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A Voyage in into the Sunset
of Shame ?
or to the Crescendo in Christ
The Australian, February 5, 9, 2006
Tony Blair has questioned, after a period as president of the EU (for 6 months), the EU Constitution or treaty which has after all failed so far because of the Netherlands and France. In the Daily Telegraph, Feb. 3rd, 2006, he is reported as declaring a 'drawback' to the constitution in this, that apart from rules of internal governance, no one knew what it was meant to solve. It seems they want to be very unified, and that all the more, because they don't know where they are going. The drive for more institutional integration, he averred, has become "almost self-perpetuating and certainly self-absorbing".
This might be interpreted to mean that the EU was more concerned with getting a colossus working, one to stay, and one to cover the day, than knowing what it was FOR! After all, as noted earlier, with the efforts to have a 'common destiny' declared in the proposed Constitution, neither is there statement declaring even the religious background to Europe, nor any on its enlightened bases of understanding and motivation, nor on what it seeks to objectify and how, nor concerning its main motif and raison d'être, nor yet on where it plans to arrive.
There is in fact a certain skeletal character to its meaning.
Blair considers further that it had put a "political decision" before getting the economics right.
In fact, the economics is a tremendous focus, and there looms with it a certain sense of rather suppressed glory-seeking, too obscure in definition to dare to be unveiled, like some debutante shy and reserved, before the stage of her later matronage. Indeed, for its own part, economic consideration is one thing that seems rather absorbing, with immense questions of subsidy and national security weighed and balanced together, as in the case of France, which desires some measure of self-sufficiency in food affairs. The integrating Euro drives about, though not credited as yet by Britain. In reality, it is far from economics, what matters ultimately, as in all cases of means. It is the ends, objectives, aims, desiderata, the moral thrust and the visionary awareness that matters.
Indeed, NO ONE with divided mind, with uncertain motivation, unclear objectives, or perhaps even more gravely, implicit subordination of how you will sustain yourself and to what extent to major questions of what you are about and why, is free from confusion. The EU, with premises of means clearer and far more focussed than those of objectives, one cannot expect a whole mind, or life, or short of miracle, a blessed result. Finding roads may be fun, but it is rather otiose when you still lack an idea of where you ought to be!
This is partial living, and it is in this fallacy that the Common Market began, with emphasis on NOT being a super-power and NOT interfering with this and that, but doing what comes naturally in international co-operation in economic affairs. It was a MARKET. It has developed slowly as the NEED to have common defence (so clear) and good economic results (so obvious is the bon mot) has become the REQUIREMENT to have Brussels as a super-functionary issuing orders. A baneful illustration occurred when Britain was told to welcome homosexual persons into the Army, so coming under a PAPACY of kinds, under something rather more than commercial in character (Wake Up World!... Ch. 3 details this). If it bristled as Brussels in this, yet it is ... bound. With such bureaucratic stirring, it is plain that religious questions of the past and the aim for the future are to be subject to subjectivity, an outcome of an uncertain income, as this or that is considered or quashed and so on.
Religion and morals are and always will be vital; decisiveness requires light; and light requires truth and truth is not to be found outside the Lord (cf. SMR). It is thus not surprising that vastly important issues come as add-ons or items, and principles for pursuit come as dreams, or nightmares, not clearly thought out, nor yet ably argued. The common destiny is strong; the means are in view; but the nature of that destiny is undefined.
It is this sort of equivocation, together with confounding confusion resulting from successive waves of attenuation of commitment to the Bible on the part of the Church of England, which has reduced the greatest Empire of modern times, the British, rather more than any wars, to the realm of humble suppliant in the EU. Oh to be sure, it is not so humble at times, but it had so SEEK entry and has had to MEET terms required in many things. It has abandoned its splendid commitment (it was never isolation) and being committed now to what even Blair, no Puritan, sees as vagueness and machinery in the EU, is being towed into a line very different from that of its starry destiny of yore.
Indeed, so low has the standard fallen, in what ought to be a standard bearer and rallying of the trumpet for truth, that the national church is now in crisis in its worldwide connections, because of the grossest of violations of the Biblical morals. It has gone so far that the Archdiocese of Sydney is considering separation, because of effectual permissiveness at work in field of sexual perversion, in various regions of the church, not excluding the pulpit! Not surprisingly in an earlier decadence of testimony, a similar evil appeared notoriously in ancient Israel, when at its lowest - cf. II Kings 23:7.
There was a time, in the days of its greatness, before World War I, when Great Britain, a name for which there was some reason, starting exporting morals in the form of the Boy Scout Movement, with Lord Baden Powell to the fore. It was not a Christian thing in essence, but a derivative in terms of the British insistence on helpfulness, thoughtfulness, kindness to the weak, with courage, character and strength by development, to which was added a certain gregariousness and inter-cultural equipment, which was sent abroad. Britain was exporting fruits of Christ, but not Christ in this way.
That Britishness, which had also many less desirable characteristics, both attracted and repelled many, and for very different reasons. However the relevant point is this: Britain in this, as in more, was becoming the maker of an Englishness, to name one facet, which was to be admirable. It could export a derivative, and rejoice. It could be seen in the British character, don't you know ? And in many ways it might be, but its pride could become a deterrent to the simple expression of a really Christian totality, and its snip, snip, snip from the days and ways of Jesus the Christ, was becoming more and more a practical pastime.
This excision of its very centre, of the whole testimony of Jesus Christ, Britain more and more made, rejoicing the while in its very competence and character, its career and prestige. But in this, the Lord did not rejoice, for He does not when His name is not exalted (Isaiah 22:11). It is simple: HIS is truth and where this is tarnished, or truncated, what is it ? Truncated truth is treason. You cut off the head and the body emphatically is not the same; and the Head is Christ.
This trend with the deviations of the C of E at its very home was so great that even C.S. Lewis referred to the fact that the theological wandering of pastors in that denomination was so substantial that the sheep might have to find another way of being led and fed (and he was no stickler, but deeply devoted to what he saw as essential features). In fact, he put it like this: "Once the layman was anxious to hide the fact that he believed so much les than the Vicar: he now tends to hide the fact that he believes so much more. Missionary to the priests of one's own church is an embarrassing rōle: though I have a horrid feeling that if such mission work is not soon undertaken, the future history of the Church of England is likely to be short."
This is found in Christian Reflections*1 p. 166, and that, it was nearly 40 years ago, a generation! Degeneration flows like a river! Actually, the remedy is dire in character, as seen in Separation 1997.
This decapitation is like the destruction of a nation's capital, and it is no oddity that the financial capital of Britain has fallen so; for if wars deplete, wisdom deals differently with wars, as with the alliance with USSR, one of the greatest immoralities conceivable at the time; for when survival outweighs truth and justice, there is defeat already.
With its vast immigrations, the dilution of whatever Christianity the realm actually exhibited, continued; and though it was good to be non-racially minded, it was a simple fact that the admission of so many with such alien creeds, some addicted to violence, meant that the English voting system would be influenced more and more by the failed idols of ecumenicity, the diffuse deletion of the truth, and the rule of a lawlessness in mind, which has been all too well paralleled by a certain mood of lawlessness in various riots and tensions in recent times, things, which defile liberty with violence.
The US Straying and Saying
Nor is England alone in this. Similarly, the USA is now busy exporting what it deems some of its greatness, in some parallel to the high esteem of Britishness, when it lost its way in this error, before World War I. What a horror it was, to find so many fine young men, who had been nestling in the British Scouting Movement, then consigned with all their valour, courage and ideals to the trenches for 4 years. There is a wisdom in spirit, and in the weighing of words and actions which moves men, mountains and makes for marvels, and while one cannot PREDICT that had England been VERY different in the last century in its spiritual connections with the Bible and its WAYS, those of the Lord, it would be far more powerful now, it is overwhelmingly probable. A few falsetto decisions can make falsity a rule, and a whole cascade of evil waters can come in the result. Righteousness does exalt a nation, and a distinctive trend for this in both the USA in the 19th century (comparatively) and in Britain did exalt those nations, just as their graphs in both dimensions show appalling downward trends, biblically defined, now.
George W. Bush, in his 2006 State of the Union address, something of quintessential proportions in expectation, has made it clear that DEMOCRACY is to be exported, this great thing is to be paid for in its dissemination and insemination into other nations. Vast numbers of billions are needed. This is the course and this is the way. It is so close to the Boy Scout Movement in its RELIGIOUS aspect, that it produces sad thoughts. Is the same error to be made a second time, as in England, so now in the USA! It is not that this is the first such mission in the latter, but it is one most clearly vocalised, and at a time when the USA's treasuries are palpably looking for the end of the road, exhaustion point. It is one thing to produce as the world's biggest economy, but it is another to spend as the world's biggest debtor. The debtor to the creditor, readily servant is! Weakness under strain is predictable; for it is like someone already lifting a weight of 50 kilos, who is SUDDENLY asked to life 100 more.
Both weights may be acceptable, but the sudden addition of the second can be catastrophic.
Let us however return to the words of US President George Bush. In The Australian, February 2, 2006, we read, on his State of the Union address, that he "defended his robust role in international affairs, pledging the US will remain aggressively engaged around the world and reject the temptation to isolationism." We find that he declared, in the reporters' words, "that the US would spread freedom and democracy around the world."
Thus is a derivative, once again as with England, a fruit of Christianity, freedom, exported minus its source which in American history has been a profound, impactive basis in the Bible, in Jesus Christ, not some splinter from His cross. It is one which may be seen in various Presidents, and in the originally often Puritan Churches.
What of the nation now ? Increasingly and more and more belligerently without this, its source, whatever it has been, what is it ? If you are to be FREE to have glee, or to be Moslem and make Iranian statements, or to be atheist, and exclude the Lord's prayer from schools, or New Age, and have New Type morals, as in California where perverted fornication became marriage for a while (biblically defined), or teach folly in educational institutions as if magic became law, and lore truth, as is common practice often reflected in various US law suits concerning the issue in schools: then what is this freedom ?
Are those so afflicted, whether by incurring massive debts in policing the world for grounds that provide no security for any, or the reek of rotting Darwinianism (*2B in Ch. 2 above), or sexual creativeness without being the Creator, are those who tear out truth and emasculate reality to be congratulated on being 'free' ?
It is one thing to be free to learn and choose; it is quite another to be intimidated, indoctrinated and ambushed by those who push their freedom to remove your own. Freedom without truth is like a car without a steering wheel, with the driver sitting prettily on the useless seat.
Freedom that lives and continues as such, is from what spoils the human race and for what makes it beautiful and good and fine; but if not used as becomes man and helps man to become godly, then its rule soon becomes another name for tyranny, as unknown objectives, unhoned understanding and a design divorced from its Designer are conditioned by social constraints to no small degree, and violate the sanctity of life as well as the very force of reason.
Where then is this freedom when and to the extent that its provisions are FORCED by some on others, as frequently occurs! It is done monumentally, and thus on a significant portion not only of the USA, but other nations in the same festering educational condition; and how real is liberty when this is done without REASON, or hope of validation (cf. REASON, REVELATION and the REDEEMER).
It is done educationally by LAW, as in South Australia, by some form of political papacy, peremptorily applied; and when this is so, then freedom is nothing to relish, for it appears as corrupt, irreligious vagrancy, scientistic folly, political paternalism and dictatorship, immune to reason, in a condition not here ready even to debate!
Freedom without morals, principles and truth can become as besotted - a guileful wolf at the throats of man - as any other idol, a tool of deception and a name for betrayal. Do not misunderstand: freedom is a GLORIOUS thing, but ladelling it out to those who lack it, in the midst of their false conceptions, religions, morals and power groups, vying and seeking to seize power, is present in name only. If you export this fruit of Christ, without the Head, you merely provide a power to corrupt, and that at great cost to yourselves. If a Christian nation made another nation to become free to impose by RULE and FORCE, for example, a false prophet's unsustainable ideas (cf. Ch. 2 above), then it is simply misled.
Thus does the USA fail in its mission, and fall in its commitment, and the concept of LIBERTY, so lovely in its shrouds where it allows freedom of religion in a sound State, becomes befouled when it fosters a concept of autonomy by those who are not in fact autonomous, but created. Desecrating their own created state, they create dreams which they then seek to inhabit, leading many with them to the nubilous, as unfounded as air.
It is not that you should be indoctrinated and forced to believe, not this at all, although it is close to the current position in the educational regimes in many States; but rather is it that you should be given licence to differ, to debate, to argue, to present without loss if your standards of thought are correct; and this is not at all so in this State of South Australia. Further, examinations can be set on the basis of outmoded and unsustainable naturalistic hypotheses, and work directed with assumptions treated identical with 'fact', whatever the disclaimers, in practice. In terms of truth, this becomes so abhorrent that students, muzzled and forbidden to discuss such things rationally even out of science, may be compared to those in prison, subjected to torment and forced to take drugs, in this case meretricious substitutes for clear thought.
This is merely one phase of the thing; there are many others, where such assumptions shape even the policy towards war, or commerce or any other thing. Without truth, liberty can be a lasso.
Liberty is good to have, and while the land is not a dictatorship in actual form, there is hope; but without the Lord who made its ways so open, by NOT forcing His ways on people, indeed even allowing His own capture, as part of the sacrificial plan, there is no way. The love which sacrifices, the law which provides, the liberty which permits but does not collapse righteousness into forsaken bundles of rubbish, awaiting dumping, the combination of liberty with love, and love with truth is precisely, in Christ, what has raised these two nations, Britain and the USA. It is now the abuse of liberty into licence, and allowance into autonomy that has come, as it will more and more progressively arrive from these antecedents; and it is this which makes these nations grow small, whether in sustained prestige, power, solvency or attractiveness as examples.
It is this which to no small degree attracts commensurate power; and unrighteousness as abhorrent, while it may seduce some, becomes mere rottenness in the end, as that which decays from its proper state, and leaks its virtue. Indeed, it has done so in such countries in some degree already, for even vastly inhumane Moslem critics are to be found attacking the loose morals to be found in what were once nations of incomparable superiority to the power-drunken, dictatorial, women suppressing, super-stratified and socially cleft countries, or those approaching this paradigm, from which such criticisms now come.
It is as in Deuteronomy 32, when Israel was told that because of their rebellion and folly, a FOOLISH nation would vex them. If you want to live where it is fallen down, then in the ruins find your mates! that is the message. Mock God, and those who were once beyond the pale, will threaten to become your masters. As Hosea put it, Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind!
(see also *8)
God is not mocked, and alas, what was once great is increasingly, and with increasing reason, in both Britain and the USA is becoming subject to mockery and losing might, because it is leaving what is biblically right, something of the utmost impact, both officially and unofficially in those two nations in their long years of often staggering prosperity. Neither was remotely near to perfect, but a certain leaven in a robust fashion was working in many ways and institutions, in many churches, many of which are now in disarray tasting tedious defiling spiritual drugs, which are being taken as if this were the mission, not the savour and strength of Jesus Christ (cf. *5 below). On good Government, the reader may consult Questions and Answers Ch. 7, concerning law, liberty and righteousness, as well as PRIVACY and POLICY Ch. 7 of Journey to God.
Meanwhile, Europe has allowed the USA to wallow, to no small extent, in Afghanistan and Iraq, becoming greater while the USA in its trillions of debt, becomes smaller, eroded, subject to attrition, till the 'great moment' arrives when Europe once more has hegemony, and seems paramount. So it is predicted it will be*2 and such is the current movement.
The jackals are not unobservant, and while
Islamic terrorism is being used to
intimidate on all sides,
al Qaeda pursues its stated
objective*3 of self-aggrandisement for Islam
and free access to do its pleasure on Israel, so that
the hope of the US withdrawing its
aid from Israel, that land which is the slender residue
the Satanic effort, to redraft history and the Middle East, proceeds with exceptional militancy.
It has to be so, for Armageddon, that delight for cartoonist conception, is indeed to come, and the onset and onslaught against Israel does not wander, but will come likewise, as will its cardinal repulse. The OWNER of real estate is ultimately its MAKER, and when HE gives it to someone, even if there be conditions including exile in terms of discipline, but makes it both sure and steadfast, and indicates that HE will manage the restoration and the defence, then it is simply wisdom to observe the facts.
WHO made Palestine ? and this, it is in addition to the simple point that it was GIVEN by MAN, the League of Nations indeed, to ISRAEL, though now the oily idea is to strip it yet more and more of its tiny residue of that land, and to seek some deal on Jerusalem. It is all as it was to be, and the results are as they were to be, and the real cartoon, it is this. It is one of man by multiplied means trying to seduce God into cession of various lands and morals and ways and principles, or else to TAKE THEM ANYWAY.
BUT GOD HAS DECLARED IT
God is very deep, but has already outlined for us His plan, from Calvary to Jerusalem, and has made it most clear. There is no excuse for shutting the eyes as every line and word of it is being fulfilled, before our eyes and those of the ones who saw Christ's day and date*4.
The intention, on the part of many of Islamic persuasion, is evidently to do even more bumptiously than did Suleiman the Great, in placing the Mosque on or about the very site of the Jewish Temple (destroyed by Rome), not merely to sustain this which is atrocity to Israel, in the very midst of its Capital, no not to be satisfied with this, but to gain control of the city itself, once more. Crusades against men may be of doubtful result; but this, it is no longer a matter of the divinely forecast exile of Israel, in which it suffered for so long, without the Prince it crucified, as predicted (cf. SMR Chapter 9).
That part of fulfilled prophecy is past. It comes now to the divinely forecast confrontation with God! In Micah 7, in Ezekiel 38-39, in Romans 11, in Joel 3, in Isaiah 66 you see it (cf. SMR pp. 502 - 519). It is sad. There can be only one result, and the birds of the air, in the final battle itself from all the hostile world set against God, this is seen in Revelation 19. There the birds of the air are actually invited to have a feast on the slain.
Yet long years before the slain are physically expressed as dead bodies, their spirits are slain in countless cases, by diffuse religion, inane morals, polluted principles and straying churches*5 , statistical spirituality and the like, as nation after nation is invaded spiritually, as prelude to the ultimate fall into the hands of the non-benign dictatorship to come, one not subjecting just a part, as was under Hitler the case with Europe, but to cover the globe.
It will come. It may come at first with internalised terrorism, which is not too strong a phrase for the educational invasion current even in parts of this land, supplemented by the macro-media in their witless confusion, such being the case in much of the Western world, with its naturalistic fictions no better than those of the Phoenicians, the Canaanites. Small wonder is it that the modern version of the latter is such a problem, when the parent errors of such ancient idolatries become the current follies of the much of the West!
Such cultural modes and phrases come into vogue, and not only are they indefensible, but efforts to defend them seem less and less necessary, as in this State, where the Department dealing with education has refused debate now on such issues for over a decade! or as in parts of the USA, where 'law' in its court-room coat, inflicts the tyrannies of nonsense on the non-credulous (cf. Wake Up World! Wake Chs. 4-6) . Again the UN aids the process of rot by elevating social sanctions to the skies, from which they assuredly did not fall (cf. Mystery of Iniquity).
Perhaps in time,
Cold War varieties
of psychiatry may be reintroduced,
social service screening applied, and as in
the Child Rights Convention,*6
children brought up in the likeness
of Hitler Youth Camps
holy sites may be commandeered (cf.
II Thessalonians 2, on one reading)
while educational indoctrination reaches even beyond the all but hysterical insistences of the present.
WHEN YOU DO NOT KNOW GOD, and hence where you are going, and are proud of it, and seek autonomy, then there is virtually no limit to the impudence of spiritual insanitation, as polluted waters cover the earth. The growing deterioration of purity in the atmosphere, the seas and the water is merely symptomatic of the depersonalised push for putsch which grows in intensity now, by many regimes, as over half a century ago, but many phases in Germany, where the PLAN was paramount.
If the USSR, which is a vast place - or was, and Hitler's Europe do not convince you, or the adulation to the point of deification of Julius Caesar, which quite possibly led to his death at the hands of people who wanted to Senate to resume its own power, through the deity status accorded to him*7: then perhaps more is needed than the reading of the realms of such impostures. of which these are mere examples.
Perhaps, in that case, the realisation that man without a rudder or pilot, but with social automata as his guide, is going with the current, whatever it is, may help! Man's spiritual status quo as rebel from his Redeemer, in confrontation with his Creator, an abyss where love should be, a pollutant where peace applies, leads naturally to history, its repetitive follies and its ludicrous obsessions. In spirit, for his own spirit is with increasing servitude to custom, abominating actuality, man is a butt for take-over by phantasms of thought, government and ideology. While many find God where He has shown Himself to be readily found, through the Cross of Christ, and His power in the resurrection, attested from earliest times and maintained through constant application in the fulfilments in modern history and modern hearts, yet vast numbers rush like a burst lake down a precipitous mountain valley, to thrust their misled but broken power, into this world.
Dictators result, who manipulate, deceive, direct in proud prodigies which many are willing to receive, being destitute of all else.
Cross-roads are the due time for this, and there has rarely been one so great in world history, as now.
Thus internalised terrorisms of bureaucracy, not so named, quiet social constraints gradually becoming more open, social service screening, and that Moses without God, the UN with its dictions and dicta, directives and inane because baseless dabbllings, pleasant misuses of psychiatry, for the best of reasons for those too under-indoctrinated to submit, the control of culture and so of the masses in increasing degrees, the use of material matters to induce acceptance, the manipulation of fear of dissension in order to gain acceptance for the ruling directors: these things can be used to bring from 'liberty' the very nadir of lawfulness, with decrees and duress the mere means of seeking submission.
It is to come as in Rev. 17, and the sheer terror of terrorism will help greatly the conformism to come, for which the Islamic phase is merely one spur. Little do they know where they are going, or helping to induce; but it is as so often, the bully is bullied, and the concept is used by others upon him.
How EVER a Mao, Hitler, Napoleon, Tojo, Nero, papal Inquisition COULD have tyrannised the earth - with lust for New World gold in the shadows of the last, courtesy of Spain, how such follies COULD have come, seeking such things as the control of its peoples, or their thoughts, or religions, or commerce, as the case was in this or that example, with such vanity sometimes destroying whole civilisations: this is a spur to thought. If you had participated in any such tyrannies, then it would be a bold spur indeed that needled your flank! Such things are an invitation to consider one's ways, in any land.
How such repetitive and often systematic atrocities could so have abounded, falling on man like clouds of Autumn leaves, but with real blood in the colourful features, would be utterly mysterious were it not that detached from his Maker, man is a disconnected hose - rather than a pipeline (cf. John 7:37), and his misplaced worshippings and splutterings, often of himself, simply follow from the loose end on the one hand, and the driving dynamic, dowered to him by God, on the other.
Vulnerable because of vice, man succumbs to rage and rogues alike, to flattery, vanity, pride, frustration, pointless hope always distant, ambition, envy, revenge and inordinate self-will, till he seeks to construct a kingdom, envy of all, second to none, which if it smashes resistance, blatantly bullies, idiotic in a type of spiritual insanity, the powers of God its envious lust and choicest desire.
Stalin came near to actually specifying his deity, expecting 'nature' to obey, per Lysenko, when Class failed. Yet it was not actually so, nor did it come near to being so. Thus man, not being God, is able merely to manipulate the creation a little; and his bankrupt thoughts soon become mirrored, as in the case of the USSR, despite its being predator of Western atomic secrets, captured German scientists and industrial equipment, oppressor of Eastern Europe, with the searingly negative practical results. Thus that USSR vessel was still, with all this added, unable to sail its weird and heartless ship of State.
The sale, per Government, of the Russian soul assuredly gave process to the conquering comrades, enriched by the properties of the forcibly slain - whether speedily by firing squad or slowly with labour extracted, in Siberia; but it was inadequate to keep a cracked and smitten ship afloat.
Meanwhile*8, where freedom is adrift, as in the EU, exposed so well by Blair in one feature, there soon come aspirants for autonomy, control by or with weird philosophies, sexual indictments of design, about as useful as using the same laxity in the care of your car, cancer producing audio equipment becomes popular, because it is CHOSEN and desired. Indoctrinative irrationalisms become more and more mere mantras, while lust meeting neither need nor yet result constraints, helps defile and defraud the nation of its place and grace. Nor yet does it give strength, but as with all licence, it leads to reaction, crasser methods of gaining order, to imposition, and as with any sinking ship, ruined by abuse, the nearer sight of the submarine realm.
Thus in the darkness of witlessness, it can even constrain men to make regulations invented for the soul, by those who do not believe in it, and that even while they use it to deploy and annoy with their insistences. The USSR was certainly not above this, and it was but a temporary preliminary index to what man can do to man, when godless, he seeks to machine the personality and to shape the spirit with blunt fingers and dead heart, abusing psychiatry in the interests of carnal controls.
The vacuum in power, principle, righteousness, virtue, understanding, reliability and probity, successively strengthened by the indoctrinated and the embraced meaninglessness (SMR Ch. 3), lead to a filling with some silly substitute for the Lord. Doubtless some of the Pentecostal excesses are giving ground for review on the part of crowd manipulators, as they ponder their programs (cf. A Question of Gifts).
Man, when destitute of godliness, especially when in rejection of it, he is in full flow of negative passion, in collision with design, at war, declared or otherwise with his Designer, is ready to be drafted by dubious motives, vague aspirations and inoperable fiction, to resume his falls of the past, into the thrall of the coming international version of dictators going before. He is even being so processed by perpetual seeming propaganda in newsprint, in TV naturalistic sermons, in educational institutions from Primary to Tertiary, in political procedures and feints for survival, void of direction and innocent ultimately of any protection, that he may feel he LIKES it at first, when the power proceeds to process him. It is often so, at the first.
Culture like a giant octopus then seeks to embrace the vessel man has constructed for himself, to crush it for its whim, satanically inspired, brilliant in folly, till only Christ the Redeemer can break the bonds.
He who as bound freely in His own phase as 'criminal' in the hands of man, then unbound by the impregnable power of Almighty God, puts all things within bounds of judgment, partial in operation at present, perfect in the Day for it. Then, what is left ? judgment as Paul declares in Romans 1, is according to truth. Indeed, then the name of truth is with inevitability applied, when mercy has been ruthlessly despatched. By what is it despatched ? Biblically, THIS is the condemnation, that in the very face of God's so loving the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, man prefers darkness to light (John 3:16-19). It was not, He assures us, to judge the world that He came, but that it might be saved; and it was, He likewise makes most clear, so that ANY in it might be saved that He came.
By what then in the end is man despatched, where mercy is reviled, disregarded or despised ? It is by the preference for darkness, in the very sight and knowledge of God, past all the quirks of psychology and all the momentary follies that besiege. GOD KNOWS, and He takes whom He may with the restraint of love; and what He takes, loves Him.
When the love of God is not present, how can you find Him, and if you do not find Him, how can you know Him, and if you do not know Him, how can you live, gain direction or know the way ? You become an arm for a manacle - though it be mistaken in spiritually drunken stupour, for a bracelet; you appear as an axiom for application, an exemplification of ruin, a walking death and a subject for control, if not yet by dictators, then by ignorance and delusion, dual directors of misspent life.
The nations, reaching at last the epic nadir of their growth, come out rather similarly, and in their vast and coming assault on the Lord (Revelation 19:19), they remind us, by that very figure, of the date on which there was death by physical viruses, following Word War I, reputedly greater than that caused by the war itself! It is a sobering date, 1919, and a sobering scripture! In fact, the use of war for pride or vanity, with whatever noble additives, becomes in the end, the death throes of the fallen, witless of their woes in their delusions, or partly realising, and this war is not temporary or temporal, but reaches into the realm of eternity. As the curtain falls on the grand scheme of things terrestrial and celestial that we have known, it is with focus on the stark contrast of follies innumerable and love incomparable, in Christ. These, going opposite ways, now arrive at the terminus with truth empowered past all trial, not to force religion, but to exhibit its results.
Then all is declared.
Piracy with its privations is as common as sand, for the ships of the Creator's first and fallen fleet, all damaged by the explosion on the first (Romans 5:1-17). Of this test, this liberty, this access to thought and will, there is an end: and that ? it is to illustrate the nature of freedom, the beauty of truth, the magnificence of the divine holiness for those who find it, and the fires of devastation which end all sailing awry, since for such there is then no wind to sustain, empower, or bring lightness and joy, anymore.
The shipping lanes of God are lovely, and those who go down to the seas of life in these indeed see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the depths of history, the uttermost reaches of their spirits and the expanses of their souls.
If you follow these, your ship
renewed (Titus 3:3-5), hull careened: then Bon Voyage! ah yes,
Bon Voyage in Christ.
C.S. Lewis characterises himself as 'one bleating layman' concerned at the fall in the Church. This is detailed in SMR Ch. 8, *14, as follows.
C.S. Lewis, famed Christian Professor at Cambridge University who played a very important role in England in his field, during and after World War II, one of the greatest writers of this century indeed, was in the Church of England and said:
Once the layman (i.e. the non-clergyman) was anxious to hide the fact he believed so much less than the Vicar: he now tends to hide the fact he believes so much more. Missionary to the priests of one's own church is an embarrassing role; though I have a horrid feeling that if such missions work is not soon undertaken the future history of the Church of England is likely to be short.
This statement, in Christian Reflections p. 166, epitomises a trend. In its setting, it is one more vigorous verification of the word of God (cf. pp. 699 ff. infra) concerning the falsity, fraud, departure from sound doctrine foretold for the period when the return of Christ is impending, and that in the milieu of a whole pattern of events, as traced in detail both in SMR Ch. 8 and in Answers to Questions Ch. 5, for example. .
See also *5 below.
Re the background for the prophecies and the movements of Europe towards their certain fulfilment, see:
His Wounds Ch. 3, *7, Three Anzas ... Ch. 2, Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 4
Now they are to draw "inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe": this is to be found in one version of the EU Constitution draft (see His Wounds ... Ch. 3). The vacuum to meaning, motive and direction is phraseologically secure. On the underlying humanism, see Christ, the Cumulative and the Culmination Ch. 4. This, with the background of the 'mysterious' (see Kant in Predestination and Freewill Section IV, and in SMR Ch. 5) becomes a perfect ground for the crop of man's declaration, via the antichrist, that he is God! (II Thess. 2). Europe is being formed for the day as if an embryo in the 7th month, already. See on the biblical background, also, SMR pp. 886ff, Highway of Holiness Ch. 10, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 9.
Which is more offensive, to expose the terrorist approach of many Muslims, who with great verve are bent on mass killings and gloating about it, in the name of Allah, and even giving TV pictures of such things, and that not without Koran backing for some elements of it (SMR pp. 50ff., 91, 1186A, Divine Agenda Ch. 6, Lord of Life Ch. 3, Ch. 8), Ch. 2 above, *11A, or saying BEFORE ISRAEL DIES, IT MUST BE HUMILIATED!
As to the need for humiliation of a nation which has shown rather rare tolerance of a dismally disruptive internal foe, in a sawn-off residue of the land internationally appointed for them, as well of course as divinely set by the One who MAKES land (there is no other in principle at all in the business, cf. Galloping Events Ch. 4): this is supposedly one of those little insults which are so slight compared with the references to a prophet whose use of force was most considerable, both in his lifetime founding of the religion, and in his writings. If the one may perhaps be in mode rather offensive, though a challenge to many, then the other is vastly and grossly insulting, inveterately hateful and notoriously gross. This is a war, now with words, by which gross distortions are being used, and 'offence' is given in monumental proportions, and then objected to on the basis of an interpretation.
Again, as is pointed out by Mark Day, in The Australian, Feb. 9, p. 20, "Comparisons, sometimes odious, have been made, one of the most frequent asking how people who slit the throats of hostages on live television can be offended by a *** drawing." The words omitted as indicated by ***, mean: of slight kind, relative to the other, incomparably less in seriousness. He adds that the real issues for editors are various, the need to know being one. "Unless," he says, "your own readers can see the depictions, they must take on trust others' judgment." The public's right to know is another editorial point, for him. He allows that some say it is not necessary to see pornographic images in order to see the point, but he feels one must see something to attest what is going on.
At all events, judgment needs facts, and one must find out just how far the necessity is pushed by the responsibilities of those who need to know. It is true, assuredly, that propaganda can be based on the ignorance of some, as others pour out words to build up a picture, which may be very different from that actually depicted, whether by way of cartoon or other alleged offence.
IF, however, Al Jazeera can show horror and hauteur, provocation involving blood, and threats, on the behalf of some terrorist organisation, one wonders how such incitations can be legal. It is in this operating as an intermediary, and it does not seem in the least necessary to know the precise facial image of someone having his throat cut, in order to realise that it was done. Perhaps a judge would need to see it, when sentencing the culprit; but that is a special case. If the messages of force challenge were not published by such a station, they would undoubtedly loose something of their air-wave standing. It is assuredly helping violence so to publish. There is no need to know what does not occur, or to help the occurrence of what is vile, violent and accustomed to woeful depravity of means used.
Certainly all reference to ONLY ALLAH, whether in prayer call or elsewhere can be called 'offensive', and all clamour about Israel no less, if we are to take as the rôle-model, the cartoon. Yet this is to stifle speech, blacken the basis of reason and regulate religion by fear or law, instead of allowing it to offend by physical violence, or incitation to it, if it must, and THEN taking restraining action. Both actions noted make it clear that there is cordial disapproval. However, to remove liberty of expression in the interests of avoiding someone's knife or gun, is somewhat less than human, and sacrifices truth itself to the oppressor. Wherever a force cult rules, whether it be an Islamic version or a Nazi one, truth is cast into the chaff-cutter, and where that happens man is not only debased, but in the most labyrinthine toils, for without truth, he is but a remnant, a residue, a force potential, for its manipulation.
That is why it is so wonderful that in the dispensation of the divine providence, Christ CANNOT be taken from anyone, since the Holy Spirit has sealed for ever those who are His. A heart may be removed in such a case; but not God. Yet many do not know Him. God has His ways, and nothing alters them.
To foster the use of force in these ways is undoubtedly indefensible, as in the case of Al Jazeera, just as building a Mosque near or at the Jewish Temple site undoubtedly leaves all comparison left not only for dead, but in the rotting stages of disintegration. To put a RELIGIOUS site on TOP of a famous and national temple site, in the land chosen for that religion, is as infamous as it gets. Even then, however, it was an unfeeling, insensitive and declarative act; and as such, it deserves what it got, the take-over of the whole city by Israel. If you are looking at power, that was it. If you want to remove such power from Israel, that is most offensive of all, and is the burden of guilt hanging over the Madrid Quartet, unless they stop their ultimately offensive operations to crush not the feelings, but the integrity of Israel, already near to indefensible in its many truncations.
To do that however, you have to resist God, and this is predicted to come to the point of confrontation. When mere force is the issue, He has it. It is that truth be displayed, that He does not use it continually; yet it is enough to show, if you are willing to go, on the divine voyage, where offence is constant, and persecution to be expected. It is not to the point to complain; the truth does not shudder because someone would make of a man a point of application for an axe.
See Lord of Life Ch. 8, *1.
On prediction of the date of Christ's death, a fitting tribute to the realm of God on earth on sacrificial splendour bent, to redeem: see Highway of Holiness Ch. 4. On the scope of these prophecies, see Bible in index, prophecy in SMR Index, and in particular, SMR Chs. 8 and 9, especially, pp. 936ff., 973A, preferably with 931ff., together with Joyful Jottings 22-25.
See Things Old
and New Chs. 9, 10, Epilogue and Appendix,
News 100, Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 8, News 121, 122.
Here the work, Mystery of Iniquity is a source for the reader. From it, there is taken this citation, concerning the Child Rights Convention, the standing and status of which in this country is traced in that chapter.
The aweful knowledge of the State operates here.
Article 9 - this tells us that... "States Parties shall respect the right of the child not to be separated from his or her parents against their will, except when competent authorities ... determine... that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child."
Now as to those "best interests", we have from this grand and cheerfully instructive international body, more advice. The child, and of course, it is obvious... shall " be brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity."
Solidarity ? With what ? Why, but of course... with the United Nations, with that one earth which the forces which do not care to introduce God, prefer to have instead. Thus we shall see later, in the Declaration on the Elimination of ... Discrimination Based on Religion..., there is a necessity that the child be reared in "universal brotherhood", within the confines of concepts of world peace, and contrary views are simply "inadmissible".
Running God's earth however in His absence, and His children without Him, on principles where He somehow does not appear, is Biblically by definition, antichristian.
It is also simply a drastic, mindless, unsourced spiritual dictatorship. If one has eyes that are open, there are not lacking preliminary procedures for what is to come, going back not only decades, but in the broader sweep as shown in this our current chapter, a century!
It appears that there was an enormous thrust of popularity in the life of Caesar, with many of the people, such acts as his refusal of the crown, being attestation of his reliability, many might have thought.
The movement on from this splashed significantly into the blood of his assassination.
It is attested that in 42 BC, Caesar was formally deified as "the Divine Julius" (Divus Iulius), and Caesar Augustus henceforth became Divi filius ("Son of God").
The Romans were always playing with what the Bible presented in reality, and had done for nearly a thousand years before this (cf. Joyful Jottings 22 - 25), just as Egypt was playing with the resurrection, with their 'god' Osiris, supposedly cut into 14 parts (cf. Machen, The Origin of Paul's Religion, p. 231ff., citing from Plutarch's treatise, 'Concerning Isis and Osiris'). These, we are told, had to be rescued by Isis, a 'resurrection' of some kind ostensibly occurring in each new ceremony, as if mimicking the seasons, or implementing implanted hopes of eternity, never far from man, except when cynicism or spiritual realism about his fallen state, takes possession, without the solution found.
However, just as there is the urge and surge, based on the reality of what is in fact available, but foregone by obsessive desires to depart, to find gods, or even a god, and to find something there as if hope made availability: so there is the equally obsessive thrust to avoid anything too real, too concrete, too observable, too impactive on one's life. Man desires to be an observer and patron, rather than subject; or else, by a more severe mutation from reality, seeks to cast himself in at least symbolic subjection at the feet of obvious follies, as ludicrous for conception as worshipping a fountain pen, a clear crafting of his own fingers, or in terms of his own foolish imagination, never verified or even verifiable, from 'Nature' in organic evolutionism, in essence all one, crafted from imagination or hand, mere creations uplifted (cf. Isaiah 2:8-22).
With Caesar, this urge found outlet, and it is significant that Emperor worship, which evidently grew out of this, became a major scourge for the Christians. These, blessed of the Lord, finding and knowing God, the God who acts, not an imagination of symbols but the Maker of substance, Him who created imagination and made fact, the God not of repetition but of single and singular incarnation, attested the verified truth. Thus they came into collision with the symbols, fables, myths and religions made to custom desire, of the pagans, just as Christians do today, and must in a world whose 'prince' has nothing in Christ, is blinded by vainglory and is none other than the devil, moving with and through his various and varied partners in rebellion. It is BECAUSE this world is in this mode, overall and in the thrust of its government, that man also partakes of the same mould, rebelling one against the other, seeking independence on all sides, mocking at justice, seeking the deployment of power. It is a spiritual pathology which beginning in the spirit, lets out a flood of blood.
In the course of this rebellion, man seeks various stabilities, often choosing what will give by authority some semblance of order - except for those blessed times when he actually turns to seek the Lord, whose authority is the source of the very order of his physical, mental and spiritual being, who in assuming Lordship, therefore gives liberty. Not so is the misuse of imitations, fraudulent pre-occupations of flesh founded in fancy.
It is thus of interest to trace a little, the deification (the term meant not so very much to many) of Caesar. Suetonius, in his De Vita Caesarum, declares that he died in the fifty-sixth year of his age, and was numbered among the gods, not only by a formal decree, but also in the conviction of the common people.fwas placed in the temple of Quirinus with the inscription To the Invincible God. Since Quirinus was the deified likeness of the city and
It is further declared that the month of July was named after Caesar and his statue was placed in the temple of Quirinus.
There seems to have been such a thrust to honour his remarkable talents, theoretical and practical, diplomatic and military, organisational and as a speaker and writer, that the idea of limits was at times far from the thought of most, outside his enemies, who gathered like storm clouds, long brewing, deepening their colours as time passed, until the daggers of murderous desire passed multiply into his flesh. The pathos of his betrayal formed a vivid contrast to the power of the extraordinarily gifted man.
That such ludicrous actions in initially exalting him COULD be taken is important; and that they were, near the outset of the Age in Christ, taken in Rome, is yet more so. It was that same Rome, the Roman Empire which was to destroy Jerusalem and the temple in particular, so fulfilling the words of Daniel 9 and Christ as shown in Matthew 24:1ff., Luke 19:42ff., words of the utmost pathos. What need had they when they killed the Lord to whom their worship was in fact directed (cf. Isaiah 48:16), Him who is the ONLY SAVIOUR (Isaiah 43:10-11, 53), to have a temple ? To what then would it be directed, since its Lord was so loved as to be assassinated by cruel, illegal and ostensibly lawful device!
Man acts; yet judgment sits, and though a WHOLE GENERATION had opportunity to repent, from around AD 30 to AD 70, when at last, after a generation, the devastation came, yet the nation did not turn to their own Messiah even then, though many individual Jews, numbering many thousands, turned to present Christ to the world, with great power and address.
Yet Rome too awaited its own time of judgment, in 410 A.D., with many blood-lettings before its fall. Its adulation, adoration and the resulting assassination of Julius Caesar was but one, though one very significant facet of this idolatry of man.
For such a large Empire, of such force, civil development and power, with such talent and capacity, to act in this preposterous way, even before its obvious decadence, indeed during its fastest outreaches of new power in Caesar's day, gives a sound and resounding warning, of which modern examples as cited in this Chapter, are echoes in our own times. Though they be echoes, yet are they growing ones, as if thunder were constantly growing more imposing and adjacent. Europe as we have been detailing in various chapters (cf. *2 above), scarcely knows what god to look to, being intent on avoiding the acknowledgement of the true one, and reminds one greatly of the day of Julius Caesar. It will find him: the word of God makes that very clear. On this, see *2, as noted, with THE MOON SOON, with its sequel, JOURNEY TO GOD OR FANTASY'S FLIGHT TO THE INFERNAL, with SMR pp. 886ff., 957ff., 750Bff., 505ff..
Man is keen to make creations into gods, especially keen to sublimate instincts from his created state into institutions, creations of a creature, himself, as if to mimic the authority and sublimity of his Creator, a virtual mockery. Thus is he prone to almost every folly, vulnerable to nearly any imposition in the process. Without the living God, his Author, he is like a chapter seeking a book to live in, and he chooses all but anything, in his wild concerns, and useless rebellions from the obtrusively obvious reality of the Bible and its Christ (SMR, Reason, Revelation and the Redeemer, The gods of naturalism have no go! ).
It is only when the vulnerability meets its ground, man's actual creation, and he finds his actual and verified Creator, whose word commands actual history, and whose actions are attested within it, in singular particularity, its systems of revelation and explanation both growing and yet unified in the most intimate fashion, and this over millenia, that he looks up to his straight path and spiritual destiny. For the end, always look to the beginning! It is indeed when he following this word (cf. Johhn 5:39ff.), and ceases merely regarding it as a book, a dead thing, but sees it as a guide from the Father of glory to Himself, and therefore receives God, through the specialised realities of Jesus Christ, His eternal Word made flesh, that he is even made presentable to God, his sin covered by God his Saviour.
Fulfilment of all in the Bible concerning salvation, all that went before to the letter, is accomplished in this same Christ, and it is only when the wounds of Christ are realised as the payment for man's sin, His death the cover, His resurrection the exhibit, that man's own wounds begin to close, rationality begins to return, and opportunity for spiritual stability, and truth, are restored. Without this, his instability is proverbial, his vileness wedded to violence, his reason in recess because of rebellion, and his world more and more like a half-chewed steak. As to man without God, how his molars grind, and his madness increases with time's provisions, a spiritual madness like that of divorcees in court.
Without this stability and spiritual restoration in Christ, man is liable for every take-over, prone for every imposture, ludicrous in his submissions as in his aggressions, unstable, unbalanced, and never more so than when exalted beyond the clouds, by his dreams, as with Caesar, and as with the other modern dictators, with their carefully cultivated pretences to match pretension.
Hence, the Biblical picture is verified in man's vulnerability empirically, in principle, and in history; and it explains not only why man can be so clever, and yet so abysmally foolish in religion, but also how it is that he ruins himself repeatedly with religions of force, when faith has nothing to do with it, so that only when judgment comes is reality exposed by such means: judgment itself a conclusion, and not a method of selection.
Man debases himself to the dust, contradicts and contravenes his remarkable gifts, and throws away life as if it were an oddity, while conscious of his awesome opportunities, and denying them in wilting and wild follies, exhausting, evasive in manner, unverified in reason, impossible in validity and eccentric in kind (cf. Chapter 2, above, *2B).
What would you expect of the journey of a car with a dozing driver, forgetful of the purpose of the car, the road and the commission that provided him with either! What you would expect, in this case, to be sure, it is precisely what you find. Thus does the word of God verify itself on all sides, for as soon as you look, you see the thing in concrete terms, growing like a mountain.
The point here, then, is cardinally that what is coming is greatly exemplified in the recent and distant past, is so in the case of Rome, whose empire by Daniel is shown to be the site of the last one (cf. SMR pp. 886ff, Highway of Holiness Ch. 10, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 9), and that the submission in some kind of fealty to man's wisdom as a creature, when in the realm of his Maker, is a thing predicted, a direct result of his rebelliousness against his Maker, and is looming as in detail each prophecy leading to this unexalted end, of inebriated unspirituality, approaches like a bushfire. Caesar was placed in the temple of Quirinus with the inscription To the Invincible God. Since Quirinus was the deified likeness of the city and its founder and first king, Romulus, this act identified Caesar not only on equal terms with the gods, but with the ancient kings as well. In yet more sr, Caesar had coins minted bearing his likeness. This was the first time in Roman history that a living Roman was featured on a coin, clearly placing him ave the Roman state, and tradition.
*8 EXCURSION ON TIME and THE TIMES
Time is crucial, says one physicist, to understanding.
In fact, it does have inherent in it, one phase of creation which is crucial. It is this. Life is not a platform, as some mistakenly imagine, on which nothing is placed. The platform is for performance, and is the result of a performance, called creation, and it is not available for useful manipulation, except in the attenuation of the curse, which however, being for continual sin, is no more remediable than man's other equipment in the benignity of creation, his brain or his brawn or his spirit.
Cardinally, it is man who is to perform on the platform of life, life in the flesh, whose mind is given scope, whose spirit power to estimate, analyse, navigate, conceive and orient. In succumbing to illusion, man seeks to avoid the realilty; but it will not avoid him. There is an old adage, Time is money and money is time, and don't you be forgetting it!
More to the point, Time is opportunity, and opportunity is in time, and don't you be forgetting it. It is opportunity to find or to be blind to, God Himself; and if eyes are opened, to serve Him with vigour and relish, as a companion vastly honoured, allowed to have Him as friend, tutor, counsellor and the power of one's very life. It is channeled as are our blood, nervous construction, thoughts into rationality or other. There is a right and a wrong, and a narrow approach to the actuality required, so narrow that the Cross confines it, while infinity has found there, the so clear point of contact (Galatians 6:14). But time ? it is time in which there is much to do, for man.
In this world, then, that creation of and for the temporal, the passing, with whatever scope each part is given: there is process, and this takes time. The two of these, in this world of creation, which permits desecration but does not call for it, a desecration which permits the passion of love of the Creator in redemption, but does not deserve it: they are wedded except for the affairs of God.
Thus miracle can occur without due process, in the natural sense, simply because 'nature' like a book written, can be written over without the slightest systematic difficulty, just as you can replace a part in your car, or 'write over' a file on a disk.
This does not disrupt engineering science, but intrudes action from a purposive, intelligent agent, called man, into its midst, by using a pre-prepared item in replacement of a gradually wearing one. It is a simple option. So is miracle for God; and as a Christian, one must say this, that without miracle, one would find life incredibly different, for many times the naturally 'impossible' becomes not merely possible but actual in answer to prayer, or by the sheer unwarranted but delightful grace of the living and active God. He is NOT making new developments in kinds of design, but old ones are departing at a rate of knots, as Gould indicates so insistently (cf. Wake Up World! ... Ch. 6).
It is worth recalling from that Chapter:
Gould is comparatively spectacular in this group in this, that in his book, WONDERFUL LIFE, he makes so many ironic, dyspeptic, alien or alienated references to the Almighty or to believing in Him, like some psychiatrist on a trip in some reductionist glamour chariot, that it is apparent he is both considerably exposed to and exceedingly negative towards the Biblical and actual God of creation (cf. That Magnificent Rock Ch.1).
His name is bandied about with an ease and assurance, as if that of a septic scepticism, where the wry look, the angry tone and the aroused psyche come to be anticipated.
In this, the case, in the spiritual sense, may well relate to the words of Jesus, who covered this field with such precision and penetration that none has ever been able to show any fault in His words, as in His deeds, be they alienated or not:
- Hearing you will hear
and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see
and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn
So that I should heal them (Matthew -15).
Confusing basic issues, he sallies in philosophy with the panache of an emperor, into religion with the disdain of a mocker, long habituated and utterly detesting all the sound of it, and with the efficiency in this domain, of a sophomore of particular self-assurance. The result is certainly comic; but it has pathos as well, and much of this.
Pivotal to his position is his creed, as clear as that of a church, but not soundly related to logic or empirical grounds, as properly is that of a Church; and likewise his philosophy, of which little may be said in way of congratulation.
Let us consider the case, since Gould undoubtedly is rich in providing data, as well as fearless in pronunciamentos, thus exposing some of the nerves of evolution; while as reluctant as most, in following things to their formally required logical conclusion. To prevent any misunderstanding, it seems necessary therefore to add a note on this development, in a slightly broader perspective.
which appears in Gould's Wonderful Life
The CONTRA-INDICATIONS. Some of these "difficulties" he notes, some vividly! These lead on to the pronunciamento phase to follow.
These appear in *2, Ch. 5, above, but to these we may add.
1. There was in the Burgess shale a phenomenon low down in Cambrian, which was so vast in scope and variety that:
there are found remains of 15-20 organisms so different from ONE ANOTHER and from anything now known to to be living, that "EACH OUGHT TO RANK AS A SEPARATE PHYLUM" (op. cit. p.99).
2. This tallies with his statement that "INSTEAD OF A NARROW BEGINNING AND A CONSTANTLY EXPANDING UPWARD RANGE, MULTICELLULAR LIFE REACHES ITS MAXIMAL SCOPE AT THE START, WHILE LATER DECIMATION LEAVES ONLY A FEW SURVIVING DESIGNS" - op.cit. p. 233.
HOW, he asks, presuming to do so "in heaven's name" - seemingly in the grip of growing frustration and desperation, like that of Nilsson and Paul Davies in his nothing approach (certainly radical, even if radically irrational)
· "HOW ... COULD SUCH DISPARITY ARISE SO QUICKLY"*1A (op.cit. p. 227). The Burgess time provided what he calls a "Burgess maximum in organic disparity" (loc.cit.). The Chinese fossil case cited is reputedly similar (p. 226). "HOW," he continues, "IN HEAVEN'S NAME COULD SUCH DISPARITY ARISE IN THE FIRST PLACE, WHATEVER THE LATER FORTUNES OF ITS EXEMPLARS?" (Cf. Questions and Answers 2, End-note 1.)
· It is of course far easier to go to heaven in word, than in fact; just as it is far easier to have continuity in nature through the power of phrases, than in the power of evident construction.
The intense and literally immense irony is this: that while Gould's words invoke a heaven of whose power no indication in his words appears that he is aware, in the antics or cavortings of his desperation, it is precisely where he invokes this name, that the answer he seeks is not only present: it is blatantly so. However, how many, how often are themselves amazed in due course, at what they did not see, and as we shall see in our Chapter 7 to follow: the sense of irony is not lost on God ! (as in Proverbs 1, 8).
3. He rightly sees that survival does not presuppose by any means, superiority of design (p. 238).
"But we have no evidence that the winners enjoyed adaptive superiority, or that contemporary handicapper could have designated the survivors. All that we have learned from the finest and most detailed anatomical monographs in twentieth-century paleontology portrays the Burgess losers as adequately specialized and eminently capable" - p. 239. "But if we examine the Burgess fauna honestly we have no evidence - not a shred - that the losers in the great decimation were systematically inferior in adaptive design to those that survived." Anyone, he cries, can invent a plausible story after the fact.
This adds to the consideration that terminating the life on this earth of this or that creation is not going to create, and is merely a maintenance phenomenon.
Time unfolds, but it does not create. Give me time, and I may write and create, but it is not time, but I who do the creating, as an author. Give a moron time and he will perform, at his own level, what he is good at, if he so desires. Give what lacks intelligence, imagination and discernment, conceptual ability and concocting skills, anything you like, and it will be what it is - and time will merely wither it, if it is vulnerable to process, as in the end all creation is except and unless it is granted a pass to eternity by Him who inhabits it, through the glorious grace of the Gospel.
Of course, this is one category of miracle, but it is an integumental one, in which not a process but a person is subjected to intrusion. God does not intrude, in the last analysis, into the personal aspect, made in His image; but acts when love finds it target and grace abounding, reaches the site concerned. It is in HIS knowledge, indeed scripturally, His foreknowledge that this is wrought (Ephesians 1:4, Revelation 13:8, Romans 8:29ff.); and in time, it is done.
Time for the re-creation of a sinner into a child of God can be all but irrelevant, as in any replacement operation by overwhelming skill; and where infinite skill is involved, what must be said of the regeneration of a member of the human race into a member of the family of God, a returnee to the domains of the lovingkindness of the Creator instead of a stickler for the domains of sin, be this in the realm of pride or self-indulgence ? It is this: this action, this regeneration can be virtually instantaneous.
Again, while MAINTENANCE is the observable and empirically attested phase of creation now in force, as the Bible (Genesis 2:1ff., Hebrews 1:3, 11:3, 4:3ff., Revelation 4:11) and the eyes alike attest (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!), the GROWTH in grace and knowledge of God in any new member of the family of God is a matter of similarly supernatural operation. It is like the growth of an oak; for while it grows old, as it ages, it grows; and in its prime it may be near to sublime as a creation, through the provision of its peculiar artistry, that of strength of bole and branch, and delicacy of tassels in the Spring. This growth in grace in the children of God occurs IN time, but is no requisition of time!
It is a provision of and from the divine grace, which is what is not WARRANTED but granted by kindness. God IS kind to His children, not as a comfort provider for indolence, but as a wonder worker for obedience (Acts 5:31), and a Father who tenderly restores to more grace, when in the weakness of a moment, in frustration or folly, one errs.
Time also works politically, nationally and internationally. In time, the new hegemony of Europe is coming (cf. *2 above). Thus we read in The Australian, p, 11, February 5, that Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, has uttered some rather more than crisp words. They are annuniciatory and denunciatory, and moreover, not without cause!
A mistake was made with Hitler, she avers, and it is not one to be repeated with Iran. His gobbling presumptions were not soon met and much was the suffering. This is NOT to be repeated, this dalliance, this delay.
The Australian reports that she "issued a blunt warning to Mr Ahmadinejad" who called for the excision of Israel from the map. In the early days, for comparison, she recalls, National Socialism in Germany had arresting elements, but people tended to say, 'Don't get excited. It is only rhetoric.' The reality of the case was not so then, and now, she pursues her topic, is not a time for being similarly gulled.
Referring to the excision idea concerning Israel, voiced by the Iranian President, she startling but correctly stated that "Iran has blatantly crossed the red line."
She continued (bold added),
"I say it as a German chancellor. A president who questions Israel's right to exist, a president who denies the Holocaust, cannot expect to receive any tolerance from Germany."
These are some of the most tellingly non-diplomatic words for some time from such an authority, and their lack of deviousness is somewhat refreshing.
In this, to our present point, we note the movement of human action in time. It is in time that Europe is growing more robust and more declarative, no longer the residue of rubble from bombings on Hitler's account, a feature that can linger in the memory. The grandiose ideas, ludicrous in logic, folly in fashion, that Hitler sold to the German people, hard enough and long enough to get the power to overwhelm opinions to the contrary, is not so soon forgotten.
As Iran seeks to assemble the means of power, in its atomic vagaries, with who but the Lord knows what contrivances and with which countries at hand, to accelerate things now, and in times to come, while its President is making such verbal blasts as an earnest of things to come, it has then been met by a robust speaker from Germany. If the President of Iran has detonated his speech on Israel, then the Chancellor of Germany has ignited her rocket in reply. It passes quite close to the nose of the aircraft which carries the Iranian speech.
Germany in particular, and the EU in general, is beginning anew, to come of age. Since this process of maturing and growing power in that bloc is biblically predicted for this phase of the Church Age, as it nears its end ((cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), it is important to realise its significance. As to the near ultimate phase of our Age, this is readily perceived by a simple empirical comparison of what is HAPPENING OVER TIME, in the last 50 years or so, and what was PREDICATED for occurrence IN TIME, before the Lord's return to rule as the President of this World, and its Ruler.
Hence it has now a heightened as well as always, a high significance.
If Germany arose last time, following World War I, after Versailles' humiliation of its greatness, it is Europe this time in World War II, which has been devastated. It begins to arise. There nothing palpably wrong in the gallant and timely statement of the German Chancellor; it is just that in the EU setting, in the Brussels dominion and the growing structure of European Parliament, its Galileo equipment in the skies (Cascade ... Ch. 12), its airbus growth into a real force in the skies, its new Constitution, its 'common destiny' which so features and its moral objectives which do not so readily appear: in all of this and much more like it, you have a vast domain arising from the depths of devastation so visible in 1945, and so continuing in so much of it, till the early 1990s.
It had to happen; it is happening. It is not at all the mere platitude that coming events cast their shadows before (or behind) them. It is that biblical events, where the Lord is moving things INSIDE time to the TIMELESS certainties of His own word, which eventually controls time, are showing a growing merging into the history of this material world, in this final phase of preparation for the return of Christ. In this, one rejoices. In the hope for those in Europe, as in Iran, to be delivered, individual by individual, from the next gross collusion of power, in this very site, one prays.
Each soul, each person, each one can be seen as in a battle, increasingly drawing near as the dust of endless seeming conflicts throughout this world is tossed about in a host of regions, to a vast battle to come. For the deliverance of many, one seeks, as for children in a car, obviously on the road for impact by the manner of its driving and the objectives of its mission.
Who cannot lament for the furious follies of man, in the absence of God. It is not at all that it is ungodly for Germany to warn Iran. It is just that this is a part of the phasing of things for an EU which will speak with growing authority. It is important for each who reads to find the Lord IN TIME, for time is for a purpose, and His action INTO time, in redeeming now this, now that person, as the vast structure of freedoms and their attendant follies is raised, is still available. Always timely is the time for repentance, and restoration to the family of God, in the appointed Mediator, who BEING God, is direct access to His pastures, presence and provisions (I Timothy 3:16, John 10:9,27-28, Philippians 2, Ephesians 2).
He also being Judge, is awaited with more than the interest once lodged in Nuremberg: these trials never miss in aptitude, and their negative result is available only where mercy is forsaken, and so the Cross for pardon is ignored (John 3:19, Colossians 1:19ff.). It IS however available, and those who vaunt in the flesh may look forward with no small expectation to the demise in its time, of what was always untimely.
Thus, in SMR pp. 882ff. (slightly adapted to our present purpose), we have the following account.
There is entertaining 'profundity' put forth about time. It is seemingly a chronic human desire to escape it. Even in the domain of the physicists, there seems to be an inclination quite often to ignore the difference and divergence between various ways of finding, detecting, relating to time, and the process itself; just as visually, it is often easy to allow optical illusions to distort the reality to which one's visual capacity is ostensibly referring. Here reference to Professor Poor (pp. 414-415 supra) is a useful counter to ballooning time concepts.
Time is quite simply not a sort of computer-style reversible option - by any human means. (Cf. pp. 1202-1203 infra.) It is mere futility to speak of going back in time in any other sense than this: that one may find evidences of what happened at such and such a time, conveyed by various glorious or inglorious means, directly, indirectly, subtly, measurably, putatively, disputatiously and so on. One's memory can do much the same, in its own psychic depths. Only God is in Himself able to supersede time; His creation may receive what He will as HE uses His power to bring back to it, the realities of past time: as at the Judgment.
That too will come in its time: as He appoints it. Time then is a process, or its measurement: not a continuum. God planted process and process takes time. The continuity is one of action, not of manipulation, that is to say. It is not autonomous, nor is man, despite his desires to divorce process, contingent itself upon creation, from its place in time. Time like man, who has been given it, is a creature, not a king; and this we have considered in its place.
All that is necessary in science to show the contrary - were it so - would be to awaken our expectant eyes by the sight of time in fact being reversed; and then we should have fascinating data to ponder! We do not however often see heads being rejoined to bodies, after execution by guillotine, or cars being arrested in mid-air, as in an advertisement, or actually sent back in time from a point after their crash, so that they might resume their pre-crash pristine position. Nor may man by any confusion of measuring methods and evidences of a datum, hope to move it about, as if he were God. It is of course true that the antichrist to come is to seek to change times and laws, having altogether exalted conceptions of his prowess (Daniel 7:25), as in fact did Stalin, whose efforts to change the laws of nature were also sadly for him, and perhaps more so for his mentor, Lysenko, unfulfilled.
We do not however read of scientists doing this, or of politicians ... for all the rumbling of either.
No, corpses do not in normal affairs spring to life, in terms of any pseudo-sophisticated way of regarding them, except by miracle. It is not law or logic which turns back this clock; the logic is that creation has come and it proceeds in time and space by its nature, and it tends to dissipate, except preserved or renewed, or there be highly specific divine intervention, or intervention of what has been given the power to do so, with its own equipment which, in turn on this earth, is subject to decay unless... the Lord acts, as He did at the first, in the creation."
It proceeds a little later ...
Life is not self-sufficient or eternal per se: it needs abiding in its Maker for that - and redemption to get there, from which it knows no departure.
The times have changed, but what it foretold for them, does not alter. We still, now that the signals are in full force for His return, await His wrapping up of this Age, in time to prevent man's own destruction of his nestling place, this earth, in its livability as a domain for human life (Matthew 24:22). Now is the word of Paul, in Titus 2:13, as fresh as morning flowers, with the dew sharpening the colour patterns:
"Looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a special people, zealous of good works."
As to this world and its works, it will at the end, be burnt up, as II Peter 3 in such devastating detail exposes, and Isaiah 51:6 prescribes. As to that, what would you expect!