Jeremiah 9:6

"'You live in the midst of deception; in thier deceit they refuse to acknowledge me', Declares the Lord."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Prepared for Persecution

This is a Problem!
I found this story on the AIG website and thought it was a great example of how Christian's rights are being neglected in schools. This isn't just a freak thing, it happens all the time. In fact, I'm just going to be blunt and say that Christians are persecuted by peers an teachers more often than others. This can't be excused by saying that the teacher was being religiously neutral by being atheist or agnostic, because even the most devout scientist base their lives on faith assumptions. I'm not saying that people of different faith are never persecuted, or that it's always Christians getting picked on. But the persecution of Christians is an especially big problem that needs to be addressed.

Prepared for Persecution
by Kelsey H., Class of 2008
On the first day of my college philosophy class, the students in the class introduced themselves. Along with telling our names, we had to tell where we were from and the most important thing we have learned in our lives. When everyone finished, our professor told us her name and what was important to her. She ended by saying, “If any of you are Christians, don’t plan on being one when this class is done.” My jaw dropped when I heard this; I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into. I reminded myself that this was a class I needed for my major, so I had to stick with it.
Throughout the year, we talked about all the different religions; it seemed like every day Christianity got thrown into the discussion. There was never anything positive that was said about Christianity. My professor said that the Bible is a cute little story but has no real meaning.
. . . At the end of the semester we had a final project. We had to give a ten-minute presentation and write a four-page paper on our presentation, and these two things were worth 50% of our final grade. I decided to write my paper/presentation on the “Seven C’s of History” by Answers in Genesis. The “Seven C’s of History” is a brief history of the Bible and includes Creation, Corruption, Catastrophe, Confusion, Christ, Cross, and Consummation.
The big day came and I had spent hours working on my presentation and paper with my dad. I was the first one to present that day and had everyone’s attention the whole time, which was very unusual. Normally kids are texting or doing other homework. When I was done, I thought I had done well, especially since I had everyone’s attention; but little did I know what was in store for me. For the next forty minutes of class, my professor picked apart my presentation and was furious. She yelled at me for saying that on the last day God will judge all the people and there will be a separation between the believers and the unbelievers. She thought those were my words and didn’t understand that that is what the Bible tells us. She also thought that it was too harsh. She went through every “C” and found something about it to pick apart. I wasn’t even able to stand up for myself or for Christianity, because there was no break in her anger.
I found this class period interesting because two weeks before, I stayed after class talking with her and two other students; and she had told us that it was wrong of us to think that Christians get persecuted. Rather, we (Christians) are the ones persecuting others.
After the class, all the students handed me their evaluation forms. When I went through them, I noticed that I received high marks, and all A’s from the class, except two which gave me B’s. I had one girl come up to me after class and tell me that she was sorry for how the class went and that our professor went overboard. I told her it was okay, and thanks. She then asked me, “What do you mean it was okay?” I told her, “I’m a Christian, and I’m going to get persecuted for standing up for what I believe in (Matthew 5:10–12).” She shook her head, and said, “Wow, I can’t believe you found something positive to take out of this last class.” Hearing her say that really showed me that I did do something right, and even though I had many people against me, I know that God was with me and proud of me, and He was the only one I cared about.
When we got our final grades, I received a “No Grade” on my presentation and paper. My professor said that she was too heartbroken to give me a grade, because I obviously didn’t do any of the readings or take anything from this class. I emailed her and told her that just because I don’t believe everything that was taught in this class, doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything. I did, in fact, learn a huge lesson, and that was to stand up for what I believe in, even if I’m the only one.
I don’t think I have ever dug as deeply into my Bible as I did this past semester. I found so many verses telling me that this would happen, and that there is a reward for those who share God’s Word. Some of the verses I read numerous times were, Matthew 5:10–12, Matthew 28:18–20, Mark 13:13, and John 3:16. Although I didn’t learn the lessons my professor wanted me to, I learned an even bigger lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
As I look back on this event, I’m thankful for the Christian home and high school that helped prepare me for this. It is great to have role models to look back on as I face new situations in my life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Is God Scientific?

Beyond Nature
“It is obvious we cannot examine God in a test tube or test him by the usual scientific methodology. Furthermore, we can say with equal emphasis that it is not possible to prove napoleon by the scientific method. The reason lies in the nature of history itself, and the limitations of the scientific method. In order for something to be proved by the scientific method, it must be repeatable…” (Know Why You Believe by Paul E. Little) You know, so many people today classify God as something totally separate from science. In a way, his supernatural nature defies science. But is this really a reason to question his existence? Science has limitations, it can only relate to measurable, repeatable, material things. God is none of these things. But if God really does exist, why wouldn’t we put science into perspective with God? Perhaps God himself isn’t provable by science, (He isn’t exactly from our universe, or confined by it’s laws) but since he created our universe, he would have drastic effects on all branches of science.

Cause and Effect
A good example of this comes from the law of cause and effect. The law of cause and effect basically says that nothing ever (EVER) happens without a cause. This applies to everything in our universe, and even our universe itself. Ok, so let’s say you fall off a cliff. (This seams to be my favorite illustration… ok, I’m not very creative) let’s say the cause of this effect was a brake failure. The brake failure is a cause, but also an effect of a clumsy mechanic. The mechanics clumsiness is the effect of staying awake till 4:00 in the morning three nights in a row. And the Cause of this… Let’s just say that this could go on for days! Eventually you would have to arrive at something called an “Uncaused Cause”. Now, In our universe, an uncaused cause is a scientific impossibility. Never the less, we know that there was one somewhere down the line. So how do scientists explain this uncaused cause? There are only three ways to explain this. (1) The uncaused cause was not from our universe, or confined by its laws. This is the general definition of “God” don’t you think? (2) the law of cause and effect is false, (this goes against reasoning, and hundreds of years of science). (3) Time has existed forever, thus eliminating the need for an uncaused cause. But there are several problems with explanation #3, which point to an uncaused cause.

Imagine a timeline pointing in two directions
< --------O------- >
the present time is marked by the “O”. Time spans in each direction infinitely. Here’s the problem, If time has existed infinitely, how did we ever arrive at the present time? Let me explain. Lets say you went back in time to the beginning of eternity. When would you arrive? The answer of course is never. But what if you started an eternity ago and headed toward our present time. When would you get there? Never. This strongly suggests that it is impossible for time to exist infinitely. Even Stephen Hawking said, "Time itself must have had a beginning". So this disproves the idea that no un-caused cause was needed due to infinite time. In fact, Time in itself is evidence for a God. We cannot create, reverse, stop, or destroy time in any way. Only an infinite power could have set in motion such a unique and almost unexplainable dimension.

Fibonacci Numbers
Another evidence for God is found in every corner of the universe. Fibonacci numbers are found in spiraling galaxies, flowers, the human hand, musical notes, tree trunks, sea shells, and thousands of other natural designs. Fibonacci numbers are a sequence of numbers starting at zero, and then one, and adding the last two numbers of the sequence to get the next. 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144… So what is so special about these numbers? They happen to be very beautiful when incorporated into design. In fact, artists use them in a variety of ways to create stunningly beautiful masterpieces like the Mona Lisa. So are Fibonacci numbers just chance? And why do we have such a strange attraction to them? The best explanation would be that the ultimate artist who created our universe liked the way they looked, and used them multiple times throughout his creation. This isn’t rocket science, but it makes sense.

Personal Challenge
Although we cannot prove scientifically that God exists, or prove that he created our universe, God fills in an empty hole in science that makes everything make sense. To anyone who scoffs at people who believe in God, and think we need to directly prove that there is a God before our schools can teach intelligent design, I want to challenge you to commit to your own expectations and prove scientifically that there is not a God. Just because something can’t be seen, repeated, or tested in a laboratory, does not mean it doesn’t exist.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Setting a High Standard

Combating Low Expectations
In the forward to “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris, Chuck Norris says, “Today we live in a culture that promotes comfort, not challenges. Every thing is about finding ways to escape hardship, avoid pain, and dodge duty. ... Today, our culture expects very little from teens - not much more than staying in school and doing a few chores.” As a teenager, I find this statement to be true for my generation. We, as teens, tend to meet the expectations set before us, and no more. If the expectations are set high, we rise to the occasion. However, if they are set low, unfortunately, we stoop to the standard. I want to change the mindset of teens from the idea that we only need to do what is required and nothing more, into one that says that we can and should rise far above the standard. If teens got this, we would realize our God-given potential and make an impact on the world.

One example to illustrate the idea that teens will rise up to meet the expectations set before them is an experience I had in my scout troop. The meals our patrols used to plan and cook were simplistic and disgusting. We cooked things like hot dogs for every meal. However, when we instituted patrol cooking competitions, we started to cook better and better. We went from “shake-n-bake” pancakes, to chocolate-cherry cobblers and breakfast burritos. The rise in expectations forced us to improve our planning and cooking abilities; and now we actually look forward to the delicious food.

Another example of how high expectations can spur a person on to success can be seen in Charles F. Kettering. He was an American engineer who invented the electric starter. He is quoted as saying, “High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.” This is shown through his achievement of the inventing of the electric starter. He set a high goal, and he met it. As a result our lives are made simpler.

Some people believe conversely. They say that high expectations set a child up for failure, while low expectations foster a sense of success. They believe that experiencing failure leads to low self esteem. I found a web site that presented suggestions as to the appropriate chore levels for all ages. In the section “11 years and older”, one of the suggestions was for the kid to “clean room with direction”. This site also said, “One kid may be fully ready to handle sorting the laundry at 13 while another kid will still be putting red clothes with the whites at 16, wondering why the clothes keep coming out tinted pink.” Zach Hunter started a campaign in 7th grade to free slaves around the world. Through his “Loose Change to Loosen Chains” (LC2LC) he has raised money to end modern day slavery. Zach Hunter is just one example of what a teen is capable of and how our culture expects far to little from us teens.

The main thing I’m getting at here is that the ridiculously low expectations set for us teens need to be defeated. They must be defied. If my generation doesn’t, we will become a bunch of lazy adults who don’t do anything with excellence. The point I’m making is not that we, teens, are lazy bums; it is that if we don’t start showing the world what we are capable of, we will never get practice at doing anything great. I say that regardless of age setting low expectations sets one up for failure, because the low expectations are not a realistic example of the demands of real life.

Works Cited

Harris, Alex and Brett Harris. Do Hard Things. Colorado Springs: Multnomah Books,

McNulty, Joanne. “Age Appropriate Chores for Kids.”
2007 Quotations. “Charles F. Kettering quotes”. Quotations
Online 1 Feb. 2009.


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