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What is man ? What distinguishes man ? and what missing, extinguishes man ?
BULLETIN THIRTY FIVE
PUTTING FIRST THINGS FIRST
A New Year Exercise
He is more than a body, for he can (to a good measure) understand bodies.
He is more than a mind, for he can in substantial measure, understand mind and its powers and limitations as given to himself.
He is spirit, also, for not only has his mentality freedom to rove in the sites of logic and irrationality, but he has liberty to ignore the results, dismiss the conclusions, and this in many different ways, such as those of overweening pride, derring-do, reckless self-possession, prudential paralysis, devious desire, inflammable fire and ire as one more option, and so on.
He can lie, deceive, betray, deceive himself, even deceive himself on purpose, such is the stretch of his spirit's domain.
Equipped with mind and spirit, he can look like an aeroplane compared with a child's bicycle, with anything else in terms of the categories of life available.
As with all gifted things, marvels of enterprise, inventions of wonder, the MORE they have of intense value and wit, the more they can be ruined, and the more are avenues of grief at their desolation. It is like breaking a child's celluloid toy, compared with crashing a space ship, containing people. The more the marvel, the worse is the scope for the fall.
That is one of the price tags on freedom. If you want to be aloof (perhaps creating a kind of psychic portrait for your pride or penchant or social pleasure), or slyly spurious (and so recognised as a quiet and capable fellow), or cannily faithless (as if to whip those whom you betray), you may follow the relevant patterns, with or without help from literature in your spirit's creativity.
THE FIRST PAIR
Adam and Eve had so much more in such opportunities, good and bad, ruinous and splendid, than anything equipped with body near them, that they made history (and I am almost surprised that in this luxuriant age, no one seems to be concerned to have it called herstory, or his/her story). Such bliss to obey (conform to certain limits and truth and reality, rather than align with a self-expansive lie): it was simply not to eat what was excluded by name (just as the good news is far from being too grievous as I John 5:3 tells us). Then, instead, what might this inventive man concoct or receive from the deceiver ? Why he could imbibe and act on the concept of rampant relish, and ravishing dreams, as if gratitude were mere platitude. He could say no to natural goodness in the presence of its source, and yes to distortive dynamic. In this, man and woman, they were together, reminding that togetherness is much, but can become route to one more deception. You need to get back to base, whether as one or two, and without todo.
The first pair ? Their failure flattened the function of purity, soiled and spoiled, left the infection of betrayal, rammed home the concept of delight for the depraved and the treacherous, bruised the loveliness of innocence. They had dabbled with dereliction. The results were diverting from their image start with this dynamic present producing the ruin of death to come physically, and immediate death in heart, spiritually. This has left mankind after this (Romans 5), in need of restoration, which in view of the damage of sin, includes redemption and of course repentance; for with God, lies are not part of the currency of comradeship. Happiness of heart and holiness of spirit are like a pair of twins.
What an immense splendour and wonder and
potential desolation and need of redemption now lay spread out!
THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD
God as the only logical basis for all, can, if He wills, and He did so will, announce the way back. It is called the Gospel. What lacks spirit does not know, or understand, or move in these realms from this liberty to that love and redemption. That is amongst this earth's life, the prerogative of man. It was pre-announced from the first (Genesis 3:15). Who would receive it ? (as in Isaiah 53:1 of the then predicted Gospel).
The Lord however, not only KNEW man would fall, but who would repent! (Ephesians 1:4). HOW did this happen ? He tells us that before He actually proceeded past plan to permitting performance itself, the action phase for man, in the creation of the universe, that He knew His own. With that, we learn that He WOULD desire to have ALL, as In Colossians 1:19ff.. Divulging what He Himself would like for all personal beings in heaven and in earth, even reconciliation to Himself, in view of His Gospel provision of Christ's sacrifice for sin, He yet does not follow this desire as if to prostitute His love, or use force for His love. You are not forced to love, compelled to come as by a beserk religious tyrant! Far (as possible) from it! You are invited, and the invitation has power being active from before the world, when in His own above and beyond time mode, He knew all, and all was open to Him. It is no use using the term "God" if you do not realise the scope of His works (cf. SMR Ch. 1).
The Gospel entrance is available to faith by grace of God Himself personally, and it means to put away one's guilt in His own offering, covering sin with the favour of Christ's fatality which broke death on the rebound, and so offers eternal life freely. He mourns for what WILL not repent (Luke 19:42ff., Matthew 23:37ff.), and SO declining the escape, does not do so, but perishes.
Was it, this His foreknowledge of His own, before creation itself (Romans 8:28ff.), a matter of envisaging man in his sins and seeing beyond the smog that would blot out the awareness of His willingness or otherwise to be reconciled ? smog penetration ? Or was it a matter of such an hypostasis, a calling into envisaged being what not yet created, could be seen as without sin, and of course those who came had not inbuilt superiority for if they had, there could be no freedom, just a type of psychic engineering. There is no room for pride here, a sort of spiritual hereditary. The worst can be saved, the best can be left. This is liberty.
To Him, all desired is possible, but His desire is not for hollow slaves, robots or engineered fragments. Nothing is in fact impossible if God wants it. All things are clear before God, since ALL THINGS are manifest before Him as in Hebrews 4. He does not keep out of reach of what He put in, nor fail to find the freedom of what is in His image, however that image be spoiled. Moreover, His choice precedes the spoiling in history itself! for it is "foreknown" before even the creation of the entire world!
GIndeed, the very spirit of man is the candle of
the Lord through which he examines his innermost being (Proverbs 20:27).
Searching and knowing the heart of man, as in Jeremiah 17:9-10, encounters no
barrier when God examines, nor is He at a loss to intimate what He will to the
fallen and sinful heart of man which comes in different situations through the
same Spirit and the same Gospel to the same God.
FREEDOM AND FURORE
Truth is Fallen in the Street and Equity Cannot Enter (Isaiah 59:14)
The freedom, though confused by sin, is not destroyed before God. His love mourns what refuses Him (Isaiah 48:15ff.), but it does not dictate like uproarious, vainglorious dictators. These populate the earth on the part of compulsive obsessives who MUST have you believe in their images (even Biblical Christianity suffered loss as some wanted to worship what was not God and did not create the universe), like the latter time Communism, where you must not believe in God, because the rulers have this spiritual delusion that their word (some interpretation of the will of the people by unknown transfer) is the one that counts, and they call it a dictation to history, which becomes exceedingly dull as they thump blood out of bodies, on their way to some kind of delusive rule amid ignorant, grasping and personal primacy. Or again, you must believe in all the nice things from Christ, like love and liberty (so long as it does not interfere with the particular delusions of maundering monopolists of spirit), but will pay heavily if you
some sorts of persons in some sort of relationship to you,
as if to make man/woman/child to be God, their feelings your assessor;
|b) offend some
sorts of governments who here seem to
forget to govern and learn to clout,
by arguing logically for creation,
and expecting your teachers (when at school, college, university)
to let you go, without casualty, and even mark your work
without prejudice and with justice,
here increasingly regarded as an encumbrance.
Rather is it eminently likely to be on the basis of some delusive belief,
elevated to a vacuous moral code and a summary of irrationalism,
as if nothing else counted in school or market.
This is often taken from the Dare Book
of an initial nothing
(in some form or format or other, making a flat self-contradiction at the outset),
and this is used to judge your productions, life, words and expressions,
and demand conformity as if you were some kind of a parrot in a political cage.
I had such a thing as this happen when acting as what was called a Lecturer,
but for "convenience" I was told, must shut down what I had taught
and what nobody was able to show to be wrong,
and what in fact was crucially relevant
to educating the students comprehensively.
STOP or go. this was the ultimatum!
How could one circumvent truth!
Or how indeed, omit what was illuminating
in this case,
the very nature of scientific method in no mean exposure,
of virtual suppression of the same in cultural kingdom of science,
that hotspotch of shamelessly undisciplined thought
that is so popular to the uncritical mind
when origins and creation is concerned.
The truth in all this does not matter. Such a
thing was DECLARED NOT CONVENIENT!
Hence it could not be done.
The challenge was simple: to tell the truth, the whole truth and not some authoritarian substitute, because it was so and its exclusion was indefensible, provided stubbornly without a word in answer to my challenge: Where then am I wrong ? Show it that we may know it,
Instead, the social tragedy was once more enacted
with outrageous and demeaning authoritarianism, as if scientific method were no
more relevant than the mooing of cows on a pleasant
rural night. This was impoverishing to the student, a disgrace to the academic body concerned: to persist in the cutting out of a whole domain. Convenient to the powers that be ? Not really. That was the only reason given, that was the plea, that truth was not to be and could not be included as a dominant consideration. If this were to be, then I myself would of course have to be, since my tongue (teaching facility) is not sold out to my stomach (reward, such as work place to present).
As, IN EFFECT, I told the person in charge in my area of teaching: I had always thought that a university was a place for seeking truth, finding it, relishing it, going in hot pursuit for it; not this exclusivism based on the will of various people in their complementary roles of mutual support! a focus of preference and an arena of cultural conformism was not my concept of the role of any tertiary teaching body in such a country as this, or indeed in any part of any scientific setting. If they elected to ignore portion of the truth, was I to conform to their omission! The proposal to "stop" in exposure of what had degenerated almost into mere propaganda was not an option for the lover of truth; and so I did not remain in that contrived situation.
This was the tenor: I did not use the term academic junta; but in any case, having been told that this use of unbreachable fact was NOT permitted, and having been insulted by mere morbid guesswork about my knowledge of events, with no noticeable apology, when this was directly refuted, I personally saw what I had seen in theology before, now in communications. And that ? It is the closed shop, the union of academic conformists (metaphorically but actually through various officials) able to come in and have its way in seeking due conformity to their preference.
How cheap! How can you bring yourself to do such a thing if you believe in it (as was felt concerning the Nazi youth education drive leading on to massacre both of families and truth), or to level the field with lust for prominence or dominance, not truth, if you do not! It becomes a tradition, replacing truth in the education of the exploited! Does truth require a crutch, or reason a whipping! Does what is continually found indefeasible, irrepressible (except as now by slaughter, or as then by using the cultural keys of the make-believe), irrefutable and confirmed, not merely conformed, to be excluded ? Why ?because that is the only way to exclude it, totalitarian pretension ?
Does abrasive and abrupt domineering by many, when science comes to religion, whereas in science, there is good and bad, to replace what is evidentially based with what is ignorantly pushed! Will we learn more by excluding what is even logically necessary*1 and drafting confusion as an antidote to reality and naming even this scientism, 'science' or some other such misnomer!
Again and again I have found this, in so many depths and dimensions. Intolerance dictates in the name of freedom, just like the case where ungoverned children call the shots in a family upbringing, so that disorder rules. Nor am I alone. It is just that I have personally tasted these things, these abuses of liberty by credulity, and they are no mere articles of analysis!
Love seeks not cotton-wool children, but those who are robust in truth, active in insight. What is the good of using EDUCATION (of all things) to mislead, distort, keep a privacy barrier as in some tribal domain deep in the jungle, or parking lot, deep in the heart of the smouldering city! What abandons truth OR justice, the new trial mode in Australia, is catering to less than mankind, and is merely a satrap to degradation, whimsy or destructive abuse.
Now people are saying one outrageous thing after another, and it would almost seem as if
1) this is a condition of notoriety and even popularity,
2) this is a just prelude to its acceptance! and even
3) a due presage to legislation.
It becomes a sort of mysticism, a variety of fabricated fad, where the more obvious it is that it is irrational, the more it appeals to the cultural crowd. Racism is to be abolished by making some of it statutary, greatness is to be achieved by disruption, corruption and irruption, force is to be superman,
sadism is to be excused, pursuit of the glory by the gory is to create better people, stir vision in youth,
make great nations, whose execrable inhuman thrust is to show they are the best, rather than the beast. Survival dismisses revival; masses, not knowing what to live for, being miseducated, mistaught and misdirected in passion, indulge in ruthless rampages where making man nothing becomes the next step after trying to generate the universe from nothing. Nothing is its value, and its support; for when you leave truth, it is like washing endless dishes, instead of eating.
Where this is the type of hype, instead of respecting reality, facts, all aspects, every evidential facet, favouring none, distorting nothing, dispensing justice, what then ?
Then equity and truth
are in much discarded, and
to the use of force for a pseudo-argumentative substitute
for justice, reason and wisdom -
whether this be in fines, prison, counselling, whipping or drugs;
|depart, while the equal regard for all parties, is not in place,|
|are NOT EVEN SOUGHT, indeed dismissible,|
|then the question must arise:
Is this then becoming not only a banana republic (in effect)
but a rotten banana republic? Is it increasingly enthralled
with the increasing corruption in other countries
taking the same intoxicating draft ?
Is it even glorying in it, as its home base rots!
and as in Isaiah 59:14, truth is fallen in the street!
Without the foundation of justice, power-people or social blocs simply dictate according to fad, fancy, preference, will, self-benefit or other ludicrous mischiefs substituting for government.
It is quintessential NOT to confuse justice and mercy. Justice will not allow travesty and individual notions to hold court while other data languish. On the other hand, if you want to show kindness to anyone, mercy amidst the wheels of justice, great, so long as it is not crypto-indulgence and mere wallowing unwisdom, a very prescription for waste and wry distortions. But justice and mercy are twins, not options, not interchangeable, lest you ruin some unjustly, while indulging in what THEN becomes the particular fuss point in your own moral judgment, as if you were a god, or this were the felicity of your own nation. And since this is as far from truth as you can go, it is a wanton thing.
Liberty and love, truth and reality, peace and probity, they all go together (cf. Psalm 85:10); for God has put them together as mutualities for the mind and marvels for the spirit of man. And love cannot be made into some kind of spiritual chameleon. If you want "unconditional love", then you need to be able and willing to receive love itself, that you should know it. Thus if you love bread, and if bread could choose, and it chose for weeks to become more and more mouldy, bitter, broken, till its very nature was irreparably broken, what would you be now loving ? A ruin is one thing; a self-codifying ruin is another.
A self-squandering relic of wilfulness ? is that
the desideratum, while debt swamps and dreamy enterprises which MUST work, don't
because they are unrealistic, inventions of ideals based on a world that is not
there, and far from the God who is.
LIFE IS REAL, THE
DREAMS ARE DANGEROUS BEFORE THE FALLS
The Bible*1 indicates that you can so cavort in foolish machinations before God that your conscience can be seared as with a hot iron (II Timothy 4:2). You can be rescued only as by one snatching you from the fire (Jude 22-23). God declares that He will not always strive (seek for one amid his delectated confusions and remorseless ruinations), for THE SPIRIT WOULD FAIL BEFORE ME (Isaiah 57:16).
It is not unconditional love but uncontributive love which is to the point.
Once the Gospel of divine love, of His loving word of pardon and power and peace is received, then the love is toward what thus has authority to become a child of God (John 1:12). It is now focussed in consummation, expressed in reciprocity, and that "seed" of rebirth remains in you (I John 3:9), and just as you do not have to fight to keep your DNA in place, for it is settled within you, so is this spiritual seed, in its regenerated receptor, now a Christian. Then the love of the reborn is able to return, not like a resonance, but in its true and individual direction, to the Lord, its source.
In other words, first of all, YOU do not have to be rather good in the loving department to use your freedom aright and make it to heaven. It is not, says I John 4:10, that we loved Him, but that He first loved us! Loving response is godly, but it is His love which calls for it .We are in need of rescue, and the mode is redemption, to which we make neither deposit nor contribution (Ephesians 2, 4), being simply not up to the divine standard apt for our creation, but fallen and marred by desecration; and this, not least, is the sheer ignorance of not knowing God as the most intimate of friends and the most hallowed, the Creator, the Saviour and the Lord.
If we were to have initial superiority to some others here, if indeed we were built that way, and had more than some other people to contribute, in love or anything else to the point, before salvation, then there would be no freedom. It would then be a determining donation from the outset. It would be like something imparted at manufacture. It would mean that the initial superior supply of relative goodness, or the preferred means to get it, for some, would remove freedom in favour of the nature of the construction of that person. Then the donation given to each, at the outset, favourable to the one, more than to another, would become merely an outworking, and neither freedom nor love at that. It would abort love and exchange it for program, make robots instead of persons, and fiction instead of the glorious wonders of actual love that cherishes in heart, and delights in spirit in its object, here the Lord Himself.
If you do not (wrongly imagine yourself to) have the merit to gain entry to the kingdom of heaven, the site of adoption, it is best before such magnificence may come to inflate the mind, to try humility and reality and shake well with repentance and seek the Lord (Psalm 2:11). It is true that some reject even the gift of repentance (Acts 11:18); but they are not so conformed by any necessity. Hell is perfectly free to reach; but not free at all, when reached.
See on the just authority of the Bible, this link.
As when Hitler gave cause for Churchill's concern in the Britain of the thirties, and warning was not unknown to what nearly ended its liberty, but in much not heeded, as the onset came in a very few years time, so in the name of the Lord (Ezekiel 33), one must warn this land and any like it, that its current substitution for defensible morals and valid grounds for all things, for man, for the instruction of man, for the purposes of man, while inventing information sources which do not exist, is deadly.
The mercy of God can be used like a bargaining chip, for delay during seduction by superficial schemes, as many nations reel into debt and planning disaster. This is impoverishes the more while elevating 'cultures', a name for what people do, is make sacred as if to elevate man to deity! The entire human race however is not deity. That is the singular topic and that is the point. Human racism is not its deliverance, but its fall. The time comes when the bargaining chips are swept off the table; or else, in repentance the people turn back to where they all came from, and cease the rush to the crush.
However, the time has long come where the salvation in Jesus Christ, that is greater and more costly for the Creator even than was creation, is available. Just as body was first made so to man, and mind to his functions, spirit to his quiver, so there is yet salvation for his soul, liberation for his spirit. It awaits like a plane ready to take-off in the desert. Failure to take it, is an opportunity for will without thrill.
Stubbornness, the Bible tells us, is "iniquity and idolatry," and rebellion "worse than witchcraft" (I Samuel 15:23). But you can still use these things ... they are free at first.