Would You Leave My Grandparents Out Of This Please?

Jan Gossaert, Adam and Eve, c.1520 'The Northern Renaissance: Durer to Holbein' at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace - www.royalcollection.org.uk  2 November 2012 - 14 April 2013  Credit - Royal Collection Trust (c) 2012, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II  This photograph is issued to end-user media only. Single use only. Photographs must not be archived or sold on.
Jan Gossaert’s, Adam and Eve, c.1520

 

O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge” which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. 1 Timothy 1-6:20

The news story regarding the “Genetic Adam and Eve” is revitalized again. Reportedly new data regarding when these people lived has been found. I know that using the names is an attention draw. However, I would appreciate all parties involved leaving my grand parents’ name out of it. They are not talking about the biblical Adam and Eve.

I personally do believe in a biblical, historical, first man and woman created by God as the predecessors of all mankind. I realize many scientists, and others, do not hold my beliefs. I also completely understand why some Christian scientists, and others, are attempting to support biblical scripture by the argument about DNA. However adding more to the crowd noise doesn’t help the situation.

In his letter to Timothy the Apostle Paul wrote about this very thing. It does little but detract from the real purpose of the whole Bible.

Other than the book of Genesis only one other raises as much discontent—the book of Revelation. I find it amazing how the first and last books of the Bible draw so much away from the ones in between them. Particularly as the events in them remain hidden in time. They can never be proven unless we either go back in time (which is not likely), or reach the last day (at which point it won’t matter). Until then the majority of debates based around them are moot.

As a Crime Scene Investigator I know certain criteria must be documented to prove the value of evidence in a case regardless of findings:

1. The location and time of collection.

2. The method of collection used.

3.  How it was processed.

4. Who had custody of it through the entirety of the process.

If these qualifiers are not met, the evidence is invalid. It will not be accepted into court and its collection pointless. The debates and arguments about the scripture of Genesis and Revelation all fail in one of these areas. Without them one side will never be able to convince the other side they are right.

Light was created in the beginning by God. God will be the light which removes the need of the sun and moon in the end of time. God came to the cross for us all somewhere in the middle of these times. A cross lit from front and back casts shadows to the front and the back. Our only hope of salvation is presented in both books but merely as shadows from the center. The heart of the Bible is the cross.

By all means read and study Genesis and Revelation. These are vital parts of the whole. You will be blessed by them. And, yes, be a defender of your faith in God, through Jesus Christ. There is a definite need for apologetics in our world. Nonetheless do it as the Apostle Peter adjured. Not through endless debate but by giving an account based on the center of “the hope that is in you” .

 

Experiencing Godliness

Father & Son
Father & Son (Photo credit: jeroenadema)

“He is not the God of the dead, but of the living; you are greatly mistaken.” Mark 12:27  

I often hear conversations regarding the negatives of having children. The money, time, freedom, and self-denial required to raise them seems too dear for many. Yes, sacrifice comes with parenthood but the losses prove minuscule when compared to the rewards. These fear of sacrifice claims sole responsibility for ending millions of pre-born lives. Much contentious debate has occurred over the last month regarding this matter—due in part to the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

But Jesus proclaimed His Father the God of the living—not the dead. So for now I do not desire more talk about the rights or wrongs of these 55 million plus deaths. Instead lets talk of birth and life, parenthood, and what it is like to experience Godliness. This amazing knowledge (contrasting the cheerless anniversary observed this month) comes from having children.

I certainly do not profess Godhood. And the only claim I have to righteousness came via the blood spilled for me by Jesus Christ. But I have tasted, to the degree humanly possible, what it must feel like to be God.

The first of these experiences came when I saw my wonderful son born. It astounded me how a tiny human being (hidden for nine months) seemed to magically pop into existence. I loved this little extension of myself unconditionally, simply because he came from me. His mother left us later, waving her parental rights, and he became in the truest sense my son alone. In his birth I experienced what God must have felt when he formed Adam in His image and breathed life into him.

The second occurred when I gazed through the nursery window at my firstborn son. An older man noticed my obvious adoring pride. He made eye contact with me and smiled. I simply pointed at my son and the only words I could squeeze passed my swelling heart were: “That’s my son”. I felt what it must be like when God looks upon on those who are His. I experienced what God felt when Jesus rose from the Jordan after being baptized by John.

The third happened when my son, only six weeks old, caught bacterial meningitis. He lay, too still, at death’s door on a little hospital bed. A foam coffee cup covered one tiny foot and the I.V. inserted in it. Dehydration made it too hard for placement elsewhere. There was absolutely nothing I could do for him. I could only hate his hurt and wait for the medicine’s effect. It ripped my heart watching him lie there helpless. Many times I could only look away. I yearned for his safety and prayed the illness was mine instead of his. I experienced what God must have felt as His creation sickened in sin and death. He could not watch His beloved Son suffer through the necessary cure for it. In pain God turned His face away from Christ on the cross.

The fourth occurred when God brought a woman into my and my son’s lives. She took my breath away, accepted my son as her own, and became my wife. I took her to love and cherish and accepted her son and daughter as my own, in all respects my second-born. They have since married and started families of their own. I became a grandfather of a precious little girl through my second son and his wife. Later, I danced with my new daughter at her wedding. Watching her become a beautiful woman that day brought tears to my eyes. I have experienced what God must have felt when he took the nation of Israel as His bride and vowed to watch over her children as His own.

The fifth followed when my firstborn grew into a successful, loving, and god fearing young man. He took a bride for himself and started his own family. I gave the best man speech at their reception. Pride filled my heart and his happiness thrilled me. I loved his new wife as my newest daughter, and saw the seeds of  a wonderful life ahead of them. I experienced what God must have felt when His Son rose from the tomb, took the church as His bride, and ascended in authority.

Children are well worth any “sacrifice” made for them. They are a gift from God that each day continues to unwrap. What I have encountered enhances my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I love Him more because I now understand how He feels and how He loved me first. I could not have encountered these things without my children.  I grieve the millions lost to abortion and the negated chances to grow closer to God through them.

My children and grandchildren will keep providing wondrous samples of what it must feel like being God. Some will bring joy, and some sadness, but I know in each I will continue to experience Godliness.

Note to the reader: It may be grammatically incorrect to capitalize godliness but, in context, I believe it fitting. By using the Omni-adjective—“Godliness”—I do not refer to devoutness, piousness, righteousness, or goodness (I made up “Omni-adjective” too). Each adjective is desirable, but none of us is truly good; so these are ways of action rather than ways of true nature, and each a mere shadow of God’s pure nature. Hence, I use “Godliness” to describe being God not acting as God would or wants us to.

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears! No Lie!

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”  – Peter 5:8

In the 1939 movie classic Wizard of Oz, Tin Man warned Dorothy, Scarecrow, of dangerous predators in the forest. They sang “lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!” while nervously skipping through the woods. The predator they met was the cowardly lion.

In days gone by parents in most countries warned their children of predatory animals in the wild. In some less developed countries they still do. Why would parents scare children with warnings of being eaten? Parents warned their children because the predatory animals would eat their children. It was an accepted fact. Today, in most countries, civilization has driven the wild areas well away from population groups. The chances of children actually being eaten by wild animals has diminished greatly in all but the most remote areas.

Yet parents should keep the old ways alive. Because predators do not all live in the wild. Lions, and tigers, and bears look like predators. They have claws and large sharp teeth and their appearance conveys a natural fear.  However human child predators don’t seem so dangerous. Child sexual predators and child pornographers live among us. They can appear the normal man or woman who live next door.

The two news stories below illustrate they are near and far and may be the most unlikely suspects.

Erika Perdue, Dallas Socialite, Arrested For Allegedly Trading Child Pornography From Mansion.

BBC News – Australian police make child porn ring arrests.

There is a difference between animal and human predators. Animal predators eat to live. Human predators live to destroy innocence. They have no remorse for their actions. Children are merely things to them. The most depraved of criminals target the most innocent of victims. It is a tactic that the devil has propagated for thousands of years and is becoming more prevalent every year. The apostle Peter was not warning early Christians of animal predators in the verse above. He warned of something far worse.

In my own town, a toddler was playing within eyesight of his father.  An unknown man simply walked up to the child, picked him up, and started to carry him away. The man’s view of the father was blocked by a retaining wall. The father yelled at the predator who dropped the child and ran. The father remarked at how calm and nonchalant the perpetrator was until he interfered. This incident took less than a minute. Had the father not been there the child would have been gone just that quickly. I shudder to think of what might have happened to him.

This is not a danger that only happens to other people. It is a very real, very serious, threat to our children. Parents must take this seriously and act accordingly. If this scares any of you parents, I will not apologize. I have sadly seen the results of these predations when no one was there to help the child.

Lions, and tigers, and bears are merely doing what they were created to do.  We should fear them to a degree. Humans were not created for this. We should hold a greater fear of their existence. We as parents and neighbors must have a greater diligence in defending the innocent from them.