W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page What is New
BEWILDERMENT, BEDAZZLEMENT, BEDEVILMENT
OR THE BEAUTY OF
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
Published by World Wide Web Witness Inc.
The name of the century ? is it bloodshed ? is it bewilderment ? is it bedazzlement ?
Assuredly it is not "the beauty of Christ's holiness"!
Blood ? wars seem to arise like evil flowers, cape-weed which bedizens so many fields in blatant colourful contrast of black and yellow in Victoria, or sour-grass which in South Australia looks so 'pretty' in its almost delicate flowerings, as it carpets so much, as if the mere business of living were a bagatelle, a thing of nothing, its flowers finding paths and explorations that might daunt the mighty. But it is a weed.
War with the heady throb of blood is likewise a weed. In this century its talons are cruel, its heart is usually befouled with the grime of crime, political folly, egotism, false glory, inveterate hatred, incestuous spiritual relationships with the evils and the Evil one, as it drives dauntless, like sour grass, sour spirited sallies and gross hearted severances of peace, arms, legs, hands, futures, hopes, its specialty.
As often enough stated, this is not some 'religious bash': it is fact. It is time that the sadly tic-like movement to scratch the itch of conscience by derisively formulated disclaimers of 'doom' by a race given increasingly to wild frenzies and lifeless replies, should be replaced by repentance. Is it really imagined that the Creator of man's power to think, to surmise, to imagine, to investigate, of the fields to which he attends, of life, of death, as shown in recent volumes of this set, is immune to man's antics ?
Is it really thought that man has it all rolled up, wrapped up, parcelled and neat, his answer to the obvious and probing question as God beholds his conduct: WHY! Why are you, this race called mankind, WHY ARE YOU SO ACTING! Do you imagine, says God, or rather you thought that I was one just like you! In crime ? in folly ? Hardly does He whose is all grasp for more! Take care, He says, lest you be destroyed. But the drugged mind is all but past caring, that of mankind in the mass of its degraded movements, demolishing what is right, exploiting what is wrong, and singing with it the song of Man, Man, Man!
Psalm 50 has a caution!
"But to the wicked God says:
'What right have you to declare My statutes,
Or take My covenant in your mouth,
Seeing you hate instruction
And cast My words behind you?
'When you saw a thief, you consented with him,
And have been a partaker with adulterers.
'You give your mouth to evil,
And your tongue frames deceit.
You sit and speak against your brother;
You slander your own motherís son.
'These things you have done, and I kept silent;
You thought that I was altogether like you;
But I will rebuke you,
And set them in order before your eyes.
'Now consider this, you who forget God,
Lest I tear you in pieces,
And there be none to deliver:
Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;
And to him who orders his conduct aright
I will show the salvation of God.. "
Yet so many want to ask God, WHY ? why do you permit such things ? as if He had not been so gracious and forbearing that it staggers the soul!
The answer is ever obvious in one's own heart. WE have power to choose, love has power to dispose itself, friendship has power to bestow itself, as does hatred and enmity and vying and lust of all kinds, not least the spiritual for autonomous self-will. WE do choose and the results are accordingly to be found. It is the divine brake, and not the accelerator, which amazingly slows down the rate and spate of crashes; but folly mounts, and its results accrue, first of all like the moraine of glaciers, then like the flooding of rivers, then like the rising of seas and the violence of storms.
What do you expect ? Endless folly to be given a grant for eternity! Not likely.
The fact that mercy is so vast and prodigious that this race is not yet exterminated, though it is seemingly doing its very best to achieve this by violation of individuals, races, nations, truth, care, concern, in the interests of having more, dashing into the derring-do extremities that lash the earth and assail its people and imposing this or that erratic or despotic will on others, should not be construed to mean that the RESULTS will simply forget about it. They are so disposable, as if for these too, it were merely a matter of finding a suitable rubbish bin and tossing them into it.
There is a folly in this earth, not least, new look politicians, who promise new things, new ways, change away from old things, and this has appeal to many because old things have been so tarnished in the travails of compromise and falling standards for so long that a new look seems charming to them.
But what is this new look ? more people power, less regard for what is left of standards of purity and truth and distinctiveness for the absolutes of the God who sent Jesus Christ, whose answers remain what they always were, NECESSARY for life! That appears its most popular direction.
Religions and a good dose of dialogue, in the current climate, and for a nation that once might have called itself Christian, this appears nothing more than another name for compromise and despatch somewhere else, of the biblical absolutes of Christ, leaving the memory dim, the standards misty and the new shores as welcome as tarry tarmacs, afflicted by the heat. As they settle on them, the vision goes from the nation, while the option of bottomless depth yaws, or yawns, for it has had many takers.
The way is falling since Britain fell, and it has, to be sure, a long way to go; but it is falling faster as every bulwark against popularist betrayal of divine truth becomes a commonplace, large organisations still illicitly called churches betraying Christ by blatant pushes for pre-eminence in themselves, or for autonomy of morals as if Christ had never been, or arrogance in doctrine, as though a Bible could be written and displayed with new teaching on any street corner at will.
It is as Paul describes such ventures into such areas, into ventriloquism for the voice of God or plagiarism or remoulding relative to the Lord, a fitting work for the devil who loves a different Gospel, another Jesus or another spirit (II Corinthians 11). That proud spirit can specialise in transforming his appearance into that of a false, or falsetto angel of God! Following his leading has never been a good idea. It ruined this earth more than any merely environmental work of man could ever do! It made it FIT for judgment! (cf. Romans 5:1-14, 8:17ff.).
There is payment to come. Let us leave that side.
There is also the beauty of holiness to find. It is in Christ now as it always was. It is not found in grabbing, getting and forgetting what is godly, but by discovery of the truth where it always was and will be, in Him whose it is, in the God of verifiable, validated revelation in Jesus Christ, the doctrinal deposit in the Bible. Abandon that, abandon Him, mould it to your will (in theory - in fact it will never change), use Him for pleasure, profit, a happiness-machine, an investment opportunity, USE Him for ANYTHING, rather than finding in Him life as HE gives it, and what follows ? It is this. You are then merely making HIM a means to your objectives, your life and your will. He is not so available. Christ did not call us to take up our crosses and follow Him, in order to suggest it would be easy, or self-gratifying. Who on earth could find it gratifying or pleasurable or fulfilling to heave on his shoulder a great, heavy, cruel, rough cross, an object on which he is to be crucified! (Galatians 2:20, Luke 14:27ff.).
Life is beautiful IN Christ, but ugly outside. It is not however supine saturation with pleasure but spiritual moulding with truth in mercy. Mere satiation of desire leaves unanswered the question of WHAT desire and WHY! To find God is to find love, truth, pity, beauty of holiness, peace and wonder. It is not for profane hands, which is why so few who name Him, have Him. FEW there are who enter this narrow way, said Christ (Matthew 7). Many are called, but few are chosen! He intimated.
Be like athletes competing for a prize, said Paul! This is not the work of leisurely laziness or pleasurable performances. This world has history and history has point, purpose and meaning, both exposing the weaknesses, giving experience of them and their correction, intimations of their purposes, overcoming of their deviations, exposition of the power of God in the weakness of man and the scintillations of scenarios unspeakable or spiritual, the glitter, the bedazzlement of what blights, or the glory of what has fought and won, and conferred on His own, that victory.
Where is the honest, sincere response to the wonder that God is, with the wonder-reaching aspirations of spirit which finding life through regeneration (Titus 2-3), live anew in the active and dynamic presence of the living, loving God who gave many things ? Let it be in you. To life, where it must be, in Him, He has given the openings of grace, and to this He invites (Matthew 11:29ff.); to mind its open door to truth (Ephesians 1, Psalm 119), and to heart its land of splendour, where sacrifice and conformity to truth are like brilliant alpine resorts, arduous and inspiring, delightful and awesome, to be treated with the utmost care (Philippians 2-3).
May God bless you as you put all your valuables in His spiritual basket, and placing it in His hands, with a will made clean by the blood of Christ, live entirely for Him. You will not find it easy, but it will test faith! However, His hands are sure, and the basketware is His (Ephesians 1:11, I Peter 1).
In this volume, which is not large, the intention is to use things small and large, minor and major, as in a store room. It is hoped you will find what edifies, trusted many will be blessed and recommended that you SEEK the Lord with ALL your heart, and finding Him by faith, eject encumbrances and run well.
The track ? It is called truth. The athletic style ? it is called love.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ:
Key to the Age and to the Ageless
The COUNSEL THROUGH HISTORY
CONQUEST THROUGH FAITH
Survey and Scan of 7 Kings between Two Great Kings
from II Chronicles 21-29, with Siting of Ultimate Significance
The EXUBERANCE IN CREATION
and the ETERNITY in RE-CREATION
The COUNSEL THROUGH HISTORY
CONQUEST THROUGH FAITH
FAITH IN HIM WHO IS FAITHFUL
Perspectives from II Chronicles 19-32
with New Testament Parallel
HULLO TO HYPOSTASIS
Instruction through Imagery
so that Confusion, Twin of Bewilderment, can Go Home!
Dialogue with Hypostasis
INORDINATE IMAGE, DETERMINABLE DESIGN
Past Exuberance to the Summit Synthesis
of the Spiritual Life of Man
Dialogue with Reality Check
Man and his Maker
Instruction through Image
Meeting Suffering Sensor
THE INDISPENSABILITY OF HISTORY
ON TESTING AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HISTORY,
AN INDISPENSABLE PROBE AND PRODUCTION
Inspection of the Suffering Connection,
Dialogue with Inspection Connection
The Majesty of Love
rather than the Love of Majesty
The Holy Charge of History
and the Happy Charges Reversed of Deity