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Chapter 6

PROCEEDING TO THE PRESENT

LIKE TAKING A JOURNEY AND LAND,

AND THEN WATCHING IT FROM THE AIR

Overview

Updated and extended where necessary 2010

Since those days in New Zealand, much has happened, and of this, some salient points are selected.

In turn, these things can now be put in something more like an overview which follows, to help overall perspective, in some ways moving up to the present time.  While some points have been noted above, here we can present matters in a broader scope of perspective, while missing data can to some extent be supplied in the process.

 

THE PROGRESSION IN THE MINISTRY

THAT ENDS WHERE IT BEGINS, IN JESUS CHRIST

AN OVERVIEW

 

THE START AND THE UNUSUAL

 

The beginning of what became quite a spiritual saga with vast powers of concerted opposition, was my conversion to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, with His word as His own, reliable, His Spirit as sent by Him, as provided and His task as assigned, the work of the Christian Ministry through the Presbyterian channel, my responsibility and His charge and care.

To meet the demands of Westminster Seminary, which was required after the explosive nature of the radical liberalism to be found in Ormond College, Melbourne, the recidivist residue of what had once been a fine seminary, it was necessary to extend my academic qualifications. Choosing Sydney University for this task, not least because of the state of Economics at Melbourne University, I found a new hurdle. After about 6 weeks of the first Term, the University decided that I could not take a course in Educational History (or some such name), which I had been taking and enjoying immensely, because it required a prior educational course. Why it took so long to discover this, is something unknown to this writer!

This created a problem. How could I leave this and start a new course in a new University with much of the First Term gone, including book selection and purchase, orientation and all preliminary indications of emphasis, not to mention the work covered ? This was a matter for the Lord who called me, as were and are all matters beyond human control, absolutely; for where was I to make the academic ends, unknown in good measure, to meet!

In the Lord's beautiful providence, just as the funds for going to the USA when such funds were governmentally rationed were quite miraculously obtained, so was this hurdle overturned. I found a most remarkable Lecturer in the second part of the Economics course, brilliant, dashing and even witty, and liberated from determinism to boot! (cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7). Moreover he was kind.

Taking his only copy of the lecture notes so far (including such comments as 'laugh here'), he let me have them over Easter so that I could catch up! Not only so, but much later, he and another most congenial Lecturer met with me about something and we had a fascinating conversation about motivation, a topic important in Economics. It is instructive to note how it went.

One customary and rather quaint concept in much theory in economics is this, that man selfishly contrives to seek profit. If his procedure makes it, well; if not, not well. He seeks satisfaction moreover, even adjudging minute matters for their increment for satisfaction, so much of this versus so much of that,  and so much payment for this, and for that, in a complex, analytical marginal, machination. Thus is he moved. Ludicrous as it is, as almost a parody of the most debased of minds and the most robotised of residues of the human race, it has been in various forms, a sort of hedonistic commercialism, seriously taught. What would Gilbert and Sullivan have made of it, in terms of the very model of a modern hedonistic, profiteering, scientific marvel of modern humanity, who knew everything about what does not matter, to the point that he quite forgot what he was here for, the purpose of his life and its very meaning.

In Gilbert's satire, the modern major-general knows anything about anything, and quite abstrusely too, but his training, in view of his exalted rank, need not include much about war.

Our war is massively to be seen in terms of what is the perspective, the atmosphere, the point, the purpose, the origin, the destiny and the duty, the responsibility of man, and the requirement of the Author of life: how such preludes are faced. It includes in fact as we see in SMR,  what is the ditching of these things that might be done by nullifying the obvious and missing the point. To bypass such issues, does nothing to remove them, and they remain whatever short-cut or short-circuit may be preferred (cf. SMR pp. 349A-372, incl. 357).

To ignore this, without even considering the outcomes, is precisely what prejudice is all about. The things of man's spirit (cf. SMR pp. 348ff., It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Little Things... Ch. 5, Deliverance from Disorientation ...Ch. 8), determine -

 often with decisions based on priorities, based on principles based on understanding, based on research and realisation, based on the nature of man,
based on the nature of God, based on reason and revelation,
graced with verification, often with choice, taken this way or that:

what man conceives to be the nature of things. These include commercial things. That embraces their actual value, in terms of purpose, and this in relation to the nature of man's soul, mind and life.

It was suggested in the conversation with these Lecturers, who seemed in this case models of courtesy, that even if you had certain moral, spiritual values, then these would be satisfied, and if so, why not marginally, according to the economic theory ? What did it matter what KIND of consideration led to the satisfaction, it was still satisfaction, and hence the theory was not really so much influenced, after all, by the nature of the source which sought satisfaction.

In reply, I noted that if we are to consider things from different perspectives, we need models (whether or not this was the language, this was the point, put this way or that). If we look at Biblical Christianity, which with good reason I took to be right, and operative - and I was PART of the whole of humanity which any theory about its nature MUST consider and cover, if it is to be more than systematised prejudice; and if we then considered this human unit, myself, what followed ? It was this. We had a systematic problem with such an approach. I for my part did not seek my own satisfaction. I was part of the field to be analysed and characterised! You cannot claim to be accurate in generalisation if you ignore things.

No, I do not act like that. This point was made.

Further, neither does the biblically defined Christian. That merely extends the significance of the impact of this contrary breed to any theory; but even one person of sound mind constitutes an exception which ruins a theory attempting to formalise an aspect of human behaviour. I do not cease to be human because I have not been dehumanised as I conceive the theory to have as the nature of its thrust. Moreover, however you conceive it, I stand as an exception; and you can add those among the professing Christians, who are in fact  so.

Do I not then seek the satisfaction of my spiritual preference ? Such was the tenor of the query I then faced.

No, I do not. While it is true that Christ is my spiritual preference, it is no less true that when I become a Christian, my own self as a criterion (that is, I prefer Christ, therefore I take Him - not the biblical mode, incidentally - John 1:12, Romans 9:16) ceases to be in charge, control and the criterion. Good or bad, that self is now subjected voluntarily, willingly and spiritually to another whose satisfaction I seek. I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20), and if not, how am I a biblically defined Christian at all (Galatians 5:24), since those who ARE such,  are in fact so crucified! Moreover, this is my practice, I indicated. Does it satisfy the Lord, and if so, what does it really matter if it satisfies me (as a criterion)! I am not my own, but bought with a price (I Corinthians 6:20).

MY satisfaction as a human being of diverse preferences is NOT even relevant ultimately, to what I desire and hence, being directed by God (Psalm 32, Acts 16), what I need and so as required, buy, and buy not to a margin of desire, but to the extent needed for the purpose, program, propositions of the Almighty and fulfilment of my tasks. It is not an incremental desire but a categorical purpose and requirement, not subjectivised but observable that is in point. As to Him, He is not a man in His eternal form (Philippians 2), but simply became one in format to perform His own task of salvation, to make it freely (Romans 3:23ff.) available to every man (I John 2).

You cannot read out God on a complex computer program, or cash register composition. The Bible puts it like this (from I Corinthians 2:14-16), "But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him ? But we have the mind of Christ." In other words, we are in friendly and serviceable subjugation to Jesus Christ, who being God, has authority over us, commands, directs, guides, counsels, uplifts us, gives us priorities and purposes, commissions and enablements. We are specifically, in addition, told not to seek what to wear and so on (including of course, this on an incremental basis set for personal satisfaction dependent on price and what is lost if money is not spent elsewhere and so on), but rather first the kingdom of God.

No, but this is not all. We are told in this same passage in I Corinthians 2, that the natural man does NOT receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. That is, the man who has not as yet been illuminated, challenged, changed and regenerated by God so that he can act in a knowing and knowledgeable way with Him, is 'natural' and not 'spiritual'. This all is expressing the same theme.

Seeking to maximise, if you want to put it in that rather strange way at a personal level, the satisfaction of Christ, then, granted this use of the form for comparative purposes only with economic theory, you do not by DEFINITION maximise your own, since you are not He! Moreover, HE, being God, has vast domains of eternal and exhaustive wisdom which you do not have. The case, then, is not only different from meeting your own satisfaction, but categorically disparate; and the comparison is that between the finite and the infinite, which does not make for much in way of intimate, arithmetical comparison.

They were gracious enough to seem to conceive this and to see something of its point. It was a fascinating and valuable meeting.

However, in the end, the requirements of Westminster Seminary were met, I flew there, right down to the last resultant, alighting from the bus from the airport, to the gate in the snow, to carrying my two suitcases up the regal-seeming, upward path to the place. Then in three semesters, what was required was done, and in the main, most profitable it was.

Eventually, this led to the graduation in B.A. B.D. and this was almost small compared with the non-academic challenge to follow.

After graduation, academically, I took the Master of Arts with Honours at Melbourne University (1964), and the Diploma of Education with all Honours there also when it was needed (1977), and was awarded the Doctor of Theology Degree, at the instance of the Chairman of the Doctrine Committee of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria, from the Berean Graduate School of Divinity for my 165,000 word thesis in Christian Biblical Apologetics and sundry works. All this may sound routine, but its setting was far from that.

However, inside this exterior there was a vast conflict; and it was not within, but with those purporting to serve Jesus Christ, professors and their allies in the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. So vile was their teaching, so anti-biblical their theme, so enormous was the hideous defilement of the Bible, so irrational its clothing and so depraved its nature that one wondered why the other students did not equally risk their careers and stand for Christ and His word, in the midst of such a quisling operation as this CHURCH ASSAULT on the Bible. It was sometimes venomous, often emotionally highly charged: it sought to subvert, quite explicitly, the Bible as the written criterion of truth, Moreover, as often with such subversive thrusts, it was lofty and self-exalted; but when it was exposed as categorically false, there was a super-charged atmosphere of hostility which led to my excision from the Class.

 

 

THE CHALLENGE, THE CONSEQUENCE AND THE VICTORY

 

In testimony, therefore, the account is longer.

 

Before Westminster Seminary graduation in 1957, I challenged these liberal Professors in the Ormond College Seminary, Melbourne, in answer to their challenge to students as these academics attacked  the book of Daniel as being subterfuge, and tried to deny the powers of prediction of Jesus Christ. Instead of answer to my exposure of these errors, duly made, I was removed as a candidate for this Ministry in 1954.

After graduation, ecclesiastically, at Westminster Seminary, I found that the confrontation rolled on. Exclusion from the ministry rollicked on at the hand of my liberal opponents, in control of the body back in Australia, the one which decides candidature. This took its time to move to the final test in this world, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia in 1964, but after I had taught for some years and proceeded to the work of my Master's degree, the time came for the meeting with hundreds of Ministers and elders present, in Sydney.

In this, I was backed by a Presbytery in Canada, a land in which I had preached both when at Westminster Theological Seminary and subsequently, and one in Tasmania, where I was teaching in a Church School (including religious studies) as also by  a large congregation in Victoria, giving a threefold cord. We acted against the Theological Education Committee of Victoria, which sought to exclude me from the Ministry following my testimony. The opportunity to fall from it, to cease this exclusion,  was presented and refused, and as is not uncommon, false charges had been added.

 In Sydney in 1964, we won on appeal to this General Assembly of Australia, in a most dramatic exchange when the Lord verified profoundly the promise of Luke 21:15; but that in itself is a separate story! It may be seen from this link, and others like it at this site. The important thing is this: that despite a 'congregation' of ministers and elders, a large proportion of whom would have been mis-educated by liberal teaching, the Lord undertook to uphold His servant, and overturned the false condemnation of 10 years or so standing, and even brought applause at the God-given answer to one of the probing questions of the opposition! Praise God because with Him, NOTHING is impossible!

The contest had a further phase, even after that, but it also led to a victory in the power and goodness of the Lord.

 The aftermath happened in this way. A required essay for licensing, on the virgin birth in Isaiah 7, a topic which was my choice, was rejected; but a copy sent to Professor E. J. Young of Westminster was given Honours. I had taken this precaution of sending an insurance copy to expose any wrong-doing from any Australian assessor, knowing from many year's experience, the volatility and fire of the opposition. On my presenting challenge to the Stated Clerk of that Assembly, the General Assembly of Australia,  on the ludicrous nature of this further persecution, and affirming that this was a grave dishonour to the Church, he agreed, and in fact, went further, and undertook to act.

Thus, he pledged that  if I provided another Essay, New Testament this time, he personally, being able, and under certain conditions, would call a special meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, just to cover the outrage of such a case.

 Thus assured, I agreed to write a further essay, and several copies of this were to be sent to scholars, including F.F. Bruce. The arrangement was that if the international scholars such as he, were happy with the essay, and the examiners in Australia sought to exclude me further, then that special meeting of the GAA would be called! It should be emphasised that not only were the Liberal academics in seminary making an entirely different book of Daniel, on a self-contradictory theory (the ground of my exclusion, when I showed this to be so,  in Class, a reply praise God, never answered!); but we as students were placed  under explicit challenge as to our integrity, if we still believed the book of Daniel.

 The case in fact was even worse than this. In New Testament studies, a new Christ who could not know He would rise from the dead in three days had been presented in Class, and when  as enabled by the Lord,  I exhibited this for what it was, in argumentation the day before my exclusion from Ministry training in the PC of Australia, the stage was set, and the official termination of that training duly arrived!

 F.F. Bruce and Professor John Skilton of Westminster Seminary both being happy with the new essay, no one in Australia tried any more to exclude me and I was licensed in 1965, sent to a Charge and eventually became a Presbyterian Minister when, called as a Visiting Preacher to a suburban Church in New Zealand, I was ordained by South Auckland Presbytery.

 At that time, Professor Geering, Principal of the only NZ Presbyterian seminary, was busy denying, with vast Press coverage, the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. His words appeared simply based on his philosophical predilections, which seemed largely anti-supernaturalist and naturalist in disposition, but the people being ready to become free of Christ and perhaps, being deceived, to have a half-way house if possible, on the rampage towards straight unbelief, got into the business, on rather a large scale, of making a new christ, who would not bother to rise, to inspire, to fire, to teach, to astound, to consummate the resurrections wrought in his life-time, and to seal that of Lazarus, that succinct prelude of power.

It is in a way rather like rotting wood: at first the wood is sound, then ages, then flakes just a little, then gets grooves, then loses strength until underneath the superficial paint, it cracks. The crack may not be noticed for a time; then it snaps. Such in outline seems to have been the motion to apostasy in the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand, and in many others of various religious persuasions, who enjoyed the spectacle of this shocking betrayal and jejune jumble sale.

There are many ways of selling Christ: one of the more popular recent ones is simply to retain the name and alter the reference. But let us proceed with the action in New Zealand in 1966.

I was then called to a pastorate in Blenheim on the South Island, just opposite Wellington where the challenge to this heresy, was presented via Overture by our congregation, to the Assembly of 1966.

 

 Given 7 minutes flat to speak, as commissioned as an Assembly representative, I duly delivered the Overture. In this event, I showed from the Greek in Acts 2, there was no possible other rendering than that which indicated that Christ’s flesh did not rot, and that any schoolboy understands what it is to rot; and likewise affirmed  that a prime apostle had so affirmed on a central occasion in the very establishment of the Church, and this for a central reason, and that to deny it was not merely to offend our official standards, but the Bible and the foundation of the Church. They refused the correction required by us, of this heresy. We indicated we would so hold to biblical truth, whatever they did.

 When it came to the vote, I alone (it sounds like Elijah’s prayer) made a request to have my DISSENT RECORDED,  from their Resurrection Statement, a fact not presented in the Press, but exhibited in a Christian Paper published in New Zealand, shortly afterwards. This covered of course all uses of it, applications, implications. The thing was horrendous and as my words on the Overture had shown, an internment of the apostolic and power basis of Christianity, biblical truth and the commitment of the Church.

After a few days, I duly presented a large and vigorous reply covering the official ground for my dissent from their heretical ‘Resurrection Statement’, which had made the body of Christ irrelevant to the ‘resurrection’, a pleasant option. The bodily resurrection was, I indicated, indispensable to the faith, incorrigible and indefeasible: apostasy alone could deny it. This meant that in all matters involving the Resurrection Statement, I condemned these also. The Stated Clerk told me that “the Presbytery will deal with you,” which in due course they did, coming by announcement in the secular Press, to examine my Ministry.

 

This meant that there was ONE dissident to the total apostasy of the PC of NZ, this my dissent recorded for all time, officially and formally, covering all matters involving the use, deployment  and nature of that deplorably devious Resurrection statement. Therefore alike exposed and condemned was what should find  it convenient to affirm it. The Assembly was thus irrevocably riven, exposed and condemned for this ruination for the reason for the Church, its basis as told at Pentecost. Would some like to distress this fact, ignoring or denying this non-rotting of the risen body of Jesus Christ (Acts 2) ? Then, whatever might be the devious, delinquent or other purposes, this denial of Jesus Christ according to His word, this implacable departure from the faith, has fallen into the abyss of the powers of deception. It is amazing that so simple a thing should be ignored by so many for so long; but it teaches the shudderingly horrid reality of the distortions of history which some even amongst areas of the Reformed in this matter,  appear to have contributed.

The Reformation was great, removing much dead and deadly tradition, the elevation of man as teacher and master, in contradiction of the claims of Christ (Matthew 23:8-10). But it did NOT provide a free pass to wring the neck of reality, as if it were a toy or a sparrow, because of some rankling spirit of dissent in the face of a testimony as clear as it was consistent, as demanding as it was insistent, where even the boulder of great weight, the witnesses who had seen where Christ was buried, the danger of the death penalty for soldiers who did not effectively guard and the plight of liars interfering with the great sacrifice of life and striking of death prepared for thousands of prophet years, faced hell itself, as dabblers in doctrine and wolves among the sheep. This, life's manifest triumph over death as per thousands of years of growing prophecy, amid the armed might of Rome and the soldiery of the ruling priesthood, was like some international games in its results, a thing not for sale to those who sought to profit from it, so seeking to gain souls who had no ground, and losing faith along with those whose business that has always been (cf. Psalm 16, 22, Hosea 13:14, Ezekiel 34, Isaiah 26:19, Job 19).

As to the New Zealand news cover-up, if it were proper, one would almost be drawn to congratulate the devil on a positive masterpiece of Press manipulation, human folly, gross carelessness and unwound tongues flapping like fallen flags. However, that fallen fiend need not imagine his lies will prevail. Though the wind seem fair, and hot, yet the vessel of truth will not yield to his heresies or his slanders alike. Facts cannot alter, only the face put on, like that of a seductress (cf. Proverbs 7).

But what is it like ? Such things are like arthritis in the body of religion, seeking to invade the body of Christ; but this, it is intact and in no need of a diet of met-worst, that spiritual parallel to metwurst. Our Bishop, Jesus Christ, cannot be suborned or deceived, and judgment will not fail to be according to truth (Romans 2:1ff.).

It is such morbidities, seductions and slurs which by contrast emphasise and underline the beauty of truth, just as it does the reality of that judgment which comes. There have even been reported two Ministers who (though wishing to remain anonymous) were stated to doubt that the condemnataory speech in the Assembly of 1966 was ever made, even though the Session of St Ninian's authorised the Overture to Assembly and the Minister, oneself, duly acted in that hyper-charged atmosphere to present it, amid many elders and ministers at the national assembly, and duly received the threats noted.

When will truth once more be revered, and evil speaking contain itself in much of what is called the Church! One is all too aware of the follies such as Paul was ready to correct in diseased misuse of the tongue, as seen in the end of II Corinthians 12, and of gossip,  in 12:20ff., or even Romans 1:29-30, where we meet at the end of the line of the fall syndrome, whisperers slithering into evil speaking. Such things, together with   II Timothy 3:3-5, trace some of the defections of the end of the Age. It is sad but necessary to meet them; for as in a Chemistry experiment on analysis of substances, so here in the history of this Age, if such things were not here, how would the Bible be true. Since however it is, as in the Handbook, so in history it befalls us.

 

Given 7 minutes flat to speak, as commissioned as an Assembly representative, I duly delivered the Overture. In this event, I showed from the Greek in Acts 2, there was no possible other rendering than that which indicated that Christ’s flesh did not rot, and that any schoolboy understands what it is to rot; and likewise affirmed  that a prime apostle had so affirmed on a central occasion in the very establishment of the Church, and this for a central reason, and that to deny it was not merely to offend our official standards, but the Bible and the foundation of the Church. They refused the correction required by us, of this heresy. We indicated we would so hold to biblical truth, whatever they did.

 When it came to the vote, I alone (it sounds like Elijah’s prayer) made a request to have my DISSENT RECORDED,  from their Resurrection Statement, a fact not presented in the Press, but exhibited in a Christian Paper published in New Zealand, shortly afterwards. This covered of course all uses of it, applications, implications. The thing was horrendous and as my words on the Overture had shown, an internment of the apostolic and power basis of Christianity, biblical truth and the commitment of the Church.

After a few days, I duly presented some 17,000 words of official ground for my dissent from their heretical ‘Resurrection Statement’, which had made the body of Christ irrelevant to the ‘resurrection’, a pleasant option.  The bodily resurrection was, I indicated, indispensable to the faith, incorrigible and indefeasible: apostasy alone could deny it. This meant that in all matters involving the Resurrection Statement, I condemned these also. The Stated Clerk told me that “the Presbytery will deal with you,” which in due course they did, coming by announcement in the secular Press, to examine my Ministry.

This meant that there was ONE dissident to the total apostasy of the PC of NZ, this my dissent recorded for all time, officially and formally, covering all matters involving the use, deployment  and nature of that deplorably devious Resurrection statement. Therefore alike exposed and condemned was what should find  it convenient to affirm it. The Assembly was thus irrevocably riven, exposed and condemned for this ruination for the reason for the Church, its basis as told at Pentecost. Would some like to distress this fact, ignoring or denying this non-rotting of the risen body of Jesus Christ (Acts 2) ? Then, whatever might be the devious, delinquent or other purposes, this denial of Jesus Christ according to His word, this implacable departure from the faith, has fallen into the abyss of the powers of deception. It is smazing that so simple a thing should be ignored by so many for so long; but it teaches the shudderingly horrid reality of the distortions of history which some even amongst areas of the Reformed in this matter,  appear to have contributed.

The Reformation was great, removing much dead and deadly tradition, the elevation of man as teacher and master, in contradiction of the claims of Christ (Matthew 23:8-10). But it did NOT provide a free pass to wring the neck of reality, as if it were a toy or a sparrow, because of some rankling spirit of dissent in the face of a testimony as clear as it was consistent, as demanding as it was insistent, where even the boulder of great weight, the witnesses who had seen where Christ was buried, the danger of the death penalty for soldiers who did not effectively guard and the plight of liars interfering with the great sacrifice of life and striking of death prepared for thousands of prophet years, faced hell itself, as dabblers in doctrine and wolves among the sheep.

This, life's manifest triumph over death as per thousands of years of growing prophecy, amid the armed might of Rome and the soldiery of the ruling priesthood, was like some international games in its results, a thing not for sale to those who sought to profit from it, so seeking to gain souls who had no ground, and losing faith along with those whose business that has always been (cf. Psalm 16, 22, Hosea 13:14, Ezekiel 34, Isaiah 26:19, Job 19).

As to the New Zealand news cover-up, if it were proper, one would almost be drawn to congratulate the devil on a positive masterpiece of Press manipulation, human folly, gross carelessness and unwound tongues flapping like fallen flags. However, that fallen fiend need not imagine his lies will prevail. Though the wind seem fair, and hot, yet the vessel of truth will not yield to his heresies or his slanders alike. Facts cannot alter, only the face put on, like that of a seductress (cf. Proverbs 7).

But what is it like ? Such things are like arthritis in the body of religion, seeking to invade the body of Christ; but this, it is intact and in no need of a diet of met-worst, that spiritual parallel to metwurst. Our Bishop, Jesus Christ, cannot be suborned or deceived, and judgment will not fail to be according to truth (Romans 2:1ff.).

It is such morbidities, seductions and slurs which by contrast emphasise and underline the beauty of truth, just as it does the reality of that judgment which comes. There have even been reported two Ministers who (though wishing to remain anonymous) were stated to doubt that the speech in the Assembly of 1966 was ever made, even though the Session of St Ninian's authorised the Overture to Assembly and the Minister, oneself, duly acted in that hyper-charged atmosphere to present it, and duly received the threats noted.

When will truth once more be revered, and evil speaking contain itself in much of what is called the Church! One is all too aware of the follies such as Paul was ready to correct in diseased misuse of the tongue, as seen in the end of II Corinthians 12, and of gossip,  in 12:20ff., or even Romans 1:29-30, where we meet at the end of the line of fall syndrome, whisperers slithering into evil speaking. Such things, together with   II Timothy 3:3-5, trace some of the defections of the end of the Age. It is sad but necessary to meet them; for as in a Chemistry experiment on analysis of substances, so here in the history of this Age, if such things were not here, how would the Bible be true. Since however it is, as in the Handbook, so in history it befalls us.

But let us return to reality in NZ and watch the flow of actual events following the Assembly confrontation from St Ninian's via their Minister.

 

Since the heretical NZ Seminary  Principal had by this time also reportedly indicated that the supernatural was actually an obstacle to 20th century belief, I told the presbyterial representatives come to examine my Ministry, as the newspaper had duly announced for all to see: that in this respect, even Islam did better than those tolerating such infidelity! That was no compliment to Islam, as they were quite well aware ...

That led to our physical separation, they taking the rest of the elders, the Session, to indoctrinate them, while leaving myself alone. After half an hour, the medical specialist on our Session returned, announcing that he had told them that I had been given 3 minutes, whereas the Session had counter-charge made to it,  over the period of half an hour, and that in equity he could no longer participate. Later he resigned as Session Clerk. In his letter to this effect, he indicated that the number of cars at the congregational meeting with Presbytery, concerning my ministry,  was such that one would have thought it a wedding ... or a crucifixion. 

We as Session appealed to the next Assembly from the action by which Presbytery tried to remove me, and since Assembly then met in two halves over two years, this stood. I warned the people, but we lost a further elder who on understandable grounds, decided he could no longer stay in such a denomination, so losing our majority.

It was then that I transferred (in three days, rather interestingly in view of Christ's famous arising from the dead in the predicted three days) to the RPCES. Such touches are a blessing to the one in the war, for they have just that irony, confirmation of feeling and degree of lustrous humour so often found in the Lord! (cf. Psalm 2). This RPCES at that time was a stout-seeming little body calling itself true-blue Presbyterian, and therefore after preliminary correspondence, I proceeded to the USA, where various mission works were soon to be done. A little later, I was called to a pastorate in Hinsdale, Illinois, at The Church on the County Line.

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE SEVENTH DELIVERANCE

A MATTER OF EPHESIANS 5

 

During the interim, spent in various centres from Denver to Kutztown, Pennsylvania, Cleveland, Ohio to Indianapolis, largely in work for the National Presbyterian Missions, as well as for a short period in Colorado, I met and in due course married a missionary preparing for India. The story is of no small interest.

It was earlier, while at Mission Headquarters, not long after arrival at and reception into this Church in the USA, that I had met Margaret Cameron, missionary designate to India, who had been waiting for some time for the way to clear for her to go there. Later, when I had occasion to return to that same city, in order to preach for some months, we met again.

She was a person in whom my delight in virtue and spiritual grace could find expression, and our personal friendship, which at that stage could as well have been between two people of any gender, included walks in the famed Winterthur Gardens and her often hostessing in the Mission Headquarters, where I would eat and sometimes play the piano.

During the 3 and one half years that Margaret had then been with the Mission,  it had become apparent that India was not willing at that time to receive a white missionary. Thus,  when all this was carefully checked before God (for I had no call to India and we could scarcely be living in two continents as married), and all avenues we could discern had been considered for her to go there in any situation, all being negative,  things seemed to open. It was then that even a tentative proposal could be made, and indeed was made and accepted at her home at one Christmas season.

If there had been any residual avenue for India, it was quite clear, the Lord's work and will coming first, there would and could be no question of our marriage. The Lord however decided otherwise, and by steps we were able in faith to proceed towards it.

When the Mission director was called on the telephone and duly informed of our plans, making no objection, we felt at last free actually to proceed and marry, Lord willing. If one field and door for her work after so long had closed, this opened.

It had thus taken considerable preliminaries to reach this stage, but now it came. In fact, it was on our way to the wedding in Maine, that we received in passing the Post Office, an invitation to proceed to Virginia, on the part of a Church there, seeking a Pastor. To this we proceeded, after a brief honeymoon spent at Bar-Harbour, in a house belonging to Margaret's sister.

That is how this phase ended, with our proceeding to the beauties of Virginia and its quaint-seeming ways. Yet the spiritual side of the marriage had its own genesis.

Events proceeded in this way. On one occasion, we had been conversing about co-workers in a missionary perspective, and Margaret had theoretically been discussing problems which people may have with co-workers on the field. At this,  I had remarked that what one needs in the field is someone whose faith sparks your faith (iron sharpens iron). Margaret then realised that this was what I did for her, when we talked about spiritual things.

She did not disclose this, but at that moment had a sudden realisation. It included a conviction, as she afterwards called it, that I would be her husband at some unknown and future date (even if she had been called and proceeded to India and later come back!). Actually,  this came before any such thought had come to lodge in my mind. Indeed, she was given real peace about this matter; and as she was and is a most prayerful person, this was no small thing. To me, however, it was not at this stage disclosed.

How strange it seems,  that just as I had in general been talking about the complementarity of workers' skills and gifts, and how one may in the best case stir another's faith,  for best overall service, giving a sense of mutuality and more completeness, so in particular there was this personal result.

Earlier when we had met and had been talking over a cup of tea about India, I had asked what sort of call Margaret had. She replied that her call was simply to the mission field since she was single and had no ties. She felt this was a reasonable call, though I felt there should have been a definite call to India, and that in such a case as that, she would be sure to get there. As seen above, her call did become particular, but not then to India.

Indeed, when I left the Mission headquarters to go to the West for some possibilities and work there, we parted as good friends, and I undertook to write. But she knew! In her own most discrete way, she had said nothing of her conviction, nor had the topic arisen between us! Such is the beauty (and duty) of self-control ,and the Lord be praised for it. Indeed such was faith, for she did not need to stir, and the matter was not even broached, despite her conviction. The Lord would act in His own way in this matter. She waited for Him!

In this, as in so much of the Lord's good dealings, the case seemed remarkable.

Now we come to its development on my own side. This is how the Lord for His part in the matter, DID act.

Called quite suddenly (after some months of activities)  to prayer for some hours on this topic of marriage, unexpectedly while in Colorado, thousands of miles away, I became aware of a divine call to seek whether marriage indeed was now at last (I was some 40 years of age),  an open door from the Lord. I seemed suddenly to become as one brought to life on the issue. This challenging constraint to pray on this topic,  coming from His hands, took me quite by surprise; and it was caused to weigh heavily on me. Hour by hour I waited on the Lord, reviewing considerations, and receiving assurances, until it was clear that this was something He would have me pursue, as I sought to implement whatever He had in mind, who being a great Father is full of counsel.

Thus to Margaret I directed a 'phone call. Since it was a party line, and thus we could not speak very freely, I referred in this telephone conversation to the Bible Chapter in view (the first word to her, on such a topic), namely Ephesians 5, which speaks in exalted and precious terms, on marriage. It was in this way that the topic was introduced!

My wife-to-be had just at that time been studying this chapter, and knew at once the topic in view. It was in this way, step by blessed step, that the mind of Christ became apparent, as if leaf after leaf were placed together to make a fine polished table of certainty and stability.

After a Christmas visit to her home, when all could be and was decided, since there had already been due checking on the mission field situation, a fine and devoted old Orthodox Presbyterian Church Minister, well known and loved by my wife as a man of the Lord from much past experience,  married us in Houlton, Maine. In this, various family were attending from Prince Edward Island or elsewhere, the Principal of the old Bible College (New Brunswick Bible Institute) of my wife-to-be, acting as best man. She, he said to me - since my wife to be was one of his former students at the College - is out of the top drawer! Nor can I can doubt it! Virtue and wisdom, grace and goodness seemed to shine in her.

It was later to be found that Margaret's training and missionary talents were to be put to good use, not least as she ministered for years to local aboriginal children in Australia. That however was part of a later chapter in our lives.

It was shortly after the engagement was confirmed and our marriage ceremony completed,  that we proceeded  to 'candidate' as they call it in the USA, that is, to preach and see if we and they would like a pastorate to be formed; and while in Virginia we had a splendid time amid its luxuriance, I preaching nearly every night. At the end of the period of our stay, the matter was was left in abeyance for the time. We later heard when in Chicago of their continued interest, but by then other things had come.

The way this happened was this.

While still in Virginia, we received a call by telephone from Illinois, to see if we would be interested in the pastoring of an interesting sounding church in that State, in Chicago, The Church on the County Line. Thus we visited there, and after some time, being called,  accepted and were soon ensconced in a quite charming little home amid 4 acres of birches,  maples and the like, which shrouded it in a delightfully intimate way. The lady whose home was nearby in the same wooded area, was very kind and asked us if we would care to use her swimming pool. We assuredly loved this whole scene, and before long an amazingly receptive youth group being active, had reason to prepare material for them, present it and find how great was their interest.

Thus it was that  the beginnings of my Biblical Christian Apologetic work came. It was during that Summer that (from memory) that something like its first 50,000 words were written. These were quite a minor part of  what appeared in my subsequent Th.D. thesis. One of the Directors of the Church, himself 74 years of age,  and being sometimes enthusiastic, said he had never heard anything like that.

He was Jewish and an ebullient and even  youthful sort of person in some ways, and at the first we had splendid times with him, though alas secret society work, contrary to scripture, began to interfere with his Church work, and formed a gall, as it were, on the tree. On the good side,  were carefully challenged by the Board to make sure that if they erred from the Bible in any way, I should tell them.

This was to become rather a fateful and assuredly a sad matter later, since the whole issue of obedience to the Bible became at last too strong for them, and in a narrow division, they elected for a course out of line with Bible commands, but intensely in line with some of American culture. As is my duty in any case, and as requested, when the time came, they had to be adv ised of this, and this led to much.

Nevertheless, in the interim, a wonderful opportunity presented itself, and I even had occasion to present a spiritual and biblical lecture of some challenge to an interstate gathering in a neighbouring State, to some effect.

The marriage meanwhile, that had just preceded this pastorate was an exceedingly happy one, and my wife and I had had remarkably similar spiritual backgrounds, even though she had been born on a farm in Prince Edward Island, complete with sleigh for some journeys in the snow, and I in citified Melbourne. The Lord, as always, certainly knew what He was doing when He ordained this marriage; but then again, we sought Him in this, put Him first, and left the whole matter from the first in His hands. Indeed, it was a marriage born of prayer.

From this marriage over the years, came one son and one daughter, the former one of the chief technical agents, indeed the centre in technology for the hundreds of such hours needed to launch this site on the Web, and all that went before at that level. One cannot but be grateful to God for His grace in this, and my daughter has contributed quite a few of the larger drawings and sketches that appear on this same site. But this is to look ahead. Let us return to my appointment as pastor of the Church on the County Line, in Hinsdale, Illinois.

As noted, our youth work in this Church was prospering greatly, and the more I prepared to show the truth of the Bible, the more the young  heeded. However, the difficulty already noted arose. The Board of that independent Church moved from the Bible, critically refusing to cease having public prayer at political meetings open to all faiths and non-faiths. Paul in II Corinthians 6:14ff. makes it eminently clear that darkness does not have FELLOWSHIP with light. What fellowship, he asks, has darkness with light; or unbeliever with believer! It is apostolically FORBIDDEN explicitly, to have this spiritual reciprocity and alliance in such a case.

A weak rejoinder was attempted: prayer was not fellowship! Such distasteful prevarications do not appeal. Indeed,  the concept that prayer is not fellowship is so ludicrous, past all guffaw, when it is in fact at the most intense-level spiritual correlation of co-operatives, co-ordination of believers on a common basis, in the divine name of Jesus. As seen in Romans 8:26-27, Acts 4:11-12, sent from the Lord (John 15:26), the Spirit of the living God is livingly at work in the very Christians concerned, like a coachman for the horses, drawing the coach in  in common together.  

Spiritual horses do not neigh 'Nay!',  but in fellowship together, depict it when in harness, working for the Lord: the particular case here being that of praying, alert to his guidance and mutually stirring directions. Indeed such contention as this, which was attempted in our meeting was merely specious, worse than ludicrous, a contradiction in terms (cf. Acts 4:23-32). As with one heart and mind, "with one accord"  they lived, and they here prayed: and this record of early fundamentals of the faith  is for our edification.

Pray is not a featureless form, but a dynamic function of the body of Christ acting in one, seeking One, properly stirred by the Lord, who searches His people, while the Spirit of God brings the requests to Him (cf. Romans 8:26-27). To think otherwise is not only unscriptural, but is as if one held that one's own body did not have 'fellowship', part with part, under one head! To the contrary, Paul in the most intimate of ways, beings out its mutuality and singularity amidst its differentiation, speaks in Ephesians 4:16 in this way:

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"From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted
by what every joint supplies, according to the effectual working
in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love."

In prayer, the tuned whole is moulded, almost merged, impelled and moved to seek the Lord as His body approaching the head. It is not a BSA, bits stuck together, but a BODY in Christ who so acts in a profundity of spiritual integration, seeking its own Head. Prayer together with unbelievers (not those who have surrendered to the Lord) is thus like a two-headed monster.

In Psalm 94, David puts it this way:

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"Shall the throne of iniquity who frames mischief by a law, have fellowship with  Thee ? 
 

In Ephesians 4:17-19 we see that there is no question of spiritual alliance between those who are unbelievers, who do not accept the Lord's salvation, being alienated from His life, and those who begotten again, are members of His spiritual family (I John 3, Titus 3). To avoid this, is in the end, when you consider it biblically, to avoid the very mandate of Christ for His Church, its very nature and His!

Prayer in the Spirit of God is here in Acts to be seen, in exemplary fashion, in a profound attestation as those of "one heart and one mind" (Acts 4:32) sought the Lord. Of these,  this is said of their prayer:  they raised their voices to God  "with one accord and said...". (Acts 4:24). It is in accord with this, that we find in Romans 8, it is the Spirit of God who is operative in the heart in prayer, in the deepest profundities of life. At work in the earth-moving, mountain displacing realms of faith (cf. Luke 17:6ff.), man strives with one mind for the action of the Lord (cf. Ephesians 6:16-20).

Making for more difficulty in dealing with such things, it seemed that many of the leaders being business executives of one sort of another, had a concept of being directors of the Church, and did not have the Pastor as one of them! This is despite the fact that those who "rule well"  who labour in the word are supposedly especially the recipients of "double honour" (I Timothy 5:17), not displacement. While this is not directive either, it is not a spiritual severance from decision making! It is just that here there are two dimensions in the labour, rather than merely than of 'ruling' or organising and seeking to cause the functions to occur in order and with seemliness and equity.

It is elders who are to manage the affairs of the Church in the Lord (Acts 20:17,28, Titus 1:5ff.). The reason, says Paul in Titus, that elders are to be ordained in the cities concerned, is this: that a supervisor must be the possessor of various qualities, including aptitude to teach and power to rebut error. Teaching and preaching being essential and prominent in any Church, it is thus seen that one of these elders, supervisors, could not fail to be the pastor. Some as noted, are better at this than others; but all must supervise, superintend, rule. The elders are the resource for the pastoral function.

Indeed, Paul calls elders shepherds, in that they must in godly manliness protect and shepherd the flock. In Ephesians 4:11ff., he puts pastors in the list of related functions, with first apostles, then prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers. Moreover, as Thayer's famed Greek Dictionary points out, the very word for pastor, in the Greek, MEANS 'herdsman, shepherd' and is applied to mean 'the presiding officer, manager, director, of any assembly.' It is hard to make the presiding officer to be excluded, and indeed, the real presiding Officer, Jesus Christ, in His commands was sadly displaced in this affair, one of secularising the Church in politics and doctrine alike.

In Presbyterianism, thank goodness, the Minister is not 'over' them, but one of them, as is the requirement of Matthew 23:8-10, and all must be subject one to another as Peter proclaims. In  leadership however, elders as one body in the Lord, with various gifts, function especially when action is to come in that regard. It is not exclusive, but it is a characterisable specialty.

In all of this, then , the teaching function is obvious, and it is vested as part of the work of an elder, so that the outstanding cases for teaching, are a sub-category of eldership and are such as to adorn a pastor in his management capacity, along with the other elders.

Thus, elders are as such supervisors as you see in Acts 20, where Paul calls all of them just that. The pastor is merely a specialised elder; but the emphatic point for that specialty, is that the crucial ministration of the word of God is upon his shoulders distinctively. In terms of Titus, a pastor not an elder would be a sheep without wool, a type-writer without a keyboard.

As Paul moreover attests in Romans 11:29, you do not casually divorce a man from his call, because he moves from A to B. Indeed, ordination is of God, not of man, and so the call of which it is the formality continues, as I continued, in the RPCES denomination, as a Minister. Strangely, the directors of the Church to which I had come,  earlier had seemed plainly to agree to recognising the eldership function for all of us; but then, when I wrote to the Church people advising in all simplicity of truth of this delightful change, in a pastoral letter, there was a storm brewing. The Directors denied knowledge of such a change, despite my delight at the time when they made it!

There seemed to be some almost political kind of power play, and mere truth did not appear to rule. It seemed to be imagined that some kind of error had occurred in the Pastor telling the people that the eldership was now inclusive of this biblical facet in this Church, by decision of those concerned.

Not only in agreement, then, but in fact biblically, all being elders, pastor and ruling elders, with or without that teaching specialty to that extent, labour as one before the Lord. Confusion of commercial and spiritual identification was one dysfunction in this body; but alas, failure to obey the word of God was the solemn toll that brought separation.

If the word of God does not rule you, what does!

Neither the word of God regarding political prayer,  nor His will for administration regarding elders was, in the end, received, one of the 'directors' even insisting on being at a secret society. What was most sad was the fact that at an admittedly water-shed meeting of the Church, this sympathetic Director was at a secret society meeting instead; and the Church despite months of prayer about to be crowned by a consummation in faith, instead which went its own way. There was a great evangelical opportunity, but on that night, it was betrayed.

Earlier, hearing reason for the truth of the word of God, as presented at a youth meeting, this Director was most enthusiastic, the one who said that he had never heard anything like that; and yet at that meeting, he was absent for another.  indeed he was a lovable person for all that; yet in the end, he did not heed, declaring when the issue of in appropriate political prayer arose, that he would not alter his way of life in any way whatever. Though some were sympathetic to the call to follow the biblical prohibition in this issue, eventually a majority were not.

The matter of eldership was merely a preliminary, one that worked to distance the pastor from full participation, so removing for one thing, the relevant vote! and full standing for extended debate.

Although I wished the whole matter to be put before the congregation after a couple of months, being willing to confirm resignation if they agreed not to conform to the word of God in the basic matter, it was made clear that if I were to re-appear in the Church, I would be forcibly restrained from occupying the pulpit. Indeed, a particular sermon on biblical doctrine had been in view, and I was told that if this were preached, it would be the end! It was of course preached, and this merely added to the confrontation, which was really with the word of God, and that body, myself a mere agent for the Lord in the procedure.

That sermon, in substance,  may be found in SMR pp. 1176-1185. There was no rebuttal, and its content was necessary for edification.

However, not even the character of the conditional resignation was honoured, and so this body, truly tested by the Lord, proceeded where it had to go. Disobedience to the word of God and duress in practice combined to exclude them from further ministry. Sadly, disorder on disorder intervened in what had been a marvellous opportunity with youth.

This was one of the most delightful occasions, for they were most receptive, seemed highly intelligent and were responding excellently. One lad was later to become it seems, the youngest in the history of his University to complete the pre-med requirements for medical training. He had been passing tertiary subjects as an extra, while still at High School! And what an extraordinary medley of works, lights and action that School put on at the end of their year, not only professional in feeling, but exuberant, imaginative and invigorating.

Alas, though there had been spiritual results that would last, this input had then to come to its grievous end. The adults had acted otherwise.

Our policy, for both my wife and myself, is one: the Gospel of the grace and love of God is to be preached according to the Bible, which is also faithfully to be taught; the commandments are not optional, God does not change: His word is immutable as well as beautiful. We are not our own. Thus, whatever it costs, whatever the case, our charge as a body is to be obedient to the word of God, so that one must challenge, exhort and rebuke if necessary, and for me to preach,  one requires to have this liberty to follow the word of God.

To be sure, as one of our Westminster Seminaries of no small fame contended, if he had been asked to preach in a Romanist Church, he would; but he would assuredly not be asked to preach there again! In an ongoing situation, accordingly, it is liberty or severance, for the word of God is bound! (II Timothy 1:9).

Thus some will say YES, there is to be this following of the the biblical teaching, yet word and deed are so readily divorced. Alas, as I have found both in the USA and in New Zealand, and indeed earlier in Australia, the affirmation that this will be honoured, can be as far from the hearts and near  to the lips as Isaiah ever certified of ancient Israel, and Christ of the Israel of His day (Isaiah 27:13, Matthew 13:14-15, 15:8-9).

What then ? As in a business, you cannot remain where crookedness rules, so in a Church, you cannot do so where the word of God is clearly contradicted, and living is on another plane, as in the political capitulation to custom, noted. The matter is crucial when it is not a question of weakness and failing, but one of principle, procedure and settled plan, verified under due scrutiny and test. Again, it is like an aeroplane, if cracks appeared, perhaps through metal fatigue in the tail, it might be another tale if this is not rectified.  When life proceeds In such a plane where the management refuses to remedy such an evil, it is not wise to fly. It involves a complicity with false aerodynamics, just as at the spiritual level, departure from the commands of Christ constitutes, if pursued under due test, rebellion in which one cannot concur, or have complicity.

So the pastorate ended. After my preaching for some time, while visiting the afore-noted OPC Church in Maine, and in Los Angeles, we proceeded to Australia, where a separated Presbyterian Church was instituted. Before one notes the results, there was an exciting departure worthy of record, from Los Angeles, where we had been temporarily ministering.

I had found the lack of Baby Health Centres as they used to be called, in the section of the USA where I was, to be marked. It seemed you had to go on minor health matters for the child to a doctor who could charge, and it became a select situation. It had its good points for us, in this case however. The doctor had advised us NOT to have a smallpox injection for a child so young (a few weeks), and put this in writing. When therefore we arrived at the Los Angeles airport, ready to fly to Australia, there was an invisible barrier. Departing passengers at that time HAD to have such an injection. Careful of our child, and advised thus medically, I COULD not have it done.

This was a beautiful example of Australian-US co-operation. They most graciously telephoned the Sydney airport, and after some delay, secured the attention of a medical officer who declared that no, it was not in the case of such a young child, necessary to have the injection. Hence we were cleared for departure, and the plane which had been waiting on the tarmac for perhaps 15 minutes, as far as I understand it, engines roaring away, then enveloped us as we hurriedly mounted its residual steps! Such things are very heartening.

On arrival, one soon took a school-teaching job while our affairs were sorted out. It was a fascinating situation. There was in a rather industrial area, a secondary school which had been having a problem with a class of 15 year olds (or thereabouts). That teacher had departed and the Class was in some kind of ascendancy, one gathered. However, they seemed to me a pleasant and courteous sort of body, and one could not fail to have rapport as one considered the kinds of jobs they might take (such as working in an explosives factory); and soon I was amazed to find the Principal ask me to take the Easter message (in a secular school!). Later he asked me if the salary were really enough for me. I did not seek its alteration. They were very pleased and so was I, and we praise the Lord for such interventions.

After nearly a  year of school teaching, we were ready to proceed on our missionary task, with the separated, biblical Church. This was pursued during much of the 1970s, until it became necessary to do my Dip. Ed.  to enable my teaching tent-making to continue; and after this, some years were taken with the Th.D. and similar biblical work, including a closely researched 165,000 word thesis, until I was called as Principal of a Christian School in South Australia, and later during the eighties, proceeded to take a happy and peaceful Headmastership for a time back in Melbourne. In due course, we proceeded back to Adelaide and our home, to teaching and testifying in sundry posts, and then starting another separated Presbyterian Church, in Adelaide, which has continued from 1988 to the present, 2010. The former, my principalship in South Australia attested once more how hard it is to find a faithful man amongst a thousand! (Proverbs 20:6, Ecclesiastes 7:28).

It is worth noting in passing that there was a school pattern for teaching that some followed, involving a curriculum and philosophy which teachers had to audit. It included a quaint but ludicrous pseudo-hedonistic approach of stick and carrot for the student. One person in the school asked me if I had ever heard of a metaphor, a lady of some contrariety to I Peter 3 in this; but the point had to be rebutted. If you say, It is raining cats and dogs, you do not of course imply that your pluvial concept is of an animal character. This is not hard for a 10 year old to see. But you DO signify that there was rain in abundance, that possibly it was pelting down, that it was in unusual profusion. We do not disjoin meaning from reality because of a use of imagery, but the more vividly illustrate it.

Thus one had to meet the wriggle to avoid the fact that this was a form of hedonism, wrongly placed in a Christian school, which should deploy far more spiritual, loving and liberal concepts, with less stress on conditioning and conformity, and more on goodness and inspiration. I had made it clear to the Chairman who invited me to come to Adelaide to take this post that in no circumstances could I consider working in that method, which in any case had further defects in not spurring the imagination adequately, and having too much stress on rote learning. He explained that yes, it was notable that the School had severed itself recently from any subordination to that program for teaching, and that it was free, thus giving me no concern, and allowing me to consider coming.

When however I had been teaching a little while, and seeking to help pioneer this delightful prospect of a loving and yet disciplined and devoted school, with liveliness and vividness in the process of learning, it came to light that one of the elders had apparently without reference to the thoughts of the Chairman, as told to me, been extolling the School as holding to the curriculum approach, which had the rejected content, of which at the outset I had told the Chairman categorically that I could not proceed on any basis of such a kind. Now one might have thought that a man of honour, to say no more, would not have allowed himself, as school representative talking to me before I came, to become author of a breach of trust. Had I not come on the basis of liberty, and NO such philosophy or adoption of approach ? Had I not said that in no way could I consider coming if that were in place ? Undoubtedly. Now I was to ignore this item! and to continue as Principal on grounds impossible by faith to countenance, in total contradiction to my stated condition for coming. Is the moon made of whey ?

It was indicated that what the other elder had in the meantime been telling people, concerning continuity with the program,  would have to stay and could not be altered. It simply had to stay, it was convenient, there being no stay on proceedings; and I had to resign, I was told, if I did not conform. We therefore pursued our service to the Lord elsewhere, where His word was not required to be breached.

Later I learned, some decades following,  that despite the festival event, of an inaugural dinner for myself to meet the people, as the new Principal, that this was apparently a non-event, a sort of anti-matter deleting the matter. In that feast, I featured,  before the change in the School policy as expressed by the Chairman some time after my arrival, that it was good not to have the curriculum and philosophy to which I could not respond. I exhibited with some vigour its spiritual flaws, and educational inadequacy.

Despite this, it then appeared,  decades later,  that the first Principal was the next one following me. Such confusion of ordinal numbers was undesirable. Apparently, if you are made victim of a breach of trust, you do not exist, and a massive public welcome to a new Principal is wiped out of the mind, by some such process as wiped out the condition of my coming. WHERE may one find a faithful man ? WHEN will many Christian bodies realise to the full, that being a Christian DOES involve liberty from petty particulars which can be obsessive with some, but does NOT involve liberty with the truth, to defile it, or with conditions of co-operation, to annul them, or with trust,  to breach it.

For Christ's sake, I did not sue. It was a sad episode for the Church, if the School indeed had any relationship to it in fact and in reality; and I did not wish to bring a bad aroma just because I had been deceived, misused and abused; and because the vision for the School which I had made it my intention to follow, instead of the programmed one, was summarily annulled, by the only answer I got, for the purposes of social convenience.

It seems good now - at this distance, after finding the First Principal of the School deleted from the record, in that the advertisement for the Third, ignored the First and made the Second the First - to include this item. That is because of confusion which may result, and because this is done in a general way, to reveal the situation in the hope that it may stir others to esteem faithfulness, reliability and truthfulness highly, and to be willing to breach honourable agreements about as readily as cutting off a large tumour, without medical help.

Therefore I had once more to resume School-teaching, while testifying in various schools as enabled. One in the early eighties involved a Headmastership once more in Melbourne, a thing of some joy and peace, to assist a Baptist body in its early moves into the educational field.

Later, back in Adelaide, where we had kept our home,  work of writing in the field of Biblical Christian Apologetics began, this in the same year that we acted to found The Australian Presbyterian Bible Church, 1988, so that pastoral work and the writing could proceed jointly. This has been the case for the last  22 years, publishing and producing afresh nearly all of the 23 million or so words and 188 volumes that are listed on our Web site, for a missionary and evangelical testimony, the world the parish!

When earlier checking, it was found that hundreds of universities had used the site, scores of nations, and that perhaps 300,000 or so a year downloads of material from it, could appear involved. While this has been  heartening, an electronic missioning, teaching, preaching (and we later added both oral and written sermons, the latter to the hundreds), it was and is all done by faith for the Lord. The USA and China have vied for the most downloads, currently China well in the lead, with Europe, Brazil/Australia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Russian Federation,  and many others including Israel, appearing in the interest list in decreasing but still significant order. 

To demonstrate the truth of the Bible was a task both demanding, joyous and divinely aided, and it was an answer to the querulous, questing, permanently dissatisfied, subjectively oriented, meddling with unbelief which seemed to become obsessive in so many so-called churches, and sickening ones that were still standing a while. Uncertainty became an anodyne to faithlessness, so that a clarificatory action and a strengthening of the things that remain, allied to a missionary and evangelical method and purpose, was thrust upon me, and I responded. Praise the Lord for His goodness to the children of men! He IS good, and goodness is He, from Him it comes, and with it to His children He is lavish.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, the RPCES which one had joined as a Minister in 1967,  and in which continued as a Minister beyond the bounds of Presbytery, but still in it, was swallowed up in this period by the Presbyterian Church in America. Thus one's US Ministry remained sited, the whole covering 1967-1998, over 30 years, first in the RPCES and then in the PC in America, into which it merged as a tributary. Thus one found oneself to be a Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. It was not at all the RPCES, which had a distinctive separation according to the Bible, orientation.  It was a large, new body instead.

This was the approach, and though that little denomination, that I had first joined in the USA, was small (around 10,000 members then), it felt rather like a family, where pomposity and formalism were not overwhelmingly present. However, the separation of some 400 churches from the Presbyterian Church in the US, in the South of the USA, had led to this new denomination, the PC in America, one which claimed the past 300 years or so for its life's journey. Long had they been with the doctrinally unsound southern church, and now they moved on.

Indeed on arrival in the USA in 1967, I had been approached as a possible pastor to one of these very churches in the South, from memory one of some 400 members, this being before the new denomination, the PC in America,  had formed.

On learning, however, that this southern Church had received those from another church, who being freemasons found in it a home, I asked further concerning this matter, and being not assured that this body of freemasons had no control, I could not pursue the opening further. Freemasonry has been rightly condemned as unbiblical by the PC of Australia and the RPCES. In fact, this was re-affirmed by the latter body, not very long after my arrival in the USA.

Indeed, as one pointed out to the medical specialist in the Session where I was pastor, in NZ, how can anyone who is a Christian become a freemason when you are allegedly proceeding out of darkness, or obscuration of light, into masonic light. Is Christ darkness ? Is the light of the world dark ? Is light obscured through greater force, in Him! So fundamental is this fact*1, that one can support no body which tolerates this heresy, be it an old school or other.

On this topic of freemasonry, an interesting event occurred early in my stay in the USA. I had found it necessary to bring to the attention of the Synod the fact that certain elders in the Home Mission (or National Mission) department had been installed, though they were freemasons. I pointed out that we were thus (as then a separated church) so 'pure' that we could not have spiritual fellowship with those who in larger US Presbyterian Churches  openly attacked the Bible, but here we were, with scope for elders in effect to have masonic idols*1, in their back-yards.

Admittedly the point made was strong and a trifle pungent; but for a denomination which had itself condemned freemasonry on excellent grounds much earlier, this sort of decline was not just one of ignorance! It was necessary to strike the chord of conscience, and that not with tweezers! At that, the Pastor in whose church this meeting was occurring, pulled out the microphone, so that my speech could not so well be heard. It was an interesting example of disorder and wilfulness, and in fact  that minister was not so far in the future, to depart from his church, not with wife, but with another lady.

It is strange how such things can occur, when for a time some monument to evil or error is permitted, and those who do not want anything unpleasant (like a tumour to be removed before death) act strangely rather than face it. It can be physical, mental or spiritual. Truth does not die, but is active, like a sword; and though it may spare physical life, that of the spirit is open to horror when truth is defiled.

As I left that Synod meeting, an older Minister of some note, who had joined the Church from Canada, sat outside the building, and pretended as I came out a little later, to be a beggar. It was a little play which apparently he elected to present as the members filed out of the building.

Identifying himself as if a freemason, he asked for help, as if to imply that my exposure of freemasonry as an evil meant that I lacked love for freemasons. On the contrary, when you bother to identify a tumour, it may well be that the love of the afflicted patient is the cause of this! Certainly the necessities of holiness left no option, for to fail to expose heresy is to truncate the word of God (cf. Romans 16:17, Ephesians 5:1ff., I Timothy 6:1ff., II Timothy 4:2ff.).

Thus I was given to reply to him, all this being in public,

My retort was this: If you are a freemason, you NEED help!

Such lively interchanges were at least expressive of some heart in things, rather than cold formalism; but alas, things smoothed down later, and as we shall see, harmoniousness rather than holiness became more and more a substitute for the word and the work which godliness and obedience requires. The word of God never has been an option, nor God being God, will it ever be (Isaiah 8:20, Matthew 5:17ff., 4:4ff.).

Thus over time, decline grew; for as to the new Presbyterian Church in America, though as noted, it claims continuation from the long-standing southern Presbyterian Church in USA, that is one which was less sure on separation. In leaving, they had merely departed from an increasingly radical body. Thus things changed and an uncertain sound came trembling on the air, in a few short years, into this PC in America.

Accordingly, eventually this body moved to a radical degree itself. It became less and less separated and more and more ambivalent. This had proceeded step by step, and not least in its fall to a less than biblical position, seemingly in its dominating desire to be well thought of, or even to survive. Many in the PC in America wanted to have broader relationships, and even in the RPCES stage, before the merger, one Minister in that smaller church even went to a WCC meeting, a fact at which one had to protest to the Synod. It took so long, however, conscientiously to establish all the facts, before lodging the challenge, that by a formality (too much time had passed before the protest reached the relevant body), no action was taken. It was however acknowledged by the Committee concerned that the protest had basis!

Again, in the PC in America itself, relationships with a non-biblical body had been challenged and the church began to move to separate. However,  the party appointed to do the job, simply did not do it. Eventually, an arrangement was made not to proceed to rectify this failure. Things had begun to lapse further. Then the creation doctrine was challenged, and some wanted to keep to a strict biblical position; but others did not, and these prevailed.

At this time, being in Australia, one could not act in the Assembly, and the default in the USA duly occurred. They even proceeded to make a long statement on creation which was exposed in due course, that being on this site for years (Let God be God Ch. 12, the relevant part for this purpose of which is presented in Appendix III  below).

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE EIGHTH DELIVERANCE

The absorption of the RPCES into the PC in America had a further result. In the year of my first joining the former in 1967, there was a Synod at which I insisted, were I to remain in that Church, that there be acknowledgement, as in the Bible Presbyterian Church, that the atonement was offered to all, sufficient for all and adapted to all. I made it clear that unless this needed corrective was inserted in our doctrine, I would not continue in the Church. It was, after all, nothing new and it was entirely warranted (cf. references below).

This was accepted, and that fact constituted one more deliverance, for it meant that the transfer to the RPCES was after all, not aborted almost as soon as it happened!

Thus, and duly, a statement on these lines was declared by the 1967 RPCES Synod. Indeed, this was in conformity with much Presbyterian doctrine in history, when it enlivens Westminster Confession by avoiding the errors of Calvin, through emphasis on the Lord's seeking all, He who would have all to repent, in His love; and in particular with the 1903 revision of doctrine in the PC in the USA. 

This was in line with my own emphasis on the love of God as in the PC of Australia Declaratory Statement and in Colossians 1, I Timothy 1, Ezekiel 33:11 and multitudes of other declarations as noted in the relevant references above. This had already, together with insistence on keeping to the word of God in all its ways, led to no small lack of co-operation from some; and my protests at various degrees of failure to be biblical had been received small satisfaction.

Drift can be little at a time; yet in sum it can render a foundation no more the actual base, but make  of it merely a notional accommodation as a reference point.

Such appeared to occur, until separation became necessary. By that time, I had been in the Presbyterian Church in America (or a church stream entering it) for over 30 years. The time however, oddly enough as I reached 70 years of age, for more sacrifice. What had drawn me to it, sound doctrine and a flair for outreach with the word of God, now repulsed me, for the doctrine became unsound, adherence to what was sound episodic in no small matters, and it acted and reacted with more emphasis on staying alive, not failing, aggrandisement as in the union of the vigorous little RPCES with the larger PC in America.
 

Such appeared to occur, until separation became necessary.

 This action was based on three main thrusts. These were:

bullet

1) the novelties in doctrine,
authorising what could by no means be deduced from the Bible
by good and necessary inference, 
 

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2) failures in the area of  slackness about ecumenism
as also to evangelise in the fallen  Australian situation with biblical fidelity, together with
 

bullet

3) inadequate coverage of the biblical emphasis on the scope
of the love of God, following union with the PC in America,
 

the first point being decisive (I Thessalonians 2:15, 3:6, Romans 16:17, Mark 7:7-13).

 

This in sum led to our movement to  independence from such unbiblical departure from apostolic doctrine.

 

Not seldom, over the years,  did one protest to Presbytery about the slide and decline,  in this form or that, into false ecumenism and practice, and movements towards schism, whether in the USA or in Australia. There, alas,  the opportunity to present a vast challenge to the PC of Australia, so far from being pursued (as if in parallel to the initial development of the Free Church in Scotland in Chalmers' day), was dropped, and not only so.  The case was worse. The opposite in near synthesis between the two erring churches, in these two countries, proceeded with apparent relish, each appearing to bolster the daring in biblical departure of the other! Thus does the movement for reform, when in case of need, it is not followed, become a positive force to deform.

It is interesting to see how the change in the PC in America on creation doctrine occurred. One can construe this in the above noted time of Presbytery's repeated inaction. 

Eventually, as the case worsened, a new focus arose in another Presbytery in the PC in America. It had declined to accept a candidate for the Ministry on doctrinal grounds. This went to the Assembly which on the contrary, accepted him.

What had happened ? It was this. While I was in Australia, the PC in America Assembly overturned a Presbytery's decision NOT to accept a candidate deeming Genesis 1 'a poetic account' (a prelude to much more of this kind). With the inaction of Presbytery and the negative reaction of Assembly,  it became necessary simply to depart from what would never respond in substance or act, but merely speak and continue as it was. Patience was no more relevant, as now it was categorically contaminated, as the years had passed and the crux had been exposed in this case.

Therefore,  as neither Presbytery nor Assembly would act, and the case progressed backwards in doctrine, in the end, a simple severance from the denomination became the path of continuance in the biblical purity that is one's duty and joy. Many years of association as a Minister with this American body, changing as it went both in name and approach, thus ended.

Alas and accordingly, instead of reform on both sides of the Pacific, intimate relationships between the two denominations were fostered, each wallowing in its own departures from biblical truth, neither reforming from this, but sailing sadly away from the purity of former days. Indeed the PC of Australia itself moved from its own constitutional emphasis on the scope of the love of God, through Assembly declaration in 1991. This was attached to a closure concerning the Confession, making it with similar moves, rather a confessional than a biblical church (Mark  7:7ff. to the contrary). On this unhappy movement, one might turn to The World Belongs to Him and I am His, and to Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Epilogue.

Meanwhile, as to the PC in America, as seen above, the failure on ecumenism became failure in other doctrine and application, so that in the early 1980s,  the swallowing up of the RPCES into the PC in America, a church which developed much later than the RPCES, became one of the tragedies of the 21st century. It was so important to have a body which with moderation and care, would nevertheless proceed with integral realism to follow the biblical commands, and to have this,  whatever society or churches in their foretold failures in large numbers, would do. Now this opportunity in the realm of Presbyterianism was lost, and one could only like Micaiah among the 400 or so false prophets, stand firm; and in departing do so by simple severance.

In this way, it became necessary to sever from being a Minister of the PC in America, an association which by that time had extended, with the preliminary time in the RPCES, over a period of more than 30  years of ordained service. It was however by due and proper transfer to another Church of Presbyterian persuasion, that one moved, as a Minister in good and proper standing at that time,  with the PC in America (I have the dated card yet).

The move was to an Australian Church holding to the infallible Bible and to the kind of approach to the Westminster Confession in the Constitution, originally present in the PC of Australia. It is the Australian Presbyterian Bible Church, also having the shorter name,  Australian Bible Church. In so doing, one explicitly and in writing to Presbytery, appealed to the Lord, the faithful judge, and by faith so acted. In this, Matthew 18 is so relevant and blessed. It is not numbers that count, in their vastness, but faith which does so.

All through both Testaments, people have had to act by faith in the face of decline, and been pilloried. But what of this ? Truth matters, the Bible rules and whatever be the slander or slight that responds, spiritual life nevertheless proceeds in, by, for and with Christ according to the Bible, not in some hybrid.

 

There are times when not to be daring in faith, is daring out of it!

 

What is NOT of faith does not please God. This therefore was by faith, leaving the PC in America to do what it desired.

 

The Church to which one moved made, in other words, the substance of the Confession to be received, but added to it, on the love of God, the insistence on a due complementarity concerning its scope, together with the Confession, just as does the Constitution of the PC in Australia, in order that not a Confession but the Bible would rule without intermission, moderation or suppression.  All this was to be eminently clear and insusceptible to subversions. That was the essence of the matter. The Bible alone would always, in its own integrity right, determine all issues.

It was not that the PC of Australia had a bad basis, but that it had shamelessly left it in extremism that was not biblical, not part of  its original basis, and not tolerable. It is in this way that we are continuing the thrust and base of the PC of Australia on biblical lines; and indeed, it is not the past as such, but the Bible as such that rules. There is no need however for anything substantial to change; it is a matter of proceeding on the sound basis originally set up, and using as required, the Bible at all times to resolve all doctrines without addition or constraint outside it.

Thus two churches were moving in parallel, astray in the USA and in Australia, and ONE marvellous opportunity was cleverly but disastrously avoided, to bring a burning bush of truth, in united purging of error and continuance in soundness,  into the twenty first century.

These are not little things, the love of God, the truth of creation and the abridgement of spiritual fellowship to what follows all of the word of the living God. It is just that in this decadent day, it seems different. It is. It was so in the flood. Things were extreme, and a Noah had to appear decidedly strange, in building in this way on that day! There was however, point in it, and his company duly floated.

This bypassing of doctrine in creation on the part of the PC in America (see Appendix III), lapse from the emphasis on the love of God as noted, and its joining with the PC in Australia for practical purposes appeared jointly to become one more case of the imperial majesty of the Church becoming a ground of conflict with the spiritual majesty of the Lord and the SOLE doctrinal rule of His word. Indeed, the latter church even maintained female elders as if to make it ultra clear that the word of God did not rule, except where the Church found it convenient.

The later negative finding concerning this point by the PC in Victoria did nothing to improve the situation, since the matter was not applied; so that convenience continued  to the contrary of truth,  in the practical rule (cf. Assault on Timothy). Thought without action may be nice; ships still sink when nothing is done to repair the damage.

Thus does error coalesce, and so did the original statement from the highest official in the PC of Australia in the 1970s, to two of us elders - that though many in the PC of Australia did not believe in the infallible scripture, yet they would vote for a Calvinistic approach as they could see no practical alternative -  proceed to its conclusion.

It was to become prelude to a sad historical fact. Calvinism had the appeal for stability; it was used, and would in time lead to the Calvinist captivity of the PC of Australia, the constitutional provisions to protect against this being undermined in Assembly in 1991. It is not that Calvin was a bad theologian but that he made one particularly bad mistake which slanted away from the Bible, and made havoc of one important and wonderful biblical truth (cf. Anguish, Ecstasy and the Mastery of the Messiah Chs.    8 and    9, Great Execrations ... Chs.  7 and  9, The Biblical Workman Ch. 8, Christ Incomparable, Lord Indomitable Epilogue).

Despite this, the ecclesiastical procedure with the new slant were more and more implemented. Was it to be Christ or some new Peter, however keen ? You cannot have two masters, and there is only one word which can and must in the Church of Jesus Christ, directly, unremittingly and finally rule (cf. Mark  7:7ff.). It is the word of God Himself, inscripturated. How ironic that the Westminster Confession so energetic and right in declaring that no council was to be held as authoritative since all men err: but the scripture alone, should itself be USED to violate itself! that the Confession of liberty should become a crimping and a cramping co-existing the while with an erroneous ecumenism, as if to fling wildly on the one hand, and repress miserably on the other!

How often did Israel make decisions of convenience, worldly-wise, and suffer! How true it is that if you seek to save your life, you will lose it. Lost in Christ, only then, are you found. Cutting, trimming or adding to the mouth of God is neither good plastic surgery nor sound in principle.

 

It is not in this that one judges churches, but events; not people but doctrines; and this not by one's word, but by the Bible as one's ordination undertaking REQUIRES that one do; and for one's own part, this is not an option, popular or not. The Lord will have one, as He did by His grace in New Zealand in the resurrection affair, whoever he be and even if at any time there be no more, who will not bow to unbelief and biblical licence, to move from it. He did not lack a man to speak openly and to condemn justly in that apostate Assembly; and in bringing me to this position, which meant I lost my post in the Church, in the end, He did what one is delighted to report and to remember alike.

So do we trust in Him,  however many be the innovations; nor is this a personal fiefdom, but simply a spiritual necessity. It is the simplest and humblest of actions, like eating one's dinner when a child! After all, it is not in some way NECESSARY to insult one's employer, abort the word of one's Saviour or unhallow His name.

Nor is this some mere assertion, of which to be proud, for of Christ only is one duly proud. It is simply a necessity for testimony; and indeed, it is only and altogether through His grace, vitality and presence, than one has been kept faithful in so many of these conflicts.

Nor is it to say that one has done well, for that estimate is for another; but one can say this, that wherever one wonders if one could have done better in these confrontations, testimonies and endeavours to be valiant for the truth, indeed faithful to it, it is NEVER a matter of whether one should have gone so far, but only of this, could not not have done better by doing even more! That is the only question. Poor one may be, and less than this or that, yet that is not to the point: the Lord has unsearchable riches of glory, and to meet His eminence, one must go down as far as necessary, to the very ground of truth, and stay there.

There is only one opportunity to pass in this way, and it is necessary to make the most of it for Christ. It is HE ONLY who is the Saviour, and what defiles His word, defiles the way of salvation for some, as Christ made clear in Luke 11:40-54. The Gospel is the way, and the word defines the Gospel, so any endeavour to bypass Matthew 5:17-20 is merely a confusion. No other Gospel has ANY place (Galatians 1), and no other word has the authority of God (Isaiah 8:20), everything else being merely derivative and conditional on His word, concerning Himself, His will and His ways. Laxity on addition to or subtraction from the Bible is merely redefinition of the speech of God Almighty.

To be sure, nature itself teaches us much; but the definition is left to Him (Romans 1:17ff.). Of ways of orientation, information in deity and salvation, there is one source in writing, and one in Person; for the Bible is the sole definitive declaration of God in written form for man, just as Jesus Christ is the sole Saviour in human form, God Himself in flesh (cf. SMR pp. 532ff,).

 Judging this, that what the Bible says in instruction is to be obeyed, one does not have to condemn a church in order to leave it; but to watch the criteria and to follow them. In seeking fidelity, it is necessary to seek to follow Him, in obedience to His word; and not to lead, in departure from it. Nor does exposure of error does not substitute for faithfulness; for that, if the word of God declares it time to separate, one must do so (cf. Separation 1997). Far is this desire an implicit self-congratulation, for who could not hope to be far better than one is; it is merely an admission that battle orders from the Lord need to be followed, however few or lowly be the followers.

These sad movements from former soundness on the part of two denominations, now large and elevated, was a thing NOT from the Lord of the Bible, since it did not comport with it; but we were forced in integrity to act in  close dependence on Him who speaks; and indeed, He has continued to bless, with His mercy and favour as we serve Him. In fact, He is always faithful, gracious and understanding. Moreover, we seek as servants do well to do, to find out and do His will as He works in us, both to will and to do (Philippians 2), and to follow His word, not lead it. Let God be God, whoever else is whatever else.

One can the more empathise with Elijah, when the vast declivities of his own day and the intense betrayals of many who did not act for the truth as they should, that he only was left. Actually, as he learned, there were some 7000 left (a tiny percentage of the population nevertheless); but he had to ACT even when they did not show. That is the nature of faith, Noah did not seek a social quorum before proceeding to build his ark, nor Elijah a priestly one before confronting the king.

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE NINTH DELIVERANCE

As noted, during this time, indeed since 1988, and especially since independence in 1998, I have had occasion to write a set of books on Biblical  Christian Apologetics, to which I felt distinctively called, and for which power and help with what has been an amazing degree of grace, has been given by the Lord. He has both constrained and enabled me to put my back into this task. Morning by morning He has, as it were, sat beside me to energise and illuminate, guide and lead. Never has He failed to answer my queries, resolve difficulties or assign answers. This set has hundreds of pages of index, and is now approaching 60,000 pages in extent, with 188 volumes so far published. It demonstrates in many ways that God is and that the Bible is the sole divinely authorised communication in writing of God to all mankind. It is as http://webwitness.org.au.

We have sought to check the data concerning the missionary outreach which is thus accomplished. Much remains unknown, but the will of the Lord to have this work done has been both arresting and constraining.

We did find in one survey over some weeks, that 76 nations had participated, downloading chapters, and that at the highest rate of reception appeared to be this, that around 300,000 chapters or similar works were downloaded in one year. While this is higher than the norm, which can vary from half that upwards, it is encouraging, and we praise God for His grace in this.

At times, someone will decide to challenge the presentation, and the record concerning some of these is to be found in Swift Witness. One of the more blatant came from a gentleman who had his master's degree but had grown weary, it seems of his doctoral studies. He would, he indicated, take us apart. This interesting intention was encouraged by us, to the extent that we had provided a presentation and expressed its criteria on the Web, and thus if he wanted to demolish it/us in this matter, why not try! He did. After some exchanges, he announced that he was giving up.

After all, we are but servants of the Lord, and the Lord being with us, and His word, it is His power that is available. While evidence and reason expose Him clearly (cf. Romans 1:17ff., Luke 1, Isaiah 41, 43, 48, I Peter 3:15), sin insinuates a suffocating smog, and it is to be understood that this is the nature of the undivine deception which is the plight of unsaved man (cf. Ephesians 4:17-19, John 8:44-47).

You cannot see, as Jesus pointed out, with your eyes shut (Matthew 13:14-15). The testimony however is not for that reason in vain, since it stands and like a tower, soaring into the skies, speaks what the Twin Towers in the USA could not say. On the other hand, wonderful indeed is it when the eyes open, the sight of the Lord is seen (cf. John 6:40) and realisation becomes reality in the new born soul of the Christian, as one alive from the dead (cf. Ephesians 2:1-2).

It is always necessary to do all that one can, so that during all this unfaithfulness, apart from the appropriate challenge, warning or other action, one has been graciously enabled by the Lord to KEEP PRODUCING, at whatever level of patience, and so the 188 volumes on Biblical Christian Apologetics (2010), with matters of biblical translation where it seemed edifying or necessary, exposition, preaching, teaching, evangelical appeal, missionary application has through His profound mercy, continued. WORK for the night is coming in which no man can work! Christ declared. Let us all to the task then, as divinely enabled, or even scheduled!

 

 

THE FASCINATING FEATURES

OF OUR DESIGN

ARITHMETICALLY and AESTHETICALLY

However we are dealing with design, and noting its pairings, along with the unities.

Thus the pairings in their sublime order, organisation and dextrous detail bespeak what is adequate to such a degree of precision, disdaining the inept as likewise the exotic, but insisting on specification-kind production like an engineer, for whom the devious or deviating is anathema.

It is preserved from childhood, through youth to maturity, this constantly revised and hence, throughout growth and its innumerable changes, continually devised pairing of features, this symmetry of conspectus; and yet it is not some mere duplicating machine concerned with pairs. On the contrary, the heart is but one, as is the liver, and all the digestive system in general. Moreover, the understanding of the acoustic input like that of the illuminative, sound and light alike, is one; and when it is not so, it is the distressing aberration called confusion, to be guarded against through the equipment provided for this purpose, by the active and resolute spirit gifted to man for this and other even more marvellous purposes.

The thoughts of the heart are one, except in mental disease or the precipices which precede it. There is one personality able to make one contour of aim, one monument to motivation, one peace of mind with one God in one way. That is as simply empirical as anything else in the totality. It works like the rest. It happens and can be noted, observed, considered as raw data.

Yet in God Himself, there is the emissary with the plans, the Word who became the Son through incarnation; and just as there is DNA and RNA in the coding structure physically, so spiritually in the supernal realities that caused those we see (as in Hebrews 11:1),  in the Engineer of all Himself, there is the Expressing and the Expressed, the Father and the Son, the Speaker and Spoken, and in this, the reader may find joy in reading of Proverbs 8, that magnificent disquisition from above. Indeed, there is also the Holy Spirit in the triune God; and we ourselves have been 'spoken' into form, in our DNA commands which are speech in coded form, direction in orders, and yet speak, and moreover, we have our spirit with which to comprehend what we apprehend.

Of course, in this Apologetics, we took care first to prove the Almighty's existence (as the Bible's truth, indeed)  before proceeding to the VERIFICATIONS which design and cell, word and speech all demonstrate (cf. SMR Ch. 2). However, if there WERE anything lacking (disease and its designed distress apart) in the original creation, if symmetry were awkward, if minds were muddied in nature, and not by misuse, if in the actual specification and template there were muddles, if distressed bungles at design littered the earth, that would be empirically significant. It is when the opposite, which is logically apposite for verification, is constantly found that scientific method rejoices (cf. SMR pp.140ff., 936ff.), throws parties and engages with diligent joy in conversation with the perceptive party-goers. How much wonder is constantly seen!

 

 

Indeed, as expressed in Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 1, we are surrounded by cloisters of comprehensibility, palaces of profundity, cosmoi of conceptual cohesion in the whole realm of body, mind and spirit in man, giving not only apt meeting of the definition of design, but vast impact in the extent of it. An excerpt, slightly adapted to our present purpose, follows.

 

On design definition, the case is clear. You need what has integrity, or better integrality, oneness in multiplicity, so that many things minister to one result. You need the power to imagine it, since commands do not imagine themselves; the capacity to codify it if you want to use, as in DNA, programmatic devices, the comprehension to make code articulate with command, and command with the raw material for its implementation; you need a series and sequence so that the correct data come with the correct  matériel and the correct provision of it at the correct time, and the correct concept with which to edit any errors and rectify any oddments. So is it with the embryo, and indeed in much of the following growth, outside the womb.

This of course is precisely what is found in design, to make it so; and nowhere on earth is that of man as an object, surpassed in any visible realm. How is this so ? It is a question of

bullet

complexity for the unity,
 

bullet

differential divisions
of mind, spirit and matter for the components,
 

bullet

inextricably interwoven for normal function,
 

bullet

operational sufficiency and efficiency for the command centre
or operational agent to secure the results which are to be gained
from comprehensive USE of all the equipment and connections
and phases of life involved.

Nothing comes near such versatility, power and combination, synthesis of dynamic diversity in KIND, as this. Fulfilling the specifications for the definition of design, it yet surpasses all other visible examples.  To remove this example, this exemplar indeed, man,  from  design, would have to remove the concept; but the concept is based on billions of examples, systematically found and implemented by the designed unit himself, man. It is just that his observable case surpasses all in the various elements that constitute what is defined to be design.

There follow three citations from earlier works, to illustrate the ludicrous results which come when man tries to ignore the data, and invent by magical moments in thought (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9), what no moments in nature contrive to produce; for you may watch forever, for what lacks what it takes, to take what it has not got. Cars do not produce cars; you need the extra features to imagine and purpose, to contrive and to make them arrive. Man-maker has to have all of this, and for such a thing as man, inventor, creator and imaginer, comprehender and amender, you need as it were the machine tools correlative to that; but it is not machinery: it is imagination and all else that the formation and formulation of command exacts.

Correlative with this again is the obvious fact that INFORMATION does not  arrive, but in information science as seen below, we find that information tends to dissipate, like other design. What is based on the magical imagination of its autonomous arrival, when the law directs that the natural course of information is on the contrary,   its dissipation: this is not only UN-scientific; it is ANTI-scientific, and justly put into the realm of magic, where causes inadequate posited, with no evidence, are imagined to go with the results desired.

This may be pursued at The Wit and Wisdom of the Word of God, the Bible True to Test Ch. 2 . It is set in a yet broader context of the designs in divine dealings both physical and historical, ancient and modern,  in Bon Voyage Ch. 2.

 

Pursuing yet further the integuments, the integralities and the implications of empirical reality, we turn to History, Review and Overview Ch. 5. For our present purpose, this is re-arranged somewhat and extended.

 

HISTORY, REVIEW AND OVERVIEW Ch. 5

 

It is all or nothing. It is not only

 irreducible complexity, but

indivisible integrity,

indissoluble co-operation,

inter-and intra-systematic proliferation,

coherence of logic and symbolic notation with
executive receptors, skilled to catch meaning and execute orders, 

continuity of sequence from

connotation, to denotation, to implementation,

in a series of systematics incomprehensible except in totality

(indeed see SMR pp. 332Gff., Stepping Out for Christ Ch. 9, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, in End-notes,    and   for further considerations!).

 

The path of true reductionism, false to science, of course, is always to ignore what you have got, and to explain what is not there. It is however the essence of the challenge to meet the case as it is, in all of its sequential, symbolic, integral and mutually intimate and pervasively singular procedures, whether in code type, implementation, co-ordination or exuberance of methodology; and to do so in a world which likes energy for construction and time for destruction. The other point about the construction ? it is direction. The third ? something to do as directed. In this world, and by any form of valid logic, the specifications of life parallel the requisites of intelligence, with available power.

The result, life, it matches nothing but mind, requires nothing less than something as far beyond mere genius as the heavens above the earth, requisitions an artist, artificer and maker down to the last electron and the least of the biota. Paintings do not paint themselves, Raphaels do not come by omission of the artist, and life is as far beyond these things in what it demands, as a genius beyond a talented toddler.

The perspectives and nuances of art, its undertones and its overtones, its sentiments and its modes of communications to receptors called human beings, who may decide to pretend not to like it as a competitive device, such is their programmatic liberty of will in certain arenas: these do not arise from what does not cognise them; but only in what goes far further than that. It must with enterprise not only appreciate but perform, and not only perform, but meaningfully perform, and activate the executive elements of the body of the artist to ensure that the result actually appears; and that the way in which it does so can be 'read'. Art is merely one facet of life. ALL functions must be accounted for in any reputable endeavour to present its basis.

As soon as one discovers one phase, feature or facet of human life in particular, there are realities within, meanings beyond, there is all the grooming of a thorough-bred horse, all the intestinal reality of a cathedral, the coherence of a great speech, the intricacy of superb mathematics, the intimacies as of love, such is the subtlety and the inter-dimensional as well as intra-dimensional sophistication, as if intelligence were easy, and brilliance a manner of life.

As if ? THIS is the testimony. If someone places a new Boeing 747 on your drive-way, it is not as if it had been built! It is not the nature of life, or logic, to give output without input; and what we see now as the centuries progress, is no more input, but the same residual decrement. In macro-design terms, there is to be found, as Gould emphasises, DECREASING residue. The progress of centuries in this system is the regress of design types. What is needed is simply NOT NATURE. It needs its author.

There is vast loss of the remains of output, one not now to be found, as is natural in creations, which tend to dissipate. As with creation in this world generally, on the part of human participants, this decrease follows the vast effort of bringing things to be; and as that is distanced,  forces work to the detriment of what one has made. All this is precisely as the Bible depicts (Isaiah 51:6 for example), and it is simply anti-scientific to dismiss the enduringly correct, and uniquely present solution, while appealing to the calamitously non-verified imaginations of the heart, which dismiss the eyes and dispense with their testimony.

That is quite literally anti-science, what is biblically called knowledge falsely so-called, one of the chief dimensions of that falsetto spuriousness, which infects much of modern 'science' to its profound detriment and everlasting shame. Do not misunderstand, science has not done this, for on its method as shown in SMR pp. 149ff. and TMR Ch. 1, this is the result: creation is indicated irrevocably by all the criteria of scientific method. It is the work of some who name 'science' as their trade or profession.

Scientific method is clear, and delightfully sure in its results in creation; but since science lives in culture, a pathological culture can even constrain it till the point comes that argument is substituted for admission, non-reality is explained by reductionism and pathetic propositions are constantly presented, which neither logic nor observation ever sanctioned.

In the intimacies of ever-more unravelled marvels in life's visible provisions, we find increasingly that everything provides for something else, and the more we dispense with ignorance, the more simplistic substitutes for empirical observation surge into the farcical.

For centuries now, man in his growing secularistic conceit, sham imaginations and shameful self-fulfilments, mere ferments of disorderly imagination, has tended to under-estimate all of creation, except himself.

What we are facing then, is not only all the above. It is also directional dynamic with integral meaning, once exceedingly fast-moving, now long arrested. As well have spare tyres and spanners and gear levers in incomprehensible confusion lying about, as think of this or that chemical as if this were at all to the point. The electrons have their partitions and procedures; the atoms likewise; as do the molecules; the compounds are characterisable; the genes have their task and the DNA its blueprint. Each is a construction. Each has required the art of the artifice and the power for the presentation. ALL require a totality of systematisation to render coherent their interaction, univocal their meaning and practical their interaction.

From Deity and Design ... Section 2, we move further:

In the light of our other concerns with excerpts and text above, we may now add to the above list, so that to preserve it all in one we repeat it:

 irreducible complexity, but

indivisible integrity,

indissoluble co-operation,

inter-and intra-systematic proliferation,

coherence of logic and symbolic notation with
executive receptors, skilled to catch meaning and execute orders, 

continuity of sequence from

connotation, to denotation, to implementation,

in a series of systematics incomprehensible except in totality

 

    To this we may now add:

physical, ethical, moral, aesthetic, discursive, ruminative, intellectually integrative, spiritually imaginative and metaphysically cohesive unity of perspective, operation and concentration,

unitary understanding explicative of all,
derived from the summit of experience and
comprehension in the Creator.

 

The last is as demonstrated in an earlier work, which it is pertinent to provide in its full dress on this occasion. It is -

LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST

WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES

AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS

Bible or Blight, Christ or Confusion:
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God

What then for man ? In him, multiple cosmoi do not collide but co-operate in a spectacular series, sequence and monumental machination of multiplicity so daring as to be stunning, so imaginative as to be awesome, so wise as to be a wonder and so gracious as to evoke worship.

End of Adapted Excerpts

It is however when the grace is personalised as in the Gospel, made personal because the God of all personality has made an action both real and not surreal, practical and not merely theoretical, remedial and not simply creative, a machination of heart, a miracle of kindness and a testimony of love, that worship becomes multi-dimensional and praise a thrust into magnificence, with delight (cf. Deliverance from Disorientation ... Chs.   7 and   8, with A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 12). At times this evocation of praise is to be found with a precise direction, as when a deliverance is wrought. In the case before us, that of the eye, we may therefore, being thus prepared, proceed.

As to physical seeing, the eye is not at all odd in its placement of parts, as Dr Jonathan Sarfati shows so well, but as medical eye specialist, Dr Peter Gurney presents in detail, it exquisitely exhibits the solution of inherent problems with exquisite method. As so often, thoughts of inefficiency yield to wonder at the ACTUAL astuteness of the ample mind beyond, each component exhibiting as beheld in concert with its immediate and broader organic environment, a lavishness of care.

Before however we proceed with more detail on this Ninth Deliverance, it would be well to point out that the very physical power to work in the seventies as I have been constrained to do, in one year for example authoring 20 volumes, required good eyes. They must rove and act, investigate and focus to a marvel, without stint.

 

THE VICTORY IS THE LORD'S - THE TENTH DELIVERANCE

Suddenly, when these things were moving relatively smoothly, a challenge came. One of my eyes received an impact from a car antenna, which soared happily into the space between eyelid and eye, impacting the latter with the force of a punch. It occurred on a cliff top where violent winds were thrusting, and the seas were lashed, as one moved under the bluster of it all. Soon amazing exploits of eye invention began to occur, oddities of changing focal length, remarkable 'sights' of distorted images. It was apparent that the design of the eye would in this case have a lot to do; for while it can meet wonderfully the harsh conditions which may  be imposed, grappling with steel thrust is a little much!

What was could be done ? A visit to an eye specialist was anything but reassuring!

First, however, let us get things into perspective. We will consider this from Sparkling Life ... Ch. 6, matters concerning the Lord's design of the eye, and His designs for my eye, in view of the work He had designated for me to do, and of this ocular accident which was threatening my whole ninth deliverance.

In this eye accident then, came a signal which could bring the train of events to a rapid halt. Before citing from this Chapter, it is to the point to note that the dilemma presented to me by the eye specialist was this. NO method he knew could fix my eye, now with atrocious pressure within it, except a non hi-tech piercing.

This he indicated, would have to be a hole kept open, so enable fluid to eject. Too big, and it would drain too much; too small and the pressure would not sufficiently abate. Moreover, if it grew red, the question whether it was inflammation or infection would send me scurrying in to find out! A miracle would be necessary to heal it. That was a delightful challenge. In the grace of the Lord's goodness, I took that up and sought Him who having made the eye, could heal it as required, so that His will could be completed by His servant. ALL that was needed was for the God of creation and the Lord of salvation to act to rectify what was a mountain range in the way of the progress of my work. To that point, we return shortly.

As to the design of the eye, a few words in this setting may be added from the same Chapter just cited, as the story develops concerning the eye accident suffered. Some additions to the Chapter are made for our present purpose.

 Dr Peter Gurny, a distinguished eye specialist in London, in an article on pp. 92-99 of the Technical Journal of Creation (15(3), late 2001, exposes with faithful and minute specifications, such a detail on the microscopic intricacies, operational mutual dependencies, sub-organic correlations, chemical specifications required even for tears, double usage as in the cornea, with some lens power, cell arrangements for physical results, antibodies, chemical composites to combat infection, brilliant conception and astounding capacities, each point in place and each place with a point, for the human eye that it is all but overwhelming.

The concept of some ill-design, specifically exposed in a recent and notable CD-ROM significantly featuring Dr John Sarfati, is seen this time with overview of actual function, as a testimony to twisting. Here, in "Creation ... a shattering critique of PBS-NOVA 'Evolution' series", the Answers in Genesis Ministries exhibit with no small aplomb, the seemingly sightless sentence passed by critiques of that most astute organ, the human eye. As the fallacious suppositions are exposed and the facts of design necessities considered for maximal functionality and complex series of adaptabilities; and as the alleged alternative option are dismissed as dysfunctional fantasy, on the one hand, and  Dr Gurny's diagrammatic expositions of the eye's structure and function are pondered  on the other; and then the two phases of the matter are seen together, it is most apparent that our definition of design in SMR  is here most abundantly met.

{In fact this matter is treated at length in one's more recent Deity and Design, Designation and Destiny, over some 2.7 million words, showing the realities of design in terms of Deity. In particular, to the present point are The Wisdom and Wit of the Word of God Ch. 2, and Glory, Vainglory and Goodness Ch. 1, in which much on definitions of design of provided, and more broadly and discursively on the background theme,  The Grating Grandeur and Aggrandisement of man and the Meekness of the Majestic Messiah Ch. 3..}

What is true of the body in general is sensationally true of the eye!

That definition ? One formulation is this.  "Multiplicity of parts, co-ordinated in simplicity of meaning; or layers of comprehensible integration of meaning and function, relative to a use; or the perspective of the whole: this together with mental acuity and intellectual discrimination, displayed in coherent, cumulative interaction with the product, its parts and its use ... such things would be the territory of design." There is more to be seen, but not less on pp. 113-116, the above on p. 115. (See also A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 6.)

As there is no source for information, conceptually organised and hence so interpretable, and investigable command or requisition, without intelligence, so there is no case to be found where such is formulated and instituted, originated and secured without it, directly or indirectly. Death does not create, matter does not speak, concepts do not lounge about: what is to be done needs what is to do it, not the beating of Darwinian drums, Gouldian retrogression or Nilsonnian arrivals out of the clouds. Only in children's books (and fallacious text manuals) does it happen thus (cf. SMR pp. 140ff., Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming 4 -6.).

What then ? Code and manipulation of mental concepts is not wrought by a dull intelligence, far less by none, for its very matrix is understanding, and language such as this exhibits, is irrelevant to the non-linguistic, since symbols in cohesion, correlation with comprehensibility for action is a domain of command, communication implying either the programmatic equivalent for a specialised purpose, or the actual power to program (cf. Jesus Christ Defaced, Unfazed, Barrister of Bliss Ch. 4). Symbol manipulation and competence to achieve specifiable and consistent results is a type of program. It does not have to be repetitive, though it may be. Speech is a code susceptible amongst other things, to command, and the body is a provision, amongst other things, to obey it.

Indeed superimposed command in much constitutive of DNA,  as such is per se an intrusion into a given set of systematics operating at its own level, and betokens of necessity the desire of what is not that system, given to fashion what it will using what is beneath it (cf. Evidence and Reality ... Chs. 2-3, 5-6, Deity and Design ... Section 3).

That accords fully with one reason why, as Professor Werner Gitt, specialist in this field,  points out, information is not evidenced as having power to produce itself (cf. Jesus Christ, Defaced ... Ch. 4 as above, and here marked). Nothing of this kind is to be found in 'Nature' except of course in intelligence, where codes are either comprehensible or wrought creatively. You do not see it happen, of its own accord. It needs production requisite and rationally correlative. That was the scientific assertion, now for many years presented by this high level specialist to any who cares to assail it!

In fact, the connecting link in the arena of commanding symbols and commanded matter is intelligence. Matter neither has the designate power nor the designated evidence of creating information. It is as simple as that. The cosmos of apprehension-comprehension, computerised or not, is not the domain of the merely constructed, like matter, but of what constructs.

The birth of the eye in every case known on this earth, is based on just such language, as it is spoken into existence. On this, see further The Pride of Life ... Ch. 5, where the topic is as follows. 

There is no argument if we are to objective. Thus in 'nature', design, and its counter-movement in the designated minds of man, the latter valid only because of the right design by the Truth, is so candidly featured that it is felicitously found in the empirical as in the logical realm to be wholly hostile to its additive oddities, inconsistencies and artless explosions, these the precise contradictory of production, let alone that of what would be required: the inadequate into the magnificent.

That is a domain of felicity of mutuality, implicit correlation of command and power to receive it, with ingredients to fulfil it, linked with constructive imagination solidified in produced moulding to vision. In practice, there is programmed hostility to interference, which as in all design, needs understanding of the original to avoid inconsequential or harmful clash. In the DNA it is almost as if a copyright had been taken out, so intense is the provision for perpetuation of the integrity of the whole command structure and its integral outcome.

Defining life is an exercise in mirroring the definition of design, in a highly specific case. When desire turns into observation, and chance which always pre-supposes system, is traded in for the source of system, you begin to find facts that cohere and considerations that are relevant to life as it is, its source, its ingredients and its implications. With this, dwelling especially on the implications of language, might be read: Jesus Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 4.

 

Indeed, as noted in Deity or Design ... Section 7:

The false perspectives of unreason and the bouquets given to the not merely disabled dis-dynamics but to the nonentities of nothingness, whether seen at once or in stages of vacuity as source, are ludicrous to watch, astounding to observe, instructive to examine and a feat of modern fairy-tale so distinctive that it begins to demarcate this generation and to distinguish very well its grounds of devastation.

It matters not at all whether you invent nothing as a source, which by definition defies being anything, whether potentiated, poly-potentiated or merely lazily productive; or whether you make of it a continual additive basis for the invention of aspects of what you want, need or try to produce from the hat of vacuity. In stages or all at once, in logical principle, it is the same relative to causation: you are merely making nothing the origin and the origination, a begged question infected with fantasy and delinquent in deviousness as to method

Try again! if you want truth. If you have it, rejoice, it meets EVERY demand of reason, as you would expect when its existence is a pre-condition of valid thought.

The design for the salvation of deity, the sublime divine reality to become available to man, is as seen further in Ch. 9 below, prodigious in concept, grand in installation, perspicuous in plan, the plan of salvation. It is however, as we trace further in this Ch. 7, delightful in deposition in the prophet Isaiah, and has an inbuilt defence system against the theft of spiritual property by unscrupulous thieves, just as some seek to protect intellectual property in commerce! The word of God and His work, the Lord's Christ and His salvation: these do not bend to mountebanks, nor alter course at their hoarse voices (cf. SMR, TMR, Deity and Design ..., Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ).

On the eye, see also the last cited work, Ch. 7.

Meanwhile man lumbers ploddingly to try to begin to unravel some of the least components of life, the genome which lies as in much, as one of the physical directors of such operations (cf. News 45, Lord of Life ... Ch.   5, News  166News  153, Licence for Liberty Chs.   6,  8, Beauty of Holiness Chs. 7 ,  8 Spiritual Refreshings ... Ch. 13, Tender Times for Timely Truths Ch.  10, Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Ch.   9 ) - ... But operations ? It is far more than a mere question of how it functions.

In fact, the typologically fixed RE-MAKING of such things, in each generation, their architectural emplacement, their growth adaptation as various site construction works grow in size or even shape, after birth (and indeed before), the arrival of energy from the culinary factory areas of digestion, adapted to the various engines, cellular and organic, the provision of directional power via bone emplacements, themselves a world of combination, continuity and constant mutual geometric adjustment during growth over years, the copying of information (which does not create itself, since it is a reflection of what is, ordered and organised, and in this case also, a data bank suffused with integral correlation linguistic and directive, for minute and maximal, micro- and macro-function), the copying of director-roles, themselves: all this and far more is inherent in what then must simply function when it IS made.

Function ? But that too is staggeringly complex. The eye article (ocular dissertation, ophthalmological depiction) of Peter Gurney is an excellent illustration of what 'function' means, even in so short but so compressed an article. A world of maintenance and provisions for maintenance then unfolds likewise. One eye specialist once told the author that in his view, the human eye was not meant for much more than 70 years in its design, the term he used, since various things tend to become very vulnerable after that time.

In the meantime, as in a highly sophisticated luxury automobile, staggeringly complex and delicately intimate proceedings and procedures team to make eye life pleasant, profoundly competent and what is often complacently received, marvellously stable. The provisions for arrival and dispersal of moisture, including tears, leaves one delighted to see that such psychological needs as crying, such grubby hands in the child's eyes as may arrive at such times, are all provided for with a sensitivity of chemical and architectural products which work in their designated ways, to a marvel.

How long and under what conditions does it go ? As with all design, there is always purpose. Some manufactured goods are MADE for a period, after which, if they continue (like the author's more than 30 year old car - still very comfortable), then it is a thing of some remark!

This brings us back to my damaged eye and its ocular distress. An earlier review will add detail.

Thus if one may be permitted one more personal eye reference, when one found an eye pressure about the lens nearly 3 times too much, SUDDENLY, some time after a car aerial penetrated the eye (not its matrix, but prodding vigorously into the space between the lid and the eye itself, thus of necessity impacting the eye ball ... like a fist in this case!), there was later some malfunction.

One could still see (a feat which seem to impress the specialist, in view of the huge pressure which built up), but there were oddities of focal length and specificities of changes observable in some circumstances. When laser was considered helpless, drugs were deemed inadequate, and the details of what to the author seemed a horrendously simplistic (but normal) operation to pierce the eyeball and keep it pierced despite all prospective healing efforts, described by the specialist as a generic but non-hi-tech operation: then the woe of the plight appeared. The prospect was dim.

It was, as the specialist conceded, on the basis of all expectation, a matter for piercing or miracle. However, with less than the drugs, put in for some hope, since one medicine was a rather disorienting seeming one, one found in 2 days that the pressure was normal. It stayed so, being checked months later, proceeding from 43 or some such figure in mm of mercury as to pressure, to around 18, then the same for both eyes.

In the meantime, the author had communicated with the Creator in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord. Pianists need hands, authors need eyes, especially on demanding computer situations, with the only office worker oneself! The pleadings with the Maker were answered with the staggeringly sudden and complete remedy of a condition which had been developing for weeks, and demanding action of the compromising character, vulnerable to repeated infection, as described. One doctor deemed it a miracle, the other a minor miracle.

However one had been careful to establish with the specialist that the only plausible way, short of operation,  to get it better was a miracle. This would then become a set case, and be an inherent testimony to truth on its own. Experiment ? by all means. These are the conditions and these are the foretold results, depending on the case. Miracle only ? Let us see then what happened.

Thus when the restoration did actually come, and on time, to obviate any impending operation  or even any quandary about one (a failure to have remedy, under such pressure could have led in a comparatively short time to blindness, one was informed), what was the result within the terms of reference given ? It was this.

it appeared as the exhibition of the power of the Maker, a miracle. It was not the first by any means; but it was one here publicly attested.

The living option had made the mechanical one unnecessary. For this, one can only praise the resource for all things at all times, the Redeemer, who never fails, and who, one must add, solves problems with a view to all the information and wisdom which is His; and this time, acted in this way.

It is not a part of this complex and amazing creation, the human eye, to provide in its programmatic base of conceived and coded information, for intrusion of radio antennae of automobiles! Thus the intelligence that made it, the personal and communicating God, acted direct: this is the testimony  on the basis of the evidence. It was even more apparent in the asking room, that preceded this gracious restoration, where one sought from the profound mercy of the Creator of man, this ocular need for the worker in the kingdom of heaven at this time.

More had yet to be written, and in mercy, He acted with grace.

Design, designers and their power and morals: these things are current topics with atomic and genome research moving with all self-assurance into what they are inadequate to control. It is only when the designer is known, that His work can be discerned. It is only when His work is discerned that it can properly be done. Not being on speaking terms with one's employer is most unwise; and with THIS employer, the Maker, in view of His total redemptive provisions for the spirit of man, yes and in the end, his resurrection, is a choice sort of folly. Where love is concerned, there is no other option. Where grace is sought, there is no other effectual source. Where life is in view, there is no other Designer... not one.

Thus the challenge of my marred eye was solved by the same divine power that created this maestro for sight, and it was done in a few hours, by following the prescription from James 5. As my Christian GP confirmed, here was a miracle indeed. Set to time, meeting empirical test, total in change, adequate in scope, precise in operation.

How often one finds that someone is sure about something being a miracle or an act of the Lord, until the result overturns desire. It did not however overturn my desire and supplication; but it fulfilled it with a precision and a mercy which none of us deserve, but which is merely the more munificent for that! As Lord Christ is lovable, as Saviour He has no limits.

How amazing to arrive two days after the first interview, at the office of the eye specialist and to find that the pressure was over well over two times less! and normal. God gives faith for such things as He pleases, and in this case He wanted the work to be done, now in 142 volumes; and then,  in kindness, He facilitated in this way its completion.

Is it not then as in Psalm 107: Oh that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men! It is not hard to do when the heart acknowledges, like a horse given a rub-down after a gallop, the kindness of the Master, Creator of all and of personality in particular, which so often pathologically affirms the truth while denying any way to find it. We however affirm the truth because it is nowhere to be found in principle, in reason, or in practice, or in authorised revelation,  except in the well-attested testimony of Truth, focussed in the incarnate Christ, and featured in the brilliantly verified Bible.

We have looked at some length then, at the TENTH DELIVERANCE; but then this is relevant to what may be the largest theological work in one set, ever devised in any religion: this IN PRAISE OF CHRIST JESUS, set now on the Web at this site. For this, result and means to it, we praise the Lord. It was deliverance for a purpose.

 

SOME RESULTS OF THE WEB PUBLICATION

 

It is time to review some of the results of this large Web publication. Sometimes amazing things happen, such as hundreds of downloads from our site,  per night from Sweden, and that over a period of some months, quite apart from all the other nations; but the main interest is from the USA, then Australia, followed by Canada and Europe. This last is now at times nearly equal with Canada, with significant results also in Singapore and Taiwan, and interest from China, Hong Kong and India in varying amounts, as well as from many smaller amounts in various countries. Europe itself of course accounts for many nations within itself, such as Britain and France,  Germany and Estonia, Sweden and Norway.

There is another statistical fact of interest.

Rather interestingly, about 5 of these 142 volumes were published before the severance from the PC in America and transfer to the Ministry of the Australian Bible Church; about 136 have been published since - that is from that time in 1998, when the severance was made. Put for impact in terms of one's age, this meant that 5 were published before my 70thj year, and 137 after it on the way to 80.

Indeed, next January becomes the end of the decade since severance from the PC in America, as one set out in a small bark, in the fleet of Christ, by His strength, grace and enablement, to do what was required, to strengthen what remains, and serve as directed. May His name be forever praised and blessed. Further results of the publication are to be found at the Home Page as marked.

So the Lord has poured out His strength in a way which in retrospect, seems a most gracious and kindly thing for Him to do. Again and again, one feels it necessary to say, state and declare it: the Lord IS good! This is a vast ocean of wonder, just HOW good He is. His presence in composition since 1988, and help before that (a matter of 40,000 hours perhaps, if one extends to the theses included), His faithful availability has made this work not only a travail, but a travelling experience with a distinct feeling of that haven and rock which is He, of that river of strength which is His, of that comradeship which He confers with a purity and peace which reminds of roses and lavender, of wistaria and rock, of surging seas and still rivers. It is friendship sublime, not without discipline, but with a comfortable concord.

What then is a major emphasis in these 142 volumes that He has helped to provide, indeed stirred me up to write, and enabling, blessed. Consider this.

 

Is the Bible, the sole authorised word of God to man, demonstrably His ? Yes.

 

Is it infallible as His own ? of course it is. Does it work ? Every time. Does He honour it ? Nothing less, for it expresses His mind to man. Is His spiritual power abiding in it ? and is His love found through it ? In Christ, its basis and focus, it is all to be found, just as it is written. He lives as He loves and acts as He declares.

 

His divine nature and work, being incarnate as Jesus Christ, are in these volumes shown to be demonstrable, verifiable and in every domain listed, commanding in testimony. This then is shown.  It is all freely available on the Web, and has been so for over a decade as it developed, the address now being: http://webwitness.org.au Faith apprehends and possesses, but reason insists, whatever disfaith does.

It has been well to present this aspect of apologetics with force, because it is one which the cultural declivities of the Age make some almost forget as to its very existence; which is rather like forgetting which country you live in (I Peter 3:15, II Corinthians 10:5, Romans 1:17ff., Luke 1, Isaiah 41, 43, 45, 36, 48).

We praise God that as far as the evidence goes, it seems well over one million calls for chapters or similar sites in this work may well have been made by students, surfers or others on the Web, since its institution; but it varies in popularity over time, in nations and in degree, action sometimes being intense. It has received much attention from the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England, and the American Biographical Institute who have freely included the pastor's name as author in various reference volumes in this and that category.  Details are listed on the Web, under author. The method of procedure is provided in What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3 and 4, and other places. The former appears in Appendix IV .

Thus my ordination was transferred to this separated Church, The Australian Presbyterian Bible Church (the shorter name - Australian Bible Church), in 1998, and remains in it.

Meanwhile, I have just the same passion for Jesus Christ as Lord, Saviour and Son of God, and bodily resurrected, for the power of God and for the written word of God, the Bible, as ever. The yearning that people escape perdition and find God where the door is open, in Jesus Christ alone,  does not change.

The skies may fall, and lovely they are; but the word of God remains for ever. Wise is the one who follows it. Friends may betray, but the Son of God remains faithful in all things for ever. The Lord is good in truth, covenant, grace, mercy, wisdom and power, and to taste Him is to find the acme of wonder and the ground of worship; to know Him is to relinquish any other knowledge, while yet to give knowledge its own basis, and to escape the paroxysms of a failing earth and the necrosis of a fallen race. While we stay, we attest and pray: for deliverance for man is on a one by one basis.

This testimony to the authenticity, infallibility and demonstrability of the biblical testimony to and from God, in Christ, remains a product of His grace.

 

Brethren who follow His word (John 17:8-9, Matthew 5:19ff.), whose heart is in Him, pray for us.

Those who do not yet believe, look, taste and see!

 

 

 

NOTE

*1

From SMR p. 721, comes this to the point of freemasonry and allied phenomena. It is slightly adapted and extended in the present site for its purposes.

As Jeremiah put it in his climacteric day, for the Jewish people (5:31):

The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end ?

What is a major thrust of contemporary approach to 'faith' ?

'Believe it ? Oh if you want to! But as a basic, never!' That is the way of this denial; and it is denial, if what God binds, you loose... Increasingly, man is saying of God, to man:

'Oh believe what you like, so long as you do not think that it is true!'

This is the blasphemy of lampooning indifference, sardonic scepticism veiled in form, but insidious like virus infection in fact. The ostensible Christian may be happy with it.

Man is shouting at God, the God of the Bible; and it is that same God who so accurately predicted this dénouement in the form of a falling, where what had stood fails, through wilfulness, fails any more to be believed or done.

What still stands is the Christian Church; what has fallen is much masonry which had surrounded it. Large and lavish national churches, prestigious churches, rich churches are increasingly finding faith, and indeed the faith either undesirable or at least unnecessary, wondering with almost inane seeming credulity ... what is up, as the world loses much of the light it had, and blunders with a blind and increasingly exasperated belligerence, in the dark. (Cf. Jeremiah 13:15-18!)

The deity of Christ is similarly denied by many using the name Christian, denied by J.W.'s and Christadelphians, who do not acknowledge the one God with His Redeemer, His everlasting co-partner (Isaiah 48:16 - see Trinity, Chapter 7, Section 4); as it is also by many Presbyterians and 'advanced' thinkers, such as those following the Theology of Liberation, and by many Masons indeed. In fact, in the last case, the clear teaching in the preface of the Holman Masonic Bible has been that there are many roads to God, and sacred 'scriptures' include the Koran. (On sects and error, see here.)

In that case, a Mason is committed, in the end, to the view that Christ cannot be God, for one of the Masonic teachings is that the Koran is a wholly acceptable sacred scripture. If Christ be God, then this is blasphemy, and blasphemy is scarcely worship; yet they do not appear to desire to be called blasphemers, though explicitly acknowledging that a religion which explicitly2 denies the deity of Christ, is an authentic and proper thing to be followed. Indeed in one of the Masonic approaches, they reveal the JBO concept, Jehovah, Baal and Osiris, something leaving yet more depraved concepts of the deity, to supervene beyond 'mere' denial of the deity of Jesus Christ.

Some even would follow with the disciples of Bultmann, a blitz of the very personality of God,  as in Deity and Design ... Section  8 cf. Barbs  6   -7,  removing  thus any ground of validity in the blitz itself!  Now in all these things, you have large fractured fragments of what regards itself as portion of ... the church of God, or closely allied! The term 'falling away' seems inadequate by itself. Again the scripture is exact: it is "the falling away". Not merely is it a case of falling, it is the case of it, the climacteric pre-parousia epoch. This is the ... mature case, the vast undoing before Christ returns; and you recall that He questioned:

When the Son of man comes, will He really find faith on earth ?
(Luke 18:8, cf. Matthew 24:5,11-12).

Meanwhile, there may be seen 'famous' riverlands of silted soil, in which every new thing that alas is as old as the dirt of the devil, is aroused, stirred and used. They range from the 'wholly other' god who is of course unknowable (colliding fascinatingly with the minimum condition of eternal life as defined by Jesus Christ in John 17:3), such as that of Barth; to the wholly interior New Age symbols, with their preludes in Schleiermacher or Kierkegaard (cf. SMR pp. 867ff., 846-864, 683-687) either in flamboyant ascents to the unknowable, of which they become eloquent orators or the passionate will, in which they move mountains that are not there, either in the reconstruction business of christs by imagination or in the developmental branch, new imaginations for religious figures to fit in due course. It is eloquence in assiduity, bypass with utility, grand imagination with futility.

Not only have theological students in many Protestant seminaries been mistaught, treated to a constant if variable diet of blasphemies, but disciplined for the logical exposure of the same, indeed "framed" or dismissed, something experienced by the author (cf. p. 1083 infra)...

Perhaps 'mercy' of some species may be offered by some, if a man follows the apostasy by collapsing with his colleagues, instead of righteously resisting blasphemy! But such an offer is worse than worthless; for Christ as redeemer, and as the truth, is worth infinitely more than any merely human 'mercy', bogged in its own follies. What with Luther, and many before him, was a lead to the Reformation, now in this day leads to an apostasy from which comparatively few escape. It is not total, to be sure. There may indeed be multitudes who escape, amid the hundreds of millions of professing Christians, enmeshed in the entanglements of theological nets; but their percentage, if one considers the doctrine and practice of churches cozily denying much validated and established by God for millenia, as many of them agree together ... may be small. (Cf. pp. 1088H; 726-729, 857-873 infra, TMR Ch. 3, Barbs ... 17.)

The falling away is reaching quite a velocity of descent, and is a spectacle. This is illustrated by the famed Missouri Synod Lutheran Church split, at seminary level, with one seminary segment continuing its studies in the premises of the Roman Catholics (cf. SMR pp.1032-1088H - Missouri was noted for its evangelical tone!); and indeed, many Lutheran bodies co-operate more and more extensively with Rome. It is also well exemplified by the fact that Presbyterian and Baptist churches have likewise divided on the issue of the infallibility and divine authority of the Bible, instituting entirely new church bodies as a result.

There have indeed been more or less notable or even notorious cases, like that of the redoubtable Professor J. Gresham Machen. With others, he was removed from the ministry while fighting for the Bible, once taken as basic in the face of an inclusivistic approach: indeed so great was the estrangement on the one hand from the Bible and on the other from the 'church' which defiled it by addition and subtraction in effect, that a new Presbyterian missionary organisation was founded.

This was done for the very good reason that if one is preaching, it had better be the gospel that is preached! Amid blatant departure from the infallibility of the Bible, such as the author personally verified in a central committee in the Presbyterian Church of Canada (although it was formally required), there are niceties of rebellion, such as having women ministers and elders, with the provision that if after so many years, ministers who did not believe in women elders could not participate in sincerity in such things, they themselves would be removed from the ministry. (On this, see Assault on Timothy.)

This is merely one practical evidence, for Paul (Acts 20:17, 28) made it plain that elders exercise authority over the church, while women (1 Timothy 2:9 ff.) may not do so; founding the teaching on historical considerations affecting all men, as ground, on facts which are not changeable, since they have happened. Indeed, it is specifically while dealing with the question of the relation of women in the church, that Paul quite explicitly notes, ''the things I write to you are the commandments of the Lord'' (I Corinthians 14:37 and above), whether this might be the defining of options or the 'laying down of the law'.

 

{For more on sects, see for example:

Barbs...  Appendix III,
Joyful Jottings
  14
(esp. J.W., but many others in category);
Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ,
  9
Tender Times for Timely Truth
Ch.   8 -  (review with reference to Satanic plan),
Dastardly Dynamics Ch.   6 (correlative with the above),
SMR p. 701, Know the Lord ...  31 
(freemasonry); 
Things Old and New
Ch.  9, Epilogue,
Appendix
(sects, politics and philosophies, their tedious, torturous tapestries);
Barbs ...
    2. verbal sects'
Errors - more broadly.
}