This is a particularly strange post from Answers in Genesis (AIG) — the creationist ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. The title is How Do Christians Respond to Superstitions like Groundhog Day?
It was written by Avery Foley. AIG says she has a masters of arts in theological studies from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, which qualifies her to be one of ol’ Hambo’s creation scientists. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
Superstitions abound regarding certain days, numbers, or objects. People fear that somehow Friday the 13th, black cats, broken mirrors, or ladders may have a hand in shaping the future. Most of these superstitions have murky, ancient origins and have been passed down from generation to generation. Recent surveys show that superstition is alive and well in the Western world. [Skipping some statistics about walking under a ladder and black cats.] How should Christians respond to these superstitions?
It’s important to understand that in ol’ Hambo’s world, a true Christian is a young-Earth creationist who believes in the literal truth of Genesis — six day creation, Adam & Eve, Noah’s Ark, etc. So AIG’s view of how they should respond to — shall we say — other superstitions is an interesting subject. Avery says:
Let’s use Groundhog Day (February 2) as an example. Groundhog Day is a superstitious tradition that dates back to ancient times. February 2 occurs halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, so special significance was attached to this date. It seems that, even from early times, the weather on this day was thought to relate to the length of winter.
After a few more paragraphs on Groundhog Day — even more boring than that one — she tells us:
In Acts 17, we read about the Athenians who erected an altar “to the unknown god.” These men were so superstitious that they made an altar to a potential god so as to make sure that they didn’t unintentionally offend someone they didn’t know about. Paul used this altar as a teaching opportunity to point them to the God that they did not know — the Creator of the universe. As a result of his preaching, some of the pagans turned from their idol worship to serve the Lord [scripture reference]. As Christians, we need to take what is common to the culture and turn it into an opportunity to proclaim the gospel. Superstitions provide an entry point to talking about how we can have true peace when we know the Prince of Peace who “upholds the universe by the word of his power” [scripture reference].
Clever — a superstitious audience has potential, and should be seen as a preaching opportunity. Avery explains:
We can also use superstitions as a doorway to introducing the gospel. The next time a friend or coworker “knocks on wood” or avoids walking underneath a ladder, use it to segue to the gospel message. We do not need to fear superstition or participate in superstitious rituals to avoid bad luck, because we can know the sovereign God who is in control of the world.
Her next paragraph is intriguingly titled: What About Christian Superstitions? It says:
We also need to remember that Christians are not immune to superstitions either. [Hee hee!] Often, without even meaning to, we behave in a superstitious way. For example, if $6.66 pops up on a cash register while buying groceries, some Christians freak out and ask to pay another price. Christians might cross their fingers (to make a cross), an old Christian superstition, for good luck and protection. Or a bride might not want her groom to see her before the wedding so she doesn’t bring bad luck into the marriage.
Egad — Christians can be superstitious too! How is that possible? Let’s read on:
Now, some of these things, or other similar practices, have become cultural traditions over the years or are just done in fun or jest or are perhaps intended to be practical advice. For example, avoiding walking under a ladder is a good idea, not because doing so will bring bad luck, but because it could be potentially dangerous to the person using the ladder or to the person walking under it. However, we often do these things routinely in a superstitious manner, without even thinking about it, and this is often little different from what the world does. We are influenced by the world and will often just add a Christian element or symbol to it. But what we need to do is start our thinking with God’s Word as our foundation.
She’s right. You gotta purge the bad superstitions, and stick with creationism. Avery ends her post with some advice:
In the same way that the weather is not controlled by a groundhog, so are the events of our daily lives not controlled by superstitious things such as mirrors, black cats, or ladders. Instead of trusting in manmade superstitions, we need to trust in our sovereign God who loves and cares for us and and we need to teach others to do the same.
Good advice! Avoid “manmade superstitions” and stay with the real thing — Hambo’s version of The Truth™.
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