Sunday, December 16, 2012

Jesus Christ is the Answer to Evil

By My Anonymous Friend

Two days ago a most horrific crime was committed in an elementary school in a small town in Connecticut. 26 people were murdered by a mad man. 20 of these were youngsters aged 6 and 7. Many are analyzing, speculating, pontificating, and lecturing us as to what could have caused a young man to kill his own mother and all these innocent children. It is not my intent to try to explain this tragedy. All I can say is that evil is real and very much present in our world.
I would like to add a further note which is that part of the biblical Christmas story also involves evil. In fact it also involves the murder of innocent children. Amid the lights, dinners and gift exchanges, let us not forget that a power mad politician viewed the birth of Jesus as a potential political threat. To make sure no newborn baby would ever challenge him for power, Herod ordered all babies aged two and under in Bethlehem and surrounding areas, to be killed. I wonder how many parents grieved then just like the parents in Connecticut do today? Hundreds maybe? Who knows? Both are horrible displays of human evil and depravity.
Christmas is a season of joy, celebration, and happiness. After all we wish one another a "Merry" Christmas! I am not suggesting we do anything less. I simply share this sobering reminder that it is precisely because of evil and depravity that the Baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus meant that the Lamb of God which would serve as the atoning sacrifice for the very depravity we saw on display two days ago and which, to be very sure, resides in each of us as well, entered the human scene.
So the joy of this season goes much beyond dinners and concerts and gifts. The fundamental joy consists in the fact that it marks the introduction or public display of God's remedy for depravity. So as we all grieve and hurt for the surviving loved ones in Connecticut, there can also be room in our hearts for joy and celebration. As we pray God's comfort and peace to those in the deepest of sorrows, let us also pray to give thanks for the gift of Jesus Christ! Depravity and evil are only too real! The remedy for sin and evil as well as the provision for redemption are equally real!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Futility of Racism

Racism has become the constant mantra of some today, especially in the political arena. It seems that the political parties are always looking for an angle to get the vote of certain "racial groups" by putting "race" first. So often, "race" seems to be the primary consideration, depending on whose votes are desired. There seems to be never-ceasing cries of "racism" when someone speaks against the policies of a candidate or office-holder who happens to be from one group or another. 
This phenomenon certainly has been shoved in our faces by both some in the media and some politicians concerning President Obama. If you disagree with him, you are a racist. If you oppose his policies, you are a racist. If you didn't vote for him, you are a racist. I would certainly agree that it would be racist to vote against any candidate because of the color of his or her skin. What we never hear is that if someone chooses to vote for a candidate because of the color of his or her skin, that is likewise a racist behavior.
When it comes to President Obama, there is no doubt that there are those who absolutely refused to vote for him because of his skin color. It is likewise true that there are many who voted for him primarily because of his skin color. Neither of these positions indicate a level of maturity and common sense that is really a necessity for those who would accept the responsibility of voting. What a candidate stands for is infinitely more important than the color of that candidate's skin.  
It is also interesting to note that the Republicans were accused of racism when Herman Cain was leading in the primary polls. The convoluted logic involved was that the Republicans were just trying to prove they weren't racist because they could now say that they "had their black guy, too," so clearly they were insincere and hypocritical, which made them racist. And who can forget the racial stereotypes that were thrown at Condoleezza Rice when she was Secretary of State? At some point, the whole racist issue with all of the "race-baiting" and accusations becomes absurd. Americans should be better than that, but whatever the country as a whole does, Bible-believing Christians must be better than that.
The lunacy of racism is underscored when we look at it from the perspective of creation. Evolution is, without a doubt, a racist teaching. Some people are more evolved than others, which makes some "races" less human than others. Just ask Adolf Hitler. He considered Jews to be closer to ape than human, and certain others, such as any people with dark skin, were just a bit above the Jews in the hierarchy of evolution toward the white, blonde-haired blue-eyed "Aryan race." Charles Darwin was quite obviously racist, and the title of his most famous book reveals that fact. We normally hear the title of the book as The Origin of Species. The full title of the book, which is On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, is rarely mentioned. 
On the subject of racism, Ken Ham of "Answers in Genesis" makes some profound and insightful observations. In an article entitled "Are There Really Different Races?" he says the following: 

·    "Darwinian evolution was (and still is) inherently a racist philosophy, teaching that different groups or “races” of people evolved at different times and rates, so some groups are more like their apelike ancestors than others."

·    "Racist attitudes fueled by evolutionary thinking were largely responsible for an African pygmy being displayed, along with an orangutan, in a cage in the Bronx zoo."

·    "Scientists today admit that, biologically, there really is only one race of humans."

·    "ABC News stated, 'More and more scientists find that the differences that set us apart are cultural, not racial. Some even say that the word race should be abandoned because it’s meaningless.' The article went on to say that 'we accept the idea of race because it’s a convenient way of putting people into broad categories, frequently to suppress them - the most hideous example was provided by Hitler’s Germany. And racial prejudice remains common throughout the world.'"

·    "Personally, because of the influences of Darwinian evolution and the resulting prejudices, I believe everyone (and especially Christians) should abandon the term 'race(s).' We could refer instead to the different 'people groups' around the world."

·    "The Bible does not even use the word race in reference to people, but it does describe all human beings as being of 'one blood' (Acts 17:26). This of course emphasizes that we are all related, as all humans are descendants of the first man, Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), who was created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27)."  

·    "In other words, the so-called 'racial' differences are absolutely trivial - overall, there is more variation within any group than there is between one group and another. If a white person is looking for a tissue match for an organ transplant, for instance, the best match may come from a black person, and vice versa. ABC News claims, 'What the facts show is that there are differences among us, but they stem from culture, not race.'" 

·    "If the Bible teaches and science confirms that all are of the same human race and all are related as descendants of Adam, then why are there such seemingly great differences between us (for example, in skin color)? The answer, again, comes with a biblically informed understanding of science."

·    "When Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven' (Matthew 19:14). He did not distinguish between skin colors. In fact, scientists have discovered that there is one major pigment, called melanin, that produces our skin color. There are two main forms of melanin: eumelanin (brown to black) and pheomelanin (red to yellow). These combine to give us the particular shade of skin that we have."

·    "Geneticists have found that four to six genes, each with multiple alleles (or variations), control the amount and type of melanin produced. Because of this, a wide variety of skin shades exist. In fact, it is quite easy for one couple to produce a wide range of skin shades in just one generation..." (Note: I have several times heard Ken Ham say, "We are all the same color. Some of us just have more of it than others.") 

I agree with Ken Ham that we need to drop the whole idea of "races." There are "ethnic groups" or "people groups." There are different cultures, and these are legitimate and a part of God's plan, but there is only one race - the human race. Continuing to talk about "race" is futile in that it does nothing to promote evangelism or Christian unity, but it does a great deal to further Satan's purposes of dividing people and promoting hatred between cultures.


The article from which I took these quotes may be read in its entirety here. There are many articles on the "Answers in Genesis" website that touch on this subject and related subjects. These articles may be found here.