Monty White in Leicester Mercury

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Monty White in Leicester Mercury

Postby George Jelliss » Tue Oct 17, 2006 2:22 pm

There is a full-page article in today's Leicester Mercury featuring an interview with Dr Monty White of Answers in Genesis. It gives details about AiG's organisation in Leicester.

Yesterday there was a full-page article "Have We Lost Our Reason" which was about religious extremism and featured quotes from three of our members at Leicester Secular Society. I suppose this publicity of AiG is intended to maintain some sort of balance.

I've copied the article here since it is difficult to find on the Leicester Mercury site (I found it by doing a search on "White").


WOULD YOU ADAM AND EVE IT?

10:15 - 17 October 2006

Answers in Genesis is spreading a fundamental Christian word all over Europe - and it is based in Leicester. Lee Marlow reports

In a warehouse in Knighton, a friendly man with Abraham Lincoln's beard and the look of an oversized teddy bear is settling into his heartfelt, if slightly unsettling, Old Testament stride. He's about to hit me with some Very Worrying News.

"If you don't accept God as your saviour," says Dr Monty White, "then you will go to hell."

Ah.

"Unfortunately," he explains, "that is what will happen. I look around the world today and all the problems we are seeing now are the result of us taking our eye off God.

"When you die and you stand before God and you are not a believer and you have not accepted Christ as your saviour, then you will be condemned by God."

And?

"And hell is waiting for you."

Oh dear.

"Yes, that is where you are going," says Dr White.

"That is what it says in the Bible - and I'm sorry if I keep returning to the Bible - but it forms everything I believe to be true."

This is a moment I'm unlikely to forget in a hurry, sitting in the international headquarters of worldwide Creationist group Answers in Genesis - which also happens to be a boardroom in a large warehouse on an industrial estate in Knighton - and being told by a man I've just met that I'm on a highway to hell.

In a nation which is predominantly Church of England, occasionally churchgoing and broadly Christian, it's still a surprise to meet a man who believes it all so thoroughly and unashamedly passionately as Dr White.

He says the world is going to the dogs - but his group, AiG, can save us from ourselves.

He recommends non-believers take a long, hard look at what the Book of Genesis means. It might just sort us all out.

Answers in Genesis, so that we're clear, is the religious group that does exactly what it says on the tin - that is, it says you can unearth the meaning of life in the Old Testament book of Genesis.

"I was like you once," says Dr White. "I didn't believe. I used to read the Bible so I could bait my Christian friends."

Then, one day, he says - although it wasn't a sudden transformation, it was a slow about-turn that took four or five months - he realised everything he thought was right was wrong and the people he had enjoyed poking fun at had been correct all along.

It was a magical feeling, he remembers, wistfully, and it left him feeling warm and happy inside.

That day, he stopped blaspheming, tried to stop sinning - although we all sin, he says, even those trying their hardest not to - confessed his wrong doings and welcomed Jesus into his life.

Since that memorable day, he says, everything has been much better.

It seems churlish to disagree with Dr White. He is an affable gent who, you can see, is happy in his own skin and content that his theory on life is right and that others - even fellow Christians who don't quite travel that extra religious mile - are wrong.

Dr White is a very clever man who was once the registrar at Cardiff University. He believes the world would be a better place if we all thought like him.

Maybe he's right. His message, after all, is finding a growing and accepting audience across Europe and America.

While congregations have dwindled at churches across the country, Answers in Genesis continues to grow.

AiG has 10 full-time employees, three part-time staff and three volunteers. Two associate speakers are expected to join around Christmas.

Answers in Genesis works like this, says Dr White: There's the warehouse, where they dispatch between 30,000 and 50,000 videos, DVDs and books every year, and the ministry, where they travel the UK and Europe retelling the greatest story ever told.

It costs about £500,000 to keep the show on the road. One fifth of that comes from the sales of merchandise. The rest, says Dr White, they sit down and pray for. He's not joking.

"Every day," he says, "we will meet at 9am and pray and one of the things we will pray for is money."

Sometimes they pray for a new van. "We've needed a new vehicle three or four times in the past few years and we've prayed and we've received enough money to get one. The power of prayer works."

If it does, Dr White, why don't you pray to save dying children rather than praying for a new van?

No, no, says Dr White, shaking his head, it doesn't work like that. "Death happens. You can't escape that.

"Death happens because of Adam's sin. Nothing would have died if Adam had not sinned."

He hands me a magazine called Answers. The main article is titled: Do Leaves Die? They don't, it concludes.

A few pages later, there's a feature entitled Darwin's Legacy - An Assault Against God.

There's the religious rub. Followers of Creationism believe God created the Earth and everything else in six days and rested on the seventh day.

They believe that Adam ate the apple - although it wasn't actually an apple, it was a fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, explains Dr White - and subsequently ruined it for all of us by submitting to sin.

They visit churches to spread this message and some schools, though but Dr White says very little about this, admitting every time they venture into the classroom they get criticised.

"We prefer to keep that side of our work quiet," he says.

"I would like to see this [Creationism] taught in school," he says. He wouldn't like just anyone teaching it, though - he wants to teach it, or someone like him, so the children get the real thing, not some jaundiced run-through by a sceptical teacher.

What sets Creationists apart from other fundamental Christians is their belief that the Earth is 6,000 years old and that while Charles Darwin may have had a point about evolution, we didn't come from primates, we are descended from Adam and Eve.

Ironically, at the rear of the boardroom is a cupboard full of fossils. Dr White says every fossil you have ever seen is less than 6,000 years old.

Are you sure about that, Dr White?

"Yes. I studied geology at university. I know that methods of dating these rocks are flawed."

Three miles away at New Walk Museum, Leicester, they have one of the oldest fossils in the world. Unearthed somewhere in Charnwood and dating from something like 550 million years ago, it really is a sight to behold, says natural science curator Mark Evans.

Is there not any chance that these geological experts might be, somehow, 549,994,000 years awry?

Mr Evans thinks that is unlikely.

Dr White wafts away those 550 million years as if it's nothing more than a trifling difference of opinion.

The scientists are wrong, he says, because it says so in the Bible. It all comes back to the Good Book.

What if the Bible is wrong?

It isn't wrong, he says.

What if it is, though?

"Well, as John Wesley once said, if I'm wrong and the Bible is wrong and there's no hereafter," he says, "at least I've had a good life here on Earth."
GPJ
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Monty White in Leicester Mercury

Postby Anonymous » Tue Oct 17, 2006 6:30 pm

It reads like the writer was trying his best not to laugh.
Anonymous
 

Re: Monty White in Leicester Mercury

Postby Timothy Chase » Wed Oct 18, 2006 3:57 pm

George Jelliss wrote:There is a full-page article in today's Leicester Mercury featuring an interview with Dr Monty White of Answers in Genesis. It gives details about AiG's organisation in Leicester.


This is an excellent article. It really manages to capture a great deal - and brings to mind at least for me the Pied Piper of Hameln. I understand that Hitler could be quite personable.
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Re: Monty White in Leicester Mercury

Postby George Jelliss » Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:26 pm

Timothy Chase wrote:This is an excellent article. It really manages to capture a great deal - and brings to mind at least for me the Pied Piper of Hameln. I understand that Hitler could be quite personable.


There was a photo of Dr White in the article. He reminds me more of Benny Hill than Hitler! He is displaying a copy of his book "Wonderfully Made". The photo is part of a colage that includes a painting of Adam and Eve, the aged Darwin and "scientist Robert Jones with a fossil slab believed to be 270 million years old".

I tried to locate the previous day's article (including comments from our members) on the website, but it wasn't there. However I emailed the website asking why I couldn't find it and they have now put it up. Being a charitable person I try not to think that the omission was intentional.
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Postby George Jelliss » Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:02 pm

There's a nice response to the Monty White article in today's Mercury:

I'M LOOKING FOR SOME ANSWERS

08:00 - 20 October 2006

Following your article on Answers in Genesis (Mercury, October 17), I wonder if Dr White can clear up these questions for me.

Were humans created after other animals, as in Genesis 1:25-27, or before other animals, as in Genesis 2:18-19?

Were plants created before humans, as in Genesis 1:11-13, 27-31, or after, as in Genesis 2:4-7?

Does Adam die on the day he eats from the tree of knowledge (Genesis 2:17) or does he live on for another 930 years (Genesis 5:5)?

Did Noah enter the Ark on the day that the flood began (Genesis 7:11-13) or seven days before (Genesis 7:7-10)? Did the flood last 40 days (Genesis 7:17) or 150 (Genesis 8:3)?

Before we dismiss people such as Dr White as mere harmless fools, maybe we should read what they actually believe and read the dangers.

Among other things, Genesis endorses the burning of pregnant prostitutes (Genesis 38:24).

I hope he has not taken it too literally.

Simon Perry, Oadby.
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