Is Teaching Creation Child Abuse?

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 in Nuttings from the Front | 2 comments

  An article in Creation Ministries International’s Prayer News (April 2014) caught my eye. It was entitled: “ ‘Teaching creation is child abuse’? A response to rabid atheist claims.” In this well-written article, Gary Bates exposed their tactics and answered their unscientific claims. Teaching creationism has been called “child abuse” because it is withholding information from children. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Creationists like Bates and those of us at AOI, do not support withholding information about evolution from children. Rather, we advocate teaching them the whole story, helping them to really understand both the scientific method and the evolution model and teaching them to recognize the underlying presuppositions and philosophical implications of the origins debate.  We want students to learn to think critically, to ask good questions, to evaluate data, and to differentiate between facts and assumptions. We advocate teaching students to distinguish between operational (experimental) science and historical science, and to learn to recognize what type of science is needed for various types of questions. We encourage them to test competing models, to examine the strengths (and weaknesses) of each, and to evaluate how they fit with real, objective evidence. In addition, we encourage them to research and think deeply about the logical and historical consequences of adopting each viewpoint. It is not creationists, but evolutionists who withhold information from students. From preschool to university, they are taught a one-sided, biased evolutionary worldview. They are not given the opportunity to examine anything else, or even to hear about the weaknesses of the evolution model. God has effectively been banned from the classroom under the guise of “neutrality,” which is not really neutral at all. If anything is intellectual child abuse, this one-sided, biased approach would seem to qualify. One has to wonder: if teaching creationism is seen as “child abuse,” how long will it be before teaching about God, even at home, will be labeled as such? You think it couldn’t happen? Open your eyes. Think again. In the communist Russia not so long ago, teaching children about God was strictly forbidden and could result in fines, punishment, and removal of children from the home. In some countries today, you can be killed for teaching the Bible to children. We need to wake up and turn the tide, taking a firm stand on the truth of Scripture; teaching children to be wise, discerning, and bold; speaking the truth in love to a lost and confused generation. (For more information on this topic, check out Creation Ministries International –   Mary Jo Nutting If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Getting over our fears

Posted on May 30, 2014 in Stepaneks from the Front | 3 comments

  As many of you know, my wife Sue was diagnosed with cancer in the small intestine.  When we first heard the news, we and the doctors were very concerned about the severity of the cancer.  There was a chance the cancer had already spread to the other organs.  Thoughts of living without Sue went through my mind.  These thoughts were unbearable.  The surgery went very well and the doctors were confident they removed all the cancer, but then there was the recovery.  The recovery was worse than I expected.  Sue had about six months of pain, weight lose, and digestive problems.   On top of all that, she had some complications, and two weeks ago had to undergo major surgery to fix these complications. Reflecting on the past six months with the fear of losing my wife and the pain she was enduring, I realized this would all be for a season.  I knew one day we would be together again and she would have no more pain. Then I thought about the unbeliever.  If a person has not trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior, he will live forever in a place of misery and be eternally separated from the Creator.  This was a thought too scary to entertain.  I then read a couple of Scriptures where God weeps, and two of these times it was over the unbeliever.  God weeps over the broken relationships caused by sin and the rejection by the unbeliever of His free gift of salvation.  God longs for a relationship with all people. Then I realized I was part of the problem.  I was scared, and sometimes reluctant, to witnesses to others.  People need to know about the free gift! And how will they know if someone does not tell them!  It was time for me to overcome these fears and tell others.  After spending so much time in the hospital, I decided to witness to the nurses.  I was surprised to see the hunger that they had to know the truth.  One nurse said he believed God had brought us to the ICU just for him.  He was struggling with many issues and creation and salvation was just what he needed to hear. John  4:35 –  “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” (KJV) This statement is so true, the fields are white, but we need laborers.   Rich Stepanek If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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A Spiritual Battleground

Posted on May 29, 2014 in Johnsons from the Front | 0 comments

  In April, I was invited by Master Plan Ministries  to speak on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver. The Auraria campus is the home of Metro State College, University of Colorado Denver, Community College of Denver and approximately 40,000 students. Auraria is the largest campus in Colorado and has a very sizeable international student population from some of the most closed nations in the world. I was invited to speak on the “hot” topic of Creation at the weekly evening meeting (AMP). I shared with a larger than usual crowd on “Is the Bible Scientifically Accurate?,” which received a good response and lots of one-on-one Q&A time after the meeting. During this evening meeting, Scott (a staff member with Master Plan) invited everyone to the talks I would be doing the next day at the science building on campus … “Age of the Earth”, “Hand of God”, and “Miracle of Life.” Scott went on to share, “Today, as Jesse (Director of Master Plan Ministries, Auraria campus) and I were hanging up posters for this event, we had a professor come up and say, ‘No offense, but I will be tearing all these posters down.’ We respectfully responded explaining that we have a right to put posters up as a club and asked that he not tear them down.” Master Plan had been doing many Creation events at the science building and advertising them with posters … the posters kept disappearing! After taking the science professor to task, the posters have remained after posting. It would seem that an “unbiased” scientist was not so unbiased after all. While on campus I saw many posters advertising many events and functions – from different religions, alternative life-styles, benefits of drug use, abortion clinics, etc. All of these were tolerated. Yet any mention of the Bible and Creation is considered intolerable by some! Please pray for the truth of the Word of God to be delivered to the campus through the staff and volunteers at Master Plan Ministries. They are on a spiritual battleground!   Lanny Johnson If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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How Ungrateful We Can Be

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 in Stepaneks from the Front | 1 comment

  As most of you know, I had a Whipple surgery on November 25th, because of cancer in the duodenum.  As the months after my surgery pass, and as I try to adjust to my “new” (but certainly not improved!) redesigned digestive system, I have found myself having some troubling thoughts.  I have often looked with envy at other people who can eat anything they want, anytime they want, and feel good afterwards.  No pills, no pain, no restrictions, and I think, “this just isn’t fair.”  These people do not think twice about what a blessing it is to have a digestive system that works well.  It doesn’t even cross their mind!  How ungrateful these people are! Then God brought conviction to my heart.  I thought about people who are blind.  Do I really thank God daily for my sight?  I honestly had to answer, “No.”  What about people who are wheelchair bound for life?  Do I thank God daily for the ability to move and walk?  Another “no” answer.  Or how about those who are bedridden, or have lost limbs, terminally ill children, stroke victims, and the list could go on and on.  You get the picture.  I was just like the people I had called ungrateful.  I was no different. I was suddenly overcome with my own self-centeredness.  And I cried out to God for forgiveness.  I could see my own area of suffering so clearly and yet there are so many areas of my life in which God had blessed me tremendously, but I often take those blessings for granted.  We all are keenly aware of our own “area of suffering,” whatever it may be.  But how often we fail to have TRUE compassion for those who are suffering in other ways.  My prayer is that I would truly have a grateful heart daily to see the blessings from The Lord and to have a heart of loving compassion for others.   Sue Stepanek If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Total Surrender

Posted on Jan 24, 2014 in Stepaneks from the Front | 2 comments

  I have been thinking quite a bit lately about the term “surrender.”  In the weeks leading up to surgery, the word took on a whole new meaning.  Suddenly, so many things were out of my control.  It sometimes takes a real attitude adjustment, to release OUR control to others, even to God.  I heard a sermon during this same time period,  reminding me that I cannot question God’s path because it is different than my agenda; even when that path includes cancer.  I MUST surrender.  Sometimes it is forced upon us.  We can respond willingly, or reluctantly. This may seem silly, but right after surgery, when I was in the recovery room, the first thing I said to Rich was, “I have a great idea for a blog.”  As I was coming out of the anesthesia, my mind was thinking about my surrender to my surgeon and the other doctors and nurses that day.     I definitely was no longer in control.  I was TOTALLY in their hands (I know I am ultimately in the Lord’s hands). I was depending on them for everything. I had to trust them to know what they were doing.  And I did trust them.  Actually, I didn’t want to be in control! I didn’t have the medical know-how about these things. Even after the surgery, I had so many tubes, drains, monitors, and machines hooked up that I could hardly even move. How silly, I thought, that sometimes we have a hard time surrendering to God, who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and so loving.  I would not have considered for a minute on giving advice to my surgeon on the best way to perform his job, or tell him that I maybe had a better plan.  But yet so often that is how we approach our heavenly Father, wanting our own agenda to be accomplished instead of surrendering to His path …whatever that may be. Now I KNOW it is not an easy thing to do at times, but it is the only way to true joy and peace.  This also is not a one-time event, but a daily, even moment by moment, continual process, as I am finding out through my slower than I expected recovery process.  Again, I need to remind myself that I cannot, should not, and will not, question God’s agenda, for He is truly a competent, trustworthy Physician!   Sue Stepanek If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Who’s Fault is it? A response…

Posted on Dec 31, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 1 comment

  I received a comment on a recent blog (Who’s fault is it?), and so I wanted to respond on today’s blog. Comment: Do you think that it’s possible that God sometimes inflicts suffering to instruct us? Hear me out. The curse of the ground was to bring thorns into the work of man, to remind him that he’s the cause of his own suffering. And the animal sacrifices instituted by God in the beginning: they cost us something. It’s a little pain to show that we desire to be reconciled to God. And as you read the prophets, what did God do with Israel. Note that it is God doing the damage a lot of the time. And death itself is a curse from God on man. It was promised as a result of sin. But those who have faith in the resurrection power of Jesus’ sinless life, death, and resurrection can overcome death by it. It would be like me flicking my son’s finger when he sticks it in my mouth. (Filthy, grubby little things!) Sure, it hurts for a little while, and sometimes it hurts a lot for a long while, but we have faith that it’s for the good. I take that position currently. Does it seem tenable to you?   Response: I will have to agree with you to a certain extent.  In some cases it is a very tenable. God can use suffering to instruct us.  Hopefully, suffering will bring us back to God and His Word, because Scripture is where we receive God’s clearest instructions. God used plagues with the Israelites to draw them back to Him. In the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, we read of the blessings and curses for Israel.  When Israel turned away from God and His laws, it would result in a number of curses, including diseases. Many times God would send His prophets to warn the Israelites of their sins.  In Exodus, God sent a number of different plagues on the Israelites because of their rebellion.  In these cases, it was very clear that these plagues were from God for the purpose of turning Israel from their sin and back to Him.  The same is true for pharaoh and Egypt.  Pharaoh and the Egyptians knew these plagues were from God, because of their disobedience to God.  Moses, God’s prophet, clearly proclaimed these consequences and plagues to pharaoh.  The same thing is expressed to your son, for he knows he did something wrong by your flicking of his finger. Today it is not always so clear.  Look at Job.  His friends were accusing Job of living in sin and thus God was obligated to bring judgment on him.  This was clearly not the case.  In Job 42:7-8, God rebukes Job’s friends for not speaking correctly about the LORD! Job 42:7, 8 “And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to...

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Wonderfully Made

Posted on Dec 18, 2013 in Marianis from the Front | 1 comment

  Note: If you haven’t yet heard, we are excited to announce that we are pregnant and expecting our first child in June, 2014! We praise God for answering our prayers and giving us the blessing of children! There is something mysterious and wonderful about having a baby growing inside of you. He or she is about the size of a pea pod now, and it still seems incredibly surreal. Pregnancy still felt like something my imagination had conjured up, until we got to have an ultrasound and hear our little one’s heartbeat. My teary eyes saw little arm and leg buds wiggling, and our amazed ears heard the whooshing of a tiny heart beating. We could see the silhouette of this little person inside my belly! If I could look inside now, I would see a little nose and other facial features, tiny arms with hands and fingers, and little legs. His or her joints are mostly formed, and small fingerprints are forming. And within my baby’s wee body ribs and vocal chords will soon be developing.  Bones are hardening.[1] This little person is looking like a baby! When I consider all this, I marvel and am amazed at the design of our Creator God. Soon after we found out that we were expecting, my husband and I watched “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” a lecture by Dr. David Menton. This is an excellent explanation of how the many detailed stages of the reproduction process, from fertilization to delivery, are examples of design. There are countless mechanisms and processes of development that, if they developed gradually, would cause the death of either the mother or the baby. To say that the process of evolution slowly fixed the problems just doesn’t make sense in light of the disastrous effects of something being just a little bit wrong. In general, it happens so perfectly that it can only be attributed to a designer. As I give thanks to my gracious God for the honor and privilege of caring for this tiny creation, I am reminded of the words of David in Psalm 139: “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” (Ps. 139:13-15) To God be the glory, great things He has done   Aimee Mariani If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha...

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Who’s fault is it?

Posted on Dec 11, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 2 comments

  As more tests were performed to determine the extent of Sue’s cancer, there was good news.  The cancer seems to be contained to one area.    It seems we may have detected the cancer before it spread to other organs, and the surgery appears to confirm this.  The surgery was a difficult one, but a success, and we are still in for a long haul. The question is, who is responsible for Sue having cancer?  Is it God’s fault?  If God is a God of love, how could He allow Sue to have cancer?  God is not to blame.  As I study Genesis chapters one and two, God made everything perfect (very good).  Cancer is not ‘very good.’  It is a corruption of what was originally very good. So, how did this corruption enter into God’s perfect creation?  Again, the answer lies in Genesis.  Adam and Eve were made to live forever in paradise, but something went wrong.  The serpent, which was possessed by Lucifer, deceived Eve, who then enticed Adam to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  When Adam ate of the fruit from this tree, death and corruption entered into God’s perfect world. So God is not to blame; man is to blame.  The death and suffering we observe around us is a consequence of sin.  I have also observed that when mankind moves further away from God and His Word, suffering seems to increase. Does Sue have cancer because God is punishing her for her sins or those of her parents?  The answer to that question again is no.  Jesus revealed this in John chapter nine. John 9:2, 3: “And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” Is it God’s will or desire for her to have cancer?  The answer again is no.  God’s desire is for all to repent and have eternal life and have it abundantly.  God came to bring life and not corruption and death.  The evil one comes to bring death and suffering. John 10:10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”  Jesus Christ came to deliver us from this present evil world of death and suffering. Galatians 1:4:  “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:” Revelation 21:4: “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.” God’s will and desire is to take away death, sorrow,...

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Dirty Six Letter Word

Posted on Nov 20, 2013 in Stepaneks from the Front | 0 comments

  Most people have heard of those bad four letter words, but there is a six letter word that affects many people today.  People shudder when they hear this word, especially if they are told they have it.  That six letter word is cancer.  Sue, my wife, was told that she has cancer.  The doctor said it was bad, and we were in for the long haul. Thoughts of death immediately came into our minds.  We were in a state of deep mourning for two or three days.  The mourning wasn’t over her dying, but over her separation from loved ones.  There is no condemnation in Christ, and to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Romans 8:1:  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Philippians 1:21:  “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” As we were grieving over this temporary separation, we were wondering how God must feel with permanent separation from those who do not trust in Jesus as their Savior? God loves everyone and desires to have a close relationship with all of mankind, and that is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. John 3:16, 17:  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” Having cancer is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.  The worst thing that can happen to a person is to die without knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior.   Richard Stepanek If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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“Biblical Rains” Flooding in Colorado

Posted on Sep 16, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

  The flooding in eastern Colorado these last few days certainly has been a devastating event as you likely saw on the news for days and days. The amount of rain there was close to 18-20 inches. That is a whole lot considering that it was somewhere close to the annual precipitation amount and over twice what our hometown in Grand Junction gets in a year! A lot of rain, but I was amused by the headline in USA Today: “‘Biblical’ Rains Flood Colorado.” Well, if you have read Genesis 6-8, you will note that the Biblical rains were a WHOLE lot more! In fact, according to the Bible, the Flood-waters covered the tops of the tallest peaks to a depth of at least 22-30 feet. Just think, if the top of Long’s Peak in Colorado was covered with water, along with the rest of the high mountains, there would have been no news stations on earth to report this Flood. All stations would be under huge depths of Flood waters. Some people have expressed concern about our safety. Thanks for praying for us! Just so you know, AOI is located in Western Colorado. We did get more rain than usual which was a welcome site in this desert area, but not much flooding except for some local creeks. However, please continue to pray about the Eastern range of Colorado. Also, if you hear about our Grand Junction area of Colorado getting 15-20 inches of rain, or even 5 inches at a time, you can really pray, as most of Grand Junction would likely float down to the ocean.   Dave Nutting If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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Water in a Dry Place

Posted on Jul 25, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

  It was a fun, but challenging week at Camp Shiloh in Wyoming, teaching 45 kids, ages 6-16, from extremely diverse backgrounds. Some of the kids were from solid Christian homes and have been at camp every summer for many years. Others were there for the first time and came from extremely difficult home situations. In addition there are cultural differences, as about ¼ of the kids are Native Americans from a nearby reservation. The knowledge level and spiritual understanding of the kids was so varied. Some were strong believers in Jesus – others didn’t even know who He is. Teaching such a diverse group can be a real challenge, but we believe each child came by God’s sovereignty and design. Each one is fearfully and wonderfully made and needs to know the truth of Creation and the wonderful love of the Lord in salvation. Camp Shiloh is an interdenominational camp held at Circle J ranch near Ten Sleep, WY, at the base of the beautiful Big Horn Mountains. The camp sits in a magnificent canyon, and has an interesting history as a cattle ranch, apple orchard, and now a Christian camp and retreat center. Our meetings were held in a quaint historic chapel, and we enjoyed watching a flock of sheep pastured near our campsite, a cattle-drive down the main highway one morning, and the beautiful rushing river that ran through the camp. The only down-side was the heat during the day and the gale-force winds that threatened to blow us away one night (quite an experience in our little roof-top tent!) Creation ministry on the road sometimes has other interesting “challenges.” One night, I had an unexpected surprise as I made a mid-night journey across the camp to the necessary facilities. As I rounded the corner to the bathhouse, I was royally doused by a sprinkler, right by the door of the ladies’ bathhouse! I managed to get inside and do my business, but managed to get doused again as I tried to dodge the sprinkler on my way out. I’m glad it was a warm night. It really was pretty funny, and now I know how they keep the grass so beautifully green in this dry canyon country! We pray that God will water the seeds planted in the hearts of kids that week and touch the life of each child at their level of need. May the lessons learned through the teachings, songs, memory verses, crafts, games, cabin times, and relationships take root and grow strong. What a privilege and blessing it is to teach the truth of Creation, the reliability of the Word, and the wonderful gift of salvation in Jesus!   Mary Jo Nutting If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep...

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Family Hits Road With Creation

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

  After working so hard teaching and writing, it’s always good to know that your work is having an impact on the lives of others, and that they are taking the material learned from you and passing it on to others. Recently we received an encouraging testimony from a woman in Montana. She wrote:   Quite a few years ago [my husband] and I were at a marriage retreat in Colorado – over by Horn Creek at Hermit Basin. [We] were edified by the Creation Series. We have since purchased a video series to share with others and have sent one to a friend.  This summer my three younger kids and I are traveling across the states and we made a “re-purposed,” tall, card-board animal book into the creation story – 7 days – and then your copy of the plan of salvation. We have ministered to almost 100 people so far with the Creation story in two weeks – we have 6 weeks left on our journey. One girl came to Christ, one young man rededicated his life, Christians have had answers to where the dinosaurs fit in. The body of Christ has been so excited that we have shared the story with them. Thank you for sharing the truth. [My husband] and I do try to financially support you guys as often as possible. This fall we will be starting small groups in our home showing your DVD series to families. Thank you and bless you!  M.D., Montana (slightly modified)   This family has stepped out in faith and boldness, and God is blessing the endeavor. How encouraging to all of us at AOI! We wish everybody that hears the message of Creation and the Gospel would be so bold and creative. How about praying and asking Him to show you ways you can share with others. AOI’s DVD series would be a great place to start! Call AOI at 800-377-1923 to order a set or check out our website to get even more information, and order it there. “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men [and women], who will be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2)   Mary Jo Nutting If you would like to see if an AOI seminar is right for you, or you would like to help the work of Alpha Omega Institute, please visit our website events page or our donate page. Keep up to date with what AOI is doing.  Thanks for your...

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