Myth Debunking

I have put together some resources here that are intended to allow Christians to think critically about some of the stories that we've believed and passed around as though they were true:

A note about sources: I try to use the best sources that I have available for the topic at hand, especially if my conclusions rest heavily upon them. Snopes.com is one of these sources because they provide the source for their conclusions. For overviews of what is generally agreed upon without controversy for a topic, I may also use Wikipedia. Both are fallible, but good starts, and easily accessible for people on the web.

  • Revelations 12 does't predict the rapture (or some other major end times event) on September 23rd. It's based on a poor understanding of Greek, a subjective look at the constellations, and events that aren't as rare as is claimed.
  • Russian scientists haven't drilled a hole to hell. This one should just be common sense. The Kola Superdeep Borehole (the likely source of this legend) is the deepest hole ever drilled into the crust at around 40,000 feet. Even then, it only made it about a third of the way through the crust. Even if Hell were at the center of the earth (doubtful), it is almost 4000 miles from the surface, and this hole made it 7.5 miles - not even close! This myth has been circulating since the early nineties, and even made it to the World Weekly News.
  • A Missionary Kid didn't discover that his Christian Rock was the same music that African tribes used to summon demons. This myth, with its variations, has been circulating since I was a kid, and was part of the 80's Satanism hysteria. Pat Robertson even brought it up recently claiming that it was from India. There is no evidence in Scripture or otherwise that a musical tune or beat by itself is enough to summon a demon. 
  • The Peace Sign doesn't have deep Satanic meaning. The modern peace sign owes its existence to a British nuclear disarmament organization that created it in 1958 as a combination of the semaphore symbol for "N" and "D." The designers consistently provided that explanation, when asked. However, the use of similar symbols predates 1958. Oddly, the Nazi 3rd Panzer division used an almost identical one from 1941 to 1945. The Nazi use of it probably came from the broader use of the Todesrune, which represented death. Claims that the Saracens used the symbol as a broken Crusader cross, or that it represents "Nero's Cross" abound on the web, but I have not found any credible evidence for these claims. Tracking down the origin of symbols is extremely difficult, and because of the simplicity of the design, it is very likely that it was conceived of and used by a variety of people at different times, places, and for various unrelated purposes. For example, I highly doubt that a British nuclear disarmament proponent would have purposely chosen a symbol used by the Nazis. There is no compelling reason to doubt the origin of the modern symbol as communicated by the artist.    [Sources: Wikipedia article about the nuclear disarmament symbol, and this article about the Nazi rune, and this one about the insignia of the 3rd Panzer division]
  • Playing cards weren't created as a satanic mockery of Jesus and Mary. There are a number of websites that make these sorts of claims, along with a great deal of misinformation about the origin of playing cards. I can find nothing but anecdotal reports to support these. In reality, playing cards came from Muslim lands into Europe in the late 1300's. The design has evolved and varies through time and location, so any declaration about what each symbol meant from the beginning is highly suspect. Playing cards are not derived from Tarot cards, and in fact, the opposite is true. Tarot cards were derived from a card game and only came to be used for divination in the late 1700's. Finally, the Joker wasn't created as a mockery of Jesus, but was created in the 1860's for the game of Euchre. [Sources: Wikipedia (Playing Cards, Tarot Cards), and this fantastic article with great sources] 

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