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Creation Magazine, June-August 2007
HULLO TO HALLOW!
The term in Greek, from which our Bibles render an English translation, and therefore the important term, means to hallow, to RENDER OR DECLARE to be holy, sacred, consecrated, to acknowledge to be such, to separate from things secular or profane, to render inviolable as consecrated to God.
Thus, in this sense one may seek to elevate something to this level, or to acknowledge that it HAS this level. In either case, one is dealing or acting as if to deal, with what is at this level. Of course, the 'elevation' may be disastrously wrong, as in idolatry, and a work of the heart of man in divorce from the realities of the case. The 'elevation' however, if it deals with the truth, is merely an action to exhibit IN this area or item or entity, what being already there, is to be signified; and if it is directly in reference to God in His own self, as in His name, then of course, there is no elevation except of the human mind, to see what is there and see it in this apt way that coincides with reality: HOLY.
In its use concerning the name of God, therefore, when we come to this 'hallowing', it means the following no-nos:
1) You never use it in vain, as if it were a plaything, an expression to signify that what you are saying is deep or important, a term of anger, to denote it, of violation of what you want in a big way, a sneer, a dismissal. That of course is explicitly one of the 10 commandments from which Christ cited in telling the rich young ruler what was the way of life. Do not use the name of the Lord in vain. Don't render it something futile or not rationally related, a throw-in. Would you say: Daffodil! when angry, or Sally, when frustrated, if that is the name of your wife ?
How much less would you indicate the name not of your earthly father but of your Creator to signify your displeasure, or to express your feelings, without actually wishing to speak of Him in reality, or to Him! Even if it were a form of speech TO Him that was meant, mixed with frustration, anger or intemperance, as if to evoke His presence as a silent witness to your disaster of anguish or upset, in common parlance in such cases, it would not be to invoke His help, admit your own frailty as one deserving correction well enough, but an invocation if such at all, that brought in His name as an extra to your thoughts, a witness to your woe, without any intention of immediate continuation of the 'conversation'.
You do not invite trouble by knocking on the door, if you will, of His office, as a tic from trouble without waiting for an answer, or having anything really organised to say, but merely to signify a bit of trouble. Imagine doing this to the President of your company, as you pass his door, to bang on it to show that THIS employe at the moment, is feeling far from happy!
This is a travesty of respect and a demeaning of dignity to the point of cheek, impertinence, and shallowness of personality, as if whenever you are in trouble, you want to trouble him without even giving Him the time of day, with rational conversation or realistic check-out!
HALLOW His name is to be realistic, reverential because of realism, and not an equivalent to screwing up the face in pain, or the mind in consequent outburst. It is so far from this that the comparison with reality is like that between a panorama of millions of rose bushes in bloom with a munificent multiplicity of scents, and a faded leaf, torn and almost dust.
2) Secondly, you do not treat the name of God as a palsy-walsy verbal expression of a divine-human relationship. When Peter became too intimate in the sense of offering God cordial advice, for His own good (Matthew 16), speaking to the face of God as expressed in face of Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 4:6), who though in Himself, in the form of God, yet took office as servant to secure our salvation, what then occurred ? Peter then received the rebuke of a life-time. "Get behind Me Satan!" What a word to echo in the ears for a life-time!
The cross ? the point the ludicrously alleged pre-papacy candidate was in effect saying: that ? this death stuff ? this departure from our midst ? this concept of sacrifice. Come on now, this is not for You. There are far more important things to do than die. Let's get with it.
These of course are terms in our own genre, but it seems that the spirit was the same.
Giving God advice, as we in effect saw in the last Chapter of the preceding volume, Hapless Hitches and Holy Healings, Godless Glitches and Divine Dealings, becomes a loathsome arrogance, a prodigious vanity and in the end, an endless intrusion of vanity into clarity, of cloud into the clear sky, of smog into mountain air, of pollutants into snowy streams that arise softly from melting whiteness, a plague of presumption and an acridity of assertion. Shall the vanity of the created thing instruct its Maker ? will the learning disciple of disciplines attach a note for the Maker of all ? Will the one who seeks to understand instruct the One who made understanding ? (Psalm 94).
We saw in that Chapter 8, that if such a person does such things, it is even rationally, a combination of vanity and inanity. It clashes with itself and its intrigues like a child playing spies.
God must be realised for WHO He is. If this is not done, talk is as inept as that of an octopus, trying to stroke the cheek in amorous fashion of some diver. That is not the way things are.
3) You do not use this name, on the other side, as an expression of a lofty unavailability, a philosophic abstraction an Aristotelian otherness involved in his own spiritual navel, or with an inwardness to the point of the exotic, really too special to get amidst his creation. The Creator (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go! ) is not abstracted; it is man who is extracted from His creativity and implanted in a devised environment of which ALL the ingredients are de novo, including the system in which they sit, caused to be as we cause words to be when we speak from the invisibilities of our spirits and the teeming imaginations of our minds into the form-contrived utterances which signify what we are about. We speak, the words, they are created: that is, with us, the words are so made.
With God, however, when HE speaks, what He wants is done, as to the uttermost degree, and beyond even that, since this is beyond our entire created template-situation, rather as when an Army Field Marshal declares what is to be done. The authority is there, the structure for implementation is there, the power is there, the provisions are there (we take of course for comparison, an ideal case), the obedient activators are there, and the thing being said, it is done.
That is a mere image. When you come to Him with whom we have to do, the Creator of the entire earth, the heavens, of man (as in Isaiah 44-45), who knows the end from the beginning (46), who works and who will hinder it (Isaiah 14:27), you are in an awesome realm. It depends on nothing. The Field Marshal may depend on the King, or Cabinet, because this is all part of an implanted structure of mutuality, and the authority of them all depends on their power and position, organisation and intention; but with God, this IS the King and cabinet, here IS the counsellor without counsel imparted or imposed. Here is that Eternal Being without whom you can have eternal nothing (and once that is all, that IS all); or eternal inadequacy for the results (without which you do not get them, but we are talking OF them). With God, you have eternal adequacy and hence the results.
You do not act as if this is somehow abstracted or He is, or something around the arena of discourse is so vague as to be inconsequential. Even for a new suit of excellence from a tailor, you do not, because you are not a tailor, speak of him or his products with any vagueness. You SEE his products and form a view of his capacities. This is nothing for idle thought. He may have many phases and facets of which you are unaware, but of one thing you are very aware, that he made your suit, has made many others such over the years, and has at least what that takes. He is deft, involved, artificing, conceiving many structures and strictures with aptitude, and applying himself with impressive and precise results.
4) You do not allow the mind when dealing with His name, to waver in its reverence or somersault into vague illogical stresses and expressions, as if YOU were the fixed one, and HE the butt for imagination. This is correlative to 3) above in this, that when you become artificial in your approach to someone, you are leaving the realities, so that what you think of as you turn to such a being, becomes so vague as to be captive to thought and ink for ideation to express itself.
It is with Him that we deal, when we use the term 'God', and any derogation, insinuation of contempt, indifference, lack of awe or registration of unlimited respect and admiration is mere rebellion. WHAT someone is, not the mere name, is that to which one relates. If one does not LIKE what a person is, then one may show it on purpose or involuntarily in terms of one's moral or social or psychic standards, and in the way one treats his name. When however one is no more dealing with one's peers, or clumps of them in social structures, or representatives of the same (for which one may hold on moral or other grounds, great respect, or towards which one may feel but appalled horror), the case changes.
When one comes past the foothills of human aggregations and intimations, dispositions and authorities to the very reality of God, there is no more room for opinion. To be sure, as with Job, in his often delightful but occasionally tempestuously stirred discourses, you literally have the power to exercise the tongue with this or that derogation or intemperate question. However, as the book in the end shows, to ASSUME Him witless who gave you wits, Him to lack understanding who gave to you not only your understanding but your capacity to dispose it this way or that, and who can remove that capacity as He did with Nebuchadnezzar: it to multiply words without understanding.
The approach to the name of God, therefore is not one that is artificially holy, in the sense of 'putting on the dog' as they used to say socially, that is making a contrived verbal or sartorial or psychic impact in order to attempt to show that one was important, rich, powerful or socially significant in some special way. That is as foolish as to be careless, as if one were at least as good as God, and He ought to be flattered that one is lowering one's so exalted self to the point of even recognising His existence; and far more so, if one deigns to ... actually speak to Him.
The air in such cases is that if one speaks even temperately or with moderate respect of God, then one is well on the way to being something special, a religiously oriented wise one. It is as if one is somewhat reluctantly forcing one's natural sense of thrust or bust, or self-importance, to acknowledge One who has His points, to be sure, yes has His points. One is however not TOO impressed, since the arrogance of name, one's own name, must always be pressing the skies.
If august autonomy is not the idol, if mutuality of respect is the demand, and at the same level, then of course we are beginning to have scope at least for hallowing the name of God. He is nearer than hands and feet, since these are all His manufacture, who maintains them by His will (cf. Hebrews 1:3), so that had He other thoughts for them, they would not continue as they are.
The approach should incorporate the realms of reality. Thus, the ludicrous admission that man should indeed recognise design*1 (shown to be a requirement of logic in Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny), linked to the irrationality that one need not bother with the Designer is a mere obfuscation.
If a WORK is wrought then the MEANS are required. If a testimony of potency is present, the omission of the potency is mere badinage, a work of the blagueur as the French put it. If you need so many volts, the omission of the generation means, means not sagacity but sad non-solace for reason. If you have artifice of geometry in brilliant displays intimidatory to man's own creativity, of assembly line techniques as in the cell, on a prodigious scale of multiplied, interactive designations and commands in code, to admit this to be design as logically required, is a step in reason; but to seek to distance the product from a due productive agency is a contradiction in terms (cf. Causes).
In some universes, there might be provision for this: it could be that there would be a result with no cause allowed to be seen or felt or exhibited. Unseen forces might whisk in and out the various products, as if some servant's hall brought in new dishes and whisked out the finished edibilities, with the appearance of these things having come from and gone to nowhere.
The discerning guest however would realise that there was no chance that this system and exquisite continuity of heavily produced components in due correspondence to one's every need and wish was just ... there. He would realise that no mere air, indeed no vacuum, in fact no nothing produced it. He would look for a cause. He would not be satisfied with the concept that culinary designs multiplied, and servants to approximate them to one's couch or table, and remove what was no longer the feast of the eye or the glut for the stomach, and to provide suitable drinks to meet the taste of the recipient at the right time over a month or two. He would disdain the concept that all of these things had no intelligence to contrive them, to correlate them with one's need, to aspire to satisfy, to receive and transmit the code of one's contemplation and desire, to be purposed to present and so by intelligible means adroitly adapt to such serviceable ends, and so perform the presentation.
He would rather expect that WHATEVER might be the nature of the case, whatever kitchens on earth or in heaven, national or international, village based or city founded, there would have to be a sufficiency of expertise, of contrivance to produce precise continuity, correlative to the result. The qualities involved would need qualifications to impose them, the imaginations exhibited would need minds to conceive them, the communication traffic would need intelligence to interpret it, whether compressed from the same, or directly exhibitive. One's commands would not be esteemed to be heard by intellectual nothingness, but by receptive auditory capacities combined to symbolic capacity and mobility means, leading to their execution.
One would not say that the entire correlation of these means and one's wants and these provisions in continuity of symbolic signifiabilty were caused by nothing, or were an excrescential consequence of air or cloud. One would aptly consider such suggestions stuff, and look with applied intelligence for the existence of this elsewhere than in one's own pocket of protoplasm, surge of thought and emanation of will, that is, in oneself or in that of others of like kind, or lower! One would look for what embodied and enabled such things, outside the domain of these limitations and observabilities with eye and ear and tongue. One would not long be mystified, for one would look where such things exhibit and attest themselves, and learn of and investigate into such matters with normal assurance, not shrieking abhorrence or propagandising incoherence.
The LEAST God could be was a topic of SMR Chs. 1 and 3 in particular, and in precise scientific mode of TMR. Who He is is ultimately found not only from His works, but as logic forces the mind to the foundations and One finds what to look for and so where it is to be found, in His words. It is not necessary to repeat this here; but what is necessary to consider is just this. This shows its necessity: the references show the steps and results.
If one thinks of God as inoperative abstraction and so does not regard Him as powerful, rational, capable of symbolic utterance and reception of the same, as incapable of being reduced or deleted, as having the wisdom of the craftsman beyond the mere intimations of learning, in Himself, as intimately involved in man's very atoms and molecules, biochemical components and their design, needs and necessities, then one is de-hallowing His name. One is degrading His greatness. One is defaming His majesty. One is seeking to vacate His wonder, giving wonderment to folly.
So was it with Israel as noted in Ezekiel 20. Whenever they seemed to find occasion, out would come the disorderly imaginations, and in would come the fractious desires involving them in fictitious inventions of what is not there, in order that they might show some subservience to it, worship it in ways idiotic, whilst these imaginary forces, powers, cultural collations, gods or whatever, would be given encouragement to be despotic over the human thrust.
In such servile style, man became rather like airplanes doing somersaults on the tarmac in pure sport, and so did the race would demean itself into a subservient and misled miasma, fit for mockery as it mocked the Lord. They do it yet. As to the burning of children (as in Ezekiel 20 attested and in other places, as a religious act of pagan defilement of mankind), it is still practised, not so much with a literal fire, but with the burning of native intelligence by its mandatory, dictatorial, enforced, authoritarian exclusivism in this State (as in many others), so that the truth is hidden beyond reason. In this State (cf. TMR Ch. 8), it is even made illegal to have creation as a part of the science curriculum, despite the teeming follies of evolutionary discord in its own domain, consequent upon its mistaken hypotheses, or to discuss it in other fields in the school system, with simple logical directness.
This is to take the name of God in vain and to export the vanity to the next generation. Does this qualify for divine aid ? It is a question some may well have to answer a good deal sooner than they think. The Lord's day is not far away now (SMR Ch. 8, Government Composite). But let us return to His name.
It is a question of seeing the NAME as a function of the Person, representative, exhibitive, symbolic and more than that, expressive of the One of whom we speak. Spit on the name and you spit on the personal being involved. Demean, hide or defame it, substitute for it something else, and you use it in vain.
Misuse the name and you misuse the Being.
So far we have been looking chiefly at one YOU DO NOT do.
BUT WHAT DO YOU DO ?
That, it is a good topic for the next Chapter.
This is noted in Creation magazine (June August 2008), in a citation from New Scientist 197 (2644):8. A 'strategic mistake' the scientists have made, said a speaker at meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The term 'design' he reportedly indicated, should be taken away from the creationists, from the intelligent design 'movement'. Apparently, it is to be 'possessed' by the new 'design' affirmationists, those who for generations have denied its very existence! Some putsch! Some take-over!
Let us then look at the facts of the case briefly.
Design 'in nature' ? There is as for so long shown in this site, design by definition (cf. Deity and Design, esp. Chs. 2 and 8, but passim). Yes of course, this is now being recognised most belatedly; but that aversion to the NAME of deity, is so in terms of the biblical prognosis for the disease of blindness to the Creator specified in Romans 1:17ff;, with all the results so brilliantly predicted, occurring and accruing from this pathology, precisely as specified in Romans 1.
This design, then, it is now said to be IN 'nature'. What IS nature ? It is a series of natures which have a series of situations in a series of potencies and inter-connected systems, involving commands and symbols, intricacies past man's mind, correlations superimposed to achieve unity of function. Did it make itself ? How could it, before it was there to do it! Did it slowly make itself ? How does a special case remove the generic inability!
Fast or slow, it either has the capacity to do these things, in some equipment which is there and sets about making it, or it has not. It shows no such capacity, despite the most energetic endeavours to shake it out of its non-creative torpor, to DO something
(History, Review and Overview Ch. 5,
Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 3 (shrieking for their idols, but in vain), 7 ,
The Bright Light and the Uncomprehending Darkness Ch. 5).
It shows not the machinery in itself, the information creating power (Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed: Barrister of Bliss... Ch. 4), the ordering of innovation kinds at all. We cannot get it to oblige, however many the command performances (as in TMR Ch. 1, *2 ).
What then ? We assume that what is not seen, is there ? that what does not work, works, that what is not evidenced IN nature IS in nature ? Why ?
Does science normally assume what it does not find, take as read what is consistently denied by laboratory experience, propose the functionality of what does not attest itself at all in whatever form experimentation may take ?
No, it does not, but achieves its dignity, which it once had in this field and still has where it uses scientific method (cf. Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation), by doing the precise opposite to this enormity of anomaly reserved for this aspect of its studies. Science, properly so-called, is persuaded by realities, not an inventor of contra-realities to facilitate a religious belief (TMR Ch. 8, * 7, A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 4, SMR pp. 150ff.). It is not to be a promoter of the 'cult of the forbidden (as in SMR above), which determines philosophically in advance, by actual hyper-religious adventurism, where it will look and where it will not, for solutions to problems and causes for consequences. Such is applied religion, and as to that, religion of irrationality, and has no place in science whatsoever.
Far from this, the actual data, the evidence, attests just what the Bible has for some millenia, in the NAME of God been propounding (cf. SMR pp. 140ff.).
The Christian position is the opposite to that of the 'cult of the forbidden'. It is evidentially related, at all times delighting in truth, the host and centre of which is Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
Having found that God has attested Himself in a multiplicity of verbal, programmatic and systematic ways, it delights in investigating the nature of what He has made. If you want to call this 'it' as 'nature' then you can; but it means MANY natures, many suits, suites, many confections, many beauties, many integralities with multiplicities of componential codes and instalments of correlated actions; and it means that these are to be found placed in mega-systems and those in mathematically impressive fashionings of laws and causes that are precise to the uttermost with supervening action.
So why does one want to find IN this assemblage, with its unitary character in its overall systems, something that does not HAPPEN to the eye, SPEAK to the ear, or SHOW to the senses despite the abortions of many trials to get places, either directly or indirectly, or in the paleontology ? Is one dedicated to what is not, to the omission of what is ? Does one 'find' what is vacated, or discover what is vacuous, nature-making power IN nature ? Actually, quite simply, no.
Yes, that is it, in such a case precisely.
The cause of all this is not to be found in itself. It has been searched and researched ad nauseam; and if it were, its features would surpass those of many and of all in it, monumentally.
It is hence to be found outside the engineering of materiality. There is no need to be coy. Man's spirit is there too, for its profundities of its own sphere and erroneous capacities are not at all in the concourse of the material (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7, SMR pp. 80ff., Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Ch. 2). Where man's spirit is to be found, a cosmos of intellectuality, causal reasoning, imaginative enterprise, folly and wisdom, purpose and incohesion is to be found, with provisions for responsibility or irresponsibility as part of the fare, there is no shape or size or force measured in dynes or watts or energy joules.
The power of ideas is of a different nature (cf. SMR pp. 348ff.), as what is absent in current creation from the visible, but inflexibly and unscientifically assumed to be present in that domain, while demonstrating its presence in the invisible (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 9), where will and purpose and within the creation itself, error obtain. The source of spirit is found in its operations as then attested multiply in things material, mental, aesthetic, epistemological, ethical, predictive and verified to a prodigious degree, as befits such an understanding. This entity of contrivance, wit, wisdom, imagination, architectural magnificence of creativity, miniaturising dynamic, mental brilliance, spiritual discernment, is evidenced where it is; and this material world is not the permanent lodging but an aspect of its performance criteria, of what it does and verbally attests, inviting man to test to re-assure himself (Isaiah 48), that this is so. This the creationists continually do, with huge delight, because it so works. That is the way it is.
The preference to place in 'nature', the NOT attested and to ignore what IS ATTESTED in its actions when these occur, is the nadir of modernistic science. It is the illicit presence of irrational religion, an idolatry for this figment 'nature' which is dynamised into the equivalent of deity, lacking only one thing, His power and His thought and imagination, innovation and creativity.
Such is the way of unwisdom, which makes up what it worships, and worships what it makes up. But one may say, Worships ? Surely they do not 'worship' nature ? Perhaps some of this bent do not at least intend to do so; but to invent as present in it, what it evidentially lacks, that is, the most august of powers, and to affirm this in the face of consistent, persistent, insistent negativity, in preference to what affirms itself in its own domain with consistent, persistent and insistent positivity: this is an action towards God.
Of what kind is it an action then ? It is a taking of His name in vain, whether explicitly or not. It is to attribute to what is not God, the powers of God, just as Israel was indited by God for doing just that (Deuteronomy 32:17-21). It is nothing new. It just seeks new domains: it is a spirit.
Whether a positive supinity, an actual act of worship goes with this (as when trying to 'imitate' 'nature') or not, there is virtual worship in the mistaken use of the name 'nature' where that of God alone factually 'fits'.
Indeed, if 'worship' is deemed to have amongst its meanings, this, the attribution to something of the power or powers of deity, and conduct and approach in consonance with this, it does indeed become worship.