Category Archives: Church

A Creation/Evolution Debate

On 26 September, 2015, I posted a link on my Facebook page: 10 Misconceptions About the Theory of Evolution.

The post has generated a long discussion. I am posting redacted parts of  it here now to make it easier to read. I welcome readers to add their thoughts to the discussion.

I apologise for the length of this article!

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October 21, 2015 — Back to the Future Day

When I was still living at home, my parents subscribed to the Reader’s Digest, which I devoured every month. I remember reading an article about a teacher in 1960 who asked his sixth-grade students to write their predictions about what life would be like 25 years in the future. He collected their compositions, placed them into an envelope, and promised not to open it until 1985. A quarter of a century later, he kept his promise. As he looked at the juvenile handwriting, he was also amazed at how eerily accurate some of the predictions were.

In 1985, the first of the Back to the Future movies came out. I went with my sister and a friend and —  inside a packed cinema — we watched Marty McFly travel back to 1955, interfere with his parents’ meeting, fix things up, and travel back to a better 1985.

Four years later, we saw Marty McFly travelling to October 21, 2015 (TODAY!!) and fix his kids’ problems. In Back to the Future II, we saw the movie writers’ predictions about what life in 2015 would be like. Some of the things they predicted are too weird and totally wrong, eg the fashion (Phew!) Some of the things are in the making, eg, flying cars and self-lace shoes, proving that life imitates art. Some of the things are amazingly accurate, even though they looked improbable at the time, eg, video phone calls.

My father once predicted that we would one day be able to have long-distance phone conversations and be able to see the person we are speaking with on screens. I thought such an idea was completely possible — after all, we saw such things on sci-fi movies and TV — but I never thought I would see it in my lifetime. And now, here we are. The smartphones we have today are more powerful than the computers they used to send man to the moon. When I heard this, my mind was blown.

What things are in store for us in the future? What would you like to see happen?

I would love to see a change in education. I predict the schools of the future will be a place where people take more responsibility for their own learning. This is, in fact, happening now. But, I foresee more of it happening.

I would love to see an end to Young-Earth Creationism. This movement that is causing a lot of people to become (or remain) atheists has got to go. I’m predicting a can-no-longer-be-ignored piece of evidence to finally, finally, put this ideology to rest. And then, the rest of us Christians had better be there to help with the fallout.

I would love to see computers get smarter and get better at spellcheck and grammar check. Please.

I would love to see a viable treatment, or better yet, a cure for Neurofibromatosis. The gene responsible for this disorder has been identified. Doctors are working on a treatment. So there is hope.

Dear YEC Friend – #13 A Matter of Interpretation

A continuation of a series of letters I have written to a fictitious young-Earth Creationist friend. While the ‘Friend’ is fictitious, it is based on observations of, and interactions with, people who hold young-Earth ideas.

You can click on the Category Letters to My Young Earth Creationist Friend or go to the Page to find more.

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Dear Friend,

I think the main reason why YECs find the idea of an old earth — and its cousin, evolution — to be illogical is that it is incongruous with their interpretation of the Bible. So committed are they to their particular interpretation of the Bible, that it is difficult for them to see things any other way.

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44

Gosh, wasn’t it just last year I turned 40? I’m sure it is! I’m still doing a double take when I do surveys and have to choose the “40-44 years old” category.

Thanks to Facebook and friends, I found out that Nick Vujicic was going to be speaking at a church today — 4pm and 6pm. Miss Eight’s dance class finished at 3.05pm, so I made the decision to go straight after her class. This meant that we ALL had to go to the dance school and wait, and that we’d get to the church more than half an hour early.

As it turns out, that was a good decision because the carpark was already very rapidly filling up by the time we got there. This is the church I attended when I was a university student more than twenty years ago, but a LOT has changed since then, least of all its name! We finally made it to the main auditorium and managed to find seats for five of us (our oldest had another activity to attend). By 3.40pm, they said that the auditorium was full, and the “Overfill Room” was also full. People could either choose to stand along the walls, or come back for the 6pm service.

Nick Vujicic

Nick Vujicic

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Thoughtful Thursday: Answer This, Creationists!

One of the blogs I enjoy reading is God of Evolution.

His latest post is entitled 10 Theological Questions No Young-Earth Creationist Can Answer.  While I think the word “no” in the title might be slightly off — in his blogpost, he does mention some YECs attempts at some answers — the article is pretty spot-on. Perhaps a more accurate title would be: 10 Theological Questions No Young-Earth Creationists Can Answer Satisfactorily.

If you are not familiar with Tyler Franke’s style of writing, be prepared for some pithy humour which may, or may not, border on snarky depending on your tolerance level.

In summary, here are the questions:

1. What was the point of the tree of life?
2. If human sin is the reason animals die, why can’t they be saved?
3. If physical death is part of the punishment for sin, why do Christians still die?
4. Why was Eve named “mother of life”?
5. How did Adam and Eve know what death was?
6. If the punishment for eating from the tree was that Adam and Eve would physically die … why didn’t they physically die?
7. Can you name any other piece of literature in which the existence of a talking snake and trees with magical powers would suggest to you that it was meant to be taken literally?
8. Why do Genesis 1 and 2 contradict?
9. Why is incest wrong?
10. And finally, if it is so vitally important that Christians take Genesis literally, why did Jesus never once instruct us to take Genesis literally?

Moody Monday: What’s the Deal with the Duggars?

I first heard of the Duggars when they appeared on a television special. There they stood all in a row in age order, smartly and modestly dressed, saying their names one by one for the camera. The youngest one or two at the time were too young to say their names, so one of the parents spoke for them and Michelle ended the lineup by putting an affectionate hand on her belly and said, “…and this is Jackson!”

They looked like such a sweet, adorable, Christian family! And they home schooled!!

What was there not to like?

Quite a bit, as it turns out.

At first I thought they looked so nice. A bit weird in the fashion department, but okay.

Later, I learned that they home schooled with Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute materials. Warning bells. And that they subscribed to Christian Patriarchy and all that entails. Huge warning bells. And then the television show that put them in the limelight. You know the tune.

“They’re a clean, wholesome family,” people said.

“The Duggars are upholding good, conservative, Christian values,” people said.

“I’d rather watch the Duggars than all that other junk that is on TV,” people said.

“The children are modest, well-behaved, role models,” people said.

Let’s talk about that. (Cue the “Good Mythical Morning” music. Or the “Twilight Zone” theme. Take your pick. I recommend the latter.)

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Easter 2015

I’m going to keep this short and sweet because Jeremy wanted to keep it low-key. For about six weeks, he had meetings with our pastor. At first, I took him to the church thinking these meetings were about getting involved with helping out at Kids’ Church. (He mentioned something about telling the pastor that he helps out at Little Athletics and already has a Working With Children card.) After a couple of weeks of taking him, I finally asked, “What are these meetings about?” He replied, “I’m getting baptised.”

The Plan was to have meetings with the pastor and get baptised on Easter Sunday. It all happened quickly and we didn’t have time to plan anything special.

Here is what you missed.

Movie Review: God’s Not Dead

God's not deadThis movie came out almost a year ago. I did not watch it then, and really had no intention of watching it at all. Christian movies, generally speaking, are poorly made and/or are too preachy. There is one film in particular that many have lauded, but I have yet to be Courageous enough to watch.

When my church said that it was going to show God’s Not Dead at the evening service a couple of weeks ago, I wrestled with whether I should go along to watch it or not. I was somewhat disturbed that the pastor would ‘allow’ this. After the morning service, I went up to him and asked him if he had seen it. He said that he had not (!) but that he’s heard good things about it. (For one thing, a fellow parishioner had gone up to the pulpit some time last year to encourage everyone to go see it.) I told the pastor that the movie has had mixed reviews.

“Well, I don’t expect non-Christians to give positive feedback,” he replied.

“Actually, the negative reviews came from Christians.”

*Raises eyebrows.*

So, to go or not to go? On the plus side, it wasn’t going to cost anything money-wise. On the other hand, the movie is nearly two hours long, and that is two hours I would never get back. In the end, the plus side won and, armed with notebook and pen, oldest son and I went.

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Thoughtful Thursday: Answers in Genesis and the New Year

We are one week into the new year already. How’s it going for you?

To ring in the new year, Answers in Genesis bought advertising space in Times Square to air a video.

Was it to wish everyone a Happy New Year? No, guess again.

Was it to tell of God’s gift of His Only Son to save mankind? No, guess again.

Was it to apologise for the redundant of on this billboard?

Nope, your three guesses are up.

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That Other Megan Fox

In case you’ve missed it, a conservative Christian home-schooling mom (CCHSM) named Megan Fox visited a museum and audited it for bias. (Being somewhat culturally illiterate, I didn’t know there was another Megan Fox.) CCHSM Megan Fox posted a 30-minute video of herself going around the museum critiquing the signs and boards.

It is a very long 30 minutes and I watched the whole thing! (I feel I should get a medal or something. Maybe a paracetamol tablet would be better. Or two.)

The description of the video says it all if you don’t/can’t bear to watch the whole thing:

In this episode (“Field Museum”), Megan Fox toured the Chicago Field Museum’s “Evolving Earth” exhibit to audit it for bias. She found many examples of inconsistencies and the Field Museum’s insistence that people support opinion as fact without proof. The Field Museum pushes certain theories as if they are absolute proven law when that is not how the scientific method works. She found enough bias to show that the people who put this exhibit together at the Field Museum pushed an agenda with quasi-religious overtones: the cult of “science” where the “scientists” are more like high priests pushing a religion instead of using the correct scientific method. Aside from having time machines, there is no way these people can be this certain about things they speculate happened millions of years ago before recorded history.

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