By Phillipha Manglider
“They’re wrong. God made the world in seven days. The problem is the others are not counting right. They say God made the Earth in six days but that’s because they start on “1” but that’s a whole 24 hours gone before he did anything, according to them. Look, do it yourself; like God you start with nothing, so 0,1,2,3,4,5,6 – that’s seven days. That’s why the Eighth Day Inventionists are the only people who know what they, we, are talking about.” (Carlton Jones – Pastor of the Eighth Day Inventionist Church)
Inventionism is a relatively new denomination of Christianity, started by Carlton Jones and his sister, Carltonella Jesus-Jones. Both were previously Creationists but after a frank discussion one evening at Bella Pasta they realised their faith had been misplaced and that Christians around the world had been mislead. The name “Inventionism” came about when they realised that God started everything with the planet Earth so he didn’t ‘create’ it, he ‘invented’ it. Carlton explained “There were no other planets at the time so he didn’t just make one, he had to come up with the idea and that, as anyone will tell you, is an invention. The first car wasn’t created until after it had been invented. So obvious when you think about it.” On Monday 23rd December 2012 they opened the first Inventionist Church of Great Britain in their home town of Exeter, at the local cub Scout hall, and hit the streets during the pre-Christmas shopping rush to attract followers. Some 47 people signed up that very day, and a further 8 on Christmas Eve. They held their first service on Christmas morning.
“We believe that God’s word inspired the Bible directly and we believe in a literal, corrected, interpretation of it”, Carlton told me when I went to meet him and his sister, who share a bedsit in Exwick which is where I met them. According to Inventionism the Earth is not 6000 years old, but 6876 years, to account for the extra day in the week God originally intended, the Eighth day that other Christians have failed to account for, which brings us up to the year 2016 AD. “When you consider all those extra days we’ve lost that could’ve been spent speaking to God, it makes me want to cry, loudly”, Carltonella revealed to me while we drank tea in their cosy shared kitchen.
With Christianity losing followers rapidly in an increasingly multi-cultural Britain, the challenges facing a “new” interpretation of the Bible, one in which all the mistakes have been corrected, is a considerable one but both Carlton and Carltonella have made a vow to dedicate their lives to the teachings of Jesus Christ, our saviour, having carefully studied what was written about him in the Bible and ensure the mistakes in the translations we know of today are put right in the Inventionist Bible. While this is serious work the siblings can and do laugh at some of the more glaring errors in, for example, the King James Bible.
“Most people would agree that if a man rapes a woman he should marry her if he’s caught, especially if she falls pregnant because child birth out of wedlock is definitely a sin, except for Jesus, obviously. However, the Bible also says that if on her wedding day a woman is found not to be a virgin, she should be stoned to death. Obviously if the reason she’s not a virgin is because the man who’s marrying her raped her, it would be pretty silly of him to stone her to death! So, the Inventionist interpretation is that if the man rapes the woman and gets caught he has to marry her but he should not stone her to death unless she’d already lost her virginity before he raped her and she didn’t tell him. I think we can all agree that’s a much fairer and more accurate interpretation of God’s intended word.” Carlton’s logic is surely undeniable and is doubtless one of the reasons that after just four years in existence the Church of Inventionism has over 350 followers worldwide, including one or two very famous people who requested I not name them.
While its followers are in no doubt they have chosen the right path, Inventionism and its natural spin-off, Inventionist Science, have endured considerable scrutiny from many parts of the Christian world and the Science Community, most of which focuses on the all-important Seventh day of Genesis that’s not specifically mentioned in the original Bible. Unsurprisingly, Carltonella has an answer that is not only scientifically sound, but debunks the theory of Evolution completely, something she is not only proud of but visibly delights in. “Dinosaurs, obviously. On the extra day God made the Dinosaurs. Look, nobody’s trying to say they didn’t exist any more, but the Bible doesn’t mention them because God didn’t tell the goat-herders he’d asked to write it (the Bible) when he visited them. It was an oversight on his part; he’d had a busy few days and when he was re-telling the story of Genesis he just skipped a bit by accident. We know that Noah had Dinosaurs on the Ark so that’s the gap filled, referencing the Bible itself. I don’t understand why people like The Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury are so upset at the idea. The Bible is true because it’s God’s word and God cannot lie, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a bit forgetful. He has a lot to think about.”
A number of Scientists in Britain have attempted to de-bunk the truth of Inventionism, claiming it makes the same mistakes with regard to Evolution that Creationism does, but Carlton is in no doubt that where Creationism fails, Inventionism succeeds and can cite one example off the top of his head: “The most obvious criticism of Evolution is that it cannot explain how life started on Earth, but where it really falls down is when making sense of what we see in the world today. Apparently we are all descendants of apes, according to Science and the Religion of Evolution, and yet there are apes in zoos everywhere but there are no half-man/half-apes or half dog/half apes. A better example is to ask if children descend from adults, why are there still adults? The thing is, adults die of old age while children die of horrible diseases or at the hands of abusive parents. They can’t explain that contradiction, now can they? Evolution simply doesn’t have the answers and until it does there’s no good reason not to believe in our invisible inventor,friend and protector, God.” Obviously It would’ve been remiss of me not to ask them both what they thought of Darwin’s theory of natural selection; Carltonella had a quick-fire response to that too. “Darwin got caught up in circular reasoning, so basically he’s saying the fittest are those who survive, therefore those who survive are the fittest, but you only have to look at all the fat American, Mexican and Saudi Arabian adults who live long enough to retire, without needing a heart transplant, to realise fitness has nothing to do with it. God decides who is born, who lives and who dies. Who the hell did Darwin think he was, trying to change knowledge that was nearly 2000 years old when he had his silly little monkey ideas? Whose opinion on Evolution would you take: a 2 year-old’s (Darwin) or an 80 year-old’s (the Bible)? What does the 2 year-old know? Nothing, not a thing.” Take that, Darwin!
Inventionism has also been targeted by Secularists and Atheists who claim that despite the many “corrections” contained within the Inventionist Bible, much of the alleged “bigotry” (which Carlton dismisses simply as “stone-age thinking from apparently modern people”) of the original text remains. Both Carlton and Carltonella were chomping at the bit to respond to this godless claim:
Carlton: “We found a few things in the Bible that used to happen back then but don’t anymore. Given God is all-powerful he should probably have updated the Bible himself by now, without us even realising, but if he did then then we wouldn’t have free will, would we? No, he wanted us to learn from our mistakes and correct them, which is what we’ve done. So, for example, Timothy 2:11-12 says a woman should not teach a man anything or assume authority over him, and should basically not talk. Well, God obviously hadn’t accounted for the Spice Girls coming along with their “girl power” because, while he would’ve known it was coming, it would’ve been out of place in the Bible. So, Inventionism simply adds the words “You can agree to disagree about this and come to some sort of arrangement if it helps” and that’s probably what God would say now if he was one of us.”
Carltonella: “The Bible mentions the gays a bit, and God obviously wanted a man to have sexual relations with a woman only; clearly he made humans with a bumhole to poo out of, not to have stuff put in; that’s what the vagina is for, you put stuff in the vagina. Or the mouth. However, as with the women-related issues Carlton spoke about, God would’ve known that man-on-man stuff was always going to happen and left it up to us to learn and correct our mistakes. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s disgusting you’d want to make your dick all covered in poo and there’s AIDS too, but as long as they stick to their own pubs and nightclubs and don’t put it in my face, then it’s no worse than fisting in my book. So, in Leviticus 18:22 it says “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination” but we know God wanted us to learn through free will so we just added a bit so now it says “It is an abomination, right, but as long as nobody sees or hears you doing it you can get away with it” which is much closer to what God would’ve said if he’d written the Bible in 2016. None of this means God doesn’t think bottom sex is a bad thing, that men shouldn’t have sex with each other or that homosexuals aren’t sexual predators, but given what the Catholic Church have been doing to young boys with a frequency and ferocity that only the ancient Greeks could’ve matched, I think God wants us to say as little about gays and paedophiles as possible as things can get pretty awkward pretty quickly.”
Inventionism is literally re-inventing the Bible for the modern world, correcting the obvious mistakes God left for us to find and put right, as was always his intention. While Fundamentalist Christians, especially right-wing Christians, believe we should live according to the precise terms laid out in the Bible 2000 years ago, Inventionism teaches us that free will to learn, make mistakes and correct them, is in the truest spirit of invention itself. Of course, this could leave the Inventionist Bible open to abuse and interpretation, allowing people to cherry-pick the parts that serve them best in any given circumstance, something Christians and indeed all religious people, even the Muslims, would never, ever, do. Not in a month of Sundays. With this in mind I asked the siblings what they thought about the afterlife and what is required of a human being to find their way to Inventionist heaven. Carlton was very clear that in order to get to heaven one must dedicate their life, from the moment they become a born-again Inventionist, to doing good and spreading the word of Inventionism at all costs, as any good Christian would. “The Catholics seem to think that you can do whatever you want in life and still go to heaven as long as you confess your sins and beg for forgiveness before you die. That’s obviously flawed because heaven would end up full of criminals who’d asked to be forgiven for all their sins. Our uncle Freddie used to touch our bums whenever we went to theirs for the weekend, and he put his hands down my trunks once when he took us swimming. If he begged for forgiveness before he died and ended up in heaven I would be pretty unhappy about seeing him once I got up there, especially as he’s the sort of person who says anything to get himself out of trouble. God sees everything, he’s the inventor of the universe and he takes the time out to speak to each and every one of us whenever we need a chat. Would something that powerful fall for a cheap trick by our uncle Freddie? I think not.”
I felt truly inspired by my conversation with Carlton and Caroltonella, so much so I pledged myself to Inventionism right there and then. I am both happy and proud to reveal that I am now a born-again Inventionist, ready to spread the word of invention to anyone who’ll listen. After a brief ceremony in which Carlton dipped my head in his sink, I heard God speaking to me in inventive new ways I had never known before. It’s one thing to be able to hear, it’s a different thing to truly listen. After the ceremony we had another cup of tea and I asked them what the next big thing they were going to do, in order to spread the word of God’s Inventionism, was. Unsurprisingly, given my experience in their bedsit, they both said, at exactly the same time, “Education”. Carltonella explained what that meant:
“We are about to approach a number of local Comprehensive Schools about introducing Inventionist Thinking into the curriculum. Right now children are taught, if anything, that God ‘created’ the Earth, which is important for children as they’re learning that God is all-powerful and he knows everything and can invent anything. However, we want the word ‘created’ replaced with ‘invented’ as it is a far more accurate word to use in the context of Genesis. Also, we want schools to stop teaching Evolution as ‘accepted science’ because it is not, not by us, and make room instead for Inventionist Science, and other subjects too. Children should be taught about the magic of electricity, a gift God has given to us because, despite what traditional Science has brainwashed people into believing, nobody knows where electricity comes from, we only know how to harness it. Students could enjoy cross-curricular projects such as producing an illustrated guide to modern inventions and how they have copied God’s own inventions, such as aeroplanes modelled on eagles or tanks modelled on Rhinos and Elephants. In Geography, students could enhance their map-making skills by plotting the route from the Mountains of Ararat in Turkey where Noah’s Ark came to rest, back to Australia so the Kangaroos and Koalas could get home after the great flood. Or how about in Performing Arts, where students could get really creative and make a big song and dance about God’s perfection in his invention and design of all the aspects of our lives? And for disabled children, who God has forsaken, they can play with boiled eggs or paint them if they’re actually able to hold a brush without trying to eat it. Inventionist Education supports the truth we all know of, that God invented the Earth and everything on it, and he is all seeing, all knowing and all powerful. Schools who do not teach the word of God are committing child abuse, presenting a Secular worldview that is hopeless and purposeless; what a harmful thing for children to learn. The story of Jesus should be as important to children as the story of Santa Claus and the similarities, the miracles, the magic should be encouraged in children, not denied them. Atheist Education teaches logic, reason, encourages children to seek out truth and evidence, none of which are mentioned or referred to in the Bible. We need to work around the intellect of Atheists and Secularists in order to teach the Bible, and not only to children but to adults as well.”
It was with a heavy heart that I said my goodbyes to Carlton and Carltonella but my train journey back to Manchester passed by in what felt like just a few minutes as I thought about what I’d learned and my new life as an Inventionist. I have always believed in God, and that belief has always been strong, mainly because an Atheist will tell you they don’t believe in God and simply saying to them “you can’t prove God doesn’t exist, therefore he does” is enough to leave them open-mouthed and scratching their heads. I had never considered God to be anything more than a creator; it had never occurred to me to think of him as an inventor! Even now as I put the finishing touches to this article I can see how critics and sceptics might not have been able to accept God as the creator of all things, but when you say it to yourself, “God is the inventor of everything” it makes so much more sense to me. To all Christians out there, and indeed people from the other (incorrect) religions, I implore you, I beg you to seek out the truth of Inventionism before it’s too late.