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THE OTHER YOUTH
OTHER GOSPEL, OTHER JESUS,
OTHER MORALS, OTHER MESS
Altercations with Reality
and the Sublime Opportunities of Peace
JUNE 9, 1997 passim
The Mini-Maestro and his Maxi-Mess
Some messes are inherited; some are attained; many are attainted. The curse on the world is attainted. It has been so for a very long while.
The new formulations to implement it, however, are with similar eagerness and unwisdom, attained. The contemporary catastrophe now has a tainted, a drab glamour which is found with small relish. 'Life-style' can be loosely chosen as if the human were divine: while often recklessly rupturing anew relations with the Maker of man. It is in all its invention anything but a case of entente cordiale. Nor are the results of making man a plaything without purpose except he choose, more delectable than the presumption.
The body, soul and mind of man is becoming increasingly like a Jaguar automobile, used by High School students for creative change. In this, it is not so much a novelty that there is radical change in one or another area; but that the fever is reaching its crisis phase, with eventual outcomes looming nearer and clearer. It is costly, prodigal and lacerating personally and socially. The young in particular are facing an earlier radicalism in practice, as they grow - to what ? for there is an end.
Seeking to document developments, Time magazine compares generations of the young since the war, and traces certain formulations of the Baby-Boomer do-gooders, often frustrated, humanist idealists as the imagined type, and then proceeds to the current 'X-generation'. "If it isn't fun, it isn't worth doing" was one symptom ascribed to them - with their X-stasy, X-centricity and near to X-human status: though the magazine does not precisely see it that way. For them, the line is: "My generation believes we can do almost anything" ... except of course, be good.
The actual code words noted in Time (X-igent, X-pansive, X-citing) relate to a social construction. Relaying the findings of one team doing investigative reporting, as on much of a generation, the magazine proceeds: "They are confident, savvy and, the survey concludes with a measure of relief, materialistic."
In fact, the thrust of much this week's presentation implies just this: Vision is vitiated; get on with it, whatever it is, and enjoy it. The "elusive" look is "in" and sides may be changed in politics for the sake of winning.
Such things are leading edges of the assessment of the trend. "Young people today are not as struck by life's fragility", we read: "They're not thinking about thermonuclear Armageddon" - p. 60. We hear of a "pragmatic idealism as intense as the fire that sent Peace Corps workers abroad in the 1960s." Again, "the globalized interconnected economy we are helping create is likely to be our best insurance of a peaceful world for our children" (p. 63). Vain hope: money is a means of transferring material value, and in no way controls change to hearts, ambitions or purpose. Superficial face cream does not remedy cancer, however excitingly and activistically it may be produced. Doing is not curing.
Similarly at the international level, we read of an interview with Secretary of State, Madelein Allbright, touching Europe, with this contribution from her: "What is being created here is a unified mechanism to deal with the internal threats and with external threats, which are similar for them as they are for us" - p. 34. Yes Europe, the predicted seat of the antichrist is now showing a greater group product than that of the U.S.A. (Time p. 33, 8.6 trillion dollars versus 7.6). Of Europe we read: "Their prosperity is enormous." It fits. It all fits.
The century suiting
as we approach the third millenium since Christ is
tailor-made; and God is the tailor. It is all sewn up - that magnificent, unspeakably brilliant combination of human freedoms and divine supervision which exhibits in historical practice what has been said from the first in divine parlance. The word of God rules, even when men become fools. The love of God does not fail because of it; the power of God does not abdicate through it.
All these contemporary developments are appearing, but with what discernible dynamic in morals ? Rather, flitting by are excitement, action, rebuilding, manoeuvre, synthetic peace construed in the midst of mayhem and murder, plans and programs, fun and flavour, success and savour - in what, at what! Forbidden questions of yesteryear, as Allan Bloom in his own way documents (The Closing of the American Mind), do not depart because the mind is closed. It is time to regard this region, despised by the flighty, but from which there is no effective flight. All planes leaving this aerodrome so zestfully, flush with wonderfully provided high octane fuel, touch down on it in due course, the same base, for it is the only place to rest - if indeed they are not permanently lost.
Morals! We may envisage these as 3 basic types:
1) agnostic morals
2) synthetic morals and
3) dogmatic morals.
Starting at the beginning, we have -
1) Agnostic Morals
The 'do-gooders' - who sought to face the transparently obvious follies as mankind made speed to the brink of destruction after World War II - illustrate the first and forlorn type: Without the Creator-Redeemer, the only name, they go in the name of 'good' - goodness. But what is 'good' in the mind of man, man without God? (cf. SMR pp. 428-435, 422Q-T; 305-307, 313-315A, 362-370, 372-374, 380-385, 582-594).
It is a moral residue of nature-as-created-and-related-to-its-defining-Creator, in man. Active in desire as potent in design, it is expressible, repressible (with the limits Lady Macbeth dramatises but does not create), divertible but not convertible in the realms of conscience.
Forlorn, lost, a memory and a residue, girt by conscience, then, that bark of nature ship-wrecked in the stream of life - without God... it floats around like flotsam and jetsam, with a yearning or burning on the lost ship as it sinks, but never turning to God. Like an aborted child, an ulcerated organ of nature, the very beauty of goodness is lost with abortive convulsions in the individual or race that turns its back on its origins and responsibilities - not to Nature, which created nothing, a hold-all: but to God.
The sense of 'goodness' then becomes orphaned, or sick, dying, dismembered, a testimony to a lost nation, a peculiar people whose peculiarities are their grasping at the details without the heart of life, at its applications without the laws to apply, for its voyagings without travel definitions, on a sea without shore.
Agnostic morals are meaningless logically, but not personally, where like a glint in the eyes of someone loved but lost , they have a fallowed - or at times perhaps hallowed - memory status, without the eyes or the person. They are not a mirage, but a meaning distanced. Views deliberately misted on the field-glasses of life, such morals are an encumbrance impossible to put down, except in superficial verbal exchanges which leave the reality untouched. Let us illustrate merely...
Why are you doing it ?
Because I want to.
Why do you want to ?
Because I enjoy it.
Is joy your god ?
I do not believe in God.
Is joy your criterion ?
More or less.
Why is your joy good ?
Did I say it was good ?
What is the good of it ?
It appeals to me.
Why does it appeal ?
I don't know, it just does.
Are you then not simply behaving in terms of what-is ... what you find, and not in terms of principle or value beyond yourself - viewed as a happening; and is this not therefore mere performance within nature, what-is and not what-ought-to-be, hence nothing whatever to do with morals ?
Yes it is.
But wait! You think it GOOD so to treat your 'nature' and that is why you do it! There are morals and you are it!
You constitute in your own person, whether clubbed with others or not at YOUR choice, what is good.
You become your own Jesus without the name or fame or place or power or performance!
You are your own God, but have neither the power to create nor to understand.
Your morality is logically meaningless, but personally meaningful precisely because you have made yourself what you are not: hence you are in a position of moral illusionism which like all illusion is not merely playful or interesting, but deadly in its time. This is a moral drug, synthetic, a sort of reality expectorant. But God is not spit; and you are not it. It is time to repent.
Hence might the discussion go! Indeed,
it has already gone into the next area, with which in form though less
so in substance, it has much in common. On our moral theme, then let us
2) Synthetic morals.
These are illustrated in the so-called X-generation (cf. SMR pp. 833, 999). Some of the values here are already plain in our preliminary conversation shown just above. Indeed, the leaven of the one has been subtly transformed into the leaven of the other. As the yeast worked, so the moral splendour has departed further in substance, though on the same format as to type.
In this, as discussed lengthily in Time this week, there is one X left out, it is the X of the unknown God, which is worshipped, often as indicated in the conversation above; it is left out by Time in its X list. No, this is not generalisation: of course these are merely thrusts, leavens, quasi-spiritual sallies of the flesh which the investigators have sought to concoct. Of the spirit of the Age, however, they are one developing self-conscious, stylised component with many members.
What does it contain more precisely ? Here it is 'pragmatic', a combination of desires, such as peace-for-productivity, peace-for-pleasure in the post-agnostic moral life, peace-for-fulfilment with peace as a substitute for purity, for the purity which related to the source of life, providing instead the 'peace' which merely mouths. Words are a great thing, but as the world is finding almost insufferably often (but it still persists), if you are not God, they bear no guarantee of inventing what they say.
Peace in this world has often now an all but ironic ring, as high pressure drivers, high-consciousness strivers and high-independence individuals and nations insist on whatever is their desire, calling it good if it so attracts them to qualify it. Peace in this world is in fact as attainable as ever, on the basis unchanged which is the source of those who want it: their Creator Himself.
I Thessalonians 5 has a prediction. It is this. It is WHEN they are crying PEACE! PEACE! that calamity will come. In this butchering world of finesse, refinement and unspeakably noble and notable ideals - sorry, ideas - that the END is to come! There is an end biologically, and there is one spiritually that has the proper quality of continuing in its end, like burning rubbish (Mark 9:42ff.). That is the nature of things human. It may of course also burn - like gleaming sunshine reflecting brass - in the brightness of the wonder of God. Like all fire, it has its effects according as you relate to it.
This, which we now see, is with some precision that moral prelude to its political expression - amusingly enough also featured as above noted in this same edition of Time magazine. And that ? It is one into which the world tumbles just as surely as does it come to its end in its time.
Synthetic souls, substitute hearts, hand-made, handy-man constructed consciences - this off-beat phenomenon is close to Milton's depiction of the attitude of Satan as shown in Paradise Lost (cf. treatment in SMR p. 420 - but we shall repeat Milton's words here from Paradise Lost V, lines 857ff..
There Satan, amidst rebellious delicacies, filled with scorn, contemptuous while contemptible, confronts the seraph with these words:
" 'That we were formed then say'st thou? And the work
Of secondary hands, by task transferred
From Father to his Son ? Strange point and new!
Doctrine which we would know whence learnt. Who saw
When this creation was? Remember'st thou
Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being?
We know not time when we were not as now;
Know none before us, self-begot, self-raised
By our own quickening power, when fatal course
Had circled his full orb, the birth mature
Of this our native Heaven, ethereal sons,
Our puissance is our own; our own right hand
Shall teach us highest deeds, by proof to try
Who is our equal. Then thou shall behold
Whether by supplication we intend
Address and to begirt the Almighty throne
Beseeching or besieging. This report,
These tidings carry to the anointed King;
And fly, ere evil intercept thy flight.'
"He said, and as the sound of waters deep
Hoarse murmur echoed to his words applause
Through the infinite host; nor less for that
The flaming Seraph fearless, though alone
with foes, thus answered bold:
" 'O alienate from God, O spirit accurst,
Forsaken of all good! I see thy fall
Determined, and thy hapless crew involved
In this perfidious fraud, contagion spread
Both of thy crime and punishment. Henceforth
No more be troubled how to quit the yoke
Of God's Messiah, those indulgent laws
Will not be now vouchsafed; other decrees
Against thee are gone forth without recall...'
"So spake the Seraph Abdiel faithful found,
Among the faithless, faithful only he;
Among innumerable false, unmoved,
Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified,
His loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal,
Nor number nor example with him wrought,
To swerve from truth, or change his constant mind..." (It. added.)
The scene is one in which the devil, archetype of evil, artisan in mimicry, and closely followed by many, answers appeal to be reasonable and states his desire. And this ? It is that:
Any god with whom he can be associated must be besiegeable, answerable to him, or in modern mythology, formulable by him,
with powers permitted and engineered spot made available,
somewhere in the miasma...
Into such engineered expectations, the Creator of engineers simply does not fit. No more could I become a comma in one of my poems, or a sentence taught, disciplined and given permission by my critics. It would simply mean this: that they wished to take over from my mind, in my work. How far less is the infinite mind of God subject to such trifling! Midget morals are just not available from midget gods, non-self-creating, who yet strive with their Creator. They are too small vitally to exist. It is all or nothing: the morals of God or the dead flotsam of dismembered consciences, existential glimmers, the death rattles of dying souls *1.
In turn, this approach of the spirit of the Age resembles at its heart, the god-creating frenzies noted in SMR Ch.3 (pp. 305-316A), its reckless and aberrant thoughts needing a strong dose of reality (cf. SMR pp. 255-270, Chs. 1,10). Here the little gods have feet and stroll about, in a synthetic substitute for logic and love. Seemingly synthetic, their sin however is both real and authentic, like the bill at a mood-creating restaurant with spraying waters and sky-suggesting dome for roof.
It is a race that makes ruins for and in itself, while having fun, even at times morally miasmic fun which is so productive of ... whatever veiled or virulent pathology it is that it produces.
This is the Other Race, the human race that has already lost the race with the result not yet penetrating, but which mercifully has a Creator concerned for the lost. And youth ? ... In this spirit are The Other Youth, turning slowly into the new mankind as the 21st Century rolls in, seeking to construct, create, propagate The Other World - the one that man makes over billions of corpses, the slaves of China, the dead of Yugoslavia, the genocide of Biafra, a generation not from glory but from horror. Repressed repentance yields, however, no glory; and moral oblivion in the end secures neither forgetfulness nor the death of guilt. Reality laughs (Psalm 2:4-12) at dreams, as goodness grieves at the wilfully blind. The need: repentance not to be repented of (II Corinthians 7:9-10) which yields the joy of hallowed goodness which fears no laughter and yields no ground for it!
This brings us to the third type of morals : dogmatic.
3) Dogmatic Morals
These, in turn, are of two types
I) carnally dogmatic
II) celestially dogmatic.
The latter is again of 2 types:
a) celestially synthetic and
b) celestially authentic.
I) Carnal dogmatism
Carnal dogmatism in morals can construct death as deliverance (not FOR cause but AS 'the cause') with Jonesville close to type, and with many variants.
It can also reside in the carnal inquisitorial approach, so well-known in Communism in pretend repentance sessions, where you dared not to agree with those who set themselves up for being agreed with, reconstruction or whatever other term is invented for moral torture. It is expertly illustrated in Arthur Koestler's remarkable book, Darkness at Noon, and well in Solzhenitsyn's First Circle.
Other variants include health-of-soul Buddhist offshoots, which know what is good and you find out what is good by participating in what cannot speak, empty nothings, while you talk to yourself (cf. SMR pp. 996-1026, and 422L, 809, and see *2 infra): another variant in effect, of synthetic morals, but given a ventriloquist voice, and so more dignified, while quite as insecure. There are indeed 'human racist' broadenings of the procedure in which philosophy seizes on the protoplasm and its inward accompaniments, as if it were a god (SMR pp. 1008-1011). In this case (as especially in one of the Buddhist examples - SMR p. 1024), it may be prescribed as well as imbibed!
To many millions, this difference bids fair one day to become quite crucial in the new dictation of those so tolerant that they cannot bear to have any other prescriptions but their own lovely and languorous one; and to secure it, they must secure ... it by force (cf. Revelation 13; SMR pp. 750B-E, 65-71, 1175-1185, 1186A-C)!
Such examples begin already to covet
ground. Indeed they look increasingly as if they would aim to spill into
our next section - as, like an approaching tornado, they gather force themselves
and cover greater areas (cf. II Thessalonians 2:3-4). It is indeed of the
essence of pretence at this level, whether the deception be internal or
merely external, that it scorns place and seeks to expand like a wild commercial
company, buying up without aim but ambition.
II Celestial dogmatism
II a) Celestially synthetic dogmatism.
It is convenient now to move further into this dogmatic area, moving to the celestially synthetic type. What passes for merely synthetic, can actually readily reach this category, which is a net for leaping fish from category 2. Where at the outset, however, may it be found ?
It can be discovered without difficulty in the formal Inquisition line, as in some dismembered parts of Christianity, such as the bread idolatry case of Rome. Such it has been, in terms of both Biblical authority (SMR pp. 1041, 1046-1053, 1086-1088D, 1088G-H; 531-532, 816, 1064-1065), and chemical analysis *3, whatever may be the intention. It has indeed included procedures which led to torture as well as propaganda type repetition and intimidation, removal of property from the children of 'heretics' and on. Such things can dismember people from life one earth... In the name of Christ crucified, yet in gross departure and obvious contradiction of His name (SMR pp. 1053-1072 cf. pages noted supra) and warrant, people may be 'crucified' themselves, to gruesome effect and with ghoulish consequences.
It can live in religions constructed without the sanctions of reason, science or history, where the divine 'word' is not implemented in history: such as the Moslem (SMR Index, q.v., esp. 830-833, 977-978, 989-993,1075-1082, 1088 D-1090, ), in some respects allied with Rome (SMR 1078-1079). In this way, as in the former, there can be unholy use of force as a method of imposition of a 'faith' which is not believed by the victims, one that masks however unintentionally, the power of the mouth of God and is wholly diverse from Christianity, indeed prophesied by the Bible (SMR, pp. 977-979, 989-996, 1033-1035, 1039-1041, 1056, 1064-1065, 1072-1075, 1078-1079, 1088E-H, 1186A-C).
Indeed, it can be systematised and attributed to one or another face of the "god of forces" (SMR pp. 233, 878-879, 1077-1078), or even to God by adding to His words and misusing His name. It is this which distinguishes such blatantly religious force from erratic areas of other religions which in control, say of the State, yet have not constitutionally formulated such iniquities in the name of their God. This too renders selective awareness of such phases of religiosity needful, to provide both
1) a profound distinction from the truth, and a deliverance from confusion of its perfection with its gross denial, and
2) a vindication of the Lord of logic, Jesus Christ and the power of His prophetic word. He knew it would come, even in God's name, and said so ... (John 16:2, cf. Acts 20:29 - cf. SMR pp. 110, 250, S16, 508-509, 658-660, 700, 809, 820, 842, 861-863, 884, 963, 1040 and the many scriptures there adduced to the point).
3) a verification that man is indeed made in the image of God, not intrinsically a puppet (SMR pp. 65ff., 1079, 1088D-H).
But let us return in this area of scurrying to and fro in the minds of men, from pseudo-religious intensity in carnal secularism, to pseudo-agnostic freedom in veritable religious excursions: that is, to carnal dogmatism in the latter format.
The existential, gut, essential self, mystic, miasmic, visionary, illusionist, reductionist, productionist, inward spirit, new Age consciousness, new illumination awareness or whatever else thinkable or unthinkable it may choose to use as a hitch for its wagon, leads to the almost apocalyptic (suitably cooled in order to be 'cool', but nonetheless, the aware answer) form of the new look to which the juvenile (or not so juvenile) cognoscenti, the knowledgeable of the Age, look with that allure which smiles inwardly.
This is, remarkably, implicit even in such a phenomenon as the X-generation which Time notes, in terms of its leaven, its ideal, its thrust and force. WHY seek peace ? WHY seek the fulfilment ? WHY seek pleasure ? It is because this is all that is left to these minds in many cases: production, peace, fulfilment. Therefore, turning everything else on its head, it simply grabs it! "THIS is the way!", it chants. The new morals of the new youth for the new world with the new spirit, are quite as dogmatic as any other. It is just that the volcano is subterranean. The race arises like ashes prepared from the smoking, dying interiors - creating for itself on top of moral ashes, of residues, released from their base: The Other World.
Unfortunately, it has neither the power nor the law to create the reality; so that this synthetic 'reality' has the dimensions of a cult, something dead before it lives, a social contrivance. Small wonder (Time, p. 62) the word we read of such prodigies is this: they can do "almost anything"! What an infinitude lies in that 'almost'- the slip that cost the world.
Almost 'holy' is to be perhaps the quality found in a projected satire which Time notes: it is one that is to create a black Jesus, drug dealer prophets. This, however, is nothing new - even in Hosea, the false prophets' high season, we find this of spiritual frauds: "The days of recompense have come. Israel knows! The prophet is a fool. The spiritual man is mad, because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity." This is two and one half millenia old. Thus neither the phenomenon nor the reason for it is new!
It is not Jesus who is black but sin in any race: that is the black and white of it. Another Jesus (II Corinthians 11:4,13), in sin or satire, is mere spiritual plagiarism, a parasitic substitute that feasts on the name of Christ, and fouls up the reality. You do not need a new generation for that; even if increasing numbers of this one are too delusional to deal with facts, but wander into such wild romancing for ... fun perhaps, fulfilment of the glorious self ?
No more is it, as were parts of the Victorian era, a combination of parts of Christianity with the world. Rather it seemingly synthesises 'acceptable' sin with the world, in the interests of natural fulfilment, where 'nature' is defined as 'what is' - which, of course, is always wholly morally irrelevant as a basis for 'what ought to be'.
Beasts often have an external beauty - glossy skin, rippling muscles, integral design ... it is the heart which can be less delightful. Hence as Daniel (Ch.7) traces the 'beasts' which symbolise eras of imperial power over history, the bestial evil is not missing. Beasts make servants for men, testimonies to man, but not reliable lords. We move now to that form of bestiality which pleases the seduced spirit of mankind. With morals immersed in the acids of sybaritic fulfilment, the self-mission, with the word of man incarnate like an illusion, man prepares with this satanic solution for his final assault on God.
God ? that is the only (SMR Ch.5, "That Magnificent Rock", Ch. 5) possible source of objective, non-delusional morals. It is then a case of what nature ought to be, not as cursed (SMR p.S11; Appendix 2), nor seduced to making what is mere sleight of mind to appear 'what ought to be'... but simply the 'ought' of design. We wear designer clothes called mind, body, spirit. It is thus that celestially dogmatic morals that are authentic have a base apt, adequate and meaningful for the design.
II b) Celestially authentic dogmatism.
The provocative pinnacle of the values is this: man is capable of communication with God, who is both personal and vocal (SMR Ch.1).
Man ? he may share His love, sacrificial serviceability and - for godly purposes - power. This ? Yes this he may do in peace without pragmatism, but rather peace which passes understanding. .. in love which passes measure, in life so abundant that it grips and surges like a waterfall as it races over the rocks, at the same time as being held up - by the Rock Itself which took arms and legs and walked and healed and spoke and did as always with the word of God : WHAT HE SAID.
All history ever since has dipped its cap and done it, implemented the word of God, even in the times of tyrants (SMR Chs. 8-9), who fulfil the divine dictum whether aware or not. HISTORY PERFORMS AMAZING ABOUT-FACES, MAZING TO SOME, BUT ALWAYS TO ARRIVE WHERE IT WAS FORETOLD. As for the Son, however, He fulfilled it most willingly (cf. Matthew 26:54), and with a finesse and precision never logically or historically challengeable then or since (cf. SMR Chs.5, 8-10, and esp. Ch. 6 and pp. 931ff.; Appendix C).
Predicted, He fulfilled minutely and so well that the Church flourished at once in Jerusalem, where the works were often done.
Creator, He re-created dried and even desiccated hearts.
Lover, He made the paths of love pure.
Washer, He used His blood as eloquent grounds for the pardon that will always precede both peace and power (cf. Romans 5:7-8, 3:21ff.).
God does not empower The Other World, that synthetic farce; nor does He join with The Other Race - that carnal kindred of whatever colour who cut themselves off; nor The Other Gospel, nor The Other Youth (cf. SMR p. 808). That is for the Other Place.
Yet God does come near to those who seek Him, and receive those who come to Him by His appointed way, Jesus Christ the Prince of Life, the Righteous, His eternal word who became flesh, bearing sin for those who return it to Him, and return to Him, that He might bring us back to God (I Peter 2:22-25, 3:18). Morals cost. Christ paid. Payees love to value their height, assess their depth, learn to love not the spirit of this world in its various self-absorbed manifestations and infestations, but God who IS a spirit, to be worshipped in spirit and in truth, without which, and without whom, man's life is merely a practice lesson for demonstrating the truth he rejects. It is not as such pleasant or proper or wise.
On all this, and the provisions of God for those who come to Him as He provides in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we read from the word of God:
i) Philippians 4:7 -... "the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and mins through Christ Jesus."
ii) Ephesians 3:19 ... "to know the love of God which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fulness of God."
iii) I Timothy 3:16 ... "And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifested in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit,
Seen by angels
Preached among the Gentiles,
Believed on in the world,
Received up in glory."
iv) Isaiah 26:3 ... "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee."
1:18-21:.. "that you may know... what is the exceeding greatness of His
power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power,
which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him
at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and
power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in
this age but also in that which is to come."
There are two to be noted. The first is the matter of man: a miniaturised midget, he has scope for productions, just as he is a production, of amazing acuity and function. He is so much greater than any of his own productions, since he is the producer of them; just as he is so much less than his producer, since he is produced by Him.
The latter holds the solution to his problem, which reduces to insignificance anything that man has made, since in cost and quality is it as far beyond man as man is beyond his own productions.
Not less responsible, but more so is man since, though physically small, he is morally miniaturised by desire and sin, often sheerly irrationalised through trying to argue against his Creator while first invalidating reason by divorcing it from reality in the process, and mincing meaning by evacuating it from himself whilst assigning it to his environment. In all this, man is darkly and starkly at fault. (Cf. SMR pp. 262ff., 284ff., 299ff..)
Staring such rebellious evacuees - both from reality and reason - in the face, through man's own everyday logic, is the necessity of God as cause of all and assigner of serial causation: enabling the validation of reason just as it in turn finds God must be! (SMR Chs. 1,3,10; That Magnificent Rock, Ch. 5.) Rational conquest of causation itself, in order to get rid of it, can only be by causal concepts which merely beg the question (SMR Ch.5). Yet blind as a mole, man metes out meaningless mouthings of soulless words with soulful authority! (Cf. SMR Ch.3.)
Man ? A marvel indeed (SRM pp. 137-139, 252A-C, 620ff., 1197, 269, 307, 349B-C, 441-443) is he: who makes denial of God a verbal substitute for thought (cf. SMR p. 137), while range upon range of reality (332Bff.) is casually used, abused while spoken against and assumed to be sound in a sheer masterpiece of riotous invalidity which sometime passes for philosophy but in fact is mere sophistry (SMR Ch. 5, esp. pp. 439 ff.; 72, 115, 200, 226ff., 232-233, 252K-L, 289, 316C-G, 332E-H, 348ff., 422Q-W, 430, 580-581, 980-994, 999ff., 1020).
Youth ? with minds insistently clubbed
i) by the enshrined authoritarianism of the ludicrous self-making un-realities of secular organic evolutionism,
ii) by New Age obeisance at the shrine of unknowability, and
iii) by the reductionist mouthings of monism
(SMR pp. 418-422W, esp. "Great Burials"; 121-127, 202-203, 207-213, 228-230, 306-309, 330 ff., 867 ff., 999ff., 1020) -
a maze of modern youth presents a sad spectacle. Programmed by ruling rebels from reality in an enormous slice of the academic world: the young lives often, if not routinely, subsist in a plight spiritually reminiscent of the physical facts of Tiananmen. That episode indeed forms a sort of parable of the soul of modern youth.
Mere academic brutality on many programs excludes thought and pumps myths till the sheer exuberance of folly causes a secondary infection of sin, for which such adult regimes are frequently responsible, as they are also responsible for the enormous social bills and human remains from short-circuited reality that often result (SMR 199-203, 252A-C, 306-307, 361-369, 422I, 578ff., 611 ff., 838-839; 125-128). Often called drug addicts, they are not limited to this deadly malaise, since cultural and occult drugs to the mind are less obviously lethal (cf. SMR pp. 374 ff.) though sometimes, if possible, more so in fact.
This being so, it is delightful entirely that this poignant theme of misused youth (cf. "That Magnificent Rock" Ch.8 ) is paralleled, yes is countered by the superior theme of the Murder of the Magnificent Saviour (Acts 5:29-32), according to long-announced plan, rationally testable in great detail (Isaiah 49,53, Acts 2:23, 3:24; SMR Ch.9, "That Magnificent Rock", Ch.5, Part B). This is the second and incomparably the greater of the two marvels noted at the first.
HE was oppressed by HIS generation, tortured as are the minds of the misled young - but without consent did He respond to their pollutions: both exposing and excluding these, and with salvation itself freely available in Him. Rather than amplifying the sins of His generation by conformity to them, He exposed, rebuked it but also often applied healing to it, overcoming sin as He suffered its penalty, mocking survival in sacrificial masterpiece, dying "the just for the unjust to bring us to God" ( I Peter 2:23-25, 3:18), a ransom for those many of all individual ages, unlimited races and roving centuries, who should so receive Him (Matthew 20:28, 20:28, John 6:51-63, Romans 8:32, Isaiah 53:5, Romans 10:9-10; SMR pp. 61, 71, 386 ff., 727,-D, 1206-1207).
He still is so, till judgment supervenes.
Esp. refer to SMR pp. 998-1002C, 1008, 1012-1013, 1017, 1021 - in the range 1008-1023, and to Sir Norman Anderson, there cited, Christianity and World Religions, p. 97. In particular, SMR pp. 1008--1010 on human racism gives a useful approach applicable to the Buddhist, along with other humanist absolutisations: pseudo-divine metaphysical projections contrarily contradicting their own premises. (Cf. SMR pp. 306-308, esp. End-note *13; 316A-C, 332E-H.)
With truth defaced, alas such religions find there is plenty willing to fill the artificial void (cf. Matthew 12:40-45; Jeremiah 2:11-12, 5:7, 10:11, 6-16, 23-24, 14:22, 16:19-20, II Samuel 12:21, Deuteronomy 32:21, II Chronicles 13:9, Psalm 96:4-6, Isaiah 41:21-29; Galatians 4:8, Romans 1:21ff.). Nor does it fail to do so!
Schemes for the avoidance of the void - devised in heart and philosophy, whether in Buddhism or evolutionism, radiated and propagated peremptorarily, in vain and self-contradictory religions - appear as desperate as the desire to create it. Many, like myriads in bird formation, follow such empty airways, in full flight from the logical and spiritual requirements of the God of creation and redemption.
These ? they teem, mass, emigrate, immigrate, wheel and turn, aloft in the airs of fancy, caught frequently in streams of fast-rising air, blustering and buffeting: knowing no rest. (Cf. Isaiah 37:10-13, 14:11-14, Ezekiel 28:9,17, Romans 1:18ff, esp. vv. 18,21-22. See also SMR pp. 422E-W, 284-291, 303ff. , 570ff., and That Magnificent Rock, pp. 85-90ff..) Pity would see escapees. (Cf. Jeremiah 10:11, 14:22, Isaiah 11:10, Matthew 11:28-29.)
Let us be clear on what the Bible does in fact teach.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ was not one of philosophy with its fraudulent deceits (Colossians 2:8), but of the physical reality God gave to man when He made him. Accordingly, it was this which Christ took, as one made for the redemption of those He would call brothers (Hebrews 2), and its physical death with all its fears, He broke (Hebrews 2:10-15). This He did by experiencing it and overcoming it; for death could not hold Him, so that His flesh did not rot (Acts 2:24,31 cf. SMR Ch.6, and pp. 931-939 ff.).
It was this body in its blatant physicality that Thomas challenged when Christ had not appeared to him, due to his own absence; and it was this body which Christ made open to investigation, available to test of the most evocative detail to Thomas when the apostle was present (John 20:25). Challenge in absence was met by counter-challenge in His presence.
It is good to be present when challenged in this: that it makes the case. "A spirit," said Christ, "does not have flesh and bones as you see I have!" (Luke 24:39). However He did not invite them to EAT Him, since the feast in "remembrance" had already been held without that, and it was not one of suicide, as of a body broken into pieces, but one of preparation for sacrifice.
This is the critical feature, the crucial one there explicitly laid down for faith to all Ages. There is no substitute for what God has done, and to believe so is expressly forbidden (Matthew 24:24-26 cf. SMR pp. 1042-1056, 1086-1088H). Thus (Acts 4:2,30), where the apostles answer to the attack on their teaching by the priests they give express witness to the most visible, most audible, most tangible, most testable basis for what the authorities abhorred - the resurrection of the One whom, as Peter and John declared, they had just murdered (Acts 4:2, 5:30; and cf. I Peter 1:16-20).
As Christ demanded of them, "What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before ?" (John 6:62-63); for the "eating of My flesh" was as He said, "spiritual" while as for the flesh itself, it was physical in its demonstration and indeed so physical that this spiritual eating in "remembrance" of Him (I Corinthians 11:24) could occur when He was absent - "until He come".
Yes, He for His part, as the apostles proclaimed in short order, would be received into heaven "until the restoration of all things" (Acts 3:19-21).
When He does come, it will be visible enough (Revelation 1:7, Matthew 24:30), with results physical enough (24:31) for acute mourning (Revelation 1:7) on the part of the "tribes of the earth" in the face of His brilliance. Mourning there will be from those who not only sinned (and all men but Christ have sinned), but sinned fatally in finally turning from the Redeemer, whether in "damnable heresies", in dangerous deceits, or to vain philosophy, with misleading teaching or other sedulously seductive philosophic merchandise, explicitly condemned and abundantly predicted, in the Bible (II Peter 2:1-3, II Corinthians 4:2-4, 11:4,13-15, Colossians 2:8, Acts 20:30-32, I Timothy 4, II Timothy 3:5, I Corinthians 1:18-24; SMR pp. 153ff., 229ff., 684 -686, 695, 730, 842, 867, 1078).
Physical enough likewise will be the departure of His chosen ones (Matthew 24:36 -44, I Thessalonians 4:14-18, I Corinthians 15: 51-57), when the time comes, and He comes (cf. Acts 1:6-11).
the door is open (John 10:9, II Corinthians 6:2). It is well, and indeed
wonderful, that it is so.