Archive for May, 2014

Getting over our fears

 

As many of you know, my wife Sue was diagnosed with cancer in the small intestine.  When we first heard the news, we and the doctors were very concerned about the severity of the cancer.  There was a chance the cancer had already spread to the other organs.  Thoughts of living without Sue went through my mind.  These thoughts were unbearable.  The surgery went very well and the doctors were confident they removed all the cancer, but then there was the recovery.  The recovery was worse than I expected.  Sue had about six months of pain, weight lose, and digestive problems.   On top of all that, she had some complications, and two weeks ago had to undergo major surgery to fix these complications.

Reflecting on the past six months with the fear of losing my wife and the pain she was enduring, I realized this would all be for a season.  I knew one day we would be together again and she would have no more pain. Then I thought about the unbeliever.  If a person has not trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior, he will live forever in a place of misery and be eternally separated from the Creator.  This was a thought too scary to entertain.  I then read a couple of Scriptures where God weeps, and two of these times it was over the unbeliever.  God weeps over the broken relationships caused by sin and the rejection by the unbeliever of His free gift of salvation.  God longs for a relationship with all people.

hThen I realized I was part of the problem.  I was scared, and sometimes reluctant, to witnesses to others.  People need to know about the free gift! And how will they know if someone does not tell them!  It was time for me to overcome these fears and tell others.  After spending so much time in the hospital, I decided to witness to the nurses.  I was surprised to see the hunger that they had to know the truth.  One nurse said he believed God had brought us to the ICU just for him.  He was struggling with many issues and creation and salvation was just what he needed to hear.

John  4:35 –  “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (KJV)

This statement is so true, the fields are white, but we need laborers.

 

Rich Stepanek

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A Spiritual Battleground

 

In April, I was invited by Master Plan Ministries  to speak on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver. The Auraria campus is the home of Metro State College, University of Colorado Denver, Community College of Denver and approximately 40,000 students. Auraria is the largest campus in Colorado and has a very sizeable international student population from some of the most closed nations in the world.

I was invited to speak on the “hot” topic of Creation at the weekly evening meeting (AMP). I shared with a larger than usual crowd on “Is the Bible Scientifically Accurate?,” which received a good response and lots of one-on-one Q&A time after the meeting.

Jesse and ScottDuring this evening meeting, Scott (a staff member with Master Plan) invited everyone to the talks I would be doing the next day at the science building on campus … “Age of the Earth”, “Hand of God”, and Miracle of Life.”

Scott went on to share, “Today, as Jesse (Director of Master Plan Ministries, Auraria campus) and I were hanging up posters for this event, we had a professor come up and say, ‘No offense, but I will be tearing all these posters down.’ We respectfully responded explaining that we have a right to put posters up as a club and asked that he not tear them down.”

Master Plan had been doing many Creation events at the science building and advertising them with posters … the posters kept disappearing! After taking the science professor to task, the posters have remained after posting. It would seem that an “unbiased” scientist was not so unbiased after all.

While on campus I saw many posters advertising many events and functions – from different religions, alternative life-styles, benefits of drug use, abortion clinics, etc. All of these were tolerated. Yet any mention of the Bible and Creation is considered intolerable by some!

Please pray for the truth of the Word of God to be delivered to the campus through the staff and volunteers at Master Plan Ministries. They are on a spiritual battleground!

 

Lanny Johnson

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Firm Foundation

 

I’ve always known that a solid foundation is important, but until recently I had not seen firsthand the disastrous effects of not having one.  I recently had the opportunity to go on an unexpected adventure that led to a tour of a massive, uninhabited log home. Set on the edge of a lush, grassy meadow, with hillsides sloping up to snowy mountains behind, the expansive building fit beautifully into the landscape.

The large reception room’s wood floors had a glossy sheen, and the solid wood doors complimented the huge log walls. But something wasn’t right. We descended the split log staircase into the basement, where an intricate web of copper pipes and fittings added to the overall impression of costly outfitting. That’s where some of the problems came into view. As we got a better look at the underside of the house, it became evident that the foundation was nowhere near sufficient for the structure it was intended to support. Beams sagged, scrawny posts held up a wide deck, providing less than half of the needed support.

hammer-and-nailsAs we explored the rest of the house, huge rooms pleased the eye, but the other senses betrayed some hidden – and some not-so-hidden – flaws. There wasn’t a level floor in the place, and their angles tempted one to toss a ball to the floor to see which way it would roll; beams over 1 foot in diameter stood majestically in the great room, appearing to support the upper loft…but had hardly anything below to brace them.

As I looked over the house, and listened to the report that it had been pronounced in danger of “imminent collapse” by an engineer, I was struck by the profound spiritual analogy it presented. The building itself (completed only 8 years ago) appeared beautiful and stately – but it may as well have been rotten to the core. With such a poor foundation, the whole structure was compromised. All of the costly, quality details added later (like the exquisite kitchen fixtures and lavish bed frames) could not make up for the faulty workmanship done at the beginning. It grieved me to see such waste – what could have been a lovely, gracious building – if it had been properly founded – was now not only sitting empty, but posing a potential hazard to any who chose to spend extended time within its walls!

This situation bears a strong resemblance to the words of Jesus from the gospel of Luke:

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”

(Luke 6:46-49)

I am challenged to ask myself: which one am I? Am I hearing and acting on the words of the Lord in Scripture, laying a deep and solid foundation for my life? Or am I like the man with no foundation, or the house with beautiful architecture and lavish design, but finding myself in danger of “imminent collapse” and ruin? I have put my hope and trust in Christ – may I not stop there and fail to act on the words of the Lord.

What about you? What is the condition of your foundation?

 

Aimee Mariani

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Evolution is Not Science, It is Philosophy

 

Mary Jo and I recently spoke at Westland Baptist Church in Katy, TX. The two sermon sessions I gave seemed very well-received, that is judging from the numerous comments and also the desire for more resources on the topics.

in-out-cartoonOne of the points I made is that evolution is not science.  Instead, it is a philosophy posing as though it were science. I expected that the statement would raise a few eyebrows with some of the students who were present at the church. After all, we are very frequently told in school, newspapers, etc., that evolution is science – while creation is religion. After hearing that very false statement often enough, it is easy to be brainwashed into thinking it is true. I really hope that the statement I made sunk in deep with them.

Since evolution is not science but is instead a philosophy, then Colossians 2:8 applies directly:

”See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”

Way too many people in the church have been taken captive though the philosophy of evolution. It has weakened their faith, if not destroying their faith all together. A couple years ago, a man commented after the sermon I had given in Oregon that he had struggled with evolution all his life. It had kept him from fully embracing the Bible, God, and his faith. He said that the one statement I made that evolution is not science but philosophy changed his life forever. All of a sudden it became clear to him what the issue really was. Indeed, he had been taken captive by the philosophy of evolution.

I also gave plenty of evidence, during those two sermon sessions, that God’s Word could be trusted and that evolution is not true. I am praying that the message will help more people fully embrace God and His Word!  There is a huge battle of worldviews in our society today. Those who wish to say there is no God would have you believe so based on the “science of evolution.” However, as it says in Colossians, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy. . .  .”

 

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.

All in the Family – Part 3

 

All in the Family - sign 2 - focus

Picture of a sign at the Anthropology Museum in Laramie, WY

Recently, while visiting the anthropology museum in Laramie, WY, I read and saw some very interesting exhibits.  Most of what I read was not new, but exactly what the book of Genesis predicted …as I will explain later.  The sign for the first display of interest read in part (pictured right and the content in the black box is printed below):

“H.rudolfensis, A. boisei, and H. erectus All lived at the same time and this means that one is not an ancestor of the others.”

All in the Family - sign 1 - focus

Picture of a sign at the Anthropology Museum in Laramie, WY

We can read from an article in the Discover magazine, that they agree with the findings of the museum.

“Human evolution is bushy with branches that go nowhere. You don’t just have Australopithecus leading to Homo habilis leading to Homo erectus leading to Homo sapiens. This lineal idea is just kind of bogus. It was all very simple in the past, but it’s all wrong.”

- Anthropologist Russell Ciochon, University of Iowa, comments on new fossil finds. Discover, Jan 1996

We neither observe today, nor in the fossil record, the vertical macro-evolution (Darwinian evolution), which is one creature evolving into a completely different creature.  There is no evidence of an evolutionary tree of life.  What we do observe in nature is horizontal micro-evolution as described in Scripture.

As I listen to people, including scientists, they seem to have a misconception of what the Bible actually teaches. Many believe the Bible states that creatures do not change at all.  But this is not the case.  With a little studying of the Greek culture, we will see that some of the influential Greek philosophers taught this concept and it is usually called ‘the immutability of species.’

“Fundamental to natural selection is the idea of change by common descent. This implies that all living organisms are related to each other; for any two species, if we look back far enough we will find that they are descended from a common ancestor. This is a radically different view than Aristotle’s Great Chain of Being, in which each species is formed individually with its own purpose and place in nature and where no species evolves into a new species.”

http://www.iep.utm.edu/evolutio/

Some in the church made a great mistake when reading some of the false teachings of the Greeks into Scripture.  So Darwin did not discredit the Bible, but those who incorporated the false philosophical wisdom of man into Scripture.

The question is …what does the Bible teach?  God created kinds, or family types, to be ‘fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth.’  The original kinds would have contained a huge diversity of genetic information, thus giving them the ability to adapt to different and changing environments.  God’s intent was not for the kinds to go extinct, but to survive and fill the earth, and this would be accomplished by speciation within a kind. Speciation is not vertical macro-evolution (Darwinian evolution), but is instead the Biblical, scientific, horizontal micro-evolution.

All in the Family - sign 3

Picture of a sign at the Anthropology Museum in Laramie, WY

If a species did not have the genetic diversity to adapt to the ever-changing environments,  they would probably go extinct.  As we observe in some species today.  If a given species still has the genetic diversity to adapt to the changing environment, that species can then change to survive in a new environment.  As the Bible predicted, there would be a number of different kinds growing into diverse ‘bushes’ (instead of a tree) of species , where the specific makeup differs as the conditions change.  One species would not be any more complex or superior to the other species, but just better adapted for the current conditions. The conditions will determine what species of a kind will fill what environment.

Since God created all the kinds in just two days, there would be a number of bushes existing at the same time.

Tree of life - noAs the Bible predicted, scientists do find evidence of man existing with his so called missing links.

“At the beginning of its time range, around 1.9 Mya, H. erectus coexisted in East Africa with several other early human species including Homo rudolfensis, Homo habilis, and Paranthropus boisei. Sometimes they were even found at the same fossil sites. At the end of its time range, around 143,000 years ago, it coexisted with Homo sapiens and possibly Homo floresiensis in Indonesia.”

http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homo-erectus

As one studies the research on Homo erectus, one discovers he is only one of many variations of a human being.  Some of his physical features are similar to modern day Australian aborigines and African groups.

“The skeleton of H. erectus was heavier, or “more robust,” than the average modern human skeleton. Body proportions vary greatly from individual to individual. “Turkana Boy” was tall and slender, like modern humans from the same area,…”

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/humans/humankind/k.html

The Turkana Boy skeleton is regarded by many as a subhuman ancestor, but it is easy to see why even some evolutionists believe he is the same species as people today.

“From the neck down, the skeleton is virtually indistinguishable from that of a modern Kenyan bushman.”

http://creation.com/turkana-boy-getting-past-the-propaganda

There is also evidence of humans living at the same time as ‘Lucy.’  This topic will be discussed in a later article or you can search our website.

Creationist OrchardThe conclusion from the evidence is, we never observe the vertical macro-evolutionary tree of one kind, or family type, of creature evolving into a completely different kind of creature.  We do observe the horizontal, micro-evolution of Biblical bushes (species or speciation within a kind).  Can we use the Bible as a guide to prevent us from making scientific mistakes?  Yes, we can!

 

Rich Stepanek

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Planet Earth: A Great Place to Be

 

http://www.nasa.gov/content/satellite-view-of-the-americas-on-earth-day/#.U1kQ4Vepb1a

http://www.nasa.gov/content/satellite-view-of-the-americas-on-earth-day/#.U1kQ4Vepb1a

If you think a full moon rising over the horizon is beautiful, just imagine being on the moon and seeing your planet overhead in the sky! Now for you couples, that would be romantic!

NASA recently came out with a remarkable “Earth Day” satellite photo of our planet.

Besides being breath-taking, one of the things it shows is the circulation in the atmosphere as noticed in the partial cloud cover. That is so important for us to have a home where we can breathe and thrive.

Do you also realize that if we were a bit further out in the solar system, we would be frozen ice cubes? Or perhaps if we were a bit closer to our sun, we would be scorched corpses? Then again, we could have an atmosphere where we would be gassed to death with noxious fumes.  If we were closer to our moon, we may be drowned because of huge ocean tides.

Yep, I think God positioned us and outfitted our planet just right and exactly where it should be in our solar system! As beautiful as it would be, I am also glad to be on Earth admiring the moon rather than on the moon admiring our planet.  After all, it is hard to hold hands or kiss your bride with those big old spacesuits!

 

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.

Ancient walk on the beach

 

Beach scene in Costa RicaPeople have asked me about the reports of footprints of a human ancestor, which were uncovered by recent tides, being found in England. An article came out a couple of weeks ago in The Telegraph (April 21, 2014)  in regards to some tracks that were preserved in soft sedimentary rock. It referenced an older article (Feb, 7, 2014) by Richard Gray, a science correspondent, entitled 900,000 year old footprints of earliest northern Europeans discovered. Researchers think the tracks may have belonged to primitive human ancestors referred to as Homo antecessor, or “Pioneer Man.”

Sure enough, the tracks look good. In fact, they look too good to support any evolutionary interpretation. Rather than an “ancestor of humans,” they certainly look like modern human tracks.  Of the 49 tracks, not only do 29 show an arch, but many show clear outlines of the foot, and one shows a detailed toe print. All of this makes the tracks look like modern human tracks. Therefore the only “ancestral to humans” I get out of it is not “ape-like creatures,” but perhaps more like great, great, great, uncle Bill.   (For more information on this discovery, see Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell’s article, Ancient Footprints Place Humans in England Early In the Ice Age,  published February 18, 2014.

In 2009, ICR also reported on other tracks that were supposedly even older (1.5 million) that also looked like modern human tracks. (See Ancient Human Footprints Look Modern by Brian Thomas, M.S.)

The point in all of this (especially in this set of 49 footprints of adults and children), is that our great, great, great, grand families, just like families today, liked to take walks as a family on the beach. The tracks likely belonged to perfectly human great, great, grand children of Noah. Also, those millions of years didn’t exist.

 

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.