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from NEWS 89
'RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE' AND 'THE SECULAR
THE SAD SIGNIFICANCE OF SSABSA
CAESAR*1 AND CHRIST
Applied Christianity and the Ineptitudes of Caesar - 1999
Hunting Religions with a Butterfly
or GIVING CHRIST HIS DUE (cf. Revelation 5:12-14)
(Read about this while the picture presents itself.)
Matters of Caesar and Christ have been proverbially difficult, for Caesar often mindlessly, sometimes erratically and principally for wrong reasons, has an interest in religion - sometimes not knowing what it is, or miscalling it by name.
The State often shows a desire for man as a slate on which it may write whatever philosophy seems convenient or attractive, either for its own glory, or for its own pleasure, power or to enable the corruptions desired, communally, dictatorially or by oligarchs. Subjects are to be instructed in, conform to or engage in religion very often, as it sees fit. Nowadays outside some of the more violent political options, the process is usually more subtle, but neither less bold nor less evil.
Cataracts or a troubled conscience readily trouble man, so that he is not on his way attended, by the vision splendid, as Wordsworth might put it. There are those who will 'resolve' his 'problem'. Thus the State by physical execution, mental indoctrination or spiritual inculcation, with gross misuse of its powers, has often provided a vision not splendid, but vicious, like the 'moral' concept of survival of the fittest, self-affirmation, self-esteem and so on (cf. That Magnificent Rock - TMR - Ch.8), immune to logic and law alike. This Ch. 8 reference documents in considerable detail a South Australia initiative, actually to domineer over school Principals, so that their schools must, in effect, bow before the cultural shrine of evolutionism, unfree from philosophy and scientific distortion: in the ways there illustrated.
While one of the most prominent efforts ever seen in recent times, perhaps outside Communism and Nazism, was proposed and is documented in Lead us Not into Educational Temptation! (in the Russell Report), relative to Victoria, yet in South Australia there is an additional implementation of horror in the field of religion. Here there are now 2 subjects made available for accreditation at years 11 and 12, the latter the University entrance examination year. A body, SSABSA is recognised for the purpose of setting examination syllabi, and matters attendant on their implementation.
It must be acknowledged, here, that students do not HAVE to take these subjects, or either of them. It is a choice. This is a vast improvement over the intolerant and incessant indoctrination of the South Australian State school masses in the creation-evolution field, as noted in TMR 8 above. Yet for schools which elect to provide these two religious courses for their children, or either of them, there is just the same ludicrous clash with Christianity, that in the former case, occurs with logic. Thus for a Christian school here to ELECT to have its students study such religious subjects (for passing slanted exams, and meeting slanted curricular requirements), when there is already such an enormous compulsory education in the field of evolutionism, is something indistinguishable from contempt of commandments except in this, it may have some element of confusion. It is, in biblical terms, prodigious error.
"DO NOT BE UNEQUALLY YOKED TOGETHER WITH UNBELIEVERS" (II Corinthians 6:14) takes care of the JOINT curriculum, shared on RELIGION, RELIGIOUS MEANING and RELIGIOUS OPERATIONS. You cannot have RC idolatry and other heretical involvement in seminars or evaluation, with co-ordinators or supervisors or assessors for the school based course or the examination, in discussing or resolving such questions, without admitting a common basis which is permissible and proper not only for Christians and heretics (who are specialised unbelievers), Christians and atheists, but indeed, for Christians and some institution which ADMITS it is taking NO particular religious position (as if that were possible, when to make it all relative IS a most definite and anti-Christian position). ALL of this however, is precisely what is involved in such subjects, when allowed in Christian schools. There are procedures, syllabi, moderators and the like.
The case concerning companionship with idolaters, in the above respects, merely heightens that in II Cor. 6:14 for unbelievers in general. Thus in THIS case, you are not to MINGLE with them. The matter is severe here, and any sort of allied endeavour at a personal level which involves a jointness (marriage, partnership, religious discussion except of course to win them, not sharing but confronting) is excluded by the apostle in I Cor. 5:11. It is not possible in this world, says Paul, to do this anti-commingling with ALL idolaters and adulterers etc., but WHEN the name of 'brother' is used, when they call themselves 'Christians', then the exclusion is intense.
The involvements with examiners and supervisors, assessors and inspectors, with the text of the syllabus and of the examination, with the examining methods are all excluded, since Christians are not to mingle together with, join with, have company with such. That is the Christian position. They are included in the normal routines, that is the State position. There is a flat, intense and immense, spreading and salient contradiction here. It is Christ or secular religious studies. It is not both, nor can it be.
This is no casual passage together between the parties concerned with these secular religious subjects: it is a sharing intensively with all of those proposing and imposing the syllabus and the examinations, with all the overseeing in the meantime, which after all, is an overseeing in the tender hearts and minds of the YOUNG, of what they are thinking and saying and understanding in the field of RELIGION! This is therefore a flat rejection of the commandment; and this joint work on religion for a common end - understanding and passing of examintion - with all such, is similarly a yoking together not only for a task, but for a religious task in particular.
The holy and the profane are NOT to be joined together (Ezekiel 22:26, Leviticus 10:10). Nor is such a commingling as in this subject under secular control, anything but violence offered to Romans 16:17, where false doctrine causing division - and this is the case in all the sects merely including Rome - is to be AVOIDED, the persons responsible AVOIDED. Again, of course you may seek to win such people, but NOT by mere commingling, NOT by any form of mixture.
A doctor does not have fellowship with a cancer when its death is his intention, for a patient; and a man does not have fellowship with an idolater when he seeks to break the hold of it on him, in confrontation. However mere accord in pursuit of an agreed end in religion, this is so rigorously excluded on various counts, not least common sense, but also commandments, that to pursue such a course is fraught with exactly the disaster which its error entails. In this way, pupils get the notion that there IS some secular viewpoint which can comprehend or oversee religions, and that there IS something in common, just as the ecumenists with foolish blindness, insist.
Such flagrant commandment breaking and spiritual admixture sows the weakness which has already banished many a church to oblivion in the past 100 years, as in the case of the Anglican RC commission recommending the pope as leader for unity, and one major Lutheran body signalling last year, its agreement with Rome on the main theme of justification by faith.
This is not only forbidden. It is a forbidden looseness when the storm is already raging. It undermines, it rebels, it deceives. Its price is high. Its gain is small. In the creation-evolution case, the State IMPOSES its evil and ignorant will, never willing to answer the logical challenge so often given to it. It does this on little ones, and one does not know what depth of judgment awaits those responsible, but it would seem, in view of Matthew 18:6, to be immense! They will however not listen, and they have been abundantly warned! God is NOT mocked! Full many have found this out, and many more are destined to do so! This is a vast and vaulting folly; but to ADD to this situation in the year 12 examinations for all in some of the science subjects, and for many in the preliminary teaching, this purely optional religious extra, is like adding potassium cyanide to the rivers of Europe, in case the existing dose from the gold production technology, should not be lethal enough!
In the South Australian case,
therefore, an examination of the 1999 SSABSA
documents in Religion Studies and in Studies of Religion is
of interest as illustrating the Biblical principles involved, as well as
the Biblical predictions in this ignored. (Acronym refers to Senior Secondary
Assessment, leading to year 12 examination results.) This is of interest
for Christian Apologetics*2.
Thus, to take Religion Studies first, we find that it is to be an "objective study of religion". In fact, nothing CAN be objective which is limited to and by the sinful subject. Unless God be known, the object of a subject is subjectivised by being the concept of the subject. If God is known, then the logic which is intrinsic to the mind, when it is to operate rationally, leads infallibly to the Bible, which uncovers the reality of God, which enables the apt student to see things apart from the limitations, distortions or caricatures of the subject, since God is the truth. (Cf. The Shadow of a Mighty Rock - SMR, Chs. 1-3, That Magnificent Rock, Ch.5.)
What is presumably meant of
course is that the study of religion will not be defiled by bias. It is to
be taken as it comes, without preconception. But what is preconception ?
It is a conception which is primary for the orientation to the subject. What
is the knowledge of God ? For the Christian it is primary to the orientation
to any subject. What however is to be found, held in view in official posture,
by the "objective" secularist who is by explicit declaration and intent, neither
to forward nor to deride religion or
Of necessity, it will not involve the knowledge of the God who is there. Otherwise he would be forwarding a religion, in his data bag.
Hence his knowledge, or use of it, will of necessity be wrong. His relevant criteria will be secular, and these per se will omit the truth. Like flat imagery they will be deficient in dimension. They will omit crucial considerations in the interests of 'objectivity', which being secular in version, is blind in character, and in this case in precise and specific principle as well. The definition exposes the crucial omission in advance.
Thus when, in this discipline, there is to be an objective that the student will "show knowledge and understanding of the concept of a myth, ritual, beliefs, religious experience", there is a necessity that the one or people examining student work at the end, if keeping to the criteria stipulated, will be unable to deal correctly, being blind or else formally blinded, to the fundamentals. Hence the apt student, meeting the criteria, will need the capacity to imitate the blind.
Now in practice, things might
not be as bad as this. The apt student might just watch a few 'ps'
and 'qs', and the peace-making examiner for the time being, might add
to the required blindness a sort of second sight, so that there is a compromised
meeting place where neither suffers too much. This may be so, now and then,
or this year or next; but if the criteria WERE to be used, then the apt student
cannot appear so.
Worse, when the religious persons are all homogenised, so that the blind and the sighted are seen together, and their concepts and considerations are fused, then the use of this compromised situation, in effect the NON-DIVISION of Christians from those misled, becomes an operational fault. And these, for example, can well be RCs and homogenised ecumenicists, in association with various philosophised variants of other categories, contrary to the Bible , so that the academic procedure becomes a way for a defined waywardness (Romans 16:17), and a useful ground for oppressing any and all on the part of Caesar. (Cf. The Kingdom of Heaven... Ch.7). That of course always allows him, wittingly or witlessly, to be exalted over all as the moderator, or institutes such a trend amongst the subjects who scurry about here and there in their holes and roles.
Now the RC supervisor or watchdog, or the Mormon one, or whatever other may happen to be thrown up in the moderating exercise among all the schools, or in the examination capacity, will have been able to discuss these things nicely with those who are by commandments such as that just cited, forbidden to do so; and such an atmosphere of togetherness and capacity for acute and serious agreement and thought together on sacred matters will have arisen, that it may appear quite normal, if not natural, if not obligatory for these things to continue and abound. If you steal a penny, why not a pound!
Weakening the sacredness of truth by sharing it in a working functionality with those who are one's colleagues in this religious exercise, one thus not merely demeans truth, sacrifices commandment and increases the forbidden sort of collegiality or fellowship which, though in mind, is not the less real; one is also in vast danger of compromising it in the formulations and acceptable presentations, like salt without savour, so that, don't you know, you will be mature and controlled and neutral, like a good secularist, or composite religionist.
Again, we learn from the syllabus
presentation that the study of this subject can help in international relations
- how ? By making one realise that all religions are a consequence of culture,
and that one really ought to be mature and settle down to it, perceiving
that we all perspire out of our cultural beehives, different sorts of royal
jelly, called religion, and that we ought not to be so parochial, so hive-bound
as to imagine that it is REALLY very much to the point, whether in the happenstances
of hive construction, it came out this way or that ? That this is the sort
of view being propounded in the religious category by Caesar and his accomplices
here, is not unclear in principle. Thus we read in p. 2 of the presentation
of syllabus, that religion is to be "studied as a facet of contemporary society".
The Militance of Un-neutral Neutrality
This of course is not neutral. It is secular, rudely and brutally so, as if the realm of understanding had been sheared off by Caesar's shears. Is then the foundation of a building one of its facets ? Rather, it is the condition for ANY building, and for its every facet.
Is it objective to regard religion ex source, on the mythical imagination that all religions are after all facets of the activities of man ? THAT is humanism, and humanism is NOT something which "neither promotes or denigrates religion or religions" but something which is on collision course with the God of the Bible. To have a definitive regard for religion as a facet of society is to omit a definitive regard for it as a mixture of true and false, error and truth, anti-God and pro-God forces, including specific anti-God militance in the form of various spurious religions, over against the supernatural irruption and intrusion of the Maker. It is at the same time, to omit the fact that God has spoken clearly, in one place, in written form, acted in one place in His own Being, both personally and directly, definitively and decisively, with full communication.
The appearance of neutrality in examining the thing as a phase of the activities of man, is per se NOT to regard it as a phase of the activities of God, in which some only people participate in terms of His ageless society and truth.
A commonality which ignores the essence of the divergence is not a neutrality, but a subversion. Subversion is not a good basis for the examination of what it subverts.
Now it is true that in the
other subject, "Studies of Religion", the study explicitly "incorporates
a world view which recognises a transcendent dimension and is expressed through
areas such as myth, ritual, symbol, practice, and belief."
The Keeping of Culture Vultures
It is however equally correct to note that it adds, "This expression varies across cultures and within cultures." Indeed, it states a little later, p. 3, that "The culture of a society incorporates the beliefs, values, attitudes, ideals, and achievements of its members and reflects the social, economic, physical, and political environments from which each society has evolved. Culture consists of a system of symbols passed on from one generation to another. Culture, however, is not static. It is dynamic and it influences the individual's perception of the world."
Thus again culture is the criterion (cf. Stepping Out for Christ, Ch.1, pp. 9-10), while a religious DIMENSION, which is after all an aspect, of human life is found which is said to be evolving, moving, not static; while culture in which it allegedly inheres, reflects various human actions, and since it is human, it is statedly not static, but being influenced and influencing the world views of those in it.
God of course is not a dimension
of anything. He is indeed not an aspect or dimension of society, culture or
'community', nor is His word, nor was His incarnation; nor is the requirement
of God a function of society or culture; nor is it determined or evolved
through or by the same as to its thrust, truth, content and nature
(cf. Galatians 1:6-9, Jeremiah 23, Mark 7:7), but is in the most total divergence
from cultural religions in this regard. (Cf. SMR pp. 422Q-T.)
The Omission of the Living God
HIS religion is not a dimension of anything. Hence the religious approach here in view for the student, in fact strictly excludes Him. Thus even when reference is made to something more, it merely demeans God, whilst engaging in a superficial substitute in terms of secular blindness and here obscurantism, where phrases are far broader than concepts resulting from their context.
The study of religion without God is not profitable, except when made from the perspective of God, and as seeing in the sharpest contradistinction from God, the messes which result from the misconceptions which are substituted for His truth. This however is not at all the nature of this SSABSA exercise, which is rather a dimensional, culture locked approach which has everything under one umbrella. From the concept of the culturally conditioning, evolving situation, envisaged by the relativists, when all is said and done, the God of the Bible is EMPHATICALLY excluded.
That is an imagined situation, whilst His is the actual: since HE does not evolve, change or grow up into human society, but is its basis and His word its directive, normally rejected by culture (cf. Romans 1:17ff.), always diverse from it. The myth of evolution (which, as in my work, The Shadow of a Mighty Rock, is definitively shown to be a correct description of it) is moreover brought in not merely to the concepts of man, but here to the arena of religion per se as a cultural item, while culture is deemed the matrix for it. Hence we are back to II Kings 17:32 - "So they feared the LORD, and at the same time served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from there."
It is however even worse,
for the WAY in which it is here done, is to reduce the Lord to a homogeneity
with the other cultural excrescences, or diffusions, in concept and facetal
phase, so that He is per se reduced infinitely, as well as witlessly conjoined,
the infinite with the finite, the real with the imaginary, the consequence
(partly of revolt) with the cause. The cause of what ? why of all, including
religion by inventing man and his mind, then proceeding to provide it with
the truth by revelation unique and emphatically so - (Isaiah 41-48).
Thus even in taking wings, the studies hit the earth the more surely, the phrases not rising above the soil, while the insult to God is ready for its monument to be found in the cultural, society section. Further, the powerless profanity of the case is the worse exposed, being illustrated by seeing religion as a facet of a culture which not merely is mutually interactive and so changing, but is deemed something which "consists of a series of symbols passed on". In fact, II Timothy 3 alerts us to the formalistic approach to religion which is to become a substitute for the approach to truth; and as bypassing the God who is there, it appears Biblically as a condemned option, being one minus the categorical and wholly distinctive power which is Christ's prerogative, not merely as maker of man, his mind and his power to imagine false religions, but as the mediator of salvation in His own name. Christ is no series of symbols.
This is simply one more phase of the errors, and they are cumulative.
The clarity of definition
- wholly and categorically diverse and divergent in the realities of Christ
and the Bible, from man-made religion - is thus lost in the submerging conditions
and criteria of a poetical humanism; and the Biblical knowledge urgently
required, and the Christian Apologetics emphatically needed by the students
are in significant degree lost as to opportunity, while an underlying syncretism
of PHILOSOPHY is made a milieu, as if to protect by vaccination. These germs
however are as tame as AIDS, and give no aid.
The Profanely Sacred
The sacred and the profane, a basic Biblical concept, is not to be drawn between religion and non-religion, but between the direct requirements and reality of the God who is there, and the areas not so designable. All are relevant; but not all are of a profane character. All must be lived from Christ; but not all are from His lips.
What concerns His word and
witness, His ways and reality and truth, is not subjectible to any combination
with anything whatsoever, any more than light with darkness; than a wholesome
man with a harlot, as Paul indeed indicates of physical contamination (I Cor.6).
The Bible is full from Hosea to Ezekiel (16,23) to Revelation of the relationship
of God to man in terms of marriage and purity, and its polluted counterpart
under the figure of harlotry, lewdness and adultery. Thus in Corinthians
(II Cor. 6:14ff.e.g.), we find expressly that the immiscible categories for
any spiritual collaboration are belief (in Christ) and its absence; while
equally the impossible yokages, commingled spiritual pursuits, are
between the same: the outlawed syntheses and associations are of light and
darkness, all specifically spiritual per se.
The Inelasticity of Truth
It is TIME TO DRESS and STEP OUT
These things are of much moment. A sound grounding is more important than any results; and while something in the line of a sage Christian Apologetics from the Biblical perspective, one with a logical decisiveness to hand, may indeed be delivered to year 11 and year 12 students, better yet is its enhancement through a verificatory interplay with the Bible, in its progress. This, with specifically Christian life and godly conceptual stimulus in its midst, is of great value for it serves four allied purposes: Bible knowledge, confirmation of Biblical accuracy and pursuit of Biblical ideals together with a reason for the faith which can be sharp and incisive, since it has no barriers and no commonality with the fraudulent religious generics which are the products of man.
In this very different way, it comes to be that its objective validity is duly demonstrated, and its premises those with which the student is familiarised as he/she reasons. Caesar, even where envisaged as composite, is no permissible companion for the things of Christ. It is well that the independent schools do not need, so far, to eat of his dainties, well poisoned; though many - some perhaps unfamiliarised with his wares - already are doing so. His treatment of his own schools in one religious dimension, of vast ramification, has been exposed and documented in great detail in That Magnificent Rock, Ch.8, where it is shown to be an appalling, blasphemous and continuing dictation to government schools.
for believing schools it is time - to dress and step out for Christ. This
is no place to loiter, companiably with untruth, and mixing with the multitude
that excludes, in effect, the living God from its study of religion, so confining
and defining their universalising that it has all but the truth.
The purist may want to differentiate SSABSA from Caesar, but it is only a question of the extent of the metonymy. It has guidelines, cultural considerations, a State broad task to occupy it, and its parameters are decisively the political counterpart of Caesar, the examination being a major relevant presentation of 'power'.
It is these which are to the point.
These developments are of interest in Christian Apologetics, for these civic episodes, of which there are many, in their subtle, spreading, entangling spreading of inclusivism have prophetic significance in their total, world setting. (Cf. SMR pp. 750Bff re p. 731, 'Demonic Head', and II Timothy 3:1-5, II Peter 2:1ff., Jude, Revelation 13.)
In that setting, they are facets amongst myriads of that predicted jewel of great price (cf. SMR Ch.8), the personal return of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. A Spiritual Potpourri Ch.18; Luke 21:28). The increasingly obvious presence of the total assemblage of the prophetic complex and description for the End-time of the Age has an additional significance. (Cf. SMR pp. 750Bff., 732Bff., 955ff., Biblical Blessings 2, pp. 21ff; SMR pp. 611ff., 659ff., 683ff., 696, 699ff., 721ff., 866ff., 946ff., 994,1022ff., 1031C; Repent or Perish Ch. 5, pp. 103ff., Questions and Answers 4, The Other News 5, Scoop of the Universe 42, 51, Benevolent Brightness or Brothy Bane 85, pp. 247ff..)
This had to happen some time,
for the Bilical prediction to be fulfilled; and in that it is increasingly
happening in all its allied, contemporary complex, like a rare tartan to the
last small component, this verifies Biblical prediction, something which,
like its speaker and because of Him, never fails.