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Sunday, 16 June 2013

A Warning For All Of Us..

Throughout some previous blogs I might have come across as a "soft" Christian - emphasising eternal salvation, the love of God, his willingness to save, eternal security and such like, all the positive attributes to our faith. All of these are true of course, as I would not promote anything I know to be false. But all this, I suppose were the offshoot of my Roman Catholic upbringing where I was taught that it would have been a lost eternity in Hell if I were to have died with an unconfessed mortal sin in my soul.  In this Catholic faith, nobody had ever enjoyed assurance of their salvation or what followed in the afterlife. If anything, the terrors of Purgatory and Hell had kept millions enslaved to fear during the Middle Ages, with many of the rich and the well-off paying the Church for early release from Purgatory to enter Heaven, while the poorer majority had to bear the full brunt of their penalty.
So the Church sold to individuals what was actually a release pass out of Purgatory, known in the faith as an Indulgence. Most indulgences only provided a partial release, that is, a shorter time spent in Purgatory. However, anyone who would willingly sacrifice his own life for either the preservation or promotion of the Catholic faith, would have been granted a Plenary Indulgence with which the martyr would bypass Purgatory altogether and enter straight into Heaven after death. This, for example, gave the motivation for the Crusaders to fight to the death both the Jews and the Muslims while invading the Middle East during the 11th and 12th Centuries to bring the land under the Vatican's control.
The Vatican - one time seller of Indulgences.
Therefore, it is not too surprising that many have turned against God, believing that his fickleness to save fully and completely, with many shaking their fists in the air, even metaphorically, rather than to commit themselves to the faith. I should know, I once was one of them, and I have personally known others who had discredited God's love or even his existence.
Therefore knowledge of God's love, I feel is crucial to some. Certainly I have benefited from such truths after becoming acquainted with the Bible, particularly with the Gospel of John.

But there is the other side of the picture, and that is God is also a consuming fire. And one of his commands to all mankind is not to put God to the test of defiance, although I believe that God would answer favourably the thoughts or questioning of a sincere inquirer. I write this as a result of a post which appeared on Facebook, and perhaps many of you readers might have come across it already, as the posting was set to public.
The Case of the Titanic
The man who built the largest ocean liner at the time said that not even God was able to sink it. Although neither the Facebook posting nor Google revealed who this man was, I assume he was most likely Thomas Andrews, the Architect who designed the Titanic, one of the three Olympic ships constructed in the early 1900s, with the Titanic being the largest of the three.  When the ship went down in August 1912, he remained on board and perished with it along with over a thousand other passengers. All by being struck and its hull torn by a solid lump of frozen water.

But what I have found most striking was that some fourteen years before the tragedy, in 1898 a novelist named Morgan Robertson wrote a novella called Futility, or the Wreck of the Titan - a fiction story of a ship, Titan, which was struck by an iceberg at the calm Atlantic waters during a cold August evening. The incredible similarity between this story, which was published even before the Titanic was thought of, and the real life tragedy, seemed prophetic. The only difference was that Robertson placed his disaster at a slightly different location of the Atlantic to the actual event.
Apart from this detail, it is worth asking: Was this novella a supernatural prophecy? If so, was it from God? I'm left only to speculate on this, but Andrews' defiance was a good reflection of the British Empire at the height of it glory. And not surprising, that much of the Empire's prowess was based on its naval strength, especially since the victory gotten from the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, when the British won the battle against both the French and Spanish naval forces. Since then, The British pride in its own seamanship swelled and the nation believed that they were beyond the Judgement of God. Furthermore, it wasn't long before one English biologist, Charles Darwin, began to write his book which will gradually draw the nation away from the truthfulness of God's revelation while continuing to revel in its pride; On the Origin of Species, a classic which was also the inspiration behind Britain's racial, cultural and national superiority, along with its naval prowess. 
The ship Titanic was the very embodiment of the British Empire, with its rigid class structure and opulence for the First Class passengers, in contrast to the dreadful living conditions of the boiler stoking firemen who kept the ship sailing. By contrast to the engine deck, the Grand Stairway was worthy of use by any king or V.I P. and is featured to this day in many Titanic literature. The Grand Stairway was the very epitome of the British upper class, a way of an opulent lifestyle out of reach of the commoner, just as the Grand Stairway was inaccessible to the firemen, as well as the third and second class passengers. Yet it's defiance of God and naval pride had brought its downfall, as the Empire itself became financially unmanageable and was dismantled in the 1960s.

The Case with Celebrities

Marilyn Monroe, an American actress was an icon in the 1950s. Throughout her career starting in the late 1940s and her death in 1962, she had starred in 28 movies, sung 35 songs connected with these movies, appeared in five TV programs between 1953 and 1962, was nominated for 16 awards, including the BAFTA in 1956 and 1958. Her fame spread right across the western world, and she was sixth among the world's greatest female stars.
Then, at the end of July 1962 the Holy Spirit inspired the evangelist Billy Graham to appear on one of her TV shows. After preaching to her about her need for Jesus Christ as her saviour, she replied,
I don't need your Jesus Christ!
A week later, on 6th August, she was found dead in her apartment of a drug overdose. There was speculation whether she committed suicide or whether it was an accident or miscalculation. Apparently, despite her stardom, she did feel bouts of depression, therefore making suicide a distinct possibility.

The case with Marilyn Monroe has always troubled my heart. She indeed was a beautiful woman and an icon of a celebrity. Yet in my mind I can conjure up her as a newborn, cosseting in her mother's arms, and being breastfed, then laid in her cot to sleep soundly. I imagine her sitting at her baby chair, being spoon fed, with her mother's love flowing from her heart. Marilyn crawling on the floor, perhaps chasing a ball or occupied with some other toy, was so happy in her childhood innocence. It makes me wonder how pursuing a life of celebrity can not only be so detrimental to a person, but be the swelling of pride and self-reliance to the point of shaking the fist of defiance before God, who gave her life in the first place.

Then, there was the case with British band AC/DC rock singer Bon Scott. One of his albums Down the Highway to Hell was released in 1979 after a song he sung which contained these lyrics:
Don't stop me; I'm going down all the way, down the highway to Hell.
In February 19th 1980, Bon Scott was found dead, choked in his own vomit after a heavy drinking session.
Then there was ex-Beatle John Lennon. Writer of many songs recorded by the Beatles, his hostility towards Jesus Christ and the Bible was well known. In March 1966, he remarked in an interview:
Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink...We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first, rock and roll or Christianity."

Many of his songs were about free sex and rebellion against authority. He also had a particular hatred towards the middle classes who he thought were more aligned with church-goers. One of Paul McCartney's songs, Elena Rigby, released in August 1966 and dedicated to John Lennon, described the pathetic state of a typical English parish church, with the vicar, Father McKensey, burying the body of his very last parishioner, Elena Rigby, and nobody will ever come to hear his sermons again.  In May 1969 Lennon's song The Ballad of John and Yoko used the word "Christ" several times in vain when released, and this might have led to his pre-mature death on the 8th December 1980, when he was shot outside a hotel by Mark Chapman in New York City.

Indeed, our God is a consuming fire, and anyone shaking his fist in defiance has not only placed himself in real danger, but brought in the possibility of sealing his own doom.

The future of Britain?

In one of last week's newspapers, there was a report that the top notch at the Meteorological Office are about to hold a conference in the coming days about our apparent climate change. They want to know the bottom cause of the apparent lack of summers and extreme weather we have been experiencing here in the UK. As with last year, months of summer downpours and torrential rain had not only spoiled the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations but have caused widespread flooding, destroying many homes and businesses, as well as causing havoc in our crop production. And this year a particularly cold March, with daily temperatures hovering at only two degree Celsius, had reduced wheat production by a third, one of our key items of consumption. The result of all this will be rising food prices, as we need to depend more on foreign imports to sustain us. So food prices rise while the national economy remains stagnant, with wages and salaries remaining pegged. Meanwhile, the insurance companies have to keep on doling out coverage to restore property damaged by frequent flooding.

I have my own views, looking at the scientific perspective, but I by no means push these views as dogma. My guess is as good as the guy's next door and I could be way out wrong. But one thing we can be sure of: our lousy summers are caused by an area of atmospheric high pressure sitting over the Artic circle, pushing the Jet stream south of the UK. Normally, during the summer, the Jet stream flows north of the UK, bringing warm, dry sunshine weather. If the stream flows south, as in the case of winter, then we are to experience cooler, wetter weather and unsettled conditions.

I have wondered whether the volcanic heat emission over Iceland might have a connection with the erratic flow of the Jet stream. If such a heat emission is the bottom cause of our miserable summers, who knows, the Icelandic volcanic system may well be the instrument God may use to judge or discipline Britain.

With Iceland strategically placed to the north west of the UK, our nation is in line to become a victim of a major volcanic eruption. Like the one which took place during Spring of 2010, which grounded every UK flight. Because of our lousy climate, holiday trips to the sunshine is a major priority to the average Brit. When a small Icelandic crater blew, thousands, if not millions of trippers had their cherished time ruined. And it could happen again. This time a larger, neighbouring crater could blow. If so, not only would the resulting ash cloud lower the temperature, but devastate all food production, service industries, business and life as a whole. It is a judgement not to be taken lightly!

Our God is a consuming fire, in this case, literally. Although God has made aware of his presence in the heart of every child born, our culture, our academics, our form of education had turned the nation away from him. Darwinism is constantly being plodded out to our kids in school. On the BBC and other TV channels, evolution and uniformitarianism are constantly being promoted. At present, a series, Rise of the Continents, with Iain Stewart presenting a world beginning without the need for a God to interfere. This followed Simon Reece's similar presentation of Australia, and earlier, Brian Cox on the origin of the Universe. Then not to mention Richard Dawkins' famous book, The God Delusion.

Celebrities, and these include academics who make it on to the media, are held with a reverential respect and god-like esteem by the average Briton. Let's face it, worship of the celebrity is the real national religion, a religion which denies Jesus Christ as Lord and instead leaving us to bow our heads, even falling on our knees when a man in a suit walks by. As we push away God from our lives, let us refrain from sticking our two fingers in defiance and maybe God's patience and eternal love may spare this country from judgement.


  1. Hi Frank,
    I don't know that much about the catholic teachings, but when I was in the church in Adelaide where I became born again, there was an Italian lady there who had been brought up in the hills somewhere in Italy. She said that they never had a lot of money and her father had died. The priest came to the house to collect money for the church one day because her mother hadn't gone to the church. She didn't have any money to give him and he asked for her wedding ring. She gave it to him. I thought 'No wonder you are here in this church', I could not believe the cruelty. Yes I think people should be very careful when they speak about God, He is able to do all things. Even before I became a Christian and began being taught by the Holy Spirit, I still had respect for Him and used to say the disciples prayer in my mind every night before I went to sleep. Now that I am a Christian I am learning that His ways are much better than mine.

  2. Amen, Frank.

    Unfortunately, the problem of shaking their fists at God isn't limited to England. I suspect the so-called climate change has more to do with man's sin than with any release of carbon dioxide, as do a lot of our other problems.

  3. Great post Frank, so well written and thought out as usual. Wonderful theology and great story telling. I like John Lennon for his wit and candour, but he was anti-Christian sadly as well. Fame and wealth can go to anyone's head in the end.

  4. Dear Frank,
    It seems to me that as we approach the End Times and even the Rapture, wickedness in high places in increasing, and with it, open defiance of God and His law. It's not just that evil is abounding but that men are now proud of it. But God will not be mocked, and He is indeed the righteous Judge to Whom all will answer one day.
    Thanks for the great post, & God bless,