Archive for April, 2010

What Is The Basis For Islam’s Global Ambition

As always this subject deserves a caveat disclaimer. Not all Muslims are radical militant extremists. We are fighting a theo-political belief system, not a religion. It is not a perversion. These radical Muslims are doing what their ancestors started doing in 622 A.D. They have a 1380 year track record of consistency.

Charles Martel fought them at the battle of Tours in 732 A.D. which stopped the Umayyad advance during the Muslim Expansion Era. Historian Gibbon believed that had Martel lost the battle Islam would have advanced across all of Europe including England and destroyed western culture. Historian William Watson believed the battle was a macrohistorical world-changing event.

In 1453 they conquered Constantinople using children of Christians they had captured there in previous attacks. Theyconverted children of the Christians to their belief system at the point of the sword and used them to kill their ancestors. The city is now called Istanbul because they overran it.

The Venusian fleet fought them in 1571 at the battle of Lepanto off the shores of Greece and prevented their further intrusion into Europe.
The German and Austrian knights turned them back at the gates of Geneva in 1683 or all of Europe would be Muslim today.

Incidentally, to celebrate the victory over the Muslims whose symbol was the crescent the Austrian baker concocted a new pastry for the victors to devour in celebration called the croissant.

In 1776, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson met with Arab diplomats from Tunis. These were radical extremist Islamists given the name of Barbary Pirates indicating they were from the Barbary Coast of North Africa. They had been raiding American and ships of other countries. A major battle with them is referenced in the line from the Marine Corps Hymn, “…to the shores of Tipoli….” Launched in 1799, the “USS Constitution” (Old Ironside) and the “USS Constellation” were designed to battle these pirates. Our marines eventually destroyed the pirate headquarters at Derna putting the pirates out of business.

Westerners have a tendency to engage in self-flagellation regarding the flawed crusades. They like all wars had excesses on both sides. Many actions by Christians (noun) were not Christian (adjective). We forget or never knew they were a reaction to Islamic incursion into eastern Europe, Spain, and France.

Islamists overran the Bible Land and upon conquering it named it the Holy Land. Crusaders tried off and on to reclaim it, ultimately losing control July 4, 1187 in the battle at the Horns of Hattin near the Sea of Galilee.

History verifies all these facts. The philosophy behind these wars is open for all to read in the Muslim sacred books, the Koran and Hadis.

There are portions of the Koran which contain teaching attributed to Mohamad when he was starting out in Mecca. These portions are philosophical and poetic. Many peaceful Muslims live by these concepts. Part of the Koran contains teaching of Mohamad after he moved to Medina. These sections are political and militant. It is on these portions the aggressive theo-political system now waging Jihad on the west are based.

The Jewish Celebration Of

Jews and Christians have a distinct point of divergence in faith. Even this significant difference for most in both communities isn’t personally alienating. Friendships are built around the many things they have in common.

An admirable aspect of the Jewish faith is the way they perpetuate their heritage. Use of ancient symbols and customs are used to pass the faith from one generation to the next admirably.
One of Judaism’s best teachable moments is Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights. It isn’t a Biblical celebration but it is a celebration of Jehovah’s intervention on behalf of their ancestors. It was instituted in 165 B.C. to celebrate the success of the Maccabean Revolt which resulted in the reconsecration of the Temple in Jerusalem and the dedication of the new altar.
Also associated is the miraculous extended burning of the cruse of oil for eight days. It is from this the tradition of the lighting of the multi branched candle-stand known as the
Menorah comes.

The Syrian, Seleucid, leader Antiochus Epiphanes banned traditional Jewish worship. The elderly patriarch of the Maccabean family, Mattathias, defied the order to sacrifice a pig on a portable pagan altar. He killed the man who did and the king’s representative. With the battle cry of “Whoever is for God, follow me.” He and his five courageous sons lead the revolt.

When they, now known as the Hasmoneans (Maccabees), re-occupied the Temple they found it desecrated. All the oils were defiled except one jar with the High Priest seal still unbroken. It was enough oil for one day yet it lasted eight days. It was considered a miraculous symbol of God’s pleasure.

One purpose of modern day lighting of the candles is the “illumination of the house without.” Lights are placed so passers by can see the lights in Jewish homes and be reminded of the celebration.

On a couple of our 40 visits to Israel my wife and I have gone alone. Once with a native guide we searched all day for the graves of the Maccabees. We finally found them virtually unmarked in a wooded area. Today they are more visibly marked in that remote spot.

The heroism involved in the Maccabean brothers leading the revolt against the Seleucids and the establishment of the Hasmonean dynasty is fascinating. Another book about a different Jewish revolt is entitled “Cast A Giant Shadow” — absorbing. It relates to the 1948 war. Don’t read the end till the end.

A War No One Can Stop And No One Wins

Across America the new day brings amazement. Persons flip light switches but the lights don’t come on. There is no TV or radio news — neither will work. Coffee makers and microwaves are unresponsive. Computers remain dark. Elevators aren’t operated. Flight control centers are dark and all flights canceled. Commerce stops. Gas stations can’t pump gas. The nation is without electric power as is the rest of the world. Power won’t be completely restored for a minimum of three years.

Sounds ridiculous? Think it is science fiction? Think again.

This paper carried a column by Clifford May on January 29, of this year entitled “An EMP Attack.” EMP means Electromagnetic Power Attack. The article noted an inevitable scenario that is being shown little consideration. My limited research confirms the possibility, no inevitability of an EMP attack.

Ronald Reagan was the first president made aware of the possibility. His science advisor, Bill Graham, warned him of such a possibility.

The cause of this potential catastrophe could be either the explosion of a nuclear device about twenty-five miles above earth or a monstrous solar storm. The latter is not only possible scientists say it is inevitable. Such solar storms happen about every 100 years. It has been 150 years since the last one. The last solar super-storm with force enough to disrupt world wide electric power happened in 1859. There were no power grids then.

There are forces of nature mankind can’t control. A major solar storm could induce geomagnetic currents that would destroy many large transformers on the power grid. A study by Metatech indicates the time required to replace any of the estimated 370 largest transformers in America would be three years.

Add to the equation actions by a rogue nuclear nation setting off an explosion above the earth and the scene gets more complicated. Formerly secret Iranian documents have been exposed which show their study of such action.

Recently our president compassionately appropriated enough funds to Haiti relief to fund a system that would shield our power grid. No one should disparage Haiti aid, but not providing such a shield can cause the loss of many more lives than were lost in Haiti and implode the economic and agricultural systems of the nation.

It is estimated hundreds of millions of people will die when the electric power grid collapses simultaneously in many countries.

While being preoccupied with global warming and the green movement this need goes unaddressed. Those two combined don’t have the potential for a holocaust like this. A new dark age looms in part because of misplaced emphasis.

How such a disaster will happen is well known and preventative methods are available. The cost of preventative measures is within reason. Putting them in place will take considerable time.
This is not science fiction. It is a fact of science about which I was uninformed until this paper called it to our attention. Hopefully someone will call it to the attention of those who can do something to protect our nation’s power grid.

Suffering Saints

The earthquakes in Haiti and Chile caused great suffering. The work being done in Haiti is rather to be observed not in destroyed buildings and human suffering. It is distinct in the many acts of mercy and kindness being shown by faith based groups, secular organizations, and our government.

The mercy of God is demonstrated in compassion shown by the many faith based organizations offering solace and providing for needs. The Red Cross is an admirable manifestation of mercy. God’s love is to be seen in the Israeli army field hospital set up on the island as a medical oasis. Franklin Graham’s “Samaritan’s Purse” with a base of operation already in Haiti has expanded its humanitarian efforts. The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Agency is actively engaged in acts of mercy.

Why is there such suffering in the world? Why do the innocent suffer? Since the days of Job people have searched for an answer to those issues.

We paint with a brush too broad in speaking of “the reason why.”. There is not a single reason people suffer. There are some reasons but by no means do they provide an exhaustive answer to the question. At best there are gray areas and unknowns.

God gets a bum rap at times. Involving Him entitles a spiritual answer. Job clued us: “Far be it from God to do wickedness.” God created a perfect world and it remained that way until man sinned. The result was an imperfect world: “The whole creation groans….” The flawed world became susceptible to natural disasters, germs, viruses, bacteria, etc.

Certain laws of nature intended for our good when violated cause suffering. An elemental example is gravity. Defying it can be dangerous and often deadly.

Some suffering is because of sin. I know of a situation in which a guy mixed alcohol and drugs in a night of debauchery. Speeding on the way home he crashed into a tree. His companion was killed and he broke almost every bone in his body. When his pastor visited him he asked, “Why did God do this?” What?

Some suffering involves the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. The Apostle Paul was encouraged to think he was considered worthy of sharing the suffering of Jesus. In such an occasion it gives the one suffering an opportunity to show God is all sufficient. Observers seeing the grace of God at work in such lives are often drawn to God to meet their needs. I have two delightful young friends now in the vicious vice of cancer who by their response have caused others to embrace their faith.
Simon Peter summed it up well. “That the trial of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes, even though tried by fire, may be proven genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (I Peter 1:7).

Dispute it if you want but we all suffer. I am not bragging or throwing a pity party but I am a member of that society also. I find it best not to ask why but how. How can it develop in me qualities pleasing to God? How can it be used to help me become all God has given me the capacity to be?

Perhaps our best response might be not to engage in endless debate regarding the theology of suffering but to engage in efforts to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, council the wayward, heal the sick, and comfort the dying. Thus, we become the hands of God among the suffering.

Overcoming Bitterness

Many people suffer from bitterness without considering its significant affect on life.

I don’t have time for bitterness. When we drove away from our retirement celebration my wife said, “Isn’t it great to have no bitterness toward anybody or about anything.” She repeated that recently.

Our English word for bitterness comes from the Greek word PIKRIA which refers to a person who becomes cynical, caustic, sarcastic, hostile, or resentful. Such a person becomes negative, unhappy, and critical. That definitely isn’t me.

Two brief concepts have long helped me deal with any vestige that might tend to build up.
One is based on the Bible verse Hebrews 12: 15, “…lest a root of bitterness springing up trouble you….” Observe who it troubles — “you.”

This couplet summarizes that concept: “Bitterness does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to the one on which it is poured.”

Bitterness and other emotional stresses cause an increase in thyroid gland secretion. When this excess of thyroxin pours into the blood stream some of it goes to the brain which is contained in a rigid skull causing headaches. It can change muscle tension, influence blood flow to the organs, and the secretion of glands.

A second aid to dealing with bitterness is also based on Scripture. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with malice” (Ephesians 4:31).
Some people are bitter with a person. That person may be a world away or even dead but they are ever present with the bitter person. The object of bitterness becomes the task master of the bitter person.

Others may be adults still bitter with their parents for failing or emotionally injuring them. Don’t be a marionette controlled by past injustice.

Some people are even bitter with God. Old Testament character Naomi was one such person. She said, “Call me Mara, because the almighty has made my life bitter” (Ruth 1:20). It is impossible to get your hands on God and exercise vengeance on Him. Some feeling He failed them respond by denying His existence. Still others take out their bitterness toward God
on the church.

Bitter persons tend to blame their bitterness on someone else. Actually it is a fault in their reaction.

We are all subject to injustices and injuries. Vitriol and vengeance are visited on all persons. Therefore, when I say I have been the object of what I consider mistreatment I am not saying “poor little ole me.” I am saying I am in the boat with you. We each choose how we react. Our response is our choice. I choose not to be bitter. It is not in my constitution.

Oh, Naomi! Once she got her eyes off herself and realized what a blessing God had given her in the person of Ruth, she became a blessing to Ruth and was herself blessed. It works.

Thomas Jefferson Plus God

Thomas Jefferson, the “Sage of Monticello,” was a complex and sagacious man; wise and farsighted. He was a Deist very familiar with the Bible. He believed in the morals and ethics of Christianity but not in Christ as divine. Much of what he and others of his ilk espoused has been written out of textbooks. As a reminder to some and as news to others following are extracts from the latitudinarian Jefferson that are pertinent for today.
“Indeed, I tremble for my county when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
“It is incumbent upon every generation to pay its own debt as it goes. A principle which acted on would save one-half of the wars of the world.”
“I predict happiness for Americans if they can prevent government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
“A wise and frugal Government … shall leave them [citizens] otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement andnot take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned — this is a sum of good government.”
“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for propagation of opinions he disbelieves or abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
“Educate and inform the masses of people. They are the only reliance for the preservation of liberty.”
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use or arms.”
On the principle of separation of church and state his reference to a “wall of separation” can be better understood by other comments he made on the subject.
In what is known as the “Kentucky Resolution of 1798,” Jefferson wrote: “No power over the freedom of religion…[is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution.”
In his Second Inaugural Address, 1805, he said, “In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General [federal] Government.”
In a letter to Samuel Miller, 1808, he wrote of the “free exercise of religion,” as stated in the First Amendment.
As President in 1787, Jefferson recommended special lands “for the sole use of Christian Indians” and reserved lands for the Moravian Brethren “for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity.”Congress extended the act three times and Jefferson signed it each time. They were not prohibiting religious activity they were actually evangelizing.
Our liberties are eroding more rapidly than we realize. It is actually being accomplished not only speedily but easily. Could it be because we have failed to do what Jefferson enjoined us to do: “Educate and inform the masses of people. They are the only reliance for the preservation of liberty.”
People of good conscience dare not remain silent.

George Washington Plus God

Each year in America we celebrate our independence which but for a change in the wind and an eerie fog we might still be a colony.
In the summer of 1776, the Continental Congress commissioned General George Washington to serve as commander-in-chief of the greatly out manned and out gunned American forces. Washington’s 9,000 men were poised on Brooklyn Heights. Their purpose was to try to stop British General William Howe from moving up the Hudson River Valley and dividing the colonies enabling a total British victory.
They watched as the British fleet which was described as looking like London afloat had delivered over 32,000 well equipped British and German soldiers. In a previous encounter between the two armies Washington had suffered over 1,000 casualties. Howe was now poised to deliver the final defeating blow but for some reason paused intending the next day to annihilate the American forces.
Washington’s position was an impossible one. The superior British force of 20,000 regulars was at his front and the nearly mile wide Hudson River at his rear. Howe paused to allow the vast British fleet to sail up the river and be in position the next morning to attack from Washington’s rear as he assaulted the front. No army had ever been in a more defenseless position.
In the late evening a strong breeze began to blow prohibiting the fleet to sail up the river. This fortuitous change in the wind foreshadowed a change in battle strategy.
Washington proposed a retreat by crossing the wind swept river at night. The officer in charge of the maneuver, General Alexander McDougall, informed Washington that crossing the wind stirred river was impossible. One chronicler wrote, “about eleven o’clock when, as if by design, the northeast wind died down. Then the wind shifted to the southwest….” This shift in the wind enabled John Glover’s Massachusetts sailors and fishermen to begin crossing the river in an attempt to evacuate as many of Washington’s men as possible. These oarsmen knew how to stealthy maneuver their crafts with a minimum of noise.Employing anything that would float the evacuation began and moved slowly. Most of the boats were so overloaded water came within inches of the gunwales. It became apparent the night would not be long enough to facilitate the strategic withdrawal. Again the weather intervened. A pea-soup fog so thick persons could not see six feet moved in just before dawn. This cover allowed the last of Washington’ forces to ship out by 7:00 A.M. Just beyond the range of British guns they looked back and saw the British forces already on the shore they had just evacuated.
This allowed the American forces opportunity to regroup and eventually win the war for independence.
Call it what you will: luck, happenstance, or blind fate, but those there wrote of if as “a peculiar providential occurrence,” “manifestly providential,” and “very favorably to the design.”
In our current culture God is often denied. However, today as in that day a remnant of spiritually inclined believers still pray thanking Him for His grace and asking for His blessings. As America faces an uncertain future that cadre has cause to do so again as we celebrate our independence made possible by Him.

Our Constitution Today

Thinking of the future of America we tend to conceive of it in light of the past. Today that is impossible to do in that fundamentals are missing. In our past our nation was guided and governed according to our Constitution. Today that vital document is being ignored or circumvented. Our Federal government is engaging in activities never authorized by our Constitution. Some are even in conflict with our Constitution.
President John Quincy Adams delivered an address entitled “The Jubilee of the Constitution: A Discourse.” The occasion was the fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington, April 30, 1839. Therein Adams spoke of the condition of the country which in ways mirrors our’s today and the intended purpose of the Constitution:
“The nation fell into an atrophy. The Union languished to the point of death. A torpid numbness seized upon all its faculties. A chilling cold indifference crept from its extremities to the center. The system was about to dissolve in its own imbecility – impotence in negotiation abroad – domestic insurrection at home, were on the point of bearing to a dishonorable grave the proclamation of a government founded on the rights of man, when a convention of delegates from eleven of the thirteen states, with George Washington at their head, sent forth to the people, an act to be made their own, speaking in their name and in the first person, thus: ‘We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty, to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.’”
Regarding the emergence of the Union Adams spoke of the people appealing to “the omnipotence of the God of battles.”
That is another variable making foreseeing what is ahead for America more difficult. Adams like presidents before him and the populace in general had a God orientation. They were not all Christians by any means but with rare exception they had a biblical world view. Today even the phrase “the God of Nature and (of) Nature’s God” is railed against.
John Adams, Washington’s successor wrote, “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the governing of any other.”
There is another variable. By no means can the moral climate of America be described as “a moral and religious people.”
John Adams was a man of faith who strongly considered becoming a minister. He devoted time four days a week to the study of Scripture. He was more than a tinkling symbol when he wrote Thomas Jefferson on October 7, 1818, a warning that needs to be heeded today: “Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?And without virtue, there can be no political liberty.”
Virtue has been vanquished and political expediency enthroned. Not by all but obviously by the majority.
The variables noted here are: a change of regard for Constitutional government, change in regard to a God orientation,
our general classification can no longer be considered as a moral and religious people, and a diminution of virtue.
These changes in our culture make it impossible to predict our future based on our past.
Or as a frightful afterthought perhaps they can.

Moral Law: Part II

Something systemically is wrong in our society. We have become a lawless society. That is not simply a reference to civil and criminal law. However, considering our prison population and court documents they provide evidence of lawlessness. Rampant immorality is destroying home life in America.
The problem is a vast majority of the population doesn’t even know of the law being contravened.
Our ignorance of the Moral Law being violated is as extreme as this ignorance.
David E. Cole, Chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, tells of being visited by young inexperienced government representatives with no automotive background. Cole, an engineer, has worked in the industry for 40 years. Cole said they evidently had read a bit on the internet about electric liquid natural gas cars. Their demand was for a car that would go well over 500 miles without refueling.
He explained how laws of physics made such a car an impossibility. He noted such a car would have to have a trunk full of batteries and a tank as big as the car. The laws of physics simply would not allow what they were demanding.
Incensed at his response they demanded to know “These laws of physics. Whose rules are those? We have the congress and administration. We can repeal that law, amend it, or use an executive order to get rid of that problem. That’s why we are here to fix these sorts of issues.”
Our society has used laws of physics, math, chemistry, and biology in many commendable ways. However, working within the laws of chemistry and biology we threaten to perform what Winston Churchill referred to as “the lights of perverted science.”
We have violated virtually every law of economics and expect to get positive results. Greed does not produce long term good. The best way out of debt is not to spend more. That is a pretzel concept, if folds back on itself.
We have become adapt at using biased scientific “evidence” regarding ecology in order to promote a biased agenda. We reach a conclusion and then look for only those conditions that support the preconceived idea and neglect contradictory evidence.
Why?
It is because we have drifted into and become comfortableviolating the mother of all laws — Moral Law.
An agenda driven curriculum has virtually taken over our academic institutions. Those in Washington and around the country pushing for ideals that never have worked don’t know they won’t work. They have been indoctrinated in socialistic dogma in an academic atmosphere creating a spiritual stupor.
The Author of Moral Law has been excluded from the public forum by a perverted concept of separation of church and state. Without a core of morality we are nearing the state of ancient Israel of which it was every man did that which was right in his own sight. It was one of the darkest eras in the history of that great culture.
That leads to civil disobedience and ultimately anarchy.
That does not need to happen in America. It is a grievous thought that it will if we continue on our present course. The Moral Law Giver awaits our willingness to accept His aid.

The Moral Law: Part I

Michael Moore asked Sean Hannity if he loved his enemies like Jesus said His followers are to do the same. When Hannity said yes Moore said, “Well then you love Al-Qaeda!”
This “gotcha” question is supposed to put a person in a no win position regardless of the answer.
The proper answer is yes according to the way the Bible uses the word. It means to desire what is best for our enemy. The objectives our national enemy, Al-Qaeda has in mind aren’t what is best for them and definitely not for us. What would be best for such enemies would be the renunciation of their evil intent and the embracing of the universal Moral Law.
The Moral Law is basically what is referred to in our Declaration of Independence as the “laws of nature and (of) nature’s God.” This expression was a term used in historical legal parlance by such as Hugo Grotius, Burlamaqui, Blackstone, and others. These are laws that transcend time and cultures.
In 1931, writing from the jail in Birmingham Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. noted, “A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.”
Cicero noting this law is universal and applies to all people wrote, “This true law diffused among all men, is immutable and eternal. To replace it with a contrary law is a sacrilege.”
Thomas Jefferson’s God was the source of moral values. In a letter to his nephew Peter Carr, he wrote, “He who made us would have been a pitiful bungler, if He had made the rules of our moral conduct a matter of science. Rather, God made man with a sense of right or wrong.”
Jesus gave these illustrations of moral law in response to a young man’s question, “Do not kill (murder), do not commit adultery, do not lie, do not steal. Honor your father and mother.”
Here is another aspect of loving our enemies. We can lovepeople and not like what they do. It is reasonable for an American to detest what Al-Qaeda stands for and does. Such conduct is reprehensible, egregious, insufferable, and besides it is wrong.
Many people unable to differentiate between loving a person and not liking what they do end up with a guilt complex. This is true of children especially. They instinctively want to love their parents and are told to do so. Yet, they see and hear their parents do things they intuitively know are wrong. Unable to discern between loving the person and not liking what the person does causes emotional conflict.
There is a reason some people don’t like the concept of a Moral Law. It is based on the fact that where there is a law there is a law giver. State and local laws exist because at some point lawmakers made the laws. To say where there is a moral law there is a moral law give is logical. At this point God steps on stage. Some people are offended at His presence.
Grotius, a Dutchman, was among the first westerners to write about God and government. He believed the only relation between the two was for government to acknowledge there is a God. Many in modern America assert that just the acknowledgment there is a God is a violation of church and state. Most of our founding fathers were deists not Christians but they readily acknowledged God.
An element in our nation today does not want government to acknowledge there is a God. For their sake they better be right.
Jefferson wrote, “Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”

Creation: Part IV

Honesty on the lips of an evangelical Christian, agnostic, atheist, deist, or theist is to be all alike admired. A diamond is a diamond even if found in a rock pile. So truth is truth regardless of the source. Often if a person speaks a truth on one subject a critic will try to find some counter statement by that person to negate the comment. One quote from an individual does not infer an endorsement of all of that person’s philosophy.
The concept of origins is controversial. Renowned persons and/or great scientists of various persuasions have offered their opinions on origins. Pursuing a minor is biology in a state university I reached a conclusion regarding origins. I then compared that conclusion with the Bible and found them very compatible.
Years later I found a far greater mind who felt the same. Robert Jastrow, an objective agnostic and founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, wrote, “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same…”
Wernher von Braun, one of the fathers of our space program, commented, “I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science. And there is certainly no scientific reason why God cannot retain the same relevance in our modern world that He held before we began probing His creation with telescope, cyclotron, and space vehicles.”
In “The Consolation of Philosophy,” Anicus Manlius Sevrinus Boethius, postulated: “This universe would never have been suitably put together into one form from such various and opposite parts, unless there were some One who joined such different parts together, and when joined, the very variety of their natures, so discordant among themselves, would break their harmony and tear them asunder unless the One held together what is woven together into one whole. Such a fixed order of nature could not continue its course, could not develop motions taking such various directions in place, time operation, space, and attributes, unless there were One who, being immutable, had the disposal of these various changes. And this cause of their remaining fixed and their moving, I call God, according to the name familiar to all.”
Reliable scientific facts have led these and millions of others to such conclusions.
Robert Jastrow, in his book “God and the Astronomers,” observed: “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
Persons wanting to broaden their horizon on the subject will enjoy such works as “Darwin’s Nemesis” and “Darwin on Trial” by Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson. Scientific minds will enjoy the challenge of reading “The Design Inference” by William A. Dembski and published by Cambridge University Press.

Creation: Part III

Do you believe in evolution? When asked that question a reasonable response is to ask what is meant by evolution.
Microevolution is change within a species.
Macroevolution is change of one species to another.
Micro is observable. Macro is not.
Naturalists try to use micro to prove macro.
Bacteria and viruses have been observed to change. The swine flue virus is an example. There is fear the virus will evolve and develop a resistant strain. When bacteria and viruses evolve they are observable and in every case it is another bacteria or virus. This is microevolution. They do not change to another type of organism. That would be macroevolution. It has not been observed.
Microevolution might be able to explain the survival of a species but it cannot explain the arrival of a species.
Berkley law professor Philip Johnson made this observation in his book Darwin on Trial: “None of the ‘proofs’ [for natural selection] proves any persuasive reason for believing that natural selection can produce any new species, new organs, or other major changes that are permanent.”
For some time naturalistic biologists claimed life generated spontaneously from nonliving chemical without intelligent design. Since the 1950s technological advances have enabled scientists to see deeper into the components of life and realize life did not come to you from goo via the zoo. The problem Darwinists have is not in explaining how all forms of life are related, as challenging as that is, but in explaining the origin of the first life.
In 1952 James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the chemical that encodes instructions for building and reproducing all living things know as DNA. DNA has been defined as “specified complexity.” It is so complex that Darwinist Richard Dawkins, professor of zoology at Oxford University, acknowledges the message found in just the cell nucleus of a tiny amoeba is more than thirty volumes of Encyclopedia Britannica combined. The entire amoeba has as much information in its DNA as 1,000 complete sets of Encyclopedia Britannica. That is specified complexity. That is complex design, yet simple compared to this.
Within each human cell there are about 3,000 million pairs of the four letters used to specify the DNA code: A,C,T,G. The body has trillions of cells and makes millions of new cells every second. Each cell is irreducible complex.
Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University in his work, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution notes the numerous functions of the body such as blood clotting, cilia, and vision require irreducibly complex systems that could not have developed in the gradual Darwinian fashion because intermediates would be nonfunctional.
Behe writes, “There is currently no experimental evidence to show that natural selection can get around irreducible complexity…. The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell — to investigate life at the molecular level — is loud, clear, piercing cry of ‘design,.”
Where there is design there is a designer and He is not blind.

Creation: Part II

Albert Einstein was not only brilliant but honest. In 1961, he devised what is known as the theory of General Relativity. It proved what he did not believe but as a result of his calculations accepted. It revealed time, matter, and space all had a beginning. The universe had not simply always been.
That fact is right there in the Bible in John 1:1 which in the Greek text reads, “before time began to begin.”
If it had a beginning the Law of Causality must apply. Everything that had a beginning had a cause is the fundamental principle of science. Science is a search for causes. Francis Bacon said, “True knowledge is knowledge by causes.”
The prominent skeptic David Hume wrote, “I never asserted so absurd a proposition as that something could arise without a cause.”
In 1965, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson observed on their antenna at Bell Labs what is described as the afterglow of the beginning of the universe. Technically it is known as cosmic background radiation. It is the actual waves of light and heat of the beginning of the universe.
Astronomer and project leader, George Smoot, announced the result of the COBE satellite findings supporting this phenomena. He said, “If you are religious, it’s like looking at God.” He further stated that observing these waves is like seeing “the fingerprints of the maker.” COBE actually took infrared pictures of the ripples of the cosmic radiation.
University of Chicago astrophysicist Michael Turner was equally enthusiastic stating, “They have found the Holy Grail of Cosmology.”
Robert Jastrow, founder of the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies, an agnostic, nevertheless has some theistic insights. “Now we see how the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”
He further states, “That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”
In response to the question of whether the Big Bang theory evidence is indicative of a Creator Jastrow responded, “Certainly there was something that set it all off. Certainly, if you are religious, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis.”
Since the universe had a beginning it had to have a Beginner who was outside the space-time universe.
If everything has a beginning who made God? The Law of Causality does not say everything needs a cause. It says everything that comes to be needs a cause. God did not have a beginning so He didn’t need a cause. It is right there in the Book: “In the beginning God ….” “…before time began to begin God created….”
Isaac Newton observed: “This beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”

Creation: Part I

Having a minor in biology I have maintained an interest in earth sciences. Following are insights from keen scientific minds on the subject.
There are several scientific societies made up of members with advanced degrees from prestigious institutions. “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek quotes some of these scholars. In this worthy read many scientist speak on the topic of origins. They range from creationist, to theist, and atheists. Note these insights by them on the topic of the Teleological Argument. “Telos” is Greek for design.
Isaac Newton wrote, “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.”
Cosmologist Ed Harrison said, “The fine-tuning of the universe proves prima facie evidence of deistic design.”
Microbiologist Chandra Wickramasinghe admits Darwinists are acting on blind faith when it comes to spontaneous generation of life and observed, “The emergence of life from a primordial soup on the Earth is merely an article of faith that scientists are finding hard to shed. Indeed all attempts to create life from non-life, starting with Pasteur, have been unsuccessful.”
Einstein said, “God doesn’t play dice with the universe.”
Phillip Gold, referring to the orderly design of the universe concluded, “God plays Scrabble.”
Though not a scientist, former astronaut John Glenn looked out of the Space Shuttle Discovery and remarked, “To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible.”
Michael Denton, a respected atheist adds, “The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle.”
Design indicates a designer. Consider the design of a single one-cell amoeba. Darwinist Richard Dawkins, professor of zoology at Oxford University, acknowledges the message found in just the cell nucleus of a tiny amoeba is more that the 30 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica combined. The entire amoeba has as much information in its DNA as 1,000 complete set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. That is detail intricate design yet naturalistic
evolutionists claim it came about by spontaneous generation.
Design is seen in one protein molecule which has about 100 amino acids. Michael Behe has calculated that the probability of life arising by chance from nonliving chemicals would be like a blindfolded man finding one marked grain of sand in the Sahara Desert three times in a row. One protein molecule is not life. To get life, would require about 200 protein molecules together.
Physicist and information scientist Hubert Yockey is honest in admitting, “The belief that life on earth arose spontaneously from nonliving matter, is simply a matter of faith in strict reductionism and is based entirely on ideology.” He concludes Darwinist are as religious as the “religious” and live by faith.
The creation evolution debate is not about religion verses science or Bible versus science —- it is about good science verses bad science and creation is increasingly proving to be good science. Many honest evolutionist admit flaws in their philosophy but like Darwinist Richard Lewontin of Harvard insist that because of having “a prior commitment to materialism …we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.”

Nahum Speaks On The Believer’s Assurance

For a culture to change and a new culture emerge an old one has to die. Most often it is killed.
For generations Israel was basically a stable culture. Then a leader emerged who changed it dramatically. Historian Josephus gave this description of the change.
“Herod went still farther departing from the native customs, and through foreign practices he gradually corrupted the ancient way of life, which had hitherto been inviolable. As a result of this we suffered considerable harm at a later time as well, because those things were neglected which had formerly induced piety in the masses.”
Herod used “foreign practices” that “corrupted” formerly “inviolable” practices and the people “suffered” at a “later time.”
He used the tactic of providing for his base by taxing the wealthy. What he provided was entertainment. He started the athletic contests in Caesarea to rival the Olympic and Corinthian games. To accomplish this he built large stadiums in Jerusalem and the new city he developed and named for Caesar called Caesarea Maritima (by the sea).
To attract world class athletes and induce them to favor his games over the Greeks he offered large prizes at the expense of the populace. He added a new feature. In the Greek games each contest had a winner, only one. He started offering first, second, and third prizes and giving rewards of gold, silver, and bronze. It worked. The Greeks eventually adopted his system and three places are still used.
It took a while for the people to realize as Josephus wrote, “… it seemed a further impiety to change their established ways for foreign practices.”
Oops! Too late. Capitulation to Herod’s Roman mentality compromised the customs as well as the conscience of the country.
Neglect and abandonment of virtuous foundational practices on which the culture was built resulted in deferred suffering.
Deferred payment is on what modern America has been built. A pay later mentality only postpones the result. That is the principle that caused our current national financial collapse. It is the principle now being employed to garner support of a part of society at the expense of the future.
Replacing the free enterprise with socialism, a good work ethic with an entitlement mentality, abandoning known standards for a belief there are no absolutes, and giving preference to a foreign religion while restricting the foundational faith of the country will inevitably result in deferred suffering.
Let the games begin!
Current leaders prefer not to use the word “war” as related to our present conflict. It is a word that needs to be used regarding our current “cultural war.” To lose this war would mean losing our birthright of freedom and with it our blessed way of life paid for by the blood of our predecessors and current courageous countrymen and women.
We must not like ancient Israel neglect those things “which had formerly induced piety in the masses.” For God’s sake get involved. That is not slang. Get involved for the sake of God and country — and your own welfare.

Obama And Herod On Change

For a culture to change and a new culture emerge an old one has to die. Most often it is killed.
For generations Israel was basically a stable culture. Then a leader emerged who changed it dramatically. Historian Josephus gave this description of the change.
“Herod went still farther departing from the native customs, and through foreign practices he gradually corrupted the ancient way of life, which had hitherto been inviolable. As a result of this we suffered considerable harm at a later time as well, because those things were neglected which had formerly induced piety in the masses.”
Herod used “foreign practices” that “corrupted” formerly “inviolable” practices and the people “suffered” at a “later time.”
He used the tactic of providing for his base by taxing the wealthy. What he provided was entertainment. He started the athletic contests in Caesarea to rival the Olympic and Corinthian games. To accomplish this he built large stadiums in Jerusalem and the new city he developed and named for Caesar called Caesarea Maritima (by the sea).
To attract world class athletes and induce them to favor his games over the Greeks he offered large prizes at the expense of the populace. He added a new feature. In the Greek games each contest had a winner, only one. He started offering first, second, and third prizes and giving rewards of gold, silver, and bronze. It worked. The Greeks eventually adopted his system and three places are still used.
It took a while for the people to realize as Josephus wrote, “… it seemed a further impiety to change their established ways for foreign practices.”
Oops! Too late. Capitulation to Herod’s Roman mentality compromised the customs as well as the conscience of the country.
Neglect and abandonment of virtuous foundational practices on which the culture was built resulted in deferred suffering.
Deferred payment is on what modern America has been built. A pay later mentality only postpones the result. That is the principle that caused our current national financial collapse. It is the principle now being employed to garner support of a part of society at the expense of the future.
Replacing the free enterprise with socialism, a good work ethic with an entitlement mentality, abandoning known standards for a belief there are no absolutes, and giving preference to a foreign religion while restricting the foundational faith of the country will inevitably result in deferred suffering.
Let the games begin!
Current leaders prefer not to use the word “war” as related to our present conflict. It is a word that needs to be used regarding our current “cultural war.” To lose this war would mean losing our birthright of freedom and with it our blessed way of life paid for by the blood of our predecessors and current courageous countrymen and women.
We must not like ancient Israel neglect those things “which had formerly induced piety in the masses.” For God’s sake get involved. That is not slang. Get involved for the sake of God and
country — and your own welfare.

Red Letter Religion And The Emerging Church

The church in America is constantly under attack often without and frequently within.
New ideologies and some so old the present generation thinks they are new constantly emerge causing rifts in churches.
One current issue relates to the inspiration of Scripture. Some persons believe the Bible is inspired in spots and they are inspired to pick the spots. Though a hot topic for some time it has a new twist which is an old ploy. It is knows as Red Letter Christians. Within the movement there is a broad spectrum of beliefs. Therefore, when what they believe is noted there are always those who do not believe some of the tenants who can say that is misrepresentation.
Some within the movement believe only the parts of the Bible printed in red are inspired or they are more inspired than other portions. This raises the question of divine inspiration.
A related issue is found in the Bible within the church at Corinth some said, “I am of Paul,” some “I am of Apollos,” and others, “I am of Christ.” The question posed “is Christ divided?”
The movement has some commendable characteristics. They believe Christians have drifted too far to the right politically and socially. However, if they believe the church has drifted too far right they need to exercise caution they don’t drift too far left. They espouse involvement in such social issues as global warming, homosexual rights, they oppose the build up of our military and pro-gun rights, and are critical of America for not contributing more to third world countries.
The name for the group came about when a secular Jewish Country/Western DJ in Nashville used it in an interview by responding to a guest saying, “So you’re one of those Red-Letter Christians – you know – who’s really into those verses in the New Testament that are in red letters!”
A separate but similar movement espousing some of the same positions is referred to as the Emerging Church. It is sometimes called the “Ancient-Future” church. This growing movement is a greater variant from traditional Christianity. It also has exceptions to any generalized summary of their beliefs. In general they believe in social activism rather than evangelism, a new form of monasticism, multiple interpretations of every Scripture, a new/old form of mysticism, and the disillusion of the organized church. This latter has led to the use of the Internet as a means of decentralized communication.
They espouse religious pluralism and renounce belief in eternal judgment and dispute fundamental doctrines such a the atonement, salvation by faith, hell, and God’s sovereignty.
They advocate commendable activities such as feeding the poor, visiting the sick and those in prison, and abolition of modern slavery.
The reason these two schools of thought are divisive within churches is that pastors who agree with either concept often do not openly admit their involvement and seek to slowly redirect the church. An even bigger challenge is the average church member is uninformed and/or ungrounded in what and why he or she believes and how to respond to the movements.
A third factor is most church members have confidence in the pastor and want to trust him. Therefore they are inclined to follow his beliefs.
Pastors should have the courage of their convictions and not be covert in their belief.