As In The Days Of Noah

Ark Encounter in Grant County, Kentucky

Ark Encounter in Grant County, Kentucky

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On July 7th, 2016, the Ark Encounter was opened to the public in Grant County, Kentucky.  This life sized replica of the Ark is a timber frame structure (possibly the largest in the country) measuring 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and 51 feet tall.  It is supported 15 feet off the ground by a series of concrete towers with a gift shop resting below the Ark.  The Ark also has a restaurant and petting zoo on the grounds.  The park opened on 7/7, which was a reference to the passage in Genesis 7:7, “And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood.”  What parallels can we see between the initial Ark story, found in Genesis, chapters six through eight, and the Ark Encounter exhibit in Kentucky?

Many Sunday School stories start with Noah and his family being mocked as they construct the Ark though this is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible.  When we look at the amount of opposition that has been brought towards the Ark Encounter’s project it is not hard to believe that Noah was mocked in his day as the earth was filled with much more wickedness at that time.  The opposition for the replica Ark is mainly from evolutionists and atheists though even some purported Christians opposed the project as well.  According to an article by News13 WVEC, approximately one hundred fifty protesters were present at the opening of the attraction claiming that the Ark is “provably wrong” and “makes Christians look ignorant.”

Many people believe that Noah worked on the Ark for one-hundred twenty years because of Genesis 6:3.  However, we see that God gave Noah the direction to construct the Ark when Noah’s three sons were already married (verse 18).  Noah’s youngest son, Shem, was born ninety-eight years before the flood.  We do not know the age at which Shem was married but this probably limits the maximum amount of time to seventy or eighty years.  The Ark Encounter took approximately three years to construct and utilize around one thousand craftsman.  Wherever it was feasible, the replica Ark was constructed using archaic processes.  The most noticeable of these techniques is timber framing, or using wooden pegs and joints.  Building codes did require that they also use steel plates and bolts for the connections, as well.

When looking for insight on the people of Noah’s day, Jesus confirm the truth of Noah and the Ark in Matthew 24:37-39.  He says, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”  Going back to the original passage in Genesis gives us a different view of the people of that time.  Genesis 6:5 shows the state of man, “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.”  The chapter continues on, stating that “all flesh had corrupted His way” and that the “earth was filled with violence.”  For these offenses God chose to wipe the slate clean with a massive flood.  This brings us to the purpose of the Ark, both Noah’s and today’s Ark Encounter.

God had Noah build the Ark so that Noah and his wife, along with their three sons, and daughter-n-laws would survive the coming judgment.  A flood of terrible proportions was coming and Noah’s family needed a means of salvation that only God could provide.  The same is true of us nowadays.  There is a terrible judgment coming and there is no human means of escaping it.  As God provided Noah with a means of escape He has also done so for us by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross to take the place for our punishment.  After the Flood, God gave a rainbow as a reminder that He would not destroy the earth with water again.  A point that is often overlooked is that the rainbow should also remind us that He does plan on destroying the world again.  2 Peter 3:10 reveals that “the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”  There is coming another time when God will judge the earth and just as Noah entered the Ark to avoid judgment we must enter into the atonement of Jesus Christ to avoid the coming judgment.  This is why the Ark Encounter exists, not to show the world that the Ark can be remade, but to realization that the past judgment shows the truth of coming judgment.

Noah had to recognize that judgment from God was coming.  Hebrews 9:27 reads, “and as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” According to Hebrews 11:7, Noah’s recognition of the coming punishment caused him to be “moved by fear” to craft the Ark.  We should be moved by fear to seek a means of escape from the wages of our sin.  We can place our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who now sits at the right hand of God the Father.  If we are willing to repent (turn away from) our sins and put our trust and obedience in Him, He is “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9b).

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Of One Blood

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If you have tuned into the news anytime over the last week it is very likely you have seen a news story or two on racial issues.  Brutality against police and law enforcement has resulted in the loss of life for people who were causing no harm.  These situations have caused a terrible dissension between people as it seems that everyone is trying to join one side or the other.  Like any illness, though, racism cannot be eliminated by treating just the symptoms.  We must cut to the heart of the problem and address the root cause of this cancer eating at our society.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has the definition of race (as it pertains to people) as “a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock.”  Race relies on external, physical factors to categorize people.  This is primarily a facet of skin color but other factors can include hair, build, and epicanthic folds around the eyes.  These traits may cause us to look different but they should not impart an inherent antagonism toward people with different features.  Where does this disregard for fellow human life come from?

Racism comes from a belief that some races are better or worse than others.  This mindset is strongly engendered in the evolutionary, humanistic, and atheistic belief that is taught to the 50+ million students that attend public schools every year and is a protected religion on many of the campuses of higher learning in our country.  In 1859, Charles Darwin published a book that many people know of simply as The Origin of Species, but that is not the full title of the book.  In order to understand how Darwin’s evolutionary theory imparts racism we must look at the entire book and the contents thereof; On the Origins of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.  What does “preservation of favored races” mean?

Evolutionary theory relies on the expectation that one group of creatures will develop better capabilities through breeding than the rest of their kind, thus allowing the weaker creatures die out.  This leaves the stronger group to continue propagating until the next set of more capable creatures come along.  This is the “survival of the fittest” that many evolutionists espouse to.  Once we see how evolution devalues human life while simultaneously instilling a belief that some people are better than others we can begins to see where our current problems originate from.   Darwin’s theory is applied to mankind as if humans were just another form of animal.  This primary tenet of evolution is a direct factor in many of our world’s troubles including racism.  If humans are just another form of animal, then their value must be relative to that of other animals. PETA is a prime example of how animal life can be placed above that of humans, and how man is viewed as a cancer upon the earth.

In Darwin’s book, The Descent of Man, he calls his own Caucasian race advanced while labeling other non-Caucasian races as low, savage, and degraded.  On evolution’s effect concerning racism, evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould says, in his book Ontogeny and Phylogeny, “Biological arguments for racism may have been common before 1859, but they increased by orders of magnitude following the acceptance of evolutionary theory.”  What was a backwards, xenophobic reaction to people who were different became an openly applauded scientific belief that some groups of people were better simply based off of physical characteristics.  Thomas Huxley, a close friend of Darwin’s and known colloquially as “Darwin’s bulldog,” wrote an essay in 1865 called “Emancipation – Black and White” and in it he states:

“It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And, if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathus relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites.”

These beliefs were very influential in the mid-19th century but they carry on even into our 21st century.  Many devastating tragedies have been imparted to mankind because of evolutionary ideas.  According to her book, Pivot of Civilization, Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) held a eugenicist ideology stemming from evolution’s “survival of the fittest” mantra.  She believed that the genetic makeup of the poor, feeble-minded, and minorities were inferior and that their reproduction must be stymied and controlled.   In the April 1933 edition of Birth Control Review (edited by Sanger), Dr. Ernst Rudin wrote that the goal of eugenics is “to prevent the multiplication of bad stocks.”  According to www.lifenews.com, a study in 2012 showed that Planned Parenthood is still targeting minorities with 79% of their facilities being within walking distance of minority communities.

Secular science text books will teach students from a very young age that they “are just another animal.”  It does not take a long look at the animal kingdom to see how animals act.  An animal’s primary focus is self-centered survival and propagation of their genes.  Kids are then taught that, as animals, they are here by evolutionary accident and have no meaningful purpose and that when they die they simply cease to exist.  This teaching eliminates morality, removes concern for long term consequences, and leaves people hollow and without purpose.  Add this to the belief that some “races” are better than others, and therefore dominant, makes the catastrophic circumstances we’ve seen recently all the more apparent.  So how do we fix this broken belief system?

The first step is to realize that humans are not animals.  Genesis 1:26 and 27 tells us that man alone was made in the “image of God.”  Genesis 2:7 states that God breathed into man’s nostrils the “breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  This is not said of any of the animals that were created.  Humans are made in the image of God and their value is given to them by their Creator.  John 3:16 shows us that God values mankind enough to have given His only-begotten Son to make a way of atonement for mankind.  

It is not as simple as our Heavenly Creator made Adam and Eve and that is it.  Jeremiah, in chapter 1 verese 5, informs us that God formed him in the womb.  In Psalms 139:14, the writer speaks of how we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.”  We are not left to the random vagaries of chance even in our conception.  God Almighty has chosen all of us to be born with different physical characteristics but this does not change our worth.  We are of such value to our Heavenly Father that He has a hand in designing who we are. 

The Bible then goes on to tell us that there are no differences between the people groups.  Acts 17:26a tells us that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.”  All people are of one blood regardless of our physical differences.  We are all born with a sinful nature but Christ shed His blood that we would have the opportunity to be redeemed.  The true problem, the root cause of racism, isn’t our differences, our perception, or our socio-economic disparity.  The real issue is removing the Creator.  When we remove God from our knowledge, we also remove our value and respect for human life and fail to see the truth that race is only a cosmetic issue.  We must teach people about God’s word concerning His creation, and about His great love for each of us. Only through God’s truths we will bring back the value of human life and remove the main cause for racial division in our society.