Nursing and Christian Faith

Nursing and Christian Faith
To see what religion is true, look at what the system produces. Matthew 7 records the words of Christ, “Every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit … therefore by their fruits you shall know them” (verses 17-20). One of the areas of evidence is in the field of medicine including nursing and Christian faith.

Someone sent us a section copied from a textbook for nursing students titled Fundamentals of Nursing, Human Health, and Function. The text was published by Lippincott, and the editors are Ruth Craven and Constance Hirnle. The book was from the Washington Hospital School of Nursing. We mention that to emphasize that this is not a religious publication, but a textbook used to teach nursing in one of the finest nursing programs in the country.

In Unit 2 of the book, there is a section titled “Highlights of the historical evolution of professional nursing.” This section traces how modern nursing came into existence. The history of nursing begins with the period up to A.D. 500. In those early centuries, the book says, “Christians working in close association with an organized church primarily provide care.” The book records a deaconess named Phoebe in A.D. 55 AD who identified the need for nurses and for hospitals to care for the sick. The first general hospital began in Rome in 380 AD founded by a Christian woman named Fabiola. The book then jumps to 1836 when a training school opened in Germany where Florence Nightingale was trained. Nightingale said she felt a “calling from God” and began a training school herself in London in conjunction with the Crimean war. She is known as the founder of modern nursing.

The book concludes “Men and women committed to the church spread the philosophy of Christianity while providing nursing care to the ill. Religion’s influence raised the social position of nursing by placing more value on human life. Compassion, charity, and willingness to serve were qualities associated with nurses. Deacons and deaconesses (individuals working for the church ministry) were designated to perform services for the sick. Deaconesses functioned as visiting nurses, dedicating their lives to charity work.”

Atheists like to portray Christianity as a cause of war and violence when in reality those things contradict what Jesus taught. Those who look at history without prejudice see Christianity bringing solutions to the world with peace, caring, and love. We see that in a special way through the connection between nursing and Christian faith.
–John N. Clayton © 2017

Few Can Fish

Few Can Fish
FEW CAN FISH? We saw the following article on the editorial page of the Phoenix Republic in December of 1991. We don’t know who wrote it, but we thought it was worth sharing with you.

Anyone Can Talk: Few Can Fish

Now it came to pass that a group existed who called themselves. Fishermen.

And, lo, there were many fish in the waters all around. In fact, the whole area was surrounded by streams and lakes filled with fish, and the fish were hungry.

Week after week, month after month, and year after year, those who called themselves fishermen met in meetings and talked about their call to go fishing.

Continually they searched for new and better methods of fishing and for new and better definitions of fishing. They sponsored costly nationwide and worldwide congresses to discuss fishing and hear
about all the ways of fishing, such as the new fishing equipment, fish calls and whether any new bait was discovered.

But the teachers did not fish; they only taught fishing. Some spent much time in study and travel to learn the history of fishing and to see faraway places where the Founding Fathers did great fishing in centuries past. They lauded the faithful fishermen of years earlier who handed down the idea of fishing.

Many who felt the call to be fishermen responded. They were commissioned and sent to fish. And they went off to foreign lands … to teach fishing.

Now it’s true that many of the fishermen sacrificed and put up with all kinds of difficulties. Some lived near the water and bore the smell of dead fish every day. They received the ridicule of some who made
fun of their fishermen clubs. They anguished over those who were not committed enough to attend the weekly meetings to talk about fishing.

These fishermen built large and beautiful buildings called Fishing Headquarters. The plea was that everyone should be a fisherman and every fisherman should fish.

One thing they didn’t do, however: they didn’t fish. All of the fishermen seemed to agree that what was needed was a board that could challenge fishermen to be faithful in fishing.

The board was formed by those who had the great vision and courage to speak about fishing, to define fishing, and to promote the idea of fishing in faraway streams and lakes where many other fish of different colors lived. Large, elaborate and expensive training centers were built whose purpose was to teach fishermen how to fish. Those who taught had doctorates in fishology.

After all, were they not following the one who said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”?

Imagine how hurt some were when one day a person suggested that those who don’t catch fish were really not fishermen, no matter how much they claimed to be. Yet, it did sound correct.

Is a person a fisherman if year after year he never catches a fish? Is one following if he isn’t fishing? If Christ were to return to this Earth today in physical form, would He find us fishing, or would he find us organizing, talking about fishing, and making plans to build the best Fishing Headquarters anywhere? – Anonymous

Is it true that few can fish? It’s up to you to decide.

Skeptic Challenges Answered

Skeptic Challenges
DOES GOD EXIST? maintains a Facebook page with daily postings. We often get skeptic challenges and questions from those who are seeking for answers. We want to share the following conversation from Facebook. The article we posted was about the design of kidneys. The article ended like this:
…Science has not created a perfect kidney machine to replace the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s model in spite of years of research and the work of our brightest medical and engineering minds. We think this is a design that’s more than dandy–it’s magnificent.

SKEPTIC 1- creation of god ??? please stop kidding yourself ..

DGE?- Does the idea that there might be a Creator disturb you?

SKEPTIC 1- the idea there might be a creator doesn’t disturb me at all .. we are probably the creation of some alien form. What is disturbing me is the amount of lies religions are built on … you don’t actually think god created us do you? …and if you do, tell me your version of how it possibly happened

DGE?- You seem to believe that we were created by some “alien form.” What evidence do you have of that? What are the “lies religions are built on?” I don’t have my own personal version of how God created us. It’s in the Bible.

SKEPTIC 1- Why would i read the biggest lie ever written ??? Imo you are the one with a lot to learn if you believe all that (….)

DGE?- How can you say the Bible is “the biggest lie ever written” when you have never read it. Who told you what to believe?

SKEPTIC 1- I don’t believe we have been created by an alien species but I think that this theory is far more plausible than a man made god created to control people … He didn’t give us the ability to learn .. Evolution did … Science is proving everyday that god doesn’t exist yet we still have people who believes these lies … You’re free to believe in what ever suits you.

DGE?- Science is not proving that God doesn’t exist. It’s really difficult to prove that anything DOESN’T exist. Just because you have never empirically verified something does not mean that it doesn’t exist. We can’t see, touch, taste, smell, or hear God directly, but that does not mean that God doesn’t exist. You could say the same things about love, but you can see the evidence of love in people’s lives and in the things that it causes. So also you can see the evidence of God in people’s lives and in the things he has created.

BELIEVER 1- Really it takes more faith to believe this all just happened than to believe a Great God designed us! Nothing comes from nothing!!!

SKEPTIC 2- some supernatural sky daddy made everything is a lot more fantastic than the Big Bang and evolution which is absolute certain. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence

DGE?- If your concept of the God you don’t believe in is “some supernatural sky daddy” then I have to agree with you. I don’t believe in that kind of God either. The Big Bang is evidence of a beginning. The Bible has said that there was a beginning ever since Genesis 1:1. From Aristotle to the 20th century (Over 2000 years) science said that the universe was eternal. Scientists had to reluctantly accept the fact that there was a beginning when the evidence became overwhelming in 1965 with the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation. Scientists finally had to recognize that the Bible was right–there was a beginning. By the way, “Big Bang” was a derogatory name coined by a scientist (Fred Hoyle) who was critical of the idea of a beginning of the universe. You say, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” To claim that the universe just came into being out of nothing with no Creator and that non-living matter turned into complex life without any intelligent guidance are extraordinary claims. Where is your extraordinary evidence?

SKEPTIC 2- 1) The universe *as we know it* had a beginning. It could have existed in another state. We just don’t know. 2) I simply don’t believe the claim that the universe is a “creation” by a “creator.” If a creator is claimed, that creator must be proven. That last bit is shifting the burden of proof. It equates to “prove there is no god.” It is intellectually dishonest to shift the burden of proof to the negative. The positive claim bears it.

DGE?- You say that 1) the universe could have existed in another state before the Big Bang. Where do you suppose that imaginary universe would have come from? Don’t try to suggest that the universe is cyclical. The present universe is not going to collapse on itself and start over with another Big Bang because science shows that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. It will never collapse and re-bang. Secondly, you say that 2) there is no creator because you don’t believe in a creator. I could say that there is a Creator because I do believe in a Creator. That doesn’t prove anything.

SKEPTIC 2- Also, -12 + 12 = 0. The total net energy of the universe is 0. Therefore, no creator is necessary.

DGE?- You have been reading too much of Lawrence Krauss and A Universe from Nothing. If you define nothing as an equal amount of positive and negative energy, you are not talking about nothing. You are talking about something. How about this equation, 0 + 0 = 0.

SKEPTIC 2- Evolution is a cornerstone of modern science. It is not a controversial subject, the evidence is overwhelming and from many different fields. To deny evolution is like saying the sky is orange or the earth is flat. People will just think your retarded.

DGE?- Evidence for limited evolution, especially within species, is obvious. Evidence for one kind of animal evolving into a completely different animal is sketchy to non-existent. New kinds of animals appear in the geologic record suddenly, by geologic times. There is no gradual unfolding as Darwin predicted. Consider the Cambrian Explosion.

BELIEVER 2- Only a Master Engineer such as God could have designed this handiwork. The Bible says, “I’m fearful and wonderfully made”! Modern Science can’t come up with a machine like the kidneys!

SKEPTIC 2- Science has and does… It’s called a kidney dialysis machine

DGE?- I know people who are on dialysis machines. Those machines are nothing like real kidneys. The don’t work on their own, and they are very large. Humans have never invented a device to do what the kidney does without attention, and that fits within the human body.

BELIEVER 3- The fact that you people are smart enough to have this discussion proves to me that there is a creator.

(This conversation was edited to correct grammatical and spelling errors, to clarify, and for brevity. You will find our daily Facebook postings at www.facebook.com/evidence4god.)
–Roland Earnst © 2017

Free Speech and Christianity

Free Speech
During the past ten years, American universities have seen an incredible change in what is allowed on campus. Student groups and many faculty members are advocating that their campuses be what they call “safe spaces.” They define a safe space as an area “free of any speech that might be considered racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or offensive in any way.” Free speech is under attack since those calling for safe spaces get to define what speech falls under the category of offensive.

This is the very worst kind of censorship, and it makes any attempt at education or reconciliation impossible. It is interesting that a center of this kind of mentality is the University of California, Berkeley. Many of us remember the protests in the 1960s. At that time students complained that the university wouldn’t allow debate and discussion of controversial issues. Now at the same university students are demanding that no one should be allowed to speak who might say something the students (or faculty) disagree with. People learn best when someone challenges their beliefs because then they have to learn to defend what they believe.

Opponents have always attacked Christianity and refused to allow Christians to present the principles of Christ for debate. When you read about people responding to the message of Paul and Stephen you see people screaming to obliterate their message and fomenting violence to them physically. (See Acts 19:23-30 and 21:28-31) That violence even went to the point of making a pact not to eat until they killed Paul (Acts 23:21).

We have had threats of violence from people who object to the message of our websites. It is virtually impossible to make a thirty-minute speech or write an article that won’t offend someone today. We intend to present evidence and argue for the validity of Christianity no matter what the threats are. As Christians, we would ask if mandating silence is the way to foster understanding and tolerance. “You can kill me, but you can’t kill my message.”
Reference: “The Free Speech Wars,” The Week magazine, June 2, 2017, page 13.
–John N. Clayton © 2017

The Work of Unbiased Journalism

Journalism
We live in a culture that is driven by many forces, and one of the most influential is journalism. Journalism is defined as follows:

Journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information.

The question is whether there are any limits to what can be done to gather, assess, create, and present news and information. In April pro-life journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were charged with 15 felony counts. Their crime was publishing undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood executives discussing how to “harvest fetal tissue” to preserve organs for sale. One of the charges in this case is that since Daleiden and Merritt used hidden cameras, they violated a state law that forbids recording “confidential” conversations without both participants’ permission.

President Trump has had a major war going on with journalists. No matter whether you love or hate Trump, the media has a very bad track record as far as reporting on him. The problem is that the media often interprets the news instead of reporting the news. The interpretation given by the media for many many years has been anti-Christian and pro-atheism. Studies of the beliefs of journalists at major news centers have shown a vast proportion of them have no religious affiliation. (So-called “nones.”) We have reported many cases in this journal where the bias of the reporter caused a misrepresentation of the facts. This is especially true when they are covering something immoral done by someone claiming to be a Christian.

We can expect intrusions by journalists to increase as they try to find things to denigrate Christians and the work that Christians are involved doing. In our own efforts, we have had some very bad experiences with journalists as well as some very good ones. Journalism is a great profession for a person with integrity and a willingness to report the news without distortion or bias. We desperately need to have journalists who present news and information, not opinions and agendas. Jesus told His followers to “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37)

For more on this see The Week, April 14, 2017, page 16.
The definition of journalism comes from:
https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/journalism-essentials/what-is-journalism/
–John N. Clayton © 2017

Symbols

Emojis
Emojis
Humans seem to enjoy using symbols for everything in life. Notice the emoticons and emojis used in electronic communication. It is interesting that the use of symbols to convey meaning is an attribute of humans that is not seen in any other form of life. Animals may use sounds or chemicals to alert others of their kind to danger, territory, or sexual availability, but these are not symbols. Sometimes symbols have different meanings to different cultures or even different generations. In my hippie days, holding up two fingers in a “V” meant “peace.” When I was first inducted into military service, the same symbol meant “victory” and indicated an intention to conquer. Symbols convey information, and as the deaf can demonstrate to us, they can even form the basis of complex communication.

Our use of symbols is a reflection of our spiritual makeup. We can create art, express ourselves in music, and worship God because we possess a soul which allows these unique forms of expression. The most mentally challenged among us can use symbols and rejoice in being able to do so.

Sometimes symbols and their use are unique to a particular time in human history. A classic example of this is the use of the cross. In today’s world, the cross is universally accepted as a symbol of Christianity. People wear crosses to express their personal faith. The cross is put on many buildings, Bibles, and along our roadsides. Steven Lemley in an article in Power for Today (January 2, 2017) points out that in the first century the cross was only a sign of the execution of guilty criminals. He reminds us that wearing a cross or having it adorn a place of worship in the first century, would be like us today wearing the image of a hypodermic needle used in executions. Many saw the cross as a stumbling block (1 Corinthians 1:23) or a sign of God’s weakness. Paul used the cross as a symbol of separating ourselves from the world (Galatians 6:14) as well as crucifying our sinful nature (Romans 6:6).

For the first century Christians, the outline of a fish was used as a symbol. The Greek word “fish” spelled out an acronym for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” Archaeological discoveries of ancient Christian symbols display the fish and sometimes a young man holding a lamb. Today we see people with fish symbols on their cars. We also see the cross used as a symbol to remind us of the terrible suffering that Jesus endured, and the ultimate victory of Christ over sin. All symbols, even emojis, can remind us that we have an eternal spiritual nature that we can express in many ways. The use of symbols, worship, and prayer are uniquely human features reminding us that we were created in the image of God.
–John N. Clayton and Roland Earnst © 2017

The Event that Changed the World

Empty Tomb
Empty Tomb
Early on the first day of the week, some women came to the tomb where the lifeless body of Jesus had been placed. It was empty. It had been opened–not by any human hands but by an angel. It wasn’t opened to let Jesus out. The tomb was opened so that people might see that it was empty. The followers of Jesus were not expecting him to be alive again. At first, they couldn’t believe it. Powerful people tried to find the body or to convince the public that it had been stolen. But they could not.

Now, over 2000 years later, there are still those who try to deny the resurrection. The evidence is there. The friends of Jesus were not expecting the resurrection, but after they had seen him alive, they spent the rest of their lives telling others about it. Even when they were tortured and killed for preaching the resurrection, not one of them ever recanted. Without a body, the powerful enemies of Jesus could not disprove the resurrection. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-7, written only a few years after the resurrection of Jesus, the Apostle Paul recorded what scholars believe was an oral tradition of the resurrection appearances dating back to the very time of the resurrection. If it had not been true, this tradition and Paul’s record of it would have been debunked by the eyewitnesses who were still around. It was true, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most solidly attested event of ancient history. The world will never be the same because of the day when death was conquered.
–Roland Earnst © 2017

A Temporarily Borrowed Tomb

Replica Of The Tomb Of Jesus In IsraelJoseph of Arimathea was a wealthy man who had a new tomb carved into a stone hillside. This was not a pauper’s grave. Only the rich and powerful could afford such a tomb. But the first man to use it was not a wealthy man. He grew up as the son of a carpenter. He had no home to call his own. He had a small group of friends who deserted him at the last minute. He had thousands of admirers who quickly sought to get rid of him when he didn’t overthrow the Romans as they expected.

A few days after they greeted him with shouts of praise and honor, they were begging the Romans to put him to death. His lifeless body was placed in a rich man’s tomb because the rich man named Joseph stepped out of the shadows and loaned his tomb to Jesus. “Loaned” is the appropriate word, because Jesus would not need it for very long. A miracle was about to happen!
–Roland Earnst © 2017

Excruciating Pain!

Crucifixion Of Jesus
Crucifixion Of Jesus

The ancient Assyrian army would drive a stake into the chest of their enemies impaling them. Then they would plant that stake in the ground to display their victim. They did this both to frighten and to intimidate those who would oppose them.

The ancient Romans further refined this gruesome tactic. Instead of impaling their victims on a stake, they nailed them to the stake. Impaling resulted in quick death, but crucifixion extended the horror. Crucifixion was slow and agonizing torture that sometimes lasted more than a day. It’s from this execution method that we get our word “excruciating”–which literally means “from the cross.” Crucifixions took place in public where people could see the victim and become terrified to go against the Roman government. This torture was used for the worst of criminals.

But one time it was used for the only perfect man who ever lived. He had done nothing wrong. He died for those of us who have sinned. He suffered excruciating pain and public humiliation in a way that demonstrated love and grace. He went willingly to the cross. Even more amazing is the fact that while suffered on the cross he forgave his tormentors. From the cross, he even pardoned a real criminal who hung next to him. He forever made the worst form of torture and execution a symbol that millions proudly hold up, wear, and display. What other execution device is so loved? Why do we call the day of his torture and death “Good” Friday? It’s because of God’s amazing love and grace demonstrated in Jesus Christ. That’s the “crux” of the matter.
–Roland Earnst © 2017

Baptism for the Dead

Baptism
Baptism
Our ministry is designed to help people with faith problems. Most of our focus in on the scientific evidence for the existence of God and the credibility of the Bible. Unfortunately, we have to spend a significant amount of time dealing with people who have lost their faith in God because of the actions and/or teachings of people who claim to be Christians. Sometimes things are presented in the name of Christianity that are so outlandish that people can see they don’t make sense. When that happens, we find it’s something that isn’t in the Bible or is a distortion of what the Bible says.

In 1 Corinthians 15:29 the King James translation of the passage reads: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which is the top governing body of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (known as the Mormon Church), teaches that modern day Mormons should be baptized for dead ancestors who didn’t receive baptism while they were alive. On April 1-2, 2017, the Quorum met at a conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, that was broadcast in 90 languages throughout the world. They urged members of the Mormon church to participate in the “Baptism for the Dead” ritual.

We have already received some challenges from atheists and skeptics about this practice. The skeptics say that the concept of people choosing to believe in Christ and having the freedom to reject God is destroyed by this practice. We have to side with the atheists here and say that such a practice is ludicrous and makes a mockery of the purpose of baptism. God never forces people to believe or to accept a religious practice and no person can do so on behalf of someone else.

The Mormon baptism is a long way from the baptism described in the Bible. Romans 6 explains baptism as a dying to sin in complete repentance to no longer be a slave to sin. It is an act of becoming a “new person.” Baptism is never portrayed as a ticket to heaven done without understanding or choice. To correctly understand 1 Corinthians 15:29 we need to take it in context. The phrase “for the dead” in the original Greek is “huper nekroon.” This is more accurately translated “on account of.” In the context, beginning in verse 12 the Apostle Paul is writing about the resurrection of Christ. He is challenging those who say that Christ has not been raised from the dead. Then in verse 29, Paul is simply saying, “Why be baptized if there is no resurrection?” In verse 19 Paul points out the fact that if there is nothing after this life, Christians have no hope and should be pitied. But in the entire passage he is insisting that the resurrection of Christ is real, and therefore so will be the resurrection of Christ’s followers who have been baptized. (Examine Romans 6:3-5.) The notion that we can somehow do a proxy baptism flies in the face of everything Paul taught in the rest of the chapter and the rest of the New Testament.

If you are an atheist or a skeptic, it is important to be sure you know what the Bible actually says. Inaccurate translations or human misrepresentations of what the Bible says cannot be attacked as a part of the Christian system. Each of us must answer to God for ourselves. No one can do it for you while you are alive or when you are dead.
The Mormon teaching was reported in an AP news story by Brady McCombs carried in newspapers on Sunday, April 2, 2017.
–John N. Clayton © 2017