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THE RESULTS OF DISOBEDIENCE
The topic today of obeying anything or anybody, unless you have to, is parallel to the slippage from love to self-advancement, and from thankfulness to deliberately drastic deeds. These no longer stop at derring-do, but move towards the destruction of whole cities and civilisations. It is time to consider the One who made us ABLE to consider obedience, and why not, and to what, and why! and the fruits of pursuing other options. This is made far worse when it comes to God, obedience to whose words in our DNA is not optional, and in our hearts, is splendidly so. It is well to draw back and look; for every new thing is no more reliable than an untested colourful toadstool!
TOday, our topic is not finding God (cf. SMR), so much as following Him once you have found Him.
Can a traditional body lapse ? They often do. Can a traditional church lapse ? They often do. They can even lapse by FOLLOWING their own traditions as Christ dramatically declared (Mark 7:7ff., cf. SMR pp. 1032 - 1088H).
Again, they can lapse by changing from the word of the living God, to other things, which appeal, to new-fangled gods, as Moses puts it in Deuteronomy 32, springing newly up, without basis, confirmation or ground. This is a matter for strong concern, as many churches once quite sound, are now moving so far and so fast that the social results are becoming vast, whole nations changing as their salt becomes savourless, and the religions take on new meanings, without surrendering their name. It is time therefore to ponder the paths, and not just continue sightless. One thing remains sure: you can now as for millenia, follow Christ as depicted from the first, the One who fulfilled all He had to do when He had to do it, or follow something else. Within that option of something else, you can still CALL it Christianity, even if it is subject to all manner of alteration. You can follow your new ideas, and seek to justify them; but if you use the old names for the new things, you merely confuse the situation, and may even make this a method of avoided the issue.
What issue ? Now as always, it is the salvation of Jesus Christ, the immutable Gospel of His grace (Galatians 1), and the necessity of repentance and receipt of His redemption, as alive from the dead (Romans 3:23ff., 5, 8).
Let us then ponder transformations, and be sure that the realities are not a species of confusion in the mind, but of informed action. The issues are not temporal, as with a house, but eternal, as of eternal life, or guilt unmet, and grace unused.
First then, let us look at ancient Israel, to get the feeling of things, the atmosphere, to use history as an instrument to aid clear sight.
THE INSTRUCTIVE ILLUSTRATION OF ISRAEL §
Is it possible to be blindly perfect ? But of course, in an ironic sense such as you see in Isaiah 42, where in the verse 19, the Lord asks, "Who is blind but My servant!" They simply missed the point. Right from the time of Ahaz as shown in Isaiah 7, there was a withered fickleness of thought, an unabashed deadness of heart which afflicted many in power especially,.It was because of this that there would come the desolations foretold to Jerusalem as focussed and featured in Jeremiah 1-8.
Indeed, He labours the point as to a dull child, for there is no dulness to exceed that of the heart when it is so inclined! LOOK, He invites, that you may see. It would always be a good idea to look, if seeing is the purpose, a matter of the will. "Who is blind as the LORD'S servant!" the Lord pursues it. You see many things, He castigates, but you do not observe.
As a specially and indeed specifically auditorially and ocularly malfunctioning unit in the spiritual sphere, we do not have any living body of believers. Here neither sight nor hearing avail. They are dead to the point.
It is like asking a class in mathematics whether there is any so blind as these, perfect in their superficiality and non-perception. These are not therefore the "light of the world" (Matthew 5:14), even in any derivative sense. They have failed in a central, a conspicuous and an abysmal fashion. They are Israel.
It is not other than Israel, the chosen, which so fails, though the covenant of the Lord continues for His own purposes and unconditional promises (Genesis 17:7-8), and the Lord is ready for their appeal in faith and repentance (Zechariah 12:1-13:1), when the time comes. It is at that time an everlasting covenant founded in the Messiah (Ezekiel 16:60, Isaiah 42:6), whose mission of salvation is indifferently, that is without prejudice, both to those of Israel and the Gentiles. As in Isaiah 65:13-15, it is now the Gospel of the Messiah as in Isaiah 49-55, free and of grace as criterion, pardon as presentation, eternal life as gift (Isaiah 51:11).
To be sure, Israel is to be brought back very much as a nation whose clamorous disobedience to the covenant given them with sin and sacrifice focal (Isaiah 42:43-44, 43:4,6-14), is notorious. Here is the people who by virtue of their ancient calling are witnesses, even though failure becomes their functionless feature. They are there, have been there, have been securely blind, and yet are to be both delivered and restored to their land, and this in the light of the Messiah of Isaiah 42 (as of 49), who will lead them back to their place.Here, in due course (Isaiah 44:1-5), these returnees will be found speaking of the Lord either in their role as children of Jacob or simply OF the Lord, in a new covenant of grace and spiritually thrust: "They will spring up among the grass," for He will " pour forth My Spirit on your descendants."
So it is to come, for the ancient people, disruptive of covenant, dispersed, restored, and then spiritually overtaken as in Zechariah 12, in terms of the Messiah (Isaiah 41:28-49:6 focusses Him above all others), whom, in due course, they would go on to reject as a nation (Isaiah 49:7).
If then Israel
special place in grace (Genesis 12),
foundation for the arrival of blessing to all peoples,
could so fail,
so becoming a SPECIALTY in blindness
is there no lesson!
Let us face it, for all the failing in the official and larger once Christian denominations generally, now, the ACTUAL Christian Church itself, against which the gates of hell will not prevail, is not DEFINABLE AS BLIND IN THE MOST BOUNTIFUL WAY. In other words, the reference to the perfect being blind in Isaiah 42, is indeed to Israel, not to the Church as the light of the world. The great plus is not the same as the great minus, and the big darkness is not the same as the definably bright light, reflecting from the Lord. Let us then consider the lessons to be gained from this. Indeed, in Isaiah 42, we are launched into the Messiah and His salvation, for Jew and Gentile alike, and in this light we better see the impact of the darkness which did not follow the light (Isaiah 49:7), in order to learn from it all.
There are two lessons. Firstly, then, what do we have. It is this.
Light is not darkness, nor are those called from it are not the same as those who have already breached their call as with Israel. God has a special procedure with Israel, which, however, centres spiritually on the SAME and ONLY Gospel, so that when returned to their land, after many more trials (Zechariah 12), they embrace it. Secondly, what is high-flying in its supposed sanctity may in fact, though seemingly focussed on the Lord, be not only blind, but the very example of blindness. If it were a medical pathology tuition, then here would be the case to be pictured for the disease of not seeing, not knowing, not opening the eyes, that of wilful or willing stultification. This fact was basic to Israel's vast devastation. It is necessary to learn and apply.
In the nominal Church of Christ, just as in this scenario, Israel had become only the nominal servant of the Lord, in fact a very acme of blind stupour, there is a parallel and a witness.For the Christian Church, from th is there is a warning and a woe to consider. WHY was Israel in strife ? Was it because in the beginning of the liberated times with Moses, they REFUSED the COMMAND to enter into their rest in their promised land ? It was this not alone, but crucially. It was the immediate object of the exercie, the escape and the establishment. The first was done, the second, they jilted.
They refused to take what was offered and even set up to have another leader take them BACK to the slavery of the past! That is symbolic of the entire list of false prophets whether in sects or in major denominations which have attacked first the Old and then the New Testament, then principles and ideas, until they have become specialists in darkness just as in II Corinthians 10 -11, as defined and characterised by Paul, and foretold by Him as in Ch. 5 above.
These REFUSE to leave the besotted denominations, or at times, to have them purged of their innovations and pre-occupations or false traditions, which leads to diminution of particulars, like someone gradually, letter by letter removing his street address till one does not know where they are, except NOT where they were, and not abiding there.
As those refused to enter, so these refuse to exit. As those would not enter into the promised land, so these will not leave the substitute for it.
But what is the penalty of disobedience, of insisting on striking a bargain in the basement concerning the things of the Lord ? Israel in a repetition ad nauseam of disobedience, even to the time of Jeremiah and his merciful sensitivity to their condition, STILL insisted on rebelling against the word and will of God as clearly expressed.
In due course, and after many challenges from the prophets (II Chronicles 36), they had their magnificent temple and indeed their very city, become a ruin. The exquisite horror of it all is featured forever in Lamentations, mere devastation not the worst of it, for inhumanity in their captors was all but inconceivable. Why had it come ? They were not satisfied with the Lord, merely continuing in some elements of tradition, so that rebelling against the good, they at last had to be satisfied if they could be, with what is NOT compassionate, does NOT have concern, does NOT have their good at heart, and CANNOT redeem them.
So it is with many current churches, as the spirit of the Age subverts hundreds of thousands, a new rump, this time of the Church, so that what was formerly of it has now, in the generational processes, became just a faint image, like a mirage in the desert, looking rather like water - or is it ? - no alas. Instead has has no more power visually to satisfy thirst, than have the modern nostrums and disruption and dispersal of commandments, elevation of various traditions without biblical basis, to satisfy either God or man.
What results are there in particular here ?
THE DESTRUCTIVE CONTEMPORARY DISOBEDIENCE §
IN ITS RESULTS
SOME RELEVANT CASES
Presbyterian and Uniting
Firstly, there is impudence towards the Lord, as if from a Peter who answers back, and who when confronted and shown the work of Satan in his midst, answers, Not at all, not at all, it is just an innovation fit for the 1st century! The actual one gave not a whit of stated resistance when confronted. He knew who was Master.
Put a very different Peter into the 21st century, and his answer could be much more self-assertive, even telling Christ that the one of today can tolerate only so much, and needs such things as the wise servant could tell Him about! Professor Geering, Principle of the New Zealand Presbyterian Seminary, when this author was a pastor in that land, said just the same thing, except then, his appeal was to the presumed needs of 20th century man. The centuries grow, but the case does not change.
It is a case not of mere error, easy enough to commit, but of sustained error over scores of years, in flamboyant exit from certain basics of the Bible, its text, its tenor, now its commandments and its Christ.
Such for example occurred, earlier in my own day, at Ormond College in Melbourne, where following a fine professor, there came one who made it his business to confront the Bible and in my hearing constantly attacked this or that book of it, in ways so stultified in manner, that one could only marvel. WHO is so blind as this ? HOW on earth could any one so confuse things ? It was however a tradition which had simply been followed, so that when I as a challenged student, showed at times the errors of this confrontation with the Church's doctrine, directly with the Bible, I was merely insulted, NOT answered, it was my undoubted privilege to be named by the professor in class, a 'crank' and even slanderously and explosively dismissed from Class and then from the Ministry (though 12 years later, restored in an Assembly overthrow of the persecution and the slander which had arisen, incidentally and irrationally).
The good Lord restored me in a dramatic exercise in the Sydney national Assembly, and in this, I made it plain that after all, I was standing for what the Church ostensibly stood for, and had presumably HEARD of! On these things in detail, see A Time to Praise God... Chs. 3 and 4.
Indeed, little time was lost after the victory in Sydney and the taking of my Master of Arts Honours Degree at Melbourne University, before I was called to New Zealand and there ordained, serving in both the North and South Islands. In the latter case (Ch. 5 op. cit.), once again, the betrayal of core considerations in the biblical Christian faith came to my attention. The whole nation seethed with this transformationism, this new christ, this being whose body disobeyed His lordship, who was puny and turned to dust in his incarnate equipment, as the Principle of the only Presbyterian seminary in the land was riotously affirmed to the Press! To worship such a failure, such a dismissed trivialiy, such a new model, such a move towards Islam (as I pointed out to the Presbytery who came to the Parish, by newspaper announcement, to quell me) would have been idolatry.
Not to worship would have been dismissal. They got themselves in a corner, and affirmed in Assembly that it did not really matter whether He rose physically or not. He had some other type of arising which is not clear, since it would be one who raised the dead and healed multitudes of the sick, in that case, who could not even arrange to have His own body raised on the third day as announced so often, and as predicted! Such was there cavilling with Christ, yes their rejection of the Lord's Christ (Luke 2:26), locking up the truth in Assembly as they betrayed Him.
One or two speakers in the national Assembly called, made noises of disapproval, but when it came to the end of the matter in Assembly, having been sent by my Session to Assembly as a representative to challenge this reconstruction of Christ the Lord, made by the Principal, the mutator, I publicly dissented from their Statement of the Resurrection, and HAD THIS DISSENT RECORDED. In this, at this crucial episode, I was aware of no other voice of dissent.
Speaking by a merciful provision of the Lord for double the (short) time normally allotted, I pointed out in essence, that to have a central apostle so contradicted who in a central theme and on a central occasion concerning the central and divine figure on whom through faith in whom the Christian Church is founded, was a shameless and wanton folly, founded on nothing, required by mere will. Christ, said Peter, was the One of whom David spoke (Psalm 16), that His body did not rot, for David himself had a body long since dissolved in the earth. ROT ? the term, I indicated, with due reference to manuscripts, had NO OTHER MEANING but that its flesh did not dissolve in ruin. A schoolboy could tell them that!
They voted it down, and thence I left the matter for eternal assessment, having condemned the basis of their entire new system. That the newspapers would not publish this fact was lost in the scrum; and it was left to look as if I had never condemned their entire conception and statement and resolution in the strongest possible terms, in full sight of all, in voting procedure, with recorded result by my use of privilege to have this done. The nation seemed intoxicated with the volcanoes to the faith which they were installing! for indeed, the Presbyterian faith had been strong, which had in this way been exploded, leaving the Church an irreligious rump which accordingly I left for further testimonies elsewhere (cf. Ch. 6 op. cit.).
Such once more then, was the unruly revelling in unreality, because this people, this ecclesiastical body, this former Church had seen fit to close their eyes, based on what MAN would tolerate, by word of the Principal, as if God were to be persuaded on this philosophic and cultural basis, to change history and His mind alike, and buy acceptance by being more acceptable, this time, to twentieth century man! That was the cry for mutation, that was its ludicrous basis. That, however, is PRECISELY what Paul in principle says he is NOT doing and COULD NOT do in Galatians 1, pointing out that it is not to persuade God to man, but man to God which is his task. IF, he said, he did the former he would not be the servant of Christ! But they would not heed.
So the century sickened, ready for worse plagues, if possible, in its coming mate, the 21st.. As for me, the Lord then sent me to another land, and my ministry was accepted there, after preliminaries before, in just ... three days, as a sign and signal of the power of God!
To take another case, the Uniting Church*1, rump of Presbyterians (indeed more than half!) allied with some others, now have no problem with pastors who dismiss Paul's teaching on homosexuality as exclusion zone for the kingdom of heaven (Ch. 5 above). Their position before God in this has been traced before, but in terms of I Thessalonians 4, as recently as in the last Chapter! Rejecting God is no small item on the spiritual agenda...
Instead, while working on their innovative and culturally acceptable position, in dire contradiction to the repeated commands in the Bible, they even have those who offend its requirements openly, teach others how to get to the place from which biblically, they exclude themselves! This is merely one; but others play with similar projects, the Church of England even having had a Primate in their structure of authority in this land, who declared that it was not necessary to believe in Christ as the ONLY way to God.
THE ONLY WAY and Another
Let us examine this one a little, since it is illuminating as to method. It is not for us to construe the objectives, merely noting the statements and procedures logically; but we also ponder the results.
Thus one finds report that Dr Carnley as he was preparing to be Primate, declared in a Church news publication that it was no longer good enough in the world of today to have Christ as the only way to God. Moreover, further report confirms that he was adhering to such a statement as time passed.
He even reportedly revealed his opinion that Luke for example had not the vaguest idea of what was going on in India, when he wrote! This too becomes a matter of later discussion.
In other words, underlying is the assumption that Luke not God made statements, and expressed opinions; inspiration was culturally controlled and not divinely inspired with the wisdom of God, under his control as to the truth and knowledge, so that the very Gospel is not the word of God who keeps its fulfilment to jot and tittle (Matthew 5:17-20), but some kind of composite of fragments of this and that. Its Christ thus becomes, in such a creative approach to the Creator, based on nothing, instead of on His works, Himself now for all to see, made to be palpably pliable. Indeed He is re-created as an avenue to God, not the only highway or exclusive way at all (John 14:6). He is not the only way because God is God and not a multiplication of beings; instead He becomes a manually manipulable mental fragment or function of the mind of man.
It is no longer God who speaks with an absolute and unassailable authority AS GOD, in contradistinction and confrontation if need be with all culture, all the ways of this world, but some adaptable kind of being.The Primate thus removes the biblical Christ from primacy, and in his own greatness of desire, demotes the deity of the Bible, to learn at his feet, indeed to be featured by his own mind, as it pleases him. He may appeal to others with him, but the category is not thereby changed: it is man or God, or a mixture. God flays the concept it is as the word of man in part or in whole: HIS word is like rock unlike all the contrary or other words which are spoken (Jeremiah 23). This results from His filling heaven and earth!
What however of the other model, the cultural Christ one, where in whatever measure, current cultural preferences assist the moulding of the Master!
This makes Christ in variable good pleasure (not of God but of man), a cultural adjunct. To be sure, the view of Jesus presented by that Primate, or sustained, shares with Christianity chiefly in this, that Christ is the specific criterion, though what sort of a Christ he is spawning or inventing is clear only in this, that it is not the biblical One, and that one, He denies as the only way to God. Now if Christ can be made by your mind, then that 'Christ' is a human creation, not the Creator of man (Colossians 1:15, John 1:1-3). There is therefore an infinite difference. That makes for an infinite divergence. If you worship the result, it readily becomes idolatry. If you do not, what is this your unworshipped Christ! (cf. John 20:27-28), where such worship is made a universal criterion of Christianity.
Again, it is not any originality in this that is in point, since it is not original. It is simply a matter, in view of certain of the mutative features above as exhibited in II Corinthians 10-11, for example, of the STATUS of the one who ventured to present them, or sustain them as time went on. Paul's apostolic rejoinder to that sort of mutation is this: they are not wise, for they are measuring themselves by themselves. Thus mutative power when it comes to God, as object, cannot be the truth which comes from God as subject; for this is not His revelation as from the day of it, but man's philosophic ideas, as from 2000 years or so, later. If you no longer have objective, God-breathed, gifted truth, being not bound to what is given, then it is from yourself you measure yourself, and what sort of a standard is that! (II Corinthians 10:13). By the unknown you find how it is to be assessed! and so from that basis, other things or persons, like Christ, are to be moulded!
If this is satisfactory to the denomination, or tolerable, then so is another Jesus and another Gospel wrought by another person in another way. What is not decisively and incisively God and the Lord Himself (John 8:58), is now tempered to become assessable by man, subject to limitations and designable without and contrary to evidence, as one sees fit. Here is the case of Galatians 1, where Paul almost seems to explode, asking this: AM I persuading God from you, or you from God ? In other words, is he, the apostle, telling God what is REALLY needed by authority of man, or man what is needed by authority of God! IF, he declares, he were ambassador to God from man, he would no longer be the servant of Christ! HE is appointed ambassador from the God of all wisdom, to man, giving commandments to be obeyed (I Corinthians 14:37). It is as in the days of the prophets, THIS is the word of God, and here is fealty to be focussed.
It is not possible to move further from the faith than to reconstruct the biblical Lord and God. In this way, the One who not only did what the Father did, but did it in just the same way (John 5:19ff.), who was so much the criterion of faith and life and destiny, that to reject His words and works leaves no excuse and leaves people to die in their sins (John 15:21ff., 8:24) may be rejected or received in part, but UNLESS people forsake ALL that they have, not only is it the case that they are statedly NOT His disciples, but they CANNOT be. It is a conflict of principle, at once decisive.
Thus, if you have for your Christ, by invention, not One who shows the Father, the One being exact image of His Person, but a person showing limitations and errors and complete error in his concept of destiny. Even if you seek to insulate the Christ from the biblical writers, you are still contradicting the basic contention: NO OTHER WAY, NO other satisfaction for sin (John 8:30), no other God (John 8:58, where He is made of the stature of the LORD). If you want to change Christ, there is the trouble with imagination helping create your god; if you want to change the biblical record, you have the same imagination divorcing the record God has made of His Son, and making up some new thing, so that the actuality is not known. Either way, you divorce your God from absolute truth, and make him up by this or that methodology, as seems good to you.
As noted, in that case, it cannot be true, since truth as such is now in itself implied absent in its absolute reality, and all you CAN do is make it up, which is not the same as finding it, discovering it, attesting it and confirming it; far less doing so by faith.
Let us take what is given as direct quotation. Archbishop Peter Carnley is reported as criticizing "Sydney Anglicans" for "empty moralizing" on the topic of human sexuality. According to this, he queried whether the Bible condemns homosexuality, and this statement is attributed to him, in line with other report. He is referr ing to texts in the Bible that relate to the approach to be taken to sexuality, and in particular, homosexuality.
Let us name this statement, A.
The exact meaning to be read from these texts and whether they can rightly be made to provide a neat pre-packaged answer to our contemporary questions is what is at issue. Anybody brave enough to claim to know the inner mind of God on the basis of a personal claim to be privy to the only conceivable interpretation of some biblical texts is guilty of self-delusion.
Since no evidence is found to the contrary, and it is reflected elsewhere, let us examine this. If these things as remarkably appear to be so, what are we to make of them. Let us take this as a kind of standard case, a type of thing, and ponder its portent.
First, let us be clear: the Primate was also reported as saying this:
Despite suggestions to the contrary, all of us agree unreservedly about the uniquely normative and authoritative place of the scriptural texts within the Christian tradition. The exact meaning to be read from these texts and whether they can rightly be made to provide a neat pre-packaged answer to our contemporary questions is what is at issue.
Let us name this statement B.
In B, then, we find that biblical texts are "uniquely normative" and "authoritative" WITHIN the Christian tradition. However, the other reported statement does not give ADEQUATE authority to the Christian tradition, to stop it being dismembered and in much dismissed. However UNIQUE, therefore, this Christian TRADITION may be, it is here exhibited as not the ONLY thing to be consulted for directive, and is subject to review, even to the point noted in the earlier reported statement. Thus a FORD executive could acknowledge the uniquely normative and authoritative place of former President X in assigned areas, and then go on to say that in the PRESENT, certain question arise which force one to revise these things. The two statements do not contradict; but the one certainly gives an atmosphere cardinally at variance with the other.
The unique place of the former is now to be reforged. Far from any god, he had his place, and must suffer revision. In the tradition, he stands; but the tradition needs treatment! The Christian tradition is so treated in effect, both authoritative, and a tradition, with liberty for making new rules, new ideas, as if God had not there spoken from truth, as if Christ were not the truth, but some body in need of oversight.
This said, let us look at the former stated, that is, the one first noted.
Now let us ponder statement A.
Notice the method here. Instead of facing the fact that Paul (cf. Ch. 5 above) in detail as in I Timothy 1 and I Corinthians 5-6, LISTS practices which exclude (if unrepented of) from the kingdom of heaven, in a way the New Testament parallel to Old Testament death penalty (cf. Leviticus 20:13), he has another line of approach. Instead of just following the statement of what topics are in view, and what is to be done about them, he makes just as free with this as with the Christ. He is interested in various kinds of options, which the text just does not begin to present. It reminds one of a child:
James, do not do that.
Mummy, I was only doing this.
James, as you should know, is just the same.
Do not take my time with such chatter, son.
There is, we read, question about the "exact meaning". How is it hard to understand this simple listing of well-known and various practices associated with people, whether of the same sex, or other as in adultery, similarly condemned (I Corinthians 6:9)! What is difficulty about exactitude with that ? Is it difficult to understand the meaning of adultery ? of male to male and female to female sexual conduct in place of heterosexual ? Is coitus questionable ?
Is there something unduly 'neat' about such depictions, something which by its very clarity makes the brow wrinkle and the frown function ? Is there some kind of packaging issue when words of singular meaning are deployed ? Is it pre-packaging on the part of the apostle or on the part of the reader, and if so, in what way ? Packets of meaning there certainly are, as clear as the day, and words DO package meaning in their depiction,
Indeed, in the mind of the speaker, when it is clear, they are packaged in advance of speech perhaps: but this is just to form the mode of expression. You think, you classify, you understand and then you speak. To speak of normal methods of human expression in disparagement is a non sequitur par excellence. It is irrelevant and abusive. It has no ground in logic, when the issue is what is being said in the Bible.
The fact that in the CONTEMPORARY world, we live, does not alter the fact that Christ said that His words would endure EVEN WHEN heaven and earth pass away, so that their fidelity is more certain than that. It is HIS words that will judge (John 12:48-50). THIS is that Christ whom God saw fit to send, whose word and will and way has never been subject to any rational criticism that can logically stand: and what has the passing of the Gospel Age towards its end (Matthew 24:12), to do with the status and standing of the words of the One who instituted that Age ?
Is it that God gets old-fashioned, long in the tooth or short in the truth ? Is it a God controlled by man that we describe, or man made by that God who foreknew and predestined ? Israel in ITS contemporary period centuries after Moses, did not fail to crumble into ruin for 70 years because time had passed since God originated the covenant with them! God remorselessly reminded them of their fall from the agreement, the covenant, the undertaking, its specifications and its thrust. That it had long lasted made of it not less but more, for it was indeed constantly confirmed and applied. Thus you see in the review in Deuteronomy 28-30, Psalm 78 and Ezekiel 20, for example.
If a new covenant or a new christ or another Jesus or a culturally popular christ is desired, then logically it is necessary to REJECT the Bible and its major premises, and SO talk about models which have nothing to do with it, not using its mandate or mission or commission ALONG with this alien models, for that is mere confusion, if not worse.Define your model, give grounds for it on its own standing, and provide for it what you can of a logical basis. That enables comparison. You cannot rationally reject one model and then appeal to elements of its authority in order to seek to establish one diverse from it, and indeed utterly contradictory to its central message.
If however you do this kind of thing, then it readily appears as lupine, misleading and inclining the listener to lose objective bearings without any sound ground even visible. Appealing to some things in the rejected model, you invent other things in a new model, do not introduce it as such, and in fact synthesise what rejects your innovation, with that innovation. This is simply self-contradiction. What you reject as a model, is not to be appealed to in seeking to establish what you want instead. That is to prefer tanks to planes, and call in the air force to assist the tanks!
If one simply keeps to the Bible, then this kind of statement reviews negatively the cardinal claim of the cardinal power in His cardinal work of salvation. Have other ways, and you demote the biblical Christ. Demote Him and you have another Christ, and THEREFORE (HIS agency being crucial) another Gospel. If it is not rejected by the church body concerned, then its amplitude is such, its toleration so vast, that Jesus Christ of the Bible is ONE OPTION IN IT. If He is but one, then His is not authority as Lord and we have a different religion. Did the Church die for you ? or was it resurrected to cover your case! Did not even Christ speak as commanded (John 12:48-50), and were not the apostles sent AS H E WAS, from the Father, for their new functions! (John 17:18).
Since Jesus Christ comes only as LORD and Saviour, His words outlasting the world itself, and commanded by the Father (John 12:48-50), this spiritually became the end of the Anglican Church as such, that is as a biblical Christ confessing body in this country.
Restoration would involve outright condemnation both of this denial of Christ, and the misused agency which sustained it before the Church.
The Primate was not unseated. His words seem to have been anything but hidden.
Anglicanism has accepted the most extreme and radical anti-Christian approaches without Australia in particular, either breaking from it or condemning those who act as false prophets even in the most flamboyant and total manner. What price unity ? Christianity is that price, biblically defined.
It does not matter what you only say, when doing is open; you must DO also. If Christ had only SAID He must die as a ransom, there would be no Gospel and nothing to talk about at the level of salvation.
The slur that anyone BRAVE enough to know the inner mind of God on the basis of a personal claim to be privy ... again has the same fault. Let us be clear. This means that reading the statements in the Bible about this sexuality issue and giving words their normal meaning, in the sphere of utter prohibition and condemnation, and adhering to them faithfully, becomes a special presumption. It is specified as wrongfully imagining one has special powers of being privy to deep divine things. The opposite is the case.
In reading and applying what is written in the clearest possible fashion, both as to its nature and the results of it, one is being an observer of the external, articulating what one did not write or think up, but what has been written these millenia in an environment of no change. This is confrontation indeed, taking the precise thing being done, or something virtually indistinguishable from it, and charging the opposition with doing it!
What is happening in this statement of charge and challenge ? It imports from a wholly different MODEL, a culturally limited Christ who is but part of the paraphernalia to bring you to God if you will. It then brandishes a cutting edge of rejection that sweeps away the basis of the rejected and biblical model, as if man were even now writing it, as if one had to be specially privy to the inner counsel of God to read and apply His outer word.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Revisionism of authority ABSOLUTELY and Christ as "my Lord and my God," the God of me, as it literally is, is being proposed (John 20:27-29). Those who will NOT so revise without logical grounds in this way, are faced with being in effect, something like gnostics or worse, that is: arid or arrogantly presumptuous.
To ACCEPT what is externally given is somehow being PRIVY to inward things ? To reject removal of what is written is not in itself an arrogant or imposing act ? Rather it is removal of it, as not actually now to be accepted, which requires some special counsel, but from what ? From the author of the rejection, or else from the One who claims His words will outlast the earth and heavens ? There is no signal from the unchanging Christ. There is one from the author of the desire to reconstruct.
As to Christ authorising His own reconstruction, we enter the mystic domain, without evidence. Indeed, appeal to the umpire who has already declared through His apostles that these things are the commandments of God, and subject with the Gospel to no alteration, and by Himself given power to His words beyond our very Age, this could scarcely be more confrontational. Thus is there a misleading flavour and a pole reversal, as with North and South in magnetic fields, the one called by what the other does.
Accordingly, with another Jesus you have of necessity, another Gospel, He being the teacher ALONE (Matthew 23:10), and the ONLY payor of ransom (Hebrews 7:27, 9-10) for mankind, there being no other name under heaven for this purpose, so that if one sees Him, one does not see a trend or a pattern or a product but the reality of truth and of God Himself. Cut-down versions of this biblical Christ, truncated ones, require not less than, but more than inner counsel with things divine: they require first of all evidence, not mere concepts of the massivity of modern man before God, or His utter variation from the word of God, which is simply unbased biblical unbelief.
What is to be said of such imaginative nostrums ? They require a hand which can model Christ the Lord to personalised specifications, and breach Paul's condemnation of just this very thing, as in II Cor. 10-11. We require for this a new apostle, in conflict with the ones of Christ's day, a leader with light who can even define it all over again, outside the biblical parameters. That of course is precisely what Muhammad did (cf. Ch. 5 above as marked). It is not new; but this attack on those who are not to be subjected to such mutative faith is rather special.
The BIBLICAL model is divorced from this. GOD when He wishes, says what He wills, and backs it to the uttermost (cf. Ch.5 above as marked). The prophets have their words swept on by divine power, and revelation as by divine counsel, sys I Peter 1 and II Peter 1, this with the result to the jot and tittle, to be fulfilled. So we have a new Bible also, built on othr grounds!
But is vague cultural occlusion to be so maintained ? Is God to be rejected as inspiring the word of God as well as sending the Christ as the ONLY way to Himself ? Is someone to be so privy to the inner counsel of God that he can not only reject what the Bible confirmed by Christ, and foretold in its authoritative additions from the Old Testament, has to say, but come close to calling impostors, those who believe and receive what is thus presented in the Bible ?
WHO is having this inner counsel sanctum in a special way, if not the one who rejects what God has to say about the Bible! There is no need for special inner counsel in order to accept that God knows what He is doing, having made man in spectacular command-performance mode, and comprehends more than man, what He is saying, so that in His infinitude of wit and wisdom, He insists that we follow it because it is His word. We can read and accept it or reject it, and if the former, then on multiplied and comprehensive grounds (cf. below. Light Dwells with the Lord's Christ).
However, to reject this outer and objectively present counsel of God is a work of rebellion against that word, and if this is so, doubtless as with the sons of Korah (Numbers 16), there will be some kind of excuse ? But no, it is the Bible in its utter clarity on the topics in question which is not only rejected in this verbal swirl, but made to be so subjective in some odd manner, that one needs an inner counsel in order to recognise what it says. Do those who FOLLOW what it says, require special sanction from a private scenario, or faith ? Do not rather those who REJECT it, require something subjective, dependent on their own special subjects, so to revolt against it!
It is not in reason, but self-appointed criteria, wholly in conflict with the central biblical position, that one finds the inner and the special matters, and these concern not those who accept what the Bible has objectively said for millenia, but those who would invent something else as an overlay, or substitute, or in some synthetic liberty, propose an unauthorised addition. But WHO does the authorising ? Is this the new Authorised Version ? But that was of a translation, this of the truth!
Confusion is the most obvious product of this use of TWO DIFFERENT MODELS, as if they were to be combined for no known reason, in a way subversive of major features of one, on behalf of the other, as if it had been given some sort of bargaining position. But what are its credentials, but naked assertion, ungrounded on rational criteria that bind ?
The one model, in general terms, is based on assumptions, conscious or other, that God either does not know everything, or speaks in ignorance, or uses a form of ignorance as if He did not know too much, in speaking, and so made crucial errors where the matters are definitive for man, or did not in fact speak at all or only partly, when declaring, Thus says the Lord.
The other is based on the all-knowing God speaking with commanding authority and truth, without cavil or qualification, so that the word of God is a criterion of His level of function and Being. Even if you teach a 5 year old mathematic, that is not to require of you that you speak amiss. IF you have the talent, it can be done
Simply mixing models is one of the worst confusions, the more so when this is not acknowledged. Take Model B, and God would be commissioning others to speak in His name, even fundamentally incorrectly to the core of things, while claiming that to the jot and tittle He will back His words. You invent by mutation a mixed up and incoherent situation. It is always possible with any system, so to do, or design, so to mar. It is called an accident or worse. But it is merely a gratuitous advent. It makes no difference to the reality.
Indeed, His apostles acknowledge (John 14:26, I Corinthians 14:37, 2:9ff.,I Peter 1:10ff., II Peter1:19ff.) that it was through the Holy Spirit that the Lord spoke to them , in this way, and thus there came to them the teaching as to its pith and the expression expression likewise (I Corinthians 2:9ff.). It is based on fact, on act, on prediction, on testimony over the ages, on the performance as specified by Christ, on the logical realities, and on the actions of God over history, summarised, revealed, applied in coherence and commanded in systematic totality, verified in the power of Christ and His words, nature and fulfilment of the requirements specified for salvation. God has not left man without a witness, or with a wounded one, for His word is truth (John 17:17), and not to be contradicted with wisdom (Jeremiah 23), or altered or added to (Revelation 22). What stands is tested and true to the uttermost depth, in detail, in continuity, in impermeability.
Thus, this stops in one as a nether option to the biblical MODEL. It is a culturally transmorphic model, with whatever variation of type and character, any age may desire. It is a Shakespearean play ready for all kinds of alterations and alternations, but not by the author. With God however, it is not so; for mighty is He who executes His word, as He ALWAYS does (Joel 2:11),His power and His purpose perpetually translated into action, consummated in Christ (John 1:14-18, Hebrews 9:12, 7:27, 13:8, John 8:58, 5:19ff.). God is, knows all, and in speaking at all, acts on this unique basis (Isaiah 41-48), that His words are to over-ride all, and as evidence to surpass anything, and this as a witness to Him who speaks, and to what He says. He challenges them to find anything that so performs, to believe and to cease rebellion.
MODES AND MODELS §
It is rigorously necessary, then, when proposing a vast change to what rests on the statedly changeless God who sent Christ as the truth so clear that imagining any other way to God is dire and direct contradiction and certain disaster (John 14:6, 3:15ff., 36), to state clearly that you have another model. It may be one based on ideas about contemporaneity and such cultural conceptions, allied with the conception that this changes what God has to say in commands to the human race. You can trace out your model, but it is vain to sally against the apparent or alleged presumption of those who do not accept your model when you are its originator or basis, or those like you, immersed in culture or commanders of your own thought.
It is even worse to suggest that in so resisting your ideas, they act in inner access to divine things in some specialised way, when this is precisely what they are not doing. Indeed, whatever the proponent of change may be doing, he is certainly acting on his own inner concepts, from whatever source he may wish to derive their authority, since there is an ostensible authority in the model in itself. Is it in fact being proposed merely as an insubstantial dream! If so, say so. If not conceive, create and confer its authority. The ceremony is not known.
Whether then the errors were Presbyterian or United or Anglican, as soon as in PRACTICE the Bible is imagined NOT to be the word of God so that here is the truth propositionalised, then you have no basis for determining what truth is. For truth, you need three things at least.
TRULY, THE TRUTH IS NO PLAYTHING §
First, you need a source outside a reactive world, merely reacting in itself. Action is not overview, and reaction has no truth to provide concerning itself, even for one to nominate it to be the case! Reaction is not overview, and any overview is not enough to constitute truth. It must be adequate overview, beyond the paraphernalia to itemise what it is.
Secondly, one needs to have the truth where there is competence for it (a turtle does not do Einstein equations, that is not its nature), and willingness to impart it, since this being unique to what is not submerged, immersed, qualified or controlled by reactions, and thoroughly understanding why and how they are there and there place in the entirety of things, there is no other way of getting it. If what is the truth remains dumb, the case is still one of ignorance of truth. Let it be absent, then you cannot proclaim it; let it be silent, and your case remains unchanged.
The truth needs to be there , available and disbursed (cf. SMR, TMR et al., where this is demonstrated). It should not only have no logical antinomies but no verificatory lapses - its comprehensive wisdom being unique to what is as far beyond man as the sun above the moon, and much further, since man comes and goes without consent or calibration - if it is to be confirmable by man. Since this is precisely what happens, showing conformity to logic and meeting any such specifications (to be expected if man be in the image of God, and expected or invoked to love Him with all the mind), then the truth is confirmed, this being simply one such avenue to its validation. That is in type, it is one, the rational and the empirical, the cohesive and the harmonious.
Its validation does not depend on man; but God who made reason does expect us to use the mind, and to give a reason for the faith, and it is HIS actions in the universe and in the Bible, a s in the mind of man, which enable this to be done so readily. Validation as with an experiment to be done in Class, is comparatively easy when you are given the materials necessary, and the method is apparent for test.
On the other hand, when your model lacks either the truth or its specifications as a model, directly or by implication, or its availability, then it is mere wagging of the tongue. IT excludes you logically from having it, so what gain is there in telling others what on this basis, you have no way to know ?
When however your model includes God who knows, who speaks, who speaks in accord with His own special knowledge, who tells you the origin and the perspective from the divine to the human, what He wants and where and how to go, then there is no such problem. You believe in the truth, its availability and have both its verification and its validation. Happy are you! Blessed is the one who knows the Lord and trembles at His word (Isaiah 66:2, John 14). Mixing models without acknowledgement makes not for some kind of synthesis, from two authorities, that of God and that of human culture, localised or other, but for confusion and erraticism so systematic that there is no end until the filter is applied.
Then each Model must show its credentials, contrasts must be faced, and any effort to merge contradictions has to be abandoned. CO-existing with self-contradiction merely assassinates logic, which being the court of appeal, is both an unnecessary murder and a fatal one for outcome.
In fact, when the biblical position is followed, the whole realm of knowledge comes into conformity with itself and this without disharmony either to data to be found, or principle of logic. .
On this, see
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).
Innovation is not only unnecessary when the Bible is the source, but involves a glaring failure to utilise the explicative model of perfection. It is rather like walking when you have a good car, and the destination is Marble Bar.
RESULTS MORE GENERALLY
What then are the results of the currently common mode of disobedience, often disguised beguilingly as advance of some kind, with whatever intention. Doubtless Peter did not MEAN to revise the entire Gospel when he began to rebuke Christ about this dying notion of His! as seen in Matthew 16. Perhaps he entertained loose and superficial ideas about the need of Christ to continue there and then, on and on. But in pitting his wisdom against His who is eternal and became flesh, never changing, he WAS a revisionist. Yet he was one SWIFTLY willing to be corrected, as indeed in the incident of denying Christ for a very little while, on the night of His arrest.
For whatever reason, then, and deceiving or deceived, many refuse to leave churches or bodies which as if churches, reject what the Bible commands. Such are typed, for example, in Revelation 3:14-16, where a particular body becomes an example: sexual immorality was one innovation amid their ways, and the notice to quit was not far away! (3:16).
We have, then, considered the implications at various levels; but what of the results.
Firstly, the forces which MIGHT have helped in collaboration and partnership, sharing gifts and wisdom, are by this reduced. Consider the picture. There are some Christians who follow the Lord in godly awe and delight in His word and Gospel; there are many who follow substitute gospels, christs or commands. Whenever some of the former are inclined to stay in the bodies, themselves long seceded from the Christian biblical faith, then apart from the effect on themselves, their purity of heart and conscience, they are depriving the pressed forces of Christian loyalty of more resources, added personal testimony and fellowship. This becomes more and more like those who refused to volunteer for the war to prevent take-over by slave-drivers.
Secondly, the testimony of unity is by the same means reduced for those following the Bible as the required word of God: the required revelation in verbal form, from God in His unique, explicit and immeasurably tested word.
Thirdly, on the other side, the testimony of specisious unity, delusive it is true, but massive in propaganda impact, is increased for those who occupy themselves with new christs, or sorts of christ, or blending Christ's words with those of old and debased cultures, in new ways. This helps still more deluded people to follow them in this false trail, for the wrong reasons no doubt. In such ways, it is leading them on not only to be on the road to being lost, but aiding others to follow it also.
Fourthly, the failure to vacate adversarial churches, in confrontation with the biblical Christ, leads astray not only through the rebellion in it, failure to do as ordered (cf. Romans 16:17), but through the actual distortion of truth, like a false prescription, directly toward the subversion of the souls concerned. It is another Jesus, hand -made by man, rather than one as man made without hands, who so manufactured, does not save.
The product of man should be reverence for truth, in word and Word (Psalm 89, I Thessalonians 2:13). The Thessalonians received it, we read,
"not as the word of men,
but as it is in truth,
the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.",
Thus word of men has nothing to do with it, but the Holy Spirit has moved men, thrusting out the word of God from inspired depths so that the result accords with the mind and will of God (Matthew 5:127-20, and see in Ch. 5 above, I Peter 1:10ff.*5, II Peter 1:19ff.*6, SMR Appendix D). If God wants to speak, with some it is like the case of the Judge in the comedy of Gilbert and Sullivan, who asks and asks to be allowed to speak; and the people sing about this want of His, but in the very row of it, for quite a time PREVENT him from doing so!
The case should not be delayed therefore. When it is a case of manufacture of gods, christs, ideas, infiltrated like virus hordes, there is woe for the heart, a cloud over conscience or an increasingly abandoned air to religion in general. What you make, you can change; so that factions and clevernesses, methods arise to favour this or that party. It becomes a thing of man in doctrine, in heart, in man-made enterprise.
Man-made dicta will scarcely will change your spots, any more than a fast-food fattiness will heal cancer. Men's ideas do not reclaim souls from their misdirection to the One who alone knows what is the way for man, and why, and how that comes to be.
For that, you need the washing of regeneration by the power of God on the blood-signed prescription of God, in His only begotten Son. It is sacrifice not to be invented. It is eternity put in flesh suffering, a prodigy not to be repeated. It is the mind of God to man, set in motion in an eternally valid act, for ever effectual, never replaceable.
Fifthly, in that it is in fact capitulation to culture, such intrusions or invasions of the word of God tend to increase the swagger of those who prostate themselves before it, that is, before the current customs and preferences of man. Since Christ does not even PRAY for this world (as distinct from people in it), this is betrayal, surrender and confusion. If you are going to worship Christ, do so; and if culture, do so! ... to adapt from Elijah. How long will you halt between two opinions! It readily becomes the sale of the soul, not its surrender to God who made it, but to man who like a worrisome terrier, yaps by the feet.
Failure to halt in such unhallowed paths (later characterised in I Kings 17:41. The people there "feared the LORD, yet served their carved images; also heir children and their children's children have continued doing as their fathers did, even to this day." Such ambivalence was a meaningless muddle of opposites, reality and pretence, awe and infideltiy.
When Elijah forced the issue (I Kings 17), and the Lord answered in the open test, and confirmed the truth in the sight of all, this meant the removal of the false priests. The other option, more often followed, that of continued betrayal and false mixtures of religions, meant the removal of Israel for 70 years in exile. Similar regard to ecclesiastical opinion despite the word of God, has led to over 1900 years of exile on the part of Israel, though as predicted, they are now back and flourishing, amid morbid interest on the part of some, concerning her actions, and assaults on the part of others. It is all a biblically predicted prelude to a large scale operation to come (cf. Zechariah 12, Isaiah 66, Ezekiel 38-39).
Spiritually, as a lover of God, it is not good to be ready to halt; but when the movement is not to follow the Bible as having the authority of God, of which there is no kind since He is but ONE, being ready to halt can bring salvation. Halt and LOOK to the Lord, the only one, and be saved (Isaiah 45:22-23).
Thus, and sixthly, looking to many objects, models man-made, christs who did not DIE for you, did not RISE for your salvation, did not LIVE ETERNALLY before incarnation, do not CONSTITUTE the truth, is not merely a case of spiritual bifurcation, but can become dither. It is then as if you are watching some of those flicking TV images, which do not seem to have anything to 'say' except this, that they flick by. It makes for no faith, only opinion, options for preference, when the preference that matters is that of light over darkness.
Which light ? It is the light of the world, which is Christ, for with Him you do not stumble or come to darkness (John 11:9-10, 8:12).
Thus seventhly, there is a lack of stability, and in that the truth is now relativised (to and by people who not only are not the truth but cannot be, having merely arrived from an uncontrolled source some little time ago, and before their departure, likewise without consent, busy without objective truth, being themselves), the imaginative options for 'handling' the Christ become many. The particular stance to be taken at any given time becomes variable, a matter of tilt. Thus were the world to last a hundred years (as biblically it is not at all disposed to do - cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5, SMR Ch. 8), then a new modern man might wish to make a new type of christ who would not be allowed to be competent in this or that, and would be simply assumed to lack the other, as in this case, above.
This of course tends to foster the idea of just making some man into the greatest, some kind of God, some peak, some epic, more or less as the Communists do, or North Korea, and finding someone to carry out the concept of deification of man, let him make a fool of himself in doing so, quite directly, before the judgment (as in II Thessalonians 2:4-10), in the milieu of Ch. 1. The problem is that they did not HEED Christ. Obedience in the face of nuclear reactor is likely to be vital, if you service them. If you are man, then servicing the church and following the word of God are far more important: reactors may blow up, eternity does not blow away.
These are indirect trends resulting from disobedience in staying where the biblical Christ is dishonoured, and as with other poor hygiene, what is not directly caused, readily contributes to a multitude of disease problems.
Again, and eightly, obedience to the word of Christ leads on to His action of indwelling in special nearness as in John 14:21ff., in blessed comradeship, enhanced in peace; and thus this boon, its stated means betrayed, is lost.
In general, as soon as ANY of your thoughts are beyond the biblical revelation, becoming its supervisors, as you or yours or your church dares to reach out with creative imagination concerning the God of the Bible, who sent from eternity, the Christ, then you become part of the authority of the word of God, a ting massively able to swell the head and make rambunctious the spirit, a kind of daring into wildness of an animated spirit in man.
Before long there is first trickery and then treachery regarding the very term "word of God" which becomes not what He said, but what you want to make of it, as your mind twiddles it and your heart twiddles it: such was Liberalism. Then the matter grows steadily more arrogant, till there is said to be only a TESTIMONY to the word of God in the Bible, and this of course is then blended with other kinds of "testimony" till as in the Uniting Church, you can quite easily flatly contradict it in many places.
So voting becomes a foundation stone as the Bible is planed or sawn. But there is none such in the Bible, this being Christ the cornerstone, and the apostles ALREADY! (Ephesians 2:20-22). It is a little credulous to imagine that the Bible can be altered every time you (your group, clique, church and so on) have a bright idea about what God cannot do, or man actually needs, as if a new god were being formed, precisely as in Deuteronomy 32:15ff., the very thing God abhors as you see in that context. New gods come fast up from the earth, product of blind productivity, without control, basis or wisdom, mere flashes of inspiration from the resources of desire and self-made morals and the inventory of possible gods, ready for manufacture.
God despises such effrontery (cf. Jeremiah 7:9-20). Is this surprising ? I find amid the various slanderers and reporters who attack or act to alter me through false report, because I insist on truth and biblical clarity, or for whatever other reasons, that there are times when one wonders who is this person of which they speak. One can be sure that it is not oneself, since these are things and those are words that have not come from oneself, yet they are attributed to oneself ... so that it is like looking into a pool with ripples, never knowing what image one will discovr. It is quite a strange feeling, noting the contortive vexations of actuality that are made by imaginative verbal artists, imagining and free of discipline from the truth. It is almost as if one is being introduced to someone else and having no idea who he could be!
Can one imagine that God likes it ? when the truth is the basis of His salvation, the object of His love, mankind, held by this means! Would Napoleon like to be turned into Joan of Arc, by subtle changes, one added to the other over time: and there has been a long time for the Christ who acted in history, to become the Christ enacted by the imagination of men, with many little changes, first this and then that facial surgery being attempted, in an image (of God in man) that changes images for man concerning God!
Or would Churchill appreciate departure from the script to an imaginary option which KNOWS what he CANNOT have been, by imaginative philosophical speculation! I think not.
In fact, God declares what He thinks of divine revisionism, the artist man, consulting himself and not the fact, in depicting God! (Jeremiah 23:20-29). The Lord is kindly but not corrosible, and as to His only begotten Son, He is forgiving, but not corrigible (Hebrews 13). As to the Gospel, which is centred on HIS face (cf. II Corinthians 4), that is on who He actually is, it may certainly be changed, but only when the price of being cursed is ready to be paid; or if unready, at least is being faced. Paul himself declared in Galatians 1:6-9, that even if he, an apostle, one SENT as MEANT by God, were to vary from the Gospel already preached, then HE TOO would be accursed.
There is an afterburner at work in our midst, this last 70 years in particular, giving more speed to alluring alterations, new gods, new religions, often tagged on to Christianity as if by an afterthought. There is also an afterwards, when Christ declares to many fascinated by their great works, that He never knew them (Matthew 7:21ff.). It is not so hard to understand. Change God and worship it, and you are an idolator. Do not worship anything, and you vacate the first and greatest commandment, self-absorbed.
It is nothing to do with speculative illumination: it is what God has said and done, and there is one place, Christ, where the price was paid, on way, through this same door (John 10), all others of other notions being classified as thieves and robbers in the text, and there is one peace, that which HE gives, when "righteousness and peace have kissed," because "mercy and truth have met together," Psalm 85:10. Of that, Galatians 1, 3, 5 speaks in detail.
See for example:
News 15, 24, 44, 90,
Regal Rays of Revelation Ch. 11, KH 7; The Bright Light ... Ch. 6, Impossible to Men, Open to God Chs. 2, 4:
Dancers ... and Answers Ch. 3, *2A.