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The Sprawling Calling,
Unification, Elevation and Consternation
Slightly Above the Pit:
the Haven of Heavenly Places
The Australian, January 27, The Advertiser, ABC NEWS RADIO January 30
A SPRAWLING and UNELEVATING CALLING
In News 121,122, as also 152 we see something of the sprawling unification of religions, the amalgamation not only of religion with religion, in this or that manner, but with the State, in this or that fulcrum of movement, so that like some ill thought-out, rambling structure, littering the earth on some casual campus, its inspiration is dismal, its organisation like that of an eroded country paddock and its usefulness comparable to that of a recently crashed Boeing. Certainly, there are engines, and much work has been done; and assuredly one day someone may make something work in concert again: it is just that the assemblage savours more of a disassemblage, and the unity is more in the mind than before the eyes.
So we learn of “Monks evicted from island sanctuary” on p. 31 of The Advertiser, January 30 in this year of grace (it IS HIS GRACE that it still is here, and with His birth-date as the intention for its numerics). In a male colony, in the monastery of Mt Athos, named Esphigmenou, there is trouble. It is not so much brewing as already long brewed. It relates to events reaching back to something of the order of a millennium. What then ? Is not a Patriarch of the Orthodox, Bartholomew, intent on “trying to heal a nearly 1000-year-old rift” with Romanism ? It is reported that he is. The 117 members of the monastery have another view. Such a healing is not for them. It merely makes a sprawling calling, it seems, is their view. It is unjustified, unwarranted and not good.
Of course, they are right in this particular outcome.
Nothing that allies itself with the forbidden ‘father’ and ‘master’ of
After all, when they defy their patriarch (however wrong the concept of such a master) and insist on staying in the place from which he evicts them, and speak of food for two years, it is clear that this is not the willy-willy (Australian for a minor spinning of air of small danger, in the dust), but more of a potential typhoon: typhoon, one might conceive it, versus tycoon. In Biblical terms, this has some justice! Such power is not given to a man over the people of the Lord.
While however this increment of the sprawling calling of
ecclesiastical huts littering the religious campus, apart from Christ in
doctrine, but using His name, is considering its administrative centre,
whatever that may come to be: one cannot but parallel it to the Anglican move which
for long has been precisely the same (cf. A Question of Gifts, Section VI). Nor is one justified in omitting the Lutheran (one is tempted to say ‘Lutheresque’ since admittedly and incontestably it is far
removed from what Luther taught) movement
What then is becoming of these large bodies ? There is the UNIFICATION passion in the air, as attested in more detail in the initial references in this Chapter. It is just a question of who the “they” are in the prayer, “that they also may be one” of John . The first obvious point is the phrase following this in the text: “in Us”. It is not enough to be one, in some sprawling sense, for it is to be “in US”. Further defined is the point that those concerned as the prototype and exemplar model are the apostles to whom Christ was then speaking, and He issued the confined characterisation for the model in 17:6, provided below in the excerpt, 17:6-12:
v “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.
v “I pray for them.
v “I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.
v “Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
These people for whom HE DOES PRAY were given to Him, and they “have kept Your word”. Indeed, “I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them”. That is simple: they do not use their words and those of God’s in inseparable confusion. The word of God it is by which a man must live, even every word which proceeds out of His mouth, as Christ advised the devil, who like so many others, was not at all receptive on that occasion, since he was seeking to make Christ an instrument of his own (Matthew 4, esp. 4:4). Precisely that is the schema for false prophets and teachers in our day, but they do it now via the Bible, in a secondary take-over bid. It does not however carry any effective force, like a straw atomically powered to attack a door.
What then do we find ? It is not by other words that man is to live, as if gods could come and go, this way and that, and His are to be kept among the other lots on sale or on hold. It is not a rummage sale, or even an emporium of philosophy, a void vaudeville for dancing attendance on irrational protestations and wandering effusions, based on nothing in reason, nature, creation, on no validity and no authenticity (cf. TMR Ch. 5, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, SMR pp. 99ff., 998ff., Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6).
It is to His apostles He has provided the promise to lead into all truth, not some minor variety, or current tempo, and it is His word which has a validity both unique and assured, with verification constant and so throughout history. It is for such reasons that it is by EVERY word of His that one is to live; and it is for precisely the same reason that the “traditions of men” being taught, “make the word of God of none effect” or nullify it, as Christ taught explicitly in Mark 7:7ff.. Reason requires faith, but it does not in the last degree constitute it! The church is where faith is, and the faith is to be found.
Neither did He promise non-apostles this determinative and total provision, nor did He promise the apostles themselves some temporary relief, but all truth. If they recognised His working, then from them, as for Paul from Peter and Luke from Paul, his close associate (II Peter , I Timothy , Luke 10:7), whether in word, in corporate acceptance or indeed in both, came the acknowledgment. Neither did He make His apostles LESS than the former prophets, who were constrained by the Spirit of God as to their words ( I Cor. 2:9-13, I Peter 1:25, II Peter 2, 16, Matthew 4:4, Acts 4:25), making them directly attributable to God; as if messages mattered but the Son of God did not, His words did not, His way did not, His definitive presentation of God did not.
Such would be a violation of the integrity of the whole procedure of God speaking to, coming to and declaring His mind, while providing His ransom for man in no less a person than His incarnate Word, His only begotten Son!
Accordingly, in this perfect presentation from God, when the going gets rough, and the End comes near, then the dire deviousness which seeks to STAKE a CLAIM to CHRIST’s NAME, and yet twist or add to His words, yes or subtract, this comes to its evil head, like a bull charging someone and hoping at any moment to make the vital contact! The crisis demands maximal effort, and deceit as in the days of Christ (John ) is the only method. So does it continually verify itself, nothing being out of line, like wheels perfectly aligned, yes thousands and thousands of them.
What then of this non-Christian living by every word which proceeds out of the mouths of the churches concerned, or the societies, or the name-users of Christ ? What of such procedures as these ? Such devices, including using tradition in conjunction with the word of God, abominated by Christ (Mark 7:7ff., cf. Proverbs 30:6), or new “thus saith the lord” accretions, as if every day some Christ could countermand and amend the historical One who died (cf. Revelation 22:18ff., SMR Appendix D), and His presence was really unnecessary: these make for some sort of collaboration of entities. Their admixture can vary from the comic to the deadly, but AS mixtures, they are deadly in advance, for playing with the word of God, through the thoughts of man, is akin to lacerating His lips. It makes of man an anti-scriptural engenderer of ideas to thrust where no apostle taught, and which the word of God forbids (cf. Proverbs 30:6, Ephesians 2:19ff.).
Empty meanders of human thought can scarcely be elevated to the communication of God SUBSEQUENT to the manifestation of His Son, as if His portrait were not enough, His Calvary did not suffice, His resurrection appearance was not definitive, and thought could do better than the actual Son of God Himself, and His apostles with their unique commission (John 16:13ff.) and absolute prohibition of adding to THESE THINGS or subtracting, or altering in any way the Gospel as then taught.
To expect God to be making new christs from people who were not there when HE CAME, against His own word, is like expecting an orphan to replace a son, while the Son is still there. Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and is indeed still here, resurrected, risen and to return, the world obeying Him in one point only, and always, that whatever He has declared it will do, it DOES.
No, the utmost in collaboration of entities, whether inter-religious, or within a religion, by combining the thoughts of men with the word of God, as in Canon Law (cf. SMR pp. 1088A, 981), this does not produce in its inimitable self-contradictions, anything that could be called an edifice, let alone that of the Lord! HIS apostles whom with other believers, He sought to have in unity, they received His word, and as His, they received it, not their own!
Also, we read in John 17 as cited, these apostles, they surely knew Christ came forth from the Father (cf. John – “for I proceeded and came forth from Him”) and believed that the Father sent Him from His celestial abode of eternity (as in John 1:1, Philippians 2). There was no question of anyone else, let alone a primate (cf. Matthew 23:8-10, Mark 10:35ff., To Know God… Ch. 7, No Thanks for Angst!... Ch. 10). They were not so sent, and it is the words that He has spoken, not those of some guru, or Council or ‘Church’ or pontiff, it is these that will judge (John -50).
What else ? Would you have every man a law to himself, every church its own icon, everyone using ‘christ’ to depict their ideas, and so every man his own Saviour! But GOD ALONE is Saviour, GOD ALONE came as Christ, and it is BY HIS WORD ALONE that you must live, ruling, rigorous and definitive: as He was, so is His word. It is to trust in Him (John -40), and as such, to follow His words (Luke 6:46ff.), as unduplicatable and definitive ROCK, that man is enjoined. HE is THE ROCK, but it on His words AS rock, they men must build; for as in the Old Testament, so in the New, GOD SPOKE as He would (I Peter 1:10, II Peter 1:16ff., I Corinthians 2:9-13), and to His apostles He committed the truth to be given, so that they were in the foundation as in Ephesians 2. Adding to His word ? MOST convenient, UTTERLY forbidden! (cf. SMR Appendix C).
This meant that they did not vie with Him (though Peter came near to appointing himself as a tutor to the divine, once – Matthew -23), or add to His words with this or that notion or figuring of their own. HE said, and they obeyed; it is was HIS power and purpose and purchase and it was HE who was Lord, who asked why men calling Him Lord, Lord did not bother to do what He actually said (Luke 6:46), which upon reflection, the earnest reader must surely see to be a very apt idea in this case!
His portrait is not in oils, but in words inspired by the Spirit of God, deployed by the command of Christ, provided by His promise and cut off sharply by Paul (Galatians 1) as by John (Revelation 22), as indeed by the Church as the first, when it defined the word of God, attesting what it was, not to produce it, but to authenticate past all contest, its extent. The Jew gave his part (Romans 9), and the New Covenant people theirs. That is what has been and is to be, till He comes.
Thus this spurious unity with community in nations, in churches, in ventures, in associations, in unifications and proliferations of buildings of this and that type of meaning for the maze, has nothing whatsoever to do with the tall and imposing Impregnable Tower of Truth, Christ the word of God, the criterion, unalterable, irrefragable, immoderate in immutability as is becoming to God, with His word which forbids these devices and lurches in churches from His calling and word (cf. II Corinthians 4:1ff.).
It DOES have however very much to do with that clever engineering, though without any beauty, which is the work of that arch-fiend, the devil who loves confusion in profusion, as do some who gabble on about some topic, or elect highly strung emotions and combine the two, in case the truth might ever appear. ANYTHING which ADDS to the word of God, which dares to make comparable to it, the word of man, to sponsor God with its own words and so forth, which claims any mastery or fatherhood to spiritual powers other than GOD HIMSELF, is at once outside the campus of Christ.
So does linger outside, the rush to ecumenical, and beyond that, religious unification, and beyond that, cultural inclusion of religion (as is done in some search engine categorisation) as a sub-species of society in a hilarious blast of spiritual, anti-faith cladism. Inclusion ? but in what ? That is the difficulty in the lack of the administrative centre in that sprawling calling, and as you see, the idea of making Rome’s bishop the centre has long been in view*1, though not appealing to all who love to wander, and many have been the heads departing from bodies as a result of this illustrious primacy (cf. Inquisition in Index), and many the Jewish body made a sprawling mess from this ‘calling’.
Negatively, the Lutheran, Anglican and now perhaps Orthodox movements towards this maxi-embrace of the human race have been very impressive in the last 20 years. But far more impactive is the submergence of the Bible into the words of men, the churches into the structure of amorphous nonentity in doctrine instead of the simple and plain declaration of the word of God, and this structure into the concept of cultural supremacy and human racism, and that in turn into the spirit of our Age.
As to that, it is that loathsome ingredient of human glory in the hand of the exploiter of souls, as Bunyan so clearly depicted it in his delightful work, The Holy War , that prince of this world who WILL have his own. In Him, that prince as Christ called him, HE has no part (John ), no, no part at all. As Christ declared, “He has nothing in Me.”
The horror for the devil and those who wittingly or not, follow him against the word of God (cf. Revelation 12:11), is that although he is a specialist in will, his own, and having it, and although temporarily he has his own people with him as their prince, yet NOT getting his own way, his own will is precisely the ESSENCE of his spirit, thwarted in frustration. Though he gains some, he loses himself, and in the end, all authority, being already divested of his erstwhile position, and thrust to dust.
THE PUFFING OF THE TEMPORARY POTENTATE
A stricken and suffocating glory, this he will have, that false prince, and indeed his master, but the devil knows that his time is short (cf. Revelation 12:9-17).
v “So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven,
§ ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.’
§ ‘And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.’
v “Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood.
v “But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Here is the form of the movement: the devil would like heaven, but it is simply unavailable for rule by created beings, who lack something, for instance eternity, omnipotence, omniscience and infinite goodness. Hence when there is this flinging out noted in the above scripture, there is this same insatiable desire to GET IN, like some dog scratching at the door of the house. It is frustrating to those of this persuasion, who take the Lord and the law into their own hands, and in masses even affect to move God about (cf. SMR pp. 1042-1088H). Delusion often prevents their realisation of their peril; but frustration often makes murder a multiplying business and these three, Communism, Romanism and Islam have been frequently considered on this site, in their relationship to Christ and Christianity, in terms of a false christ and false prophet with blood to pay, in sheer abundance (cf. Ch. 3 above, Highway to Hell, Divine Agenda Ch. 3).
Frustration tends to laceration, and human wrath to ruin; and vast have been the excesses in these three.
Wrathful, intimidatory (it is no accident that intimidation is the major weapon used in Islam in this decade, in order to secure desires for destruction, reconstruction and magnification) and vindictive, this spirit is seeking more for his armies, and doing so at this time often in the guise of a Lamb (cf. Matthew 7:15, Revelation 13:11), precisely as predicted of course for this last era of our Age, first via the WCC and now through an army of unification motions, now with this primacy to some unit in it, now to that, while others try to unite even what is reluctant to unite, and more inclined simply to ignite. Even Islam tries so hard to assimilate Christ that they even have a book telling us both that He died and that He did not, a novel way of slaughter. (Cf. More Marvels … Ch. 4 as cited.)
In some ways, like the liberal Anglicans, and not these only, this false prophet tries to say nice things about Christ, while denying His claims, all of His Biblical name both in the Old and New Testament, and so manufacturing like the papacy, and other movements of shame, a movable Christ, allowing himself more movement. Such take-over bids however lack one thing: viability in verification, just as they fail in another, their invention of history from imagination is not acceptable to reason*2.
Even movements to unite the Christian, Judaistic and Islamic have been known, as seen in Gracious Goodness Ch. 4, from which a short quotation is provided:
Ø When a thing is out of place, it may be that it is separated out from its true constituency; or that it is melded where it does not belong.
Ø We have been looking, in the last
chapter, at things displaced, rather than in their holy settings. Now we
consider things placed synthetically without understanding, by the play of
program without wisdom. Thus we read in a report dated
Ø First, for this date, we find that “Christian Leaders” have been “Harassed by Israeli Security Personnel.” These religious leaders were, we read, engaged in one of the “rare and successful initiatives for interfaith dialogue between Christians, Moslem, and Jews.” The “official Israeli establishment”, we are further informed, was “not interested in interfaith dialogue”, since, in the view of the composer of this vitriolic deliverance, it was “consumed in its own fantasies about self-righteousness, and the paranoia that everybody is out to get them.”
Indeed, as noted In Flight or on Stand-By, the Pope permitted an image of Buddha (in some sense or other) to be placed on the altar by the Dalai Lama in St Peter's Roman Catholic Church in Assisi Italy (October 27, 1986), and vast are the entrails of this digestion of cults, heresies, movements, cultural religions, and the like. In the end, no doubt the plan is for all of this to enable the religiosity model to put on weight and to become grander and grander, until with all these symbols aligned, and the power structures in view, and the custom of regarding the traditions of men with solemn authority, comparable for many to that of God (cf. SMR pp. 915-916), man can be manipulated by the admin block, when that is built, of course. These things read with the initial references at the head of this chapter will speak for themselves; and soon their voice will be significantly louder.
However two other features now claim our attention.
Meanwhile, in an interesting counter-move, the Anglican
We find in this article that “in an interview with the Church Times” Jenkins is made the author of a prediction that “the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, would break up the Anglican communion.” Doubtless, there is much to be said for such an announcement or prognostication to be made on English soil, as evidently it was.
There would, he evidently indicated, be some churches which
Some years ago the issue of women ‘priests’ apparently almost led to a split of Sydney*3 from the rest of Australian Anglicanism, but the matter was allowed to drop; and the irony of course is this, that with a Primate (the Australian one) telling his people that it is not only through Christ that the haven of heaven is to be reached, with all the preliminaries to that outcome, it took a matter of women priests to bring action, or something near it! If there is nothing other than instant action needed, it was needed long ago, to correct or purge from the Church such open unbelief.
· That is where a simple adherence to all the teaching of the Bible, as distinct from the concept of evangelicalism but not fundamentalism -
· makes for action, just as it is foundational to the faith (cf. SMR Appendix D).
Whispish substitutes tend
to lead to wandering results, as Anglicanism so well attests. Indeed, had it
been clearer, there never would have been a
It is not a question of what new convert can at once always
see, but of what the church should have continued to see; and in large measure
those called Christian with any semblance of propriety, have seen this over
ages, though our own Age is scarcely typical (cf. Harold Lindsell.
Why is that ? It is simply that this very thing is ONE of the criteria of the period near to the return of Christ, and since the other elements are here, if THIS WERE MISSING, it would be an error.
Missing ? That is however
scarcely the case with this departure, degeneration from doctrine, flirtation
with false prophets, teachers as Peter noted, often theologians (cf. SMR pp. 846ff., 857ff., 982ff., 700ff.). It is present in multitudes,
like the aeroplanes of the British and Americans over
Amid all this whirl of confusion and compromise, now more, now less, and this annealing of so many metals into some coming object for kneeling (cf. Revelation 13:12) into some gorgeous but dysfunctional religious objet d’art , there remains what was always there, never left or will leave until the church of the living God, of Jesus Christ is removed when He comes. As the Epistle to Titus puts it,we are –
“looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
It is this which has resulted, also for our contemporary world, from what was done, so that
Ø “when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Ø not by works of righteousness which we have done,
Ø but according to His mercy,
Ø He saved us,
Ø through the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, that having been justified by His grace, we should become heirs…”
The kindness ACTED; the Saviour CAME, and this same God our Saviour results in a SALVATION for His people, affirmable as PAST and done, and our waiting for the next great station in history, His appearing, even that of Christ, our God and Saviour, the Creator who made flesh His home, from which man evicted Him, but to which He returned in resurrection, and it is in this form that He returns in regality. It is in these terms that His people, who have received His words as He stated in John 17, wait for Him in His glorious appearing, future to Paul, coming now near.
Meanwhile, with this assured hope that purifies (I John 3), there is for the Christian that sure dwelling place in Christ to which Paul refers in Ephesians 2:6:
He “raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus … for by grace you are having been saved persons, through faith, and that (because of the word’s gender, whole cycle or thing) is not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
This haven becomes heaven on His return. That is the work of the resurrection. While man tries to amalgamate, or to explore retrieval possibilities in gross apostasy, or to build gods of convenience, to rupture reality and to make his own, naturally surreal since he is not the Creator, the world askew runs not so jauntily as it did, and in a little while account will be given. Small wonder so many who loiter in forbidden places become weary, spiritually enervated, and others become vocal, with disacclaim towards deity, amounting to execration, treating His word and His people and His faith with a derogatory posturing which merely attests their own colour. It is not however a football match.
It is life.
Its predicted status is as ordered and written; and as to what is written, it is verified to the utmost, in spirit, in structures, in posturings, in pretences, in false prophets, in inundations in secular myths (cf. Joyful Jottings 8, Secular Myths and Sacred Truth, Calibrating Myths …), in co-ordinations and cultural assimilations, in preposterous acclamations and precipate degradations (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5, SMR Ch. 8). Like a basal cell cancer, long watched from its earlier watery stages, it begins to take shape, the shape of things to come; and though assuredly it is mis-shapen, yet this misshape is no mistake, but this very grotesquerie is as it had to be (cf. Matthew 24).
Decades ago, the author did not return to one Anglican school to teach, because a mass was held in it, and when correction was attempted, had occasion to speak to the Bishop. How ironic, one indicated, that you who are Anglican have your 39 Articles, but it is I rather than you who keep them! To this the significant reply came, that THEY did not have to keep them. Apparently they were a law to themselves, and in fact, one boy who made for himself an altar in the woods, was vigorously defended.
Further, the express movement to having the pope as Chairman of Churches has long been known from the work of Lambeth ‘palace’ (cf. A Question of Gifts Section VI).
That the topic of gender in priests (very important, because scripturally imparted as a rule) should stir Sydney some few years ago ALMOST to action, when such horrors as these have long been tolerated, is the irony that might almost melt iron; or make fire weep. The presence of that denomination in a leading role in the World Council of Churches with its combination of Unitarians and liberals, itself wholly forbidden (cf. Romans ) is in itself sufficient to have caused reform or departure decades ago, likewise.
In this our generation, the concept of keeping the rules, even the rulings of the word of God, seems as popular as that of having children exposed to truth, rather than indoctrinated, as if in a dental drilling, with the platitudinous opprobrium of organic evolution (cf. TMR Ch. 1, 8). The failure in the one, leads to the impetus of the other, and the failure to adhere to reason, another feature of our generation, this presents the evil day with its music.
*3 See Dawn of Light Ch. 2.