Archive for June, 2012

A Love Hate Relationship

I have noticed over the years that people have a love/hate relationship with rhubarb. They either love it, or they hate it, with very few not caring one way or the other. I have also noticed that people seem to be the same way when it comes to Biblical Creation … there are those who love the Creation message, and those who hate the Creation message, and unfortunately, many who are apathetic, not caring one way or the other.

At our last Family Vacation Bible School (VBS) I met two people who love the message of Creation. One gentleman shared that until he went to a seminar Richard Stepanek and I taught in southeast Colorado, he was an avid evolutionist and a mediocre (apathetic in his beliefs) Christian. He used to spend hours watching evolutionary television programs and reading evolutionary books and magazines. He shared that the AOI seminar had changed his life, and now he couldn’t get enough of Creation literature or movies … he was on fire for His Creator.

A lady at the same VBS shared that years ago she had seen Marilyn and I at a VBS in another southeast Colorado community. Five churches from different denominations had come together to put on this VBS. She and her husband (a pastor) loved it! She said it was “the best VBS” they had ever attended. Ironically, she shared that her neighbor, a lady pastor who attended the family night presentation, hated the program.  I remember the lady pastor she was talking about … she had interrupted me in the middle of a program, throwing a challenge at me that she was confident would demean my authority. Beseeching God for help, I was able to refute her and get back with the teaching. After the program, I tried approaching the lady pastor, but she and her entourage of four ladies made a beeline for the door.

Unfortunately, we see a lot of anti-creation feelings within the “church.”  Even more disconcerting, especially for pastors who invite us to speak at their churches, is the apathy of so many Christians towards the Creation message.  I think God gives us a warning about apathy … ” So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”  Revelation 3:16   Lanny Johnson If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Is the Jellyfish Your Cousin?

Just recently, I received a couple of articles extoling the intelligence of animals. Of course, the evolutionary conclusions reached from the research is that humans aren’t so special after all.

Sure enough, some chimpanzees exhibit some reasonable intelligence as do some dolphins. Because of certain types of intelligence, the reasonig is that we must have diverged from common ancestors.

Just recently, it has been discovered that a supposed very “primitive” creature (by evolutionary standards) turns out to have a nervous system which only mammals and humans have been known to possess.  As Creation moments points out:

“Jellyfish are considered by evolutionists to be incredibly simple creatures. But as you’ll discover when you watch our “The Brainy Jellyfish” video, one type of jellyfish has a nervous system with advanced features found only in mammals and humans! Jellyfish are another clear example that evolutionists aren’t as smart as they think they are when it comes to God’s amazing creation!”

Even if chimps and dolphins are “smart,” so what?  I have known for a long time that dogs are smart. They have a way of begging food off your plate better than most people standing with a sign on the street corner. So what did we evolve from? A chimp, a dog, a dolphin, or was it a jellyfish? I might be old-fashioned, but I certainly hold to the fact in Scripture that I was created in the image of God!

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

The Homes Have It…

 

We had a great two weeks of traveling in Nebraska and Minnesota.  We were blessed to be able to teach at our home church in SW Minnesota.  It was a wonderful opportunity to connect again with many friends and supporters of our ministry.  It is hard to believe that it was 15 years ago when God called us away from the farm, to replant in Colorado and join Alpha Omega Institute.

It is truly amazing for us to see the countless ways that He has worked in our lives through the years.  We have been so blessed to develop so many new relationships across the country.  We trust also, that the Lord has used our teaching to make an impact in the lives of other people.

We were also able to participate in the recent CHEC Homeschool Conference in Denver, June 14-16. Ken Ham was the keynote speaker at the conference.  He helped to renew the attendee’s interest in the creation/evolution issue.  Many saw the importance of equipping their children, with the much needed information, to stand strong on the unfailing Word of God.

I also had the opportunity to present two sessions covering Genesis chapter one.  It was a great time to encourage parents, to equip their children, and to meet the challenges and opposition they may face in the future.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Two For One

After finishing almost 2 weeks of Rodeo Bible Camp in Nebraska, Marilyn and I traveled to a very small rural community (no buildings other than 1 church, 1 saloon, and 1 closed down school house) to do an evening Family Vacation Bible School for a week.

A few weeks before this we had been asked if while we were there, would we be interested in doing another VBS in a small village on the Rosebud Indian Reservation? We always welcome more opportunities to teach Creation, so of course we agreed.

Just doing one week-long VBS, three hours a night, takes a lot of energy and planning. To add one more per day adds another challenge – not only do we have to dig deeper for more energy (here we really rely on the Lord’s strength), but extra time is needed to daily set up and tear down our equipment, making sure we don’t forget the things that will be needed on each particular day.

I am not complaining, mind you … we saw 5 kids put their faith and trust in Jesus, so the extra effort was definitely worth it.

 ”And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

He Created….Much Like A Carpenter

Let us turn back to Genesis.

Genesis 1:1-2

The word ‘beginning’ is a reference to time.  The word ‘heaven’ is a reference to space.  Now in this space, there are no stars, planets, moons, sun, etc.  It is just empty three dimensional space.  The word ‘earth’ means matter and this matter is only water molecules as we will read later.  This earth is not the earth we inhabit today.  This earth, or matter, is without form as we will read in verse two.

We also read in verse one that God created, which means He created time, space, and matter out of nothing.  This is the beginning of God’s universe, and to have a universe we need time, space, and matter.  If you eliminate any one or more of these three things, you will no longer have a universe.  According to empirical science, there is only one universe which is made up of all three things.  So the universe is a type of a trinity.  God is a trinity: God the Father; God the Son; and God the Holy Spirit.  God’s creation reflects His nature.

Genesis 1:1-2

The earth in verse two is the same earth as in verse one.  This earth is without form.   In the Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary, the word ‘form’ is defined as a determinate shape.  So the word without form means the earth does not have any determinate shape.  God is speaking in construction terms.  It is like a carpenter preparing to build a house.  Before he starts the construction, he first has to deliver the building materials to the construction site.  He will have lumber, plywood, nails, etc.  These building materials are neither waste nor in chaos.  They are usually very expensive and piled up in an orderly way.  But the building is without form.  As the contractor builds the house, it begins to take shape.  When he is finished, the building now has determinate shape.  This is what God is trying to tell us in verse two.  His universe does not have determinate shape yet, but at the end of six days it will have that shape.  It sounds like God is a carpenter.

 

Richard Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

A Reminder From My Wisdom Teeth

One of the so-called “proofs” that evolutionists use to substantiate their claims is the fact that we have problems with wisdom teeth. Today as I write this, I am certainly thinking about that argument.  I am only three- fourths as wise as I was at the beginning of the week when I had one pulled. My mouth still hurts after about a week. So, the pain is a constant reminder of the issue.

Frank Sherwin from the Institute for Creation research wrote an article titled, “The Whole Tooth about Wisdom Teeth.”  He wrote:

Were you ever told that your wisdom teeth had to come out because they were crowding your other teeth — and this was because the modern human jaw was slowly evolving? In a section of a popular high school biology text (2002) entitled, “Critical Thinking, the two authors discuss removal of people’s wisdom teeth supposedly due to “evolution of the human jaw.” But this has nothing to do with macroevolution and everything to do with diet. Processed and refined foods in modern societies have resulted in our reduced use of wisdom teeth. When refined foods are constantly eaten, there is no stimulus for robust jaw development and erupting wisdom teeth become crowded. Failure of the wisdom teeth to erupt in normal position results in many cases of a developmental cyst around the crown of the tooth and problems result. Does this sound like macroevolution? Furthermore, there are virtually no “primitive” cultures with impacted teeth because their hearty diet uses wisdom teeth to grind and crush raw and unprocessed foods. One might say “use it or loose it” applies here! Does the biology text you have (or your children or grandchildren) use the unscientific explanation of wisdom teeth removal because of “the evolution of the human jaw”? [ICR article - Whole Tooth about Wisdom Teeth]

Mr. Sherwin then went on to discuss a problem for evolutionists regarding teeth in that there are no transitions showing how they developed. Instead, they are fully formed and well-designed when found in the fossil record. This is not what one would expect from evolution!

The fact that all of my wisdom teeth are large and well developed (even though they are still subject to cavities) makes me think of the truth of this statement: The main use of wisdom teeth is that they are for chewing.

 

Dave Nutting

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Junior Rodeo Bible Camp

Following the Senior Rodeo Bible Camp and the Pee-Wee Rodeo Bible Camp in Johnstown, NE., Marilyn and I were able to teach for three more days at the Junior Camp (ages 10 to 12 years old).

These kids, like the kids of the other two camps, were very serious about learning new skills and improving the skills they already had. Most of the kids were in riding events of some kind, which included: Pole Bending, Barrel Racing, Break-Away Calf Roping, Calf Tying, and Goat Tying. Most participated as well in Dummy Roping.

This age group was not allowed to ride the “rough” stock of bucking bulls, bucking bare-back horses, or bucking saddle broncos; however, the boys were allowed to try to ride a bucking calf.

Another competition was also taking place in the Senior and Junior camps – scripture memorization. Some of the campers competed for the grand prize of a very beautiful hand-tooled custom saddle. To win this prize, they had to recite from memory Romans 12 through 15 without stopping! Only one saddle prize is given at each camp, and this year two sisters (one in Senior Camp, and the other in Junior Camp) won the saddles.

Others were given prizes based on how many, of 25 bible verses, they could quote. They had to get at least 12 verses to receive a prize … the more verses, the better the prize.

What a wonderful opportunity we were given to be able to share the truth of the Bible and Jesus with all of these campers. Our greatest joy was to witness many put their faith and trust in Jesus for the first time. At Senior Camp… 3 gave their life to Christ, at Pee-Wee Camp… 8 campers were saved, and at Junior Camp… 20 put their faith in Jesus and 10 others re-dedicated to the Lord. What a blessing to be able to see God at work in all of these kids lives. Pray that they will continue to grow in their faith as new-born Christians.

 

Lanny Johnson

 

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Genesis 1:1 In the Beginning God…

Genesis 1:1  “In the beginning God…”

This is a very scientific statement.  This statement deals with the ‘Law of Cause and Effect, or the Law of Causality’. For example, if I drop a ball, the ball will fall and hit the ground.  The effect is the ball falling and hitting the ground.  What was the cause?  What caused the ball to fall?  It was gravity, so gravity is the cause.  Now, what caused or made gravity?  How did gravity get here?  Eventually we need to start with what we call a ‘first cause’, something or someone that had to make and/or create everything.

What is this first cause according to some scientists?

Discover magazine April 2002 tells us that the ‘first cause’ was evolution.

‘The universe burst into something from absolutely nothing-zero, nada.  And as it got bigger, it became filled with even more stuff that came from absolutely nowhere.  How is that possible?  Ask Alan Guth.  His theory of inflation helps explain everything.’

In other words: Nothing did something to nothing to make everything.  For evolution, nothing is the first cause.  But nothing has no intelligence, no power, and no presence.  This idea of something coming from nothing violates the ‘First Law of Thermodynamics’, which states that matter and energy can neither create nor destroy itself.  Evolution violates science!

Back to Genesis:

Genesis 1:1 ‘In the beginning God…

In Scripture, God becomes the first cause.  God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.  A being with these attributes would have no problem creating things out of nothing.

Another question arises: is there an opposite of God?  Some people think Satan is the opposite of God.  I do not think so.  I believe nothing is the opposite of God.  God has all knowledge, power, and presence, and nothing has nothing!  As we discussed earlier, science, creation, and God go together. So I believe the opposite of God, science, and creation is nothing, pseudo-science, and evolution.

I was taught in high school and college the motto for evolution is “The present is the key to the past.”  But in Scripture, “the past is the key to the present.”  This means Genesis and creation are relevant for today.  To understand the world around us, we need to understand Genesis and creation.

This brings us back again to Genesis Chapter One.

Day one or the first day of creation starts on Genesis 1:1.

Genesis 1:1a, In the beginning God…

The word “beginning” is a reference to time.  God created time, so this means that God is outside of time.  He does not function in time like we do.  Some people do not understand this concept so they tend to misinterpret II Peter 3:8.

People who believe that the days in Genesis chapter one are not literal days, will use this verse to try and prove their point.  A closer examination of this verse, and a better understanding of Genesis, will reveal this verse actually supports the literal days in Genesis… as we will see.

This verse states “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years.”  “There you have it,” they will say,  “one day is equal to a thousand years.”  But do not stop reading there.  As we continue to read, “a thousand years as one day.”  God is a God of order, so His Word is also a book of order.  So using their reasoning, every time we read one day it really means a thousand years, and every time we read a thousand years it really means one day.  Well, Adam lived to be 930 years old, that means he was just 70 years short of being a thousand years old.  So Adam did not quite live a thousand years , but a thousand years is really only a day.  Using their logic, this means Adam did not quite live to be one day old.  So he was created, named the animals, named the woman, married the woman, and had sons and daughters all in less than one day!  This does not make any sense!  What they missed is this: “to the Lord”  II Peter 3:8.

As we read in Genesis 1:1a, God is outside of time, so to Him a day is the same as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.  For us, since we are created in time, a day is a day and a thousand years is a thousand years.  Returning to II Peter 3:8, the day in this verse literally means one day and the thousand years literally means a thousand years.  The words mean what they say or the whole concept of the verse has no meaning.  In good Biblical interpretation, we must always look first at the context.  The context of II Peter is about God’s future judgment on a wicked world.  It has nothing to do with creation or the days in Genesis chapter one.  Peter is telling us since God is outside of time, He will judge mankind when He wants to and not when we think He should.  Because people take verses out of context, they make big theological mistakes.

Please join me again next time, as we continue in Genesis chapter 1.

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Pee-Wee Rodeo Bible Camp

After the Senior Rodeo Bible Camp in Johnstown, Nebraska (see the Rodeo Bible Camp post), Marilyn and I then taught the pee-wees (ages 8 and 9). This was the first Bible Camp most of these campers had attended, and it was as different for them as it was for us.

This was only a one night camp (camp began on Sunday afternoon, and ended at Monday noon), we only had 2 ½ hours of total teaching time. Yet in that short amount of a time, we were still able to give evidences for God’s existence by looking at some wonderfully designed animals, teach about Dinosaurs and the Bible, and give a full gospel presentation. The response was fantastic.

Because there were only 20 kids (lots of parents were there also), we were able to quickly learn their names and get a lot of personal one-on-one time with them while they were waiting to practice or run their Rodeo events.

The Rodeo these kids participated in was somewhat different than the week before with the older kids. The pee-wees did the same type of events, except without horses. They ran the Pole Bending, and Barrel Racing on foot … and they were pretty fast! Many of their times were faster than some of the older kids on horses!

Along with the racing, they had goat tying (where they have to grab a tethered goat, lay it down, and tie three legs together … the knot has to hold for 6 seconds to qualify), and dummy roping (head roping a stationary “calf”).

These kids were very serious about trying to do their best. One 9 year old girl wanted the roping prize of a nice belt buckle, so she practiced for 6 hours a day before the rodeo. Her endurance paid off … she won her buckle!

One of our goals with children is to teach them to believe in the Bible and make it the standard for their lives. We pray that they might be as enthusiastic for the Word of God as they seem to be for many things of this world.

 

Lanny Johnson

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.

Can Man Make Himself?

Before we continue in Genesis let us observe the statue to the right.

In the picture, we see a statue of a man carving himself out of rock.  Do you see anything strange here?  Do you believe this could happen?  Can statues make themselves by carving themselves out of rock?  What about humans?  Can humans make themselves from rocks, or the elements of the earth?  What you are looking at is evolution.  Evolution states that we can make ourselves out of the elements of the world.   All you need is rock, gasses, dirt, water, and just add some energy to put it all together.  I forgot one thing… ‘time.’  Time is the magic wand of evolution. The one thing which is missing in this picture is time.  I was taught that given enough time anything can happen.  With billions of years of time, the elements of the earth could organize themselves into the first living organisms.   Then with additional billions of years, these first life forms evolve into humans.  In other words, we can make ourselves!

The Bible addresses this problem.

Psalm 100:3 - Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  (emphasis added)

We know statues cannot make themselves.  Just ask a child or a scientist and they will say it is impossible.  We can observe rocks, test rocks, and do scientific research on rocks.  No matter how much time a rock has, it will not turn itself into a statue of a human.  We know it takes a sculptor to make a statue.  It would be silly for a statue to argue with his maker that he made himself and not the sculptor. God knew statues cannot make themselves long before we knew it.  He also knows we cannot make ourselves no matter how much time there is.  We will be addressing these topics and others as we study Genesis.

Using Scripture as our source of truth, we know this statue cannot make itself.  It takes a sculptor to make a statue out of rock, and Scripture also tells us it takes a Creator to make us.  We can make statues, but we have neither the intelligence nor the technology to bring life from rocks.  God who created life, including humans, has to be a greater source of intelligence and technology than man.

Many scientists of Charles Darwin’s day understood this, and they rejected Darwin’s idea of evolution.  Some spent many years refuting spontaneous generation, which states that life came from dead matter.  It was the liberal and worldly church of Darwin’s day that supported Darwin’s theory of evolution. *see Creation 21(4) Sept. – Nov. 1999.

Because of the lack of true scientific and Biblical knowledge, many people are destroyed, lives ruined, and eternal damnation from the rejection of Jesus as their Saviour.

Hosea 4:6 – My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,… 

I believe it is from the lack of the fear of the LORD which has destroyed many a person either in this life or in the life to come.

Knowing all this, we will return to Genesis and explore the wonders of His creation!  By using Scripture as our guide we will learn true science!

 

Rich Stepanek

If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing. Thanks for your partnership.