6/18/15

From Mark Copeland... Evangelism Made Personal Increasing Opportunities To Share The Gospel (An Approach That Works!)



Evangelism Made Personal

Increasing Opportunities To Share The Gospel

(An Approach That Works!)
The importance of sharing the gospel of Christ with those who are lost cannot be over-emphasized. Jesus wants everyone to hear the good news of salvation (Mk 16:15-16), and has provided the gospel as God's power to save all who believe it (Ro 1:16-17).
But what is the most effective way to reach people today? The Institute For American Church Growth asked over 10,000 people this question: "What was responsible for your coming to Christ and this church?"Their replies were:
  • I had a special need - 3%
  • I just walked in - 3%
  • I liked the minister - 6%
  • I visited there - 1%
  • I liked the Bible classes - 5%
  • I attended a gospel meeting - 0.5%
  • I liked the programs - 3%
  • A friend or relative invited me - 79%
What can we learn from a survey like this? It does appear to confirm that gospel meetings as traditionally held have lost their effectiveness in reaching the lost. It also seems to justify churches' concern to pick their preachers carefully and to give special regard to the quality of their Bible classes.
The obvious point of the survey is this: IF CHURCHES ARE TO GROW, IT WILL BE THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS! Preachers, programs, classes may help, but in most cases they will only maintain the size of the congregation. Such congregational efforts are worthwhile, however, for they can reach people with whom we might otherwise never come in contact. But the fact remains: THE GREATEST POTENTIAL LIES WITH THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOME CONTACT WITH MEMBERS OF THE LOCAL CONGREGATION.
Each of us have daily contact with tens of people who need the gospel of Christ. In addition to efforts designed to reach people "en masse" (via television, radio, mail), we need to utilize the contacts made through the members. In other words, the ideal would be to provide a "TWO-PRONGED" APPROACH to evangelism. Unfortunately, when a special effort is being made to reach out to the masses, the tendency in most congregations is to neglect the opportunities to follow up contacts made through the members.
Two fundamental things are needed to utilize the contacts made through individual members of the congregation:
  • CONCERN for the lost by those members (Mt 9:36-38Ro 9:1-310:1)
  • KNOWLEDGE OF HOW we can increase our opportunities to share the gospel with those with whom we frequently come into contact
Assuming that the concern is there, I will share suggestions with accompanying "action steps" in this article on HOW anyone who is a Christian can increase opportunities for the gospel to be shared with their relatives, friends, neighbors, and others. These suggestions will be based upon observations of what has consistenly proven fruitful in other places and are confirmed by the results of the afore mentioned survey.
Here is the first suggestion, along with its "action steps"...

DO THINGS WHICH MAKE FOR A CARING CONGREGATION

This suggestion is important if our efforts in evangelism are going to be fruitful in the long run. First, because it will help to confirm our claim to be true disciples of Jesus Christ (notice Jn 13:35). Correct doctrine, organization, worship, etc., are certainly important; but it is our love for one another that the Lord intended to convince the world that we are truly the disciples of Christ!
Also, our love makes us useful to the Lord! From Re 3:7-8 we learn that the Lord knows the true condition of His churches, and that He will "open doors" for those that can be useful to Him. I am persuaded that if we are a church that can be used by Him to:
  • Reach others with the gospel
  • Assimilate them into the family of God
  • Nurture them in their spiritual growth
...then He will "open doors" for us as well!
But suppose we are not a place where new Christians can grow spiritually in an atmosphere of love? Do we seriously think that the Lord will use His providence to lead us to souls who are seeking for the truth? Even if we did reach souls for Christ, would they receive the spiritual nourishment necessary to remain faithful and strong in the Lord's service?
Then finally, it is important to practice hospitality towards Christians because it prepares us for the kind of personal work that is the most effective in leading others to Christ. I am referring to "friendship" evangelism (also known as "relationship" or "lifestyle" evangelism), which will require a willingness to be hospitable and giving to those we are trying to reach. If we are unable (or unwilling) to practice hospitality towards our brethren, what makes us think we will practice it towards the lost?
So the first thing to do is make sure that as a church we provide the right kind of loving and caring spiritual environment. Here are some "action steps" that one can take:
  • Make it a point to get to know ALL the members and regular visitors by name
    • Get a church directory and begin to place names with faces
    • Try to learn someone new at each service until you know them all
  • Practice "hospitality" towards the members and regular visitors (1Pe 4:8-9)
    • Invite them into your home, or out to eat (set a goal of one new family or member per month)
    • Visit other Christians each week (esp. the sick, shut-ins, new members, absent members)
When a congregation is filled with loving members who care for its own, then I believe it is ready to be used by the Lord to reach out and care for others!
Where does one begin in trying to reach the lost? May I suggest that you...

MAKE A LIST OF SOULS YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE TAUGHT THE GOSPEL

Making a "list" may not seem important, but it is! It utilizes a very helpful technique used by people successful in all walks of life (i.e., having a "things to do" list). For us, it helps to focus our attention upon those we hope to reach for the Lord, and not neglect them.
In making up this list, one should observe the following suggestions:
  • Start with those who are close to you and work outwardly:
    • Family
    • Friends
    • Co-workers
    • Neighbors
    • Relatives of fellow church members
    • Regular visitors to the services of the church
    • Casual acquaintances (mailman, store clerk, etc.)
  • Limit this list to five or eight souls (a list with too many and you will not be able to focus your efforts effectively).
  • Give priority to those who are the "unchurched"
    • I.e., who are not active members of any denomination or particular religion
    • Active members of a denomination or religion are often very satisfied with their human traditions and are not as receptive to the pure and simple gospel of Christ
  • Husbands and wives should probably have one list (as the suggestions to follow will require their joint cooperation)
KEEP THIS LIST WHERE YOU WILL SEE IT DAILY. This will help you to be constantly reminded of these people and thereby more likely to do the things mentioned next...

PRAY FOR THESE SOULS ON YOUR LIST DAILY

Why pray? First, that God will work together with you...
  • To give you "opportunities" to do good for them (1Co 3:5-7Col 4:3)
  • To give you the "wisdom" to make the most of those opportunities (Col 4:4-6)
  • To give you "boldness" to say what needs to be said (Ep 6:18-20)
Also, that those on your lisit will...
  • Have the opportunity to hear the truth
  • Have honest hearts to be open and receptive to the truth
Remember, it is GOD who gives the increase when it comes to evangelism. We are but servants whom God can use in His providential workings. So though we may work as though it all depends upon us, let us pray as though it all depends upon God!
The next step will take the most time in effective evangelism...

DO THINGS WHICH DEMONSTRATE YOUR LOVE FOR THEM

The importance of this suggestion is seen in the following statement: "People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care!" A demonstration of love will make a person more likely to be receptive to the gospel of love when it is shared (1Pe 2:12). By observing our "good works" they will more likely "glorify God" by obeying the gospel when they hear it. In other words, our love and good works will help prepare the "soil" to be as receptive as possible when the "seed" is finally sown.
Some "action steps" to take might be...
  • Invite them into your home for a dinner or snack
  • Visit them, especially in times of trial or sickness
  • Do things with them on a social level
In other words, simple "hospitality" and "neighborliness" will go a long way in giving you the opportunity to do good towards them. And when they see the "incarnation of the gospel" (the principles of the gospel lived out in the flesh), they will be more likely to believe in the "verbalization of the gospel" (the truth of the gospel in spoken or written word).
After you have spent some time being "hospitable" and becoming better acquainted, I believe the next step would be to...

INVITE THOSE ON YOUR LIST TO ATTEND SERVICES

In the past, I might not have thought this to be very important, but I have come to think differently. There are several good reasons for wanting them to attend the services of the local church...
  • They will (or should) have an opportunity to see a caring congregation in action
    • Combined with your own demonstration of love as an individual...
    • ...the demonstration of love by others should make a lasting impression!
  • They will more likely have an opportunity to be presented with the gospel of Christ (more on this, shortly)
  • If they are attending regularly before conversion to Christ, they will more likely continue to attend after their conversion
As you prepare to invite these souls to attend services, be sure to spend time first in prayer...
  • Asking for "wisdom" to invite them in the best manner
  • Asking for "boldness" to offer the invitation to attend
Of course, you will more likely have people accept your invitations if they are among the "unchurched," but oftentimes even the "churched" are dissatisfied with where they are attending and are willing to investigate a different church.
The next couple of steps become increasingly important, one being to...

DEMONSTRATE HOSPITALITY TOWARDS THOSE VISITORS WHO DO ATTEND

This would apply to all visitors, whether they were invited by you, someone else, or are simply "walk-ins." Some "action steps" might include:
  • Greeting them, letting them know they are welcome
  • Inviting them home or out for a dinner or snack
  • Calling or visiting them after they have attended the services
Showing such love towards those who may even be "strangers" is the true meaning of hospitality, a virtue that ought to characterize Christians (He 13:2Ro 12:13b). Plus, in doing such things, you are preparing their hearts for the gospel! How?
  • By demonstrating love as a congregation of Christians...
  • ...they will be more likely to believe in the love of God demonstrated in the life of Christ! (1Pe 2:11-12)
Finally, we are ready for the most important step in all our efforts...

SEE THAT THEY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR THE GOSPEL

Ideally, this will come AFTER witnessing a demonstration of the gospel in our lives...
  • By our love, hospitality, etc.
  • Both as individuals and as a congregation
If you feel confident in discussing it with them, then approach them yourself and suggest some sort of Bible study. I have found either of the two suggestions effective:
  • A Bible study with them in their home (using aids like video tapes, charts, or simply an open Bible)
  • That they study on their own with the aid of a Bible correspondence course (like Gene Tope's "Know Your Bible" course), or by viewing a video Bible study series (like Jule Miller's "Visualized Bible Study Series," or Robert Harkrider's "How To Understand The Bible")
If you do not feel you are yet confident in approaching them concerning a study, or in conducting it your self, there is still much good that you can do:
  • Bring it to the attention of members who are able and willing to teach
  • Provide opportunities for the teacher and the prospect to become better acquainted, and the teacher can take it from there

Conclusion

These suggestions are offered with a FIRM CONVICTION that if they will be carried out, opportunities to share the gospel and save souls will be greatly increased! Also, with the HOPE that you will accept the challenge to implement these suggestions.
This approach is not only the MOST SUCCESSFUL in saving and keeping souls, it is also one of the MOST NATURAL and easiest ways to reach the lost for Christ! Remember the survey by The Institute For American Church Growth? One does not even have to be able to teach to be effective in leading others to Christ! One simply has to be a FRIEND to Christians and to the lost!
And even if we do not convert a single soul...
  • We will have fulfilled our obligation to share Christ with others
  • We will have done it in such a way as to become better CHRISTIANS, a better CONGREGATION, better FRIENDS, better NEIGHBORS, better CO-WORKERS, etc.!
SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPLEMENTATION BY A CONGREGATION OR A FEW INTERESTED INDIVIDUALS...
Have those interested in being involved meet together on a weekly basis
Encourage one another to SET GOALS for the coming week
  • Share ideas for goals; for example...
    • Having over or visiting one person or family from the congregation
    • Making a list of souls for which to begin praying
    • What you plan to do to demonstrate your love and concern for those on your list
    • Who you will invite to services
    • What visitors you will call, visit, etc.
    • Who you will offer to have a study, or put in contact with someone who will follow-up with a study
  • Write the goals for the coming week down
  • Pray about them, together and on your own throughout the week
At each weekly meeting...
  • Share and discuss how the goals are being met
  • Set new goals for the coming week
  • Write them down, pray about them
This simple program should easily increase opportunities to share the gospel and bring many souls to Christ!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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Giant Human Bones and Bogus E-mails by Kyle Butt, M.A.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=3605

Giant Human Bones and Bogus E-mails

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

The fact that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God has been established repeatedly and definitively (see Butt, 2007). New evidence, however, continues to surface that adds weight to the cumulative case for the Bible’s accuracy. Unfortunately, some of the “new evidence” turns out to be fabricated, based on incorrect information. Thus, it becomes imperative that those who defend the Bible’s inspiration heed the words of Paul, when he admonished his readers to “test all things, hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). God has provided plenty of evidence that establishes the Bible’s inspiration, without resorting to claims that cannot be sustained or are simply false.
One example of such false information is currently circulating in e-mail form under the heading “Giants in the Land of Canaan.” This e-mail purports to show that huge human skeletons have been uncovered that testify to the fact that there were once giants in the land of Canaan. The e-mail contains several pictures of people digging up these massive bones at archaeological dig sites. The photographs depict human skulls and skeletons that are as much as 20 times larger than the average human skull or skeleton.
This e-mail is simply not true. The original photographs were manipulated to look real for a photography contest (see “They Might Be Giants,” 2010). The skeletons’ sizes were exaggerated intentionally, and the original form of the pictures was recognized to be a manipulation. In the course of time, however, the fact that the skeleton pictures were fakes was lost, and many people have forwarded the e-mail as legitimate proof of the historical existence of giants. It is worth noting that the massive size of the skeletons depicted in the photographs is much larger than the biblical text suggests. For instance, the giant, Goliath, was said to be “six cubits and a span” (1 Samuel 17:4), or about nine and a half feet tall. Yet the proportions of the skeletons in the pictures shows one of the giants’ head, by itself, to be about four feet tall, giving the giant an estimated height of about 20-30 feet. Such proportions do not fit the biblical description of giants (see Butt, 2003).
It is most likely the case that many sincere Bible believers have forwarded this e-mail, or others of a similar nature (see Thompson, 1999), without knowing the truth about them. In our zeal to defend the Bible’s accuracy, let us make sure that we “test all things” and “hold fast” only to those evidences that are legitimate. In some cases, the “testing” of such evidence might mean little more than taking two minutes to search the Web to see what has been written on the topic. Often a two-minute Web search can save a person from having to issue an embarrassing apology to hundreds of friends to whom he forwarded an inaccurate e-mail. In addition, if you wonder about a certain piece of information, you can always contact Apologetics Press and ask about it, since we spend thousands of hours engaged in biblical research that the average Christian simply does not have the time to undertake. It is true that the Bible is God’s Word, and that there were giants in the land of Canaan (Numbers 13:33), but the pictures being forwarded to that effect do not help make the case.

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2003), “How Big Is a Giant?” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1807.
Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
“They Might Be Giants” (2010), http://www.snopes.com/photos/odd/giantman.asp
Thompson, Bert (1999), “Have Scientists Found Joshua’s ‘Missing Day’?”http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2217.

Decisive Designs: The Mallee’s Tongue: Terrific Temperature-Telling Talent by Nathaniel Nelson



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1480

Decisive Designs: The Mallee’s Tongue: Terrific Temperature-Telling Talent

by Nathaniel Nelson

The modern inventions and innovations of man can be seen in almost every facet of our lives. The thermometer is one fine example of human ingenuity. Parents are familiar with taking their children’s temperature (sometimes quite frequently). Insert a thermometer, and voilà! Several seconds later, the temperature is displayed as a bar of mercury (or electronically), and one can read the temperature with ease. Even as we give homage to these fascinating devices, on occasion we tend to remain blind to the equally fascinating design that has been imprinted on the Earth and its creatures by the Great Designer. Take the mallee fowl, for example. Before man ever even thought of creating the simplest of contraptions, this bird was assessing temperature for its unborn babies. As the apostle Paul put it: “God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:27). Man’s conceptions may be mighty, but God has put them to shame with a bird as simple as the mallee.
The Outback of Australia is home to this magnificent bird. The hot temperatures and dry climate do not deter the mallee, though. During its mating season, the male creates for its partner’s eggs a nest that has an average circumference of 70 feet, and is over three feet in height. In the 1700s, the first white settlers came upon the mallee fowl’s nests and, due to the unbelievable size of these sandy dunes, at first believed that they were aborigine burial grounds (Junor, 1998).
In order to make its nest, the male must first dig out a hole in early winter. Over the course of the winter, the mallee will begin to place sticks and other brush inside the hole, forming a canopy of litter across the top. As spring begins, the mallee fowl will cover the debris with a layer of sand to allow for fermentation of the litter beneath the surface. The nest will remain in this state until mating season (autumn). At this point, the nest has been thoroughly warmed by the decomposed waste. The male makes a hole in the top of the mound, where the female then lays a single egg. About a week later, the male will make another hole and the female will lay another egg. This process goes on until there are about eighteen eggs in the nest.
But building a nest is only half the battle. The other half involves temperature maintenance in the mound. This job, once again, is left to the male mallee. Several times a day, the male inserts his beak into the pile of debris and sand. He proceeds to stick out his tongue, which is such a good thermometer that it can measure a temperature change as small as 1/10 of a degree! After assessing the temperature, the male can act accordingly. If the nest is too hot, he removes some of the sand covering the nest. If the nest is too cold, the male adds sticks to produce more heat, and sand to insulate the mound from the surroundings. The temperature must be kept at exactly 33 degrees Celsius, and must be maintained to within one degree in order for the unborn chicks to survive while still in the nest.
This scenario gives rise to important questions: (1) How did the mallee fowl “know” to pile sticks and other debris inside the nest in order to moderate the temperature? (2) Why (and how) did such a temperature-evaluating device arise (in the form of a tongue)? Tough questions—the answers to which lie in the intricate design of this amazing bird that is attributable to the Great Designer.

REFERENCE

Junor, Lloyd (1998), “The Mallee Fowl,” Whimpey’s Little Desert Tour, [On-line], URL: http://www.aussieoutback.com.au/showcase/whimpy/lowan.html.

Ardi Joins a Long, Infamous List of Losers by Kyle Butt, M.A.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2784

Ardi Joins a Long, Infamous List of Losers

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

If it were not so serious, the situation would be comical. Every few months a media blitz raves about a new “half-and-half” creature that is unlike anything ever seen. Supposedly, tiny features about this novel beast give modern humans cutting-edge insights into how primate ancestors evolved into us. The incisors are larger or smaller than most apes, the cranium has a bigger (or smaller) capacity, the tiny toe bone fragments offer amazing information about how the creature walked on all fours most of the time, except when it was being chased by a specific kind of predator on Tuesdays in the Fall, the small scraps of finger bones tell us that the creature swung from branches for the majority of its life, except for brief periods of time when it descended to the ground to walk upright for elaborate mating rituals that occurred once every 10 years during the Summer equinox, etc. And we know all this from bone fragments that are supposedly millions of years old.
The troubling thing about this whole scenario is that no matter how many times creationists prove it to be false, and no matter how many times specific “creatures” like Piltdown Man, Lucy, or Ida are discredited, people continue to be shaken in their belief in the Bible by every “latest” find. With each new creature, frantic readers contact their favorite Christian apologists and demand that this new find must be answered within two days, or the Genesis account of creation is going to be jeopardized and its validity seriously compromised. It is as if the history of the numerous evolutionary foibles is forgotten by the masses every time the media adopts another evolutionary poster child.
The remedy to this is simple. Let us all stop, take a deep breath, and systematically go through a few of the reasons why the “latest find” is nothing more or less than all the other evolutionary “breakthroughs” that have gone before it. First, the entire concept of any life arising from non-living chemicals through random, evolutionary processes has been proven to be scientifically impossible (Thompson, 1989). Every legitimate experiment that has been done for the entirety of human history that has any bearing on the subject has shown that in the natural Universe, life comes only from previously existing life of its own kind. No research team has ever found an evolutionary link between humans and lower animals for the simple, yet profound reason, that evolution is impossible and humans could not evolve from lower life forms. Furthermore, specific human traits, such as consciousness, sexual reproduction, varying blood types, spoken language, and the complexity of the human brain, pose insurmountable barriers to the false theory of human evolution (see Harrub and Thompson, 2003).
Second, the dating methods that are used to render “accurate” dates of millions of years are fraught with irreconcilable difficulties that prove them to be useless (see DeYoung, 2005; Snelling, n.d.; Morris, 1994). In truth, the evolutionary community concocts whatever dates it wants, jettisons any that do not match its preconceived notions, and massages dates arbitrarily. Numerous fossil finds have supposedly added hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary time, even though the rejected time frame was “known” to be accurate (see Butt, 2005; Butt, 2006; Butt, 2008a). When an article begins with a statement like, “4.4 million years ago...,” it might as well be saying, “Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away....” Accurate dating methods that render dates in the millions do not exist.
Third, how many alleged human ancestors must be debunked before the world views these false evolutionary claims with appropriate incredulity. Chapters one and two of the Apologetics Press bookThe Truth About Human Origins deals definitively with Aegyptopithecus Zeuxis, Dryopithicus africanus, Ramapithesu brevirostris, Orrorin tugenensis, Australopithecus ramidus, Australopithicus anamensis, Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba, Kenyanthropus platyops, Lucy, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, Nebraska Man, Piltdown Man, Java Man, and Rhodesian Man (2003). In addition, Hobbit Man has been debunked (see Harrub, 2004; Harrub, 2005) and “Lucy’s Baby” is no longer viable (see Harrub, 2006).
In more recent news, a lemur fossil named Ida was hailed as not just “a discovery of great significance” (“The Link,” 2009), but the “most significant scientific discovery of recent times” (Leonard, 2009, emp. added). Some scientists claimed that it would “finally confirm irrefutably Sir Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution” (Leonard, emp. added). Dr. Jens Lorenz Franzen of Senckenberg Research Institute in Germany referred to it as “the eighth wonder of the world” (as quoted in Scally, 2009), and confidently proclaimed: “When our results are published, it will be just like an asteroid hitting the Earth” (“The Link”). Google was so enamored with the find that on May 20, 2009 the search engine mogul incorporated an illustration of the animal into its logo. So what was all the hoopla about? “Our earliest ancestor,” of course (“The Link”). At least, that is what some evolutionists and their friends in the media were telling everyone, until these claims were reduced to ashes by opponents within the evolutionary camp (see Lyons and Butt, 2009; Lyons, 2009b; Butt, 2009).
Enter the most recent newcomer to the long list of evolutionary losers—Ardi. Just five months after Ida—“the most significant scientific discovery of recent times, the eighth wonder of the world, our earliest ancestor”—we are introduced to Ardi—“the closest we have ever come” to the common ancestor we allegedly share with chimps (see Schmid, 2009). Ardi supposedly takes human evolution back to 4.4 million years ago. It is hyped as so significant that the journal Science contains 11 papers on it in the October, 2009 edition. David Pilbeam boldly stated: “This is one of the most important discoveriesfor the study of human evolution” (as quoted in Schmid, 2009, emp. added). Sounds remarkably like the announcement of Ida. Sample said “experts have described the find as the most important regarding human evolution in the past century” (2009). Amazing how quickly the “eighth wonder of the world” was replaced by Ardi.
One of the ironies surrounding Ardi’s heralded success is that if the evolutionary community was right in 2001, then our newest Ardi is much less significant than an earlier Ardi. You see, in the July 23, 2001 issue of Time, staff writers Michael Lemonick and Andrea Dorman introduced their readers toArdipithecus ramidus kadabba. Supposedly, “Ardi” kadabba lived between 5.2 and 5.8 million years ago, more than a million years before the current reigning media champion. Furthermore, kadabbaallegedly evolved “very close to the time when humans and chimps first went their separate ways” (see Harrub and Thompson, 2003, pp. 29-33). In addition, kadabba “almost certainly walked upright” according to the evolutionists who wrote about the find. We still have the bones of kadabba that were displayed in Time. So why are we not still hearing about this unprecedented evolutionary victory? For the simple reason that it is not the “Johnny-come-lately” that can generate media hype.
The latest reports of the 4.4 million-year-old Ardi are standard, run-of-the-mill, evolutionary propaganda that lack scientific integrity and, more basically, a foundation of truth. Already, we are being treated to “qualifying” statements such as, “it may take years to confirm exactly where Ardi fits in the history of human evolution” (Sample, 2009). Yale paleontologist Andrew Hill said: “We thought Lucy was the find of the century but, in retrospect, it isn’t” (as quoted in Sample). Would that we could fast-forward a few years (or a few weeks as in Ida’s case) and see what discrediting remarks Ardi will elicit “in retrospect.” In addition, the stories being spun are already contradictory. For instance, Schmid says that Ardi’s anatomy shows that “the development of their arms and legs indicates that they didn’t spend much time in the trees” (2009, emp. added). While, on the other hand, Sample stated: “Though Ardi would have spent much of her time in the trees, her pelvis was adapted to walking upright...” (2009, emp. added).
In other places, we have documented admissions from evolutionists, showing examples of the fabrication and exaggeration so prevalent in the field of evolutionary paleontology (see Butt, 2008b;Lyons, 2009a). And a close look at paleontological efforts to find “human ancestors” offers some keen insight into why we are treated to a new “relative” every few months. After all, Ardi was discovered in 1992. Following the original find, “a total of 47 researchers then spent a further 15 years removing, preparing and studying each of the fragments” (Sample, 2009). Somehow the paleontological world must justify spending 705 man-years of research on Ardi. So instead of calling it what it truly is, an ape, they are forced to justify their prodigal, vain years of research by claiming that they have stumbled upon the latest, greatest “wonder of the world.” Oh, that thinking people would have the wisdom to view Ardi, and all similar outlandish evolutionary claims, in light of real scientific facts. How many Lucys, Hobbits, Piltdowns, Nebraskas, and Idas will it take for people to see what is happening here? Add Ardi to the ever-growing heap of dead-ends piled high in the mass grave of alleged human evolution.

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2005), “Reconsideration of Many Long-standing Assumptions,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2769.
Butt, Kyle (2006), “One Little Beaver Demolishes a Hundred Million Years,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2878.
Butt, Kyle (2008a), “Complex Jellies Jump 200 Million Years,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3580.
Butt, Kyle (2008b), “‘So We Make Up Stories’ About Human Evolution,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3641.
Butt, Kyle (2009), “Following Up on a Messy, and Still Missing, Link,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240171.
DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2003), The Truth About Human Origins (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Harrub, Brad (2004), “Hobbit Heresy,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2641.
Harrub, Brad (2005), “Hobbit Hubbub,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/703.
Harrub, Brad (2006), “Lucy’s Baby?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3104.
Leonard, Tom (2009), “Scientists Unveil Stunning Fossil,” Telegraph, [On-line], URL:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5351315/Scientists-unveil-stunning-fossil.html.
“The Link” (2009), [On-line], URL: http://www.revealingthelink.com/.
Lyons, Eric (2009a), “Confessed Conjectures and Contradictions of Paleoartists,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240213.
Lyons, Eric (2009b), “Ida, One More Time,” [On-line]: URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240233.
Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2009), “Ida—A Missing Link?,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240160.
Morris, John D. (1994), The Young Earth (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Sample, Ian (2009), “Fossil Ardi Reveals the First Steps of the Human Race,” The Guardian, [On-line],URL: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/oct/01/fossil-ardi-human-race.
Scally, Derek (2009), “Fossil Ida a Crucial Finding for the Understanding of Early Human Evolution,”Irish Times, May 21, [On-line], URL:http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0521/1224247034331.html.
Schmid, Randolf (2009), “Before Lucy Came Ardi, New Earliest Hominid Found,” [On-line], URL:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091001/ap_on_sc/us_sci_before_lucy.
Snelling, Andrew (no date), “The Fallacies of Radioactive Dating of Rocks: Basalt Lava Flows in Grand Canyon,” [On-line], URL: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v1/n1/radioactive-dating.
Thompson, Bert (1989), “The Bible and the Laws of Science: The Law of Biogenesis,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2004.


Baby Dolls, Beauty Pageants, and the Sexualization of Children by Eric Lyons, M.Min.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1610

Baby Dolls, Beauty Pageants, and the Sexualization of Children

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

There is a right way to rear children, and there is a wrong way. Abraham chose the right way. He commanded his children to “keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice” (Genesis 18:19, emp. added). Some 2,000 years later, the inspired apostle Paul made sure to tell the Ephesians to bring their children up “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4, emp. added). The Lord’s way is the right way (Psalm 119:75). The right way includes diligently teaching young people to be (among other things) sensible, modest, discreet, and chaste (Titus 2:4-8; 1 Peter 3:1-5). It also includes warning today’s youth of the dangerous works of the flesh, including the impure, lewd, sensual things that tend to stir up ungodly passions (Galatians 5:19-21; Romans 13:13).
Sadly, the instruction of children in the ways “of the Lord” has diminished significantly in America, and yes, even in the Lord’s Church. Consequently, as the ways of the Lord are forgotten, many are promoting and partaking in the heartbreaking sexualization of children. Though many adults in this country will condemn (and rightly so) pedophilia, child pornography, etc., many of these same individuals have contributed to the sexualizing of children. It may start very young when parents purchase their four-year-old daughters baby dolls that look more like the seductress harlot described in Proverbs 7 than an innocent little bundle of joy. Some of the Bratz Babyz manufactured by MGA Entertainment, for example, sell dolls wearing midriff tops, mini skirts, tiny bikinis, and sparkly panties. The dolls are painted to look more like a seductive, grown woman—with large, glossy lips, and long, painted eyelashes. One manufacturing company a few years ago went so far as to make a “Pole Dance” doll. So outrageous was this product that even The Huffington Post ran a story titled “The 7 Most Inappropriate Products for Children” (2010). Number one on the list was the “Pole Dance” doll, which had on it’s box keywords such as “Flash,” and “Up and Down”—words that The Huffington Postsaid “sound like they were written by the happiest pedophile in playland.”
What seems to be contributing even more to the sexualization of children in America are the clothes that retail stores are selling—that parents are purchasing. Livescience.com published a story in 2011 about a study regarding children’s clothing (toddlers to pre-teen children) from 15 national retail stores. The researchers found that of the 5,666 items of clothing that were reviewed, “31 percent had sexualizing features” (i.e., “they revealed or emphasized a sexualized body part such as the chest or buttocks and…had sexy characteristics such as slinky material;” Pappas, 2011, emp. added). Add to this the skin-tight, short shorts that retailers sell and that parents buy, and the problem is compounded. Parents, you might be contributing to the sexualizing of your own children (1) if your daughter’s shirts are longer than her shorts, (2) if your daughter’s shorts are tighter and shorter than a pair of boxer briefs, or (3) if the pockets of your daughter’s shorts hang lower than the shorts themselves.
Some parents have even taken this a step further, by entering their young, innocent daughters (some as young as three years old) into beauty pageants that reward young girls for dressing and acting like anything but the modest and discreet girls the Lord desires parents to rear (Titus 2:4-8; 1 Peter 3:1-5). Some mothers and fathers accessorize their five- and six-year-old daughters with spray tans, hair extensions, and fake eyelashes and fingernails. Some even remove the hair from their prepubescent bodies, followed by a layer of make-up that might give Dolly Parton a run for her money. It is as if the parents are trying to turn their daughters into the previously mentioned, sexualized Bratz Babyz dolls. Promoting this behavior is the exact opposite of teaching the important value to young ladies that “charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).
These little girls, who in many ways are made to look more like grown women, are then paraded in front of an audience like eye candy. They are asked to sing and dance and take people’s breath away. I recently saw a clip of a talk show where one woman was critical of the pageants, saying, “You said it’s not sexualizing the kids…and there is nothing mature about the performance. Yet one of the little ones is shaking her backside, shaking her booty, and she said so.” One mother’s sad defense: “What does that have to do [with anything]? That’s having fun” (emp. added). Another defensive mother added: “If people are looking at a child in a sexy way, then there’s something wrong with them” (“Toddlers…,” 2011). Perhaps, but when a mother intentionally makes her five-year-old look, act, talk, flirt, and dance like a harlot, we should not be surprised that some men will find this satisfying to their sexual senses. In fact, one woman responded to the show on-line, saying, “When you dress a child up like a [prostitute], have her act like one, shaking her [bottom], etc., you are just asking for trouble. Every pedophile out there is watching getting their [thrills] at your child’s expense” (“Toddlers…,” 2011).
Only the naïve or the immoral will not admit to the obvious sexualization of children in America. It is so obvious that even liberal organizations such as The Huffington Post and Livescience.com recognize it. Question: Are you submitting to the Lord’s will to rear sensible, humble, modest, and discreet children who are letting their “Christian lights” shine? Are you teaching about the sinfulness and danger of impure, lewd, sensual things that tend to stir up ungodly passions? Or, are you working hand in hand with Satan in the sexualizing of children by what you purchase and allow your own kids to wear?

REFERENCES

Pappas, Stephanie (2011), “30% of Girls Clothing is Sexualized in Major Sales Trent,”Livescience.com, May 20, http://www.livescience.com/14249-girls-clothing-sexualized.html.
“The 7 Most Inappropriate Products for Children” (2010), March 12, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/14/the-7-most-inappropriate_n_286223.html.
“Toddlers & Tiaras’ Moms Defend Child Beauty Pageants” (2011), Anderson Live, October 19, http://www.andersoncooper.com/2011/10/18/toddlers-and-tiaras-tlc-moms-defend-child-beauty-pageants/.


From Jim McGuiggan... Psalm 55, I'll fly away

Psalm 55, I'll fly away

About one thousand years before Jesus came, some poor soul was in awful trouble and poured out his heart to God (Psalm 55). "You must listen to me, please," he said, "because I’ve no one else to turn to and my enemies have me at their mercy—I’m all tangled up in their snare." He sees himself as a frightened and imprisoned bird beating its wings against its prison-bars, instinctively wanting someone to open the door. And if that were to happen it would rise into the air and head for the wide-open spaces. Of himself he says, "Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. And I say, ‘Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest’."
It isn’t hard to imagine what floods through the high strung bird, frantic with fear and knowing without understanding that this isn’t life—it isn’t hard to imagine the surge that goes through it when it finds its way to the sky and freedom no longer barred. All the power in its tiny body exerted skyward; the little heart beating like a boiler house at some logging factory—free! Freedom! Enemies below, the skyward spiral, the joy, the delicious joy of relief, and the realization of what it was made for—freedom, in the bright blue sky! All that’s worth having remains; nothing lost that makes life worth living. The psalmist imagines all this and turns to the God that can give it to him.
Nineteen hundred years after the birth of the Christ, in America, where the great Depression had really taken hold, when tens of millions were jobless, hungry, homeless and despairing, Albert Brumley read Psalm 55 and wrote the hymn, "I’ll Fly Away". He knew that for those who trusted in God, the crushing circumstances of life weren’t the whole story and that one day prison bars would be shattered and the believer would fly home; home to freedom and to the wide-open spaces.
Yes, yes, but what does that hope have to do with the present almost intolerable burdens? Well, for one thing, it says that the burden doesn’t have the last word and that can’t be bad news. I can only imagine how it must be for those who do not believe, especially if their lives are a prolonged purgatory. To live in chronic misery from birth to death, with no one to help and then to die in squalid poverty—end of story? Now that would be inexpressible horror. Never freedom! Never hope of freedom! Only kidding ourselves when we say that maybe something will change; knowing full well there’s not the ghost of a chance?
There are those who think that genuine believers are escapists, that they’re people who don’t want to face life with steady eyes. This is untrue. Real believers are precisely those that take troubled existence and life most seriously. And it’s because they take the whole of it seriously—the lives of others as well as their own— that they turn to God and say,
"You will not leave us alone in this and you are surely offering better to all our fellow humans."
Then comes Jesus and says, "I am come that you might have life to the full and I am the resurrection and the life."
Here, tell me this: has God made a commitment to every human born on this planet? Every human in every age? If he has, then tell me this: how does that commitment show itself to multiplied millions whose lives from birth to death are stories of prolonged crucifixions? Who look heavenward in despair and have never heard a word of the gospel of God in Jesus Christ?
Think noble things of God!

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

From Gary... Bible Reading June 18




Bible Reading   

June 18

The World English Bible


June 18
1 Samuel 29, 30

1Sa 29:1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites encamped by the spring which is in Jezreel.
1Sa 29:2 The lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands; and David and his men passed on in the rearward with Achish.
1Sa 29:3 Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, Isn't this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell away to me to this day?
1Sa 29:4 But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; and the princes of the Philistines said to him, Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us: for with what should this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? should it not be with the heads of these men?
1Sa 29:5 Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands?
1Sa 29:6 Then Achish called David, and said to him, As Yahweh lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my sight; for I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me to this day: nevertheless the lords don't favor you.
1Sa 29:7 Therefore now return, and go in peace, that you not displease the lords of the Philistines.
1Sa 29:8 David said to Achish, But what have I done? and what have you found in your servant so long as I have been before you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?
1Sa 29:9 Achish answered David, I know that you are good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle.
1Sa 29:10 Therefore now rise up early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you; and as soon as you are up early in the morning, and have light, depart.
1Sa 29:11 So David rose up early, he and his men, to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. The Philistines went up to Jezreel.
1Sa 30:1 It happened, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the South, and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag, and burned it with fire,
1Sa 30:2 and had taken captive the women and all who were therein, both small and great: they didn't kill any, but carried them off, and went their way.
1Sa 30:3 When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captive.
1Sa 30:4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
1Sa 30:5 David's two wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
1Sa 30:6 David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God.
1Sa 30:7 David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, Please bring me here the ephod. Abiathar brought there the ephod to David.
1Sa 30:8 David inquired of Yahweh, saying, If I pursue after this troop, shall I overtake them? He answered him, Pursue; for you shall surely overtake them, and shall without fail recover all.
1Sa 30:9 So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed.
1Sa 30:10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so faint that they couldn't go over the brook Besor.
1Sa 30:11 They found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he ate; and they gave him water to drink.
1Sa 30:12 They gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him; for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.
1Sa 30:13 David said to him, To whom do you belong? and where are you from? He said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days ago I fell sick.
1Sa 30:14 We made a raid on the South of the Cherethites, and on that which belongs to Judah, and on the South of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.
1Sa 30:15 David said to him, Will you bring me down to this troop? He said, Swear to me by God, that you will neither kill me, nor deliver me up into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this troop.
1Sa 30:16 When he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the ground, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.
1Sa 30:17 David struck them from the twilight even to the evening of the next day: and there not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who rode on camels and fled.
1Sa 30:18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives.
1Sa 30:19 There was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that they had taken to them: David brought back all.
1Sa 30:20 David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drove before those other livestock, and said, This is David's spoil.
1Sa 30:21 David came to the two hundred men, who were so faint that they could not follow David, whom also they had made to abide at the brook Besor; and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people who were with him: and when David came near to the people, he greeted them.
1Sa 30:22 Then answered all the wicked men and base fellows, of those who went with David, and said, Because they didn't go with us, we will not give them anything of the spoil that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that he may lead them away, and depart.
1Sa 30:23 Then said David, You shall not do so, my brothers, with that which Yahweh has given to us, who has preserved us, and delivered the troop that came against us into our hand.
1Sa 30:24 Who will listen to you in this matter? for as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who tarries by the baggage: they shall share alike.
1Sa 30:25 It was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.
1Sa 30:26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold, a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of Yahweh:
1Sa 30:27 To those who were in Bethel, and to those who were in Ramoth of the South, and to those who were in Jattir,
1Sa 30:28 and to those who were in Aroer, and to those who were in Siphmoth, and to those who were in Eshtemoa,
1Sa 30:29 and to those who were in Racal, and to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those who were in the cities of the Kenites,
1Sa 30:30 and to those who were in Hormah, and to those who were in Borashan, and to those who were in Athach,

1Sa 30:31 and to those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men used to stay.


 Jun. 17, 18
John 17

Joh 17:1 Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may also glorify you;
Joh 17:2 even as you gave him authority over all flesh, he will give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
Joh 17:3 This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
Joh 17:4 I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do.
Joh 17:5 Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.
Joh 17:6 I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word.
Joh 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are from you,
Joh 17:8 for the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them, and knew for sure that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me.
Joh 17:9 I pray for them. I don't pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
Joh 17:10 All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
Joh 17:11 I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are.
Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
Joh 17:13 But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves.
Joh 17:14 I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:15 I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.
Joh 17:18 As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world.
Joh 17:19 For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
Joh 17:20 Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word,
Joh 17:21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.
Joh 17:22 The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one;
Joh 17:23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me.
Joh 17:24 Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Joh 17:25 Righteous Father, the world hasn't known you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me.
Joh 17:26 I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them."