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RICE and REALITY
(Time Magazine, August 7, pp. 60ff.)
Let us move to Asia. Seeing the millions of undernourished, and noting such projections as these, as reported in Time, that "by the year 2020, the demand for grain, both for human consumption and for animal feed, is projected to go up by nearly half, while the amount of arable land available to satisfy that demand will not only grow much more slowly but also, in some areas, will probably dwindle" (p.63), to some has come the thought that perhaps something can be done about this.
One thing appears the idea of Potrykus that with a little genetic engineering, rice can have added to it such nutrients, in particular vitamin A, that it will more closely approximate the nourishment content required for those who live mainly on it.
The magazine traces out the concept of who will profit, and by virtue of which patents on biological units, and how payment will be made to such owners of such patents, and the effect it may all have, if the new 'golden grain', suitably adjusted, is introduced. It looks at the butterfly dangers if the new type of biotic profile is presented by the grain to 'nature' - if the new seed is actually sown and has crops on the face of the earth. It considers the effects of cross-pollination, virtual poisons coming to those frequenters of natural products in the insect realm which are not adapted to the novelty... and many such things.
YOU DECIDE! It declares this.
However, there is something we are not left to decide. Indeed, there are two things. One of these, first, we shall note from the mouth of Time.
You may not find it easy to believe this, but there it is in the issue noted. By an "unfortunate oversight of nature", it opines quite freely - no known research or discussion of this and that as for the other matters - the desired extra ingredient may be found in the husk, but not in the grain which is what is used. This, then, is what the genetic modifiers plan to introduce in practice, to the grain, so making it more nourishing.
In our last news, we were looking at glorified 'nature', the object which is to do everything, but which in fact is observably, to the point at issue, doing what it has always been found to do: nothing! No small increment.
This time it is flayed. Naughty nature! (Cf. Biblical Blessings Ch. 7 for perspective.) It has not put into one kind of grain all that is needed! What an oversight in the sightless! How remiss of the unminded!
Does it not occur in these post-prandial cause construction procedures, then, that "nature" can have no "sight" for the purpose of "oversight" or anything else that such sagacity of mind, clarity of vision and oversight of events would require, antecedent to such operation! The usual animation from nothing in the materialistic premises mounted on something like a vacuum platform, or their close parallel appear. With this comes the unfortunate jibe at what they appear to eliminate, but cannot because it is too obvious. The nothing over looked something! How sad of nothing to do so! The natural mindlessness did not have the necessary prudence! How remiss...
Hence the incessant hallucinatory propaganda proceeds, like that of a talkative and vexed wife, who has lost all social poise with her husband.
What is the philosophic patter that seems almost to require subservience in such cases as we have noted earlier (Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming, Epilogue pp. 164ff. ...). Of COURSE, the intellectual magnificence of 'nature' has no adequate cause, and of course it is an unfortunate oversight when what is not there to act causatively or in any other way, does not act with prudence. It SHOULD! One can almost hear the domestic parallel, virtually Dickensian, in two ladies in their sitting room, when the detested husband of one of them, is at work.
It is always like that, isn't it! says one.
Of course. It always happens like this, doesn't it! is the response.
It is a vast vulgarity that it should so happen! is my opinion, says one.
A common mind at the very least... is the reply.
Never is the actual husband mentioned. In his absence, there is joy. But he has power, so that it is best to attack him, though he be as nothing, and to reflect on all that he undoubtedly has done, though in mind, keeping a blank, lest one should actually THINK about the MAN before he comes back, and so sully one's day! WE WILL NOT HAVE THIS MAN TO RULE OVER US! is the famous approach to Christ, the word of God, co-creator with His Father, redeemer extraordinary and sole one provided for the earth, in all its history and all its loss (Colossians 1:19ff., Ephesians 3:10).
This sort of schema, removing and reproving, is seen in news magazines, in news papers, in TV shows, in all manner of enterprises and especially in religious approaches, and often those actually mentioning Christ, as if the ALTERNATIVE way to get rid of the THING is to ALTER Him, and so use the name for what one prefers (rather like talking of Harry when one is referring to one's husband, but meaning Frank, to whom one has more attachment!). Nature is wonderful; nature is naughty. The thought that nature is MADE, and that man is naughty, now that, it is unacceptable. MAN should have EVERYTHING provided WHILE he attacks God, ignores Him, despises Him, or anon, crucifies Him, and does not repent (as in Revelation 9:31). There is that little question, however ? Why ? Why should man be aided and abetted in rank rebellion and heedless manipulation of logic and life!
But 'nature' has been guilty of 'oversight'!
So it goes... but where is it going! There is only one end to this track. Forget the power that works, the worker who redeems, the grace that gives, and grab the contents of earth, hug them to yourself, while slandering the Maker, and where are you ? You are in collision with reality.
Being real, it does not bend*1.
Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7). Whirlwinds are fast!
So unfortunate, this collision, that is what is REALLY unfortunate, especially, and all the more, since in fact, as is demonstrated on this site, "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation" as Paul put it. And that word, as the apostle declared: "Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ: as though God were pleading through us, we implore you, on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." The offering is to ALL; its effectuality is to THOSE who are ... reconciled to God by Him. That is WHY it is so important. It is NOT a medicine you take by not taking it!
On the contrary, you MUST take it by faith to receive it or its benefits at all (John 6:50ff.). Is it not time to eat, not of the physical, which passes ("The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life" - John 6:63), but of the spiritual ? You see, it was a physical act on the part of Him who was offered once and for all, to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:12), thus purchasing eternal redemption; but it involved enormous spiritual power and purity. Hence it worked. Thus this putting away of sin by the sacrifice of Himself (NOW ONCE as Hebrews insists), this APPLIES where it goes. It is effective where taken. The result is first spiritual, in forgiveness, pardon and peace; it is only then physical, in the resurrection. That came, in Christ; and will come for you. Is it not better to be ready for the judge ?
Speaking of that, reminds us perhaps that there is one other topic we foreshadowed. It is this: This shortage of food which is the problem is precisely as forecast (see SMR Ch. 8, pp. 650ff., 657ff.). The famines are part of the NOT getting better, and ACTUALLY going down, which is the endemic nature of the creation, not being re-created. It is only when you are re-created, that the UP resumes, which came when God MADE it; and this, not in some odd and bizarre way, any more than the DNA is either odd or bizarre at the physical level. Like the creation, so the re-creation, or regeneration, or new making of man is in a precise and powerful way, entirely organised, so that this UP occurs when you become a new creation of God.
It is to restore you to where your design meant you to
be: to God in His sight, good pleasure and fellowship (as in Ephesians
4:24, Colossians 3:10). THAT! it takes a miracle, first in cancelling sin
(a very active miracle, and well planned - see Joyful Jottings Chs. 16, 22, 23, 25 and SMR pp. 755ff.); and then, in actually reconstituting you, back to normal, back to God. For Christ, He died "the just for the unjust to bring us to God" - I Peter 3:18. What He says always happens; but what HE DID, is for you upon reception. HE KNOWS. But you ? It is He whom you need to know, and this is the prescription!
Apart from the misnomer and anomaly as so often found in this sort of affair, the self-contradictory personification (but this doesn't do what persons do!), there is a practical point as well. It is this.
The article's slant, to speak advisedly, suggests that whatever it thinks of as being a bit unfortunate, in the way of 'nature', should really have allowed for man to eat only one food, and that this should be rice. It is rather like saying to your hostess, I am sorry, Madam, but scientific research shows that your cheese spread does not contain all vitamins/roughage/protein/starch necessary for life. You have made an unfortunate omission in supplying such a material.
To this the hostess might perhaps reply, If I supplied nothing else, this might be so. It would seem that the really unfortunate part of this is your own jejune remark. It might appear as irrelevant as uncouth.
Of course, she might be more considerate than to point this out.
Again, he might be more realistic than to make so desultory and irrelevant a point in the first place.
Obviously, if man wants to ruin the running of this globe to the point that God is to be evacuated, like the children from England during World War II, and He is not disposed to go, then there will be problems of greed and grasping, hope and hopelessness, disorder and disjunction. That is sin's realm in which the powers that be in this world specialise, dismissing their Maker with a curt nod, or an inflammatory innuendo or two.
In fact, the Lord has provided such a fascinating bounty, so marvellous an assortment, both interesting and extensive, varied and exuberant, both of food and of beauty, that the point made in Time is not merely misplaced, but ludicrous. Next we shall be asking the Maker why He made so unfortunate a mistake ... or omission, as not to deprive gamblers of the power to want to do so. In fact (see A Spiritual Potpourri Ch. 16, Flashing Falls of Freedom), it is part of being a personality.
Personality disorders on the individual or world scale are not an argument against the creation of what has become a study in pathology. It is an argument against one only thing. SIN which causes it, in one in all, in nations, in principalities, in islands, in rich, in poor! It is better left alone, the Lord is better followed, and His gifts dispersed with wisdom. The world in sin will never manage. (Cf. SMR pp. 623ff., and 611ff..) That is part of sin. It is useless to blame the prince of peace for war, when His ways are discarded; or the God of bounty for lack, when the deficiency long before all vitamins, is obedience and faith. But what is it like ? It is rather like a sibling riot, in which one blames the other for the fact they are both shut in for the afternoon as a punishment. Might it not be better to cease the conduct that causes it, and to apply for parental mercy ? Worse, is this: to blame the parents for the shut-in, when it was a PREDICTED result. Thus as noted in SMR Ch. 8 (see special references above), all this is the progressive result of moral run-down, and spiritual riot. Matthew 24 gives a brief overview.
Doing God's work for Him, in man's own ways, was always presumptuous. The only way to go is to put your heart's trust in Him, be covered by Christ's sacrifice, so that sin is not sovereign, and knowing the living God, and His peace, to be instrumental in the good which is His. It is not displacement but right placement which is needed. One needs to be in one's lot, before the Redeemer and to follow Him. Then both the power and the purity ... is HIS.