Total Pageviews

Saturday, 27 October 2018

A Remoaner at Christian Concern?

My soul was filled with a sense of accomplishment as I left the gym and headed for the spa suite. After all, once again I have completed a little more than a full one hour of rowing on the Concept 2 flywheel rower, shedding around 520-530 calories as I "completed" a distance of around six and a half miles - without actually moving the whole contraption from its place in the gym, let alone taking it outside. Therefore I cannot help admiring the "real rowers" who ply along the River Thames, starting and finishing at clubhouses located at Oxford, Eton, Kingston, and plenty more along this world-famed river. How thrilled I felt as I watched the sheer sleekness of the narrow canoe glide with apparent ease as a team row with superb coordination.

After a spell in the bubble bath, it was the steam room, prior to full relaxation in the sauna itself. It was while in the steam room when another bather commented to his companion of the lack of heat. His mate then suggested that there might well have been complaints passed on to management about the steam room being too hot for them to bear. I then chipped in:- 

The room went quiet, save for the rumbling hiss of the steam dispenser. I had expected a chorus of Hear! Hear! or equivalent, even a start of a conversation about our younger generation's adverse to any endurance to mild discomfort, the end fruit of our politically correct culture. Instead, I was left with the feeling that my comment didn't go down well. And that added to the fact that this particular steam room is badly designed. The single seating tier was set far too low, close to the floor, and the steam chimney set too high. The result has always been, if I wanted to feel the benefit of immersion in hot, steam-soaked air, is to stand up, as such warm air hugged the ceiling, leaving my lower legs in almost normal room temperature.

But the centre point here was my comment. I referred to these complainers as snowflakes. A derogatory statement. Such a term couldn't be more appropriate. Any snowflake would rapidly melt if exposed to just a little heat. However, during the ensuing silence, I had to sit and think. Was my contribution edifying? Supposing it was Jesus Christ sitting at that spot? Would he come out with such a remark?

The Lord Jesus at a spa suite? After all, they were dotted all over the Roman Empire even in his day. However, he preferred to attend a wedding, where wine-filled stomachs must have been the basis of a lot of raucous and coarse talk going on around him. Sure enough, he may not have participated in such lewdness himself, but apparently, he did not upbraid them either. Instead, in order to prove to them that he was the Messiah, he created new wine out of jugs of water so the party can continue.

It was the weekend last week (hence no blogging) that I was invited by a good friend of mine, Dr Andrew Milnthorpe, to a tenth birthday celebration of a para-church organisation, Christian Concern, which was held at the Emmanual Centre in Central London, just a short walk from the Houses of Parliament. The venue was significant. It was where Creation Ministries International held their Conference just a month earlier. If the cutting of the cake was meant to be the climax of the whole evening, then there were more dramatic events leading to that moment.

At least two occurred at or near Westminster Station, one stop away on the Underground from Waterloo mainline station. The first was that a mother of three young children had decided to exit the train through the narrow single sliding door rather than through the wide double doors nearby. The wheels of the pushchair accommodating her screaming toddler had lodged in the gap between the train and the platform edge. However, within seconds she was able to lift the pushchair out of the gap as she herself stepped off the train, followed by Andrew. A moment later the train pulled out with me still on board, after the door slid shut at my face.

When he shared the experience on Facebook, he received comments such as, Did you offer any help? and other comments describing similar distresses such mothers can have on public transport. Therefore I chipped in, giving a fuller version of the incident, and emphasising that rather than Andrew taking the full flak, the mother herself must take her share of the blame for using such a narrow exit, therefore blocking our exit too, whilst the crowds passed in and out of the nearby double doorway where the pushchair would have had a much easier exit.

After our reunion a few minutes later, we arrived on the street, which was temporarily closed to traffic to allow a large parade, or march, saunter around Parliament Square. Held aloft among the massive crowd were a couple of large blue flags, each with a circle of stars.

European Union supporters, I said, as we attempt to cross the road. Then the word Remoaners crossed my mind. Another degrading word for Remainer, neither are in the Oxford Dictionary, as far as I'm aware. At least the word Remoaner is reasonably mild, even if I don't like reading it in the Press. Worse than Remoaner is Remaniac, and I have even come across the word Remidiots. Such words are coined up by patriotic fanatics such as Katie Hopkins, a one-time The Apprentice hopeful who then became a Daily Mail columnist. And here is where things get rather interesting. It was Hopkins who referred to all EU supporters as monkeys and insisted that after we leave, all immigrants should be kicked out of the country, to make way for the indigenous Englishman to flourish.

Ardent Brexiteer Katie Hopkins, former Newspaper Journalist

Echoes of Adolf Hitler and his henchmen? Not surprisingly, even the Right-leaning Daily Mail had to terminate her contract with them after writing a blistering article declaring that our Government is rubbish and all monkeys (Remainers) were unfit to live.

And all this came so soon after reading a book, Hitler and the Nazi Darwinian Worldview, by Jerry Bergman. In it, the author tells of how belief in Darwin's evolutionary theories was the base rock for the most atrocious Holocaust killings during World War II. He then tells us about the lives of each of Hitler's henchmen. They include Dr Josef Mengele, Martin Bormann, Heinrich Himmler, Dr Joseph Goebbels, Hermann Goring, Reinhard Heydrich, Dr Alfred Rosenberg, and Julius Streicher. According to these men, nearly all of them had graduated at University, had justified their attitude towards the socially and biological inferiority of non-German humanity on Charles Darwin's ideas. These so-called "Socially inferiors" include Jews, Negroes, Slavic and Asian peoples, along with the physically and mentally disabled, who are all behind in their evolutionary progress and therefore unfit to struggle for survival. According to these henchmen, all these must be eliminated from this planet in order for their superior Aryan Race to thrive in Germany and then spread to all corners of the globe.

As this blog is written, today's newspaper carries a story of the extreme American patriot, 56-year old Cesar Sayoc, who sent out more than a dozen bombs to the homes of Democratic politicians and their supporters. Fortunately for them, all the bombs were intercepted before any harm was done. And the cause behind this potential atrocity? To make America great again!

All this has made me sit down and ponder: What's going on? Is there a common link between Brexit supporters, the likes of Katie Hopkins, Cesar Sayoc, members of the English Defence League, even the Deep South Ku Klux Klan - and the Holocaust? An incredible question to ask, I know. For one, the KKK has always looked upon the Negro as more like monkeys, and therefore they should have remained as slaves, and disposable to the white man's wish. As I see it, there does look to be a common denominator underlying all these ideas. And that denominator is Darwin's book, its full title being:-
On the Origins of Species by means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (bold emphasis mine).

When reading Jerry Bergman's book and then reading about what's going on around here in the UK, even if before I could not connect between the two, the likes of Katie Hopkins and Cesar Sayoc seemed to have provided the "missing link" between Brexit and the Holocaust. Of course, no Brexit supporter in his right mind would dare think this way, whoever would? Yet the one reason I would consider most important to those who voted to leave was Border Control (no more immigrants) and to make Britain great again under its own sovereignty. However, as I just remembered, there was a spike of verbal and physical violence towards immigrants by Right Wingers straight after the Referendum result was released, adding to Hopkins and her ilk. If such can be related to the Holocaust, then this looks to be some kind of an unholy trinity - Charles Darwin, the Holocaust, and Nationalism.

It seems as if some kind of unholy spirit is at work in the air. It can be quite a frightening thought, coming to think of it, this influence by such an unclean entity. But by turning to the dawn of history, in the book of Genesis 3:4-6 in the KJV, we read this:

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also to her husband with her; and he did eat. (Emphasis mine.)

It looks as Evolution was right at the centre of the Edenic Lie, a progress upward towards godhood, and at the same time making God out to be a liar. By the looks of it, it's been like this ever since. Going even by my own experience, as a youngster, I was never able to connect Darwin's evolutionary theories with religion, which involves divine creation.* I saw that the two were mutually exclusive. This thing called sin, affecting every one of us, including me, seem to be centred not only on personal survival against others but a quest for power. Also a quest for superiority. Becoming as gods, to make one wise, isn't this what evolution is all about? The struggle for life, the survival of the fittest, and the quest for superiority and dominion?

Dr Andrew Milnthorpe and I are both Creationists. Andrew holds a PhD, I am a retired window cleaner. Yet we are both firm friends, brothers really. We look up to each other. The reason for this is quite simple. We see each other as created in God's image. Therefore as believers, we are very precious to God. This is dynamically opposed to Evolution and its struggle for survival. Could this be the reason why just by calling someone a fool (or talk down on snowflakes) puts him in danger of Hell? (Matthew 5:22). Could this be why God forbids murder? We are all made in his image. We are here to love and serve God and to love and serve each other. A direct opposite of Evolution with its struggle for superiority, whether individualistic, racial or nationalistic.

Fellow Creationist - Dr Andrew Milnthorpe.

The Christian Concern birthday celebration itself turned out far better than I first anticipated. At first, I thought it was just another of these morality organisations with a Christian flavour. Instead, I found it to be centred on Jesus Christ, and for the whole nation to get to know him. I think this is what our nation really needs: a renewed relationship with God through faith in the Risen Christ! Not Brexit. Instead, something much better than divorcing from the EU. Something far more real, far more eternal, and far closer and meaningful to the heart.

My longing wish is that Christian Concern and Creation Ministries International should be in touch with each other and for the truth of Divine Creation washes away any Theistic Evolution nonsense that has made a home in the hearts of many Christians.

And also make me have better respect for "Snowflakes".


*For details on how I was dramatically converted from being an evolutionist to Creationism, click here.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

A Wedding and a Gay Churchgoer.

As many of my readers may be aware, the front page of today's edition of The Daily Mail national newspaper carries a photo of the bride and groom leaving the church in Windsor, and exchanging a kiss whilst their arms are entwined. Yet if I were to see them walking along the street or busy at a shopping mall, I would not even give them a second glance, as they would appear as total strangers. But not to the rest of the nation, it seems like, who would have recognised the bride as Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew, the second son of the Queen (after Prince Charles and Princess Anne), and therefore Her Majesty's granddaughter.

She had just tied the knot with, as it looks to me, some unknown fellow, Jack Brooksbank by name. An aristocrat of some sort, as I tried to scour both the newspaper and the Internet on what he does for a living. All I got was that he is an ambassador for several brands of wine. Whatever that's supposed to mean, one thing for sure, he never got his hands dirty fixing a broken pipe or stood in a muddy trench in search for some frayed cables.

Jack Brooksbank with Princess Eugenie.

Yet the Daily Mail devotes its first seventeen pages to the wedding, plus a further twelve centre pages as a souvenir pullout, making a grand total of 29 pages altogether, which is a typical reflection of our nation's obsession with celebrity. Heavens! Why didn't they make it into a tidy number of thirty pages? But when it comes to crowd attendance, there is quite a significant difference between this Royal wedding and that of Prince Harry and Meghan at the same venue a few months earlier. Harry's wedding had attracted a crowd of 100,000 spectators, whilst this one pulled in only 3,000 onlookers, according to the newspaper. The small fact that Eugenie's nuptials took place on a Friday, and therefore there were many employers unwilling to give their workers a day off, this might well have had a hand in the vast difference of crowd numbers, as Harry was wise enough to marry Meghan on a Saturday.

Am I one of a majority who really couldn't give a damn? A minor Royal had just got hitched, and I was far more interested in the gym workout, followed by a relaxing sauna afterwards. And while I was preparing to row for a full hour on the Concept 2 flywheel machine, three thousand devoted followers lined the street, with just one overnight camper. Personally, I wish them good luck and God's blessing. Although I do wish them well, that's not the point here. Rather, if there is such a country which practically deifies Royalty, it has to be Great Britain. And the English in particular.

It's nothing new of course. Far from it. The Pyramids of ancient Egypt, for example, remains a lasting testimony of the Pharaoh's deification by his loyal subjects. Sometime later the Romans were at it. I believe it was Emperor Augustus who initiated the Pax Romana, which allowed its citizens to live in peace whilst the Empire expanded. Since the Pax Romana is an abstract quality rather than an entity, the idea of worshipping the Emperor as divine suited them well. It was not long before Emperor-worship became compulsory on the penalty of death, which brought problems to the early Christian who insisted that the risen Jesus of Nazareth was God, not the ruling Emperor.

These Roman emperors certainly did not live saintly lives. They tended to murder their own family members in order to ward off any threat of rivalry and to secure their own power. The majority of these ancient rulers also had handsome boys in their bedrooms, what we at present would label as pederasty and paedophilia, such scandals in Her Majesty's Government would shake the very foundations of Parliament. It does look to me that generation after generation of governance under a Christian Constitution has made the churches effective in its role as Salt of the Earth.

Poor John the Baptist! He wasn't so lucky in stemming evil. During the days of his ministry, King Herod successfully wooed his brother's wife while her husband was still alive. And so he rebuked the couple in public, calling their marriage adulterous and a sham. Indeed, after John's arrest and imprisonment, Herod had taken a liking to his captive and even called him up to his palace to hear more on what he had to say, according to Mark 6:20. But John's rebuke failed to bring repentance. He never sent his wife Herodias back to his brother. Instead, he allowed her hatred of the prophet to fester and eventually used her beautiful daughter to lull the king to have John executed.

However, Herod's sin looks to be incredibly mild in comparison to those of the reigning emperors in Rome. Really, Herod's sin wasn't unlike our own perception of marriage, divorce and re-marriage taking place all around us at present. Here in the UK, even under a Christian Constitution, this sort of thing takes place all the time, despite what both Jesus himself and apostle Paul had taught, that he who marries a divorcee commits adultery (Luke 16:18, Romans 7:1-3).

1-hour workout = 6.4 miles, 520 calories and no wedding bore!

Which makes Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan a very awkward issue indeed, since Meghan was a divorcee herself. Therefore, according to John, Jesus and Paul, the marriage between Harry and Meghan stand as an adulterous relationship, yet as many as 100,000 stood to watch the nuptials and giving their blessing, as with the TV and newspaper media.

Then came the news from Northern Ireland that a Christian baker has won a legal victory against two gay men who wanted a cake decorated with a motto advocating same-sex marriage. The two men ordered the cake and were ready to pay for it, but the baker refused to make it, based on his own Christian convictions. So the two men took the baker to Court, but lost the case, mainly due to the fact that same-sex marriage is still illegal in Northern Ireland, unlike the rest of the UK.

Organisations such as Christian Concern has endorsed the baker's legal victory with praise. As with John the Baptist's rebuke to Herod, their loss of the Court case did not bring these two gay men to repentance, but most likely had left them shimmering in bitterness and resentment. And Christian Concern will be celebrating their tenth birthday at the Emmanuel Centre next weekend - the same venue in London where Creation Ministries International held their Conference a month ago.

We were invited by my PhD friend Andrew to go with him to the celebration. At first, I declined the invitation. But when Andrew revealed to me that a connection was possible between declining morals and the rise of Darwinism, a chord was struck within and I had to re-think. I admit that I wasn't keen to push my wife's wheelchair into London all over again after such a short time, with all the transportation problems such a contraption would bring. But I eventually agreed to attend if Andrew was happy for me to go on my own with him. So off we shall go.

But what has brought me to say Not this time initially? Much to do with moral reformation but without the re-birth of the spirit, as the case of Herod and the two gay men shows. Here I try to use empathy here, to try and put myself in their shoes:-

During the Court case, it is repeated over and over again that the issue of the cake is against Christian principles. The Judge sides with the baker and I lose the case. What would I then be thinking? How would I feel? Certainly not warm towards the churches! And as for the faith itself, any credibility it might have had is taken away by the punitive attitude it has. And it's so grossly unfair. It's all very well for a straight preacher, happily married with two children, to stand in front of the pulpit and declare how wicked and evil same-sex relationships are. But he wasn't born that way. And to say that homosexuality is a mere mental condition borne out of choice...well, that's an insult in itself. Why is it then that a vast majority of gays would have preferred to be heterosexual, marry and have children? And why choose to bear the rejection and hostility from mainstream society? Furthermore, why is there a frightening level of suicides among us gays, way above those committed by straights? And that despite that gays consist only 4% of the population?

And my view of God? A punitive monster in the sky who is obsessed with hellfire, and the certainty that all gays will go there. The churches are no better. Nothing more than a house of constant condemnation. And here is the crunch. I can't help being the way I am. For example, I could walk along a street or at a shopping mall. I could be in the office or even a factory shop floor. Or, heaven forbid, I could even be in church. I catch sight of a decent, handsome man. I quickly look away but it's already too late. My heart beats rapidly, nerves cause my muscles to tighten, libido sets in. The trouble is, there is also a higher level of embarrassment if ever he would find out how I felt, or anyone else in the room. Choice? Rather, I'm bound for eternal condemnation, in chains from which I cannot break free. After all, with such a divine monster in the sky - if he exists - how could I possibly turn to him for mercy?

And so that's how the churches and society as a whole would perceive a gay person. I think there is an element of truth in reports written by psychiatrists and psychologists that homosexuals have the least happiness ratio in any society. Not so much because the sexual experience can be so unpleasant, but more likely the feeling of fear of rejection which can include verbal and physical harm.

Although there are churches and para-church organisations such as Christian Concern which can be quite heavy when they come to LGTB issues, it does look to me that they are far from true moral reformation. I can be wrong of course. They testify of God working through them. However, real repentance without regret is a grace which can only come through conversion and regeneration by faith in Jesus, the crucified, buried and Resurrected Christ. Conversion to Jesus Christ as Saviour is the only answer.

And this especially when considering these other issues: Have you ever looked at another person and harboured a secret lust? Then you are an adulterer. Do you have a superior attitude towards another person of inferior status? Are you snobbish? Or hold racist views? Then you are a murderer. Have you ever manipulated your tax return with dishonest intent? Then you are a thief. Have you ever rebelled against your parents? Or shown hostility towards them? Then you have dishonoured them. And in frustration, you shout, Oh for Christ's sake!? Or Jesus Christ Almighty!? Then you are a blasphemer. And even told a white lie? Then you are deceitful. The fact is, where sexuality is concerned, we are all deviants. as the Scriptures says:
There is no one who is righteous, no, not even one.
Psalm 14:1-3, 53:1-3, also Romans 3:10-12.

The trouble with me is, I am no better than any other sinner. I'm just as bad. Therefore to attend a Christian organisation dealing with moral reform but with the lacking emphasis of a faith in Christ, then there are elements of hypocrisy. If ever there was one in deep need of moral reformation, then it is me, especially in my thoughts and motives. Without Christ, I'm lost and without hope. Yet by God's grace, I shall be going. Not to shout from the rooftops that homosexuality and same-sex marriage is wrong, but to learn further where all these worsening moral standards have a connection with Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Apprentice Octopus!

It was our honeymoon in the Autumn of 1999. As my bride Alex was sunbathing on the little stretch of beach at St. Paul's Bay at the coastal resort of Lindos, on the Greek island of Rhodes, I swam with casual ease among rocks protruding from the surface of the warm Mediterranean waters. Just below the surface lurked a live octopus. Whether it was looking out for its next meal or whether it was irritated by my constant presence as I gazed in wonder, I cannot be sure. However, if the creature is as intelligent as marine biologists make out to be, then it's more likely that its irritability was caused by my intrusion into its territory rather than the other way round.

St Paul's Bay, Rhodes.

Watching documentaries about life beneath the waves on television can be quite edifying and a good source of knowledge. But observing by looking at a TV screen would never hold a candle to actually being in the water itself to observe such living creatures, although to be thoroughly honest, when it comes to the Great White Shark, I rather be looking at it on television than finding myself staring face-to-face with one in the open ocean! Then again, today's newspaper is carrying an article about a young British tourist in his twenties, who was fatally bitten by a sea snake off the northern coast of Australia. This particular species of sea snake has one of the highest venom potentials of all snakes, whether marine or land.

There is always an element of risk when sea bathing, whether it's a swim off the pebbly beach at Brighton or diving or snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. With Brighton, there is always the risk of rip-tides, where a strong current can take a swimmer out to sea, even a strong swimmer. But at the Great Barrier Reef, one would never know what organism may suddenly strike after its territory so rudely intruded. What I have seen, the sharp teeth of a Moray Eel does look as if it can sever a human arm if it snaps shut at a passing diver. Yet, after being warned by close friends of the dangers of encountering wildlife in warm climes or tropical regions, I returned home safely from both hiking through the desert of the Grand Canyon and from snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef and at the Red Sea alike.

And from any threats from the octopus. No doubt, far more interested in finding a stray crab than in the presence of an intruding human, biologists have credited the Octopus with a very high level of intelligence, according to TV documentaries. High intelligence? Maybe if I were to keep an octopus in a tank nearby, perhaps it will sort through these high-tech problems occurring on my laptop! However, I do find these marine creatures fascinating. But high intelligence? What I have seen throughout life, I can't see any higher intelligence in the octopus than within the rest of the animal kingdom. After all, is the spider with its intricate web-building instinct less intelligent than the octopus?

When scientists say that a particular species of octopus have higher intelligence, they tend to refer to its evolutionary progress to inherit the ability to change its skin colour instantly to blend into its surroundings in perfect camouflage. This ability, astonishing as it is in my opinion, looks to be from involuntary instinct rather than by conscious calculation. In other words, the octopus does not consciously change its skin colour to suit the oft-changing sea floor. As the creature moves along, its colour changes without any effort by the organism, as if the original work of an intelligent Designer.

According to my own observations, the octopus, like most other living creatures, has to survive in a fallen world where predation holds dominance. Therefore it's no surprise that the Designer had equipped the octopus with a threefold ability for survival - to prey on other lifeforms for sustenance, to keep itself from being prey to another carnivorous creature, and the ability to reproduce. And so, if camouflage is one method needed for its survival, shouldn't this be a testimony for a Designer rather than by evolution by chance and mere natural selection?

And so the octopus became the centre of attention during the opening episode of the BBC television show, The Apprentice, a twelve-part series about entrepreneur Alan Sugar in his search for a business partner to whom he will invest 250,000 pounds towards the business owned by the winning candidate. Sixteen candidates were chosen from thousands of applicants, as a result of tough tests and interviews, including an assessment of each by a Psychiatrist, before the finalists were selected. Therefore all of them, eight men and eight women, are the cream of business acumen, the very backbone of England. 

Their first task involved a flight to Malta to purchase nine items which reflected the island's culture. One of the items included on the list was "an octopus with a 40-inch hose."

So the whole of the two teams flew out to Malta for the one day. Whilst escorted to the airport, one of the females asked, Where is Malta? Oh dear. Here is a rising professional, upon her the future of our country's economy will be dependent on, not knowing where Malta is? If I had been there with her, I probably would have answered, it's on this planet, dear!

Once landed on the South Mediterranean island, the men did take off their jackets but kept their shirts firmly buttoned and their ties fully done up. But to be fair to them, the filming was most likely done in the Spring, when the average Maltese temperature was about 17 degrees Celsius - not exactly sunburn weather. So appeared a team of what used to be called Yuppies (an acronym for Young Urban Professional). The Yuppie was the creme-de-la-creme of English City society back in the eighties when Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher - the first ever UK's female Prime Minister - was in power, and the sharply dressed Yuppie, with his astonishing wealth made so quickly over weeks rather than years or even months, was sometimes referred to as Thatcher's Children. And so, thirty years on, here they are, trying to get to grips with their new environment.

Lord Sugar included an octopus with a forty-inch hose on their shopping list. All the candidates were stunned by the request. This item was passed over by the women, one of several omissions which cost them the task. But the eight men were determined to include the octopus with their other purchases. Had I been there with them, I would have immediately realised that these eight-legged marine creatures don't have forty-inch hoses. Therefore I would have concluded there and then that the item was to be some man-made device bearing the same name, the conclusion I had right from the start whilst watching the programme.

Lord Sugar was referring to this.

The team had no knowledge of diving between all eight of them. Not one of them had any idea that a piece of diving equipment was referred to. And to be honest and fair, I have no knowledge on specific diving equipment either, even though I went on an actual dive at Rhodes during our honeymoon. There I was fitted with the appropriate equipment, including the octopus, by a supervisor without being told the detail of each piece of equipment.

Therefore, not knowing what an octopus is, and not permitted to Google the term either, I would have thought that having a marine name and a hose to go with it, all I had to do was walk into a shop which either sells fishing tackle or a dealer in diving equipment. It would have been risky, but making a fool of myself due to lack of knowledge - well, there was no other option. Real octopuses don't have 40" hoses! Therefore what would have been the outcome? 

I believe that the dealer in fishing tackle would have explained to me what an octopus is, and then directed me to the dive equipment shop. Or if it was the diving store I first walked into, the assistant would have placed several brands of the breathing device on the counter in front of me. A purchase is then made.

But what did these 'yuppie' friends do instead? Yes, they chose a fishmonger and in there, they spoke with an almost unbearable level of arrogance and ended up with buying a real dead octopus! They even had the "hose" measured, which was less than one inch in length when stretched. No matter. The item must be bagged.

The actual scene from The Apprentice, in Malta.

And the point in all this? Incredibly amusing. And perhaps shocking too. These men are our future business leaders, and post-Brexit Britain will depend on their skills to stabilise the economy. But as a retired window cleaner and most likely considered as not very clever or academic, I do feel that I could have done better, at least with this octopus gadget anyway. Like the time when I was guest at the home of a middle-class family of four, where both sons were due to attend university. After lunch, we were all engaged in a General Knowledge quiz board game. Much to my surprise, I managed to beat them. Then there was another middle-class professional couple with whom I played Scrabble. I have defeated them too, along with others where knowledge is part of the game, although to balance the books, I will admit being defeated several times by an adolescent young enough to be my son in a game of Trivial Pursuit.

Post-Brexit Britain, the creme-de-la-creme of English society, the backbone of Britain, such makes up many a Christian church here in the UK. But as a Christian, I do have very close friends who voted to leave the EU, but I don't allow this to get between us (as you might have already guessed: I voted to remain in the EU). Therefore it can be said that I have friends and Christian brothers among those who voted to leave the European Union as well as those who voted to remain. Yet through the power of Christ within us, we remain close.

It is a case when Christian fellowship should cover over differences of political opinion, and dare to say, I have friends in churches who also believe in Theistic Evolution instead of Divine Creation as described in the Bible. And that, I believe, is what God's desire for all mankind is all about. The friendship between us that is, without compromising on my convictions. First be reconciled to God, having all his sins forgiven, acquitted, regenerated, and being led by the Holy Spirit dwelling within. And all this can only come through faith in Jesus Christ, his death on the Cross, his burial, and his Resurrection.

I suppose The Apprentice is just the opposite, in a sense a representation of Darwinianism. The survival of the fittest, the elimination of the weakest candidate. And each week there will always be the weakest candidate and he or she has to go. I guess, rather than evolution, it represents natural selection. True enough, but neither man or woman actually evolves. There will never be some kind of superhuman working with Lord Sugar. Instead, the entire series is nothing more than the struggle between candidates for survival - in this case, to remain in the process. Even within team co-ordination, disagreements arise which can lead to verbal fights, although I have yet to see an actual physical fight. That would make the whole programme very colourful, would it not?

I think programmes such as The Apprentice is fun to watch. Could there be something within us, a longing desire to see some very proud and arrogant would-be professional facing humiliation in view of the whole nation? The crass stupidity shown especially by the men when they entered en bloc into a fishmonger's and then deliver a lecture about an octopus with a 40" hose, has surely tickled our fancy. Surely, the very puzzlement shown by the fishmonger should have been a clear enough signal that something is not right here. But such blindness and crass stupidity combined with unadulterated pride, self-confidence, and arrogance reveal a hole in each of their hearts which only the Resurrected Christ can fill.