In 2015, Michelle Higgins, a Black pastor and organizer, stood up before tens of thousands of people at a popular evangelical conference in St Louis, Missouri, and told them that, as she put it, “mission work was really an exercise in exporting racism, and that evangelicalism was a moral protection for white supremacy.”
Today, her criticisms are gaining ground. “For the last five hundred years, Christianity has been influenced by Martin Luther’s effort to decentralize the church,” Lisa Sharon Harper, the founder of a progressive evangelical religious group freedomroad.us, told me. “For the next five hundred years, the principle effort will be decolonization.”
More important than how Harper and others conceive of the last 500 years is what they predict for the ensuing 500: decolonization. And this is necessitated because of what has happened over the past half-millennia (or, at least, since 1619), the global project of white supremacy: “mission work was really an exercise in exporting racism, and that evangelicalism was a moral protection for white supremacy.” There you have it.
These are arid and divisive ideas, ones that are infecting certain quadrants of American Christianity. Left unchecked, they will cause problems for Christian fulfillment of the Great Commission.
Only 6% of Americans possess a biblical worldview, according to a new survey. The study, which was released out of the recently launched Cultural Research Centre (CRC) based at Arizona Christian University, is called the American Worldview Inventory and is the first of what will be an annual report from veteran researcher George Barna, who is the CRC research director. The survey asked 51 worldview questions that examined both what people believe and how they conduct their lives. Approximately 20% of those who attend evangelical Protestant churches espouse a biblical worldview, as do 17% of those who attend charismatic or Pentecostal churches, the survey found. The numbers were much lower for those among mainline Protestant churches, 8%, and Catholics, 1%.
“Born again Christians, a segment defined in part by their acceptance of scriptural exhortations regarding sin, grace, and salvation, were three times more likely than average to have a biblical worldview (19%). However, the fact that not quite one out of five born again adults holds a biblical worldview highlights the extensive decline of core Christian principles in America over the last several decades,” the report said.
What are known as “notional” Christians,Americans who identify as Christian but do not profess to know Christ personally as Saviour, comprise 54 percent of the U.S. population. Very few of them, just one-tenth of 1 percent, hold a biblical worldview.
“A quarter-century ago we had as much as 12% of the adult population holding a biblical worldview,” Barna notes in the report. “Since that time, we have seen a steady reduction in the incidence. The current level, just 6%, which is literally half of the level when we started measuring this, is the lowest yet.” He added: “If you truly believe something, you integrate it into how you live, and your lifestyle reflects those beliefs. As a result, our worldview research always balances examining both what we believe to be true with how we translate such beliefs into action.” The societal shift toward non-Christian worldviews like postmodernism, Marxism, secular humanism, and modern mysticism is most clearly reflected in values, the report continues.
Citing previous research, Barna went on to explain that the dominant values in the United States today are acceptance, comfort, control, entertainment, entitlement, experiences, expression, freedom, and happiness. Those contemporary values highlight the profound contrast from previous eras in which a more widely accepted biblical worldview yielded civic duty, hard work, humility, faith, family, moderation and the rule of law.
“Unless America experiences a steady increase in people reflecting a biblical worldview in their lives, America’s future is more likely to resemble that of nations characterised by moral and behavioural chaos,” commented Tracy Munsil, executive director and an associate professor of political science at Arizona Christian University.
What to look for when evaluating church home groups. Here are six problems that have been observed with suggestions for correction.
1. Unclear purpose. Some groups are designed for outreach, with members inviting others to join. However, others are more closed, with members focused on their own problems with a Bible study tacked on. Many groups, though, do not know their primary purpose. Members struggle, not knowing if they should bare their soul to others, invite the unchurched or both.
Correction: The primary purpose must be about making disciples of Christ that want to share the Gospel with others. All other essential activities should have that primary purpose in mind, whether communion, praise, prayer, Bible study, and testimonies.
2. Bad leading and/or teaching. This is significant problem that must be addressed. I believe each member of the group must have a Biblical World View that they can share.
Correction: Enlist teachers that believe the Bible is inerrant.The following basic knowledge is essential.
Proof the Bible is inerrant are the many fulfilled prophecies. The many unfulfilled prophecies provide a road map for the rest of HIS STORY.
Genesis is a true account of the creation of the Cosmos, The Fall and Noah’s Flood. Understanding Noah’s Worldwide Flood provides an answer for the alleged billions of years of earth’s history is essential.http://www.creation.com
God established the nations at the Tower of Babel.
God established Israel to be His nation as a witness to other nations. Israel’s Messiah, Jesus, came to earth to provide the only way for sinners to come back into a right relationship with our Heavenly Father (“He became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinth. 5:21). Israel rejected Him and were scattered for a time.
Jesus established the church as His vehicle for believers to preach the Gospel to all the world. Prior to Jesus return, there will be a tribulation period when Jesus refines His church before taking His saints to heaven (dead in Christ first then those that are alive) in the Rapture and then pouring out His wrath on the earth (on unrepentant sinners).
Jesus returns to this earth with the resurrected saints, saves a regathered Israel and rules and reigns from Jerusalem for 1000 years. (Satan is bound in the abyss during most of this time but is released at the end and sadly is still able to raise an army to come against King Jesus). He is defeated and this earth is destroyed with fire prior to the second resurrection and the White Throne Judgement.
After the White Throne Judgement, sinners are cast into the Lake of Fire where Satan and His Demons are. For humans this is the second death. God creates a new earth and even a new heaven for His saints to live in, where they enjoy eternal life, creatively engaged, in a glorious new body.
3. Little or no Scripture. Too often attended hour-long Bible studies that included no more than 15-20 minutes of actual Bible study.
Correction: Enlist the best teachers, and make sure they know the expectations. They are responsible for making sure the Bible is taught. Leaders who cannot lead a group to maintain this standard should not be leading.
4. Unfriendly members. A lot of groups say they’re friendly, but are not welcoming of new members. Typically, groups that see themselves as friendly are friendly only to people they know.
Correction: Train members to reach out to people they don’t know. You might even enlist one sociable group member who is first responsible for greeting guests.
5. Not expecting guests. The intent of the group must be outwardly focused. Here are some signs this is not the case: No available seats. No extra curriculum materials. No one ready to get contact information. No one providing or wearing name tags. No one helping guests know where to go after the class. Simply put: A guest who feels like an intrusion will not return.
Correction: Make sure the leader is outwardly focused. Remind the group weekly of their responsibility to invite others. Schedule other activities to which the unchurched might come. Get everything ready for guests who might attend the regular small group meeting. Expect God to bless your preparations.
6. Gossip sessions. All members must be encouraged to be actively engaged in each meeting whether conducting communion, praise, worship, prayer or giving a testimony. Avoid this scenario, in the name, of “prayer requests,” somebody shares information that should likely be kept in smaller circles. The request then becomes a launching pad for talking about somebody else’s problems.
Correction: Enlist a group prayer leader who gently controls the prayer request times. Provide other opportunities to share concerns without gossiping about others.
Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to be our COUNSELLOR, COMFORTER and TEACHER. He will direct us into all truth if we ask HIM. Every time you open your Bible ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you. He knows what you need and when you need it.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”John 14:26
I believe the following Scripture reveals that our spirit was always meant to be the vessel of the Holy Spirit. It is only when we have the Holy Spirit in our spirit that we can be holy, and our spirit is the lamp of the Lord.
The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart. Proverbs 20:27
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:12-16
If you are not desiring to spend time in God’s Word something is desperately wrong, at the very least, you are quenching the work of the Holy Spirit in your life and certainly grieving Him.
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30
Bone cells discovered by Schweitzer, showing classic appearances including nuclei and connecting fibrils—from a Brachylophosaurus allegedly 80 million years old!
Following the most rigorous tests and checking of data, many evolutionists now admit the existence of such dinosaur soft tissue and organic material in not just one or two specimens, but well over thirty. They now have to explain how extremely delicate structures could have been preserved over incredibly vast time periods.
E.g, In 2009, researchers reported that they had found the fossilised remains of a fish brain—dated at 300 million years by evolutionary standards. John Maisey, the lead author, found it remarkable that brain tissue was preserved by fossilisation, since it consisted mainly of water.
Then, in 2016, researchers studying the remains of an Iguanadon-like creature reported not just fossilised brains, but unfossilised brain tissue. Dated by evolutionists at 133 million years, this fossil from Bexhill, England, was discovered more than a decade ago but only recently analysed. It was found to contain unfossilised protein fragments—brain tissue, fine capillaries, collagen structures, and the membrane that surrounds the brain. The authors attributed the brain tissue preservation to the highly acidic, low-oxygen environment in which it was found. However, such an acidic environment should have sped up rather than slowed the breaking down of brain tissue and protein.
How long can brain tissue last?
The existence of soft issue in fossils is hugely problematic to the idea that these fossils are millions of years old.
Believing proteins could last for tens of millions of years takes enormous faith. According to a report in the science journal The Biochemist, even if collagen were stored at 0°C, it would not be expected to last even three million years.8 But such is the power of the evolutionary paradigm that many choose to believe the seemingly impossible rather than accept the obvious implication, that the samples are not as old as they say.
8 Roach, J., Oldest fossil brain found in “bizarre” prehistoric fish, news.nationalgeographic.com, March 2009.
Brasier, M.D. et al., Remarkable preservation of brain tissue in an Early Cretaceous iguanodontian
dinosaur, Geol. Soc. London Spec. Publ. SP448.3, October 2016 | doi: 10.1144/SP448.3
This article is from Creation 41(4):44–47, October 2019. Since 1837, when Louis Agassiz (1801–1873) first presented evidence for the Ice Age, secular scientists have been mystified. Why did it start? What caused it to stop? Over the years, creation scientists have realised that the unusual conditions created on the earth by the global Flood described in Genesis caused the Ice Age. And they have developed a powerful model that answers questions surrounding it.1 Table 1 presents the three requirements that must be met before an ice age can develop. These conditions existed immediately after the global Flood.
The cooler summers needed were caused by abundant volcanism and meteorite impacts during the Flood, which filled the stratosphere with very small particles that reflected some of the sunlight back to space. This volcanism has left evidence in the geological record. Secular scientists have estimated the effect of small particles high in the stratosphere by studying an impact in southern Mexico. They found it cooled global mean temperatures by more than 27°C (49°F) for about 30 years,2,3 and this was just one large impact. The net result of volcanism during the Flood would be a quick start to the Ice Age immediately after the Flood, especially in susceptible areas such as central Canada, and in high mountains of the mid and high latitudes. As the quantity of snow built up, the geographical area covered by the ice increased. The ice sheets did not have to physically move from the higher latitudes.
Ongoingvolcanism prolongs cooling With time, these small volcanic particles would slowly sink out of the stratosphere. However, copious post-Flood volcanism would replenish them, allowing the cooler summers to persist for many years. Ice Age expert J.K. Charlesworth writes: “…signs of Pleistocene [Ice Age] volcanicity and earth movements are visible in all parts of the world.”4
The Ice Age portion of Greenland ice cores shows evidence of 1,927 volcanic events recorded in the ice sheet.5 There are 700 stratovolcanoes on Earth (figure 2), and these cones would mostly represent post-Flood volcanism.
Data from eruptions during the past 2,000 years reveals that a single eruption can cause global and/or regional cooling of around 0.5 to 2.5°C (1 to 4.5°F) for several years. Some eruptions during the post-Flood Ice Age were much larger than eruptions in historical times. The great Toba, Sumatra, eruption is believed to have cooled global climate 3.5°C (6.3°F) for 9 to 10 years,6 with some estimates much greater.
As a result of these eruptions the land would have cooled much faster than the oceans, especially lowering the mean temperature of the summers. The oceans would lose their heat mainly through evaporation. This heat loss would occur much more slowly than that of the atmosphere. The cool land and warm oceans would create the ideal conditions for a rapid ice age.
Warm oceans supply the moisture The warm ocean provided the abundant moisture essential for the Ice Age. Evaporation is linked to sea surface temperature. After the global Flood, ocean temperatures would have been much warmer than they are today mainly due to the enormous volcanism during the Flood, when “all the fountains of the great deep burst forth” (Genesis 7:11). This is consistent with much super heated underground water as well as lava from the enormous volcanism pouring into the ocean, as seen in the geologic record.
The greatest warming compared with today’s oceans would have been at the mid and high latitudes. The Arctic Ocean would have been warm and ice-free with strong evaporation, generating high rates of precipitation. Snowstorm after snowstorm would have dropped their loads on land where eventually large ice sheets developed. The lower latitudes also had a higher rate of precipitation during this time, expressed as much higher rainfall, including in areas that are now extremely dry.
The Ice Age would persist until the oceans cooled and the post-Flood volcanism decreased, after which it would wane. The Ice Age was roughly 700 years long, taking some 500 years to build and 200 years to wane—40,000 or 100,000 years are not needed for an ice age.
Short timescale—key to mystery Concerning volcanism, secular scientists recognise that large volcanoes cool the climate for several years. If these Ice Age volcanoes were spread out over tens of thousands or more years, each volcanic eruption would have an insignificant effect on long-term cooling. However, if we telescope all these volcanic eruptions into several hundred years, volcanism provides the powerful cooling mechanism for the Ice Age. The short timescale the Bible sets out is not a side issue, but key to solving what to secular scientists has remained a mystery for the past 200 years—the cause of even one ice age.
The creationist post-Flood Ice Age differs greatly from the ice age envisioned by secular scientists. They postulate very cold, dry winters, but in the biblical model the winters would be much warmer and wetter than today, especially during the early- and mid-part of the Ice Age. This warmth would come from two processes unique to the climate effects of the Flood. The first is the heating of oceanic air by contact with the warmer ocean. This warmer air would produce a warm onshore air flow, especially in western North America and western Europe. Onshore flow today is the reason why western Washington, USA, is much warmer in winter than the interior of the United States at the same latitude. As a result of this onshore air flow, the Ice Age would be delayed in western North America and western Europe, except for the high mountains.
Second, when water vapour condenses and precipitates, it releases much heat to the atmosphere. This would be especially significant in storms, which would be strongest in winter at mid and high latitudes. This winter heat would spread all over the earth. Warmer, wetter, winters would produce much more rain and snow, since the warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold (figure 3).
Solving Ice Age mysteriesThe unique biblical Ice Age model solves the stubborn mysteries of earth science that secular scientists have been wrestling with for some 200 years. The Genesis Flood explains why the Ice Age began, why it stopped, and how it took only hundreds of years, not hundreds of thousands. The Ice Age model solves other mysteries such as the life and death of the woolly mammoth in Siberia, Alaska, and Canada’s Yukon Territory; the end-Ice-Age mass extinction of animals; the mix of warm and cold-climate animals and plants; and why today’s dry areas (e.g. the Sahara, Central Australia) were once well-watered. These will be dealt with in later articles.
What about the other Ice Ages? Secular scientists say that the first ice age began more than two billion years ago and envisage there were five main ice age periods (see table). Each of these are thought to have lasted from a few million to hundreds of millions of years. The last major ice age period is called the Pleistocene and is currently divided into 50 glaciations of variable intensities, each of which are said to have cycled every 40,000 or 100,000 years in the past 2.6 million years.1 These numerous glacial/interglacial cycles are deductions from the astronomical or Milankovitch theory of the ice ages. Creationist scientists generally maintain that the theory is incapable of explaining even one ice age. They agree with secular scientists, however, that the last of the Pleistocene ice ages is real.2 The claimed earlier 49 ‘ice ages’, which creation scientists maintain did not happen, are mainly based on speculative interpretations of oscillations of certain variables in deep-sea sediment cores.
Not ancient ‘ice ages’ but huge landslides during the Flood Secularists infer the four oldest alleged ice age periods (‘ancient ice ages’ to distinguish them from the recent Ice Age that followed Noah’s Flood) from features in sedimentary rocks similar to those in glaciated areas. One problem is that these sorts of features are not always caused by glaciers. Another major flaw in this ‘glacial’ interpretation is that the rocks are found near the equator, and more disastrously, they were formed below sea level. So, secular scientists are forced to postulate that Earth was totally glaciated at least twice! This so-called ‘snowball Earth’ hypothesis4 is scientifically implausible because it would be almost impossible to melt the ice and snow because of the reflection of the sunlight back to space. An alternative, more logical explanation is that the features are from widespread underwater landslides, which would have been common during the Flood.5,6
From the work done by the Rate team it is clear that the assumption of a constant slow decay process was wrong. There must have been speeded-up decay, perhaps in a huge burst associated with Creation Week and/or a separate burst at the time of the Flood.
The RATE project began as a cooperative venture between the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), the Creation Research Society (CRS) and Creation Ministries International (CMI).
As a result, there is now powerful independent confirmatory evidence that at least one episode of drastically accelerated decay has indeed been the case, building on the work of Dr Robert Gentry on helium retention in zircons. The landmark RATE paper – Humphreys, D.et al., Helium diffusion rates support accelerated nuclear decay, though technical can be summarised as follows: (www.icr.org/pdf/research/Helium_ICC_7-22-03.pdf)
When uranium decays to lead, a by-product of this process is the formation of helium, a very light, inert gas which readily escapes from rock.
Certain crystals called zircons, obtained from drilling into very deep granites, contain uranium which has partly decayed into lead.
By measuring the amount of uranium and ‘radiogenic lead’ in these crystals, one can calculate that, if the decay rate has been constant, about 1.5 billion years must have passed. (This is consistent with the geologic ‘age’ assigned to the granites in which these zircons are found.)
There is a significant amount of helium from that ‘1.5 billion years of decay’ still inside the zircons. This is at first glance surprising for long-agers, because of the ease with which one would expect helium (with its tiny, light, unreactive atoms) to escape from the spaces within the crystal structure. There should surely be hardly any left, because with such a slow buildup, it should be seeping out continually and not accumulating.
Drawing any conclusions from the above depends, of course, on actually measuring the rate at which helium leaks out of zircons. This is what one of the RATE papers reports on. The samples were sent (without any hint that it was a creationist project) to a world-class expert to measure these rates. The consistent answer: the helium does indeed seep out quickly over a wide range of temperatures. In fact, the results show that because of all the helium still in the zircons, these crystals (and since this is Precambrian basement granite, by implication the whole earth) could not be older than between 4,000 and 14,000 years. In other words, in only a few thousand years, 1.5 billion years’ worth (at today’s rates) of radioactive decay has taken place. Interestingly, the data have since been refined and updated to give a date of 5680 (+/- 2000) years.
The paper looks at the various avenues a long-ager might take by which to wriggle out of these powerful implications, but there seems to be little hope for them unless they can show that the techniques used to obtain the results were seriously (and mysteriously, having been performed by a world-class non-creationist expert) flawed.
Of course, all of us are. Listen to Francis Chan on following Jesus call to go to Asia. What a journey: from a church of 5,000 last year, to starting up house churches (Book of Acts church) that will raise up disciples that will raise up disciples and now to leave all, home, family, friends, comfort of life in the USA, to go to Asia where God is calling him, to where the workers are few and the number of lost is large. “lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for the harvest!” John 4:35
The polls (Pew Research) tell us that both Protestantism and Catholicism are experiencing losses of population share. Currently, 43% of U.S. adults identify with Protestantism, down from 51% in 2009. And 1 in 5 adults (20%) are Catholic, down from 23% in 2009
Most significantly, “More than 8 in 10 members of the Silent Generation (those born between 1928 and 1945) describe themselves as Christians (84%), as do three-quarters of Baby Boomers (76%). In stark contrast, only half of Millennial’s (49%) describe themselves as Christians; 4 in 10 are religious ‘nones,’ and 1 in 10 Millennials identify with non-Christian faiths.
Putting Millennials to one side, one reasonable explanation for the numerical decline in the older generations is that formerly nominal Christians no longer identify as Christians at all. In other words, it is those who rarely attended church in the past and who had no real relationship with God who are now identifying as “nones.”
Could it be as simple as this? Churches that no longer hold to the authority of Scripture, along with those that have the form of religion without the substance, are in decline, while those that seek to preach and live a vibrant faith are growing and even attracting the younger generations.
Typically, churches that minister successfully to Millennial’s directly tackle the creation versus evolution issue. There is no excuse now, as the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of intelligent design. Ministries such as Creation Ministries can provide all the necessary resources. Simply go to http://www.creation.com.
Yes! There are plenty of churches that are thriving and growing precisely because they are preaching a biblical message and precisely because people are encountering the risen Savior. Jesus is being exalted, and as a result, both the saved and the lost come flocking. People are drawn to what is real, alive, and where God’s power is displayed.
Be bold and truthful says Pastor Shane Idleman. The world wants to silence preachers of God’s Word. Sadly much of the church has abandoned God’s Word, denying its inerrancy, its inspiration by the Holy Spirit.
Fortunately, Jesus told us in Matthew 24:14 that “the major sign of His coming and the close of the age” will be:
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end will come” Matthew 24:14
The climax of the age will not be brought about by the actions of secular government or military power, nor by the floods of satanic deception and lawlessness. The final decisive activity will be the preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom accomplished by the church of Jesus Christ.
Quoting from Derek Prince in “Shaping history through prayer and fasting”
Scripture is very precise about the message that will be preached in the last days. It is to be the gospel of the Kingdom. It sets forth Christ in His kingly victory and power. It will be true and effective witness to all nations.
“Where the word of a king is, there is power.” Ecclesiastes 8:4
“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20
The kingdom gospel is supernaturally attested “with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit ,,, Hebrews 2:4
The “last days church” will be like the church described in the Book of Acts. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
God will bring together the various resources that are needed: the human resources of Spirit filled people of all ages but particularly young people, and the material resources of wealth and technology.