Apologetics

 

"A servant is not greater than his master. If they hated Me, they will also hate you" (John 15:20).

The Religion of Evolution

First of all, I should define which type of evolution I am talking about.  You see there are 6 types of evolution.

1.) Cosmic Evolution - the origin of time, space, matter (i.e. Big Bang)

I don't believe in this... I'll talk about this later.2.) Chemical Evolution - the origin of higher elements from Hydrogen.

2.) Chemical Evolution - The Origin of Higher Elements From Hydrogen

According to Cosmic Evolution, the Big Bang produced Hydrogen and maybe some Helium. Well, how do we get all the other elements? Did Uranium evolve from Hydrogen? Could fusion in stars produce all the other elements from Hydrogen? Well, number 1, you can't fuse past Iron very well. Number 2, you have a chicken and the egg problem, because you have to have the stars to make

the elements and the elements to make the stars. Which brings up the 3rd type of evolution.3.) Stellar and Planetary Evolution - the origin of stars and planets.

3.) Stellar and Planetary Evolution - the origin of stars and planets

No one has ever seen a star form and scientists don't know how a star even could form. "The silent embarrassment of modern astrophysics is that we do not know how even a single one of these stars managed to form." (Martin Harwit).

There are no even good theories on star formation. But, we see stars blow up all the time (nova, or supernova if it's a big one), that happens all the time, but we never see one form. And yet, there is enough stars that we know about, that every human being on earth could personally own 11,000,000,000,000 (11 trillion) stars to themselves. And those are just the ones we know about.4.) Organic Evolution - origin of Life.

4.) Organic Evolution - origin of Life

Life is started from nonliving material. Nobody has clue how that could happen.5.) Macro-Evolution - changing from one kind into another.

5.) Macro-Evolution - Changing from one kind into another

An animal changes into a different kind of animal. Nobody has ever seen this happen (e.g. a dog changing into a non-dog). You may get a big dog or a little dog, but you’re going to get a dog every time.

It could be that a dog, wolf, and coyote had a common ancestor. I wouldn't argue about that, they probably did, but even a 5-year-old kid knows there the same kind of animal. Genesis 1:12,24: "...the fruit tree yielding fruit after his KIND... the living creature after his KIND..." (10 times in chapter 1). Charles Darwin wrote a book titled, "The Origin of SPECIES". A dog and a wolf are the same kind of animal, but they're different species. He fooled everyone by changing the word from "kind" to "species".6.)

6.) Micro-Evolution - variations within kinds.

This is the only one to be observed. This is changes within the kinds. This one happens. Animals can produce a variety of offspring: long hair, short hair, long-legged, short-legged.... That happens.

But, the first 5 are purely Religious, not Science. We have never observed any of those. Science is the process of observing and testing. We can only observe/test #6, but the others cannot be observed or tested. A person has to have faith in the others to believe them.

Micro-Evolution is NOT magical evidence for the other 5.

Teachers are taught to "stress that the earth is billions of years old" (Holt General Science Teachers Edition, pg. 381). Now, call me old-fashioned if you like, but I think in Science class, we should be teaching science. Things that we can "observe and study and test and demonstrate" (Webster’s Dictionary). Things like the First Law of Thermodynamics:  "Matter (and/or energy) cannot be created or destroyed."

Well, everything is made of matter, so if matter cannot be created or destroyed, how did the world get here? There are only two choices:

Somebody made the world.

The world made itself.

"Humanists regard the Universe as self existing and not created" (Humanist Manifesto 1).

Well, how can this happen. The devil must have thought about this a long time before he came up with the secular Big Bang theory. I say secular because both Christians and Atheists believe in the Big Bang, but their Big Bangs are very different.

Evolution's Big Bang: 18 to 20 billion years ago, all the matter in the universe was concentrated into one very dense, very hot region that may have been smaller than a period on this page (Prentice Hall, General Science, pg. 61).But that's not all the Big Bang says: After many billions of years, all the matter and energy will once again be packed into a small area. This area may be no larger than the period at the end of this sentence. Then another big bang will occur.... a big bang may occur every 80 to 100 billion years. (Prentice Hall, Earth Science, pg. 63).

Then from the HBG General Science, pg. 362, "...nothing really means nothing..." Apparently you have to be at least that smart to write a book. It continues, "Not only matter and energy would disappear, but also space and time. However, physicists theorize that from this state of nothingness, the universe began in a gigantic explosion."

What? So, one day nothing exploded.  They cut down a tree to print that?  Where's Al Gore when you need him.

They used to think, during the days of Isaac Asimov, that the thing that exploded was "a few light years in diameter" ... by 1965, it was reduced to 275 million miles; 1972, it was reduced to 71 million miles; 1974, it was reduced to 54 thousand miles; 1983, reduced to a trillionth the diameter of a proton; and now, to nothing at all! A singularity. (Bolton Davidheiser).

Alan Guth said in Scientific American, "...the observable universe could have evolved from an infinitesimal region*. It's then tempting to go one step further and speculate that the entire universe evolved from literally nothing."  (infitestimal region:  *a dot).

So, according to Cosmic Evolution:  We all came from a dot and the dot came from nothing.

They call that science, and put it in a science journal? I think I'd call that a fairy tale and put it in the garbage!

Cosmic Evolution and the Big Bang: Over 20 billion years ago all the dirt in the universe was drawn into a dot. The dot was spinning, faster and faster, and all of a sudden, it exploded. And the pieces that flew off became galaxies and the sun, moon, stars... and here we are, people, nothing but star dust (Prentice Hall, General Science, pg. 69).

Now wait, 20 billion years ago all the dirt came together in the big squish, big spin, and big bang? Where did all the dirt come from? Nobody that believes in Evolution knows this for sure.

If we Christians say that about 6000 years ago God created the heaven and the earth, then atheists would say, "And where did God come from." To atheists, we have no idea because they won't take the answer, "He always existed."

However, we can turn this argument on the atheists because they say 20 billion years ago there was a big bang, yet they don't know where the dirt came from.

So, basically:

Christians believe: "In the beginning God..."

Evolutionists believe: "In the beginning dirt..."

Don't tell me that our theory is religious and the big bang is scientific. No, they're both religious. The news media tries to make it look like it's science vs. religion, but this is two religions. Evolution and Creation are both religious; you believe in one or the other. The only difference is that the religion of Evolution is tax supported.  Evolutionists are welcomed to their religion, but we have Separation of Church and State, meaning the Government and Schools cannot force a religion on someone (see my article, "The Founding Fathers and Separation of Church and State").

Also, if the universe began from a spinning dot that exploded, then that is completely against the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum.  If something is spinning and things break away from it, then they will continue to spin in the same direction until they encounter a outside force.  If the universe was formed from a spinning dot exploding, then why do three planets (Venus, Uranus, and Pluto) spin backward than the other 6. If you don't count Pluto as a planet anymore, then why do two planets and whatever Pluto is spin backward from the others? There are also 8 out of 91 known moons that spin backwards from that of earth. Why do Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune have moons going both directions at the same time? And why are the 8 or 9 planets (depending on how you classify Pluto) so different from each other? If they all came from the big bang, why are they so different?

And why do some whole galaxies spin backwards? CNN.com had an article on February 11, 2002, "Goofy Galaxy Spins Wrong Direction". Why are all these things spinning backwards?  I think I know. You see, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1) and God created them that way on purpose just to make the big bang theory look stupid.

The Christian Big Bang: I do believe in the big bang because the Bible does teach the big bang.

"But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise,* and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." (2 Peter 3:10).

*In layman’s terms, that's a big bang.

So there's going to be a big bang, it just hasn't happened yet. So, yes I do believe in the big bang and you better get saved and be ready for it.  The Big Bang’s coming soon to a city near you!

 

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DNA and the Cell, Evidence of God

By:  AllAboutScience.org

DNA Double Helix: A Recent Discovery of Enormous Complexity
The DNA Double Helix is one of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. First described by James Watson and Francis Crick in 1953, DNA is the famous molecule of genetics that establishes each organism's physical characteristics. It wasn't until mid-2001, that the Human Genome Project and Celera Genomics jointly presented the true nature and complexity of the digital code inherent in DNA. We now understand that each human DNA molecule is comprised of chemical bases arranged in approximately 3 billion precise sequences. Even the DNA molecule for the single-celled bacterium, E. coli, contains enough information to fill all the books in any of the world's largest libraries.

DNA Double Helix: The "Basics"
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a double-stranded molecule that is twisted into a helix like a spiral staircase. Each strand is comprised of a sugar-phosphate backbone and numerous base chemicals attached in pairs. The four bases that make up the stairs in the spiraling staircase are adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C) and guanine (G). These stairs act as the "letters" in the genetic alphabet, combining into complex sequences to form the words, sentences and paragraphs that act as instructions to guide the formation and functioning of the host cell. Maybe even more appropriately, the A, T, C and G in the genetic code of the DNA molecule can be compared to the "0" and "1" in the binary code of computer software. Like software to a computer, the DNA code is a genetic language that communicates information to the organic cell.

The DNA code, like a floppy disk of binary code, is quite simple in its basic paired structure. However, it's the sequencing and functioning of that code that's enormously complex. Through recent technologies like x-ray crystallography, we now know that the cell is not a "blob of protoplasm", but rather a microscopic marvel that is more complex than the space shuttle. The cell is very complicated, using vast numbers of phenomenally precise DNA instructions to control its every function.

Although DNA code is remarkably complex, it's the information translation system connected to that code that really baffles science. Like any language, letters and words mean nothing outside the language convention used to give those letters and words meaning. This is modern information theory at its core. A simple binary example of information theory is the "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." In that famous story, Mr. Revere asks a friend to put one light in the window of the North Church if the British came by land, and two lights if they came by sea. Without a shared language convention between Paul Revere and his friend, that simple communication effort would mean nothing. Well, take that simple example and multiply by a factor containing many zeros.

We now know that the DNA molecule is an intricate message system. To claim that DNA arose by random material forces is to say that information can arise by random material forces. Many scientists argue that the chemical building blocks of the DNA molecule can be explained by natural evolutionary processes. However, they must realize that the material base of a message is completely independent of the information transmitted. Thus, the chemical building blocks have nothing to do with the origin of the complex message. As a simple illustration, the information content of the clause "nature was designed" has nothing to do with the writing material used, whether ink, paint, chalk or crayon. In fact, the clause can be written in binary code, Morse code or smoke signals, but the message remains the same, independent of the medium. There is obviously no relationship between the information and the material base used to transmit it. Some current theories argue that self-organizing properties within the base chemicals themselves created the information in the first DNA molecule. Others argue that external self-organizing forces created the first DNA molecule. However, all of these theories must hold to the illogical conclusion that the material used to transmit the information also produced the information itself. Contrary to the current theories of evolutionary scientists, the information contained within the genetic code must be entirely independent of the chemical makeup of the DNA molecule.

The DNA code, like a floppy disk of binary code, is quite simple in its basic paired structure. However, it's the sequencing and functioning of that code that's enormously complex. Through recent technologies like x-ray crystallography, we now know that the cell is not a "blob of protoplasm", but rather a microscopic marvel that is more complex than the space shuttle. The cell is very complicated, using vast numbers of phenomenally precise DNA instructions to control its every function.

Although DNA code is remarkably complex, it's the information translation system connected to that code that really baffles science. Like any language, letters and words mean nothing outside the language convention used to give those letters and words meaning. This is modern information theory at its core. A simple binary example of information theory is the "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." In that famous story, Mr. Revere asks a friend to put one light in the window of the North Church if the British came by land, and two lights if they came by sea. Without a shared language convention between Paul Revere and his friend, that simple communication effort would mean nothing. Well, take that simple example and multiply by a factor containing many zeros.

We now know that the DNA molecule is an intricate message system. To claim that DNA arose by random material forces is to say that information can arise by random material forces. Many scientists argue that the chemical building blocks of the DNA molecule can be explained by natural evolutionary processes. However, they must realize that the material base of a message is completely independent of the information transmitted. Thus, the chemical building blocks have nothing to do with the origin of the complex message. As a simple illustration, the information content of the clause "nature was designed" has nothing to do with the writing material used, whether ink, paint, chalk or crayon. In fact, the clause can be written in binary code, Morse code or smoke signals, but the message remains the same, independent of the medium. There is obviously no relationship between the information and the material base used to transmit it. Some current theories argue that self-organizing properties within the base chemicals themselves created the information in the first DNA molecule. Others argue that external self-organizing forces created the first DNA molecule. However, all of these theories must hold to the illogical conclusion that the material used to transmit the information also produced the information itself. Contrary to the current theories of evolutionary scientists, the information contained within the genetic code must be entirely independent of the chemical makeup of the DNA molecule.

DNA Double Helix: Its Existence Alone Defeats any Theory of Evolution
The scientific reality of the DNA double helix can single-handedly defeat any theory that assumes life arose from non-life through materialistic forces. Evolution theory has convinced many people that the design in our world is merely "apparent" -- just the result of random, natural processes. However, with the discovery, mapping and sequencing of the DNA molecule, we now understand that organic life is based on vastly complex information code, and such information cannot be created or interpreted without a Master Designer at the cosmic keyboard.

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Is 2 Chronicles 22:2 a Scribble Error?

By: Robert J. Sargent (http://www.febc.edu.sg/VPP4.htm)

2 Kings 8:26—“Two and twenty years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Athaliah, the daughter of Omri king of Israel."

 

2 Chronicles 22:2—“Forty and two years old was Ahaziah when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Athaliah the daughter of Omri."

Is there a discrepancy between 2 Kings 8:26 and 2 Chronicles 22:2? To the casual reader, there indeed appears to be a contradiction between two parallel accounts of the accession of King Ahaziah over Judah. Was Ahaziah 22 or 42 when he ascended the Judean throne?

The “Scholarly” Solution

There is an easy solution to the problem—if you are a Bible corrector! Obviously this just has to be an error! The “scholarly” statement of this “explanation” is: “The number ‘forty and two’ in 2 Chron 22:2 is evidently the mistake of a copyist.” In other words, since Ahaziah’s father Jehoram died at age 40 (2 Chron 21:20), it would have been impossible for Ahaziah to succeed him at an age of 42! Therefore, somewhere in the history of the transmission of the Hebrew text, a careless scribe committed a transcriptional error.

The problem with this easy solution is: if there is one error in the Bible (albeit an innocent slip of the pen), who is to say there are not other errors in the Bible? How could we be absolutely certain that the precious verses God used to speak to our heart and save our soul are not among those containing errors? Can we really trust our Bible?

For a number of compelling reasons, we believe the Bible is the Perfect Word (Ps 119:140) of a Perfect God (Tit 1:2) and given to man in a Perfect Manner (2 Pet 1:21, 2 Tim 3:16) and preserved in a Perfect Form (Ps 12:6-7). Our Bible is not only infallible in all its teachings but inerrant in all its content. That is why we can say with full assurance: “I know whom I have believed;” that is why we can say with absolute confidence: “there hath not failed one word of all his good promise.”

Statements of Fact

How, then, can we understand this apparent contradiction concerning the age of King Ahaziah when he began to reign? Before we come to untie what one writer calls “the Gordian Knot of the Chronology of the Kings of Israel and Judah,” several statements of fact need to be made.

(I) Some parts of God’s Word are likened to milk (1 Pet 2:2), while other parts are called strong meat (Heb 5:12-14). This conundrum most definitely falls into the strong meat category.
(II) Every Christian is commanded to study the Bible (2 Tim 2:15). This particular question is one which requires much careful and diligent study.
(III) Whenever we encounter a difficult-to-understand Bible passage, it does not mean the Bible is somehow in error. We have to consider two realities: 

(1) that we may not be of sufficient spiritual maturity to grasp the deep treasure God has put there in His Word (1 Cor 3:1-2, Luke 24:25), and must therefore keep growing and keep studying; or
(2) that God never intended for us to know everything there is to know (John 21:25), and must therefore be content with the knowledge that He has given us all we need to know until we enter into His glorious presence in heaven (1 Cor 13:12).

(IV) The two passages in question are accurate English translations of the Masoretic Hebrew text—all the extant Hebrew manuscripts say the same thing! This is not some supposed “poor translation” by the translators of the Authorised, King James Version. Why, those men would run rings around 20th century scholarship—and do you not think they would have had enough sense to “patch up” such a glaring inconsistency if they really believed it was an error? (This perplexing question is actually a wonderful demonstration of the honesty of the translators of the Authorised, King James Version.)
(V) When interpreting the Bible chronologically (which is part of the solution to these problem texts), it is absolutely necessary to keep in mind some important facts:

(1) Scripture deals only with whole years when it comes to the reign of the kings. A part of a year is counted as a whole year, and when applied to the kings of Israel, that part of one year may actually be counted twice—once for the outgoing king, once for the incoming king. As a matter of fact, at time of the events mentioned in our problem text, the Northern kingdom of Israel had three kings reigning in the same year—Ahab (absent in battle, then killed), his son Ahaziah (co-Rex, then dies of a fall), and his grandson Jehoram.
(2) Sometimes the reign of a king is dated from the beginning of a dynasty instead of the beginning of his own succession to the throne. The classic example of this is found in 2 Chronicles 16:1 where the reign of Asa at the time of Baasha’s invasion has been counted from the division of the united monarchy under Rehoboam. (This explains the apparent contradiction with 1 Kgs 16:8.) Chronicles records the length of the kingdom; Kings records the length of the term of office. We may find this a strange way of reckoning, but that is the way it is sometimes counted in the Biblical record.
(3) Sometimes the beginning of the reign of a king may be given from his anointing or from his accession, or both! The Lord Jesus Christ was born King of the Jews (Matt 2:2), but His reign will not begin until He sits upon David’s throne in the Millennium. Following the deportation of his father, Jehoiachin legally became king of Judah when he was eight years old (2 Chron 36:9), but his mother ruled for him as queen (Jer 13:18) until he was 18 (2 Kgs 24:8). Three months later both king and queen mother were deported (2 Kgs 24:12).
(4) It was not uncommon for there to be more than one king reigning at a given time in either Israel or Judah. Some ruled as pro-Rex (in place of the king), others as co-Rex (together with the king).

(VI) The term “son,” as it is used in the Bible, does not always mean the contiguous male offspring of a father. A father may actually be a grandfather (Dan 5:2—Belshazzar was Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson), or step-father, or a distant forebear (Matt 1:1).
(VII) This particular question is somewhat complicated by the similarity of names of the kings of Israel and Judah during the period of time. There were in fact two Ahaziahs, one in the Northern kingdom of Israel and one in the Southern kingdom of Judah. One way to keep them straight in your mind is to remember the following formula: ISRAEL = A-A-J (Ahab-Ahaziah-Jehoram); JUDAH = J-J-A (Jehoshaphat-Jehoram-Ahaziah). Lastly, Ahaziah has three names in the records: Ahaziah (2 Chron 22:1), Jehoahaz (2 Chron 21:17), and Azariah (2 Chron 22:6).

The Biblical Solution

The “key” which unlocks the door to our understanding this matter is found in the New Testament. The royal genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ is recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew. Matthew 1:8 lists the kings in the Davidic line at the time of our particular concern—and there are some notable omissions!

The following chart compares the kings of Judah as given in the Old Testament record to the same kings listed in Matthew 1:8:

Old Testament Record

Christ’s Genealogy

Asa

Asa

Jehoshaphat

Jehoshaphat

Jehoram

Jehoram

Ahaziah

-

Joash

-

Amazia

-

Uzziah

Uzziah

Three kings of Judah are not counted in the lineage of Jesus Christ! Why? The answer to that is found in Exodus 20:5, Numbers 14:18 and Psalm 109:13-15 and is seen in the character of this reign (2 Chron 22:2-4). The fact is, Ahaziah is not counted as a seed of David—his ancestry is traced to the house of Omri. The Bible accentuates both the bloodline and the influence of his mother (Athaliah), who is the daughter of Omri—either literally, or in the sense that she is the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel (2 Kgs 8:18), i.e., she is Omri’s granddaughter.

Two Possible Explanations

This being the case, there are now two possible explanations:

Solution #1

Ahaziah was literally 22 years old (2 Kgs 8:26) when he ascended to the throne of Judah. He was the actual son of Jehoram and Athaliah.

Ahaziah was co-Rex with his ailing father Jehoram (2 Chron 21:18) for one year (2 Kgs 9:29—the 11th year of Jehoram of Israel) and sole king for one year (the 12th year of Jehoram of Israel—2 Kgs 8:25).

Ahaziah ascended to the throne in 894 BC [Ed: 842/1 BC]. If we count backwards 42 years (to 936 BC) we come to the first year of Omri [Ed: 885/4 BC]. In other words, Ahaziah was indeed 22 years old (as stated in Kings), but his reign is counted (in Chronicles) from the beginning of the evil dynasty of Omri. This is the Holy Spirit’s way of highlighting the wicked aberration in the royal Davidic line.

The phrase “Forty and two years” may then be taken as a Hebrew idiom “A son of forty two years”—meaning that it was 42 years from the beginning of the dynasty founded by Omri.

Solution #2

Ahaziah was literally 42 years old (2 Chron 22:2) when he ascended to the throne of Judah. He therefore was not the literal son of Jehoram (who died at age 40), but a son in the sense of being a step-son. His mother was his father’s wife.

If we count back 20 years (to when Ahaziah was 22 years old—2 Kings 8:26) we come to the year 914 BC [Ed: 862/1 BC] which is the eighth year of Jehoshaphat. This was about the time that Jehoshaphat “joined affinity with Ahab” (2 Chron 18:1), since we know that in the third year of Jehoshaphat’s reign he instituted a revival in Judah (2 Chron 17:7-9), following which his kingdom prospered (2 Chron 17:12).

We are told in 2 Chronicles 18 that several years after this alliance was forged, Ahab and Jehoshaphat engaged in a joint military venture against Syria (2 Chron 18:2). Both kings went into battle (2 Chron 18:28) and Ahab was killed (2 Chron 18:33-34). Prior to the battle the faithful prophet Micaiah was deported in chains to Amon where (the one-year-old) Joash was residing (1 Kgs 22:26). It is here, in this passage, we have a most revealing statement: Joash—the biological son of Ahaziah (2 Chron 22:11)—is called the “king’s son,” indicating that Ahaziah was already a king! How could this possibly be? If, as part of the affinity Jehoshaphat made with Ahab, Ahaziah was anointed king at this time, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together.

In other words, Ahaziah was anointed king at age 22—he finally sat on the throne of Judah 20 years at age 42.

The Word of God does not give all the details of the affinity between the two monarchs. Evidently, it was far-reaching because in 2 Chronicles 21:2 Jehoshaphat was given the title “king of Israel!” Furthermore, when Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram finally gained sole rule over Judah, he not only murdered his brothers, but “divers also of the princes of Israel” (2 Chron 21:4). Why would he do that if they were not a threat to the Judean throne?

Not only that, but Ahaziah obviously felt “right at home” in the Israeli court (2 Chron 22:6). Perhaps both kings were interested in reuniting the monarchy which had been divided for about 70 years—undoubtedly with different motives. Ahab (or Jezebel!) conspired to install one of his own on the Judean throne following the death of Jehoshaphat—a move which would be accomplished by earmarking Ahaziah (whose mother was Ahab’s own daughter) ahead of time. When Ahab’s scheme to have Jehoshaphat killed in battle backfired (2 Chron 18:29, 31-33), Ahaziah had to wait 20 years to be enthroned.

In this way, Ahaziah was both 22 and 42 when he began to reign—22 when he was anointed, 42 when he was seated.

The only question which remains is: Who was his biological father? The affinity struck between Ahab and Jehoshaphat appears to be somewhat sordid—a tangled web in fact! Consider that Ahaziah is said to be:

(1) The son of Jehoram (2 Chron 22:1). Since Ahaziah was two years older than his “father” Jehoram, he must have been his step-son, brought into that relationship with his mother Athaliah when she married Jehoram.
(2) The son-in-law of the house of Ahab (2 Kgs 8:27). This relationship would have been established by his marriage to Zibiah (2 Chron 24:1) who must have been either a daughter or grand-daughter of Ahab.
(3) The son of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron 22:9). It seems Ahaziah was given a decent burial only out of respect for the fact that he was a son of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron 22:9). Could it be that in earlier times, Jehoshaphat followed the custom of cementing royal ties (1 Kgs 3:1) by going in unto Athaliah, Ahab’s daughter? Perhaps it is at this point that the Biblical record ceases to give sufficient details for anyone to know for certain.

The Almighty God is never pleased with unholy alliances (2 Cor 6:14-17). The Lord never recognised the reigns of Jehoram and Azariah, who both sought to introduce Baal worship into Judea—along with Joash, they are omitted from the genealogy of the Saviour. When Ahaziah died, God Himself cut off the house of Ahab from the royal line (2 Chron 22:7-9).

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The Founding Father's and the Separation of Church and State

By Michael Kelley, The Bible Study Now Institute.  December 15, 2008

It was never the purpose of the Constitution to give religious content to the nation, rather, the Constitution was an instrument whereby already existing religious values of the nation could be protected and perpetuated.

In response to a request that all reference to religion be removed from government, the House Judiciary Committee Report March 3, 1854 said: "Had the people, during the Revolution, had any suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, the Revolution would have been strangled in the cradle. At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the Amendments, the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect. In this age there can be no substitute for Christianity. That was the religion of the founders of the republic, and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants. The great vital and conservative element in our system is the doctrines and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

The assault on America's religious underpinnings is based on a distorted interpretation of the establishment and free-exercise clauses of the First Amendment, which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.

The Supreme Court has taken Jefferson's "separation" clause (divorced from Jefferson's own explanation of the phrase) and used it to create a new, and completely arbitrary, interpretation of the First Amendment.

In 1947, with the United States Supreme Court's decision in Everson v. Board of Education, Justice Hugo Black construed the First Amendment in a more restrictive fashion, giving an absolute definition of the First Amendment Establishment Clause which went well beyond the original intent of the framers of the United States Constitution and paved the way for future cases that would further restrict religious expression in American public life. This ruling declares that any aid or benefit to religion from governmental actions is unconstitutional. As Justice Black said: "The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach."

This was hardly what Thomas Jefferson meant or what the Constitution guaranteed. The First Amendment had always meant that Congress was prohibited from establishing a national religious denomination, that Congress could not require that all Americans become Catholics, Anglicans, or members of any other denomination.

James Madison, the Father of the Constitution, clearly articulated this concept of separation when explaining the First Amendment's protection of religious liberty. He said that the First Amendment to the Constitution was prompted because "The people feared one sect might obtain a preeminence, or two combine together, and establish a religion to which they would compel others to conform."

The First Amendment had only two purposes when it was passed. The first purpose was that there would be no established, national church for the united thirteen states. To say it another way: there would be no "Church of the United States." The government is prohibited from setting up a state religion, such as Britain has, but no barriers will be erected against the practice of any religion. Thomas Jefferson's famous "wall of separation" between church and state comment was made in a letter to a group of Baptist clergymen January 1, 1802 in Danbury, Connecticut, who feared the Congregationalists Church would become the state-sponsored religion. Jefferson assured the Danbury Baptist Association that the First Amendment guaranteed that there would be no establishment of any one denomination over another. It was never intended for our governing bodies to be "separated" from Christianity and its principles. The "wall" as Jefferson later explained, was one directional; its purpose was to protect the church from the state. The world was not to corrupt the church, yet the church was free to teach the people Biblical values. It keeps the government from running the church but makes sure that Christian principles will always stay in government.

The second purpose of the First Amendment was the very opposite from what is being made of it today. It states expressly that government should not impede or interfere with the free practice of religion. The purpose of the separation of church and state in American society is not to exclude the voice of religion from public debate, but to provide a context of religious freedom where the insights of each religious tradition can be set forth and tested. As Justice Douglas wrote for the majority of the Supreme Court in the United States vs. Ballard case in 1944: The First Amendment has a dual aspect. It not only "forestalls compulsion by law of the acceptance of any creed or the practice of any form of worship" but also "safeguards the free exercise of the chosen form of religion." The First Amendment was a safe-guard so that the State can have no jurisdiction over the Church. Its purpose was to protect the Church, not to disestablish it.

Steven Crowder and the National Day of Prayer

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The Seed:  A Biblical Contradiction???

“But someone may ask, ‘How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?’ What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first.”

1 Corinthians 15:35-36

By:  Michael Kelley, The Bible Study Now Institute.  February 5, 2009

Some skeptics of the Bible try to use this verse to show that the Bible is not totally true. They say that Paul is saying here that only dead seeds will germinate, and that Biology has proven that seeds must be alive to germinate.

But that is not what Paul said at all. It says, “When you put a seed into the ground it doesn't grow into a plant unless it dies first."

It never said that the seed started out dead. The seed "dies", as in sprouts open, and it grows into a plant. The seed dies, but the plant lives and is more beautiful than ever. 1 Corinthians 15:35 tells us that Paul is relating the germination of seeds to the resurrection of the “dead in Christ”.

Skeptics also love to say that the seed is the plant in the early form, but this is simply not the case. The seed is just the outer casing that protects what will become the plant. So, the seed (outer casing) opens up (dies, "or sprouts"), and the plant will grow.

Now, if you are a skeptic, I know that when I said “outer casing” you immediately thought about the “testa” and that only some seeds, but not all, have it. Okay, let’s talk about the “testa”. Below is a diagram of a seed with a Testa:

Seed Diagram

The Testa is just the seed coat and it protects the seed. However, the Seed is the protective coat for the plant, which is in embryonic form at this state. The seed itself will “die” (e.g. sprout or open up) to give way to the new life of the plant.

Try to think of it this way: The amniotic sac is not the human, but it protects the human until the sac "dies" (e.g. bursts). Just like an amniotic sac is not part of the actual human, so the seed is not part of the actual plant.

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Contradictions:  Meat of the Matter

Contradiction Type: Contradiction of Inference

Was Abel eating meat soon after the curse when he wasn’t supposed to be (Genesis 1:29), since he kept the flocks and sacrificed an animal in Genesis 4:2–4?

By Bodie Hodge, AiG-U.S. October 8, 2008

This alleged contradiction comes from assuming Abel was doing something that Scripture doesn’t say he was. The relevant passages are:

Genesis 1:29
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food”
Genesis 4:2–4
Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering

Those assuming this is a contradiction are assuming that Abel, who was commanded by God to be vegetarian, was eating the meat from his sacrifice. Matthew indicates that Abel was righteous and therefore was surely not being disobedient to God’s command in Genesis 1:29 to be vegetarian.

Matthew 23:35
so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.

So, there is no reason to assume that Abel was eating any of the meat—and thus, there is no contradiction.

As an aside, then, why was Abel tending the flocks? We need to consider that flocks can yield many other things such as wool, milk, leather, sacrifices for sin, etc.

A fattened (well-fed and tended) lamb, for example, would likely be the one that would be producing the most wool, had the most life ahead of it, and so on; hence the most valuable. So, when Abel sacrificed the fattened ones, he was offering his best, and it was a blood sacrifice. This sacrifice was acceptable to the Lord, as it mimicked what God did with Adam and Eve as blood sacrifice (Genesis 3:21) to cover their sins (Hebrews 9:22).

The passage doesn’t indicate that Abel ate of the sacrifice, so there is really no reason to assume he did. When God sacrificed animals to cover Adam and Eve's sin, there is no indication that they ate either, and since Abel mimicked what God did, then there is no reason to believe that he would have eaten from the sacrifice.

The first possibility of eating the sacrifice would have been with Noah and his family after the Flood when they sacrificed and God told them they were not restricted to vegetarian meals (Genesis 8:20–9:3), although some of those who perished in the Flood may have disobeyed and eaten meat earlier.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/

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How Could The Ark Survive The Flood?

By Ken Ham and Tim Lovett, October 11, 2007

This is only a portion of the article.  To view the whole thing go to:  http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/nab/really-a-flood-and-ark

The description of the Ark is very brief—Genesis 6:14–16. Those three verses contain critical information including overall dimensions, but Noah was almost certainly given more detail than this. Other divinely specified constructions in the Bible are meticulously detailed, like the descriptions of Moses’ Tabernacle or the temple in Ezekiel’s vision.

The Bible does not say the Ark was a rectangular box. In fact, Scripture gives no clue about the shape of Noah’s Ark other than the proportions—length, width, and depth. Ships have long been described like this without ever implying a block-shaped hull.

Moses used the obscure term tebah, a word that is only used again for the basket that carried baby Moses (Exodus 2:3). One was a huge wooden ship and the other a tiny wicker basket. Both float, both rescue life, and both are covered. But the similarity ends there. We can be quite sure that the baby basket did not have the same proportions as the Ark, and Egyptian baskets of the time were typically rounded. Perhaps tebah means “lifeboat.”

For many years biblical creationists have simply depicted the Ark as a rectangular box. This shape helped illustrate its size while avoiding the distractions of hull curvature. It also made it easy to compare volume. By using a short cubit and the maximum number of animal “kinds,” creationists, as we’ve seen, have demonstrated how easily the Ark could fit the payload.  At the time, space was the main issue; other factors were secondary.

However, the next phase of research investigated sea-keeping (behavior and comfort at sea), hull strength, and stability. This began with a Korean study performed at the world-class ship research center (KRISO) in 1992.  The team of nine KRISO researchers was led by Dr. Hong, who is now director-general of the research center.

The study confirmed that the Ark could handle waves as high as 98 feet (30 m), and that the proportions of the biblical Ark are near optimal—an interesting admission from Dr. Hong, who believes evolutionary ideas, openly claiming “life came from the sea.”  The study combined analysis, model wave testing, and ship standards, yet the concept was simple: compare the biblical Ark with 12 other vessels of the same volume but modified in length, width, or depth. Three qualities were measured—stability, hull strength, and comfort.

Ship Qualities Measured in the 1992 Korean Study

While Noah’s Ark was an average performer in each quality, it was among the best designs overall. In other words, the proportions show a careful design balance that is easily lost when proportions are modified the wrong way. It is no surprise that modern ships have similar proportions—those proportions work.

Interesting to note is the fact that this study makes nonsense of the claim that Genesis was written only a few centuries before Christ and was based on flood legends such as the Epic of Gilgamesh. The Babylonian ark is a cube shape, something so far from reality that even the shortest hull in the Korean study was not even close. But we would expect mistakes from other flood accounts, like that of Gilgamesh, as the account of Noah would have been distorted as it was passed down through different cultures.

Yet one mystery remained. The Korean study did not hide the fact that some shorter hulls slightly outperformed the biblical Noah’s Ark. Further work by Tim Lovett, one author of this chapter, and two naval architects, Jim King and Dr. Allen Magnuson, focused attention on the issue of broaching— being turned sideways by the waves.

How do we know what the waves were like? If there were no waves at all, stability, comfort, or strength would be unimportant, and the proportions would not matter. A shorter hull would then be a more efficient volume, taking less wood and less work. However, we can take clues from the proportions of the Ark itself. The Korean study had assumed waves came from every direction, giving shorter hulls an advantage. But real ocean waves usually have a dominant direction due to the wind, favoring a short, wide hull even more.

Another type of wave may also have affected the Ark during the Flood—tsunamis. Earthquakes can create tsunamis that devastate coastlines. However, when a tsunami travels in deep water it is imperceptible to a ship. During the Flood, the water would have been very deep—there is enough water in today’s oceans to cover the earth to a depth of about 1.7 miles (2.7 km). The Bible states that the Ark rose “high above the earth” (Genesis 7:17). Launched from high ground by the rising floodwaters, the Ark would have avoided the initial devastation of coastlines and low-lying areas, and remained safe from tsunamis throughout the voyage.

After several months at sea, God sent a wind (Genesis 8:1), which could have produced very large waves since these waves can be produced by a strong, steady wind. Open-water testing confirms that any drifting vessel will naturally turn side-on to the waves (broach). With waves approaching the side of the vessel (beam sea), a long vessel like the Ark would be trapped in an uncomfortable situation; in heavy weather it could become dangerous. This could be overcome, however, by the vessel catching the wind (Genesis 8:1) at the bow and catching the water at the stern—aligning itself like a wind vane. These features appear to have inspired a number of ancient ship designs. Once the Ark points into the waves, the long, ship-like proportions create a more comfortable and controlled voyage. Traveling slowly with the wind, it had no need for speed, but the Bible does say the Ark moved about on the surface of the waters (Genesis 7:18).

Compared to a ship-like bow and stern, blunt ends are not as strong, have edges that are vulnerable to damage during launch and beaching, and give a rougher ride. Since the Bible gives proportions like that of a true ship, it makes sense that it should look and act ship-like. The below design is an attempt to flesh out the biblical outline using real-life experiments and archeological evidence of ancient ships.

While Scripture does not point out a wind-catching feature at the bow, the abbreviated account we are given in Genesis makes no mention of drinking water, the number of animals, or the way they got out of the Ark either.

Nothing in this newly depicted Ark contradicts Scripture; in fact, it shows how accurate Scripture is!

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A Letter To Atheists

The Mystery of Unleavened Bread

The Mystery of Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets)

The Gospel According To Rubik

The Gospel According To Pegs

The Mark of the Beast

This Was Your Life

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