The Sanctity of (Every) Human Life

26 01 2013

Sanctity of Human Life logo 2

(This is an adaption of a Sunday School Devotional delivered by Joel Kautt in January 2011)

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (ESV)

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13 – 16 (ESV)

Forty years ago this month, the United States Supreme Court found somewhere hidden between the lines of our Nation’s Constitution the right of a woman to end the life of her unborn baby. It has been estimated that since that time, at the very least 50 million innocent and helpless baby humans have been slaughtered before they ever breathed their first breath or saw the light of day. Just in the year 2007, over 1 million, 200 thousand abortions were performed in the United States. Doing some simple math, we can find that on average, an unborn baby human is murdered in America’s own holocaust approximately every 2 and a half minutes. It is a sad fact that there exists in America today an entire dedicated industry that generates billions of dollars of revenue at the gruesome expense of our nation’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens. The legacy of abortion advocates like Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, is a legacy of death.

The concept of abortion is much older than just the Roe v. Wade court decision. In fact, the practice of abortion has been around for many centuries throughout the world. The Bible actually tells us that during the time of Moses the people of Canaan sacrificed their children in the fires of their false god Molech.1   Sadly, the Israelites turned from worshiping their Creator, and began to practice this pagan and demonic ritual during the latter part of the period of Kings before the Babylonian exile.2 Today, non-Christians, and Christians alike are sacrificing their children on the altar to the gods of convenience and “choice” through the means of abortion. God fulfilled His promised judgment on Israel for their disobedience in murdering their children as an offering to their idols. One has to wonder how long it will be before God judges America for killing her children as an act of worship of selfishness and convenience.

As is often the case with sinful actions, those who favor and promote abortion believe lies. Namely they believe that it is acceptable to solve personal problems through ungodly means. Further, many believe that the living, unborn baby is not human, but rather just a “blob of tissue” at certain stages of its “evolutionary” development and growth, of course the Bible and good science both tell us otherwise. These people also believe that somehow a person has the right to do to an unborn child what would be legally classified as murder if it were done to any person outside the womb.

The Bible tells us that Satan is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Christ came to give His life so that He could give us eternal life.3 Proverbs 8:37 says that all those who hate God love death. As Christians, we should love and protect the lives of the innocent, just as Proverbs 24:11 and 12 implies. We should be reaching out in compassion and love to those who are suffering the emotional and spiritual pain involved in the aftermath of an abortion. We should also be promoting the truth to those around us that God in His love, gave His Son to pay the penalty for our sins, and offer forgiveness and new life even to those who have made the choice to abort their unborn children.

Today, and every day, let us celebrate the sacred gift of life, and pray and work to help protect the sanctity of human life from pre-born to elderly, from conception to natural death. In doing this, we will honor our Creator who made every human being in His marvelous image.
Footnotes:

1 See Leviticus 18:21; 20:2 – 5

2See 1 Kings 11:7, 8 and Jeremiah 32:35

3 See John 10:10

 

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The Tool Box – Winter 2012-2013

26 01 2013

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With the holidays’ business, family sickness and others things, we didn’t get our November-December 2012 issue of The Tool Box sent out, and we apologize. We are finally sending out our latest issue, which is the Winter 2012-2013 issue. Upon reviewing our family and ministry situation, we have decided to publish our newsletter only quarterly, instead of bimonthly, as we had done previously. So, now you will receive a newsletter every three months, and they will be labeled ‘Spring’, or ‘Summer’, etc.

Thank you for understanding and for you continued prayers for our family and ministry!

What you’ll get in this issue:

  • Evidences for a Young Universe, Part 2 – Geological Evidences
  • Questions Answered: What About the Gap Theory?
  • The Sanctity of (Every) Human Life
  • Copying the Creator: Straws, Trees and Water Towers
  • Creation Scientist Biography: Johannes Kepler
  • And more!

If you aren’t already subscribed to The Tool Box, please do so here.  Thank you!





Rethinking Christmas Traditions

25 12 2012

Rethinking Christmas Traditions logo completed

It’s that time of year again: Christmas lights and trees going up all around us, the bustle of holiday shopping and the excitement of the season.   Most of us celebrate this winter holiday — we all love the family time, gift giving and colorful lights.   But, do we know the reason we celebrate Christmas?  “It is to remember and celebrate the birth of Christ,” most Christians would say.  But, have we taken time to learn the history and origins behind the Christmas holiday and traditions?  I hadn’t until very recently.

What’s the history behind the Christmas tree, gift-giving, yuletide, mistletoe, and the Christmas holiday in general?  I hope to start a conversation, prompting people – especially Christians – to look into what they’re celebrating and why.  There are many resources out there on the web and in print one can use to educate themselves.  I urge you to do your own research, and not just trust my information.

The Christmas holiday has roots within the ancient Roman holiday Saturnalia, which was celebrated between December 17 and December 25.   This eight day period was a time for continual partying, gift-giving and lawlessness.  Much is written about the festival of Saturnalia, so I won’t go into it anymore, for lack of space.  But, the popularity of Saturnalia carried on into the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D., and as Christians began to rule over the Roman Empire, many believe its customs influenced the celebrations around Christmas and the New Year.  “Worship of Christianity was legally allowed in the Roman Empire by Constantine the Great, … A.D. 313.  Now the two focal celebrations of both religions occur on December 25th, Mithra’s sun regeneration and the Christian nativity (Sun of Righteousness). According to St. Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, the “Roman Church purposefully placed the keeping of Christmas between two popular folk festivals, Saturnalia and the Kalends of January, in order to give Christians something to celebrate [undisturbed] (sic) about while others were engaged in secular merrymaking.””[1]

The history of the Christmas tree is quite fascinating and varied.  Many countries hung evergreen branches in various places, believing they would keep ghosts, witches, evil-spirits and illness away.  Numerous ancient peoples celebrated winter solstice – which occurred around December 21 in the Northern Hemisphere – including the Egyptians, Romans, Druids and Vikings.  Whether it was the Egyptians with their god, Ra, or the Vikings with Balder, their sun god, they all believed that the winter solstice was the time at which the sun god would begin to grow stronger, after a period of weakness and sickness.  So, they decorated their homes and temples with green boughs, as a reminder that plants would grow again.  The Roman’s feast, called Saturnalia, honored their god Saturn, and the Northern European Druids used evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life.[2]  Germany was where the Christmas tree tradition started, as we know it.  Sixteenth century devout Christians decorated trees and brought them into their homes.  The first recorded display of one in American, though, wasn’t until the 1830s, by German settlers in Pennsylvania.  But, as late as the 1840s, Christmas trees were seen as pagan symbols and were not accepted by most Americans.  By the 20th century, nonetheless, Christmas trees became an American tradition, as it remains to this day.[3]

I apologize for not being able to cover more of the other aspects, but trying to wrap up 2000 years’-worth of history in a single less-than-1000-word article is a monumental task.  Please take the time to do your own research on this subject.   I believe it is a conversation American Christians need to have.

In conclusion, I have just recently begun to think of Resurrection Day as the more important holy-day that we as Christians should celebrate.  If Christ never died and rose again, Jesus’ birth is no more crucial than any other person’s birth.[4]  But, the fact that He was born, was murdered on the Cross and, most vitally, resurrected from the dead, that is what we should celebrate.    Thanksgiving is also a good day to celebrate, though I believe, for Christians, every day should be Thanksgiving Day.  But, to set aside a day in which we conscientiously thank God for all of our blessings and spend time with family is wonderful. This year I’m thankful for the fact that Jesus Christ was born, but most decisively, rose again, conquering death forever, providing a way for me to do so also.

A good perspective on this issue is R.C. Sproul, Jr.’s article which can be found here: http://highlandsministriesonline.org/ask-rc/ask-rc-is-it-a-sin-to-celebrate-christmas/.  And this article, as well: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2012/12/21/christians-celebrating-christmas?utm_source=aigfacebook12212012 christmasfeedback&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebook.

Footnotes:


[2] See this website for the full story behind the Christmas tree: http://www.thehistoryofchristmas.com/trivia/trees.htm

[3] There is much more information on the Christmas tree history, of which I did not have room to cover in this article.

[4] And our faith is futile: see 1 Corinthians 15:17.





Evidences of a Young Universe

12 10 2012

The latest issue of The Tool Box has as it’s feature article, “Evidences of a Young Universe, part 1”.  We’re excited to start a new series, by that title, covering many different evidences pointing to a young universe.  If you haven’t subscribed, you can do so here, and you’ll receive The Tool Box right in your email inbox.  Catch part two of the series in our November-December 2012 issue.

Stay up-to-date with us by liking our Facebook page, following our blog and connecting with us on Twitter.

Some of what you’ll get in this issue:

  • Evidences for a Young Universe: Part 1, Intro
  • Questions Answered: What About Distant Starlight?
  • Resource Spotlight: Distant Starlight
  • Copying the Creator: Sweat, Air Conditioning and the Fall
  • Creation Scientist Biography: Dr. David Menton
  • Free offer: What Does the Bible Say about Astronomy?




The Tool Box, July/August 2012

23 08 2012

The July/August 2012 issue of The Tool Box is now available for download and reading!  Please feel free to share with your friends and church family, and with people you may not know.  Also, if you haven’t already subscribed, you can do so here.  Each issue of The Tool Box will be conveniently sent to your email Inbox.

What’s inside this issue:

  • The Miller-Urey Experiment: Life or Non-Life?
  • Questions Answered: Are the Creation Accounts in Genesis 1 & 2 Contradictory?
  • Resource Spotlight: IndoctriNation
  • Summer Reading & Watching List
  • Signs of Design: Symbioses in the Animal Kingdom
  • Ministry Update More Than Philosophy Conference




The Tool Box – May-June 2012

25 06 2012

The Tool Box, May/June 2012 issue.

 

Well, the month of June is more than half way over, and we are just now sending out the latest issue of The Toolbox. We apologize for the delayed delivery, but sometimes life just gets in the way. Over the past several weeks our family has experienced some significant and life changing events which have led to transitions in employment and residence. Even in these challenging and uncertain circumstances, our Lord has repeatedly shown Himself faithful as our Provider. We are “blown away” by how He showers His grace upon us, and we praise Him for it! The downside to these life changes is that our available time over the summer to devote to ministry work has been greatly reduced by the necessity of making plans and provisions for an impending move. The bright side in all of this is that the Lord continues open doors for us to continue to “Teach. Equip. and Proclaim God’s Word.” We look forward to seeing how the Lord will use us in the future as our lives are conformed to His will through these changes in the road of life. As always, please keep us in your prayers and share our newsletter and website with your friends and family.

May the Lord bless you as you glorify Him this summer!

Some of what you’ll get in this issue:

  • Evidences of a Global Flood (part six – last part)
  • Questions Answered: What About “Gay Marriage?”
  • Who is the Intelligent Designer?
  • Copying the Creator: The Honeycomb Structure
  • Creation Scientist Biography: Robert Boyle




There are no true Atheists!

25 02 2012

Richard Dawkins, Famous Atheist, Not Entirely Sure God Doesn’t Exist

LONDON (RNS) A controversial Oxford University professor billed by many as the world’s “most famous atheist” now says he is not 100 percent sure that God doesn’t exist — but just barely.

In a 100-minute debate with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, Richard Dawkins surprised his online and theater audiences by conceding a personal chink of doubt about his conviction that there is no such thing as a creator.

But, to the amusement of the archbishop and others, the evolutionary biologist swiftly added that he was “6.9 out of seven” certain of his long-standing atheist beliefs.

Replying to moderator Anthony Kenny, a noted English philosopher, Dawkins said, “I think the probability of a supernatural creator existing (is) very, very low.”

Dawkins, author of “The God Delusion” and other best-sellers, is a leader of the “New Atheist” movement that aggressively challenges belief in God and criticizes harm done in the name of religion.

“What I can’t understand is why you can’t see (that life started from nothing and) is such a staggering, elegant, beautiful thing, why would you want to clutter it up with something so messy as a God,” Dawkins told Williams, according to The Daily Telegraph account.

The archbishop, who heads both the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion, replied that he “entirely agreed” with the “beauty” part of Dawkins’ statement — but said “I’m not talking about God as an extra who you can shoehorn onto that.”








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