W W W W World Wide Web Witness Inc. Home Page Contents Page for Volume What is New
MORALITY, NORALITY AND THE INNORAL
CAUGHT IN THE COURT OF CULTURE
There is a movement in contemporary culture, away from morals. We have considered elements of this region above, but today it is the phenomenon of norals, which is our topic.
Norals are morals evacuated of morality, but still clinging on to some part of the name. You see it in the secular, where certain forms of 'justice' are important, without actual justice being required, as in plea bargains, and the pandering to militants who are dangerous to the physical, and are not therefore dealt with in the same way as those who are not militant. There appears a category of these can do outrageous things, but are not disciplined because, it appears, it might stir up trouble. They remain in the land, unpunished, while their utterances are worse than garish, incitative and irrational, public and an aid to the militant mustachio complex, which appeals to some.
They are found in the relativity complex, where it is absolutely true that you must perform in a relative context, asserting nothing absolute lest someone absolutely object. Gulliver's Travels is in the same sort of line: more than ludicrous, less than humorous, starkly strange. This sort of thing was dealt with in the Thesis for Melbourne University, in the field of Education, Lead Us Not into Educational Temptation. Thus in Victoria, in last century, indeed in one's own day, there was an open door for instruction in Biblical materials, in Government schools; but it was pointed out in some handbook that to take the scripture as actually authoritative and correct might offend some of the church participants in the program. It was suggested that therefore no such thing be presented. That is like saying you can have a dog in your home if you wish, but you must first extract all its teeth, since neighbours are sensitive to risk.
It is found in this century, and indeed at the present time in Victoria, a law was passed enabling those whose blood-pressure, or its psychological equivalent, is raised is hazed or whose feelings are dazed, or whose happiness is fazed, or who in any case find objection to what is being said at the religious level, when it is impinging negatively on their beliefs, and who want to secure redress at your daring to utter such things, to take action. What action is this ? It is just that they may sue you.
Two pastors were presented with a long line of court appearances because of precisely this. If you FIND it objectionable, well then, maybe it is! Let us have peace, peace ...
What a love of truth is this!*1 This, with cognate matters, is dealt with, at various levels and in such chapters as these:
NEWS 156 (esp. Victoria), Galloping Events Ch. 7, esp. *2 - political, religious and educational liberty, on which also see SMST† 6, *7 and Pall of Smoke and Diamond of Joy† Ch. 10,† (incl. Victoria), together with† Joy Comes in the Morning Ch. 2, News 42, Impossible to Men, Open to God Ch. 2 , LEAD; and in the matter of Staff Selection - News 100, *1.
Religion is treated as a State dependency, to be ordered, marshalled and directed to taste, especially to that of those who are sensitive to criticism.
Thus liberty itself comes to be a chained dog, the chain affixed to government read-outs on societal tolerance, and making truth a captive in the interests of tongue-tied pseudo-peace; for there is never any peace when truth, which after all is one of the things Jesus Christ IS (John 14:6), in modern dress, is crucified anew. When it is true of any modern society that truth must be bound, or those who are not shown false, but are inconvenient must be threatened or persecuted, then that society is getting ready for the next step in reconstruction of the crucifixion.
Truth and man can be divorced only by dehumanisation which, like devitalisation is the sale of life for imputed gains. It is the ultimate case of 'selling the farm'.
These are examples of NORALITY, substitute morals, unfunded, unfounded, unbounded preferences masquerading as moral, which replace morals, and which interfere with morality in the interests of something other than truth as a criterion. Their negativity is not just there adverse relationship to morals, but their negation of what morality is: orders from the Maker, criteria for the design which goes by the name of mankind*1A.
You find NORALS too where people, of whatever colour, are paid substantial or even remarkable funds to achieve no result, and who, without a criterion of productivity of any sort, or anything applicable to results, use these as if rich, to squander life in drugs, dope, drink and dehumanisation. This can occur regionally or in some individual cases.
The process is exceptionally sad to see; and it is true, as one former aboriginal adviser on aborigines, to the Commonwealth Government pointed out, that this is not in general helping the aborigines, to take a case, but rather tends to deprive them of virtue, meaning and hope. Money readily becomes like the pills of the medically addicted, and is used instead of living to a degree which is often observable, and appears horrendous. One sees quite bright young aborigines, sharp of wit, clear of mind, who when reaching the stage which requires considerable application in education, prefer the money, the food, the drink, the drugs, or even sexual activity, to bothering about completing the education or securing a profession, or trade. Payment is forthcoming; why not please oneself! seems to be the drive for many.
Obviously, this is a trend, but as with any rigorously misused material, it can become a most dangerous one, pathetic for the loss and the eventual disintegration or decline of life.
Here norality in the Government leads to demoralisation in many who are indigenous. The trend to glorify, or make some kind of cult out of aboriginal past, rather than let it find its own way, merely accentuates the situation. Instead of standing or falling (and sometimes, as in many cultures, the fall is into the waiting arms of those seeking diversion, which lasts only for a time) by itself, it is made to appear vaguely desirable with abstracted notions: negative features become 'racist' to mention, and objectivity with truth is the last thing in view.
Education sometimes reaches levels almost unbelievable in children as old as 9 or perhaps 10, with little or no reading ability to the point. The whole march to the past and to dreams and to cultural pretence is leading to lack of aspiration, whether in schools or out of them, as a trend, and with norality to match, there is a cocktail sure to lead to violence as a form of expression, where the soporific is not enough. This is increasingly being seen in South Australia, where gangs are finding an outlet for energies not otherwise sufficiently directed, in violence.
Hence those who are demoralised by easy funds and lack of motivation, because of lack of work, because of lack of education, and with this, self-indulgence through lack of hope and the normal impact of sin in the operationally undirected who are idle, can appeal to a culture which they do not find especially helpful. As a cult in place in some activities, some who are not of that race, are presenting it, instead of merely as an option. Indeed, it is glorified like much of the background of other peoples, with vainglory.
As with many another people, what is shameful is often passed over, what was interesting or pleasing is given glamour; and the general drift is made unassessable because of philosophical preferences, and social sensitivities which readily drown in the truth. Such a vainglorious approach at the governmental level differs from a support in a new situation where directed work is needed. It is not enough to make people semi-dependent by help which subsidises idleness and glorifies whatever supports it; for this merely leads to self-depreciation, readily redirected to blame, and this to inertia. The past is not a substitute for the present, and what is lost is not an alternative to living.
Help is one thing; making people helpless by dreams and assumptions both demeaning to aborigines and demoralising, is no good work.
The intention may be good.
The intention, however, is not always the same as the wisdom; and while there is much needing to be done for aborigines, inadequate is the piling on of this and that allowance, which occurs in many cases, while someone in the family simply uses the funds to abuse life, engage in family abuse of various kinds with lordly self-assurance, perhaps even daring to call it culture; and others being young, like many of other colours and climes, given monetary scope for indolence, use it and ruin their lives. One can almost see the tentacles develop, as lives are allowed to drift into dynamics which seize and drug, which shake and disturb, which dull and spoil their victims.
This has nothing to do with the intrinsic differentiae of aborigines; it has everything to do with unrealistic treatment of them, which is an alternative to the dignity of aspiration, application and genuine kindness while the effort and vision of hope is realised.
It is an 'easy fix' situation while the country develops; but fixing needs to be moral, not noral. It needs to be directed not to the latest spiritual fad, but to the practical welfare of those concerned, never fulfilled in indolence of dope and help to be slack. It is a far better course for them to be helped to be helpful, than sedated with ideological sop. Many seek to distance the Gospel from them, within this inglorious political dream, whereas this is what gives objective hope for any, being the word of the living God to all races and any people*1B. It is ready and able to be abundantly tested, with radical results for reason, as it has been for millenia.
The point is liberty, but not sloth; it is option, not pre-judgment; it is making available what gives opportunity, not excluding by norality in advance. The so-called 'stolen generation' has become a monolith and cultic symbol for norality. Instead of acknowledging that some aborigines may have been removed from their homes
a) without the consent of their parents;
b) when there was no degree of child abuse which would not lead to similar removal,
if they had been white-skinned people;
c) when there was no substance abuse making domestic life virtually impossible
for study and education and advance in understanding;
d) when there was no such request from the parents in the hope of better lives
for the children;
e) when there was no such request from the children in view of what they found
and then addressing this limited category of people, other wholesale 'apology' is held by some, even politically, to be in order.
Does this then not run a huge risk of libelling those who took children in any of the categories, a) to e) above, when these were POSITIVE! Is witless generalisation to become as ludicrous in politics as it is and is realised to be, in mathematics!
Is emotion to rule; are people who did much good to those deprived, who were wiling to be helped, to be confused with people brigands ? Is folly to rule ? Is moreover this much confused part of history, where many were most helpful to those in need, while some may have been unkind to those who were not, to be cordoned off as explosive, and nothing done which is practical and rightly inclined to living in history with the same sensitivity to those of white skin as to those of coloured skin!
Is the Gospel to be distanced because it was given in conditions often most helpful, if sometimes confused with social segregation ? Is religion to be a cultic clutch, where rigor mortis sets in on the basis of an imaginary past, where a phase becomes a craze, and current deprivation through tradition becomes the modus operandi of religious deprivation ? Is 'culture' to become a hard-driven insulator, lest any find anything they may want, and of which they may not know! Is a new paternalism to prod such people into assured ignorance and to pay for the deprivation!
Moreover, in this country or any other, in this race or any other, in this people or any other on this earth, where ideals, ardent aims, liberty to follow bents to secure results are not forwarded for some or all, but slack options obtain, where challenge to meet truth is not a criterion: there is the natural result of decline, violence or both. It is not unlike the case, in this respect, when meaningless thrust obtains, to obtain lands, as with bin Laden*1C or Hitler, and martial push becomes a substitute for knowledge, understanding and rationality. Such mismanagement of human resources, such rank distancing from God, such indifference which cloys, or thrust which compresses, such taking of godlike proportions for the affairs of men: these extremes bid fair to ruin mankind.
Whether in Japan, or Poland or France, to name but three, the danger is there.
Thus in Japan, where some of the young become, by report, separate and strange, feeling unable to compete in the super-competitive, where all seems to some to be sold for the outward form of attainment (the opposite extreme to indolence), and some of these being unwilling to be out among their peers, become recluses, there is a sickness syndrome. Life has become artificial, many feel, and they want a better liberty than continual drafting to secure the most results for the best life placements in the best firms, at the soonest time in life, and so on. This is subservience, by report, no less than is casual slackness and indolent indifference.
Life needs freedom and information and help, neither regimentation nor vainglory.
Again, in Poland there now appear new youth upsets; and this, in a land not strong in Reformation restoration to Biblical truth, but where tradition has its marked intrusion. What powerful thrusts religious and political, have sought to abort and control Poland. Resolution is not to be found in more of the same.
In France, where Moslem youth went wild not so long ago, in burning and ravaging sprees: you find rank difficulties. The case seems to be this. Many Islamic people felt deprived, not adequately socially and religiously expressed, and decided to become important, high profile, extorting results from a society not especially thrilled with a Moslem impact, the more when it is becoming more like a two-edged sword, which some brandish. One authority held that when an Islamic population comes to 10%, there is danger of a no return situation; and France is near to it.
The idea behind such an estimate was this: that activists of militant character can join with social unrest and the natural proclivity of youth to energy, to create such an invasion of society as to prevent redress when disorder breaks out, and fear turns what was once the domain of truth, into a sedated substitute for reality.
If you want norality, then all types of activism can seize the social reins, with martial vigour, just as they can float dysfunctionally with contrived slackness. As some become like a bleeding sore, dissatisfied and not helped where the sore is, others become like a wounding knife, hindering what might heal. As the one can drift into violence, the other can seek their ideas, and extort or import or impress their will on a wandering society, which imagines that its duress, or its indifference, its allowance of anything, or of nothing, will deliver it.
What is more inclined to be delivered is what works, what is sound, true, courageous, logical, reasonable and loving: this is a good beginning. But what leads to this ? Surely not gross assumption or dispirited formlessness.
Society works far better when it is based where such features are not dreams, but instituted by divine action. This neither commandeers nor encourages sloth, hatred or self-love.
Where the divine ways are not instituted, or alternative vision vitiates, all moribund or else flaming with irrational energy, those opposite extremes, there is loss of what ennobles life and fulfils its meaning. There is a trend to that decline and decay which makes of modern societies increasingly, a lack lustre and disintegrative residue, or a militant threat, vainglorious in pomp, puffed up with pride, machinating with menace. Such are more dangerous now then before; and were always a threat to the meaning of life.
On the one hand, hedonistic substitutes for living soar in popularity, and on the other, militant aspirants for grabbing power and wealth by martial arts, instead of careful production, seek to trade their violent wares. Where there is no vision, the people do indeed perish (Proverbs 29:18). Where the idea is norality, it is more than lack of vision, however: it is enmity to vision. It helps witlessness, and tends to induce militancy, either directly or in indirect reaction.
Let us look at the two opposite trends.
If you have
norality, and do not seek after truth without blinkers, and instead of requiring measure and meaning in behaviour,
immerse yourself in a no-vision, no-truth
regime, intended to pacify, to continue, and little more, and do not act
with firmness when violence is threatened or forged in word inciting it
explicitly, what then ? It is then that you are asking for all-nonsense
restlessness and the invasion by foolish dreams from various sources, as
stalled humanity draws breath, and other breathe down its neck.
Again, where the morality is usurped by some unfounded vision, such as that of militant Islam (cf. More Marvels ... Ch. 4, Divine Agenda Ch. 6), or Nazism, or Communism (cf. SMR pp. 925ff. News 37, 98), then the opposite direction brings an eventual result not dissimilar. Reaction to the folly can create, as in the French Revolution, a riot of disenchantment; and blood flows or folly erupts, as likewise amid slaughtered students at Tiananmen Square, or in Germany, courtesy of those unimpressed, among other nations in World War II, or later in Eastern Europe, where Communism was so loved that they needed a huge wall and guns to keep the people INSIDE that zone!
Wisdom gives liberty without false accusations or unfounded preference acting as law, whether directly in Islam or indirectly in diseased cases of democracy; and it keeps morality healthy and alive. Where Christianity has had its marvellous impact in law and morals and restraint and care, then it is well to leave this law background in its place. The results in Australia as for a large time, in England are less rancid, more productive, stimulating and open to action with imagination, rather than a devastating inertia or a truculent invasion. Freedom is essential with Christianity, the entire result relating not least to this fact: and force is neither needed nor relevant. This breeds more self-control and gallantry, kindness and patience.
More can be achieved, as in Elizabethan England, for all its imperfections, with a righteous base and an opportunity for freedom in choice, backed by an industrious exposure to learning and labour in mind, body and spirit, as life is valued.
As to the Gospel of the multi-racial, humanity-extensive grace and payment for pardon by God, this is NOT in intrusion in ANY people, but gives scope; it is not bound by arms, but by belief. Some detest it, preferring force or mere prejudice. Indeed, to try to nail those who in many cases did vast good in development of that aboriginal talent which tends to be buried through the glamour of politically readied sin-pools, and treat many who sought to help them, as if they were THIEVES in a general and undifferentiated sort of way, is one of the cultural frauds of the 21st century in this land.
It is the norality which is stealing away an open approach to what works wonders in any people; and to have it all insulated or isolated by such defamatory onrushes of sentiment is not merely fraudulent, but damaging to the hopes of the indigenous people.
In this, they are better left to find their way in an open and instructive environment, than being paternalistically impelled away from what liberates their minds, in a touted culture which is almost being implanted by political dynamic, rather than allowed reasonable scope where it is competent. Openness for all opportunity to take what helps, if they are so moved, and what stirs their hearts away from uneducated listlessness into drive with understanding is better than all the subsidies allied with a dreaming governmental approach. In such an environment, these readily subvert or induce drag, indifference or even resentment. .
The reward for conformity to such pallid substitutes for enquiry may be high for those willing to receive and live with them; but they also tend to be corruptive.
Norality however is the current fashion, and not least in Government.
In general, this leads to such a strange oddity among mankind, that it is only a matter of time before in all such things, its come-uppance is found; and this sometimes from the most vile of sources. Indeed, this is precisely what God told Israel: if it did not serve and follow Him, then it would be made to feel shame at the hand even of a FOOLISH people.
Play the fool with truth, and truth does not play that game!
Let us hear Deuteronomy 32, and learn from what befell others:
"They have corrupted themselves;
They are not His children,
Because of their blemish:
A perverse and crooked generation.
"Do you thus deal with the Lord,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is He not your Father, who bought you?
Has He not made you and established you?
"Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of many generations.
Ask your father, and he will show you;
Your elders, and they will tell you:
When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations,
When He separated the sons of Adam,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the children of Israel.
For the Lordís portion is His people;
Jacob is the place of His inheritance.
"He found him in a desert land
And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness;
He encircled him, He instructed him,
He kept him as the apple of His eye.
As an eagle stirs up its nest,
Hovers over its young,
Spreading out its wings, taking them up,
Carrying them on its wings,
So the Lord alone led him,
And there was no foreign god with him.
"He made him ride in the heights of the earth,
That he might eat the produce of the fields;
He made him draw honey from the rock,
And oil from the flinty rock;
Curds from the cattle, and milk of the flock,
With fat of lambs;
And rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats,
With the choicest wheat;
And you drank wine, the blood of the grapes.
"But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked;
You grew fat, you grew thick,
You are obese!
Then he forsook God who made him,
And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
"They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger.
They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods they did not know,
To new gods, new arrivals
That your fathers did not fear.
"Of the Rock who begot you, you are unmindful,
And have forgotten the God who fathered you.
"And when the Lord saw it, He spurned them,
Because of the provocation of His sons and His daughters.
And He said: ĎI will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end will be,
For they are a perverse generation,
Children in whom is no faith.
"They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God;
They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols.
But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation;
I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.
"For a fire is kindled by my anger,
And shall burn to the lowest hell;
It shall consume the earth with her increase,
And set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
This was the portion that Israel suffered when it turned knowledgeably to various surrounding cultures, with their gods and pagan ways, and forsook the love and law of God, the trust in His truth and the morality of His measurements, made for them.
Nor is it Israel alone. It is merely in this regard, a prominent and notorious example of the reward of departure from truth, from the morality where alone it may logically be found, in the supernatural Maker of man, in His word of revelation duly verified and validated without logical competition*1B.
How is this done ? It is in His Son sent to show and provide for rescue, and in His work of redemption. The further any nation, once having tasted as has this set of nations called Europe, the fruits of His ways, then departs, the worse it becomes. Spiritual seduction breeds weariness and wantonry, and before long, hope is dashed in advance, and light is switched off by compulsive behaviour.
Some, becoming swanky in wealth, with various brand new, glittering novel ways and innovations of relativism, tempt both voters and providence. They tend to act as if all became spiritual nongs with norality in its irrational insipidity their god. The atmosphere grows as if nothing mattered in marriage, sex, or behaviour, so long as nobody too obviously is hurt, and standards become a memory, and truth a dream. The more they hasten to such delusions, the more certain is the pay day. In general, the wages of sin is death; and the case follows just such a principle. Folly builds on folly, until the superstructure on a baseless foundation simply tends to topple in the wind.
Let us take one misnomer as an example.
What of the ludicrous habit in some of Australian society, of referring to the STOLEN GENERATION*1D and acting as if the Christian religion, brought to the aborigines, was intrusive, culturally insensitive, corruptive, disruptive, dispersive ? This is a grave simplification. It is mere mouthing of norality. ANYTHING now readily becomes sacred, even if it means raping of children by male parents , degrading ceremonies, abusive behaviour, infamous treatment of wives, callow concepts of privilege, because some body of people once did it. This is the same as making man the measure, and is war on God, quite simply.
White people are seeking something not dissimilar in their own ways as morals distance themselves, like beautiful mountains, as you seek the domain of the spiritual tsunami on the plain!
Endeavours to help parents where the felt they could not cope, children where they were abused, households where want obtained, to give opportunity and order where difficulties disrupted, education where this appeared unobtainable, were in fact part of the entire character of aboriginal work in Christian terms. Now people are supersensitive about movement of aborigines, and condemn very often, wholesale all efforts to deliver them that might lead to such a result, even though in comparable white man cases, no such reluctance is felt.
It is not entirely bad, the change, to be sure. It may at times help a little.
The GOOD part of that secular culture is this: that you did not harshly and blatantly sweep all of a people's ways aside, as some at times may have done, but lovingly and sensitively seek to understand. In this way, at least a negative aspect is given some attention, though in a lop-sided because unvisionary manner. It tries, perhaps, but without the vitality and the vision which inspires, to do what biblical Christian missions are famed over centuries for stressing in sanctified lives.
The work of the Chinese Inland Mission, later the Overseas Missionary Fellowship is merely one example of the exquisite sensibility, leading to much sacrifice, which has given a far more robust lead to such an aspect. Dr Hudson Taylor, whose intense indigenous care within the presentation of the enormous appeal of the Gospel is proverbial; and his influence was vast in this enormous mission, in that exceedingly populous domain of China, later taken over by godless impersonalism, by force.
Isobel Kuhn gives further illustration of intense alertness to the avoidance of merely personal and subjective offence, in her work with the Lisu for instance, and in territories such as Thailand and Burma, now Myanmar, and others in Indonesia have similarly operated, where vast privations were suffered to avoid such offence, while showing a vision which met needs and introduced to something better than palliation, touching the heart without which reclamation and deliverance is merely formal, add to the roll of the centuries. Paul is seen in his balanced approach, in this regard, in Acts 17, in the famous Mars Hill address.
Since Paul's Christian insistence on being "all things to all men", seen in I Corinthians 9:21ff., this has been one aspect in the vast spectrum of Gospel presentation. While many have used force as did religiously related forces with the Aztecs, this had nothing to do with Protestant Christianity, but rather with what for long opposed and persecuted it in England and Europe. Force, however, is not the answer, but the uplift that starts in the heart and reaches to the God who alone has the power to move the necessary mountains.
What then of the biblical approach ? It is not denuded into permissiveness, or irrational relativism, but it gives the lead where victory and sensitivity, vision and vigour are allied with cordiality and solution. To cite from Paul in I Corinthians 9, we have this.
"To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospelís sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible..."
This is the biblically rounded approach.
Removing one element , however, and then submerging into mere noralism is like trying to drive a car with one back tyre flat. That would be far better if at the same time, you open to them the biblical truth so that they may respond, thus paralleling the white man's own case over time.
In this way, some may be won for the truth. There is no discrimination; they could be encouraged to choose from what they were given, but would not be impelled to hold that King Culture was as in the past, to be held sacred as part of the race's very being. On such a basis, and with such an implicit fealty determining their place, they even become impelled to think that to follow Christ would be betrayal of their 'king'.
While thus, the sensitivity aspect has some merit, it is lost in the weakness of submergence in norality.
Meanwhile the unreservedly bad part of the secular endeavours to help the indigenous people is this: that truth is in practice the first casualty, and those who disdain it become as if academic gods, founded on logical fiascos and without wisdom, directing the many with their many mouthings towards truth deficiency disease. You CANNOT start with no truth and then apply it as truth. You have to FIND it, and as shown so often, there is only one place where it is to be found, not in the whorls and whirls of human collectivity or callow concepts, but in the mind of the Maker. If you disdain test, and call it too sacred for investigation, so be it: as with any other field so treated, you invite disaster.
You are merely shading from sight, an area where the light that shines moves out to every other field*1B. You stabilise disorder, aid deadly dynamics and invite disaster as what is untrained, often with very little education, is never weaned from illusion, but rather artificially advanced in it, rushes on to degradation. This people, like any other, does not need its life simply stylised by government grant, but opened up to opportunity and option, so that treated as people, not propellants, they may take the road they desire.
What then of the other secular option, that of extreme: force! It was this which captured the governmental reins in China, and its cruelty is as proverbial as the care and Christian sensibility mixed with uplifting vision, found in that basis in Christ, which the 'underground church', estimated at many millions, despite vast afflictions, still seeks and finding, exhibits amidst persecutions to the realm of enormity. Here is no Berlin Wall to hold the people in; on the contrary, despite horrendous mistreatment by an antagonistic government in China, crowds of Christians escape as far as they can from meaningless secular mouthings, into the light which leads as well as explains, which stirs as well as shows, where truth is founded and never confounded, where love is not a mere word, but a living experience.
This horrid option of force, however, is one of the two barbed approaches taken in secular patronage of spiritual matters.
Thus, as we have seen, instead there may be found at governmental level, the secular mismanagement of subtle illusion and indifference, callow unawareness and virtual propagandised inhibition of spiritual resolution, even in a democracy. Yet what of the other approach, the naked deployment, as in Communism, of simple force!
This world has nothing to offer in either direction. In each case, the problem is exacerbated where it matters most. Help must be wise, lest it degenerate and activate more advanced woes; but force is already degenerate, as helpful as a doctor who operates on a leg, without knowing that man even has one.
If you FORCE the truth on people, this is contrary to what man is, for truth must be found. However you can INSTITUTE laws which depend on truth*2, in a righteous nation; and in this our Australia, now these many years, the OPPOSITE is being done, as laws based on the absolute necessity of relativity abound, and those which had some bite of truth, are put to pasture. It is perfectly possible, as to some extent exemplified in some of our earlier history as a nation, to have an emphasis on righteous laws as the standard of conduct and the limits imposed, without directing people as to their private lives, beliefs or views.
There has to be SOME value system, some morality as we have seen earlier in this volume. To imagine that ONLY NORALITY will do, is merely to make a religious super-market with several lines missing, and to seek as some seem to do, to induce 'customers' to use what you supply, by simply omitting what you do not want them to buy. You have, as a store in this case, other things in mind for them.
You are their MINDER, and this is as sure as in any morality, in the case of norality.
Even in some Churches, norality appears, even when EXCLUSION from the kingdom of heaven for some offences (cf. I Corinthians 5:11ff, 6:9ff., I Timothy 1:9-11), is notified. Morality as in the Bible, becomes a basis for having the exact opposite exemplified, even in the PULPIT! This is like coming up to the teacher at his desk, and saying, Excuse me, do you mind if I sock you one! The teacher might excuse the language, but not the result, when you knock him senseless into the rubbish tin.
The analogy is not over-wrought. If God be God, then follow Him, as Peter Marshall, former Chaplain to the US Senate pointed out in a sermon on Elijah. The alternative he put - damnation.
Life has its ways. You can taunt and
tempt God, and such is His mercy that for a time you may seem to prevail. In the
end, His ways take hold, and many is the nation which has found this out in
the midst of flurry, where frivolity, urbanity and hedonistic ways had ruled.
Let us now take the Church case further. You can indulge norality here by taking various steps.
1) you can make it appear that the
love of God is all, that love being the most important,
The very idea of keeping to the OLIVE TREE of what God has already taught, in principle (as in Romans 11), as grafted into it, is a trifle to throw out the window. Refusal to believe that He always knew what He was talking about, means that the ten commandments are mere froth, or at all events readily dispensed with; and God's attitude to families and their members can likewise radically change, for He did not really plumb the depths of what He had held, and so forth: these become the new watch-words.
To be sure, it will not normally be put so bluntly; for if you wish to sell people down the river, they do not need to be told, if you really hope to exploit them in this way; and even if some operator or minister MEANS well in some sense, the objective is the same in result, whatever is intended. People receive new instruction, in new commandments, at odds with the old, and the Bible becomes a testimony to other people's ideas, and Christ a convenient symbol of togetherness. Such is their way as it develops.
In the end, it is lethal. Sending sheep off in a truck to the slaughter is the same, whether you bother to check the destination or not!
In this way, you calmly excise the God of truth from the Bible, more or less, and make your own truth the beliefs God must follow in one of the most ludicrous exercise of presumption possible. The fact that the Bible is demonstrably the word of God*1B is one point; the fact that you substitute your thought or that of your guru or chosen philosopher for that found in the Bible, is one of the mysteries of arrogance where such substitution is clearly inserted into the text, or else the text is simply excised from the Book! You need only to add 'no' or remove it, to make a total difference; so the ease of mischief is vast.
The Judas kiss has not lost its hiss. Again, it is not necessary to intend to be a Judas, to have the same operative efficiency. The fear of God is still the beginning of wisdom, and a good understanding is still attributable to those who keep His commandments (Psalm 111:10); and the invention of substitute mouths, to add to or remove from the Bible, the Book of the Lord, is mere fantasy.
2) You can divide commandments into
your version of lesser and greater,
3) You can decide that doctrine is
one thing, and polity another, and making modes of Church government your own
exclusive domain, as a group, you can run things just how you like,
Thus you can dispense with elders, or have Board of Management deacons instead, or women elders or whatever you like. God can learn, seems to be the didiactic assumption.
On this see the following, where the Bible on the topic is noted.
4) You can have tongues in a way
which ignores the very scriptural site for permitting them,
On this, see A QUESTION OF GIFTS.
Indeed, you can bark like dogs, on your knees, or laugh while the Bible is being read, as has been seen. You can speak jointly in tongues, fail to 'interpret' and so obviate the need to apply I Corinthians 1:2 to I Cor. 12 and 14. You can do all this instead of following good and bad designations in the Bible, substituting in this, your norality for divine morality; but know that for all this, the Lord will not hold you guiltless.
5) You can arrange weddings between
Biblical Christianity and anything you can get
You can fall down and worship any number of cultural gods, or useful seeming prods; you can add to the word of God, or to contradict it in the process of disobeying it, setting up the fallible systems of men in place of the infinitely sensitive propositional limitations of the word of God: but know that this licence being unlicensed, is rebellion.
It may be small, like itching eczema, but the results are by no means always small. They can divide the body of Christ, relegate in distemper what does not meet a cultural god, become a theological partisan of an ultra-scriptural 'camp'; you can maul the arm of the Lord, if not in fact, then in form.
Yet wisdom does not so impose on the body of Christ.
Norality, accordingly, is not only subtractive, but additive. Thus since it negates DIVINE MORALITY, it can choose its method. It can do so blatantly, by contradiction, or cryptically, by addition, so that the totality, the Bible and what you add, becomes an unknown, as if a false witness were added to a court making judgment. It is all the same in negating morality with some assurance of 'right' and so gaining norality, wonderful in appearance, with just the one defect, that you are annulling the word of God. In this way, you become a noraliser.
Noralisers can be, and often are, at least as strong-minded, determined and instructive as moralisers; and while both terms can carry a negative connotation, the noraliser has a double negative which is additive, not neutralising. This is not mathematics but from a biblical perspective, more like a crime spree, all of one kind, in one direction.
Indeed, the noraliser can very sharply tell you that you are innoral. You are a fundamentalist*2A, or a Bible-basher (not a noral-basher, who strangely, in the idiom, is not someone who attacks norals, but who exalts them!), or have some allied defect. You SHOULD follow the cult of culture to the latest model (like new colours in lip stick, flares or tightness in jeans); and not to do so shows you do not really live in the Theological Vanity Fair. So be it. It is a good place to void and avoid.
The mind of God alone has morals' origin for man, and the design of man in God's image*1A makes the principles and commands apt. To ignore them, whether the command to repent or that to find salvation in Christ (Luke 13:1-3, Luke 19:42ff., I Corinthians 6, Matthew 13:14ff., John 5:39-40), put in ever so many ways (cf. Hosea 12:10): it is all one. It is to suppress, substitute or pollute the mind of God and the work of Christ.
There being factually no other way home, it means the perpetrator bids fair to abide in the community of the lost, far from light, imbibing darkness. If not all find this end, being rescued in time, yet this is the direction of all who are innoral. To find God, you leave the ethereal laving of innorality, and washing in the blood of the Lamb, HEAR Him, FOLLOW Him, and receive or seek to teach ALL that He has commanded, including what He has implied (as in Matthew 5:17ff.). He is what is called LORD, which is not Lord of the those who abide in the land of Innorality and Iniquity, but who are poor, of a contrite spirit, and who tremble at His word (Isaiah 66:2).
What else! Even a coach does not relish being ignored, synthesised; and if a good one, he knows when to leave areas of liberty for development, and what is mandatory and cannot be ignored.
God is the best of coaches, but is not a coach for smoking marijuana. He does not travel that way. He is not interested in dreams instead of doctrine, or wandering instead of travelling (cf. Jeremiah 23). It is His word, which smashes rock, not the empty nullity of dreams. That is His word in Jeremiah.23:28-29
Jeremiads are for those who use word of God suppressants. Joy is for those who rejoice in the truth, abide in His mercy, and trust in His promises.
It is better, far, to find morality in spirituality, and this in godliness, and that where it may be found in the God of creation (Isaiah 55), freely. It is best to find redemption in the Saviour, and truth in God's donation. It is good to realise the gift of the Bible, and so find from God, His manual, that of One who does not share His thoughts with man in order to find them, but gives.
How does He give ? It is as in the creation of life itself, in the DNA: as in our construction, so in our instruction, He gives directions (Isaiah 40:13). Who, He asks, as His counsellor has taught Him!
In exhibiting His divine nature, He has spoken, acted, sent, redeemed, risen, being resurrected by the power which made life; and being notified, mankind awaits the outcome on His return (Acts 1:7ff., Hebrews 9:28).
There are many who seem prone to apply for the post of counsellor to God; but these are mere adornments of norality*3, which looking nicer for a badge or two, is in fact entrance to the depths. Divine glory fits but ill with vainglory, and the wisdom which is effectual finds goodness at its source, before applying a shadow of it at the periphery.
The interesting words in view in Victoria, were these.
Dig Deeper, Higher Soar, Divine Glory Delights the More Ch. 2 ,
TMR Ch. 1,
Repent or Perish Ch. 7.
SMR Chs. 1, 3, 5, 7, 8,
See: Lord of Life Ch. 8, *1.
See: News 118.
See Journey to God or Fantasy's Flight to the Infernal Ch. 7.
The Biblical Workman Appendix 3, Dancers, Prancers, Lancers and Answers Ch. 3, Light of Dawn Ch. † 2, Impossible for Men, Open to God Ch. 2.
Questions arise regarding norality. Thus it is to a point, good to be a denoraliser, and to achieve a work of denoralising someone. In this, it is the opposite to being demoralising. The latter being an attack, intended or other, on the person's morals, and these, if logically defined, being the good that God requires and which He has instituted in design relative to us, that of spirit, mind and body, and indeed socially and politically as well, then to be demoralising is a wretched thing, near to achieving wreckage, to making wrack out of what was a journeying vessel.
However to be DENORALISING is different. It means you smash up, delete, impoverish or otherwise lessen the grips of norals on a person, as these are negations of morality, this is good as far as it goes. If someone says, How utterly denoralising you are! this is then a compliment.
For all that, it is not enough. To remove denorals, harass or embarrass or in any case achieve the loosening octopus-like grip on someone is a good thing, showing and achieving something in the area of goodness itself. To leave someone there, however, all noral-free, and ready for morals, as Christ's parable points out, is to leave them open and vulnerable.
If norals are gone, what of morals ? If morals have come, what of their basis ? If God is not known, even the mode of His movements is not enough. You need to move with Him as Jeremiah 13 shows, like a coat on the shoulder of a man, clinging to his form.
If God is to be known, then the defilement of norals being weakened, we still need other sin gone and the ONLY way to remove ALL the grip of any kind of sin is to repent into redemption in the life of Christ, who giving His life a ransom (Matthew 20:18), His service, gives with it redemptive regeneration, washing and working in the soul so saved, a renewal which is not mere moralisation, or denoralisation, but the equipment with which to KNOW HIM. Knowing God, not some semblance found in rebellion, or in the mists of delirious dreams, but finding and walking and working with Him is better than gold, adventure, magnificence: it is truth, it is life as designed, it is to know the infinitely wise one, and loving Him, to find just that fold in His nest which is shaped to fit.