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DESIGN FOR LIVING,
FROM DESIGNER LIFE:
THE FIRM THAT IS ALSO THE FOUNDATION,
being HIS MAJESTY JESUS CHRIST
"And He has made from one blood every nation of men
to dwell on all the face of the earth,
and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,
so that they should seek the Lord,
in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him,
though He is not far from each one of us;
for in Him we live and move and have our being,
as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’
"Therefore, since we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone,
something shaped by art and man’s devising.
"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked,
but now commands all men everywhere to repent,
because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness
by the Man whom He has ordained.
He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
DESIGNER LIVING - ITS BASIS
In the several million word treatise on Deity and Design ...
far more than enough has been given to demonstrate logically and illustrate empirically that we are a design; and even in the last few volumes,
as in Hapless Hitches and Divine Healing ... Ch. 4, and in this current volume,
Chs. 7 - 8,
this has been extended.
Now it is time to apply these things and to see the results in those terms,
which is to say,
the exact opposite of the current direction of history,
which is in itself simply one more verification of design
(as when you REFUSE to put in new oil for your car):
what happens when you do not heed it!
The body is designed, a unity with contributory production and performance functions and sites. There lie the circulatory systems, the air-ventilation system, the food intake, absorption and energy distribution systems, the computer-like but yet highly distinctive brain, the nervous systems, including the central and peripheral aspects, the autonomic nervous system, with its divisions of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic, with their contrivances for using blood channels, and division of labour, the reproductive system and the disease resistance formulations and formations; and here are found its electrical routings and wattage components, its muscular structures and their co-ordination with the nervous system, its anatomical structurings and their relationships with the physiological needs and variables, the motion systems for air, food, blood, for feet, for hands, for physical scupturings, for collaboration of skeleton and muscle, nerve and need.
Now we come to the crux.
There is also what cannot be measured, has no colour and moves in a different domain. It is thought. It has its built-in logical systems, and discursive and originative facilities and faculties in a sort of university of learning and knowledge, one which of course uses a campus for its activities, but has operatives on those fields, which are by no means chained to them, as is normal in any university. This is a place, an operational site, a function, a cosmos indeed, where the static is there in measure, as in a site, to enable the exotic, or at will, erratic, or despotic, or inventive, or ratiocinative, or emotional or directive dynamics to operate (as in any university, with some having this or that emphasis included or expanded or deleted), while the mobile, the fancifully felicitous, the dynamically imaginative is also provided for, at least for implementation.
Beyond this cosmos, is that of spirit, which intertwines at times, though at others can be far more separate, like a Chancellor's Office and occupant.
The distinction between mind and spirit, so that one can envisage the operational realities of what is not physical in kind, nor spatial in enterprise, is that between the rational, the finding of means, the elaboration of understanding of what is, of the status quo, and that which is mode elective, imaginative in ORIGIN, enterprise constructive and the functional abode of will. Here is another fabric to direct the material, but immaterial in type. Here is the luminary, there is the space for it; here is the volitional, there is the place for it. But that is not all of its place.
As to these cosmoi, being all designer-products in kind, as shown earlier, and illustrated by their formations and formulations, their power to conceive in rational and systematic mode allied to their exhibition of conceptualisation in their mode of implementation, from the directional to the notational to the nervous systems (where reachable by thought directly or otherwise) to the anatomical to the world: they are correlatives. Disparate in power and sphere of operation, they are conjoined for life in operational felicity.
Not only is this so, but also, within one cosmos, the spirit, and another, the mind, there can be
obfuscations because of an evil will (hating reality, its Creator and at war
such clarifications because of
such intimations and such
that we have a universe of human life and liveliness.
Some of it breeds death to spirit in delusion and obfuscation, some of it tends to life, in humility and aspiration for the knowledge of God, the interpretation of meaning for human life and the evacuation of what soils and spoils it. God has, as He said as seen in the quotation from the Acts above, given to man means, if by any means he might seek for and grope for him. And many, some to this degree, some to that, did so. Yet the efforts were largely in vain, except where God Himself, breaking through the dimness of delusion and the mists of deceit, the cleavages of thought and the breaches of truth, brought man to the light.
In degree, they sought, in measure they found; but their thoughts were without the truth until the truth was by their side, freely and abundantly. Prophets sought and found, because called by God; and Jesus came and presented in contemporary format, the Gospel of the grace of God, first adumbrated in Eden (Genesis 3:15), and almost the only hope for any who, in the mind of God, were foreknown that they might be covered by payment in fact, truth in action, mercy performed and not only propounded, when the time came, so that the thoughts of eternity became current by His own action, as all His people were found.
Thus by rebuke and replacement, at a height and depth alike in the flood (Genesis 6), in symbol and substance, as in the Temple in stone and in 'stones' (I Peter 2:9ff.), by power and by grace (as with King David in his peregrinations, in Joseph in his patience and reflected light, in Daniel in his prodigious provisions concerning history to come, from the Lord, by His word and by His works, the Lord acted. In our Age, the outline is filled in, the prevenient photographs of prophecy have become the face of Christ, and we are in the now near two millenial post, in the grace of God.
As Paul preached, presented in the word of God at Acts 4:6:
" For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness
who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God
in the face of Jesus Christ."
Now the aura of divinity and aurora of His light has shone, and we are equipped on all sides from His word and through His works, with the evidences of our design, of His design for us, amid our designs and our wills and ways; and while the house of faith cannot be bought, the place in the household of faith can be found, and here there is designer-living.
We have looked at the body, mind and spirit of man in overview. Designer living has application in every one of these features, even in the individual campus, where the life is installed, and in those adjoining, in their billions nowadays, and in those physical arenas, other ones than these which surround. These also are cumulative in consequence, whether we think of cumulus clouds or diamond surfaces, of stratosphere or space, of mines or of oceans, of rainfall or what controls and can disperse or pollute it.
While we ponder some the inter-relationships between individual campuses (and some like to have regional associations called nations) and international ones, and for that matter, rational and irrational ones (these being components in campuses which can be collated socially), imaginative and rigid ones, furious ones and impecunious ones, rich ones and poor ones, militant ones and military ones, irenic ones and those in inconsequential stasis, there is a certain atmosphere.
This can change. We speak of eras of peace and war, plenty and confusion and so on. In fact, there is always a continuity in some of the campuses.
Thus war and hatred, spite and envy, evil thinking against God or others though it be false, flippant overlooking of evil, without justice, misuse of justice for gain, to the devastation of its operational reality, egotistic clinging to power with a pretence of rule, stealing of ideas, vomiting of ideals, slipping on the sliding surfaces for thought and action thereby created, covetousness and the cloaking of evil intention in pseudo-virtuous looks of the angel where lies the heart of the devil: all these things continue. Now they rise, like the pollution of the air, of the sea, and the spreading disturbance of rain patterns; now they fall, like the international approximations to insanity and compoundings of this with the ethically insanitary, the pseudo-religious intrigues for power, using the very name of the deity for the works of oppression and devilish disregard of man, the inveterate counsels of war and the aggregations of near to terminal explosives.
The Age is scarcely able to contain the combination of power through material knowledge of the way God created the universe to work, immaterial guesswork about the way He created it that it might work, and confusions of the two; of its functional operations with its dysfunctional defilements by man, its holy intentions at times and in episodes, with its hatred, ambition and devilish cunning; of the confusion of national power with national interest, and of the latter with what is good.
Thus the reality is now quite calmly a matter of concern, whether the race can continue with SUCH power and SUCH ill will and SUCH mutual hatreds as scar its spiritual surface, and pollute its ideological and ideational atmospheres. The darkness is lusting after the light, not to know it so much as to put it to bed in the grass, not knowing what it does, nor greatly caring, but desperate with thrust, ignominious without trust in the Almighty. Nor is that name enough, for they manufacture mighties like women's nighties, with frills and lace, but without the power of enduring wear. When it comes to the Word of God as man, Jesus Christ, He must be changed into some format that will focus some current philosophic gambit or gamble; and so the darkness puts sparks into the night, always hoping, or doping, never coping, justly afraid when it is not bellowing its need, servile to greed, abstracted from truth, climbing ladders of shadows and hitting the ground. It is as in Isaiah 59, the Gentile innings this time.
So it has gone; and so was it to go. The Bible has found for man the truth the despises. God has indeed not left Himself without a witness.
This is all to be seen in two main sectors, in terms of predictability and prediction. First, it has been biblically predicted as shown in SMR Chs. 8-9, and this with stress on one race, that of the Jew, and one nation, Israel, which is far from consummative in glory, but is a fixed feature for reference, and for reference. The dynamics of evil in the other races can relate to this, as they develop. Just as they were to do, so they have done; and this is now to be seen in detail of no small amount (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5). Second, to a small but significant degree, far lesser than the biblical prediction one, but still impressive, the direction of flow of mankind is predictable on the basis of the biblical perspective. In other words, prediction is direct on the one hand, and the principles enabling a significant amount of insight in general terms, as to what will be, has been made available through the very principles and perspective of the Bible, as well. The one agrees with the other, and history agrees with both.
Thus divorce from deity is certain to lead to divorce from design. It stands to reason. In fact it IS often reasoned, on false premises of course, and with false promises as a norm for LIBERATION from the force of design and morals and commands and Maker and all of that style of thing. They want to be their so precious selves, with the intense and immense irony that the more they assert their little selves, the littler they are, and the more they liberate themselves, the more bound they become to their libidinous libations and erratic excesses, like cars misdriven and energy misspent.
Accordingly, the European Union DIRECTIVE to Britain to give full acceptance to homosexually inclined, for active TROOPS is one example (Wake Up World! ... Ch. 3). The San Francisco rush for 'marriages' between those of same gender was a scurry and a flurry of desire, when the law seemed for a short time to permit it. Other bodies are beginning openly to permit it. Indeed the time has come when precise and particular questions of legal rights and provisions for equality with those whose associations at the sexual level are in terms of the dereliction of design, which is highly specific and exceedingly clear, are being both raised and settled.
Ethical norms likewise are being delightedly defenestrated. Out the window with the clarity of light. What ? women and children first ? of course not, unless it is convenient. What ? protect children from sexual predators ? of course not, when they are 16. What ? await maturity for drivers of cars, who can kill like assassins when too young to realise what life is, and the meaning of their own lives in particular, or unready, while the case is with many of them they are experiencing growth in mind, spirit and independence, and still making basic assessment ? Of course not, release them into the traffic, and let their young indiscretions let blood make the roads slithery while politicians remain dithery, unwilling to exclude what is immature and unfounded in the main.
Indeed, why stop there ? Give them the vote to the 16 year olds, this seems some new asininity, gambit or gamble. Thus, if those yet without much in the way of wisdom, because their very minds are not mature, may vote for this or that Party, might not that Party with gross negligence, seek such a vote. Let us then be governed by children, through the proxy of misused democracy and glory in it. That is the direction. Wisdom is virtually hated, and the connivance of a vagrant will, an unsavoury wilfulness is leading to results more and more ludicrous.
Thus an excellent letter in a newspaper, and an article in the same one, expose with no small vigour some of the incredible seeming desolations being wrought in Canada, that scene of soul-stirring beauty in its created magnificences. These detail points like this.
People are now able to be told JUST WHERE LIBERTY FINISHES. It is where someone else is hurt, in his or her feelings. TRUTH is not relevant, we are told. INTENTION is not to the point. MENTION is what matters, and RESULT is the point. HE is hurt, YOU will be. That is the see-saw. Open the mouth, someone cries, My feelings are hurt! Not only do you then find you are to shut it, but you are liable at law. Truth is detested, fragility is the basis, and its splintering glass sees little in its broken condition.
What then. Think of a case. Someone is there, he listens, he reads. HE does not like your words, your delineation of ideas or ideology or religion, what then ? Then you are now subject not only to litigation, but to this without defence, by authoritarian appointment of penalty, and you can be sued simultaneously in several places. That is what we are being told in this newspaper-letter ensemble, the latter reflecting a site.
This last point is made in the letter, which also presents the amazing legal configuration in Canada, better to be set with Nebuchadnezzar or Sennacherib than in a modern democracy (but we are interpreting change). This appears in The Australian, July 1, 2008. It cites material from The Ottawa Citizen on realclearpolitics.com. In this site, the point is noted that far from alone is the case of Mark Steyn and Maclean's Magazine (since closed down...), one of the Islamic confrontations on the part, it would seem, of those who instead of defending against criticism, choose to be offended and to prosecute. This is a mere inkling of the legal ink.
This is a mere item. Let us pursue the information given.
A single complaint in this field of feeling and imagined hurt, by any reader, anywhere, suffices to launch a secret enquiry, where the target person or body has no right to confront the accuser. That in itself constitutes an immediate distortion of justice. It is ALWAYS necessary to be able to confront an accuser, since this has a specific alchemy, involving the consciences of both, the precise knowledge of both with intimate recalls, and power to expose. If someone attacks you with a hatchet or a law, the credentials of the blade must be investigated by the party concerned. Withholding such information is part of the bestiality of the beast. He works in secret. This is the biblical picture: terrorising, lofting power, downgrading of all personality to despotic principle.
What more is found regarding this Canadian situation from these sources ? Truth, it is pointed out, is no defence, No harm has been done, someone may object ? this too is not a defence. The inquisitors, it is recorded, have autonomous power to inflict a sentence, perhaps after months of time-consuming interchange. Nor is this all. They may want to give you a fresh view.
Now let China rejoice. Not there alone is the inhuman horror to be found of have 're-education programs', in which the victim of divergence from State policy having been judged, hurt and degraded, is now to be changed within, if possible, to grisly materialist or relativist machinations without truth*1, humanity or reality.
Re-education, or brain torture, from which it is hard to differentiate it, is now said to occur 'quite frequently' in Canada. Is this to become The land of the Maple Thief, who steals liberty and by ad hoc philosophies, makes truth truant and human feelings into a pseudo-god ? China in Canada, we gather from this letter and this report on the Web, has company. One can and does love much about China, and has much to do with some of its citizens, and the same is true of Canada; but friend sharpens friend, as iron with iron, and the intention and the truth are crucial in this. Be too shallow, too superficial to listen to criticism, even if sometimes wrong, not ready to be corrected if truth so demands, and you may inherit the trouble which pride and the personally portentous too richly deserve. Is it better to suffer hurt feelings or ruin ?
Returning to the letter noted, it is interesting that the hopeful writer declares this: "The Human Rights Code must be re-written to eliminate future challenges to free speech and press, and the HRCs themselves taken down."
Now let us consider in tandem, the article by Janet Albrechtsen, in The Australian, June 18, 2008, p. 12. She also notes that Steyn and Maclean's were taken to the British Columbian Human Rights Tribunal, accused of "flagrant Islamaphobia" when the magazine ran excerpts from Steyn's best seller, American Alone. Questions of the 'West's' dangers were pursued in that book, in terms of Islamic birth-rates, perhaps in rather the way some in times past said much the same about Roman Catholic birthrates, and the demographic effects, when it comes to democracy and politics. Janet points out that Canadian human rights tribunals have a 100 per cent conviction rate on so-called "hate speech".
Does awareness of danger, as of Hitler, or of Communism*2 in its heyday, or of avian influenza, does this also deserve to be so harassed, exterminated and then subjected to the irrational concept that it is not ONLY hate speech but a phobia! Is such slander, is such juridical libel to be permitted to ACCOMPANY a court's action and authority, so that truth is merely a memory to the profession and righteousness is pre-judged by a legal pen dipped in culture, enshrined in governmental law!
This 'hate' misnomer (as it often is) as an expression of synthesis of events with preconceptions, alien to truth, is convenient but rash. You hate what you consider wrong, dangerous to mankind and to truth, perhaps; but is this the same as hating the person concerned! Is the same substitute for logic to imply that a doctor who hates pneumonia hates his patients when this disease afflicts them ? Is hatred of an ideological component or composition the same as hating those who are afflicted by it!
On what grounds ? Simple logical fallacies like this are increasingly being used to falsify truth, to inflict on those who seek good in liberty, the chains of the growing darkness of our Age. It is the customary lust of darkness to make inveterate the extinction of light, by deleting discourse, chaining criticism, ignoring logic, making culture king where culture is what people happen to do and think, enshrined into a religion of convenience, a protocol of permissiveness where the thing NOT permitted is analysis that is unyielding, rationality that does not lie down and truth which can stand without supports to hold it up in the wind, a mere legal fiction or cultural spasm.
While this confrontation is occurring so that one point of view may be hammered, and those who seek to expose contemporary ideological idols to criticism, or to stimulate thought are closed down, there is developing, judging by these reports and prior events, a whole situation in Canada which affronts the soul, staggers the mind but does not surprise the spirit. Why not ? It is because debasement has become the order of the day, feelings superseding truth, people papier-mâchéed into mere material for ideological, often irrational or flagrantly desired cultural or religious oppression.
Albrechtsen notes an infamous case. One preacher, Stephen Boisson, we are informed, was LEGALLY told that firstly he must not mention a topic where he had a certain viewpoint, in that light, again, in newspapers, on the internet, by email, on the radio or in public speeches. From mass and electronic media, therefore, he was to live in exile. He was in these regards, to be made a conversational cripple, a butt for libel, an object as in Chinese prisons (the ones that have walls) where any movement against the Party Line would result in pain of the most excruciating kind; or else he would be subjected to the pulsating pressures of the Party. Indeed, the sinuous character of some Chinese methods of humiliation, expropriation and detention are far from being characteristic of any one nation, when you find such things as these in a society which once was not unlike our own, on the American continent.
That such a denial of TRUTH as criterion, as defence, such a skipping around INTENTION as pertinent, even if you meant good and were conscientiously seeking good for the one who now objects, and had NEVER insisted on personal conversation against the stated will of that person: that such a violation as this should be permitted is a signal of ethical mutilation at the highest level. It is comically ludicrous, tragically ponderous and all but inconceivably arrogant, beginning to become parallel in some ways, to the futile misuses of force in the Romanist Inquisition of grievous horror, lifting its leaden feet amid the ashes of man, over some centuries.
By NO means, is the torture of the body the most fatal; it is the torture of the soul, the spirit, the life, the mind. It is for these the body serves, and wise the mind which is in subjection not to society but to Him who made man. The regality that matters, beyond the chatters of ma, is the Father of spirits, the Creator and the Designer, whose book, the Book of the Lord, the Bible represents not least, the Designer instructions for the use of the clothing of flesh which we have. Yes and it directs also for the heart and spirit, the mind and the mentality of man. Play God and it is vain to hope you will not find Him at work upon you. Consider, you judges, says Psalm 2, "Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry..."
But in the bulk, increasingly en bloc, they do not hear. What they say, however, this Truth hears.
While millions move into mental illness from many causes, yet one of these causes is the mental awareness of immovable crushing forces, and the uninterpretable-seeming psychic forces, the looming destiny forces, personally unmanageable forces and disintegrative social forces. Depression from any one or combination of these, in any degree of depth, comes very naturally, for the mind which is unnaturally severed from God. Unwise surgings of action can come with this, as false antidote, so providing cases in the bipolar arena. Whatever may be the various gods and religions chosen by man, and they are as numerous as unnecessary, and provocative to the actual Lord as any other imposture. Such religion is divinely judged with the drama of Elijah at Carmel to the exposure of the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees by Jesus Christ.
Religions ? Biblically the case is inveterate, millenial in exhibition: in all but one case, that of the living and self-attesting God, these things can weigh down the human spirit, or cause it to flirt and flit with lies as ties. Truth is like. It is one thing but not another.
To be sure, false religions, painfully produced gods to meet desire or need can weigh differently, depending on the distortion of falsity which a particular religion may bring; but they weigh also where irreligion is the vanity and the basis as well. Smuggled religion is a surreptitious vanity, where 'nature' or 'mankind' is worshipped without the word.
Some will go to psychiatrists who do not believe in the soul, in the integrated, integral psychic reality that is the Designer Product, the thing produced. In this, you would be like going to a surgeon who had not discovered you had a body. Some will go to many mystical insights, without evidence or proof of any kind, and 'experiment' with the soul. Some will go to pills to depress or alter elements of the nervous systems, to induce this or that mood, to abort or distort or reduce or increase this or that channel-use or chemical flow. Just as one test found those treated with Freudian concepts*3 had the same percentage healing as those left alone (cf. SMR p. 335), so here, the disturbances of system, when the underlying CAUSE is frequently spiritual, can produce disillusion in results, while materialists or secularists grope for causes they do not understand, and pragmatically look for this mild improvement or for that.
This is merely an illustration in the mind as functional; but what of the mind as a site for instruction ? In class rooms in Western style democracies, where the beauty of self-control in teachers, concern for student welfare, sensitivity to student need, compassion and kindliness have become mere input for the new look, there has come a development where disaster is the style and authority is the hatred, where vital knowledge is always BEING gained, in the sphere of life, but never FOUND, as predicted by Paul (II Timothy 3:1-5), where guns are used by guards to help control students. Contracts are formed with students, on no clear moral basis: if you do this, O student, I your teacher, will do that. How about that ?
Students enter schools with guns, they behave as if they rave, they insurge, they resurge like food not fit for the stomach, and others have to stomach it as raids come from this school to that and some are injured. Teachers seek other professions, principals are becoming more and more frustrated or anxious. Stress cases abound; and the age of revolution against design is getting its come-uppance in this as in other realms.
More and more, likewise, employers (fie to their authority! goes the chant), are not free to employ people of principle, or of their Christian faith, even in order to preserve explicit formulations of company policy, so that even Christian schools are attackable if they want teachers with Christian morals. Indeed, one Principal relayed to me that he was ordered to stop this moral barrier for his Staff, and for his expectations for them, and his reply was simple and in this vein.
We have hundreds of students: if you insist on relativising morality, we will close our doors and you will have a sudden mass of students to cover in your own State system. The State authorities then withdrew their ultimatum, at least for the time.
In this way and in that,
by dismissal of truth;
by departure from design as
relevant; by insistence
by the limitation of free thought;
by the insistence on anti-design
university premises, quite explicitly in some cases;
by the use of
materialism with its ludicrous and irrational antics (*1)
by the mass media crusade against Design Notions and Speech
this Destiny Vacuity on the road of Declamatory Dynamics proceeds to its illegitimate conclusion, and to its legitimate judgment.
Consider one moment that Boisson case mentioned above, the preacher whose tongue was to be so tied into socially contrived knots.
Here was a case so outrageous, that it serves as a warning: that you could lose a) social liberty b) financial stores c) social standing d) freedom to occupy a professional position d) personal time, as you defend yourself against barbaric assaults. For what cause ? It is because you insist on the Creator and His design, one found in man, in His stated morals (I Timothy 1:10, I Corinthians 5:11, 6:9 cf. News 19) and your adherence to them in word and in deed.
Talk of 'ancient hatreds' and the like becomes a popular excuse for showing the hatred of man for the word of God. In an fearlessly contra-factual flurry, those who often show such hatred of the word of God that they cannot even abide those who present it, the term 'ancient hatred' is often wielded like an axe. Those with current hatred seek to accuse their victims of ancient hatreds. How archeologically ludicrous!
But is it a case of ancient hatred that they so often attack ? All sorts of hatred are possible, but it is wise to pause a little for thought before making a diagnosis. If not so common in this field, it is scientifically at least, conventional.
Where error is exposed in political or social or religious field, it is by no means necessarily the case that we have an ancient hatred, and in Christian terms, this is an impossibility. Is it implied that someone is hating someone else ? This would need to be demonstrated. In fact, those who warn or exhibit error to others may do so for a whole variety of reasons. It could be a thrust of egotism, frustration and envy, it could be a cultural quirk, an undisciplined frame of mind given vent like lava from a volcano. It could, to be sure, be these things as may the hatred of the Court for Christian absolutism (cf. Lead us Not into Educational Temptation).
However, exposure of error and criticism of it is often wrought for other and wholly contrary reasons. You may act to warn a friend, whom you love, advise a client, whose welfare you seek, prevent a catastrophe to those whom you cherish, educate someone with a blank spot in his mind, before he falls into a pit, and so forth.
To assume the one or the other without demonstration is a work of gross negligence. To ignore the question, which is statedly here the case, is an exaggerated version of the same. Let us take the Christian case, in principle.
GOD IS LOVE (I John 4:7ff.), and if He hates evil, we are told that to hate is SIN, when it comes to persons. This evil assault on Christian integrity, this defilement of truth, this distortion of intention, this reproof to righteousness, this overlay of cultural mirage on factual truth, this assault on protestation, information and design: what is it but one of the final depravities of a fallen race. Psalm 109:4 puts it most incisively and clearly:
"For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer.
And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love."
IF the idea is that hatred of any idea or approach or value is WRONG, then the Judges are WRONG because they show a hatred, a desire to stifle, remove, penalise, hurt, render unhappy, dysfunctional, the ideas of the Bible. They would then be condemning themselves first of all, the very criterion of unjust judges, a walking comedy of collision, a deliberate default IN THEIR OWN TERMS. If however it is PEOPLE you are not to hate, then the case is open to investigation, and the Christian case to knowledge.
The Psalm shows the correct biblical perspective which biblical Christians seek zealously to follow. Their love is rewarded by hatred, harassment or unholy assault. Is this a crime ? If so, it is not from the Christian but from his judges that it emanates. WHO is doing the clipping of the wings, the assault with law and against financial security, against name ? It is the judges. If it is the law they interpret, then it is they in conjunction with the law. Why condemn for your own crime what you designate as crime, and inculpate those who are innocent with your own guilt ? Such is the lamentable ecstasy of irrationality into which a sick society can slide.
It is seeking, it would almost seem, to relate piously to the biblical predictions as found in Romans 1, where the INITIAL CAUSE of refusal to face the truth of the Creator and Designer, is traced on as the verses of this Chapter proceed, to the ethical and sexual deviances which proceed. Not only, it ends, do they DO these things, but they approve those who do it! Indeed, they give them acclaim; and one is reminded of the men of Sodom, when Lot is there, who wanted intercourse with an angel, and of the SOCIAL AGITATION which resulted as they sought it with force.
There are many forces; and breaking down the door of a house, an interference with one architectural design, can be compared with breaking down ethics of life, freedom of speech and especially liberty to express the love of and ways of God, by the crow-bar of law misused, a heavy weapon of the neo-moral militias that like predators, depopulate the streets of truth. It is becoming as it was in the last days of a divinely exposed and condemned ancient Israel, shown in Isaiah 59.
In 59:12ff., thus, we have this:
"For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
And our sins testify against us;
For our transgressions are with us,
And as for our iniquities, we know them:
In transgressing and lying against the Lord,
And departing from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
"Justice is turned back,
And righteousness stands afar off;
For truth is fallen in the street,
And equity cannot enter.
"So truth fails,
And he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him
That there was no justice.
He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him ..."
That is PRECISELY what is happening. The prognosis is correct in principle and in detail.
We need not concentrate on individuals in this; it is a sickness which can strike any; and it is a syndrome which is ultra-individual and beyond class, except for this, that the world which hates God, hates His people
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own:
but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world,
therefore the world hates you.
Isaiah in Ch. 59 proceeds to focus on the eventual end of this illegal legality, these unethical ethics, these contra-design, design for destruction specifications, these immoral morals, these anti-Christ depositions, these inquisitorial persecutions. Christ came to suffer: He returns to judge. This is the setting; these are the Auschwitz preliminaries, in the World War IV furore, an ideological war, a counter-truth invasion, which is coming, and yes, is now beginning to bite.
DESIGNER LIVING - ITS PRACTICE
Man’s design is so mathematically brilliant, the billions of cells so punctiliously wrought in assembly-line procedures, with goods in and product out not only arranged, but various tasks assigned to MOTORS to get them done quickly, all keyed into the overall schema, that it is not really very interesting to consider further whether there could be some magical way in which some designs created others. Using multiple motors to supply, to match, to fold proteins, with all the commands in one language, the programmatic building and maintenance proceeds. In practice, codes just don’t adjust to each other, choose one language and co-ordinate. They must be created, unified, deployed and their results integrated with a forceful unity. This is the innovative work for imaginative intelligence.
Dreams are not good at engineering. In practice LOTS of designs work hard together to enable other designs to be formed, all being coded so to do simultaneously or in sequence, as befits the case; and except for the brilliant way this is done in the body, it is just like other designs, from the bottom to the top, integrated, time-coded, products interactive and the like. This one sings in symbols.
Today, our concern is with the LIVING of our designs on this earth. The way shown in Colossians 3:1-17 is most informative and even thrilling to consider; an earth like that would be one more wonder of life, a delight to live in; but sin defiles it. Yet Christ calls us to a higher life, in conformity to both His design for us, and Himself.
Fear not, Christian, for they cannot remove your soul! Take heart, for their heartlessness is a final stab in the syndrome of hating truth, something alas not realised consciously, but apparent in its batterings against Design, now augmenting the fight for so long against Designer.
But what is the design at these levels. Let us look at what WORKS, at what has wisdom, at what is the Designer's own specification, in Colossians 3. Apart from all else, in these things depicted, there is a better solution even than liberty of speech, though this does not need to be curtailed when there is sanctity of heart. Meanwhile, for such liberty of speech can avail, for it gives to the Christian opportunity to dismiss the follies of what is false, of what loves to strut, but not to reply.
ABOVE, NOT SHOVE
IF, says Colossians 3, you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above.
That is now almost forgotten in masses of millions of embroiled and tarnished spirits. What used to be an Empire's assertion (however mixed the multitude which served it), is now almost compulsively dismissed from thought, while comics of ugliness, advertisements of carnality and literature of the sink, arise like polluted waters to flood the house, to embrace with fungus germs, the feet of those who so bathe.
The things above ? That is, the things ethically superior, spiritually godly, behaviourally beautiful, peaceable in disposition, but not supine in heart, the things of willing self-sacrifice and understanding that does not dip every time a base magnet of desire draws near. They are further defined by the location of what is meant here, "where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God." What is above this world and its manners and mutinies and mutilations of mind, body and spirit is the category of the Creator, above not directionally but ontologically, essentially, in eternity as in time, in power as in purity, in self-control as in sacrificial sanctity.
Why is this counsel, to seek such things which are above and with Christ, given with such confidence ? After all, do you say to a pauper, Set your mind on millions ? HOW is this practicable, to set your minds on the things that are above, with Christ ? It is because HE is sitting at the right hand of power, of God. What has this to do with it ?
It has this. It proceeds, "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."
HOW did you die ?
" I," says Paul in Galatians 2:20, "am crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live,
but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the flesh,
I live by the faith of the Son of God
who loved me and died for me."
The sense of that, its meaning ? IF Christ has borne your sin (otherwise, the case does not apply - Titus 3:5ff. I Peter 2), then YOU are the centre of it. If your sin is taken as to guilt to His pardoning facility, meeting justice in His own payment WITH LIFE itself, taken to death in the human format, amid suitable anguish, grief and humiliation at its acme, and there cleansed: this is no mere legal conundrum therefore. YOU are taken, you the agent of sin, the operator of the psyche, you are taken with your sin products, the sin-production unit itself, and YOU are there purged by dying WITH Christ in spirit. Condemned with Him, who dies for you, you die with Him; and alive by virtue of Him who broke death and having cleared your name, lives for you as your Good Shepherd, you live by Him.
That is part of salvation (cf. II Corinthians 5:15). IF, then you have been converted, IF you have been saved and justified (as in Romans 5:1 and Titus 3:5ff., with Romans 8:30), THEN your whole nature has been denatured as to sin's commission and command, control and savour. You died with Christ ? It is, then, now Saviour instead of sin-savour which is the cynosure.
Does this mean that you are sinless ? Not at all, for as Paul says in that very same Epistle (Galatians 5 with 2:20), the flesh strives against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh. You have been evacuated from Dunkirk, and restored to your homeland (by virtue of creation, your proper home); but now that you are there, the war continues, though you now move with your own troops with freedom and relative felicity, being surrounded with spiritual truth and standards, encouragement and counsel.
The fact that the bulk of the 'churches' are now more likely to incite you to folly, and have become so by radical changes in the last 100 years ought not to smoke out the fact that this is NOT what a church is commissioned to do. It is set to help propel your mind from nature to Super-nature, from creation to God, from the weakness of sin to the beauty of holiness, as it propounds and propels the Gospel and the word of God to His wayward creation, before its time is up on this small globe.
LIVE BY HIS LIFE, NOT BY SIN'S DEATH
WHEN, says Colossians 3:4, "Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory." HOW can you wait, Christian! How can you miss it altogether, non-Christian!
THEREFORE, and this is one thing that makes life as a Christian on this earth a real athletic struggle,
"put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness which is idolatry, because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience."
With this omission, include among listed absentees,
"wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth," the alternative:
"DO not lie to one another, wince you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him."
(On language, see Ch. 6 above.)
What a world, a society, a spirit, an agreeable and an interesting, a meaningful and a soaring sort of place is this, with what pleasantness is one propelled with others in the right direction, with what joy one sees beauty of conduct and radiance of spirit, surroundings like those magnificent sites of nature, now personal sights of much joy. Friction is minimised, fractional living is dismissed, depth of discretion and paths of prudence appear, loveliness is distilled (II Corinthians 3:18). Such a world would endure.
It would be good to be in it, while it does these things! Here is living in a world home which is designer produced, here is designer living, an architecture of life which is both natural in goodness and supernatural in inspiration.
Now in Colossians 3:12-17, we have a fascinating series of features for godly, for Designer living.
There is a series which we need to consider: it moves from the FUNCTIONAL, to the FORGIVING, with the FORBEARING, towards the FORGING, to FAVOURING spiritual words and songs of joy and truth, then to being FORTHRIGHT, for Christ and His designer living and designed salvation for man. This is a matter of openness and integrity, so that you don't require forensic medicine to determine whose you are, but rather, it is readily apparent!
Now we come in order to the first of these: the functional. You are encouraged to 'put on' as in the 'new man' and his appurtenances, 'tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering.' How beautiful to live in such an arena: it is like a personal sunset to witness, on the part of the soul that beholds these things. Not only do you show mercy, to those in near distress, to those whose welfare impinges on you, where you may, but it is TENDER mercy, mercy with heart for the part. With this comes kindness, a sense of kinship, and this of course is far greater with those who are fellow Christians (Galatians 6:10), but as the good Samaritan parable shows, not limited to these. Nevertheless, we are encouraged to be particularly kind to the household of faith, and if at times, this means being apparently provocative with warning, yet as with any friend, this is part of living in the truth.
Humility comes with this, like a heater in a car for cold mornings. It is so easy to enjoy being with the humble; but less so with the arrogantly, precipitantly, immodestly intrusive, nor with the factitious, the fractious, pretenders to it. Not there lies the blessing, with the factious and erratic, but with those for whom this is the true word, the meek. Bold as lions for His Majesty, the Lord, they are quiet for their own interests.
Humble and meek ? There is a difference here. To be lowly means to know your place, as as sinners redeemed it is assuredly not exalted; but to be meek is to be slow to assert your prominence, dominance; but not slow to assert that of Christ, and the works He has done through you, these must not be hidden. Duty is not a sop, and meekness is not a solace to the sybaritic. You do not set His light under a bed, but on a hill, to His glory, for His glory, for from His glory has come the power for it. Are you a mantle for His light ? then shine for Him, arrestingly indifferent to the darkness' entry, but not to its dismissal.
Longsuffering is another Designer Living garden object for the soul. To be willing to endure WEAKNESS and encourage it, what a grace! Christ is shown in Isaiah 43:1-4 to be like this, not breaking the bruised reed! It is relaxation to the soul and stimulus to the heart to meet such.
We move to the forgiving. It is SO Important, that if you DO not forgive (and perhaps feel you CANNOT, but with God all things are possible), then you linger in the darkening dimness of the squalid, yes the foetid and forsaken hollows of the spiritual universe: NEEDING TO BE forgiving, yet unable to deal with the same coin as propels your own soul. Those forgiven by God, being in a new man, manufactured in heaven, though lusted after by the earth, these HAVE to forgive, for their lives are moulded in it, on it and for it. It is not, for the meek, a stilted or arrogant forgiveness, let alone an imaginary one, in which the offence is created in the mind, but not present in history.
Instead, it is a sincere one. To qualify, it has to BE what it says it is.
With this is the forbearing. Like longsuffering, this is slow to move on provocation, but it has this specific quality, that it not only suffers long, but does not indulge itself in spiritual exasperation. It forbears, it lets linger the kindness of heart that hopes well and looks high for another, that he be elevated, and not below, that he be inundated.
There is with all this no small sound, but not of trumpeting. Instead, there is the favouring of the word of God, which dwells richly in you, like food for thought, drink for the soul, stimulus for the mind, vision for the heart, authority for the soul. It lives in you RICHLY (not as poverty stricken by inattention in your heart, a superficial visitor) IN ALL WISDOM, since you so meditate on it, night and day (as in Psalm 1), that you begin to look more and more like a tree planted by rivers of water. Those trees tend to flourish in size, in health, in beauty and in loveliness. Indeed, you TEACH and ADMONISH one another, since friend as already noted, sharpens friend, as iron iron. In psalms, spiritual songs, you adorn the day, singing with GRACE in your hearts to the Lord.
There is a certain enthusiasm, not that of absurd athletics, in which people purport to be thrown about by spiritual forces in some disorderly way, not that of bellowing emotions like cannons on parade; instead there is an enlivened and indeed enlivening grace which in its very heartiness, is an encouragement.
With all this, there is the being forthright, so that what ? It is not in order that special tests have to be made, people have to ruminate and to do detective work in order to discover whether just possibly you may be a Christian. You do not dwell and have fellowship with unbelievers as in the Alpha course in its preposterous sharing and bearing concept, having these in concert over weeks of courses, with no Biblical authority, wavelength or disposition in control. You do not even more, dwell where the name of Christ is demeaned, either by immorality warranted by the church, or attacks on the Bible, or on the nature of the Lord. Exactly to the contrary, you DO ALL THINGS in the NAME of the Lord Jesus Christ.
KEEP OUT OF THE STY
One of the things you simply CANNOT do in His name is disobey Him. Hence when He states through Paul that with those who are idolaters, fornicators, adulterers, yes or covetous, you CANNOT be mixed, and that this is applicable only to those who simultaneously maintain that they are Christians (for otherwise, these being as common as dirt in this world, you would have to leave it to obey this command), then you simply obey what is written, neither adding to it, nor trying to change it to concepts not included. If you add concepts not present, then you simply disobey Proverbs 30:6, and are deploying your own thoughts in competition with those given. It is flagrant intrusion. It is a flagrant intrusion, a co-authorship for the Bible without authority.
However, these words of Paul are all plain, coherent, cohesive. Staying in a church or so-called church with this in its midst and authorised is flat rebellion against Christ, and while some might even TRY to do this in His name, it is too ludicrous to mention. Will you in the name of your Bank Manager, steal from his funds ? Let us be a little serious then, if not more. Will you share with employes, as one of them, as theft is openly discussed, or even praised! Heaven forbid.
Instead of going out of this world by not mingling with the forbidden categories, you merely have such a departure from them that YOU WOULD NEED TO DO THIS, if all people, rather than only professing Christians with these sins, were in view. Paul lets them, then relax: NO, the forbidden mingling is not with ALL of this kind, but only with Christians. You do not need to go out of this world to obey that, merely out of their corrupted Churches and pseudo-Christian fellowships. You must seek to be out of partnership of any kind with them, any fellowship. However, the point being not applicable to all, but only to believers, false speakers, it is yet the more applicable to these! With a professing Christian in any of these categories, YOU MAY NOT EVEN EAT! You can see now how you would have to go out of this world if this applied to all who do these things, most clearly.
Further, we learn in the next chapter to this (that is, in I Corinthians 6), that certain sorts of people are NOT IN the kingdom of Christ. You are NOT permitted to have fellowship with unbelievers, says Paul in II Corinthians 6:14, making a failure to obey this similar to light trying to have fellowship with darkness, or Christ with the devil. You will notice how quickly He gave him the run! (Matthew 4), and on what ground, the word of God written. It is not written to be re-written, but to be obeyed.
One would have thought the point was comparatively clear, even to the cataract afflicted, if it comes to that point. Does Christ have fellowship with the devil ? as well may you, if a Christian, have fellowship, have mingling with people of the kinds noted. You may be kind; but this is not to have fellowship. (They may of course repent and believe in Christ, but then they are no longer in these categories.)
Those in this category: fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, homosexuals, sodomites, thieves, covetous people. drunkards, revilers, extortioners. These will not inherit the kingdom of God.
|HENCE they are not
in it, are not Christians.
|HENCE they are not
fellowship material, and therefore,
in a church which IS a fellowship of believers*3A, they cannot be,
and in one which sanctions their presence, the believer cannot be.
everything in the name of the Lord MEANS that you vacate such churches.
If people obeyed this, larger churches outside the fallen would exist and
much would be achieved; so that the failure is crucial to the function of the Church,
and the service of the servants of God. Romans 16:17 is not to be broken if you value the Church and the Lordship of Christ.
Statistics are irrelevant; social custom,
the works of the old man, are scarcely applicable, Orders are orders;
and when they come from God, hell lashes out to the soul
which does NOT tremble at His word (Isaiah 66:2), but continues in 'sanctified disobedience', a woeful oxymoron, for a tragic failure.
Normally, as to a Church, those who seek such things and display them are cautioned, questioned, and if flamboyant and rebellious still, are not kept on the roll. People of all sorts can COME to the services; but when it comes to fellowship, being at communion, being in discussion about procedure, being pastors, being elders, being in spiritual meetings of inner revelation and company together, this is not permitted. You do not discuss your wife's situation with your enemies, or those who do not understand. There are pearls and there are swine, spiritually, and the two are kept VERY distinct.
The lost art of church discipline, not as obtrusive and investigatory like detectives, but vigilant, and not dumb like a drunken soldier, is necessary in the war at the spiritual level. Careless indifference about standing orders for the troops is the work of those already defeated in heart.
Thus the situation in the Uniting Church is such that Christians are biblically required to leave it; or put differently, those calling themselves Christians have only two options, to leave it or the Bible and its authority; to allow another Christ who does not require jot and tittle, another apostle who did not write I Timothy 1:10, or the above verses, or start out afresh, if need be, alone and without church property. These categories do not touch biblical Christianity. The same applies as in the Anglican case*4 where an Australian Primate declared that you could get to God without Christ, a position apparently, according to news, taken by the leading prelate in the Anglican Church in the USA. and so is the case.
Live in darkness with those unenlightened by all means; but the Design Living is not for this. You reach OUT to those, but they do not REACH IN to the Church's counsel, sacraments, authority or fellowship. You can have outreach meetings, but NOT ones involving spiritual fellowship with unbelievers, far less can you converse on spiritual things in groups where these things are not authoritative and regnant. You can refresh and challenge them in love; but they cannot be brothers in the faith, and where they are so received, the faith is another faith. As Paul says with heavy irony to the Corinthians (II Cor. 11), you might well put up with those who preach another Christ, another Gospel, have another spirit!
A church of heart and spirit and reality and purged realism*5, this is part of Designer Living. FROM this goes out the Gospel, the word of God, TO it come the converts. IN it, there is the communion of the faithful, whose hearts seek with compassion, not to misname the pseudo-elect, to subsidise sin with acceptance, but to encourage them to repentance and pardon with peace in Christ Jesus the Lord.
THE NAME OF GOD: ITS HALLOWING
In all these fashions, the principles of designer living, its basis, its dynamic that enables it, Christ's action which pays for it, and the work of the Holy Spirit which instals it, the name of God is hallowed. It is shown to be what it is, by what is done through His power and by His word. With this, there is the Church which practises it, with due regard to white-anting of the walls of separation by the ants of cultural conformity, and thus in the name of truth exercising godly exclusion of the rank sophistries which seek to combine truth with lie, the word of God with the word of man and the name of the Church with hedonistic filth, psychic autonomy or spiritual fiction. You do not contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude) by denying its conditions, yielding the Church, the body of Christ, to this world, allowing property considerations to determine where you are, not spiritual direction.
Hallowed be His name, then, in that it is holy, in that we who are His practise the purity of truth, not as paragons, for which of us is not a sinner ? but as practical people of sincerity, dismissing the denied, accepting the authorised and living in the power of the God who saved us, and doing this for the sake of the Lord who has given us grace to live in His hallowed life, by His Holy Spirit, for His name's sake.
It is that name which the children of God hallow with awe, with aspiration, with delight, with self-discipline, with originality of delight, as does love, and according to His word in obedience, as does faithfulness.
*1 See It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13, Christ Incomparable ... Ch. 2, SMR Ch. 4, Extension E.
Tender Times for Timely Truth
The Grating Grandeur ... Ch. 2; SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972;
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 6 (and Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a concern),
with News 98, News 37.
Spiritual Refreshings ...Ch. 9, incl. End-note 1 (esp. programmatic psychology and its ilk), The Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will Ch. 7, including *1; News 80.
Thus in Galatians 2:9, the apostles giving the right hand of fellowship to Paul is equivalent to their acknowledgement that his ministry is genuine, his case is sincere, his call is of Christ, that they are all one. Paul and the Church at Jerusalem were thus unified. TO BELONG to a Church IS to accept as at least tolerable, its standards and its ways. Where these are formulated amiss, you get rid of that formulation, not waiting one hour like Paul (Galatians 2:5), or go. The right hand is the symbol of what is taking place, between this man and the Church at Jerusalem: and what is taking place by their receiving him, it is fellowship. It is this which is forbidden in I Corinthians, Romans and the rest of the relevant commands.
Thus the CHURCH as shown in Ephesians 2 and 4 is the body of Christ, He the head, and what you join or continue in, is to be this. If not, then you being where the Head is not, where indeed He prohibits your being, being in some body or other, you could enquire as to who the head of this thing is!
Similarly in Ephesians 5, having no fellowship is parallel to not being partakers. You CANNOT be a member of a Church without, whatever be the practical arrangements, being partakers of its communion, both in fellowship and in sacrament, for by membership, you recognise both. It does not mean that you agree with all it says, but it DOES mean that you agree to the point of acceptance the legitimacy of their viewpoint whether or not you agree, so that the right hand can still be given. When these things are before you, and the issue is not intelligence or insight, but disobedience, division from the apostles, movement into the forbidden categories, and when it is explicit, what then ? Then you remain there as a rebel from God, a participant where you do not belong, fleeing from duty.
A more refined case has recently arisen. An Anglican Archbishop has led a group of more orthodox persons in Jerusalem, looking as they say, for the foundations of the faith. Some have spoken sharply and pointedly of the ludicrous character of the befouling of the waters by frankly non-Christian doctrines taught by some in the Anglican professional clergy. Some seemed to deplore what they are finding in immorality and spiritual malfeasance in the Church. This is precisely the case derided and denounced by God in Ezekiel 34, where this is one of the grounds of His coming to earth in the incarnation, and doing the job properly Himself.
To recede to that case in ancient Israel, in the modern 'church' and have the pastures spoiled, as Ezekiel depicts it of that time, in our own, and by the same follies, is asking for discipline divine in power but not in happiness.
According to news report, the Archbishop of Sydney declares that he will not separate from the Anglican Church! Here then is the test to one, to all, to high, to low. Christ made it clear that the one who breaks one of the least commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least, but great is the one who both teaches and does the things commanded.
Live in darkness with those unenlightened by all means, if you do not value the command: but the Designer Living is not for this. In fact, as to the LEAST of the commandments, Paul likens living in company with unbelievers to having Christ in harmony with the devil (II Corinthians 6). So to dally is not mere failure; it becomes rebellion (cf. I Samuel 15:22).
But what were the reasons for the Archbishop's refusal to separate as reported. Firstly, LEGALLY, he declared, there was simply no way in which such separation could be done in Australia. In the USA, he indicated, the main body of that denomination was seeking legal prosecution against those who sought to separate and withdraw from it (simply disobeying once more, as excluding the impact of the apostle's Paul injunction, that Christian go not to law with Christian, in I Corinthians 6:1).
"Dare any of you, having matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints!" he demands.
The answer in the USA case appears to be simply, Yes, we dare! just watch us.
These things do not agree with the Design for Living, or hallow the name of the Lord, which is demoted for desire.
In the Australian case, the further word, in addition to the consideration of mundane law, is that there is felt a love for the old Church. Not remarkable, but there has to be a transcendent love for the old Cross, and a willingness to obey the Eternal Lord who died on it. Is it strange to consider that those who have obeyed the Lord in these areas, are thus left without the congregation of the faithful who should join them, which SHOULD be the case in the Lord's design for living, and in terms of hallowing His most blessed name.
Such, by NOT withdrawing, and coming WITHOUT PROPERTY if necessary, and apparently in this being unwilling to die daily, to avoid yielding to any love in competition with that for Christ, have results. They are causing a division in the body of Christ. They mix where they are forbidden, and keep separate from those to whom they are bidden. Those who teach so are those of whom Romans 16:17 tells us, AVOID THEM.
You do not avoid a church for which non-separation on biblical grounds is the rule, by staying in it. That is too comic for consideration. The body of Christ is not to be drawn to these fault lines and it is not to live there, like an ecclesiastical Tokyo. That city can scarcely now move; but people may! (On Biblical Separation see *1 in 1491.)
Indeed, breach of the command to separate from what divides as this does, moving away from apostolic teaching, when not obeyed, when countermanded, countered, not met, becomes mere rebellion. What does it matter how sacred and sanctified it is made to appear. There is a void of obedience instead of an AVOID of obedience. You do not avoid a church by being part of its communion.
In these ways, a vast division of the religious bodies goes on, many staying where they are excluded from living, in fact instead simply remaining and and constituting members, and so leaving the side of those who obey by sacrifice. In this, they are like soldiers fleeing from the front line of battle, calling as they go, We see it differently! But what about standing orders, the front line soldiers shout back ? Oh, prudence is the watchword, maybe we will live to fight another day.
But that is worldly counsel, and you reject your Field Marshall's orders. What is the line ?
Oh, maybe he'll change his mind. Perhaps one day, down the line, the body we retain as our own will change. Anyway, common sense dictates. Leave, separate, why we LIKE it here: we cannot do that.
Such a dictator is not Lord, however; and its very commonness is not a matter of being crucified with Christ, but being very much alive, even though He died, and very much not hidden in Him, whose arm is ready to shield.
When the apostolic teaching is thus denied, then it has further repercussions as in Romans 16:17. The breach of the commandments to separate, at length brings in the command of Paul to avoid such. They WILL not leave what is forbidden; so those who both must and will, have to leave those who so linger also, rather than stay with Lot's wife ... Such is the command.
The tragedy of church-versus-Christ can then arise, and where the latter does not have as in all things the pre-eminence, the division thus imposed on the Lord's people, thus causes separation. Unrighteousness has precisely this effect, that its results can readily ricochet. Consider the pleasant course of brotherly unity however, where all heed the word of exhortation as in Hebrews, and doing what is required, if a little slowly, then collaborate in joy.
For more on separation, see:
Separation 1997, Keys ... Ch. 3,
The Defining Drama Ch. 4;
Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6 ; and Message of the Words of God to Man in the World Ch. 3;
Keys to the Comfort of the Kingdom of Christ Ch. 3.
Going with God ... Ch. 1, Separation.