Category Archives: Bible Posts, Debates, and Questions

The Sun | A Conventional Essay with a Biblical Opinion

The following essay is written with the information taught as fact by the Ron Paul Curriculum. Whether or not the information is true is debatable, but since is a school assignment, I will write the essay as such.

“Of all the celestial objects with which we are acquainted, none make so strong and universal an impression upon our globe as does the Sun. He is that very light, ‘the greater light to rule the day,’ as stated in the first chapter of the book of Genesis; a vast and fiery orb, kindled by the Almighty on the morn of creation, to cheer the dark abyss, and to pour his radiance upon surrounding worlds. Compared with him, all the other solar bodies are of inconsiderable dimensions; and without him, they would be wrapped in the gloom of interminable night.”

~Hiram Mattison1

We are often amazed by the complexity of our planet: Earth. However, it would be impossible to perceive this complexity without yet one more amazing planet: The Sun.

The Sun provides the necessary light and heat required for humans, animals, insects, and plants. It is exponentially larger than all the planets in our Solar system. Let me put the Sun into perspective for you:

  1. It would take 300,30,000 Earth sized objects to equal the mass of the Sun
  2. Our Solar system is approximately 99% composed of the Sun.
  3. The diameter of the sun is 864, 059 miles1

The Sun isn’t just big, as everyone knows, it is incredibly hot as well. At its core, the sun is 15 million degrees Celsius or 28 million degrees Fahrenheit! To protect us from this super-hot light, we are (Earth is) positioned 93 million miles away from the Sun.3Many are aware how fast sound and light can travel (known as the speed of sound and the speed of light); but believe it or not, if there was a sound that could travel the necessary distance from the Sun to the Earth, it would take at least 14 years, and Sunlight coming to Earth at a rate of 186,262 miles per second takes over eight minutes to reach us!1

You might say, “If the sun is just a swirling mass of hot flaming gas, what is the Sun made of? How does it burn being that there is not oxygen in space? And if it does burn, how come it doesn’t burn up?”

Well, the sun is 98% composed of Hydrogen and Helium. To answer the second two questions, it is important to understand that the sun doesn’t really “burn.” It creates its light from a process called Nuclear Fusion which happens when protons collide and release energy (in the form of light) in the process.2

Here is a super cool illustration/explanation of how the sun operates:

“As for its energy production, it is believed that the sunlight we see every day is made of units of radiant energy called photons which originate in the inferno of the Sun’s core. They may take many years slowly wandering up to the surface, then in a little more than eight minutes they speed across the 93,000,000 miles of space to the Earth, if they happen to be headed our way. Depending upon the wavelength or amount of energy a photon has, it may be absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, reflected back into space, or it may zip down to the Earth’s surface to warm a flea or a blade of grass for an instant.”

~ICR.org

You can see why the sun has to be so big for such a large consumption of photons every second (with such a small production rate) to be possible!

Important Note: The above information was from a view taught by the conventional educational facilities. It is not necessarily right. The following provides reason (for Bible believers) for doubt and question as to the validity of what we have been told.

Opinion:

Something that is important to remember is the sequence of creation as recorded in Genesis. Many may not realize that the first light God created (Genesis 1:3-5) was not the Sun. Actually, Genesis 1:16 shows that the creation of the Sun, Moon, and stars only happened on Day Four.

As you saw, I bolded “stars” for a reason. Genesis doesn’t say the Sun is a star, on the contrary, it says that the Moon (a light to rule the night) and the Sun (a light to rule the day) are lights – not planets or stars. This also implies that the moon does nor reflect the sun’s, but rather, gives its own light.

Sources:

  1. https://www.icr.org/article/392/344/
  2. https://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question36.html
  3. https://www.thesuntoday.org/the-sun/solar-structure/

Acts 15 – Obedience or Legalism?

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godnot by works, so that no one can boast.”

~Ephesians 2:8-9

In Acts 15, there are four groups that are identified:

  1. The first century leadership (Acts 15:4. Apostles and elders in Jerusalem)
  2. The legalists (Acts 15:1. This group is NOT defined as believers, and they taught that salvation is by the observance of the law)
  3. The believing Pharisees (Acts 15:5. This group IS specifically defined as believers, they are saved. Thus, they must know that salvation is by faith. BUT, they still keep the Law (as Paul does))
  4. Gentile converts (Acts 15:20 (and obviously, other places). This group consists of the new converts; however, they are still practicing that which is ungodly (idolatry, temple prostitution, the drinking of blood, etc).

So, WHAT IS THE DEBATE ABOUT?

We have 2 groups each having their own position:

  1. The first group believes that the Law is NECESSARY for salvation (Acts 15:1)
  2. The second group believes that salvation is through faith, but that the Law should be obeyed out of a love for God.  (Acts 15:5)

These are TWO groups from TWO geographical locations with TWO different doctrines. They both want their position to be projected upon the Gentile converts; the debate decides who is right. The answer to this debate will show clearly who is wrong and who is correct.

So far…

There are several parties at the Jerusalem Council:

  1. The Leadership
  2. The Legalists
  3. Believers
  4. Greek converts

It is ESSENTIAL to realize that the Legalists were NOT believers (Acts 15:1). It is ESSENTIAL to realize the Believers WERE TRUE BELIEVERS (Acts 15:5), AND they kept the Law.

Unfortunately, too often, people glance at this passage and think that it is about whether the Law is to be kept. This is clearly not the meaning of the passage. From the positions of the parties above, it is obvious that the meaning of this passage/debate is about whether the Gentile converts need to keep the Law for salvation.

In other words, people try to create a new debate with new context.

Nowhere in this passage does it present the position that the Law of God (which is clearly synonymous with the Law of Moses (see Luke 2:22-24)) is abolished!

Evidently, the Greek converts weren’t keeping the Law very well OR AT ALL, because otherwise, there would have been no need for the debate.

So what happens in the rest of the passage?

  1. Acts 15:8-9
  2. Peter stands up and gives testimony that the Gentiles were able to be saved ONLY by FAITH!

POINT 1 AGAINST THE LEGALISTS!!!!

  • Acts 15:10
  • Peter stands up and says that people were never able to be saved through works. It’s impossible – a yoke. Thus, salvation must be by some other means.

Quick note:

We know that the “yoke” referred to in this verse is NOT the Law, because GOD HIMSELF SAID that the Law was easy and light (Deuteronomy 30:11-16 and John 5:3). We know that Peter cannot be contradicting God.

POINT 2 AGAINST THE LEGALISTS!!!!

So far…

Peter blows up Position number 1’s view (the Legalistic view). He just shreds it. However, he says nothing against Position number 2. Peter clearly supports the view that the Believers in the faith should still keep the Law of Moses in obedience, but not for salvation, but BECAUSE of their salvation.

NO NEW DEBATE HAS BEEN INTRODUCED! ALL HAS SO FAR BEEN CONSISTENT WITH THE DEBATE IN ACTS 15:1, AND ACTS 15:5.

What happens next?

  1. Paul and Barnabas share stories of miracles among the Gentiles.
  2. James suggests a solution:

“It is my judgment…that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For the Law of Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”

~Acts 15:19-21

Now, the Law is not a yoke. We have already established that. The Law ONLY becomes a yoke when one thinks they can keep it for salvation. So why does James think that we should go easy on the Gentiles?

James is saying that it would be difficult to force the Gentiles to keep, and understand, the Law right away. No one can understand all of God’s ways right away. Thus, he says that they should stop doing those acts which are linked with pagan idolatry, and over time, they will learn about the other Laws because God’s Law is “preached in every city and is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

James proposes that, to make it easier on the Gentile converts, they should encourage the new believers to stop engaging in pagan cultic worship practices.  He states that over time, the Gentiles will eventually come to understand other ways that God wants to be loved.

Unfortunately, many Christians think that James was saying that those four things (to abstain from food polluted by idols, to abstain from sexual immorality, to abstain from the meat of strangled animals, and to abstain from blood) are all that Gentile Christians are required to keep. However, this is certainly not what James was saying:

  1. Because of context
  2. Because it would make no sense
  3. I would have to abstain from those four things, but I can go murder and steal?! No!
  4. Are we to assume that James directly quoted Laws out of the Law, to go and state that we do not need to keep the Law?! No!

It’s obvious that the last sentence “For Moses is read…” was part of their plan for the gentiles! It’s the,
“Do this now, then come and learn,” idea.

Conclusion:

Acts 15 is a debate. There are two parties in the debate:

  1. The Legalists (Acts 15:1)
  2. The Believers (Acts 15:5)

The first party believes that you need to keep the Law for salvation. The second party, specifically noted as believers, believes that one should keep the Law after salvation. These are the ONLY two points addressed in this passage.

In the end, the leadership sides with party number 2: The Believers. They say that all are saved through faith, but that one should keep the Law in obedience.

Here are the steps discussed as the proper road of salvation:

Step 1: Faith in God (Acts 15:7)

BUT…

After you have faith…

Step 2: Leave Cultic False God Worship (Acts 15:20)

Step 3: Learn the Law (Acts 15:21)

Step 4: Obey God’s Law (Acts 15:5)

Despite the clear stating of these points, many Christians refuse to realize their presence, and instead, choose to believe that Acts 15 abolished the Law.

However, to reach such a conclusion, they have to do the following:

  1. Ignore the purpose and the positions in the debate (Acts 15:1 and Acts 15:5)
  2. Create a new debate by interjecting a made-up new position.
  3. Ignore the fact that valid believers existed that taught and believed that, after salvation in faith, one should keep the Law.
  4. Ignore the fact that NOBODY corrected the Believers in the Acts debate, but instead, supported them!
  5. Ignore that the commands that James presented to give to the Gentiles came directly out of the Law.
  6. Ignore that Acts 15:21 is part of the decision for the Gentiles to follow.
  7. Ignore that Jesus said that, until heaven and earth pass away, the Law will NOT be abolished (Mathew 5:17).
  8. Ignore that Jesus said that those who teach that the Law has been abolished will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mathew 5:17-20).
  9. Ignore that Jesus said that those who teach – and practice – the Law will be greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Mathew 5:17-20).
  10. Ignore that Scripture calls the Law:
  11. Perfect (Psalm 19:7)
  12. Just (Nehemiah 9:13)
  13. Good (Proverbs 4:2)
  14. Life (Proverbs 6:23)
  15. Truth (Psalm 119:142)
  16. Light (Isaiah 8:20)
  17. The Way (Malachi 2:8)
  18. Freedom (Psalm 119:45)
  19. Holy (Romans 7:12)

Thus, it would be a VERY bad thing to abolish God’s Law. Taking Laws from a PERFECT Law, would only render it un-perfect, and incomplete.

Finally, check this out! 

Immediately after the Jerusalem Council, Paul, Silas and Timothy take the decision of the Jerusalem Council to the churches in Galatia.

 “Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.”

~Acts 16:1-4

Okay, let’s just think this though:

  1. IF the Jerusalem Council DID in fact meet to discuss whether the Law should be kept
  2. And IF the Jerusalem Council DID in fact decide that the Law should not be kept
  3. Then why in the world did Paul CIRCUMCISE Timothy…to go and deliver the message that you don’t need to be circumcised?

Doesn’t make sense right?

Let me know what you think.  Please keep your comments relative to the subject matter presented.

How Do We Know that Jesus Really Lived? — Defend Your Faith

I’m sure we’ve all asked at one time or the other, “How do I know that the Bible is true?”

If not, you should.

I have been in correspondence with those who question the Bible’s historical validity. I don’t blame them. One should test every documents’ validity – especially those that will change your life.

But what if I showed you a place to start? A place to begin to find validity of the Bible in history?

Is there evidence outside of the New Testament that proves Jesus really lived?

How Do We Know that Jesus Really Lived? — Defend Your Faith