Monday, December 25, 2017

Earning Gifts from Santa

The way I've always understood it, a gift is something that is freely given. If you work to receive something, it is not a gift, but earned like wages or something. Children in many parts of the world are told about a being known by many names, including Father Christmas, Sinterklaas, Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus (see the pattern on the last three names?), and others.


Credit: RGBStock / LUSI
Way back yonder, Nicholas was a godly man who was also a giver of gifts. Legends built up, and today we have a recluse who lives at the North Pole, flying around the world with in a sleigh drawn by reindeer and giving gifts to all the good little girls and boys. Probably defies the laws of physics, as this internet legend indicates.

Like many others, I believed in Santa Claus, but as I grew older, I realized that the storyline was impossible. The myth was shattered when I walked past my parents' bedroom, the door was wide open and a big box of unwrapped gifts was in the middle of the floor. If they didn't want me "snooping", they could have at least moved the box out of plain view.

I never shook the feeling that my parents lied to me, though. Many adults are telling this fable to their children, often to prompt them to "be good" so Santa will bring them presents. (It probably works for about a week before Christmas, then they're back to being their old selves again after they grab the loot.) My kids were never told the full myth, but were told about it. I disremember if we told them not to spoil it for other kids who believe in Santa, though. The reason we leveled with them about Santa is that we did not want them to associate that with the truth of God becoming flesh and taking on the form of a man, whose birth is observed on December 25 or January 6. Here is one picture mixing the Santa myth with the reality of Jesus' birth that I like very much.

There is a false salvation connection with Santa. He sees and knows every child all the time, like an omniscient god. (Someone pointed out that he shouldn't need a list to check twice if he's that all-knowing.) Kids have to earn their gifts through good behavior. Then they are not gifts, they are wages. It is very bad to associate salvation with works, because it is only through God's grace and a gift of God (Rom. 3:23, Rom. 6:23, Eph. 2:8-9). Don't confuse the kids, you savvy? And don't confuse yourselves, either. No religious traditions, ceremonies, chanting, "being good" or anything else can save you except repenting and trusting Christ alone for your salvation.

You want to play at the Santa game, fine. It's a cute decoration (except for the creepy ones) and ubiquitous. If you don't like it, that's fine too, but don't be going Pharisee on folks, old son. Santa is still a veiled symbol of giving, and God gave us his Son as the ultimate gift.
[A] popular song portrays the portly North-pole dwelling St. Nick as omnipresent and omniscient—he somehow knows what every child is doing everywhere in the world. Of course, those are attributes that belong to God alone.

It also urges children to “be good for goodness’ sake!” But some vague idea of “goodness’ sake” or the hope of reaping a reward from Santa (or anyone else) should never be our motivation for being good. And who defines what “good” is in this context anyway?

We should be “good”—as defined by God in his Word—because we love our Heavenly Father and do not want to sin against him, and because he has commanded us to be perfect as he is (Matthew 5:48).
To read the entire article, click on "Naughty or Nice?" Also, for more material of a biblical nature and a passel of links for further reading, click on "Christmas and Creationists".



Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Mythical British Isles

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Every once in a while, talk around the campfire turns away from strategies for riding herd and so forth to mythology. Some cowboys feel that they've talked wendigo or other scary native legends out, so they move on to myths of history. One that gets brought up every once in a while is the story of Great Britain. Amazingly, a few cowpokes actually believe it existed. Some self-styled intellectuals speculate that England (a part of the British Isles) exists in a parallel universe.

The story goes that the British Isles (a few big ones and about six thousand smaller islands) were a popular place for commerce and some amount of science. Sadly, the Brits rejected the true God and indulged in paganism, especially evolutionism. Their paganism, surrender to Moslem influences, atheism, and unjustified intellectual arrogance led to the utter destruction of Britain. Yep, the whole shootin' match sank beneath the waves of the Atlantic, never to be seen again.


Despite claims of believers, there is no reason to believe such a place as Great Britain ever existed.

Some people have written extensive histories of the formerly Great Britain, but many such scribblings can be found throughout literature — especially fantasies, such as Lord of the Rings and others. People have even brought up the fact that Britain is shown on maps of antiquity. Don't pay those no nevermind, since mythological Atlantis is also drawn onto maps such as this one from about 1669. Another nice detail to fill out the fictional history of Britain is the idea of Doggerland, which supposedly connected the mythical islands with the rest of Europe. To make the story more interesting, Doggerland was also submerged. Seriously, that is an excellent literary touch.

Unfortunately, conspiracy theorists perpetuate the myth that Britain not only existed, but it was great as well. Some even go as far as to try and convince others that it still exists today. They may claim, "Some people of the Isles were called Celts, and I have Celtic ancestry. I had DNA testing done. I'm also a descendant of the Canaanites." Whatever helps you sleep at night, Beauregard.

Like other myths that seem to have a basis in history, archaeology, paleontology, archaeology, and so forth, the formerly Great Britain remains shrouded in mystery and mythology. It has been said that parts of Britain, both geological and archaeological, have been found washed up on the New Jersey shore. These have been discredited. Like evolutionism, if something has a veneer of truth and funding for scientific research, gullible people are likely to believe it.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Blamestorming and Leftist Morality

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Several things converged in my consciousness over the past several days, and I felt compelled to write about them. Someone made a post long ago suggesting new words for the times, one of which was blamestorming. (Apparently it was added to the dictionary in later years.) Essentially, blamestorming is where people try to find a way to assign blame instead of solving a problem. I believe that some jaspers will simply place blame for its own sake, often for the purpose of ridicule, and to build up their own egos at the expense of other people or concepts with which they disagree — often labeling them evil.


Ships of Columbus, Ivan Aivazovsky, 1880

Blaming Christopher Columbus

Relevant for today is the outrage from social justice warriors about Columbus Day. One particularly risible statement on the web is along the lines of, "You can celebrate Columbus Day by going to someone else's house and saying that you live there now". Some areas even wish to delete the day and pretend it doesn't exist. These ideas come from corrupted leftist viewpoints that blame Christopher Columbus for evils, real and especially imagined, happening in the United States.

Sometimes, people like that want us to "give America back to the Indians". (Which is ironic when illegal Mexicans in the Southwest demand "their" land, which their ancestors took from the indigenous peoples. Are they going to "give the land back", too? Not hardly!) Also, the natives were warring and "stealing" land from each other for centuries, so where does "give the land back" end?


Blame for the Las Vegas Murders

Leftists have been indulging in hatred for supporters of President Donald J. Trump for several months. Much of this is simply rage that a leftist did not get elected, and their tantrums included efforts to reject the US Constitution. After the murders in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, leftists were rushing to blamestorm and politicize it for their own agenda. In this case, they detest the Second Amendment and want "gun control". Hillary Clinton was in the thick of things, and managed to sober up enough to humiliate herself. Leftist talk show hosts made vapid remarks, especially Jimmy Kimmel.

Some of the mentally incompetent leftists (but I repeat myself) wanted to blame the National Rifle Association, but they didn't do their homework: the number of mass shooters (and "mass shootings" are often defined as four or more) that are card-carrying NRA members is a big, fat, zero. Some leftists are so consumed with hate, they indicated that country music patrons were probably Trump supporters. This implied that since country fans are not mindless leftists, they deserve to die! At least CBS had sense enough to fire a heartless corporate VP.

So, the presumed Trump-supporting evil rednecks are subhuman and have no value to leftists, it appears. However, acts of heroism during the shooting are beginning to come to light. (Most likely, this is the same mentality of the "Cajun Navy" that helped flood victims in Houston, Texas.) People were helping one another, not inquiring about ethnicity, religion, sexual preference, politics or whatever. Elitists on the left are out of touch with real people.


Blame for Loss of Abortion "Rights"

I make no apologies that I reject abortion and the ridiculous arguments: "A woman's got a right to choose", "My body, my choice", "It's just a blob of cells going through stages of evolution", and so on. These "arguments" defy logic as well as morality. The issues is convoluted because "rights" are assumed, exceeding the provisions of the law and forgetting that true rights for men and women come from our Creator, not from legislation or activist judges.

Caliph B. Hussein Obama's mandate on abortion and contraception was overturned by Trump, and at the moment, there is a possibility that a ban on abortions after the child is twenty weeks old will be enacted. I recently walked in on a break-time discussion between two female co-workers on the subject. Should have brought crying towels! Impoverished women will not learn from their mistakes, so they'll be making babies and stay on welfare forever. Oh, please! Sheeple like that are the targets of angry leftists, forming more angry leftists. Those distressed damsels believed propaganda, and were unaware of the facts.

What lessons are women actually learning right now? That it's okay to be a — I mean, to be promiscuous — and then murder an unborn child because it is inconvenient. They are not learning true morality, nor are they learning God's standard for marriage. In addition, they are learning through putrefied rhetoric that free sex with whomever you desire is acceptable. Perhaps the fear of not being able to murder an unborn child would slow down the mattress dancing. I wouldn't bet on that, though.


Blaming Me for Someone Else's Reprimands

There is a tinhorn that I call Haywire the Stalker who hates biblical creationists, and especially this hombre, with a passion. (I should add that he is passionate about supporting another pseudoscience, a kissin' cousin of evolution, and that's global climate change.) He is unable or unwilling to discern the difference between lying and disagreement or error, and any evidence presented against evolution is "lying". He seeks glory and validation on forums and on Fazebook. However, Fazebook gave him a suspension, and he is weeping that he is a victim that is persecuted for telling the "truth". No, he's a mentally unstable demoniac who got a mild slap. He sowed, now he reaps, and I ain't taking the blame. Haywire should drink a nice, tall glass of dihydrogen monoxide and settle down a bit.

Another furious atheist was upset because he broke copyright laws and was called out on it. He did this several times, and my DMCA complaints were upheld some of the time. Once, he was ranting and I did not know what he meant, but apparently a post of his that was my property was removed. He broke the law and blamed me for the consequences.

Haywire and other misotheists have an irrational hatred for God, Christians, and creationists. I have seen atheists celebrating the death of Christians (this sidewinder, for example). You think I'm exaggerating? Go to some atheist social media and see what I mean.

True Blame

All of the above examples are very complicated, I'll allow. There is a Christian teaching that is called the "total depravity of man". Don't be galloping on ahead of me, let me tell you about it. While people are inherently sinful (Psalm 53:1-3, Romans 3:23), our righteousness is worthless in comparison to God (Isaiah 64:6), as is worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:20). However, we can still do good things, as evidenced recently in Houston and Las Vegas (Matthew 7:9-11). We can reason, producing tremendous advances in medical science, technology, and the like, because we are created in God's image.

These are not in contradiction with Scripture, but a contrast. There is good and wisdom to be found among men, but it fails miserably when compared to the righteousness of God. The true blame for our failings is within ourselves and our rebellion against the Creator. We may consider ourselves "good", but we're not going to make it into Heaven on our own merits. No, we need to humble ourselves, repent (Luke 24:46-47, 2 Peter 3:9), and receive the gift of salvation (Romans 6:23). Then we shall be adopted as children of God (Romans 8:15, John 1:12).

Problems in America are not the fault of Christopher Columbus. They're not the fault of Trump or the NRA. They're not the fault of leftists. They're not my fault. They're not the fault of feral atheists. Finding other people to blame, especially for problems we have brought on ourselves, is worthless. Too many people are unwilling to accept responsibility for their own actions, and the consequences that follow.



"God Help Me', by Rebecca St. James - lyrics here

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Using Irony for Effect

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Edited 9-18-2017

After I get this here article done, I am going to submit it to the Irony Board for approval.

Unfortunately, the words irony, ironic and related words are greatly overused, and often incorrectly. I've been confused myself because of seeing many instances of, "This is ironic..." that may or may not have been used correctly. Seems that quite a few people are uncertain about the proper usage, and there is a site where someone can ask if something is ironic. What is the real meaning? The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as, "a situation in which something which was intended to have a particular result has the opposite or a very different result". But irony has several meanings and applications, which includes using it as a literary device.


Using this picture of iron in an article about irony is a play on words, it is not ironic.
Credit: Pixabay / ptdh.
I've been accused of unintended irony against myself on occasion, but those were from people who were on the prod and looking for excuses to indulge in vituperation. One time, I used a video clip of the "holy hand grenade" from Monty Python and the Holy Grail in an article. Why? Because it was funny, and seemed to fit. Someone commented that I was stupid and the Python boys were ridiculing religion. Even if his claim was true, his remark was an ad hominem and irrelevant.

More recently, I see angry atheists attack The Question Evolution Project for discussing logic and pointing out reasoning errors from atheists and evolutionists. They claimed that it was ironic for creationists to be discussing logic. No, that's just another ad hominem coupled with the genetic fallacy.

Deputy Curtis was in a time-wasting mode and teased some virulent atheopaths (for a definition of atheopath, click here and see footnote 1). I annotated and cropped his screenshot (click for full size):

Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes.
Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes.

Okay, is it ironic that I obtained this screenshot while I was commencing to write this article? Not that I can see. Interesting timing, yes.

Anyway, it is ironic that atheists pretend to be the arbiters of reason and science, but frequently display ignorance of both. Indeed, creationists often have to correct village atheists regarding their own evolutionary faith, as well school them on logic. They claim we're ironic, but they disunderstand that their own fallacies are the real ironies.

Seems to me that it's ironic that leftists will call people they dislike "fascists", "Nazis", white supremacists, while embodying fascism themselves — especially suppressing free speech and free thought. Taking cues from leftist movements, atheists and other anti-creationists, many of these are leftists, will indulge in the same things. When we ban trolls, we're "fascists" and engage in "censorship", then they seek to recruit others to join in with their tantrums, demonize those they dislike, and more. Most professing atheists are leftists, and they want the opposition (especially creationists) silenced. They irony of their hypocrisy escapes them. I think the psychological term of projection applies here as well, since it is common in certain personality disorders.

Moving on up the trail to where I really wanted to go with this, there are times when I've used some things to be ironic. "Memes" with atheists, more Monty Python material, and so on. (One bit of unintentional irony was when I used a Gandalf "meme" with Ian McKellen, and didn't know that he is an atheist.) Sometimes my use of cowboy lingo is purposefully ironic.

Also, I think it's ironic that the Christian parody band ApologetiX uses secular songs and rewrites the lyrics to convey biblical truth, such as taking "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones and making it into "Triune Godhead".

Something else that I find ironic is that evolutionists have methods that they claim show the earth (and the universe itself) to be ancient, and creationists often use their own assumptions against them to obtain far younger results. Also, dinosaurs are icons of evolution, but creationists use them to spread the gospel mesage — Ken Ham calls them "missionary lizards". Sort of like a a gunslinger who gets shot with his own gun.

So, yes, I use ironic things in posts and articles. It's fun, adds a bit of "color" to posts and articles, and is also a way to communicate some points. Other ironies are more subtle and you need your cognating cap to figure them out.




Friday, August 4, 2017

Rejected — and Accepted

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Heard a message by Dr. Charles Stanley about rejection. I don't cotton to stuff about building up your self-esteem since those are usually humanistic platitudes, and there's not a great deal of truth there. While most of us deal with some form of it every day, rejection can cut to a person's core. Worse, people will use rejection to manipulate people.

Depending on the impact of the rejection (a child by parents, former spouses or romantic interests, a powerful boss, and so on), scars can last a lifetime, and people try to earn some kind of acceptance in the aftermath. Some are so programmed for defeat, they set themselves up for failure and say, "See? I'm no good".

What do I have to offer? What makes me successful? Not a hatful. A poorly-paying job that cheats me out of my wages, no books published, no riches or fame, reasonably bright but not a genius. Certain atheists and evolutionists hate me with a passion because of my activities with The Question Evolution Project and on the sites listed at the top. They use their hatred in manipulation efforts such as appealing to my pride by calling me a coward for refusing to debate them, straw man arguments, character attacks, and more. I think I'm doing something right, then. Their opinions of me are unimportant.

By the world's standards, I'm a failure. A loser.

But I'm accepted where it matters. We are all deserving of condemnation to Hell (Rom. 3:23) and are enemies of God. God loves us, and Jesus died for us while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8, 6:23). According to God's holy standards, we cannot impress him with ourselves or our accomplishments; salvation is by faith, a gift (Eph. 2:8-9). Our requirement is to receive the gift of salvation through repentance (Luke 24:46-47).

The shed blood of Jesus and his bodily resurrection prove that this loser is accepted. More than that, I — and all who are in Christ — are already seated us with Jesus in the heavenly places (Eph. 2:5-6). We are born from above (John 3:3, 3:16), new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). I'm accepted, as are all who are in Jesus, and he's the one who matters most. Those who reject salvation will be rejected by God for eternity.



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Dangers in Same-Sex "Marriage"

Marriage has been defined as something between a man and a woman for millennia, and original basis was defined by God back in Genesis. Different religions formalize the union in their own way, but still indirectly acknowledge our Creator's design. Cakes with toppers, throwing bouquets, varieties of ceremonies, a passel of superstitions — yeah, we made those, and they're optional.

God made marriage for one man and one woman. That's all.
Morguefile / earl53
Over the years, there has been an increasing cry to normalize same-sex unions, and eventually to redefine marriage itself under the pretense of "love". It's not about love, it's about sex, and the desire to destroy both marriage and the family unit itself. The floodgates have been opened (though people said it would not happen), and various unions have been called marriage: man-man, woman-woman, man-woman-woman, woman-tree, and other combinations. After that, the pedophiles and bestiality weirdos wanted "rights". Then there are the transsexual science deniers. Things have become outrageous in a hurry, and it's being brought by a small percentage of the population. Why are the rest of us giving in? Rebellion against God.

There's an old story that someone asked, "If you call a sheep's tail a leg, how many legs does it have?" The answer is four, because calling the tail a leg does not make it become a leg. Same with marriage. You can't redefine reality to fit your personal preferences. Nor can your harm God's will, and society itself, because you want something, you savvy?
Even now that same-sex marriage has become widely accepted in many countries, Christians cannot surrender. We must continue to lovingly and graciously stand for the truth. Also, if we want to be effective, we must learn to articulate the reasons why gay marriage not only violates God’s moral standard, but actually harms society. Indeed, a faulty view of marriage will create many victims, as we highlight in response to today’s question.

G.P. from the U.S. asked:
You can find out the question and the excellent response by clicking on "How gay marriage harms people — Three reasons that abandoning God’s design for marriage is bad for society". 
 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Brian Thomas of ICR Visits Ark Encounter

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This post may put some creation science ministries on the prod, but I reckon that people expect me to be a straight shooter. My problem is that I perceive some ministries are acting like competitors instead of co-laborers. Y'all probably heard that Answers in Genesis has a replica of Noah's Ark called Ark Encounter that was built as close to biblical specifications as they could manage, but was not meant to float (the regulations involved for that aspect would be prohibitive, I expect). Eric Hovind of Creation Today was involved, but other prominent ministries have been largely silent about it. Shouldn't they be offering congratulations? Creation Ministries International has mentioned it as a side note in an article about Ark reconstructions. It will have been open for one year on July 7.


Ark Encounter Answers in Genesis
Image courtesy of Answers In Genesis
One reason that I believe other Christians and creationists should take a stand with Answers in Genesis is the attacks by secularists and atheists. They frequently lie, it's their nature, and AiG refutes a number of these specious obloquies, such as the "separation of church and state", AiG getting money, and lies about the beneficial economic impact on Kentucky. (I saw fit to include atheistic falsehoods in "Ark Encounter and Darwin's Deceivers", which was written for opening day, July 7, 2016).The Institute for Creation Research is involved with other ministries, and it is not unusual to see their writers contributing to AiG, CMI, and others. I was mighty pleased that science writer and lecturer Brian Thomas got his ownself over there and had some good things to say about it. See "Visiting the Ark Encounter" for his article.