AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH January 30, 2011 and on to March
covering several weeks
Presbyterian Church following the Bible without Qualification
and the Lord Jesus Christ without Compromise by Faith
Concentrates and Foci for Faith
A Multi-Partite Presentation from the Bible
For the ORAL presentation for the FIRST FIVE THINGS, below,
use this hyperlink.
One of the things that makes brilliant architecture patent is its symmetries and curves, its cohesion of concept or style, its artistic interpretation of its field, its complementarity of treatments, as of one mind, which knows what is in it! In the Bible, you find much of just the same characterisable overall style and design. It is fitting therefore to consider these elements in their mutuality and simplicity, as also in their depth, but in this case, with emphasis on the overall sweep and completeness for the householder, in this instance, mankind.
As Paul is given to say (Titus 2),
when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
not with works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to His mercy, He saved us,
through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit."
Again, he declares,
"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men ..."
Let us then consider these things in their beauty and design.
5 THINGS THAT COULD NOT FAIL TO COME
(Genesis 3:15, Isaiah 51:6.16. 49:1-6)
The Substitutionary Atonement
(Hebrews 2, Galatians 3, Isaiah 53, I Peter 1-3)
The Bodily Resurrection, the Vitality Attainment
(Psalm 22, 16)
(John 8:21, 16:28, 17:13, 16:10, 20:17)
The Personal Return of the Lamb in Judgment (Psalm 2, 110, Revelation 19)
and for salvation (Hebrews 9:28), so coming "to appear a second time".
For the ORAL presentation of the above, use this link.
5 THINGS THAT HAD TO HAPPEN
The Crucifixion of the Redeemer
(Psalm 22, Genesis 3:15, Zechariah 12:10)
(Job19:23-27, Isaiah 53-55, 42:6, 49:6, Hosea 13:14)
The Sending of the Spirit (Isaiah 32:15, 44:1-6, Joel 2:28)
Failure of large-scale, revised and subverted model of the Christian Church
(Revelation 11, II Timothy 3-4, II Peter 2, Revelation 13, 17)
but NOT of the testimonial valour of the saints,
(Revelation 12:11, Matthew 16:18, Psalm 23, I Peter1:5-8,
Ephesians 1:11, Luke 21:15),
founded on God the only Rock
(Isaiah 44:8, Psalm 62, II Samuel 22:32,
I Corinthians 10:4, John 8:58):
these therefore unable to be rocked, consolidated with their Keeper
(Isaiah 44:8, Psalm 62, II Samuel 22:32,
I Corinthians 10:4, John 8:58).
Multiple false prophets and false christs, heightened as the Return of Christ draws near
epitomised in the False Prophet
(Revelation 16:13, 19:20),
parallel to the political beast, symbolising all that is on Satanic mission:
these being deceived, deceptive (John 8:44).
These are unsavoury, seductive (Jude, II Peter 2),
manifested in the False Prophet,
fiery symbol, a baneful figure awaiting its doom at the hands of the Truth, Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:20ff.).
See further on this phase in The Appendix, below, which continues immediately from this point. There we dwell further on these, and in contrast, on the Lord's Christ (Luke 2:26, II Corinthians 11, Acts 4:11-12).
5 THINGS THAT CANNOT BE ELIMINATED
(Hebrews 13:8, Psalm 2 (esp. vv. 4, 8), John 5:19-23, 8:58,
Revelation 1:17-18, 5:21-22, 12, 21-22; I John 1:1-4:
eternal deity in Person, in salvation singular, in judgment determinative).
for Israel and for the Kingdom of Christ on earth
(with the Jerusalem which is above, and free, 'which is a mother of us all' -
Zechariah 12, 14,Micah 4 - esp. v. 8, Isaiah 2, 11, Luke 21:24, Galatians 4:26):
site of promise, incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection of the Messiah,
of vindication and rule of Christ -
Micah 4, 7 esp. 7:10, 7:15, Matthew 19:28, Zechariah 12:6-8, 14:5ff..
Israel in context,
restored from long sojourn after blessedness,
for example in that 'You' came out of Egypt -
to which time, reference is made
cf. SMR Appendix A;
site of endurance past travail:
Matthew 24:34-39, Deuteronomy 32, Isaiah 11, 66, Micah 7.
The Wonder of Christ's Salvation
(Matthew 13:44-46, Luke 15:8-10, Isaiah 61:10, I John 1:1-4)
His Sufficiency in Every Crisis for Each of His people
(I Corinthians 10:13, Psalm 145:18-20, I Peter 4:12-19, II Timothy 4:17-18),
with the blessed distinction between being 'faithless' and 'denying' Him:
"If we are faithless, He remains faithful," II Timothy 2:13,
whereas "if we deny Him, He ALSO will deny us,"
Thus, smoking flax is fanned, not banned (Isaiah 42).
Even Peter, being His, was arrested by Christ's look (Luke 22:61),
in the midst of his flamboyant denials,
and moved to weep out his woe and repent.
Archbishop Cranmer being committed to the flames,
first burnt off his hand which signed the temporary recantation,
then suffered in glory for the testimony of Christ.
5 THINGS THAT MUST BE ELIMINATED
Failure to "Pursue Righteousness" (FTP - R),
Like failure with "Faith"
with "Peace with those who call on the Lord out of a Pure Heart"
II Timothy 2:22, 2:19.
For the ORAL presentation of the above, use this link.
5 THINGS THAT MUST COME
Jerusalem in the hands of the Lord's People, Site for Christ
(Luke 21:24, Zechariah 14:5, Matthew 19:28, 23:39, Isaiah 2, 11, 49:6,
Revelation 20:4-6, Romans 11:25-27,Micah 4:1-7)
The international Assault on Israel
(Deuteronomy 32:36ff. , Ezekiel 37-39, Zechariah 12, Micah 5, 7:13ff.)
Divine Assault on the Assailants
(Deuteronomy 32:36ff. , Ezekiel 39, Isaiah 66:14ff., Micah 7:15ff.)
Rescue of Christians via the transforming bodily Resurrection
(Revelation 11 cf. Alpha, Omega . ... Ch. 5, I Thessalonians 4,
Revelation 19:8ff., Matthew 24:29-31, II Corinthians 5, Isaiah 26:19),
Personal Return of the Lord Jesus Christ to Rule, and Judge
(Acts 1:7ff., Mark 14:62, John 5:20-23, II Thessalonians 1),
both on this earth pending His pleasure
(Revelation 5:9-13, 20:4-6, Isaiah 9:6-7, 11:1ff., 59:20, Psalm 72),
and after the Dispersal of the Earth
(Revelation 5:10, 20:1-11,22, 22:3, II Peter 3)
in the full glory of the triune God.
For the ORAL presentation of the above,
use this link.
5 POINTS TO REMEMBER
"He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.' "
THEREFORE, "we may boldly say, The Lord is my
Helper," Hebrews 13:5-6
Know your place: Peter's life tenure was to end in violent death, John's in
extended life on earth (John 21), both by favoured divine appointment.
Those not of the kingdom cannot enter it (John 3). These cannot even see it
Illumination requires the spiritual eyes to open,
not to avoid light as if glare, securely shut (Matthew 13:15).
Christians receive better promises (Hebrews 8:6), so USE them! (John 15:7).
This is because
a) their promised land is already inhabited by them (John 10:9).
b) They have direct, non-priest directed access to God by faith
c) They have already direct disclosure of God (II Corinthians 4:4, 4:6).
d) The return of Jesus Christ by resurrection and grace
gives the haven of heaven already guaranteed direct
(I Corinthians 15)
and individually to each member of Christ's kingdom,
now on this earth, personally sealed for it (Ephesians 1:13).
The resurrection for now and for then, has a special application as a distinctive in D in the Appendix.
e) All His people of all ages will be one in Christ Jesus
(I Thessalonians 4:15-18, Colossians 3:8ff.).
5 CONCENTRATION POINTS: A QUINTET TO HEED
The Person of Christ (who is IN YOU, if you be Christian - Colossians 1:27)
The Written word of God
(II Timothy 2:15, 3:16, Isaiah 34:16, I Thessalonians 2:13),
inspired, infallible as given
(Matthew 5:17ff., Isaiah 59:21),
neither requiring nor tolerating revision
(Revelation 22:18-19, Jeremiah 23:23-32),
or addition -
(Mark 7:7fff., Proverbs 30:6).
The Power of God (Ephesians 1:19) available to believers in Jesus Christ,
the Lord's Christ (Luke 2:26): even that of the resurrection to perform His will*1.
The Love of God (Ephesians 3:18-19), that this is all His initiative (I John 4:10),
and is transmissible toward others (Mark 12:29-31)
Love for the brethren (I John 4:21).
For the ORAL presentation of the above,
use this link.
This gives an extensive bases to some of the elements in the sermon.
Here we dwell further on false christs and false prophets, and in contrast, with the Lord's Christ, as in Luke 2:26, II Corinthians, Matthew 24.
CHRIST BY CONTRAST
SYMBOLS AND SUBSTANCE
Christ however is no symbol. His sacrifice was no mental quirk,
void of ground and evidence, unlike the rest of those who are pretenders.
He was no parasite (leaning on the work of the Lord, like surrogates),
not foundering like ambitious pretenders,
but founding the Christian religion on testable fact, potent performance,
prophetic fulfilment and address to the future,
on His own Person
as active, reliable, faithful, equipped to the uttermost with purity, truth,
resurrection the culmination of His resurrection of others,
a thing very easy to see.
Then the body is simply not available for triumphant parade by His enemies,
being resurrected, and for 40 days occupied with teaching, confirmation,
explanation, the future direction of history,
personal commission as in John 21, and then, ascension before return (Acts 1).
Him put your trust, not as a mere formula, verbal format or form,
but actually: so that your action is so governed, just as He governs results.
In Him have reliance, for He is the Rock (Psalm 2) who laughs at atoms
and their contrivances of power, for He made them,
and grants salvation: not only life (Romans 6:23) but
life more abundantly (John 7:37, 10:10, Galatians 5:21-23).
But what of the multiple false prophets and christs predicted, one of the lurches
prominent towards the end, as it looms to enter history (cf. II Peter 2, Matthew 24)!
What of the complements of false religion or confused contention, as grist for the mill of the Second Beast,
the religious one, of Revelation 13:11.
A) Muhammad, who made up a new christ
but without redeeming death, deity status or free atonement,
is of course, as with other sects, a false prophet, so definable
from the lips of Christ (cf. More Marvels ... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6 and Indexes, Islam and Moslem).
B) The papacy
presents what is more nearly a false christ,
making claim to being between God and man (cf. SMR pp. 911ff., 1032-1088H),
presenting in itself a teacher above the brethren (contravening Matthew 23:8-10);
while sects denying deity in Christ are false prophets.
These engage in remodelling christ,
just as efforts were made to do the same in the crucifixion
and the preceding events (Luke 22:63ff., Isaiah 52:13ff.), by other means.
This is done just as Muhammad also instituted changes without warrant some 600 years
after the historical work of the incarnation: all this after the triumphs of the revelation of
God, who specified the Messiah decisively, and sealed the year of the death of Christ
from Daniel (cf. Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2), just as He, Christ, for years worked and
testified lavishly, and proceeded on time to His majestic sacrifice
to cover repentant, believing sinners: for them, breaking death like an egg to liberate life,
being broken Himself, but rebuilt, murdered but resurrected,
like a site of atomic blast, restored in 3 days: for nothing is too hard for the Lord,
to bring life and immortality to light, or to apply his salvation to cover the cries
of the lost, blasted by sin, awakened to life
(II Timothy 1, Titus 3, John 5:19ff., 39-40, 6:40,54, I John 1:7ff.).
as well pointed out by de Koster in his Communism and the Christian
Faith, has the proletariat as Saviour, with other parallel mockeries, though these,
the poor proletariat group, are in fact the recipients of a dictation from the professional
politicians, commissars and their enduring types, to the point certainly of sacrifice, one
both ineffective and cardinal in horror.
This therefore represents a false christ, without logical base,
a world of matter and motion without possible truth,
though they profanely declare it anyway, even though their predictions likewise fail.
See for example:
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
Hong Kong, and the movement
of nations in the last century a concern),
Tender Times for Timely Truth
SMR pp. 925ff., 971-972;
Beauty of Holiness
(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.
D) Pseudo-Christian Quasi-Secular Society
Many are the delusions which may offend man, make him stumble without sight, which he may attribute to second sight, but alas, which is often none. The ignoring of the bodily resurrection of Christ is one of these, and the power back of it is promised to the Christian people in Ephesians 1:19. It is not an alternate to suffering, as the cross of redemption shows, but its attainment is categorical. As will be seen, in the fanning of the flames of lung-spoiling gases, some who even use the name 'Jesus' with some acclaim, do not know if God exists, far less that the cross was by no means the end of Jesus, but rather a glorious exhibit of the love that saves, before the thrust of the power which confirms (Romans 1:4). The transformation of the earthy to the celestial, the desecratory to the dynamic, the challenge to the triumph, in a resurrection which only irrationality can ignore, and folly bypass, is at odds with all false religion, because as with Christ's whole messianic ministry, only truth can provide divine power, diction, prophetic fulfilment in substance and entire coverage of every point, evidence that is irrefutable, as is here the case.
(See for example:
SMR Ch. 6,
Great Execrations ... Greater Faith Ch. 7;
Barbs ... Appendix 3,
Biblical Blessings Ch. 15, Extended Endnote 2,
BIBLE TRANSLATIONS 33,
Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 11,
With Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength Ch. 3,
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 5
The Magnificence of the Messiah, Endnote 1
See also, Index on resurrection.)
What is other, has other talk, work, and witness. Let us see some of it.
Here then there is some resumé of the consummate confusions which offer an alternative religion, rather like alternative medicine, but not so helpful as it can sometimes be!
Revelation provides much data on coming things, and one of these is a 'beast', the last in the series, which is to be a financial-military-political-social take-over, international, but otherwise with some resemblance to the power lust and thrust of Hitler, Mao and Stalin, each in his day. In Revelation 13, we are introduced to the religious specialist, a parallel beast to amplify the work of the first and major one. It is by then realised that the way to power is not ignominiously to ignore religion as in Communism, but to manipulate it, like diverting a flood of water, rather than trying to stop it in its tracks.
In order for this second beast, the religious one which is to fan the psychological flames for the first one, become a religious lien and authority, there is enormous scope for various approaches to religious appeal minus authority, so that such things directly, or in terms of the wake they leave, may attract attention and so secure popular support, so that there may be opportunity for the final religious deception betokened by the second beast, which speaks like a dragon but has horns like a lamb, as described in the duality of beast found in Revelation 13.
We have had many theological neologies, that is, branded departures from the biblical faith which, were it possible, would deceive even the elect (as in Matthew 24's prediction, in verses 11 and 24), and one of these, Barthianism, with some 8 volumes of nescience is a classic. Thus in that, you cannot know God since He is entirely other, but somehow something or other manages to pierce the impenetrable barriers. This is just as in Kant's insurgent noumena, which simply cannot either keep their place in obscurity, nor make themselves too clear in a convenient obfuscation, wrought by an impossible philosophy which removes what it knows, and obscures what it does not cf. Predestination and Freewill Section IV and SMR Ch. 5).
Hence the Bible MUST not be allowed to be the word of God, since it is too much that to be lucid, too divine to be available and accessible, God-type things having something of an immigration barrier. That is the model employed in contrariety to reason, but with great results for disfaith! Such an expert knowledge over 8 volumes of the unknowable is impressive as a contingent for that confusion which helps misplaced authority in the second beast, and is here merely an illustration of a type. It was called neo-orthodoxy, since it said nice things were believed, though it changed their character. Thus the virgin birth means that God is gracious. Things are not allowed to come in their normal mode, and definition becomes dubiety. It is a welter of self-contradiction, a testimony to the writhing or working of unbelief wanting religious clothes.
That was the austere side of folly (cf. Cornelius Van Til's Christianity and Barthianism), whereas Liberalism was the more straightforward species of deviousness, seeking to keep the revelation of God to some extent, while injecting other things from other sources - perhaps with another Jesus thrown in as an extra, one not deity, or not involved in substitutionary sacrifice, or later on, as the riot invaded other fields, one made into a revolutionary or a clown or whatever else seemed suitable for lodging His name as a hostage. So do fevers develop from chest-colds.
As to this illiberal liberalism, it attacked what stood, and did not itself stand, having nothing to give but premature explosions at scholarly matters, readily dismissible as both perfidious and unsustainable, with the insertion of junk into the packages served up, like salmonella in pies. On this, see SMR pp. 255-267, 361-368 which covers more of the input modes for these religious phenomena, 374-385 which further extends and exposes, 857-884, which covers developments which ramify broadly in New Age, and 999, which touches some of the underlying deceptions which grow like toadstools in the dank forests. These treatments of the impossible, like plagues accounted for, but which rage where they find room, and exposures of the illogical in philosophy, society and human relations, academia and education, are expanded considerably in The gods of naturalism have no go! in 6 volumes.
All these phases, threads and developments are fit for synthesis, either directly or as to their spiritual thrust, for the final concoction which is invented to deceive; for the devil is astute when it comes to diverting and converting things, even some which at some time may have meant well, to evil; and moreover, he is diligent to a point, though the energy be misapplied. He gets the world for a little, and loses his life for ever. Poor transaction if ever there was one!
In addition, however, to all this, there is the youth-phase, where a plethora of experience enters in, and some good resolutions are used without a basis in reality, so that a movement, using some religious tonality, seizes some and tosses them about as it lets them loose in life, partly healed, slightly restored, yet still missing a foundation. One more recent example follows.
JESUS AND THE GENERATION THAT DROPS DILIGENTLY
The Week-End Australian Magazine
March 5, 2011
There is a so-called Y-generation (or Gen-Y) which seems to be concerned with Jesus-concentration, one which is modish, cool and accompanied by ecstatic vision, but which has a belief-in-God complement of something around 50% only. It has been compared to the Hippies in their Jesus-emphasis, and like that, is explicitly not too concerned about doctrine. It is strongly moving into social action, empathetic involvements, being real, avoiding mere formality, and thus some of its emphases appear like a rocket take-off where everyone is watching its flight, only to find a blunder has occurred and it is the wrong rocket - because they de-emphasised definition and wheeled out one for another purpose.
A Jesus in which there is but light involvement in the biblical portrait is rather like Muhammad's original effort, and in his indeed, the relationship to the historic record is so slight that he even has two versions of the matter of Christ's death, one in which it comes, the other in which it is said that it was, rather than was. He appears to dither on this point. He is doctrinally dogmatic of course in specifically denying the heart of the message of the Bible concerning Christ, while it seems doubtful that the Y-generation would bother to articulate so much. Both are innovative concerning a name which they dress up in their own clothes. The name has been attached by the writer of the book, The Spirit of Generation Y: Young People's Spirituality in a Changing Australia, Dr Andrew Singleton. Let us then pursue the theme.
It is vastly important to note the extent to which this nescience of the Y's can go. For example, a pastor, one of the more thoughtful seeming among 'emergent'*1 churches, speaks of the fascination and joy many of the Y's have, but he appears to stress that there is something that sobers up the self-pre-occupation that seems so common in this movement,. It comes, he indicate, when - apparently in a comparatively rare reflective moment, they find that it all ends in the death of Jesus! They are said to 'discover' this, and perhaps it is in the same way that Hitler discovered compassion when he initiated the Holocaust.
Intended as a contrast with their emphasis on joy and contentment and action, this reveals a colossal gap. In fact, the account and the reality not only does not end up with the death of Jesus, but this is the lake at the bottom of the mountain, intensely beautiful and astonishingly restoring; for it has soaring above it, the range of the Resurrection.
Yes, it is with the resurrection of the body, that the Bible's message reverberates. Yes that epic and epochal event is in this world, and yes it is the very body of Christ which did not rot (Acts 2:31-32), so that though David's body (that of the one who wrote the Messianic Psalm 16, concerning Christ's body that would not rot) did rot, Christ's did not. Why ? It was because of its being raised, that it did NOT ROT. Further, it neither did nor could, being impervious to any lasting association with death, impregnable to ultimate desolation, that of the Creator of and Redeemer for life, a sacrifice that being raised, closed animals sacrifice for ever (Acts 2:23, Hebrews 9).
What then of those who come to think of Jesus' dying as the end of the story ? What is it like ?
Omitting the 5th Act of a Shakespearian play and then commenting on that play in that truncated form as if the original, this would be marvellous accuracy compared with the omission of the point God makes, that of death He will be the destruction, and that in Christ, life and immortality is brought to light, that in Adam all die, while in Christ, all His are made alive, for death has been swallowed up in victory.
So if such a report be true, this appears to give some of the flavour of and attest something of the criteria of a cult. Superficially biblical if this be any index, in that case, it would be minting spiritual coinage with talk of Christ, that bears no relation to the realm of reality. To be sure, It appears that with an emphasis on practical action, it is intended to follow some follow some of the emphases of Jesus Christ, concern for others, a deep pursuit, all to the good, but this, without bothering to find His address, whose name they use, His permanent address, His meaning and gift .
There seems, indeed, to be indicated in the article's review, almost a de-emphasis on understanding according to the biography of Jesus Christ, set forth in God's name from the time where the report was made, so that while the name and the lustre of some of His works, and the launching of some of His crusades against hypocrisy is held dear, yet skimped or scamped, it seems, is the reality that it is as the exact image of God, the eternal One from Age to Age, that He comes as His domain, so that He who has seen Him has seen the Father (John 14) and thus it is God who through Him we know, and nothing less, the ultimate answer to and for all, brought to bear and to be seen on this earth.
But what of this Christ ? Not only was He deity, to show deity, so that He "led Him forth": (John 1:18), but He was so concerned to continue the previous revelation in its precision, that He would not even allow His own defence. As a lamb to the slaughter He had to come, and how, He asked, could the scriptures, the prophecies, the predictions concerning Him from the Jewish prophets be fulfilled, if force were to be used to stop it and preserve His body! Did He not have 12 legions of angels if He wanted to use them ? But for this purpose He had come. It was to die sacrificially, to show declaratively the God who is there, who made and is sovereign over all, and to demonstrate His love and power in raising the sin-smitten body from the dead, perpetual index to the eternal life He had secured from His own redemptive act, for those who receive Him as He is (John 3, 6).
It was prelude, like the sinking of a ship, to His raising to break the power of death to bring man's guilt to mortality, and mortality as a funnel to immortality. It was like a ship sunk with foul cargo, so that the raising of the wreck, its refurbishing and restoration till it was far better than ever before would be an everlasting signal to all mariners to come. So death is exiled in Christ, and though for a time before the general resurrection (I Corinthians 15:43ff., 57ff.), it lurks, yet it is beaten; and when the time comes, this too will be fulfilled as all believers are removed from an impossible world, to His glory (I Thessalonians 4, Matthew 24:36ff.). Indeed, said the Christ of the Bible and of history, IF HE DID NOT RETURN, the human race would not be able to stay alive on earth any longer (Matthew 24:22).
We are approaching that. It is the power of truth which has it all covered from the first, fulfilled to this point to the last, awaiting the final consummation. Ignoring such a context in making a 'Jesus' to relate to history in part, is like making a chest for a new man, but forgetting the rest of the body, and then exclaiming what a fine chest it is.
*1 See Faithful is He who Calls You, Who also will Do IT, Ch. 2 in Possess Your Possessions Volume 5.
An excerpt follows below.
Elements in Decline
Emergent Agonies, The Emergent Pseudo-Church,
a Submersible Decadence and a Subversive Culture:
This is not All, nor any Excuse.
Thus when God is NOT made the centre of attention, the criterion of living, the source of commandments and the Lord of life, then life languishes. It may become a resource, like inherited capital, which had been abused, distorted, aborted, or for a time enjoyed in a benumbed sort of way, far below its capacities, capabilities and heights of constitution.
In the individual, it becomes almost like a thing of chance, because the purpose and principles being ignored, there is no way in which there can be a deft derivation for it: as if one took an exquisite motor vehicle and insisted on driving it over craggy mountains without track. There are ... challenges, opportunities for heroism, courage; but in the end, it does not fit the case. There is a possible combination of courage and determination, talk and intention but it merely allows an airliner, if you will, to taxi along the ground. It is vain and often vainglorious as it speaks volubly of the air, without flying. Such is the way of godless philosophy, always in controversy because ill-founded (Romans 1:17ff.).
A thing of chance then, for the ungodly way ? This is so, if rightly understood: in the sense only that it has no proper supervision and stature, provision and place, being dispossessed of Deity, its Creator. Thus it meets what is not fitting and moves where it is not apt. It may hunger for food, money, praise or gain, comfort or contentment, vengeance or glory, and this the more, and superficially get it; but there is a hollow within, as it has forsaken the actual glory behind life. It may seek such glory illicitly, in proud or spurious efforts to replace the reality; and this is the explanation of much of this world's militant religions. They seek this world. They are intoxicated with illicit desire, and have a lust in the thrust of their desire for glory, where it may not be obtained. Hence violence adds to vileness, and the earth only writhes the more. These religions may be mystically secular or profanely sacred; but the result is in much the same.
The elements of human pathology, without the God of all grace, so far from being inexplicable, would be amazing were they absent! What then of the desire of the abstracted heart ? It may become simply sallow, but it may react into aggressive force. Its ways are unstable.
It may be mortified and flash in anger; but there are no rules for fools (Psalm 14:1), except what they make up. In other words, as Psalm 1 announces, this way is like the chaff which the wind blows. Is it so even for those in simple ignorance of God ? This however is partly a false designation, since there is nothing simple about ignorance of Him as in Romans 1-3! Moreover, while there are degrees of besottedness with nature and false gods, yet a key in an intricate lock is one thing, and many bashes at the keyhole are decidedly another. When the lock is that of God, the key is vital (John14:6). The Maker of life knows with what He deals.
In other words, life without God is subjected to what it is not subject to, in procedure but not in principle; and it is not subject to Him for whom it is subjectible, being His subject; and hence is intrinsically demeaned. It is not that it is absurd, such life, but this way in itself, is a distortion, contortion and abortion of life, and as to pathology, becomes in this indeed, the height of absurdity. That has nothing to do with life as made, and available; but only with life as detachable by will, but not in essence. The very thought of it is absurd. Yet God has made freedom for love to become shove, the free grace towards Him to become the disgrace far from Him, for no good reason.
Some philosophers mistake the disease for what bears it, as if to call leprosy absurd, rather than horrendous disfigurement; and this merely complicates the position, making the sin of man the would-be arbiter of life, instead of the recipient of its necessary cure from the only source capable of it, its Maker.
This entire world, indeed, taken as a pulsing unit, but now with special attention to its major grouping outside the God of creation and salvation, becomes a recipient in principle not only of the pangs of misuse, the agonies of abuse, the contrivances of deceit and the waverings of disappointed ambition, as now this and now the other form of fraud seeks to demonstrate its superiority (as if all students failing, selectively, became Lecturers), but of the institutionalisation of fraud. The UN is a perfect case, mouthing morals from no rational base, selecting what it wants and pretending it relates to reality, not desire. Such froth confuses confusion till it becomes the maestro in charge of the thoughts of many which, had they retained some little common sense, might have done far better; but now are they bewitched by this secondary infection.
More than this, false churches, as so often foretold (cf. Matthew 24, I Timothy 4, II Timothy 3-4, II Peter 2, Revelation 2-3, Jeremiah 23), add a voice of witless authority, taking the word of the living God, like a child taking a nuclear power station, and changing it to taste. This they do often by contradiction, while appealing to the seduced to follow them, where and as it goes, to its own theological destiny amid delirium: man speaking for God without acknowledgement of the imposture (as in II Corinthians 11).
Such is the Emergent Church*2, which would be Protestant and Romanist, Biblical and Liberal, and anything else that some might want, so that in an array of mutual contradictory allegiances, its actual vacuity might have a name! Its name is confusion; and it submerges with the submersible world, a submarine source of subversion. Culture acclaims it; politicians name it; it is convenient, it is a significant step toward the second beast of Revelation 13, the one which decides to make the religious bit a real winner, by planning and providing it formally, officially, and in the end, by compulsion. China has already shown the way in its Three Self Church, its specially protected, State nurtured, atheism-led institution of horror. Here in part is a prototype of what is to be. In the end, what is desired in religion by the authorities stomping in power as their privilege, will be compulsory for all, like other imperial things of the past.
Such a case was that of Imperial Rome, where the Emperor had to be worshipped. The famous case of Polycarp shows just how this works out, the venerable saint in his old age becoming quite willing, in a peaceable and friendly way, to suffer death, rather than worship the Emperor. He in fact declared that he could not so speak against his so faithful Lord whom he had known as such for so long, but that death was perfectly acceptable if so desired by the authors of State law!
It is... as Hitler and Stalin and Mao knew, convenient to have any forms of religion directly controlled, especially if they touch the integrity of the pollution (that is the functional realities of its pollution) of the State. Since man IS religious, coming from God and always needing Him, and the denial of religion is largely what ended the USSR, thus even the limited spiritual intelligence of those who deny the God of creation and salvation, can and will see that you had better ... THIS time ... make it official and controlled.
Many are the ingredients in pain. Much is the cause of sorrow, both for the race and the individual, for societies and their leaders, for the misled and the confused. Great is the suffering for truth, whether in mind or body, society or profession, sawn-off fellowship or insidious, sinuous slander. Vast is the peak of enterprise, for the kingdom of heaven, and soaring the eminences to be taken, as one seeks to effect the will of God with grace, patience and spiritual savour, for the Saviour. These things are in one arena of pain, with glory; but there is that other one. WHat of it ?
The pangs and pains of all of these combinations and permutations of pollution and loud, proud talk, denials of demonstrable reality (as in organic evolution cf. SMR pp.140ff., and above references to naturalism), assertions of demonstrable myth (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth), are of their own kind, sui generis. There are here so many layers of deceit and deception, rejection and irrationalism, irrationally argued for, and against the nature of man, that his nurture becoming disfigurement, his whole civilisation is to become racked with a ruin first of all psychic, then physical, mental, moral, spiritual and its aches like arthritis of the body, will be sudden, variable and complex.
There is nothing in the least difficult to understand in all of this, concerning the nature of suffering, once you see its sources and the misuse of resources, its effects in spreading circles, like ripples in a lake where a stone is thrown, or vortices from suction in the ocean, where a vast liner sinks; but it is most difficult for this world and those of its citizens who are denizens of darkness by design, desire and blindness carefully nurtured (cf. Matthew 13:15ff.), to endure. When they also curse the God whom they bypass, verbally, notionally, psychically or morally, then there is a new type of spiritual cancer, colonising throughout the nations, and it all proceeds, with reminders of judgment even from the merciful God, that it becomes inextricably intermingled with ruin, hatred, boasting, roasting, toasting, hatred, contempt and contemptibility that it writhes like an angry sea. In this, there is no rest.
An informative article on the same is to be found in Israel, My Glory, September-October 2007. This in turn relates to Becoming Conversant With the Emerging Church by D.A. Carson and The Emerging Church by Dan Kimball.
E Secular society
often has, explicitly or implicitly, humanism,
where with time, mankind is a false christ, and amongst other elements,
scientistic distortion becomes part of the work of the false prophet (Revelation 16).
This is wrought not least by a secular trade union of some scientists,
with vast union power to sack, to sever, to sanction duress, to prevent appointment,
to seduce scientific method, till a plain verification NO! is ignored,
and confirmation of creation by contrast is regarded as contaminated
by philosophic penchants in which they regale themselves
(cf. SMR pp. 140ff.). Recently in the USA, one area decided that youth
taught science in Christian High Schools, where creation is included,
would not qualify for tertiary entrance. It is ruthless, unreasonable, transformative,
bypassing truth (see Scientific Method ...).
Meanwhile, the nations tread on each other, deluded, deluding (cf. Matthew 24,
Revelation 13:13-15), till they come to the cresting of the antichrist pimple
(I John 2:18, Revelation 13, 17);
but Christ lifts the heart to its proper place amid heavenly things (Ephesians 2:6),
while for pilgrimage, He is the Rock (I Corinthians10),
which nothing can make to tremble,
beyond all the shores of time,
invulnerable to the oceans,
a fortress amid the deep.
Errors are many; truth is one. Speakers multiply; the One who did it,
at infinite cost, is the ONLY ONE capable,
the ONLY ONE attested, whose word rules the nations,
and who Himself will rule this earth (Rev. 5:9ff., 20:6, Isaiah 11, Psalm 72),
despite their furies and flurries (Psalm 2),
and whose caution addresses their lusts and longings:
"Kiss the Son lest He be angry, and you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him."