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Saturday, November 28, 2015

What Is The New Age Movement?




What Is The New Age Movement?

 

The New Age movement often picks parts of many different religious beliefs and ideas and then mixes them all together.  New Agers think nothing of combining Hindu and Christian teachings, along with Buddhism, Zen, Moslem, Wicca, the occult, spirit guides and maybe some ancient Greek philosophies thrown in.  Stir and blend all ingredients together and simmer for 20 minutes till the mixture thickens.  Season with some sin if needed. (Sin is just ignorance, so no problem.)  New Agers believe that this materialistic era is coming to an end and humanity is progressing into a time of spirituality and peace.

 

 We who live in the Western world are living in rapidly changing times.  We are changing the way we think and the way we look at the world.  In the past, reason was thought of as a gift from God to help us understand the world.  But for the Christian in the past, reason was always subordinated to the truth of Christianity. The ancient Christian held on to the Christian mystery, and to the supernatural. Christian doctrine came first!

 

 If the Christian believer could not completely explain a doctrine by using reason, the Christian in the past still believed the doctrine anyway.  That is because they had faith that God was bigger than their power of reasoning.  They didn’t have to completely understand everything about how and why God did something to still believe in Him. The Christians from antiquity bowed before the Christian mystery. A mystery that transcends all reason.    

 

The 20thand 21th century have seen such enormous progress in technology, medicine and science, because thinkers and educators have asked questions and have studied and reasoned and made many discoveries that have changed the way we live.  Because of this progress we modern Christians now often put our faith in our intelligence and in our ability to reason. We often trust the power of human reasoning and the knowledge it brings more than we trust our Christian faith.  Our intelligence now comes first for many.

 

If we cannot understand a Christian truth as taught in Scripture, we refuse to believe it happened or call it a myth or explain it away.  We believe that people who lived long ago were backward and unscientific and believed that God gave them miracles, but now we moderns have progressed and know so much more.  We think we are too smart to believe in a God that we can not completely understand. We have put our reasoning ability and our intelligence up in first place, and put God down in second place. When we do this there is no mystery and no supernatural.   And we have lost so much.

 

And all of this has opened the door for the New Age movement to enter.  The New Age movement entered and rejected putting reason and intelligence first. And the New Age movement spoke out against the emptiness and shortcomings of a society that put rationalism and materialism before God. This all seemed good. Then the New Agers took reason down out of first place and put God back up in first place. And that sounded good too. Many Christians were impressed and followed the New Age spirituality hoping to find more of God.  But alas, the New Ager’s god is not the God of the Bible. Not the same God we have come to love and call “Father”. And the New Ager’s Jesus is not the Jesus that died for us and brought us salvation!  Or the Jesus we have learned to know and love.  Another god and another Jesus!  Scary!  Shouldn’t we run away?

 

If the New Ager’s god is not the Christian God, then who is he?  First of all, the New Age movement is so disparate that it is hard to summarize its beliefs.  But generally they believe in three basic things.  They believe that “All is God.”  “All is one.”   And “All is well.”  The first, “All is God” is known as pantheism.  There is no God outside his creation.  God is in everything.  He is not a personal God but more of an impersonal energy or a creative force.  A god-like force that runs through all creation, - trees, animals, rocks and people.  The earth and stars and crystals are divine, and have power and influence.   

 

Shirley Maclaine, a prominent New Age advocate, said: “Everyone is God.  Everyone.”  “The way to find God is to look within.”  Swami Muktanada, a New Ager said, “Kneel to your own self.  Honor and worship your own being.  God dwells within you as you.” One of the New Age forms of enlightenment is to look within for the inner light.  To look for the god within.  If you were to worship the god within you, doesn’t that mean that you are worshipping yourself?  Mankind has fallen once again for the primeval temptation “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5)  That was Satan’s first lie to Eve in the Garden of Eden when he was tempting and tricking her to disobey God.

 

The New Age movement is self-centered.  Their long term goal is the development of the self.  The worship of self is the topic of New Age books and courses.  They publish many books on self-realization, self-fulfillment, self-worth, etc.  The highest goal for a New Ager is to find one’s own self.  To find one’s own self is to find God, they say. These beliefs are the opposite of the New Testament beliefs where the way of fulfilment is loving and serving a personal God and serving others.  Christianity is about self-denial, not about self-worship!    

 

The New Age Movement believes that “All is one”.  They try to reconcile opposites and bring all religions together.  In so doing, the New Age movement rejects much of Christianity.  The movement rejects moral absolutes, and they give “sin” a new definition. They believe that sin is just ignorance.  Good and bad are considered two sides of one coin by the New Ager.  Some even blasphemously consider God and Satan to be two sides of one person.  You see how apostate and corrupt their ideas can become. 

 

 

 

Since the New Ager says that our problem is not sin but ignorance, there can be no judgment.  Contrast this to the Christian view that “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment.”  (Hebrews 9:27)  The New Ager enjoys the attraction of spirituality without the cost of repentance from sin. The New Ager believes that everyone is making progress onwards and upwards. Reincarnation is spoken of everywhere in New Age groups since we need more than one lifetime to get it right!  Here is where the belief that “All is well” comes in. “We are all making evolutionary progress towards Utopia.”  They assure us.  Everything is wonderful.  Again, they have fallen for Satan’s lie to Eve in the Garden of Eden when he told her: “You will not surely die.”  (Genesis 3:4)

 

And the new Age Jesus is not our Jesus.  Their Jesus is seen as one of the ascended masters, along with Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed and others.  Their Jesus is not the “Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6) He is not our Savior, of the Son of God, but just a wise prophet.  Not the Jesus of the Bible. 

 

  Our Christian faith teaches that our salvation is not something we could ever earn but it is a free gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8-9) (John 3:16)  The only salvation the New Age movement believes in is self-salvation and the only forgiveness is self-forgiveness.  In a popular New Age teaching workbook, “A Course in Miracles,” lesson 70 teaches about salvation.  The lesson is titled “My Salvation Comes from me” and the reader is urged to repeat, “My salvation comes from me.  It cannot come from anywhere else.”  On the contrary, the Bible teaches that Jesus is the only way of salvation.  (Acts 4:12)   

 

We as Christians need to soak ourselves in the Truth and stay away from these false teachings. We are to study the Scriptures and follow Christ and build ourselves up in our faith.  Scripture warns us: “See to it that on one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy.” (Colossians 2:8)  And also we need to bring the good news of Jesus to those who are involved in the New Age movement.  Many of them are searching for the truth. We can obey Christ’s call to preach the gospel (good news) to them and pray for them and love them into the kingdom.

 

Most of the information from this blog was taken from Nicky Gumbel’s booklet”Searching Issues”      

 

 

     

 

     

 


Friday, November 20, 2015

Our Faith in On Trial - Responding to Terrorism

                                                         Bishop Mike Lowry

Our Faith is on Trial

Responding to Terrorism

 

Last Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris have made many of us angry, fearful, and feeling vulnerable. We want to protect ourselves and our families from these influences.  But then the countries in Europe as well as the United States are being asked to take in hundreds of thousands of desperate homeless refugee families from the very countries that the terrorists came from.  How are we as Christians supposed to respond?

 

Instead of writing my usual blog this week, I want to pass on to you a response to this question written by our Methodist bishop, Bishop Mike Lawry.  Bishop Lawry is head of the Central Texas Conference of United Methodist Churches and he sends this out to all of his flock.  The Bishop writes:

 

I realize that terrorism puts my faith on trial.  I believe our Lord’s admonition to love our neighbor.  I am committed in principle to the Savior’s call to holiness in rejecting hate.  The words of Jesus echo in the throne room of my mind.  “You have heard that it was said, you must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven.”  (Matthew 5:43-45)

 

I am conscious that it is easy to be Christian in times of peace and plenty and in settings of safety and joy.  I am also quite aware that the test of the Christian faith comes on the streets of Paris, in rhetorical punditry of television and the cancer ward of the local hospital. 

 

Our faith is put on trial in:

 

1)     The temptation to reject the Lord’s leading and be driven instead by a desire for revenge.  Prayerful reflection and careful thinking are at a premium if our response is to be faithful to the gospel and Lordship of Christ.  Those who enact such evil must be brought to justice.  There is nothing Christian or holy in allowing terror to reign unchecked.  Let us be clear – terror and terrorism is an outgrowth of Satan’s rage.  And yet, we must also be carefully clear and faithfully obedient in our response.  Matching evil with evil is not the way of Christ.  We seek justice not vengeance.  (Romans 12:19)

 

2)     The engulfing emotions of fear and fear driven disregard for others who are in dire need.  Our model, guide and ruler is the One who was crucified for others, notably for those who were (and are) guilty of sin.  Instead of living under a reign of fear, Jesus reached out stretching His arms wide in an embrace of love.  Let us be sympathetic to each other as we wrestle with fear’s grip.  Fear is a natural and in some ways healthy response to the horrors of unchecked terror.  It alerts us to the need to take protective steps and seek justice for all.  The Christian difference is not that fear is not present.  It is rather that fear does not reign.  It does not rule!  Christ alone is Lord!  However powerful our emotions, they too are subject to Him.  “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.”  (1John 4:18)

 

3)     Our vulnerability mixed with fear and anger which seduces us to react by blaming the stranger, the foreigner, the refugee.   Terrorism is a tool of evil which, if left unchecked by Christian values and by the rule of Christ, can lead us to the unfaithful response of prejudice.  It is worth carefully noting that the earliest Christians consistently refused to simply take care of only other Christians.  They consciously and in allegiance to Christ reached out to any in need.  There were no litmus tests for who should receive love and care.  Teachings from Jesus like the Parable of the Good Samaritan drove their actions.  (see Luke 10:35)  Instructions like James 1:27 were a basic part of the fabric of their response, “True devotion, the kind that is pure and faultless before God the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their difficulties and to keep the world from contaminating us.”  Let there be no mistake.  To only take care of Christians or just be concerned about people in our own country is not worthy of the gospel.  It is not faithful to the clear teaching of Christ.  (Check out Jude 1:12 and its explicit rejection of those who care only for themselves.) 

 

As your bishop, I call on us to be a people of faith.  May we reflect the example of Christ and be known the world over for a love which conquers fear.  Jesus our Savior first lived among us as a refugee.  He calls us now to reach out to those refugees fleeing the unspeakable evils of terror and war’s destruction.  May we be instruments of peace offering a place of hope, help and home to those most in need.  May religious prejudice and national jingoism be unknown among us.

 

Do you recall the Apostle’s closing advice in 1 Peter?  First Peter is written as a baptismal address to new Christians for a church undergoing dire persecution.  Terror is an everyday part of their lives.  In such context the Apostle closes his letter with advice fit again for today.  “Therefore, humble yourselves under God’s power so that He may raise you up in the last day.  Throw all your anxiety onto Him, because He care for you.  Be clearheaded.  Keep alert.  Your accuser, the devil, is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith.  Do so in the knowledge that your fellow believers are enduring the same suffering throughout the world.  After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, the One who called you into His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself restore, empower, strengthen, and establish you.  To Him be power forever and always.  Amen.”  (1 Peter 5:6-11)

 

 

 


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Are Science and Christianity Friends?



Are Science and Christianity Friends?

 

Many people think that the Christian faith and science are in conflict with one another. But for most of history the Christian Church has been a friend to scientific study and has encouraged it. It was the Christian worldview that provided the right environment for modern science to emerge.  Belief in one God led people to look for the laws of nature to remain the same in time and space.  If the universe was thought to be irregular and unpredictable it could not be systematically studied.

Few of our early scientific discoveries came out of countries with religious systems that espoused beliefs in many unpredictable gods, some good, some bad, some warring and some helping.  And even some gods who demanded human sacrifices. The people who shared these religious beliefs did not live in an environment that encouraged them to get involved in scientific study.

But the Christian belief in a rational God who created the world in an orderly fashion led scientists to look for a world that was both ordered and rational.  And when they looked for an ordered universe, they found it. The Christian faith was an encouragement to many scientists during the Renaissance period to investigate their natural world.  Since the Christian faith teaches that God is a God of law, scientists were inspired to look for laws in nature.  And they found them also.

Our faith and what we believe about God is all important.  Scripture says: “The fear (reverence) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  (Psalm 111:10)  Christian faith teaches that we have a good and loving and just God who is all powerful and who is separate from nature.  We order our lives differently when we believe in the Christian God of grace and sacrificial love. If we lived in a country with a religion that tells us that all forms of matter (animals, plants, trees, etc.) are really gods, then we would not want to perform scientific experiment with these, since we would be experimenting on a god and we might be cursed.

Some religions teach that matter in nature (birds, germs, insects, the weather) is evil.  Members of these religions would be discouraged from performing scientific experiments with natural matter if they believed that it was evil.  The Christian belief that everything that God created is good (Genesis 1-2) is a doctrine that encourage scientific experimentation.  

The fact that Christian doctrine provides fertile soil for scientific experimentation is recognized by historians, philosophers and scientists.  Science is the child of Christian thought.  Many devout Christians have been inspired to get involved in scientific study because of their underlying faith.  

One of these early Christians was Nicolaus Copernicus, who lived in the 15th century, and who laid the foundations of modern astronomy.  He was Canon of Frauenburg Cathedral in Poland.  Another early scientist, Johannes Kepler, who lived in the 16th century was known for his discovery of the three principles of planetary motion.  As a devout Lutheran, he said that he was “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”  Sir Isaac Newton who lived in the 17th century discovered the laws of gravity. He also was the first to find a correct analysis of white light.  He believed that Scripture was God’s Word and he wrote theological books as well as scientific books. 

Michael Faraday of the 19th century was the first to produce an electric current from a magnetic field and he invented the first electric motor and dynamo.  He stated that his Christian faith had influenced him to get involved in scientific study.  James Simpson, who discovered anesthetics and paved the way for painless surgery was once asked, “What is the most important discovery of your life?”  And he answered, “The most important discovery I ever made was when I discovered Jesus Christ.”   Thousands of Christians have devoted their lives to scientific study over hundreds of years.  Louis Pasteur who discovered pasteurization, and Joseph Lister who pioneered antiseptic surgery are two who come to mind.   

Some people believe that science proves the Christian faith to be wrong because our Scriptures (the Bible) teach about miracles. Scripture tells us that Jesus performed miracles, raised the dead and healed the sick. But some people say that science proves that miracles cannot happen.  Actually science describes or tells us how God usually acts in nature but science does not prove that exceptions to the laws of nature (miracles) can never happen!  

Scientific studies look for rules in nature (how nature usually acts). But people studying science  do not always make room for the exceptions to the rules of nature (the supernatural). Some folks think that the laws of nature are set in stone and cannot be tweaked or changed!  But God created the laws of nature and rules over them, not the other way around!  And God can do whatever He wants!

Some folks believe that science has proved that the laws of nature are rigid and cannot ever be broken.  They believe in a mechanical uniformity of nature.  They can’t seem to believe that God can create exceptions to His rules!  If the laws of nature are completely uniform and they can never be broken, then the supernatural would be ruled out. 

Since it is not natural for a virgin to have a baby or for someone to rise from the dead, some people do not believe that Mary was a virgin when she gave birth to the baby Jesus.  Or that Jesus rose from the dead after He was crucified. That God could work these miracles seems too much for some to believe. They can’t seem to believe in anything that doesn’t usually happen, or anything that they have not seen with their own eyes! 

 

If there is no God then miracles are a problem.  But if there is a God and if He created matter, reason, time, space, and all the scientific laws, then He is at liberty to interfere or move His own rules around if He wants to.  What seems impossible for us is always possible for God!  He is all-powerful and all loving and He can do anything!  Perhaps if we can’t believe in miracles, our picture of God is too small. 

Scripture states that the angel told Mary that she would become pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit and that her child would be the Son of God.  We all know that it is not natural for a virgin to have a baby.  We know that for a baby to be conceived and a woman to become pregnant, we need the union of the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm.

  But Mary’s baby – the baby Jesus – is different.  Different from every other baby that has ever been born!  Jesus is God!  His name “Emanuel” means “God with us” according to the Bible.  (Matthew 1:23 and Isaiah 7:14) And Jesus the Son of God was born sinless so He was a special Person and He had a special birth.

 Of course God could make an exception to the usual rule of nature this one time and intervene and impregnate Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit if He wanted to. God is powerful enough to manage that. If we can believe in a God that is big enough to manage these things then we can believe in miracles. It is as simple as that! Let’s believe in a bigger God. That is the key I think. Scripture says that the Virgin Mary conceived the baby Jesus when the Holy Spirit came over her. Is that so hard to believe? 

 

When we believe that God is big enough then it isn’t hard to believe in the miracle of the virgin birth or in any other miracle for that matter. Our Christian faith rests on the fact that Jesus, our Savior, rose from the dead.  Scripture says:  “Because He lives, we shall live also.” (John 14:19)   The fact that men and women do not come back to life after they have been dead for three days and nights does not mean that Jesus Christ the Son of God did not rise from the dead after three days and nights.  Jesus Christ is God and He has conquered death.  He conquered it for us!  We don’t worship a dead Savior but a living Savior.  God is God and He is all powerful.  Nothing is impossible with Him.  Our God is a God of miracles! 

 

Some of the ideas in this blog were taken from Nicky Gumbels’ booklet, “Searching Issues”.

 


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Psalm 15 - More Thoughts



 Psalm 15

More thoughts

 

 

We blogged about Psalm15 a year or so ago.  But this Psalm deserves more thoughts. Psalm 15 is short and simple and yet profound.    In verse 1 David asks a question to God.  And in verses 2-5 God gives David the answers. 

 

David’s question is this: “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?  And who may dwell on your holy hill?  (Psalm 15:1)  In other words, David was asking what a person needed to do to be able to come close to God?  David lived a thousand years before Christ at a time when the priests had placed the Arc of the Covenant in the tabernacle on the “holy hill”.  The presence of God rested over the Arc of the Covenant so this was a very holy place. So when David asks God who can go in the tabernacle and walk on the holy hill, he was really asking who could stand before God. 

 

Only the high priest could come before God’s presence each year and he could only come if he was bringing a sacrifice.  When David asked God what a person needed to do to come before His holy Presence, he already knew that no sinful person could come before a holy God without sacrificing a domestic animal and sprinkling its blood.

 

 All of the Jewish people knew that their sin separated them from God and that the priest had to give a “sin offering” or “trespass offering” whenever they came to worship.  A domestic animal had to be sacrificed and the animal had to be healthy and “unblemished”.  The unblemished animals that were sacrificed were a picture or a fore shadow of what Jesus Christ who is unblemished by sin, would do when He would come later and be our sacrifice for sin. 

 

David lived during the Age of Law.  But Christ would usher in the Age of Grace.  Scripture says that animals cannot take away human sin.  (Hebrews 10:4)  But what these animals could not do, Christ would do.  (Ephesians 5:2, 1 Peter 1:2, 1 Cor. 5:17)  Scripture says: “For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed for us.  Therefore let us keep the feast…”  (1 Corinthians 5:7)  And: “We have been made holy, through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once and for all.”  (Hebrews 10:10)  We can only come to God through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Verse 2 of this little Psalm is part of God’s answer to David’s question.  The question is: Who will be close to God?  What must they do? Let’s read Gods answer.  “He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.”  (Psalm 15:2)   None of us walk uprightly or work righteousness all of the time.  I am afraid that none of us can ever be good enough in our own strength to meet God’s holy standards.  Scripture says: “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”   (Romans 3:23)  “There is none who is righteous, no not one..”  (Romans 3:10 and Psalm 11)  We all need “the Lamb of God (Christ) who takes away the sin of the world.”  (John 1:29)

 

God continues to answer David in verse 3.  Let’s listen:  “He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor…”  (Psalm 15:3)  God’s message to David is clear.  The way we treat others means everything to God.  It matters to God whether we are loyal to our families and our community or not.  The Bible says that we cannot love God and hate our brother.  “If anyone says: ‘I love God’, yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”  (1 John 4:20-21)

 

You may ask, ‘But what if my brother has done something that is very wrong?’  Bible scripture in Matthew 18:15 gives guidance as to how to settle disagreements and judge an offender and restore fellowship.  Is God calling us to be faithful friends and steadfast family members even when big problems arise?  Our faithful love for one another and our unity a Christians and as family is all important to the Lord.  Is He calling us to value and protect the ties that bind us?

 

Also God says that a person who draws near to Him is a person “who does not take up a reproach against a friend.” verse.3 We can be faithful and considerate of our friends even when we don’t agree with them.  Instead of slandering a friend or brother (the reproach) we can pray for him/her and encourage him/her.  Build her up instead of tearing her down.  Scripture says: “A friend loves at all times and a brother is born to help out during trouble.”  (Proverbs 17:17)

 

God’s answer continues in verse 4.  Here God says that a person who draws near to Him is a person “in whose eyes a vile person is condemned; but he honors them that fear the Lord.”  (Ps.15:4a)  This verse seems to say that God doesn’t want us to say that a person who is sinning and disobeying God is “good.”  We are to honor those who fear the Lord.  But we are not to honor the persons who rebel against Gods will and do their own thing.   

 

  Folks who want to draw near to God may not always be popular.  They may have to go against the culture when they disapprove of a sin that their society has called “right” but the Bible has called “wrong.”  John the Baptist lost his head because he spoke out against adultery.  Hopefully we won’t have to lose our heads, but we should not honor a rebellious person and not go along with the crowd when it comes to calling “sin” a “good” thing.   

 

 My husband and I went to an “Evangelism” retreat last weekend.  The leaders at the retreat spoke of Christ’s great commission calling us all to go into the world and spread the good news of God’s love and make disciples.  There was an emphasis on bringing people to church and letting them know that God loves them.  And all of that is good.  But I don’t remember anyone ever mentioning repentance during the whole conference!  Don’t we need the whole gospel and not just part of it?

 

It’s easy to tell people about God’s great love for us. And that Jesus died for us.  But the gospel message also includes our part – repentance – being sorry for our sins.  We are called to confess our sins and turn from them.  I know of several successful pastors today who preach in mega churches about God’s love but these pastors never call their people to turn from sin!  

 

 A friend of ours says that he has been in the same church for fifteen years and only once the word “sin” was briefly mentioned.  He doesn’t even believe that a Christian needs to be sorry for his sins because his church has not taught him that part of God’s Word.  Jesus said: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”  (John 14:15)  God is a God of love but He is also a God of justice. 

 

God continues to tell David how He wants his children to live their lives.  He wants us all to keep our promises even when it hurts.  God wants us not to make an unfair financial profit off of the backs of the poor, or take advantage of them or use them. 

 

This little Psalm tells us that God expects big things from us!  He wants us to live out our lives caring and loving our neighbors and families.  He gives us his Holy Spirit to help us do these things.  And the Psalm ends with these word: And “those who do these things shall never be moved.”  (Psalm 15:5)    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Creation or Evolution?




Creation or Evolution?

 

 

Scripture instructs us to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us about why we believe our Christian faith.  “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have….”  (1 Peter 3:15) 

 

And you can count on someone asking you if as a Christian you believe that God created human beings like it says in the Bible. And when they ask, if your answer is “yes”, then they will remind you that only uneducated folk believe in creation.  And they will scoff at you and tell you that there is scientific proof that we humans are on this planet because of evolution.   Sophisticated person don’t believe ancient myths and Bible stories that were written long ago, they will say.  

 

 Modern persons know that the theory of evolution is what they must believe if they want to be considered intelligent. They are to say that they believe that after the “big bang” produced our world, then we humans gradually over billions of years began evolving, starting out as amoebas and moving up the chain to becoming fish and then crawling out of the sea and evolving into apes before finally progressively evolving into becoming the human beings that we are today!  They even have pictures of fish walking out of the sea and furry monkeys bent over walking on all fours and over the billions of years gradually losing more and more of their fur and straightening up and finally walking on two legs and turning into people!  

 

Mass media wrongly portrays the theory of evolution as scientific fact!  But scientists have never found the “missing link” – a link between the species of apes and the human species.  They never found a fossil that is part ape and part human even though they keep searching! They need to find some piece of evidence in order to prove that we humans evolved from apes.  But without any proof they insist that evolution is true anyway. 

 

 Even though the theory of evolution has not been proven scientifically, the lie that it has continues to echo down from one generation to the next.  And this misconception continues on as we Christians are told that the theory of evolution makes it impossible for us to believe the account of creation in the Bible.  If we stop believing that God created us then we can be off the hook from having to obey His laws! 

 

People often criticize the Biblical story of creation because it seems to say that God created the world in seven days.  Sincere Christians hold many different interpretations of the creation story in Genesis.  Some believe in a literal seven-day creation.  But many Christians interpret Genesis 1 differently.  The Hebrew word for “day” in the Biblical creation story has many different meanings.  The word “day” can mean a thousand years and it can also mean “a very long period of time.”  So the creation of the world could have taken billions of years and not be in conflict with the story in Genesis 1.

 

Also billions of years could have passed between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.  Genesis 1:1 says: ”In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”   And Genesis 1:2 “Now the earth was formless and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” 

 

The Bible is not primarily a scientific book, but a theological one.  It offers personal and spiritual explanations. Several of the main points of the creation story in Genesis 1 is to answer the questions of “Who?”  and “Why?”.  Who? (Who are we humans?)  (Who is God?)  The creation story in Genesis tells us that Adam and Eve were created on purpose by God their Father and that humans were created in Gods’ image.  God is holy and good and all loving and everything He made was good. We humans were created as God’s children.  Human life is sacred. We belong to God and are loved by Him.

 

 And “Why?” (Why were humans created?)  Adam and Eve (humans) were created to be loved by God and to love Him back.  To share God’s work. We were created to fellowship with God and trust Him. And we humans were given dominion over the earth to take care of it. Adam and Eve were told to have children and enjoy living and obey God by not eating the one forbidden fruit.  We are given free will and we can choose to obey God or to disobey Him.

 

Unlike the story of creation in the Bible, the theory of the evolution of the human race does not answer any of these questions.  The evolution theory never answers the “Who?” or the “Why?” We are left to wonder if we humans are just accidents or if a god somewhere somehow intelligently planned that we human animals would evolve over billions of years from fish or amoebas and chimpanzees?  Our forefathers were apes and monkeys. The theory of evolution does not answer the question: Why do humans exist?  Are we worth anything? Guess we are on our own to figure that out.  The theory of evolution cannot speak to our deepest needs. 

 

There are two types of evolution – micro evolution and macro evolution.  It is necessary to distinguish between micro-(evolution or changes in a species) and macro-evolution (changes or evolution across the species).  The theory of the evolution of humans would entail Macroevolution, or evolution across the species.  

 

 Microevolution means that evolutionary changes and development take place within a species.  For example, the horse has increased greatly in size and developed in other ways over time.  This form of evolution has been observed and there is ample evidence for it.  When we are told that evolution has been scientifically proven, we are only talking about microevolution or changes occurring within a species.

 

  

 

Macroevolution means evolution that jumps over the species barrier from one species to another – the example being apes changing into humans.  No scientific evidence has been found of one species evolving into another species.  Just because evolution can occur within a species does not mean that one species can evolve or change into another species.  Cats don’t evolve into dogs and birds don’t evolve into lizards. The theory of evolution (macroevolution) (one species evolving into another) is still taught in schools as the theory of evolution.  It is taught as if it is the assured results of modern science.  To teach an unproven theory as a scientific fact is not only to lie but I believe it is bad science.

 

We believe that since everything has a cause, there must be a first cause.  There is a story of an agnostic man speaking to a small crowd in the streets of Hyde Park and attacking the belief that God created the world and we humans in it.  He was arguing that nothing caused the world to exist. That the world just happened during the big bang all on its own.  As he was speaking, a soft tomato was thrown at him.  “Who threw that tomato?” the speaker demanded angrily.  A young man from the back of the crowd laughingly replied, “No one threw it – it just threw itself.”  This argument is not a proof, but it is a pointer.  It is easier to believe that God created something out of nothing than it is to believe that nothing created something out of nothing!   

 

Psalm 100 speaks beautifully to the fact that God is our Creator.  “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness.  Come before His Presence with joyful song.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.  We are His people, and the sheep of his pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him and praise His name.  For the Lord is good.  His love endures forever, and His faithfulness continues through all generations.”  (Psalm 100)

 

Some of the ideas in this blog were taken from Nicky Gumbel’s booklet “Searching Issues”