Saturday, March 08, 2008

Do You Have A Magisterium?

Times Online (London) has an article on the banning of plastic bags because it has been discovered it kills 100,000 animals annually. The problem is that its not true. Here's what it says in part:

The central claim of campaigners is that the bags kill more than 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds every year. However, this figure is based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Fifteen years later in 2002, when the Australian Government commissioned a report into the effects of plastic bags, its authors misquoted the Newfoundland study, mistakenly attributing the deaths to “plastic bags”.

The figure was latched on to by conservationists as proof that the bags were killers. For four years the “typo” remained uncorrected. It was only in 2006 that the authors altered the report, replacing “plastic bags” with “plastic debris”. But they admitted: “The actual numbers of animals killed annually by plastic bag litter is nearly impossible to determine.” In a postscript to the correction they admitted that the original Canadian study had referred to fishing tackle, not plastic debris, as the threat to the marine environment. Regardless, the erroneous claim has become the keystone of a widening campaign to demonise plastic bags.

This is also the reason why people today think there's a "Gay Gene" --because an National Press Reporter misunderstood the study (couldn't read it properly). Now its thought to be so, even though the report never said such a thing.

Last year a disgraced South Korean scientist admitted to faking stem cell research.

Contrary to what the mainstream media wants you to believe, including ol' Al Gore, there is NOT a consensus on global warming and therefore there is a continuing need for the debate and getting clear facts. Taking a picture of a "stranded" polar bear on ice and use him for the symbol of the dire future of global warming, when in fact the picture was taken in the summer, is unethical and dishonest. Ice melts in the summer. Bears are dumb. But its not about global warming.

Besides the environmental issues (here in CA they also want to ban plastic bags), what struck me with the Times news article is how people get misled.

PEOPLE DO NOT CHECK SOURCES and just believe what someone "in authority" tells them, thus the lie continues and grows. In this case, its the Magisterium of Science that can do NO WRONG and ALWAYS have their facts straight. With the "Gay Gene" it was that a news report had all their facts right. In Christian circles its the Magisterium of seminary professors, pastors, and dead men, that can do no wrong, and thus are followed infallibly.

We must always test everything in light of Scripture. And when it comes the bandwagons of the world, we too must check sources and ask the right questions. If "everyone" is doing "it" or believing "it" does that make it right? Likely it could mean its not. Balance is good in a lot of things like environmental issues. I'd take an exception with "balance" in biblical truth though (that could be another blog entry idea).

Especially in regard to spiritual things, numbers do not determine truth; God's Word ALONE does.
Do you have a Magisterium?
Are there men or women you place in such high esteem that if they proclaim something you automatically believe it without testing them?
Do you consider counsel from the unbelievers?
Do you DELIGHT in Scripture, thinking on it constantly?
Or do you indulge in the thoughts of philosophers and psychologists--men without Truth, men who are enemies of God, men who deny the Sufficiency of Scripture?

Remember:

Act 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

2 comments:

NWProdigal said...

I do have a small group of men I admire, but I trust none of them regarding my soul. All can fail me save Christ, and He is the Rock of our Salvation. Quite a few ministers and elders have disappointed me, and more than a few have been true to the Word in spite of current trends. But, like you, I weigh all they teach and say by what I understand God's Word to say.

There is so much information out there, but literally very little discernment.

I attended services at a church on the coast yesterday and though it was small (about 75 people) the message was full of references to Spiritual Formation and, of course, Richard Foster. I addressed this, in a brotherly manner, with the preacher and pointedly asked him why he was so accepting of Foster's writings. I reiterated that 1. Foster is a Quaker and 2.Quaker's do not believe that the Word of God is complete or fully revealed and 3. They consider their "inner voice" rto be that of God and as relevant to their faith as the Bible.

He seemed unaware of this fact and I went on to tell him to be very careful of anything mystical or that lionizes Catholic monks or ancient mystics like Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, Madame Guyon, etc. He thanked me for my manner of approach and bemonaed that there were no church of Christ authors writing on this subject of spiritual growth. I recommended Greg Ogden based on information I have gleaned on his approach to this. He doesn't seem to be advocating any of the mystical or Eastern religion tenets the others do.

I have to get some of his books and confirm this, but we really have to be careful and check all the associations of people whom we seek teaching from.

Thanks for your articles!

Denise said...

Prodigal,

Good for you to warn the pastor! Hopefully he saw the danger.

Its amazing how people are unaware of the Quakers. I mean, that old fat man in blue on the cereal box is NOT a Christian! =) Quakers are one of the original "New Agers" for sure! They are no more saved than a rock

As I recall, COC has a works gospel anyway...they hold to baptism saving, etc. Very sad.

God is so faithful to being the True Shepherd of His flock! I'm so glad He steers us clear of the pitfalls in the ground and away from the poisonous vegetation...and to the still waters and green fresh grass. =)