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LICENCE AND THUNDER
The diamond suggests precision, planes, configuration, together with light, radiance. It is a sheer thing in its beauty.'
Freedom however suggests individuality, artistic licence, imagination.
Where the latter violates the former, you lose freedom and gain dross.
Freedom has its place. This
is to operate in its prescribed limits. In the case of man, there is a
bifurcation. You CAN, up to a point, ignore the limits and play God, either
intentionally, hopefully or without realising the sheer magnitude of your
folly and presumption. Whether you realise it or not, however, what you
do, you do. Ignoring the prescribed divine limits, is playing God, or if
you prefer, arrogating divine prerogatives to your (comparatively) puny
person, or again, simply, rebellion. You are NOT God; He is; and so acting
as if He were not so, is a dereliction of duty, a denial of truth, an irrationality
of mind so colossal, that the Colossus of Rhodes is merely a handful of
dust by comparison. Demonstrably Himself (SMR
1-3, 8-10), God is not evacuated by ignorance, wilful or other.
MAN IS SPECIAL, BUT SPECIFIC
In the case of man, there is even a huge amplification of freedom. Thus it is not ONLY such that REBELLION becomes POSSIBLE, but that recognition of reality becomes a way which enables companionship with God, a boon so profound that like the dawning light of morning, its rays lead the eye onwards into the heart of the gift of light, anoint the terrain with beauty, and perform wonders in colour and configuration, deft, delicate and pure, before the wondering eye.
It is precisely this optical marvel, to dwell in the light in spiritual terms, to have fellowship with God, to KNOW Him, to be a personal friend of His, not to bring Him to our own deficiencies but to be elevated to "heavenly places" as Ephesians 1-2 has it, that can mislead into innovation that is not merely culpable, but, in the end, both infantile and ineffectual, removing the very dignity of manhood in the delusion that it is divine, or to action on such a basis whether recognised or not.
It is then, when, to change the figure, the facets of the diamond no longer are deemed to apply, and its created aspect is ignored, that the light is no longer in such brilliance; and when in addition, the reality of construction is derided, what then ? Then it is that the fact becomes too obvious: it is but carbon in a finer form, crystalline, geometrically oriented. Despise the form, ignore the fact, and the creativity which is back of our construction mocks man; he is but 'carbon' in this image, or more precisely, clay, yet this in a joint operation of mind, matter and spirit, contrived by God, created by His power, instituted by His will. Despise it, ignore it, derogate the reality, and THEN ? Alas, he looks like it! With swollen head and shrunken heart, he hears himself.
Thus in Victoria, as we saw (*2 in Galloping Events Ch. 7, a chapter which traces much background in the world scene in this regard), the folly which is now bringing much concern to people. It is to make religions so relative that to criticise one in a way which is deemed demeaning becomes a punishable offence. To 'vilify' it, whatever that may be conveniently construed to mean, is intolerable.
Is the truth intolerable
VICTORIA AND SOUTH AUSTRALIA ARE FAR FROM 'VICTORIAN'
Biblically, this means that John 14:6, requiring the falsity as a way to God, of God, of ANY religion that is not built on the salvation in Jesus Christ, if faithfully acted on and spoken about, would require the little word that such a religion, without Christ, is NOT of God. Is that to vilify ? Is reason for the Christian faith to be removed as a liberty exercise in the closed society which Professor Karl Popper in his famous works, so excoriated, even from a secular viewpoint ? Is truth to become a manipulated device, equalling the will of the people, as it may be found from time to time and place to place, and imposed on the people, like a political papacy ? In the trend of any such law, certainly this is the outcome. It is vain, flaccid, foolish, making man the measure of man, without having measured what man himself is.
In South Australia, the counterpart of folly is also on the table. We have seen in detail in earlier chapters, what is the very parallel part of this development. Rendering children the judges of fitness, as assessed by a council, the State by this Bill would place electronic material in danger of subjection to such infantilities, such sillinesses, as if the whole place had become Lilliputian in intellect. To make men act as children is not to help children to act as men.
It denudes the race, anaesthetises the facilities, demeans the faculties of man, and in a way so irrelevant as almost to require a new mode beyond astonishment, when one considers it: shall we say ... stark amazement: for the ostensible purpose of protecting the young. To take intense subjects, and put them on the Web, you must, to escape the open door to categorisation as "Restricted" make the coverage brief, without much detail. Gone the mind of man for the delusion of all, and the contempt of the child, that such rubbish should become compulsory!
Thus in two States, with the Commonwealth very much back of the South Australian one IN PRINCIPLE, since its own law made the mockery about 'minors' in its prototype law as noted in detail earlier, there is this arising. And what is it doing, or what is its direction, or what is it proceeding in practice to do ? It is to make man the measure of man, to dump liberty, defile freedom, and even impugn vigour of thought, credibility of investigation, academic excellence, in a way which Hitler could not well have excelled: except (when the time came), in the amount of violence which he eventually offered. These things have to begin. If you do not look at the principle, you are apt to deserve if you are merely uninterested, the product.
In Israel we see more of this eminence of man. Thus the USA has now sent a delegation, senatorially equipped, full of dignity and mission, mandate and investigatory zest, in quest of what may be found in this tormented region. NOT to judge! they say. It is well to hear; but doubtless to assess. Sharon is not impressed, it seems, with the endeavour because of its too obvious facilities easily adapted to oversee, attempt to override, to invade with a wisdom of this world, and dispose with the arm of military might, whether or not gloved in this way or that.
What is to be found ? IF GOD be believed, it is found already, with NO DELEGATION whatever, that the land is appointed by its MAKER to Israel unconditionally, as some of the preceding volumes have attested in great detail. Perhaps however, this delegation knows that. MANY Americans know that; many do not. It is open. If it knows it, then it may simply see in what ways Israel could retain its slender, geographic identity, and how avoid invasion by the catspaw of Palestinians, by the might, financial, oil derived, populous, of the many Islamic nations surrounding Israel, like lions. They DO roar, as seen in the pan-Islam move for the extermination of Israel in 1991 in Teheran, and sundry subsequent intimations.
This US mission may, of course, simply see how to prevent this perilous, provocative assault on Israel which comes constantly, so that the restraint all but amazingly shown by Israel, after the efforts of the Nazis last time, in face of the equally determined sounding statements of Islamic meetings since, may be pondered, improved, made less necessary.
However, if it does not believe God, the Bible His word, and comes as MAN MANAGING MAN, as man set on measuring man, as manned disposers of the human race, then it may say: Yes, Israel has very little land but the Islamics are strong, mighty in oil, provoked and must be pacified... or think it, or take it into account. As a pacifying dummy the angered, vocal assailants from outside Israel may be given more of Israel, with Palestinian recipients or other; or more rights to seize it at will, or more power to do so, or Israel may be given less power to defend itself. This in part or whole could figure in the result. Devoutly one hopes better; but one has seen worse.
That has been the direction for years, in these things. While Israel has been helped liberally by the USA, and let no one forget it, and this without doubt is ONE of the reasons why that nation is so blessed (Genesis 12:3), just as the earlier and in some ways equally strong help from Great Britain (as it was in those earlier days of this century) was associated with much blessing there: yet the case is more uncertain now. Britain's defilement of wisdom and justice in the naval obstruction of Jewish vessels seeking refuge, AFTER HITLER in their land, by coming to their divinely accorded homeland in this way, in 1948 is one of the lessons on the inadequacy and instability of human races. God only is to be trusted.
The US support also is now becoming more ambivalent. In 1973 it was truly prodigious, with the shuttle plans for planes bringing reinforcements to the recently attacked Jewish State, in the war launched against it on one of its supreme holy days, a matter for marvel for its organisation and prodigality. Israel made great use of this and conquered mightily, so that except for international pressure, notably from Russia, it might have humbled Egypt as well as Syria, and ruled.
Now it is being 'investigated'. The truth remains, as Christ did when Pilate announced (with merely human 'wisdom', appeasing the Jews whose authorities at that time wanted the blood of Christ, though he statedly found no fault in Christ):
That time is fast approaching now. It returns for the efflorescence, culmination of that fourth Kingdom of Daniel, the Roman one (cf. SMR pp. 886ff.), European and centred first in Rome, and still related to that city via the papacy and the Treaty of Rome in 1957 for the inauguration of what was once the European Common Market, but is already the European Union. Europe speaks with an increasingly powerful voice. Rome, religion-wise in its Vatican symbol of 'unity' which is really division itself, a geographically placed domineering (SMR pp. 1042ff., 1032ff.), like a strident lady, does not diminish her tones, though she increases her diplomacy, as the case evidently requires (cf. SMR pp. 1056-1074). Plagues assail Europe as we have been seeing in earlier chapters, just as Europe is increasingly plaguing the truth, with its unisex, same sex bonds, euthanasia extremes, disregard of God's rules in its own aspirations and the like. Revelation, the last book in the Bible, is having the last word with the world.
The world, however,
is becoming its own censor, arbiter and judge.
And these, they are but examples of it.
sentences however are but as winds at sea. On shore, in truth, the judgment
will pass (cf. Romans 2:2, Matthew 25, Revelation 19, Psalm 2).
SIMPLICITY OF FOLLY
AND THE NECESSITY OF SALVATION
The simplicity of the folly is just as the apostle Paul exposed it in II Cor. 10:12: "For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."
An unknown measure with which to measure is not wise. Indeed, it is worse, for as Christ put it:
Its desire this time, the THIRD world war, that may by subtlety not least, be pursued, until its end in the sudden death suitable for wilful delusion (II Thess. 2, I Thess. 1), is
Thus does man illustrate his defeat by insisting on the irrational at the outset, and then applying it with reason at the onset, like someone in a huge fever. The heart fibrillates, the mind is fogged, and so it goes to its sunset, that dawn of beauty which was for man, and still is, for as many as receive Christ in reality and truth, by faith, as Saviour, Lord and Counsellor, Truth and King Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10).
At Queenscliff, Victoria, that grand old lady of former times and older ways, where my own father was born, there are on the cliff heights, two lighthouses. One is dark, near black, the other is light in colour. For ships travelling out of the Port Phillip Bay, which ends near Queenscliff, as the land moves on a little to adjacent Point Lonsdale, there is a narrow strait to pass. The curved walls of the large bay move far inland from this area, and then come around on the other side nearly to close the Bay, leaving that meeting of ocean and bay waters, called The Rip, a somewhat unsettling place for passage on ocean liners out of the Bay to the world at large. It can be more than that.
With turbulence and tide on the one hand, and rocks on the other, this narrow passage needs expert navigation. We watched as the pilot vessel in red, came around to the side of the ship, when it was outside the Bay, and collected the red-coated figure*3 of the pilot, who descended from a ladder.
An old gentleman spoke to us. Those two light houses at Queenscliff, he indicated, MUST be lined up from the ship, and if they are not, he advised, then that ship, off course would simply become the next in the litany of disasters, one more wreck. There is the licence to be free, and the freedom to heed licence. It is licence in another sense: authority to act rightly. Break it and liberty goes. Doom is the determinant outside the light of authorised liberty.
It is, as has been stressed, also like a jewel.
Liberty, it is a grand thing, when the facets that make its beauty are honoured. "Fear God and keep His commandments" is not lost in the din, since Solomon wrote it in Ecclesiastes 12, himself a self-confessed experimenter in much, who found that the beginning does not change, nor its implications, nor does judgment resign for the sake of rebellion. The deliverance is simple for man, in receiving the sacrificial wonder of Christ as Saviour and citizenship in the Kingdom of Heaven as gift*4, with eternal life as restoration of what was aborted; but it was not so simple for God, who had to bear the cost (Matthew 20:28). Nor is it so simple for man who refuses to receive the payment, and instils sedition in his heart, until the end!
As to the young man, in Ecclesiastes 12, addressed by the Preacher, so too the world as it grows old, and in unseemly make-up of spurious youthfulness acts with all the light-headed emptiness of the unconverted who assert themselves and find themselves and fulfil, satisfy themselves, gorge themselves with themselves. To it in its ancient pretensions of juvenility, comes this word:
that is the point of the Australian lunge into liberty-less laws of oppression
and immaturity, clawing away the kindness of generations in the flash of
high-spirited folly of a day: the child must not tell. There must be closed
mouths in an increasingly closed society, where other than utter filth
at times, only what matters must be stilled.
See SMR Ch. 6, Spiritual Refreshings Chs. 5, 6, Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 5, Barbs, Arrows and Balms, Appendix IV, The Magnificence of the Messiah, Endnote 1,and index Resurrection.
On Morals, see The Other News 19, which classifies. As noted for the South Australian pretension, and elsewhere, statistics do not make morals, prescription does not arise from description, what happens is nothing to the point in what ought to happen, society is not and cannot be its own criterion. That is just desire, the same as for an individual, but more complex for ascertainment, even if indeed it were possible in the almost infinite variety of discernment, desire and deliberation, outside the Lord who made the design and the purpose which provide the morality, with direct reference to Himself, since man is in His image.
implemented over the spirit of man, by statistics of society, its wishes
codified, or the waverings, wafflings of its spirit, is not more an obligatory
right than is the pressure of raindrops on the roof. It does it; that is
all. Manís verbal praise of goodness, in the very accolade accorded the
term, is not from mere preference, which is no principle, but from the
derivation of man from One, which means ONE orientation, which is morality
(cf. SMR PP. 582ff., and
Ch. 4). It is normally assailed more and more, as the confrontation
with God comes nearer to being quite explicit, as in Revelation 19:19.
Let us pursue this figuratively. The LINE UP of lighthouses reminds one that there is need to know thoroughly the word of God, New and Old Testament, and be sure that one uses what is the entire coverage, as it is written in II Timothy 3:6: ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (cf. Things Old and New Ch. 2, and Ch. 8 above). While assuredly the NEW Covenant or Testament is the currently binding one, it is ALL the word of God, and the tutorials in the past are the instruction of the present, duly interpreted in the light of Christ, but not in the LEAST degree, disregarded. God did not invent a rose bush of beauty in revelation in the written word, in order for us to ignore the bud, or fail, for that matter, to see its wonders fulfilled in the bloom. It is ALL profitable for instruction in righteousness.
The pilot in red, coming
down - was it ? - the red ladder, of what does this remind us ?
Surely it is this: that the written word (lighthouses in line) duly understood with care and application, is yet moving us to the PILOT, who is personal, available and on board (John 5:39-40, Colossians 1:27). That is the figure of Christ our Saviour and Lord ! yes and our Counsellor and Strength.
HE conducts us personally through the 'RIP' of salvation, where the waters of the shores meet the ocean vastnesses, where life in the littleness of ignorance becomes life in the grandeur of the elemental power of the Creator. The red ladder suggests that the way was marked in blood, the way for the Pilot to our bows was by the Cross, and God forbid that I should cease to glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me and I to the world, as Paul indicates in Galatians 6:14.
That ladder! How often one sees people who do not seem to understand the blood. They seem to think in terms of forgiveness only, not of the cost of it to Him, and the relationship of that to ourselves, and this not in the least degree to PAY it, for HE PAID (I Peter 1-2); as if, in an alien and alienated world, they are not willing constantly to FIND the mind of Christ at ANY cost and to do it whatever the offence to this world, and its penalties, as Paul shows in Philippians 1:20-21:
Cf. That Magnificent Rock Chs. 2 and 3, SMR pp. 582ff., and Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix II. For the Kingdom of Heaven, see The Kingdom of Heaven... Ch. 2.