THE NATIONAL, INTERNATIONAL AND SUPERNATIONAL APPEALS
There was a grand feeling about England in the hearts of many who had come from her, to such places as Australia, one aroused to grand heights as World War I threatened the source of much that was background to our own land.
It was popularly called the motherland, and from it came the current nation, the Commonwealth of Australia, which as seen in its Preamble to its Constitution, indicates in 1901, that the States came together in reliance on Almighty God, the nature of whom was not hard to seek in view of the commitment of England as a religious State, and its Coronation procedures with the Bible.
Was not England the place where liberty was obtained against gobbling kings, where martyrs lay strewn like Autumn leaves, their dedication and their lives a testimony, as with Cranmer, Ridley and Latimer, their burning zeal, as with John Bunyan unwilling to bow to the State, or to have it Head over its religion, on earth or anywhere else, so that its dominant prerogatives could simply control it. Jesus Christ was as He is, the same, and it is this same Jesus who will come again, just as He left (Acts 1). The sinless does not transmorph into the sinner, nor the sin-bearer into a thing to be trundled here or there, a name for a State or other body to manipulate, a point of departure for partial acknowledgement, or occasional concern.
Were not the Covenanters of Scotland in their atrocious treatment a shout, even now from the grave, of things better than life, as they sought to keep faith, and not bow to King-ruled bishops ?
Did not liberty in the land become as a Spring breeze, so that despite all the follies of the flesh and the rampancies of the human spirit, even such as Karl Marx could use the great Library to study his revolting earlier form of SUBMISSION, his ideas the Lord, as others have had theirs*1.
Did it not enable courage to prosper as the day of sophistication developed, and was it not a land where oppression of the very spirit of man was increasing divested, whatever hazards and follies may have rampaged from time to time! It could not be glorified, but it could be honoured, because of what it had come to stand for, finding totalitarianism tedious, and in much transmitting the Christian Gospel through many agencies throughout the world, where then, as increasingly now, murder becomes a religious weapon.
The enormous appeal still felt by many was in many ways essentialised in the poem written by Arthur Burns of Scotch College MELBOURNE! early in the Great War, not long before his death at Gallipoli.
Below are two settings of the poem.
The bugles of England were blowing o'er the sea,
As they had called a thousand years, calling now to me;
They wake me from dreaming in the dawning of the day,
The bugles of England - and how could I stay?
The banners of England, unfurled across the sea,
Floating out upon the wind, were beckoning to me;
Storm-rent and battle-torn, smoke-stained
The banners of England, and how could I stay?
O England, I heard the cry of those that died for thee,
Sounding like an organ voice across the
They lived and died for England, and gladly went their way -
England, O England, how could I stay.
Burns never did see England.
England stood for something which, like a rock sprayed with vast waves, could almost seem inundated very often, but which jutted out and here was a nation in form at least, Christian, and marvellously conscious of many of the needs of the human spirit. Here was to be found, in different ways, something which could mirror in part, or project vast movements for liberty, vast costs for the faith, immense missionary enterprise.
But now ? Alas, what of the developments which in much had melded peace and prayer, which to an aroused populace, came almost to life in the days concerned with Dunkirk, and the officially sought national prayer day, preparing for a miraculous evacuation that may have saved the war from miserable defeat, at the hand of a resurgent, totalitarian enemy ? These have begun to decay, like an apple, once bright and rosy, now decadent with alien but all too indicative reek.
This is no more to glorify England than to degrade her, but to note the change.
As a NATIONAL religious feature, biblical Christianity once had strong hold, though of course it became very much diversified from its roots in the Book of Common Prayer and its anti-Romanist declarations from the days of Elizabeth. Indeed, the Church of England became an inclusive and variable body and many gloried in this; but the Church of Jesus Christ, as Britain had shown with martyrs so often and with stout hearts (as there not only, as recorded in Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and reviewed in part, in Archbishop Marcus Loane's book, Sons of the Covenant) had a standing on a Rock not of human disposition (I Corinthians 3:11). This noxious mutability and rampancy of persecution at different periods, then threatened to become almost a modus operandi for a latitude just as noxious as many another tyranny, at the hand of a crushing State rule; for so much was so tolerated in so many ways for so long that just what England at the religious commitment level, stood for, became as indistinct as a monument in a dust-storm.
Nevertheless, amid all this, grand vision and enormous faith was to be found operative in the sincere lives of many, and the situation was healed in part, before lassitude began to make its substitution felt, for vanity and ferocity in diverse doses.
New forces the more assaulted the relieved national Church body in England. Not only did it incorporate rank and irrational heresies, as in Honest to God, a blatant construction of a new religion founded on phrases, but it became prominent in the World Council of Churches, of which the record is so diversified from that of the Bible, as to constitute itself a new form of inclusivist religion, just as Islam became, with Jewish and Christian components indeed, and so many of the sects*1A in their day. There are points of contact with Christ, indeed, but gross departure from the source, sanctioned in history as in logic (SMR, TMR).
It slipped. It slid as the nation changed. A nationally conscious England in the day of the first Elizabeth, trying to prevent nothing less than a foreign take-over by liberty-crushing powers, and responding to vast movements of reformation theology from several nations, set up a biblical basis, clear-cut and decisive, if in error through putting the nation in charge of what has to be from within (Luke 6:46), with Christ only as Lord (Luke 14:9). That was one thing. But in time, this nation changed much.
A land overflowing with zeal in many within, whatever its official errors, and where the faith was clearly worth dying for, was to become by degrees, one where this and that way of misrepresenting Christ and His word became notorious. It engaged with the international body of change, decline, double-talk, and in part, infestation with the KGB, at one stage, known as the World Council of Churches.
To continue in this W.C.C. in view of its theological exploits, where the deity of Christ became one option as indeed the God of the Bible (cf. SMR 867-868, 743ff,, Tender Times ... Ch. 7) not surprisingly was followed by the stage where the change in the nature of the people's personal convictions (partly by imports of those of very different religions, partly through decline in doctrine from within) became a new spur to a lowest common denominator religion, a people -pleasing parley with outcomes varying. In the WCC format, movements even went as far as Liberation Theology, so that confusion of violent political moves with increasingly vapid religious commitment, could join forces with laxity and accommodating changes, national and international vogues forming a vortex, like some vast oceanic whirlpool.
Indeed, in the national Church, at length a thing amazing by contrast with some earlier phases of its testimony, has duly come into being.
A British Prime Minister, who attested that he was seeking to act as a Christian, announced that he was in emphatic favour of having same-sex "marriage".
This, in biblical terms, goes further than acting as if to box the ears of God, in misusing His name for resurgences of rebellion from His word. This puts out a FLAG of NEO-FAITH, an ignoring of design (cf. Deity and Design... ) and a blatant omission of the way our race has proceeded, from generation to generation. It creates a new mankind, measured by itself, conceiving itself in mind, and then acting for itself in body (II Corinthians 10:12). While laws are being prepared in various places to make such pronouncements of an objective nature, an offence, the Bible does not alter in its condemnation as in I Timothy 1:9-11. There, such relationships are clearly demarcated and roundly condemned, various sexual offences before God, linked with the way of liars and perjurers as against sound teaching, and, in this passage in Timothy, listed with parent-slaying, as contrary to all sound doctrine, and due for the law of God in its condemnation. I Corinthians 5-6 adds its exclusions with parallel breadth.
In the Bible you find that not only individuals and Governments, but God has a mind of His own, the one that made man, and has stipulated both in general and in detail in many things, specifications for man. Such developments and their increasingly legal virulence show the way to Revelation 19:19, where there is direct war ranged against God, just a step away.
Even now, the "mere" acceptance of various extravagant collisions with biblical morals is far too little to be merely a thing in practice. In the same-sex marriage case, their formalisation in term "marriage", becomes in its errant vigour against the divine source, rather like using a Union Jack for a packaging for arms for terrorists, a blatant misuse of one thing with one purpose for its opposite, so that ceremony can confirm what the Bible condemns in Romans 1, as against nature and much more.
Should that come to England, and should the Church of England continue to be a national, should it accept it also: this then becomes epochal.
England, it has yielded far less than many already under the heel of unholy and unwholesome dictatorships; but if it were seeking to provoke the God who delivered them at Dunkirk, by the most flamboyant testimony, not just in words, but in words about deeds and formalisation of things utterly abhorrent to biblical direction, then if this passes, it might be successful.
England, its national church having compromised massively in belonging to the genre of the World Council of Churches, and nearly split on so identifiable a biblical doctrine as homosexuality, with a thrust constantly urging this as something of indifferent significance, indeed to be so treated as to be made irrelevant even amid the clergy, with strong diversification even in the USA, this branch of Anglicanism pioneering mutation even to the point of division, looks about it.
Where and what is it now ?
Currently, it ponders its association with Europe anew. Once a Protestant redoubt, free from the international aspirations of various tyrannies and overlords, England now ponders Europe, once more. It is IN IT, but how far ? It is no longer a vast Commonwealth's head in fact, so much as a leader in lesser terms, in form. Tyrannies of terrorism ask for attention on all sides, bringing other rules to their knees, but not in prayer; and diverse bodies now draw near, in solidarity, then fall apart, in self-identification till there seems no remedy.
Nor is there; for it is with the remedy that transformations are continually being sought! It comes to an end with the British individuality and liberty is complete; but this is together with that of all peoples, such as that in Australia*2, currently toying with what might be called Geometry instead of God. Here the virtual concept of person-units standing on ground kindly supplied by the State, is becoming (with certain exceptions or exemptions) more and more aggressive in its thrust, more articulate in its sharpness, like a sickle amid wheat. It is not that this needs no exposure (like X-ray exhibits, from the word of God), because it is so clear; but that it has a course to follow, till the end comes with its happy prelude position, namely the return of Christ coming before man is entirely destroyed (Matthew 24:21-24). God supplies a program; but one - person, state, empire - can sleep through it till the roaring phase, is so desiring. It will not stop it, any more than drugs stop reality.
So now in this our land, Australia, there is a trend to make everything that is close to man's ways and life, the same: children, parents, sexuality, obligations, however much they grow, whether for Church or other employers, all must be re-forged and formed. It is everywhere to be the same; except of course, for the Government which says so; and this, of course, becomes very different. That difference relates both to its POWER above the Constitution in apparent thrust, over religion, and over man, like a mandated secular missionary, and to its GLORY, which acts as if to supersede and impart glory at will, to whatever. This however is nothing like the glory reserved for itself, which does the gratuitous imparting, as it proceeds massively in the direction of ruling the hearts and manners of man... at least in outlook.
There is to be the same morality, responsibility, underlying nature, the same indulgence and the same repression, the same urbane rule and the same godless exclusivism, long in practice to be found in this State of South Australia, commandeering the platform in schools, as if to delete the Creator from the existence, legalities, brilliances and wonders of whatever it is which somehow or other managed to get here without having anywhere to come from, and anything to draw on, in a fairy-tale felicity worthy of kindergarten in this, that THOUGHT and CONSISTENCY and logical address is not to be found in it, nor empirical evidence. On that side, the thing is very well summed up by an American of Harvard fame (cf. The Splendour of Biblical Coverage ... Ch. 3)..
Consider then, Australia, far from immune to such things, as its State intrudes into morality and religion and modes and ethics and law and enforcement and new commandments that bite, more and more. Thus men are units like women and children, and religions are units like silver and gold, and cultures are to be recognised and esteemed (unless they appear really QUITE beyond any norm, rather hard to do now) with dreamy aplomb. Accordingly, the God who in our Preamble to the Constitution is relied on, is becoming in implicit assessment, One whose words can be declaimed against in what is proposed for law! More ACTION can come, if applied by some who already appear to have legal power to prosecute, and by many more if the current Anti-Discrimination Bill*2 or anything like it, were to become law.
The State seeks a behaviour-ruling power, an ethics-creating power, a moral-making legislation force to apply to all, beyond any, with supervisory forces to instil, teach, counsel. It seeks a legal force to insist on a relativity inducing concept, all things without integrity, except the State, which insists on its own immunity, as it makes up a religion of humanistic relativism, with such exceptions as its new religion likes. In this, truth is proclaimed by what has a humanist concept which finds no place for it; for if it did, it would require to find the objectivity past subjective inclinations, possessions, dispossessions and desires, to find what is above it all, and both able to declare what it is, and showing willingness to do so.
In sinuous relativity, there IS no truth, while it is declared truth that th is is so; making the stuff of comedy. But the results are more tragic. Israel in this became a loss leader, but is to be restored (Romans 11, Zechariah 11-14); while many other nations have followed the folly, as if compulsively compelled.
Christ put the situation for the nation earlier, now so apt for this world in increasing segments, in Matthew 13:14ff..
For many, it is a parallel and progressive form of detachment from deity, as with Israel before the crucifixion, so that He declared:
"Hearing you will hear and shall not understand;
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes have closed,
Let they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hears and turn,
So that I should heal them.
This is precisely the case (SMR); the truth is there, the case is covered, the grounds are provided, the verification and validation complete*2A; but it is despised increasingly, as it was as the crucifixion drew near (not by the people altogether by any means, but by the authorities of the nation); but there is another willingness that is necessary for deliverance. It is that to listen, which if negatived, can lead to a disposition to declare instead, without the power or the glory. God is there; but man likes to impersonate in part, or increasingly, with an abandon, one that repeatedly breeds death in the end, like lice infestation.
The reckless relativity which makes all things relative except its own absolute authority as a basis, in monstrous self-contradiction and self-deception, appeals to many, weary of worrying about such things, who just want to earn and burn and sleep and enjoy themselves; and to many others, with other plans but no time for truth which, as in the predictions for the period before the return of the Messiah (Isaiah 59:7-21), " is fallen in the street".
When truth is dismissed, dispensed with, as increasingly here, then deception flourishes and penalties for and from self-indulgent deviousness readily become matters of law-enforced religion, neither acknowledged nor accepted, but assumed and thrown into a pre-occupied people, like an atmospheric drug; and the people sleep, and often they love to have it so, and as in Jeremiah 5, what will you do in the end of it ? (Jeremiah 5:30-31). The Gospel and force are divorced (John 18:36, Matthew 26:52-56), but many are they who wish to marry force for themselves, and have done so!
You have a false prophetic push (in the predicted popularity noted for this time in Jeremiah 23:19-20), and a priestly rule of secular priests, for a secular monopoly being introduced (Cf. Now the Highway, Now the Heights Ch. 8), and is it to be too much trouble to confront it! Israel in its day showed the wonders of such unwisdom (as in Jeremiah 1-17), despite the good mercies of God so long enjoyed. In the end, it cost that nation 19 centuries of separation from its land, though that part will terminate (not the land but the separation from it, as in Luke 21:24, Ezekiel 36-39), and nationally from the Lord. That, in great part, is to be remedied also , as in Zechariah 12's prediction concerning the crucified Christ, being beheld by many in Israel, as He saves them, at last reconciled to Him (as also in Romans 11), as the end of the Age rushes on.
It is not good to play with fire, or to pretend we are not as a race, children, manufactured by God, but increasingly at the national level, political devotees seem to be in danger of making themselves into whatever they like, as in a dance of mood and mode, so aptly condemned by the apostle Paul from the mouth of God in II Corinthians 10:121-18.
As Job found, as noted in the preceding Chapter, taking issue with God can be a bane while realisation can yield to the wonder of truth. In the end, you are for Him or against Him, and since there is One God (The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy), so there is one way to live, one testimony (TMR) and as Christ pointed out, the alternative is exceedingly broad. It is just its end which is a jolt, though even the way, broad enough, is exposed (Psalm 1:4-5). There is no cover.
No amount of slaughter, legal, financial or physical, over the millenia, has ever altered this. The King's Counsel does not change, be any nation what it will. Babel*3 a new or old species of the genus babble, where the same desire to cast the moral cords of God away, simply has new hands as in Psalm 2 and Acts 4:25-26.
See the following.
Refreshings for the Digital Millenium
Ch. 9, incl.
(esp. programmatic psychology and its ilk),
Marvels of Predestination and the Ways of Will Ch. 7, including *1);
News 80; 44, SMR 4;
Repent or Perish Ch. 7, Extension 1 ;
The True God has Go, Gives Growth and Glory Ch. 2,
See also SMR Index under Freud and Jung; NEWS 51, 52, 152, 166,
LORD 5, Red Alert Ch. 1 ; Beauty of Holiness Ch. 2 (human psychiatrists).
See Tender Times ... Ch. 8, and Sects.
See for example the sites shown at What is New, Jan.- March, 2013.
See for example, Let's Be Reasonable, for God is! Ch. 2, and index "validity."
*3 See Genesis 11. The co-ordination of anti-theistic new-world makers has long been an aim, not aided, any more than than any other folly is aided, by the divine benevolence. Yet when its impetus grows, as in II Thessalonians' report of what is to come, its harshly repressive, and partly humanistic idolatry loves the crown, even if it is broken on transference. History leaves a red trail, as man, in part or in whole, tries to leap over the barriers of truth, disregarding or downgrading it, and to dismiss the word of God, adding, subtracting, annulling as far as may be, shouting, making slogans, inventing dogmas manifestly at variance from reality, as if dreams could rule and truth could be a regretted option, no longer available.