Saturday, May 15, 2021

 > Saturday, May 15, 2021

TODAY'S FEATURED NEWS STORY

> May 15, 2012 - James P. Steel

​Women's Ordination as it Relates to Marriage Models 

This is a whole lot more important than the dusty title sounds!
Would you rather watch the 15 minute video? Click Here!

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​The Ordination of Women
(Are you an egalitarian, a complementarian, or something even better?)

Numerous media sources have reported on Saddleback Community Church’s Mothers Day ordination of women to the ministry.

The decision by pastor Rick Warren and his elders to ordain women is a watershed. Not only is it a shot across the bow of the good ship S.S. Southern Baptist (already at odds over Beth Moore’s departure over similar issues), but it is also a shot which will reverberate throughout the evangelical community.

This discussion is important because it reflects a far broader undercurrent being observed in evangelical schools of higher education that involves not only ordination but the whole scope of women’s roles in the Bible, especially as seen in biblical marriage models. As a biblical issue, the ordination of women embodies a fresh attempt to change our paradigm by placing heavier emphasis on what is commonly called the egalitarian (equality based) marriage model. For this reason, the issues of marriage models and women’s ordination share some common talking points and need to be discussed together.

How Marriage Models Play in the Issue of Women’s Ordinations.
First, we will offer a brief overview of marriage models. Then, we will weigh in on the issue of women’s ordination.

I. Understanding Marriage Models

A. The purpose of the egalitarian marriage model.

When we speak of the egalitarian relationship between men and women, we are acknowledging that men and women were both created in the image of God. Therefore, they are equal in every way. While men and women are equal before God in every way, equality does not imply being identical any more than being made in the image of God makes us identical with God. The fact that males and females are not identical does not speak to their inequality. Both men and women are inheritors of the same rights and privileges as defined by God (1 Peter 3:7).
 
B. The purpose of the complementarian marriage model.
Note: Because this model is under attack, we draw a little more attention to it.

Definition: When we speak of the complementary or complementarian model we are reminded that, for at least one purpose, woman was created to be a helpmeet (a helper fit) for man. Man needed an equal with which to commune, and a helper for him to carry out his divine mandate. But don’t miss this point: By virtue of her creation, woman was also given the mandate to have dominion over the creation. It is clear that that dominion was to be asserted in the context of her relationship with man, but the mandate is clear, she too, is to have dominion (Genesis 1:26-28). This is an important point because this does away with the idea that a woman’s only creative purpose is to free up the man for his creative role and that woman has no purpose outside of man.

Basic Facts: When we think of the complementarian model, we understand that there are at least three considerations which shape our thinking.

1. First, the complementary model is for all time. God imposed this model before the fall. Its scope precedes Adam and Eve’s lapse, so we may conclude it is not punitive, and it is extended to all mankind in all time (Genesis 2:20-24, esp. Vs. 24; Matthew 19:3-6). When we discount this model, we discount the very words of Christ.

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Secondly, the complementary model is good. Its value can also be associated with the overall goodness of God when providing the curse for fallen men to live under. Men and women experience the curse equally, but in different contexts (Genesis 3:16-19).

When we speak of “the curse” we become aware that four entities were affected. Satan was affected, men and women were affected, the creation was affected, and God Himself was affected. Satan’s curse was clearly punitive. The curse placed upon the creation, however, was no fault of the creation. It was a merciful act on God’s part for our benefit. If we can imagine fallen men and women living in a paradisiacal world without the effects of the curse, we soon get a glimpse of the wisdom of God.

​By requiring both men and women to struggle daily against the effects of the curse, God has saved us from our own natures. The struggles of men and women, however, are both similar and unique to their gender. In an overall context, the man struggles against the thistles and the woman struggles in maternal matters. The consequences of the curse are lovingly tailored to each gender. God did not dissolve marriage as a result of the curse. He strengthens marriage as Adam and Eve face the issues together and share in their struggle against the curse. The complementary model, then, is a gracious gift from God to help men and women navigate the effects of the curse together in their respective gender identities.

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The complementary model corresponds to our natures. Gender roles relate to how God made us. They are not externally imposed through environmental conditioning, though they may be perverted and abused. By nature, men and women respond differently to their worlds in a variety of ways. This does not make one gender superior to the other. Both are “good” in the eyes of God and both enrich the other gender (Genesis 1:1-31).
One major gender difference is cited by the apostle Paul, when arguing forward from the creation and the fall. Paul asserts one dominant differential which is inherent in our physical bodies and will not be erased either by culture or by spiritual regeneration until the resurrection. Due to her nature, and for good reason, the woman is more easily deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). While we do not understand the full implications of this statement, we understand that its immediate context has to do with spiritual perception. We can mitigate this by pointing out other areas where the female gender outshines the male gender, but the fact itself remains. The woman is more easily deceived, as was evidenced by the fall of the proto woman. It is for this reason, and this reason alone, that she is not to lead or assert spiritual authority over the man. The complementary model, then, is graciously given by God for the woman’s benefit and protection as well as the man’s.

C. The Purpose of the Christological Marriage Model. 
Will the best marriage model please stand up?  

As the women’s ordination conversation moves toward center stage in evangelical discussion, it is important for the Bible student to understand that these two aforementioned marriage models are not intended to be pitted against each other. Both the egalitarian and complementary models are alive and well and, pardon the pun, complement each other equally. It is not a question of which has priority in a particular cultural context. This is because the Old Testament models of marriage have been enhanced by a yet to be revealed mystery, an all-encompassing New Testament model. This pastor prefers to call it the Christological model. As beautiful as Old Testament marriages could be, they were not enriched by the doctrine of Christ and the mystery which was yet to be revealed. Ephesians 5:22-33 articulates this glorious truth in words so glowing, yet so concise, that they form the basis of most biblical marriage ceremonies. Careful readers will notice that this passage blends the egalitarian and complementary models under an even higher authority, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who represents the head of both the man and the woman. The old models are not negated (they had nothing to do with the law) but, rather, are gloriously enriched and finely balanced in Christ. The Christological marriage model goes far beyond mere marriage contracts. It celebrates our essential oneness and unity in Christ.

Herein lies the danger underlying the ordination issue. A lion’s share of the argument offered by those in favor of the ordination of women will be built by insisting that we have overstated the complementary role of women in marriage. There will be a pendulum effect (in step with our rights-obsessed culture) which will emphasize the egalitarian rights of women while diminishing their complementary role. That is why we call this issue a watershed. It is paramount that the biblical pastor be able to explain and impose the Christological marriage model, a model which places Christ at the head of both our homes and churches.

II. How marriage models do and do not relate to the ordination of women.

Let’s summarize the truths which inform this discussion of women as pastors (and/or elders). They are, as follows:

1. Ordination is not an equality issue either in our homes or in our churches. Both men and women are heirs of the promises of God, both are recognized equally in scripture, and both are integral to God’s plan and program. Equality is not on the table.
2. Ordination is an authority issue. God is a God of order. God commonly establishes lines of authority through primogeniture and headship. What comes first is first in both responsibility and authority. Adam was first created, then Eve (1 Timothy 2:9-13). This is not a matter of intelligence. Outside of the creation, Jesus Christ is in submission to the Father, though He reigns co-equally with Him. He is not inferior.

3. Ordination is a church issue. Because the church is a large composite family consisting of multiple families, the same dynamics can be observed. More importantly, Paul insists that the same dynamics are in play as we have noted in Ephesians 5. The relation between a man and his wife is reflected in the relationship between Christ and the church. This is the point where marriage models and ordination models converge. The relationship between Christ and His church are reflected in marriage and vice versa.
4. Ordination is a spiritual issue. As with the role of the husband in the home, the role of elders and pastors concerns itself first and foremost with biblical and spiritual issues, and in this respect, the male is most highly qualified, albeit imperfect and less qualified than the female in other contexts. The spiritual welfare of our homes and churches are directly related to the commands of a God who knows what is best for us, even when we cannot see it ourselves.
Rick Warren is to be admonished for flying against the direct admonitions of the Word of God. He has been cited with numerous biblical references by numerous men of God. He follows in a long line of men and women who prefer to kowtow to the dictates of a modern culture gone awry.

Conclusion:
Be aware that the arguments Saddleback has employed to loosen biblical standards in the church, will be used to weaken and dissolve the biblical dynamics God has embedded in the biblical home.




TODAY'S NEWS RELATED SCRIPTURES

Scriptures cited in this discussion include:

Both men and women are inheritors of the same rights and privileges as defined by God (1 Peter 3:7).

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” (1 Peter 3:7, NKJV)

The mandate is clear, the woman is also to have dominion (Genesis 1:26-28)

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”” (Genesis 1:26–28, NKJV)

1. First, God imposed the complementarian model before the fall. Its scope precedes Adam and Eve’s lapse (Genesis 2:20-24)

So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:20–24, NKJV)
The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”” (Matthew 19:3–6, NKJV)

2. … Men and women experience the curse equally, but in different contexts (Genesis 3:16-19).

To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”” (Genesis 3:16–19, NKJV)

The basis of the Christological marriage model:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:22–33, NKJV)

This is a natural issue. The woman was more easily deceived. (See next reference as well)

And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.” (1 Timothy 2:14, NKJV)

​This is an authority (order) issue:

in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” (1 Timothy 2:9–13, NKJV) 



Saturday, April 10, 2021

> 04/10/2021

Will Muon Restructure Physics? 

Those Pesky Gold Standards are at it again!
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In breaking news, MSN reported today about a muon experiment that is hinting at a whole new particle physics paradigm.

Read the article here: Why some physicists are skeptical about the muon experiment that hints at "new physics" (msn.com)

Are We On the Cusp of Something Huge?
Referring to the Muon g-2 experiment, MSN reports: “The aforementioned particles, known as muons, acted peculiarly when exposed to a strong magnetic field at Fermilab. That odd result could be the result of new, as-yet-undiscovered fundamental particle properties, which could potentially throw a wrench in everything humans know about physics.” Are we on the verge of a fundamental, quintessential change in particle physics, one which moves us from the scientifically acclaimed four force Standard Model of Particle Physics, one so accurate that it predicted the Higgs Boson decades before it was verified?

The Standard
It all boils down to the gold standard.  In the world of physics, the reliability factor of the outcome of an experiment is quantified as the Sigma factor. The gold standard for declaring something to be authentic and verified is set at a Sigma 5 (meaning the outcome must be verified 30 million times.) Muon is quantified with a factor of 3.8 to 4.2.
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Now, the potential of this all is earth shattering. Even though the outcome has not met the S 5 standard, evidence for the muon particle with its unique properties is astounding! So, which is correct, the S standard, or the existence of a whole new subatomic particle with unique properties, and how will this opinion shattering development play out in theoretical and applied physics?

This is not the Discovery of Corning Ware!
By now, the reader may be asking, "And, why do I care"? We need to care because the issue begs a fundamental problem with science and knowledge in general. Once something is established as the gold standard, it is in our natures to rely on the collective consensus and to refuse to think outside of that cliched box. The gold standard protects us on the one hand and limits us on the other. Our blind commitment to arbitrary gold standards could destroy us.

Perhaps, the most destructive assumption which science makes is that there is an underlying physical constant, a particle (for want of a better term) which forms the basis for all of the consistency we see in the physical world. This, in turn, leads scientists to assume certain acts which cannot be verified historically or empirically, not the least of which are the assumptions that go into our dating practices. Dates relating to the age of the universe or its ongoing processes are widely speculative and inconsistent.

Are We Afraid to Consider the Implications?
And why are we so determined to embrace this standard that there is a fundament constant embedded in some atomic particulate? The problem is, we cannot bring ourselves to embrace the alternative.

Bible believers have been persistent in their claim that Jesus Christ is both the creator and sustainer of the universe and that, while He fills the universe, He is not part of it. In other words, the principle of constancy for which science seeks, exists outside the universe.

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” (Hebrews 1:1–3, NKJV)

Are You Willing to Take the Challenge!
This would be a good time to listen to the fundamental arguments of the Bible which have been taught for millennia. They are surprisingly empirical and consistent, despite the ongoing cogitations of both philosophy and what some call science. While God’s people have been providing tomes of factual evidence for generations, those who are married to their gold standards, may not be as open minded as they see themselves.

​Why not accept this invitation to take a closer look at biblical cosmology, and more importantly, to examine the ultimate Gold Standard of history, the Lord Jesus Christ?  We can point you in the right direction!

 

TODAY'S NEWS RELATED SCRIPTURES

Note: We've left these scriptures from our last post because they are spot-on with today's discussion as well.

​The Origin of the Universe

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  - Colossians 1:16-18

Our Closed Mindedness
Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  - Romans 1:19-21

Our Willing Ignorance
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. – 2 Peter 3:3-9

Insurmountable Evidence
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handywork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. here is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world...  – Psalm 19:1-4

An Inescapable Command
God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.  -Acts 17:24-30


Thursday, December 17, 2020

 Planet, Planet, Number 9!




-       By Jim Steel.  Note, this is a slightly longer article. Readers may wish to scan the main points (in bold) before beginning.

“Mystery of Planet Nine: Hubble Data Shows Exoplanet Possible”  

 

See the full NewsMax article.

…What scientists are observing:

Thanks again to the Hubble Space Telescope and NASSA, evidence is mounting that there is an eccentric, Jupiter-like exoplanet (HD 106906 b) orbiting in a debris field far away from its “host stars.” In the words of Meiji Nguyen from U.C. Berkley as quoted in the Astronomical Journal: "It's very widely separated from its host stars on an eccentric and highly misaligned orbit, just like the prediction for Planet Nine. This begs the question of how these planets formed and evolved to end up in their current configuration."

The existence of this elusive Planet Nine (theorized in 2016), existing 100 billion miles away, and ten times the size of earth is said to be “tilting the solar system.” The article quotes another space team expert, Paul Kalas, "It's as if we have a time machine for our own planetary system going back 4.6 billion years to see what may have happened when our young solar system was dynamically active and everything was being jostled around and rearranged,"

...What the scientists are trying to do:

1.) The theory that there is an elusive Planet Nine has been theorized for four or five years now, and it is based on anomalous behavior within our solar system which includes orbits behaving in a non-predictable way. 2.) Hubble has just gathered evidence that there is a Jupiter-like exoplanet orbiting in an anomalous eccentric pattern 4.6 billion light years away. 3.) This observation provides a logical precedent for concluding that there could be such a thing as Planet Nine, because we may now be observing behavior like the eccentric pattern which seems to be associated with Planet Nine elsewhere in the universe. The logic (if it is observable elsewhere it is possible here) makes sense, but the assumptions infused into the argument are lethal.

…Why this matters:                                                                              

Almost all new discoveries present themselves first, as anomalies. The would-be empirical scientist seeks to make sense out of a particular phenomenon by integrating it with the data that has already been verified, and, using tools that have already been certified, develops new explanations. That is the stuff of science.

Now, for what should not be the stuff of science. Much of what we hear pronounced in the name of science is anything but. We are going to use this news clipping as an exercise in how to separate fact from assumption. We posit the challenge to evaluate the above listed quotations from our highly qualified and respected luminaries, Nguyen and Kalas while offering three simple guidelines for testing what a scientist declares to be fact.

Key #1. Is the scientific claim based upon facts or mere consensus? We need to ask this because virtually every scientific (not technological) advance in history has been opposed by scientific consensus. We can begin with a backward look at the hilarious protests of the British Royal Society and move all the way forward to the persistent censorship currently being pressed upon free thinkers within the scientific community. Gold standards are in place for a reason and they are helpful. However, those very standards which are meant to protect us and keep us on course, can be the very standards that forbid open-minded thinking. While no one is presently challenging the Hubble data regarding HD 106906 b in our planetary discussion, notice as Nguyen begins his comparative logic:

"It's very widely separated from its host stars on an eccentric and highly misaligned orbit, just like the prediction for Planet Nine…”

Nguyen is drawing a parallel between an assumed 4 billion-year-old phenomenon and a relatively contemporary one. Theoretical physicists are prone to describe “early creation” as being much like our early wild west. In this manner, they do not have to be accountable to the same universal laws which are now in place. Evolution has given them a pass. They can pick and choose. When data does not correspond to their hypothesis they can discount it on the basis that the primal universe was all but chaotic. When data fits, even roughly, they use it to argue their point (as in using microwaves to allege the big bang). Now, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You cannot be a uniformitarian and an evolutionist. Either the universe is governed through an explicit set of laws that are always predictable, or we must look for an alternate explanation to explain planetary behavior. While evolution has been credited with many startling intelligences and abilities, no one has endowed it with the ability to evolve laws as needed – at least at this point.

Nguyen assumes that all the so-called laws of the universe are in perfect synchronization with each other, functioning in a manner consistent with clockwork. That is why he can build his argument for Planet Nine from HD 106906 b. This planetary behavior is certainly atypical, but it is only atypical relative to Nguyen’s uniformitarian assumption of synchronicity. Bible believers have an alternate perspective from uniformitarianism. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is interactively carrying His creation forward. This is not to suggest that the laws of Christ which govern our universe are not synchronous and generally predictable. It is, however, to suggest that Jesus Christ carries the creation forward at His own behest and can and does make whatever adjustments He pleases. The laws of the universe (principles of consistency found in Christ) are subject to His providential machinations (Colossians 1:16-18). If there is a Ninth Planet skewing the entire solar system, it is part of a divinely purposed mechanic.

For those who are in bondage to consensus and who are aghast at the incredulity that the universe does not always function according to its so-called inherent laws, we offer a counter challenge. Will such a reader please explain why we have multiple schools of theoretical physics, borrowing our assumptions from Newton, Einstein, astrophysics, nanomechanics, and String Theory – none of which agree with each other, even at their basic premises? Modern speculative scientists are far more guilty of proof texting from their own church fathers than they are consistent in offering us a unified world view. Like some church leaders, they must establish a dominant consensus (rule of faith) in order to obscure a failed interpretive hermeneutic.

Key #2. Is the scientific claim empirical or religious?

The second part of Nguyen’s statement amplifies our point: “…This begs the question of how these planets formed and evolved to end up in their current configuration." Notice the religious license which Nguyen takes without blinking. He assumes the universe evolved. He assumes it evolved consistently. He assumes that the same laws which were in motion billions of years ago are in effect. These are all religious assumptions which have never been verified empirically. Nguyen assumed these planets self-formed and self-evolved. This requires immutable, self-existing, vitalistic, forward moving laws. So, the question which he is “begging” is not the question on the floor, or at least, not the first question he should be pondering.

This issue of religious presumption inside so-called science runs deep. Basic assumptions that seem ever so innocent compound and, by nature, tempt the scientist to be dishonest, especially when his peers share his same vision. Imagine a pond of water with a path of paved bricks leading into it. Imagine a path of paved bricks leading out of the pond directly across the water. The assumption is that there is a path leading through the water. The scientist who takes one piece of data from one side of the pond and correlates it with what is on the other side has had to use his imagination, but he has not yet discovered fact. We see scientists doing this in every field to make their hypotheses work. For example, we draw images of mankind evolving from animal to homo sapiens going through various states which have never been empirically observed or verified except in the imagination of the artist. Once one has assumed the earth is flat, he will go to any length to fit the facts into his theory. Worse, he will construe his protagonists as being closed-minded.

We are not suggesting that scientists should not be imaginative. We are suggesting that modern science has created a non-existent virtual reality by compounding so many assumptions that we have, in effect, moved from empiricism to religion.

Key #3. Does the scientific claim consider all the alternate explanations?

Paul Kalas notes: "It's as if we have a time machine for our own planetary system going back 4.6 billion years to see what may have happened when our young solar system was dynamically active and everything was being jostled around and rearranged," We have already conceded the need for imagination in scientific discovery. Perhaps we will be able to verify the existence of Planet Nine. That is not the issue. The issue is this: When imagination turns to declaration, we are no longer scientific. Kalas would have us looking 4.6 billion years back into time to substantiate our interpretive model. He has assumed the immutable relationship between the speed of light and time. He has assumed that time as we know it is constant. He has assumed none of the laws of the universe have ever been interrupted or altered in any way. Therefore, what he has stated as fact is nonscientific.

Having addressed the problem of religious assumptions among scientists, we need to be clear on one additional matter. Our problem is when we treat a given set of assumptions as factual we no longer look elsewhere for solutions. We become closed-minded. There may or may not be a Planet Nine, but a smoking gun reveals our prejudice: In this case, both Nguyen and Kalas are entertaining the notion that Planet Nine may truly exist, based on secondhand evidence. They have observed that something may be there on the bases of skewed elliptical orbits. However, when a Bible believer comes along and mounts the same kind of logical argument, evidence gathered from thousands of empirically verifiable sources, he will be laughed out of the court of scientific consensus as being religious.

Recently I placed some money in someone’s bank account. Because he had no money in the account, he assumed there was no reason to look at it. He did not benefit because he did not look. By accepting the fundamental, empirically unverifiable premise of science, (namely, that the creation is self-creating, self-organizing and self-perpetuating) we have closed our minds to the existence of a God who will one day hold us accountable for refusing the knowledge of God (Romans 1:19-21, 2 Peter 3:1-9).

The scientific world has opened many wonderful doors for the advance of technology. However, the scope of science is limited to a restricted segment in the spectrum of human knowledge. Not only can Bible believers mount a more comprehensive and cohesive world view, but their explanations also go beyond the empirical. They have compiled tomes of evidence from both within and outside of the creation arguing for a holistic and balanced world view. So long as we refuse to consider the intelligent and rational arguments of scripture in preference to adopting the truisms of the hour, we will remain, sadly, in the grips of whatever myths are presently in vogue.

…What God is really doing:

Not only does the Bible speak articulately about the creation, adamantly arguing that it came into being by one instantaneous fiat, the Bible argues that this creation points to His existence, His phenomenal intelligence and wisdom, and His power. This evidence is replete and undeniable. The deeper one peers into nanomechanics or the further one peers toward the end of the universe; he sees a system that shows the same hand at work. He sees consistency.

Further, God can and does reveal Himself to those who seek Him. He has offered a path back to Himself. Ironically, that path does not begin with either scientific or philosophical investigation. It begins with a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, the One who created and carries forth the whole creation. Don’t be fooled by the consensus. Don’t be closed-minded. Open your mind and open your Bible. Learn what it is really saying for yourself.

 

Featured Scriptures

The Origin of the Universe

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.  - Colossians 1:16-18

Our Closed Mindedness

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  - Romans 1:19-21

Our Willing Ignorance

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. – 2 Peter 3:3-9

Insurmountable Evidence

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handywork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows knowledge. here is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world...  – Psalm 19:1-4

An Inescapable Command

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.  -Acts 17:24-30

 

 

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

 < 11/25/2060

Why I Wear This Silly Face Mask...in Spite of Evidence to the Contrary!


TODAY'S FEATURED NEWS STORY

COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer? - Mayo Clinic weighs in. 

Why I Wear This Silly Mask and Practice Social Distancing
…despite evidence to the contrary!
by Jim Steel

Some of the requests placed upon churches by our government hinder our God ordained worship, singing and praise. Many feel that some pandemic dictums are oppressive socialistic overreach. In the Christian world, each believer is first accountable to God for his own actions. We answer to God first.  We try to honor God in our responses.

While the Bible does not address this particular issue, it provides us with an abundance of principles to help us obey God. I thought it might be interesting for some to understand exactly how and why I have responded to the Covid issue in general and the mask dictates. It may also help you to articulate your own position and understand those who disagree.

As a Christian, I try to reason from my first principle. In this case, I have a two-fold principle. I am to love the Lord God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and I am to love my neighbor as myself (Mark 12:30,31). This is what we call the royal law. We may assume that God would not expect us to do two contradictory things. In this case, I can do both, love God and my neighbor without contradicting myself. Bringing this down to shoe leather, then, let me, in reverse order, list a few reasons why I wear this silly mask and practice social distancing.

Reason # 5. I wear a mask because I understand this is a unique situation. (A temporary circumstance.)  

A young man who goes to war, for example, may not be able to meet and fellowship every Sunday with God’s people. We understand that and we try to make provision for his unusual spiritual needs. There are times when we must willingly forego our rights for the sake of a temporary circumstance.  A “present distress,” 1 Corinthians 7:26, can prompt us to alter otherwise normal practices.

Reason # 4. I wear a mask because I understand that I am not a doctor. (A medical exigency.)  

You are to be commended if you are one who has managed to actually “follow the science” and sort out the facts for yourself. While we can all point to exceptions and we are all free to express our own doubts, the great majority of medical workers and authorities are convinced that we can mitigate the spread of this disease, and at least "flatten the curve", through masks and social distancing. We may all be proven wrong, but as things stand, most medical workers, for example, do not complain that they have to use PPE. If we find we have all erred in this matter and been herded like lemmings, we will at least know in our hearts that we erred on this side of caution and compassion.

Reason # 3. As a Christian, I wear a mask because I have been commanded to obey those who have authority over me. (A matter of obedience.) 

I do so for testimony’s sake, and I do so because I am commanded to do so (1 Peter 2:13,14). There are many who go to great lengths to malign biblical Christianity. Nero needs his scapegoat. We must not give him occasion. There are also authorities who are not targeting Christians and are openly offended at that thought. Of course, it is important to articulate our freedoms, but when our first line of defense is to demand our freedoms, intended or not, we feed the spirit of rebellion that permeates our time. Secondly, it is a given that we are to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29) but we can still fill Jerusalem with our doctrine, still minister to Christ’s sheep, still pray (how many pastors have even stayed in regular touch with their own sheep during this crisis?), and worship to a limited extent. Christians are commanded to assemble together. The early church did all this without permanent buildings. And when we are forbidden to assemble even in private homes, there is a time and place to work these issues out in an orderly manner in the courts of our land. We are far better off allowing ourselves to be unjustly treated in the short term, than to be misunderstood in our intent for years to come. In the interim, we cannot pick and choose the speed limit signs we prefer to obey.

There is a subtle form of disobedience to which some of our pastors are prone. We openly state that we intend to obey the law (which we clearly hold in contempt) and then quietly announce that we cannot stop folks from doing what they will. We tread a fine line when we do this.

Reason # 2. As a Christian, I wear a mask because I love my neighbor as myself. (A matter of love.)

I want to do what is best for my neighbor and I want him to know I care for him, both his body and his soul. A well-known politician was reported to have said at the onset of Covid-19 “Never waste a good crisis!” We are not fools. We are not ignorant of the devices and the extent to which some will go, but the fact is, we have our own agenda. While some may think that the mask on my face represents “hiding behind my couch in fear,” the truth is I am not. I have no fear of death or dying. I welcome it in God’s time. My mask represents my heart’s desire to make my neighbor feel comfortable and confident in my presence. It is a small surrender of one of my rights to set his or her concerns at ease. I do not want to bring concern, real or imagined, into his world. And this brings me to my number one reason.

Reason # 1. I wear a mask because I am concerned about souls. (Your soul.)  

I understand that social distancing and masks can also be harmful, especially among children who are forced to wear them for long periods. I understand that the improper use of masks can lead to re-infection and, in some cases, it can lead to life threatening strokes. These risks must be balanced and mitigated as much as is humanly possible. The fact remains, however that hundreds of thousands of deaths have been directly attributed to this pandemic. I cannot be nonchalant about death and suggest that we are all going to die anyway, and we take a risk every time we get in our car. Death is serious, death is permanent, and death robs us, once and for all, of our opportunity to receive Christ as Savior. If we can buy one more soul one more minute on this earth and so extend his window of opportunity to receive Christ, we have succeeded.

Covid -19 is not the enemy. Sin and death are our enemy because they close the door on our opportunity to be cleansed and redeemed through the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:27). It was the love of Christ which constrained Him to face death and take our own sins upon Him. It was the resurrection of Christ which proved it was our solution over death and hell. Jesus Christ sacrificed His own glories, rights, and privileges to give you this opportunity to receive Him as your Lord and Savior. It is the mercy of Christ which has preserved you to this point. Covid, like death, makes no promises. It takes some within hours, others within months, and bypasses whomever it will. Every moment spent without Christ represents a moment of foolish risk. Today is the day of salvation.  Do you need talk with someone about your soul? This would be a good time to contact us!
 
#Masks, #SocialDistancing #ChristiansWearingMasks

TODAY'S NEWS RELATED SCRIPTURES

"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." - Mark 12:30,31

"Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.  Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king." - 1 Peter 2:13-16

"Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men". - Acts 5:28,29

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"  - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation"  - Hebrews 9:27-28.


Monday, November 9, 2020

The Covid19 Vaccine.


TODAY'S FEATURED NEWS STORY

BEFORE YOU CELEBRATE THAT VACCINE!
The stock market soared in response to the unveiling of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. According to preliminary news reports from around the world, this vaccine is 90% effective. The thought of eliminating tens of thousands of deaths per year and ending this worldwide tragedy is exhilarating!

But please think before you celebrate and consider the following statement from the Personhood Alliance: “There is a problem. Why? Because, although Pfizer’s vaccine candidate was designed by computer and produced without the use of human cells, it is being tested unethically using aborted fetal cells.”

If this report is correct, scripture lovers should keep in mind that lining up for this vaccine is lining up to benefit from the deaths of innocent human beings. The Bible says we are made in the image of God. Whether the virus was constructed or merely tested at the expense of aborted babies is moot. All lives matter and no group of humans should benefit from the genocide of another group of human beings. 

How will we rationalize this? We will begin by arguing that the babies would have died anyway so we are not contributors to their demise.  As we cauterize our consciences, this same argument will be leveraged against these precious unborn little ones as the decision to destroy them will be justified on the basis of the lives they are saving, (much like we legalize the use of controlled substances and other vices for the sake of improving our schools). When justify an evil act in order to effect more good, we place our ability to decide what is right and wrong ahead of God's direct commands.

While recipients of this vaccine may not be injected with the remains of aborted babies, their willing participation in this practice is unconscionable. This is the line in the sand. Our elected leaders and courts are all shifting toward the personalization of animals who were not made in the image of God while simultaneously moving away from respecting the humanity of unborn babies who are in God’s image. Only the most na├»ve can miss the point that Satan’s mystery of iniquity is spreading exponentially, and it represents a far greater danger than Covid-19 ever could. Where will you draw the line?

​https://mailchi.mp/personhood/pfizer-covid-vaccine-unethical?e=e0acf4fd18
https://personhood.org/positions/vaccines/
​Remember, we are always available to chat about this important subject!

Choose wisely! The following link will help the reader understand which COVID vaccines involve fetal participation (in production and or testing) and which ones do not.




TODAY'S NEWS RELATED SCRIPTURES

 All human beings were made in God's image.

​Genesis 1:26-28 NKJV

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”  Genesis 1:26-28 NKJV

The willful destruction of any human being is a violent act for which God will hold us accountable.

Psalm 72:14

He will redeem their life from oppression and violence, And precious shall be their blood in His sight.

The end game of Satan and his minions is to destroy any notion that men are made in God's image.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 Berean Study Bible

And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who now restrains it will continue until he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will slay with the breath of His mouth and annihilate by the majesty of His arrival.…  



Thursday, October 29, 2020

 Friday, October 29, 2020

THE POPE AND GOOD ATHEISTS


TODAY'S FEATURED NEWS STORY

The following May 23, 2020 quote from Christian Headlines represents only one of scores of articles which have flooded the media: "Pope Francis caused a stir this week when he declared during his homily at Wednesday Mass in Rome that everyone was redeemed through Jesus, including atheists, the Huffington Post reports. Francis emphasized the importance of "doing good" as a principle that unites all humanity, and told the story of a Catholic who asked a priest if even atheists had been redeemed by Jesus. "Even them, everyone," the pope answered. "We all have the duty to good. ... The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! 'Father, the atheists?' Even the atheists. Everyone! ... We must meet one another doing good. 'But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!' But do good: we will meet one another there."

This represents far more than another quotation from a pope who seems to delight in carefully worded pronouncements which can be taken either way, much to the chagrin of Catholics and Protestants. This conclusion is actually the fruit of Vatican 2 and is consistent with its dictums. For a brief video overview of all the forces this council set in motion, visit Jim's expose on the subject. Note, especially, the video entitled The New Ecumenism - Vatican 2 on this page.

The real issue, however, is neither historical nor philosophical at its core. It is biblical. The Word of God is unequivocal.  None of us, rich or poor, self-centered or self-sacrificing, Catholic, protestant, or atheist, can ever have our sins forgiven or go to heaven, based on our good intentions or good works. In fact, this is the core issue on which the gospel is built. As sinners, no amount of good we can ever do could make up for the fact that we are alienated from God and dead in our sins. 

Friend, you can cross your fingers and hope that your own good works will carry you through, or you can be placed into the Lord Jesus Christ and be accepted, based on His goodness and holiness. This is the perfect time to take ten or fifteen minutes, in order to gain a clear understanding of what the gospel really is!
The short of it is that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins - for each of us individually. You may know that you have your sins forgiven and you may know that you have eternal life today!

​Remember, we are always available to chat about this important subject!

​TODAY'S NEWS RELATED SCRIPTURES

Whether you are religious or atheistic, your sins have separated you from God.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God;
And your sins have hidden His face from you,

So that He will not hear.   - Isaiah 59:2  NKJV

“There is none righteous, no, not one; 
There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God."  - Romans 3:10 NKJV

For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, - Romans 3:22b and 23.  - NKJV

God provided forgiveness through the death of His Son on the cross.


For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.  - Romans 5:6-9

God provides this gift freely and without obligation, based on the death and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"...being justified [freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus  - Romans 3:24 NKJV

"Jesus said to her, 
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”   - John 11:23,24

"not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."  - Titus 3:5-7 NKJV

Are you in bondage to a myth?

Since the beginning of civilization, the majority of the world's populations have been in bondage to the collective values of their civi...