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APPENDIX TO CHAPTER 4
from Endnote *1, Ch. 3
The Advertiser, October 11, 14
ANOTHER SHEPHERD HAS OTHER SHEEP
(John 10:26, Zechariah 11:17ff., Jeremiah 23)
Hawke, Downer and The Kingdom of Christ
In articles found in The Advertiser, October 11th, and 14th., these two politicians of some note deliver themselves of views about religion which would make some sort of sense of the matter, if God were left out of it; although, even then, it would be too assured.
For this matter, and its involvement, the extent of treatment is such that it has been moved to the Appendix to Chapter 6, which follows.
Mr Hawke was present at the opening of the University of South Australia's International Centre for Muslim and Non-Muslim Understanding.
Why one religion should be singled out
as a basis for discussion is not known.
Perhaps it is because the enormous oil wealth
which has accrued to prominent nations
applying Islam more or less harshly in their own midst,
more or less exclusively and monolithically,
with no visible presence of Christian Churches in some cases,
let alone near a bombed out site from Christian extremists,
which do not really seem to be doing anything in
that line, being differently oriented:
perhaps it is because this
has had conspicuous, visible and threatening results.
These are not merely from the wealth, but from the place where it is put, as when it is not the oil which makes the fire, but putting it near a furnace.
With the enormous emphasis in the Koran on force and violence, which has been noted because it is there (cf. Divine Agenda ... Ch. 6, and More Marvels ... Ch. 4, and list below*3), there is naturally a broad and spreading movement to use oil wealth to make countries not inured or inert before Islam, to become more so. Bin Laden is merely one of a large group of Islamic extremists operating, not always in harmony, except in one thing, to inflict damage on other people, nations, religions, and to seek rewards their pains. Israel's destruction has been one phase and segment of their desires, and of course, destruction is normally the result of ... FORCE. Not a few have had such an aim, more or less fed by past territory holdings on this earth, just as their present holdings make of that of Israel, a tiny segment.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam ... by Robert Spencer has done a sound work in exposing this fact, ignorance of which, in whatever language, can not be dressed up as academic fidelity, whatever attack be made by the cultural tic which distorts the face of data when political dynamic surges into its midst. It has not been left to Spencer to show this; it is too transparent to need more, but the furore of competing aims and hopes has made truth necessary with some acuity and assiduity. Thus his contribution is welcome.
The noted article on religion in which Hawke figures, declares on his behalf, that religion was not a problem, but fanatics of all religious persuasions were. "One of the greatest dangers to peace and stability in the world is this question of misrepresentation, misunderstanding, between the Muslim and non-Muslim world," he is reported to have said. "The difficulties of Muslim fanaticism are well-established... but never let us forget the equally dangerous fanaticism of extreme right-wing nutters in the US... " So the quotation continues.
The term 'nutter' in reference to a political standpoint at variance from Hawke's extreme left-wing notions (if by this you mean things verging quite close to, if not into some form of communism, according to report, but showing little evidence of having any regard for God), could not be called flattering. Indeed, it seems to equate a view of things which is of another kind of perspective entirely from that of Mr Hawke, as if it implied some kind of mental disease. If this is his contribution to peace, it is hard to find the reason for his utterance!
Atheism is of course an extreme religious notion, which can be held with that degree of dedicated if not devoted fanaticism which is blind to evidence, and immune to reality (cf. SMR, TMR and RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST). In this case, it is 'with what judgment you judge, you will be judged,' it would seem.
The atheist position, if it be taken by anyone, means that you declare non-existent a Being without whom there is no possibility of truth (cf. Barbs... 6 -7), and so contradict yourself at the outset: a fanaticism of great danger to humanity because of its omissions and hence commissions. Mr Hawke's own view appears to be of this kind, if we can take his listing in The Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc. as true to fact.
Thus in the interests of world peace, he appears to be stating the view that some form of madness attaches to views as far from centre as his own, while commending the foundation of a centre for making conspicuous one particular religion, whose founder used force to take over a central city for his purposes, invading it with an army. In so doing, the former PM is using this particular religion, to the extent of his own participation hitherto in the formation of the new Centre, as a crux or reference point, and the rest as residual. This is occurring while in fact, not only does the Koran, reference book of that very religion have in its continuing call, much about force in religion, and at the level of religion, and reward for its use, but armies of its exponents, which came near to subjecting Europe to its model of dominion, are in significant measure threatening whole religions of this globe at this very moment.
Moreover, they are doing so with that precisely same force used at the start, in the case of Mecca.
Little less like peace can readily be imagined than such an approach as that being touted.
It is when we learn from another reference in the same article, that we need to learn a new, more adequate language in which to discuss Muslim issues (word of a British academic), that we begin to understand better the language of the writing on the wall! What sort of language can disguise the brutal realities of the attitude both in the Koran and in history which has not once or twice, but frequently appeared on a very large scale!
Is the new language then to be called, Newspeak ? Chamberlain made a ludicrously ineffective bowing to Hitler when it was not accommodation but confrontation which was needed as a policy, however pursued in practical detail. He paid, and so did the nation.
By no means is this to suggest that there may not be millions of Muslims who have no intention of carrying this tradition of force, just as there are doubtless millions of nominal Christians who have no intention of regarding the deity of Christ as a fact, whereas in reality, all of Christianity relies on this primarily: God is the beginning, end, centre, basis for truth, ground of being, creator, judge, saviour, without alternative or other position (John 14:6, 10:30, 5:19ff. etc.). That is the biblical depiction and announcement; but many cling like obstinate spiders, drunk with wind, to the web, while having no notion of where they are, even if entangled in some other web.
They invent a new religion, and keep calling it with the name of Him who dies in His foundation, and rose in His information to life, providing eternal life in this, His gracious and pardoning intervention.
Such change from the biblical basis while claiming the biblical name, is not uncommon. There was even a Primate of the Church of England in Australia who not many years ago, ostentatiously declared, with no shred of evidence, that there are other ways than that of Jesus Christ, to come to God! (cf. John 14:6). This is anomalous and preposterous, but it is done because people want something like Christ, but less demanding, like the Bible, but less constricting, in many cases, just as some want a few cigarettes daily, rather than abstention, when in fact merely one per day is rated as having a significant negative effect.
So people who depart from their ostensible authority, or make their own, like rolling their own cigarettes with whatever cultural object is found lying around, these may indeed do this and that; and no one is doubting it. The reference however is not to doing this and that, but staying precisely where it was; and in the case of Jesus Christ, He has done precisely what was for a millenium precisely predicted, as the prescribed date. How then does this apply to the point at issue ?
What it is to suggest is this, that there is a sound ground for people who believe the Koran to use force in multiplied religious settings, that this has been done frequently and massively in history, and that attempts to attenuate this reality with side issues are contra-factual, irrational and misleading; that they may be many who depart from this and retain the name Muslim, just as there may be many who make up new christs, and retain the Bible like a parked car that happened to come into the yard some time; and many scarcely know what they are doing. Again, however, the book, it remains the same.
Indeed, the whole endeavour to have good and bad Muslims in the US approach to the terrorist attacks and near attacks on its land, has been misled. The sense of glory and goading in many, whatever their orientation to the statements of the Koran, brings an unpredictable element into the equation: you do not know who in the land is betraying your work, as is now proclaimed to be virtually proven for Pakistan, nor which party in authority is actively undermining what you are doing to bring peace, and delete terrorism in a land where war is being fanned, against international targets. Indeed, it is perfectly possible that the mass murderer, Bin Laden escaped for just this reason.
Such approaches have led to one major departure. This strategy has had many parts; and it has meant that God has been mocked, since the Koran is called a holy book by a President who directly claims to be a Christian in some depth, and the nation is further compromised. Indeed, now it is specifically given the presidential designation of being not a Christian country, as well attested by the systematic removal of Christian elements in government practice and cultural episodes over the past few years, as if they were lice, a purging of the past, so that there is even more reason for concern, as these accelerated mutations proceed. It is of course the case that never was the USA formally a Christian country, though there has been a Christian State in it; but in statistical and governmental procedure and fact, there has been an enormous structure from this Christian source emanating from the Bible and penetrating vastly into the entire land, where even Princeton began as a Presbyterian institution.
Just as righteousness exalts a nation, so drivel detains its progress, and recidivism leads to ruin. Why mock the Maker not only of man, but of a blessedness which has almost made the hearts of many nearly burst, because they could not share in it, though it seems millions surge in from Mexico, for all that, just as the gates of immigration rattle.
Former Australian PM, Downer, for his part, in giving a large place to cultural differences in his presentation of correct religious attitudes, makes it appear that really, in the end, a great deal of the problem with religion is not so much the content, but the culture which shaped it. In this, what he is saying has much in common in concept of underlying creation of religion, with the statements of Hawke. Certain OTHER things are either to be dragged out and made first, rather than what IS first (Matthew 22:37ff. ), or else certain OTHER things have given much differentiation of a salient nature, to the religion. God ? He does not here appear, He of whom, from whom and for whom it speaks (cf. Romans 11:36).
We hear from Downer about what has SUITED this or that body, tribe or people, and what helps deal with this or that, and policies which might inflame and so forth: but nowhere is God of the slightest interest in the GENESIS of the reasoning displayed. It is mechanics talking about cars, as if they all manufactured themselves, vainly trying without God in view, to make His world tick nicely, while the clangours of grating gears that show no knowledge of what the car is for, proceed in stripping fury.
Thus the fact that one religion gives ground
that has reached the most brilliant for millenia, as sufficient, and
which on this site, for example, is shown to provide demonstration as to God,
is forgotten (Jeremiah 23:26-30).
If you forget God, it is easy to say anything at all about Him, as if you forgot numbers and sought to say anything at all about mathematics. God is not on side in such use of His name; and for politicians to forget, bypass or distort that religion, where the case is so defined as an entry requirement, is merely to demonstrate that the call of vocation exceeds that of Creator and Master (cf. Jeremiah 23, John 3, 10, 14:6, Matthew 5:17). One becomes one's own master, despite the fact that one must leave ALL to follow Him. Ignoring this, either makes a false generalisation of 'religion' or a denial of one's part in this one, or both. Indeed, it is appears similar to setting up a new religion, ex grounds, for convenience. Christians have to realise that there is no middle ground, no urbane substitute for the Holy Passion of Christ, or for the unsavoury unsalting of salt, in the interests of this or that. This world does not and cannot work without Christ, and individual Christians, to take that case, in or out of politics, have the solemn charge to be salty, savoury, spiritual, obedient, testifying of Him who will testify of them (cf. Luke 9:26). Politics is no ground for forgetting one's ground, but if one makes a new religion, let it be said that this is the topic, for clarity's sake.
When you are dealing with God, it is really He who is dealing with you (cf. Philippians 2).
It is better to honour God, if you ARE a Christian, president or not, not in order to favour Christians unjustly, but to maintain such Christian items and attitudes as sincerely fit your profession, for no hypocrite is desirable, and the office of politician cannot require it (cf. Journey to God ... Ch. 7). If you offer for government as a Christian, then your principles are clear and are expected to be kept. People can choose; Christians are chosen already.
People, then, who believe in the God who has made His mind clear to our minds (II Timothy 3:16, I Peter 1:10ff., II Peter 1:19ff., Psalm 119, Matthew 5:17ff.) , and given a written record for our instruction, having earlier given instructions to our very billions of cells, in co-ordinated language (a good operative language), are by no means nutters, a point relevant since many in the Tea Party group appear to maintain a Christian profession, and it appears the former PM has a word for that group. Hawke expresses a desire to retract from anything of this kind (even if, unlike the now famed Muslim thrust, it is non-violent), and to be different. In what way then ? In this: "Our problem in the world are fanatics, people who misrepresent the great truths that underpin these great monotheistic religions."
What great truths underpin Christianity ? What IS a truth which is found to be so by an atheist, if Hawke be so, which STARTS and ends with God, "the beginning and the end", and continues where the beginning of wisdom is to fear God and keep His commandments! What is this underlying thing he has in mind ? Is it that all men are brothers, as he once proclaimed a base of of Christianity, a kind-creation reference, but untrue to the uttermost spiritually IN this great monotheistic religion. In John 8, Christ calls many of the foremost expositors of the contaminated religion, children of the devil. There is no brotherhood there with children of God. The cases are opposites! The genesis is different (John 3).
Obviously, Hawke has in view some other great truth, than God for his selection process. How can the book of God then be underpinned by non-God, in order to be the occasion of revealing a great truth! This is indeed a 'new language' which appears to be light on logic, and keen on consequences, utilitarian perhaps. Truth, however, whether in science or in other regions, must be testable if not a matter of mere fanaticism (cf. Isaiah 41, 43, 48 where God demands testing); and when God is dispensable from God's book, it is rather like having the one who signs a cheque, drawn from a cheque book, dispensable from the transaction. But it is HIS cheque book!
It is all part of the ludicrous process of inventing new values, call them gods if you like, and trying to attach them to religions in a sort of grand revisionist program, which STARTS with the assumption that there is no God, unless you want to re-define the word to mean something or someone other than the creator and maker of man and the universe, which is mere confusion. If you must use such a term in such a context, you would need at least to say - neo-god, just for clarity. Then Hawke would be recommending a religion as having great truths incorporated in it, which would make up a god, or call anything to be exalted 'god' to keep in touch, it seems: if not with God, then at least with voters.
Gladstone, it appears, had a point however in declaring that if you want to found a new religion, start it by dying and being resurrected. It is necessary to find evidence, not newspeak, if any nation is to be blessed; and ignorance as a new form of religion-manufacture, in that it is no longer linked to logic, but to desire or design or cultural architecture or engineering, is unattractive to any realist. It is important to apply tests to all, as shown in some detail in SMR pp. 931-943, 973A). They should be logical and empirical, to begin. Blessed indeed are the results*4 as shown extensively on this site.
It is exceedingly important for Christians who follow the Biblical and historical Christ, God's ultimate testimony, rather than a latter age remanufacturing process (cf. II Corinthians 11), founded on imagination and desire, to be especially aware of the perils of presentations which seem to come from those who have their minds more set on political enterprise and desire, than on religious actuality.
GOD SPOKE. Man can respond, but not alter. He may chivvy at the rocks, but he only hurts his hands. As Jesus declared,
╬ "Therefore I
tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you
and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
And whoever falls on this tone will be broken,
but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder."
In the end, when freedom's day is done, and the results of the laboratory of life in which man is placed and tested, are shown and known, judgment proceeds according to truth (cf. Romans 2:1ff.). The test however, does not use force, though many may seek to deploy it: it is a test indeed for their buts, wanderings and dithers, yet no less is it laid bare before eternity and its judgments, whatever their seductive or indeed, their bullying mode!
What then of Christ's statement here, concerning Himself as the unnegotiable stone which the builders rejected, which would, as predicted in Psalm 118, for all that, become the "headstone of the corner" ? The high priests and scribes saw that He was speaking to them. They dared to have their own version of religion, missing the ENTIRE POINT that God is, had given His ultimate testimony, providing pardon on the cross, had sacrificed His only begotten Son, was self-identified and had given scope for salvation, removal of curse and cure for folly to man for as many as received Him, in that same Jesus Christ, not altered, not suppressed, not transmogrified. They were audacious to use the revealed name of God and His word, alongside their own ideas, making something of other gods or ideas from alien cultures or considerations, or with other shortenings or lengthenings; and of course, one reason why they killed Christ was not only envy, but political convenience (as in John 11:49ff.).
It looked safer that way, as well as more satisfying to power and pride; but it wasn't really safer at all, and what they feared, a generation later, they inherited for their infidelity and refusal to face the evidence of the Messiah, of Him who was in their very midst by multiple designations, developments, dynamics and presentations. It was as if in the lab work, everything went so fine that the students were almost stupefied; and some not desiring the results, could use this as a vagrant excuse, ignoring, distorting or denouncing them as not fitting their so sacred culture (cf. Luke 11:37ff.)
But it meant nothing: murder was murder then, just as irrationality and manufacture of new religions is desecration now, test unmet, imagination free to rove, selections according to taste, new gods made for expediency*5. Was this not the very concept used by Caiaphas, the inventive high priest! (John 11:50). It was necessary, he evidently felt, to take a more political, a broader, a multi-cultural view, a pragmatic look at things, just as politicians may seem ready to do today (John 11:47ff.). Their concern was that the undeniable impact and popularity of Christ could lead to the destruction of their nation by the dominant Roman Empire. They were destroyed in one generation, because of this arrogance. What they feared, they generated, what they lost, they needed, in expediency, they lost reality, and with it the power of God, His only begotten Son murdered at their hand, despite His goodness, His efficacy their burden!
NO culture created Christ, though He lived in one. He spoke to it and against much in it, and His word was in just accord with all that had been written concerning Him, Israel and the world of mankind, before Him; just as it would control the structure and development of things to come, what would happen ever after, as to this day is readily verified (cf. SMR Chs. 8 - 9 ). So it constantly confirms itself: where in detail, then in detail, where generically, then like that, where in knowledge or turbulence, social or atmospheric, so the plan was unveiled and so it has come to be. Indeed, the current cluster of events is irrevocably pointing to His early return, ONE of the events of infinite significance as man fails so notoriously, furiously, abusively, in such lordly style (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
Nothing of His word and will is broken,
as freedom festers in new-god technologies of a maddened international culture,
as man becomes unable to control himself,
victim of militant lusts from religions, secular or other,
invented by imagination,
cradled in culture,
vested in hatred,
disporting their follies, now more, now less as expedient,
whether as virulent elements or vile totals, as ambiguous agencies or rigorous endorsers.
There is no substitute for God*5A who speaks, demonstrates, remonstrates, regenerates and brings in the only kingdom that CAN work, the One made by the Maker of man, for man, where the culture is heaven, where the individual and the totality are all of one, in One, so that man may learn to love to live, not to survive, and why ? It is because this is the very nature of the eternal God by whom and for whom we are made (Romans 11:36, Isaiah 45:18-26).
No human culture makes ANY difference to God in His own glory, or His salvation, His diagnosis of man's sin, His prognosis of man's state, and His provision of remedy for any who receive it. Nothing changes the character of His Kingdom (News 23), the conditions of its entry, or the modes of its operation.
Without this, there is only an inveterate and increasingly manic desire to make this or that work, with endless notations, differentiations, confrontations, annotations, disputations, derelictions, betrayals, turncoats a specialty, self-interest assumed. So the world whirls to its unwisdom, and its end, just and irrevocable; but not all in it. For God has acted, and some have received Him who speaks whether to the body or to the mind of man in precise language, DNA or biblical according to the case, the level of communication and the nature of its receptors, or recipients.
It is not as if we are precise, and He who formed the tongue and the mind of man, lacks here (cf. Psalm 94). THAT, it is an unreasonable, extremist, irrational figment, a fictionalising to taste, a cartoon instead of thought, a vexation such as makes the world run askew, instead of asking. What is needed is there, and from start to finish has been addressed, as it now is fully addressed to man. But mankind becomes increasingly unkind to himself by denying his kin because spiritually they are no kin, moving via freedom where they will, so making utterly diverse operational races within the race. There is only one unity in only one God, and to ignore this is to rush to force to impose something else, which breeds resentment, rebellion, irrationality and pomp, and does not last. Given force or fiasco, force has clamant appeal, and is abused in frequent use amid the confusions. It often becomes like someone losing his temper because he cannot make things go; and then slamming what obstructs to MAKE it happen. Spiritual deviants thus often become dictators, and assailants of truth, tyrants.
Such follies are the real travesties, and such arrogant assumptions, whether theoretical or practical, have precisely the results that you now see and are likely to see. Ignore reality and you do not create unreality, but a collision. Dreams on legs in the end, are pricked like soap-bubbles, however many military divisions for a time they command. Ask Alexander the Great, if you could, or Hitler, or Stalin, or poor Mao, in his spiritual impotence dotage now apt to face judgment which will confront one and all, unless in the barrier of Christ, they have found the peace of God. It becomes as it was in the derelict day following the invasion of Jerusalem, as in Jeremiah 44:16-17:
"As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord,
we will not listen to you!
but we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth,
to burn incense to the queen of heaven
and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers ..."
Such is human will for the swill, the thrill, the escapist wildness, like wild horses in rampage; and it WILL not be told, but WILL be met in the end. It is lamentable, but without God, as Paul declares in II Thessalonians 2, those who do not accept the truth receive active delusion. That is the prognosis. The word of God works, and is verified. It may lead to violence, or simply as in some today, to vast indebtedness, or shrivelling of empire, or mere collusion with unknowns, on the brink of national beggary, in spirit, power or position.
Before this, the truth and power, the wisdom and word of God, culture like empires, is mere dross, even if egotistically at times it elevates itself, only to fall, as did the culture of the USSR, of Hitler, and as is proceeding to do, that of the United Kingdom to the EXTENT that it is turning from care concerning Christ and His word, towards a secular, Europeanised mess. Nor is the process hard to find in the case of the USA; for though it has perhaps further to go, yet it is making very fast regress.
As St Augustine showed in his City of God, there is one kingdom that stays, and this is precisely what Daniel taught, as he foretold not only kingdoms and empires, accurately, including the one in which the Messiah would die, but also when this death would be accomplished!*2 There is but one undivestible kingdom which remains, and this is there, demonstrable, validated, verified, as has been shown*4, whether you want to patronise it with a culture camp, or receive it with humility like a little child (Matthew 18:1ff.). You may change; it will not. Of all these things, in overview, Daniel gave much, long before Christ came (cf. Highway of Holiness esp. Ch. 10).
The structure of things to come, whether this or that Empire or the placement of the Messiah or the judgments to follow, it is given with a flourish and a flush of beauty which is so brief, so competent, so effortless in the result, though so vast a constraint as far as the prophet personally was concerned, that one is lost in praise of the Lord. In this way, He has so shown His hand, as so often in the prophets. Here is the antidote to confusion, just as the Messiah when He came, is that for the guilt of sin and the power of evil, providing the path to eternal life as a gift! (Romans 6:23, 3:23ff., Ephesians 2:1-12, Galatians 3).
Any religion which has a god who speaks what is not demonstrable, what is not verified, what is not validated is a mere waste of time, for God is reasonable (cf. Romans 1:17ff., II Corinthians 10:5ff., Isaiah 41,42, 45, 48) and has left man without excuse, not making all this in any flimsy fit of fancy, but in full awareness of its portent, knowing all, subject to none (cf. SMR, Barbs ... 6 -7, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Ch. 2).
GOD HAS SPOKEN; and say what you may, in political charm and to disarm, this remains true; and His people do not fight with violence as Muhammad did, in the field of religion, though a body centred in Rome, which has long departed from the faith with a Teacher who is NOT Christ and a Father who is NOT God, in defiance of Matthew 23:8-10, has done so, killing many Christians; and while doing so, they have used the very name of Christ (John 16:2, Ancient Words: Modern Deeds Ch. 14).
That, or any other religion, using force as it may in conjunction with its chief authority, the Koran or the Canon Law*6 or the Pope*7 or the Commissars of a hopeless hope*8, now stricken so early, has no place for reception by man, endowed with reason, given one divine testimony plainly sited in the Bible and in Calvary, often sighted and thanklessly slighted. Indeed, as far as is possible, it has been ruinously blighted, both in Christ, whom they violated, and in the Christian body, which they violate to this day in many nations. Muslim or Hindu, quasi-Communist or other, many are forbidding or destroying churches, locking up pastors, conceiving and creating atrocities whether in the name of some god, or otherwise.
As Christ put it, the day will come when they who put you to death will think that they are doing Christ service (John 16); but Christ Himself, He did not put to death, but was for His part, put to death; and biblical Christians do not kill for the Church, or to exact fear, to impose precedence, but rather seek healing, to love their enemies, glory for God, peace through His provisions, for man. To this they are commanded (John 18:36, Matthew 26:52-56). "Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord and not do the things that I say!" Christ declaimed. Christians acknowledge Him, not as a name of interest, but Lord! (Luke 6:46).
If a nation seeks to deflect aggression, then that is one thing; but as to the Church, it is not for it to sacrifice, but to be sacrificed, not to kill but each one, to die daily (I Corinthians 15:31, cf. Galatians 2:20).
That, it is a difference; Christ, He is the difference; the Bible and its verification and validity, that is the difference, destiny according to the God who speaks and attests Himself incontrovertibly, that is the difference, pardon for guilt, irrelevance for pardon of good works (Titus 3, Romans 3, Ephesians 2), that is a difference.
ALL Christians biblically are saints (II Corinthians 1:2), to whom Paul speaks in his epistle to the Corinthian Church, as for all of them in Greece; and in Ephesians 1:1, he speaks "to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus," crying, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Following this, he proceeds with his letter to the Church at Ephesus, declaring -
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us
with every heavenly blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
just as He chose us in Him , before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love."
The "we" is further defined in Ephesians 1:11, where he states this:
"In Him also we have obtained an inheritance,
being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things
according to the counsel of His will,
that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory."
These are the people who first trusted in Christ, the Lord's Christ. There is no stratification. IF you are one of the ones who so trusted in Him, then you are both predestined and the recipient of an inheritance (II Timothy 1:8ff., Ephesians 1:11). Though frauds and false prophets, wolves whether savage (Acts 20) or in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7), will not only find hell their fit reward unless they repent, but molest the sheep, some doing so even in Christ's own name, while claiming superior privilege, contrary in many a case, to Matthew 23:8-10: yet they cannot prevail. The flock are His and not one is lost (John 10:9,27-28); and they are ALL saints. They may be slain but not spiritually sedated or culturally occluded (cf. Matthew 24:24, II Timothy 4).
Thus, when in another culturally uninhibited invasion of the privacy of the kingdom of Christ, of His care of His flock, a body wishes to "make" a saint, or say this is the first saint in Australia, that is ludicrous since there have been many thousands of them who have helped to make Australia the splendid place which, in many ways, it was in some ways becoming, before this new flush of falling, intrusive politics disadorning itself, often red in tooth and claw, in colour and consequence, like Autumn, but less artistic.
It is God ONLY who makes saints, and all His people are saints, and it is not good enough to have a specialist cadre, let alone one to be prayed to, since there is but one mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ (I Timothy 2): for every Christian must realise his or her calling, and with whatever imperfection (I John 1:7ff.), seek to live godly and so suffer persecution. This result, it is not in itself to be desired, but it is to be found as Paul also announces (II Timothy 3:12). It is a cost of production for the person who having turned to Christ, is born again into the family of God, and lives in this present world, the form of which is passing away (I Corinthians 7:31, cf. James 4:4).
There is neither easy way nor other way. It is all for Christ Jesus, and not another, this or nothing (Luke 14:27ff.); and this particular nothing is high-priced, being a consummate occlusion of the spiritual arteries. Fear God and keep His commandments; love God and follow His word; praise God and be sanctified by Him, justified by Christ's blood. Love your neighbour as yourself which you do as you love God and keep His commandments (I John 5:1-2). It is to love God with ALL your heart and soul and mind and strength. Indeed, to leave out the principle thing is no essentialising, but defilement.
This is the great and underlying teaching of this great monotheistic religion, that of God, of Christ Jesus, of the Bible, and there is nothing to dwarf this salvation and this incarnation and this resurrection in this same great religion.
To imagine otherwise is mere contradiction (Galatians 6:14), not interpretation, invasion, not exegesis.
See with Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2, also:
Possess Your Possessions Volume 4, Ch. 3, esp .*1,
with SMR pp. 886-900, pp. 943-946, pp. 959ff., for example.
with News 98, News 37.
A useful larger selection:
Aviary of Idolatry, Delusive Drift or Divine Dynamic Ch. 5,
News 37. 44, 69, 97 (the exploiters, the fanciful,
the Communists, the de-godders and the realities), 98,
News 150 - Taiwan,
The Grating Grandeur and Aggrandisement of Man,
and the Meekness of the Majestic Messiah Ch. 2
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 6 (and Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a concern),
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8;
SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972;
Beauty of Holiness Ch. 3
(war and force, rising downwards, Tiananmen and truth),
Ch. 4 (liberty, Tiananmen, worship and its direction in time, its terms and code of truth); History, Review and Overview Ch. 1,
Impossible to Men, Open to God Ch. 5
See also Lord of Life Ch. 8.
On Islam, see the list following.
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, esp. *4,
SMR pp. 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 Ch. 3 (and force), 1081ff. (and faith), Outrageous Outages ... Ch. 5;
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,
Divine Agenda Chs. 6, 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran);
(Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in
perspective, in the former; and in the latter, 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
Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch.
- three major religions in some ways in concert, astray.
Beauty for Ashes Chs.
SMR pp. 1074ff., esp. 1079, 1081ff.
(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.).
See also SMR pp. 822ff., 986ff., 1O88D.
See for example: DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY and LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST, with TMR, SMR.
See also the various specialised sets in Search.
On validity in particular, see for example:
It Bubbles ... He Calls Ch. 9, esp. *1A,
TMR Chs. 5, 7 ;
Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming... Ch. 5, End-Note 1A,
Repent or Perish Chs. 2 and 7, pp. 152ff.;
Serenity not Serendipity ... Ch. 6;
Christ the Wisdom and the Power of God Ch. 6;
Barbs ... 29, 19;
SMR 3, Ch. 1 pp. 50ff.,
Little Things Ch. 5,
TMR 9, Epilogue,
The Defining Drama Ch. 4,
Grand Biblical Perspectives Ch. 7,
Let's Be Reasonable For God Is! Ch. 2.
See this in the context of Deuteronomy 32, as shown in the prelude, in Ch. 4.
On the simplicities of salvation and the complexities of creation, the following from Ch. 6 of
NOT THE DECLAMATIONS OR DISTILLATIONS
BUT THE DOCTRINE OF DEITY
There are kinds. There are minds. The kinds in mind are the kinds that mind can contemplate with precision, delineate with skill, outline with characterisation, but implement, in life, not at all! The useful additive is this, WE who speak and listen, we are ONE of them. It is unusual to BE one of what you are trying to understand; and when it is a living entity that is in question, the answer will require unusual care. However, the assumptions which underlie the investigation must themselves be specifiable as to kind and as to warrant.
In such works as
Deity and Design ... as in TMR Ch. 5 and Barbs ... 6 -7,
Repent or Perish Ch. 2,
It Bubbles ... Ch. 9,
Stepping Out for Christ Chs. 9 -10,
History, Review and Overview Ch. 5,
Dizzy Dashes, Head Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth Ch. 6,
The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy,
the earlier chapters of this volume,
Predestination and Freewill and the surrounding hexad,
On Predestination and Foreknowledge,
Liberty and Necessity, Responsibility, Duty and Creativity,
Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ
providing an evidential, verificatory summary and exposť,
these things have been considered and the anti-supernatural kind of blind for the origin of matter, mind, life and kind has been exposed, dismissed and replaced with a bent of mind which does not bend its own validity or ignore its own verification.
We have found in particular, that God has made kind, it has not invented itself,
imposed its constraints for no reason, or invented its forms and formulations
in a fit of abstraction of its own model, but has been modelled by competence
and created by grounds adequate
from the One who both ultimately and mediatively possesses these.
Also found has been the fact that the correlativity between human mind on the one hand, what it is,
and human understanding of the universe on the other, what that is,
both in terms of reason as a generic, and revelation in specific deposit,
is not a miracle from nothing, a grand marshalling anomaly.
Rather is it nothing short of a miraculous schema,
which with every kind of consideration, on this basis alone is either valid or confirmed.
It is uniformly, after exhaustive investigation, found to be this latter.
We have found that the miraculous, the action of the supernatural, in fact God,
so far from being an extraneous issue,
is the only rational basis for 'nature', including our own,
with creation, the natural correlative of the supernatural,
its inscriptions the word of His action,
as the Bible the communication of His mind and heart.
We have discovered that on this structural and dynamic basis alone
is nothing left either anomalous or irrational,
or providing any kind of contretemps of perspective or denial of fact.
We have ascended to the Creator and His word, the Bible, with the smoothness
of result of a gloriously advanced jet-liner, BECAUSE HE has done all things well,
making reason for human derivatives, and revelation both so overwhelmingly,
triumphantly secure and strong, each where it belongs, that the result is itself a prodigy.
It is ALL by His grace, but equally, it is all by His power.
Applying these to our life, world, universe and minds, we have then found all over again,
that here only and here altogether
are the answers which can and do stand every investigation,
verified in every aspect (Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ),
covering every systematic query (cf. TMR and works listed at length above),
while providing an antidote to human folly (cf. SMR Ch. 7).
It is precisely this folly however, which in the negation of these things,
lunges towards nothing both in thought and action - but a judged nothing, or emptiness,
instead of heeding the directives for life, and that in the first place, for its re-orientation and
renewal (Titus 2-3, Romans 1:17ff.).
It is not, in particular, because man is insane
that he continually checks in at the houses
of irrationality and scientistic demolition of empirical fact.
Rather it is because,
made for God by God,
he is inclined towards both base and basis;
yet while still revolting against God
(Ephesians 4:17ff., Romans 5),
he finds instead, the disparate and desperate company of the sod,
the irrelevant, the merely naturalistic or himself, his own race or some leader,
infected with fatuity as a due reward for his presumption (cf. Ezekiel 28:9-10).
The results are eloquent, but not elegant.
It is however the word of God which stands when all else falls, and it has been doing it for thousands of years, untroubled, assured, and in our own life-time, it is being fulfilled both in good and evil, blessing and curse, precisely as indicated (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
So direct and simple is the form of salvation, to grasp, and so profound and wonderful, its interstices, to understand, that in fact little children (cf. Matthew 18) often find it graspable and believe, as did my own son at the age of 3 years. So searching are its terms, which involve NOT by some personal work, making peace with God, since He has already provided for it, but receiving the peace which He offers on the basis of the work of atonement performed by Jesus the Christ, that many are haunted for years through its marvellous directness. Thus some, in squalid or torrid unspirituality roaming, became tremulous (as John Bunyan did), and others put on a hard exterior, and squirt the blood, if it were possible, the blood of the atonement away (cf. Hebrews 10:29). In that case, alas, which in the biblical image, is like treading underfoot the blood of Christ, there is nothing left, but a certain fiery looking forward.
Fire is what burns rubbish, and what declines to be what it is designed for alas, such a grief it is, goes into decline that does not end.
Gloriously, that time is not yet, and judgment deferred for some, is opportunity available to each (John 10:9, II Corinthians 6:1ff.).
Canon law ?
From SMR p.981, we have this on the topic of Canon Law.
One of the elements of the PEACE OF TRUTH, our immediately following consideration (p. 983 infra) is the consistency, persistency and consummate accuracy of articulation of what it provides; of what, in this case, is written. The defilement of this consistency, of this persistency and this accurate articulation, is one of the negative properties which shows up in false claimants to the status of the word of God... where indeed anything rational is provided at all! Let us illustrate.
The Roman Catholic body provides a good example. Parties have arisen in it, pushing now this, now that doctrine. 'Fathers' have said this and that, over the centuries during which the 'Canon Law' has been compiled; so that it almost becomes a romance of adventure to seek to compile their utterances, for sheer diversity. Some hold starkly to Christ and some are church-based: one Pope indeed (Leo II) declaring heretical the doctrine of a predecessor (Honorius) as did Church Councils and Pope for 800 years. (Cf. Dr. Laird Harris, Fundamental Protestant Doctrine, II, p. 13; The New Schaff Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, V, p. 353; Lorraine Boettner, Roman Catholicism, Ch.'s 4, 6, 11.) Yet 'they', these 'fathers' should be believed... What would you believe; but rather Christ (Matthew 23:8-10), who covered the case by forbidding such practice from the first (cf. also Mark 7:7).
Again on p. 1088A, we have this.
*14 John Paul II in The Code of Canon Law (prepared by The Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland et al.), 1983, states:
"It is hoped that this English version of the Code will be a fitting resource
for an attentive and fruitful study of the law of the Church...
We order that henceforth it is to have the force of law
for the whole Latin Church,
and we commit its observance to the care and vigilance of all who are responsible."
Not merely is the massive Code of Canon Law adhered to, rather than departed from: it is BOUND, explicitly being given indeed the FORCE OF LAW. Revisionism this is not!
GOD SPOKE: THEREFORE LET THAT WORD SPEAK - "not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually works also in you who believe." (1 Thessalonians 2:13.) Indeed, "Add not to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar" - Proverbs 30:6. God knows what His words are and who His Son is; and will require of any who abuse His name by seeking to direct, correct or replace His spoken or His living word (Matthew 7:21-29, 4:4,10, Revelation 22:18-20, Galatians 1:6-12). It is necessary to ABIDE in His words; and this is not a work of speech, but of being still (Psalm 46:10).
See SMR pp. 911ff., 1032ff..
On this dream, see the following.
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8;
The Grating Grandeur ... Ch. 2; SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972;
Beauty for Ashes Ch. 6 (and Hong Kong, and the movement of nations in the last century a concern).