Friday, June 23, 2006

Genome Cracker becomes Christian

The man who cracked the human Genome has become a Christian. See this article! I hope he will eventually go one step further away from Theistic evolution to Biblical creation.

This goes slightly against the article on the BBC site currently regarding 'Scientists urge evolution lessons'. A load of 'eminent' scientists have got together to say how Evolution 'facts' must be taught in school. The article to quote 'It lists key facts on evolution that "scientific evidence has never contradicted"'.

I read the PDF file linked on the site that is the scientific community's statement. I am sorry I didn't read any statement there that is scientific fact, theory yes but not fact. Many scientific theories contradict every one of those supposed facts. What they quote as fact cannot possibly be proved because it cannot be observed. True science is about observable testifiable fact. Yes that means Creation cannot be proved either, but it is just as scientific since it takes the same evidence and applies the same scientific method but comes to different conclusions and theories. It is purely from what world point of view you approach the evidence as that shapes your conclusions regardless of how much you protest you are impartial.

It is perfectly understandable and expected that some scientists will turn to God when they study creation '...since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.' - Romans 1:20

A response to the Scientists publication from Answers in Genesis can be found here!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sexual Abstinence vs Be Careful!

There has been a lot in the media recently about a growing movement in the UK promoting sexual abstinence (don't have sex until married) as opposed to the liberal normal view of it's ok to have sex as long as you use contraception and are careful etc...

The media attention has focused around an issue between a school and pupils over not allowing them to wear a ring signifying their pledge to sexual purity. I am very aware of this since the father of the family involved is the Leader of my church.

It started last year with an article in the West Sussex county Times about the school refusing to allow Phil's daughter to wear the ring in school as it went against the schools dress code. Recently this has gone to national press in the Guardian news paper and on GMTV on Monday 19th June. These article seem to me to actually give a fair representation for once. As opposed to when it was mentioned in a recent Channel 4 dispatches programme by Rod Liddle entitled 'The New Fundamentalists'. This was an appalling piece of journalism but should have been expected given the history of the journalist in question. For a challenge to the claims made in this programme click here.

My church is at the forefront of this movement in the UK and is fully backing what is called the Silver Ring Thing (click on the link to find out more). Now while I am deeply skeptical about these kind of programmes as they can so often be just another bandwagon to jump on, I think this has some important things to say.

I live close to Crawley in West Sussex and Crawley has some of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the UK. Now I am not going to point the finger at any one thing that may be behind the UK's escalating STD, teen pregnancy and abortion rates. I am not that naive as to think it is all caused by one particular issue. However it is clear that something is quite staggeringly wrong with the way things are at present. Why do so many teenagers think it is ok to have underage sex, why are so many ignorant about the choices they have? How in this day and age and so called 'respect' for life is the attitude 'if I get pregnant I can always have an abortion' allowed to be maintained as a respectable if not regrettable choice.

The SRT basically educates teenagers, although not exclusively, that Sexual abstinence is a choice open to them. Standing against what is presented day in and day out in the media and saying that being a virgin before you are married is a perfectly valid choice and all this rubbish about the more partners you have the better love life you will have is exactly that, rubbish!

Now I cannot comment first hand on the material of the SRT and the criticisms against it about not teaching teenagers about contraceptive choices leading to greater risk of pregnancy and STD's if they break the pledge. If all the education they got was that then I would possibly agree but teenagers are bombarded with info about it in school and out so there is no reason to also include it in SRT at this point. On the other hand clearly all the info teenagers do get isn't working to reduce the rates of pregnancy and STD's so it is not such a good argument anyway.

At the end of the day you make your own choice. Abstinence is a valid choice and from a Christian point of view biblical way to live outside marriage. We should be giving our young folks all the support they need to make valid choices. Present them with both sides, educate them about contraception and its pro's and cons and that abstinence is the only 100% way to steer clear of STD's and unwanted pregnancy. Educate young people to GASP! Take responsibility for the choices they make. If you have sex you must expect the possibility of a baby and killing it isn't really the option without consequences that is so often spouted by 'pro-choice' groups. Let common sense prevail and call an end to this wishy washy liberal attitude of no moral absolutes in modern society.

For Christians the Bible is clear that you should only have one sexual partner in life, excluding your marriage partner dying and re-marrying after that and divorce being a big grey area. But on the other hand there is total forgiveness and restoration if/when you fail to keep that pledge or live up to that ideal. No matter what you have done God will forgive you when you turn to him! That is not licence to carry on Sinning (shock he used the S word).

Daily Mail Article re this issue

Thursday, June 15, 2006

(You) Understand


Every time I fall down on my face
I see the one who bore all my shame
To know that you are everything I need you to be
You're my ever present help in time of need

I know you understand it all
So why don't I get back on my feet again
Every Pain I feel inside my heart
It takes a faith I know I can't depart

To know that you hear every cry I raise to you
Bringing thoughts of hope
The words I bring I know are few

I know you understand it all
So why don't I get back on my feet again
You hear me when I call
You're there when I fall
You hear me when I call
I know you understand it all
So why don't I get back on my feet again

Words by Jeremy Camp from the Album Stay (p) 2002 Bec

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Changing Rooms or Changing Lives?

I have recently been doing some DIY type stuff. Mainly tiling in my kitchen at the moment. Boring I hear you say................................. 'boring' - (thank you!) However it is whilst I am doing those kinds of things that God tends to point things out to me and last week He did just that.

We have just had our Kitchen and bathroom replaced, hence the DIY. Whilst I was tiling I realised I was covering over some very ropey walls with nice new tiles. Also you fill holes and then paint over them. The end product looks all new and clean and you look on it with some pride at what you have achieved. You then welcome visitors to see your nice new look!

But it is all skin deep! The paint has covered over filler and cracks, the tiles cover over the dodgy wall underneath. Take it all off and you are still left with grey plaster, old paint etc... This is exactly what we do with our lives. Often DIY can be a way of making surface changes to cover over how we feel underneath as people. We re-arrange our lives quite regularly, new job, new clothes, new look, new car etc... In the church we can be guilty of doing the same thing except we dress it up in spiritual language. What spiritual gifts can I get this week, what new fad can we get involved with this year. I am not saying at all that this is always the case or that individual giftings are always used this way. But the church and church members are not immune by any stretch.

All these things are designed to take our focus away from what is underneath. Often we feel unlovely, unloved, hopeless, unacceptable, dirty etc... underneath the surface of our lives. By doing the above changes it helps us not feel those things. I Corinthians 13 is possibly the greatest description of Love ever put on paper. The first 3 verses describe having everything but without love it is all for nothing. Now what God said to me in that was that those verses do not just mean doing those things described with love as is commonly interpreted. It also means that we must firstly have God's love rooted in our hearts from which we can then do those things in love.

If we focused more attention on learning who we are before God and how much His Love for us has the power to change us inside out we would spend less time focusing on covering over and redecorating the surface of our lives. We would also be in a position to actually look at what is under the surface with the confidence that it won't overwhelm us knowing that God is right there with us holding us in His arms!