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REMEDY FOR THE ROOTLESS
AND COUNSEL FOR THE UPROOTED
THE DISPLACEMENT PRACTICES OF THE 21st CENTURY
The concept of the "déracinés", who are "the uprooted", or even the "rootless", has long been one of some fascination, found focussed in the French writings not least. It is hollow (lacking substance because without roots, where is strength!). It is a kind of foundling personality, not so much always because no one found it, or there was nothing to find, but because whatever roots it had, are no more enchanting, to be desired. It is oddly bereft with current contact with its ground.
The plant is cleft from the root, light for the wind to blow, its identity more and more lost as diverse forces inimical to its original condition meet its growing weakness and impart their own dynamic. In this, it is like tumble-weed, circular pieces of dead looking botanical spume, or thorny field remnants, sent scurrying by a wind which does not impart to them signification, as if they counted, but constant motion, their destinies several, as the case may be. Such in imagery are these spirits, persons cut off, whether by isolationist desire, vexatious ramblings or live giving basis.
It reminds one of Psalm 1, where while the righteous, the sons of the God of grace, stand steadfast in Him, the wicked are like the chaff which one can so readily blow away by having some in the palm of one's hand, and lightly blowing. Paul tells us not to be moved by various winds of doctrine, not tossed about either by "every wind of doctrine, or by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting," in Ephesians 4:14; but instead we are exhorted to "speak the truth in love," and face it. Indeed, love rejoices in the truth (I Cor. 13), so that even denunciation can have the love that seeks to awaken before it is too late, to imminent peril, as Christ gave such a cry and call to Jerusalem, in terms of its lassitude and openness to spiritual treachery by false leaders (Matthew 23:37). Scolding and hatred are different in this, that their objectives may differ to the uttermost point.
But what are the rootless, the uprooted like ? It is like the concept of a pilgrim, divorced from a firm destination for the walk, and unable to discern truth, for lack of light: that is, a pilgrim with these two minuses; for this comes near to definition of these "déracinés". In the last Chapter, we dwelt a little on the straying of the seduced and the evils of the induced, who are misled by mountebanks.
Many indeed, to move to our own
times, are the evils which come
It becomes more like a
foundling - though it had known security, fondled by folly and impelled by
desire. Design is dismissed, direction is ignored and rampancy has merely to be
Again, like a cascade of sand from a higher
cliff, it falls easily
There is an introduction especially at the spiritual level, to the déracinés. the uprooted (and thus) rootless, unattached, readily attacked, glorying in their decay, surging in their misconceptions, whether leading to needless invasions, contemptible contemptuousness of what others with reason hold sacred, or insurgencies through democratic means, where voters vitiated in understanding by the cultural mesmerisms (cf. News 121, 122), they elect vacuity, or its uproarious developments, scarcely in the case of many, knowing what they are doing. To look at our so close neighbour, the USA, did the voters adequately realise that here was who came to declare he would never fight Islam; but what if that or any other ideological or religious group (we have had Communism and what Reagan once called its evil empire!) were to attack us ?
Does that mean capitulation ? or conquest by such speeches as that at Cairo! To be sure there are many competing authorities, groups and segments, claiming this or that, but above all, to be Islamic. Is Iran not Islamic ? Is it excluded from the definition's reach ? and if it comes to use atomic weapons, having expressed desire to exterminate Israel, does this still mean that it is not to be fought ? Or is there some recherché way out of all this, with spindly definitions and confusions, while assault mounts! Is it beginning to happen already ?
So the wand of wandering waves. There is even now a movement in Australia, interested in enabling Christian schools, certainly, to have chaplains, teachers of religion, which follow their doctrinal basis, but not to select other teachers with this proviso. Yet how can you have expert footballers groping in a cricket team ? What are you supposed to be playing ? Is it not a good idea to work this out in advance; AND where the Australian Constitution is concerned, any such action as here planned would certainly involve a dictation concerning religious convictions and bases, thus forming a partial oversight by government in religious affairs. It would be based on its own religion, one of supervisory doctrine, specious, surreptitious or even at last clearly and confrontationally announced, which puts certain employment ideas above religion, and so usurps the liberty accorded to religion, from the potential despotisms and directions of the Commonwealth Government.
But it is all the go: 1) to replace what may be replaced (such invasions of religious organisations is perhaps not so noticeable where threat of force may accrue, as from some militant Moslem groups, but of course it would all have to be even); and 2) to govern religion without saying so.
As the nation, like the USA, becomes more and more uprooted, or rootless, by wilful thrusts of desire and various lusts, so does it become less guarded by God, just as plants leaving the garden in their grounding, have less gardener's care. Christians in such cases may be numerous, but not numbered in the fostering of favour. It is, as in ancient Israel in the day of Jesus Christ on this earth, a matter of the nature of government, and whether it is (by force as with Rome, or by desire, as in many other cases) converted to heady and hapless desires.
It was not long ago that such arresting and unvalidated innovations were not in vogue. Thus, Lt General Sir William Dobbie in his excellent little book, A Very Present Help, gives even for a period as late as that ending at publication of this volume in 1945, an account of a very different appearance. Looking back for some years in preliminary developments, it makes it clear what can be done, through one or more who believe and pray, when such are rooted and grounded in the faith. Indeed, even then, even in World War II, the grip of the faith in England was not at all so nationally waning as to prevent the calling of a National Day of Prayer, at the time of the miraculous rescue at Dunkirk. It was abundantly rewarded, as Dobbie shows was the case in the amazing deliverance of Malta, to prevent England from being baulked, and incidentally, to aid greatly the restoration at the end of World War II.
Indeed, it is both delightful and instructive to find General Dobbie, who was Governor of Malta in its most trying hour, to present in the volume noted, such a sober, spiritual sound and clear account of major Christian issues, as to show what evangelicals held so very much in common, before the post-war uprooting, and increasingly spiritually unaligned, later misaligned, entanglements of the rootless. That is not to say nothing like it was ever found before; but that its preeminence and missionary zeal were not gifted with rule, as if unruliness were the new sanctity!
Many such, and their allies, have latterly pushed their tumbleweed modes of living to the point it is almost becoming a ground of accusation if you DO have principles not invented recently, or intentions or aims that are distinctive, such as Christian ones. The word of a Christian School directed to have a Moslem handle certain religious services is illustration of the utter confusion of heart which is added to the rootlessness of morals, which makes the equivalent of Volkswagens with aircraft tyres, made to become a hybrid in a senseless construction, and why ? It would be in such a setting, because of hang-ups about all creations being equal, and so being forced to share, become regnant, even to the point of obvious absurdity, the ideological whip lashing.
Back of such spiritual adventurism already present, and in much more in process, is the religious nostrum and the notion that in the field of religion all is relative, that little is known, so that versatility is the order of the day, and intrusion of the secular into the spiritual is quite OK in religion. The doctrine of religious relativity, a profound base of what is antagonistic to the uttermost degree to the Christian teaching of the Bible, which provided some formal basis to the atmosphere in which this Commonwealth was formed, is becoming an assumption. It is being treated as if it were not a religious nostrum at all, but just reality. Thus the mischief comes as such quaint ideas, coming from those who have no truth to which to appeal, though they may enshrine themselves in such robes, since relativistic universes don't have any truth, for people even to declare their existence, only reactions. Despite the contradiction, they begin to implant themselves into the unconstitutional national religion which is being prepared, applied illicitly and in presumptuous preening, thrusting itself in power.
In the interesting and true adventure story shown in great detail in the book, Miracle in the Andes (Nando Parrado) , there is a personal refusal, with some vigour, to believe that there could be this and that religion, and one of them right! That appears to become an intoxicating conviction. Another concept found there is that there is really no answer to one suffering and one not, in the last analysis, so that if you have a god whom you understand, it cannot be the right one! That is relativistic agnosticism, verging on atheism. Its application here is the movement shown in those intriguing pages, from some kind of religious approach at the first, to this one. It is typical of many in our whole generation, and hence it is noted.
In fact, the contrary is true. What sort of a god would NOT distinguish between His word and what others put into His mouth! and what sort of a human race would imagine it so, as if their spiritual sensitivities and sensibilities were superior to those of their Maker, the One who ALWAYS had to be both there and competent for what followed, if anything was ever to be there.
Omit that eternally, and you have to have it all come either from nothing, a mere contradiction in terms, or from itself when it is not there to do it (cf. Psalm 100), a nauseating nonsense; or else it is just imported from nowhere, a prefabricated sort of mould in which logic and law, technical expertise and precision, investigable logic attuned to our own, all appear, so begging the question recklessly and in logical terms, inexcusably, and making that do instead of a logical answer: while then having it develop as is never seen to happen, in terms of matter without the presence of intelligence.
Not Only is God Great but Glorious Ch. 5, Waiting for Wonder, Appendix, SMR and such works as Deity and Design ..., and Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ) show the unique logical necessity of the God of the Bible, evidentially, rationally and causatively.
The missing element in the remarkable account of survival in the Andes, in this respect, is the injection of human sin as a crucial element into the situation, obvious enough, and the divine answer on the one hand, and the hatred of the same by many, on the other, so making up various false stories, unbecoming religions exposed in the Bible as by reason alike, none of which have logical consistency, adequacy or evidential attestation. There is a reason too, for the arrival of many religions!
The matter is not really very
difficult, but it does require attention.
COMMON DISPLACEMENT DOCTRINES
FOR THOSE WANTING A NEW LOOK TO THEIR TUMBLING
But as to the rootless, they do suffer certain inconveniences, so that in the long run they tend to relapse into a sort of comatose almost belief, or come to a synapse with some syncretism, or like tumble-weeds caught in the bushes, find a new stability which they may then seek to enforce as THE MODE on others. We have been considering some of the more valiant and invigorated pushers of such foundling morals and concepts, in the last Chapter, and more generally, in News 19.
Let us then consider some of the more pervasive, or invasive, of the more common sort of ideas which seek to gain admission into The Kingdom of Human Culture, by which many want man to be governed, using law or sword, bomb or rhetoric as the case may seem to require. For a more extended treatment at the academic level, see for example, Yield Not to Educational Temptation, esp. Sections 1- 4.
12 DREAMS OF WRONG
As is fitting to the rootless, there is a special variability to their desiderata, the things they simply MUST have and have foisted onto others, as the philosophical mood swing occurs, or the ideational flip gains appeal. We look now at 12 types of rather common ones coming to more prominence now. If it is more dizzying than delightful, that is the way of things in this highly impermanent and unsupported domain.
A. Creation made itself before it was there to do it, and while it does run down and not up, there are lots of strange things. Why bother with logic ? It is about life.
B. 'Design' is an offensive term to use even for the greatest visible exposition of definable design on earth - man.
(However, it is not only what modern man denies but what ENABLES him to deny it which shows design of logic, thought, rationality, assignable meaning, namely his movement in the intellectual, moral and linguistic world and their syncretic action. Man himself is an intricate and fastidious implementation of cross-discipline design at the highest level.
(If design be defined as follows, denial of it and its ascription to man as something made is mere contradiction of terms. As to design, it IS that integrated, correlated, result designable, functionally proficient combination of imagination, information, actualisation and continuation which bears an imprint of effort where the means for its autonomous arrival do not appear in its components, but the result appears regardless. If you want several more definitions, none of which except the data in front of us from being 'design', see Design and Deity ..., Sections 2, 3 and 8, where the logical impasse in such schemes is shown also.
Indeed, if you want information without intellection, you need to find another universe for data, for this one is not like that. What you put in, is what you get out. Indeed, dismissal of causation is not possible logically, as it requires an account for such an hypothesis, using causality of all things, to make them accountable. It simply begs the question and is invalid. Hence no amount of manipulation can rid you of your source.)
C. Women are really the same as men, and you are misogynist if you think otherwise, whatever the actual data of genetic differences, procreative differences, degrees of diversity in social aptitudes and the like, which slowly accumulate academically.
(Obviously, if you are comparing two great mountains, one massive with much coal seams and one massive with great streams, from a distance of 1000 miles, then they MAY appear much the same. On examination however, the diversification becomes clear. Denying it is an offence against the truth. If you have a set of values which makes them of equal worth or dignity, or anything else you may have in mind, this may apply; but it is mere blindness to assert that what differs is the same. If possible, it is worse so to derogate the special and potentially beautiful diversities between the two procreative partnerships, with their intricate design components, and their productive complementarity; for here the correlation with love for each other and for the children issuing, comes into play, and it is easy to forget this part of the work of raising children.)
D. Children are the same as adults, just not so powerful. Things should be child-centred to help the child to become self-centred. The selves should then fight it out.
(Children are deeply influencible by their parents in particular, as part of a close-knit, multiply associated entity called the family. They not only depend on adults to various degrees for years, but receive what they do not yet understand from those sources, which can be like bad food or good. Elevating them prematurely merely makes them misfits, though caring for them lovingly and kindly elicits response and helps the confidence (not self-confidence, but trusting confidence in their source, not that of the procreative powers), with which Being they can with minimal harassment grow into wise and kindly people.)
E. Gods are pretty much the same, though some have to destroy, some to create, some to force submission, others just to sit and watch. Any god who cannot kill or does not invade ruthlessly is not worth the submission. It is then not relevant to you and you don't need to worry about any such god.
(This is the force-oriented reductionism applied to man, a sort of cynical indifference to truth, with grim and defiant humour, based on nothing, yet strong in hope of avoiding the whole issue of what is above you, to make you, so that you can grab the universe, as a race, avoid unproductive war, and hopefully fight instead just about land, using contempt, hatreds and the like. It is not an interesting collapse, but a common one.)
F. Salvation is undesirable, because it is fun to be just what you want to be, and to be able to sin and will as the price of existence. It is wrong to treat what is right as though it were certain, for it is convenient to do what you select as thought best for your progress, prosperity and happiness.
(Here what is wrong is made absolute, but the subjectivity does not permit such a thing to exist, so it is based on special pleading, using what you exclude to maintain your position.)
G. Freedom is what some people use to force others to do what they want of them. It is not so very important if pleasure is maintained.
(In fact, it is only by freedom that such a view could be meaningful at all; otherwise it becomes but the creaking of cogs, the movement of particles - forget the realities of thought and logic and organised argumentation in this reductionism. Ignoring what you have to explain and USE to present your position, and focussing on one element is barren and unobservant, like comparing as virtually identical a car and an aeroplane, because both move and have engines. It is not merely simplistic but unthankful.)
H. It is particularly holy to harass Jews. In between using the name of God or of Jesus for cursing expostulation, you can give the Jews a go. It is the triumph of inflicting wounds, so that they can pay for your sins by suffering. Someone has to and they are available for squashing, discrimination, a core instead of bear baiting or other excitements. Christ Himself is too expensive to follow, for the expansive ego. Some other religions are too violent to touch. Besides land grabs from the Jews are in fashion, and fancy having the cheek to defend themselves against oil-rich countries whom we use.
(This one may vary. The hatred may come from a suppressed, subversive desire to ensure that what God has promised AND DONE with the Jews over millenia, to the last 't' in precision, is threatening. Who wants to be threatened! so try to ensure they do not keep a foothold and make all the world a nice assembly plant for a universe take-over. We are SO clever. This may be the fault line chosen. The lines tend to merge in the end.)
I. Churches are places where you express yourselves and make other people walk the moral plank, and get off to make a sensational splash. The old sort where God told you what you needed to know and how to find and serve Him is too old-fashioned. Any acceptable god these days has to learn to use statistics and demographic research before attempting to gain acceptance. In church: a change is as good as a holiday, and it gives you a good way to practice subversion, so releasing to the soul. Think of the little red book released by one Department of Education. It gives instructions.
(Christian churches are a main target in this, and the processes have been accelerated by different philosophies which have masqueraded as theologies, and views which have been created in order to make a base for a new Bible. To preach is to use authority, but when man is the authority and God is to be the learner, it is just as Paul showed in Galatians 1: no one who is the servant of God is enticing Him to capitulate to the fancy of man. It is man who is offered the grace and place on repentance, with God Himself. Teaching your Maker merely unmakes you, mixing your will with the creation to make moral mayhem, and intellectual confusion. Results maybe still using the term 'Church' or staggeringly, 'Christian Church', are social clubs, training grounds for leadership, and the like. The direction of the leadership does not matter much, is often the concept - see E above).
J. Any return to old morality is quite probably right and ought to be avoided.
(Jaded cynicism becomes typical, like a rust-infested crop in human form, and playing with morals is merely toying with truth, opening a door over a precipice to conscience, and an excursion into rebellion against the One who created your designed powers, and the nature of those powers. It thus is a mode of ensuring disorder as in smoking till cancer strikes, or being promiscuous till love forgets all but lust, and loyalty forgets any but oneself. Moreover, in such cases, you are simply substituting one set of morals for another - Do not fuss, do what you want. Do not be put upon - avoid authoritarian decrees from anyone (unless doing so is clearly to your detriment). Make neo-morality such a trumpeting affair that others will be forced to join, as you criticise them, and you will perhaps gain the place of authority for yourself, AND do just what you want, even encoding it: much better. Such is one of the scripts.
Those are morals, prescriptions for human behaviour believed to be right, advantageous, presented as that which really ought to be done! They are founded on will, not knowledge, and readily founder on thrill, incontinence whether in removing heads or capturing hearts or pure captiousness. Reality is not manipulable, and when the mind of man makes sport of life, life is not prevented from making sport of man and his glorious, peaceable, gracious, kindly, thoughful civilisations, conspicuous by their absence.)
K. Laws are to make non-rootless people close their mouths, and let you invent meaningful morals, so that legal force can oppress contrary concepts, and make life and transition easy for you. It is absolutely true that absolute truths are absolutely ridiculous.
(It is marvellous how often rootlessness instructs what is rooted and grounded in logically defensible living, using the authority which it denies, to thrust home the point. Yet if you deny absolute truth, then your telling us the way things are is itself excluded, so that you are not even valid in telling us the moral or mental framework that you wish to advance as the case. It is then just a dream that is outside truth. God contrasts such things with what He has to say (Jeremiah 23:16-24), and since man is one of the 'things' He had to say, in his staggeringly wonderful freedom to align or disalign with others or even God, the correlative of being able to love: then there is more point to it than to the swaggering dismissal of reality by those who do not happen to like it, as they see it, in their self-made cocoons.)
L. Keeping within your means as a person or nation, involves a hideous disturbance to dreams, and is a last resort.
(When you owe through borrowing, you have to pay. You have to pay more. If you make productive equipment to raise the result making it more able to pay both original and interest, then it may work. If you go past the bounds of your ability to repay, which conceivably may be where Australia either is (short of a miracle!), or is likely to be soon, then you are the repayment. That is a heavy price for a heady life.)
ROOTLESSNESS OR RESTING ON A FOUNDATION
Can the leopard change his spots ? But this one worships them, it seems, and prays for more, to disassemble greedily from his cunningly captured corpses, the residues of prolonged attack.
"There is a way that seems right to a man, but it is the way of death," (Proverbs 14:12).
The rootless needs to be grounded, not like a wind-swept ball, open to incursions that take the fancy, move the mind or open the jaw. Without this, and the capacity to sustain the ways on irrefutable bases, it is without foundation and founders, caught in its own feckless speed.
God's people are planted by God Himself - for even a concrete foundation while helping, is far from immune. As Christ declared (Matthew 15:13): "Every plant which My Father has not planted will be uprooted." Founding yourself on what can founder is like tying your bike to a donkey. But it moves! Unless your Maker is your Keeper, you keep in vain. Unless you accept definition by God, you merely abuse the degree of freedom given, and failing to become a god, cut off resources like a rocket sent on to Mars, without communication or commission from the mother ship.
Founding yourself on yourself, or YOUR adopted party or its views or your self-made views is in this all the same, in result. Doing this, as Paul asserts in II Cor. 10:12, is not wise; or more specifically, measuring yourself by yourself. If you do not know the size of the measuring instrument, what is the use of using it! Self-absorption is like shock-absorbers which do not relate to springs. It is psychological reductionism.
The remedy is to cease being a godlet, becoming a child of God through the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, presented to man in the creation, alongside all the laws and judgment for breach of them which heedless mobility or reckless unreason readily incurs. It is, however, not reasonable that if you give your Maker the go-by, and His prescription the wry mouth, that mercy itself does not save you from yourself and your assessable ways, and that what you buy with pertinacity, and impenitence, as if an improvised alternative, does not create itself. When the capsule departs at the wrong time from the rocket as it lifts, and without direction, the sea is there, but unhelpful. The human case is not just woeful, but wilful as in Matthew 23:37.
Mercifully, it need not be final, as the staggering case of King Manasseh displays as seen in II Chronicles 33:1-13.