Appealing to Evidence
“I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed. And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved.”
Evidence speaks for itself, we are told. But, that is not the case. The one thing that evidence cannot do is to speak for itself.
In detective movies, a crucial piece of evidence is used to prove someone’s guilt, only to find, later, that the evidence had not been interpreted correctly. The evangelist E.Z. Zwayne tells a story about a man who was taken into a room by masked figures who strapped him to a bed, slit his chest open, and removed his heart. Outside the room were lots of people watching, who did nothing to interfere. E.Z. paused when he related the tale, then explained that the man was suffering from a heart problem, the masked people were surgeons, their blades were scalpels, and no one did anything to interfere because the students watching knew that these brilliant surgeons were saving this man’s life. In this tale, you were presented with a number of pieces of evidence, but you probably interpreted them wrong until you were given the back-story; the starting point; what we call the presupposition.
You see, the evidence does not speak for itself. It makes sense only when interpreted by our presupposition. But many people are not aware that they have presuppositions; still less are they aware that their presuppositions may be wrong.
The popular challenge from atheists to Christians is this: Why should I believe something that can’t be proved? But the very question is flawed because it assumes that there is a neutrality upon which to build our case. There is not. Our presupposition must at all times be the truth of God’s word.
“Three-year-old twins Zyler and Kadyn Sharpe scurried around the boys and girls clothing racks of a narrow consignment store filled with toys. Zyler, wearing rainbow leggings, scrutinized a pair of hot-pink-and-purple sneakers. Kadyn, in a T-Rex shirt, fixated on a musical cube that flashed colorful lights. At a glance, the only discernible difference between these fraternal twins is their hair—Zyler’s is brown and Kadyn’s is blond. Is Zyler a boy or a girl? How about Kadyn? That’s a question their parents, Nate and Julia Sharpe, say only the twins can decide. The Cambridge, Mass., couple represent a small group of parents raising ‘theybies’—children being brought up without gender designation from birth. A Facebook community for these parents currently claims about 220 members across the U.S. Parents in the U.S. are increasingly raising children outside traditional gender norms—allowing boys and girls to play with the same toys and wear the same clothes—though experts say this is happening mostly in progressive, well-to-do enclaves. But what makes this ‘gender-open’ style of parenting stand out, and even controversial in some circles, is that the parents do not reveal the sex of their children to anyone. Even the children, who are aware of their own body parts and how they may differ from others, are not taught to associate those body parts with being a boy or girl. If no one knows a child’s sex, these parents theorize, the child can’t be pigeonholed into gender stereotypes.”
“Boy or girl? Parents raising ‘theybies’ let kids decide,” NBCNews.com, Jul. 19, 2018
George Stanley Faber
“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
19th Century books had such memorable titles! Anglican vicar George Stanley Faber published a book in 1823 called Treatise on the Genius and Object of the Patriarchal, the Levitical, and the Christian Dispensations. With a title like that, I can’t wait for the movie!
Faber was interested in geological ideas. He was aware of the clash between the long ages being proposed for rock layers and fossils and the timescale given for Creation in the Bible. He realized that it is not possible to reconcile the two. Of course, when these two concepts come head to head, one of them will have to give way. For Faber, it was the Genesis account that had to give way.
Faber wrote that the six days of the Creation Week were “each a period of very considerable length”. Thus was born the Day-Age theory, whereby biblical scholars have attempted to reconcile the Bible with deep-time ages by making each creation day increasingly long.
Faber was convinced that he could find justification for the extreme length of these days in the actual text. He said: “This may be proved partly by analogy of language, partly by the very necessity of the narrative, partly by ancient tradition, and partly (and that most decisively) by the discoveries of modern physiologists.”
Faber’s first two points have been answered many times. But it is interesting that Faber gives most weight to the so-called “discoveries”. These, as we know, were not discoveries at all, but were the opinions and interpretations of people who had already committed themselves to old-earth timescales, without any justification from the Bible.
California Church to Meet in a Brewery
The Greater Purpose Community Church of Santa Cruz, California, is building a beer brewery that will also serve as its meeting place. Pastor Chris VanHall says, “I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if a church could figure out a way to make a product where they split the profits with local community service organizations, we were like ‘hey, we love beer, we love making beer, why not do a brewery?’” He said that drinking a couple of beers “improves the sermon.” The church’s web site says, “We will embrace you regardless of your faith, personal life choices, race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, political preference, social status, or economic standing.” The profit from the church’s brewery will go to abortion provider Planned Parenthood. This is “The Shack” Christianity which is void of conviction of sin, repentance, and life-changing regeneration. Such things are labeled “bigotry and hate-filled theology” by The Greater Purpose Community Church.
Friday Church News Notes, August 24, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143
Thomas Chalmers' Gap
“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
In 1814, Thomas Chalmers was a young Scottish clergyman with an interest in geology. He had grown up with the deep-time views of James Hutton, and the work of more contemporary geologists seems to have caused Chalmers difficulties in accepting these ideas along with the book of Genesis. So it was that in 1814, Chalmers wrote a review of Georges Cuvier’s book Theory of the Earth. Cuvier was a catastrophist. That is, he believed that fossils were caused by flooding. However, to accommodate Hutton’s views on long ages, Cuvier accepted multiple floods rather than one Flood, equating the last of these floods with that of Genesis 6 through 8.
Chalmers wrote: “It is true that his theory approximates to the book of Genesis more nearly than those of many of his predecessors.” While that may indeed be true, it should be noted that Cuvier was still prepared to accept long ages because of opinions from outside the Bible, and the young Chalmers accepted these ages. So Chalmers developed his own idea. Instead of multiple catastrophism, he had two – the actual Flood and an earlier flood, thousands or even millions of years earlier, caused, so he said, by Lucifer’s sin in heaven. This early Luciferian flood had to be fitted into Scripture, so Chalmers believed that these events must have been after God had set the world going but before the events of Genesis 1:2 onwards. For this reason, Chalmers’ ideas became known as the Gap Theory.
Exodus 20 reminds us that the initial creation of everything was part of the six-day creation week. So we see that Chalmers’ elegant compromise is not possible.
“The Chinese Communist Party has long sought to suppress ideas that could undermine the sweeping authority it has over its 1.4 billion citizens--and the state can go to extreme lengths to maintain its grip. In just the past few years, the government has attempted to muzzle critics by making them disappear without a trace, ordering people to physically barge into their houses, or locking up those close to critics as a kind of blackmail. Even leaving China isn't always enough. The state has continued to clamp down on dissent by harassing and threatening family members who remain in the country. Consider what China can do to people who criticize it: 1. Make you disappear. Wang Quanzhang, a human rights lawyer who defended political activists in the past, has not been seen since he was taken into detention three years ago. ... 2. Physically drag you away so you can’t speak to the media. ... 3. Put your family under house arrest, even if they haven’t been accused of a crime. ... 4. Threaten to kill your family and forbid them from leaving China. Even when dissidents leave China, they are not safe. Many Chinese expats and exiles have seen family members who remained in China pay the price for their protest. One example is Chinese-Canadian actress Anastasia Lin, who repeatedly speaks out to criticize China's human rights record. ... 5. Take down your social media posts. ... 6. Remove your posts from the Internet--and reportedly throw you in a psychiatric ward. ... In July, Dong Yaoqiong live-streamed herself pouring black ink over a poster of Xi Jinping in Shanghai, while criticizing the Communist Party's ‘oppressive brain control’ over the country. Hours later, she reported seeing police officers at her door and the video was removed from her social media account. She has not been seen in public since, although Voice of America and Radio Free Asia reported that she was being held at a psychiatric hospital in her home province of Hunan, citing local activists. 7. Barge into your house to force you off the airwaves. Sun Wenguang, a prominent critic of the Chinese government, was forced off air during a live phone interview with Voice of America in early August. The 83-year-old former economics professor had been arguing that Xi Jinping had his economic priorities wrong, when up to eight policemen barged into his home, and forced him off the line. ... 8. Trap you in your house, and detain people who come to see you. ... 9. Forbid you from leaving the country. ... 10. Intercept your protests before they even begin.”
“Barging into Your Home,” Business Insider, Aug. 19, 2018
Were There Lots of Floods?
2 Peter 3:5-6
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:”
The ideas of deep-time geology are actually older than Darwin’s theory of evolution. In many ways, it was the deep-time ideas that gave birth to Darwinism, not the other way around.
Prior to the 1800s, most scientists would have assumed that the fossil record was evidence of the worldwide Flood. However, even in the 1700s, there were those, like James Hutton in Edinburgh, Scotland, who had started to suggest long ages without a Flood.
There were also always those scientists who wished to react against such ideas, but, in doing so, some of these scientists made compromises of their own over the biblical account. Georges Cuvier, who lived from 1768 through 1832, was one such. He could not accept that there had been no Flood, but accepted Hutton’s views on the extreme age of Fossils, so he began to suggest that there had, in fact, been multiple catastrophes in the past.
In his book, Theory of the Earth (1813), he suggested that the rock layers were evidence of extinction events. He suggested that each extinction event was caused by some sort of catastrophe – probably a Flood. Today, his ideas may seem to be the worst of all possible ideas on the subject, so how did this hybrid opinion develop? Remember that at the time there was no radiometric dating, so his only justification for accepting the supposed ages of these fossils was the opinion of fellow scientists. These are the sort of compromises that we reach when we do not make the inerrancy of Scripture our starting point.
A grand jury has concluded that more than 1,000 children were abused by Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses alone over the last several decades. The report, the product of a two-year investigation, identified 300 abusing priests and lay “brothers” and found evidence of a systematic cover-up by senior church leaders in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican in Rome (“Report Identifies More Than 1,000,” Associated Press, Aug. 14, 2018). At a news conference, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said, “The cover-up was sophisticated. And all the while, shockingly, church leadership kept records of the abuse and the cover-up. These documents, from the dioceses’ own ‘Secret Archives,’ formed the backbone of this investigation.” The six dioceses represent only half of the Catholic churches in Pennsylvania. Most of the victims were boys. The Roman Catholic Church in America has paid over $2 billion to settle lawsuits against immoral priests. The Bishop Accountability organization said that more than 4,000 priests have been accused of abusing children (“US Church to Pay 12.6 Million,” AFP, Aug. 11, 2008). A conservative Catholic organization documented this wretched business in the fall/winter 2002 issue of the magazine Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam, observing: “… the overwhelming majority of sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church--about 90%--involve homosexual priests preying on teenage boys. The major media and the U.S. culture at large want to deny or spin the homosexual factor out of the scandal.” In a recent interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke said, “I believe that there needs to be an open recognition that we have a very grave problem of a homosexual culture in the Church, especially among the clergy and the hierarchy...” (“Cardinal Burke Addresses the Clergy Scandal,” Catholic Action for Faith and Family, Aug. 16, 2018). This is not a problem limited to America. In 2003, the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland agreed to pay $110 million to avoid further sex scandal litigation. In 2013, Pope Francis acknowledged that a “gay lobby” exists in the highest levels of Catholicism. “In the Curia, there are holy people. But there is also a stream of corruption. The ‘gay lobby’ is mentioned, and it is true, it is there. We need to see what we can do” (“Pope Francis,” CNN Belief Blog, June 11, 2013). The pope was referring to reports that appeared in Italian newspapers in 2012 based on leaks to journalists from Vatican insiders. La Repubblica said there are “high-level Vatican clergy involved in homosexual affairs.” Rome’s doctrine of “celibacy” is defiance to God’s Word and is a terrible farce.
Friday Church News Notes, August 24, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143
“And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters.”
The idea of plate tectonics is today such a deeply ingrained idea that many people assume the concept is completely proved and is the only obvious way to explain the Earth’s crust. Many creationists – and I include myself – would suggest that plate tectonics is indeed the best explanation, though we would not accept the evolutionary timescale, suggesting that tectonic movement must have been rapid and catastrophic in the early days of the Flood. However, the deep-time, evolutionary version of plate tectonics owes much to the work of Alfred Wegener, who published his ideas of continental drift in 1912, but whose ideas were not widely accepted until the 1950s.
However, Wegener was not the originator of the idea. The first published account of this concept was a book called La Création et ses mystères dévoilés (“The Creation and its Mysteries Unveiled”), by the French geologist Antonio Snider-Pellegrini. Pellegrini noticed two important facts. First, examining a map of the world, he realized that the continents of the world are similar to a jigsaw puzzle. It is possible to move the continents so that they appear to join together. Pellegrini hypothesized that the continents had originally been joined, but had moved apart. In support of this idea, he cited the similarity between plant fossils in Europe and North America.
It is possible that his theories did not catch on immediately because of his ideas on the mechanism for this continental drift. Pellegrini thought that the continents were forced to drift apart by the onset of the worldwide Flood reported in Genesis.
The Trilobite's Amazing Eye
“The trilobite is an extinct arthropod, a hard-shelled, segmented sea creature. The name ‘trilobite’ means ‘three lobed’ and refers to the creature’s three longitudinal lobes. It existed in a bewildering number of varieties, with fifteen to twenty thousand known species, ranging in size from one millimeter to over two feet in length. Evolutionists place the trilobite in the earliest stages of life, in the so-called Cambrian layer. The earliest trilobites supposedly lived 570 million years ago and the creature is thought to have gone extinct 240 million years ago. It is considered one of the signature creatures of the Paleozoic Era. Evolutionary writings are filled with accounts of the trilobite, of how it ‘evolved,’ ‘modified,’ ‘developed eyes,’ and such, but there is no evidence for this. The scientific evidence that it evolved from some other creature or that its complex eyes and other organs evolved is non-existent. This proposition is based upon evolutionary assumptions and wishful thinking and not on the actual evidence. Consider the trilobite’s compound eye, which gives every evidence of being a marvelous design. Clarkson and Levi-Setti (1975) of the University of Chicago did spectacular work on the optics of the trilobite eye lenses. “It turns out that each lens is a doublet, that is, made up of two lenses, while the shape of the boundary between the two lenses is unlike any now in use--either by animals or humans (Shawver 1974). However, the lens shape and the interface curvature are nearly identical to designs published independently by Descartes and Huygens in the seventeenth century. Their design had the purpose of avoiding spherical aberration and was known as the aplanatic lens. Levi-Setti pointed out that the second lens in the doublet of the trilobite eye was necessary in order that the lens system could work under water where the trilobites lived. Thus, these creatures living at the earliest stages of life used an optimal lens design that would require very sophisticated optical engineering procedures to develop today’ (Ian Taylor, In the Minds of Men, p. 164). Some of the trilobites had 15,000 lenses per eye, and all of these worked together in perfect harmony to provide exceptional vision for this ‘simple’ creature. In spite of evolutionary claims that ‘trilobites developed one of the first sophisticated visual systems in the animal kingdom,’ there is no evidence that the trilobite eye or any other eye evolved. The eye is found intact on countless fossilized creatures reaching back to the supposed earliest stages of the fossil record, and the eye appears fully formed in countless varieties, with absolutely no evidence that one type of eye evolved from another. To lay out a display of eyes from ‘simple’ to more complex is not evidence for evolution. That could just as well prove that each particular eye was designed by God for that particular creature.”
Seeing the Non-existent: Evolution’s Myths and Hoaxes, David Cloud, copyright 2011
“The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;”
There is an upper layer to the Earth’s Mantle called the Asthenosphere. This comprises of semi-molten rock. Crustal rocks of the Earth’s tectonic plates seem to almost float on this. The heavier rocks of the ocean crust float lower than the less dense rocks of the continental crust. This suggests that the rocks of the ocean floor would be older than the rocks of the continent. However, this is not the case.
Radiometric dating shows that the continental rocks are older than those in the ocean. As creationists, we tend to criticize the assumptions used to calculate ages from radiometric measurements. But our criticism of those assumptions would not alter the relative ages of the rocks. So a rock dated by a radiometric method as being, say, 200 million years old will be older than one dated by the same system as 100 million years even if we do not accept the millions of years. So we can be reasonably sure that the ocean floor rocks are older than the rocks of the continental crust.
This is a problem for evolutionary geologists, but not for creationists. Genesis tells us that the Flood began by the opening of the fountains of the deep. This suggests that huge fissures opened up on the floor of the pre-Flood ocean. Water would have come through, creating the fountains, but also magma, which would have created new ocean floors, as the old oceanic crust was subducted.
So the relative ages of the ocean floor and the continents are not a problem when our starting point is that the Bible is true.
Ezekiel 4:9 Bread
Ezekiel 4:9 Bread is a commercial product “inspired by” its namesake Bible verse, which says, “Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof, according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon thy side, three hundred and ninety days shalt thou eat thereof.” The producer of the bread states, “We discovered when these six grains and legumes are sprouted and combined, an amazing thing happens. A complete protein is created that closely parallels the protein found in milk and eggs.” I don’t have any reason to doubt that Ezekiel 4:9 Bread is healthy. It is rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, natural fiber, and has no added sugar or fat. The problem is its claim to have a biblical basis. The diet that God commanded Ezekiel to eat was not for health; it was a siege diet. Consider the context: “And thy meat which thou shalt eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time shalt thou eat it. Thou shalt drink also water by measure, the sixth part of an hin: from time to time shalt thou drink. And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. … I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with care; and they shall drink water by measure, and with astonishment: That they may want bread and water, and be astonied one with another, and consume away for their iniquity” (Ezekiel 4:10-12, 16-17). Ezekiel was to use various kinds of grain and lentils to make his bread, because in the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem the people had to scrape together whatever was available. It was a famine diet. Twenty shekels of bread was about eight ounces, and a sixth of a hin of water was about two-thirds of a quart. Jeremiah, an eyewitness, described the horror of the famine during the year and a half siege. Elderly people died of starvation (Lamentations 1:19). The people gave their most valuable things for food (Lamentations 1:11). Children fainted in the streets (Lamentations 2:11-12). The wealthy dug through dunghills and trash heaps in search of food (Lamentations 4:5). The people were reduced to skin and bones (Lamentations 4:8). The pain of hunger was so great that death was to be preferred (Lamentations 4:9). Some ate their own children (Lamentations 4:10). For Ezekiel 4:9 Bread to be a “biblical food,” it should be eaten at a rate of no more than eight ounces a day and be cooked with human dung fuel! Many quack diets claim to be based on the Bible. There is the God Diet, the Maker’s Diet, the Genesis Diet, the Daniel Diet, the Edenic Diet, the Hallelujah Diet, the Seventh-Day Adventist diet, and others, but in truth there is no such thing as a Bible diet beyond some basic principles that can be gathered from various passages, which we have set out extensively in the new book The Bible, Diet, and Alternative Health Care. But if we are going to aim for a Bible diet, why not the milk and honey diet? Forty-eight times the land of Israel is called a land “flowing with milk and honey.” That sounds like vanilla ice cream to me! (It’s a joke, folks!)
Friday Church News Notes, August 17, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143
Confessing Creation Again
“Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.”
In the previous Creation Moment, I looked at the Westminster Confession of Faith and showed that the statement in chapter 4 §I is very clear on the necessity of believing that God made the world in six literal 24-hour days. The same statement also appears at chapter 4 §I of the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
Chapter 4 §II of 1689 London goes on to say this:
After God had made all other creatures, he created man, male and female, with reasonable and immortal souls, rendering them fit unto that life to God for which they were created; being made after the image of God, in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it, and yet under a possibility of transgressing, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject to change.
A very similar statement, with slightly different wording, appears in the Westminster Confession.
It must be remembered that these statements are part of Confessions which lay down those things which those churches decided people ought to believe. It should be noted that §II is telling us that the creation of humans is separate from the creation of all other creatures. We know this from Scripture, when we read that God called all the other creatures directly into existence, whereas He made Adam from the dust of the Earth, molding him, then breathing life into him.
Far from evolving from ape-like creatures, this statement tells us that man was made in God’s image, with God’s law within him, and the ability to obey or disobey.
“The Nuffield Council on Bioethics, a UK-based independent charitable body located in London, has seen fit to grant a green light to the use of gene-editing technology to alter the characteristics of unborn children. The bioethics council stated that there was nothing objectionable about the use of DNA altering technology that enables parents to give their child certain characteristics, with a few major caveats. The council says that the DNA is only ‘morally permissible’ if it doesn’t exacerbate already existing social inequalities. The report released by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, titled ‘Genome Editing and Human Reproduction: Social and Ethical Issues’, says only that the use of DNA editing technology could be ‘morally permissible’ and urges a larger conversation on the issue along with much more research into the effectiveness and safety of the technology, as well as the potential social impact of the technology. The report does not call for any changes to current UK law that would make the altering of a child’s DNA legal, merely stating that the use of such technology is not inherently immoral. Currently, any modified embryo has to be destroyed by the time the embryo is two weeks of age, and similar restrictions are found in the US. Karen Yeung, the chair of the NCB [explains] that the first uses of genome editing technology will likely be used to eliminate the risk of certain diseases and genetic disorders. However, in time the technology will become more sophisticated and likely become available for use to parents who want to achieve a wider range of goals. The NCB report makes direct reference to germline modifications. Germline modifications are those that can alter the characteristics displayed in future generations. Germline modifications are distinct from somatic gene therapies, which are administered to an organism after birth. The germline modifications are given to a parent, but they can be passed down to offspring. The alterations are permanent, so it’s very important that genetic engineers get the alterations correct.”
“UK Ethics Council,” Science Trends, Jul. 30, 2018
“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
In recent years, there has been a renewed interest among Christians in a variety of denominations in the use of the historic confessions of faith, such as the 1648 Westminster Confession and the 1689 London Baptist Confession. Sadly, I have noticed that many such people are precisely those who have decided to reinterpret Genesis, usually as an allegory inspired by Ancient Near Eastern mythology. One Presbyterian leader, for example, has described Adam and Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden as an allegory of the captivity of God’s people to Babylon.
In view of such ideas, it is interesting to look at the confessions in question. The Westminster Confession contains the following words in Chapter 1:
It pleased God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the manifestation of the glory of His eternal power, wisdom, and goodness, in the beginning, to create, or make of nothing, the world, and all things therein whether visible or invisible, in the space of six days; and all very good.
Identical words are used in chapter 4 of the 1689 London Baptist Confession.
In these words, both confessions confirm the importance of believing in a literal six-day creation.
Moreover, they point out that the creation, when complete, was “very good” – the biblical words used to imply that there was, as yet, no sin or death in the world when initially created. This creation was made by all three persons of the Trinity – one God – for His own glory!
It should be a good thing to return to the confessions of our forefathers. While doing so, let us not overlook the creation confession.
“The new Netflix adaptation of the 1908 novel Anne of Green Gables has been revised to include multiple homosexual characters, according to the series creator, Moira Walley-Beckett. In the Northwood Entertainment-produced series, ‘Anne with an E,’ the beloved character Great Aunt Josephine Barry is the first of many LGBT characters in the series. … Aunt Jo revealed in Season 1 that she was grieving over the loss of a character known as Aunt Gertrude, Josephine's partner. IndieWire reports their relationship is what's called a ‘Boston marriage,’ when two women live together without being supported financially by a man. The term didn’t exist during the time period of the show. ‘And so we touch on that in Season 1, and in Season 2 we get to expand upon it in a way that allows her to provide a forum of acceptance,’ Walley-Beckett continued. That ‘forum of acceptance’ is known as a ‘queer soirée.’ In Season 2, Aunt Jo holds her first queer soirée since the passing of her partner. … IndieWire goes on to say that one of the artists attending the soirée is the show’s creation of the real-life pianist and composer, Cécile Chaminade. The media outlet reports the show also features two homosexual male characters. One is Anne’s good friend, ‘Cole.’ And it doesn’t end there. IndieWire goes on to report that the series creator also pictured the children’s teacher, Mr. Phillips, as gay. A contributing writer for Movieguide, The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment, spoke out against all the prominent homosexual story lines depicted in ‘Anne With an E.’ ‘The creators of the series have carefully manipulated the classic story with an agenda that fits their worldview,’ wrote Tess Farrand. ‘ANNE WITH AN E’s attempt to also push LGBT in programming that would normally attract more faith-based audiences is utterly unnecessary. Moreover, focusing attention on the sexuality subplot of the series detracts from the moral redemptive nature of the story. Obviously, the minds behind the series are jumping onto the ideological bandwagon that already has concerned parents even more worried. The discussion of gender and sexuality are in fact discussed ad nauseam. People in 2018 don’t need or want to see political/social debates take place on ‘family’ TV shows; they see enough of it on social media or see it on the 5 ‘o clock news. Rather, we should be turning to the ultimate resource for clarification on these pressing topics: the Bible.’”
“Netflix Twists,” CBN News, Jul. 21, 2018
Does the Earth Have a Thermostat?
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”
When scientific ideas seem to disagree with the Bible, Christians should hold firm. The Bible is God’s word, and oftentimes changes in those scientific ideas create renewed alignment with the Bible.
One such idea that I read recently concerned the regulation of temperatures on the Earth. Many scientists are concerned about so-called climate change and the problems that they believe are caused by the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration. Ignoring for the moment the fact that many of us consider the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration to be insignificant, one team of researchers has suggested that atmospheric CO2 concentrations vary with rates of erosion.
Rocks containing calcium silicate can be chemically weathered by rainwater, but only if that water contains increased levels of dissolved carbon dioxide. Therefore, an increase in this sort of weathering will, it is supposed, lead to a decrease in atmospheric concentration. Increased temperature often causes the increased precipitation required for increased weathering. So, in summary, increased global temperature leads to increased chemical weathering, which leads to decreased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, which, because it is a greenhouse gas, leads to cooler global temperatures. To summarize our summary: increased global temperatures cause global temperatures to decrease, by this weathering effect. It is supposed that the converse is also true, so the Earth has a thermostat.
Genesis speaks of climate regulation thus: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)
The DNA copying and reading process has complex editing ability. Dr. Jonathan Sarfati writes, "The copying is far more precise than pure chemistry could manage--only about 1 mistake in 10 billion letters, because there is editing (proof-reading and error-checking) machinery, again encoded in the DNA. But how would the information for editing machinery be transmitted accurately before this machinery was in place? Lest it be argued that the accuracy could be achieved stepwise through selection, note that a high degree of accuracy is needed to prevent error catastrophe--the accumulation of ‘noise’ in the form of junk proteins. Again there is a vicious circle, a ‘Catch-22’ (more irreducible complexity)" (By Design, p. 163). Chemical pathways and barriers are also necessary for life. Walt Brown, Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT, observes: "Living cells contain thousands of different chemicals, some acidic, others basic. Many chemicals would react with others were it not for an intricate system of chemical barriers and buffers. If living things evolved, these barriers and buffers must also have evolved--but at just the right time to prevent harmful chemical reactions. How could such precise, seemingly coordinated, virtually miraculous events have happened for each of millions of species?" (In the Beginning, p. 15). These are just a few of the terribly complex features of the living cell which point directly to an Almighty God.
Seeing the Non-existent: Evolution’s Myths and Hoaxes, David Cloud, copyright 2011,
www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143
Two Noses Are Better than One
Psalm 115:4, 6
“Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:”
Did you know that most animals and humans have two noses? Most animals and humans have two very separate systems for detecting scents that work very differently from one another. These two sensory systems even detect very different types of scents.
We are all familiar with the smell of dinner cooking. However, scientists are making some surprising discoveries about our other system for detecting scents. This second system uses an organ called the vomeronasal organ, or VNO, in the nose. Rather than smelling dinner, the VNO detects pheromones. Among animals, pheromones are important for mating behavior. Mouse studies show that the VNO is wired into the brain with its own set of neurons. The research shows that mouse VNO neurons are up to 10,000 times more sensitive to pheromones than nasal neurons are to other scents. This amazing sensitivity rivals that of insects’ abilities to detect pheromones. While your nose uses many receptors to detect scents, your VNO apparently works quite differently.
The ability to detect scents is amazing enough and could hardly have developed by evolution. That we have two very different systems that fulfill very different purposes is a tribute to God’s creativity and shows that evolutionary thinking is nothing but a modern idol.
Drone Food Delivery in Iceland's Capital
The Israeli technology firm Flytrex, which is using drones to deliver sushi, hamburgers and beer to hungry Icelanders, said it is expanding its supply routes in the capital Reykjavik to a total of 13, from one. This will allow the Tel Aviv-based startup to service almost half of the Icelandic city with its autonomous on-demand urban drone delivery service, the firm said on Tuesday. The delivery will continue to be in partnership with Aha.is, Iceland’s largest on-demand supplier of restaurant food, with which the Israeli startup launched its first delivery route. The upgraded service will also include an advanced ‘InAir’ wire-drop system that will safely lower packages directly to consumers’ backyards, beginning with a limited number of addresses and expanding pending approval by property owners. Each unmanned aerial vehicle is approved to fly up to 700 meters off its path to make backyard deliveries in select, approved neighborhoods, the statement said, and Flytrex aims to extend home deliveries to every resident in Reykjavik in the coming months.
“Israel’s Flytrex,” The Times of Israel, Aug. 7, 2018
Boys Training to be Girls?
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them..“
Do men and women differ from each other because God gave them different natures or because their environment caused them to be men or women? In short, is it our nature (our genes) or our nurture (our environment) that determines whether we become men or women?
Perhaps a pair of Canadian twin boys can answer the question. When they were a few months old, their parents decided to have them circumcised. After the doctor made a tragic error with one of the boys, the distraught parents did not know what to do. Not long after that, they saw a program on television about the effects of nature and nurture. During the course of the program, a doctor claimed that a surgically altered boy who was raised as a girl would grow into a woman. The parents contacted him. He assured the parents that he could help them raise their son as a healthy, happy girl. However, as the years went by, their new “daughter” grew to behave more like a boy than a girl. Finally, as a young adult he reclaimed his identity as a male. Today he is married and the step father of three children. His experience has led him to call the idea that it is the way children are raised that determines whether they become men or women, “Plainly ignorant.” The doctor who encouraged his parents to raise him as a girl has since been removed from his gender studies clinic.
We are made male or female by God, Who gives each of us the unique characteristics we need for our unique roles as parents. No amount of denial of this truth can change the truth of what God creates.
If you were at Jamestown—the tiny English settlement on the banks of the James River in Virginia—399 years ago this week, you probably would have been aware that something unusual was happening. Over in the rough-hewn, thatch-roofed church building, 22 duly elected settlers, six councilors, and their newly arrived governor, all white males, were braving the intense summer heat to attend the first meeting of the "general Assemblie." A new English charter a year earlier had authorized formation of this first representative assembly in the dozen-year-old colony, and the new governor, Sir George Yeardley, had seen to the charter’s implementation. It was the beginning of representative democracy in America, the forerunner of our Congress, state legislatures, and other representative bodies. Planted in Virginia a year before the Mayflower arrived from England, representative government would take root firmly, blossom in 13 largely self-governing colonies, and after independence grow into the great tree of American liberty, inspiring similar plantings in much of the world. Next year will mark the 400th anniversary of this hugely important, if rudimentary and tragedy-laced, beginning. It will present an opportunity to reflect on how far representative democracy has come and how far it still has to go.
“Representative Government,” Fox News, Aug. 7, 2018
Babies Baffle Evolution
“And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.”
The Bible teaches that until several centuries after the Flood all people on Earth spoke the same language. The fact that many supposedly unrelated languages have similar sounding words with the same or similar meanings supports this teaching. Some language researchers say that this is simply due to chance. Now some language researchers say that they have developed another line of research that supports the belief that all humans once spoke the same language.
Language researchers have spent years listening to babies in many different language groups babble. Babies younger than four months make a variety of sounds as they learn to use their voice. Speaking is a highly complex activity, requiring the coordination of 70 different muscles as well as several different body parts. By seven to ten months of age babies typically begin making sounds that alternate vowels and consonants. Researchers found that there are three distinct patterns of alternating sounds that are universal among babies in English-speaking households. Then they found that these three patterns are also common among infants from a wide range of language groups around the world. Researchers comparing infants from varying language groups then identified a fourth pattern among all groups. These findings have been interpreted as independent evidence that all people once spoke one language.
We accept what the Bible says by faith, not because it has been proven. But when Scripture’s truths are supported by science the Bible’s integrity is upheld before skeptics.
The Never-Ending Push for Unity
This is the era of the never-ending push for Christian unity. It is evident everywhere: in the World Council of Churches, in national councils, in global and national and regional “evangelical” organizations, in city clergy associations. Unity is promoted by para-church organizations and is a major focus of evangelistic crusades. Unity is pushed by the Roman Catholic Church, by Protestants, by Pentecostals, by Charismatics, and by most Baptists. It is a major theme of contemporary worship music. It is the focus of global missions organizations. It is a principle held by most Bible colleges and seminaries. Separation has become a foreign concept to the vast, vast majority of professing Christians. Division is instinctively despised. Preachers who cause disunity by doctrinal dogmatism are considered enemies of Jesus Christ, who allegedly prayed for ecumenical unity in John 17. The latest ecumenical thrust, as if another were needed, is the formation of the Congress of Christian Leaders (CCL), a new “interdenominational body that will seek to foster unity.” Founded by “evangelical leaders” Samuel Rodriguez and Johnnie Moore, the inaugural board includes megachurch pastors Greg Laurie, Jack Graham, and Jentezen Franklin (“Greg Laurie, Jack Graham among Global Pastors Named to Board,” Christian Post, Aug. 5, 2018). The 16 leaders on the board “have collective influence exceeding many millions of Christians on six continents.” The founders state that a “key defining factor” of the CCL is that it “will not be exclusively for evangelicals.” Regardless of its popularity, ecumenical unity is contrary to the teaching of God’s Word, which forbids the unity of truth and error, light and darkness. God’s Word warns loudly and plainly of false gospels, false christs, and false spirits. It warns of end-time apostasy and spiritual deception. The unity of all denominations is heresy. It is disobedience to God and will produce a one-world “church” of the Antichrist. Those leading the unity are the blind leading the blind. It is impossible to obey the Bible and pursue Christian unity today. A clear choice must be made. Obedience to the Bible’s command to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints single-handedly destroys every type of interdenominational unity. One cannot pursue ecumenical unity while fighting enthusiastically for doctrinal purity. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
(Friday Church News Notes, August 10, 2018, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
Race for the Pyramids
2 Chronicles 12:2-3
“And it came to pass, that in the fifth year of King Rehoboam Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem … and the people without number that came with him … and the Ethiopians.”
While most people know that several ancient cultures built pyramids, which culture built the most? Most people would answer “Egypt”, but they would be wrong. However, they did inspire the culture that built the most pyramids.
At its height, the Egyptian empire included many cultures, reaching into the Near East as well as into Africa. Nubia, just to the south of Egypt, was a proud member of the Egyptian empire and adopted many Egyptian customs. Sometimes referred to as Ethiopians in some Bible translations, they became so much a part of the Egyptian empire that they even provided troops to the Egyptian army, according to the Bible. Nubia is also called “Cush” in the Bible. Among the Egyptian customs they adopted was burying their kings in pyramids. After mummification, dead royalty were placed in their tombs, which were decorated and filled with supplies thought to be needed in the next life. The base of these pyramids also included a chapel for those who wished to continue to worship the dead king. While none of their pyramids was as large as the great Egyptian pyramids, over the centuries they built 223 pyramids, far more than are found in Egypt!
The Bible’s mention of these people serving in the Egyptian army rings true to history. The Nubians were proud members of the Egyptian empire and continued to enjoy an alliance with Egypt long after the empire ended.