Our Approach to the Bible

This is a letter to a friend in Mexico. It talks about evolution. If you come to Rose Creek Village, it is entirely possible that you will hear us talk about evolution. Not everyone here believes in evolution, but many do. What we most definitely teach are the things stated below about how to find God’s will. It is important to follow God. If you have any questions or want any clarifications on the things below, please feel free to email us from the main page of our web site. You’ll see the link near the bottom of the left column.

 I looked at the web site on community of goods (http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il/symposiums/4th/papers/Taylor99.html). It was very complicated. Our approach to following God is a bit more simple than the approach of that page. I suppose if they found something conclusive and clear and offered it to us, I’d be a lot more interested. However, it doesn’t take that approach. It just sort of gives us information to work with.

We are not becoming theology students, however; we’re learning to live life. We have to make choices about how we are going to do things. We have settled on our current method of community of goods by watching what God blesses and what he doesn’t bless. Even now we are in the midst of making changes, because God spoke some things to us about teaching people responsibility over the last few months.

As far as the two articles on evolution and perpetual motion (http://english.pravda.ru/science/mysteries/27-12-2007/103189-races-0 and http://english.pravda.ru/science/tech/11-01-2008/103363-perpetual_engine-0), if I may be blunt, they’re simply not very scientific, neither of them. For example, the car being described in the perpetual motion article is not a perpetual motion machine. A perpetual motion machine doesn’t need fuel, even if the fuel is air. This is an air-powered car, which is theoretically possible, whether or not this young man has succeeded in making one. Even if it refills its own air tank, it’s still running off air, and it’s still pulling air in. That’s not perpetual motion, that’s air-fueling.

It also says that scientists are open to questioning the laws of physics that say perpetual motion is impossible. I don’t believe that for a second. They’re going to have to produce one real scientist who really is open to that before I believe it. I occasionally discuss things with scientists on a message board, and I can assure you that they would blow off anyone who suggested that a perpetual motion machine might be possible. It violates laws on the conservation of energy, and those are not at question.

The evolution article makes a number of assertions that it doesn’t back up and that there’s no reason to believe. For example, it states that the only evolution that occurs in nature is microevolution. Oh, really? Says who? Evolutionists repeatedly ask anti-evolutionists what prevents microevolution from becoming macroevolution. For example, there are very good reasons to believe that  lungs evolved from fishes’ swim bladders. The steps from swim bladder to lung are almost all still found in nature. Charles Darwin talked about doves, all bred from Rock Pigeons a couple thousand years ago, that have been bred with differing number of vertebrae and numerous other very different characteristics that would cause him to classify them as not only a different species but as a different genus, if he had not known they all came from rock pigeons. It is this sort of thing that made him say, “Where does it stop?” and come up with his theory of natural selection (descent with modification).

The evolution article says, “The genetic ability for microevolution exists in Nature but not the ability for macroevolution.” Unfortunately, it then goes on to describe the very mechanism that allows macroevolution to be possible. It even describes it somewhat accurately. Since a pine tree’s cells and our cells use the very same genetic coding, what is to prevent positive mutations–something most anti-evolutionists deny, but this article admits–from accumulating over millions of years enough to turn a pine tree into an animal? There is no known mechanism that would prevent this. In fact, we are regularly in the habit of inserting mammal insulin-making genes into bacteria so that they will make insulin for injection into humans. Viruses are dangerous because they are able to hijack the whole protein-producing mechanism of a cell and use it to reproduce their own DNA rather than the cell following its own DNA instructions. The DNA code is consistent across all species of all kingdoms, whether plant, animal, or single-celled organisms.

Sorry, but science is a fascination of mine. I love it almost as much as I love theology. I am careful–or at least I think I am–to stick to theology and science that has a practical purpose. Science and evolution are tools I use to obtain a specific response from people. I am wanting to teach them to trust God, and to know the Scriptures for what they are, not the superstitious magic book that so many fundamentalists believe them to be. The Scriptures are God-breathed, but they are not a science book. The current, popular method of Bible-believing among fundamentalists causes people to look at it like some sort of book of spells or something. God wants us to see a collection of writings by apostles, prophets, poets, and historians, each of whom we should know something about so we can understand them better. John doesn’t write like Paul, and Paul doesn’t write like Peter. James and Paul are made to contradict by everyone since Martin Luther because they understand justification to mean the same thing when written by each, because they think they are reading a magic book. No, they are reading inspired writings by Paul and James, who use different wording just like any two modern prophets, raised in two different cities and cultures, would use different wording. Paul has a carefully designed theology, the product of Greek influence and much arguing with Judaizers. James was not so specialized. Thus, one can say a man is justified by faith apart from works, because he means one specific issue and time, while the other can say a man is justified by works and not faith only, because he is speaking more generally.

However, no one can see such things while they believe in their magic book. Thus, they honor, speak well of, and practically worship the Bible, while they neither believe it nor follow its teachings. You don’t get much more deceived than that.

Let me add, John and Paul use eternal life completely differently. John speaks of it as a present possession, but Paul never does. The early church tells us as well that John’s Greek was impeccable (maybe he used a good scribe?), while Paul’s was terrible (amazing, huh?). We need to trust them, because they were Greek speakers. All of these things are hidden from those who think God wrote the book all by himself. God has never wanted to do such a thing, and he has never wanted us to follow a book! He wants us to trust him, and fundamentalists do not. They trust their own minds by trusting their own interpretations of Scripture. When God shows up and tries to lead them, they do not follow, just like the Pharisees who did not follow Christ, because they thought they knew the Scriptures. Thus, Y’shua said to them, “You search the Scriptures because you think you have life in them, but these are they which testify of me; yet your refuse to come to me that you might have life” (Jn. 5:38).

Amen, it is still so today. Why can’t churches be built? Because once they get started, no one will follow God! They trust their interpretations of the Bible, but they do not trust what God says to them and leads them in. They don’t even hear it or pay attention to it, because it’s outside their box. Yet the Scriptures tell us, “As many as are led by the Spirit, these are the sons of God.” Too many seek to be led by the Bible, ignoring God’s Spirit and trusting their own minds instead.

They will perish.

Grace be with you, my friend,

Shammah

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One Response to Our Approach to the Bible

  1. britt says:

    Love the look of the new blog! Very cool …

    And while I read the Bible A LOT, I learned long ago that the only reason for reading the scriptures is to hear the voice of God more clearly. If it only becomes an exercise in mental gymnastics, it is really just a thing of the flesh and not of the Spirit … your quote from John 5 is a standard in my life.

    As an example, once I was listening to the Bible on my ipod, trying to get through my chapters for the day while in the car. At the same time, God was speaking to me about something He wanted to deal with me about. I actually turned up the Bible in my car to more focus on that than God’s Spirit. When I realized what I was doing, I was amazed, repented and turned off the stereo entirely, and let God talk to me.

    Also good to know you had a good trip and found yourself safe at home again in the Village.

    Peace.

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