We are at Matthew
2:16-18. There is grief. Mass baby murder, with anti-male discrimination was
afoot. The fact was one more of those seemingly engulfing if not fatal
happenings to the Jew. Was it not enough that Pharaoh had sought the nearest
approach to the current epidemic of child slaughter, under the guise of abortion
(that is, when there is no crime involved in the conception, such as assault, or
potential death of a parent! Did they now have to endure a fresh slaughter of
male children! Yes, indeed, commanded was the death of the newborn Jewish males,
to 2 years old. Purpose: to delete the Messiah, just found to be born.
Eliminate that, and what wickedness could grandly continue, what cruelty not
drool from regal lips! So get Him!
It did not work. He
missed, though he slaughtered, this King Herod, many in the effort. Christ had
been taken to Egypt by a divine warning to Joseph and Mary, and did not return
until the time was ripe, when as signified in the Bible, it was to Nazareth He
had to go; and so He went. Avoiding
another Herod in Judea, the family went to the more northern region and settled
in Nazareth, or sprout city, with overtones of Isaiah 11:1, where the
Messiah is to be called ‘SPROUT’, as most seem to render it, the root nzr,
a word found in Nazareth’s name.Here in a city
that was a 'shoot' or 'sprout', new and growing, came the shoot, the tender
root, also called the sprig (as in Isaiah 53 and Ezekiel 17 respectively). He
COULD not die as an infant, since the plan of God was for Him to die FREELY and
WILLINGLY on the cross as in Psalm 22's prediction, as a man as an offering, and
to be bodily resurrected as in Psalm 16.
Just so: precious in
the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (Psalm 116:15). Nothing MUST
happen except what God ordains. There is no need for anxiety; but there IS need
to keep an open communication with the Lord, since remember, the Holy Family
WERE warned to go to Egypt, AND they went. One does not want to collect a prize
for being the deafest of all of the children of God! There is, and can be, no
substitute for staying in close communion continually with the Lord, as in
Proverbs 3, trust in Him with ALL the heart, do NOT lean to your understanding,
acknowledge Him in ALL your ways, and He will DIRECT your paths.
When therefore there was a weeping and wailing in the land of
Judah, at this unruly royal command of King Herod, this multiplied infanticide,
reminding of the racial extermination under Hitler and the genocide warning once
more to Israel, this time from Iran of late, there was no small cause for
concern. Yet it was neither the end of the world, nor of tyranny.
The two roads, the Shepherd and the false shepherd, God and the
devil, this world and its Maker, salvation and strange little gods who strut and
rule and kill: these lie open to this day. The closure of the blessed road,
however, is forecast when this same Christ returns, He whom Herod could not
kill, and whom the authorities of Israel could not contain, not even in death,
through which He strode as the ultimate innocent, and the sublime Saviour,
bodily erupting like a beneficent volcano. Back to life, resurrected from the
dead, He came, immovable as any mountain, and more so, for they will go and He
GOD is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble:
THEREFORE we will not fear. The most important thing is not to cling on to
mortal life, but to be faithful to the immortal source of eternal life, to the
Saviour sent, and not blench at the worst hell can fling.
This vast national mourning in Israel at Herod's ultra-Mafia
folly, multiple-kid-murder, was precisely forecast by God, and when you
consider what Israel had been doing with its religion, selling the High
Priesthood and engaging in the ancient equivalent of modern Liberalism,
disbelieving this and that, such as resurrection in a dominant Sadducaic Party,
while others, Pharisees, were slaving at details while ignoring the chief items
of justice and mercy (as exposed in Matthew 24 by Christ): the result was not
without a cause. It was not God who put it into the head of Herod to be evil and
to do so; but it was He who suffered this madness to grow in a compromised
Increasingly as in II Chronicles 36, the nation had become fastidious
about itself, with this or that god or godlet, custom or way, imported like
luxury goods from abroad, and had become decreasingly thankful for what had made
it great, and given it great deliverance, which had amazed the world.
It might indeed
parallel the case in Australia, should the madness of same-gender marriage
become law, in that it would mock God, the Bible, the design and the destiny of
our race, in biblical terms, and be like like slapping God's face, AND grinning.
For the word of God on this topic, from the Bible, we need but ponder Hosea 9:7, Romans 1:25-27 -
'leaving the natural use', I Timothy 1:10, 'any other thing which is
contrary to sound doctrine', I Corinthians 5:11, 6:9-10, Leviticus
18:22-23, where in unnaturalness, so forbidden, it is paralleled to mating
with an animal, Leviticus 20:13, where the death penalty is noted.
This would then
become a heavily compromised land, a leader in folly with fiasco. Hurting those
who speak biblical truth would only make the case worse, though doubtless it
might occur to those who like to criticise their critics, but not be criticised.
This, our Australia, is not a theocracy; but it is a land
with standards. What are they ? It is, be very clear, under intensive review,
and there are many who want to make it not a challenge at all, but that all
should fall into the atheist agenda, whatever it be called to save face. It
would then become, however, already far gone, a land with a notorious
rebellion against the God of the Bible, against Jesus the Christ, and it would
then need entirely to depend on its mighty power, with God against it, to
intimidate all by its splendour. It is important in politics to wake up, lest
while sleeping, one finds the ground taken from under the political feet, and
force, already aired, not least in Victoria (cf. Freedom ...Ch. 1, esp.
Endnote C), at play according to
whatever cultural pattern and passion happens to feel like clouting those who
show it, its faults and errors.
This, it is admittedly as common as
dirt; it is just that it would represent a vast, further decline in this
particular nation of Australia, to which so many want to come, from
that God Almighty who is noted in our Constitution, as it careers in an
innovative passion, which like passions in general, has the payment at the end.
A government can come with an atheist message or matrix (that is,
act in practice on such a basis without requiring everyone to die to do it), or
a Christian one. The USA has ceased the Christian one, though it has had
Presidents who sought to carry out something like that: since Obama spelled it
out. However, it is quite possible and feasible, indeed laudable for a political
party in a democracy, not to do as ours does in South Australia, force education
on the basis of nature myths, of all places, into science, but to allow
students to survey what is offering, while giving equal instruction without
Indeed, there should never be any handle on, restraint for proper
logical discourse, showing what follows from what, since it then merely becomes,
as increasingly in Australia itself, a didactic junta. If this land, then,
allows such slides into slithery philosophy with no reason to sustain it, and in
contravention with massive and well grounded contest, THIS IS A COMMITMENT.
Better things beckon. Consider the
following from News 98 (together with Journey
to God ... Ch. 7:
In fact, however, if
there is one lust which seeks to snare this land more than another, it is this
patronage of the gods either as a religionist or patron of religions for
social reasons. If this prevails as the old Commonwealth connection is
dissolved, then not the later, but the former will be the active constituent
Whether in the USA or in Australia, if you are to have a President, what you
need is someone
incorruptible, with clear
vision of what he/she is about:
not confusing national
interests with national selfishness, or greed,
but seeing them as
principles of integrity;
securing and maintaining
liberty with justice,
restraint of evil with
stimulus to good, and
the maintenance of
continuity for life for the nation,
against those who would
enslave, invade or corrupt it.
What is needed is ...
Not the clamant clangour of
variable direction of thought,
various COMPONENTS or INTERESTS,
but the kindly mercies of
restraint of what promotes intrusive physical violence as its aim, and the
encouragement of the springs of inspiration.
things follow from a Christian ethos, which is also eminently desirable even
for a secular nation: for love of justice, non-vindictiveness, encouragement
to mercy, to love one another and to be spirited in seeking and relishing
truth, without trying to take control of people by human institutions, are
nowhere so heartily and purely to be found.
NOT a Christian nation
is it which currently must answer; for there is none such, nor will be any
till Christ come and His special "nation" of actual believers is apparent to
all (Psalm 96:13, 98:9, Revelation 14, Psalm 67:3-5, Micah 4:2-3, I Peter
2:9). This therefore is not now the pure presidential aim: none is to be
forced, nor any enticed by spurious rewards. Yet righteousness does exalt a
nation, improving prosperity with peace and productivity with stability,
whilst helping strength with security. Only in appreciation of these things,
and the integrity to pursue them, without looking for selfish advantage for
himself or his people, can any President do well.
The concept that some
hog trough of mere pleasure, personal or national, is the
- or even an
- objective, very understandably leads to reaction. Where ? asks the
beleaguered human spirit, where on earth if not here, is there that
inspiration beyond myself and my people which I seek ?
Certainly this is not
the whole answer for man, for only the gospel received and a
changed heart are that.
Since however these
necessary and excellent things are not dispensable by government, this is the
casing which promotes peace and good understanding. The ambition of man, of
course, when divorced from God, will not rest there; but it is nonetheless the
place of presidential aim for the wise.
What if Australia then chooses to
cashier God from the Preamble to its Constitution ?*1
The Lord will surely note it: it is intolerant, seductive,
pretending it is a neutral thing which is as indoctrinative and libertine as
Hitler's ways in education; and if it does not go so far in physical duress, it
is arguable that it goes quite as far at the educative level, being just as
insolently and insolvently propagandising, with show of statistical
numbers, not any necessity for its derangement of obvious physical arrangements,
while putting the finger to the nose at the God of the Bible, which book was
recognised at the time of our founding, even in its Coronation ceremony, by the
founding nation. Further, just as in our freely chosen Constitutional
Preamble*2, there is to be found reference to the God Almighty who was not unknown
to the people of the land, so it would be a deadly dalliance to delete Him, who
is undeletable, but merely shown the exit, where He is needed.
minister Julia Gillard says Australia must acknowledge that 'first people of
our nation have a unique and special place'. Here view is found in
Associated Press, November 9, 2010. The general trend is to imagine they
were the first here, with however no conclusive evidence, ignore their quite
probable and certainly not disestablished origin from South India, make this
some kind of special issue (as is NOT the case in Britain, for example with
the Celts to whom there may be some parallel), a sort of enchantment or magic
or grandeur, instead of first settlement (IF so).
This done, then perhaps the authorities, allies or others could bring in some
sort of awe or aura to their nature, religion, culture or whatever. If
this were done, and some religious synthesis were made, or implied, that would
wholly change the nature of the Australian Constitution, on the illusory
ground that everything is right, and nothing is wrong, which of course would
mean that the opposite, everything is wrong and nothing is right, would have
to be equally endorsed (otherwise it would be 'wrong').
At the same time, the reference to
God Almighty might be removed, despite the testimony in New South Wales, to
which an aboriginal pastor drew my attention, that early meetings with
aborigines showed an awareness of the Creator*3.
If this does not establish all, it is prima facie establishment of ONE point!
In this way, by a little fiddling,
there could be an appeal to confusion to launch as assault on our current
commitment, almost as though it were no issue; when in fact there is little at
the national level that could be more significant.
It would seem rather likely that this reference to the
Almighty will be removed, since this appears to be an anti-Christian government,
giving no scope for biblical norms, forms and features, and teaching in
creation, just what an atheist would teach, and with grounds as non-existent
logically (cf. The gods of naturalism have no
go!, SMR Ch. 10). If so,
be founded then on nothing, and founder for nothing. You would not be the first
chloroformed by propaganda into impish relish or impious revolt, nor onto the
results of founding yourself on yourself, your race or any other oddity that may
come to mind.
In fact, neither the inclusion nor
the omission of such a reference to God Almighty commits individuals; it DOES
mean that the nation, which espouses religious freedom, will follow such
principles as this portends. There HAVE to be principles, whether materialist
(cf. Repent or PerishCh. 7),
or spiritualist, or biblical, or Marxist (cf. SMR pp.
97, 98, 37),
populist (there are no limits to anything and anyone may do anything, till all
are dead if need be) or other. It is pointless to pretend. If materialism,
currently in much teaching as an assumption, is confused with neutrality, that
is not choice but confusion.
If God is to be chequered out, then
that is a fact, for presently a reference is in. Consider well what you do,
Australia, for there is One who will consider it too. Do not take Him lightly,
whom you have chosen to acknowledge. You would not be the first, and making up
morals is an endless, arbitrary and irrational process, where what you want
becomes a thing of tone but no truth. Truth indeed without God has no place, and
to assume that without Him, one knows it as it is, is to contradict oneself. On
the other hand, to build without truth is vapid. Not good as a basis for a
nation ? People however often go after ruin as if it were drink!
What then if same gender marriage were moved and adopted in the
land. This would then become a heavily compromised land, a leader in folly
with fiasco. Hurting those who speak biblical truth, attacking by law or even
putting them into prison, would only make the case worse, though doubtless
it might occur to those who like to criticise their critics, but not be
Why sow the wind if
you don't want the whirlwind ? (Hosea 8:7). Why flaunt your weary wares of
rebellion for all the world to see, and God to consider! God knows His own mind
AND ours! (Hebrews 4:13): "All things are naked and
open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." The 'slaughter of
the innocents' was known to God as a folly of man, and foretold in Jeremiah
31:15, a prediction noted in Matthew 2:18.
Thus we look for the
setting for this, in Jeremiah 30-31. In Jeremiah 29, we hear of the unhappy end
of tricky and devious King Zedekiah, flitting and flirting with God, but never
settling. You are to trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, not fling emotions
hither and thither when opportune. Next, in Jeremiah 30, God advises that after
the coming exile (Jeremiah 25), HE WILL bring Israel back; but there is IMMINENT
disaster, Jeremiah 30:5-6. From this, God will yet deliver them (30:8), and in
fact the Messiah Himself in God's time, is to come (30:9), so nothing is going
to get out of the hand of God, whatever the disciplines and the corrections
30:12ff.), God will terminate some nations, but not Israel (as history confirms
of Assyria and Babylon, captors of Israel, and of Israel itself by contrast
still today, very much alive!). Yet, in Jeremiah's day, there was no cure but
correction (30:15ff.). For all that, there was to be no question, in due time,
of the ruin of the oppressing nations: "all who
devour you will be devoured." This is no less applicable now than then,
and note Germany's long division into two lands, after the rape of Berlin,
following its slaughter of Jews (cf. Genesis 12:3, 17:7-8).
Just prior to
Jeremiah 31 (30:21ff.), God again notes the coming of the Messiah after much
suffering for Israel (Jeremiah 30:21ff., as in 23:5), though this would be in
"the latter days", to be some 600 years
later, as specified precisely by Daniel 9 (cf. Christ the Citadel
Ch. 2). In fact, His first coming would be
for testimony to truth and for death for doing so and eternal life erupting
despite it all (Isaiah 9, 52-55). Jeremiah then covers in prophetic review, the
early return in 31:1-14, in that coming restoration as in Ezra and Nehemiah, the
Then at once we find Rachel (symbol for Israel, with stress on
motherhood), whose is "lamentation and bitter
weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they
are no more." Though Israel is still "a
backsliding daughter, " (31:22), there is a moving scene of a deep inner
repentance (31:16-21), following the reference to Rachel and the weeping, and
then in confirmation it tells of the sign of a woman encompassing a man, as in
Isaiah 9:1-7, Micah 5:1-3, the Messiah thus vulnerable as a babe, a thing
notable and remarkable, child of a woman but no man. Then comes the New
Covenant of Jeremiah 31:31ff., associated with these events.
Alas the end of all
this MOST understandable weeping, did not soon come, for many more massacres and
assaults, came for Israel, to cease only with their saying of Jesus Christ, the
Messiah who died around the year A.D. 30,
Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! This will come
instead of holding Him up for crucifixion or removal from the heart, as
God! This, Christ made clear in Matthew 23:39. HE is their PEACE, and in seeing
Him no more till then, they see peace no more either (Ephesians 2:14, Psalm
116:18ff., Isaiah 32:1,16ff., 48:16ff.). HE who is sent is the only vent for
rebuke, dying the just for the unjust (II Peter 3:18); and He who bore it for
our sakes (Psalm 69:20ff.), is not providing another one. ONCE smitten for the
sin of others is enough!
There is no other
vicarious smiting, no other atonement for sin. It is then merely referred back
to the sinner, when the vicarious vent, Christ crucified, is not by faith taken
for release and remission. That you see in John 3:36, for where this pardon is avoided, ALL is voided, for there is nothing else, nowhere else
to go, and the wrath of God abides on those who so place themselves, oblivious
of peril, or fretful against the God of all mercy.
There is NO PEACE
outside the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:7), the child born in Bethlehem (Micah
5:1-3), who is eternal in life, coming to cost sin and meet it! What would you
think of a nation in the EU who is bailed out with cost to the rest, and yet
refuses this! How much less of those who having this provided by the Eternal and
Living God, yet pout or depart!
But God did all
things well, preserving the babe from Herod that He might instead die in the
city of Jerusalem, at the hand of ecclesiastical assassins (Matthew 27:20),
perfectionists in malice, paupers in pity! So great is His own pity, in
contrast, that even a criminal on an adjoining cross was given in answer to
request to be remembered WHEN Christ came into His kingdom, the time answer to
the time question: THIS DAY! No scrutineers, no questions: Christ had said, and
He who would be dead, but alive forever would banish forever all cause of
wailing (Philippians 2 and 4).
What do we all have
to learn from these things ? What is practical wisdom for the Christian ?
Firstly, TRUST the
word of God. HE is in control of events, and the worst is in His knowledge.
Secondly, see things
in their historical setting, with the Bible as your tour guide of truth. In this
way, you can align and direct your steps with wisdom and wit, making use of your
time on this earth without mere acquiescence, but with flair and enterprise,
knowing what HE is doing and what you need to do, constantly waiting upon the
Lord, who loves the meek, who tremble at His word (Isaiah 66:2).
Thirdly, never allow
even the deepest tragedy to de-rail you. There is a momentum of testimony if you
are a Christian, which is moving with you. Do not forsake the wisdom of His way,
and look ever to Him when emergencies, opportunities or rebuffs appear. He may
have correction or reinforcement; but always look to the Lord (as in Psalm
107:13,19,28,43). As Jeremiah 13:16 declares of the failure here, like that of a
kid confronting a robber, when Dad is near and looking elsewhere, without
calling out to him:
"Give glory to the
your God, before He cause darkness,
and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and,
while ye look for light, he turn it into the
shadow of death,
and make it gross darkness."
But to look to and
cry to the Lord in trouble, knowing Him infinitely greater than any trouble or
challenge is or can be, this has a result:
"Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble,
and He brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
so He guides them to their desired haven"
Fourthly, we must not fail to learn from the next verse,
"Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and
for His wonderful works to the children of men!"
The response of a child to the Father in this predicament and
rescue is crucial to personal interchange and happiness. Why pretend ? Unless
you become as a little child you CANNOT even ENTER the kingdom of heaven! If you
talk of knowing God, how do so, if you do not treat Him as God, as Father and as
Lord in His grace and goodness, constantly maintaining the filial relationship,
as the Spirit also moves in us who are His, attesting that we are the children
of God (Romans 8:16). What we are, let us be!
Fifthly, never allow
predicted and glorious, divine interventions to stagger you, or fail to expect
them, or act as if they were not coming. Thus the SECOND COMING of the Lord, you
recall after the SECOND BECOMING, is the next epochal step, which is certainly
going to arrest the profane vomits which this world is currently pouring
increasingly on itself and seeking to convey to the children of God, as it
insists on preaching myths in science classes, or political ones disguised as
history. Do not allow your spirit to be lulled, as if by a quiet sea, into
submission. COMMIT your ways to the Lord, wait on Him, and HE will bring it to
pass (Psalm 37:5).
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart,"
Sixthly, keep your
eyes on the track, but look both backwards (in His word and history) and forward
(in His word), but especially, look above! Remember Psalm 18:16: "He
sent from, above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters."
Look where your help comes! Again, "The
way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath!"
The New Covenant, prepared to
rest on the prophet to come, One greater than Moses, the Messiah (Deuteronomy
18:18-19), firmly expounded in Isaiah 50-55, 66, foretold in Jeremiah 31:31ff.,
in conjunction with the coming of the Messiah (as in Jeremiah 23:5), both for
Jew and Gentile nation (as in Jeremiah 16:18ff.): this was no sudden
after-thought. Known from the first (Rev. 14:6, 13:8, Ephesians 1:4), it was
outlined in increasing depth for over a millenium. Cling to it, it is God's own
provision for you personally, never to be violated, always operative. Have your
skin shaved if need be; but never shave off any part of His glorious covenant of
peace, wisdom, redemption, assurance, goodness and mercy. If you are His as in
I John 3:1ff., this should not even occur to you, for HIS SPIRITUAL SEED remains
in you! just as your DNA genes do physically!
do not act hastily (Isaiah 28:16), for you are on a sure foundation who is also
forever ALIVE, and never compromise that fact (Rev. 1:18), glorious as we have
Ninthly, prepare for
the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. DO NOT make yippee, go on sprees,
loosen the hair and open the mouth to draughts; for you have a draft on Him
always valid (Matthew 24:36-51). Be faithful though all fail you (Habakkuk
3:17ff., Zechariah 11:12-13); keep your head in His way, though bombs fall. HE
is your peace, though the world boil, and the peoples roil. Rejoice in Him! and
act that He might rejoice in you. You pass this way only once. Delight in Him,
whose reward is from Himself!
What of the non-Christian ? Make
haste to find the Lord (Jeremiah 29:14):
"I will be
found of you, says the Lord,
and I will bring you back from your captivity;
I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I
have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I
cause you to be carried away captive..."
To be sure this is to Israel, but
God in heart has for one and for other, the love which embraces (Colossians
1:19ff., John 3:16-19) and though Israel has a very specialised history, yet it
is part of the story of man before God, His principles, procedures, His mercy,
His spiritual reality so that a man, a woman, a child does not find Him in
indolence, like charity money, for drugs and drink for some. He is found when
sought with ALL the heart, when repentance comes like a stream from above,
when faith reaches out in the wonder of His goodness, to find Him as a child's
hand in the dark, finds that of his father. When He IS found, the soul is at
this very time regenerated; and when His mercy does so flow, then there is a new
creation, restored (Colossians 3:10). It is then as in I John 3, that one
marvels at the manner of love that the Father has shown that we who are thus
found by Him, sent to find us (John 3:16ff.) are the very children of God.
It is often felt important by some,
to query WHY and even HOW this or that party came to get some item or remove
some item from a declaration. To be sure, it can be interesting, but never
crucial if the vote was free. Whether then it be a Church Constitution, or a
Government Constitution, in common is this: the way it is, is the way the
various minds, thoughts, interests, motives, analyses, pressures or whatever
else, found expression in concert. It was not in some other way. You cannot try
to imagine and replace the text with your brilliant motivational ideas. The text
is the result, and it must be faced by those who want a new one, candidly, and
In the case of the Preamble that
Australia has to its Constitution, it is obvious that it goes so far, and no
further. Thus it COULD have been satisfied with other phrasings, such as
"Almighty God of the Bible", or Almighty God, Father of Jesus Christ," or "The
Christian God, Almighty" or in many other ways. Yet it did not. Since we must
assume intelligence, as seen in their other works, it means that they did
not in CONSENSUS mode wish to go further. The identification of God as the
Almighty One was deemed sufficient. It would be satisfactory if not precisely
what all wanted, to all.
Thus it wished to wait upon this God
who is without limit to His power, to acknowledge His existence, His
availability and their dependency on Him. That is a lot; it is not the further
step, but there is only one Almighty God to whom the nation at that time could
conceivably have been addressing itself, with a view to RELIANCE.
To be sure, Moslems have taken over much that is in the Old Testament, without
the core (cf. SMR pp. 1080ff.),
but there was no conception of that being mainstream. The Romanists have various
additives to the Bible concerning Him, and it may be that there was a
desire not to disturb on that point, and this would allow some diversity in the
Almighty God reference, but it would still involve a reference ti reliance on
One of limitless power.
Good or bad as this might have been
(it could have been much better or worse), it is THIS that happened. THIS was
done and no other thing in this reference.
To make it different will come
from different motivation, perspectives, desires or designs. If it deleted
simply then the following three propositions regarding what this country is
about will be buried: We as a people (not every person, but as a national entity
with a character of its own) believe in Almighty God; we believe He is aware of
us, and can meaningfully be depended on; towards Him humility is a just and due
IF this be done, then we are free to
engage in intentional arrogance (WE are the people, the centre, what it is all
about, or some idea of ours that has flitted in more lately), in
independence from any Creator, Power, Overseer as a nation, and to
depend upon ourselves or variable nominees, invalid oar unverified visions or
anti-visions, and do as we please, precisely. This would then be the character
of the nation, in contrast with the former elements AT THIS LEVEL.
That would be a national change,
a spiritual change for characterisability of the culture, ethos, approach and
spiritual investment of this nation on the international stage. There
would be no issue with any supernatural, any governing grace, any Almighty God.
We would be like an adolescent now quite grown up, at 19, ecstatically or
dramatically, involved in the very apotheosis of OURSELVES! How unwonderful!
It is an option. The results are
With embarrassment or grief, one
can watch the liberated 'teen-ager, sadly ignorant, later to become ignorantly
sad, thrusting and rushing into action, misled by littleness, seeking bigness,
alight, burning, ready to be burnt, uninstructed, spilling gifts that are
precious as if they were a lake, and not a phial, as if nothing ever really
exacted results, in a euphoria of folly. To see Australia, where liberty
institutionalised has lived so well and for long, despite more recent breaches,
so that the nation became famed for its independent spirited soldiers and
sometimes entrepreneurs, now made ready for the slaughter yard of baseless
beliefs set up as banners in the night, incapable of sustenance, gripping like a
vice, would be doubly sad. But that so often happens: what has much good in it,
becomes uplifted with itself, and makes one good the end-all, so that the good
of all is lost with the current fascination.
Without Almighty God as the Rock of
the land, whatever the personal opinions of some, Australia would simply be
putting itself in other hands, as did Germany with Hitler, Russia with Stalin
and Lenin, Iran with its Ayatollahs; for secular or other, there is a long queue
of those who would run the place, never openly till in place. It is just the way
it goes when a people is sick of God, Almighty (on whom see
This issue was given
attention in our own News 48. The issue was whether
a Council should use language such as that in the Preamble to the Australian
Constitution ... or not, in its approach.
Any body can make its rules and
laws, providing it is not in conflict with State laws, or as conscience and
conviction dictate; but if all do not agree, then at the least, provision must
be made to show that SOME do not hold to this, while the tenor of the entire
body, does so. Of course is people freely JOIN something BECAUSE it has these
features, or desire to be there with these features, so be it. Councils are not
always of thisd kind, nor are nations.
Peoples, councils, nations have
their ethos, their religion, and in freedom each may have his or her own; but
freedom is for the nation also, as one whole, making it clear that some dissent,
if need be. If this were done in the amazingly obtuse use of reference to
Australian aboriginal lore reported in a South Australian civic body, it would
at least make it far less ludicrous. People cannot be expected just because they
work in a given body, to subscribe to what they regard as precocious nonsense,
fed by cultural conditioners, wide of the mark. If however it is made clear that
the entire body is of this view, so be it, so long as it is shown that not all
assent. It is merely the general drift.
Let us however go to News 48, where
the issue arose, and consider elements in and outcomes for the case.
bring up the far more important but still related issue of taking out or retaining
the name of Almighty God in the Australian Constitution, a very active and most present issue
that could even be resolved one way or another next year!
Let us look at this
objectively, rather than in terms of interest groups and distaste (or taste)!
It is a fact that Australia was founded in our society, by a
Government which was OFFICIALLY and FORMALLY linked by its royal ruler, to the
Bible, to Protestantism, to Christianity. It was specific, specialised
and defined. The national church of the founding country, being Anglican, is
one decidedly laying claim to the name of "Christian" and the
ultimate protective authority of God Almighty. It is true that this church is
becoming notably less Protestant; but that was the formal position.
Hence in the Victorian
Constitution in the 1850's, Christianity is actually STATED to be the
'preferred religion' and based on immigration statistics, lands or even
salaries could be apportioned in these terms.
In the preliminary wording
of the Commonwealth Constitution, much later, Almighty
God is certainly mentioned, and not for its educational value merely. It is a
rallying point and an authority recognised. The
phrasing is this :"HUMBLY RELYING ON THE BLESSING OF
ALMIGHTY GOD". That is what is there.
IN THE CONTEXT, that
represented, where question might arise, a Christian concept, because of the
past and the need to annul the assumptions and forms and connections of the
past, if change were in view. True, the actual words did not there require
Christianity, but the historical context was that.
Now the question arises:
HOW can atheists be expected to like that! or agnostics! or people who do not
think much of God's divine power! or for that matter,
people who want a whole lot of gods... Is it SOCIAL, is it REPRESENTATIVE, is it FAIR! and so on, goes the
call and the cry. Mr Howard the Prime Minister is
reported in our article of today, as preferring to retain this name
nonetheless, in the preamble to the Australian Constitution. I can only agree
The reason is as follows. Australia is singularly blessed. It has moved
FAR indeed from the name of God in practice, far in principle, and it would be
quite wrong to call it a Christian country, for the divine law is by no means
operative in it, by its choice. It is true that this divine law has been
involved in an indirect way for a long time, by various intimations from
references multitudinous; but it is equally true that the law of God is far
from requisitioning parliamentary minds! It is not cited as a power base in
discussion, far less used with conviction and finality in resolution of issues
in the Australian parliamentary body. It would be FALSE to fact to retain the
name "Almighty God" if it were intended to mean that this was
the stark acknowledgment of all the occupants of this land.
IT IS the stark
acknowledgment of many in it; but these alone do not govern, nor is it even in
the slightest degree likely that these would be a majority. It is true that
there may indeed statistically be a majority of those who "believe in
God" in Australian people of voting age; but when one would try to define
the term, and in particular require the phrase "Almighty God" as
currently in the wording, the results could be very different. With the
Biblical mooring largely gone for millions, the meaning of the term may be
unclear to many, whether or not this be deemed
strange. Lack of foundations often causes cracked superstructures which do not
seem to do anything 'right'. Ignorance of the Bible teems like the Queensland floods.
Resolution ? LEAVE THE TERM 'GOD ALMIGHTY' in the Constitution because
this should not be done in such a way as to require those who are in the land
to believe this, or to imply that they in fact do so, that being their own
business to be assessed in the day of divine judgment. It would be done so that
such implications would expressly be removed. Rather it would reflect simply
what the country in the last resort has CHOSEN to be a flag to wave, a
conviction to voice and a post to regard. It would be put that the country
works with reverence to God Almighty at its final authority; and if the people
vote this out, then that is their power. They cannot vote God out, and that is
His power. The difference in power is also very great between programmed
creations, gifted also with spirit, who are born and die, and the maker of the
If however it is NOT
desired to do this, to make the acknowledgment on the part of the land as one
whole, without implying (and explicitly without implying) that all believe in
Him, then there will be a change. NO LONGER will the form, the phrase, the
acknowledgment be made. Fast and furious though the decline from God may be in
the land, this would formalise it. Bad manners in the
family are one thing; express divorce is another. It is a momentous step, and
one counsels against this added insult to God Almighty. He is neither dumb nor
weak; and if ever a land ought to acknowledge His blessing, it is this one! There
has been an immense inpouring of Christianity into it, however little heeded it has been by increasing numbers.
It has had enormous effects.
if like cranky and unstable exemplars of the 'teen-age life, the nation wants
to divorce, so be it. It could be free as if gods, for every whiff of opinion, as
insubstantial as air, but less real. Standing for nothing, it could then fall
for anything.It would seem sure, that though God is
most patient, this ingratitude and explicit realignment of regard for His
authority would bring due and just return. What! dismiss
the Almighty with a sweep of a blessed hand, and expect Him to serve in silence
as if one's will did not happen to exist! Say it and suffer it is mere equity.
To dismiss mercy, is assuredly not to find it.
One of the divine dicta is
this: that "they shall eat the fruit of their doings" (cf. Proverbs
1:20-27, 31, Isaiah 3:10). The fruit of such graceless impudence after His name
has been used for so long, might indeed be this:
that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and
from under these heavens" - Jeremiah .
Released from any even
formal reliance on Him, the nation could then experience a sort of situation
like that in Britain in 1940,
when so many then streamed to the national churches; except that it
would not be in any sense a national matter. Moreover, the new national licence here might then provoke just as it caters to, a
streaming in a very different direction. The present stream could then become a
cataclysmic flood; for the constantly resurgent forces of complacent and
unrealistic secularism have hit hard upon youth, education and business,
seeking to swallow even old age in their squalor and beauty in their
self-expression, self-fulfilment and
Let us be clear. It is not
good to have a national church for the simple reason that the nation is not
definably Christian which then runs it!But to sever even an historic
tendril of recognition from God, that is something far more extreme. It puts up
the colours of the nation in SOME OTHER PLACE.False gods are useless. They are
the only alternative to the true ONE, and non-existence is without resources,
very necessary in time of trouble, and in fact very delightful when one knows
the true and ever sufficient God.
In this our Web site, we
have shown in a logical certainty never overthrown in many years of challenge,
both here and in several nations before that, that God Almighty is. As a matter
of fact, He is definitively expressed in Jesus Christ in the human format and
His word is authoritatively and expressly presented in the Bible*1, for the race of mankind. Hence we have so
reasoned and demonstrated here. But what is the response ?
Believe in Him or not - it is a wilful exercise to
reject Him which no law can prevent - by such NATIONAL severance as is here
contemplated in the preamble to the Constitution, you come nearer to defying
Him AS A NATION. For the sake of the nation, one could
not wish that!
MANY nations have this or that proclivity, and
preference, principle or past. SO has this one.
If it wishes, without in any way reducing the
freedom of its citizens or presuming to replace their thoughts with other
ones, to express its OVERALL reliance on Almighty God, well.
If it wishes to REMOVE this expression, not so
well; but it is possible.
either case, no one is misrepresented; it is simply that the nation which once
so gave this measure of respect, would withdraw it. "Righteousness
exalts a nation,"
says Proverbs 14:34; and it does; and this is right, as we have argued. To
reject it formally is to wear a face of rejection for the national body. If
this is desired, it is perfectly certain that much that is not,
Back to the Council: IF the
council wants to have this form of address in the beginning, well. It is true
that it should not have PRAYER, however, in His name. As I once in effect, counselled a U.S. Senator-to-be (State): you would have to
tell people wanting you to pray in a political meeting, that you could not pray
without the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as this is your faith; or with it in
this setting with all, since firstly it is not that of some of the others, and
secondly, it is entirely useless so to act. Why ?
Because it would mean bypassing the key, mere forms of prayer being
despicable (since they would dynamically imply something for all which
would not be true, or act as if God found some other name acceptable than the
One He Himself had supplied - Ephesians 1:19-23). I advised the
senator-to-be that he could tell the meeting in some such words as these:
'IF you want
me to pray, I can on one condition: the regenerated believers in Jesus Christ
join with me in His name, and the others tune out.'
Only in that way is
principle of prayer not violated, for it is
expressly forbidden by PAUL in Corinthians, to be "unequally yoked
together with unbelievers" (II Corinthians 6:14ff.). This is a spiritual criterion,
and where expressly spiritual co-operation is in view for Christians, this is
divine law, and in this case, of course, divine prohibition.
If however, without prayer,
but in the very different issue of formal Council allegiance as a
whole, the Council wishes to name the name of the Almighty as its
resource, that would need to be done in such a way that it expressed the
overall desire of recognition, and did in NO way imply that all agreed. In that
style, it is certainly ethically possible.
A nation must decide whether
to honour or dishonour God. You cannot be neutral. If you choose to delete
reference to Him, or to make it of some totally imaginary kind, leaving what has
logical basis, then it is your choice. People CAN choose to live under
sky-scrapers in New York, among the rats. It is their own choice. You certainly
do not have to do this, or imagine that because (if such were the case) most
want to do this, there is any kind of inference that you should, or would!
A nation must make it clear
what is its foundation. If it wishes to move from what is historically the case,
however limited this might be, then it is a change of the most awesome type
possible. It can alter things, and if part of a surge over a number of years,
confirm a direction not previously taken by that nation, and define by its
deletion what it exports from its premises.
Ch. 8, reference is made
to this. Some of it follows below.
The article is reproduced from The Sydney
Morning Herald, Saturday, November 4, 1882. It reported on the monthly
meeting of the Royal Society of New South Wales. A paper was read
entitled, "NOTES ON THE ABORIGINES OF NEW HOLLAND". It dealt with the
period from 1844 of which the speaker reported this: "I had the
privilege of taking some interesting notes from the blacks of this colony
on the subject of their religious belief. These notes were necessarily and
mainly taken from the most intelligent of those natives... No missionaries
ever come to the southern district at any time, and it was not until many
years later that the missionaries landed in Sydney on their way to MoretonBay..."
He proceeds: "the notes which I took later
on upon the religious belief of the whole of the aborigines of this
continent are perfectly true and consistent with their own
traditions." He notes that he has met with fresh confirmations in
general belief in a Supreme Being in all parts of New South Wales.
Later in his paper, Mr
Manning, the speaker, refers to a note in an aboriginal grammar, sent back
to England by Archdeacon Gunther. It recorded the missionary's certainty that
the aborigines could not have derived the beliefs he noted during his
work, from white men, as they had had no communication with them. The
beliefs in question included the concept of creation in that they referred
to a Being who "made all things", in
whom was the outcome of life. He made at the first and would judge at the
The point for us is simply this: that this very
early report merely confirms other testimony printed more recently to the
same effect. There has repeatedly been attested at least a notable belief
among many aborigines, in the Creator.
It is therefore not without reason that distaste
at the racial or cultural level may enter into the minds of some
aborigines, when they are abused with the Circular's prejudices, imposed
so cavalierly, a Western dream-time. (See