As requested by the Australian Conference, the AACE – a consultative Australian body – has commenced a process of considering the Bible’s teaching on creation. There are people of balance and goodwill on the committee. However the majority of the committee are decidedly literalist. A sub-committee will examine the issues. A sub-committee including zero Evolutionary Creationists. It does contain high profile anti EC individuals and some decent individuals, but ones whose opinions are literalist approved only. Anyone can have input but only anti-ECs can have a voice.
The project scope excludes any science. Ie no accountability to God’s reality for any conclusions. If we read the Bible to say the earth is flat, then it is flat. Simple, accessible and obvious evidence for ongoing ancient life (human and animal) is conveniently off limits. We can use archaeology as evidence in Bible lectures, but not to check what we think the Bible is teaching. Illogical. However this is a core demand of literalists on such “investigations”. Ignore inconvenient truths which might serve as a check on our exposition.
Optimism is somewhat hard to maintain. The AACE tried to establish a fair process, but the literalists succeeded in squashing the inclusion of any evolutionary creationists. Without a voice on the sub-committee, there is no pressure to address issues in an even handed way. The sub-committee proceedings are a closed book. The results of the handpicked review group will be delivered to the literalist controlled AACE. This body will then deliver a report. Barring a miracle, the result is a foregone conclusion and an opportunity to engage and learn has been effectively neutered.
A few times various ECs have been asked and encouraged to leave the community. That in the main ECs chose not to leave exasperates some zealous literalists. So why stay? The sentiment of Schurz’s famous line is appropriate ““My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” Further we could explain further while quoting from Fred Barling. He had a somewhat different relationship with the community post the Ralph Lovelock controversy, but still had this to say “I found Christ through the Christadelphian community“. Well said Fred.
Why continue to run this blog? It has connected us with new friends but it has also garnered plenty of rebuke and opprobrium from platforms and magazines around the community. Our purpose in starting this blog was twofold. Firstly to provide a place to engage politely on the questions of creation and secondly to demonstrate an acceptance of basic science doesn’t mean an end of faith. Aggression and a dogmatic refusal of reality doesn’t honour God’s word, it damages his children – especially the young. Continue reading
This sermon with its assertive title was given in 1922 – three years before the Scopes trial – as relevant now as ever. It speaks to the dangers of intolerance and closing the mind to reality. The sermon was republished by John D. Rockefeller at his own expense and distributed in the thousands, under the more cautious title, “The New Knowledge and the Christian Faith.” The preacher’s points about intolerance and fundamentalism (as opposed to conservatism) are worth considering, even though we disagree with many parts of his position. The whole sermon is reproduced in the interests of transparency rather than his work to fit our preferences. Continue reading
Bro Ken Drage was a member at Watford when the evolution controversy broke in the 1960s. He has written an open letter addressing evolution and some of the history from the debate which centred around Bro Lovelock. The impact of emotion and pressure from others is noteworthy – as is his observation that the 1960’s discussion were civilised though highly charged (such civility is lacking today!). Bro Ken’s letter is reproduced in full below – it should be mandatory reading, so over to Ken… Continue reading
When someone withdraws from a contest they started it tells you about the strength of their position. The draft business meeting agenda for the 2018 Australasian Conference included a motion from Salisbury (SA) and Wilston (QLD) supported by Enfield (SA) ecclesia. They were trying to achieve majority agreement on THE way to read the basis of fellowship and thereby exclude evolution creation. Despite having the many votes of the Inter Ecclesial Advisory Committee (a group of SA ecclesias), they withdrew the motion at the last minute. Why? Because many east coast ecclesias advised SA of their opposition. Rather than face public defeat, the South Australians withdrew. Will they now cease insisting their understanding is the only understanding? that they alone are right? We can only hope so – a little tolerance of different consciences is after all biblical. Continue reading
LG Sargent wrote a in support of a literal serpent (a view we share) after allowing varying viewpoints to be put. No calls for disfellowship or “common understandings” on the issue. Tolerance of exploration. LG Sargent, despite putting his conclusion, acknowledged that there are difficulties of understanding Genesis 3. He also repeats Bro Thomas’ observation that God placed evil within Adam from the beginning and that trial was part of God’s design. A worthwhile read highlighting our past ability to consider different views without splitting.