Showing posts with label Salvation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salvation. Show all posts

Friday, December 25, 2020

Wishing You a Blessed Christmas!

During tumultuous times, celebrating the birth of Jesus is a stark reminder to Christians that we have hope. This hope is not based in humanity. Instead, we need to focus on how God the Son left Heaven and became the man Jesus for our salvation.

Credit: Pixabay / falco

He did not come to make everything into our best lives now. In fact, following Jesus involves sacrifice and persecution; it is not a lazy tinhorn's religion like atheism. But we are given eternal salvation, adoption as sons and daughters of the living God, purpose, victory over death, and much more.

I'm not going to take much more of your time, unless you have a hankering to see what I've done for this Christmas season. I'd be much obliged if you'd watch the "flash mob" video. Look for how people are awestruck around the 4 min. 23 sec. mark. Okay, the other posts:

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.



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 fa├žade 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.



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

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.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Are We Naturally Good?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

In "Is Racism in Our DNA?", I gave a resounding no to that question. Implicit is the idea that there ain't nothing in our DNA but our DNA; no spiritual values and so on. I don't reckon any goodness we have can be physically inherited in any way.

We see and hear about unspeakable evil among men, but there are also people who do heroic efforts to save others, even strangers. Sometimes these acts cost them their lives.

People who have been exposed to God and seen his goodness have rejected him and gone about their own way. After Eve's deception and Adam's agreement in taking the fruit (Gen. 3:6), their firstborn son murdered their second son (Gen. 4:8). It's safe to assume that they knew about the Garden of Eden, and how Adam and Eve walked with God for a short time (Gen. 3:8), and how their parents were disinvited from it (Gen. 3:24-25). They probably knew right where Eden was. I can imagine them looking at the angel guarding the entrance and wanting to see what was inside.

Let's ride down the trail. The Israelites had seen the power of God when they were delivered from Egypt. You'd think crossing the Red Sea would make a lasting impression (Exodus 14:21-22) as well as manna and water from the rock, but when Moses went up the mountain, the Israelites went wild and made themselves a new god (Exodus 32:4-7). That didn't set well with Yahweh and Moses (Exodus 32:30).

Are people basically good? No. In fact, people who had direct encounters with God still rebelled. And yet, people still do good deeds. What's the story?
Passage of the Jews through the Red Sea / Ivan Aivazovsky, 1891


After God judged the world and only eight people survived the Flood, (1 Peter 3:20), there was further rebellion. Noah lived a very long time, as did his sons. Their descendants most likely heard about the Flood, and why it happened. They also saw the results of the Flood all around them, but that didn't seem to make no nevermind to them (Gen. 11:4).

Further down the trail, read the book of Judges and you'll see that Israel sinned, got in trouble with the Philistines and other pagan nations, and God would deliver them. Then they'd go back to wicked ways and start the cycle again. Once they had kings to rule over them, the kings often followed Baal and other demons, and God would punish them. When they repented, God delivered them. Eventually, the sin was so great that they were captives of Babylon, and eventually Rome.

This is just a small sampling from portions of the Old Testament where people saw God's glory and rebelled. The New Testament is loaded with examples of people who saw Jesus fact to face, saw his miracles, heard his teachings, received food and healings — and rejected him.

People today encounter God in various ways, and turn their backs on the one who gives them life.

It's the nature of man to do evil (Gen. 8:21, Eph. 2:3, Psalm 14:2-3, John 8:44). We are dead (Eph. 2:1-3). Because of God's mercy, those who humble themselves and submit to God can receive salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (Eph. 2:4-10, John 1:12, Rom. 3:23, Rom. 6:23). Then we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5, 1 Cor. 6:19, Eph. 4:30, 2 Tim. 1:14, Heb. 10:15-17, 1 John 2:27). The Holy Spirit and the written Word of God empower us to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:4).

"Sure, Cowboy Bob, God helps Christians life a good life. What about those other folks?"

God has mercy on all (Matt. 5:45, Luke 11:11-12), so even though we are evil by nature, there is some amount of goodness by his providence. People may think they are good and compare themselves to each other (2 Cor. 10:12). I remember someone saying how good she was, saying how she didn't do this and that, she was good. I said, "Neither do dead people. Not doing things doesn't make anyone good" (or something like that, it was years ago). We may think we're good, even deserving of Heaven. Not hardly!