Judge Should Be Guilty of Murder
Last week, 77-year-old Albert Flick was convicted of the murder of Kimberly Dobbie in 2018. It took the jury all of 40 minutes to convict the man. He should not have been free. In 1979, he was convicted of murdering his wife by stabbing her more than a dozen times in front of her daughter, but he was sentenced to only 25 years. In 2010, he was convicted of assaulting another woman, but the judge ignored the wise recommendation of the prosecutor for a long sentence because of his murderous history and proven character. The judge reasoned that the man wouldn’t be a threat because of his age, which would be 72 at the time of his release, and it didn’t make sense to keep him in prison. The old coot was out of prison again in 2014, and four years later he stabbed 48-year-old Kimberly to death because she would not accept his romantic overtures. She was trying to leave town. The homeless mother, who sadly had no man to protect her, was stabbed at least 11 times in front her 11-year-old twin sons. These judges should be charged with a crime for releasing a vile murderer to the public. If the previous judge had listened to the Son of God, who is incarnate infinite wisdom, he would have understood that murder is not an age issue; it is a heart issue. Of course, they don’t teach that in American law schools any more. Age does not quench evil thoughts. Only the blood of Christ can purify the heart (Acts 15:9; 1 Peter 1:22). “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:20-23).
(Friday Church News Notes, July 26, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
Not What It Says
“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?”
A friend of mine who is a creation speaker in the United Kingdom related how a lady berated him after one of his talks. He had explained in his presentation how God created everything in six days, just as it says in Genesis 1.
“I don’t limit God like you do,” said the lady. “God is much too big to be limited to six days.”
“I don’t limit God either,” my friend replied. “But I do limit myself to believing what God actually said He did.”
“But God could have made the world in six thousand years,” the lady protested.
“Yes,” conceded my friend. “He could have made the world in six million years, couldn’t He?”
“Yes,” she enthusiastically agreed.
“In fact, He could have made the world in six seconds!”
“Or in six minutes.”
“Or in six days!”
“No, no, no, no, no! He couldn’t have made the world in six days!”
My friend chuckled. “So the only timescale in which God could definitely not have made the world is the one that He said He did it in!”
Science historian Dr. Terry Mortenson has shown that this type of thinking is common, but inconsistent. Dr. Mortenson says, “We can’t with any exegetical consistency defend the truth and authority of Jesus and the apostles, but deny young-earth creation, which they clearly believed.” We should use the same standards of belief in Genesis as we use in the Gospels.
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died in 2012 at age 82. An astronaut, aerospace engineer, Navy fighter pilot (who flew 78 combat missions over North Korea), and university professor, Armstrong was famous as a man of few words, yet he uttered some of history’s most memorable ones. When he first stepped on the moon, he exclaimed, “This is one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.” He said something else that was memorable, and I am reminded of it on every trip to Israel. Not long after the Apollo 11 moon landing, Armstrong visited Jerusalem and was guided by archaeologist Meir Ben-Dov, one of the excavators of the southern Temple Mount. Armstrong asked him to point out a place where Jesus would have walked, and Ben-Dov took him to the Huldah Gates and showed him the recently excavated southern steps. Armstrong asked if these were the original steps, and Ben-Dov replied, “Yes.” Armstrong said, “So Jesus stepped right here?” and Ben-Dov again confirmed it. To this, Armstrong said, “I have to tell you. I am more excited stepping on these stones than I was stepping on the moon.” This account is part of Israel’s official two-year training program for guides, and it also appears in From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman.
(Friday Church News Notes, July 26, 2019, www.wayoflife.org , email@example.com , 866-295-4143)
“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?”
One of the reasons given by theistic evolutionists for why they cannot accept that Genesis 1 teaches a 6 x 24-hour creation is that they do not believe God could have communicated how He had made everything to an ancient people. Their understanding would not have been sufficient for modern scientific concepts. One commentator says, “We gain nothing by bringing God’s revelation into accordance with today’s science. In contrast, it makes perfect sense that God communicated his revelation to his immediate audience in terms they understood.”
The idea is that God actually made life by evolution, but ancient people would not have been able to understand these concepts, so God explained to them the six days scenario instead.
Creation science historian Dr. Terry Mortenson has shown that this presupposition is not correct. He showed that words, concepts and categories were available in ancient Hebrew thought to explain an evolutionary process. Since God is truth, He would have used such language if that indeed were what had happened. Mortenson suggests that an evolutionary Genesis could have read like this:
“When God began to create the heavens and the earth, he expanded a small grain of dust and said, ‘Let there be light.’ And it eventually became so. From this grain of dust, over many great ages he formed the stars and then the sun and finally, after a long age, the earth and the moon.”
God tells the truth, and we can trust what He says.
The Apollo Program and the Flat Earthers
Flat earthers must be in tizzy-fit mode these days with the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11, the first moon landing, which occurred on July 20, 1969. America’s Apollo program was one of the most amazing achievements of human history, if not the most. Noah built a massive ship to save mankind and the animal kingdom from the global flood, and he did it without the help of tens of thousands of engineers, but Apollo took men off of the face of this earth and transported them to the moon. Men walked on the moon! There is no doubt. They photographed our globe. The Blue Marble photo taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of Apollo 17 is not a myth. There were 500 eyewitnesses of Christ’s resurrection, which is evidence that would stand up in any honest court. There were 400,000 participants in Apollo. I was a personal friend with one of them. Since Apollo, the earth as a globe has been photographed countless times by space machines, not only American, but Russian, European, Indian, Chinese, and Israeli, not only satellites circling the earth, but satellites traveling to far-flung realms of our galaxy. A photo of our globe was taken by Elon Musk’s SpaceX solar orbit spacecraft (a cherry red Tesla roadster “driven” by the dummy Starman) in February and another by Israel’s Beresheet moon spacecraft in March. Other than confirming the fact that the earth is a globe, which ancient men already knew, what does the modern space program mean? It means that man is made in the image of God and is distinct from the animal kingdom just as the book of Genesis says. Though man looks a bit like the apes, in fact, he is really nothing like the apes. Apes can figure out how to use sticks to hit one another, but they aren’t very good at rocket science. The modern space program also means that Daniel’s prophecy of the end times is true that says, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” (Da. 12:4). Finally, the modern space program means that “the coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:8)! Though we know not the day nor the hour, we can see the day approaching (Hebrews 10:25). By God’s grace, we will continue to watch and serve.
(Friday Church News Notes, July 26, 2019, www.wayoflife.org , firstname.lastname@example.org , 866-295-4143)
“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.”
What is meant by the word ancient? There are some who would suggest that a belief that the Earth was created about 4,000 years before the birth of Christ is contrary to Scripture because the Bible calls God the Ancient of Days. If the Earth were less than 7,000 years old, then it would not be ancient.
However, this is not so. The word ancient – like many other words dealing with inexact time periods – is interpreted relative to a fixed point. The error made by theistic evolutionists is that they think that an evolutionary timescale is the fixed point. If the Earth is really 4.5 billion years old, then those who believe it is only 6,000 years old do not believe it is ancient. Their error is that they pick the wrong fixed point.
A better fixed point is one that is rooted in our experience because the word ancient is a relative term. Compared to our own lifespan, 6,000 years is, indeed, very ancient.
Christians who wish to believe in evolution date the writing of Genesis to the Babylonian Exile. We make it even more ancient, maintaining that the words were given by God Himself to Moses, probably through even more ancient patriarchs. That is one reason why we accept the Bible as completely trustworthy.
As one beautiful hymn puts it:
Ancient words ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
Oh, let the ancient words impart
“Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah: To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.”
One recent supposed evangelical commentator on Genesis begins his work by saying: “If we accept Genesis 1 as ancient cosmology, then we need to interpret it as ancient cosmology rather than translate it into modern cosmology. If we try to turn it into modern cosmology, we are making the text say something that it never said.” Thus, he lays the foundation for claiming, irrationally, that those of us who take the text seriously are, in fact, not taking the text seriously!
So what do they mean by an ancient cosmology? They mean a cosmology developed by people from an ancient time.
Their presupposition is that Genesis was developed by people who lived in the Ancient Near East, whose experience was ancient. The commentator explains: “They did not know that stars were suns; they did not know that the earth was spherical and moving through space; they did not know that the sun was much further away than the moon… And God did not think it important to revise their thinking.”
So, in a sense, it is God’s fault that our views on Genesis are so confused! However, this mention of God shows how false their presuppositions are. Their starting point is that Genesis is not scientific and was written by people. Our starting point is that Genesis was inspired by God, who has given us the only eye-witness account there is of how the universe began. And He decided the best words to use to explain this to us.
“Various species of Bombardier Beetle are found around the world. They are about one-half inch long. Inside their bodies they have chambers and they produce various chemicals along with both reactant inhibitors and accelerants. When these beetles are attacked they initiate a chemical reaction that takes place just outside their bodies. The beetle has produced hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide which is mixed to produce a series of violent explosions. The temperature reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) which turns the water left over from the reaction into steam; then at up to 500 times per second; and speeds that range from eight up to 43 m.p.h. (13 to 69 k.p.h.); through a twin set of spray nozzles whose direction can be controlled; these beetles spray hot toxic chemicals onto their attacker. The attackers have learned the hard way to stay away from the scalding irritating defense system. In essence, the Bombardier Beetle has a small rocket engine built into its body. The design of its internal chambers and defense mechanism has been used to improve the ignition systems of gas turbines and the inflation systems for automobile air bags.”
“Biomimicry: God’s Designs and Man’s Imitations,” Creation Worldview
Ye Must Be Born Again
“Our message is that every man ‘must be born again,’ and that whatever may happen to him short of that is of no value whatsoever from the standpoint of his relationship to God. The New Testament teaching is that the unbeliever is all wrong. It is not merely his ideas of art or drama that are wrong; everything about him is wrong. His particular views are wrong because his whole view is wrong, because he himself is wrong”
(D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, p. 141).
2 Corinthians 13:11
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
Love is one of the needs of life that is both physical and spiritual. Although it does not fit with a point of view regarding strictly materialistic life, love and touch, or lack of love and touch, can determine our health and sometimes even our life and death.
The claim that love and touch are necessary for life and health was considered so scandalous that it was not until recently that scientists began to prove these claims. The researchers selected 40 hospitalized infants. These infants were not in intensive care, with oxygen, or with intravenous sera, but were too small to leave the hospital. The researchers randomly chose half of the group to receive attention. These infants were touched for three periods of 15 minutes a day. The first five minutes were spent stroking the bodies of the infants. The next five minutes were spent moving slightly the arms and legs of the infants. This was followed by five more minutes of caresses.
Although it often seemed that infants did not notice attention, it made a difference. After only 10 days of this care, cherished children had gained 47% more weight than infants who were ignored. This is especially amazing considering that infants who gained less weight had been fed the same number of calories. Cherished infants were also more active, so they also actually had to metabolize more of the calories and lose weight instead of increasing in weight.
Can we literally live on love? Well, if we need food and other things, but we also need love - especially from our Creator.
Knox County Sheriff’s detective Grayson Fritts, who is also a pastor, has been put on sick leave because of sermons calling for the arrest and death of homosexuals. Earlier this year he applied for a voluntary early retirement, which apparently has been granted. He is the pastor of All Scripture Baptist Church (“KJV-Soul Winning”), a small storefront work in Knoxville. And in a sermon on June 2, he called for the government to send a riot team to the local Gay Pride parade, to arrest LGBT people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual), try them, and if convicted, execute them. The church’s web site says, “God said homosexuality should be punished with the death penalty, as set forth in Leviticus 20:13.” Not surprisingly, there is an influence from Steven Anderson, the pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church of Tempe, Arizona, who preached at Fritts’ church on April 26. Anderson, too, preaches that Leviticus 20:13 should be enforced in America. “Because if you executed the homos, like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant” (“Pastor Calls for Killing Gays,” USA Today, Dec. 6, 2014). Anderson says, “I do hate homosexuals and if hating homosexuals makes our church a hate group then that’s what we are” (cited from Schlatter, SPLC). Of the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting Anderson said, “The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because these homosexuals are just a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles” (“Gay Hating Preacher,” Sunday Express, Sept. 16, 2016). Anderson preached “Why I Hate Barack Obama” and said he prayed for the president’s death. Anderson is a deeply confused individual who should not be in the ministry. When James and John wanted to call down fire upon those who rejected the Lord, Christ rebuked them and said they were of the wrong spirit (Luke 9:54-56). To try to put a Gentile nation under the law of Moses is dispensational confusion. Anderson denies the Holocaust, holds to Replacement Theology, believes that God is finished with Israel, rejects biblical repentance, believes that salvation doesn’t have evidence, and denies the imminency of the Rapture. All of this is documented in What about Steven Anderson? a free eBook available at www.wayoflife.org.
(Friday Church News Notes, July 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
Life on Mars Yet Again
“Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together.”
You only have to wait a couple of weeks for a new story about life on Mars. Since scientists began to look at the red planet through telescopes, they have been tantalized by the possibilities of life there. It is a natural evolutionary belief. After all, if life evolved on Earth, surely it could evolve on Mars also to a lesser extent. It has been the dream of evolutionary scientists to find such life ever since Giovanni Schiaparelli thought he had seen artificial canals on Mars in 1877.
“Fact” and fiction writers alike began to have a field day. Those canals must have been built by intelligences, so their imagination peopled the red planet with Martian people. Subsequent observations and unmanned missions to Mars have not uncovered signs of such life, but scientists, in any case, are now looking merely for microscopic life, having given up on larger life forms years ago.
In Lester Del Ray’s 1952 novel Marooned on Mars, a stowaway teenager discovers an underground civilization on the planet. The technique of putting Martian life underground neatly explained why we could not detect it. Today, these ideas have come full circle, as a recent study has suggested that the long hoped for microscopic life on Mars might, like Del Ray’s underground city, be found only underneath the surface. It is hard for them to give up on the idea of Martian life, but the Bible teaches that only the Earth is inhabited.
Last month, Hillsong Online Campus (Hillsong Sydney) encouraged the “online congregation” to take communion with them. Via the online campus Facebook page, the minister said, “We are excited because this weekend is communion weekend. So grab a cookie, grab a juice, whatever it is that is most convenient for you. We’d love to celebrate communion together.” This is the ultimate in me-centered Christianity. I can even have the Lord’s Supper “my way.” I don’t need a church; I just need Facebook. I don’t need to judge myself; that would be a very old-school, guilt trip thing. I don’t need unleavened bread to signify Christ’s sinless body; I can have my favorite cookie. I don’t need the fruit of the vine; I can have my favorite fruit juice or a smoothie or whatever suits my fancy. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves ... the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 3:1-2; 4:3-4).
(Friday Church News Notes, July 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
Creation of Rocks and Minerals
“And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”
When God made the Earth on Day One, we are not quite sure what it was like, except that we know it was formless and void. However, because the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters and darkness was on the deep, there are many who have inferred that God originally made this planet as a large, formless sphere of water.
On Day Two, God separated the waters with the firmament of space, placing some water above the firmament and leaving some below.
And on the third day, He made dry land. So this is the day in which land appeared and broke through the waters. This must also mean that God was in the process of making the rocks and minerals from which the land is made.
When examined under a magnifying glass, we can see that rocks are made up of little grains, each of which is comprised of a mineral. Some of these minerals are named in Genesis 2 and others in Ezekiel 28, though neither list is intended to be exhaustive. So this appearance of land on the Third Day was pretty spectacular, as it involved the creation of a great deal of rock.
Deep bedrocks are usually called plutonic rocks. Creationists use this word to describe all the rock which God must have made on the Third Day of Creation, as the foundation for everything else He would place on the Earth.
“A senior member of Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas has encouraged Palestinians across the globe to kill Jews, drawing outrage from both Israeli and Palestinian officials as well as a UN envoy. In video from a speech to participants of weekly protests on Friday, Fathi Hamad, a member of the movement’s top political body, can be seen calling on Palestinian Arabs across the globe to carry out attacks. ‘If this siege is not undone, we will explode in the face of our enemies, with God’s permission. The explosion is not only going to be in Gaza but also in the West Bank and abroad, God willing. Seven million Palestinians outside, enough warming up, you have Jews with you in every place. You should attack every Jew possible in all the world and kill them.’ Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, European Union and others. Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, said on Twitter, ‘Now you know why we protect the border with Gaza from Hamas.’ In a statement Monday afternoon, Hamas distanced itself from Hamad’s words. The Hamas charter refers numerous times to the Muslims’ struggle against the Jews.”
“Hamas Backtracks,” Arutz Sheva, Jul. 15, 2019
“And Adah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle. And his brother’s name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. And Zillah, she also bare Tubalcain, an instructer of every artificer in brass and iron: and the sister of Tubalcain was Naamah.”
Ever since I was a small boy, I have been fascinated by science fiction stories in which humanoid robots appeared. In some of these, the robots were benign, while in others, they were monsters. I can clearly recall, watching The Invasion, a 1969 adventure in the long-running sci-fi TV series Doctor Who. In this story – which I mostly watched from behind the couch – robots, called cybermen, invaded London. Yet other robots had smiley faces. As I grew older, I began to read novels by atheist author Isaac Asimov, whose benevolent robots obeyed his famous Three Laws of Robotics. His First Law states: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”
So is the Artificial Intelligence which makes robots possible a good or a bad thing? Mark Zuckerberg, of Facebook, thinks it is good. He described those who disagree with its benefits as “doomsayers”. But Elon Musk, whose companies Tesla and SpaceX both make use of AI, warns that AI could be “the biggest risk we face as a civilization”.
It is, perhaps, no accident that the first mentions of technology and culture appear in Genesis 4, as abilities of the sons of the godless Lamech. Many Christian ministries, including this one, make use of internet technologies to promote the Gospel; yet, we know that humans, being sinful, attempt to use technologies in their vain search to get themselves immortality without first coming to God.
A Question for Non-Hyper Calvinists.
Calvinism is on the march, but there are many varieties of Calvinism. Every Calvinist believes he has the liberty to decide what kind of Calvinist he will be. One list names nine types: total hyper-Calvinist, partial hyper-Calvinist, ultra-high Calvinist, regular high Calvinist, moderate Calvinist, lower moderate Calvinist, lower Calvinist, lowest Calvinist, and Amyraldism (4 point Calvinist). (To understand the difference, you must understand compatibilism, lapsarianism, supralapsarianism, infralapsarianism, active reprobation, common grace, non-salvific love, single and double predestination, and soft forms of double predestination.) The book Spurgeon vs. the Hyper Calvinists: The Battle for Gospel Preaching by Iain Murray contrasts Charles Spurgeon’s Calvinism with the Calvinism of his predecessor John Gill and others of Gill’s persuasion. Spurgeon was the type of Calvinist who believed in preaching the gospel to all sinners, telling them that God loves them and wants to save them, and calling upon them to believe and receive Christ. All of that is well and good, of course, because it is commanded by God. But I would make the observation that every type of Calvinist believes in sovereign election, meaning there is nothing in man, including his faith, that is the basis of election. Every type of Calvinist rejects the idea that election incorporates God’s knowledge of who will and will not believe the gospel. So any Calvinist who seeks to preach the gospel to all sinners, as Spurgeon did, is only looking for the elect, in practice. To get to the heart of the issue I would ask the non-hyper Calvinist this question: “Do you believe that any sinner can be saved? Can you discuss the fearful and amazing Book of Life with a sinner and tell him for sure that his name can be written there?” No one who believes in sovereign election can answer these questions in the affirmative in an unequivocal way, yet the Bible plainly says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). For this reason, I have chosen to be no kind of Calvinist, and no kind of Arminian, too. I am under no divine obligation to make a choice between Calvinism and Arminianism. I only have to believe the Bible. While I can’t answer every question about the wonderful doctrine of election, one thing I know for sure, because of the clear teaching of Scripture, is that election is not “sovereign” after any Calvinist definition. I have met many Calvinists that I believe are saved and know Christ and I, therefore, love them in Christ, because I love the saints, but I emphatically reject their Calvinism. I also emphatically reject the Quick Prayerism program of evangelism whereby a sinner can pray “a sinner’s prayer” and be pronounced saved and given assurance when there is no clear evidence of repentance and regeneration. For the same Bible that says “whosoever believeth in him should not perish,” also says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are come new” (2 Corinthians 5:17), and, “He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4).
(Friday Church News Notes, July 19, 2019, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
Prayer to Alexa
“And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”
The satirical Christian website Babylon Bee recently carried an article suggesting that Alexa had begun to pray over a meal when no one else in the family wished to do so. For those who have been hiding under a rock for the last few months, Alexa is the name given to the voice behind Amazon’s Artificial Intelligence device. You can speak to the device and ask it questions in real time, and it will connect to the internet and find the answer. There are other AI devices and applications on the market, such as Google Assistant, or the voice of Apple, known as Siri.
One real family, however, sat down in a fast food restaurant, and their little girl prayed a blessing on the food – “Dear Alexa, please bless this food.” In this case, it was a mistake, and the mortified little girl corrected herself when her family laughed.
There is, however, a serious point behind these humorous events. Author Dan Brown, who wrote The Da Vinci Code, has suggested that when AI has advanced to the point where its programming code can self correct, mankind will have created a god in its own image.
While AI has its uses, like any technology, it can be used for good or ill. AI would not be the first idea to encourage human beings to supplant God and replace Him with something else. The first time that occurred was recorded in Genesis chapter 3.
Talking About the Takin
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
In has a bulky, humped body like a bear. Its hind quarters slope downward like a hyena. It has legs like a cow. Its tail looks as if it were borrowed from a goat. It has the horns of a wildebeest and a face like a moose with mumps. Some scientists think the golden fleece Jason brought to Greece in classical times was from a takin. One scientist commented that if the camel was designed by committee, the same committee designed the takin from the parts that were left over.
The takin is a large, hoofed animal that can weigh up to 650 pounds and stand five feet high at the shoulders. It lives in China’s remote, rugged mountain forests, where it is protected. Takins are herding animals that eat plants. Scientists have noted over 100 species of plant that the takin eats. One scientist suggested that it might be easier to put together a list of the plants takins don’t eat.
Standing on their hind legs, takins can reach branches eight feet high. They will push over thin trees to get at the leaves. And they’re large enough to straddle a five-inch tree and bend it down until they can get at the leaves. Scientists were puzzled because for some time they never saw any young takins in the grazing herds. Then they discovered that the young are often tended in the takins’ version of a day care center, while the rest of the herd goes off to socialize and feed.
Our Creator’s imagination knows no limits. In its uniqueness, the takin glorifies our Creator God.
Other Founding Fathers and Slavery
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN owned slaves, but he became an abolitionist later in life and liberated his slaves. He was the president of the Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage. He promoted the idea of educating former slaves and helping them find employment so they could fend for themselves.
JOHN DICKINSON was a member of the First and Second Continental Congress and worked with Thomas Jefferson in writing the Declaration of Independence. He was an officer during the War of Independence. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and was elected President of Delaware and President of Pennsylvania. Dickinson is the author of “The Liberty Song” (1768). The original chorus said, “Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all, By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall; In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed, For heaven approves of each generous deed.” Dickinson became an abolitionist and freed his slaves in 1776. He devoted his final years to the cause of abolition and donated a considerable amount of his wealth “to the relief of the unhappy.”
BENJAMIN RUSH, signer of the Declaration of Independence, denounced slavery in his tract On Slave Keeping (1773). He called it a “vice which degrades human nature.” He called on Americans to oppose it. “Remember the eyes of all Europe are fixed upon you, to preserve an asylum for freedom in this country after the last pillars of it are fallen in every other quarter of the globe.” John Jay, first Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1789-95), author of five of the Federalist Papers, and Governor of New York, was a leading opponent of slavery. “His first two attempts to end slavery in New York in 1777 and 1785 failed, but a third in 1799 succeeded.” All slaves in New York were emancipated before his death in 1829.
NOAH WEBSTER, who had a major influence on the U.S. Constitution through his 1787 essay An Examination into the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, called for slavery to be abolished in the United States. He founded an antislavery group called the Connecticut Society for the Promotion of Freedom. His influential Blue-Back Speller included an essay by Thomas Day calling for the abolition of slavery. Day argued that this was in accordance with the nation’s Declaration of Independence. He warned Americans that consistency required that they either acknowledge the rights of the Negroes or surrender their own rights.
(Friday Church News Notes, July 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
The Young Lizard's Canteen
“The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.“
When you go into the desert, it’s always a good idea to take a canteen of water with you. Our Creator applied the same principle of wisdom when he designed the Yarrow’s spiny lizard.
Like many desert dwellers, Yarrow’s spiny lizards are well designed to conserve water in the dry desert climate. For example, they don’t even have a urinary bladder. Their bodies are designed to remove water from their waste before it’s released. The water is recycled within the body, since water is a precious resource in the desert.
Unlike many reptiles, Yarrow’s spiny lizard bears live young. The two-inch-long newborn lizards can dry out quickly in the desert. To increase their ability to survive, the Creator gave the newborns a built-in canteen of water. At birth, a full canteen makes up 10% of the lizard’s weight. After the first month of life, the canteen shrivels and is no longer used. This, too, is a wise design, since the growing lizard has learned the ways of the desert and now has a greater need for speed than it has for a bulky water reservoir.
None of us can fully appreciate God’s limitless imagination and creativity that we see in the living world around us. However, we can appreciate the fact that He is willing and able to provide practical and workable solutions to every problem that we face. His solutions, beginning with our greatest need—the forgiveness of sins—are found in the Bible. The trust to apply His solutions to our lives is found in faith, worked by His Holy Spirit.
John Quincy Adams and Slavery
John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States and son of John Adams, second President of the U.S., was called the “Hell Hound of Abolition” for his persistent efforts to end slavery. In 1837, he said that the nation’s founders were opposed to slavery. “The inconsistency of the institution of domestic slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented by all the southern patriots of the Revolution; by no one with deeper and more unalterable conviction than by the author of the Declaration himself [Thomas Jefferson]. No charge of insincerity or hypocrisy can be fairly laid to their charge. Never from their lips was heard one syllable of attempt to justify the institution of slavery. They universally considered it as a reproach fastened upon them by the unnatural step-mother country [Great Britain] and they saw that before the principles of the Declaration of Independence, slavery--in common with every other mode of oppression--was destined sooner or later to be banished from the earth” (“An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport, at Their request, on the Sixty-first Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence,” July 4, 1837).
(Friday Church News Notes, July 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
Bacteria that Dissolve Steel
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt . . .”
They work silently and in the dark. While most of earth’s inhabitants need oxygen for life, they merely tolerate it. They prefer to build their own environments where there’s no oxygen. Then they go to work. And they love metal. Using complex chemistry, they begin dissolving metal. They can make a sixteenth-of-an-inch hole through an inch-thick pipe in six months. Stainless steel isn’t so tough—it doesn’t slow them down a bit. Even modern space age metals like titanium can’t stand up to them.
No, we’re not talking about some hideous creatures from outer space. These strange-sounding creatures are called sulfate-reducing bacteria. Each year metal corrosion causes about $167 billion dollars in damage. And a large part of that damage is caused by bacteria destroying metal pipes.
Sulfate-reducing bacteria begin by sealing off their colony from liquid in a pipe or tank. Once sealed off, bacteria begin forming hydrogen gas. Sealed under the biosphere, the hydrogen accumulates and is absorbed by the metal. The absorbed hydrogen begins to corrode and make the metal brittle. Researchers using pipes coated with epoxy couldn’t stop the bugs. It appears that the bugs thought the pigment in epoxy made a great change of diet.
Despite our modern scientific sophistication, moth and rust continue to afflict our efforts. This is God’s way of reminding us that we, along with the creation, are afflicted with sin and are in need of the forgiveness of sins that is ours only through Jesus Christ.
George Washington and Slavery
George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and America’s first President, inherited slaves and would have freed them, but he was forbidden by Virginia law to do so. At great personal cost, he vowed that he would not sell any of his slaves even though he could have benefited financially from doing so. At a time when he was struggling financially, the sale of just one slave would have brought him enough income to pay his estate taxes for two years, but he refused. He also refused to hire out his slaves, because he did not want to break up their families. He said, “To sell the overplus I cannot, because I am principled against this kind of traffic in the human species. To hire them out is almost as bad because they could not be disposed of in families to any advantage, and to disperse [break up] the families I have an aversion” (Washington letter to Robert Lewis, Aug. 18, 1799, Washington’s Writings, 1980, Vol. 37, p. 338). Washington was instrumental in having a federal law passed in the first year of his presidency (1789) prohibiting slavery in the new American territories. As a result, the new states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all prohibited slavery. Daniel Webster described Washington’s efforts to abolish slavery in America: “Soon after the adoption of the Constitution, it was declared by George Washington to be ‘among his first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery might be abolished by law’; and in various forms in public and private communications, he avowed his anxious desire that ‘a spirit of humanity,’ prompting to ‘the emancipation of the slaves,’ ‘might diffuse itself generally into the minds of the people;’ and he gave the assurance, that ‘so far as his own suffrage would go,’ his influence should not be wanting to accomplish this result” (Webster, “Address to the People of the United States, to Lift Our Public Sentiment to a New Platform of Anti-slavery,” Jan. 29, 1845). Washington liberated his slaves upon his death, and in his will he required that young ones be educated to read and write and taught a useful occupation.
(Friday Church News Notes, July 12, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“Behold, God is mighty, and despiseth not any: he is mighty in strength and wisdom.”
On previous “Creation Moments” programs we’ve talked about wasps that can control crop pests. Natural controls—such as these wasps—show the Creator’s hand in designing the creation. New facts about how wasps control pests make our Creator’s hand even more evident.
There are several thousand species of wasps that lay their eggs inside crop pests or use the pests for food. These wasps have become a popular form of natural pest control among farmers and gardeners.
Researchers have now discovered that the wasps do more than simply feed on the pests or use them as food for their young. Typically the wasps will inject their eggs into worm-like pest larvae. It has been discovered that the wasp eggs are coated with a virus that holds the pest larvae in the immature stage until the developing young wasps have no more need of the egg. The virus appears to move to an organ inside the pest larva and affects the insect’s immune system. It also acts on the larva’s endocrine system to take away the larva’s appetite. So the pest larva destroys less crop, and being starved for food, fails to develop into an adult. This gives the wasp eggs plenty of time to develop into young wasps who will finish off the pest.
Researchers are still trying to discover exactly how the virus’s carefully orchestrated attack strategy works. However, clearly no creature nor the creation itself invented this strategy. It could only have been conceived and built by a Master Biochemist and Physician!