Words of Wisdom

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If it sounds like you can shampoo with it then regardless of what the marketers say, it isn't tea.

The Parting Of The Red Sea

John Martin's painting of the plague of hail a...Image via Wikipedia
An article on the BBC brings to mind a situation from a few years ago. I used to lead a house group attached to my local Anglican church. I remember one evening as we were studying the Bible that one gentleman couldn't wait to share some news. He had read in the papers that the miracles or calamities performed by God through Moses and Aaron, the Ten Plagues of Egypt were true! There were reports of scientific evidence of how they could have happened. As a reminder the events were:

  • Plague of blood
  • Plague of frogs
  • Plague of lice
  • Plague of flies
  • Plague of livestock death
  • Plague of boils
  • Plague of hail
  • Plague of locusts
  • Plague of darkness
  • Death of the first-born 
You can read about them in Exodus Chapters 7 to 12.

His understanding of 'true' was to reduce the cause and process to purely natural mechanisms.

Yet despite my friend's excitement the 'scientific' reports were pure conjecture. But there was a more serious point to be addressed. In accepting the 'scientific' conjecture he was dismissing the supernatural aspects of God. The fact that the world wishes to place 'scientific' explanations upon what is commonly considered miraculous or supernatural regardless of evidence is something that we as believers need to be on out guard against. Where scientific proof is available then we can step back and accept that there 'may' have been a rational explanation of the process. But our faith is based on the supernatural - outside of the human logic of nature. The resurrection, the atonement for sins, propitiation, healings, all of these involve a supernatural intrusion in our fleshly understanding of nature. Even if the parting of the Red Sea could be explained by natural means this doesn't mean that a supernatural intrusion wasn't the beginning of the event. Less of a co-incidence and more of a God-incidence so to speak.

As a reminder here is Exodus 14:21-23.

 21And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
 22And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
 23And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
 24And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the LORD looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians,
 25And took off their chariot wheels, that they drave them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD fighteth for them against the Egyptians.
 26And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen.
 27And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the LORD overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
 28And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
 29But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
 30Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. (Exodus 14:21-30, King James Version)

May the Lord keep us in faith.

All God's Creatures

Not all of them are beautiful.

I noticed a caterpillar that had rested below the lock on my back gate had made a cocoon around itself. That'll be interesting I thought, to see the process of a butterfly appearing.

Unfortunately nature had other ideas. Some beastie has laid eggs on the cocoon and parked itself next to it. Anyone any ideas on what it may be?

Nostalgia in B&W

Rummaging through YouTube I came across these two theme tunes from programmes that I remember from my childhood. They both create within me a very peculiar feeling, a mixture of melancholy and warmth. Odd.

First off is the title tune to The Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe.

Next up we have the opening theme to White Horses.

If you remember them then enjoy!

A Still Small Voice

All estimates but shouldn't be too far off.

Population of the UK - 61,000,000

Membership of the National Secular Society - 9,000 ( 0.01% of the population )

Membership of the British Humanist Association - 7,000 ( 0.01% of the population )

Number of Catholics in the UK - 4,200,000 ( 6.8% of the population )

It's a shame that the media doesn't give column inches and airspace in proportion to the numbers of those professing 'secularism' rather than in proportion to the egos of some of their spokespeople? Some people can't stand to see the Catholics celebrating with the Pope visiting and really need to take a measure of their own significance.

Someone's not telling the Queen

A snippet below from her Maj's welcome speech to the Pope yesterday:

"Your Holiness, your presence here today reminds us of our common Christian heritage, and of the Christian contribution to the encouragement of world peace, and to the economic and social development of the less prosperous countries of the world. We are all aware of the special contribution of the Roman Catholic Church particularly in its ministry to the poorest and most deprived members of society, its care for the homeless and for the education provided by its extensive network of schools."

Someone's obviously forgot to tell her of her own Government's success in legislating Catholic adoption agencies out of existence and the attack that Catholic, and other faith schools are suffering under.

Just When I'm Warming To Catholicism II

...along comes an article to derail me.

Tony Blair could accompany the Pope

Not only has the article reminded me that Blair was welcomed into the Catholic church despite his unrepentant attitude over the illegal war and hundreds of thousands of deaths in Iraq and his appalling contradictory record on all matters pertaining to Catholic social teaching, now they're planning to have 'straight guy' Tone accompany the Holy Father on his trip to England!

Who's running the show, who's planning the itinerary? They should sub it out to the National Secular Society or suchlike as you can guarantee they wouldn't do such an appalling job.

Do the English Catholics really despise Pope Benedict that much?

Burn A Koran Day

A few years ago 19 men hijacked a number of aircraft in US airspace and deliberately crashed them into a number of targets. There must have been a number of people working behind the scenes to enable this dreadful event. Maybe 50 people in total? From that dreadful day we have seen a wave of hatred for Islam fuelled by a desire for revenge coupled with ignorance about what Islam actually is. How many have died, have suffered because of the response of the 'West' to the events on September the 11th?

On September the 11th this year pastor Terry Jones from the Dove World Outreach Centre plans for his church to hold a 'Burn A Koran Day' to send a message to 'the radical element of Islam'. His church has about 50 people in their congregation. How much hatred and desire for revenge will be ignited by his event as the message is picked up by Muslims throughout the world who will not distinguish between the views of this pastor and the 'Christian West'?

In the book of Matthew Jesus clearly calls us to be peacemakers.
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 
His call is to be peacemakers. Not peacekeepers. Not warmongerers. Not vengeful.

Jesus doesn't call us to be stupid either. Obviously the message isn't getting through.

It Was Gravity That Done It

It seems to me that those who loudly proclaim "There is no God!" seem to spend an awful lot of time talking about the deity they don't believe in. And oft ignorantly so.

Stephen Hawking seems to be sticking to type by claiming that God wasn't necessary to create the universe. He says so in his new book "The Grand Design". 'New book'? Perhaps this gives us a clue.

This book seems to contain a few cases that would stretch the laws of logic a tadge far. We have:

'Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.'
'Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.
Sigh. This makes the arguments of the 'Chicken Watcher General' look reasoned.