Sunday, December 25, 2016

A Deceptive Humanist Christmas Song

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

The late Greg Lake, most notably of the progressive rock bands Emerson, Lake and Palmer and King Crimson, had a "Christmas" song that wasn't. The lyrics were written by Peter Sinfield. There are conflicting accounts and misconceptions about "I Believe in Father Christmas", that it is a Christmas song, it was never intended to be such ("...about a loss of innocence and childhood belief"), Vietnam war protest, it's an atheist song, it's not atheist but rather "humanist" (as if there's a difference), and so on. I'll allow that it has excellent music and thought-provoking lyrics, but I haven't heard all of the versions.

Sinfield wrote lyrics for EMP and King Crimson, and Lake wrote many lyrics himself, including all of those on ELP's Tarkus album. One of these was "The Only Way (Hymn)", a mocking anti-theistic and anti-Christian song, including the lyrics, "Don't need the word now that you've heard. Don't be afraid, man is man-made". You shouldn't wonder at my suspicion that "I Believe in Father Christmas" is actually an atheistic song, despite the claims of the writers.


"I Believe in Father Christmas" is played as a Christmas song, but has a decidedly anti-Christian meaning. Key lyrics and examined.
Image credit: Pixabay / PublicDomainPictures
Let's take a look at some of the lyrics, which are found in their entirety here.
They said there'll be snow at Christmas
They said there'll be peace on earth
But instead it just kept on raining
A veil of tears for the virgin's birth
Ah, the ubiquitous "they" of so many songs. I tried writing some poems that I intended to turn into songs (fortunately for humanity, those lyrics are gone) and used "they". Someone asked, "Who are 'they'?" He was right. Sounds like a shadowy boogie man told in cowboy campfire tales. If "they" are the weather forecasters that promised snow, don't be surprised. Those people get a lot of things wrong even three days after a forecast. Some people think those same climate calculations can spell disaster for us 100 years from now, or less, as in Algore's famous failed predictions. But I digress. 

Lyricist Sinfield had a Christmas disappointment as a child. It happens. Did that destroy his weak or even nonexistent faith, such as Lewis Wolpert's rejection of God for not being a cosmic wish-granting genie? In a way, none of this is all that surprising, given the increased secularism of Britain. I'm just cognating on those things.
They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a silent night
And they told me a fairy story
'till I believed in the Israelite
And I believed in Father Christmas [Ever notice that the title is in the present tense, I believe, but the lyrics are past tense, I believed? -CBB]
And I looked to the sky with excited eyes
'till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise
Oh no! It's the dreaded they again! How was it "sold"? (Maybe a traveling salesman with a bowler hat, umbrella, and a necktie like they wore in Britain back then.) Sinfield called "the Israelite" (Jesus) a "fairy story", and we're supposed to believe that this is not an atheistic song? Not hardly! Lake must have been in agreement about the "fairy story" because he sang those lyrics. Disbelief in Father Christmas? That's where I have a problem with Christians who tell their children about that character (even though he was based on a real person) and magical gift-giving, because they can easily say, "I was lied to about Santa, Jesus must be false as well". Some of us told our kids that Santa is make believe and illustrates the spirit of giving, but that Jesus is real.

The soaring final lines are impressive:
Hallelujah noel, be it Heaven or Hell
The Christmas we get we deserve
Pretty dreadful stuff. Greg Lake wants to join in the Christmas celebration for the good will and nice feelings, but why? We all know the reason people are singing hymns and exchanging gifts, the reason stores plan on making big money at the end of the year, and it's certainly not because of Saturnalia or Winter Solstice celebrants! No, I'm not forgetting Hanukkah, but it's not exactly prominent and a money-maker for retail stores. If atheists want to celebrate Christmas and leave Christ out, it's a façade and they're living a lie. Christmas is about Christ, and they know it.

Do we get the Christmas we deserve? That line is nonsensical. Actually, we don't deserve Christmas at all! We are sinners (Rom. 3:23, 3:10-12) and deserve death (Rom. 6:23). God loves us (John 3:16, Rom. 5:8). Christmas is about Jesus, God the Son, our Creator, taking on human form for our redemption (John 1:1-3, Col. 1:16, Phil. 2:6-8). Those who do not belong to Jesus are enemies of God (Rom. 5:10) and blinded by their father down below (2 Cor. 4:4, John 8:44), but can repent and become children of the living God by faith (Eph. 2:8-9, Gal. 4:4-6, John 1:12, 2 Cor. 5:17). We've treated God like garbage, but he wants to redeem us and adopt us as his children. We can have Christmas, but we most certainly do not deserve it.

Greg Lake has met his Maker. He has since learned that man is not man-made (Gen. 1:27, Mark 10:6, Col. 1:16, John 1:1-3). He also knows his eternal destiny, and I hope he repented before the end. Where will you spend eternity?

I'm going to celebrate Christmas — something I do not deserve.



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Day I Disagreed with Albert Mohler

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

If I made a personal rule not to listen to or read material from people who are smarter than me, I wouldn't have much to do. Instead, I saddle up and ride the harder trail, trying to learn some things from people I can't hold a candle to in the area of intelligence. When disagreeing with someone, a good exercise is to be able to show why you are doing so, even if it only benefits yourself. Sometimes, other people may respect that you gave reasons for your contrary view, because it shows that you're thinking.

Disagreeing with Dr. Albert Mohler on the issue of cremation. I found out that others in my family have preferred this.
Image credit: Morguefile / Kenn W. Kiser
This has to do with a topic that is sometimes controversial among Christians. In the October 26, 2016 episode of The Briefing podcast, Dr. Albert Mohler was discussing the issue of cremation. He was agreeing with the Roman Catholic Church that cremation is not acceptable for professing Christians. One of the reasons is that pagans do it, cremation is not in the Bible, and also, Christians traditionally have not done it. This strikes me as guilt by association and the genetic fallacy on the first point. To take that concept further, there are many things we "cannot" do because pagans, atheists, cultists, Communists, or whatever also do them. Not hardly! On the second point, that Christians have traditionally eschewed cremation, well, that doesn't impress me.

I disremember when, but Pastor Alistair Begg expressed strong dislike for cremation, and described the unpleasantness of the cremation funeral ceremony and of the process itself. I agree with him on that part, and think people are better off without that aspect. Giving the container to the family after the fact is fine, and they can choose whether or not to use it in the memorial service.

Interestingly, after I had decided that this was what I wanted for myself as a cost consideration for those left behind, I learned that both of my parents had selected cremation as well. My oldest brother was also cremated, as was my father-in-law (we have his cremains in the apartment right now pending further plans). There was no cremation ceremony.

This leads to some odd humor. My oldest brother died December 21, 2008, and my father died the following February. They lived in Michigan, and I was unable to travel from New York for my brother's service. When I arrived at my other brother's home for my father's service, they put me up in a spare bedroom. I asked if anyone was using the room, and my brother said, "No...oh!" He went into the closet and lifted up a lacquered box, saying, "This is our brother". The ground was frozen (February, remember), so the burial couldn't happen until the spring thaw.

After my father's service the next day, we brought things out of the funeral home, and put the container with his remains in the back of my brother's car. The container remained in the car overnight, and the next day, my brother said, "Do you want to bring Dad in?" I really think my father would have laughed at the comments and situation.

Christians have a blessed hope (Titus 2:11, 1 Peter 1:3). My oldest brother had severe Down Syndrome, my mother was taken by a malignant glioma, and my father had many issues at the end, including dementia and Parkinson's. We're going to have a joyous reunion, all of the physical and mental impairments will be gone. I'm ready to join them with Jesus. What about you? There's good news if you want it.

Back to the topic, I had reached my conclusion about cremation before I had know other family members had decided on this approach for themselves. Respectfully, Dr. Mohler, I disagree with you. I'm sure it'll happen again sometime.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Make Writing Interesting

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Way back yonder, in days of old when nights were cold, I wanted to be a science fiction writer, and took courses on writing. These included college nonfiction writing, and a required course on speechifying (even in 1980, I was speaking out against falsehoods in evolution). One simple thing that stuck with me was to write as if your audience was about 13 years old. (I think one of the creationist sites I read has a general style guide, when not doing hardcore science, to write as if the readers were precocious teenagers.) This seemed like a good approach when attempting to inform people. Then I'd go to my next class and wade through a textbook that was "written at a college sophomore level". Seemed like a contradiction to me.

Unfortunately, the classes on writing do not work in this medium. Online articles have different criteria because people have not only demands on their time, but often have short attention spans. Part of the problem with short attention spans is social media. You'll see what I mean if you study on that.

Many things that I have read, and still read, are desert-sand dry and tedious. Others are cute and funny, but become distracting, and it's easy to miss the point of what the author is trying to communicate. One of the watchwords for my life has been balance, and that applies here, too. My regular readers have probably figured out that I don't want to be boring, but still get important points across. Adding "color" to articles is a good thing. I'll put in the cowboy lingo to break things up and keep my online persona going, but have to taper back so I don't defeat my own purpose and get distracting. At times, I have to use wording that is appropriate for the subject, assuming that those who are reading the post or article are familiar with the necessary expensive words. 

Sometimes, I get put off by sesquipedalian loquaciousness, where I get the feeling that the writer is not so much interested in communicating as in showing off his or her extensive vocabulary. At the other extreme is when someone writes so simplistically, it's rather insulting, and you may feel that the writer is talking down to you.

Much of the time, writing style depends on the audience. Three creation science examples: the Journal of Creation is not going to have cute terminology (see "What life is"), nor is "Answers Research Journal" (see "Do Varves, Tree-Rings, and Radiocarbon Measurements Prove an Old Earth?"), and don't expect to see it in the Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal (see "The Extraterrestrial Search for the Origin of Homochirality"). Authors may put some personality in their articles, but the material is primarily written for scientists, or those with strong science backgrounds. I certainly don't understand much of that material. Major creation science organizations publish material on the layman's level, fortunately, and even include some clever wording that adds color.

There are different approaches to writing material, depending on the audiences. Attempting to reach a balance between simplistic and complicated is important.
Image credit: Morguefile / pippalou
Rent-a-Friend-2000, "a gentleman and a scholar at a very reasonable hourly rate" (Bryan Melugin) writes over at "A Bit of Orange", and I first became of his work because of his videos. I'm partway through a series on "Defining Evolution", and I'm quite taken with both the style and content. There is a storyline of sorts: four friends meet on Thursday nights after work for nachos and conversation. (One small quibble of mine, Mr. Melugin named a seafaring character "Bluebeard", but the Bluebeard legend is about a non-nautical serial killer that may or may not have been real.) The premise is developed through the four-way conversation of the characters. His writing includes humor, side notes, incidental activities, character attitudes, and more. I believe the creation-evolution discussion is effectively and entertainingly presented.

The RaF2K material reminded me of something at the other extreme of using dialogue and a storyline to communicate a concept. It was a novel I read in the 1980s, Genesis by W.A. Harbison. That bad boy was over 600 pages, and I found it to have very little action. Instead, it used dialogue to establish the premise that UFOs are not extraterrestrial at all, but the results of man-made secret projects. There was so much of this dialogue, I felt cheated. (Also, there was also an excessively detailed sex scene in the book that did not advance the storyline as far as I can recollect. If sex between that man and woman was important to the story, there was no need for the prurient details.) Melugin had his communicative dialogue in balance, Harbison did not.

So what's the point? Different audiences react to different writing styles. Many of us prefer to use a lighter approach, especially when trying to have others understand ideas that may be new to them. In my case, I hope readers will follow the links to the featured articles and explore on those sites for more in-depth material if they want it. In the meantime, I'll write in a manner that I hope people can understand, keeping a balance between "talking down" and using excessively complicated language. Oh, and I have to keep from letting my efforts at adding "color" distract the readers.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Conditioning and Political Correctness

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This is more of a lament than anything else. I can't prove what I say, but I think my observations as a guy living in the United States may have some merit. Although I can't change the way things are going, and to some extent, I have to accept them, I still feel several things: frustrated, angry, offended, sad, wistful.

Political correctness is so off the rails, people like me get afraid to say something nice to some co-workers.
Image credit: Pixabay / skeeze
To make this subject manageable enough to lead into the corral, I'll go with sexual harassment. I believe that women have been conditioned to mistrust and even hate men. Liberal courts have gone along with this in many cases. Occasionally, false stories are shown for what they are, and people have been found innocent [1], [2].

Because of the culture of fear and political correctness, employers have taken a "zero tolerance" for sexual harassment in the workplace. But — what is it? Employees are subjected to mandatory training upon hiring, and often have to undergo annual repetitions of the training. I don't reckon this is so much because they care about hurt feelings, but to cover themselves in case a harassment complaint is filed. But such complaints can be made by someone who is vindictive, seeking attention, or just plain nutty.

Don't get me wrong, I know full well that some sidewinder in authority will say, "Miss Jones, you're an attractive woman, and you can use your considerable, uh, assets to advance in this company". Or a co-workers can keep hitting on someone for some mattress dancing action, making the target uncomfortable, unproductive, and possibly leaving the company. I agree that no means no, you savvy?

One training module I completed said that you can get in trouble for saying wrong things. Fine. Also (if you still have your job), you can't retaliate, which can result in adverse employment action. Fine, again. But one of the ways of "retaliation" according to this training is not speaking to the person. Pardon? If someone's mouth gets him or her into trouble, not speaking seems like the sensible thing to do. Weird.

The culture of fear means that some people are afraid to say anything. Not just that a remark could be taken the wrong way, but the "offended" person could make a complaint. Although my supervisor of snake wrangling at Pernicious Whatzit Widgits is a smart lady, I'm afraid to tell her she has nice eyes. Nor will I say to a woman I work with, "You look nice in that dress", or something. Not that I'm necessarily afraid of offending them, but I'm afraid that someone, somewhere, may take action against me, even if my comments are unobtrusive to a reasonable person.

Then I may appear unfriendly or stand-offish. So be it, I don't want to lose my job or have my reputation tarnished by someone with a chip on his or her shoulder, or has been conditioned by society to be fearful and suspicious. I get kind of sad about that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Saying What I Believe

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Once again, I was inspired to write an article by listening to a podcast. A recent episode by Matt Walsh began with some introductory remarks that fit what I'm doing. I disremember if he used these words, but essentially, he's not going to carry water for the Republican party; if someone deserves criticism, he'll give it to them. Walsh likes to say what he thinks and believes, and believes that's the right way to go.


A personal glimpse at what happens in my writing and screening processes. The main point here is that I say what I believe, and don't do creation science for its own sake.
Image credit: Morguefile / Irish_Eyes
Although I'm a cowboy at heart and tend to take quick action when I feel it's necessary, I want to say what I believe; I want to think I'm doing that very thing. My calling is biblical creation science, but I'm not carrying water for all creation science ministries, individuals involved, or each article. There are some cults out there that claim to be biblical creationists, as well as greenhorns, and even folks that are just plain nuts, so there's no reason for me to support everything.

Most of what I share on The Question Evolution Project is something I've read, watched, or heard. Sure, I occasionally share something sight unseen because I think it needs to be posted quickly, but most of those come from sources that I trust. Even so, I usually check it out if I didn't beforehand.

Over at my main site, Evolutionary Truth by Piltdown Superman, I try much harder to read or hear the articles that I'm featuring.

"How do you listen to articles, Cowboy Bob?"

Glad you asked. I send most of the articles I come into contact with to my e-book reader using a service that converts and formats them. Since I listen to many podcasts, I add articles to the list. Occasionally, I use an online service or Balabolka freeware that converts text to speech (TTS) and produces MP3s. (Dr. James White listens to converted books this way on his long bicycle rides.) Some of the more difficult articles, I listen to more than once, and even supplement the hearing with reading.

So anyway, my usual format at that site is Introduction/Excerpt/Link to read the rest of the article I'm featuring. Often, I supplement the item with my own thoughts, additional material, links, videos, and so on. But I don't want to give away too much information in my introductions. Sometimes, I get criticized for not backing up something I said in an introduction. Well, if'n y'all bothered to follow the link, you'd see what's going on.

Occasionally, I'll make a mistake, whether in my introduction sections or in my own articles. When I catch it, I try to fix it. (Some sidewinders will bite if I correct something, or complain if I did not correct something.) Although it's my Weblog or social media Page and I can do what I want, if something is changed or corrected after it's been out for a period of time, I think it's good to indicate that it's been edited. If it posted within a few minutes or hours, not so much. Longer periods of time, yes. Important content edits, definitely. F'rinstance, a post on human-chimpanzee genome similarities needed a big change, so I made one. I'll admit to tweaking wording when I realize I wrote something poorly, but feel no need to indicate editing.

Ever have those times that you have an inspiration and think it's going to be something great, and you lose it? I try to scratch out notes when I get an idea at the workplace, but even then, I've looked at them and drawn a blank; what in the world was I writing then? Here's an irony: I've never been able to stand South Park, don't think I've seen an entire episode, but I use "memes" from there on occasion. Like the one about the deposited money, "...aaand it's gone".



Kind of went off track and gave some "behind the scenes" material, didn't I? Still, it's about writing what I believe and what goes on in my writing processes.

People I respect and admire have written material that I dislike, have dealt with before, bring nothing new, or even disagree with. I'm not doing creation science for its own sake, and I won't turn the Pages at Facebook or Google Plus into what I call "link mills". Those guys call themselves "ministries", but they plaster any old thing up there, often quite a bit of stuff.

This brings us back to the beginning: I'll say what I believe. People will disagree, and I'll foul up on occasion or not rite goodly, but I'm striving to be intellectually honest. My purposes are to glorify God, to be obedient to his calling, and to edify the saints. And have a bit of fun now and then. Can't rightly do any of those things if I'm not presenting material that I think is false, now, can I? Not hardly!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

When Does It End?

Can you spare a couple of minutes? 

I have to deal with spells of depression (and will not go back on the meds after several years away from them),  and have a tendency to look on the dark side of life. But still, this is important. (Did you know that Elijah, Jonah, and others in the Bible struggled with bouts of depression? Well, never mind about that now.) I'm saying that I get a bit reflective, possibly more often than some folks.

My parents and oldest brother have passed away. None of that was a shock, we knew their times were near. Several years ago, someone I knew who had self-medicated with a powerful medication she bought on the street overdosed and died, never having reached age 30. A couple of weeks ago, one of the few people I met on the Internet and also met in real life died. Then I learned that Kerry Stoutenburgh of Kingston, NY was swimming in Maryland, and "died from a rare infection caused by an amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri". She was 19.

Most of these people thought they had tomorrow waiting for them.

I had a recent visit to the doctor, and she wants me to have some tests done because the condition could turn cancerous; I could die. Although that would cause much rejoicing among certain atheists, and apathy among some Christians, I'd prefer to keep going on the work that God has given me. But when he whistles and says, "Saddle up, it's time to go home!", you can bet I'm a-goin'.

How long do we have? Sooner or later, and often unexpectedly, we all have to stand before our Creator. I'm ready. Are you?
Image credit: Morguefile / mensatic
Do I have tomorrow? I might not make it home from work, what with the way people drive here in Kingston. (I suspicion that they drive like maniacs everywhere nowadays.) For that matter, there have been a few times in my life when I almost wound up taking a dirt nap from traffic or other quirky circumstances. Or maybe that heart thing will act up. Until that time, I must remain faithful to my calling.  

By the way, I have an offbeat sense of humor as regular readers of my sites have seen, but it occasionally gets a bit dark. I could be gone, but people wouldn't know it based on scheduled posts and articles, those could keep dropping in for days. Well, seems funny to me, anyway.

Will any of our lives make an impact? Will I be in the Creation Science Hall of Fame? (Not hardly! LOL!) It doesn't matter about our achievements, money, fame, prestige, power, status in The Company, or anything else. Only what we have done for God will matter in the long haul.

Whether I die moments from now, in a few weeks, or am left here to proclaim the truth of creation, refuting evolution, and the authority of Scripture, trying to edify and equip the saints — what about you? I don't care about your religion and rituals, "lack of belief", excuses, "reasons" for disbelief, compromise, that you watched a couple of religious movies. Guess what? Neither does God, because stuff you do doesn't make you right with him.

We are all going to stand before him, ready or not. I'm ready. God accepts me despite my many failings, because Jesus Christ is the Lord of my life. God the Son took the form of a man, died on the cross for my sins, was buried, bodily rose from the dead, ascended into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God the Father. The Holy Spirit has sealed and lives in me. Death has been defeated.

All I am, all I have, is through the grace and mercy of God. I have been saved by grace through faith, and that is not from any religious rituals or good deeds on my part, it is the gift of God.

There's no second chance when this life is over. Can you spare a couple of minutes? Here's a link that may be helpful to you.

In the name of Jesus Christ,
Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Watching My Language

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

No, this isn't about my saying rude things to the computer when it doesn't work the way it's supposed to. This is about wording choices in general. It's easy nowadays to have a misunderstanding, especially on the Web. At The Question Evolution Project, I made a remark about "st00pid dumb Xtians" that someone disliked. Mayhaps he was in a in a bit of a hurry, and sent a message:
What is an Xtian??? If you don't have enough respect to spell out Christian, then you have little, or no power, to persuade. I will unfollow you.
Since he wrote, I figured he would let me reply, so I wrote back:
No need to get all excited, I also said "st00pid dumb" in that sentence. It was sarcasm on how anti-Christians treat us, and I have been called that several times - but not by Christians. Although "Xtian" (or "Xian") is considered by some to be a legitimate abbreviation, I don't use it unless I'm being sarcastic about professing atheists who like to attack us.
He was mollified by this, and after we exchanged a few more messages, I realized that he gave me the inspiration for this here article.

Our language choices, phrasing, humor, other things can complicate communication and even cause misunderstanding. There are several reasons for this. I suggest that we take things slow and check before getting angry.
Image credit: Pixabay / geralt
The Bible isn't the only place that context is important. I have been hurt, and I have hurt people, through misunderstandings. This troubles me. Often times, it's word choice and the way they're used that cause confusion. Add to this the increasingly frantic pace of society (seems that people are more interested in captioned pictures than quality articles, for instance), so things are read quickly. I've had some long articles that had to be split into two parts because I thought I'd lose readers if I left them running long.

Another factor is people's grasp of language. Some people have excellent vocabularies, others not so much. Then you can have someone with your language as their second language. I've made jokes that were not understood and had to be explained.

I believe we all tend to expect that people are reasonably intelligent and know where we're coming from, but sometimes we can over-assume. I've heard remarks on theological and science podcasts that I couldn't repeat that to co-workers because I don't know which of them would understand the references. Not a slur on their intelligence, but a simple fact that some of us catch specialized lingo and others do not.

My offbeat sense of humor and desire to add some personality or color to things are also personal complicating factors that can cause confusion.

"I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
— Attributed to several people, actual source unknown

Let me give you a small piece of advice, Pilgrim. Slow down and check. The fellow I mentioned above was initially incensed, but he checked with me, and let me explain myself. Here's another example. While talking with the lady that cuts my hair, the topic wandered and I said, "I like sets". She said, "I don't know what that means". I told her, "Matching fragrance in soaps, shampoo —" She interrupted, "Oh, you mean sets!" I really think she thought I said, "I like sex", and was trying to get her to do the Mattress Mambo with me. Glad she took it slow and didn't get angry at something she didn't hear correctly.

Meanwhile, I still have to deal with my odd sense of humor, language and vocabulary difficulties, and today's hasty society. But I still feel bad when someone gets a meaning out of what I said that wasn't intended — especially when I stated something poorly.


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.


Last Judgement endtimes prophesies society
"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 honesty, 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 it's 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, then comes 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 after I'm gone, 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?