Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Right Thing is Scary

Today was full of God doing amazing things.  But, it scares me.

 Amazing – Our ten year old foster son got baptized. 

Amazing – His mother, and two of her friends, came to church to see him get baptized.

Amazing – His mother, and her two friends, heard the gospel preached very plainly.  I don’t know where they are at spiritually, but everyone needs Christ.  The opportunity for them to hear the gospel is amazing.

Amazing – They had a positive experience at church.  They said that they have been to other churches but don’t always understand what the preacher says.  They like our pastor and understood him.

Scary – Inviting these people into our world.  Most foster parents have little, or no, contact with the birth parents.  As a foster parent, it is easier to live separately from the natural mother.  It is scary to have her into our world.  The family dynamic changes.  I wonder how the children will react to her and to me.  How will she react to us?

Scary – What if she wants to come back to church?  What if she comes back to see the kids every week?  What will it be like to have her presence in our life every week? 

While this scares me, I have to put my fears aside.  The family dynamic, my feelings, my fears, etc., are not important in comparison to the mother’s spiritual needs.  God wants me to spiritually build into the lives of these children and their mother.  Their spiritual needs are of utmost importance.  Following God is the life of faith.  Faith must prevail over fears.

Please pray for us as we follow God down this scary path.  More importantly, pray for the spiritual needs of this family.  That is their greatest need.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Rambling Thoughts About the Creation/Evolution Debate

I watched the creation/evolution debate between Ken Hamm and Bill Nye, the Science Guy.  While I have many thoughts about the debate, I only have time to share a couple (and you probably only have time and interest to read a couple of my thoughts).

 First, I will jump to the end of the debate because I think it is the most crucial issue addressed.  The final question asked what they base their views on.  Ken Hamm answered first and firmly said  he bases his belief in creationism on the Bible.  He believes science supports the biblical claims that God created the world in six literal days.  Bill Nye said he bases his views solely on science. 

 After listening to these two men for about two hours, I believe Bill Nye incorrectly answered the question (I’m not saying he intentionally lied. He probably does not understand his real starting point.  Yes, I admit that I’m being presumptuous by claiming I know his true starting point and he does not.).  Bill Nye’s views are not really based on science.  There are no scientifically recorded observations of what happened on earth thousands, millions, or billions of years ago (if in fact the earth existed that long).  So, Nye cannot really base his belief in the origins of the universe on science.  Similarly, scientific observations of this current world are subject to interpretation.  Nye and Hamm, as well as other scientists both evolutionists and creationists, have the same scientific “facts” about this earth, but they come to different conclusions, evolution or creation, because they interpret the facts differently. 

 So, how do we explain the difference in their interpretation?  It is their starting point.  Hamm admits he starts with the Bible.  When he views scientific evidence, he interprets it in light of biblical teaching that God created the world in six days.  On the other hand, Bill Nye begins with the belief that God does not exist and, therefore, everything must be explained solely by the natural world, without any possibility of a supernatural intervention.  Since God is out of Nye’s picture, he has to interpret the scientific “facts” differently than Hamm.

 Likewise, I think that people who already believe in creationism think Hamm won the debate, while people who already believe in evolution believe Nye won the debate.  A person’s starting point, already believing in creationism or evolution, led them to their belief of who won the debate.

 The key point is that a person’s starting point will determine their conclusion.  Hamm starts with a belief in God, so he concludes that God created the earth.  Nye starts with a belief that God does not exist, so he concludes that the earth is a result of evolution.  Very few people actually let the “scientific evidence” lead them to believe in God or to reject a belief in God.

 Second, the “scientific evidence” is, in reality, insufficient to cause anyone to “know” that God exists, that creationism occurred, or that evolution occurred.  The debate, as a whole, made it clear that no one really “knows” what happened.  Absolute knowledge or certainty is impossible.

 With that said, I think Hamm provided significant evidence that creationism is a reasonable belief.  Personally, I believe the evidence shows without any “reasonable doubt” (borrowing a term from the legal field, which recognizes that absolute knowledge and certainty is impossible) that God created the world in six literal days.  At the very least, there is enough evidence for creation that a reasonable man can believe in creationism.

 Third, the debate about creationism and evolution is only a small part of the real issue.  The real issue is whether men and women are sinful creatures destined for hell because of our sin, but God sacrificed His only Son to pay for our sins; we can be forgiven of our sins and spend eternity in heaven by believing in Jesus Christ.

 At times, Hamm veered away from the science and spoke about the Bible as a whole.  Initially, I was frustrated by this approach thinking he failed to use his allotted time to “prove” creationism and “debunk” evolution.  Later, I decided that Hamm’s approach was correct.  The ultimate goal is not to win a debate about creation.  The more important issue is salvation.  Hamm even explained the entire plan of salvation in the debate. 

 Since creationism and evolution are really just a small part of the total discussion, a person should look at all of the evidence about God.  There is significant historical evidence demonstrating the authenticity of the Bible, the fact that Jesus live, Jesus performed miracles, Jesus was executed, and Jesus rose from the dead.  If a reasonable person looks at all of the evidence, not just the scientific evidence, he must conclude there is more evidence supporting the existence of God and that Jesus died for our sins, than there is evidence to the contrary.  Hamm correctly expanded the scope of the debate; the more that a person sees the more overwhelming the evidence to support God and the Bible.

 Fourth, several times Nye answered questions by saying that he did not know.  The lack of answers about why man exists illustrates the emptiness of evolution and should lead someone to look for deeper answers.  As Hamm pointed out, the Bible answers these questions.  There is more to life than just being an animal with no purpose.  God has a plan.

 Fifth, as Nye explained evolution, it became apparent that people do not really live as evolutionists.  Evolution supports the idea of the survival of the fittest.  If we lived that way, then racism would continue and it would be acceptable for stronger races to subjugate lesser races.  Slavery would be acceptable.  The persecution of minority groups, including homosexuals, would be acceptable.  No one could claim any moral ground like homosexuals should be treated equally.  Why?  According to evolution, the strongest survive so no one claim that minorities should receive any special treatment.  If they need special treatment to survive, then they should be extinct.  Of course, such life is unacceptable to evolutionists.  Accordingly, they do not even live by their own purported beliefs.

Finally, Nye, on numerous occasions, explained that he was afraid that creationism would cause people to stop developing scientific technologies.  This argument is, honestly, very lame.  Creationists and Evolutionists currently work under the same natural laws.  Gravity and other natural laws apply to everyone.  A Creationist is perfectly capable of developing technologies and Hamm provided numerous examples of Creationists excelling in the areas of science.  Nye attempted to create a tragic disaster caused by creationism.  No such threat exists and his attempt illustrates the overall desperation of his position.