Creationist Wisdom #948: The Elder

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise of Bartlesville, Oklahoma. It’s titled Find answers in the Bible, and the newspaper has a comments section.

Unless the letter-writer is a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote him by using his full name — but today we’ve got a church official. It’s Terry Miller, described as “ruling elder, Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Bartlesville.” Here’s their website. We’ll give you a few excerpts from the elder’s letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, some bold font for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]. Okay, here we go:

In his novel ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ (1979) Douglas Adams describes how an alien race programs a computer called Deep Thought to provide the ultimate answer to “Life, the Universe and Everything.” The answer came back — 42. What is the meaning of life and the universe? What is the purpose of my life?

What a brilliant way to introduce us to his questions. How does the elder answer them? Let’s find out:

We can only find the answers to these questions if we are fortunate enough to have it revealed to us by the one who created everything. [Yes, true knowledge comes from revelation!] It has to be revealed to us by the one who existed when everything was created. Fortunately, this is the case. And the answer is not 42.

So what’s the answer? The elder says:

The world and all that exists is not a cosmic accident. The origin of the world came to pass through the intelligent design [Ooooooooooooh!] and decision of a supernatural being who has a purpose for everything He does. That person is God. And God indeed has revealed the answers to these question in His revelation to man — in the Bible.

Yes — that’s where the answer is! So what’s the answer? The elder tells us:

The quick answer to the question of ultimate cause is that God created all things for His own glory and pleasure. [That makes sense.] “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.” Romans 11:36

Skipping some other bible quotes, the letter continues:

The following quotes from the Bible is the purposeful conversation of the triune God in the early portion of God’s revealed word — the creation account — in the Scriptures. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1

Aha, so that’s where it all came from! That’s good to know. Let’s read on:

God has a purpose for everything He does. [Of course he does!] Immediately after man was created, he fell into sin and brought ruin upon the whole human race. But God provided a way of escape for man by sending His son in the likeness of human flesh to die for man’s sin and ransom him from eternal death. If we deny the revelation of God and His creation, we have no purpose.

That’s fascinating information! And there’s more to come:

Another question is “What if there is something beyond death?” Also, “Am I accountable to God?”

The elder has the answers:

Our purpose in life is to bring glory to the triune God. [Great purpose!] We do this by trusting in Jesus Christ, who came to redeem man from his fall into sin. Otherwise, we will face His wrath when He returns again in judgment. “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” John 3:36.

After that series of revelations, we come to the end:

What is your purpose in life? Where will it lead?

A frightening question! That’s because we know where you’re going, dear reader — right into the Lake of Fire!

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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13 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #948: The Elder

  1. The Elder enjoys slavery it appears.

  2. “Love me or burn”….an interesting way to approach a relationship certainly.
    I’m sure this works in gay biker bars. And tattoo parlors. And Bartlesville Oklahoma, home of Philips Petroleum. Their geoscientists apparently aren’t too swift. Chesapeake , the company that started the shale boom is in ok City. Their CEO drove his Suburban into a bridge abutment at 100 mph when his company and his fortune were shattered. Just because you find oil every time you drill a well, it doesn’t mean you’re going to make money. You have to find enough oil to be profitable. Chesapeake didn’t. oops. Perhaps less time listening to Terry and more time doing science and size and risk analysis. Usually, when the engineers take over from the geologists in running the company, its the beginning of the end. Maybe ol Terry helped with this disaster. Sounds like it.
    Oh dear.

  3. Dear Elder: 42 makes as much sense as anything in any holy book I’ve read.

  4. SC:
    “…we know where you’re going, dear reader — right into the Lake of Fire!

    We’re doomed! We can no longer obtain asbestos life jackets!

  5. Dave Luckett

    Oh, brother! In the Great Christian Unravelling, the title of this raving loony’s sect implies a number of, er, interesting characteristics. First of all, he’s a “ruling elder”. This sect is so far towards the “priesthood of all believers” Knoxite paradigm as to devolve its entire doctrinal structure – not just its administration – away from a professional trained clergy, towards basically anyone with big hair and a loud voice. The hair is optional, but preferred; winged eyebrows are a desirable addition. This is an aspect of anticlericalism, which is itself an aspect of something more serious, Of that, more anon.

    But onward. “Westminster” means descending from the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1646, which has nothing to do with Westminster Cathedral (a Romish abomination, tricked out with Popery and baubles). Its main obsession, apart from abhorring the Bishop of Rome and all his works, is predestination, absorbed from Calvinism, and as terrifying an idea as anyone ever came up with. The most terrifying aspect of it is that there are people who are insane enough to both believe it and to worship a God who could do it.

    “Orthodox” in this connection has nothing to do with the Orthodox Christian Church. What it means here is probably something like “if you don’t believe exactly, like exactly what I believe, it’s the Lake of Fire for you, heathen!”

    And Presbyterian. That refers to a method of church governance, the individual churches to be run by a council of lay people (called a session and elders, respectively) chaired by their Minister, with overall church policy and even doctrine overseen by an assembly of both clergy and lay presided over by a sort of chairperson, usually called a “Moderator”. I doubt that is the actual structure of this conventicle, however. It’s far more likely to be effectively a one-off, like the Baptists and on out, except without the swimming pool.

    Put them all together and it screams Protestant Ulster, descended from the transplanted Scots borderers, as bloody-minded and contumacious a crew as ever walked the earth, and ancestor to another transplanting, of the Scots-Irish to America, starting in the later seventeenth century, mostly to what was then called “the Plantations”, ie, Virginia. From there, they spread westward. One of their salient characteristics, apart from tribalism, lawlessness, xenophobia and drink, was anticlericalism, which spilled over into dislike and distrust of all learning, including science. Fertile soil for creationism and fundamentalism.

    And here we are, with Elder Miller a product of that long descent.

  6. Church elders: that’s a term I associate with men who covered up child sexual abuse e.g. Jehovah’s Witnesses, among others.

    No, that says nothing about me. They brought it on themselves, entirely of their own making. Quote the Bible all you like, Terry. You have no impact outside of the hermetic cult you’re silly enough to speak for.

  7. God has a purpose for everything He does. Immediately after man was created, he fell into sin and brought ruin upon the whole human race.

    Phrased this way, it seems it was God who “… fell into sin and brought ruin upon the whole human race”.

    Which is true, of course.

  8. “Find answers in the Bible.”
    Excellent advise! I always do so when I can’t remember the exact value of pi.

    “Otherwise, we will face His wrath ”
    Another religionist who can’t do without God the Boogeyman.

    Btw the link to their website our dear SC provided doesn’t work. I suppose God the Boogeyman was not entirely satisfied with the sincerity of Terry’s faith. So I looked a bit further.

    https://hollidaysburgopc.org/

    Yes! “The OPC is committed to the Reformed faith, sometimes known as Calvinism.” You Americans can thank us cloggies once again.

    https://opc.org/lc.html

    They hate their own bodies so much that they expect to keep it when, after dying, condemned to the Lake of Fire.

    Q. 29. What are the punishments of sin in the world to come?
    A. The punishments of sin in the world to come, are everlasting separation from the comfortable presence of God, and most grievous torments in soul and body, without intermission, in hell-fire forever.

  9. That first link to Westminster OPC @FrankB provided serves as an object lesson in how not to design a website and set out text. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot! It’s worth looking at — just for a chuckle — on that score alone, never mind the beliefs they profess.

  10. Techreseller

    Wait. The parson said “That person is God”. God is a person. You mean, just like you and me. Hmmm. Perhaps the parson is confused. From reading the rest of the letter, yes, the parson is confused. I must be hard to live in places where a majority or significant minority holds these sorts of views.

  11. Michael Fugate

    The DI teamed up with Westminster Theological Seminary for their attack on theistic evolution – as Dave points out, about as conservative as one can get.
    https://sensuouscurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2018/03/28/discoveroid-revival-will-attack-theistic-evolution/

  12. Bible thumpers are terminally unable to recognize that “divine revelation” is indistinguishable from “some ludicrous nonsense that some idiot dreamed about”. That is why they had to invent “faith” to peddle it since supporting evidence is so marvelously and totally absent.

  13. I wonder how well this goes over with ID’ers who claim that intelligent design is real science and has nothing to do with religion, no sirree!