Godly Civil Disobedience

With so many ungodly pronouncements and acts by the federal government – E.G., the demand that public schools comply with cross-gender bathroom accommodation for confused individuals, the insistence on teaching evolution and prohibitions against creationism, favor given to Islam and disfavor toward Christianity – maybe the time for wide-scale civil disobedience has come.

That is a bold statement, but it cannot be made without noting the character of that civil disobedience which is approved of by God.

Some Christians will reject the very idea of civil disobedience, citing 1 Peter 2:13-14: “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” But as you can see, that command to submit assumes the authorities punish evil and praise doing well. When authorities do the opposite, we should look in scripture to an example of godly disobedience of that authority.

In Acts 4, when Peter and other apostles began to work miracles and preach the gospel boldly in the streets and marketplaces, the Jewish authorities arrested them. Peter and John responded with, “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

When God released them from prison, they continued preaching undaunted, only to be confronted again by the authorities. Again, the response was simple: “Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”

When man’s government opposes God’s Word, a Christian’s responsibility is to obey God.

Defiance Without Animosity.

The tone among some people today seems to be anger, resentment and a readiness to pick up weapons. But we have to see in the scriptures what the attitude of the disciples was when they purposefully and boldly disobeyed the Jewish council’s command not to preach in the name of Jesus. They were meek in spirit, ready to accept whatever the consequences of the law might be. In fact, when they were imprisoned, later released by God’s angel and still later beaten for preaching more, they rejoiced “that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”

Dr. Martin Luther King gave us perhaps the greatest contemporary example of civil disobedience with meekness. He not only preached non-violence, he lived it as he stood against immoral laws.

The American Revolution, on the other hand, was a series of acts of civil disobedience that were not done with meekness, but with natural weapons, and has helped instill in American culture a reliance on guns for self-defense.

Rather than take up a debate on the rightness or wrongness of the Second Amendment, I will merely say that meekness is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and that the spirit of the early disciples facing persecutions was on this order: “others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.”

We are not sent to fight men; we are sent to fight the devil and our own flesh in our efforts to win men through the love of God.

Peter wrote this to believers: “if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled…For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.” (1 Peter 3:14, 17) Peter knew first-hand what it meant to suffer for the gospel’s sake.

We have always had a need for patience and for all the fruit of the Holy Spirit. They are the character of God that must work in us. If we reject the character of God in standing against ungodliness, how can we win the lost or please God? Knowing that without faith it is impossible to please God, how can we meet ungodliness with natural violence if God does not endorse it under the new covenant? Spiritual warfare is the answer, because our natural enemies are under the control of our spiritual enemy.

As we oppose governmental prohibitions against preaching truth, and as we seek to obey God rather than man, let’s remember to do it in the spirit of humble submission to God, not railing against authorities or fighting them with natural weapons, but being willing, if God wills, to suffer whatever consequences the kingdom of the world might decide to issue. Why? Because great will be our reward in heaven if we act in faith and love.

I encourage you to share this with as many Christians as possible.

A Taste for Poison

All but the most depressed will reject a cool drink laced with a lethal amount of poison in it. But why is it that almost everyone will accept a cool drink with a small amount of poison that, cumulatively, will eventually be just as lethal?

Doubt that? Examine what you put in your mouth.

And spiritually, examine what you put in your eyes and ears.

Whatever is not pure and nourishing eventually has its toll.

That is the lustful nature. The sweet, delightful or soothing taste of self gratification that momentarily quietens the flesh’s crying need for control and fulfillment somehow makes the poison that comes with it acceptable.

What is your carnal taste craving? Importance? Affirmation? Leisure in luxury? Stimulation?

Whatever it is, it is a cheap counterfeit for the true riches of Christ Jesus that come in the form of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and temperance. Whether you know it or not, these are what your spirit wants. When you deny your carnal self the counterfeit temporal it craves, you can receive the genuine eternal.

Mature in the Holy Ghost

The Holy Spirit always wants to grow and mature us and to use us to grow and mature others. We tend to think He cannot use us until He has matured us, for the very reason that we are flawed, and the closer we come to Him, the more able we are to see our flaws. As long as our focus is on ourselves, we are limited in the maturing process, because all we can reflect is what we focus on. However, when our focus is on loving Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, He makes it possible for us to reflect Himself, much in the same way Moses reflected God’s glory after being with Him (Exodus 34:29). And when we take His love and reflect it toward others, desiring God’s best in and for them, our maturation is effected and shaped, and even accelerated.

The Holy Spirit is wise. He knows that if we will submit to Him, He can use us by our reliance on His perfection and love, and in the process of His use, we become shaped toward maturity. Thus, if we can disciple others to understand that it is His wisdom and power and holiness we need to use, and that as we rely on His presence and guidance He makes us worthy, by shaping us in His image, we can make disciples as we are being made disciples. Are we ever perfected, in the sense that we are flawless, as He is? When we see Jesus, we shall be like Him. Until then, we are in process.

How do we continually rely upon Him?

By abiding in His presence. Our love for God gives us the desire to be in His presence. Being in His presence makes us beneficiaries of His character, as He deals with us. His character consists of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness and temperance. As He treats us with the qualities of His character, the fruit that is sown in us consists of those same characteristics, and as we abide in Him, are manifested, grown and matured in us.

 

The Naiveté of Evolutionists

From the very beginning, the impetus of and motive for pursuing macro-evolution (henceforth, here, referred to as evolution) as a theory has been to develop a mental substitute for God.

Show me a staunch evolutionist who does not deny the existence of God. Either he is not staunch or he denies God.

But which came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg of denying God preceded the chicken of evolutionary theory. Every generation has had disbelievers. For those in recent generations, Darwin was the first to provide a foothold for their imagination. Denial of God is a prerequisite for belief in evolution; if it were not so, a person who truly believes in God could not be convinced by the incredible “facts” of evolutionary theory. (You might call yourself a believer in God and, simultaneously, a believer in macro-evolution, but the two are mutually exclusive.)

What, other than denial of God, could induce a person to believe macro-evolution? That is, God is a perfect explanation for everything that exists, and an obvious one to those who believe in God. But the theory of evolution requires far more faith than does belief in God.

For example, here is a condensation of some of the fundamental events evolutionists must believe have occurred:

– That prior to the existence of the planets and stars, etc., one of two circumstances was the state of existence: (A) that all matter that currently exists was self-existent and, therefore, was present “in the beginning,” or (B) that all matter that currently exists came into being, suddenly or over time, from nothing by some unknown mechanism.

– That matter organized itself into an ordered universe. As a layman, I find it difficult to imagine how earth – supposedly being the product of an unimaginably powerful explosion – rather than being destroyed by “The Big Bang,” became virtually perfectly ordered by chance. If you’ve ever played with firecrackers, you have conducted what might be considered basic scientific experiments on the ability of explosions to set things in perfect order. How did your experiments work out?

– Evolutionists believe that carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and a number of other “building blocks” of life that (A) survived a “big bang” type of explosion, or (B) mysteriously came into existence subsequent to whatever tremendous natural force ordered the universe, gathered themselves in intimate proximity in the immeasurably vast reaches of the universe.

– Let’s break it down a bit: Of all the natural elements in the periodic table, about 100 occur naturally on earth. Of those, life employs about 25 elements, including those listed above. No one knows how many laboratory experiments have been conducted in recent generations with the goal of generating life from various combinations of these elements. Yet, while creating organic life has proved elusive for the world’s most eminent scientists using their vast combined expertise and sophisticated equipment, they expect you to believe that life came about coincidentally. When you break that supposition down, you are being asked to accept that, even though chemical elements would have been floating randomly throughout the universe – trillions of square miles would not begin to describe the setting accurately – just the right measure of each of the 25 elements congregated in very tight proximity to each other. And while these building blocks floated together indefinitely in the same space in this vast universe, they remained together for as long as would have been necessary for lightning or static electricity or some other force of energy to generate itself and strike the concoction with the precise degree of power (too much would have destroyed the elements; too little would have done nothing) to generate life. (Or as those for whom infinite time solves all questions might insist: the elements waited patiently in the same close proximity for millennia while the energy source struck at the perfect mixture innumerable times, like a Boy Scout trying to light his first fire, albeit without the directed focus of a determined Boy Scout. Can you imagine a random energy source striking first one hundred million miles from the gathering of building blocks, then a second time four billion miles away, only to come a million miles closer on the third try, etc.?)

–  Nevertheless, evolutionists have to believe that once random energy has made the precise strike necessary to spark life in the random building blocks, the infant life – presumably, a tiny, lone, single-cell organism – somehow was within very close proximity to some source of life-supportable nutrition, innately knew how to consume it, and was able to survive despite having no soil or water to which it may attach itself and only empty space in which to float. (Or, should we further assume that this happy accident of energy igniting random quantities of building blocks into life also just happened to occur on an inhabitable planet such as earth? Gee that would be fortunate, wouldn’t it? Well, after all, we have infinite time for all these coincidences to occur, right? So, why not!)

– NOTE: Just because planet earth had a perfect environment to support life does not automatically assume it had developed any basic nutrient or plant life that might help support a single-cell organism’s entrance into earth’s atmosphere. So having a support structure in place for the benefit of life when and where the supposed single-cell organism entered earth’s atmosphere is not at all a given.

– Now, we have this single-cell organism, that could have found its life on Pluto only to instantly meet its demise due to unfavorable environmental factors, instead, coming to life here on earth, that just happened to have an acceptable environment for sustaining life, and needing to survive for millions of years while it fought off negative mutations – you do know that mutation is the primary mechanism supposed by evolutionists to generate survivability characteristics in living organisms – in order to acquire a mutation that gives the tiny organism the ability to progress instead of die. (Also, did you know that more than 99 percent of all mutations observed in laboratory experiments are negative mutations that would not contribute to a greater quality of life or survivability, and that the remaining [fraction of one percent] mutations are more often neutral than positive?)

– But, let’s say this tiny, fragile organism, after fighting off mutational odds of something like 10,000-to-1* against its survival, over an indefinite period of time, suddenly gained the ability to reproduce itself, and magically became two organisms, or in case of extreme good fortune, multiple organisms. The number of progeny does not really matter because in order for the next generation to make some evolutionary leap to a more advanced organism, only one has to be the mutational lottery-winner.But then, when you think about it, doesn’t the same individual organism have to be mutational lottery winner again (and perhaps again and again)? After all, evolutionary theorists might not be happy if a sibling organism to the previous mutational lottery winner became the fortunate winner of the second mutational lottery, and neither mutation miraculously produced a complete anatomical feature suitable for advancement to the next level of evolutionary progress, but only partial features! (However, since we have built the theory on favorable assumptions thus far, might we not continue with the same?)

So, despite overwhelming odds that would certainly have shipwrecked a less viable creature, our first single-cell ancestor found mutational favor and, amazingly, acquired adequate nutrition to survive indefinitely and became the mutational lottery winner enough times to become a totally separate species, somehow. Or in case, the first generation ancestor won only once, his progeny survived and won the same mutational lottery with – not the same prize – but coincidentally, with the precise anatomical feature that would complement and build upon the advantage produced by the previous mutational lottery, rather than a feature that offered no advantage to the fledgling creature.

– Now, are you ready for the really big leap in evolutionary good fortune? After innumerable generations of the original single-cell organism’s progeny having successfully fought off thousands upon thousands of negative mutations in order to receive that single beneficial mutation that each advanced generation would have needed to get it to the next level in the evolutionary chain, then came the time for the transition – drum roll, please –  from asexual reproduction to sexual. Here, a lot of things have to be assumed to take place simultaneously. Let’s look at them individually:

– First, the single-cell organism must have progressed substantially by this time, each generation successfully fighting off negative mutations over perhaps millions of years (the more, the better, according to evolutionary theory) and must have become a complex organism. (Did the organism have internal genitalia by now, or perhaps functioning eyes that could interpret what a potential mate organism looked like, or did it just have parts of those features and was patiently awaiting additional components to make them fully functional? We can only guess, but we assume that it had whatever it needed.) This organism had two ways to make the leap to sexual reproduction – understand, this is not really a matter of choice, but a matter of chance; it just has all the fortunate appearances of choice – first, to go through a transition as an organism that has both genders within itself, or to become male or female and require the complementary-gendered organism to come from another organism, hopefully in the same place and time.

– If this momentous event happened as both genders appeared within the same organism – again, not as though that were a matter of choice to the single-cell creature, as some people today assume gender to be – then evolutionists conclude that initial internal reproduction would solve some of the difficulties of the latter option, since, under it, both genders would need to have occurred simultaneously. Supposedly, either way. the transition to sexual reproduction might have happened without anyone thinking it was miraculous. So, while the internal reproduction option might seem to be the less complicated of the two options to lean on, it still has its complications. Having both genders in the same body does require the assumption of immediate, perfect functionality for both genders, and comes with the added difficulty that it was only an intermediate explanation for the eventual existence of separated creatures of different gender.

– The presumably more difficult path for sexual reproduction being that separate genders occur virtually simultaneously in separate bodies – however it may be presumed to have occurred – requires a great deal of faith or gullibility for the true believer in evolution. First, it requires totally separate and perfectly functioning complementary gender paraphernalia, possessed by at least one of each of the opposite gender, being in the same geographic location at the same moment in history when each is mature enough to consummate the reproductive transaction, and to have full instinctive knowledge as to how it must be accomplished. By the way, instincts are difficult for evolution to explain. But lest we minimize the accidental and coincidental aspects of this last statement, let us clarify that it cannot be assumed that both parties would necessarily be in the same location when their miraculous transformations were presumed to have occurred, and not even necessarily that they might have occurred at the same time. If different genders did not occur within the same complex creature, who knows where the complementary gender might have come from and when? But what we have described does not comprise the only difficulty for evolution theory’s explanation of the transition from asexual to sexual reproduction. We have explained a possibly presumed process for one species only. But as you see, we have multiplied millions of species today. Here’s where the merely incredible and impossible can become fantasy unless we can successfully suspend our disbelief.

Can we really go into an even slightly plausible theory that explains how so many species not only evolved from one single-cell organism, but evolved with so many distinct and unrelated anatomical features and so many different ways of reproducing? Trying to accept the remotest possibility that such things could occur by accident, against all the odds of probability, against scientific observation, and even against the second law of thermodynamics (which we have not even introduced into discussion) boggles the mind.

Unless, of course, one has a bias strong enough in himself (that there is no God) to believe any wild theory that explains away the existence of God. Furthermore, a believer in evolution must deny anything and everything spiritual. Why? Because to allow anything spiritual opens the way for God to exist and be considered Creator.

Therefore I have stated that the impetus of and motive for evolutionary theory has been to develop a substitute for God. No one without the motive to deny God could possibly believe the naïve theory of evolution when considered in context with the myriad minutiae that must be assumed along with the broadly sweeping pronouncements that outline the theory.

*Sanford, J. 2005. Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome. Lima, NY: Elim Publishing, 26.