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APPENDIX to CHAPTER FOUR
CLUBS USED ON CHRIST
HIS PEOPLE AND HIS WORD
Since the Bible is unique in rationality, empirical confirmation and validity*A, it is understandable that the devil in his satanic resourcefulness is exceedingly limited; but with the snares of hell available, he tries very hard in a milieu in many, ready, like old, damp wood, for fungus. Not only does he mount attack on it by erstwhile sons of the Manse, turned sour, become inveterate romancers against it, but from sources within camps once for the troops of Christ, now wrested for enemy use, and still touting the name. Confusion is one of his most effective weapons, and such resources as these must be of incomparable, though futile attraction. Hence there is much activity in these spheres, and even in naming rights, associated with them. Let us take one example.
The treatment of attacks on 'fundamentalism'*1 often by neo-evangelicals*2 and liberals*3, but also by those finding the Bible a nuisance in political and social milieus, often descends even to the use of semantic devices rather than truth, as we will return to note shortly. What to such people, becomes the intolerable clarity and certainty of divine diction, and its final authority vested in the Ultimate, is often joined by what is to be found in some elements of Buddhism and Hinduism with other negation emphasising religions.
Such attacks in the latter cases, may be consequential rather than direct or purposed by man, but these various assaults may usefully be joined in one as having a single basic character. It is this.
GOD HAS SAID, as in Genesis 1, is not acceptable as the ultimate. THIS is to be veiled in many manifestations, of various ideas, superior speech and advice or requirements; but when it comes to the infinite at work speaking, NO! He MAY be permitted to emanate, or illuminate, or give vision or such things, but when GOD HIMSELF as one Being with one Mind and one Understanding, who knows that mind and can tell it to anyone is at work: when He pleases in so many words indicating, directing and declaring the revelation He desires, final and certain, affirmative and not subject to finite human shoving of it back into His mouth by this or that device: the common answer appears clearly to be NO! But how can it answer Him ?
It is simple: you attack either what He says, in vain, certainly, but with maximum rumpus, or His saying it, or the conditions of His speech. It is like dubious students in a College Class, inveterate in opposition, subtle in obstruction, seeking to establish their own genre. Theirs is nothing to say, but much to gainsay; and without anything of their own, at least they delight in seeking to diminish, derogate or detract from the infinite appeal of the infinite God when in love He seeks man.
With some, a protective shield of Kantianism is used to do this. This is outlined in SMR Ch. 5 and exhibited in some detail in Predestination and Freewill Section 4. It does not work and ends as a self-contradictory remnant of aspirational thought, as shown in those places. The net effect of this delusion is this, that those who want to have a god or even God who is somewhat indistinct when it comes to utterance, does not actually convey in His own singular way His own singular mind on the topics He selects, including self-revelation and manifestation past surmise and figure, vested in truth itself and hence immutable, proceed to seek to isolate and even insulate His realm.
In that way, there is another way: make it impossible for Him to speak in that way; then don't bother to read or consider what it is. It is like a parent saying to a child now grown, you CAN'T marry here, that is out of the question. She is too ... just simply out of the question. Some children, imbued with the same psychic chemicals, are thus persuaded. It works.
This sort of thing, it is done in one way or another, whether in Buddhism and Hinduism, or in Liberal and Neo-Orthodox 'Christianity' as in increasing measure, in Neo-Evangelicalism. The reason for this last development is the direction of flow in popular religion.
In the West, it is indeed gravely amusing but certainly funereal for their cultures in much of their more impactive beginnings, to find this sort of disintegrative, disruptive, dispersive and even forceful divorce-type action. People use the very name of 'Jesus' to mean almost anything desirable, a lulling, a love-in, a hopefulness.
Thus you have radicals still claiming some sort of relationship with some sort of 'Jesus' (reconstructed as in II Corinthians 11, as to type), moving towards mythology of some sort, transformationism as at an ugly parlour (if they ever have such things!), in a way similar in kind to that of the Liberals of yore. These having failed, except by the propaganda route, they now try it more delicately, more daintily. Thus they will be differentiating themselves from actually believing what the Bible says, by talking of the dangers of literalism, a useful ploy as the Liberals knew, for side-stepping the 'thus says the Lord' scripture. They will make freedom IN the Lord into freedom WITH the Lord, and make up gods as if they had some status, stature or standing, when in fact they have just been stealing His words and name, to make whatever religion they feel like, with minimal effort, because they are using 'the name'.
You had that in measure, back in Jeremiah's day. Thus in Jeremiah 23:25-33, you have this message from the Lord (colour added):
'Do I not fill heaven and earth?' says the Lord.
'I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, "I have dreamed, I have dreamed!"
'How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies?
'Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart,
who try to make My people forget My name
by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor,
as their fathers forgot My name for Baal.
'The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream;
And he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully.
What is the chaff to the wheat?' says the Lord.
'Is not My word like a fire?' says the Lord,
'And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
'Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,' says the Lord,
'who steal My words every one from his neighbor.
'Behold, I am against the prophets,' says the Lord, 'who use their tongues and say, "He says."
'Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,' says the Lord,
'and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them;
therefore they shall not profit this people at all,' says the Lord.
'So when these people or the prophet or the priest ask you, saying,
‘What is the oracle of the Lord?’ you shall then say to them,
‘What oracle?’ I will even forsake you,' says the Lord
In what way is the word of God 'stolen', each from his neighbour ? Each person concerned, that is, each false prophet, is moving in the cultural milieu of social desire and thrust; and inventing words NOT from God, that misleader institutes a circulation of ideas, popular, all but programmed by human desire. Now putting these false prophets all together, in one basket, what is found ? Using these stolen words in God's own name, they are engaged in theft of His credentials, moving amid the theological ideas apt for their time, to charge like pawing bulls, this way or that, each supplementing the other.
It is precisely so to this day.
In the field of creation, that precious cargo of divine action and record, what then is done in this way ? Why, as always, the actual is like an obstacle, and the false prophet deviates. What is the actual in this case ? it is the straight biblical explanation and description of the institution of the heaven and the earth, direct, dynamic, declared, enabled, coming out of WORD, the word of power; for to this type of alienated mind (Ephesians 4:17ff.), this is the ONE thing which MUST not be installed (cf. Romans 1:17ff.). That is the social and popular field of the false prophet in this field: he knows what to avoid, avid for a stealing operation, God's name, his own ideas.
Almost anything else can do. Thus in the Presbyterian Church in America, in which or one of its contributory churches, for some 30 years, this author had his ordination, there came first in its College, where various combinations of ethos with that of the Bible crept in, then in its Assembly, various ideas, more and more at a distance from what had been.
In a critical point of turning, it was reported to have happened. A student for being licensed as preacher was rejected by a Presbytery because he felt Genesis was a poetic book. The matter went to Assembly which accepted him, thus controverting the stated concern of the Presbytery and the Bible in one fell swoop.
In fact, imagery in ANY literature is one thing, and any reasonably serious reader ought to be able to detect it in a competently written book. When imagery becomes the poetic principle however, so that there is an attack not on false literalism which does not know an image when it sees one, but on true interpretation based on context before, during and after the passage in view, making the poetic, the recherché, the arcane to become manifest and dominant, so that the passage is re-written in terms of a philosophy alien to what is consistently depicted in the literature concerned, then the case is there. What case ? this: then we know that we have the USE of the literature for another purpose. It moves as if stolen. Enterprise, certainly; but accuracy alas never by such means.
This becomes a type of plagiarism. With the Bible, it means that the word of God becomes the word of man, in part, that is in the erratic interpretative part, and so the 'interpreter' erects its own babble of Babel.
It is a thing simply done; and it reminds one of the supervisory DNA, the non-code-making segment, once delusively named 'junk DNA'*3A but now seen to contain information about information. Here, as in a dictionary or encyclopedia, there is what makes all the difference to what is being coded by the other segment of DNA. If what it MEANS to do this and that is INTERPRETED, then this in effect makes it just as different as might have been thought, indeed whatever the directive notation defines! That is a parallel.
Thus whole segments of the word of God can be culled by 'interpretation' out of their context, commands nullified by being wafted into some other realm of understanding or mode of modernising and so forth (rather as done by some US judges with the Constitution in terms of what the founders WOULD have said now, had they been living now - a feat of raising the minds of the dead without bothering about their tongues, indeed even dispelling what they actually said!).
With the appearance of orthodoxy, then, and so no loss of members or name (up to a point), a church may be taken over, very much as was done in far cruder fashion by the Liberals, and then by some of the Neo-Orthodox, who distinctly re-defined terms (as in Barth, cf. The Biblical Workman, Appendix 3, Light of Dawn Ch. 2). Thus, for example, 'virgin birth' is made to MEAN this: 'God is gracious.' In this way, as in the later phenomenon in neo-evangelicalism, form is kept and fact is dispelled wherever desired, and data are deleted as effective either for the understanding or for action.
The actual procedure in the Presbyterian Church in America, reputed once as a conservative Presbyterian body, is give attention in Let God be God Ch. 12. From such a body, one had to separate, after many years of seeking what did not come, a sound and biblical position maintained in this country, as by a missionary body.
Thus in our modern era, in increasing measure as Church after Church falls to one or other of these diseases, theological pathologies, departures from the meat and method of the Bible, the preparation for the ultra-religious rule proceeds. It culminates with a Second Beast, surpassing Communism's negatives by featuring and even focussing 'religion'; and this comes as in former false prophecy at times, into an organised matter. A genre, type of approach, a false methodology and power comes into play, the better to manipulate the people. Called the another Beast, its task is to foster spiritual subservience, from the heart if possible, to the cultural, civil, political and military beast or national body in thrusting power at the time.
After all, as in Revelation 12, the same spirit who tried to kill the babe (physically, historically, actually, the body to be snipped off), that is, the one at work at Christ's very birth - Matthew 2:18), comes into focus. In the day of Christ incarnation, it came as a work deputed to King Herod, killing the babes of a low age to ensure, vainly however, that he caught in his net the possible challenger to his rule or dynasty.
Proceeding with the account in Revelation 12, you find the sequence of actions from the lusting devil, roused when the Christ of mercy and peace comes. Now, after Christ has come and done His atoning work, and departed till His return to rule, in the Gospel Age, Satan seeks to overcome and flood those who follow the word of God. In Revelation, you see that it is as if a flood of water issued from the mouth of the devil to overflow those thrust into the desert, tested with tribulation that is, while the devil more and more securely seizes centre stage, for his little fling. Again, in Revelation 13, you see this development in detail, the Religious Beast encouraging and even commanding worship of the Secular Beast, to make a nice little Hitler plus Dr Goebbels model,brought on with what must one say ? with more finesse ? hardly does that belong here, so with more mythical methods and domineering scope on the earth.
The practice which has moved in former Christiank circles, in churches that were, but alas increasingly misled, has gone on from Liberalism to Neo-Orthodoxy to Neo-Evangelicalism. It moves with the times, methods changing, objective from below, always the same.
Here then is the action in this biblical treatment plant, moving in the same direction as specified by Jesus Christ when on earth (as a man, not a sentence or clause or dream or vision or trend), when He declared this. You are "making the word of God of no effect through your tradition" (Mark 7:13).
The control, as in the Romanistic body*4, is what makes all the difference to the actuality, like an 'officer' interpreting the boss's orders, those of the CO, either for his own purposes, or for those he thinks the CO has, without caring to admit it.
Let us take an illustration politically in the field of national regimes.
In Afghanistan, then, there has been real question as to what extent the stated objectives of the Government have been what they said (without any equivocation) concerning the attack on Islamic militants, including al Qaeda and its leader (if still living), and to what extent whatever they may or may not be doing politically, the Army chiefs, of which there are various levels, are implementing them anyway. Are the Army chiefs carrying out the political words from 'above', rather than annulling them in order to exalt Islam; or is there division within the Cabinet, the ministries; or is there falsity at the top, a Machiavellian mixture ? There have been many questions raised, and much has been lost with admitted clashes and manoeuvres of various kinds.
Just such subterfuges, ways, missions, mixtures, combinations of philosophy and politics and social views and world ambitions, can occur in another sort of body. What sort ? Why it can readily come, as in a diseased physical body, when invasions of various types occur because the RESISTANCE IS LOW! In this way, a body which was once a church, can rot, just as worms can change the nature of a corpse. It is unpleasant, but in Revelation 2-3, you see examples of the occurrence, in one which, there is a drastic, time-related challenge from the Lord: change or cease to be recognised at all! (Revelation 2:16, 21-23).
While this goes on, there is still a large enough remnant of the Christian Church. This can be (and has been) attacked by various means. One is to REFUSE EITHER to confront and remove what causes the rot, or even to separate from it, if the Church has indeed fallen.
Certainly, such action DOES involve great danger of loss of salary, superannuation, respect from some, dignity and so forth (the Cross WAS undignified, let us face it); but it is like leaving a burning house. If you don't go, you lose perhaps your life and save no more. The house is going anyway, in such a case, out of control.
The time to act is early, and to put out the fire; and if you fail, you should evacuate what you can and then leave. The Bible is clear on this separation from what departs from the doctrine of Jesus Christ (the one the apostles left and the Bible contains) as in II John, Romans 16:17, I Corinthians 5-6, I Timothy 6, Psalm 94 (see Separation 1997). If you cannot rescue the body in which you move, which invents its new anti-biblical traditions, you have only two options. You may leave it or become rebellious to the word of God, yourself. It just like belonging to a nice old firm, which is subjected to hostile take-over by unruly, immoral forces. When this is done, and if the principals or principles or both are corrupt, then by remaining a partner, you share their infamy; it is this, or else you leave. It is as simple as that. If swiftly you can change their ways, fine; and if not, you go before you too are characterisable with their ways and dark light.
You do NOT, repeat not, harbour spiritual terrorists, or wolves (as in Matthew 7:15ff., Acts 20:26-31), but rather guard the lambs. You do not help them have their breakfast with all due honour, while their teeth have just been dabbling in young blood, murdering the pure mentalities, where possible, of those who would believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, incarnate, bodily resurrected, ascended, sending His Holy Spirit, personally and bodily to return, to rule, who will in His own time with His Father, dismiss the earth (II Peter 3).
How COULD you remain in such a case ? You check, correct and transform it speedily, or leave it (cf. Numbers 16, Jude, I Corinthians 5-6, I Timothy 6, Romans 16:17ff., Psalm 94:20-21, II Timothy 3:1-6, 4:1-4, Acts 20:25-31).
ALL of the Bible is the word of God, but if ANY of it be dispelled, it is like selling kidneys for money. You are selling parts of a system and rendering it vulnerable to extinction, called death, but with man, not quite so simple, since there is resurrection to judgment as well as to eternal life (cf. Matthew 25).
However, frequently the nice old Church (not that some local church wasn't just that, in many cases, in its day, before alas, it fell into alien hands, abounding in uncaught wolves) WILL NOT, repeat NOT! be left. People cling like sea-weed to a wreck. Hence, in time, those who support this spiritual brigandage, move away to death or to something else, the evils are not shown up, the challenge is not met, and more of 'Christendom' is lost, more lambs eaten, more weaknesses exploited, more funds misplaced, more work that could have been done for the kingdom of heaven is diverted, perverted, converted to alien use.
While this type of feature develops, more actions are taken to hasten the process toward the much desired END, as in any battle. This occurs where the devil has hapless hopes of ruling, via the second beast, the religious one, which has been constructed in its foundations for a very long time now, by various modes, some of which are seen in News 121, 122, It Bubbles ... Ch. 11, Deserts and Desserts ... Ch. 6, for example. Thus there is the attack on 'fundamentalism'. This can come from sources political, social or ecclesiastical. Certainly the term is vulnerable, since the entire Bible is what is BOUND, and by its very nature, 'fundamentalism' tends to elect and select crucial no-go points, which MUST stay.
It is right to insist on that, but it is better to insist on all the word of God, as does that long-standing Confession of Presbyterianism, the Westminster. This way of dividing and conquering by semantics, is treated in The Biblical Workman, Appendix III.
This is entitled:
The Historic Clash
The Plush Halls of Propaganda, or the Peace of Truth
In that overview, which is best read as part of this Chapter, one aspect may be cited here. Thus, the term 'fundamentalism' is attacked as a rallying point by a number of methods (and 'plenary inspiration' of the Bible is in any case a far better name for the point at issue).
One is seen in this coverage from the above reference:
"Hence, by artful association of ideas, this term 'fundamentalist' can first be IMPORTED to that Moslem scene, so that it can be bred and raised there, and then EXPORTED back to the Christian Church, so that there can be a verbal ultimatum, back home."
Breed it in Islamic militancy, then export that violence plus fundamentalism combination, as there practised; next bring it back home to Australia, and apply it in a Christian setting, as if it had never acquired a pathological meaning in the midst of militancy,as if the Koran were the Bible, and lands which seek to implement its plans, were this.
Certainly, that, it is very nice, as a propaganda tool; but really, any person of honesty at all, should do rather better than this. Why then use the term in this distorted, inaccurate, culturally mythological way, relative to those who believe the Bible to be the word of God ? Its message is crucially dissimilar, to the point that the Christian Church is FORBIDDEN to use force in its proclamations, and Christ FORBAD Peter even to protect His very own Person! (Matthew 26:51-56 cf. John 18:36). In fact, Jesus spoke to the very person representing governmental authority, telling him direct, that His kingdom was not of this world, and if it were, then His servants would indeed fight for Him; but this, it will not as it must not be.
To be sure, doctrinally misled bodies, such as Romanism, from which the Reformation famously separated in nation-changing manners (cf. SMR pp. 1032-1088H, 911ff., Ancient Words ... Ch. 14, with How Great is the God We Adore ... Ch. 2) have oppressed with violence; but it is Christians, not least, whom they have slain (cf. John 16:2), tortured, from whom embezzled funds under pretence of disvesting from heretics. This has nothing to do with Christianity, except as an enemy which has murdered many, and misled more.
A brzen wit, then, seems that it is found worthy of a 'try', to reverse reality and attack Bible-believing Christians, so long the butt of world powers in their tortures and assaults, as if they gave what they got, and instituted what martyred them! But look at the Holocaust! There are even people who are willing to deny this, and make a tiny Israel seeking to prevent having Iran-via-Hama in its midst, dictatorial because it does not open its frontiers entirely to such onslaughts, but seeks to restrain them!
What then ? since so many are so ready to depart from the Bible so insistently, persistently, resistantly, in our mutative society, then the concept of using 'fundamentalism' as an evil device with which further to chastise Christians has a certain drawing force on the unscrupulous. Indeed, for many, it seems. that it is grasped almost like a glass of water (not known to be poisoned), by thirsty travellers in a desert, to attack, as did a Government Minister in Britain, evangelical Christians in a style rather like this! (cf. Deserts and Desserts ... Ch. 6).
In other words, a semantic special and false generalisation spectacular can be wrought by allowing militant Moslem 'fundamentalism' stress to become a universal mode of referring to all types, and any type of having a book of what are presented as divinely given words. Then Christians of a form of label are made to conform by oversight of facts, to this generality. Then they even become 'terrorists' in a way not unlike the terrorism of Hitler, who seeking to kill Jews, had to construct a scenario to demonise them first, before making them victims of the first order of his own tortorous and torturing delusions.
This misuse of 'fundamentalism' as a code word, It would be a magnificent opportunity to wed teaching on the breach of logic and the use of propaganda in a year 12 English Class. It is however used in the adult world with scarcely a ripple of guilt, by many distortionists.
Another method by which Satan can seek to overcome, overpower, invade, corrupt the Church is worthy of mention. In this case, the procedure is to lure by advertising, such as firms might use. Thus you tell the people that their church can be made to grow by not being so pernickety, by having sessions to which ALL are invited, and where they are given perhaps weeks of opportunity, without rebuttal, to attack Jesus or the Bible or both. You allow this as a part of a psychological war in which you get them in, and later treat them.
This is done, for example, in a context of a work called ALPHA COURSE*5, which circulates in many churches which have perhaps some residual soundness, its author making it clear that there is too much criticism of various Christian bodies by various Christian bodies, and that Romanism is one of the good things, for example. In this way, there is a prelude to the introduction of a form of Pentecostalism which appears entirely open-ended. With FORBIDDEN, Verboten, marked on exposing even such notorious heresies as that of Romanism, exposed for 400 years from the Reformation, there is also now the POSITIVE push. This fruitful course, it does not WANT you to expose such things, and instead, gives you an open season with revelations and intimations of your own, in a special week-end.
Pentecostal extremes having been forwarded in England by the writer of this Course, so that it is not surprising that we now have this final week-end provided for. Indeed, it is noted that it is this that is said to be found by many, as the central or major point. The 'Spirit' is asked to come, and there is no apparent notation of limits on what tongues or revelations or illuminations may be expected.
In this approach, the word of God is already added to as one option as in Romanism, quite explicitly in its Canon Law (Holocaust of Morality ... Ch. 5), and approach to its traditions, and so what hinders much more in various directions ? Once you can be creative in the Christian religion, and use the Bible as one element of doctrine, there is no limit, and anything can be made of it.
In this way, by the appeal of open Pentecostal data coming, having come, or parallel to what is deemed to have come, or at least to be acceptable, long ago, in the case of Rome, there is no clear limit to the nature of the resultant religion. What barrier is there then, so that it can as with Romanism, be changed so much that as there, a piece of bread for statedly memorial purposes (Luke 22:19) can be deemed to BE the body of Christ although this is statedly reserved in heaven until the regeneration of all things (Acts 3:19ff.), so that many were murdered for not thinking so!
Thus old and new traditions, or innovative modes, whether by the addenda and transforming innovations of popes, or Pentecostal outpourings free from any such singular ostensible authority but yet likely to settle here or there or on this or that, do what ? This they do: they converge. That is in principle, but also in practice, for this Alpha Course has had commendation from a Romanist Cardinal. Moreover, the founder's approach has been explicit on the point. Contrast to such commendation, Holocaust of Morality ... Ch. 5, How Great is the God We Adore ... Ch. 2, SMR pp. 1032-1088H, 911ff..
What is it like in overall impact ? It is like first a right upper cut and then a left jab, as many churches, trying to be nice, are swallowed up into completely different bodies. Such an understanding is not new, but it refers to an advancing phenomenon.
Thus in the Westminster Confession as first given, Romanism is seen in terms of an antichrist, just as in the Church of England 39 articles, we find the same religion described in terms of 'a fond thing, vainly invented and founded on no warranty of scripture' (purgatory - Article 22), or of 'blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits' ('sacrifices of the mass' - Article 31). Other more modern and culturally modish things like this Alpha extremism of Pentecostalism, starting from a partially sound basis and moving on to removal of criticism of crucial things, those which the 39 Articles and the Westminster Confession so aptly and biblically judged, can thus make up for any lack of flow in older heresies. They can now invent things to attract the human psyche variously.
That of course is merely one example of the trend, to mop up what remains; while on this site, it is no small part of our business in the Lord, to 'strengthen the things that remain' (Revelation 3:2, as given to the Church at Sardis).
These, then, are some of the excursions from the Church biblically defined, from the Lord's Christ. gathering speed as if drugged, hypnotised, as the powers of evil seek to extinguish the church by a mixture of frontal assault and deviously clever subterfuge, mixed with blatant lie and extraordinarilyl bold imposture through propaganda. It is enough: resist the devil and he will flee from you, says Peter in I Peter 5; and if the church must be tested, so must aircraft, before they fly, and indeed some during their flight schedule. What resist test must be rejected; for the Bible declares this: "Test all things; hold fast to what is good!" - I Thessalonians 5. GOD loves the light, and His people live in it, His being the ultimate from which all derivative lights come, and in His light alone, does all have that cohesive and unitary perspective which resolves antinomies, antitheses and puzzles of the nature of life, love, morality, truth, beauty, of man and his Maker.
Again, you can find combinations of Kantianism, Neo-Orthodoxy, Romanism, Canon Law*6EX Evolutionary 'Law' (despite Karl Popper's reasoned statement that there is no law in evolution), and causality is short-shrifted - (cf. SMR pp. 145ff.). Such erratic philosophic groundwork facilitates new arrivals: new gods arising, new-boy gods as indicated in Deuteronomy 32:17ff., cf. SMR pp. 303-308), coming up like phantoms. Yet the blood from these things, as in the case of naturalistifc survival programs, it is no phantom.
Little gods arising, things constructing themselves gradually, whether canon law evolving with clashing of its parts, or creation imagined in bits as wonderful things are done by a less than moronic 'intelligence'*7 in 'nature'*8, this becomes routine in the relish for rebellion against the Almighty whose word alone stands, interprets, resolves, predicts and performs as He states from the first, till the last! amid the dissensions of contrary thoughts, or evolutionary hybrids of magic and angst: both without logical foundation logically or empirical cohesion, each lacking the warrant of reason and the consent of God (cf. Matthew 23:8-10, I John 2:27, Revelation 22:18ff., Proverbs 30:6).
It is always in all these things marvellous how much the ultimately unknowable can be known, and when all else is removed, what remains to this or that practitioner, whether*9 Freud or Marx or Darwin, or Popper*10; and how amazing are the self-contradictions, whether from Rome (plus the Bible plus Canon Law, plus decrees paralleling Pentecostalism enlightenments and new things to be stated or believed or followed or not followed), or other alleged sources which either ignore, bypass or add to the biblical Christ and the word of the Bible.
Some account of inter-relationships between such movements may be found in SMR Ch. 10.
Nothing is changing: it is only a series of ruses by which the churches, some true, some false, some fallen, some falling, are being ransacked. In former times, up to many millions were burnt, robbed and their children left without provision (cf. Ancient Words, Modern Events ... Ch. 14). Now the modes are more subtle, though not much so, in some Islamic countries! (cf. Divine Agenda Ch. 6). Indeed, even in India where Hinduism is so strong, there can be crimping and crushing responses, as where recently, in Orissa, reports indicate that hundreds of churches were attacked following an assassination of one not fond of Christianity, assumptions apparenlty being made that Christians did it!
Darkness does not like light; and where reason fails, there is the furore of fight, whether directed at deluding mind, intimidating body or sundering spirit. In all these things, however, those who are Christ's are more than conquerors (cf. Romans 8:37), through the power that raised Christ from the dead, presented creation with its multitudes of designs, and man with the design of God, with special provision: reject it if you will.
Designated that defy their Designer are certainly a remarkable thing; but that is the nature of freedom, folly and its fruits. On the other hand, spirits made after the order of the Lord, in His image, though derivatives and creations, what a glory it is, that to this Maker of Man, Inventor of the Universe, God of creation, Lord of Redemption, man may go freely, not only for pardon, but for reception, each one, as a child of God Himself! (John 3, Ephesians 1-2).
*A See *A in Religion, Religiosity and Reality in Christ, and Ch. 3 as marked of that volume.
See The Biblical Workman Appendix III.
See SECTS and ERRORS, for references. Some references to fallen Christian models is to be found in Errors, even though this is 'other religions' because, as Machen made so clear in Christianity and Liberalism, the transformations of philosophies applied to the Bible does in fact make another religion. Some are contained in Sects, in that some departures keep such a close formal relationship to Christianity, even the name, that this is another way of regarding them.
As above, but note that Sects tends to specialise,
while Errors is broader.
See Waiting for Wonder Appendix, and Hapless Hitches and Holy Healings, Godless Glitches and Divine Dealings Ch. 4, for example.
See SMR pp. 911ff., 946ff., 1032ff..
Helpless Hitches and Divine Dealings Ch. 3,
Bewilderment ... or the Beauty of Christ's Holiness Ch. 7
EXCURSION ON WESTERN PHILOSOPHY AND EASTERN MYSTICISM IN COMBINED REVOLT AGAINST REASON
AND THE REALITY OF GOD IN CHRIST
See SMR pp. 981ff., and with this Things Old and New, Epilogue, which deals with other 'canons' from other 'authorities'. There is much fire in many, but the word of God abides alone.
For the irreplaceable Old and New Testament, see Sparkling Life ... Ch. 2 with SMR Appendix C and D. So sure was the word of God - and is it - that Christ could even speak of fulfilment of its prophecies to the 'jot and tittle' (Matthew 5:17-21), which not only signified its quality, but its definition, contradistinct to all else. When God speaks, Christ made it clear, man does well to listen to ALL OF IT (SMR pp. 1175ff.); and nothing else has any approach to its authority BECAUSE it is from God direct, word by word. His intense supervision is by means of His own, through the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:10-12, John 14:26, I Corinthians 2:9-13). The point is not the modes chosen, but the result obtained: precisely what He had in mind.
For what follows, by contrast, cited below, and the developments associated, see the end of the text in Sparkling Life Ch. 1, esp. the following, which should be read in its context.
The desire for tradition has been one of long standing, and its dispelling raised just as vast a confrontation with Christ in His day, from the side of the traditionalistic Pharisees, as it does in this, on the part of the Romanists, who would add not merely to the Jewish Old Testament*3 (Romans 9:1-4), their unauthorised deliverance, but more things of their own, sanctifying in their Canon Law a whole mass of diverse and divergent phenomena, enough to remove any clarity in all charity, and to bring the word of God once again into the hands of man (cf. SMR pp. 1056ff., 981, 1088A). That was the essence of the crucifixion, and it still is (in a matter of wide application! cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7).
See also in a broader perspective of the word of God and types of substitute and methods of seeking to IMPLEMENT that substitution: Acme ... Ch. 9. See News 85 on further parallels in the UN and its approach to religion. The Merciful Might of the Majestic Messiah Ch. 2 deals with the emphatically distinctive nature of the Bible as self-proclaimed and apostolically proclaimed, and effort to circumvent this, ineffectually.
Again, With Heart ... Ch. 3, attests further concerning traditions of men, including 'dynamically formed' ones as in Pentecostalism, and waywardness of culturally invaded churches and the sound basis for any church, logically and in terms of Jesus Christ. In Scaling the Heights ... Ch. 7, you see something of the diabolical world in its background to assault on the word of God by various contrived methods.
in SMR *14, Ch. 10, p. 1088A, we have this regarding the authority which Rome vests in Canon Law:
John Paul II in The Code of Canon Law (prepared by The Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland et al.), 1983, states: "It is hoped that this English version of the Code will be a fitting resource for an attentive and fruitful study of the law of the Church...We order that henceforth it is to have the force of law for the whole Latin Church, and we commit its observance to the care and vigilance of all who are responsible."
In essence, many seek
to defy God, to deify various natural
components in the structure,
or even the structures themselves, that He has made (Romans 1:17ff.),
to erect authorities based on nothing and
call it faith to believe in them (cf. SMR pp.
maintain contradictory premises (cf.
Deity and Design ... Sections 2,
sometimes using parts of the Bible to do such things,
ignoring or denying other parts, or adding new things to them to secure the desired result,
even if in fact it means contradicting the Bible (cf. SMR pp.1032ff., Matthew 23:8-10,
I John 2:27, Proverbs 30:6);
to make a solemn indescribable emptiness or
indeed silence that roars,
whether in so many words (cf. SMR pp. 997ff.),
or by abstraction for a god of anything conceivable,
allegedly to free the mind but in logical fact, to empty the conception of any rationality; or
to disown causality (cf.
Causes), which cannot successfully be done
(SMR Ch. 5, Predestination and Freewill Section 4),
and posit with a Western aplomb so like the Eastern mysticism,
a 'God' about whom nothing expressible in conceptual terms may be said -
though a lot IS said, but that, as with Marx and Freud is the way they do it
(Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 9, incl. End-note 1),
making of themselves alone, the exception who knowing anyway,
can tell you quite a LOT of things about what is ostensibly excluded,
the ones they have desired!
Such are Kant and his ilk, fiddling with the very validity of causality,
giving it an origin in the mind of man, which however, as the source of it,
would need causality in operation for it ever to CAUSE the concept of causation.
It is inescapable, and man's escape from reality, Western or Eastern style,
in the end is very much the same. Result: East-West, the things depressed,
and even when it bubbles, it troubles.
Remove the mainspring of a watch, and watch it work if fancy takes you,
but it will take you far.
Remove the maker nd what about time ?
Others seek nothing for their deity, when obviously there is nothing to it; and if it were the foundation, then it would do and could do nothing at all, so being irrelevant.
Yet more make nothings out of their deities at the top level, whether Brahmin or any other form of silence or inconceivables (cf. SMR 997ff.), rashly disallowed from specification: but it is all done, either as with an evacuation machine, to take out everything first (as if trying to stop contradiction, when opposites are supposedly combined in 'one'), or with an eloquent 'silence' which really has nothing to say, and having said it, could not then be used for defining, accessing or applying anything. Silence is so unspeakable; but God has spoken both in our DNA and in the word of God, the Bible; and equating His greatness with a roaring silence is to make a deified oxymoron, which does not even cohere.
In the end, you CANNOT make any god out of nature, so composing it, either your own nature or that of anything else in the realm of what is, is delimited and operationally constrained; for it is not self-sufficient, either as a unit or a composite of units, but requires an installation, a creation; and its diversities directly lead to this sort of pseudo-divine engineering when people try to carve their gods out of it. Ignoring causality, they require magic, which is only another name for unstated ultra-mundane powers, which being unspecified, are mere imagination. In all things, what is in view needs specification, confirmation, validation and empirical attestation.
As noted in SMR p.999 (slightly varied for this present purpose):
EAST WEST, GOD'S BEST
At this point, there are undoubted similarities between this Eastern religion, and the Western dreamtime of evolutionism. On the latter philosophy, questions not dissimiliar to those used here, may be asked. (Cf. pp. 88, , 252A-B supra.)
Thus, we enquire of it:
Shall ''Chance'' give birth to cytological OR intellectual language,
will Chance form concepts,
or ascertain its own 'Nature'!
Such an idea is merely a mystic miasma of smuggled and unnamed spirituality,
if not indeed the very heart of a baudy seraglio of illicit mental lust,
an imbroglio of the mind!
And all of this, what does it rest on ?
On Mr Matter, we may call him in such a construction, for 'he' then has all of the habiliments of personality: Matter! which itself is only a theory of mind...
It is remarkable what can be done when logic is captive to language and language to lust.
Children of consciousness, including man, are the spawn of this dream; but daydreams do not account for the birth of the earth and all that is in it. They merely emphasize the gap between raving and reality.
Designers know the value of imagination, indeed, the wonder of moving in a world of thought; but they also know that the translation into the world of reality, of that dream, involves labour, effort, understanding of operations outside the mind: a hard task that requires a very sufficient cause to fulfil! It is time people ceased worshipping the 'paper' on which the language of life is written, and addressed themselves to its writer.
West and East, each in its own way, turn to myths, fables as was predicted for it all (cf. p. 1025 infra).
It is such a lapse - one both ignominous and unconscionable - to avoid such a brilliant star, yes and this one, He made the sources of light with the rest: He made the stars, though men in billions prefer for themselves, a certain dimness! That God in His brilliance has suffered this to be so is part of His immeasurable depth, the creation of personality.
That He has provided freely for escape from this dimness is profound love.
Man has been created with labour, in a real world; and in reality he must repent of his unrealism and his misuse of all that has been divinely accorded him.
Others evacuate the word of God, the Bible, removing this or that, until it becomes philosophically manipulable, and so in terms of objective truth, a priori (or a posterior relative to this, their own action), it becomes invalid and useless, like a bombed city, radioactive. They reduce it with sweet nothings until there is nothing to be gained from it, just a rubble, a bubble, a trouble of discards and inputs, secured with authority, the original as if seduced with oracular assurance.
In all of these things, one point is clear: if GOD is not seen as the Creator and the source, then MAN merely meddles. When He is, then it is a straightforward matter to find Him, since He has been at such pains to make this to be the case (cf. SMR Chs. 1-5, with 8-9). When His word is identified through the reason God gave us so that His deity and power should be obvious (Romans 1:17ff.), and we are informed from Him concerning ourselves, our predicament and His will for us, He having not made us for an exercise in disorientation and frustration (cf. Barbs 6-7), then the wisdom of refining His revelation for Him is like that of refining plutonium with one's bare hands. For this, one is not given competence: for it is a task beyond the provisions for it. Man is man and must let God be God, or delude himself. God in turn has been most careful to define the nature of His word and of our relationship to it! (cf. SMR Appendix C, D).
The issue is very clear: DO NOT ADD to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar (Proverbs 30:6). Take nothing from it lest you play God, and find it does not work, indeed that HE does! (Revelation 22:18-19). Indeed, when you add to the things in the Book, you are subtracting as well, since any addition reduces the purity of what is there, with God the author (cf. Matthew 5:17-20, Mark 7:7ff.).
When you have what is free of human intrusion, objectively declaring itself to be the word of God, testable over millenia, uniquely valid and verified, forged into prophecies eminently testable, centred in Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Himself extravagantly tested, and find this in the location of mankind, where such evils to one another, to truth and justice are wrought that it is necessary that the God whose word makes truth should remove it all or remedy it: then you see what He says. It is as simple as that. Look and find; taste and see how good the Lord is (cf. TMR Creating Waves).
BEWILDERMENT, BEDAZZLEMENT, BEDEVILMENT,
OR THE BEAUTY OF CHRIST'S HOLINESS Ch. 3.
See: History, Review, Overview ... Ch. 5.
Refer to :
Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 9, incl. End-note 1.
*10 See SMR pp.305-308.