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
_____________________________
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.

 

Satan’s Fall

Ezekiel 28 teaches us about the fall of Satan. When rebuking the King of Tyre, the chapter takes an aside to compare this king with Satan in the Garden of Eden.  Let’s look at the text:

Ezekiel 28: 12“You were the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Every precious stone was your covering:
The sardius, topaz, and diamond,
Beryl, onyx, and jasper,
Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold.
The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes
Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers;
I established you;
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created,
Till iniquity was found in you.
16 “By the abundance of your trading
You became filled with violence within,
And you sinned;
Therefore I cast you as a profane thing
Out of the mountain of God;
And I destroyed you, O covering cherub,
From the midst of the fiery stones.
17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty;
You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor;
I cast you to the ground,
I laid you before kings,
That they might gaze at you.
18 “You defiled your sanctuaries
By the multitude of your iniquities,
By the iniquity of your trading;
Therefore I brought fire from your midst;
It devoured you,
And I turned you to ashes upon the earth
In the sight of all who saw you.
19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you;
You have become a horror,
And shall be no more forever.”’”

Tyre was known for building wealth by swindling those nearby. Ancient writers referred to Tyre as a city filled with unscrupulous merchants. It was a center for idolatry and sexual immorality. The king is accused of greed and pride, and receives some of the strongest condemnations in the bible. But these descriptions surpass a king’s very human station as ruler. For example, could an earthly king claim to be “in Eden” or to be “the anointed cherub who covers” or to be “on the holy mountain of God?” This is a dual prophecy, not only about the fall of Tyre, but also the inevitable fall of Satan. Some suggest that it is possible the king of Tyre was actually possessed by Satan. But there is no way to know for sure. What we do know is God uses this condemnation of Tyre to describe Satan’s fall to us.

We also know that Eden is not only referred to in Genesis, but also in Isaiah, in Joel, as well as in Ezekiel. Furthermore, Christ refers to Man and Woman since the beginning in Mark 10:6, and Matthew 19:4, and sites Genesis 25 times – e.g. “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.”

In addition to all this, we know that Genesis records man’s first sin, and the fall, or curse, that is the result. This leads to expulsion from paradise, the curse of a fallen world, and death. We can familiarize ourselves with this truth from Paul’s words to the Romans in chapter 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, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

So what can we conclude about Satan in the garden from these verses in the bible?

  1. Satan was created –  from the day you were created
  2. He was perfect (sinless) from that day of creation – You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created
  3. We know that on the seventh day, God said His creation was good. Since death was the result of the curse described in Romans, revelations etc, we know death had not entered into the world yet. This means Satan was good for a time between the seventh day and the fall.
  4. We know Satan was an Angel –  the anointed cherub
  5. We know Angels were shouted for joy when the land was created, which most likely refers to day three when dry land appears –  Job38:4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?Tell Me, if you have understanding. 5 Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? 6 To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, 7 When the morning stars sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
  6. We know that Angels are ministering spirits for people, which makes there creation and use symbiotic with human beings – Hebrews 1:14 – Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
  7. We know that Satan was perfect ‘until iniquity was found in him, and this resulted in him being cast out – Till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God.
  8. We know that it was this was caused by his beauty and pride – Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor
  9. And we know that this pride is the tool he used to entice mankind to fall – “Ye can be as gods”

Considering these texts from the bible, it is clear to me that Satan fell after creation while in the Garden with Adam and Eve. The result of this interaction is the curse of thorns, and sweat of the brow, and struggles, and death that we still feel to this day, but that will be lifted when Christ returns – [Revelations 21:4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Revelations 22:3 And there shall be no more curse]

The fall of Satan, and of man, is crucial to understanding the redemptive work of Christ, as well as our understanding of a future heaven and future earth that has no pain, no curse, and no death.  If we look at these verses within the creation model, they all fit nicely together, and one can see the beautiful mosaic of life created, the fall, and the redemptive work of love to save us from it. If we, on the other hand, try to superimpose man’s theories of millions of years upon the words of the bible, we are forced to not only dismiss Genesis, but mounds of supporting verses, which must be thrown into obscurity, thus rendering much of the proven history of the Old Testament nothing more than fable, and folklore. We would have to conclude that the majority of all death, and troubles, and cursed ground we observe in the fossil record literally caused mankind, and was the method of his creation, rather than the result of sin. That the very curse described in our bible, and the reason for our savior, is merely the natural processes that God used to bring about all life. If this is the case, what exactly is Jesus Christ accomplishing on the cross? Is he merely stopping evolution? Declaring that those 4 billion years were enough?  If we do this, the authority of the text folds like a house of cards.

Romans 3:4 says, yea, let God be true, but every man a liar. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. Let us as Christians, imperfect though we may be, continue to strive towards looking at the world through the truth of God’s words, not man’s, and allow ourselves the possibility that man has denied truth in order to absolve his own guilt before a great creator God. Historically speaking, this is what we would expect.

 

Does Teaching Evolution Cause Racism?

IMG_9947Want a clear understanding of why there is racism? We have been teaching it for 150 years through evolution. Of course it has always existed between tribes, but without Judeo-Christian values in play in a society, however imperfectly it may be implemented by men, there is much more room for the elevation of man. We have taught this mindset to generations of kids. Our teachers taught it as science, and evolutionary theory has continued to prove itself not only as scientifically ridiculous, but also as the most insidious and destructive thought system ever devised. Think I am wrong? Overstating? Consider this then:

Darwin wrote Origin of the species, regarding animals mostly, with only the insinuation that it would apply to mankind near the end. And when he felt the premise took hold of his scientific contemporaries enough, he then released The Decent of Man in 1871. In it, Darwin said this:
“At some future period… the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider… even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, a contemporary of Charles Darwin and an ardent evolutionist, popularized in Germany his concept of the superman, and then the master race.

Thomas Huxley, Darwin’s Bulldog and evolution Salesman, coined the term agnostic, and preached evolution to crowds the size of which are reserved for rock stars today. He stated: “No rational man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the average negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathous relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried out by thoughts and not by bites.”

Darwin called him, ‘My good and kind agent for the propagation of the Gospel—i.e. the devil’s Gospel.’

This led to other believers in evolution to conclude man was merely an evolved animal, and the logical conclusion to this, especially when brought to its logical and inexorable end, is that some men had evolved farther than others. This was further perpetuated by those that followed such as Ernst Haeckel, GERMAN EMBRYOLOGIST and fraud, born Feb. 16, 1834—died Aug. 9, 1919. He perpetuated the fish embryo drawings, and idea which is still being recycled today, as well as a missing link which he called Pithecanthropus alalus (speechless apeman) and even had an artist, Gabriel Max, draw the imagined creature, although there was not a scrap of evidence to support a single detail in the drawings. Being a German, and a university scientist, as well as an evolutionist, he was a major influence on Hitler. Haeckel stated, “At the lowest stage of human mental development are the Australians, some tribes of the Polynesians, and the Bushmen, Hottentots, and some of the Negro tribes. Nothing, however, is perhaps more remarkable in this respect, than that some of the wildest tribes in southern Asia and eastern Africa have no trace whatever of the first foundations of all human civilization, of family life, and marriage. They live together in herds, like apes.”

This evolutionary mindset of course led Hitler to attempt his justification of racial supremacy. In Mein Kampf, Hitler said this: “If Nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with the stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior one; because in such a case all her efforts, throughout hundreds of thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile.”

Obviously this adopted fervor can be understood as the result of taking evolutionary theory too far. Add a little power, a little patriotism, and a whole lot of violence and you have the death of 20 million people, among other horrible atrocities. It should be pointed out that these atrocities are only wrong because there is a moral and objective absolute good, set forth by God. Without it, anything that would conceivably be believed to help future generations, Hitler included, cannot technically be considered evil, or immoral. In the instance of evolution creating men by chance, the “right” side is merely the side who wins, or has the bigger stick.

Evolution was introduced to American school systems in the early 1960’s, but Darwin’s poisonous and unscientific ideas didn’t wait that long to permeate society’s education system.We taught a generation of kids in high school and college from this text book in the 1920’s – George William Hunter’s A Civic Biology.
“At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; the American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.”
We continue to teach Darwinian evolution, either as neo-Darwinism or Lamarckism, and have since by a series of if-then assumptions, extrapolated out the idea that man evolved from non-humans, (the molecules to man theory, or goo to you theory), into an explanation for everything from chemicals, to stars, to matter itself. [For more on this read ‘The Long War Agaianst God’ by Morris, or ‘In the Minds of Men’ by Taylor].

Evolutionism is the paradigm with which we have justified racism, imperialism, and other deadly ideologies. And yes, through its perpetuation, it has molded the minds of the church to their detriment as well. But as we know, man poisons God’s word, God does not poison man’s. So what does God say in His word about it?

Genesis 8:16-19: Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.

It says after the flood 4500 years ago, we all came from the same 8 people, which means we are all related. This concurs with genetics, population growth studies, and the similarities in flood legends and architecture the world over.

Furthermore, the bible says this:

Revelations 7:9-10: After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

It simply states that we all came from the same origin. And that no one person or people group is worth more than any other. It, like science, says we are all one race, and we will stand shoulder to shoulder together in victory before the throne of our Almighty Creator. No one people group is better, for all of us fall short, and all of us are in need of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

If Jesus Doesn’t Know the Hour, Is He God?

Question posed to me by students studying apologetics:

“This is a question a lot of Muslims ask because they don’t believe in the Trinitarian attribute of our God and like to use Matthew 24:36 to “prove” that the Son and the Father are not one, but completely separate. So the question is, after reading the verse, how can Jesus the son be God the Father if God is omniscient and all knowing but Jesus does not know the hour and God knows the hour?”

This is how I answered:

The answer is based in what scholars have dubbed “the hypostatic union”, whereby Jesus Christ was both fully God and fully man. He walked and talked as a man, mourned as a man, suffered as a man, yet as God He was prayed to, worshiped, etc. We could certainly do a trinity, or deity of Christ study if need be, using John 1:1 (theos en ho logos), or in John 8 (before Abraham was I am) or Isaiah 7 (Emmanuel meaning God with us). In Micah He is called the everlasting father, etc.

But the emptying of himself on earth is described in Phil 2 “Who, being in very nature of God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man,he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death.”

Another example is in Hebrews 2 it states that “He was made for a little while lower than the angels.” We can infer from all this that Christ, during His earthly ministry, healed and did miracles by the father’s power, or the power of the Holy Spirit rather than His own. Therefore, having to live a perfect life as a man, He did this so perfectly or “fairly” may be a better term, that He did not know the day nor the hour.

If you are looking for a less intense, down and dirty answer, we’d simply refer to Revelations, which is a go-to place to witness to Mormons as well as those who practice Islam, since the deity of Christ is often attacked.

Ask, who is this that says in Rev 1:11 , “I am the alpha and omega, the first and last.” The Mormon, or Muslim will say that refers to God (or Allah they may say). Then ask, what about here in Rev 21:6, “I am the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end.” Who is that? They will say, God.
Then we refer to rev 1:17-18. “I am the first and the last, He that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive forever more.” Who is this? They will say, that is God, to which you reply, “When did God die?”

Also, on a side note, The Quran of Islam states that God departed the law and inspiration to the bible’s profits, that he sent down the law of Moses, and the Gospel of Jesus, (Sura 2:87; 3:3; 4:163; and 5:46),  and that the word of God cannot be altered (6:34, 6:115). However, most Muslims will state that the bible has been corrupted and that the Quran must be trusted over the Christian bible. The real question is how can the Muslim trust the Quran, if in its very text it states to trust the gospels, and Allah’s words cannot be changed. Another way to state this is in a simple proof which the text bears out:

1 – If the Bible is true than the Quran is false
2 – If the Bible is false, than the Quran is false
3 – Therefore, the Quran is false

Please feel free to comment, and let me know if you have any additional thoughts in regards to this question.

If you are interested in my Christian Fiction, The Last Saint, please check it out here or on Amazon. 

6 E’s of authenticity

Frank Turek at Cross Examined teaches 6 evidences to consider that give us confidence in the authority of scripture, all starting with the letter E for easy remembering:

1 – Early testimony – As I stated yesterday as an example, the first writings of Buddha are approximately 400 years after the actual life of Siddhartha. By contrast, the New Testament was written before 70AD, many books completed only 17-21 years after the resurrection. This adds great veracity to the historicity of the text.

2 – Eye-witness testimony – Frank teaches that after extensive study, and just as one example, if we take the book of John and Acts, therein can be found over 140 details that could only be eye-witness details. On a side note, many of these are in Genesis as well, proving the authenticity of it too, such as the verified price of a slave at that time matching Joseph’s sale price.

3 – Embarrassing testimony – Would writers of their own story include Peter denying Christ 3 times? What about the Lord they followed and loved calling Peter Satan? “Get behind me Satan.” Or would it describe how the men ran and fled, and the women stayed on the scene of the crucifixion? Or that they were the ones who discovered the missing tomb, in a time where there testimonies were not held in as high of esteem as a man’s. These are in there, not because they help the story, but because they are true.

4 – Excruciating testimony -If you have read Fox’s book of Martyrs, you know the horrible details of the brave Martyrs following Christ, and spreading Christianity to the civilized world. The apostles were boiled, crucified, even upside down, and this was the same group that days before were running away, fleeing, unsure of why they followed Jesus, and fearing the repercussions of such a choice. What made such men do a complete 180, and declare Christ even in the face of death?

5 – Expected testimony – The story of Christ fulfills hundreds of prophecies! From where He was born to how He would die. Emmanuel that was promised in Isaiah 7 was expected, and what was expected was fulfilled. For a great example, please re-read Isaiah 53.

6 – Extrabiblical testimony – We have 10 ancient non-Christian sources, such as Josephus, which describe the basic phenomenon of Christ’s story. You can conclude that even those books that are not canonized scripture agree on the historical Jesus, His plight, and His following, lending veracity once again to the true narratives about Him.

For more from Frank Turek, and other great apologists, visit www.crossexamined.org. Also, he released a great book which I highly recommend called “Stealing from God: Why Atheists Need God to Make Their Case”.

UPDATE: 7th E is Elaborate Testimony – Without collusion, different writers inadvertently support what each other are saying, and/or provide details that confirm another’s testimony.

Quick Warning on New Ageism

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I am seeing this a lot lately. A feel good platitude. A slogan. A new age, anything goes, faux-zen-enlightened bumper sticker. Upon close examination, it doesn’t hold water. I hope those who consider their salvation can think past this, and truly don’t hang their eternal souls on the slogans of new age inclusiveness. Especially since this mess of a poster violates the law of non-contradiction about six ways from Sunday. Unfortunately, most people will grab such slogans, like “the bible was just written by men”, or “God can’t make a stone so big He can’t lift it”, or “separation of church and state”, and compile them as a world view. They will then comfortably walk through life, believing wholeheartedly in a world view they spent no time investigating. H.G. Wells said this about our contemporary lives as it concerns people’s resounding inaction regarding the preciousness of life:

“But in these plethoric times, when there is too much coarse stuff for everybody and we struggle for life takes the form of competitive advertisement and the effort to fill your neighbor’s eye, there is no urgent demand either for personal courage, sound nerves or stark beauty, we find ourselves by accident. Always before these times the bulk of people did not overeat themselves, because they couldn’t, whether they wanted to or not, and all but a very few were kept “fit” by unavoidable exercise and personal danger. Now, if only he pitch his standard low enough and keep free from pride, almost anyone can achieve a sort of excess. You can go through contemporary life fudging and slacking, never really hungry nor frightened nor passionately stirred, your highest moment a mere sentimental orgasm, and your first real contact with primary and elemental necessities the sweat of your deathbed.”

If we research, even lightly, the veracity of this poster’s statement, we will find it severely lacking in truth. Without even addressing the glaringly obvious, commandment-breaking image of putting one of the million false Hindu gods on an even plane with Jesus Christ, God and Lord, creator of all things, we will ask were they all merely teachers of love? Does this discount the necessity of judgement, and offer only pleasure with no recognition of sin, and therefore render our desperate need for grace and Christ moot?  There is a flood to square with, as well as the destruction of Sodom, and the Canaanites, and the existence of hell. Does escaping the reality of a promised judgement for sin require us to simply pick a teacher/deity we like, and try to be loving?  And if you have been following along on my series, you know by now that other gods, other religions, don’t come close to the loving God of the bible. For more on that, please read through that, but one quick example for you is in the year 627; Muhammad decapitated 900 Jewish men in front of their families, and ordered troops to rape women, and enslave them. This was the last Jewish tribe in Medina. Ransoms and beheadings were common place. So judging by these actions, as well as other conquests in the name of Allah, to say nothing of polygamy, and the consummation of a marriage with a 9 year old, was Muhammad a teacher of love, like our feel-good poster suggests? Or were his actions self-serving?

What about Buddhism? Very zen and peaceful, yes? The value of human beings must be quite high in their thinking, right? An interesting story, since we are on the subject, has to do with the killing fields of Cambodia. The maimed and injured were pouring in to medical camps run by Christian missionary volunteers. The country was filled with Buddhists, but Christians were there in droves helping the wounded, ministering to the sick and dying. The Christians asked the local doctor why the Buddhists, considering their peace-filled worldview,  weren’t here helping any of the refugees, and why was it only European and American Christians. He said it was because in Buddhism, it is believed that karma determines your fate, and that these suffering people must have earned these troubles in a past life. It was their Karmic fate that brought them to this, not the sin of a fallen world. So they felt no obligation to help or “love” as our poster suggests.

Perhaps we can find love of people in a place that favors Hinduism, such as India? India, where rats swarm crops, decimating sometimes up to 50% of the food grown for the citizens there. The result of course is famine, and the poor health of India’s massive population. But in years past, they have continually chose not to exterminate these rats. Why? Because in their religion, these rats may be the reincarnated ancestors of peoples’ families, so their lives are important as well. As we zoom out and logically consider this world view, we can ascertain that these rats are being given equal consideration and worth as the human beings in Hindu culture. Even at the expense of their lives.

Does this reflect the same love as our Creator God? A love so great that He declares He knows every hair on your head? That He made you in His image? He came to earth to die for you? Do you sense your value as a son or daughter of the Lord, as compared to other world views? It is interesting that for all the bumper sticker slogans we have, when you get down to it, there is one God of love, and there is the harsh reality of other religions, and how much they devalue life. In these others, upon actual examination, you will find the worth of people on par with animals (Hindu), left to the fate of the universe (Buddha), solely dependent upon the whim of a conquesting god (Islam), or completely fluid based on moral relativism (New Age). The truth is much more beautiful, and hopeful, and yes, loving, then the slogan. But, this does not dismiss us from having to consider the truths of a holy God. That with perfect love, we must also examine perfect judgement. Both infinite attributes of a perfect Creator. So again we say, “determine your salvation with fear and trembling” – Phil 2:12

Islamic Extremism Part 3

When the world’s intelligence agencies arrive at the 15-25% of Muslims who are supporters of extremist thought, we must ask ourselves what constitutes extremism. As mentioned in Part 2, to have a barometer at all in regards to extreme action, evil, and sin, we must have an objective standard of good. As a Christian this standard is derived from the Word of God. With only moral relativism as our guide to determine what is right and wrong, we would be reduced to mere opinion, and those who carry the biggest stick will ultimately determine the rules for those around them. This is precisely why America, and before that England, were founded upon common law, and God given rights.

That being said, if we use this as a basis for what is right in God’s eyes, rather than man’s eyes (Judges 17:6 In those days … every man did that which was right in his own eyes),  we can determine what is extreme, or evil. The most obvious one is of course blatant terrorist acts, such as the planes crashing in to the towers on 9/11, the Fort Hood shooting, suicide bombers, the Boston bombing, the truck crashing through pedestrians in Nice, and many others. This is out-and-out murder, and it is quite obvious this behavior should not be condoned, which most American Muslims do not. However, it is interesting to note that though most Muslims are not terrorists, terrorists garner much of their support from governments and citizens who support them. These would be people who believe in Sharia law, and condone things such as suicide bombers, and honor killings.

For reference, here are a few key rules of the legal system of Sharia:

  • Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand (above).
  • Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.
  • Criticizing Muhammad or denying that he is a prophet is punishable by death.
  • Criticizing or denying Allah, the god of Islam is punishable by death.
  • A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.
  • A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.
  • A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.
  • A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.
  • Girls’ clitoris should be cut (Muhammad’s words, Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).
  • A woman can have 1 husband, who can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.
  • A man can beat his wife for insubordination.
  • A man can unilaterally divorce his wife; a woman needs her husband’s consent to divorce.
  • A divorced wife loses custody of all children over 6 years of age or when they exceed it.
  • Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.
  • A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).
  • A woman’s testimony in court, allowed in property cases, carries ½ the weight of a man’s because she “might forget”.
  • A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.
  • A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).
  • A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.
  • Meat to eat must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah – i.e., be “Halal”.
  • Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.
  • A woman captive of jihad may be forced to have to sex with her captors (now owners).

According to latest intelligence, 50% of the 200 million Muslims in Indonesia believe in strict Sharia law. 65% of the 80 million Muslims in Egypt want strict Sharia law placed in every Muslim country. 76% of Pakistan’s 179 million Muslims wish to place Sharia law in all Muslim Countries. Bangladesh is home to 150 million Muslims. 25% of them have said that suicide bombings are sometimes justified. With as much respect to peaceful Americans I can muster, I must logically conclude that this mindset is extremist in nature. If someone disagrees, I would be curious to hear the reasons why. By the way, 82% of them want strict Sharia law, and more specifically stated that honor killings of Muslim women can sometimes be justified. There are 54 million in Nigeria for Sharia, 62 million in Iran, 23 million in Turkey. All of Afghanistan (99%). In Jordan, Hamas, the anti-Israeli terrorist organisation has a 60% approval rating. I could go on and on (video summary by Ben Shapiro, and article), doing this with each country where Muslims have a majority. If we look at facts, determine our criteria to define extremism based on freedom, love, and grace, or more specifically on an absolute moral law regarding how to treat one another, as you can see we arrive at far more than 25% of the Muslim world who adhere to extremist beliefs. We are in fact in the 100’s of millions, unless someone wishes to defend Sharia as normative behavior.

The question isn’t whether or not Islam is violent. The question is, what do its followers believe? Because, as we know from teaching creation vs evolution, what you believe determines how you behave. A much more poignant and divisive question might be, why do so many believe this way? Where does this teaching stem from. For that we must compare Islam to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and determine just how so many are being influenced by what they believe to support evil. Again, I do not mean to be insulting, and if someone wishes to defend these actions as not evil, I am all ears. But my ardent wish is that Muslims will see the love and power of Jesus Christ through the gospels, and turn from Islam to the one true savior. I know this isn’t a popular notion here in America, and is looked at with disdain, and narrow-mindedness. But truth is difficult, and I don’t follow Christ because it is easy. I follow Him because it is truth. Christ Himself stated in Luke 12:51, “Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.” The truth is divisive, and as stated in part 2, tolerance can be a disguise for indifference.

In the final Part, we will examine why these beliefs are prevalent. Does Islam and the Quran promote such extremist thinking?

 

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