Article VI, part 1

Truth or Dare (Article 6)

Imagine with me that medical science has figured out how to manifest academic knowledge into a pill. A college student, needing help with their course work, Science 5 goes to the pharmacy and asks the pharmacist what kind of “knowledge pills” are available. The pharmacist lifts up a case filled with samples of these modern marvels and opens it up in front of the student.

“We have pills for English literature,” the pharmacist stated as he held out a sample. The student quickly takes the pill, swallowing it and almost immediately gains new knowledge concerning English literature. “Wow! What else do you have?” asks the student.

“Well, I have some pills for several studies. Such as art history, biology, and world history,” replies the pharmacist. The student urgently asks for samples of these, and gulps them down. Again, almost in an instant, the student has acquired new knowledge relating to those subjects. Then the student asks, “Do you have a pill for mathematics?” The pharmacist says, “Yes, but you must pay for this one.” The student agrees, and waits as the pharmacist walks away to the storeroom.

Moments later the pharmacist returns with a humongous pill, and after hoisting it onto the counter, with great effort, the student gasps and says, “I have to take that huge pill for math?” To which the pharmacist replies, “Well, yes — math always has been a ‘hard pill’ to swallow.”

Knowledge. Unlike wisdom, knowledge can be a little easier to acquire, though not as easy as simply swallowing a pill. It requires from us, just as wisdom does, our pursuit of it. Educational facilities can’t force people to learn. Just ask any teacher who’s worked with public school kids for any number of years. They can attest to how hard it is to teach children that refuse to learn, or suffer from a learning disability, but teachers from all grade levels will also tell you how rewarding the job can be when students — hungry for knowledge — grow and grow academically.

Francis Bacon Francis Bacon, an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, and author (who served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England), is credited with having said, “Knowledge is power.” It is true that knowledge can empower us to obtain many opportunities in life, but apart from understanding it can become a dangerous weapon. A weapon capable of destroying countless lives. You see, knowledge apart from understanding leaves us empty of wisdom, and a person without wisdom is capable of committing horrific acts against all life forms; especially against human life.

There are many ways to obtain knowledge these days, as computers are accessible in almost every area of the globe. There are also plenty of books, and in some areas microfilm is still available. Some television programs are used to educate us, as well as some radio programs, movies, CDs, and DVDs. Smart phones are basically a portable computer which can access the internet, pod-casts, other sound files, and even some movie files. All of these tools grant us nearly instant access to some type of knowledge, but none of these tools are better used than when employed within the academic system, be that system public, private, or home.

Academia opens us up to all types of knowledge, such as basic reading skills, writing skills, and mathematical skills. From there, mankind can be introduced to countless course studies, for example history, a variety of language skills, the various arts, general business and financial skills, and the many varieties of science, just to name a few. Knowledge really is powerful, but again it must be coupled with understanding to be beneficial to us. Academia may give us access to knowledge, but we must remember that only God can correctly couple our knowledge with understanding. When we allow this to transpire in our lives, then God will grant us access to His wisdom (Proverbs 2:6).

We also need to realize the role that faith plays in our attaining real knowledge. People have incorrectly believed that faith is for superstitious people, and not for the person who seeks intelligence. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, we all exercise faith on a daily basis. We rarely consider the artistry, mathematics, and science involved in the production of a chair, staircase, skyscraper, car, plane, boat, etc., yet without knowing how these various items happened we day in, and day out, use these tools and believe they will function as expected. That is faith.

The faith you exhibited when you sat in your chair today did not in anyway lesson the significance of the artistry, mathematics, and science placed into it, nor did it make you a superstitious fool. As the writer of Hebrews stated in the first verse of chapter eleven: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” We don’t see the creative process of the artist, the mathematical formulas and laws of physics used by the builder of the chair, but we are certain they are properly applied as we hope to sit comfortably and not fall to the ground. This also applies to our faith in the divine Creator. We don’t see God, Himself, but we see and even experience Him on a daily basis through creation and our faith.

Knowledge 2 As our faith grows, so too will our understanding of the knowledge God has made available to us. This knowledge, whether acquired through academia or through simply living life, will eventually give way to God’s wisdom, but only if we grow in our faith and seek to know the truth. This is the premise for which academia began; to teach concerning what is true. Yet despite this lofty goal, and all the educational tools at our disposal, people today are getting less truth, because God’s wisdom — God’s knowledge and understanding — has been removed from academia. One subject where this is most prevalent is the subject of biological science.

Linus Pauling, a chemist and pacifist, once said, “Science is the search for truth.” Yet today, in biology classes all around the globe a lie is being taught repeatedly, in spite of the evidence being massed against it. The lie began as a simple scientific theory. A scientific theory that was presented because a certain scientist began to have doubts regarding how life and all of creation happened. The lie? Darwinism, or the study of macro-evolution.

Now before we address the lie of macro-evolution in detail, I want you to understand that doubting is certainly a human characteristic. Doubts drive us to question. We question things like who, or what, caused life and all of creation to exist. Doubt moves mankind to ask when and where did such things transpire. Our doubt leads us to ask why things are as they are; to want to understand how things came about. Doubt is a part of the imperfect human spirit, but it is not a virtue.

Doubt might push us toward knowing the truth, and it might help us become certain that what we have discovered is the truth, but it can also cause us to miss the truth, altogether. Greg Laurie, an author and pastor, once said, “Sometimes doubt is the foyer to enter the sanctuary of certainty. Doubt is an act of the mind. Unbelief is an act of the will.” You see, though we doubt, and though that doubt can lead to understanding what is true, it will not lead us to believe the truth. That is our choice. If we are determined to ignore the evidences of God and live within our doubts simply because we do not want to believe in God, or simply because we are mad at God and religion, then no amount of seeking answers to our questions — no amount of study — no amount of knowledge will lead us to see, and know God.

King Solomon penned in the book of Proverbs, “There is a way that seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) This “way that seems right to a man” is the way of knowledge without understanding. It’s choosing to believe in something because we do not want to deal with God’s truth; to foolishly refuse to believe God’s truth thinking that if we refuse it then we will somehow be exempt from it. Unfortunately, choosing to be ignorant of God’s truth does not result in bliss. Recall with me the Warner Brothers’ cartoon characters, Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.

Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are two of the classic cartoon characters from the Warner Brothers’ animated series known as Looney Tunes. The coyote was always trying to make a dinner out of the roadrunner, but he could never catch him. Wile E. Coyote would even make ridiculous inventions, or make outlandish purchases, to help him catch Road Runner, but it was always to no avail.

Coyote-Roadrunner 1 One of the classic gags that took place in nearly every “Coyote/Road Runner” animated short, was the bit where the coyote would be chasing the roadrunner up through the desert mountains and inadvertently both would go running off of a cliff into the open air. Road Runner would stop (in midair, mind you) and stand there staring at the coyote. Wile E. Coyote would give a big sinister grin, thinking that he had finally caught his fast, feathery foe, but quickly he would realize that he and the roadrunner were defying the laws of gravity.

Before making his infamous fall to the ground, a sign would emerge from the coyote asking Road Runner how he was ignoring the law of gravity. The roadrunner would respond with a sign of his own stating that, unlike the coyote, he never studied law. A quick, and hearty, “Beep-Beep” would emerge from the happy-go-lucky bird and off he would go; running across the open sky and back onto the mountain road. Meanwhile, the poor ol’ coyote would drop like a “lead balloon.” Coyote Falling 1 Wile E. Coyote would fall into the screen, until all you see is a brief cloud of smoke puffing up from the ground below.

We are not living in a world of “Wile E. Coyotes” and “Road Runners.” God’s truth exists whether we know of it, and understand it, or not. We cannot ignore God’s truth, or remain uneducated of God’s truth, and expect to escape the results of it. As the Apostle Paul said in the first chapter of the book of Romans:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1: 18-22)

In our next two posts we will begin to disclose the foolishness of macro-evolution. We will show you, in as much detail as we can, how scientific knowledge is dangerous when God’s truth and understanding is not applied to it. We will also expose the sinister agenda behind American Darwinists.

Truth or Dare by J. Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.jasonmin.wordpress.com.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

Looney Tunes is a trademark of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner are ™ and © Warner Bros., or Turner Entertainment Co. All rights reserved.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.

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Article VI, part 2


Our last post began the construction of our fourth and final wall, as we returned to what is truly at the heart of our worship — God.

We also reviewed the three main attributes of God (faithfulness, hope, and love) and revealed that an obedient heart [spirit] was a very key ingredient to becoming a true worshiper.

Finally, we began to look at twelve ways in which we can begin to develop the discipline of being obedient to God, the Father, in our daily worship. The first being the reading and studying of Scripture. Being obedient to read and study Scripture is essential to our heart’s growth and well-being.

Prayer is the second way we can learn the discipline of obedience. Romans 12:12 admonishes us to be “faithful [consistent] in our prayer.” Philippians 4:6-7 teaches that if we desire peace in our hearts then we should pray to God and petition Him regarding the things that weigh heavily on our spirits. Paul told us to devote ourselves to prayer, in Colossians 4:2-5, and not just for ourselves but for our fellow believers. Why? So that the message of Christ can be proclaimed clearly for all to hear and believe.

Prayer takes us right into God’s presence. It’s how we not only communicate to God our wants, needs and desires, but also it becomes an offering of worship to God (Psalm 141:2; Proverbs 15:8). Being obedient to pray regularly keeps our hearts connected to God Almighty.

Our third way to begin developing obedience to God in our daily worship is in the playing and singing of songs. Remember in Article 5 we mentioned that creation was created to declare God’s glory and mankind is the instrument that God chose to hear His glory declared. Whether we think we can sing or play an instrument, or not, isn’t the point. The point is that God desires our hearts to be filled with His joy and praise, and He also desires for that joy and praise to be voiced back to Him.

One of my favorite TV shows is an old comedy from the 1960s entitled F-Troop, which starred Forrest Tucker, Larry Storch, Melody Patterson, and Ken Berry. In this sitcom, we get to experience the colorful mishaps of the various men assigned to serve the United States Cavalry at Fort Courage. Leading this group of rag-tag horse soldiers is Captain Wilton Parmenter (Ken Berry), and serving his captain as both orderly and company bugler is the no-talent Private First Class Hannibal Shirley Dobbs, played by James Hampton. No matter how hard PFC Dobbs tried, he could never make his bugle sing the various military songs required of it. But somehow, every time, the men managed to know what it was they were being summoned to do, and every time, no matter how horribly the bugler played, Captain Parmenter would always receive the last note with an honest-to-goodness, heart-felt word of encouragement. PFC Dobbs would beam at times, believing he had given his all to a gracious commander. That is what it’s like when God’s people sing or play their praises to the Almighty. Our best is never really all that good, but God loves our music just the same. In fact, God usually requests an encore!

You see, nothing exposes what is in the heart more clearly than music. Music gives voice to our laments and our praises. With one stroke of a chord we can know immediately if the heart is happy or sad. The Bible is filled with examples of this, but one book stands firmly out in front as the official songbook of Scripture. That book — Psalms!

Look through these verses from the book of Psalms for a few examples of how we can bring honor and praise to God through being obedient to the playing and the singing of songs: Psalms 33:3, 59:16-17, 71:22-23, 81:1-2, 95:1-2, and 98:4-6.

Family is the fourth way we can learn the discipline of obedience. Western civilization has long forgotten, it seems, the importance of family and the impact it can have on our future generations. We rarely see fathers, or even grandfathers, mentoring their sons in godly masculinity. We hardly see the tender care and godly teachings of life being presented from mother to daughter. Why? Parents have rejected their responsibilities to teach God’s Word, mentor a godly lifestyle, and discipline their children based on God’s statutes (laws). Parents have given up this right to the local church, area state child-care facility, or local government/private school. How sad. How irresponsible! If we are going to be obedient to God’s call on our lives to be true worshipers of the Almighty, then we (the parents) have to take back the home and begin again to teach our children to love, trust, and fear (respect) God.

Joshua understood this, as did many of the patriarchs of the Bible. Let’s revisit Joshua 24:15, mentioned in Article 3, which says, “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” The psalmist understood this: “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord” (Psalm 34:11). King Solomon, possibly the wisest man to have ever lived, said in Proverbs chapter 22, verse 6: “Train [teach/mentor] a child in the way he [or she] should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” The wise king also had this to add, concerning discipline, in verse 15 of that same chapter, “Folly is bound up in the heart [core/spirit] of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away from him [or her].”

This parent/child relationship is taken even further in Ephesians 6:1-4, where the apostle Paul admonished children to obey their parents “in the Lord” (meaning, according to God’s ordained plan and statutes). Paul took it further and stated that if we, as children, “honor” our parents, then God will grace us with a long, well blessed life. Does this mean we will be rich? No! Again, just as we discussed in Article 5, we are more spiritual than physical. God made us in the image of His Spirit, therefore we must think in these terms where blessings are concerned. And we can’t overlook verse 4, which reminds parents (fathers in particular, as we are generally less patient and kind) that we cannot “exasperate” (meaning, bully or infuriate) our children. We must parent and discipline our children according to God’s Word and by applying His attributes; just like I’ve instructed throughout this study regarding our worship.

Lastly, with regard to relationships in the home, there is more than just the parent/child relationship; there is husband and wife. This relationship is without a doubt the most important of all human relationships, as it’s this special devotion between a man and a woman that gives sinful humanity a physical glimpse at the spiritual — a living, breathing picture of the relationship God intended for mankind to have with Him. That’s how special the marital relationship is. This is why marriage vows should be taken so very seriously. We can’t jump in and out of marital relationships any more than we can be wishy-washy with our spiritual devotion to God.

The apostle Paul explained this when he penned Ephesians 5:22-33. In these eleven verses, Paul taught that women should submit to their husbands “as to the Lord” and that men should love their wives “just as Christ loved the church.” This shows us that when women live out the special role of submission (remember Article 4: serving/acting out of love and respect) to their husbands, then mankind can learn how to submit to God. Men, Paul’s words are teaching us that when we love our wives correctly, then humanity can see how much God really does love mankind. Serving and submitting to one another is not a shameful practice — it’s a godly act of worship.

This also applies to the “marriage bed.” In 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, Paul wrote:

“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise . . . the wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband . . . Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self control.”

Sexual intimacy between a man and a woman, inside the marital vows, is a strengthening, bonding act, and meant to grow the devotion between them as well as protect the relationship from Satan’s attacks. Physical intimacy between the husband and the wife is more than procreating — it’s a weld that binds two weak, vulnerable human spirits into one strong, unbreakable life of godly worship. As the psalmist said in Psalm 128, verses 1-4, regarding a man and his family: “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways . . . blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man [family] blessed who fears the Lord.”

Our next post on the subject of returning to the heart of worship will begin with the fifth way we can learn obedience to God, as we continue in the construction of our fourth and final wall on our temple of worship.

The Joshua Project by J.Scott Harden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at jasonmin.wordpress.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://jasonmin.wordpress.com/.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

The “NIV” and “New International Version” trademarks are registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by International Bible Society. Use of either trademark requires the permission of International Bible Society.

F-Troop Copyright © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Copyright © 1965 Warner Bros. Television. All rights reserved.

If your church or organization would like to talk with J. Scott Harden about a speaking engagement, or a writing project, please get in touch with Mr. Harden through Jason MinistriesTwitter account or Facebook page.