Should we take the six days of creation literally as twenty-four hour days?

There are several theological and scientific views concerning the creation of all things; cosmos, earth, animals and man.  The two foundational stones in each of these theories centers on; (1) the time it took for creation; billions of years to six literal days, and (2) who or what was the force behind creation.

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The point of the argument is this; “Does God really mean what He says?”  A “face value” reading of Genesis chapter one, in context and without any preconceived external ideologies, would lead the reader to believe that God created all things, including the first two human beings in six literal days.  Each day is defined with the phrase “and the evening and a morning were the (first, second, etc.) day”.  Moses, the author of Genesis, was writing in the language of his day to be understood, most importantly through the inspiration of God, and concluded that each day of creation was an “evening and morning”.  Six days of creating and then one day of resting.  By accepting the six literal days of creation, the earth then is not billions of years old, but instead just thousands or a young earth compared to an old earth.  There is no need to insert time gaps into the creation model unless it is to force another theory into Genesis chapter one.

The word “day” can have many meanings and uses.  A day can mean “a period of time”, or “daylight hours”, or “a twenty-four hour period”.  It is important to understand how the word is being used in Genesis One, in context, just as it would to be for someone today to understand when they said, “Back in my dad’s day” or “let’s meet one day next week” or “two days from now”.  Each use of the word “day” has a specific meaning that can only be truly understood when used in the context of the sentence.  The Hebrew word for day is “yom” and like the English word “day”, according to a typical concordance, has many different meanings including;   a specific point of time, a period of light as contrasted to darkness (Genesis 1:5; 14-16, 18), a 24-hour period, a chronology, a year or an indefinite period of time (Psalms 90:10.

Considering the different uses of “yom”, the only way to correctly define what God meant when he signified “evening and morning were the (first, second, etc.) day” is to look at the context and structure of the sentence.  In hermeneutics there is a statement that says; “A text without context is pretext.”  In other words if we take the text out of the context in which it is written leads one to have a pretext of the meaning outside of the meaning of the writer.

In each instance of the days of creation (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31), the phrase “evening and morning” are used with the number of the creation day.  If we look at the other uses of “yom” outside of the creation of Genesis chapter one, there are over three hundred times where a number and “yom” are used that mean a literal twenty-four hour period.  Looking at the phrase “evening and morning” with “yom”, there are over sixty times they are used together and each time is an ordinary day.  Why would the usage of “yom” in Genesis chapter one be different than all these other verses?

Therefore on this one point, in the usage of the words of our language, in the context they were written and their definitions, without having outside influences, the word for “day” as used in Geneses One as used with a number, must mean an ordinary day of about twenty-four hours.

Theistic Evolution and the Day-Age Theory

Evolution and Theistic Evolution requires two crucial elements; long periods of time and life out of no life (materialism).  Atheists and evolutionary theists generally agree on these two elements, but go about it differently.  The atheists do not believe in God, so there is no special creation in six days but taking six billion years for creation.  Theistic evolutionists profess a certain belief in the Scriptures and attempt to harmonize the biblical account of creation in Genesis, while inserting the evolutionary scenario into the mix.  The theistic evolutionist therefore, does not believe in special creation in six days, but that through six periods of time, God moved on matter and the creation took place.  Their definition of the term “day” is allegorical and represents the definition of “day” that is a period of time instead of a single solar day of twenty-four hours.  The theistic evolutionist’s model is the “Day-Age” theory which says that each day of creation was an age (period of time).  In this way they attempt to harmonize “Special Creation” and “Evolution” into one theory.

Theistic evolutionists will give one of their proof texts as 2 Peter 3:8 where Peter, referring to Psalms 90:4, says, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”  Of course this verse is taken out of context.  Peter was trying to illustrate that in the last days there would be those who would say that since Jesus had not returned yet, He was not coming back at all.  Peter focuses their attention to the flood and to those who scoffed at Noah.  Peter then pens the words of the eighth verse which was never intended to be a mathematical formula, but that God is the creator of everything including the universe and time itself.  Peter’s point was not that a day equals one thousand years as a standard of time for man to use in understanding God’s time, but that God is above time itself.  The LORD defines time, not man (Hebrews 1:2)

There are many problems with this theory.  One is that they take special creation of Genesis One out of the mix.  Instead their premise is that God got everything started then let nature take over.  They also work so hard on proving their point about the definition of “day”, that they totally disregard the use of “evening and morning”.  The “Day Age” theory would be rendered “and ‘thousands/millions/billions’ of evenings and mornings” are the first day.  To prescribe to this theory would be analogous to saying that when Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and nights that he was actually in the fish for three thousand years until he was vomited out on dry land.  A greater miracle than the creation of the world in six days would be that Jonah and the fish would live for thousands of years.  The word in Jonah 1:17 for the number of days in the belly of the fish is the same day as used in Genesis 1:5, 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; “yom”.

There are those that say that a literal twenty-four hour day could not have been until day number four when the sun, moon and stars were created.  Genesis 1:14  says; “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:” (emphasis mine).  This point is not convincing one way or another.  God could have created in the first three days of creation, by design, twenty four hour days into the solar system.  When the “lights in the firmament of heaven” were made on the fourth day, they could have been in sync with the definition of “time” that God had originally intended.

Those are my thoughts.  What are yours?

THE SPACE OF ETERNITY

This week is what many proclaim as Holy Week.  It is the time when Jesus of Nazareth triumphantly entered into Jerusalem as the people shouted hosanna, placing palm fronds and their outer garments along the entry way into the city, unto the time of Jesus last days on this earth until his trials, torture and His murder.  Holy Week culminates in the event of the resurrection from the dead of Jesus on that first Easter morning.

Easter is found only one time in the Bible and that is in Acts 12:4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.  The person being put into prison was Paul.  The word “Easter” is of Chaldean origin and is translated everywhere else (28 times in 26 verses) as Passover.  We derive our current holiday name of Easter  from this Chaldean word for Passover.

Last Sunday, Palm Sunday, I preached a message titled “Conversations at the Crucifixion”.  As I was studying the last sayings that Jesus spoke while enduring such pain on the cross, I was drawn to all the other conversations taking place as three men were dying.  There were conversations from the crowd of onlookers there to viewf the agonizing death of crucifixion that day.  There were conversations and accusations from the religious crowd, Chief Priests and Scribes.  The soldiers carrying out the punishment even got in on the discussions.  The two thieves surrounding Jesus each had something to say and then the man tasked with carrying out the deaths, a Centurion, made the most profound statement after Jesus died.  And of course we have the statements of Jesus as His final hours of life were being drawn to a close.

As I marveled at all the activity that was going on around the crucifixion of Jesus, I also made a note of something else that I had never noticed before.  I was given a glimpse through the eyes of Jesus of what He saw and the unbelievable truth that day.

There wasn’t a battle going on at Golgotha that day, but a war!

There were people on both sides of the issue that brought Jesus to this death sentence.  There were those that believed that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah, the Christ and the Son of God, and those that did not.  There were two sides.

There wasn’t a battle going on at Golgotha that day, but a war.  Soldiers from two different sides had taken their positions, raised their banners and captured in word and deed which side they were on.  While there wasn’t an arrow shot, a swing of a sword or a javelin tossed, the battle was real.  There was a spiritual war going on and in the balance was the hope of man.  God had a simple plan of salvation for mankind and His Son was the perfect offering and sacrifice that God would accept.  It was not in the sacrifice of animals but with the GOD-Man, Jesus.  The Son of God “became flesh and dwelt among us.”  Man could never be good enough to merit Grace, so in the greatest love story of all time, God gave.  “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The distance between the crowd and Jesus was more than just space.  It wasn’t measured in feet and inches, but in eternity.

The scene at the crucifixion of Jesus was more than an execution of a man.  The Romans went about the business of death; they had slain many in this same manner in many different locations.

Sides were taken that day.  A line was drawn in the sand.  On which side would the people choose?  On the one side, the crowd, one thief, the Chief Priests and Scribes and the soldiers did not choose Jesus.  On the other side of that line, the other thief and those there to worship Jesus made their choice that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God.

Jesus had to endure the torments, both mental and emotional, as well as the death of the body.  The distance between the crowd and Jesus was more than just space.  It wasn’t measured in feet and inches, but in eternity.  For those that chose to be on the side that denied Jesus as the Messiah, the eternity that awaits them is in hell.  A place of torment that was prepared as punishment for Satan and his demons.  For those that accepted that Jesus was the Messiah, the Savior, they would be on the side of God’s salvation plan for mankind and the eternity that awaits them is in heaven.

So on this second day of April, 2010 I would ask the same question that has echoed through the canyons of time; “Today, which side of that line drawn in the sand are you on?  With whom do you associate?  The mockers or the Redeemed?”

Is there ‘life after life’?

 Revelation 21:1-2 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”

Many people will read the title and pass on the blog. They will do this because they already have an opinion about whether there is ‘life after life.’ There are those who believe that when you draw your last breath, that life, in all forms, is over. There is nothing else, no afterlife whatsoever. While others believe that if they are good in this life that they will come back as another being on this earth. Mainline Christianity believes that there is ‘life after life’. For those that follow Christ’s teachings and accept Him as their Savior, ‘life after life’ is known as heaven.

As a boy, I often wondered about what the afterlife would be like. I thought of what I would do in heaven. What would heaven be like? What would I do all day? Would I be allowed to play baseball or football or tetherball? Would we have baseball trading cards in heaven? Would I spend my time just gathered around the throne of God? What does a boy do around the throne of God anyway? Could I run, jump, skip, play tag with all the other children or would I not be allowed to make any noise at all? Would I have chores that I would need to do, make my bed, carry out the trash and even have to take a bath? Would I be given tasks by the angels or God Himself? And how long does it take you to get used to flying with those wings?

Those were some of the thoughts I pondered as a young boy. When the subject comes up, I find that everybody has a different opinion about what heaven would be like. After all, if heaven is supposed to be this utopia, then you would think it would be centered on your greatest wishes of what that life would be. Right?

For some heaven would be sitting out on your wooden patio deck, sipping on a large sweetened tea while listening to the wind rustling through the pine trees. In the background you can hear the sounds of a babbling brook. The sun would be bright, a perfect 75°F with a slight breeze. As you look beyond the trees surrounding your mountain property, you can see the ocean on the horizon with its waves and whitecaps. And all day, you would relax and enjoy your surroundings. No alarm clock going off at 5:30 AM. No deadlines to meet. No boss yelling at you, just a wonderful comfortable bliss.

Others may picture heaven as that early-morning walk through the dewy grass. You are surrounded by the beauty of trees and shrubbery. You are accompanied by great friends. The morning sun is just breaking through the trees as you bend over to firmly place your golf ball on the number one tee. Through the day, every swing of the driver would be down the middle of the fairway. Every iron you use would be the perfect shot. Your short game will put the ball just inches from the cup. Every putt would be a single putt. Every round would be perfect. No need for mulligan’s here.

As I talk with others, they believe heaven will be like walking to the shore of your favorite lake, getting into your boat and shoving off from the dock. The temperature would be in the low 80s and the sun will be shining. As you make your way to your favorite “honey hole”, you are filled with excitement. You make your first cast and as the lure hits the water you hook your first 5 pound largemouth bass. The bass leaps out of the water, shaking his tail and head, letting you know you’re in for a fight. Every cast, you catch a fish. Every fish is a record breaker. As you make your way back to the dock, the thought comes to your mind that tomorrow will be exactly the same.

Many things have changed since I was a small boy. My thoughts of heaven are no longer centered on me, but on Jesus sitting on His throne.

The Bible describes the New Heaven and New Earth like this;

 • No more tears

• No more death

• No sorrow, crying or pain

 • The beauty of the twelve gates of pearl

• The walls of the new Jerusalem are made of jasper stone and the city is made of pure gold

 • There will be no need of the sun as Jesus will be the light

• There will be a pure river running from the throne of God

• The Tree of Life will be in the city

I long to sing with the four beasts in Revelation 4:8 “…Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”

Is there ‘life after life?’   I would really like to know what you think the afterlife will be like.

Please leave your comments.

What is in a Name?

Matthew 1:21   “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”

I subscribe to many email newsletters.  I admit that I don’t read every one but sometimes an article catches my eye.  This morning I found an eNewsletter with the interesting title, “A Famous Trio.”

The article started out listing many famous trios and I read on.  It was then that the author of the article broke one of my all time taboos.  He used the demonic names of a famous bible trio instead of their God honoring names.

Of course I refer to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  I would guess that in any church, those names would be very Recognizable, but their God honoring Hebrew names would only be known by a small number.  Why is that?

There are many people who’s names were changed in the Scriptures that are well known with.  For example:

  • Abram’s name was changed to Abraham
  • Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah
  • Simon’s name was changed to Peter
  • Saul’s name was changed to Paul

These are changes that God made, defining their character.  We use their names interchangeably and do not lose the meaning.

My beef comes when we refer to four young men in the Bible by their Babylonian names rather than their given names.

Look in your Bible in the opening chapter of Daniel and you will see this story.  Many young men were swept into bondage when Babylon captured the nation Israel.  These young men were the brightest of the nation.  But in order to “brain wash” them into the new surroundings and culture, they were given new Babylonian names.

Daniel was one of them and his name was changed to Belteshazzar.  The name Daniel means “God is my judge,” but his Babylonian name of Belteshazzar, means “Bel Protect the King.”  Bel is a god of the Babylonians.  We do not refer to Daniel by his Babylonian name but by his Hebrew name that has such power; “God is my judge.”

Why then does the world only remember the names of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego?  These three young men deserve much better than this.  I would not want to be remembered by the name a conquering nation gave me.  I would want to be remembered by the God honoring name my parents gave me.

I must confess that I grow weary when people use the Babylonian name instead of their Hebrew names.  Names were so important in the Bible.  When you look at the Babylonian meanings of these three, perhaps you will understand my opposition.

  • Shadrach means “Command of Aku,” Aku was a Babylonian god.
  • Meshach means “Who is what Aku is?”
  • Abednego means ““Servant of Nego,” which was the Babylonian god of vegetation.

So what were these young men’s names?  I am glad you asked.

  • Hananiah, “the Lord is Gracious,”
  • Mishael’s Hebrew name meant “Who is like the Lord?”
  • Azariah, “the Lord is my Helper,”

Look at the powerful Hebrew names compared to the demonic names given and decide how you will remember them in the future.

  • Hananiah – “the Lord is gracious” to Shadrach -“Command of Aku”
  • Mishael – “Who is like the Lord” to Meshach – “Who is what Aku is?”
  • Azariah – “The Lord is my Helper” to Abednego – “Servant of Nego”

Daniel 1:7 7 Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs gave names: for he gave unto Daniel the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.

Those are my thoughts.  What are yours?

Bob Crowder

What is your Legacy?

Bob Crowder Family
Bob Crowder Family

Proverbs 13:22   A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children…

 

What is your legacy?  What will people remember you by?  How will they remember you?

When my oldest son was in the five or six, we were sitting in our den in Coast Guard housing in Elizabeth City, North Carolina just listening to some Christian music.  He was enjoying the music, but as I was watching him, his facial expression changed.  I asked him if he would like to listen to something else and he said no.  I asked him if he was ‘ok’ and he said he was.

Suddenly, as if working up the courage, he asked me the most difficult question I ever had to answer.

“Daddy, when I get older, will I look like you?”  I laughed and said that I certainly hope not, you will be much better looking than me.  He said, “no, I mean will I look like you?’  “Do you want to look like me” I asked.  His reply took the wind right out of my sails, to coin a nautical statement.  “Yes” he replied.

I now knew that I had a very serious question that needed an answer, but I didn’t know where to start.  So I just asked that juvinile question, “Why would you want to look like me?’  His answer hit me in the gut. 

 “I want to look like you so that after you are dead, that people will see you in me.” 

I am not an emotional man that cries easily, but tears started flowing freely, I was humbled, proud, happy and awed by his desire.  I just hugged him and told him that while he probalby would not look just like me, people indeed would see me in him by the kind of man he grew up to be.  That seemed to satisfy him and we listened to more music.  As we did, I thought about the verse, “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children..”.  How important is the legacy or inheritance that we leave behind us?  I would say it is priceless.

What is a legacy if nothing more than the imprint that you leave on this world?  People will remember you not so much from the pictures they see of you, but by your actions and the indelible imprint on you will have on the lives of others.

This is a difficult subject, and yet, by centering our thinking in this way, we could change our current actions into ones that will be remembered in the way we would want them to be remembered. All our actions of yesterday are just that. They are in the past. We can make a change starting today!

What will your legacy be?

Political Correctness in the Church

Political Correctness in the Church

Recently I attended an event that was geared toward increasing Sunday School attendance.  And even though I have attended other seminars or trainings, I find it harder and harder to understand what is going on.  It’s not that the material was difficult or that the instructor was not clear.  It was just that I don’t understand many of the new terms anymore.  It seems that every where I look changes are being made.  Now I’m all for change when there is a need.  I think that too many times we stay with the “that’s the way we always have done it.”  It has become the traditional way of doing things.  Change in many cases is good.

But, and of course there has to be a ‘but’ to this blog.  I just don’t understand making changes for change sake.  I’m happy with the term Sunday school.  I guess “life groups” is fine for some, but I like Sunday school.  I’m not ready to go to war over using Sunday school or life groups, but I do not understand changing a person’s position from “sinner” to “pre-Christian.”  What is wrong with the word sinner?  After all “sinner” is used everywhere in Scripture.  I don’t see one instance in the Bible, where the word ”pre-Christian” is used.

I’d like to know the thought process that went into making this change.  I’d like to try to really understand why somebody would change the word from “sinner” to “pre-Christian.”  The reason I heard was that the word sinner tends to offend people, and therefore they might not return to church.  I find this hard to understand as the Scripture clearly defines mankind, as sinful.  I am a sinner!  I sin!  I do not have a problem with this word.  I understand that ‘sin’ is disobedience to God.  The word ‘pre-Christian’ doesn’t have the same power.  It simply means someone who isn’t a Christian yet.  But in the interest of getting people to come to church, the decision has been made that if we don’t offend people by calling them sinners, they might come back.  “Give us time to work on them and they might become a Christian.”  That seems to be the consensus.  Changed the nomenclature in order to present a better model.  For me, that is the crux of the problem.  Man continually leaves out the work of the Holy Spirit and in its place put the power of man.  So what if a person becomes offended at the word of sin.  Isn’t that the essential work of the Holy Spirit; to convict of sin? 

I read the following article recently.

Ever in the vanguard of political correctness, the Church of England has been debating the best way to refer to the Three Wise Men. A committee of that church’s current Synod charged with rewriting the prayer book yet again, has changed “wise men” to “Magi,” on the grounds that, as a spokespedant for the committee explained, “the visitors were not necessarily wise and not necessarily men.”

I looked at this and said, WHAT?  Why would anyone spend time trying to make the very Word of God ‘politicaly correct’ to suit their own needs or wants.  The Word of God will offend!  That is a fact.  Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)   The Gospel is supposed to convict man and that conviction would bring an understanding of the the sinful nature that we all have.  Some will accept the Book of Romans in that “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)

Jesus clearly talked about sin.  John 8:34   “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.”  John the Baptist stated, “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)

The revisionists are already at work on a ‘gender neutral’ Bible so as not to offend anyone.  The revisionists that want to make everything politically correct will have to change the Bible where it talks about man being a sinner and change it to “pre-Christian.”  They could start with Romans 3:23, ‘For all have been ‘pre-Christian’ and come short of the glory of God.”

That is my opinion, what is yours?

“Dementia = Euthanasia”

Matthew 19:19   19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

I believe by now most of us are familiar with the statistics on abortion.  But just to be sure, I just looked up the data, at “The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.”

Worldwide there are approximately 42 Million abortions per year and 115,000 abortions per day:  In the United States approximately 1.37 million abortions per year and approximately 3,700 abortions per day.

The two largest groups of women receiving abortions are between 20-24 obtain 32% while teenagers obtain 20%.  64.4% of all abortions are performed on never-married women.

When asked why they are having an abortion, 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient)[1]

Those numbers are staggering and tragic.  As bad as these numbers are, they will only rise with the removal of the restraint on “partial birth abortions.”  There has been a war waging since ‘Roe v. Wade’ hit the court system.  There are people on both sides and this writer believes that ‘abortion-on-demand’ is nothing more than an “Oh no, I am pregnant; I need an abortion” solution, with little or no regard for the life inside.  Just to set the facts straight for those of you who would say “but what about rape and incest?”  According to the data, that number is only 1%.  So abortion-on-demand is clearly a lifestyle decision.

Since 1973 we have become insensible to the fact that we are murdering the un-born.  What is next on the agenda, the elderly?  If so, at what age or medical/mental conditions would we select people to be led to the slaughter?  Would people be in jeopardy if they had dementia or Alzheimer’s?  Would that fall under the category of “unwanted or inconvenient”?

While those question may seem “over the top” I want to bring your attention to the statement of Baroness Warnock, a veteran UK government advisor and one of Britain’s leading moral philosophers in an interview with the Church of Scotland’s magazine, “Life and Work.”

Elderly people suffering from dementia should consider ending their lives because they are a burden on the National Health System (NHS) and their families.[2]

She goes on to say, “Pensioners in mental decline are “wasting people’s lives” because of the care they require and should be allowed to opt for euthanasia even if they are not in pain.  She insisted that there was “nothing wrong” with people being helped to die for the sake of their loved ones or society.  She hoped people will soon be “licensed to put others down” if they are unable to look after themselves.

At this point the UK has a National Health System, much like what the President, Congress and the Senate wants in the US.  As the UK is facing this issue, so will we if we go to a national health plan.  The push is on to allow “doctor assisted suicides” as well as all the arguments for those that are terminally ill.  But read her comments closely

Elderly people suffering from dementia should consider ending their lives because they are a burden on the National Health System (NHS)

Pensioners in mental decline are “wasting people’s lives” because of the care they require

There was “nothing wrong” with people being helped to die for the sake of their loved ones or society.

She hoped people will soon be “licensed to put others down” if they are unable to look after themselves.

Reading between the lines identifies her argument.  It is all about money.  The cost of health care is expensive.  In the words of Baroness Warnock, patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s are a drain on the budget, so for the sake of the families and society, “put them down.”

So my question is, “What is the worth of a human being.”  The US has already decided that, in the case of abortion, it is not worth much if the baby is “unwanted or inconvenient.”

Folks, this is the future mankind faces.  Just like abortion-on-demand, there could also be euthanasia-on-demand.  They could murder an elderly person with approval of the state.  And after all, that is what we have been doing with the un-born, should the elderly be any different?  Baroness Warnock’s’ opinion certainly has had a lot of play on the internet.  And sad to say, her opinion is gaining more attention every day in the US.

The general Christian position on “assisted suicide” is very simple.  We believe that “life and death” is in the hands of God.  It is God’s will that takes precedence over the will of man.  When man becomes involved in matters of life and death, we have seen how that turns out.  People murder people every day.  In society, human life has very little value.

God gives life and He takes life.  From the point of conception until natural death I believe that life is sacred.  According to Ascension Health, defines “sanctity of life” as man “may never intentionally interfere with continued human existence in any form for any reason.”[3]  The scriptures have many passages on the subject, but when God gave Moses the Commandments, He included “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”  And that is just as valid today as it was in Moses time.

The Christian position is. “Man cannot nor should not ever be able to make that decision.”  Instead of Roe v. Wade, I wonder what the name of the bill that will allow euthanasia be called.  Perhaps the “Final Solution?”

That is my opinion, what is yours?

He is Risen!

Matthew 28:6  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

Around the whole world today, people will be celebrating the resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.  As I write this, it is 4:30 am on Sunday, April 12, 2009 and within hours in the US, people will be getting up to attend sunrise services in His honor.

What is so special about this morning that the casual church going person will make an effort to be in a service today?

Well there are many tenets to Christianity; including the virgin birth, His sinless life, His numerous miracles, His terrible beating and His substitutionary death.

But for me, as special as these tenets are, they are only part of the life of Jesus.  It is the resurrection of Christ that completes all the prophecies.  It is the resurrection of Christ that makes today the biggest day of the Christian year.  This is the day that we celebrate the miracle of Jesus decaying body coming back to life.

About two thousand years ago, after being put to shame and death, buried in a borrowed tomb that was sealed and watched with Roman guards, the miracle of life took place.  Sometime between sundown Saturday evening and early Sunday morning, GOD raised his Son back to life.  Jesus mission was not complete.  The Gospel Message needed one more chapter before it was completed.  Jesus was to show His followers GOD’s power in the resurrection and to give His followers one more challenge.  “Get out of hiding and tell my message to the world.”  We call this the “Great Commission.”

Matthew 28:18-20   “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:   20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

That is what is so special about today.  His message goes on.  Christian Churches today will celebrate the resurrection of their Savior.  The early followers would greet each other with “He is risen” responding with “He is risen indeed!”

Homosexuality in Today’s Church

Recently I was reading the Southern Baptist Texan and on the front-page of the March 9 edition there is a discussion about a Fort Worth church that is being looked into by the Southern Baptist executive committee.  Every Baptist Church is an independent organization that at times the church may reach out to other organizations to help them in their time of trouble and that is exactly what Broadway Baptist has done.  The problem became so big that they contacted the Southern Baptist convention.

What is this all about?  Well the executive committee began studying the church’s affiliation last year after a messenger at the Southern Baptist convention annual meeting in June made a motion that the convention declare Broadway Baptist not to be “in friendly cooperation” with the denomination.  The article went on to say that “Article III of the SBC Constitution states the churches “which act to affirm approve or endorse homosexual behavior” are not in friendly cooperation.This all came to a head when the church last February decided in a vote of 294 to 182 to publish a directory without family portraits of homosexuals but would include candid shots of members involved in various ministries.  Read that last line again, “but would include candid shots of members involved in various ministries.”  What ministries could a practicing homosexual be involved in at Broadway Baptist Church?

Later in the article a letter dated Jan 27 states in part: “Broadway has never taken any church action to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior.  Broadway Baptist Church considers itself to be in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist convention and has every intention of remaining so” it further stated “we extend Christian hospitality to everyone including homosexuals we do not endorse, approve, or affirm homosexual behavior.”I have a couple comments.

1.         I’m not a member nor have I ever been to Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth Texas.  I certainly have not “walked a mile in the shoes” of those who have been going through this agonizing and heartbreaking situation.  So some of you might say that I am not in the best position to post this as I do not personally know what is going on there.  I certainly am not experiencing the real-life situation that is affecting the congregation.  I do not understand the dynamics of the relationships of the congregation.

2          That being said I believe the Scripture is very clear about all sin including homosexuality.   The burden of proof is that homosexuality is not a “lifestyle” nor is it an inherited trait other than just being our sin nature.  Sexual union was for creation, not physical enjoyment.  I know that every day the Biblical position is being eroded, even by some main line denominations who are openly embracing homosexual membership in their church.  Some even allow homosexuals positions of authority such as pastors, deacons and bishops.  If Broadway Baptist Church has practicing homosexuals in positions of authority such as Sunday school teachers, committee members, etc. aren’t they in opposition to their statement that “we do not endorse, approve, or affirm homosexual behavior”?

As we look at the laws that God gave the Hebrews, we see that homosexuality was called an abomination.  Leviticus 20:13  If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

I am certainly not hostile to people who are practicing homosexuality.  As a bi-vocational pastor, my civilian job had me in contact with homosexuals daily.  I worked with them in that setting and I treated them as I would any other employee.  But spiritually that is a different position.    Jesus teachings are very clear that we are to preach the gospel to every living creature.  In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus teaches that we should love one another.  But there is a penalty for sin.  No matter what that sin may be.  Some sins are far more visible and threatening to the family unit than others.  That is why I believe homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God.  The destruction of the family unit can certainly be, to some extent, laid at the door of the homosexual movement.

Jesus knew that situations would come into the church that would have to be dealt with.  Jesus gave the instructions in how to take care of the matter with love and kindness in the Gospel of Matthew.  Matthew 18:15-17   15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.  16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.  The Epistles consistently are correcting problems that creep into the church.  By following the above process then, if a member was an alcoholic, a child abuser, someone practicing pornography, committing acts of fornication or adultery and would “neglect to hear” them, the church would then consider them as members not in good standing.  I would include the person practicing homosexuality in this same category.  Jesus taught us that the church was to be set apart. 

This is not a twenty-first century problem for the churches as the Apostle Paul wrote against it in his letter to the Romans and the Corinthians in the first century.  The big difference is that in the first century, they called sin a sin.  Today through “political correctness” we can only call it a lifestyle decision.

How do we extend the hand of love and yet protect the sanctity of the body of Christ?

So my question to you is “What is your opinion?”

Bob