I wasn't really sure where to put this, but this article on CNN came up today and it really bothered me. It's about a human skull they found that is supposed to be an ancestor of ours. I don't like to read things that could shake my faith, but this bothers me and it makes me wonder whether or not we really evolved but it was just done by God's hand. I mean if we really were created then why all of these controversies with the human skulls and our supposed ancestors? Anyone?
Are you all aware that there is something out there called "New Atheism?" These are those that are now advocating that these religious nuts that believe in the Bible should no longer be tolerated in our society. An example is Bill Nye who came out publicly explaining that parents should not be allowed to teach their children about creation since it violated the newer concepts of science. These violent atheists are not content to have their doctrine the only ones taught in our schools, now they want to stop parents from teaching their children about the Bible. I think it is time that we become a little violent ourselves. I think it is time to take our children back. At the very least intelligent design should be given equal footing in our schools. Do you realize these guys have virtually everyone convinced it is against federal law to teach intelligent design (which is just as scientific as macro evolution) to our children in our schools? If a teacher gets caught teaching intelligent design, he can be taken into court and sued. The school can be sued. And most times the teacher and school will lose the lawsuit and be told by our courts to stop teaching intelligent design and only teach macro evolution. It is happening right here in your nation.
Why are we losing these battles? We are losing because these new atheists are well funded. They are willing to take godly teachers to court at any expense. They literally believe parents should not be able to teach their children the Word of God. Do you think your homes are exempt? Bill Nye's statements should be warnings to us all as to what is coming. If you would have asked people a hundred years ago if these atheists would have been able to get God completely out of our schools, they would have laughed at you. Parents, beware! They are coming to remove the Bibles out of your homes and make it unlawful to teach your children according to His Word.
How far are you wiling to go? Are you really willing to make God's stated creation non-essential? We are all becoming more and more politically correct. We have gotten to the point of believing it is okay to dismiss God's Word for the sake of unity. Jesus does not promise that kind of unity. He does not want that kind of unity. He tells us that Truth will separate fathers and sons, etc. When we are exhorted to unity in the faith, He is not telling us the necessity of compromising our beliefs. This doctrine is essential to all we believe. I don't know how He did it and science can't even begin to tell us. They are just barely tapping the surface of knowledge. They have absolutely no idea of what makes a living cell work. God is allowing man to look inside a living cell to see it at work. Darwin told us that if it turned out that the cell was really complex, his theory would not work. Well, we are beginning to be able to look into a cell and see that it is a million times more complex than man ever imagined. We can see all these very complex micro machines working inside every one of our hundred trillion cells. It is absolutely amazing. The believer should be shouting right now. We should not be running away and hiding. This is our hour. God has opened it for us. The idea of macro evolution is being blown away. Believers have the only reasonable explanation as to how we got here. We should be shouting these things from the mountain tops. Instead, we marginalize these wonderful scientists that are calling themselves creationists. We are allowing them to be shamed into silence. Have you read "Signature in the Cell" by Stephen Meyer? If not, it is perhaps the greatest book by a man out there. It is amazing. He takes us inside a living cell and describes some of the different aspects of that living cell at work. You will be amazed. It is available online at: http://appearedtoblogly.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/meyer-stephen-c...
I have the book which makes it much easier to read. He now has a book out called Darwin Doubts. I am ordering it. This is our hour. We need to become equipped especially to teach our children. We can win this battle for our children. It is God's promise. However, we cannot compromise on Truth and get away with it.
I had no idea Bill Nye was such an advocate for evolution. Very interesting.
Regarding the recent discussion on this topic:
I believe it is important to differentiate here and add some clarity. There are some things that are essential regarding salvation and other truths (still true) that are not called upon or used to determine the salvation (from God's perspective) of one's soul. At the time of conversion no one holds all the truths of the Bible, or knows all the accounts given in the Bible, even though these accounts are still true. The person may respond to Jesus the very first time they hear the gospel and be saved. Over time, if we are a disciple of the Lord Jesus, will grow in knowledge and understanding and this is a lifelong process.
Now, if we agree that there are essentials for salvation (the basic gospel) and other things need not be believed to be saved this does not dismiss the truths of God's Word as being important and unwavering. We are to still seek pure doctrine and stand for that which is true. Just because a person may not need to believe in a six day literal creation at salvation does not mean that we ignore the error of one believing in an old earth that includes evolution rather than God created all according to their own kind. We are to stand on truth ... the Word of God. We can do this in love without compromising what the Word says.
It is a slippery slope when we stop standing for truth and allow some things to pass as acceptable that are not in alignment with the Word of God. The Word of God is the standard, not the Word and some person's opinion. Again, many will say we all have an opinion about the Bible ... but, when we let the Word interpret the Word our opinion is not opinion, but standing on what God has said (If one does not believe that the Bible is the Word of God, but only a word about God this statement means nothing to them and we really don't have much else to discuss).
Thus, if someone holds to the old earth/creation and they claim to know Christ I will love them and wholeheartedly disagree with them. In the church I pastor and on this website they will not be given the forum in which to teach their error. They can discuss the differences, but will not be given the place of teaching the error and thus lead others in the way of this error.
Some will say that many people disagree on various topics. Some topics are harder to understand and yet most are confused because they apply eisegesis instead of exegesis to the Word of God and have injected their opinion into the mix and have been given a forum to propagate their error. There is only one truth which can have several applications, but still only one truth ... never many truths applied to a text or the Bible as a whole.
Lastly, to say one takes the Bible serious is a far cry from saying one believes the Bible to be wholly true and the Word of God instead of a word about God.
Love others, but NEVER compromise truth. People have the freedom to believe what they want in this life, but that does not mean they are right or are to be given the platform to perpetuate that opinion which disagrees with God's inerrant Word.
As you know I am pretty passionate about this subject. I retired and thought I was finished. I moved to Wyoming to be able to attend my sons' church. My oldest son is the senior pastor and Mike (my youngest son) is the executive pastor. I love the church. Their attendance has increased by over three hundred and fifty per Sunday from this exact same period last year. I believe they are the fastest growing church in their denomination.
However, when I came I was asked to administrate the local Christian school. I think I have less time to comment than I used to have. However, I am enjoying the children once again.
Every school morning our children say pledges to the American flag, Christian flag and to the Bible. The Bible pledge goes like this:
I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God's Holy Word.
I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
I will hide its words in my heart that I might not sin against God.
We don't offer that pledge much anymore. We seldom pledge to the Christian flag and even fail to pledge to the American flag in many of our schools today. At one time the pledge was ruled unconstitutional but that was overturned.
It is time for the church to return to the Bible, God's Holy Word. There is no need for us to apologize to Bill Nye or any other advocate against God's Word. We used to be a people that stated, "If God said it, I believe it and that settles it." We are not that people anymore. It seems we have had to measure what God says in accordance to what some of these new philosophers that call themselves scientists say.
I agree that we need to allow Scripture dictate to us rather than us dictating to Scripture. His Word is very clear on certain issues such as pre-marital sex, same-sex marriage, divorce, etc. Yet, here we are actually debating these kinds of issues. Today, we have big pastors and churches saying that God's Word does not tell us whether or not God has a certain position on these subjects. We are encouraged to look at Scripture differently and openly to see how one can interpret Scripture to allow the church to approve of these kinds of things. We no longer pledge to the Bible; we pledge to what is politically correct.
Some will say that a belief in His Word is not essential to the faith. Six days - is that essential? I believe as you have mentioned - if we come to His Word with prejudice, we will miss His Truth. He said, "six days." If I say that I believe I need to interpret that differently since I believe in billions of years, then I am an unbeliever. I may be religious but I don't think I am a believer.
I must come to His Word as a child and receive it as pure unadulterated Truth. I might not understand everything His Word says, but I should never say that what it says cannot be accepted since it does not agree with some modern philosophy. I have listened to Hugh Ross many times since he tries so hard to show us how there are other places in Scripture that indicates millions of years. I must admit that based on Scripture alone, I cannot see it. When he speaks of the universe and nature being the 67th book of the Bible, is he committing the error of adding to Scripture merely to substantiate his strong belief in the Big Bang? I think to believe in the Big Bang you have to go outside of Scripture. I cannot see anywhere where that can be an interpretation. Can we interpret the six days as being six very long ages of time? I am ready to learn how but so far I have not seen anyone able to take Scripture and show how that can be done. They may believe six long ages based on their belief of the Big Bang but I don't believe they get that from other parts of Scripture. It is just not in there as far as I can see. Hugh Ross has spent a lifetime seeking for it. He still hasn't found it and finally had to add his so-called 67th book.
I'm not ready to add a 67th book just to justify my beliefs. I think we have all we need to come to truth.
I am very grateful for your stand on AAG and in your church. My generation will soon be gone. I am very grateful for these new generations that are standing firm on His Word. But, His Word will not pass until heaven and earth pass. But, of course, even then His Word will be true.
By the way, I completely understand that God is the final judge as to who is a believer and who is not. He has never stopped to ask me for my opinion and never will. I am still learning and hope to remain a learner for the rest of my life. However, someone is going to have to show me how to interpret the six days as six very long ages of time before I will remotely accept that it might not mean six days.
I appreciate this powerful and insightful message, and I hope all will take it to heart as I have, because it speaks to something of great importance. Each of us is given different measures of faith and different spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit, and we are saved from the moment we are reborn by the Holy Spirit and infused with God's saving grace. But we still have a long way to go to come to a fuller and deeper understanding of God's plan, as revealed in its entirety in the Holy Scriptures. At first, we are like infants dependent on milk, but with time, we are capable of eating solid food. So it is with our faith journey.
Your message is spot on when you warn of the "slippery slope" that results when we selectively choose which parts of the Bible to believe and follow. The Bible is not a buffet line where you can take a little of this, a lot of that, and skip the things you don't like. There are biblical teachings that make all of us uncomfortable for one reason or another, not the least of which is that they are seemingly out of step with and fly in the face of our materialistic and "anything goes" postmodern culture. It is a slippery slope, indeed, or like skating on thin ice, when we start imposing our self-serving interpretation on God's Word. It's a fundamental corruption of the reformers' call for "Sola Scriptura" (the Bible alone as our standard) into "Solo Scripture" (the Bible as I choose to interpret it).
The biggest issue causing division within the Church today, I would add, is over how we choose to see and understand the Bible. Those in the traditional/orthodox camp hold to the view that the Bible is the Word of God written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit and refuse to compromise its teachings in the face of challenges by the culture. They are under attack by those in the postmodern camp who believe the Bible is, as you say, "a word about God," little more than a collection fairy tales (albeit with a nice moral) written by ancient men that have little relevance to us today.
There's more than those 2 camps and the traditional/orthodox camp don't exactly have clean hands when it comes to attacks.
Anyone who holds a different viewpoint is seen as compromising scripture, I think YEC's are abusing scripture and causing harm with it. They think the same about me. I don't think they mean to and I understand (to a point) why they're taking the stance they are but it doesn't hide the fact I think they are very badly wrong.
What's needed is a new way to have these discussions, this "trench warfare throwing bombs" style is just not helping anyone.
But, one cannot get away from a simple fact ... one is a seeker of truth in truth and the other is a seeker of truth outside of truth ... the Word of God is truth. Those who seek truth in truth may ere, but they also have a hope of honing in on the truth, whereas those that seek truth outside of truth cannot ever find truth without a change in their understanding about the Word of God itself.
You struggle to understand that when one rejects the Bible as the Word of God that there isn't much to really discuss from a biblical perspective. There really isn't much reason to discuss the subject as the two parties literally speak different languages. This site, and I, hold, to the Bible being the Word of God ... in that I am inflexible and unapologetic. I hold little regard for the theology of a liberal or progressive. I can respect the person as a human being and love them as Christ has instructed us, but what they have to say about God or His Word is pretty useless and without merit if they fail to understand that the Bible is the Word of God and not some word about God.
Now, to be fair, there is a difference between one who is seeking truth and has yet to realize the Bible is God's Word and one who has rejected the Bible as God's Word, accepts it as merely as a word about God and then presents themselves as teachers.
For clarity, I don't think a person who denies the Bible is God's Word is compromising. You have to believe it before you can compromise it.
Thank you David V., for calling our attention to Romans 14. That chapter points out that believers can vary on interpretations of non-basic tenets of our faith......and still be heart-carrying Christians.
And what about some of the remaining eleven in Matthew 28:16-17, "But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.
And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful."
WHAT??!!! After all the miracles.......including the Master's resurrection.......some were doubting Him?
Let me enter another dimension to this discussion that the Holy Spirit cut us some slack with, and had the apostle Peter include in II Peter3:8," But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
So God could have taken His time, 6000 years........or knocked out creation of heaven and earth in 6 days........or maybe it was 6 million years. Remember, God invented time. His sense of timing is not on the same band as ours.
You know guys.....sometimes I think He put certain things in His Bible just to give His children something to talk (or argue) about....... to see how we deal with things.
Isaiah 55: 8-9, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts."
Grace and Peace to all.
For me, I see all of these kind of things in the same light, the "testing of our Faith." 12 Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you.ab 13 Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of the Messiah,ac so that you may also rejoice with great joy at the revelation of His glory. 14 If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 None of you, however, should suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. 16 But if anyone suffers as a “Christian,” he should not be ashamed but should glorify God in having that name. 1 Peter 4:12-16 Now this I know is talking about suffering and persecution. Still hearing all of what Jesus had done while He walked on earth, most of these people might had known someone who was Healed, or shared meals with thousands from just a small amount of food someone had. They may have heard about what happened when, The Spirit fell on those in the upper room, and thousands came to Jesus. Or, so many other miracles that had taken place. "Why are we going through this, when Jesus is so Powerful," some may of asked?
Our Hope is in Jesus, we trust in The Love of God. 2 Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4 We need these times of testing. We also need to come through these times, humbled and giving Glory to Jesus. As we can see, as we continue to read in this same chapter of James. I did not read about the skull, yet when we come to Jesus and give Him our heart, we change. We call Him Lord and Master, we have chosen to serve Him. We cannot see Him, as far as our senses are concerned we have no proof. To keep us from being tossed by this wave or that one, we Pray, we read His Word, We Praise Him, we fellowship and learn from those more mature. We open ourselves to The Spirit, to be lead according to The Word.
We all have a choice, we all face down things that can attack why or how we believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour. In the end, the choices we make and why, will define who we are and who we were. It is not that I just chose not to look at things like the skull, so many things like this are out there. I have no answers for those questions. Yet, none of them can compare to Jesus and the Sacrifice He made for us. Accepting Him Does make a Difference, a lasting one, for that I am sure.