Sunday, 2 October 2011

Are Christians the frog in the pot?

The “Letter of the Week”, in this week’s edition of The Southern Cross, is a letter from Anthony Sturges titled “Adam and Eve: Allegorical Progenitors[1]. In the letter Anthony Sturges states that “The Book of Genesis can be dated to between 1446 and 1406 BCE.” I hope that you, like me, are wondering why on earth Anthony Sturges has chosen to make use of the absurd secular term BCE to refer to that period in our history.

As we all know, “BC” is an acronym for “Before Christ”, referring to the period before the birth of Christ. “AD” is the acronym for “Anno Domini”, referring to the period after the birth of Christ. So, what does the acronym “BCE” refer to?

“BCE” is a secular term that refers to the period “Before the Common Era”. It corresponds exactly to the period, which is more commonly known as the period in history before the birth of Christ. “CE” is the secular term for the period known as the “Common Era”. The Common Era corresponds identically to the period more commonly known as the period after the birth of Christ.

Here is a brief background of these two terms from Wikipedia:

Use of the CE abbreviation was introduced by Jewish academics in the mid-19th century. Since the later 20th century, usage of CE and BCE has been popularised in academic and scientific publications, and more generally by publishers emphasizing secularism or sensitivity to non-Christians.

The "Common Era" (CE/BCE) notation has been adopted by numerous authors and publishers wishing to be "neutral" or "sensitive to non-Christians" because it does not explicitly make use of religious titles for Jesus, such as "Christ" and Domini ("Lord"), which are used in the BC/AD notation, nor does it give implicit expression to the Christian creed that Jesus was the Christ.[2]

There can be no doubt that the use of these two terms, CE and BCE, is intended to eliminate any reference to a Christian event. However, the use of these new terms is ridiculous, even if you are an atheist or a non-Christian. There is no other event, of any historical significance, around AD 1, that can be used as the basis for differentiating these two periods.

If one wants to remove any Christian connotation and secularise the dating of events, then one has to devise a completely new date system that does not differentiate from events that occurred before or after the Christian event of the birth of Christ. One would need to find some significant secular event, somewhere in history, to use as a new reference point and change all dates accordingly.

Simply changing the terms that are used to refer to these two periods in history does not eliminate the fact, like it or not, try as hard as you like, that these two periods are separated by the truly magnificent Christian event of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sorry for you if this bugs you!

The author of “A Short History of Time”, Leofranc Holford-Strevens, put it like this:

If [this timeline] does not commemorate the birth of Christ it has no business to exist at all, for no other event of world-historical significance took place in either 1 BC or AD 1…

Attractive, especially in a globalised age, as a purely secular era may appear, the Christian era cannot be made secular by denying its origin.

There is no doubt that we are under constant attack from the secular world. Do we now need to further buckle to secular pressure and change an expression, which is of such incredible significance to all Christians?

Christians need to be very careful of becoming the frog in the pot of slowly heating water. As the water heats the frog does not jump out because it begins to become accustomed to the changing temperature of the water. Eventually it is boiled to death because it was oblivious to the obvious warning signs of the danger it ultimately faced.

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