Friday, July 12, 2024

Welcome

 

Welcome to Biblical Authority Ministries! 

As the name implies, this Christian ministry is focused on biblical authority. 

Simply put, the 66 books of the Bible are the supreme authority in all matters—faith, education, life, science, history, practice, apologetics, theology—every subject. As a point of note, this doesn’t just mean “faith and practice”—but all areas.

In our culture, God and His Word have been attacked in many ways because so many have been influenced to believe the religion of secular humanism—whether they realize it or not. Secular humanism (atheism, evolutionism, agnosticism, naturalism, Darwinism, materialism, etc.) dominates our schools, media, politics, museums, and so on. Even I was influenced by this type of religion to a certain degree. 

As a result, Genesis 1-11 have come under severe attack. Consider these common attacks: 

 

1. Creation in six days has been largely usurped by [false] big bangs models. Sadly, some Christian’s try to mix their Christianity with this religion and thereby compromise (or syncretize) two different religions together. 

 

2. The fall into sin and the origin of death (which is the foundation for the Gospel) has been replaced with Darwin’s worship of death as the hero for an evolutionary worldview—with millions of years of death supposedly occurring over long ages (because of rock layers that contain fossils). 

 

3. The global Flood of Noah—which explains from where most of those fossil-bearing rock layers came—has been replaced with slow gradual accumulations over millions of years! 

 

4. The events at the Tower of Babel which explain why people look a little different (the gene pool was split apart as different families spread to different parts of the world). Furthermore, the origin of language families has been replaced with Darwinian racism and the “evolved out of Africa” model for the evolution of languages. 

At Biblical Authority Ministries, the hope is to reclaim the truth of Scripture from the very first verse of Genesis. We want to help believers get back to God’s Word as the ultimate authority on these types of issues. 

But we also hope to proclaim the truth of the whole of Scripture including the Gospel—because without the Gospel, what’s the point? I don’t just want people to turn from false worldviews like evolution and hold to creation; but I want to see them receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. From here, I want to encourage new believers to continue growing int their faith by getting involved in a local Bible-believing church.

This is why Biblical Authority Ministries exist—to help provide biblical, scientific, and theological answers to the church and culture to remove barriers to the Gospel to the glory of God. 

Bodie Hodge, M.Sc., B.Sc., PEI

Biblical Authority Ministries, July 12, 2024



 

Monday, July 8, 2024

If We Evolved From Apes

 

If We Evolved From Apes…

Bodie Hodge, M.Sc., B.SC., PEI

Biblical Authority Ministries, July 8, 2024

 

“If we evolved from apes and monkeys, then why are there still apes and monkeys?”

Ever heard this? It drives me nuts! I hear this question—or variations of it—quite often. I see it on memes.

Many seem to think this is a good refutation of an evolutionary worldview. I appreciate the heart of believers opposing the religion of secular humanism (evolution is a common tenet of secular religions like atheism, agnosticism, naturalism, materialism, etc.).

However, asking this question misses a big point in the evolutionary story—and when you understand it, it really isn’t powerful at all. In the evolutionary belief, man didn’t evolve from apes (e.g., chimpanzees or gorillas); nor did apes evolve from monkeys (e.g., Old World or New World monkeys).


In the evolutionary conjecture, both man and apes supposedly evolved from “ape-like” creatures that are commonly seen as “apes” to the average layperson. But technically, this is a supposed ancestor that gave rise to both humans and apes.


So this alleged ancestor doesn’t exist anymore. It is the same with respect to an even more previous “monkey-like” creature that supposedly gave rise to both modern monkeys and that ape-like ancestor.

That alleged monkey-like creature doesn’t exist today but was, according to evolutionary believers, what gave rise to the lines of monkeys and apes and ultimately the line of man.


So asking the initial question is actually equating modern apes and this alleged ape-like ancestor. Technically, it is even more complicated than this, but this should help clear up this common misunderstanding. As Christians, we should be more accurate with what the world is teaching when refuting it.

I try to make sure I’m calling this alleged ancestral creature “ape-like” or “monkey-like” to be accurate to what the evolutionists actually believe.

There are plenty of other ways to refute the evolutionary religion, so it is unnecessary to use arguments that are fallacious.

For example, see:

  • World Religions Volume 3 deals with the religious aspects of an evolutionary worldview and how to refute it philosophically.
  • Glass House deals with the specific evolutionary arguments like alleged missing links, alleged chromosome 2 fusion, origin of life, natural selection, mutations, the allegation that humans and chimps are 98% similar in DNA, and so on.

Friday, June 21, 2024

RIP

 

RIP—"Rest in Peace”—A Biblical Concept?

 Bodie Hodge, M.Sc., B.SC., PEI

 Biblical Authority Ministries, June 21, 2024

 

When someone dies, I often hear people comment “rest in peace” or RIP. It’s a common phrase around Halloween and other Days of the Dead. It’s put on gravestones.

Why do people say this? Where does it come from? Let’s evaluate this, shall we?


Non-Christian Worldviews

In a secular worldview where you are just matter in motion—when you die, you’re done and nothing mattered. I don’t hold to that religion, but I know people trapped in that religion who were taught this false belief for years in government schools.

There is no reason to say RIP if you are secular. There is no rest nor peace in that belief since you’re supposed to be nothing but matter.

Other religions fare no better. Consider monism (i.e., Eastern religions) where all is spirit. There is no rest in their afterlife, but only struggle in a reincarnated phase. If you ever do make it to the end, it’s not rest but a form of cancellation.

Biblical Worldview

So where does the idea of “rest in peace” come from? It actually comes from the Bible. It’s indicative of a soul that continues to endure even after death, which will either be in heaven or in hell. In hell, there is no rest.

There is no rest for the wicked; they will be punished with the wrath of God upon them for all eternity. That is what hell is—a punishment.

However, those in Christ will have rest and have entered into Christ’s eternal rest. Those who believe in Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection will be saved from the second death, which is hell.

Because Christ took the punishment that we deserve on the cross—the wrath of God—for our sin, it was paid for by the Son of God. He was in a position to take that punishment. Only He was in that distinct position, being who He was. Essentially, the infinite Son of God took the infinite punishment from the infinite Father, and that satisfied God’s wrath upon sin. In this, you can see the essential aspect of the triune God—the three persons of the one God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In Daniel 12:13 and Isaiah 57:2, we see instances of the godly resting in death. But the ungodly and wicked will have no peace or rest (Isaiah 57:21). There are a number of instances in the Old Testament of rest (compare Psalm 95:11 to Hebrews 4:3-11), and these are foreshadowings of the eternal rest that we will have in heaven with God.

The New Testament echoes this “rest,” viewing the godly as in a temporary state of being “asleep” (e.g., Acts 13:36; 1 Corinthians 15:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:10). When we believe in Jesus, we enter that rest. So when Christians die and they are laid in the grave, it is often viewed as a “sleeping period” or “rest period” until the general resurrection of all mankind unto judgment—since death has no sting for Christians (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).

Christians, when they die, are seen as resting in peace—indicative of their placement in Christ and awaiting the blessing of heaven and God’s eternal blessing forever. When someone says "rest in peace," that is indicative of a Christian who is waiting for the general resurrection.

RIP is a comment of hope in Christ. Sadly, many people use this phrase for people who are not Christians. It will literally be a rude awakening for those who are not in Christ, for there will be no rest for all eternity.

I want to encourage you to consider the claim of Jesus Christ as given in the Scriptures. Jesus died for our sins, and He was resurrected into life. He has the power over eternal life and eternal death, only through His shed blood.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Positions Statements BAM

 

BAM Positions Statements Regarding A Variety Of Issues

Bodie Hodge, M.Sc., M.Sc., PEI (and editors)

 Biblical Authority Ministries, June 15, 2024

 

I’m often asked about various scientific, moral, and biblical positions regarding issues that surround creation and biblical authority. Some positions are easy to give answers to—and others are not as easy simply because there are multiple models on some issues. 

I’ve been involved in lists like this for years, but I wanted to make this one available as a training tool. It is designed to give succinct position statements to hosts of issues outside of the Statement of Faith—like secondary tier positions. I included links to articles and chapters when available for more information so that these position statements could be kept as short as possible.    

Bible

·       Creation of angels: they were definitely created during creation week. Job 38:7 could mean that angels were created early on Day 1, so they could witness the formation of the Earth, or the passage could be referring to the separation of the dry land (also called “Earth”) from the sea on Day 3.

·       Seasons: started from Genesis 1:14, which strongly suggests an axial tilt from then. Reject the idea that there were no seasons before the Flood, although the seasons may be more extreme now. Leave open the possibility that the seasons referred to are the moon cycles as per Psalms 104:19.

·       Genesis 2:19: most appropriately translated as the pluperfect “had formed”, which would eliminate any perceived contradiction with the order in Genesis 1.

·       Fall of Satan and the demons: definitely after God had declared all His creation “very good”, and there is also no hint of anything to spoil the 7th day that God blessed, so most likely on Day 8 or later but soon, prior to the serpent’s deception of Eve.

·       Fall of mankind: after Satan’s fall, but before the conception of Cain. Therefore, the Fall could not have occurred too long after Day 8 because Adam and Eve were commanded to “fill the Earth”, they would have obeyed in their unfallen state, and their physically perfect bodies would have been capable of conceiving immediately.

·       No gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11, and they are strict chronologies. See New Answers Book 2, General Editor, Ken Ham, chapter by Larry Pierce and Ken Ham on Gaps in the Genealogies.

·       The Masoretic Text preserves the correct chronology in Genesis 5 and 11; the Septuagint is demonstrably inflated, and contains the (obvious) error that Methuselah lived over a decade after the Flood.

·       Genesis 6:3: 120 years is the time until the Flood, not individual longevity.

·       Genesis 10:25: Peleg and “earth was divided”: refers to linguistic division at Babel and subsequent territorial division.  Reject idea that it refers to continent division.

·       Terah was 130 when Abraham was born—Genesis 12:4 says Abraham was 75 when he left Haran soon after Terah died at 205 (Genesis 11:32).  Genesis 11:26 means that Terah was 70 before any of those sons were born.

·       Genealogies of Christ: currently the most plausible explanation of the differences between Matthew and Luke is that Luke traced His line through Mary while Matthew traced it through Joseph.

·       Matthew’s genealogies have gaps, but they are intentional, and there is no chronological information, unlike Genesis 5 and 11.

·       Cainan in Luke 3:36 seems best explained as a later copyist’s insertion.

·       Jesus was the physical descendant of Mary.

·       Titus 2:13 and 2 Peter 1:1: the correct translation is “… of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ”, as per the Granville Sharp rule of NT Greek grammar.

·       Creationist apologetics: should be presuppositional (Van Tillian) rather than evidential.  It should also be two-pronged — it’s important to develop biblical and scientific models in various disciplines, but it’s also important to oppose anti-God evolutionary thinking (2 Corinthians 10:5). See Always Ready by Dr Greg Bahnsen and The Ultimate Proof of Creation by Dr Jason Lisle.

·       Bible Chronology: Ussher (The Annals of the World) and Jones (The Chronology of the Old Testament) are arguably the best…though neither is without error. Even remedial calculations reveal approximately 6,000-year creation having 4,000 from Creation to Christ.

·       Number of books in the Bible: 66 (Absolute on this) in accordance with Christ through the prophets and apostles: the 39 books of the Old Testament as per Christ’s inclusion in the 3 major divisions of these 39 books of the Jews in Luke 24:44 (Law, Prophets and Psalms/Writings). New Testament books came through the authority of the Apostles as per Christ in John 14:26, John 15:26-27, Luke 11:48-49.

·       Apocrypha: Reject it as the authoritative Word of God. However, it can be useful to understand the history of the times. The books of the Apocrypha were never classed as Scripture by Christ or the Jews, nor did the writers of the New Testament use them. One such reason is that it never claimed to be Scripture, unlike other books of the Bible that often claim such things. Even one of the apocryphal books affirms there was no one speaking on God’s behalf at that time (1 Maccabees 9:27) when it says: “There had not been such great distress in Israel since the time prophets ceased to appear among the people.”

 

Science

·       Distant starlight: The secular position has the same problem with no actual solution (Horizon Problem).

·       De-emphasize arguments that claim the distances to stars are inaccurate.

·       Reject light-in-transit as deceptive.

·       C-decay still has some unresolved problems so we are cautious, although there are some secular scientists use c-decay (CDK) to solve problems with the “big bang”.

·       Humphreys and Hartnett’s Relativistic Models (which are different) have descent aspects but still need work (Humphreys recently amended his view).

·       Lisle’s Cosmological Time Zone Model (ASC) is the most plausible scientific model so far. (Another model based on ASC was released at an ICC (international Conference on Creationism) as well as the Carmelian model)

·       Hartnett’s Carmelian Physics Model assumes aspects of the ASC model to get started (ASC). 

·       Leave open the miraculous for Adam to see it on Day 6 [this is creation week, and keep in mind we do not understand all the properties of light and that God created then separated light on Day 1 (Genesis 1:4); Genesis 1:17 reveals God made then set lights in the expanse (sun and moon), so there is biblical precedence that God can do what He wishes with physical light, light sources, and other bodies like the moon during creation week.] The Dasha Solution by Danny Faulkner is based on this model, and though it solves the problem during Creation Week; it doesn’t solve it thereafter.

·       Also, leave open models and possibilities that have yet to be discovered.

·       Longevity decline: emphasize genetic factors and the two major population bottlenecks (the Flood and Babel); de-emphasize environmental changes, while keeping options open, e.g., Shem was born before the Flood and only lived 600 years. 120 years in Genesis 6:3 is the countdown to the Flood from that point (which is prior to God instructing Noah to build an Ark in vs. 13). 120 years is not to be understood as a maximum individual lifespan, as several from Shem to Abraham exceeded this amount significantly.

·       Catastrophic plate tectonics (or even a shortened version of it[1]) seems to be the best explanation of continental shifts in the Flood so far—based on an idea first proposed by creationist Antonio Snider in the 1800s. However, BAM recognizes that some reputable creation scientists disagree with plate tectonics. Note it appears that many of the major plate movements likely ceased by Day 150 per Genesis 8:1-4 as the mountains of Ararat would have formed [if our current models of mountain building are correct] by the collision of the Eurasian, African, and Arabian plates (with influence by the Indian plate). Further massive movements would possibly cause another global Flood and remove the Ark from its resting place in the mountains of Ararat. The springs of the great deep and windows of heaven were closed at this time.

·       Adam’s naming all the animals: emphasize that it was only selective groups (beasts of the field), cattle, and birds, and that kinds are much broader than today’s species; de-emphasize Adam’s allegedly far greater intelligence [first, even a genius doesn’t have super-fast reaction times; second, Adam’s intelligence may have been a mean like skin tone, although most of us would think that due to subsequent degenerative mutations, and evidence of latent “genius” capacities in humanity, even the “mean” back then was probably vastly superior to today].  It may also be that God “pre-programmed” Adam with a vocabulary for the animals, as He would have had to do for some other everyday concepts for which words are “learned” by experience through childhood.

·       Woolly mammoths—best explanation so far is that most were buried in dust storms near the end of the post-Flood Ice Age (Mike Oard, TJ 14(3):24–34, 2000).  Reject “snap freeze”.

·       Age of the Earth: should be based on the Bible, not fallible ideas that are derived outside of Scripture (e.g., uniformitarian methods like radiometric dating or uniformitarian assumptions about geological rock layers, starlight, alleged cooling of the earth, etc. 

·       Radiometric “dating”: scientists observe isotope ratios; age is an interpretation of these ratios.  Possible correct explanations of the observations include geochemical factors, initial created amounts, and accelerated nuclear decay rates, depending on the specific cases. And of course, other assumptions that can lead to faulty results. Carbon 14 is no exception.

·       Mt. Ararat is probably not the landing site of the Ark since it is a post-Flood volcano sitting aloft on Flood layers without massive evidence of pillow lava (which results from volcanoes going off underwater) and Flood fossils. We have records of numerous eruptions of it over the years. Mt Cudi (Judi) near the beginning of the Tigris River is attested to in more ancient literature as Mt Ararat, so this is a strong possibility but leave it open.[2] Also, leave open the possibility that Ark remains, if they still exist, may not be on a mountain but perhaps a sub-basin within the mountains of Ararat. Lean toward Genesis 8:5 (“tops of the mountains became visible”) as being either being on a mountain where others were much lower in elevation or that the water vapor and water level restricted their vision.   

·       Ice Age: there was one (Ice Age—usually denoted in caps when referring to the one that followed the Flood) that was triggered by the Flood (having warm oceans and cool summers which is a rare recipe for an ice age). Warm oceans yield more accumulation of snow in the winter and cool summers prevent the snow and ice from completely retreating each year.  Over several years the accumulated snow and ice result in an ice age. There were surely fluctuations in this Ice Age. Mike Oard, a retired meteorologist and biblical creationist, estimates the peak of the Ice Age (in caps denotes the post-Flood ice age, so as not to be confused with the many alleged ice ages in the secular view over tens and hundreds of thousands of years.) This Ice Age would have removed water from the oceans and deposited it on land opening land bridges to North America as well as Australia, permitting animals to migrate there after the Flood. Recognize that there are two creationists’ models by Mike Oard and Larry Vardiman that have many similarities but also some differences. Vardiman’s model begins with a predominantly wet earth at the end of the Flood but in light of Genesis 8:13-14, this may not be the best presupposition to begin a model with.

·       Reject traditional Egyptian chronology, which is based on Manetho and Sothic theory – of which, neither should be used for strict chronologies. Manetho did not record that multiple pharaohs were ruling at the same time in either the Upper, Middle, or Lower Kingdoms.  Egyptologist David Down’s revised chronologies (see Unwrapping the Pharaohs) bring the dates within about 60 years of Ussher and Jones anyway. But biblical chronologies should be favored over revised Egyptian chronologies.

·       The meaning of the bene elohim and nephilim in Genesis 6 are lent toward the fallen man views where godly men fell into sin with ungodly women and their children became very wicked and fallen from grace. 

 

Moral, ethical and social issues

·       Abortion: we believe that individual life begins at conception or in today’s medically-defined terms “fertilization” (Psalm 51:5). [note: to clarify, this is when the sperm and egg combine, which is the traditional definition of conception not the new medically redefined definition of when the combined sperm and egg implant in the uterus. Fertilization is the new medical term for the egg and sperm combining]. Refutations of abortion excuses are available here.

·       Cloning: artificial human cloning is immoral, animal cloning acceptable in principle under Dominion Mandate of Genesis 1:28. Though extreme care should be involved in the debate.

·       Stem cells: Research on embryonic stem cells is morally wrong to due to murder of an unborn baby that has a right to life. Using adult stems does not involve the taking of a life and is permitted. 

·       Genetic engineering, including GM foods: acceptable in principle under the Dominion Mandate for research, but advocate caution in applying little-known technology, and point out the dangers in the evolutionary framework that much of this technology operates in.

·       Euthanasia: This absolutely goes against the principles outlined throughout the Bible on the sanctity of life.

·       Global Warming: At this stage (2009), the only global temperature changes that have been measured are in the “tenths” of a degree. The fluctuations of this actually mimic the solar output – so any global warming or cooling (which was the scare in the 1970’s) is more reflective of the sun’s output as opposed to anything man-made. Reject the idea that increased CO2 (which is a common greenhouse gas) is the primary reason for this fluctuation. The fact that water (H2O) vapor is the most common greenhouse gas should be a sign that CO2 was not the major culprit—though does have minor affects. In the long age scenario, they view the globe as having precious little change over long periods of time, so they see small fluctuations and assume we messed everything up. However, from a biblical view, there was a global Flood, which wreaked havoc about 4350 years ago.  Most creationists hold to a post-Flood Ice Age as temperature fluctuations were expected and we are still seeing small effects of that today. So minor fluctuations are expected.          

·       Environment/Environmentalism: we must take into account that God created things “good” even before man’s arrival, and that God has given man dominion. Overall, it’s a “wisdom” issue, avoiding extremes of careless destruction of the environment and nature worship. But we should take care of God’s world.

·       Teaching “creationism” in public schools? We reject such compulsion. Such campaigns mobilize fierce opposition and usually make it even harder for Christian teachers to teach the problems with an evolutionary worldview. We would be happy if teachers were allowed to freely teach evolution “warts and all”. Besides, if evolution-believing teachers were forced to teach creation, they would likely misrepresent it anyway because they are unfamiliar with the actual arguments. Our strategy is to distribute creation and biblical authority material through Christians in their local churches. We find that the message permeates right through the community, inadvertently affecting kids and teachers in the schools, using this strategy. We are called to go into all the world and preach the gospel (Great Commission), not to change the culture. Cultures change as a result of the gospel. Though we respect rulings that religions are not to be taught in government sponsored schools, we ask that other religions such as the religion of humanism (which includes evolution, millions of years, and big bang) and sexual humanism (LGBT, promiscuity, etc.), which currently has free reign in the schools be removed as well. 

·       Pre-Flood boundary: BAM recognizes that the exact onset of the Flood isn’t always cut and dried evenly throughout the world. However, it tends to lie about at the Camrian/Pre-Cambrian layers when fossils begin to be laid down at the onset of the Flood.

·       Post-Flood boundary: BAM tends to prefer a high post-Flood boundary because Eocene and Miocene rock layers are intricate to the mountain-building process in the mountains of Ararat which formed by Day 150. Though, we recognize there are respectable creationists who put it a little lower in certain places. Much of this depends on the correlation and mapping of strata as well. Reject Robinson’s “vanishing Flood” model or any tranquil Flood model.

 

Positions that need more research

·       Shrinking sun.

·       The boundaries of the created kinds in specific instances are closer to a family level [in the Linnaean Classification System] or Baramin level in the Biblical Classification System in most cases, but order, genus, and species in others. All humans are one kind and reject that man is part of Hominidae, which would include apes like chimpanzees as secular models places man. Our preference is to classify things based on internal biblical taxonomy, which currently needs more research.

·       Some Scriptural passages seeming to teach modern scientific ideas that the original readers would not have read into the passages.

·       The geologic column—stratigraphy is an area that more research is needed especially horizontal correlations.

BAM corporately has a non-negotiable ‘no-position position’

·       Certain denominational matters on which people who agree with our SoF may differ, e.g., subject and mode of baptism (but reject baptismal regeneration as denying Sola Fide, so contrary to our SoF), Calvinism/Arminianism, church government, Saturday vs. Sunday worship, speaking in tongues (but reject this as essential to salvation), eschatology (although reject the idea that Sunday keeping is the “mark of the Beast”) or views based on “new revelation” and so on. These will only be published on a case-by-case basis.  

[Editor’s note: there are those rare cases where some of these issues may conflict with our Statement of Faith.  If this is the case, then BAM may get into it. For example, in hyperpreterism, it is denied that Christ will have future return and that the curse has been removed, hence death before sin and other theological problems that violate the Statement of Faith].

[Editor’s note 2: in reality all doctrines are interconnected and this makes it difficult to remain silent in some areas and vocal in others. So, it is fine line that BAM has to walk and we ask for a little forgiveness as we walk this line. Some prefer us to dive into one area more and other prefer that we not dive into some areas at all so we have to draw the line someplace and this is done so that do not lose our focus on biblical authority surrounding origins which is among the biggest debate in today’s culture.  We do want to encourage you to know what you and your denominations believe and do respect its importance.]  

·       As a ministry, we do not have political party or candidate allegiance.

 

 



[1] That is run it backwards, but as far Pangaea.

[2] Crouse, Bill; and Franz, Gordon. 2006 Mount Cudi – True mountain of Noah’s Ark. Bible and Spade 19/499-113.

Welcome

  Welcome to Biblical Authority Ministries !   As the name implies, this Christian ministry is focused on biblical authority.  Simply put,...