

We could go on and on with this subject, discussing an “everything is normal sex education”, child abuse, etc. But the point here and of this article is, we must be aware that truth and morality are objective things. They are verifiable things, and therefore, we must make a choice not to fall into the tempting pattern of blaming and cultivating emotions not anchored to truth, in order to absolve ourselves from reality.

Especially with the support of society, it can be easy to simply blame emotion for all of the situations we find ourselves in, but those not squarely rooted in God’s will tend to leave people in tumult, whether it be in anger, or anxiety, or depression. As we mature in Christ, it should become clearer that the discipline of our actions define who we are. Galatians lists fruits of the spirit in chapter 5, one of which is self-control. Ephesians 4:14 says, “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” We must ask ourselves, when society plays on feelings and emotions to convince us that reality is false, do we consult the word for truth, or succumb to the continued and pervasive relativity of popular opinion and PC pressure. If we allow our emotions to be victorious over reason, what do we gain? What do we lose?

Apologetics Conversation

This is just as an illustration of the types of conversations we can start. I wanted to post one, a typical one that while on-line or at dinner, we can be aware of a few facts, a few interesting things, stuff to get the conversation going, and ask questions of another to make them think. You will know quickly if the participant is receptive to hearing more about the good news of Christ and the bible, or if they reject it. But the point here is, we do not have to beat people over the head with the bible, or delve in to deep and serious theology at every turn; but fun simple and happy conversations can plant seeds as well. And is it not great to show the joy that comes with not only hope, but with reason, and truth as well. This started by me simply stating what books I was reading. “Why read that?” was the response, to which I am able to reply, “it is quite interesting.
It would lead you on a merry chase towards inevitable conclusions!” Dramatic I know, but true none the less. So the person I was speaking with said, “ok, shoot.”

Cooper:   do you know what a pterosaur is?

#:  Lol no
Dinosaur?

C:  yes, a flying one
featherless, and huge
‘like 50 foot wingspan
we find them in the fossil record.
so, they existed, correct?

#:  Sure

C:  buried by mud and water.
now… physics tells us that this animal could not have flown in today’s atmosphere
the air pressure we experience now wouldn’t have allowed it
but this was not a flightless bird.

#:  Ok

C:  so what can we conclude?

#:  The atmosphere changed.

C:  yes!
that at some time in the past the air pressure was more dense
another example is the size of a braceosaurus’s nostril
it is the size of a horse’s, and with an 80 ft body, and long neck, there is no way, without more air pressure, that oxygen would have sustained such an animal.

#:  Ok well that’s cool. So same thing then

C:  now… we can observe the deterioration of the earth’s magnetism.

#:  Idk…I think there’s a lot of magnetism still😉lol

C:  Yes, enough left for life, but not enough to allow for millions and millions of years.

[The magnetic field] lost 10% of its magnetism in the last 150 years; Archaeological measurements show that the field was 40% stronger in 1000AD; International Geomagnetic Reference Field show a net energy loss of 1.4% in just three decades (1970–2000)
Magnetic field’s energy has halved every 1,465 years.

now, this one scientist grew piranhas in a tank that was magnetized.
know what happened?

#:  No…what?!

C:  they grew to 4 x the normal size of pirannahs.

#:  Oooohhhh

C:  okay, 3 factor, ready?

#:  Hit me

C:  we know from all the oil in the ground
that the amount of trees pre-flood was huge
huge amounts of what we call biomass
what do trees produce?

#:  Oxygen

C:  yatzee!
so, in a pre-flood world, we have
high air pressure, more oxygen, and higher magnetism
this creates a perfect living environment for carbon based life forms.

#:  Dang… hate we missed that! lol

C:  but now, when the veracity of the scriptures come in to question…
men who lived to be 100’s of years old
reptiles that grew to enormous lengths and size
we can now justify this with observable science

#:  Boom!

 

Again, this is just a small conversation, to get others thinking, to start to make others realize that the word is full of truth. In this case, the other person was already a believer, so this would be in order to build faith, not necessarily to prove anything. But confidence in God’s word is a great thing when faced with the hopelessness of man’s worldview. After someone believes, there should be discipleship too. It is such a blessing to know that we can hang our faith on the truth of God’s word.

 

For great reading, please check out my book at amazon.com. 

Infighting: Young vs Old Earth

Subject Article: Why I Reject A Young Earth View: A Biblical Defense of an Old Earth. 

One of my favorite apologists is Frank Turek. I have really grown to love and respect him, and his methods. He is intelligent, articulate, and charismatic, and it is clear he loves the Lord, and does so with great courage. Frank has written a couple books that I have read and enjoyed, and would highly recommend.

Stealing from God, and Not Enough Faith to be an Atheist.

They are both thought provoking and amazing, and the concepts are very helpful.

Frank also runs www.crossexamined.org, a terrific apologist site. It seems as though everyone involved with this ministry is quite brilliant, and quite talented, and it is with trepidation that I butt heads with them on any issue, simply because I am quite outmatched, both intellectually, and regarding resources.

That being said, I have watched Frank’s responses to the young earth creation theory  very closely during his question and answer sessions, and have just recently read  Jonathan McLatchie’s article again from 2011, Why I Reject A Young Earth View: A Biblical Defense of an Old Earth.  Based on these, I continue to find myself at odds with their conclusions. I do however agree that though this issue should continue to be examined and explored, it should not cause division among Christians. 

I say this humbly, and from experience, because due to my passion for the subject, I have certainly allowed what I believe is the truth of God’s word to cause rifts, heated debate, and even anger between me and other christians. The intentions of my interactions are always out of love, and out of a desire to illustrate the amazing truths we can find in the word, thereby teaching how trustworthy the word of God is. How we are completely justified in our faith as Christians. But of course, the very human, and very fleshy part of me will often surface, and cause me to have less grace than I should, usually to the detriment of the conversation, and I am afraid, also to the detriment of people’s general view of me as a person and a christian. This is something I continue to try and work on in my own life.

I also acknowledge McLatchie’s conclusion in the subject article that the bible does indeed allow for a more literal interpretation for the Genesis days, though he does go on to say it doesn’t demand it. I have addressed this issue several times and in several ways. For more of what I have written, please click here:

“Why do we care?”

“Satan’s Fall”

“Total Opposite”

I have heard Frank state in his answer sessions that he does not believe in macro-evolution, based on evidence, and has therefore stipulated in his answer sessions that man was created in his present form (barring micro-evolutionary changes, or natural selection over time). I agree.

Yet, in another answer session, he will go on to stipulate that he believes based on the laws of physics and the Big Bang’s apparent reality (I disagree, but again, am not a scientist), the universe is/could-be very old.

If we examine the article in question, McLatchie further complicates matters by stating the myth that it could have been a local flood in Noah’s day, which is not only refuted by a simple reading of the biblical text, but also a simple surveying of the millions of drown fossils buried all over the earth among other obvious geological evidences. Genesis 7 assures us “all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.” Being fans of science, I would challenge any apologist

2016-6-18-bill-j
pic from answersingenesis.org

 to explain how water rose 15 feet above all the highest hills, and somehow remained “local”. 2 Peter 3:5-6 continues to support the global event; “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 see from the many examples of great sea fossils buried upon the dry land of every continent that this was so. Andrew Snelling has done great work examining this.images (1).jpg

In regards to the days of Genesis 1, these have been addressed by YEC time and time again. But I would at least quickly point out that the day itself is literally defined in the verse as “there was evening, and there was morning, the first day.” Since it is the first one, God goes ahead and describes it for us, a daylight portion and a nighttime portion seem to make up a day. Literally defined. I would also ask, how many “first days” are there?

We are (or should be) familiar with day-age and gap theory, but specifically the gap theory seems to be the one Frank refers to in his answers, though he does so quite tactfully (and I don’t want to presume to speak for him), as he mentions the space potentially between verse one and two of Genesis. For reference, Thomas Chalmers invented the Gap Theory in 1814, saying that great time could exist in the beginning verses. He was a Scottish minister, professor of theology, political economist, and a leader of the Church of Scotland and of the Free Church of Scotland. He has been called “Scotland’s greatest nineteenth-century churchman”. Unfortunately, he was also reacting to the pressure of man’s idea of uniformitarian theory, and the “great chain of being” theory, which are the precursors of evolutionary thinking.

McLatchie says in his  article, that “… as a scientist, the arguments for an ancient earth seem to be very compelling (needless to say, when it comes to Darwinian evolution, it is a very different story).” So it would appear that both he and Frank are convinced the earth is quite old, yet are also both convinced that Darwin’s theory of evolution is “on its heels right now,” as Mr. Turek had stated. This would mean, unless I am misunderstanding, that both of these  men believe that it is possible, if not probable, that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, that the earth is potentially 4 billion years old, and that mankind was created less than 100,000  years ago (Frank’s date) in his present form.

This would mean that man, whom God made in His image, to subdue the earth, and rule it, has lived here 0.00073% of the time the universe has existed, and during only .0022% of the earth’s history. This would also mean that Jesus lied when He said God made them male and female in the beginning, being off by 99.9988%. So for reasons unknown, time would have been invented unnecessarily, for no one, to run on for ages upon ages without anyone but God to observe it’s passing, which would beg the question, why invent it?

It would further require a theory, since Darwinian molecules-to-man is not stipulated by either apologist, about when the rest of the animals were created. If it was long before man to account for an ancient fossil record, then we are now moving away from a Gap Theory, and trying to mold it in to a day-age theory, where each day is theoretically millions or billions of years. This throws day six into great confusion.

Confusion also arises when  the article addresses the “planting of the garden” taking longer than a day. If someone stipulates that God created light, and stars, and the sun from nothing, and then tries to convince me that planting a garden would take this person great time, it doesn’t sit right with me logically. In fact, Frank himself states; “The greatest miracle in the Bible is recorded in the first verse: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. If that miracle is true, then every miracle in the Bible is at least possible.” I would emphatically agree.

Another factor addressed by McLatchie is the death before sin problem. He states that the first few verses do not definitively say there was no death prior. However, our bible does say: “The wages of sin is death” – Rom 6:23

and

Rom 5: 12 ‘Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses…
17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one…”

If one were to make the case that animals can’t sin, and therefore their deaths for millions of years are irrelevant, you still have to deal with the thorns, cancers, tumors, and various curse-caused issues of the fossil record, a written punishment of Genesis following the fall.

McLatchie tries to use some assumptions about carnivores causing animal deaths here, and goes so far as to mention the lion’s obvious “violence” – the very animal the bible uses to prove that when the curse is lifted, shall be so gentle, a child can lead them:

Isaiah 11:6 – “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”

Since undoing the curse that took place is the theme and scope of the bible entire -Revelations 22:3, And there shall be no more curse –  I feel it is safe to assume the lion could easily be imagined as non-violent in the garden of Eden, since we have a promise it will be so again in the future.

So much internal evidence is thrown askew when the bible is forced to fit man’s theories (e.g. the theory of molecules to man evolution, or cosmic evolution). I would point out that in doing so, we are, like our christian brother Mr. Chalmers did, bending to the will of those who campaign furiously against God, and the redeeming power of Jesus Christ.

In the words of Luther, and despite my shortcomings, “I can do no other.” I will have to continue to support YEC, as I feel it is backed by scripture, and is quite readily corroborated by observable science. But I will also agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Turek that the Lord will not be caring about what we believe the age of the earth is when we arrive to meet him in heaven, but will instead be examining our hearts regarding Jesus instead. It is paramount. My fear though, is that with the bible’s foundation thrown into a confusing obscurity, will it damage the faith of others? I fear it already has.

All this aside, I agree with Mr. Frank Turek and his team of apologists on nearly everything else, and will continue to look to them as a wonderful resource for me, my family, and my church, and recommend them to anyone who finds this article. Since I am so small, and he is out there crushing it, it is unlikely that he or Mr. McLatchie will ever come across this small little blog page. But if that ever happens, I look forward to getting absolutely toasted by a scientist and a doctor. But in closing I will say that it is a blessing to have the education, and the printed bible in my language at all, that would even allow Mr. Turek and I to form opposite opinions on some theology points. There was a time when the word was kept from being studied by all but the clergy,  and someone like me would not have had the privilege to ever read it in my own language, much less the freedom to disagree with my superiors. For this I am grateful. As Tyndale said, “…if God spare my life, I will make a boy that driveth the plough know more of the Scripture than thou dost.” With that purpose having been achieved, we all now have the blessing of studying these mysteries for ourselves, and determining our own salvation… as well we should… with fear and trembling.

 

Law of Non-Contradiction

The law of non-contradiction states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive. The principle was stated as a theorem of propositional logic by Russell and Whitehead in Principia Mathematica. This is an important part of apologetics, as many people will state, “that is true for you, but not true for me”.
If there is an absolute truth, it behooves us to seek it, and to know it. As an example, in Christianity, we state that Christ died according to the scriptures, and was raised from the dead on the third day according to the scriptures. In Islam, they state that Christ never died on the cross.
(Similarly we have a huge contradiction regarding the deity of Christ (God vs god)).
One can plainly see that these two statements cannot both be true simultaneously. Yet, from a great many who are offended by the gospel message, in a New Age world of anything goes, they will state that Islam is true for them, Buddhism is true for them, and Christianity is true for you, and who are you to say otherwise? But in this case, it is impossible for truth to be relative. Either one is true or the other is. Ignoring that will not make it go away.
In a similar instance a couple years ago, Oprah indicated that there are many names that one might give to that which she calls “God”, including “energy,” “consciousness” and “life”; at the same time she famously stated that Jesus Christ was merely a symbol, and that clinging to the “Old Rugged Cross” was a “mistake”. These beliefs  are in stark contrast to the statements of God’s word,  and have very different consequences than those referred to in scripture, if one applies them to a world view. Therefore the two worldviews are incompatible. Either the bible is lying to you, or Oprah is wrong. There is no logical third option.
In this attempt to be accepting to others, we deny that all these ideas have very contrasting beliefs. One simply cannot believe that every viewpoint is possible and remain honest. But it can become much easier to base belief on feelings as opposed to truth, because of the consequence (social pressure, fear of losing friends). What we must ask is this: is it truly loving to not seek truth in order to protect feelings? If salvation is a reality, and there is one way to attain it, is it kind to not share it for fear of retribution?
C.S Lewis says, “…it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
He offers this advise:
“The great difficulty is to get modern audiences to realize that you are preaching Christianity solely and simply because you happen to think it true; they always suppose you are preaching it because you like it or think it good for society or something of that sort. Now a clearly maintained distinction between what the Faith actually says and what you would like it to have said or what you understand or what you personally find helpful or think probable, forces your audience to realize that you are tied to your data just as the scientist is tied by the results of the experiments; that you are not just saying what you like. This immediately helps them realize that what is being discussed is a question about objective fact — not gas about ideals and points of view.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I continue to work on discipling others and spreading the good news of Christ as best I can, and in love as I am able, but with full knowledge that a) I am utterly imperfect, and b) that God and His truth are utterly perfect. We should all be grateful the morality and truth of God’s word are not malleable. What a terrible thought! But the consequence of a perfect and immovable God is that He is inexorably a God of order, and reason, not a God of confusion, and His nature and the truth of His ways and plans are fixed, all above our wishes and ways.
Again, C.S. Lewis states: “If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we could make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with people who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with Fact. Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about.”
The law of non-contradiction is an ugly truth to wrestle with. It shouldn’t be, as it is a plainly obvious law. I am all for debating which perceived truth is correct, and making a decision based the data at hand. But when someone emphatically states there are many truths, that all truth is subjective, and relative, what progress can be made? This is an emotional standing, upon which one feels that he or she is safe. Safe from offending friends, offending God, and incurring consequence. It is interesting to note that the most heated contestations with someone who thinks all world views are acceptable is when you assert that truth is not subjective, but absolute. “That is your truth, not my truth!” It is deemed an imposing of one’s will upon another, rather than a stating of natural, created order. We are at that point asking a person to accept a reality based on objective truth, and objective morality, contrary to what they wish to perceive. This can be a scary and emotional transition.
Boiled down, we are talking about introducing the reality of Law into the worldview of society. This is anathema to naturalism, atheism, and New Ageism. We know we are not saved by the law, but by grace. However, Romans 7:7 says, “What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.””
This is compounded by, James 2:10  “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”
This is the introduction of consequence to a worldview, which convicts the heart, and forces one to try and reject the reality of God, or instead to humble themselves before Him.
In relative truth’s simplest form of defeat –  saying truth is not absolute is itself an absolute statement. It is self-defeating.
In conclusion, based on the bible, Christians are admittedly narrow-minded in this truth – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” –  John 14:6
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This is the case with Creation vs evolution debate as well, two contradictory world views which once logically considered, cannot be simultaneously believed (for more on that click here).

Our Amazing Moon

In studying Picture1and familiarizing myself with more “Goldilocks” factors, or factors necessary for life to exist on this planet, I am reminded of some basics, considerations I was amazed and entertained by in my youth, but have since forgotten or dismissed. I remember leafing through science books about oceans, and volcanoes, and animals, endlessly looking at pictures and enjoying all the wonders of nature. One of my favorite science books was the one on our solar system; our sun, our nine planets (Pluto wasn’t under the scrutiny it faces these days), and our amazing moon.

Genesis 1:14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

There are so many studies we could do on Genesis chapter 1, but one interesting thing to note is that many critics of the bible levy a charge against it that it simply borrowed creation accounts from other ancient cultures, such as Babylonian. I recommend studying that charge, as it is pretty easy to debunk. But note that those other stories from other peoples use terms for the sun and moon.

Babylon names them Shamash (sun) and Sin (moon). If we go farther back, to the Sumerians, their references to the moon-god are Sin, and Nanna. The sun was Utu, and Venus was Iananna, and since these were moon worshipping cultures, the writings say that these two objects were the children of our moon.

Clearly these ideas could not have given rise to our Genesis account, and any attempt to accuse such can be dismissed with a simple reading of the text. But note that at this point in history, these objects in our sky had already been named. It is intriguing to me that in our account, it simply states, “a greater light” (maor gadol) and “a lesser light” (maor qaton). It states they are there, made, and simply describes them. Genesis does not name either the sun, or the moon, because when that portion of Genesis was written, they had not yet been given names!

The names of these celestial bodies were given long after, by the Sumerians post-flood. The bible does not use names for them until Genesis 15 -Shemesh, the Babylonian name- and Genesis 37 – Yareah, a Canaanite name. This is great literary evidence that the first chapter of Genesis was written long before the myths of pagan cultures.

Our moon is a compass, a clock, a calendar, and a nightlight. Its distance and size is designed perfectly to provide a gravity that interacts with Earth’s, and regulates her tilt. It also keeps our oceans healthy, and regulates biorhythms. It is easy to understand how such a wonderful creation could be misunderstood and idolized by primitive peoples. But as Romans 1:25 tells us, mankind still falls into this trap today:

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the created things more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”

The moon is 238,900 miles from Earth, a particular distance that allows it, on its particular Picture2orbit to do something extraordinary, create eclipses. I say particular because typically satellites orbit around their planet’s equator. Since our earth is tilted at approximately 23.4 degrees, this would send the moon up and down rather than along the same plane as the sun. Instead, God had it orbit in perfect alignment with the earth’s orbit around the sun, regardless of the earth’s tilt.

It also has a particular size. The sun is 400 times larger than the moon, while the sun is exactly 400 times farther away! The result is that from Earth, they appear to be the same size. And when its orbit around Earth takes the Moon directly between Earth and the Sun, the Moon blocks our view of the Sun in what we call a solar eclipse. Considering the enormity of these bodies, and trying to fathom their perfect timing, size, and placement, that allows us on earth to appreciate their splendor that much more, I would be a fool as a cosmologist to not believe in an all-powerful creator God.

Psalms 19:1
The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands

Unfortunately though, that is precisely what many cosmologists are doing. The evolutionary mindset of many sciences has blinded them into thinking that despite all this perfect order, what they see is nothing more than blind chance, accidental, coincidental luck.

They cling to the dying theory of molecules-to-man evolution so faithfully that it forces the prevailing theories on the moon’s origin to be laughable. This is NASA’s theory as it stands today. This is literally what they believe, or try to believe, and condone teaching to students. This is what hoping there is no God looks like:

“The leading theory of the moon’s origin is that a Mars-sized body collided with Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. The resulting debris from both Earth and the impactor accumulated to form our natural satellite 239,000 miles (384,000 kilometers) away. The newly formed moon was in a molten state, but within about 100 million years, most of the global “magma ocean” had crystallized, with less-dense rocks floating upward and eventually forming the lunar crust. ” – NASA, (http://moon.nasa.gov/about.cfm)

Did you get that? A planet sized body collided with ours and formed a molten moon from the accumulating debris of an impact, in its perfect position, a perfect distance away, and didn’t destroy the earth in the process. And people laugh at my biblical beliefs!

Aside from the insurmountable ridiculousness of our leading cosmology theory, we run into another problem called lunar regression. It has been ascertained that the moon is slowly drifting away from the Earth at a rate of about 1.5 inches per year. Now, if we consider this drift from the presupposition that the bible’s chronology is accurate, after 6000 years or so this equates to moving the moon only 250 meters. Not a big deal.

However if, like NASA is declaring, the moon was blasted out of the Earth and somehow ended up in orbit 4 billion years ago, was it drifting the whole time? If we reverse the 1.5 inch drift over a period of  only 1.5 billion years (I say only, due to the vast ages applied to evolutionary theory) we reach what scientists refer to as “Roche’s Limit”. This puts the moon only 11,500 miles from the Earth, at which point, Roche calculated that the gravity of the two bodies would rip each other apart. This does not bode well for the theory that the moon could survive being blasted off the side of our planet. It also does not bode well for the moon’s age, which is purported to be 4 billion years old. This limiting factor of 1.5 billion years continues to baffle those who hope our beautifully arranged solar system has come about by mere chance.

In addition to this Roche Limit, it was also calculated (to further complicate the scenario) that the closer the moon was to the Earth, the faster the lunar regression would be, due to the Earth’s gravitational pull and spin ‘flinging’ the moon away faster. This means that we now have to account for even more regression in the past, and two bodies that cannot be too close.

And one final consideration. If Lunar regression puts the moon insanely close to the Earth a billion years ago -95% closer! –  and somehow scientists can bypass the reality of Roche’s Limit, what would gravity do to the tides of the oceans? Would the moon’s gravity flood the earth twice a day via global catastrophic flooding in a constant, destructive, never-ending, muddy, violent, perpetual water event? We already know evolutionists don’t believe in a global flood, right? (snicker snicker). But we would somehow have to explain how life not only came about and survived in this harsh environment, but also how it continued to thrive and evolve into more and more complexity.

I am glad it is not my challenge to solve, as I comfortably rest on the truth of God’s word. I can look up at the night sky, and feel blessed to look upon the heavens, and our amazing moon, and know that despite my sin, He loved me anyways.

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Goodnight Moon.