Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How NOT to Witness

by Dan Jones

In May of 2012, scientist Mark Armitage found a very large Triceratops horn in the Hell’s Creek formation of Montana. But, what he found inside that horn is what made news.

It was soft tissue.

The problem is that soft tissue like this most assuredly should NOT be present inside a fossil modern science claims to be over 65 million years old.

In 2013, Armitage published his findings in a respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal, and that’s when the trouble began.

Mark Armitage is a Christian.

He believes the Bible when it says God created the heavens and the earth and he believes that the Triceratops horn he found is probably about 4,000 years old—a date that coincides with the Biblical account of the great flood.

None of those beliefs are present in the article that was published, but California State University fired him for expressing those beliefs to some of his coworkers.

And, of course, that resulted in a lawsuit.

Armitage contends he was fired because he is a Christian and cites an incident in which he was told, in no uncertain terms, that Christian beliefs would not be tolerated in the lab.

I am a big fan of Creation Moments on Kinship Christian Radio. I firmly believe that the world around us was created by God. I believe that the incredible complexity, diversity, and pure genius of God’s design absolutely, positively cannot be explained by random chance mutations of genetic material no matter how many millions of years are claimed to have elapsed since life supposedly spontaneously sprang from some “primordial soup.”

I have some background in the study of biology and I have studied the arguments for and against both sides of the issue. Although there are certainly many who have a greater understanding of molecular cell biology than I do, I believe I could engage in an understandable and informed discussion to support my belief.

But I won’t.

And the reason I won’t is because I have done so in the past and found it to be a lousy, awful, ineffective way to witness for Christ.

It always becomes contentious. It never stays a discussion. It becomes a debate which can easily escalate into an argument.

And that’s a terrible way to try to tell someone that Jesus loves them.

We are called to witness for Christ. Paul explains where the power comes from quite well in 1 Corinthians 2: 1-5 (ESV)

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

The Holy Spirit holds the power to change hearts and minds. God does not need us to be His spin doctors or PR agents, and His creation is its own argument for His glory:

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1: 20 ESV –emphasis added.)

So, when news comes out that the Bible has been found to be correct (again) we should certainly take it as affirmation that our God has always told us the truth.

But the power that saves souls is Jesus Christ risen from the dead. It is the darkness of our sin nailed to the cross and the joy of our salvation in the empty tomb.

While there is wonder and excitement and beauty in what God has created, eternal life comes from Jesus Christ and no other.

Mark Armitage did not conceal his beliefs when he was hired by CSU and, from what I have read on the subject, it does seem he was unjustly fired. We can pray for him and pray that scientists everywhere would come to know the real truth about the glory of God’s creation.

But when it comes to right down to it, there is far more power in the blood of Jesus Christ than some tissue inside a dinosaur’s horn.

Today’s Praise

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David.
(Luke 1: 68-69 NIV)

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