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Posts Tagged ‘bible’

The war rages on and on…

…battle lines are drawn…blood is spilled…

On the one hand are the science followers who believe in theories of time-based creation and evolution, ignoring basic foundations and the lack of supporting evidence. (In fact, there are two separate schools of science ‘religion’. One requires billions of years for things to occur, while the other requires only thousands.) Science argues with science and both argue with faith.

On the other hand are the Bible fundalmentalists who insist upon a simple 7-day creation and ignore any legitimate evidence that challengenes their interpretation of it.

Arm Wrestling

And both sides ignore the facts of history in front of them. For example, as the world was emerging from the stone age, the Great Pyramids were already thousands of years old, constructed with a curvature that exactly matches the earth and laid out to duplicate the Milky Way 10,500 years ago. How was this done?  Who did this? Who knew the world was round? It wouldn’t be proven until thousands of years later. Who knew about a Milky Way and why duplicate it in the desert? How were they built by primitive people to stand for thousands of years, when they can’t be duplicated with today’s technology and engineering? Is there a connection between them and our existence?

sphinxgreatpyramidegypt

They have no answers, but do these questions stop them? No. Both sides ignore these things, rationalize them away and continue to persist in their own dogmatic, preconceived beliefs, spending their energy on calling each other names.

The dogma that scientists follow in uncovering pre-history is as stated by J.V.N. Talmage,  “The archaeological finds of pre-historic cultural objects must be so arranged that the cruder industries must always be dated earlier than those of a more advance type, regardless of where they are found.”

Uh -oh! Doesn’t it wrinkle the old parchment now when “very advanced” civilizations are discovered – beneath the layers of prehistoric civilizations! Whups – let’s just ignore that civilization.

The conventional theories of science are problematic in that they offer wild theories and guesses without proof or logic. A ‘spark’ caused a ‘big bang’ to occur, somehow and at some time that in someway started everything in motion.  No one knows when, how or from where that initial ‘spark’ came from and theories come and go like idols in Hollywood.

Species evolved from nothing and then cross evolved somehow, although there is no evidence of this. There is no fossil evidence of evolution between species. Yet the world believes it without question. (Actually, new findings tend to disprove cross-species evolution.) The proof of ‘macro-evolution’ is not forthcoming. The proof of evolution is ‘micro-evolution’ – changes within a species –  and that’s adaptation. As new discoveries are made and new facts come to light, the timelines get re-juggled and fossil histories are rearranged to fit into the already preconceived ideas and theories.

On one hand, there is much evidence of the universe being millions or even billions of years old, even given the flaws and distortions of carbon dating methods. But religious fundamentalists refuse to consider this and only generate discord, dissent with a spew of useless words defending their position and condemning the person presenting.

On the other hand there is no true evidence of life being that old, only of it being thousands of years old – a mere flicker in the hands of time.

images

There is massive amounts of evidence to show early forms of ‘humanoid’ type of beings on earth, that predate 7000 years and the Biblical story of Adam and Eve. How is this reconciled? Biblical accounts themselves, leave open the idea and possibilities of other ‘people’ existing at the time of Adam and Eve. For example, Who did Cain marry? And who was Cain ‘fearful’ of? Who were the people of ‘Nod’? Rather than take an open and honest look at these things, fundamentalists dig in and conjure up a web of fantasy.

Are the ‘experts’ on either side, willing to step out of their strongholds and look at evidence openly and objectively? Apparently, not. Bible ‘scholars’ and scientists alike, are too busy defending their paradigms and calling one another names, rather than attempting to piece the puzzle together.  Both sides create their own puzzles and if a piece is in the wrong place – they’ll force it in and defend it to the death!

But, is science and the Bible really irreconcilable? Or could (should ?) there be agreement? If the Bible is the account of creation and God, and science is the understanding of creation – then shouldn’t science confirm and support the Biblical accounts?

Handshake

When Bible scholars ignore science, they become entrenched in their stories they speculate and go to ridiculous extremes to rationalize their faith and claims. They make science the enemy and turn the Bible into mythology.

When science tries to answer the questions without including God, then it becomes derogatory and condescending and becomes a religion of its own worshipping its own theories. It generates speculation – turns the speculation into theory and then worships its own theories. It makes religion the enemy and speculation becomes faith.

There should be no “enemy”.

We must always keep two things in mind.

First:  Science does not determine whether the Bible is true or not true.

The “latest” word in science has never been the “last” word in science.

The newest discovery or breakthrough, no matter how earth shattering will itself be refuted, revised or rejected when the next discovery or breakthrough comes out that “blows our mind”.  The thing that science does the best is to correct, disprove, and replace existing misunderstanding and misconceptions while generating new speculations. It’s good for disproving things but not very good at proving things. Over time, theories build upon theories and gradually a picture begins to form, but the picture is always fuzzy, distorted with many portions missing.  Science is an ongoing, work in progress – it is not an end product. 

Theories change every year. Currently the “Big Bang”, the “Oscillating” and the “Steady State” theories are in vogue. Every few years someone new comes along and throws out some new idea. But they all have one thing in common – they don’t know what, how, when or where the original “spark” came from.

spark-in-hand1

Science leaves a void – the big question of “Why?” No animals consider those questions – only humans. Why is that? There are four essential things that science cannot explain regardless of what theories it proposes:

                1. It cannot bridge the gulf between ‘nothing’ to ‘something’.

2. It cannot bridge the gulf between something and life.

3. It cannot bridge the gulf between life and humanity – self-conscious life with free will.

4. It cannot answer “Why”. Why is there life? Why did life begin? What’s the purpose of life?

So, it takes the easy way out and states, “Well, that’s not the job of science, that’s religion’s job.” Then they attack religion.

I beg to differ. Science is discovering and understanding the world and universe around us. Why and how that universe is there is precisely the goal of science and of humans.

Creation

Second: The Bible is not a science book. It’s not written or designed to explain the how’s and when’s of everything. The Biblical account of creation is not a scientific thesis. It is not designed to explain creation to us – it’s designed to tell us the story of salvation.

The problem with understanding the Bible is that we read it from a modern perspective with modern language, modern interpretations, modern understandings and modern scientific principles.  But, is that the way it was written? Were those the understandings of the writer? What was the writer’s perspective? How did his language express that perspective? What was the writer’s purpose? All scripture is given by God – but are all translations? Are all interpretations? Of course not – we’ve watched them change down through the centuries and now there are over 50 different translations and we watch as different groups clinging to different translations as being the only “perfect” one over all the others.

I believe to understand the creation account as given in Genesis – one must understand what it meant to the writer. To do that, one must research the original texts, how they were written, the language used, the time it was written and the purpose of the writings. I’m not sure we can do that, but Jewish scholars will be the most reliable sources.

In general, Biblical creation is based on faith.

In general, scientific theory is based on speculation.

With the inability of science to prove its theories, science speculation is becoming increasingly based on faith.

If we say that the initial “spark” of life or existence came from God, it’s ridiculed. But, is that any more mythical than the scientific theories of creation? Think that’s hard to believe and accept? Well then try believing and accepting that somehow, someway and at some time a live cell, a little amoeba (that no one knows where it came from or how it came to be in existence) crawled out of a sea (that no one knows where it came from or how it came to be) unto land (that no one knows where it came from or how it came to be) and transformed itself into a tadpole – into a bird – into a dinosaur – into a primate, into a human – all by the simple magic of ‘time‘, even though there is no proof or evidence of such changes ever occurring. And, of course, everything had to be just perfect for all this to happen, temperatures, air, water, nutrition, etc. and we don’t know where all that came from or how it’s controlled either;  and of course they had to survive these changes, even though it’s impossible to exist without them; for all these things to have happened. But by saying the magic words  “given enough time abbra cadabbra kazaam! anything can happen, let it be so!”  And somehow it happened.

geological-time-spiral

That’s kind of out there, wouldn’t you say? I predict that, if the world lasts, it won’t be long before the theory of evolution will go the way of the dinosaur and all the current “experts” will be touting a new theory – one that they’ll all cling to as ‘gospel’, and one which will not include God. After all, that’s what the war is all about, isn’t it? You see, if we accept a creator, then we must accept an authority. That’s the part that really troubles men.

What if…

…the universe came into existence billions of years ago.

…but life (as we know it) only came into existence within the last 10000 years?

…Genesis 1:1 is a true account of creation…

…but it’s not the whole story?

…Genesis 1:2 – 2:3 is a real 24 hour, seven-day account of creation…

…but it’s not about the same creation…

…but rather a second creation?

What if there were two separate creations, one a long time ago and the other only a few thousand years ago – separated by millions or billions of years?

The issue between science and Bible is not which story of creation is right – the issue is what did God want to tell us in the story of creation? What’s its purpose?

Well – Light the torches…and stoke up the fires – let the witch burnings commence.

 

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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Overcoming Tragedy is never Easy – And sometimes – it doesn’t happen.

Everyone is familiar with the Biblical story of Terah – hearing the voice of God telling him to leave his home and find the Land of Promise (Canaan).

It’s a great story. Terah became Teraham and is called the “Father of Israel”. It’s a story that inspires each of us to persevere and keep our vision in sight.

Bible-online-logoNO? You never heard of Terah???

Oh! I’m sorry – that was Abram – wasn’t it?  Yes, that’s right – Abram, who became Abraham and is called the Father of Israel”.

But, then who was Terah?  

How many of us know the story of Terah?

Hmmm – would you like to hear it?   Ok. I’ll be short.

There once was a man called Terah. He lived in the land of Ur or the Chaldeans (that’s an ancient land over by Mesopotamia – what we’d call the Middle East today).  Here, you can read the story yourself  –  you’ll find it in the Book of Genesis (that’s the first book in the Bible).

Now these are the records of the generations of Terah..Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran became the father of Lot. Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves… Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there…and Terah died in Haran.”  Genesis 11:27-32 NASB

Well that’s it. That’s the story. What do you think?

Oh – you didn’t get it? Missed it? Here – let me help.

You see, in the first verse of the next chapter Abram hears the voice telling him to leave and go to the land of Canaan.

Terah was Abram’s father and he heard the voice first! He took his family and left the land of Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan.

But he didn’t make it.  He died in the land of Haran.

Why?

Look at what happened – Haran, “died in the presence of his father…”  Something happened that caused Terah’s son – Haran – to die right in front of him. We don’t know what it was, but, knowing the times it was then, there’s a good chance it was something violent – something bad – that gave Terah enough grief and pain, that when the voice’ came telling him to go to Canaan – he left.

But, whether bad luck – or an evil presence – or whatever you may think it was, he journeyed through the land of Haran!

Did you get that? A land having the same name as his dead son had! And, it was too much for him to get over!  It brought back all the pain and grief and he couldn’t leave. He settled in the land of Haran – he settled in his grief – in the memories of his dead son – and he died there.

He couldn’t get over the grief inside and because of that he never reached the land of Canaan. He never became the “Father of Israel”. The “call” went to his son, Abram, and he became the “Father of Israel”.

784810848Grief can be overwhelming – devastating – vision killing – death-dealing.

And tragedy and grief will find each of us at some time in our journey through life – and it’s a guarantee that somewheresomehowsometime – we’ll find ourselves in the land of Haran and forced to face it again.

Will we give up and die there?

Or will we gather ourselves together, face it and move on – and reach our vision – our land of Canaan?

Just remember – when you’re in the land of Haran – there is a land of Canaan. It’s waiting for you. You can reach it.

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies : thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 

                                                                                                                                                       Psalms 23   verse 5 KJV

We each face those times.

You know the ones. Where we go through some very difficult times and it’s very easy to allow those times to pull us down and push us deep into a quicksand of despair and despondency…

…well

…there’s also a time to get over the gloom and doom and hold our heads up high!

And That’s a  SHOUTING MOMENT!

God is pictured as caring for us so much that in the midst of the forces of evil that attempt to destroy our life and soul, He is preparing a table for us!

In the very presence of our enemies!

They can’t see what is happening right in front of their eyes. They think we’re done in– washed up – down and out.

But a table is being prepared – right in their presence!

They only see the process we went through to get here and they think it’s all over.

Our faith in God tells us otherwise.

The Pharisees and Sadducees only saw the crucifixion – they didn’t see the Ascension into heaven!

“Eyes have not seen and ears have not heard….”

There is an anointing coming on our heads. This means God’s blessing will be poured out on us by the Holy Spirit, and a cup that runneth over will be given to us. This refers to the shepherd’s cup, that was a hollowed out stone and held 30 to 50 gallons of water and which the sheep drank.

This is a shouting moment!

So lift your heads and rejoice in the Lord!

Rejoice – rejoice – rejoice

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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Seems like every day on the news, there’s a new call against Christianity.

“Separation of state and church.” “No praying in the schools.” “No Ten Commandments in the courthouse.” “No preaching on the corners.” And on and on the merry-go-round turns.

Sometimes it seems that everything is allowed – except Christianity.

Yet, there are more denominations – more churches – more TV evangelists, etc. etc., than ever before in history! How do we explain this apparent contradiction?

For example: Doing some research recently, I was astonished to learn that, in addition to the bushel basket full of ‘traditional’ denominations (Catholic, Baptist, Methodists, Lutheran, etc. etc. etc.), as of 2011, across the globe, there are 18, 210 separate ‘denominations’ of the Pentecostal-charismatic movement alone!

So many denominations!  So much internal dissention and disagreement over minor doctrinal points, giving credence and fuel to those who seek to undermine and destroy our faith.

Is the problem with religion in America, that there’s too much religion in America?

This is a key argument being voiced by a number of ‘theocratic scholars’ and it’s become ‘intellectually’ popular to theorize there is, not only, too much religion in America, but that it’s also become ‘too intolerant’.

Hmmm—maybe—maybe not. Maybe both are symptoms of a larger problem—the real problem.

Before allowing myself to get engrossed in a debate on these ‘symptoms’, I go back and ask myself the basic root questions for these arguments first:

                Why are there so many religions?

                What is the measure of intolerance?

Whether modern history revisionists like it or not, the truth remains that Christianity was bipartisan and was the moral character defining America right up to being the driving force behind the civil rights movement. The modern ‘crisis of confidence’ in Christianity can be traced to the increase in technology and globalization. An awareness of alternative faiths, non-Western cultures and spiritualism grew and was postulated. This caused questions and doubt to take root in America that Christian faith alone didn’t speak definitively for, or of, God. With the age-old weakness of man to incorporate his own belief systems into the ‘mind of God’, these new—found ‘spiritual revelations’ gradually began merging with the Gospel into belief systems that became man-based, works-manifested and worship compromised. Truths that supported a Christian worldview began to splinter off, forming divisive sect groups. Meanwhile traditional denominations withered on the vine.

The result is a spiritual “age of accommodation,” wherein the Gospel and secular thought are conveniently intertwined to form ‘religion’ that is pleasing to the ear and gentle on the spirit. Christianity has turned from the supernatural to the natural; from the Gospel to psychology and from the Kingdom of God to the kingdom of man. The ‘good news’ of earthly prosperity and health, as a prelude to eternal glory is now spread universally. And, by the way, eternal life and goodness is now available to everyone—everywhere, as long as they have a ‘good heart’ and ‘feel good about themselves’.  After all, there are no “bad” people and there are many roads that lead to God—not only one- don’t you know? (Besides that – there is no “hell” anyway – only “heaven” for everyone.)

Don’t we wish it were so!?

Where have the traditional denominations gone?

Into hibernation. They’ve withdrawn into themselves, wallowing in self-righteousness and self-satisfaction; happy just to bide their time, waiting for rescue from this world by a self-proclaimed rapture to magically wisp them away from all the trials and tribulations of the world.

Well – good luck with that.

Has the Gospel changed?

Although there are new translations coming out every day, the Gospel itself has been unchanged for over 2000 (maybe 6000 depending on how you chose to look at it) years. Christianity began as a single Gospel—meaning a single message. But, from the beginning, before it was even written, “false teachers” rose up imputing twists to the Gospel. Jesus, Himself, warned against these people, and it was a main theme of Paul—Peter—James—and John. It was called “deception” then and it’s called ‘deception’ today. In other words, men twisted the Gospel for their own means and ends. It’s been twisted so many times, in so many ways; it’s become the proverbial “Gordian Knot”.

So then, is there too much religion in America?

Well, it’s the wrong question. It’s not a question of quantity – it’s a question of quality. There is too much ‘bad religion‘.

There has been a slow, but steady decline of the Gospel of Grace based on Faith, while there’s been a significant concurrent increase in alternative, watered-down, compromised belief systems based on human works, human deeds or mystical mind-games.

What’s the root cause behind this?

Deception. Deceive men into thinking they know better than the God who created them does. Give them something new to meditate on – spiritual myths, the ‘inner’ man, the absence of a God or the ‘great unknown” – “I don’t know if there is or not a God. See how intellectual I am to admit that?”

If that doesn’t work then give them the Gospel back—but spin it a little so that it’s easy to digest. Let’s take out the ‘intolerable’ idea that some things are “right” and some things are “wrong”. After all—we don’t want to offend anyone—do we?

Is it intolerance then, to believe the Gospel?

What is the measure of intolerance? At one time it was ‘intolerant’ for society and family to have illicit sexual morality. Today, it’s ‘standard operating procedure’. It’s normal, accepted, and if you should openly question it – you are ‘intolerable’.

Good! Now we have a test case! Let’s compare results:

Has the pain, heartaches and consequences of sexual immorality changed? Are more people getting STDs now than then? Are more unwed mothers suffering now than then? Are fatherless children suffering more now than then? Are cities-crime rates- urban development-family life-character- lower or higher, now than then? Are people more friendly? Are they ‘good Samaritians’? Or are they epidemic? Out of control? Rampant?

You don’t need to answer-everyone already knows.

Look around. The alternatives mentioned above have changed every aspect of American society -in a negative way, and continue to threaten the very fabric that holds us together. Every level and aspect of American society – crime, politics, education, law, morality, etc. has been degraded and soiled.

Is America better off now than before?

The continual rise of a variety of alternative, watered-down, pseudo-Christianities, based upon humanists and man-deeds—has obviously been a total disaster for America.

So I ask, why is it now ‘intolerable’ to speak against sexual immorality when the results are by far a thousand-fold more disastrous for America?

What has changed is not the offense being committed – but the measurement of the offense. A measurement is a standard that something is compared against. The standard has changed. Man changed it – to meet his ever changing deception about himself and about God.

So, that brings me to a personal question: Am I intolerant?

If believing there is a God—and that He created everything—and that He cares about us enough to make a way for us to know and love Him—and if He shows us the way to do that—and tells us that’s the only way to do that…then…

…count me as intolerant.

Call me Christian, and if in your mind that means “intolerant”, then so be it.

Until Next Time:

Embrace Life’s Bridges – For they Define Who You Are

DK LeVick

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Hello everyone – welcome to the Thursday post of Writing in the Woods….

There’s been a lot of serious writing floating around the past few days. And for good reason too – with Borders closing and agents and publishers attacking John Locke’s book “How I sold a million books in Five Months” (sour grapes and fear is all that is, I’m waiting for his new book to come out “How I sold a million books about selling a million books”). Not to mention finding Rudolph Murdock in our breakfast cereal. Everyone seems to be in on edge a little. Isn’t it Great living in the information age? We’re in the midst of a writing revolution and the formula is changing – constantly. There are no sacred cows any longer.

But, let’s get off that for a bit and take a detour from all these weighty issues. Let’s lighten it up a little, if only for a few minutes.

Let’s go on a ‘mission from God’ – okay? Let’s build Noah’s Ark in 2011.

Follow me…

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Did you ever wonder why Noah built the ark?

You know the story, right?

God was a little upset with the folks down below and decided it was time for them to take a bath – a long permanent bath. But He didn’t want to throw away the baby with the bath water so he figured He’d start over and give it another go. So He found a good man hanging out down below and made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

And that offer wasn’t as easy to accept as we might want to think. Keep in mind – there wasn’t any rain in those days. It’s true, it hadn’t been invented yet.

Read it for yourself in Genesis 2:5 & 6 “…for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth….but a mist came up from the ground and watered the surface.”

Take a lot of mist to float that boat,  ya think?

Okay, no rain, so I guess that means floods hadn’t been invented yet neither. There were lakes and seas so they did take baths I suppose (I hope). But, it had to take a lot of faith for Noah to go ahead and build a giant boat on dry land because of rain and global flooding he’d never heard of before. But, when the Big Guy talks to you – what are you going to do?

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This weeks blog post is in conjunction with the Blog-A-licious Blog Tour. I am pleased to be on the tour along with some very interesting and informative writers. At the bottom of this post will be a listing of the addresses of the other bloggers discussing this weeks subject. I encourage you to visit them also.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you enjoy it and sign up to follow it.

The topic for this week’s Blog-A-licious Blog Tour is:

 “The Book that Inspires me the Most”.

Okay, dk – what book inspires you the most? Wow! That’s a tough one. Kinda like going to a Baskin’s Ice Cream parlor and having to choose one flavor for the rest of your life.

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