The RMS Titanic was the greatest cruise ship that was ever built in British maritime history, which was launched on 31 May 1911. At 269 metres, it was the longest of three Olympic ships which were built at the same time, the other two were RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic, all three owned by Star Line. Built in Belfast and registered at the port of Liverpool, it set off on its maiden voyage on April 10, 1912 for New York harbour.
The Titanic was no doubt the apex in epitome of the great British Empire. With First, Second, and Third Class passengers, a rather dynamic encapsulation of our national culture, with first class bathed in luxury and looked on with special favour by the crew, whilst third class accommodation was more plain and lacking of that special attention from crew members with which all first class passengers enjoyed. It was also boasted that the structure of the liner was so sound, particularly of the main hull, that not even God was able to sink it. The attitudes of sheer pride, optimism and self assurance were incorporated into its design was also the epitome on how the British felt about their homeland and Empire. Perhaps even on how it looks from the outside counted high in importance as well, as the fourth funnel was non-functional, so I read once. Instead it was added to enhance the ship's status and majesty. Indeed, the unsinkable Titanic was the perfect encapsulation of the indestructible British Empire.
Of course, we all know what happened during the early hours of April 14, 1912. A solid mass of frozen water happened to drift far further south from the Arctic than most other icebergs. The bow of the ship was heading at full speed towards it, and had the ship remained on course, chances that the sharp edge of the bow might have cut right through the ice, leaving minimal damage to the hull, and successfully docking at New York before the need for inspection and maintenance. Instead, panic gripped the crew members responsible and swerved the vessel to the left in an attempt to miss the iceberg. Wretched things those floating lumps of ice has always been, there was an underwater ledge or protrusion of some kind which tore into the unsinkable hull, and the water gushed in.
Oh such an irony of it all! The very vessel even God was unable to sink. And it was destroyed on its very first cross-Atlantic sailing - not by military might of an underwater torpedo launched by an enemy submarine, neither by a drifting mine, but by a lump of frozen water, itself in the process of melting into the ocean as it drifted south. As the encapsulation of the British Empire sank into the dark depths, up to 1,500 of its passengers, instead of being greeted by New York's Statue of Liberty, they found themselves standing at the throne of their Maker to face Judgement.
Yet I can't help but hear the shaking of the leaves, the pages of the Bible. Fierce pride, self-confidence and optimism resulted in the post-Diluvian population to amass and build a city and a tower which would reach to heaven (Genesis 11:1-9) - an epitome of human greatness and an attempt to reach immortality through their own efforts and without God. I can't help seeing strong similarities between the Tower of Babel and the RMS Titanic - the only difference was that whilst one attempted to reach the sky from the ground, the other - in a sense a tower floating horizontally attempting to cross an ocean, both came to their end before their initial destinies were fulfilled. It is to be noted that there was nothing wrong in these projects in themselves. From the dawn of history, construction and ocean navigation has always been the need for survival. But in these cases, motivation was the cause of such downfall.
And so I discussed with Alex whilst watching a BBC 2 documentary, Brexit, earlier in the week. This one-hour long programme was a series of interviews conducted by BBC correspondent Laura Kuenssberg, at both politicians and to the public in the streets. Most intriguing was an answer delivered by an elderly lady in Yorkshire when asked about last year's Referendum. Although I can't recall exactly her answer on a word-by-word basis, what's is quoted here is a good approximation:
I cannot understand why our Government has got us to vote in a referendum when we are not educated enough to know the facts behind such a decision we had to make.
Of all debates I have ever listened or read about in connection with this issue, nothing so far has ever eclipsed such a statement! And yet she was one of many who voted to leave the European Union.
What a contrast that statement was in comparison with one interviewee, former Education Minister Michael Gove. A devout Brexit advocate, he insisted that the UK should now walk away from the Union with no strings attached. When asked by the reporter of any adverse consequence of such a move, his answer was that we must be optimistic and be confident for the future of our country, for with our own efforts (without God) we will succeed with world trade without the need for European Union membership. Judging by his self confident and optimistic tone and attitude, I have wondered whether Michael Gove is a reincarnation of Nimrod, the ancient governor behind the Tower of Babel project!
|Tory ex Education Secretary Michael Gove.|
And on the same evening of the documentary, a casual browse on Facebook came up with a post by atheist Richard Dawkins. What he said was in a away a strong rebuke to Michael Gove and his fellow Brexit supporters, backing what our dear lady in Yorkshire has said, that how can we seal the fate of our children and grandchildren with such a future without knowing any of possible consequences, and on top of this, without any hope of reversing the decision in the future, or if ever the Union would ever accept the UK back into membership. And the worst aspect of all this will be that our children must face this brave new world alone, after all of those who voted out are dead and gone. So says Richard Dawkins.
If there was one occasion I had to agree wholeheartedly with such a persistent atheist, it has to be on this issue. For here is one occasion when Dawkins made far better sense than many "dumb" Christians who voted to leave, without proper knowledge and without many years left to live! And talking about "dumb Christians" - that is what people like Richard Dawkins perceive us to be who believe in the Young Earth Creation as historical. He did admit though, that he has more respect for a Young Earth Creationist who believe in the historicity of Holy Scripture, than he does for those who believe in Theistic Evolution - an attempt by Christians to make better sense of the Gospel to unbelievers.
Websites are popping up on the Internet, both on Google and on You-Tube, ridiculing us Creationists in believing that we live on a flat Earth. Yet despite of that, I don't believe that Dawkins is assuming we're thinking that the Earth is flat. In the forty-plus years of being a Christian myself, I have never come across a fellow Christian who believe in a flat Earth. But I have come across many, many Christian graduates who believe in Theistic Evolution. Yet lately, I have been watching videos of professing Christians advocating that the Earth is flat in accordance to Biblical revelation. There is a growing number of these videos which are gaining views by the thousands. These people are not hipsters or eccentrics who dress funny. They are professionals who dress for work in suit and tie, therefore a cause for respect. One flat-Earth advocate, I believe, is an airline pilot. As they insist that the Bible teaches a flat Earth under a solid dome known as the firmament, and is watched by scoffing unbelievers, I'm pretty sure that it won't be too long for an average Christian to be the target of relentless teasing and ridicule by scoffers, together with their rejection of the Bible.
Ridiculed by unbelievers who knows that the earth is spherical. So does the average unbeliever who uses the flat-Earth theory to ridicule the Bible, to deny the existence of God, and to trust in themselves, in science, in a strong economy, and their optimism for the future. To them, Science is their saviour, not Jesus Christ. And so is their belief in a strong, independent economy and in a rosy future.
I find this fascinating! I can't help but marvel at such a scenario. A life without God whilst mocking the truth of the Bible, political optimism, self confidence, reaching to the skies by self effort, science as saviour, pride in nationalism and glory in national sovereignty, the Tower of Babel, the Titanic - I could well be asking: Are all these mental and emotional attitudes - from pride in national sovereignty and Empire to flat-Earth advocates - a fruit of an adverse spirit in the air bent on its attempt to keep us all from the truth of the Gospel and the glory of God? And could this adverse spirit be blinding us from the real reason why we are here: to know God and enjoy eternal life, which is in his Son Jesus Christ?
Hostility and ridicule against Holy Scripture is alarming. Why this hunch against the Bible - hatred even? Even if the Bible itself does teach a spherical Earth. For example, Isaiah 40:22 says that his throne is above the circle of the Earth. So these scoffers use this verse in their insistence that the Bible teach a flat Earth. But as a child, whenever I was able to see the Sun safely through a certain type of cloud cover, I was convinced that our nearest star was a flat disc. It looks so much like a flat disk. As for the moon, when full, it too looks like a flat disc. And during the first and last quarters, when the moon was only half lit, it resembled a white pancake carefully folded in half! The Bible writer's view was more understanding. A sphere will always look circular, no matter from which angle it is viewed from. Then Job 26:7 says that the Earth is round and hangs upon nothing. That is exactly what Neil Armstrong saw when he stood on the moon in 1969. My apologies to the scoffer, but the Bible and Science are far more true to each other than these sceptics makes out to be.
|Earth taken from Moon's surface, 1969.|
Science does not refute Holy Scripture, rather it backs it. Another example of this are the Levitical laws about sex. Science has discovered that promiscuity encourages sexual-transmitted diseases. This form of illness can be extremely painful and is also the cause of infertility. Also children born of mothers with such diseases were often arrived blind or crippled. In the Old Testament, God's intention was to spare us from such unnecessary suffering. And so did Paul to Christian believers at Corinth. He instructed them to flee fornication (1 Corinthians 6:12-20), because these Christians were bedding with prostitutes - a cause for Christ-dishonouring diseases which are fully backed up by science.
Hostility towards God and the Bible is totally unnecessary. One of the greatest verses in the Bible is Luke 11:13. Here are the words straight out of the mouth of Jesus Christ himself:
If you, being evil, know how to give good things to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!
Receiving the Holy Spirit by the asking of one who is evil! There is no prerequisites. Jesus didn't even say that you must first believe in Him, although such a level of faith must be there in order to ask. There are, in my own opinion, three great passages in the Bible which encapsulate the whole Gospel: Luke 11:13 as just quoted, John 3:14-17, and 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Then the rest of the New Testament backs up into changing your mind from not believing to believing in your heart that this Jesus of Nazareth is the risen Christ:- will lead to salvation and reconciliation with God. It is so simple. I find it very puzzling that with great promises such as these, one can be so hostile and unbelieving.
National pride may seem like a virtue to those who advocate it, belief in a spherical Earth is common sense endorsed by Science, but only faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour make the believer fully whole, worthy and purposeful.