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Living Springs Institute
Where Sound Doctrine Endures
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men. After the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Colossians 2:8
Issue #22 January & February 2006

Following the Biblical Stream:
By Philip Busby

We ended last time by talking about verses 22 and 23 of the third chapter of the book of Genesis. We talked about how God sent the man and the woman out of the garden to till the ground from which they came. They would have to build a life for themselves, literally from the ground up. They were in the wide open spaces of the planet, so to speak, instead of being in the planted garden God had originally given them.

The concept shown here is one of those things which we see throughout the Bible. Man would need to put forth effort to grow, even from the basic state God had created humans. Man, through his sin, set himself back from even that most basic state. As we see man falling deeper and deeper into sin, we find ourselves in even a deeper setback. In some ways this comes down to the idea that my grandmother used to say, "You never appreciate what is given to you." There was a lack of respect for the fact man was given a perfect life with perfect surroundings in which to grow. However, once man lost those circumstances, he would never quit looking for a way to regain them. Man has always looked for the Tree of Life. Sometimes it was a fountain or a river. Sometimes it was a formula for youth and vitality, but the concept is always the same at its core.

Man also looks for the Garden of Eden, in general. There have always been, in the imaginations of men and definitely in the religions he creates, a place of perfect comfort and beauty. A place where everything would always be safe and nothing could harm you. These things are not just in our imaginations! They are the proof that we all descended from these first two people who had these things but lost them. The problem with man's visions of "heaven," or the like, is that it will be a place where he can get away with doing whatever he wants. This is because man wants to have his own way but never suffer the consequences of his actions. This is why we also have in our societies the belief that almost everyone goes on to a better place when they die, and it is considered judgmental to say otherwise!

One of the best stories in the Bible which illustrates the point that we must show our desire for the things of God, is the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments. Moses went up the mountain, and God gave him a set of commandments on stone tablets God had already prepared for Moses. As the children of Israel waited for Moses, they gave up on Moses ever coming back. So the people made themselves a golden calf and said that was the god which had brought them out of Egypt. As Moses was with God in the mountain, God told Moses to get down because God was going to destroy the people for their actions, and begin a new nation, starting with Moses. Moses pleaded for the people, and God spared them. However, when Moses came down off the mountain and saw what the people were doing, Moses was moved with a righteous anger. In this anger, Moses allowed himself to do something he should have never done. The Bible tells us Moses threw the stone tablets and broke them, at the base of the mountain. After Moses dealt with the people, God instructed Moses to hew out two new tablets of stone, and God would once again give Moses the law. The first set God simply gave to Moses, but if Moses was to get a second set, he would need to hew out the tablets of stone with his own hands!

The thing to keep in mind here is the fact that Moses was not able to write the law himself. Moses would still need to take those stone tablets he had hewn and go back up that mountain, so God could write the law once again. Just because man needs to learn the lesson of valuing what God has freely given, doesn't mean man can do it all on his own. It is man's false philosophy and sinful greed which tells us we can somehow earn heaven or find our way back to the garden by taking some quest or accomplishing some level of perfection. In our rejection of the truth, we find ourselves thinking many strange things. Some believe they can find the fountain of youth, or turn off some genetic code in our DNA and live forever. Some believe if they work hard enough or travel to some holy place enough, at the right time of year, they can earn heaven. They believe if they pray the right number of times a day and/or face in the right direction, they can earn it all.

All this is, of course, missing the facts. God and the relationship He desires to have with man is what existence is all about. God has always made sure that for those who desire a relationship with Him there would always be a way. Through Jesus, God insured that even death could not end our relationship with Him. Thus, Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John 14:2-3) This is the entire point. If we cast aside all the pagan thoughts that so easily take hold of our minds, we would find that basically all scripture is an explanation of having a relationship with God, not just the promise that all good people go on to a "better place!"

The truth is, it will always take the hand of God to accomplish the work God intended for us as humans. God can not, without destroying what He created us to be, force us to follow Him; and He will not do that! God needs us to understand, especially once we left a state of innocence, that following Him is a choice we have to make, and to truly be what He intended us to be, is going to take a cooperative effort. It was the point in making humans a free willed being in the first place. There is more to be had as a free willed being which freely chooses to cooperate with God's plan than there is being a creature who is simply created to blindly follow.

As we go directly back to our study in the third chapter of Genesis, we find in verse 24 that God drove Adam and Eve out. This language may seem harsh, but God wanted there to be no mistake in the matter. Adam and Eve did not get to make the choice to leave the garden on their own. God specifically removed them! Further, this verse tells us God placed cherubims to guard the way back to the Tree of Life. In the Bible, cherubims are direct servants of God which seem to be synonymous with the presence of God. They show up most prominently where God's presence is or is about to be. When God instructed the children of Israel to make an ark, God told them to build a mercy seat on the top of that ark. This seat would be the place where God's presence would once again, in a very physical way, come down to earth and be amongst men. Thus, God also instructed Israel to put a cherub on either side of the ark. (Ex. 25:10-22) The cherubims’ wings would be outstretched to cover the mercy seat and their faces would face the mercy seat. Later, when King Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, he would build two very large cherubims to put in the Holy of Holies where the ark of the covenant was to be placed. These two larger cherubims would also have wings which would serve as a canopy, of sorts, over the place where God's presence resided. All through the temple there would be cherubims carved and embroidered in the materials of the interior. (I Kings 6, II Chron. 4) As to exactly what a cherub looks like, we see maybe the most thorough description in Ezekiel chapters 10 and 11. Cherubims are God's sentries in many ways. So, it is very appropriate that here in Genesis chapter 3, cherubims were placed to guard the way to the Tree of Life. This is really to say they were there to guard the things of God, and the place here on this earth where God's spirit resided! All this was done to drive home the point that the garden and the Tree of Life is not some forgotten place. It is not the story of man leaving paradise to go explore the rest of the world and never finding his way back. This verse makes it clear that God specifically removed man and made sure he would not simply be able to return on his own!

Some may ask, if God wants to be with us and the garden was where God's presence resided, why did God not simply make it a challenge to return and those who put forth the effort would get there? The answer is simple, and it exists in the story of Eve taking the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Not all men would desire the garden for the purpose of being with God. Many of the men we have seen in history who have sought the Tree of Life, or its fairy tale equivalent, have not had the best intentions. This is why there are also many stories among men about evil characters racing against a noble hero to obtain some ultimate power. Even in the minds of men, there is an understanding that evil and its intents can not be allowed to have control or even have access to some great source of strength and power. Many evil men have obtained great enough power just in the everyday circumstances of life. This is exemplified in men who use their power and influence not just to do things we consider drastic, like murder, but simple things like tell homeless people they can not even take advantage of the heat coming from society’s sewers. To these men, humans huddled over a sewer vent is nothing more than an "eyesore."

There is nothing mystical about all this. The truth has been sensationalized by story tellers and religions the world over, but the facts are the facts. It was and is imperative that there be a judgement call as to who receives the Crown of Life and who does not. That judgment would have to come from someone who could see the intent of the heart not just the outward appearance and words. That being true, there is only one being who is capable of making that judgment and that is the God who created us! (I Sam. 16:7) Thus God has, through human history, implemented the things which would make us capable of finding the truth, if we are only willing to seek it. Jesus did not come and simply go around proclaiming Himself the Messiah. Jesus came doing good works and showing through His actions and the fulfillment of prophesy that He was the Messiah. In the end, it would be the fact Jesus was so obviously the Messiah, which would bring Jesus to the cross. (John 19:7)

The Bible tells us in Matt. 7:7-8 "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." God created us to live with Him. That will never change. God has made a way for us to be with Him once again just as we were in the beginning, but do we get the point? What we have forgotten is not the way back to the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life. What we have forgotten is God Himself!

Times And Seasons 

This last year has brought some very interesting developments. We've seen yet another year pass and American troops remain in the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq. The insurgency continues and very slow change is being seen. Thus, we see the need for troops to stay for what most should have realized from the very beginning would be an indefinite period of time. To make matters worse, we have seen the Iranian government making ever bigger threats about its position in the world and its determination to become a nuclear state. Iran is not the only country in the world with nuclear aspirations; but they are the ones making perfectly clear they would like to use them to wipe Israel off the map!

This kind of talk going virtually unchecked shows just how deep the hatred for God's people goes among many leaders around the world. Especially, considering another big development of this past year was Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. This was done in the interest of peace in spite of the fact Gaza is a land that rightfully belongs to the Israeli people. Even if you put all Biblical principles aside, the Gaza Strip was obtained by the Israeli government in a way that much land has been obtained by many countries around the world. Even if you do not buy into the statement that all is fair in love and war, the rules held even by the United Nations, especially at the time of Israel obtaining Gaza, said Gaza was legally taken. However, after much political pressure and ridicule, the Israeli government, in good faith and in the interests of peace, withdrew from Gaza. Thus, leaving it in the hands of whoever responds to the "nature abhors a vacuum" law, since there is no real government currently able to turn Gaza over to. Will Gaza thrive and be a great place to live or will it simply become, once again, a base for terrorists who desire to destroy Israel and anyone who disagrees with that plan? To this we can only say, only time will tell!

For some people, the events in the middle east are signs that the world is making progress toward peace; while for others, these events tell of the end of the world. As it comes to those who say they believe in the Word of God, the problem is not that people take a heads up posture by the fact they see what the Bible actually tells them to look at, rather they are shaken by what they have been taught to perceive the Bible as telling them. The Bible does not say, when the middle east catches fire then Christ will return. The Bible tells us that when they cry peace and safety then sudden destruction shall fall upon them. (I Thess 5:3) What does this mean?

To answer that question, we must look at the scriptures which surround I Thessalonians 5:3. If we look at the book of Thessalonians, we see that it is a letter written by Paul the Apostle to the church in Thessalonica, a town in Macedonia. We have, in most of our translations, divided this letter into chapter and verse separations; and as we look at the words that begin our chapter 5, we need to understand that Paul is writing to a group of believers who have questions, but in whom Paul has great confidence. Paul says to them in verse 1 "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you." You see, as much as we think we see turmoil in the middle east today, there were constant political shifts in the time of the early church as well. Many of the shifts seen in those days were actually caused by the massive growth of the early church itself. The people who believed on Jesus were tortured and killed in many places, and the inevitable change the church's growth would bring to the world was something the world feared greatly!

However, as Paul wrote to those of the church in Thessalonica, Paul knew they did not need a grand lecture about these changes and events. Why? Well, Paul tells us in verse 2, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." The people of Thessalonica knew something which is very difficult for us to understand today. They knew that in order to be ready for the return of Christ they needed to watch carefully, because that day would not be one which could be pointed to by the events which surrounded them. The day of Christ's return could not be calculated. That day would not be read in the sky, nor could it be found in the events of man on the earth. Jesus warned that there were many things which would come to pass before He would return; but the message was that we would need to be always mindful of our actions and choices, because the actual day of His return will surprise anyone who is not.

Some would be tempted to say that the next verse does give us the chance to know, but that is because, as I said at the beginning of this article, we do not look at what is actually said in the Bible, we interpret things on the basis of what we have been taught the Bible is telling us! Verse 3 says, "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape." Paul is not being prophetic in this verse. He already told them there was no need to write to them "...of the times and the seasons,..." Paul was not telling them, "Some look for war, famine, and terrible world events, but I want you to look for a time when peace and safety rule the land." In this verse Paul was simply pointing out what man is always looking for!

There is an old saying which I have been familiar with from a very young age, it says "The road to hell is paved with good intentions." It is interesting how many people, claiming to know the Bible, do not realize just how true this statement is. We have a tendency to think of every king, ruler, or leader who goes out to war, or to conquer, as being filled with evil desire. However, that is not always the case. In fact, it is very rarely the case! There are those who are only interested in their own gain. However, even those who might be judged in history as being nothing more than a marauding hoard of thieves, were, many times, only trying to feed their families after being displaced by truly evil people who sought to kill them or their way of life.

If we really look at history, and even the events which are in our newspapers everyday, we see that many men who have went out to conquer peoples and lands, have done so with the intent of bringing something good to those people. Just because we may personally disagree with what they desire to bring and the way in which they bring it, does not mean their intentions are not for good, at least in their minds. Many believe the idea of bringing their religion, or form of government, is a benefit they can give to others. The empires represented in the dream of the Babylonian King, (which Daniel interprets) (Daniel 2) many times, believed they were bringing civility to the lands they conquered. This was definitely the truth when the Catholic church set out to be the definition of their name. Catholic church simply means "universal church." They believed they could create a religion which all the world would benefit from being a part of. Their belief was and is not unique!

The point here is that many empires, nations, kings, rulers, and just plain men have believed they could solve all the world’s problems. They are constantly believing they can bring peace and safety to all the world, or at least the world of their citizens. Throughout the ages we have seen their attempts. Some have had great success, some have utterly failed, but most all have shed a great deal of blood in the trying. Man continues to believe he can create peace and safety for himself. He believes he can force this to happen, and instead brings destruction and death! Even though history continues to show us that this is true time and time again, man continues to believe that if he goes about things in a certain way, if he just could accomplish certain things, he could have it all, but having it "all" is the problem.

If we look at the next words of Paul in I Thess. 5, we read Paul's description of the people in the Thessalonica church as well as the fact they should continue to walk in this way. Beginning in verse 4 Paul writes, "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night." In these words of Paul, as well as other places in the Bible, we are told that the day of the Lord's return will come as a thief in the night. Those who are not watching will be caught unaware. Paul uses the illustration that many are drunk and their drunkenness will cause them to miss out. Paul does not say they will become drunk, he says they are drunk. So, again Paul is not prophesying of a coming time in the future, Paul is describing the state of man's thinking!

The question is, what are they drunk on? Well, here in I Thessalonians, Paul compares being sober with knowing the truth, thus it only stands to reason that being drunk is talking about the opposite. Now we need to realize that the opposite is not just the idea we do not know the truth, but that we are guided by something which is excess. In the book of Revelation there is imagery of a woman who is a whore, and she is riding on a great beast. In her hand is a cup "full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:...". (Rev. 17) This cup is filled with the same thing Paul is talking about being drunk on in I Thessalonians. This cup is nothing more than a cup filled with the lies of the Devil and man. Lies which lead us to believe that man can work out his problems all on his own. That we do not need the truth of God's Word! The lie that we can distort the truth or bend it to fit what we see as our current circumstances. The lie that we can follow the wrong path and still get to the right destination simply because we believe in something, in many ways the simple lie that God doesn't matter!

Why does the Bible use the terminology of being drunk? Well, first, to be drunk is to be overcome by excess. Drunkenness is not the modest state of satisfaction. If someone is thirsty they can drink fluid, and under normal circumstances it shouldn't take a lot to relieve the feeling of being thirsty. In other words, it doesn't take much to accomplish what you need. However, to be drunk is to go beyond need and into excessiveness. This is why Rev. 17:6 tells us the woman is "...drunken with the blood of saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:..." She does not kill just to suit the need, but for the pleasure of destroying those who believe in righteousness, which shows the true desire of the heart! The second reason drunkenness is used as an illustration is, because, simply put, when people are drunk they do the stupidest things! Drunken people do things they would never do in their right minds. They make complete fools of themselves in many cases, and many times they harm, or even kill, other people. Did they intend to kill other people? With a few exceptions the answer is generally no, but that is irrelevant after the damage is done. Most people will tell you they drink "to have a good time!" Oddly enough, most people do not even remember the "good time" they supposedly had. They simply wake up somewhere with a grand headache and the high likelihood of heaving their guts out! They might as well get up in the morning, eat some rotten eggs, and beat their head against the bathroom wall. It would be far less dangerous and cheaper! The bottom line is that getting drunk doesn't make any sence, but people choose to do it over and over again.

The same is true of false teaching. It makes no sense to listen to false teachers, but not only do people do it, they will seek it out! (II Tim. 4:1-4) History tells us it makes no sense to put our confidence in the governments of men. The ideas and ways of man will only end in destruction. (Prov. 14:12) However, we continue to hope that we can have it our way. So we continue to come up with "new" forms of government and waste our resources on things we call "progress." We are so drunk, we can't even see that most of these things only cause us more misery, and we never seem to heed the morning after's warning about how destructive our actions have been.

Because people continue to buy into the false teacher's idea that we can somehow see the coming of the Lord approaching, people continue to believe they can simply get ready for it when it is about to happen. They ignore the true words of God which tell us, "...behold, now is the day of salvation.." (II Cor. 6:1-10) Being sober or following the truth is not just the warning of God so that we will not miss His return, it is the way God wants us to live our lives. God created us to live together in harmony and peace. It has never been God's intent for us to simply hop on the wagon of righteousness at the last minute. If peace is what the world truly wants, then there has to be right ways and wrong ways. These rules have to be the same for everyone. The writers of the United States' founding documents told us that a self evident truth was that all men were created equal. However, even with a representative government by the people and for the people, equality has not been evident in our history. The moral code can not simply be interpretable by each individual. Law makers in America love to say "we can not legislate morality." However, the only system which will bring peace to this earth includes an irrefutable moral code, and the only way to have that code is for there to be someone with the right to set that code. This means there needs to be a higher authority than man, and since man is not just the winner of a race to stand upright among our fellow living creatures, there just so happens to be such an authority!

Through repeated attempts at various governments and systems man has found nothing which works, because he does not want to recognize the God who created him! If man wants to use the excuse that he has never had the opportunity to have this system because he has never had someone able to administer it, the first chapter of the gospel of John tells us they are all lairs! When Jesus came to this earth, man had, for the first time, the opportunity to see a man who not only knew the ways which would bring peace to the world, but He had created them! Thus, Jesus as God had the full authority to enforce them! Further, is the fact that Jesus came just as God had said He would; and He offered Himself to the world, beginning with those who had the greatest ability to see who He really was. Recently, it was suggested that when Jesus asked in Matthew chapter 16, "Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?" that Jesus was unsure Himself as to who He really was. The absurdity of this idea is beyond belief! Jesus knew exactly who He was. What He wanted to point out to His disciples was the fact that in spite of all God had said and all Jesus had done, many men still did not see who Jesus really was. Jesus also wanted them to understand that it was crucial for people to recognize that He was not merely a prophet. So Jesus asks His disciples, "But whom say ye that I am?" When Peter said "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus told them that on people with that understanding, He would build His church!

There came a day when Jesus was to be declared as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus told those who opposed this declaration that if the people were not willing to declare it, the rocks would cry out! So, Jesus was not willing to stop the people who ran to cut down branches and use their clothes to cover the ground where Jesus' humble donkey would trod; (Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19) but as glorious as that day would be, the world would not accept Jesus as their king. In their drunkenness, they would send Jesus to the cross to be crucified. The Jews would say Jesus had no authority to proclaim Himself God. The Gentiles would mock at Jesus’ claim to the throne of the world, and Pilate would try to wash his hands of murder he had authorized.

The book of Philippians lays out the deeper facts for us in chapter 2. “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Man is so set on having his own way in spite of how he harms others, he was willing to kill the very answer to the honest cry for peace and safety. This means there is also a need for someone who has already defeated sin, to enforce the perfect system. Any man who dies is incapable of defeating sin, because we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. However, Jesus, lived a perfect life and did not fall short. Death therefore had no power over Jesus, and His resurrection from the dead was a forgone conclusion at His death. Because of the humility and offering of Himself that Jesus was willing to give, God the Father has established Jesus' rule as irrefutable in heaven and on earth. We now await the return of Christ to take His rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, (Rev. 19:11-16) but we do not know just when that will happen. The Father has put that decision in His own hands and not even the Son knows. (Mark 13:31- 33) What we do know is that the world will continue to be the world and do those things that seem right unto man, but we must serve the true King in our personal lives on an everyday basis. Every year that passes brings us ever closer to the time of Christ return, and when He returns He will judge the quick and the dead! (II Tim. 4:1-2)

If we follow after the things of this world and the religions and governments in which it truly puts its trust, we will be drunk as many are drunk. We will not be ready to join Jesus when that day comes for Him to return to this earth and once again make that triumphant trek from the Mt. of Olives to the throne of David! We must always be careful to heed the words in Gal. 6:9 which says "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Do no be fooled by the teaching of this world. Do not allow the world and its desires to overpower you. The world will hate you if you follow in the footsteps of Christ, for they do not want to be hampered in their selfish acts. If you follow after Christ, the world may even kill you just as it killed Christ, but through Christ Jesus in death there is the victory of eternal life! (I Cor. 15:51-57) Do not fear the world and the fact it can kill the body. (Matt. 10:28) Fear and so follow God's Word, for only in God is there true life eternal!

None of us know whether we will be alive and remain at the Second Coming of Christ. However, if we are true believers in the Word of God, and not the false teachers of this world, we will understand the instructions of Paul in the continuing verses of I Thessalonians 5, when he so long ago said something which is still true today, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do."

The Designing Of Confusion
By Philip Busby

There has been a lot of talk over the past couple of years about the teaching of a subject known best by the title "Intelligent Design." There are many who believe teaching this in US public schools is a good thing, and there are those who believe teaching this is a bad thing. One recent news report, which came from an overseas perspective on the subject, claimed "America has not been so deeply divided over an issue since the time of the American civil war." I will grant you that the feelings over this issue do run deep for some, and the issue has caused numerous occasions of political upheaval. In some places, whole school boards have been elected or not reelected on the basis of this one subject. However, the question here really comes down to the problem we have on so many subjects, are we really arguing the right issue?

For those who have not been following the news or are just plain confused about the subject, Intelligent Design is a concept which some say should be taught, at the very least, alongside the teaching of evolution. There are no really good set parameters to Intelligent Design, which happens to be a large part of the problem. Can we fix this problem? Well, just stop and think about the problems our society has with something simple like the celebration of Christmas. It seems everyone wants to celebrate something but are offended by anyone who celebrates something different from what they celebrate. There is no law which says everyone has to celebrate Christ's birth, but because not everyone does, there seems to be a question of whether there is any right to celebrate the birth of Christ for those who do. You can have a big "holiday parade," but everyone acts like it's just going to kill someone if you even allow a privately paid for float which has anything to do with Christ! In a society this confused over a holiday or time of year, can we really have an intelligent conversation about the origins of the universe?

The answer is probably no, and that is why the specifics of the teaching called Intelligent Design will differ, depending on who you talk to. However, the basics of the idea is to teach our children, "There is a chance that there is some kind of higher power and/or being which could possibly have had something to do with the development and/or the creation of this planet and/or people, in at least a general all inclusive, step on no one's religious toes, all dogs go to heaven kind of way."

I once saw a science fiction TV show where a character portrayed as a being, from a group of beings, whose capabilities far outstretched humans, made a mocking statement which really summed up the human condition. He said "May whatever god you believe in have mercy on your soul." Now, it is in no way my intent to promote the watching of Sci Fi TV, or TV in general for that matter; but I have to say the above statement was far more insightful into the true nature of what's going on here on planet earth than a statement recently made by a well know "evangelist." Shortly after a certain town rejected Intelligent Design in its school’s curriculum, this man stated that if the town ever had a problem, they should not turn to God for help because they had just rejected God in not taking on Intelligent Design!

Oh how quickly humans replace God with the ideas of men! (Rom. 1:23) Intelligent Design may be a mixed bag but let's be perfectly clear on what it is not. Intelligent Design is not the teaching of the Word of God! The Bible tells us God, the only true God, the Living God, created this universe, including every rock, plant and animal. It tells us God created humans by physically forming us from the ground and breathing the breath of life into us. People who reject Intelligent Design may be rejecting the teaching of an idea which gives credence to the statement, "Whatever god you believe in may have created this world," but it is not a direct rejection of the one true God!

As believers in God, it seems we are too easily sucked into the all inclusive religious vortex. The problem is not that a school district is unwilling to teach that some god may have had something to do with the creation of this earth, but the fact they are teaching this universe was all a tremendous accident. That somehow, without the existence of nature, by the power of nature, nature was formed. They teach that the only difference between us and apes, is that we decided to stop using our hands in the process of mobility and start using the full length of our spine to see over the crowd! The theory of evolution being taught to our children as fact is the problem, not the lack of yet another wishy washy undefined teaching which tells us intelligence is our maker!

I have said in my teaching on numerous occasions that faith is not just blind expectancy. That may be the dictionary definition of the word in English, but Biblical faith is a relationship with God! The bottom line is that no human was there to document the beginning of the world. Thus, there can be nothing scientific about saying the world and the life on it "evolved." To be science, it has to not only be observable, it has to be reproducible. No one can demonstrate the "Big Bang," and certainly no one has demonstrated how one entirely different species can become another. What we do see, is nature doing what God said it would do, "after its kind" (Gen. 1:25) If you believe in evolution, then you are accepting it on "faith" as the English dictionary defines the word. However, for the true believer in God, for the one who has Biblically defined "faith," we know that the one true God created us and everything we see. We have a relationship with Him; we talk to Him on a daily basis. God is not some distant unknown being. He is an ever present companion and a help in time of trouble. (Ps. 46:1) He is a God who hears us when we cry and has promised to those who will put their faith in Him, that He will never leave them nor forsake them. (Heb. 13:5)

The numbers quoted during the ongoing debate over Intelligent Design speak for themselves. Most polls show that a vast majority of people believe something higher than an accident is responsible for this world. Even after decades of teaching about cesspools and chimpanzees, a majority just doesn't buy it! This is not primarily because of religion, this is because every human knows there is a God, whether they have come to except that personal relationship God is offering or not! For humans, holding to religion is just a way of rejecting the truth of God. To intentionally believe in another god or gods above the one true God is just a way of screening God off. We need to understand, there is no real difference between the one who believes in a false god and the one who tries to explain away God with a theory like evolution. They are all lost and need the message that there is a true God who wants to have a relationship with them so bad that He sent His only Son to die on a cross for our sins!

This world can run from the truth in a million different ways, and not all those ways are a complete rejection of the existence of God Himself. Jesus said "...broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,..." Matt. 7:13. The book of Revelation shows us a beast which has the form of a lamb but speaks with the voice of a dragon. (Rev. 13:11) The children of Israel made a calf in the wilderness and said "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." (Ex. 32:4). The first of the Ten Commandments tells us to have no other gods before God. The second one tells us not to make unto us any graven image, and the third tells us not to blame God for everything which goes wrong in our lives, by cursing His name. (Ex. 20) There are many many things which can lead us astray as we walk this path of life, and not all of them are defined by the belief that there is no God!

As true believers in the true God, we should not fight to build in our school systems yet another religious concept to confuse our children as to the unwavering facts of God's Word. We need to put our effort into living the truth, and realizing that teaching the truth is in the hands of those who know it. We need to show this world that as they run to and fro there are those who do not just have to accept a god with no credence. There are those who do not have to build a statue of stone, wood or some other material because it is all they have to hold onto. They do not have to debate where they came from, how they got here, or even why they are here! We need to show this world what a true relationship with the God who created the universe can mean!

Jesus said, right up to the time of His return there would be people going about their day by day lives with no thought for the God who created them or the fact He was returning to rule the world. (Matt. 24:37-39) Sadly, this is because so many who claim to know Him don't really know Him any better than those who are simply trusting that whatever god they believe in will be able to have mercy on their soul. We can not leave or try to leave the message of God in the hands of those who do not personally know Him. We can not put our trust or rest our hopes on the teaching of just another theory in our schools. We must truly tell it on the mountains, over the hills and everywhere, that "our God is one God" (Mark 12:32-33, Rom. 3:29-30) whether red, yellow, black, white, or any other skin tone, we may use as a description, we are not only all precious in God's sight, but we are God's creation!

Simply put, I am interested in seeing the school system stop teaching the lie of evolution to our children, but I'm not interested in having them teach what they can not speak intelligently about!

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