“I hardly see how religion and science be kept….distinct,” Darwin once told J.Brodie Innes a Vicar of Downe and a lifelong friend. “But I most wholly agree with you that there is no reason why the disciples of either school should attack each other with bitterness.”
Several years ago in the Peanuts comic strip, by Charles Schulz, when Sally Brown was born, Charlie Brown was genuinely concerned about the condition of the world his infant sister was entering. He expressed these concerns out loud to his friend, Linus. But Linus interrupted his litany of the world’s evils by contradicting him. “I think”, said Linus “that the world today is better than it was six years ago.”
Charlie protested his friend’s optimism: “How can you say that? Don’t you read the papers, don’t you watch television? How can you say the world is better today than six years ago.
Linus answered simply: “I’m in it now.”
That’s what our celebration of Christmas is all about – the world (despite the evidence to the contrary) is a better place now because Jesus Christ is in it. His presence fills us, his Church, which is his body.”
In the New Testament there are three terms for the Second Coming of Jesus:
Parousia: ‘Coming’ or ‘arrival’ or ‘presence’. Used in the First Century for the visit of an emperor or other distinguished person. Conveys the idea that the Lord’s return will be definite and decisive action of his part. He will come himself, as surely as he came in the Incarnation.
Apokalypsis: ‘Revelation’. The Lord’s coming will reveal who he is and what the world is. It will be a time for things which are now hidden to come to light.
Epiphneia: ‘Appearing’ or ‘manifestation’. Carries idea of drawing back a veil so that what is there already may be truly seen for what it is.
Know the Truth: Milne
“I do not think that in the last 40 years I have lived one conscious hour that was not influenced by the thought of our Lord’s return.” Lord Shaftesbury
“The ladder to the Kingdom is hidden within you, and within your soul. Dive down into your self, away from sin, and there you will find the steps by which you can ascend.”
St. Isaac the Syrian
“…only God can decide life and death….That is why abortion is suscha terrible sin. You are not only killing life, but putting self before God; yet people decide who has to live and who has to die. They wnat to make themselves almighty God. They want to take the power of God in their hands. They want to say, “I can do without God. I can decide.” That is the most devilish thing that a humand hand can do.”
Mother Teresa: Issues facing Christians Today p280
“One of the major signs of decadence in the Roman Empire was that its unwanted babies were ‘exposed’, that is, abandoned and left to die. Can we claim that contemporary western society is any less decadent because it consigns its unwanted babies to the hospital incinerator instead of the local rubbish dump? …reverence for human life is an indispensable characteristic of a humane and civilized society.”
John Stott: Issues Facing Christians Today p283
In 1993 there were 167,638 abortions… Teenage abortions soarewd by 15%. Girls under 19 had 32,383 terminations.
Daily Mail July 1997
The position of the Church of England on abortion:
“We combine strong opposition to abortion with the recognition that there can be some, strictly limited, conditions under which it may be morally preferable to any available alternative.” Bishop Richard Harries
“..the unborn child also needs to be taken into account. A 1983 statement of the Board of Social responsibility says that because the foetus has the right to live and develop as a member of the human family:
“We see abortion… as a great moral evil. We do not believe that the right to life admits of no exceptions whatever, but the right of the innocent to life admits surely a few exceptions indeed.”
Church Times 1997
The 1983 resolution of the General Synod:
“All human life, including life in then womb, is created by God in his own image, and is, therefore, to be nurtured, supported and protected.”