2017 Bible Reading Plan
Commit to spending some time each week in 2017 paying attention to the message of the prophets! Download the Bible reading schedule here. This week's reading is Isaiah 4-8.
2017 Teen Weekend
Join us for a weekend devoted to praising God, learning His will and forming Christian bonds. Singing for all ages on Friday night, Saturday sessions are open to all teens and then on Sunday we will meet for Bible study and worship. For more information click here.
From the desk of Taylor Pickup
Relatives hold a special place in our lives. They aren’t in the same category as everyone else. Being related to someone means that you have an unbreakable connection with that person, more significant than that of friends, acquaintances, or strangers. Yes, there are family relationships which are weak, awkward, or even harmful, but most of the time relationships with family are strong and cherished.
Matthew’s gospel records Jesus’ idea of family: “'Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?' And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, 'Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'” (Matt. 12:46-50)
When we understand who Jesus really is, we realize how incredible it is that He made this statement. The Son of God, the eternal King of the universe, said He was related to those of us who do the will of God. Righteous deity claimed a familial relationship with wretched, lowly man. However, it feels somewhat uncomfortable to think of ourselves as a brother, sister, or mother to Jesus. We aren’t worthy to be in that honored position! We don’t deserve such a glorious status! But Jesus said the words anyway. He grants us the status of a family member, joined together with Him as we seek to obey and glorify the Father. Let us remember this as we are gathered together this morning to worship our Lord.
This Week's News: The Bad, The Fake & The Good by Joshua Creel
The news has been on my mind a lot this week. There's the bad news of all the wickedness going on in our world. News like I heard this week of the increasing problem of child-trafficking occurring in major cities across our country. News that makes you agree with Solomon that "in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain." (Ecclesiastes 1.18)
Then there's the "fake news" I've been hearing so much about. I'm not exactly sure what qualifies as fake news, but it concerns me nonetheless. Based on Facebook and Twitter many of us are consumed with news, but most of these "news stories" don't agree with each other. I fear many of us are struggling with our desire to stay informed and the danger of becoming obsessed. And that is of concern to God because it may indicate that we have forgotten our status as pilgrims here (Phil. 3.20).
But today my mind is on good news. This good news provides hope for all who are wanting to escape the horrors of this world. This news is true because it comes directly from God and thus must not be altered in any way. And this news provides the context for our worship today because it proclaims that our salvation has been found in Christ! (Romans 1.16-17)
Are We 99% Chimps? by Steve Patton
John Stonestreet of Breakpoint recently wrote an excellent response to a frequently trumpeted falsehood -that humans and chimpanzees are 99% identical. It has become an accepted factoid serving as a basic principle of many world views. The problem with this is it’s simply not true.
Here are some of the points Stonestreet makes:
• The Genome Project (who produced this 99% factoid) only compared protein-coding segments of the genome, which, in humans, accounts for only 2% of the total genome! For years it was claimed the other 98% was just junk DNA but scientists are slowly learning that is far from the truth. The other 98% regulates and determines how other genes are expressed, especially in the brain. In other words the other 98% is really what determines what makes humans, humans and chimps, chimps.
• There was bias in how the comparison was made that produced flawed results. Scientists used the human genome to sequence the chimpanzee genome. Stonestreet says that is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle based on how another jigsaw puzzle is put together. You can get the results you want by using this bias.
(continued on page 3)
• There are special proteins that switch roughly 1/3 of human genes on and off during development. Apes don’t even have these proteins.
• Based on what we know now, our shared DNA with chimps is only 92%. To put that in perspective our genes are 90% similar to cats!
As Stonestreet concludes, even if we were 99% similar in genes, it would not make us 99% chimps any more than a diamond’s 99% carbon composition makes it coal!
We are “fearfully and wonderfully made and wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14).