The recent anti-trump riots in the USA, have reminded my of an article that I wrote back in 2011.
It looks at the roots of the riots we have in the UK at that time. Not at the immediate courses or the riots, but at the longer term roots.
Welcome to my world!
The UK Riots 2011.
The BBC on their website gave, ‘The ten competing arguments used to explain the riots.’
The list: Welfare dependence, Social exclusion, Lack of fathers, Spending cuts, Weak policing, Racism, Gangsta rap and culture, Consumerism, Opportunism, Technology and Social networking.
But are any of these the true reason? Can any of these explain what we have seen on our TV’s, on our computers or in our newspapers over the last few days? Are these actually reasons or are many of them really just symptoms in themselves of a deeper problem?
Before I say anything more, let me say that I am not holding Richard Dawkins responsible for the recent riots in London and elsewhere in the UK. Well, not directly… but let’s look at where we are, and where responsibility lies.
Where to begin?
I am not exactly sure where we need to begin in looking for a cause for the recent riots in England, but we need to start somewhere and then work our way forward, so I will jump in on the 24th November 1859. On this day Charles Darwin published his book ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.’ We could go back further to Aristotle, Buffon, (French naturalist and mathematician) or Jean- Baptiste Lamarck, (French 18th century professor of zoology), or even Erasmus Darwin, (Charles Darwin’s grandfather), but there is probably no need. If we are looking for the roots of today’s troubles, and if we are looking for who is now responsible and what could be done to resolve the current lawlessness in the British society and perhaps many other western nations, 150 years is enough.
What the exact succession of events are that occurred between Darwin’s ideas of 1859 and where we are today, I am not exactly sure, but there are a number of steps that I can identify, and a number of contributing factors that we should consider. (Do please contact me at www.Bible-Matters.com if you can fill in some of the gaps).
Millions of Years
We may even want to step back about thirty years before the publication of the Origin of Species, to 1830, when Sir Charles Lyell, a close and influential friend of Charles Darwin and a renowned geologist, published his book, Principles of Geology. In this book Lyell popularised James Hutton’s concepts of uniformitarianism, (the idea that the earth was shaped by slow-moving forces that are still in operation and can be seen today, or to put it another way, since we can only see slow-moving forces today, the earth must have been formed by these slow-moving forces in the past.)
Charles Lyell’s book and James Hutton’s ideas, opened the
way for ‘millions of years’ to exist in the earth’s history. These,
supposed millions of years give enough time in history for
Charles Darwin’s ideas on evolution to take place. (It is now
suggested that billions of years would not be enough and for
that reason many many universes have also been postulated to allow enough time for, ‘chance,’ to have a go at starting life.)
Science – the new unquestionable religion.
Around this time science began to be elevated to the status of ‘unquestionable.’ It began to take on the position we still see today where if you claim that ‘scientist say that…‘ that puts a matter beyond question. This is despite the fact that scientist are continually having to re-model an idea, or come up with a new theory. That NEW theory is now unquestionably right, well until… This began to push into the church and some academics in the church began questioning the validity of evidence for biblical miracles, creation etc.
The Age of Reason
At the same time, as the Charles, Lyell and Darwin were promoting a millions of years old earth and evolution as the cause of life on earth, or possibly starting a little before this, the Enlightenment or the ‘Age of Reason,’ was also on the move. An elite cultural movement of often self appointed intellectuals across Europe, but focused on France, promoted the ‘power of reason’ in order to reform society and advance knowledge. We could at this point talk about the problems of using an imperfect or even sinful mind and partial knowledge to solve the worlds problems, but that is not the purpose of this article. But do let us note that ‘Reason’, or ‘Rationalism’, is also being given a position way above divine revelation, (or the Bible as we might call it.)
It is in the Enlightenment that I first know of the idea being promoted that we should ‘oppose intolerance’, or to put it another way we must be ‘intolerant’ of ‘intolerance!’ And they call themselves enlightened?
“Hath God Said?”
In Germany this ‘enlightenment’ and the application of reason or rationalism began to be applied to the Bible. Biblical scholars of the Tübingen School began treating the Bible as just an ordinary ‘text book,’ to be subject to the ideas of man, rather than the other way around. This way of looking at the Bible as just a text book and dismissing anything within it that looks supernatural, i.e prophetic or miraculous, is often called, ‘historical criticism’ or ‘higher criticism,’ there is nothing historical about this criticism, from the start the biblical records were often written when contemporaries could have supported or discredited them, but they were not historically questioned, nor is there anything ‘higher’ about this criticism, but rather it brings the Bible down and debases it. However, these are the terms used, and so I too will use these terms.
This higher or historical biblical criticism moved into England with people like Samuel Taylor Coleridge and George Eliot in his translations of Strauss’ The Life of Jesus and Feuerbach’s The Essence of Christianity. Then a number of liberal Anglican theologians began the process of incorporating this historical or higher criticism into Christian doctrine. This brought the church into a position where many thought of the Bible as just a book of morals or ideas and much of its content would now begin to be thought of as historically inaccurate.
Further study, years of archaeology, and good apologetics has shown this to be an inaccurate view of the Bible, but that did not stop many people of authority within the church and many more in academia from absorbing this idea that the Bible could not be trusted. Do I hear an echo of the words of the Serpent, “Yea, hath God said?” Sowing doubt about God’s word is one of… well, is the oldest of Satan’s tricks that we know about.
Perfect Breeding Ground
When the ideas of ‘uniformitarianism’, and ‘evolution by natural selection,’ being pushed by people who wanted the freedom to sin without God interfering in their lives, was met by a church that had lost its belief in the trustworthiness of the Bible, you had the perfect breeding ground for the growth of an atheist, rationalist, humanist worldview.
The rot set into the Church
The man in the pew and most clergy in the pulpit were unmoved in their faith and in 1860, 11,000 Anglican clergymen signed a declaration stating that the Bible and its miracles must be taken literally, but the rot was in the academics of the church. If you have unbelief in the organisations that will train the next generation of clergymen, time will spread this unbelief, and as early as 1896 Frederick Temple, a supporter of evolution, was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury.
As early as 1860 Temple welcomed from the pulpit the insights of evolution, and in 1884 he states clearly that “doctrine of Evolution is in no sense whatever antagonistic to the teachings of Religion.” Frederick Temple became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1896 as a known evolutionist and still held that office as the world moved into the 20th century.
Among those who were involved in this application of enlightenment ideas to the Bible was Julius Wellhausen, a German biblical scholar. He was interested in what he called ‘the scientific treatment of the Bible.’ In 1872 he was appointed professor ordinarius of theology at the University of Greifswald. He later resigned this post as he found that what he taught about the Bible, made ‘my hearers unfit for their office’ of ‘service in the Protestant Church.’
Wellhausen placed the development of the first six books of the Old Testament into a historical and social context. The resulting argument was called the documentary hypothesis, and remained the dominant model among biblical scholars for many years. In essence what he taught was that the Bible’s writers are liars when they say that they heard from or speak for God, and we need to show where their ideas actually came from. There is a presupposition that their ideas cannot come from God, therefore, they must have a natural, not a supernatural explanation.
In 1887 another Charles steps into our story, Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon. Spurgeon stood against this move to subject the Bible to man’s ideas in what became known as the ‘Downgrade Controversy.’ During this controversy Spurgeon’s church, the Metropolitan Tabernacle became disaffiliated from the Baptist Union. This tells us something of where the Baptist Union stood on this matter. The controversy took its name from Spurgeon’s use of the term “Downgrade” to describe certain other Baptists’ outlook toward the Bible
Today the head or General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Jonathan Edwards, is a strong supporter of evolution. He, along with the then pastor and deacons of Lyme Regis Baptist Church, gave me a grilling over, how could I be so stupid as to believe the Bible over science.
We now have but 65 years to cover before I can speak from personal experience of the teaching of evolution and atheism within the English educational system.
In short, over the next ten decades we move from a few holding an atheistic evolutionary humanist view, to the majority holding this view. From the academics who will teach our teachers holding these views, through to the teachers holding these views, to everybody, well about 75% of the UK population, rejecting God and the Bible and accepting evolution as scientifically proven. Probably many more than 75% among the youths of Britain.
During the 20th century we also see a move from the professors in our theological colleges, through to the general clergy, (both C of E and in other denominations), to the man in the pew accepting the change in status of the Bible from being ‘God’s word’ to just a record of man’s attempts to seek the other than human. On top of this downgrading of the authority of the Bible we see within the church the elevation of ‘science’ and of rationalism and the general acceptance of an old earth, (millions of years old not about 6,000), and the acceptance of evolution. The Bible must be wrong on creation, and death cannot be the result of sin but in fact the very tools that God used to create mankind – oops, humankind, in our PC world you cannot say mankind, can you?
Perhaps there are some who could fill in more here about the progress of atheistic evolution, higher criticism of the Bible and a humanistic approach to reason being above revelation, through the 20th century. Do contact me through www.Bible- Matters.com
Some of the forces that have advanced the ideas of atheism and a humanist worldview include, cinema and its power to promote immoral behaviour and raise it to an acceptable or even a desirable position. Hollywood, among other things, often gives unrealistic expectations of wealth and material possessions, or sexual fulfilment both within, a ‘perfect marriage,’ or outside of marriage. Along with the cinema we should also include TV, (especially the BBC, the BBC natural history department is one of the world’s most powerful promoters of evolution), radio, magazines and other forms of mass media.
God and morals are bad for you
We should probably also consider the rise of psychiatry and psychology and its assertion by people like Herbert Marcuse who, influenced by Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx, argued that in a society of abundant material wealth, the need for political and sexual repression is no longer necessary. He argued that sexual desire, (eros), builds civilisations. Bernard Williams who taught that psychoanalytical theories do not support, what we might call ethical or moral ideas, as a necessary part of human happiness. Karl Marx himself taught that religion was just made up by man, and that, ‘religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature,’ ‘the abolition of religion… is for [man’s] real happiness.’
Whatever makes you happy
Speaking of happiness, the 18th and 19th century also saw the rise of modern utilitarianism, (no, not practical and useful things.) Philosophers Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill suggested that we should perform whichever action maximises the aggregate good. What ever action would achieve the greatest total amount of happiness. There was some debate as to whether we should measure pleasure as, its intensity multiplied by its duration – so it was not just the number of pleasures, but their intensity and how long they lasted that must be taken into account, (see ecstasy and viagra) or whether there were different levels of pleasure – higher quality pleasure is better than lower quality pleasure. Essentially the theory that humans are, and should only, be motivated by their self interest. We should act so as to produce our own pleasure.
Rock and Roll
This probably leads us into the Rock and Roll scene and the Pop culture of the 50‘s, 60’s and on. Possibly starting with ‘Rock Around the Clock’ by Bill Haley and His Comets, released in 1954, but which did not burst into the American and UK youth seen until 1955, suddenly the idea of upbeat dancing (“rocking”!) nonstop, for the ‘fun’ of it took off. The culture of the west has never looked the same since.
Since its inception, Rock, or Rock and Roll and other musical styles in the, ‘Pop Culture,’ have been inherently sexual and promiscuous. The American “sexual revolution” more or less began in the early 1970s, springing forward from the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Sullivan County. When for three days, 500,000 young people indulged in cheep drugs, and free sex. This sexual ‘liberation’ was contributed to by the arrival of relatively reliable contraception, especially the pill.
Somewhere here we should also add in the feminist movement, and the, (in part), emasculation of manhood.
We could here look at the disasters that this acceptance of an atheistic evolutionary view have brought the world in, Hitler’s Germany, or through Communism in the USSR or China, but for this article we are looking at the roots of the riots in England, so we will not go down those rabbit trails.
Darwin and his Origin of Species, along with a few others who were pushing atheistic evolution, opened up a pandoras box of reasons to dismiss God and the Bible. This opened up a whole world of immorality and self-gratification. It could be summed up in the title of the song by Canadian rock band Sloan, “If it feels good do it!”
We have testimony to the way the Origin of Species, or the ideas behind the Origin of Species lead to a ‘liberation of morals,’ (or should that be drop of standards?) in the words of Sir Julian Huxley, “I suppose the reason we all jumped at the Origin, [of Species], was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.” Julian Huxley is the grandson of Thomas Huxley, a friend and supporter of Charles Darwin and proponent of evolution.
If there is no God, there is no restraint. Now, you may want that so you can have guilt free sex, Mr. Huxley, but you cannot pick and choose where the ‘liberty’ is applied.
[Dear reader, do understand that often when I use the term ‘liberty’ I am not using it approvingly, nor even believing it to be liberty. True liberty comes when there is a freedom not to sin, the liberty that the evolutionist or atheist speaks of is the liberty to indulge their lust unrestrained by any morals. This is not really liberty, but slavery to sin.]
What Julian Huxley wants is the right to exercise his lust, but would be less happy for others to exercise theirs if they interferer with his pleasure.
The publication of the Origin of Species did not, on its own, bring Briton to its current state of immorality. But Darwin’s ideas and those of a few others and those who promoted them can probably be set as, a major step down the road to the ruin that we find ourselves in today.
The Post Christian World
Francis Schaeffer talks of us living now in a ‘post christian’ world. That our society has chosen to reject the Bible and the God of the Bible. Our schools, colleges and universities all promote atheistic evolution. Even most church theological training seminaries or colleges would also teach the same story. Almost all mass media is in the hands of atheist and heavily promote not only the theory, sorry the fact of evolution, but the hedonistic ‘what ever will give you pleasure, do it’ philosophy. ‘There is no God to make you feel guilty’ ideas that go with it.
We should probably also consider the use of language designed to influence the attitude of people towards an idea or a position so as to benefit one side over another. For example the use of the term ‘sexual repression,’ by psychiatry, to describe celibacy before marriage and monogamy and fidelity within marriage. The way a educated atheist is a scholar and his studies are to bring about a scholarly understanding of… but that an educated christian is a bigot. Not only do schools, colleges, universities, the media, and the church teach these atheist humanist evolutionist views, but they disdain all those who reject it, or who dare to question the ‘elite’s’ or the accepted world view. Educational establishments and the media harness propaganda against the Bible, the Church, and the God of the Bible.
As Voddie Baucham says:
‘What do you call an educated evolutionist who studied at Oxford? A brilliant scholar!’
‘What do you call an articulate individual who is a non-evolutionist, conservative biblical evangelical who studied a Oxford? An idiot!’
Our society does not care if you are a brilliant intellect or where you studied, we care that you believe what you are ‘supposed to believe!’
Voddie also talks about the society of today’s view on Tolerance. He says, “Today tolerance in not the tolerance of you grandmother – you respect a man even if you disagree with him. The tolerance of our day says, ‘You must embrace and accept the ideals, world view and behaviours of others and consider them equal and as valid as your own.”
Dr. F.W. Hill, an American school administrator, said “It is the mission of public schools not to tolerate intolerance.” These people cannot even understand that this is a self-contradicting and self-defeating statement and they want to teach your children!
You can see the same statement on the National Union of Teachers website, ‘Do not tolerate intolerance.’ No wonder their acronym is NUT’s!
Voddie goes on to point out that we live in a world of Philosophical Pluralism. The idea that there are no absolutes. What is true for you is not necessarily true for me. What is true here is not necessarily true elsewhere. What is true today is not necessarily true tomorrow.
The end product of this philosophical pluralism, is that there cannot be a ‘right’ and a ‘wrong!’ No action, idea or desire can be judged as wrong or evil or inappropriate.
The end product of Darwinism
The end product of Darwinism is also that there is no right or wrong, well there is if you look at whatever passes on the strongest genes, or possibly, just what passes on some genes. In fact, there is no real reason why any genes should be passed on either, as there is no reason or purpose in anything, it is all just an accident.
The end product of the enlightenment
The end product of the enlightenment is that reason or rationalism, trumps revelation and the end product of higher criticism is that the Bible can just be explained away by societies need to explain things it did not understand and the way in a society these stories become accepted as true. And certainly the Bible has no special place of authority. Its teaching is no more than the ideas of men of the past and we today can interpret them as we wish or just disregard them totally.
The end result of Marcuse, Freud and Marx
The end result of thinkers like Marcuse, Freud and Marx, and the modern utilitarianism movement is that we should just do what brings us the most pleasure or happiness. This has been promoted by the rock and pop culture, through to all levels of our society.
(That is in part why we effectively have two socialist parties today, ‘free candy’ if you vote for party A and ‘free ice cream’ if you vote for party B. Old ‘blood, sweat and tears,’ only gets elected in a national emergency when the countries survival depends on him.)
So, for around 150 years there has been a growing movement that, there is no God, we are just accidents of chance. There can be no way to know right or wrong, in fact you are a bigot just to suggest that there even might be a right and wrong. Since there is no right and wrong, you should just do whatever brings you the most pleasure and happiness.
This movement started slowly among the elite, the educated and the academic, but has spread now to the point where it is the view point of the common man. The underlying foundation upon which all of our young people have been brought up. This took time. While your father or your grandfather had a foundation in morality, you may well have been taught a lesson or two had you stepped too far out of an old fashioned idea of what was right. But in time we have reached a point where many parents would actively be encouraging their children to, ‘have a good time’, especially if that means you get out of my way so I can… well I am getting a little tired now so, go so I can have a quiet time.
Welcome to My World
I called this article ‘Welcome to my World, after a statement by Richard Dawkins, and now I cannot find it. I have packed my books ready for a move and it could even have been on a video, but the gist of it was that Richard Dawkins would not want to live in a society or in a world thats morals or behaviour was based on what he believed or taught.
Richard Dawkins is an atheist and humanist, a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, and is well known from his many television and radio appearances, promoting darwinian evolution and the non-existence of God. As of January 2010 Dawkins had sold more than two million copies of a book that contends that religious faith is a delusion and a false belief. This book ‘The God Delusion,’ has also been translated into 31 languages. He has even been referred to in the media as “Darwin’s Rottweiler”, in reference to Thomas Huxley who was known as Darwin’s Bulldog for his defence of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary ideas.
In 2006 Dawkins founded the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science (RDFRS), The RDFRS website states that, ‘The mission of [RDFRS] is to support scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance and human suffering.’ (Am I wrong or is it not really possible to be objective in your ‘science’ and to have an agenda to overcome something like Christianity? What if the evidence supports the Bible?)
In October 2008, Dawkins officially supported the atheist bus advertising campaign generating global press coverage for the slogan ‘There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.’
The testimony of many of the rioters of August 2011 in the UK are that they were in the riots for the fun, ‘cuz it was great though!’ they thought is was great to have been drinking all night on stolen alcohol, ‘the riot was to show the police that we can, DO WHAT WE WANT,’ ‘it’s about the government init, that they are not in control.’
The police and the politicians are struggling on the media with statements like ‘thuggery’ and ‘illegality’ because it is not really allowed anymore to say that someones behaviour was ‘bad,’ ‘wrong,’ or ‘evil.’ After about four days this skin deep vanier of ‘politically correct’ comments began to give way to stronger language as they realised that they just looked stupid.
Even an evolutionist can see that this behaviour is wrong. They just cannot admit why they know it is wrong. God has given everyone a conscience. In Romans, Paul tells us that we have ‘the Law’ written on our hearts, (Romans 2:15), but they are not going to admit that.
You cannot have it both ways
Richard Dawkins, the government, the church, (well, not the real church), and all who have been involved in the overwhelming promotion of secular humanism, or Darwinian evolution and have so totally undermined the Bible and the God of the Bible, cannot have it both ways.
The kids listened to you – what a surprise!
You cannot spend your life and your effort in opposition to the Bible and in promotion of secular humanism, or Darwinian evolution, and expect to live in a society that lives by godly, Christian morality.
You cannot teach children from kindergarden to high school that there is no God and that no one has any more right then them to decide what is good or bad, and then complain when they learned what you taught them.
If there is no higher authority, no God and no Bible to refer to, then law and order is just more thuggery. It is a bigger thug saying to a littler thug, ‘you better obey these arbitrary rules that we have made up or else…” and calling their behaviour, ‘illegality,’ does not really go very far either. As I understand it everything that Hitler did was legal. After all he wrote the laws. It was just the bigger thug telling the weaker thug he has to die.
“Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.”
Nothing can now be called Unacceptable.
Once you start down this road it is all but impossible to stop.
A few years ago homosexuality was thought of as unacceptable, so was adulatory, now not only are both legal but are promoted by the media as the high position on morality. Should you dare to say anything about them you are at the least a bigot and at worst you will end up in prison charged with a hate crime.
Today, bigamy is illegal and frowned upon, but there is mounting pressure to have
it legalised. Today it is illegal, tomorrow…. on what grounds could you not legalise it?
Today, under age sex is illegal, but people in scotland are already calling for a reduction in age for consensual sex. On what grounds could you say no?
A few years ago you would not have believed that it would be legal to kill your baby just because you wanted to, but every day in the USA 3,288 are killed in their mothers wombs, 200,000 babies where killed in the UK just last year.
Today euthanasia is illegal and not really acceptable, if we go on as we are in a few years it will be available at every out-patients department. And there is no reason why it should not be, if choice or my pleasure is king.
We need a new King
There is only one thing that will stop this, only one reason you can possibly give to make anything wrong, unacceptable or illegal. We need a new king. We need Jesus as king in our lives and in our country. Unless this happen, nothing will be too bad to be unacceptable in time.