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THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG
DOES NOT MAKE WRONG RIGHT
The Australian, September 22-23 2012
CONFUSION CONCERNING CHRIST AND ISLAM
There has been no essential change.
There is the SAME
reverence for Jesus Christ, deity incarnate,
the same incomparable credentials for the Bible,
concerns about misuse of force with religion,
necessities for evidence for any religion,
satiety of this in the word of God, that same Bible,
as for the last 1500 years, relative to relative newcomer,
Islam or any other religion,
or for 600 years before that,
and the same spiritual singularity
for any seeking to silence the
word of God for millenia before that,
indeed since the beginning, in this, their rebuttal,
just as for those seeking to find Him through it, in their transformation.
What is the occasion for pointing this out ? It
is this. A senior editor at National Review, David
Pryce-Jones, has had a major length article featured strongly in the INQUIRER
section of The Australian, September 22-23, 2012. One of its statements,
in particular, deserves address.
It lists many of the poorly features at various levels of Islamic countries, but has no solution to their militancy, which he does not hide or minimise. It appears in this that the way to go is to have them work out something from themselves, productive of functionality and harmony rather than confrontation and vexation with the world. Why is this propitious ? His own citations show the irrefrangeable character of their incited clamour and claims concerning the false prophet, Muhammad.
Like other false prophets, there is nothing concerning him or his works which provides logically sustainable evidence of infallible divine inspiration, or even general divine permission. Any religion which boasts people and power, tradition and prominence can push its way, with disastrous consequences to life and freedom; it is natural to man to worship, because of his creation and Creator. THAT is why he so readily submits to various sects, multitudinous in Christianity, that is, bodies which promulgate things concerning the all-important because closely verifiable name of Jesus Christ, other than what is the record of His time in the Bible (cf. Ch. 3 above, as marked). Whether they seek to mutate it or mutilate it, they vary it, while using it in their innovative perspectives.
Thus they get a kick out of His name and yet defy and defile the historic reality attested logically, evidentially and on all sides. This helps and gives a boost.
Why then should an organisation which in some of its international power-sites, boasts the atomic bomb, bother NOT to seek confrontation or be even interested in non-confrontation, since this has been the way for multiplied thousands of victims for many centuries, even if there have been lapses of power, and quieter periods from time to time! Do they have Western motivation ? Why should they! They have a divisive mentality based on a claim to divine engagement, which though it is not to be seen in practice, is found in their own minds and spirits, judging by their many utterances, some of which David in this article, faithfully cites.
Riotous religion, whether the crypto-race-evolutionary thrust of a Hitler, or the crypto-nature-evolutionary thrust of a Stalin, or the explicit 'Church' related religion of Romanists earlier in time, attacking those who in Christ's name resisted this breach of Matthew 23:8-10 with its whole paraphernalia of earthly power, and whatever its OTHER historic phases, tends to simmer down when it loses power. Another reason ? it may arise when any such religion is seeking power, and finds as perhaps in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood, in 2011, that for a time a more mellow or ameliorative approach will serve best for a while, to temper criticism, till the lust of power becomes irresistible upon establishment.
Obama, the US President, has been perhaps the best thing the Muslims have had for generations. Here is a professing Christian who indicates he will never make war on Islam. How could he know this ? What if a development of this or that kind were to happen so that Islam became, in some unforeseen disposition of causes, an explicit enemy of the USA, intending to subjugate it ? Is this the prior commitment of the US President ?
In speaking of the Muslim book, the Koran, as holy, and of Islam in terms of goodness,
this President has betrayed Christianity,
which is not in favour of
praise for what defiles the name of
lifting up in adulation what denies His redemption,
congratulating what is engages in double-speak concerning His death,
jejune efforts seeking to supersede
Him with what is claimed to be the ultimate,
That is to elevate a militant enemy of Christian salvation, a foe of Christ according to the Bible, in the name of what Christ has, in advance, designated a false prophet*1, in the category which is linked to wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7).
This had added illicit lustre to a cause without logical support, for now it has physically for its continuance, no small US support. Never, quoth he, would the USA attack Islam ? What never!
It is not that physical war on a religion is in view, but resistance to such war should such a religion (as in the case of Hitler, the earlier Stalin) act directly or indirectly to subjugate his nation; and the point would be to overthrow the forces seeking overthrow. In this, Obama's words could be called both treacherous (in view of his pre-election statements about Christianity and himself), and dangerous, in view of his unsolicited commitment, indeed both unwise and unworkable.
It is not even, or chiefly, the question of forcible resistance, which is in view, but the honour conferred on what, as in the case of all false prophets degrading Jesus the Christ, lacks it. Logic does not give it. Conquest does not give it, for the conquest has not happened, no, not even against tiny Israel (statedly a small fraction in size, of the Australian State of Victoria), not even in more than 60 years, not even by an arc of enemy nations about it, including in part or whole, at this time or that, Syria, Iran, Iraq, more extensively Pakistan, Afghanistan, Burma, with Libya, and in measure, Egypt, and Turkey, with Caspian nations such as the Moslem many in that vicinity, not to mention a world-wide supply force in whole or part of others such as Indonesia, Malaysia, whose former President, Matathir, himself expressed both concern and surprise that the Moslem international might had not subdued Israel in all the years of that nation's renewed existence.
His underlying point is valid. WHY has there been NOT EVEN the power from the multiplied might of all of these nations, segments, groups, troops, weapons to hand, wealth in many - flourishing, radical conviction and so on, to do what ? Why not the power to obliterate what is seemingly a tiny vesicle of minimal strength, surrounded by might that is antagonistic and often obliterative in stated intent, in attitude towards Israel!
If jihads could crush, if Allah were almighty and summoned such things for so long on the part of so many with such power and such zest and zeal, so intemperate in lust and so implacable in resolve, why has this said might not been mighty enough! When the Lord speaks, it is done. That is, as it always has been, one of the tests, whether you view it scientifically, empirically, or logically, in principle. It is not that it is good that such genocide fails, or anything like it; it is just the point that it does fail, has failed, and continues to fail, in a set-piece confrontation. In this, God predicted it in kind, and the result in kind, and in detail as in Zechariah 12, and it has not only happened, but happened precisely as He said. In this, it is like everything else He says (cf. SMR Chs. 8-9, The Pitter-Patter of Prophetic Feet, Ch. 4, Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ ... ).
Thus the answer is the same one consistently given to the normal round of futile attempts to invalidate the Bible: despite the extreme and indeed extraordinary character many of the major fulfilments, in the Messiah or later. Consult the evidence (cf. SMR Chs. 8 - 9, and the four volume work, Israel).
One aspect is this: the non-extinction of restored Israel, according to divine promise.
Thus, it continues in its tininess, despite all non-God probabilities. The action and intention of God, however, is not a probability, but a certainty, because the God of the Bible always does what He says.
Israel has from God (Zechariah 12:4-5, cf Genesis 17:7-8)
given such a place
|after such an exile,
|in such a setting,
|with just such wars
as specified in Zechariah 12-13,
|these statedly having
divine aid for a purpose,
leading at last to their large and national repentance
for the crucifixion of the Messiah, as in Zechariah 12-13,
that the futile furies of man rebound, and will rebound much more as in Isaiah 66, Micah 7, Ezekiel 37-39 (cf. It Bubbles ... Ch. 11).
In Zechariah 12-14, as in Isaiah (cf. Ch. 3 above), this leads on to the Lord's return as in Zechariah 14:5. It is the actual and abundantly self-identifying God, whose word, the Bible, is amply and continually verified, validated and applied in history. If then He, the Lord, says something, don't worry about its contradiction. Sin may contradict it, but not history! He may test your faith by doing it otherwise than the way you just personally expected, but what HE SAYS, happens. Science, the knowledge of man in other words (when it follows the method which in divine things, it so frequently aborts), is nothing compared to this in consistent continuity of accuracy, over millenia.
Yes, often it seems a few decades falsify so much with such assurance and so often affirmed with its 'inescapable' assurance, that the comparison is like that of child to adult. Man, as H.G. Wells in the title of one of his works, is at the end of his tether. It is now world-wide, the condition of Israel in the day of Isaiah, when (Isaiah 42:23-25) for his sins the Lord
"poured on him the fury of His anger,
and the strength of battle;
it has set him on fire all around.
Yet he did not know;
and it burned him,
yet he did not take it to heart."
As it was there, so it is here. Thus, as Israel was taught from its ancient follies, so is this world being taught now; and as, nationally, it fell more and more into not heeding the Lord, so is it with this world now; and as it came to an extended but now concluded exile as predicted (Leviticus 26) for the accumulated controversy and confrontation with the Lord, so is now the case with this world ... It is so, except in this, that for Israel there was a happy ending in its replanting in its site and the mass conversion to Christ foretold in Zechariah 12 as implied in Ezekiel 36-37, attested in Hosea and shafted in Isaiah, while stressed in Romans 11; but for this world there is coming a judgment which ends in its finale before the throne of the Lord, who will dismiss this heaven and earth itself (cf. II Peter 3). No more place will be found for that celestial package, says His word (Revelation 20:11, 21:1).
That is in line with one of the points the Lord often makes in the Bible - as in Isaiah 41, 43, 48, Joel 2:11, Matthew 5:17-20, I Thessalonians 2:13, Isaiah 14:27 and many another site. It is basic Christianity that He says it, and does it. Christianity is ever mindful of the practical power of the resurrected Lord (Ephesians 1:19), as shown in the bodily resurrection of Jesus the Christ, in His healings, in the supervision according to His word, of all human history, as seen in salvation and its outcomes in the laboratory of life. The power is not to solace the sybaritic, but to attest the truth and in those terms, bring blessing in much to many in the name of Jesus Christ, the Messiah dated by Daniel half a millenium before*1A, in one of the Lord's attesting prodigies.
He does not leave us with any ground to doubt; only with the capacity at will to dither, act dumb, dismiss or in confusion, try to escape the glorious reality of life eternal. The data He delivers, the logic and the multiplied modes of testimonial, these continue rampant like fire, precise like surgery, sure like light in its revealing power.*1B
That is one of the points equally, He continually makes in history. These two, they match like man and wife, but here it is the ruler of the nations who speaks, as He has so often spoken, to raise up one and put down another, amidst the welter of self-revealing liberties granted to man, till judgment comes like the red of the setting sun, following a long day.
Biblical Christianity is a practical religion from the practical God. He makes things practical, knows all things theoretical, knows truth and error, and acts in the former, avoiding the latter, indeed He constitutes the truth. He knows the end from the beginning, as author of the temporal and imposed delimitation of time, is infinitely ahead of man as his Creator, lacks nothing for there is none to ordain such lack, or apply such limit, to disjoin will from ability, so creating a system as if God: for He IS God.
It is He who, though far beyond our powers in every dimension, acts exquisitely in practice, as shown in the DNA's logical finesse and mathematical profundity, and the observable lack of new information from non-intelligent sources, which do not formulate*1C. He is never at a loss.
It is man who is lost because he has lost contact except in the thrust of presumption, ignorance, arrogance and unbelief. God's method is not to harass into faith, by force, since this is a contradiction in terms. Believing in something is not a matter of yielding to it, because it overwhelms your power to resist, but a cordiality of heart, consequent upon a conviction of mind and a willingness of spirit. Shear off mind and spirit, and make it the equivalent of a mere weapon, and you are in a different territory entirely, one of the main reasons why that segment of the Muslim approach, often seen in the Koran, in jihads, which relies on force, whatever its source, cannot be true, and does not work.
Concerning such things as these, and elements of Islam in terms of Christian apologetics to the point, the excerpt from SMR below makes provisions (pp.. 829ff.,), as does Divine Agenda Ch. 6, and do the references included in this note. It has been altered slightly in presentation, but merely by small addition, in words.
*2 One of the fascinating elements in this divine determination to fulfil His word - even to a statedly disobedient people, is this: the Moslem peoples are calling, like the prophets of Baal, on an alien God whom God declares not to be, not to exist, He being the only God there is. They are indeed calling on one who is not the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, in that He stated:
If God were your Father you would love Me, for I proceeded and came forth from Him (John 8:42).
Jesus also said: "If man love Me, he will keep My words" (John 14:23); but His words Moslems do not keep! From that, it follows that the Moslem God is not His; and since He makes it clear there is but one God, the Moslem God does not exist; or, if he does in any way exist, not as God. There are no options in the strict logical necessity with which this follows from the Bible.
The way God considers non-gods who proclaim themselves as such is shown well in the case of Elijah, where the prophet asks such gods to perform, and they cannot. That is one of the contemporary points in the vast amount of prophecy in the Bible. God makes the point that this is to establish His identity and power, so that they might believe. This is what it does. We see this now as they saw it in Elijah's days. The parameters of expression are not the same; the purpose and the result however have not varied.
When the predicted contest in the Middle East occurs, the one surpassing in style those so far this century, the pyrotechnic side will again be strong, as we see in Micah 7:15-18, Ezekiel 38-39 and Zechariah 14. Further, preliminary pyrotechnics in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1991 have already shown a mounting intensity! As has been shown, these accord with the prophecies in Zechariah 12 and 14, and hence are relevant in pondering the assessable character of Biblical prophecy, relative to efforts of human religions.
A 'Christ', then, invented by Muhammad is in collision with one designated by the historical record; and the performance of the two is strikingly in contrast. The Biblical one is intimately associated with the Bible, declaring its infallibility, and speaking with declared ultimate authority, that of God, Himself. His words come to pass. Let us examine one of these words.
He said: "The Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrance what I have spoken to you" (John 14:26); but the Moslems recast the character of Christ, as well as His words, as if God had forgotten to 'take care of' the record of the sinless Jesus Christ, omitting true records for 600 years. If that is not blasphemy (for those who use the term), what is ? Our point would be however, that it would be irrational to allege that Christ was a genuine commander from God, and yet allow fraudulent misstatements to govern the relationship of the human race to Him. That incidentally is yet another verification, that Christ so promises to bring to their memories what He said, for it is consistent with His crucial position.
The Moslem people with their Koran stand on the premise that they are right about Jesus and the Bible is wrong. They replace Him as a prophet displaced by the more modern Muhammad. The lines are drawn: the God of the Bible versus the god of the Koran. According to the Bible, that god is an impostor, like Baal; that religion is a defiler of truth and a departure following an antichrist. (See also, Mosque in Jerusalem Temple Area - see *4, pp. 833 ff. infra.) Antichrist ? Severely so in this: we find in the January 1992 News Brief of Open Doors With Brother Andrew that:
On the edge of the large Omar mosque in Jerusalem it is written in beautiful Arabic script: "Allah has no son".
In 1 John 5:10, we find: "He who does not believe God has made Him a liar because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son." According to the Bible, Allah and/or his maker, is a liar. Again, in 1 John 4:1-3, we find that such deniers of the Son are of the spirit of antichrist.
We examine more of this theme later (pp. 986-1032 infra), and have touched on it before (pp. 50-71ff. supra). The reasons for rejection of such a religion as the Moslem one include
the lack of rational grounds for accepting it;
the arbitrary derogatory re-cast of Jesus Christ;
the irrational reconstruction involved (see Chapter 6 supra) -
in the historically distant and evidentially outrageous plastic surgery
on Christ and His works, courtesy of Muhammad;
the unverified claims of Muhammad;
the way the Bible has predicted just such antichrist elements in advance - such things constituting an evidential base;
the irrationality of mere brute force for the purpose of religious change
(see Chapter 1 supra on this topic);
the failure of brute force in matters where the honour of Allah in the Middle East is allegedly involved, whereas he is statedly almighty;
the lack of the necessary remedy in the religion,
which is a good works balancing proposition,
so that this or that proportion can determine eternity,
and the Almighty may be reached through victories on earth in battle;
the unique resolving power found only in the Bible,
for all probes*1D and questions about rationality and truth in religion;
the positive logical necessity for the Bible as a divine communication
(per se, Chapter 1 supra).
For the present, however, our interest is the citing by Arabs of the will of Allah, versus our reading of the Bible about the will of God. What the Bible said, happened. Neither in predictive exploits nor in power displayed by Allah against what are allegedly his opponents, in wars, nor in matters vulnerable to refutation because made worthy of practical test, have we seen anything remotely resembling almightiness or any grounds for conceiving the same. In all things, this god bows in any contest with the God of the Bible, on logical grounds.
Might does not establish right; but when predictions are in point, power deficiency does indicate error. The point is apologetic here also in a positive manner, since the failure of the Moslem Allah here makes the more conspicuous the power of God, who makes not merely large things, but small ones happen if He states that He will. Even the site of the action, of the test, was predicted, and that emphatically, as is emphasised in this Chapter (cf. Appendix A).
The extraordinary victories of Israel, the amazingly adverse situations from which it has gained victory, the different ways in which this has happened, the power which has been displayed and the power it was predicted there would be displayed: all these things cumulatively show themselves in stark relief when the performance of the Moslem Allah in this respect is considered. For Him, there is little to test; and what there is, does not meet performance requirements on the test site with Israel, a nation God has stipulated as a lesson, both in His discipline of it, and in His deliverance of it, both in precise accord with what He said.
It is here to the point to remember what Amos Elon tells us in The Israelis (p. 202).
During the first artillery barrage in I948, Egyptian planes dropped leaflets on Yad Mordechai calling upon the kibbutz to surrender. "In the name of Allah, the Almighty God who always speaks the truth," the Egyptians announced, "it was not our intention to begin a war. It is your resistance which has caused us to attack you..."
What God had predicted came to pass - the returning Jews held firm, repelled attack by vastly more numerous assault nations, though they themselves were not so much as a nation, hours before. That is the way God is pleased to announce His word and keep His honour against any imaginary god, or real force of men. It never fails; and 'never' is excellent verification, in a vast spread of predictions covering thousands of years, as a period following its utterance and coming, to its fulfilment. It is a truly divine spectacle of power, authority and scope. Nor was it merely a question of overwhelming seeming forces against the infant state.
David Ben Gurion in his Recollections (p. 86) tells us of the sudden thrust to end the war at the outset. He refers to the first week of April 1948.
The situation then was grim indeed. The Arabs had cut off the water supply to the modern Western sector of the city where the Jewish population predominated. As the Romans in 70 C.E., they planned to deprive the Jewish inhabitants of all sustenance and so force capitulation to de facto Arab rule... Colonel Lund, a Norwegian representative of the United Nations Mission in Palestine ... said: 'Your situation is worse than that of Norway in 1940.' Encouraging words!
He tells us of slaughter of convoys and the astonishing transformation of apparent immediate defeat of the 'instant nation', turned (as predicted) to triumph!
For further on Islam, with special reference to force, see The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades, by Spencer, use this reference. In the face of the actual and demonstrable power of the God of the Bible, in this, that He does quite simply what He says, and this is AS He says:
"Indeed, before the day was, I am He;
and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand;
I work, and who will reverse it!"
As He declared, so history has borne out His statement, as with physical laws, but better than this, since they depend on His creation and sustaining, whereas the law of God, the legislation for history, the specifications for man, these never change, nor can anyone change a jot or tittle, till all be fulfilled. It is as Christ declared it in Matthew 5:17-20, as Paul in I Corinthians 2:9-13, and I Thessalonians 2:13. Each statement is testable. Nothing else meets such specifications, or is even substantially testable at all.
People cast up their mounts to invade, and suppress, the Bible, or detach, or revise, or disparage it, but NO failure is ever found. They go like fish bones to the bottom of the sea; He continues lively, and enacts what He has said, unchangeable beyond all law, reliable beyond all doubt.
The more ludicrous the attack on Jesus Christ, on the Bible, though disbelief savours it for a while, the more total the ruin of the word of the assailant. The word of God has showed itself despite the assaults of arms, whether scholarly or martial, to do just what it says, just as He always did what He said, from creation onwards. Wind and tide, explosions and implosions, these make no difference to that one underlying fact.
The case has not changed since Paul's day, as you see in I Corinthians 1:20,
"Where is the wise ? Where is the scribe ? Where is the disputer of this age ?
Has not God made foolish the wisdom, of this world ?"
Where indeed!! This is precisely what one finds*1B (cf. SMR Chs. 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, TMR Chs. 7), in every logical and empirical enterprise. What opposes the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ as its central focus, is lost in antinomies, antitheses, inadequacies, defects, defaults and plain lack of concatenation, where hope tries, but fails to substitute for truth, and vision is applied as if it were just a matter of saying so, with nothing to add but violence of one sort of another. This may pay for a time, as life is slain, goods are taken, dictation is given to children, women or serfs, but in the end, it is no more related to truth than the ocean waves.
It happens, attack is made; but it proves nothing, being like the motion of the water, that flows on and then off; for no flaw is found in which it can lodge. No contrary facts ever stand, nor even so much as find a logical stage on which to plant themselves. In no other account of the reason for, basis of and results relating all things, is there to be found testimony to persuade the mind, instruct the spirit, nor any differentiation from mere events, from what occurs to those liable to such things, at the psychic level. If you want reason, you must deal with logic and with actuality, not passionate enterprise and assault as your basis. A mental moment or persuasion or the flourish of arms, this is not truth; depending on man, many such moments or passions arise.
On the contrary, truth requires a more cogent basis, and woe to those who ignore the minds and the logic which God has given.
In all topics taken as in the references of endnote1B below, for example, arguments to attack the word of God are shown fallacious, ill-grounded, empirically unsound, rationally invalid, to lack verification. Islam is no exception (cf. endnote1 below).
The furtherance of Islam depends in the end, not on meetings or conferences, nor on reasons why apparent unlimited fanaticism should not really be like that, as if the heart were moved by negotiation when it has its desire. Nor is the concern for hope by discussion, based on mutuality, liable to success. It is not like moving from yards to metres: it is moving from demonstrability to desire, from attested grounds for faith and its due operation, to the simple thrust of MUST! Coagulation by communication and the like, where the nations seek to find a way, will appeal,; but the problems are insoluble without truth, and truth is not to be found where preference abounds, but where attestation is decisive, in Christ.
Since the nations are largely lat odds with God, therefore it is before all else, with Him they war (Revelation 19, Micah 3:5), and from Him they turn; and this being so, then in each other there is no light for all, or resolution for any. Like certain chemicals, the results are unstable, and as repeatedly before wars, deceits and deceptions, dishonesties and guile tend to rule. What else ? when truth is despised, and reason ignored.
The situation grows worse, being already bad, and this is fundamentally because the peoples are increasingly obviously and indeed more and more mordantly, set against the Lord and His Christ as foretold in Psalm 2, cited in Acts 4:25-26,and Matthew 24. As it was to be, so it is. The avoidance of the solution, therefore, simply increases the problem.
But there is no problem relative to Jesus Christ. His word has made it clear that the peoples would be so implacably set against Him, as they now in very large measure, are. This applies both when He was crucified and till He comes to reign, salvation finished. This reign, in pity and majesty, is to occur in His own good time (Acts 1:7ff.), when the conditions are fully fulfilled (Acts 1, Isaiah 66, Ezekiel 38-39, Joel 3, Micah 7, Revelation 1, Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
They are very nearly so now, one of these being the extraordinary flux of false prophets to be a token of a fallen race in its last phases (Matthew 24:24), such imaginations of the heart in defiance of the Lord, as with the flood*2, making it fit for judgment in a supreme degree (Answers to Questions Ch. 5, SMR Chs. 8 - 9).
That comparison, incidentally, of the time of the flood with what is now the present, is one expressly made by Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:38ff.), just as the confirmations of His forecast as times rolled on to the dénouement, is made by history, almost as if with a wry smile, at the preposterous nature of human disbelief. Alas, judgment is rather more than that, for it is according to truth; but the Autumn of opportunity precedes the Winter ... of discontent! There is still hope for anyone who asks the Lord for pardon in peace, for reconciliation in repentance, and for life eternal in Christ, by faith, according to His word (John 6:37, I John 1:7-2:2).
What then ? The furtherance which is practically to the point, is that of the word of God in the Bible, the only express, multiple, unconditional, absolute, persistent word of God to man, the only one vast in compass, precise in prediction work and filled with testable promises, possessed by mankind. In the scope of the 212 volumes of In Praise of Christ Jesus, this has repeatedly been shown, both as to the cause of this situation, and the result of it. It is this which comes, whether it seem good to man in his cultural nonchalance and self-assurance, or otherwise, in the pits of his despair, or again as assured in his inordinate hopes to 'succeed' without the God of the Bible, of salvation, without His diagnosis of our condition and without His prognosis both for taking the remedy provided, and not doing so. Obedience and faith is one; rebellion is many.
From the first, there has been this spiritual war, and its phases and stages, epitomised in the predicted crucifixion of the Messiah, at the predicted date*1A; and the results of these things, it has shown in perspective both in the Old and in the New Testaments, from nearly every conceivable angle. To the last, God predicts it will be so, till having shown mercy and found many freely, He ceases the laboratory time, where the hearts of many show themselves clearly, and comes to judgment (Acts 17:31). Psalm 110 shows another phase of it, as do Ezekiel 38-39, Micah 7, Revelation 1, 19-20. The end, the ultimate step for man, is not so much an ultimatum, as a consequence. Chronic foundlings, who prefer to be so, are never found. It is only the stark intervention of God, who knows the heart of man before time was, and expresses in love toward all His willingness, which brings relief to any.
What however of the interim, of now ? In this interim, the underlying issue, as always, is not a matter of force, any more than rape is love; but of heart. Agreement without heart is like a corpse without life. Force for conformity is like Belsen without beauty. Convenience as lord is like soulless roboticism. If that is a new word, it is becoming closer and closer to becoming a new thing in the manipulated masses of mankind, where an inner as well as an outer control is sought by the alienating agencies which now sprinkle the earth like clouds of pepper (cf. SMR pp. 674-708, 750B-E).
Wild self-gloryings, national parallels, international parallels have merely shown the essential double point: man is made by God and for God and without Him, substitutes in irrationality what is natural in his inward inclination to worship, and so bound to error, makes a fool of himself. If that aspect is wrought involuntarily, nevertheless, it is done actually (Ephesians 4:17-19). He declaims what is not so, of his nation or race or whatever, and what does not work, and seeks to make it work by compulsion, and alienates others as he does so; and then he wars, and seeks to show the supremacy of his person, or idea, or cult, or false prophet, or nation, or point-of-view, or initial premises, or final expectations: and fails. Only One never fails empirically: that is the Christ of the Bible, whose words, with those throughout it, the sure fulfilment of which He categorically and minutely endorsed (Matthew 5:17-20), come to pass.
What had seemed impossible with the slant of confrontation, in its massive follies, constantly becomes actual. The end of Revelation 9 shows the fixed anti-idealism of multitudes, slaves of desire, neither withdrawing from their tainting sins, nor repenting.
This, the reality, made butt as contemptible, but irresistibly logically identifiable as the expression of deity FROM HIMSELF, justly impervious to rebuke, one sees for example in The gods of naturalism have no go! and
Design and Deity ..., or
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
Who Answers Riddles
And Where He is, Darkness Departs.
Likewise, in practice, as to this world and its much vaunted but vacuous wisdom, what had seemed so certain to self-assured culture becomes ludicrous, and people come to wonder how so much cleverness could end so ludicrously simply and with such dissavour! Such however is always the final end of what is misaligned, like rubbing tyres that force wear and lead to puncture and collision, rupture and certainly to stoppage in the end (cf. Isaiah 1:3, 5:12, 43:18,Hosea 7:2). If people WILL not consider reality, then is it really so very inconsiderate if it fails to make provision for them ? Is pity to be refunded without interest, while judgment is marvelled at!
What endures is the word of God*2A , as well it might, since God who made the very idea of beginnings, and all of ours, made time with it, and all the other limitations imposed, so that He KNOWS, and mankind in the main, who do not, and decline in vast masses of world population to find Him where He MAY be found (as in Isaiah 55), do not endure in their potential, but as base, find bases not desired.
Their ideas are routed, and even when by force, there is effort to make them work, they do not. What works are God's laws, moral and physical, mental and logical, and truth accordingly. It is not for nothing that John, in I John 2:22-23, gets to the heart of the problem, and the variance from truth, essential, profound and ultimate, when he declares this:
"Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ ?
He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either;
he who acknowledge the Son has the Father also."
THE PRE-CONDITION OF FAILURE
If then one wants to fail, to be at odds with God, to presume on His toleration and to grieve Him, to assist indeed at the last great squall as predicted, where man tries to ride out the predicted storms of God with resolution and fantasy (as foretold for example in Revelation 9:19-21), the way is quite clear as in Psalm 2. Throw away His morals as bondage, His rule as impossible, undesirable, unacceptable, or even loathsome if you insist on vehemence, and do so successively if you want best results for impending woe. Do all this and perhaps even more, and then with the nations, the peoples, the cultural lords, you are in the welter of unwisdom, and in the very forefront of the backwaters of spirit, where darkness finds no solution, and the ground rots in decay, parallel to the dim anguish of spirit. It was of such things that Isaiah 8 was speaking, before 8 turned into Ch. 9 and the light of wonder arising, the solution, resolution and redemption became clear.
In the mire of unadmirable imagination, there is dream, but not actuality.
There you may consult to the uttermost, and even spend billions on it, bend morals as you will, even lying and compromising and yielding to force, one of the worst of follies, or making convenience your god; and yet for all that, end only amid the myths, amid the results that flow from no causes theoretically, when all the time, as is so clear observation, results in fact come from very defined and adequate causes.
One of the best ways to lose the battle for truth and righteousness and equity and peace and joy and understanding, is to subtract God and to do it systematically, and preferably, without a battle; for that is far easier, and if you are going to take the broad and easy way, then why not specialise in it! Why bother to meet correction ? even to be correct becomes for many a thing loathsome, impinging unwarrantably upon their least desires.
To imagine, as is the mode of the article noted at the first, in The Australian, that the mystique of the Bible is shown the door by scholarship, while a dismissal of Islam is still lacking, is one good way of surrender contrary to the facts. it is not commended, though cultural forces*3 commend it. It is the exact opposite of the demonstrable facts. Just for one illustration, these 212 volumes were not written for fun, but with purpose, and none has shown the exposure of truth, to be wrong; for after all, if God be for you, who can be against you. Even a duffer as lawyer, might well win a case when the facts are both overwhelming and incessant!
In fact, not one tittle of the
inspired Bible has been shown fallacious, and even its transmission has been
accomplished with magnificent care, such that there are few blemishes even of minor kind. All
its clear predictions and retrodictions stand, as noted in the volumes above,
with no mean evidential attestation, and nothing is found of any contrary word put
forward to replace it in terms of unique fundamental validity, in the
whole field of religious truth, let alone verification*4.
There is literally no comparison, as if a bull-ant with its sting were being
compared for pure power with a bull-dozer, or a catherine wheel cracker, with
the atomic bomb.
THE UNADMIRABLE CASE:
ITS PRE-CONDITIONS AND ITS PITY
In the midst of these things, pity is not exempt or excluded. It is as with one, so with all. If as Paul put it, in speaking to the Jewish congregation at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:40-46), despite even the most intense ties to truth as a nation, as with the most intense opportunities (cf. John 15:21-23, for the case applies to, certain people at any Age or epoch):
"It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first;
but since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life,
we turn to the Gentiles."
The publication of the truth, whether electronically, by human voice, or press, or by any other means, the proclamation of the path to peace within and to the kingdom of heaven which shall have peace in its immensity and intensity for those who have been redeemed, and eventually resurrected: this bears a price tag. It is freely given, but not without result is it rejected. That is tantamount to judging yourself unworthy of eternal life, Paul indicates.
In what way is this so ? Free grace, divine payment, payment for sin (cf. II Corinthians 5:17ff., Matthew 20:28), provision of righteousness, procurement of purification and enablement of virtue (cf. Titus 3:5-7), in reliance on the already given salvation of the Messiah, Jesus Christ excludes the devious variety of dissidents. It leaves out those who want works, or self-glorification, or human power, or delusive grandeur, or might as ground of dictation, to gain their desire (cf. Galatians 1:10) or any other self-assertive thing, contrary to the Gospel. Let God be God though every man attack you! From Him comes all wit, knowledge and wisdom, and without His, man has none.
What then of His rejection ? of that of His remedy, His gospel, His loving solution, His mode of proclaimed mercy ? You thus are judging yourself, excluding yourself, manifesting your own place and achieving it, though it be ad odds with the beauty of truth. That ? It includes the fact that God delights to show mercy (Micah 7:19ff.), but not to show compliance to human dictation, or to the plans of those who invent a god who acts on their own terms, whether it be in terms of internal unverified vision or self-acclaim.
In Romans 10:1-6, there is thus parallel warning implicit in Paul's godlly exposure of those who go about to establish their own righteousness, and this applies both to religionists and irreligionists, whether to Islamic, Jewish, secular or other types of body. DO THIS, bring your own works even INTO it, for salvation itself, and you are out. NONE of these are good enough to weigh with God; for He has performed in Jesus Christ His OWN works, attributable to man, in the gift of divine righteousness, pure, divine and perfect, just as a Father gives an inheritance to a son. In this case, however, it starts within by the gift of eternal life in plentiful pardon and divine power, through regeneration. The old wine simplyl won't do.
Warnings are for a purpose. To revert to the case of the Jewish synagogue, as in Acts 13, Paul had first warned that body to beware lest it should happen to them as forecast by the prophet Habakkuk 1:8:
"Behold you despisers,
Marvel and perish!
"For I work a work in your days,
A work which you will by no means believe,
Though one were to declare it to you."
The time of judgment comes (Habakkuk 3:11-16), joy in free salvation continues (Habakkuk 3:17-18), not dependent on this-worldly power, but for its reception, on faith in the manifestation of the wisdom of God, who testing all things, knowing all things, providing for all, yet judges where arrogant disdain, trust in riches of power or money or personality or works enters in. He receives the meek, those who find in Him the power and the place and the gift, even that of eternal life, and from Him take up the plan of salvation, as a precious resource. Through faith, their saving focus on Christ becomes not only life-changing, but transformation through regeneration.
The vision, Habakkuk was told (2:2), was to be written, made plain on tablets, so that people might run with it, while reading it, so great was its authority and need of dissemination.
It portended what, then, was still to come:
"For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end, it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it,
Because it will surely come..."
When it DID come in the first instalment of Christ, the Saviour as in Isaiah 49-55, Micah 5, Psalm 16,22, Zechariah 11-11, then many would not believe, and as in Acts 13, judged themselves unworthy of eternal life. It was God or themselves. They could follow God or their own wits and wisdom and rationally unattested idealisations or ideas. They could disbelieve the only attestation of such power and purity, prophetic fulfilment and wisdom, wit and grace, compassion and healing this world has even known, and THAT according to prescriptions of detailed kind as in Micah 5; or they could disbelieve.
Our point of concern at the moment is the character of the result of disbelief. Before touching this, let us remind ourselves that FAITH is in view, when one DOES receive the grace of God in Christ Jesus, and that this involves trust, not a matter of personal gain or comfort (though there is a spiritual comfort in Christ because of beauty of holiness and truth and being not at odds with God Himself any more). This is given high emphasis in Habakkuk 3:17, where the prophet, being willing to wait, trusting in the God who gave the vision which unfolded, declares that "Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, though the labour of the olive may fail ... yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
Christ in Luke 14:27ff., indicates that one must take up one's cross and follow Him, that no other sort of being is a Christian. A non-self-affirming sort of thing is the faith in Christ, for it is a Christ-affirming faith, and so we find in Galatians 2:20:
"I have been crucified with Christ:
it is no longer I who live, but Christ live in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I do not set aside the grace of God,
for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain."
What then, this having been clarified, is the character of the result of disbelief, of those who would NOT wait for it, whether then for the first coming, or now for the second coming, or the grace of God ? Judging themselves unworthy of eternal life (John 3:19 gives the general principle, that THIS is the condemnation, that light has come, even that of Christ, and men have preferred darkness to light), that omit the greatest mission of God.
Greatest ? It was wonderful to invent freedom, to make man with a mind capable of soaring into the very contemplation of God, and with a heart capable of love with understanding, of obtaining wisdom and vision from God freely; but it was yet more so to invent salvation, and AS Saviour, to come among men, pay the price, exhibit the character of God personally, and offer to faith the reality of life eternal, and resurrection of the body, into the eternity and immortality which man so often desires, but frequently aborts in self-conjurings and preferences.
The case has not changed in type, and can be considered overall.
Omission of a sacred thrust from God, a glory entrusted, because of capitulation to a strangulating philosophy, unsound in its assumptions, and contrary to the word and even frequently in antagonism against it, the work of a dead god, or a new god (as in Deuteronomy 32), one arising from some depths but without testimony above or below: do this, and you may as well draw up specifications for the human body and omit the heart. In the heart of God is both purity dazzling (I Timothy 6) and purpose indomitable; here is both mercy glorious and method immiscible. HE HAS PROVIDED LIFE in the first place, man has provided sin, and God has then provided SALVATION, like life, on His own specifications, inviolable as bodily design, and more so, since this is commanded and not merely commended (Galatians 1:6-9). In this domain of deity, fiddling brings but a curse, as for an amateur trying to revise a specialised medical operation, without knowledge.
Take it or leave it, but on leaving it, you JUDGE YOURSELF.
On the other hand, follow the word of God, and not only is there peace, but resolution of the hang-ups of human philosophy
(cf. LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST).
God's supervening power does not destroy man's intervening relevance, nor does God foreknow what is not there, but what is! He knows man beyond all works, and has chosen His own with His passion for all, reduced only by omission of force, to those found in faith (Ephesians 1:4), before our time was, where sin had not then come, or indeed creation itself. There are no mistakes with God: choose to ignore His offer and you are discovered recalcitrant. It is piteous, but arrogance has its own ways.
The decision of the Judge is final, but that does not mean it is not preceded in thrust, by fervent outthrust of mercy, framed in quest, "for it pleased the Father than in Christ should all fulness dwell, and having made peace by the blood of the cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven," as in Colossians 1:19. Notice the repeating of BY HIM, and the specification of ALL THINGS still further, by adding "whether things on earth or things in heaven." It is, as in John 15:21-23, quite a negative style accomplishment to void Christ's offered gift, avoid mercy and find the voidance of human beauty and truth in a just and devastating because unnecessary, and unrelieved condemnation. Despite His thrust NOT to condemn the world, despite His love being of such an infinite character for the world, which He made, when the nature of love is found, the nature of force is not, so that a differential selection of defiance to God, to Christ, to the Gospel of glory, is and must be inglorious; and so is its end.
When then it comes, and Christ is avoided, and mercy voided, the decision of the Judge is final. Man is not condemned because God could not reach Him, or did not to the uttermost seek him, but because when light came darkness was preferred and God will not cook the books to include the dissident, in his differential departure as in John 3:16-18. None goes by mere ignorance for God has foreknown all, and even sent Christ, His express image, who descended to "the lowest parts of the earth," Ephesians 4:10 (synonym for the hidden reaches of the forsaken, cf. I Peter 3:19, Psalm 63:9) that He might ascend "far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things."
Hell was not too far to go, heaven was too high from which to have come, the cross was not to damning to be endured: for God has done all. It was ONLY BECAUSE some had heard and seen the testimony of the Saviour, Jesus Christ, had they no excuse (John 15:21-23). Excuse ? It is not for being sinners, which never has excuse (Romans 5, 6), but it is for not receiving salvation, which makes relentless retention of the judgment of sin, a blameworthy act quite apart from being a sinner in the first place. If you have scarlet fever, then you are diseased; and if you then refuse effective treatment, disease tends to be in your nature, not just an affliction, deadly as it might be. You WILL NOT receive remedy, so judging yourself unworthy of eternal life, which in God is where love is found, not unhallowed and obliterative war and envy, pride and arrogance, self-trust and inventiveness applied to God, and not worship.
To what then do we come ? This being the love and outreach of God, the direction of His heart, the provision of His infinitely costed plan of salvation, the impassioned thrust of seeking for the lost, then hideous indeed, and so contemptible (as in Daniel 12), shamed is either spiritual sham or substitute, as if God did not matter in assessment of His conditions, as if all the laws of nature should be considered in science (when it is good), but the laws of God who made natural law, can readily be discarded, and the overwhelming evidence ignored. Alas and what grief lies in this pseudo-sophisticated and wilful ignorance!
What then ? The judgment of God remains final, but in the finale, as in His foreknowledge from the first, the grounds for it are overwhelming: wilful rejection of the Gospel in a differential decisionism by some! This then does not mean that the love of God is not fervent, formed in quest, forged on the cross, spent in the Person of His only begotten Son, Himself unique, commissioned, commanded in His humble state as formatted man, the Messiah. There are many logical steps before condemnation, for God quite simply did not send Christ to condemn the world, but that through Him it might be saved. Breach of this mercy is possible, permissible, but this does nothing to reduce its mobility, nobility, assiduity and thrust. As in Colossians 1:19ff., there is the criterion of the utmost desire of the deity, one in its initial thrust, of universal outthrust, and in its depth, beyond the reach of judgment, if only the conditions be met. These are not for anyone to PAY from some imaginary virtue of one's own, in part or in whole, far below divine standards and mixed as well, but to RECEIVE the divine payment made in faith, and the divine power provided, in humility.
It is a matter of flight from blight, escaping from perdition (Hebrews 6:19), fleeing unceremoniously to God for refuge in the carrier for sin of the cross, in His self-identifying exposure in Jesus Christ (cf. II Corinthians 4:6), to become citizens of the light, walking in the Spirit, shrouded in His sacrificial act, unclouded by enduring guilt, at peace with God. God does not merely legislate; HE CAME. Do not then confuse the certainty of eternal exclusion from God of those who despite the proclamation of Christ as Lord and Saviour, junk this for a spurious joy or a furious pursuit of folly. The certainty of the result of rejection of divine redemption BY this Christ, THROUGH the work He Himself did, both adequate and glorious is not to be confused with the heart of the God who made available this channel, just as the channels for blood in His own voluntary act in taking sin upon Himself, to make salvation free where taken, in an enshrouding mercy.
Leave the flight before take-off, and you do not move. Do not, however, blame for this the aircraft, the pilot or the map! (cf. Matthew 18:11, Luke 15:10, Ezekiel 34:8-16, Hosea 13:14).
For more on Islam and its nature and features, and failure to meet logical standards, see such sites as:
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, esp. *4, which gives a considerable overview of the whole matter.
SMR pp. 50ff., 62ff., 829ff. , 1080
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A misconceptions about the Cross, variable and mutually conflicting, on the part of the Koran
Lord of Life
(and faith), Outrageous Outages ... Ch.
Evidence and Reality, esp. Ch. 1;
His Wounds Opened Eternity Ch. 4; 3
Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9,
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8 (in perspective), see also *1,
an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran)
and Highway to Hell - (Koran citations in both, including wandering on Christ's death, with ideational parallels in perspective, in the latter two; and in the former, futile depravities in endless ideologies such as Sudan has shown so significantly, Islam ablaze without glory),
cf. Overflight in Christ Ch. 1 (and the Koran's musings);
(esp. Britain and sharia);
News 138, Beauty for Ashes Chs. 4, 7
Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch.
Great Execrations ... Ch. 3,
SMR p. 1O88D - three major religions in some ways in concert, astray.
Beauty for Ashes Chs.
(These latter show this religion, with the other three major conspiracies towards the ultimate - why conspiracies ? It is because men conspire, or breathe plans together for a control, rule or oversight not ordained by God: these are breaths of man, and the breath that matters is that of God, in and by which all scripture is inspired by Him (II Timothy 3:16, Isaiah 8:20), in the Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), the Bible, and sustained and implemented by Him (Matthew 26:54ff.). Other ideas for rule are always unruly, since they always tend to use power for what neither reason nor truth compels.).
Possess Your Possessions (PP) Volume 8, Appendix, PP Volume 11, Ch. 4, Volume 11, Ch. 5 (national character and character of Islam).
See the following.
Christ the Citadel Ch. 2,
The Christian Prescription Ch. 2,
Highway of Hominess Chs. 4, 7,
Mini-Messages with Maxi-Impact Ch. 10,
SMR pp. 886-900, pp. 943-946, pp. 959ff..
cf. SMR Ch. 9, KH 2.
For these things see such sites as
DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY,
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST,
Possess Your Possessions, Volume 9, Ch. 2,
Dig Deeper ... Ch. 1,
Let's Be Reasonable, for God is! Ch. 1,
What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3 and 4,
All This Rot about Not Believing, Ch. 12, A Spiritual Potpourri.
See for example:
Jesus Christ Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 4,
Mini-Messages with Maxi-Point Ch. 6 (Alex WIlliams),
Waiting for Wonder, Appendix,
Hapless Hitches ... and Divine Dealings Ch. 4;
The Lord of Longsuffering ... Ch. *2
The Lie has a Limited Shelf-Life, but Truth Lasts Forever, Ch. 1;
Not Only is God Great, but Glorious Ch. 5.
One illustration of this point comes in the field of divine predestination. Instead of this relating to an unknown God who without any known limitation, does what He pleases, so that man simply accepts that, and calling it kismet, or what God wills, follows it devoutly, in the Bible, it relates to the God of love, whose principles are stated, stipulated and applied rigorously. ONLY the God of love COULD provide ground for freedom for man, since otherwise, pursuing His own interests, without yearning for all to come back to His creative and glorious post for them, His will becomes mere compulsion. It is to be; it will be - so He gets His way, but as for man, he simply receives it.
Freedom can find no place UNLESS
|God is almighty,
foreknown all, with perfect knowledge,
|knows who are the
free recipients of His love,
|sin being not yet
in place, to distort and to limit man in his choices,
and God being love,
|seeks with more
than goodwill, actual divine passion for all,
so that the differential ground of exclusion at last,
is nothing other than the preference of man for darkness (as in John 3:19),
divinely interpreted and foreknown.
(Cf. Licence for Liberty Ch. 1, Predestination and Freewill, Preliminary).
It is a sovereignly foreknown preference, a divinely enabled preference for man, a genuine one since God in love is seeking for man, not for manipulation or mere direction, and having made him in His image, with a certain freedom, fulfils that; and there is more.
God also does not select with a view to some of those created being more appealing. There would be no freedom for them in that. He would make and then take what was the best made. It would be a product preference for divine manufacture. Neither freedom nor image of God would have place. That is an impossibly reductionist assessment of man (Repent or Perish Chs. 2 and 7).
In the biblical depiction, His word, the Bible, He selects on a basis which requires NOTHING in terms of merit, so that differential merit is meaningless to this point; indeed He abhors such concepts and considerations AT THIS LEVEL (cf. Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2). Further, HE for heaven is satisfied with NOTHING LESS than perfection, which, Christ having died for sinners, is simply granted to believers in His Christ. This is the case, in the finale in practice, as now in essence, in the gift of the righteousness of Christ (Romans 5:17), to obliterate sin's dissociation and cover its account (II Corinthians 5:17ff.,Matthew 20:28).
Thus neither the specific of a given person nor the merit which might be attributed differentially to such, is to the point in divine selection; and hence these criteria do not weigh. This enables freedom, without compromise, to weigh in the mind of God, and His very METHOD of bringing home to Himself, some of mankind, means that it neither imperils nor compromises liberty for man. It was LOVE for the world, it was DESIRE for its not being lost, it was SACRIFICE to achieve this option, that worked. The results of these divine principles were specific, assured, non-negotiable; but the cause was the insistence of love that WHOEVER believed should come out of a world HE would like to save! The divine differential in His saving some is stated: it is the preference of others for darkness which leaves these His own.
The working differential lay in man; the liberty was for man. The result was unique in its specifications of liberty, in its correlative provisions of love. Liberty (for man) and sovereignty (for God) were alike regarded, indeed specified by God. Without such a basis there neither nor can be liberty for man. In this way, man could move beyond himself, as a self-type limit. Instead, by the power of the Spirit and the implementations in creation in the divine image, by deity, man could envisage, find, consider, regard not in terms of himself, but of the functions accorded to him, to ruminate in the area of deity.
Had sin not spoiled him and foiled this, simplicity would have ensued. It did so compromise him, however, and the divine action was the underlying guarantee that the Lord would STILL, at cost, achieve His divine purpose of liberty, love, love of light, in His image-bearer, without compromise or qualification because of conditions, and with due weight to the results of sin's grounded deprivation. Any god who does not invest man with these specifications, and himself with such a loving approach, provides no freedom, but is directive just as that god will. He therefore becomes liable for all the suffering, since at the ultimate, except man is freely responsible, his Maker is! That is an impossible situation, since it would require God to have a lack, to be fulfilled by violence and violation in his creation, and so to be a product himself, one with a disproportion of desire and character, a delimited creation of the actual God, a mere figment and a delusion.
Further, revelation without the heart, is not revelation at all, leaving the 'god' concerned wholly unknown at the very base and basis. Revelation which merely shows the divine omnipotence and concerns, but not the criterion, is about might, not character. There is nothing else provided anywhere to cover the case of liberty, of a just and loving God, who does not merely fulfil His desires in selection, or acknowledge the tally some products achieve in their created strength, but loves and provides freedom for His people. Freedom does not depend on productivity, but rather the reverse; freedom is not a break-through by created power, but an expression of what is independent of prowess, the direction of the heart itself. Known to God, this is implemented past all impediment.
It is, then, only in such a setting as the Bible provides, that liberty can occur, man neither being bound by the sin or the limitations of his downgrade, blinding him to actuality and so to liberty, nor by a personal preference for some on the part of God, depending on what they were made to be. It is not products merely, but people whom He has made. It is these who have liberty in the context of the way He made them, and the love which is ready to redeem them, all this foreknown by God, and insusceptible to distortion. Nothing else given among men in the name of God reveals such things, nor is any other solution known. It is in fact, as in Acts 4:11-12.
Whatever dreams may do, they do not create reality!
It was a costly mode of achieving it; but this was not the whole point. IN this liberty, despite vast sin of self-made living on the part of man, man has made of himself a wholly unacceptable being (Ephesians 2, 4, Romans 1). Since God is love, enabling liberty, He did not chide at giving Himself in Christ to remedy man's forfeiture of glory and place with Him (John 3:15-19), but magnificently gave His only begotten Son, this from heaven for the purpose, that the world might be saved,any believing in Him within it, in this sacrificial spirituality of His, being both found and founded on Him. Love is like that; and God's love achieves in perfection what man in part conceives.
For any human person to enter heaven, without such remedy, like that, would be unthinkable: to start, it would soon be like hell. Further, to have man in the presence of God and each other, without purity would merely be a pretence. In testing times, it is far from heaven, but when liberty has its outcome, heaven to be what liberty has sought, is not to be found in its deletion. Hence man is first freely regenerated, when so foreknown in liberty intact, and on resurrection consummated, so that it is the spirits of "just men made perfect" or completed as Hebrews acclaims, who will inhabit heaven. There is then no limitation of liberty by cultural clamminess or divisive clannishness or personal misuse of authority, by sniping in any form.
What of liberty ? If men were deterministically made, then it would be impossible to rise above the buffeting of relativity to KNOW this, for there would neither be viewpoint beyond the interactions, nor any who could possess it. It is only because God is there and who He is, that truth is even possible; and only because God having made man in His image, is willing to give it, that it can at that, be known. It is only because God by His Spirit can both change and enable the hearts of men, WITH this truth, so that it is not like water pouring over concrete into the scorching dust, ready to evaporate and never found pure, that man receives it. It is only because Christ has died for sinners, so covering the sinful structure of the case, that the freedom comes, in peace.
Biblical Christianity gives the only possible mode of liberty for man, and hence resolves the battle of the ages between autonomy and determinism. These (cf. Repent or Perish Chs. 2, 7), are merely disorders of mental depiction, as usual in such cases, two extremes, each omitting vital ingredients of the case, each reductionistic, in refusing elements of reality, either by ignoring what he can do or what he can't, and hence each liable to demolition by the other. Logic receives with gratitude the solution, for the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the perspectives of the Bible, in principle, leave nothing unresolved.
In the area of liberty, see also, Downfall from Defamation Chs. 3 and 5, with Chapter 11 of Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 11, Predestination and Freewill.
On resolving of problems in perspective and
logic, see also SMR Ch. 5. You
have only to propose an inadequacy in the structure for thought provided in the
Bible, to find from it, the answer. It is not for the merely cynical or
sceptical, whose drift is borne as on Niagara River to the Falls, though it
covers all they can say (cf. SMR Chs.
3, 10, with *1B
above and *4 below), It is especially for those who seek
the truth, and are unsparing in determination to find it, absolving all that
contradicts either itself, the empirically sure or the rationally secure, on the
See News 1, and such works as Grand Canyon, by Dr Stephen A. Austin, The Missoula Flood Controversy and the Genesis Flood, by Michael J. Oard, Refuting Compromise, esp. Ch. 8, by Dr Jonathan Sarfati, and Professor Heribert Nilsson's English Summary of Synthetische Artbilding, with SMR pp.105 -114, 159 -173.
See for example on a variety of aspects in this theme:
Not the Declamations
or the Distillations
of Man, but the
Doctrine of Deity. ,
Not only do many cultural forces want or act as if to eliminate the actual God by making it wrong to act and speak factually about Him, and hence comparatively about others claiming to be God or a god. They go further. They even proceed even more unscientifically, for in so hazing the atmosphere, making everything relative in religion and thus the statement that everything is relative absolutely wrong by their own model, they contradict themselves. There is more. The concept of beheading someone, a slogan mounted behind a tiny child who was photographed by his mother, is rife in Islamic lands, for a particular action. That action ? insulting Muhammad.
How do you do this ? He is not there to insult, so that apparently what is meant is this, that you criticise him, show where he is wrong, inconsistent, self-contradictory, invalid and so forth. But since these things are so, and hence may be shown, then how is it an insult to point them out factually ? It is simply a criticism. Muhammad did not even claim to be perfect, so how is it insulting to show ways in which this is so ? Even if he did, how is it a matter for beheading if you present a critical case on him or anyone else ?
In debate, either you have truth or not. If not, then no amount of force or threat or ghastly and abhorrent responses will alter that. Why hush it up ? Truth matters. Nations fall for lack of it. Why is force appealed to, intimidation, in effect manipulation instead of logical mastery, if it is unnecessary ? Make the case, show the facts, show the features, and be content if it can stand. If it cannot do so, then of course, strongly partisan people, whether in politics or religion or commerce, may indeed threaten, and so show their inferiority and the weakness and indeed wickedness of their campaign. When truth is the question, force is irrelevant, invasive, foreign and pre-emptive, only a particular mode of begging the question. It becomes, if without sustainable reason before it, mere evasion, clouding, shrouding, presumption with wheels.
With a slight change, Muslim authorities in one land are now clamouring for NO INSULTS on all religions, or all prophets. This would not be quite so appalling, even outrageous, if an insult were not in Moslem circles often equated with unbelief. On the other hand, in biblical terms, failure to put Christ at the pinnacle, to be ashamed of Him, excludes, in the end, from His kingdom (Luke 9:26). So this appeal for prohibition, proceeding from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, becomes equivalent to requiring all Christians to cease to be so.
It is an easy method, and force only, as a consideration, gives it any place. It is not the first time, for this same molesting method was used in the Roman Empire when an Emperor might INSIST on himself being worshipped as a god or worse, with the retort if you disagreed, of torturous death. Various people REQUIRE this and that, and when in power, propel their force into arenas where it is irrational and absurd, because irrelevant. Where truth is in question, this is not in the realm of an answer.
That, threat and mere force, as noted, is no place for objectivity. It is like putting a gun at the head of the judge, and then requiring that he declare you innocent. If it is honest, it is impossible to see in what way. Below is a recent news item showing this move, taken from an item freely sent to our site, from the site signified.
Patriot Newswire September 21, 2012
Six months after declaring that all churches in the Arabian peninsula should be destroyed, Saudi Arabia’s top cleric called at the weekend for a global ban on insults targeting all religious “prophets and messengers,” a category that, from a Muslim perspective, includes Jesus Christ.
Saturday’s demand by Saudi grand mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh came on the same day that another of Sunni Islam’s most prominent figures, Egypt’s Al-Azhar University grand imam Ahmed el-Tayyeb, made a similar appeal.
Both men were reacting to an amateur video satirizing Mohammed, whose emergence on the Internet has been blamed for protests targeting American diplomatic missions across the Islamic world. According to wire services at least 12 deaths have been linked to the protests since Thursday, with deaths reported in Tunisia, Sudan, Pakistan, Yemen, Lebanon and Egypt.
The two clerics’ calls are a new salvo in an unremitting campaign by Islamic political and religious leaders, spearheaded by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to pressure non-Muslims to treat Islam with deference.
See for example:
REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER
RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST
with some of the references in *1 above. These works deal with the issues extensively.
Thus, to take one instance, citing the biblical prophets as from and of God, Muhammad yet dismisses their message concerning redemption, the Messiah and the nature of the faith. You cannot have it both ways. If the one helps the cause, the other removes it! An appeal to authority does not help when you reject that authority, which in this case is for ever - as in Isaiah 59:21, Malachi 3:6, Psalm 102, Isaiah 48-49.
See also *1 above, with
What is the Chaff to the Wheat ! Chs. 3 and 4.