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Friday, May 27, 2011

In the beginning the Earth was created formless and empty, how do you explain that?
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth!

EagleNebula.JPG

One of those stars (light spots) is the size of our sun so you get the idea of huge! A planetary nebula, NGC 7293, The Helix Nebula Credit: NASA, ESA, and C.R. O'Dell (Vanderbilt University)



 “When the Big Bang occurred, matter, energy space and time were all formed and the universe was infinitely dense and incredibly hot. The often asked question what came before the Big Bang” is outside the realm of science because it can’t be answered by scientific means. In fact science says little about how the universe behaved until some 10-41 second after the Big Bang,”

In Astronomy Magazine – Mysteries of the Universe –Aug 21, 2007;


I like this magazine because it is honest! It says “’What came before the Big Bang?’ is outside the realm of science because it can’t be answered by scientific means!”


Take a look at this...

“Nebula” comes from Latin for “cloud”. One example of this was the "Pillars of Creation" from the Eagle Nebulae as photographed by the Hubble Space telescope. Take a look at it above!

 

 

 YES! Honesty! Who created and why is the realm of religion, not science! I wish some scientists would get that!


The bible talks about God being there before the Big Bang!

Scientists can apparently get to 10-43 of a second in their information currently, but before that, our science just doesn’t help us!

 

 Okay, so let’s take a look at what Genesis 1: 1-2 says:

 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” 

 

The key words are formless, empty and deep! For those of us that like logic, we ask ourselves how something we know is very solid (the Earth) and wet (the oceans) is formless, empty and deep at the same time. How can that be?

 

 

Can you explain it? Most people who don’t believe God used ‘what science explains’ as part of his creation cannot explain this!  It just doesn’t make sense!

 

Now let’s consider how the earth formed according to science!

Let’s investigate something mention earlier and called a Nebula. No, that’s not a big pimple! It’s a huge dust cloud in space! Probably bigger than we can possibly imagine! We actually can see some of these with the sophisticated telescopes of today. Amazing and beautiful, they give us glimpses into our own past (we think).

 

Nebula” comes from Latin for “cloud”. One example of this was the "Pillars of Creation" from the Eagle Nebulae as photographed by the Hubble Space telescope. Take a look at it at the top of this blog!


One of those stars is the size of our sun so you get the idea of huge!

 

These nebula are considered the birth material of planets like our Earth. In the initial stages, they form clouds of dust, gases, and moisture that spin around a central sun that has come together by gravity in the center of the dust cloud, initially hidden from view, but as time goes on becoming visible by blowing away the dust due to its solar radiation.

 

The dust grains clump together due to gravity and finally make up asteroid like planetesimals. The whole cloud tends to start to spin a bit as this happens. These collide randomly and slowly the clump gathers more and more and a planet grows into being. When it gets big enough, the pressure of gravity moulds it into a spherical shape.

 

That original cloud is basically empty. We would call it part of the vacuum of space! Lots of emptiness! It also doesn’t really have edges, or a form. Like a fog bank doesn’t have a form. It is sort of there! Hard to say where the edges are right?

 

Then inside the cloud is water and the components of water. They have detected that in nebula. That’s where the oceans supposedly came from after all! So we could say that if you could move over the formless surface, you would be moving over the deep as well!

 

That’s probably as far as I want to go right now! So, here we have the dust clouds, having all the building blocks of our atmospheres and oceans distributed in huge clouds of dust and gas in space.

 

Please consider this however…If you had to explain this to a child, you couldn’t explain it the way I just have, could you?

 

Think of this! Simple man had a similar problem of being less complex in thinking and more like a child in thought. God also wanted simple ancient man to remember his message and be able to faithfully write about it for future generations. Now my explanation has no hope in that regard! Far too complex! Difficult for even clever us to understand! God was smart, he wrote it down as:

  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. 

 

Isn’t that a simple but clear explanation of this creation event we discussed?

 

It’s short, to the point and memorable as well!

 

Trust God to speak truth with simplicity so that we can all get it (even though it would take men almost 4000years and lots of copying of those words before they could really understand them).

 

Can you think of any other creation story that explains Earths creation as simply and elegantly as this, without making up stories! One that fits our scientific known theories! This bible is magnificent!

Fri, May 27, 2011 | link          Comments

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Should we pay tax? Do authorities really have authority?
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 Taxes, after all, are dues that we pay for the privileges of membership in an organized society.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

  The taxpayer - that's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.  ~Ronald Reagan

  Don’t we all dislike those taxes?

 Most of us squirm and start thinking evasion techniques as soon as the time comes around where we have to fill in our tax forms and give the government some of that hard earned money.

 The question is whether they really have authority to take it or if they have simply given themselves that authority? Why do we allow it?

 For Christians the answer differs than that for non-Christians.

Everyone pays the tax or faces the consequences since the tax system is the way our money is collected, pooled, and used to serve our society.

I guess what makes us most unhappy is that we don’t always agree on HOW it is is used. We all have our own ideas and when this gets into arguments political parties somehow arise to fight for these differences.

 Christians get told the following in Romans 13:6 onwards

 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. We are told the tax people are God’s servants (not just the governments. So, if you are a tax official, they are doing God’s business.

 “God doesn’t understand!” I can hear many saying!

 Really?

 In the days these words were spoken, the tax system was tough and the people hated tax collectors more than most. Definitely more than we do today! 

In those days the tax job was offered by the government of the day to private people. They invented the term tax farming. People bid on the job by indicating what they could gather in tax. They then went out and demanded it under Roman law and anything extra they got they kept for themselves. You can imagine the abuse!

 It is under those conditions that Paul says to the Roman citizens

 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Not only were they to pay, but he encourages respect and honor.

 Why? Why not simply rebel!

 Maybe because he says earlier in that same chapter “1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”

 Authorities are subject to God’s authority and it is from God’s authority theirs arises.

 Paul is under no illusions and while he believes there is corruption, he warns against doing wrong saying
 
“For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. “

 Take the course that is right even if others do wrong and your conscience will be clear!

 Isn’t this true? When we step into doing things that could be understood to be wrongful we immediately bring into our lives the tendrils of fear that start to entwine our souls and hurt our sleep.  God want’s our hearts pure, clean and ready to face all evil in purity and truth. Sometimes we need to pay a bit more tax than we think good, but only as much us our elected government demands. It keeps our conscience clear! That’s what my objective is today, to keep my conscience clear! What is yours?
Thu, May 26, 2011 | link          Comments

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Did early Christians believe the earth was created in 6 x 24 hour days?

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Then I found books that were written much later, as late as 15 years ago. It was very superficial material, but enough to tell me that the genesis of this story was worth exploring.
Charles Guggenheim



We also know the early Jews and Christians didn’t believe the earth was created in seven days. They probably had more reason to believe in physical days than we do, since they had no scientific preconceptions. However, they just didn’t believe it was an actual week!

 

They took it to be huge periods of time and believed they were in the last days described by that biblical text. The sixth day was the day they believed the messiah would come! That’s why they were waiting for a “messiah!” If these early Christians, 2000 years ago, believed they were in the sixth day, then they didn’t believe in creation in six 24 hour days did they?

 

It was the English translation that gave us a level of confidence that that text in Genesis was talking of a 24hour day. So, let us just go to where the first translation into common English occurred.

 

This was started in 1604, and it was finished in 1611 by 47 people working for King Henry of England. (There was an earlier Wycliff bible in English, but this King James version was the most popular and appears to have stayed that way.)

 

You can understand that in those years the translators would have fully believed that God constructed the earth in a day.

 

The word for “day” that was translated from Hebrew, was “yom” which can mean “day” or it can mean “period”.

In the first century when Jesus walked the Earth, both Christians and Jews understood this to be period and not a physical day. They also knew the word meaning was structured to allow this!

However, our King James translators selected the 24hour day option and rejected the “period” meaning of the word as they did their work in the 1600’s. Once selected, this became embedded in our culture and we have never wanted to go back on this again.

Why not? Perhaps we should? It is after all the same word as used in the phrase “Day of the Lord” which is generally agreed to be interpreted nowadays to mean a period of time, and not a 24 hour period.

 

Another aspect that actually ties together science and the bible quite effectively is the first sentence in the first writing of the Bible. It says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”

 

This firstly shows a beginning to time and space that science collaborates.

Secondly, take a look at the words “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep”

Try explaining those words which were written before science existed without resorting to our modern knowledge and you are lost.
 
It was a mystery for thousands of years. Christians believed it, but didn’t understand it. Faith based belief is not all wrong!

 

Today with the help of science we know that the earth, in its early days of creation, was part of a huge dust cloud in space with vast distances between dust particles.

A bit like a dust smog, with water, ice, as well light gases such as hydrogen and helium in it. The best description of this nebula and the swirling dust cloud that became our earth would be “formless and void”.

 

 The scientists now believe the nebula had large amounts of ice it as well. This could be the reference to the waters and surface of the deep. Science helps us understand the Bible (if we take this interpretation approach that is).

 

Let’s get it straight, you don’t need to believe the explanation given previously, only please understand that science and the Bible are quite compatible and it is acceptable for us to believe both and not be crazy, sub-intelligent, or out of our mind.

 

In fact, to reject the Bible on the grounds of science is perhaps more crazy, sub-intelligent, and mindless than to accept it!

 

 We should perhaps move away from classifying others by their acceptance or rejection of science in relation to the Bible.

 

 Those bible texts are written to show us the way to live successfully, and to develop a soft heart. They are not there to cause arguments on scientific principles.

 

God is outside and above these arguments of science!

 

Rather, lets understanding how God can help us live successfully on this earth and afterwards once we die. That’s what the bible is really about!

Wed, May 25, 2011 | link          Comments

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Candid Christianity: Answering those difficult questions!
OverReact.jpg  

You know the type!

You are sitting at Tim Hortons when a person you know slightly comes over and asks if they can join you. You say “yes” and after a little they amazingly start to talk about the bible. Happy for a point to talk about you ask if they think it’s a book of God’s words.

They answer that the bible read by Christians of today differs by many chapters and thousand of paragraphs from the original. Sarcastically they then ask “Which one is the word of god and why does man edit it?”
 

How do you take the conversation on from there? We often get faced with questions like this don’t we?

I welcome them as I like having new things introduced into my worldview.

I want to be extended and challenged and facing new and interesting things.
 Unfortunately I have been told I am a little strange in that way.

Many tell me they find these questions uncomfortable, they don’t know how to answer and they get upset, sometimes even thinking the person is trying to corner them (I guess in that case the person has achieved their aim).
 

As a Christian, my own approach is focused on the persons well being. Instead of getting sweaty palms and madly looking for the fancy and exactly correct answer I trust that my life with God this far is solidly based on truth and his love and that in this circumstance it will be no different.
 
Instead of directly answering the question I consider if I know the person well enough to understand the context within which they are asking the questions.

 When we communicate we are part of every communication aren’t we?

The pitch of our voice, our body language, facial expressions and attitudes are conveying as much as the words are, aren’t they?
 

So to properly answer I need to know the context so that’s where I start. Probably with a question like. . .”wow, I didn’t realize you knew so much about the bible, where did you get to understand all this?” 

The question is not to get facts to take the person down, but rather to understand and connect with them.

 People who ask questions like this very often have a hurt past that has led to a distorted worldview and answering without understanding their pain can be inadequate and unproductive.
 

How many times in the past would it have helped us if when we asked a question, the person we asked had taken time to understand why we were asking it and the particular importance of the question to our lives? 

We need to see others as friends to be exposed to the  most important thing we know in our lives rather than opponents in some gladiatorial fight!

Then we start to answer the question the right way. A way that helps and not hinders.
 

As Bruxy Cavey says, we need to understand that if either of us in a discussion of this type gets angry we both loose!

 Love must be central to our lives at times like these. 

 Also, don’t be sickly sweet with a fake love. Keep it open honest and true. People spot a fake miles away. They also spot a self deluded person easily. Let’s make sure we are neither. 

Let’s also not try to convince them of everything in one conversation. If we answer their question it is enough!

God has other people that can open their path to him as well. Remember it is not us to convince, our job is to simply expose truth and let them decide on what they will do!
 

Lastly, let’s not manipulate! That’s an attribute of witchcraft not true Christianity. Pushing people around is not our job. All we do is help and provide truth where we think it is to be found. 

Okay so what about the answer to the question.

My belief is only the original document as written by the original author in the original environment is the inspired word of God. Our copies are attempts to reveal this original truth in the best ways we know how. So reading different versions just helps us get back closer to the truth.
 

That’s the academic answer! The one I give may end up being along those lines, but I want to get to know the person and their pain first.

Truth is sometimes too bright and stark for a person who has lived in darkness to see clearly at first glance. Sometimes we need to give them time to adapt to the light.  The person who lovingly allows this is the person I consider a true friend and one I would appreciate!


 What about you?
Tue, May 24, 2011 | link          Comments

Monday, May 23, 2011

Natural and man made disasters
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 Over the last few days we have heard a number of negative news items.  Things like “Tornado kills at least 89 in Joplin, Missouri[1], “Alberta wildfire evacuees in limbo[2] and the floods in Manitoba and on the Mississippi, as well as that nut who predicted the end of the world would be May 21st causing many to follow him and loose their living.

 Disasters abound and we watch, hopefully we help if we are close enough and for those of us who are Christians, we pray for those impacted by these disasters.

 Hopefully if we are close enough we step in and help!

 I think that’s the sign of a real Christian, one who when things get tough gets going one way or another to help in what little ways they can. The Japan disaster was terrible, but it made me real happy to know a young couple I know went there to help and allowed many of us to contribute directly to that effort. In the flood swept provinces and states I know Christians will be extending their hands and hearts to others.

 Through these natural disasters, the true power of human love can be shown and experienced. I am proud of all who help! I trust you are too!

 Then we get these man made disasters like this prediction of the end of the world that caused so many followers to get themselves into dire situations. Today they will be wondering how they will survive. 

I trust those nearby and close will help. Man made disasters like those caused by this bible creep are not really different to the tornado or the flood, but for some reason I hear more anger and some of it directed at those who made the mistake of following this lunatic.

 They are survivors of a man made disaster and they need our help and prayers too. We may not think they were too smart or wise, but that does not reduce our part in this. We need to love help and help heal these people. They need to know God is real, but that sometimes people try to be God instead of worship him. 

Let’s pray for these and if we know anyone, let's help them. 

Have a great day!


[1] Reuters

[2] CBC

Mon, May 23, 2011 | link          Comments


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 RiftInEvil.gifThe town of Zinaville is dropped into a spiral of evil causing a young man and a beautiful but abused woman to launch into an investigation that unveils an evil conspiracy.

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