Grace Communion International

…and another thing  by John Stettaford

Apparently one of the favourite sayings of Captain Sir Tom Moore during his long life was: “We can get through this, and tomorrow will be a better day!”

Reminds me of that other turn-of-the-twentieth century expression: “Every day in every way, things get better and better” by the French philosopher and self-help guru Émile Coué. This was later known as ‘boot-strap-ism’. The concept being that you pulled yourself up to a better place than before by tugging on your own shoe laces. Go on, give it a try and see where it gets you!

It’s all very human and, in a limited way, can happen sometimes. But down through time it proves to be yet another false concept. The idea that we all improved from Mesolithic slime, to cavemen, to today’s highly sophisticated man about town is sheer lunacy.

The real history of mankind is that we have descended not from apes but from the high point of the Garden of Eden. It’s been downhill ever since.

Oh, there is progress. Science has gone from strength to strength. Still over half of all the scientists who have ever lived are alive today. We have evidence in the Covid-19 vaccine developed in record time, the safe delivery of NASA’s Perseverance lander on Mars, are all notable monuments to science. But in terms of getting on with each other, we descend ever faster. More wars, more inhumanity to fellow men, imprisonments and abductions, poisonings and thefts, especially the new art of conning people out of money via their telephone banking accounts. And even trusted people like vicars and bank managers have sunk to the same level as estate agents (considered the least trustworthy people in a poll of some years ago).

“Trust no man” is still the Bible’s advice, and it remains good advice. But it becomes very difficult. Christians are by nature often very trustworthy of others, and that can lead them down all sorts of dead ends. And that can, I regret to say, also lead us to question even our great God. Can we really trust Him? I suspect that Jesus had this in mind when he opined that when he returns (Maranatha!) will he really find faith on earth? That has to be an indictment on today’s Christians, who are supposed to be people of faith, who live by faith, where faith comes first. And that by itself can cause some who state in no uncertain terms that, no, they will not have the Covid-19 vaccine: they will trust in God! Well, God said at the tower of Babel that nothing would be restrained from man; if he could imagine it, he could do it eventually. And we have, thanks to science. Travel faster than sound? Done that. Fly to the moon? Yep, done that too. On to Mars? We’re getting there. Solving the Covid epidemic? Well, science is well on the way to a lasting solution even there. And God has not only made it possible, but put it within the heart of man to solve the problem.

In the world tomorrow, I think that that’s one of the qualities God wants from mankind—our ability to think through a problem and then to solve it. Of course, as Spirit-beings we’re going to have more resources than we have at present. But the process will probably be the same. I know that some, especially among our ethnic minority citizens, are reluctant to allow vaccination, but this technology isn’t new; it’s now well over 100 years old. Proven, tested—and it works! It reminds me of another story. A man who drowned in a flood. He ends up at the Pearly Gates and complains why God didn’t rescue him. Says St Peter, “Well, we sent rescuers in a rowing boat, Lifeboat men in an inflatable and a rescue helicopter. But each time you said, “No, I’ll wait for God to rescue me.” Enough said, I should think.

Saturday Services