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Sunday, 29 June 2014

The Greatest Gift of All

After the England football squad had returned to the UK earlier last week, I could not help but feel sorry for Roy Hodgson's team, after reading a long forum column of angry criticism aimed at the failed team players, following an online newspaper article. To be sent home early from the tournament, with still the knockout rounds to come, must have resulted in a sense of utter despair. What a sorrowful sight as the plane touched down at Luton Airport with not a single fan to welcome them in. As one commentator sarcastedly remarked: How would the star striker, Wayne Rooney, feel about putting out the dusbin, helping out with the housework, and washing up the dishes while the television spews out massive crowd applause from Brazil as one goal after another is scored?

As he stands at the kitchen sink, he could have well be visualising himself running full pace towards the opposing goal, when a teammate passes the ball to him. Being in the right position, he shoots, and as he watches the ball defy the goalkeeper as it flies into the net, half of the entire stadium arises with a thundering, almost earth-shaking cheer, amplified by the curvaceous structure of the building itself, as several thousand red and white clad spectators rise to their feet. There is only a few minutes left as the ball is fought over by the opposing team players. But they don't go very far, because the referee gives that one long, final blow of the whistle. The World Cup trophy will be heading with them to England. The entire audience of English fans stand on their feet to scream out their applause and praise, and the striker is aware that crowds of multiple thousands will await them as their plane lands back home, and then to be driven very slowly through the packed streets of London in an open top double deck bus. Then soon afterwards, team manager Roy Hodgson will receive a Knighthood from the Queen.

His dream fade into crushing reality as the green grass of the football pitch metamorphose into the gently rocking soap suds in the kitchen sink, as he finishes his final dish. The utter despair he must have felt, being out of the Cup so early, and becoming a pariah of the nation as he is accused of being grossly overpaid, spoilt, lazy, satisfied, and lacking passion for his country. And so the sarcastic comments flows in as the three lions becomes the three kittens, according to one other writer.

But there is still hope for Britain at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, even if the star player is not English, but Scottish. Andrew Murray had won the British single men's grand slam just the previous year in 2013, after more than seventy years without a British win since Fred Perry. Here is one man who can hold up the Union Jack, if not the Cross of St. George, that would give Britain a sporting saviour.

Andrew Murray

But even as I was aware of Murray's victory at Wimbledon, following a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics, somehow I did not feel the national adulation oozing for his victories as I would have felt if England had won the Cup. This had made me wonder whether Murray's predecessor, Englishman Tim Henman, would have received far greater glory had he won Wimbledon.

So at this time of writing, life beats on with the nation now focused on this South West London suburb. But if he wins - great; if not - well there is always next year. Meanwhile, life carries on, wondering what the real purpose of us mankind being here. From the news bulletin spewing from the TV set, Muslims in the Middle East clutch at each other's throats - Sunni against Shiite - fighting over territory, citizens by the thousands made homeless, and many more desperately trying to cross the Mediterranean in overcrowded, rickety boats which certainly aren't seaworthy, with many lives lost to the sea. Meanwhile, a large proportion of our national population seems to be deluded with our Government ministers, the majority from exclusive public schools, and having never done a day's manual work, all being fully committed to the welfare of big business over those of lower income families. I read newspaper columnists favouring the privatisation of the National Health Service, with an introduction of fees for just visiting the G.P. - at present, a free service made available for everyone to receive treatment regardless of income, funded by a national purse into which every earner contributes as taxes.

Such columnists often make my blood boil. These are well educated men and women who attended grammar schools as a result of selection, having passed the primary eleven-plus exams as children. Groomed never to get their hands dirty, they graduate at university with a degree, the academic passport to journalism, where a right wing newspaper makes a suitable forum for them to spout their views. For them, a £10 fee to visit a doctor is hardly a dent in their high income - it's quite a different matter for a single or low-earning parent who has a son or daughter who was born with an infirmity. Yet many of their readers, mostly high income earners, applaud these opinionated journalists as the answer to all the nation's problems. So the strategy in Parliament is to reduce welfare for those who are truly hard up, unable to find a job, or suffer incapacity - believed by the better-off that this is a good thing for the Economy - only to find that the cross-party Members of Parliament themselves have their snouts in the trough in claiming expenses funded by the taxpayer. Mortgage scandals seems to be the main bane, but their expense claim can cover anything. In short, denying benefit to the genuine needy while lavishing in very much the same kind of benefit themselves.

Now with a fresh scandal of one M.P. caught embroiled in paedophilia, a Tory one at that. All this makes me wonder - wow! What is it with mankind? Are we the endless product of a long, long process of evolution? And as one American psychiatrist, Arthur Koestler had suggested: somewhere in the final explosive stages of our evolution as Homo Sapiens, something went seriously wrong. Really, are we just primates, as biologists insist? Only trading our thick body hair for larger brains and greater intelligence? On the other hand, Dr. B. F. Skinner, another American psychiatrist in the 1960s, believed that man's behaviour had always been modelled on the surrounding environment. So the theory of Darwinism marches on, believed on by almost all academics and a large proportion of the public in general. Ah! that's why such a high level of aggression, competitiveness, and even national and racial superiority. After all, the further advanced in evolution, the higher up the social ladder towards the goal of becoming god.

This quest in our attempt in becoming god was recognised by a third American psychiatrist who lived and worked in the same period, Dr. Karl Menninger. He was the one who accused many church leaders at the time of lacking backbone when confronting their congregation with the reality of sin. Yet there is that rustling sound from the Bible like leaves rustling in the wind. At the dawn of history we read about how Eve was tempted by the serpent when he suggested taking a fruit from a particular tree, in order for her husband and herself to have their eyes opened, and to become gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5, KJV.) This statement by itself seem to rebuke evolution. Rather, not only does this imply Divine Creation, but it is much closer to the desires and ambitions to the natural human heart. Let's face it, within every single one of us lies the desire to become a god, whatever form it takes.

But what wonderful good news I was reminded with when I read the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. Here Jesus offered eternal life to all those who would simply believe. Eternal life with Christ for all believers! What a wonderful free gift of God this is. Jesus says that all who spiritually eat of his flesh and drink his blood has eternal life. And what I find so exciting is that I as a believer do not make a conscious effort to eat of his flesh and drink his blood in order to "stay saved" or attempt to get saved. Rather I eat of his flesh and drink of his blood as a result of already having received salvation. Another verse I found so encouraging is found in Luke 11:13, which reads:

If ye, being evil, know how to give good things unto your children: how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?

It is remarkably easy! Eternal life and the dwelling of the Holy Spirit - the third Person of the Trinity - available by the asking. More so, it is God's desire that all men everywhere repent, that is a change of mind to receive the salvation God offers. And all for free, as Jesus Christ had already paid the price for this great salvation by suffering and dying on a cross to atone for all our sins. Then receiving the Holy Spirit by the asking. It is so wonderful, a glorious demonstration of God's love for all mankind.

No, England does not need the World Cup, because in less than four years later, the trophy would have to be handed back to FIFA to be competed for all over again. But what this country needs, along with all the other nations of the world, is to renounce the brain-snatching lie of Darwinian evolution, and be willing and ready to receive a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit through faith in Christ.

Now we have something, or rather someone, to really live for.



  1. In the United States, much of the healthcare movement is about proving we don't need God rather than about trusting him. From the extreme measures to keep people alive to the sex change operations for transexuals, the focus seems to be to prove God has no control over our lives.

    While I don't know all the answers, I am pretty sure that the program passed here will focus people's attention more on human efforts than on trusting God.

  2. Dear Frank,
    Sadly, mankind seems to be going through devolution, rather than evolution as Darwin would suggest. We are not getting smarter and more moral; rather, mankind as a whole is becoming increasingly wicked due to the sin nature unchecked by the Holy Spirit, Who indwells believers but not unbelievers. Despite medical advances, our lifespan is only a fraction of what it was in Old Testament times, due to the curse of sin manifest in disease. But thank God, He has justified believers through the death and resurrection of His Son; He progressively sanctifies us in our Christian walk; and we have glorified bodies to look forward to throughout eternity! Thanks as always for the thought-provoking, well-written post.
    God bless,