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Who do you love? Ending the Great Pew Divide at the Altar

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Pews“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.”

Those words, recorded in Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13, were spoken by Jesus. While the immediate context was that no man can serve both God and money, there is a broader context that applies to what I usually call the Origins Argument:

No man can serve two authorities. This basic axiom is the basis for Jesus’ warning that you can’t serve both God and money. It finds a parallel in Jesus’ warning that a house or kingdom divided against itself cannot stand [Mark 3:24-25] and James’ warning about the inherent instability of a double-minded man [James 1:8].

We’ve been arguing about where we came from ever since Darwin – Before Darwin even! It’s important to know where we came from because the answer to that questions tells us who we are and how we should live our lives and even where we’re going.

Creationists believe that we were made in image of a loving personal Creator. He tells us how to live our lives and we should do what He says because He knows what’s best for us. We are loved and we matter on an individual level. What we do here and how we live our lives matters a great deal in regards to eternity.

The Battle Defined

A lot of folks see the Origins Argument as a tug of war match between Biblical Creationism and Evolutionism for our allegiance, but that’s not really the case. It’s a battle of worldviews, yes, but on either end of the rope stands Biblical Creationism and Pure Naturalism.

The doctrine of naturalism is that nature is all there is and that all the answers to our questions must be purely natural. Our modern scientific search for truth has been hitched to this principle. No Gods allowed. No acts of God. No God-written revelations either! Naturalists affirm that we came about by natural processes in which God was never necessary. There is no particular reason for our existence; we are happy cosmic accidents. There is no ultimate standard by which we should live our lives, especially since we are racing towards nothingness. Do what makes you happy and don’t think about your own mortality too much.

The confusion arises because some folks who claim to respect the Bible or who even believe much of the rest of the Bible have taken up some of the positions of the naturalists where it comes to our origins. Pastors are genuinely concerned that making a stand on the Origins Argument will lead to divisions and strife across the pews. Let me say this: the only way to end the division is to be unified, not in deceptively respectful silence on the issues but rather in unity of conviction.

The Consequences of Naturalism as our Ultimate Authority

Make no mistake: pure naturalism and supernatural revelation are directly at odds. Christians may utilize naturalism as a tool for investigation precisely because they calibrate the findings of naturalism against the supernatural revelation of the Bible. Some Christians have failed to do that where it concerns Genesis and in doing so, they seem to have forgotten the particular demands of naturalism. Naturalism does not allow for men to walk on water, multiply a kid’s lunch or raise men from the dead. Naturalism does not allow for the possibility of God. Naturalism can never entertain the possibility that He has ever acted or spoken.

Millions of years of microbes-to-man evolution is the inevitable conclusion of a man searching for answers to our origins while looking through a lens of pure naturalism. Of course, the Bible’s revelation in Genesis concerning supernatural creation and a much younger universe stands in direct contradiction their premise and its conclusions, so naturalists suppose the Bible must be wrong where it claims these supernatural things. Make no mistake: naturalists don’t just claim that the Bible is wrong in Genesis. The premise of naturalism makes the very idea of a supernaturally inspired Bible ENTIRELY wrong because the supernatural can never be considered as a possibility, be it a Deity, a miracle or the supernaturally-inspired Word of a Deity. The implication of naturalism would be that the Bible was written by fallible men who were trying to understand the universe. Likewise, naturalism could never consider that Jesus never did anything out of the ordinary, nor that He was in any way God – and certainly it could never entertain the suggestion that He rose from the dead! Naturalism implies that no God has ever acted on behalf of His people or spoke through any so-called prophets, however well-intentioned, and that no supernatural agent answers prayers now.

The Flaws of Naturalism as an Ultimate Authority

The thing is that naturalism is an assumption. All it can give us are all-natural answers that may or may not be true – and are certainly false where the supernatural was involved!

The trouble is that naturalism is also blind. It cannot tell you the supernatural does not exist or hasn’t done anything. It simply refuses to consider them as viable answers. It pretends as if the supernatural will always be irrelevant to the question and further pretends as if all-natural answers must supplant supernatural ones by virtue of being natural. If the supernatural agency was actually involved, anyone committed to naturalism would have no means to determine that they were ever wrong! So a commitment to pure naturalism becomes exactly the sort of willful ignorance Peter warned about in 2 Peter 3:3-7.

Naturalism is also inconsistent.  Those committed to naturalism must presume that nature can do supernatural things that no one has ever observed: that everything can come from nothing or comic book multiverses; that specified. complex intelligence such as that found in our DNA can come without an intelligent source; that life can come from non-life; and even that an amphibian can become a prince if we just give it enough time, chance and all that!

Hard-wired for Belief in a Supernatural Creator

Naturalism isn’t even our instinctive belief about the universe.

Research by Dr. Deborah Keleman of the University of Arizona has shown that children have this natural tendency to interpret features of the natural world things as if they have a purpose and this naturally leads to a belief in a Creator God, what has been termed “intuitive theism.

The Bible says much the same thing in several passages. For example:

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” Hebrews 11:3

Romans 1:19-20 is much more bold in its declaration of intuitive theism:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

Did you catch that? There’s no excuse for ungodliness or unbelief because the Creation itself leads to intuitive theism – and as I’ve always said, if you suspect there’s a god of any sort, it’s in your best interests to see what sort of god that is and what they might expect of you!

Richard Dawkins admitted to this human tendency toward intuitive theism when he wrote that “Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” Of course, he believes that these things only appear to be designed. His beliefs are supported by the consensus of modern science and are taught as scientific fact in our public schools.

So the question becomes: Can we trust our instincts or do we need to lump our intuitive theism with the fairies and monsters under the bed and other childish things, grow up, and accept the cold, hard facts of the all-natural world? Or was there a reason Jesus warned us that “Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” [Luke 18:17]? Is it possible that God stacked the deck in favor of theistic belief because he really is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” [2 Peter 3:9]?

More to the point: Are we the product of a benevolent Creator who spoke the cosmos and everything else into existence over the course of six calendar days about 6,000 years ago? Or are we the product of all-natural processes consistent with those we observe today taking place over the course of millions and millions of years?

Loving God Enough to Take Him at His Word

This all comes down to which authority we ultimately love more. If you love your wife, you wouldn’t trust somebody else’s word over hers unless there was a compelling reason. The God we love, the God described in the bible,  is someone who is all-powerful, knows everything, never makes mistakes and never lies, so why would we ever trust someone else’s word of His?

Churches across USAmerica and the world need to return to their first love and start trusting the God they say they love at His Word. The Bible doesn’t claim to be the work of fallible men trying to figure out God, but rather claims to be a supernatural revelation from God. The Bible doesn’t just say it contains truth; it claims it IS truth. It doesn’t make these claims lightly: its claim to supernatural revelation is authenticated by fulfilled Bible prophecy and the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We may liken the Scriptures to an infallible eyewitness account. So when naturalists make certain claims about our origins, we may say that we have a witness who says the facts should be interpreted a different way if we want to get at the truth [and not just the conclusions of naturalism]. In this way, we can calibrate our investigation of the natural world and lift the blinders naturalism would commit us to.

The Bible says that two cannot walk together unless they be agreed and that a house or kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Creationism isn’t creating division in churches; the division occurs when people abandon the ultimate authority of the Bible and the faith once delivered for another authority. Naturalism as our ultimate authority is a blind, inconsistent assumption, but can be a useful tool of investigation if calibrated against the supernatural revelation of God’s Word.

This Creation Sunday [Feb 14, 2016], lead your church and your family into a commitment to the truth of the Bible as your ultimate authority for the sake of the love you have for its Author.

Pastor Ron McClung & Tony Breeden to Speak on Creation Sunday [Feb 10] 2013 in Hurricane, WV

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Mount Vernon Baptist Church (Hurricane, WV) will be having a celebration in Word and song of the Biblical doctrine of creation on Creation Sunday [Feb 10] 2013 at 11 AM. Featuring music by Elisha Conn, Carla Allison and the MVBC Children’s Choir. Creation Q&A by Senior Pastor Ron McClung and Tony Breeden of http://DefGen.org/ .

Further details and updates on the Facebook Event page at http://www.facebook.com/groups/366357776755069/#!/events/324462007674830/

Visit Mount Vernon Baptist Church online at http://mvbaptistchurch.org

Answering a Disrespectful Critic: Creation Sunday, the American Christian Taliban & the R-Word

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On the eve of last year’s Creation Sunday, a critic from the blog Darwin Killed God at blogspot, was furious to discover that churches were dedicating a service to the doctrine of Biblical Creation.

His rant begins:

“I have to admire America’s Christian Taliban. There is no group of people more proud of their breathtaking stupidity.

Theistic evolutionists are evolution deniers because there’s no theistic [expletive] in evolutionary biology. Magic is not a mechanism of evolution. For this reason I have nothing but contempt for the preachers who signed the pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project because always they pollute the foundation of biology with their idiotic superstitious belief in a magic god fairy. They invoke god to guide, use, or invent evolution, as if a natural process couldn’t possibly work without a fairy’s magic wand. It’s impossible to be more stupid than these [expletive] unless of course you’re part of the American Christian Taliban like this drooling moron (Reverend Tony Breeden). It’s difficult to imagine how totally insane and [R-word*] a person has to be to throw out all of science to defend an ancient holy book full of childish [expletive]. This subhuman’s career depends on it. If he wasn’t an idiot he would have to get a real job.”

Note first that this evolutionist has zero respect for the useful idiots who’ve signed atheist Dr Michael Zimmerman’s pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project. Unlike some who skirt the issue of the incompatibility of microbes-to-man evolution with Biblical Christianity, this critic correctly notes that fish-to-philosopher evolution is an all-natural process that leaves no place for God. In fact, molecules-to-man evolution is an essential component of the all-natural origins myth. Thus, this critic and I would agree that theistic evolution is an oxymoron. Some folks say that evolution [a purely naturalistic process whereby life develops without the need for God] and creation [whereby life comes about by the direct action or fiat of God] are not diametrically opposed. Even in defining the terms [something an evolutionist will rarely do precisely because it so effectively destroys his own argument], it becomes obvious that evolution and creation are indeed diametrically opposed.
Of course, then this critic charges the CreationLetter.com and CreationSundays.com as being a part of the “American Christian Taliban.” Of course, this is simply ludicrous. Unlike the real Taliban no one here is America is forcing anyone else to do anything they don’t want to. Christophobes worry that some of us Christians who actually believe the Bible are interested in setting up a theocracy, but this isn’t the case. We do wish to retun America to a place where it is as tolerant of Christianity as it is an atheistic minority. This inequity of tolerance and progressive legal marginalization of the majority religion in America is frankly unAmerican! This being beside the point that no one is forcing any preachers out there to sign the Creation Letter or to dedicate their church service this coming February 12, 2012 to the Biblical doctrine of Creation. It’s simply a false comparison that betrays the critics fear and hatred of Christianity more than anything else.
This critic also makes the mistake of assuming that I am somehow making a living at this. Creation ministry and Gospel preaching are, well, ministries. Like a lot of good clergy in Appalachia, those I minister to cannot afford to support me so I kind of already have a job besides. I’m not in it for the money and I openly rebuke TV play actors like Joel Osteen and the cast of Trinity Broadcast Network for being so transparantly materialistic.
One of the last things that you’ll note about his criticism is that he uses the R-word. [In fact, he uses it and other expletives on his site to such an extent that I don’t feel comfortable linking this post to the original post!] By this I mean he uses the word retarded or retard as an insult [evolutionists also use the term “Creatard,” a combination of the words Creationist and retard]. It is grievously insensitive and hateful to use someone else’s disability as an insult. Furthermore, it is clear how the critic views persons with mental retardation, for in the same breath he spouts the words “insane,” “idiot,” and “subhuman.” It’s sad when evolutionists and atheists dehumanize persons with mental retardation by insulting others with this disrespectful use of their disability as an insult. It’s even more deplorable when conservatives like Ann Coulter [who should know better, even when refering to arch-evolutionist Richard Dawkins] use the R-word. Persons with mental retardation are made in the image of God… in a fallen world. They did nothing to cause their own disability; they’re simply products of Adam’s curse. When Adam sinned against God and incurred His righteous judgment, the rest of the cosmos suffered alongside him. Adam had been given dominion over all creation and when a king makes a mistake, his whole kingdom suffers. Yet just because they suffer more obvious affects of the Fall does not negate the fact that they are made in the image of God and are therefore worthy of dignity, courtesy and respect. Of course, the evolutionist knows this because his conscience [God’s law written upon his heart] convicts him of sin when he says such things… at least until his conscience becomes seared as with a hot iron from repeated ignoring of it! But in the atheistic and evolutionary worldview, he has no non-arbitrary moral basis for not using someone else’s disability as an insult. In the evolutionary view of survival of the fittest [Darwin’s 4th postulate], a person with mental retardation is subhuman for human beings are judged not by their intrinsic value but by their contributive value to society. Stephen Jay Gould noted the evolutionary notion of recapitulation was the basis of Dr. Down’s decision to label Down syndrome as “mongoloid idiocy” because he thought it was a throwback to the “Mongoloid stage” of human evolution. Gould also noted that the erm Mongoloid was first applied to persons with mental disabilities because it was then commonly believed that the Mongoloid race was not as highly evolved as the Caucasian race. Thus evolutionary thinking served as a justification for white racism and mistreatment [even sterilization] of persons with mental disabilities. Compare this with the biblical worldview, where persons with mental retardation or any other disability are worthy of dignity, courtesy and respect because according to God’s revealed Word in Genesis they are made in the image of their Creator God.
We at CreationSundays.com strongly encourage you to get involved in the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign at http://r-word.org, an on-going effort to raise the consciousness of society about the dehumanizing and hurtful effects of the word “retard(ed)” and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word. The campaign is intended to get schools, communities and organizations to rally and pledge their support.
We also urge you to sign the Creation Letter today, affirming the historical veracity of God’s revealed Word from the very first word, and to begin making plans with your church to dedicate this February 12, 2012 to the doctrine of Biblical Creation!
-revTony
CreationSundays.com

A Creation Sunday Sermon – Gateway Church (South Charleston, WV) 2011

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Rev Tony Breeden, founder of DefendingGenesis.org, CreationLetter.com and CreationSundays.com

[Note: This sermon, originally delivered by myself on Creation Sunday 2011, was pieced together from my notes. -Rev Tony Breeden, founder of CreationSundays.com]

On this day across America and the world, pastors are celebrating an Evolution Sunday. Evolution Sunday, the brainchild of atheist Dr Michael Zimmerman, has been celebrated since 2006 on the Sunday nearest Charles Darwin’s birthday. In 2008, he expanded the concept to an Evolution Weekend. 643 Congregations from all 50 States, the District of Columbia and 13 Countries are preaching Darwin from their pulpits right as we speak, which is why today we’re celebrating a Creation Sunday.

Some Christians, even preachers, claim to take the Bible seriously but they actually hold man’s word as their ultimate authority, so long as it calls itself science; where man’s word disputes the Genesis record, they denigrate the Word of God to mere Bible stories in the tradition of Aesop’s fables. After swallowing the camel of the Resurrection and supernatural miracles, they strain at the gnat of a historical Creation week.

But we do not follow cleverly devised fables. Though the Bible is not a science textbook, the Word of God is true and accurate in all it records. Jesus affirmed the truth and authority of God’s Word, mentioning Creation, Adam and Eve, Abel, Noah and Jonah as matters of fact. Though some object that religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth, Jesus refuted this false dichotomy when He asked Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?” [John 3:12] If you can’t trust the Bible when it speaks of earthly things like Creation, the Flood and Babel, how can you trust the same Book when it speaks of heavenly things like salvation, heaven and all that?

The entire matter comes down to who we hold as our ultimate authority: God’s Word or man’s word. Jesus warned us that “No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other” [Matthew 6:14].

Our chosen text this morning is 2 Peter 3:1-13:

“1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

Let’s look at these verses more closely:

1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

I’m mostly gonna quote Scripture at you today, because I too want to stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance. Why? Because faith comes by understanding, and understanding comes by the Word of God [Romans 10:17].

 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:

Peter wants us to be mindful of both the Old Testament [“the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets”] and the New Testament [“the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour”]. This is important, because some of us tend to take the NT just fine, but we ignore the OT; after all, it’s “old,” right? and we associate “old” with outdated.

Jesus certainly didn’t have this attitude toward the Old Testament. He warned that “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” [Matthew 5:18]. In other words, not one letter or even one stroke of a letter would pass from the Old Testament Law until all things had been accomplished. Jesus also chastised the scribes and Pharisees for not believing on Him by saying, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” [John 5:46, 47]. Moses has traditionally been acknowledged as the author of Genesis. Do you realize that Jesus’ statement makes an inseparable link between the Old and New Testaments? Furthermore, when Jesus had resurrected, He taught His disciples, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself” [Luke 24:27]. As we mentioned earlier, Jesus affirmed the truth and authority of God’s Word, mentioning Creation, Adam and Eve, Abel, Noah and Jonah as matters of fact.

Now if we go back in our Bible just a few chapters to 2 Peter 1:16-21, we see that Peter echoes his Resurrected Lord’s high view of Scripture.

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there was borne such a voice to him by the Majestic Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: 18and this voice we ourselves heard borne out of heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount

This alludes to the Mount of Transfiguration, where the disciples saw Jesus glorified. Note that Peter assures us that we have not followed cleverly devised fables.

19 And we have the word of prophecy made more sure…

I have to pause to briefly note that Jesus’ fulfillment of Old Testament Messianic prophecy did indeed give us a word of prophecy made more sure! These prophecies were written some 400 years before Christ stepped into history. Only an omnipotent, omniscient God could speak forth things before they come to pass with such accuracy. These prophecies weren’t the fortune cookie variety nor the vague horoscope sort. They were very specific. For example, the Scriptures prophesied that Christ would be betrayed by a close friend for 30 pieces of silver that would be cast to the Temple steps and then used to buy a potter’s field – and oh yes, the traitor would hang himself. This was exactly fulfilled in Judas Iscariot. Likewise, Jesus’ manner of death, crucifixion, was described hundreds of years before this manner of execution was even invented. And the list goes on! These fulfilled prophecies and Jesus’ resurrection supernaturally authenticate the Word of God!

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

This is most crucial to the subject we’re discussing. No Scripture is of any private interpretation. It does not do to try to impose outside ideas on the Word of God. We should instead draw the natural meaning out as intended to its original audience and let it speak to us. If we’re unsure of the interpretation, we should let Scripture shed light on unclear passages.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.

There are people out there who want to tell you that the Bible was written by fallible men and that, therefore, it’s full of mistakes. If they also claim to believe in the God of the Bible, they’re picking your pocket – and being very inconsistent! If they don’t believe the Bible, they’re still begging the question. You see, if God is truly omnipotent – and this is what the Bible claims – then He is certainly able to perfectly and clearly reveal His Word as He intended even if fallible humans put His Word to paper; if He can’t overcome human limitations to clearly reveal His Word, well, He wouldn’t exactly be omnipotent, would He? To the contrary, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” [2 Timothy 3:16]. “All Scripture,” not just pieces of it, is given by inspiration of God, or is [literally] “God-breathed.” Logically, it makes sense that if a God who cannot lie [Numbers 23:19] revealed His Word to us, that Word would be “true from the beginning” [Psalm 119:160].

This is not what some men would tell us. They would tell us that the Bible was written by fallible men and that it represents a more primitive grasping for knowledge that should be replaced by the current consensus of man’s knowledge.

Which brings us to the next verse of our text in 2 Peter Chapter 3:

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

These days we really do have some world-class scoffers, don’t we? And I’m not just talking about “angry atheists” like Richard Dawkins, who wrote The God Delusion. What I’m essentially talking about are those who doubt the Bible, even if they claim to be Christians. It’s become fashionable to echo the question of the Edenic Serpent: Did God Really say that?” [Genesis 3:1]

Did God really say He created everything in six days? Did God really say that there was a worldwide Flood in the days of Noah that covered all of the mountains? Did God really say that Moses was the author of Genesis? What about evolution? Dinosaurs? Radiometric dating? Where did Cain get his wife? Can we trust the Scriptures? Doesn’t the bible contain contradictions and pre-scientific myth? Did Jesus really exist? Did the disciples invent His resurrection?

These scoffers aren’t asking these questions because they want to know the truth but rather because they don’t believe it at all! They believe that science and history have disproven the Bible, but they’re wrong. Others suppose that the Bible is mostly true but since it was written by men it contains mistakes and cultural biases; they suppose they need to update the Bible a bit for modern times, and this is why we find ourselves ignoring the revealed Word of God to ordain homosexual clergy, or perform gay marriages, or give our consent to “a woman’s right to choose” pre-birth murder! Yet the Word of Truth has not changed.

2 Timothy 4:1-4 says:

1I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Note that Paul says that men will not endure sound doctrine – will turn from truth to fables and heap to themselves teachers having itching ears to hear. In Romans, he says much the same thing, that men will exchange the truth for a lie, as we’ll see in a moment.

I want you to notice something else though; both Paul and Peter note that these scoffers who exchange the truth for fables are walking after their own lusts or desires. Christianity has become a narcissistic religion. We’re all about self-esteem, self-help and self-centered success. Instead of building His kingdom, we concern ourselves with “my” ministry or our day-to-day happiness. We’re self-absorbed. Jesus warned about this condition in the parable of the sower. We’ve let the cares of this world and the foolishness of riches distract us from our Great Commission and those thorns have choked off our fruitfulness! Yet as the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 15 commands, we need to “awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God. I speak this to our shame.”

Let’s continue to verse 4 of our text…

 4And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

“All things continue…,” they’ll say. Jesus warned that the last days would be as they were in the days of Noah (Yes, THAT Noah):

26 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. – Luke 17:26-27

In other words, they would be living their lives as usual with little or no concern with God’s will. Business is no excuse for unbelief. You won’t be able to say at the Judgment Throne, “I just didn’t have time to figure out whether God exists or not.” According to Romans chapter 1, creation itself provides ample evidence of a Creator. In fact, the Bible says that what may be known of God is “clearly seen” so that men are without excuse. Let’s face it: if you suspect a God exists, only a fool wouldn’t do everything they could to see what that God might expect of them!

Romans chapter 1 also sheds some further light on these scoffers:

18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. [Romans 1: 1:18-23, 25, 28 and 32]

You see another way to look at that phrase “All things continue…” is as a prophetic hint at uniformitarian science, based on naturalism. Uniformitarianism is the belief that the present is the key to the past, that all things have continued from the beginning of creation at their current pace. It certainly leaves no room for a Creator or a worldwide Flood to mess up the gradual flow of their time continuum. They’ve essentially become vain in their imaginations, as the Scriptures foretell, for they have come up with a natural Creation story to compete with the Biblically revealed supernatural Creation story. In other words, they have tried to explain the universe without supernatural agency, without God – which is a big problem if God is actually responsible for anything as His Word reveals! In fact, if man insists on all-natural answers for things the Bible reveals they ought to give God credit for because He accomplished them as He recorded, well! They are then guilty of creating all-natural just-so stories to account for things God really did after all. Make no mistake; in the end it always comes down to God’s Word versus man’s word.

Richard Lewontin  wrote the following in The Demon Haunted World:

“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

As Paul warned that the Creator is so clearly evident from creation that men are wholly without excuse for their unbelief, Peter notes that their unbelief is willful ignorance:

5For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:

This verse reveals that they are willingly ignorant of creation, that in the beginning, God made the heavens [of old] and the earth. And how did God make the heavens and the earth? By His Word. By faith we know the worlds were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3).

 6Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:

They are also ignorant of the fact that by God’s Word, by His decree, there was a worldwide Flood. If uniformitarian geology explains the strata, there is no evidence of a worldwide Flood, right? But if there really was a worldwide Flood what would the evidence be? As Ken Ham (President of Answers in Genesis) puts it, Billions of dead things buried in rock layers laid down by water all over the earth. So what are we going to believe: man’s word (uniformitarian geology) which seeks to explain things without God’s agency and without accounting for the revealed history of His Word, or the revealed Word of a God who never lies, knows everything and was there from the beginning?

Hebrews 11:7 notes that “by faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” In other words, Noah trusted the Word of God – and look where it got him! Everybody else chose not to trust the Word of God – and look where it got them!

7But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

The heavens and earth are sustained by the same word of God that revealed the Creation Week and the Worldwide Flood. The same Word promised us He would come again. It’s the same Word you trust for your salvation.

8But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God wants everybody who is willing to take Him at His Word to be saved. This is what the Bible says:

“What saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

We have a problem. God created a perfect world and called it very good, but it’s not perfect anymore, is it? No, there’s something wrong with the world. What happened?

1 Corinthians 15: 21-22 says: “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

Likewise, Romans 5:12 says: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

What these verses are saying is that death and suffering into the world in judgment for Adam’s sin. Adam was given dominion over all the Earth. When a king makes a bad decision, his whole kingdom suffers. From that forth, we’ve been under a curse. In Genesis, God warned Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; He warned Adam that if he disobeyed His command, on that day he would begin to die.

Romans 6:23 reminds us that the wages [or deserved earning] of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Furthermore, the Bible says that we can know the truth and it will set us free. Face it: if you don’t acknowledge you have a problem, you can’t fix it. Well, that’s a real problem for people who’ve exchanged the truth of God’s Word for a lie born of man’s desire to forget his accountability to God – because lies have consequences…

Consider the hostile witness of atheist Frank Zindler:

“The most devastating thing though that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve th ere never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation there is no need of a Saviour. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise, into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.”–[Frank Zindler, debate with William Craig, Atheism vs Christianity video, Zondervan, 1996.]

Or G. Richard Bozarth:

“Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life wassupposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this iswhat evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.” — quoted from The American Atheist, September 1978, p. 30.

Presbyterian “Rev” John Shuck, Clergy Letter signer and Evolution Sunday celebrant,likewise chimes in:

“I am discovering that the real issue for these folks has nothing to do with “God as Creator” or of course anything scientific. It has to do with a theological house of cards. If humans evolved rather than appear in a garden, and if Adam and Eve weren’t real people, then there is no “Fall into sin” and therefore no need for Jesus to die on the cross to save people from their sins. We are facing huge changes. Our universe is 13.7 billion years old as of the latest tally. Human beings have evolved as has every species on this beautiful blue ball. We were not placed in any garden by any divine being. No god/man came to Earth, walked on water, rose from the dead and sits on a heavenly throne. That is religious fiction. It is metaphor, story, myth, human invention. It is how our ancestors tried to find meaning. Bless their hearts. As we are in a period of transition we will wrestle with our inherited language. For some, the term “God” will have meaning. For others it will not. Religion is moving away from its supernaturalistic roots. “God” will be redefined accordingly.”

Sadly, statistics demonstrate that children taught godless evolution as scientific truth reject religious truth wholesale! It’s time to judge this tree by its fruit!

It’s an attack on the Word! The Bible claims to be true from the beginning.

Your word is true from the beginning: and every one of your righteous judgments endures for ever. Psalm 119:160

Do we believe that? You ought to because the Bible calls Jesus the Christ the “Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God” (Rev 3:14). Do you believe Jesus is the faithful and true witness? Or do you believe He was wrong when He spoke of Creation, Adam and Eve, Abel, Noah and Jonah as matters of historical fact?

Who’s word do you believe: God’s or man’s? The revealed history of your Creator or the all-nature tale of the rebellious creature? The testimony of Christ your Savior or the testimony of men who refuse to allow a Divine foot in the door? It’s important because Jesus isn’t merely your Savior and Lord; He’s your Creator.

As we mentioned earlier, Paul says of Jesus: “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” – Colossians 1:16, 17

In Revelation, John calls Him “the beginning of the creation of God.” This doesn’t mean He is the first thing God created, as the Jehovah’s Witnesses heretically believe. It means He’s the First Cause.

Just as Genesis begins with “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” John writes in his Gospel:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. – John 1:1,3, 14

So who’s Word do you hold as your ultimate authority: God’s Word or man’s word? The Word of the Creator who died to redeem His rebellious creation or the vain imaginations of creatures who refuse to consider the truth of God’s Word?

Let’s pray.

-Rev Tony Breeden

Celebrate a Creation Sunday during Summer of Creation 2011

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We realize that some churches may not want to wait until Feb 12, 2012 to have their very first Creation Sunday. Some of you want to get started right now! You want to make a stand for the historical veracity of God’s Word, to dedicate your church to the truth of Biblical authority and to let folks in your area know there is a church in their area who affirms God’s Word from the very first word. We see no reason why anyone should have to wait!

Back in 2009, we came up with the Summer of Creation initiative to blunt the impact of that so-called Year of Evolution. We encouraged churches to hold Creation conferences, Creation VBS programs, Creation youth camps, Creation Sundays and trips to their local Creation museums during Summer 2009. We invite you to do the same thing this year. This will help strengthen your church’s faith in the enduring integrity of God’s Word – from the Very First Word!

We’d like to point out that many churches find themselves ministering to out-of-school youth during the Summer. Most churches host at least one Vacation Bible Schoolprogram during the Summer months. Why not host one with a Creation theme? This is a perfect opportunity to evangelize. Our children only hear one side of the Origins argument in public school. This is the perfect opportunity to present them with the other side of the argument, the side that better fits the evidence – Biblical Creation and Catastrophism!

Again, this is the perfect time to bolster the faith of our Christian youth and to share the truth of Creation with public school children! While we take advantage of this opportunity to show them that they can trust God’s Word from the very first word, we can use that foundation to share the Good News of Salvation by Jesus Christ the Creator!

Visit our Summer of Creation Resource page for ways you can participate!

The Year of Taking the Bible Seriously: Evolution Weekend versus Creation Weekend [Feb 11-13 2011]

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Creation Sunday 2011 [Feb 13th] is only a week away and we want to make sure you’re ready!

Last year’s Creation Sunday event drew a lot of interest. Coinciding with Valentine’s Day, the chosen theme for Creation Sunday 2010 was “Who Do You Love?” Applying Matthew 6:24 to the concept of trying to serve two masters or to hold two opposing authorities in your life, we noted that such a task was impossible for, as Christ warned, we will hold one of those two authorities in contempt. Of course, atheist Dr Michael Zimmerman proposes the opposite view, that “religious truth is of a different order than scientific truth,” but that they’re “two very different, but complementary forms of truth.” In other words, the Bible holds no place for this pretended neutrality position but warns that any attempt at neutrality will actually result in one authority winning out of the other

It really all comes down to man’s word or God’s Word as our ultimate authority. We do not fail to note that those who hold to the pretended neutrality position promoted by atheist Dr Michael Zimmerman’s Clergy Letter Project actually hold man’s finite word to be their ultimate authority over Scripture for whenever the Word of God and the word of men in lab coats are found to be in contradiction, it is God’s Word they feel they must re-interpret – not the word of fallible men. Never do they stand firm on the Word of God, proclaiming, Let God be true and every man a liar!

Evolution Sunday and Evolution Weekend are the brainchild of atheist Dr Michael Zimmerman, who first encouraged churches to preach Darwin from their pulpits in 2006 on the Sunday worship service nearest Charles Darwin’s birthday. 467 churches allegedly participated in his first Evolution Sunday. Granted, there were a fair number of cults tossed in with legitimate Christian denominations and nearly all were churches from liberal, mainline denominations at that. Nevertheless, the number of congregations participating grew to 618 in 2007.

In 2008, Zimmerman expanded the concept to an Evolution Weekend to encourage other faiths to participate; the number of participants grew to 814 in 2008 and 1049 in 2009 [the year CreationLetter.com launched and began urging churches to celebrate a Creation Sunday rather than an Evolution Sunday]. Of course, 2009 was the so-called Year of Darwin, being both the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origins, so evolutionists went rabid over their promotion of evolution and compromising clergymen went out of their way to display their fealty to evolutionism over the historical reliability of God’s revealed Word. That said, the spike in participants was rather expected. 

Evolution Weekend 2010’s advertised number of participants dwindled to 861 congregations and, as of this writing, only 575 congregations are slated to participate in Evolution Weekend 2011. It may be a little early to celebrate, but we praise God for this waxing interest in promoting evolution from our very pulpits! It is our hope and prayer that Evolution Weekend and the pro-evolution Clergy Letter Project will continue to diminish in popularity.

We praise God that we are able to report to you that this year has seen a surge in interest from Creationist organizations in connecting with churches on the origins issue during Evolution Weekend. Two major conferences, the Northwest Creation Conference in Portland, OR and the Origins Conference in Johnson City, TN top off the list of events taking place during Creation Weekend [Feb 11-13] 2011. Over the past 25 years, over 55,000 people have attended the Northwest Creation Conference. Over 100 churches are involved in bringing the Origins Conference to Tennessee. Creation Weekend will also see Dr Jonathan Sarfati’s Evolution – The Greatest Hoax on Earth tour coming to Colorado. In all, creationist events are scheduled to take place during Creation Weekend 2011 in 10 US States and 3 International countries.

CreationLetter.com and Operation: Wittenberg are urging you to make 2011 the Year of Taking the Bible Seriously. This year commemorates not only the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, but also the 50th anniversary of the The Genesis Flood by Morris and Whitcomb, the book that rebooted the historical, orthodox belief in a young Earth and a worldwide Noachian Flood, providing both Biblical and scientific support to the historical veracity of Genesis.

As always, CreationLetter.com urges churches to celebrate a Creation Sunday rather than atheist Dr. Michael Zimmerman’s Evolution Sunday.

To view or add a Creation Weekend 2011 event in your area, please visit https://creationsunday.wordpress.com!

 

United States

Canada

Cyprus

  • Limassol – Philip Bell at International Christian Fellowship [Fri, Feb 11]
  • LimassolPhilip Bell at International Christian Fellowship [Sat afternoon, Feb 12]
  • LimassolPhilip Bell at Overseas Christian Fellowship [Sat evening, Feb 12]
  • NicosiaPhilip Bell at New Life International Church [AM]
  • PaphosPhilip Bell in Paphos, details to follow [PM] 
  • LimassolPhilip Bell, ministry to students [Mon, Feb 14]

United Kingdom

Pastor Ron McClung & Rev Tony Breeden to Speak on Creation Sunday [Feb 13] 2011 in South Charleston, WV

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Pastor Ron McClung and Rev Tony Breeden [DefendingGenesis.org] will be celebrating a Creation Sunday service at Gateway Church [South Charleston, WV] on February 13, 2010 at 11:00 AM.

The Church is located at:

270 Staunton Ave

South Charleston, WV

Join Gateway’s facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=34864142496&v=wall

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