“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”
It was atheist and evolutionist Dr. Richard Dawkins who once famously said: “Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.” In terms of the initial appearance of design in many animals, this quote makes a lot of sense. We see that, for example, polar bears are suited to a life in very cold conditions. Dawkins could therefore argue that natural selection had left the polar bear with its thick, warm, white coat, which insulates, and that this appears to be designed, but has been selected naturally. Closer analysis, however, shows that the concept is over-simplistic and does not work for all creatures. Human beings, for example, seem to have the capacity to be able to live almost anywhere they choose by changing their own environment. Thus, those in warm climes may wear fewer clothes or may wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothes. Peoples of the Arctic will, in contrast, make and wear thick, warm, well-covering clothing.
One recent article has suggested that human beings are adapted to be “generalist specialists”. It will not escape listeners’ notice that these words contradict each other; yet, serious evolutionary studies suggest that humans developed genes enabling them to adapt anywhere. Yet, this does not fit with the concept of an environmentally led natural selection. However, the idea fits very well with God’s design for a human race which was to fill the Earth and subdue it as an essential part of their mandate.
Steven Anderson has been banned from yet another country. This time it is Ireland. Anderson was scheduled to preach in Dublin on May 26, but the Minister for Justice signed an exclusion order against him. This is the first time that someone has been banned under a 1999 immigration law that allows exclusion “in the interest of national security or public policy.” The decision followed a gay activist petition that received over 14,000 signatures. Anderson is targeted for his statements that homosexuals should be killed. After the mass shooting at a gay-friendly nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, Anderson said, “The good news is that there’s 50 less pedophiles in this world, because these homosexuals are just a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles” (“Gay Hating Preacher,” Sunday Express, Sept. 16, 2016). Anderson said it was too bad some of the homosexuals survived. Of transgender celebrity Bruce (Caitlyn) Jenner, Anderson said in a sermon, “Listen to me--I hate him with a perfect hatred. I have no love for this Bruce freak. ... This person is just the evangelist of sodomy and filth to the world, and people are like, ‘Oh, we need to pray for him so that he finds Jesus.’ I’m going to pray that he dies and goes to Hell” (Adam Salandra, “Pastor Prays Caitlyn Jenner’s Heart Explodes,” NewNowNex, n.d.). Anderson has also preached “Why I Hate Barack Obama” and said that he prayed for the death of the former President. Anderson calls himself an Independent Baptist, but he is a deeply confused individual who should not be in the ministry. When James and John wanted to call down fire upon those who rejected the Lord, Christ rebuked them and said they were of the wrong spirit (Luke 9:54-56). Anderson denies the Holocaust, holds to Replacement Theology, believes that God is finished with Israel, rejects biblical repentance, believes that salvation doesn’t have evidence, and denies the imminency of the Rapture. Anderson has also been banned from or denied entry to the Netherlands (2019), Jamaica (2018), Canada (2017), South Africa (2016), Botswana (2016), Malawi (2016), and the United Kingdom (2016). (For more on this see What about Steven Anderson? a free eBook available at www.wayoflife.org.)
(Friday Church News Notes, May 17, 2019, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
Penguins are disappearing. Don’t worry – it’s not all of them that are disappearing. But the world’s largest colony of king penguins appears to be only 10% the size it was 50 years ago.
The colony, which lives on Île aux Cochons in the southern Indian Ocean, is quite difficult to count. Nevertheless, surveys over the years have shown that it has shrunk dramatically. Reasons given for the decimation include climate change and outbreaks of diseases such as avian cholera.
Penguins are among our favorite animals. Many of us, when we go to the zoo, will make our way quickly to see the penguins. We love to see the endearing, adorable way they walk and then marvel at their grace as they “fly” through the water. Some species of penguins have remarkable habits. One unsubstantiated urban myth about penguins in the Falkland Islands suggests that they watch the overflying planes of the Royal Air Force so intently that they eventually fall over backwards! One comedian complained about the Emperor Penguins, saying that they have the ability to make us feel complete failures as fathers.
Of course, not all penguins are dying out. We are referring to one colony of one species. But does it matter? The answer must be that, yes, we ought to have a concern. We are used to opposing climate change mythology and, therefore, sometimes go to the other extreme, forgetting that God gave us a stewardship to look after this world and protect it.
1 Chronicles 1:1-4
“Adam, Sheth, Enosh, Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.”
There are ten names in the first part of the Genesis 5 genealogy, from Adam to Noah. These names also appear in order in 1 Chronicles 1:1-4. What can these verses mean? 1 Chronicles is particularly unusual because it simply lists the names without any explanation. I would argue that the fact that we have the same list in Genesis 5 and 1 Chronicles 1 indicates that there are no gaps in this genealogy.
It is popular to believe that the genealogies have gaps. Perhaps some genealogies do, but those of Genesis 5 and Genesis 11 are different because they contain numbers. The numbers of years listed seem to suggest that they can be used to calculate a simple chronology.
The meanings of the names give a clue to why there are no gaps. Adam means man, Seth means appointed, Enosh means mortal, Kenan sorrow, Mahalalel the God who is to be praised, Jared He shall come down, Enoch teacher, Methuselah means his death shall bring it about, Lamech weary, Noah rest. Put the names together, and we find that the first section of 1 Chronicles actually reads: “Man is appointed mortal sorrow, but the God who is to be praised shall come down, teaching that His death shall bring the weary rest.” This is a statement of the Gospel! Yet, this does not work if there were to be any gaps in the Genesis 5 genealogy. It is no coincidence – this line of descent would eventually culminate in Jesus Christ Himself.
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”
Why doesn’t an atom fly apart? It really ought to do so.
School children are taught that atoms basically contain three types of particles – protons, neutrons and electrons. The protons and neutrons are in the atomic nucleus. They are roughly the same mass, but neutrons are neutral, whereas protons have a positive electrical charge. Tiny electrons, with a negative charge, whizz around the parent atom at great speed.
If you rub a balloon on your hair, you know that you can probably make it stick to a wall. The balloon will pick up a negative electrical charge.
Suppose you charge two balloons, each with a string attached. Hold them hanging from your hands, and bring them close. They repel because they have the same charge.
The protons in the atomic nucleus have the same positive charge. They should repel. The fact that they do not do so suggests that there is a stronger force present keeping the protons together, even though the electric charge wants to push them apart. This strong force does not have a large sphere of influence. It only seems to operate when objects are 10-15m apart. At such a small distance, the strong force seems to be 137 times stronger than the electrical force. Outside this distance, the electromagnetic force is stronger, so the protons would push each other away.
God has balanced these forces exactly. If the strong force were a little weaker, then large atoms would easily fall apart. If a little stronger, then no chemical reactions would occur.
“The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.”
Every so often, it is important to remind ourselves why we believe what we believe. The reason why we do not believe in the theory of evolution is that it is contrary to the way God said He made things. It is said that evolution tells us how God made the world, while Genesis tells us why God made it. This is not the case. There are places in the Bible, such as Isaiah 45 where God indeed tells us why He created, but Genesis 1 is not one of them. Genesis 1 simply reports how God made everything.
If evolution were true, then the very first living cell would have had to be formed from inorganic molecules getting together and producing a self-replicating structure. This would require information, and that information would presumably be in a molecule similar to DNA, or perhaps RNA. Yet, molecules do not react by themselves to cause such a structure to emerge. Chance does not create the required structures and information.
As long ago as 1966, H. Enoch was saying, “Our hope of producing life seems to be dwindling away as our knowledge of cell chemistry advances.” A random selection of letters does not produce the works of Shakespeare. In the same way, order and complexity in nature exist only because that is the way God has planned and designed it to be. Some things may look random at times, but they are not.
“The Muslim American Society (MAS) Islamic Center in Philadelphia posted the video to its Facebook page celebrating Ummah Day in which young children wearing Palestinian scarves sang and read poetry about killing for Allah and the mosque in Jerusalem, Fox News reported. ‘One girl talks about martyrs sacrificing their lives without hesitation to conquer Jerusalem.’ ‘We will defend the land of divine guidance with our bodies, and we will sacrifice our souls without hesitation,’ another girl says. ‘We will chop off their heads, and we will liberate the sorrowful and exalted Al-Aqsa Mosque [the mosque on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount]. We will lead the army of Allah fulfilling His promise, and we will subject them to eternal torture.’ In a statement to Fox News, MEMRI wrote: ‘These are not isolated incidents; they are happening in major centers of the country--including in Pennsylvania.’ Hassan Sajwani, an Emirati writer, tweeted: ‘I hope the world now realizes why did the #UAE back in 2014 designate #MuslimAmericanSociety @mas_national a terrorist organization! This is what they preach to kids as young as 5 yrs of age !!’”
“Kids in Philadelphia,” Daily Wire, May 3, 2019
“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
Many Christians are troubled by the idea of the Earth being unique. After all, the universe is vast, so surely God could have put life elsewhere, as well as on this planet.
Of course, many Christians still struggle with the idea of evolution. They assume that the world’s scientists cannot be so wrong about evolution. Surely God is big enough to have used evolution if He wished. They forget that what God could have done is not the issue. What matters is what God actually said that He did – and He said that He directly created all life rather than leaving it to a process of blind, random chance, which is not actually able to create anything.
Even those who have rejected evolution worry about being dogmatic that we are alone in the universe. Surely the Creation Week could have been achieved elsewhere also?
No, it could not. The Bible is clear that the Earth is unique. To emphasize that point, God made the Earth before He made all the other objects of the universe. There could be no comparison between the plant life that God made on Day Three, a whole day before He made other planets, stars, galaxies, etc.
It is the first chapter of the Bible that makes clear the uniqueness of the Earth and the fact that it was and is the special focus of God’s provision. It is why God reminded us through the prophet Isaiah that it was the Lord who formed the Earth and made it.
The first televised rock worship service, a half-century ago, had all of the earmarks of Contemporary Christian Music today and all of the loud warning signs for wise, Bible-believing Christians and churches. The date was April 27, 1969, the year I entered the U.S. Army. The band was The Mind Garage; the broadcaster was ABC (American Broadcasting Corporation); the forum was Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church in Bowery, Manhattan. The event was called “14th Electric Mass.” It was seen by thousands of people in the United States and rerun annually into the 1980s (classicchristianrockzine.com). Consider the earmarks of this proto-rock worship service:
First, from its inception rock worship was pagan in sound. The music of the first rock worship band was borrowed directly from the secular world. There was nothing sacred or holy about it. It was described as “psychedelic,” which was 1960s drug music. Journalist Joyce Tracewell described it as “deliberate alien music, the kind that makes you shiver.” She said “they sing in voices that should have belonged to Druids or Incas or Gypsies” (“Mind Garage Deliberate Alien Music,” Mindgarage.com, Apr. 19, 1970). I know this music. I lived this music as a drug-using “hippie” before I was saved. There is nothing godly about it. It is “spiritual” only in the sense that it is of the spirit of this world. From then until now, Contemporary Christian Music has borrowed at its pleasure from the cesspool of the world’s party music, pretending to have this liberty, but it is not a liberty justified by God’s Word. It is confusion; it is apostasy; it is rebellion to incorporate the sexualized, demon-influenced music styles of this wicked world into the worship of a thrice-holy God, the God who has commanded His people, “Be not conformed to this world” (Ro. 12:2).
Second, from its inception rock worship was ecumenical. The Mind Garage Band members were Baptist, Catholic, and Protestant. “It was not uncommon to witness Episcopalians, Catholics, Protestants and Jews together, all taking Communion” (“The Electric Liturgy of ‘The Mind Garage,’” Classic Christian Rockzine, 2015). The Mind Garage performed in Episcopal, Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist churches. Ecumenism requires an unscriptural non-judgmental stance toward doctrine and practice and an openness of heresy and apostasy. Nothing is building a “one world church” more effectively than Contemporary Christian Music. Even the more conservative contemporary worship people, such as the Gettys, are ecumenical (e.g., their non-critical relationship with Roman Catholic Matt Maher). It is telling that the first televised rock worship service was held in an Episcopal congregation, seeing that the Episcopalians have been on the cutting edge of theological modernism and apostasy. Earlier in the 1960s, Episcopalian Bishop James Pike called the virgin birth of Christ a “primitive myth” and said that Joseph was probably Jesus’ real father (Redbook magazine, August 1961). He also said that Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, heaven, and hell are myths. In 1963, Episcopal theologian Paul van Buren started the God-is-dead movement with the publication of The Secular Meaning of the Gospel.
Third, from its inception rock worship was worldly. The longhaired men of The Mind Garage “were not overly religious” and cared little to nothing about biblical precepts against unisex and immodest fashion, alcohol and drug use, separation from filthy things such as secular rock music. The Mind Garage associated with and performed with filthy bands such as Iron Butterfly, Sly and the Family Stone, and Canned Heat. In practice, they ripped verses such as the following from their Bibles: Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 11:14-15; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; Ephesians 5:11; 1 Timothy 2:9; James 4:4; and 1 John 2:15-17. Worldliness continues to be a prominent feature of Contemporary Christian Music, as we have documented in Baptist Music Wars and A Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians, both of which are available as free eBooks from www.wayoflife.org.
Fourth, from its inception rock worship was focused on a feeling. A Mind Garage advertisement said, “We welcome you to the electric liturgy, a festival of feeling.” We are reminded that from its inception, contemporary Christian music has been experience oriented, which is largely a product of its intimate association with the charismatic movement. Contemporary worship music is a rock & roll feeling-fest. It is designed to create an emotional experience, a sensual experience, as opposed to a sacred music style that edifies through the mind and heart. We are taught to learn of Christ, not feel Christ (Mt. 11:28-30). But Graham Kendrick, one of the biggest names in contemporary worship, says, “The old way of preaching and singing began to give way to an expectation that ... God would visit us, and we’d EXPERIENCE HIS PRESENCE IN A TANGIBLE SORT OF WAY” (interview June 11, 2002 with Chris Davidson of Integrity Music). Hillsong United’s Matt Crocker says, “My goal is to create an atmosphere for people to be able to enter into the presence of God” (“Seeing the World in Wonder with Hillsong United’s Matt Crocker,” WorshipMusician.com, Jul. 21, 2017). The search for feeling in worship drives the choice of a rock style of music. Unlike traditional sacred music styles, rock music produces strong sensual feelings. One rock song writer well described it as being “hooked on a feeling.” A Bible-believing church that is playing with contemporary Christian music is playing with fire. It is building bridges to the one-world “church” and to the world itself, bridges that will eventually destroy whatever biblicist, pilgrim character the church currently possesses.
(Friday Church News Notes, May 10, 2019, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else.”
When I was growing up in the 1970s, an account of something that had happened over 40 years previously was like ancient history, as far removed from my experience as the Vikings. Yet, a news item popped up on my browser, reminding me that the first photographs of the surface of Mars were taken over 40 years ago by the NASA spacecraft known as Viking 1.
The purpose of the two Viking spacecraft was to look for signs of life on the Red Planet. The unmanned spacecraft was equipped with automatic scoops to sample portions of the Martian surface. These samples were then heated and analyzed, using a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer. The GCMS machine was specifically looking for organic molecules, which might have had an organic source.
In the 1970s, NASA scientists had already convinced themselves that there must be simple life forms such as bacteria on the planet. But Viking found no such signs of life. To say that NASA operatives were disappointed would be an understatement.
Now, NASA scientists have revisited the Viking results, and some have concluded that the organic material must have been there, but that the heat of the GCMS actually destroyed the molecules. The Martian soil samples contained some perchlorate salts, which we know are explosive. Perhaps these were detonated by the GCMS, completely sterilizing everything else!
More than 40 years on, it is so hard for some to accept that God is the author of life.
“Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?”
When it is a slow news day, the news agencies usually find a new story about human evolution. Another such article appeared recently in the New York Times. It concerned research into chimpanzees living in the Fongoli savanna of Senegal.
The exemplary research involved an extensive survey of chimp urine. While this might sound unpleasant, the researchers were looking for three specific chemicals. The presence of c-peptide would indicate if the animals were getting enough energy from their food, the protein creatinine indicates if the chimps are regularly getting dehydrated, and the hormone cortisol is produced if the creatures are stressed.
Research showed that, while the chimps clearly had enough food, they were often dehydrated and under stress. The chimps presented behavior that was significantly different from chimps that lived in forests, where water and shade were more abundant.
This much is interesting and useful research. However, some of the researchers go further and suggest that these conditions must be similar to what our chimp-like ancestors experienced two million years ago in the savannas of East Africa. They claim that the stress these hominins experienced would have caused them to sweat more and to walk upright, thus developing into modern humans. The New York Times article suggested that these hominins may have started walking upright to get fruit from trees, thus alleviating some of their stress.
It is a shame that such careful research should be spoiled by fairy-tale evolutionary conclusions that do not do justice to the observations made.
“Pastor Craig Gross is a fan of weed. He’s not quite a heavyweight user like rapper Snoop Dogg or the legendary Willie Nelson, but he does confess to having developed a comfortable relationship with the psychoactive drug he testifies has taken him to higher levels of worship. ‘I went to Coachella and saw one of my favorite artists that I’ve ever seen and I used marijuana before seeing him. It was amazing,’ Gross tells The Christian Post. ‘I’ve never lifted my hands in a worship service ever, ‘cause I was raised Baptist. I’ve done that in my bathroom worshiping with marijuana by myself.’ Often recognized as the founder of XXXchurch in Pasadena, California, a ministry that empowers individuals to break free from their pornography addictions, Gross has embarked on a new controversial mission: to sell and promote marijuana for Christians through a new venture called Christian Cannabis. As public perception continues to shift on the demonized plant he celebrates as a gift from God that was ‘created on day 3,’ Gross wants to bring Christian weed users out of the shadows and challenge churches to have frank conversations about marijuana. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that 62 percent of Americans, including 74 percent of Millennials, support legalizing marijuana. Ten states and Washington, D.C., have legalized it for recreational use for adults older than 21, while 33 states have legalized medical marijuana. Michigan is the latest state to legalize it for recreational purposes, while Utah and Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana in last year’s midterm elections. Gross describes himself as among the untold number of Christians who first turned to marijuana for medicinal relief. It’s in the wake of this shifting and complex cultural and political landscape that Gross believes churches should start having deeper conversations on marijuana and he hopes Christian Cannabis can help drive them.”
“Pastor Craig Gross,” Christian Post, Apr. 29, 2019
“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.”
In 1953, Ray Bradbury published a science fiction story entitled “The Golden Apples of the Sun”, about an ill-fated mission to scoop material from the Sun’s outer atmosphere. The title came from the last line of a poem by W.B. Yeats.
Sometimes, sci-fi stories appear to come true. NASA is now planning an unmanned mission to the Sun’s outer atmosphere. The spacecraft, called the Parker Solar Probe, will orbit the Sun at a distance of about 10 million miles. This might sound a long way, but Earth’s orbit is 93 million miles from the Sun, and that of Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, is at 43 million miles.
The heat at the surface of the Sun is clearly the most important factor. Therefore, the design of the spacecraft is a wonderful example of human creativity and problem solving. One can imagine the tests carried out with different materials. The craft will have an 8-foot “umbrella” to deflect heat, made of an alloy of molybdenum, titanium and zirconium. Printed circuit boards are etched with acid onto tungsten – the metallic element with the highest melting point. Cables are obviously not covered with plastic, but with specially grown heat-proof crystals. The temperature of the shield will reach a few thousand degrees, yet its inside will be just 85°F!
God, who made the Sun on the fourth day of the Creation Week, has given human engineers such wonderful talents, reminding us again that we are made in the image of God.
The Discipling Church: The Church That Will Stand Until Christ Comes , first published in 2017, is now available as a free eBook. This church manual aims to establish churches on a solid biblical foundation of a regenerate church membership, one mind in doctrine and practice, serious discipleship, thorough-going discipline, and a large vision for world evangelism. We examine the New Testament pattern of a discipling church, and we trace the history of Baptist churches over the past 200 years to document the apostasy from the biblical pattern to a mixed multitude philosophy. We also document the history of “sinner’s prayer” evangelism which has affected the reality of a regenerate church membership. The book deals with biblical salvation with evidence, care in receiving church members, the church’s first love for Christ, the right kind of church leaders, the right kind of preaching, training church members to be real Bible students, the many facets of church discipline, building strong families, youth ministry, training preachers, charity, reproof, educating the church for spiritual protection, maintaining standards for workers, the church’s prayer life, the church’s separation, spiritual revival, the church’s music, and many other things. There is a chapter on moving from a mixed multitude church to a discipling church. The last chapter documents some of the cultural factors that have weakened churches over the past 100 years, including theological liberalism, the public school system, materialism and working mothers, the rock & roll culture, pop psychology, the feminist movement, New Evangelicalism, television, and the Internet. There is also a list of recommended materials for a discipling church. Dr. Don Jasmin, editor of The Fundamentalist Digest, says, “The book The Discipling Church is well named. It is loaded with Scriptural exposition, Scriptural explanation, and Scriptural edification. This spiritually rich volume covers almost every phase of a genuine Biblically discipling church. Every pastor should procure this spiritually enriching treasury, one which a preacher will readily consult for valuable assistance and counsel in seeking to maintain a Scripturally balanced N.T. ministry.” 550 pages. The Discipling Church is available for reading and downloading as a free eBook and for purchase in a print edition, from www.wayoflife.org.
(Friday Church News Notes, May 3, 2019, www.wayoflife.org email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
“And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:”
Many people seem to have a problem with what must have happened during the world’s second generation. I have been asked, “Where did all the people of the world come from if Adam only had two children, and one of them murdered the other?” The purpose of such questions is to imply that Adam was either figurative or that there must have been other people in the world as well.
In fact, Genesis names three sons of Adam and Eve, not two. There was Cain, Abel, and, later, Seth. But this still doesn’t help these questioners because Seth was another son.
Apart from Cain, Abel and Seth, there were other sons who were not named, and there were daughters. So the third generation would have come from marriages between sons and daughters of Adam and Eve.
Does this sound like the sin of incest? In fact, such close intermarriage was not forbidden until the giving of the Law to Moses. And the Law protects people by preventing the selection of deleterious mutations that can be concentrated in the offspring of such close partnerships. But this world had only just gone wrong. In the second and third generations, and down to the time of Moses, there were not sufficient mutations for close intermarriages to be dangerous. So we have also answered the age old question: “Who was Cain’s wife?”