2.23.2006

A Froggy Situation

Yahoo! ArticleThe weekly science journal Nature reported an amazing factoid yesterday. They now have a "classic example" of Darwinian evolution in action! Its name is Bufo marinus (a cane toad). This fat, ugly, poisonous creature is the next straw that evolution is clutching. Why? Well, its legs are long. That in and of itself is not that amazing. But here is the clencher: the toads with shorter legs cannot hop as far! In a series of tests run by researchers from the University of Sydney, it was confirmed that the toads with shorter legs did not move as fast as toads with longer legs. "[The researchers] were astonished to find that the creatures can hop up to 1.8 kms (1.1 miles) a night during wet weather, a record for any frog or toad," said the Agence France-Presse in an article at Yahoo! News. "But even more remarkable was the discovery that the first toads to arrive at the front invariably had longer hind legs than those which arrived later." This particular toad has historically expanded its range by around 10 miles per year. However, a mutation has apparently destroyed the gene that prevents uncontrolled leg growth, so the lengthened legs are allowing toads to expand up to 30 miles per year. In order for Darwinian evolution to occur, there would have to be an actual increase in genetic material. Mutations are copying errors that result in a loss of genetic material, not a gain. Sorry, scientists. Next time, try learning the difference between natural selection (less capable creatures cannot pass their genes on) and Darwinian evolution (creatures increase their genetic material, sprout wings and feathers, and start flying). In Him, David S. MacMillan III

2.21.2006

Are You or Your Loved Ones Soundly Saved? Part II

If you have not read Part I of this post yet, please do so here.
After this, one came and said to Jesus, "Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" But He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into heaven, keep the commandments." The man asked Jesus, "Which ones?" Jesus said, " 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:16-22)
A man comes to you and asks "What should I do if I want to go to heaven?" "Yes!" you think to yourself as you pull the 'Roman Road' laminated calendar out of your wallet. "This is what I have been waiting for!" You explain that "Jesus can get you to heaven, and besides He will fill the hole in your heart you have always been seeking to fill and give you lasting fulfillment." Then you walk the seeker down the 'Roman Road' and lead him in a 6-point prayer that would make Billy Graham proud. But What did Jesus do? When He was approached by a rich young man seeking eternal life, the subject was not His impending death, burial and resurrection, nor how He could improve the man's life. Jesus, following scripture, went straight to the Ten Commandments and how they applied to this particular person. Jesus understood that it is God's divine Law which converts a person (Psalm 19:7), not a desire for personal gain or other ambition. The rich young ruler told Jesus that he had kept all the commandments in the law from his youth. Well, there he went breaking number 8, "Thou shalt not lie." Jesus had told him a few moments before that "No one is good except for God." This man had a pride problem that had to be conquered before the law could convict him of his sin. But it is a novel idea, is it not? Using the law, given before Christ in preparation for His coming, as a signpost to point a person to their intrinsic need for grace. A novel idea indeed, especially when you consider what Paul tells the Galatians in his letter to them:
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (Galatians 3:24)
That was simple. The law existed to point us to Christ so that His grace could save us. So what business do we have ignoring the message of condemnation in the law when bringing someone to Christ? "But we cannot condemn someone!" That is right. We cannot condemn them, because those who do not believe in the name of Christ have been condemned already! (John 3:18) Again, the law is used to convert the soul by convicting a person of sin (Psalm 19:7, Romans 7:7), and the resulting need for Christ is what drives them to repentance and to salvation by grace through faith. Our haughty, man-centered gospel of life enhancement is churning out unrepentant, false converts every Sunday morning because the participants never understand the real reason that they need Jesus! If the reason we seek the Gospel is for life enhancement, one of two things will happen. Either our life will not be enhanced the way we wanted it to, and we will become disgruntled and fall away, or our life will be enhanced and we will decide "I do not need Jesus any more!" and fall away. Either way, the life enhancement message produces false converts who will not inherit the Kingdom of God, because as Jesus said, "Depart from me, you accursed. I never knew you." (Luke 13:27) The theme for these two posts was taken from a new website called The Way of the Master. This site is run by Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, and Todd Friel. I encourage everyone to take a good look at the vital message of this site. So now it is your turn. Use the Ten Commandments (can you even name them?). Get out there and win some souls the right way! In Him, David S. MacMillan III

Israel, US, EU Sever Ties With Hamas-Controlled PLO

Breaking News On January 26th, 74 members of the radical Islamic group HAMAS were elected as members of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Parliament. This gives the terrorist organization a majority for the first time in PLO history. With the swearing in of Hamas leader Abdul Aziz Duaik as the Parliament Speaker yesterday (see image at right), the PLO is now controlled by a terrorist organization, making it an official terrorist state. In response to the abrupt shift in power, the U.S., EU, and Israeli governments have closed commerce with the PLO, Israeli interim Prime Minister Ehud Olmert even going so far as to freeze $50,000,0000 in tax receipts which was to constitute almost a third of the Palestinian budget. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has begun a Middle Eastern tour cautioning countries against giving financial support to the Hamas-controlled government. What she fails to understand is that for Middle Eastern countries, Hamas policies equal Islamic policies which demand fanatic support from every Muslim. It remains to be seen whether the more moderate governments in the area will succeed in stemming the flow of cash to the terrorist's coffers. The less moderate governments have no qualms about supporting the PLO. Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal that "Annual financial assistance to Palestine is one way that Muslim nations can share the responsibility of Palestine." In other words, it is our job as Muslims to help you terrorists kill all the Jews. It is interesting to note that Saudi Arabia, the number one supplier of oil for the U.S., is the only Middle East country fulfilling its full promises of support to the PLO. The dollars you spend at the pump go directly to the pockets of Hamas, with the federal and state governments and the Saudi oil sheiks getting a buck or two in the transit.
With their cash flow thinning, the new, more terroristic PLO will revert to its old tactics of simple military might. The other leading party in the PLO, Fatah, will also be striving to regain power, and the only way Hamas will be able to curry favor and unite the country is to focus on what unites Palestinians: attacking Israel. Barry Rubin Picture Jerusalem Post columnist Barry Rubin (left) predicts that a shadowy Islamic group which consists of Hamas people but lets Hamas deny responsibility will emerge to claim "credit" for renewed full-scale military attacks on Israel. " 'Hamas will not attack Israel until it decides to do so, but it reserves the right to commit genocide against Israel.' " My prediction: with the new, overt terrorist control of the PLO, the blinders will be partly removed from the Israeli leadership. They have already broken off economic and political ties with the Muslim aggressionists and will begin to treat terrorist bombings as direct military attacks - unless, of course, they are fooled by a shadow terrorist organization as predicted by Mr. Rubin. This in turn will bring an end to the deceptive "Roadmap to Peace" plan and will trigger full military aggression from the boiling PLO government. Israel will be forced to respond with military rather than police force, and we all know where that will lead. So what is going to happen? Opinions, anyone? In Him, David S. MacMillan III

2.18.2006

Are You or Your Loved Ones Soundly Saved? Part I

Disturbing statistics indicate that over 80% of professing Christians fall away from the faith soon after conversion. The International Church of Christ reports here that more than four out of five of those that are baptized leave church within months. The September 1977 issue of Eternity Magazine reported the results of an evangelistic crusade that involved 178 churches. Out of 4,106 decisions for Christ at the altar, only 3 percent joined a local church. That series of meetings created 3,981 backsliders! And this was almost 40 years ago! A more recent campaign reported a 92% rate of real conversions. For every hundred people who make a profession of faith at the altars of American churches, often less than 10 stay in a local fellowship.

Most of these statistics are taken from Ray Comfort's book, Hell's Best Kept Secret. How is it that our best methods of evangelism are failing miserably? As popular as the slogan "What Would Jesus Do" has become, I frankly admit that I do not like it. It allows people to create a Jesus in their own image, according to their own desires. Canadian Senator Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, in comments made during debate of impending same-sex "marriage" legislation, made the astonishing claim that Jesus Christ would have voted in favor of the legislation just like she did. "As a Christian, I often ask myself 'What would Jesus do?'" the senator stated. She answered with, "In this case, in this time, I believe He would say yes. After all, we have come a long way from Old Testament days when adulterers were put to death; and we have come a long way in our understanding of human sexuality." It is so easy for people to rationalize when asked what Jesus would do. So instead, I prefer to ask "What DID Jesus Do?" So, when we are faced with statistics that show 80-90% of converts are falling away, we should immediately ask whether our evangelistic methods concur with the words and actions of Jesus Christ. Since early in the 20th century, modern evangelism has centered around what Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort call the "life enhancement" message. In other words, the idea that "There is a God-shaped hole in you that only God can fill. You will never be satisfied unless you come to Jesus. So just admit you are a sinner and ask for Jesus, and you will be happy and joyful and fulfilled and rich and everything else you ever wanted!" The problem with this approach is that it is totally opposed to Scripture! In Matthew 24, Jesus tell His disciples that that the enemies of the Gospel "will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake." This is anything but a gospel of joy, peace, and lasting fulfillment! Psalm 19:7 says that "The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul." How can this be? Haven't we always been taught that Jesus did away with the law of Moses at Calvary? Humans are not under the law any more, or so some would have us to believe. But in Romans 7:7, Paul tell us that "I would not have known sin except through the law." What does the Psalm say? "The law ... is perfect, converting the soul." How is one converted? Jesus said over and over that we are to repent of sin, not to "Try Jesus"! Let us now suppose that I walk up to a person on the street and tell him, "I have some great news for you! Someone you do not even know just paid a $25,000.00 speeding fine on your behalf! That is great news, isn't it?" The man would probably stare daggers at me. "Are you insinuating," he would demand, "that I broke the law? I have not been speeding, and I do not have a $25,000 fine!" Then, I would probably get a sock in the nose for my pains and the man would walk away. But let us suppose that I try this approach: "Excuse me, sir. I have some really bad news for you. Yesterday, you were clocked at 55 miles per hour going through a zone set aside for a blind children's convention. There were ten clear warning signs showing the top speed limit to be 15 miles per hour, but you ignored them all and went through at over three times the legal limit. What you did was incredibly dangerous, and a judge has levied a $25,000 fine on you." Now, if I tell the man his fine has been paid, he will be grateful. But if I omit the bad news, the good news will be foolishness to him. Likewise, if I tell someone that "Jesus died on the cross for your sins," he will be offended and my words will sound like foolishness to him (1 Cor. 1:18). But if I explain that he has broken God's law and is on his way to Hell first, he will be much more likely to welcome the Gospel with open arms. Or try this example. Two men are on an airplane. The flight attendant gives the first man a gigantic parachute backpack and tells him to strap it on. "It will improve your flight!" He is skeptical at first, but he puts it on as an experiment. The first man soon notices that the parachute prevents him from sitting upright in his seat. But he consoles himself with the thought that he was told it would improve his flight. Before long, however, the other passengers are laughing at him, and he is growing more and more uncomfortable. He gets up to use the lavatory and the weight almost pushes him to the ground. Disgusted, he rips the parachute off and throws it to the ground. Now he is "inoculated" against parachute-wearing, because after all "I tried it and it didn't work." The second man, however, is told to "Put this parachute on, because in less than 15 minutes you will be jumping 25,000 feet." He eagerly straps the backpack on, ignoring the weight on his shoulders and the ridicule of those around him. His only thoughts are for the jump to come. Telling someone to "Trust in Jesus!" without telling them about the jump to come is foolishness. Charles Spurgeon said that he preached "90% law and 10% grace." God law, the Ten Commandments, are necessary to show a sinner his need for God. Only when he is thoroughly convinced that he will stand before God guilty can he given the good news that Jesus already paid his fine. The message that Jesus will "improve your flight" is one of the most damaging messages ever created. We need to get back to the way Jesus taught. When the rich young ruler came to Him asking "What must I do to inherit eternal life," Jesus did not walk him through the Roman Road. He went straight to the Law: the Ten Commandments. More later. In Him, David S. MacMillan III

Legislative Assistant

This past week I worked 9 hours a day at my state capitol. As a result, new articles have been conspicuously absent (has anyone noticed?). This week, I am planning to write a few articles on evolution, the authority of Scripture, and what real salvation means. Keep checking back daily or load my RSS feed into your web reader. While you are waiting, check out a great new website, The Way of the Master. It is run by such notables as Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron, and Todd Friel. I encourage everyone to really take a close look at what they have to say! Thank you to all my readers who have left comments in my absence this week. God bless you all! In Him, David S. MacMillan III

2.11.2006