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CULTURAL OCTOPUSES AND ERODED CLIFFS
When Rome was teetering on the brink, in many cultural phases, she became if not mad, so close to it that it would be hard to discern the difference. People have often pointed out the singular similarities between the coddling, captious, querulous days as Rome decayed, and the present. It has been popular both in depth and in detail. Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire had much to say about the phenomena of ruin, and many have had much to say about the decline of Australia, England and the US, for example, in more recent times. Indeed, the spiritual aspect of it is treated often on this site, and at an early stage, notably at The Other News 5, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, Appendix I, as in Joyful Jottings 5, 14 and 19.
However, in this volume, our special concern is in those idols not made with stone, being less substantial even than the ephemeral productions of Israel which, however delusive and misused, were at least visible as symbols. It is found that the world is currently in the increasingly violent grasp of such delusive symptoms, and symbolic pathologies of spirit, so applied in society, corrosive in culture, that the Ebola disease is strangely reminiscent of the situation. Like that disease, these things devour at an astonishing rate, they raise the head of destruction, and invade the body of society after society, as if they were some sort of biological blitzkrieg.
Just so does AIDS invade an increasingly large body of societies, and in it also is a scorching application. Plagues do not lack, nor could they for the word of God is on record that they will be a significant part of the culture of the Last Days before Christ returns (cf. Matthew 24:7, with Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
Just as man is forgetting his gender, the gender amender as well as bender*1, forgetting his honour, the truth twister, as one of our former Prime Ministers exhibited, saying some such patter as this when failing*2 to fulfil, "When I said that, the circumstances were different!", so does AIDS draw our attention to the question of RESISTANCE of evil. Just as the resistance of the body, so automated in much, so brilliant in design, so multiple in conception, so articulated in code, so activated in execution, can be subverted by assault on its very power to resist, by an assailant that is virulent and ruinious, so can the resistance of the spirit of a man to evil, be subverted till it leaves him a mess submerged in evil as if it were his mother's milk.
In this, the foul and enfeebling disease of Aids, spread by so many means now, serves to remind us that there is something inbuilt in man, which if inoperative is man's entire destruction!
That ? It is a combination of the law of God, conscience and the grace of life, all of which are being subverted as if some spiritual AIDS were invading the nations.
? Only in application. It remains, like all of God's truth, without quiver
or quaver, applicable always. It is so rather in the minds of the sequestrated
young, and their sequestrating seniors, taught and teaching folly to the
extent the imagination can scarcely apprehend the cruelty, a distortion
parallel to and evocative of the breach of scientific method involved (cf.
Magnificent Rock Chs. 1
8, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs.
1-9). Thus, there is forbidden in the Government Schools of this State,
S.A., any sound rational instruction in what meets the criteria for example,
of the territory occupied so inanely by evolutionism. It is creation which
meets the test (SMR pp. 140ff.),
and in terms of the ineradicable commonplaces of the issue, it is not even
AND FAILING GODS,
THEIR FUMES AND THEIR VICTIMS
Yet the mutable and far from beautiful gods of culture are raised, and man falls (cf. SMR pp. 127ff., Ch. 2, p. 999). He worships his abstractions, makes love to his cultural coquettes, pulsating with impotence like a rocket which lacks only one thing: it does not take off.
Falling is an interesting phenomenon. You can do it only to the extent you have altitude. When that is exhausted, you hit something, unless of course there is a hole. That too can be most confining, and reminds one of the 'bottomless pit' noted in Revelation 20:3). The point there is this: there is no end to the quenching of reality, to the dissolution of truth, to the depravity of descent from God: only judgment (cf. Mark 9). In the complexes of perversity, the computations of decline, without God, there is no barrier, but the final depravities which not merely ask, but from their lowering estate, howl and roar for judgment.
However, we shall not merely be considering these secular myths, which collectively are an astonishing blend of Jules Verne and Lewis Carroll, as if now in their imaginations, asking to be taken seriously! but also we shall be contemplating in happy awe, sacred truth, in its grandeur and form, the absolute prerogative of God. Logic points to it, validity requires it; but it is in God, who speaks, that it is found. He speaks in the Bible, and the world obeys - not the laws necessarily, indeed often it breaches them with relish, counters them with solemn abandon, later in ravished delusion as we shall see and have seen often enough, before; no, it is the world in its actual history obeys what He declares is to be. Foreseeing, He has declared; foreknowing, He has made manifest what shall be (Isaiah 46:10, Amos 3:7, Isaiah 44:4-8,25-26).
He says it will be, and it is. This creation, that of history, has the advantage that we can actually check the words FIRST, in multitudes of cases provided, and then watch the events happen LATER, in the best of scientific traditions.
This, the word of God, it is written. It has the advantage that it is not today telling us that change is gradual, as things make themselves, and then tomorrow, that it is sudden, and then the next day, that really it has no idea, while construing that it must happen because it is never seen at the level of additional information in the directory of life. No, that is the prerogative of this fatuous invasion of philosophy into the domain of science, which duplicity, complicity or confusion, or some mixture, continually vents on man, like some exhaust valve from a contaminated radioactive plant.
Quite contrary to this, and everything else illicit, in true stability, the word of God tells us that the reason that coded (Psalm 139, The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 9, No. 4), diversified and diversifying information is current, is not magic, nor is it that the book of Nature wrote itself, sans mind, sans logic, sans life and sans understanding, but that God wrote it, and that it has several characteristics (cf. That Magnificent Rock Chs. 1 and 8, Appendix 1, It Bubbles ... Ch. 9, Wake Up World!...Chs. 6 , 4, Spiritual Refreshings Chs. 13 and 16).
All this is verifiable to the uttermost point. All but endless are the evolutionary theories which seek to escape, to avoid, to manipulate, to 'interpret' (cf. Spiritual Refreshings Ch. 13, and see 16, Wake Up World!... Chs. 4-7, News 12); but it does not go, so the words are mere stop-gaps while the theory dies repeatedly, the death-rattle its music, the flesh of it like Lenin's, preserved though it is long since very and most dead.
- One: the KIND of thing is view is kept.
- Two: the curse on the things is super-added (Genesis 3 cf. Biblical Blessings Ch. 7).
- Three: the nature of the entire construction is one which ages (Isaiah 51:6), and it is susceptible, at times, to direct divine judgment in the form of plagues (Exodus is an example on a huge scale, and Amos 4 on a somewhat lesser one, while the book of Revelation abounds).
- Four: it is NOT susceptible to escalation of its terrain, by some genie within. It has a static, lateral, or deteriorative character, the latter, as just noted, for more reasons than one*3.
This truth of God, on its various declarations, it is there and will not fade: the Statue of Liberty may attract the evil eye of the Destroyers in Muslim clothes, as an expression of how to break and breach and bring to ruin what it can, as it attacks the constructions of freedom, some of them made in times of considerable feeling after God; but the Truth of God has already been murdered, and simply rose bodily from the dead, uninterred except in a passing moment, taking exception to any grave, however commodious, and walked off to continue its princely function.
Christ had and has a face; He does not have to seek to add one as poor and miserable communism did, in belated efforts to preserve itself, or for whatever other reason! He has had personality from the start. He is in fact, the start of personality, as the ageless and ultra-temporal word of God, which made time, His minion (Colossians1:15ff., Romans 8:33ff.).
Eternity is the pre-condition of time. Without it, there is nothing to come from, and hence nothing there; which is not the result of inspection, for we are all very much here! (Cf. SMR Ch. 1.) In this same sense, the Word of God, who became flesh (John 1:1-14), who as God was with God, there being one God (Ephesians 4:4, Micah 5:1-3): as person, He invented derivative persons, who worsen from sin, but who are redeemable through sacrifice, the action of love to rescind the betrayal of righteousness which sin represents and the death which it induces. That is mercy. It can and frequently does, intervene!
it however ? when it is ignored, despised, or deviously re-written by unauthorised
authors ? What then!
but MERCY IS FREE
Truth judges. It always does, it does now, and it will later. The difference is this: at times it is epochal, as at the Flood; at times it is the woe of a century, as in the 20th Century, which sported not only two most massive international conflicts which ate men as a wolf eats a lamb, and women as a lynx takes the carcass, but virtually endless adornments between aroused nations, for whom independence was so much more importance than life, that in many ways they gained the one and lost the other, as their economies and physical health in many cases, dived: an empty victory.
Sometimes its judgments are stayed for a season, like the French Revolution, which aggrandised its secular hideousness, replacing the false ecclesiastical hideousness which preceded it, until Waterloo damped it down; or the Russian Revolution which, while far outdistancing the Nazi effort, say 1933-1945, in that it went from 1917 to perhaps 1989, 73 years instead of 13, yet was not especially glorious in endurance. It was bankrupt before it began; it took a little time to show the books, that is all.
In the end, however, all this illustration and application will be brought to its consummation. Whether you think of the "blood of the earth crying out" or justice hammering down, it will come. There is no peace for the wicked: how could there be ? (Isaiah 57:19-20). God is not wicked (Cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 2, SMR pp. 25ff.), but righteous in all His ways, imbuing what He has endued. The gratuitous Maker of all Nature, as generous as unconstrained, made the coded, contrived but also in many ways personalised creation, including for some, its liberties to distress itself if it will. Nevertheless, the adventure of freedom, the love of liberty, does not cancel sacred truth. Rather it exhibits it, if not in loving reciprocation, remedy and restoration of man, then in judgment.
Yet with judgment, there is justice; and with justice and truth, there is available to this hour and day, peace, and in peace with God, there is joy, and with that joy is strength: and this is both doctrinal and empirical, for it is simply the case for the one who lives for the Lord, that "the joy of the Lord shall be your strength." It is incomparably felicitous, that strength with joy, that joy with strength. It is a part of life, not in the living beneath the counter, like dark dealings, but in the open, manifest to all men, without fear but of God, with God and for His love, in labour for Him as for those whom one in Him may serve.
Thus, in the very midst of the artful contrivances of this marvellously and fatally misled race, man is to this moment aptly provided with truth, as sure in Christ and more so, as is the rising sun; for it can and will cease (Isaiah 51:6), but man's God who made this little play-pen, this pilgrim-route, this scene which man so devastates, He will not cease.
"I am" - John 8:58, sums it up. Time is His invention (Romans 8:37-39). The truth will not be mute, the crucifixion notwithstanding, the resurrection exhibiting it to all who have in vain sought to demolish in one slain body, the face of God presented to man for his deliverance (cf. SMR Ch. 6, Biblical Blessings Ch. 15, Extended End-note 2, Acme, Alpha and Omega Ch. 11, With Heart and Soul ... Ch. 3, The Magnificence of the Messiah, Endnote 1).
Mercy and justice, reason and reality, redemption and peace, these are wholly unseverable where God is. In man, we now see Pakistan and India inflamed against each other, to the point that India is weary to death of the alleged Moslem type terrorism in Kashmir, and action and reaction look like being rather equal and opposite. Indeed, it is asserted by India, that Pakistan is allowing itself to be a sites for al-Qaeda in its wilful and woeful endeavours, one would almost say, to implement Revelation 6:4 and 8! Whether or not this ever occurs to them, they help it to occur, so fulfilling with that delicious divine irony, the very prophecy they affect to reject!
the meantime, as if no area could long be without war, India and Pakistan
are near eruption.
No, says Pakistan's Musharraf, it is not Islamic militants who make cross-border raids into Indian's current sector in Kashmir, and the same people who made 'terrorist' assaults in India, also hit Pakistan. Disputing this, India claims that al-Qaeda and Taliban members alike are present in Pakistan's area of Kashmir (Advertiser, May 29, p.35).
The words and the whirring continue, and so of course does the Islamic thrust-or-bust crusade of milling multitudes who seek to glorify the nullity they delusively serve (cf. the words, and the principles of Deuteronomy 32:16-21, when Israel tried the same NO WAY, GO BACK foolishness). For such the lust is to glorify the word of the prophet, and so following hollow falsity, they fail to recognise the distinction between the verifiable authentic, and the vitiated pretence, against which God has warned for thousands of years, requiring better things than these (cf. Isaiah 41, 43, 48). Small wonder the error of millions inflamed with a highly incendiary book, the Koran (cf. More Marvels... Ch. 4), are threatened world peace.
Yet how COULD there be peace when the Prince of it (Isaiah 9:7), decorously divinely forecast in detail for thousands of years, is given such accolades at Christmas, and so little attention by the nations, beyond it!
The desire for peace without Christ is the desire for life in the flesh without a body. It is worse than delusive. It is contra-evidential escapism; but from truth, there is no escape, and for this world in its woeful wickedness, is there to be blessing while folly walks with arrogant head held so high ?
In India and Pakistan, then, at this present time ?
Radioactive weapons sulk in their silos... Missile tests occur, in order the more to show the scope of the feelings, to better secure their accurate outlet, or both! (News Radio, late May). Indeed, now we hear, despite the Indian protests, a third such test has been made by Pakistan, following India's earlier vocal distaste for such provocation as they see it.
The air is not clear. A sense of muted hostility replaces anything of commutation. It is part of a writhing nexus. What then ? What follows ? ...
confrontation helps to hinder the efforts against Iraq, reputedly itself
seeking weapons of mass destruction, presumably to help an idol which has
no existence but in the minds which harbour it (cf. More Marvels...
4), though the hate which the concept induces exists readily enough!
to hinder: this is the adverse, converse
corruption of man. Man is seeking wrongly, finding folly, and using multiplicative
endeavours such as airplanes as projectiles, and matter's constitution
as a devastating mushroom without roots.
Man today ? His plans look more and more like some 'teen-ager, distraught with acne, trying to cut off the pimples and gaining multiple infections. His method is wrong. It does not work. That is all.
So too Bush's array with some of the Moslem nations inhibits the rigour of his methods, needed in Afghanistan where just possibly, as a result, bin Laden escaped in order to pursue more of his so loved destruction; and
Thus do the nations talk, combine, relate their highly diverse conceptions, speak of unity, operate in singularity, pursue their diverse ends, wonder who is reliable, find it out as in all history in due course, make their noises and exhibit their poises.
They talk; the evils walk.
It goes on, not nowhere: oh no! To a judgment richly deserved. It is to have its little moment of peace! peace! when in the throes of delusion, they think that they have made it, by some combination of force and appeal, locked man into some semblance of controllable quiescence, as so many have tried to do, now on this fated vision, now on that meretricious assemblage of philosophical substitute for truth, while the world has sweated. That delusive time of violently induced 'peace', it too is to come in its time, though for ever so short a time (cf. I Thessalonians 5, Revelation 13); but this delusive hope, as for all which preceded it, and they are many, it too will pass, merely one last fling of the gambler for his gain.
Man's culture comes to this and that head, like so many boils on the body of man. That will be one of them, at his very seat.
But when you strip away all these accretions of culture, and inspect the enduring truth, which does not vary by a hair's breadth, you realise to a still greater extent the innovative folly of man, turning his beautifully blessed imagination, to the hell-sent pride of imagining that his God is dispensable, or mergable, with various ideas, or religions adoptable or useful in various combinations, and that really, he will do it his way.
Undimmed, undiminished, the way of God stays in its beauty, its practicality, its verified fashion, alone validated (cf. That Mighty Rock Ch. 5, Barbs, Arrows and Balms 6 and 7, Repent or Perish Ch. 7, The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 2), a thing so much more magnificent than the Twin Towers that went, built for trade and utility, that by comparison of value, these are less than air, and despite the tragedy, this may have been a major lesson in the readout. It is better to be warned, than destroyed!
Further, as in II Peter 3, we find the end of the world clearly asserted, as has been clearly stated for millenia, though it is meanwhile girded in both geography and history, through the governance of God whose word has been fulfilled all through. The word, the will and the way of God, indeed the Kingdom of Heaven remains so far more glorious than all the towers of man since Babel, that the difference would scarcely be noted where it stayed, and these went!*5 In THESE towers of divine truth and mercy, you CAN be evacuated in good time. You have been warned of the coming impact for millenia!
This warning has not been lost; it has not been some failure between governmental instrumentalities (though in the Twin Tower case, it is yet to be established what failures may have occurred at that level). God has spoken, consistently, persistently, in one place, and eventually through one face, that of Jesus Christ. His word stands; the world falls. Very well - is it necessary to remain under its thrall then, and to await the impact of judgment by oblivion, obstinacy or obloquy, ignoring God!
Indeed, as Peter says, the world and its works are to be burnt up, so that a realm of righteousness shall be. We shall therefore look at the magnificence of truth without the octopus arms of cultural depravity, sucking, sucking, no more considering this frenzied work nor regarding the arms themselves. It will be an interesting exercise, the witness of this brilliance, this termination of evil and extermination of sin, and one well worth it for any whose desire is truth, and not the inclinations of man's rabid imagination concerning God, making for himself mere idols of nothing, that do nothing but delude. And delusion ? If you want building, this is not a good beginning.
What is it like, this cultural proclivity of man, this academic and political intrusion into philosophy, with braying belligerence, pretending to instruct, which mixes reality and rebellion as if they were ingredients for some kind of spiritual gun-powder, which indeed in essence they are ? It is like those who walk on deeply eroded cliff tops, projecting 20 feet over the support below, ledges without foundation, brittle and ready to fall into the beautiful but deadly depths below.
*1 See Acme, Alpha and Omega Ch. 9, Repent or Perish Ch. 5.
*2 It is not the case but the manner of speech which is interesting here. Abstracting from the former, let us attend now to the latter.
The concept is rife that what one does in a world of chance (a misnomer cf. Ancient Words, Modern Deeds Chs. 13 , 9, News 68 *1, SMR p. 999, News 122), is subject to unforeseen change at almost any level. Hence it would be quite wrong to hold one accountable. Hence one can say one thing, and recklessly, heedlessly or even needlessly do another. It is all one.
Yet if this were really so, WHY EVER MAKE A COMMITMENT in the first place! There is a double standard here at once. Secondly, logic is not functionally subject to foreseen or other changes. It is used alike to make an irrational world BY IT, or to make a rational one WITHOUT it, in entire fraudulence of fiction. If it were invalid, what can it create ? If it is not, how pretend to make the functional without it! You cannot have it both ways. You cannot validly argue by it for its absence from reality, or without it, for its presence! You cannot contradict yourself and expect attention. If you falsify yourself, who else need bother!
Thus do men tend the more and more openly to cast off the 'shackles' of reliability, with a brashness of philosophy increasingly blithely parallel to the fearless redolence of their speech, seek to shake off morality, ignore principle, while of course appealing to both as it serves, arguing for justice, passionately demanding principles whilst elsewhere acting as if none existed or even could exist! In all this logical chaos, unworthy of serious thought except for its pathological condition and destiny, man moves, because he has lost his necessary validity in God, not in reality, but in practice, since in practice this is how he is working in large slabs of the earth.
What then is this illicit appeal to 'circumstances' but a codification of immorality, and a verbalisation of vacuity! Circumstances ? yes they make a difference, and form an excellent test. We all realise the heroism of the lad, Jack Cornwall (if we read of it, presumably) who in World War I kept on firing though dying, determined to complete his work in life or death. Circumstances such as a dying condition, did not allay his duty, nor did death's threat remove his obligations. So it seems, he saw it, and so it was.
It is faithfulness which is one of the most beautiful things on earth; it is responsibility with reliability which is a gem. When one is embarrassed by confrontation, one does not bow. When accessed by impudent controversy, one does not melt. When one's name is subverted by satanic propaganda, one does not cease. Are not these things the essence of dutifulness ? And duty ? It is only THERE because there are things beyond one's life which are its source, recourse and meaning. To be sure, these can be construed as one's country, one's 'class' or one's comfort, or indeed many other things; but for one these things, one's country, for God, one could conceivably die, believing the repulse of invasion requisite for the liberty of one's people. Would one not thus seek to repel an assailant who sought to take over one's own home!
the Christian learns to "die daily"
as Paul puts it (I Cor. 15:30-34), because this world and its vulture
cultures, seek life, and so does the flesh, the devil and the delusions
of the Age: but to all this, one remains faithful to GOD. Circumstances
do not alter Him, nor one's duty, nor one's desire for Him. Further, what
He has done in Christ (II Cor. 5:17-21) would make it appalling indeed,
to reciprocate with the affirmation of a life which departs from His very
values, when it is on His performance in such principles, that one's own
life has been secured.
*3 That of course is precisely why there is the flurry and the pathos, both, in the human endeavours to KEEP things like the great white pointer shark, which in S.A. waters has been a killer, and to PROTECT this man-mauler: for it must not go, for whence could it come! So they reason, bereft and bedizened with confusion.
Everything now must be PRESERVED, endangered species protected, even noxious or nauseating ones (the gross-seeming Tasmanian tiger is a slightly different one, in method, with some genetic hopes smouldering). What is it like ? It resembles some antiquated couple, feeble in vigour and diminished in funds, seeking to preserve what they could not hope to reproduce... their possessions!
While the various creations of the Lord, according to His manifold purposes of teaching, exposing, ennobling, exemplifying, giving rein to imagination in the grandeur of diversity, or whatever other aspect of His love and understanding, His instruction and power may have been at work, are indeed going because of age: there is another reason also. (Cf. Biblical Blessings Ch. 7, News 74.)
What reason then, is that ? When man mangles his part in the equation, it can act as an advancement of the process. Thus the lust for power can produce the bust of smoke, gaseous bombardment of our atmosphere; and the must, the sense of necessity, in winning against someone, even at the cost of morals (as in the alliance with Russia in its hateful and heartless dictatorship, against Hitler in his heartless and hateful dictatorship, as though swapping of order could change the facts) can bring radioactivity in its odious ubiquity.
Hate is not in one place only; and lust is not of one kind only; it is only in the Lord that both these spiritual disorders cease. It is only in the Lord that there is safety, not in some multi-faith combination, nor some multi-national bunching, such as Bush in some ways most perilously has begun to condone in his anti-terrorist approach!
More generally, and swiftly, lust for or even toleration of God's displacement with one's own, or one's nation's own, one's culture's own, one fellows' very own replacement of Him, in word, spirit or deed, in theory or in practice, can consummate rebellion into arrogant invasion, if it were possible, of the very heavens. To soil the very soil of love, and to replace the very plateau of perfection ?
But yes, says the rebel: there is no limit to the thrust of the lust of the evil ambitions which readily afflict the godless man! Is it faith which consents, foments or fosters such evils ? Is it faith which out of fear toleratest them! So the lust continues, as unspoilt in its character is tar in the pit.
This ? with its children, it merely ruins the earth. Divine replacement ? Like the square root of minus one, it is not something you can do, though even that has been tried! (cf. Revelation 12:7ff., Isaiah 14:13ff.). Small wonder the world and its evil works are to be burned up: what gardener cannot understand! (II Peter 3).
"And Jehu the son of Hanani, the seer went out to meet him."
How the neatly betrayed, nearly slain king would tremble in conscience as his artless conduct came up for review, for had he not accompanied in unison into battle his most evil father in law, a king with his false gods, his wife a very exemplar of syncretism and spiritual harlotry! From all this evil, Jehoshaphat was delivered but with most evident rebuke. How vastly did his conduct in this, change! Now he would reform the nation and rely on the Lord alone in his battles, even to a most amazing and delightful degree (II Chronicles 19:4ff. and 20:1-30).
ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for correction ... (II Timothy 3:16). If John 3:16 outlines the Gospel in some essential features, so does II Tim. 3:16 its numerical namesake, outline some results of the unchanging God. ALL Scripture is profitable ... He may turn the symbolic preliminary portrayed into the final work portended as in Hebrews 7-10, but He does not change, and His ways are the same (Psalm 102, Malachi 3:6). It is for this reason, as He declaims, that His people are not consumed.
DV, we shall return to this in a later chapter.
- One God,
- one sin criterion,
- one salvation donated,
- one Donor,
- one recipient - the contrite believing receiver of the gift of life through vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ -
- one swerving of many types but
- one deviation determinant: the word of the Lord.
The sense intended is that found in Isaiah 51:6:
"Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
And look on the earth beneath:
For the heavens will vanish away like smoke.
The earth will grow old like a garment.
And those who dwell in it with die in like manner;
But My salvation will be forever,
And My righteousness will not be abolished."
What does the stage matter, when the Manager, Director, Maker and Redeemer is ready to receive those who are His from the cast. If this stays, what does the vanishing matter!
Let us pursue the figure.
If some go with the stage, the mercy of God has not failed, nor His everlasting arms become exhausted. His foreknowledge is certainty (Romans 8:29ff. with I Timothy 2;3ff.), and His mercy He would have for all. No mistakes occur. If you love righteousness, His it is, amply provided and uniquely available in His Christ (Psalm 2).
If, on the other hand, you love your own way, there it is, unstable, invalid and virtueless, indeed all the more so if you dare to compare your righteousness with that of God, and seek to make your own terms with the God before whom all are sinners, needing the redemption He provides, not the pride man can so readily and with such inane futility, contrive. In this, recalcitrants of Israel (as Paul describes it in Romans 10:1ff.) are by NO means alone!