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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Evolution & Intelligent Design & Devolution

The search for truth includes an admission that we lack complete knowledge.

Here is a cut and paste from the Junior Partner Ministries web site about the contradictions that arise from an investigation of evolution.

A mere is a reflective puddle.

Evolution, a word that brings emotions and training to the fore. All people very strongly interpret evidence as supportive of what they believe, or want to believe. Just look at politics. All people also strongly downplay or ignore evidence contrary to their beliefs. An open mind is an elusive delight.

There are three basic camps on the theory of evolution: yes, managed, and none. Christians tend to fall into the last two camps and may refer to managed evolution as intelligent design. There are scientists in all three camps.

Scientists supporting each theory seek evidence to support their hypotheses. Many claim to have sufficient empirical evidence to discredit other's theories. In the first two camps they predominately debate on the mechanism of evolution, simply because a mechanism is not present to be observed and measured.

History unfortunately can not be substantiated with a double blind experiment, and the evidence has huge gaps open to our fallible, subjective reasoning. Even my seeing huge gaps, rather than evidence scattered between the gaps , is probably a result of wanting to support what I believe. A firm belief in any evolutionary or creation position seems to require faith.

Regarding the science of evolution, I tend to agree with R. Buckminster Fuller, the brilliant multidisciplinary scientist, inventor, and creative thinker. He wrote in his 1981 book Critical Path: "For this and other persuasive reasons my speculative prehistory has assumed (since 1927) Darwin's evolution of life from the simple to the complex, accomplished through progressive agglomeration of single-cell amoebas, to be in reverse of the facts." Fuller charted a rigorous scientific route to his conclusions. We will instead sail a merry jaunt on the small pond of common sense.

Assume this world started as pangaea possessing a breed of super-dog. That single land mass split and became the bits and pieces we are so fond of today. Ask yourself, would in-breeding on one small island create a better super-dog perfect for that island? Or would the population's quality decline, mellowing into a distinguishably inferior sub-mutt struggling to survive? Subjectively consider in-bred humans, from hillbillies to royal families. Do you consider them an improvement on the general human gene pool? Why faithfully accept a dog's improvement because of a limited gene pool?

There will be more long hair white dogs surviving on an island covered with snow, more short hair black dogs on a tropical island covered with black sand. These are subsets of the original. The type of sub-mutt will vary by environment, but it will be less than the original super-dog, not greater; and it will still be a dog.

Specialized breeds trade their robust nature to enhance specific attributes. It takes constant control to create and maintain a specialized breed. If abandoned, a super-dog and our island dogs will not change their wild brethren to be like themselves. Over time, unfettered breeds blend back into the declining estate of muttdom. Natural selection involves continual loss and a consequently smaller gene pool. Natural selection gave us mutts.

Apparently some have found the thought of a creator repugnant. That made it psychologically expedient to abandon reason and think backwards. We all very strongly interpret evidence as supportive of what we want to believe. I have found the existence of a creator, and my personal relationship with him, to be a great joy. I'm sure that colors what follows.

We start our reasoning with Socrates, who said a sculpture inferred a sculptor. From this, we recognize systems are not self-ordering. Continuing, we find that current scientific understanding pertaining to chemical, biological, and thermodynamic entropy implies a congruent precedent in the Earthen biosphere.

Now, we simply perceive species around us digressing and disappearing. At the same time we are unable to observe any substantial, in-process, species conversion or progression. This causes us to consider evidence in the historical and archeological records supporting biological degeneration and species extinction as ongoing phenomena. Based on these and other considerations, we must now add a fourth general category to yes, managed or no evolution.

This hypothesis is equally unproven, and perhaps equally improbable. I choose to believe evidence showing biological diversity has declined since creation. I therefore, for now, believe in the theory of devolution. You may choose, for now, to believe the same. Or not. Someday we will know as we are known, for now we have our prejudice, our bias, and our faith.

Yes, committing to any theory requires faith.

They remain mere theories because they lack proof.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Sunday Service, 26 June 2005, George Muller


George Muller is a great study in prayer and faith. He followed God and always seemed to be on the edge. God always delivered. I've cut the following from a review at Amazon.

Reverend Muller undertook nothing, even the smallest expenditure, unless he felt it was the will of God. He was asked how he sought the will of God. This is his reply:

1. "I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.

2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impressions. If so, I make my self liable to great delusions.

3. I seek the will of the Spirit of God through or in connection with the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay my self open to great delusions also.

4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.

5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.

6. Thus through prayer to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and it continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly."

Mr. Muller was asked how well this worked.

"I never remember", he wrote in 1895, three years before his death at the age of 93, "in all my Christian course, a period now of sixty-nine years and four months, that I ever SINCERELY and PATIENTLY sought to know the will of God by the teaching of the Holy Ghost through the instrumentality of the Word of God, but I have always been directed rightly. But if honesty of heart and uprightness before God were lacking, or I did not patiently wait upon the Lord for instruction, or if I preferred the counsel of my fellow men to the declarations of the Word of the living God, I made great mistakes."

Read any of his books, they will help you see what is possible in Christ Jesus.

He is also featured in one of the classes at our school of theology. Enroll for free.

Jesus is Lord!


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Midweek service

Praise God.

I just had todays service eliminated by a software crash. I'll just praise God, and head off to my appointment.

God is certainly big enough to have let me post without the message disappearing. He knows what I need to write, and who needs to hear it, if anyone.

Since I was finished, the message was probably for me. I'll give you a quick cut and paste from JrPM. org as a message instead.

Jesus is Lord! Praise God.

Listen as popular media talks about religion being the focal point of violence; Ireland, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq. Notice the distinction could also be along ethnic, economic, and political lines, or other dividing issues. Anglo Saxon vs. Celt, socialism vs. capitalism, and controlling government vs. freedom are just some of the conflict sources. With the current troubles in Iraq, are the Shi'a Arabs Babylonian and the the Sunni Arabs Persian? They know, we aren't told.

Hitler didn't care if you were of Jewish faith or a professed Catholic, he hunted the Jewish nationality, traced though their parentage. Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian, was imprisoned with her sister for protecting Jews from Nazis, (her book is recommended, The Hiding Place), her sister died in that prison. Corrie said of Christianity, "Just because you were born in a garage, it does not make you a car." Religion is a personal choice, on a personal level. A claim of national religion is a claim for emotional power, not religion.

The founders of the United States instituted a small and passive central republic to ensure stronger freedom. They put forth separation of church and state to protect people from interference with their personal choice of religion, not to protect people from religion. They saw that what is a personal choice of a free person could become a claim for allegiance to a despot's goals. A stifled domination of religion by government limited one tool of emotional coercion. With a weak union, composed of 13 separate nation states competing for citizens, freedom and the right to pursue personal goals were temporarily insured.

To have a personal relationship with God is your choice.

Regardless of the political climate in which you live.

Those who engender war may fraudulently demonstrate religious passion as an emotional propaganda tool. A unified front can stabilize factions that would dissent: "Our Country Right Or Wrong," Fatherland, Homeland, Motherland, Our god, Our people. These statements do not normally represent reality beyond tribal size groups. These are calculated slogans to unite diverse team members, artificial teams sometimes called nations.

References to religion may reflect one surface factor of war, but diverse root causes always extend far deeper. Commentators love to sound as if they have inside, specific knowledge. In reality, events happen for myriad reasons we will never fully fathom. Media will not go to the trouble of understanding and explaining complex issues, or admit they don't know. Especially when slighting the "opiate of the masses" parallels their world view.

God's Love to all.


Friday, June 17, 2005

Sunday Service 19 June 2005 Do Unto Others


Do Unto Others as you would have them do unto you.

As a child my understanding of this verse was simple. Be nice.

I heard this verse telling me to be nice, 'cause that was how nice people act. They treat others the way they would want to be treated. I imagine I was sometimes corrected in my "un nice" behavior by the use of this verse. But there is a far deeper meaning when read as written, in context, and combined with the whole of scripture.

Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and the door shall be opened unto you: for everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Matthew 7: 7-11 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7: 12

This verse is not just about being nice. There is direction and training in this verse. Have you noticed how the cheat is always afraid of being cheated? How the person that is always lying is always sure he is being lied to. There is a secular proverb that implies the same thought, "what goes around, comes around." (see also Luke 6: 27-38)

This is the law and the prophets. How do you ask, seek, knock? You answer, locate, open.

Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6: 38

Answer, locate, open, do unto others. It will be done unto you. Give to receive, teach to learn, feed to be fed, lead others to Jesus to get closer to him yourself.

Jesus, the law and the prophets, are not just saying "be nice." God is saying in effect: if you believe me, if you trust in me, do as I say. Faith is an act! If you have a need, it will be met just as you mete withal to others, but with greater abundance.

Faith is an act!

Answer, locate, teach, give, judge righteous judgment, love; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Give quality and quantity, get more of each, and keep giving.

Follow God who in love gave his son to prepare the way for us to join God's family. As we accept Jesus, we are, in Christ, reflections of Jesus. God received many sons from that one all important sacrifice. There was another sacrifice leading to God's gift. Read Genesis chapter 22.

God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham obeyed and did everything necessary to sacrifice his son. On their way to the alter Abraham told his questioning son, "God will provide himself a lamb" (Jesus). God provided a substitute ram at the last minute. God spoke, Abraham obeyed; God provided at that time, and a far greater sacrifice on the cross. God spoke, Abraham obeyed, Abraham in faith gave, God gave back bigger and better.

Pressed down, shaken together, overflowing. Faith is an act!

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. Luke 6: 31

Give and it shall be given unto you.

Do unto others.

Jesus is Lord!


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Mid week service, Jesus Is Lord!


Not only your savior, but also your Lord.

If all you do is accept Jesus as your savior you have done yourself a huge favor for eternity. Being saved is only the beginning. Jesus loves you very much, more than you can or will love yourself. Jesus wants what is best for you, and he already paid the price to acquire it. Surrender your need for petty little decisions that just kinda feel ok at the time; do what Jesus asks you to do. It is always for your benefit.

Are you unsure it is Jesus talking to you? You will know when he talks if you know his voice. Learn to recognize the voice of God by two exercises. Read the Bible, his word, read it a lot. Pray without ceasing, learn to dwell in the presence of the most high. Grow in your relationship with God. You recognize the voice of those you spend time with, those with whom you are close. Get close to God, he wants to be close to you.

There are times you will wonder if God is leading. Those are the times for more prayer and the seeking of guidance from mature Christians. When it is important and God speaks, there will be no question, you will know. God will also confirm what he says; De 17:6, Mt 18:16, IICo 13:1. When you know it is the Holy Spirit leading, act. Following God's will is to your benefit. God is big enough to make your obedience work for your benefit, the benefit of everyone around you, for the Church's benefit, and for his own benefit. God is wise, smart, good, and strong; and he seeks to demonstrate that in your life.

Love God, accept his love, act in his love. At Junior Partner Ministries we will continue to follow Jesus; join us in following him. God is big enough to make even our mistakes turn out well, if we are moving in faith, and continue to follow him.

If you feel God calling, but have not found where and how you are called to serve, Pray. You may also wish to take a course or two at our Bible school, at BFU. The classes are available for free. The grand opening of Bastiat Free University is anticipated for June 29, 2005. Come visit now, you can help us by testing the systems. Let us know what you think.

Learn more of God, learn more about love, learn to listen to the voice of love. Spend time with Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Lord!


Friday, June 10, 2005

12 June 2005, Sunday Service

Acts 20: 20 - 38;

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me.
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.

I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, "
It is more blessed to give than to receive. "

And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship

If we truly believe God, how should we live?

The few years spent on this world do not compare to the joys of eternity that are prepared for us. I remember hearing the story of an early martyr for Christ. He was the first of his group to be publicly burned at the stake. His friends asked him, if he could, to give a sign if God kept him in peace in the flames that might devour his mortal husk. They requested that he hold up a finger if God's grace was sufficient. The early saint was ignited, he held up his fist, he then raised a finger as the flames engulfed him. The saint then kept raising his fingers until his open hand had all five fingers raised; and then he died. God's grace was more than enough.

You will not have to bear more than you are able to withstand. You are not alone.

If you are going through hard times, seek God. He will be there with you, his grace is more than enough. Seek out God's will and direction; then follow it. Keep close to Jesus, let him lead you through or out of your current situation. Jesus loves us more than we love ourselves, he is smarter and wiser than we are. God is seeking the opportunity to prove his love and power for and through us. Follow his direction, stay in his perfect will.

And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

The short definition of grace is: unmerited favor.

A longer definition is: a free gift of forgiveness, love, joy, blessings, and relationship; a gift that we did not earn through our own work.

Accept that gift now.

Run the course with God, finish the course with joy

Jesus is Lord.


Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Mid week service: Do, then send


Here is the short course on salvation.

If you want to place this service in context, read the book of Romans first. The main text for this service will be Romans 10: 8b-15, interspersed with a few comments.

"The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

In Mark 9:24 a father cried out "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Jesus helped the man's son. In Genesis 1, the recurring them is: God said, and there was. Confess with your mouth, believe in your heart, be saved.

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

Call on Jesus, if you have to ask for help with your unbelief, ask. Call on him, act on his promise, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Frequently the calling, the action, the obedience come first; the feelings and proofs come second. Call out to Jesus now.

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

Support those who witness to others and preach the gospel.

Preach the good news yourself.

Ask God to help you.

Jesus is Lord!


Friday, June 03, 2005

Sunday Service, 5 June 2005, Tribulation


This is an area I don't want to explore; and not because I don't have opinions.

The reason I would rather not talk about our future is that there are so many opinions, held so strongly, by so many.

I still feel lead to at the least exhort you to study prophecy, and to do it with an open mind. Read Daniel, Isaiah, and Revelation. Then read them again. Why? I believe God, and God says there is a blessing to be had by reading and hearing.

Blessed is he that readith, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is at hand. Revelation 1:3

OK, so there is a blessing to be had from reading, or even hearing Revelation; so why read Isaiah and Daniel? Because they are prophetic books, and they will help you understand Revelation.

It is easy to avoid prophecy, and the arguments that surround it. The fact is that God has deemed it important, so we need to study it. We do not, however, need to argue over prophecy.
There are many who have been led to Jesus by sermons preached about the future. There are many that have found God by seeing how accurate his pronouncements have been.

In our obedience God can work through us, and in us, to effect his will. We do not even need to know why we study prophecy, other than God said to do it.

Study God's prophetic word, teach it as you are led. Do not argue over meanings or symbolisms, just hear and read. This same instruction is true in many areas of faith. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15

The command is to shew thyself, not to shew off to others, or to shew up others.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15

Jesus is Lord!