Old-Earthers and Theistic Evolutionists: Are You Prepared to Call God Incompetent or a Deceiver?

There’s lots of debate among Christians and theologians these days as to whether the Bible teaches a young or old Earth, and whether the early chapters of Genesis are literal history or symbolism/allegory. To me, the text of Genesis is clearly literal history that clearly teaches a young Earth. And it is a fact that most Christian scholars and thinkers through the centuries affirmed the Scriptural support for a young earth.

Something else, however, that people need to consider in this debate but usually don’t: What does it say about God if the opening chapters of Genesis are merely symbolic or allegorical but God nonetheless let his people carry on for thousands of years thinking that they were literal? And what does it say about God if He used long ages and evolutionary processes to create, yet let his people believe, for thousands of years, that the opposite was true?

It would mean one of two things: God is incompetent, or He’s a deceiver. If God created us using long ages and evolution, but couldn’t create us in such a way that we could understand those truths from the very beginning of our existence—straightforwardly and without symbolism—He’s not the all-powerful God the Bible says He is. And if God created us using long ages and evolution and WAS able to make us understand those truths from the beginning but simply didn’t—instead letting us go on blathering about 6 days and special creation and looking like fools—then He’s a deceiver and not very nice.

So long-agers and theistic evolutionists, etc., need to ask themselves: Do I believe that God is incompetent? Do I believe that God is a deceiver? To me, the answer is a clear and emphatic, “No, God is neither,” and the implications of that answer are also clear: God is powerful enough to not only create us, but to create us as intelligent beings capable of understanding truth in a straightforward manner, from the very beginning of our existence; and He loves us enough to not deceive us, and to not mislead us and make fools of us.

Chick-fil-A: Serving Chicken, Not Acting Like One

Chick-fil-A: Good food, good values. (Courtesy Chick-fil-A)

I’ve known for a while that Chick-fil-A is a Christian company, but I just caught up with this most recent bit of news: President and chief operating office Dan Cathy, son of company founder and chairman Truett Cathy, said that same-sex marriage is a bad idea:

“I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.’ I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.”

Responding to backlash from LGBT groups regarding prior comments and the company’s history of giving to pro-traditional-marriage groups, Dan Cathy had this to say:

“Well, guilty as charged. We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that…we know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”

Dan Cathy is absolutely right, and the people upset with him are torqued only because they can’t stand the slightest opposition—especially from a mainstream entity—to their destructive desires. Sorry (not really), but you won’t get a stamp of approval from Chick-fil-A, or from me.

In conclusion: Eat mor chikin.

Of Mermaids and Men

Merman, Colmar, France Musée d' Unterlinden

Look, Ma! No feet! … (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Animal Planet recently aired a program called Mermaids: The Body Found, presenting as a documentary what belongs in the realm of the imagination. From an Answers in Genesis article on the program:

Mermaids advanced an idea known as the “aquatic ape hypothesis” (AAH), called the “aquatic ape theory” in the program. First proposed by a German pathologist in 1942, the idea has been met with much skepticism in the scientific community, although it is supported by a respectable number of laypeople. This view claims that our alleged ancestors went through a watery stage in our evolutionary development where, according to the show, “our ability to walk fully upright first evolved, wading in the shallows where food was easily found.” Our supposed ape-like ancestors started living near the oceans, and the narrator informs viewers that “this is where our advanced intelligence began to develop” thanks to the “brain-building nutrients” like iodine and fatty acids so abundant in the shellfish gathered there. Due to earthquakes and volcanic activity along the coasts, “some of our ancestors pulled back, heading inland, [but] others did not . . . If our distant ancestors spent time living in the sea, is it possible that one group split off from the rest? And rather than retreating from the water, did they go deeper in?”

Utterly ridiculous. Anyone who follows my blog knows of my disagreement with evolutionary theory, and what these people are proposing just further illustrates the problem: They’re saying that because a group of people took to living near the water, and spending a lot of time in the water hunting food, their DNA produced a series of mutations whereby each person’s two legs became one scaly, fishlike appendage complete with fins. This, of course, is on top of the presumption that merpeople ever existed.

As the above excerpt points out, most of the scientific community (to its credit) is skeptical about the alleged “human-merman” connection, but the truth is that the entire evolutionary paradigm* is just as ludicrous as any man-merman hypothesis: something (the universe) coming from nothing, without any outside help; life coming from nonlife, without any outside help; the development of single-celled organisms into ever-more-complex life forms, all the way up to the uber-complex human being, by a process (mutation) that doesn’t add novel genetic information but instead degrades and destroys much of what’s already there, causing a loss in genetic information. All of these things defy basic principles of logic; you can’t bring matter into existence (creation ex nihilo), and you can’t create life, and you can’t build ever-more-complex structures using material that’s continuously breaking down.

Unless, of course, you’re God. He can bring a universe into existence. He can bring life into being. He can animate earthen sculptures with souls, each one a fully formed original, and sustain them through numerous genetic breakdowns and environmental decay.

And He can bring us to our final, perfect, eternal home, beyond the reach of all trouble.

* By evolutionary paradigm, I mean not only the theory of evolution—which is limited to biological lifeforms and the genetic changes associated with them—but also the typical evolutionist/atheist beliefs about the origins of life and the universe.

Fact vs. Feeling

emotion icon

Emotions: Not what the Truth is about. … (Photo credit: Łukasz Strachanowski)

In at least one crucial way, religion is no different from any other aspect of life: You need to be wary of emotions.

Emotion has its place, in religion and in the rest of life: family celebrations and other festive occasions are times to crank up the fun factor; funerals and memorials are times for grieving and mourning; Halloween is a time to indulge a healthy amount of suspense. Emotions, however, have a downside: there’s always the danger of letting your feelings dictate your actions, in spite of any factual information telling you otherwise. If I’m wronged in some way (whether the wrong is real or perceived), I may feel like hauling off and smacking someone—but doing that could get me in a lot of hot water.

This issue is especially of concern in the area of religious belief, perhaps primarily because a good chunk of the subject matter deals with things not physically evident or empirically verifiable. That doesn’t mean, though, that there isn’t a set of facts regarding the spiritual realm. Consider it logically:

  • Either there is a spiritual realm, or there isn’t; it can’t be both.
  • Either there’s one God, multiple gods, or no gods; it can be only one of these options.
  • If there is a God, He either cares about us or He doesn’t; it can’t be both.

And so forth.

Many people like to say that politics and religion are strictly a matter of opinion, but that’s false. I won’t comment on politics here, but religion, as I began to demonstrate in the above examples, has a set of facts about it, just like any other subject in human experience. So whatever you decide to follow or not follow as far as spirituality/religion/faith is not simply a matter of personal preference or a case of “what’s true for you isn’t true for me”; there’s a set of spiritual facts, and only one faith system, at most, can be correct on the most crucial points. A simple side-by-side comparison of the major doctrines of the various religions confirms this: Christianity and Islam and Mormonism and Scientology and Buddhism are all at odds with each other on major points of doctrine, so common sense says that only one of them, at most, could be right.

Many people, unfortunately, don’t like to bother with the facts, but instead like to go with whatever “feels right,” whatever system tells them what they want to hear. Case in point: Mormons and the “burning in the bosom.” Mormons like to tell people to ask God if the Book of Mormon is true, and that if you do this, you’ll experience a pleasant physical sensation in your chest—this “burning in the bosom”—signifying God’s affirmative answer. Not only is the power of suggestion in play here, but people are giving zero consideration to whatever facts are involved.

And in the case of Mormonism and other non-Christian religions, some of the facts being ignored or missed are downright absurd, making one wonder how these religions ever got any followers. Why does anyone subscribe to Mormonism when its founder’s lifelong pattern of fraudulent behavior is a matter of public record? Why does anyone follow Scientology when its inventor was a science fiction author? Why does anyone follow Islam when its founder was nothing more than an attention-seeking warmonger with an inferiority complex?

Really? You trust these guys? These facts don’t matter to you? Does a “burning in the bosom” or some other emotional experience outweigh the truth?

Even more unfortunately, some Christians groups fall for this same thing. I’m reminded of all those charismatic preachers who make a habit of getting the crowd worked up and emphatically push on the foreheads of their congregants, who seem to always faint and end up needing to be dragged offstage. I’m also reminded of megapreacher Joel Osteen, who always has a smile plastered on his face, apparently never having had a bad day in his life. His church is the biggest in America—and it’s no wonder, because the only thing his congregants ever hear is “the positive motivational speech”; you’ll never walk out of one of his services feeling anything but elated, believing that a material and financial windfall is just around the corner.

And don’t even get me started on “the Holy Ghost laughter.”

There is much to enjoy about God, and a relationship with Him certainly involves some pleasant emotions, but emotions aren’t the be-all and end-all—God, the Truth, is.

The Absurdity of Evolutionary Thought

Anti-evolution car in Athens, Georgia

Anti-evolution car in Athens, Georgia. … (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I believe in creationism, not evolution, so of course there are many things about evolution I find absurd, but perhaps most absurd are the origins arguments evolutionists propose.

To begin at the broadest point, evolution posits that somehow something came from nothing—literally. Somehow, according to the theory, the universe exploded into existence where there previously had been not just a void (which is something), but nothing at all, no material existence. To narrow things a bit more, evolution says life sprang from nonlife, that a pool of chemicals (and who knows where those came from) produced some sort of reaction that in turn produced the first living organism, like Frankenstein’s monster rising from a pile of lifeless, stitched-together body parts.

Something from nothing. Life from nonlife. Without any outside assistance or intervention.

Completely absurd.

But it gets even better. I’ll presume, for the sake of argument, that this primordial soup of chemicals did produce the first living organism, some sort of single-celled creature. This life form would have to be self-replicating, which is reasonable (such organisms exist today), but where would it get the genetic information to produce anything but more single-celled organisms like itself? Did random mutations produce new information? Impossible; mutations do not produce new info—in fact, any mutations would result only in a loss of genetic information, so the only thing the single-celled organism could produce would be more versions of itself, and genetically degraded ones at that. Thus, without outside assistance or intervention, no new information would be available, which means no other life forms could ever have arisen.

Evolutionists often enjoy mocking Biblical, creationist thinking, but if God is God, He can do anything. More to the point, He can do all the things that atheistic, evolutionary thinking can’t account for: create something out of nothing, create life from nonlife, and create all the basic kinds of creatures, each kind independent of the others but with enough built-in genetic flexibility to produce the great variety of species we see in the world today.

North Carolina, Colorado Strike Back at Homosexual Agenda

Español: Intercambio de anillos entre los novios

What God intended. … (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The citizens of North Carolina dealt the homosexual movement a severe setback Tuesday, voting by an overwhelming 61 to 39 percent to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage” and legal recognition of unmarried couples by state and local authorities.

This is fantastic news. North Carolina becomes the last state in the South and the 31st overall to add a marriage amendment to its constitution, in the process sending a strong message to this country’s liberal factions that there are still plenty of us who want to see real marriage preserved.

In related news, a bill that would’ve allowed same-sex couples to form civil unions died in the Colorado House on Tuesday when what was essentially a Republican filibuster used up what time remained before the 2012 legislative session came to a close.

This was an extra-good piece of news, because civil unions are often viewed as an easier-to-acquire alternative or even precursor to same-sex “marriage”—the lesser of two evils, so to speak—so preventing them from happening pushes the possibility of same-sex “marriage” even further away.

I’m sure the homosexual lobby won’t back down or stop trying to force us all to accept the perversion it touts, and we’ll probably be hammered with stories of how these measures will “keep homosexual couples apart” or “keep them from visiting each other in the hospital,” but these are red herrings. Homosexuals still have the same civil (political) rights as the rest of us, they can still live the lifestyle they’ve always lived, and a simple will guarantees the desired transfer of monies, properties, and other possessions to one’s “partner.” As for hospital visits, I think that’s an overblown issue, not frequently encountered, that can usually be worked out within the family; this country certainly doesn’t need another case of the will of a very few being dictated to the vast majority, i.e. (absence of) prayer in schools.

Besides all that, this issue generally isn’t about any of those things; it’s about a relatively small group of people practicing a deviant lifestyle who aren’t content to just live their lives according to their morally wrong choices, but want the rest of us—individuals, governments, churches, everyone—to validate and legitimize something we have a real problem with. Sorry (not really), but that’s not gonna happen.

People such as me, of course, will be demonized by the Left for this stance, but I know who I am: I respect homosexual people as fellow humans made in the image of God, no less valuable than anyone else, and I respect their right to decide the course of their lives. That said, there’s still such a thing as absolute right and wrong (as defined by the only One whose definition matters), and homosexuality is one of the many wrong behaviors humans engage in. As such, I can’t support or agree with it.

No God = No Morals; or, Gettin’ Preachy Wit It

Morality

Morality: God’s property. … (Photo credit: tdietmut)

Editor’s note: This post is the latest segment of my ongoing conversation with fellow WordPress blogger Bluepearlgirl’s World, whom I refer to in shorthand fashion as BW. I’m now responding to her comments that are available for viewing below my previous post, which you can read here. Much of what I now present to you is directed specifically at BW, but please know that I’m also speaking to a broader audience.

Alright, BW, get ready to pony up on that 50-cent wager: I live in Los Angeles County—though, to be fair, I’m originally from the East Coast, so make it 25 cents and I’ll call it good.

I understand that other people, like myself, are passionate about their deepest-held beliefs, whatever they are. You’re passionate, and that’s fine, but I think your passion is keeping you from simply understanding some basic points I was trying to make, regardless of whether you would agree with them. For example, in response to you saying that you were tired of constantly hearing “God talk,” I wrote that I can’t imagine that you hear much “God talk” in San Francisco—and you responded to that by insinuating that I was calling everyone in San Francisco immoral. That’s not at all what I was saying. My point was simply that San Francisco is a highly liberal town, and I’m pretty sure it’s not crawling with street preachers. That’s it. Am I wrong? Are there, in fact, a lot of people in San Francisco preaching the Bible and the Gospel of Christ? Because this is one time I’d be ecstatic to be wrong.

I did address the issue of morality in my last post, but I never said—or even implied—that all San Franciscans (is that the right term?) are immoral. What I said was that if there is no God, then a discussion of morality is a moot point—in fact, that without God, the concept of morality wouldn’t even exist, and we couldn’t be having a discussion about it.

Think of it this way (and I’m borrowing from C.S. Lewis here): If a fish has lived all its life in the dark depths of some giant trench in the ocean floor, then not only will it have no idea what “light” is, it will not even realize what “dark” is, because it will have had nothing (light) with which to compare the dark. The environment in which it lives simply “is.” Likewise, you can’t understand what a crooked line is unless you have some idea of a straight line. So if there was no God, from Whom morality originates, we would have no understanding of “right,” or of “wrong”; everything would simply “be.” You would have your preferences and I would have mine, but that’s all they’d be; you and I would never have a problem with anything the other one did—because we’d be literally incapable of having a problem with anything (there would be no such thing as “problem” behavior).

You contend, like many other liberals, that people can be moral without God. Perhaps you believe that morality comes from evolution, or from “nature,” or perhaps that whatever we call “morals” are simply those things that evolved in us to help our species survive (such as “don’t murder”). The problem with those ideas, however, is that what they’re talking about is not true morality: the “morals” they entail are not things that are objectively true, they’re not absolute rights and wrongs; they’re merely concepts that helped our species survive—and which are subject to change. These ideas, in fact, would seem to equate “morality” with “survival” … but what if I felt that my survival depended on murdering you? In that case, “don’t murder” wouldn’t be moral; “murder” would be moral, because it’s what helped me survive! Now you’ve entered the dangerous territory of moral relativity, where one day something’s right and the next it’s wrong. This is what happens, though, when you move away from an objective, absolute, outside-of-human-existence standard—something only God can provide.

I also contend that when it comes to morality, liberals try to have their cake and eat it too: they want to live a life without God, ignoring Him and the responsibilities we have to Him, while at the same time borrowing from the moral ethic He created, but only when it suits them. They want to be able to do what they want, but if they have a problem with something that others are doing (even though those other people should likewise be able to do what they want), they protest, making some sort of moral-based claim (“Gays have rights, too!). But wait: Their belief system doesn’t have an objective standard of morality, and they reject the God who does provide such a standard, so on what basis are they making such claims? On nothing more than their own opinion, which is based only on what suits their desires at the time.

It’s this type of mentality that leads many liberals to do contradictory things, such as acting passionately to protect animals and forests while giving their okay to abortion. Or telling Christians to mind their own business on sexual matters while at the same time pushing society to accept so-called “homosexual rights.” So, animals are more important than innocent human life? And liberals can push a radical sexual agenda but Christians are supposed to just shut up and accept it? Those are the kind of absurd inconsistencies you get when you have nothing concrete to build your life on.

ANSWERING A FEW OF BW’S SPECIFIC QUESTIONS/CONCERNS

Her quotes, followed by my responses:

“I just think you are talking one thing but preaching (and yes i mean preaching) something very different.”

Of course I’m preaching; it’s my job. Jesus issued the Great Commission to all His followers: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew chapter 28, verses 19-20).

“The Chinese empire … as well as some of the most complex cultures thriving in South America. AND before this time there was the Assyrians and the Babylonian and Mesopotamian societies not to mention the Olmec and the Sumarians. Are you really telling me that they must have had nothing to believe in because Jesus was not born yet? … And what about the Koran? What about Buddha?”

* What do I say about pre-Christian societies? They’ll be judged according to what knowledge they had available to them, as it states in Romans 1:19-20:

Because what may be known of God is manifest in them (people), for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.

This also goes for those who are alive on this earth today but will die without ever having heard the Gospel, such as the people who live deep in the jungle and have never had contact with the outside world. God is fair, and whatever He decides will be fair.

* What do I say about the Koran, and Buddha, etc.? I say they’re wrong—not necessarily 100% wrong, but wrong on the most important questions and issues. How could you expect me to say otherwise? I’m a Christian; of course I’m not going to believe what non-Christians believe; then I wouldn’t be a Christian, would I? There’s also this idea that religion is like ice cream flavors: whichever one is your favorite, whichever works for you, that’s what’s true for you. No. That doesn’t cut it, because unlike something that is truly subjective, such as favorite ice cream flavor, there is an objective truth about existence: either there’s one God, or multiple gods, or no God; it can’t be more than one of those options. Either we got here by evolution, or God put us here; it can’t be both. If God is real, He’s either going to expect certain things from us, or He’s not—but it can’t be both. Religion, contrary to liberal philosophy, is not an “anything goes, whatever’s true for you” proposition; it’s as fact-based as meteorology or the rules of baseball.

“You have absolutely no knowledge of any of these ‘non believers’ around the world, so how could you know that they are soul-less?”

* My disagreement with them doesn’t mean I think they’re soulless, and I never said they are.

* I don’t think you can say that I have “absolutely no knowledge of any of these ‘non believers’ around the world.” You don’t know how much I know, or don’t know, or what I’ve studied and haven’t studied. In fact, I’ve done a fair amount of studying of other religions, because I believe that it’s my job to be prepared to engage in discussions with people of those faiths, but your comments inquiring as to what I think about other religions and holy books betrays another common liberal mistake: believing that Christians should be open to other belief systems—and by “open” I don’t mean “willing to consider the truth claims of other religions” (which I’ve done, and obviously decided against), but “willing to agree that all religions ‘basically say the same thing’ and are equally valid.” I’m sure you’ll think this to be harsh, but: They’re not equally valid. A simple side-by-side comparison quickly demonstrates that not all religions “basically say the same thing,” and that many of them hold to beliefs that are in stark contrast to one another. Further, the Judeo-Christian faith tradition is the only one that addresses the fundamental human flaw: sin.

“I do not like it when people push their ideas onto you as if there is a right to force feed anyone your belief system… and if they arent buying it, push it harder.”

I’m not pushing my ideas onto anyone, or force-feeding anyone, or condemning anyone; I’m using a public platform to state my beliefs—the things I stand behind and the things I’m against—and you can take it or leave it.

“The difference with us is that i do not think that i already have all of the answers and that is ok with me.”

I don’t think I have all the answers, and I love (being sarcastic here) how liberals like to shoot back at Christians with that type of reactionary accusation when Christians say something that liberals deem unpalatable—and you’ve done that to me multiple times already: I merely stated my beliefs, but somehow that made me guilty of calling all San Franciscans immoral, and people of other faiths soulless, and of being pushy with my beliefs.

“And let me ask you… a real christian, which one is it… The new testament or the old?

Both. The Old Testament highlights human sinfulness and the need for a Savior, and the New Testament tells the story of that Savior. Taken together, the two testaments comprise the story of God’s love for all people.

And don’t think I missed the subtle jabs at my faith you tossed in throughout your posts: that I follow a “dude” who “may have been a cult leader” and “may not have even existed,” that I believe in “a snake and an apple” and that the writings I follow “were written 300 years” after my “god died.” But that’s alright; Jesus said that would happen, so I’m prepared for it. Just want you to know that I know. 😉

But since you brought those things up:

  • Jesus definitely existed. We even have extrabiblical evidence of this in the writings of Jewish historian Josephus.
  • The snake was originally a serpent, with legs, before God cursed it with having no legs.
  • We don’t know what the forbidden fruit was.
  • All of the New Testament was written within the lifetimes of Jesus’s original 12 apostles, and much of it was written by those very men, who were eyewitnesses to what Jesus did and said.

Alright, I suppose that’s enough for now.

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