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We’ve misunderstood Darwin about who survives – Baptist News Global

Charles Darwin has done a real number on us, hasn’t he?

But it’s not his evolutionary theory that is the problem. Fifteen billion years instead of 6,000 should be more evocative of anything divine than destructive of it. Who (besides God!) could even imagine 15,000,000,000 years? And it’s not that silly monkey thing. It’s pretty obvious we’re kin, isn’t it? Just take a good look in the mirror.

Russ Dean

No, the bad news from Darwin has nothing to do with actual evolution (which is not “just a theory”), and the damage he’s done is not really his fault. The problem is that most of us have misunderstood what he said, or what he meant by what he said. (Isn’t that usually the case?) He said, “survival of the fittest,” and we heard, “survival of the meanest,” “survival of the most violent,” “survival of the strongest.” Maybe we heard it that way because, deep down, we’re just too mean and still — after all these evolutionary years — crave violence, believing that being strong will overcome our greatest insecurities.

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It will not. It never has. And that’s not what Darwin meant, anyway.

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The “fittest” are just those who survive, somehow. In the long run those who survive aren’t necessarily the strongest — they certainly aren’t the meanest — they are, necessarily, the smartest, the most agile, the most flexible, those most willing to cooperate, share, learn, admit they’re wrong, change, adapt. In a twist of irony that is 15 billion years in the making, it is the kind who survive, those who are the friendliest, not those who are mean.

I wish this were my own, unique theory of evolution, but it’s a new view of our development (and our hope for survival) that is outlined in Survival of the Friendliest by Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist, and Vanessa Woods, a research scientist and journalist. I don’t know where the journalist and her husband, the Duke University professor, got their insight for this book. Maybe they grew up in Sunday school? You see, this evolutionary strategy has been promoted in the Bible for a couple thousand years. Jesus and Darwin both speak truth to me.

There are plenty of biblical prooftexts we could cite, words about strength and might, chariots and horses, loving enemies, turning the other cheek, sacrificial love — and this simple truth is also stated, outright, in Ephesians 4: Just “be kind to one another.”

“Meanness is the oldest game in the book. And it never has produced peace.”

Meanness is the oldest game in the book. And it never has produced peace. It never will. Not between siblings. Not with political parties. Not among nations. We teach our children that part of growing up is learning that we do not hit back. It’s a simple truth that really could solve the world’s problems, but some people, as we all know, never grow up.

The meanness of these last three and a half years has worn me down. I’m just weary of it all. Aren’t you?

I’m tired of the Democrats and the Republicans fighting. I’m worn down by all the angry social media posts. I’m exhausted by the tweets that just jab and wound and divide. I’m demoralized by all the tension within homes and churches.

And I’m weary of being embarrassed by a president whose only “diplomacy” is bullying, whose tactics all, only, follow the oldest game in the book: hitting back with childish name calling, petty tweets, broken treaties. This diplomacy of bullying follows the oldest, most unfortunate strategy in our long, broken human history: Survival of the Most Violent. More walls, more bombs, more riot gear, more troops, more “law and order.” Meanness by executive order. And it’s all being “sanctified” by the loudest “Christians” on the planet.

I’m so weary of it all.

Why has this pandemic been so unnecessarily devastating? Why have the protests held such unending fury? Why have the halls of Congress remained so dysfunctionally gridlocked? A spirit of meanness pervades the nation. It starts at the top.

As a people, we are soul-starved for leadership, true leadership that can only come from words of daring, unconventional wisdom, words of courageous compassion, words of lived integrity — and words laced with just a little kindness to help us get through one more difficult day.

Administration by meanness is not a strategy with a future; that’s not what survival of the fittest means. We need a little kindness.

 

Russ Dean is co-pastor of Park Road Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. He holds degrees from Furman University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Beeson Divinity School. He and his wife, Amy, have been co-pastors of Park Road since 2000. They are parents of two sons. Russ is active in social justice ministries and interfaith dialogue.

 

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  1. I hope you, your family, and friends stay safe by taking the proper precuations as we enter in to confusing and troubling times as we watch a worldwide pandemic unfold with this Coronavirus.

    Could there be something more deeper going on with all of this? Could we be seeing the signs of the times unfolding? Could this be a door of opportunity for people to open their hearts to what God has to say?

    Jesus says to His disciples concerning the last days, “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:7-8).

    We have been seeing a record setting amount of Earthquakes world-wide in various places, incuding places that normally do not receive Earthquakes. Now with this Coronavirus, could this be one of the pestilences that will fall upon us in the last days as spoken by Jesus? Where will it leave our economy? Did you know the Bible teaches there will be a cashless society in the last days? Will this be a major stepping stone in bringing that about?

    You may have seen on NBC news just months ago concerning the implantable RFID microchip that is gaining ground in Sweden where people are getting this microchip implanted in their hand.

    Would you allow a microchip to be placed inside your body that has the ability to track where you go and what you do? How about if you knew it matched perfectly with Bible prophecy where God warns us not to take it during the future reign of the Antichrist, otherwise we will receive the fullness of His wrath (Revelation 14:9-11)?

    This may be the most imporant message you will read in these times…please do not ignore this! This messsage reveals what the Mark of the Beast is, and the meaning behind counting a number people have been pondering for centuries, 666. This is truly a message from God!

    In the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to the apostle John, we read:

    “He (the false prophet who deceives many by his miracles) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:16-18).

    Revelation 13:16-18 is speaking of the end times, and this could only be speaking of a cashless money society, which we have yet to see, but are heading towards. Why? Because we could still buy or sell without receiving the mark among one another if physical money was still currency. It logically deduces itself to this reason.

    This mark could not be spiritual, because the word references two different physical locations stating one “OR” the other.

    This is where it really starts to come together. It is shocking how accurate the Bible is concerning this RFID microchip. These are notes from a man named Carl Sanders who worked with a team of engineers to help develop this RFID microchip in the 1960’s.

    “Carl Sanders sat in seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The government commissioned Carl Sanders to design a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world—a microchip that could be inserted under the skin with a hypodermic needle (a quick, convenient method that would be gradually accepted by society).

    Carl Sanders, with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies supplied by tax dollars, took on this project and designed a microchip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable through the temperature changes in our skin. Without the knowledge of the Bible (Brother Sanders was not a Christian at the time), these engineers spent one-and-a-half-million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip inserted.

    Guess what? These researchers found that the forehead and the back of the hand (the two places Revelation says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable places for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The microchip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of storing pages upon pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, crime record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

    Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16–18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is actually a word in the original Greek. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick.” Carl believes this is referring to a hypodermic needle when they poke into the skin to inject the microchip.”

    Mr. Sanders asked a Boston Medical Center doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor responded that if the microchip broke inside a human body, the lithium would cause a severe and painful wound filled with pus. This is what the book of Revelation says:

    “And the first(Angel) went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).

    The Bible tells us we cannot buy or sell without the mark of the beast, or the number of its name. This number is identified as 666. The Bible tells us to calculate the number 666. How do we calculate 666?

    This is where it gets really interesting. Calculating the number 666 has been long debated throughout the centuries, but has now been revealed in these last days by God. What I will show you confirms itself with the Bible the true meaning to calculate 666.

    Throughout the Bible, God uses the number 3 as confirmation of things. Here are a few examples:

    “For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one” (1 John 5:7 NKJV).

    “and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4 NKJV).

    “…Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8 NKJV).

    Now what is interesting is the the mark of the beast is described in detail in three separate verses (Revelation 13:16,17,18), and each verse lists three different examples of the given topic. The last three being the number 6 being used three times in a row. This is a key point to unlocking how to calculate the number 666.

    What does it mean to count? It means to add up. So how could we add up 666? Remember my previous point about God confirming in threes. So logically, what would be the best way to count the number 666? To count it equally in threes based off the number. We cannot count it equally as 600+60+6, this would also bring us back to the start. We cannot count it as 600+600+600, or 60+60+60, because there are no zeroes in between or at the end of 666. The only logical option is 6+6+6=18. What is interesting is that the verse that reveals for us to count the number itself is verse 18, being the third verse out of three verses that describe the mark of the beast. What is 18 divided by 3? 6. So 3×6=18, or 6+6+6=18.

    Another interesting point is the only two other combinations (making a total of three possible combinations) for placing a “+” symbol in between the 6’s are 66+6=72, and 6+66=72. Add both 72’s together and you get 144. Why the number 144 is interesting is because the verse following Revelation 13:18 is the first time in the Bible where the 144,000 are being described in detail:

    “Then I looked, and behold, a Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His Father’s name written on their foreheads…” (Revelation 14:1).

    Now if you add up all three numbers by counting 666 by moving the “+” symbol around in all three possible combinations, it would be 72+72+18=162. What is interesting about the number 162, is, if you divide 144,000 by 162, you get 888. The name of Jesus in Greek gematria adds up to 888. The New Testament was orignally written in Greek. Revelation 14:1 not only mentions the 144,000, but also the Lamb who is Jesus.

    Now what is interesting about the number for Jesus, 888, is that if you apply this same formula, you get 8+8+8=24. Why the number 24? Revelation chapter 4 tells us there are 24 elders seated around the throne of God. This is the same throne where Jesus sits:

    “Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads” (Revelation 4:2-4).

    Now if you take 8+8+8=24, and 8+88=96, and 88+8=96, you get 24+96+96=216. Take 144,000 divided by 216 and you get 666. Remember that this was the same exact formula to get the number 162 out of counting 666 that brought about the number 888 when dividing 144,000 by 162. It is perpetual.

    With using the same formula of counting by adding the “+” symbol in between the numbers, why do all these numbers relate in such a way?

    The book of Revelation contains the use of the number 7 in various forms. For instance 7 seals, 7 trumpets, and 7 bowls. What is interesting about the number 37 (three sevens) is if if you divide any number that contains the same single digit three times in a row, such as 111 to 999, it comes out to the value of if you were to add all three numbers up. For example 888 divided by 37 equals 24. So 8+8+8=24. Or 666 divided by 37 equals 18. So 6+6+6=18. Could this be another way of God’s word confirming itself that the mystery behind calculating the number 666 indeed is 18?

    Another interesting point to note is that if you add up all the numbers from 1 to 36, it totals 666. The number 36, as in three sixes? Could this be a hint that we should add up three sixes instead of perceiving the number as six-hundred sixty six?

    So what could this mean? Well we know in this world we are identified by numbers in various forms. From our birth certificate to social security, as well as our drivers license, being identified based on a system of ruler ship. So it is possible that this RFID microchip will contain a new identification that has a total of 18 characters.

    “here the wisdom is, the one having the mind let him calculate the number of the wild beast, number for “of human” it is, and the number of it 666″ (Revelation 13:1, Greek Translation).

    The Greek word “anthrōpos” being used in verse 18 where it says “of human” is the Greek strongs concordance G444. The first two definitions of the word are “a human being, whether male or female”, and, “generically, to include all human individuals”. Could the number of the beast apply to all mankind?

    In the Greek (the New Testament was originally written in the Greek language), and other translations, you will notice the beast is described as an “it”, instead of “him”. The reason I’m making this point is because when a translation says “His number is 666”, this would imply a singular person, the Antichrist. But by saying “the number of it 666”, implies that it is of the beast system as a whole.

    We can know the number of the beast cannot be to identify products (like a new barcode) to buy or sell because scripture says we cannot buy or sell without the number of the beast. What am I getting at? There will be instances where you could buy something someone made themselves and it wouldn’t have a store branded identification on it. But for this number to be in our chips, that is where it must be to conclude ultimately that we cannot buy or sell without having the number of the beast. As previously mentioned in Revelation 13:18, the number of the beast (6+6+6=18) is a “human number”, definition “generically, to include all human individuals”.

    Could this be the name of the beast, the number of its name? The one-world beast system that is identified by 18 characters? This would fit scripture that speaks of a mark that we must have to buy or sell in our right hand or forehead, and that it also contains the number of the beast, during a future cashless money society.

    Go to: http://voice-truth.com to see all the proof!

    The Bible warns us in the end times that a false prophet will rise up doing miracles to deceive many to receive this mark:

    “Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image” (Revelation 19:20).

    No matter the cost, DO NOT TAKE IT!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    We are living in very prophetic times with major Biblical prophecies being fulfilled. When Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel in December of 2017, this was a big step to bring about the Third Temple prophesied in the Bible.

    The Bible tells us that the Antichrist will seat himself in this temple:

    “…and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

    In the Islamic religion, they have man called the Mahdi, known as their messiah who they are waiting to appear. There are many testimonies from people online who believe this man will be Barack Obama who is to be the biblical Antichrist. I myself have had strange dreams about him. He came on stage claiming to be a Christian with no affiliation to the Muslim faith, but was later revealed by his own family members that he indeed is a devout Muslim.

    So what’s in the name? The meaning of someones name can say a lot about a person. God throughout history has given names to people that have a specific meaning tied to their lives. How about the name Barack Obama? Let us take a look at what may be hiding beneath the surface…

    Jesus says, “And He said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven'” (Luke 10:18).

    In Hebrew, the word Barack means “lightning”, and the use of Bama (Strongs Hebrew word 1116) is used to refer to the “heights” of heaven.

    The day following the election of Barack Obama (11/04/08), the winning pick 3 lotto numbers in Illinois (Obama’s home state) for 11/5/08 were 666.

    Obama was a U.S. senator for Illinois, and his zip code was 60606.

    Regardless, whoever seats himself in that Third Temple in Jerusalem declaring himself to be God IS THE ANTICHRIST. DO NOT BE DECEIVED.

    Why do we need Jesus?

    “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

    “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

    Our good works cannot save us. If we step before a judge, being guilty of a crime, the judge will not judge us by the good that we have done, but rather the crimes we have committed. If we as fallen humanity, created in God’s image, pose this type of justice, how much more a perfect, righteous, and Holy God?

    God has brought down His moral law’s through the 10 commandments given to Moses at Mt. Siani. These laws were not given so we may be justified, but so that we may see the need for a savior. They are the mirror of God’s character of what He has put in each and every one of us, with our conscious bearing witness that we know that it is wrong to steal, lie, dishonor our parents, and so forth.

    We can try and follow the moral laws of the 10 commandments, but we will never catch up to them to be justified before a Holy God. That same word of the law given to Moses became flesh over 2000 years ago in the body of Jesus Christ. He came to be our justification by fulfilling the law, living a sinless perfect life that only God could fulfill.

    The gap between us and the law can never be reconciled by our own merit, but the arm of Jesus is stretched out by the grace and mercy of God. And if we are to grab on, through faith in Him, He will pull us up being the one to justify us. As in the court of law, if someone steps in and pays your fine, even though you are guilty, the judge can do what is legal and just and let you go free. This is what Jesus did almost 2000 years ago on the cross. It was a legal transaction being fulfilled in the spiritual realm by the shedding of His blood, with His last words being, “…It is finished!…” (John 19:30).

    Now why did Jesus have to die for us?

    Because God is Holy and just, the wrath that we deserve could not go unnoticed. Through the perfect righteousness and justice of God’s character, it must be dealt with, it must be quenched and satisfied.

    For God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23). This is why in Isaiah chapter 53, where it speaks of the coming Messiah and His soul being a sacrifice for our sins, why it says it pleased God to crush His only begotten Son.

    This is because the wrath that we deserve was justified by being poured out upon His Son. If that wrath was poured out on us, we would all die and go to hell. God created a way of escape by pouring it out on His Son who’s soul could not be left in Hades, but was raised and seated at the right hand of God in power.

    So now when we put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14), God no longer see’s the person who deserves His wrath, but rather the glorious image of His perfect Son dwelling in us, justifying us as if we received the wrath we deserve, making a way of escape from the curse of death.

    Now what we must do is repent and trust in the savior, confessing and forsaking our sins. This is not just a head knowledge of believing in Jesus, but rather receiving His words, taking them to heart. Where we no longer live to practice sin, but rather turn from our sins and practice righteousness:

    “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

    By doing so we may become transformed into the image of God through faith in His Son Christ Jesus Who is willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask of Him:

    “Most assuredly, I (Jesus) say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (John 3:5-7).

    “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9).

    What are you waiting for? Our Father in heaven only wants the best for us, restoring everything this world has stolen from us. This is what it means to be “holy”. To be made whole.

    He is waiting to hear from you. That God given tongue to speak language, through faith, pray to Him, ask Him to forgive you by confessing your sins and be willing to forsake them; that you accept the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross, and that you want His Holy Spirit living inside you transforming you into a child of God.

    Jesus says, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him (the Holy Spirit) will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

    Did you know that Jesus spoke more about hell than anyone else, even more than He spoke about heaven?! For this very reason He came to die for us, to rescue us from this place that we deserve.

    He describes hell as a real place where,

    “Their worm does not die
    And the fire is not quenched” (Mark 9:44).

    And where,

    “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth…” (Luke 13:28).

    Jesus tells us who to fear,

    “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

    “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’

    Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful.’

    And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.'” (Revelation 21:1-8).

    Out of all the world religions, how can we be sure the Bible got it right? The scientific data has established and continues to support that the universe once had a beginning in which space, time and matter were created. Many know this as the big bang.

    “The non-biblical religions tell us that god or god’s create within space and time that eternally exist. The Bible stands alone and says that time and space don’t exist until God creates the universe.” – Astronomer (Phd) Hugh Ross

    The Bible not only got it right that space, time and matter all came into existence at the beginning of the universe, it also states in 7 different places that the universe is expanding thousands of years before scientists discovered these things.

    Did you know that the real Noah’s Ark was discovered in the location where the Bible told us it would be, as well as having the correct dimensions? As well as proof for the destruction of Sodom Gomorrah and the Exodus account of the Red Sea crossing?

    The Bible is the most translated and read book in the history of the world, full of predictive prophecies, matching what we find in the book of nature. Wouldn’t you expect God’s word to be so?

    This information and more can all be found here: http://voice-truth.com

    God loves you!

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