Sunday, November 27, 2016

Making Daisy Chains

If you are reading this and you don't know that I am a Christian, welcome to my blog, you must be new here. Please stay and keep reading. I promise not to figure out the IP addresses of everyone who visits my site so I can track you down and ask if you know the Four Spiritual Laws. You are safe to lurk here. I have no idea what an IP address is or how to use one to track anyone. My lack of technological skills is pretty much your guarantee of anonymity.

The reason that I say this is that if you know me, either through personal contact or online (actually, especially online), you know that I am not one of those nice Christians. You know - the ones who say things like, "Well, being a Christian has been good for me, but I don't want to offend anyone by mentioning my beliefs in public. Whatever you believe is cool for you."

Nice Christians are tolerant people. They have found the narrow road: the one that leads to life. Eternal life. Abundant life. The most amazing life you can have one this side of Heaven. But they walk it quietly, or sit in the lovely meadow beside the path, making daisy chains so they don't disturb the people walking on the broad road. You know: the one that leads to death.

People who are on the road to death don't know and/or care that they are on the road to death. Most of them don't believe that there is a road that leads to death. If you tell them, they will be offended, and they probably won't like you anymore. They will say nasty things to you, using language that they hope will offend you so that you will shut up and go away.They might tell you that you are not acting like Jesus would act. Jesus was nice to people. He hung around with sinners, He was tolerant. In fact, the only people He said nasty things to were the religious people, like the Pharisees. He was really rude to them - like calling them a "brood of vipers". They took offense at that sort of thing. They shut Him up by nailing Him to a cross.

Some people think that the point of this story is that Jesus was tolerant of the sinners, but didn't think much of the religious people. That is so not the point of the story. That is like, half of the first line of the story.

Yes, Jesus loved the sinners, and they were the ones who hung around Him.The tax collectors, prostitutes, and other assorted sinners who followed Jesus believed that  He was the Messiah. They could tell by His words that He spoke as someone with authority. He spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven as if He was the king. When they asked Jesus what they must do to be part of His kingdom, He told them to repented of their sin and they would be forgiven. He set them free from the lifestyles that had enslaved them.

The "religious" people who were offended by His message did not believe that He was the Messiah. They did not repent of their sins. They would not admit, even to themselves that they were sinners or that they had any sin in their lives.

That is the difference between Christians and the other sinners. You see, we know that we are all sinners. The difference is not our good behaviour. Christ didn't give us a list of stuff we needed to do before we could be good enough to follow Him. We followed Him first, The changes in our behaviour came as the result of hanging around with Jesus. The more we let Him into our lives, the more He can work on cleaning up our lives.

Jesus said:
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." ( Matthew 7:13-14,)
  The last words that Jesus said before He ascended before their eyes back into Heaven were:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mt 28:18 - 20)
 We call this the "Great Commission" and it is in obedience to Christ that we cannot be "nice Christians" and just ignore the rest of the world walking along on the road to destruction.

Picture this: a group of Christians has found the narrow path, plunked themselves down on the grass beside the path, and they are busy making daisy chains. A new Christian walks by. From his vantage point on the path, he sees the people on the wide, smoothly paved road as they blindly walk right off the end of that broad path and into the "pit". He turns to the Christians in horror, and asks, "What the hell are you doing? Don't you see those people, walking to their doom?"

The other Christians tell the newbie,"Oh they don't listen to us. They think we are delusional. Besides, maybe that road is fine. Maybe you are wrong about what happens to them at the end. Sit down, brother. Make a daisy chain."

"Why would I make a daisy chain? How is that gonna help those people?"

"We don't really know. Maybe they will see the pretty flowers in our hair and want to join us."

What do you think? If you were that new Christian, would you try to warn those people?

(All Scripture quoted from the New International Version,
 copyright 1973, 1978 by the International Bible Society.)


Photo credit:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

And the scientists said "Let there be life!..."

This is an article that I wrote and posted on Triond in 2011.

And the Scientists said:  “Let there be life...”
              ...And ten years, twenty scientists, and $40 million later, there was life! Not a whole lot of life, just one cell, and not exactly created from ‘scratch,’ but, still, a major scientific breakthrough. Enough of those and maybe someday science will catch up with theology...

     In May of 2010, Dr. Craig Venter and his team at the J. Craig Venter Institute, UCSD, announced that they had created the first synthetic self-replicating bacterial cell. It was a unique life form with 1.08 million chemical base pairs (human DNA has about 3 billion base pairs). But it was alive, and according to the report published it replicated over a billion times, producing copies that contained the new synthetic DNA.
     Evolutionists celebrated this announcement as proof positive of the primordial soup theory – that the first life forms developed out of inorganic chemicals present in the gases that formed the earth’s atmosphere after the Big Bang. These chemicals were attracted to each other in totally random sequences, until finally the perfect sequence came together to form a DNA molecule that was self-replicating. If 20 scientists working under ideal conditions only took about ten years to design a self-replicating cell, then surely it could happen in the wild, given enough time. No more need to rely on some intelligent designer or God.

     But Venter and team did not actually make their artificial life form from scratch. The “synthetic” chemicals they used came from...where? The Big Bang may have initiated the expansion of matter across the universe, but where did the matter come from?

     Plus simple single- celled organisms are not actually all that simple. A single molecule of DNA, removed from a cell and stretched out can be about six feet long (Lee Strobel, The Case for a Creator). Even a bacterial cell with “only” a million or so chemical base pairs is complex. Venter’s researchers came up with a unique DNA sequence, but only after spending more than ten years and $40 million dollars studying the ones that God made first.

     And Venter and his team still have not been able to replicate a functional cell membrane to contain their uniquely designed genome (that’s all of the stuff that is inside a cell). Cell membranes have turned out to be a lot more complex than scientists thought they were. The wall of a cell is not just a bit of tissue holding the innards together. It has to be selectively permeable, which means that it takes nourishment in and lets waste material out. So for now, the scientists had to scoop out the innards of some existing bacteria cells, and replace the genome with their synthesized DNA constructed from chemicals in the laboratory.

      If well-educated human scientists with the cumulative scientific knowledge of hundreds or thousands of years of studying the universe and the life it contains still cannot explain or replicate the membrane of the first single celled organism that they claim initiated the whole process of evolution that resulted in the unique DNA of every single life form that has ever existed on this planet – how could that happen by random chance? Too see actual numbers of the possibilities, see this site:

Primordial Soup Theory

     My intention in writing this rant is not to denigrate the scientists who have spent their lives studying DNA and the human genome and the wonders of the universe. I am just saying that the more we learn, the more we realize how much more there is to learn. 

     My intention is to point to the designer of these wonders. He not only created this ginormous universe to put us in, he gave us an innate curiosity about this creation, and he gave a few people in each generation a bit of extra gray matter to expand the collective knowledge about the universe.

     So while I applaud the accomplishment of Dr. Craig Venter and his team, and I acknowledge that this is a giant leap forward for science, in my opinion they have not created life.

My sources: