Monthly Archives: September 2019

“Dr. Ken Ham and BJU Are of One Accord”

I was privileged to attend the biblical worldview STAND Conference at Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.  The conference featured Dr. Ken Ham, Founder of the renowned Answers in Genesis ministry.  If you would like to read my skeletal summary (composed from my cell phone) of Dr. Ham’s messages, and the excellent contributions of Dr. Steve Pettit, President of BJU, please read on. . . .

STAND Conference Summary

Bob Jones University

Greenville, South Carolina

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Summary of and Editorializing by Dr. Bob Stouffer, High School Principal, Southside Christian School, Simpsonville, South Carolina (All errors are mine alone.)

Session 1

Dr. Ken Ham

Answers in Genesis stands on the inerrant Word of God.

You exist in the present. We see beauty, and we see ugliness in the present. We see life, and we see death in the present. We see righteousness, and we see evil in the present. Why?

Can science explain these dichotomies? Science means “knowledge.” I talk about historic (not observational) science related to knowledge when we were not present in Creation.

Atheists mix historic and observational science in attempts to discredit those with “religious” beliefs about Creation.

We weren’t present during Creation. We don’t know the evidence by observation or history.

We need the right evidence, or we come to the wrong conclusions.

We need ALL evidence.

You need someone who knows EVERYTHING. You need God, or man tries to figure it out.

Man’s word says the universe is billions of years old. But the people who talk about billions of years were not there. They believe life formed without a designer’s or Creator’s intervention.

What’s the purpose of life if our body AND SPIRIT die?

Young people protested last week about climate change, and few knew anything about the issue.

This is a spiritual battle.

We need to start with the Word of God, Who knows everything!

Revelation is the key to the past.

The purpose of life is everlasting life of service to and worship of God.

Creationists and evolutionists have the same evidence. The battle is not over the evidence. The battle is over the worldviews.

Build a right biblical worldview from God’s Word, not a wrong worldview from man’s word.

Moral relativism permeates our culture because of man’s word. Everyone is doing what is right in his/her own eyes.

God’s Word is definitive about race, marriage, gender, and abortion.

Observational science overwhelmingly confirms the historic science detailed in God’s Word.

The Bible is the true foundation of our beliefs.

How do we effectively engage people with non-biblical worldviews? Challenge their beliefs. Don’t allow them to make you give up your foundation (God’s Word)! The Bible says the world attempts to suppress biblical truth. Don’t throw down your sword in this spiritual battle. You put down your Bible, and they have won.

You cannot be neutral. Have firm views. We know what we believe. Be equipped with answers to others’ views. Stand firm on God’s Word. We ought not to be ashamed. Stand on the authority of God’s Word!

The culture — education, the media, many/most scientists, and some churches — are trumpeting man’s word (1 Corinthians 14:8).

Have on the right set of glasses on for the correct (biblical) worldview.

Atheists have set beliefs they are not willing to change even with historic or observational science. In fact, they reject evidence.

This battle started between Satan and Adam and Eve in the Garden. That battle continues to rage today.

Man’s word or God’s Word? God’s Word!

There are ultimately only two “religions” — man’s Word or God’s Word.

From a human perspective, you cannot get atheists to change their worldview. All of us were dead until the Holy Spirit indwelled us. Now, we must preach with answers from the Holy Spirit.

Jesus told human beings to roll away the stone. They did. And HE raised Lazarus from the dead.

Human beings must do what they can do. Jesus will do what only He can do. Remove the stumblingblocks. Point people to God’s Word, a sharp-edged sword. We should make people prove their worldviews and disprove our biblical worldview. Go straight to the foundation (the Bible) and consequences of belief. Answers in Genesis has literally dozens of books, magazines, and videos as resources. Be equipped with answers. That’s what we are going to do in our second session.

Session 2

Dr. Ken Ham

We need to take a STAND on biblical truth. Bob Jones is one of the few universities which stands firmly on the Creation account of God’s Word.

Always be prepared with the truth of God’s Word (1 Peter 3:15).

Use observational science in apologetics to confirm God’s Word.

If you do not believe in God, you are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

There are laws of logic and nature. His laws cannot change. They do not change.

DNA is evidence of Creation. DNA is not just chemistry. DNA has a “language system.”

Morse Code has a system. You don’t know the words without the code.

DNA cries out, “In the beginning, God created….”. DNA does not cry out, “Random chance.”

A fertilized human egg is CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD. Abortion is immoral.

Atheists, not Christians, have a blind faith.

You start with the infinite God. No one created God.

There is faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God, but it is not a blind faith.

Dogs are “one kind.” The Ark didn’t include all species.

God created diversity.

Living organisms cannot produce new genetic information. Humans are humans, and apes are apes.

Public schools use finches as evidence of evolution. But you simply have finches with small beaks, medium-sized beaks, and large beaks. Humans has small, medium, and large “beaks”!

Evolution is a fairy story. God created life, gender, and marriage. Man is trying to redefine God’s Creation. Man’s word. We must believe in God’s Word. Original sin distorted God’s creation.

Many Christians believe in “millions and millions of years.” This belief grew out of atheism.

Death and disease came as a result of original sin.

Less than 20% of Millennials go to church. [Our culture is post-Christian.]

Sediments and strata of canyons are evidence of the biblical account of the Great Flood.

Scientists say that the universe is 15,000,000,000 years old, and the earth is 5,000,000,000 years old. According to the biblical account, the earth is 6,000 years old. Dating methods used by scientists are flawed. You cannot trust human dating methods. You can only trust the Word of God for dating.

Why different “races”? The Bible would say there is only one race and different skin colors. Melanin is a common element of everyone’s skin color. Genetics resulted in different skin colors. The Bible’s account is true. All people are descendants of Adam and Eve and the 8 survivors of the Ark.

Christians must believe the book of Genesis as the foundation of all of our doctrines. God’s Word is true. We must stand on the Word of God.

Session 3

Dr. Steve Pettit, President, BJU

BJU Chapel

I have the privilege of confirming the Creation truth of God’s Word.

Begin at the beginning. Genesis 1. Creation has its source in God. God created!

By His Spirit and authority of His word, He SPOKE His Creation into existence. Not randomly. Not by chance. By the wisdom of God. Orderly. Complete. Man was the ultimate creation.

The Hebrew word for “day” was for a 24-hour day. Creation of all things took place in 6 days. And God rested on the Sabbath. God established a rhythm in creation with a 7-day week.

Genesis is not poetry. Genesis is a literal history.

Moses confirmed the Creation account in Exodus. He reaffirmed work for 6 days and 1 day of rest on the holy day of the Sabbath. That law’s basis is found in Genesis 1. Exodus and Genesis are consistent testimonies.

Old Testament confirmation is also found in Psalm 8, Psalm 19, Psalm 33, Isaiah 40, and Ecclesiastes 12.

In the Old Testament, John used confirmatory Genesis 1 language in John 1! 1 Corinthians 8:6 also! Colossians 1:16! Hebrews 1:2!

The declaration of the Word is that GOD CREATED by the authority of His Spirit and His word.

All doctrine of social issues are rooted in the first two books of the Bible — Creation, life, gender, marriage.

The 6-day Creation is tied to Adam, since sin and death came as a result of Adam’s sin. Jesus came to fix what Adam has messed up! The Gospel is rooted in the sin of Adam [and the righteousness of Jesus]!

What does history say! The Creeds confirm these truths of Creation, the Fall, and Redemption.

This is our worldview as Christians. A worldview depends on faith, because we were not there at Creation.

God is redeeming His Creation, challenged by secular worldviews. Christian churches and organizations are espousing evolutionary creation — BioLogos — supported by prominent Christians like Tim Keller and N.T. Wright.

Bob Jones University believes the biblical account of Creation — 6 literal days, 1 day of rest, and earth around 10,000 years old.

A friend of mine at the Citadel mocked me for my belief in Creation when I was at that university. I am humbled to be the President of BJU, with all of our Ph.D. science professors believing in that account. As long as I am President, we ain’t changing one iota!

Session 4

“Trends in Christian Higher Education”

A Conversation Between Dr. Steve Pettit and Dr. Ken Ham

Moderated by Dr. Sam Horn, BJU Director of Enrollment Management

[Sam Horn]: We at Bob Jones University have a deeply-vested interest in a biblical view of Creationism and the development of a strong biblical worldview.  Dr. Ham wrote ALREADY GONE. Churches and Christian schools revamped their curricula in response to this book and the crisis of losing two-thirds of young people from the faith. The negative trend continues with each generation.  Why are they leaving? [Ken Ham:] They are not being taught why they should believe what the Bible says. They have been bombarded with non-biblical worldviews. Doubt leads to unbelief. They also couldn’t believe in the God of a world with so much evil, pain, and suffering (since they were not being taught about sin and the consequences of sin).  Churches and Christian schools have begun teaching apologetics. Past belief in the power of stories is fime, but “stories” are taken by some as “fairy tales, but these narratives do not necessarily lead to a well-developed biblical worldview.

[Sam Horn]: Are Christian colleges helpful? [Ken Ham:] It depends upon the school and commitment to the inerrancy of the Scriptures. Families, education, and churches must be partnering to help develop a sound biblical worldview.

[Sam Horn]: What practical methods can be effective? [Ken Ham:] Sound teaching starts in the home. The education starts at s young age. [Many of those high school students who walk away from the faith were “already gone” at a young age.] The Bible is a book of history which is foundational to the faith. Be conversational with your children. Talk a lot about critical issues faced by your kids. The culture is attacking the truth; give your children the truth of the Bible, so they can defend their faith. Parents need to be reading their Bibles, too. Some home school families and Christian schools do not teach about evolution. We need to teach our kids about evolution FROM A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW. Help them understand the errors of non-biblical worldviews.

[Sam Horn]: We can get intimidated by confrontational, tough questions. How can we become more confident about answering tough questions? [Ken Ham:] The key is that, if you believe God’s Word as the foundation of your beliefs, you will be bold. [As Dr. Del Tackett says in “The Truth Project,” says, “We must believe what we believe is really real!”] Study the Scriptures, so you’re well-prepared for these conversations. Pray. The more you pray, the more you’ll pray. The more you read your Bible, the more you’ll read the Bible. The more you stand, the more you’ll stand [for the truth]. Be winsome. Speak the truth in love. Be ready when the world puts you in the spot. God will give you the strength. Break the myth that Christians don’t know what they believe. Come across as intelligent and understanding.

[Sam Horn]: Take us behind the scenes of your debate with Bill Nye, Dr. Ham. [Ken Ham:] I asked if we could be friends. He said no. He had his video crew and I had our video crew for our second debate at the Creation Museum. He puts on a front. I don’t think he knows why he believes what he believes. I asked him pointed questions about his beliefs. I shared the Gospel with him. I told him, “Bill, I really want to see you become saved.” I didn’t respond to his early mockery. He eventually softened a bit and allowed me to pray for him. The way you respond makes a difference. Pray for Bill Nye.

[Steve Pettit:] What we believe in Genesis is foundational to cultural issues. How does Word of God influence our thinking? “By design,” we were created by God. The Scriptures are sufficient to answer the most important issues in our lives. Focus on biblical truth to inform your understanding of social issues [not the other way around].

[Sam Horn]: Dr. Ham wrote ALREADY COMPROMISED. Are Christian schools and seminaries more dangerous than secular colleges when the Christian universities compromise on the inerrancy of God’s Word? [Ken Ham:] College students often experience a crisis of faith. Teach them a strong biblical worldview to build them up, so they can come out of their crisis of faith with a stronger faith. You can’t be salt of the earth until you actually have salt. [Ken Ham:] A secular university is better than a compromising Christian university, because you know where the secular universities stand.

[Sam Horn]: Theology and science departments at Christian schools have compromised on Creationism. Not so at BJU. How do your guard the gates, Dr. Pettit. [Steve Pettit:] Our professors are already committed, so it hasn’t been too hard to guard the gates. The world will pound us. It’s so easy to conform to and compromise with the world. Be humble. Don’t be arrogant. Embrace what Jesus and Paul embraced. God died on the cross for us. Don’t just survive a secular school; thrive at a Christian school.

[Ken Ham:] READY TO RETURN was a book about Millennials who ARE in church identifying as Christians, but they don’t understand the Gospel or key doctoral beliefs. Parents and grandparents have been entrusted with the daunting responsibility to teach right thinking, which will hopefully lead to right living.

[Steve Pettit:] Our children are our greatest responsibility. Between 6-18 months, children learn the word no. At early adolescence, you learn where you fit in. At 18, you are considered an adult, and you must develop a strong biblical worldview. Your friends will have a major influence on you; choose your friend wisely. Educate your head, heart, and hands. Develop your character. Nurture conservative biblical values. We are grateful to Ken Ham for standing with the truth of God’s Word. There are only two people on the world who have built an ark, and one of them is in the room today!

“A Church Adopted”

High School Small Group Questions

Southside Christian School

Simpsonville, South Carolina

Thursday, September 26, 2019
“ A Church Adopted ”
Ephesians 1:1-14
Starting Off:

1. Icebreaker
2. Highlights/lowlights since we last met
3. What is your most embarrassing moment?
Discover (Head):

1. Read Ephesians 1:1-14 together out loud.
a. What do these verses tell us about God?
b. What stands out to you as you read this passage?
c. What does this passage tell us about God’s work?
d. What does the passage tell us about ourselves?
e. When you read the word “adopted,” what thoughts come to mind?
f. How would we say this same passage in our own words?
Nurture (Heart):

1. Leader Note: This passage describes our unconditional adoption into God’s family to bring the Father glory and Jesus praise. We often abandon this truth in our hearts, or it feels distant. Use these questions do dig deeper:

a. Where in your life do you feel abandoned? Why?
b. Where do you feel like you need to earn acceptance? Why?
c. When do you desire glory and praise? Why?
d. Thinking about your story and this passage, how has God glorified Himself by making you an heir?
Act (Hands):

1. How can you make space in your life to listen to what the Holy Spirit tells you about Jesus, your identity, and God’s glory?
2. What would it look like to live as a family with SCS and your church?

“What Does It Mean to Follow Jesus?”

“What Does It Mean to ‘Follow Jesus’?”

By Jack Voigt, Southside Christian Class of 2017

Senior Retreat

St. Christopher Camp

Seabrook Island, South Carolina

September 21, 2019

What does it mean to “follow Jesus”?

I want us to look at Luke 9:51-62 today for answers.

Christians are too complacent about Jesus.

The world is different because of Jesus.

What does it mean to follow Him?

What does He want from us who follow Him?

This passage has Jesus on His way to the cross.

Jesus asks us to leave comfort behind.

Jesus didn’t have a permanent home during His earthly ministry.

Count the cost of following Jesus.

Whatever it is that is most important to a person must not be a higher priority than following Jesus.

The farmer plows a straight line to maximize stewardship of the field. Turning back results in lines which are not straight.

Be all-in, not half-hearted in following

He’s asking for you to be “comfortable” in your discomfort, your focus, and your devotion.

If you claim to follow Jesus, do it. Don’t dip your toes in the water. Jump in! Either be in or be out. Don’t just pretend to follow Jesus.

Follow Jesus with everything you have.

Your life doesn’t last that long. Get the long view. Don’t wait to follow Jesus. Follow Him, or not. Don’t play games.

The back story of “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” is very interesting.

Missionaries ministered to headhunters. The message was love and peace in following Jesus. One headhunter’s family decided to follow Jesus. The chief gave him an ultimatum. The man said, “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back.” The chief had his children, wife, and him killed. The chief, out of nowhere, at that point, decided to follow Jesus!

Jesus is asking us to be willing to lose everything for Him.

Jump in the pool!

“How to Prevent Becoming a Snowplow Parent”

I am a high school principal.  I am a parent.  Neither of those “jobs” is easy, but I have willingly accepted my responsibilities, which have come from God and by the grace of God.

I learned so much about being a school administrator from my degree programs and experiences.

Parenting is another matter.  Other than the Bible, there is no fail-proof parenting book, although I have learned much from so-called “experts.”

I just read an article which was very “direct,” and I call the content to the attention of any faithful follower of this blogsite.

If you are interested in realistic commentary on the state of parenting and the generation we are now parenting/educating, please check out Dr. Tim Elmore’s latest post at his Growing Leaders website:

“How to Prevent Becoming a Snowplow Parent” / by Dr. Tim Elmore / Growing Leaders/ September 17, 2019 / https://growingleaders.com/blog/how-to-prevent-becoming-a-snowplow-parent/

“Murder and Mayhem: What’s Going on Out There?”

A Southside Christian School parent recently provided me with hard copy of “Murder and Mayhem: What’s Going on Out There?” by Dr. James Dobson, one of the most influential voices in Christianity today.

Murder and mayhem. What’s going on out there?

The points of Dr. Dobson’s article certainly resonated with me greatly.  Fatherlessness is a scourge of our culture.  Satan wants nothing better than to destroy the family, which is the very fabric of our country’s strength.

Such is not to say that Moms leading single-parent homes are failing.  By no means.  But men in our culture need to step up and mentor young men and young women who do not have fathers in their lives.

I heartily call your attention to this article.  Let’s all get involved and be the body of Christ to each other!

 

“Let Kindness Prevail!”

On Wednesday, September 11, 2019, Southside Christian School of Simpsonville, South Carolina celebrated “Let Kindness Prevail Day” as a way of appropriately memorializing the victims and rescuers of 9/11/2001 — and to honor First Responders for their heroism and willingness to stand in harm’s way on our behalf.

Special thanks to Vivian Welkner, Dean of High School, who was inspired to organize and promote this event.  Computer Teacher Patricia Gilbert created a beautiful design, which drew our attention through the Sabre Commons television monitors, posters throughout the campus, and stickers worn by students and staff alike.  Student Government Association (SGA) members, under the excellent leadership of President Jenna Bolding (SCS ’20), did an excellent job of making posters and leading the way by “dressing up” for the event.  Ashlyn Becks, ’21, created an amazing banner for our Commons, and our hope is that this “Kindness Prevails” message will be relocated to a prominent visible location for year-round reminders about kindness.  I was so pleased that SO MANY students and staff in Grades EE-12 dressed up or wore red, white, and blue on this day!

The High School Chaplains organized a prayer gathering in the lawn for 7:30 a.m on this day, and it was well attended by students, parents, and staff.  I had been expecting just one firefighter, one police office (my daughter), and one Sheriff’s Office representative to be in attendance, but at least a half-dozen squad cars from the Simpsonville Police Department (recruited by my daughter and displaying their blue flashing lights to the rubbernecking Woodruff Road traffic!), several firefighters WITH A FIRE TRUCK, and Marcus Davenport from the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office represented First Responders so well.  Mr. Davenport, my daughter, Executive Director of Operations Russ Bryan (who keeps us so safe and secure on this campus), Math Teacher Jamie Wilson (mother of a West Point student), and Science Teacher Susan LaFlam (mother of a West Point student and Naval Academy student) were honored with corsages.  A Color Guard of SCS students Joshua Cordeiro (’23), Jacob Cordeiro (’20), and Katie Rinkliff (’20) presented and retired the American flag with great decorum.

Both Senior Class Chaplain Josh Mackey (’20) and High School Student Body Chaplain William DeVaney (’20) prayed beautifully during the ceremony.  William’s comments follow:

“September 11, 2001.

A day to remember.

Today, is a day which forever changed the trajectory of life in the USA.

2,977 people were killed, and, of those who lost their lives, 2,605 were US
citizens.

6,000 were injured and billions were impacted.

Of these casualties, 343 were firefighters, 72 were law enforcement
officers, 55 military personnel, and billions were impacted.

Today, as we remember the men and women who lost their lives and made
the ultimate sacrifice for the good of others, there are 3 ways to respond:

Anger, sadness, kindness.

Anger is a healthy response to the evil we have seen and are here to
remember.

Sadness often times is the way we feel after the smoke clears to expose
the ramifications and intensity of the utter brokenness displayed on such an
infamous day.

Kindness [is] the response we desperately need in order to combat the evil of
the events of 9/11.

Today in remembrance, I want to allow for all 3 to be present here.

Our anger towards the hi-jackers and the gravity of the situation is not
taken lightly and we should be angry, but when all is said and done; it is
irreversible, earth shattering, and heartbreaking.

However, our final response can change the narrative. Kindness as a
response to our anger and sadness is capable of changing not only the
environment here, in SCS, here, in Greenville, South Carolina, here, in South Carolina,
and here in the USA, but it can change: THE WORLD.

After a moment of silence, I want to ask for your support and participation in
prayer over the all those who were affected on this day in history.

Now, Would you all please join me in a moment of silence to remember the
events, people, and life changing moments of september 11, 2001?