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Contend And Defend (But 'Shake The Dust Off Your Feet')

As always, it's never about me and always about Him.

What I mean is that I very rarely use this space that He's given me to call attention to myself, but every now and then it's necessary if only to help to better communicate His truths.

Well, it would seem as though the good Lord was really trying to hammer home the truth of 2 Timothy 4:2 into my life last week!

A quick look at the previous posts here will reveal that to be the case, but if you're just joining us and need to catch up, then here's a quick rundown of all the incredible opportunities He gave me so that I could glorify Him and share His true Gospel with others in just the past week alone.

MONDAY: Witnessed to two co-workers who live in Boston, MA who were very upset (and rightfully so) about members from Westboro Baptist Church being present to protest at the funeral for one of the Boston Marathon bombing victims. Later that night, I joined a couple of close Christian friends for a couple of hours of faith-building and fellowship, or for iron sharpening iron if you will.

WEDNESDAY: A man shows up at my house after dinner to introduce himself. He said he wasn't sure if I knew his parents (my neighbors down the street) and wanted to let me know that his mom passed away a few weeks ago and now his father passed away a few days ago. After offering my sincere condolences, I asked him if I could say a prayer for him and his family regardless of whether or not he was a man of faith. He said, "Yes! I am a man of faith. I'm a Christian and I would love that!" There we were, two grown men who had never met before that moment, holding hands on the front steps, praying for God's comfort, healing, hope, and peace for him and his family.

THURSDAY/FRIDAY: I rarely ever use Twitter and really just spend more time "retweeting" things that others have come up with rather than creating my own original tweets. So it was odd that some random Atheist tweeted me to begin a debate about my recent post about how Atheists cannot say that they are "moral" if we get our definition of morality (and our moral standards) from the Lord.

SATURDAY: Two Jehovah's Witnesses stopped by to witness to me, but I turned the tables for the next 40 minutes and invited them to come back with more people in the next few weeks. Less than an hour later, I log on to Facebook and get into a "Creation vs. Evolution" debate with a few aggressive atheists who enjoy trying to start trouble. Later that afternoon, I had one of the most genuine and sincere conversations about our Lord and Savior, about the Gospel, about the Word, and about matters of faith that I've ever had with two family members who are very near and dear to my heart, but who have never really wanted to discuss things with me like that before.

Unbelievable, isn't it? Praise the Lord for all of that!

I can honestly say that I've never had a single week like that before and I thank Him for giving me the courage and strength to walk through those open doors regardless of the personal cost and end result (Galatians 1:10; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

In today's entry, I want to hone in on one of those experiences. Specifically, the one involving the "Creation vs. Evolution" debate, because I believe we can learn a lot from it, and if my own experience can help you if you ever have a similar one in the future, then thank God for that!

My prayer, is that this piece will serve as a good apologetics resource. "Apologetics" is simply answering questions and objections people may have about God or Christ or about the Bible or the message of the Gospel, and it is needed today more than ever.

My dear friends, when confronted by outright lies (and especially by a false Gospel), we need to contend for and defend the faith as truth-loving apologists for His glory, His honor, and His praise (2 Timothy 4:2; Galatians 2:5; Jude 1:3).

Why? Because right now, truth from the Truth Himself is under attack, and much is at stake. Christians are caught in the crossfire of alternative Christian histories, emerging faulty texts, and a cultural push to eliminate absolute truth altogether.

As a result, many churches and individual Christians have been deceived. Worse still, they propagate the deception that poses itself as truth! When such congregations and persons cannot see the reality of the situation, let alone appreciate the genuine concern exhibited by those who attempt to broach the subject with them, then it's downright tragic.

Of course, none of this should surprise us though. God told us to expect these things regardless of the day and age in which we find ourselves living in (2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Timothy 4:2-5). Still, Christians need to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 1:3), because "to them we did not yield in submission even for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might be preserved for you" (Galatians 2:5), and reclaim the unwavering certainty of God's truth, and anchor ourselves in the eternal, immovable promises that are found in His holy Word.

Generally, this applies to our interactions with the non-believers in this world. However, that's not always the case. In fact, what we find when we read the Bible is that God's Word demonstrates quite clearly that not only will true truth come under attack from the outside, but also from the inside. It's the apostasies, blasphemies, and heresies on the inside that are far more destructive than those from non-believers and skeptics on the outside.

That being said, God's Word clearly demonstrates that the battle for the truth (contending and defending) is essential, as we are told how to recognize and how to engage False Teachers, their false teachings, and those beloved brothers and sisters who have been deceived by such men and women today.

Most importantly, however, we are to enter the battlefield as peaceful, truth-loving apologists for His glory, honor, and praise with restoration in sight at all times. Consider this another humble attempt by LUF to enter the spiritual battlefield peacefully so that the Lord will use it for His ultimate glory.

Incredibly, it was just less than an hour after the Lord presented me with an opportunity to witness to a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses for 40 minutes or so on my front porch that an old friend from my junior high school days posted the following picture, question, and response on his Facebook page.




You think Jesus actually rode a dinosaur?

I know, right? I would come to find out later that this image and the accompanying story that goes with it actually received national media attention.

Now, a little back story is in order first. This guy and I were good friends for just a short period of time growing up, but I always thought fondly of him and those times, and still do to some extent. After all, he represents a piece of my childhood that will be remain in my memories forever.

We didn't talk at all throughout high school or even during our college years even though we still lived in the same local community and had somewhat similar acquaintances. Then, one day on Facebook, he came out of nowhere and engaged me in a pretty aggressive debate about my faith.

Out-of-the-blue he was coming at me from the position of "Militant, But Educated And Logical Atheist" and I was expected to play the "Passive, Uneducated and Illogical Christian Wackjob" who was supposed to just roll over and be his doormat. Little did he know (or expect) that I don't tend to shy away from these types of confrontations -- I encourage them because I view people like him as the mission field more so than the enemy.

We went back-and-forth for a couple of days, contributed to over 100 comments between just the two of us, managed to draw a few others to chime in, and then didn't interact again until almost a full year later.

"Mission accomplished!" as far as I was concerned. I mean, it's not within my power to be able to get someone like him to repent and place their faith in Jesus Christ. All I can do is remain faithful to Him by presenting the Gospel accurately and lovingly while serving as one of His "ambassadors" down here (2 Corinthians 5:20).

Typically, we'll interact a handful of times on Facebook throughout any given year. Almost all of the time his comments are unsolicited by me since it's always him having a problem with something I believe, share, write and then he sounds off on it. Sometimes he blasphemes the Lord, uses all sorts of profanity and vulgarity in his responses, and has even admitted to enjoying his role as "Devil's Advocate" he's said.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV) For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Matthew 15:17-18 (ESV) 17Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.

Mark 7:15 (ESV) There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.

This has been the pattern since day one.

I never visit his Facebook page to check in on what's going on in his life, but he most certainly drops by mine to occasionally comment on some Bible verse or comment I put up for people to prayerfully consider.

Nine times out of ten he does so "just to play 'Devil's Advocate'" by his own admission and ten times out of ten I will take as much time as I need to in order to preach the Gospel to him and/or answer his questions.

In one epic exchange, I was up until 4:14am EST -- even though I had to be up for work at 6am EST -- desperately pleading with him to repent of his sins and place his full faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

His attitude and behavior ever since has clearly demonstrated to me the need for me to be mindful of Matthew 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5, and Luke 10:11 and to contend and defend, but "shake the dust off your feet" and move on as well.

As a result, I'll still engage him in any Biblical, Christian oriented conversation he wants to have, but I do so more for the benefit of those who are his friends and who are reading along behind-the-scenes as well as for the benefit of my dear brothers and sisters who are connected to me and doing the same thing from the other side. Most importantly, Proverbs 26:4-5 is my guide.


Proverbs 26:4-5 (ESV) 4Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. 5Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Taken together, these two verses teach us the appropriate way to answer a fool (i.e. an unbeliever who rejects the truth). He should not be answered with agreement to his own ideas and presuppositions, or he will think he is right (verse 4), but rather he should be rebuked on the basis of his folly, and shown the truth so he sees how foolish he is (verse 5). Of course, Ephesians 4:15 is always at play in this process too.

So, with all of that backstory in mind, below is the actual transcript of the "conversation" that took place between me, this man, and his colleagues over this past weekend. Remember, this is what followed after he posted a picture of that Science exam administered at a Christian school along with his question about Jesus and dinosaurs.


UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #1: Of course. And here's the video evidence to prove it.



Bill Hicks - Dinosaurs




MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE: Here's a serious angle to this subject if you care to discuss this topic seriously. Evolutionists claim that dinosaurs evolved over millions of years. They imagine that one kind of animal slowly changed over long periods of time to become a different kind of animal. For instance, they believe that amphibians changed into reptiles (including dinosaurs) by this gradual process. This would mean, of course, that there would have been millions of creatures during that time that would be "in between," as amphibians evolved into reptiles, right? Evidence of these "transitional forms," as they are called, should be abundant. However, many fossil experts admit that not one unquestionable transitional form between any group of creatures and another has been found anywhere. None. Anywhere. So, if dinosaurs evolved from amphibians like we're told, then there should be, for example, actual fossil evidence of animals that are part dinosaur and part something else, correct? However, there is absolutely no proof of this anywhere. In fact, if you go into any museum you will see fossils of dinosaurs that are 100% dinosaur, not something in between. There are no 25%, 50%, 75%, or even 99% dinosaurs—they are all 100% dinosaur, are they not?

The Holy Bible, God’s Word, tells us quite plainly that God created all of the land animals on the sixth day of creation. As dinosaurs were land animals, they must have been made on this day, alongside Adam and Eve, who were also created on Day Six (Genesis 1:24–31). If God designed and created dinosaurs, then they would have been fully functional, designed to do what they were created for, and would have been 100% dinosaur. This fits EXACTLY with the evidence from the fossil record, does it not? So, my friend, if you really want to ask the question you proposed at the beginning, and are really interested in the honest and truthful answer (without being intellectually dishonest about the facts), then the fact that God created the dinosaurs is much more plausible than a “theory” of evolution.


UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #2: Who's this^ lunatic I used to play basketball with Coa?

UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #1:
Reptiles are the modern day descendants of dinosaurs. Reptiles are what managed to survive after an enormous cataclysm. No claim has ever been made that an abundant fossil record, with or without the "in between" specimens you suggest (again, without proof), must exist. Life on this planet is dynamic. The planet consumes itself and re-posits all kinds of life again and again over significant scales of time. In fact thinking about, it is actually quite incredible, given the actual age of the earth, that any fossil record is to be found whatsoever. Most of the previous life that existed millions of years ago appears today as sediment soils, various kinds of minerals, or oil. And for the record, our human brains contain the cores that comprise reptilian brains. That is observed physiological fact. So please don't talk about "getting serious" Jeffrey when you show up with a bunch of conjecture that circulates amongst creationist circles.


UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #2: Furthermore, did JC strap a harness on a Stego or what???

UNBELIEVER WHO POSTED THE PIC/QUESTION ON HIS PAGE:
Jeffery. If you believe truly believe that, there is no amount of praying that can help you now. What you believe to be fact simply a fictional story. I'm sure you'll respond with a long winded biblical response, but look what this book has led you to believe. You have no use for truth or facts. You literally believe that humans and dinosaurs existed at the same time. With Adam and Eve. This is intellectually reprehensible at best.


UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #1: Personally I'm placing my faith in JC with a stego and a strap-on.

MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE: [WRITTEN BEFORE SEEING THE PREVIOUS 4 COMMENTS] Yes, Neal, I'm the "lunatic" (thank you!) who made a valid point, but who gets called a name since "name calling" is the preferred method of debate and discussion these days whenever a Christian makes a fair point and there's no rebuttal (or valid rebuttal). That's ok. I get it. I'm a big boy. Praise be to God! Terence, it's basic logic and common sense, isn't it though? Evolutionists cannot make a claim like that without direct evidence to support it. The burden of proof is on Coa and you to provide evidence for the claims you make to support evolution (i.e. proof despite the absence of "transitional fossils"). By your comment above, however, it seems you are now suggesting that we are to simply believe in "evolution" even WITH or WITHOUT any kind of a fossil record to support it. Is that correct? If so, then how is that "truth" objective at all? Just "taking one's word" for it is the course of action then? I thought that goes against the fundamental tenets or the very definition of Science itself, doesn't it? Sorry, but if that's all the case (and I didn't mischaracterize what it sounds like you're saying), then I think it takes more faith to believe in evolution than it does a God who created all things just like we're told He did.

UNBELIEVER WHO POSTED THE PIC/QUESTION ON HIS PAGE: The fossil record contains many well-documented examples of the transition from one species into another, as well as the origin of new physical features. Evidence from the fossil record is unique, because it provides a time perspective for understanding the evolution of life on Earth.
UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #1: No faith is required to promote the THEORY of evolution or the THEORIES in other scientific disciplines. All that is required is repeatable experimentation and careful, continued observation. That is how science works -- it proves by disproving. Your first fallacy, Jeffery, is to assume that science functions similarly as religion. It does not.

UNBELIEVER WHO POSTED THE PIC/QUESTION ON HIS PAGE: Here. You like reading. "Evolution and the Fossil Record by John Pojeta, Jr. and Dale A. Springer"

UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #1: Before this thread de-evolves into some horse shit about respecting other people's views and opinions, let's remember what's really important here -- 4th graders at a private religious school in South Carolina are being duped by their "teachers" into not developing real reading or critical-thinking skills. #AmericaOnTheMarch

UNBELIEVER WHO POSTED THE PIC/QUESTION ON HIS PAGE:

WAYS TO VIEW THE WORLD METHODS
Religion and Superstition = Faith and Beliefs
Pseudoscience = Selected beliefs, facts and authorities
Science = Repeatable evidence and hypothesis testing


UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #1: Religionists state, "I believe it to be true because..." whereas scientists state, "I know it to be true because...". There is a huge difference between the two. I feel sorry for people who don't -- or worse yet, won't -- see that.

UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #2: Well,you just may be the lunatic i'm looking for. Your story is a bad sequel to it's original. Next time you preach your Adam and Eve story, try using their real names Enkidu and Shamat. It's like how one would feel if they changed Han Solo's name to Steve Humphery in Empire Strikes Back. Or the whole vibe of Major League II. It's still your choice to live your life based on a screen play, I choose a spreadsheet.

UNBELIEVER WHO POSTED THE PIC/QUESTION ON HIS PAGE:
and Terry, I respect people's right to believe any bullshit they want. I do not respect dangerously irresponsible lies spread by wide eyed, willfully ignorant fanatics. Teaching this horse shit to children's is akin to child abuse.


UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #3: FOSSILS! You Christians are hilarious. Thank you for generations of comedic material.

UNBELIEVER WHO POSTED THE PIC/QUESTION ON HIS PAGE:
Also, these godless heathens at UC Berkley wrote some cool stuff too. "The Decline of Reason?"


MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE:
Actually, what’s really “hilarious” is how your words betray each and every one of you. Terence said, “All that is required is repeatable experimentation and careful, continued observation. That is how science works: it proves by disproving.” In addition, Coa added, “Science= Repeatable evidence and hypothesis testing.” Let’s assume your both right for the sake of this argument and my counterpoint. Do you both assert that such a view should also apply to ANOTHER THEORY that you call the “Big Bang” as it relates to this discussion? If that’s true, then why can’t I close my garage and create my dream car out of nothing if “repeatable experimentation and careful, continued observation” is all I need and especially since you all assert that such a “theory” is valid and to be accepted as “truth” more so than a God who created everything? Terence later added, “Religionists state, ‘I believe it to be true because...’ whereas scientists state, ‘I know it to be true because...’. There is a huge difference between the two.” Finally! Something we can agree on. Yet again, I have to ask, how can this be the case if the scenario like the one I proposed cannot be “repeated” in a scientific experiment? Tell you what, I’ll even make it easier for you. Forgot about repeating the big bang to create a car in my garage. I’ll let you duplicate that process to create…anything. Like I said, your words betray you.


MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE: You know what else is “hilarious” too? Terence also said, “let's remember what's really important here: 4th graders at a private religious school in South Carolina are being duped by their ‘teachers’ into not developing real reading or critical-thinking skills.” Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but it is a private CHRISTIAN school, isn’t it? What are they supposed to teach there? Islam? Buddhism? Humanism? Friend, surely you can understand that a Christian school like that is doing PRECISELY what they are supposed to do, right? Like I said, your words betray you.

MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE:
My favorite “hilarious” comment though is this one by Coa: “and Terry, I respect people's right to believe any bullshit they want. I do not respect dangerously irresponsible lies spread by wide eyed, willfully ignorant fanatics. Teaching this horse shit to children's is akin to child abuse.” Sure, you “respect people’s right to believe any bullshit they want”…except when it comes to Christians and what they believe. Because then what someone like me believes is merely “bullshit” and “dangerously irresponsible” and “lies” and “ignorant” and “horse shit” and “child abuse” because we’re all “wide eyed…fanatics” you say. But you DEFINITELY respect people’s right to believe whatever they want to.


MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE: Coa, I’ll see your Berkeley Evolutionist Professor and raise you a Harvard Creationist Professor named Kurt Wise. This whole discussion is ironic because Science was actually born from Christians who wanted to better understand God and His creation. Furthermore, many well-known Scientists and Inventors were Christians themselves, but we can’t teach that in public schools, now can we? Who cares about the truth, right? Lastly, since you all hold Science in such high esteem I would like to easily show how the very first verses of the Bible speak about Science, or how Science CONFIRMS what we already knew from the Bible. Modern Science expresses the known universe in 5 terms – Time, Space, Matter, Power, and Motion, right? Ok, so let’s look at the VERY FIRST VERSES IN THE ENTIRE BIBLE. If we look closely, we’ll clearly see that Science confirms what we already knew from the Holy Bible about the 5 terms we use to express our universe. Genesis 1: “In the beginning (TIME), God created (POWER) the heaven (SPACE) and the earth (MATTER)…And the Spirit of God moved (MOTION) upon the face of the waters.” Keep in mind that those verses were written approximately 3,500 years ago – 3,500 years ago – or long before Science became a discipline practiced by men and women in this life. Romans 1:20 “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Please repent of your sins and place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe, Lord and Savior, while you still can. Praying for the Lord to open your eyes and ears to the truth about Him, His creation, and your relationship to Him.

UNBELIEVER WHO POSTED THE PIC/QUESTION ON HIS PAGE: Part of your right to believe what you want is my right to believe you are wrong. I can't and won't stop you from ignoring facts, believing a clearly fictional book as literal God spoken truth, and distorting irrefutable evidence that is SET IN STONE to fit your tragically flawed version reality. For every ounce of well intentioned idiocy people of your ilk espouse, I will fight back just as hard. If we let shit like this go we are feeding our children intellectual poison, and boldly taking steps backwards into a world where half baked fairy tales pass for objective reality. I refuse to acquiesce to nonsense and willful ignorance. So believe what you want. But don't teach this shit to kids. That was the original point. Add you have to pack up that "car in the garage" thing. It is a logically flawed assertion that proves nothing. If you really want to get my attention explain to me why every religious fanatic I know is a relentless, humorless bore. I really would like to get to the bottom of that. AAAANNNNNNDDDD, pursuant to my original question, do you honestly believe Jesus Christ could have ridden a dinosaur? Not if he actually did, but if it was possible. Go!

UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #1: Jeffery, my words betray nothing -- except perhaps your quasi-religious, pseudo-scientific assertions. If you see nothing wrong with religious schools teaching dubious material that dooms people to become the stunted, irrational adults of tomorrow, then I suppose you herald the images of very young Muslim children rocking trance-like back and forth while they recite catechisms from the Koran as cutting edge educational policy. I, however, do not.

UNBELIEVER'S FRIEND #3:


Should I be upset that each and every one of them couldn't even spell my first name right in any of their responses to me, and yet, somehow I'm the "uneducated idiot" in all of this? That's rich, isn't it?

See what I mean though? Friends, as always, notice how whenever Christians like us "push back" with LEGITIMATE COUNTERPOINTS (made without the use of Bible verses either) rather than "rolling over" and letting lies stand unchallenged like they expect us to, then that's when we are always ignored completely.

Notice how there was nothing -- absolutely nothing -- in their responses to my final comments to refute anything I stated. I believe that's quite telling, don't you? Instead, they reverted back to the name-calling and changed the subject completely.

Beloved, don't be intimidated by any of this! That's what they expect and that's what they want. However, I can guarantee you that that this is generally what happens when people know you're right and have no adequate rebuttal, but simply refuse to admit that such is the case and can't bring themselves to admit that you are right and they are wrong. It happens all the time.

Furthermore, that one comment about how he said "I have the right to believe you're wrong" is another faulty tactic. Think about it. Sure, you can believe whatever you want to believe. But only one of us can be right. Only one of us has the truth. Sure, I suppose that we could both be wrong, but we certainly cannot both be right. That's just basic logic at work there, my friends.


I should also state quite emphatically that while we are to be engaged in this war for the truth on a regular basis (2 Timothy 4:2; Galatians 2:5; Jude 1:3), we should not necessarily view such people who attack the truth (who attack us) as the "enemy" per se, but more as the "mission field" instead.

Now, I'm not saying that there aren't true blue enemies of Christ and His people out there in this world who aren't seduced by Satan and operating under demonic influence, because there most certainly are since Scripture tells us as much.

Still, in cases like these with people like this, I prefer to begin from a position where I let my heart be burdened by the fact that they are truly lost souls on their way to Hell for all of eternity. Let that reality be your motivation for waging such a war time and time again, and then rest on the truth of Isaiah 55:11 and 1 Corinthians 3:7-8.

Comments? Criticisms? Observations? Thoughts? What do you think? What did I do right? What did I do wrong? Would you have been able to engage in a discussion like this? Why or why not? Would you have done anything differently? If so, then what? And why?

By the way, remember how I said earlier that it's often those "on the inside" of Christianity that are the problem? Well, sadly, I'm afraid the same can be said for the source story that started this whole debate I had.

That picture of that 4th Grade Science exam was submitted by a parent whose daughter is enrolled in a private Christian school in South Carolina. This is the published response from her father after he saw this test and learned that she earned an A+ (100%) on it.

I have since taught my daughter differently, but I am sure she is confused now and plan to make sure she understands that teachers are people too and can be factually wrong.

It’s a great school for Reading, Writing and Math. She is ahead of most of her peers and also is taking Latin there. But I now know to be vigilant for the rest of the year about her Science teachings. She will not be attending the school next year.

I didn’t know that this was being taught to her until we heard a radio commercial together about the Discover the Dinosaurs exhibit was coming to the TD Convention Center [in Greenville, South Carolina].

The Commercial starts out, "After 65 million years, the dinosaurs have returned..." She commented immediately that it was only four thousand years ago. When I corrected her, she snapped back, "Were you there?"

Again, I'm sorry, but didn't he voluntarily enroll her in that private Christian school? What did he expect? That the Christians would teach something other than Christianity? What did he expect? That the Christians in the school would do the parenting for him and teach her how to be a good student, with good manners, and good morals WITHOUT teaching her the Bible and he Gospel of Jesus Christ? Just what did he think "Christian" meant then?

How sad. How tragic indeed, especially when the source article concludes by stating that "no school should be brainwashing kids like this in the name of science." Well, at least that's nothing new. Equating Christianity with "brainwashing" that is. Hey, isn't Evolution being taught as a "theory" that we are all expected to believe en masse though? Hmmm...

For me, 1 Corinthians 1:27 readily comes to mind here: "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;" That 4th Grade little girl demonstrates much more wisdom than her dear father who is ten times her age does.

Let's be sure to pray that the Lord opens his eyes and ears to the truth and pray that the young girl does not depart from the faith as she gets older.

Whenever a Christian converses with a non-Christian about the truth of the faith, every request of the non-Christian for the proof of Christianity should be met with an equally serious request of proof for the non-Christian's philosophy of life. Otherwise we get the false impression that the Christian worldview is tentative and uncertain, while the more secular worldviews are secure and sure, standing above the need to give a philosophical and historical accounting of themselves. But that is not the case. Many people who demand that Christians produce proof of our claims do not make the same demand upon themselves.

*- John Piper

In addition, I love what a friend shared in response to all of this.

The best argument I ever heard about Creation vs. Evolution was from Bob Dutko. He said, "Imagine you're an explorer from one of the European areas around the time of Jesus, and you set off to find new places. You land your boat in Northern Africa, and you trudge along on foot through miles of endless desert, never seeing a soul. Then you come upon the Great Pyramids of Giza. Let's assume there are no signs of civilization anywhere around, no proof that anyone actually exists in that part of the desert. Yet there the pyramids are. So will you, standing there before these great structures, deduce that they must've been built by someone for a specific purpose? Or will you think that's too incredulous because there is absolutely no proof that anyone is even there? And so, because of that lack of proof, you insist that it must've been the result of a magnificent windstorm that blew the sand and water around with such incredible energy that they formed up out of nothing to become intricate buildings with steps and tunnels and chambers." The point being, most would think it's silly to look at the pyramids and think that it was simply the result of a perfect happenstance of energy, wind, water and sand. Any intelligent being would know undoubtedly that they were created by someone for a reason -- even if they aren't exactly sure what that someone or reason is. And those are simply sand and rock-built pyramids! How can ANYONE looking at the diversity of our planet -- the climates, the geography, the flora, fauna and most amazing of all, the people -- and simply assume it was all happenstance?

Along those same lines, I should tell you that my debate eventually found its way to my own Facebook page. Yesterday, after waiting 24 hours for at least one -- just one -- of my dance partners to actually respond seriously to one of the legitimate points I made in our debate on Creation vs. Evolution, I decided to include this statement not as a continuation of the main comment thread, but just as my Status Message.


Engaged in a "Creation vs. Evolution" debate with some atheists here on FB yesterday. Typical in the way in which it played out and came to an end. Still praying for the Lord to open their eyes and ears to the truth though. Reminded me of this John Piper quote regarding apologetics: "Whenever a Christian converses with a non-Christian about the truth of the faith, every request of the non-Christian for the proof of Christianity should be met with an equally serious request of proof for the non-Christian's philosophy of life. Otherwise we get the false impression that the Christian worldview is tentative and uncertain, while the more secular worldviews are secure and sure, standing above the need to give a philosophical and historical accounting of themselves. But that is not the case. Many people who demand that Christians produce proof of our claims do not make the same demand upon themselves."

Well, that did it! Here's the conversation that ensued from that.


UNBELIEVER WHO POSTED THE PIC/QUESTION ON HIS PAGE: Please just read this. That is all. "15 Answers To Creationist Nonsense"

MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE: Coa, I have repeatedly demonstrated to you and your friends that I have absolutely no problem at all addressing every charge you all make to further marginalize Christianity, because they've all been made before and Christianity has withstood all attacks to destroy its credibility for the last 2,000+ years. However, I refuse to address anything new you try to throw at me and this specific debate (like the above article) until you take the time to address the legitimate points I made in this discussion yesterday, because it's nothing but a distraction and a move to cover the fact that no one has offered an appropriate response to my points and counterpoints I made (hence, the reason for my status message above). Instead, the response has been to ignore the points I've made outright and respond with additional name calling. How is that akin to the "educated" conversation you all say you value so much? All I'm asking is for us to stay on topic please.

Even so, as a sign of good faith, I'll address one of those "15 Answers To Creationist Nonsense" you referenced. The difference between "macro-evolution" and "micro-evolution" makes this an open an shut case in favor of Creationism. The link you cited states, "These days even most creationists acknowledge that micro-evolution has been upheld by tests in the laboratory." Agreed. There is tangible proof for micro-evolution and it is certainly 100% Biblical. Here's the thing though. That same publication goes on to say, "The historical nature of macro-evolutionary study involves INFERENCE from fossils and DNA RATHER THAN DIRECT OBSERVATION." Their words not mine. So, in other words, the paper you cite as the "final authority" on the so-called "truth" that we should believe in Evolution over Creation ADMITS that macro-evolution is pure conjecture and speculation.

To put it into layman's terms, there is absolutely no evidence anywhere on the Earth (nor has there ever been any evidence) of any animal macro-evolving into a completely different kind of animal. The finches stayed finches, the toads stayed toads. If the kind of evolution being taught to us now were true, then those toads would evolve into non-toads, maybe a bird, or possibly eventually a lizard, or perhaps a cow someday. For this to happen (and here comes another dirty little secret), the evolving animal would have to produce offspring with NEW, ADDITIONAL genetic information. That has never been observed in the history of mankind. That's right. In all of the testing being done in all the laboratories and zoos by scientists worldwide, there has never once been an example of even one animal giving birth to an offspring with new, additional genetic information. Only a shuffling or a duplication of existing genetic information. So, if you evolutionists are right, we are forced to believe that for billions of years, life has evolved from amoebas in the oceans all the way up through the food chain, growing and increasing in complexity and design, adding new genetic information generation after generation in millions of species for millions of years, but suddenly today....it just stops.

It's the Micro/Macro deception. You are hoping that by showing me the ways a horse can genetically develop different breeds of size and shape, that I will take that as evidence the horse used to be a whale. Remember, a dolphin developing longer fins is not in any way evidence that dolphins used to, at one time, be non-dolphins. So it is, in my humble opinion, very dishonest to use examples of commonly accepted micro-evolution as so called "evidence" for the "Theory of Evolution," or macro-evolution.

Coa, I have shown you and your friends respect by actually taking the time to address each and every one of your points like I just did here again...and in most cases have done so without using the Bible to make my case. The mere fact that you all refuse to show me the same respect by refusing to address my points with a valid counterpoint of your own while criticizing Christians for being dumb and uneducated strikes me as more than a little dishonest. You're not interested in the truth. You're only interested in attacking Christianity so just be honest about that, because the truth is that we can't both be right; only one of us can be right. Regardless, I will continue to pray for the Lord to open your eyes and ears to the truth about Him, His Word, His creation, you, and your relationship to Him.


UNBELIEVER WHO POSTED THE PIC/QUESTION ON HIS PAGE:
It impossible to address the points you bring up because they are utter nonsense. I can't prove that your bible "fact" is incorrect with scientific fact because one is true and the other not. We disagree on the fundamental tenants on which each other's arguments are based, so the arguments are meaningless to both of us. Perhaps you can help me out then. If all human life started with Adam and Eve, how do we have Black people, or Asians? They must have changed over time to adapt to their environments, no? Or was there an Adam and Eve for each race? Last question, promise. Pinky swear. I never said I don't believe in a higher power of some sort. I just refuse to accept any organized religion's versions of that power. Christian, Muslim, or otherwise. I am certainly not an atheist. Atheism and Religion of any sort both take a certitude I am not arrogant enough to possess. The macro/micro evolution thing is crap. Evolution on any scale is evolution. Why can't you guys just accept your creation myth as parable like most other reasonable religious folks do?


MY CHRISTIAN RESPONSE: First, I would like to apologize then for labeling you an atheist. Please forgive me for that. Coa, with all due respect, please go back and reread what I wrote because each and every one of my points of contention were made using facts from Science. In fact, I didn't use a single Bible verse to make my case until the very end because I didn't have to. For instance, why the complete silence on the "transitional fossils" point, the point about the inability to reproduce a "big bang" experiment to create something (using your definition of Science and why its to be believed and trusted more so than Christianity), and the point about the importance of understanding the key difference between macro-evolution and micro-evolution. Again, while I suppose one could say that we could both be wrong in our stated positions, the fact of the matter is that we cannot both be right.

To answer your question about the different races, I'll answer with a question of my own. Are you saying that the fact that we see a diversity of human beings from various people groups who can marry and produce more human beings is the simplest proof of evolution? How does the regularly observed phenomenon of people producing other people qualify as an example of evolution? How does human reproduction prove molecules-to-man evolution? If you really believe that humans evolved from ape-like ancestors, and that human evolution is still ongoing, resulting in the various people groups you mentioned, then I wonder which group you think is more closely related to the apes. Which group has evolved the highest? A century ago, evolutionary textbooks were making the same very racist statements. Most Evolutionists are probably not racists, but the belief in human evolution from ape-like ancestors is essentially a racist philosophy. On the contrary, we Creationists believe all people -- "red, brown, yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His sight" (as I used to sing it) -- are created in the image of God. Actually, we all have one pigment called melanin (i.e., the different skin colors are varying shades of brown). So, from a Biblical perspective, there is absolutely no basis for racism, yet racism is perfectly consistent with evolution because some people groups have supposedly evolved further than others. But this isn't about one position or another being a breeding ground for racism. Truth is, there are racist Christians who are not acting and thinking Biblically just as there are racist non-Christians doing the same in this world. To answer your question, the Bible tells us that God "has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26). We are all descendants of Adam and Eve, and later, Noah and his wife. There is no Biblical warrant for racism. All Homo sapiens, no matter what people group they come from and what distinctive physical characteristics they have, are 100 percent human and made in the image of God. Is it really absurd to believe that people come from other people? We’ve never observed humans coming about in another manner. On the other hand, you apparently think it is it wise to believe that humans evolved from ape-like creatures, whose ancestors go all the way back to the first alleged single-cell organism. Consider that at each stage of evolutionary development, our alleged ancestors must have somehow obtained new genetic information (something we have never observed). Furthermore, Evolutionists who do not believe in God must believe life came from non-life, information from non-information, and intelligence from non-intelligence. The evolutionary explanation is unscientific and illogical, but the Biblical worldview is consistent with operational science. That's the truth of the matter and I pray it helps answer your questions.

Wait. I just saw your comment that you believe that there really is no difference whatsoever between macro/micro-evolution. Coa, why do I even bother if we can't at least agree on what your Scientists acknowledge? May I remind you that I quoted from the paper you cited -- in their own words. With all due respect, it's kinda hard to have an honest and sincere discussion with someone who believes they're smarter than me, and yet, you choose to willfully ignore the very scientific facts that you usually champion. Why? Because you know that such scientific facts refute your position and support mine. Coa, this isn't about "winning a debate" with you though. It's about the truth. It's about my concern for you and that you don't accept the truth. So I will continue to pray for you. At the same time, this is getting a little ridiculous at this point, isn't it?

Dearly beloved, we must be ready to give an account of what we believe and why we believe it (2 Timothy 4:2). Don't be afraid (Galatians 1:10)!

At the same time, we must remind ourselves that it's not just about "winning an argument," but about preaching the Gospel to a lost and dead world that desperately needs to hear it.

Lastly, while we must always contend and defend, we must also be ready to "shake the dust off your feet" and move on while resting on the truth of Isaiah 55:11.

Until next time, God willing, grace and peace to you and yours!

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

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