What every Christian conversation about Bruce Jenner should sound like.

 Thanks to Chris Martin for the inspiration on this one.

THEM: “Hey, you’re a Christian, right?”

YOU: “Yeah.  Aren’t you?”

THEM: “Long story.”

YOU: “Cool.  Mine was too.  What’s up?”

THEM: “What do you think about Bruce Jenner?”

YOU: “I love him.  A lot.”

THEM: “Oh, like you’re a fan?”

YOU: “No.  I don’t love his career.  I love him.”

THEM: “Well he’s not a he anymore.  He’s a she.”

YOU:  “Got it.  I love her.  A lot.”

THEM: “Yeah.  I see where you’re going.  Love is good.  Very John Lennon of you.  I mean about his whole transgender thing.”

YOU: “Same answer.  Love.”

THEM: “So… um.  Do you think it’s a sin?”

YOU: “Are you asking me if I think Bruce Jenner is a sinner?”

THEM: “Yeah!  The meaty stuff.  Is Bruce Jenner a sinner?”

YOU: “I’ve never met anyone who isn’t a sinner.  I’m a sinner.  So are you.”

THEM: “Oh, well okay.  But you’re missing the point.  Is being transgender a sin?”

YOU: “Actually dude, you’re missing the point.  My job is to make disciples.  Everyone I’ve ever met is a sinner.  So I don’t really worry about it and I just do my job.”

THEM: “But would God actually want a disciple who’s a sinner?”

YOU: “Well, as close as I can tell, he wanted me.  Want to hear my story?”

­­­­­­­­­­­­­________________

The End

Keep it simple people.  Our job is to make disciples.  And the most powerful tool for that is not the Bible.  It’s your witness.  Start telling it.

Have a nice day.

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Talking Christ out of dying on the cross.

Okay, Jesus. I get it, okay? You love all people, etc. etc. But you’re talking about dying here for these people. Dying for their sins, right? That’s what you said. Listen, do what you want. But just listen to me for a couple of minutes.

So you’re dying for THEIR sins, right? Setting aside the fact that this doesn’t really make any sense to me, let’s be practical for a minute. First, limited audience. How many people are even going to be in town to see this happen. Sin is global, dude. GLOBAL. Even if everyone in town sees you do this and stops sinning, how many is that? A few thousand? At best? Out of the entire world? Talk about a drop in the ocean. It’s not worth it.

Also, talk about giving a drunk a drink! It’s not like people are actually going to stop sinning. You’re dying for their sins right in the middle of them continuing to sin, pal. Think about that! How unfair is that? And also, doesn’t it seem a little pointless? Die for their sins and they start sinning again in what, 30 seconds? Listen Jesus, you just don’t buy a drunk a drink. It’s not right.

Also, why does this all have to fall on your shoulders? Shouldn’t their be some sort of organized initiative or program to reduce sin? There are a lot of good people and good organizations out there. If you don’t do this, someone else will.

________________________

Sounds ridiculous, right? Then why do I have this conversation all the time about the people around us who need help right now?

Have an awesome day.

JDV

Photo credit: http://www.johnlund.com

Fixing my lawnmower, and why it’s worth reading 799 words about it.

I thought the thought that everyone seems to think these days. “Time to throw it out and get a new one.” But then this voice in my head, perhaps my grandfather speaking to me from above, said, “Just flip the stupid thing over and see what’s wrong.” I could technically afford a new lawnmower. And the one we’ve had is about 9 years old. Every possible justification to get one of those new electric ones that I really want. This old beater of a lawnmower was just stuck. Push forward, nothing. Something is stuck. Wheels won’t turn, I don’t know. It was the perfect excuse to be out with the old and in with the new.

But I listened to that voice in my head and flipped it over. Some weld had popped loose and a big wedge-shaped chunk of steel was hanging down and digging into the ground. That’s what was stopping the mower. This wedge was digging into the ground. So I went to the garage, grabbed a crow bar and a four pound sledge, and I beat the snot out of it until it was jammed back up into where it looked like it belonged. And it stayed there. So then I flip it back over, pull the chord, and start mowing again. I was in a hurry because the neighbors are having a birthday party and I didn’t want to be mowing while they were having guests arrive. And now the mower is actually dramatically easier to push than it has been in years.

So why write a post about it? Well the main reason is I want all of you to know that I’m a real man who owns sledge hammers and crow bars and I hit stuff in my driveway. Mission accomplished. But this is nagging at me. I’m sort of having my “buy stuff all the time” persona stripped from me. I’ve totally lost the desire to buy a new bigger house worthy of a lawyer. I actually really love my car with 146,000 miles on it. And I like this lawnmower. I am so sick and tired of this constant pressure from television to replace everything I own. I’ve bought into this concept for a few decades and I’m starting to walk away from it.

Here’s the deal. We’re all broke. I don’t mean broke by today’s standards. Today, broke means you can’t afford to make your payments. But to our grandparents and great-grandparents you were broke if you even HAD payments. If you borrowed money to buy something it was because you were broke. Now, if you DON’T borrow money to buy something you must be too broke to afford the monthly payments.

We switched to paying cash for everything a couple of years ago and it has this rather liberating effect on our marriage and our lives. We don’t even use a debit card. I changes the smallest details. I need to keep track of how much gas is in my car and grab cash before I leave if I need to fill up. We’ve put our financial lives into reverse and paid off tens of thousands of dollars in debt since we started this mini financial revolution. This is my own personal small way of flipping the bird to all the advertising agencies that want so desperately to convince me that I need to replace everything in my house.

I don’t. And these people are not helping us. They are robbing us of our lives. Driving us to maintain two-income households and hand our kids off to daycare. They have tricked us into thinking that all this crap will make us happy. We talk a lot about the need to make sacrifices for God. But we really don’t. The things God wants for us will make us happy. They may also may us broke. But being broke just means we’ve cast off the junk that clever advertisers have made us believe will bring happiness.

And I’m tired of it. And done with it. My old house with tons of problems and a genuinely dangerous worn out driveway is just perfect for me. So is my aging car and my lawnmower than requires the occasional beating from a sledge hammer.

God has things in store for me that deliver a level of happiness that cannot be captured in the glossy pages of the Sunday morning sale papers.

Let’s quit paying money for all this crap and start using it for genuine joy. The joy of giving. Of helping someone without ever needing anything in return. Let’s all go make a ton of money, but keep driving our same worn out cars and keep pushing out same worn out lawnmowers. And let’s use what’s left over to chase down some amazing happiness.

JDV

 

Photo credit: http://cdn2.hubspot.net/hub/330834/file-478210003-jpg/Blog_Images/3716809618_16126ea4d6_z.jpg?t=1403890002171

Should terrorists be tried in civil courts?

This looks like a major departure from my standard blog content, but stick with me for a bit. As always, I’ll find my way back to God. And that’s easier than you might think on this one. This is not a political post per-se. Let’s dive in.

When you catch a terrorist, you have three basic options. Take him or her out right there on the spot, give them a military trial, or give them a civil trial. I’m not an expert on the many technicalities and procedural differences but they don’t really matter. It’s safe to say that a civil trial gives the terrorist the best opportunity to go free. And that’s exactly the option I am arguing in favor of in this post.

Why would I advocate for this? By definition, a terrorist is someone who abandons traditional combat between trained soldiers and murders innocent civilians in order to intimidate the remaining civilians into submission. They bomb public places, murder children, behead prisoners, all of which is often done on video for the world to see. And their goal is total submission and domination. Let’s not pussy-foot around this issue. We are talking about the most basic and pure form of evil here.

But here’s the deal. The point at which we decide that there is a threshold you can cross over in order to rise to the level of a different type of justice, our entire system of justice falls apart. Our criminal justice system is not perfect. But when you look at gross failures of justice, the cause is never a failure of our Constitutional principals themselves. It is invariably found in the failure to properly apply those principals.

I understand the arguments against me here. Terrorists, for the most part, are not citizens of the United States so we are not required to extend Constitutional protections to them. But the spirit of these principals is that they apply to everyone. Everyone. Aren’t we just getting off on a technicality here? The concepts were not implemented because they were good for legal citizens of our nation. They were implemented because they are right. And “right” doesn’t have borders.

There is an inescapable truth here. Applying a different standard or process for terrorists requires by its very nature to pre-determine the guilt of the accused. After all, if you are sure enough that this person was a terrorist to put them into a different category of justice, then why bother having a trial at all? You’ve already reached your conclusion. And that type of pre-judgment was precisely what we were trying to eliminate with the 4th and 5th amendments to the Constitution.

Ultimately, we want to be sure we put this terrorist away for good. Take no risks. But this position turns the entire process on its head because the only way we can take this position is if we’ve already determined guilt without the benefit of any trial at all. To me this all comes back to integrity. If we are going to respond those who attempt to destroy what we believe in, then we must do so by way of the very system they hate so much. There is ironic justice there, and it sends the right message to the rest of the world. Throw whatever you want at us. Our system is fair. Our system is true. And it applies to all.

Where does this find it’s way back to God? In a simple phrase: “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” These words were spoken by a man who had nails through his hands and feet about the very men who drove those nails in. The message is clear. We have a responsibility to remove the ability of terrorists to repeat their evil deeds. This means imprisonment. But beyond that, our job is to love these terrorists. Yes. Love them. In exactly the same way that Christ forgave and loved those who nailed him to a cross, we are to forgive and love those who attack our innocent civilians. That’s not a suggestion. It’s a requirement. And the fact that it’s hard doesn’t act as a free pass to simply take revenge regardless of how many layers of legal procedure we run it through to make it feel less like revenge.

Those are my thoughts. Thanks for reading.

JDV

Outrage Over the Konduga and Chibok Kidnappings.

jisbell22

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Where is the international outrage?  Where is the support?  Why the silence from the media?  Twenty five school aged girls were kidnapped in Konduga in March, silence.  No rescue efforts.  No outrage.   3 weeks later on April 15th another 230 girls kidnapped from school to be sold as sex slaves and wives. The original 25 kidnappings weren’t even mentioned until after the next kidnapping in April.  Still silence until MAY???  and no international rescue efforts?

The missing Malaysian flight 370 disappears with 227 passengers and 12 crew members in March.  An international search began within 24 hours.  At the peak of the search for this missing plane 26 countries were assisting with aircraft and ships from 11 of them!  Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Korea, The United Kingdom and the United States of America all joined in, spending millions of dollars searching for the missing aircraft.  The search…

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Thank you, Donald Sterling.

Donald-Sterling

Thank you Donald Sterling for reminding all of us that words matter.  Thank you for reminding us that we absolutely have the right to free speech in our nation.  And that freedom brings with it the right of others to respond in whatever way they see fit.  Thank you for reminding us that there is ignorance left in this world.  Thank you for reminding us that we have so much work to do.

This extremely obvious form of racism will perhaps pull back the veil a bit from the underlying racism that exists so much in our global society today.  I am talking about something bigger than an NBA owner expressing his soul-deep racist thoughts.  I am talking about our ability to see the suffering of those of other races, other regions, other religions, other societies and simply turn a blind eye.  This racism is far more damaging than the ignorant thoughts of an old man who owns a basketball team.  It costs lives.

A lyric from a Dave Matthews song is very convicting:

Late at night with TV’s hungry child

His belly swells

Oh, for the price of a coke

Or a smoke

I could keep alive

Those hungry eyes.

We could comment today on the shocking racism that took place during the slave trade in the United States.  We look back on our own history of slavery and ask the question of how good self-proclaimed Christians could have owned slaves?  It goes against everything in the Bible.  How could we have been so blind.  David Platt describes this as a blind spot.

What about today?  Will we look back on ourselves in 200 years and ask the question of how so many millions of good self-proclaimed Christians could have virtually hoarded food in their pantries to the point over overflowing but allowed children on the other side of the world to literally starve.  How can this blind spot exist today?

The government should solve this.

No.  I reject this premise.

The government does it’s best to solve poverty but it always fails.  The government is trying desperately to do something that Christ called us to do ourselves.  I wrote about this a lot in my post called Subcontracting Christianity.  We are asking the government to fill our role here and we become upset when it fails.  But we are the only reason the government is pushed to try to solve this problem anyway.  We are the ones who left our desks and the work piled up.  This is our job.

So let’s do our job.  Today please take 15 minutes to stop what you are doing and decide what you can do to help someone in need so the government doesn’t have.  Giving money is good.  But think of something you can do beyond giving money.  This is harder, but more impactful.  A friend of mine actually travels to impoverished nations and delivers food.  Hands on.  No more pretending.  He’s riding a bicycle over one thousand miles in a month to raise funds for it.  He is not playing around.

For the price of a Coke.  Or a smoke.  Keep alive those hungry eyes.  There are people who read this blog who are themselves almost going hungry and would not possibly have money to spare.  But they have something to spare.  We all have something to spare.

In the end Donald Sterling doesn’t really matter.  But he is a mirror that we can look into to expose something we thought was not in us.  He can motivate us to change not just the conversation about racism, but the reality that it takes on children around the world.  Donald Sterling could be a catalyst for something in our lives.

 

Thanks for reading.  I’m trying to build this blog back up after taking some time off.  Any shares on Facebook, Twitter or even email would be greatly appreciated.  Many thanks for your support.

We were built to be heroes.  It’s about time we started acting like heroes.

Subcontracting Christianity

contractors-review-plans

We’ve been to church.  We get it.  We’re supposed to help people.  And I do.  I really do.  I send like thirty bucks a month to World Vision.  I give to church.  And I pay taxes.  Don’t even get me started on taxes.  And all these organizations help people.  Well I suppose that last one is arguable, but that’s a topic for another blog.

Helping people, like… face to face… isn’t really my thing, you know?  It’s like building a house.  I need a house.  But you don’t want to live in a house I built.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  So I subcontract it out, right?  Get the true experts in there to get it done right.  I write the checks.  They build the house.  Just like helping people.  Write some checks.  Done and done.

Except it’s not.

See helping people is different than building a house.  We aren’t all wired to build houses.  But we are wired to help people.  Every single one of us is wired to help others.  Some of us are wired to help thousands.  Some of us are wired to help a few.  And I’m convinced that some of us are here just to help that one person that God puts into our lives.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t give to charity.  This isn’t an “either/or”, it’s a “both and”.  Yes, World Vision is way way better than I am at helping people in developing countries.  My pastors are way better a teaching the gospel than I am.  Trust me on that one.  So I give to those organizations.  And to be honest I really should give more.  Way more.

But what about the people at work?  The neighbor?  The guy on the side of the highway with a flat.  The woman you know that could get a much better job if she knew MS Excel, and you just happen to be a rock star at MS Excel.  Or even the people you pass on the street.  We underestimate the power of a simple “hello”.

And let’s talk about the government thing.  We fight a lot about which laws to pass.  What should and should not be outlawed?  Who should and should not receive our assistance?  But to what extent are we simply asking the government to do what we should be doing ourselves?  Wouldn’t it be funny if every Christian extended a hand to someone in need and the government threw a big welfare bonanza and no one showed up?  How cool would that be?

Sometimes we spread the gospel by talking about it.  Sometimes we spread the gospel by acting it out.

Just a thought.

We were built to be heroes.  Not to hire heroes to hero for us.

Photo credit: USACE HQ / Foter / CC BY

The most perfect drug.

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Hey.  What’s up?  You look a little beaten down, bro.

Rough week?  Yeah.  Tell me about it.  Work is overwhelming.  Deadlines on top of deadlines you’ve already missed.  The wife is on the phone.  Mad.  You’re behind on basically every goal you said you’d never fall behind on “this time.”  Again.  You’re out of shape.  Again.  And all you have time for is fast food that you eat in your car.  Again.

You need a break.  Five minutes.  You need relief for just five minutes.  If you had some drugs….  oh, but you’re not into drugs.  Right, right.  That’s cool.  Good for you.  You’re clean, and that’s a good thing.  Pat yourself on the back.

Relax.  I’ve got exactly what you need.  Listen, junkies would dive into a beer.  Grab a needle.  I little heroin.  Smoke a little weed.  Hell, you could get some from the neighbor kid in high school probably.  Calm those nerves a little.  Walk away from those anxieties a bit.  It’s not weakness.  It’s a well earned vacation and it only lasts five minutes.  Ten tops.  Doesn’t the world owe you that?  Hurts no one.

But like you said, you’re no junkie.  I wouldn’t ask you to do that.  It’s below you, right?  You’re out here in the burbs.  You have a reputation to think about.  You go to church for goodness sake.  Married.  Kids.  The whole bit.  I’m not going to send you to some street corner looking for a dealer.  When would you even have the time?

It’s cool.  I can help you right now.  Right this minute.  No needle marks to cover up.  No stench of pot on your clothes.  They won’t even smell beer on your breath.  I’ve got the drug you need and no one needs to know.

It gets better.  It’s free.  It’s everywhere.  It won’t cost you a thing.  And I don’t mean to be cliché here but it’s true: Everyone’s doing it.  You’re no freak here pal.  You’re just taking a break along with every other guy out there.  Hey, isn’t it your God that made women beautiful?  Why not appreciate a little of that beauty, right?

Worried about getting caught?  Don’t worry about that.  I’ll teach you everything you need to know.  Ever heard of “In Private Browsing”?  There’s a million tricks.  I’ll show you how to delete it all.  Wash it all away.  No one needs to know.  Not your boss.  Not your wife.  No one needs to know.  Wash it all away like it never happened.  Your five minutes of freedom done and gone, and back to work.  No harm, no foul.

And like I said, it’s everywhere.  I put it in your PC.  I put it in your phone.  Hell, I even stuck some softer forms of it on the magazine racks at the grocery checkout.  I designed it to be easy, because it should be.  You deserve that.  You can’t even watch TV for five minutes without seeing it.  Your kids?  Hell they’ve seen so much of it just on network TV by the time their 11 they’re probably already on our side.  I set you up good.  I got your back.

So give it a try.  Just take a look.  You’re not hurting anyone.  Victimless crime.  It’s not even a crime brother!  Trust me.  The women you’re looking at?  They’re totally into it.  Just look at them.  Don’t worry about a thing.

Five minutes of peace.  It’s all you need.  And I’ve got your back.

__________________________

When we look at creation and conclude that something so beautifully perfect must have been cerated by God, then we have to look at internet porn and realize that it is so perfectly evil that it could only have been created by Satan.  It delivers evil more efficiently and more effectively than anything else in the world.  It delivers a more potent high than heroin and triggers exactly the same centers of the brain and it’s more addictive.  It physically alters and rewires the way your mind processes thoughts by creating new neuropathways that are like a super highway designed just to deliver the high that porn provides.

If you need help, email me.  james.d.voigt@gmail.com

We were built to be heroes.  We know who the villian is.  So it’s about time we started acting like heroes.

Photo credit: eighteen1 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

What if they really are going to hell?

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This is not a happy post.  Sorry.  Take a long look at that picture.  Those men are about to die at the hands of their own government.  We could engage in a very philosophical debate about whether non-believers all go to hell.  The debate over this subject is such a giant waste of time and I don’t want to add to it more than necessary.  One side would bust out their Bibles and read the words of Christ that say that no one goes to the father except through him.  They would then have that bizzare and disturbing look of satisfaction that some Christians get when they feel they’ve accurately predicted the eternal damnation of another human being.

Some will argue that a person only goes to hell if they are first told about Christ and only then intentionally reject him.  As David Platt points out, this would mean that telling someone about Christ literally creates the possiblity of hell where there previously had been none, which is hard to believe. After that we’ll start talking about whether babies go to hell and that’s where it really gets heated.

My analysis?  I don’t know.  The end.

We don’t really know one way or the other.  Decision: Do you assume they are not going to hell and do nothing?  Or assume they are and we get our tails in gear?  If we live our lives treating the eternity of others with that level of urgency, what harm have we caused?  None.  So why on earth would we run the risk and waste time debating the topic in place of getting out there and spreading the word?  You know… just in case.

What prompted all this?  I saw an article about innocent civilians being gunned down by the Syrian government.  Are these men going to hell because they died never knowing Christ?  I don’t know.  And neither do you for sure, let’s be honest.  And “I don’t know” isn’t good enough in this situation.  And if you’re one of those uber-confident Christians that can say with full authority that these men are definitely going to hell because they didn’t know Christ, then I have a very convicting question for you: What did you do about it?  Stop patting yourself on the back for knowing that answer with such confidence and start convicting yourself to the thought that you knew they were going to hell and did nothing.

Personally, I never lifted a finger.  I see their photo standing their with their backs to me, one of them turned just enough that I can see the fear on his face knowing he is about to die, and I know that I did nothing to change his eternity.  I bet he’s thinking about his eternity.  Why wasn’t I thinking about his eternity when I had the chance?  I’m angry that these men were killed by their government.  But I’m more angry that I was sitting in my posh midwestern suburban home while it happened and did nothing to affect their eternity.

We have a lot of work to do.  A planet’s worth of work to do.  Let’s not sit around debating whether we need to do the work, and let’s just do it.  I’d much rather meet my maker having done more than I needed to, as opposed to seeing him and explaining how I won the debate on not needing to do anything at all.

We were built to be heroes.  It’s about time we started acting like heroes.

I don’t accept any of the Bible on faith.

Foter.com / Public domain

This is a really (really) long post.  And if my personal history holds true, about 90% of you will be so ticked off with me about a third of the way through this post that you won’t get to the end of it.  But I’m asking you to keep an open mind.

If you are doing your job right as a Christian, you will eventually meet someone who demands that the Bible actually be true.  The worst mistake you can make at that point is to explain that believing the Bible requires faith.  That’s simply not true.  Believing in God requires faith.  But the Bible is a historical document and if it cannot stand the test of truth, then what exactly are we doing here?

Was there really a guy named Noah and did he really build an ark?  Did Paul really write those letters from prison?  Did the sea really part?  Did people really speak in tongues?  Did anyone ever actually get healed through prayer?  Did Christ really live?  Did He really die?  Did He really rise from the dead?  Creation happened in seven days?  Seriously?  Did three guys stand in a furnace and not get burned?

Yes… the Bible is a list of stories of things that actually happened.  I can’t wait for the “so what about this” comments I will get on this post.

I’ll give you a little warning here.  Believing the Bible is actually true will get you into a little bit of trouble.  Especially with other Christians.  And my favorite is creation.  Personally, I’m going with the Bible version until I see compelling evidence otherwise.  I raised this point at a Christian men’s group and thought I was in safe territory.  Wow did I create a fuss.  We even ended up creating an online discussion group about it and tempers flared.  We picked a book to answer the question, “Does the Bible really say that creation happened in seven days?”

Yes, I am one of those cooky creationists.  To be honest, it’s not because of some driving desire to believe everything the Bible says despite all the science.  That’s part of it.  But the “science” behind the big bang and evolution requires just as much, if not more, faith to believe than the Biblical account.  It’s just that we’ve heard it so many times and from such a young age that we assume it’s all proven fact.  But it’s not.  And we don’t really teach creation in church anymore because it makes you look crazy, so we’ve been raised with no other answer than evolution.  But evolution is a religion just like creation.  You need a lot of faith to believe in it.  I’ll provide just a few simple examples:

  • Everything used to be one big mass that was the size of a period on a page spinning super fast and creating a lot of gravity because it had so much mass.  Hence it was the size of a period on a page.  Try squeezing a marshmallow into something the size of a period on a page.  Then remember that this theory, which appears in textbooks all across the nation, says that not only everything on our planet (including the planet itself) but every planet in every solar system was crushed down into something the size of a period on a page.  How is that possible?  Well… there was a lot of gravity, you see.  Listen, I’m not arguing that this is impossible.  But I am arguing that believing that requires just as much faith as believing that God created everything in seven days.
  • That period sized mass of everything spun so fast that it exploded and all the stuff that makes up the cosmos flew out of it.  I’m over simplifying here, but this explains why we see the cosmos basically expanding right now, with everything flying away from everything else.  It also explains why planets spin.  Kinda.  The problem is that when one object is spinning, anything that flies off of it also spins.  In the same direction.  Planets don’t all spin in the same direction.  So we came up with this idea of a big bang because we know that the laws of physics are infallible and never change.  The entire big bang theory is predicated on the infallible laws of physics.  But we ignore one of the basic laws of physics in our analysis because it doesn’t fit in with the conclusion we already reached.  And this is the crux of evolution: It starts with a conclusion and then packs in data around it that supports that conclusion.  It ignores data that dispels the conclusion.  And it ridicules any “knuckle dragging religious zealots” who dare to call it into question.  As opposed to engaging in conversation, we’re simply dismissed.  Trust me on that one… I get dismissed a lot.  This post is the religious version of coming out of the closet.  “Oh crap, what will my dad say when he finds out!?!?”
  • All of us started out as single cell organisms.  These organisms then became all sorts of different things like ducks and tigers and whales and people.  This is based upon the observation that we have seen some animals morph into other animals over long periods of time.  But that’s only partially true.  We’ve seen wolves morph into dogs and observed it scientifically, but we’ve never seen one species morph into another.  We’ve never seen a duck become a bear.  We simply assume it happened intra-species because we’ve seen it happen inter-species.  And when pressed to explain why that would be possible, the answer is the same pat answer which is evolutionist code for “I don’t know” and that is… “Well it happened over billions of years.”  Suddenly something that all of your other science shows has never observably happened becomes possible because we decided it happened over a really really long period of time.
  • A really really long time.  Whacky cooky creationists believe the earth and everything around us was created about 10,000 years ago.  Really?  What a bunch of loons!  We get this crazy idea from the genealogies set out in the Bible that run literally all the way back to Adam.  If those genealogies are accurate, then that puts a time cap on how long all this stuff took.  This flies in the face of the billions and billions of years that are required to make the impossible possible under the theory of evolution so it tends to be a major sticking point and REALLY gets under people’s skin.  Try it sometime and watch what happens.  You will first be challenged with carbon dating and you will point out that there are a lot of problems with carbon dating.  Like it once dated the front of a mammoth as 450,000 years older than the back of it.  Stuff like that.  Again, nothing to fully disprove carbon dating but enough to at least call it into question.  But trust me on this: If you want to throw down with evolutionists the argument will always center on when this all happened an how long it all took.  Because without the billions and billions of years built into the story of evolution, it doesn’t work.  Because we need  all those billions of years to make the impossible possible.  You cut into that, and evolution is in trouble.
  • You creationists goofballs used to think the earth was flat!  Yes.  We did.  So did you by the way.  But we don’t think that anymore and here’s a surprise: Disproving that the earth is flat didn’t do anything to disprove the story of Biblical creation.  And think about science this way: Isn’t the very nature of science the process of continually looking at things and determining that something we used to think was true is actually not true?  We used to diagnose cancer as a mental condition, for goodness sakes.  If we apply the standard of “you used to believe things that we now know are not true” then the entire science community would be out of gas.  Every time a scientist learns something new, we’re changing what we know and often disproving something we really thought we knew prior to that discovery.  So if we are going to apply this standard, let’s apply it fairly and equally.

Listen, if you engage me in a debate on this I can predict the outcome: You will win.  There are people out there that know a lot more about this than I do.  More about the Bible, and more about evolution.  The only purpose of this post is to try to open eyes to the fact that evolution is just as much a religion as the creation story in the Bible.  They both present questions that are tough to answer.  At some point in either version the proponent of their version will have to say, “Ummm… I don’t know.”  So let’s be fair to each other and stop calling the other a sinner or a psycho because of what they believe.

My goal here is not to covert you over.  My pastors don’t even hold my view on this, and trust me, they know more about it than I do.  I’m just saying that the version of all this presented by science isn’t very compelling to me.  Heck, I could even be converted over I suppose if there were some more compelling evidence.  But right now, we can trace science back a long way and at some point it becomes pretty obvious we’re just making this stuff up on the basis of assumptions piled on top of other assumptions.  Somehow in this process that first assumption is silently converted to fact for no other reason than we really need it to be for all the subsequent assumptions to be true.  The big bang theory is an example.  Ask the average American and they will tell you that it’s fact.  Drill down on this with a scientist and they’ll tell you it’s a theory which is based on a lot of other theories needing to be true but which have not been proven either.  I’m not saying this is a bad process.  But I am saying that believing it requires no less faith than my belief in the Biblical creation story.

And remember that when science cries out, “That’s not possible” when we need to start asking ourselves how much we believe the rest of the Bible.  You can’t come out of a furnace without even a hair on your body being singed.  You can’t heal the sick with a single touch, or without even seeing them at all.  You can’t call dead people out of tombs.  You can’t be crucified and rise three days later.  You can’t part oceans and rivers.  You probably can’t march around a city for a week and play trumpets and knock it’s walls down.  This is why I say that believing the Bible doesn’t require faith.  It’s one of the most detailed historical collection of documents we have.  But believing that God intervened in all these situations to make them possible does require faith, and no more faith than believing the account of creation.

So here’s the deal.  Whenever I bring this up two things happen.  First, I kick off an angry debate.  If you want to debate then let’s do so, but let’s keep it civil.  No creationists insulting evolutionists and no evolutionists insulting creationists.  The fact is we have a lot to learn from each other.  We both have our “I don’t know” areas of our beliefs.  Nothing either of us believe is worth believing if it cannot be tested and challenged.  It always makes me crazy when evolutionists gasp in horror that some sinner would dare to challenge the Biblical creation story.  Listen pal, if it can’t stand up to criticism how much do you really believe it?  I say challenge away.  But the same goes for evolution.  We should be allowed to challenge it.  Evolution is a little like global warming.  All of science has agreed that it’s true, and anyone who presents an alternative view is rejected and dismissed as a nut.  I believe that global warming is happening.  I just wish the scientific community wasn’t so scared of having their theories on global warming tested.  I feel the same way about evolutionists and creationists.

Again, my point here is not to convince you that evolution is a sham.  Personally I see massive holes in the theory and given the choice between two different beliefs that both require faith, I’m going with the Biblical version.  So let’s talk about it, as brothers and sisters of the same human race and not as enemies seeking to destroy each other.

And there is one final point I’d like to make about evolution that bothers me.  It states very clearly that we are nothing.  Human beings are nothing.  No different than anything else on this planet.  We all popped out of this primordial sludge and we happened to become humans and other stuff became other stuff.  We’re not created.  We’re evolved.  I have a hard time believing that.  On a very practical note, why have we evolved so much more than any other species?  Look at how excited we get when a parrot talks, or even more excited when we discover through science that dolphins actually communicate with each other under water.  And those things are amazing.  But they pale in comparison to human beings and what we are capable of.  Think of something simple.  Wherever you are reading this, you are surrounded by the simplest objects that are far beyond the ability of any other species to produce.  A sheet of drywall.  A chair.  A light switch.  No other animal can produce these things at all, much less with skill.  No other animal congregates and has discussions like we’re having right here.

In short, evolution says you’re not amazing.  But you are.  Evolution says you were not created.  But you were.  Creationists are criticized in this view because they say we claim to rule over the earth and we can do whatever we want with it.  Well yes, that’s true.  In exactly the same manner in which a parent rules over their baby and can do whatever they want with it.  But we expect that parent to care for that child.  To keep it clean.  To love it and cherish it.  Trust me when I say this: The realization that creation is true and we are in charge of it is NOT the free pass to abuse it.  It is an overwhelming sense of awe and responsibility.  Any Christian who believes the Biblical account of creation should be the most staunch environmentalist on earth.

Yes.  We are special.  We are created for a purpose.  And we are all created to be amazing, and to do amazing things.  There is a difference between us and the other species and our job is to care for all of it.

We are built to be heroes.  Created to be heroes.  It’s about time we started acting like heroes.