Islamic Extremism Part 4

As I try to wrap up this series, the next incident occurs, in Ohio this time. “A suspect was shot dead by police after he allegedly plowed into pedestrians with a car and then stabbed multiple people with a butcher’s knife at the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio, this morning, the university said.” – ABC News.

The name and identity of the attacker has just been released as I write this, one Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali Islamic refugee.

When I wrote about the terrorist attack in Nice, France, I make reference to the politically correct challenges of realizing who conducted the action, knowing without being allowed to say, what faction or religion was tied to the event. We all kind of know, be we all kind of aren’t allowed to say anything. Well, when the assailant drove his car into a crowd, and then hopped out with a knife, stabbing at shocked pedestrians, we kind of knew. But of course, no one could say.

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We said as a final part to my series on Islamic extremism, we would  examine why extremist beliefs are found to be prevalent in Islamic countries. If you are just joining us, I am sure you consider this a bold statement, however, it is based off Part 3. Read that first before complaining. Also, I have already addressed the difference between the God of the Bible, and the god of Islam. The short version is, the Bible clearly teaches the trinity, and that Christ is fully God with us, while Islam teaches that Christ was not God or was even divine, didn’t die on the cross, and wasn’t resurrected from the dead. The Law of Non-Contradiction would stipulate that these are clearly not the same gods. For more on that, click here. Put another more blunt way, in Islam, their god asks you to die for him, while in Christianity, He loved us enough to come die for us. As proof, let us review some  Quran and Hadith Verses:

Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.

And there is the type of man who gives his life to earn the pleasure of Allah.

I would love to be martyred in Allah’s Cause and then get resurrected and then get martyred, and then get resurrected again and then get martyred and then get resurrected again and then get martyred.

Allah guarantees that He will admit the Mujahid (inner-struggler) in His Cause into Paradise if he is killed (we must ask why the inner struggle would result in death)

seeking death at places where it can be expected.

Nobody who enters Paradise will return to this world even if he were offered everything on the surface of the earth  except the martyr who will desire to return to this world and be killed ten times for the sake of the great honor that has been bestowed upon him.

they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth… and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.”

As the Ayatollah Khomeini put it, “The purest joy in Islam is to kill and be killed for Allah.”

At a  youth convention in 1999: “Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam, that is not suicide. They kill themselves for Islam.”

Back on task, let us look at Islam through the lens of history. The angelic visit for Muhammad happened supposedly in the year 610, when Gabriel appeared. After many years of meditations and visits, Muhammad recited to his band of followers the words he claimed to hear (many were from visions and trances, and many contemporaries believed him to be possessed by demons). This means that the very angel that appeared to the virgin Mary and told her that her son would be on the throne, and be called the son of the Most High God has allegedly revealed new revelation 600 years after revelation was closed and reinterpreted the bible to inform Muhammad that Jesus was not a deity. As a Christian, I am reminded of Paul’s words in Galatians 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Interesting to note that the revelation of Islam and Mormonism both appeared from an angel, as if Paul knew full well what dangers lie ahead.

Another not so small difference between the Gospel of Christ and Islam is the works vs grace component, which like most of the world religions, is in glaring opposition in regards to a means for salvation.

Note that there is no historical evidence of this Gabriel visitation, eye-witness accounts etc, and unlike the bible, the Quran is a revelation from one mind alone, therefore unable to be verified by historical texts and witnesses, not to mention the revelation is the result of no biblical prophecy, and instead stands in violation of biblical commands. This is compared to Christ who fulfilled many.

The prophet, Muhammad, conducted himself according to his beliefs, for what we believe determines how we behave. Jesus did the same, as He healed, taught, preached, blessed, and sacrificed Himself for the world. Muhammad’s actions were quite different. The goals being conquest, a political state based on Islam, which was quite definitively an earthly kingdom. If you are curious, there was a consequence for not wanting to pursue this same goal, if you practiced Islam, as many Syrians are finding out. Dr. Nasr Farid Wasel, former Egypt Mufti, said that all scholars agree that the punishment for rejecting Islam is death. The punishment is indisputably mentioned in the Hadith: ‘whoever changes his Islamic religion kill him.’

So did Muhammad pursue military conquests? Some would claim that Jihad is about the ‘inner struggle’. But facts regarding Quran content are as follows; In Bukhari (Hadith) 97% of the Jihad references are about war and 3% are about the inner struggle. At least 75% of the Sira (life of Mohammed) is about Jihad, and very little of it is about actual religion. Due to abrogation, as well as cultural differences, there is a great disparagement between Islam of the Quran & Hadiths (sayings & conduct of Mohammed), and the Islam as defined/practiced by your Muslim neighbor, American convert, or Muslim group living in the West.

So for insight into the extremist beliefs of those members of Islam that conduct themselves according to the beliefs and actions of Muhammad himself, and not the westernized idea of Islam, let us consider that conduct here, as compared with Christ:

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In 626 AD, Jewish tribes were exterminated.

Rape of the married women captives was condoned, often in front of the captured or dying husbands ([Sahih Muslim, Book 8, number 3371]; [Sura 4:24 -Also (forbidden are) women already married, except those (captives and slaves) whom your right hands possess. Thus has Allah ordained for you];  [In regards to finishing inside a victim of rape, a response of Muhammad’s as opposed to disavowing the rape of women – “O Allah’s Apostle! We get female captives as our share of booty, and we are interested in their prices, what is your opinion about coitus interruptus?” The Prophet said, “Do you really do that? It is better for you not to do it (withdraw before finishing). No soul that which Allah has destined to exist, but will surely come into existence.” (Bukhari 34:432) -] ).

The ransom and beheading of prisoners was common.

In the last Jewish tribe in Medina (Banu Qurayzah), Mohammed decapitated 800-900 men in front of their families. This was 627 AD.

“We went out with Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) on the expedition to the Bi’l-Mustaliq and took captive some excellent Arab women; and we desired them, for we were suffering from the absence of our wives, (but at the same time) we also desired ransom for them. So we decided to have sexual intercourse with them but by observing ‘azl (Withdrawing the male sexual organ before emission of semen to avoid-conception). But we said: We are doing an act whereas Allah’s Messenger is amongst us; why not ask him? So we asked Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him), and he said: It does not matter” (Sahih Muslim 3371)

635 Muslims besiege and conquer Damascus
636 Muslims defeat Byzantines at the Battle of Yarmuk
637 Muslims conquer Iraq at the Battle of al-Qadisiyyah
638 Muslims conquer and annex Jerusalem
638-650 Muslims conquer Iran
639-642 Muslims conquer Egypt
641 Muslims control Syria and Palestine
643-707 Muslims conquer North Africa

Spain 711
Battle of Tours, France – 732
Moors 711 – 1492
1009 Destruction of the Church of the Resurrection by al-Hakim
1012 Beginning of al-Hakim’s oppressive decrees against Jews and Christians
1055 Confiscation of property of Church of the Resurrection
1071 Turks invade Palestine
1073 Conquest of Jerusalem by Turks
1076 Almoravids conquer western Ghana
1094 Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus I asks western Christendom for help against Turkish Seljuk invasions of his territory
1095 Pope Urban II launches the first crusade; they capture Jerusalem in 1099
1193 – Buddhists
1389 – Kosovo

1453 – Constantinople
1683 – Vienna
1917 – Israel – 1917 (Balfour Dec)
1922 – Armenians
Europe today (“Londonistan,” OIC, Sharia law)

780 years of the Reconquista

Over 17,000 terrorist attacks since 9/11 in New York.

Pursuit of Caliphate – Europe, America.

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This sampling of history, which is not taught when the west learns of Islam, may start to provide an inkling of where the extremist ideals originate. At some point, one is forced to honestly ask, are the peaceful tenants of Islam truly following the teachings of Muhammad at all?

 

 

 

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 1

This hot-button topic is an issue close to my heart for several reasons, and I feel should be studied by Christians, though it is difficult  for westerners to get their arms around. I am not a historian, I am a Biblicist, and a writer, so there isn’t any historical expertise that I can add to the already dense volumes of geopolitical commentary that exist. But today we will take a look at the strained relationship between Islam and Israel, and try to determine a Christian mindset in regards to the matter. Antisemitism seems rampant as of late, and springs up furiously, without warning far too often. The bible does say,

“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs [along with Israelites] according to the promise.” – Galatians 3:26–29

and

” But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree,  do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you.  Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.”  That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.  For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.” – Romans 11: 17-21

and of course, the well known

“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” – Genesis 12:3

We as Christians are grafted into the root of Israel as believers. It is interesting to note that the olive tree does very well taking grafts and incorporating them into the original plant. In this way we are heirs of what was promised to Israel, to Abraham. Not only this, but in studying and revering God’s word, we would be remiss to not acknowledge that these scriptures we hold so dear, both Old and New Testament, were delivered to us from the Holy Spirit through His chosen people. Israel, its profits, and apostles are the very people God used to write the Bible and love the world. The reverence we should have for that alone is beyond measure, in my thinking.

Now, these articles are not political in nature, though often, political actions very much have theological implications. That being said, it is evident to anyone paying attention that the current administration of the West, along with the actions of the U.N. have as of late been extremely biased against Israel. There are 193 countries that belong to the United Nations, and time and time again, despite Israel’s democratic processes, free press, women’s rights,  food innovations, incorporation of other cultures besides Judaism (one fifth of Israel is Muslim), and a military that goes to lengths beyond any the world has known to prevent unnecessary deaths while acting in its defense, Israel is continually reported on as an offender of human freedom. Reported on 5 times more than Syria, 16 times more than Iran, and when compared to China, and their denying of basic freedoms to over 1 billion people, China has never been reported on once by the U.N.

The U.S.A. sends $440 million  to the Palestinian Authority Unity Government, which includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two state sponsored terrorist organizations, and who broadcast on television and radio how Allah wants the Jews to be killed, a typical broadcast in that area.

And in the midst of all this, we have bad people on both sides, as war tends to bring out aggression, the worst of people, and creates a basis for rationalizing violence. I don’t think anyone, even Israel herself, would deny that atrocities occur from there citizens too, and not just Palestinians.

So let us look at one. A Jewish extremist group kidnapped and murdered a Palestinian boy recently. It was in the papers. The reaction of the citizens of Israel was telling, as they were mortified that this injustice happened. No one is vying to name streets after this group. They are to be rounded up and prosecuted for their crimes to the fullest extent of the law. Some have already been arrested as the horrified Jewish citizens looked on.

As a reaction, a Palestinian group kidnapped and killed three Jewish boys. The reaction was telling. Hamas celebrated the heroes who committed the crime. They ran ads in their paper with pictures of the three boys, and called them rats that had been exterminated. The crowds cheered at the murders.

We fund them.

Not just in the Middle East, but in various places in the western world, college campuses, New York streets, on line, mentioning Israel as our democratic ally, supporting their defense, and loving them as brothers under the one true creator God, garners a caustic backlash of hate, a deep-seeded anger, and is often followed with shouts of ridicule such as “%&$@ Israel!”

But Israel does not practice convert-or-kill policies. They do not stand behind the mantra of “No Recognition, No negotiations, and No Peace” from the 1967 Sudanese meeting. The motto of Hamas is, “We love death as much as the Jews love life.” In Mosul, in July 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group gave Mosul’s Christians 48 hours to decide to flee or die. As a method of governance, Homosexuals are beheaded, hanged and stoned in modern Saudi Arabia and Iran, where Muhammad’s laws are applied most strictly.

I do not pretend that all Muslims are violent. In fact, I have a great love for the Muslim people, and wish greatly for their conversion to Christianity, and the one true savior, Jesus Christ. This is happening in great numbers, by the way, despite the constant threats of violence. But the world’s hate towards Israel, I will continue to not understand. It is so obviously misplaced, overreaching, and pervasive, I have to wonder if  this is not due to spiritual forces, rather than any intellectual argument. But as a Christian, I will continue to speak on their behalf, in love, and continue to stand with Israel and the Jewish nation, for whom I have a tremendous love and respect. If I am hated by my friends and acquaintances for this, then so be it.

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UPDATE: At the zero hour of his departure from the White House, it was discovered that Obama funneled an additional 221 million to Palestinian Authorities as he was leaving, furthering the support of known terrorist supporters. A global survey of Muslims by the Pew Research Center has found that Palestinian Arab Muslims polled the highest in favor of suicide bombings as a justifiable means “to defend Islam.” The poll also found that 89 percent of Palestinian Muslims favored sharia becoming “the official law of the land.”

While women in the U.S. lament his departure, praise his actions for civil rights, and march in the streets for the cause of women, he has chosen to further fund the oppression of Muslim women. Irony abounds.

Islamic Extremism Part 2

Islamic Extremism Part 3

Islamic Extremism Part 4

 

 

The Time Jesus Saved Christianity

Something to reflect on when studying the word of God, is how important a role prophecy has played. In my Christian fiction, The Last Saint, I allude to what could be a tremendous study:

“Fulfilling prophecy is one of the most compelling ways the Bible has demonstrated
that it is the word of God. It has uncannily and accurately predicted future events, often in minute details. Christ fulfilled many Himself; from where He was born to how He died. Specific prophesies are conspicuously absent from the twenty-six other religious books that claim to be scripture, including the Muslim’s Koran, the Book of Mormon, the Hindu Vedas, and Buddhist writings.”

One of my favorites is the prediction that the Messiah would be born in the inconsequential town of Bethlehem. In Micah 5:2 it says, – But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.-

These words were written over 700 years before Christ was born! That fact alone, if dwelt upon with the proper understanding, should move any heart to fear the Lord.

But there was another prophecy, from Christ’s own mouth. A warning, given in Luke 21. He said, 20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.

The event that took place 40 years after the death and resurrection of Christ was called the Flight to Pella. 40, the number used by God to denote longsuffering, sacrifice, tumult, waiting, spiritual growth, patience, was also the exact amount of years given to Israel before it’s destruction, and the decimating of its temple. Strife between the Romans and the Jews was escalating, leading from revolts up to full blown rebellion. To squash the rebellion, Titus entered the city in 70AD, and during the assault, killed over 1,000,000 Jews. The Sanhedrin was disbanded, the temple was no more, and the Jewish way of life would never be the same.

But the Christians of Jerusalem? They were gone. Some had left before as uprisings grew in intensity. But many fled just before, based on the warning of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel. They fled over the river Jordan to Pella, and there, remained safe from the invasion of Rome.

This event not only tipped the balance of power and momentum towards gentiles, and the Christian church, but  prevented the Jews from being able to produce a verifiable messiah from that day forth. The records were burned, and destroyed, and the lines of David were lost. One of the line of David had already fulfilled God’s purpose, and now there was officially no way for the Jewish leaders to prove anyone who came after was in fact of the correct lineage. Ironic that the very destruction of that lineage was foretold by the one who already fulfilled that particular prophecy.

And so, with the heeded advice of their savior, the new Christians of Jerusalem would jettison the city before Roman invasion, saving the truth of the word from being snuffed out before it ever got underway. And with Christ’s words from Luke, we can ascertain that this was most definitely prophetic, and by design, so that the world might come to know the Lord, Jesus Christ. Without that warning, the Christian movement may have been destroyed with the city of David, and the power of the Kingdom of God may have been compromised. But He holds the pillars of the earth firm, and all works towards His good will.

It is interesting to contemplate the “what ifs”. To be awestruck at the perfect wonder of fulfilled words of our Lord. But one thing we cannot do, once knowledge of the word has reached our ears, is deny that a marvelous work was done, and done for our sake, so that the good news of Christ could be spread to the ends of the earth despite barriers, even such barriers as a Roman army. To deny this, is intellectually dishonest, and is turning your back on true history. The truth, the real truth, is scary; but hiding from it is worse.

 

 

Total Opposite

The creation model, and therefore the model supported by biblical scripture, is opposite the deep-time model. People don’t often realize this. They assume that young earth creationists are fuzzy on some facts, but we all kind of agree on the basics. We just won’t let “real science” disturb our unqualified beliefs enough to move the time dial.

I am here to tell you that the disparity between the two models is huge, and stark, and contrasted. So as not to cover the same ground, feel free to read my article “Let’s be clear… It’s a Young Earth” at this link.

Is it a surprise that the world’s view would look so much different than the Biblical model for creation? To even be exactly opposite of what man has ordained as truth in our education system, and our universities? It does not surprise me, and in fact, it is the expected norm. The next paragraph contains some bible verses to consider, by no means complete, but a sampling of passages that illustrate this enmity.

The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Of course this diametric opposition pertains to many considerations, but today we focus in on that first moment of creation. I have gone over the laughable theory of the Big Bang, and protest to the highest degree that it is still taught when all of creation screams of design. But here are the opposites for you in plain view, and the reasons why these models will never be compatible, and are clearly believed based on a person’s starting point, a point Christians are willing to concede, but one evolutionists refuse to see.

Creation:

  • Life comes from life
  • Animals were created as distinct kinds
  • Changes within a kind of animal is due to design allowing changes, microevolution. Always due to a loss or rearranging of existing genetic material
  • Fossils were formed quickly due to a catastrophic flood all over the whole earth
  • Death Came after sin, and after the first Man
  • Light came before the sun
  • Creation took six days
  • Birds came before dinosaurs.
  • Water came before land
  • Mankind was highly intelligent from the beginning

 

Evolution:

  • Life spontaneously came from non-life (violates law of causality)
  • All animals descended from common ancestor from 3.5 billion years ago
  • Animals change in to completely different animals, modifications are virtually unlimited, and additional information is always being added (never observed)
  • Fossils were laid down over time, slowly over millions of years
  • Death came before sin, before man, along with disease, thorns, etc.
  • The sun came before light
  • Creation took billions of years
  • Dinosaurs came before birds (now proven false)
  • Land came before water
  • Man was just a slowly evolving animal who developed intelligence

 

As you can see, the viewpoint is tremendously different. There isn’t a lot of room for Christians to compromise without undermining the word. Now, for all of you science nerds out there, don’t panic. The word, and the creation model is perfectly compatible with science, and I dare say more so then the evolutionary model. What we observe, and can prove fits beautifully with the history the bible provides, and is demonstrable through almost every branch of science. That is why the number of believers in intelligent design is growing throughout academia. And it is why evolution, the big bang, and molecules-to-man theories are on their heels.

http://www.jrcooper.org

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Jesus, the Creationist

While in church this Sunday, we were studying Mark chapter 10, which contains one of the many instances where a person in scripture refers to the history of Genesis. In this case, it was Jesus Christ, God Himself, who stated in Mark 10:6

 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.”

This is Jesus talking, the savior. Often times during debates, or listening to testimonies, I hear that people have come across pastors, elders and the like who have dismissed the Genesis account as ‘just a story’. I’m sure everyone reading this has had experience with that; how they just teach us lessons; how it isn’t the main focus; how it doesn’t matter, as long as you believe Christ.

So, you are telling someone who is searching for reasonable, legitimate hope in this crazy world, no don’t believe this over here, but you have to believe this over here. And then that journeymen comes across Mark chapter 10 and what happens? Christ says, in the beginning God made them male and female.

In evolution theory, the beginning of life begins with one celled organisms around 4 billion years ago, the unfathomable magic of time to influence students that given enough of it, the physically impossible can take place. But sexual reproduction does not evolve until 1.1 billion years. That isn’t people, mind you. It is simply the first sexual reproductive event. Man and woman, well they arrive on the scene much later, between 1 and 5 million years ago, depending on who you ask.

But Christ said they were male and female at the beginning. This is a rather large disparagement, wouldn’t you say? A difference of about 3,995,000,000 years between when Man and Woman appear and the “beginning”. So clearly Christ was lying, yes? Clearly He also was just telling stories? No, I’m afraid not. Christ was pointing to the historicity of the Genesis account, and based on that actual history, was applying it to our lives today. It is clear from Christ here, along with many other verses, that the New testament writers fully respected the historical accuracy of the venerated Torah, Moses’ account of the beginning.

Keep in mind that Christianity has many theories on how to conform with man’s proposed timeline, ways to compromise the biblical account in order to acquiesce to evolutionary theory. There is theistic evolution, gap theory, day-age creation, and several others. But as we have learned in Timothy All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. And taken as a whole, every one of these bible-compromising theories falls short. Does your salvation depend on it? No. But you’d better be able to explain the inconsistencies when you approach a non-believer who is searching. Because if they don’t believe the beginning, there is really no reason for them to believe the rest.

And in the case of Mark chapter 10, you either have an All Powerful Creator God who disagrees with materialism’s theory of molecules to man, or you have a very confused deity, who likes to speak in fables, and folktales, to issue his opinion on how best to live; who is flummoxed by real science, real history, and has chosen to deceive His followers in order to make a point. He didn’t know man would eventually find out the truth, and that he would be 4 billion years off in His assessments about time. He chose to take old testament patriarchs at their word,  and either didn’t know or didn’t care that His views would eventually be outdated religious ramblings.

Christ never allowed for the compromising of the Word. Ever. He fulfilled it. It is a sword. The watered down, take-parts-you-like version of the word of God is not intellectually honest, and atheists know it. We must stand with conviction and courage on the word of God. If they disagree with part of it, make them disagree with all of it. But if Christ didn’t allow for the compromising of scripture, then we shouldn’t either. If you allow for the beginning to be false, you inadvertently throw all of its doctrines into question, and that is thorny ground.

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Lincoln and Olivia Fischer

(Back Story: The Last Saint)

“You don’t think it would be an amazing adventure?”

“I think it would be an expensive one, if that’s what you mean?” Olivia chided Lincoln’s attempt to entice her, and not for the first time, to consider a trip to Israel’s holy land. “It just isn’t in our budget, love. It’s output versus reward. At the end of the trip, we’d be $20,000 further from being in the black, and have 200 digital pictures in a file on our E-hub that we never look at.”

“You are looking at it wrong.” Lincoln set himself sternly facing her. He almost faltered against the glare he received, as she reacted to his insinuation. She was obstinate, surely, but from time to time, despite the deep love for his wife, Lincoln chose a battle to stand his ground. Their mutual respect for each other prevented catastrophic blow-ups, but with the self-control exercised by each, came the ratcheted-up, unresolved tension that could last days. “It isn’t just a vacation. It is part of history, of heritage. From that place grew almost every belief and law and value that this country used to hold dear. Most of that history you can’t even find anymore because of the Purge! It isn’t for the pictures. It’s to stand somewhere special!”

“I just got you back from overseas! Are you not somewhere special right now?!” Olivia wondered loudly.

“You mean, Tennessee?”

“No, you schmuck! Home! Here! With me!” Olivia about-faced and walked from the room, leaving Lincoln standing in their living room to consider her absence, and all that it implied. He heard the tires screech as she pulled from the garage, and as the engine reported back her growing distance from their condo, he sighed audibly, and collapsed back on their couch. “I guess I won’t be going to the gym with you then.”

Why was this so difficult, Lincoln wondered. Only back from military duty for a few days, and already the fondness caused by such a long absence had withered. “I should have known better than to bring up religion again.” It happened every time. Such a wall there; something so repellent towards his love of biblical studies.

Lincoln made his way to the study, calling to the house, “Lights at 35%.” They dimmed to his specifications as he slumped into the desk chair, dejected, and jacked in to the e-hub. “Pick up where I left off” The private journal file appeared on screen. This journal was kept off the Sky, the world’s cyber-drive. He could see at the lower right he had several more requests for the growing collection of material. The Purge had caused quite a demand within certain circles.

Lincoln Fischer focused his energy on research. Olivia would be gone awhile, and he could get a good bit done before trying to salvage the evening. It was an easy escape, a love of something mysterious and complex, that wanted to be discovered. But was Olivia not just such a mystery? So lovely, so full of fire.

Lincoln bowed his head at the desk, “Father, please help me to be a better husband. To find a way to love and respect my wife on terms she will understand. For us to find common ground, hopefully, eventually in spiritual matters, but not just that. Let her… please just let her see my love for her, in all I do; in my actions towards her. And please, help her to to see Christ in my life, and help it to soften her heart. She is so strong, and so brave, and I love that. But, Father, though she has these characteristics, I know deep down, she will need humility too. To finally see what I see; to be in awe of you, and in that new knowledge, realize her need for your grace. I don’t know… I don’t know what will… just help me Father, be who I need to be for her. Amen.” The screen was sleeping when he opened his eyes. Lincoln stood resolved to love his wife through this spat, and made his way to the kitchen to prepare a candlelight dinner.

(To find out the fate of Lincoln and Olivia, read The Last Saint by J.R. Cooper, out in only a few days on amazon.com or here at www.jrcooper.org available for pre-order now!!

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Answering Ark Encounter Critic

Creationism is a subject close to my heart, because of many reasons. The vast rich history of mankind, the over 350 flood legends of ancient cultures that corroborate the Genesis account, the geological features that attest to the great volume of water that had to have been covering the world, to even the words of Jesus himself, it is a powerful historical truth that points us towards the ultimate authority of scripture. It is an important lesson in ministry, because only if the beginning is true is the end necessary, perhaps a point for another time.

One of the great attempts of our time to teach this authority of the Genesis account is of course the  Ark Encounter at Ken Ham’s new park in Kentucky. I have been following closely as an apologist, and am continually impressed with Ken’s patience and grace towards his detractors. I was specifically impressed with his handling of Bill Nye, who popped up with a camera crew to fill his own documentary about why he feels Christianity takes away from science. This premise holds no water, but the exposure he gets from making an arch nemesis out of Mr. Ham gets him the publicity he desires, and his impudence towards him face to face, and on the cable access shows following their encounters is childish, petty, and full of ad hominem attacks that have no bearing on the subject in question. Furthermore, his attitude and refusal to show the same respect that Ken shows him is beautifully contrasted, in my opinion, by Ken’s love for people, his desire to do God’s good work, and to spread the gospel. I continue to see Ken’s love for others, as well as his class in the face of those who hate the God of the bible. In fact he welcomes opposition, in hopes that the Holy Spirit will change their hearts.

When I mentioned my respect for how he was handling the aggression of atheists, this comment was shared by another detractor:

$10 million spent on a ridiculous monument to ignorant superstition that could have been spent housing, feeding and clothing the needy. Do Christians ever actually read the bible and study the words of their messiah? I can’t recall a single passage that would indicate Yahushua [sic} would have approved of such a farcical waste of resources that could have undoubtedly been put to better use. Regardless of what you may say to the media, Ken Ham, this monstrosity is nothing more than a gigantic monument to your own vanity.

I would first say, absolutely you have the freedom to not only feel this way, but speak it, as this country grants those God given rights. I encourage questions and opinions on every subject, which is how we grow. It can be inferred by the comment that she clearly does not believe in the authority of scripture, and further that the flood was a made up story with no veracity whatsoever.

With what follows I will elaborate on my initial response:

It was actually $100 million, not $10 million to build the Ark. I would point out that freedom to spend money as they see fit is the right of Americans, and there is nothing stating that though charitable donations have been  given to projects concerning the great commission, which Jesus (Yeshua) did condone since He was the one giving it, that other donations cannot continue to be given towards hunger, shelter, and disaster relief, which is certainly the case. The religious demographic in America is, in study after study, found to be the most philanthropic, and specifically Christians are most likely to donate to the causes mentioned then almost any other group. It is precisely because of the Bible that this charitable heart and a value for others’ lives arises, and is distinctly void or lessened in other world views. E.g. Allah wills it, and it is karma, and survival of the fittest.

Ken, his well educated staff, and many visitors do in fact read their bibles and study the words of the Messiah. In their bibles can be found verses such as:  “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female (Jesus);that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,  from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple (Jesus);  For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words? (Jesus)”. We can conclude that Jesus believed in the truth of Moses’ historical creation narrative, and that He did not think the flood, or creation, or any of Moses’ writings were as the comment accused, ‘farcical’, or ‘ignorant superstition’. Instead it is clear that Ken and his ministry continues to teach the authority of scripture, and to spread the gospel to the world, which is exactly what Christ asked us to do in Matthew 28, known as the Great Commission. I personally couldn’t think of a more worthwhile cause then to help those with the means spread the gospel message. 

I would also point out that when people donate $100 million to discover alien life forms under the tutelage of atheist Dawkins, or SETI, or any other endeavor to show that evolution is true through the existence of other evolved beings somewhere else in space (which is their freedom to do), the same outcry isn’t heard from the majority of religious entities, when those resources, according to a Christian or Creationist world view are most assuredly being wasted. But it is the exact belief that this ministry is not a waste, and that the flood is not a myth, as proclaimed by the vast evidence that has been collected by scientists and organizations such as http://www.answersingenesis.org, that lead Christians to exercise their freedoms to teach upon the authority of scripture, the same authority that Jesus lent to it, not to put too fine a point on it.

I want to be respectful of dissenters (although I am admittedly less skilled at it then Ken), however, if with a passing shot over the bow, someone dismiss the bible’s authority as a farce and merely ignorant superstition, and in the same breath attempts to educate creationists on Jesus’ teachings about humanity (from that same bible), I have to wonder which comment I am expected to listen to?  And moreover, what reasoning I would have to do so based on logic? Furthermore, when you add the personal attacks against Ken’s character because his focus at present is different then yours, I can conclude these statements are not based in reason, but in a personal biased against the subject matter.

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Let’s Be Clear… It’s a Young Earth

I have debated many agnostics and atheists over the years, over a myriad of issues, and against both hostile and kind opponents. I appreciate each one, because more often than not it highlights areas of apologetics that I need to brush up on, or better teaches me how to present biblical truth with love, rather than some misguided sense of superiority. Let us never forget as apologists that our sole purpose is to guide others lovingly to the cross. Not to berate or belittle those who lack a relationship with Christ.

But often a discussion will beat around the bush in regards to specifics of the creation model, or not address it at all if it isn’t within the scope of a contested topic, leaving sometimes months of ambiguity about certain positions. This may leave the opponent, or those following along, with unanswered queries that usually are dismissed, no doubt forsaken for a more comfortable choice. When smacked in the face with a glaring challenge to a long understood paradigm, the reaction towards me can be intense. Perhaps I seem dense, ignorant, or even stupid to the debater, and the inevitable response is to pretend it wasn’t said, or to forever think slightly less of me. I have had people throw my bible across a room, I have been told to shut up, and that I know nothing about science, and am met with dumbfounded questions like, “Have you ever even been to a natural history museum?”

So to boldly state it, so there is no room for dismissal or confusion, we will address the elephant in the room. I am a biblicist, young earth creationist who believes the earth, and for that matter the universe, is only about 6 or 7 thousand years old. I have seen science agree with the bible time and time again, and consider deep time science to be filled with assumption, circular reasoning, and un-testable hypothesis. This means dinosaurs and man have always lived together, which concurs with the book of Job. This means languages were confused at Babel, which fits with the science of linguistics, and current understanding of population growth charts. It means archaeology attests consistently to old testament historicity, regarding geography, ancient kings, unearthed cities, and numerous artifacts such as cuniform and bulae. It means we observe limiting factors in cosmology such as volcanic moons on Jupiter which should have long since cooled off, the moon pulling away from the earth in its orbit limiting its age, the impossibility of comets being older than 10,000 years due to the loss of material as it moves, the drifting out of Saturn’s rings and much more. It means we look to a literal world wide deluge about 4500 years ago to explain not only the fossil record, but also the unique and extraordinary geological features we find world wide. This includes explanation of biomass becoming fossil fuels, the Grand Canyon, the ice age, millions of tons of sediment burying pre-flood animals all over the world, like sharks teeth in a South Dakota farmer’s field, petrified clams on Mount Everest, and fossil graveyards that collected thousands of carcasses from varied species in post-flood eddies. It explains how we find man-made objects in coal seems, signs of civilization near the edges of the continental shelf, and evidence of malnourished, nomadic man with primitive tools during a post-flood world. It means we can account for the over 300 flood legends from almost every ancient civilization. It corroborates taxonomy and genetics, and allows for the splendor of natural variety within animal kinds without assuming un-demonstrable macro-evolution. It embraces the natural laws of physics, and does not assume a constant, yet un-observable, violation of these laws in order to add complexity to a closed system.

The creation does not claim to answer every mystery, but it does begin with a basic pre-supposition that the bible, in all of its uniqueness, is an eye-witness account of the history of our world, and so far is the only text proven to consistently get it right.

Without even discussing the over 1800 prophecies fulfilled without error as a mode of proof, let us consider that the bible discussed the cities of Nineveh, Ur, Jericho, and the City of David before they were unearthed in modern times; that it clued us into pathways/currents in the ocean as well as fountains from under the sea floor before man knew they were there; that it told us the earth hung in space on nothing back when men still fought over whether it rested on the shoulders of a god or on the shell of a large turtle.

In the simple telling of truthful history over a  4000 year period of writing from over 40 authors, the bible as a simple matter-of-fact revealed concise details that only later could be verified, and its accuracy continues to astound, causing skeptics to blare from a position of argumentum ad ignorantiam, or “absence of evidence”. At every turn, and within every field of scientific study, a logical position can be taken and defended that stands on the authority of scripture. I encourage questions and curiosities as always, but let us not be scared to proclaim the truth without compromise. And let us not remain ignorant of the fact that evolution is purely faith based. The only difference is the bible offers us veracity as well as hope, where as evolution offers only conjecture and insignificance.

UFO’s and God

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There is a large percentage of the population that believes in UFO’s, or more specifically, alien life on other planets. I have studied cosmology and astronomy to a degree (I am by no means an expert), and could write a fairly technical article on the theoretical science behind space travel to convince readers of its ridiculousness.

Example? How about the simple math of exploring the 400 million other stars in our galaxy alone; or applying Einstein’s theory of special relativity and propelling an object at the speed of light, the fastest possible speed (c) which would allow you the ability to get to the next closest galaxy, Andromeda, in 2.3 million  years traveling at 186,000 miles per second where you would have only just begun exploring the universe; except as our speed increases, so does our mass increase necessitating even more power to generate this kind of speed, such that a mere one pound object, far smaller than what is required to transport life, would need the energy of 100 atomic bombs to travel at 50% the speed of light. If we do the math, this means that a modern-day sized ship traveling at 90% the speed of light would require the energy of 73 million atomic bombs. Furthermore, it takes the same amount of energy to slow down the object, meaning a round trip would cost 4x the energy required to make speed just once. But consider also the particles of dust in all of space too small to detect (hence the force fields and deflector shields in sci-fi). Hitting an object the size of a pea at 50% of c would impact like 2 atomic bombs. Even dust would be catastrophic. Safe to say, without a lot of unreasonable mental gymnastics, UFO visitors are not possible.

I understand this can be an emotional subject for certain people. There are those who believe to there core that aliens are so, and no amount of reason or logic will dissuade them. But I would implore you to ask yourself why this is so. My opinion is that evolution requires it to be considered. There has been no gains in the theories pertaining to life-from-non-life, and genetics have proven no friend to the theory of evolution (genetics articles to come). So evolutionary science is forced to look to the stars for answers, so long as the answer is not God. The idea is technically called panspermia, and suggests that life was started by a distant race of other beings. My last article highlighted the influence and suggestion that science has on society. Can we not say that alien mythology permeates our social construct?

Example?  When I say picture an alien visitor, do most people not picture the pale-skinned, long-necked, oval-faced, black-eyed, bald, prototypical alien? In mass interviews from supposed sightings, these were non-existent before the 1977 movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Afterwards, this became the popular description among those who reported seeing aliens.

Panspermia is a convenient hypothesis for non-believers,  because it requires no proof, passes the problem of life-from-non-life to a distant time and space where it can be assumed to have happened, and can still dismiss the idea of a creator God. Some may find this silly that this theory has reared its head in the annals of science, but it is a strongly considered theory that allows for humanists to kick this pesky can down the road. Even atheist figure heads such as Carl Sagan promoted the idea, without a shred of scientific backing.

Why does evolutionary theory allow for this mindset, you may ask? The logical assumption is, if the universe is considered to be 14 billion years old, and we evolved by chance (or were planted here by someone who evolved by chance) then it stands to reason that it must have happened elsewhere too. This does seem logical on the face of it… almost, but not when science so clearly and so often precludes the result.

The mythology of aliens and appetites for sci-fi have only grown in our modern era. From Star Wars, to Star Trek, to Superman, alien life is fun to consider, no arguments here. But the lines between reality and fiction can often be blurred over time for even the most astute citizens. Without realizing it, people allow for things to be so in their minds that contradict the authority of scripture, and do so without evidence to back it up. Jesus says in Mark 10:6 “In the beginning God made them male and female,” clearly teaching the creation story as accurate. If billions of years existed between the beginning and Adam, this would make Jesus a liar. Furthermore, Christ says in John 5, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” and Matthew 24, “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

Christians must be careful not to strip authority from the very words of their savior, for it is clear that Christ Himself believed in a six day literal creation, the deluge, and historicity of Old Testament events. When you believe in aliens, you indirectly support and believe the reason why they must exist, evolution. If you believe in evolution, there is no getting around disagreeing with Jesus of Nazareth, or Moses, or Paul, or John, or any number of patriarchs. I am not saying you mustn’t believe in evolution to be saved, but I will say you have damaged your testimony in some way by undermining the authority of God’s word, and those who do will have to square with that some day.