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Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Truth of Christmas

Prior to our Revolution, most crown-appointed governors in the Colonies remained loyal to the king. One such governor wrote to the Board of Trade in England stating that, “If you ask an American, who is his master? He will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ.” This attitude gave rise to a cry that was resonating throughout America: “No king but King Jesus!”

That is the ultimate truth of Christmas: the true King has landed. “Hark! The herald angels sing; glory to the newborn King!” Just prior to His death, as Jesus stood before Pilate, the Roman governor, Pilate asked Him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” After some discussion Pilate concluded to Jesus, “You are a king, then!” Jesus answered him saying, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world…”

Christmas isn't simply about a birthday. It is about the birth of a kingdom. Where is this kingdom? It is wherever He is King. It exists now in the hearts of all who believe that Jesus is all that He claimed to be.

Sadly, this is, of course, nonsense to most. For example, one author I read recently describes the “hidden meaning” of Christmas as a: “festival of the human heart. It is a time of year when all the universe conspires to raise the vibratory level of consciousness on earth to one of peace and love toward ourselves and one another. This season resonates to the sweet, childlike innocence that resides in all of us; A time when the heavenly forces inspire us to shift our focus away from fear and toward one of joy, and healing.” Huh?!

This type of ignorance of the truth of Christmas is far too prevalent in a nation that was founded largely by Christians and upon the principles of Christ. This is not the fault of our politicians, our judges, the secularists, or the atheists. The fault lies with me and with you, if you call yourself a Christian. Far too often we look to blame the problems in our nation on the immorality of others. Don’t get me wrong, we must always speak the truth, (in love), when it comes to sin, but we must never forget what we, as Christians, are called to be: “the light of the world.”

Also, we should not hesitate, as John Jay, member of the First and Second Continental Congresses, author of the Federalist Papers (along with others), and first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court put it, “in the interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians as (our) rulers.” However, electing Christian politicians will not solve our problems either. If it would, then Christ came in vain. As Dwight Eisenhower once said, “Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is necessary to the salvation of America.” Our hope does not lie with men (or women), but with the King of kings.

Christ taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The Creator of the universe, however, will not force Himself upon even the weakest of men. Neither should we try to force others to accept the greatest gift ever given to mankind. A holy end can never be achieved by unholy means.

As we celebrate Christmas this year may all Christians remember that after the gift of Christ, one of the greatest gifts we've been given in this nation is our freedom. And with this, let us also remember, as the Apostle Paul implored us, “…do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” In doing this we will show others the “true meaning of Christmas.”

Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Prayers and Thanksgiving

It is with curious timing that our Governor, Sonny Purdue, would call for an official prayer service to petition the Almighty for rain to fall upon our parched land. Many have taken issue with the Governor, calling his actions everything from foolish to unconstitutional. However, it is interesting to note as we approach Thanksgiving Day how often in our nation’s history political leaders have publicly “called upon the name of the Lord.”

On December 26, 1941, President Roosevelt signed a resolution permanently establishing the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday. For the previous 79 years, beginning in 1863, our nation had celebrated an unofficial Thanksgiving Day on the last Thursday in November. President Lincoln began this tradition, which Presidents following him continued, by declaring, “We often forget the Source from which the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies come. . . . No human wisdom hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most HighGod. . . . I therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States . . . to observe the last Thursday of November as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

According to historian David Barton, the first national Thanksgiving occurred in 1789. In September of that year, immediately after approving the Bill of Rights, Congress delivered a resolution to President Washington requesting, “that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” Washington declared, “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. . . . Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 . . . that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.”

In 1777 the Continental Congress called for a day of thanksgiving and praise, “so that the people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts . . . and join . . . their prayers that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive our sins and . . . to enlarge His kingdom which consists in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

On October 23, 1871 President Ulysses S. Grant recommended that on Thursday, the 30th day of November, “the people meet in their respective places of worship, and there make the usual acknowledgments to Almighty God for the blessings he has conferred upon them; for their merciful exemption from evil, and invoke His protection and kindness for their less fortunate brethren whom, in His wisdom he has deemed it best to chastise.”

Of course, governmental calls for prayer, petition, and thanksgiving have by no means been limited to a day in November. In 1799 President John Adams called for a national Fast Day, requesting that citizens, “abstain, as far as may be, from their secular occupation, and devote the time to the sacred duties of religion… that they call to mind our numerous offenses against the most high God, confess them before Him with sincerest penitence…that He would make us deeply sensible that ‘righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34).”

In 1988 Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law that declared the first Thursday of each May to be recognized as a National Day of Prayer. On the inaugural date he proclaimed: “Let us, young and old, join together, as did the First Continental Congress, in the first step—humble, heartfelt prayer. Let us do so for the Love of God and His great goodness, in search of His guidance, and the grace of repentance…”

As governors, Thomas Jefferson in Virginia and John Hancock in Massachusetts both declared official days of prayer and thanksgiving. In 1790, Hancock exclaimed, “I. . . appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise . . . to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us . . . by giving to us . . . the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. . . . And to pray that He would forgive our sins and . . . cause the religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the people of the earth.”

Enduring this drought ought to remind us all how thankful we should be toward our Creator for all that He provides. When the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in October of 1621, they had endured many hardships. In just about one year’s time, nearly half (47) of their original number had died. Through their many difficulties they still found cause to thank and praise God. The Pilgrims understood well that God truly provided them with everything that they needed. May we be of the same mindset this Thanksgiving Day.

Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Where's Outrage for Travis Henry

Michael Vick has pleaded guilty. Let justice be done. From all indications it seems that it will be. Along with our judicial system, everyone from U.S. Senators, to the NFL, the media, corporate America, and the public in general have let their voices be heard in this matter. Michael Vick has been keenly condemned, with adjectives such as “cruel,” “sadistic,” “barbaric,” “cannibalistic,” “inhumane,” “abhorrent,” “reprehensible,” and “incomprehensible” used to describe his behavior.

The words and actions of those condemning Vick make me wonder where all this passion is when the lives of human beings are at stake. Former congressman J.C Watts pondered the same in an article he wrote recently, comparing the barbarism of dog-fighting to the barbarism of abortion. He pointed out that, “our culture has degenerated to a level where our priorities are so out of whack, that we decry ‘from mountain to mountain and valley to valley’ the mistreatment of innocent animals, while we turn a collective and legislative blind eye to the premature and yes, barbaric killing of human life in the name of ‘choice.’” Amen.

Recent developments with another NFL athlete give an additional interesting situation to contemplate. I wonder what the individuals and organizations so stirred by Vick’s actions think of the Denver Broncos’ tailback, Travis Henry. On Friday August 24 the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Henry has fathered nine children by nine different women across at least four different states. Talk about incomprehensible.

After Vick’s official admission of guilt, Goodell fired off a letter to him saying in part, “You have engaged in conduct detrimental to the welfare of the NFL and have violated the league's personal conduct policy.” ESPN reported on August 29 that Henry will not be disciplined by the NFL, saying that, “The league has clamped down on off-field misbehavior under commissioner Roger Goodell. But the newly implemented personal conduct policy ‘generally covers criminal violations, not civil matters’ such as Henry's, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Wednesday.”

Henry’s actions may not be very detrimental to the welfare of the NFL, but they are likely to be devastating to the nine children he has helped bring into this world.

Glenn T. Stanton, Director of Global Insights and Trends and Senior Analyst for Marriage and Sexuality at Focus on the Family (www.family.org), writes that, “All things being equal, children with married parents consistently do better in every measure of well-being than their peers who have single, cohabiting, divorced or step-parents, and this is a stronger indicator than parental race, economic or educational status, or neighborhood. The literature on this is broad and strong.” He bolsters this statement by noting that children living with their biological parents have, on average, higher test scores and grade point averages, and miss fewer school days than their peers not living with both biological parents. Also, they receive professional help for behavior and psychological problems at half the rate of children not living with both biological parents.

He adds that kids living with never-married mothers are twice as likely to be expelled or suspended from school as their peers, and those not living with both biological parents are 45 to 95 percent more likely to require parent/teacher conferences to deal with performance or behavior problems than those who live with married parents. And last, one of the most powerful predictors of crime rates comes from such family measures as the percentage of the population divorced, the percentage of households headed by women, and the percentage of unattached individuals in the community. It appears to me that the ultimate consequences of Vick’s actions will pale in comparison to those of Travis Henry.

Many do not like the comparison of Vick’s and Henry’s situations. They contend that Michael Vick was in violation of the law, while Travis Henry has broken no laws. However, it is interesting to note that Georgia’s law against fornication was stuck down by its Supreme Court only four years ago. The Washington Post reported in 2004 that 24 states still had laws against adultery, along with ten states still having anti-fornication statutes. Granted, most of these laws, if they still exist, are not enforced, but it goes to show that there was a time when we considered such acts criminal.

What does it say about our culture when one man can be so vilified by the public and the media, punished by his employer, and sent to jail by our justice system mostly because of abusing animals, while another man (along with the women involved) put nine human beings in the detrimental position of growing up in broken homes with no consequences other than being financially responsible for them?

Copyright 2014, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What Angelina Jolie Teaches Us on Sexuality

Finally, something uttered from a Hollywood celebrity that actually makes some sense…. but, I don’t think it was the lesson for which she was aiming.

Angelina Jolie, in a recent interview, had some rather interesting things to say about sexuality. Now she was speaking only of herself, but I believe that what she revealed is very characteristic of many in her “lifestyle.”

Jolie shared with the French magazine, Public, that since entering into a “relationship” with Brad Pitt, she has given up lesbianism and what she called “S & M,” which is short for sadism and masochism. In the interview Jolie stated that, “I've never hidden my bisexuality. But since I've been with Brad, there's no longer a place for that or S&M in my life.”

So I suppose the appropriate label for Jolie, at least the one that the homosexual community would have us use is “bisexual.” Whatever one would label her, I suppose she now is effectively declaring herself “straight.”

The ironic thing about Jolie’s declaration is that it flies in the face of what the homosexual community would have us believe about homosexual behavior: namely that it is an innate, genetically-determined, unchanging condition.

Jeffrey Satinover, author of several books, including Homosexuality and the Politics of Truth, has reported interesting things concerning homosexuality that support Jolie’s declaration. Dr. Satinover is a graduate of M.I.T., Harvard, and the University of Texas Medical School. He has practiced psychiatry since 1986. Dr. Satinover is currently in the doctoral program in physics at Yale.

Dr. Satinover, based on scientific evidence, has concluded that the idea of “sexual orientation” is fiction. He refers to a 1994 University of Chicago study which states, “…it is patently false that homosexuality is a uniform attribute across individuals, that it is stable over time, and that it can be easily measured.” Dr. Satinover adds that, “Studies across the globe that have now sampled over 100,000 individuals have found the same. We now know that in the majority of both men and women, ‘homosexuality,’ as defined by any scientifically rigorous criteria, spontaneously tends to ‘mutate’ into heterosexuality over the course of a lifetime” (i.e. Angelina Jolie).

In 2003, testifying before the Massachusetts Senate Judicial Committee, as they were considering the legalization of gay marriage, Dr. Satinover stated that the belief that homosexuality is a genetic and unchangeable condition is not “even remotely true.” He continued, “however widely believed (these claims) may have become; the evidence of the kind that ‘everyone knows’ simply does not exist; even a cursory examination of the actual sources behind these claims will reveal a very strong preponderance of evidence to precisely the contrary; the claims are simply fiction.”

Until 1973 homosexuality was classified as a “disorder” by the American Psychiatric Association. That year, by a vote of 5,834 to 3,810, the APA removed the condition of homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Concerning this, Dr. Satinover testified that, “the American Psychiatric Association, like most other professional-practitioner associations, is not a scientific organization. It is a professional guild and as such, amenable to political influence in ways that science per se must not allow itself to be. Thus, the decision to de-list homosexuality was not made based on scientific evidence as is widely claimed.”

However, since there is no evidence that homosexuality is “genetic,” many like to refer to homosexual activity as “chosen” behavior. According to Dr. James Dobson this is typically not the case. Dr. Dobson points out that, “Homosexuals deeply resent being told that they selected this same-sex inclination in pursuit of sexual excitement or some other motive. It is unfair, and I don’t blame them for being irritated by that assumption. Who among us would knowingly choose a path that would result in alienation from family, rejection by friends, disdain from the heterosexual world, …No, homosexuality is not ‘chosen’ except in rare circumstances.”

Whether or not one considers homosexuality a “disorder,” Dr. Satinover states that it is a behavior that is undesirable to many, and it is susceptible to change (again, i.e. Angelina Jolie). However, he adds that, “The evidence for this fact should not be obscured by the false assumption that homosexuality is either innate and unchangeable, or a ‘lifestyle choice’ and changeable at will. It is neither: It is most often a deeply-embedded condition that develops over many years. It is, in other words, similar to most human characteristics, and shares with them the typical possibilities for, and difficulties in, achieving sustained change.”

It is rare that the lives of celebrities can point us toward the truth, especially concerning sexual behavior. Even in Jolie’s case, as we learn of her departure from homosexuality (which likely could be rather short-lived), the fact remains that she is in a sexual relationship and has children with a man to whom she is not married. In fact, Pitt has declared that they refuse to marry until, “everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able (to).” Oh well, I suppose a traditional view of marriage from the likes of these two would be asking too much.

Copyright 2007, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Michael Vick in Perspective

I wonder about several things when it comes to the unfortunate events surrounding Michael Vick: If he were accused of involvement in the recent cockfighting ring discovered in Florida instead of his current woes, would there be near the uproar? If he had a Super Bowl victory or two under his belt, would there be calls for the Falcons to cut all ties with him? Where were all the questions about his character and calls for his release or suspension when he was accused of sexual misconduct posing as “Ron Mexico”? It’s almost as if he has been indicted for murder.

Don’t laugh. I heard more than one ESPN radio commentator recently say, in effect, that in many people’s minds what Vick is accused of is worse than if he had killed a human being. What a sad indictment on our culture.

In the year 2000 Baltimore Raven linebacker Ray Lewis, along with two of his “friends,” were indicted for killing a human being (actually two of them). The murder charges against him were later dropped and he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. In 2004 Lewis settled civil suits filed by the murdered victims’ families. One family, according to the Baltimore Sun, received at least $1 million.

Through all of this, Ray Lewis was never suspended by the NFL (though he did pay a record $250,000 fine). I don’t remember there even being many (if any) calls for the league to do so. I don’t recall protests in front of the NFL offices or at the Ravens’ facilities. Then again, Ray Lewis was coming off a season where he was the NFL leader in tackles and an All-Pro. (He would lead his team to a Super Bowl victory the following season.)

In 2003, when Kobe Bryant was indicted for rape, I don’t recall the NBA or the Lakers suspending him. I again don’t recall there being much demand by anyone that either do so. Then again, at the time Bryant was a perennial all-star and had several championship rings to his credit. I don’t think Bryant missed a single game due to his legal woes. In fact, a number of times Bryant had to be in court inColorado during the day, then immediately would fly to another part of the country to play in the Lakers' game that night.

If you believe, as I do, that the worst parts of the indictment against Vick are the gambling charges, then consider for a moment Michael Jordan. Jordan was no stranger to gambling, as he has admitted to losing hundreds of thousands of dollars (some have speculated that it was many millions) in shady gambling activities.

The NBA “investigated” him more than once, and though some think his first “retirement” was forced, he was never officially disciplined by the NBA or the Chicago Bulls. There was never much of an outcry by the media or the fans against Jordan. Of course, it almost goes without saying what Jordan meant to his fans, his team, his league and his sponsors. Mostly he meant hundreds of millions of dollars. No one wanted to see him go the way of Pete Rose.

Then there are the numerous athletes who, though not accused of criminal actions, at least have displayed behaviors that would cause many to call into question their character.

Tom Brady has fathered a child out of wedlock and is no longer in a relationship with the mother. Chipper Jones committed adultery and fathered a child out of wedlock. (I could go on and on with this list.) Where were the calls for their respective teams to suspend them or release them?

Amanda Beard, an Olympic swimmer with seven medals to her credit, including the gold medal in the 200-meter breaststroke, posed nude for Playboy recently. Do you think the U.S.A. Olympic committee, or most American fans, will have a problem with her representing our country in her sport again, as she aims to do?

You can tell much about people by what outrages or shames them. Would you be more ashamed if your grandfather had been involved in cockfighting or the KKK? Would you rather have your son shoot his neighbor’s dog or commit adultery with his neighbor’s wife? Would you prefer to have your daughter caught at a dogfight or pose nude in a magazine? Which behavior would alarm you more? Which behavior has more lasting consequences?

Because other athletes have been given a pass by their league, the media, and their fans is no reason that Michael Vick should. If he is found guilty of breaking the law, then let justice be done. If he is guilty of poor judgment, then there should be just consequences in that case as well. It seems to me, however, that the fury directed against him now is a bit overblown.

Copyright 2007, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Independence Day: July 2 or July 4?

On July 1, 1776 delegates of the Second Continental Congress entered what John Adams called, “the greatest debate of all.” Even after over a year’s worth of conflict against the mightiest military force on earth, declared independence from Great Britain was far from a forgone conclusion. Just weeks earlier the majority of the men in the Congress were very much hoping that some formula for peace could be found with Great Britain.

In The Light and the Glory, by Peter Marshall and David Manuel, it’s noted that these Congressmen knew very well what it would cost them personally to, “cast their votes with those few who were advocating an open declaration of independence. For the men who signed such a declaration would, in the likely event of America’s defeat, be held personally responsible. And the penalty for instigating rebellion against the Crown was death.” Declaring independence required a unanimous vote from the Congress, and as Ben Franklin soberly put it, “We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we will all hang separately.”

During the debate on July 1, John Dickinson, representing Pennsylvania, made powerful and lengthy arguments against declaring independence. With quiet resolve, but equal conviction, Adams answered him concluding with, “All that I have and all that I am, and all that I hope in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it. And I leave off as I began, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration…Independence now, and Independence forever!”

Shortly following this exchange, Congress voted. The majority supported independence, but it was not unanimous as required. Nine of the thirteen colonies were ready to officially declare for freedom and the war necessary to achieve it. Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted no. Delaware’s two delegates were split. The New York delegates abstained. Debate was to resume the next day followed by another vote.

On the following day, July 2, the South Carolina delegates, for the sake of unanimity, were swayed to support the Declaration. New Pennsylvania delegates voted for independence. With New York still abstaining, Delaware was the key. Its two delegates remained split. With a dramatic and grueling overnight ride through stormy weather, where often he had to dismount and lead his horse, an exhausted third Delaware delegate, Caesar Rodney, entered the State House in Philadelphia around 1:00 p.m., just as the final vote was about to occur. He had come to break the deadlock among his fellow statesmen.

Barely able to speak he exclaimed, “As I believe the voice of my constituents and of all sensible and honest men is in favor of independence, my own judgment concurs with them. I vote for independence.” Therefore it was unanimously decided (New York would join with the other colonies officially on July 9th). Thus, The United States was born on July 2, 1776.

The significance of the event and the day was such that, on the following day John Adams wrote his wife Abigail and said that July 2 “will be the most memorable…in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations, as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forevermore.” So according to John Adams, the celebration of our independence is a couple of days late.
                                                                                                 
It was two days later on July 4 that an official Declaration of Independence document was actually signed, albeit only by two members of Congress: John Hancock, the President of Congress and Charles Thompson the Secretary of Congress. Most of the rest of the Congressmen would sign the Declaration about a month later.

On July 4, 1837, in a speech delivered in the town of Newburyport Massachusetts, John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, and the 6th U.S. President, proclaimed, “Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth?” (For the full speech, see my website.)

Witnessing the events of the Revolution as a boy, and then going on to serve his country in many various capacities, John Quincy Adams saw that Christmas and Independence Day were fundamentally linked. He understood well that the Founders simply took the principles that Christ brought to the world and incorporated those into civil government.

That, my friends, is why the United States of America is the greatest nation the world has ever known, even though we may be celebrating its birthday on the wrong date.

(See this column on American Thinker.)

Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Creation Museum

On May 28 just minutes south of Cincinnati Ohio, in the northern Kentucky town of Petersburg, amid a flurry of media attention (everyone from The New York Times to The O’Reilly Factor has taken notice), a truly unique museum opened its doors. About eight years in the works, the Creation Museum is now available for all to see. The Creation Museum is a project of Answers in Genesis (AiG). AiG is an apologetics ministry (the largest such ministry in the world) birthed in 1994 and located in the same area as the museum. AiG describes itself as a “ministry dedicated to enabling Christians to defend their faith, and to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ effectively.” Their focus is particularly on “providing answers to questions surrounding the book of Genesis.”

The Creation Museum has officially been in the works since about 1999. However, the vision for it has been around for much longer. Ken Ham, a founder and president/CEO of AiG , has stated that he has had the vision since around 1980 for a museum that is “truly a world-class center of which the world would take notice. One that shouts loudly that the Bible is the true history of the world—that the Bible is history on which the gospel of Jesus Christ is based—that the Bible can be trusted and has the answer as to where we came from, (and) who we are.”

The $27 million, 60,000 square foot structure will be front and center in AiG’s mission to teach that “The Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation.” The museum was designed by former Universal Studios exhibit director Patrick Marsh, the man behind the "Jaws" and "King Kong" attractions at Universal Studios in Florida. The museum contains computer-generated visual effects, over 50 exotic animals, life-sized people and dinosaur animatronics, and a 200 seat special-effects theater complete with misty sea breezes and rumbling seats.

In addition to over 160 totally unique exhibits, the Creation Museum features exhibits found in many other museums: a planetarium, fossils of various creatures, an exhibit on the Ice Age, a scale-model of rock layers, and a model of a dinosaur dig site. However, as AiG points out, “the explanation of the exhibits (reveals) a story far different from (other museums).”

Where most museums rule out the Bible as evidence, the Creation Museum readily accepts the Bible as accurate historical evidence based on eyewitness testimony. However, they’re not talking about just any eyewitness, but the Creator Himself. AiG notes that, since “God cannot lie, it (the Bible) must tell the truth about past events. The Creation Museum will use the Bible to help interpret the very same evidences (dinosaurs, mammoths, rocks, fossils, etc.) that other museums use, but its conclusions will be different because of a different starting point.”

In other words, how we interpret the evidence of the past is directly influenced by our presuppositions. The Creation Museum begins with a biblical presupposition, allowing for the work of a Creator, where evolution starts with a naturalistic presupposition and interprets the facts devoid of God.

The fact that the Creation Museum takes the Bible so literally has many up in arms—so much so that on the day of its opening some gathered to protest the museum. One group, calling itself DefCon, even flew a plane overhead towing a banner that read, “DefCon says thou shalt not lie,” implying that the museum is giving people false ideas about science and evolution.

AiG points out that, “Contrary to what museum critics have said, AiG wants people to learn about evolution (and, in fact, you can find out quite a bit about the evolutionary timeline in the museum), but we also want them to see and understand the presuppositions that underlie that belief system and the differences between operational science (i.e., repeatable, observable science) and origins science (i.e., unrepeatable, unobservable science).”

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati of AiG says that, “operational science has indeed been very successful in understanding the world, and has led to many improvements in the quality of life, e.g. putting men on the moon and curing diseases. In contrast, evolution is a speculation about the unobservable and unrepeatable past. Thus it comes under origins science.” Dr Don Batten adds that, “Studying how an organism operates (DNA, mutations, reproduction, natural selection etc.) does not tell us how it came into existence in the first place.”

As I have pointed out many times before, there are many in all fields of science who reject Darwinian evolution and accept the biblical account of how all living things came into being. To accept the Bible for what it says does not mean one is turning his or her back on science. I believe that the Creation Museum will go a long way in showing many others that this is the case. In fact, the mission of the Creation Museum can be summed up as follows: to show all who come that they can trust what the Bible says, not just in Genesis, but throughout.

To find out more information on the museum, visit www.answersingenesis.org or www.creationmuseum.org.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Thursday, May 17, 2007

None So Blind...

“There are none so blind as those who will not see,” wrote Jonathan Swift in Polite Conversation. In 1729 Swift wrote a satirical pamphlet entitled A Modest Proposal that was not so “polite.” Swift wrote this bit of satire as an attack on the indifference that the landlords of his day had toward their poor tenants. It is interesting, and quite shocking, to note that what Swift “proposes” in the piece is that poor Irish families sell their children, for extra income, to the rich to be eaten: “I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled…”

A Modest Proposal is considered to be one of the greatest examples of sustained irony in the history of the English language. I think I know of an even greater example. What I’m thinking of, however, does not involve a silly, albeit disturbing, piece of satire. This irony is all too real and tragically, also involves the death of children.

With the fervor of a sidewalk evangelist, we are hearing from many about the imminent dangers of man-made global warming. We are told that temperatures as well as tides are going to rise and if we don’t change our behavior we could all be doomed. One can hardly watch or listen to the news without hearing about it. How do we know if what we are hearing is true? We are told that science has revealed it. Even though increasingly there are dissenters within the scientific community, those who deny man-made global warming are said to be ignoring science and the truth.

With the same fervor we are told that we share ancestors with apes, as well as all other living things. Some would have us believe that billions of years ago all life began in a primordial “soup.” (They can’t tell us who ordered the soup, but they know it was there.) Again, how do we know this is true? Because “science” tell us so. Never-mind that the fossil record does not support the theory or that molecules-to-man evolution violates many of the laws of science (namely, those governing DNA). Here also the number of dissenters is growing. However, if people deny Darwinian evolution, (and especially if they claim to believe the biblical account of creation), they are not simply labeled as ignoring science and the truth; they are ridiculed and called foolish, ignorant, or backwards.

Evolution speculates about the past. Global warming speculates about the future. But what about the science of the here-and-now? Surely those who tout Darwinian evolution and man-made global warming as fact would not ignore what they can see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears. Surely someone so reliant on and trusting of what science reveals to us would not allow himself to be led astray by elegant language, foolish logic, and downright propaganda.

Oh, but they have. I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that the majority of those who believe in man-made global warming and Darwinian evolution also zealously support the “right” of a woman to end the life of her unborn child. Notice that I’m not saying that all who support man-made global warming and Darwinian evolution also support abortion, nor did I say the converse. But what I want to know is, how, in the name of all that is reasonable, can someone who will stand behind the shaky science of man-made global warming and Darwinian evolution ignore what science has revealed about the unborn?

Life in the womb for a baby is as well documented as anything in science. With ultrasound and doppler machines, as well as other technology, one can monitor the life of a baby in the womb from very near the beginning until birth. I know about the life of the unborn not only because of what I’ve read and studied, but also because my wife and I have three small children.

At around week 8 of our pregnancies, which is not long after most women even realize that they are pregnant, we saw an ultrasound of each of our children. Every organ was in place and bones were forming. I could see and hear their little hearts beat at around 150 beats per minute. With the new (4-D) ultrasound machines, a person can see with amazing clarity the baby in the womb. The babies can be seen grasping things, sucking their thumbs, and responding to stimuli.

More and more babies that are being born early, some just past halfway in the gestation period (20 weeks), are surviving because of the march of science. Yet, according to Georgia Right to Life, legal options for abortion exist through all nine months of pregnancy, with 96% occurring for “convenience.”

To justify this, the pro-abortionists speak of the “rights” of women. Whatever “right” one might speak of, how does it outweigh the right to live? People have written into this paper talking about women who are “incapable of caring for a child,” or the “financial” burdens that children can be. One writer even implied that unwanted children might become the victims of abuse and murder. So, we kill them in the womb to spare them later from murder?! What madness!

This goes to show the level of ignorance, willful or not, that perpetuates the American public concerning the plight of the unborn. However, science (finally catching up to Scripture) is forcing us to look at the truth if only we will open our eyes.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Gainesville Care Center

Recently a local organization, with little or no media coverage I might add, celebrated a significant milestone. Gainesville Care Center, in late March, celebrated its 20th anniversary. To celebrate with them, about 800 folks packed the Georgia Mountains Center for a catered meal and to hear Fox News Channel’s Judge Andrew Napolitano speak.

Beginning in 1987 with a full-time staff of one and an annual operating budget of just over $13,000, the Care Center offered the services of pregnancy testing and providing maternity and baby clothing. That first year the Center’s 15 volunteer client assistants ministered to 182 often very young and very scared young ladies.

Currently the Care Center has a paid staff of seven and an annual operating budget around $240,000. There are 42 volunteer client assistants, three volunteer nurses, and five volunteer sonographers. This year they will provide services to over 1,200 individuals, female and male. The Center now offers a dozen programs and services which range from pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, to STD testing (for male and female), to post abortion support (for male and female). They also educate clients on the “adoption option” and then refer them to Christian adoption agencies in the area.

In the 20 years of the Care Center’s existence, over 25,000 clients have been helped. Nearly 1,000 children have been spared from abortion as a result of the Care Center’s work.

Estimates vary, but currently in the U.S. there are anywhere from 2,300 to 4,000 such “pregnancy resource centers.” These centers now outnumber abortion providers (just over 1,800) in the U.S. They are at the heart of the current abortion battle. According to a recent Time magazine article, “the Bush Administration has made them a centerpiece of compassionate conservatism.”

Many centers are independently operated, but typically most are affiliated with one of three national organizations: Care Net, Heartbeat International, or the U.S. National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). Gainesville Care Center is affiliated with both Care Net and NIFLA. According to their Web site, “Care Net is the largest pregnancy center affiliation organization in North America with a network of more than 1,000 Christian pregnancy centers.”

Heartbeat International operated the first pregnancy resource centers in the U.S. and today, with just over 1,000 in 37 countries, is the largest operator of such centers worldwide. NIFLA operates around 1,000 centers spread across all 50 U.S. states.

Pregnancy resource centers have been around since just after the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, which legalized abortion on demand. The vision for Gainesville Care Center was birthed in 1985. The “core group” then consisted of Don and Sylvia Delozier, Jim and Ethel Boone, and Brad and Mary Dunagan. The doors opened in 1987 with Sylvia Delozier serving as the executive director.

The current director, who has held that position for the last 13 years, is Ann Gainey. Many local churches, businesses, and individuals help support the center financially. Local nurses and physicians volunteer their time to serve at the center or on the board of directors. Mrs. Gainey adds that, “We are blessed to have so many local churches, businesses, and individuals help support the ministry financially. The Care Center could not open its doors each day to hurting people in our community were it not for the local nurses, client assistants, sonographers, and physicians who volunteer their time so faithfully. Also, we are grateful that Georgia’s current Lt. Governor and Hall county resident, Casey Cagle, who is a former board member, now serves on the honorary board.”

Along with the other services provided, since 1994, the Care Center’s abstinence educators have presented a program on sexual purity and STD education in the city, county, and private middle and high schools, as well as area colleges. The Gainesville Care Center also offers a myriad of programs and services to churches, civic groups, and other local organizations.

Those who visit Gainesville Care Center looking for help are treated with respect, compassion, and care by the 50+ volunteers and staff whose goal it is to show them the love of Jesus in real and practical ways. Call 770-535-1413 to find out how you can be a part of this vital ministry in our community.

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

Monday, March 5, 2007

From Global Cooling to Global Warming

“There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production… The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it… (scientists) are almost unanimous in the view that the (weather) trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century…The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth's climate seems to be cooling down.”

That’s right folks, you read it right, they said we were “cooling down.” The above quotes are from the April 28, 1975 issue of Newsweek magazine. Notice what Time magazine had to say on the same subject in 1974:

“When meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. (Climatologists) are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age… Telltale signs are everywhere from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest… Man, too, may be somewhat responsible for the cooling trend. The University of Wisconsin's Reid A. Bryson and other climatologists suggest that dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth.”

So, in about 30 years we’ve gone from the threat of having icebergs in our back yard to the threat of having said icebergs all melt, and each of us wishing we had traded our SUVs in for a lifetime supply of fluorescent light bulbs.

Al Gore wants to sell us “carbon offsets”; Heidi Cullen of The Weather Channel wants the American Meteorological Society (AMS) to take away its certification of broadcast meteorologists who don’t tow the “man made” global warming line; and our own Joan King wants us to practice more birth control so we don’t expand our population “past the carrying capacity of the earth.”

The one reasonably certain fact that I have gathered in this debate is that the earth is a bit warmer than it was a decade or two ago. Beyond that there is so much hype, hysteria, and misinformation that one could find himselfs worrying that those beloved polar bears in the coca cola commercials might need to be replaced by more warm-weather loving animals, like say armadillos.

Take heart friends; there are plenty of scientists who have serious doubts about man-made global warming. James Spann, who has been in operational meteorology since 1978, recently wrote an Op-Ed piece responding to Ms. Cullen. He notes that, “For many, global warming is a big cash grab. Billions of dollars of grant money is flowing into the pockets of those on the man-made global warming bandwagon. No man-made global warming, the money dries up…Even the lady at ‘The Weather Channel’ probably gets paid good money for a prime time show on climate change.”

Timothy Ball, the first Canadian to hold a Ph.D. in Climatology and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg, says, “Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification.”

Alabama State Climatologist John Christy has “found almost no sign of global warming in the satellite data,” and adds that, “one finds it difficult to conclude the (sic) climate change is occurring in the US and that it is exceedingly difficult to conclude that part of that change might have been caused by human factors.”

Dr. William Gray, Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, is another man-made global warming skeptic. According to the L.A. Times, Dr. Gray “pioneered the concept of ‘seasonal’ hurricane forecasting — predicting months in advance the severity of the coming hurricane season. Gray’s prognostications, issued since 1983, are used by insurance companies to calculate premiums.” He has also served as a weather forecaster for the U.S Air Force. In a recent Denver Post article he stated that, “They've been brainwashing us for 20 years. Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was.”

I believe in the biblical principle of stewardship. We should all remember that, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Ps. 24:1). We are merely managers of His property. However, in our stewardship we must focus on the Creator and not the created.

I’m afraid that many caught up in the global warming hoopla have become foolish in the manner described by the Apostle Paul in Romans and, “Exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator.”

Copyright 2015, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com