Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Rhinoceros by Francis C. Woodworth

rom the accounts of those who are best acquainted with the rhinoceros, it appears that the animal is tamed only with great difficulty, and never to such an extent that it is always safe to approach him. Sir Everard Home gives the following account of one in a menagerie in London: "He was so savage, that about a month after he came, he endeavored to kill the keeper, and nearly succeeded. He ran at him with the greatest fury; but, fortunately, the horn of the animal passed between the keeper's thighs, and threw him on the head of the rhinoceros. The horn struck a wooden partition, into which it was forced to such a depth, that the animal, for a minute, was unable to withdraw it; and during this interval, the man escaped. By discipline, the keeper afterward got the management of him; but frequently, more especially in the middle of the night, fits of phrensy came on, and while these lasted, nothing could control his rage. He ran, with great swiftness, round his den, playing all kinds of antics, making hideous noises, breaking every thing to pieces, and disturbing the whole neighborhood. While this fit was on, the keeper never dared to come near him."

When the rhinoceros is quietly pursuing his way through his favorite glades of mimosa bushes (which his hooked upper lip enables him readily to seize, and his powerful grinders to masticate), his horns, fixed loosely in his skin, make a clapping noise by striking one against the other; but on the approach of danger, if his quick ear or keen scent makes him aware of the vicinity of a hunter, the head is quickly raised, and the horns stand stiff, and ready for combat on his terrible front. The rhinoceros is often accompanied by a sentinel, to give him warning—a beautiful green-backed and blue-winged bird, about the size of a jay—which sits on one of his horns.

The following account of the perils of a party hunting for the rhinoceros is given by Mr. Bruce, a traveler of celebrity: "We were on horseback, at the dawn of the day, in search of the rhinoceros; and after having searched about an hour in the thickest part of the forest, one of these animals rushed out with great violence, and crossed the plain toward a thicket of canes, at the distance of nearly two miles. But though he ran, or rather trotted, with surprising speed, considering his bulk, he was in a short time pierced with thirty or forty javelins. This attack so confounded him, that he left his purpose of going to the thicket, and ran into a deep ravine, without outlet, breaking about a dozen of the javelins as he entered. Here we thought he was caught in a trap—for he had scarcely room to turn—and a servant, who had a gun, standing directly over him, fired at his head. The animal fell immediately, to all appearance dead. All those on foot now jumped into the ravine, to cut him up. But they had scarcely begun, when the animal recovered himself so far as to rise upon his knees; and he would undoubtedly have destroyed several of the men, had not one of them, with great presence of mind, cut the sinew of the animal's hind leg. To this precaution they were indebted, under God, for their lives."

The rhinoceros and the elephant have been known to engage in a pitched battle, in which case the former always comes off victor. The combat, however, is a very furious one.

There are two species of the rhinoceros. The one which is represented in the engraving is the double-horned rhinoceros. It is perhaps the largest of land animals, with the exception of the elephant. When pursued, notwithstanding its large, unwieldy body, it can run with astonishing swiftness.

from Project Gutenberg - "Stories about Animals: with Pictures to Match by Francis C. Woodworth."

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ignorance Can Be Fixed; Stupidity Is Forever

Do you remember Dr. Laura?  Several years ago, on her radio talk show, she took a call from a sixteen-year-old girl who complained that her parents made her go to church with them. She claimed that she is an atheist and it is not fair that her parents subject her to a belief system that is contrary to her own.

Dr. Laura questioned her unbelief and emphasized that, in order to be credible, her position must be defended by sound reasoning. Dr. Laura wisely pointed out that millions of bright, educated and thinking people for thousands of years have concluded and defended a belief in a real God. It, therefore, seemed ignorant and foolish that a sixteen-year-old could dogmatically assert that there is no god. I think, at best, the girl can only be agnostic. There is no shame in admitting that one does not know for certain that God exists. That is what you call “ignorance” and ignorance is fixable; stupidity is forever.

When one avowed atheist sued the federal government, in the ninth circuit court of appeals, to have the phrase “under God” removed from the flag salute, he argued that subjecting his daughter to the mere mention of God violates the constitutional prohibition for the government to establish a religion.

The most important question that demands an answer is, “Does God exist?” And quite frankly, it really doesn’t matter much whether or not we acknowledge Him in our flag salute. We can take Him off our money, we can expel Him from our schools and we can bar Him from our courts.  But His existence can neither be established nor nullified by popular consensus.

So is there any substantive evidence for the existence of God?  Consider this.

About 75 years ago, evolutionists began to tell us that the concept of one god is the apex of a gradual development from the belief in many gods. But historical research challenges those assumptions. It is increasingly clear that the oldest known traditions of all peoples worldwide were of one single supreme God.

The transformed lives of millions of true believers and their experiences provide evidence, although subjective, that cannot be ignored. Their personal testimonies are worthy of consideration just as testimonial evidence is considered in a secular court of law.  And furthermore, even the written testimonies of the deceased stands.

Legitimate scientific law must conclude that there is a god. The law of cause and effect insists that “no effect can be produced without a cause.” Even evolutionists, as they consider everything they see in the physical universe, agree on that but eventually all their theories must lead them to an "uncaused cause", which they can only describe as a “big bang.” But even the “big bang” required some material substance so they are left with the unexplained or the "uncaused cause."

There are vast and incredible evidences of order and design in the universe. The Earth itself is evidence of design. Its size is perfect. If smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible. If larger, it would contain free hydrogen. Its distance from the sun is correct to maintain temperatures to sustain life. The moon is unique in comparison to the moons of other planets. It is much larger and has an effect on the continents and oceans. The tilt of the Earth’s axis ensures the seasons.  "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork." Psalm 19:1

O.K. The fact that the vast majority of humanity, at all times and in all places, has believed in some kind of god is not conclusive proof. The majority can be wrong. And the testimony of believers is too subjective and could be unreliable. And even if we admit an uncaused cause, and, even though there are many indications of God in nature, nature cannot conclusively demonstrate that He exists or what He is like. Even the Bible, in the book of Job, asks the rhetorical question, ”Can you find God by searching for Him?” The obvious answer is “NO,” not unless He reveals Himself.

A few years ago, I attended a seminar at a local high school where a scientist, who was a Christian, was making his case for the existence of God. A woman in the audience stood and asked him this question; “If there really is a god, why doesn’t he simply show himself to the world and settle this matter once and for all?”

She acted as though she could believe if she could see for herself.  But the truth is, she would not.  If God would do that for you, would you then believe? The reality is, He has taken the initiative throughout history to communicate to men. But His fullest revelation has been His invasion into human history in the person of Jesus Christ. The most conclusive evidence that there is a God is that He has visited us and revealed Himself to us. All other indicators are mere clues or hints. The confirmation of those indicators is the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So, then, there is evidence from tradition, human experience, nature, and science but most importantly, there is the evidence of direct revelation. Therefore, our faith can be sure and is, in fact, more reasonable than the foolish faith of atheists.

That’s right, a belief that there is no god is a remarkable act of foolish, indefensible faith that can only be explained by understanding that to conclude otherwise would demand a change in attitude or behavior.

There is a God and He can be known in personal experience. He has given us sufficient evidence for His existence. He has shown Himself to the world, but just like that woman in the seminar, many people refuse to believe.

But the day will come when everyone will acknowledge His existence,

For the Scriptures say,”‘ As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,’ every knee will bow to me and every tongue will confess allegiance to God.’” (Rom. 14:11)


Sunday, March 8, 2015

****Facebook Rewrites Genesis 1:27

God must be far too narrow-minded. Facebook has decided to enlighten Him by offering this modern, amplified revision of Genesis 1:27

"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male, female, agender, androgyne, androgynous, bigender, cis, cis female, cis male, cis man, cis woman, cisgender, cisgender female, cisgender male, cisgender man, cisgender woman, female to male, FTM, gender fluid, gender nonconforming, gender questioning, gender variant, genderqueer, intersex, male to female, MTF, neither, neutrois, non-binary, other, pangender, trans, trans female, trans male, trans man, trans person, trans woman, trans*, trans* female, trans* male, trans* man, trans* person, trans* woman, transfeminine, transgender, transgender female, transgender male, transgender man, transgender person, transgender woman, transmasculine, transsexual, transsexual female, transsexual male, transsexual man, transsexual person, transsexual woman, and two-spirit; all 58 genders created He them."

At this point, I think they would do well to remove the entire text between verse 27 all the way through Geneses 6:5 and pick it up here to give it proper context: 

"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of His heart was only evil continually.

And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at his heart.

And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them."


That just about sums it up.