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Saturday, July 9, 2016

Errand Boy

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen
Edited 7-10-2016

Another installment from the "Personal Musings Department". Something that this cowboy-at-heart has in common with Dr. Who is in the 1969 episode of "The War Games", the final story for the second Doctor (Patrick Troughton). In Episode 8, Jamie McCrimmon asks why the Time Lords are angry with him. The Doctor replies, "Well, It is a fact, Jamie, that I do tend to get involved with things". Part of Jamie's reply is, "Aye, you can say that again". That seems to fit me rather well.

I want to present the truth, refute evolution, defend Christianity against heresy, and so on. Generally, I like to help people, especially in spiritual matters. People will post questions at The Question Evolution Project and occasionally on my "Public Figure" Facebook Pages. Great! Sometimes, I even know the answers myself. Other times, sorry, I just don't know. There are many resources available from people far more knowledgeable that I am, so I point to them.

Many of us who have biblical creation science ministries like to go above and beyond the usual to help people with questions. But we aren't experts in all fields. Nor are we on-call errand boys for people who do not want to do some of the work themselves.


However, there are times when it seems like some people want me to be their errand boy, and that kinda puts a burr under my saddle. This goes beyond helping someone out with a difficulty, especially since I have a full-time job and also put many hours into my creation ministry each week. Now, some people seem to have the idea that if someone has a biblical creation science ministry, he's an expert in all science matters. Not hardly! Even if I was a scientist, it would not mean that I'm qualified outside of my area of expertise. Same with other creationists. In fact, I've seen questions posted to scientists who had to defer because they had not studied on a particular topic.

One guy got all het up every time evolutionists announced "evidence", and wanted me to refute it. (I reckoned that he was afraid that something would come along and shatter his faith in God, and tried to tell him that while "evidence" changes all the time, the Christian's faith is in the unchanging Word of God.) Several things he was bothered about were addressed by creation scientists, others were rejected by evolutionists themselves. I didn't have time to chase down every story and self-train to be able to refute it. He had to learn how to stand up on his own hind legs, and see how evolutionists think, to learn how to reason through things, use available resources, remain calm, and to settle down and wait. Unfortunately, I had to cut him off.

Someone else wanted me to answer various spiritual matters. I did what I could, but when he began asking questions that were outside my realms of study, I deferred to others. Hope he wasn't angry.

Note to Christians: it's all right to say, "I don't know". Sure, atheists are likely to claim it is evidence that there is no God, but they usually reject what you have to say anyway because they're not really interested in answers. (On more than one occasion, when I gave in and provided material so they didn't have to research themselves, the response I received was the equivalent of, "I don't have to read it. You're still wrong. Narf!") Also, bluffing is a way to lose someone's respect, as well as dishonoring to God.

A recent encounter really took the rag off the bush. I was asked about some extremely technical matters regarding human and ape fossils. Hey, I'm no paleoanthropologist, so I gave him suggestions for places to search and to possibly contact the scientists on staff at those sites. He wasn't happy, and sent a chart with the message, "...A.sediba is a man (erectus) or an ape (afarensis)? Have a lot of characteristics from both, you can look here and see them..." No. I replied, "That gets into far more detailed specifics than I have ever dealt with, never heard of sediba. Anthropologists dispute these things all the time, and they have little evidence to support their claims. Again, I suggest the sites I provided earlier, search them out and maybe even use the contact form to ask." He then instructed me to search on sediba. What, so I could become an expert overnight? Not happening, old son. When I deferred again, he accused me of not being interested "in this stuff". When people get pushy, they're given the left foot of good fellowship.

Both Answers in Genesis and Creation Ministries International have contact forms. Each one has a section that says, in essence, "If you have theological or scientific questions, please search the site before submitting your questions, as we may have already dealt with the subject. Indeed, CMI has had occasionally addressed remarks and pointed out that items had been answered. This happened in the Feedback article, "Wagging a finger at creationists", where Keaton Halley said in his response, "Our submission form asks you to search our website before submitting feedback, yet your main points have already been addressed on creation.com many times".

At the risk of overstepping my bounds, those of us with creation science ministries are willing to help when we can, but we have limits and many of us have jobs and other activities. As for me, I follow the lead of the large ministries and try to get people to think critically. Also, I think others will agree with me that people need to so some searching, especially on the big creation science ministry sites. Facebook? Lousy to search. Other sites have a search function. But even things like my "Evolutionary Truth by Piltdown Superman" have a search function as well, and from there, more often than not there are links to help out inquirers. Helpful hint: using Google, you can be specific by typing your search term followed by site:[full site name].

Many of us are willing to help by answering questions and providing resouces. As for me, I'm not an on-call errand boy for people who are unwilling to do some work themselves.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Piltdown Superman and the Burning Heart

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Strange title, isn't it? Sounds like something in a young adult book series, number eight following Piltdown Superman and the Clock in the Tower and The Case of the Vanishing Aircar. Actually, this is a bit of an introspective and autobiographical thing; it helps me get some thoughts spelled out, and also reveals a bit of "behind the scenes" information for the few who may find it a mite interesting. And maybe I can get rid of an earworm. But I can't explain why I felt so compelled to write this article.

Some narcissistic eisegesis of song lyrics that have taken on a bit of meaning for me regarding my creation science ministry.
"Burning Heart" image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net / digitalart
People who have heard my interviews and podcasts may remember this part of the story. Way back yonder when I began the "Evolutionary Truth by Piltdown Superman (There is no truth in goo-to-you evolution)" site, I was wondering what to call it. Piltdown Man was a fraudulent evolutionary ancestor that fooled many scientists for over 40 years, so putting that in the title would be a reminder of gullibility based on worldview biases. Somehow, the term "Piltdown Superman" came to mind. Then I realized that I was remembering a song by the late great metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio called "Sunset Superman". Nice rhythm, so I put the two together.

Let me holler "Whoa!" and make it clear that I don't endorse the man's work, as it was laden with occult imagery and such. I think many times recording artists will crank out songs for their own sake, and occult imagery sells almost as much as songs about angst. One might think that groups like Black Sabbath were dedicated Satanists, but that is not the case; they just wrote stuff to perform and sell, like many other bands. Ronnie James Dio provided two vocal tracks for an album by Kerry Livgren (formerly of rock band Kansas) after his conversion to Christ. One of these was the anti-Satan "Mask of the Great Deceiver". I was hoping to hear that Dio had converted, but I'm sorry to say I don't think that ever happened.

All right, so we've established the origin of the Website's title, and that musicians do things because they want to, and to make a living. If you study on it, many writers seem to just throw some lyrics together to make a song. Have you ever had the experience of being all worked up over meaningful song lyrics, showing them to a friend, and having a "big deal" reaction? Or, rediscovering something that was special to you in the past, but reading the words now, you think, "Why did that move me so much?" I certainly have. Music is powerful in and of itself, and people can get all agitated by catchy lyrics with a great melody, but the lyrics themselves can be rather weak.

I've had the opposite of this going on with "Sunset Superman". I don't know what Ronnie James Dio was actually trying to communicate in "Sunset Superman" other than a struggle for survival and a search for meaning, but some of the lyrics to this song have taken on some meaning for me. If what I'm doing here involved Scripture, I'd be commiting eisegesis, taking text and giving it my own interpretation. Here we go.
The night has a thousand eyes
But he moves in only places
Where the eyes can never be
Not much there for me, what I do is very public.
The night tells a thousand lies
And when you wake up in the morning
Were you dreaming — screaming
Trying to hide your burning heart
Before somebody cuts it all away?
That seems to be about keeping identity. It's also where I get a personal meaning. I have a "burning heart" to proclaim the truth of creation and sound biblical doctrine, and it's a battle against anti-creationists and false teachers. Sidewinders such as those want us silenced. The title, "Sunset Superman" gets repeated here.
And the dark will just get louder
As it shouts away the light
Very clever way to say, "sunset"! Makes me think of a line in Gary Numan's "Down in the Park" where he sang, "...until the sun cries morning", an interesting way to say, "sunrise".
A shadow without a name
But when he wakes up in the morning
He just won't know, was he a hero
Trying to hide his burning heart
Before somebody cuts it all away?
Now it's not just about accomplishment, but achieving a goal. My name is no secret, so I'm not a shadow without a name, though I'm not a household name. Will I be a hero? Not hardly! I keep praying not only for wisdom and to edify Christians, but especially for the glory of God. Still, when I wake up in the morning, I wonder if I've helped someone, given material to help strengthen someone's faith or for the presentation of the gospel (1 Peter 3:15, Jude 1:3, 2 Cor. 10:4-5), even praying for readers of the site and my social media posts. Despite not knowing, I am remaining faithful to my calling, even though I do not see the results.

Sure, there are false Christians and professing atheists who oppose God, apologetics, biblical creation science, individual teachers, and me. Normally, when I get attacks from atheopaths, it's like saying "Sic 'em!" to a dog, and I get more active (maybe I'm doing something right and put burrs under some saddles). It's the judgmental Christians who indulge in eisegesis, opinions and traditions that get me down at times. Thoughts of quitting bring to mind Jeremiah 20:9, trying to clam up about God's Word is like a burning fire in the heart, shut up in the bones.

The title repeats again a few times, plus the line, "Anybody can". I have no idea what Dio meant with that, and it seems a bit silly. But I've used it: almost anybody can use the Web to spread the truth. One lie told about me is that I make money doing this. No. While most of the things are free (Web space, graphics, social media), sometimes I pay (such as registering domain names). Can't pay too much, I hope my employer will offer overtime so I can pay for health insurance. But my expenditures are my choice, and people can have their voices heard on the Internet for little or no financial outlay — until the anti-free speech police get rolling and take that away as well, but never mind about that now.
The night tells a thousand lies
And when you wake up in the morning
Were you dreaming — screaming
Tryin to hide your broken heart
Before somebody cuts it all away?
Slight change in the lyrics, and the first part is important: "the night tells a thousand lies", I think of John 3:19 and 1 Thess. 5:5. Darwinistas tell lies, commit fraud, pass off bad science as if it was actual research, and try to convince people that evolution is true. Those of us who love the light, the truth of God's Word, are waging war against the darkness. Some of it is in small efforts such as my creation science ministry, other efforts are with individuals sharing Bible verses and helpful links on social media, and then you have the "big guns" in full-time ministries.

But the darkness is getting louder, trying to shout away the light.

Before I get to the conclusion, some links if you want to hear "Sunset Superman" and read the lyrics. Here is a fan-made video of the song. Jørn Lande is a metal singer from Norway who has a powerful voice (also doing occult motifs in much of his work, so I want to make it clear that I'm not endorsing his work while admiring his vocal skill), and his version of "Sunset Superman" is true to the original, but cuts out some of the superficial parts, which I think is an improvement. Here are the lyrics for the first song under discussion.

If you don't mind, a bit more of this opening up about myself. Not nearly as much narcissistic eisegesis of song lyrics, though.

A Christian song that I knew long before Dio's 1987 "Sunset Superman" came out in 1994. It was by Steve Taylor, titled "I Just Wanna Know". This keeps coming to mind as a sort of personal anthem. It's like a prayer, and sometimes it's mine. Here is a key passage:
I just wanna know, am I pulling people closer?
I just wanna be pulling them to you
I just wanna stay angry at the evil
I just wanna be hungry for the true

Search me, father and know my heart
Try me and know my mind
And if there be any wicked way in me
Pull me to the rock that is higher than I
Pardon me, I got a bit of emotion to wipe out of my eyes.

I hope you'll listen to the not-quite rock song "I Just Wanna Know" here, and for the lyrics, click here. Will I ever know if I'm making any kind of impact? Probably not. I keep praying that I bring glory to God while staying angry at the evil  and hungry for the true. Yes, as another song says, "Farther along we'll know more about it". Until then, we have to do our parts and remain faithful. If you've read this far, please pray that I remain faithful as well, and for my creation science ministry work.

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Gods Are Petty

While listening to an audio book of Homer's Odyssey, I was once again struck by the way the false gods in Greece and other cultures are very human. Oh, they were supposedly mighty gorgeous and powerful, but they were vindictive sidewinders. "...Eurytus came prematurely by his end, for Apollo was angry with him and killed him because he challenged him as an archer."


Even a cursory glance comparing the false gods of mythology with the true God shows a very distinct difference. We can trust the God of the Bible.
Apollo and Diana, by Battista Tiepolo, 1757
Those beings considered gods had civil wars, jealous rivalries (including if another of their number got romantically involved with a human), murder, and more. Cronos-Saturn devored his own children, and that gruesome image became an allegory for the passing of generations. They were tricky, too, taking human form and walking among us when they got the urge. You never knew what they would do next on a whim; Minerva killed some people, but assisted Ulysses because she had a soft spot for him. In the Epic of Gilgamesh, which contained one of the oldest variations on the Genesis Flood, the gods were poorly behaved as well, and didn't seem to show much mercy. For that matter, Allah is the "greatest of all deceivers".Yet these beings were worshiped by the people that made them into false gods! 

I reckon that people in old times didn't trust the gods they made as far as they could throw them. When bad things happen, someone on high must be angry and you're being punished, or some such. Unfortunately, Christians tend to think like pagans: bad stuff happens, so God is punishing me for it. But Jesus bore our sins on the cross. Remember that.

If you study on it, you'll see that there's a huge difference in reading the wildly fantastic stories in mythologies and the historical narratives of the Bible. Yes, there are miracles, but look at the difference. C.S. Lewis said, "All I am in private life is a literary critic and historian, that’s my job. And I am prepared to say on that basis if anyone thinks the Gospels are either legend or novels, then that person is simply showing his incompetence as a literary critic. I’ve read a great many novels and I know a fair amount about the legends that grew up among early people, and I know perfectly well the Gospels are not that kind of stuff".

Christians serve the Creator, who is holy, just, and righteous. He cannot lie, and his Word is unchanging. We can be certain of our salvation and adoption as children of God.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

What If I'm Right?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

No, this isn't a form of Pascal's Wager. I just got to speculating one day.

Eschatology is not my strong point. I'll hear arguments from Amillennialists and Preterists (not the hyperpreterist heretics, though) that make some good points. However, I believe that the Premillennialist pre-tribulation rapture position is the strongest. Unfortunately, there are professing Christian sanctimonious tinhorns in various camps who take the "Premillennialism is a heresy that must be refuted" view. Not interested. Some even use the appeal to motive fallacy of "Pretribs just want to escape, so they want to sit around doing nothing while they wait for Jesus to come and take them away". I don't cotton to the opposite happening, either. That's no way for Christians to act! Have rational discussions, if you please.


We know the world is spiraling downward. What if I'm right, and things are going to get far worse? There is a final solution.
"The Last Judgement" by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1904
Seems like through the ages, people have been saying that civilization is going downhill, that children were more respectful, less dishonesty, more violence in the world, that kind of thing. Then the observation is dismissed. But I believe it's true. The world is a far more dangerous place and spiraling downward. Although atheists will misrepresent and even lie outright by saying that there is no persecution of Christians, it is happening — and increasing. One small example is the way Facebook treats Christians while coddling atheists, Mohammedans, homosexuals, leftists, and so on.

Scripture tells us this would happen (Luke 6:22, Matt. 24:9, John 16:33, 1 Thess. 1:6, Heb. 10:33, 1 Peter 4:12-19, 2 Tim. 3:12). We're not hated by the world because of who we are (except obnoxious people who bring it on themselves), but because the world hates God in us. All through the Bible, believers are instructed to good to all, including our enemies (Luke 6-27-31, Gal. 6:10, Prov. 25:22, Lev. 19:34). Unbelievers do not have such instruction, and tacitly or overtly agree with Anton Lavey's Satanic command, "Let no wrong go unredressed". 

I reckon I need to say that biblical creationists are despised by not only atheists (because evolutionism is a foundation for their worldview), but also by theistic evolutionists, old Earth advocates, and other false teachers. One thing they have in common is disdain for the authority of the Word of God, so they join up in attacking us. 

Although they hate us, atheists and other unbelievers will be in a world of hurt when the Rapture hits after the coming apostasy. We are salt and light in the world, and when we're gone, so will the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit, who is within us. It will be as in the days of Noah, "...and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Gen. 6:5, also see Matt. 24:27-39, 2 Peter 3:3-7). Things are bad now, getting worse, and they'll become terrible. Sounds like part of the Great Tribulation to me.

In those days, there will be converts to Jesus, witnessing, persecution, angels, trumpets, opening seals, bowls of wrath, and martyrdom (Rev. 6:9-11). This will not stop the devolution of the world, nor the final Judgement. That's going to be a busy time! The Rapture, Tribulation, the resurrection of all to be judged, where some are judged for their good works and some are judged to damnation.

I'd like to think that things I've written will give testimony to Christ, but let's face it, those will probably be destroyed. Registered domains will expire, and I can imagine a "politically correct" movement deleting whatever can be found on the Web that proclaims repentance and Jesus, the only way to salvation.

What if I die before the Rapture? I know for a fact that there are atheopaths who will rejoice greatly (including one who wants Hell to be real so I'll go there — amazing how someone who rejects God thinks he's an expert on the Bible, then misuses it). I've seen misotheists celebrating the deaths of Christians. Aside from that, my position is secured. Jesus was crucified for my sins and bodily rose on the third day (1 Cor 15:3-11). So I'm going to be with him.

What if you die, or are on Earth after we're gone? Without Jesus, your eternal future is dismal (Rev. Rev. 21:8, Rev. 21:27). All have sinned (Rom. 3:23) and deserve death, but God offers us the gift of life (Rom. 6:23). We can all be children of God (John 1:12-13) by grace, thorough faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Denying God's existence is irrational, as is trying to earn our way into Heaven by our works or religious ceremonies. None of us know when our last hour is happening. Being a Christian is hard work, and there are persecutions (as I've stated), so I'm not giving a silly "Accept Jesus and be happy all the time" thing. No, we need to repent of our sins and receive Jesus Christ by faith.

You may laugh and mock at this whole picture, as many do. But what if I'm right?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Why was I the One?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This is a bit of wondering and pondering. 

Back on Thanksgiving Day (November 26, 2015), my wife and I went out for a visit. When we returned home in the afternoon, we noticed that a smoke alarm was sounding from one of the buildings in the apartment complex. We didn't pay it no nevermind, figuring that someone cooked something a mite too long or spilled gravy on a stove on this heavy cooking day.


Image credit: Freeimages.com / Roy White
An hour or two later, it was getting dark and I realized that the alarm was still sounding, so I took a walk over to that building. People were moving in but ignoring the alarm, and I did not see any signs of fire, smoke, or other distress. Some time back, I read about a woman who had been murdered in the street and it took twenty minutes for her to die because people drew their blinds and didn't want to get involved. I had resolved not to be like that, and this was such a time. What if there really was a problem? Maybe someone had a medical problem and couldn't shut off the alarm, and was hoping for help. Maybe nothing. But I wouldn't be able to live with myself if there was something tragic and I did nothing — like the other people were busy doing.

I had my cell phone, so I called the police and told them the story, emphasizing that there was no sign of fire. They told me to call 9-1-1. Well, okay. So I did that, and again emphasized that there was no sign of fire.

Minutes later, we had a passel of fire trucks and emergency vehicles, including the big truck with the ladders. Hey, I said there was no sign of fire! Oh, well. Whatever the protocol is, I don't know (and the official-type guy I e-mailed never replied). As far as I know, there was nothing to it, seemed to be a faulty alarm that went off while people were away. I was a bit nervous that I'd somehow get in trouble, but I did act in good faith and maybe the "Good Samaritan" laws would apply, so I comforted myself with that.

But why was I the one? Other people were there. I don't believe that I'm special or better than anyone else, and I don't even think it's because I'm a Christian; anyone with a conscience could have checked things out or made the call. Sooner, too.

So, I'm just left wondering about the whole thing and not congratulating myself.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Question Evolution Day and Evolutionists Suppressing Evidence

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

To celebrate the fifth annual Question Evolution Day, I thought it would be helpful to revisit a logical fallacy that is often used by the Darwinistas. It should be well understood that science thrives on challenge so that a hypothesis or theory can be revised when unsupported by evidence — or discarded entirely. Unfortunately, evolutionary owlhoots often try to lock away contrary evidence, especially when it points to the Creator. Can't have that, it interferes with naturalistic presuppositions.

Image credit: Pixabay / tpsdave
Among the logical fallacies that anti-creationists employ is the fallacy of exclusion. (For an earlier article with a funny video I did on this subject, click here.) This fallacy has variations and different names, including cherry picking, suppressed evidence, card stacking, incomplete evidence, and more. Many people believe in scum-to-scientist evolution because they are simply not given all the evidence. Making a conjecture sound plausible is common in the evolutionary community (especially its press), and people get mighty surprised when creationists give them information that was withheld.

People tend to "fill in the blanks" when they do not have enough information and they have their own biases. There's a commercial in the US that shows a man talking on the telephone at 3 AM, and his wife assumes her husband is cheating on her. She filled in the blanks from limited evidence and assumptions. Believing evolutionary stories can seem reasonable, but you don't have all the evidence. This brings to mind Proverbs 18:17.

Here is a bit of humor to emphasize the point. Know any other creationist writers that have used the Three Stooges? Here's a bit of background trivia. The act began in the late 1920s, using Shemp as one of the Stooges. He left the act, and Curly took over in 1934. Curly got sick and never recovered, so Shemp came back into the act. I'll leave the rest of the history out of this, because the bit I'm focusing on is the 1949 short, Malice in the Palace, which fell into public domain. (Sony made a colorized version, which is under copyright.) We have an excellent example of people filling in the blanks. They see Larry holding a meat cleaver and carrying a dog and a cat at different times, hear chopping noises and animal yelps, and make unpleasant conclusions that seem entirely reasonable. After some further slapstick silliness, the rest of the evidence presents itself and the people abandon those conclusions.

Think you know the whole story about evolution evidence? Not hardly! That's where biblical creationists come in and give information that is withheld. Now, here's the funny Three Stooges bit, edited down from the original 15-1/2 minutes to 5-1/2 minutes. Watch them flinch during the chopping sounds. Then there's an excellent music video by ApologetiX afterward.






  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Question Evolution Day and my CMI Article



by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

It's kind of fun to give a bit of background information, and I believe that people like some of the personal stuff.

Whenever something is submitted for publication, it needs to meet guidelines, and is subject to editing. (Probably the only "pure" way to get your content exactly the way you wrote it is to put it on your own Weblog.) I have thousands of posts and articles on my own Weblogs, but have had only a few published by organizations. Aside from letters to newspaper editors, I think my first publication was in the May 1991 Bible-Science Newsletter (PDF scan available here), which is now Creation Moments. Surprisingly, that one was published "as is".

Other items I wrote for people that were edited, and even had some collaboration, such as at 101 Arguments. My submissions to Michigan Bicyclist Magazine in the late 1990s had a mix, some were edited, one was mostly "as is". Another printed publication was so heavily edited that I barely recognized it! Another printed publicationThere was an article that I submitted to Creation Ministries International a spell back, and it didn't fit their needs. Reading it later, I realized it was a good thing they passed on it. This time, they accepted my article. Yes, there was some editing, including improvements and some added content. I'm pleased with the final outcome. If you want to see that, click on "The Importance of Question Evolution Day — A grassroots movement that anyone can support".

So, there you have it. When you submit for publication, you need to meet guidelines, have content that they like, and you can expect editing. As for me, perhaps I'll be able to submit material for publication and actually get paid for it. But I'll still submit unpaid material for causes that I believe in.