People worshipping Toronto Vineyard

It’s not always what it looks like

I remember, back in 1994, hearing a bit of a hullaballoo about the “Toronto Blessing” (a revival that is purported to have broken out at the Toronto Airport Vineyard Church in 1994, now known as “Catch The Fire“). It is one of those stories that, depending on your persuasion, leaves you with some very positive or very negative feelings about what was going on there at the time. For those of a charismatic leaning, it was really something. For those who lean more toward the baptistic side of the fence, it was really something else. But like I said, it’s not always what it looks like.

For better or worse, the “Toronto Blessing” has left a lasting impact on the church

Like it or not, it really made a mark on the church, and has continued to do so for the last 20 years or so, and whether or not it has had a net positive effect is something that many people have opinions about. I have my own opinion. And I have to position myself here, probably warming some of your hearts in the process and alienating others at the same time. But we all have to stand (or fall) before God based on what we know, and what we do with what we know, and so I write the following, knowing that people will all process it differently.

The reason I want to put this out there is because I know that, at the time, I had some very negative emotions about what I was hearing; having changed my views over the last 20 years or so, and having now heard some inside bits and pieces to some of the stories, I thought it might be good to share what is, by some means, a story to which I have some inside info, and hopefully sharing it will move some people in a direction of being open to what God might be doing in situations, even when we don’t see all of what He is doing. But rest assured, my end goal is in mind as I write. I hope you will come along for story time and we can arrive at a good place by the end. So, here goes.

Opinions differed greatly about whether this was God or the devil.

I have visited the “Catch The Fire” fellowship in Toronto now, probably a half dozen times, and have attended a five-day conference there in the past. But I did not always see the place in the same light that I do now.

Toronto Blessing

Back in 1994, when I first heard of what was going on there, it was while I was attending a baptist church, having read and pretty much bought into what was in John MacArthur’s book, “The Charismatics: a doctrinal perspective.” I was, at the time, pretty much convinced that the Charismatic churches were very much driven by emotion, and very light on doctrinal strength. And so, when I friend called and left me a voice message at the time, telling me there was a “massive revival sweeping the Toronto Airport Vineyard church, and that it was heading our way,” I was a tad skeptical. I figured if a revival was coming, and it was really revival, the fruit would soon be on its way and I would see it when it got to my town.

How I wish now that I had made a trip or two to Toronto at the time.

But I digress.

What bothered me at the time was the news that seemed to make the TV and radio about it at the time – people crawling on their hands and knees; people barking like dogs and roaring like lions; gold fillings appearing in people’s mouths. I had already been to some healing meetings in some major US cities and had been present as people would parade across the stage, speaking into the microphone at healing meetings as they proclaimed what God had done for them.

Being curious, and considering myself open-minded at the time, but wanting to see confirmation about whether or not what these people were saying was true, I actually approached the stage at one of these meetings to get a better feel for what was really going on. And I wanted to get up close and personal. So I picked one person as a test case. I wanted to witness first hand what I was told was happening.

There was a young lady who went across the platform, saying that God had straightened her teeth. She said her teeth were crooked and now they were ALL STRAIGHT!! Praise God! I wanted to see this!! So I went to the end of the platform, and approached her as she came down the stairs. I asked her if God had straightened her teeth. She said, “yes. He did. I can still feel Him straightening them.”

I looked at her supposedly “straight” teeth. It was hard to share her enthusiasm.

I was looking at the proverbial picket fence in her mouth. They did not look straight to me. Not at all. I was disappointed. I wanted to see straight teeth. I really did. But they were not to be seen. At least not in this mouth.

I’ve heard of the stories of gold teeth appearing in people’s mouths. And they’ve done some investigating at places like Toronto (I say good for them) only to find that there were a lot of these people thinking God had given them gold fillings only to find out, when returning to their dentist’s office that the dentist had to tell them that he himself had installed those fillings, those crowns.

But not all of them. Not all. Some were, apparently, unexplainable by the dentist. The dentists suggested maybe they drank some funny orange juice or something…..

Anyway, back to the roaring and barking.

Because sometimes, you have to hear the rest of the story.

A couple of years ago, I heard testimony from a man who says he was at the Toronto Airport Vineyard back then, and he was the guy who was reported about in the paper who roared like a lion. He is a personal friend of someone I know intimately in ministry, and someone I trust very much to be of good character and not given to unnecessary emotionalism or hype. He spoke at a morning meeting, telling them that HE was the one who roared like a lion. He says God spoke to him in that moment to do it; he felt foolish doing so, but was just doing what he very distinctly thought God was telling him to do. I can appreciate obedience to what you believe God is telling you to do. Others have done it. God told Abraham to lay his son on a pile of wood and offer him as a burnt offering. He told Hosea to marry a prostitute. He made Isaiah walk around half-naked for three years prophesying against Israel. So if a guy believes God is telling him to do something, he is maybe not in bad company.

Anyway, I had occasion to speak with one of the ministers at the Toronto Vineyard about a year and a half ago, and asked him about this person (mentioning him by name). He replied, “why, YES. That was NUTS. We just didn’t know what to do with it at the time. We were all just coming out of the baptist church at the time, and we didn’t know WHAT to do with the guy. And then, we asked him his story, and he said he was a pastor! And we thought ‘a PASTOR? WHAT the heck are we getting into here?!?!”

Here, from this man’s website, is his personal testimony about the event.

New members flowed in to Zion as the Father’s heart poured out in what is known as the Toronto Blessing, bringing refreshment to many. At the October 1, 1994 “Why Encounter” event, which joined key cities across Canada through a satellite network, Pastor Gideon, was invited to pray for China. The Lion of Judah “roared” through him against the dragon of China, and by God’s design, this day coincided with the day known as China’s National Day. Months earlier, when God touched Pastor Gideon so deeply in Toronto and he began to roar, what he witnessed in the spirit was Almighty God making a decree to Satan, saying, “Let My people go.” He knew then that many things in God’s divine plan were about to unfold.

So now, as Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story.

I had previously published this blog as a post on another site. When I first published it, I thought this person should remain nameless, because I didn’t feel I had the liberty to broadcast who he is because of the nature of his ministry. He has been very influential in ministry to the Chinese church. But then again, he has a web site where I do believe he discusses this anyway. So I will say that the man’s name is Gideon Chiu.

And lest you think he is just some Joe off the street who might not have it all together, you will see on his web site that among his list of credentials is:

  • a B.Ed. from Simon Fraser University
  • an M.Ed. from U of BC
  • M.Div. and Th.M. from Regent College
  • a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary.

And he was ordained, after having obtained these degrees, about a decade before God told him to roar like a lion.

Gideon Chiu

Since then, has been instrumental in establishing a world-changing outreach to China. Gideon is involved in mobilizing MANY (I won’t mention numbers, but it’s HUGE) to go into the middle east to evangelize Muslims and to lead them to Jesus.

This man says that the moment of his roaring like a lion was instrumental in this ministry opening up for him.

He would tell you, if he knew you could hear it with an open mind, that in that moment, he saw in the Spirit that God was making a decree to the devil, saying to the devil, “let my people go.” He knew that God broke something loose for him in the spirit realm in that moment and opening a vast area of ministry.

God has been using this man in his ministry to China and to the Chinese church, and he, with all his education and experience, attributes some of what is happening to a moment in time, when he obeyed what he believed was a leading of the Spirit to do something that, to many people looking on, and not knowing what was happening between him and God in the moment, simply wrote it off to silliness and emotionalism.

Sometimes, you can’t always tell in the moment what is of God and what is not.

Sometimes, you can only fully see the reality of it with the ultimate ripening of the fruit. But sometimes, that’s just the way God works. And if you believe God is telling you to do something, you just need to step out in faith and do it. And if you missed it, God is big enough to handle it for the both of you. But you’ll probably be surprised that it really was Him all along.

(Last updated by The Cognitive Man  2016-05-01)

PS: for another similar story, I stumbled upon this one when I was doing some research for the article. You can make your own judgements about it, but it is interesting to see how God works. This was another fascinating story that sounded much the same.

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Divorce And The Bible

Book Review – Divorce And The Bible – Colin Hamer

I want first to say that Colin Hamer`s book, “Divorce and the Bible” is a book I highly recommend, even though I don`t agree with all of the conclusions in the book. 

It’s not the first time I’ve recommended books I don’t agree with completely. It seems that a book can be good for a number of reasons, only ONE of which is whether or not all the conclusions it draws are entirely accurate. For a book to be ‘good,’ it should make you THINK; it should communicate clearly, state it’s opinion fairly, at least try to give recognition to the issues that people of different persuasions would have with the position. The author should also say “don`t know” when he or she doesn’t know.

“Divorce and the bible” is a worthwhile read because it presents a position not typical in Evangelical Christian circles, but that needs to be considered by those who hold tenaciously to the “2 reasons only” position so often reflected by evangelicals and fundamentalists, such as John MacArthur.

I believe the normal “2-reasons only position” on divorce and remarriage comes up short.

My opinion, by the way, is that this “2 positions only” take on the issue is the easiest one to see by citing simple proof-texts from the scriptures; but that this position only really holds up until the arguments for the position are challenged with issues from the Greek of the New Testament, issues from first century Jewish history and the like. It is also required reading as a reasoned response to some prominent evangelical Christian positions, such as John Piper and Voddie Baucham and their position on the “permanence view” of marriage, such as Daryl Wingerd – Divorce and Remarriage: : A Permanence View.

I have seen, over the years, so many people wounded by the church by other well-meaning Christians who insist that a woman who is in an abusive relationship is not allowed the privilege of entering into a meaningful committed relationship with anyone else, even if divorced, because it is “adultery,” as defined by Jesus (supposedly) in Matthew 5, Matthew 19, Mark 10 and the like. Our understanding on this issue is that Jesus was speaking in hyperbole, and speaking in such irony that it would make the Pharisees furious with him; but these reasons are not clear simply from examining 21st century translations of the Greek texts, and without understanding of the 1st century Jewish culture into which Jesus spoke.

“Divorce and the Bible” is laid out in a series of chapters; each chapter gives a summary of the salient points at the end of the chapter. Then, at the end of the book, are 5 appendices, each dealing with a particular passage of scripture which causes confusion in the discussion.

The salient principles of interpretation of the bible on the issue, as the author sees it:

  • no one passage is the whole teaching on the subject
  • unclear verses must be interpreted by the more clear ones
  • some passages may well have other ideas implied in them because those ideas are clear in other passages
  • where the NT is silent on an issue, it cannot be assumed that the OT can be ignored on the issue
  • nothing can be ruled “out” or “in” based on teaching of any early church fathers or reformers

Good principles.

Salient doctrinal conclusions worth considering (and/or different than the “2 positions” camp)

  • marriage is a covenant with gender-based roles (and different rules apply to men vs women¨)
  • sex without a covenant is NOT marriage
  • marriage is NOT a sacrament, NOT a mystical union
  • Jesus only emphasizes PRINCIPLES, and ONLY answers SPECIFIC QUESTIONS ASKED
  • divorce is NOT necessarily, in and of itself, sinful
  • the rules for grounds for divorce are DIFFERENT for men than for women
  • (in the opinion of the author) a woman may divorce for any number of reasons
  • Jesus did NOT cancel the OT rules on divorce; He ONLY clarified the ones he was ASKED about
  • divorce means both parties are free to remarry, if the divorce is for legitimate reasons
  • remarriage without “grounds” is “adulterous” (violates covenant) but is forgivable

Again, I don’t agree with all the conclusions in the book; but it does make you think. It brings points to the discussion that need to be made – rules are different for men and for women.

Ultimately, I believe that there are two other well-written and well-researched books which need to be considered carefully as helpful background in processing what the bible says to come to a proper conclusion about the issue. These books are..

And Marries Another: Divorce and Remarriage in the Teaching of the New Testament


Divorce and Remarriage in the Bible: The Social and Literary Context

As well as Brewer’s less technical and more practically-oriented

Divorce and Remarriage in the Church: Biblical Solutions for Pastoral Realities

Both of these books are worthy opponents to the “2 reasons only” position on divorce and remarriage, and they need to be considered in the mix, because they bring other cultural considerations into the conversation; Brewer’s book, especially, touches on much of the cultural considerations and hypocrisy in the first century that need to be understood to grasp the full picture, and to understand how so much of what Jesus said was challenging (scathing) remarks to the Pharisees of his day, and not necessarily blanket statements on divorce and remarriage.

But ‘Divorce and the Bible’ by Colin Hamer is a worthwhile read because of its own internal consistency; because of its fair presentation of how it fits into the panorama of five or six major positions on the issue of divorce and remarriage; because of the fact that it is well-written, makes you think, answers well how this position answers objections about it raised by the ‘2 positions only’ crowd. People who hold that position, such as John MacArthur and Jay Adams, need to consider these issues raised in the book. Those who hold to the ‘permanence view’ of divorce and remarriage (Voddie Baucham and John Piper, for instance) need to wrestle with some of the issues raised in this book.

It seems so unfortunate that so many well-meaning people want to put other Christians in straight-jackets of theology that God never intended others to wear. This book does a valiant job of bringing worthy points to the discussion, allowing some freedom for believers to see that not everyone believes those straight-jackets need to be worn.

Last updated 2016-01-25

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Ryan Wyatt

One of those things that grips you

Every once in a while I will read something in a book that will grip my attention. And when I do, I stop reading and reflect on it. I think when something jumps out at you, it just might be God trying to get your attention. All too often in prayer, we tend to try to set the agenda with God. But there are some times when He is wanting to bring up a topic with us.

I had one of those moments tonight.

I was reading this evening from a book by Ryan Wyatt called “School of the Supernatural,” where he describes an evening where he was in prayer in his motel room, and Jesus appeared to him. Part of what Jesus said to him was (and I quote)

“Ryan, I am releasing [the oil of the overcomer] in this hour for those who will begin to position themselves for it.” Then He went on to say, “I am desperately hungry that I would have a people who will lay hold of their full inheritance… I and I alone am your inheritance… I and I alone am to be your possession.” Jesus also said to me, “I am desperately hungry that I would have my full inheritance in my people.”

That gripped me.

I think it is so easy sometimes to miss the reality that even for those of us who are passionate to love God with all of our hearts, we sometimes easily forget how much God’s heart longs for us, and how much He has a passion to have that intimacy with us. It was His idea in the first place.

But there is also the reality that as much as God wants to bless us with the realities of His presence, He knows us enough to know also that it is not good for Him to bless us with blessings that our character does not have room enough to contain.

I would love to have an encounter like many I have read of in the recent past – visitations from Jesus, visitations from angels, trips to heaven. I believe these encounters are real. I’ve had some experiences of my own, though not as drastic. (I believe there can also be spiritual counterfeits, but one of the tests of the source of these encounters is the fruit in people’s lives, and in this regard, the fruit in Ryan Wyatt’s life seems to be “grade A choice,” to be sure.)

You need the character to contain the blessings God wants to give you.

But more than anything, I have come to a place where I want have the character to contain the results of an encounter like that, whether I ever have the supernatural experience or not; I want the motivation of my life to be the Christlike character, and not merely the experience itself. What would it really profit a man to gain a supernatural experience like that and NOT have it change you to be more like Jesus?

Kathryn Kuhlman once said that God told her that she was His third choice for the ministry to which He called her.

It seems that the others He would have rather chosen were of those of whom “many are called, but few are chosen” – there are times God longs to use people in grand and glorious ways, but their sins and character issues prevent his choices for them. They have gifts, but their character issues prevent God from using them as He would like. A great man of God, George Bogel, once said in a sermon that God spoke to Him and said, “I will never torment my people with what they have missed.” But that gripped me too. The understanding that George said he had in that moment was that we should always understand what is at stake when we wilfully choose to disobey God.

Long for the character transformation.

I don’t know if God will ever have an encounter where Jesus will appear to me, or if I will see an angel, or be transported to heaven before that final day for me when I go with a one-way ticket. But one thing I have decided is this: I want to become a man of character. I want to become a man who pursues God for God’s sake. I want to be able to look back from this day forward and know that, from now on, I will never grieve the Spirit of God because I left Him having to choose someone else to do the job for which He wanted to call me.

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Flat Earth Biblical Literalism

Flat Earthers And Literal Biblical Madness

Some Questions For Flat-Earth Biblical Literalists

You seem to make a great deal of this flat earth model you propose, based on your “science” (which, is in fact, not science at all; because you propose many theories which are easily disproven, but when you are shown proofs, the typical response is that those who offer these proofs are liars and conspiracists).

Look. I understand the thrill of a good conspiracy theory – the feeling of being part of the “in the know” crowd and of being privy to inside information.

Look. I do believe in some conspiracies.

For instance, I’m with you (probably) on the whole one-world government thing.

I really am. And I understand that we can’t, in fact, trust everybody. It’s wise to look into things yourself and see if you have actual facts to back up your claims.

I understand that most of you do not trust NASA, even though the globe model isn’t owned by them. In fact, it wasn’t even invented by them. It’s been around for many centuries now.

Does The Bible Teach A Flat Earth?

Flat-Earthers Are Usually Bible Believers. I respect that. I am one, too.

And my observation is that typically, it is bible-believers who are the drivers of this theory perpetuating the flat earth with a dome over top of it. You get this concept from looking at the scriptures. And because you believe the bible to be the word of God, you value it highly and believe what it says.

Although I am a bible believer, I interpret these passages differently than you do; but I do believe the bible to be God’s word. And because I believe it is God’s word, I can understand its power and authority as a religious text.

Like you, there are many things that you and I believe in common that the world considers crazy. But we believe it because God said it. So I’m with you on the idea that if God says it, I believe it.

But like you (I HOPE like you) I also recognize there is room for literary context, genre, the original audience and all kinds of other considerations.

We both accept the bible. We differ on interpretation.

In this area of whether the earth is flat or spherical, it seems we differ on interpretation. We look at the same passages of scripture; you take them literally, and I take them figuratively.

Now, I will grant you that I tend to take these passages that speak of the physical features of the earth as figurative. And I will also grant you that, like you, I was brought up on the spherical earth model.

So now, when I interpret these passages as poetic speech, you make the charge that I’m just twisting these passages that should be taken literally and making them figurative. I’m told I do not actually believe what the bible says. I’m adjusting my understanding to suit what I believe are the scientific facts, but which you say are NASA lies and propaganda.

Fair enough.

But here is my charge about you. You guys ignore a lot of passages that seem to contradict each other.

You jump through hoops to deal with these passages in a way that supports the ones you see as pointing to a flat earth. But you consistently seem to ignore others or quickly take as figurative when they say something that doesn’t fit your world view; and you don’t even seem to see that you’re doing it.

If you’re going to charge that these passages which point to a flat earth with a dome need to be “taken literally,” then let’s take this literal approach to the scriptures consistently. And let’s see where this goes….

Is the earth fixed and immovable? Unshakeable?

You say the earth is fixed and immovable. The bible does too.

  • “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable” (1 Chr 16:30).
  • “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm …” (Ps. 93:1).
  • “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable …” (Ps. 96:10).
  • “…who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast…” (Isaiah 45:18).
  • “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.” (Psalm 104:5).

Oh. Ok. But the bible also says it is moveable and shakeable.

  • who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble” (Job 9:6)
  • Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry. (Ps 18:7)

  • The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.(Ps. 46;60)

Is it fixed? Is it immovable? Then how does God shake the earth out of its place, if he has made it immovable? You cling to these passages that say the earth is fixed and immovable to prove that it is – well…. “fixed and immovable.” The scriptures say the earth is unshakeable, but also that it is shaken. “He has fixed the earth, firm.” “So that it can never be shaken.” “He shakes the earth out of its place, and it’s pillars tremble.” Hmmmm…. which is it? Do you admit you have a problem here if your method of interpretation is correct?

Is the earth set on pillars?

You say the earth is set on pillars. The bible does too.

  • For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and He has set the world upon them. (1 Samuel 2:8)
  • Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone[?] (Job 38:4–6)

The bible also says the earth is suspended on nothing.

  • He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing. (Job 26:7)

Now, I know I’ve had conversations with many of you who immediately ask me which translation from hell I’m using, or that I’m twisting these passages beyond their meaning to make them contradict each other. A classic and rather humerous answer I’ve gotten more than once is, “that’s right. It isn’t ‘hung’ on anything. It’s suspended on pillars.” And I guess you could go there if you want to. You could make the argument that the biblical writer was making the point that the earth isn’t hung from a hook above but suspended on pillars from underneath. But let’s be honest. Isn’t that a stretch?

Where is the cornerstone of the earth? Perhaps it’s in Antarctica somewhere where we can’t see it because the conspiracists aren’t allowing us in there to explore it for ourselves?

Aren’t you groping for something here to not have to recognize that these passages seem to contradict each other?

As “Answers In Genesis” says, “The supposed contradiction quickly disappears when we examine the context of each passage and recognize it as figurative language.”

You guys float conveniently in and out between literal and figurative interpretation on other things, too, and don’t even see it.

Does God see us or does He not see us?

  • Is not God high in the heavens? See the highest stars, how lofty they are! But you say, ‘What does God know? Can he judge through the deep darkness? Thick clouds veil him, so that he does not see, and he walks on the vault of heaven.’ (Job 22:12-14)

Now before you crucify me for saying this, Eliphaz here is criticizing Job, not for his cosmology, but for his ungratefulness. He doesn’t challenge the concept here that God cannot see because of the thick clouds. He is merely calling Job out on his ungrateful attitude. Eliphaz never questions Job’s cosmology.

  • The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.(Ps. 46:60)

Sooooooo…., how often does this happen that the earth melts? The psalmist is speaking here in the present tense. You guys are claiming the literal stuff here. Help me out. Please don’t be irresponsible and dodge this one and say it is referring to the last day. It doesn’t say “He WILL make the earth melt.” It SAYS, “He MAKES the earth melt.” Present tense. Do you admit you have a problem here if your method of interpretation is correct?

What about them deer, huh?

  • The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare. (Ps 29:9)

Forgive me if I’m sounding a little irreverent here. But you guys are the hopeless literalists. Do tell me. How often does that happen? That God speaks to put a deer into premature labor? Or is it when she is due? So people go into labor; dogs, cats, horses, all go into labor by themselves but deer need a special word from the Lord?

Is this a one-time event? An occasional event? Do the deer go into labor specifically and only because God speaks to them? Or is the psalmist’s point that God is involved in all the workings of the earth. Jesus said, “a sparrow does not fall to the ground but that your heavenly father knows it.” Isn’t the point that God is everywhere? Now, we could maybe even agree that every time any animal goes into labor, it is because God, in His sovereign care, ordains the timing of everything. I don’t take issue with you that it could  mean that.

But let’s pursue this line of reasoning a little further. And let’s see how much you guys really still believe some things from your science class. Or maybe, now some of you think that it is all God and science is all CRAP.

Does God’s voice really make the water freeze?

Here is more from the book of Job. Now, remember: you guys are the ones who started this. The book of Job is one of your favorites. You often refer to it for the dome overhead, the pillars of the earth and the like. So what does this book of Job tell us about the freezing point of water?

  • By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast. He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning. They turn around and around by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world. (Job 37:10-12)

So, let me ask. Do you guys believe water freezes because it drops in temperature below 32 fahrenheit? Or does water freeze because God breathes on it? Does God kind of hang out close by at that temperature and literally breathe on the water? Is THAT why it freezes? What about when it melts? Does God have to pop in again at temperatures above 32F and unfreeze it? What if he doesn’t? Will it stay frozen at boiling point?

Have you given any thought to the question? You all learned in school that water freezes at 32 degrees. You’ve just accepted it. Is it true? I can just see all you guys backpedaling to your war positions, doubling down and saying, “of course He does. Don’t you believe God causes water to freeze?” Yes. I do. By the principals he has built into the fine-tuning of the universe. I don’t think he is required to be present as each snowflake is commanded to freeze and each lake and river to freeze over. He could be. But I don’t think it is required to believe that to make sense of the text: the point of the passage is that God has set the earth in place; it is his design. it is his handiwork. It happens because God has determined that it be so.

There is a fine-tuning to the universe that has certain characteristics locked in place. I don’t believe the psalmist was intending this to be taken as a science lesson, but a theological one – about the greatness of God.

Is the moon doing a bad job of ruling the night?

You guys are quick to jump on this one. I’ve heard all kinds of crap about the moon not reflecting the light of the sun because it is its own light source. Because the bible says so.

I’ve even been told by some of you that the sun emits its own “cooling blue light.” And you went and tested it yourself and now, when you step into the moonlight, you feel cooler in this “cooling moonlight” than in the shade at night. But let us look at this verse from where this comes and then take your literalism to its logical conclusion to see how ridiculous your position really is. From Genesis 1, verses 14-19...

  • And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons,f and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

Can we take an honest look at this whole literal thing here? Remember, you guys started it. The moon is given to be a light upon the earth. And you all know that sometimes there are places where the moon is not visible at night, right? Because, sometimes, it’s visible somewhere else at 3:00 in the afternoon on another part of your flat-earth disk. And it can only be seen for so far. We all know there are times where the moon is not visible at night.

And after all, if, as you say, the sun is above the face of the earth all the time, and it can’t be seen at night because it’s too far away, then SURELY the moon won’t be visible where it is supposed to be lighting the night sky because it’s somewhere else instead.

So. Is the moon out of order? Did God screw up on this one? Sometimes, during the full moon, there is LOTS of moon light and we see really well. Sometimes, though, during a crescent moon, there is very little light.

This moon that was given to rule the night sometimes is sticking it’s nose into the sun’s business, no? Is the moon a failed light for the night time? After all, sometimes it works well, sometimes it’s barely doing any lighting at all. And sometimes – sometimes – its NOT EVEN OUT at night because it’s somewhere else during the day. It is very literal that God gave the moon to rule the NIGHT. Not the day, not part of the day and part of the night. Isn’t that your position?

So did God screw up because he didn’t exactly make the moon to rule the night? Or is the moon out of order? Or is it figurative language, speaking of the creation of God and his hand in it? Is it intended to be the science book you guys are trying to turn it into? Or is it poetic speech?

Perhaps the moon is generally “ruling the night” because it is seen at night when the sun is not out. But you have to admit that it sure doesn’t rule the night the way the sun rules the day. The sun is out everyday like clockwork. Not so the moon. The sun’s rule is fixed. The moon’s rule is so…. arbitrary. Maybe the sun is like a dog-friend and the moon is more like a cat-friend. Why do you give the moon a pass and just roll over and accept this? Why do you give God a pass for not spelling out clearly what He meant in His word? Why does the bible so irresponsibly treat the sun and the moon as ruling the same when one is very faithful and the other is so very arbitrary?

Do you feel threatened?

Look. I just think you guys should stop trying to be so hopelessly literal with these passages of scripture that don’t need to be taken literally for the bible to be taken seriously. Ironically, here is an interview between a flat-earther and an open-minded atheist who basically makes mincemeat of the flat-earther and his unwillingness to recognize his biases and his prejudices. Please give this an honest listen and ask yourself: do you ignore what science says because it threatens your view of scripture? It doesn’t have to.

The question the caller (Stephen) asks is, “have you examined the world in which you live? Do you believe you live on a spinning sphere because someone told you? Or do you know from personal experience?” By the time they are done, this poor flat-earther looks “not too smart.” Not trying to be mean. Just being honest.

Look, flat-earth friends. I really do love your hearts and your passion for truth. But as I’ve written before, I think you’re hurting your own cause if you’re trying to lead people to Jesus.  You need to focus on the gospel and be willing to put this stuff aside and realize that if you focus on the “conspiracy” rather than the gospel, you’re doing more harm than good. (Especially when it is obvious to those with a firm grasp of science that you really don’t have a good understanding of this spherical model you’re knocking.)

Please be a little more careful about dismissing science you obviously don’t understand because you’ve only heard and understood one side of the argument. Most people think you are fruit-loops.

I don’t. I just think you’re misguided. But you need to take an honest look at how selectively you slide back and forth between literalism and figurative interpretation and don’t even seem to see how you’re doing it. Quit rearranging your prejudices and start to honestly think about this one. God is not any less real and his word, the Bible, is not any less reliable because these passages are figurative rather than literal.

You don’t have less of a Bible if you give up the flat-earth nonsense. You just have a more relevant one.

The Cognitive Man

(Last updated 2019-12-01)
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