Saturday, January 26, 2013

Blessings that come to Muslims who turn to Jesus

In 2007, a group of senior Christian outreach staff were gathered for a strategy meeting in a mountainous retreat, when a call came from the field with a remarkable story. Several Muslim leaders had surrounded the leaders of one of our key ministry partners while they were having midday prayers. That team had been seeing breathtaking breakthroughs among highly resistant Muslim peoples, so they had anticipated that something like this might happen. The team was justifiably fearful, but they kept praying. Surprisingly, the Muslims just stood around them observing the proceedings and making no signs of hostile intentions.

When the Christian leaders finished praying, the group surrounding them approached, They turned out to be a delegation of Muslim civic leaders from a distant region, and they had come with their imam and with a request. “Please,” they said, “we have not come to harm you. But we have a request: please send us the storytellers!

The Muslim leaders from this community had observed other communities in their area that had become Christian, and they had noticed a dramatic change in people’s lives—broken families now in unity, a sense of love and compassion among the people, and a breaking of old hostilities and vendettas—and they wanted the same thing in their community.

Events like these would be repeated again and again, or that we would see entire mosques come to faith in Christ! Muslims are jealous to have the gospel because their neighbors had been blessed by it, yet that, in a nutshell, is just what continues to happen. Indeed, Paul wrote, “to provoke them [Israel]  to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles” (Romans 11:11).

The powerful testimony of transformation so resonates with the discouragement and disillusionment inside Islam that it is the single most significant reason for rapid multiplication of churches among Muslims today. When transformation happens, there is always evidence. These are some of the most common changes seen among Muslim individuals and communities who accept Christ:

  • Healed Families. Wife beating becomes no longer acceptable. Children are given permission to attend schools. Polygamy is no longer the choice of Christian men, and prostitution dies out.
  • A Spirit of Freedom. People find release from fatalism.
  • A Spirit of Love. Many Muslim people report that God puts new compassion in their hearts for fellow Muslims who are still in the mosque.
  • Diminished Violence. Former Muslims refuse to participate in ongoing ethnic warfare.
  • Less Addiction. The levels of addiction to alcohol, and khat are greatly diminished.
  • Redemption and Hope. Lost people have new energy and initiative, and become more productive people.
  • Evidences of Divine Favor. Many new Christians share with joy how, after they became followers of Jesus, and during a time of prolonged drought, the Lord caused it to rain on their farms or on the pasture where their livestock was, but not on their neighbors’ land. Farmers have begun praying over their fields and have ceased using Muslim or spiritist blessings on their land.
  • Grace in Persecution. Many new Christians in Muslim areas face harsh persecution. Forgiveness in the face of persecution can be the way that God gets into a persecutor’s heart to transform it as well.
  • Freedom from Demonic Oppression. When Muslims repent of sins and receive Jesus as Lord, demonic powers are successfully cast out.
  • The Power of Individual Prayer. Common people discover that they can pray and God moves. Even the Muslims see this and thank God for the changes in the communities, as many who used to disturb them are now peaceful Christians.

  • (excerpted from Jerry Trousdale, Simple Churches: Dramatic Transformations, Rapid Replication, Mission Frontiers, Sep/Oct 2012, and Chapter 7 of the book Miraculous Movements by Jerry Trousdale, 2012, Thomas Nelson Inc. Nashville, Tennessee)

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    Thursday, January 24, 2013

    The evolution of the evolutionary tree diagram

    Don't be fooled by the "Tree of Life" diagram from your standard evolutionary textbook. Real evolutionary scientists know that is just to get you started, they now have any number of diagrams to choose from that don't look like trees at all.

    It's much better to get the truth about life not from any diagram, but from the Bible - given to us by the Creator Himself. He created all living kinds to be similar in some ways, different in others!

    (excerpts from David Coppedge, Convergence Convenience, published in Creation Matters, a publication of Creation Research Society, Volume 17, Number 5, September/October 2012, to appear at
    Darwin's tree diagram was
    based on "homologous" traits.
    In Charles Darwin's original tree diagram (1837), animals with similar structures on the same branch are said to have “homologous” traits, because they derive from the same common ancestor

    But the living world is filled with traits that resemble each other on different branches.

    What caused that?  Ah, the evolutionist replies, those traits are due to “convergent evolution.”  The similarities are “analogous” traits, because they do not derive from the same common ancestor. With this classification scheme, evolution explains everything: if similar animals are related, they evolved; if they are unrelated, they evolved.

    Let's consider some of many recent examples in the evolutionist storytelling:

    Jellyfish and Birds. PhysOrg1 wrote, “Ion selectivity in neuronal signaling channels evolved twice in animals.”   Sea anemones and birds have complex channels in their cell membranes called volt- age-gated sodium channels, responsible for passing signals along nerves. 

    Jellyfish and Man. Nature News2 claims that muscles, too, evolved twice.  In discussing the alleged dual origins of muscles, Andreas Hejnol said, "Jellyfish move using a set of muscles that look remarkably similar to striated muscles in vertebrates.  However, new data show that the two muscle types contain different molecules, implying that they evolved independently."

    Resistance to Plant Toxins. Another paper in Nature3 begins, “In a remarkable example of convergent evolution, insect species spanning 300 million years of divergence have evolved identical single-amino-acid substitutions that confer resistance to plant cardenolide toxins.”

    Odor Detection. Fruit fly maggots and humans could hardly be further apart in the evolutionary tree, but three Cambridge evolutionists found an “unpredicted degree of similarity” between their odor-detection equipment.4 They said, "Our results reveal an unexpected degree of similarity between the development of the olfactory systems in vertebrates and the Drosophila larva."

    Blood Suckers.  A paper about fleas in PLoS ONE states, “Blood feeding evolved at least ten times within arthropods, providing a scenario of convergent evolution for the solution of the salivary potion.”5

    Crayfish. Another paper in PLoS ONE found convergent evolution in 12 subgenera of Appalachian crayfish.6 "Convergent morphological evolution appears to be a common occurrence in invertebrates suggesting the need for careful phylogenetically based interpretations of morphological evolution in invertebrate systematics.:

    The Tree Diagram isn't just a Tree Anymore. Darwin's original tree of life does not accommodate "convergent" evolution very well. If you really insist on drawing pictures of what evolutionists can pick and choose from, there are 5 varieties, as discussed in Evillusion's blog7:
    To make the point of this chapter very clear, and to do a bit of a review, below is a list of all of the scenarios that are available and imaginable for evolution as an explanation for the appearance, formation, and migration of organs and bio-logical systems into multiple species and groups of species.  Each one is a biological and logical impossibility.... The list below includes all scenarios, no matter how absurd that could have brought a full inventory of organs and bio-logical systems into a common ancestor of any group of modern species.  I realize that evolution would say only one of the choices actually occurred.  For the sake of good science, these are all of the various impossibilities, no matter how absurd.

    1. Each species fills in its own missing inventory

    2. Coalescing of species

    3. Inter-Species Procreation

    4. One species evolves a full inventory

    5. A string of species evolved a complete inventory
    Convergent Everything! The Wikipedia entry on “Convergent Evolution” ends with a statement that reveals that “convergent evolution” is an incomplete and controversial notion:

    Simon Conway Morris counters this …, arguing that convergence is a dominant force in evolution, and that, since the same environmental and physical constraints act on all life, there is an “optimum” body plan that life will inevitably evolve toward.... Convergence is difficult to quantify, so progress on this issue may require exploitation of engineering specifications (e.g., wing aero- dynamics) and comparably rigorous measures of “very different course” in terms of phylogenetic (molecular) distances.
    Although the escape clause “convergent evolution” may be thought by evolutionists to be a work in progress, it remains little more than a convenient phrase for evolutionists to toss around in their papers!

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    References (selected)

    1. Univ. of Vienna (2012, July 26). Ion selectivity in neuronal signaling channels evolved twice in animals. PhysOrg. Retrieved October 11, 2012, from

    2. Hejnol, A. 2012. Evolutionary biology: Muscle’s dual origins. Nature 487(7406):181–182.
    3. Whiteman, N.K. and K.A. Mooney. 2012. Evolutionary biology: Insects con- verge on resistance. Nature 489(7416):376–377.

    4. Prieto-Godino, L.L., S. Diegelmann, and M. Bate. 2012. Embryonic origin of olfactory circuitry in Drosophila: Contact and activity-mediated interactions pattern connectivity in the antennal lobe. PLoS Biology 10(10): e100014000. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001400

    5 Ribeiro, J.M.C., T.F.C. Assumpção, D. Ma, P.H. Alvarenga, V.M. Pham, et al. 2012. An insight into the sialotranscriptome of the cat flea, Ctenocephalides felis. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44612. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044612.

    6. Breinholt, J.W., M.L. Porter, K.A. Crandall. 2012. Testing phylogenetic hy- potheses of the subgenera of the freshwater crayfish genus Cambarus (De- capoda: Cambaridae). PLoS ONE 7(9): e46105. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046105.

    7., retrieved 12/28/2012.

    Monday, January 21, 2013

    Creation and Truly Good News of the Gospel

    My friend Dave T. asks the following question: "Could you write me a brief, poignant and concise defense of a six day literal creation, and refutes other perspectives?"

    The Argument from Science

    As spelled out in the article “Evidence for a Young Earth”, (with references given at there are at least 22 clocks, or indicators, given to us by nature that the Earth and Universe are young. The vast majority give an age estimate of less than 10,000 years. They include clocks based on:  
    • Receding Moon
    • Oil Pressure
    • The Sun
    • The Oldest Living Thing
    • Helium in the Atmosphere
    • Short Period Comets
    • The Earth's Magnetic Field
    • C-14 Dating of Dino Bones
    • Dinosaur Blood and Ancient DNA
    • Unfossilized Dinosaur Bones
    • 165 Million Year Old Ligaments
    • Axel Heiberg Island
    • Carbon-14 in Atmosphere
    • The Dead Sea
    • Niagara Falls
    • Historical Records
    • The San Andreas Fault
    • Mitochondrial Eve
    • Population Growth
    • Minerals in the Oceans
    • Rapid Mountain Uplift
    • Carbon 14 from "Old" Sources
    • Dark Matter and Spiral Galaxies
    • Helium and lead in Zircons
    The Argument from Philosophy

    So-called “science” that leads to Old Earth  conclusions is based on completely unbiblical presuppositions. In the words of Francis A. Schaeffer How Should We then Live? (1976 ed p.146) “scientists … [have] pushed God more and more to the edges of their systems.… [They] moved to the idea of a completely closed system. That left no place for God. But equally it left no place for man. Man disappears, to be viewed as some form of determined or behavioristic machine. Everything is part of the cosmic machine, including people.” This is falsehood!

    The Argument from the Bible

    The truth is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This gospel has at its foundation the truth of a Creator God, who created all things in a literal period of six days, with the corollary of a global flood in Noah’s day.

    Here are some great Good News verses that should only be ignored or hermeneuticized (by our theological professors) at our peril:
    • Romans 5:12: "Just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned."
    • Exodus 20:11: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." (in the Fourth Commandment, written by the finger of God on a tablet of stone)
    • Matthew 24:39: "And they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man." (direct words of Jesus)
    • Genesis 1:31: "And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day."
    The Christian who wants to grow ever closer to Christ should aspire to these words of Paul:

    “I want to know Christ, and the POWER of His Resurrection, that I may share in His sufferings, and be like Him in His death” (Philippians 3:10)

    The power of the Resurrection to make all things new is the same power of our Creator, who originally made all things in six days, and who sent a cataclysmic judgment over all of the Earth in the flood of Noah.

    To sum it up, if the Gospel is truly Good News, the Earth must be young!

    (written by Marko Malyj)

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    Friday, January 18, 2013

    Five Things Evangelicals Need to Know About American Muslims

    Sometimes we don’t love some people because of our erroneous beliefs. Let me tell you some things about most Muslims that most Christians don’t know.

    1. You can’t be a good Muslim without believing in Jesus. Muslims believe in Jesus’s virgin birth—but not from the Father of God. They believe in his miracles. They believe in his perfection. They believe in his unique place. They do not believe as I do that he was God in flesh and part of the Trinity. The Muslims I know love to talk about Jesus, if you open up the conversation.

    2. Most Muslims in the US are here because they want the freedoms we have. If they wanted Islamic law and culture, they would be in Islamic nations globally. If you ask them, they’ll tell you that. Most Muslims I know would fear the US becoming an Islamic nation. Money was not the only reason or even primary reason many came.

    3. Most Muslims fear Islamic terrorists as much as Anglo Christians do. That’s why some are here. The majority of violence perpetrated in the name of God in the world is Muslim on Muslim. Yes, some Muslims commit terrorist acts against non-Muslims, but they by far kill their own people more than others.

    4. Most Muslims want a relationship with Christians and others, but they are afraid to reach out. They are the minority. It’s up to the majority to reach out and build relationships. Our church practices many ways of reaching out to others of different faiths. Many who come to America value relationship and friendship far more than Americans do. Those friendships have the potential of going very deeply for those who are not afraid.

    5. God has a special plan for Muslims. How can I say that? There are 1.5 billion of them in the world. He loves them. They matter to God. God always moves in the masses. You cannot ignore that many people. God created all people. He has a plan for them just as he has for other nations and peoples. I pray daily that God be glorified and Jesus exalted among all peoples and nations, Muslims included.

    (reposted from Bob Roberts, Five Things Evangelicals Need to Know About American Muslims, Mission Frontiers, Issue 34:6, Nov/Dec 2012)

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    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Christianity to be taught in Turkish elementary schools

    The Turkish government has decided to include an elective course on Christianity in the nation's elementary schools.

    Local educators will be required to provide the course if at least ten students request it. Christian leaders of various backgrounds have been asked to help prepare a text, and the work is now underway.

    Thank the Almighty for this, and please pray that all lessons will be accurate and uplifting in their approach and style.

    (from a Christian newsletter, January 2013)

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    Monday, January 07, 2013

    How Long Is a Cubit?

    The cubit is one of the earliest known standards of length, used in ancient Israel and throughout the Near East. It was originally the length of one’s forearm between the tip of the middle finger and the elbow. The word cubit comes from the Latin word for elbow and the Hebrew term refers to the forearm. The term occurs more than one hundred times in the Old and New Testaments to describe structures and distances.

    Nations varied somewhat in defining the cubit's exact length, and both short cubits and long or royal cubits were common. Dual cubit values in Egypt were 17.72 and 20.67 inches, as determined from measuring sticks found in tombs. In Babylon, 20.806 inches was a common cubit length (Achtemeier, 1985).

    Cubit measuring rods such as these from the Eighteenth Dynasty tomb of Aperia would have been common tools in the quarries and at the pyramid construction site (Photo by Jon Bodsworth)

    There is a fascinating clue to the length of the cubit from the Old Testament and archaeology. Hezekiah’s famous Siloam water tunnel is referenced in 2 Kings 20:20 and 2 Chronicles 32:3–4. It was built around 700 B.C. to provide water for Jerusalem during a siege by the Assyrians under Sennacherib. This tunnel is hewn from solid rock and is a memorable hike for visitors to the old city of Jerusalem. When I walked the tunnel in 1995 by flashlight, there was a foot depth of moving water along the entire length of one-third mile, or 1,749 feet.

    Originally there was a carved inscription near the tunnel outlet into the Pool of Siloam within the city wall. This Siloam Inscription, now in the Archaeology Museum of Istanbul, Turkey, records the tunnel length as 1,200 cubits. Comparison with the actual length yields a cubit measure of about 17.5 inches.

    With a 17.5-inch value for the cubit, Noah’s Ark measures an impressive 437.5 feet long, 72.92 feet wide, and 43.75 feet high (300x50x30 cubits; Genesis 6:15). The Ark may well have been the largest building project in history up to that time. Also, the biblical giant Goliath was over six cubits tall (l Samuel 17:4), or nine feet.

    (re-posted from Don DeYoung, How Long Is a Cubit?, published in Creation Matters, a publication of Creation Research Society, Volume 17, Number 5, September/October 2012, to appear at

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    Achtemeier, P.J. (ed.) 1985. Harper’s Bible Dictionary. Harper & Row, San Francisco.

    Saturday, January 05, 2013

    Aren't you afraid of me? After all, I'm a murderer!

    The chairs sat empty and the church quiet when a dark, disheveled figure wandered through the open door. Rich Vallette, the pastor of the church in the Dominican Republic, and a Crossworld worker, looked up to study the stranger. Despondent and bewildered, he had walked in the church's open door seeking help.

    "I am going to commit suicide today," he said. "I need someone to pray for me." After praying for him, Rich invited the man into his office and asked him to share his story.

    The church in the Dominican Republic
    where this story took place.
    Lucieno had made murder his living. As a hit-man, he just finished a 14-year prison term. His guilt for the bloodshed of victims and the trauma of their families pushed him into crushing despair. "Death is the only way out of my miserable state," he said. "I'm here as a last resort before taking my own life."

    Rich continued listening to the killer's story until Lucieno blurted out, "Aren't you afraid of me? After all, I'm a murderer!"

    "No, I'm not afraid," Rich answered. "You're the one that needs to be afraid. I have Jesus and you don't." To Rich's amazement, Lucieno didn't threaten him or run away, but shouted, "That's what I need! It's Jesus!" But then Lucieno's joy at discovering the source of redemption turned to fear. "How could Jesus possibly forgive a sinful man like me who has taken people's lives and caused so much pain?"

    "Jesus has already paid for your sin on the cross," Rich said. "Have you heard of the apostle Paul? He was like you in many ways. He tortured and murdered Christians, but Jesus forgave him! God transformed Paul's life and gave him a new mission: bring others to experience Jesus' forgiveness as well."

    That was all Lucieno needed to hear. "Jesus, forgive my sins," he prayed aloud. "I don't deserve it, but would you give me a new life like Paul?" Lucieno raised his head and gave a huge smile - a brilliant expression of his new life in Christ.

    (from Light, the Crossworld newsletter, November 2012)

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