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Sunday, 2 June 2013

What If...Crude Oil Runs Out...

I was wondering what to write on this week's blog when I picked up today's Daily Mail newspaper, after arriving home from a gym workout and sauna session, only to come across an article, The Real Life Shameless, written by journalist Joanna Moorhead. It was about an unemployed family living in the Westcliff district of an English city Scunthorpe, in North Lincolnshire. This particular household had featured in a Channel 4 documentary, Skint, which tells of this guy whose steelworks factory where he used to work now stands derelict. His live-in girlfriend has five children from three previous partners, he himself has fathered a toddler and another baby is on the way. When born, the house will have seven children altogether, the entire family living on State benefits.
Westcliff Estate, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire
The article goes on about feral youths who has little hope for being optimistic of their future, one has been thrown out of school several times and has a fierce temper. They tend to end up embroiled in the drug culture, prostitution and crime to support their drug habits, along with gang violence. As the article states, their poverty isn't just financial, but also due to lacking any form of aspiration. It is also a frightening fact that if any of the youths wants out of this way of life, then there is always Her Majesty's Pleasure, so the article says, a fact that so many of these unfortunates will be sentenced to prison as a result of fighting for survival.
There are many districts and estates like this in Britain. The main culprit is unemployment, a life of worthlessness due to a lack of serving a useful purpose.  Their offspring are usually failures at school, although I personally don't think it's due to the child's stupidity or a learning block, rather it is more likely due to the teaching staff deciding not to show much or any enthusiasm for these kids to learn something, due to their background. In other words, if the student senses prejudice against him among the teachers, he would not have the motivation to study and learn.
There was also a brief note that the estate lacked schools, social clubs and churches. Oh yes, churches. How would a middle class congregation fit into such an environment? I'm fully aware of the average English local church, as I live in the prosperous South. Then again, I wonder how these feral youths and their unemployed parents and relatives would react at the sight of gentlemen wearing suits and ties - and driving fast, expensive cars - impressing their wives and girlfriends, as they congregate inside a building specifically set aside for the purpose?
Indeed, if any of these youths would dare take a peek inside, they just might catch a snippet of a sermon about loving each other as God loves them, I think, at best would bring out raucous laughter, at worst, having a brick thrown through a window or damaging the paintwork of one of their posh cars, if not actually breaking into the vehicle and driving off; a great source for income to feed their drug habit for a good while, perhaps. Then it would be worth considering how committed, even brave enough, to share the Gospel of God's love to them. Then again, it's the matter of putting myself in their position. How would I share the Gospel with such people?
Unless there is within me a fiery love for them, stirred up by the Holy Spirit, to connect would otherwise be impossible, as my natural instincts would be of fearful cautiousness. As a result, these youths would, I'm sure, tear me to shreds as if thrown into a den of lions. But on the other hand, if they sense genuine love and concern, they would begin to trust me and see my faith as something genuine, and to be desired.
As already mentioned, where I live is much safer than estates like that in Scunthorpe. Here in the South of England, prosperity reigns. Most people here own their homes, have two or three cars, and their children prepare for university. As a window cleaner, some of the biggest houses I deal with on a regular basis are homes of regular church-goers.
Clearly there are two Britains, each co-existing side by side with each other yet the two cannot be more different. Each day, I often pass a fast two-seater, the driver looking very self satisfied and confident as he shows the world that he has a very successful, highly paid career, a result of good schooling and academic achievement. And this is by no means restricted to males. I have seen a growing number of females driving such cars, normally on their own.
Good schooling - a successful career - prosperity, the trinity of material success which brings out the envy in me and no doubt, more so from the feral youths up in Scunthorpe, if they would be daft enough to drive their fast cars up there. I'll be honest to you and to myself here, when I see a fast car careering down the road, I do feel a twitch of envy. Normally at such circumstances, I remind myself that life is short, "like a wisp of smoke" and we will eventually all die, followed by the Judgement. This is a way I can reassure myself as I lick my emotional sores which has arisen due by failing at school.
Then, on top of driving fast cars, the same sort of people take exotic holidays (vacations) to far-flung parts of the world, often going for more than just once a year. Now on this area of my life, God has blessed me richly with the experience of world travel, taking in Western Europe, the Middle East, Singapore, Australia and North America. However, they were no five-star hotels, no waiter wearing a bow tie, no posh dinner table with brilliant white table cloth, no crystal wine decanter or silver cutlery.
Rather, travel was on a shoestring, sleeping in hostel dormitories with a profound snorer in a bed nearby, buying and cooking my own meals, and sometimes having to wait a while before the communal washroom was free, particularly at the disused army hut at Santa Barbara in California. Also at a Banana Bungalow hostel at Hollywood, I found myself bedding down with a few others in a converted car port with a sheet of plastic covering its mouth where the door would have been. Then not forgetting New York City, where I spent a night in a squalid room shared with cockroaches scuttling across the floor at this seedy hotel at 8th Avenue, among brawling Afro-Caribbeans out in the streets. Then to add to this, there were a large number of UK hostels I stayed in, from John O'Groats at the northern tip of Scotland, to Penzance in West Cornwall, along with the beautiful Jurassic Coast of Dorset and Devon, the Lake District in Cumbria, even in Central London itself in preparation for take-off from Heathrow Airport. And not one British hostel was less exhilarating than those overseas. Certainly, backpacking was an adventure in itself, a great and wonderful experience with which no five-star holiday could hold a candle to. And yes, if I could, I'll do it all over again.

But travel, both long-haul and short, requires a constant supply of fuel, as do all cars and freight vehicles. When I see a fast car speed by, or a traffic jam including heavy goods vehicles stuck on a motorway (freeway) or even as we prepare to fly to Greece for a short break, I often wonder - what would happen if all the crude oil reserves were to run dry? After all, oil is not a renewable fuel and sooner or later the rocks beneath us would no longer yield.

Unless scientists can resolve the problem using equally effective alternatives, I believe there would be worldwide pandemonium! Just think about it. At least at first, before global shipping is disrupted, posh people, used to jetting off to anywhere around the world, even for a long weekend at Bangladesh, would have to holiday here in the UK and put up with our lousy wet climate. The guy with the two-seater Ferrari can only gaze at it in anguish as it sits in the car port with no functional purpose. At least with me I could cycle to the coast and spend time at one of its hostels. As for trains, maybe the electric powered locomotives may still run providing all power stations are nuclear and in addition, all our fields and off-shore waters are turned into ugly forests of wind turbines. Woe to be on a calm day! And furthermore, I doubt very much if the feral youth up in Scunthorpe would have any sympathy towards the unfortunate posh guy whose fast car is stuck in the garage and all airlines  grounded.

With the airlines around the northern hemisphere, it could happen. Only a couple of years ago a volcano in Iceland erupted, causing a cloud of ash dust to drift across the UK. For a period of time, every flight from all UK airports were cancelled, ruining the holidays of multiple thousands. Now we are told that an even bigger volcano in Iceland could blow, not only closing all airports but could even give us a year without a summer. According to the vulcanologist, the time of this eruption is already overdue.

Well, if this thing decides to blow just before we are due to fly to Crete later this year, we would lose everything, as our travel insurance policy does not cover volcanic eruptions. If there is such a test for believing the validity of Romans 8:28, this would be it.

For all things works for the good of those who love God, and are called according to his purpose.

All things. And I guess this would include crude oil supplies running dry. Imagine the catastrophe. Not just in the world of travel but the shipping and transport of all freight. Our store shelves will soon be empty. In fact, I would not put it past the idea that there may eventually be global starvation. In such a situation, the well educated professional living in Surrey, the English equivalent of Beverly Hills, would be no better off than the youth in Scunthorpe.

And this is the whole point behind this blog. Both the feral youth in Scunthorpe and the professional in Surrey depend on crude oil for their daily living. And I sincerely believe that crude oil is one of the most important acts of God's mercy and goodness outside salvation. And yet the academic and the professional will still insist that the source of crude oil was an evolutionary accident rather than a means of God's goodness. As a Creationist, I sincerely believe that crude oil is the result of billions of fish which perished suddenly in some horrific catastrophe. No other known disaster can kill off so many fish in such a short time. The one exception is the Noachian Deluge, described in Genesis 7-8.

The Flood was a judgement passed on to the antediluvian world for its universal wickedness. Yet, while that world was still underwater, new coal and oil reserves were being created from antediluvian trees and fish respectively. I once read an article about the construction of a bridge a few decades ago. The builders had discovered that the base of the wooden pylons supporting the structure had metamorphosed into coal within days of their placement. This evidence seems to be a rebuke to the uniformitarian geologist's insistence that such metamorphism can only take multiple millions of years. Yet during Biblical times and thereafter, nobody were aware of such abundant resources until into the 18th Century, when the discovery of "stones which can burn" eventually launched the Industrial Revolution.

From the time of the Deluge, God fully knew about the human world during the last couple of centuries and the commodities required to sustain life. It was an act of mercy and goodness right in the midst of judgement. But so ironic is the human heart. The feral youth of Scunthorpe would ridicule the existence of God, assigning him to the religion of the well off, well educated professional, who in turn gives the glory to Darwin instead of to God.

Most certainly a new "commodity" is desparately needed, the regeneration of the soul and the infilling of the Holy Spirit to the extent that a fervant love of God, eclipsing everything this world have to offer, would shine into the hearts of not only these families in Scunthorpe but to all the poor and benefit-dependant households right across the UK.


  1. Dear Frank,

    Only the fool says there is no God, and yet the evolutionists blindly place their faith in time and chance working together to produce complexity from chaos. In fact, this theory violates not only common sense and the second law of thermodynamics, but what we observe in our daily life.

    Just today in the ladies' Bible study class I teach, we were discussing Romans 8:28, and how one of the glories of Heaven will be our understanding of how He did indeed work everything together for our good.

    Thanks as always for the enlightening post and for sharing your exciting experiences in world travel!

    God bless,

  2. Hi Frank,
    yes this world is in turmoil isn't it. The lovely thing is that God has a way of reaching everybody. We bring forth fishes after our own kind don't we? I remember living in a place where a vicar had a community help centre in one of the houses, it had bars on the windows. This vicar came up to the house one day and asked me if I would come and meet a man who was coming to see him. When I went down to the centre, the man was having a coffee. He was a person who did martial arts and when the bailiffs would come to put people out of their houses he felt it right if he challenged them. In his heart he was thoughtful for others who could not cope. His appearance gave a totally different idea as to what he was really like. I was having a coffee with him and we were talking about Jesus, he seemed to want to know things. After we had been talking for a while he said he wanted to come to the church I was attending then. Suddenly there was the loudest clap of thunder I have ever heard, yet there was no indication of weather that would produce thunder, it was a beautiful day. He literally jumped off his seat. I knew he associated it with God. He came to church and prayer meetings at my house and became a believer. He asked me a question one day in my house that I could not answer, I said I would pray for the answer. He came to the church that Sunday and the preacher there that day spoke about a certain subject which had the complete answer to what he had asked. God revealed Himself to this man many times in a way that only He alone could have done.

  3. I come from a similar background to many of the poorer people of Britain, but think that many of the worst people, those who binge-drink, cause trouble, get involved in crime of all kinds and are basically anti-social in nature are also badly brought up, neglected, their own parents equally badly brought up with no values or consideration for other people.

    I have a pretty good education but have struggled to find work for one reason or another and have suffered certainly in the past with severe depression. So many people are troubled and struggle in life; as you say I wonder what many of those underclass youths would feel going into a church filled with rather well-to-do Christians talking about Jesus and equality and love and compassion, when perhaps some of those Christians might look down on them. I wonder if that's one of the reasons that Working class people keep away from churches in the first place.

  4. Corinthians 1:26 declares, "not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called," yet many want nothing else in their churches. Perhaps the problem is that, like the scribes and Pharisees, we are less concerned with what obeying God said than with maintaining our sense of superiority.