Using your talent
Published: 1 January 2013 (GMT+10)
A New Year is upon us! It has become a popular custom that many people make a New Year’s resolution, setting out a personal goal, a project they would like to complete, or perhaps a bad habit that they would like to break. Personally, I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions because if there is something that you need to change in your lifestyle to serve God better, you shouldn’t wait until the New Year to do so—and a recent survey showed that 88% of people don’t even keep them.1 However it is a good opportunity to focus the mind on how we could better use our talents in the year ahead.
In Matthew 25:14–30 we can read the Parable of the Talents, in which Jesus teaches on what He expects from Christians as we faithfully wait for His return. It is not to be a period of inactivity, but one of going about the Master’s business as diligently and forthrightly as we can, using our ‘talents’. In the parable, “Though a talent is not a capacity or skill, as in the English usage, nevertheless the English meaning is useful because in the terms of the parable the monetary represents far more than money. It stands for the sum of all our God-given abilities, resources and opportunities.”2 Jesus teaches that all Christians have been given different degrees of responsibilities and abilities, and that He expects us to use them wisely to further His kingdom.
2012 was yet another big year of pushing the evolution story and the ‘religion is evil’ mantra. For example, the artistic representation of North American ‘feathered’ dinosaurs, hoping to persuade people of a strong evolutionary dinosaur-to-bird connection, or the ‘pragmatic atheist’ Richard Dawkins’ book tour, promoting his latest call for abandonment of faith, The Magic of Reality, targeting both the young and old. Thankfully both of these examples were more than adequately responded to by people who are using their ‘talents’, but much more can be done!
Dr Albert Mohler points out that, “Evolution is the great intellectual rival to Christianity in the Western world. It is the creation myth of the secular elites and their intellectual weapon of choice in public debate. … They are using all the tools and arguments at their disposal to discredit any denial of evolution and to marginalize voices who question the dogma of Darwinism. They are working hard to establish unquestioned belief in evolution as the only right-minded and publicly acceptable position. They have already succeeded among the intellectual elites. Their main project now is the projection of this victory throughout popular culture.”3
Pressing forward, gaining ground
As Christians we should be examining ourselves rigorously and asking, “In this debate am I using my abilities, resources and opportunities to my full capacity in a way that would please Jesus?”
In this very contemporary and relevant war of competing world views on our origins (Creation or Evolution?), every battle and every soldier counts, but the soldier needs to be at the right battle line. This is clearly one of today’s major battle lines and there are many practical ways for everyone to get involved in some way, for example:
- Share creation.com ‘business’ cards.
- Give out creation tracts or booklets.
- Read on the subject yourself so that you know the relevant points and can talk with people about them.
- Place Creation magazines in public places e.g. waiting rooms of doctors/dentists, etc.
- Show creation videos to your friends, family, or home-group.
- Organize a CMI speaker for your church, youth fellowship, etc. You can request a speaker.
- Run a stall at a country fair or festival promoting the Gospel and Creation apologetics. Here is one example. Some have built a model of Noah’s Ark as an effective drawcard and talking point.
- Use Facebook to share articles or videos on creation.com with friends.
- Teach Sunday School or children’s club using creation materials.
- Teach your own children/grandchildren creation apologetics.
- Give gifts of creation books or videos.
- Teach school scripture classes, incorporating the creation message (but you might have to be circumspect in the way you do it).
- Encourage your local Christian radio station to play CMI’s 60-second radio spots.
- If you have an area of expertise then why not use your knowledge and write or speak on it?
There are many good Christians who have sincere faith in the biblical account of creation, but unfortunately they don’t defend and promote it. James 2:14 says, “What good is it my brothers, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works?” God expects our faith to be demonstrated by our actions.
Resolving to engage
In 2013 what actions will you and I take to ensure that we are using our abilities, resources and opportunities to stand and defend at the front line of the battle, where the world is attacking the Gospel—at its very foundation?
You know what talents, abilities and resources you have been granted; will you use the opportunities provided in 2013 to combat today’s greatest and most active agent of moral and spiritual disintegration,4 namely the evolutionary dross which is an attack on the Bible? Will Jesus be able to say to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
References and notes
- See Lehrer, J, Blame It on the Brain: The latest neuroscience research suggests spreading resolutions out over time is the best approach, 26 December, 2009, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703478704574612052322122442.html, accessed 30 November, 2012. Return to text.
- Terry Johnson, The Parables of Jesus, Christian Focus Publications, 2007, p. 396. Return to text.
- See http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/02/01/creation-vs-evolution-the-new-shape-of-the-debate/, accessed 7 December 2012. Return to text.
- Clarke, C. L., Evolution and the Breakup of Christendom, Marshall, Morgan & Scott Ltd, London, 1930, p.36. Return to text.
I'm afraid I have to agree with Peter H from Ireland. The rules are very clear, the sorts of creationism and creation 'science' promoted by organisations like CMI are not permitted in British schools for very good reasons. To exhort people to teach it 'circumspectly' is an implicit call to people to deceive their employers and the parents of the children involved!
The Bible is very, very clear on dishonesty. It mentions the importance of honesty many, many times. Creation is taught honestly in schools. As it is written and the various ways in which it can be interpreted - including your way of reading it. There is no room for your particular science denying version because it is not an honest version.
In your enthusiasm to agree with Peter H, you have chosen to ignore my response to him; thus your supercilious comments about dishonesty are misplaced, having already been answered. Also, his comment (and the part of the article to which he referred) specifically mention scripture classes, not science classes.
Very encouraging. I had just been thinking about "gifts" last night during my Bible reading and drew a correlation between this article and the first few verses of Romans chapter 12. I truly feel like I have a talent, or "gift" for creation science. Your ministry has played no small part in spurring me on to pursue my passions. I'm looking forward to finishing the next two years of college strong and perhaps publishing an article in one of those "proper" science journals in the future. Graham D. is probably correct on a number of his prophecies but it is just a sober reminder that God's judgement will not be long in waiting.
God bless you,
Thank you very much for this article. It is a remarkable providence that our pastor was preaching on Matthew 25:14-30 on the 30th of December. He was saying that we need to invest well our resources - spiritual and material . . .
. . . which coincides wonderfully with what was written here. My prayers for your ministry in the New Year,
You advise people to get your message across by teaching scripture class at school, but you then advise they may have to be "circumspect" in delivering the creation message. Are you not in fact suggesting people lie to the school about their intentions. As a parent I would be extremely upset if someone were teaching anything in a "circumspect" manor and I do not appreciate your methods. Perhaps schools should be made aware of the methods you aspouse.
Nowhere in CMI's literature or web articles do we suggest (or even hint) that people should use devious means to accomplish their purposes, quite the contrary. Since when was acting circumspectly the equivalent of lying? Christians are exhorted to be Christ-like, and since He is "the Truth" (John 14:6), Christians clearly are enjoined to avoid lies of any kind.
However, within an evolutionary world-view (especially an atheistic one), lying is justified if it aids survival: “In our personal, professional and collective social lives it looks as if we may have no choice but to confront uncertainty [by lying] if we are to survive—and survive well. So we will need to be very careful in future about choosing the situations in which we lie. All lies have networks of consequences we did not expect or intend” (Born to sin: Why nature wants you to be bad, BBC Focus magazine, issue 212, February 2010).
Place Creation magazine in public places eg doctors/dentists waiting rooms. As a privately practising doctor I respectfully suggest that you first make sure that the chosen doctor /dentist waiting room is indeed a public place. I have had several religious pamphlets surreptitiously left in my (private) waiting room and this leaves a sour taste Especially when non-religious brochures have never been left in such a way - People have always politely asked for permission for these to be displayed
What a timely reminder .... it encourages me that I'm on the right path as I write a Blog championing all things Christian - I'm especially passionate about Creation. But because I am totally without 'scientific' qualifications and in the world's eyes a nobody, I don't get that many readers and sometimes I'm fearful that I write simply because I enjoy writing so much; so I probably don't blog as often as I should. Sometimes I write things that I never even post.
But the Lord knows my heart for His truth and I have gained so much from web sites such as CMI and the Creation magazine which I've read for some years now. So my resolve with the Lord's help is to blog more regularly.
Coincidently[?] I was reading from James' letter this morning - that very scripture 'faith without works is dead' spoke to my heart in regard to my blogging !
There has never been a time for passivity within the true Church of Christ, but surely if ever there was a time when we all have to unite against spiritual wickedness in high places it now.
This article dovetails wonderfully with a sermon from by Carter Conlon from Time Square Church which I listened to online yesterday, entitled "It's time to face the music". He expounded that we either dance to the tune the secular world is playing or we ... engage in the battle.
I thank God for the information that I can get from CMI, and pray that I use it to good effect. You may not ever fully realise until time is fulfilled just how many people have been truly blessed and rescued by your ministry.
Hi Phil. Happy new year.
Yes that time is amongst us again, the earth has successfully made another revolution of the sun (and not vice versa). It is also that time of year where people select their new years resolutions. This would be a good time to encourage your readers to take advantage of Australia's world-class education system, instead of indulging in ignorance dressed up as science.
Anyhow, I have a few 'note-worthy' prophecies for this year:
1) Over 1000 papers will be published in the most prestigious science journals confirming evolution.
2) Not a single paper will be published in any proper science journal confirming biblical creation.
3) Several educators will lose their teaching jobs for trying to teach creationism.
4) Several legal victories will be won against creationism
5) More people will identify as non-believers producing a small but noticable spike in that category.
Heck, these prophecies are just as ambiguous as that of the Bible, wouldn't you agree?
Have a safe new year.
Interesting that you should be concerned about "indulging in ignorance dressed up as science." Certainly, wilful ignorance is something for which the offender is culpable. Adrian Bates writes:
Ignorance as such is not a sin, nor are genuinely mistaken opinions. But wilful ignorance falls into a different category altogether. For someone to have looked seriously at the words of Genesis and to maintain that it is not straightforward historical narrative, as Jesus and the NT writers all took it, seems incredible. It seems that the question on that great day will not be “Did you understand it?” but “Did you believe it?”
CMI is not in the business of making predictions but your own 'prophecies' betray an ignorance (or denial?) of the basic distinction between historical science and operational (experimental) science (see here). The moment that a single peer-reviewed paper confirming fish-to-philosopher evolution is published (let alone a thousand), please let us know! Papers on natural selection don't count (which is not evolution in this big-picture sense), neither do papers on speciation . And since all mutations so far elucidated by scientists are irrelevant to the claimed evolution of novel proteins (let alone the evolution of tissues, organs, organs systems or whole organisms - see here), make sure any new paper on a DNA mutation isn't just another tired example of a defect/loss of already existing information.
As for Biblical prophecy, taking just one example, the numerous, specific instances of fulfillment of OT predictions in the life and death of Jesus Christ are enough to silence all but the wilfully ignorant (see CMI's DVD, Jesus in Genesis: The Messianic Prophecies).