SEP/TIC Tank

We often hear the term “think tank” in today’s society. A think tank of course is an organization which brings together often well-educated, knowledgeable, and experienced people to study and work together to try to find solutions to one or more of the many contemporary problems we face. In a similar fashion I see a type of movement, which has at times manifested itself in one or more organizations, that rather parallels the think tank. I have decided to give this movement / organization a name: SEP/TIC Tank.

This movement has a particular focus and a few primary goals: bring America back to a state of solid moral standing; turn Americans attention back to God; bring Americans together in purpose and in unity; redeem the culture, adhere to the constitutions of the nation and states, be pro-life and defend marriage / family, etc. Indeed we have seen the wedding of politics and religion, which can be good or bad, depending on the specifics. I was in a Tea Party group for about 15 months, but left it in order to devote my time to discernment studies. I felt what was going on in our nation and the world was far bigger than even the politics of the day. I certainly appreciate almost everything the Tea Party movement stands for and tries to achieve, but I also see a rather severe problem. Many in the movement are Christians, who love our nation, and are desperately trying to save it from destruction. But, as some have said, the flag is now being raised above the cross. And sadly, the gospel of Jesus Christ is playing second fiddle. This is unacceptable to God. The Jews in some portions of their history in the Bible were guilty of something similar, such as during the time of Christ; a nationalism that rises above devotion and obedience to God. So, instead of saving a nation it can lead to even further judgement from God. He will not let another sit on His throne nor will He share it with another.

In any case I am not speaking of the Tea Party specifically, but rather a gathering of religious leaders, politicians, commentators, authors, and many others into a movement that is often called the “religious right” or “Christian right,” which has been actually been around for over 30 years. While many of the goals have been admirable, serious compromise is now becoming the order of the day. Case in point: recently a public discussion was held at the church of a prominent pastor, Jim Garlow. He is the senior pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in La Mesa, CA. In attendance with him was well-known televangelist Jim Robison, popular political commentator-come-spiritual leader New Age Mormon Glenn Beck, and analytic philosopher and intelligent design advocate Jay Richards, a Roman Catholic. A video of the event can be seen here, but please be aware that the music at the beginning is at 125 decibels (and terribly distorted), however the discussion is at a normal level (it is also occasionally interrupted by ads):

http://www.glennbeck.com/2012/04/23/plan-pray-and-obey/

The compromise I speak of, which was not so prevalent in the earliest days of the movement, has now become in-your-face. We are seeing the coming together of evangelicals, Mormons, non-Christian Jews, Muslims, what have you, not only to come together in purpose, but to recognize each other as brothers and sisters in God. This event is but one of MANY examples we have seen in recent times. Biblical doctrine has been left in the dust, the Protestant Reformation has been thrown under the bus, and evangelicalism is a meaningless term. Glenn Beck spoke of the need for pastors to preach the truth, which is amazing in that he needs to hear it himself. He wrote an article a month ago concerning Easter (http://www.glennbeck.com/2012/04/06/the-greatest-love-story-ever-told/). While some of us were celebrating Resurrection Sunday, Beck was envisioning a much larger tent which includes even Wiccans (truth is stranger than fiction!). But the main thing is love, a love that annihilates truth and brings us together for a love fest / massive group hug.

But that is not the worst of it. Both evangelicals Pastor Jim Garlow and televangelist Jim Robinson spoke boldly of not compromising biblical truth, yet on that stage were the epitome of the compromise of biblical truth. What difference does it make if we avoid socialism and cultural decay, yet have no fear of Him who can destroy body and soul in hell? Where much is given, much is required. Can God wink at the willful ignoring of, and disobedience of, His holy scriptures? Does the gospel and biblical truth mean anything any more? Is universalism the new evangelicalism? Can a one world-wide religion (mysterious Babylon) not be too far in the future at this rate?

As you may have guessed, my name for this movement / organization, SEP/TIC Tank, is an acronym; it means:

 Syncretistic Ecumenical Patriotism / Theological Integrity Compromised

The stench from this sewer is reaching to high Heaven, and I believe God is taking notice and will not let it go it go unrewarded. God has spoken through His Word, let us take heed.

 14  Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? 15  What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols?     2 Cor 6:14-16 (ESV)

1 I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! 2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. 3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.     2 Cor 11:1-4 (ESV)

7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.     2 John 1:7-11 (ESV)

Genesis: The Beginning of Doctrines – Part 1

The word Genesis means “a beginning or origin of anything,” and in the first several chapters of the first book of the Bible, many vital Christian doctrines get their start, along with the details of creation history. Obviously these doctrines are much more fully developed as we go through the Bible.

I had originally planned to briefly cover several key Christian doctrines that first originate in the early chapters of Genesis, but due to a serious problem within Christendom at this time, I am only going to discuss a limited number. A controversy of monumental proportions is brewing within mainstream evangelical Christianity concerning some subjects that in the past had only been found to any significant degree within liberal Christianity. Consider the following ideas concerning the origin of man, and also concerning some of the writers of scripture:

  • Adam and Eve did not ever exist as the first two historical human beings.
  • God brought human beings into existence through the process of theistic evolution.
  • New Testament writers Paul and Luke were mistaken about there ever being a historical first man named Adam, and a woman named Eve, or perhaps were using established cultural ideas to figuratively speak of the early humans.
  • Jesus himself was wrong about Moses being the author of the Pentateuch, and merely inherited the idea from His forebears.

Since we ARE talking about evangelical Christianity these ideas should be laughable. But, they are deadly serious as some of the elites in various organizations, Christian institutions of higher learning, leaders in denominations, various authors, and leaders in various movements take these ideas seriously and are pushing them on the church at large. Christianity Today had an article in June, 2011, called “The Search for the Historical Adam,” seen here (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/june/historicaladam.html):

Historical Adam

Here some of the ideas listed above are discussed at some length. Consider the following excerpts from that article, along with some brief comments I will make (and I will underline the specific portions I am commenting about):

Subtitle of article:

The center of the evolution debate has shifted from asking whether we came from earlier animals to whether we could have come from one man and one woman.

This debate shouldn’t be happening at all in light of the scriptures.

Collins’s 2006 bestseller, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief—which so vexed those secularist critics—reported scientific indications that anatomically modern humans emerged from primate ancestors perhaps 100,000 years ago—long before the apparent Genesis time frame—and originated with a population that numbered something like 10,000, not two individuals. Instead of the traditional belief in the specially created man and woman of Eden who were biologically different from all other creatures, Collins mused, might Genesis be presenting “a poetic and powerful allegory” about God endowing humanity with a spiritual and moral nature? “Both options are intellectually tenable,” he concluded.

Scriptural belief, not traditional. Might the New Testament writings be presenting “a poetic and powerful allegory”…..and thus a wishy-washy gospel of no real substance? What does Peter say (2 Peter 1:16)?

The Adam account in Genesis has long been subjected to scientific challenges, but “there was a lot of wiggle room in the past. The human genome sequencing took that wiggle room away” during the past decade, said Randall Isaac, executive director of the American Scientific Affiliation (asa), which has been discussing Adam issues for decades. The organization’s 1,600 members, Collins among them, affirm the Bible’s “divine inspiration, trustworthiness, and authority” on “faith and conduct,” though not on scientific concepts.

So, the Creator (the Original Scientist) of all the natural laws of the universe was able to confer to us truth in all matters, except science? Wow!

Giberson, a physics professor at Eastern Nazarene College, downplays the potentially vanishing Adam and Eve as “a secondary or peripheral disagreement that shouldn’t cause us to hurl accusations of infidelity at one another.” He thinks “this will percolate along as an issue and more of the evangelical church will become fine with it, despite Main Street objections. I don’t see this issue splitting the church in some major way.”

I actually agree with him. As long as the evangelical church is willing to continue to compromise biblical truth, yes, there won’t be a major split; just unbiblical “unity” at any cost.

So, is the Adam and Eve question destined to become a groundbreaking science-and-Scripture dispute, a 21st-century equivalent of the once disturbing proof that the Earth orbits the sun? The potential is certainly there: the emerging science could be seen to challenge not only what Genesis records about the creation of humanity but the species’s unique status as bearing the “image of God,” Christian doctrine on original sin and the Fall, the genealogy of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, and, perhaps most significantly, Paul’s teaching that links the historical Adam with redemption through Christ (Rom. 5:12-19; 1 Cor. 15:20-23, 42-49; and his speech in Acts 17).

Here is where the rub is: is God truthful and trustworthy, and well able to use chosen men to communicate His truth to humanity? (2 Peter 1:21) Ultimately the whole plan of salvation rests on the foundational doctrines in Genesis. I will speak more to this latter.

The second—and perhaps more troublesome—issue treated by Venema involves “population genomics.” Over the past decade, researchers have attempted to use the genetic diversity within modern humans to estimate primordial population sizes. According to a consensus drawn from three independent avenues of research, he states, the history of human ancestry involved a population “bottleneck” around 150,000 years ago—and from this tiny group of hominids came everyone living today. But the size of the group was far larger than a lonely couple: it consisted of several thousand individuals at minimum, say the geneticists. Had humanity begun with only two individuals, without millions of years for development, says an ASA paper, it would have required God’s miraculous intervention to increase the genetic diversity to what is observable today. A BioLogos paper by Venema and Falk declares it more flatly: The human population, they say, “was definitely never as small as two …. Our species diverged as a population. The data are absolutely clear on that.” 

The Fall and the Curse (Genesis 3), the Noahic Flood (Genesis 6-8), and the Babelic Dispersion (Genesis 11:1-9) are God’s miraculous interventions which help to explain the genetic diversity in the human race.

The New Testament passages are different, he allows. Enns has little doubt that Paul indeed thought Adam was “a real person.” But Enns suggests that the apostle was reflecting beliefs about human origins that were common among the ancients. After scanning various interpretations of Genesis, Enns joins those who see the Genesis passages on Adam as “a story of Israelite origins,” not the origin of all humanity, in which case there is no essential conflict with evolutionary theory.

Sigh….. Sorry, this can only be explained by biblical ignorance. The Bible is profoundly clear that the origin of the Israelites is Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3 and onward), and even in these three verses is the veiled prophecy of the Messiah (Deut 18:15-19) who would come through this chosen (Deut 7:6-11) people Israel, the Jews.

Another BioLogos writer, Denis Lamoureux of the University of Alberta, the author of Evolutionary Creation (2008), thinks that “Adam never existed, and this fact has no impact whatsoever on the foundational beliefs of Christianity.” In his view, “the Holy Spirit descended to the level of the biblical author of Genesis 1 and used his incidental ancient science regarding biological origins” to reveal “infallible messages of faith about the human spiritual condition.” As with Enns, he sees Paul’s epistles as reflecting the common biological understandings of that era. (Articles on the BioLogos website typically include a disclaimer that the views are the writers’ and not necessarily the foundation’s, but they are generally consistent on evolution and Adam.)

Sarcasm: “I think Jesus Christ never existed, and this fact has no impact whatsoever on the foundational beliefs of Christianity. And poor Paul, not only was he not the brightest bulb in the pack, but the Holy Spirit is woefully inadequate to take him beyond his natural/cultural understanding of things.” As I will discuss later, the scriptures make the plan of salvation a package deal, tying the Fall and the Curse intimately in with what Christ did on the cross and His resurrection, and His plans for the future.

That dismissal was overshadowed at the seminary by a related dustup over noted Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke. The administration abruptly accepted his offer of resignation due to a BioLogos video in which Waltke remarked that “if the data is overwhelming in favor of evolution, to deny that reality will make us a cult.” Waltke began teaching at Knox Theological Seminary this year.

Examine the New Testament, Christianity was considered a cult and heresy in the first century by most of the Jews (John 16:2), including Saul (Acts 22:3-5, 24:14, 26:9-11), who became Paul after his conversion! And Jesus was plain on many occasions that His followers of His truth would not be thought well of, but rather hated and persecuted (John 15:18-26).

Though that dispute concerned theistic evolution, not the historical Adam, Waltke is open to the new thinking. In an interview, the former president of the Evangelical Theological Society affirmed the “inerrancy of the Bible, but not of interpretations.” He sees Adam and Eve as historical individuals. But if genetics produces the conclusion that “Scripture has a collectivity represented as an individual, that doesn’t bother me,” he said. “We have to go with the scientific evidence. I don’t think we can ignore it. I have full confidence in Scripture, but it does not represent what science represents.” Waltke insists, however, that if a collective interpretation of Adam is established eventually, then fidelity to the Bible still requires “an origination point” with “a historical reality of man rebelling against God.”

No man can serve two masters…..

Harlow proposed that understandings of the Fall may need to be “reformulated” and the church must be willing to “decouple original sin from the notion that all humans descended from a single pair.” In his view, the early chapters of Genesis should probably be regarded as “imaginative portrayals of an actual epoch.” Whether or not Adam was historical, he asserted, is “not central to biblical theology.” Paul and Luke may have thought Adam was a literal man because they had no reason not to, he explained. But “we have many reasons” to interpret Adam as a literary figure.

Or perhaps all of Genesis, or the Pentateuch, or maybe the Old Testament…..

A little compromise usually leads to driving off a cliff. But Paul said it better: “7  You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9  A little leaven leavens the whole lump.”  Gal 5:7-9 (ESV)

Those who say humanity arose from a sizable population often claim this understanding accords with Genesis itself: It tells of Cain’s marriage (Did he wed his own sister? Where did she come from?), his fearfulness over “whoever finds me” when he left Eden for Nod, and the reference to his building of a “city.” On that, John Collins suggests that Genesis is purposely using anachronisms, describing prehistoric times in terms that readers in a much later epoch would be familiar with. In his view, that does not detract from historicity.

Once again a little bit of scripture goes a long way. Adam and Eve were fruitful and multiplied, as did their children, and grandchildren, etc. They lived ten times as long back in that day, giving plenty of time to form a substantial population, and build cities (Genesis 4-5). And yes, Cain did marry a sister as he had no others to choose from this early in history.

The Adam issue is hardly new. In 1940, C. S. Lewis wrote in The Problem of Pain that “for long centuries, God perfected the animal form which was to become the vehicle of humanity and the image of himself.” Lewis thought that in the process God eventually caused the new divine consciousness to descend upon this organism, but “we do not know how many of these creatures God made, nor how long they continued in the Paradisal state.”

Despite some of his work being brilliant, Lewis also has some rather severe problems, this being one of them. Any time you leave the scriptures for the beliefs of the unregenerate world around us you have a formula for disaster.

An ASA paper likewise observes that some Christians who understand Adam and Eve as symbols or allegories suppose that Genesis describes what happened to a particular grouping of humans during the “bottleneck” period, so that “maybe God transformed everyone in this group into the first biblical humans.” The ASA notes another variant in which humanity’s creation and fall happened within different groups over time, as God added moral responsibilities and spiritual revelations.

Nice try, but once again, a fail. The Bible makes it clear throughout that as God gave further revelation and law, man was totally unable to keep that law because of what happened in the garden, where sin entered the human race through Adam. And thus, the need for a Savior.

In his book-length conservative rejoinder to the new interpretations, John Collins warns against “pure literalism” in reading Genesis, arguing that the book “intends to use imaginative description to tell us of actual events.” This is essentially what J. I. Packer contended in his 1958 classic, ‘Fundamentalism’ and the Word of God. But Collins comments that if Adam and Eve lacked “an actual existence we nullify so many things in the Bible it results in a different story.” To him, the pivotal point is that “however God produced the bodies of the first human beings, it wasn’t a purely natural process.” If genetics eventually forces reconsideration, Collins remarks, he could perhaps reconceive of Adam and Eve as “the king and queen of a larger population” and thereby preserve Genesis’ historicity.

Oh my, not those evil fundamentalists again, those who actually believe what the Bible says? And no, reconceiving Adam and Eve as king and queen would not preserve Genesis’ historicity, but rather preserve heresy.

Back when genetics played little part in Adam disputes, physicist John A. Bloom, director of Biola University’s science and religion program, wrote that if there was merely a population of pre-Adamic hominids that “collectively evolved into modern man, then the theological foundation for the nuclear family, sin and death appears to be eroded. The credibility of the Bible when it speaks on these issues seems to be damaged: If it does not correctly explain the origin of a problem, why should one trust its solutions?”

South Carolina pastor Richard Phillips, a blogger with the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals and chair of the Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, sees serious doctrinal danger if the historical Adam disappears. “Can the Bible’s theology be true if the historical events on which the theology is based are false?” he asks. If science trumps Scripture, what does this mean for the virgin birth of Jesus, or his miracles, or his resurrection? “The hermeneutics behind theistic evolution are a Trojan horse that, once inside our gates, must cause the entire fortress of Christian belief to fall.”

Exactly!

What next with Adam and Eve? “It seems urgent that the best people stop trading emails and get together for a real meeting in the same room,” Cromartie said. He wants leading evangelical thinkers in science and Scripture to jointly work out an accord, because otherwise this problem “could produce a huge split right through the heart of conservative, orthodox, historic Christianity.”

So be it. Unity must be based on biblical truth, not man’s lofty philosophies and science so called. Denominations are splitting on a regular basis these days because of the acceptance of heresy by some. In the end only a few will be left who embrace biblical truth and love the Lord at any cost. Paul’s words to the Corinthians ring true; indeed the sheep must be shown to be separate from the goats:

17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized  1 Cor 11:17-19 (ESV)

In his article “The Enns Justifies the Means?” Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis quotes from page 13 of a book entitled The Evolution of Adam, written by Dr. Enns(http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2012/01/19/evolution-of-adam-review):

These and other questions . . . led modern biblical scholars to question seriously—and eventually reject—the traditional view that Genesis and the Pentateuch were written in the second millennium BC by one man, Moses.

Well, there is a major problem here, in my opinion. Jesus quotes from Moses writings often, for example as in Matthew 19:3-9 where He quotes or refers to Genesis 1:27, 2:23-24, 5:2, and Deut 24:1-4. He names Moses and explains why he gave a bill of divorcement. Or consider this from John 5:45-47:

There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”  John 5:45-47 (ESV)

If the Son of the Living God, Creator of the entire universe and all that is in it (Col 1:16-17), our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, had full confidence in the writings of Moses as being true, shouldn’t we? Indeed “how will you believe His words?”

In part 2 of this article I will take a closer look at the doctrine of man, and of the Fall and the Curse. I intend to show that the scriptures are so interwoven, and later ones build upon earlier ones in such a way, that as to reinterpret Genesis in the ways described in part 1 are to destroy the foundation of the rest of the bible, and nullify the plan of salvation.

***** Update On Mom *****

We got Mom to the hospital (Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, NC) at 5:50 a.m. on Wednesday, January 18, and they got her to her room after surgery and recovery at 3:50 p.m.; long day. They removed her right kidney and some nearby lymph nodes. Fortunately the pathology reports came back good and said that the cancer was confined to the tumor on her kidney. Needless to say God was very merciful. She was in a lot of pain after surgery, but that was to be expected. She got out of the hospital two days later on Friday, and her and Dad then stayed at his nephew and wife’s home which is within a half hour of the hospital, which was a great blessing. They returned home to Virginia, a 2 1/2 hour drive on Sunday, January 29. She has been recovering and healing from the surgery quite well, but her other health issues have taken a toll on her at times, so she is still much in need of prayer.
 
I want to thank everyone who lifted her and Dad up to the Lord in prayer. It made a major difference. When I talk to her or Dad on the phone the countenance of their voices are different from what they were a month ago, since there appear to be better days ahead. Nevertheless Mom still has days when her other health problems are a real struggle, so if you will, please continue to remember her in prayer.
 
Above all, I want to give glory and praise to God. When we face these things we are never certain of the outcome. He never promised all would be well in this life, but for the faithful and believing He would be by their side to comfort and give grace. But, through the finished work on the cross of His Son, Jesus Christ, He has pointed us to the Way through which we may have eternal life, and never face sickness and death again. No matter what we go through in this life, it will be worth it to see Him face to face, our Lord and Saviour.

***** Urgent Prayer Request *****

My mother is scheduled for surgery on January 18 as she has cancer in one of her kidneys. They most likely will remove the entire kidney. She also has some other health issues, and has been going down hill for the last three years or so. Her name is Hilda, and if you would lift her up to the Lord in prayer it would be immensely appreciated. Dad is of course standing close by her side and is deeply concerned.

Again, many thanks to everyone who goes before the Throne of Grace in behalf of my Mom and Dad during this trying time. God bless.

A Few More Pictures From The Creation Museum

If you haven’t already visited the Creation Museum, I encourage you to do so if you get an opportunity. It is very easy to get to and is just southwest of Cinncinati, Ohio. On I-275 you take exit 11, go about a mile, and you are there.

These pictures are just a tiny sample, and don’t include any from the planetarium or the gardens outside, for example. For more information please go to the Creation Museum website: http://creationmuseum.org/

The Genesis Flood: Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of A Timely Book – Part 1

This past weekend on Friday and Saturday a banquet and conference were held at the Creation Museum of Answers in Genesis, in honor of the book The Genesis Flood and its two authors. One of the authors, Dr. John Whitcomb was in attendance; the other author, Dr. Henry Morris, went to be with the Lord in 2006. However, his son Dr. John Morris, president of the Institute for Creation Research, was there in honor of his father and to make presentations on Saturday. The banquet on Friday and conference on Saturday were very well attended, and the presentations were very enlightening and relevant:

Dr. Terry Mortenson – Millions of Years: Washing Away the Flood and the Gospel

Dr. John Whitcomb – Helping People Understand the Flood

Dr. John Morris – Fifty Years of Impact: The Genesis Flood and the Growth of Young Earth Creationism

Dr. Andrew Snelling – Defending the Flood and its Geology: the Imperative and the Challenges

Ken Ham – Willingly Ignorant: Flood Last Time, Fire Next

Dr. John Morris – The Fossil Record

I was extremely blessed to be there myself, and to visit the museum for the first time. Needless to say it was a treat. Young and old alike could spend many hours enjoying the various exhibits of fossils, mechanical dinosaurs, live animals in natural settings, rocks and minerals, church history, biblical characters, interactive displays, videos, and much more. The bookstore alone was amazing. I brought home five books; I wanted about a hundred books, DVDs, and CDs; maybe next time. The museum itself proclaims a strong apologetic of the Bible, in its entirety, being the inerrant, infallible, and authoritative Word of God, with an emphasis on the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Why the first eleven chapters of Genesis? Because they give the foundation for so many of the essential doctrines of the Christian faith, and are a record of the literal history of the creation, the fall of man and the entry of the curse because of Adam’s sin, the ark and the Noahic flood, the tower of Babel, and other very important early history. Once you start allegorizing or otherwise by some other method falsely interpret these scriptures, the door is cracked open and can eventually lead to disbelief in parts of or the whole of the cannon. The Bible is a package deal, either it is true in its entirety, or it is a mixture of truth and error (and how do you decide what is what?), or simply a collection of myths. The Christian is on shaky footing if he doesn’t chose the first option, and lost if he chooses the last option. Yes, it is true that the Bible contains allegory, metaphor, poetic language, parable, symbolism, and many other techniques to communicate what God wants us to know. But misapplying these in the interpretation of scriptures leads to great error. In the Bible literal history must be recognized for what it is, and fortunately in God’s Word scripture interprets scripture, enabling us to know given verses are literal and history indeed. 

True science and biblical truth are not at odds with each other, since God is the Creator of all. But the false theories and suppositions of men can be refuted, and the Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis do it well. And, there are some good reasons why The Genesis Flood was celebrated as being the start of a new reformation. Fifty years ago there were almost no apologetic materials available for Christians to use to help refute the onslaught of the secular world’s beliefs in an old earth, the big bang, and evolution. Strangely enough, this wasn’t the biggest problem. Much of the church, including many prominent, conservative, bible believing Christian leaders of the last 300 years, believed or accommodated the same beliefs as the secular world concerning the early chapters of Genesis, including the gap theory. This blind spot, and/or compromise has been devastating to the church, with many having their faith undermined in universities (secular or Christian!), public schools, at church, and at home. I was stunned to learn at this conference, that even the highly esteemed C.H. Spurgeon accepted the gap theory. Some time back I also learned that the president of a Christian university in Tennessee in a reply email to someone wrote the following:

“The Hebrew creation account is a re-telling of the Babylonian tale. Their Hebrew feast days are re-interpretations of the Canaanite days. The Royal Psalms in the collection of Psalms were once Canaanite songs.”

Likewise, in a book this same Christian university president wrote the following:

“I even reminded the writer that God’s people have often taken elements of other religions and sanctified them for Christian use—Canaanite songs became Jewish psalms, pagan feasts became Christian meals, and so on.”

“I believe that God is pained over the tenor of the discussion between the literalists of seven-day creation theories and the evolutionists of the slow creative-process theories. To prove either one correct is not a saving act. God is not wringing his hands hoping we defend the literal interpretation of Gen. 1.”

“What I find more exciting and authoritative is the thought that the people of God were exiled in the pagan land of Babylon, listening to pagan stories about the origin of the universe, and the breath of God spoke through a prophet giving them a different understanding. They hijacked the Babylonian tale of creation and declared God to be the one who, in the beginning, created creation and came to take up residence with us in the cosmic temple. Now that’s authority.”

(Note: These quotes borrowed from some posts over at the Reformed Nazarene website with Manny Silva. There is a link to the website in my recommended websites list.)

Houston, we have a problem.

But God always moves at critical times in history. Just over fifty years ago He providentially brought together two capable men: an engineer, Dr. Henry Morris, and a theologian, Dr. John Whitcomb, to fill the vacuum and write a timely book that addressed the Genesis flood from both a scriptural and scientific viewpoint. This book opened new doors and the modern creationist movement got its start. In fact, it is said it started a new reformation, by addressing serious error in the church, as did the reformers of several hundred years ago. But like any reformation, it can start loosing steam, and more Christians must step up to the plate and carry on the work to higher ground, as many have. While we always hope, and sometimes succeed to convince some in the secular world unto belief (only possible with the working of the Holy Spirit of course), it is of utmost importance that Christians are firmly rooted and grounded in the Word. They should be able to give a strong apologetic of their faith and the Word of God to any unbeliever, and to those new in the faith:

15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV)

I hope I haven’t given the impression the Creation Museum leaves out the heart of the Gospel, Jesus Christ and what He has done for us. No, to the contrary, the ultimate point made by this ministry is God’s saving grace through repentance, belief and faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, and His resurrection. Especially poignant was a video in which a middle-aged Mary spoke about when she was a child her family each year having to bring a perfect lamb to the sacrifice, and how it was heart wrenching to see the gentle and innocent little creature killed and burned. Then she relates how the angel of God told her she would be overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and give birth to a male child who was to be named Jesus, even while yet engaged to Joseph and still a virgin. Then she says that she later learns her Son would be a Lamb, and her countenance changes and she lowers her head. The implication to her, and to us, is that her Son would, just like the lambs of her childhood, be sacrificed and die, albeit, this time on a cross. This was convicting, powerful, and not easy to forget. I believe the Holy Spirit will use this to bring many to Christ.

In part 2 I will look to the scriptures and attempt to show why Genesis chapters 1 -11 are absolutely fundamental to our faith, and why we must interpret them correctly. In closing I am including a few pictures from the weekend, as well as some important and interesting links concerning creation science and other ministries. I encourage everyone to pray for these ministries, and to contribute financially to them if you would like.

Dr. John Whitcomb having pictures taken and signing books

 Whitcomb Ministries, Inc. (http://www.whitcombministries.org/)

Dr. John Morris, son of the late Dr. Henry Morris, co-author of The Genesis Flood

Institute for Creation Research (http://www.icr.org/)

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum

Answers in Genesis (http://www.answersingenesis.org/)

Creation Museum (http://creationmuseum.org/)

Ark Encounter (http://arkencounter.com/)

One display at the Creation Museum: 7 C's in God's Eternal Plan

Your Postmodern Friends Need Your Help!

If you have a postmodern friend or friends, you have probably already realized they need serious help. And if you are a true friend to them, then perhaps a couple of suggestions I have to offer might be of benefit.

The next time you are with your PM friend ask them if in the morning when they wake up do they check to see if they are floating up at the ceiling, or drifting along in the clouds. When they ask why do you ask, tell them that since there is no absolute truth, how can they trust gravity to hold them in bed? 

This one is even better. If your friend ever asks for change for a $20 bill, please, please don’t miss this opportunity. Say “Sure” and then proceed to give them back $7. When they object tell them that you gave them the correct amount. When they explain that you should have given them a ten, a five, and five ones, or perhaps a ten and two fives, or two fives and ten ones, say “But that’s your truth.” By now they should be irate, but try to calm them by assuring them that you obeyed your truth and everything is alright. By now smoke should be coming out their ears, so chide them heavily for being so intolerant of “your truth.”

Deep down inside PMs are hoping for someone to rescue them out of their postmodern stupor. You can use these ideas or even better be creative and come up your own for showing how postmodern thinking is so absurd. Your PM friends are depending on you!

Children, Youth and a New Kind of Christianity (???)

A few days ago I became aware of a conference scheduled for May 7-10, 2012, at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. The name of the conference is “Children, Youth and a New Kind of Christianity.” The purpose of the conference is given on the C.Y.N.K.C. website:

In May of 2012, leaders, ministers, volunteers, parents, and students will gather in Washington, DC, USA to spark conversations about youth and children within a new kind of Christianity. They will talk about innovative practices, critical issues, and controversial topics like violence, racism, interfaith dialogue, and sexuality. They will embark on a journey together to engage in life-giving ministry with young people. And they will blaze a new trail for the 21st-century church.

A “new kind of Christianity”? What is wrong with the old one that has reconciled countless millions to God through the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, and have inherited eternal life too? Again, the website gives some more hints:

Something is happening in the church. A new kind of Christianity is taking root and growing across the globe. New forms of ministry, worship, and community are emerging. Questions are being asked. And change is happening.

But amidst these changes and shifts, children and youth are being left behind. Innovative approaches to ministry with adults are emerging around the world, but little critical reflection and attention has been given to how to nurture young people within a new kind of Christianity.

Yes, something is happening in the church. If this is the first time you have heard of this conference, you probably already see something out of whack just from the name of the conference, and the paragraphs quoted. And you would be right. And for further proof, let’s list some of the organizers/main speakers already scheduled to give presentations:

  • Brian McLaren
  • Tony Campolo
  • Jim Wallis
  • Shane Claiborne
  • Samir Selmanovic
  • Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.

And yes, if the last person on the list sounds familiar, it’s because it IS President Obama’s former pastor. One look at this partial list of contributors should encourage one to approach the throne of God in prayer for the sake of the children and youth that could potentially be affected and infected in the future by the leaven that will be dispersed at this emergent-fest. It is clear they desire to spawn a new generation of emergents like themselves. There are also several more speakers listed besides these, and there is a place on the website to apply if you want to be a presenter, panelist, lead a workshop, or otherwise be a volunteer. Since this event is months away I would think there is plenty of time for many more to sign up; perhaps Rob Bell, Doug Pagitt, Dan Kimball, and Tony Jones will make it, we’ll see.

I have been thinking about some of the subjects that may be taught in the lectures and workshops, and the teacher giving the presentation; here’s a sample:

  • Everything Must Change/A New Kind of Christianity – Forget EVERYTHING you were ever taught about Christianity, we’re starting from scratch! At the end of the session you can come and wash your hands in a pail of water symbolizing your baptism into this new way of thinking and following Jesus. Also, while you are at it, you can dip your hands into a pail of dirt and reconnect with planet Earth. Little children will especially enjoy playing in the water and dirt back at your church, and perhaps make mud pies. Presenter: Brian McLaren
  • How to minimize the importance of all of scripture since they are mostly irrelevant, except the words of Christ (in red letters in the better bibles). Also, how to work for the Democratic party when you grow up while claiming that as a Red-Letter Christian you do not want to be trapped into any political machinery or ideology. Presenter: Tony Campolo
  • How to infiltrate your local church with socialist/communist doctrine so young and old alike can trained to be a part of the collective solution for all of the worlds ills. An extra credit class will be available for those who wish to help support Communist regimes in Central and South America. Presenter: Jim Wallis
  • Teaching youth community social activism, and how the wisdom of Bono, Gandhi, Che Guevara, Nietzsche, and Mother Teresa can make a real difference in building the Kingdom of God in this present world . Presenter: Shane Claiborne
  • COEXIST – Getting rid of religious bigotry and prejudice in order to enjoy the full fellowship of our Wiccan, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish, and Atheist brothers and sisters. Presenter: Samir Selmanovic
  • Two part class: 1) The history of white and Jewish racism, and how to purge it from our midst. 2) The importance of teaching Liberation Theology to youth in order to obtain the collective salvation of groups “down for the struggle.” Presenter: Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. 
  • There will be plenty of workshops: Yoga for the young; mysticism for the masses; ancient-future worship in the now; postmodern thinking for the pilgrim; -al words for all (missional, incarnational, relational, communal, etc., but there’s plenty more to be thought of!); labyrinths for the little ones; fire safety while using multitudes of candles, with special attention given to the flammability of couch materials, and the best type of fire extinguishers to have handy (chief of local fire department to present this one); and many more.

As you can see I have used a mixture of truth and humor to highlight the seriousness of what may transpire and be taught at this conference. I am somewhat surprised that there hasn’t been more said in the discernment community already, but hopefully many eyes will be on this situation, and get the word out. Please pray that many children/youth workers will discern the gross errors of this event and not attend, and that those who do attend will smell its rotten fruit and leave. However, I know some will thoroughly enjoy it and take the leaven back home to their churches. These unfortunately may be people God has already “gave over” (Romans 1).

A couple important links for your perusal:

Possibly the first article to give a heads-up on the event, at Prayer Aware:

http://prayeraware.blogspot.com/2011/09/pray-for-children.html

The C.Y.N.K.C. website:

http://children-youth.com/

More information to come in the future as this thing unfolds.

I’m Back

I apologize for my absence for the last few weeks. We moved our shop at work to a new location in August and I was working overtime during that period also. It has been rather draining. But now things are settling down and hopefully I can give proper attention to this blog once again.

I have added a couple more categories which you will see in the right-hand column, “Must Listens” and “Must Watches.” These, along with “Must Reads,” will be items I feel are especially good and particularly relevant and timely. In some cases the audio or video will be immediately available on the webpage. In other cases the audio or video file will have to be downloaded and then can be watched or listened to.