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CENTRIFUGAL FROM HIMSELF,
CENTRED IN CHRIST
We have seen something of Josiah and Hezekiah in our review of the positive powers available as one abides in the word of God. We have seen something of the power and use made of Stephen in the Church and abroad. Now we come to his testimony in death, which so far from being the death of his testimony, sealed it as one seals a document for safe keeping, stamping it with the imprint of authority.
It will last as long as this Age, and speak to millions.
Is it True ?
Are these things so ?
Stephen had been seized and brought to the bar of cultural-religious affairs, acting as Judge; false accusations, perverted in style and corrupt in tenor had been brought against him. The 'seizing' of Stephen was like a city seizure. He was held fast and questioned. True or false ?
That, then, was the religious question put by religious people who went in the style and spirit of that conclave before whom even the Christ who came on time fulfilling all prophecies with no exceptions to be found, though they tried hard, was condemned, was an imposter. This imposing edifice of human hate, blinded with contempt, exempt from factuality, unable to establish anything to the point, any more than Pilate, who at least admitted it: NOW it came into action.
For them, the fulfilment of prophecies was an embarrassment and the testimony of truth, with power to confirm it, a nothing, except this, a stimulus to outrage and a call to killing.
The always vital question: IS IT TRUE ? seemed irrelevant. To be sure the question was asked, 'Are these things so ?' but when conflicts with unbelief, seeking to find its place in or against the Church comes to be, infiltrating 'religious' assemblies, then as now increasingly as our Age progresses to its terminal state, with outrageous daring, this question still is put; but usually rhetorically only, in order to assume, as with Christ, as with Stephen, that the answer is no!
What is it like ? It is like a cancer implying and securing death where no cure is found, one now come into the light of day, in its baneful growth, as contemptuous of life, as a blight to it. The mystique of its pathology, as when it is physical, it is a dark and overcast one indeed. The mists of confusion vie with the mysteries of obscuration, techniques are used, and truth is suppressed.
THE DARING DOCTRINAL DERANGEMENT IN NEW ZEALAND 1966
AND ITS ALLIES
Let us move to what is, in this at least, our Advanced Age, to see the same kind of pathology. In New Zealand, in that pivotal year of 1966, there was a dislocation of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the conviction of the Church, which ended the PC in NZ as a Christian body. This like the return of Israel to Jerusalem, was a testimony which with many another like it, that the end of this Age was drawing near. Had not Church after Church either returned to a consensus with Rome or with a liberalism which made culture king and contempt for the word of God, de facto if not always de jure, though the latter is now becoming more popular in bodies still called 'churches'.
Certainly, in that daring departure in New Zealand, noted in Ch. 1 above, they did not involve physical stoning, and for that one might be thankful, except for this, that deceit and folly ruled. They put out a Resurrection Statement which accomplished their divorce from the truth and set out their new faith on this point, severed from the categorical requirement of the bodily resurrection of Jesus the Christ. When, as an Assembly representative, as a Minister of the Gospel, one condemned this abortion of the birth of Christianity most cordially, with contempt, and even had this fact recorded as was formally allowed, and further set that rejection and condemnation in writing over many pages for all time, duly sent to that Assembly, what then ?
With their lordly lapse thus itemised and condemned as a rejection of all that it stood for, then and for ever, yet they did not acknowledge this to the Press, and the Press did not acknowledge it to the world. The fiction that there had been no contrary voice was made. It was pretended that the vote was unanimous. Protest to the Press yielded only fraud, failure to face facts. The condemnation of the Statement on which the action of the Assembly was based, being formal, recorded and to be sustained in writing as well, no further characterisation was needed.
What was on record does not decease. Yet it was this which was used to obliterate the dramatic, decisive and recorded fact about their resolution. It was condemned in Assembly by an Assembly member, with formal insistence on this being recorded, with no retraction or qualification. The record stood to the end as it will to the end of time.
In further dereliction, a very few minutes, under 10 at best, was allowed for debate, with actual traffic lights to indicate the seconds as they rolled off, like the drops of sweat on Christ as He prayed in Gethsemane. Persecution followed, when my divorce from this divorce was applied in my own congregation. The Stated Clerk in charge of business in the Assembly warned: 'The Presbytery will deal with you.' A Presbytery, having advertised its intention in the local newspaper, indeed came to examine my pastorate, and sought to dismiss me, moving away, as from a disease, the elders whom they sought to indoctrinate in my absence. Efforts were made to reduce my salary. Many stayed away from Church. The body of Christ, attacked anew, was set for a new dismemberment and folly raged like a bushfire.
Church after Church nowadays is following suit, requiring folly as a means of membership, touting flouting as faith, adventurous as holy, and for doctrine employing what is biblically designated 'doctrine of devils' (I Timothy 4:1), and fabrication of fables (II Timothy 4:4), by Peter as 'destructive heresies' (II Peter 2:1). It is he who declares that this end of the Age phenomenon, this subversion on a wide scale is to be a mark of how 'advanced' the day then is. II Peter 3 also advises of the same pathology to come, that it would include the denial of the flood, despite the evidence and a lethargic dismissal of the return of Jesus Christ. So it had to be, and so it is.
If it had not been so, neither would the Bible have come true. With however the supreme irony of God, the more they labour to subvert the church (being deluded, inventing a new Christ with a new curriculum vitae and a new post), the more they show the truth of God's word, the Bible: for it said that these things MUST BE, and they ARE, with the chronological alarm: Israel is back in Jerusalem (Luke 21:24). It fits perfectly like a hat, every contour just right for the head; and this Head will not be too long in His comment (Revelation 19), which comes.
THE PROPHETIC SCOOP
What then do we find from the prophecy of these things ? It is this. Let us review it.
Not only were they to bring in, from the Church's very midst, damnable heresies, things to be condemned as in II Peter 2, but to have a subversion of godliness with it (as in II Timothy 3), and with this, there had to be (the opera program for the thrust of many churches as forecast), what ?
It was nothing less than a pre-occupation with fables, myths (II Timothy 4). A myth being an attribution of cause either to to nothing (which divorces from logical and empirical reality at the same time) or to what is neither attested by anything nor confirmed, nor verified, nor adequate unless the imagination is to be the driving force, divorced from fact, like those who slip out of marriage with scarcely more, it seems, than a financial grimace.
The philosophy of organic evolution, so cherished in many churches, such comfort to crooked consciences in many, this is a prime exhibit. Things just dress themselves up: no clothes, no nanny for the babe, but it just DOES IT. When is this process of creating information seen ? when is this movement of upgrade in information and hence design advance, to be achieve for human sight ? When is the principle of it to be justified by observation of what manifestly is able to create it, moves to create it and is in the process of creating it by assessable interface with what is, as it becomes what is to be ? Where has magic its masterpiece and in what laboratory is wisdom occasioned by substance which, to be sure, implies it, but does not provide it operationally; for as with all magic, it is never to be found, only pleasantries and tricks.
Where are the billions of misbegotten results of creation without wisdom, abortions of horror that were ludicrous, such as a sub-moronic non-mind would be expected to achieve in its march upward without feet or track ? Where do we find codes 'arise' which are used to interpret other 'codes' as in the information about information in the non-coding DNA ? Where is language being invented with the sophistication of method which requires integration of meaning and action, and both with available and suitable supplies ? and where is it found that another language is being created, integrable with the first, so that it explains the first so that its application can be validated and secured ?
Where but in the air. Like Puck, it can circle the earth seven times, in the imagination, but has precisely no means of locomotion in practical, empirical, observable fact or its counterpart from the past; this it has neither in principle nor in procedure, neither in demonstrable potential nor in exhibited action. It occurs, only by negation (cf. TMR Ch. 1, The gods of naturalism have no go! as the matter is systematically inspected). Thus it becomes the greatest scientific hoax of all time, except that the competition from the ancient Greeks onward being so great, perhaps we should qualify this: the greatest scientific hoax of modern times and a contender for all time. Besides all this, the Greeks did not call it 'scientific' in the modern sense, nor was it, in this a brother to the more recent imposition on the public mind (cf. Secular Myth and Sacred Truth, Scientific Method, Satanic Method and the Model of Salvation).
INVENTIONS WHICH DESERVE NO NOBEL PRIZE
Applied Today, Yesterday and Tomorrow
There is then a perfect fulfilment of the sort of rambunctious fury which charactised the assault on Stephen in the religious environs of the early Christian Church, as Judaism sought its identity, viewed as the rump of the theocratic religion of the prophets, when the Messiah is deducted, for the modern era. If you want much more of the fulfilments of biblical predictions such as these, even from this writer's personal experience, then visit this site. The results are of a kind in four nations where one has been involved.
Moreover, this is not merely a personal matter found in a number of churches internationally, but like the tip of an ice-berg, so dear in cost to the Titanic, what is underneath has long lurked. It is based on what has for generations been growing to this point, throughout the world. In the USA, it became abundantly evident in the movement from Professors to Trustees at Princeton, for appointment basis for academic Staff; and that was part of the move from the Bible only for ultimate assessment of doctrine to the Bible plus such urbane ingredients as appealed. It then began to resemble a secular papacy.
That ? it was around a century ago as it began to develop, and it surged with time as the forces of unbelief were tolerated as if washing were hung out in the depths of coal mines, and this was found agreeable to the housewife.
It has led to the reduction of the PC of Australia by some two-thirds, into the Uniting Church which is not even formally committed to the Bible as the infallible, inerrant word of God; and so without being surprising, it has legislated for what the Bible treats as sexual perversion, EXCLUDING this (as for adultery, for that matter) as a way of life from the kingdom of heaven (I Timothy 1:10, I Corinthians 4-5). Incidentally, note the OTHER moral crimes as biblically attested, in the first Chapter of First Timothy, allied with sexual perversion, and consider as well as the other exclusions of I Corinthians from the kingdom of heaven.
Confusion and change are to be found not only in lordly licence to contradict the work of millenia, in the application of the Bible, for what are still termed 'churches' (even the one in Melbourne's heart, which makes of Jesus a peasant, not at all the Son of God - but why use the name of any such concoction of the imagination! - cf. SMR Ch. 6) ? In that case, indeed, why if not for its gain, and what gain is there in such a mirage of the mind masquerading as the Jesus of history and reality (cf. SMR Appendix C and D, Chs. 8-9).
If you want to invent a religion, that is up to and down to you; but if you want to re-invent historical figures, with vast historical bases, enormous exposure to their contemporary times, bases of critical movements with followers from them for millenia, you need to do rather better than just sit down and start imagining other times, other mores, other ideas, other histories and other people, adding to these some actual names. Fiction is fiction and fact is fact; each has its place. Confusing the two could be called the ephemeral religion, or surrender to myths. Facts have another lineage and set of credentials.
One of these facts is this: that the Bible indicates in its predictions, one of the motifs which will be observable, one of the forces that generate unbelief with doctrines decisively diverse from the truth of Him who called Himself the Way, the Life and the Truth (John 14:6). It is a process of making merchandise of the flock (II Peter 2:3), exploiting them. This was precisely the complaint of Jeremiah, at the mouth of God, as seen in Ch. 23. Religion like most other things can be sensationalised, polluted, corrupted, transformed in name, altered in substance, divested of basis, and names can be mishandled to assist confusion for real or imagined profit of one kind or another, whether of money or prestige or notoriety. The Bible stipulated the result in terms of Christianity and in terms of motivations, one of which is here declared.
It comes like a disease acting to corrupt the truth with malfunction.
STEPHEN THE FORERUNNER
The Jews of Stephen's day had an earlier version of the same virus. This has spread internationally to a vast and increasing extent, while mud is thrown, analysed and then attributed to the victim, or the very basis of the religion. It is a 'nice' process, suitable for a spy novel, but not for historical fact. But let us return to this earlier form of the disease, as Stephen was being processed by the virus.
As the Council sat in their grave miens, like cloaks of hatred over their weighty shoulders, the question lingered in the air. The High Priest from his vast heights asks the question: Are these things so ?
We remember more about the High Priest model of the day, from John 11, where it was PURPOSELY decided to SACRIFICE Christ, 'one man' for the nation. It was not an appealing sense of justice, of right and wrong, of the fear of God, to sling a carcass about, or rather to inter it gradually from the gasping excesses of the Cross as its life ebbed; and while the question is plain, the answer, because as with Christ Himself, it is plain, is found to be intolerable.
Where judgment is passed in advance, what need of an answer! But if it is given, act in haste, no time to waste! They rushed on him (Acts 7:57). However, there are religious forms and observances, just as there are civic ones in the stupendous silliness of pompous man, where he does something similar, proceeding pontifically from the text called culture.
That was the outcome. In the next Chapter, we can consider with relish and godly care, the actual speech of Stephen.