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RELIGION, RELIGIOSITY AND REALITY IN CHRIST JESUS
Rev. Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
Published by World Wide Web Witness Inc.
ISBN 978-0-9806 750-6-1
PREFACE and INTRODUCTION
It has appeared to this author that the many religious perspective operations which have been presented on this site could well be modelled into a compilation, one of reasonable coverage, assisting those brain-washed into comparative religion approaches, synthetic insight scenarios and existential contentions to begin to breathe again.
So often it is assumed that the speaker, whoever it may be, without rational source, has the objective knowledge to enable a classification of all things, in the field of religion at the least, or the evaluation of all things, or to BE the basis, and this is made on the understanding that in discussing God, or gods, you first assume that there aren't any of these, that the class, category is null, vacant, or that you constitute the basis for all understanding, or your experience, gaspings or gapings. After all, if there were not any god or gods, you would have to be 'it', the centre and masterpiece to be able to dispose of all things by your knowledge, which would need not only to be absolute, but absolutely communicable.
There may be palliatives, analgesics, to the effect that people really thought this and that, or were driven to it by this and that, feeble rationales for irrationality, or were deluded; but underlying is this godlike perspective commonly assumed by those who deny gods, while taking their place with an ease which would be admirable were it not ridiculous. You either become god in order to tell us all about what is not there, or you act as god in order to marshall all things: that is the manner of the modelling. In either case, it is unbecoming, as well as untrue. We are born and die. Without God, we know nothing rightly; but then, we are not without God, and by Him are able to understand all things from Him (Proverbs 8:8, Romans 17ff.).
What however of those who do not actually claim godhood or its functional powers and merely articulate the view that it is all comparative, relative to genes, past, present, developments or any other oddity chosen ? If, however, all were comparative, where is the basis for evaluation of any ? Assumption ? Presumption ? arrogance of heart ? seizures of the head ?
If absolute truth were unavailable on a model of this kind, there being merely reactors, reactions and reagents, then in what manner is this disposition of things to be known! What is not there CANNOT be known. Since however, it is readily demonstrable both that it is and where it is (cf. SMR, TMR, and other major sets found in Search*A), we escape - like a rocket propelled adequately to escape the tenacious gravity of the earth - from these conundrums. Pursuing logic remorselessly as in these volumes and their correlatives noted, we find a network of demonstration which moves to a finale in verification in the Bible, application of its data and confirmation; and this proceeds, while avoiding the anti-validation of a model antagonistic in the first place, to what it presumes to gain.
If reason were unreasonable, where would validity be in any knowledge ? It is however given as a gift, and like other gifts must be used to the uttermost, since it has been proven to be inestimable value in much. Declining to use it in any one field is mere arrogance and intemperance, allied to whimsical caprice or worse (cf. SMR pp. 150ff., 330ff.). It becomes a scientistic folly justly named "The Cult of the Forbidden." Contrary to scientific method, it is merely an export of an invalid philosophical assumption, simple begging of the question.
Using reason however as in any field without fear, and in this in particular, it becomes eloquent by results. Finding the necessity of God by it*B, we find the testimony of God through it, like using a geiger counter to test for radiation. Having found what He has to say, and using reason to show it must have been said (cf. Psalm 50*C), we verify by showing it has the calibre, or better the qualities which could in any case have come from no other source. When we also find that it resolves all questions of validity and truth in passing, while analysing and extraditing man as the source of his own pangs, pains and tragedies, declaring the prognosis of his diagnosed disease, and foretelling what is needed for understanding and convenience, the resolutions are complete.
Indeed, when further, we find the basis in the Bible for resolution of all psychic, social and political problems, and the call to come out of the problem-making kingdom into the kingdom of heaven, then the practicalities become as grand as the principles. When even more than this, we are told of the signals for the action of the Great Physician who is also the Judge, and that this is imminent, joy should know no limits (cf. I Peter 1).
There is an exception here. When this diagnosis-prognosis and resolution which applies on all sides is rejected by will, so that as Christ put it, light has come and darkness is preferred to it (John 3:19), then there is assuredly no cause for rejoicing. But this ? it is like a man who having a cancer which can be extirpated by operation, refuses it. If he is sad, that is his affair; he is merely being wilful. In this case, man is enabled not only to act as he will, but to will as he will, since in the providence and foreknowledge of God, he is in line to have a new nature which is aligned to God, and it is God who knows the truth and He is not dependent on pathological presumptions, as His love is applied (John 3:16, II Timothy 1:8ff., I Timothy 2:1ff., Colossians 1:19ff.).
With God, there are no limits such as unbelieving man weaves for himself, entangled like a foolish kitten, and in the Bible there are resolutions on all sides, and no wonder, since the return to reality as always, is the path to understanding.
As we survey the scene, then, from a biblical and logical standpoint (as seen in the above, these are correlatives, each requiring the other as we proceed in search of God and what are His wants), we find the lapses, errors, quaint oddities and vicious errors in this or that religion, and using the biblical explanation, find that all fits. In this, biblical instruction, principles and perspective become a course for instruction in religions and their ways. This is a particular focus of this present volume.
A major contribution is on Buddhism; while a number of analyses and applications cover the chief logical points needed re Islam for this purpose, as occurs likewise for secularistic or atheistic naturalism, with its oddities of exasperation and continual innovation, as can happen when sailors try to save any sinking ship, but failing, add their own squalls to those of the ocean*D. This is seen in its nakedness, while the basic character of pseudo-Christian sects is similarly exhibited; and it is seen that these join with some major religions in a wider view of sects. Judaism, defined for this purpose as the Old Testament religion without the New, as inspired from God, but allowing some latitude on the nature of the commitment to the Old Testament within the definition, is given its own analysis, and with it Romanism which has some points in common with it.
The standpoint is not a mere investigation, but one governed by logical analysis and what this leads to in terms of perspective. The Bible being rationally required, it is used in this overview. In this way, all fits into place with eminent simplicity, and the oft-roted myth that religion is a mere contentious error for myths and word-smiths, is not only rebutted, but miserably dismissed (cf. Secular Myths and Sacred Truth).
Its exponents are shown to be not only in an unconscionable logical muddle, but to be met by an imperturbable logical clarity on the basis that life did not just breeze in, that highest power of mentality and conceptual mechanics known in the things visible on this earth, that matter did not simply decide to arise, and space-time did not protrude from nothingness with allowance made by something as some concession based likewise on nothing (cf. The gods of naturalism have no go!).
From somewhere ? this is equatable on such a model with nothing, since there is no God permissible, and all things that do not have aseity require a cause, the delimited not being in this happy category. Moreover, mind did not come from a thoughtless vacuum of mentality, by some oversight. 'Arising' from nowhere for no reason in a scene of nothing, which could not even then be a scene, but merely a concept leading to verbal muddle, where ontological twaddle is mere folly. You need causation to think clearly, and actual adequacy to have anything on which to base anything, and this involves something always. Otherwise, absolutely 'nothing' at any one time, phase, mode or concept, as ALL, leads to nothing for all time, each phase or mode: which is precisely what we do not have. What we do have is mind, matter and spirit demanding an adequate basis, not developing one out of nothing.
The Eternal Adequacy is not menaced by the thought of man, but the rebellious nescience of man is challenged by His truth, found readily enough when it is pursued with reason, and available by His own will as verified and validated in solitary splendour, a fact demonstrated in the works noted *A.
Rationality is required, and the pay-load is what is to be expected in a God-created universe. Everything fits into rational assessment leaving only ONE meta-religion to overturn all mere religions.
It is necessary therefore to point out that so far from the scientistic muddles which are ever-changing because always liable to mordant criticism, from one muddler against another, quite apart from actual exposure of invalidities from outside the melee, being the logical companions of thought, rational, they are wholly irrational. They reside in the subjective, fact-colliding quaint objects of ideation. They baulk at fact, imagine what is impossible and relate themselves to the arena of science like mistletoe on eucalypts.
Religion, moved to meta-religion*E, by total contrast, is the most impervious to logical criticism that could be; and that meta-religion is not an abstract of desire, but an actuality of rational necessity, confirmed by empirical actuality. In this, it is the contrary of all competition.
Such an approach is not new, having been on this site for some 13 years, and in print for another four, indeed provided in a logical sequence in SMR, confirmed in TMR, and it has been specified as to method in detail ,in What is the Chaff to the Wheat! Chs. 3 and 4. However, here its application is given a coverage in one volume, together with some of the new work of the last 12 years, so that it can be realised in some kind of concerted impact and provision. Man has provided, by the grace of God, reason for the faith for centuries, and this is one more for this century.
Since this is a specialised volume, the necessity to demonstrate God is not rehearsed as central - several volumes have done this or specialised in this or that aspect, as may be seen in Search (cf. *A). This area is by no means neglected, but earlier works are the chief, systematic building blocks, and this is coping work on the field of religious constructions which pulse throughout this earth.
Largely, then, this is to APPLY what may be demonstrated of God (as in Romans 1:17ff.), which has in this site been shown in some detail, to what ? It is to apply it to the religions which make proclamation concerning Him, as likewise to those who tell us about it without rising to make proclamations from Him. In each case, there is lapse and collapse, since there lacks the necessary means to make them live, stand and continue.
When it comes to God, it is necessary to realise that the only words which ultimately can count are His, since the ruminations, computations, intimations, insinuations or ramifications of man are subjectible to a filter of cultural inhibition, infamous pretension, ocular occlusion and inability in the intangible. Moreover, since man is in a mess which is not the despotism of the Creator, but of sin*C, constantly and often cordially impelled in lies and injustice, fraud and self-serving, misalliance with evil and deliberate rebellion against the Lord, it is impossible for any rumination to tell its cure.
Various gods of man's construction are not good enough, nor are they even real. To be sure, the divine nature of God and His power are obvious; and it is necessary to follow reason to revelation, duly attested, in order to validate the obvious (Romans 1:17ff.). However, the thoughts of His heart and His plans, especially for dealing with rebellion, as in any pardon, depend altogether on Him; and for Him to tell us, it is not an option if we are to know at all, it is a necessity. Otherwise, we CANNOT know this thing, the most crucial of all (cf. Galatians 6:14). Pundits and gurus are not nearly enough. Their gods wither, as the Bible declares.
THAT of course is precisely what Zephaniah so clearly indicated, as did Jeremiah (Zephaniah 2:11, Jeremiah 16:19, 10:11), that God would starve and bring to nothing the gods of this earth; but it is interesting and instructive to see it applied. It should be noted that the 'gods that did not make the heavens and the earth' include those which man projects, like religious rockets, into the realms of religious space, seeking to avoid the pull of the earth's gravity without success.
On the other side, the entire and efficient sufficiency of the Bible and its Christ to meet the requisitions of rationality becomes clearer as all other efforts fail and fall. The gods, says Jeremiah 10:11, to be precise, "that have not made the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under these heavens." There is more than any law of thermodynamics in this, that, a natural thing for a design exposed to many vicissitudes; for God Himself is against caricature, plagiarism and false identity, masquerading as Himself. He takes action, and will take much more (I Corinthians 15:24, Revelation 19:19).
Constructing a god, specious operation, whether acknowledged or merely possessed of features of the divine, is a way of seeking to claim this earth. God however will starve these gods, exhibit their nullity. It is the God whose works declare Him, whose word exhibits His will, whose revelation demonstrates Him and whose promises performed confirm Him who is to be served. Other gods are dislimned, to use a word of John Buchan, dematerialised if material, denuded of form if not, to a decreed doom! Often you see this being done.
God has done this with many gods successively, not least in Egypt at the Exodus, when He parodied the imaginary divine powers of the gods of Egypt by using their domains for a curse; and He has wrought it in empires coming and going as shown in Daniel for example, in Jeremiah and in Isaiah (cf. The Pitter-Patter ... Ch. 4, SMR Chs. 8 - 9, Christ the Citadel Ch. 2, Highway of Holiness Ch. 4, Ch. 10, for example). Their gods arrogate (cf. Isaiah 37:10ff.), but God determines the end of their day (cf. Isaiah 37:22ff.). Their gods may even be made to storm against God as did Sennacherib (II Kings 19:27), amid his elevation of his own power as if it were supra-divine (II Chronicles 32:12-13). They move on scene and off, as actors with the script already written; and that, it has been in His word for millenia. He exposes what is true and false through His word, and acts accordingly, not sanctifying any grab for power via gods, but exposing it.
That is good; for what you do not make, it is hardly yours, unless you purchase it; and to purchase the universe is beyond the pocket of what did not make it, since that power is unique in kind, that of the One God who is infinite. The false god highway to hypnotising man so that a highway may be built for putting the universe to one's account, it is well-travelled; but it is full of storms and desolations (cf. Isaiah 13:17ff.; Ezekiel 27-28 esp. 28:1-7).
An infinite mind with an infinite value makes what is beyond all finite pockets. He cannot be bought (Judas sold Him, but this is the opposite), either direct or by quasi-divine proxy. He cannot be equalled. His word empirically rules. It is good therefore to see these things in their applied form.
To fail to show the reason for the faith, or the Gospel, or its grounds, or diagnosis or prognosis for those who severally reject and receive it, rightly dividing the word of God and applying what it says to all that claims to be optional outside it, is not merely a duty, a responsibility, as when one has a certified and authoritative cure for a serious disease; but it is also a course for love. If one of my own brothers is not yet delivered from the cultural evils of our day, am I to have a 'love' for him which stays silent while he chugs to an evil end ? Only a madman or dreamer could think so.
BASICS - What we are about
SMR Chapter 1 with TMR Chs. 1, 6 and 7 as an extension, form a base. This gives a systematic coverage of both the logical and basic empirical points moving to God:
that He is, Who He is and How He may be Found.
That relates to Sections 1-3.
Section 4 provides a view of the system of logical coverage.
Section 5 gives a broadening of the scope for consideration as we move from effect to cause, and from that to results, once more, in verification.
Section 6 deals with validity and allied areas of our conspectus.
Section 7 deals with Reality in Christ.
While the point is one, since these components are not short, they come in Sections.
For this Chapter 1, there are six Sections.
In covering the thrust to its end, some things in terms of direction of flow are useful to understand at the outset, so that the very arising of the mountains to the sight, includes some of the devastation of those optical erratics which normally confound the spectator in a whirled tour, leading only to illusion. Some introduction to negativity therefore occurs even in the unveiling of the positive, leading to God, even as here, at the outset. To the extent appropriate at this first stage, therefore, variable input is given here concerning fault lines in certain underlying popular erections of thought.
Section I : SMR Ch. 1
Section 2: TMR Chs. 1, 6,
Section 3: TMR Ch. 7
Section 4: What is the Chaff to the Wheat Chs. 3 and 4.
Section 5: Christ Incomparable Ch. 2
Scaling the Heights ...Ch. 5,
It Bubbles, It Shrieks, He Calls Ch. 9,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7,
Little Things Ch. 5
The Secular, the Sacred and the Sublime Ch. 5
Deliverance from Disorientation Chs. 7 and 8
Waiting for Wonder Appendix.
For broader reference, see also Licence for Liberty.
While religion's errors (Chapter 4, Section 3, below) have provoked the Lord, profaned His name and polluted this world, the reason why it is what it is (cf. Romans 1), logic's necessities remain keen and clean (cf. SMR Chs. 1, 3, 5, 6), just as much of the beauty and precision of the creation remains intact, exuberant (Grand Biblical Perspectives Ch. 3, Appendix, Bewilderment, Bedazzlement, Bedevilment or the Beauty of Christ's Holiness Ch. 3), and even fascinatingly wonderful (The Secular, the Sacred and the Sublime Ch.1).
In Section 6, to follow, accordingly, the necessity of the invisible, its operation even in those denying it, the actuality of conscience, however diseased in its operational function, the scope of what life is, that its Maker be sought, and the nature of liberty is pointedly presented.
Thus the ludicrous reductionism of having
|the MIND of man
the offspring of what is initially KNOWN only by its application,
dependent on it, when if this were unknown, erratically based, not rational in content,
then all the rest is more so, including the reductionist theory which says so:
were mind in man invalid, all other fields become more so, all its propositions.
|the area of error
and purpose made into that of irrelevant manipulability,
when error is even meaningless if all were determined,
when in fact, error is experienced, in principle and often in practice,
is subjectible to removal by investigation and application,
being sought to be avoided,
or even wilfully made if this will fulfil some purpose, as the case may be;
knowledge to proclaim about this arena based on absolute truth,
which is neither there nor knowable on the materialist model, and on any other deterministi
efflorescence, unchievable and hence incapable of proclamation, all such theories
being self-destructive by their model's preconceived assumptions;
|guilt an insanity
in the entire race, and not the product of known contemplation,
principles and variable input in the light of each of various possible alternate paths,
either avoided or taken with reason and preference,
while what is tempting is discarded on grounds of systematic coherence of purposeful plan,
or else granted place in known violation of the same, despite its being preferred;
imagination, with multiple and imaginatively individual ambits, a mere
and not as it is, one of the chief impactive inputs of history: and indeed
provocative non-sense, when the knowledge and presence and
options involved in the presence of God makes all this resolvable, meaningful,
comprehensible without exception or problem: it is a type of spiritual disease,
of blindness, which is not limited to physical sight, but can be moral, mental and spiritual as well.
When the work of reason leaves no option but that contrary which is irrationalism, or God, then this which is not so based, is only the more exhibited in its nullity. Then the empirical attestations of what is observable systematically, again, fortify and establish in perfect logical symmetry, what reason has shown; for not only is the arena of data obstructive to other options, but confirmatory of the realm of deity, giving place and grace and face to mankind.
In this, the combination of rational and empirical is shown, and the number of cases where this has verifiable backing constitutes ONE realm that knows no discomfort but only congratulation. God is good to have made it all so eminently coherent.
God knows His own mind and those who examine and opt variously for a dozen or so errors, popular but inaccurate, inadequate, unverified, unvalidated, and make of these ground for rejection of the God of creation and redemption, when PERFORMANCE has long since resolved reason's cry and appeal: these are but 'getting in first', their noise and self-applause in unbounded breaking of the bonds of reality. It is indeed as in Psalm 2. Do, by all means, so proceed; but it will not at all affect what God does at the last, did at the first, or has said of the interim, which comes to pass not only as stated, but in the sequence given, where so stated.
Truth lasts, evidences itself, needs no buttress, fells trees of spurious growth like an axeman.
You see this exemplified superbly in Jesus Christ, and often in Paul who was bent on "casting down imaginations and bringing every thought into captivity to Christ" (II Corinthians 5:10), BUT by the power of truth, not through the force of any earthly might that merely sheds blood because there is no other power in view. Why is it now so shed ? It is because truth is not otherwise repelled, and error is not otherwise sated in the final desperations of wilfully erratic man, the blind leading the blind to mutual destruction, unless in the mercies of God, deliverance be found where grace, mercy and peace may be found, in absolute truth of the absolute God who has made man not relative to vanity, but to Himself.
On the other hand, liberty gives meaning and potential authenticity to love, character, the admirable and the shameless, as to worship and holiness.
Christ has the position succinctly: He IS the truth (John 14:6). You can (and they did) kill Him; but this is both physiological and symbolic: for He rose and truth itself with Him, for it is inseparable from Him, the LOGOS in whom, and by whom and through whom it is exhibited.
TMR Ch. 5,
Barbs ... 6 and 7,
Sparkling Life ... Ch. 4, Repent or
Perish Ch. 7,
Deity and Design ... Section 8.
Here the purpose is overview, but the text is presented to facilitate this. Section 6 makes a specialisation of some things which appear earlier.
Reality in Christ
Here we look to the investigation of the very mode, model of man, in the light of the necessary and revealed majesty and might of the Creator who has not abdicated to irrationality, the fool, or any band of them (Psalm 53 cf. Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 8). Nor has He retired from watchful oversight, even He who made our time with its necessities of waiting, an original invention, fit for man whom He infinitely surpasses. It is He who makes an exhibition of man's options, near with eternal life in His gift, but exclusion available to man. It is He who makes life with its kinds in the spirit, a thing experienceable in history and individual, in violation or culmination; and not caring to be uncaring, but concerned with giving, and having all things and nothing to gain, imparts blessedness for those who are in the truth, by His self-declared method, redemption. As to that, this too is not some stilted concept, but one vested in flesh, carted to the Cross, realised in resurrection, imparted by the power of the Holy Spirit to man. Such things, being alone valid for logic, are also incessantly necessary for life.
Christ Incomparable Ch. 2, 3, 7
Scaling the Heights ...Ch.
The Magnificence of the Messiah
SMR pp. 520-532,
TMR Chs. 2 - 3,
Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix II, Sinners Only, with 17
With Heart and Soul, Mind and Strength Ch. 7
Waiting for Wonder Ch. 10 - Waiting for Things Most Wonderful,
What lusts for no God, or Settles with No Clear View
SMR Chapter 10 is provided, on atheism and nebulosities, where it is implied or demonstrable, however unintended. These include Hinduism and Buddhism.
SMR pp. 983 -1010, 1011-1026,
Roaring Silence and Not Silencing God,
Chapter 4, Appendix below.
Secular atheism, or naturalism with an implicit deity aspect, on an agnostic or atheistic base is considered in its religious aspect. See Introduction to The gods of naturalism have no go!
Glory, Vainglory and Goodness
Stepping out for Christ Ch. 9.
Communism is considered in its naturalistic and empirical setting.
News 37, News 98
Four Types of Agnostic
Here again there is settlement with no clear view. In one case (call it Type A Agnosticism), the point is the avoidance of deity. Alleged ignorance is used as a ground for bypassing deity completely, and it is a name for attitudinal atheism, tempered by tampering with words. In the end, to KNOW that there is no absolute source of knowledge is self-contradictory, since to know it you need it.
Type B Agnosticism is more direct according to the root of the term: they do not know, and believe there is, must be, either, someone, something, either, there or somewhere, or operative in some way, or that it was operative, or could have been operative. Here ignorance does not specify, except that there is something beyond sight which is needed. That however is conviction, and if a position, and without absolute truth sitting ready for picking, is as illogical as atheism. If, moreover, this can be absolutely known, why not use the same logic to find out what it is ? If you deem it impossible, then you are in Type A, crippled by the conditions of your own model. If, on the other hand, it is a simple failure to find out, it is not a position but a stage. SMR for example does this, and just as Paul says the deity's power and nature are obvious (Romans 1:17ff.), so it is.
In other words, this type of agnosticism considers that the ultra-mundane certainly was or is operative, but what it is in order to operate, it either cannot or will not define. If it will not, this is simply irrational. If the case is simply deemed not admit of this, whatever one might wish, then it is authoritarian without ground, and in the same grip as atheism once more. It is founded on what it denies, in fact, upon a reality which not only exists but which it DOES cognise systematically to this vast extent of this scope of its relatability.
Where then is this type of faith to be found ? Why, it is in the religionist, the agnostic, who proceeds in no small measure, by apportioning certain of its qualities, be they positive or negative in proclamation, by means of reason; also known are significant interaction capacities or incapacities, both of the truth and of the enquirer, and this without a quiver.
To give reasons for the nature of the case at any sphere when reason is deemed incompetent, is an exercise in futility. Either it can tell the nature of the case there, or it cannot. If not, then telling is untruth. If it can, then untrue is the claim that it cannot.
Moreover, if man cannot attain there, neither could the speaker do so, to assert anything concerning the unattainable; but if you do anyway, then it is simple authoritarianism, not relevant to rational enquiry, or the giving of reasons, and irrational because self-contradictory to boot.
Type C Agnosticism considers that it certainly was or is operative, and admits freely that it can be defined somewhat, is not utterly unknown, but to the extent in is, it is not to the point of influencing conduct more than in the most generic of fashions, and this, it too varies.
It is ALL about not knowing, either as show or short-circuit. Here the partial character of the case cannot disguise what it is doing. It is authoritatively declaring that there is a LIMIT, that it knows this, and that this is available to it from absolute truth, which on this model does not exist, since if you knew this, you are very far from being agnostic. You would simply be one with a task not yet done.
If, however, you say it CANNOT be identified though extant, your authoritarian basis certainty is no less, and requires the same absolute truth for its expression, as was the case before. If you assert you can PROVE it cannot be identified, this merely intensifies your assumptions contrary to agnosticism. For this, you need absolute logical validity, absolute knowledge of this, and since this is by model excluded, the position has no logical standing.
In this way, it needs what it denies, in order to stand; and if it stood, it would therefore at once have to fall. Even if you state your position to be this: that there is something beyond, and you may not be able to prove that the reality cannot be identified: even then, you have absolute knowledge of the existence of this beyond, and have left work undone; and for that you need absolute truth. If you say that you know nothing, just don't know, then it is time to commence using logic to find its resultant, test it with internal and external modes of investigation, and cease repose. That then is not a position but a phase.
It might be added that if absolute truth is deemed to exist without being revelatory, communicative, then you are the conduit and the basis, since it all depends on what you can achieve, like a sculptor with a stone. You are the dynamic and your powers are the tool. You need to KNOW however that it is there, and its mode of operation, in order to know such intimacies of its limits, modes and manners re revelatory inclination, disposition or action. This is not agnosticism, in that you have certain knowledge not only that it is there, but how much of it is available and its condition or preference. You are then into the matter quite deeply.
For this to be knowable, you need to know with a knowledge both absolute and sure. That in turn means its existence and your sure access to it. This is faith in a specific situation, absolute in basis, and hence not agnosticism, but in principle knowledge-based, and self-contradictory in that certain knowledge is its basis although you do not know, are in vague incertitude because of the case. It is not an agreeable tolerance, but an assured, non-logical assertion.
In all cases, types, what IS affirmed is that God is not being explicitly excluded. It is only a question of the degree of 'might be' involved. In NO case is revelation of an objective, testable, reliable character in view. Where it is implicit, it is a confusion of models. Where it is explicit, it is their denial.
Thus in any case, what is the case, what is the basis, what is the cause, what is the foundation for understanding in life, this is either deemed utterly unknown, or partially, and there is no way for articulating a causal relationship with life, except in the most vague manner.
Agnosticism type D would have it that it is possible that there is something somewhere concerning the disposition of events, their arrival, over them, to some extent at least, accounting for them.
In this case however the term 'possible' is the clue. If it is POSSIBLE, then the nature of the case is KNOWN to that extent, so that this involves a sound knowledge of it. This announcement concerning possibility is like that of a mathematician who is so versed in his craft and its referent, that he impresses you by what he rules in and out of the domain, knowledge grasping its overall nature to an impactive and impressive degree. If such knowledge is there, then the character of the case is not at all unknown, but a profound awareness of it in in tow. If such knowledge is operative, then the procedure to work on an available domain is merely a matter of action. This too, it is a mere staging post, excluding nothing, achieving little because inert to effort. There is here no impenetrable greatness or wonder to which your humble and submissive soul attends, but lack of traction through not deploying the feet in the running shoes.
Let us consider it briefly then.
If the case is that the person is not sure whether there is anything there, holds that it just might be, or might not, then the position follows in this way. Either it is possible that it is there, or it is not. If it is in fact possible that it is there, then the person knows so much about the possibilities of the case, and hence its structure and strictures, that he/she is far from agnosticism. There is a certain propositional knowledge about things ultimate, so that it is just a matter of applying oneself in the realm of logic to find out what is to be found. Until this is done, this is a way station, not a logical case; work needs to be done.
If on the other hand, it is deemed not possible that it is there, then the knowledge is even greater, and indeed, in its greatness is included this particular feature: that no absolute truth is available, there simply is not what could give it past the inter-relations and interactions of what is, so that there is nothing to render account. In that case, the speech/position/approach of the person claiming to be agnostic is unable to be true, since truth is unable to be. Hence, not being the truth, it is not an option for what is true.
Let us then move back to type C.
Agnosticism loses its point both terminologically and operationally when it declares that there is for example one God who created, and that is all that is known. In this case, it is very far from agnosticism, for it has a specific category reserved for creation and the One who did it, and moreover is most knowledgeable about what is NOT known. It knows the limits, the barriers and does not leave it open, but shuts the door with high affirmatory assurance. That is as near to not knowing, to agnosticism of any significant character, as is denial of gender as pertinent in any way to marriage. It is partial revelationism, by implicit modes, not designated, but operative.
As soon as any agnosticism becomes dogmatic, about possibilities or partial knowns, it departs from its cause, knowing what makes the partial partial of the whole, that this is so and a block for the whole bloc. In order to keep the verve, animus or even animation alive, it has to cut off dogmatism and rely on a certain degree of nebulosity. As soon however as it SETS limits as to what CAN be known, IS knowable, then it is no more agnosticism in its essence, but a sort of nugatory authoritarianism, no less governing by decree than any other religion.
In fact, naturally, if you KNOW enough to exclude with authority what cannot be known, you CAN gain knowledge in this realm, HAVE in your opinion gained it, and this is so sure that you can tell others that their assumed or supposed knowledge is illusory. This means that you are set up with the light of this world, for otherwise you could not tell what was darkness, illusion. You have a testing device which is infallible as any pope claims his to be. Such devices are spurious. In all such cases, if reason is to be involved, the ground for this revelation has to be sought, shown and tested, exhibited and confirmed in every manner, rational, empirical, validatory.
In such cases as these noted, however, there is nothing whatever, but an assurance that this is it, all, and others just cannot see it.
The light with which to see this, however, is simply not provided.
In this respect, agnosticism labours under the oppressive burden of atheism: you deny in the former case, that certain things CAN be known, and in the latter, that their REFERENT is there. To be able to do this, you would need to know ultimate reality and to know that it was ultimate reality. For that, you have three options. Just say it - a kind of theological solipsism, which has nothing to do with logic, since it is affirmatory with no basis. Secondly, you can declare that logic is groundless and we are in a sea with mist and waves, buffeted and pitiable, or defiant, but shrouded in mist. For this authoritarian pronouncement, however, we need evidence, unavailable except ultimate truth be in existence and knowable. Moreover, it automatically and a priori removes validity from you own assertion.
For anyone denying or excluding God from defining premisses, in the field of reason, these necessities constitute two massive denials of the very position adopted. Further, if you affirm that it existed and did not communicate, you would have to show the grounds for such a view. Principles do not account for principles. You are back in the same position as before.
If it does not tell, then to be logically viable, you must find out. If it is because of the laws of logic that you know, then you become a potential theist at some way station. If it is because of some principle that you do not know, however, as this term refers merely to an operational description, you remain both an agnostic and an authoritarian, since to know this, in itself means you have access to absolute truth, which requires both that it is there, past the world of operations, and over it, beyond it, and this as well, that the obtaining of knowledge such as you have, is unaffected by your intrinsic dynamics which neither distort nor delimit it.
Knowing this without ground makes you authoritarian; and giving no rational ground for calling this thingummy creative either in advance pulling up, or behind pushing them into being, leaves you agnostic. You thus become an authoritarian agnostic, which is a mere contradiction in terms. It is a half-way house, without foundation, looming sadly in the dust of time.
If it be said that, an agnostic, you use logic to find out that there is impersonal absolute truth, then you become, as sustainer of said logic in your argumentation, and its application for derivative knowledge of your thingummy, the missing link. You are the defining absolute. You know. To you it is given to unwind absolute truth, without delimitation, alteration, pollution or deformity. To do this however, you need to be on a par with it, absolute in identifying capacity, understanding coherence and operative at all levels. The ground for such a view is that one does not know, that it is all beyond one in kind, and only vague apperception at best is possible. That ground and the performance are wholly contrary. It is rather like saying you are a pauper, and then in plain sight, counting your millions.
For such operations, you use absolute truth's existence and your capacity to entertain it, both as assumptions.
Neither of these is agnostic; each is knowledge. This could not be further from agnosticism or reality. For this model, to gain absolute truth at any time in any way requires not merely that it is there, but ground for your knowledge that this is the case. In you, thus must be a given, a datum, a grant, an assumption. Hence three data are gen for the case. Absolute truth IS there; you KNOW this and being able to operate faithfully in its domain, you can therefore DISASSEMBLE it or apply it to given points, such as describing its nature - that is, on this model, as impersonal. This is dogmatic religion, unhelped by the consent of reason, but found only when it is ground down, the general vagueness and the precise capacities of you as operator, being at entire variance.
So great is your capacity to move in the domain of absolute truth, that you can even discern a characteristic, and deny another. Here is finesse where knowledge cannot come, and operational power where the vague is rather than claim. This is begging when a prince, claiming nescience when knowledge is profound. It will not do. It is confused, self-contradictory and irrational.
If however you merely think it so, undogmatic, conceiving yourself as a series of successive ideational impressions, then you might appear agnostic indeed. However, either the said conception itself, is true or false. If true, then you are are automatically deprived of truth by the model itself. You cannot get there from here. If false, since you merely think it so, then you are able to operative only because your basis for agnosticism is false. If false, so is the model's basis. Neither is a sustainable position for telling us anything.
To be right, firstly you need absolute truth, secondly its accessibility, and thirdly NOT therefore simply to be of the kind just noted: the concurrence of impressions in a body not constituting or possessing the absolute in itself. You need to be a fellow to absolute truth, able to know it and to move in that realm. These data are to be granted at the outset. If however they be granted, then the remaining in such a situation, when such powers are given, is a mere way station, with the results unexplored. It is moreover a perverse way station, being rationally grounded and yet sitting in the middle layers of air. Take these assumptions and go, like a relay runner; or stay put as an agnostic without them, and be irrational.
Indeed, in any situation where principles of operation are in view for an agnostic position, the very notion of principles has to be examined. If they are based on nothing, nothing is their validity. If on something, then their validity depends on this basis and their operation. If there is no absolute basis, but it comes from is defined to lack this, then they are null in validity. If they lead to antinomy, they are worse then useless. Principles to be operative must show themselves effective, lead to what affirms itself assuredly, be not only workable but effective in their domains; not antinomian hacks.
What then of agnostic religion ? This is authoritarian religion. No amount of detail alters this foozle, worse than a bad shot, for it lacks even the ground for making it. Whatever you wish to affirm you can, but only on the basis of absolute truth, there and in principle available.
If however you declare that the truth is impersonal as far as you can see, and that there is no known way of knowing it, you are still the same, because of your unmitigated authority. If you declare that it is impersonal and you can see no way of knowing it, you are still the same, as you have access to an absolute truth which you deny, being merely self-contradictory. You KNOW it is impersonal. Again, it is merely an irrational model.
If however you merely declare that as far as you can see, it is impersonal, and that therefore there is nothing that can be declared about God, the position does not change. So long as the 'therefore' is in place, the 'impersonal' is also. It changes only when you declare that it appears to you to be impersonal and unknowable, but that you might be wrong and the issue is open for discussion with no grounds for prior determination, affirming just this, that you DO NOT KNOW, then you are becoming agnostic. This is as distinct from using an alleged absence of knowledge to determine what may be known, which is mere knowledge disguised.
If then you are in this more consistent position, that you think that there might appear to be no absolute truth, but that this might be proved wrong, and that there are all kinds of possibilities, or many, which can be investigated, then are you agnostic without self-contradictory authoritarianism. This however is mere lack of enterprise; for it MAY be determined, by your own admission in such a case; and the work simply has not been done. It is like saying that the world might be a machine or a void, but one has to seek to find out, and who knows what may be found: that is immaturity, rather than a position. It is inchoate. It talks, but it does not labour; it makes utterance, but it does not apply what is left open, preferring merely sleep.
In principle, as soon as you know ANYTHING, such as this, that there is one God, or a principle, or series of principles which constitute the ultimate ground, or cause, or operational reality for this universe, you are not agnostic. It is only when you are not sure and do not specify any aspect of the case, that you are in that position, rather than a cryptic authoritarian, ex-rationality.
Even if you say that God may be there, or may not, you are affirming objective truth of possibilities. That is a position. It does not stand automatically. It depends on a perspective, on absolute truth. If you say that as far as you can see, God may be there, or may not, or something may be there, ultimate, over all, the ground of operations and their cause, then you are not invading knowledge from nescience, and hence are agnostic. What however of such a simple lack of knowledge ?
If you DO NOT know this, but believe it may be found out, you are merely inchoate. If you KNOW ANYTHING about what CANNOT be or MUST be in the realm of the ultimate, then you are not agnostic, but either a cryptic smuggler of divine attributes, or what requires them, or confused or both. The agnostic position, or model, as a logical enterprise, therefore, is merely a way-station with all stops open, or a smuggling unit with illicit imports. Either way, in itself, it is not relevant to serious study.
See Predestination and Freewill, and in particular Section IV. See also SMR Ch. 5 and Ch. 10.
For further on negation and negatives in religion, see Appendix to Chapter 4 below.
In general, religions which take these positions are in the some category logically. Few or many noses, as Voltaire has it, do not constitute truth. Masses may be, and often are, wrong. Logical exercises are not determined by multitudes, and stand or fall on their own capacity to be sustained in validity, empirically and operationally. When logic leads, by exclusion of failures, to a result which is testable and being valid, is validated by configuration, confirmed by operation, and affirmed by the sufficiency of what is reached, then the entirety being self-sufficient and the evidence of this being made plain for evaluation, the case is as closed as it was open.
Such is that for the God of the Bible, who sent Jesus Christ; and this, it has no competitors, nothing else both valid and empirically testable. Moreover, here, every nuance of challenge is met by the sheer extent and vigour of truth, which rebuts assault with a directness which power has, and has because truth is back of it. For this, see *A.
Implicit, Inherent and Residual Religion
Inherent Religion: EVOLUTION AS RELIGION- in The Kingdom of Heaven, Appendix, is one exponent here. This is illustrated in the case of naturalism, and again something similar is found in what ?
Implicit Religion ...It is found in flying trapeze acts in which ghostly presences are invented to raise up things, like a man pulling along a dog on a leash, instead of having a Sergeant-Major kicking from behind. Teleology, Advance Guards and Spectres.
History, Review and Overview (Ch. 4), Ch. 5
This includes references to residual religions, or tribal ones, with varied attestations which can be promoted, or were, some with significant areas of soundness, but detached from the amplitude required for the collation of reason, inspiration and revelation that can be demonstrated
In this case, what stands lacks its source and is in one sense like mistletoe, inadequate as a residue.
This is inclusive of its all but pervasive, and often militant intolerance of criticism, significant disparagement of women and undue reward system for battle waging soldiery. Its inadequacy is shown in its failure to provide conclusive and continual testing and apt result for the same, focus on unratified vision and force in its meaning, in its time of starting, manner of establishment, dependence logically on both New and Old Testament material, however much transmuted and contradiction of the same, simultaneously. Its resort to force from the first as a foundational means of satisfying God is shown false from the first.
More Marvels ... Ch. 4, esp. *4,
Lord of Life Ch. 3 (and force)
Tender Times for
Timely Truth Ch.
8 (in perspective), see also
Divine Agenda Ch. 6,
Highway to Hell
(Koran citations in both, with ideational parallels in perspective,
in the former; and in the latter, futile depravities in endless ideologies
such as Sudan has shown so significantly)
Red Alert Ch.
6 (and the Koran, citations), Ch. 10,
(provides correlative references), and on this see
Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, *1A
(misconceptions about the Cross, variable and mutually conflicting,
on the part of the Koran, with its holes, pitfalls noted).
Divine Agenda Ch. 6 (citations from the Koran and from a blighting history).
This is used in this setting to mean the religion of Israel in the Old Testament, such as came through that self-same land, a divine direction, without the New Testament, a relinquishment leaving only a residue.
973A at *24,
Christ the Citadel Ch. 2, Highway of Holiness Ch. 4,
see especially *A.
and Ch. 7.
Sects and Errors.
This includes a simple exhibition of the types of errors which make various religious contributions unacceptable on a logical schema, and it outlines the grounds for including some religions as sects. See SECTS and ERRORS.
It is broad in its survey, and stresses the point that many types of religion are nothing other than mistletoe species, with no slightest demonstrable logical ground for their survival. Their life depnds on the fact that their basis is what does have such grounds, and their misleading and spurious ground is this, that they have left that basis, while keeping this or that part of it, more or less molested, adjusted or infested. It is rather like a son with a famous father, who goes so far, by that name, and adding a very different dynamic of his own, is launched upon the earth: but without the father, none would have considered the son to be of any significant authority.
An increasing part of what would once have been called Christendom, but now would be called the religious wash with particular reference to sects, is achieving notoriety, money and fame with the name of Jesus Christ either blatantly re-invented in another setting, or ensconced in some kind of would-be acceptance. It is as it was foretold (II Peter 2, Matthew 24:24).
From a strategic perspective (cf. Dastardly Dynamics ... Ch. 6 .), this is a fine way to diversify doctrine, divide churches, discount reality and create a sense of the illusory about religion, hence increasing the impact of a feeling of religious rabble on the part of many. Satan naturally likes to create such a scenario, for it takes away the sharp focus which is available on the logic of the Lord and the truth of the incomparably verificatory, and uniquely logically valid Bible,*1 from the popular mind.
Where abuses occur in such doctrinally recidivist, renegade or imaginatively recreative bodies, who do not stop even at re-creating their Creator, this helps the adversary still more. Thus such references, however corrupted, to Jesus Christ, ones that they illicitly use, can then be made helpful to his diabolical unholiness, as he seeks by all and any means to discredit the actuality of holiness, which He abhors, and to avoid the inescapable place and power of this same Jesus Christ (cf. Christ, the Wisdom and the Power of God ... Ch. 8, Repent or Perish Ch. 2, The Magnificence of the Messiah). If some sect kills Christians, as alas has happened to a vast extent, or seeks to rule nations by force, this is evil done TO them, not by them; but Satan can then make it appear, through his diligent use of confusion, that this, their suffering, is in some way not to be peered into too far, but pleasant to the slanderer's soul, their FAULT.
Indeed, such is his genius for deception, that some would even by these very things be persuaded that the Christians DID it, rather than endured it. Many wonder about hell; but when evil becomes endemic, slaughter of truth a way of life, intentional or other, and mischief with unruliness passionately possessive of the soul, what but shame, grief and exclusion can result; and how can a limited soul forever be appeased, when its very core is corrupt, and its reclamation is dismissed with laughter! (Isaiah 57:15-16).
As the return of this same Jesus Christ is verifiably now near (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), this is the time for the adversary to drum up support for rebellion, and like people with low physical resistance to bodily disease, many succumb to his entreaties and allurements to spiritual corruption. On many of his methods (25 are in view here), see Dastardly Dynamics ... Ch. 6 .
╬FOR MORE ON CHAPTERS 3 AND 4,
SEE CHAPTER 5, WHERE THE SYNTHESIS IN VIEW
INCORPORATES SOME OF THE COMPONENTS,
Appendix to Chapter 4
For the Appendix Itself, Click here.
For further developments, see the End of this Introduction
This Appendix melds various assaults on the Bible, some with subtlety attached, such as liberalism, neo-orthodoxy, neo-evangelicalism, anti-fundamentalism, Alpha course, extreme Pentecostalism, with other modes of nullifying absolute authority from God Himself. In many such ways, there has been assault on His word, given without man's additions or subtractions, over the millenia past; and like a readily capsized boat, this has gone on and off, useless and ineffectual, but the urge to do it, like an itch, has continued. Nevertheless, the Bible's unique in verification and validation continues as does a lake, when a mosquito walks on a small particle of it.
The departures include philosophical elements found in common with Buddhism, Hinduism and certain New Age and allied works, and certain Sufi approaches, such that once more the word of God is to be nullified prior to consideration. The idea of God as “Essence without likeness,” resembles other mysticisms of the agnostic kind, so superior that facts drop away. On the other side, the same trend is apparent in another way, in particular in Bayazid Tayfur al-Bistami's belief in the Unity of all religions. Thus, when asked the question: "How does Islam view other religions?" His reply was "All are vehicles and a path to God's Divine Presence."
In these ways, as in many others with different inflections of nescience in the interests of abstraction, and abstraction in the interests of ultimacy, many a religion of mysticism moves from some base, in Sufi's case, Islam (which appears willing to suffer it provided all the other ideas are somehow intact) to an eerie, arcane, mystic uncertainty, rich in feeling, feeble in content, in which nothingness is allied with conviction.
All such things in the end have the same trend: nullify the word and elevate the sensibility, and in the process, decrease the content of the sensibility until it becomes a communion of a kind, without personal intimation, propositional indication or existential identification. This is the trend.
There are two ways of coming to a rather similar end.
The one approach, more specifically Western, tends to start with the personal, self-revealing God, and distance from Him by irrational philosophy added, as in the base of Kant, who knew enough about the matter to know its unknowability and a great deal more also, in sustained antithesis; but he kept discreetly the propositional side out of anything too specific, seeking to universalise propositions without declared ultimate personality, or logical warrant, with matters torn magically from the unknowable*G. The other, more readily found in Eastern religions, tends to start with directly negative considerations, so as to outlaw such a word from God as is final, unique, non-additive, direct, propositional and HIS only. They seek to add this or that, at another level.
When allied with other religious modes, there can be a kind of basement where such stuff is hoarded, but the mystic approach leaves that there, and in its own way, does not seem to bother with a content in the ultimate when confronting it, or seeking it to the uttermost. In some, there is the added feature of trying to make all things into one, or one as really all, in absolute terms, which of necessity makes the 'one' to be a unity of opposites and a conglomerate of the inchoate, missing by mysticism who God actually is. Thus it separates from the One who speaks how and to whom He pleases, as He pleases, and deals with what displeases Him in certain terms; the One on whom all depends, without whom nothing is all, so that we become an anomaly, not a creation. Logically, this being impossible, these paths are out of the way, a peril to pilgrims seeking the Almighty.
In all these things there is one element in common: the essential trend is away from word, from its control, presence, particularity, to non-word, awareness, of silence, the roaring kind*H or not. When universalising is sought without authoritative revelation in such modes, then the question is always relevant: On what basis are you universalising duty ?
Kant's categorical imperative, his directive DUTY arises from a source only distantly muted from its Christian basis, and since his unknowable noumena*G is like so many other constructions of man, removed from intellection, the authority of his idea is illicit. Making his worlds of phenomena as we have them, and his invention of noumena, as he seeks to demarcate, the latter surging off into the realm of what is deemed to be uninformative because unformulable, he makes his walls of separation: God is on one side, boxed up, and we on the other! The attempt to waft in what is excluded in advance through the very walls of non-intellection, and so talk freely about what is and what is not in his noumena box, is just one more mystic miasma, seeking to exclude the specificity but doing so at the cost of self-contradiction.
It is with all these religious motifs the same in one thing: there is a trend, as it were by tanks and artillery, troops of anti-truth, non-specificity, vagueness, nullification, moving in on the principle of reverence, tearing down what stands, removing structures of thought, or transcending them, so that they appear as tiny scraps in the distance, as viewed from Olympus.
It is not the height of the view which is the trouble, for God is most high, but the insistence on removing field glasses which is the problem which destroys such approaches. IN ADVANCE, a personal, propositionally active, self-declarative, this and not that, God of will and solution, remedy and instruction, annunciation and speech, not sensibility merely, is distanced if not deleted, in principle or in practice.
It is the attack from many kinds and conditions of religion, on the God who first of all created, then man having fallen and desecrated the creation, judged, and then propounded remedy, and sent it, and so holds man accountable in highly unmystic ways. It is the assault on Him who with authority provides factual confrontation and requires repentance in faith towards the remedy of God. These wrecker movements act like virtual bulldozers against the positive, self-revealing, self-identification and characterisation of God, against such an array of reality as God is and declares. In one way or another, they move from a God who though infinite and the source of reverence without limit, is very much active concerning the mankind
whose powers of understanding He
whose powers of will He constructed,
whose actions He considers and
whose ways He judges,
to whose cognition He speaks and
whose welfare He seeks in THIS way
and not that,
God is not satisfied with being silenced, even if in the name of reverence! He cannot be distanced by devices, making Him in principle inarticulate, or merging Him with His creation, all left as a self-contradictory, made and unmade complex of confusion. In fact - and facts are important in life and heart, both - nowhere but in Christ is the malady of man itemised with divine remedy categorically specified, propositions to the uttermost, this coincident with worship and reverence and contemplation and the knowledge of God. Here the ultimate of mystic - if you like the term: deep inward contemplation and fellowship with God is linked with His most intimate and ultimate word, and this to obedience to this, His word (John 14:21-23), so that there is no dissociation.
Nor is His word too hard (I John 5:2-5), for His commandment, which is "not grievous", is instilled with a love which is no mere intellectual formulation, nor any cold charity, a matter of generic self-discipline for religious bravado or desire, but one founded on WHO God is and WHAT He is like. His greatness is not in vagueness, for He is who He is as He declares (Exodus 6:3), HIGHLY specific as in Exodus 33:12-23, 20:1ff.. He moves cardinally to sacrifice as cover for sin (Genesis 22:6-19), has a plan for nations (Genesis 12, 15, 17, Daniel 7, 9), for the world, and a mind very much of His own.
Being great does not mean being vague, being God does not mean being unattainable, but not subject to presumption. It does not need affective semi-consciousness in an absconding mind, but a mind alert for the love of His revelation in propositions, couched in inter-personal relationship, one so intense in personal love that the very source of it is found beyond all that mankind is given.
In this there is no negativity of abstraction, but specificity of revelation. The worship is not away from a knowable and personal reality, but TO it! God is known, and not unknown; and indeed to know God and the specific declaration in Jesus Christ, His eternal word made flesh, this IS eternal life, a base now and assurance for ever (John 17:1-3). Such is the word of that alone testable, continually verified and alone logically valid presentation concerning God and man, the Bible (cf. SMR, and see *A).
Linkage is NOT precluded but included and required; and it is not to silence but to the word of the God who speaks, and through it, to Himself. To be sure, 'be still and know that I am God' is elemental in this, but it is an aspect, not a way to nescience of understanding and knowledge.
Removal of features in the One who is divine, in God Himself, by some sort of religious progression, in short, is mere byway from knowing who God is, what He has done; and this tends to come from, or lead to a god of some kind, who bears the name, but is adaptable and adjustable in practice to anything from Buddhistic non-personal existence, a form of atheism with many things to worship in some way spun off, to gods a-plenty, but all in a realm which is to be reconciled with concept that 'one is all', with ideas in collision with themselves, as with WHO He is.
This approach of negativity can cohere with no gods at all, but principles, which can come from under the cover of no categories, a trend for the 'silence' attributed in much of this, to the divine. This is done in quite remarkable ways. Principles and procedures seem quite able to make themselves felt, even from the negatived one. Inconsistency and incoherence necessarily comes when an ultimate is a composure of all, or a name for all; and they do not fail to oblige.
From all such efforts to combine all things, or have all things as all, apart from the God of creation, in principle or practice, ignoring causation's necessity and abhorring the realities of mind by which such propositions can be formulated in the first place, end in self-contradictions, or else have a separate compartment for the things you have to do, not related, and in effect, without logical basis.
Sometimes, there is thus this shrinkage so that intense religious pursuits can come in the end only to what cannot even be formulated; and this, it is a diversion of deadly consequence (John 3:15-19,36). Indeed, it has an irrational character, moving further and further from proclaimed religion, with negative searchings that bring in fog and diffusion till the result, moving in the same direction as the desire, is muted.
These things, from Western philosophy or Eastern mysticism, are one in this, that the living God and His self-revelation is fogged up, fobbed off, in principle, because He as Creator, causative of consequence, maker of the universe, infinite over the finite, personal over persons, basis of life in every category and judge of all He has made, is bypassed in the ultimate. It is a most expensive way of avoiding what He requires, which is not to waft off into negativity, nullity in principle or in practice, but to walk on to find Him, and to meet with Him, who is not at all satisfied with philosophic compilations which exclude His voice; but instead, just as He acted in creation, so He insists on action for it. Man must repent, return, receive Him as redeemer from the sins which have ruined this world and billions in it with untold lying, deceit and persecutions, and find the way that GOD has provided, not the summit of his own inwardness.
Indeed, God has spoken freely in the Bible concerning the reason for this waywardness in mankind as in Ephesians 4:17-24; nor is it new, though it is currently enhanced as the Age draws near its end (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5).
Indeed, just such nostalgia for nature instead of seeking for the God of creation and redemption, would come like fits on ancient Israel, as their prophets showed often enough (cf. Jeremiah 2:13,25,27,31,36, 3;2,11-15, 4:1-2,14, 5:3-13, 18:14-18). Alas, these and allied movements away from alliance with the invariant God of creation and redemption, beautiful in holiness and immutable in truth, are endemic in the condition of fallen mankind. Abusing his own mind and place before God, he is blinded and without hope, except in the light of the One who IS it, the light of this world, Jesus the Christ (John 8:12, 9:4-5), sent after so long, and so much propositional prophecy, at last, at the time appointed centuries before (cf. Christ the Citadel Ch. 2).
Sent for what ? The Christ, Jesus was commissioned to do what is required that man might find the Lord in His beauty, in reality and not negative or transformative disguise, the work of the heart of man. "Say to the cities of Judah, 'Behold your God!' " was the prophecy and not to them only (Isaiah 40:10, 49:6); and it was found enacted in the fulfilment (John 1:29, 8:58, 14:1-12).
Whether, therefore, negativity about what can be known about God STARTS in the very centre of the religion, or simply comes in later, the result is the same. The word of the living God, the Bible, becomes ostensibly eroded, or reportedly exploded, or imploded, or slowly corroded, depending on the case, and this man, this Christ, is reconstructed or deconstructed and included somewhere or other as something or other (clown, revolutionary, you name it). That is the result within Christianity, when rebels seek to kidnap it and take it into the nescience, the unknowable, changing the characterisation of Christ, careless of history and prophecy, re-writing with their vacuous words, the word of God, and making a new character using the old name, effortless without shame: Christ manufacturers.
This is done to meet popular demand to misuse His name and its BASIS, and apply it to the credit of philosophical religions which do not in fact have that basis, or any rational basis, lacking a place in the realm of logic, where they can stand. Always, however, one must use the mind that is misused in denial of its own realities, apply what God has given and not bypass it, employ this mind consistently and pursue the facts to Him who is not far from any one of us.
If one seeks, it is not He who diverts. So men may move to Him who made them, and finding reason satisfied only in revelation which confirms itself on all sides, be victorious over confusion with a clarity singular, sufficient and interminable. The beauty of it is not least in this: that it is THERE, HE has PROVIDED, certified it, validated it, shown by power His presence and by proposition His will and intentions, testable and solid. Even His salvation, Jesus Christ, CAME to us, not in mist, but in manhood, and is still there to receive (John 1:14), before judgment sets in.
What then ? Instead of this simplicity and triumph, this resolution in all things*A, so much is there now of profitless multiplication, as Christ foretold of the end of this Age (Matthew 24:24), of increase in such false christs and false prophets, that it is growing like a bus, with standing room only, and those who stand strap-hanging, are merely wearied in the greatness of their way, and the smallness of their basis, their own two feet.
*G For Kant and his noumena, see Predestination and Freewill Section 4, and SMR Ch. 5.
*H For Roaring
Silence, Hinduism, with parallels in Buddhism
and Western Muting
see this Extension.
For the Appendix proper, for which the above is introduction, see Appendix
Conspiracies to Rule
In these cases, the conspiracy is not necessarily at the human level, though it may be in some of the authorities concerned; but the movement, the thrust, the impetus and the strategy beyond man, is to this end, and the means are of this type. As in education, if you assess not least by outcomes and directions, and read back intention where at least any analysis is involved, then you find the nature of the movement, what invests, infests or digests it, or in what stomach it is churned.
SMR pp. 1032-1088H, 911-931.
This is shown as a sect, its abuses being not only practical, but systematic.
Other Trends to the Dictatorial with Religious Nous, Nuance or Notation
As to Romanism, its alliances in aspiration extend to Communism and Islam, and the Bible covers this phase and its ultimate results in type. The UN and others also show the gaunt godless waste of pseudo-religion, with ample arms ready to embrace, to rule. Naturalism has a place in this triumvirate, as a sort of inspiration for some, as the move from God to man amplifies and becomes more explicit, with wandering clouds of philosophic would-be glory trailing from no particular source.
Relative to rule, there is in Romanism a directional parallel to Communism and Islam, and a Development beyond each to what is to come.
That aspect is taken up in 6 below.
To these, Naturalism gives an impetus through a quasi-deity composed in, and relayed onto 'nature' so that it can be spoken of as having designs, making them, having intention, being selfish; and of course, as with all would-be gods, it is hoped to be directible, like a forceful but blundering child by his nanny. What that nanny, the religiosity section of man's imperial mind, produces for the 'empire' of artificial religion, is apparent from its results, where force and survival, superiority and impetus, imaginary advance through thrust and power, were certainly involved in World Wars I, II and III, as among the governing motives and motif.
As to now, if the present terrorism continues, it will be World War IV, perhaps with ramifications, complications, compromises, forces of extremism to combat extremism, resistances, mutations of mind, submissions disguised in words as extremities induce extremism.
Already, 'Allah is great' has become for many, as explicitly in many schools by report in Indonesia, a wave of emotion which embraces the production of terrorists, who wish Islam to be compulsory for man, with the additive for some (not arrested), that even to THINK something not in the vein of Allah worship deserves death. Such is the report in The Australian, front page, July 23, 2009, concerning one such educatively prolific figure in Indonesia. The matter is pursued in that paper, July 27, 2009, with one of the most heart-rending, poignant because so brutal with those so young, accounts of abuse of children one could ever wish to find.
When young, it is said, they are more readily directable for their death missions. Such is only a small part of the Revelation 6 diagnosis and prognosis, where death is to come to the earth like a plague, killing a way of life. Such it was to be; and such it is. Such is the use of force, outrageous in religion, where faith is the criterion, and force is irrelevant to it, in the area of Islam, now as in the case at the first in Mecca.
Many are its exponents, and will be, from various sources; and it may be by the more select method of academic result penalties, or even academic position penalties, for those who do not worship at the shrine of this or that would-be god, could-be god, or ideological counterpart to deity, with the name smuggled out, as in naturalism.
The type of interest in power, glory for something not demonstrable but demanded, dynamic, force and imposed rule has a source in irrational naturalism as much as in irrational religion. When these dynamics merge or unite, you move towards the final outcome. That is seen in II Thessalonians 2, where a man manages to persuade himself, admiring himself, that he is god over all. His endurance is not long. You can to a slight extent genetically modify crops, but when you seek to modify man to god, you are being creative indeed, but futile as a child pretending to be a politician, or a general disposing of armies.
Deception is like that; the impossible is sought, affirmed and pushed; and the deeper it goes, the more visceral, vicious, adamant with effrontery and intoxicated folly it becomes. One of the chief reasons why Matthew 24:12 is coming true so fast is not that man has so much power, but the deception of his mind and heart is so great, that like stampeding cattle, he stops at nothing. However nothing is not what is there; and he is stopped. THIS stampede, alas, will be terribly costly (Revelation 19:19ff.). It is in this way that the lust to rule, the desire to play the fool at the divine level, couched in other terminology, the arrogant panache of man forgetful of his Maker and wanting total control, vested in a person (II Thessalonians 2, cf. SMR pp. 502-516), seeking glory without shame, comes to its evil flower. In full bloom, having exhibited its nature of delusion and deviousness, it is cut and destroyed.
Divine Agenda Ch. 3 (an overview of religious truancies, including Marx, Darwin and Koran);
His Wounds ... Ch. 3;
To Know God, the Power
of Christ's Resurrection
and the Fellowship of His Suffering
Ch. 7 (for spiritual contrast in the domain of love).
Here some elements are taken from this and that source, more or less consciously and even to a degree, conscientiously, in an effort to concoct from resources, or to evoke from them, what will take the human race to some desired destiny, or avoided one undesired, or tend to do either, at cost ready to be paid in the plight considered for man.
This is found in various measures, in the New Age, One World Religion, Unity Religion, with various names attached from time to time such as Bahai, with trends towards such an end coming or going. IF ONLY seems to be the watchword, and so the ingenuity of man is here bent to RELIGION, with such god or gods as may seem best evoked, instilled or installed.
It is certainly in the swing of the Age, as various ingredients from the irrational past where reality has been dumped in stages, the residual past, where bits are conserved and the hopeful future, where dreams are interwoven with both, are simmered and set in an oven of philosophy at a rising temperature. In some cases it is USED by some for their own purposes, and in others, the purposes are more explicit.
SMR pp. 867ff.,
SMR 750Bff., 946ff..
It includes the World Council of Churches, which is in this line in a more specifically post-Christian mode, drawing on resources in a fitful manner, as Christ is transformed by literature into a revolutionary, a do-gooder or any other mould in vogue or fashion.
Catching the idea, some in Arab lands now like to draw up the One who was so intense about His primary role to Israel, in some kind of mock-heroics by contradiction, a a 'Palestinian'! In fact, the religion of the Philistines and the land in general, as distinct from Israel, was denounced and derided by the God of the Bible to the point that no divorcee could hope to equal it. THIS, it was a denunciation of this same God, because of the evils, the erratics, the despotics and the unreality of such religions. Nevertheless, such is the name of Christ that the game of neo-Christs, ultimately to get to the realm of anti-Christ (equals substitute Christ - started as in II Corinthians 11 and denounced by the apostle Paul), is a major player in the field of religion.
If one does not follow the idea, If you are on a good thing, stick to it! then the other comes along: If you are on a good thing, USE IT for your own purposes! That is pragmatic, automatic, depraved religion, deploying what is not yours, for mean, self-centred or self-derived purposes. The results, accordingly, are very different. Indeed, they could not be more so. Purity in truth has one result; truth for manipulation has another. Truth does not yield, however, to manipulation; and when this is practised upon it, since He lives for ever, the soul dies, not the truth.
News 121 (covers the foolish concept that sin being endemic and religion the field for answer, violence is endemic to religions),
News 122 (pursues the nature of man's pathology, mode of genesis of intellectual and emotional squalor, necessities and relationship to God),
Acme, Alpha and Omega: Jesus Christ Ch. 9,
Dizzy Dashes, Heady Clashes and the Brilliant Harmony of Inevitable Truth
Secular Myths and Sacred Truth Ch. 8,
Repent or Perish Ch. 5
It Bubbles, It Howls, He Calls Ch. 11,
Of the Earth, Earthy ... Ch. 10
The Bible foretells a situation in which the various antitheses and syntheses and syncretisms, all and every part of the spirits of false prophecy (Revelation16) gain an anti-Christ position which comes to a certain unity in direct assault on the exalted Jesus Christ. Revelation 19:19 lets us see the whole array of evil, now unmasked, seeking by direct war, to overcome the Lord, even the Redeemer. All it obtains, in this end, however, is exposure, defeat and humiliation.
That is a vast battle, and it is lost in this calamitous confrontation, by this 'god' who did NOT make heaven and earth, the devil with all his warriors.
Thus is the chronic obstructionism of an Age, unleashed in total confrontation. What had long simmered, now boils! Now is met and overthrown (Revelation 19:20), what for long had lurked and murked in the subtle and evil adversative work of the devil *F.
How long and how vastly evil has been his work: slashing now here, now there, slaughtering, aborting, slandering, seizing, planning, scheming, pretending with good words to cover what was done with evil intent, in individuals, societies yes and nations! But at this climax, now evil in frontal assault, spoke its mind. What had been gusty, now lashes with utter desperation and all available dynamic. It is like high winds, screeching often, but at last revealing the tornado format, now visible upon the devastated plains. Such is the way of evil and the devil, coming in the end to its headstrong calamity.
That is one operation in our Age. It is detestable, folly to those who invest in it, an infestation. But it is merely an option.
Reality in Christ
What is seen in some measure in Chapter 1 above, is here given specialisation as its task, in examining what God is offering to man, on the basis of His word, earlier demonstrated as the only authorised word of the living God to mankind.
There is a call from calamity. That evil, it has rather different results from the victory to be found in the Cross (cf. TMR Chapter 3 and Chapter 2 in that order!). In fact, it is the pit or the heavens, God or man, himself with his emblems and surrogates, selections and wilfulness. It is the latter which is in view, when the skies are clouded with shame, self-centredness or human racism, that elevation of creation to an illicit dream.
When it comes to the grace of God, however, we come to the entire plan of salvation of God, which is brilliant in conception, glorious in resolution, simplicity itself in overview, profound in meaning, efficacious in application (Ephesians 1:11, John 5:24, John 4:14). The work performed by the Messiah in this scenario, this self-sentencing, vicarious climax of grace, has covered those who receive this crucified Saviour, on atonement bent for man. and in the entire expansiveness of His love (Colossians 1:19ff.), He finds those who are foreknown, fostered and kept by the power of God (Romans 8:29ff., I Peter 1, John 10:9,27-28). For these, Christ is the envelope, and it is self-addressed by Himself to glory. The challenge is out; the opportunity is in, for Christ did not come to condemn the world, but rather that it might be saved (John 3:16-17).
In the realm of the evil, regardless, there arises the predilection to mar, maim, misrepresent, dismiss or manipulate Christ and depart from His ways and people, or to seek to seduce them.It is in vain. Yet they stray, seeking if not to manipulate Him by invasions of His Church, then to avoid Him, seeking instead anything else available, for glory, imaged satisfaction, ambition, such things covering like thick smog, those who want to run the world in their own name. These, their leaders, they reach, seeking to obtain what is the biggest theft in history.
And that ? It is the presumed theft of the universe itself; it is nothing less than this, which is in view. It is bad enough for this game to be tried if tyranny were in place, and the Lord of glory were unjust or unkind, malicious or malignant; but when the source, centre, original and dynamic of love has operated in and on Himself, to remedy and redeem man, and it is this which is despised, avoided, dismissed, then justice is doubly involved, both for sin and for rebellion even against salvation; and disgrace becomes endemic, just partner of shame.
It is God who having all things that might be desired, without limit, gives; and being indestructible, for those redeemed in His creation, sustains (Hebrews 7:25, 6:19, I Peter 1:3ff., Ephesians 1:11).
With respect to God, faith finds; but disfaith (faith q.v.) blinds.
On faith and its work in the life of the Christian, in becoming a Christian and this relative to the love of God, where sin and synthesis are replaced by the authority of the word of God, and Christ Himself, and further, in amplification and confirmation of the above in His victory both internal and external, see:
Christ Incomparable Ch. 2, 3, 7
Scaling the Heights ...Ch. 5,
SMR pp. 520-532,
Barbs, Arrows and Balms Appendix II, Sinners Only.
Nor would it be fitting without seeing the prophetic scriptures something of this avenue of glory, prescriptive before it came, retrospective now in most things, since He came, and prospective in much still to come, but like a reservoir brimming near the top, ready to spill over.
Waiting for Wonder Ch. 10 - Waiting for Things Most Wonderful,
Studies in Isaiah 49-55 with Expectations of Wonder to Come
Just as it has come!
This also provides access by numerous references to many further expositions of what is to be found in the prophetic scriptures, as for example in the work,
With Heart and Soul ... Chs. 4ff.. That concerns Isaiah in progressive overview. A ready coverage more broadly in the prophetic scriptures, with recent application is to be found in SMR Ch. 9, especially condensed in the listing near the outset.
Isaiah, Free, Exuberant Salvation deals especially with Isaiah 7-12, but in terms of the intensive unity of Isaiah, it cannot but flow to many other environments in the prophecy as we find the Reality of Christ, meta-religion in meeting Jesus who is Lord, the simple answer, alpha and omega, made such by the profound and wonder-work which He has done.
These last three works taken jointly, give opportunity to relish the reality of Christ in His two-testamental splendour, the resonantial reality of the word of God throbbing with portent, meeting in harmony like an orchestra, an exuberant one, filled with awe.
DEITY AND DESIGN, DESIGNATION AND DESTINY, especially Section 8;
LIGHT DWELLS WITH THE LORD'S CHRIST
WHO ANSWERS RIDDLES
AND WHERE HE IS, DARKNESS DEPARTS
Bible or Blight, Christ or Confusion:
The Comprehensive Resolution of Man's Intractable Problems
is Found Only in the Bible, the Word of God;
The Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy,
The gods of naturalism have no go!
SMR, TMR, in the latter esp. Chs. 1, 6-7, together with Ch. 5; and in the former, SMR, see Chs. 1-3,10. In the verification field see esp. Chs. 8-9, in comparison with Ch. 5 and 6. In the field of review, see esp. Ch. 10.
Christ, Defaced, Unfazed ... Ch. 4,
History, Review, Overview ... Ch. 5,
Ancient Words, Modern Events Ch. 9.
It is sad to see people try illicitly to reason that because reason can show that it necessarily is the case that God IS, this would limit His liberty and hence either be counter-productive or a contradiction.
This is exposed in TMR, but in brevity here, let us consider this wriggle. The model is this, and it must be seen as such for such a purpose of examination for consistency, since that is being here challenged. Let us then look at the biblical Christian 'model'.
Logic is in human format, a creation of God, as part of His creation of man. It is a dower of the LOGOS, expressive member of the Deity. It is of Him and from Him. It is freely made into a part of what He has created. He desired to do this and so did it. There is nothing contrary or limiting or forcing or controlling in this, any more than when a poet writes a poem; and less, since a poet has to be born first, but God is eternal, the Eternal Adequacy without whom there is nothing, which does not go anywhere, whereas we are somewhere.
Once you use this divine dower, given to man within the creation, in a survey, hypothesis-making mode, then you find that it infallibly leads to the Bible as shown in SMR, and this Holy Writ serves as a handbook given, together with the DNA control mode book, a very large and integral one, as one of two in operation. Neither is dispensible in this world, and the former is indispensible in all worlds, for its word is truth. When we who are His, see God face to face at last (I Corinthians 13:12), in the day when this world is finally gone, as when you see the man and no more merely the photograph, it will be surpassed, but not denied.
The Bible in turn, was freely created by God through His chosen means because, following man's fall, He wanted to give to mankind advice and opportunity. Accordingly, He directed words to him and in time, such a handbook (otherwise man would be in incredible problems following the misuse of his freedom as noted in Genesis 3, but now it is only those who ignore it who have the irresolvable).
REASON is given and REVELATION is given. So far we find. What then ?
The reason by virtue of the nature of creation and its application by man to whom it is given, finds that God is and that the Book of the Lord is; and that he tests, and finds it unique and impossible except from such a source, and that there is only one such testable book, in a model of validity.
What limits God in this, therefore ? How is such an idea reasonably gained ? He WANTS to make man, wants to give him logic, from Himself, and this in the sort of creation He has made leads inexorably to the One who made it, and the Book He gives leads clearly to what He wants man to do about his fall.
It is impossible to find any limitation of God in this. He does as the Bible states, what he wishes in heaven and in earth (Psalm 115); and again, Who will be His counsellor ? (Isaiah 40). What He wishes and why is another question, which has its own answer from His word, this same Bible. As He says, He has not spoken in secret (Isaiah 45:19).
Thus we come to a question, as originally posed: Does the fact that reason leads infallibly to God and to His word constitute a limit on God ? Necessarily not so, since it is a means given by God for a purpose given by God, in terms of truth. He has done what He pleases, and it pleased Him that man should find Him, and so He has provided many means to this end, one being reason.
This fulfils and does not limit the mind of God. It DOES however limit man; but then he is limited anyway, by construction, and this is a resolution for him, as limited things when they forget themselves have a tendency to find trouble. When, indeed, it is God they also forget, then they need a revelation as radical and as refined as what we have to deliver from deserved disaster. God has elected to give this rather than simply scrap man. God has done what He pleases and this to, it shows who He is. It is a good pleasure (Ephesians 1:9).
Barbs ... 6 -7, Sparkling Life .... Ch. 4, The Glow of Predestinative Power Ch. 7, Little Angel Ch. 11, as marked.
See on this point: Wake Up World! ... Chs. 4-6, SMR Ch. 2 for example.
On meta-religion, see The
Meaning of Liberty and the Message of Remedy
Ch. 7, as marked.
*F SIN, DEVIL, RESPONSIBILITY and SECURITY
See a listing of many of his ways that have been utilised, in Dastardly Dynamics ... Ch. 6.
It is as much folly to ignore the mini-masterminding of the devil (I Peter 5:8-9), as to seek this or any other way of excusing man in his sin.
(Romans 1:20ff., 7:21-8:2, cf. Tender Times ... Ch. 5,
Victory, Heritage of Christians, Exile from this World Chs. 2, 3, 6, 9,
Answers to Questions Ch. 7, Red Alert Ch. 7,
What is the Chaff to the Wheat Ch. 1,
Deserts and Desserts ... Ch. 3, The Biblical Workman Ch. 2).
Let us pursue now this latter theme.
If you need exercise for getting a vital body, is that any excuse for not taking it! Did not Paul buffet himself, to overcome, that is, oppose the principles and powers of sin and overcome them in faith through the presence and power of Jesus Christ! (I Corinthians 9:24-27, 15:56-57).
Sin always remains, like dirty rain, willing to conquer, but not well to be received (Galatians 5:16ff.); for its presence is a cover which is avoidable by the roof of Christ, a tabernacle and a rock that is higher than we are (Isaiah 4:6, 32:1-4, Psalm 62:1-2). Sin is purgeable by purification through the sacrificial death of Christ, dislodgable as sovereign in any life by divine dynamic, and answerable by those who yield to it, whatever the (inferior) force which seeks to subvert.
It is of the mercies of God that this, His cover is provided, not as a mere academic or legal positing, but as an internal presence of the God of grace, so that not only does He correct the books of guilt, but He also continues to act, in order to implement the divine life as it is intended (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:1-12).
Nothing ever makes sin acceptable, inevitable. If you get your feet wet on the way to the post, this is not a drowning. If it takes effort to overcome, this is not the criterion. It is a way of grace to keep humble the child of God, to give glory to God and not to a mere falsetto of praise; for life as a redeemed sinner constitutes a challenge and the claim in Christ is the perpetual answer, whether we be tested to the uttermost, or walking in gentler climes. Faith which is actual and not merely formal, responds with relief in the Redeemer's strength, with commitment to His purposes and with rest in His presence. Where a fight occurs, as it may, then in His name the victory is obtained. If we fall, then He arises (I John 2:1ff.), and when we arise, it is in the plenitude of grace; for there is nothing too hard for the Lord.
When however sin is posited as sovereign, or the devil is ignored as provocateur, then if this be the work of unbelief, so be it, there is a name only, not the reality of the indwelling Christ; but if it be the temporary lapse of a Christian, as in the case of Jonah in his ardent protestations and moodiness for a LITTLE WHILE, then the stripping of illusion, like the removal of paint by a solvent, can be very challenging. Why not ? Better to be corrected than diverted.
The Lord is faithful who does just that (as in Hebrews 12), disciplining as required. His children however, being regenerated within, and restored to His presence, are responsive, like frogs' legs to galvanic shock if need be, to His presence. It is better to abide, but if sin like a fungus infection seeks a place, then the challenge is met and the medicine dispensed. Remember King David when he fell, and the word of Nathan to him! and its startling impact and stripping force!
In fact, David had a life-long lesson from this, but in the profound mercies of God, it was not to overthrow him, but to keep quiet the follies of self-assertion and wilfulness. To be sure, his reign was a lovely one, despite that one so great fall (II Samuel 12:1-15), so soon confronted, and so long a cause for limitation. Better, again, to be limited than lost; and though so limited, what mercies and wonders were accorded him from God, both in their grant and maintenance; for those who are His HAVE ALREADY OBTAINED an inheritance in Him (Ephesians 1:11, Psalm 21).
Whether now or then, in ancient time or current, these have been predestinated to the same (II Timothy 1:8ff., Romans 4), in a work of such profound grace that any self-congratulation is like the folly of one who has, by a courageous, kind and charitable act, been saved from drowning, who yet marvels at his 'feat'.