The Christian Response to America’s Presidential Election

  • This week’s election has once again revealed how deeply divided America is. The coming days will be an important time for the Church to affirm and profess some important truths to our Land.
  • God is the author of history. He determines our times and places (Acts 17:24-31) and he shakes the nations to accomplish his will (Haggai 2:6-7; Daniel 2:21). History is “His Story”.
  • God’s word is clear that our governmental authorities have been established by God (Romans 13:1-2).
  • Christians are admonished by God to submit to and honor our governing authorities (Romans 13:1-2; 1 Peter 2:13-17).
  • Christians are called to pray for the leaders of our government (1 Timothy 2:1-4).
  • The Christian should seek to lead a quiet life within the culture. Our goal should be to win the respect of non-believers through our love for one another, our work ethic, and in living in peace together (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12; 5:12-15).
  • As Christians this world is not our home; we are aliens and strangers here (1 Peter 2:11-12). As such, we must remember that our first calling is to live as ambassadors of Jesus Christ and his heavenly kingdom (2 Corinthians 5:20).
  • Politicians will come and go, but the word of the Lord stands forever (1 Peter 1:24-25). May God’s priorities always be our priorities (Matthew 6:33); and may we as believers never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16). It alone is the true hope of the world.

For more on the Christian’s responsibility to government please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.

The Occult

  • The term “Occult” comes from the Latin word “Occultus” meaning “hidden or secret things”. It is popularly used in reference to the spirit realm, which many believe can be accessed to gain knowledge, power, and control over our lives.
  • It is estimated that over 50 million Americans dabble in some form of the Occult on a regular basis. Practices like astrology, tarot cards, palm reading, Ouija boards, psychics, mediums, and witchcraft are common.
  • Throughout Scripture God clearly condemns any participation in the realm of the Occult (Deuteronomy 18:9-13; 2 Kings 21:1-6; Galatians 5:19-21).
  • The fundamental error of the Occult is that it is rooted in sinful pride. It is embracing the lie of Genesis 3 where Satan said to Eve, “Did God really say?” The Occult’s false promises of knowledge, power, and control divorce humanity from a humble reliance on our Creator. He alone is sovereign over all.
  • Forgiveness is available to anyone involved in the Occult. If you’ll humble yourself and confess your sins to Jesus Christ, he will cleanse you of all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

For more information on the Occult, please check out the documentary DVD, Popculture Paganism, available in our online store.

God’s Sovereignty and Human Freedom

  • Throughout church history Christians have wrestled with the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human freedom.
  • The Bible teaches that God is sovereign over all. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and is the author of human history (Psalm 103:19; 115:3; Job 42:1-2; Isaiah 46:9-10; Acts 17:24-28).
  • The Bible also teaches that human beings have free-will and moral responsibility. Scripture repeatedly affirms that our choices have consequences, both in this life and for eternity (Genesis 3; Joshua 1:8, 24:15; Mt. 15:18-20; John 3:16-18; Galatians 6:7-9; Revelation 1:3, 22:12-17).
  • Due to the perceived tension between God’s sovereignty and human freedom, Christians often tend to emphasize one of these truths at the expense of the other. Whenever we do this we err.
  • The appropriate way to understand both God’s sovereignty and human freedom is to simply accept God’s revealed truth on these matters. The same God who declares his sovereignty over history also declares that we humans bear responsibility for our choices.
  • One theologian described the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human freedom like this, “From humanity’s perspective we see 2 chains descending from heaven, one is God’s sovereignty and the other our free-will. However, if we could see these chains from God’s vantage point, we would actually see one great chain running through the pulley of the eternal nature and providence of God. As human beings, if we grasp onto one side of this chain over the other, we will surely fall.”

For more information on the nature and character of God please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, What Is God Like?, available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

The Fallacies of Theistic Evolution

  • The Naturalistic theory of evolution claims that all living things descended from a common ancestor over millions of years of slow, gradual, and unguided change.
  • Theistic evolution is the idea that God initiated the process of evolution, using it as his means of creating all life.
  • Theistic evolution requires a strained interpretation of Genesis 1-2. A straightforward reading of the creation account describes God creating all living things fully formed and functional in six 24-hour days.
  • Theistic evolution contradicts the Bible’s teaching that death did not exist before the Fall of Adam and Eve. The theory of evolution requires millions of years of death leading up to the emergence of human beings, but the Bible says death came through Adam (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21).
  • Theistic evolution attempts to accommodate the God of the Bible and the biblical account of creation with the secular theory of evolution. However, this is an unnecessary move as there’s no solid evidence for macroevolution theistically or naturalistically.
  • The God of Theistic evolution is too small. When you understand the nature of God as revealed in Scripture it’s obvious that God didn’t need millions of years to create the diversity of life in our world; he didn’t even need 6 days. God could have created everything in 6 seconds if he desired.
  • When considering Theistic evolution the fundamental question that must be asked is this, “Why would a perfect God use an imperfect means to create a perfect world?”

For more information on the evolution vs. creation debate check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, Evolution vs. Creation available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

The Question, “Is it wrong for a Christian to have doubts about God?”

  • Wrestling with spiritual doubt has been a common reality for God’s people since the serpent tempted Adam and Eve (Genesis 3).
  • The Bible is filled with real, honest, and sometimes very raw examples of God’s people experiencing spiritual doubt (Sarah, Moses, Job, David, Peter, Martha, Thomas, and many more).
  • God doesn’t view our spiritual doubt as sin, but rather, as an opportunity to grow our faith, build character, and work out his perfect will for our lives (James 1:2-4).
  • The key to overcoming spiritual doubt is to humble ourselves before the Lord, trust in the promises of his word, and wait on him with the hopeful expectation of ultimate deliverance (1 Peter 5:6-7; Proverbs 3:5-6; Isaiah 40:27-31).
  • As believers we can also look forward to the day when all of our doubts will be forever wiped away in the eternal presence and peace of God (Revelation 21:3-5).

For more helpful answers to common questions of faith, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.

Jihad in Islam

  • With the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando, and Nice, many are asking, “What could motivate these ‘Islamic radicals’ to carry out such atrocities?”
  • The motivation for this violence rests squarely upon the Islamic concept of jihad, long considered a sixth pillar of the Islamic faith. Jihad is the belief that fighting for the cause of Allah (holy war) is the greatest act of devotion a Muslim could undertake.
  • Surah 9 of the Koran, Mohammed’s final and definitive teaching on jihad before his death, encourages Muslims to fight and kill infidels (non-Muslims) for the cause of Allah. In this Surah Mohammed promises rewards in this life and paradise in the next for those who kill or are killed in jihad.
  • Mohammed not only encouraged his followers to fight for the cause of Allah (there are 109 “war verses” in the Koran), but Mohammed himself set a powerful example for all jihadists having ordered or led 74 military attacks during his lifetime.
  • It is absolutely correct and important to acknowledge that not all Muslims are terrorists and jihadists. It is not correct, however, to say that terrorism and jihad have no place in the religion of Islam.

For more information on the religion of Islam, please check out the documentary DVD, Islam Rising, available in our online store.

The Question, “Can God Make a Rock So Big That He Can’t Lift It?”

  • While this question is usually asked to stump the Christian or diminish our view of God’s omnipotence, the reality is this question fails in terms of its logic and its understanding of God.
  • Logically it is no imperfection on God’s part to be unable to do something that is inherently contradictory by nature (for example, drawing a square circle). Just as a square circle is nonsensical, so too is the notion of God creating a rock so big that he cannot lift it.
  • God is omnipotent, meaning he is all-powerful. There is nothing God cannot do (Jeremiah 32:17; Job 42:2). God can create a rock as big as he wants to. And God can lift any rock he chooses to lift. But again, God cannot do the logically incoherent.
  • We must also recognize that when it comes to God’s omnipotence God cannot do something that is contrary to his holy nature (Leviticus 11:45). For example, God cannot tell a lie (Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:2) and God cannot be tempted to sin (James 1:13).

For more information on God’s nature and attributes please check out Dr. Carlson’s lecture, What Is God Like? available in CD or MP3 in our online store.

The Question, “Why Doesn’t God Reveal Himself More Clearly?”

  • Many skeptics, seekers, and even believers will ask the question, “If God exists why doesn’t he reveal himself more clearly?”  In answering this question we must keep in mind the following considerations.
  • God is not a physical, material being. He is spirit (John 4:24). And as a spirit God is invisible to us (1 Timothy 1:17).
  • God is also holy (Revelation 4:8). He is morally perfect and has no sin. God, in his awesome holiness, says that if any sinful being should see his face they would not survive (Exodus 33:18-23).
  • Even though God is invisible he tells us that if we seek him he can be found; and this is God’s desire for his creation (Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:27).
  • God has not kept himself hidden, he has revealed himself to us in a number of ways: through creation (Psalm 19:1-4; Romans 1:20); in the inspired word of God, the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1; Luke 24:27); and ultimately in his son, Jesus Christ (John 1:1, 14; Colossians 1:15-20; Hebrews 1:1-3).
  • God further reveals himself through the lives of believers, the Church, those who have trusted in Jesus Christ and have received the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 John 4:11-13).
  • While we cannot see God in this life, anyone who trusts in Jesus Christ will be given the right to be called a child of God (John 1:12); and one day all God’s children will see him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12; Revelation 22:3-5).

For more on God’s revelation to humanity, please check out Jason Carlson’s CD album, Answering the 3 Great Questions of Life available in our online store.

Abortion in Light of Scripture

  • Recent Supreme Court decisions have reminded us of the urgent need to continue championing the rights of the unborn. While science and philosophy provide strong support to the pro-life cause, its ultimate basis is rooted in the truth of God’s word.
  • God is the Creator of unborn life (Job 10:8-12 & 31:15; Psalm 139:13-16) and God alone has the right to take life (1 Samuel 2:6; Psalm 90:3; Acts 17:25).
  • God cares about the unborn and views children as blessings to be treasured (Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 127:3).
  • Men and women must not take the life of the unborn (Exodus 21:22-25; Amos 1:13; Matthew 5:21). God hates the shedding of innocent blood (Proverbs 6:16-17).
  • Abortion is impermissible even in cases of rape or incest (Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel18:20; Romans 8:28).
  • Unborn children who have potential disabilities deserve life because all people possess inherent dignity being made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).
  • God opposes abortion, but He loves all people and will forgive even the sin of abortion if a person will turn to Him in repentance (1 John 1:9; Ephesians 1:7-8).

For more information on abortion in light of Scripture, please check out the Apologetics Study Bible For Students available in our online store.

The Claim, “Jesus Never Condemned Homosexuality”

  • A common argument from those who would seek to legitimize homosexual sexual activity goes like this, “Jesus never condemned homosexuality, so who are we to judge?”
  • While it is true that Jesus never specifically mentions “homosexuality” in the gospels, to say that this means he had no problem with homosexual sex is an argument from silence. Lack of direct mention doesn’t imply his endorsement. Jesus never mentioned “idolatry” either, but he certainly didn’t approve of it.
  • While Jesus never spoke directly to the issue of homosexuality, he did affirm God’s creation mandate for human sexuality, the physical union of one man and one woman in a life-long marriage relationship (Matthew 19:4-6).
  • Jesus also spoke against sexual immorality (Matthew 15:19; Mark 7:20-23). The Greek word used in these passages is Porneia, which refers to all forms of illicit sexual activity, including homosexual sex acts.
  • Jesus loves all sinners, including those caught up in sexual sins. Through his death and resurrection anyone who trusts in him with a repentant heart can experience forgiveness, reconciliation, and transformation (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

For more information on homosexuality in light of scripture please check out Jason Carlson’s CD album, Answering The Challenges of a Post-Christian Culture, available in our online store.