Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Beacon of Scripture

I'm reading about the ancient Waldensian Church. This church survived, resting in the Bible from the most ancient times in the hidden valleys of Piedmont. I've come across the "Hymn of the Waldensian Mountaineers" in a translation by Felicia Hermans from the "Oath of Sibaoud".

For the strength of the hills, we bless Thee,
Our God, our Father's God!
Thou hast fixed our ark of refuge
Where the spoiler's foot ne'er trod:
For the strength of the hills we bless thee, 
Our God, our Father's God.

We are watchers of a beacon
Whose light must never die.
We are guardians of an altar
'Midst the silence of the sky;
The rocks yield founts of courage
Struck forth as by Thy rod
For the strength of the hills we bless thee, 
Our God, our Father's God.

Its first verses speak to all those who want to follow the ancient paths of Christianity today, as set out in the Reformation who do not place above the Bible, any tenets of liberalism, science, cults or church tradition. They maintain that the Word of God is inspired and trusted, even though they may not be able to give scientific reasons, in a few cases.

Recently, I wrote, seriously, about Adam and Eve to the astonishment of some readers  "You cannot believe that!"  one said. Faith is sometimes a leap - but so is science, which is opposing sets of theories. For example, Darwin's theory of Evolution has yet to be proved. If we cannot fully explain something to the satisfaction of a non-believer, does that mean that we simply let it go? There are many things about which science is ignorant or misguided: I know this from having a long, mysterious illnesses, totally wrongly treated by the medical profession. Christ, who is Truth, said that Scripture will never pass away, unlike Earth. Its truth is verified by Christ and stands entire. Its every teaching interpreted as at the Reformation, is the living energy and spirit of those who have true faith in Him.  

Most of us today, unlike the old Waldensians, lack a refuge in remote mountains, although some faithful Welsh may still retain secret, mountainous nooks and crannies. Today, as Anglican Bishop J C Ryle expressively wrote, the church of Christ is scattered, one here, one there, one in this street or community, one in that. These are scattered watchers of His Beacon.

Much to the coming surprise of atheists who may believe in the rule of law and good governance as bulwarks, and for many children of The Enlightenment (churchgoers and non-churchgoers), without Scripture and the preaching and teaching of the true Gospel, thought and reason do not prevail.

I once listened to academic scholars and thinkers secretly discussing at our leading British university, the possible advent of a new technological dark age, one which now could use satellite tracking to crush all dissent. 

In spite of this, the Beacon will still shine - somewhere.

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