Every Saturday morning I can be seen sitting at a corner table at Starbucks. Corner table because that's the one next to a large, double-glazed window, therefore maximising the illumination. And that can be quite helpful when considering that spread out in front of me is the latest edition of the Daily Mail national newspaper. Not that I am able to get to that particular table all the time. From time to time I'm beaten by a regular elderly gentleman with a laptop. Perhaps whenever he beats me to it or not depends on whether he has remembered to set his alarm clock the night before. Who knows? After all, I usually arrive at or just before nine o'clock, when the queuing up for the counter service is at its minimal.
But this morning, not only that the table was vacant, but the whole restaurant was just about deserted. Therefore I was served at the point of entry, a very unusual feat! But it was afterwards when families began to queue up at the counter that the environment began to bustle with life. And that includes very young children, including a newborn directly in front of me. And I could not help but feel for this baby girl, the way she was dressed, or at least, her headwear. For her white woollen cap was decorated with two rather large fluffy pom-poms, giving the poor child a ridiculous appearance of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse. Oh dear. The choices some parents make!
Then another family sat just two tables from where I was sitting. Dark skinned, this baby boy in a pram, I estimate to be up to a year old, kept on looking at me as I turned and smiled, bringing laughter to both of his parents. By then the restaurant became rather crowded, with the queue snaking into the Sainsburys superstore, to which Starbucks is annexed.
But rather than continually reading the paper, I looked upon these children. And this led me to reason within myself: Why do I believe the way I do? And why do I push my opinions at an intensity which one can consider as forceful? My anti-Darwin views and emphasis in Creation, for example?
Perhaps I need to go back to the Gospel. When Adam and Eve disobeyed a simple commandment God has given to them in the garden, their sin meant that I was born with a serious problem. Just as on that day they both died spiritually, followed by a physical death, so I too, was born with this inherited sin, already dead spiritually, and I still am destined for the grave. But in his love for us, God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, also known as the Second Adam, to suffer a horrible death on the cross to atone for my transgressions, he was buried, and on the third day, he rose physically from the dead. His Resurrection proved not only that He is the Son of God, but able to give eternal life to all who believe.
When I first believed, I was not only forgiven but was actually acquitted, or justified, and the righteousness of Christ was imputed or credited, to my account. Therefore, God the righteous Judge not only sees me as one merely forgiven but also sees me in the way he sees his only Son, Jesus Christ - absolutely righteous and fit for Heaven! That is the truth - I am now a son of God. But because while I'm still at this side of the grave and therefore remaining subject to sin, as a son I'm also a recipient of God's discipline, as forewarned in the 12th chapter of Hebrews.
Oh, the wonders of Salvation! After God foreknew, he predestined, then called me to conform to his Son, to receive glory at some future date, known only by God himself. Furthermore, because of the dreadful suffering Jesus had to go through whilst on the cross, I am a gift, or reward from the Father to the Son, as specified in John chapter 17. Therefore, because I don't believe that the omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent God is capable of erring, I can be assured that once saved, I will always be saved. Eternal Security is one of the bulwarks to withstand any of life's trials.
All this is due to the fact that, unlike the first Adam, the second Adam spent more than thirty years on this planet as a man - without committing a single sin. Therefore, if the Son of God went through life without a single sin committed, and God sees me as he sees his Son, then it stands to reason that he sees me as without sin either. Very hard to believe? Indeed, especially when I look upon day-to-day life, riddled with imperfection. Such as not showing enough love or charity to those who may be in need of it, or to do good things but with the wrong motives. Or to get my own way to the cost of another person. Waiting in the queue for what seems to be such an unnecessarily long time has tested my patience many times before now. Maybe I can thank God that I don't drive a car or any other motorised vehicle. What I have seen, the driver's seat can be a hotbed for foul tempers!
Yes, of course, God wants me to live a holy life on a day-to-day basis. How I live as a Christian believer is very important to God. It is the only way that he can be glorified. And the glory of God is other people repenting, changing their minds, and turning to Christ for salvation. Jesus instructed to let our light shine before men, so that they may see what we do and glorify the Father (Matthew 5:16). As Paul later wrote, we are to shine like stars in heaven for the benefit of other men (Philippians 2:12-16). By living to please God, unbelievers are more likely to take note and change their minds about Jesus Christ.
However, the fact stands that I am a son of God, adopted into his family. What a wonderful state to be in. But for this to be real, a belief in six literal days of Creation, along with the reality of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as history is absolutely essential to my faith in Jesus. The accepting as history our first parents, their supernatural creation from the soil of the ground, their disobedience and Fall, the Flood of Noah some 1,656 years after Creation, are all as important and historic as the call of Abraham, the nation of Israel, and King David, who was the ancestor of Jesus Christ himself.
There was a time that I was a devout evolutionist. I certainly was one during my teenage years. Then at age twenty, it was as if God himself was standing in front of me during one stormy night at my parent's house. He gave me a choice. Keeping my belief in evolution? Or change my mind and accept his revelation of his divine Creation? After reading the first three chapters of Genesis for the first time ever, I knew whose side I was on.
Creationism has ever since been the bedrock on which my faith in Christ rested upon. Creationism is a rock, evolution is sand. And it is a crying shame that all unbelievers had built their faith on the sand, and not only unbelievers but Christian graduates had also based their faith on the sand, that is to say, Theistic Evolution, the "halfway house" with which God gave me no option for me to indulge in. It was one or the other. There was no third way.
|A bedrock of my faith - Grand Canyon Hike, taken 1995|
Therefore going back to Starbucks. As I sat at that corner table, watching young children with their parents, I was thinking on what will they learn as they grow up. Too bad, evolution will be presented to them as a scientific fact. If Creationism is mentioned in the classroom, then it will be relegated as one of many mythologies that makes up classic literature. But it would not be taught as historic.
This would have dire repercussions. Because, when I see children, I don't ponder on their potential level of education. Nor do I wonder which career they will want to pursue. Instead, I ponder on whether they will know Jesus Christ personally and spend eternity in God's Kingdom. I don't want to think of the alternative - a lost eternity. But that is what Darwin's theory does. It puts a wedge between the person and knowing God. Evolution does lead to atheism. It would not bring such a person to Christ. Unless, as it was the case with me, the light of God's grace had pierced the veil, and illuminated my heart enough for the need to repudiate evolution.
My late father was an evolutionist, and he was also a self-confessed agnostic. After rebuking me to come to my senses (ie to return to Darwinism) and failed, I think he had a sense of embarrassment while he was with his friends. There were times when I prayed for this nominal Catholic, but with no avail. The day I attended his funeral was a day without much hope and a temporal loss of a belief in the power of prayer. Now my mother, who is approaching ninety, has severe dementia and in need of daily care. After spending years in prayer and "attempting to convert her" I watched as she remained steadfastly loyal to her Catholic religion, after making a promise to her mother in Italy never to change religion, immediately before emigrating to London around 1950.
Sure enough, during her later years, and especially during her earlier widowhood, she always made an effort to pray each night before lights out. But her prayers has always been ritualistic: set prayers such as Our Father (Padre Nostro) and Hail Mary (Ave Maria) - as she always prayed in Italian. Her prayers have always been within the Catholic tradition - that is, with a hope that such efforts will cleanse her soul from sin - when the reality is that prayer should be the result of an already acquitted soul. As such, I have to conclude that only God knows her spiritual state, and who knows, I may even be in for a pleasant surprise when it's my time. However, Mum was not committed to evolution in the same way Dad was, but as I believe, she still leaned in favour of it.
Although I have been a Creationist since 1973, and I have studied historical geology, evolution itself and its effects on history after my conversion, the big move did not arrive until 2016, when Dan, my financial advisor and longstanding Creationist friend, hinted that I should attend the initial Creation Ministries International Conference, held in London. After booking a place for both Alex and myself, together with the hotel reservation, I contacted another good friend of mine, Dr Andrew Milnthorpe, and told him about the conference and its date, covering two days. He too made reservations for both conference and hotel alike, and off we set, the three of us, to the conference.
Although the initial conference was a blessing to attend, where my eyes were opened on several issues, it was at the second conference two years later where I found myself really shaken and stirred. Held at the same venue - Emmanual Centre near the Houses of Parliament - it was the opening discourse delivered which had a soul-shaking impact on my life. As with the first meeting, again it was Dr Andrew Milnthorpe, Alex my wife and I who attended, this time requiring two nights at the hotel, as the first day began as early as nine in the morning.
|Creation Ministries International Conference, London, 2018.|
I could have easily gone home soon after the opening talk. I was shaken and stirred by that sermon alone. What was it about? Simply this: The theory of evolution has destroyed the authority of Holy Scripture. And when the Bible is no longer taken seriously, then the people perish. It is an awful thought, a dreadful reality. That's why the sight of young children hits me. It hurts. I suppose I do feel for those around me who do not know the love of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet there are academics or simply better-educated people who have won the hearts of both believers and unbelievers alike. That is, of course, a believer such as myself who has an admiration for both David Attenborough and Brian Cox, both evolutionists yet both a good source of genuine scientific knowledge. After all, it was through Brian Cox from where I got a better understanding of the science of entropy.
Without a doubt, David Attenborough is admired by just about everyone who had ever watched his programmes, which is mainly about natural history. He has been known to come up with statements which humbleness had made them unforgettable. During one of his undersea filmings and describing a shark or other marine organism which has come dangerously close to the cameraman, Attenborough quipped, It's not that the sharks have invaded our territory, rather it's us humans who have invaded theirs. Of all BBC natural history presentations, none had ever eclipsed this particular classic. But his constant use of the words, Evolved, Evolution, Evolutionary have always caused a slight cringe within us as we listen. If only Attenborough listens to what God is saying and acknowledges Divine Creation. But instead, he prefers Darwin's worldview, and so to speak, allows himself to go with the current.
And that's a shame. Because as I have already demonstrated here, in addition to the testimony of supernatural Creation, God's salvation and regeneration of the spirit is within easy reach of every one of us, including both David Attenborough and Brian Cox. It is the mercy of God made available to every one of us. It is so wonderful. And God is patient, not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:8-10) and that God commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30).
Salvation is open to everyone. Anyone can come to Christ and be saved. What a shame, though, that too much respectability is given to the academic instead of to the Bible. And that is the cause of the sorrow which drives my opinions even, at times, to the point of literacy aggression.