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Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Small Block To The Reality Of Evolution

Although there is a lot to discuss here, I will try to keep this blog as short as possible
In my last two articles, I was approached by a commentator, Bryce (I hope he doesn't mind me using his screen name here, else I would need to edit). He discredited my views on Biblical Creation when I wrote in the first of the two blogs, Our Eternal Home when I made the suggestion that man and Dinosaurs co-existed within the same time frame, rather than millions of years apart. In my second article on this subject, Answer To An Evolutionist, I gave what was a history lesson, as Bryce called it, and reminded me that I made no referral to the subject of Evolution on a biological sense. He also challenged me to mention incidents in the Bible which could not occur in real life - such as a talking snake or someone coming back from the dead. I finished my last blog with the words, In my next blog I will show something that will shatter the entire theory of Uniformitarianism, on which evolution rests. Watch this space.

As for incidents in the Bible, I will answer that because Bryce had never seen a talking snake, or for that matter, a talking donkey (Numbers 22:28-31). Neither had he ever seen someone rise from the dead. He is walking by sight, not by faith. The Bible itself tells us that faith is believing, and hoping for things not yet seen (Hebrews 11:1-2). Like the skeptics alive during Leonardo Di Vinci's day, who laughed at his suggestion that one day man will fly, and so developed a contraption with flapping wings. When the prototype of the plane fell to the ground, people turned away, shaking their heads. And who would ever thought that one day a small box would play music and sing songs without anybody inside the box or standing near it?

I ended my last blog about Uniformitarianism, because in the days of Darwin, and in the many years to follow, Lyell's Uniformitarian Geology of stratified rocks were classified by the fossils found in them. The famous "Index Fossil" - that of the Trilobite which was found in the Cambrian rock stratum, was one classic example explaining the theory of evolution. Darwin and his followers knew nothing of microbiology, the study of the cell, as the microscope was of a later development. Had he known, it would have been most likely that Darwin would have recanted on his new evolutionary theory. As such, the topic of this blog has been changed from Uniformitarian Geology to that of Microbiology, in answer to Bryce's concern. And I hope it won't be too long for the reader.

Bryce likened my Creationist views, to my mind, to that of pseudoscience, when he asked whether I really believed "with a flick of his finger, God was able to bring life into existence" and then went back on himself when realising that it was not good for Adam to be alone, without a mate, and performed an operation using anaesthetics to put him into a deep sleep. Why not just snap his fingers and - wolla! - Eve comes into existence? Why the rib? Perhaps God did know better - that woman coming out of man would result in a much more intimate relationship. Unfortunately, sin had spoiled this relationship to the point in bringing in divorce laws. But this was not originally intended.

Pseudoscience, or false knowledge. That, I believe, is how Bryce sees my views of Creationism. As total nonsense. But it can be very popular. Author Erich von Daniken had acquired a fame with his book Chariots of the Gods? (1968), still in print today. Here, von Daniken puts forth a theory that around 40,000 years ago our planet was visited by a race of super-human space gods, who allowed primitive man to see their advanced technology. Two cases of this is found in the Bible. First, von Daniken insisted that the tabernacle built by Moses was a radio transmitter through which he can communicate with the gods. That despite the fact that this transmitter was an extremely primitive construction for a race of interstellar space travelers! Then there was this helicopter, so according to von Daniken, that was seen by the prophet Ezekiel (Chapter 1). A proof without doubt that aviation existed some 600 years BC. But unfortunately, von Daniken, when introducing the concept of such an ancient helicopter, deliberately omitted the words, And I saw visions of God, found in verse 1. Visions are not to be taken as literal sights. The author here was dishonest enough to refuse to admit that the visions Ezekiel saw was of God. But von Daniken's main thrust of his argument was that the evolution of primates was deliberately tinkered with by the space travelers for Homo Sapiens to have evolved. In other words, evolution was given a boost to further human intelligence.

But von Daniken was not alone. Atheist author Arthur C. Clarke wrote in 1947 a short novel, The Sentinel. Where von Daniken's theories were propounded as science, Clarke made sure that his book was fiction. In it, about four million years ago, a group of primates saw a large black monolith appear suddenly overnight, in their midst. It was actually a highly complicated computer which not only analysed the primate's original intelligence, but also raised their intelligence to a degree that the primates were now able to use discarded bones as tools. The book was the basis of the 1968 award-winning movie by Stanley Kubrick, 2001 A Space Odyssey where here again, the evolution of primates into Homo Sapiens was given a massive boost. The only other difference to von Daniken's ideas was that where his gods arrived in spaceships which landed on Earth, Clarke's gods had long evolved out of their bodies and exist as pure energy. No spaceships were required.

Why have I gone into all this? Because as we shall see, we shall go back to it in the form of mainstream science as adhered to by Bryce and his ilk.

Now we shall look at on why organic evolution was impossible. No way could it have began in the first place.

I'm talking here about the evolution of a living cell, apparently a amoeba-like single cell organism floating in the primeval ocean. The amoeba today, has within its structure a long molecule known as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) which carries the genetic code which acts as a template for the production of protein within the cell, to maintain its life. Being a single cell, the amoeba has no chromosomes in the same way as humans have, but a genophore, in which the DNA, and as such, the genetic code, is stored. The DNA is a very long double helix, or a twisted ladder, the two side chains are of sugar-phosphates. These are held together by the "rungs" of the ladder, known as bases. There are four bases, the adenine (A), the cytosine (C), the guanine (G) and the thymine (T). A, on one side of the helix, always pairs with T on the other side, thus forming a rung on the ladder, while G always pairs with C, forming another rung. Thus each rung is better known as nucleotide bases, or simply base pairs. In the amoeba, there are 290 billion nucleotide or base pairs, each arranged in a specific order for the cell to live. In humans, there are about 2.9 billion base pairs in the nucleus of each cell.

The double helix of a DNA molecule

In the nucleus of a human cell, there are 46 chromosomes, 23 from each parent. Chromosome 1, for example, has 247,199,719 nucleotide base pairs, in which there are 4,220 genes. In the two sex chromosomes, the female X chromosome has 154,913,754 base pairs within are 1,846 genes. The male Y chromosome is much smaller, with just 57,741,652 base pairs, with just 454 genes. As such, in the nucleus of each cell of a female, there are 3,022,102,095 base pairs in the DNA molecule, with 31,731 active genes. In the male, there are 2,924,929,993 base pairs with 30,339 active genes in the nucleus of each cell.

The each base pairs must be arranged exactly right for the genes to function correctly. It looks to me that the genes are a far more complex version of a computer program, which have binary numeric digits as bases, a group of eight digits of "1" and "0" making a unit known as a byte. A long chain of ones and zeroes forms the code with which the computer functions properly. If there is an inconsistency in the arrangement of the binary code, the computer will crash. Likewise, if if the DNA base pairs are not arranged correctly, the cell will die.

So far, I have dealt only with the DNA, the genetic template of protein production in the cell. The whole cell is a vastly complicated structure. If I want to go on about the complexity of the cell, this would make this blog way too long. So I will post a general illustration of the function of the cell, with a brief run on its function, then go on to reason that no way evolution by chance could have ever taken place! Yet the central core of evolution by chance was taught for decades, if not centuries after Darwin's time.

Briefly, the genetic code in the DNA is copied on to the messenger RNA (or mRNA) with one of the bases - thymine -being replaced by another base, uracil. Where the DNA is a double helix, the mRNA is a single helix with a row of nucleotide bases. The genetic code is represented here in groups of three bases, known as codons. The mRNA then passes out of the nucleus of the cell, to be decoded by the ribosome. As the ribosome moves along the mRNA, this connects a chain of amino acids, the correct sequence of the amino acids being determined by the codon sequence of the mRNA. When the ribosome had completed the decoding of the mRNA, the chain of amino acid molecules fold up to become one unit of protein, also known as polypeptide. Up to 3,000 units of polypeptides are linked up to form a protein chain. Some of these polypeptide units are enzymes, which are responsible for chemical change in the body, for example, the pancreas producing the digestive enzymes lipase, protease and amylase.

Using the vastly complex cell as a yardstick, there is no way that evolution by chance could have ever taken place. For a demonstration, take the letters of the alphabet, say from a Scrabble board. There are 26 letters in the alphabet, each represented by at least one piece in the game. Take one of each letter, place in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Then carefully empty the bowl onto the floor, making a straight a line as you can. The chance of all 26 letters falling in perfect alphabetical order, including each the right side up and the right way round, is 1 in 26! - that is the factors making what is sometimes known as 26 Bang! It consists of 26 x 25 x 24 x 23 x 22 x 21 x 20... down to 2, which would give a result as one chance in 400,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 that all the pieces would fall in a perfect alphabetical order on the first throw. If the letters represent the genes of a cell, they must all be in the correct sequence, or the cell cannot function and it will die. Yet the genetic code in the cell can produce a protein structure consisting of up to 3,000 proteins joined together in a long chain. In turn, as already mentioned in the paragraph above, each protein consists of up to 3,000 amino acid residues folded together into precise structures and arranged in proper sequence as directed by the genetic code. With the possibility of a single cell forming by chance, without intelligent design, by means of the protein chain alone would be 1 in 9,000,000 bang! - which would give a result which the entire age of the Universe would not be able to accommodate.

For example, mathematician Sir Fred Hoyle had calculated that the odds of producing just the basic enzymes by coincidence resulted in just one chance in one, with 40,000 zeros after it. By comparison, the chance of picking just one electron out of the entire Universe is one out of one with 80 zeros after it. If every electron in the Universe in itself becomes a Universe of its own, then the odds of picking out an electron out of all these Universes is one in one with 160 zeros after it. On this, Hoyle comments:

This situation is well known to geneticists and yet nobody seems to blow the whistle decisively on the theory...
Most scientists still cling to Darwinism because of its grip on the educational system...You either have to believe in the concepts, branded a heretic.

Source: From an interview by AP Correspondent George W. Cornell, quoted from Times Advocate, Escondido, California, 1982. PP. A10-11.

The Universe simply can't wait for the cell to evolve, for its sheer mathematical impossibility. But there does look to be an evolutionary saviour - extraterrestrial origin. And this is taken seriously by evolutionary scientists.

One example from outer space origins is the meteorite which fell in Murchison, in Victoria, Australia in September 28th, 1969. Because of the location on which it fell, this rock became the Murchison Meteorite.

A fragment from the Murchison Meteorite

This rock contains some amino acid molecules, and it is now become the basic clue to the evolution of the cell, particularly the amoeba. Of course, evolutionists would rather see the whole group of living cells within the meteorite, but some amino acid molecules, which is the building blocks for protein, would have to do. Although there is still an unbridgeable gap between some amino acid molecules and a fully functional living cell, it lends to a very attractive theory that some living cells might have arrived on the primeval Earth billions of years ago. It is a bit like Erich von Daniken's theory of an invading race of space travelers, the only difference was that instead of spaceships, they hitched a ride on a passing meteorite instead! But such absurdity must evolutionists rely upon - otherwise the only alternative is Biblical Creation.

Erich von Daniken pushed as fact that what we call pseudoscience. It was rejected by every mainstream scientist. Could the idea of extraterrestial invasion of cells on an ancient meteorite also be false knowledge?

Erich von Daniken may not be that alone in the scientific world after all.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Answer To An Evolutionist

On the fifth of February 2012 I published on this website the article:
Our Eternal Home. In the comments thread which follows it, I received a severe rebuke from one believing in Evolution on why, as a Creationist, I disregarded the work of many scientists who devoted their lives to the work of Charles Darwin's theories. Also in that blog, I dwelt on John's vision of the New Jerusalem described in Revelation chapters 21 and 22, and using maths based on the density of the population in the UK, made a guess on how many of the saved will live within its walls. The commentator, after pointing out that I was arrogant to make such an estimation, then concluded that because there is a moderating system in place, that I would reject his contributions.

But I was willing to pass his comments for publication. The moderation system is not there to dissuade discussion. It is in place to deter advertising. Rather, if my blogging stirs controversy, first it shows that somebody is reading my contributions. Secondly, I quite enjoy a discussion! One reason being that it enables me to look deeper into the topic referred to and to brush up on any gaps in my knowledge or understanding of the subject at hand. But most important of all, that such a debate allows me to stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ and his revelation of salvation to us, such written revelations collected into one volume we call the Bible.

I take the Bible literally as the inerrant Word of God. What it says I believe and bow the knee to. Now if the Bible hints that Man and Dinosaurs co-existed within the same time frame, then who am I to say otherwise? How could I even dare make such an assumption, and in effect, calling God a liar? Yet that was exactly what this commentator was aiming at, basically sidelining my beliefs and opinions into the realm of the lunatic fringe.

But reading the first two chapters of Genesis does give a strong impression that all species of land animals walked past Adam as he gave each of them names. And he also noticed that with every species there was a male with its female mate. And many of these species must have included those we refer to as Dinosaurs today. It was then that Adam realised that he had no mate of his own. He could not pair himself up with any of the animals that he named. That was when God, who made every life form, knew that it was not good for Adam to be on his own. Therefore God then performed history's first surgical operation, under what we now call anaesthesia, to remove a rib with which God created Eve - Adam's lifelong mate. It is a beautiful story, but very real, not a fairy-tale. After all, today's top surgeons use exactly the same method of induced sleep to perform life-saving operations!

For many centuries since the beginning of the Church Age, here in the UK and for the rest of Europe, Genesis was seen as the authoritative record of all life's origins. Great men such as Martin Luther and John Calvin as well as Jerome, all believed in the historicity of Genesis for our origins. Our church founders, the twelve Apostles believed in it, as all the early church fathers. But most important of all, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - God incarnate - not only believed in Genesis as history but quoted it as authoritative. Such examples of this include Matthew 19:3-6, where Jesus himself endorsed the sanctity of marriage. Peter, too also confirms the Noachian Deluge as history (2 Peter 2:5-8, 3:3-6) In fact, the apostle actually prophesied that in the latter days "scoffers" will arise who will question the historicity of the Flood and deny catastrophism altogether.

So are you, the reader, married? If so, then you are confirming the historicity of Genesis. And do you have a respite from work at weekends? Then this too, stems from Genesis. (2:1-3). And the hospital operating theatre? The idea of induced sleep by means of anaesthetics - yep - Genesis again (2:20-25). If Jesus Christ and his Apostles endorsed our origins as history, then it is sheer arrogance on our part to deny this or think otherwise.

Much of British history was centred upon the Bible being the authoritative revelation of God, right up to the 18th Century. Sure, the churches went through very turbulent times, mainly due to the Catholic/Protestant debates. But all believed in the history of Genesis, as well as all the Bible with its record of all supernatural miracles left without question or doubt.

But Peter's prophecy stood, as in defiance of the universal belief in Creationism and the Flood. It was if, despite the universal belief by both clerical and the public alike - the schooled and the ignorant - right across the known Christian world, God knew that the tide of times would eventually change.

The first person to question the authority of Genesis and the young Earth theory was George Buffon (1707-1788), who in 1767 wrote: The Epochs of Nature, after observing a cliff of stratified rock layers, and decided that the Earth must be more than 6,000 years old for this to have formed.

The Grand Canyon provides a good example of Stratified rock layers

Then Scottish Geologist James Hutton (1726-1797) who studied Buffon's observations and produced his own thesis, Theory of the Earth (1788), and coined up the word Uniformitarianism which meant that instead of catastrophism, as the Bible implies, the Earth evolved by slow gentle depositing of sediments by means of shallow seas, river estuaries, and lakes to form the stratified rocks we see today, over a much wider period of time. This is a very important turn of events, as this is the beginning of the true departure from the truthfulness of scripture, just as Peter prophesied some 1,700 years earlier.

The works of Buffon and Hutton provided the bedrock from the geological thesis to the biological theory of evolution. French Biologist Jean Baptiste Lamarck, (1744-1829) a strong atheist who had a contempt for Christianity, wrote in 1809; Philosophie Zoologique which theorised that all living organisms came about by means of evolution by mutation (a word meaning change). He believed that as migrating lifeforms encountered different environments, its offspring had a slight change in its body structure adapted to suit the new environment in which it had found itself. Examples of this included fishes which gradually developed legs and lungs as they began to leave its watery environment to migrate on land. Thus from fishes, amphibians and then reptiles evolved.

The result of the studies done by these brilliant minds was that the theory of Uniformitarian Geology and its bedfellow, Evolution by mutation, began to spread particularly among the academics, while belief in the authority of the Scripture, particularly Genesis, began to wane.

It was then French Anatomist Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) who wished to give some credibility to Scripture by retaining the historicity of the Genesis Flood. But at the same time, after observing the stratified rock strata, hit upon the idea of multiple-flood theory. He wrote, Research of the Fossil Bones of Quadrupeds (1812). Cuvier refuted the works of Buffon and Hutton, and advocated that the geological history of the Earth consisted a series of universal floods which were responsible for the layers of rock strata with their fossil content so frequently found. The danger of his theory was that the Noachian Deluge of Genesis was stripped of much, if not all, of geological influence. In other words, the Flood of Genesis, although acknowledged by Cuvier as the final universal flood in history, it had little or no impact on present geological stratum.

But Buffon and Hutton were to have another follower to arise, who refuted Cuvier's multi-catastrophic theory. He was Scottish Geologist Charles Lyell (1797-1875) who wrote, Principles of Geology in 1833. Lyell became the chief spokesman for Uniformitarian Geology and his work became the bedrock for thinking behind Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1892).

Charles Robert Darwin

Between 1831 and 1836, Darwin sailed around the world in a merchant ship HMS Beagle. When the ship moored at Galapagos Islands, in the Pacific west of South America, the rich diversity of wildlife became the source of his studies. He noted on how one group of finches was diverse from those of another group as a result of a natural barrier such as a mountain range or stretch of sea or ocean preventing the two groups from interbreeding. Darwin concluded that the inability to interbreed allowed the two groups of finches to diverse to the point when they were no longer able to interbreed, therefore two separate species arose from what might have been the arrival of just one original pair of birds to the islands. Darwin summoned his observations in his now famous book: On the Origins of Species by means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Races in the Struggle for Life (1859), a title now shortened to Origin of Species.

Darwin's book became the classic on which the author is regarded as the discoverer of Evolution. Darwin's theory is somewhat different from Lamarck's as where the Frenchman's idea was evolution by mutation - a theory based on the rise of each species due to the slight change of the offspring's body structure to suit the new environment. Darwin's theory, in turn, was that new species branched off as a result of a natural barrier preventing the original species to interbreed. Darwin's theory became the standard yardstick for the theory of Evolution to this day.

While all this was going on, the Noachian Deluge recorded in Genesis suffered a loss of potential in shaping the Earth's surface in geological terms.

With Cuvier's theory of multiple floods, the Genesis account was already under threat of loss of geological impact. Here we can ask whether these developments were really the result of scientific research - or bias against Scripture. Although Darwin did profess a belief in God, his predecessor, Jean Lamarck, was a staunch atheist. So was English scientist Thomas Huxley (1825-1895) who lived about the same time as Darwin, was another atheist who fully supported Darwin's theory - not so much of substantiation by scientific proof as was his own hostility to Scripture.

Cuvier had a follower, William Buckland, a Professor of Geology at Oxford University, who wrote in 1820, The Connection between Geology and Religion Explained, and again in 1823 wrote, Relics of the Flood, which were both essentially Cuvier's theory of multiple floods.

In fact Cuvier himself gave credit to Buckland's work in his later book, Discours sur les Revolutions de la surfaie du Globe (1826).

Then also in 1826, Scottish minister John Fleming coined the Tranquil Flood Theory. This means that the universal flood recorded in Genesis was so tranquil in nature, that the waters rose to drown a corrupt race of men without harming a single tree, let alone causing any geological upheaval.
But this idea was realised that it could not be supported by physics, especially hydraulics, as it was observed that even a minor flood caused havoc to the environment it affected. Thus the Tranquil Flood theory went to oblivion as quick as it was thought up.

Then, at last the Local Flood Theory was put forward by English theologian John Pye Smith (1774-1851). He wrote, On the Relation Between Holy Scriptures and Some Parts of Geological Science, (1839). It is interesting, going by the dating, that this book was completed twenty years before Darwin wrote his Origin of Species. If all the dating is true, then it shows that the forces bent in destroying the credibility of the Genesis Flood was well underway when Charles Lyell was researching for his book which was to be the basis of Darwin's work.

John Pye Smith advocated the theory that the Flood of Genesis covered only the Mesopotamian Basin, and insisted that the antediluvian population was small enough to be confined to that area. There are many problems with the local Flood theory, I am not able to cover them here. But one major problem was how a flood could gain enough depth to cover Mt Ararat without covering a much larger territory. It would take several blogs to deal with this objection alone. But Pye Smith had many followers who were keen to admit the possibility of a flood which purpose was to destroy mankind without it interfering with Uniformitarian Geology. Biblical scholars began writing books supporting the local-Flood theory, the following are just few of many:

E.F. Kevan, The New Bible Commentary (1953).
Fred Wight, Highlights of Archaeology in Bible Lands (1955).
Werner Keller, The Bible as History (1956).
Nelson Keynes, Story of the Bible World (1959).

Today, as the commentator so demonstrated on one of my earlier blogs, the Genesis accounts of Creation and the Deluge has gone from historic to the level of legend, now even further to the level of complete nonsense in the face of Science. Academics as well as the general public who claims to possess common sense now confines true believers of the Bible's historicity as on the lunatic fringe.

In my next blog I will show something that will shatter the entire theory of Uniformitarianism, on which organic evolution rests. Watch this space.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Here We Go Again...

Splashed across the front page of the UK Daily Mail newspaper is the headline:
Christianity under attack

I thought: Here we go again...

The issue this time was that a High Court judge in London has banned the custom of saying prayers at local council meetings, which has taken place since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. From this incident, Lord George Carey protested that this is another case of the marginalisation of Christianity in the UK. Lord Carey is Archbishop of Canterbury, second only to Her Majesty the Queen, who holds the title, Defender of the Faith, which harked back to the days of King Henry VIII, who defended the Catholic faith from the Reformation started by Martin Luther and his followers.

The court case involved the issue with the Council of the Devon town of Bidesford when the sixteen members of the committee opened their meeting with prayer, something which occurs in many local authorities up and down the country. Among them was Clive Bone, one of the councillors who was an atheist and together with the National Secular Society, took the matter to Court, where his lobbying for a ban on prayer was won.

The consequence of this victory could be dire, according to the Archbishop. It could mean an end of prayer at the start of Parliament, together with a reading from The Book of Common Prayer, the scrapping of Army Chaplains and the abolishing of the Coronation Oath, a pledge taken by every monarch during this ritual, to serve and to maintain the laws of God and the principles found in the Gospels.

The Archbishop also recalls several incidents of Political Correctness, when for example, a British Airways worker was sent home from her post for refusing to conceal a small crucifix she wore around her neck. Also of a Christian registrar who asked not to officiate same-sex civil marriages as this was against her convictions. Islington Council then proceeded disciplinary action in which this employee lost her claim for religious discrimination, with the edict given that heterosexual marriage was not a core value of Christianity. I then also recall the case of a hospital nurse who was suspended from her duties for offering to pray with one of her patients, and the case last year of a hotelier in Cornwall who was taken to Court for refusing to allow a gay couple to share a double-bed room, due to his Christian convictions. There is certainly an erosion of Christian faith which was the bedrock of our nation for nearly two thousand years.

And the case with Bidesford Council began with one atheist, Councillor Clive Bone, who was disgusted with prayer and refused to partake in it. Fair enough, but in such a case, Bone was not compelled to participate. He could have chosen to remain absent from the committee until it was ready to commence business set by their agenda.

But I can understand where Bone is coming from. He couldn't stomach participating in prayer, but at least he was not compelled to attend the meeting during that particular part of the session. With this in mind, I wonder why the need to have taken such drastic action in calling for a legal ban. At school it was compulsory for every pupil, including myself, to attend morning assembly every weekday during term, as was the case between 1964 to 1968. I didn't like it much, but at least I tried not to allow it to bother me. But there were other pupils, especially among the boys, who did resent the morning worship and even at a young age, they grew up to became staunch atheists. Mr Clive Bone is nine years my senior, and as such, the idea that he too had to undergo compulsory worship under the threat of corporal punishment at school each weekday looks very plausible.

The idea of school assembly was to remind us youngsters that there is a Christian God, who was instilled into our lives by praying: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name... without actually understanding what the prayer was all about, along with some of the great hymns of praise sung by all. Surely, the original intention was that this must have been good for us all. It was meant to set us up for life grounded on Christian principles. In short, this was a splendid idea. But why the turn off? Why did such morning worship turned the majority of students into agnostics, some even into atheists and as far as I know, not a single case of conversion?

Although some may disagree, I personally believe it was due to the punitive attitude of the staff. Our quick-tempered deputy headmaster, now deceased, asked with a stern, threatening tone, "Who cannot see a hymnbook?" Nobody dared to raise their hand if that was the case, such would raise fears. It was much easier to ask the person next to you if he can share. Very liberal with the cane, he applied it with seeming willingness to any pupil who talked either during the assembly itself or while filing through the corridors to their classrooms. The general image of God was perceived by us, the pupils, as of the same character - a vindictive, punitive individual who scrutinised every sin or wrongdoing in readiness to clout us over the ear. That's how I perceived God as a teenager. Little wonder that I too, passed through a period of atheism during my late teenage years, even more than four years after leaving school. Even after my conversion in 1973, aged twenty, it took me many years to fully understand God's grace.

Whether my perception of the rise of atheism in this country is correct, or even appropriate, this is a matter of opinion. Every atheist have his own reason why he is the way he is. But the most famous atheist who comes to mind can only be Richard Dawkins.

Richard Dawkins is about ten or eleven years older than me, therefore, like Mr Bone, he too would very likely to have had the same kind of school upbringing as I had. But Richard Dawkins resorted to Science, not only on how to make our lives much better, but to find an answer of our origins. The Theory of Evolution became a much more friendlier, placid god who did not scrutinise us or demand holiness in a way as the Christian God did. Sure, this new deity was careful to allow weak and unfit species to become extinct - but nevertheless, he was much more approachable. Like the God of the Bible, the god of Evolution also has his own saviour-messiah, Charles Darwin, whom Dawkins all but worships. Dawkins then brings out this contrast between the two deities rather dramatically when he wrote in his book, The God Delusion:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindicative, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Those of us schooled from infancy can become desensitized to their horror.

Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, page 31.

If the staff at Dawkins' old school were similar to Clive Bone's as well as my school experience, then I can see where this ferocious anti-God spirit comes from!

So we need to ask at this point: Is State Christianity beneficial? In one sense it has been very beneficial in forming the state constitution based on the Bible with its judicial system and a way of life pinned by the Gospels. It gives freedom to the land where the Monarch swears on the Bible and the Gospels when taking the Coronation Oath. It also set the basis for Government affairs in running the country, hence Parliament opens with prayer, as do many of local authority council agendas. It also enables our Forces to have a military chaplain, as also in hospitals and prisons. But with constitutional benefits, that is how far it goes. My experience, especially from school, indicate that State Christianity fails to regenerate the heart.

Many newspaper journalists and columnists mourn for the loss of Empire, where British forces went out to conquer other lands "in the name of God, King and Country, and to spread Christian ethics." I even had a good Christian friend, now moved to a city some 100 miles away from where I live, who always announced during group discussions that the British Empire was established by Almighty God. A theory shared with some of the newspaper reporters (but other journalists, by their own admission, are sworn atheists).

For an example, let's take a look at India, a predominantly Hindu nation. In 1600, the East India Company, a group of British traders, settled in Madras, Bombay and Calcutta. By 1858, by means of warfare, India was under British control. But in the same year, many of the indigenous rebelled, particularly at the Indian Mutiny in Bengal. For the next 92 years there was strife, until the country regained its independence in 1950, although remained in the Commonwealth. But has British State Christianity made any impact on the Indians? Let the statistics speak for itself. At present India remains 83% Hindu, Sunni Muslim 11%, Sikh 2%, and Christian 2.5%. In other words after 360 years of British influence, 97.5% of the population remain non-Christian, and subject to God's Judgement. That is how much the Empire was sanctioned by God!
Source: The Hutchinson Encyclopedia 2000.

But now, with the decline of State Christianity, is there still hope?

I think there is hope, plenty of it. Many of our churches are coming alive with the renewal of the Holy Spirit infilling believers. Christians in these churches are truly converted and have regenerated hearts. And furthermore, and very important too, these churches are taking the truth of the Bible more seriously. With this in mind, let us consider what the Lord Jesus Christ himself said in John 13:34-35:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

This is something State Religion cannot achieve. Regeneration of the heart. The only way one's attention can be attracted is genuine love - and that can only come by means of the Holy Spirit dwelling within the believers life.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Our Eternal Home.

Not long after I became a Christian in 1973, I found my Dad's Bible, a KJV given to him by a Jehovah's Witness back in the 1950s, when I was still a small boy. Up to then I had an interest in General Science subjects, including physics, chemistry and biology. Within the third category was the teaching of the Theory of Evolution, with which as a young teenager, I became fascinated with the Dinosaurs, as I try to imagine a near paradise world of herbivores such as Brontosaurus, Triceratops Iguanodon and others, when suddenly their paradise was shattered by the approach of the carnivorous Tyrannosaurus Rex, the king of all Dinosaurs, sending all the herbivores running for their lives, with the possible exception of Triceratops, with its three huge horns protruding from a shield for a forehead, squared up to the carnivore and pierced its underside. A victory for the herbivore.

This kind of primeval imagination was still with me as one evening in 1973, alone in the house, during a thunderstorm, I was curious on the Bible's version on how it all began. I turned to Genesis chapter one, and I was emotionally moved to read about the six-day creation, the narrative of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden of chapter two, with my tension mounting up as I began to read chapter three.

"No, Adam, don't eat of that tree!" I thought, tensely as if I was watching a movie. Then it happened. First Eve took a bite out of (I assumed) the apple, then Adam himself took a bite as she held it up to him.

"Oh no!" I thought. So that's the origin of sin. Soon after, when God must have killed an animal to provide the couple with clothing made from its skin, they were expelled from the Garden.

There and then, my assumption that we are products of millions of years of an organic process was shattered. Why? Because when I read those chapters, I believed, and more so, I found myself praying. When I began to share my new beliefs, several unbelievers asked me who was Cain's wife. A question at the time I could not answer, which verified their beliefs that the Bible was a book of fairy tales, while their belief in organic evolution was based on facts. But I never ceased believing. Instead, I began to buy books written on this subject, and to reconcile the existence of Dinosaurs with Biblical Creation, and finished up with the idea that early man and Dinosaurs must have co-existed within the same time frame, and both were wiped out during the Noachian Deluge. This idea is regarded as absolutely ridiculous by evolutionists such as Richard Dawkins, but I find nothing amiss with this theory.

You can read more on this, including Cain's wife and the density of the primeval population in one of my earlier blogs:
Adam and Eve Historical? You Must Be Joking!!! Published August 14th, 2011, together with the blog which follows it.

Not much later, I was reading the book of Revelation, and chapters 21 and 22 absolutely stunned me! These chapters describe a city, New Jerusalem, coming out of heaven to settle upon a newly created Earth. The sheer beauty of the city and the pure holiness of it as given in its description, made me feel so unworthy. I was struggling with the idea of entering this city as one of its citizens. Why was this?

Because back then I had a poor idea of the meaning of God's grace. In the English language, we have the acronym that "grace" stands for Gift Received At Christ's Expense. In other words, the righteousness of Christ was imputed the moment I first believed. Absolutely true, my own righteousness could not get me into this beautiful city, for all my deeds were as filthy rags. But the righteousness of Jesus Christ, who lived a life perfectly without sin and his undeserved death on the cross, followed by his resurrection three days later, meant that, as a believer, God sees my life as Christ lived it. That is grace.

But it took me many years after conversion to fully realise it. Mainly due to one of my seniors looking for every shortcomings as a boy, alongside the Roman Catholic teaching that one mortal sin committed meant Hell for all eternity.

But the truth of grace still stands as fact, and it always will.

Reading the Bible, I was able to see that there always have been a steady pattern, each taking a similar but slightly different form. Starting with the Garden of Eden, this was an area of perfection and natural beauty, the paradise of God. Together with our first parents, God himself dwelt in the Garden, even walking in the cool of the day. When the couple sinned, they were expelled from the garden and from the Tree of Life which flourished within it. In the outside world, after the Curse was pronounced, (Genesis 3:14-19) they first noticed that various trees no longer yielded edible fruit. Trees such as Oak, Elm, Ash, Birch, Spruce, Cedar, Pine, along with many others were now yielding seed which were unfit for human consumption (See Genesis 1:29-30). Therefore mankind ever since lived by the sweat of his brow as he prepared and ate bread. In turn, he also watched the spectacular contest as the Tyrannosaurus Rex turn on to the Triceratops, and realised the gravity of the sin they had committed in the Garden, and therefore their own struggle for survival. According to the narration, T.Rex was a vegetarian before the Fall of Man, along with all other predators, they were all herbivores before the Curse (Genesis 1:30) as the plants that they were meant to feed on became unfit to eat after the Curse.

Later, God established the Tabernacle among the children of Israel. Represented by the Ark of the Covenant, situated within the Holy of Holies which was a cubic structure, this was to be the dwelling place of God. As with the Garden of Eden, nobody was allowed near it except the High Priest, and only then once a year, to offer the Atonement for the whole nation.

The Jebusite city of Jerusalem was captured by King David and was made the capital of Israel. His son, Solomon built the First Temple. Thus this original principle carried over from Eden, a dwelling place of God within the midst of the habitation of Man. Jerusalem was a good representation of Eden and a shadow of a more glorious Jerusalem which is still to come. But for it to happen, sin must be dealt with permanently, and so God became incarnate as the Man Jesus Christ to forever atone for all our sins, and to have his righteousness imputed on us who believe. As such we are cleansed from our sins and made fit to dwell in his more glorious city, the New Jerusalem, of which the present capital of Israel is a figure.

The New Jerusalem will be huge - about 1,500 miles (2,430 km) each side. The Scripture gives it as 2,430 km long, wide and high, to form a cube. Whether this was what the writer meant it is still, to me at least, unclear. If true, then if the city was placed at the Northeast of the USA, so that the east wall is aligned with New York City, then we would be able to see the upper side of the wall from the UK, three thousand miles away. If the city is a cube, then this is backed by both Solomon's Temple and the Second Temple, existing at the time Jesus Christ was on earth. The inner sanctuary, known as the Holy of Holies, was cubic in shape. When the Lord Jesus returns to set up his throne of his father David, his throne will be housed within the cubic sanctuary of the Third Temple of Ezekiel 40, which will overlook the city of Jerusalem, wherein it will be built. Again, this will be a figure of Eden restored.

On the other hand, Scripture describes a very high mountain, on which the city will rest (Revelation 21:10). Could the mountain itself be 1,500 miles high? For it is also written that the wall will be 65 metres high. But this could equally mean 65 metres thick. We can't be sure.

On each side there will be three gates, each made of a pearl, all twelve of them, each also with the name of each of the twelve tribes of Israel. Therefore if the city has twelve gates, that means that people will be free to enter and leave the city, as in the case of Jerusalem today. Revelation 21:24-26 says that the nations shall bring their glory and honour into it, with splendour brought in by the kings of these nations. So there is strong indication that there will be a large population of the saved living outside the city, but will have full access to the city every day, as the gates will never be shut during the day, and there will be no night there.

But who are these people living outside, and who will live within it's walls? The city rests on twelve foundations, each having the name of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. The Bible also says that the city comes down from heaven as a bride prepared for her husband. (21:2,9). The New testament teaches that the Church is the Bride of Christ (for example: John 3:29, 2 Corinthians 11:2, Ephesians 5:23-33). The twelve foundations bear this out, as the twelve apostles were the founders of the churches after the resurrection of Christ. Therefore its the saved from the Resurrection to the Rapture - the Church Age, who will have their homes within the city walls (See John 14:1).

The city will be 2,430 km square. This gives an area of 5,905,900 square kilometres. Of course, it would be utterly impossible to give any accurate numbers for its population, because only God knows exactly how many there will be. But by using some population statistics, we can give some guesses, but please bear in mind that that's what they are - guesses.

According to the 1997 census, the population in the UK was 243 humans per every square km. This was equal to a square 64x64 metres per person, if everyone was equally distributed. That is over half the length of a football pitch for each person. In an area of 5,905,900 square km, this would support a population of 1,434,890,700 people. Then again, if we multiply this by four, leaving each with a square 32x32 metres per person, the population would reach 5,739,562,800. Then again this is just a rough guess. To round up the number to 5,800,000,000 it looks very small compared to the number of people who ever lived throughout the whole of human history. But taking a look at the population of some of the largest nations in the world (1997), we get this:


China comes very close to the original conservative population number in the New Jerusalem. But again, if the number looks small, this would endorse what Jesus Christ had once said, that the road to destruction is broad, and there are many walking on it. But the road to life is narrow, and very few will be able to find it (Matthew 7:13-14).

But the fact that the city has twelve gates seem to indicate that there will be many more living on the new Earth outside, but will have full access to the city. These may include all the Old Testament saints, among them a number of antediluvian saints. These include Adam, Abel and Enoch. Seth, the son of Adam, born to replace the murdered Abel, had a son, Enos - who was an evangelist. From him men began to call upon the Lord. (Genesis 4:26). There could have been a remnant of several thousand saved souls before the Flood, failure for others to repent eventually dwindled the number down to eight - Noah and his family. Then there might have been a remnant of Shem's descendants saved, then from Israel, a remnant from each generation (See my last blog, I Have Reserved 7,000..." On top of this, after the end of the Church age, 144,000 Jews will convert a multitude, so great that they cannot be numbered (Revelation 7). Added still to this will be those born during the Kingdom reign of Christ in Jerusalem. A significant number of these will be saved. Hence, throughout eternity, nations living outside will bring their glory and splendour into the city.

Finally, let me define this narrow path. It is not whether it's the right church, denomination or the right religion. The gate to the narrow path is Jesus Christ himself. For there is no other name under Heaven in which we can be saved. Only Christ himself and him crucified. There is no other way.

Now is the time to turn to Jesus Christ for salvation, after being convicted of your sin and your unworthiness of eternal life, having broken the Law of God. If you repent and believe on the Lord, you will eventually have a home within the New Jerusalem.