THE  GOAL OF  “HUMANISM”


 

    The Humanist Manifesto of 1933, largely formulated by the renowned educator John Dewey, has only in recent years received the attention from the Christian community that it deserves.  But, for the past 50 years or so, the 15 tenets of the religion of Humanism (yes, it has been declared a religion by the US Supreme Court) have had a profound impact on American schools and society.

    It is surprising, however, that many Christians still do not understand what humanism really is (or isn’t), or what its underlying foundation is based upon.

    At first glance, Humanism may sound like an admirable philosophy - - a concern for humankind and for the improvement of the human condition.  Noah Webster’s original 1828 Dictionary actually describes a humanist as “one well versed in the knowledge of human nature”. Sounds OK so far.

    More recently, the Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary describes Humanism (a word not in use in 1828) as “Human nature, the study of the humanities, an attitude, thought, or action centering upon human interests or ideals”.   Still sound OK?

    But what does Humanism stand for today?  The first two tenets of the Humanist Manifesto are: 1) “Religious Humanists regard the universe as self-originating and not created”, and 2) “Humanism believes that man is part of nature and has emerged as a result of a continuous process”.   This is exactly what evolution teaches!  The belief in a long process of evolution of the universe and mankind is thus acknowledged to be the very foundation of Humanism.

    Then, in 1973, the 2ndHumanist Manifesto reaffirmed and amplified those tenets.   Among other things, the 2ndManifesto proclaimed; “as non-theists, we begin with man, not God - - nature, not deity.  No deity will save us; we must save ourselves”.

    Knowing this, it is then obvious that the term “Humanism” is not really the proper term with which to describe this religion.  Humanism should be called what it really is: HUMANITARIANISM - - which some modern dictionaries define as: “The tenet denying the divinity of Christ; the doctrine that man’s nature is perfectible through his own efforts”.

    The goal of humanism is, therefore, to cast doubt, dissension, compromise, apathy, etc., within the ranks of those who believe the Genesis account of Creation, the Fall and entrance of sin into the creation, judgement through the world-wide Flood, and the need for a Savior.   In other words, the religion of Humanism is concentrating on not only casting doubt upon, but completely destroying, the very foundation of Christianity - - namely, that God’s Word is Truth!

   

    

the king of creation


 

    The Bible has much to say about the reigns of the many kings throughout the early history of the Middle East.  But Scripture also contains many references to God as King.  For example: In Malachi 1:14 God says “For I am a great King”,and Jeremiah 10:10 calls Him “the everlastingKing”.  A few of the references to God as King stand out as especially significant - - as noted by the author of a 1980 publication, “King of Creation”:



1.  He is the King of Time: because He created time (Psalm 74:12).


2.  He is the King of Space: because He created infinite space (Daniel 4:37 & Nehemiah 9:6).


3.  He is the King of Matter: because He made all things in Space & Time (Rev. 4:11b),


4.  He is the King of Energy; because He energized the infinite and eternal universe; God is        light (Psalm 24:10 7 1 Timothy 6:16).


5.  He is the King of Life; because He is “The King eternal, immortal”(1 Timothy 1:17).


6.  He is King of all the Angels; He created the host of heaven (Col.1:16 & Zech. 14:16).


7.  He is the King of all Nations; (John 1:49 & Jeremiah 10:7). 


8.  He is the King of all the Redeemed (Col. 1: 13,14 & Rev. 15:3).


 


Sadly, in the hearts and minds of many, these days, God is no longer King.

  

They have rebelled against His authority, refuse His salvation, and even deny His true existence.


 


But, since He is the Creator of all things, He is indeed the “King of all Creation” - - Sovereign, Master and Ruler, Lord and Judge of all things.

   

As the pinnacle of His creation, we, His creatures, can only

  

“acknowledge His authority, trust His wisdom, believe His Word, obey His commandments, receive His grace, accept His free gift of salvation and eternal life, and praise His name!”


THE  NECESSITY OF  THE  VIRGIN “CONCEPTION”


 

    “Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign.  Behold, a virgin will conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel”  (Isaish 7:14).

    The one basic fact that makes Jesus’ birth different from any other in history is that He was born of a virgin.   For centuries, this virgin birth (or more specifically, the conception by a virgin) has been laughed at, refuted, and attacked - - and at one time or another most people have probably wondered:  “Why a virgin birth, anyway?”

    The answer is - - if it were not so, God’s plan of redemption would never have been complete.  Jesus had to be born of a virgin in order for Him to be without sin - - without the blood of fallen man flowing in His veins.  To have authority in the earth, He had to have a physical body, so He had to be born of a woman.  But to have authority with heaven, He had to be pure in Spirit - - one with the Father.

    Every person born after Adam sinned, has been born in sin - - with a sin nature.  But Jesus did not have an earthly father, and this is what makes being  “born of a virgin” a must!

    Medical science once thought that the mother furnished the blood for the baby in the womb, but for some time now it has been known that this isn’t true.  Under normal circumstances, blood doesn’t pass from the mother to the baby.  The blood type and chemistry is determined by the father.

    As we know, the life of the flesh is in the blood, but because of Adam’s sin and the fall of man, the death of the flesh is also in the blood.  Therefore, if Jesus had an earthly father, He would have had death in His blood like we do.

    So, thankfully, the conception of Jesus was indeed a supernatural act.  God created the first cell for the body of Jesus. The Holy Spirit over-shadowed Mary and, by the power of God, a seed - - “a Holy thing” - - was planted in her womb. The embryo within her was the Word of God (John 1: 1, 14).  It had to be this way, because to redeem mankind that was under the law (Gal. 4:5), the Son Himself had to be “without blemishand without spot”(1 Peter 1:19). 

    Just as Adam was specially made by God, the “last Adam” was a special creation.  Jesus, as the “last Adam”, had to be like the first Adam before the fall.  He had to pass the same test that Adam failed.  The ultimate sacrifice had to be a perfect man - - in right standing with the Father - - to restore mankind to its rightful position in God’s eyes.  A most significant event!

    

    

CELEBRAte THE RESURRECTION



 

    It probably goes without saying, but the fact is - - the Christian life hinges on the reality of the resurrection of Jesus.  If the resurrection is not a fact, then, as the Apostle Paul said; “ourpreaching is in vain and your faith is also in vain”(1 Corinthians 15:14).  “Vain” means, of course; empty, powerless, and of no effect.

    But Jesus did rise from the dead, and as a fact of history, He appeared to hundreds of people in the 40 days following the crucifixion - - even to 500 at one time (1 Cor., Chapter 15).   Jesus also appeared to John on the Isle of Patmos and proclaimed: “I am He that liveth, and was dead: and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death”(Revelation 1:18 KJV). 

    Jesus’ death and resurrection, in a manner of speaking, “undid” what Adam’s sin did back in the Garden of Eden.   Adam’s sin had caused separation from God.  Jesus’ death and resurrection paid the penalty for sin (in full - - once and for all) and opened the door to fellowship with God.

    Jesus’ suffering entailed more than being nailed to the cross.  Around 700 B.C. the prophet Isaiah made known the purpose of the cross of the coming Messiah.  “Surely He has borne our griefs, And carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God and afflicted.  He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed”(Isaiah 53:4,5).

    Those words “sorrows” and “griefs” also mean “infirmities” and “sicknesses” (Matthew 8:17). Jesus’ sacrifice covered every area of man’s existence.  Suffering in our place and being separated from the Father, Jesus suffered spiritual torment, mental distress and physical pain.  

    But Praise God! - - as a result, Jesus defeated Satan and gained victory over death, hell, and the grave.  Then, when Divine justice was satisfied, God raised Him from the dead and He ascended into heaven - - where He is now seated at God’s right hand, making intercession for us.

    Christ’s resurrection, then, was the final evidence that He had paid the price for our redemption - - that His sacrifice for us was accepted by God the Father, and that we could have eternal life and be forever reconciled to God as a result.

    Because Jesus took on human form and became obedient unto death on a cross, and rose from the dead, we can have the free gift of eternal life with Him.  But remember, a gift is only a gift if it is accepted.  He gave all that He had so that we might have everything we need.

    This is the Blessed Hope we have through our Risen Lord!

    

    

who were cavemen? 

 

    Ever since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden and ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, mankind has rebelled against the Word of their Creator.  Rebellion didn’t end with God’s judgement by a global Flood - - but continued in the descendants of Noah and his sons Ham, Shem, and Japheth.

    It was about 100 years after the Ark came to rest in the mountains of Ararat, and the human population had grown to the point where there were enough family units to have begun to do what God had commanded - - replenish, or re-populate, the earth.  But again mankind refused to listen and obey Him.

    They chose instead, to stay together on a plain in the land of Shinar in Mesopotamia (Babylon) - - and they said to one another: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (Gen. 11:4).  They hoped the tower would help keep them together in that place. 

Well, you know the story: God saw their disobedience - - that they had built a tower to their own greatness.  Since they all had one language, God confused that language so they couldn’t understand one another, and He scattered them abroad and the building of the city and tower ceased.  The name of the place became Babel, where the Lord confused language (Gen 11:6-9).

    Most of the “pioneers” that went out from Babel, first had to find shelter in caves.  To many, the term “caveman” denotes some knuckle-dragging type of pre-human - - not fully “evolved”. Evolutionary anthropologists have given them names such as Neanderthal or Cro-Magnon.  But these cavemen were not stupid or primitive.  They had retained their skills as explorers, navigators, metal workers, agriculturists, husbandmen, and structural engineers.  They made clothes, and were excellent artists and musicians. They simply used the best shelter they could find, until they were able to find all the materials needed to build new homes and cities.

    The London Daily Telegraph (3/12/97) reported on a site at Gibraltar with well-preserved evidence that “Neanderthals” there had prepared meals of rabbit, venison, olives, and roasted pistachio nuts, over a hearth and grill.  And, at a burial site in Portugal (supposedly 40,000 years old), scientists found a flute carved from the thigh bone of a bear, with the same seven-note scale as some modern instruments.

    A most significant discovery was that of a “stone age” skeleton in France which showed evidence of expert surgical operations - - precise, and successful, brain surgery.  The skull had two neatly cut holes, and the healing around the wounds suggested the owner “had survived for years”. 

    

WHY  DO WE  CALL  IT THE  “RAPTURE” ?


 

    We’ve probably all heard, at one time or another, somebody suggest that Bible-believing Christians are in error because we look forward to the “Rapture” - - - when the word Rapture is not in the Bible.   Well, the word Trinity isn’t in the Bible either, so what might that mean?

    Anyway, let’s see why using the term “Rapture” is OK - - maybe even preferable.  When we speak of the Rapture of the church, we are referring to 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17:   “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voiceof an archangel, and with the trumpetof God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive will be caught uptogether with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And we shall ever be with theLord.”(emphasis added)

    Now, let’s look at some dictionary definitions of the word Rapture:   Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary gives several examples.  1) A seizing by violence; 2) transport, ecstasy, violence of pleasing passion; 3) extreme joy or passion; 4) a hurrying along with velocity; 5) Enthusiasm, uncommon heat of imagination.    The New Collegiate Dictionary defines Rapture as: 1) the act of transporting; 2) Spiritual or emotional ecstasy; 3) an expression of ecstasy; 4) a rhapsody.

    Back to 1 Thessalonians 4:16 -17 and the emphasized words in bold:   In New Testament times, shouts and trumpets heralded the arrival of visiting monarchs.  The word shoutcan be a military command.  Remember the old western movies or war movies when the bugle sounded and the Captain yelled “charge!”? 

     Here, at the Rapture of the church, the archangel will shout and the trumpof God will sound loudly, as the Host of Heaven, led by Christ himself, conducts an assault on Satan’s domain - - to break through and catch awayHis church.

    The words “caught up” come from the Greek (harpadzo) - - which Strong’s Concordance #726 defines as: to seize; snatch away; take up; take by force.  Actually, an early translation of the scripture into Latin used the word raptus(seized or carried away). 

    Seems like using the word Rapture to describe the catching up of the church is indeed acceptable and descriptive.

 

EVER  HEARD  OF “DIRECTED  PANSPERMIA” ?


 

    Last time we looked at the study by two evolutionary scientists which showed that the mathematical laws of probability proved that life could not have “evolved” through natural random chance processes.  However, since they could not bring themselves to accept the Genesis account of creation, they instead suggested that life on earth must have somehow come here from outer space.

    Well, that idea was accepted and promoted by none other than Dr. Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA.   Dr. Crick admitted that he had to recognize the impossibility of life arising on earth by natural processes, but since the only alternative was Special Creation he proposed the idea of  “directed panspermia”.

    That new proposal suggested that life, in the form of bacteria spores, actually arose by chance on some other planet and was sent to this planet, possibly by intelligent beings from somewhere else in the universe. 

    Crick surmised that such spores must have been like those of Bacillus subtilis, or similar bacteria, because of their resistance to damage from radiation and desiccation (drying).  A fellow researcher went even further, suggesting that if an extra-terrestrial civilization was responsible, they would surely have encoded some kind of message on the DNA of such an organism.  If it were only possible, they thought, to decode this sequence of DNA, we could learn the “secrets of the universe”.

    Well, a study described in a Nov. 1997 issue of Nature, reported that that very DNA had indeed been decoded.  Some151 scientists collaborated in that work, but none discovered any “messages from space”. They did, however, discover more than four million “letters” of the genetic code - - equivalent to more than 1,000 pages of typing..

    That research, then, did not establish any extra-terrestrial connection, but it did show us that even the “simplest” living cell is not so “simple”, and could not have made itself - - not even “out there, somewhere”.   Life undoubtedly had a creator!

    The Bible does not say specifically whether or not life is found elsewhere in the universe.  However, if the Earth was formed first, and then the sun, moon, and start - - it seems reasonable that Earth was center stage in Creation, and everything else was created for the earth and the Humans that would inhabit it. We can’t be dogmatic about this, of course, but it is most likely that only Earth has life.

    Actually, the Bible does present a strong argument that life elsewhere in the universe doesn’t exist.   Because Adam’s sin affected all of creation (the entire universe), and only Adam’s descendants can be saved through Christ, it would make no sense whatsoever that Adam’s sin resulted in judgement of another “Race” of beings that could not receive salvation.

LAWS  OF SCIENCE  SUPPORT  BIBLICAL CREATION  - - NOT  EVOLUTION


 

    Evolutionary scientists often complain that creationists are not true scientists because they base their beliefs on the Bible and do not engage in “scientific” inquiry.  The truth is, of course, creationist scientists not only accept the basic laws of science, but see them as actually supporting the creation world-view.

    Take, for example, the Law of Biogenesis.  Simply stated, this law declares that life always comes from life (not a pool of chemicals collected from eroded rocks).

    Then there’s the Second Law of Thermodynamics (the Law of increasing disorder or entropy), which governs all processes.   This law states the universe is running down and is headed for a state of complete disorder - - just the opposite of the evolutionary view that things are progressing from simple to complex.

    Even more damaging to the random chance evolutionary view is the mathematical Law of Probability, which shows that life arising and “evolving” by chance is a mathematical impossibility.

    In a 1981 New Scientistarticle, famous British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle and his colleague Chandra Wickramasinghe (both evolutionists and avowed atheists) calculated the odds against the chance formation of life on earth.   They determined that the chance formation of just one protein, with the proper sequence of amino acids, was one chance in 10 to the 260th power. (10 to the 12th power is a trillion)  They also calculated that the probability of life as we know it forming by chance on earth was less than one in 10 to the 40,000th power.

    Hoyle was the one who compared this to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard could assemble a functioning Boeing 747.  Therefore, the supposed age of the earth of a few billion years would certainly not be enough time for random chance processes - - not even trillions of years.  They then calculated that the random chance process would take at least 10 to the 343rd power years. 

    Sadly though, rather than accepting God as the Creator of all things, the pair instead postulated that life evolved in outer space and then somehow reached the earth.

COULD  NOAH’S FLOOD  HAVE  BEEN JUST  A  LOCAL EVENT?


   








The account of the Biblical Flood in the days of Noah (Genesis chapters 6,7, &8) is a literal account of a tremendous catastrophe involving a global deluge, catastrophic volcanic activity, and great tectonic upheavals that completely altered the earth’s crust - - and was responsible for the deposition of most of the fossil-bearing strata we see today. But today’s “scoffers”, described in 2 Peter 3:3-7, continue to argue that the Flood was probably purely mythological or, at best, just a local event in the old Mesopotamian region.

   We could discuss up to 100 reasons (both Biblical and non-Biblical) for believing in a worldwide or global flood, but space will allow us to touch briefly on just a few.   First of all, the fact that the Lord Jesus and the Apostle Peter both believed that the Flood was worldwide (Matthew 24:39 and 2 Peter 3:6) is a pretty good reason for us to believe it too.

   Genesis 7:21, 22 says that “all flesh died that moved upon the earth ….all that was on the dryland died”.  Evolutionary anthropologists agree that people probably numbered in the hundreds of thousands and had spread over the entire known world by the time ascribed to Noah’s lifetime, so an anthropologicallyuniversal flood would also have required a geographicallyworldwide flood.

   Let’s look at some of the major problems with a local flood concept:                                                                       


1. If the Flood was local, why did Noah have to build and Ark?  He could have moved his family to the other side of the hills or low mountains around the Mesopotamian plain and missed it. After all, it took over 100 years to construct the Ark, and he could have traveled quite a distance over that period of time.                                                                                                                   


2. If the Flood was local, why did God send the animals to the Ark so they could escape death?  There would have been other animals to reproduce their kind if these particular ones perished.  


3. Likewise, if the Flood was local why did the Ark have to be big enough to hold two each (and seven each of some) of all the kinds of land animals that existed at that time?  If only Mesopotamian animals were on board, the Ark would have been much smaller.   

                        

4. If the Flood was local, why would birds have to be on the ark?  Birds could have simply flown to a safe area.

                                                                                                                                  

5. If the Flood was local, how could the waters rise 15 cubits above the “high hills” (Genesis 7: 19,20)?   Water seeks its own level.  It couldn’t cover the local mountains while leaving the rest of the world untouched. It should be noted here that the high hills or mountains that existed before the Flood were certainly not those of today.  It has been estimated that there is enough water in the oceans today so that if all the earth’s surface features (mountains and underwater canyons) were evened out, water could cover the earth to a depth of 1.7 miles.  This would not be enough to cover the likes of Everest, etc., but it does show that pre-Flood mountains were once under water - - supporting the fact that nearly all the mountains of the world have marine fossils near their summits (fossil trilobites and starfish have been found among the Bristlecone Pines of our own White Mountains).  And, as Psalm 104:6-8 tells us, at the end of the Flood the mountains rose up and valley’s dropped down to allow the Flood waters to drain into the ocean basins.     

                                                                                                                              

6.  If the Flood was local, people who did not live in the vicinity would not have been affected by it.  They would have escaped God’s judgement on sin.  If this had happened, what did Christ mean when He likened the coming judgement of all mankind to the judgement of “all” men (Matthew 24:37-39) in the days of Noah?  A partial judgement in Noah’s day would mean a partial judgement to come. 


7.  If the Flood was local, then God has repeatedly broken His rainbow promise to never send such a Flood again - - since there are many devastating local floods reported somewhere in the world every year. 

 

   Of course, if the scoffers “willingly forget” or are “willingly ignorant” of the truth of God’s judgement on mankind by a global Flood in the days of Noah, then they can easily dismiss any thought of a coming judgement by fire (2 Peter 3:10).


   Just as in the days of Noah, God has given us ample warning of the judgement to come - - and He has provided the way of salvation. For Noah, the Ark was the only refuge from divine judgement.  For us, Jesus Christ is the only Savior and Ark of Refuge for mankind in this age. When we believe by faith that Jesus is Lord and God raised Him from the dead - - we have assurance that we can enter into the rest and safety of our Ark, Jesus.

                           THE "STAR" OF BETHlehem  


    A frequently asked question around Christmas time is “What was the Star of Bethlehem?”   There have been several attempts to explain the “Star: scientifically, but none have been universally accepted as “the” explanation.

    Some scholars think that this “Star” was a comet - - an object which quite often seems to be connected with important events in history.   Hally’s comet was visible in 11 BC, but no recorded comet sightings match up with the time of Jesus’ birth.

    Others believe that the “Star” was a conjunction of planets.  However, multiple planets do not appear as a single light source, as the light was described in Scripture.  Also, planetary alignments are relatively frequent occurrences and would not have been that unusual.  Records do indicate that there was a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 66 BC - - again, not at the time of Jesus’ birth.

    And then there’s the theory of an exploding star - - a supernova.  Like the other theories, there are no records of any event of this kind during the proper period of time.   It should be noted that natural objects like comets, planets, etc., do not remain stationary, but appear to move across the night sky between dusk and dawn.  

    In any event, these three “possibilities” suggested by some scientists fall short of the nativity account as described in Matthew 2:1-12  and Luke 2:1-20.

    Matthew recorded two details of special interest. First, the text implies only the Magi saw “His Star” - - and apparently understood its special significance. Comets, supernovae, etc., would have been visible to everybody.

    Second, the “Star” went before the Magi and led them from Jerusalem to Bethlehem - - a distance of about 6 miles, north to south.  All natural objects in the night sky move from east to west.  It is difficult to imagine how a natural light could lead the way from north to south to a particular house. 

    Logically, then, we must conclude that the Star of Bethlehem cannot be explained scientifically.  It must have been a temporary and supernatural light.  

ONLY  JESUS COULD  FULFILL  OLD TESTAMENT  PROPHECIES OF  THE MESSIAH

 


 

The Old Testament contains several hundred references and some 60 direct prophecies concerning the coming Messiah - - all of which, of course, were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ.   


1)The Messiah was to come from the seed of Abraham; 2) He would come through the line of Isaac (Genesis 21:12) - - which eliminates one-half of the lineage of Abraham; 3) He would be of the line of Jacob (Num. 24:17) - - which eliminates one-half of the lineage of Isaac;  4) He would come from the tribe of Judah (Gen.49:10) - - which now eliminates eleven-twelfths of the tribes of Israel;  5) He would come from the family of Jesse, namely the house of David (Isa. 11:1) - - which eliminates all of Jesse’s sons except David;  6) He would be born in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) - - which eliminates all the cities of the world except one;  7) and the “clincher”, He would be conceived and born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14). 


Other prophetic statements concerning the Messiah include: He would receive gifts from the Magi; He would come out of Egypt;  He would be known as a Nazarene;  He would be preceded by a messenger (John The Baptist); He would receive special anointing of the Holy Spirit (Christ means Anointed One);  He would begin His ministry in Galilee;  He would enter Jerusalem on a donkey;  He would be sold for 30 pieces of silver;  He would be crucified between two thieves;  He would be buried in a rich man’s grave;  He would be resurrected on the third day and ascend into heaven;  etc.

These and other Old Testament declarations establish a solid confirmation of Jesus’ credentials as Messiah, and that He alonecould be that “Babe in the Manger”.  In fact, scholars have determined that the probability of a single person fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies is only one chance in 10 to the 127thpower!  We can, therefore, be confident in the fact that Jesus is indeed exactly who He says He is! 

 

 

CHRISTIAN  STEWARDSHIP OF  GOD’S  CREATION


 

    Back in 1967, Lynn White, a University of California historian, published an article titled: “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis”.  White wrote that Christianity is “arrogant toward nature” - - therefore, Christianity “bears the burden of guilt for our ecological woes”.

    Today, environmental activists, and those in academic circles, generally agree with White’s views that Christianity is environmentally unfriendly and that his article was the definitive indictment of Christianity for crimes against nature.

    The portion of scripture most quoted by those who hold White’s views is found in Genesis 1:27-28: “and God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them.  And God blessed them and God said to them, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth”.

    Actually, these two verses reveal three critical points about Biblical and Christian bases for conservation and stewardship of the planet.

    1). That humans did not evolve from primates, but were created in the image of God.  Humans possess physical attributes not shared by animals - - but more important, we possess spiritual attributes (a moral consciousness, the ability to think, and the capacity to know and worship God).

    2). That humans were commanded by God to be fruitful and populate the earth.  Men, women, and children are the world’s greatest resource, not its greatest liability.

    3)..God instructed humans to be the earth’s stewards - - to subdue it and rule it.  Take the activity of farming (the world’s true “oldest profession”), for example.  To successfully produce a successful crop, the soil must be tilled (broken up), seeds planted, seedlings watered, weeds pulled, and pests removed. (sounds like a good sermon on God’s Word planted in our hearts).

    Therefore, farming (or even gardening) involves subduing and ruling (“managing” and “administering”) a patch of wild nature for the benefit of people.  We have been given the honor and privilege of managing and administering God’s creation - - but with the expectation that we will do it responsibly.

    Biblical Christianity, far from being the root of our ecological crisis, offers not only a credible explanationfor the crisis (the entrance of sin and death into a fallen world [Genesis chapter 3]), but also the only true solution(2 Chronicles 7:14).

    

    

       

    SHARING  THE GOSPEL  IN  THE 21st  CENTURY  - - PART 2



 

    Last time we saw that several years after the day of Pentecost, the Apostle Paul presented the Gospel to the Greek philosophers at Mars Hill (Acts chapter 17).  Convincing some to believe and be saved, he had changed their whole pagan mind set.  He had, so to speak, changed “Greeks” into “Jews”.   So, how does that apply to us, 2,000 years later?

    Well, not that long ago our culture was like the Jews. Even if people seldom attended church or didn’t profess to be Christian, most were familiar with the basic concepts of the faith - -  creation, the Fall, sin, the Flood, and the message of the cross.

    But today, we see anti-Christian bias all around us - - and a dramatic increase in the number of people with little or no knowledge of the Bible.   God and prayer have been removed from our schools and universities.  Evolution is being taught as fact and students are indoctrinated with the false belief that “science” is more credible than the Bible - - even though the founding fathers of nearly every branch of science were Bible-believing Christians who relied on the scientific facts contained in scripture. 

    Clearly, in the last 50 or 60 years our society has become more like the ancient “Greeks” than the first century “Jews”.  An entire generation lacks the foundational knowledge to fully understand the Gospel of Christ.  Actually, it’s probably worse today because the Greeks at least wanted to hear more of what Paul had to say.   To reach the lost souls in the 21stcentury we should use the Acts 17 approach and begin at the beginning.  

    An excellent method of presenting the true history of the world, that will lead many to understand and be saved, began as a VBS curriculum called “The Seven “C’s” Of History”. Over the several thousand years of recorded history, mankind has documented events that shaped their own cultures in each generation.  But those pale in significance to the seven major events most important events in the entire history of the world, as recorded in the Bible.

    Each of these events begin with the letter “C” - - Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe,Confusion, Christ, Cross, and soon, Consummation. The unchurched need to be presented with the facts, with many infallible proofs - - that they were created by a loving God for fellowship with Him; why they need a Savior; how judgement came in the form of a global Flood; how the various tribes, nations, and languages developed; When Jesus came to save mankind; that He died for our sins and rose again in victory - - and that Christ will return soon.