“According to the South China Morning Post, Christians in China have been visited by government officials and told that to raise their ‘Social Credit Score,’ they needed to replace all religious imagery with portraits of Communist leaders and replace the Holy Bible with Communist quotations. According to the news reports, hundreds of thousands of Chinese Christians are surrendering their Christian paintings and writings to comply with government rating standards. The so-called Social Credit Score is a nationwide “reputation scoring system” implemented in China in 2014 that has the entire world spooked. By providing a credit score for reputation, the Chinese government is more effectively controlling their populace than by violent force. The system gives scoring based upon social media posts, neighbor opinions, employer records, and stats provided by public utilities. These scores are then used to determine hiring eligibility and social standing in Chinese institutions.”
“Chinese Christians,” PulpitandPen.org, Sept. 19, 2019
“‘That’s very sad, in many ways.’ That’s the President speaking to world leaders at the United Nations’ first ever summit on international religious liberty. He was shocked to learn it was the UN’s first-ever such event. ‘The United States,’ he explained, ‘is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God. This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence. Our Founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions.’ We can be grateful that an American President had the courage to say this not only to the many brutal regimes represented in the UN assembly hall. But also to Americans who believe our rights come from the government. Or the majority of voters. And who think, if we lose religious liberty, is it really a big deal? Yeah, it is. Religious liberty is about the ability to live-out one’s faith in the day-to-day. It involves not just private but also public actions and speech. From it flow the rights of assembly, speech, and press, to keep and bear arms, and so forth. Our duty to our Creator outweighs duty to anyone else, including the state. Our obligation is not just to worship Him on occasion, but to live and speak as He commands all day, every day. If our main duty isn’t to Him, then what is it to? The government? That’s a terrifying thought. In our country, a growing number of Americans have been penalized for refusing to surrender their faith. Consider Baronelle Stutzman, an elderly Christian grandmother who runs a florist shop in rural Washington State. Several years ago, she refused to create floral arrangements to celebrate the wedding of two men. Since then, the state of Washington and the ACLU have brought her to court several times. The Alliance Defending Freedom has now petitioned the Supreme Court to hear her case. This is but one example of many. Cakebakers and pharmacists, professors and sheriffs, even nurses, all attacked because they will not bend the knee to the Baal of a hostile culture. Thankfully, unlike his predecessor, Trump has defended domestic religious liberty strongly.”
“Trump’s Finest Hour,” The Stream, Sept. 26, 2019
Proverbs 20: 15
“There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.”
Opals are precious multicolored gemstones made primarily of silica. How do they form? Scientists admit that much of the chemistry is not well understood. However, according to the traditional explanation, their formation begins as water filters through silica-rich rock, dissolving some of the silica. When that water passes through a cavity in a suitable rock, the silica precipitates as a film on the wall of the cavity. After tens of millions of years, say the scientists, you will have an opal.
Now opals have been found along with fossilized soil bacteria, similar to typical soil bacteria you find today. With this finding, some scientists have suggested that the acids produced by the bacteria may have helped form the opals. They propose that the acids produced by the bacteria dissolved some of the minerals in nearby feldspar, forming the opals. Obviously, this process would not take as long as the purely natural process traditionally thought to form opals. Other geologists are reluctant to give bacteria any credit for opal formation. However, one opal expert, Dr. Len Cram, has been growing opals in a process that takes only a few months.
Creationists do not oppose real knowledge. We know that when truth is discovered it will never contradict Scripture. Actually demonstrating that opals can be produced in a matter of months is far better science than speculating about it taking millions of years.
“InterVarsity is an interdenominational Evangelical fellowship designed for college students to interact and fellowship with each other. But, like CRU — formerly Campus Crusade for Christ — InterVarsity has taken a progressive nosedive into apostasy. InterVarsity is closely tied to the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and SBC churches have a habit of connecting their students to InterVarsity teams on campuses when they’re away at college. In 2016, InterVarsity officially affirmed that marriage was between a man and a woman, however, the organization has gay and lesbian groups on campuses. One such campus is at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where a Bible-study group has been formed and named, ‘Queer Bible Study.’ The group was started by a lesbian named Alyssa Walter who says she came out as a ‘queer Christian’ in 2018. She said she felt she could not lead other “queer Christians” without being fully out herself.”
“InterVarsity Introduces,” ReformationCharlotte.org, Sept. 27, 2019
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every … tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”
Presumably, before the fall into sin, we didn’t have any bad cholesterol, or at least it didn’t do any damage in our bloodstream. The so-called “bad cholesterol” is low-density-lipoprotein. It’s called bad because it tends to cause our arteries to clog unless countered by the so-called “good cholesterol” or high-density-lipoprotein.
Based on earlier research, scientists wanted to test the idea that substances in orange juice could improve levels of good cholesterol. Volunteers had their cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis during the test period. After six weeks of a low cholesterol diet, they were to drink one glass of orange juice every day for four weeks. The result was a 5 percent increase in the good cholesterol. Then they drank two glasses of orange juice per day for four weeks. The result was another 7 percent increase in good cholesterol. Then they were directed to drink three glasses per day. The result was a 27 percent overall improvement. Surprisingly, researchers found that five weeks after they stopped the three glasses-a-day portion of the experiment, their good cholesterol remained high.
We can be thankful that, in His perfect foreknowledge, God created some foods that counter the effects of sin on us. We can be even more thankful that His plan to save us from our sins was in place even before there was sin.
“Earlier this week, televangelist and faith healer Benny Hinn announced that he will no longer preach the ‘prosperity gospel.’ Prosperity gospel teaches that financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them, and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth. However, two days after Hinn’s confession, he is already asking for donations. In a live video posted to his Facebook page on Monday, Hinn apologizes, ‘I'm sorry to say that prosperity has gone a little crazy and I’m correcting my own theology and you need to all know it. Because when I read the Bible now, I don’t see the Bible in the same eyes I saw 20 years ago.’ ‘I think it's an offense to the Lord, it's an offense to say give $1,000. I think it's an offense to the Holy Spirit to place a price on the Gospel. I'm done with it. I will never again ask you to give $1,000 or whatever amount, because I think the Holy Ghost is just fed up with it.’ Two days after renouncing the prosperity gospel, Hinn’s website still asks donors to give up to $1,000 a month to Hinn’s ministry. Additionally, just two days after Hinn's video aired, he asked his followers to send him seed money for ‘debt elimination.’”
“Benn Hinn,” Hallels News, Sep. 7, 2019
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”
If you live in a temperate climate, you have probably heard your home pop and crack on cold days. Those sounds are caused by the different materials that make up your house contracting at different rates as the temperature falls. At some point, the growing tensions are released and you hear the result. If you live in a warm climate that is subject to hurricanes, you know that a building is likely to fail at the point where different parts of the house, like the roof and wall, meet together.
Buildings are made up of a large number of things, each of which acts differently under the same conditions. That makes for weak points in any structure. British architects have looked at the structure of living things to find an answer to this problem. They noted that skeletons can work well under conditions that would cause many other building materials to fail. One researcher noted that a skeleton is more efficient than any man-made structure. One architect’s suggestion was to build structures like walls and bridges out of artificial bone that is formed to the needs of the structure.
We should not be surprised that, once again, man is looking to the living world for solutions to his problems. The living world, like everything else, was designed by our all-wise God Who does all things well.
“Toy company Mattel on Wednesday launched a new line of dolls that are ‘gender inclusive’ because, you know, kids everywhere are demanding them. Called ‘Creatable World,’ the line allows children to interchange hair, clothes, and accessories on the dolls--meaning they can be both male and female. ‘We see this line as an opportunity for us to open up that dialogue around what dolls are for and who dolls are for,’ said Kim Culmone, senior vice president of Mattel Fashion Doll Design. ‘And also as the world begins to the celebrate the positive impact of inclusivity, we absolutely fundamentally believed it was time to launch a doll line free of labels and free of rules for kids.’ The company touted the new product on Twitter, linking to a story by Time magazine, ‘A Doll for Everyone,’ Sept. 25, 2019: ‘Mattel’s first promotional spot for the $29.99 product features a series of kids who go by various pronouns--him, her, them, xem--and the slogan, “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in.”’ With this overt nod to trans and nonbinary identities, the company is betting on where it thinks the country is going, even if it means alienating a substantial portion of the population. A Pew Research survey conducted in 2017 showed that while 76% of the public supports parents’ steering girls to toys and activities traditionally associated with boys, only 64% endorse steering boys toward toys and activities associated with girls.’”
“Woke Barbie,” Dailywire.com, Sept. 25, 2019
“And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
Evolutionists often claim that language and music evolved independently of each other. However, new research along several lines is showing that there is a close connection between music and language.
Researchers have been studying the effect of music on verbal comprehension. Electrical activity within the brain was tracked, using electrodes attached to the scalps of volunteers. They found that those volunteers who had just heard the trilling of flutes, for example, identified the word “bird” a split second faster than those who had not heard the music. This effect is called priming. When volunteers heard a church anthem, they more quickly identified the word “devotion” than those who had not. The study showed that these effects were consistent, whether the words had concrete meanings, were cultural references or were abstract concepts. Other research has shown that when a region of the brain called Broca’s area is damaged, both recognition of harmonic chords as well as language are impaired, also suggesting a connection between language and music.
Both music and language are gifts of God. As the Psalmist noted, the songs he sang were placed into his mouth by God. Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve could talk the day they were created. While music isn’t mentioned, we see that within a couple of generations, they were making musical instruments and must therefore have played music.
Jesse Michael, a follower of Steven Anderson, claims that Lester Roloff is in hell for preaching repentance. Michael preached the following at Stedfast Baptist Church in Oklahoma City: “I expose the deceased false prophet Lester Roloff and his wicked ‘repent and turn from your sins’ works salvation as heresy. This guy’s a fraud and a false prophet. He’s in hell right now. He had wicked intensions. It’s pretty obvious to me. Repenting and turning from your sin for salvation is works salvation. He’s saying that basically there has to be a change in your life.” This is pure Andersonite heresy. As a former student of Hyles Anderson College, Steven Anderson is the product of quick prayerism and the change in definition of repentance that equates it with faith. But the apostle Paul preached both repentance and faith (Acts 20:21) and he defined repentance as follows: “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance” (Acts 26:20). Paul’s repentance is not a works salvation; it’s an evidence salvation. Biblical repentance is not a change of life; it is a change of mind that results in a change of life, and it always results in a change of life. Paul’s repentance is the repentance that we see in the Prodigal Son (Lu. 15:18), the woman at the well (Jo. 4:39), the 3,000 on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41-42), the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:36-39), the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:30-34), and Paul himself (Acts 19:18-20). This is the repentance that Lester Roloff preached. He preached a pure gospel of salvation by God’s grace without works, but, like Paul, he preached that salvation is “unto good works” (Eph. 2:8-10).
(Friday Church News Notes, October 4, 2019, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.”
According to the theory of evolution, all life is related. There is claimed to be a hierarchy of rising complexity from the earliest simple organisms to man. The earliest organisms are said to include corals, sea anemones and jellyfish that thrived 500 million years ago. These early creatures eventually led to the first creatures to move onto land, and worms were among them.
Based on this supposed evolutionary history, one would expect the DNA of humans to be closer to worms than to coral. However, recent mapping of the DNA of these creatures has produced some surprises. While corals have the simplest nervous system of any animal, their genetic sequences are similar to those in human nervous systems. Even more strange is that worms, which are supposed to stand between us and the corals, lack these sequences. These sequences are called ESTs. Researchers have found that, in general, coral ESTs tended to be closer to human ESTs than to worm ESTs. Baffled by this and still convinced that evolution is true, the scientists simply assumed that worms must have lost these DNA sequences. However, they stressed that more creatures need to be studied.
Would it not be simpler to conclude that corals, worms, people and everything else were made by the same Creator Who created specific DNA coding for each creature without concern for evolutionary history?
“In a Washington State University study that will publish this fall in the Journal of Research in Personality, individuals who posted a lot of selfies were almost uniformly viewed as less likable, less successful and more insecure than people who posted more ‘posies’--that is, traditionally posed photos that appear to be taken by someone else. WSU psychology professor Chris Barry worked with WSU students, as well as collaborators from the University of Southern Mississippi, to design a project intended to measure judgments of pictures posted on Instagram. Across the board, the study found that people who posted more selfies were viewed to have lower self-esteem and to be more lonely, less dependable and less successful than those who posted more ‘posies,’ Barry said in a phone interview Thursday. ‘Even when two feeds had similar content, such as depictions of achievement or travel, feelings about the person who posted selfies were negative and feelings about the person who posted posies were positive,’ he said. A better solution, though, might be to stop being concerned about social media at all. ‘It can be very hard when we get focused on number of likes or how many followers we have or the number of interactions,’ said Keely Kolmes, a San Francisco-based psychologist with expertise in social media matters. Kolmes recommends people unplug once in a while and engage with the world around us instead.”
“People who post,” The Seattle Times, Aug. 30, 2019
“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do….”
About 300 years after the Genesis Flood, when all people spoke the same language, they decided to work together to build a great city. Working together for a common goal is called “social intelligence.” Do animals practice social intelligence? Of course, there are the bees, the ants and the beavers, but even bacteria – among the lowliest of all creatures – also show social intelligence!
Several types of common bacteria have shown evidence of social intelligence. Contrary to expectation, sometimes this cooperation takes place between unrelated types at the expense of genetically related individuals. Bacterial colonies where cooperation is taking place always attract freeloaders. Such colonies often find ways to discourage or even kill the freeloaders. One such cooperative community is a common soil bacterium. When they locate prey, they swarm over the prey like a pack of wolves. Many species of bacteria remain relatively singular until they sense that they have enough to form a community. Then, they communicate to each other by releasing certain molecules which the others sense, and they form slime mold colonies, or a biofilm.
Cooperation and a result of social intelligence can be used to do good or evil. But it doesn’t matter where they are on the imagined evolutionary tree. God has given social abilities to many of His creatures as a means of helping their kind to survive.
“An increasing number of children in the UK are being treated by healthcare professionals for ‘eco-anxiety,’ a growing sense of fear over climate change and impending environmental disasters, the Daily Telegraph reports. ‘The fear is of environmental doom--that we’re all going to die,’ Caroline Hickman, executive for the Climate Psychology Alliance, told the Telegraph. ‘A lot of parents are coming into therapy asking for help with the children and it has escalated a lot this summer.’ At least partially to blame--for better or for worse--are the increasingly vocal activists rallying the public against climate change.”
“Shrinks Are Treating Climate-Traumatized Kids,” Futurism.com, Sept. 18, 2019
“The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad.”
We are surrounded by sounds, some of which can be louder than an airliner taking off. Yet, we never hear these sounds. It’s called infrasound. It’s real sound that can be recorded if you have the right equipment.
Infrasound waves are below 20 hertz, the lowest frequency we can hear. Because the sound waves are long, they can travel hundreds or even thousands of miles. Volcanic eruptions regularly generate infrasound and so does the wind. But, perhaps most interestingly, those beautiful Northern Lights that often color the night sky also generate infrasound. The sound is produced when the incoming solar particles push the air outward. While we are not able to hear infrasound, it does influence us. Researchers in England placed an infrasound generator in a concert hall and, during the performance, infrasound was added at selected points. After the concert, the audience was asked about their emotions during certain passages of music, or if they had had experienced any strange feelings during the concert. Researchers concluded that infrasound intensified whatever emotional state the music had produced in people. So, if you have ever watched the Northern Lights and thought you were almost hearing something, it was likely the infrasound you were sensing.
The more we learn about the creation God has given us, the more we find to marvel at how excellent is His workmanship.