Thursday, May 6, 2021

Rejecting Lies and Herd Mentality

Many people who claim to "follow the science" really do not. Appeals to authority linked with lack of critical thinking, plus ignorance of actual science, are disastrous to societies as well as individuals. Culturally correct, consensus, and "woke" views actually dismiss scientific realities in favor of political trends and emotionalism. Taking a stand for truth and reality can be hazardous to careers — and even personal safety.

People are following trends and false science that denies facts. Truth is not determined by culture or feelings and Christians must take a stand.
Credit: Pixnio / Rachel Claire (slightly modified)
Darwin's hijacked version of natural selection as well as neo-Darwinian evolution are thrown around as if they were established truth. We are bombarded with the "fact" of evolution, and assertions are often subtle. Most people go along with the herd and accept what is presented as science.

What is more disturbing is that in recent years, secular scientists have been saddling up and riding with deviant behavior. Considering how the formerly United States is under divine judgment (as are many other nations), God is giving people over to their sin. Now people can supposedly change genders at a whim despite true science; feelings do not change reality. This is in opposition to God's clear design for men and women. Some of us reject lies and pressure to accede to live with herd mentality. Bible-believing Christians must follow the truth, not false science or current trends.

Perhaps my parents were naïve. They raised me to respect my teachers, the government, and other authorities, and to believe these entities acted in my best interests and certainly wouldn’t lie to me. I was warned about the duplicity of politicians and used-car salesmen, but they were mostly grouped in classes by themselves.

Now I know I was misled by these authorities on some very important things. For instance, in biology class I was taught as scientific fact a totally fanciful—and atheistically religious—story that “survival of the fittest” caused the evolution of life on Earth. Disseminating that lie was an abuse of youthful trust in authority.

The lying has gotten far worse. Back then, I never felt institutional coercion to join a perverse government-led movement that affirms as truth many things I and most other people can clearly see are false. For example, until recently it was basic common sense to recognize that male and female are the two biological sexes. Today, anyone daring to speak common sense is publicly pummeled with disparaging names (or worse) by members of a rapidly growing deviant movement. They use a hostile crowd to systematically isolate people from each other by making everyone afraid to be associated with the pummeled person lest it also happen to them—a method to strong-arm conformity in thinking and control the behavior of an entire group.

I hope that you will take the time to read the entire article. To do so, head over to "Refusing to Live by Lies".

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Answering the Critics Without Being Foolish

There is a pair of verses that may perplex Christians at first glance, and scoffers call it biblical contradiction. This is Proverbs 26:4-5. The claim that they are a contradiction is easily dismissed, but the question about not answering a fool according to his folly, followed by answering, can be clarified. It is also a powerful method for defending and presenting the faith.

Christians are to engage with unbelievers who want to have good discussions, but we must not let them derail a talk and be foolish ourselves.
Originally, this now-public domain image by Sidney Paget
was used to illustrate the 1903 Sherlock Holmes story "The Empty House"
The Bible makes it clear that God calls unbelievers fools. That's not God being on the prod and calling them stupid, but it is deeper than that because it is about character, not intelligence (although some exhibit a lack of intelligence).

Do a Bible search with theWord, other software, or online and look for fool, foolish, and similar words. It's not gratuitous abuse. I can't think of a good way to open a discussion by telling someone that he or she is a fool, that would be counterproductive. Nor should any Christian be smug when dealing with unbelievers (unlike some groups I could mention who have the "one true doctrine", but never mind about that now). After all, we want them to come to Christ!

Also, many misotheists try to put Christians on the defensive with assertions, generalities, accusations, and so on. Such things are frequently used to derail the discussion — suddenly, it is on their terms. There are ways to handle these tactics and keep them on the subject without joining in their folly.

Instead of my self-consciously cringing internally whenever someone asked about my faith, my one-on-one conversations with non-believers became fun and exciting—not least because of the potential eternal benefits for them! I’d like to recount here one such conversation, not just because it was tremendously encouraging and memorable for me, but also because in hindsight I can see I unwittingly brought into play a number of scriptural injunctions relating to evangelism, including ones that atheists wrongly say are contradictory: Proverbs 26:4 and 5.

The conversation extended unbroken for more than three hours during a commercial airline flight from the northern Australian city of Darwin to Brisbane on the east coast.

To read the full article, see "Answering fools’ folly". Also recommended is "Fool-Proof Apologetics — A Powerful Way to Defend the Christian Faith".

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Species Extinctions, Earth Day, and Christian Stewardship

Earth Day was established on Lenin's 100th birthday and is most definitely not just a good idea for conservation and care of the planet. Political and economic Machiavellian machinations aside, however, many people sincerely want to do good things for the world.

Although Earth Day is also Lenin's birthday and saturated with evolution and Marxism, Christians have a responsibility to care for endangered species.
I thought you otter know that this photo was taken by Joe Tomoleoni for the USGS
(Also, I hope you sea that usage does not imply endorsement of site contents)
Unfortunately, the environmental movement is saturated with evolutionary thinking. That is, humans and other living things ultimately came from a common ancestor. To be consistent, why should we care that various species are becoming extinct or are endangered? We crawled to the top of the food chain, so we should reign supreme and do whatever we please, right? Fortunately, secularists, pagans, evolutionists, and others are not consistent.

Christians (and especially biblical creationists) should care about the environment — God has created us in his image, and we are stewards of living things. Not just the cute ones, either. When a species is removed from an ecosystem, there is a kind of domino effect that affects other creatures.

Secular environmentalists are quite concerned about disappearing species. But how are Christians to respond to the loss of these creatures?

. . . 

We should also preserve species for the benefits we might derive from them. God’s design in nature inspires new technologies (biomimicry) that make our lives safer and our products more efficient. For example, scientists looked at whale fin design to create a better model for airplane propellers, and a recent study of mussel adhesion could help create a product to clean up oil spills.

Today many prescribed medicines come from plants or other natural products, and scientists are constantly turning to nature for its health benefits. . . .

Beyond considering the practical reasons for preserving species from extinction, we must remember that creation exists, in part, to declare God’s glory and remind us to worship him. His invisible attributes are manifested in the physical creation (Romans 1:20). His infinite wisdom and artistry are also revealed in the stunning engineering, aesthetics, and symmetry of all life. With every extinct species, we lose valuable insight into our heavenly Father’s creative mind, characteristics, and care for his creatures.

To read the full article or listen to the audio version, see "Should We Abandon Some Species to Extinction?"

This song by Camille and Kennerly is a tribute to their grandmother, who had recently passed away.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Evaluating Truth Claims in Genesis

Some people try to dismiss Genesis as myth containing spiritual truth using elements from the pagan neighbors of the Hebrews. Others say it is misunderstood, as if the Creator of the universe was unable to communicate with us. With closer inspection, we see that Genesis is a historical narrative.

Regarding Genesis 1-3, some people say there was a communication problem between God and us, or that it was myth. A closer look reveals the truth.
Credit: RGBStock / Billy Frank Alexander
The idea that the early chapters of Genesis are mythological should not be accepted by professing Christians, as there are serious problems that result. (One of these is that Jesus, Peter, Paul, and others referred to these chapters as literal history, so by denying this, one is calling them liars!) Also, there are repercussions with the gospel message.

Read some classical mythology, then come back to Genesis and see the difference. Myths are vague and have a different flow, but the Bible is precise. Indeed, even the sequence of creation days is specific — a day itself is defined. Interestingly, many translations have in Genesis 1:5 less accurate by using, "...the first day". The New American Standard, Revised Standard Version, Christian Standard Bible, International Standard Version, and several others have this detail correct.

In The Genesis Account, Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote:

The days of Genesis 1 have an interesting pattern in the Hebrew, which is not often reflected in English translations. The first day has a cardinal number (i.e. one, two, three …), yôm echad (יום אחד) Day One. The others have ordinal numbers, which are used to refer, for example, to the order of runners finishing a race (second, third, fourth … ). But in Genesis 1:5, the ordinal ‘first day’ (which would be yôm ri’shôn יום ראשון) is not used.

Also, days 2–5 lack an article (ה, ha, ‘the’) while days 6–7 have one on the number but not on the day. So a literal translation of Creation Week would be Day One; a second day; a third day; a fourth day; a fifth day; a day, the sixth; a day, the seventh. One English translation which correctly reflects the presence or absence of the articles is the NASB. For example, for Genesis 1:5, the ESV’s “the first day” doesn’t reflect the Hebrew as well as the NASB’s “one day”. The LXX also reflects the Hebrew article pattern, except for lacking an article on the sixth day.1

I took the liberty of stressing a couple of points that are not emphasized in the article linked below, which is less technical on Hebrew. The main point is that the early chapters of Genesis are written as historical narrative, and God knows how to communicate.
Many Christian scholars have suggested that Genesis 1–3 was never meant to convey historical truth. Instead, they say it is like one of Christ’s New Testament parables. God merely shared a made-up story to convey spiritual truths. Does the Bible give us any clear guidance to know for certain whether Genesis 1–3 is a parable?

After all, as Christians, we believe that there is only one particular way to understand the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, His perfect and personal communication to His people for all time (2 Timothy 3:16). Accordingly, we cannot carelessly read the Scripture any way we want. To rightly understand His Word pleases Him (2 Timothy 2:15), but to twist the Scriptures offends Him and can lead to destruction (2 Peter 3:16). God has placed a premium on grasping what He really said.

To read the rest or listen to the audio by an excellent reader, follow "Genesis—The Original Myth Buster".

1Sarfati, Dr. Jonathan D., The Genesis Account: A theological, historical, and scientific commentary on Genesis 1-11. MOBI edition, Creation Book Publishers, October 2015. The Hebrew may differ slightly from this book, as it would not copy well and I had to obtain it elsewhere on the web.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Misotheists and the Blue Pill

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This article has several related sources that refer to the movie The Matrix, which has made its mark on modern culture. It added to discussions about living in a computer simulation, and the red pill/blue pill concepts have been quite interesting.

Some people define reality as atheistic naturalism, then ridicule those of us who believe reality comes from God. They took the blue pill, not us.
The popular "What if I told you...?" line in the "memes" was not used in the move.

In a previous article, I wrote about how narcissists, sociopaths, narcissistic atheopaths, and the like manipulate other people for their own purposes. This is somewhat related because many are attempting to create their own reality. One of my references was the YouTube channel of Matt Cross and "Alpha Male Secrets". While most of his content about how to get the girls and be the most interesting man in the room have no appeal to me (Christians should sanctify Jesus as Lord in their hearts and seek to please him more than anyone else), Matt has some interesting things to consider.

In this video, he discusses the blue pill concept and how people are essentially taking it to escape from reality. This alternative reality is found in movies, superheroes (living vicariously through those who have great powers), video games, and so on: people are not accepting their own lives. It is about escaping reality. Matt also hates pornography and says how it contributes to false perceptions. (Do those videos show real people who actually like each other?) Guys watch the models who are chosen for their appearances, to get views, and sell subscriptions to porn sites — then think that real women are like those portrayed in videos.

Mr. Cross has a problem that I've learned to call truth out of balance. Several things in his video are true, but are too extreme. He dislikes escapism because he would rather be working on ways to improve his life and his business pursuits, or other things that are based in reality. As Christians, we are to seek the kingdom of God and to glorify him. There is nothing wrong with having a bit of escapism to decompress. (F'rinstance, I read, write, and screen material to post, but I read a bit of fiction and watch some television). Like anything else, when escapism becomes dominant in someone's life, it becomes a form of idolatry.

By the way, who cares about the identity of someone walking through the observation deck in the opening credits of Star Trek: The Next Generation?

Professing atheists are usually naturalists (nature is all that exists), and they presuppose that reality itself can only be explained in this way. When presenting material that refutes their worldview and especially evolution, their responses include calling Christians and creationists "reality deniers" and simple denial of scientific facts. Some are so desperate to suppress the truth, they humiliate and refute themselves. Mayhaps it would be helpful to actually read the material before making knee-jerk reactions? For example, see this screenshot (I cut out the image in the middle):

Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes (click for larger)

To jump back to the video by Matt Cross, I've checked profiles on social(ist) media of naturalistic atheists. Many are saturated with anime, superheroes, and other escapism that has nothing to do with reality. And sports. Lots of sports. (Sadly, some professing Christians give such things a priority, then wonder why their spiritual lives are disappointing.) Those of us who believe the Bible know that science, numbers, logic, and everything else are impossible without God. We are not the ones who take the blue pill and deny reality. We affirm it.

The video that inspired this article has a great deal of profanity and some crude content. With that disclaimer, those who want to see it anyway can click here.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Answering Good Friday and Easter Questions

Many events occurred during what many Christians call Holy Week, leading up to the Crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday and his bodily Resurrection on Sunday. Some professing Christians are confused, annoyed, and even judgmental about our celebrations of Easter, and misotheists join in the attacks.

Some Christians and misotheists falsely claim that Easter has pagan origins. There is also the question 3 days and nights that Jesus was in the tomb.
Credit: Free Christian Illustrations
One of the questions people have is when they count on their fingers, they believe that Jesus could not have been crucified on Friday and rise from the dead on Sunday. This comes from shoehorning modern counting methods into ancient Jewish reckoning. We do want to be honest with the text, don't we? 

Another problem some people have is the claim that Easter is based on pagan traditions. Unfortunately, this nonsense is spread by modern church traditions and ill-informed pastors. Ignorance of history and languages are not excuses for Pecksniffian attitudes religious people who look down on those of us who choose to celebrate Easter. 

If you get up on the hill and look down for the bigger picture, so what? If the name and dates associated with the Resurrection were originally from the pagans and then Christianized, it would not change the reality of the Crucifixion and bodily Resurrection of Jesus! Many names in our culture today have pagan origins. This is being written in March, which was named after Mars, the Roman god of war. It is posting on Wednesday, named after Wodan (the equivalent of the Norse god Odin). I used to schedule these on Thor's Day. Does anyone care about those names, and many others? That'll be the day!

In fact, I used to believe the pagan tradition think myself, and took down some posts I had made years ago where I spread the error.

"But Cowboy Bob, not Jesus or anyone else commanded us to celebrate his Resurrection or Christmas, either!" 

That's an irrational way of forbidding something, because there are many things that were not commanded that should be refused if those people wanted to be consistent. Also, Jesus celebrated the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah), which was certainly not commanded. Looks like the wheels came off that wagon.

Let's move on to the article featured here today. It was written in 2008 and updated in 2020, so we got that goin' for us, which is nice. It is quite in-depth and I found it fascinating. It would be very helpful to you to read it. Also, below is a 16-minute video that covers some of the highlights of the big one. After that, a few other links of interest. Read, watch, learn. Savvy?

To read the article, head on over to "Easter and Good Friday: questions and answers". The other material follows.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Proof and the Unbeliever

There are times when a mocker will say something like, "Prove to me your God exists". A Christian may ask, "What kind of evidence are you willing to consider?", which is a reasonable question. (One actually told me to provide it, then he would consider if it was acceptable. I knew where that would lead!) Unbelievers already have all the evidence they need, but they suppress the truth (Rom. 1:18-23).

Christians often have wrong ideas about giving proof to unbelievers and persuading them to come to faith in Christ. The reality may seem surprising.
Credit: Photos-public-domain.com

We can present all the evidence (or proof) we can, and if someone does not repent and make Jesus the Lord of his or her life, we may think that we've failed. But our job is to sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts and be ready to make a defense of our hope (1 Peter 3:15), and salvation comes through the working of the Holy Spirit, not because of our skill and eloquence (1 Cor. 2:1-5). Considering how many Christians get uppity because they have the One True Interpretation of Scripture™, perhaps pride is one reason that God has not made the salvation of others up to us (1 Cor. 1:12-13). We must be ready to present the gospel message (Matt. 28:18-20). We may be simply planting seeds at the time and never know the results, but those are up to God.

At a local Bible conference, a respected seminary professor unintentionally contradicted the apostle Paul. During the Q&A session, he opined that “you cannot prove the existence of God to anyone because you must choose to believe in God.” While the second half of that statement is correct, the first half fails Forensic Evidences 101, clashing with the proof principles taught in Romans 1:18-28.1

Did the seminary professor’s reasoning mischaracterize God’s proofs of His creatorship? If so, how did he stumble? The professor confused proof with persuasion.

To read the rest, see "Do the Unpersuaded Have Enough Proof?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Innate Goodness and Pre-Adamic Humans

Some professing Christians are setting themselves up as authorities to say that God did not mean what he said in the Bible. This is a serious problem. Unfortunately, gullible people are being deceived about our alleged goodness, and humanoids that existed before Adam.

Theistic evolutionists sound persuasive, but they damage the gospel message. There is no valid reason to think a humanoid race existed  before Adam.
Credit: Unsplash / Krys Amon
American author John H. Walton has some odd views that can be considered Gnostic, and Irish theologian Niamh Middleton presents some beliefs that are truly off the rails. These sidewinders are not only rejecting biblical authority, but are also accommodating atheistic views of origins as well when they accommodate theistic evolution. False teachings like these seriously damage the gospel message.
Today, many modern writers who describe themselves as evangelicals openly disagree with the core Christian doctrine of original sin. Some argue instead that Jesus seeks out original goodness in us. They reject a historical Fall in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve rebelled against the clear instructions God had given them (Genesis 2:15–17), earning the punishment of both physical and spiritual death (Genesis 3:19; Romans 6:23). Such denials of the words of Scripture by theistic evolutionists are deeply ironic: Adam and Eve’s very sin was in agreeing with the serpent’s questioning and open defiance of God’s words: “Did God actually say?” and “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:1, 4).

Sadly, this slide into further compromise of biblical truth shows no sign of slowing. Far too many Christians are oblivious of what leading movers and shakers of evangelical thought actually believe and teach. We need both to be aware for ourselves and to help prevent others in our churches from succumbing to such scholarly-sounding but treacherous teachings.

To read the rest, see "Teaching ‘original goodness’ is anti-Gospel". Kindly come back for the next installment.

While the previous article discussed the concept of a race of humanoids that supposedly existed before Adam, what follows shows that to justify this view, one has to tie the Bible to a chair, torture it, and kick it down the stairway. Indeed, they do violence to the Bible by ignoring the contexts of not only Genesis, but the original languages and the rest of Scripture. Anyone with a modicum of biblical knowledge should realize that this is not only wicked, but stupid.

Arguments from biblical scholars that find ways of reading ancient near Eastern1 or evolutionary ideas into the text of Genesis are becoming popular amongst lay people and Christian apologists. In a previous article I noted that apologist and theistic evolutionist Michael Jones (Inspiring Philosophy) has used several of these arguments to try and refute “young earth creation” (biblical creation). Based on the work of Old Testament scholars John Walton and Michael Heiser, Jones argues that Genesis 1 implies there were more people around than Adam and Eve (i.e., pre-Adamites) and that, therefore, in Genesis 2, which he believes is a sequel to Genesis 1, God elects Adam and Eve out of that group of people:

This is getting interesting! To finish reading, visit "Other Humans Before Adam & Eve?"

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Toxic Misotheists, Being Alpha, and the Bible - Part 2

As planned, here is the conclusion from Part 1. Harmful people in our lives can feel like we are in an emotional and spiritual whirlpool with our vitality draining away.

Not Apologizing or Explaining

This is a difficult area for me in several areas. Gibbs makes not apologizing his Rule #9, and he picked it up from John Wayne in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon: "Never apologize, mister, it's a sign of weakness". Related to that is explaining yourself. In fact, the two can often be combined in pitiful displays of poltroonery. File under "Never say never".

Many atheists exhibit dangerous traits of narcissistic sociopaths. Includes superior knowledge, and condemnation of people they choose to hate. We can resist their harmful effects
Credit: Flickr / Dave Stokes (CC BY 2.0)
One problem is when people offer apologies. Those sound like excuses most of the time, especially when they're strung together like in this humorous example:

When we "own it", we are less likely to seem weak. It can also take the wind out of the sails of a detractor. F'rinstance, a different supervisor was armed for bear, ready to give me a deserved chastisement. I reckon he was expecting a string of excuses, but he seemed to sag a bit when I said, "I screwed up". When other people force apologies out of us (especially when we are not guilty of something), we are devalued and they get ego boosts.

When being direct and limit our words, we're also less tempted to embellish the truth or even lie outright. Or babble.

There are definitely times when apologies are necessary and helpful, don't be disunderstanding me. Gibbs broke Rule #9 when it was needed, and they guy being advised in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon also apologized. They are necessary in relationships, and Christians must confess our sins to God — and sometimes to other believers. The people making secular material that I have used do not know the dynamic of Christians helping each other grow in the Lord.

"Why do you use Western slang, Cowboy Bob?"

That would be a fair question that's probably not trying to put me on the defensive. (Toxic people, especially atheists, constantly seek to do that.) I may as well tell you that cowboy lingo, imaginary conversation partners, humor, and other things are devices to keep an article from being drier than an Arizona dust devil. It also helps readers know that there's a person behind the keyboard and not an automaton. I can inject a bit of personality into posts and articles. Of course, this one is very personal, but I'm doing those things anyway. Unapologetically.

Over-explaining can be a serious problem. Not only do we waste time, but we can seem — and even become — weaker. It is tempting because we want people to like us and not judge us in a negative way. As I indicated, acknowledging a mistake and moving on can be the best action. Also, concise answers are often better received, and it is more difficult for a toxie to put us on the defensive. They don't know and respect us, and quite often, we are always guilty in their eyes. Those kinds of people are not invested in our lives, and many don't know or respect us as persons.

Besides, overexplaining also can confuse a situation. Those who have watched NCIS may have noticed that Gibbs is a man of few words; he's not a babbler.

Jesus had some comments about words. When he discussed the swearing of oaths, he added, "Let your yes be yes, and your no be no", and not to go beyond that (Matt. 5:37). He also said that we will have to account for our words. He was not advising brusqueness or rejecting conversation, but we must learn to shun babbling.

It is difficult for me to strike a balance because not only do I want to avoid being harshly judged by others, but I teach through writing. Being properly understood is important, so explanations are in order. (Like you're reading right now.) For the most part, it is the author's responsibility to make things understandable. The hard part is volunteering unnecessary explanations in my daily life.

Toxic Atheists

Let's face it, those with Atheism Spectrum Disorder are exceptionally toxic — especially those on the internet. Rational unbelievers might say, "I don't believe the way you do, but if it makes you happy, great". There was a time when that may have been the case, but atheists are becoming more militant nowadays and seek to dehumanize Christians — especially biblical creationists. Mayhaps it could be classified as narcissistic atheopathy.

I didn't notice any of my resources use the term "control freaks", but that term accurately describes many of those toxic people. Those of us involved in apologetics have noticed that professing atheists (they really do know that God is real, Rom. 1:18-24) exhibit traits of narcissistic sociopaths. They try to put us on the defensive, often succeeding when we follow their distractions, and become enraged when we try to keep them on topic. They want to play their games and make up their own rules as they go along.

Atheists are threatened not only by the gospel of Jesus Christ, but despise biblical creationists. Why? One main reason is that we emphasize the importance of recent creation and the authority of God's Word. There's no room for their naturalistic and incoherent epistemology. Many of us have observed that their modus operandi is to change the subject and attack. Again, they seek to put us on the defensive, often with logical fallacies and unwarranted conclusions.

Some are so antagonistic that a person is challenged on practically every statement to "prove it", which greatly hinders intelligent conversation. This is something to which I have kowtowed, spending hours on supporting links when writing articles because someone may challenge me. I have to break out of that. It's a nice day here today. I won't prove that. Deal with it, hippies.

One guy taunts atheopaths by pointing out their hypocrisy, then teases them more. They are not beta males, they are "karens" and even "epsilon males" (see Brave New World.) I don't advise that, but it does show that they cannot take jokes or receive true observations about them.

There are times when we must delay our responses from hostile, loaded questions and from attacks. While some may be sincere and we can help remove roadblocks from their unbelief, they would rather express opinions (Prov. 18:2 ESV). There comes a time when we must remember Matthew 7:6 and 10:14. In fact, since they are desperate for attention, ignoring them can seem like torment. We do not need to get into tit-for-tat responses and let them drag us down to their levels.

If you study on it, since they know that God is real and Christians offer the truth, they are coming at us from a place of hatred (John 15:18-25, 2 Tim. 3:12) and fear. (Have you ever noticed that petty people  seek to bring down those they perceive as better than them? If you're attacked, you're a threat.) The internet is a cesspool of hatred for God, and is conducive to anonymity and fake names. Other Admins and I have banned people from The Question Evolution Project only to have them continue to rail against us using duplicate accounts — often with fake names. I say again that many are desperate for attention.

As Christians, we can pray for people and our situations. It is also important to encourage one another, and not only those who are in the big-name ministries. Our job is to sanctify Christ as Lord and be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks us (1 Peter 3:15). That is what many of us are trying to do, and also to help build up Christians who are serious about their walk with Christ.

Some Resources

What follows are some of the videos that taught me some things. I am not endorsing any of those channels or even any of the videos in their entirety. None of them are from a Christian perspective. A good deal of this comes from selfishness and self-autonomy, such as, "Nobody knows what's best for you except you". Not hardly! God knows best, you savvy that?

Videos with "bulldog" and "alpha male secrets" in their channel names often have profanity. ("I hate to curse on my channel", then freely curses in most of his videos that I've seen.) It's been a while and I've viewed quite a few, so I may have labeled some with profanity warnings that didn't need it.

I'll list what I consider the most helpful videos first,  but use discernment. Most are less than thirty minutes. Also, I think all of them have something to sell, but I advise against buying those things when we have the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and wise believers we can consult.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Toxic Misotheists, Being Alpha, and the Bible - Part 1

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This is one of my more unusual articles, and it is difficult to categorize because there are several subjects involved. They may seem contradictory at first, but stay with me. Like my prospector friend Stormie Waters says, "See how it all pans out".

There are people in our lives that manipulate us and sap our energy. Many misotheists are often narcissistic, and are more dangerous than others.
Credit: Flickr / Subharnab Majumdar (CC BY 2.0)

It has a strange beginning that involved riding off on side trails and ending up a long way from where I had intended. It happens to many people on the internet, especially when they are not under an immediate deadline. "You may also like..." can bushwhack productivity.


Being the Robust He-Man that I Am

When you're done laughing, I want to tell you that I never viewed myself as an "alpha male". In nature, that is the dominant male in a group, and it involves mating, fending off challenges from other males, and being watchful to help protect the group. There are human males who want "alpha male" traits to be the man who stands out in the crowd, has friends, gets all the women he wants, and so on. There are shades of Darwinism in this. Think about it: Evolutionists say we are animals, so it is fitting to act like them. Or not, when it's inconvenient. Darwinian thinking is flexible that way.

There were several video channels I came across that had coaching on how to be the alpha male, and had things to sell so a man can become a better he-man. Some of the videos had some useful information, and I even realized some mistakes that I am making in my life. Many were interesting from a psychological point of view. What really struck me was that they tacitly agreed with biblical teachings in some places, but for the most part were contrary to Scripture — especially the parts about loving yourself and how you can't love anyone else until you do that. Many were emphasizing how to recognize and deal with harmful people so we can live our best lives. Yes, but...

Toxic People in our Lives

Terms like toxic relationships and toxic people are not exactly common in psychology textbooks, and they were unknown a few years ago. Still, they are apt descriptors. Such people infest our lives, whether at the workplace, social media, friends, family, neighbors, or just about anywhere. Toxies do not have your best interests at heart.

Most of us desire to help others, be liked or even loved, and these people key in on those things. They are very manipulative (especially those discussed later), and we can find ourselves giving them control over our lives before we realize what's happening. They come in various stripes: some are charismatic, others intimidating, and so on.

Looks good, but toxic
Credit: Pixnio (public domain)

Most people want to be loved (or at least liked), that's a given. We interact with each other in give-and-take situations. It feels good to receive, and it is often pleasant to do the giving. Toxies use the good part of our nature to manipulate us. This may not be deliberate, but can come from personality disorders, mental illness, unhealthy influences in their own lives, and so on.

These harmful people may smile to your face, but are using you for their own advantage. This may not necessarily be for material gain, but is often emotional. They "care" about you in that it helps them feel better about themselves. Sometimes this is because they put you down in order to build themselves up, or they get other dopamine advantages by using you.

Quick tip: While we want to be nice and helpful, they stay around people they use. When we refuse to let them manipulate us into doing things for them all the time, we are not helping them because they desire that dependency. Also, they are very resistant to the gospel message because they don't think there's anything wrong with them, no reason to repent. But the Holy Spirit can work in them.

One guy said that we let them "keep us in our heads" so we don't live our lives and express our views. This is also an opportunity to examine ourselves to see what we expect to gain from having harmful people in our lives. Validation? Permission to be ourselves? Mayhaps we think they have higher value than us. That's harmful, old son.

I came across some alpha male coaching videos as well as some by women who say that we do not need to live our lives on other people's terms

Screenshot from Facebook posted on Instagram
(Used under Fair Use provisions for educational purposes)

Sometimes we are unable to say no to requests or demands from toxies. We can be fearful of being negatively judged, but giving in can make us over-extended and increase our stress levels. Important things to which we have committed may be left undone or are incomplete. Decent people do their best to keep their word, but we may break our promises. More stress, more mental and emotional draining.


People who respect and value us will think and even expect the best of us. I have to indulge in a bit of self praise here. A woman came to our door and accused my wife of cheating with her boyfriend. I instantly said that there was no way. When she said my wife is a "lying b**ch", I slammed the door so hard, it damaged the metal frame. It turns out that the "other woman" had a similar name to my wife's name. The unpleasant woman offered no apologies. The door frame is still damaged.

Sometimes, especially in moments (lifetimes?) of low self-esteem, we try too hard to please others — especially those that are not invested in our lives and don't care about our well being. Healthy self-esteem is good, bad self-esteem is very harmful, and some folks use building their self-esteem as a manipulative tool. They are actually idolizing pride and self

True friends as well as good supervisors will encourage and believe in us. (One supervisor I had would tear me down when I would say that I was getting the hang of a certain aspect of the job. Instead of encouragement, he would point out my other shortcomings, real or exaggerated.) I'll allow that sometimes there's a fine line between influencie and encouragement as opposed to manipulation. It seems that manipulation is based on bad motives, including the other person's enrichment.

In one of the videos by Ashley Berges, she mentioned forgiving the other people in addition to setting up boundaries, and even removing harmful people from our lives. Indeed, we should forgive ourselves for allowing manipulations to occur and letting them get control of our lives. Then we try to improve so that we won't fall prey to those people in the future.​​​

Asking Permission

A phrase making the rounds on social media is, "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." Sometimes the phrase is a mite longer. It is falsely attributed to Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), but there is some truth in it.

Variation on a theme, but very important: If you don't care about someone's opinion, they have less power over you. This works when someone is attempting to demean you. In fact, it irritates them when you don't defend yourself and take the bait on an personal attack. It makes it harder to bring you down to their level and get attention.

More importantly, I am a Bible-believing Christian, biblical creationist, politically Conservative, supporting the Second Amendment, heterosexual, and male. Those things make me "evil" to some people, but that's too bad for them. I am not living to please the crowd and don't seek permission to be who I am.

One place I have this problem is in my writing. While I seek to glorify God and edify the saints, I can also become timorous. For example, I wanted to embed a song by Black Sabbath in an article that would have complemented it. But people may not like me anymore! Instead of praying about it, I fearfully sought advice and ended up apologetically linking to it. That may have been the right choice because I don't want to make a brother or sister in Christ stumble, even though I don't need those petty people who would judge me in their sanctimonious pride. Well, another motto I have is, "When in doubt, go without".

Note that standing up for yourself is not an excuse for being rude.

Never Argue with a Narcissist

If I recollect rightly, my original search was about narcissism. While that word is bandied about to describe people who are vain and seem to have an inordinate fondness for themselves, the real problem is narcissism personality disorder. These people are very taxing, and it is best to keep them out of our lives whenever possible. If we cannot, we need to minimize their damaging effects, such as discussed in this video.

Up a level from the personality disorder is the narcissistic sociopath. These people are actually dangerous. Although they are capable of violence, those that walk among us are harmful to our mental health. They have some similarities to "psychic (or energy) vampires". (While some people take a notion to make that a supernatural thing, it refers to how such people sap your mental and emotional energies.) Psychopaths and sociopaths have traits in common, and need to be avoided whenever possible.

Unfortunately, kind-hearted people are their targets. Narcissists and various sociopath types seem to sense the people who will be their long-term victims. Some people want to help these needy sociopaths, even if they hurt themselves in the process. This can happen by making excessive commitments — and having their priorities hijacked. Too late, they realize that their "friend" is a narcissist or sociopath. Or both.

By the way, don't offer psychological analysis. Saying, "You're doing this because..." makes you look petty, and besides, toxies are not interested. Indeed, we can lose ourselves when trying to "save" people who don't think they need help.

We'll end this part now. I'd be much obliged if you'd read the conclusion.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

God Continues Creating

The immediate reaction from some people would be that God stopped his creation work, as stated in Gen. 2:2, Ex. 20:11 and 31:17. It may be surprising to learn that God is still creating today, but in a different way than he did in the beginning.

It may surprise many, but the answer to  the question of God still creating today is a decisive no - and yes. New things are important to Christians.
Credit: Photos Public Domain
This is not like some owlhoots who say God is still creating today through theistic evolution. No, he didn't transform a pre-Adamite group of subhumans by giving them souls in a mangled metaphor of Genesis. There are certain acts of creation that are still happening today. God created both man and animals with nephesh, which means life or soul (see "Brain and Body are not the Soul" for more in-depth material that also refutes naturalistic claims). He is not creating new stuff like he did during creation week, but makes some things out what already exists. Then there's the news in 2 Cor. 5:17 that is so important to Christians.
But didn’t God rest from His creation work on Day Seven? The correct answer would be “yes” . . . 

To appreciate the specific ex nihilo creation works3 God has done for every believer in Jesus Christ, it is necessary to review the usage of the verb “create” in both the Old and New Testaments. (This review only concerns humans, so God’s creation of nephesh-life for animals in Genesis 1:21 will not be analyzed in this article.) An exhaustive review of the relevant verses reveals four specific creation works that together define the created life of each Christian living today:

To read this article in its entirety, see "'New from Nothing': Is God Still Creating Today?"

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

After Question Evolution Day — The Narrow Path to Creation

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

February 12 was the 10th annual Question Evolution Day, an event in which almost anyone can participate. People may object, thinking that origins is an academic issue. Some even think that there is a message of hope in evolution, but that is the opposite of the truth.

People get excited and make commitments, but then grow cold. Creation science enthusiasm and the Parable of the Sower are considered.
Image for the 10th annual Question Evolution Day by Why?Outreach
Seekers after the truth become excited after attending seminars, reading articles and books, watching videos, and so forth about how recent creation affirms the Bible and refutes evolution. Then many lose their enthusiasm. Indeed, people were excited about QED and promised to get involved, but failed to keep their promises (there were some, however, that did their part, and even more. I am grateful to them.) There are parallels in the Bible to consider.

What Kind of Soil?

While the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15) is about people who hear and receive the word of the Kingdom, similarities between enthusiasm for Question Evolution Day and the creation message can be seen. People listen to the truth, but the devil snatches it away from them. There are others who are excited to share the biblical creation science message, but have no root and fall away when challenged by seemingly reasonable evolutionary claims. Another group will hear the message but are more concerned with other things, so they do not learn and grow in this area. The last group is excited, perseveres, learns the material, and the people grow in it. Like the Christian life itself, learning and standing up for the truth of creation requires dedication, perseverance, and obtaining solid teaching. Biblical creation science upholds good theology.

Biblical History

Rejecting observed truth goes all the way back to Adam. Both Adam and Eve were perfect and had not only seen the glory of the original creation, but had also spoken with God as well (Gen. 2:16). Even so, they listened to the serpent and rebelled against the truth that they already knew (Gen. 3:1-13).

Moving forward, the Israelis had prospered in Egypt until they were enslaved. God heard their cries for deliverance and sent Moses. Israel was delivered out of Egypt, led by the Lord with a pillar of fire and a pillar of smoke (Ex. 13:21-22). They saw the miraculous parting of the sea (Ex. 14:21-22) and the drowning of the pursuing Egyptian army (Ex. 14:28). Even after these experiences, the Israelis "got up to play" by indulging in immorality and idolatry (Ex. 32:1, 6) — while Moses was still on the mountain talking with the Lord! Sometime afterward, they were punished for their disobedience, Korah had the notion to rebel against Moses and Aaron (God's appointed leaders). It did not go well (Num. 16:31-35).

In the New Testament, many disciples who had seen and experienced the feeding of the 5,000 were offended at the words of Jesus and turned away (John 6:66). Indeed, the Twelve had seen and participated in miracles and the teachings of Christ, but Judas betrayed Him (Luke 22:47-48), Peter denied Him (Matt. 26:75), and the rest ran away (Matt. 26:56).

Later, we read that false teachers would arise and deceive Christians. Jesus warned that false teachers would come (Luke 22:8). In Jude 1:7-11, Jude hearkens back to the rebellion of Israel and likens false teachers to the rebellion of Korah. Peter spent a great deal of time warning against false teachers (such as in 2 Peter 2:1-3 and following). Much of the epistle of 1 John is written as a warning against Gnostic heresies.

Applications for Today

Question Evolution Day was something that I initiated and put a great deal of time, effort, and heart into. It was intended to take off by its lonesome, but I've helped it along for all this time. If it dies out, it's not from lack of effort. One major reason is apathy on the part of Christians.

In case someone wants to assert that we claim that belief in recent creation is a requirement to be saved, well, that is the opposite of the truth. Remember, we are considering how some people get excited and then wander away for various reasons.
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt. 7:13-14, NASB)
Using the narrow path as well as the Parable of the Sower, the similarities become quite clear. To be blunt, spiritual things are not exciting or entertaining to fleshly desires. In addition, the study of origins is not entirely about evidence. (If it were, then Darwinism would have been plopped alongside the dusty trail decades ago.) Instead, the study of origins is a spiritual matter — very important one.

Many believers in dust-to-Darwin evolution have been conditioned in what to think, knowing naturalistic paradigms. Add to this the facts that the god of this world has blinded the eyes of unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:4) and they are unable to understand deeper spiritual matters (1 Cor. 2:14). These problems are compounded by the drift away from not only biblical authority, but from truth and reality in postmodernism (Phil Johnson has an MP3 titled, "A Beginner's Guide to Postmodernism" linked at the bottom of this post.). Christians on the narrow path are to uphold the truth. We must not treat unbelievers poorly, but remember that presenting biblical creation in the right way is honoring to God.

I have to remind myself of these things after the apparent failure of what I had hoped would be the biggest Question Evolution Day yet. I had thought that being a nobody was an advantage, that people could make things happen at a grass-roots level, but apparently this needed creationist celebrity support. Broken promises and apathy on the part of Christians are distressing. Not just because of QED, but I have seen indications that there is far too much country club Christianity. That is, there carnal Christians as well as CINOs (Christians In Name Only) who may not even know the Lord and need to examine their faith. These types of professing Christians are in a dangerous place.

One major problem is that modern society and social media contribute to short attention spans. Captioned pictures do not equip people to defend the gospel or refute evolution, pilgrim. It is necessary to become rooted, first and foremost in the Word of God, and also in biblical creation teachings. That way, people can be knowledgeable as well as enthusiastic when sharing material.

If someone sees flaws in my theology, I want to know. 


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Augustine Did Not Support Old-Earth Views

There are professing Christians who falsely claim that the church fathers believed that the earth was far older than Scripture indicates, and that biblical (young age) creationists are wrong. It would be a mighty big help if they did their homework on people like Augustine.

Professing Christians who claim that Augustine and other church fathers should do their homework. They dishonestly claim that those were old-earthers.
St. Augustine in his Study, Sandro Botticelli, 1490
It is important to note that Augustine did not consider his writings to be sacred writ, his views changed in some areas, and he freely admitted that his understanding was imperfect. It did not help matters much that he was unskilled in Hebrew and Greek, and he had access to weak Bible translations. He believed that everything was created in an instant (he should have consulted Exodus 20:11, 31:17). Old-earthers must reject the global Flood as well. While Augustine was in no wise a young-earth creationist as we understand the term, claims that he believed like the pagans that Earth was far older are disingenuous.
Old-earthers claim Augustine as support for figurative interpretations of Genesis 1. But what did Augustine really say? In the video series The Great Debate (watch | buy), AiG’s Ken Ham, Jason Lisle, debate astronomer Hugh Ross (of Reasons to Believe) and Bible scholar Walter Kaiser (of Gordon–Conwell Theological Seminary). Both of the latter are Christians who believe that the creation is billions of years old. The debate series was hosted by old-earth proponent John Ankerberg on his television show in early 2006.

On AiG’s DVD release of the debate, AiG historian of geology Terry Mortenson offered extensive commentary from a young-earth creationist perspective. The following article is rooted in Dr. Mortenson’s commentary on Ross’s and Kaiser’s appeal to Augustine in defending old-earth ideas.

This may seem like a study for academics, but it is both interesting and relevant. To finish reading, see "Augustine on the Days of Creation". 


Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Trusting God in Apologetics

There are Christians who are excited about using apologetics to defend and present the faith, and there are others who think that is a job for experts. All Christians are commanded to present the faith (2 Cor. 10:5, Col. 4:5-6, 1 Peter 3:15, Acts 17:22-31), but some are called to be more intense with it. And "tense" can apply to many of us.

While all Christians are called to do apologetics, we can lose sight of the fact that God is our Father. We do our part, relax and trust in him.
Mostly made at The Keep-Calm-O-Matic using an image from NASA
(Usage of images does not imply endorsement of site contents by anyone)
It is indeed unfortunate that some are intent on winning arguments rather than helping the lost come to Christ. Similarly, we can expend mental energy trying to analyze (and sometimes rehash) situations so we can give the most devastating arguments. Yes, by all means, do the best you can. Sometimes we may feel that we botched it. That happens. However, convicting of sin and saving people is the work of the Holy Spirit; we do not do the saving.

It is not up to our brilliance (1 Cor. 2:1-5), which can lead to pride. I was associated with someone who became full of pride, and it seemed like he was constantly promoting himself and seeking his glory (a problem we must constantly guard against), hawking his self-published apologetics booklet.

We need to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18), and remember that God is our Father. We have a relationship with him, not a high-power position in a cutthroat business. We need to trust God in all things. You savvy? I hope this article will minister to all of us.
Apologetics is a broad and deep subject. Since it has such deep spiritual ramifications, its easy to understand how the study of apologetics can become an all-consuming endeavor for some. However, this is not without its potential pitfalls. An example my pastor gave in a sermon recently really struck a chord with me, and I want to relate it for you (my own paraphrase, not my pastor’s):

Read the rest of this short but helpful article at "Apologetics—a steppingstone, not a crutch".

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Distinguishing Between "Make" and "Create" in Genesis 1

There are some professing Christians who insist on finding ways of adding long ages into the Bible, but they ignore the context. While the context is frequently the surrounding verses, it can also mean culture, languages, and more. We look now at make and create.

Credit: Freeimages / Fernanda Ferrari
Those owlhoots have attempted to bushwhack the plain meaning of Scripture by saying that they are different aspects of creation, and that make means using material that was already created. Their eisegesis becomes heinous when their alleged distinction is used to give them license to add millions of years. Some even try to shove evolution into the picture. It won't work, especially when the greater context includes the New Testament.
Many people who have written on Genesis 1 have attempted to make a very significant distinction between two Hebrew words found there: bara (בָּרָא, to create) and asah (עָשָׂה, to make or do). Theistic evolutionists (TEs) and old-earth creationists (OECs) both accept the millions of years advocated by the scientific establishment (although the OECs do not accept neo-Darwinian evolution while TEs do). They sometimes try to defend the acceptance of millions of years by saying that bara refers to supernatural creation ex nihilo (Latin for “out of nothing”) but that asah means to make out of pre-existing material and therefore allows for creation over a long period of time.

This article should prove helpful when encountering people who use these words for long ages. To read the rest (you may want to bookmark it), head on over to "Understanding Genesis 1 Hebrew: Create (bara) & Make (asah)".

Labels

Stat