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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sydney Episcopalian Diocese Exposed

When Episcopalian Archbishop of Sydney, Peter Jensen and adherents propose evolution as the means by which God created what are they saying?

In spite of what complimentary biblical accounts Gen 1, Ex 20:11 and Ex 31:17 record of the creation of the world, these latter day interpreters propose some creative means far and away in contradistinction. Indeed, to propose as they do they must force the texts to say something that the texts clearly do not say. So what is it that Archbishop Jensen and others are saying?

How do we interpret the actions of those who promote themselves to the world as being guardians of evangelicalism and rigorous defenders of the integrity of Scripture? What are we to make of those who on issues such as ordination of women, marriage, adultery, homosexuality, leadership of the Church, stand against the world in applying a straightforward reading of Scripture yet force Scripture on the issue of origins so as to accommodate the world's view?

There is only one conclusion to be drawn but a little background is helpful in the first instance.

Evangelicals through the generations have at least one thing in common. They will not consciously trifle with God. They are respecters of God, even fearers of God. When God speaks they listen. Consider your uneasiness when reading of Moses inciting the anger of God by baulking at God's request to lead Israel in contest with Pharaoh (Ex 4:13-14) or Job's encounter with angered God (Job 38:1-3 and 40:1-2). From where I sit the Sydney Episcopalian Diocese appears to hold the same fear of God and, on issues I've mentioned already regarding Church order, they have acted with reverence.

So what is going on with the issue of origins? Our Lord Jesus Christ alludes to what is going on when he says "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master." (Matt 10:24-25) Well then, we need only look to the teacher and master of Archbishop Jensen and adherents on origins - Charles Darwin.

On 24 November 1880 Charles Darwin wrote to Frederick McDermott and said "I am sorry to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation, & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the son of God." Charles Darwin's erroneous perception of the order of life took him from being a candidate for 'Cure of Souls' to rejecting Scripture as divine revelation. This then exposes the position of Archbishop Jensen and adherents. They do not regard Gen 1, Ex 20:11 and Ex 31:17 as being divine revelation. They cannot, otherwise they would respond with reverence and acceptance of what God is saying. Instead their reverence and acceptance is toward Charles Darwin inasmuch as they honour his mechanism albeit with God superimposed over the mechanism.

What else are we to conclude but that Archbishop Jensen and adherents accept some Scripture as divine revelation but not all Scripture. Those passages of Scripture which, by straightforward reading, present God, through Jesus Christ, creating the heavens, the earth, the sea and all that is in them in six days (as we experience days) only thousands of years ago are not, according to Archbishop Jensen and adherents, divine revelation. In all all honesty, they wouldn't tamper with it if it were, in their mind, divine revelation would they?

This is a sad revelation which, unless sufficiently corrected by Archbishop Jensen and adherents, must stand.

I invite Archbishop Jensen to correct my perception of the situation if I am in error or repent of this heresy.

37 comments:

John said...

Sam,

Don't hold your breath waiting for an invite from Peter or his club. These men, by their continued arrogance and slander, demonstrate that they consider themselves beyond reproach - they can do no wrong and cannot be instructed by others. They are like the hypocrites that Jesus spoke about.

One of their perennial banalities is that it doesn't matter how God created as long as we know he did. This itself is testimony to their self-delusion. Who told them this? Does the Bible state this? Did Paul say otherwise? Did Moses?

In fact, they invented this stupidity themselves because the Bible is clear: How God created is important - that's why it goes into extraordinary detail about this event. Of course, those who have ears will hear, those with eyes will see.

neil moore said...

Sam, thanks for your helpful observation. I know some of these people. They will staunchly avow that the Bible is the inspired Word of God yet in some sleepy manner they must drift into denying it when it come to the creation account.

How long before the denial of Jesus Christ as the "son of God" as occurred with Darwin? Perhaps not these men but likely those who follow them.

Neil

Gordon Cheng said...

Hey guys,

lots of comments from 'John' on my blog recently, all deleted by me without explanation of course.

But look, if you want to chat, start something on this blog that I'm interested in and I'll see you in the comments section. (Not in this comment bit right now though. I'm a bit lazy. Your post headline has to appeal, or forget it.)

If it gets nasty, however, I'm gone. Even the faintest hint of an insult, and vawooshka, I disappear like a creationist before a missing link. I'm a sensitive soul, and it is annoying dealing with idiots, as you know, so one of us will have to go. And that will be me. So over to youse.

Ktisophilos said...

John: "One of their perennial banalities is that it doesn't matter how God created as long as we know he did."

I.e., it doesn't really matter what God said he did.

Cheng: "it is annoying dealing with idiots"

So why do you hang out with Sydney Anglicans? :P

Martin Luther summed up the problem with the SADs as pointed out by this thread:

‘If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved and to be steady on all the battle front besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.’

John said...

Gordon imperially speaks: "Lots of comments from 'John' on my blog recently, all deleted by me without explanation of course."

That's right, Gordon, imply there was some sort of nastiness from me. Of course, between me, you and, of course, God, we know what I said. As you won't recall, I suggested that you were being slightly parsimonious with the meaning and truth behind Pslam 19. You managed to leave out whole stanzas, somehow. I then reminded you of the disjunct between your insistence that, God, through evolution, "created" a koala pouch the wrong way around, and, our origins manual, the Bible, which says God didn't get the koala pouch wrong, and that in fact, Gordon Cheng is wrong. You deleted this comment because, well, maybe you were having a bad hair day. I then asked you if you considered removing slightly critical comments a sin i.e. vanity, and that C.S. Lewis said this was the one sin that created all the other sins. You then removed this.

Well, Gordon, as I said, between me, you, and God, we know who's committing sin here.

2. Gordon, again in a display of vanity, asks: "But look, if you want to chat, start something on this blog that I'm interested in and I'll see you in the comments section."

Gordon, we just can't lower our standards here because you believe we should. Even a brief look at your blog reads like an endless journey into a world of game shows and soapies. You've had plenty of opportunities to engage us but you prefer to make smart-alec comments that never address the argument...and then run.

You are welcome to address at length anytime our argument that, with respect to origins, the SAD has gone off the rails. I know logic isn't one of your more well-used attributes, but look, Gordon, it's easy as AB: either you guys are right and you can believe absolutely anything about God (even the atheist belief!) or we are and that the Bible clearly states how God created the way he did. As KT's quote makes clear, our case is that you guys are pawns for someone far more clever than you.

Peter said...

Here is a suggestion for a discussion topic:
Richard Dawkins and Anglican Bishop Harries talking about Darwin.

To watch/listen/download go to richarddawkins.net click "Conversation between Richard Dawkins and Bishop Harries" on the right hand side. Or just Google it.

Here is a direct link

John said...

Peter,

I hope you respond to this but I am a cynic at heart.

I cannot understand why you would think this an interesting incident. From the comments I see the bishop is a liberal and neither understands the Bible nor what is at stake. Plenty of others who take their theology and science more seriously have already crushed Dawkins where it really hurts.

Our argument is not really against Dawkins - even Dawkins understands that to be a Christian and an evolutionist is thoroughly irrational - it's with people like Cheng, the Jensen clan, Forsyth etc etc, who have perverted the Gospel and presented to the Diocese a totally false image of the Creator, Jesus.

Being mistaken is one thing and not a sin, but these men have no excuse because they have hardened their intellect against reason.

Peter said...

John,

I thought people on this blog want to talk about Darwin, Dawkins and what Anglican bishops talk about evolution and Genesis. Maybe you could also find common ground with Gordon...

John said...

Peter,

We've waved the olive branch to Gordon and others a 1000 times before. All we get back is intellectual dishonesty, evasiveness, silence and, worst of all, smarmy sarcasm. They neither take the Bible nor science seriously. They are intent (and apparently content with) on filling the minds of young people with the worst ideas about God and his creation.

Would you do me a favour and tell me if the bishop said anything new about Christianity and evolution. Would save me some time going through a debate that I believe isn't going to reveal anything I didn't know.

If your interested, though it may be hard to find, Dawkins debated A.E. Wilder-Smith many years ago at Oxford University. The politics behind the debate are actually more interesting than the debate itself.

Smith, btw, had earned a triple PhD in biochemistry, which kind of makes Dawkins appear as an undergraduate.

sam drucker said...

Gordon said: I disappear like a creationist before a missing link.

Creationists won't be disappearing then because there are no missing links!

neil moore said...

Aaw Gordon, here you are and I've been calling out to you on another thread. Silly me.

Be careful about censoring out John's comments on you blog. Remember the Papist King James 11 tried to censor Protestant affirmations of the Word of God and look what happened to him.

Look, I have a subject that will warm the 'cockles of your heart' - Connect 09.

How do you feel about it? What are you proposing to do or, more appropriately, what have you already done? It's a big issue for the Diocese, everyone's talking about it - well almost everyone. So how's it going?

Neil

Warwick said...

Peter, you are the chap who wrote:

'Today's competition is how many fallacies you can find in Warwick comments. Bonus points from the issues I have already addressed, but Warwick has ignored. Who ever identifies the most gets fame, fortune and "The God Delusion" ebook.'

I anwered your claims but we heard no more. We are still waiting to have the 'fallacies' explained, ever hopefull that you are not just a bag of anti-Christian wind.

If you do so maybe you could give the book to yourself?

I look forward to your complete and revealing reply.

Peter said...

John,

The bishop said that that Genesis is ~symbolic, Bible has myths and even stated that "A literalistic view of the Bible totally missunderstands what the Bible is about". He did not state all his views clearly but I got the feeling he believes in evolution. If you listen to it just check between 6 min - 20 min, the rest is less interesting.

The language used on this blog does not sound like an olive branch, there are just too many name callings here. Maybe toning it down with Gordon could help your case.


Warrick,

Sorry about not answering it. I'll comment it to that thread.

John said...

Thanks Peter.

I am in an area where video connection may be problematic.

As per Gordon et al, look, Peter, we tried and tried with these guys. The history goes back way beyond this blog. I just can't take them seriously so I take the mickey so as to, in hope, shake them from their slumber. Christ, even Paul (see section in his letter to the Roman's where it's specifically addressed to Jews) often used this tactic to rile someone in order to revivify them.

John said...

Peter,

Just as I thought: it would take a day for me to download it.

Going by what you said, the bishop handed the debate to the professor by watering down the obvious, plain reading of the Bible's first page. Dawkins hates men like that. In an interview with Phillip Adams 15 or so years ago, Dawkins called such men dishonest because he couldn't see how one can un-Procrusteanly twist the Bible's first page like that to fit evolutionary theory. Dawkins also said that he believed the men[sic] who wrote Genesis truly believed it in a literal sense. This is of course the exact opposite of what the this bishop and Sydney's Anglican archbishop believe. Notwithstanding his militant atheism, Dawkins is not all wrong all the time.

neil moore said...

Sending Bishop Harries out to battle is like sending Chicken Little instead of David against Goliath.

Neil

neil moore said...

John said: "Dawkins called such men dishonest because he couldn't see how one can un-Procrusteanly twist the Bible's first page like that to fit evolutionary theory. Dawkins also said that he believed the men[sic] who wrote Genesis truly believed it in a literal sense."

At least Dawkins was correct on those two matters.

Neil

neil moore said...

Umm, Gordon, I presume you are happy to talk about Connect 09?

Neil

John said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

Neil,

Gordon has got way too much happening on his plate now. He's off to further miss the point and be the LEADER of a bunch of kids on Cumberland Campus. He's such a sensitive soul, our Gordon is. Why, you'd never hear a peep from those lads and lassies at Cumberland. There he feels quite safe from genuine challenges to his worldview, not that he readily tells us what that is. But we do get some idea from his sarcastic barbs.

And of course, Gordon isn't going to be concerned over how universities water down, weaken and then demolish your faith because they teach kiddies how true evolution is and how we can understand our origins by a materialistic philosophy.

No, he wouldn't listen to people who actually studied at university because, well, they're creationists (despite being his brothers in Christ) and they believe in really silly ideas like, God is not a God of chance or luck but Wisdom who uses know-how to design and that the evidence for this is the short amount of time God took to create everything. No, too hard for Gordon to sit for a few minutes and actually use his God-given intellect to think through the problem and possibly read the Bible how it's supposed to be.

No, ol' Flash here wouldn't give two hoots because he'll teach them how you can have your cake and eat it too. I mean, he'll have them reciting after him at every opportunity and then telling their bemused lecturers how science teaches the how and the Bible teaches the why, that Genesis 1 isn't a science manual so it can be ignored for such unimportant matters as 'how long', 'who', 'how' etc. And naturally he ignores our reply that primarily Genesis 1, like the rest of the book, is a history manual.

Yep, Flash here is an ordained SAD minister so he really knows his Bible and can really impress interested folk with his depth of knowledge. Of course, Flash never wants to discuss the matter, just in case he's found to not know as much as he thinks. Ol' Flash might look good in front of a bunch of undergraduate kids but with men...well, he's yet to drink his first beer.

Poor ol' Flash. back with the lads and lassies on campus where he feels comfortable.

neil moore said...

Gordon, is that true?

Neil

neil moore said...

Now that is disturbing. The Archbishop has really been trying to encourage the Diocese to embrace Connect 09 but it is a topic Gordon would prefer to avoid.

It doesn't bode well for success does it?

Neil

John said...

Neil,

Gordon was disconnected even before Disconnect 09.

John said...

Peter,

Here's an interesting feedback Q&A for you:

http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/6383/

neil moore said...

It's extraordinary. The Archbishop is really encouraging the Diocese to promote Connect 09 but Gordon can't even bring himself to talk about it.

Why would he have such misgivings about it? What does he see its failings are? They must be huge if he can't bear to talk about the subject at all. I mean, I guess I can imagine him not wanting to talk about the death of his cat but Connect 09? I'm in a state of confusion.

Neil

John said...

Neil,

Please refer to its proper title i.e. Disconnect 09. Thank you.

neil moore said...

Gordon, save me!

Neil

neil moore said...

Well John, it may well be Disconnect 09 because Gordon Cheng has certainly disconnected from the topic.

I wonder if others in the Diocese are aware of Gordon's lack of enthusiasm for the Archbishop's strategy. Few of them would log on to this blogspot so they wouldn't know just what is going on with Gordon but if Gordon is just a sample of a greater disconnect throughout the Diocese.

If this all plays out as it appears then the year 2009 may be a great embarrassment to the Diocese. It may lead to retirement for Archbishop Jensen. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how Southern Cross magazine will try to report on the result of Connect 09 (or as John puts it Disconnect 09)? Will it be doom & gloom or putting a positive spin on it such as the "value derived in highlighting to congegations the need for evangelism" (even if many didn't take up the challenge).

Neil

John said...

Look, Neil, first they'll have to create a committee to discuss how they'll discuss the [poor] showing of Disconnect. Of course, before this can be arranged they'll see that it's valuable to have parish committees to see how they can formulate papers to submit to the diocesan committee which, eventually, after other nameless committees have spoken, they'll submit it to Peter...and he'll knock it all on the head.

neil moore said...

Yes, I suppose there will be a motion on the business paper for Synod recommending a review of Connect 09 and all that took place, what was achieved and how the Diocese might learn for future parish based outreach.

Neil

John said...

Meanwhile, most sensible atheists are now onto their third schooner.

neil moore said...

Well Gordon, it has been fun dialoguing with you and, as usual, you are font of helpful information.

I must draw our conversation to a close.

Neil

Warwick said...

Yeah Gordon always has something illuminating to say. I particularly appreciated his insightful comments regarding dinosaurs on the ark.

neil moore said...

Remind me please Warwick.

Neil

Warwick said...

I was joking. I am sure he thinks we are the dinosaurs.

Ktisophilos said...

Peter's link to the Dawkins–Harries debate proves the point of this blog, but the SAHs like Cheng don't get it:

‘Oh but of course the story of Adam and Eve was only ever symbolic, wasn’t it? Symbolic?! Jesus had himself tortured and executed for a symbolic sin by a non-existent individual. Nobody not brought up in the faith could reach any verdict other than barking mad!’

Harries is a pathetic liberal churchian politician who also told Dawkins that he rejects the virginal conception of Christ, admitted that the OT and NT teaching was clearly that homosexual behaviour is wrong, but then went on to argue that we needed to reinterpret these texts based on modern scientific findings of ‘a significant percentage of people are predominantly attracted to members of their own sex.’ etc.

Dawk had no time for this. Responding to the camera, he said:

‘The moderates’ [liberals’] position seems to me to be fence-sitting. They half-believe in the Bible but how do they decide which parts to believe literally and which parts are just allegorical?’

Presumably here he means, ‘which parts of the Bible’s historical narrative are to be taken as historical narrative and which parts are to be explained away as allegorical’. Then he gets it right:

‘It seems to me an odd proposition that we should adhere to some parts of the Bible story but not to others. After all, when it comes to important moral questions, by what standards do we cherry-pick the Bible? Why bother with the Bible at all if we have the ability to pick and choose from it, what is right and what is wrong?’

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