Why Everything Is The Way It Is

The prevailing view in today’s media, public schools, and surrounding society is that the Bible isn’t true, no educated person believes in God, and science is the key to life’s mysteries. The lie of evolution becomes so deeply implanted that deliverance is increasingly difficult.

The world rejects “God says” and accepts “science says” as the ultimate truth. Few realize that science cannot answer the important questions: why the universe and life exist, and why every child knows the difference between right and wrong and believes that God exists until taught “better.”

Few know what leading scientists admit. Max Planck, father of Quantum Theory, declared: “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature.”1 We don’t know what time, space, matter, or energy are—much less the soul and spirit.

Why? cannot be addressed to the universe but only to its Creator. One cannot reason with an earthquake or a hurricane. There is no sympathy in “Nature.” Nobel laureate Erwin Schrödinger, one of the architects of quantum mechanics, wrote:

The scientific picture of the real world around me is…ghastly silent about all that…really matters to us….It knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity….
Whence came I and whither go I? That is the great unfathomable question…for every one of us. Science has no answer to it.2

Science knows nothing of truth—only physical facts. Lee Smolin, founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, has said: “When a child asks, ‘What is the world?’ we literally have nothing to tell….”3

The question why? irritates atheists because the maker decides the purpose for whatever is made. Without a Creator, neither the universe nor life has any meaning. Without God, there is no reason for a rose bud or for the dew that makes it shimmer in the morning sun —or for anything else that we hold dear and enjoy, including human existence itself.

Why is everything the way it is? Because God is the way He is. But who is this God? Is he Zeus of the Greeks, Brahman of the Hindus, Allah of Islam? Does it matter? Can’t we just acknowledge a “higher power”? Higher than what? Power? No impersonal “power” could create personal beings. Nor could any “force” conceive and write in words on DNA the directions for constructing and operating all living things.

Atheism leads to numerous absurdities promoted by otherwise intelligent people. Sir Francis Crick, Nobel laureate as co-discoverer of the DNA language, begins his book, The Astonishing Hypothesis:

You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules.4

If this is the way the universe made us, why does Crick call it Astonishing? He knows it is contrary to common sense. Yet to cling to his atheism he must persist in such madness. However, most people would firmly object to Crick’s description. Any thinking person knows he weighs choices carefully, experiences joys, sorrows, hopes, ambitions, fears, remorse, and regrets that are very real. But “science says” is a holy mantra that causes every knee to bow—except those who will not worship Baal (1 Ki:19:18
). Biologist Richard Lewontin defiantly boasts:

We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs…for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.5

Arch atheist and outspoken enemy of God, Richard Dawkins, claims that we are merely vehicles through which “selfish genes” perpetuate themselves. Yet he says genes have no foresight. They do not plan ahead. Genes just are. He also states, “Much as we might wish to believe otherwise, universal love and the welfare of the species…are concepts that simply do not make evolutionary sense.”6 What an admission!

If evolution makes us incapable of true love, morals, or ethics, why do we admire these qualities? How can we be so unnatural, if we are the offspring of nature? Crick and Dawkins seem embarrassed that many of the human qualities that everyone possesses could not have been produced by evolution. We do not think and act like we should if we were evolved from lower creatures.

The language component in the human gene “is identical in every particular to [that in] a snail. [Only] the sequence of building blocks is…different….”7 The organizational genius behind DNA is breathtaking. Using the same four letters for plants, animals, and man, distinction is maintained not only between all kinds of living things but between individuals of each kind. This ingenious arrangement sets bounds which make it impossible for DNA of one kind of life to change into DNA of another kind.

Unquestionably, the DNA language, which is the basis of all life, did not and cannot evolve. The similarity between man’s DNA and that of all animals is no more evidence that man evolved from animals than is the similarity in human and plant DNA evidence that we evolved from plants.

Evolution did not make us. God made us. But atheists cling to evolution as an escape from accountability to God. Darwin’s theory was his revenge against the god he could no longer believe in, the “god” that had allowed his daughter, Annie, to die. Darwinism’s atheism prevents science from knowing why things are as they are. Without God there is no answer to the why for anything. Yet here we are in a vast and awesome universe and common sense cries out for a reason for its existence and ours.

Why is everything the way it is? Only because God, who created it all, is the way He is. And why is God the way He is? Because, unlike the capricious gods of non-Christian religions, God revealed Himself to Moses thus: “I AM THAT I AM” (Ex 3:14). Consistently the Bible’s God declares, “I am the LORD, I change not (Mal:3:6).” God is outside of, and untouched by, the time and change so evident in our world.

Dawkins says, “Genes just are.” No, genes are not self-existent and eternal. They had to have a Maker. God alone has no maker but is the Maker of all: self-existent, uncreated, unchanging, perfect, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. For God to be God, this is who He must be.

Why is everything the way it is? Because God, who made all, is the way He is. Of the newly created universe, we read: “God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gn 1:31). Why was everything “good”? Because God who made everything is good: “There is none good but one, that is God” (Mt 19:17).

Even in its present corrupt state, much in the universe is still so beautiful that it thrills and moves us deeply because the God who made it is beautiful. David wrote: “I seek [to] dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord…” (Ps:27:4). We need greater appreciation of God’s beauty!

Why is there some apparent “good” even in a Hitler or a Stalin? Nazi extermination camp guards who had presided over the murder of Jews all day could come home at night, kiss their wives, play with their children, and enjoy listening to Wagner. This is because God, who is good, made man in His image (Gn 1:26,27). Although sin separated all mankind from a holy God, a remnant of the image of God in which we were created remains. Yet everything man touches, even love, is corrupted.

The man who persuades a woman to live with him without marriage tells her, “I love you.” But what he may mean (perhaps unknown even to him) could be, “I love myself, and I want you.” Only too late they may discover that this is what both of them mean by “love.”

Why the blight, rot, and death that taunts us everywhere? This, too, is because God is the way He is. Without God, whose character reveals and condemns it, there would be no sin; and without God’s law written in man’s conscience, there would be no knowledge of sin: “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things” (Is 45:7).

How could a good God create evil? The same way the God who is light creates darkness. A person who was born and died in a cave in total darkness would not know he was in the dark until someone shined a light. The light suddenly reveals the darkness for what it is; and God’s holy perfection reveals evil for what it is. The haunting memory of paradise lost lingers elusively in man’s heart. Why must it be this way? Because the God who is good is also holy and just—and man, made in His image, rebelled.

What about eternal torment in the Lake of Fire? That, too, is because God is love and God is just. He created man to live forever in the joy of His love—not as an “extra” but as man’s very life. Those who reject God’s love consign themselves to the eternal torment of a burning thirst for the One who made them for Himself. Heaven will be the eternal satisfaction of the living water flowing “out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rv 22:1). Hell will be eternally dying from burning thirst for God, the horror of fully knowing one’s sin and rebellion, and the realization that one is there only because of rejecting Christ.

“God is love” (1 Jn:4:8,16). Love is the essence of His being. He loves us and wants to forgive us; but He is also holy and just. For God to forgive sinners without the full penalty being paid would contradict His justice and make Him our partner in evil. Christ fully paid that penalty for our sins—but the pardon must be willingly and gladly received. God will not force anyone into heaven.

Atheists scoff, “How could a good God create this evil world? If God can’t stop suffering and death, He is too weak to be God; and if He could but doesn’t, He is a monster unworthy of our trust.” In fact, this is not the world God made but the one we made in rebellion against Him. Don’t blame God for what we have done to His once-perfect world!


Why did God allow man to rebel? That fact, too, is true because “God is love.” We can neither receive and enjoy His love nor love Him in return (or love one another) without the power of choice. Love is from the heart. The ability to say “yes” means nothing without the equal ability to say “no.” Tragically, Adam and Eve, chose to say “no” to God and to follow Satan. The entire universe suffers as a result: “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now…waiting…” (Rom:8:20-23).

Those who reject the truth reject God. Sir David Attenborough, producer of decades of TV programs promoting evolution, argued:

The God you believe in…an all-merciful God created…a parasitic worm…that can live in no other way than in an innocent child’s eyeball [in West Africa]?8

No, that is not the way the universe was at the beginning. And during the millennial reign of Christ, the world will be restored to its original condition, without animals devouring one another, without microbes and parasites preying on other living things: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb…the leopard shall lie down with the kid…the calf and the young lion…together; and a little child shall lead them….The lion shall eat straw like the ox…the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den…for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD…” (Is 11:6-9).

In Christ alone, and His payment of the penalty for our sins upon the Cross, we find reconciliation to God and ultimate meaning and purpose. “All things were made by him…” (Jn:1:2). O mystery! The babe born in Bethlehem was and forever is “the mighty God, the everlasting Father” (Is 9:6). Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (Jn:10:30).

How can we understand and better know this infinite God? He made us for Himself, and we naturally thirst for Him: “My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God…” (Ps:42:2). Yet those in rebellion foolishly attempt to quench that thirst in earthly possessions, pleasures, and pride. It was to reveal God to man as the only One who could fulfill that inner longing that Jesus, God’s “only begotten” Son (Jn:1:14; 3:16, etc.) was born into this world.

The suffering that Christ endured at men’s hands revealed the evil in all of our hearts. That suffering, which we inflicted upon Him, could not save us. It was the punishment for our sins that Jesus suffered on the Cross under God’s wrath against sin that made it possible for all to be forgiven who believe on Him. It is because He fully paid that penalty in our place that He can say, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (Jn:7:37).

He who was born of a virgin and fully man is also fully God: “For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col:2:9); who being the brightness of his [God the Father’s] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power…by himself purged our sins…” (Heb:1:3).

Paul declared, “Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Tm 3:16). Though now we only dimly understand (“we see through a glass darkly [and] know in part”–1 Cor:13:12), we have the glorious promise that the more we by faith look upon, meditate upon, and understand our Lord Jesus Christ, the more clearly we see Him and become like Him: “But we all, with open [unveiled] face beholding as in a glass [mirror] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor:3:18).


The revelation of Christ, for which our souls thirst, thrills us increasingly as we more clearly understand who He is in all His fullness and what He accomplished to reconcile us to Himself. Something of His glorious person is beautifully expressed in Graham Kendrick’s hymn:

Meekness and majesty, manhood and deity,
In perfect harmony—the man who is God;
Lord of eternity, dwells in humanity,
Kneels in humility, and washes our feet.

Father’s pure radiance, perfect in innocence,
Yet learns obedience to death on a cross;
Suffering to give us life,
Conquering through sacrifice—
And as they crucify, prays, “Father, forgive.”

Wisdom unsearchable, God the invisible,
Love indestructible in frailty appears;
Lord of infinity, stooping so tenderly
Lifts our humanity
To the heights of his throne.

Oh, what a mystery—Meekness and majesty;
Bow down and worship,
For this is your God,
This is your God!

Dave Hunt, The Berean Call (April 1, 2007)

Endnotes

  1. Max Planck, “The Mystery of Our Being,” in Quantum Questions, ed. Ken Wilbur (Boston: New Science Library, 1984), 153.
  2. Erwin Schrödinger, quoted in Quantum, 81.
  3. Dennis Overbye, “Physics awaits new options as Standard Model idles,” Symmetry, vol 03, issue 06, August 06.
  4. Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search for the Soul (New York: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 1994), 3.
  5. Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons, The New York Review, January 9, 1997, 31.
  6. Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (Oxford University Press, 30th anniversary edition, 2006), 2.
  7. Dawkins, Selfish, 22.
  8. M. Buchanan, “Wild, Wild Life,” Sydney Morning HeraldThe Guide, March 24, 2003, 6.

Faux term ‘Christian nationalist’ used in political warfare

By Jorge Gomez, Op-ed contributor, Christian Post (November 10, 2022), originally published at First Liberty

The label “Christian nationalist” is appearing more frequently and is being used to silence people of faith, according to experts.

Dr. Mark David Hall, an author and professor at George Fox University, recently discussed the history behind the term. He argues that the political Left started using it well over a decade ago “to label Christians who bring their faith into the public square for ends they don’t like.”

National security and intelligence expert Dr. Stephen Coughlin similarly argues the label is part of a politically driven effort to suppress religious opinions that defy modern orthodoxy and Leftist ideology:

“What they did was they created a faux term ‘Christian nationalism,’ and they gave it all these negative attributes and then used that to attack Christians. It’s part of what you call an ‘intersectional line of attack’ in a political warfare model, which is the Maoist insurgency model, which we believe is the premier principal form of Marxism.”

Former congresswoman and current dean of the Regent University School of Government, Michele Bachmann, contends the surge in use is no coincidence, especially so close to a midterm election. She explains:

“It’s all about holding on to power. That’s what it’s about. There’s only one party in power now in the United States, in Washington, D.C. They don’t want to let it go … And what they have seen is the power of the Church, the epicenter of power in the United States. Opposing their agenda is the Church and the principles of the Bible. They don’t like pastors preaching on issues. They don’t like congregants being inspired from the Bible. And so that’s why we’re the target. They want to silence us.”

What exactly does “Christian nationalism” mean? There is no settled definition, but broadly speaking, radicals use “Christian nationalism” to conflate racism, white supremacy and identity, religion, and patriotism. They often add in fascism, theocracy, and authoritarianism.

An attack on religious liberty and America’s founding values

The use of the “Christian nationalist” label contradicts the principles and values of our country. Its perpetual misuse is especially harmful to religious liberty.

Among the many problems is how it demonizes public prayer and virtually any other commonplace religious activity. Whether a political leader or an everyday person, anytime there is a public expression of faith, the term is leveled against them as wanting to establish a Christian theocracy.

In other words, if a citizen exercises their constitutionally protected and inalienable right to religious freedom, that person runs the risk of being labeled a “Christian nationalist.” And once you carry that label, it essentially means you’re a pariah, someone who should be vilified and not allowed to participate in the marketplace or society.

This, of course, is nothing new. As Dr. Coughlin explained, this is a tactic straight out of the Marxist playbook. Whenever a political force wants to wield power and authority, religious people and religious liberty are the first ones on the target list.

Radicals and dictators know fully well that houses of worship and people of faith are the ultimate check on authoritarian power. Their allegiance is not to the government. A free people know their loyalty is to God above all, the true provider and source of our freedoms. If a tyrant succeeds at destroying religious freedom and religious institutions, they can remove the most effective challenge to their rule.

Vilifying the faithful is a timeless tool of authoritarians. Liberally tossing around the “Christian nationalist” label and slapping it on anyone who lives out their faith is a direct attack on religious freedom. Make no mistake. Radicals want to normalize the use of this loaded term to chip away and destroy one of the building blocks of our republic.

Loving God and country

The political Left regularly screams “Christian nationalism” when a person of faith shows patriotism and pride in their country. If you say America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, you’ll quickly be accused of trying to establish a theocracy. But that’s simply not true and is based on a wildly distorted view of our nation’s history.

This use of “Christian nationalism” typically relies on a misguided understanding of the “separation of Church and State,” which radicals interpret to mean that there can be no intersection between religion and government. They claim that any religious expression or influence in the public square cannot be tolerated, because it would violate this strict wall of separation.

Understood in context, however, the “separation of Church and state” does not mean religious exercise or prayer is banned on government property. This phrase doesn’t even appear in the text of the Constitution. The original intent was never to keep religion locked inside the walls of a church or synagogue. Instead, it was to protect houses of worship and religious people from state intrusion and harassment. It’s misleading to argue that government and religion should never, under any circumstances, be mixed together.

Additionally, no matter how much secularists or the political Left deny it, the United States was, in fact, founded by people who valued biblical principles. From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other Founders, an overwhelming majority of them expressed belief in the Divine, a Creator who is the ultimate grantor of our rights and freedoms, as is clearly referenced in the Declaration of Independence. One of the foremost constitutional theorists of the founding generation, John Adams, observed, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

America’s Founders were a prime example that faith and patriotism are not mutually exclusive. They demonstrated that it’s possible to serve God and be committed to the American constitutional experience — to the cause of liberty, human rights, representative democracy, and the rule of law.

More than two centuries later, a strong majority of Americans still believe in this truth. Pew Research recently found 60% of Americans think the Founders originally intended the U.S. to be a “Christian nation.” However, 52% said the federal government should never declare an official religion. This shows that most people believe in the core principles of the First Amendment. That is, we can freely worship God while also cherishing our system of government.

Being a religious person who also loves their nation does not make one a “Christian nationalist.” Quite the opposite. Someone who serves God and country is embodying the best of America’s traditions. We’re a nation built on religious freedom, which means Christians — and people of any faith — do not have to be forced to choose between loving our republic and loving the One True God.

Rationalism vs Revelation: The Mind vs The Heart

“A different form of attack upon the Scriptures, which may be described as Rationalism, was developed in the 19th century. Rationalism set aside Revelation, assuming the sufficiency of the mind, or Reason, to enable man to find out truth and to attain to the highest good.

The unprecedented progress made in scientific knowledge not only gave valuable insight into the works of God in Creation, but also stirred in some minds a desire to explain creation apart from God. This made it necessary to prove that the account of the Creation given in the book of Genesis did not spring from Divine inspiration, but from the ignorance of men, who, living before us, were presumed to have known less than we do. As fresh discoveries were made in the illimitable field of Nature, theories were founded upon them which were said to be incompatible with the Genesis history and therefore to prove it incorrect. As further facts came to light new theories had to be formed, each displacing its predecessor, yet each in turn accepted on the authority of the learning of the men of science who promulgated it. The “Origin of Species” published by Charles Darwin in 1859 is an important landmark in this development of thought.

Those who accepted the view that there had been no creation, of necessity lost the knowledge of the Creator. This involved the loss of all revealed knowledge, for the revelation of God through the Scriptures begins with Creation as the work of God, without which there could have been no Fall of His creature, Man; and neither need nor possibility of man’s Redemption. Consequently, the new theories evolved from the minds of men who discarded the Scripture teaching of the Fall, replacing it by constantly changing theories of the development of man from a lower form of life. The experience of Salvation and the hope of Redemption became incredible on the basis of these teachings, and whatever vague promises might be held out to the race, the individual was left without hope.

Although in the minds of the multitude evolution has replaced God the Creator, so that many trace their ancestry from beasts rather than from God, and are ignorant of God as their Redeemer, yet not all, even among those recognized as the most eminent men of science, have followed this teaching. It would not be correct to say that increase of knowledge of the facts of Nature necessarily leads to disbelief in God or in the Scriptures. Many have found that the more they have learned of the works of God in Creation the more they have appreciated the consonance of this revelation with that contained in the Scriptures. Indeed, the assertion so often and so eagerly made that no modern, intelligent, educated man can believe the Scriptures, is without foundation. It is not a fact that the more people know the less they believe, nor yet that the more ignorant they are the more faith they possess.

Rationalism is largely due to the failure to recognize that man is not only mind, but mind and heart, and that the mind always serves the heart. The heart, which is the character, will and affections, and is the seat of experience, uses in its service the mind, with its intelligence and reasoning powers. The heart of the natural man uses his mind in order to justify his unbelief in God and in Scripture by finding countless reasons for complaint against God, and contradictions and errors in the Scriptures, but if this same man has an experience which brings him to see his sinful state, his need of salvation, and Christ is revealed to him, then his heart — that is his will and affections —are captured; they go out to Christ in faith as Saviour and Lord, and the Divine and Eternal Life is communicated to him, as it is written: “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). With that his mind, though neither more or less capable, intelligent and instructed than before, enters into the service of a changed heart, finding truth and beauty and revelation in the very Scriptures which it formerly despised, and discovering in the ways of God constant reason for thanksgiving and worship. Saul the persecutor, changed to Paul the apostle is a striking illustration of this.

Excerpt from The Pilgrim Church by E.H. Broadbent, pp. 493-495

God: Natural or Supernatural

From Creation Moments:

Genesis 1:31
“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”

C.S. Lewis suggested that those who deny the supernatural can still believe in a god of sorts. He said:

The great interlocking event called Nature might be such as to produce at some stage a great cosmic consciousness, an indwelling ‘God’ arising from the whole process as human mind arises (according to the Naturalists) from human organisms…. What Naturalism cannot accept is the idea of a God who stands outside Nature and made it.

One Christian evolutionist has maintained that Christians who are scientists do not mention God in their research papers, because there is a long-standing tradition against partiality in science. It follows that his scientific research does not start from God, and does not start from the Bible.

While he maintains this as a virtue, it suggests to his readers that nature is all that there is; there is nothing outside of science that science cannot, or will not one day be able, to explain. Yet he believes in God, and is a member of a Bible-believing church. This gives the impression that faith is a bolt-on. It is not part of reality. Therefore, the god who is implied is not the supernatural God of the Bible, despite the claims of such people that this is the God in whom they believe. Instead, the impression is given that nature is all that there is, so God must be a natural god arising out of creation.

This is why the first few words of the Bible are so important. “In the beginning, God created…” gives the correct context for everything else that we read in the 66 books.

Prayer: You put everything in place, Lord God. You created it all from nothing. We praise You that only in You can everything be understood in its place. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz

Ref: Lewis, C.S. (1947), Miracles, (New York: Macmillan Collins), p12. Image: Adobe Stock photos, licensed to author.

© 2022 Creation Moments.  All rights reserved.

Recognizing The Change

Christians must understand the nature of the change that has occurred in our culture. No longer do the secularists just mock Christians from afar. They are now actively campaigning to indoctrinate children in an anti-God philosophy—to teach them to be secularists and atheists. 

—Ken Ham (born 20 October 1951, Australian Christian fundamentalist, young Earth creationist, and apologist)

Source: Berean Call

The Origin of Racism

Acts 17:26a
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth. . . .”

Does God approve of inter‑racial marriage? To answer this question, we must look at the concept of race. The Bible teaches that we are all descended from the man Adam. Scripture also states, we are all of one blood; Scripture never even uses the idea of race.

The descendants of Ham, who were cursed, were the Canaanites. Yet when Rahab, a Canaanite, came to faith in the true God, she not only was welcomed to marry a believer, but God included her in the line leading to Christ.  The idea of different races, as distinct from different religions, was not much of an issue until 1859 when Charles Darwin published his famous book, On the Origin of Species.  Darwin was a product of Victorian times and extremely racist in his views, always referring to colored peoples as “savages.”  Among the book’s purported scientific claims for evolution was the claim that there are different races because some groups are more evolved than others. As this idea became accepted both in and out of the Church, racism became institutionalized. Today we know that typically the genetic differences between you and anyone else is only 0.2 percent. Scientifically, there is only one human race, as Scripture clearly teaches. The Church can only combat racism by proclaiming the truth that all people on earth are one flesh, descended from one, real Adam, whose blood we share. It can also proclaim the Gospel, that all believers are spiritual descendants of the Second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has redeemed us and made us new creatures.

Prayer: Help me, Father, love all people as Your Son did when He died for them. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz

Ref:  Ken Ham, Inter-racial marriage: is it biblical?, Creation 21(3) June-August, 1999. Photo: Pixabay (PD)

© 2022 Creation Moments.  All rights reserved.

Anglican school chaplain fired for not caving to LGBT indoctrination warns of ‘soft totalitarianism’

WASHINGTON — An Anglican chaplain who was fired and reported to an anti-terrorism program for preaching Christian doctrine on sexual ethics during a chapel service is warning about the totalitarian ideologies actively at work in the West. 

At a breakout session at the International Religious Freedom Summit, a panel on “polite persecution” — a phrase coined by Pope Francis — assembled by The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, described how secular abortion and gender activists are gutting cherished freedoms in countries that have historically championed religious liberty. Often, religious persecution is state-sanctioned.

This so-called polite kind of hostility is often experienced by practitioners of faiths that adhere to more traditional views about human life, marriage, and the material reality of biological sex.

In his remarks, the Rev. Bernard Randall recounted how just over three years ago, he, as an ordained chaplain, was reported to authorities and investigated as part of a government anti-terrorism probe for espousing Christian sexual ethics during a chapel service in a Church of England school. 

The school had invited LGBT activist Elly Barnes, founder of Educate & Celebrate, an LGBT education charity, to a staff training session to introduce a new curriculum under the guise of anti-bullying education, he said, noting that no one objects to protecting students from bullying. Yet, he soon found out that there were aspects of this training that were not about bullying but the indoctrination of LGBT ideology. It went so far that at one point the trainers had the staff chanting about the need to “smash heteronormativity.”

“That’s something well beyond not bullying people,” Randall said. 

The LGBT group further taught staff that there are nine characteristics that are protected under British law, among them “gender” and “gender identity.” But that is not true, Randall stressed, noting that the trans movement has coerced the public into believing such claims.

Since the aim of the Educate & Celebrate curriculum material is to “embed gender, gender identity and sexual orientation into the fabric of your organization,” students asked Randall to address the issue at a chapel service. 

After doing so, he was summarily dismissed from school for gross misconduct and reported to the counter-terrorism program after he told students, aged 11 to 17, that they were not compelled to “accept an ideology they disagree with.” He also told the students that they could make up their own minds about gender identity and sexuality.

Randall added that students could either choose to adopt the thinking of LGBT activists or adhere to Christian sexual ethics — that marriage is only between a man and woman and that sex is confined to that context. Most importantly, he advised students to show respect for those who disagree.

“I was summoned into what I can only describe as an interrogation by the senior leadership,” he said. “I was suspended. And I was fired for gross misconduct for doing my job as per the job description.”

Randall was also reported to Child Protective Services and a British government anti-terrorism program as a potential violent extremist. 

“I’d like to think that I’m a reasonably moderate sort of chap,” he said, reiterating how he left the question of believing the claims of LGBT activists open-ended in his chapel remarks. UnmuteAdvanced SettingsFullscreenPauseUp Next

But his firing and being reported to the government anti-terrorism task force was a revealing moment showing how far the school’s administration had gone to the other extreme. 

He is now suing the school for religious discrimination but noted how astonishing it is that he has to take legal action against a Church of England institution, for proclaiming Christian beliefs in a sermon during a chapel service. The Christian Legal Centre has since been representing him.

Speaking of the relevance of the international religious freedom summit, the Anglican chaplain stressed that freedom of religion includes freedom from religion. The Marxist progressive ideology at work functions much like a religion and people should be free from that if they wish to be. 

“If Western countries cannot protect their own religious groups from discrimination there is absolutely no reason that the other countries at which we might point the finger” who are violating religious freedom, and they can say to the West and say, “You’re not taking it seriously, so why should we?” he said.

When asked by The Christian Post why gender ideologues won’t even allow a disagreement, Randall pointed to its philosophical roots. 

“It seems to me that if you look at the Marxist-type origins of this sort of thing, what’s going on is that they are objecting to what they regard as religion — the opiate of the masses — this sort of false consciousness, and they just have to educate us into true consciousness,” he said.

“But anybody who says ‘Oh no, I’m quite happy with my religious ideas, I’m quite happy with this consciousness I’ve got already’ is a real threat to the whole set of concepts. They are a threat to the idea that what everybody believes is false and the Marxists will take us to this new wonderful, enlightened utopia.”

“And they cannot tolerate that kind of threat. It’s a very totalitarian system,” he added. 

What Randall experienced three years ago in England is what he and others have called “soft totalitarianism,” whereas what people endure in China is “hard totalitarianism.”  

“But the difference between them is not as much as we might like to think,” he stressed. 

Send news tips to: brandon.showalter@christianpost.com Listen to Brandon Showalter’s Life in the Kingdom podcast at The Christian Post and edifi app Follow Brandon Showalter on Facebook: BrandonMarkShowalter Follow on Twitter: @BrandonMShow

“Heavy Hatred for Christian Values” In Western Society

Following is from the July 2, 2022 Christian Post (United States).

Finnish lawmaker Päivi Räsänen, prosecuted for voicing her traditional Christian beliefs about marriage and sexuality, believes that a “heavy hatred for Christian values” in Western society will cause many Christians to censor themselves for social acceptance.

The former interior minister who has served in Finnish Parliament for nearly three decades was one of several global political figures to speak at the annual International Religious Freedom Summit in Washington, D.C., this week.

The event aims to increase “the public awareness and political strength for the international religious freedom movement. The summit is led by former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, who led similar events at the State Department headquarters during the Trump administration.

In March, Räsänen was cleared of hate speech charges for repeatedly asserting her belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman. But her legal battle continues as the prosecution has appealed the ruling to a higher court.

She spoke with The Christian Post ahead of her participation in a panel discussion at the summit focused on religious freedom in the Western Hemisphere Thursday.  

As she faced a possibility of up to six years imprisonment, the 62-year-old politician attributed her prosecution to Finland becoming a “post-Christian world” where “Christian values are, in fact, a minority.”

“The change has been so fast that it is difficult to understand what is happening,” She said. 

As the wife of a Lutheran pastor and former chair of Finnish Christian Democrats, Räsänen believes Christian values are “targeted” in criminal court as part of the “breaking of the virtue and the challenging of Christian values” that is now “very visible in our societies.”

In Räsänen’s case, she faced hate speech charges over a book she wrote 18 years ago titled Male and Female He Created Them: Homosexual relationships challenge the Christian concept of humanity and a 2019 tweet taking issue with the Finnish Lutheran Church’s promotion of LGBT “pride month.” She faced a third charge for comments she made on a radio show about homosexuality.

Bishop Juhana Pohjola of the Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland was charged with hate speech for publishing Räsänen’s book. 

Räsänen insists that she has no ill will toward homosexuals and suggested that those accusing her of practicing hate speech are the ones dabbling in hatred.

“We all are sinners and we need Jesus. But now, I think there is a heavy hatred against Christian values in our society,” Räsänen said. “If you speak about gender issues — that there are two genders or that marriage belongs to one woman and one man — it arouses hatred against you in our society.”

Räsänen told CP that she “never thought” she would face prosecution for expressing support for “classical Christian doctrines about marriage and sexuality” as she openly discussed her “Christian values” and beliefs about “marriage and sanctity of human life” throughout her time in Parliament.

“Nothing has changed in my faith and in my conviction, but suddenly I was like a criminal because of this hate,” she said. 

“The world has changed,” she concluded. “I think that my conviction has not changed but the world has changed very [quickly] in Finland and I think that also in other Western countries, post-Christian countries.”

Describing the cultural shift as “very alarming,” Räsänen believes Christians must “wake up to see what is going on” because her experience proves that “it is more and more difficult” for Christians to express their faith publicly.

“I’m afraid that this leads to some kind of self-censorship. If you are labeled a conservative Christian, it would hinder your career or your social acceptance,” she stated. “So, these kinds of problems are very topical in Finnish society.”UnmuteAdvanced SettingsFullscreenPauseUp Next

Although she “hoped that the prosecutor would have been satisfied with the acquittal,” she sees her case moving to a higher court as an opportunity “to get a precedent and to get a more heavy guideline for possible further similar cases in Finland and also in Europe.”

She praised her acquittal of hate crime charges by a Helsinki District Court as “a victory for me.” Still, She said a “possible victory from Appeal Court and especially from Supreme Court” is an “even bigger victory for freedom of speech … and freedom of religion” because it would create “legal guidance for other cases.”

“I think that this is all in God’s hands, and I believe in His guidance that there is some meaning that this process continues,” she added.

Räsänen said the ordeal and her platform with the Finnish media provided an opportunity to “hold up the biblical values in public and also testify about Jesus” and give people “the answer to the problem of sin that Jesus has died for all people and that this is the way to salvation.”

Although Finland has a Constitution that “guarantees the freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” Räsänen is concerned that “the influence of LGBT ideology is very strong in Finnish society and some kind of woke culture is creating cancel culture in our society and it is narrowing those freedoms.”

Räsänen lamented, “we have now some kind of totalitarian, ideological totalitarianism.” She cited efforts to convince social media companies to censor “hate speech” in the Finnish Parliament and the European Union as examples of this ideology’s emergence.

Räsänen hopes that her remarks at the IRF Summit will “encourage people to use their rights and speak openly,”

“At first, when the trial in January started, [the] prosecutor said that this will not be about [the] Bible,” Räsänen recalled. “She started to ask questions about [the] Bible, about theological issues, she even cited some verses from the Old Testament, and she wanted to show that there is a lot of hate speech in [the] Bible.”

Räsänen maintained that the prosecutor classified the Christian doctrine of “love the sinner, hate the sin” as “insulting and defaming” because “according to her, you cannot make a distinction between the person’s identity and his actions, so if you condemn the act, you also condemn the human being and regard him inferior.”

She pushed back on this analysis, classifying the idea of “loving the sinner” and “hating the sin” as “the core of Christianity and the message of the Bible.”

“If this is denied, if this kind of speech and teaching is denied, then also the core of Christianity is dead,” she contended.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: ryan.foley@christianpost.com

Grave Knowledge

If everyone knew what the dead know, the whole world would be worshipping Jesus. Author Unknown

Preparing The Church For Persecution- From Believers Who Have and Are Being Persecuted

(The following is written by four Chinese pastors from the underground church in Communist China. They have or are experiencing persecution from the Communist China government simply because they are born again Christians. They have spent a combined total of 47 years in prison for their faith in Jesus Christ. The source of the article is omitted due to security issues. Carl)

“In recent years—especially since the start of the Covid pandemic—many believers around the world have contacted us to ask if we can share insights or do interviews into how Christians can survive persecution, as they see the storm clouds of persecution gathering on the horizon in their countries.

First, we point out that we have written more than a dozen books on the Church in China, each containing principles and testimonies of how God has not only helped His children survive six decades of persecution, but has caused them to thrive, so that China is still experiencing the greatest revival in Christian history.

When we try to help church leaders and believers in the West prepare for persecution, after more dialogue it usually emerges that they are not really looking for straight answers. Often, what people mean when they ask these questions is: “How can we survive persecution in our current church structures, so we don’t have to suffer or change?”

The answer to this is… you cannot!

True, physical persecution (e.g. when Christians are being arrested, beaten, imprisoned, or even killed) will not leave most current church structures intact. It will completely dismantle them!

Gone will be the denominations, emphasis on church buildings, Reverends, division between “clergy” and other believers, and all kinds of church traditions and outward imagery that are not found in Scripture. They will be swept away.

This pattern is what happened when persecution was ramped up against believers in China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and other countries we work in.

We don’t know if severe persecution is coming to your part of the world soon, but we must be prepared. The Lord Jesus said, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake” (Matthew 24:9), while the Apostle Paul told Timothy that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

We would like to conclude by sharing five important truths about persecution, which we hope will bring encouragement and focus to our fellow believers:

  1. God is always in control! If He allows persecution to come, it’s for the good of His kingdom. In China, believers only experienced the full joy of intimacy with Jesus when they were in the furnace of affliction and after they came out the other side.
  2. Persecution is the last thing our flesh desires, but our faith must rest on the fact that the Lord Jesus will not let us down, and He will never leave nor forsake us. Persecution cannot destroy our relationship with Him: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35).
  3. Importantly, when intense hardship comes, we shouldn’t see only the hand of Satan in persecution. In China, God’s people looked back later and realized that it was actually the Lord Jesus overseeing the entire process out of love for His children. He is zealous to remove the dead religious structures that trap people in bondage and keep millions of unbelievers from being able to see the true Gospel.
  4. Persecution is a pruning process, when the Holy Spirit removes half-hearted believers from among the flock. In China, when fierce persecution first broke out in the 1950s, around two-thirds of churchgoers fell away from the faith. The Lord Jesus told us this would occur: “When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word, they quickly fall away” (Mark 4:17). Friends, if two-thirds of Chinese Christians fell away at the onset of persecution, how might things be in your part of the world?
  5. For those who do not give up, persecution often brings great revival. In China, the number of Christians has grown from less than one million to over 100 million after 60 years of brutal Communist persecution! All glory to God. When that realization dawned on believers, many learned not only to grimly endure persecution, but to embrace it as a special blessing from God.

May God Almighty continue to bless and multiply His church in Communist China. May the church in the West return to its New Testament roots before the fires of persecution makes it return to that unchanging guidance He has given us! Carl

Barna’s Millennial Report Is Shocking, But God Brings Hope

Studying the sobering results of Dr. George Barna’s research, “Millennials in America,” I felt fear for the future of the largest generation in our history.

I listened intently as he shared some of his key findings. Here are some of the startling discoveries:

  • Almost one-half of young adults prefer socialism to capitalism.
  • A foundation of absolute truth has been replaced by relativism with feelings and friends forming one’s worldview.
  • 9 of 10 are syncretists picking a mixture of beliefs from different religions so as not to appear “intolerant.”
  • Being “born again” doesn’t result from repentance and faith in Christ’s sacrificial, substitutionary death and resurrection but refers to being a good person, doing good deeds to merit one’s salvation.
  • Only 28% believe the Bible is the Word of God.
  • The overwhelming majority reject the concept of an all-knowing, all-powerful Creator and do not accept the biblical/historical view of scripture, sin, and salvation.

Similar times in Scripture 

Two portions of scripture come to mind when the younger generation drifted dramatically from God.

“That entire generation passed away, and after them grew up a generation who did not know the Lord or the deeds that He had done …” (Judges 2:10).

“Moreover, in those days I also saw Jews who had married the women of Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. Half of their children spoke in the language of Ashdod, yet none of them could recognize the language of the Jews” (Neh.13:23-24).

Upon assessing the situation in his day, Nehemiah was definitely not complacent in confronting some of them with righteous anger. He “cursed” … “beat”… and “plucked out the hair”… of those responsible for “doing all this great evil who are behaving unfaithfully against our God …” (Neh.13:25-7).

Scripture does not rejoice over Nehemiah’s actions but does record them! In our day of comfortable, compromising and cowardly Christianity, it’s refreshing to see a leader not being silent and submitting to the fear of man.

A defining moment in my life

Years ago when Obama and LGBTQ activists were aggressively pushing for gay marriage, I partnered with a professional videographer on a biblical instructional video entitled “Is Gay OK?” From a Biblically informed worldview, it addressed questions like “Is a person born gay? Can someone be a Christian and practice homosexuality? Is same-sex marriage allowed by God?” 

I was subsequently let go by the church where I served in leadership for five years being told by the leader to “just go and don’t come back.” Previously he’d warned me in no uncertain terms that to continue the project was a “deal-breaker” and “we don’t want to go there because we could incur death threats.”

A primary reason I worked on the resource video was to help rescue millennials being bombarded by an avalanche of deceitful propaganda on this and other cultural hot button issues. Because many pastors decided to be “seeker sensitive” and play it safe, steering clear of controversy, we now have a generation like in the time of Judges.  “We don’t get into areas like abortion, living together, homosexuality, transgender stuff, voting, elections … you know, anything political.” 

More sobering data

Apart from deception assaulting the younger generation in the area of morality, Dr. Barna’s research reveals chilling beliefs in the realm of spirituality:

  • Two out of three millennials believe they are “Christians,” yet their responses indicate they are not true disciples following Jesus as Lord.
  • Three out of four believe all religious faiths are of equal value.
  • 56% reject the existence of absolute truth.
  • A scant 4% of millennials hold to a biblical worldview regarding God, life, and morality.
  • Only one in four millennials believe they can trust Christian pastors.
  • A high percentage identify themselves as “DONTS” meaning they don’t know or even care if God exists. 

Inspiration from 5 past divine interventions 

Before anyone succumbs to cynicism and pessimism concerning the future of the millennial generation, let’s remind ourselves of God’s sovereign intervention in similar seasons of history where outpourings of His Spirit broke through the darkness.UnmuteAdvanced SettingsFullscreenPauseUp Next

First Great Awakening.  I’ve been to Northampton, Massachusetts, where Jonathan Edwards helped ignite God’s miraculous intervention in the darkest period of the 1700s that resulted in unbelievable societal transformation.

• Azusa Street Revival.  I’ve been to Bonnie Brae Street with revivalist Lou Engle where at the turn of the 20th century a handful of people gathered and soon God poured out His Spirit in an unprecedented way in Los Angeles birthing the Pentecostal movement that today has reached almost a half billion people worldwide!

The Jesus movement. In one of the most turbulent times in America’s history, God rescued me from the 60s “Lost Souls” rock band and swept me into a revolutionary youth-centered Jesus revolution that saw millions of sons and daughters converted and changed by the power of the living God. I joined with Dr. Michael Brown, Mike Bickle, Greg Laurie, Keith Green and others in a Heaven-sent move of God that birthed Calvary Chapel, The Vineyard, contemporary Christian music and a cover story on Time magazine!

Brownsville Revival. Revival broke out in Pensacola, Florida, and providentially God planted me in the midst of a divinely orchestrated move of His Spirit where in a five-year period 2 million came from across the world and 200,000 were converted to the glory of God!

7 Common denominators

Dr. George Barna’s excellent research revealed sobering data. It’s our time to seize the opportunity, remembering God’s sovereignty and the church’s responsibility. Historically we find common denominators to guide us.

1. Passionate and prevailing prayer.

2. Genuine repentance and living lives of happy holiness.

3. Freedom for the Holy Spirit to move in spontaneity under godly oversight. 

4. Rekindling lifestyle evangelism and consistent, compassionate outreach to the lost and those suffering in poverty, persecution, and exploitation.

5. Rediscovering the passionate preaching of the Word of God.

6. Restoring a healthy fear of the Lord through a revelation of divine judgment and experience of Holy Spirit conviction.

7. Most importantly, rekindling the fire of first love zeal and simple devotion to Jesus as our Lord and Savior. 

Here’s the deal: “In the last days it shall be, says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Acts 2:17).

The time has come — let’s respond and see revival come.

Larry Tomczak is a best-selling author and cultural commentator with over 40 years of trusted ministry experience. His passion is to bring perspective, analysis and insight from a biblical worldview. He loves people and loves awakening them to today’s cultural realities and the responses needed for the bride of Christ—His church—to become influential in all spheres of life once again. He is also a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel.

Source: Christian Post

Dark matter and spiritual light captivate astrophysicists

By Dan Delzell, Christian Post Contributor

The Center for Astrophysics / Harvard & Smithsonian (CfA) is an astrophysics research institute founded in 1973 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One thing they do is study dark matter and dark energy. “All the atoms and light in the Universe together make up less than 5% of the total contents of the cosmos. The rest is composed of dark matter and dark energy.”

In the natural realm, dark energy is an invisible mysterious force that “is counteracting gravity to make the universe expand at a greater rate.” In the spiritual realm, man’s sinful nature is an invisible wicked force that corrupts the heart and mind at an expanding rate. The effects of dark energy can be measured in the Universe. For example, “cosmic microwave background measurements show dark energy contributes about 68% of the total energy content of the universe.” 

Likewise, the effects of the sinful nature can be measured as well. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealously, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (Galatians 5:19-21).

God communicates with us through two books: the book of nature and Scripture. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge” (Psalm 19:1,2). “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). 

Astrophysicists, regardless of their spiritual convictions, are constantly immersed in God’s book of nature. And the cosmological discoveries over the past 25 years have convinced many astrophysicists and other scientists that our universe had a highly intelligent causal agent.

In his 2006 book, Many Worlds in One, Alexander Vilenkin wrote, “With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.”

Robert Jastrow is an astronomer who founded NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. In his book, God and the Astronomers, Gastric writes, “Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proven, by their own methods, that the world began abruptly in an act of creation to which you can trace the seeds of every star, every planet, every living thing in this cosmos and on the Earth. And they have found that all this happened as a product of forces they cannot hope to discover … That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact.”

Paul Wallace wrote a book titled, Love and Quasars: An Astrophysicist Reconciles Faith and Science. One reviewer stated, “Wallace interweaves his own story through seasons of faith and doubt. With candor, he leads us to his own liberating vantage point as a Christian and scientist: the necessity of wonder.”

Werner Heisenberg was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics for the creation of quantum mechanics. He said, “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.

In order to know God personally, one must know the Messiah. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well” (John 14:6,7). 

While physical laws govern the universe, God established the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:1-21) in the Old Testament to govern His people. And “the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24).

Jesus said the Holy Spirit “will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin … because men do not believe in me” (John 16:8,9). Read the 10 Commandments every day for a month and ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of your sins against God’s perfect Law. You will begin to understand that your sins are by far your biggest problem. “Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

George Ellis is a South African astrophysicist who was a collaborator on the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems. Ellis stated, “God’s nature is revealed most perfectly in the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as recorded in the New Testament of the Bible, who was sent by God to reveal the divine nature, summarized in ‘God is love.’”

In order to receive the love of God into your heart, you will need to bow your knee at the foot of the cross as you confess your sins to God. Trust Jesus to forgive you. And then begin to live for the One who created all things, including “things in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible…” (Colossians 1:16). This includes dark matter and spiritual light.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). There is still time for you to “come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:8). But this window of opportunity will not stay open forever. While the Universe continues expanding at a greater rate, the number of minutes you have left to get right with God is shrinking. 

Dark matter and dark energy cannot remove even one of your sins. Jesus, however, can wash away all of your sins and bring you into a beautiful eternal relationship with your Father in Heaven. You see, the path to Paradise was revealed in Christ’s first sermon: “Repent and believe the good news” (Mark 1:15).

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Papillion, Nebraska. 

The Impact of Evidence

A man walked into a Christian bookstore in an Arabic-speaking country. “I want your best book on the defense of Christianity.” The bookstore manager handed him Evidence That Demands A Verdict in Arabic.

As the man left he exclaimed, “I’m doing my dissertation on destroying Christianity.” Six months later the storeowner baptized the student who had become a believer.

Source: Josh McDowell & Sean McDowell, PhD – Evidence That Demands A Verdict – Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN:

The opening quote is Josh McDowell’s response to a question concerning his favorite story about the impact of Evidence That Demands A Verdict on unbelievers. If you do not have this book, I recommend that you consider purchasing a copy or obtain a copy through your local library. Whether you have questions yourself concerning Jesus Christ or you know someone who does, this book, written by a former atheist and his son, would lead you to the Truth.

If you are a Bible teacher or just a disciple of Christ, the book is a great reference for Church history and help in understanding the Scriptures.

May God the Father and Jesus Christ, His Son, richly bless you daily with love, joy and peace.

Carl

The Christian Revelation

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.” (Hebrew 1:1-2 NASB)

…it was really the Ruler of all, the Creator of all, the invisible God himself, who from heaven established the truth and the holy, incomprehensible word among men, and fixed it firmly in their hearts. Nor, as one might suppose, did he do this by sending to men some subordinate –an angel, or principality, or one of those who administer earthly affairs, or perhaps one of those to whom the government of things in heaven is entrusted.

Rather, he sent the Designer and Maker of the universe himself, by whom he created the heavens and confined the sea within its own bounds—him whose hidden purposes all the elements of the world faithfully carry out, him from whom the sun has received the measure of the daily rounds that it must keep, him whom the moon obeys when he commands her to shine by night. And whom the stars obey as they follow the course of the moon. He sent him by whom all things have been set in order and distinguished and place in subjection—the heavens and the things that are in the heavens, the earth and the things in the earth, the sea, and the things in the depths and in the realm between;

 God sent him to men.

Now, did he send him, as a human mind might assume, to rule by tyranny, fear, and terror? Far from it! He sent him out of kindness and gentleness, like a king sending his son who is himself a king. He sent him as God; he sent him as man to men. He willed to save man by persuasion, not by compulsion, for compulsion is not God’s way of working. In sending him, God called men, but did not pursue them; he sent him in love, not in judgement. Yet he will indeed send him someday as our Judge, and who shall stand when he appears? …

Do you not see how they are thrown to wild animals to make them deny the Lord, and how they are vanquished? Do you not see that the more of them are punished, the more do others increase? These things do not seem to come from a human power; they are a mighty act of God, they are proofs of his presence.

As a matter of fact, before he came, what man had any knowledge of God at all? Or do you really accept the idle nonsense talked by those plausible philosophers, some of whom asserted that God was fire—the very thing that they are on the point of going to, they call God! —while others claimed that he was water, and others said that he was yet another one of the elements created by God? And yet, if any one of these lines or argument is acceptable, then each and every one of the other creatures could in the same way be shown to be God. No, this is just quackery and deceit practiced by wizards. No man has ever seen God or made him known, but he has manifested himself. And he manifested himself through faith, by which alone it has been made possible for us to see God.

Excerpt from Letter to Diognetus by Quadratus of Asia Minor from his Apology to Hadrian (AD 129?) – Taken from Early Christian Fathers – Translated and Edited by Cyril C. Richardson, Washburn Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Seminary, New York, 1996, Simon & Schuster Publisher(Scripture, two paragraph breaks and bolding added for emphasis)

Was It Six Literal Creation Days?

Exodus 20:11
“For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

Many Christians are willing to accept what Genesis has to say about creation with one exception. They don’t want to accept the six days as literal, natural, approximately 24-hour days. Did you know that there are other important portions of Scripture that depend on those six days being literal and normal days?

In Exodus 20:11 the Lord is giving the Ten Commandments to Moses. The Lord is explaining the principle of the Sabbath in this verse. God’s explanation says that man shall work six days and rest on the seventh because God Himself made the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh. Therefore He blessed the seventh day. This truth is repeated in Deuteronomy 5:13.

Surely no Christian would argue that the Ten Commandments are poetry to be taken figuratively. The Lord is confirming here that His work of creation really occupied six normal days and that He rested on the seventh normal day. If these days were actually long ages, then we should work for six long ages before we take some rest. We can be sure that this is not what the Lord has in mind.

If the Ten Commandments should not be interpreted literally because of this connection with creation, where does that leave us? Surely the creation days, by the Lord’s own confirmation and commandment to us, are literal, natural, approximately 24-hour days!

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You have given us one day out of seven for rest and worship. I thank You for the commandments because they teach me Your will. Most of all, I thank You for Your salvation so that I can look to You and not to my own obedience for assurance of my salvation. Amen.

Author: Paul A. Bartz – Creation Moments

Photo: Nelda F Johnson – Copyrighted

Going The Extra Mile

“Throughout the years of brutal suppression, the Christians in Henan often asked the Lord to give them an attitude that would enable them to embrace suffering as a gift from God. With that outlook, they were willing to go the extra mile, and there was little that evil human beings or the world could do to destroy them.”

Henan – Inside the Greatest Christian Revival in History – Paul Hattaway – describing the Chinese Church during the 1960s and 70s

There is much the Christian Church can learn from the suffering Chinese Church. They have endured much and not only survived but multiplied. So much so, that the Communist Chinese consider them a great threat to their goals and aspirations. But the truth is that righteous people are a blessing to any nation and the truths of Christianity should be encouraged, not hindered.

We need to be listening and learning and praying for our Chinese brothers and sisters.

Why don’t you say a prayer for them right now. Thanks and God bless you.

Carl

Chinese authorities paying citizens to spy on neighbors, report ‘illegal’ Christian activities

China’s communist regime has ordered citizens in the country’s northeastern region to spy on Christians and report any “illegal religious activities,” including preaching and religious house gatherings. Informants will be rewarded with $150 for each tip, according to a report.

The administration of the Meilisi Daur District in Heilongjiang Province’s Qiqihar city released a document titled, “The Reward System For Reporting Illegal Religious Activities Offences,” saying informants would be paid up to 1,000 yuan ($150), China Christian Daily reported.

Officials, it says, are looking for any information — through a phone call, email or letter — on unqualified religious personnel, unauthorized trans-regional activities, preaching and distribution of printed religious literature, audio-visual products outside places of worship, unauthorized donations or private house gatherings.

The objective, it adds, is to “strengthen the control of illegal religious activities in the district, prevent any COVID-19 cluster resulting from religious gatherings, mobilize the public to engage in preventing, suppressing illegal religious activities, and ensure a harmonious and stable religious landscape.”

The document was released this month by the Meilisi Daur District United Front Work Department of Qiqihar.

Similar reward systems were later introduced in Zibo city’s Boshan District and Weihai City’s Shandong area.

Previously, such rewards have been offered in Fujian, Guangxi, Henan, Hebei and Liaoning.

“While they do not specify which religion they are targeting, it is self-evident that house churches are being suppressed,” the U.S.-based persecution watchdog International Christian Concern commented.

Open Doors USA, which monitors persecution in over 60 countries, estimates that there are about 97 million Christians in China, a large percentage of whom worship in what China considers to be “illegal” and unregistered underground house churches.

According to recently-released reports, religious persecution in China intensified in 2020, with thousands of Christians affected by church closures and other human rights abuses.

Under the direction of President Xi Jinping, officials from the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, have been enforcing strict controls on religion, according to a report released in March by the U.S.-based group China Aid.

Authorities in China are also cracking down on Christianity by removing Bible apps and Christian WeChat public accounts as new highly restrictive administrative measures on religious staff went into effect this year.

China is ranked on Open Doors USA’s World Watch List as one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to the persecution of Christians. 

The U.S. State Department has also labeled China as a “country of particular concern” for “continuing to engage in particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

Source: Christian Post-August 23, 2012

Please pause what you are doing and ask the Father to send extra grace to the church in Communist China so they can remain faithful during this horrible time of Communist persecution. God bless, Carl

Hammers on an Anvil

Last eve I paused beside the blacksmith's door
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chimes;
Then looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers worn out with beating years of time.

"How many anvils have you had," said I,
"To wear and batter all these hammers so?"
"Just one," said he and then with twinkling eye, 
"The anvil wears the hammers out, you know?"
And so I thought, the anvil of God's Word
For ages skeptics' blows have beat upon.
Yet, though the sound of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed, the hammers are gone.

John Clifford

“ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS, AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS. THE GRASS WITHERS, AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF, BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ENDURES FOREVER.” Peter – I Peter 1:24-25

UFOs, Hyperspace and The Unseen Realm

Years ago I remember talking to a man who was concerned about the environmental future of planet Earth. He was an intelligent, highly educated medical research doctor, and a firm atheist. His “hope” for humanity rested in the colonization of space. He seriously suggested that the planet Mars could be made to support life by exploding nuclear bombs at its poles, breaking up the ice detected there, and somehow creating a life-supporting environment!

This was his faith – his faith, in spite of the fact that the Martian atmosphere consists almost entirely of carbon dioxide and is very thin. Atmospheric pressure is 5,000 times less than that of the Earth’s. Temperatures are much too cold, averaging more than 58 degrees Fahrenheit below zero!

But evolution predicts that life has occurred throughout the Universe “accidentally”, with many different routes toward the culmination of intelligent life. The different imaginations of intelligent life, evolving through different chemistries along different paths – such as those found in the science fiction of Star Wars – should be evident all around us.

This medical research doctor wanted something to hope for other than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course, there is no personal hope in his scenario, only a collective hope that mankind would be able to continue “evolving” on another planet.

Because of our pride and determined resistance to our Maker, mankind tries to hope for anything that makes us humans the hero. We search for anything that makes no mention of sin and the moral justice required by a Holy God. If human life had somehow been planted on Earth by visiting space aliens in time past, there would be no standard of morality which an all-knowing Creator would require of His “image-bearers”. This absence of accountability to our Creator is the attraction – and temptation – which evolution presents, including the outgrowth idea of space-aliens as “seeding” life on Earth and “guiding” mankind through the “wise men” of history.

Evolution does away with a Creator. At best, there are only “lesser gods” – much like ourselves – that could be “extraterrestrial”. They would be members of the space-time Universe further along the evolutionary ladder in their evolved planetary systems.

Currently this summer, a report is being issued by the U.S. government on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs, aka UFOs). The report includes decades of “incidents” reported by the U.S. military, noting that many are not of American origin.

But the report does not rule out foreign or extraterrestrial origins. So, its conclusions become another incentive for national security, and for more global government!

“We must defend ourselves against another Cold War-type threat of hypersonic weapons that may be able to go in and out of extra-dimensional space” – “hyperspace”, as the science fiction of Star Wars popularized. “Who knows? Extra-terrestrial life may be spying on us, and it might be unfriendly!” There are, indeed, so many things to fear and obsess about if we don’t know the Lord and keep looking to Him!

Hyperspace, in theory, is a set of extra dimensions beyond the three spatial dimensions that we experience daily. These extra dimensions are presumably able to connect distant points in real space and allow for faster-than-light speeds across the Universe. In the Star Wars movies, the characters would cross into “hyperspace drive” to travel quickly in their spacecraft. It’s pure science fiction – just like space aliens.

But the idea of “extra dimensions” carries an important biblical truth: “Interdimensional entities” are a reality! They are beings which can cross from one set of dimensions to another. The Bible – throughout its pages – speaks of angels, fallen angels, demons and the Spirit of God as moving between the four-dimensional time-space continuum (the physical world we live in) and a spiritual dimension that is unseen and unlimited by the space-time Universe.

For example, in Genesis 6 we are told how fallen angels interacted with mankind (inter-dimensionally) to bring a thorough corruption which helped lead to the Great Flood of Noah. Jude, the epistles of Peter, and the apocryphal books of Enoch elaborate on this. Psalm 82 discusses how God stands in a congregation where “He judgeth among the gods (elohim)”, who are being rebuked for ruling with corruption.

These are arguably the “principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6) which, in the study of angels, are power-player beings over the nations in collusion with Satan. This corruption of the nations, of course, led to the fact that God had to select and train His own people-group through the believing Abraham and his descendants (Deuteronomy 32). All of this supernaturalism made sense to the Hebrew worldview and writers of the Bible. But it is more difficult for modern man to be comfortable with – enlightened and limited as we are by a worldview of materialist science.

Implications for “space aliens” ala Star Wars, thus, have a basis for truth in the supernatural/spiritual reality of the God of the Bible. Satan and his fallen-angels hierarchy would like to cater to our sin nature and deceive mankind with misplaced hopes, fears, and false philosophies – thwarting the purposes of God in drawing a special people to Himself.

But our great Creator wants us to be forever united with Jesus Christ and the rest of the saints now and in eternal communion and glory – able not only to “travel safely through hyperspace” but to enjoy the heavenly blessings that He “has prepared for them that love him.” Such blessings are so wonderful that they are beyond what we can possibly imagine! This is truly a hope worth having! — Creation Moments

Where Should We Start Our Search For Truth

There is a simple shortcut to truth: start with the Bible first and investigate it thoroughly. Why start there? Not just because the Bible claims to be the only inspired Word of the one true God who created us. It also claims that all of the world’s religions and their scriptures are false and actually in the service of Satan. The Bible calls Satan “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and thus the author of its religions. So if the Bible is true, we have saved ourselves a lifetime of vain searching through false systems. 


In fact, we can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that every word in the Bible is true. The Bible has several unique features not found in the scriptures of the world’s religions, making it possible to substantiate its claims. Christianity is not a philosophy, mystical experience, or esoteric practice [but] is based upon undeniable and historical facts. The Bible stands on a four-fold foundation, every part of which can be examined and verified: 1) prophecy foretelling events and doctrines in advance, 2) fulfillment of those prophecies in detail, 3) secular history testifying to the fulfillment of prophecies and events, and 4) factual data corroborated by archaeology and science. None of this is the case with the teachings or scriptures of any of the world’s religions. —Dave Hunt[Excerpt taken from Seeking and Finding God (Bend, OR: TBC, 2007), pp 66-67) – Berean Call

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