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.
 

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Was it a Miracle?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Here's a story I told a few people and wanted to share with y'all. When my father died, I received some money from a trust fund or something. I put it toward a 2003 Hyundai Accent and considered it his last material gift to me. It was a good car for about eight years.

Click for larger
One day, it wouldn't start. I called the AAA service and they sent someone out. (Couldn't get it to my usual mechanic.) "No, it's not a dead battery, the starter went bad", or words to that effect. It was towed, starter replaced, I paid a lot of money. A few months later, it acted up again, and it was towed to the same service facility. A wire fell off, and I had to pay for that as well. Then a third time, same problem, but they didn't charge me for the repair that time.

At this point, the owner of the facility told me there was a problem in the frame. Essentially, it was rotting out from the inside, and he said flat out that he wanted to sell me another car. I seriously doubted that he was being fully honest, especially after the botched repairs and their reputation on the street.

Later, something was going bad in the exhaust, so I took the car to my regular mechanic (who originally sold it to me) and gave a "by the way, this other guy said the frame underneath is bad" thing. He took a look and said the car was not worth fixing. More than that, it was dangerous because a broken frame means the wheel falls off while driving. Just be careful and don't hit potholes, especially big ones going fast. This happened in late March in New York, near Kingston. Spring is trying to arrive, and potholes are becoming craters that would make make the moon envious.

I got to work on obtaining a used car loan for something the mechanic/dealer suggested that I could afford, but he had to do a repair, state inspection, and other things before he could sell it to me. Okay. During one of my calls to him, I asked how I should dispose of the old car. He told me, "You can bring it here, I have a few others that need to be taken away for scrap". Great, everything seems to be covered.

All that background on how I got into that position (partly from being skeptical of the other repair place, and also the strange way the frame rusts from the inside out), now I can get to the good part.

Being extremely careful and nervous, I was pulling out of the workplace and hit a small pothole. Something gave a small snap. Suddenly, instead of holding the steering wheel in the standard "nine and three" clock points position, I was doing eleven and five. Snap decision: only a few miles, even though the road is a two-lane highway and has some hills. I'll drive it out to the mechanic's place — if I make it.

Driving well below the speed limit with the four-way flashers going and on the shoulder of the road as much as possible, there was a squealing noise. My heart was pounding! I prayed, of course. But I got there and pulled into his lot. He came out and looked underneath and said, "It's a miracle you got here!" I could just imagine an angel under the car holding onto the part so it lasted that final trip. (Wonder if it's the same angel I pictured that held my tie rod in place when I was ramming around at high speed, and then broke when I got off that highway?)

Well, I was blessed several ways: I had a warning that the car would probably break, so I was careful and didn't hit a pothole at a high speed. Next, arrangements were made. Third, I was blessed with a safe trip. (I don't want to die because of a car problem, I'd rather be taken out by a hit man hired by an angry atheist that hates being confronted with his incoherent worldview. Then I'd be a martyr or something. Maybe even get 72 raisins in Heaven.) Fourth, something I didn't tell you, the dealer was about to leave for the day when I pulled in. I was going to sit and wait for my wife to pick me up in a couple of hours, but he was not only leaving, but had to go to Kingston, so I had a ride home.

Can I prove blessings and miracles? Not hardly! Do I believe God was watching over me, not only that day, but the days previously? You betcha!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Of Primary Importance

There are many denominations, doctrines, dogmas, opinions, notions, and more under the broad heading of Christianity. Some believe that baptism by sprinkling is okay, others insist on full immersion (and a few hold to the false doctrine of baptismal regeneration). Do we baptise infants or only adults? There are some heterodox beliefs that are mixed in as well.

The Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus heart of gospel
Credit: Cadetgray / Wikimedia Commons
(CC BY-SA 3.0)
There are people who claim that creation is an unimportant side issue, but that is not the case. While belief in biblical creation is not a requirement for salvation, it is important because all major Christian doctrines have their foundations in Genesis.

The apostle Paul referred to creation and Genesis many times. Of interest here is when he referred to Adam and to Jesus as "the last Adam" (1 Cor. 15:22, 45). Nevertheless, Paul went to the most important point of all: the Crucifixion and bodily Resurrection of Jesus. They are of first importance, the heart of the gospel, and should be the unifying factor above all other beliefs, interpretations, and opinions.
The Christian faith is not a mere collection of doctrines — a bag of truths. Christianity is a comprehensive truth claim that encompasses every aspect of revealed doctrine, but is centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, as the apostolic preaching makes clear, the gospel is the priority.

The Apostle Paul affirms this priority when he writes to the Christians in Corinth. In the opening verses of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul sets out his case:
To finish reading (it's not very long), click on "Of First Importance: The Priority of the Cross and the Empty Tomb".


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Graven Images of Jesus?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Something that puts a burr under my saddle is when people who have limited knowledge of what the Bible actually teaches will try to use it against Christians. Early on, I had a picture of Jesus that appeared on each post on a certain weblog. Someone was on the prod because I said something against one of his pet heterodox doctrines, so he threw down on me in the comments and added that because I had that picture, it was a graven image and I was an idolator. That'll be the day!




We expect that kind of nonsense from atheopaths, but it's distressing when it comes from professing Christians who are ignorant of the Bible that they claim to believe. These are the same jaspers who falsely claim that Jeremiah 10:1-5 (written hundreds of years before Christ) means we cannot have Christmas trees in our homes. (Hint: try reading Scripture for understanding, pilgrim.) If images of Jesus are idols, it would mean that many art masterpieces throughout the centuries are wicked. Yes, we know that nobody knew what Jesus really looked like, but there's actually nothing wrong with graphic representations of him.

When I was a child, I thought the second commandment meant that you should not make any image of God whatsoever. Being about seven years old, I was unaware of the work of William Blake, Michelangelo, and others, and was unwilling to draw a picture of God in Sunday School. Simply stated, a graven image is a substitute god that people worship.

I'll go you one further. It is not wrong to have an image of Jesus, and I reckon it's all right to use it as a focal point during prayer. This can be a mite tricky, though, if you tend to be praying to the image and not God the Son. Keep your perspective. And no, praying to statues and pictures of saints, or praying to them in other ways, is prohibited by Scripture. Mary was a blessed woman, and many of the others who are called saints were probably fine folks, but they cannot hear you, and would object to being given prayers.

For more about pictures and such, I suggest reading "What Is a Graven Image?"