Grace Communion International

…and another thing  by John Stettaford

It was the famous modern Greek philosopher and historian George Santayana who wrote “Those who do not learn [the lessons from] history are doomed to repeat [them].” And the lesson from history is just that—that when we fail to learn from the past, it tends to be repeated until we do. And there are so many lessons that we need to have learned to be properly using the facilities which come our way in life on this planet.

Nearly every ‘advance’ that we bring on seems to backfire on us. Industrialisation would bring universal prosperity. Well, it didn’t. It produced slums and misery, illness and oppression. Plastics? We thought that the bees knees a century ago. And now we’re finding that we’re drowning in the stuff, that it’s poisoning our food, water and air. That there’s nowhere on earth you can go without finding waste plastics there ahead of you.

I really feel for our politicians. There’s virtually nothing that isn’t heading in the wrong direction and that isn’t going to end up in some kind of crisis at some future date. There’s a new spike in background radiation throughout Europe. Russia has been blamed, but denies any wrong-doing. Some leak from a nuclear reactor somewhere? Some similar leak from a storage depot or treatment facility? No one seems to know, but unless it is tracked down and stopped, it could mean cancers rising and other radiation-related illnesses spiralling over the next decade.

We have solutions, of course. Or we think we have. Remember? Diesel cars would reduce pollution. But that idea was soon scotched when lead-free petrol took off. And that in turn produces more nitrogen-dioxide and particulates. So not so good, then. Now it’s electric cars that will prove our salvation. But that electricity has to come from somewhere, and that requires generation from something else. The experts told us that the sun and electricity generated by the sun was ‘free’ and plentiful. Or wind. Or tidal. Or thermal heat from under the earth. But they are not free and not without their pollution. Generation from the sun, for example, requires solar panels which are made of rare earths and sophisticated engineering. And what is the life of a solar panel? And what do you do with it when it ceases working?

Well, I’ve stopped worrying about it all. It’s not that I don’t care, especially for the future of children and grandchildren, but new things come along and oust the high polluters that have gone before. And our planet has shown itself remarkable for recovery given half the chance. With lockdown, half the nitrus dioxide choking our cities disappeared, and with it birds, insects and even larger mammals reappeared. New light bulbs are now supposed to last longer and use less electricity. And so it goes.

Even the Christian religion has changed. The sale of bibles and books has dipped, and the sale of computer programs and electronic versions have ballooned. You can now have several versions of the Bible on your mobile ’phone. I even have several versions on my computer which are read aloud to me; I don’t have to read, I can listen. And that even includes the Apocrypha.

But then I have to ask, how many continue with the discipline of reading the Scriptures? Not to mentions studying the scriptures? You can even buy a comic-book version of the Bible, for those who can’t read that much. Recently a scrap of a Bible text has been found which is reputed to be the oldest text yet known to us. And it says the same thing as the Bible on your shelf. It’s universal knowledge that doesn’t date, grow old, pollute, make us ill, or need replacing. That’s our God for you!

Saturday Services