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July 2003 passim
WHATEVER ELSE IS CONTRARY TO SOUND DOCTRINE
Black, very black is the day.
What but black could be the day when the Uniting Church in Australia has not let it suffice to be in the WCC with its Romanist involvement, and to have from the outset formally avoided the clear utterance of the Bible as the word of God written, infallible in the immediately inspired originals, and left it a mere testimony to truth (of what kind some of its pronouncements now make to appear). Rather, it must now proceed past that marvel of disobedience, homosexuality in the eldership, freely acknowledged during the time of the recent national meeting, to the point of no return: that blasphemy in defilement of the name of Jesus Christ, who is named in this body, that pastors can be homosexuals, and whatever other tribute to such things may be associated with 'training' for the ministry ... of what!
Of what is that a ministry which can have the apostle Paul declare this ...
"Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart,
from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, from which some, having strayed,
have turned aside to idle talk,
desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding
neither what they say
nor the things which they affirm.
But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this:
that the law is not made for a righteous person,
but for the lawless and insubordinate,
for the ungodly and for sinners,
for the unholy and profane,
for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers,
for fornicators, for sodomites,
for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers,
and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine,
according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust."
First note the inclusion of sexual perversion, of what in the Old Testament brought
on the exclusion from the people (Leviticus 18:22ff.), and indeed, Moses declared
from the mouth of God, that for just such defilement - his term - of the land,
it "vomited" its people. That came when Israel took its promised land.
Take care, it said, "lest the land vomit you also when you defile it",
just as it had been judged worthy of extirpation before Israel, when it came.
That judgment on the land of Canaan was a
matter the Lord had long pondered before He acted (Genesis 15:15ff.),
though He knew already what He would do, and when. The time for the entry,
He told Abraham, and when that time came,
He led Israel into the defiled land it was to occupy: He did just that. No, He declared,
THEY WENT for such things, and YOU CAN GO TOO if you practise them.
Moreover, the death penalty is read out for
such abominable defilement, almost unutterable defalcation on the faith (Leviticus 20:13).
Now it cannot be that eyes are denied those who so train, who teach them
so to do or to deploy themselves sexually, since there are yet many young,
and not all are old, though one of those who
are did speak to me of his anguish, his genuine and proper fear of being found
contrary to the law of God, on the wrong side of the road in the faith,
and awaiting judgment, by remaining in such a religious body as that.
In fact, he has a glorious opportunity to STAND and DECLARE to his pastor, asking:
ARE YOU WITH THE BIBLE in this and will you follow the apostolic faith, or not!
If not, he should reach the eldership, and if they do not insist on separation,
and so make it happen in the local church, since the Assembly has already fallen from the biblical faith, then he should summon the faithful to continue so where they can be,
and not where they cannot. In any case, with or without the local people,
now that Assembly is past, it is necessary to pursue holiness according to the word of God, where this is the will of whatever is the major
assembly of the church. Biblically, this is excluded now in the Uniting Church.
Thus, if he wants the word of the Lord (which is not only to hear, but to do - James 1:21-23),
he leaves or better, can challenge all, and depart with many if there are such left,
to do what they have come to do. And what is that ? It is to love God,
be faithful to His word, and knowing His salvation in Christ, follow Him.
You do not follow by breach, nor come by disavowal.
You cannot as a Christian become a polytheist, making one God, the Lord,
and the other some assembly of men who speak as they will, despise authority (Jude 4-8), which is written in the Bible, conduct themselves in opposition to the foundation
in the prophets and the apostles (Ephesians
2:20-22), and stray as they will. It is that foundation on which Paul says the church
(that is the one of the LORD!) is built, indeed HAS BEEN BUILT,
Christ the chief cornerstone who declared,
"Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets:
I have not come to destroy but to fulfil..." - Matthew 5:17ff..
OTHER BASIS ? OTHER NAME ? OTHER MORALS ?
OTHER GOD ? A CHANGEABLE ONE, MADE BY MAN
Another foundation then, contrary to I Corinthians 3:11, when we are TOLD that other foundation can no man build but that which is laid, not in the golden philosophies of man (I Corinthians 1, where there muted cavils are exposed as anathema to the truth, founded not on God but on man, founded on nothing, and hence to be confounded):
another basis, then, what is that ?
It is some competitor with Christ; but what 'church' or society, what ruler or renegade can compare with the One who came on time to die on time in the way given before time (Revelation 13:8), and announced a long time before He came, to provide the basis of the Gospel in His own flesh (Colossians 1:22), for the reception of which time is now allowed before time is no more and judgment sits for all time! (Revelation 20).
How would you like someone to teach what you had incandescently condemned, in appalled horror, even seeking to turn people to leave such things behind: and to soil your name by teaching the opposite, as YOUR WORD!
So it is and so it has been done.
Is it perhaps that some captive 'god', in chains, is to be followed ?
rather like Dubcek taken long ago to Moscow and coming back with a deep mark on his forehead,
lest Czechoslovakia should leave the rule of man, man nuzzling to nature as god,
and becoming so utterly godless that an actual man ceased to matter!
Is it however some emanation from gods of old, and why not then add beasts to the sexual litany and call it anything you like, adventure, difference, love ? You are appalled ?
Why precisely is that, for in Leviticus 18-20, this animal lust is IMMEDIATELY LINKED
with human sexual perversion (this word is used in that setting of this entire genre),
just as Paul puts the practice of homosexuality in conjunction with kidnappers and perjurers.
Is the apostle then to be booted ? Is the law to be made destroyed ?
Is some philosophical atomic bomb, left floating in the air from which it came, to be dropped ?
The church of Jesus Christ is guaranteed continuation (Matthew 16), but not all bodies using the name, let alone those who twist the truth of its untiring pronouncements in both testaments, are so guaranteed, but rather must many face the very explicit pronouncement in Revelation (2:20-23). What is guaranteed is the applicability of the law of God in judgment on such things, as we see in the word in I Timothy cited at the outset. That, says Paul, is the field for application of law!
Let the reader rove a little to two other recent sites on this topic, namely in Know the Lord ...
Section 19 as marked, and and similarly, in Section 27 and 31, where this topic is seen in broader perspectives and such movements of flesh are exposed in biblical terms. It is not that simple 'flesh' which is protoplasmically covered in the ingenious packaging of the Lord, but that which is nothing less than the derogatory name of the spirit of man, so assembled with its equipment, acting so appallingly in departure from its God and Maker, that it appears as ... just flesh! It is as in Genesis 6, when the end of all flesh was before the Lord, that flesh which had evil "imaginations", that is, the spirit of man severed from the Lord and occupying flesh.
It is that flesh of which Paul speaks in Galatians, where strivings are amongst its attainments, as also is idolatry. Indeed, this is so like the day of Isaiah as explained
in Isaiah 29:
"Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder;
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.
"Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the Lord,
And their works are in the dark;
They say, 'Who sees us?' and, 'Who knows us?'
Surely you have things turned around!
Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay;
For shall the thing made say of him who made it,
'He did not make me' ?
Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it,
'He has no understanding' ?"
It is this which Paul expounds in I Corinthians 1.
The tedious irrationality of having matter make mind, and spirit,
so that the programmatic becomes the personal, that which is incapable of error becomes what lives in it, its offspring; while the law-girt becomes the law-breaker, the meaningless deploys meaning, and what is set, and even commanded,
to its genes, becomes the creative: this, all of it, in its spirit is a blurry monotone
of a captive culture. Such ignominious substitute for thought is preached
with reckless consistency, in books, in TV, on the Web, like an obsession.
this mental chattel that is chosen for authoritative chatter,
this breach of logic,
this nothing that names nothing its source, which it thus signifies for its value,
this irrationality which reasons for a truth which it then declines to have around,
with this same reason:
why has it become ? it is self-imprisoned in chains to culture and convention,
thoughtless and hideous in its inconsistency, except in error, its king.
What is truth ? says Pilate. If there were no truth, then the ground for its dismissal could not exist, for then that would be true. Truth can never be evacuated by argument which dismisses it, nor avoided by irrationality which ignores the necessities not merely of creation, as if the system which never manages to create itself when viewed, or show its mode of doing so, mystically manages it anyway. It can not evade the blight when it seeks to validate itself in a system-model which lacks truth, and merely reacts, and reads reactions. What is not there, you cannot obtain. When you postulate its absence, you incriminate your procedure, and back out in the irrationality wagon, the self-contradiction unit, sent to despatch you. It is pointless really.
Its name, this proponent of intellectual dereliction, logical lapse and spiritual debauch ? It is man, secular man, vagrantly religious man, the pathological corruption of a wonderful creation, one acting as if to become god without credentials, dispensing with logic by logic, and sitting on the nugatory, the nubilous and the meaningless, in order to proclaim meaning from his very own self.
(Cf. SMR Ch. 3, The Other News 19, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch. 9, News 100, 152).
MAN THE MANUFACTURER SETS TO WORK ON HEAVEN,
WHICH HOWEVER IS NOT AVAILABLE
His idiotic self-elevation of man has always been around as long as conscience has been sick and aspirations in the heart of man, that do not stop at heaven, even to call. It started as shown in Genesis 3:4ff.. Little time was lost in this nose dive from the heavenly calling! (cf. Romans 5).
Alas, you can become neither God, nor Creator, nor basis of thought, nor criterion of value, maker of meaning nor propounder of absolute truth, when there isn't any; and all that is, is merely what happens. Such a model is self-destructive, and it is the common secular one, and the appallingly deluded religious variety when the word of God is distrusted, now as in Eden.
Happen ? What does happening show or know ?
Happen !you will say again tomorrow ? Happen! comes the reply.
From this is neither right nor wrong, including the 'wrong' of believing in God, or any other table of thought, including disbelieving in God!
How ludicrous is the challenge when it CANNOT be true on the basis of its own model, be it crypto-religious or openly and patently secular ... It can argue nothing, contribute nothing, and is irrationality in verbal posture; and hence must resign logically at the outset. Yet it continues: desire master and truth in abeyance. But truth will not submit, and in the end, its rule will require submission. Reality is not injured when you strive; but you are. (Cf. SMR Ch. 3.)
Satan at the first brought his 'wisdom' to the heart of man, as if there were some 'universe' or globule of thought where resided power and reality to contest that of God, who thus becomes a mere assembly participant, and later not even that, for those who want cars to build themselves, space vehicles to assemble themselves, globes to arrange their mathematics and logic and commands without command centres, commanding themselves into existence from the irregular, the unnotional and that mentally non-endowed. Well is it now, that nothing has become so popular as basis, for while it CANNOT EVER do anything (for if it did, it would be not nothing, but something with potential), and hence cannot account for anything, it does at least serve the purpose of showing with a sublime because unconscious irony, the lack of all basis for thought in the secular program. It is literally, reduced to nothing!
Is it not the same as in Isaiah's day ? They say "of Him who made it, 'He did not make me!' ", that glorious little 'me' and its ilk, which,
without truth yet declares it,
without understanding, yet tosses it about like a hammer, which
without cease chatters about the chattels of the universe,
as if they begot it, and its wisdom came from some astral event.
How then does size beget wisdom ? how does program beget a programmer, such as man ? how does the thoughtless beget thinking power and how does the wrought will to undo itself, analyse its construction, and then set to, seeing as it works, what it takes (which it does not have) to make it, and make ? Yet it makes not nature afresh, but only more errors with the power that nature cannot create, since error requires purpose which can be aborted, and not a base of mere happening.
Assuming all its own experience in its own creating, to be irrelevant;
that the necessary ingredients for symbolic manipulation, commands that echo this and executive ability which co-ordinates with all, are dispensable;
ignoring logic and resisting recall to reality from trivial reductionism:
what does our twenty first century secular man, or religiously-towed devotee
of culture, declare of God ? It is this, just as Israel of old did it, word for word.
He declares: "HE DID NOT MAKE ME!" Creation is out; myth is in (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth).
And blessed with this aberrant illusion, this dismal delusion, this appalling self-contradiction of using reason to establish what it declines to endue with power to make reason, while absconding from the only power which CAN make reason or even have it, it enters, like some adventitious voyager from space, which is not deemed invented, for it also ostensibly just invented itself. Yes, it comes on the scene like a wombless babe. How easy is explanation which explains nothing, even itself!
Space, invented without invention, and providing the travelling means likewise, whether it be cosmic or merely vacuous 'space': here it comes and it invents the thrust of purpose as well, so that on arrival, this natural genius, man, just trots along from the tarmac, which no-one built, from 'nature' which invented itself, law, liberty and thought, in a day-dream.
Even though it could not dream: it acts. But man dreams; and he acts, and HOW he acts.
Again, some have a lingering nostalgia, so that while absconding from the only power which CAN make reason and in some churches even determining in His name what He would speak, in defiance of the testimony of what verifies itself uniquely as what HE HAS SAID: they too, they act.
But how does it act, this ruleless, lawless lordship of man ? It ignores design, mocks at procreation for marriage, a mere extra, ignores brotherly love, turns the highly specialised medium of love begetting children to be loved, into a nightmare of sex invading love, seizing its territory, and then declaring that it can deploy it as it will, using procreative power in order to express other loves, and debase all to a physical level, as if an aircraft bombed the roads, and refused any other device, but itself.
Nor is this merely imaginative. Alas the imagination of man's heart, which is his originative power that over-arches nature and can create in it, but not create it, has suffered the insufferable confusion of so evacuating from God, that the love of God is being in effect re-made in man's image, instead of man being remade in God's image, as the New Testament expressly provides (Colossians 3:10), where design rules, law denotes and deity speaks.
It is precisely this movement and its allied spiritual, moral, perverse, degraded, delinquent results which Paul is expounding as part of the dynamic thrust of Romans 1:17-32. This must rank with Christ's denunciations of Matthew 23 amongst the most vehemently denunciatory exposes in the New Testament, though Jude who in verses 6-11 covers the same topic of perversion, in a context of progression, would figure also. Examples and coverages already on this site include News 44, 126, Swift Witness 3.
Our global practice moves ever closer, with AIDS the accompanying music of doom, child exploitation its lyrics, marital degradation in removal of procreation as a crucial aspect and design differentiation as a divinely accorded gift of love, for love and its results, its marching theme ... Closer to what ? It is the end of Romans 1, in its bitter conglomerate of consequences, drawn by the apostle as the development of degradation, following from the initial departure from the knowledge of God, the Creator, self-revealing and sacred. The decisive drama of man's luxury of liberty indulged in the face of divine design, rule and command, matches all too well the parallel degradation of doctrine, while church acquiescence in the rebellions of our times is one of the major indexes of the near approach of Christ. (Cf. SMR pp. 700-709, 861-867, 721-732*1, 743ff..)
Man on trial has decided, in large millions of people, to be a trial to the living God back of the Bible, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and even with very many, to use His name while dispensing with His commandments.
Thus exalting, and exultant, on vacation from biblically defined virtue, man becomes hobbled into unholiness, and in God's name, perversion practices in the pastorate. Death! declares Leviticus, cut from the people, it determines. This is its penalty when the theocracy ruled. NOT in the kingdom, says Paul (I Corinthians 5:9), when the church comes to be in the New Testament; and these, he declares, they are not to be the subject of any spiritual association (Ephesians 4-5). Withdraw, do not partake, the apostle decrees. Is it hard to read ? so very hard ? One is reminded again of Isaiah 29, this time verses 11ff., where the SCHOLAR, presented with the written word of God, he does not apply it but says, It is sealed!
Many are the neo-orthodox, Liberals and in practice, neo-evangelicals who come effectually to respond just that. It is sealed. Somehow it does not really need to be done; or, Oh, they say, it is legalism to think of obedience. You cannot be saved by grace if you do not sin till you are blue in the face; you must ignore law and truth in order to be saved, or otherwise law is making you a merit-seeking fake, unsaved if not indeed unsavable. They may put it more meekly, saying this: Pre-occupation with mere law damages the purity of grace. However Christ, whose name incidentally is USED in all this, declared that HE WHO LOVES HIM WILL KEEP HIS WORDS (John 15:21ff..).
That is just the way it is. Grace saves, love loves to keep the words from the lips of the Saviour. He did not save in order that sin might abound, but to deliver into holiness (I Thessalonians 5:23). To confuse the love the leaps to keep what it loves with the grace that brings about the love, in saving the sinner, is mere inexcusable confusion.
Do you as a child, keep the good word of your parents IN ORDER to become their child, or BECAUSE they are your parents and you love them ? Some obsessive, pathological child might seek so to obtain some kind of position, but when a child is loved it is not hard for it to realise that a CHILD is what it is and its HOUSEHOLD is its very own, and to act within that is its privilege, one which love cherishes in gratitude and joy.
The children of God need to realise their position (as in I John 3), and to rejoice at the manner of love which enables them so to be called, and to KNOW that as believers in Christ, they have eternal life, which being a gift (John 10, Romans 6:23) cannot be bought, even if you should be foolish enough to try (Romans 3:23ff., Ephesians 2:1ff., I Peter 1:18). Indeed the presumption of even imagining that anything you do could bring up a divine acceptance is prodigious.
God accepts what mercy clears through justice met in Christ, not the boasting of works, for it is NOT OF WORKS LEST ANYONE SHOULD BOAST (Romans 3:27ff., Ephesians 2:9, Romans 10:3), and "seeking to establish their own righteousness are ignorant of the righteousness of God". So does error creep like serpents in the wilderness, ready to strike the unwary, winds of doctrine severing the branches above to fall on the unsuspecting, walking astray, below.
No, the love of God is not shown in disobedience, says Christ in John 15, but in obedience.
No, have them as pastors, the Uniting Church decrees. There is perhaps a little altercation ?
There is a difference between LORD and SUBJECT!
There is a species of alteration ? like that of light to darkness, rock to oil ?
that flows ? anywhere ? everywhere ?
Not thus is the word of the Lord. The word of Christ is not annulled, as in Matthew 5:17ff., that apart from fulfilment, then to the last point will the law and the prophets rule; nor is that of Isaiah 8:20, that "if they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
That is what the Lord says:
and that is first, final and determinative. It is HE who knows.
What word is that which is so determinative then ? It is called "the book of the Lord" in Isaiah 34:16 ? It is known now as the Bible, pointing first to Christ, and then exhibiting Him when He came, and setting up the Church on HIM as its foundation, with the apostles and prophets participant as providers by His Spirit of His word (cf. I Peter 1:10ff., II Peter 1:16ff., I Cor. 2:9ff., SMR Appendix D). On these the church HAS BEEN BUILT, says Paul. What is otherwise built, then, it cannot be the church. It is next door ? It is now however the same address...
ACTION IS NOT AN OPTION
BUT A REQUIREMENT OF BIBLICAL DIRECTION
On separation, you may wish to consult The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 7. You can surely stay where God forbids if you forbid God; but then, this is topsy-turvy. God FORBIDS YOU, to stay where His name is dishonoured, His word is violated and His will is aborted; and what could be more obvious than negating as here, what He affirms, affirming what He negates, and making His word to be stuffed back into His mouth... what ? while He is tied up, crucified ? and the will of man is DONE IN GOD's NAME!
Stay there ? Romans 16:17, Titus 3:10, Ephesians 4:29-5:7, II Timothy 3, I Timothy 6, these are merely a beginning of the prohibitions so to do! Stay where those DEFINED to be outside the kingdom of heaven (I Corinthians 6:9) take communion, or preach ? Are you serious!
Continuation in such a situation is expressly FORBIDDEN, repeatedly so, emphatically, dramatically! (cf. Revelation 18:4, Proverbs 14:7, I Corinthians 5:8ff.). You will stay to fight ? Then take it to the pastor, to the elders, to the Synod, and when it is done, GO! If it has ALREADY gone to the Synod, the Assembly, then go and take with you those who will follow, having warned. But do not make the mistake of warning those who LIKE YOURSELF are where they are forbidden to be!
This is the command of the Bible, and if you believe it, then of course how will you not DO it ? Would one who BELIEVED an atomic bomb would land on his home at midnight, be in it at that time ?
On spirituality, see the Bible (John 15:21ff.), on liberty, hear the LORD who declares, WHY do you call Me, Lord, Lord and not do the things I say ? (Luke 6:46). Is culture then Lord ? Why then call the thing a church ? Is politics the prince ? Why then related to Christ, who says that the prince of this world comes and has nothing in Him! (John 14:30-31). You want a couple of masters ? Fine, but don't confuse your desire with Christianity, whose Jesus Christ declared categorically, "No man can serve two masters ..." (Matthew 6:24).
One or the other is going to be despised or ignored. Life is not available for dual control. It is ONE Master even CHRIST (Matthew 23:8-10). Or is a person going to try to prove that what his LORD says CANNOT be done, is what he can do anyway, and will in any case! Why then call Him Lord, since you want to teach Him!
Why indeed ? There is a choice. DO NOT CALL HIM LORD, that is one choice. DO the things He says, that for the Christian, is a choice, and it is not one which will languish in such a case (Romans 8:10ff., Galatians 5:24, Joshua 24:15*2).
Otherwise for the churchgoer ? Otherwise, you merely lasso His name and seek to bring Him like some wild colt into the domain of your farm. The Lord is not He who is thus available.
Last time they tried force, He answered with the resurrection, a most forceful act indeed, but not a violent one!
Next time, it is inveterate, condign and unswerving judgment. Why call a 'church' of whatever extraction a 'church' when it calls Lord Him whom it WILL not obey! Romans 16:17 tells you what to do in such a case: AVOID them.
Why not... consider ... doing it ? YOU WILL if you have the faith which works, which is the live variety. You are forbidden to do otherwise by the written word of the Lord: and this faith, it is in HIM according to His word! (Matthew 7:15ff., 7:21ff.). Furthermore, where the people of the Lord are who seek to obey Him in all His words (Matthew 28:19-20), there is the team He assigns for work in the field. Absenteeism is the obverse of unlawful continuance.
While then the devil seeks to divorce those who name the name of Christ from the most manifest commands in this area of morals, as in other areas (cf. SMR pp. 611ff., 687-707), it is from the point of view of Christian Apologetics, fascinating to reflect that JUST SUCH errors were not tamely hoped not to occur, but boldly predicted as the assured outcome of the Age and its turbulent disregard of the Lord, which would seize this world to shake it like a violet before the hoof of a bull! (Romans 1:17ff., II Timothy 3, Jude 3-18).
This anomalous antic, this heretical outburst, this seditious unspirituality, this infestation of the ostensible body of Christ with what is cast out with horror by His own word, it is as predicted (cf. II Peter 2:1), and the disease that distresses this world, with this as merely one aspect, alienation from the word of God, continues its course as in Romans 1, to the precipice of pollution which is its appointed end (II Peter 3).
*1 Here a quotation from SMR pp. 726-727 may be helpful.
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).
*2 Joshua 24: 14-14 ...
"Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."