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POLITICALLY CORRECT OR WHOLLY TRUE ?
Jewish World Review, Dec. 10, 2003
(in a relish of matters attendant)
Donald Rumsfelt, US Secretary of Defence (Dept. of Defence News Briefing, Feb. 12, 2002), reportedly and famously observed in effect, that there are some things which are unknown, because you do not know the answer to a question, and others are unknown in that you do not know what it is that you do not know. In other words, some data escape you in a known field; some fields escape you being in themselves unknown. Thus, there is conceived to be firstly, the unknown data, in a known realm, and secondly, with far greater emptiness, the unknown realm, not even mapped, recognised or realised to be there.
" ... as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know."
Let us examine further this concept. There are in fact four easily differentiated categories in this realm of unknown.
1) There is the matter which is known in type, generically clear, but where data are missing.
Thus you know that the enemy has aircraft, and that they are fighters, but do not know the date of manufacture, the advanced status if any, or the number of them. This is a clear category, but has missing data. This is the simplest unknown.
2) Next there is the unknown category of a generic. Here you know that the enemy has aircraft for war, but not their categories.
3) Thirdly, there is the unknown type of category. You know that the enemy will be using air for assault, but do not know what sorts of ways it may have INVENTED to do so, with a myriad of unconventional or cutting edge POSSIBILITIES appearing, but not filled in. You know of possibilities, but not which is operative.
4) Fourthly, there is, in concept, the wholly unknown. In this case, you are unaware of what forces, agencies or powers may be in operation, spiritual, physical or moral, in a given milieu. It is beyond the unknown technology: it is a matter of unknown kinds of being and their lairs. The possibilities exist, but are themselves not subject to categories, these with the actualities being both unknown.
Put simply, you may lack simple data in a known area; you may lack foci for data, general information in a known arena, not knowing all the types of things in fact present, though you know what might be; or then, you may know that possibilities exist, rather than actualities, even in kind, though you hope you can imagine these things; then lastly, you may lack even a knowledge of possibilities in any exhaustive way to the point, even their type or domain, nature or very existence. What is unknown is unknown in essence.
THE CHRISTIAN POINT
Now we come to the Christian point of this exercise. If you have received data from God, concerning various specific matters, generics and what otherwise would be unknowns, either as to which of various possibilities is applicable, or what possibilities unknown to you, are there, then clearly this will impact in certain manners on the perspective with which you view what is unknown, and limit its state.
You cannot have two absolutes, for if there were such, then the one would limit the other, so that they would not be absolute in each case. If they were, we might as well note, of the same NATURE, and PURPOSE (like perfectly harmonious twins), even this would not allow either to be absolute, since the harmony though actual, is not automatic, the future being an unknown limit. If as in the trinity, there is ONE BEING, with three persons who co-operate without any being separable from the other, but rather identifiable, then this is one absolute BEING, each Person being of and for One, so that there is no residual diversity which is divergence. (Cf. SMR pp. 532ff..)
Let us however return to the point. Here, with Biblical background, we find that God as in I Corinthians 2:9-13 and Matthew 4:4 has spoken, not only in the form of constitutive commandments by means of which He has instituted the universe, with its various natures (not ONE 'nature' but ONE CREATOR), but in divulgement of His name, nature and creation, His redemption, desires and purposes, His attitudes, supernal power and absolute oversight of all things, as of other spiritual powers subordinate in power but not always in desire. We even find that one created principal sought to take over heaven, though naturally and necessarily, without success (Revelation 12).
These things being so, in the biblical perspective, adopted by those who receive Christ as Master and Saviour in all things, God as man, and resurrected in breach even of death in His own body, then there are NO unknowns at the ultimate level, in terms of what MIGHT happen. GOD is as stated, ONE; POWER is His as stated; resistance is as stated, and is dealt with as slated. There is NO UNKNOWN beyond God, over God or able to successfully confront God, withstand His purposes or overthrow His decisions (cf. Ephesians 1:11, Psalm 15, Romans 8:29ff.).
Again, there is ALL FAITHFULNESS, so that what He says, He both means and does (Joel 2:11,27, Isaiah 14:27, 43:13, 44:24-26), and in particular, there is NOTHING which will separate the child of God from the love of God (Romans 8:37-39). Is there any unknown in power, adverse to my destiny ? Yes, but powerless in the presence of God, and in confrontation with His stated will.
Is there any unknown who or which may allay, destroy or delay the work of God according to His stated principles ? NONE. Is there any future eventuation which may come calamitous from the skies or the abyss, to threaten or destroy what is mine to do, my work for the Lord, His will for me, His word to me in the Gospel ? NONE. Is there any development of many powers which may come, and in a crusade of flourish, finish some of the appurtenances of God, aborting or truncating in some way the beauty of His truth, or the truth of His beauty toward me ? There is no such power.
THESE unknowns do not EXIST! What then of sin ? Remember the case of Balaam, who was induced to try out a curse against Israel, but by divine power prevented from doing so despite the reward should he achieve such a result! (cf. Let God be God! Ch. 10). TEST can reveal a non-faith involvement much as in Hebrews 6, where having tasted the heavenly things, the person does not ingest the saving certainty (cf. John 6:50ff.), but seemingly spits them out, like the case of an emetic before the digestion comes ...
FAITH is not of this character, and MUST be tested to show its authenticity, not to develop its presence. As with a car, it is there or not there, this saving faith, this knowledge of God, this repentance-following, trust-exhibiting, personality-interchange. If it is, you can go; if it is not, use your feet. This is what Balaam did.
However sin can also happen in a Christian. As I John 3:9 shows, with 1:7ff., it is not that being a child of God removes all sin, but that it makes its sovereignty in a Christian life insupportable, so that one does not make a PRACTICE of it. NO athlete would fail to make some mistake; and NO athlete would make procedural errors all the time. He would not stumble in 3 out of 10 races for instance.
The spiritual matter here is deeper than this, but not in essence. Attitudes can become starchy with self-assertiveness creeping in, or the warmth of love beginning to creep out; success can produce self-assurance, so that prayer is too superficial, and power can promote self-will, so that the little matter of WHO, just who is Lord may be smudged for a time.
There are many variables in personal sinfulness; but they are variables of SOMETHING. It is not an unknown! There is the faith bridge, the repentance inroad and the works output, the grace deployment and the fatherly care (Ephesians 2:1-10, Romans 5:12-17); there is the transformation in salvation, and the continual moulding (Titus 3:4ff., II Corinthians 3:18), and there is the perennial consequence in a new nature, the seed for which REMAINS in the one born (I John 3:9), as is both natural and necessary in ordinary birth; for a Smith cannot acquire new genes to render the birth other than it was. Mother, said the child at youth camp, I forgot to bring my jeans with me. Well dear, said the Mother, if you do not have your genes, it is too late now to get them!
So with the divine genes - one speaks merely in a figure, but the point is valid - there is a begetting in being born, there is a fatherly contribution, there is a spiritual consequence, there is both a state and a status (II Corinthians 5, John 5:24), so that what has been done cannot be undone (John 10:9, 27-28). Neither will the one born of God perish nor will ANY POWER BE ABLE to snatch it away, and that of course includes the power of the one so born.
It is simply impossible to breach the reality of what one is born into, so that neither height nor depth, nor things past nor things future will be able to separate the Christian from the love of God, and what has entered through the Great Shepherd is underwritten without limit. There are in this arena NO UNKNOWNS. God knows it all, and guarantees by wisdom with power, through grace to do what He has said. He confirms it with the aspects of the case, the premises, and provides with the promises which accompany.
What however if some testing situation arises which is - quite frankly - beyond one's powers ? After all, being born again does not make one per se a Daniel, a David or an Isaiah! In this case, there is NO UNKNOWN in this respect, for by promise, EITHER the test if too hard, will be reduced, or ELSE a "way of escape" is guaranteed (I Corinthians 10:7).
Let us hear the provisions of this promise.
"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man;
but God is faithful,
who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,
but with the temptation will also make the way of escape,
that you may be able to bear it."
The way of escape may be that divinely granted boldness in any confrontation (cf. Acts 4:19-20, 5:29), or patience in tribulation (Romans 5), or invention of an actual escape from the whole situation (Acts 12:5ff.), or even an escape to show the power of God together with a duty, to show the persistence of God, as in Acts 5:17ff.). Ih case Peter was not only miraculously removed from prison, but instructed to return to the precincts of the temple and continue to speak the words "of this life" which had so harrowed the guilty souls of the persecuting false priests, and no doubt substantially led to the persecution in the first place!
After all, as Peter told the people, these power brokers had murdered the prince of life (Acts 3:15)! Instead of welcoming the prince of life, before whom disease and death, prevarication, procrastination and pretence melted like lead before the atomic bomb, they had indicated their sense of need by killing Him with deceit, as clear of test for the best as Hitler invading Europe. They had power, interests, investments of life, and they planned to keep these (cf. John 11:47ff.). Their fear was that all the people would follow Him, not that He would cease to overcome evil and transform lives by a power that of God Himself!
Thus when the people were told, it was truth, not convenient fiction. Murder had occurred; its ground was as invisible in goodness, as a rainbow in a closed space. It was not only murder; it was devastating contempt for life itself, a devious concern for pre-eminence, the selling of glory for survival, and even then, for a survival which in reality would have to explode because that is the nature of the real: it is there and cannot be persuaded to be otherwise. It must be met; it cannot be countermanded. What then had the apostles done but bring truth to light, so that any might repent and detaching themselves from this abortion of truth in the nation, become members of the kingdom of heaven. The remnant would remain.
Was it a story to remain untold, what had been done, and why, and where it would lead ? It was on the contrary infinitely necessary for man to know it and to act in differentiation from such contempt for truth, test and righteousness (Hebrews 2:1-4, Acts 4:11-12). Could they undertake, these apostles, to say no more about this name ? Not at all. Appalling desecration required awe-stricken repentance! (cf. Luke 13:1-3). The facts had to be revealed, exposed and the call made in terms of what God had done and what man had done. Each person had to respond. No response was virtual acceptance.
It was a basic fact, the objectivisation of religious riot and unrepentant hypocrisy! Could you remove this fact from the story of the crucifixion without romancing ? History is what it is, and people have done what they have done, and results have been what they have been. There is no bowdlerised version available. Take it or leave it. This is the way of truth. You may not broadcast an unpleasant fact about someone by grace, but when it comes to an X-ray and disease, if you withhold, you pervert and endanger all concerned.
This, it was a disease, that of sin. For the Christian, then, there are no unknowns here IN PRINCIPLE. You know of the sort of unknowns, the type of thing that they are, in sin; and you are aware of much of the character, the nature of discipline (cf. Hebrews 12), including its objective in the case of a Christian, that of a loving Father.
It is not an entire unknown; but there are data within it which you do not know, and in some cases MUST not know. Such a case was that of Job, where the entire NATURE OF THE TEST was such that had he known it, it would not have worked. It was not as absolute as he sometimes seemed to think, but the results were absolute. He was not being tried to see if he was a man of God, but to SHOW the devil and all his cynical ilk, that Job loved God for what He is, not for the rewards (cf. SMR pp. 95ff., and see this in its setting of pp. 92ff.).
How often do you hear someone say of fine Christian, Ah yes, but if I had his rewards and positions, his personality or his powers and so on, I would be an example myself. It would pay so well!
In fact, such a case is often misconstrued, for if you ARE a Christian, then essentially you are crucified with Christ (Galatians 5:24), so that the purpose of that enterprise called your life, is not at all YOU, but Christ, for as Paul puts it in Galatians 2:19-21:
"For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law,
then Christ died in vain."
In other words, it is far from being a case of lawlessness (cf. Romans 3:31), but rather does GRACE ensure that one being 'engraced' (or favourably accepted in the Lord Jesus Christ - Ephesians 1:6), has a vital presence and enablement. In fact, Paul calls it a 'sufficiency' (II Corinthians 4:1-6, 3:5-6). "Our sufficiency," he says, "is from God," so that it is this very fact which enables the observance of the commands of Christ, not their bypass!
Consider thus, Romans 6:14-18,
"For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
"What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?
Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey,
you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death,
or of obedience leading to righteousness?
"But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin,
yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."
In other words, it is BECAUSE of grace that SIN is not sovereign. It is not saying this, that because of grace you can sin away, for it really doesn't make much difference to the sophisticated and spiritual savant of our Age. It is saying the complete opposite, introduced by the word "for": the reason sin will not have dominion over you is this, that you are not under law but under grace. It is not only excluded but the REASON for this exclusion is provided.
It is apparent that many, licentious in heart, or careless in reading, or possibly both, seek to make this an excuse for an indifference to the fact that it is by the WORD OF GOD, yes EVERY WORD of God, that every man must live (Matthew 4:4); and this is by the authority of Christ! It is this grace which had appeared before even to David (cf. Psalm 32), which now has been epitomised in Christ's physical incarnation, judicial incarceration, rejection, crucifixion, raising physically from the dead, conserving His form and preserving His function, the Saviour intact and in triumph.
From and in Him then is this declaration of salvation, which interrupts the pressure of sin and removes its crown! Sin SHALL NOT have dominion over you, as Paul faithfully proclaims (Romans 6:14). Why ? "For you are not under law but under grace." Your place by grace is in and with the One who having triumphed vicariously, presents life victoriously! (Romans 5:17).
That is what is stated here. IF you love Me, was the message of Christ Himself, you will keep My words! (John 14:21-23). No word play will take this labour of love out of the free gift of salvation. Faith works because it is alive; and it works on, with and through what is freely given; and over it all, the Lord works in us both to will and to do (Philippians 2). The gift, like a car, is the salvation; the maintenance, which is guaranteed with the gift as we have seen, may take effort, as we work out this salvation with fear and trembling, in reverence before so vast a generosity and so inalienable a gift. Every word is precious, and in love we strive to do it.
As to what is to be obeyed, that is simply another question, but certainly ALL scripture, being given by inspiration of God, for that reason if profitable. We Gentiles are neither grafted into the Jewish tree for fun, as if it had no roots (the teaching of Paul, in effect, in Romans 11:18). YOU do not support the roots, says the inspired apostle, but the roots support you! No violation of the word of God on the ludicrous plea that it was written earlier or later is relevant.
The ONE Gospel has been more and more intimated till in Isaiah it was clear, express and comprehensive, though more fine detail remained. The salvation by grace had never been other. The works of the law were never the way to heaven, but the challenge to complacency. Salvation was by faith through grace ALWAYS as long as sin was there (cf. Genesis 15 and 22 cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, TMR Ch. 3). The things fulfilled are fulfilled, but the word of God remains; for the grass departs, but this is for ever (cf. I Peter 1:243-25), and that ? It is what God says.
What then does all of this contribute to the issue of what is UNKNOWN ? It is this.
Therefore we find that the ultimate variability in sin is LIMITED, its results for the Christian are CIRCUMSCRIBED, and its outcome sure: eviction. While we do not on this earth arise to perfection (cf. Philippians 3:12ff.), or anything like it, yet the way of life, its character and kind is categorically distinct, and contradistinct entirely to life outside the Saviour and the Lord whose word we love and seek zealously to put into effect in our lives.
Hence this are constitutes no great unknown, though in data we have to learn how to avoid this and that, and in test to overcome these and those trials in His presence by His grace: and if in some trial, a sin enters, then the door is ready for its departure.
This is where faith, as always
relevant, comes in. Thus whatever your condition if a Christian, NO temptation
is even possibly going to prove too much because it IS too much, for as with a
safety belt, there is a limit which activates deliverance (I Corinthians 10:13).
But what, one may ask, if someone is being put to death ? Is this not coming to
the limit ?
In itself, no. Death is what the Master suffered, and though this was for a single, once only redemption (Hebrews 9:12ff.), its SPIRIT in sacrificial love is for all (Matthew 20:27-28); for the servant is not greater than his Master (cf. John 13:16-17), and hence such service is characteristic of Christian life. If it calls for being murdered, so be it.
However, just as
Christ was not killed until the time for the actual,
(cf. Luke 4:28ff. where a
preliminary skirmish was aborted from all fatal consequence,
so precious in the
sight of the Lord is the death of His saints (cf. Psalm 116:15).
Thus death, though a possible outcome (and we do tend to die once in any case, do we not! and this is so except the Lord return before our own time comes - cf. I Thessalonians 4), yet for all that, it is not the most extreme of trials. It may for some come to constitute it, as in the case of Archbishop Cranmer, who FIRST burnt off his right hand which had signed a foolish and weak recantation of his own sound doctrine, this being thrust upon him, and did so in flaming repentance and faith, in an amazingly effective index to the glory of God in the actual salvation by free grace, both in its essence and in its application (Romans 5:15), which mercifully obtains.
For him, it was no doubt a supreme trial, and how well it was passed! Yet it is not always so, and for some the work of being a living sacrifice may be quite as hard (cf. Romans 1:1ff.), stilling the desire's of one's own personality and individuality for the sake of Him and of His kingdom, whom to know is eternal life which even now wells up with exuberance and inexpressible vitality.
Sin ? In principle, there is no unknown here:
the devil is the instigator,
his minions with any caught suddenly in their wake, are the means,
circumstances are the stage setting,
and the outcome is glory,
just as the input was service for Christ.
Such is His glorious way and life. It is for love of God, in the presence of God, and of the beauty of His holiness, in gratitude for the magnitude and manner of His grace in Christ which He wrought on this earth in full view, and in delight in His power and kindness, that one acts.
It is no matter, as in some other religion of man's making, of having a number of maidens sacrifice their personal meaning by congregating multitudinously around one man in their own made 'paradise', as if some sort of lust were the gist of heaven; not at all. Lust is a loss not a gain. Heaven is found rather in this, that through the love of God, given the grace of God, the man or woman of God is brought back to God, the spirit returning to God who gave it, with joy; or one goes direct at the resurrection to Him wih whom, after all, one has been living all along. The scene changes, but not the Saviour. GOD is HIMSELF the exceedingly great reward and shield alike. Nothing changes here (cf. Genesis 15:1).
THE POLITICAL PROGRAM IN CONTRAST
How far down then is the merely superficial compared with the supernal! If for example, in politics some fashion makes it good to speak well of the religion or culture of some one race, in the interests of doing 'justice', then is this true ? Is the mythology of such a race great because they suffered ? Is the politically correct at times the mythically lying ?
Of course, this world is often willing to bend the stick this way too much and then the other, as one PM in this country made clear; and this occurs even if justice at any one time is thus forsaken!
In biblical terms, however, vengeance belongs to God, and justice with mercy in humble terms is for us, in our own dealings. He can straighten out the crooked, but we must deal straightly in any case. Remedy is His provision, but we must remain with mercy, and not try to do on the road, what only the mechanic in his service station attempts, wisely off road!
Or again, what is the wisdom of this world (cf. I Corinthians 1:20-25) ? You must have a United Nations, because this is politically correct. WHY ? It is because the weapons of destruction are so massive that if someone is out of line all lines may go; hence, in the interests of survival it is 'necessary' to have a 'teacher' in yard duty, to keep the lines quiet. (See however TMR, What is Life for ?)
Also, for some, the ideal of having everything 'nice' and orderly and restrained, is very important in any case, so that truth may be sacrificed for such desiderata!
May it ? Then why bother, for if
truth may go, then how could it be 'true' that such a thing is desirable ?
Or if it is desirable, how could it be 'true' that it is right ?
If truth goes, you cannot control where it goes. It reticulates in every direction, and nothing out of balance will harmonise with it. SIN is always wrong, GOD is always right, and playing God is always pretentious nonsense, unworthy of man, and unmanning to mankind. It makes him act for what he is not, and in such a role, this simply stops his acting as he is. Too high or too low, is not the flow. It is where it is, that the action must occur. A car trying to fly, or to burrow in a mine is suitably ludicrous. Man is not better in this, that acting as if God or the devil, or some beast is simply contrary to fact; and those who play with reality, collide with it, for its movements are not subject to 'control'!
There are many unknowns in such a way.
You see the warning in Proverbs 1 with peculiar force:
"Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:
'How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity?
For scorners delight in their scorning,
And fools hate knowledge.
Turn at my rebuke;
Surely I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
'Because I have called and you refused,
I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded,
Because you disdained all my counsel,
And would have none of my rebuke,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when your terror comes,
When your terror comes like a storm,
And your destruction comes like a whirlwind,
When distress and anguish come upon you.
'Then they will call on me, but I will not answer;
They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
And did not choose the fear of the Lord,
They would have none of my counsel
And despised my every rebuke.
'Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way,
And be filled to the full with their own fancies.
For the turning away of the simple will slay them,
And the complacency of fools will destroy them;
But whoever listens to me will dwell safely,
And will be secure, without fear of evil.' "
Unknowns litter the sky
when two aircraft crash as 2500 miles per hour speed differential!
Crashes are like that! Out of the way, off the drawing board, contrary to specifications, they are harrowing inventories of happenstance. Thus Psalm 1 tells us that the way of the righteous is KNOWN to the Lord, but the way of the opposite is like CHAFF WHICH THE WIND BLOWS!
Unknowns are in the depth of hell; but the known is the way of righteousness, and here the very face of God beams on His people; for as Peter puts it, the genuineness of your faith, more precious by far than gold, is for exposure at "the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls."
Indeed, you are "kept by the power of God through faith
for salvation ready
to be revealed in the last time." To what ? “to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away”. And what is the relationship to this of the believer ? It is “reserved in heaven for you.” It is the finale in a new beginning which does not end, where death is outré and life is inherent.
Let us then return to political matters for contrast, not always in kind, but frequently not less than that.
Suppose the CIA or the new face of the KGB - now that one of its own is President of Russia, his ways not pleasing to chess champion Kasparov - should have a desire. Suppose that it is to find information which will help national security.
What then do they do to this end ? Do they lie ? Is there a misleading report set forth which involves untruth ? If so, what is the good of that ? You do not have to TELL what others will misuse, but when and if you TELL anything, it must be true. THAT, says someone, would never work! Really ? It is when mutual suspicion laced with contempt operates that men tend all the more to do contemptuous things to one another, so making their milieu increasingly contemptible and ready for destruction, vengeance or strife.
Did Abraham Lincoln lie in office, manifestly perverting truth for safety ? If so, one does not know of it; but in any case, the situation is the same. This is a feasible way; and the loss of surprise is on the one hand, tempered by not having to TELL ALL, and on the other, by the gain in reliability.
But, someone persists, If the bad guys win, this is no good. True, but WHO is the bad guy, when lies and contempt compete!
Superficial political models*1 are mere options for demonstration by contrast of the coming glory when Christ returns. They are sub-standard things worthy of being destroyed, on which the demolition notice has already been served, for
shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God as the waters cover
the sea" -
FILLED! You say, But this is not now! True, neither is an architectural student yet an architect, but what he is to be is present in germ, and if the germ be a microbe of moral mess, then this character of the thing is very likely to continue and grow and show. The kingdom of heaven is for now, and indeed Christ's words showed that it had already swept up on them, as He worked.
Thus, said He, "if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then the kingdom of God is come upon you" (Luke 11:20). The Greek word fqanw signifies something which has actually come and shown its intimacy. You see it also in Matthew 12:28. Then, says Thayer's dictionary in application of the meaning of this word, has the kingdom come upon you sooner than you expected. There is, in this term, a sense of preceding. It has come up on you!
THE WORK of the
KINGDOM OF GOD
and the VESSELS THAT DRIFT
The point was that if Christ ACTED and DID this casting out of devilish power, then the kingdom had got there already, was operational, functional, being made manifest before their (very) eyes! That is how the least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than the greatest prophet, John the Baptist; for this is the ultimate expression (Matthew 11:11). To be sure, it has a MORE manifest time coming, but this does nothing to remove or truncate the reality of the truth that it is operative with unseen power in the seen souls of the elect as they labour for Christ!
That is why Paul referred to the kingdom of heaven as NOT being eating and drinking, but something very different in Romans 14:17 : this, it was not as a tourist guide, but clearly in context, as an index to current behaviour. (Cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4.) What was this something very different ? "righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."
So does human prudence and knowledgeability and self-will mingled
destroy what might have been faith, and lead to intemperate means,
even lying ones either in moral values pretentiously NON-idealistic
as they manufacture cross-grained objectives and distortions of races or places or graces,
or in pragmatic procedures; or both.
Distrust becomes at a premium, godless guile at its acme, blood the unguent which does not heal.
Yet the kingdom of God comes; and it has come in its flourishing functionality in Christ, and its service has been seen, and its Sovereign the Son of God, and its ways, attitudes and atmospheres; and just as its actual presence in ruling power in this dying world is yet to come, so its presence has been and is felt; and when the people of God are removed, pending the last Act of evil (Matthew 24:35ff., Revelation 11 cf. Acme, Alpha and Omega Ch. 5), then its ABSENCE will be MOST notable, just as its presence will be even more so, when He returns with ALL His saints, whose it is (Acts 3:19-21, Zechariah 14:5, Revelation 19, II Thessalonians 1-2), destroying iniquity with the breath of His mouth (Isaiah 11, Isaiah 59:20).
Meanwhile, the drift in deceit, diplomatic deviousness and bodeful gloom with its flights into fulmination, continues. None will stop it, for their trust is in themselves, in their nations, or in their own ways, and their glory is in their shame. By palpable contrast, the divine dynamic continues, integral with righteousness, fraught with power, but requiring truth, humility and grace, from hearts of peace that love peace, and will sell NOTHING of God for ANYTHING of this world, EVER.
As to this world and its ways, political and jurisdictive:
The history is long; the song is cruel; the pomp is unimpressive, the prestige is ephemeral, the blood is still red, and the morals remain black.
Into such a pit of depravity, hoisted like a flag aloft, the kingdom of God continues with its messengers all but innumerable, its message unwavering from the beginning of sin till the outage of its raw lore, which is to come. As the millions massacred mount, the hearts that grieve see scattered and collecting, the revenge that is rank, stinging and fermenting, while the prodigies of guile mingle with the grotesque deformities of ambition, always deluded, never true; and so do the kingdoms of this world make their policy statement, and provide their curriculum vitae.
It cannot be otherwise, they say in their disfaith (q.v.). What is this but the signature for the document and the doctrine of drift!
The drift is like that of a ship moored to the sand, in the face of a hurricane, amidst a harbour teeming with other vessels. The deadly dynamic that mounts here is a mere emblem of destruction. Its ways are such that this is their end. In ends innumerable, it has happened before. These methods are an end to every healthy beginning, and a beginning for the ultimate end, when past the "beginning of sorrows" (Matthew 24:12), "the end comes". Alpha, present in creation, as Omega, unchanged, Lord of the Alphabet of history, meets the end with the challenge from the first beginning (cf. Genesis 3:15, 4:7 cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 17, News 87, The Biblical Workman Ch. 7, A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 9).
The challenge does not move. If there is no repentance, then there is no reality, and reality does not pretend.
Only mercy can amend; nothing can pretend. The truth ? It is irreversible, irrevocable, irredeemable. It is only man who must be redeemed; and without this, he is like a stricken vessel, empty of wisdom, carrying the huge cargoes of slaves, the slaves of whim, and desire, of heights of aspiration and depths of humiliation, all its own, all controlled, none with hope, itself a slave to their servility, a very ecstasy of darkness, fit for doom, despising mercy, showing its colours, now drab and faded, touched up ... with blood.
See HU, the humanity exponent, in his political
thoughts, in Divine Agenda Ch. 7;
and matters of good government in Question and Answer 7.