The Gettysburg address is perhaps one of the greatest speeches in our nation’s history. Perhaps this is because of the critical point that our nation had reached at the time that it was given. At that time we were split in our beliefs on a very divisive issue, fighting just to let our nation survive. Perhaps it was because of the content of the speech, its focus on the very principles which made our nation great. Perhaps it was because of the extremely patriotic nature in which it was given, full of American pride and devotion. Or perhaps it is the dedication to freedom and liberty and justice that is found in every word of this speech, the dedication that it inspires in all those privileged souls who are truly American. Whatever the reason, this piece is very much a part of this country’s story, and it deserves some special focus as we approach Independence Day. The following is my own thoughts on the Gettysburg address, sentence by sentence.

“Eighty- seven years ago, our ancestors founded this country on the principle of liberty and the declaration that all men were created to be equal, and have the same basic rights. This civil war has tested whether these ideas, and a nation which was based on these ideas, can survive for long. While meeting in the place where a significant battle in this war occurred, part of this battlefield is offered as a burial place for those who gave everything for their country and what our country was founded on. This is a very good thing to do, but merely words do not make this place special. The men who fought, and what happened in that great battle are what make Gettysburg special. Words cannot add importance to this place, because soon these words will no longer be remembered, but the events that transpired here, and the significance behind them, will never be forgotten. Our task as those who still live is to work for the cause that these men died to protect, to finish what they started. The best way to honor their sacrifice is to take in our hearts the principles and beliefs which were supremely important to these men, and dedicate ourselves to see the fulfillment of all they hoped to accomplish when they fought here; that all men may be granted their God-given rights in these United States of America, and that this unique country and its supporting idea of freedom for all men will not disappear so long as we are willing to defend them.”

The Gettysburg address mainly emphasizes the idea of freedom for all men which the USA was founded on, and though the Civil War has tested that principle, there were still men who were willing to fight and die to protect this foundation. Though the dedication of the battlefield was meant to honor them, the best way to honor these men is to never forget what they died for, and to give everything we have to further the cause of freedom.

When I read the Gettysburg address, I think of what it takes for this country to survive. This country will always be challenged, and our founding beliefs and principles will always be resented by some. We must remember the great men who fought and died for our country in the past, “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion”. We must remember what they died for, and never forget the sacrifice that those men made so we could live in freedom. We must learn from their example, and always be willing to protect our country, and the principles of liberty which make this country great. The willingness of the American people to defend and fight for our freedom, along with the grace of God, is what has preserved this country, what will continue to preserve this country, and we must never take that for granted.

Evolution: Science or Religion?

One subject that is important to me is the evolution versus creation debate. I've been interested in biology ever since my first high school biology course, and since then I have read several books, watched many DVDs, and taken several classes that have to do with this subject. One thing that I don't understand is how scientists can honestly look at the evidence and still claim that evolution is how life originated. Science is about observing, gathering the evidence, and coming to the most sensible conclusion based on that evidence. Yet time and time again, evolutionists ignore or distort the evidence to make it agree with what they want to believe. That's not good science. That's not even good ethics.

Here I must distinguish between microevolution and macroevolution. I find that alot of people get these two mixed up or think they mean the same thing. Microevolution, or small changes within a certain kind of animal, does occur and can actually be observed. We observe it when bacteria become resistant to certain antibiotics, or when we see a lot of variety within a kind of animal, such as with dogs.

Macroevolution, when one kind of animal changes into a different kind of animal, has not been proven, nor can it ever be proven. Why? Because we can't observe it happening; there is no way to observe it therefore there is no way to absolutely prove it happens. This applies to every theory dealing with the origins of life, evolution and creation; we can never prove how life actually started.

As to which theory is more likely, however, there is no doubt in my mind. There is no conclusive evidence for evolution whatsoever, in fact there is evidence against it. Many evolutionists have admitted to this, even Darwin himself. As I stated above, I've done some studying on this subject, and there is a lot of evidence that evolutionists just can't seem to fit into their mold, so they ignore it or twist it to make it look like it says what they want it to say. I can't get into all of the evidences right now or this blog would be way too long , but I will give one quick example.

The sun is slowly getting smaller. Not to worry, it's still so huge that it won't burn out for millions of years yet. But it stands to reason that if the sun is getting smaller, it used to be bigger. Some scientists did the math, and if the universe is really millions of years old, then millions of years ago the sun would have been so big and so hot that life could not have formed on earth. The proteins that make up even the simplest of cells denature, or unravel, at high temperatures; they could never have formed. Interesting, huh? Yet I've never heard an evolutionist or textbook address this.

If you want more information on the evidences in the creation/evolution debate, you should read "The Case for a Creator" by Lee Strobel (student or full version, both are good). You can also check out these websites that I've listed below. Answers In Genesis, founded by Ken Ham. Dr. Ken Hovind's Site. You can order some great DVDs from here too! The Institue for Christian Research. Lots of scientific research articles. There are a lot of articles on this site too.

So why do evolutionists still believe that evolution is how we got here? One of two options. Either they are truly ignorant of the evidence, or they are aware of the evidence and choose to believe in evolution. If this is the case, it must take just as much, if not more faith to believe in evolution as it does to believe in creation. So should there be another religion called Evolutionism? I think so. I think evolution is a religion hiding behind "science". So why do they get to put their religion into public schools, but whenever we suggest that the world may have been created we get a bad grade, suspended, or fired? It's not right, is it?

I know there are some Christians who believe in evolution and creation at the same time. They believe that when the Bible says seven days of creation, it really stands for millions of years. My question is this: Why? Why do they believe that? All the evidence that I've ever seen or read about fits with the theory of creation.

If the seven days of creation in Scripture really means millions of years, why stop there? Maybe the parts where it says that Jesus is God don't really mean that either. Maybe when it says He died to save you it doesn't really mean that. When you cheapen one part of the Bible, you cheapen the entire thing. There is absolutely no evidence against creation, and there is absolutely no conclusive evidence for evolution. Why not take God's Word at face value?

I've done my research, and I've made up my mind. What about you?

I know there are some of you out there don't agree with me. My challenge to you is this: Do some research. Check out the resources I mentioned, or find some of your own. Spend some time in prayer and ask God to show you the truth. Then come back and let me know what you think!

End note: I got the above image from the sample images on my computer.

Good Friday

Today I sit here looking out the window at the fog that has settled in the fields in front of my house. All week it has been beautiful, sunny and warm, something that is very unusual for this time of year. But today the fog that started as wisps around the distant mountains has gradually spread until I can no longer see them, or the sky.

Today is also Good Friday. A peculiar name, considering that two thousand years ago, what happened onn this day must have seemed far from good. Jesus, the one who was to fulfill all the prophesies from the Scriptures, was beaten by the very people the Jewish people had hoped He would deliver them from. He was scorned and ridiculed, and forced to walk up a long, dreary road, with the cross to which He would soon be nailed, His blood marking the way He traveled. It was a dark day, when all hopes seems to blow away, like the smoke from an extinguished candle.

Those of us who know the story also know that because He was God, death could not keep it's grip. The very next Sunday the empty tomb was discovered, and they knew He was alive. That is the glory, the joy, the power of God that all the events of this Passover week point to, at least to those of us who know who He really was and choose to follow Him. On such a day, it seems sunshine and warmth should wash the day in light.

But today, I think of the day He suffered. The day His blood marked the way to Calvary. The day He died. There was no joy for anyone present on that day; and I know they must have been grieving over the way He had to die. Today I think it is appropriate to put aside the triumph that would be His on Sunday, and focus on His death. Focus on the way He had to die; and most importantly on why He had to die. For everything I ever did, or ever will do wrong, He hung there, suspended only by the nails in His hands. When I think of His sorrow, His suffering, all because of me. Suddenly it seems that the weather today is just right; the soggy, weary, sorrowful countenance of this day reminds me that saving His children wasn't a happy affair.

But I know that regardless of the weather, the Son will shine on Sunday.
© Through Clouded Glass. Design by MangoBlogs.