Monday, December 22, 2008

Why Jesus is better than Santa

Some Christians seem to be staunchly anti-Santa. They think that any mention of Santa Claus in any situation is an attack on "The True Meaning of Christmas." These morons take the anti-Santa theme to a new low. Seriously guys, get help. Do you really believe that your vitriol points anyone to Jesus?

Personally, I don't mind Santa. After all, he is based on the real-life Christian, Saint Nicholas. Not a lot is known about him, but during the fierce persecution of Christians under Roman emperor Diocletian, his acts of generosity demonstrated Christian love and the spirit of Christmas, epitomized by God giving His only Son for us.

So I am not anti-Santa. I just recognize that Jesus is better than Santa. Here are a few reasons.

Santa may represent what Christmas is about, in his original form, but that meaning has mostly been lost in the current incarnation of Santa Claus, the fat jolly elf who drives a sleigh pulled by reindeer. Jesus, on the other hand, is what Christmas is all about. If Santa points to Jesus, than surely Jesus is greater than Santa. Nicholas' inspiration and motivation was all from Jesus, and any good Nicholas had was not from himself, but from Christ dwelling in him.

Christmas is named for Jesus Christ, not for Santa. Santa acts in honor of Christ's birth, not the other way around.

Santa's gift-giving is conditional. If you don't make the "Nice List" you get a lump of coal. Jesus gift of salvation is bought and paid for with no conditions. It is freely given to anyone who will take it. In I Timothy 1:15 Paul wrote: "Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst." You don't have to be on the "Nice List" to be saved. Paul was not exagerating when he called himself the worst of sinners. Before he met Jesus, he arrested, imprisioned, and beat Christians and even oversaw their murder. It is very good news that we don't have to earn God's approval because none of us stand a chance of meeting His standard.

Santa hangs around at the North Pole most of the time, and travels around by sleigh propelled by flying caribou. Jesus is all-present and dwells in the hearts of those who allow him to enter. You don't have to go to the mall in December to talk to Jesus or make your requests known to Him. You can talk to Him any time, anywhere, about anything, and He promises to hear and answer.

Santa brings stuff which will ultimately wear out, break, or get lost. When we die, none of it will do us any good. But Jesus gave us an eternal gift which will never decay or wear out: everlasting life in a restored relationship with God. Anything Santa could give we could buy for ourselves with money, but money could never pay the penalty for my sins. God's Word is very clear that only blood can atone for sins. Santa didn't give his blood to redeem me. Only Jesus could do that, and only Jesus loved me enough to do it.

Saint Nicholas died 1700 years ago. What is left of his body is buried in Bari, Italy. Jesus, on the other hand, is alive and seated at the right hand of God where He intercedes on our behalf. After Jesus resurrection, the Jews or the Romans could have put to rest the testimony of the disciples who saw Jesus simply by producing his body. But they could not do it because He is alive. Neither the historical Nicholas or the mythical Santa has anything on that.

Finally, Jesus is superior to Santa because Jesus is God and Santa is not. Nicholas himself made that point when the father of the three girls whose dowry Nicholas secretly paid for discovered the source of the gifts, Nicholas asked for him to keep his identity secret because, Nicholas explained, "It is not I you should thank, but Christ alone."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Some people should not procreate

Heath and Deborah Campbell of Easton Pennsylvania are upset that the local "ShopRite" grocery store refuses to make a birthday cake for their three-year-old son with the boy's full name on it.

I feel sorry for this kid.

He didn't pick his name. It was his parents who decided to name their son "Adolph Hitler Campbell." Now the boy has to deal with that name, at least until he reaches the age where he can legally change his name. His siblings have a similar problem. JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, his sister turns two in a few months, and his baby sister Honszlynn Hinler Jeannie Campbell is six months old.

We named our firstborn son after a man who is noted several times in the Bible for loving God wholeheartedly. A name carries great significance. It embodies the hopes, aspirations, and heritage passed from the parents to the next generation of their family. Unfortunately, hatred and evil can be passed along instead of a positive legacy of faith, honor, love, and respect.

My main reason to have sympathy for this boy is not that he can't get a birthday cake. It is that his parents are raving idiots who have no business reproducing.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Finally we have proof that Al Gore really IS from another planet.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Universe designed for us

The most recent issue of Discovery Magazine, a secular scientific publication, has a fascinating article which concludes that the universe is adapted for us, not the other way around.

Physicists don’t like coincidences. They like even less the notion that life is somehow central to the universe, and yet recent discoveries are forcing them to confront that very idea. Life, it seems, is not an incidental component of the universe, burped up out of a random chemical brew on a lonely planet to endure for a few fleeting ticks of the cosmic clock. In some strange sense, it appears that we are not adapted to the universe; the universe is adapted to us.
This causes a real problem for scientists who want to explain the inescapable fact that the laws of the universe are "fine tuned" to support life. In the past, this observation was explained by the "anthropic principle" which was first set forth by Brandon Carter in 1973. It says that we should not be surprised that conditions where we live are suitable for life: if they were not, we would not be here to observe them. Based on this principle, life will only exist in those regions of the universe where conditions are right for life.

However, scientists are now coming to the conclusion that the very laws of physics and the particular properties of the fabric of space and time are "custom tailored" to allow life to exist.

According to physicist Andrei Linde of Palo Alto, California, if the laws of physics were tweaked in just about any way, life could not exist.

For instance, if protons were 0.2 percent more massive than they are, they would be unstable and would decay into simpler particles. Atoms would not exist, and neither would we.

If gravity were slightly stronger, the results would be nearly as grave -- stars would compress more tightly, causing them to burn hotter and faster, exhausting their fuel supply much too fast to support life.

Stars produce energy by fusing two hydrogen atoms into a single helium atom, converting 0.007% of the hydrogen's mass into energy. But if that percentage were 0.006 or 0.008, the Universe would not support life. The lower number would result in a universe filled only with hydrogen, and the higher number would lead to a universe with no hydrogen, no water, and no stars like our sun.

The universe is delicately balanced between runaway expansion and terminal collapse. If the universe contained much more matter, additional gravity would have caused it to implode. If it contained less matter, the universe would have expanded too quickly for galaxies to form.

Had the matter in the universe been more evenly distributed, it would not have clumped together to form galaxies. Had matter been clumpier, it would have condensed into black holes.

If the strong nuclear force which bonds atomic nuclei together were slightly more powerful, all the protons in the universe would have paired off and there would be no hydrogen, which fuels stars. There would be no water, and life would not exist.

A universe with four-dimensional space would not support stable planetary orbits which allow for solar systems. Two-dimensional space would not permit life. Only three-dimensional space allows for planets with life.

Physicists believe that some kind of unseen "dark energy" is driving the continued expansion of the universe. But Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind says "If dark energy had been any bigger, there would have been enough repulsion from it to overwhelm the gravity that drew the galaxies together, drew the stars together, and drew Earth together. It’s one of the greatest mysteries in physics. All we know is that if it were much bigger we wouldn’t be here to ask about it.” Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg, a physicist at the University of Texas, agrees: “This is the one fine-tuning that seems to be extreme, far beyond what you could imagine just having to accept as a mere accident.”

The scientific evidence points clearly to one conclusion: the universe was created by God according to His design for the purpose of containing life.

However, scientists, dedicated to the pursuit of truth through the scientific method of creating postulates and theories and then proving, disproving or refining them using observation and empirical data, immediately reject one possible explanation which can not be proven or disproven in favor of another explanation which also can not be proven or disproven.

As the article explains, Linde has developed a theory to explain the observations that our universe is ideally designed for life. He suggests that there are many "universes" each with different properties and laws of physics. He uses 11-dimensional super-string theory to suggest how different universes could have completely different characteristics. He even has a pretty picture of a "multiverse" produced by a computer simulation, with a caption explaining that "each colored ray is another expanding cosmos". If a computer simulated it, it must be real!

Scientists Poe Polchinski at the University of California at Santa Barbara and Raphael Bousso at the University of California at Berkley calculated that the basic string theory equations have an astronomical number of possible solutions, each representing a unique way to describe the universe. This meant that almost any experimental result would be consistent with string theory. Hence the theory can never be proved right or wrong.

Linde's multiverse intends to solve the problem by suggesting that there are boundless numbers of "universes" and then applying the anthropic principle to say that we exist in this universe because it has conditions suitable for life to develop. Of course we can't see these other universes or detect them or demonstrate their existence in any way. That leaves only one option: to predict how our universe would behave if this theory was true and then compare those predictions with experimental results.

John Polkinghorne, a theoretical particle physicist from Cambridge University pointed out the flaw in this thinking. “If you allow yourself to hypothesize an almost unlimited portfolio of different worlds, you can explain anything. If a theory allows anything to be possible, it explains nothing; a theory of anything is not the same as a theory of everything."

When Linde was asked whether physicists will ever be able to prove that the multiverse is real, he answered, “Nothing else fits the data. We don’t have any alternative explanation for the dark energy; we don’t have any alternative explanation for the smallness of the mass of the electron; we don’t have any alternative explanation for many properties of particles. What I am saying is, look at it with open eyes. These are experimental facts, and these facts fit one theory: the multiverse theory. They do not fit any other theory so far. I’m not saying these properties necessarily imply the multiverse theory is right, but you asked me if there is any experimental evidence, and the answer is yes. It was Arthur Conan Doyle who said, ‘When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’”

Linde admits that only evidence for his multiverse theory is that he can't find any other explanation for his observation that the universe shows evidence of design for the purpose of supporting life. The fact is that there is a very good explanation: God made it that way. But Linde discounted that explanation without giving it any examination or consideration, not based on data or evidence, but because he refuses to allow for the possibility that there is a God who made us and has the moral authority to define absolute standards for right and wrong according to His own character. But tell me how it is scientific to reject one possibility just because they don't like it and then claim that another possibility, equally unprovable by science, is supported not by empirical evidence, but because they have arbitrarily ignored every other option?