Creator = Creation

The Bible teaches us that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is on and in them.

By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. ~ Psalm 33:6

For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. ~ Psalm 33:9

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. ~ Psalm 139:13-14

We live in a day and age where all of this is questioned, and not only questioned, but if you believe this you are thought ‘backwards.’  Our culture teaches that evolution is the only way to believe, the only theory that is credible, and that those espousing creation science are not ‘real’ scientists.

Sunset

As a Bible believing Christian, one of my goals in teaching my children is for them to understand that all learning starts with an understanding of God’s Word. The Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that God is our Creator; God as the Creator flows throughout the pages of Scripture.  If we deny this vital aspect of God then we are not adhering to the whole of God’s Word; we are picking and choosing what we want to believe based on societal norms rather than the absolute standard of God’s Word.  There is an absolute truth, everything isn’t relative, and what we believe about God and His Word should affect every aspect of our learning and our teaching.  It is important that we instill in our children an understanding of who God is, in all His majesty and magnificence.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”  John1:1-5

As we see in these verses, God’s light shines forth brightly, but the darkened world does not see it.

Why would we believe the word of man over the Word of God?

Not only has God revealed Himself to us in His Word, but He has also revealed Himself to us in His creation.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful. ~ Romans 1:18-21a (You can also read the Psalms where David praises God over and over for His magnificent works and Job where God questions Job about all He (God) has done.)

Again after these verses, the question looms forth “Why would we believe the word of man over the Word of God?”

This brings us to the question of Creation vs. Evolution.  Where is the truth in this issue?  Creationists are sometimes mocked as not being ‘true’ scientists, so let’s start with the definition of science.  Science is:

  • The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. ~ dictionary.com
  • knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method and concerned with the physical world and its phenomena ~ merriam-webster.com

BeeIn other words science is observing things, processes, etc. and trying through observation and controlled experimentation to understand our world and our universe.  As a scientist observes, he postulates different hypotheses as to why things are as they are.

Philip Stott in his book Vital Questions says:  “Science, as Mendeleyev, Mach and Einstein pointed out, deals with what can be measured, everything else is speculation.  Recorded human history goes back approximately five thousand years.  No scientist can go back in time to take measurement of what happened before that, so when scientists make statements about anything that happened more than five thousand years ago they are dealing inevitably with speculation.”  ~ Philip Stott

When a scientist postulates his hypothesis, he then begins testing in a controlled manner and this testing either finds the hypothesis true or false or finds that more testing is needed.  Once a hypothesis is thought to be proved true, it still doesn’t become a theory until much testing is complete.

“If the data continue to support the hypothesis, it eventually becomes a theory.  If it does not, it must be altered or discarded.”  ~ Wile, Jay L., and Durnell, Marilyn F., Exploring Creation with Biology

With Evolution you have several different hypotheses and theories that you are dealing with. Following are a few examples and some key issues surrounding them.

In the 1800’s, Charles Lyell came up with a theory that basically says the present is the key to the past. 

In this theory, we look at what’s happening today and project these processes back through time to understand our beginnings.  Part of this idea is the theory of gradualism, which is:

 ‘Slow processes gradually going on through immense spans of time are assumed to be the only cause for virtually everything in nature and in the universe.’

With this belief comes the idea of evolution, i.e. given enough time anything is possible.

The truth is gradualism is true, but only in part.

CreationThere are other ways things happen besides the slow change over time method.  Think of Mount Saint Helens.  With the eruption of that volcano, scientists were able to observe geological phenomena that were supposed to take millions of years to occur, happen in seconds.  This view, where geological phenomena occur in seconds, is the catastrophic view of how things came/come about.  We see both of these processes occurring around us today.  Some creationists would attribute most of the geological structure we see today to a catastrophic event, such as a great flood, where a gradualist would attribute most of what we see today to change that has taken place over vast amounts of time.

Next we have Darwin, who in his study of animal life noticed amazing similarity between animals.

As he observed, he came up with what to him was a plausible idea, creatures adapted to their environment by changing their characteristics and over time due to the survival of the fittest theory, the ‘new’ animal would be better suited for the new environment and the old would pass away.  For example, given like species, those in a desert climate would learn to adapt and be able to survive with little water, where those in a rainforest would need more water to survive.  When you compare the two you would see many similarities, but at the same time many differences.

The truth is there is truth in Darwin’s observations and ideas.

Animals do change over time, they do adapt to their environment.  God has created this magnificent ability within them; it’s programmed into their genes.  This process is called micro-evolution and we can observe it and verify that it does indeed happen.  The thing is it happens within a species; a species doesn’t become a whole new species.  Look at all the variety of dogs, cats, horses, frogs, and even people you see in the world today.  (If all mankind came from Adam and Eve, then all the races had to come from them too – amazing huh?)

Where Darwin’s theory goes haywire is with the idea of macro-evolution.

Macro-evolution is the theory that says one species brought forth another.

colorful birdDarwin, in his speculations assumed that if a species could change within that species then, given enough time, species could change into a whole new species.  He believed that as scientists researched this idea, they would find in the fossil record many transitional species, which would show the slow gradual change of one species into another (i.e. back to gradualism – over enough time anything is possible), but to his dismay, in his own studies he could not find the numerous intermediate links he believed would be there.

“Geological research, though it has added numerous species to the existing and extinct genera, and has made the intervals between some few groups less wide than they otherwise would have been, yet has done scarcely anything in breaking the distinction between species, by connecting them together by numerous, fine, intermediate varieties; and this not having been affected, is probably the gravest and most obvious of all the many objections which can be raised against my views.”  (The Origin of Species, 6th ed, 1962, Collier Books, NY, p. 462)  (Wile, Jay L., and Durnell. Marilyn F. Exploring Creation with Biology, 286)

Scientists have continued to search the fossil records for these transitional species, but still haven’t found the proof they seek.  With the lack of evidence, you would think that the ‘theory of evolution’ would be called an unproven hypothesis rather than a theory. Today, scientists have come up with a new theory/hypothesis to explain how evolution can be true given the lack of fossil proof, it’s called punctuated equilibrium.

“… in 1972, evolutionary scientists Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge proposed another explanation, which they called “punctuated equilibrium.” That is, species are generally stable, changing little for millions of years. This leisurely pace is “punctuated” by a rapid burst of change that results in a new species and that leaves few fossils behind.” ~ PBS Evolution Library 

Basically, punctuated equilibrium says that there are no transitional species, but that one species births a totally different species without all the intermediate steps.

Scientist in their desire to prove that creation did not happen, have sought many ways to prove evolution true.  So far they have failed, and yet they hold on to their beliefs and come up with new hypotheses and then test and research.

As Christians, we need to set the precedent in the study of God’s truths and do so with a vigor that rivals the evolutionist in his search to prove there isn’t a creator. 

Scripture teaches us about God but so does His creation. We need to hold fast to God’s Word while learning the truths that are around us.  In Darwin’s day, many denied Darwin’s theories and threw out the good with the bad.  In their defense of the Bible, they were unwilling to look at any scientific evidence that would contradict their view of Creation.  It was widely believed in that day that God created each animal unique. Today we have learned much about genetics and can see how God created the ability to change and adapt within the genes.  Does this mean God did not create?  Of course not, it just means His creation is much more complex than those in Darwin’s day thought it was.

As a Christian, I believe that God’s Word is true and that I cannot pick the parts I like from it and throw out any that I may have a hard time grasping.  When modern science and the Bible seem to conflict, I need to take a harder look at what science is actually teaching.  We must never fear to glean all the truth we can from the scientific community, but we must look at all we glean in light of God’s Word to us and make sure we are getting the truth.  This principle holds true for all aspects of our study, science is just one example.

By Tami Munden 

An excellent site for more information about Creation and Science is Dr. Jay Wile’s blog:  http://blog.drwile.com/ .   He also has a helpful list of websites/blogs for people who want to delve more deeply into the subject.

Lent

Lent is fast approaching. I’ve always liked the idea of seasons in the church, times of reflection to focus on different aspects of God. The idea of Lent is something I’ve always found interesting; I’ve even written a devotional for it. But this year, as I’ve been thinking about Lent, I’m having a hard time with aspects of it.

I love the symbology of the ashes that are used during Ash Wednesday services. Ashes remind us of several things:

Ashes remind us that we are created. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” Gen. 2:7

Ashes remind us of our fallen nature and our need to repent. “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees Thee; Therefore I retract, and I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6

Ashes remind us of what Easter is all about. “For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Heb. 9:13-14

Ashes remind us that Christ, through His death, burial, and resurrection, has set us free from the bondage of sin and has given us “beauty for ashes.”

It’s the other aspect of Lent that I’m having a hard time with – “Traditionally, Lent is a somber time of preparation, a time of self-denial…”

Lent is a time to prepare our hearts for Easter. Easter is about God seeking us out. Easter is a time of great joy, but… it is also a very somber time. The Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal, the trial, the condemnation, the death on the cross, Jesus bearing the wrath of God for our sins, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? Mark 15:34, the burial, the tomb, the darkness, the despair… yes a very somber time.

Maybe that’s why we feel the need to be somber in preparation for Easter – maybe that’s why we feel we need to give up something for Lent? Maybe…

Maybe we want to feel good about ourselves, feel like we’ve done something to earn the forgiveness, the love, we’ve received? Maybe…

Maybe we’ve forgotten, maybe we don’t remember – maybe we think it’s up to us? Maybe…

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.  But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.  And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. ~ Romans 5:6-11 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. ~ 1Peter 1:3

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

“The good news is that Christ frees us from the need to obnoxiously focus on our goodness, our commitment, and our correctness. Religion has made us obsessive almost beyond endurance. Jesus invited us to a dance…and we’ve turned it into a march of soldiers, always checking to see if we’re doing it right and are in step and in line with the other soldiers. We know a dance would be more fun, but we believe we must go through hell to get to heaven, so we keep marching.” ~ Steve Brown

by Tami Munden 

Light and Darkness

Have you noticed how not all light is equal.  With Incandescent Bulbs being replaced by CFLs and LEDs, many people are wondering – which is best?  http://www.cnet.com/news/light-bulb-buying-guide/

I have 2 computer monitors I use for doing website work, they sit side by side on my desk – it’s amazing the color difference; size, pixels, dots, all spread across the surface, mixing to give me an image, a color – but not all are equal.

What is true light?  When I look at the 2 images, which one is more accurate? What will you see on your screen? How can I represent a color to you, or explain it to you, when I don’t even know if you are seeing it the same as I am?

Light – a very strange thing… particles and waves at the same time.  Colors – represented by the wave lengths of the light we can see, but then there is all the light we can’t see – the spectrum of visible light is very narrow.  And yet, have you noticed how when you are in a dark room, your eyes become ‘adjusted’ to the light and what was once darkness now appears light.  It’s not until things get very dark, darkness like you find in a cave, darkness where light doesn’t penetrate that we see clearly that this is dark, black.  When the tiniest bit of light infiltrates, our eyes can adjust.

When the tiniest bit of light filters through, it illuminates, clarifies, and we begin to see. On the other hand, when darkness encroaches, slowly, ever so slowly – we begin to see it as light and our senses are shattered.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! ~ Isaiah 5:20 ESV

Our senses are shattered…  We see it, we see it in the media, we see it in the ever darker chaos around us, we see it in child abuse, we see it in cruelty, we see it and we are confused.

We laugh and applaud people like Bill Cosby when they mock their alleged crimes: http://www.ibtimes.com/bill-cosby-made-rape-joke-london-show-crowd-cheered-report-1778336.

We laugh as Bill Maher says he’d rather have been sexually abused as a child… “And while we won’t print exactly what he said about Michael Jackson and how it relates to the time Maher was beat up by bullies on the playground in 1968, we can suggest you jump to the eight-minute mark on the video above and watch Maher send Kimmel into uncontrolled giggles.” http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-bill-maher-tackles-paris-attacks-bill-cosby-on-jimmy-kimmel-live-20150108-story.html

We are confused, our senses are shattered.  Addiction to pornography is rampant; human trafficking is flourishing. (NC Ranks 8th in human trafficking in the nation and Charlotte Ranks 6th nationally for sex exploitation of minors.)

Darkness is encroaching – What do we do?  What do we do…  We run to the light, but… not all light is the same.

flowers with blaring light

Sometimes we think light has to be blaring, exposing all, but in Isaiah 58 we read that when we see the naked, we should cover him and we are to not to hide from our own flesh.  What does this mean?  I think it means that we remember that we all have weaknesses, that we remember our own need for a Savior.  We reach out with love and compassion, protecting, bringing hope and restoration, not condemnation.  We bring the healing light of love, the love of a Father who gives His son so we may live, the love of the Son, Jesus, willing to die, willing to bear our punishment, so we may be restored. We bring love as Jesus says, “to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.”  Acts 26:18

And we remember that this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. ~ 1 John 4:10 ESV

And that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.  ~ 1 John 1:5 ESV

Tami Munden – February 2015

Helpful Links:

Key Life, Steve Brown’s February Blog:  Where Do You Draw the Line with Grace?

End Slavery In Charlotte:  http://endslaveryincharlotte.com/

Liberate:  http://liberate.org/

G.R.A.C.E.:  http://netgrace.org/