Lies and Deception Outweigh the Truth

Lies and Deception Outweigh the Truth

In our world today, it seems that lies and deception outweigh the truth. How many wars have been fought as a result of a lie? The political picture of America has degenerated to the point where you can’t believe what any politician says. Deception is common in the business and economic realm. When I was a child, people settled business transactions with a handshake, and you could be over 90% sure it would happen. Who among us today has not lost money because someone lied to us?

When Jesus told Pilate that He came to bear witness to the truth, Pilate responded by saying, “What is Truth?” (John 18:37-38). In the secular world, “truth” cannot even be defined, much less believed. Romans 1:25 tells us there will be those who exchange “the truth of God for a lie.” In 2 Corinthians 11:14, we find a warning that “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

So what can we believe? In 1 Timothy 4:1-5, Paul writes that there will be those who have a connection to the Church who will “speak lies in hypocrisy.” Then he identifies who those might be, and we see some of them today. In the prayer of Jesus for his disciples, He said, “Sanctify (set apart) them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” We CAN trust God’s Word. Titus 1:2 and Hebrews 6:18 tell us that God cannot lie.

The reason for this website is to encourage everyone to go to the Bible and read and think for themselves. We deal with evidence. If someone offers an opinion they can’t back up in the Bible, don’t believe it. Can fake “evidence trick us?” Yes, but the nature of science is that counterfeit evidence is eventually exposed for what it is. The word “science” means knowledge. False science is an opinion stated as knowledge but not supported by factual evidence (1 Timothy 6:20).

When it seems that lies and deception outweigh the truth, trust God by looking at His Word. Don’t let someone tell you what His Word says or what His creation proves. Instead, “Seek and you will find” – “for the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…” (Matthew 7:7 and Romans 1:20).

— John N. Clayton © 2022

Billie Eilish and Pornography

Billie Eilish and Pornography
Billie Eilish

Every time we mention the damaging effects of pornography, we get a few nasty emails suggesting that we are just control freaks who want to deny a harmless activity. The Bible makes it clear that God would have us “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). A recent news report about Billie Eilish and pornography shows it is not harmless.

Young people today have easy access to porn because it is readily available online. Billie Eilish, a Grammy-winning singer, stated that the porn she began watching online at age eleven “really warped her mind” about healthy sex and relationships. Porn composes a third of all internet downloads in the United States and is a pandemic among young people.

In The Daily Telegraph, Judith Woods wrote that online porn is “suffused with hatred for women.” She goes on to say that the sex depicted on porn sites is “terrifying, dominant, and violent… There is choking and spitting and angry misogyny… Women are degraded, used” and “discarded.”

Anyone who thinks this activity is not damaging to young minds is simply ignorant about how young people learn. Furthermore, the whole purpose of sex is lost in a culture that denigrates marriage and uses sex as a weapon or a recreational activity.

Sex in marriage creates a sacred, unique, and pure relationship between a man and a woman. Therefore, Christians must teach children what sex is about at an early age before the world exposes them to pornography. In the case of Billie Eilish and pornography, that was age eleven.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

Reference: The Week, December 31, 2021/January 7, 2022 page 19.

Is There Any Hope for America?

Is There Any Hope for America?

It is difficult to be optimistic about the future of America. The danger to this country is not coming from a superior military, and aliens from some other planet do not threaten us. A shortage of natural resources or the threat of natural disasters cannot destroy us. The danger to America is from within. The amazing thing is that it is fed by the ignorance of our people, including our leaders. Is there any hope for America?

In the Old Testament, we read of the rise and fall of the nation of Israel. Hebrew has different words that we translate as “nation.” One is “goi,” used to describe the corporate body. God promised to make Israel a great nation (goi) in Genesis 12:2 and 17:4. That promise was repeated throughout the history of Israel.

The other Hebrew words are “leom” and “ummah,” both translated “nation” in most English versions. It refers to the people, not the political system under which they lived. In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “nations” is “ethnos,” from which we get our word “ethnic.” Jesus used it in Matthew 24:1-13. His disciples pointed to the temple’s greatness, and He told them of its destruction. He said that nation would rise against nation, natural disasters would happen, and people would hate His followers.

So is there any hope for America? Nothing will ever destroy the Christian nation or “ethnos,” but America is not a Christian nation. It is a corporate nation that is badly divided, has rejected God and the ethics that Jesus taught. The iniquity that Jesus described in Matthew 24:12 is before us all. We not only have a dysfunctional government, but the opponents of God have succeeded in eliminating God from discussions at the national and state level.

In our military, any discussion of Christianity is now forbidden. Marriage has been denigrated to the point that an all-time low percentage of our population engages in it. On the other hand, our culture now embraces any kind of “marriage” one wishes. Our government not only allows recreational drug use but, in some places, encourages it by providing places where people can “safely” use them. Abortion, euthanasia, prostitution, and pornography are freely allowed in many states.

So is there any hope for America, or will we go the same route as ancient Israel and Rome and all other cultures that have died due to their alienation from God? My response is that America CAN survive, but it will not come from the government or our religious or entertainment leaders. It will come from the ordinary folks who “have not bowed down to Baal and those whose mouths have not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18). If America survives, it will be because we refuse to embrace the teachings of political or religious leaders who don’t know or obey God.

As we start the new year of 2022, let us learn from history rather than repeating it. Join hands with us “little people” and do what God calls us to do and not be swayed by leaders who lie to promote their personal agendas.

— John N. Clayton © 2022

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.

Seeing Is Not Always Proof of Reality

Seeing Is Not Always Proof of Reality

If you see a picture of it, it must be real – right? The answer is absolutely not. Human gullibility is astounding, and fake pictures are as old as photography. In 1839, Hippolyte Bayard convinced people that he had committed suicide by creating a photo showing himself as a drowned man. In fact, Bayard lived until 1887. Seeing is not always proof of reality.

In the early 1900s, there were many faked pictures using double exposures, cropping and rephotographing, or even using models. One of the most famous pictures was the “Loch Ness Monster.” The photo got worldwide distribution in 1934. However, in 1975, the son of one of the pranksters admitted that it was a picture of a toy floating in the water.

In our day of technological altering of photographs, anyone can doctor a picture to appear authentic. This is especially true when there is a lot of media hype about a monster, an alien, or a ghost. Reflections from a window have confused many people, even pilots who mistook what they saw as a UFO. Unfortunately, seeing is not always proof of reality.

Many years ago, I helped my wife on a hike with a bunch of young girls
. We stayed too long in the woods and were walking back in the dark. An object that looked like a ghost appeared in front of us. It had two eyes, a round mouth, and a narrow nose. It had an odd green glow, and it didn’t move, but the girls started screaming and crying. When I turned my flashlight on it, we could see that we were looking at a hollow, dead tree with holes in locations that made it look like a face. It was glowing because of the northern lights. Around Lake Superior, there are veins of glowing minerals, and ghost stories have arisen when people saw that effect and didn’t know what it was.

Another personal ghost story involves a haunted house in Scotland where we were invited to spend the night (for a fee). We were told to expect haunting ghost sounds, including moans and screams and footsteps on the stone floor above us. The windows in the house were very old, and, given enough time, glass flows. Unfortunately, the glass had flowed to the point that there were holes in the windows. When the wind blew through the holes, it made sounds. The house cooled rapidly in the evening, and as the stones in the floor contracted, they made sounds that resembled footsteps.

Seeing is not always proof of reality. There is no credible evidence of ghosts, aliens, monsters, demons, or zombies roaming around. We do not live in a world full of non-human spirits trying to harm us. People often resort to ghost-like explanations when they see something they don’t understand. When Jesus walked on the water (Mark 6:49), the immediate response of His disciples was to cry out that they had seen a spirit. Jesus told them not to be afraid, and He would say the same to us.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: Smithsonian magazine, December 2021, pages 14-20.

Drug Safe-Havens Don’t Work

Drug Safe-Havens Don't Work

On December 1, 2021, the United States joined Canada, Australia, and Europe in allowing drug safe-havens for people who wish to use heroin and other narcotics. Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City announced that having monitored facilities where someone watches for overdoses will save lives. The first facility in New York was set to open immediately.

Federal laws ban operating a place for narcotic use, but those laws have been poorly enforced. It is interesting that there is no evidence that these facilities provide help for those who are addicted. There have been negative results in other places where governments have tried legalization. Other moral issues such as prostitution and sexual abuse become part of the scene.

Setting up drug safe-havens, making it easier for people to use narcotics, is sanctioning people to harm themselves. Even though they may not die immediately from drug usage, the long-term result is not good. Should the government provide a way for people to become addicted? The news releases on the New York City plan do not say that drugs will be provided. If that is true, drug dealing and the problem of contaminated drugs will continue.

Licensing sin has never worked, and neither will drug safe-havens. Instead, the legalization of gambling has increased crime, prostitution, economic damage, and family breakdown. As the world turns away from God and denigrates the teachings of Jesus, we are not surprised that politicians will seek to condone the sin industries and tax them.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, Paul admonishes Christians to “Bring everything to the test and cling to that which is good and rejecting all that has a look of evil about it.” Therefore, let us oppose the movement of our nation toward embracing the sin industry as it offers an alternative to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: Associated Press for 12/1/21.

Inconsistent Fetal Laws

Inconsistent Fetal Laws

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on a Mississippi law prohibiting most abortions after 15 weeks. Protestors on both sides of the abortion issue were active outside of the Supreme Court building. Many abortion advocates, including politicians, have threatened violence if the court strikes Roe v. Wade. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers as people argue about women’s rights and unborn babies’ rights. While research continues to show the humanity of the unborn child, we see inconsistent fetal laws. 

More than 38 states in America have “fetal assault laws” on the books. In the past 15 years, about 1200 American women were criminally charged for taking illegal recreational drugs resulting in a miscarriage. If someone assaults a pregnant woman, killing the baby, that person is guilty of murder in most states. This was true in Old Testament times as well (See Exodus 21:22-23). 

Researchers at the University of Oxford had the rare opportunity to study gastrulation of a human embryo from an abortion16 to 19 days after fertilization. Lead researcher Shankar Srinivas, an expert in developmental biology, explained that gastrulation is a process that begins about 14 days after fertilization. At that time, different cells emerge and arrange themselves to form various organs in the human body. The new research into gastrulation has the potential to open ways to prevent congenital abnormalities. 

The research by Dr. Srinivas gives a glimpse into early human development. When fertilization occurs, we are dealing with a human, not a blob of chance cellular accumulation. The complexity of this system speaks of God’s design and is precious and unique. A news report quoted Dr. Daniel Sulmasy, the director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, saying that this research shows “recognition of the humanness of the embryo.” 

It is within our grasp to prevent conception and avoid the destructive actions of an abortion that can also cause physical and mental harm to a woman. It starts with understanding that sex is not a meaningless physical act but a joining of two people in a deeply personal relationship. That was God’s plan from the beginning. We understand more and more about how this design works, and a consistent approach to the facts can lead us toward an end to inconsistent fetal laws.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

References: South Bend Tribune 11/20/21, page 4C and The Week 11/26/21. Here is a link to an APNews article, and you can find the research article at Nature.com.

Treating Gender Dysphoria

Treating Gender Dysphoria

What response would you make to a 14-year-old girl who has decided she is really a boy and wants doctors to surgically remove her breasts and put her on a puberty blocker and hormone therapy regime? The UCLA School of Law and the American College Health Association tell us that the number of girls seeking treatment to have their sex changed has risen dramatically. In 2008, it was one in 2,000, and in 2020, it was one in 20. There are now over 50 clinics treating gender dysphoria in the United States. There was one in 2007.

Many young people have severe depression issues and are frequently suicidal due to gender dysphoria. Experts debate the cause of this phenomenon while treatments being used are causing more problems. The question is how to go about treating gender dysphoria. Many transgender cases are due to social contagion as friends influence a young person to “come out” as trans. There are online forums of trans teens with large numbers of participants.

An increasing number of transgender persons regret their decision to change their gender. Some have even sued clinics for rushing them into the decision to change without adequate counseling. Many times other mental health issues are involved. Having your testicles or breasts removed is irreversible. Also, the drug treatments are for life and have side effects that may be medically difficult to manage.

The Bible says God created male and female (Genesis 1:27). The original plan works, but surgery, drugs, and a rejection of God’s design have changed that. The tragic result sometimes leaves innocent victims who are negatively affected by what others have done.

The real complication is that treating gender dysphoria has become a political issue. For example, The Week magazine (October 29, 2021, page 11) carried an article about LGBTQ activists committing violence against scientists and doctors who have suggested applying caution regarding medical intervention in trans situations.

Christians must respond to this with love, compassion, and caring. We should do everything we can to help everyone enjoy the blessing of being a confident male or female in an age of confusion and frustration.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Physician-Assisted Death

Physician-Assisted Death

One of the facts of life is that eventually, we will all die. Many of us have seen people endure enormous pain over a long period before death finally came. I am thankful that my wife Phyllis and my son Tim did not go through months of intense pain before passing on. Medical science has made great progress in extending life but has not been as effective in relieving pain. That is part of the reason we have seen a movement for legalizing physician-assisted death.

New Jersey passed a “Medical Aid-in-Dying” law two years ago, and last year 33 terminally ill people in the state ended their lives. Since 2016, California has had “The End of Life Option Act.” New York has a “Good Death” Act moving through the legislative process. The movement to legalize physician-assisted death is not confined to America. Holland was perhaps the pioneer of physician-assisted death in Europe. Columbia became the leader in South America back in 1997. The “Colombian Pain Institute” administers euthanasia for “intense physical or mental suffering due to an injury or incurable illness.”

The Week magazine for October 22, 2021 (page 8) carried a report demonstrating the difficulty of legalizing physician-assisted death. In Colombia, a 51-year-old woman named Martha Sepulveda has ALS and was scheduled to be euthanized. She would be the first person in Colombia to receive physician-assisted death without a terminal prognosis. However, the Colombian Pain Institute concluded that “her condition had improved” so she is no longer qualified for the procedure. Now she has a lawyer fighting for her right to die because she “is not willing to continue to live.”

Christians have concerns in this matter. In 1 Corinthians 3:16, we read that our body is “the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in us.” The next verse tells us not to defile the temple. This concept is continued in 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, which teaches why a Christian should not be involved in prostitution. In ancient times, death came more quickly than in today’s world with modern medicines. Therefore, a person near death today deserves special attention and Christian compassion. In Proverbs 31:6-7, we read, “Give strong drink to those who are ready to perish, and wine to those who are of heavy hearts.” When David was near death, he was chilled, and a woman came to warm him not for sexual purposes but to relieve his discomfort. (See 1 Kings 1: 1-4).

The doctors I know are horrified at the prospect of deciding to end someone’s life. It is hard to assess the collateral damage of someone saying, “I choose to die rather than blessing others, especially my family.” In many cases, financial concerns are a significant motivation for ending life, and there are horror stories of involuntary euthanasia in Holland. Christians should lead the charge to develop medical steps to relieve suffering and pain. Financial problems should not be an issue in a wealthy country like the United States.

From an atheist’s viewpoint, death is the end, and physician-assisted death is merely the solution to suffering. However, I continue to be reminded of my son’s last words to me before he died. He said, “Dad, I am going to see Mom, and I will actually be able to see her and be with Jesus.” These words were from a blind, mentally challenged, COVID-ravaged young man who had battled muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and schizophrenia all of his life. He was ready to move on to something better.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Tim Clayton’s story was told by John N. Clayton in the book Timothy: My Son and My Teacher available HERE.

The organization Compassion and Choices has been a leader in the movement to legalize physician-assisted euthanasia.

Disparity of Wealth in the World

Disparity of Wealth in the World

One of the great worldwide problems is the disparity of wealth in the world. The gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” just continues to grow. Those of us who are Christians devote significant amounts of time and money trying to help the “have nots.” The problem is that as the world moves away from Christianity and replaces it with secular humanism and a “survival of the fittest” moral standard, the gap between the wealthy and the poor grows.

Recently there have been some amazing displays of the “haves,” including some with scientific connections. In 2020, a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton sold for 32 million dollars. In October 2021, a triceratops skeleton known as “Big John” sold in Paris for 7.7 million dollars. Private individuals made both of those purchases, meaning that the fossils are not available for scientific research. In some places in the world, luxury living is incredible. For example, in Dubai (United Arab Emirates), an apartment can sell for as much as 180 million dollars. There is a resort called Atlantis, the Palm off the coast of Dubai, where spending $7000 for a meal is not unheard of.

The disparity of wealth in the world means that most of the world’s population is living in poverty with food shortages, poor housing, and a lack of medical, leading to premature death. Even in the United States, where we have things better than in most countries, there is a vast disparity between the rich and the poor. It is essential to point out that religion is sometimes the cause of this disparity. Even those who claim to be Christians can be swept up in what the world offers, and religious leaders have made headlines for living the life of the rich.

Imagine what we could do to alleviate the poverty in the world if every wage earner chose to give a percentage of their income to care for others. Jesus hit at the real problem in His sermon in Matthew 6:19-21. “Stop storing up your riches on the earth where it may be turned to dust by worms and weather and where thieves break through and steal. But keep your treasure in Heaven where there is no moth or rust to consume it. For where your treasure lies, your heart will be there too.”

The disparity of wealth in the world is rooted in attitude, which is strongly affected by what we believe about the value of human life. A strong argument for the existence of God and the validity of the Christian system is how it can change a person’s attitude from getting and hoarding to giving and serving. When people fail to follow the teachings of Jesus (not the practices of organized religion), the experience of war, conflict, pollution, abuse, and division will grow. Jesus is truly the “light of the world” and the only hope for the future.

— John N. Clayton © 2021

Reference: Associated Press for 10/23/21 and Atlantis the Palm website.