googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: February 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stop the Spam

I want to apologize to my regular commenters (or is it commentors? maybe commentators?)... anyway, I want to apologize to all who comment that I've had to add a word verification feature to my comment section.

When I started my blog, I wasn't sure if I wanted to even moderate my comments. I went through a lot of internal struggle and doubt but, in the end, I'm glad I decided to moderate. Yet even though I've moderated my comments for so long, I never saw the need to add a word verification. Honestly, I've always hated doing it myself on other sites and didn't think it was something that was really necessary. Boy, was I wrong. The simple fact of the matter is that I have been so bombarded with spam lately that I'm left with no other choice.

I guess that now that my blog has been getting some steady traffic, it has attracted the attention of spammers. On a good day, I might get less than a dozen. On other days, I get 20-30. It's crazy. They cover the entire spectrum of interests, too: there are links to porn sites, payday loan companies, male enhancements products, online gambling, and knock-off handbags. It's not like these things can't be found by anyone interested in looking; why do they have to spam me?

The spam presents several problems. Some of them are not being caught by the spam filter and sit in my queue for moderation. I have to sift through the spam to find the legitimate comments to publish. It's more than annoying. What's worse is when legitimate comments get flagged as spam (usually because they include a link) because they risk getting lost in an even bigger file of spam.

Another unfortunate consequence of this regular spam is that it's skewing my stat-count. Some of these spammers are visiting every day and visiting multiple posts. They're not here to read my blog but only to peddle their garbage. If I want an accurate count of my visitors who are likely to read my blog, I need to deter spammers from visiting. Hopefully, once they encounter the word verification, they'll stop visiting.

So, I apologize again. Please keeping visiting and commenting.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Believers in Poofism

Where did matter come from?” That question strikes at the heart of the problem with all secular explanations of our origins. Natural science has no theory or even a credible story to explain the ultimate origin of matter. The mere existence of matter lends itself strongly to the idea that there was a supernatural cause for the universe. This is commonly called the “Kalam Cosmological Argument.”

Evolutionists have a very short list of possible replies to what is, by any standard, a very reasonable question. Their replies can usually be assigned one of three categories: 1) They will try to divorce the question of origins from the entire rest of science, 2) they will apply divine-like qualities to matter by saying it is eternal, or 3) they will resort to a pseudo-philosophical “uncaused” origin of matter. None of these options are very scientific.

The question, “where did matter come from?” is more profound than some people might realize at first hearing. Without the Big Bang, there is no “where” from which matter can come. “Before” the Big Bang there was nothing. Actually, I can't even use the word “before” because even time did not exist. There was no place. There was not even space. Nothing! Then, suddenly, there was everything. All the matter, all energy, all space, and even time itself just appeared. Poof!

Of course, I've heard some people invoke “exotic” theories like quantum mechanics and other principles of physics in an attempt to explain the non-origin of everything but that just begs the question. Where did physics come from? One cannot invoke any natural law to explain the origin of the universe without first presupposing the “uncaused” existence of natural laws. If natural laws – like gravity – exist, then they too must have poofed into existence with the rest of the universe.

I think we should change the name of the Big Bang to the Big Poof!

Poof! Time began!
Poof! There was space!
Poof! There was matter!
Poof! There was energy!
Poof! The matter began to expand!
Poof! Chemicals became alive!

There was no cause. There was no purpose. There was no god. These things just happened all by themselves.

Sometimes, evolutionists ridicule creation by calling it, “magic.” It's a rather blatant attempt to make creationism sound unappealing by describing it with loaded words. I usually try to avoid using such a lazy argument myself but, in this case, I'm not sure how else to describe it. People who deny a supernatural origin of the universe are believers in poofism.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Believers in the 1 in 1,000,000

John 5:1-9, Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

For anyone not familiar with this story, there was a tradition about the pool of Bethesda. Each year, at the Passover, it was believed that an angel would come down and stir the waters of the pool. The tradition claimed that the first person who stepped into the water after it was stirred would be healed. As a result, a great multitude of people would wait by the pool every passover, watching for the stirring of the water. I can imagine the mad rush that erupted every time someone saw any disturbance in the water.

From John's account, we know with certainty that many people believed in the tradition but the Bible doesn't necessarily validate the belief. I don't know if an angel really came down and stirred the water. Nor do I know if anyone was really healed by stepping into the water.

There's something, though, that I've always found curious about this event. Let's assume, for a moment, that the tradition was true and some lucky soul was healed every year at Bethesda. The fact of the matter is that it was only one person out of the multitude. One person out of hundreds, maybe thousands, was healed and all the rest went home with only a desperate hope that they could try again next year – if they lived that long.

The withered man in this account was in a worse situation than most others. He couldn't walk and he had no one to help him. Year after year he was waiting at the pool. When the water stirred, he would try to drag himself to the water but, because of his condition, he was too slow and someone always went in before him. He had virtually no chance of ever being healed. Here then, is what I think is curious: why didn't any of these people go to Jesus for healing?

Consider this passage from Matthew 4:23-24, Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.”

So, we have Jesus in the wilderness healing people by the thousands and we have a multitude of people waiting by the pool for a 1 in 1,000,000 chance of being healed. What's wrong with this picture? How foolish is it for these people to forgo certainty and and cling to improbability?

This is the way I see unbelievers in general. Psalms 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.” When we see the complex and wonderful creation, it's entirely reasonable to believe there is a God. There is design and purpose everywhere we look yet unbelievers look at it and see nothing. They forgo the reasonable and cling to the improbable. They believe in organization without design. They believe in order without purpose. They believe in existence without cause.

Perhaps I shouldn't call these people, “unbelievers.” Instead, they are believers in the impossible. They are believers in the 1 in 1,000,000!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Are Creationists an Embarrassment?

Creationists need to grow up and face facts. They disgrace their religion when they deny modern scientific discoveries.”

That was a comment left on my blog a while back by an evolutionist posting under the name of bobxxxx. He wasn't the first person to ever say this to me and I'm sure he won't be the last. Evolutionists sometimes seem overly worried that creationists will embarrass themselves by their “hyper-literal” interpretation of Genesis and so want us to quit the argument before we “disgrace” Christianity.

Come on, now. Who do they think they're kidding? Does anyone really expect us to believe militant evolutionists are concerned with the reputation of Christianity? I am absolutely certain that bobxxxx doesn't give a hoot about Christians and has probably even made some very unflattering comments of his own. Rather than this being a sincere attempt to help us save face, it's a rather lame attempt to shame us into silence.

I can understand atheists resorting to this cheap tactic in hopes of stymieing their opposition. What annoys me even more, though, is when theistic evolutionists buy into the same argument. One such person, who calls himself a “Christian rationalist” made the following comments:

Believe me, I know; kids aren't stupid, and know a specious argument when they hear it. If (in essence) they're being told that "The Flintstones" represents real and true history (that is, dinosaur/human cohabitation, etc), and that all they are watching on the History or Discovery channels is a sinister secular conspiracy to do away with God, then it's no wonder they fall away from the faith.”

This “Christian rationalist” thinks the solution is, “freely endorsing a harmony between modern Science and a grounded Christian faith.”

I find his solution curious. What does he mean by “a grounded Christian faith”? Grounded in what? Grounded in science? That can't be right. Which is the greater authority: “science” (that is, the opinion of men who admit they only consider natural explanations for anything) or the Bible? I would say that Christianity can only be grounded if it is built on the Bible. I remind you of Romans 10:17 which says, So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.What other foundation can there be? And I believe the plain words of the Bible cannot be “harmonized” with a belief in evolution.

Certainly there are some people who refuse to accept Christ because they don't believe the Bible. Many of these same people refuse to believe other miracles like the Virgin Birth and the Resurrection. So what is the solution? Are we to deny these things as Christians in order to make the Bible more palatable to the natural minded? You can see how that doesn't work.

I will boldly stand up for the truth. I will not deny the clear teaching of the Bible in order to spare myself embarrassment. Instead, I appeal to Romans 3:4, let God be true, but every man a liar. What's more, I will certainly not turn my back on the truth in order to escape the shallow criticism of folks like bobxxxx. So you think Christians are embarrassing themselves? Thank you for your concern but it's not necessary. Nice try!