Where Biblical Morality Violates Government Regulations

Where Biblical Morality Violates Government Regulations

The persecution of Christians by governments began during the time of Paul and Peter and continues today in various countries. There are times and places where biblical morality violates government regulations, resulting in imprisonment. For example, today, in communist China, we see that simply meeting together to worship can result in lengthy jail sentences.

We assume that places where biblical morality violates government regulations are far away in countries where dictators, kings, or dominant philosophies control the population. At the same time, we assume that won’t happen in democratic America, where we are all free to live as the Bible teaches. However, in today’s America, that is not the case.

In 1968, the Fair Housing Act of the Civil Rights Act became law. The law intended to ensure that people were not denied housing because of race, religion, or national origin. On his first day in office, President Biden expanded that to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The administration has further expanded it to include facilities used by the general public, meaning that a bathroom that only one gender can use violates the law.

This regulation has become a particular problem for high schools and colleges. For example, what happens when a young man goes into a bathroom or locker room occupied by a woman, or vice versa? We see the situation where a male cannot be denied access to a female bathroom. A dormitory confined to one gender also becomes illegal. That presents a problem for Christian colleges and universities.

A Christian college is suing the federal government over this issue in the case of College of the Ozarks v. Biden. With elections coming up, it would be good to know the position of politicians in situations where biblical morality violates government regulations.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

Separation of Church and State

Separation of Church and State - Orthodox Patriarch Kirill
Orthodox Patriarch Kirill

The teachings of Jesus Christ show incredible intelligence and wisdom of design, including the separation of church and state. In Matthew 22:15-21, Jesus responded to a question about this issue by saying, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” Romans 13:1-7 instructs Christians to submit to and honor local authority, but there is no command for the Church to get involved in political activity. The Roman government was one of the most brutal and abusive political systems to ever exist on this planet, but Christians did not attempt to change it politically.

The Russian war on Ukraine has shown the consequences when churches get involved in politics. The Russian Orthodox Church has 260 million adherents, half of them living in Ukraine and half in Russia. The Russian leader of the Orthodox Church is Patriarch Kirill, who has supported Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. As a result, 350 Russian Orthodox priests have rebelled against Kirill, and the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine have left the control of Kirill to form the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The fundamental problem is that the Orthodox Church has moved away from the Bible as a source of authority, replacing it with human patriarchs who dictate doctrine and follow traditions. Relying on human wisdom and politics instead of God’s Word has resulted in the Orthodox Church’s present situation.

Jesus taught a message of peace, love, and service to fellow human beings no matter their politics or national identity. When humans depend on human values instead of God’s Word, the result is conflict at all levels. The situation in Ukraine is a lesson for Christians throughout the world. Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). The separation of church and state is not only biblical but essential to the well-being of the followers of Jesus.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

Reference: The Week for April 1, 2022, page 14.

End-Times Religion, Ukraine, and Jesus

End-Times Religion, Ukraine, and Jesus

Any rational human being has to be horrified by the tragic acts of Vladimir Putin as he orchestrates a military attack on innocent people. As Putin directs the killing of babies, he is also causing incredible loss of resources needed for the peace and well-being of millions of people. This is the act of a madman drunk with power and in total rejection of God. In America, we are disheartened by teachers of end-times religion. Those people are supposed to be Christian leaders, but they are showing incredible ignorance of the teachings of Jesus.

End-times religion is based on the doctrine of dispensationalism. One of the best known of these leaders is Pat Robertson. He claims that Putin “is being compelled by God to invade Ukraine, but that wasn’t his goal. His goal was to move against Israel.” Robertson attempts to base his claim on his interpretation of Old Testament prophesy.

Robertson is just one of several end-times religion preachers who misinterpret prophesy and fail to understand what the Kingdom of Christ is all about. It is “Christian Zionism,” which promotes the idea that Jesus is going to return in something called the “rapture” to take his people away. The doctrine says that He will return to conduct a war against Arab countries, Russia, China, and Iran. Then He will establish Israel as the one world power with Jerusalem as the world’s capital and Jesus as the supreme king. This teaching is destructive, and it opposes the Bible on every turn.

The word “rapture” comes from the Latin “raptus,” which is the translation of the Greek word “harpazo,” meaning to be caught up or caught away. We find “harpazo” used in Acts 8:39, 2 Corinthians 12:2, and Revelation 12:5. Christian Zionists misuse Matthew 24:39-41; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 as references to back up their teaching. There are several versions of this teaching, but they are all in contradiction to the words of Jesus, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36).

The biblical picture of Christ’s second coming is not political, nationalistic, or geographic. Second Peter 3:10-12 indicates the entire physical universe will be annihilated. Revelation 20:1 and 21:1 tell us that the cosmos and Earth will vanish. This material world will be dissolved, and all the ills that go with it will be gone.

End-times religion conveys a discouraging false promise. None of us wants more war, pain, politics, hate, racism, pollution, or tears. The invasion of Ukraine is the result of atheism, greed, power struggles, and materialism conducted by a madman. It is not endorsed by God, and it opposes all that Jesus taught. Jesus weeps with us at the pain inflicted by Satan’s agents as they show that they are without compassion or empathy.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

Year-End Report Available

Year-End Report Available

The “Does God Exist?” year-end report is now available. This website, and the entire “Does God Exist?” ministry, is not funded or directed by any church, school, or company. We do not solicit donations and do not own property or have a business establishment or facility. All of our materials and productions are available free of charge, and we don’t sell anything at a profit.

Our purpose is education, and our mission is to help those who have an open mind that science and faith are not mutually exclusive, and they support one another. The director is John Clayton, who does not receive a salary. The financial support of this and other websites comes from individuals who feel there is value in the ministry and voluntarily contribute to support it.

We have prepared a year-end report on the various programs conducted through the “Does God Exist?” ministry. This report details each aspect of the ministry, gives a financial report of how much money was donated, and tells how the money was used. If you want a copy of this report, please send a written request to John Clayton, 1555 Echo Valley Drive, Niles MI 49120.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

Censorship on American College Campuses

Censorship on American College Campuses

We have conducted seminars on university and college campuses since 1968. But, unfortunately, in recent years, we have experienced and seen in the media increased censorship on American college campuses. 

In 1968, we could go onto virtually any university campus, rent an auditorium or classroom, and give a presentation of evidence for the existence of God. We could prepare and distribute posters on the campus and advertise in the student newspaper. Workers could pass out brochures and invite students and faculty to attend. 

Our sessions always included a question/answer session. We did this on hundreds of university campuses, including major state and private schools like Stanford, Princeton, University of California, Virginia Tech, University of Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State. These sessions were associated with a local Church of Christ or campus group and brought in a sizeable audience.

In the past ten years, we have seen a militant attempt by these schools and others to stop presentations like ours. An organization called the “Foundation for Individual Rights In Education” (FIRE) has released a report about the state of free speech on college campuses that is very critical of American education. They evaluated 481 colleges and universities on a scale with 100 meaning a totally free-speech campus. The colleges studied were all under 73 on that scale. That says a lot about censorship on American college campuses.

One of the highest-ranking schools was Texas A & M. President Michael Young of A & M said, “A free exchange of ideas is not only the cornerstone of our democracy, it is the surest path to truth, discovery, and scholarly advancement.” How can a young person grow and expand their understandings of others if the university only promotes what The Atlantic magazine calls a “New Puritanism.” 

The Dallas Morning News” summarized this situation by saying, “…we should prepare our students to enter a world where they are unafraid to consider and discuss ideas from many perspectives. That is simply not the case on too many college campuses, where an orthodoxy of thought, usually but not exclusively progressive, has led students to silence themselves, each other, and their professors and administrators.” 

Jesus Christ challenged his listeners with questions. See, for example, Matthew 17:25, 18:12, 21:28, and 22:42. Censorship on American college campuses does not allow the free exchange of ideas, especially when someone tries to present a Christian view.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

References: FIRE website and South Bend Tribune, 12/22/21, page 5A.

Electron Orbitals of Oxygen and Nitrogen

Ice Covered Lake and Electron Orbitals of Oxygen and Nitrogen
Ice floats because it is lighter than water, and that is because of electron orbits.

Last week (January 13-15), we talked about the electron structures of oxygen and nitrogen and the importance of those elements for life. One additional design feature is the electron orbitals of oxygen and nitrogen, which is the shape of the electron paths around the nucleus.

Electrons do not revolve around the nucleus in simple circles but rather in geometric paths. For example, the oxygen atom has two electrons that orbit the nucleus in a circular pattern. A little further out and at a higher energy level, two more electrons move in a circular path. Oxygen has eight electrons, and the four electrons in the last energy shell, the valence shell, have a different orbital.

In the third energy level, the orbitals of the four electrons have figure-eight paths at right angles to each other. This figure-eight pattern has two electrons isolated from the other two and each at right angles to the other. That arrangement enables the oxygen atom to form an essential polar molecule.

When an oxygen atom combines with two hydrogen atoms by covalent bonding, they form a molecule of water, H2O. The water molecule has the two hydrogen atoms positioned at one end, making it positive, while the other end of the water molecule is negative. This polar structure gives water its unique properties. For example, water expands as it freezes, causing ice to be lighter than the liquid form. Because of that, ice floats on the surface of a lake instead of sinking to the bottom and freezing the entire lake, killing all marine life. The polar nature of water also allows it to dissolve minerals.

With its seven electrons, nitrogen has five valence electrons moving at right angles to each other, allowing it to form critical organic compounds. For example, nitrogen bonds covalently with three hydrogen atoms to form ammonia which has properties very different from water. Nitrogen’s ability to form three bonds makes possible the structure of the DNA in our cells.

This very simplified description of the atomic design of chemistry gives a small glimpse of the wisdom of design God put into the electron orbitals of oxygen and nitrogen. The Master Chemist designed the structures of atoms to allow life to exist in an incredible number of forms and thrive in a wide range of environments.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

One-Electron Difference Between Oxygen and Nitrogen

One-Electron Difference Between Oxygen and Nitrogen

How does a one-electron difference between oxygen and nitrogen allow life to exist on our planet? Why does the correct mix between those two elements in our atmosphere make it possible for us to be here?

Yesterday, we talked about covalent bonding in oxygen and nitrogen. We said that an oxygen atom needs to share two electrons with another oxygen atom to make a stable oxygen molecule. However, nitrogen needs to share three electrons with another nitrogen atom to complete the valence shell and create stability. So how can a single electron difference between oxygen and nitrogen be a big deal?

For oxygen or nitrogen to combine with other elements to form new compounds essential for life, the covalent bond between them must be broken. It takes about double the energy to break the triple bond between two nitrogen atoms as to break the double bond between two oxygen atoms. That means oxygen can be released to form other compounds much more easily.

What does it take to break the oxygen bond and combine it with another element?
Apply some heat to combustible material, and you will find out. You will get fire, which is a chemical reaction involving rapid oxidation of the burning material. Much slower oxidation occurs when oxygen in your blood combines with nutrients in your body, giving you energy and generating body heat. Another slow form of oxidation is when iron combines with oxygen to form iron oxide, or rust.

If it were not possible to release oxygen from its molecular bond with relative ease, we would not have combustion to heat our homes, run our vehicles, or energize our bodies. Life would not be possible. However, nitrogen bonds are much harder to break, and nitrogen is also essential for life. Tomorrow we will look at how the one-electron difference between oxygen and nitrogen enables life on planet Earth.

— Roland Earnst © 2022

Five Years with More to Come

Five Years with More to Come

With this article, we reach the milestone of five years with more to come on DoesGodExist.today. In our daily posts during that time, we have covered many topics. We have dealt with current events, moral issues, and design in the natural world. In addition, we have attempted to show evidence for design that demands a Designer.

You can find articles on a subject that interests you by using the “Search” box on this page. You can select all articles on a category topic using the “Categories” list. Our “Recent Posts” list allows you to go to any of the last dozen articles we published. Below that, you can go to the “Archives” to read articles we published in any month back to 2017. If you scroll to the bottom, you will find a form where you can choose to enter your email address to receive our weekly “Best Of” email. We send it out each Monday morning with links to our most popular postings from the previous week.

The “Best Of the Week from DOES GOD EXIST?” email includes not only
the three best articles from this website but also the three best from our daily Facebook postings. Our Facebook page concentrates on design evidence in plants and animals. We often feature animals or plants that many people have not even heard of. We also bring out little-known design facts about the very familiar living things we see every day. You can find our page on Facebook at facebook.com/evidence4god. We have been doing daily posts on Facebook for seven years, ever since 2015.

You can help us continue this ministry in two ways. First, pray that we may reach people worldwide with the message that God exists and He loves us and has sent His Son to redeem us. Secondly, please share our posts on this page and our Facebook posts with your friends and acquaintances. We look forward to great things in 2022.

— Roland Earnst © 2021

The What and Why of JWST

The What and Why of JWST
James Webb Space Telescope with its gold-plated mirrors

If all goes as planned, Christmas Eve will see the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or WEBB). It has been a long time in the making with many delays and cost overruns, but it seems that the time has finally arrived. The JWST was supposed to launch in 2007 at the cost of $1 billion. Now it is launching at the end of 2021, and the price has escalated to $10 billion. Let’s examine the what and why of JWST.

First, the what of JWST. The James Webb Space Telescope is a successor to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST or Hubble). It is intended to be a space observatory with capabilities far beyond HST, which was launched in 1990. NASA designed the JWST, and Northrop Grumman built it in California. The European Space Agency will launch it from their launch site in French Guiana, South America.

The why of JWST is that scientists expect it to revolutionize astronomy and expand our knowledge of the universe. Science and technology have made great strides since Hubble was launched and even since astronauts repaired and updated it, most recently in 2009. JWST will observe the universe in infrared light, while HST is limited to visible light. Because galaxies farther away are retreating at increasing speeds, their light shifts toward the red or infrared spectrum. Scientists hope that JWST can observe farther back toward the cosmic creation event known as the big bang. Because of that, astronomers expect to learn more about the formation of stars and galaxies.

Earth-based telescopes must always observe the universe through our atmosphere with particles, pollution, and moisture. That limits their ability to obtain sharp, precise images. Space-based telescopes, like Hubble, eliminate that problem. Webb will give much sharper images with its mirror made of beryllium coated with gold and a diameter more than 2.5 times as wide as Hubble’s.

JWST will locate itself at the Lagrange point where the gravity of Earth and Sun balance each other. That is 930,000 miles (1.5 million km) from Earth. Repairs or upgrades such as those performed on Hubble will not be possible at that distance. That means everything will have to perform flawlessly when the telescope reaches its destination. Deploying the mirror, sun-shield, super-cooling equipment, and telemetry equipment will take a month, which NASA has called “29 days on the edge.”

Another thing that astronomers hope to study with JWST is dark matter, the stuff that’s out there but cannot be seen or detected by any means science has discovered. The way they know dark matter must be there is that it holds the galaxies together. Physics cannot explain why spinning, spiral galaxies, such as the Milky Way, do not fly apart because of centrifugal force. Astronomers hope that JWST’s high-definition images can at least show us where the dark matter is by what they call “gravitational lensing.”

So that is the what and why of JWST. We are excited to see the new images of the universe the James Webb Space Telescope will capture. As we learn about the formation of stars and galaxies, it opens the door to knowledge of God’s handiwork, allowing us to say, “So that’s how God did it!

— Roland Earnst © 2021

Reference: You can find much more about the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA’s fact sheet at THIS LINK.

Life Issues from Beginning to End

Life Issues from Beginning to End

The media have recently reported on several life issues from beginning to end. Here are some examples:

The German Euthanasia Association has announced that those seeking euthanasia must produce proof of COVID vaccination
to legally end their lives. This is apparently to protect healthcare workers.

In Poland, the government has passed a law requiring doctors to report all pregnancies and miscarriages to a government database. The apparent reason for this is to make sure that all pregnancies end with a birth. Unfortunately, Poland has a shortage of workers, and this seems to be the government’s solution to the issue.

Research has shown that women who use marijuana during pregnancy are more than twice as likely to have aggressive, hyperactive children with heart rate and immunity issues.

Babies have a fragrance that comes from an organic compound called hexadecanal. It is found in human skin but is abundant in a baby’s scalp. Research shows that females exposed to the fragrance become more aggressive and strong defenders of their babies. On the other hand, men exposed to it become more gentle and speak with softer voices. Evolutionists claim that this is an evolutionary survival mechanism. We would suggest this is part of God’s design of the human reproductive system.

Research on adopted children shows that some traits are common to adopted children that do not commonly appear in children who are not adopted. In the nine months of pregnancy, there is a “primal bonding that happens by biological design.” Those of us with adopted children can attest to some behavior issues that may be related to the adoption process.

God gave us the ideal arrangement for family–one man and one woman in love with each other produce children they love and care for. Unfortunately, that arrangement is not always possible. Understanding the stress and feelings involved can go a long way toward making adoption a good experience.

As we examine life issues from beginning to end, we know that every child needs a loving family, and every senior adult needs someone who loves them.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

The above information is from a series of articles in The Week for December 10 and 17, 2021.