Friday, July 24, 2009

"Creationist" or Just a "Christian"?

Recently we hosted a Creation Vs. Evolution seminar here in Lawrenceburg. I believe it was a huge success and I know we as a church look forward to doing more events like this in the future. Dr. Brad Harrub was our speaker. He was well qualified, did an excellent job, and he opened up the hearts and minds of many people with regard to many matters that face us as Christians in the post-modern era.

I was thinking about Brad recently, being so thankful for him and his work. I know others appreciate him and probably came to some of the same understadnings as I did concerning several issues because of his influence. For example, I am confident that we realize we need more men like him who will study science and Christian evidences, get their credentials, and fight for the truth in these arenas all over the country. But there was one thought I had in particular that made me wonder if anyone else was thinking something similar.

Brad is often labeled a "Creationist." Now, I am sure he would not mind this label. Neither would I. After all, Creationism is simply the religious belief that the universe and all the living things contained therein are the product of deity. Specifically, the proper view of creation is found in the only heavenly account, the Bible. So to be labeled a Creationist is not a bad thing, it is a compliment.

However, I think a better label for Brad and hopefully the rest of us is "Christian." One of the reasons this is a better name is because it is a biblical name (Acts 11:26; 1 Pet. 4:16). But the main point is that it is hard to see how anybody who would call themselves a Christian would not be a Creationist automatically.

If we are going to be Christians, then there are many fundamental truths and believes that should also be a part of our makeup. Some of these include:

1. Belief in the Godhead: the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit (1 John 5:7).
2. Belief in Jesus as the Son of God (John 3:16).
3. Belief in the Bible as the perfect and inerrant word of God (2 tim. 3:16-17).
4. Belief in the gospel as the power to save the souls of men (Rom. 1:16).
5. Belief that God created the world and everything in it in six days (Ex. 20:11).

Now this is a very short list. The longer list would include the truth about the salvation process, the one church, true worship, et cetera. But the main expression of this article is hopefully very clear. Christians must define themselves according to the same matter that God would define His people in His holy word.

If we are truly Christians, then we are also Creationists - along with other labels and tags the world may supply.

"Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. ~ 1 Peter 4:16

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Track star Wilma Rudolph won three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics, but to get there she had to overcome enormous hurdles. Stricken with scarlet fever at the age of 4, she lost the use of her left leg and had to learn to walk again when she was 7.

Tim Hansel wrote about overcoming obstacles in his 1987 publication, Holy Sweat:

In 1962, Victor and Mildred Goertzel published a revealing study of 413 "famous and exceptionally gifted people" called Cradles of Eminence. They spent years attempting to understand what produced such greatness, what common thread might run through all of these outstanding people's lives.

Surprisingly, the most outstanding fact was that virtually all of them, 392, had to overcome very difficult obstacles in order to become who they were.

While most people would like to live a life without the inconveniences of struggles, obstacles are necessary on any road to success. "Easy living" makes us lazy. It keeps us from appreciating blessings. Hard times are benchmarks in our progress. They are, as the poem goes, the footprints in the sand that remind us of the loving care of God who never gives up on us.

If you were to honestly look back on your life and ask yourself when you felt the closest to God, I think that you will find it was when you overcame something with His help. It was an illness that God helped you get through, or perhaps poverty, stress, or marriage/family trouble. It may have simply been a time of isolation when you realized that God was the only sure and constant thing at all.

I have witnessed that on many occasions, people deny the Lord in "good times." I have experienced that some people are completely unreachable with the gospel when they have no visible obstacles to overcome. But a death, a divorce, a difficult personal problem, these often present the obstacle that is needed for people to finally realize that they cannot get through life without God.

The next time you see an obstacle, don't worry. It may be your greatest opportunity for success. Christ proved this truth when He died on the cross. The greatest victories are found in what we overcome.

"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~ 2 Corinthians 12:10

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fishers of Men

When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He called four fishermen to be the first of twelve apostles. In Matthew 4, Mark 1, and Luke 5 the accounts of the calling of these fishermen can be found.

In Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17, Jesus said, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men."

Luke wrote the words of Christ this way in Luke 5:10, "Do not be afraid, from now on you will catch men."

An examination of the Biblical narrative gives the true disciple of Christ some important reminders:

1. Jesus can use anybody. When the gospel was first preached, people from all nations heard the wonderful works of God from uneducated men from Galilee. Christ can literally come right into your workplace and give you a better and more important task. Your past, your training, your origin - these things do not matter to the one who can do anything (Matt. 19:26).

2. Circumstances change priorities. The preaching of Jesus which accompanied the calling of the apostles was, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matt. 4:17). Fishing in a boat suddenly became somewhat of a minor thing to be doing when these men found out the kingdom of God was about to come to men. People today are involved in many things that really should be less important than they are making them. Jesus may come again at anytime.

3. True discipleship is complete allegiance. The most staggering verse of the account of this calling is Mark 1:18 (KJV) - "And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him." The word forsook in this passage literally means," send away, leave behind, divorce, or desert." These men dropped the fishing business immediately, and spent over 3 years with Jesus before His death. The reason why many people have never grown in Christ, is because they have never completely joined with Him. You cannot hold the world with one hand and hold the hand of Jesus with the other.

4. God wants people who will fish for men. People ask all of the time, "What does God really expect from me?" They say, "I love God and I know He has a plan for me, but I am not sure what that is!" The Bible teaches that God wants people to catch other people. This is what He expects, and this is His plan for you! Embrace the fact that God is waiting for you to get into the fishing business. You cannot be a follower of Jesus until you begin fishing for men.

"When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, 'Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.'" ~ Luke 5:4