Christianity Doesn’t Require Blind Trust

Discernment and judgment must come first.

Ask parents how they determine whom to trust with their children, and they’ll probably struggle to put it into words. Some go by a gut feeling. Some instinctively assume others—especially other Christians—are trustworthy until they somehow demonstrate that they are not.

But many of us have learned firsthand how our intuitions can be way off. In my life, people I didn’t think twice about proved to be morally questionable, even dangerous. According to Henry Cloud and John Townsend, the popular Christian therapists and authors of Safe People, our inability to judge character leads us to welcome “destructive people” in our lives.

I recognize this can be an unsettling possibility for us to discuss, especially as parents, but it’s important we consider that even people who appear safe and friendly can threaten our families. Take the latest example in the headlines: smiley Subway pitchman Jared Fogle, who has been charged with (and agreed to plead guilty to) having sex with minors and possessing child pornography. In recently released recordings, Fogle describes approach to luring children into sexual relationships with him.

Anna Salter, a clinical psychologist and an expert in treating sex offenders, explains that most people find it easier to believe that someone experienced an “aberration” of character, as opposed having planned and plotted to victimize children. But more often than not, the reality is the opposite: Like Fogle, most sexual predators set up and plan out scenarios of abuse. More than 750,000 registered sex offenders live in the United States, and that doesn’t account for those whose crimes have not been discovered.

Among these offenders are people …

Continue reading

The Biblical Minimum and Maximum Age of the Earth

Bible and the Age of the Earth

iStockphoto

The biblical minimum and maximum age of the earth
by Chris Hardy and Robert Carter

Careful consultation with the biblical record reveals a series of timespans linking creation to the Crucifixion. As a thought experiment, we combined these timespans to estimate the minimum and maximum allowable date of creation. Our goal was not to contradict the existing body of literature on the subject, but to put constraints on what is and is not biblically allowable. Implied precision and potential cultural differences (e.g. calendar systems, birthday conventions, and rounding conventions) mean we cannot pinpoint the age of the earth to a single year, yet the accumulated imprecision from those sources is limited to a maximum range of 308 years. Even including textual variants and debates over interpretation does not allow for dates approaching 10,000, let alone billions of years of Earth history. Accounting for all presently known relevant details and assuming the Babylonian Captivity began in 587 or 586 BC, we can say with confidence that the Bible places limits on the year of creation between 5665 and 3822 BC. The uncertainty within this range is mainly driven by textual considerations. The Masoretic/LXX debate creates a 1,326-year dichotomy, the Long vs Short Sojourn positions differ by 215 years, and various interpretations of the lists of the kings of Judah and Israel equates to around 54 years of additional uncertainty. Christians should avoid dogmatic claims of dating precision greater than intended by the Bible that could be refuted with new evidence, causing some to mistakenly believe the Bible itself has been refuted. Yet the combined tally of all the available data gives us fairly tight constraints on the age of the earth.

Using the Bible to estimate the date of creation has a long and rich history. The early Church Fathers put numbers on it, as did scientific greats like Sir Isaac Newton (about 4000 BC) and Johannes Kepler (3992 BC). The great academic and Archbishop James Ussher’s date of ‘Oct 23, 4004ct 23, 4004
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

Izbrano poglavje ne obstaja!

WP-Bible plugin
BC’ is perhaps the most famous estimated date in history, although he has been much maligned by scoffers in recent years.

Most scholars veered away from biblical fidelity in the 19th and 20th centuries and very few seemed interested in mining the Bible for chronological details. In more recent years, however, the pages of this journal have been filled with many contributions on the subject….

Continue Reading

Knowing God, and the The Fear of the Lord

“‘“The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom”’” (Job 28:28Job 28:28
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.  

WP-Bible plugin
).

Being wise begins with knowing God.

The fear of the Lord is the most basic idea related to wisdom and is the key to understanding it. The Book of Proverbs especially teaches us that the fear of the Lord is inextricably linked to wisdom: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:7Prov. 1:7
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. the beginning: or, the principal part  

WP-Bible plugin
). Knowledge, wisdom, instruction, and understanding are often used as synonyms in Proverbs.

The link between fear of the Lord and wisdom is also evident in Proverbs 9:10Proverbs 9:10
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.  

WP-Bible plugin
: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Since wisdom and understanding are parallel, so are the fear of the Lord and knowledge of the Holy One. To know God and to fear God are one and the same.

What does it mean to fear God? It’s a reverential trust, or simply another way of describing saving faith. We begin to be wise when we revere God and trust in Him. When an Old Testament saint wanted to evangelize, he might have said, “Fear God!”

When you read in the Bible of people fearing God or that fearing God is linked to wisdom, that means a person can’t even begin to be wise until he is first converted. Fearing God is the initiation of a life of faith. As long as a person has only human wisdom, he can’t know God or true wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is your entrance to wisdom. It will prolong your life, fulfill your life, enrich your life—it is your life (cf. Prov. 10:27Prov. 10:27
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

27 The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened. prolongeth: Heb. addeth  

WP-Bible plugin
; 14:27). It will open the continual flow of God’s wisdom to you. The significance of everything is tied to the wisdom of God, which alone will give you proper values, guidance, instruction, and perspective in life. Apply His wisdom to your life daily, and enjoy all the benefits that wisdom has to offer.

Suggestions for Prayer

Praise God for His wisdom by which you are so abundantly blessed.

For Further Study

God’s wisdom enriches our life and gives us proper values and instruction. Read Proverbs 10:1-12Proverbs 10:1-12
English: King James Version (1611) - KJV

10 1 The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. 2 Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death. 3 The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked. the substance...: or, the wicked for their wickedness 4 He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. 5 He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame. 6 Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. 7 The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot. 8 The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall. a prating...: Heb. a fool of lips fall: Heb. be beaten 9 He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known. 10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall. fall: Heb. be beaten 11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked. 12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.  

WP-Bible plugin
, and notice how that is so.

From Strength for Today by  Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

 

      

Goodbye ‘Bathroom Bill’: Houston Voters Reject New LGBT Protections

Inspired by subpoenaed sermons, conservative Christians overturn HERO.

At the polls yesterday, Houston voters rejected an anti-discrimination law that would extend protections for LGBT residents among other groups.

The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, or HERO, was branded the “bathroom bill” by opponents who feared accommodation of transgender individuals would give men, including sexual predators, the right to use women’s restrooms in public.

Conservative Christian congregations in the area rallied and prayed against HERO as a violation of their beliefs on gender identity.

“Biology and the Bible show us that there’s a difference between men and women,” said Gregg Matte, pastor of Houston’s First Baptist Church. “In order to keep men out of women’s locker rooms, I want to encourage you to vote ‘no’ to Proposition 1 (HERO).”

Ed Young, pastor of Second Baptist Church, called the ordinance “a very serious moral issue” that could potentially open the city up to godlessness. “It has been reported that we discriminate,” he told his church. “If we open up our facilities so that someone can choose … those of us who believe that men should use men’s facilities and women’s facilities, we will be discriminated against.”

Opponents raised nearly $3 million to campaign against the law, more than triple the supporters’ fundraising efforts, according to the Houston Chronicle. A popular commercial by the anti-HERO group Campaign for Houston depicted a man sneaking into a stall with a young girl, saying even registered sex offenders would be granted the right to follow women into bathrooms.

“They just kept spewing an ugly wad of lies from our TV screens and from …

Continue reading

What I Learned From Being a Vegas Call Girl

Hookers for Jesus founder, Annie Lobert: Lamar Odom news is just a glimpse at the industry’s brokenness.

Editor’s note: When Annie Lobert first heard that former NBA player Lamar Odom was found unconscious during his two-day, $75,000 stay in a Nevada brothel, she thought back to her own days as a call girl in Vegas.

She saw the darker side of fame whenever athletes and celebrities hired her as an escort. They drank, got high, and watched porn; their wealth didn’t buy happiness, but only offered more extravagant opportunities to clamor for fulfillment, she said.

While some assume women working for escort services and legal brothels like Love Ranch (where Odom was found) get into the industry freely, Lobert points out in her autobiography, Fallen, that many of them still operate under the authority of a pimp. Even these setups can function as a form of sex trafficking in which women do not receive the money they make and cannot leave the arrangement without consequences.

Lobert, founder and president of the ministry Hookers for Jesus, shares this reflection on her life as an escort as a reminder of the darkness and brokenness wrapped up in both sides of sex work in Las Vegas. The following is an adapted excerpt from her autobiography.

I could barely contain my excitement. Even though I hadn’t slept in more than 24 hours, I was wide-awake, running on the adrenaline of making so much money my first night in this gambling and party mecca.

The Strip was calm as we made our way home. The sun shone as yawning tourists headed to the famous breakfast buffets. We purred down the street in her sports car. I feasted on the sights of more hotels and casinos than I had ever seen.

When we walked in the door, our boyfriends were watching TV on the black leather couch. Clicking her heels on the white tiled floor, …

Continue reading

Annie Lobert is a survivor of more than a decade of sex trafficking—working as an exotic dancer and a high-class escort prostituted in Hawaii, Minneapolis, and Las Vegas. She is an internationally recognized expert and advocate of ministry to men and women in the commercial sex industry. She and her husband, Oz Foxx, lead guitarist for the rock band Stryper, live in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Making Sense of the ‘ApeMan’ Claims

Neandertal Man is Modern Man

Neandertals are increasingly being depicted, like in this commercial image, as the totally human beings they were.

by Carl Wieland

Adapted from “The ever-changing story of ‘human evolution’,” Chap. 7 of the author’s book One Human Family: the Bible, science, race and culture, onehumanfamily.us.

The Apeman-claims
There are many, sometimes conflicting, claims about so-called ‘apemen’, fossil creatures alleged to be evidence for ‘human evolution’. These ‘hominids’ are supposed to be our ancestors, transitions linking us and the alleged common ancestor of both apes and humans.1 Whenever new ‘finds’ are trumpeted, many wonder how anyone could deny we evolved from apelike ancestors. After all, isn’t each new find one more link in an evolutionary chain?

Yet the ‘big picture’ is very different, and encouraging for the biblical creationist. For many decades now, with few exceptions,2 a consistent pattern has emerged. It’s as if each find switches on some more pixels in a grainy image, maybe sharpening but not changing the picture, which was long obvious in outline. All of the finds more or less naturally fall into one of only three major groups. And two of these, Neandertal and Homo erectus, are similar anyway. Both are clearly human descendants of Adam.3

Virtually all others, including the famous ‘Lucy’, are in the remaining group, which generates the most evolutionary excitement. But it turns out to be an extinct non-human primate group, anatomically not between apes and humans.

Future finds will almost certainly also fall into one of these groups. So overviewing them here should equip us to more readily understand how the next such proclaimed ‘human ancestor’, too, will likely fit this big picture, consistent with biblical history.

1. NEANDERTALS

Homo-erectus
Artists’ impressions of Homo erectus have most often depicted some really primitive, subhuman ‘apeman’. However, the evidence that these were people (that should even share our species name) is mounting. So artists’ renditions are gradually shifting toward a much more obviously human appearance, as here.
These have more robust skeletons than most people living today—and bigger braincases. Everything about them is consistent with regarding them as post-Flood/post-Babel descendants of Adam.

Homo-erectus and Neanderthal DNA

Artists’ impressions of Homo erectus have most often depicted some really primitive, subhuman ‘apeman’. However, the evidence that these were people (that should even share our species name) is mounting. So artists’ renditions are gradually shifting toward a much more obviously human appearance, as here.

Evolutionist Donald Johanson, discoverer of the famous ‘Lucy’ fossil, co-writes of Darwin’s defender and friend, biologist Thomas Huxley FRS:

“From a collection of modern human skulls Huxley was able to select a series with features leading ‘by insensible gradations’ from an average modern specimen to the Neandertal skull. In other words, it wasn’t qualitatively different from present-day Homo sapiens.”4
Huxley did not believe that Neandertals evolved into modern humans, but that they were fully human. The ‘standard’ evolutionary view is that they were not a direct ancestor of modern people, but rather a side branch. Huxley’s skulls make perfect sense if one sees Neandertals as simply part of the range of bony variation in our one human family. Many of the things showing the true humanity of Neandertals are listed in the box below.

Neandertal DNA
Sequencing of [Neandertal] DNA clearly shows interbreeding with modern populations, particularly those from eastern Europe/Eurasia.
Sequencing of their DNA clearly shows interbreeding with modern populations, particularly those from eastern Europe/Eurasia. So Neandertals can’t be a separate species, despite evolutionary claims they split off from the human lineage, 500,000 years ago. This evidence has been a major blow to ‘progressive’ or ‘old-earth’ creationist notions. Even the most ingenious manipulation of Adam’s lineage can’t stretch it to hundreds of thousands of years ago. So, because such ‘creationists’ accept secular dating as their starting point, they must regard Neandertals as pre-Adamic soulless nonhumans, despite all the archaeological evidences of their humanity (box). But DNA now makes this completely dead in the water; having children together means they must be the same created kind as us.

Read the rest of this article …

 

 

Categories
Search Around Our Site
Translator