Monthly Archives: May 2013

What God Says About His Word

On the heels of the discussion contained within the post “Adam and Eve and Andy Stanley,” it seems appropriate to take a few moments to consider exactly what God, the Creator of all and the Author of Scripture, says about His own Word. Far too many professing evangelicals today are willing to undermine and compromise the inerrant, infallible, authoritative Word of God. It simply is not popular for a man to state unabashedly that the Bible is true, that it means what it says, and that men are subject to the truths contained within it.

Today’s postmodern culture would rather that men stand in a pulpit (or more likely, on a stage) and perform a skilled tap dance around the truths of Scripture. The “all truth is relative” mentality has invaded the visible church and as a result many who call themselves pastors are nothing more than weak, wobbly-kneed men (or worse, women) who are more concerned about the world’s opinions than the Lord’s.

This simply will not do. These men may call themselves pastors, but they are not true under-shepherds of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are a myriad of terms for them: hirelings, wolves, blind guides, but they are not shepherds. They are not true pastors. Those who do not boldly preach under the authority of God’s Word are not serving the Lord, no matter what they may claim. Those who would dare to diminish the authority of Scripture in any way find themselves standing in direct opposition to the God they claim to serve.

What, then, does God say about His own Word? Is the Bible actually something that was breathed out by God (2 Tim. 3:16), or is it instead just a mere “collection of ancient documents” as Andy Stanley has stated?

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/05/what-god-says-about-his-word.html

Do Not Be Surprised… This ‘n’ That 5/31/2013

  • This is good news. If Jesus used to be an IT guy, maybe he can help me with my increasingly slow-moving computer. But, really, it would be nice if, just once, ‘Jesus’ would show up in the Midwest. I mean, who has the money to pick up and move to Australia?
  • So, essentially the ACLU is saying that they support sex-selection and race-based abortions. Good to know.
  • I had no idea that Christ bled and died to redeem my potential. I’m so thankful Steven Furtick is around to teach me such things.
  • Speaking of Furtick, could these be leaked excerpts from his Audaciously Revised Translation of the Bible?
  • The Huffington Post says without gay people, there’d be no gospel music.
  • Michael Horton offers a helpful overview of the life and dangerous theology of Charles Finney. He says that Finney “is the tallest marker in the shift from Reformation orthodoxy, evident in the Great Awakening (under Edwards and Whitefield) to Arminian (indeed, even Pelagian) revivalism, evident from the Second Great Awakening to the present.”
  • As mentioned last week, one of the breakout sessions at the recent Moody Pastor’s Conference taught the Roman Catholic mystical practice of Lectio Divina. Voddie Baucham responds to questions regarding his involvement as a speaker at this conference. (Spoiler: He didn’t know about the LD and denounces it).
  • Can you imagine your child coming home from school and announcing that tomorrow will be Cross-Dressing Day?
  • Speaking of drugs, ever hear of “meth mouth”? Well, if you’re a lover of diet soda, your chompers could be in for the same fate.
  • Ah, the elementary school pageant. The off-key singing. The tin-foil helmets. The cardboard swords. The praise of Allah.
  • Speaking of super heroes, a children’s television network is launching a new cartoon about a transsexual super hero.
  • Tim Challies reviews The Circle Maker. His conclusion? “The Circle Maker is a mess.” I agree. Maybe now that Challies has said it, more people will start to take heed.
  • Praying for sinning Christians:

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/05/this-n-that_31.html

Louis Berkhof’s “Systematic Theology” & “Summary of Christian Doctrine” Publications For Free

Louis Berkhof (1873-1957) was a great Reformed theologian and spent three decades as a professor at Calvin Theological Seminary. We now have one of his most influential works available in the BT library, his Systematic Theology. You can also download it in PDF and ePub formats, all for free. We also have his Summary of Christian Doctrine.

http://www.biblicaltraining.org/forum/overcoming-great-odds-berkhofs-systematic-theology

One country, two religions and three very telling pictures: The empty pews at churches just yards from an overcrowded mosque

  • Two photos show Sunday morning services in  churches in East London
  • The third shows worshippers gathered for  Friday midday prayers outside a nearby mosque
  • The difference in numbers could hardly be  more dramatic

Set aside the fact that our Queen is the  Defender of the Christian Faith. Ignore the 26 Church of England bishops who sit  in the House of Lords.

Pay no attention to the 2011 Census that told  us 33.2 million people in England and Wales describe themselves as  Christians.

For if you want a more telling insight into  religion in the United Kingdom today, just look at these photographs. The story  they tell is more revealing than any survey.

St Mary's, Cable Street
HUNDREDS OF WORSHIPPERS GATHER FOR FRIDAY PRAYERS AT THE BRUNE STREET MOSQUE

The photo on the left shows St Mary’s Church in Cable  Street while the photo on the right shows worshippers gathered for Friday midday  prayers outside a nearby mosque in Spitalfields, both in East  London

What they show are three acts of worship  performed in the East End of London within a few hundred yards of each other at  the end of last month.

Two of the photos show Sunday morning  services in the churches of St George-in-the-East on Cannon Street Road, and St  Mary’s on Cable Street.

The third shows worshippers gathered for  Friday midday prayers outside the nearby mosque on the Brune Street Estate in  Spitalfields.

The difference in numbers could hardly be  more dramatic. At St George’s, some 12 people have congregated to celebrate Holy  Communion.

Empty pews: 18th-century parishioners crowded into St  George-in-the-East hear John Wesley. Only 12 people attended the service

When the church was built in the early 18th  century, it was designed to seat 1,230.

Numbers are similar at St Mary’s, opened in  October 1849. Then, it could boast a congregation of 1,000. Today, as shown in  the picture, the worshippers total just 20.

While the two churches are nearly empty, the  Brune Street Estate mosque has a different problem — overcrowding.

The mosque itself is little more than a small  room rented in a  community centre, and it can hold only 100.

However, on Fridays, those numbers swell to  three to four times the room’s capacity, so the worshippers spill out onto the  street, where they take up around the same amount of space as the size of the  near-empty St Mary’s down the road.

Dwindling flock: St Mary’s Cable Street in East London  was built to hold 1,000 people. Today, the congregation numbers around 20

What these pictures suggest is that, on  current trends, Christianity in this country is becoming a religion of the past,  and Islam is one of the future.

In the past ten years, there has been a  decrease in people in England and Wales identifying as Christian, from 71.7 per  cent to 59.3 per cent of the population.

In the same period the number of Muslims in  England and Wales has risen from 3 per cent of the population to 4.8 per cent —  2.7 million people.

And Islam has age on its side. Whereas a half  of British Muslims are under 25, almost a quarter of Christians are approaching  their eighth decade.

It is estimated that in just 20 years, there  will be more active Muslims in this country than churchgoers — an idea which  even half a century ago would have been utterly unthinkable.

Many will conclude with a heavy heart that  Christianity faces a permanent decline in Britain, its increasingly empty  churches a monument to those centuries when the teachings of Christ governed the  thoughts and deeds of the masses.

A study in devotion: The tiny mosque on the Brune Street  Estate, Spitalfields, holds only 100 people, so the local Bangladeshi community  throng the street for Friday midday prayers

On Sunday October 1, 1738, St George’s was  packed twice during the day to hear the great evangelist John Wesley, who then  preached at the church for the following week explaining, as he put it, ‘the way  of salvation to many who misunderstood what had been preached concerning  it’.

Today, there are no John Wesleys to fill up  the pews. The church does its best, offering, for example, a monthly ‘Hot Potato  Sunday’, during which the few congregants can discuss the  readings of the  day over a baked potato.

Canon Michael Ainsworth of St George’s puts  on a brave face when he says: ‘What we are  saying now is it is not just a  matter of numbers. It is about keeping faith with the city and hanging in there  — being part of the community.’

At St Mary’s, meanwhile, Rev Peter McGeary  cannot explain why the numbers are so low: ‘It’s impossible to say, there are so  many variables.’

When he is asked if he tries to boost his  congregations, he simply replies: ‘We are not a company, we are a  church.’

In contrast, there seems a remarkable energy  attached to the mosque on Brune Street, which has been described as the ‘Mecca  of the City’.

Here, come rain or shine, members of  the  Bangladeshi community perform the Friday prayer of Jumma under the  open sky. It is a communal act which will surely only grow in  popularity.

Sadly, that’s not something that can be said  of the two nearby churches, and unless they can reinvigorate their congregations  they may finally end up being deconsecrated.

When that happens, such large buildings will  be attractive spaces for those who can fill them.

One day, in a few decades, St George’s may  well again be packed with worshippers — but they will not be  Christians.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2332998/One-country-religions-telling-pictures-The-pews-churches-just-yards-overcrowded-mosque.html

What’s Being Said about the SGM Scandal

UPDATE: Today, Rachel Held Evans posted on this subject as well, saying something extremely important that we affirm as well: we support and love the survivors of abuse, and pray with you for justice and peace.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God to put things right, for they will be satisfied” (Matt. 5:6, my translation).

* * *

Here are some of the most pertinent quotes regarding the judge’s decision to dismiss most of the civil alleging child sexual abuse and its cover up by churches affiliated with Sovereign Grace Ministries. Back in March, we asked our friend Dee Parsons from The Wartburg Watch (a main site shedding light on this case) to give an update at that time for our Internet Monk readers, and you can review that HERE.

One of the new aspects of this situation is that last week, two of the primary “New Reformed” web communities broke their long silence about the affair.

http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/whats-being-said-about-the-sgm-scandal

Will a Christian who commits suicide go to heaven?

Christians sometimes live in a cloud of denial. This can be especially true if we are a member of a smaller church, where demographics may protect us from some of the worst pain the world experiences on a daily basis. Surely a real Christian wouldn’t commit suicide would they? Surely a real Christian can’t get depressed? Christians can get depressed, and they do sometimes commit suicide as well.  Every pastor, and every concerned Christian should be ready to act in ways that can reduce the risk of suicide in members of our churches. But this post addresses the theological concern felt by many: what happens to those Christians who take their own lives?  This post is part of an ongoing conversation about mental health here on Patheos. I will also be collating posts that interact with this article, or the question about suicide and religious faith that prompted it. Please link to your own posts in the comment section below and/or by linking back to this article.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2013/05/will-a-christian-who-commits-suicide-go-to-heaven/

A Bill in Texas Just Quietly Passed Both Houses Making ‘Christmas’ in Public Schools Legal

"Merry Christmas Bill"

Texas public school teachers and students may soon be allowed to utter “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Hanukkah” and other holiday-tinged greetings without fear of lawsuits and other reprisals. The so-called “Merry Christmas Bill” easily passed muster in the state’s House (145-2) and Senate (29-0) and now awaits Gov. Rick Perry’s signature, reports the Dallas Observer. The law would take effect …

South Korea Pastor’s “Drop Box” Saves Abandoned Babies From Infanticide

Lee Jong-rak is a Korean pastor in South Korea. A simple man with a huge purpose, Pastor Jong-rak saw a devastating problem. He thought of a way he could change it, and he became a prophetic voice to his society. His story is a story of faith. A story of hope. A story of love. And when you hear this heroic tale, you just may never be the same.

drop box 2009Lee Jong-rak is the creator of the Baby Box. His Baby Box is the first and only box in Korea that is for collecting abandoned babies who are physically or mentally handicapped or are just unwanted by their mothers.

Why Is The Smart Money Suddenly Getting Out Of Stocks And Real Estate?

If wonderful times are ahead for U.S. financial markets, then why is so much of the smart money heading for the exits? Does it make sense for insiders to be getting out of stocks and real estate if prices are just going to continue to go up? The Dow is up about 17 percent so far this year, and it just keeps setting new record high after new record high. U.S. home prices have risen about 11 percent from a year ago, and some analysts are projecting that we are on the verge of a brand new housing boom. Why would the smart money want to leave the party when it is just getting started? Well, of course the truth is that the “smart money” is regarded as being smart because they usually make better decisions than other people do. And right now the smart money is screaming that it is time to get out of the markets. For example, the SentimenTrader Smart/Dumb Money Index is now the lowest that it has been in more than two years. The smart money is busy selling even as the dumb money is busy buying. So precisely what does the smart money expect to happen? Are they anticipating a market “correction” or something bigger than that? (Read More….)

Record 10,978,040 Now on Disability; ‘Disability’ Would Be 8th Most Populous State

The 10,978,040 disability beneficiaries in the United States now exceed the population of all but seven states. For example, there are more Americans collecting disability today than there are people living in Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey or Virginia.
The record 10,978,040 total disability beneficiaries in May, included a record 8,877,921 disabled workers (up from 8,865,586 in April), a record 1,939,687 children of disabled workers (up from 1,936,236 in April), and 160,432 spouses of disabled workers.

May was the 196th straight month that the number of American workers collecting federal disability payments increased. The last time the number of Americans collecting disability decreased was in January 1997. That month the number of workers taking disability dropped by 249 people—from 4,385,623 in December 1996 to 4,385,374 in January 1997.

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/record-10978040-now-disability-disability-would-be-8th-most-populous-state

Historian: Obama helping resurrect Ottoman Empire?

NEW YORK – Is Obama helping advance a grand plan by Turkey, with the support of Germany, to restore the Ottoman Empire, the Islamic caliphate that controlled much of southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa for more than six centuries?

That is a question posed by historian Robert E. Kaplan in an article titled “The U.S. Helps Reconstruct the Ottoman Empire,” published this week by the international policy council and think tank Gatestone Institute.

Kaplan, a historian with a doctorate from Cornell University, specializing in modern Europe, says history suggests a possible partnership between Turkey and Germany, which has seen influence over Turkey as a means of influencing Muslims worldwide for its own interests.

He asks why the U.S. government “would actively promote German aims,” including the destruction of Yugoslavia in the 1990s and the re-creation of the Ottoman Empire through the “Arab Spring.”

Kaplan points to Obama’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ultimate victor in the “Arab Spring”; the U.S. backing of radical Islamic “rebel” groups in Libya with ties to al-Qaida; and current support for similarly constituted radical Islamic “rebel” groups in Syria aligned with al-Qaida.

Each of these U.S. military interventions occurred in areas that were under the Ottoman Empire.

Bring back the Ottoman Empire?

Kaplan sees a similarity between the Clinton-era attacks against the Serbs and the Obama administration hostility to well-established regimes in Libya and Syria.

Read more at http://mobile.wnd.com/2013/05/historian-obama-helping-resurrect-ottoman-empire/

Why Are Some SBC Leaders Mainstreaming Islam?

In a USA Today piece from April 26, Stetzer, president of research at LifeWay, advances his agenda of mainstreaming Islam within the evangelical world. It is an agenda item that his friends like Rick Warren and Bob Roberts Jr. have been engaged with for some time.

http://balfourpost.com/when-southern-baptists-mainstream-islam/

Religious fundamentalism may be a ‘mental illness’ that can be ‘cured’

A leading neurologist at the University of Oxford said this week that recent developments meant that science may one day be able to identify religious fundamentalism as a “mental illness” and a cure it.

View Article

Who’s Tracking Your Children? – Michelle Malkin

The school year may be over for most American students, but parents must remain as vigilant as ever when it comes to protecting their children’s privacy. Look no further than the shocking, invasive conduct of the Polk County, Fla., educational district last week. It’s a surveillance-state sign of the times.

Two days before their Memorial Day weekend break, kids from at least three different public schools — Bethune Academy (K-5), Davenport School of the Arts (K-5, middle and high school), and Daniel Jenkins Academy (6-12) — were subjected to iris scans without their parents’ knowledge or consent. The scans are essentially optical fingerprints, which the school intended to collect to create a database of biometric information for school bus security.

http://m.townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2013/05/31/whos-tracking-your-children-n1609737

Questions about Theology: What is the Palestinian Covenant?

The Palestinian Covenant is recorded in Deuteronomy 29:1–29 and Deuteronomy 30:1–10 and was made between God and Israel right before Moses died and Israel entered the Promised Land. This covenant came after the Mosaic Covenant and after Israel had wandered in the wilderness for forty years until the generation that had refused to enter the Promised Land had passed away. God made this covenant with Israel while they were in Moab waiting to go into the Promised Land, and the covenant would serve this new generation of Israelites as a reminder of their special covenant relationship with God.

The Palestinian Covenant has many similarities to the Mosaic Covenant made at Mount Sinai but is a separate and distinct covenant as clearly seen in Deuteronomy 29:1. “These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb.” Before making this covenant with Israel, God reminded them that if they obeyed the Mosaic Law, He would bless the nation abundantly and warned them that disobedience to the Law would result in His cursing the nation (Deuteronomy 28:1–68).

Besides the promises that God would bless them if they obeyed His commandments and curse them if they disobeyed, the Palestinian Covenant also contains some special promises to Israel that many believe will not be completely fulfilled until the millennial reign of Christ. First, God promised to gather the scattered Israelites from all over the world and to bring them back into the land He had promised to their ancestors (Deuteronomy 30:3–5). Second, God promised to regenerate the Israelites of that time and their descendants by circumcising their hearts so that they would love Him totally (Deuteronomy 30:6). Third, God promised to judge Israel’s enemies (Deuteronomy 30:7), and, fourth, He promised that the Israelites would obey God and that God would prosper them in their obedience (Deuteronomy 30:8–9). While some might see these promises being fulfilled when Israel was returned from captivity in Babylon at the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, there seem to be some aspects of this that have not been fully realized yet.

For example, the promised restoration of Israel to the land would not happen until all the blessings and curses promised them were fulfilled (Deuteronomy 30:1), and we know that Israel as a nation rejected Jesus Christ as their Messiah and was once again cursed and cut off from the land when the Romans conquered Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Second, we see that one of the promises in this covenant was that God would circumcise their hearts (Deuteronomy 30:6) so that they and their descendents would obey Him (Deuteronomy 30:8). These same promises are repeated in Jeremiah 32:36–44 and Ezekiel 36:22–38 and are part of the blessings and promises of the New Covenant. Also, it seems that the final or ultimate restoration of Israel to the land and to an everlasting relationship with God is what Paul is looking forward to in Romans 11:25–26 when he says that “a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in and thus all Israel will be saved.”

The Palestinian Covenant also serves to reinforce the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that God would establish Israel as His chosen people (Deuteronomy 29:13). Even though God set before Israel the promise of His blessings for obedience and His curses for disobedience, He knew full well they would turn from Him and His covenant and turn to idols. This is why He also promised to one day restore them to the land and have compassion on them (Deuteronomy 30:1–3). Therefore, the ultimate outcome of this covenant does not depend on Israel and its obedience, but instead it depends on God and His faithfulness. The Palestinian Covenant focuses on what God is going to do more than what Israel is supposed to do. While Israel’s prosperity is closely tied to her obedience to God’s commands, and they will still be punished for their disobedience to God, there is coming a day when God will return them to the land (the full extent of the land as outlined in Genesis 15:18–21), and they will possess it, and God will bless them forever.

At that time God will circumcise their hearts so they will obey Him (Deuteronomy 30:6). This covenant is again reaffirming the Abrahamic Covenant in that someday the seed of Abraham will possess the Promised Land forever. Unlike the Mosaic Covenant whose promises are conditional upon Israel’s obedience to the Law, ultimate fulfillment of the promises of the Palestinian Covenant are not dependent upon Israel’s obedience. Instead, the Palestinian Covenant is an unconditional, eternal covenant (Ezekiel 16:60) because it is a part of the Abrahamic Covenant and an amplification of it.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Miscellaneous Bible Questions: Are there such things as aliens or UFOs?

First, let’s define “aliens” as “beings capable of making moral choices, having intellect, emotion, and a will.” Next, a few scientific facts:

1. Men have sent spacecraft to nearly every planet in our solar system. After observing these planets, we have ruled out all but Mars and possibly a moon of Jupiter as being able to support life.

2. In 1976, the U.S.A. sent two landers to Mars. Each had instruments that could dig into the Martian sand and analyze it for any sign of life. They found absolutely nothing. In contrast, if you analyzed soil from the most barren desert on earth or the most frozen dirt in Antarctica, you would find it teeming with micro-organisms. In 1997, the U.S.A. sent Pathfinder to the surface of Mars. This rover took more samples and conducted many more experiments. It also found absolutely no sign of life. Since that time, several more missions to Mars have been launched. The results have always been the same.

3. Astronomers are constantly finding new planets in distant solar systems. Some propose that the existence of so many planets proves that there must be life somewhere else in the universe. The fact is that none of these has ever been proved to be anything close to a life-supporting planet. The tremendous distance between Earth and these planets makes it impossible to make any judgments regarding their ability to sustain life. Knowing that Earth alone supports life in our solar system, evolutionists want very badly to find another planet in another solar system to support the notion that life must have evolved. There are many other planets out there, but we certainly do not know enough about them to verify that they could support life.

So, what does the Bible say? The earth and mankind are unique in God’s creation. Genesis 1 teaches that God created the earth before He even created the sun, the moon, or the stars. Acts 17:24, 26 states that “the God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands—he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.”

Originally, mankind was without sin, and everything in the world was “very good” (Genesis 1:31). When the first man sinned (Genesis 3), the result was problems of all sorts, including sickness and death. Even though animals have no personal sin before God (they are not moral beings), they still suffer and die (Romans 8:19–22). Jesus Christ died to remove the punishment that we deserve for our sin. When He returns, He will undo the curse that has existed since Adam (Revelation 21–22). Note that Romans 8:19–22 states that all of creation eagerly waits for this time. It is important to also note that Christ came to die for mankind and that He died only once (Hebrews 7:27; 9:26–28; 10:10).

If all of creation now suffers under the curse, any life apart from the earth would also suffer. If, for the sake of argument, moral beings do exist on other planets, then they also suffer; and if not now, then someday they will surely suffer when everything passes away with a great noise and the elements melt with fervent heat (2 Peter 3:10). If they had never sinned, then God would be unjust in punishing them. But if they had sinned, and Christ could die only once (which He did on earth), then they are left in their sin, which would also be contrary to the character of God (2 Peter 3:9). This leaves us with an unsolvable paradox—unless, of course, there are no moral beings outside of the earth.

What about non-moral and non-sentient life forms on other planets? Could algae or even dogs and cats be present on an unknown planet? Presumably so, and it would not do any real harm to any biblical text. But it would certainly prove problematic when trying answer questions like “Since all of creation suffers, what purpose would God have in creating non-moral and non-sentient creatures to suffer on distant planets?”

In conclusion, the Bible gives us no reason to believe that there is life elsewhere in the universe. In fact, the Bible gives us several key reasons why there cannot be. Yes, there are many strange and unexplainable things that take place. There is no reason, though, to attribute these phenomena to aliens or UFOs. If there is a discernable cause to these supposed events, it is likely to be spiritual, and more specifically, demonic, in origin.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Creation: Did God use the “big bang” to create the universe?

Some Christians are vehemently opposed to the “Big Bang Theory.” They view it as an attempt to explain the origin of the universe apart from God. Others ascribe to the Big Bang Theory, with the view that it was God Himself who caused the Big Bang. God, in His infinite wisdom and power, could have chosen to use a Big Bang method to create the universe, but He did not. The reason that can be absolutely stated is that the Bible argues against such a method. Here are some of the contradictions between the Bible and the Big Bang theory:

In Genesis 1, God created the earth before the sun and stars. The Big Bang theory requires it to be the other way around. In Genesis 1, God creates the earth, sun, moon, stars, plant life, animal life, and mankind in a span of six 24-hour days. The Big Bang theory requires billions of years. In Genesis 1, God created all matter by His spoken word. The Big Bang theory begins with matter already in existence and never explains the initial source or cause of matter.

In Genesis 1, God breathed life into the body of the perfectly created Adam. The Big Bang theory requires billions of years, and billions of chance circumstances, to get around to the first human, and it never can explain how the first microscopic life form happened to “evolve” from a non-living atom. In the Bible, God is eternal and the matter and the universe are not. There are different versions of the Big Bang theory, but in most of them the universe and/or matter is eternal. In Genesis 1, the existence of God is assumed, “In the beginning God …” The true purpose of the Big Bang theory is to deny His existence.[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Questions about Holidays: Should a Christian celebrate holidays?

The Bible nowhere instructs us to celebrate holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentines Day, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. This leads some to refrain from observing these celebratory days. However, at the same time, the Bible does not speak against celebrating holidays. The Bible mentions several “celebrations” that the Israelites observed: Passover, Pentecost, Purim, New Moon, etc. The difference between these holidays and the holidays celebrated today is that some of our modern holidays have pagan or even anti-Christian origins. Christmas and Easter began as attempts to redefine a pagan holiday with a Christian meaning, i.e., the Easter bunny, the Christmas tree, giving gifts, hunting for eggs, etc.

That leaves us with a difficult decision—should we continue a practice that was started as a pagan religious ritual? Here are a few things to consider: (A) Does the holiday in any way promote false doctrine or immorality (Galatians 5:19–23)? (B) Can we thank God for what we observe on a holiday (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18)? (C) Will celebrating the holiday detract from your Christian testimony / witness (Philippians 2:15)? This is a decision a Christian family needs to make together. Pray to God, asking Him what He would have you to do (James 1:5).[1]

 


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2010). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Bad News for Social Conservatives? Annual Survey Finds Americans Moving Closer Toward Social Liberalism

Americans have for the past 12 years moved closer to social liberalism and farther away from social conservatism, according to an annual survey released this month by Gallup.

The Values and Beliefs survey, dated 2001 to 2013, asked respondents to rank the morality of specific social issues.

“Their acceptance of gay and lesbian relations has increased the most, up 19 percentage points in the past 12 years — to a record high of 59% today,” the Gallup report notes. “Americans’ tolerance toward having a baby outside of marriage is also now much greater, up 15 points since 2001, to the current 60%.”

Acceptance of sex between unwed couples is up by 10 percent since 2001, divorce by nine, stem cell research by eight (question first asked in 2002), and acceptance of polygamy by seven percentage points:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/28/bad-news-for-social-conservatives-annual-survey-finds-americans-moving-closer-toward-social-liberalism/