The ‘Letters’ page of the Belfast Telegraph has in recent weeks been ‘red hot’ with letters and comments on Biblical topics such as The Ark and The Flood, The parting of the Red Sea and of course the ongoing ‘debate’ of creation v evolution. This latter was in particular fuelled by a request from one of our local politicians, Nelson McCausland, [an Evangelical Christian] that the recently refurbished Ulster Museum should broaden its ‘origins’ section to include Biblical Creationism, a view that is held to by a sizable percentage of the population in Northern Ireland.
However, before coming to that, I want to first reproduce a letter that I had published in the Belfast Telegraph on Friday 14th May in response to an article by a columnist, Eddie McIlwaine, who basically asserted that anyone believing that the stories of The Ark and The Flood and The parting of the Red Sea was ‘loopy’.
In the wake of my letter being published it ‘drew fire’ from a number of ardent atheistic evolutionists who had various derogatory comments posted. [Including ‘replies’ to those individual comments that are also ‘illuminating’]
Beside each comment/reply posted there were ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ symbols to enable people to register either their support or opposition to the comment/reply posted.
At the end of my letter that I am reproducing here you will see [in blue] a link to the relevant section of the Belfast Telegraph web site where my letter was published and if you have not yet given either a ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down [as appropriate]then could I encourage you to do so as I believe this can be a powerful witness for the truth of God’s Word in the midst of a “faithless and perverse generation” [Matthew 17:17].
For a ‘thumbs up’ could I draw attention in particular to a posting on the 2nd page by ‘alertsweden’ who quoted a wonderful verse of scripture Proverbs 15:2 “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly”. Reverently speaking, if ever a verse of scripture merited a ‘thumbs up’ then this could be it.
This was my letter that ‘started the ball rolling’.
Who gave Eddie right to insult biblical figures?
Friday, 14 May 2010
According to Eddie McIlwaine (May 8) the story of the Ark and The Flood was included by God in His Bible “as a symbolic yarn” and is only believed by what he refers to as “fundamental Christians” who also “are a wee bit loopy”. Eddie also dismissed the parting of the Red Sea for the Children of Israel.
So, according to Eddie, the Apostle Peter was “loopy” when he wrote of “the long suffering of God [who] waited in the days of Noah while the Ark was being prepared” (1 Peter 3:20).
The Lord Jesus Christ was “loopy” when He spoke of “the day that Noah entered into the Ark and . . . the flood came and took them all away” (Matthew 24:38-39).
Again according to Eddie, the first Christian martyr, Stephen, was “loopy” when he spoke of Moses as a “deliverer . . . [who] brought them [the Children of Israel] out after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea” (Acts 7:35-36).
Why does Eddie feel he has licence to insult such important Biblical characters and those who likewise take God at His Word?
Take Heed Ministries, Ballynahinch, Co Down
As well as opposition comments to my letter being posted, the Belfast Telegraph also published a letter some 6 days later from a Mr. John Phillips and in it the description of creation-believing Christians ratcheted up from Eddie McIlwaine’s ‘loopy’ to Mr Phillips’ ‘certifiably deranged’.
In the wake of this letter being published I emailed various Christians and asked them to go to the Belfast Telegraph web site and read through the various comments posted. [Including ‘replies’ to those individual comments as they too are ‘illuminating’] I myself posted a number of comments/replies and I was truly humbled to see the very large number of people who gave these their ‘thumbs up’ and who also gave their ‘thumbs down’ to comments posted by the atheistic evolutionists [Steve660 in particular].
This was Mr.Phillips’ letter
Bible readers who ignore logic and reason
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Cecil Andrews asks (Write Back, May 14), ‘Who gave Eddie McIlwaine the right to ridicule and insult biblical figures?’
Well, the answer to that question has to be God himself, by Mr Andrews’ own lights, if he insists that God gave us all free will, so he, Andrews, should have no real cause for complaint.
Mr Andrews seems to be one of those unimaginative individuals who uses the Bible to validate the Bible: if it’s in the Bible it has to be true, because it’s in the Bible.
But, of course, the Bible, ultimately, was written by men – superstitious men – centuries, even millennia, after the events it describes.
The Bible, and in particular the Old Testament, is little more than a collection of legends and colourful fables and some marvellous gripping stories.
Who really believes, in these enlightened times, that Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt when feminine curiosities got the better of her? Or that trumpet-calls demolished the walls of Jericho?
The legend of Noah’s Ark would seem to be a particularly difficult take for biblicists like Cecil Andrews to swallow. The Ark would have had to be larger than the largest supertanker built today to accommodate the many millions of different species.
Logic and reason desert our biblicists like Mr Andrews. Forget evidence. It’s in the Bible after all.
I think Eddie McIlwaine was being quite charitable in describing Christian fundamentalists as “just a wee bit loopy”.
For my money, they are quite certifiably deranged.
The following link will again take you to the appropriate section of the Belfast Telegraph web site where Mr. Phillips’ letter was published and if you have not yet given a ‘thumbs up’ or a ‘thumbs down [as appropriate] then could I encourage you to do so.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, local politician Nelson McCausland stated that he would like to see the Biblical Creation viewpoint being given some place in the Ulster Museum and his proposal received support from Coleraine Congregational Minister, Philip Campbell, as the following letter by him was published in the Belfast Telegraph on 27th May.
Creationism has a place in our museum
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Nelson McCausland is surely right to propose that the creation model of human origins be treated with appropriate respect in the excellently refurbished Ulster Museum.
Contrary to the hysterical reaction of some, the Culture Minister has not suggested that any and every reference to evolution be both banned and binned.
He is simply saying that the public ought to be given the opportunity to consider the strong scientific evidence for the Christian position according to the Bible: that God created the universe and everything in it and that man himself – far from being the product of a long evolutionary process – is a special creation of God, distinct from the animal creation physically, mentally and spiritually.
It is this body of evidence that people – apparently – must not be allowed to see or hear.
And yet it is the Christian position, according to the Bible, that not only points to man’s dignity, it is also honest about human sin and wickedness and about how individuals can be redeemed through the creator’s atoning sacrifice of himself on the cross.
We contend that such a view – thoughtfully held by thousands of Christians in our province – deserves a fair hearing, rather than the censorship with which it is so often treated.
REV PHILIP CAMPBELL
Coleraine, Co Londonderry
Again if you wish to exercise your right of ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ you can do so by going to the following link.
Once again, in the wake of Philip Campbell’s letter, the Belfast Telegraph published several letters on 31st May from atheistic evolutionists and I will now reproduce both of these.
Again if you wish to support [‘thumbs up] or oppose [‘thumbs down’] any of the comments/replies posted, including some by myself, then after each letter the appropriate link to the Belfast Telegraph web site can be found in blue.
Bible talk has no place in our museums
Monday, 31 May 2010
The Rev Philip Campbell (Write Back, May 27) would like the Bible promoted as God’s word in the Ulster Museum.
He says “the Christian position is based on strong scientific evidence”, like God created the universe and everything in it and that we are sinners who can be redeemed through the creator’s atoning sacrifice of himself on the cross – the Christian gospel to be precise.
Mr Campbell should understand that the nature of science, unlike the Bible or the Koran, is not based on a miraculous meteorology.
We need to be honest here. To look outside of nature to explain the universe, and this would include the ‘intelligent design’ movement, is certainly not science. It’s faith – nothing more.
Complexity exists so they “believe”, without any evidence, that God did it. This is church talk and does not belong in a museum.
Dunmurry, Co Antrim
Creationism is an ugly parody of real science
Monday, 31 May 2010
Your report on creationists trying to insinuate their nonsense into the Ulster Museum (News, May 27) is depressing.
Creationism is not science, but a grotesque parody of science, constructed to give a veneer of respectability to rigid and irrational fundamentalist beliefs.
Their arguments have been examined and debunked.
Ironically, David McIlveen had only to look at some of the exhibits in the excellent earth science section of the museum to see how false his beliefs are.
When there a few weeks ago, I noted a specimen of rock salt from Carrickfergus and rocks bearing casts of salt crystals and desiccation cracks – all proof of arid conditions at the time of deposition, not a global flood as the creationists believe.
I wonder if Nelson McCausland or David McIlveen have ever investigated creationist claims.
DR STEPHEN MORETON
In the wake of my email requests for Christians to register ‘thumbs up’ support or ‘thumbs down’ opposition, following the publication of Mr. Phillips’ letter, I received a lovely email of support from Christians on the other side of the world and in it they included some devotional thoughts on Proverbs 3:34 that they thought were very apt and could be shared with fellow Christians.
They are indeed apt and do I believe provide a fitting conclusion to this article.
Cecil Andrews – ‘Take Heed’ Ministries – 4th June 2010
“Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly”.
God is angry and hates scorners. Those who neglect His word, mock His truth, despise His ministers, and worship their own thoughts will be judged harshly (Isaiah 29:20-21). But those who think poorly of themselves and tremble before Him will receive kind blessings.
The judgment of scorners is certain. “Surely” they shall not escape. The Lord will have them in derision. He will laugh and mock, when He brings their worst fears upon them for their arrogant disregard of His offers of wisdom, truth, and life (Proverbs 1:20-31; Psalm 2:1-12).
Scorners resent correction, despise authority, mock truth, and are full of conceit. Our great God will resent, resist, ridicule, and reject them for their pride and arrogance. Others cannot help or protect the scorner, for God will surely judge him or her (Proverbs 9:12).
The lowly have poor and contrite hearts, are humble in thought, confess their errors quickly, and tremble with ready hearts for His instruction. Our merciful God will favour them with His gracious blessings. Though He is high, He has respect to the lowly and resents the proud (Psalm 138:6).
Our proverb is so true it is stated twice in the New Testament (James 4:6; Ist Peter 5:5). God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. So we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that He might exalt us in due time (James 4:10; Ist Peter 5:6).
God gives this grace before and after we humble ourselves; for it is His grace that humbles us, and it is His grace that rewards our humility with further favour (James 4:5-6).
The rule of heaven is simple: God repays in kind. He is merciful to the merciful, upright to the upright, pure to the pure, and froward to the froward (Psalm 18:25-26). He saves afflicted persons, but He brings down the high looks of the proud (Psalm 18:27). He will not be slack to repay those who hate Him to their very face (Deuteronomy 7:9-11). And He will give them the same contrary treatment they have given Him, but with His fury (Leviticus 26:23-28).
God’s ways are equal, though Israel charged Him with being unfair (Ezekiel 18:25-30). A man choosing scorn and iniquity will be judged, but a man choosing humility and righteousness will be saved. The ways of God are equal. Humble yourself, dear reader.
Pharaoh scorned the Lord, but Israel ravished the nation terribly. Korah scorned Moses, but he and his family went to their graves alive! Goliath scorned Israel’s God, but a naked lad stole his head. The Jews scorned our Saviour, but He publicly ridiculed their doctrine, hypocrisy, and persons. Caiaphas and Israel scorned our Lord and His apostles, but He levelled their temple and annihilated their nation. Surely He scorneth the scorners!
When Elymas scorned the gospel, Paul despised him and sent blindness upon him (Acts 13:4-12). When the Jews rejected Paul’s message of the Messiah, he turned to the Gentiles and told the Jews they were unworthy of everlasting life (Acts 13:46-47).
The haughty teachers at Corinth, who resented Paul, publicly heard chapter after chapter of his glorious boasting, which left them all scorned before the church! And Paul in turn told Timothy and Titus to let no man despise, or scorn, them (I Timothy 4:12; Titus 2:15).
If you have tried to teach a scorner and received hatred, shame, and a blot in return (Proverbs 9:7-8), do not worry. There is a God in heaven: and He is higher than they, no matter how high their conceited thoughts. Surely He scorneth the scorners! You will be vindicated!
Dear parent, if you see even a glimpse of scorn or just smell it in the air from a child, it must be eliminated today. This most hateful of all spirits must be corrected, or you will bring upon yourself great pain and bring upon your child the judgment of God. It is the seed of hell in your child, but wise and early use of reproof and the rod can drive it away.
Dear reader, do your hackles ever rise in pride and rebellion at the preaching of God’s word? Do resentful thoughts enter your mind against the message or the messenger? Are you offended by the correction or warning of a friend? Unless you have overwhelming Bible evidence to question their words, you are taking the seat of the scornful.
Do you resent authority? Is it easy for you to criticize or mock government? Do you love giving your opinion on how things should be done in the nation? On the job? In the church? Beware! Surely He scorneth the scorners!
But on the other hand, the glorious God of heaven draws nigh to humble men, who wait quietly with contrite hearts and tremble at His word (Isaiah 57:15; 66:1-2). Consider these precious promises! What a privilege! What a low cost! Humble yourself, dear reader. He giveth grace to the lowly.