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Friday: Further Thought ~ Genesis as Foundation, Part 2 — 12 Comments

  1. Before Dan Brown wrote his infamous book, "The Da Vinci Code", he wrote another book called, "Angels and Demons". It is a novel much like his other books but explores some of the faith/science issues that we are discussing here. I am not recommending that you read the book, but there is an incident that is essentially a discussion of why people believe what they believe. A nuclear scientist in this discussion made the statement, "People believe the miracle workers!" And he asked the question, "Where do you take your child when it is sick? To the cathedral for prayers, or to the hospital for diagnosis, cure and possibly an operation?"

    For all his faults, I think Dan Brown nailed the problem on the head. People are pragmatic and if something does not work, then they try something else. I think that the ancient Hebrew people had the same problem. How often do we hear about them going after other gods? If they had a drought and the crops failed while they were worshipping Jehovah, then they turned to Baal, a fertility god. When Moses disappeared up the mountain for a time and it looked as though Jehovah had abandoned them, then they made a golden calf.

    Today, science has solved many of the medical problems that troubled us (admittedly it hasn't stopped us from getting a whole bunch of new ones). I grew up in the shadow of polio. Family members were affected, and some died. I was about 8 when the first vaccine arrived in NZ - a mere 4 years after and aunt had died from polio - leaving her family of three boys and their dad. No wonder my parents lined us up for the miracle of the polio vaccine. A second, more effective vaccine arrived a few years later and we were lined up for that as well. Today most people have hardly heard of polio and my own family has grown up without the threat of polio lying over us. (Its something we need to remind ourselves about in the current COVID-19 pandemic). My point is that science has for many people performed miracles and has saved people's lives. And it is against that background that science gains its credibility. (Note: I am not saying that we should abandon science for that reason.)

    Our track record for performing miracles does not have the same traction as science. So how then do we get people to believe in and trust God? It comes down once again that the only miracle we need is the miracle of living a saved life in a way that we can share with others. No argument is as powerful as that of a loving Christian showing care and concern for others.

    By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:35KJV

    • Polio has been described to leave millions with sequelae, for more than 50 years only in the past century! And all of these diseases spread around because human life is taking over the planet, disoriented! While the Bible keeps on telling us about what is going to happen from a long time, with many of these signs about the future in it, written way ahead and already fulfilled, perhaps most people continue to think it is all a fable. Isn't that strange how we forget so quickly about sacredness when everything goes right, and turn to the supernatural when even science cannot give us the answer? When someone truly studies whatever subject in life will certailny find out how little we know about everything! "I know that know nothing"! We do not see things because our hearts probably blur our minds! We pay attention to details only when we are attracted to them, other than that, we are blind people running around! Without a Light, the world will crash! Thank God for the way out, and that way is JESUS only!

      Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? Mark 8:18

  2. 1. Could it be that man has become more 'comfortable', thinking himself more in control of his own destiny, when placing his stake for the reason of his existence in the realm of the observable?
    What is the only other alternative? - The believe that man is made in the Image of their Creator God! You can see what is at stake - man's spiritual identity. It either exists or it does not.

    Evolutionists can see/observe their bodies, but they can not 'see' God's Spirit residing in their bodies, unless they develop a relationship with their Creator God. Therefor, spirit not being 'observable', man tries its best to either ignore his spiritual essence or outright deny it if solely led by scientific argument.

    2. Who, who's authority, established that the concept of evolution is superior or the only valid premise when explaining the visible world? It appears that the other side, because of having the 'weaker' arguments, needed to stack the odds in their favor by authoritatively dismissing/excluding the supernatural from the debate and, with that, prevent an honest and fair dialogue over equally faith based world views.
    It is well established that the knowledge of the Creator God is being undermined or even eliminated on all levels of societal dialogue.

    Why do we allow the evolutionary/science based world view to set/establish the rules for a dialogue? Under their premise of 'superiority of science', we will never be considered an equal partner or can we have a fair dialogue.

    If we were allowed as an equal, this would imply/establish that we, the 'other side', has 'valid' arguments. This cannot be allowed to be established since this would threaten the core position of their believe - an existence without a God.
    It can really be only one position to the exclusion of the other, at least what concerns the creation of this earth and its mankind.
    This is the battle over the primal, spiritual source of mankind.
    And that is the 'Crux of the Matter'. (pun intended) 🙂

    Why are we finding ourselves always in the 'defense' position? We recognize/identify the forces that have stacked the deck to favor the other side by their goal!

    We can unashamedly, unabashedly DECLARE the Truth about God to the World! No need to debate, no need to submit/accept to the false source - just let the Truth be told!

    • Dear Brigitte,

      Much of what's going on in the planet right now has been taken to a political debate! And it seems that the world can be quite divided about what is the correct political approach to the pandemia! Science says something, politics says otherwise! Some merge, some don't. At the end, there is no need to convince anyone! We basically believe what we want! Sad but true!

      The answer might be on,

      "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29

      • Yes, it is the saddest experience to recognize that all the folks who so much glamour for peace, equality, unity, fair treatment, service to the fellow man in need can not see the forest for the trees.
        We pray always for the Holy Spirit to pour out His blessings of seeing and hearing from the heart so they can understand that their quest has already been satisfied in Christ Jesus.

    • Brigitte, It is not advertised much by main stream media or secular science but the the scientific world view of “Intelligent Design” is gaining a foothold in the scientific community. Of course, most do not go as far as a Creator. That would mean answering to the Creator God but the fact remains that Quantum Physics which demonstrated the Universe has a beginning, threw a curveball to the scientific community. The deeper astrophysicist and mathematicians go into the intricacies of matter and energy, the more sophisticated and elegant the design, the order of the tiny particles that makes it all work. This is quite contradictory to Darwin’s “THEORY of Evolution” that suggests that life and systems are advancing and becoming more complex. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says that physical processes tend to run down.

      • Glad to hear that, Jim - no matter how many universes and solar systems might still be established, they all are designed to reflect His all-encompassing love which is at the heart and undergirds all Creation - His creation power mingled with Mercy and Grace.
        I would challenge the notion that they can still find no 'evidence' that points to an intelligent Creator; it is because of the vanity of mankind that makes this a challenge to their ego.

  3. Have you ever tried to change someone else's view on something and found out it rarely works very well? Did you feel like they were 'resisting' your efforts?

    The bible informs us that most people will not 'choose' the way of abundant life (Matthew 7:13,14). Why is this the case when the objective facts support that abundant life is a better option than perishing? Why is most people's preference the 'highway to hell'?

    While some people will do things because the facts support it as the objectively best option, most people don't do things that way. Instead, most people are 'led along' by their subconscious which operates on the basis of subjective rather than objective 'facts'. More specifically, people typically will continue with what works for them until it doesn't (Proverbs 14:12; Judges 21:25). Until people reach this point where their way stops working for them, they are typically in a state of resistance to change. Consequently, they will push back against attempts to get them to change. This is what was driving Cain to kill Abel, David to pursue Bathsheba and subsequently kill Uriah in an attempt to 'cover-up' the consequences, Peter to deny Jesus to save his own skin, and the Laodicean condition to be blind to its need (Revelation 3:17).

    This is one dimension of why presentation of 'facts' and information alone does little to change people's attitude/beliefs/behaviors that influence their life trajectory. Where change does happen, it is much more likely to be because a person has come to the point where what they have been doing is no longer sufficiently working for them AND after they have come to this point, an alternative option is offered to them in a supportive manner. Very few people will change simply because someone has presented an effective argument in support of that change.

    This is why our role as Christians is to treat all people with genuine beneficence (in a way that supports their best interests, no strings attached) and to offer them an opportunity to know about a better way and to support them in their learning of that better way - IF AND WHEN they are ready. This was Jesus way of doing things when He walked this earth. He was always invitational in His approach - never coercive.

    Remember, it is the Holy Spirit that does any and all true convicting - it is not anything we do. The Greek word for faith is pistis which describes someone coming to accept something as truth because they have been "divinely persuaded". This is reflective of an authoritative rather than authoritarian phenomenon (as per Mark 1:22). Jesus lived what He taught - it was His living that gave his words authority. Hence the necessity of John 13:34,35.

      • Yes, you are correct JC - it is a matter of ‘the heart’.

        For those who may not be aware, from a Bible interpretation perspective, ‘the heart’ is used throughout scripture to refer to the metaphorical ‘place’ within us where our deepest desires lie. Modern science is continuing to grow in its understanding that our heart, brain and ‘gut’ are actually all involved: the heart-brain-gut axis. And our deepest desires typically ‘drive’ what we think, say and do (Proverbs 4:23).

        Our heart will either desire a life of beneficent love to others (Philippians 2:4; 1 Corinthians 13) - the necessary foundation for abundant life - or it will desire self-seeking exploitation and abuse of others (Genesis 6:5) - the necessary foundation for a life of (self-) destruction.

        The importance of ‘the heart’ as the foundation underpinning the life we desire and therefore live is the reason why God looks on the heart rather than the outward behaviour (1 Samuel 16:7). God is looking to see whether our heart is open to being drawn to love (eg Psalm 51:10) or whether it is irreversibly hardened in self-seeking (like Pharaoh was and Satan is).

        All who do not have a place in the New heavens and earth will have irreversibly hardened their hearts.

  4. I really like the two questions at the end of today’s lesson. They both end up with a similar answer in my mind. If those who do not want to believe in creation, the way it is recorded in the Bible, were to admit that yes, that is probably the way it happened, then they would have to admit that there is a God, and then they would have to grapple with that. Belief in God brings with it the blessing of living a life of hope and a life in harmony with that God. Obedience to Gods laws moves us forward in that life. Sadly, some view that obedience as having to give up our own desires, so claiming that there is no God and creation, as described in scripture, could not have happened that way, makes it easier to live life as they please. That are the thoughts that came to my mind when reading those questions.

  5. God's Holy Spirit has given to the Church spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit came to the waiting believers at Pentecost after Jesus' departure.

    We have not been called to debate the Creation of this earth or the origin of mankind. We have been given the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be effectual when spreading the Gospel.
    The Word of God, when entering a receptive heart, will draw a person to Himself by its own power. Once received into the fellowship of believers, our ministry to this new believer is to meet his/her spiritual, emotional and practical needs.

    Jesus' mandate to the believer was to go into all the world and preach the Gospel and meet the needs of the poor; that is our basic mission. In addition to this mission, our righteous living is the living testimony of Christ to the unbeliever.

    Every desiring believer receives this gift of God - His Holy Spirit - to empower his spreading of the Gospel message. In all we do, we need to be careful and remember our first Love - the Love of our Redeemer when we first believed.

    Everything the Christian does when engaging in the work to spread the Gospel should be motivated by Love for his fellow man.

    1.Corinthians Chapter 12 -
    v.1 - Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
    v.3 - Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
    v.5 - And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
    v.6 - And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
    v.7 - But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
    v.8 - For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.
    v.9 - To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
    v.10 - To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
    v.11 - But all these worketh (by) that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
    v.12 - For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
    v.13 - For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
    v.27 - Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
    v.28 - And God hath set some in the church, first, apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, than gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
    v.31 - But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

    1 Cor.13 -
    v. 1 - Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as a sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
    v.2 - And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
    v.3 - And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
    v.13 - And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity - LOVE.


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