True Equality by Adam Snider

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…..”

The longer I live, the more respect I have for those who declared America a nation and lived to support that declaration. They weren’t perfect men and women, but they were good men and women, and they were so wise.

Nearly 250 years ago, they wrote in our founding document that the people who would feel at home in America would be those to whom it was readily apparent that all men were created, and that man’s Creator was a Kind One. After all, what but a Kind Creator would have endowed man with inalienable Rights, especially Rights such as Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness?

Here’s the concept I’ve been particularly struck by as of late…..

Equality.

It’s a buzzword in our culture.

It’s a club. It’s a hammer. It’s a lever. It’s misused. It’s misunderstood. It’s trampled. It’s worshipped.

But what’s more than all of that, our founding fathers – the ones who have found their names and lives the object of undue ridicule in my generation – saw it as a hill to die on.

Only not for the reason many today would guess.

True equality is a concept that is distinctly and exclusively derived from a Benevolent Creator. Equality can be demanded from no other platform.

We’re all equal? You can’t get that from science. That’s absurd. Nowhere in study of natural or metaphysical realms does the concept of endowed equality exist.

We’re all equal? You can’t get that from reason. There’s no evidence. I’m far more useful than some people, but far less useful than others. I contribute far more than some, but far less than others. And the same is true for each of you.

We’re all equal? You can’t get that from evolution. Survival of the fittest. Mr. Mouse thinks he’s equal to Mr. Cat? Good luck making that case with the food chain. That only works in Tom and Jerry.

We’re all equal? Try explaining that to the women and children throughout history who have been trampled and used by brutal men only because they were physically stronger. And, men are generally physically stronger than women and children. It’s a fact. There’s nothing equal about that.

No, equality only exists in a world where we are all equal because we all bear the image of our Creator. That’s the only way equality can exist.

It isn’t in science, or evolution, or philosophy, or history, or some well-thought-out concept of social governance.

Only creation, by a Kind Creator who chose to make us image-bearers.

Equality was such an important concept to the men and women who founded our nation precisely because they believed that we were created by the God of the Bible, and that He was kind.

I hope and pray we can move towards true equality in this country. There are so many in our past who gave so much in hopes that we would.

Advertisements

Why Are You Here?

 

“Why are you here?!” I asked a couple of my troublemakers Friday.
“Fair question,” I thought to myself.
My expectation was that I would get the “right” answer – “to learn,” but of course the little stinkers gave me the real answer on their minds.
One said, “‘Cause they make me.”
Another said, “To eat and talk to my friends.”
Leave it to a teenager to be a smart alec. I guess I had it coming. Ask a stupid question…
Of course, I know teenagers, so I was ready with an answer when one of the little goobers asked me, “Why are you here?”
“Because you need me, that’s why I’m here,” I answered.
“Why ARE you here?!” I thought to myself.
I mean, I could be standing in a factory putting my one nut on that one important bolt over and over. That’s an important job. Why go through the stress of this job?
Of course, His still, small voice echoed what I said,”Because they need you.”

It’s a fair question to ask yourself, especially if you’re a Christian. Not because you don’t know the answer, but as a reminder. They need us.

That also got me pondering Jesus leaving His throne to walk with us in the flesh. He came simply because I needed Him. He’s here through the Holy Spirit to be here because we need Him. I’m always both perplexed and humbled by that thought.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10 NIV

Enjoy your full life today!

Guest Author: Rebecka Michael

Uncertain Times


Sean MacEntee / Foter / CC BY

We live in dangerous and uncertain times. We are being consistently told that terrorist attacks will soon hit the United States on a more frequent basis. Many years ago Evangelist Billy Graham made this statement, “Get into the Word of God deeply, for we are facing difficult times.” It certainly seems his prediction has come true, but those who study God’s Word knew his prediction was accurate because the Bible teaches the same thing. Second Timothy 3:12 tells us, “all that will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Today, terrorists are calling us infidels and using that for an excuse for murder, but who does the Bible teach are the real infidels? Jesus made it clear that those who know the Father will also know Him. John 18:37 states, “Everyone that is of the truth hears my voice.” John 16:2 says, “. . . the time will come that whosoever kills you will think he is doing God’s service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.” According to the Bible, those who do not know Christ do not know the Father. Therefore, they are the true infidels—unbelievers.

If you watch the news you know that Christians are being attacked all over the world and in a variety of manners. Christian martyrdom is on the rise. One example, consider what is currently happening in Iraq. Christians, by the tens of thousands, are being tortured and killed for refusing to deny their faith. The devil has certainly stepped up his mission of hurting us, but thank God the story doesn’t end there. I love John 16:33 which reads, “Be of Good cheer. I have overcome the world.” In spite of all the devil’s tricks and efforts to destroy believers, we can rest safely in the arms of Christ. As in the story of Job, the devil has to gain God’s permission before he can do anything to a true believer. We are safe in God’s care. So rejoice, God is in charge of the world, and He is still in charge of our lives. Even if they kill us, all they have done is set our spirit free to be with Jesus forever. To God be the glory!  (By Wilma Daffern, author of Hidden in my Heart)

Diggin’ Up The Bible 4 (Tower of Babel)

james_gordon_losangeles / Foter / CC BY-NC

In Genesis 10:8 we read that Nimrod became a heroic warrior before the Lord. The word translated before can also mean against and this seems to fit more accurately with the passage. Verse 11 reads, “He went into Asshur (Assyria) and builded Nineveh,” meaning he invaded Assyria and built up Nineveh. By every worldly standard, Nimrod could be considered a great political and military leader of his day.

The following passage in Genesis 11 does not teach that Nimrod stupidly attempted to build a tower which would reach into outer space as many people suggest. The next time you’re outside stop and look up into the heavens. Do you believe anyone, especially someone with the intellect to become a great political and military leader, would honestly believe that he could build a tower so high it would actually reach into outer space? This teaching is a total misunderstanding of this passage.

Note verse 4: “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth” (NKJV). Some versions include the words may reach in this verse instead of the italicized is. Whichever your version, these words are in italics to show they are supplied by the translators and are not in the original Hebrew text. A better rendering of this passage would be, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is heaven” or “a tower topped with the heavens.” In other words, astronomical and astrological data were to be associated with this tower, and its purpose was to worship the creation rather than the Creator.

This appears to be man’s first organized false religion, and the against in Genesis 10:8 reveals that Nimrod’s purpose was to draw as many souls as possible away from the true and living God. Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible states, “Archaeological evidence suggests that the Tower of Babel was in reality a building given over to astrology, or the heathen worship of the heavens” (Wilmington 35). Nimrod was campaigning with a spirit of defiance to rid the world of the shackles of true religion, or worship of the true and living God. He was a great leader, yet the kingdom he built was a worldly system characterized by idolatry and opposition to the Lord.

Let’s continue with verse 5: “But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built” (NKJV). The words came down are actually sarcasm, indicating that man’s most magnificent efforts were still puny in God’s eyes. So why did God come down? He came down in judgment because man had become so flagrant in his defiance against Him that if immediate action wasn’t taken, the truth of God’s revelation might be forever obliterated. Man’s mistake was to believe that if he ruled God out of his thinking, he would rid himself of Him forever. He didn’t realize that God will never permit any social order to last where He is omitted. So after taking the situation under consideration, God decided to judge the defiance of man by confusing his language, meaning He caused them to speak a variety of languages instead of just one (Genesis 11:7). The result of this judgment was indeed confusion, and the building of the tower of defiance toward God halted.

Is there any historical evidence that might support the existence of this Tower of Babel? Consider the following:

Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible records: “Among the ruins of ancient Babylon is a building 153 feet high with a 400 foot base. It was constructed of dried bricks in seven stages, to correspond with the known planets to which they were dedicated. The lowermost was black, the color of Saturn, the next orange, for Jupiter, the third red, for Mars, and so on. These stages were surmounted by a lofty tower, on the summit of which were the signs of the Zodiac” (35). Upon the base of this building located just outside Baghdad the following words are inscribed, “A former king built, they reckon 42 ages past, but he did not complete its head. Since a remote time, people had abandoned it, without order expressing their words.” Humm . . . Sound familiar?

Life is Short

Thomas Leuthard / Foter / CC BY

“Life is short . . . Have an affair.” What? I thought as I skimmed down my list of new emails. I took a second look at the title of this junk email just to make sure I had read it correctly. “Life is short . . . Have an affair.” How sad, I thought. I figured whoever sent it must have the morals of a barnyard pig and might well have included a virus, so even though I wanted to see how they justified spreading such evil I refrained from opening it for my computer’s sake.

Several days later the advertisement reappeared in my list of emails. “Life is short . . . Have an affair.” Now I was angry. Didn’t the person spreading this depraved nonsense know they were promoting the destruction of marriages and families? God’s Word teaches that from the very beginning of time one man was to be with one woman, and any time man disobeys God’s Word lives are damaged and destroyed.

This person is really brilliant, I sarcastically thought to myself. Life is short so why not destroy it by cheating on your spouse? After all, what are the consequences of having an affair? Let’s see, first, guilt will rule your life. You’ll have trouble looking your spouse in the eyes because you’ve got this dirty little secret of sleeping with someone other than them. Second, if your spouse learns of your extramarital affair your marriage may be over, and even if he or she chooses to forgive you they will never fully trust you again. The green-eyed monster of jealousy doesn’t die easily. Third, if your marriage is over your children will suffer the rest of their lives. They will wonder if it was their fault. Perhaps if they had been better mommy and daddy would still be together. Fourth, there’s always the possibility that you will bring an STD into your marriage, a disease you and your spouse will deal with the rest of your lives. How do you think your spouse will feel knowing the reason they have to suffer through some sexually transmitted disease is because of your unfaithfulness? And this is just a drop in the bucket to the devastation an affair can cause.

Yes, life is short so don’t throw it away by living wickedly. Instead, be all you can be by living your life for Christ.

Diggin’ up the Bible 3 (Abraham)

Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Many Bible critics believe that Abraham, the man recorded by Scripture to be the father of the Jewish and Arab races, as well as the father of three major world religions (Judaism, Muslim, Christianity) never existed. Their reasoning: no ancient stone tablets or writings have ever been unearthed recording his existence, therefore he must have been a figure of mythology. Today, I would like to exam some historical evidence that helps to validate the possibility of Abraham’s existence.

In Genesis 11-21 we read that Abraham’s wife, Sara, is unable to provide him a son from her own womb so she suggests he take her maidservant, Keturah, as a secondary wife, in hopes that Keturah can provide him this male heir. Abraham concedes to Sara’s request and Keturah becomes pregnant, giving birth to a child Abraham names Ishmael. Ten years later, when Sara bares a son, Ishmael loses his position as firstborn to this new child, Isaac. When Abraham transfers the firstborn birthright from Ishmael to Isaac, it means that Isaac will now receive the firstborn’s double portion of inheritance. Upon Isaac’s weaning, when Sara sees Ishmael mocking him, she demands that he and his mother be expelled from camp, saying that Ishmael should receive no inheritance with her son—meaning the single portion allotted the second born. Abraham goes to God concerning the situation and the Lord instructs him to do as Sara has requested. Abraham is heartbroken over the decision, but God promises to provide for Ishmael and to make him into a great nation.

How can this set of details help to validate the historicity of the Scripture? First, we discover within its framework several unique facts that could easily disqualify it from being real history if they were proven to not fit into the historical reality of Abraham’s day. For example, why would any woman ask her husband to take another woman—a younger one at that—as a secondary wife? Next, what gives this wife the right to offer her husband this surrogate child bearer? Also, if this servant-wife does give birth to a male child, why would this child not keep the position of eldest son even if the primary wife later births a son? Finally, notice that Sara throws a fit concerning Ishmael receiving any inheritance, meaning that even though Isaac was to inherit a double portion, Ishmael was to inherit some too. How do these details add strength to the historicity of the Bible?

Between the Code of Hammurabi (a well-preserved Babylonian set of laws followed in the region of Mesopotamia dating back to around 1772 B.C.—Abraham’s era) and the Nuzi Law (over 5,000 family and administrative archives spanning from 1450-1350 BC discovered during an excavation at Nuzi from 1925-1933) we discover that Abraham’s story fits perfectly within the framework of Abraham’s era. For example, between these two archeological finds we learn that if a primary wife was unable to give her husband a male heir it was not only her responsibility, but her obligation, to provide him a servant-wife to serve as surrogate child bearer. Next, if this servant-wife gave birth to a son, the primary wife would then adopt and raise that child as her own. He would be the legal heir to all her husband’s possessions. But, according to the Nuzi Law, if the primary wife later gave birth to a son the husband was given the right to elevate this son to the position of first-born. This meant that he would inherit a double portion upon his father’s death and the servant’s son a single portion. Also, the father could choose to leave his entire inheritance to his primary wife’s son.

Sound familiar? In a moment of weakness, after waiting for so many years for the promised son, Abraham and Sara succumbed to the traditional surrogate means of their day. Thus, Abraham’s story fits perfectly into the ancient laws practiced in the Mesopotamian region of his era.

Diggin’ up the Bible 2 (Hittites)

voyageAnatolia.blogspot.com / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

When studying ancient works of antiquity, the universal rule followed is that any history recorded in ancient documents is always accepted as accurate until proven false. Yet only in the case of the Bible is this rule reversed—all biblical history is considered mythology (by secular historians) until proven accurate. For example, the Old Testament mentions a people descending from Noah’s great-grandson, Heth, known as the Hittites. This great nation is mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible and is recorded to be a great ruling power in the area of Syria and eastern Turkey. Yet for centuries there was no archeological evidence to support the existence of this great Hittite civilization, therefore biblical critics used it as proof of the supposed mythology contained in the Bible. Yet now, due to the study of archeology, we know that this great Hittite civilization did exist and was indeed a superpower in its day—causing the rise and fall of many.

The first archeological evidence confirming the existence of the Hittites was found on tablets at the Assyrian colony of Kultepe (Karum Kanesh). Archeological expeditions to Hattusa in 1906 produced an entire sets of royal archives in cuneiform tablets—over 10,000—producing even more evidence of the existence of this great civilization. In this expedition we learned that the ruins at Bogazkoy were the remains of the capital of the Hittite empire.

Spiritually speaking, I believe one of the Hittites’ greatest contributions to mankind is its assistance in validating the Bible as actual history and not mere mythology. With the indisputable proof of the existence of this great empire, Christians once again see evidence that the Bible, God’s Word to mankind, is exactly as it claims—a history of the world.