Has the Spirit of Prayer Departed?
Metropolitan Tabernacle of London, England, during Charles Spurgeon’s pastorate (1854-1882) is an example of a praying church. The preaching was effectual and the church was aggressive in evangelism (e.g., street preaching, aggressive tract distribution, 27 Sunday Schools ministering to over 8,000 children with 612 teachers). Thousands were saved with changed lives as evidence, and Spurgeon attributed this largely to prayer. “Spurgeon regarded the prayer meeting as ‘the most important meeting of the week.’ He often said that it was not surprising if churches did not prosper, when they regarded the prayer meeting as of so little value that one evening in the week was made to suffice for a feeble combination of service and prayer meeting. A.T. Pierson, who ministered at the Tabernacle during Spurgeon’s last illness, said, ‘This Metropolitan Tabernacle is a house of prayer most emphatically prayer is almost ceaselessly going up. When one meeting is not in progress, another is. There are prayer meetings before preaching, and others after preaching. No marvel that Mr. Spurgeon’s preaching has been so blessed. He himself attributes it mainly to the prevailing prayers of his people’” (Wonders of Grace: Original testimonies of converts during Spurgeon’s early years, p. 14). Spurgeon warned about the prayerlessness that characterized many of the Baptist churches of his day. He attributed the “downgrade” in doctrine in the Baptist Union to the weak spiritual condition of the churches. He wrote, “Are churches in a right condition when they have only one meeting for prayer in a week, and that a mere skeleton? Churches which have prayer-meetings several times on the Lord’s-day, and very frequently during the week, yet feel their need of more prayer; but what can be said of those who very seldom practice united supplication? Are there few conversions? Do the congregations dwindle? Who wonders that this is the case when the spirit of prayer has departed?” (The Sword and the Trowel, Aug. 1887).
(Friday Church News Notes, November 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”
There have been some truly magnificent musical works composed over the centuries. The great Baroque Oratorios are among my favorite, combining recitatives – “sung as spoken” narration, alternating with choruses of tremendous power. The composers Bach and Handel were the masters of this form of church music. The Austrian composer, Joseph Haydn, really belongs to the later Classical, rather than Baroque, era of art music, but during concert tours of England in the 1790s, he was much impressed by Handel’s oratorios Israel in Egypt and, of course, The Messiah, and wanted to write a major oratorio of his own.
He was handed a lengthy poem, detailing the creation of the world, which Handel had not got round to working on. Haydn decided he would do it, so he got his librettist, Baron Gottfried van Swieten, to adapt the poem, which drew on the words of Genesis, Psalms, and John Milton’s classic Paradise Lost.
Uniquely, the libretto was developed in both German and English, so is equally at home being performed in either language. A performance of The Creation is a massive undertaking, however, with large choir and orchestra, and powerful solo sections.
The oratorio was first performed in Vienna in 1799. The work reflects the composer’s own faith. The dying Haydn was carried into his last performance, in 1808, at which the audience erupted in spontaneous applause. Haydn pointed weakly upward. “Not from me—everything comes from up there!” And Haydn’s Creation remains a supreme act of worship to our God and Creator.
“For years, scientists have been puzzled by the discrepancy between the released and measured ocean plastic. More than 98% goes missing every year, causing researchers to wonder where it goes. A new study may have an answer: It is dissolved by the sun. Scientists from Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, East China Normal University, and Northeastern University conducted a lab experiment to study how plastic responds to direct sunlight while floating in ocean water. Published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, the study exposed various plastic polymers commonly found in ocean garbage to simulated sunlight while immersed in ocean water for two months. It observed degradation and dissolution at a far higher rate than anyone previously thought possible. The consensus has been that plastic survives in nature for thousands of years. This study showed that, when exposed to sunlight, the half-life--the time it takes for half of the material to disappear--of common types of plastic was reduced to only 2.7 years. The most robust plastic had an estimated half-life of 49 years, which is still orders of magnitude faster than previously believed. In the West, news of sea creatures trapped in plastic typically is met with more demands to ban plastic straws. This is a classic example of narcissistic altruism, the misplaced belief that anything wrong in the world is to be blamed on America. Yet 95% of the plastic garbage in the ocean comes from only ten rivers in the world, most of them in Asia, and all of them in the Third World. According to The Wall Street Journal, China alone accounts for 8.8 million tons annually, whereas America releases only 0.3 million tons. The United States accounts for only about 1% of the combined world pollution. Until now, Third World countries have been given a free pass by the West. They get to produce as much CO2 as they want, cheat on intellectual property, subsidize their national industry while tolling and strictly regulating foreign competitors, treat their workers in a way that would never be allowed in the West, and release most of the garbage that pollutes the world’s oceans to the detriment of all. The main culprit is China.”
“Ocean Plastics” Liberty Nation, Nov. 14, 2019
An Egg that Won't Hatch
“I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.”
We do not have many artifacts in the Mount St Helens Creation Center, as we consider ourselves more of a visitors’ center than a museum. But, over the years, we have acquired one or two interesting pieces. One of them is a fossilized egg, and I have been reliably informed that it is the egg of a hadrosaurus.
The hadrosaurus was one of the earliest and most famous fossil discoveries of the 19th Century. Having seen some large bones, dug up by someone twenty years previously, the discoverer dug up a nearly complete skeleton in 1858, in a woodland site in New Jersey. The dinosaur was subsequently named Hadrosaurus foulkii, for its discoverer. It was thought to be a dinosaur, similar to iguanadon.
It was ten years before the skeleton was assembled for display. The sculptor who assembled the skeleton was the British naturalist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins. Foulke had contacted the paleontologist Joseph Leidy, who decided that the dinosaur must have walked on two legs, which is interesting, because Hawkins had previously built a model iguanadon at the Crystal Palace dinosaur park in London, England, showing the iguanadon on all fours, like a lizard.
Today, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences houses the dinosaur, and many other fossil hadrosaurs have been discovered, making it, and its eggs, some of the most popular fossils around. Hadrosaurs were beautiful creatures, made by God on Day Six of creation week, along with the other land animals.
“When you think the big corporate push for a sexual revolution couldn’t get any worse, think again. The LGBTQ mafia which is controlled by the corporate elites has continued to stay on the bleeding edge of sexual immorality and Sprite is at the front of the line. Sprite recently released a commercial in Argentina depicting a teenage boy bundling up and transitioning into a girl. The commercial shows graphic images of the child’s body while he changes into girl’s clothes, puts on a wig, and paints himself up. Ten years ago, this commercial would have sparked outrage across the world and would not have been allowed, but now, this is celebrated like it’s the greatest thing to happen to the world since sliced bread. It is clearly an indication that the world is being given over to sin and under the judgment of God.”
“Sprite Puts Out Disgusting Commercial,” ReformationCharlotte.com, Nov. 15, 2019
Saturn and Its Ring Rain
“The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.”
It is raining ice particles on the surface of Saturn, and the source of that rain is the planet’s unusual ring system.
Saturn is so spectacular, that we have to revisit it time and time again, even though we have talked about it before in previous Creation Moments. When I first saw telescope images of Saturn, as a boy, I was open-mouthed. Modern exploration, including spacecraft, has only served to increase our surprise and delight at the planet, with its magnificent, highly photogenic ring system.
Voyager I, launched in 1977, and flying by Saturn in 1980, hinted at the concept of ring rain. More recent NASA observations have confirmed that particles of ice from the rings are being pulled by gravity into the planet. The rate at which this is happening suggests that Saturn’s rings are slowly disappearing. If the current rates continue, Saturn’s rings could disappear in 100 million years!
“This is relatively short, compared to Saturn’s age of over 4 billion years,” says James O’Donoghue of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The calculations are accurate, but are based on the idea that this ring rain has always happened at a constant rate, and will always continue at that same rate. This is a principle that makes no sense, when we observe that the Bible’s timescale of about 6,000 years is much less. I cannot say why this process is happening, but I see no reason why God would end the tour of duty of Saturn’s rings.
Colonial Hills Baptist Church of Indianapolis, Indiana, has announced “Worship Conference 2020: A Traditional Look at Contemporary Music” to be held in January. Speakers include Seth Custer and Greg Steikes of Bob Jones University, Adam Morgan of Majesty Music, Mark Herbster of Maranatha Baptist University, and Tim Fisher of Sacred Music Services. It is described as “a contemporary look at traditional worship.” The problem is that Bob Jones and Majesty Music have capitulated to using Getty Townend Music (GTM) in their hymnals, so they are facing two ways. They have changed their former stand of accepting no contemporary Christian music to one of accepting some contemporary Christian music. This is a major turning point if there is such a thing as a slippery slope in this issue, and there most definitely is such a thing. Getty-Townend are out-and-out contemporary rockers with no boundaries either in musical styles or associations. Townend is a “gibberish tongues-speaking, prophecies are for today, apostles are among us, kingdom now” charismatic. The Gettys partner with Roman Catholics such as Matt Maher, Margaret Becker, and Máire Brennan. GTM is a bridge to the one world church as surely as Hillsong. We have documented this extensively in the report “The Gettys - Pied Pipers of Contemporary Worship Music.” Men who are defending the use of contemporary praise music to any degree instead of warning against it without equivocation will answer to God for the souls that cross the bridges they are building to the dangerous world that is represented by this music. In the Internet age, to recommend some select GTM songs is, in effect, to point people to Stuart Townend and the Gettys online and to their influence. I hope to hear in January that Worship Conference 2020 publicly renounces the use of Getty-Townend Music, repents of any former support for this music, and that GTM will be removed entirely from future editions of hymnbooks published by Majesty Music and Bob Jones University.
(Friday Church News Notes, November 22, 2019, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
Evolutionists Rethink Flowers
“And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:”
It has often been said that if just one piece of evidence does not fit with an established theory, then that theory must be discarded. However, this never seems to happen to the theory of evolution. Instead, it gets adapted and altered at the edges of the theory. So every so often, a scientific article appears that reports that a certain aspect of evolutionary theory is having to be completely rethought. The latest topic is a very big one. It appears that the whole of evolutionary thought about flowering plants has to be redone.
The evolutionary date usually given for the appearance of flowering plants – known as angiosperms – is 130 million years. Now this date cannot be viewed in isolation. Most flowering plants require insects, or other animals, to act as pollinators. Therefore, the evolutionary date for angiosperms must be closely tied to the evolutionary dates for insects, and, to a lesser extent, for mammals.
However, recently a fossil flowering plant from China, called Nanjinganthus dendrostyla, has been given an evolutionary date of 174 million years. This plant clearly has a full flower. One article says that the discovery “shakes up widely accepted theories of plant evolution”. Its date has been assigned, because of the rock layers, in which the fossil was found. Creationists point out that the rock layers are nothing to do with age, but actually indicate the order in which pre-Flood ecosystems were covered by the encroaching floodwater.
“The BBC have released nine online videos titled ‘The Big Talk’ for use in British schools as part of the UK’s new Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) curriculum, which came into force in September 2019. In these films, typically running to four minutes, children are taught that sex is unrelated to gender, that people can go to prison for ‘being disrespectful or hateful’ (to others with different sexual orientations), and that there are ‘over 100 different gender identities.’ To question this ideology is now considered rank heresy. However, the BBC’s teaching will only sow further confusion in our society. The unpalatable truth is that a radical, dangerous philosophy is now being forced upon the young and vulnerable as part of the advancement of an extreme political ideology. It is of grave concern that the BBC is preaching this new ‘all-inclusive doctrine’ to children as young as 9–12 years of age. The material in the BBC videos should concern any parent or teacher who cares about the mental well-being of children, especially those seeking to raise children in accordance with biblical standards. Genesis 1:26-28 reveals that God created people as male and female in His image. Adam and Eve were the first married couple in Scripture, and Jesus Himself affirmed the Bible’s definition of marriage as one woman for one man for life (Matthew 19:4-6; Mark 10:6-8). However, in the BBC videos, school children are encouraged to transgress the clear standards of God’s Word and to celebrate this behaviour. This is to light the fuse of a cultural and moral time-bomb. Recently, Canadian academic Christopher Dummitt, a leader in the field of historical gender studies, bluntly admitted: ‘Everyone was (and is) making it up. That’s how the gender-studies field works.’ Dummit confesses that his field is driven by the underlying, unproven, ideological belief that gender is socially constructed, that it is non-binary (i.e. not restricted to male and female), and that traditional masculinity empowers men to oppress women. Such thinking has dominated the liberal arts in Western academic institutions since the 1990s. But such an ideology Dummit admits is ‘bankrupt’, not based on biological fact.”
“The BBC teaching British school children,” Creation.com, Nov. 14, 2019
A Dinosaur Heat Exchanger
“And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces”
Large dinosaurs could conceivably have had a heat problem. If they were able to generate their own body temperature, like birds and mammals, then the larger the size, the greater the volume to surface area ratio. This would lead to a greater retention of heat. How would large dinosaurs have been able to cope with such a situation?
A lot of research on the subject of dinosaurs has been hampered by researchers’ general assumptions on the supposed evolution of the creature that they are studying. This is despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence for such evolution. So it is exciting to come across some research that does not require evolutionary beliefs to make sense. Such research was carried out by Ohio University scientists into an ankylosaur, named euoplocephalus. This dinosaur fossil – about the size of a large rhino – had a highly convoluted nasal passage. Computer modeling has suggested that this extended passage would lead to veins being close to a lot of incoming air. The air would cool the blood, before it is transported to the brain, and the blood would warm the air before it hit the lungs. Thus there would be a pretty efficient heat exchange in the animal’s nostrils.
The one flaw in the research was when one scientist suggested that nature was finding a solution to a problem. Nature is not alive, and does not find solutions. This system speaks volumes about God’s wonderful design.
The Not-So-Gentle Whale
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Like dinosaurs, whales are huge and wondrous creatures whose sheer size and majesty glorify the Creator. Some whales are even larger than were any of the dinosaurs.
Whales were hunted for generations for processing into a variety of products. It was not until they were hunted to near extinction that governments began to work to prevent this from happening. Much of the hunting was justified on the grounds that whales were ruthless killers. After that perception of whales was proven wrong, the pendulum swung the other way. As a result, the public, and even many scientists, began to romanticize whales. They were presented to the public as gentle, benevolent giants. It became stylish to talk about the whale as an intelligent creature, rivaling and perhaps surpassing humans. Now more objective research into whale behavior shows that whales, while magnificent creatures, are nothing more than wild animals.
Researchers have learned that while whales can be gentle, they can also be terribly violent. They have documented males in vicious battles for the attentions of females. Sometimes as many as ten males will be involved in a free-for-all. Their fighting tactics include ramming each other at full force with their 40-ton bodies. Whales are not very loyal, either. Males will mate with several females. Worse, they will attack females to force them to mate.
Unlike humans, whales are animals, and only humans were created to have an intimate relationship with their Creator.
Finnish Politician Accused of "Incitement of Hatred" over Booklet "Male and Female He Created Them"
“A lawmaker and pastor’s wife in Finland who was already being probed by police over a social media post in which she questioned the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland’s partnership with a Helsinki Pride event is now also facing a preliminary ‘incitement’ investigation over a booklet that she wrote 15 years ago entitled ‘Male and Female He Created Them.’ The Office of the Prosecutor General of Finland issued a press release on Monday noting that while Päivi Räsänen’s 2004 publication--which remains online--‘takes a stand on ecclesiastical policy, social policy, sexuality and marriage in regard to the Bible and its interpretation,’ Prosecutor Raija Toiviainen believes the text potentially constitutes a hate crime. ‘According to the prosecutor general, there is reason to believe that because of the defamation of homosexuals by the violation of their human dignity, Ms. Räsänen is guilty of incitement to hatred against a group,’ it explains. ‘Therefore, there will be a preliminary investigation in this matter.” As previously reported, Räsänen’s husband is a pastor with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, which is the largest denomination in the country, having an estimated three million members. Räsänen is known for defending life and marriage, standing against abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality. In June, Räsänen, a member of the Christian Democrat Party (which is different from the Democratic Party in the United States), also tweeted her views about the unscriptural advocacy. ‘How can the Church’s doctrinal foundation, the Bible, be compatible with the lifting up of shame and sin as a subject of pride? #LGBT #HelsinkiPride2019 #Romans 1:24-27,' she wrote, while sharing a photograph of the biblical text, as it directly addresses homosexuality. However, in September, it was announced that Räsänen had been placed under government investigation for her post, being accused of ‘incitement against sexual and gender minorities.’ She also told the Christian Broadcasting Network that she is ‘worried that this case, the criminal investigation, might frighten some Christians to hide and to keep silent.’ ‘Truth usually comes with a price. One often has to pay for following truth, confessing truth and speaking it. Instead, however, people are tempted to sell the truth, to acquire advantage for oneself by yielding to popular, false ideas and by distorting the truth. Yet the Bible exhorts, Buy the truth, and do not sell it! Räsänen stated during a seminar in 2013, according to text posted to her website. ‘If we neglect this right, the space for speaking will eventually get smaller. The more we keep silent about the teachings of the Bible on the painful issues of our time, the more powerful is the rejection. If there are not enough skiers on a ski track in a snowstorm, it gets difficult to proceed. We need people who ski before us.’”
“Finnish Politician, Pastor’s Wife Accused,” Christian News Network, Nov. 5, 2019
God's Mind, Man's Mind
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.”
It was only a few years ago that excited supporters of the big bang theory for the origin of the universe announced that their theory had apparently been proven. Now their unverified conclusions are being seriously questioned on several fronts.
Even as it was being announced that the big bang theory was proven, verification was being made on other results showing that the big bang theory is probably wrong. William G. Tifft of the University of Arizona had been looking at lists of red shifts from distant galaxies. On a graph, he plotted the red shifts corrected for the effects of the earth’s motion. If the red shifts from these objects are the result of their speeding away from earth, their red shifts should be evenly spread over the known range of shifts. Tifft found that they’re not. The red shifts are clumped into patterns. The intervals are about 72 kilometers per second, with some half that value and some one-third of that value. Astronomers from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh verified his results.
A second study by Tifft has shown that galaxy red shifts measured from earth have changed in just a few years! This change is completely unexpected by proponents of the big bang theory. The change is large enough that Tifft expects to be able to test the rate at which these changes take place within only a few years! One suggestion is that red shifts may be some sort of decay phenomenon rather than expansion of the universe.
How could human beings expect to understand a universe created by the Author of Scripture when they reject Scripture itself?
Beware of Bethel Church
Bethel Church is a former Assemblies of God church in Redding, California, that withdrew in 2005 to become a “nondenominational” charismatic network of churches and ministries. Bethel’s senior pastors are the husband/wife team Bill and Beni Johnson. Bethel Music publishes popular contemporary worship songs, promotes CCM tours worldwide, and operates WorshipU, an influential educational program. Bethel’s most famous musician is Jeremy Riddle, co-author of “This Is Amazing Grace.” The heretical emphasis is “encountering God” and “pursuing the presence of God” by means of releasing oneself to heavily sensual music. “At every service, our worship teams usher in the presence of God.” Bethel’s series “Without Words” uses instrumental music “to push the creative boundaries of worship.” There are no lyrics. Bethel’s “dance and flag ministry” also “reveals God’s heart with no words.” This is blind, emotional mysticism to feed the modern frenzy for “an experience.” It is open disobedience to the Bible’s command to “be sober, be vigilant” and is a perfect recipe for spiritual delusion. True spiritual edification requires a biblical message that is understood. This is the theme of 1 Corinthians 14, where “edify” is a synonym for “understanding.” “Except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Let all things be done unto edifying” (1 Corinthians 14:9, 15, 26). Bethel Church also founded Jesus Culture, a contemporary, charismatic, ecumenical, music-oriented youth ministry that has its own Jesus Culture Music. Jesus Culture’s conferences are attended by tens of thousands. Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry has graduated 10,000 since 1998. “Students learn how to read, understand, and ‘do’ the Bible, how to practice His presence, to witness, heal the sick, prophesy, preach, pray, cast out demons and much more.” Bethel teaches and practices all sorts of charismatic heresies, such as the continuation of apostles and prophets, gibberish tongues, the promise of healing in the atonement, angelic and demon sightings, clairvoyance, grave soaking (lying on a grave to soak up the deceased’s “anointing”), and the appearance of “glory clouds,” gold dust, and angel “feathers.” Beni Johnson teaches that there are a variety of angels: messenger angels, healing angels, fiery angels.” She says that one of her students in the Supernatural School of Ministry was told by God to go to a chapel and shout “Wakey Wakey!” Suddenly, a huge angel stepped out and said, “I am the angel from the 1904 revival and you just woke me up.” When she asked, “Why have you been asleep?” the angel replied, “Because no one has been calling out for revival anymore.” On Nov. 6, 2019, Bill Johnson tweeted, “To raise a generation of powerful people, we must build trust. We must have the core belief that people are good.” In contrast, Jesus’ core belief is that “there is none good but one, that is, God” (Mark 10:18).
(Friday Church News Notes, November 15, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
In creation, things aren’t always as simple as they seem. Even before Charles Darwin, scientists who believed in evolution classified plants and animals by appearance. A story about the creature’s evolutionary history would be invented, based on its appearance and, sometimes, its habits. However, God is too creative for this kind of attempt to write Him out of history.
This background information helps us understand the problem of the giant and lesser pandas. Are they related to bears? Are they related to raccoons? Or neither? Evolutionary scientists have been debating this for more than a century. They were sure the giant and lesser pandas should be grouped together because of similarities in their teeth. And even though the giant panda looks like a bear, it doesn’t hibernate. Nor does it roar—it has a very unbear-like bleat, like a lamb.
Modern molecular biology has now investigated the panda question. DNA and proteins from greater and lesser pandas were examined and compared. Researchers arrived at a startling conclusion, based on what they knew about raccoon and bear DNA and proteins. The greater panda is a bear. The lesser panda is not a bear, but is related to the raccoon.
In their rush to deny the Creator, humans build huge claims out of tiny amounts of information. It is, in fact, much easier to see the greater and lesser pandas as unique creatures that have come from the hand of our imaginative Creator.
“Scientists at the Fudan University and Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics in China have developed a 500MP cloud-connected ‘super camera’ that can reportedly pick out facial details of an individual person among thousands in a crowded stadium. The new tech is raising serious concerns about privacy and government monitoring. According to a report by ABC News, the camera was revealed at China’s International Industry Fair by Xiaoyang Zeng, one of the scientists who worked on the new system. The camera combines its 500MP resolution with a connection to the cloud and AI-powered, real-time facial recognition technology, making it possible to identify every individual in an ultra-wide image of a crowded stadium. As if that’s not enough, the camera can reportedly record video at the same resolution. The applications were put aptly enough by the China News Service, who writes that the ‘cloud-camera system is able to capture thousands of faces at a stadium in perfect detail and generate their facial data for the cloud while locating a particular target in an instant.’ According to the CNS report, the technology is being praised by ‘most Chinese experts’ for its potential ‘military, national defense, and public security applications,’ although ‘some’ have expressed concerns around privacy.”
“China’s New 500MP ‘Super Camera,” petapixel.com, Sep. 27, 2019
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.”
Some frogs are regular little drug factories. Their skins produce a wide range of powerful alkaloids, are a large family of chemicals usually produced by plants. Familiar alkaloids include quinine, caffeine and morphine. Different alkaloids have different effects, usually on the nervous system.
The poison-arrow frog may be the most famous alkaloid-producing frog. South American natives simply rub their arrows or darts on the frog’s back. One species of this frog contains enough poison to kill about a 100 people! Another frog, native to Ecuador, produces an anesthetic more powerful than morphine. South American natives rub another frog on their wounds. Researchers discovered that the frog’s skin makes a powerful antiseptic. Yet another frog alkaloid will change the colors on parrot feathers. Some of the alkaloids produced by frogs are so complex that it takes years of study, using modern science’s most sophisticated equipment, to discover the active chemical.
Researchers in this field are only beginning to learn about the alkaloids produced by frogs. They have yet to research a frog that natives claim to use to heighten their senses for the hunt. What puzzles scientists who believe in evolution is that the frogs’ exotic skin chemistries don’t follow the patterns they anticipated based upon expected evolutionary relationships.
This means that these frogs have one more exciting purpose. They provide evidence against evolution and for the Creator.
“Smoking pot doesn’t do your heart or your brain any favors, a pair of new studies shows. Frequent pot smokers are more than twice as likely to suffer a stroke compared with those who don't partake, the first study found. They’re also more likely to be hospitalized for a dangerously erratic heart rhythm, according to the second study. Both studies are to be presented at an upcoming meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA), in Philadelphia, Nov. 16 to 18. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. The findings are ‘thought provoking at a time when there is a great push to legalize marijuana, and the herb and its metabolites are being promoted as a cure-all for a myriad of medical conditions and ailments,’ said Dr. Ranjit Suri, an electrophysiologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke's in New York City. Suri was not part of either study. The first study found that non-smokers who use marijuana more than 10 days a month are nearly 2.5 times more likely to have a stroke versus non-users. The study team was surprised that people so young had such an elevated stroke risk, said lead author Tarang Parekh, a health policy researcher at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. In the second study, researchers found that people who compulsively use cannabis have an up to 50 percent greater risk of being hospitalized for an arrhythmia--an erratic heartbeat that can increase risk of stroke, heart attack or heart failure.”
“Frequent pot smokers,” HealthDay News, Nov. 11, 2019
Science Confronts Meditation Claims
“Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”
Many people promote meditation as harmless and healthful. Of course, growing interest in meditation cannot be separated from the increased popularity of Eastern and New Age religion.
However, many don’t place the claims that Eastern meditation reduces stress in the same category as the magical New Age claims made for crystals. Unfortunately, even children in public schools go through Eastern meditation exercises.
Eastern meditation has often been recommended as one treatment for hypertension. However, no one had ever studied these medical claims to see if they were true. Then the results of such a study were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Government researchers had studied effects of Eastern meditation on more than 2,100 men and women with high blood pressure. They concluded that it is ineffective in lowering blood pressure. Yes, it is true that there are changes in the brain waves of someone who is meditating. However, brain waves normally change when one type of mental activity replaces another. Nor is Eastern meditation a particularly good choice to produce brain waves associated with mental peace.
Eastern meditation is not harmless. It can open the mind to negative influences. And claims that it can reduce the effects of stress have been scientifically shown to be untrue. Let’s return to our Bible and say with the Psalmist, “Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.”
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 necessities of life that is both physical and spiritual. While it doesn’t fit with a strictly materialistic view of life, love and touch, or lack of love and touch, can determine our health and sometimes even life and death.
The claim that love and touch are necessary to life and health was considered so outrageous that it wasn’t until relatively recently that scientists began to test such claims. Researchers selected 40 hospitalized infants. These infants were not in intensive care, on oxygen, or intravenous feedings, but they were too tiny to leave the hospital. Researchers randomly selected half the group for attention. These infants were touched for three 15-minute periods a day. The first five minutes were spent stroking the infants’ bodies. The next five minutes were spent lightly moving the infants’ arms and legs. This was followed by five more minutes of stroking.
Even though the infants often didn’t seem to notice the attention, it made a difference. After only 10 weekdays of this attention, the stroked infants had gained 47% more weight than the infants that were ignored. This is especially amazing considering the infants that gained less weight had been fed the same number of calories. The stroked infants were also more active, so they should have actually metabolized more of the calories and lost weight rather than increasing in weight.
Can we literally live on love? Well, we do need food and other things, but we also need love—especially from our Creator.
A Southern Baptist Seminary Hires "Gay Affirming Feminist" Who Says Abortion Isn't Murder
“Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forrest, a seminary belonging to the Southern Baptist Convention, just hired a radical leftist and gay-affirming feminist to its faculty. Karen Swallow Prior’s days at Liberty University were limited after promoting her pro-gay book on Liberty’s campus only months ago and her increasingly brazen liberal stances becoming more apparent since Pulpit & Pen began to report on her shocking liberalism since 2015. Our first post on this exceedingly wicked woman aged exceedingly well, and over the years, verified on every point beyond a question of a doubt. That article, Gay Affirming Research Fellow at ERLC, Shocking Liberalism, laid out how Prior repeatedly uses affirming language toward the LGBTQ attended pro-LGBTQ fundraisers, supported pro-LGBTQ ad campaigns, and back-peddled and soft-handed abortion while pretending to have been a pro-life advocate (various claims about her past activism cannot be substantiated). Radical animal rights activists saw Prior as an ‘ally and resource contributor’ to ‘invade right-wing evangelical institutions with an animal-first agenda’ as far back as 2007. Prior said in Christianity Today that abortion is not murder and defended abortionists from the accusation of being ‘murderers.’ Prior said that calling abortion murder is unchristlike. Prior has been hired by Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, which has reverted to a pre-1979 liberalism every bit as progressive as it was prior to the Conservative Resurgence.”
Pulpit & Pen, Oct. 25, 2019
Brain Disappoints Evolutionary Thoughts
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.”
According to evolutionary thought, humans came from ape-like creatures. These ape-like creatures came from reptiles through many steps. Likewise reptiles ultimately came from fish, through many steps. Evolutionists say that with each major stage, more parts were added to the brain. The final development, and the greatest of all, is the cerebral cortex.
According to this theory, one of the oldest parts of the brain is the part deep inside. Evolutionists claim that this part of the brain, called the basal ganglia, comes from our reptilian past. They have described this part of the brain as “primitive.” It controls such simple things as movement and spatial memory. These are basic functions needed by reptiles. Of course, the evolutionary view that the basal ganglia is primitive was never scientifically researched.
Then researchers started to examine the workings of the basal ganglia. They have concluded that the deep structures of the brain that are supposed to be primitive are actually quite sophisticated. In fact, these so-called reptilian structures rival the cerebral cortex in sophistication. These structures receive input from all parts of the cortex. And all the neurochemicals found anywhere else in the body are also found in these structures. In other words, there is absolutely no evidence of their being primitive.
Once again scientific research has not found what evolutionists expected. The human brain has not developed by adding parts to reptile brains. It was specially created just for human beings.
China's State-Sanctioned Organ Harvesting
“Forced organ harvesting is the stuff of nightmares. And it has been buried from public view, hard to prove, and shrouded beneath the cloak of silence for almost two decades. After 12 months of independent assessment of all available evidence, the seven-person China Tribunal panel – which was initiated by the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), an international human rights charity--delivered its final findings in June. The tribunal, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC who led the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic in the International Criminal Trial for the former Yugoslavia, stated with ‘certainty’ that ‘in China, forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time.’ ‘Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years, and Falun Gong practitioners have been one--and probably the main--source of organ supply,’ the report concluded, pointing to the growing transplant industry already worth more than $1 billion. The report underscored that there were ‘extraordinarily short waiting times for organs to be available for transplantation,’ and numerous websites advertised hearts, lungs, and kidneys for sale--suggesting an on-demand industry. The Tribunal concluded that the commission of Crimes Against Humanity against Falun Gong and Uighurs had been committed. Witness testimonies provided to the tribunal, and interviewed by Fox News, paint the picture of an unfathomably callous trade often performed when the victims are still alive. Moreover, the China Organ Harvest Research Center (COHRC), which also testified before the China Tribunal, published its own incriminating report in July after years of underground research and analysis, deducing that the ‘on-demand killing of prisoners of conscience is driven by the state, run on an industrial scale and carried out by both military and civilian institutions.’ According to the COHRC, there are mountains of money to be made. Data from 2007 shows that hospitals charged more than $65,000 for a kidney transplant, $130,000 for liver, and more than $150,000 for lung or heart. Desperate patients might make a high-price ‘donation’ for a new organ at top-speed. The practice is alleged to have started in the 90s on a small-scale, but kicked into high gear around 2000 and focused on the Falun Gong. It was initially characterized as targeting the forcible removing of organs of prisoners on death row.”
“Survivors and Victims,” Fox News, Oct. 26, 2019
Studying Mars Inside Out
“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?”
As I write this Creation Moment, the joint NASA / ESA InSight mission to Mars has just landed, and scientists wanting to study Mars are understandably excited.
The InSight lander was launched by an Atlas V rocket on May 5th 2018, and landed, safely and gently, in a sandy plain just 3° North of the Martian Equator known as Elysium Planitia. Early photos show this area to be largely devoid of rocks, unlike other recent landers, and this is what the Mars explorers wanted because the purpose of this spacecraft is to study the interior of the planet.
NASA first attempted to take seismic readings on Mars in 1976 with the Viking I lander. However, 40 years of technological advancement, and the partnership of the European Space Agency, has led to the development of a much more sophisticated set of apparatus. Mars is a solid planet like the Earth, so scientists expect to find the interior somewhat similar to that on Earth with a semi-molten mantle and a metallic core. It is hoped that InSight will be able to tell if the Martian core is solid or liquid.
It is true that NASA’s scientists will want to make conjectures about an evolutionary past for Mars. But this in no way negates the interest or importance of the mission. The data returning from the Red Planet will be fascinating, and I, for one, praise God for the abilities of talented people to explore further this universe that God has made for us.
The following research is confirmed by the many Southern Baptist and fundamental Baptist churches that are populated predominately by elderly people. The young people are gone. This is excerpted from ‘Young People Who Leave Church,’ Christian Post, Oct. 23, 2019: “While pastors have long banked on social science showing that young people who leave church generally return when they're older, a recent analysis of that trend suggests it might be over. In his analysis of data from the General Social Survey of five-year windows in which individuals were born spanning from 1965 to 1984 and published by the Barna Group, Ryan Burge, an assistant professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University and pastor of First Baptist Church of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, shows that younger generations raised in the church aren’t typically returning to church when compared with members of the ‘Baby boomer’ generation born between 1945 and 1964. In Burge’s analysis of the boomer generation, four different five-year cohorts reflected the ‘trademark hump’ supported by traditional social science ‘when each birth cohort moves into the 36–45 age range. That’s exactly what the life cycle effect would predict: People settle down, they have kids, and they return to church.’ When he examined data for the younger cohorts 1965-1969, 1975-1979 and 1980-1984, the data show a fading of the life cycle effect. While the hump is still there in the cohort measured from 1965-1969, a shift in the life cycle effect begins to emerge by around 1970. ‘That trend line is completely flat—those people didn’t return to church when they moved into their 30s. You can see the beginnings of a hump among those born between 1975 and 1979, but in the next birth cohort the hump is actually inverted. That trademark return to church—which pastors and church leaders have relied on for decades—might be fading,’ Burge said. For anyone concerned with church growth, Burge says ‘this should sound an alarm.’”
CONCLUDING NOTE FROM BROTHER CLOUD: Of course it should “sound an alarm,” but the young people shouldn’t be leaving churches in the first place, and we do not believe this is a lost battle by any means. The book Keeping the Kids: How to Keep the Kids from Falling Prey to the World, is filled with practical biblical help for homes and churches on this important subject. It is available as a free eBook from www.wayoflife.org.
(Friday Church News Notes, November 8, 2019, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)