Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Most Self-Absorbed Generation?

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

It has been said that every generation has a dim view of subsequent generations, but seldom with good reason. Some of this frowning is based on rejection of cultural traditions, changing etiquette, new methods of socialization, and other less consequential areas. More importantly, however, is the way morality has declined, as have critical thinking skills, in younger generations. This is very apparent in the group called the Millennials.

I'd better reign in for a spell and make a couple of points. First, sometimes we just have to say that when discussing a people group, generalities are necessary. Second, while stereotypes exist for a reason, I'm not saying everybody in younger generations (or whatever group I'm talking about) behave, think, believe, or whatever according to their age, ethnic group or demographic. People can't be pigeonholed so neatly, you savvy?


The Millennials are the most narcissistic generation, celebrating sin and denying science
Credit: Pixabay / Gerd Altmann
A recent sermon called "Lovers of Self" inspired this here article. In fact, I listened to it a second time and took notes. Before I give you the link, I'm going to get the bit in my teeth and run off in my own direction.

Now, I don't cotton to putting handles on generations. Beginning in the 20th century, generations were given labels and time periods that are imprecise. The "Lost Generation" refers to people who "came of age" during World War I, followed by the "GI Generation" (also called the "Greatest" by some) because they lived during World War II. This was followed by the "Silent Generation". I'm tagged as a member of the "Baby Boomers", a group name that I loathe. "Generation X" follows, and I reckon they were low on ideas for names by then.

Of course, "Generation Y" (the Millennials) follows, and that's where I'll stop the list because they are the main subject under discussion. Let's backtrack a bit first.

Sexual promiscuity and experimentation (as well as drug abuse) of the 1960s and after were actually rebellion against God's standards of morality. Someone might object and say that they were innocent back then. Not hardly! Also, the 60s were not just peace, love, and grooviness, but rebellion against "squares" and "the establishment" was not just sexual, but included domestic terrorism and other forms of violence. Seeds were sown for later generations.

Sin does not spontaneously begin in a generation. It began with Satan's pride (Isaiah 14:12-14, Ezekiel 28:12-19), and he appealed to Eve's pride (Gen. 3:6) and then Adam, bringing death and sin into the world (Rom. 5:12). There have been no "good" periods in history, but nowadays, sin has been rapidly increasing. Seems to me that the violence, stupidity, and false beliefs from previous generations intensify as time goes on, and bad behavior from the younger ones feed back into older ones to some extent. Especially in secularized cultures.

The Millennials seem to be leading the charge to embrace postmodernism and the destruction of the family unit, and to reject morality — especially biblical morality. While demographics for professing atheists are rather tenuous (including the fact that some "atheists" do not know what atheism means, as some even believe that God exists), it appears that atheism increases among Millennials. (Due to the narcissistic nature of both groups, this is hardly surprising.) This rejection of morality is seen in the celebration of abortion, homosexuality, transsexualality, and other impairments that are both mental and spiritual in nature.

In Paul's second epistle to Timothy, he wrote a list of things of how people would be in the last days. The top of the list in 2 Tim. 3:2 is lovers of self. This is a primary characteristic of Millennials which I believe far surpasses that of previous generations. Millennials are the most secularized generation, and Americans in this age range reflect the intolerance and totalitarianism of Europeans. They support socialism and globalism as well as the moral and spiritual deficiencies already mentioned. It's ironic when people will call someone a "fascist" because they dislike him or her (or a particular group), but have no idea what that word means. (It's also ironic to be called a fascist by a Brit who should know what fascism did to Europe and the rest of the world.) Millennials are primarily leftists as well as deniers of their Creator's authority. They do not tolerate people expressing, or even holding, views that disagree with theirs. Notice the leftist tantrums thrown when elections and votes do not go their way. There are complaints, tears, rioting, burning of dumpsters, irrational complaints to and by the secular press — and an observer can find Millennials in the thick of it.

Hatred of the Christian faith is another characteristic of Millennials, since they are confronted with the reality that they are sinners and God makes the rules, not them. That hurts their pride. I've noticed that this age group especially hates biblical creation science, and will fight red in tooth and claw to believe in the pagan religion of evolutionism, which is, in turn, foundational to the religion of atheism. Darwin requires huge amounts of time, so long-age uniformitarianism is also defended against contrary evidence. Children are born with a belief in the Creator, so evolutionary indoctrination is accelerating. A young earth as well as the Genesis Flood, which was God's judgment, are denied outright as well as ridiculed. Interesting that Scripture seems to warn us about those things as well in 2 Peter 3:3-6. We are also told about the coming Judgment that will be by fire (2 Peter 3:7).

Another aspect that I've seen regarding the Millennials is a profound absence of logical thinking (which seems to be common among secularists). Interesting that Darwin's devotees will call biblical creationists "science deniers" because we reject evolution. That is irrational, and based on the equivocation of science with evolution. No, we use science every day. There are many examples of logical fallacies from the hands at the Darwin Ranch (over yonder by Deception Pass) which I've documented many times elsewhere. Unfortunately — tragically — far too many Christians are unable to engage in critical thinking, and are buffaloed by obstreperous atheists and fundamentalist evolutionists who assert their presuppositions as if they were proven facts, and have a terrible view of knowledge itself. Know what and why you believe, people, and how to present it (1 Peter 3:15). The world does not need uninformed, feckless professing Christians who cannot understand their own faith.

I am sorry to say that lack of critical thinking is not only a characteristic of Millennials, atheists, and leftists. Professing Christians show a lack of logic in many ways. Some will jump on a bandwagon and either love or hate a person because it's trendy, and someone they like told them what to think. Pastor Dour has a sermon based on tradition and opinion, and his followers believe what he says, not checking his source material or the Bible. Professor Liberalwhiskers starts using selective citing to denigrate Scripture, saying the Bible is unreliable, and people believe him because he has his doctorate. Doctor Mystuff claims to be a Christian, but teaches that evolution is true, there was no Genesis Flood, evolution is a fact, and Earth is billions of years old. People believe him because he's a "scientist", and put their Bibles on the shelf while they slide into apostasy, and even side with atheists against those of us who actually believe the Bible. Happy Heretic makes people feel good, and twists Scripture to "prove" his points. People buy his books that have no gospel in them.

Meanwhile, biblical creationists are trying to encourage Christians to learn critical thinking skills and spot logical fallacies, as well as proper apologetic methods. Reasoning abilities apply to being able to biblically discern false teachings, and encourage people to require evidence instead of blindly following the declarations of those in error. My own skeptical nature and developing thinking skills prompted me to ask my Christian school teachers, "Where does it say that? How do you know...?" Made them work, and it helped my own doctrinal discernment. Come on, Christians! We need to think and to believe our Bibles — and put what we read into practice (James 1:22).

Want to know who the real science deniers are? Those who redefine marriage from what God ordained, and also assert that a transgendered "man" can "give birth", and call it a miracle. What ineffable twaddle! Gender "reassignment" is denial of science. Listen up, old son. A vote, court ruling, or anything else cannot change the reality of marriage, and bodily mutilation, hormones, social approval of perversion or anything else cannot make a man into a woman, or vice versa.

God made you. We are created in God's image. Someone can be angry about how they were born, but it's utterly senseless to say that they "feel like" the opposite sex. You were born the way you are, and have no way of knowing what it feels like to be what you are not. Apparently, that is too difficult for Millennials and others who rebel against God to understand.

A whole heap of repentance is in order. People are going to a terrible eternity, and we need to stand for the gospel message — beginning from the first verse of the Bible.

I strongly recommend the sermon that was the impetus behind this article. It's free, and called "Lovers of Self" by Dr. James White, and runs about 45 minutes. You can get that at this Sermon Audio link. You can listen online or download the MP3. If you click the download button, it will ask for you to sign up. Click "maybe later" and it will commence downloading.
 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

A Variation on the Question of Cain's Wife

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

One of the most common questions in biblical creation science apologetics is, "Where did Cain get his wife?" I'll allow that it's a fair question, especially to people who are unfamiliar with having this kind of material presented in more than a cursory manner. On the other hand, we get folks visiting The Question Evolution Project that want to ridicule us and waste our time with insincere questions that they could easily look up themselves on biblical creationary sites. Those people inspired this graphic, and now I have an excuse to show it off:



However, I do not believe that the question that I awakened to this morning was intended to mock or waste time. But if so, it was interesting and I hope my answer will be useful to the enquirer and other readers. 

Corey asked,
I'm sure most of us will agree that a 4.5 billion year old Earth or a 70 million year old Tyrannosaurus Rex is such a shot in the dark based on assumptions that you may as well say any figure and believe it. My interest is to ask what people think about this: Cain said, 'I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.' So who were these people that could find him that didn't know who he was?
His question was more in depth than the one about Cain's wife, noting that there were other people on Earth as well, and they might be on the prod about Cain slaying Abel. What follows is an expanded version of the reply I gave him.

There are many articles related to the question, "Where did Cain get his wife?", but unfortunately, I could not find any that specifically addressed your concern. Many links would give you bits and pieces, but that's tedious. (I thought I could easily find a link for you, then I realized that I had heard it the subject in a sermon/podcast by someone somewhere maybe in the last month. Not helpful.) 

Remember that Cain was a liar and a murderer (Gen. 4:8-9), had been confronted, and punishment was pronounced (Gen. 4:10-12). Scripture does not tell us if he was trying to get sympathy out of God or trying to be manipulative in his complaint (Gen. 4:13-14). Even so, God marked him so that he would not be killed by someone else (Gen. 4:15). I should add that we have no idea about the "mark of Cain", but it was specifically for the man himself and not his descendants (who were probably wiped out in the Genesis Flood). Yes, some sidewinders take that verse out of context to justify white supremacy.

I think the central question, related to the one about where Cain got his wife, is the origin of these other people. Cain took his wife and newborn son, and built a city (Gen. 4:17). It's reasonable to think that there must have been people around to put it to good use. When Cain said, "Whoever sees me..." would have contained a grain of truth. The Bible is not as linear in its narratives as our modern sensibilities may prefer; only four people were named at this point, and we don't learn about others until after Cain lit a shuck out of there.

When we read "the begats", we may tend to neglect certain aspects. Genesis 5:4 tells us that Adam and Eve had other sons and daughters —

"Wait, Cowboy Bob. You're telling us that Cain married his sister?!? I admit my sis is kind of cute, but I ain't touching her!"

Yes, I'm saying Cain married his sister, or another close relative. God told Adam and Eve, and therefore mankind, to "be fruitful and multiply" (Gen. 1:28). They were genetically perfect. (Just between us, the perfect people produced the woman that Cain would marry, and since they were perfect, whatcha wanna bet that she was a "hot babe", especially after Adam's apparently joyous outburst at their first meeting in Gen. 1:22-23?) God said, "...for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die" (Gen. 2:17). Some owlhoots say that the Bible is not true or that God was lying, because when Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they did not drop dead on the spot. Sin entered the world through Adam, and death through sin (Rom. 5:12-14); the more precise translation of God's words is, "Dying you shall die". The death process began, and people did eventually die — as we well know.

So, there were people, and they had long life spans. Lots of people appeared from the first couple and their offspring as time went on. They married close relatives until God said, "All right, cut it out" much later, in Exodus (correction, Leviticus 18:6-18 and other verses). In addition to variations in people, genetic degradation was more pronounced, and genetic entropy was increasing.

Ever notice that people complain about close relatives getting hitched up and making babies in early chapters of the Bible, but don't bat an eye when Darwin, Einstein, and others in more recent (and far more degraded times) married close relatives? Just a thought.

So, we don't really know certain things related to Corey's question. Cain may have been using hyperbole in his complaints to God, or his concerns about retribution may have had some merit. The children of the first parents would have, by necessity, married close relatives. Genetic degradation was beginning and increasing, and God put a stop to marrying close relatives later.
 

For additional reading, and I encourage people who want to know more to search the sites recommended below:

I hope and pray that the materials are helpful to all y'all.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Unbelievers Use Word Games to Reject the Bible

It is common for people to use tropes and exaggeration to make a point, even when the original meaning has changed or been forgotten. I referred to my current employer as the Thieves Guild because they cheat employees out of their pay. People can pick up the meaning even if they are unaware that the term came from various fantasy stories, and is used in role-playing games. My wife likes to put peanuts outside for the blue jays, nuthatches, and titmouses. A few minutes ago, she did this, and told me, "I had 500 blue jays out there!" Uh, no. She was using exaggeration to add color and make her point.

Writers of the Bible used expressions that were not meant to be literal (such as sunrise and sunset, words that are regularly employed by many people who know full well that the sun does not actually rise or set). Some owlhoots are playing the "Gotcha!" game by saying that phenomenological language means the Bible has errors. This somehow gives them license to insert different meanings into the text so they can justify their beliefs.


Mostly made at Glass Giant
We expect atheists to contrive various excuses to claim that the Bible is untrue, but there are professing Christians who commence to badmouthing the Bible so they can justify deep time, theistic evolution, and other things. In a 2005 debate with Dr. John Crossnan, Dr. James White said something better than I have done: "In my experience, those who argue against the authenticity of the gospel accounts always do so in defense of a preexisting commitment to a particular religious or anti-religious viewpoint." In this case, people are denigrating Scripture so they can believe things that it doesn't say. They claim to believe the Bible, but like atheists, they reject its authority.
Denis Lamoureux seeks to resolve perceived contradictions between science and Scripture by persuading that Scripture is not inerrant, but is infallible in doctrine, and he reasons that the phenomenological language defense (as he terms it) fails to recognize the impact of ancient science upon the text. This is in contrast to the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy, which argues that phenomenological language does not invalidate the inerrancy of the Bible. Lamoureux describes himself as a “literal non-literalist,” but his work exhibits a certain naïveté about lexical semantics (along with a number of other hermeneutical issues undergirding his analysis). The problems with Lamoureux’s analysis can be seen, for example, in his analysis of the mustard seed motif in the gospels, and a wholly inadequate understanding of the idiomatic nature of hyperbole. But, more telling is his failure to recognize the impact that ancient science might have on the terminology used to describe natural phenomenon. This problem is best demonstrated by the impact that ancient theories of biology on the semantic domain of the words translated “heart” in the Bible. This being the case, his arguments against the inerrantist position loses much of its force.
To read the rest, click on "Phenomenological Language and Semantic Naïveté".
   

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Signs in the Heavens and Prophetic Significance

In one respect, this post will be outdated very quickly, as September 23, 2017 will come and go. However, the principles that are expressed in the articles linked below are applicable to other events as well as the excitement and confusion they will generate.


A blood moon is a common occurrence. A tetrad of them less so. Neither means the end of the world.
Credit: Pixabay / Ulrike Bohr
Although the Bible clearly tells us that no one can know the time of Christ's return, some folks like to commence to doing "date setting", and think they've figured out some special message or code. These consistently fail. Yes, Genesis 1:14 has the word "signs", but that is not a call to use the heavens for divination on Revelation instead of their real purpose: timekeeping. 

"But there's a tetrad of blood moons!"

Yes, the moon turns read during a lunar eclipse. Has to do with refraction. The four blood moons thing has happened before, too. Pass the cheese curls, willya?

"The sun will be in Virgo, the sun and some planets will be in it, and Virgo means Mary the mother of Jesus!"

That constellation has been known by many names, and there is no reason to believe it refers to Mary. The sun and planets go into that constellation all the time. Got any more spinach dip?

"Three planets in Leo, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, makes the number of stars in it up to twelve!"

You may be unclear on the concept of a constellation, old son. It is based on our view from Earth, but there are many more stars out yonder than we see here. Stargazers picked out certain stars and "saw" Leo (an ornery cuss, and has no real association with Jesus), but had to ignore other visible stars. Yes, planets were considered "wandering stars" in days gone by, but to add three planets to bring the total of Leo's stars up to twelve is really reaching. Can I have a slice of that pizza?

"But there's an ancient gospel in the stars!" No, not really. That concept has been discredited. Trying to Christianize astrology is not a good idea. Stay away from divination and other occult practices, God hates that stuff. Do you have any antacid on hand? I ate too much of your food.

Stargazing is fun and educational. If you're in areas that frequently get cloudy, have difficulty in traveling, or something else, you can do a form of it on your computer. Here is some astronomy software, and I see that Stellarium and Celestia are freeware that get recommendations.
From time to time, sensational claims hit the media that the world will end, or the Rapture will come, because of some supposed coming event. Now CMI is not an end-times ministry, for reasons stated in End-times and Early-times, so what follows is not specific to any eschatological view. In general, one wonders what part of the following words of Jesus are so hard to understand:
But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only (Matthew 24:36 ESV).

But apparently these soi-disant prophets know better than Jesus, God the Son and the Incarnate Word (and see Hypostatic Union: Did Jesus know when he was coming back?). Added to that hubris is usually a basic ignorance of astronomy.
To finish reading, click on "Will the world end on 23 September? — How to think about doomsday scenarios", which has quite a few links for further reading. Also, you may want to see a similar article, "What Will Happen on September 23, 2017?" Just for fun, come back here and re-read this post after that date.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Genesis and the Fall of Man

Liberal theologians and compromising theistic evolution sidewinders (you can't get more liberal and compromising than an "evolutionary creationist") have bushwhacked Scripture for many years. They cannot tolerate the creation account in the first two chapters of Genesis, so they say that it was allegory or myth. But that's not enough for some folks, and they attack the doctrine of the Fall in the third chapter of Genesis.


Although Genesis 3 does not say words like guilt and sin, the clear teaching of those concepts is there.
Credit: Pixabay / Activedia
These compromisers are telling us that that the Fall was not in Genesis, but was added later on. One contention is that certain words were not in the third chapter, such as guilt and sin. Those words do not need to be there, since the concepts are clearly taught. Further, if you study on it, you'll see that original sin is affirmed elsewhere in Scripture, as are death and the Curse. They need death before sin so they can force in millions of years and evolution. That's eisegesis, old son, and does violence to a heap of doctrines — including the gospel message.
Critical scholars have long rejected Genesis 3 as an accurate account of actual events, such as the Creation and Fall of man. However, in the recent debate over the historical Adam, many professing evangelicals, and once-professing evangelicals, who have adopted the methods and conclusions of critical secular scholarship, have pointedly argued that the doctrine of the Fall, which teaches original sin, is not original to the text of Genesis 3. These scholars see the doctrine of the Fall and original sin as an invention the church Father Augustine of Hippo (354-430) read into the text. In the recent book Adam and the Genome, which rejects a historical Adam, theologian Scot McKnight argues:
You can read what Scot says and the rest of the article by clicking on "'In Adam’s Fall We Sinned All': Does Genesis 3 Teach the Fall of Man?
  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rapid Plant Growth in Creation Week

Seems like some professing Christians look for excuses to shove long ages into the plain reading of Scripture (like some atheists, who claim to reject it altogether), but the only way to get millions of years out of the Bible is to first put them into it through eisegesis. It's interesting that these same people claim to believe other miraculous things, especially the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead, but they get all het up about Genesis. Never could figure why they want to compromise on the Word of God, but I suspicion it's to look smart in the eyes of secularists.

Plants grow slowly now, does not mean they were slow in creation week
Credit: Freeimages / Viktors Kozers
I reckon that it's a fair question, though to wonder about plants can accelerate from zero to fruit in such a short time. Part of their confusion may occur from expecting that plant growth then should be like plant growth now. If you study on it, you'll realize that we're talking about creation week — the whole thing is a series of miracles in a context of literal days. To say that days mean long ages or that plants need a long time to grow so God doesn't mean what he clearly says is plenty inconsistent.
One critic of 24-hour creation days has argued, “if the author were thinking here of 24-hour periods of time, what he would have to be imagining would be something like time lapse photography where the little seed bursts out of the ground and then erupts into this tree, grows up and pops out blossoms all over and then bam! bam! bam! all the apples pop out on the tree. I just can’t persuade myself that this is what the author was thinking of—that he imagined this looking like a film being run on fast forward.”
That owlhoot was using the fallacy of the argument from incredulity, but we'll leave that alone right now. To read the entire article, plant yourself in front of "Foliage in fast forward — Why rapid plant growth during creation week poses no threat to the biblical timeframe".
  

Friday, July 7, 2017

Real Reasons to Care about the Environment

Many of us see and hear about caring for the environment, please recycle, do not litter, watch your water usage, and so on. Nowadays, it seems that most people have a semblance of concern for nature and the environment as a whole, but it wasn't so long ago that stupid and greedy people were forced to stop polluting through legislation and fines. Of course, there are those who have evolutionary and socialist viewpoints upon which they base their interest for the environment. Some are muy loco en la cabeza, seeing humans as a plague on Earth and want to see us killed off!

Tinker Falls New York a part of God's creation
Credit: Wikimedia Commons / javajoe6 / CC BY-SA 3.0
We can agree with evolutionists that this planet is all we have, and we'd best be taking care of it. But the motivation of Christians is mighty different. We are created in God's image (Genesis 1:27), and Earth was created to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). Earth was not created for us to act like polecats and trash the place. After all, it was not only created to remind us of our Creator (Romans 1:18-23), we have a job to do: we're stewards of creation. Go back to Genesis and see that God began with putting Adam in the Garden to work it (Genesis 2:15).
Before knowing Christ, my affections had revolved around earth’s beauty and her creatures. I held two views. First, I was biocentric. Because of my background in biology, I saw how all organisms were interrelated. . .

Second, I was also an ecocentrist. I focused on the interconnectedness of nature and how our survival depends on being in harmony with nature. . . I “knew” that, if nothing else, spaceship earth was all there was, and we must do all in our power to save her.

As my relationship with the Creator grew, I realized that my belief in the natural world as the source of all value was wrong and a form of idolatry. So I rejected both views.
You can read the entire narrative in context (or listen to the free audio version), and get some interesting information on creation care perspectives, by clicking on "Caring About Creation for the Right Reasons".