An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand
Second Commandment and Conversion
THE ALTAR, Exodus 20:
Sex-ed cartoons "too graphic" for N.Y. Times
Should Christians Work to Keep the World From Becoming Worse and Worse
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
What foods should I avoid
Does God Hear
Boston Marathon Bombing Happened On Same Day As "Controlled Explosion" Drill By Boston Bomb Squad
IS CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO THE ANSWER FOR THE MESS WE ARE IN?
[Someone passed along a book to us, ìGod has a Wonderful Plan for your Lifeî, by Ray Comfort. In it, he shows how genuine conversion is impossible without the preaching of the law, for only by the law is the knowledge of sin, which shows one his need of the atonement provided by Christ. We will send a copy free of charge upon request. Here is a message from the series on the Commandments I have been doing. The series is on Sermon Audio, and the notes are on our web site.]
Exodus 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Looking at the commandments, we see what God expects of his people, if they will meet his requirement to be holy even as he is holy. The commandments define holiness as well as sin. Leviticus 20:7, 1 Peter 1:15, 16.
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (See also, 2 Cor. 5:21, Heb 9:28, 1 Pet 2:24, 3:18.)
Our conscience is clear only because of the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, and purged our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Heb 9:9, 14, 9, 10:2, 22.)
Sadly, many times our clear conscience leads to easy sin and disregard for Godís requirements upon his people.
In the commandments, we see the same thing the people at the Mount sawóthat is, the need of a mediator between a Thrice Holy God and those who have seen themselves as Paul saw himself as chief of sinners. Without seeing the terribleness of sin, there can be no salvation.
Certainly God deals with individuals as unique, but one thing is for sure, the many modern offers of salvation clearly violate the Second Commandment. The Second Commandment clearly forbids such messages as, ìGod loves you, and he has a wonderful plan for your lifeî, ìTurn your life over to Godî, ìPray this prayerî, and more other ìplansî than we can count.
Sin must be made clear to the sinner before he can seek the remedy for sin,
Let me open with the Westminster Larger Catechism.
Question 108: What are the duties required in the second commandment?
Answer: The duties required in the second commandment are, the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God has instituted in his Word; particularly prayer and thanksgiving in the name of Christ; the reading, preaching, and hearing of the Word; the administration and receiving of the sacraments [we will discuss the difference between sacraments and ordinances at another time]; church government and discipline; the ministry and maintenance thereof; religious fasting; swearing by the name of God, and vowing unto him: as also the disapproving, detesting, opposing, all false worship; and, according to each oneís place and calling, removing it, and all monuments of idolatry.
Question 109: What are the sins forbidden in the second commandment?
Answer: The sins forbidden in the second commandment are, all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and anywise approving, any religious worship not instituted by God himself; tolerating a false religion; the making any representation of God, of all or of any of the three persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature: Whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense: Whatsoever; simony; sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God has appointed.
[The Westminister does contain articles with no scriptural support, i.e., tradition.]
Question 110: What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it?
[Why the strong statement attached to the second commandment in order to enforce it?]
Answer: The reasons annexed to the second commandment, the more to enforce it, contained in these words, For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments; are, besides Godís sovereignty over us, and propriety in us, his fervent zeal for his own worship, and his revengeful indignation against all false worship, as being a spiritual whoredom; accounting the breakers of this commandment such as hate him, and threatening to punish them unto divers generations; and esteeming the observers of it such as love him and keep his commandments, and promising mercy to them unto many generations.
There are many religious assemblies that professing great love for the Lord, yet in their words and actions against the law and commandments show a clear hatred toward him.
Proverbs 28:4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. (See also, John 14:15, 15:10.)
Our commitment to His commandments determine whether we love or hate God.
The second commandment is more detailed than the first. It is given in two parts: no image to be made, and no worship of forbidden images. Added to it is a blessing and a curse. Basically, it deals with the proper manner of approaching the Father. It covers the Old Testament Tabernacle, all of its furnishings, the altar, and how each of these things apply to the Gospel Church and in the lives of the Elect.
There is so much to not only in this commandment, but the rest of them that it would take years to develop them, and in that development, every aspect of the Word of God would be covered. So we will consider just one spiritual application of this commandment.
This commandment deals with the lawful approach to God. The obvious meaning is there can be no idols, graven images nor religious relicts used in the worship of God.
Leviticus 19:4 Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God. 20:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. 3 And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people; because he hath given of his seed unto Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name. 4 And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man, when he giveth of his seed unto Molech, and kill him not: 5 Then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all that go a whoring after him, to commit whoredom with Molech, from among their people.
Considering the definition of Moloch or Molech worship, we see that Molech is the number one ìother godî in America today. And the curses in the second commandment are even now upon us.
R.J. Rushdoony shows that Moloch worship is sacrificing our children to the stateís education system. (Institutes vol. I. Pp. 30-40. Ross House.)
R.L. Dabney gives an excellent explanation of how this nation turned to Moloch worship. (Dabney, Discussions, vol IV. Sprinkle Publications. Dabney: chaplain, chief of staff, and biographer to Stonewall Jackson.)
Discussions contains several 1876 letters by Dabney to the Virginia Superintendent of State Schools concerning THE STATE FREE SCHOOL SYSTEM. Dabneyís warning have proved more than true.
Dabney tells us that the North passed off the lie that education would lead to knowledge and morality, yet as education increased, so did stupidity and the Northís prison population. The 1800s education system in the North was politically correct State anti-Christian education without God, as must be presented in the State School System today. (P. 202.)
As a result of Lincolnís war (brought about by his invasion of a foreign nation, Virginia), the Northís education system was forced at bayonet point upon the South, forcing the South to participate in the Northís huge increase in stupidity and prison population.
Thus, the North gained the spoils of warócontrol of the educational system, and thus the future of this nation.
[One of our men remembers the ìGreat Text Book Warsî of the 70s in Southern WV coal country, as the North forced ungodly textbooks on WV. I have the NPR audio file recounting that War, if you are interested.]
The North forced the South to indoctrinate its children with the Northís constitutional heresies, its hatred for Christianity, its lying creed of Radicalism which was the gospel of hate, murder, the utter falsification of history, of fact and the falsification of constitutional law. It is obvious that the Federal Government is only against slavery and murder when it does not serve its purpose. (The ìRule of Lawî only applies when it can be used to silence those who oppose evil in high places. It does not apply to those in high places as they justify their disregard of law. April 19, 2013, marked 20th anniversary of the Governmentís worst attack on American citizens since the 19th century Indian massacres, Waco, Texas. http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/15148-waco-after-20-years-a-warning-against-unrestrained-government)
Dabney points out that as there cannot be in any soul a non-Christian state which is not anit-Christian, it follows that any training which attempts to be non-Christian is therefore anti-Christian. (p. 221.) This means that non-Christian education, such as found in the government education system, is a violation of the total of Scripture.
The public has been indoctrinated by the state education system to believe and live by constitutional heresies, and its gospel of hate, murder and utter falsification of history. Public education has changed the public mood regarding all kinds of Antichrist ideas: fornication, adultery, sodomy, and self protection. And Christians allow that indoctrination of their children in state schools.
The small minority of sodomites has worked hard through the education system to train up a generation of young people in the way they want them to go. This generation now sees nothing wrong with sodomy, and all with Christian parentsí approval!
The result of parentsí indifference to ìpublic educationî is shown in a graph in the April 20, 2013 issue of World magazine. People born in the following years:
* 1928-1945. In 2003 only 17% supported same-sex marriage. By 2013, that had grown to 31%
* 1946-1964. In 2003 only 33% supported same-sex marriage. By 2013, that had grown to 38%
* 1964-1980. In 2003 only 41% supported same-sex marriage. By 2013, that had grown to 49%
* After 1980. In 2003 only 51% supported same-sex marriage. By 2013, that had grown to an astounding 70%
There is a violent war being waged for the hearts and souls of the upcoming generation, and Christians have refused to face the fact that the primary battle ground is in the education system, as well as in the entertainment system. Christian children are being trained in the ways of the world, and to serve other gods.
God's hand is against this nation because of Christians who have sacrificed their children to Moloch, as well as religious leaders who have failed to teach their followers the requirements of the Holy God as revealed in Exodus 20. They are worshiping the gods of their pagan gods of vain imaginations, and think nothing of it. We must raise our voice at every opportunity against the pagan system.
The second commandment deals basically with images that represent a god, especially the true God. God did not appear to the people in a form in order to prevent them from being able to make some kind of image. Deuteronomy 4:15-19.
This law does not forbid engravings, pictures and artwork in general. It forbids using these things as an aid in worship.
Man can only approach God on Godís terms. There can be no other mediation between God and man except that which is ordained by God, the man, Christ Jesus. If man can determine for himself how to approach God, then man can determine for himself the terms of his life and prosperity. But the only lawful approach that will produce life and prosperity is His ordained approach.
God defines idolatry as treason which requires capital punishment. That is, treason against God and his law-order, Deuteronomy 17:2-7.
But men have redefined treason as treason against the state, for it claims to be god. The state will not permit any law order that is against its own law order, as is evident in Muslim states.
Over the past 150 years America has done the same thing with laws and court rulings that void any kind of Christian virtue. Unless God intervenes, the state will define treason as any threat against its unlimited poweróthe modern Army issued a training manual saying that the #1 terrorists group in the US is conservative Christians, though I believe that training manual has been changed. But the time is coming when it will be official policy that conservative Christians who believe and live the Bible are terrorists.
But treason by the state against the Law of the Lord is not the problem as it demands worship of itself as god. The problem lies within the church which commits treason against the Law of the Lord by ignoring Godís law for manís law:
Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. (2 Peter 2:1, 2)
Those who offer good but not Biblically based solutions to lifeís situations are more dangerous than the oppressive, all powerful state. They are more dangerous than even the Muhammadans who have vowed to kill non-Muslims.
From what I understand, a required subject in all Christian Colleges is the popular pastoral psychology class. It establishes the mind of man as god:
Psychology is an academic and applied field involving the study of the human mind, brain, and behavior. Psychology also refers to the application of such knowledge to various spheres of human activity, including problems of individualsí daily lives and the treatment of mental illness.
Psychology studies the mind of man. THEOLOGY is a study of the mind of God as found in his word, and how to apply such knowledge to various spheres of human activity.
Psychology makes man his own god, able to determine for himself what is good and evil. Psychology pretty well sums up the goals of humanism as found in the Humanist Manifesto. Humanism tells us that values are derived from human experience. It tells us that human reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments mankind posses.
Humanism has been identified by the courts as a religion, but no one has the money to challenge the teaching of the Humanistic religion as taught in the education system.
If you will pay close attention to popular ìChristianî speakers, you will no doubt find their reasonable sounding solutions to lifeís situations have far more to do with human behavior than with the word of God.
Those who offer the god of human wisdom and knowledge, are committing TREASON against the Biblical God.
I am not at all advocating killing those who commit treason against the True God. It is sad, however, that Christians do not have the knowledge nor the motivation to at least defend the total of Godís word with applied sound Biblical wisdom.
THE ALTAR, Exodus 20:
* 1-17, the Lord gave the law.
* 18-21, in the law, the people saw the holiness of God, and saw their sinfulness. They then asked Moses to mediate for them with the Holy God. Man must see his sinfulness acording to the Diving law before there can be genuine conversion from sin to Christ.
* 22, 23, the Lord again gives the second commandment, showing it is the key commandment, because he then gives vv. 24, 25:
V. 24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. 25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
The Second Commandment and the altar is the very basis of the Christian faith. The location of the command to build an altar to the Holy God shows us some things:
First, there must be recognition of the holiness of God. That recognition comes from hearing his law. Paul tells us that it is the law that shows the holiness of God and the sinfulness of man. Romans 7:7.
Second, realizing their sinfulness, Israel asked for a man, Moses, as a mediator between them and their redeeming God. Moses prophesied of a man like unto himself who would be their mediator. (Deut 18:15, Acts 3:22, 7:37.)
Third, God then required the altar upon which the innocent victim was to be sacrificed in place of those who realized their sinfulness.
Fourth, the altar could not have any work of man in it. It had to be made of natural stone, with no work of man upon that stone.
God gave very specific details concerning the altar when he give the design of the Tabernacle that was to be built.
The second commandment was the basis of the Tabernacle. Everything in the Tabernacle, and later the Temple, and especially the altar, dogmatically tell us that there is no approach to God the Father for salvation nor in prayer apart from the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Everything points to him and his work for the redemption of his people. It is the innocent Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. John 1:29.
Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The proper view of the second commandment requirement is a serious realization of the Holiness of God, the seriousness of sin, and the need of a Saviour. The altar reveals Godís demand for justice. The altar requires justice according to Godís law against sinners, which Christ fulfilled in his substitutionary death for his people. However, death being fulfilled for us in Christ does not set aside Godís requirements of justice and law upon us. Rather, his grace tells us that his law is valid, and grace provides the necessary power to fulfill the law in our lives. Philippians 2:13.
It is by his free grace that the individual, the family, the church and society will follow the steps laid out in his word for his people.
Under the second commandment, death is required for sin. It is the second commandment that shows us the necessity of the applied death of Christ in the place of the sinner.
Ezekiel 20:13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.
The churchís despite for the law and commandments means despite against the fact that the wages of sin is death, for there is no sin without the law and commandments. Ignoring the second commandment which requires atonement, results in societyís antagonism against restitution and capital punishment. In denying the necessity of restitution, both the church and the state despise the cross of Christ.
Resistance to restitution and to the death penalty gives life to evil. Wicked men now are rewarded to rob, rape, kidnap and murder by being given free room, board, education and medical care for life, at the tune of about $65,000 a year. It means that good men are denied their right to live.
Numbers 35:33 So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. 34 Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the LORD dwell among the children of Israel.
Showing unjust mercy to the law-breaker is a death sentence upon the law-keeper. ìMercyî cannot be shown to both the law-breaker and the law-keeper.
Exodus 20:4-6. The second commandment requires the worship the one true God. That worship can only be accomplished through the way required by the Father, which is the altar of the sacrifice of the innocent victim, Jesus Christ the Righteous.
Those who reject the law and commandments reject Godís means of atonement, for atonement must be according to the law and precepts as established in Exodus 20.
Sex-ed cartoons -- too graphicí for N.Y. Times
Newspaper shies from material Planned Parenthood gives ... to kids
by Dave Tombers
While Americans debate how to best keep school children safe from violence, at least one group is asking why the media wonít help pressure the education system into keeping kids safe from another child predator the group dubs ìSex Incorporatedî ñ also known as Planned Parenthood.
The American Life League, or ALL, issued a statement questioning why major news outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post have declined their recent request to run ads highlighting the methods Planned Parenthood uses to target young kids.
ALL claims the content of the ads came straight out of Planned Parenthood publications ALL says are used to ìhook kids on sex.î
"This week, both the New York Times and Washington Post rejected a full-page advertisement from American Life League as 'too graphic' and 'shocking' for their adult readers," says an ALL report.
Judie Brown, president and co-founder of ALL, agrees that the images are shocking, but says that the images come directly from Planned Parenthood materials funded by American taxpayers and aimed at those taxpayersí own children.
ìParents tax dollars are being used to turn their own children into Planned Parenthoodís future sex customers,î says Brown. ìTheir abortion business is based on exploiting young minds and filling those minds with all manner of sex instruction.
ìIt is a grisly trail, but it leads from sex instruction to contraception to abortion when contraception fails,î she says. ìThat is the Planned Parenthood recipe, and the media likes it.î
ALL tells WND it simply wants the world to know what Planned Parenthood has planned for American school children.
ìTo raise public awareness about Planned Parenthoodís controversial sex education ñ more accurately described as sexual indoctrination,î ALL planned a series of advertisements revealing what and how children are really taught in [Planned Parenthoodís] so-called ëcomprehensive sex education,íî ALL says. ìThese are programs that are already in many schools and will reach all public schools as currently mandated in Obamacare.î...
Go ahead, sacrifice your children to Molech, and then complain why they are so committed to the evils of the world. Parents are sacrificing their children on the altar of their on personal desires. ìWho cares what happens to my children, as long as I can pursue my dream.î
Should Christians Work to Keep the World From Becoming Worse and Worse
by Thomas Williamson
I recently ran across this interesting comment from the -Woodchuckís Denî blog by Charles Wood of Mishawaka, Indiana:
"SOME BASIC CONTRADICTIONS: I continually see a contradiction in the viewpoint and actions of many who are deeply committed to the nearness of the return of Christ. They believe in the 'signs of His coming' (which, it should be evident, I do not) and have a list of current trends and events that they are sure presage that event. They then turn around and decry all these "sign' events and urge action - particularly in the political realm - to fix all these 'wrongs.'
"I'm confused. If we see moral decline, persecution, etc., as signs of His coming, should we then be decrying them and seeking to have them reversed through any means, including political action? Maybe I donít think straight in this regard, but I see a basic contradiction in all of this that makes me question whether or not the 'longing for His return' and seeking to take action against the very things that might presage it is logically consistent."
Among modern fundamentalists, there are many such basic contradictions between our prophecy beliefs and our reactions to modern trends and political issues.
It is popular to cite various categories of moral decline as an evidence that the Rapture is coming soon - the impression is given that "The worse it gets, the better it gets," because the moral decline means Christ is coming soon. Yet at the same time we are asked to mobilize for political action and to send money to Moral Majority-type crusades in order to fight the moral decline that supposedly is necessary to usher in Christís return.
The latest fad in prophetic speculation is to say that the Antichrist will be a Muslim, and that the Muslims are destined to take over America and the world. Supposedly the Bible predicts these things, and yet we are still urged to lobby our government to send American troops to the Middle East to fight against an Islamic takeover that is seen as inevitable anyway, no matter what we do. If it is really Godís will for the Muslims to take over the planet, why should we bankrupt our nation and send thousands of troops to their death to fight something that cannot be stopped?
Many fundamentalists believe that the Bible teaches that the world must get worse and worse until we approach the Rapture. They say that "Nothing is going to get any better until Christ returns" and that it is heresy to believe that the world can be made a better place, or to work to make the world better.
Yet, many who believe this way are also known for zealously promoting such entities as the Republican Party, Tea Party, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and such causes as pre-emptive wars in the Middle East, torture, Zionism, etc. And they criticize other Christians who do not share their zeal for these earthly political causes.
What is the point of promoting and agitating for these causes, if it is a sin to believe that the world can be made a better place and to work to that end? Some of us as Christians give the impression that we do not believe that the world can possibly be made better by promoting these popular Christian Right causes. This raises the question: If these causes are pointless and cannot possibly be expected to accomplish any good in this world, then why should we waste our time promoting them and browbeating other Christians for their lack of zeal for such wasted efforts?
Many observers find it confusing that fundamentalists insist that the world must get worse and worse, but at the same time insist that their followers lobby for political causes that are supposedly intended to keep the world from getting worse and worse.
To add to the confusion, those who hold to this pessimistic theology loudly condemn any Christians who are working for any social or cultural improvements that are not part of the typical Christian Right agenda. Our political agenda is okay, but anyone pursuing a political agenda that differs from ours must be condemned, because it is a sin to try to make the world a better place.
A favorite target of the doctrinaire pessimists is Rick Warren. An article from OneNewsNow dated July 29, 2008 states that "Christian broadcaster and author Tom McMahon says evangelical pastor Rick Warrenís belief that the church must take the lead in solving the worldís problems of poverty, disease, and war cannot be reconciled with the scriptures. . . . I believe that Rick has a low view of prophecy," McMahon contends. 'Well, I think he needs to heed the words of Jesus: "When the Son of Man cometh shall he find faith upon the earth?" Well, "people of faith," yes, but certainly not the faith that Jude exhorts true believers to contend for.' "
McMahon sees Rick Warren as deluded because he wants to prevent poverty, disease and war. I am not a supporter of Rick Warren, who is way too ecumenical for my taste, and do not endorse his P.E.A.C.E. plan. But it seems preposterous to criticize someone for no other offense than to want to make the world a better place. I have expressed concerns about Rick Warrenís teachings and practices in past issues of this paper, but if the worst dirt I can dig up on Rick Warren, or anyone else, is that he wants to make the world a better place, then I am going to leave the man alone.
Dennis Costella, writing in the January-February 2005 issue of Foundation, joins in the criticism of Rick Warren for the offense of trying to make this world a better place: ìIt seems terribly out of place and out of character for God to have supposedly given this text [Psalm 72] to Rick Warren as a guiding principle for his future ministry. Peace, justice and the alleviation of social ills will indeed come to pass when the King of kings personally returns to reign as prophesied throughout Scripture, but such is not the mandate for ministry in the present Church Age.
"... The Biblical texts all too often used as a basis for this noble plan are taken from sources that prophesy of that glorious reign of Christ the King when He will indeed inaugurate a righteous rule."
Poor Rick - he wants to use his influence and resources to improve living conditions for the people of the world, but he was born into the wrong dispensation for such silly Social Gospel nonsense. Meanwhile, do not many of Rickís critics have their own version of the Social Gospel, one that involves bombing and military occupation of Third World nations in order to make the world a better place?
If Rick Warrenís version of social improvement is a sin because it is "Not For Today," then does that not also condemn our vision of militaristic nation-building in the Middle East? Instead of sending troops to the Third World to knock heads together and force everybody over there to fly right, should we not sit back and wait for Christ to return and set things right? That is what we are telling Rick to do - shouldnít we practice what we preach?
A SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY O F INSTITUTIONALIZED PESSIMISM. Many fundamentalists insist, as a matter of religious conviction, that nothing good can be accomplished in this age, and that it is heresy to believe that anything can be done before Christ returns, or to be affiliated with movements that believe that anything can be accomplished. One famous codification of this theology of do-nothing helplessness, ìYou donít polish brass on a sinking ship,î has been attributed to dispensationalist radio preacher J. Vernon McGee, although some believe that saying was originated before his time.
Willard Ramsey, commenting on this aphorism, says, "The majority of believers today hold that the forces of darkness will win out in church-age history. Evil, they believe, will continue to have the greater influence as history develops and will in fact get worse with no major reversals until Jesus comes. That is a pretty bleak picture....
"The unfortunate metaphor that the late J. Vernon McGee was wont to use, 'You don't polish brass on a sinking ship,' represented the church today as a sinking ship and assumed it could never overcome, even by the power of God, the forces of darkness in this age. That self-defeating doctrine is still intrinsic to the belief system of most Christians.
"The church is believed to be a mere parenthetical intercalation in Godís plan that has just about ëdone its do." Consequently, unresolved issues are often regarded, sometimes even applauded, as signs of the inevitable triumph of wickedness and the `soon-coming' rapture."
If all our efforts at material, moral and spiritual improvement in this age are doomed to failure, what basis do we have for trying to fight this trend that is definitely not our friend? Advocates of the pessimistic theology sometimes speak on both sides of their mouths on this issue.
For instance, Albert James Dager, writing in Media Spotlight in 1986, says, "God's Word is clear that before Jesus returns tremendous evil will encompass the governments of the world" but he goes on to say, "Nor does it mean that we shouldn't continue to wage spiritual warfare and take authority wherever Cod grants it to us." It is unclear why we should wage spiritual warfare against a descent into evil, when Dager says that it is Godís plan for the age that things must get worse and worse. Why waste time and energy fighting something that supposedly is inevitable and is God's will?
It is hard to rally the troops for any kind of effective battle against the evil trends of our day, when we have been taught a defeatist message that says that there is nothing that can be done.
H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice, in their book "Dominion Theology - Blessing or Curse?" (1988), say on page 183, "Common grace is on the decline, especially Godís restraint of evil. This accounts for the rising apostasy and the decline of Christianity. . . . It's going to get bad before it gets worse."
On page 340 they go on to say, "God has not given the church a proper dose of grace to Christianize the world. It is not that Godís grace is not powerful enough; rather he has not directed his grace to that end during this age."
Salem Kirban, in "Countdown to Rapture," (1977), p. 11, said, "We have reached the point of no return. We are on an irreversible course for world disaster."
Theologian Herman Hanko said, "Forgotten is the fact that sin and the curse made it forever impossible for the cultural mandate to be fulfilled in this present world. . . . The world [is] filled with sin and getting worse, a hopeless situation beyond repair and impossible to salvage."
Hal Lindsey has said, "God sent us to be fishers of men, not to clean up the fishbowlî and ìWe should live like people who donít expect to be around much longer."
John Walvoord, president of Dallas Theological Seminary, said, "Christians have no immediate solutions to the problems of our day . . . [the only] solution is that Jesus Christ Himself is coming back to bring peace and rest to the world."
R.A. Torrey, former president of dispensationalist Moody Bible Institute, said, "The darker the world gets the lighter my heart gets! Because that means we are that much closer to the Second Coming!"
Dave Hunt, in "Beyond Seduction" (1987), p. 255, says, "Making temporary solutions to social problems the overriding concern of Christians blunts the gospel and obscures Godís eternal solution. The focus is turned from heaven to this earth, from a new universe that only God can create to a new world that we hope to fashion by our own efforts. It is just one more form of the selfism that plagues society and the church, another way of becoming little gods, of turning from Him to ourselves by assuming responsibility to do what only He can do."
Hunt, dismissing those who seek to influence our society for Christ, says, "In fact, dominion - taking dominion and setting up the kingdom of Christ - is an impossibility, even for God. . . . Christ Himself canít do what these people say they are going to do."
If these pessimistic teachings are true, they would appear to invalidate much of the social and political agenda of the Christian Right. If the world is doomed to get worse and worse, and there is nothing we can or should do about it, then why should we bankrupt our nation and send thousands of young men to the deaths in endless, Vietnam-style ìnation-buildingî wars in the Middle East? If the world is meant to go to Hades in a handbasket, then the whole notion of ìnation-buildingî becomes heretical and absurd.
C.I. LScofield, whose teaching is regarded as authoritative by many fundamentalists, taught that "Each of the dispensations may be regarded as a new test of the natural man, and each ends in judgment, marking his utter failure in every dispensation... . The predicted results of this testing of man under grace is judgment upon an unbelieving world and an apostate church." If everything is meant to get worse and worse, this implies that the whole concept of "Nation Building" is contrary to "Godís Plan For the Ages" as revealed in the Darby-Schofield theology.
Meanwhile, why bother to fight abortion, pornography, homosexuality, gay marriage, salacious television programming, or department stores that do not wish their patrons a Merry Christmas, if there is no hope of victory and if these things are actually signs that hasten Christís Second Coming?
CONFUSING THEOLOGY. In common with the "Woodchuck" blogger I quoted at the beginning of this article, I too am confused. As fundamentalists we are supposed to believe that Christianity is doomed to defeat in this age, and that we cannot make any lasting or meaningful improvements in our society, and should not even try to do so.
Yet at the same time we are exhorted to support various crusades for moral improvement, various political causes and personalities, and various militaristic solutions to the problems of the Middle East and the entire world.
I would like to suggest some possible solutions to lead us out of this thicket of contradictory theological presumptions.
First, I believe it is inadequate to say that the only hope of any improvement in the world situation is the return of Christ. We firmly believe that Christ will literally and visibly return to earth, but we have no way of knowing when that will take place. He may not return for many centuries. If we proclaim that Christianity has no answers or solutions to the problems of the world in the meantime, then people will turn to other religions and ideologies that do claim to have answers.
Second, I do not believe it is wise, even for those of us who believe in the power of Christianity to transform society, to browbeat Christians into any specific forms of activism, whether it be foreign military adventures, partisan political activities, or such tactics as blockades of abortion clinics.
We should encourage Christians to be politically aware and active, but we cannot dictate the forms that such activism should take. The New Testament is silent as to the type of protest that Christians were to take against such evils as abortion, homosexuality and pornography, all of which were very much present in the Roman Empire (not to mention slavery, gladiator fights, etc.)
Third, I do not believe that the Bible teaches anywhere that the world is fated to get worse and worse. There are two proof-texts that are endlessly cited to prove this point, Luke 18:8b, "When the son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" and 2 Timothy 3:13, "Evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse."
Neither of these verses contains any teaching about the course of things in the early 21st Century AD. The Luke passage is simply an expression of hope by Christ that He will find such prevailing faith as that expressed by the praying widow. It is not clearly stated that His ìcomingî refers to Christís Second Coming, or to His coming in judgment against Jerusalem in 70 AD, or some other coming that took place during His earthly ministry. There is simply absolutely nothing here that says that the world is going to get worse and worse in the last days.
The passage in 2 Timothy 3 consists of Paulís observations about the problems that Timothy will experience in the ministry as he deals with various kinds of sinners in the First Century AD. Those who quote this passage to prove that the world must get worse and worse always ignore 2 Timothy 3:9, where Paul says, "But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men." Clearly Paul is not preaching a message of hopeless pessimism for the 21st Century - he is predicting the failure of the deceptive activities of men who were living in Timothyís day and age. I do not see anything in the Bible that predicts that the world will get worse and worse in our time. Nor do I see anything that predicts that the world will get better and better. I see no reason to take a stand on such an issue where the Bible is silent. However, I do believe that there is a definite potential and possibility for things to get better and better, through the power of the Gospel to change the lives of individuals who will then go forward to transform and improve their society. I see no reason to deny that this can happen in our time.
My advice for those who insist that the world is meant to get worse and worse is this:
1. Make your case. Show us where the Bible teaches this, and do not bother quoting just those passages in Luke and 2 Timothy that have no bearing whatsoever on the subject.
2. Explain to us why we should support your favorite Christian Right causes and devote ourselves to your approved version of political lobbying, campaigning, and foreign military adventures, when your theological convictions forbid us to believe that anything of value can be accomplished by such activities. If the world is doomed, no matter what we do, then why waste time promoting these pointless crusades?
3. Be consistent. If Rick Warrenís Social Gospel of fighting disease and poverty is not for today, this also invalidates the ìChristian Rightî Social Gospel of ìhumanitarian bombing,î torture and mass slaughter of Third World peoples in order to promote truth, justice and the American Way.
By Jeffrey M. Smith. Mr. Smith directed and produced the new documentary film, Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives, on the health dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and wrote the bestselling book of the same title. He meticulously documents how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials, endanger public health, and imperil the environment.
In Genetic Roulette, Smithís third documentary film, prominent physicians, scientists, researchers, and investigators point to GMOs as a major culprit in the rise of chronic diseases in the US. You can rent or view it at www.geneticroulettemovie.com.
Smithís first book Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods Youíre Eating combines storytelling with investigative reporting. His second book, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, is the authoritative work on 65 GMO health dangers, including toxic and allergic reactions, infertility, and damage to virtually every internal organ in lab animals. Mr. Smith has lectured in 30 countries and has been quoted by world leaders and hundreds of media outlets.
Mr. Smith has united leaders to support The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America, a revolutionary industry and consumer movement to remove GMOs from the US food supply. He is the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, producer of the films Hidden Dangers in Kidsí Meals and Your Milk on DrugsóJust Say No!, writes an internationally syndicated column, Spilling the Beans. He lives with his wife in Iowa, surrounded by genetically modified soybeans and corn.
The Institute for Responsible Technologyís Campaign for Healthier Eating in America, http://bit.ly/106zZyy, mobilizes citizens, organizations, businesses, and the media, to achieve the tipping point of consumer rejection of genetically modified foods. The Institute publishes the popular Non-GMO Shopping Guide http://www.nonGMOShoppingGuide.com to educate people about how to make healthier non-GMO choices.
Ironically, as I was working on this interview the ìMonsanto Protection Actî slipped quietly through congress, hidden inside a budget bill. It gives the USDA power to allow the planting, harvest, and sale of genetically engineered crops even if a court finds it harmful to human health or the environment. See http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-congress-silently-slips-830/
Mr. Smith kindly made time for this interview on 27 March 2013. -- F. Sanders
Moneychanger What is genetic engineering or genetic modification?
Smith Typically it is the transfer of genes from one species into the DNA of another species. I refer to genetic engineering, genetic modification, and genetically modified organisms interchangeably.
The process is rather crude. Say you want to create a corn plant that produces its own toxic insecticide. You take a gene from a bacterium that produces the insecticide, make millions of copies, put them into a gene gun, and shoot the gun into a plate of millions of cells hoping that some of the genes make it into the DNA of some of those corn plant cells. Then you clone the cells into a plant and now every single cell of that corn plant has a little gene sized spray bottle that kills insects by breaking open their stomachs. That is a genetically engineered crop planted on millions of acres in the US called bT corn [for bacillus Thuringensis] and itís one of the two major traits of genetically modified crops.
Moneychanger The other major trait is?
Smith "Roundup Ready" or more generally, herbicide tolerant.
Monsanto's Roundup herbicide normally kills bacteria, but some Monsanto scientists found bacteria growing in a chemical waste dump near their factory that survived Roundup. They figured, "Great, let's put it in the food supply." From the bacterium they took the gene that enabled it to survive Roundup and put it into soybeans to create "Roundup Ready Soy Beans."
Now they have Roundup Ready soy, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets and alfalfa, all engineered to withstand normally deadly doses of a toxic herbicide. In this case the plants drink up the herbicide and store a portion of it in the food that we eat. Our consumption of this deadly or toxic herbicide rises dramatically creating one of the problems of genetic engineering. In fact, the major trait right now for GMOs is herbicide tolerance -- basically a way to help farmers weed but with no consumer benefits, just risks.
Moneychanger The generic name for Roundup is glyphosate?
Smith Yes. Glyphosate is supposedly the only active ingredient in Roundup although one of the so-called inert ingredients in Roundup is more toxic than the glyphosate.
Moneychanger It works to deny the plant essential nutrients?
Smith Exactly. A lot of herbicides work because theyíre chelators, binding with certain molecules ñ they hug them and wonít let go. Glyphosate is an unusual molecule in that it can bind with a wide range of nutrients or trace minerals. Binding with them makes them unavailable to the plant, disabling it from conducting certain basic functions. Glyphosate makes plants weak and sick, unable to defend themselves against diseases .
At the same time glyphosate promotes soil-borne pathogens or plant diseases so that they overrun the plant. If you just sprayed a plant in sterile soil with glyphosate it wouldnít kill the plant. It would just stunt it. But the same plant in fertile soil with pathogens would die because the pathogens prey on this weak and sick plant. Thatís how glyphosate, the worldís more popular herbicide, works. It makes weak and sick plants. This has serious ramifications for the entire food chain and for agriculture in the United States.
Moneychanger Is glyphosate in the stuff they use in the spring to spray the fields to kill everything before they plant? They spray one day and the next day everythingís dead?
Smith Itís called a burn down and is typically used at the beginning or end of the season
A scientist whoís an expert in glyphosate and Roundup was visiting a seed company and he noticed soybeans planted right near the headquarters building. Half of the field was infested with a disease called Sudden Death Syndrome, an extremely costly disease that turns the soybean plants yellow and kills them. The other half was fine and green. He asked the business, ìDo you notice what happened there?î The fellow hadnít even noticed it.
The scientist asked, "Did you apply any glyphosate on this side?"
He said, "Oh you know, youíre right. On this side I used glyphosate as a burn down last year and that side I didn't."
Glyphosate or Roundup promotes the prevalence of Sudden Death Syndrome disease for soybeans and more than 40 other plant diseases, so that the next season plants suffer more as a result.
When the farmersí spray trucks turn at the rowís end, that spot that gets a double dose, and there you can see a higher concentration of disease from aerial photographs. So itís pretty clear that when you spray with the glyphosate you end up with a much higher rate of diseases.
About 40 plant diseases in the United States are rising to unprecedented levels because of Roundup overuse. Hundreds of pounds of Roundup have been used and itís promoting diseases all across America. Roundup persists in the soil for months or years, even decades in some cases, and can then make future plantings of any crop less successful. Weíve seen that with onions and potatoes and wheat and cotton, etc.
Moneychanger But farmers have told me, ìOh that glyphosate is gone in 24 hours or 48 hours.î Does it persist much longer?
Smith They say that because the company that sells Roundup, Monsanto, lied. A New York court convicted them of false advertising for claiming that their glyphosate or Roundup was biodegradable. That didnít stop them from continuing to advertise in Europe and then a French court convicted them. Went right to the French Supreme Court and they were convicted and fined. In the court proceedings it was clear that even Monsantoís own research showed only two percent degradation in 28 days.
Smith It depends soil makeup, pH, clay, whether there are agricultural remnants in the soil and especially the presence of a specialized enzyme to break down glyphosate. Under certain conditions itís extremely stable and the longest reported half life (the time it takes to degrade into half of its original volume) in a public study was 22 years. So glyphosate lasts.
Moneychanger Nor does it kill all the weeds. Drive by one of those fields hit by glyphosate the year before and whatís coming up is almost exclusively foxtail. In Georgia spiny amaranth or pigweed has become glyphosate resistant, too.
Smith Thatís a super weed. It can grow ten feet tall with stems the size of baseball bats and 400,000 seeds. Thatís caused the cotton industry to abandon thousands of acres. Now instead of using a simple Roundup spray over cotton fields theyíre weeding with hoes and machetes. Herbicides work just like antibiotics: overuse them, and you end up resistant diseases outfoxing the antibiotics. Eventually the weeds outsmart Monsanto. Up to 20 million acres now sport serious Roundup Ready weeds resistant to glyphosate.
The industryís answer? Create more herbicide tolerant crops that are resistant to the highly toxic 2, 4-D, a component of Agent Orange, or the very toxic dicamba [brand names Banvel, Oracle, and Vanquish ñ FS], or some combination of them all. Thatís a very serious issue because the herbicide tolerant crops have already resulted in overuse of herbicides.
In the first 16 years of GMOs these crops resulted in an increase of 527,000,000 pounds of herbicide. If we end up with Agent Orange crops then weíll end up with very high environmental concentrations of 2, 4-D which can be laced with dioxin, one of the most deadly chemicals, and weíll have to deal with cancer and birth defects, etc. Itís a toxic soup. Already so much glyphosate is sprayed that itís in 60% to 100% of air, rain, and water samples in the Midwest where itís primarily used .
Moneychanger Nature has a cure for spiny amaranth: sheep. They love it. Turn them in on it when itís young theyíll strip all the leaves off, essentially killing it.
Back to what you said about a gene gun. Would you describe that as a shotgun or a rifle?
Smith It's a shotgun, shooting millions of gold- or tungsten-coated particles into a plate of millions of cells. Some of them will hurt the DNA and smash through it. Others will end up depositing their DNAs ñ called a genetic cassette -- in the vicinity of the cellsí DNA and then the cell will think that itís wounded and by its wound repair mechanism incorporate the DNA right into itself. Then youíll have a transformed or a genetically engineered cell with a gene from species of a kingdom thatís never before been in that plant. The process can cause mutations on either side of the insertion.
When you clone that plant you can end up with hundreds or thousands of additional mutations. As a result of the insertion or the cloning or both, many, many of the naturally functioning genes may change their levels of expression. So you end up with, for example, as much as a seven-fold increase of a known allergen in Monsantoís GM soy or a completely new allergen in Monsantoís bT corn. All thatís the background noise or unpredicted side effects of genetic engineering, entirely unpredictable and largely untested before GMOs are put on the market.
When the plant produces proteins in different amounts they interact and produce whole new levels or types of phytochemicals. We are at the infant stages of even knowing what those do. Youíve heard that broccoli and blueberries might be good for health and to fight cancer? Weíre at the very early stages of understanding how foods are structured in natureís medicine cabinet and yet weíre using a technology that completely disrupts that functioning in ways we donít know how to test or evaluate.
Moneychanger Hold on! I thought the U.S. government and agencies like the USDA and FDA are supposed to safeguard the food supply. Did they not test these GMOs for safety before they approved them for sale?
Smith No. The FDA. has abdicated its responsibility and hereís how. Everyone these days is aware of how some government regulatory bodies are ìcapturedî by the very companies theyíre supposed to regulate. Thatís happened at the FDA and to a large degree at the USDA as well. FDA scientists who were invited to speak on GMOs and submit their opinions towards a policy were uniformly concerned. Their consensus was that GMOs were different and presented a unique risk of allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems. They repeatedly warned their superiors that these are dangerous and should be tested carefully.
Moneychanger These are scientists within the F.D.A.?
Smith Yes. Read the memos. We have 24 memos posted on our website at ResponsibleTechnology.org under the Fraud tab. Weíre aware of these memos only after a lawsuit made them public in 1999. Until then all we had in hand was the FDA policy from 1992, which claimed just the opposite of the reality. In reality they were very clearly aware that GMOs were different, according to the FDA compliance officer Linda Call. FDA technical expertsí opinion was that the process is different and leads to different risks. However, according to the policy the agency wasnít aware of any information showing that GMOs were different.
So this lie was the basis for FDA not requiring any safety testing or labeling whatsoever. Companies like Monsanto, who told us that TCB, Agent Orange, and DDT were safe but got it wrong, can determine completely on their own if their GMOs are safe and market them without telling FDA or consumers they are present. The person who is in charge of that policy was Michael Taylor, Monsantoís former attorney, later Monsantoís Vice President, now the U.S. Food Safety Czar.
Moneychanger [Laughs] Iím sorry for laughing but it looks like the foxes have not only gotten into the hen house, but also have taken it over and are manning the guard stations.
Smith They own the hen house. Theyíre selling stock in the hen house. [Laughter]
Moneychanger Well when did genetically modified foods begin to hit the marketplace?
Smith The first hit in 1994, a tomato that was taken off the market after about three years. But in 1996 they came in big time with soy and corn as well as some cotton and canola [oil made from GMO rapeseed -- FS]. Today soy, corn, cotton and canola are the four major ones. We also have sugar beets, the source of most sugar in the US. Those crops are nearly all genetically engineered. Then we have alfalfa used as hay primarily for dairy cows, and we have a little zucchini and crookneck squash as well as papaya from Hawaii or China.
Moneychanger Well is it possible to pinpoint changes in human health patterns since GMOs were introduced into food?
Smith It is possible. It is difficult. The Canadian government in 2002 promised Canadian citizens they would monitor Canadiansí health to see if GMOs were causing problems. Within a year they abandoned it as too difficult. The British government was working with supermarkets to obtain loyalty cards to see if people purchasing GMOs had higher levels of birth defects, cancer, allergies, etc., and was going to compare that to the national health record. However, they had been promising everyone that thereís no problem with GMOs and when this was leaked to the press the embarrassed government stopped with even that level of monitoring.
We do know that when GMOs were introduced there was a very quick doubling of multiple chronic illnesses ñ people with at least three chronic illnesses -- in just nine years, roughly 7 percent to 13 percent. Allergies jumped by 18 percent. Autism is up. Inflammatory bowel disease has risen 40 percent. Since GMOs were introduced a whole host of diseases have bumped up, especially inflammatory diseases.
According to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the categories of those disorders and diseases match the same problems that animals are experiencing in animal feeding studies. Based on those studies the Academy said that every doctor should prescribed non-GMO diet to every patient. Now thousands of doctors are doing that, and doctors and patients are reporting dramatic improvement in these same categories of diseases and disorders as well as mental affliction. Farmers and veterinarians report that livestock switched from GM to non-GM also improve along these same parameters.
So you have the animal feeding studies, the human experience, the livestock experience, the rise in negative health statistics in the United States. They look at things like gastrointestinal, immune, and reproductive disorders. If you look at the characteristics of the GMOs the Roundup Ready or the bT toxin genes in plants youíll see that they are predisposed to creating just these types of disorders and diseases. Itís a complete logical circle that is being entirely ignored by the U.S. Government and covered up by the biotech industry.
Moneychanger On our farm we had a big problem with swine fertility, littering three or four pigs instead of 11 to 15. The farmer we were buying corn from for years assured us that it was non-GMO, but after six years we found out it was GMO. Investigating swapping to organic, which isnít readily available around here, we called Highland Naturals in Ohio. They said, ìCall these other two pig farmers. Theyíve had the same problem.î We did and both reported that as soon as they took their sows off of GMO feed, litter sizes return to normal
Smith Iíve heard this many times. I would love to get a write-up of that. Weíre the only organization thatís actually officially collecting these stories and the stories of humans that switched from GM to non-GM and weíre seeing the same patterns.
Moneychanger But feeds have other additives. Pigs have to be supplemented with lysine, but instead of adding natural fishmeal, they may use lysine produced by GMO bacteria.
My experience with pigs makes me think, ìGoodness gracious, anybody eating GMO canít ever expect to get pregnant.î Pigs are very robust animals and we donít raise enfeebled, overbred varieties. We raise heritage breeds that are still tough animals but GMO feed, it seems, wrecks their fertility.
Smith There was a dossier created on a Danish pig farmer who switched to non-GM soy rather than corn. When he changed the conception rate went up and the litter size went up and the death rates went down and the medicine use dropped by two-thirds. The diarrhea that often proved fatal disappeared in two days. Birth defects disappeared.
I talked to an Iowa farmer who switched to non-GM corn on the recommendation of one of his consultants. He was still feeding the GM soy but within days he noticed a change in the behavior and health of the nursery where they were feeding non-GM corn. Medicine us dropped dramatically, more than half. The pigsí whole behavior changed. In 14 years of feeding GM corn they were always lethargic and lying down, but with non-GM corn they started acting like piglets.
It reminded them of how it was before they fed GM corn. He had no idea why his job switched from the easiest on the farm to the most difficult during those 14 years, constantly injecting sick piglets with medicines. Now the situation is reversed.
So your experience is being repeated all over America and yet this information is not reaching livestock producers.
Moneychanger If GMOs do that to cattle or pigs, what about humans eating their flesh? Does that cause health problems in humans?
Smith Some people who may be reading probably have fertility issues because itís near epidemic proportions.
Moneychanger And that started in the last 14 - 17 years?
Smith Exactly. Given the timing and experience with livestock it would make a lot of sense if GMOs were causing it. But letís talk about that in terms of animal feeding studies and the characteristics of Roundup Ready crops particularly. By the way, I know human stories where people switched to non-GMO and their infertility disappeared. One person unable to get pregnant for five years became pregnant three weeks into a non-GMO diet.
Animal feeding studies show reproductive problems especially with Roundup Ready crops where thereís a high concentration of Roundup. Roundup is an endocrine disruptor and in low concentrations can kill human placental cells. It can disrupt the whole hormonal structure. Rats, hamsters, and mice fed Roundup Ready crops saw a lot of reproductive disorders. From the microscopic level changes showed in the testicles, uterus, and ovaries and even the hormonal balance and the cycles. They saw the changes in the color of the testicles in male mice fed GM soy.
Female rats fed GM soy starting two weeks before they got pregnant saw more than half of their babies die within three weeks, compared to only a 10 percent [in the control group.óFS] The group was also smaller and could not reproduce. By the third generation hamsters most were sterile and some had hair growing in their mouths. The infant mortality rate was four or five times that of the control group. Mice fed GM corn had smaller and fewer babies.
So thereís real astounding evidence in the laboratory, but we donít know if itís caused by Roundup in high concentrations in the seed or the genetic engineering of the crop.
One study published in September 2012 fed rats for two years either (1) Roundup or (2) Roundup Ready corn with Roundup or (3) Roundup Ready corn without the Roundup -- three different test groups. In all three cases they were problems in the liver, kidneys and pituitary and there was early death. So we know that all three have a highly toxic impact but they didnít have reproductive impact in that particular case.
In addition to disrupting the endocrine system, what else about Roundup might also contribute to infertility? There are two other candidates. One we mentioned already, that it is a chelator that it makes certain nutrients unavailable to the plant. So when the animals are fed mostly GM crops, the main feed that U.S. livestock eats is nutrient deficient.
Sometimes they supplement it with something like lysine, as you described. Sometimes they are deficient in other things that arenít supplemented like manganese or cobalt which helps produce vitamin E and you have a universal deficiency in certain trace minerals. Manganese is related to reproductive health. In stillborn or aborted calves, manganese levels are non-detectable or very, very low . This nutrient deficiency in the animals might explain that.
The third candidate is how Roundup promotes plant diseases and soil-borne pathogens. A pathogen new on the radar screen is extremely tiny, the size of a virus, but it can kill embryos and render animals infertile, and itís in high concentration in crops sprayed with Roundup. Itís also in high concentration in aborted fetal tissue in livestock from farms with high miscarriage rates and it may be related to human miscarriages as well.
The changes that genetic engineering can produce are sometimes known and sometimes not even evaluated. Thatís why I think that GMOs are implicated in animal infertility issues.
Since we eat the animals and the crops, we eat the Roundup, too. We eat the nutrient-deficient animals so we can end up with nutrient deficiencies, although that may be a lesser issue. However, this pathogen may be transferring from animals to humans as well. So I think that GMOs are a prime candidate for causing human as well as animal infertility .
Moneychanger Am I reading something into your statements by concluding that one ought to try to avoid eating animals fed GMOs as well as GMO crops themselves?
Smith Certainly we should try to do that. Itís much harder in the U.S. because you have to buy organic products or wild caught or 100% grass fed animals where no GM alfalfa is used. A few years ago I was talking to a farm family and they had butchered both the GM fed and the non-GM fed animals. What they reported seeing and smelling I have now heard over and over again.
The discoloration and stench may be from the altered gut bacteria. When they pull the intestines from the animals they just shred, paper thin as opposed to normal integrity. The U.S. meat industry has to buy sausage casings from New Zealand now because they canít deal with the horrible intestines from U.S. livestock for sausage casings .
According to this farmwife the lard from non-GM fed pigs was white while the GM-fed lard was discolored a horrible yellow with a smell. Based on her visceral firsthand experience she doesnít give her kids any GMO-fed animal products.
Moneychanger Itís no bargain to buy the cheaper meat? Or cheaper feed?
Smith The farmer in Denmark -- after paying more for the non-GM soy -- was still making $100.00 per animal more because health, litter size, etc. The family farm that I talked to in western Iowa was using dramatically less medicine. A recent epidemic went through the area and the recovery was unprecedented while during the 14 years they were feeding GM it lingered. It was a quick recovery and a very small level of infection. They think that that was related to the healthier feed.
They're just starting non-GMO soy this year in addition, expecting an even healthier animal profile there. One goat farmer switched from GM to non-GM because on the GM his goats had a terrible time getting and keeping pregnant. Switching changed all that, so he was losing a lot of money as a probable result of the GM feed. I canít say for sure but thatís what it appeared to be.
Right now in the U.S. livestock industry thereís an epidemic of fertility problems. They havenít put their finger on it but we think itís the GM feed .
Moneychanger I have to conclude that you believe GMOs are not safe for humans to eat?
Smith Yes. Based on the evidence that Iíve been collecting for 17 years I am convinced that GMOs are not only unsafe but are also one of the most dangerous aspects in our current society. They are probably behind the prevalence of gluten sensitivity, allergies, asthma, autism, certain cancers, inflammatory diseases, a whole host of gastrointestinal disorders, and based on the experience of both humans and livestock, I would say also some mental disorders. Some individuals report mental fog, anxiety, depression, etc., have gone away when they switched to non-GMO and I have numerous farmer and veterinarians all using the same word to describe an improvement in their animals when they switched over: happier. I donít know if thatís a scientific evaluation, but itís something that Iíve heard people say independently when they describe their animals on GM as antisocial, irritated, upset and even cannibalistic and aggressive.
Moneychanger When you try to avoid GMOs -- GMO corn, soy, canola oil from GMO rapeseed, and sugar beets ñ you find that they or their derivatives are present in almost all processed foods and thereís never any warning. How in the world can we avoid eating them?
Smith We have a shopping guide to make it easier. Go to NonGMOShoppingGuide.com and download a free iPhone application called Shop No GMO. You can also get a little booklet at ResponsibleTechnology.org, our main website for the Institute for Responsible Technology. So we have made it easy.
About 9,500 products at this point have been third party verified by another organization called The Non-GMO Project. Good news is that over 20 states have been looking at labeling bills this year including Washington State, which has a ballot initiative in November.
We believe that some labeling bill will be passed at a state level and that itíll eventually become a national requirement so that the U.S. will join the 62 other countries that require labeling or ban GMOs outright. We will see a tipping point of consumers rejecting GMOs as people learn about the dangers. When people realize their friends are feeling better and eliminating symptoms by eliminating GMOs, when theyíre told by their doctors to avoid GMOs, when they watch the movie Genetic Roulette and Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of our Lives which is available at GeneticRouletteMovie.com, they will reject GMOs.
We are already seeing a kind of an avalanche of companies switching to non-GMs. It will become a marketing liability to use GM ingredients and thatís on the horizon. Thatís how it was kicked out of Europe, not because of some law but because the media reported the information the dangers of genetically engineered food and alerted the public which alerted the food companies which kicked GMOs out. That has kept GMOs out for more than a decade.
Farmers are all economists, right? Theyíre aware of market prices and you can hear them on radio every day here in Iowa. The farmers are very aware of whatís going to sell in the marketplace. Back in 1999 or 2000 when the European Union wouldnít accept two varieties of GM corn, Staley and Archer Daniels Midland simply announced in late August that their elevators werenít going to take those two varieties.
Farmers who grew those varieties had to suffer but of course theyíre not going to grow those varieties the following year. Likewise if their elevators say, ìWeíre not going to go to take any GMOs this year because the nearby wet mill plant will only take non-GM corn,î which is exactly what will happen, the farmers are going to have to switch. Companies that sell to certain companies like Frito-Lay actually have a list of approved seed. Theyíll just eliminate the GMOs from their approved list.
Theyíve already seen anti-GMO sentiment rapidly race through Europe. It caused them to eliminate GMO there. They saw genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone milk kicked out of Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Yoplait and Dannon, because of a consumer tipping point. Theyíre going to get rid of GMOs as soon as the writing is on the wall and itís halfway there already.
Moneychanger What is the best place for my readers to buy the book?
Smith www.SeedsOfDeception.com offers two books. And there are other DVDs and materials on that SeedsOfDeception.com website.
Another website is www.ResponsibleTechnology.org where they can sign up for a free newsletter. Thereís speaker training. Thereís tipping point network which is joining with other advocates in areas around the country to help educate the community. We are specifically looking for stories from individuals and from farmers and veterinarians about health changes when people switched to non-GM or animals switched to non-GM. E-mail us at Healthy@ResponsibleTechnology.org.
Moneychanger I deeply appreciate your work and your giving me time for this interview. [End]
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by Ken Ham
Many churches now place a heavy emphasis on praise and worship music in their services. While God loves good music, itís important to make sure our priorities line up with Scripture. What does God reveal about ìtrue worshipî that pleases Him?
TO BEGIN THIS ARTICLE I need to make something very clear. I love music. In fact, both my wife and I play the piano. I love to listen to Christian music as I travelóand I love to sing praises to our God as I worship in church.
Also, one of my closest friends is Answers in Genesisís songwriter and singer, Buddy Davis. I have encouraged Buddy over the years to produce CDs of the many songs he has composed and presented at concerts at the Creation Museum and churches around the world.
Having said that, I want to address what I see as a problemósomething that troubles me. I realize that when you begin to talk about music, it can evoke very emotional responses. But I actually donít want to address music styles or content in this article (not that such is not important). I believe something else needs to he addressed.
A NEW PRIORITY IN THE CHURCH. I am in a rather interesting position to view what is happening in much of the church. I have traveled for over thirty years across the United States and to other parts of the world speaking at conferences and churches. I get to see patterns from a big-picture perspective. My observation holds true across denominations and national boundaries (with some exceptions, of course).
I would like to suggest that in many instancesóparticularly from my personal observation in the larger churchesómusic has become the dominant part of church services, and the teaching of Godís Word has become less of a priority. The same is true in certain Bible conferences, particularly those geared for young people.
Let me share just some of my observations. I encourage you to consider them carefully.
There is what they call a ìpraise and worshipî time with a band usually on stage. The congregation, or audience, is asked to stand and sing for thirty to forty minutesósometimes for an hour or so.
Now, as I look around the room, I often find that many people are not singing.
Many of the songs are sung over and over and over again.
When people finally sit for a sermon or teaching, this time is often less than the music. And many people seem tired and distracted.
Many times, the bandís words cannot be understood. You can recognize them only if they are shown on the screen.
Let me share a couple of personal experiences that show how this mindset can hinder the teaching of Godís Word. Sometimes a pastor says something like, "We tried to cut the praise and worship time so you could have the fifty minutes you wanted to speak, but I can't really control what the worship pastor will do." And so I often end up with less time than what I prepared for and what is needed.
Some worship pastors have said things like, "Weíll let you set your computer up after weíve finished our practicing. After all, the praise and worship is the most important part of the service." If I hope to teach Godís Word effectively, as the invited speaker, I need to make sure the computer works well with the churchís PA systems.
I have seen this pattern in other countries too. Churches have a "praise and worship" time that is more often like a concert to attract people to the church, while the teaching time for God's Word is secondary.
Now, to be sure, not all churches are like this, and Iím not saying churches should not have a "praise and worship" time. But if young people and adults get the idea that music is more important than the study of Godís Word, then where will they and their churches be spiritually in the coming years?
Biblical teaching and worshipful music do not have to be in competition. When properly done, both are important aspects of true ìpraise and worshipî that glorifies and pleases the Lord.
NO MORE EXCUSES. I have had many pastors, particularly youth pastors, tell me that music is where the kids ìare atî today, and music helps keep them in church and attract others. But when Iíve been given opportunity to speak to these young people, I find they are filled with questions and doubts about Godís Word, and they desperately want answers that canít be found in a praise chorus.
Let me give a specific example. I was asked to speak at a service for young people. I sat through almost an hour of loud music and couldnít understand most of the words. Then I was asked to speak for only about twenty minutes because, I was told, ìYoung people canít sit for long and listen to talks these days.î Then I could have a question time afterward.
So 1 did my best in twenty minutes and asked for questions. Those young people bombarded me: Where did Cain get his wife? How do you know the Bible is true? Why doesnít God show Himself to us? What about carbon dating? How do you explain dinosaurs? How could Noah fit the animals on the Ark? We went on for over an hour.
Afterward, the youth pastor said, ìIíve never seen them so interested. I never knew Billy could even ask a question, let alone the one he asked. What happened?î
What happened? Well, the beliefs of these young people are being challenged at public school. From my experience, I know many of their doubts, and from the research we conducted for the book "Already Gone", we know that two thirds of these young people will leave the church by college age. So I began giving them answers to help them understand how we know Godís Word is true.
Whatís the point of all this? Again, Iím not against having time for music. But I believe many church leaders have adopted music styles simply to attract people, instead of focusing on the things that most please God: music and vital teaching that most meet the flockís needs and glorify the Lord. People want to hear solid biblical truth and answers to the skeptical questions of this age. They want to know how to live Christ-honoring lives and proclaim and defend the gospel to people who are thoroughly "evolutionized."
Now, the Bible does not prescribe how much time should be allotted to teaching and music. But in a world that increasingly attacks the Bibleís authority, 1 submit that the pastor, more than ever, needs to equip his people with biblical truths so that they can function as true Christ followers (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Furthermore, many churches tell their adults and young people that they can believe in evolution and history over millions of years, as long as they just trust Jesus. Or they totally ignore this topic. Yet I believe that today's attack on God's Word is the same strategy Satan employed in Genesis 3 when he asked Eve, 'Did God really say . . . ?" This attack on the Bibleís trustworthiness is destroying the coming generations. Meanwhile, church members get together and have long ìpraise and worshipî times that relegate Bible teaching to a much lesser role than music.
But is God hearing many of these churches? If we are compromising Godís Word and not teaching and obeying His Word as we should, is it possible that God would say to these modern churches what He did to the Israelites of old?
"Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instrumentsî (Amos 5:23). ìHas the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams" (1 Samuel 15:22).
Amen! By Godís grace, may we get our priorities straight and help people to praise and worship Him as He deservesógiving primacy to His Word in all aspects of our personal lives and church services!
April-June 2013, NSWERSMAGAZINE.COM Hain Ken is the founder and president of Answers in Genesis-USA.
One wonders if the Worship Service has many times become little more than an entertainment service where people come to experience God. Are people there looking for a close ìGod encounterî? Many churches have gone so far as to have two services: a traditional service and a contemporary service, as they try to be all things to all people. They draw in the young families to the contemporary services while appeasing the older people who have supported the church over the years.
The other church where I pastored in Indiana was a Methodist. They built a large, new building just outside of town. They added a second service, which was contemporary. Yet they kept the traditional service, for it was the traditional service that paid the bills.
There is a big Baptist Church in Lafayette, the home of "National Association of Nouthetic Counselors." Their goal seemed to be build bigger and bigger. They started a contemporary service on Saturday night, rock bands, blue jeans, and everything that goes with it. Then on Sunday Morning, they have the traditional service. The older, spiritually mature families are fleeing that Baptist church for a Presbyterian church.
God alone defines worship, and how He must be worshiped. (Exo. 20:3-6.) How does God define worship? Is it defined as simply a meeting of a group of believers? Does God define worship in terms of Worship Service, Worship Songs, Worship Leaders or Worship Teams? Does worship consist of getting a mystical look on oneís face, raising of the hands, doing the holy wave, and singing a few nice words over and over? Does worship consist of a set of drums and other instruments beating out a religious rhythm that at times sounds more like a jungle beat than something that belongs in a Christian church, particularly when the beat overwhelms the words?
Psalms 150 speaks of several instruments used to praise God, but you cannot read into the passage that the music used in that praise sounded like the pagansí music, nor that the music was used to draw in the pagans to the house of God. (Moreover, I can find no drums in Scripture.)
Basically, worship means to bow down, e.g., Psalms 95:6, Daniel 3. But if we restrict worship to bowing down or lifting our voices in praise, then what more do we have than the Muhammadans have who bow down three times a day in worship of their false god?
Among the several things worship is connected with in Scripture, we have the following mentions that seem to be overlooked today:
FIRST, worship is connected with glorifying His name, Psalms 86:9:
All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
The Lord rebuked His people for entering the gates to worship Him, yet they were going their own way and doing their own thing otherwise. They were worshiping the Lord, yet ignoring the ways in which He had commanded them to walk. (Jer. 7. Isa. 30:2.) Thus their worship was no worship; rather, it was sin that brought judgment upon them:
And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations? (Jer. 7:10.)
Jeremiah pronounces Godís harsh judgment against the people of God. They came and performed ceremonies of worship, and that worship, they felt, delivered them from Godís justice against their disobedient living the rest of the time.
Over my years in the ministry, I cannot count the people I have met who felt that church attendance three times a week appeased God for their ungodly living the rest of the time. Sadly, the Jack Hyles cult leans toward teaching a balance between good works and bad works. One can gain merit before God with his good works, which will cause God to overlook his lustful actions.
Biblical worship glorifies God in every thought and action, not just in the public assembly, around the preacher or around other Christians:
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Cor. 10:31.)
SECOND, worship is connected with service, Jeremiah 13:10:
This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
Service -- obedience, labour and work. I find no Scriptural support that worship consists of working up some spooky, mystical feeling that will cause people to respond to an "invitation".
In the circle in which I grew up, the greatest thing that could happen to a pastor or evangelist was to have his name mentioned in the Sword of the Lord as having many people come forward in a year or in a series of meetings: 100 came forward that week for rededication, and 50 for salvation. Of course, they donít mention that 49 of those for salvation had been forward many times before, and most of them were under 10 from the bus routes. They didnít mention that they had to sing 100 verses of Just as I am. They sang so many because the speaker knew that the Lord was speaking to someone. They didnít mention that the final invitation was, "IF you don't want Godís wrath against you or your family, then come down now and let the preacher pray for you", or ìIf you support your pastor, come down and tell him."
Worship includes not only humbling oneís self before the one being worshiped, but it includes serving, or obeying the one being worshiped, even service in obedience unto the death. (Dan. 3:28, Matt. 4:10, Lk. 4:8.)
Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Accordingly, worship is firmly identified with obedience and teaching the commandments and judgments of God to our children:
Deuteronomy 6:13 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. 14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; 15 (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. 16 Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. (See also 1 Cor 10:9 , Heb 3:8, 9.)
Failure to serve the Lord is to tempt the Lord just as sure as Israel did at Massah as recorded in Exodus 17.
Worship involves Service óobedience, labour and work. Let me give just two examples of genuine worship:
1) Worship involves obedience in education. Obedience requires education for our children in terms of the word of God, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4. Anything other than a Biblically grounded education for our children is an act of apostasy for a believer. It involves worshiping other gods and bowing down before them to learn from those other gods.
The education of children for God is the most important business done on earth. It is the one business for which the earth exists. To it all politics, all war, all literature, all money-making, ought to be subordinated; and every parent especially ought to feel every hour of the day, that, next to making his own calling and election sure, this is the end for which he is kept alive by God--this is his task on earth. (Robert Louis Dabney. Chalcedon Report, 8/03)
I have known many people who tell about the wonderful worshipful experiences they have at church, and they quickly tell others how much they enjoy worshiping the Lord, yet they have their children in pagan schools. They are apostate hypocrites, and their worship is thus no more than a show.
2) Worship involves obedience in teaching. Obedience requires teaching and practicing Titus 2:5óthat is, teaching women to be keepers at home.
It is distressing to hear of ladies who desire to obey Godís word, yet even the pastorsí wives condemn them for wanting to stay at home and train up their children according to Godís word. I can count on one hand the pastors I know of who teach women to be full time wives and mothers. The church today, generally, is at war against the Christian family. Pastors, and Christians, have removed Titus 2:5 from the Word of God, yet they claim to love God and His Word. They are hypocrites.
The Lord used some harsh words against those who claimed to worship Him, yet they reject the commandment of God:
Mark 7:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. 9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
The next verse, v. 10 (For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother...) makes it clear that Christ referred to the Ten Commandments. Thus He soundly rebuked them for going through their religious rites, rituals and ceremonies of worship while rejecting the Commandments, so they could do their own desires.
THIRD, worship is connected with fear, 2 Kings 17:36:
But the LORD, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and a stretched out arm, him shall ye fear, and him shall ye worship, and to him shall ye do sacrifice.
Fear of the Lord is defined by the Lord:
Proverbs 16:6 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil. (See also, Job 28:28, Pro. 3:7, Pro. 14:27.)
Thus, worship of the Lord and fear of the Lord go together. Genuine worship of the Lord will result in departing from evil.
FIFTH, worship is connected with sacrifice, 2 Kings 17:36 above:
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (See Daniel 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the kingís word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.)
Yes, the Lord requires of His people the sacrifice of praise continually (Jer. 33:11, Heb. 13:15), but that sacrifice is hateful to Him without the living sacrifice of oneís self as required in Romans 12:1. (Cf., Rom. 13:14.)
In other words, worship that does not point toward and produce holiness is hypocrisy, just as much as it was in Jeremiah chapter seven. The Lord pronounces serious judgment upon empty worship that does not promote holiness of heart:
Isaiah 29:13, 14 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.
Biblical, New Testament worship involves a broken and contrite spirit:
Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Worship is a spiritual sacrifice, offered because of our love for the one who first loved us. It is an attitude of mind that works its way out in our lives.
*It including visiting the fatherless and widows in their afflictions, James 1:27.
*It includes keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, James 1:27.
*It includes hallowing the Holy name of Jesus by keeping the name Christian pure, which includes our words, our outward appearances (dress), and our attitudes, Luke 11:2.
How many go to church looking for and having a wonderful worshipful experience, yet their lives are vain, as they set out to serve mammon with all their heart, soul and strength the rest of their time. Genuine worship has very little to do with mystical feelings that cause people to respond to an ìaltar call.î Rather, godly worship produces holy living and daily service in the Kingdom of God. All of the Worship Services, Worship Songs, Worship Teams and Worship Leaders in the world will not hold back the hand of God against worship that does not produce holiness.
SIXTH, worship is connected with praise:
Psalms 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
The reason David found to worship and praise the name of the Lordófor the Lord has magnified His word above even His name. God had promised to David a glorious future in a Saviour from his line to redeem His people. David praised the Lord for His word of promise, which, though heaven and earth might pass away, would not fail. Even in his praise, the Word of God was magnified above all else.
SEVENTH, even the devils worship, knowing who He is; they believe and tremble, James 2:19.
Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, 7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
Worship here is pictured in a dog licking his masterís hand. It refers to prostrating oneís self before the one worshiped.
Worship does not necessarily mean one is serving or is a servant of Christ. Here we see that this demon ran and bowed down before Christ, rendering Him homageóthat is, he acknowledged Christís superiority, power, authority and control over even the fallen spirits. (See Ps. 72:9, 1 Tim. 5:21, Jude 1:6.)
We should note that worldly wealth and acclaim are many times offered to worshipers, so worship services that attract large crowds are not necessarily the sign of Godís blessings. (Lk. 4:7.)
Along the line of worship, let me mention that it seems there are groups, churches, that desire to be under the old Jewish ritualistic form of worship. Admittedly, that is their business, but the Author of the New Testament used a lot of words telling the new church that it was not a continuation of the Jewish rites and rituals, and that it had no business seeking after the old ways.
Worship glorifies His name with our daily actions and words.
Worship obeys the Lord's commandments, and labors in the word and work of God.
Worship fears God, and departs from evil.
Worship sacrifices one's self to the Lord to do whatsoever He desires.
Scriptural worship demands far more action than words. A far better description of worship would be the following:
Worship Services -- studying scripture to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
Worship Songs -- songs that conform to Scripture, both in rhythm, beat and words. There were groups of Levites in the house of the Lord whose job it was to produce music and sing praises to the Lord, e.g., 2 Chronicles 29:25.
Worship Leaders -- leaders of ìwork groupsî, leading in righteous works.
Worship Teams -- "work groups" that are active in the community, e.g., evangelism, community help activities, activists groups that work to bring about godly morality in the community (library, civil service, &c.), care for the needy in the community.
Scriptural worship produces a living sacrifice, active obedience, holy living, service to the God of the Christian Bible and service to our fellow man. I am afraid that much of what is called worship today is little more than pagan programs designed to appeal to the baser nature; it is designed to attract and hold a crowd, so larger monuments can be built to men, so the debt payments can be made and so the leaders can receive a good income.
What do we expect out of our worship experience?
We all know that marriage is under attack like never before. After decades which have seen a steady erosion in attitudes towards marriageóno-fault divorce, the acceptance of adultery and sex before marriageówe have reached the point where the enemies of marriage, not content with the virulent destruction they have hitherto wrought, are mustering all the zeal and propaganda they can wield to redefine the institution into something else altogether.
If this was something that was happening in one or two nations, whilst all others stood ready to condemn them for their blatant desecration of a holy institution, it wouldnít be too much of a problem. But the cancer has spread throughout every single one of the Western nations, and at a rate that is simply breathtaking. Even a decade or so ago, if you had heard someone saying that in 10 yearsí time, every Western nation would be poised on the brink of legislating for same-sex marriage, you would probably have shook your head and muttered something about such talk being over-the-top. It could never happen in America. Yet here we are.
Now that we are here, it is easy for us to respond with the same kind of incredulous shaking of the head and muttering with which we might have first met proclamations that it was going to happen. It is equally easy for us to point the finger of blame at those who have, by careful propaganda and relentless determination, driven marriage into its current ditch. We would have a point. They have earned their condemnation. But to point the finger of blame at those who have willfully set out to destroy the institution of marriage is to miss the point of why this is happening in a big way.
Throughout Godís Word, it is made clear that although the whole world lieth in wickedness, the extent of that wickedness is intrinsically linked with the question of whether Godís covenant people are performing His will and His Word.
In Deuteronomy 4, for instance, Moses exhorts the people on behalf of Yahweh to keep His commandments, adding that if they obey, the heathen nations round about will be sanctified: ìKeep therefore and do them: for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall surely hear all these statutes. and say. Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon Him for?î (Deuteronomy 4:6, 7 KJV). Although Godís covenant in those days was with the nation of Israel alone. they were never meant to be isolationist. Rather, they were meant to so keep Godís commandments. not just for the sake of Israel, but so as to wield an influence on the surrounding nations for good. As it turned out, this rarely happened and for the most part they forsook Godís commandments and instead of influencing the surrounding heathen culture they were themselves influenced by it.
A parallel passage to this in the New Testament is Jesusí charge to His disciples to be the salt and the light of the world: ìYe are the salt of the earth: but if the salt hath lost his savor. wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.î (Matthew 5:13 KJV). Notice the order of things in this passage and how closely it resembles what has happened in our day: first. Christianity lost its savoróthe grace and wholesomeness in every area of life which should distinguish it from the non-Christian world; second, it has therefore lost its effectiveness and its ability to influence the surrounding heathen culture for good; third, it has been increasingly cast out of public life over the past few decades: finallyóand this is where America is now atóit is being trodden down and crushed by the surrounding culture.
This is true in every area of life. and never more so than in the area of marriage. You know the statistics. That divorce is just about as rife in the evangelical Church as it is in the surrounding culture. Christian marriages have largely lost their savor: they have therefore become good for nothing; so the Christian idea of marriage has been cast out; and now with the increasing push for same-sex marriage, we see that the Christian idea of marriage is being trampled to the ground and all who oppose this are condemned with violent indignation.
What does this mean for the recovery of marriage as it is meant to be? It means that our response to the increasing slide into Sodom must not be just a negative and reactionary one. Yes. we need to protest about these things where we can, making it clear that marriage is an institution designed by God as something between one man and one woman for life and that any other variationówhether fornication, divorce, adultery, polygamy or same-sex marriageóis an aberration and a violent destruction of the way in which we were intended to live.
But this is not enough. We donít regain our savor and become a witness to the surrounding culture simply by protesting that they are doing it all wrong. If you run yourself a bath and realize that the water in the tub is much too cold. turning the cold water off is a good idea. But it is not enough. You need to then turn on the hot. to have the desired effect. This is why in Ephesians, Paul doesnít just admonish the thief to steal no more (ceasing the negative); he then admonishes him to labor. working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth (replacing it with a positive). Similarly. if we denounce the worldly desecration of marriage but have nothing positive to replace it with. all our protestations will amount to nothing. And when I say replace it I donít mean assenting to the theological concept of one man and one woman for life. We can quote from Genesis 2 and Ephesians. Colossians and 1 Peter as much as we like, but unless the Church is providing a living example of what this actually looks, tastes, and smells like in practice, it will all be to no avail.
Marriage is a holy institution, but what is this holiness meant to look like? The Biblical answer is that holiness is beautiful (see Psalm 96:9 and Psalm 110:3 for example). If a marriage is truly holy, it will be a thing of great beauty. And Godís descriptions of the marriage covenant throughout the Bible are indeed holy and they are indeed beautiful. A man rejoicing with the wife of his youth and being ravished with her love is a thing of great beauty (Proverbs 5:18. 19). A wife whose mouth brings forth wisdom and whose tongue speaks kindness is a beautiful thing (Proverbs 31:26). A man who loves his wife and gives himself to her both covenantally and constantly is a thing of the rarest beauty and of the utmost nobility (Ephesians 5:25). A wife who is a fruitful vine and who builds up her house is glorious and of exquisite beauty (Psalm 128:3: Proverbs 14:1). This is what we are to strive for if we are to regain our savor, and this is what the world needs to see if we are to be taken seriously.
Every marriage is to a greater or lesser extent, a failed marriage. That is, we have all failedómore or lessóto consistently live out the Biblical ideal of marriage. Which one of us husbands can say that we have always loved our wife as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for it and never been bitter against her? Which one of you wives can truly say that you have always been subject to your husband and have ever adorned yourselves with that meek and quiet spirit which in the sight of God is of great price? We all fail the holiness test, and we all fail the beauty test. So if we are to reclaim the institution of marriage from its enemies. we therefore need to begin, as ever, with repentance. Repent of your own failings. Repent that you have not loved your wife as Christ loves the Church, and plead with Him to so salt you that you will be enabled to love her more. Repent that you have not reverenced and adored your husband as the Church is called to reverence Christ, and plead with Him to show you how you can do this.
And when you are done pleading for your own marriage, do the same for other marriages you see around youófor your friends, for your children (even if they are not yet married), for the marriages in your Church. Plead with God to salt your marriage and plead with Him to salt all Christian marriages. Ask Him to beautify your union, and ask Him to do the same to others. Yes, make your protest known as the states legalize that which God proclaims to be unlawful. Yes, pray to God that He will bring about a swift end to attempts to pervert His institution. But more than that--much more than thatóstrive to ensure that Christendom has a beautiful alternative to offerósomething so glorious that even those outside the Kingdom may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
Rob Slone is the author of The God Reality: A critique of Richard Dawkinsí The God Delusion. A former atheist, Slane is now a member of Emmanuel Church in Salisbury, England, where he and his family live. Samaritan Ministries, Apl 2012.
...[H]ow many have studied the words of Scripture for a lifetime, without receiving that humility of Christ which produces the very mind of Christ and turns fallen man into a son of God! Academic degrees they hold in plenty from the best centers of religious learning---but know so little of Spirit of Christ! What a paradox to see the professed Church of the Lamb filled with great numbers of champion disputants, who from age to age have been up in arms to support and defend a set of opinions, doctrines, and practices, all of which may be most cordially embraced without demanding the least degree of self-denial, and most firmly held fast without bestowing the least degree of humility!
Why is it that we see Bible scholars equally pleased with and contending for the errors and absurdities of every system of theology under which they happen to have taken their education? Because natural genius and human wisdom can feed on no other food than the deceptive fruit of that ancient tree of knowledge. What a gross ignorance, both of manís need and Christís salvation, to run to Greek and Hebrew schools to learn how to put off Adam and to put on Christ! How absurd to seek to be wise in scholarship concerning the letter of Scripture in order to obey Christís command that we must become like a little child to enter into His kingdom! How came the learned Greeks by their pride and vanity, and inability to come under the humility of the cross? It was because the false glory of their own cultivated abilities blinded them in the same way that a letter-learned knowledge blinded Jewish scribes and Pharisees. And so it often is in the Church today.
The Power of the Spirit, William Law [1686-1761]. Edited by Dave Hunt. Christian Literature Crusade, Third printing, 1973. Pp. 50, 51, 52.
WYCLIFFE BIBLE TRANSLATORS ARE PRODUCING CATHOLIC BIBLES, TRANSLATING THE APOCRYPHA. The August 26, 2012 prayer letter of Wycliffe translator Karl Grebe states, ìWhile some of the translators and I are focusing on finalizing the manuscript of the OT and NT books, others are helping two Catholic priests to finalize their translation of a number of Deuterocanonical books, known by Protestants as Apocryphal Books. Seven of these books will be included in a Catholic edition of the Lamnso Bible. Upon request by the Catholic Church, the Bible Society of Cameroon, which will be the publisher of the Lamnso Bible, agreed to publish two editions, one for Protestants, and one for Catholics, containing in addition a number of DC books. The translation of these books has been going on sporadically over a number of years but is now finally coming to a conclusion. So far I have checked only two of these books because I was giving priority to the canonical books. Our Summer Institute of Linguistics administration is looking for another consultant to help with the remaining checking task so that the publication of the Lamnso Bible will not be unduly delayed.î
(Cited in O Timothy magazine. The significance of this is that Wycliffe Bible Translators is using contributions from Protestants and Baptists, to translate and publish non-inspired books that were added to the Bible by the Roman Catholic Church, which were never recognized by Jews or Protestants as part of the Bible).
SHOULD CHRISTIANS BE INVOLVED IN POLITICS? "As Christians are to think of living for a while in the world, it is not unreasonable for them to be affected with its occurrences, and changes. Some plead for a kind of abstracted and sublimated devotion, which the circumstances they are placed in by their Creator render equally impractical and absurd. They are never to notice the affairs of government, or the measures of administration: war, or peace, liberty, or slavery, plenty, or scarcity - all is to be equally indifferent to them; they are to leave these carnal and worldly things to others. But have they not bodies? Have they not families? Is religion founded on the ruins of humanity? When a man becomes a Christian, does he cease to be a member of civil society? Allowing that he be not the owner of the ship, but only a passenger in it, has he nothing to awaken his concern in the voyage? If he be only a traveler towards a better country, is he to be told that because he is at an inn which he is soon to leave, it should not excite any emotion in him, whether it be invaded by robbers, or consumed by flames before the morning?" -William Jay (1769-1853), in "Works of William Jay, Volume 3," via Berea Baptist Banner).
Boston Marathon Bombing Happened On Same Day As ëControlled Explosioní Drill By Boston Bomb Squad
Consider this site, and draw your own conclusions: http://censored31.blogspot.com/2013/04/boston-bombings-were-staged-by-bmans.html
IS CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO THE ANSWER FOR THE MESS WE ARE IN?
"My weekly routine involves a fair amount of driving, so when Iím not listening to audio books, I'm sampling talk radio, usually of the conservative variety. What I hear there is indeed the 'preaching to the choir' brand of reasoning. It's human nature. If you're speaking to an audience of fans, they hold you to a lower standard of proof than they do their ideological opponents. You get lazy sometimes.
"These guys could try harder. I often hear Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, et. al. make arguments so badly that even 1 - who am definitely on the conservative side of the great divide -get pretty disgusted and frustrated. Unfairly-construed sound bytes and inaccurate, sweeping generalities are routine, not to mention - in the case of Limbaush - more than a little crass language, cursing, and sleazy innuendo. Itís sometimes enough to get me turning the dial to - gasp -NPR!" - Pastor Aaron Blumer, Grace Baptist Church, Boyceville, Wisconsin, on "Sharper Iron" web site.