You're Off Message! (2)
(First published: March 2007. In this article, I expose one of the BCSE's very early members who accidentally explained in public what the BCSE's agenda was. I also take the opportunity (I am a pastor!) to explain some of the teachings of Christianity which he so badly misconstrued).
Last week, I published some research on the BCSE's general membership. As expected, it turns out to be very heavily dominated by campaigning atheists, and seriously lacking in credentialed science educators.
One of the few vaguely-active members was George Jelliss, about whom I wrote:
"George Jelliss: A prominent member of Leicester Secular Society. Mr. Jelliss maintains the LSS's website. In April 2006 the LSS organised a special outing to demonstrate in support of "Jerry Springer The Opera", a spiteful and gratuitous mockery of everything connected with Christianity. So I think I can tell where they're coming from...
Giving The Game Away...
Just a few days ago, Mr. Jelliss was involved in another of those "oops - I keep confusing our public stance with what we're really about!" moments which the BCSE apparently have such trouble avoiding.
In a post on the BCSE's forum, Mr. Jelliss discusses a short video on Richard Dawkins' website, involving philosopher Daniel Dennett.
It's not news that the BCSE's membership's favourite websites are those of militant atheists Dawkins and Dennett, but in commending a particular video, take a look at what Jelliss says...
On the Dawkins website currently there is a series of short videos in which Daniel Dennett talks on various Darwinian and religious topics that are well worth listening to:
He continues on the need for evolutionists to make more of cartoons and other popular media to get the science across, since that is what our opponents, the creationists and evangelicals, are doing very successfully.
Oops! That's a bit off-message! Read that carefully.
He didn't say "our opponents - creationists who seek to promote their ideas within state schools"; he didn't say "our opponents - creationists"; no, he said "our opponents - creationists and evangelicals". And not just "my opponents" - its "our opponents".
Jelliss' thinking is pretty clear. He's in the BCSE to oppose evangelicals; and as a member of the BCSE, his understanding is that his fellow-members are doing the same thing.
Now, unless you're completely new to "BCSE Revealed", you'll know that that's a pretty fair assumption. But the BCSE's members and leaders normally make some kind of attempt to avoid saying so quite so openly - in case either it damages the BCSE's credibility when it seeks to make authoritative public statements about science or education; or in case it scares away any of the "useful idiots" who they'd like to get to support them. Such "useful idiots" allow the BCSE to make the pretence that it is a religiously diverse body from a whole range of views... whilst of course the leadership remains solidly in the hands of campaigning atheists.
("Useful idiot" - "The tone of usage implies that the 'useful idiot' is ignorant of the facts to the extent that they end up unwittingly advancing an adverse cause that they might not otherwise support." - Wikipedia)
An Honest Mistake?
Could it be the case that Mr. Jelliss is a newcomer to the BCSE, and hadn't yet had time to work out what it was really about?
Take a peek at the graphic above - Jelliss joined the BCSE's forum on the first full day of its existence (October 7th). That's because Jelliss was a member of "BlackShadow", the BCSE's parent. His first post in the "BlackShadow" Yahoo group was on the 26th of May, 2005 - nearly 2 years ago; in which the first sentence was also about evangelical Christians:
(BlackShadow post 130)
Jelliss has been involved in the BCSE's discussions from the very start. He didn't just turn up in the last week or two. If anyone should know very well what the BCSE's real agenda is, it would be him.
Mr. Jelliss, however, has in previous posts shown that he does not know or understand the first principles of evangelical Christianity. Now, that's something I take no pleasure in at all. I'm a preacher - my role is to teach the Christian faith. And to not understand the basic principles of salvation is the most awful position anyone could be in.
In October 2006, amongst other things Jelliss wrote: "However, Luther said that while everyone should do their best in whatever role they were allotted in life, only God could judge. This was known as "justification by faith alone"." (http://community.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?t=52).
On a purely historical and cultural level, it is a tragedy that someone could be approaching 20 years old, let alone approaching 70, without understand the fundamental principles of the most significant and far-reaching event in world history, religion, politics and culture in the last millennium, namely the Protestant Reformation, at the heart of which was the doctrine of "justification by faith alone". But when the matter of which one is ignorant is of eternal consequence, it is infinitely more so.
The principle of "justification by faith alone" has nothing to do with and is almost the opposite to the outline which Mr. Jelliss describes above. Let me explain.
Read more: "Two ways to live: the choice we all face": http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/2wtl/
James White, PhD: "The God Who Justifies" - the best full-length treatment of the doctrine of "justification by faith alone" currently available. Reliable, informed, readable. Get it from Amazon
That is the great doctrine of justification by faith alone. I have staked my eternity on it - but it is no gamble. It is the truth of God, written in the Bible. It is proved by Jesus' resurrection from the dead. It was re-discovered in the Bible by Luther after many centuries of lying dormant during the Protestant Reformation. It has been tried and tested by millions of people from the nations of the whole world. Its effects on the societies and cultures it has touched have been phenomenal. It is the most precious truth in all the world. Jesus Christ loves us, and offers us a free pardon. So why not trust in him?