Cloning Issue. Ever hear of the Raelian religion? Believe it or not, this is a religious group determined to clone a human being. The arguments continue to circle on this issue, but several things are very obvious. Number one is that all data shows that cloned individuals with existing technology are disease-prone and have major genetic problems. The second is that the moral implications of cloning are so large that even people with no religious values are saying it should not be done. The leader of the Raelian church is a man named Clause Vorilhon who calls himself the prophet Rael. He is a former race car driver who maintains that cloning is the best hope for the survival of the human race.

From an apologetic standpoint, we would maintain that if a human ever was cloned, it would have no implications for the existence of God, nor would it be subhuman. The biblical definition of man does not have to do with how he is conceived or reproduced. Man is that being possessing a soul, a component created by God and infused by God; and whether the reproductive method is invitrio fertilization, artificial insemination, cloning, or sexual intercourse, that human is still, a human--created in the image of God and having enormous worth and potential.

--Reference: US News and World Report, July 9/July 16, 2001.

Census Figures Disturbing. In May, 2001, the U.S. Census data was made public. There is not any big surprise in the numbers for this writer because over and over we have pointed out that, as God is discarded by our society, selfishness and immorality will grow and prosper. Some of the numbers that back this up in the census figures are that during the past 10 years:

  1. Households headed by unmarried partners grew by just over 71%. Single mother household heads grew by 25% and single fathers by 62%.
  2. Nuclear families (those with fathers and mothers) fell to less than 25% of all households.
  3. Unmarried women gave birth to 33% of all babies (compared to 3.8% in 1940).
  4. Cohabitation since the 1960 census has grown by just under 1,000%.
Those of us who have taught in the public schools (in your writer's case since 1959) can tell you first hand of the effect of these numbers on kids.

Biblically Ignorant America. We live in a population that knows virtually nothing of what the Bible teaches. George Barna and Mark Hatch have released a detailed study in their new book titled Boiling Point that shows that even church goers know virtually nothing about what the Bible teaches. Those who classify themselves as "Born again Christians" even show incredible biblical ignorance.

25% of them believe Jesus committed sins while on the earth.
50% believe that Satan and the Holy Spirit are symbols, not living entities.
30% believe Jesus was not physically resurrected.
When people who claim to be believers know nothing of what the Bible teaches, and when church leaders spend their time squabbling over how worship should be conducted, how can we believe that we can reach people who have never read the Bible themselves. Most of our culture is walking around in an ignorant daze about even the most basic concepts of Christianity.

Embryonic Stem Cells Dominate Press. The media continues to flood its content with the issue of stem cells from human embryos, totally ignoring some of the most significant work being done by companies using adult stem cells and stem cells from animals. At the Barbara Ann Karmanos Institute, for example, expectant mothers are able to donate umbilical cord material which is being used to help patients who have had chemo that has destroyed their immune system. A company named Nephros Therapeutics has a system in which adult stem cells are being used to treat kidney failure. Another company named Aastrom is using adult stem cells to fight osteoporosis. Sue O'Shea at the University of Michigan says "You name any organ and we've probably got someone working on research for it." Like all moral dilemmas in science, there are alternatives to doing dubious work that involved negative moral issues. When we debate these issues, the positive work being done where there is no moral problem needs to be emphasize

-Reference: A.P., August 5, 2001.

Newest Alcohol Data Staggering.
Every time a new study comes out on the use and abuse of alcohol, the picture gets worse. The latest numbers: (1) 6.8 million people in this country fit the definition of binge drinkers. (2) There are 2.1 million heavy drinkers under the age of 21 (people drinking daily in large enough quantities to be classified as intoxicated). (3) 76 million people have an alcoholic in their family. (4) Three million violent crimes occur every year by people classified as under the influence of alcohol by police.
--Reference: Readers Digest, August 1, 2001, page 16.

Jesus Seminar Comes Clean. We have discussed in this journal from time to time the attempts of the group known as The Jesus Seminar to redefine what in the Bible is valid and what is not. We have pointed out that the approach was logically invalid and really reflected an atheistic approach to the whole subject. Recently a public statement has been released of the beliefs of Robert W. Funk, the director of the Westar Institute that assembled the 30 scholars for the Jesus Seminar. Twenty-one statements are made in what Funk has called his theses of religious convictions. The first statement is "There is no personal god out there external to human beings and the material world." He also states that Jesus did not rise from the dead, prayer is meaningless, Jesus will not return, the 10 Commandments do not have any fixed standard of right and wrong, and that the virgin birth is an insult to intelligence. If there was ever any doubt about where the Jesus Seminar was coming from, it would seem that this has laid it to rest.
--Reference: Pulpit Helps, February 2001, page 35.

Christianity in Ancient China? Archeologists working in Lou Guan Tai, China, have apparently discovered a Christian Church from 638 AD. Chinese officials are interested because, with the Olympics coming to China, it may be a great tourist attraction to westerners attending the Olympics. There had been a tablet found in the 17th century called the Nestorian Stone that announced the arrival of Christian missionaries in China in 635 AD, but this find containing a Nativity scene is located in the middle of an imperial compound for the study of Taoism in the Tang dynasty.
--Reference: U.S. News and World Report March 5, 2001, page 51.

Remember Y2K?
The Prophesy Club has apologized for taking advantage of people by making prophecies about Y2K that were obviously false. The director Stan Johnson apologizes for hurts, mistakes, or damages their speakers and writers may have caused. Unfortunately, the club does not suggest that they will stop making prophecies and claims about special revelations from God, but at least they have had the courage to admit error. We would suggest that relying on the Word of God and nothing else for our information about end times is a much wiser and better way to function.
--Reference: September/October, 2001, issue of The Prophesy Club newspaper.

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, NovDec01.