Saturday, December 31, 2005

Genesis 3:1-6

The 3rd chapter of Genesis records the first time that Satan confronts humanity and unfortunately, Adam and Eve don't fare too well. In this case, they fall into Satan's trap because they allow Satan to abuse God's word against them. Even worse, they themselves pervert God's word and the result is the fall of mankind.
Gen 3:1-6 (1) Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2)And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3)But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (4)And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5)For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (6)And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

Gen 3:1…"Yea, hath God said"...First, notice how Satan approaches Eve while she is alone so that Adam isn't available to encourage Eve or hold her accountable when temptation strikes. Then look at the manner in which Satan depersonalizes God. Adam and Eve had always called God by the name 'LORD' which expresses the care and concern of the covenant God, as opposed to 'God' which denotes His great majesty. Lastly, Satan poses a question to cast doubt into God's command.

Eve should have immediately punished the serpent for rebelling against God, but she foolishly entertains the thought. We too, must be careful to avoid entertaining ideas, people, or activities that we know to be against God's will. The mark of an ambitious Christian is to fight off temptation, but the mark of a mature Christian is to avoid temptation. When we are faced with temptation, we need to take advantage of the spiritual authority that God bestows upon us as believers.

(Gen3:3)..."Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die." Eve tells the serpent that God said they 'may not touch' the tree. This isn't true. Look back at Gen2:17 and you will see that the LORD says only that they 'may not eat of it.' Adding to God's word in this way gives the impression that He makes unreasonable demands and therefore, misrepresents His character. Eve also claims that God said not to eat the fruit 'lest you die'. The word 'lest' denotes a possibility, but God actually said that they would 'surely die.' Eve weakened the certainty of God's punishment and Satan takes advantage of the misuse of God's word by telling Eve,

(Gen3:4)…"Ye shall not surely die." This, of course, was a blatant lie that Eve was tricked into believing because SHE didnt adhere strictly to God's word. We still do this today when some people claim that there is no such thing as hell or eternal punishment. Others water down the scriptures to say that 'good people' will go to heaven. Many cults and false teachings are a result of misquoting scripture or taking scripture out of context. The LORD has supernaturally preserved His word for us because it IS so vital. Take care not to treat the word of God as carelessly as Eve.

(Gen 3:5)…"For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods"... Satan again perverts God's motives and implies that God has purposely misled us. This denies the LORD's unfathomable love for us and suggests that He is keeping us from enjoying life. Satan is also appealing to pride here promising that she will be more like her creator...knowing good and evil. While it is true that Eve would know good and evil as God does, the serpent doesn't tell her that she will also lose her holiness and be less like God in that resect. Satan often uses half truths like this to trick us into sin.

Gen 3:6 "And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise"…Here we see how the lust of the flesh can lead to temptation. Once Eve focuses on how ‘yummy’ the fruit looked, and considered how much more like God she would be, obedience to God’s command no longer is on her mind. Very often, immediate gratification is more important than our desire for obedience. Hence, we must focus on Christ so that obedience is written into our hearts by the Spirit!

In some respects, things haven't changed much since the beginning. Satan still attacks us in the same ways as he did Adam and Eve. Luckily, we can learn from their mistake. We have no excuse to be ignorant of the word of God. He has given us all his commands in the bible. It is our responsibility as His children to know them and not be led astray by those who pervert them. So study the scriptures and consult the scriptures when discussing your faith or when your faith is being challenged. In doing so, the will of God will be known to us and will protect us from form deception.

Monday, December 5, 2005

Judicial Tyranny and State-Sponsored Evolutionism

By now, most Americans have at least heard about the “Dover, PA Intelligent Design” case which brought evolution and creation theories head to head in a debate over the constitutionality of teaching “Intelligent Design” in public schools.

The Dover school board instituted a policy in which teachers of 9th grade biology at Dover High School would be required to read a simple statement at the beginning of the school year. Since most of the coverage I’ve seen hasn’t actually disclosed the 4 paragraph statement in question, I think it only fair to do so.

The Pennsylvania Academic Standards require students to learn about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and eventually to take a standardized test of which evolution is a part.

Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the Theory exist for which there is no evidence. A theory is defined as a well-tested explanation that unifies a broad range of observations.

Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. The reference book, Of Pandas and People, is available for students who might be interested in gaining an understanding of what Intelligent Design actually involves.

With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind. The school leaves the discussion of the Origins of Life to individual students and their families. As a Standards-driven district, class instruction focuses upon preparing students to achieve proficiency on Standards-based assessments.

While semingly innocuous, the statement has managed to offend a small minority of Dover residents and of course, the ACLU. Hence, the debate.

To clarify my own position, I’ve always considered education to be best manifested in the classical Greek model of debate. The presentation of opposing ideas facilitates critical thinking and debating skills. Sadly, government education seems to favor regurgitation of a curriculum which the government itself mandates. Evolutionism has enjoyed a state-enforced monopoly of any discussion on origins via the 12 year public school program. Finding such offense in a 4 paragraph statement which simply states that another theory does exist, implies that the public school system IS more concerned with indoctrination than true education.

On December 20th 2005, Judge John E. Jones III presented his opinion on the case, Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area school District. The 139 page decision displayed both a lack of scientific acumen AND a stunning disregard for the Constitution…”It is unconstitutional to teach ID as an alternative to evolution in a public school science classroom.”

Far too often, we find federal judges far too enamored with their own power and personal convictions, disregarding the clear meaning of the Constitution. Ironically, this popular view of the 1st Ammendment is a product of liberalism increasingly promoted in government schools. I remember various school teachers pontificating about the Constitution as a “living, breathing’ document and it was many years before I studied the history/philosophy behind the creation of these Bill of Rights. Once I did, I began to see this phrase as clever justification for convenient interpretations by judges who abuse the power of the bench to advocate culture change through their decisions.

Sadly, Judge Jones shows himself to be of the same breed.

The judge’s opinion exercises dogmatic assertion through the use of familiar unsubstantiated talking points.

“to preserve the separation of church and state mandated by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, we will enter an order permanently enjoining defendants from maintaining the ID policy in any school within the Dover Area School District, from requiring teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution, and from requiring teachers to refer to a religious, alternative theory known as ID.”

This “seperation of church and state” nonsense belies either the judge’s lack of comprehension skills…or a dishonest agenda. Lets clarify this immediately by actually READING the ammendment.

Ammendment 1: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

The 1st ammendment in NO WAY states or implies any SEPARATION. It simply forbids CONGRESS from MAKING LAWS which ESTABLISH any particular religion. That aside, a few other questions about the judge’s statement remain.

  1. How does a 4 paragraph reading on the first day of school, in ONE school district amount to an “Establishment of Religion”?

  2. What ‘religion’ is being promoted when ONLY scientific evidence is discussed and there is no mention of a god?

  3. Precisely how does a 4 paragraph reading citing creation science as an ALTERNATIVE theory require “teachers to denigrate or disparage the scientific theory of evolution”?

  4. The ammendment clearly dictates the restrictions on CONGRESS to MAKE LAWS. Considering that the school board’s decision is NOT a Congressional Law, technically speaking, the ammendment doesnt pertain to this case. Why does the judge cite the 1st Ammendment other than to arouse emotional prejudice by insinuating that “rights” are being violated?

We live in a Republic. The Bill of Rights was written specifically to guarantee unalienable rights of citizens while limiting the power of federal government. States and local governments were to be free to execute the wishes of the citizens through elected and appointed representatives. Given that a school board retains some power in determining the content of curriculum according to the wishes of local residents, its an abuse of power for a federal judge to intervene citing the 1st ammendment which relates to CONGRESSIONAL LAWS.

This issue is not only about creation in the schools. It is about GOVERNMENT in the schools. The GOP once demanded that the Department of Education be destroyed and education remain in the private sector. Ever since the Republican party changed their platform in the early 90’s to abandon this position, there has been little discussion about it.

The government’s monopoly on education has led to a passive tyranny of sorts. Perhaps this issue will serve as a wake-up call for parents who have conceded the education of their children to a government which promotes premarital sex, abortion rights, homosexuality, evolutionism, statism and a host of other moral and philosophical evils.

An optimist finds some positive perspectives here. This case illustrates precisely why home schooling is more popular than ever. Parents are growing tired of having their children force fed myriad ideas which conflict with the morals and messages taught at home.

It also illustrates the rising paranoia within the evolutionist camp which has too long enjoyed a philosophical monopoly enforced by government through the eduation system and public grants. The internet and private funding have allowed creation science to continue flourishing, but also to get its research out into the public eye. As evolution comes under increasingly scrutiny and revisement, its no wonder that its adherents are circling the wagons.

ZHA CAI ROUSI MIAN (Pork & Noodle Soup)

4-6 ounces pork shoulder or pork loin (cut into thin strips) 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine 1 teasp...