Tag: God

UNITY? NO THANKS!

If I were to coin the phrase, “Holy Division”, it would not, contrary to the opinions of many out of and even in the Church, be an oxymoron: it would be a scriptural and practical imperative…

tracks

It’s common to hear many people across the political and religious spectrum to piously declare that we should “come together”, “unify”, “compromise” and “unite”. It’s a lovely, cuddly, warm-sounding sentiment, without any regard to reality. The problem for me, and for many others, is that we’re all expected to “compromise” not in the sense of meeting half way, but by capitulating entirely. This is the new definition of unity: surrender to change.

Those claiming to occupy the middle ground, but who in fact are a long way left of what has for centuries in the West been the middle ground, want us to unite… under their ideology. Doing so would mean the rest of us completely surrendering to what our hearts and minds tell us cannot be surrendered to. And more than that, those who want us to unify their way are intent on calling anyone who will not unify “haters”, “bigots” and…well, you know the rest… in order to shame us and beat us into submission. Having once been a very liberal person in my BC days, voting firmly on the left of politics, I now find that my Biblical views earn me the additional labels “extreme right-winger” and even “fascist”. Such name-callers don’t know the meaning of the words and don’t know anything about history except perhaps the “revised” version. Yes, history is being revised as part of the effort to move the world away from what was once the real “middle ground”.

It’s also becoming increasingly clearer that true Biblical faith is inseparable from our view of politics, because it’s the politicians (and judges) who now largely shape the society we live in, including its acceptance of what is totally ungodly. Our view of politics is one expression of where we stand in regard to the Word of our God. For example, the subject of taking the lives of children violently before they have a chance to be born relates very much to the scripture. As David said:

You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed (Psalm 39:16).

There is a good unity-one worth living for. As the apostle Paul said, the saints are being equipped by Christ:

“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God” (Ephesians 3:13 ESV).

That’s the unity I can go for. It doesn’t include, among other destructive and illogical concepts, the idea that there can be one God and at the same time no God, ten gods, and a million gods.

There is, in this ridiculous “post-truth”, post-modern age, a set of standards to live by which are as solid and unmovable as the biggest rock you can imagine, and that rock is Jesus Christ. He is the one who said:

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household” (Matthew 10:34-36).

Doesn’t the scripture say that Jesus was born to bring peace on the earth? Not exactly. It promises “peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). That’s a very different thing, because his favor doesn’t rest on those opposed to his ways. Jesus wasn’t stirring up division, he was describing reality, saying that those who choose him and his ways will de-facto be separate and distinct from those who do not. And that’s the way it has to be:

What agreement can exist between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.” Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:16-17 NIV).

 

 

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WHAT IS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS?

What is the gospel of Jesus Christ? Is it socialism? Is it just one of many ways to God? Is it an invention of white American men? I’ve posted this message before…and I’ll post it again…

blinding-light-into-lent

The Greek word translated “gospel” in the New Testament means “good news”, and in the context of the Bible the gospel is the “good news” about Jesus Christ. But what exactly was and is that good news, and what does it mean for us?

In answer to the second question first, read what Jesus said:

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life (John 5:24).

The Bible speaks of a love-gift from God. That gift is forgiveness of all our sin, and eternal life. The gift-if we accept it for ourselves and change our ways-takes us from being subjects of God’s wrath into eternal life, even though for now we are in mortal bodies.

Contrary to the common view on the street, as promoted by Hollywood, the education establishment and by certain authors, the gospel, the scriptures and the essential Christian doctrines were not all invented or altered hundreds of years after the time of Christ’s life on earth.

Lee Stroebel, with an MA in Law from Yale University, and a former award-winning investigative journalist for the Chicago Tribune, in his book “The Case for Christ”(note 1) interviewed a number of believing scholars such as Cambridge educated Sir Norman Anderson. Anderson was a Professor at Harvard, and lectured at Princeton. He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of London. Anderson said that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, which contains a clear definition of the gospel as outlined below, can be confidently dated to around 55 AD.

Dr. Gary R Habermas, a New Testament historian, received his Ph D from Michigan State University and his DD from Emmanuel College, Oxford. In his book “The Historical Jesus”, Habermas discusses the creed quoted below as found in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, and writes that the gospel existed in the form below even before Paul’s letter:

That this confession is an early Christian, pre-Pauline creed is recognized by virtually all critical scholars across a wide theological spectrum”(2).

THE GOSPEL

Here, then, is Paul’s first-century definition of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which he had given his life to, despite all opposition and threats, having once been a persecutor of Christians:

Now brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time….Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also…(1 Corinthians 15: 1 – 8).

So the gospel of Jesus Christ is this:

1 Christ died for our sins, as prophesied in Old Testament Scriptures. We can be forgiven for all our sin because of Christ’s death on the cross;

2 He was buried;

3 He was raised from the dead on the third day;

4 He appeared alive to his disciples after his resurrection.

The gospel is here spelled out for you. Accept it, believe it, pray it, confess it, and live it.

NOTES

1 Lee Strobel “The Case For Christ” Pg 230. Pub. By Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49130. © 1998 by Lee Strobel.

2 Gary R Habermas “The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ” (College Press Publishing Company, Joplin, Missouri, © 1996 Gary Habermas) p 153.

THINKING ABOUT THE BRAIN

I have to apologize for my title – a greater brain could have conceived a better one…

Scientists aren’t allowed to consider even the possibility of design or creation, under threat of ostracism, ridicule, and loss of livelihood. Consequently such bafflingly complex design features as the human brain are just blindly accepted as being another product of chemicals plus a convincingly long period of time. It’s that baffling complexity which got my own brain thinking about itself recently.Neuron_Cell_Body(This post is another in my “blast from the past” series posted while I concentrate on writing a book. It was originally called “Brains, Sense and Nonsense”)

An average healthy human brain contains some 200 billion nerve cells connected to one another through hundreds of trillions of synapses, so that a single human brain has more information processing units than all the computers, routers and internet connections on the earth. One brain’s memory capacity, even by a conservative estimate, is at least a petabyte, equal to the entire world-wide web. Weighing only three pounds, it is super-energy efficient. The brains internal communications occur at light-speed.*

So if we’re part of the onward and upward evolution of life, why is it that even the most talented and intellectual among us only use a fraction of their brains’ potential? Does that make sense to you? Shouldn’t it be the other way around-that the most intelligent are pushing the boundaries of their brain so that their offspring will have greater brain power, given the additional requirement of an incredibly fortuitous mutation?

Someone may protest that the history of man demonstrates evolution clearly: just look how we’ve developed technology and travel in the last few decades alone. That’s not evolution, that’s development. It’s the result of a snowballing God-given thirst for knowledge, in conjunction with times of relative freedom from war, factions, disease and starvation. You could take a man from what is a very backward tribe, still a reality in some remote parts of the world, assuming that he could stand the shock of the change in lifestyle, and put him through school and university. He has brain power too, and it’s not that of an ape-man.Great_Andamanese_-_two_men_-_1875Historians-secular historians-find remarkable the rapidity with which the first civilization in Mesopotamia developed writing, literature, mathematics, geometry, astronomy, business and technology. People weren’t morons crawling out of the trees or muddy fields and making a few marks on a piece of rock or banging two sticks together, one for yes and two for no, in order to communicate. As far back as real history goes, man was intelligent-he just hadn’t got around to building a computer or an airliner yet. He did manage to build such structures as Stonehenge, the Mayan temple and the Pyramids-structures so big and so cleverly put together that we still haven’t figured them out. Some imaginative people have put such structures down to aliens-because, they’re convinced-early man was brainless and clueless. They aren’t allowed or willing to consider the possibility that humans have always had that brain-power potential, right from their creation.

However, some people even in past millennia were able to recognize what professors and educators of today are missing by intent, which is that we humans have been created physically complete and ready to function, and designed by a mind far above our own:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

(Psalm 139:14 NIV).

* http://www.icr.org/article/human-brain-beyond-belief

TOP DIAGRAM: NEURON CELL BODY, BY BRUCE BLAUS

 

 

THE LARGEST EVER SINGLE SELL

Evolutionists cite similarities between various animals, and between various plants, as evidence of our ancestry from single-celled creatures. The “evolutionary tree of life” depicts us all descending from the same one-celled creatures as jellyfish, elephants, butterflies and Venus fly-traps. FISH

Apologies to anyone reading this repeat of my post from last year-I’m quite proud of it so it’s getting a second airing. Apologies also for the re-appearance of my five-legged fish for the same reason. I’m working on a book which is taking up all my writing time, so expect a few blasts from the past in lieu of some fresher material.

According to the tree of life, which is, of necessity, nothing more than a diagram: an “artist’s interpretation” or “artist’s impression”, the more structural and genetic similarities organisms share, the more closely related they are and the closer they are on the Tree of Life (NOTE 1). Four-legged creatures are very closely related, as are two-legged varieties such as the “Great Apes” which classification includes humans.

But we all come from the same Designer: the same Creator. Some design features are common in similarly-shaped animals because they work well and because they have the same designer. What do evolutionists expect to see: five legs? Three eyes? Square hips made of wood? Two heads?

Experts have assured us that we humans have very similar DNA to chimpanzees, and that we and chimps are therefore closely related. This claim has been chipped away and exposed by creationist scientists who found bias in the use of data (see note 2 below).

Somewhat more distantly, two-legged, four-legged and no-legged animals are all related. Yes, your distant cousin is a jellyfish. So don’t be surprised if he has no back-bone.

Anyway, as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Is the conviction as great as the claim? I haven’t yet heard of any evolutionists marrying chimps, have you?

The “FIVE-LEGGED FISH” picture above is my own creation, © Nick Fisher.

NOTES

1 http://naturalhistory.si.edu/exhibits/darwin/treeoflife.html

2 http://www.icr.org/article/human-chimp-dna-comparison-research

http://www.icr.org/article/new-research-evaluating-similarities

 

SEEING DESIGN

Truth marches on for those who love it, no matter what its opponents do…

File:Calliphora sp Portrait.jpg (Image by JJ Harrison)

I was listening to an interview with Dr. Stephen Meyer, who was talking about the fact that many secular scientists are now quietly-and some not so quietly-questioning Darwin’s theory of evolution, and looking for an alternative one which actually fits the evidence. Meanwhile hundreds of millions of people are still taught and assured that Neo-Darwinism, in an age when nothing is absolutely true, is gospel.

Meyer, illustrating the growth of the Intelligent Design movement, or ID, told the story of a former adherent to Darwinism, who had been rather famous in his own right as an evolutionist. Gunter Bechly was the curator of the natural history museum in Stuttgart-equivalent to London’s natural history museum. He was a world- renowned insect paleontologist.

In 2009 Gunter was curating a special exhibition in celebration of Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s “Origin of the Species”. He had one exhibit in which many books of ID proponents were on one side of a scale, opposite Darwin’s work. “Origin” was outweighing all the design proponents’ works put together, as a mockery of their views and research.

However, one of Gunter’s colleagues suggested that he perhaps ought to know more about the books and authors he was mocking, so he proceeded to read some of them in conscientious preparation for anyone who may question him about them. Gunter’s mockery turned to amazement as he read and realized that the authors had been totally misrepresented by scientists and reviewers wishing to do away with them, and to bury their unwanted notions. Gunter, over time, made contact with ID proponents, and finally announced that he had adopted their understanding of origins and rejected Darwinian evolution. Later he became a Christian, although not all ID proponents are Christians.

As a result of Gunter’s rebellion against the establishment, he lost his position as curator at the museum, and more recently, Wikipedia deleted his page. He received abuse and ridicule for his decision. Gunter is now pursuing his own research within the ID movement. There are others of his standing who are having second thoughts about their views of origins and life, says Meyer, though quietly, for fear of losing grants, tenure, degrees, jobs, and acceptance by the establishment.