Temptation vs Testing. What’s the difference?

The Question

Hey Pastor Pat – how do you know the difference between when you’re being tempted and when God is testing you? These temptations just don’t seem very fair…

The Response

Temptation doesn’t seem very fair – because it’s so darn tempting! “Just say no” doesn’t cut it!

Well – the first thing we need to understand about the difference between being tempted and being tested is this…

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” (James 1: 13 NIV)

So – it’s not God who is tempting us – it begins in our own hearts.

We need to remember that we were created in the image of God (Gen 1:27). This means our original design was to reflect His way of thinking, of speaking and of action. I should be able to look at the average “Jim” or “Mary and be able to say, “If anyone wants to know what God acts like – just look at Jim over there.” Or “if you want to know what God thinks like – just look at Mary’s thought life.”

Makes you want to cringe, doesn’t it?

None of us reflect how God would REALLY think or speak or act. We’ve all gone our own way, done our own thing and reflected our own will. Some have done this in much bigger ways than others (at least from our point of view) but we’re all guilty.

Ever since Adam, every human being has rebelled against the image of God we were designed to reflect. This was passed down to us from our parents so the embers (little smoldering coals) of this rebel attitude are buried deeply in our flesh. This is why you don’t have to teach a baby how to be self-centered. You don’t have to teach a toddler how to lie or an elementary kid how to steal either. We all have those warm little coals of self-centered nastiness burning inside us from birth.

Yuck…So what is temptation then?

Temptation REALLY begins when those little embers get fanned into a flame. And we do this to OURSELVES. This can happen in one of two ways:

1) We give-in to a HABIT. Most often our trip down temptation lane is a well-worn path we have made with our own two feet. The Devil barely has to suggest anything and many times he doesn’t have to – we run into a bad day in some way and we just head on down that path because we’re in the habit of hanging out in that particular neighborhood whenever we feel the “need”.

This is what the Bible calls a “stronghold.” By the way, the Bible says we have weapons to tear these strongholds down but we’ll have to talk about that another day…

2) We decide to believe a lie. In this case, we’ve got to remember there really is a devil and he really does have a bad crew working for him. He can, and will, make a suggestion in our spiritual ears from time to time.

Either way – the issue is SUBSTITUTION.

It’s a lot like bait on a hook. If you are a fish and you have a legitimate need (I’m hungry) then the bait looks pretty good. You think “I’m really hungry. There’s nothing wrong with being hungry!” The temptation is, “This will satisfy your hunger. This will make you feel better.” And you bite!

The key is learning to EXAMINE a temptation. Figure out what is the LEGITIMATE need this temptation is enticing us to try and fill the wrong way. Then it’s time to go to God to get it filled instead of buying the substitute. What we too often do is fan the flames we already have in our flesh because we want to feel “better” right now!

But we just get a hook in our mouth…

Think about sex outside of marriage. There is a legitimate need to feel loved. There is a very real need to find excitement when life is boring. There is a need to feel connected and whole and strong. There’s nothing wrong with needing to feel any of those things. They are all legitimate needs we might have – but the temptation is to try and satisfy these things with a “quick fix.” You know, “I’ll just sleep with her and then I’ll feel like I’m cool because I can score” or “I’ll just give in because then he’ll really love me. I’ll feel connected that way and he won’t leave me if I give him what he wants.” Or maybe your hormones are just raging and you want to just want to feel good. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel good by the way. After all, we don’t intentional want to feel like dog vomit.

But the substitute for God’s way is a lie…

The solution is to figure out WHY you’re being tempted (what’s the legit need) and then run off to GOD to find what you need in and through HIM.

God’s way on the whole sex thing is a guy and a girl getting married – but you knew that already. So what’s the problem? We still want to feel good so we need to learn to feel good from God. We need to learn to worship, be with Christian friends and so on. We need to find the power in Him to hang in there and be patient too. If we give into the lie we’re probably going to get snagged by the hook!

We all know the consequences when we buy the lie – but that doesn’t seem to stop anyone: STD’s, pregnancies, broken hearts, horrible bad habits that bleed into a marriage and cause adultery and so on. Just knowing that doesn’t stop people from doing it – because so often we don’t care. We have a need and we just want to feel better in that moment. That’s temptation – you gotta need and here’s something that’ll make you feel good RIGHT NOW.

Of course, none of us that give in to temptation are really thinking about the hook or we would never bite. It wouldn’t be an issue! So just using scare tactics isn’t going to help us win the battle.

You have to figure out the need. Figure out how to get your needs met God’s way. Get into the habit of resisting the substitute the devil is offering and he’ll bail on trying to hook you. This is why the Bible says “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 NKJV)

It’s going to take some doing, right? In fact, it takes a lifetime of practice to learn how to find what we need in God. We’ve got to be seriously studying the Bible to find out how. But this is where defeating temptation begins.

  • Figure out what the LEGIT need is.
  • Ignore the bait (that’s resisting the devil).
  • Go to God to get the need met

Testing

So what’s with the testing thing? If God doesn’t tempt us, why does the Bible talk about Him “testing” our faith? What’s that all about?

The difference is that temptation is putting a SUBSTITUTE in your path, but testing is putting a SITUATION in your path. Check it out…

So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. 7 These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold — and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. (1 Peter 1:6 NLT)

So – back “in the day” people melted down gold or silver or whatever in order to get the crud in the metal to basically boil off. The crud is called “dross” and it floats to the top when you melt down a metal. When you scrape off the dross you get a stronger, more pure metal. Sometimes you have to melt it down over and over and over again because there’s a lot of dross hiding in there.

But the results are well worth it = pure gold.

In fact the word “trial” or “test” you find here is do-kē’-mē-on (δοκίμιον) in the original Greek language. It means “the proving, that by which something is tried or proved, a test”. It’s a word they used when talking about making a metal pure.

When God “tests” you it’s not like taking a test in a school. In a school the professor is trying to find out what you know. The professor isn’t quite sure if you’ve mastered what he is trying to teach – so he tests you. But in God’s case He already knows what you know. In fact, He knows everything about you. He knows more about you that you know about you.

So what’s with the test?

The test isn’t to figure out what you know – it’s to burn off the dross in your life. It’s designed to melt you down so the crud will rise to the top. Every time He tests your metal, your metal gets stronger. Every time you feel the heat, every time your whole life seems to melt into a puddle you have a chance to call out to God. When you do, He points out the crud you have to get rid of to make things better. It’s a process.

The key is to learn how to work WITH the test rather than resist it. The more we learn to cooperate with the situations God allows in our lives, the more dross will get scrapped off and the less testing we’re going to need. I don’t know about you but I would much rather LEARN and GROW by getting deep in the Bible than for God to have to let me face some very unpleasant situations to make me learn and grow.

That’s the key…check it out…

So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. 22 And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. 23 For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law — the law that sets you free — and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it. (James 1:21 NLT)

When we make it a priority in our lives to learn what the Bible teaches about how to live – WHEN we make up our minds to DO what it says – WHEN we get into the habit of going to God to get our needs met instead of going for the substitutes…yeah…all of that is COOPERATING with God’s process of getting the crud out of our lives. The more we do this – the fewer situations God has to allow into our lives to get it out.

I don’t know about you – but I’d rather be in the habit of cooperating with God’s plan than having to feel the heat. Getting melted down is about as desirable as sucking out the contents of a rotten egg with a straw and trying to say “Mmmm, that’s good!”

Nope…

So – the difference between temptation and testing…

  • Temptation is a SUBSTITUTE
  • Testing is a SITUATION

Our job is to take an inventory of ourselves – are we going to God to get our needs met or are we in the habit of buying into the substitutes? Are we willing to LEARN to go to God and BREAK those habits? Are we willing to test ourselves and cooperate with God or do we have to endure the tests and the melting down that God is going to allow if we don’t.

Hope that helps…

Although he died on the cross in weakness, he now lives by the mighty power of God. We, too, are weak, but we live in him and have God’s power — the power we use in dealing with you. 5 Examine yourselves to see if your faith is really genuine. Test yourselves…(2 Corinthians 13: 4 NLT)

 

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Laws of logic

A comment from Surge Overov:
Why do people assume that logic is outside of nature? Logic are just rules that can be applied to almost all situations. The rules arise from nature, and the most general rules are “logical”. Lets take the rule of cause and effect as an example. If anyone has seen a baby drop food from their table and see the baby’s surprise, this is a moment when the baby infers the rule of cause and effect as well as consistent behavior. However, this cherish rule is violated on the quantum level, i.e. atomic scale. At this scale, the destination affects its path e.g. quantum tunneling. Or in philosophical terms, the effect first determined the cause so that the cause can determine the effect. Cause and effect works very well for almost all situations but fails plenty of times. If the rules of logic superseded nature, nature cannot violate them. If nature gave rise to these rules, then there would be circumstances where they would not apply.
@Surge – thanks for being up front about your view. Causation can only be inferred – not directly observed. We actually observe succession but it’s difficult to prove that any given succession is ever NECESSARY – A baby can drop its food and show no surprise at all by its own choice. It was not NECESSARY for the baby to show surprise. Consider the idea of dualism (there is a material world that changes but there is an immaterial world that includes things like the laws of logic and this immaterial world does not change). We cannot actually see the laws of logic or free will acting on the physical – actually we see a succession of events and the immaterial things can sometimes be INFERRED to be the cause. But that is in inference. When I make this inference based on the Christian world view (that laws of logic make sense and are real because God is real) I can justify the existence of the laws of logic. I can’t do that from a purely mechanistic, naturalistic worldview. Atheist certainly believe in and use laws of logic. They can be just as logical and create sound arguments – but they are using inferences of invariant concepts that they cannot justify soundly from a purely naturalist point of view. For example – if the laws of logic are only a reflection of the world we live in then they are CONTINGENT on the world. If that is so then we can’t actually count on them because there are too many places in the universe that we have never directly experienced. No one has experienced the future so how can we KNOW the laws of logic will work tomorrow? Only if we INFERthat the laws of logic are invariant and universal but that assumption doesn’t make sense if the laws of logic are contingent on the world as we experience it. This is true because different areas of the universe are DIFFERENT – so why should we expect the laws of logic or the uniformity of nature to exist everywhere and NOT be different when the actual physical place IS different? If the laws of logic are contingent on the physical world we should expect the laws to be different in different places – but we don’t believe this (nor have we experienced it so far)! Besides, the physical world is constantly changing so why should we expect the laws of logic to change too. Clearly, the laws of logic are NOT a reflection of the world. i believe the laws of logic are ETERNAL but I believe this because I believe God is eternal.My justification for the laws of logic being consistent flow from my view that God is real, eternal and rational – I can justify the laws of logic based on this worldview. He is the reason we can reasonably assume the laws of logic are universal – because He is universal. In an atheistic universe, invariant, abstract, universal laws can’t be adequately justified – without BORROWING concepts from the Christian worldview. Hope that helps…
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It’s not a “fish with legs” when it’s not a fish in the first place!

On February 28, 2013 we published the following post on the Understanding-creationism.com Facebook page…

“The fossil record simply does NOT document macro-evolutionary change. The single best expected evidence for the history of supposed evolutionary change does not in fact show it at all…

“There are two huge gaps in the fossil record that are so immense and indisputable that any further discussion of the fossil record becomes superfluous. These are the gap between microscopic, single-celled organisms and the complex, multi-cellular invertebrates, and the vast gap between these invertebrates and fish…The world’s museums should be bursting at the seams with enormous collections of the fossils of transitional forms. As a matter of fact, not a single such fossil has ever been found! Duane T. Gish, Ph D, Creation Scientists Answer Their Cricits, 1993. p. 115 “

Several sharp verbal responses came back to us on this quote. Most critics simply dismiss this quote as being “old” or “out of date” since it was written in 1993. Others made comments about how only “fundamentalist idiots” deny there are transitional (in-between) forms in the fossil record. They are everywhere, we were confidently told. In fact, according to these critics there are so many that there isn’t time or space to list them all. These sorts of ad hominem (that is, personal) or dismissive comebacks are all too common in this debate.

The quote from Dr. Duane T. Gish is indeed an older quote (1993). Still, the content of this quote remains true. If evolution is true, the world’s museums should indeed have so many examples of in-between forms from one life-form kind to another that we shouldn’t be able to contain them. This is just as true today (2013) as it was in 1993. Only a very, very few creatures are thought to be possible transitional forms. In discussions about this issue, it is rare for evolutionist critics to bring up an example of a supposed transitional form. Usually they are simply dismissive, falling back to the idea that there are lots of transitional forms and talking about them is pointless.

Well – if there are so many, let’s see em!

In fact, this new page on understanding-creationism.com will be devoted to taking a look at these supposed in-between forms. Let’s see if they are really compelling evidence that evolution has actually happened on this planet.

In the discussion about the post we made on February 28th, one critic responded with a link to an article about a creature called Fuxianhuia protensa. The article is titled “500 million year old sea creature with limbs under its head unearthed”.[i]

Here is our answer…

Considering our limited staff (ONE at present) we were not able to respond to this challenge right away. In addition, Facebook and Twitter, however valuable they may be, are generally not the best forum to answer such questions in detail. I decided to take some time and answer this question in greater detail. But before I was able to research and type a response the same critic posted the following…

“Fossil record- suggestive, not proof (and getting weaker all the time, see my previous post of the fish with legs)  (from D.G.)

But F. protensa is not a fish – and certainly not a “fish with legs.” F. protensa is an arthropod!

This means the article about F. protensa does not even relate to the quote by Dr. Gish. Dr. Gish is making a different point. He is talking about microscopic single celled life-forms in rocks of the so-called pre-Cambrian period (600 million or more years old in evolutionary thinking). He is saying there are no forms leading step-by-step to the complex invertebrates (animals without backbones) of the so-called Cambrian. He is also pointing out there are no transitional forms between the Cambrian invertebrates and the fishes.

This is still true!

Arthropods such as F. protensa include insects, spiders and crustaceans like lobsters. Citing an example of an arthropod with legs near its head demonstrates nothing in terms of evolution or transitional forms.  After all, there are plenty of living arthropods today that have multiple legs.

Since Arthropods are invertebrates and fish are vertebrates any creature in-between these two kinds of life-forms would be obvious. How is F. protensa an example of an invertebrate becoming a fish? Where is there an example in the fossil record of any invertebrate being a partway vertebrate? F. protensa certainly doesn’t show such a transition. F. protensa cannot be a possible transitional from between fish and amphibians either since it is an invertebrate.

The article D.G. cites comes from the peer reviewed science journal Nature[ii]. In the summary for this article the authors do not suggest this is a transitional form between invertebrates and vertebrate fish. Surely, if these evolutionist thought this was a transitional form between invertebrates and fish or between fish and amphibians they would have mentioned it.

In fact, the authors only speculate it might have been part of the early development of euarthropods (animals with a hard exo-skeleton, segmented body and legs) There is no mention of this being a supposed transitional animal at all – only an “early” version of animals such as scorpions and butterflies.

So – even the authors of this study do not call this animal a “fish with legs.”

But what does it show???

Recent studies of these fossils tell us F. protensa had a complex brain. This is not something evolutionists expected. Modern insects have complex brains. If this was their ancestor evolutionists should expect to see a less complicated brain – but F. protensa has as complicated a brain as any modern arthropod.

In addition – the legs on its head are not transitional forms either. The authors state…

“Preserved functional articulations indicate a well-defined but restricted range of limb movement, suggestive of a simple type of sweep feeding.”[iii]

In other words, these “limbs” were very short and designed to either grab prey and/or sweep food into the mouth. This is not in any way an in-between feature but a design feature for feeding. This is not a creationist suggestion – the evolutionists writing this article think this is the most likely use of these legs.

In conclusion, Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell sums up the case for F. protensa…

“No evolution from simpler creatures is shown here. Instead, the discovery shows that these extinct invertebrates, like extant (living) invertebrates, possessed a level of complexity that equipped them for life in their environment.”[iv]

 


[ii] Nature/ 494, 468–471 /(28 February 2013) / doi:10.1038/nature11874 / Received 24 October 2012 /Accepted, 21 December 2012 / Published online, 27 February 2013. Accessed April 15, 2013

[iii] ibid

[iv] Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell, http:www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2013/03/23 news-to-note. Accessed April 15, 2013

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A Creationist Responds To Bill Nye

A Creationist Responds To Bill Nye

Bill Nye is a mechanical engineer, inventor and actor. His science videos are widely respected earning many accolades and awards. As a former public school physical science and biology teacher, I’ve used Mr. Nye’s videos in my classes and I can say they are well researched, well produced, high quality and were generally well received by my students. I have a great deal of respect for his science videos.

But recently, Bill Nye was interviewed about his views on creationism – and his comments deserve a reasoned response from a creationist. The resulting 2 minute and 32 second video has gone viral on YouTube bringing in more than 3 million views, 57,000 likes and 11,000 dislikes.

In this video, Mr. Nye expresses concern that denial of evolution is “holding everybody back” in the United States. From Nye’s point of view, without an evolutionary foundation a scientist will simple get the “wrong answer” just as a geologist would get a wrong answer without accepting tectonic plate theory. He feels strongly that denying evolution leads to a world-view that is “crazy, just untenable” and “inconsistent”.

Bill Nye’s is also concerned about the educational health of children. He says, “And I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”

So – from Mr. Nye’s point of view you cannot be a scientifically literate voter or taxpayer without accepting the theory of evolution as a fact of history. Creationism is crazy, untenable, inconsistent and shouldn’t be taught even to the children of creationists. Obviously, in Mr. Nye’s opinion even engineers need to be evolutionists in order to “build stuff” and “solve problems.”

So, Mr. Nye – I stand truly amazed. From your scientific, reasoned position as an engineer you are convinced that a belief in evolution is necessary in order to be scientifically literate and to have a sane world-view? But, if I may, I submit to you that the “science” behind the evolutionary position if far from a slam dunk. In fact, I think a person can be scientifically literate and sane without having to bend their knee at the evolutionary altar.

Let me explain…

In the first place, Mr. Nye, you are obviously confusing science with evolution as if they are one in the same concept. You are essentially saying that to deny evolution is to deny science itself. But…I don’t mean to be mean here… the definition of science in the dictionary is “organizing knowledge based on observation and experimentation” and the definition of “literate” is “having knowledge in a specified field.” There doesn’t seem to be any requirement in the definition of science that one must accept the theory of evolution as an actual fact of history. Furthermore, just as one can become “literate” in Greek mythology without actually believing in the historical reality of the myths themselves, one can certainly “have knowledge in the specified field” of biology (and even evolution) and not be an evolutionist.

Now – of course you know Mr. Nye – Evolution is the idea that all life forms began when chemicals combined in some unknown, unobserved way into reproducing proteins.

  • But no one has ever seen random chemistry produce self-replicating proteins.
  • No one has ever reproduced this miracle in a lab (and that includes the Miller-Urey experiment which only produced racemized amino acids that could not be used by any life form).

Nevertheless, you and your fellow evolutionists have faith in chance even though it has never been observed, directly or indirectly.

This is what experiments and actual observation actually show us sir.

And even if we were to “believe” in this chemical miracle, evolution states that these self-reproducing proteins (that no one has ever seen) morphed naturally into the single most complicated molecular structure in the known universe – DNA. From here, DNA coded for single celled organisms.

  • Never mind that no one has ever observed random chemistry developing specific, directed information into a chemical code.
  • Never mind that no one has ever actually observed or figured out how random mistakes in chemistry could produce the semi-permeable membrane of the cell wall, the myriad internal organelles of the cell or developed the sophisticated messenger system between the chromosomes in the nucleus, the ribosomes, the mitochondria and so forth – all in the right order, at the right time to maintain life!
  • Never mind that no one has ever observed a “simple” cell since you know that the “simplest” cell we actually observe is fantastically complex – micro-machines building other micro-machines with complicated blueprints encoded using an information laden, self-replicating, self-repairing “brain” in the nucleus. How all of this came about by just an accident of chemistry is beyond even the most brilliant minds in bio-chemistry today.
  • Never mind that DNA is used to build proteins but you need proteins to make DNA in the first place.

But Mr. Nye you and many scientists have a secular belief that chemistry alone – in some way that no scientist has ever seen – created the first single celled life form.

Mr. Nye – If science is about observation – how is THIS science when it’s never been observed?

But this is what we actually observe in nature. So – how is this inconsistent with…how did you put it… “everything we observe in the universe?”

From here, Mr. Nye, these single celled life forms supposedly reproduced and became multi-cellular life-forms by accidental mistakes in their DNA codes.

  • Never mind that no one has ever observed any single celled life form becoming a multi-cellular life form simply by a mutation in its DNA. Sure, we’ve seen bacteria mutate to resist a drug but the bacteria is still a bacteria and the capacity to adapt was already built into its DNA. It didn’t mutate into a dandelion.

But the story continues, doesn’t it sir?

Yes, supposedly, over millions of years, these life forms changed into a stunning variety of creatures – all by completely random mistakes in a DNA code.

  • Never mind that no one has every actually observed a beneficial DNA mutation – they are either neutral or lethal in actual scientific observation.
  • Never mind that no one can fathom nor has anyone actually seen in nature how mutations could happen at random and yet be perfectly designed in step-by-step fashion toward building a completely new structure (such as a lung) all without any plan and without disrupting the life of the creature as it supposedly evolves.

But if this incredible story is actually true we should see trillions of examples in the fossil record of transitional series of creatures slowly and gradually morphing into completely different forms over time. But you know, Mr. Nye. that we’re not talking about simple variation within a kind but major shifts in complete morphology. For example, we should see fish becoming amphibians. We have billions of fossil fish and who knows how many fossil amphibians – but nothing that is truly a series of gradual steps in the fossil record from one kind to another. Not even one example.

Oh sure, there are plenty of strange mosaic creatures. And there are plenty of life-forms over the years scientists once thought were transitional forms. But every single one of them has been shown not to be transitional after study. In fact, one of your own fellow evolutionists said…

“The abrupt appearance of higher taxa in the fossil record has been a perennial puzzle. Not only do characteristic and distinctive remains of phyla appear suddenly, without known ancestors, but several classes of a phylum, orders of a class, and so on, commonly appear at approximately the same time without known intermediates…(Valentine, James, W. And Cathryn A. Campbell, “Genetic Regulation and the Fossil Record,”American Scientist, vol. 63 (Nov/Dec 1975), p.673.)

So – where are those transitional forms Mr. Nye? Isn’t science supposed to be about what we actually observe – not what we speculate about the past?

Based on this embarrassing situation, some evolutionists think these transitions happened so fast they simply did not have enough time to leave any fossil evidence. This theory is called “punctuated equilibrium”.

But a lack of evidence cannot be the evidence Mr. Nye. That’s called wishful thinking – or even, dare I use the word…faith?

Mr. Nye, you wondered why someone wouldn’t believe in evolution. I’ve just given you the very tip of the iceberg of reasons. I don’t have time to go into the probability against any functional protein happening by random chance (1 x 10 40,000, a number larger than all the atoms in the universe). I don’t have room to go into the myriad of irreducibly complex structures (such as our own blood clotting cascade – where if one part of the system doesn’t function, the entire system doesn’t function and you cannot get to what is actually observed in nature by any natural means nor is there an example of a simple system in nature from which the system we have could have developed)

I don’t have enough room on this blog to go into how the second law of Thermodynamics directly opposes the theory of evolution. Or to comment on the Cambrian explosion that shows exactly zero precursors in Pre-Cambrian strata. No – not enough time to cover the Law of Cause and Effect, probability barriers, information theory, problems with the Big Bang theory and dozens of examples of what used to be considered evolutionary examples that have since been debunked (such as the peppered moth, Piltdown man, Nebraska man, the fossil horse series and so on).

I think the bottom line, Mr. Nye is that creationists can be quite literate, actual taxpayers, fully sane and even…hold your applause…engineers. In fact, I imagine that in your engineering training you had to study hydrology. You likely used the textbook Applied Hydraulics in Engineering since it is used by well over 100 universities and its author is in Who’s Who in engineering. Well, it just so happens that this author, one of the  foremost experts on engineering hydrology in the world was Dr. Henry Morris – a creationist and the founder, along with my friend Dr. Duane T. Gish (PhD, bio-chemistry) of the Institute for Creation Research.

An engineer? But wait – he wasn’t an evolutionist.

You know, this supposed “science” of evolution has more missing links than length of chain. I think I’ll continue to teach my children that evolution is not an established fact of science. And I’ll do that without fear that they won’t be scientifically literate.I’ll show them that what we actually observe and what real experimentation concludes – that life could not have a random origin.

And that’s not crazy Mr. Nye – that’s science!

Patrick C Marks is the author of the suspense novel “Legend” (Kindle price $1.99, http://amzn.to/uwHATL) and a Christian apologetics, non-fiction book about evolution and creation called “Someone’s Making a Monkey Out of You” (Kindle price $2.99, hard copy $15.95, http://amzn.to/snubN1). He is also a husband, father, pastor, and a poor excuse for an oil painter – but he likes getting his fingers colorful anyway.

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Thoughts on the Connecticut tragedy…

In the wake of the horror in Newtown, Connecticut we need to pause and consider the ultimate roots of this evil. I think these roots have nothing to do with politics, gun control laws or even mental illness. It is my thesis here to demonstrate the cause behind this madness and point the way toward a solution…

Now, of course, we can (and should) consider our gun laws. We can (and should) consider security issues for public schools. We can (and should) consider how we as a society should deal with violence…but our culture is a culture of blame, not responsibility…and I believe that many in our culture are simply blaming the wrong issue.

Of course, the knee jerk reaction is to make new laws on guns. After all…

  • Does a private citizen really NEED an AR-15?
  • Does the average “hunter” need armor piercing ammunition?
  • Shouldn’t we as a society protect ourselves against these horrific weapons?

But, by the same token, does the average citizen NEED a gas guzzling Cadillac SUV? Don’t we all really “need” gas conscious hybrids or maybe we don’t NEED cars at all! Perhaps the government should legislate what types of vehicles we can own based on our “needs”.

Wouldn’t that better protect us as a whole?

Or what about making new laws and providing greater funding to diagnose and treat the mentally ill? After all…

  • Does society really NEED mentally ill people wandering around the country just waiting for an opportunity to snap?
  • Shouldn’t we as a society protect ourselves from lunatics by testing and retesting every person who displays the least bit of strange or anti-social behavior? Once diagnosed, we can simply “keep an eye” on them – right?
  • Doesn’t the right to safety of the many outweigh the right of freedom for the few – especially if the “few” are paranoid, schizophrenic or unstable?

But what truly defines mental illness? Who should decide this? Doctors? Politicians? Wasn’t it doctors in Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s, supported by politicians, who decided that the mentally ill, mentally retarded and other “sub-human” subjects ought to be eliminated from society?

That doesn’t sound like a good plan to me…

Besides, are there not millions of examples of people on anti-depression medication or drugs to regulate schizophrenia who live regular lives…

  • …who shop at the super market…
  • …have their kids in your school…
  • …who go to your church?

I mean, where do you draw the line?

Seriously…

Even if we decide to outlaw every firearm in America we will not solve the problem. After all, Timothy McVeigh didn’t use a gun to murder 168 people, including 19 children at the federal building in Oklahoma. Instead, he used fertilizer and diesel fuel (both of which are still legal). The problem is not necessarily the ease of access to deadly weapons.

After all, Cain probably used a rock to kill Abel.

So – even outlawing rocks won’t solve the problem. We could go so far as to make laws against anything and everything that might be used as a weapon until our entire culture is made up of cotton and wool – and someone angry enough will suffocate a victim with a pillow.

While it is TRUE that tossing in the towel and having NO regulation on weapons is savage anarchy, it is equally true that you simply cannot legislate murder into non-existence.

But just step away from guns and mental illness for a moment and see where a mentality of “needs consciousness” may take us. For example, consider our culture’s problem with obesity! Obviously we “need” to consider our fitness!

  • There’s too much sugar in our sodas
  • Too many cakes in our cupboards
  • Too much fat in our fries!

What we truly NEED is exercise and good health management. Perhaps the government should legislate what types of food we should be allowed…excuse me…“encouraged” to eat. Perhaps the authorities who – after all, really do know what is best for us – should legislate a daily televised exercise program that is mandatory…pardon me…“encouraged” for our better health.

We can call it “Big Brother’s Exercise Hour” (big nod to the novel “1984” here).

Hmmmm…

Clearly, the danger of legislating based on what a citizen “needs” or doesn’t need is a slippery shoe that can honestly threaten many or even ALL of our freedoms. It’s just not so simple to say “get rid of the guns and there won’t be any more massacres…or…just control the mentally ill and you won’t have any more mass murderers.”

  • I’m not saying we shouldn’t have responsible gun laws – we should.
  • I’m not saying we shouldn’t diagnose, treat or work to prevent mental illnesses – we should.
  • I’m not saying we shouldn’t exercise either – I DEFINITELY should do that.

But this sort of reaction ignores a deeper reality – the reality that evil is a very real thing and it really exists in the human heart. That’s the real issue that needs to be addressed. This is the root of the problem and getting to the root of the problem is what can prevent these things from happening.

You see, our society is under the delusion that human beings are basically good creatures who occasionally get misguided and go bad. But the truth is exactly the opposite…human beings are fallen creatures. Still, our nature remembers the great height from which we’ve fallen and we idealize that model. Our “goodness” is not our natural state – it is the state we had when we were created but from which we have slid.

This is why we desperately want to be good. This is why we want to live up to some sort of standard we collectively associate with decency. Yet, in our hearts, we know we don’t measure up to that standard. We don’t even measure up to our own personal interpretations of the standard. Not completely. Oh – we reach for it. We idolize the examples in our culture of nobility and goodness and generosity because we KNOW that is what we are supposed to be and are not…not fully.

But where do we get this idea of decency? Where does this standard come from in the first place? As C.S. Lewis said, “A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line”.

As I said, we know in our hearts the great height from which we have fallen – we know what the straight line looks like. The Bible explains it this way: it teaches that human beings are unique and special creations of an infinitely good God, created to reflect His image – just as a mirror reflects the image of my face when I peer into it. We are supposed to be overflowing with goodness, mercy, justice, faith, forgiveness and above all, love – just as God overflows with these things.

And this is why we reach for this fruit. We long for these attributes. We despise those who wander so far from what we know in our subconscious self is right.

Of course if we are just products of mindless evolution and survival of the fittest these concerns about right and wrong are pointless. After all, you don’t see animals worrying about ethical issues. They don’t collectively mourn when one of them kills another. They don’t create laws or have a sense of justice. They don’t regulate how long the lion’s can keep their claws or put limits on how fast the Cheetah’s can run. In their world, you are either fast enough and fit enough or you’re just someone else’s lunch.

So contrary to some opinion we are not animals and in our subconscious we know it.

But God also has a sovereign will. He makes decisions. He is not a computer program or a force of energy. He is a personality. He can make moral choices.

In the same fashion, we were given a capacity to make moral choices. We have a will that is sovereign over our own hearts. We can do with our hearts as we will. Our ancestors decided to go their own way, do their own thing apart from the image of God. We do the same thing to this day. We have all betrayed the image we were created to reflect.

  • We set up our own images.
  • We try to reflect our own will.
  • We want what we want when we want it and our nature is to take what we want at the expense of others.

This is what it means to be fallen. It is a heart issue. This is what evil means – it means the tendency of human nature to be self-absorbed. We even try to dress up our self-centeredness in nice, politically correct clothes too.

  • I need to be true to myself…
  • To thine own self be true…
  • Self-actualization is the capstone of the hierarchy of needs…
  • An Army of One…

Indeed, some people so forget the height of the image of God and become so absorbed in a world of their own choosing they can act out in horrific ways. Others, eroded by substances and indulgences can literally damage their own capacity to be rational at all.

So we have forgotten…and our amnesia leads to the curse we so recoil from when it is revealed in tragedy.

Yes – it is certainly true that some mental illness can be an inherited sickness, something that is a short circuit in the brain completely outside the will of the victim. But this, in itself, is also a consequence of the fall of man long ago. Sickness, disease, genetic mutation and even death itself are the evil spores that plague us because we are a world apart from God.

So it is to HIM that we need to cry for help and change. Not to a new set of laws. Not to a politician’s promise or a philosopher’s polemic. We need a TRANSFORMATION of the heart. And only the Creator can provide it.

In the end, the Bible says the only REAL solution to evil is the transformation of the human heart that only He can provide. This He offers to anyone who will bend their will to His will. He offers it freely – He won’t force Himself on any of us. That would violate our sovereignty of will. And until the end of all things God will allow us to choose Him or reject Him.

The aftermath of rejecting Him is tragedy. It is a world where children grow up in a primordial soup of self-centeredness. It is a world where mental illness can accelerate unchecked because our solutions are based on a philosophy apart from God.

But only the Holy Spirit can transform human hearts because the power of Jesus Christ CAN change even the most vile of human conditions. THIS is the key to preventing tragedies like the Connecticut elementary school shooting.

We need to turn away from our self-centered nature and turn to Him in trust through prayer. We need to lead our children to Jesus long before their natures lead them away. We need to turn away from a self-directed life to a Jesus-directed life. If we do He will lead us back toward the height of the image of God we left behind long ago. And this is the solution, this is the prevention. It is Jesus…He is the solution…

John 7:37b (New King James Version)

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive.

Patrick C Marks is the author of the suspense novel “Legend” (Kindle price $1.99, http://amzn.to/uwHATL) and a Christian apologetics, non-fiction book about evolution and creation called “Someone’s Making a Monkey Out of You” (Kindle price $2.99, hard copy $15.95, http://amzn.to/snubN1). He is also a husband, father, pastor, and a poor excuse for an oil painter – but he likes getting his fingers colorful anyway.

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What It Means To REALLY Be Successful…

There’s a certain irony in the idea that our education system should produce “leaders”. After all, if everyone is a leader, who is being led? Who are the followers? And what is so awful about the idea that some people are not leaders? Why is there some sort of shame associated with being a follower? Why does our culture so idolize success that anything less than stellar, off the charts financial gluttony (even a decent life filled with love and respect but of no earthly “significance” on the radar screen of history changing individuals) is somehow shameful?

In fact, what does it really mean to be successful in life anyway? We are so quick to equate success with our financial holdings or our social prestige. We may say we believe success if not defined by money or prestige but do we really live it out? We Christians say that knowing Jesus and making Him known in and through our lives is the real definition of success. And I believe this…but if I really believe it, why am I so quick to fantasize about being a financial success? Why am I, as the Pastor of a small church, so free in my mind to daydream about leading a bigger church?

I’m a church planter and I’ve heard so many stories about guys who start churches with six people and an old, out of tune piano only to be offering eighteen services on Sunday morning with 14,000 in attendance after only four months that I want to barf. Face it, the implication is that if your church isn’t growing like that you are either missing a connection with the divine or you’re a heretic. Honestly, after eight and a half years of striving and crying and believing and praying to keep a little, “still under 100 in attendance”, church from closing its doors, my wife and I just don’t want to hear those stories any more.

I don’t have anything left to barf…

Anyway, what I’m about to share with you is applicable to anyone – not just pastors and not just church planters. It is a powerful and profound truth that has led to a sense of peace in my heart that I hope you can apply into your situation. After all, we are all in this struggle together. Our culture pours into us a mindset that if our business or our portfolio (or our church) isn’t growing it is a symptom of something deadly.

But it may not necessarily be so.

In the first place, what I’ve learned is that coveting success is still coveting. Hmmm, I seem to remember the Ten Commandments saying “do not covet”. I finally figured out that coveting a life that isn’t mine is just plain…sin, and it’s a distraction that only results in depression and lethargy too.

You see, I still let myself daydream about what my life would have been had I made “better” choices. It’s funny: I don’t fantasize about making the wrong choices and ending up in prison or as a homeless person. No – I end up an astronaut, a doctor, a rich businessman or a general in the U.S. Marine Corps. I can waste a lot of time entertaining myself this way. But these are boy’s fantasies, beneath the image of God I carry because it’s essentially saying, “God, what you’ve allowed me to become isn’t good enough for me so I’ll make up a fiction in my mind to inflate my sense of worth.”

You see – if God really can (and often does) intervene in history, including the personal histories of each and every one of us, then fantasizing about being something we are not is accusing God of not caring. After all, He could have stopped us when we made that one bad choice we so regret today. He could have given us a leg up in the business venture that went south. He could have filled up our little church on day one – but He didn’t.

Well – I’ve shied away from saying in my heart that my life’s challenges are God’s fault. Still, even if I admit in my heart that my lot in life today is my own doing, my daydreams of some other life are still trying to live in a fictional past. Didn’t Jesus say “God is the God of the living, not the dead?” Isn’t the past dead? So what am I doing trying to live there and still serve the LIVING God?

There’s more to this than just deciding not to fantasize about a life that isn’t mine. I’ve also got to embrace who I really am – not who I wish I had become. It’s one thing to strive for improvement, it’s quite another to despise myself for not being something better.

I mean, I have long believed in improving myself but I’ve finally learned that not everyone has the same gifts, skills and abilities. We’re not all leaders and even leaders are not all leading the same way or to the same end. Jesus put it like this:

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.” (Matthew 25:14, NKJV)

So – not everyone is given five talents – some of us are only given two.

Wow – I’ve preached sermons on this passage and missed this point, particularly when applied to myself. Think about the arrogance of that statement! When I thought about it I was hit like a thunderbolt…

What if I’m the guy with two talents?

I mean, honestly, most people don’t like to think of themselves that way. But the truth is – I’m an average person. My grades in school were…average, C’s and B’s. My accomplishments in writing…no best-sellers, in fact, I’m lucky to sell ten of my books in a month. They’re not BAD (even the critics say they’re actually pretty good – read the reviews on Amazon if you don’t believe me) but they’re not knocking down the charts either.

And my averageness goes on and on…

Recently, necessity compelled me to lead the worship team over the last few months. I can, after all, play a few instruments…but people have been “nice” enough to suggest I find someone else to lead the singing. They then go on to tell me how much they look forward to the church hiring a “real” worship pastor – and the sooner the better.

Gee – thanks…

Yeah – well, I used to despise myself for not being the best at pretty much anything I decided to do. But take a look at that passage in Matthew 25 once again.

  • The servant with two talents does NOT envy the guy who has five.
  • He does not waste time WISHING he had five.
  • He doesn’t fantasize about how great things would be if he only had five talents.

No…

He is content with the two he was given and most importantly he USES what he was given…

And the REWARD is the same for both servants.

I’ve discovered that maybe the reason nothing in my life has really taken off and become blindingly successful could be because – it isn’t supposed to (at least, not yet!)

Because, maybe I’m the guy with two talents.

That’s a very sobering thought. Now, I ought not to use such an idea as an excuse to be lazy nor should I give up trying to improve myself. Quite the opposite! In fact, if I do NOT use the two I have with ALL MY HEART – then I’m the guy WITH ONE TALENT who hid it in the ground, did nothing, simply envied those who had more, made lots of excuses – and the Master called Him WICKED and LAZY.

That’s not what I want either.

No – I should use the two I have as well as I can. But…

  • I shouldn’t be upset if my efforts don’t amount to more than two additional talents.
  • I shouldn’t be upset if my efforts to be a writer only result in a few books sold (I’m fortunate to sell 10 in a month) – because I was faithful to write the books in the first place.
  • I shouldn’t be upset if my church purrs along faithfully at 100 or so folks every Sunday morning – because I was faithful to lead this church plant in the first place.

In fact – that is the KEY word here…FAITHFULNESS. That is the difference between a person who recognizes their talents are not going to set the world on fire but they refuse to let that truth keep them from doubling WHAT THEY HAVE.

And that is why the reward for the two servants is the same – because it is FAITHFULNESS, not the amount of talent or resources you may have – that pleases the King in the end.

So – I may have been designed to lead a small church. After all, there are small churches that need pastors. I may have been designed to write books that only a few people read – but a few people needed to read those books.

Not every church has to “take off” to be in God’s will. Not every business venture you start has to be successful in order for you to be seen by God as faithful – and rewarded in the end.

The differences between us in life are in our gifting – but not in our efforts because diligence, faithfulness, obedience and consistency are required of both servants – whether they have two talents or five.

The truth is there are plenty of people who have more talent in their little finger than you or I have in our whole bodies but they squander it on fear, apathy, laziness or a relentless number of excuses making them no better than the guy with one talent.

So no matter how many talents you have, no matter what the circumstances you face – remember that the reward is for faithfulness to use WHAT YOU DO HAVE – day in, day out until the Master calls for you….

Hang in there…He rewards those who FAITHFULLY keep on keeping on…

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Abortion; Evolution and Creation

Abortion; Evolution and Creation

Normally a human infant grows inside its mother for about 40 weeks until birth. If this growth stops before the infant is naturally born it is called either a miscarriage or a voluntary abortion. A voluntary abortion is normally just called “an abortion”. Any number of different types of surgery or chemicals are used in the abortion procedure. All of these procedures come with significant risks.

The ideas from Evolution and Creationism can have a direct effect on how you might view abortion. These ideas form what is called a “world-view” which is a set of principles we use to make sense out of the world. Our world-view tells us the value we should place on human life. The Evolutionary view determines the value of human life based on what society thinks. The Creationist world-view bases its ideas on what the Creator thinks.

Obviously, these two ideas are worlds apart…

Abortion: The Evolutionary Point of View 

Evolution teaches that humans are a very highly evolved form of life. In the grand struggle for survival our value is no greater than any other life-form since we are all just animals. This idea can have a powerful effect on people and what they believe about abortion. If we really are just animals then one animal rights group leader is right in saying, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy”.[i] 

Now…In the struggle for survival every life-form needs to draw in energy from food and many life-forms depend on killing and eating other life-forms for survival. Scientists call this the “food chain”. The big question is: when is killing another life-form okay and when is it not okay. When is killing murder?

From an Evolutionary point of view death, in and of itself, is not a bad thing because  organisms must eat to live, every organism eventually dies and death weeds out the unfit. This is the natural order of things. In fact, it is only humans who have ideas about murder. Animal populations do not have police officers, courts, prisons or protestors. In the animal kingdom there is no sense of justice. There is only survival. You are either fast enough or strong enough or you become somebody else’s lunch.

Of course, humans routinely kill billions of living creatures every single day. We give little thought to killing chickens, cows or even broccoli and corn – killing these life-forms to keep ourselves alive is not considered a bad thing. But if we’re all just life-forms struggling to survive, how can we decide the difference between killing a broccoli, a chicken, a cat or a boy?

Abortion: A Human Issue 

Only human beings make judgments about the rightness or the wrongness of killing another life-form. For example, great white sharks routinely kill sea lions. The sea lions do not want to die and swim very hard to avoid being eaten by the sharks – but they do not lodge protests with the United Nations about the killing of their species by the immoral sharks.

Instead, they just try to swim faster.

But society today thinks very differently about killing human beings. If a great white shark kills a human being we hunt down the shark. If a lion kills a human being we hunt down the lion. And if a human kills another human we hunt down the human being and accuse him or her of murder. In fact, humans go to great lengths to define murder. They will allow for “self-defense” and even war but just killing another human being to get something you want or because you are angry is called murder.

And we do have police officers, courts and prisons.

But what about abortion? Under normal circumstances a pre-birth infant will be born – as a human being. A pre-birth infant is never born as some other life-form – it IS always a human being, just in a pre-birth growth stage. In fact, every living human being today exists in a constantly changing growth stage.

  • We are born – but we do not stay newborns. We continue to develop.
  • We become toddlers – but we don’t stay there.
  • We become adolescents, then young, then middle aged, and then old.

Since we are really in a constant changing state from one growth stage to the next, what makes one growth stage any “less human” than any other?

Abortion: What’s Not Really Human After All? 

The whole idea of abortion is based on the false idea that a developing infant inside the mother is not “fully human”.

But where did this idea come from?

The truth is MANY cultures in the past have decided that newborns were not fully human. Infanticide has been practiced for thousands of years. The Romans, for example, left unwanted newborns outside city walls. “Unwanted” pregnancies are nothing new.

But then Evolutionists such as Ernst Haeckel in 1866 and others described the growth stages of a human infant inside its mother in scientific and evolutionary terms. Haeckel, for example, taught that embryos as they develop revisit the stages of their past evolution. In his view an embryo supposedly has a “fish” stage, an amphibian stage, a reptile stage and so forth. This idea was called “embryologic recapitulation”.

The truth is, Haeckel’s embryo drawings were shown to be a fraud almost immediately after he published them. The stages of growth he wrote about are now known to have nothing to do with Evolution.

Still, the idea that human infants inside the mother are not fully human continues to be popular today. After all, it is much easier to think of a pre-birth infant in scientific terms. Words such as “embryo” and “fetus” can keep people at arm’s length from much more human words such as “infant” and “baby”. Scientific descriptions of the pre-birth growth stages as animal-like stages make the pre-birth infant seem only “potentially” human. After all, if a pre-birth infant is only a developing glob of cells in some non-human, animal-like stage of growth it is much easier to terminate.

While it is true that Haeckel and his embryo drawings were shown to be a fraud the idea of the pre-birth growth stages as animal-like is still popular. Even as recently as 1997 one of the foremost Evolutionists in recent history, the esteemed Dr. Carl Sagan, described the pre-birth stages of growth in very animal-like ways.

Now – Sagan isn’t saying that Haeckel was right. He isn’t saying that a pre-birth infant is anything other than human during its growth either. He is simply describing these stages in very Evolutionary terms. And his status as a scientist gives his ideas great credibility in the popular mindset.

Abortion: Describing Pre-birth Growth Stages As Animal-like Forms. 

Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan wrote an important article on abortion called ““Abortion: Is it Possible to be both “Pro-life” and “Pro-Choice”?” or “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers”. This article was published in a book called “Billions and Billions: Thoughts on life and death at the brink of the millennium” published in 1997. Since this article is co-written by one of the leading Evolutionists of modern times, it really gives us a picture of what Evolution has to say about abortion and the value of human life.

Sagan and Druyan describe each stage of the developing human in very non-human terms. He describes the first stage as looking like “a segmented worm”. He describes the fetus at the end of the 4th week as having “something like the gill arches of a fish or an amphibian…and there is a pronounced tail. It looks rather like a newt or a tadpole.

The truth is these “gill arches” have NOTHING to do with breathing. They are not gills. They are not connected to respiration in any way. They are simply folds in the body that eventually become parts and glands of the face, neck and jaw.[ii] 

Sagan and Druyan go on to describe the infant by the end of the 6th week with “eyes still on the side of the head, as in most animals, and the reptilian face has connected slits where the mouth and nose eventually will be.”

At the end of the 8th week, in Sagan and Druyan’s view, “The face resembles that of a primate but is still not quite human.”[iii] 

Sagan and Druyan complete their argument by saying that a human embryo should be protected only after it achieves what is “uniquely human” that is, the ability to have human thoughts.[iv] 

Obviously, Sagan and Druyan believe that each stage of the pre-birth growth process is simply an animal-like cell mass. The pre-birth infant has nothing about it that is “uniquely human” until it has “uniquely human” brain wave patterns.[v]. Obviously, if our society, our courts and pregnant women believe the pre-birth infant is little more than a “segmented worm” or a “newt or a tadpole” it is much easier to justify destroying it.

Abortion: Very Dangerous Ideas 

Many Creationists believe basing the value of human life only on the value we decide to give it can be a very dangerous idea. We can clearly see how dangerous by looking at recent history.

Human societies in the last 100 years have decided that entire races are not “fully human”. The Nazi state in Germany legally defined certain groups, including the Jewish people, the mentally retarded and others as “sub-human.” There can be no doubt that Hitler and the Nazi’s used evolutionary ideas to justify the murder of millions.[vi] 

But this dangerous idea isn’t confined to some dark chapter of Nazi history. It is creeping back into western thinking at an alarming rate.

For example, today in the Netherlands, voluntary Euthanasia (Doctor assisted suicide) is already legal for anyone 12 years and older. The Netherlands is also the home of the “Groningen protocol”. The protocol allows for doctors, in a committee and with parental consent, to end the life of a seriously ill newborn baby.[vii] The Groningen protocol has already been followed at least twenty times.

Not everyone who believes abortion should be legal are Nazi’s nor do they all think the Groningen protocol is a good idea.

  • Perhaps many pro-choice folks simply haven’t thought these ideas through.
  • Maybe they simply hold onto the belief that the choices of an adult have greater weight than the right to life of a pre-birth infant.
  • Maybe they are genuinely concerned about unwanted pregnancies and think abortion is a solution to a difficult problem.

Or maybe they think that pre-birth infants are not fully human. After all, scientists seem to think so! But whatever the reasons, many Creationists have powerful reasons to be pro-life…

Abortion: The Creationist Point Of View 

Please remember – not everyone who disbelieves in Evolution is a Creationist. Scientists who believe in “Intelligent Design” may or may not even believe in God. They simply realize from science that random chance could never have built life. From their point of view, only an intelligent engineer could have put life together. Intelligent Design scientists may have a personal opinion on abortion but their science doesn’t mean they must to be pro-life.

Many Creationists, however, do feel that science drives them to be pro-life. To be fair, not even every Creationist is pro-life. Even some Biblical Creationists might not be pro-life, at least in the strict sense. But MOST Biblical Creationists are pro-life for at least two important reasons:

  • The Bible says humans are created in the image of God.
  • Science says that humans are fully human from the moment that an egg is fertilized because of DNA.

Abortion: A Question Of DNA 

At the moment of conception, two ½ strands of DNA (one from the mother, the other from the father) unite to create a unique DNA. This DNA is human – it is not plant DNA that somehow becomes human after 30 – 40 weeks of growth. It is not DNA that might somehow become something else either.

DNA left at a crime scene is not in the same category as the DNA of a pre-birth infant either. The DNA of a fertilized egg is actively directing cell growth toward an adult human being. DNA at a crime scene is not.

  • The DNA of a pre-birth infant shows clear and direct paths toward the human form.
  • It specifically tells the embryo how to build itself.
  • Specific information is released at very specific times that are clearly planned and purposeful.
  • Directed information like this ALWAYS comes from an intelligent source too.

So…for MOST Biblical Creationists, the development of the human infant is an automated process engineered by God. It is information specific. Every instruction leads to only one end – a human being. No part of the information process in the growth stages will suddenly cause the embryo to grow into a tuna.

And it is God who clearly revealed in the Bible that humans are engineered and built in His image. As the Creator, He engineered how human life would begin and develop. Since God started this process, it is God who builds and forms human beings.

This means that only God has any right to interfere with the pre-birth growth process.

For the Biblical Creationist it is God who determines what is murder and what is not. For example, it is God who allows for self-defense, capital punishment for murderers and casualties of warfare. But other than these situations, God has determined that killing an innocent human life is wrong.

Isaiah 44:2 (NKJV)

Thus says the Lord who made you, And formed you from the womb…

Psalm 139: 13 (NKJV)

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.

So…from the Biblical Creationist point of view the value of human life is decided by the Creator and for this reason it should be protected.

In the end we must decide if our own opinions – or the Creator’s – have more value.

 

Patrick C Marks is the author of the suspense novel “Legend” (Kindle price $1.99, http://amzn.to/uwHATL) and a Christian apologetics, non-fiction book about evolution and creation called “Someone’s Making a Monkey Out of You” (Kindle price $2.99, hard copy $15.95, http://amzn.to/snubN1). He is also a husband, father, pastor, and a poor excuse for an oil painter – but he likes getting his fingers colorful anyway.


[i] Ingrid Newkirk “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy” 2012, accessed 2012 peta.org “

[ii] Morris, John Ph. D. “Does the human embryo go through animal stages?” http://www.icr.org/article/does-human-embryo-go-through-animal-stages/ accessed 2012. “True enough, at an early stage of development the human fetus does have certain folds or creases which resemble these found in a fish embryo. As they develop, however, the resemblance stops. In the fish, the folds develop into gills; but in the human, they develop into the glands and structures in the ear and neck areas. If humans were related to fish, one would expect the gills to evolve into the lungs, trachea, and mouth.”

[iii] Sagan, Carl and Druyan, Ann. “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers” Accessed 2012 @ http://2think.org/abortion.shtml. “The trouble with these particular developmental milestones is not just that they’re arbitrary. More troubling is the fact that none of them involves uniquely human characteristics–apart from the superficial matter of facial appearance. All animals respond to stimuli and move of their own volition. Large numbers are able to breathe. But that doesn’t stop us from slaughtering them by the billions. Reflexes and motion are not what make us human.”

[iv] Sagan, Carl and Druyan, Ann. “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers” Accessed 2012 @ http://2think.org/abortion.shtml “If a fetus can be shown to think and feel but not be able to breathe, would it be all right to kill it? Do we value breathing more than thinking and feeling? Viability arguments cannot, it seems to us, coherently determine when abortions are permissible. Some other criterion is needed. Again, we offer for consideration the earliest onset of human thinking as that criterion.”

[v] Sagan, Carl and Druyan, Ann. “The Question of Abortion: A Search for Answers” Accessed 2012 @ http://2think.org/abortion.shtml “But brain waves with regular patterns typical of adult human brains do not appear in the fetus until about the 30th week of pregnancy–near the beginning of the third trimester. Fetuses younger than this–however alive and active they may be–lack the necessary brain architecture. They cannot yet think… Since, on average, fetal thinking occurs even later than fetal lung development, we find Roe v. Wade to be a good and prudent decision addressing a complex and difficult issue. With prohibitions on abortion in the last trimester–except in cases of grave medical necessity–it strikes a fair balance between the conflicting claims of freedom and life.

[vi] Morris et al. The Modern Creation Trilogy, vol 3. Master Books 1996, P. 90. “Eventually, in the eyes of Nazi evolutionary scientists, those “unfit to live” came to include not only people who were mentally ill or physically handicapped, but also Jews, Negroes, gypsies, and any others who did not have “pure” Teutonic genealogies. All of this was considered to be in the ultimate interest of the evolutionary advance of – as Darwin had put it – “the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life.” Hitler continually emphasized this concept of evolutionistic struggle in his own writings. In fact, the very title of his definitive book, Mein Kampf, meant “My Struggle.” Hitler and his Nazis were the true evolutionists, in the fullest sense.”

[vii] Jim Holt, The New York Times, July 10, 2005. Euthanasia for babies? Accessed 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/10/magazine/10WWLN.html?pagewanted=all.  “Two physicians practicing in the Netherlands, the very heart of civilized Europe, this spring published in The New England Journal of Medicine a set of guidelines for what they called infant ”euthanasia.” The authors named their guidelines the Groningen protocol, after the city where they work. One of the physicians, Dr. Eduard Verhagen, has admitted to presiding over the killing of four babies in the last three years, by means of a lethal intravenous drip of morphine and midazolam (a sleeping agent).”

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