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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Noah's ark... really?

A friend of ours recently shared one of those Facebook posts you often see about Noah's Ark having been discovered.  I may have been a bit overzealous in my dismissal of such a thing (I believe my words were "a soaking-wet-when-put-in-drydock gopherwood cruise ship").  But here's why such things set me off.  I think it is wonderful to send and share inspirational messages and declarations of faith on FB- BUUUT.... we are told in Paul's letters to know what we are talking about so that we have a ready defense.  Too many atheists are out there waiting to jump on Christians, and too many people on the fence drift away when they dig into things like this and find ot the truth.

Step one: Let us use logic here.   As you can see in the "article", the date is June, 1987.  If a secular Muslim government was going to announce the discovery of Noah's Ark- 23 years ago- don't you think that by now it would be THE major tourist site of all time?  The Turkish government did declare a national park around it- as they do with most archaelogical sites- to protect it.  They attempted to do the same thing with UNESCO aproval around another "site" found in 2011. Plus, Turkey being a Muslim nation isn't likely to promote a Judeo-Christian version of the Ark when according to the Quran surah 54:13 it was just a "thing of wood and nails"- in other words, just a regular boat.

Step two: A little research here.  Ronald Wyatt was a nurse-anesthetist with no archaeological background when he saw a picture in Life magazine and a quick way to make a buck.  He was quickly dismissed by credible scientists as well as his own denomination (Seventh-Day Adventist), and his own partner in the discovery- and book that followed- called it the "biggest long-running hoax in history".  He has gone on to "discover" many other things, and write books on them as well.

Step three:  Logic again.  If you believe the literal account of the Bible, virtually everything on Earth was destroyed in the flood.  Ergo, building material, firewood, and rotting wood-type food for fungi had one source for the next fifty years or so.  Really think much of it survived?

Step four: The religious end of things.  Anything of a nature like the Ark, man would go overboard making idols of.  Maybe not idols like carvings of Marduk, but consider the following.  Around AD 328, the mother of Constantine the Great claimed to have discovered the True Cross that Christ hung on.  Even if the cross had been hidden for three hundred years- and the Romans hadn't just tore it down for campfires or used it on someone else- there began to be such a proliferation of fragments that John Calvin said:

"There is no abbey so poor as not to have a specimen. In some places there are large fragments, as at the Holy Chapel in Paris, at Poitiers, and at Rome, where a good-sized crucifix is said to have been made of it. In brief, if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it."

Altogether, there are ten pieces extant that can be reasonable proved to have passed through the hands of the Byzantine throne (mind you, not in the Blood of Christ, just that they MIGHT be part of what Helen found), along with thousands of other churches that claim to have a bit, and a church in Ethiopia that claims to have the entire right wing of the cross buried beneath it.
The moral being, if it had existed, it would have likely long since been farmed out for parts.  Second moral- in the Bible, only one such man made object is claimed to have survived- The Ark of the Covenant (which Wyatt also claimed to find), which according to Revelations 11:19 is very clearly IN HEAVEN.  God's not a hoarder, and it's likely not His purpose to save things that only make His people lose focus on what's important.

Step five: simple science.  A few years back, archaeologists in our own back yard stumbled onto the old Gronauer Locks of the Wabash and Erie Canal, buried in the 1840s when it was rendered obsolete by the railroads.  To perserve them once unburied, they had to be immersed in water immediately, lest exposure to air cause them to rot and crumble.  As it's not likely the remains were immersed on the side of the mountain, show of hands of those who think Noah and Sons, Inc., spent the next decade or so, shovels in hand?

Step six: Comparative mythologies.  And here is where the atheists will nail you.  At least fourteen major cultures had versions of the flood myth.  How does it prove (unless you find"Noah and Sons, Inc., " carved into the bow) that it was Noah's ship and not that of Gilgamesh, Deucalion, or Quetzalcoatl?  Much like the recent Church for Jesus' tomb, or the discovery of "John the Baptist's ossuary".  You can prove a historical figure, not His divinity.  For that, there is no archaeological replacement for faith.

Step seven: Geography.  Man has tried to find things for centuries based on the Bible stories, but discounting two big things.  First, that a big flood of Biblical size rearranges EVERYTHING.  People have been trying for ages to find the Garden of Eden (Also in heaven per Revelations) based on the Tigris and Euphrates being two of the four rivers of the Garden.  But how in the world could they be the SAME rivers we have now? (Not to mention, if you did find it, there'd be a rather large Angel with a flaming sword to keep you out!)  The second- and the part that everyone misses- is in Genesis ch. 10 and 11.  Six generations from Noah you find Peleg, so named because "in his day the earth was divided."  Some people pass this off as a reference to the dispersion after the Tower of Babel incident (Oh, and Wyatt claimed to find that, too).  But the word is translated Earth and not "people"; I think that the division of the continents we call "continental drift" is what the Bible is referring to, and that would create even more geological chaos.  You can research that on your own if you care to, and make your own conclusions.  Suffice it to say, "Ararat" then might not be Ararat now.

Finally, let's look at the big picture.  The big picture is salvation, and it doesn't come from any pile of wood.  It comes from Christ, what He did and what He does.  And Noah's ark is a nativity scene is a Chick-fil-A sandwich.  It might make you feel good, or make you think about something, but in the end only distracts you from what's important- your soul, and the soul of the guy next to you.  If My FB comments offended, I am sorry.  But I feel my job is to say, "Keep your focus, people".

22 comments:

  1. I heard they also found the apple that Eve bit into that got her booted from Eden. It's a perfectly preserved granny smith in a plastic bag in my kitchen and definitely did not come from the grocery store. Please pay me and make me famous?

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    1. Yeah, I think that might have been on Wyatt's list too...

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  2. So let's assume that you really do find whatever remains of Noah's ark. Now what? There isn't going to be anything left of it, and the contents up and left as soon as the ark put into port.

    I think you did a good job with your closing argument here. Let us not lose sight of the target.

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    1. Thank you. Too many people have that "National Enquirer" faith and get sucked into worrying about things like this. Kinda like running around with a tongue depresser yelling, "Look! Ice Cream!!!"

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  3. My pastor and Kay Arthur have both just recently spoken about keeping your focus. Good to know you are also sharing that same message.

    Another great post. Thank you!

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  4. Cwm:
    Kudos...
    Now THAT deserves a 2-hour special on ANY (or all) of the HISTORY CHANNELS!!!

    Very well thought out (and practical to boot).
    Extrememly well done.

    Stay safe up there.

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    1. The well-thought out result of wishing to expand on a correct but snarky comment.

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  5. I read your comments on Facebook and agreed with them. Then, I read this and REALLY agree with you.
    As always, great job.

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  6. I wear the robe Jesus was buried in on occasion, its still the God like smell it. Am I famous yet?

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  7. As you know, I tend to stay well away from religious discussion for reasons of my own but I wanted to say to you that I think this post is excellent.

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  8. Of and the comment from Monkey Butt just reminded me of something I heard on the radio just now about the sale of pair of unwashed underpants that belonged to Elvis. (no disrepect intended to the theme of the original post, only I know your pasion for music too)

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    1. Elvis' boxers... now that's where the real money's at!

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  9. Very well thought out and logical. I agree with everything stated. Well done.

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  10. This is just my opinion (again, this is just my opinion), but I believe the site in question is genuine. It's not only the remains of the boat itself, but evidence around the site that is persuasive. Giant drogue stones, used for stabilizing and slowing a floating vessel, are found nearby with crosses scratched into them (which reinforces the idolatry point made in step four). Radar scans also reveal the ship's undercarriage, which show several timbers (or "ribs") running throughout the walls and floor in an even pattern, like beams on a ship.
    Secondly, the opinions of the Muslim government regarding the use of the site for a grand tourist attraction as well as those of the Seventh Day Adventist Church regarding the person of Ron Wyatt serve little to render this discovery invalid. The fact remains that the object does exist.
    In step three, it is stated that there was only one source of firewood and building material in the days after the flood. However, Noah's release of the birds while still afloat attests to the existence of local trees.
    Step five mentions that burial is necessary for the preservation of some materials. It was no doubt exceptionally muddy when the ark came to rest, correct? Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but the majority of the object had been buried for ages until an earthquake in the area exposed a greater section of the hull.
    Comparative mythologies in step six serve only to validate the fact that at some time in the past some vessel was built to preserve life during some flood. Whether it belonged to Noah, Gilgamesh, or Captain Ahab is only speculative.
    The rearrangement of geography indeed occurred during the flood, resulting in altered river courses and re-naming (Euphrates, Tigris, etc). However, the ark came to rest in the mountains (plural) of Ararat *after* the flood. The ensuing continental drift mentioned in Genesis 10 no doubt altered the landscape, yet stating that the Ararat of the past may not be the Ararat of today is again only speculative.
    Again, this is just my opinion on the matter as I look at the evidence. If it's not Noah's Ark, hey, no sweat. My faith in Christ doesn't stand or fall based on the merits of Ron Wyatt.

    God bless you all,
    Gabriel

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    1. Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you- this was an old post, and it has recently regained prominence as a wave of people have for one reason or another looked it up.

      You had very good points on why it MIGHT be Noah's Ark. I wish you had come off of "anonymous, you seem well thought and sincere. But my real points are twofold- a) Stop believing everything you read on Facebook, and B) what does it really matter? Other than POSSIBLE confirmation of the event- which as I said in step six is nearly impossible- it can only serve as a distraction when the point is to have faith in Jesus. Like you said, faith doesn't stand or fall on man's 'discoveries'.

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    2. Yeah, I tried twice to register so as not to come off as "Anonymous," but it kept giving me an error. That's why I signed it "Gabriel" at the end.

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    3. ASA. thinking really mstters. anyone with knowledge of facebook should not misguide others. and most importantly everyone should have some study of religeous books, be quite if you dont know anything.

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    4. I quite agree. Know before you post.

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