|Vol. 14 No. 2 February 2012||
Donald R. Fox
About thirty years ago, my wife and I were very close to Ben and his family. Ben was a very moral and religious person at that time. He had a hard time settling down as to what he believed about the Bible and his religious preference. I asked him and his wife if I could come to his home and have an open Bible study with them. They agreed, and a time and date was set.
I looked forward to my appointment with Ben and his wife. I knew, or thought, that they both believed in the God of the Bible, and that they also believed that the Bible was the inspired Word of God. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
With great enthusiasm, I arrived for my appointment to study the Bible with Ben and his wife. We started our study in a simple manner because of my understanding that they sincerely believed in God and His Word. We opened our Bibles to the Acts of the Apostles. Chapter One went very smoothly as we read and discussed the Scriptures. Chapter Two also went rather well until we got to verse 37 as it reads, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Upon reading verse 38, I noticed Ben getting red in the face, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” I also told him at that time that Mark 16:16 also fits within the plan of salvation. I read, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be dammed.”
Ben became very angry, and this surprised me because this behavior was not his regular nature. “Baptism hasn’t anything to do with salvation,” yelled Ben. I responded, trying to find equal ground in order to continue our study by saying, “How about believe in God, don’t we have to believe in God?” Red faced, he yelled, “No.” Instantly he repented and said, “Yes, I believe that one must believe in God.” His rebellion at the command to be baptized pushed him into anger and to say something he regretted.
Our study together was this only session, never to be repeated again. You see, hidden within Ben was a great hate for the church of Christ. Further, concealed was a deep-seated loyalty toward the religion and doctrine of his parents and his upbringing. With these veiled beliefs, Ben rejected the truth of the Word of God. Ben’s wife was passive and seemed disinterested during the entire Bible study period. Ben did not believe in the inspiration of the Word because he rejected what the Word of God taught, and that is very sad indeed.
“He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7).
D. Gene West
One often hears the statement made, “Evolution is a fact, not a theory!” Nothing could be further from the truth! To be perfectly blunt, evolution is not even a theory, but a hypothesis – an educated (?) guess on the part of some people as to how things came to be as they are. Evolution is always spoken of in positive terms, that is, that men “came up” from lower animal forms that came from lower, etc., in a sort of infinite regression. In other words, according to the various hypotheses, and there are many of them, men are getting better and better all the time. We are evolving, not devolving! If that is true, would one not expect to observe it in some area of human life? Observation of empirical phenomenon is true science; guesses about how the phenomenon came to be are guesses.
National Geographic Magazine is an interesting publication that touts organic evolution with all its might. However, their own reporting of phenomenon in history disproves their theory. For example, some months back we read of the discovery of some Egyptian mummies that were some 4,000 or 5,000 years old. They X-rayed the mummies and learned that many of them had advanced arthritis, a crippling disease that afflicts thousands of Americans 5,000 years later. Now, would you not think that in 5,000 years something in the human evolution process would have triggered a decrease in such a disease rather than an increase? If we are evolving, why not less arthritis rather than more, especially in people who did not descend from those found in the tombs?
In X-raying the heads of the mummies, they found that many of them suffered from painfully decayed teeth. If we have been evolving any at all in the last 5,000 years, why is there greater need to care for the teeth? Did the Egyptians eat too much processed sugar, chocolate and chew too much bubble gum, which is so frequently charged as the cause of tooth decay today? Maybe they did not brush twice a day and see their dentists twice a year. They had dentists because the X-rayed teeth showed efforts to remove decay and replace it with another substance, as well as teeth extractions! Then there was evidence of brain surgery, or at least the surgical opening of skulls, and on and on one could go. So, if we are evolving, why have none of these things changed in the observable history of mankind? Could it be that we are not evolving at all? Could it be that life on earth is much more static than we have dreamed?
Then, if we are evolving, why are we still murdering? Should we not have learned in the last 10,000 or 10,000,000 years, or in some other number of years, that if we murder we will be caught, executed or imprisoned for the rest of our lives? Has none of that information gotten into our DNA so that with every coming generation there is less and less of that sort of thing? Well, it appears not to have done so, since there is more and more. If we are not evolving physically, naturally, and if we are not evolving morally in learned behavior, maybe – just maybe, we are not evolving at all, and we never have been!
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one. (Psalm 14:1-3 NKJV)