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Global Warming

“The earth is heating up!” “We are at record warming levels.” So the global warming warnings go.
I’m watching Nova on PBS. The episode is Making North America: Origins. As the narrator displays palm frond and coral reef fossils he makes a startling statement. He’s finding these artifacts in Alaska. And he says this, “This palm grew here when the climate in Alaska and the rest of the world was much warmer (emphasis added).”
He’s talking, of course, about a period hundreds of millions of years ago by his dating. But the point still remains: The whole earth has been much warmer than it is today,
So the statement that the earth today is warmer than it has ever been is repudiated by this statement in this Nova presentation.
What this illustrates is that the range of temperatures that the earth has naturally swung from very warm to frigid cold over the eons and millennia.
This is not to say that we shouldn’t be good stewards of out planet. Freon is a good example where it was proven both that something we were doing (using freon) was harmful and stopping it was worth the trouble.
Carbon emissions are certainly something that we should keep an eye on. But alarmist cries that we are heating up the earth to unprecedented levels is clearly untrue. We’re nowhere close to where the earth itself has engineered its own global warming levels.
Nevertheless, we are called to be good stewards of the earth. As Christians we are taught:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.
(Genesis 1:28-30)

Man was charged with the care of the place in which he was placed.

At the same time, we individually are incapable of impacting more than our individual range of responsibility and we are often fully engrossed in just accomplishing the task at hand:

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
(Matthew 6:34)

So if you follow this instruction while not ignoring the charge given to us in Genesis chapter 1, each of us does the best we can today with what we are in charge of so that collectively the earth is properly tended by all of us together.

But the emphasis is that we have to take care of today.

So as stewards of the earth we need to be responsible in this area today and everyday.

As individuals that means using more energy efficient products. We insulate our houses better, reuse bags, cover our pots while cooking, turn off appliances and lights when not in use, and recycle. There are websites devoted to how we as consumers can help.

On a larger scale, businesses and governments have the same responsibility to be more efficient and steward the earth.

Its one of the first charges God gave to man. God gave us this earth, to keep it in good shape.

June 30th, 2016 Posted by | Modern Christianity, Sermons | no comments

Carbon Dating Accuracy

All old things from fossil bones to caveman artifacts are radioactively dated.  Amazingly, the dates for these artifacts are presented in very definite terms.

Carbon dating has been used by scientists to show that man is older than the dates offered by Bible records.

One dating example is that of the Shroud of Turin.  For anyone that doesn’t know the Shroud of Turin is a piece of very old cloth that has an image on it that some say is the very image of Christ.

How this relates to the title of this article is this.  A few years back a number of scientists said the shroud of Turin has to be a fake because it only dates radioactively to the middle ages.

Well, it seems that there is a little more to the story.  Now Italian scientists say that this cloth could date to the time of Christ because of earthquakes.  In fact, an earthquake could have been the cause of the picture in the first place.

“Alberto Carpinteri of the Politecnico di Torino and his team suggest that an earthquake in Jerusalem in A.D. 33 — the time of the crucifixion — released neutron particles that could have fixed the picture on the shroud.

The Italian hypothesis would concur with a study conducted by geologists investigating seismic activity in the Holy Land, who in 2012 offered a theory on the date of the crucifixion: Friday, April 3, 33.

The Italian scientists say that radiation from the earthquake could have elevated the levels of carbon-14 isotopes in the shroud, which would interfere with radiocarbon dating.”[i]

How about that?  It seems that radioactive dating isn’t so sure after all if something that some scientists say is 700 years old is really three times that old.

It sure is something to think about.  For example, a Huffington Post article says that the oldest caveman bones are 7000 years old.[ii]  With all of the earthquakes that have happened in the history of the world, what is to say that the date is off a little, maybe enough to line up with a biblically based timeline that puts modern man, i.e., Adam and Eve, starting about 6000 years ago?



February 12th, 2014 Posted by | Modern Christianity | no comments

Be Wary of TV Shows Promoting Rejoicing in Wrongdoing

There once was a serial killer. He had a dark passenger that drove him to terrible depths.  He had overpowering urges to kill.  And he acted on those urges, repeatedly killing ritualistically, stabbing his victims through the heart after binding them to his table, his altar of death.

Like other serial killers, he appeared normal.  He was a dedicated employee, respected in his job. He fit in at work.  He socialized with his co-workers.  He was a loving husband and father.  He had a sister that he cared for deeply

So, knowing all this, certainly people would want to see this man captured, stopped, killed if necessary, right?

No, actually a lot of people were rooting for him.  You see, he was the hero of a TV show. The show was Dexter.

And as odd as it sounds, Dexter was likeable.  Dexter was understandable.  Dexter had a code.  He only killed people that deserved to die.  He was a forensic scientist, and so he could use his skills to investigate. He made sure they were worthy of death before he killed them.  No matter that he thrilled on the act of stalking and killing these people, he was doing a valuable service, ridding the world of vermin.

It also didn’t matter that Dexter slowly involved his sister in the web of deception that was necessary to cover the grim tale that was his life to the point where she killed an authority figure to save him and continue his deceit.  People felt sorry for her but they rooted for her too.

Or that he had a girlfiend that was also a serial killer that he started to kill but couldn’t for reasons of the heart.  But she tried to kill his sister. But she came back.  And his son loved her so much.

They were both good people.  They were just complicated.

And the show was so interesting;  the social interactions of killers amongst themselves and among their mostly unsuspecting social circles.

And therein lies the seduction.  Its okay to root for the killer, the liar, the deceiver.  They are complicated, understandable, lovable.    They have such good reasons for their misdeeds.  And these are no little mistakes, these are big calculated cons, these are murders.

If we rejoice that they get away with  this stuff we are rejoicing in their wrongdoing, their sin, their evil.  Even if it is a TV show.

It’s not like anyone ever imitates this stuff.  O wait, they do.  Mark Andrew Twitchell[i] says was inspired by the show in his murder.  Andrew Conley[ii] likewise cited Dexter as inspiration for his murder of his 10 year old brother!

Some fans were disappointed that Dexter didn’t ride off into the sunset to Argentina with his loving killer wife and his son.

While possibly the most extreme Dexter is not the only show where the hero is performing criminal acts.

Suits is the story of a young genius who is so smart that despite never having gone to Law school he made extra money taking and passing the bar exam for others.  The development of that premise is that he eventually takes a job as a lawyer falsifying an Ivy League education in the process.

House of Lies is a drama where the consultants revel in the lies they tell to pull off consulting jobs with big financial gains.  Leverage is a Robin Hood story of sorts where a team of thieves and con artists pull incredible scams on guilty parties to avenge and restore the victims.   White Collar is the story of a top tier white collar criminal who is allowed out of jail to consult with the FBI while he secretly continues his scamming ways sometimes even in the pursuit of his FBI duties.

I am focusing on just a few shows but this is really just the start of the list.  There are shows today that promote adultery, greed, lying, promiscuity etc, etc, etc.

You might hope that somewhere in any of these dramas would be the concept of rehabilitation and redemption, that these anti-heroes reform their ways and get back on track.  But no, that would ruin the premise of the story.  The crime continues non-stop from Neal Caffrey in White Collar scamming every week to a non-stop parade of murders by Dexter.

So it needs to be said that Dexter is a murderer who should have been stopped and punished.  Likewise it is wrong to con and scam in all the shows from Suits to White Collar.   Adultery, greed, lying, promiscuity etc. are all wrong.

Otherwise we are celebrating misdeeds, rejoicing in wrongdoing.

It (love) does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6 ESV)

 


[i] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twitchell

[ii] http://abcnews.go.com/2020/teen-kills-brother-loves-dexter-life-imitating-art/story?id=13161191

January 21st, 2014 Posted by | Modern Christianity | no comments